Volume 33 Number 19
                 Produced: Wed Aug 23 11:40:22 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Book Burning
         [Eli Linas]
Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros (2)
         [Daniel M Wells, Robert Israel]
Chalav Stam
         [Hyman L. Schaffer]
Electricity on Shabbat and Yom Tov
         [Dovid Oratz]
Jacket and Hat in the Pizza Shop
         [Daniel Cohn]
Kiddush and Women
         [Yosef Stern]
Parking but not buying **is** theft--you can be fined
         [Rose Landowne]
Women and commandments,  was: Upsherin
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Eli Linas <linaseli@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 14:21:04 +0300
Subject: Re: Book Burning

In the thread on book burning, Stan Tenen disagrees with Zev Sero's kal
v'chomer about learning that we must burn a book written by a min
because we burn a sefer Torah written by one. Stan writes that a sefer
Torah that isn't halachic (i.e., written by a min) can mislead, but with
a book, there is no possibility of its being able to mislead. I'm not
sure if I understand what he means by misleading. The halachah that a
sefer Torah written by a min must be burned applies even if it appears
exactly as a kosher one. Thus, the the problem is not that the text can
mislead or be misused. Rather, the problem is that the sefer does not
have kedushah, and we are not interested in acknowledging a min or
anything he does. On the other hand, a book is actually much worse in
certain respects, because there, the min is presenting treif ideas
disguised as Torah, and people can easily be lead astray by
it. Actually, in Iggres Moshe, Yoreh Deah Volume II, #172, and in Orach
Chaim Volume I, #50, there is a discussion on this subject, wherein Reb
Moshe gives a comprehensive overview of the whole topic of burning
sifrei Torah written by minim, books written by missionaries, Reformed
"rabbis," etc. Seeing what the poskim, and especially a world class
poseik like Reb Moshe, have to say is really the starting point for a
discussion on this, or for that matter, any other issue.

Eli Linas


From: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 18:26:17 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

> From: Aviva Fee <aviva613@...>
>> In England, I cannot think of a single kashrus agency, national or
>> otherwise, which will allow the use of non-supervised milk in a manufactured
>> product bearing its supervision, nor will will they allow supervised
>> caterers to use it.

I think that the writer of the above (not you, Aviva) is not aware of
the facts. Most chocolates with a local rabbinute hechser in England are
Cholov Akum.

Cholov Akum (from a cow) is perfectly kosher from the point of the
material content. It's the lack of supervision from the time of milking
and processing until it reaches the hands of the customer that makes it
Cholov Akum.

> When I buy milk from a processing plant in the USA, I can rely on
> mitzius

At least 99% of the time?

> and Federal USDA laws that the liquid contained inside the carton is
> cow milk.

But never have there been ANY violations - right?

In a place where it is REAL difficult to get 'Chalav Yisrael' the
chachamim were meikel to rely on local authorities to not pervert the

But in this day and age of advanced transportation and communication
possibilities, is it so difficult to rely on the good "Old" chumros of
using ONLY Chalev Yisrael?

Just out of interest unlike with other animals, cow milk is apparently
very similar in taste to pig milk (No! I've never tied it out but I did
heard so.)


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 13:05:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

Aviva Fee <aviva613@...> wrote:

> In reference to chalov stam outside of the USA, I think people are
> missing something significant.

> When I buy milk from a processing plant in the USA, I can rely on
> mitzius and Federal USDA laws that the liquid contained inside the
> carton is cow milk.

> When I buy milk from a processing plant in any other country, and
> especially far out places, there is a real chasash that the liquid may
> contain milk from non-kosher animals.

Which countries, and which non-kosher animals?  I'm 100% certain that
Canadian milk is from cows.  As far as I know, all the Western
industrialized countries have supervision comparable to the USDA.  My
daughter tells me that in India some of the milk might come from water
buffalo, but that's a kosher animal too.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


From: Hyman L. Schaffer <HLSesq@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 17:50:23 EDT
Subject: Re: Chalav Stam

Can someone explain the precise status of chalav stam? It would seem to
me that the federal government in the US is taking the place of the
mashgiach (presumably only a yotze v'nichnas is required) and the
principle of mirsas (fear of being caught adulterating the milk) is what
makes the milk acceptable. This would be the same reason that a
mashgiach yotze v'nichnas is acceptable for many types of
supervision. If so, why isn't milk produced under this standard chalav
yisrael? (It obviously isn't since R. Moshe drew the distinction between
chalav stam and actual chalav yisrael). So what is the issue really?
Does milk require hashgacha temidis? Is it a question of neemanus
(trustworthiness in the halachic sense) of the mashgiach, which the
yisrael has but not the USDA? And what about non-chalav yisrael milk
which kashrus organizations supervise? What standard is employed there
that does not give it the status of chalav yisrael but still makes it
kosher? Is it any different from USDA supervision?


From: Dovid Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 15:33:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Electricity on Shabbat and Yom Tov

> I vaguely remember reading years ago of a rabbi who acquired a
> reputation as top Halachist by destroying all the technical arguments
> that turning on a light was Shabbas-prohibited work.  After proving that
> turning on lights was permitted on Shabbas, he concluded that we should
> not do so, out of respect for the Chazon Ish who prohibited it.
> Can anyone confirm this story?  If true, how much more so on Yom Tov for
> those who have a family minhag based on Rv. Epstein's psak.

As indicated by the Moderator, R' Auerbach differentiated between
creating "eish" -- fire -- or its equivalent, which transgresses the
Biblical prohibition of "Havarah" (burning fire), and other electrical
applications in which fire (or its equivalent) is not produced, for
which there is no Biblical prohibition but for which there IS the
Rabbinic prohibition of "Molid" (loosely translated as production) .
[The "out of respect for the Chazon Ish", represented a related issue in
electric use.]

[It is my understanding that R' Auerbach disagreed that there was an
issur of Moled as well. If someone has recently reviewed the actual
Teshuva and can clarify, that would be appreciated. Mod.]

I hesitate to continue, but once Rav Epstein's Psak is mentioned again,
I have no choice. Let me first say that the derech Hapsak that I was
taught -- unlike much of the Yeshivishe world -- was that all other
things being equal, when there is a dispute between the Mishnah Brurah
and the Aruch Hashulchan, one follows the Aruch Hashulchan. I say this
to preface my remarks with the great respect I have for the Aruch
Hashulchan (R' Epstein).

No Rabbi, no matter how great he is, can issue an unflawed ruling when
presented with flawed information. If you read R' Epstein's Psak on
turning on lights on Yom Tov, you will see that he cites the accepted
law that on YomTov it is permitted to transfer fire from one place to
another. Then he says that there is fire in the electricity generating
plant which is transferred through the wires to the light
bulb. Accordingly, he concludes that turning the light on on Yom Tov is

But it just ain't so! I am not an electrical engineer, but I'm sure that 
the electrical engineers on the list will bear out the following points:
1) Electricity can be generated by cold Hydroelectric (water) power 
with absolutely no fire -- or even heat.
2) There is no fire transferred through the wires, nor even any heat. 
If there were, one would easily feel the heat through the slight 
amount of plastic insulation on the wires -- which would melt.
3) The equivalent of fire is produced when a circuit is closed, 
thereby allowing electrons to flow through a resistor (if it does not 
flow through a resistor, no fire is produced). The friction caused by 
the resistance produces heat and light -- and the glow in a light 
bulb. In a flourescent bulb a spark is produced to ignite the gas in 
the bulb. (Incidentally, electricity "fries" a person not because of its 
intrinsic heat, but because of the resistance of the human body to 
the flow of electricity).

Thus, it cannot be said that fire is merely transferred from one place
to another. Turning on an incadescent bulb produces the equivalent of
fire and transgresses the Biblical Melachah of Havarah, and turning on a
flourescent bulb may or may not transgress the Melachah of Havarah
because of the spark produced, but even if for whatever reason such
spark production does not involve a biblical prohibition, the Rabbinic
prohibition of Molid (which applies equally to YomTov) certainly is

If the facts of Electricity are as I have presented them here, then
there can be no heter whatsoever for turning lights on on YomTov,
regardless of family minhagim (which presumably were based on the same
Information that R' Epstein posessed).


From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 11:39:18 -0300
Subject: Re: Jacket and Hat in the Pizza Shop

I think what the MB implies is that is was the widespread custom among
all people, jews and gentiles alike, to wear a hat when they were out in
the street. It looks more like a description than like a requirement. So
if this is correct, it could well be that, since people don't wear hats
anymore when they "stand in front of important people", even according
to MB there would not be a requirement to put on a hat while praying.

Daniel Cohn


From: Yosef Stern <meyoz11@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 01:54:07 EDT
Subject: Kiddush and Women

From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
> In vol 33#05, Yosef Stern <meyoz11@...> wrote:
> <<As a matter of fact it is brought in mishnah berurah 193:5, that it is
> very much preferable for women to say their own kiddush (or at least say it
> along with the man who is making kiddush).>>
> The Mechaber and the Mishna Brura in that siman (193) are discussing
> benching after meals, NOT kiddush.  So that when the Mishna Brura says
> (in s'k 5) that "and according to this [that a person who doesn't
> understand the benching cannot be motzeed by someone else], the women
> should bench by themselves", he is referring to benching and _not_
> kiddush.
> So then we come to the eternal question of changing accepted minhagim.
> IOW, even though women are _permitted_ to make their own kiddush, the
> accepted minhag has been for many many years (centuries, millenia <G>?)
> that they are yotzei by their husband's kiddush.  If so, can we, may we,
> should we, change this minhag?  And for what reason would/should we
> change the minhag?

To give Chaim the benefit of the doubt he was probably quoting the MB
from memory. However, in the printed version it says as follows (Ch.193
MB #5):"And never-the-less it is better that they (i.e. woman etc.)
should say after the one who is saying grace AND THE ONE WHO IS SAYING
KIDDUSH, word after word silently if it is possible for them. Because
this way they will be YOTZE according to all POSKIM. And even without
this reason (-the argument whether she has to understand LOSHON
HAKODES-) it's proper to do so according to all opinions, because it's
impossible to concentrate and hear well".

I wonder where Chaim got the information that women centuries ago and
beyond did not make their own kiddush that he says so with such
certanty.  Secondly, I think the actual quotation from the MB will
answer his questions whether we can/may/should change things and for
what reason we would/should.

Kol tuv
Yosef Stern


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 14:53:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Parking but not buying **is** theft--you can be fined

<<  knowledge: Then if the owner does not normally charge then this
> person need not pay EVEN if he would otherwise pay(parking meters)
> because this is a case of THIS PERSON BENEFITED WHILE THE OTHER

How can you say that the owner of the store whose parking lot it is didn't 
lose? Maybe you prevented a legitimate customer from finding a space in the 
lot, and he went to a differnt store to buy.

Rose Landowne


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 11:45:59 -0400
Subject: Women and commandments,  was: Upsherin

You wrote,
<<It does not seem to be a "time dependent positive commandment"?>>

I answered,
<<It is,  and women are exempt.>>

To which you replied,
<<So I have been told, although I find the reasoning just a bit too

This is not my formulation, it is the Gemara's.  Even if it is too
subtle, I think the argument stops there.

<<Now wait a minute.  It should be real easy to fabricate a 4 cornered
garment that is obviously NOT beged ish (a man's garment).  E.G. make
it out of lace, or pink, with lots of flowers.>>

	I have not seen this reasoning anywhere, so it was my "off the
top of my head" guess.  Lace, pink or whatever is not going to make it a
woman's garment.  When you see a talis, you associate that with a man,
unless you're of the "women of the wall" persuasion.

	You can protest that it's wrong, but the facts are that a talis
is a man's garment, as are tzitzis.  Tautological, maybe, but the facts

<<Over the years, women have taken on MANY mitzvot aseh she'hazman
grama...  Does not your wife and daughters use your 4 Minim on Sukkot
(generic you; I do not know your personal status)?  Do they not listen
to the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah?  Why should this be any different?>>

	I know you may not like this approach, but it's different
because those mitzvos aseh shehazman grama were accepted by (Ashkenazi)
women, and tzitzis were not.  Two questions for you:

1.  Would the women who are looking to "take on" a mitzva be willing to
wear a four cornered garment **under** their clothes?  If so, who's
stopping them?  There is a prohibition on women wearing tefilin; as far
as I know none such exists for tzitzis beyond its public showing.  If
not, why not-are they looking for mitzvos or public statements?

2.  Sephardi women do NOT take four minim, or other mitzvos aseh that,
as you mentioned, our wives/mothers/daughters do.  Would you advocate
them starting to do so against their tradition?

<<Candle Lighting is ALSO a Mitzvat Aseh She'hazman Grama!).>>

	Yes, it is, but one associated with the mitzva of zachor es yom
haShabbos lekadsho (remember and sanctify the Shabbos).  The Gemara
explicitly **includes** those, such as kiddush, for women.



End of Volume 33 Issue 19