Volume 33 Number 22
                 Produced: Fri Aug 25 10:39:08 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Again on the spirit of the thing
         [Emmanuel IFRAH]
Attribution Correction
         [Myron Chaitovsky]
Baby Intercom on Shabbat?
         [Gershon Dubin]
Bracha on Sherry
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Fly Fishing
         [Asher Friedman]
Hechsher on Mineral Water (6)
         [Joshua Hosseinof, Stuart Cohnen, <MSDratch@...>, Hillel
(Sabba) Markowitz, Susan Chambre, Daniel Stuhlman]
Kashering Ovens
         [Susan Shapiro]
Noa (2)
         [Aliza Fischman, Zev Sero]
Sea of Solomon
         [Danny Skaist]
What Makes Names Jewish? (2)
         [Ben Katz, Ahuva Levkowitz]


From: Emmanuel IFRAH <eifrah@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:32:39 +0200
Subject: Again on the spirit of the thing

In Vol. 33 #17, Carl Singer asked a number of questions regarding the
spirit of shabbath, adding that:
>> [...] different people can apply
>> different halachik reasoning to achieve answers (or perhaps provide
>> answers and then support these with halachik reasoning.

I would like to point out that many of these issues already appear in the
Shulhan Arukh.

To take just one example (the most pleasant one to me):

>> There's a beautiful birthday cake on the table -- with writing on it --
>> and it's Shabbos, and everyone wants a piece of cake -- what can you do?

The Rema permits to cut the writing in order to eat the cake. I do not
have a Shulhan Arukh with me at the moment but the reference should be
quite easy to find. If my memory is correct the reason for this psaq is
that the writing was not meant to be permanent ('shel qayama') and that
you do not cut the cake to erase a word but to eat it ('melakha se-eyna
tserikha le-gufah').

Bon appétit,

Emmanuel Ifrah (Paris, France)


From: Myron Chaitovsky <MCHAIT@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 10:06:00 -0400
Subject: Attribution Correction

Perets,et al:

My abject apologies to the Maharal and,  lbchl"ch,  Rav Ki-Tov.

The gematria in question is not "theirs". I found it cited in the
Gedolei Yisrael Haggada/ArtScroll (ad loc) and, depending on how one
interprets the nuance of its editors, is either unattributed or from the
Meshech Chochmah.

Well, that will teach me to follow what could be called the Stengel
rule: "look it up".

Kol tuv,


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 13:38:31 -0400
Subject: Baby Intercom on Shabbat?

 Zemira and Tzvi Woolf <tzywoolf@...> write:
<<Where can I find sources on microphone use on Shabbos, especially
relative to a baby intercom/monitor where no one (certainly no adults)
intends to speak into the microphone on Shabbos ('lo mitkavein'- but is
it a 'psik reisha'?)?>>

	There is a considerable body of halachic discussion related to
hearing aids on Shabbos, which appears to have the same parameters as
the baby intercom.  Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach wrote one of his first
sefarim on this, and contemporary/later poskim deal with it.  Then,



From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 12:54:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bracha on Sherry

I just bought a bottle of the kosher run of Tio Pepe, the famous dry
sherry from Spain, and was wondering what the bracha is on sherry.  Is
it just completely wine and therefore the bracha is Gefen, or is it more
like Cognac and therefore a Shehacol?

Joshua Hosseinof


From: Asher Friedman <asher36@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 23:54:30 GMT
Subject: Fly Fishing

Is there any halachic problem with fly fishing for sport? You are just
catching and releasing the fish. Is it considered tzaar baalei chayim?


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:19:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Hechsher on Mineral Water

The answer I've heard from people who work for the OU is that the
companies that make the mineral water have other products that are under
OU supervision and that often the kashrut agreements for companies cover
all products made by the company that are kosher.  I don't think anyone
says (including the OU) that water needs a hechsher (maybe you can make
a case for pesach).

Joshua Hosseinof

From: Stuart Cohnen <stuartc@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 09:08:22 -0400
Subject: Hechsher on Mineral Water

There is a video on 613.org
(http://www.613.org/ou/ou5758west/ou-kos-que.ram) of a kashruth
symposium in LA given by the OU.  A story is told about the hechser on
water. It seems that there was a bottled water company that had an OU on
its flavored bottled waters. They approached the OU for a hechser on
their plain (unflavored) spring water. The OU said it wasn't necessary,
but the company insisted. So, the OU accepted and went to inspect the
plants where the water was bottled, which were separate from the
flavored water plants.  To their surprise, one of the plants was also
used to bottle clam juice. This is bottled when it is hot, causing all
kinds of problems. The plant therefore requires kashering before water
can be bottled.  Buyer Beware

Stuart Cohnen  (<stuartc@...>)
IDT Corporation, Hackensack NJ

From: <MSDratch@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 07:02:01 EDT
Subject: Re: Hechsher on Mineral Water

In fact, according to a conversation I had with Rabbi Herschel Schachter
who serves as a rabbinic advisor to the OU, the nature of food
processing today has changed.  There are many "runs" on machinery that
processes and packages food products.  If there is a run of non-kosher
food, the next one--even if the food is kosher--is problematic.  Unless
kashered in between, it is like cooking the water in a non-kosher pot.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 23:14:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Hechsher on Mineral Water

A similar question was raised a while ago and I recall the answers fell
into the following categories.

1. The manufacturer wants the certification even if it is not required
and the OU would charge a minimal fee (for the use of the logo) but not
as much as would be required if supervision was needed.

2. There actually are things that can be done to make the product not
kosher, such as filtration through gelatin or the addition of products
that the FDA does not require to be listed on the label.

3. The product is normally manufactured in the same plant as nonkosher
products and, while not "adulterated" by health standards, there can be
problems by kosher standards.

Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore" | Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
 Jews are the fish, Torah is our water | Zovchai Adam, agalim yishakun

From: Susan Chambre <Smchambre@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:17:00 EDT
Subject: Hechsher on Mineral Water

This issue came up in two recent shiurim I attended.

At the first, a class on 'industrial kashrut,' the Rav explained that
the reason for the hechsher was that equipment used to bottle the water
might have been used to produce non-kosher products.

When I posed the question in a second class, the Rav noted that "just
because things have a hechsher doesn't mean they need one."

Susan Chambre

From: Daniel Stuhlman <ssmlhtc@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:19:46
Subject: Re: Hechsher on Mineral Water

I once read in an article the answer to the question.  The kashrut
supervising agency was asked why they supervise water and what could be
the kashrut problems.  The answer was, the product maker wanted a kosher
symbol on the product and we saw no reason to deny them.

Generally agencies are driven by consumer or producer demand.  They do
not solicite companies to endorse.  For some reason the bottler of the
water thought it was an advantage to have a kosher symbol on their

While we may see kashrut as a religious requirement, many food companies
see kashrut supervision as a marketing advantage or a symbol of quality

Daniel Stuhlman
Chicago, IL 60645


From: Susan Shapiro <SShap23859@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:19:49 EDT
Subject: Kashering Ovens

<< I had a temporary job in Ohio this year and had been in a motel with
 cooking facilities and also rented an apartment for a short time The
 question I had asked a Rabbi but got no real response was how to kasher
 the oven of an electric stove that was not self cleaning. Could anyone
 point out some help as I may need the information for future jobs >>

My husband does Hashgocha in town, especially at lots of hotels.
IF they  actually kasher an oven, it is with a blow torch.  If this is for 
your personal use, maybe you could let the oven run on the highest for an 
hour or so, and then make sure everything you put into the oven is double 
wrapped in foil.

Susan shapiro
S. Diego


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 14:19:16 -0400
Subject: Noa

I stand corrected on the Noa issue.  Zev Sero e-mailed me and told me
she was actually one of Bnot Slafchad.  Sorry for the mistake.  Thanks
to Zev for doing it privately so as not to embarrass me publicly.  I do
not mind however, submitting this so that others know the right

Kol Tuv,

[Other remaining submissions with same information not used, thanks to
the others who sent it in. Mod.]
From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 14:12:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Noa

Esav's wives were Yehudit bat Be'eri, Ada/Basemat bat Elon, 
Ahalivama bat Ana, and Basemat bat Yishmael.

Zev Sero                ...we've proved it again and again
<zsero@...>       that once you start paying the danegeld
                        you never get rid of the Dane.
                             - Rudyard Kipling


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 10:57:41 +0200
Subject: Sea of Solomon

<<Hi, In a famous paragraph in Eruvin 14a the Gmara uses the verse in I
Kings 7, 23 about the "sea of Solomon" to prove\establish that the ratio
between the diameter and circumference of a circle is 3.  I wanted to
ask if there are other similar examples in the Talmudic literature in
which verses (or midrash on verses) are used to "find" or establish
facts in mathematics or empirical sciences, that could have been found
using analysis, measurement or experimentation.  TIA Avi >>

The sea of Solomon is used to limit the accuracy of pi to whole number
for halachic purposes.  It does not establish facts that could be
measured.  For example, the area under a roof is important for tuma. If
the roof is a pipe whose circumference is known then the area is
computed using 1/3 of that.



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 16:28:55 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: What Makes Names Jewish?

       I am not sure what makes a name Jewish, nor am I certain that "any
name in the Torah or Oral law makes a name "Jewish".  Consider the following
        1. Certain Biblical names popular now for obvious reasons were not
used in Mishnaic-Talmudic times.  For example, while there are plenty of Rav
Yehoshua's and Rav Yosef's, I do not believe there is a single Rav Moshe in
all of the Mishna or Talmud (and if there are a few obscure references I am
not aware of, it was definitely not a popular name).
        2. There were clearly many "non-Jewish" names used by great Talmudic
authorities that are not used today (Sumchus, Abaye and Rava come to mind).
        3. I am always astounded by the name of the great tanna, Rabbi
Yishmael.  I am not aware of any Jew today, great or otherwise, named
Yishmael.  Is that a "Jewish" name?  (Has anyone ever heard of a Jew named
        4. Finally, I heard from Rabbi Dr. David Novack a story that he told
in the name of his rebbi, Professor Saul Lieberman.  Apparantly they were
studying a gemara (I can't remember the source) that discussed "Babylonian
names that only Jews used".  When (the future) Rabbi Dr. Novack asked Rabbi
Lieberman how there could be such a category of names, Rabbi Lieberman
immediately retorted with similar English names that only Jews (today) use,
such as Isador and Seymour.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226

From: Ahuva Levkowitz <Alevkowitz@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 11:01:48 +0300
Subject: What Makes Names Jewish?

Quite a few names appear more than once in the Tanach -- a great book is
Ishei Hatanach by (?) Kimchi (Hebrew) which not only lists the names but
info such as where in Tanach the name was mentioned, etc.  My father
owns a copy for many years and it's a fantastic reference
book....especially when considering what to name a child. :-)

Ahuva Levkowitz


End of Volume 33 Issue 22