Volume 33 Number 25
                 Produced: Fri Aug 25 14:25:42 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Al Naharot Bavel (4)
         [Edward Ehrlich, Alan Cooper, Art Werschulz, Lee David
Chalav Stam
         [Micha Berger]
Hebrew & Roman Calendars
         [Shaya Potter]
Jewish Law prohibits theft of objects & services
         [Russell Hendel]
Lights on Yom Tov
         [Mike Gerver]
Milk chocolate
         [Perets Mett]
Non-Supervised Milk
         [Binyomin Segal]
Question about Hashgacha
Shkia & Treetops
         [Carl Singer]
Women and commandments
         [Aharon Fischman]
Women and Tzitit
         [Shaya Potter]
Request: Home, Succah and Car swap for Succot
         [Jonathan Grodzinski]


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 01:40:32 +0300
Subject: Al Naharot Bavel

Dov Teichman wrote:

> Is anyone familiar with the 60's song "By the rivers of Babylon"? I dont
> know who sang it, but I remember hearing it years ago and the lyrics
> were from that Psalm.

I'm not sure of the years, but there is a regee version of "By The
Rivers Of Babylon" and also a very nice version by Don McClean (who also
wrote a song called "Dreidel").

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel

From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 16:13:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Al Naharot Bavel

I assume that you mean the Rastafarian reggae adaptation of the psalm,
called "Rivers of Babylon."  ("By the rivers of Babylon" is the opening
line, not the song title.)  It was performed by the Melodians and is
readily available on the soundtrack album of Jimmy Cliff's famous movie,
"The Harder They Come."  It is a terrific song.  Not 60's, IIRC, but

Best wishes,  Alan

From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:46:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Al Naharot Bavel


Judy Collins did a version of same.  

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325

From: Lee David Medinets <LDMLaw@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:03:15 -0400
Subject: RE: Al Naharot Bavel

The song was from a musical called Godspell.  I do not think that there
is anything wrong with writing out the name of that musical with all its
vowels, because the character referred to in the title is not HaShem.
It is another fellow.

Dovid Medinets


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 11:07:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalav Stam

In v33n19, Hyman L. Schaffer <HLSesq@...> asks:
: 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. ...
:              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?

To my mind, the question is whether chalav yisrael is a p'sak (ruling)
or a takanah (piece of new legislation).

If we take chalav yisrael to be a p'sak in already existing halachah,
than your line of reasoning would be correct. This would mean that
Chazal saw that milk was routinely adulterated, and therefore they
paskened that it requires supervision. In which case, the presence of an
FDA (or local equivalent for other countries) would be sufficient
precaution against adulteration to satisfy the laws of kashrus.

Caveat: this assumes that the reason for the stringency in the ruling is
entirely known. The Vilna Gaon (and quoted as halachah by R' Kook)
restrict the elimination of stringencies on the grounds that the reason
given in the Gemara evaporated. The fear is that in addition to the
reason cited, perhaps other reasons existed to be stringent, reasons
that still apply.

R' Moshe's ruling about chalav hacompanies takes it as a given that this
concern does not apply in this case. I don't know why.

However, if it's a new takanah, then it's not necessarily moot even when
the reason does not apply. For example, we avoid taking medicine on
Shabbos because a gezeirah (a halachic "fence") that someone might grind
their medication on Shabbos before taking it. This is followed today (in
most cases) even though medications are bought prepared, and aren't
ground by the consumer.

Similarly here, perhaps the milk would need Jewish supervision to
satisfy the takanah -- even when the reason for the takanah doesn't

Here too there is an exception to this rule: If the original takanah was
phrased so as to include the reason. This would imply that it is
conditional on the reason holding true.

Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
<micha@...>            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halbserstam of Klausenberg zt"l


From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:39:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Hebrew & Roman Calendars

In reply to Deborah Wenger
>In reality, Pesach must be AFTER the vernal equinox - the vernal equinox
>signals the beginning of spring, and Pesach must be during "chodesh
>ha'aviv," or the "month of spring." The vernal equinox falls on or about
>March 20 or 21, and Pesach (at least in a non-leap year) generally falls
>around the first full moon after that.

I was taught that the "Chodesh Ha'aviv" statement was the reason we have
leap months.  Because pesach has to remain in the aviv.  Unlike muslims
that don't have to worry about ramadan rotating throughout the year, we
do, and therefore if under the current calander system pesach would not
be in the aviv anymore, there would probably be a halachik requirement
to add another leap month in.

Shaya Potter


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 20:38:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Jewish Law prohibits theft of objects & services

Jonathan Schiff in v33n11 raises the fascinating issue of whether "theft
is explicitly defined anywhere in Jewish law as referring to both
material objects as well as services"

Yes! This is a beautiful Sifrah! More! It is explicitly formulated in
the CHumash itself. The sifrah commenting on the five types of denial
listed in Lv05-21:22 says that the Torah formulated 5 types of "theft"
(a) denial of a deposit--so the initial transfer of property was by consent
(b) denial of loan---unlike a deposit only the value of money is returned
(c) theft--I take property without the persons consent
(d) witholding wages--I have stolen a service, not goods
(e) not returning a lost article--the owner doesn't know who 'has it'
All these prohibitions are explicitly brought down in Jewish Law.
A fuller account can be found in the RashiYomi series at the rashi website at
http://www.RashiYomi.Com/climax-4.htm  (URLs are all lower cap)

Russell Jay Hendel; Dept of Math; Towson Univ; <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simple
http://www.RashiYOmi.Com        NEW NEW IMPROVED


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 10:33:57 +0200
Subject: Lights on Yom Tov

In the course of his illuminating comment in v33n08, Ed Ehrlich writes
> According to physics, energy is not "created", except in cases of 
> nuclear reactions, but transformed from one form to another.

This is a common misconception, but nuclear energy is no different from
electrical, mechanical, chemical, or gravitational energy. In all cases
potential energy is being converted into kinetic energy. The total
energy is strictly conserved. The only difference is that the change in
rest mass associated with the change in potential energy is big enough
to be easily measured in the case of nuclear energy, while it is much
smaller and very difficult to measure in the case of other forms of
potential energy in everyday use.

Sorry for posting something so far afield from the purview of
mail-jewish, but Ed hit on one of my pet peeves!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 16:51:54 +0100
Subject: Milk chocolate

Daniel M Wells <wells@...> wrote:

>>> 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.

I wrote the item quoted, and I DO know my facts - very well. (a) I live
in England and (b) I am actively involved in kashrus.

For a start most chocolates with a local rabbinate hechsher in England
are not milchik, so they do not contain any milk at all.

At the time of writing I cannot think of a SINGLE brand of chocolate
with an English hechsher which uses unsupervised milk.  If anyone on
this list knows to the contrary I would like to hear it.

Perets Mett



From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 17:50:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Non-Supervised Milk

Jonathan Grodzinski recently wrote:

* The London Beth Din, a well respected and reliable institution, produces
* a Kashrus Guide which lists as kosher a myriad of products ...which it
* lists as Kosher Dairy.
* None of these products have had the benefit of a Jew watching over them,
* at any stage of production.
* Such products will not however bear the seal or symbol of the LBD.

I wonder if I could get further clarification. A few years back, when I
was looking into importing Mars bars (from Australia I believe) for a
fund raising event (prior to the OU's certification) I tried to
investigate this very question, as I found it hard to believe that Mars
was using supervised milk. The answer I found was that many of the
non-American supervisions allow powdered milk to be non-supervised and
that Mars bars were made with powdered milk.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

binyomin segal


From: <MEBESQ@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 18:01:00 EDT
Subject: Question about Hashgacha

Question - I recently met a person who owns a kosher food establishment.
The shop keeper switched hasgacha (kosher supervision) in the hope of
retaining new clientle.  Apparently this was unsuccseeful.  Wanting to
return to the original supervision agency the shop keeper was rejected
(not on competence grounds) with an indication that the refusal as due
to thier having previously left the original suprevisor.

Is this premissible under halacha.


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 19:07:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Shkia & Treetops

Just a light note -- while vacationing in Hawaii, looking out over the
ocean at the setting sun, we were surprised by how quickly the sun
"sank" (almost like in the cartoons, it seemed to bounce) being
relatively close to the equator -- and having an unobstructed view
across the ocean.

Fortunately, we had wristwatches, but one can get caught off guard in
unused to the latitude.

Most people I know, try to stretch Shabbos by not waiting 'til the last
moment or rushing to make Havadalah (now that Ratner's is no longer
Kosher ....)  And more than the time issue, the attitude issue, "rushing
into Shabbos" really starts this wonderful day off on the wrong foot.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 16:10:51 +0000
Subject: Women and commandments

Gershon Dubin Wrote:
>There is a prohibition on women wearing tefilin; as far
>as I know none such exists for tzitzis beyond its public 

Just curious, what is the prohibition for women wearing tefilin?

H (201) 833-0801
F (208) 330-1402


From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:57:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women and Tzitit

In order to understand this issue, one must look at Shulchan Aruch 17,2,
quoting: "Women and servants are exempt [from tzitit] b/c it is a
mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah. 'in any case if they want to war them and
say a blessing over them they are permitted to do so, just like any
other mitzvah aseh shehazman grama, ach mechzi k'yihara, v'lechen ain
lahen lilbosh tzitit'" [But it appears as yihara - showing off / vain -
and therefore they should not wear tzitzit. Mod] I'm not 100% sure what
the last part means, but it seems to me that women are 100% allowed to
wear tzitit, except there are some other reasons why they shouldn't.

One can contrast this to what the SA says by disallowing women to wear
teffilin (SA 38.3) "Women and servants are exempt from teffilin b/c it
is a mitzva aseh shehzman grama, 'and if women want to be machmir on
themselves Mochim b'yadan'" [we prevent them. Mod.]  i.e. much stricter

shaya potter


From: Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 20:36:46 EDT
Subject: Request: Home, Succah and Car swap for Succot

I do hope you don't consider it an intrusion to ask whether any of your 
redaers living in Jerusalem would be interested in a swap with our London 
family for Succot. 

Jonathan Grodzinski (London UK)


End of Volume 33 Issue 25