Volume 33 Number 27
                 Produced: Sun Aug 27 12:33:57 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Children in Shule
Hachnasat Orhim, Health, Hygiene, and Related Issues
         [Carl Singer]
Inspiring intro to Judaism book
         [Josh Hoexter]
         [Binyomin Segal]
Mehadrin, found meat, and quantum Kashruth
         [Gerver, Mike (MED)]
Sefer Amelim BaTorah
         [Al Silberman]


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 11:32:53 EDT
Subject: Children in Shule

Carl Singer wrote:

>  Depending on his or her age and "demeanor" your child should not be
>  expected to sit quietly in shule for as much as 3 hours.

With all due respect to all the responsible, considerate parents out
there who realize this, there are also many parents who don't take their
kids' limited attention spans into account in planning arrival/departure
times from the bet knesset.  These issues seem to have loomed
particularly large as more and more communities have built eruvin and
therefore mothers of small children who aren't yet fully ambulatory are
no longer completely housebound.

>  Try to bring you child to services 15 minutes before davening ends --
>  and extend that time as your child matures.  If this interferes with
>  your ability to daven, perhaps one parent can go to an early {...snip...}
>  minyan and return home to baby sit.  {...snip...} worse comes to worse, 
>  swap with another of like-situated parents, each taking 15 minute 
>  shifts taking care of children.

Again, IMHO, point excellently taken.  I am certainly sensitive to the
need, and the desire, of both mothers and fathers to get to the bet
knesset on Shabbat morning.  However, I have a big problem with the fact
that a large proportion of the ezrat nashim (women's section) too often
gets turned into a playground for noisy and disruptive infants and
toddlers.  In many places, this includes large stains on chairs and
carpets from spit-up, crumbs ground into chairs and carpets from food
brought to pacify the children, and sufficient commotion to prevent
mitpallelim from concentrating on their tefillot, hearing qeri'at
haTorah, etc.  It also includes grave danger to anyone walking in the
aisles to return humashim, lest she step on a toddler in the act of

In the "frum world," as in the rest of the population, there are people,
BOTH WOMEN AND MEN, who absolutely cannot stand--indeed, are utterly and
completely repulsed by--small children, both their own and other
people's.  Because of the extreme pressure imposed by the frum world,
from both sociological and halachic aspects, to produce enormous
families, some of these individuals have MANY offspring of their own.  I
am deeply concerned about the life chances of the offspring they
produce, but I digress.

My point is that, for such people, whether they do or don't have
children of their own, being subjected to this scenario Shabbat after
Shabbat (and other times in their respective batei knesset), esp. by
children other than their own, can be enough to raise their blood
pressure to levels risky for strokes.  It can also fuel their anger and
resentment to a point that they might, G-d forbid, take their
hostilities out on the children.

However, even people who basically like children, whether or not they
have any of their own, take exception to a particular group of selfish
and inconsiderate parents.  To wit: those who, rather than forego any of
the hizzuq (spiritual strengthening) they believe will result from being
in the bet knesset from the start of Birchot Hashahar till the end of
Musaf, allow their children to run out of control, often completely
ignoring the reality that this will grate on other people's nerves.  In
my experience, which may not be a representative sampling of "reality,"
some, but by no means all, of the "worst offenders" have been relatively
recent ba'alot teshuvah, with multiple children within 12-18 months of
one another in age, in tow.

I respectfully disagree with Dr. Singer's assertion, which I've snipped
to minimize the amount of quoted material in this post, that the
children are "always blameless," since, past the age of a year or so, it
is NOT unreasonable to expect, and reinforce, progressive levels of
self-control in children.  The trick is to know what is developmentally
appropriate to the child's age and cognitive level to expect and
reinforce.  This is, IMHO, the parent's responsibility to determine AND
THEN to act accordingly.


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 21:40:08 EDT
Subject: Re: Hachnasat Orhim, Health, Hygiene, and Related Issues

 You were, for better or worse, being treated like one of the family.
And, quite frankly, as well meaning as that may be, you may need to
"take it or leave it" -- if you have special needs or restrictions you
need to communicate this -- we had someone sit down to dinner and then
announce that they were vegetarians -- fortunately, my wife hadn't used
gravy to flavor the vegetables -- yet.  If you're especially suseptable
to infections -- perhaps it would be wise to rule out hosts who have
children -- toddlers or school age.  Wait 'til you find your hosts
feeding their dog off of their china.  As a guest, however, once you've
committed to eating / staying, you're pretty vulnerable.  Rav Pam,
Shlita, tells a story of when he was a Yeshiva Bocher and (unlike today
with meal plans, etc.) they went pretty hungry except for the weekly
hospitality of local balabatim.  When one such one-day-a-week hostess
was pretty bad cook, you'd put the food into your coat pocket (so as not
to embarass your hostess) and dispose of it on the way home -- but as
Rav Pam said (and I paraphrase) -- nebech she made soup.

 Kol Tov

 Carl Singer


From: Josh Hoexter <hoexter@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 14:24:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Inspiring intro to Judaism book

I'm looking for a book or two to give to a religious Christian whose
maternal grandmother was Jewish. I told her that according to Jewish law
she is Jewish and she is very excited and eager to learn more about the
holidays, traditions, etc. She is also curious why Jews do not accept
the NT.

The best I have found so far are "This Is My God" by Herman Wouk and
"Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism" by Prager and Telushkin. TIMG
is very good and comprehensive, but the style is a little formal. "Nine
Questions" addresses more philosophical questions (especially regarding
Christianity) in a lighter style but is still very complete. Both these
books have a polemical aspect ("Nine Questions" more so) aimed at Jewish
athiests or agnostics, which isn't exactly the right audience in this

I am thinking of giving her these two books but I'm still considering
other single books or two book combinations that would include a
complete guide to holidays, mitzvos, etc, plus a (not too heavy)
philosophical defense of Jewish practice. Any suggestions for books that
I may have overlooked? Aryeh Kaplan, Weisel, etc...


Josh Hoexter


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 18:25:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Mehadrin

Carl wrote <<
 (1) Mehadran meat is soaked and salted w/i the allotted time (2)
"ordinary" was frozen at sometime -- and presumably soaked and salted to
a different schedule -- SO (IF I HAVE THIS STORY CORRECT -- AND IF MY
SOURCE SIMILARLY ....)  It's reflecting different standards-- and to
some, kosher vs.  non-kosher.

I'd be interested to hear from an Israeli participant re: this

A bit of background - there is a takanat hageonim that all meat must be
salted within 3 days. If meat is soaked in water, the clock restarts. In
modern times, with the advent of real freezing, the question of how
freezing affected this time was debated. Practically speaking, this is
particularly an issue in Israel where much of the meat is/was imported
from South America.

When I was in Israel about 15 years ago the time rabbanut yerushalayim
hashgachot indicated if the product was basar kufui (frozen meat) by
adding those words in bold on the certification.

When I investigated it, I found that even many Israeli yeshivish gedolim
had approved the use of frozen meat (the Brisker Rav is one that comes
to mind now). They felt that relying on this heter was acceptable for
imported meat as it meant that the actual salting process would take
place in Israel where there was - it seems - better supervision. (In
fact, in discussion with various rabbis at the time, it seemed that much
of the resistance to frozen meat came not from the reliance on this
heter per se, but rather that this was a way of identifying imported
meat. The sentiment was that this meat was not well supervised in S.A.)

Even Rav Moshe Feinstein, who forbids using frozen meat, admits that
there is strong reasoning supporting allowing it.

binyomin segal


From: Gerver, Mike (MED) <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 10:16:24 +0200
Subject: Mehadrin, found meat, and quantum Kashruth

Sam Saal, in v33n08, brings up the similarity between the halacha of a
piece of meat found on the street, and the laws of quantum
mechanics. This similarity, which was discussed here at great length
several years ago in a posting by Micha Berger, is a fascinating one,
and I gave a talk on it one Shavuot night (shortly after Micha's
posting) which was well received.  However, although I am not a posek, I
suspect that Sam is not correct when he goes on to say

> Suppose I went to a shop, bought a piece of meat, came home and didn't
> remember from which shop I purchased, then placed the meat outside your
> house in this town. When you find the meat, you're in the first
> situation and can eat the meat. This leads to an interesting paradox
> that a piece of meat is "Kosher" for everyone except me!

The case here is NOT the same as a simple piece of meat that was found
on the street. In that case, it presumably fell out of someone's grocery
bag, that person does not know where it fell out (so would not know that
it was his meat even if you advertised it in a lost and found column)
and there is NO ONE in the world who would be able to say whether or not
the meat is kosher. In Sam's case, he does know that the meat is trafe
(for practical purposes, i.e. he knows that it is forbidden to eat, even
though he does not know for sure what its origin is). It's not clear
that putting it in front of someone's house would make it kosher to that
person, since there IS someone who could tell that person that the meat
is trafe. Sam, by putting it in front of the person's house, would be
violating the prohibition of not putting a stumbling block before the
blind, and would be obligated, if he did tshuva, to tell the person that
he knew that the meat was trafe.  If the person had already eaten the
meat, then he would be obligated, on Yom Kippur, to do tshuva for eating
trafe meat by mistake. None of these possibilities exist in the original
case, where no one knew whether the meat was trafe.

The distinction between these cases also exists in the quantum
mechanical analogy. The first case, of meat that accidently fell onto
the street, is like the case where an electron can go through either of
two slits, and no one is measuring which slit it went through. If you
repeat this experiment several times, you will get an interference
pattern. Even if only do it one time, the electron will never (in an
ideal situation) end up in certain places. The second case, where you
put the meat in front of someone's house, is like the case where someone
else is measuring which slit the electron goes through, and doesn't tell
you.  Or where you measure which slit it goes through, but throw out the
results without looking at them. No interference pattern will be formed,
and the electron can end up in places that it would never end up in the
first experiment.  The third case, where you buy the meat yourself and
forget where you bought it, is analogous to the case where you measure
which slit the electron went through, and don't throw out the results.
In this case, the electron will behave exactly the same as in the second

Mike Gerver


From: Al Silberman <alfred.silberman@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:16:59 -0400
Subject: Sefer Amelim BaTorah

BeEzras Hashem, I am pleased to announce the publication and
availability of my Sefer Amelim BaTorah.

This sefer addresses the need to have a very simple method of
determining the grammatical structure and meaning of any verb in Tanakh.

To generate this book I have taken every word in Tanakh and sorted it by
its vowels rather than by its consonants. This revolutionary concept
collects together in a single grouping every word in Tanakh which has
the same vowel sequence. The vowel sequence is hierarchical in the same
sense that an alphabetical sequence used by dictionaries is
hierarchical. Thus, by knowing the vowel sequence of a word - which is a
given - any word can easily be found.

For each vowel grouping the words are segregated into conjugations. Each
conjugation is separately explained giving: 
The Binyan of the conjugation including the Gizrah of the root, Its
tense, Its number, Its person, Its gender.
Plus, if the word contains a direct object: The number, person and
gender of the direct object.

In addition, for each conjugation there is an explanation of; Each Sheva
in the word, Whether each Xiriq is a Tenu'ah Gedolah or Qetanah, Whether
each Qametz is a Tenu'ah Gedolah or Qetanah, The function of each Dagesh
and whether it is Qal or Xazaq, Indication whether a Dagesh is missing
or extraneous.

For each word is given; Its root, Stress position (if the stress is
Nasog Axor it is so indicated), First location in Tanakh.

All of the above constitutes one of the two tables in the sefer. The
second table combines all of the data in the Vowel Table and forms a
Conjugation Table.

The Conjugation Table lists every single conjugation found in Tanakh in
the following sequence:
Every Binyan, For each Binyan it lists in sequence every single tense,
For each tense it lists in sequence every single number (singular /
plural), For each number it lists in sequence every single person (first
/ second / third), For each person it lists both genders (male /
female), For each gender it lists in sequence all the Direct Objects.
Each conjugational grouping lists in sequence every single Gizrah.

Each entry in the Vowel Table has a pointer into the Conjugation Table
and each entry in the Conjugation Table has a pointer into the Vowel

The sefer contains a very brief introduction (about 30 pages) in both
Hebrew and English.

The sefer comes in 3 volumes constituting over 2,000 8/5" x 11" pages
(weighs 12.5 lbs). The price is $45 plus $5 shipping and can be
 From me in the USA (also for further details):
lfred Silberman
33 Francis Pl.
Monsey, NY 10952
E-Mail: <alsilberman@...>

Payment may be made by check to the above address. You may also pay by
credit card via PayPal. Specify payment to go to the above E-Mail
address. If you are not a member you may sign up at:
They are offering a $5 rebate for new members.

In Israel contact:
Barukh Schwartz
Rechov Torah MiTzion, 14
(02) 538-9369


End of Volume 33 Issue 27