Volume 33 Number 29
                 Produced: Mon Aug 28 10:34:38 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros
         [Isaac Balbin]
Kiddush and Women
         [Chaim Mateh]
Shabbos Candles for Girls
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Percy Mett]
Spices for Besamim
         [Michael Appel]
Using verses and midrash to establish facts
         [Mike Gerver]
Value of pi
         [James Kennard]
When is shkiah?
         [Zev Sero]
         [Carl Singer]


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 07:48:34 +1000
Subject: Re: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

> From: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>
> Most chocolates with a local rabbinute hechser in England are
> Cholov Akum.

As discussed in previous mail jewish, chocolate and other products which
are generally made from milk POWDER as opposed to fresh milk, do not
fall under the rubric of Chalav Akum according to many Poskim (eg the
Chazon Ish, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank). There are many who do not use Chalav
"Hacompanies" as Rav Moshe described it, but do not include Chalav
Powder in the same original Gezerah.


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 22:48:37 +0300
Subject: Kiddush and Women

In Vol 33 #19,  Yosef Stern <meyoz11@...> wrote:

<<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)...>>

I had replied to someone who claimed that "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)."  To be more exact, I was replying to the first
part of his comment, that the Mishna Brura says that women should
preferably make their own Kiddush.  I was indeed replying after seeing
the MB inside, not from memory.  And indeed the Mechaber and MB are
discussing benching and not Kiddush.  Kiddush is only mentioned in
passing, in the MB.  Regarding Kiddush, the MB does not say what he says
about benching (that they should say it separately), but rather that
it's better if both benching and kiddush are said word by word with the

And in fact, your quote of the Mishna Brura proves this.

<<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.>>

I got that impression from asking a few Talmedei Chachamim.  It also
appears so from the MB, since he tells us something sort of new, that
women should say kiddush with the mevorech, even though they didn't
understand the words.  This implies that the women until and including
then, didn't understand the words, and remained silent during kiddush.
OTOH, if you or anyone can show that way back when, women made their own
kiddush rather than being yotzei with their husbands, I'll be glad to
see such sources.

<<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

IOW, the MB tells us that women should say the kiddush together with the
mevorech, but not say it by herself.  Be that as it may,
would/could/should some/many/all women make their own kiddush, assuming
that this has never been done before?

Kol Tuv,


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 14:56:25 -0400
Subject: Shabbos Candles for Girls

Susan shapiro <SShap23859@...> writes:
<<Also a little girl MUST always light before her mother, so that her
mother can help her.>>

	This is logical but MUST is a little strong.  It would even be
difficult to posit this as a minhag, since the minhag of unmarried girls
lighting their own candles is itself, Chabad publicity aside, rare.

<<the Ba'alas HaBayis should always light LAST so she is actually the
one who brings in Shabbos at the home.>>

	Nobody "brings Shabbos into the home".  Our minhag is that women
accept Shabbos upon themselves with candle-lighting (as opposed to men,
who accept Shabbos either with Kabbolas Shabbos or Borchu, even if they
actually light candles), so each woman who lights, accepts Shabbos
thereby for herself and any other people who are being yotze with her

	Thus for example if there are female guests who are lighting
apart from the ba'alas habayis, (which BTW is minhag, but halachically
it would be preferable that they not light separately in the same room),
they accept Shabbos when they light, so it makes no difference who
lights in what order.

	Except that the ba'alas habayis may need the extra minute or two
for her own or the kitchen's last minute fixes; guests usually don't go
down to the wire.



From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 16:32:21 +0100
Subject: Re: Sherry

Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...> asked:
>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?

I cannot remember whether sherry is fortified or not (I don't think it
is), but whatever, it is wine made form grapes and the brocho is

I use it for Kidush on Shabos morning (when I can afford it).

Perets Mett


From: Michael Appel <mjappel@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 13:05:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Spices for Besamim

>From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
>Traditionally, from what I've seen, either cloves or cinnamon (or a
>combination of the two) have been used.  You do not HAVE to use only
>these, though.  The only rule is that it must be a spice used for taste
>AND smell.  This would rule out bay leaves, for instance which are
>really only used for taste .  I can't think of a spice which is only
>used for smell, but I know that there are some.

According to the Mishna Berura (Siman 297: Seif Katan 1) at Havdalah we
are supposed to make the b'racha "borei minei b'samim" which is the most
general of blessings over fragrance. This is because not everyone is
able to determine the appropriate b'racha for the type of fragrance
(whether "isbei b'samim" or "atzei b'samim"). Therefore, the Mishna
Berura also says that one should use a spice which itself would
necessitate the general "minei b'samim" b'racha.

We personally like to use the remaining hadas leaves from the Lulav. The
bracha on these would seem to be "borei atzei b'samim."  But in
deference to the Mishna Berurah's opinion, we also have some ground
cinnamon in the box. Interestingly enough, I didn't know until today
when I verified the sources listed above, that the opinion of the
Shulchan Aruch is that it is preferable to bake the b'racha on the
Hadas. And the Rema concludes that in order to satisfy all opinions,
Hadas should be mixed with another spice. But I know that not everyone
holds this way.

I never heard about the spice needing to be used for taste and smell,
but perhaps that is possible.  According to Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen in
his book The Radiance of Shabbos, "One may use any spice found in the
kitchen." Also, one can smell fragrant fruits with a different bracha,
"Ha'noten [or She'natan] Reiach Tov Ba' Peirot." Commonly, I have seen
cloves, cinnamon (ground or stick), and Hadas (ie myrtle). I have also
seen people stick cloves in their etrog after Succot.

I hope this makes 'scents.' (Please forgive me for this unoriginal pun


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 08:05:24 +0200
Subject: RE: Using verses and midrash to establish facts 

>From Avi Levi, in v33n20,
>> The ratio between gematria of the full spelling,  111, and 
>> the deficient spelling, 106,  is the ratio by which one multiplies >3 to
>> get........pi!

> Of course not pi, but only a better approximation of it. BTW- I heard
> that this gematria is probably not from the Gaon, though I don't know
> what is it's source.

Like most things in mail-jewish, this came up years ago (1993?? volume
8??).  At that time, I think it was attributed to a Rabbi Munk. With
even less certainty, I think he was said to have lived in England about
100 years ago.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: James Kennard <James@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 21:20:34 +0100
Subject: Value of pi

It is important to note that 3.14, or even 3.14159265 is only an
approximation to the true value of pi. 3  (the value inferred from the
pasuk, without resorting to any gematrias) is also an approximation, and
is _correct_ to 1 significant figure.

James Kennard


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 15:04:58 -0400
Subject: Re: When is shkiah?

In Vol 33, #18, Yaakov Gross<jbgross@...> responded to something
I had written.  For some reason, his response was attributed to me.
I don't know whether this was Yaakov's fault or Avi's.  At any rate,
here's my response.  Perhaps this should go out under Yaakov's name
just to balance things out :-)

[I took a quick look, what I suspect happened is that Yaacov's quoting
of you included the line of ----'s before your posting, so my perl
script decided that your posting was a "new" item, and Yaacov's was just
a blank From/Date/Subject, which I then must have deleted during
editing. Mod.]

>>   ... one should bring in Shabbos when the sun sets at the level
>> of the treetops in ones own area

>To clarify: This does not mean "when the sun is in line with the tops
>of the trees, to the observe's west."  That could be rather early, and
>would depend a great deal on your distance from the tree.  Besides, if I
>can directly observe the sun, what difference if it appears to be at
>tree-top level?

Well, of course not.  The question was whether sunrise/set is determined
at the altitude of the observer, or at some canonical altitude.  I
quoted the Rav's Seder Hachnasat Shabbat to the effect that it is
determined at the altitude of `the high mountains of Eretz Yisrael', but
that shabbat should be brought in earlier, when the sun sets at the
altitude of the treetops.

Why would anyone imagine that the time when one sees the sun pass behind
some obstruction is at all relevant?  Not only would this depend on ones
distance from the obstruction, but also if that were the relevant
criterion then the sun would pass behind the mountains *before* it
passed behind the trees, and therefore relying on the trees rather than
the mountains would mean bringing shabbat in *after* the halachic

>Rather, I believe "Tlu Shraga Kad Simsha beResh Dikla (if I remember the
>phrase accurately from the Gemara) means "light the Sabbath lamps when
>the tops of the palm-trees are still in the sun's light (even though the
>base of the tree is already in the shade.)"

Yes, which is when an observer sitting in the treetops would see the sun

>[In Brooklyn, that probably translates to the upper floors of the
>neighboring apartment houses.]

At least some people have interpreted this gemara as referring to the
tallest building in the city.  When the Eiffel tower was built, one
Parisian Rabbi wondered whether this should make Shabbat come in later
in that city.

>The principle seems to be that shkiah has not occurred until objects
>tall enough to have unobstructed exposure to the horizon are entirely in
>the earth's shadow.

Not according to the Rav, who says that halachic sunset occurs at the
altitude of the high mountains of Eretz Yisrael, even if one is nowhere
near those mountains, e.g. in Russia, where he lived.

>But, from the context of the Gemara, this
>formulation is offered as a practical guideline with a good safety
>margin; there is no indication how much additional time elapses before
>the true legal shkiah occurs.

Yes, and that is exactly the context in which the Rav brings this as
law.  He says that at his latitude (Liady, Russia), at the equinox (when
the twilight is at its shortest), the difference between sunset at the
treetop level (when one should bring in shabbat) and at the level of the
mountains of EY (which is the halachic sunset) is four minutes.  At
Rava's latitude in Bavel, this safety margin would have been shorter,
except perhaps at midsummer and midwinter.

>The converse question is how to Daven Kevasikin at sunrise on a plane,
>so that Krias Shma is said before sunrise, and Tephilla after.  I would
>guess that "mishyakkir" is earlier at 2 miles elevation than on the
>ground, but sunrise has not occurred until the face of the earth below
>is directly illuminated (as in "Hameir Laaratz").

Again, according to the Rav, it doesn't matter what the observer's
altitude is, the halachic sunrise is determined at the altitude of the
high mountains of Eretz Yisrael, which Rabbi SB Levin has suggested is a
reference to Mt Carmel.

Zev Sero


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 14:38:51 EDT
Subject: Yarmulkes

On the subject of Yarmulkes -- it seems that in the "black hat"
community which wear black velvet Yarmulkes (at least on Shabbos) -- the
misnagdim seem to wear a Yarmulke without a rim or edging, the Chasidim
seem to wear one with such a rim or edging.  Does anyone have any
background on this (I presume) Minhag.

I have a picture of my Mother's Zeydeh -- probably circa 1910 - 1920.
He's wearing a Kaputeh (of course) and a rather large* black velvet
yarmulke, with what appears to be a slight edging of a lighter color
(hard to tell from the picture.)

*large -- appears to be somewhat bigger (more coverage) than even
today's standard black yarmulke.

Just thought I'd ask.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


End of Volume 33 Issue 29