Volume 33 Number 42
                 Produced: Sun Sep  3 11:48:04 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Al Naharos Bavel
         [David Zucker]
Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros (2)
         [aviva fee, Avi Feldblum]
Dannon Yougurt w/ the "K"
         [Carl Singer]
Eretz-Zayt Shemen
         [David Mescheloff]
Halachic Wills  (Vol.33, #24)
         [Catherine S. Perel]
Mila with Brit?
         [Edward Ehrlich]
Mild Learning Disabilities
         [Catherine S. Perel]
Potentiometer and Yom Tov
         [Anthony S Fiorino]
Prayer with non-Jews
         [Yehoshua Kahan]
Shapes of letters
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Yichud P'nuya
         [David Kaye]


From: David Zucker <DAVIDIZ@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 00:59:40 EDT
Subject: Re: Al Naharos Bavel

The singer who sang the English version of Al Naharot Bavel was / is Don 
McClain of American Pie fame. Actually you can add the Hebrew words to his 
tune and the song works in Hebrew as well as English.
David Zucker,
Cincinnati, OHIo


From: aviva fee <aviva613@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2000 05:14:12 GMT
Subject: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

Frank Silbermann <fs@...> wrote in Vol. 33 #36 Digest in 
reference to Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros:

> Keeping Chalov Yisrael teaches children, who may one day travel overseas, 
> that milk sold by gentiles is not automatically permitted.  This is 
> analogous to the Lubavitcher reluctance to rely on eruvim,
> lest children go somewhere without an eruv and forget the prohibition
> against carrying on Shabbas.)

I have heard similar claims that one should not use an eruv so their 
children understand the concept of the fact that there are many places where 
there are no eruvim.

But does such logic hold?

Specifically, why is there an assumed contradiction between holding by an 
eruv and not using one where one does not exist?

As an example, should I not take my children to Kosher Delight, since in
the event we travel to a city without kosher restaurants they won't be
tempted to eat there (i.e., Burger King)?

If Lubavitcher's have a reluctance to rely on eruvim, lest their
children go somewhere without an eruv and forget the prohibition against
carrying on Shabbas, on what grounds do they:

Cloth them (lest they wear shatnez clothes)
Speak to them (lest they speak loshon hora)
Play baseball with them (lest they smack someone on the head)

Get my drift?


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2000 11:34:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

On Fri, 1 Sep 2000, aviva fee wrote:
> I have heard similar claims that one should not use an eruv so their 
> children understand the concept of the fact that there are many places where 
> there are no eruvim.
> But does such logic hold?
> Specifically, why is there an assumed contradiction between holding by an 
> eruv and not using one where one does not exist?
> As an example, should I not take my children to Kosher Delight, since in the 
> event we travel to a city without kosher restaurants they won't be tempted 
> to eat there (i.e., Burger King)?

I find that there is a clear difference. If we take kosher issues as an
example, my 4 year old knows that there are some places / products that
are kosher and others that are not. On the other hand, when the eruv in my
town went down during the summer for severeal weeks, that was a much
harder concept to explain to him. I have met a number of Israelis that did
not realize that they had to check about whether there was an eruv around
the American city they found themselves in, as an eruv is pretty
universally available in Israel.

So while I may disagree with my Chabad friends on the use of an eruv, as I
will use the eruv, but focus more on making sure people understand that
an eruv may not always be available, I respect their approach to the

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 09:46:24 EDT
Subject: Dannon Yougurt w/ the "K"

Recently due to a fly cancellation, I went without my Kosher breakfast.
The steward offered me the fruit breakfast -- I took it to see if there
was anything I could eat -- turns out the juice had a hechsher.  The
fruit has been cut up, so I donated to the person next to me -- the
Dannon Yogurt had a "K" and listed "Kosher Gelatin" as an ingredient but
then it also listed "carmine" -- am I missing something?  As the person
next to me was already done eating, this ended up in the trash.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: David Mescheloff <meschd@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 12:26:24 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Eretz-Zayt Shemen

Thanks for your response.  However, it would seem to me that precisely
your suggestion would be better achieved by connecting "zayt" and
"shemen", for then the phrase would be "a land of" "oil-producing-olive
-trees", as Rashi explains. I never suggested that "zayt-shemen" would
mean "olive oil".  Furthermore, if "zayt" and "shemen" were connected,
then it might have been clearer that "eretz" applies equally to
"zayt-shemen" and to "dvash"; as it is, "dvash" seems completely
separated from the "eretz".  All this is, of course, if the hypothesis I
proposed together with my original inquiry is false; I'm still hoping
someone will either confirm or disprove that hypothesis.

On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Reuben Rudman wrote:

> ...  'eretz zayt' means 'a land of
> olive trees'and shemen then relates to us that the main purpose of
> these olive trees is the oil that is produced from them.  Rashi ...
> states "zaitim ha'osim shemen', that is, it is a land of olive trees 
> that produce oil. It does
> not mean 'olive oil' or else it would have said 'shemen zayit'.
> Reuben Rudman


From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 18:12:22 -0500
Subject: Halachic Wills  (Vol.33, #24)

Stephen Colman <tephen.colman@...> queried:
> Can anybody help me with information about 
> writing wills according to Halocho. 

The OU suggests contacting 
        Rabbinic Council of America
        305 Seventh Avenue
        New York  NY  10001
        (212) 807-7888
for living will forms.  I'm sure they could tell you where
to get Halacha wills.

Health Care Proxies can be obtained by writing
        Agudath Israel of America
        84 Williams Street
        New York  NY  10001
        (212) 797-9000

You should consult your LOR regarding organ transplants and DNR orders.

Catherine S. Perel


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 18:51:21 +0300
Subject: Mila with Brit?

I recently learned that someone born a Jew, who was circumcised, but not
by a mohel, is required by Halakha to undergo "hatafa dam".

Can someone explaining the reasoning behind this?  The mitzva of
circumcision is placed upon a Jew's father.  So what is the halakhik
necessity of a Jew circumcising himself?  Is this somehow connected with
Avraham Avinu circumsing himself?

Also, under what conditions must a previously circumcised Jew undergo
"Hatafat dam"?  What happens if the the doctor who performed the
circumsion is a Jew?

I should add that I'm raising these questions for theoretical purposes
only, since I'm glad to say that I was circumcised by a mohel 48 years

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


From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 17:15:30 -0500
Subject: Mild Learning Disabilities

Batya Medad <isrmedia@...> wrote in
Vol. 33, #23:

> Mild Learning Disabilities, that's the kid/adult with normal IQ and
> higher, who has one or many learning disabilities, such as dyslexia,
> ADHD and others.  Problems can be in concentration, writing, func-
> tioning in the morning, organization.....  This can be problematic
> dovening in the morning ... Problems understanding questions.... or
> bad aim when marking the multiple choice.... etc., etc.  Too many
> subjects at once in the mod-orthodox/mamlachti-dati curriculum.

There are also acquired learning disabilities.  My doctor put me on two
drugs which, in most people does nothing.  My metabolism is such that I
lost all short-term memory and language acquisition.  I'm a native
American-English speaker.  Not only did I lose short-term memory, it
became language acquisition -- regardless of the language, nearly
impossible.  I am still working on the Amidah.  I've a triple
disability, but because I maintain the high function I do, no one
notices anything but the chair, and not the fact that I'm studying until
three to learn new words in American- English or that I can't breathe
because of my latex allergy.

> I find it important that the kids are "like everyone else."  Less
> stress.

While there may be less stress initially because they are "like everyone
else," in the long run, it does your sons a great disservice for it
means they deny part of their identities.  It will arise in their daily
lives, and slam them in the face because they believe a lie: that they
are "like everyone else."

> ... eyes get confused.

Actually, the eyes don't get confused unless there is something wrong
with them.  What gets confused is the eye-brain nerve connections.
Where the confusion begins determines the type of learning disability.
Further, sometimes the disability only effects only numbers, while
others only effect words and letters.  In my experience, a common trait
is lack of organization.

Despite their studies, I have found the Haredi world to be intollerant
of disability.  Perhaps they should study less ans perform chesed more.

Catherine S. Perel


From: Anthony S Fiorino <fiorino_anthony@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 00:47:15 -0400
Subject: Potentiometer and Yom Tov

Great comments on electricity in #37; thanks Mike Gerver for the details
on fluorescence.  Assuming that incandescent bulbs meet d'oraita criteria
for eish (and fluorescent bulbs rabbinic), what is the problem with
adjusting the light intensity with a dimmer switch (or for that matter,
the intensity of an electric stove burner) on yom tov?  In the latter case
one could argue that if the heating element is not actually glowing there
is probably no way it meets a Torah definition of eish - in either case,
one adjusts the flow of electrons to the heating element in the same way
that one adjusts the flow of gas to a gas burner on yom tov.  So what is
exactly the nature of the issur, or isn't there one?



From: Yehoshua Kahan <orotzfat@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 14:04:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Prayer with non-Jews

Steve Ganot askes:
>If this is allowed, what about [praying in] other
> clearly and unambiguously monotheistic houses of worship which were not
> specifically addressed by the rishonim, such as those of the Druze or
> Bahais?

As far as my reading has shown me, both the Druze and Bahai faith are
incarnationist "heresies" derived from Shi'a Islam.  Specifically, Druze
holds the 12th century Fatimid khalif Al-Hakim, the founder/innovator of
the Druze religion, as an incarnation of the divine (not so simple, as
this is based on a particular take on the Neoplatonic doctrine of
emanations), and Baha'i hold the 19th century Persian mystic whom they
refer to as "the Bab" (the gate, in English), as a divine incarnation.
Thus, these faiths might well be "Avodah Zarah", in the sense that many
poskin hold Christianity to be - especially if the adherents pray to
these figures.  As I understand it, Shi'a Islam is particularly
vulnerable to incarnationist schisms.

It seems that monotheistic faiths (read: those spawned from Judaism) and
Jewish heresies (i.e., Sabbateanism) are always wrestling with
incarnationism, since all is one, and usually "falling into the drink".
On the opposite extreme, they will spiritualize the spiritual to the
point of creating "shtei reshuyot".  L'havdil, Jewish thinking, and
especially Kabbalistic thought, manages to "hand ten" and ride the
exhiliarating wave of the divine as it rushes "r'tzo v'shov" through

Just some thoughts for Elul!
Rav Berachot,
Yehoshua Kahan


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 23:00:08 +0300
Subject: Shapes of letters

I must admit that I have never really understood the postings of our
friend Stan, but I could not but think of him tonight in my daf-yomi

In Nedarim 38a, we find the following statement: "Rabi Yosi son of Rabi
Chanina said: The Torah was given only to Moshe and his decendants, as
it says 'ktov lecha' (write 'for you')."

In attempting to understand this unusual claim, the gemara comes to the
conclusion that it refers to 'pilpula be`alma'. The Ro"sh on the page
explains these words as follows: Pilpula be`alma: understanding, and
sharpness, and this is the meaning of 'the writing is yours', for all
wisdom and understanding is hinted in the writing of the Torah, in the
shapes of the letters. (My attempt to translate from: havana vecharifut,
vehaynu 'ketavan shelcha', ki kol hachochma vehaseichel remuzim bichtav
haTorah, betzurat ha-otiot.)

Having seen this thesis here for years, that the shapes of letters
themselves contain secrets beyond my understanding, I really perked up
when I saw that Ro"sh. :-)

Shimon (who really doesnt want to start a long
         thread about things I don't begin to understand) ;-)
Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel         PGP: members.xoom.com/shimonl/pubkey.htm


From:  David Kaye <David.Kaye@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 08:16:53 +0200
Subject: Yichud P'nuya

With regard to the issue of yichud p'nuya although the posters I saw were
correct in noting that this was a gezeira of Dovid Hamelech, this is a
p'nuya that isn't a Niddah. Yichud with a female who is a Niddah is, in
fact, an issur d'Oraisa! For a quick look see Kiddushin 80b; A.Z. 36b;
Sanhedrin 21a; Shut. Rivash 425 and Binas Adam 126:28 explicitly note that
any women who is a Niddah is subsumed under the Torah prohibition and not
the decree of Dovid Hamelech.

Y. Dovid Kaye


End of Volume 33 Issue 42