Volume 33 Number 45
                 Produced: Tue Sep  5  6:15:59 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calandar Changes
         [Danny Skaist]
Children in Shul (2)
         [Y. Askotzky, Alan Cooper]
Hat for Davening
         [Carl Singer]
         [Jonathan Baker]
A Mesorah of Kashruth -- Kafrisin again
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
Not Mentioning Pregnancy
         [Leona Kroll]
Potentiometer and Yom Tov
         [Mike Gerver]
Rabbits and Camels
         [Eliezer Shemtov]
There are 7800 Rashis::Which ones are famous
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 14:04:03 +0200
Subject: Calandar Changes

<< I agree its a biblical commandment but as with other such commandments
such as korbanot on private altars, Techelet for zizit etc, until a beis
din that is qualified and thus accepted by all, I find it hard to believe
that someone will take it into his hands to make changes to the
established calendar that to all intents and purposes is considered Torah
LeMoshe MiSinai. >>>

I find it hard to believe that someone won't take it into his hands, and
that others will disagree and that there will be 2 pessachs (and other
holidays), according to the different calandar views.  One will be
machmir according to the original calandar, and the other will be
machmar accorning to the pasuk. Others will have keep both out of safek.



From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 17:55:22 +0200
Subject: Children in Shul

In a recent post the SHL"A was quoted that the child who has reached the
age of education must not be allowed to get up and leave (shul)...

These words must be understood. Obviously, not all children reach that
age at the same time. Additionally, some children may have reached the
age of education for certain things but may not yet be able to sit
through shul. Some children may simply not have the patience to sit
through davening. A child who will become impatient and difficult,
eventhough he understands the need to daven, should not be obligated to
sit through all of davening. He should be allowed to leave early or come
later or be allowed out for occasional breaks- each according to their
need. Gradually, over a few years, they should be trained and even
bribed to sit longer. A child forced to sit through davening will resent
it and his father and will likely cause trouble later in the day and may
even find the shul experience when he is older as unpleasant.


Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer and examiner
<sofer@...>   www.stam.net   1-888-404-STAM(7826)

From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 10:25:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Children in Shul

At 02:07 PM 9/4/00 +0000, Yisrael Medad wrote:

>and in another citation (MB on 98, note 3): on the phrase of the Rama
>that one should not kiss his children in schule -
>"the Shelah vehemently opposed those who brought their kids to schule.
>and by 'little one' he means those who haven't reached the age of
>education/ instruction because they dance and play in schule and violate
>the sanctity of the synagogue <etc.>

I have discussed this and related texts in an article, "Parental
Responsibility for the Jewish Upbringing of Small Children," which was
published in the Spring/Summer 1996 issue of the CCAR Journal.  Another
article on the same topic is forthcoming in a volume of collected
essays.  Also, I should note that a new edition of Assaf's magnificent
Meqorot le-toledot ha-chinnukh be-yisra'el [Sources for the History of
Jewish Education] is being prepared by Dr. Shmuel Glick for publication
by JTS Press.  This new edition will include an exhaustive index of
sources on the topic to accompany Assaf's anthology.

The diatribe about kids in synagogue that is attributed everywhere to
the Shela"h is not actually by the Shela"h, but is cited by him from the
Derekh Chayyim by Menachem de Lonzano.  The Shela"h (as usual) clearly
credits his source, but subsequent readers of the Shela"h seem to have
ignored the attribution.  The high point of De Lonzano's screed comes
when he accuses children of urinating in the synagogue and then singing
"mayim mayim"!

De Lonzano's diatribe appears in his commentary on a poem of his own
composition (!).  The relevant lines of poetry (doggerel, really) may be
translated as follows:

Teach your offspring fear of God,
And they will flourish like palm trees.
Bring them to the house of God to sing in praise of God,
But not to romp like drunkards,
Like people who bring their children there to their shame,
Depriving themselves of reward.
Give them life by the Tree of Life;
Do not kill them by the tree of worldly knowledge.

Alan Cooper


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2000 22:32:44 EDT
Subject: Re: Hat for Davening

<<  Wearing these items together with tefilin often requires
 cocking the hat way back on the head and wearing the jacket with only
 one arm (the non-tefilin arm) through a sleeve.  >>

There are many who do not / will not wear their jacket such a manner
when davening.  One can tailor one's sleeve large enough to comfortably
cover the tefilin so the jacket may be worn in regular fashion.  Others
choose to wear the jacket over the shoulders, cape style.  I presume
it's minhag -- my Father, ztl, being a tailor and a very careful
dresser, would never sling a jacket over one arm / shoulder as is common
practice among many -- but he never commented on this practice to me.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 11:49:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kafrisin

I knew this Rishonim &c. CD-ROM would come in handy:

Post-Rashi references to yein kafrisin:

- Rashi (kreitot 6a): wine of Cyprus.

- Tosfot (Beitza 25b d"h UTzLaF): explicitly disagrees with Rashi, saying 
that it is caper-wine, not wine from Cyprus, basing himself on Tosefta.

- Shita Mekubetzet (Kreitot 6a note 24) brings from
  - Rosh, who cites Rashi here, then Ri (of Tosfot?) in Brachot 36a
  and Beitza as above, talking about caper-wine being the strongest
  fruit-wine (mashkeh hapeirot).
  - Tosfot, which looks suprisingly identical to Rashi here.  There
  is no Tosfot comment on that phrase in our version.

- Shita Mekubetzet to Beitza 25b: on "what is so strong about tzlaf":
brings all of the above: Rashi who doesn't know, Tosfos on Kreisos 
mentioning both Rashi's shita & Ri's.

That's all I can find.  They just keep repeating each other.

If I may speculate, I wonder, did Rashi know Tosefta?  If not, he 
might not have known that people made caper-wine.  Without knowing
about caper-wine from a source, he might have assumed that wine of
Kafrisin was Kafros wine- Cyprus wine.  The other question would
be, is the Rashi on Kreitot really Rashi, or is it someone else
who might not have known about that Tosefta?  I don't know which
masechtos are supposed to have pseudo-Rashi.

  Jonathan Baker     |  Mishenichnas Elul marbim becheshbon hanefesh.
  <jjbaker@...>  |  Don't know if it's classic like Av, Adar, but is true.


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <eifrah@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 19:05:31 +0200
Subject: A Mesorah of Kashruth -- Kafrisin again

Carl Singer wrote:
>> With Glatt Kosher -- there no longer seems to be a reliable / available
>> / convenient supply chain for kosher (but not Glatt) meat -- the metziah
>> has changed, to where Glatt Kosher is essentially synonymous with
>> "reliable" kosher, I personnally know of not even a single organization
>> that supplies (non-Glatt) kosher meat that anyone in the Orthodox
>> community uses (correct me if I'm wrong.)  The few major suppliers of
>> meat that is kosher but not glatt seem to target the non-Orthodox, or
>> non-Jewish consumer.

The background problem is really statistics & money matters: among 100
slaughtered cows, how may are going to be found stam-kasher (Rema), how
many are going to be found "glatt", how many "halak Bet Yosef" and how
many taref? Because if the Jewish community cannot resell everything
that is not "glatt" or "halak" to non-Jews without losing money, there
is no way the kosher meat market is going to be limited to these
categories of meat.  In Morroco and Algeria, e.g., the percentage of
"halak" cows was to low for the Jewish community to be able to resell
all the other slaughtered animals to the non-Jews and local rabbis
allowed to eat "stam-kasher" meat even though sepharadim usually follow
the stringent opinion of the Mechaber.  The same applies to France where
most of the meat slaughtered by the central kashruth organization (the
"Beth-Din of Paris") is stam-kasher and not glatt nor halak; this
represents a large majority of the fresh kasher meat distributed in
France. The Beth-Din of Paris introduced a "halak" production a few
years ago but this is some kind of hidush for France. For information,
we also have glatt schechitot such as those of the Lubavitcher community
or of the Haredi community headed by R. Rottenberg. There are also local
shechitot in the provinces (Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille) where practices
may differ--but I am giving an account of the mainstream.

Noyekh Miller wrote:
>> The fact that [Rashi] himself was a wine grower add shall we say zest to
the matter.

I am sorry to disappoint you but if there is one thing on which most
modern historians agree about Rashi is that he was NOT a wine grower. He
was just a Jew living in a wine growing region (Champagne for that
matter), which may be the origin of this old legend. This explains also
that he had a very good knowledge of the techniques of wine-making and
the economy of wine.  This is such a widespread (mis-)conception that
when I attended a lesson by Pr. Hayim Soloveitchik a year ago about the
prohibition of "yen-nessekh" and the economy of wine in the Middle-Ages,
this is the first thing he began his lecture with: Rashi was not a wine

Emmanuel Ifrah (Paris, France)


From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 05:08:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Not Mentioning Pregnancy

 It may be only a small part of the answer, but i thought that we didn't
mention a pregnancy before three months b/c until then a woman is not
halachically pregnant. even at three months, many people only tell
family and thenwait for everyone else to just notice wtout being told.


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 15:52:08 +0200 
Subject: Potentiometer and Yom Tov

Regarding Eitan Fiorino's question in v33n42 about what is wrong with
raising or lowering the heat on an electric burner on Yom Tov-- I think
there was a long post dealing with this issue a few years ago. From what
I remember, the problem was that the burner controls on electric stoves
do not, in fact, use potentiometers, but make and break discrete
electrical connections, even when the control knobs seem to be turning
smoothly. I don't know if this is true, or if I am remembering the
posting correctly, but it makes some sense. If the burner dissipates
1000 watts, say, at high heat, and if you put a resistor equal to the
burner resistance in series with it, in order to reduce the burner power
to 250 watts, then the resistor would also have to dissipate 250
watts. The control boxes of burners are small things, about 2 inches
across, and it is obvious that they are not dissipating 250 watts when
the burner is on "medium"!  So they must work some other way.

In the case of dimmer switches on lights, it's less clear to me.  If
they worked by using potentiometers, then they would have to dissipate
as much as 37 watts in the case of a light bulb that is 150 watts at
full brightness-- that still seems like a lot for such a small
thing. But they also seem too small and cheap to be transforming to a
lower voltage. Is there an electrician out there who can explain how
these things work?

I once asked a shayla about raising and lowering lights on Yom Tov, by
using a dimmer switch, and was told that I could do it.  When I casually
mentioned this to another rabbi a long time afterwards, he said that I
should stick by the psak I got, but that if I had asked him, he wouldn't
have allowed it, and furthermore, he wished that in the future I
wouldn't ask the first rabbi shaylas about things like that!  But we
didn't go into the details of why he wouldn't allow it.

BTW, getting back to fluorescent lights, on re-reading my posting I
notice that I left something out that may be important.  The photons
emitted by the excited gas atoms are not visible light photons, they are
ultraviolet, and invisible.  The visible light is emitted when the UV
strikes a coating inside the glass. The atoms in that coating, which is
hardly warmer than room temperature, emit visible light when they are
excited by UV. I guess this makes fluorescent lights even less like
"eish" than I thought.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Eliezer Shemtov <shemtov@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 12:15:29 -0300
Subject: Rabbits and Camels

The Torah (Leviticus 11:4-7, Deuteronomy 14:7-8) names 4 species of
animals that are not Kosher because they possess only one of the 2
necessary conditions for an animal to be Kosher:

(1. Chewing the cud; 2. Split hooves): Their biblical names are
generally translated as the Camel, rabbit and hare, that, although they
ruminate, do not have split hooves and the pig that although having
split hooves, does not ruminate. (Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, A"H, in his
translation of Chumosh, brings different opinions as to the exact
species the Torah is referring to).

I have researched the matter a bit and have found that neither the camel
nor the rabbit ruminate.

Does anyone have any answer to this apparent contradiction?  This
dilemma is especially significant because I have read and heard many
times that this is used as a 'proof' that Torah is 'min hashamayim' for
no human being would be able to be sure that there are no other species
that have this condition other than these four. What sort of 'proof' is
it if:

1) There are different opinions regarding what these species are; 2) the
rabbit and the camel do not even ruminate.  This question becomes even
more interesting when we take into consideration the fact that there can
be no such thing as a machlokes in metzius (arguments regarding
empirically verifiable facts), especially since it was very easy to
observe the behavior and characteristics of these animals that were
abundant at the time of Matan Torah and onward....

Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov
Montevideo, Uruguay


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 13:01:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: There are 7800 Rashis::Which ones are famous

Chaim Shapiro (v33n28) asks >>I do not know how many Rashis there are
on the Five Books.  Thousands probably.<<

There are exactly 7800. My RashiYomi series (published on the email
group Chevruta) is doing a 10 year cycle as follows: [2 Rashis @ day 40%
of the time and 3 Rashis @ day 60% of the time] x [300 non-holiday days
in a year] x [10 years] = 7800. (In passing I actually physically
counted all the Rashis twice and additionally used random sampling
techniques to confirm the number)

In answer to Chaims question (What does the term 'Famous Rashi' mean)
(a) It could simply mean that the speaker WANTS people to remember this
Rashi or (b) it could be Rashi that enunciates a principle that is used
frequently elsewhere or (c) it could be a Rashi that contains a really
cute nifty midrash which makes a memorable impression.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/


End of Volume 33 Issue 45