Volume 33 Number 53
                 Produced: Sun Sep 10  9:48:05 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 questions
         [Yisrael Dubitsky]
Accuracy of Molad
         [Yisrael Medad]
Drisha fall semester starting MONDAY September 11
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
         [Steven White]
Milah with brit
         [Aliza Fischman]
Need Help in Answering Questions
         [Daniel P Faigin]
Pesach in Spring
         [Mike Gerver]
Pesach in the Spring
         [Steven White]
Picture of the Rav
         [F Smiles]
Shark liver oil in milk
         [Robert Sherer]
Shark Oil in Milk vs. Chametz in Milk
         [Gershon Dubin]
Yichud Pnuyah
         [Dovid Oratz]


From: Yisrael Dubitsky <yidubitsky@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2000 19:47:19 -0400
Subject: 3 questions

Three questions:

1. I think I recall having seen posters/fliers around the YU Bet Midrash
around Elul or `aseret yeme teshuvah recommending students learn certain
perakim from either .Hovot ha-Levavot or Sha`are Teshuvah based upon the
advice of Reb Dovid Lifshuetz zzl. Can anyone verify my (sometimes
faulty) memory? And, if so, do you remember the specific sefer/perakim?

2. A popular yeshiva zemer for Shavuot and/or Sim.hat Torah is, so I've
heard, a contemporary Rosh Yeshiva's (Rav Dessler? Hutner?) adaptation
of words which, I presume, originate in the Ra'aya Meheimna in Zohar
II:40b (otherwise known as the beginning of the RM on parshat Bo). At
least, that's the closest I've come to a source. Is there any
yeshiva-leit (or otherwise!) out there who a) may know with which Rosh
Yeshiva the story is associated? b) the actual source of the words, if
my guess is wrong. While I will appreciate any and all relevant
anecdotal testimony, I was hoping for a written source as proof.  So
that there is no confusion, I include the words of the song (a la
Mordecai Ben David--if anyone knows of *other* versions of the music, I
would like to know as well):

"Kad yatvin Yisrael ve-`askin be-sim.hat ha-Torah, Kudsha Brikh Hu omer
le-famalia di-leh: '.Hazu, .hazu! Banai, .havivai! De-mishtak.hin
mi-tsareh dil-hon, ve-`askin be-.hedvata di-li.'"

3. Almost the same question as above: this time in regards the popular
(year-round) zemer "Bi-levavi mishkan evneh..." which is based on a
piyut (one of four; this one begins "Omar shirah lifnei yotsri
be-eimah") in R.  Eliezer Azkari's *Sefer .Haredim*. Again, I've heard
the zemer is a contemporary Rosh Yeshiva's adaptation of the essence of
the above- referred piyut. A) Who is the Rosh Yeshiva in mind? B)
Sources: anecdotal or, preferably, written.

Many thanks in advance! 

Yisrael Dubitsky


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2000 20:40:20 +0200
Subject: Accuracy of Molad

On behalf of my neighbor, Prof. Ely Merzbach,
I post his comment regarding the posting of Alan Rubin regarding
the Accuracy of the Molad in Volume 33 Number 39 Fri Sep  1:-

"The difference today between the astronomical mean conjunction and the
Hazal Molad is two hours (and not three hours), and the reason of these
two hours is that the Hebraic calendar was done by Hillel Hasheni at the
year 359. That means 1650 years ago, and the difference between the two
values of the average lunar month is approximatively 0.38 seconds."


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 16:25:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Drisha fall semester starting MONDAY September 11

Drisha's Fall Semester begins on Monday, September 11, and goes through
December 15, 2000.

A range of classes is offered in Hebrew Language, Bible, Talmud,
Halacha, and a variety of interesting subjects, in both day and evening

You may attend the first session of most classes free before making up
your mind.  This is always a highlight of my academic year!

Although the offerings are fascinating, the full descriptive schedule is
too long to send as an email to an entire list, but for further
information you can contact Drisha at:

Judith Tenzer
Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
131 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-0307

email: Drisha Institute <inquiry@...>

Some of the highlights include:

Becoming Human: Biblical Narratives of Human Life in the Material World -
Ilana Blumberg
Monday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. 4-Week Short Course: September 11, 18, 25,
October 2

Trei Asar: The Twelve Prophets
Dov Lerea
Monday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m. 

A Study of the Life and Times of Ezekiel, the Prophet of Exile
Menahem Meier
Tuesday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

The Golden Calf - 
Selim Dweck
Tuesday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m. 

The Tanakh Screenplay Workshop 
Joshua Cypess
Wednesday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

Gemara for Girls: Baba Metzia, Chapter 1  "I found it!" "No, I found it."
"It's all mine!" "No it's all mine." How does the Talmud respond? We will
study this scenario and some of the answers as presented in Baba Metzia,
Chapter One, through careful reading and lively discussion and debate.
For young women, grades 7-8, with reading knowledge of Hebrew.
Laurie Novick
Monday, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Introduction to Talmud: Marriage By Contract: Ketubot, Chapter 1
Shulie Waldman
Tuesday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Rebel without a Clause: Spousal Duties and Derelictions - What obligations
do husbands and wives have toward each other?
Wendy Amsellem
Monday 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

Marriage, Money and Mix-ups - Through a close analysis of the first chapter
of Masekhet Ketubot, we will address the issue of rabbinic attitudes toward
women, focusing on the relationship between husbands and wives. 
Ruth Fagen
Tuesday, 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Hanukkah: One Story, Many Versions 
Eliezer Diamond
Monday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
4-Week Short Course: November 13, 20, December 4, 11

Psyche and Soul - In this course we will explore the relationship between 
psychological sciences and the Jewish religious experience.  
Yitzchak Schechter
Tuesday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

The Rituals of Shabbat 
Devorah Shubowitz
Monday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

"Laws of a Meal"
Moshe Kahn
Wednesday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Modern Orthodox Thinkers: Three Other Voices - In this course we will
examine the thought of three lesser known rabbinical leaders who
contributed greatly to the ideology and halakhic approaches of
modern-Orthodox Jews in the last 100 years.
Nathaniel Helfgot
Wednesday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Steven White <StevenJ81@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 13:39:32 EDT
Subject: Electricity

I'm glad to see more postings from people understanding electricity.
*Informed* discussion has always been a distinguishing feature of this
discussion group.

I think it's worth going back to summarize Rabbi Broyde's summary of Rav
Sh. Z. Auerbach ztz"l.  Rabbi Broyde, if I've confused something, please
forgive me:

Essentially, R. Auerbach argues the following:

(1) He rejects the Chazon Ish's "binyan" characterization with respect
    to circuits as factually incorrect (possibly because things were not
    as well understood at that point).

(2) With respect to incandescent lighting, possibly there is true esh
    (fire) there.  Vacuums are not perfect, and one does see oxides
    around burned-out bulb filaments.  But in any case, the heating of
    the filament until red-hot constitutes a form of cooking (or baking
    or change the state of a material by heating) and is prohibited

(3) Similarly, any appliance that generates heat to yad soledet bo
    (causes a reflex withdrawal of the hand), such as a furnace or stove
    is prohibited d'oraita.

(4) Essentially, other uses of electricity are not prohibited d'oraita.
    Nevertheless, we prohibit derabbanan because

(a) It is the established custom.
(b) Many uses of electricity are the same as those of esh, and we
prohibit lest people misunderstand the differences between "real" esh
and this. 
(c) We respect the Chazon Ish's opinion.

Stan Tenen's interesting discussion notwithstanding, I think the cause
of the electron excitation *is* important halachically, because we do
not characterize halacha by microscopic (or smaller) events.  Therefore,
esh is esh -- that is, fire, or combustion, in its usually understood
meaning.  Anything else might trigger a melacha, or might be prohibited
rabbinically, but it's not esh.

(Is combustion in a non-oxygen-containing oxidizer, such as fluorine
gas, esh?  I don't know, but I doubt there's much nafka mina [practical
difference] to that anyway. (;-))

Steven White


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2000 09:28:55 -0400
Subject: Milah with brit

Some years ago, there was a case of a frum young man.  He had grown up
Jewish his whole life.  His father was born Jewish and his mother had
converted.  As he got older, he became more frum and when he learned
that his mother's conversion had not been Orthodox, he realized that he
was not truly, halachically Jewish.  He had had a Brit Milah, but his
mother was not halachically Jewish.  He knew immediately that he had to
convert himself so he could continue in the Torah way.  He went through
the whole conversion process.  Because he had already had a Brit Milah,
he had to do hatafat dam, a symbolic "letting of blood".  If I recall
correctly, which I may not, it was done with a simple finger prick.

Tizku L'Mitzvot,

[The last line sounds incorrect to me, could some Rav on the list that
has been involved in a hatafat dam please respond? Mod.]


From: Daniel P Faigin <faigin@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 20:46:07 -0700
Subject: Need Help in Answering Questions

I'm looking for some rabbis (any movement) to help me answer questions
that come into <questions@...> If you would be interested in being
part of my team, please drop me a note at <faigin@...>


Maintainer, SCJ FAQ (www.scjfaq.org)

W/H: <faigin@...>/faigin@pacificnet.net   http://www.pacificnet.net/~faigin/
Mod., Mail.Liberal-Judaism (www.mljewish.org)       Advisor, s.c.j.Parenting
Maintainer, S.C.J FAQ/RL   (www.scjfaq.org)       Daddy to Erin Shoshana
Webmaster, California Highways List (www.cahighways.org)
Webmaven for Temple Beth Torah of Granada Hills (www.bethtorah-sfv.org)


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 07:08:45 +0200 
Subject: Pesach in Spring

I noticed a typo in my posting in v33n47, which I hope was obvious.
What I meant to say, of course, is:

So it seems that Pesach has to fall after the vernal equinox, but NOT
necessarily at the earliest opportunity after the vernal equinox, and we
are not in violation today, using a fixed calendar that has drifted
since it was established by Hillel Sheni.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Steven White <StevenJ81@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 12:44:22 EDT
Subject: Pesach in the Spring

My thanks to Mike Gerver for his reply to my question.  In turn, I have
always been interested in the same questions he posed, and look forward
to the results.

I'd like to repeat one part of my question.  It does appear that the Bet
Din has some flexibility regarding the timing of Pesach vis-a-vis the
equinox, and that we are not "in violation" using Hillel II's calendar.
Still, I'm sure even the Bet Din does not have infinite flexibility in
setting the time.  I think we would intuitively agree that Pesach cannot
realistically start before March, nor can it realistically start, say,
in June.  But why?  Are there specific criteria for the Bet Din, or is
it assumed that the Bet Din "knows [spring] when it sees it."

Steven White


From: F Smiles <fsmiles@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 20:30:36 -0700
Subject: Picture of the Rav

Rav Yosef Soloveitick ( nephew of the Rav (Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitick )
has an amazing shockwave picture of the rav at

http://www.realbrisk.com/Hashkafa/hashkafa1.htm or at
http://www.realbrisk.com/Hashkafa/rav-y.d.swf which is part of
www.realbrisk.com . You see the Rav as he looked in Berlin and as he looked
when he was older. It is amazing...

If you love the Rav , his brother and their torah, then this is the place to
go. shalom
f smiles


From: Robert Sherer <ERSherer@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 11:41:41 EDT
Subject: Re: Shark liver oil in milk

    It has always been my understanding that the 1/60 rule, whether it
involves mixing of meat and dairy or non-kosher with kosher, applies to
an accidental (unintended) mixing of a forbidden ingredient into a
kosher mixture, and does not permit an intentional mixing in any
proportion. Am I wrong? Was the VH wrong in refusing its hashgacha under
the circumstances?

  Robert Sherer


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 15:26:08 -0400
Subject: Shark Oil in Milk vs. Chametz in Milk

Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...> writes:
<<Obviously the entire topic is more complicated than what I have stated
above, but this can start as beginning point if other members want to

	I'll add a little to the mix <g>: In addition to the idea of
whether a nullification has taken place or been done purposely, the 1 in
60 rule does not apply when the substance being added is put in for
flavoring.  The argument could be made that putting in a vitamin to
fortify the milk, or a preservative to enhance its shelf life, may be in
the same category and hence not be nullified.


[I think the question of what constitutes according to halacha an item
that is not subject to nullification is an interesting question. I think
there are arguements to make it quite inclusive, as you do above, or to
make it quite restricted, which would mean that nullification is of
interest in many more cases. Avi.]


From: Dovid Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 13:29:01 +0200
Subject: Re: Yichud Pnuyah

In 33:51 Steven White writes:
> In 33:33, Dovid Orvatz [sic] stated that "Yichud penuya nidda" is prohibited
> d'oraita.  What mitzvat lo ta'ase (mitzva of "you shall not" type) is
> being violated here?

According to Rashi and Tosafot, Shabbat 13a it is an "issur" deOraisa --
although there is no Lo taase, but rather an issur aseh.  Also see Even
Haezer 22 with Beit Shmuel and Baer Heitev (and note Lev. 18:19).


End of Volume 33 Issue 53