Volume 33 Number 75
                 Produced: Mon Nov  6 20:32:58 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Best Kosher/Sinai 48
         [Y. Askotzky]
Blood spots in eggs (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Alan Rubin]
Kashrut of chewing gum
         [Michael Hoffman]
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Norm Broner]
Scarf, tsitsit, and narrow silk tallit (was: Towels and tsitsit)
         [Mike Gerver]
Source for SHITUF **NOT** Being Idolatry
         [Kochav ben Yehuda]
Towels And Tzitzis
         [Bill Bernstein]
         [Moshe Flohr]
Wearing Tefillin all Day
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 10:24:35 +0200
Subject: Best Kosher/Sinai 48

Anyone using or considering using Best or Sinai 48 products should first
contact the Chicago Rabbinical Council. I am personally familar with
many of the details but I will leave it to the kashrus organizations
that brought the problems to light. The CRC has no personal interest in
whether or not these products have a hechsher as the hechsher has always
been under private certification.


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


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 08:25:54 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Blood spots in eggs

> A central concern is whether the blood spot is the result of a chick
> forming or some other miscelaneous blood. THe rabbis discussed various
> approaches to determining this question based on the location of the
> spot with the egg.  One opinion is that we cannot eat an egg that is
> found to have a blood spot regardless of where it was found because when
> it comes down to it we are not really experts in what blood spots are
> caused by a chick forming.

There is an article in the latest issue of the Journal of Halacha and
Contemorary Society on blood spots.
He basically concludes that today (at least in the US and most western
countries) chicken eggs are laid on a farm where roosters are not present.
Also all better grades of eggs are candled so that eggs with blood spots
do not reach the market. Hence, the probability of an egg having a blood spot
is under 1/1000 and the chance of that blood spot being a fertilized egg
is essentially nil.
Hence, we do use our modern knowledge to eliminate the need for checking
eggs. Furthermore, even if one finds a blood spot one can just remove
that spot from the food and continue cooking.

Eli Turkel

From: Alan Rubin <arubin@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 19:42 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
Subject: Blood spots in eggs

This raises another question.  As I understand it, the eggs that we eat
nowadays are from hens that have not been near a rooster so there is no
possibility that blood spots are embryonic chicks.  Why are we careful
about blood spots nowadays?



From: Michael Hoffman <hoffmanm@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 11:07:36 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Kashrut of chewing gum

>From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
>Does anyone know what are the actual non-kosher ingredients in the major
>brands of chewing gum (Wrigleys, Dentyne, Chiclets, Bubble Yum, Trident)
>...  It stands to reason that at least one of the major gum brands
>would be kosher certified today if there were not some majorly different
>ingredient between kosher and non-kosher chewing gum.

The main ingredient in every chewing gum is the gum base, and the major
kashrus concern regarding this gum base, is the Glycerine used in the
gum base. If the gum or resin was left in its original state without the
addition of the Glycerine, the gum would harden and become solid as a
rock, and would therefore be impossible to process.

Glycerine is used not only in the gum base production facilities, but
also at source, i.e. where the gums are "harvested" from the trees.  The
problem with Glycerine, is that it may come from any one of three
sources, petrochemical, vegetable or animal. It is not possible to
determine through lab tests what the source of the Glycerine is, as the
molecules are identical for Glycerine from all three sources.

Apart from this major problem, there are obviously other kashrus
concerns as well, such as flavors and emulsifiers.  It is therefore
recommended to use only chewing gum with a reliable hechsher.

Michael Hoffman 


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 08:16:01 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Matzeva

> My wife attended a funeral yesterday and the Orthodox rabbi who
> officiated refused to come to the cemetery, because it has flat bronze
> markers, instead of matzeivos.  My wife and I have never heard of this.

I am not sure exactly what this is. However, in Israel, matzeivot are
usually flat lying down and not upright, though they are from stone and
not bronze.

Eli Turkel


From: Norm Broner <broner@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 22:26:41 +1100
Subject: Protection

Can anyone provide the source of the custom, by some, to put on
something "red" to protect against bad or evil happenings?  Is this
along the line of kamayes? Any sources for these in halachah?

Menachem Broner/Australia
tel:  + 613 9525 9043
fax: + 613 9525 9227
Email: <broner@...>


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 08:15:33 +0100 
Subject: Scarf, tsitsit, and narrow silk tallit (was: Towels and tsitsit)

In v33n74, Barry Bank asks

> What is the status of a scarf vis-a-vis tsitsit?  It *is* 4-cornered and
> *is* worn as an item of clothing.

I believe a scarf doesn't require tsitsit, because it is worn around the
neck, not on the torso. I always find it annoying when I see people
wearing those narrow, silk-like tallitot around their necks. They often
seem to be worn by non-Orthodox Jews who are davening at an Orthodox
shul for a bar mitzvah, etc. I want to tell them to pull it down around
their shoulders, since they might have made a bracha bitala if they are
wearing it only around their neck, and in any case they are not
fulfilling the positive mitzvah of wearing a tallit.  But I have never
had the chutzpah to tell them.  Besides, in my occasional experience
wearing those tallitot (when I have gone to a shul in a place without an
eruv, and didn't want to wear my tallit on a long hot walk, so relied on
using a shul tallit), they are darned hard to balance on your
shoulders-- they keep slipping off.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Kochav ben Yehuda <kochav_benyehuda@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 13:55:48 CET
Subject: Re: Source for SHITUF **NOT** Being Idolatry

>From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
>Does anyone know of ANY defense for any group (Jew or Non Jew) by which
>the deification of a human being (even in combination with belief in one
>God) should NOT be considered full fledged idolatry.

Because of Tosafos in Bechoros 2b sv shema, the Rama (O"C 156:1, Y"D 147:3) 
and also the Shach (Y"D 151) pasken shituf as being mutar for a ben noach.


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 08:28:03 -0600
Subject: Re: Towels And Tzitzis

Regarding scarves, neckties, handkerchiefs, headbands and whatever, see
Choyei Odom 11:9, where he defines "beged" as something a child of 9
could wear that would cover enough of him so he could go out in the
street and not be embarrassed.  Anything less than this is not called a
beged, even if it is worn.


From: Moshe Flohr <maven@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 00:28:29 -0500
Subject: Upsherin

In vol. 33 n. 72 Moish Gluck wrote:
 >Is there a custom that one should refrain from cutting a girls hair till
 >age 3 as the custom is by boys? Why are girls different that the custom
 >is not practiced as much as by boys?

In order to understand why there is no such custom by girls it is first
necessary to understand the basic reasoning behind this custom.  In the
Torah we find the prohibition of "Lo Takifu" (Vayikra 19:27) which
states that one should NOT "round" the hair of his head by cutting the
hair at the "end" of the head (i.e. by the temples) with a razor. (The
end of the passage also states the prohibition of cutting certain parts
of the beard with a razor.)

The reason given for this (as explained in Sefer HaChinuch no. 251 and
no.  252) is because this was the practice of the idol worshipers
(specifically the priests) to cut the hair of their head "evenly" all
around. The Torah commanded us not to emulate them in this manner of
cutting the hair of the head In order to distance ourselves from
them. (While nowadays this reasoning may no longer apply, nevertheless
the prohibition remains in effect.) This commandment applies to all

As regards women, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 181) states that this
commandment does not apply to them. The commentaries explain the reason
being since the prohibition regarding the cutting of the hair (in the
proscribed manner) is mentioned in the same passage as the prohibition
regarding the "destruction" of the facial hair (i.e. beard) with a
razor, therefore these prohibitions apply only to those who are included
in BOTH.  Therefore men, who grow both hair on their head as well as
beards, are commanded with these two prohibitions, women, who do not
grow beards, are exempt from both.

As mentioned before, this commandment applies to males no matter what
their age. Therefore when little boys are given a haircut, it is
important to be careful to adhere to this commandment. Primarily this is
because of the Mitzva of Chinuch ("training"). In other words, we are
required to do this in order to train the child not to transgress this
Torah law when he later grows up and becomes an adult. (This is the
general understanding of the commandment of Chinuch.)

As regards the custom by many to wait three years, the reasons for this
are not so clear. Many point to the Midrash Tanchuma on the passage
regarding Orlah (Vayikra 19:23) which is immediately prior to the one
regarding the prohibition of "Lo Takifu". The Midrash seems to indicate
that only from the age of three and on is a child to be taught Torah
(and by extension, trained in doing Mitzvos) and NOT prior to that
age. Another source of this custom is found in the writings of Rav Chaim
Vital z"l, protege and primary disciple of the Ari za"l, who mentions
that the Ari za"l himself took his son when he was three up to Meron to
have his first haircut (amidst much joy and celebration).

While no explanation for this "waiting period" is given it would seem
that the reason is based on the fact that the child, now having finally
reached the age of three, is now first being trained in learning Torah
("Alef-Bais") and doing Mitzvos (as mentioned in the Midrash), and
therefore the fulfillment of the Mitzva of "Lo Takifu" being the FIRST
one, is a time of great joy and is greatly celebrated. (In truth this
would depend on how one interprets the Mitzva of Bris Milah, but that's
another discussion.)

So to answer your "basic" question, since there is no commandment of "Lo
Takifu" for women/girls there is no custom to wait three years before
getting their first haircut.

(I am sorry for having written such a long answer, but I don't think a
brief reply would have been sufficiently clear. In any case, I intend,
G-d willing, to publish a booklet (in English) on the subject of
Upsherin in the very near future, tentatively called "Upsherin: It's
origins, significance and customs".)

Moshe Flohr


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000 12:50:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Wearing Tefillin all Day

Chaim Mateh (v33n65) in attempting to disagree with me paradoxically
supported me.

Chaim had originally stated that the reason we do not wear tefillin all
day today was because it requires a "clean body"---hence since most
people for example pass intestinal gas during the day we do not wear

I dissented to this view so Chaim cited appropriate sections of the code
of Jewish law which explicitly give the reason mentioned. However Chaim
also cited the following

>>In note 7, the MB says that "and that [wearing Tfillin at least during
Shma and Tfilla] is for every man, but for Anshei Maaseh (righteous,
pious?) are accustomed to learn after Tfilla wearing Tfillin...".>>

So by Chaims own citation we have an INTERNAL QUESTION from the MB on
the MB: For on the one hand the MB says the reason we do not wear
tefillin is because we might pass intestinal gas---on the other hand
righteous people are accustomed to learn after prayer with
tefillin. (And eg as we have just been told there are Jerusalemites who
wear tefillin all day).  As Chaim rightly pointed out these people who
wear tefillin longer do not have special stomachs. Consequently they are
wearing tefillin despite the fact they are passing gas. Thus we have an
internal contradiction.

My own approach to laws like these, which I have advocated several
times, on mail-jewish, is to decide laws not only by citing the code of
law but by citing the reasons for the law!

According to the Talmud Menachot 36 tefillin is like the priestly
headplate concerning which it says (Ex28-38) "And he shall have them

It immediately follows that if a person for example prays from 6-7,
learns from 7-8, disperses community charity from 8-10, does temporary
work from 10-1, eats a small meal from 1-1:30, and learns from 1:30-6,
THE WHOLE DAY (In other words the TEMPORARY meal does NOT intefer with
the status of CONTINUOUSLY THINKING ABOUT GOD (This idea/law is also
brought down by the code of Jewish law)).

It follows that people who do spiritual things all day MAY wear tefillin
even though they TEMPORARILY eat or TEMPORARILY PASS GAS. By contrast
people who eg work all day cannot wear tefillin because they are not
involved in spriritual things. Similarly a person who has a stomach
illness does not wear tefillin because he is thinking about his illness.

Thus in all cases the determinant of whether you wear tefillin is WHAT
YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT MOST OF THE TIME (Hope this clarifies this)

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Moderator Rashi is Simple


End of Volume 33 Issue 75