Volume 33 Number 90
                 Produced: Sun Dec 24 20:07:29 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Automatic light
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Birkat HaGomel
         [Yisrael Medad]
Bracha by phone, and in movies
         [Asher Goldstein]
Chanuka in hotels
         [Nosson Tuttle]
Cherem d'Rabbenu Gershom
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Flat Headstones
         [Asher Goldstein]
How to Contact Mekubal?
         [Jeffrey Bock]
Ketuba etc.
         [Asher Goldstein]
Kosher in Disneyworld
         [Nosson Tuttle]
Same Bed during Veset (was: Halachically Pregnant)
         [Akiva Miller]
Shabbat Hagadol
         [Binyamin Dana-Picard]
Shabbat in Amsterdam
         [Eric Jaron Stieglitz]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 18:24:21 +0200
Subject: Automatic light

The Conservative synagogue near my home (the one in Jerusalem vandalized
a few months ago) has now installed a sensor which turns on a bright
floodlight when anyone passes by. They do not activate it on Shabbat,
but the question arises: if someone has such an automatic sensor, what
is my responsibility on Shabbat? Must I find an alternative route home?
And what would the law be if there is no alternative route home?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2000 21:38:31 +0200
Subject: Birkat HaGomel

Our Rav, Elchanan Bin-Nun, issued an interesting p'sak which I thought I
should share.

On Friday, Dec. 1, the bus travelling to Shiloh was fired upon even
before leaving Jerusalem.  Some bullets penetrated the bus from an upper
window but no one was injured and the question was who and how says the
Birkat HaGomel?

One opinion offered was that one male make the blessing in the plural and
be motzi everyone.
But Rav Elchanan differed and instructed that:-

a) all those on the side of the bus closest to the terrorist should not
make the blessing in that as the bus was protected against bullets,
there was no miracle in their not being wounded or worse.

b) all those on the far side or standing had to make the blessing, each
one separately, since the entry of bullets could only have injured them
and not those sitting on the side closest to the terrorist.


From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 16:41:10 +0200
Subject: Bracha by phone, and in movies

The psak [religious ruling], however, if I remember correctly, is that
one is not yotzei [cannot fulfill the commandment] when hearing the
Megilla read live on TV.  It seems to be that ever since this psak was
announced here in Israel, the TV channel stopped telecasting the whole
of the Megilla reading, as it once did, and it starts the annual
telecast of the reading (often from some yeshiva) only after the reading
has actually commenced (perhaps to obviate the doubt).  Given this psak,
movies would certainly not require an "amen" response.  It might also
make the telephone problematic in this regard, though admittedly I do
not know the difference in the electric/electronics workings of the two
(live TV and telephone; or for that matter, live computercasts) to know
whether a difference does exist.  (I once received a psak, however, that
I could be menachem avel [comforting of a mourner] by phone.)

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, FOCUS
University of Haifa
Tel. 972-4-8240104


From: Nosson Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 13:40:22 -0500
Subject: Chanuka in hotels

While I cannot give you Psak Halacha, my understanding is that in
practice of Pirsumei Nisa (publicizing of the miracle) of Chanuka is
primarily intended for the members of the family and for the Jewish
home; therefore the candles serve a better purpose being kindled
upstairs in the room rather than in the lobby, whether by the windows or
near the entrance.  Outside Israel, it is not customary to light in
public places such as outside the home by the front gate.  The lobby of
a hotel probably has a similar status (don't need to kindle there, at
least outside of Israel).  It would probably be a good idea to disable
any smoke detectors before lighting candles in the hotel though, and to
okay your activities with the management.

-Nosson Tuttle   <ntuttle@...>


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 18:21:04 +0200
Subject: Cherem d'Rabbenu Gershom

I vaguely recollect a discussion about this, but not the conclusions:
Does anyone know if forwarding a private eMail missive to a third party
without the original writer's permission would be a violation of Cherem
d'Rabbenu Gershom?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <Workhomeoffice@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 00:03:57 EST
Subject: EMDR

Hi! I am looking for an Orthodox Jewish Woman in the New York, New
Jersey area that specializes in EMDR. Do you know of anyone? Please let
me know if you do or how I can find someone. Thanks, I'm desperate!
D. N.


From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000 09:51:00 +0200
Subject: Flat Headstones

Someone--it may have been a number of months ago--wrote about a rabbi
refusing to officiate at a funeral because the cemetery had flat metal
placks instead of the usual stand-up, stone headstones.  The rabbi who
officiated at both my parents' funerals is an Aggudah rabbi, now retired
to Bnei Braq, and did not hesitate going to the Sharon, MA, cemetery,
which has such flat, flush-to-the-ground placks and no headstones.  The
Young Israel of Sharon is also said to have a section in that cemetery.
Why would that rabbi have refused to go there and officiate?

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, FOCUS
University of Haifa
Tel. 972-4-8240104


From: Jeffrey Bock <bockny@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 13:53:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: How to Contact Mekubal?

I have some friends who will be visiting Israel in December and are
desirous of visiting a real Mekubal.  Can anyone provide the name and
address/phone of someone in Israel who can arrange such a meeting.

Please respond to: <BockNY@...>


From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 10:51:46 +0200
Subject: Ketuba etc.

Back in September, D. Olivestone wrote:

>I was in London for a family wedding
>earlier this year where the Rav read the ketubah, but when he was about
>half way through, he stopped and said "Etcetera", and walked away. Has
>anyone ever seen that before?

I have seen, or rather heard this; not the walking away, but the use of
"etc.," although because it was done here in Israel, the term the rav
used was "vechuli, vechuli."  It was a cut to the amount pledged and to
the names of the witnesses.  I've seen (heard) this done with both
religious and secular couples.  I presume it's to shorten the ceremony
under the chupa so that the crowd can get on with the eating and
dancing.  Since I am going to a wedding tonight, it will be interesting
to hear what is read.

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, FOCUS
University of Haifa
Tel. 972-4-8240104


From: Nosson Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 13:32:46 -0500
Subject: Kosher in Disneyworld

Rivkah (my wife) & I stayed in the Disney World area as part of a
Florida trip.  We spent several days in Disney/Orlando area, Shabbos in
Miami, and then some days the next week in Del Ray Beach (Grandma lives
there), before going back to New York.

Basically, there are 3 options with dining around Disney
(to some extent, we've exercised all 3)

A) Kosher Korner/Chabad: we found that their food service is the best
(and hopefully it is even better since they have integrated with the
Quality Inn).  At the time we went, they only had their
grocery/restaurant open in the morning and afternoons, which didn't make
much sense because most people are spending the day at the parks.  They
did make nighttime deliveries to the park areas, however.  This is not
ideal as it requires meeting the deliveryman outside the Disney gate
(but we enjoyed the food).  Now Kosher Korner has a dining contract with
Quality Inn and this should alleviate the issues of food delivery which
no longer apply.  For more information and special deals, contact them
at 407-787-3344 or look them up at the www at www.kosher-korner.com

B) Kosher Resorts Orlando - listed in the Jewish Press, besides being a
restaurant & a shul, they also serve as a reservations agent for the
local hotels.  Apparently, they can deliver to the hotels but we just
ate over there in the restaurant.  They have weekday minyanim at the
restaurant/shul.  Rivkah does not recommend the food, though.  You can
call them at 800-747-0013 (they have a web site listed but it currently
is not up).

C) Ordering "Kosher meals" through Disney.  Although we exercised this
option, I would not recommend it.  Having a microwaveable frozen Kosher
meal (which you can easily purchase for less money in a supermarket) in
one of Disney's non-Kosher restaurants is not worth the hassle.  Besides
issues of trying to keep Kosher in a non-Kosher restaurant, there may be
waiting lines and special beepers even for getting space in the

Staying for Shabbos in Orlando area: You will probably find that a
Minyan for Shabbos is NOT guaranteed, at least in the area of the
restaurant (option B).  When we were in Orlando, we were not staying for
Shabbos but they were asking around in the restaurant for those who
were, and I don't think they were getting a Minyan.  Now that the Chabad
(A) is at the Quality Inn, they may be more likely to have a minyan for
Shabbos in their shul (but I think it is a different area than the
restaurant mentioned above).


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 19:05:18 -0500
Subject: Same Bed during Veset (was: Halachically Pregnant)

I am somewhat behind in my reading of Mail-Jewish [well, I gave everyone
a chance to catch up for a while :-). Mod.], so I hope you won't
mind if I quote the beginning of this discussion. It concerns activities
between husband and wife during the "veset", which is a time during
which the wife is *not* a nidah, but certain halachos apply because of
the chance that she will get her period during that time.

At some point, Joshua Hosseinof wrote: <<< ... not all authorities agree
that sleeping in the same bed is forbidden during the veset - the only
prohibition of the veset that everyone agrees on is actual intercourse
itself. >>>

In MJ 33:74, Yehonoson Rubin asked: <<< just which posek allows sleeping
in the same bed during vest? To the best of my knowledge it is universal

In MJ 33:77, Joshua Hosseinof answered this, citing several opposing
views quoted by Rav Ovadia Yosef.

I just wanted to add that Rav Shimon Eider, Halachos of Niddah, pp
228-229, writes <<< This applies only to marital relations, however, the
other restrictions - even embracing, kissing [and lying together in the
same bed] - are permissible according to most Poskim. According to some
Poskim, this is prohibited. >>>

Both the brackets and the words between them are Rav Eider's, not mine.
See there for his sources and more details.

Akiva Miller


From: Binyamin Dana-Picard <zofiaeng@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 02:26:29 +0200
Subject: Shabbat Hagadol

Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...> was right when she said:

> I believe that the word "HaGadol" in Shabbat HaGadol (...) is
> intended to mean: "The Shabbat of the Great (Miracle)"-- i.e. Gadol
> modifies Miracle, Nays, which is masculine.

As a matter of fact , it relates to the war that was waged by the
first-born Egyptians against their "government", when they understood
that they would pay the price of Phar'o's stubborness not to let the
Hebrews go.And they had started to believe in God's plagues. This war
happened on Nissan 10.

[I would be very hesitant to call this a fact, at best it is a medrashic
statement. I also suspect that this is not the most accepted explanation
of the origin of Shabbat Hagadol. But I think it is the first time I
have heard it. Mod.]

Binyamin Dana-Picard <zofiaeng@...>


From: Eric Jaron Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 16:04:19 -0500
Subject: Shabbat in Amsterdam

I will be in Amsterdam for Shabbat in mid-January.

Might anybody have advice for obtaining kosher food while in the
Netherlands? I understand that there is some type of list that descrbes
all kosher products available in supermarkets.  Is it possible to order
a copy of this list (or even to receive it via e-mail)?

We're also wondering if there are any activities in the city that are
good to do during Shabbat, such as taking a walk along the canals or
sightseeing areas that one can enter without needing to pay a fee. We
will most likely be staying near the Spanish/ Portuguese shul.

Thanks in advance to anybody who can provide information.



End of Volume 33 Issue 90