Volume 34 Number 27
                 Produced: Mon Mar 12 22:38:46 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Erev Pesach on Shabbat
         [Neal B. Jannol]
Heter Mechira
         [Beth and David Cohen]
Judaisms attitude on drinking
         [Russell Hendel]
Judaisms attitude on fasting
         [Russell Hendel]
Kashruth of Ball Park "kosher" Franks?
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Kiddush before Shacharis
         [Yehuda Goldsmith]
Mordechai and Ester
         [Brandon Raff]
Occupying Deceased Parent's Place
         [Asher Goldstein]
Pictures in a Shul
         [Yehuda Goldsmith]
Short Divrei Torah/ Pesach
         [Myron Chaitovsky]
Shoveling Snow
         [Daniel Shor]
Throwing Candy at an Aufruf
         [Martin Himmel]
Treif Milk
         [Robert Tolchin]
Trumot & maaserot
         [Eric W Mack]
Witchcraft and Astrology
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Request: Article by Rav Moshe
         [I. Caspi]


From: Neal B. Jannol <nbj@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 9:29:28 -0800
Subject: Erev Pesach on Shabbat

Pesach on Saturday Night - By what time to we have to eat Seudah
Shelishit - by the fourth, fifth or sixth??

Neal B. Jannol
Riordan & McKinzie


From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 14:00:45 -0500
Subject: Heter Mechira

I have recently returned from an all too short visit to Israel. While 
there, I had the privalege of spending Shabbat in  Efrat. People in that 
community indicated to me, in the name of the rav of efrat, Rav Riskin, 
that because of the on-going violence coming from the Arabs, one should 
davka rely on the heter mechira instead of in any way supporting Arab 
farmers. (Please note that I did not hear this directly from Rav Riskin, 
but this is the current practice in Efrat.

David I. Cohen


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 22:59:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Judaisms attitude on drinking

Mordechai V34 #23 writes about a posting of mine

>Judaism allows and sometimes advocates drinking in moderation - but not
>to the point where it leads to dangerous, crazy and disrespectful


(In passing I would like to see more threads end in AGREEMENTS(at
least now and then)

Russell Hendel; Dept of Math; Towson Univ; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 23:00:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Judaisms attitude on fasting

Nachum (Klafter) in mj V34 #23 writes concerning my posting that the
Rambam encourages public communal fasts on national tragedies (like the
crisis about Jerusalem) that

>However, Moshe's question is not really answered by the Rambam.  This
>Rambam would seem to justify a hunger strike against God, as it were.
>Moshe is talking about a hunger strike against a government, attempting
>to persuade them to change their policies.  That is a quite different
>undertaking, don't you think?  The principles underlying the sages'
>institution of fast days have to do with the fact that God responds to
>our prayers, not the fact that secular governments respond to them.

To answer Nachum, I of course took for granted that (a) no secular
government is going to care about our Hunger strikes and (b) the purpose
or focus of the fast would be that God should grant our prayers to make
the secular governments let us keep Jerusalem. As such I think the
Rambam does answer Moshe since we should fast(to get the governments to

Russell Hendel; Dept of math Towson univ; http://www.Rashiyomi.Com/


From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:34:17 -0800
Subject: Kashruth of Ball Park "kosher" Franks?

Can anyone speak to the kashruth of the new Ball Park brand "kosher"
hotdogs?  I do not recognize the name of the rav hamachshir on the

[The question of "reliability" of hechsherim is one that is very touchy
to discuss on a list such as this one. In general, such a question
should go to your local Rabbi/posek. Responses that have factual
information about the hashgacha will be posted. Statements along the
line of "the hashgacha is / is not reliable" will be
rejected. Statements along the line of "My Rabbi So&So has paskened for
our community that we can / cannot use this hashgacha" will make me
figure out what to do with the response. Mod.]

 -Leah Gordon


From: Yehuda Goldsmith <Yman866@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 20:44:03 EST
Subject: Kiddush before Shacharis

Does one say kiddush if one eats before shacharis on shabbos morning?

i.e. the zman of kiddush is really after shacharis, but that is because
you really can't eat by shacharis! so if one does (e.g. one is sick or
old) does he say kiddush or not?

Yehuda Goldsmith


From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 21:25:51 +0200
Subject: Mordechai and Ester

I once read a book which said that Ester was another name for the godess
Venus. It also mentioned Mordechai in this same vein, but I just can't
remember the details. Can anyone confirm this meaning of Ester, and
supply the meaning of Mordechai's name. If possible the source of the
info as well. Please note I am fully aware of the Jewish roots of both
names, and it is specifically the non-Jewish meaning that I am looking



From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 18:13:16 +0200
Subject: Occupying Deceased Parent's Place

 My wife's recently deceased father had a specific place and chair both
at the dining table and in the living room of his son's house, where he
lived the last ten years of his life.  What do they, my brother-in-law
and his family, and their guests, do with the "place" and the chair?


From: Yehuda Goldsmith <Yman866@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 20:26:15 EST
Subject: Pictures in a Shul

It says in the kitzur shulcah aruch (siman yud ches, sif ches):

"He must not daven (shmoneh esrei) in front of a picture"

Why are the following permitted?
a) pictures on stained glass windows
b) pictures on the paroches
c) pictures on the walls such as lions, luchos etc...

Yehuda Goldsmith


From: Myron Chaitovsky <MCHAIT@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 11:43:00 -0500
Subject: Short Divrei Torah/ Pesach

[ What follows is a repeat of a request I made in a most untimely season,
several months back. Now that Purim is (almost) behind us and Pesach
looms, I resubmit this:]

For possible use in a Pesach collection, I am interested in receiving
SHORT divrei torah or comments on the Haggadah, especially in connection
with sections of the Seder other than Magid. I am looking for unusual
commentary, not what is commonly available in ArtScroll, or similar
Haggadot.  The source may be nontraditional, or the twist of the
approach may make yours a novel dvar torah.

Two examples: Egyptology indicates that when an Egyptian died, his/her
heart was weighed by the "gods" to determine its character. A heavy
heart indicated mendacity, a light heart, righteousness.  That Hashem
made Pharoah's heart heavy (kaved) thus takes on a whole new shade of

Or this one: The gematria of Rasha is 570.The gematria of Shinav (his
teeth) is 366.  Subtract one from the other (hakheh et shinav) to get
204-- the gematria of Tzadik!

Please send your favorites, WITH SOURCES, to:

Myron B. Chaitovsky
Director of Admissions
Brooklyn Law School


From: Daniel Shor <DShor@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 12:53:04 -0500
Subject: RE: Shoveling Snow

Bernard Raab wrote:
"can one carry the shovel out of his garage or house (r'shus
hayachid--private domain) to the sidewalk (r'shus harabim--public

Is the sidewalk in front of ones house actually considered r'shus
harabim (public domain)?  I don't know what the laws are in other
cities, but I know that in NYC, the owner of a house is responsible for
the upkeep of the sidewalk.  Upkeep includes shoveling snow and such.
This would seem to imply that the sidewalk is actually part of the
house.  If so, would there still be a problem (based on the assumption
that the shovel was found to be not muktzah) to carry the shovel out to
the sidewalk?

"I understand that one could argue "sakanot nefashot--public danger" to
justify clearing snow from a public walkway on shabbat"

There are times when shoveling actually poses more of a public danger
than not shoveling.  This occurs in cases where the remaining snow/water
turns to ice and then is more dangerous than jagged snow which at least
provides some traction.  Could you still argue that it would be a
sakanot nefashot not to shovel?

Daniel Shor


From: Martin Himmel <Martyhh10@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 15:30:50 -0500
Subject: Throwing Candy at an Aufruf

Does anyone know the source of the custom of throwing candy at an


From: Robert Tolchin <tolchin@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 19:30:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Treif Milk

LEXIS and WESTLAW only pick up appellate decisions and newspaper
reports. It is not the be-all and end-all. It is unlikely that a fine
issued by an agriculture inspectorwould make the news or result in an
appellate decision.

--Bob Tolchin

From: Norman Bander <Nbander@...>
>For what it's worth: I searched Westlaw and Lexis (the two dominant
>search engines in the legal profession) for any instance of a case where
>someone had been summoned to court for mixing cow's milk with the milk
>of any other animal.  I have not been able to find one instance of this
>occuring in any state ever.  This, of ocurse, doesn't mean that it never
>happened.  Nor does it mean that that there aren't any of these cases in
>these two databases.  It only means that I've not found any.>


From: Eric W Mack <ewm44118@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 15:18:31 +0200
Subject: Trumot & maaserot

We're in Israel for the academic year and, of course, are checking the
hechsher [kashrut certificate] when we buy fruits and vegetables
vis-a-vis heter mechira [a contrivance that recognizes sale of a field
for purposes of it not being Jewish-owned during Shmittah] or Otzar Beit
Din, etc.

But if this were not a shmitta year - would I, as a kohen, be exempt
from truma [tithing] and ma'aser?  In other words, could I buy fruits
and vegetables anywhere without regard to whether truma and ma'aser was
taken, and not have to take it myself?

And if so, would only I and my wife and daughters and father and
unmarried sister be allowed to eat it, and my guests would not be
allowed to do so?  What if the guests were another kohen and his family?

Or are these mitzvot still relevant - perhaps ma'aser has to do with the
oni [poor person], while only truma is connected to the kohen?

Eric Mack


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 10:17:19 -0500
Subject: Witchcraft and Astrology

Several recent postings have contended that modern-day magic shows, done
for entertainment, would fall under at least a Rabbinical prohibition,
and specifically meet the Rambam's definition forbidden witchcraft, even
if it is simply "grabbing the eyes".  I think an important distinction
is being missed here.

The type of magic done today by stage magicians is not intended to trick
people into thinking that actual supernatural forces are being wielded.
It is purely entertainment.  I would contend that stage magic is in a
similar category to juggling and other feats of skill and coordination
(in fact, didn't one of Tanaaim juggle lit torches at the Simchas Beis
HaShoevah celebration?).

The audience is fully aware that sleight of hand is being used, and
their interest is to a) witness the skill being displayed by the
magician and b) see if they can figure out how it is done.

By contrast, the type of magician/sorcerer referred to by the Rambam was
trying to convince his audience that he really had supernatural powers -
not for their amusement but in order for him to gain power or influence
over them.  Today's equivalent would be the "mediums" and "psychics" who
prey upon the gullible and desperate.

Incidentally, this distinction - between magic as entertainment and
magic as deceit - was strongly emphasized by arguably the most famous
stage magician ever, Harry Houdini.  He spent much of his career
debunking the false claims of self-proclaimed mediums and psychics, and
always took pains to point out that his audiences, by contrast, were
fully aware that nothing supernatural was taking place.

So bottom line, today's mediums/psychics would seem to fall under the
Rambam's prohibition against magic that "tricks the eyes".  But I don't
see how stage magic possibly does so, any more than any other display of
unusual skill for entertainment - juggling, acrobatics, or for that
matter musical or artistic talents.

Elie Rosenfeld


From: I. Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 01:39:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Request: Article by Rav Moshe

I would be very grateful if someone would e-mail or fax me a copy of the
article by R' Moshe Feinstein, ztzl, which appeared in the Shavuos 5744
(Volume X) issue of LeTorah V'Hora'ah.  The article deals with the
subject of a mourner reciting the Tiskabel passage in Kaddish during

My toll-free fax number is 1-888-392-4832; the extension (when prompted)
is 201-862-1607.

Thank you.

--I. Caspi


End of Volume 34 Issue 27