Volume 34 Number 31
                 Produced: Sun Mar 18 21:40:40 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blech for sealed glass top range
         [Daniel Mehlman]
Clarification on Yichud
         [Neal B. Jannol]
Couples going out (4)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Carl Singer, Elihu Turkel, Jeanette Friedman]
Franks at the ballpark
         [Rose Landowne]
Jewish names
         [Mordechai ]
Magic Shows (2)
         [Israel Rosenfeld, Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Marduk/Ishtar versus Mordechai/Esther
         [Frank Silbermann]
Mordechai and Esther
         [Zev Sero]
Trumot & maaserot
         [Janet Rosenbaum]


From: Daniel Mehlman <Danmim@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 13:01:37 EST
Subject: Blech for sealed glass top range

Does one need a blech for shabbos for a sealed glass top on the
range. If one does put a blech on this glass surface it will
break. thank you.


From: Neal B. Jannol <nbj@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 11:37:35 -0800
Subject: Clarification on Yichud

Related to the topic of couples going out - I think I need a further
clarification on Yichud.  My wife is a real estate broker and a friend
of ours (a married frum man living down the street) is thinking of doing
a real estate investment with us - so I told him when calling from work
to go over my house and look at real estate listings with my wife on the
computer.  He responded, no, tell her to come over my house, I have a
maid and my grandson here, it is not proper for me to go over there.

Is this just our friend being nicely machmeer and worrying about mareet
eyin or is there a problem with him going over there - even though I am
in the same city.

[Standard disclaimer that the list is not for P'sak, so as what you
should do in your specific case should be refered to your
rabbi/posek. List discussion can deal with the theoretical question
raised here. Mod.]

Neal B. Jannol


From: Eitan Fiorino <Tony.Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 10:18:55 -0500
Subject: Couples going out

>Couples that go out together have the problem of comparison.  In other
>words, a husband who goes out with his wife and another couple may think
>to himself, wow look how his wife does... why can't my wife do that?

Isn't this kind of thing discussed in the aseret hadibrot?

>Furthermore, going out as
>couples my lead to the possibility of marriages breaking up as
>individual partners may fall for their friend spouses.

This fear would be far greater in the workplace; would you also suggest
that one should work in a single-sex environment as well?

-Eitan Fiorino

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 08:01:34 EST
Subject: Couples going out

Unless you and your spouse live alone on a remote island you will always
have an opportunity for comparison whenever you have social contact --
she's a better cook, he has a better job, their kids are better behaved
SO WHAT?  Going out with other couples, or with "the guys" doesn't
change that at all.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer

From: Elihu Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:23:15 -0500
Subject: Couples going out

>Couples that go out together have the problem of comparison. In other
>words, a husband who goes out with his wife and another couple may think
>to himself, wow look how his wife does... why can't my wife do that?
>This could lead to Sholom Bais problems.

I think that the potential "problems" raised above are healthy because
they can be used to deepen and enhance one's own marriage. If a husband
and wife can communicate effectively, they will be able to discuss such
frustrations or preferences. Furthermore, exposure to other's styles of
interacting can expand one's own interpersonal repertoire.

>Furthermore, going out as couples my lead to the possibility of
>marriages breaking up as individual partners may fall for their friend

I think that this may be a real risk in some situations, but I would
think that a marriage that is so vulnerable has a more basic need for
improved stability and strength.

Elihu Turkel (<turkel@...>)

From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 01:01:28 EST
Subject: Couples going out

Chaim writes:

<<<I was recently wondering about the best manner for married couples
to pursue friendships. Either couples can go out as couples, or males
can go out with males and females can go out with females. I do see
positives and negatives to both types.

Couples that go out together have the problem of comparison. In other
words, a husband who goes out with his wife and another couple may think
to himself, wow look how his wife does... why can't my wife do that?
This could lead to Sholom Bais problems. Furthermore, going out as
couples my lead to the possibility of marriages breaking up as
individual partners may fall for their friend spouses.>>

Dear Chaim:

Yes, going out as couples can be fun and friendly. But why oh why is it
that so many people think that everything that goes on between men and
women leads to "averyos" of a sexual nature? This is simply not
true. There are people who will fall in love with each other, yes. But
most of the time, people who get along with each other share things in
common, enjoy things together, and get along without doing aveyros.

I and my male and female friends share many experiences with each other,
including finding out from other men if our man is the only one in the
world who cannot communicate. Yes, men have things in common and women
have things in common, but I work with a frum man everyday, and we have
many things in common and many things not so. I must admit he gives me
great insight into my husband, and I give him great insight into his
wife, usually by showing him exactly what it is he does when she wants
to break his kneecaps, because I am often tempted to do the same to him,
or possibly worse--which is nothing compared to what I sometimes want to
do to my husband, and it has nothing to do with sex, more like killing

Also, I have a male friend who likes to go to "viberishe" movies that my
husband can't stand (he likes action flicks, I can't stand them) and
helps me get out of my cave once in a while. And since he's a lawyer as
well as a close friend, I also get free legal advice, which is really
criminal when you think about it.

I am not sure these are the kind of aveyrah you mean when you talk about
what might happen when men and women are friends.  But unless someone is
seriously hormonally or emotionally challenged, being friends as men and
women does not generally lead to sex or lack of sholom bayis. It leads
to enriching life experience, a different point of view, an open mind
and fun, as well as shoulders to lean on, and a mutual respect. *except
of course, if you get mad at each other all the time.

Jeanette Friedman


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 14:14:52 EST
Subject: Re: Franks at the ballpark

Not the usual MJ topic, but instead of cooking water use chicken soup,
so you have a better meal.

<< From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Really - cook two hotdogs the way you normally would, put them along w/
cooking water (and / or beans) into a thermos bottle.  Sometime around
the 4th inning when you get hungry, open thermos bottle ....>>


From: Mordechai  <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 03:05:33 EST
Subject: Jewish names

<< From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
The question that is usually asked afterwards is, what about the medrash
we all learnt, that one of the reasons the jews merited to leave Egypt
was because they didn't change their names, and how does this fit
in. I'll leave that to others to answer. :) >>

One approach may be that the midrash is not making a halachic (legal) 

Also, a very good article on the topic in the 'Journal of Halacha and
Contemporary Society' in the last few years (2-3 years ago I think) says
that the Mahara"l comments that that the extra care not to change names,
language and clothing was necessary when the Jews were in Egypt - before
the giving of the Torah - to keep them apart from their neighbors - but
afterward, once they got the Torah, that sufficed to keep them separate.

Perhaps then, when the threat and danger of assimilation is great, even
after the giving of the Torah, the idea of Jewish names, language and
clothing should be given serious consideration.



From: Israel Rosenfeld <israel.rosenfeld@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:28:22 +0200
Subject: Re: Magic Shows

Here in Yerushalaim, the Rabbonim allow such shows if the performer
first shows HOW he does the first tricks.  This loop-hole is also used
by a Lubovicher who performs here during Simchat Beit-Hashoevah.

Behatzlacha raba.


From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <azz@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 08:03:04 -0500
Subject: Magic Shows

A friend of mine, Ari Greenspan, asked me to post this incident relating
to magic shows by Jews.

From: Ari Greenspan <ari@...>

IN 1979 I was doing magic shows and I came across a very stringent
tshuva by Rav Ovadya Yosek in Yechaveh Daat vol.3. He prohibits it even
to the point of saying " there is a bit of prohibition even to view it"
Even if it was just slight of hand like they do at weddings. Having a
magic show planned for 2 days later I approached Rav Herschel Schechter
and we learned the mishna re: achizat eiynayim. Some rishonim see the
prohibition as an issue of black magic. That is, when the person doing
it really thinks or claims to have magical powers, only then is there a
prohibition. I remember him thinking for a moment and then telling me "
I went to a magic show with my son in boy scouts and I really enjoyed

I made an appointment with Rav Soleveichik. I took my equipment along
hoping to be able to perform for him. He however did not want to see
it.( he was a smart man) . He asked me if it was possible to see how the
illusion was done if he was standing behind me or in a different
angle. I told him usually yes. He smiled and said I could do the magic
shows without a problem.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 10:15:54 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Marduk/Ishtar versus Mordechai/Esther

In MLJ Vol34 #29 discussion about Marduk/Ishtar versus Mordechai/Esther,
Ben Katz <bkatz@...> writes:

> it is still odd that Jews would take the names of a Persian diety;
> to my mind it would be similar to a Jew today being called Chris.

A hundred years ago there were many Jewish boys with names such as
Sigmund and Sigert (from Norse/Germanic mythology, albeit mortal).  Have
there been no Jewish girls named Diana (Roman goddess of the hunt)?

Mike Gerver wrote:

> ... in v5n17, which includes references ....  My conclusion was that
> "Esther" does not come directly from "Ishtar" but that both of them
> may have a common etymological origin in an early borrowing between
> Indo-European and Semitic.  The original word meant "star".
> The word "Easter" has a completely different origin.

The web site www.religioustolerance.org/easter.htm claims:

The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and
God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first
asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after
Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon
people in Northern Europe.  Similar "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility
[were] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre,
Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos."  Her name was derived from
the ancient word for spring: "eastre."  Similar Goddesses were known by
other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were
celebrated in the springtime. Some were:

		Aphrodite from Cyprus
		Astarte, from Phoenicia
		Demeter, from Mycenae
		Hathor from Egypt
		Ishtar from Assyria
		Kali, from India
		Ostara, a Norse Goddess of fertility.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisisana


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 14:14:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Mordechai and Esther

Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...> wrote:
> In mail-jewish Vol. 34 #29, I noted that contrary to the VERY
> common misconception, Mordechai was Esther's Cousin - not her
> uncle. I have now been informed that an article on this subject
> by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky <zivotoa@...>  will
> be in the next Jewish Action, due out in the next two weeks. 
> In fact it was Ari who first brought this common error to my
> attention.

What I've always wondered is how this mistake ever happened, and how on
earth it became so widespread.  There must be far stranger things in
heaven and earth, but this has to be up there with the strangest.

Zev Sero


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 20:52:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Trumot & maaserot

Zev Sero <Zev@...>:
> Nowadays, since we are all considered teme'im, the teruma and
> terumat maaser are destroyed.

actually, i read on the ohr someach list "torah and nature" that all of
the jerusalem zoo animals are owned by kohanim and fed much of israel's
truma and trumat maaser, so it is not destroyed.  (the animals of a
kohein may eat even tamei truma/t'm.)



End of Volume 34 Issue 31