Volume 34 Number 36
                 Produced: Thu Mar 29 20:28:54 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blech for sealed glass top range (2)
         [Mark Feldman, Bernard Raab]
A couple of things about couples
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Couples going out (3)
         [Kenneth G Miller, Rena Freedenberg, Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Electric Shavers (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Tzvi Harris]
How to kasher a sealed glass top stove
         [Bernard Raab]
TVSLBO: Tom V'nishlom Shevoch L'Eil Boreih Olom
         [Michael Frankel]


From: Mark Feldman <MFeldman@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 23:36:02 -0500
Subject: Blech for sealed glass top range

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>

<< >Does one need a blech for shabbos for a sealed glass top on the
However, the heating elements are not in contact with the
glass top. The heat is transferred through the glass, which could be
viewed as a "kli-sheni". When I pointed this out to our rabbi (a
well-respected posek) he approved its use on shabbos without an
additional blech. >>

I don't understand the heter.  The issue of kli rishon vs. kli sheni has
to do with whether there is a Torah-level violation of bishul (cooking).
The issue of a blech deals solely with Rabbinic issues of she'heeya
(putting food on a cooking surface before Shabbos) and hachzara
(returning food to that surface on Shabbos).  The rabbis forbade
she'heeya and hachzara because (1) those acts look like cooking (mechzei
k'mevashel) and (2) there is a fear that one may turn up the flame
(shema yechteh ba'gechalim) if the food hasn't cooked sufficiently.  The
blech obviates the rabbinic prohibitions because (1) one doesn't
normally cook on a blech and (2) the blech serves as a reminder not to
increase the flame.  Neither of these can be said of a glass cooktop
which is (1) normally used for cooking and (2) does not remind one of
the prohibition of increasing the flame.

Kol tuv,

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 13:39:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Blech for sealed glass top range

You are absolutely right. I should have mentioned that my Ruv also
prescribed that the knobs be removed before using the range in this way
to obviate the problems you raised. This slipped my mind since we never
availed ourselves of this heter. (He also required that we remove the
knob on the hot tray, if it had one.)


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 22:28:59 EST
Subject: A couple of things about couples

Let me clarify.  I had a long conversation with a person from a
particular yeshiva which preached the idea that couples should not go
out as couples for the reasons I enumerated.  This is where the question
comes from.

Having said that, I do think there are positives and negative to both
sides.  Regardless of the emails I received to the contrary, I do
believe couples compare their spouses to other people.  I also think
that there is a lot to be said of couples bonding together as a couple
when out with friends.  I intentionally took no sides in this debate,
trying to be as true to the perspective presented to me as possible.  My
wife and I do go out as a couple.  But that does not mean that there is
no legitimacy to the other side.  My only question was that of cost
vs. benefit and which is better in the long run.



From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 16:12:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Couples going out

Jeanette Friedman writes: <<< ... 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. ... >>>

A significant word here is "generally". There are indeed unfortunate
exceptions. The risk is often percieved to be small, but we dare not
lose sight of how high the stakes are.

Another important word is "unless". I suspect that more of us are
emotionally challenged than we'd like to admit.

Akiva Miller

From: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 09:30:34 +0200
Subject: Couples going out

I came in the middle of this thread, but I find it a bit strange to say
the least. Where I live, it is very rare that a couple would go anywhere
with another couple except to a wedding or to a vort or at a Shabbos
table. Women here have an extensive network of social activities,
shiurim, and exercise; men have their own network of learning activities
all built around Torah. There are some men who also exercise together to
stay fit.

I don't understand the need to go with other "couples"; it seems to be
an American cultural thing probably borrowed from the Greek/Roman
culture. Here in Israel, it just isn't such a big thing in the frum


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 07:16:35 +0200
Subject: Couples going out

Couples going out?
What's that?  A new Minhag?
Some of us are still working on couple going out.

Yisrael & Batya Medad
Shiloh 44830


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 13:29:20 +0200
Subject: Electric Shavers

> Can anyone point me to a web site or article listing a set of makes
> and models tha are halachically acceptable.  The references in the
> mail-jewish archives are too dated to be very helpful.  Thanks.
> Norman Bander

according to whom?
Some poskim prohibit all electric shavers.
Some permit those that don't cut too close
Others permit almost all electric shavers that have 2 parts.

Eli Turkel

From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:29:59 +0300
Subject: Electric Shavers

I dug through my garbage for some junk-mail (I still get junk
snail-mail) that Norman Bander's query reminded me of.  I received an
advertisement for a "michraz" (an auction for x amount of each item).
This has become a popular method of buying everything from books to
electronics here in Israel over the past 5 years or so.  The last one I
received included two shavers that were listed as being okayed by Machon
Tzomet ("B'ishur Machon Tzomet l'shimush shomrei masoret).  You could
try calling them to see if they could email or fax you a list of
acceptable shavers.  I don't have their phone number, but they're
located in Alon Shvut (I believe that means they appear in the
Yerushalayim phone book).

Tzvi Harris
Talmon, Israel
Please note our new e-mail <tzvi@...> and web address
Halacha Yomit for Day Schools http://www.halachayomit.com


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 14:07:06 -0500
Subject: Re: How to kasher a sealed glass top stove

>From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
>Can anyone tell me, is it possible (and if so how) to kasher a sealed
>glass top stove?

This advice is based on the highly respected sefer issued every year by
Rabbi Abraham Blumenkrantz (http://the kosher.net/rabbi), as modified by
me according to the reasoning I will provide below, which not everyone
may agree with.

Under the heading of a Corning Glass cooktop, Rav Blumenkrantz provides
turning the burners on to "high" until a "light leebun" can be
performed; that is, until "a thin splinter of wood or a piece of tissue
paper would burst into flames when the stove is off". In my experience
with such a cooktop, this is easily achieved after 5-to-10 minutes IN
THE AREA OF THE HEATERS, but not necessarily over the entire
cooktop. Rav Blumenkrantz then suggests that you use a blowtorch to heat
the entire top to a temperature of 550F in order to kasher the entire
top, while acknowledging that this may crack the top.

I was never willing to experiment in this way with this expensive
appliance, so I reasoned from what was our common practice when we had a
gas range and an ordinary electric range. For these appliances, as also
described by Rav Blumenkrantz:

(He first describes how to kasher the grates, pans and burners--putting
them into a self-cleaning oven is a great way to go). He then continues
to desribe how one can kasher a stainless-steel top by pouring boiling
water over it. He then concludes by stating:

"If the stove top is enamel it cannot be kashered; it must be thoroughly
cleaned with a caustic-type cleaner and covered with heavy aluminum foil
or a blech."

 From these various instructions, I developed the following procedure:

1. Clean the top thoroughly, of course, using the manufacturer's
recommended cleaning product. (Do not be concerned about discolorations
that will not come out.)

2. Turn up the heating elements to high for 5-to-10 minutes. CAUTION:
Because you do this without pots covering the heating elements, cabinets
and painted surfaces above or next to the range can be seriously damaged
by the heat generated. You can protect them by fashioning a hood out of
aluminum foil; 2-3 layers of the lightweight foil would be best, and
tape it loosely below the cabinets.

3. Turn off the elements and do the tissue-paper test at one of the
burner positions to verify that the surface was hot enough (wear an oven
mit!) You can try the tissue-paper test between elements as well, and if
this works then you can skip steps 4 and 5 below. (I never tried it.)

4. Boil up a kettle of water in a Pesach kettle. Pour boiling water over
the cooktop.

5. Let the top cool down. Using heavy aluminum foil, fashion a blech for
the cooktop WITH CUTOUTS FOR THE HEATERS. Take care to assure that no
part of the heater area is covered. Tape the foil down at the outer
edges to assure that it doesn't shift in use. From here on out, it is a
good idea to be careful never to use a burner without a pot covering
it. This will help to minimize unusual thermal stresses which may result
from the "blech".

6. From Rav Blumenkrantz: "The knobs should be thoroughly cleaned and
purged in boiling water. Preferably, separate knobs reserved for Pesach
should be used."

Before following these insructions, I urge you to get approval from your
own Rabbi. Chag kasher v'sameach!

PS-Regarding a blech for shabbos which would cover the heater element, see 
my response above.--BR


From: Michael Frankel <mechyfrankel@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 07:31:41 -0800
Subject: TVSLBO: Tom V'nishlom Shevoch L'Eil Boreih Olom

since my wife sheila has just written a technical book (should be available
in border's around pesach, or order now from amazon; buy early, often,
and in bulk - will make great wedding or bar mitzvoh gifts, party favors,
etc.) i had queried the chevra of another, smaller list, whether they
knew of any other books in a secular discipline which contained the ancient
and traditional closing line which appears in all published editions
of the midrosh rabboh and episodically at the end of various rishonic
or acharonic works - tom v'nishlom shevoch l'eil boreih olom - (finished
and complete is (this?) praise to god, creator of the world) as sheila
has closed her preface with the mysterious to all but the very few insiders
acronym - TVSLBO - published in hebrew letters.  I had first encountered
this insider's code in a secular environment many years ago when reading
herbert goldstein's majesterial text on classical mechanics (published
1950, addison wesley) as he closed his preface with the mysterious hebrew
lettering.  i also knew of walter hauser's undergraduate text on the
very same subject published in the sixties (obviously a commendable copy
cat) and with my wife's (cutting edge etc - i.e. i don't understand much
of it) technical tome (something about computer messaging) that then
made just three members of a very exclusive literary club. 

subsequently prof louis feldman of yu was kind enough to inform me that
he had also used the very same formula to close the preface of his ph.d
dissertation at harvard (Cicero's Concept of Historiography - though
goldstein was also a prof at harvard when he published his mechanics
book at about the same time we may presume that the divide between lewis's
"two cultures" was sufficiently impervious that both profs feldman and
goldstein were independently inspired in this matter).  anyway, that
now makes four secular works that have flashed this insiders handshake
- no doubt much to the befuddlement of 99.9% of the readership. 

i thought to broadcast my inquiry to the broader mail jewish audience
- does anyone out there know of any other instances of TVSLBO usage in
a secular academic work?  BTW - i also am uncertain of the provenance
of this phrase and any insight along those lines also duly appreciated.

Mechy Frankel                   W: (703) 588-7424
<mechyfrankel@...>    H: (301) 593-3949


End of Volume 34 Issue 36