Volume 34 Number 45
                 Produced: Sat May 12 21:36:16 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

8th Day on a Lighter Note
         [Saul Davis]
Alarm Systems
         [Carl Singer]
Aufrug "bavarfing"
         [Chaim Twerski]
Bishul Akum for Sefardim
         [Stephen Phillips]
Call to translate Degel Machaneh Ephraim into English
         [Paul Ginsburg]
Death of the Infant of Dovid Hamelech (3)
         [Rabbi Howard Alpert, Frank Silbermann, Zev Sero]
Dry roasted salted wheat kernels
         [Ephraim Dardashti]
Ibn Ezra
         [Saul Davis]
Middle letter of the Torah in Kiddushin, etc
         [Eli Lansey]
Rabanon overriding D'orisa
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]
Shalom Alechem
         [Rose Landowne]
Source for how to tie tzitzis (2)
         [Sid Gordon, Shmuel Himelstein]
Request: Help finding a classmate
         [Daniel Geretz]


From: Saul Davis <sdavis@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 16:59:12 +0300
Subject: 8th Day on a Lighter Note

Bob Werman wrote: "I was born on the 8th of Pesah [22 Nisan].  Since
coming on aliya 34 years ago, I have had no birthdays and remain just as
young as I was when I came."

My problem is much more serious. I was born on 28 Adar 1 5727. If I only
have a birthday in Adar 1 then I am just 12 years old. My barmitsvah
year was a non leap year, friends who were born in Adar 2 (and are thus
younger than me) had there barmitsvah before me!

Saul Davis
Beer-Sheva, Israel


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:40:43 EDT
Subject: Alarm Systems

This may address only part of the situation - but in a previous home
which had motion sensors, we "defeated" them by placing a post-it (r)
note over the sensor.

Gut Shabbos
Carl Singer


From: Chaim Twerski <chaimtw@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 12:20:50 -0500
Subject: Aufrug "bavarfing"

>  And throwing hard, wrapped candy...does that mean you can hit
> someone in the noggin? I remember when there were aufrufs in the Agudah
> in Crown Heights, they would throw the stuff hard and aim for the head,
> especially on Simchas Torah. Never did like that idea very much....

The common practice of emplying this minhag has long distressed me.  The
original concept was to shower the young chassan with sweets to
symbolize that his new life should be wonderful and good, a beautiful
display of friendship and good will.  It has deteriorated, how
unfortunately, to a point that the aufrufen more resembles a kiyum of
"urgomuhu kol anshei iro .....". [and all the people of the town shall
stone him - Mod.]  It motivates the baser instincts in many people, and
for a few minutes the shul or bais medrash begins to resemble an unruly
elementary classroom after the teacher has left the classroom.  How

The first time there was a chassan in my bais medrash I announced to the
members of the shul that I would insist that the manner to "bavarf" the
chassan must be in line with the meaning of the custom.  I then
instituded three takanos.  1) only the women may throw the candy bags
(this by itself is enough to take care of the problem, the women are
never aggressive-it is a male problem only), 2) the throwing must be in
an underhand motion, 3) once a bag has hit the floor it become property
of the shul and becomes the property of the children only, no one may
pick up a bag that has landed to toss it at the chassan.

It worked.  The aufruf was back in its proper place.  Had these takanot
not worked, my next takana would be that only marshmellows, popcorn and
raisins would be permitted to be placed in the candy bags.

Chaim Twerski


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 13:55 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Bishul Akum for Sefardim

Boruch Hashem, my daughter has just got engaged to a young man from
Yershalyim. He is a Sefardi (his family are from Iran) and he used to
own a restaurant in Yershalyim. He mentioned to me something that gives
me pause for thought and perhaps should other's also, especially

He drew my attention to the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah Siman
113:7. There the Mechaber (the author, Rav Yosef Karo, whom the Sefardim
follow) states that to avoid food being considered "Bishul Akum" (food
cooked by a non-Jew, which is generally prohibited to a Jew) it is not
sufficient for the Jew merely to light the stove, but the Jew must take
some other part in the cooking process (like placing the pot on the

The Remo (Rav Moshe Isserlis, whom the Ashkenazim follow) states that is
our (i.e. the Ashkenazim's) custom to be lenient and permit the food if
the Jew only lit the stove.

Up until now, I was under the impression that all caterers, hotels and
restaurants who employ non-Jewish cooking staff have the Shomer (the
Rabbinical supervisor) light the stove and then let the non-Jewish staff
get on with it.

The question arises, therefore, can a Sefardi eat in a hotel, etc. which
is under the supervision of an Ashkenazi Kashrus authority? Might the
food not be considered Bishul Akum for them?

Stephen Phillips.


From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 11:32:41 -0400
Subject: Call to translate Degel Machaneh Ephraim into English

Yesterday (17 Iyar) was the 201st yahrzeit of the Rabbi Moshe Chaim
Ephraim of Sudilkov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, and author of the
sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim.

Degel Machaneh Ephraim is one of the classic works of Chassidism since
it is one of the few seforim which include teachings directly from the
Baal Shem Tov.  He received these teaching directly from his

Degel Machaneh Ephraim has never been translated into English!!
Certainly there must be someone to undertake this project!  (I would do
this myself, however my Hebrew is not sufficient for the task).

The Baal Shem Tov said that Moshiach will come when the Baal Shem Tov's
teachings are disseminated.

Degel Machaneh Ephraim contains these teachings.  For over 200 year
these teaching remain inaccessible to the English-speaking world.

It is now time!!  If not now, when?


From: Rabbi Howard Alpert <howarda@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:03:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Death of the Infant of Dovid Hamelech

Len Mansky writes:

>The Torah makes clear that children shall not be punished for sins of
>the parents; in Ezekiel Ch. 18, Jeremiah 31:29, 2 Kings 14:6, 2
>Chron. 25:4.

>After David's sin with Bathsheva and Uziah he is forgiven (2
>Sam. 12:13). Yet hs infant, born to Bathsheva, dies as punishment
>(ibid., 12:14).

>Can someone please explain the conflicts?

The principle that a child is not punished for the sins of the parent is
limited to adult children. Children younger than Bar/Bat Mitzvah are
subject to divine punishment for the sins of their parents.

This informs one of two explanations found in classical sources for the
Bracha, "Baruch ShePatrani MiShel Zu", which is said when one's child
reaches Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  The Bracha is understood as being said in
thankfulness at being relieved of the responsibility of having one's
child punished for one's own sins.

Howard Alpert

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:29:26 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Death of the Infant of Dovid Hamelech

(Also, I believe a Torah passage refers to G-d blessing the children of
the righteous for a thousand generations, but visiting the sins of the
parents upon the children up to the third of forth generation of those
who hate Him.)

That G-d punishes children for this sins of the parents should be
obvious to anyone who observes society.  I always assumed that the
prohibition of punishing children for the sins of the parents applied
only to human courts.

It is not necessarily unjust for G-d to punish innocent children,
because G-d is capable of bestowing unlimited compensation to such
children either in this world or in the World to Come.

You and I lack the ability to compensate unfairly punished children in
the World to Come, so for us to punish parents through their children
would be unjust.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana

From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:12:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Death of the Infant of Dovid Hamelech

It shows the importance of learning chumash with Rashi.  Rashi
makes it clear that this applies only to adults and not to


From: Ephraim Dardashti <EDardashti@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:12:01 EDT
Subject: Re: Dry roasted salted wheat kernels

As an aside I want to note that dry roasted salted wheat kernels are
consumed in Iran as a snack even today.  The wheat is mixed with roasted
marijuana seeds and is consumed by all.  The roasted mixture is famous
for its flavor.  This is not an every day snack.

Ephraim Dardashti


From: Saul Davis <sdavis@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 17:26:49 +0300
Subject: Ibn Ezra

I inherited a set of Humashim from my late, great-uncle, Eli Cashdan
zts"l, who was a talmid hakham and a bibliophile. The Humash is in 5
volumes and every page has 7 sections including the Torah text, Onqeles
and Rash"i. The interesting parts are 2 commentaries on Ibn Ezra - Yahel
Or and Qarney Or - together these 2 are called Mehoqeqey Yehuda. (There
is also something called Meqorey Rash"i). All I know is that the
Mehoqeqey Yehuda was written by Yehuda Liv (ben Yitshaq) Qarinsqy from
Minsk. The Humash was published by Metz in Vilna in 5688 (=1928).

Does anyone know anything about this Humash? Has anyone seen or heard of
this perush (commentary) on Ibn Ezra. Is there a modern printing of the
Mehoqeqey Yehuda? Who was Yehuda Liv Qarinsqy (logic dictates that he
would have died in the Shoah)?

BTW if anyone has difficulty with an Ibn Ezra tell me, I can see what
the Mehoqeqey Yehuda says and fax the appropriate page.

Saul Davis
Beer-Sheva, Israel


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 10:11:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Middle letter of the Torah in Kiddushin, etc

I seem to remember this topic having been discussed a while ago but
anyway: First of all, it is interesting that the counts of letters that
I have seen show that there is a 4834 letter discrepancy versus the 4829
letter discrepancy that is mentioned in the document quoted.  Anyway,
one of my rabei'im at school gave a shiur on the letter discrepancy.
According to his count there are 304,805 letters in the Torah.  The
middle letter should therefor be 157,237.  The 'vav' is letter 152,403
causing a 4834 letter discrepancy, nowhere even close to the middle.  He
then pointed out that the 'vav' in gachon is enlarged.  He compiled a
list of all the larged and small letters in the Torah.  The vav in
gachon is the middle one.  As for the other problems involving counts of
words, etc, he said that they are also the middle of something other
than the straight counting of the words, etc.

Eli Lansey.


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:32:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Rabanon overriding D'orisa

See Encyclopedia Talmudis v7 p. 101 - 104 (Divrei Sofrim section 6) for
many examples and references.

Gut Shabbos
Chaim G. Steinmetz


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 18:58:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Shalom Alechem

I once heard that it was to make up for the 12 fewer brachot of the
shabbat amidah , and that Ein Kelokenu serves the same purpose shabbat
morning. (I don't know what you do about mincha).

Rose Landowne

<< From: <icaspi@...>
The discussion re: Shalom Alechem reminds me that I have been seeking an
explanation for the custom of repeating each verse 3 times.  To date,
other than a shrug of the shoulders, the only suggestion has been that
it is somehow related to the concept of the 2 malachim who accompany a
Jew to his home from shul on Friday nights.  This would seem to explain
2 repetitions (one for each malach) but not 3 repetitions). >>


From: Sid Gordon <sid.gordon@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 19:00:58 +0200
Subject: Source for how to tie tzitzis

An easy-to-use reference is the original Jewish Catalog (Vol. 1, page
51) -- a good reference for a lot of Jewish how-to's (how to choose an
etrog, how to make a gragger, how to blow a shofar, etc.)  I don't know
if it's still in print (it's very 1970's) but the original publisher was
The Jewish Publication Society, and the authors are Richard Siegel,
Michael Strassfield and Sharon Strassfield.

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 17:42:58 +0200
Subject: Source for how to tie tzitzis

Robert Klein asks for a diagrammatic source for how to tie Tzitzit. The
closest I know (with 2 diagrams - pp. 167-8) is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
Mevu'ar Ume'tzuyar by HaRav David Feldman, who at the time of
publication (1951) was the Av Beit Din of Mahzikei HaDas in
Manchester. It lists the place of publication as Manchester and New
York, but no publisher. It has an excellent diagrammatic section (
pp.172-185) on how to tie Tefillin knots, although I have a sneaking
suspicion that this was aimed at righties and not at lefties such as I.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Daniel Geretz <DGeretz@...>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:08:20 EDT
Subject: Request: Help finding a classmate

I'd like to enlist your help in tracking down a member of my high school
class with whom we have lost touch. We are attempting to organize a
"virtual reunion".

The individual is:

Nelson Moskowitz
originally from: Cleveland, Ohio
last known whereabouts: New York (Long Island or Rockland County, don't
recall) about 10 years ago
Graduated HTC ("Skokie") Yeshiva High School in 1981.

If you know how I might be able to contact Nelson, please drop me an e-mail
as <dgeretz@...>

Thank you,

Daniel Geretz
Atlantic Advisors, Inc.


End of Volume 34 Issue 45