Volume 34 Number 52
                 Produced: Thu May 17 19:21:48 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzvah
         [Deborah Stepelman]
Canned Peas
         [David Riceman]
Drawings in the Kitsur Shulchan Aruch
         [David Olivestone]
Maakah / Fence within a House
         [Josh Backon]
Moshe Nugiel's wise words
         [Ephraim Dardashti]
Responsa - Mima'amakim
         [Kobi Ableman/Nadia Kahan]
Rupture and Reconstruction (2)
         [Akiva Atwood, Gershon Dubin]
Rupture and Reconstruction --- Shalom Aleichem
         [Beth and David Cohen]
Saying 'Mazal Tov'
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Shalom Aleichem
         [Mark Steiner]
Tefilla question - Phraseology
         [Mark Steiner]
Throwing Candy
         [Carl Singer]
Yom Tov Sheni
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Deborah Stepelman <stepelma@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 09:20:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

For our daughter's bat mitzvah we sponsored the seudah shlisit for our
entire shule.  Additionally, we sent invitations to the same categories
of people that would be invited to a bar mitzvah kiddush.  Our daughter,
my father and the rabbi spoke.

Debby Stepelman


From: David Riceman <dr@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 11:40:26 -0400
Subject: Canned Peas

  I had meant to post during the canned pea debate; now that mj has
restarted I'll make a belated comment.
  It is true that those of us who don't understand modern techniques of
processing food are ill-equipped to determine their kashruth by reading
their labels.  It is also true, however, that modern corporations that
give hashgacha have forfeited our trust that the absence of hashgacha
implies non-kashruth.  I'll give three examples:

1.  A local rav, who works for the OU, has told us that a dessert
labeled dairy by the OU is in fact only made on dairy equipment, and may
be eaten after meat meals.
2.  Years ago, when I lived in Chicago, one of the local restaurants was
forced to go glatt when it's machshir dewcided it would certify only
glatt meat.
3.  One of my friends, who works for the OU, described to me how in many
factories, precisely the same product made precisely the same way will
sometimes go into boxes with a hechsher, and other times into different
companies boxes without a hechsher.

Now in all three cases there is a legitimate business argument (and in
the third case even a legitimate kashruth argument) for not certifying
the foods.  The problem is that, by telling us that we should avoid
foods without a hechsher, the kashruth organizations have aquired a
responsibility to disseminate hechshers and information about them as
widely and as accurately as possible, and, as my three examples
indicate, they are not living up to that responsibility.

  Where does that leave us?

David Riceman


From: David Olivestone <davido@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 09:59:46 -0400
Subject: Drawings in the Kitsur Shulchan Aruch

Recent references to the drawings in R. David Feldman's edition of the
Kitsur Shulchan Aruch reminded me of a discovery I made a while ago,
which I think the members of this list will find interesting.

The drawings are placed in a special section of the Kitsur, named Sha-ar
ha-Tsiyurim, with its own title page. Apart from showing how to tie the
knots of the tsitsit, they also include sketches of a man demonstrating
how to put on a tallit and how to wear tefillin. In earlier editions of
the Kitsur, the man is clean shaven and is wearing a tie. But I happened
to notice the same set of drawings included in a more recently published
set of Mishneh Berurah (no exact pub. date is given, but I purchased it
in the early 1990's). Here, however, a beard has been rather crudely
sketched onto the man's face, and the tie has disappeared.

(If anyone wants to see the changes for him/herself, I will be happy to fax
them to you.) 

Incidentally, I recall looking at these drawings as a child and noticing
that the face of the gentleman lifting the tallit over his head had no nose.
In the editions now available, a suggestion of a nose has been added. But I
can't think of any halachic significance for that change.

Comments, anyone? Or perhaps this speaks for itself too clearly (and too
sadly) to need any further comment.

David Olivestone
Visit our web site at http://www.ou.org


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Wed,  16 May 2001 15:12 +0200
Subject: Re: Maakah / Fence within a House

The halachot of *maakeh* are delineated in Choshen Mishpat Siman
426. The SM"A there goes into detail. See also the Aruch Hashulchan CM
426 #6 who indicates that not *only* a roof needs a parapet (maakeh) but
any place where someone may fall and injure themselves. The Aruch
Hashulchan stresses that preferably 19 (rather than 10) tefachim height
should be used in a dangerous situation [and IMHO a 2nd floor railing
where young children are present demands a high railing].

One who isn't stringent in this area has not carried out a mitzvat aseh
[positive commandment of "l'hasiro u'lhishamer mimenu.." and has
violated a mitzvat lo taaseh of "delo tassim damim".

Josh Backon


From: Ephraim Dardashti <EDardashti@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 11:35:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Moshe Nugiel's wise words

Reb Moshe Nugiel's words are well thought out.  Indeed the candy portion
of the ceremony is sending the wrong message to our children.  We are
not creating an atmosphere of Torah but of the jungle. We are not
teaching " V Ahavta et Re'cha" but rather " Survivor of the meanest."

I have seen in synagogues of Edot Ha Mizrakh in Israel that dignified
platters of candy are passed out amongst the men, women and children.

Ephraim Dardashti


From: Kobi Ableman/Nadia Kahan <nadkobi@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 18:58:32 +0200
Subject: Responsa - Mima'amakim

My wife, a librarian , showed me how to look for the volume in the
Israeli Union catalogue.  The catalog shows several places this can be
found here in Israel (there seem to be several editions).  Bar Ilan
library and Bar Ilan Law Library are both listed.  Be sure to check with
'ktiv haser' without the vav for the last name.  There are apparently two
alternative titles - one just Mima'amakim and 'Sefer sheelot v'tshuvot
Mima'amakim'.  She also thinks (but not sure) that it may be on the
latest version of the Bar Ilan Shut project.
Kobi Ableman


From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 09:17:55 +0200
Subject: RE:  Rupture and Reconstruction

> it is sufficiently voluminous.  to think that the author of the mishna
> berurah was not yotzai his kiddush every shabat and yom tov ...

OTOH, according to the Mishna Berurah most Mezuzot, Tephillin and Sifrei
Torah written in the 19th century are posul, or at best bidieved Kosher,
due to problems with some of the letters (the Peh, for example).


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 09:18:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rupture and Reconstruction

The assertion that the Chofetz Chaim's grandchildren would not use his
cup for kiddush is an oft repeated legend.  I was told personally by one
of those grandchildren that the story is completely untrue.



From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 08:51:33 -0400
Subject: Rupture and Reconstruction --- Shalom Aleichem

Combining the two threads above:

Those who have decided not to say or sing parts of Shalom Aleichem
because of verses that they find problematic, might want to consider it
carefully before discarding a minhag (custom) that has been recited on
Friday evening at the Shabbat table for many generations.

The story of the angels accompanying one home on Friday and declaring
upon seeing a house ready for Shabbat "May there be many more Shabbatot
like this in this home" is one that has excited and inspired countless
children as they gather with their families around the Shabbat
table. And yet, throughout all those generations, where does one find in
the sifrei halacha or the poskim any polemic against the singing of such
a "heretical" verse as "borchuni l'shalom". And, besides, there are many
instances in Talmudic literature where a student asks a blessing from
his teacher. (For that matter, don't chassidim ask for blessings from
their Rebbe?) So, where's the heresy in asking for a bracha from an

Rather than change a long standing minhag, I believe the proper approach
is to study the minhag and see if, despite our limitations, we can
understand the true meaning.

David I. Cohen


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 23:35:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Saying 'Mazal Tov'

As a rationalist in the Maimonidean tradition, I too have been perplexed
by these same issues.  Siman tov and mazel tov both seem to be relics of
superstition that shouldn't be a part of thoughtful Jewsih expression.
Yet, despite the well known "ayn mazel leyisrael" statement cited by
Mordechai, the shulchan aruch of Rav Yosef Caro (as oppossed to the
Rambam's Mishneh Torah) is full of superstition as well (Jews don't do
business Tues. afternoons, etc.).  The "red bendels" that one gets in
Jerusalem and that are put on the cribs of babies are another example.
Rambam is probably turning over in his grave knowing religious Jews in
the modern world behave this way.  The only analogy I can think of in
the secular world is saying "Bless you" after a sneeze; sneezes are
generally much less serious than other ill sounds that can emanate from
a body (eg a deep cough), yet we don't say anything when people cough!
This too is probably left over from more primitive beliefs about

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 18:02:57 +0300
Subject: Re: Shalom Aleichem

Thanks to mail-jewish, I started thinking about the problem of singing
"barkhuni leshalom" to the angels, since some of the participants in the
discussion raise questions about the propriety of praying to angels, and
I think these questions are very important to ask.  It is well known
that the Vilner Gaon refused to say those parts of the selihot prayers
which contain a supplication to the angels to bring our prayers to the

However, on reflection I don't think that "barkhuni leshalom" is
objectionable; or, to put it another way, more objectionable than saying
"shalom aleikhem" to the angels.  After all, "barkhuni leshalom" only
means "Greet me" or "Wish me well" as in II Kings 4:29.  It is an
expression which could be applied to a friend and does not imply that
the angels have any power to bless us.  Cf. also II Sam 8:10.

Note that we do NOT say barkhuni BAshalom to the angels which WOULD
perhaps imply that they can bless us with peace, as in Psalms 29:11
(Hashem yevarekh et `amo bashalom).

Mark Steiner


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 15:33:22 +0300
Subject: Re: Tefilla question - Phraseology

Ben Katz wrote: I will just point out that the 2 siddurim that I am
familiar with that are the most punctilious re Hebrew grammar (Birnbaum
and Rinat Yisrael) both have "vayeshavucha").

Actually, I was almost certain that this suggestion came from Birnbaum
(in our shul in the Bronx they used Birnbaum).  But, though Birnbaum did
good work, I wouldn't call either him or Shlomo Tal (of Rinat Yisrael) a
professional linguist.  You have to look at their sources (often the
Avodat Yisrael siddur) before making a correction on the internet,
rather than simply relying on them.

Let me offer my own "correction" of phrasing: in the kedusha for Shabbat
morning, the correct phrasing is (using Israeli vocalization) matai
timlokh? betziyon bekarov beyameinu le`olam va`ed.  Tishqon, titgadal,
vetitkadesh betokh....

My source for this is the seder (siddur) of R. `Amram Gaon, Mossad Harav
Kook edition 32, though his text is slightly different from the standard
Ashkenazic one, as he doubles the word "timlokh" (matai timlokh? Timlokh
etc.)  In our text, the doubling has to be understood.

Mark Steiner


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 08:27:19 EDT
Subject: Throwing Candy

<<  2) The larger/more aggressive kids get most of the candy.  Some of the
 younger children get none at all. Invariably I see tears and unhappy
 faces of children who got little or no candy.  The message sent is that
 the strong dominate, a kind of law of the jungle.  This is certainly
 contrary to normative Torah values, and not the kind of message we ought
 to be sending to our kids. >>

This is both a problem and an opportunity.  Presuming these kids have
parents with them in shule -- I know congregations that sometimes are
blessed with parents who drop their kids off at the nearby shule then go
off elsewhere (don't get me started on this tangent) -- the parents (and
in their absence, other adults in the vicinity) can emphasize sharing,
etc.  But the lack of decorum, the pushing, etc., remains a problem.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 13:54:53 +0200
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni

> yiddish book "Die Reise Kein Yerushalayim", the Muncaczer 
> Rebbe, the Minchas Elozer, took a trip to Israel (Palestine) 
> in the 1930s during the days between Pesach and Shavuos. He 
> purposely returned to Europe in time for Shavuos so that his 
> celebration of Yom Tov should not be disturbed by the Eretz 
> Yisroel Jews doing melacha in front of him while it is Yom 
> Tov for him, as Yom Tov Sheini possesses a very special 
> kedusha. He also writes that even the Jews of Israel should 
> dress like it is Yom Tov on Yom Tov Sheini in deference to 
> the Jews of the diaspora who are celebrating that day as Yom 
> Tov. This is in stark contrast to the opinion of Rav Goren 
> and others that Diaspora Jews in Israel should be low key in 
> their observance of Yom Tov Sheini in deference to the Israelis.

I am not sure why Rav Goren was singled out but this is also the opinion
of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach but more important it is the opinion of
Rav Yosef Karo in Avkas Rochel.

I find the Michas Eliezer's opinion quite strange that native Israelis
should change their habits in deference to a custom of visitors who are
keeping their non-Israeli custom.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 34 Issue 52