Volume 35 Number 50
                 Produced: Fri Sep 21  7:06:44 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Electric shavers
         [David Ziants]
Ralbag (3)
         [Ben Katz, <rubin20@...>, Gil Student]
Rav Zecharia ben Avkulus
         [David Oratz]
Shma Koleinu and Piyutim
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Simanim - Symbolic Foods
         [Tzvi Harris]
Slichos at Night
         [Harry Schick]
Symbolic Foods
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Tallit customs
         [Rich Mintz]
The Twin Towers Tragedy
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
WTC Tragedy
         [Susan Shapiro]


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 14:30:06 +0200
Subject: Electric shavers

I have an urgent question about an electric shaver which has just
recently been given to me.

Please could someone tell me whether the latest Phillips "Philishave
6000 series quadra action", model HQ 6890 which includes their patented
lift and cut system is permitted to be used

Is there a shaver kashrut list on the WWW somewhere?

The local Rabbanim and teachers where I live, although can tell me the
principles, cannot specifically tell me particularly about this new
model I have. Also I learnt a bit by searching mail-jewish archives as
there was a discussion 6-7 years ago.

Although I know that mail-jewish is not the place to get a "psak
halacha", it was suggested to me to turn to this forum for the
information required.

[If anyone on the list either knows a Rav nearby to the Ma'aleh Adumim
area that David can contact, or a Rav/Posek who deals with this area of
Halacha who is available via email, please send that information to
David. As mentioned above, mail-jewish is not a "source" of P'sak, but
we can help at times. Mod.]

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:54:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Ralbag

>(b) His commentary on Job is one of the best; he uses a 3 part
>approach: words first, sentences second followed by interpretation of
>chapters. ALthough this is obvious he is the only Rishon who uses this

        To amplify Dr. Hendel's comments: Ralbag was the only medieval
commentator to look at entire sections of the Bible and comment on them.
He does the same thing to a lesser degree in his chumash commentary (now
available in a new mosad harav Kook volume, with all of the footnotes,
attention to manuscript evidence, etc. that we have come to expect from
an Orthodox, scholarly publication).  It took modern scholars till the
19th century to adopt that approach.  His approach is only "obvious"
because we have used it for the last 150 years.

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: <rubin20@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:46:30 -0400
Subject: Ralbag

I don't think the Ralbags views, even if not coinciding with the Rambam
are a problem. It is no different than what the Chasam Sofer wrote about
Hillel's view that there is no such a person as Moshiach (but Hashem
will redeem us himself) " a view that has been not accepted by all the
sages of later generations loses its status as acceptable orthodox
belief".  This is the last Teshuvah in O.C., please look it up, as it
has been years since I saw it.

From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 11:03:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Ralbag

In response to Robert Kaiser's posting of the same topic on a message
board, I have had the opportunity to review my original understanding of
Ralbag's philosophy, which was similar to Robert's.

I have been in contact with Dr. Charles (Betzalel) Manekin, who
responded to Robert on the Edah message boards.  I have read some of his
articles which I highly recommend.  He is part of an emerging school
which is trying to revise the classical understanding of Ralbag as a
bold, even heretical, scholar.  They are trying to demonstrate that
Ralbag was actually a conservative scholar.

On Tuesday, following the WTC tragedy, I travelled back to Brooklyn with
R.  Shalom Carmy who essentially agreed with this trend and noted that
there is much written in French on this subject, specifically by Charles
(?) Touati and Gad Freudenthal.

These are the articles by Dr. Manekin that I have found:

Manekin, Charles H. (1997), "Freedom Within Reason?: Gersonides on Human
Choice," in Freedom and Moral Responsibility: General and Jewish
Perspectives. College Park: University Press of Maryland

Manekin, Charles H. (1998), "On the Limited-Omniscience Interpretation
of Gersonides' Theory of Divine Knowledge," in A. Ivry, E. Wolfson, and
A.  Arkush (eds.), Perspectives on Jewish Thought and
Mysticism. Reading, Harwood Academic Publishers. Pp. 135-170

Manekin, Charles H. (2001), "Conservative Tendencies in Gersonides'
Religious Philosophy," unpublished

Gil Student


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:11:46 +0200
Subject: Rav Zecharia ben Avkulus

>I am greatly troubled by the fact that the gemara appears to single out
>Rav Zecharia ben Avkulus as the cause of the catastrophe.

Rav Yechezkel Abramsky Zatz"l in his Chazon Yechezkel on Tosefta Shabbat
(perek Chavit) has a fascinating insight on this point. In the Tosefta
of Perek Chavit a machloket is cited concerning what may be done with
the left-over shells after eating (in the context of muktzeh
laws). Several views are cited, and the most stringent by far was that
of the same Zecharya ben Avkulus. The Tosefta then says the very same
conclusion as in Gittin: It was because of the "anvetanut" of Zecharya
ben Avkulus that the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed!

Addressing the fact that that comment did not seem to belong in the
Tosefta, Rabbi Abramsky comments: When a person sdopts unreasonable
chumrot [and let's not get back to discussing what are "unreasonable
chumrot"!] the next step is being maachmir where the result is


From: Mechael Kanovsky <kanovsky@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 01:29:18 -0400
Subject: Shma Koleinu and Piyutim

I was always wondering what is the reason that the verse "yehiyu
leratzon" in the "shmah Koleinu" that we say in "slichot" is skipped and
what is the reason that we say two half sentences on most of the
"piyutim" that we say on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For example
"l'kel orech din le'bochen levavot b'yom din" is one sentence but we say
l'kel orech din and then we say "le'bochen levavot b'yom din le'goleh
amukot badin" which is the last half of one sentence and the first half
of the next sentence. Any thoughts?

Wishing everybody a ktivah ve'chatimah tovah.
Mechael Kanovsky


From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:55:31 +0200
Subject: Simanim - Symbolic Foods

In our home we usually go through most of the traditional simanim.  We
have the following additions: at the end of the meal we have icecream
(parve) and say "sheyimas l'vav oiveinu" (Our enemies hearts should
melt).  During the meal we drink cola and say "shetishma kol
tachanuneinu" (You should hear the sound of our prayer).

On a lighter note, a friend of mine who is a plumber is makpid to serve

Tzvi Harris
Talmon, Israel


From: <Harry459@...> (Harry Schick)
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 18:22:14 EDT
Subject: Slichos at Night

When did people begin saying Slichos at night and was there any
discussion about the potential problem of changing the time. I add this
in light of the fact that according to Kabbalah it is not an opportune
time to be doing this since Din is strong. In the morning Hesed is


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 11:19:44 -0400
Subject: Symbolic Foods

Rabbi Moshe Heineman of Baltimore said that people should make "puns" in
the languages they speak.

We added the following:

We eat berries, and say:

"Yihi Ratzon Lefanecha she nihiyeh kulanu bari."

(May it be Your will that we all be healthy)

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Rich Mintz <richmintz@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 16:18:13 -0400
Subject: Tallit customs

If one must go urgently and temporarily out of shul during Shaharit
(e.g., to tend to a crying child, or for medical reasons), should the
tallit be removed before leaving the building, or worn outside?

If removed, what procedure should be followed (may it simply be set on a
table or rack?), and should the blessing be said again when it is again
put on, or does the original recital of the blessing cover the second
donning of the tallit?

Does the answer in any way depend on the nature and urgency of the
circumstances?  (I assume that in the case of mortal danger, e.g., a
passerby outside is hit by a bus, one should rush out and begin to tend
to the emergency, then remove the tallit as gently and respectfully as
possible if it then becomes apparent that one will not immediately be
returning to shul.  But, if the circumstance is merely a child who is
crying but clearly not in mortal danger, perhaps custom might call for
more care in stowing the tallit before going out.)

Rich Mintz (<richmintz@...>)


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 14:55:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Twin Towers Tragedy

Warning:  my post is a somewhat graphic.

Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> writes:
> Btw, what is happening from a halachic viewpoint as a result of the
> presumed deaths and/or missing family members regarding Agunot, orphans,
> tzedakah, burial, community self-help, etc.?

Wrt the first, I don't know any halachic answers, but G'd forbid
someone's husband was there because apparently the fire was hot enough
to vaporize a significant part of the steel and glass of the buildings,
so probably many bodies were likewise vaporized.



From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 10:06:50 EDT
Subject: Re: WTC Tragedy

      Btw, what is happening from a halachic viewpoint as a result of
      the presumed deaths and/or missing family members regarding
      Agunot, orphans, tzedakah, burial, community self-help, etc.?

I also saw a photograph of Shomrim at the site.  I was wondering the
Halachic implications of that, too.  Who knows if these bodies would be
identified as Yidden Rachmanos L'Etzlan, and what would the status  of
these bodies be?

Susan Shapiro, S. Diego, CA


End of Volume 35 Issue 50