Volume 35 Number 65
                 Produced: Mon Nov 19  6:51:29 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ais Das
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Avelus and Wedding
Birchat Kohanim during Neila, and slichot on Yom Kippur
         [James Kennard]
Followup on Low Protein Foods
         [Seth Ness]
Halachah and Decline of the Muslim Near East by the 15th Cent CE
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
Is this public domain?
Mikva shampoo
         [Louise Miller]
Pesach and Spring (4)
         [Eli Lansey, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Art Werschulz, Zev Sero]
Torat Emet: Defending the Faith (2)
         [Stan Tenen, Shimon Lebowitz]
Trumot and Maasrot on Produce from Israel
         [Steven Weisberg]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 14:01:56 +0200
Subject: Ais Das

We are alerted to a site, Daat Emet, which in a very sly way tries to
undermine all of our basic beliefs. We were also told:

"Micha Berger has been kind enough to host the response on his Aishdas
website.  You can find it at http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet or at

I checked out Aishdas, and was extremely disturbed by what I
found. Aishdas has links to every single article in Daat Emet, with a
handful (at best) of responses. In other words, what it does right now
is to serve as a way of spreading Daat Emet's anti-frum message for
free, without offering the reader any but a very limited response to a
few selected articles. The motivation of Aishdas is understandable -
they are trying to refute Daat Emet, but I believe that this is NOT the

All of the work should be done off-line, and when a substantial number
of articles are available, this site should only then go on-line. Why
let our enemies get a free trip from us?

Shmuel Himelstein
P.S. I wonder if having a frum site with links to clearly anti-frum material
might not be prohibited by Halachah.


From: <Danmim@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 23:16:24 EST
Subject: Re: Avelus and Wedding

question; mother is an avel ,her son is getting married to what degree
can she enjoy and participate in the wedding ?


[Note: If the above is a real case that you are involved in or know the
people, one needs to speak to a LOR to find out what the ruling should
be in the case at hand. mail-jewish is only for the theoretical
discussion of topics. Mod.]


From: James Kennard <James@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 19:47:34 -0000
Subject: Re: Birchat Kohanim during Neila, and slichot on Yom Kippur

Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...> asks
>I am interested in knowing whether this practice
>has spread to other communities,

this is standard practice in my minhag-Hamburg minyan, and is also found
in the Routledge machzor

James Kennard


From: Seth Ness <nesss01@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 08:55:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Followup on Low Protein Foods

Actually the majority of our patients(with PKU, urea cycle defects,
organic acidurias, MSUD etc.) have normal or close to normal IQs. The
basic metabolic formulas are mostly kosher, and if not, since they are
needed for survival, certainly are permitted anyway.  The low protein
foods i'm referring to are cookies, pastas, etc. that can allow a child
to have a diet of something other than formula. One of the major
companies is called SHS international, in liverpool, england. As far as
we can tell they have no hasgacha, though.

Seth L. Ness, M.D., Ph.D.                    Phone: 212-241-6947
Fellow in Human Genetics                     Fax: 212-860-3316
Department of Human Genetics                 <nesss01@...>
Department of Pediatrics                     Ness Gadol Hayah Sham
Mount Sinai Medical Center


From: Robert Schoenfeld <roberts@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 08:57:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Halachah and Decline of the Muslim Near East by the 15th Cent CE

The New York Times recently reported a paper By Proffessor Douglas C.
North that the decline of the East by the Renaisance was due to the
problem of inheritance in Muslim Law. Specifically that partnerships had
to be desolved upon the death of one partner and the equal inheritance
of sons (see papers.ssrn.con/abstract_id=276377). How did Halachah
affect such partnerships and could they continue into forms such as

				73 de Bob
+            e-mail:<roberts@...>             
+            HomePage:http://www.liii.com/~roberts
+            WA2AQQ ; Home repeater LIMARC 146.85


From: <mort.trainer@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 17:03:38 -0500
Subject: Is this public domain?

Regarding the question about a siddur translation being in the public
domain.  Public Domain is a concept particular to U.S. and international
law.  I have not heard that concept applied to Halacha.  Wouldn't this
fall under the category of Hasagas G'vul, no matter how old it was?


From: Louise Miller <daniel@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 13:45:45 -0800
Subject: Mikva shampoo

Question for the married ladies:

I had always believed that any shampoo that does not contain conditioner
was ok for pre-tevilah hair-washing.  Our local mikva has become rather
strict about it (to "S.S": since you left, it hasn't been the same...)
and they will only allow Johnson's Baby shampoo which makes my hair feel
dirtier than it started, and Georgi wig shampoo.

Anyone know any other brands of shampoo I can talk them into, and just
what it is about normal shampoo that is unacceptable?

Louise (The Friz) Miller
La Jolla, (San Diego) CA


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 13:53:32 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Pesach and Spring

This is not something directly related to the question, but the answer
might be similar: What about people who live in the southern hemisphere
who *always* celebrate the chagim in the wrong seasons...what are the
halachik ramifications of that?


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 09:42:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Pesach and Spring

>From: <nbj@...> (Neal B. Jannol)
>Pesach falls very early in the solar calendar this year, almost not
>making it into spring - is this the closest we have been - when do we
>next get this close?

In various shiurim that I learned, I have been told that the one of the
determinants of a leap year is that most of the month of Tishrei must
come in "tekufas Tishei" (fall equinox) and most of Nisan in "Tekufas
Nisan" (spring equinox).  That is, the fifteenth of Nisan (the full
moon) must be the full moon that is immediately after the Spring
equinox.  Thus, the theoretical earliest that Pesach could occur (when
there is a Sanhedrin, and the determination is based on witnesses) would
be when the full moon occurs on March 21 or 22.  If the Sanhedrin
decided that it was too early, then it would be pushed off a month to
April 21.

I do not know the earliest using our calculated calendar but Nisan 15,
5770 is March 30, 2010 as opposed to this year's March 28.

The church made this the rule for their holiday of easter, with a
modification so that their holiday would never fall on the same day as

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>

From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 09:36:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pesach and Spring


Here are starting dates for Pesach that fall out during March, from
now until 5800. 

  15 Nissan 5762: 28 March 2002
  15 Nissan 5770: 30 March 2010
  15 Nissan 5773: 26 March 2013
  15 Nissan 5778: 31 March 2018
  15 Nissan 5781: 28 March 2021
  15 Nissan 5789: 31 March 2029
  15 Nissan 5792: 27 March 2032
  15 Nissan 5797: 31 March 2037

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325

From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 14:43:47 -0500
Subject: RE: Pesach and Spring

The 5th year of the 19-year cycle is the second-earliest Pesach.  The
earliest Pesach is in the 16th year; usually it's on 27-Mar, on rare
occasions it's pushed off to the 28th when the 27th is on an
impermissible day (Mon,Wed,Fri), but occasionally it's as early as the
26th!  If Mashiach doesn't come, and the calendar therefore continues
unchanged, Pesach will be on 26-Mar in 2013 and 2089.

Zev Sero


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 09:02:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Torat Emet: Defending the Faith

First, I have trouble with the idea of "defending the faith".  The best
defense is to set a good example, and in this case, to set a higher
standard. These perspectives take hold when the responsible Torah world
doesn't address the issues.

The basic issue is that 90% of Jews have turned their back on Torah.
It's the Torah world's responsibility to speak up, or someone else is
going to recruit un-knowledgeable people to their agendas.

>A well-funded organization called Daat Emet has been distributing anti-Torah
>pamphlets in Bnei Brak and on the internet for over three years.  The
>pamphlets contain lengthy essays on a wide variety of Torah topics with the
>goal of showing that traditional Jewish texts, and the religion itself, are
>inconsistent, illogical and outdated.  These are accusations that should be
>familiar to most of us.

These problems are very familiar to me.  There appears to be truth to
these accusations, because we don't make what's really so, accessible.

Much of Torah Judaism is reduced to the appearance of inconsistency,
illogic, and anachronism, when we promote a stricter interpretation of
halacha as a better interpretation.  Time after time, I've watched in
dismay as Torah Jews have shouted louder at people who don't understand
Torah language, rather than learning to speak appropriately.  It's a
natural response, but shouting louder doesn't reach people who speak a
different language.

>However, these pamphlets are fairly well researched and are convincing to
>all but experts.  While the essays are written in a tone that is quite
>off-putting, they raise many good questions that deserve a response.
>Currently, the questions remain unanswered on the internet with over 45,000
>hits to the website.

It's the quality of response that counts.  Good questions and
well-written criticism require good responses.  But this must be in the
context of helpfulness, and not in the context of reaction or

The fact is, unfortunately (in my experience), that the majority of
people recently trained in yeshivot are quite ill-prepared to present
anything other than rote arguments.  The problem is that argument from
rote doesn't reach or convince anyone.  It just makes us seem like we
don't know what we're talking about.

The fact is that many observant people are uncomfortable with technology
(witness the many questions here about electric light switches and
razors, etc. etc.) and this leaves us looking like we're living in past
centuries.  I've also found that many observant people are reflexively
afraid of scientific ideas because they think these ideas contradict
Torah teachings.  (Scientists excepted, of course.)  These guys are just
taking intellectual territory because we've abandoned it.

>What I am proposing is that our frum internet community garner its
>collective resources and respond to the website.

Yes, definitely.  But please, not with rote arguments.  The logical
foundation must be there, or we should let the question ride until it
is.  No amount of discussion of why we have to accept hukim is going to
impress most people outside of the yeshiva world.  When we fall back on
this, persons who propose _any_ seemingly logical argument are going to
win the debate, and win the minds.  We have to do better.
>Together we can defend the glory of the Torah with quality research.

The key is "quality". The usual apologia, which fares so well in some
circles, will definitely lose the argument.

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 15:30:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Torat Emet: Defending the Faith

> What I am proposing is that our frum internet community garner its 
> collective resources and respond to the website.  

Maybe I missed something... but my basic reaction to this proposal is:
"Why bother?".

The world is, and always has been, full of assorted heretics,
blasphemers, missionaries, etc etc etc.

Why would I waste my time trying to answer them all?

Sorry if I misunderstood something here,

Shimon Lebowitz         mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel       http://www.poboxes.com/shimonl/pubkey.htm


From: Steven Weisberg <sweisberg@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 15:34:24 +0200
Subject: Trumot and Maasrot on Produce from Israel

Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

> On the other hand, I could understand a Hechsher on fruit from
> Eretz Yisrael - in terms of Ma'aserot, etc. having been taken.

Some people in Israel trust the Rabbinate on all Tenuva distributed
products and some always are "mafrish" themselves. A legitimate issue
which I do not want to expand upon.

But some years back I was told by the Chief Rabbinate that exported
fruits and vegetables do NOT get "maasered" at all.  The reason was
purely economic: for the local market there is a perceived need and
somebody funds it. Nobody does for overseas. He said the pressure to
change these would need to come from communities and individuals from

Just thought this might be of interest to those in the Galut who see
Israeli produce being sold. Maybe some pressure would help.

Shmuel's comments triggered my memory on this.

Steve Weisberg


End of Volume 35 Issue 65