Volume 36 Number 63
                 Produced: Tue Jul  9  4:33:46 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Carl Singer]
Bringing medical equipment from New York to London
         [Arieh Lebowitz]
card operated locks
         [Stan Tenen]
Commute to Delaware
         [Carl Singer]
Conditional conversion
         [Gil Student]
Geosynchronous Orbits and Shabbat
Kiddush Levana Otiot
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Motzei Shabbat during Chag
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Nidda Issues
         [Susan Shapiro]
omitting Kabalat Shabbat
         [Gil Student]
Seeking contact information
         [I Kasdan]
Shabbat in space
         [Binyomin Segal]
Shir Hashirim
         [David I. Cohen]
Tehilat Hashem
         [David Ziants]


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:42:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Artscroll

      I think that it is a sign of disrespect for one's readers to try
      to protect them from the struggle to make the link that the text
      demands between physical, earthly love and the divine love God
      gives to Israel. The astonishing and daring inclusion of Shir
      Ha-Shirim in the Tanach demands that we pay attention.

It depends on the audience(s) mature, knowledegable, novice, youthful?
-- A challenge for anyone who's ever taught a course or written a paper
or a book.  Going back to the Art Scroll Siddur and by extension to the
Shir HaShirim -- is the audience envisioned as a using the siddur for
davening (only) or for casual study, for serious study or for teaching
others (say as in a kiruv situation.)  As much as the Art Scroll is not
my favorite, I appreciate their great efforts.

Kol Tuv

Carl Singer


From: <ARIEHNYC@...> (Arieh Lebowitz)
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 09:46:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Bringing medical equipment from New York to London

RE:  Stephen Coleman's request of Friday, 28 Jun 2002, entitled `Bringing
medical equipment from New York to London,' asking if anybody could
"help bring over a suitcase of medical equipment from New York to London
in the next few weeks? The equipment is basic with no restrictions on
bringing it to the UK . We just need somebody with spare capacity. If
you think you can help, please email me. Thanks in advance. SC"

Especially in light of the heightened security issues of recent times, I
STRONGLY advise Mr. Coleman to make quite sure that security and customs
officials know well in advance of his trip of any plans that he makes to
have another individual or individuals transport even basic medical
equipment for him from New York to London.

I know from personal experience - having been on a two- week trip to
Israel recently - that there is quite appropriate concern that travelers
might be carrying in their baggage material that someone else asked them
to bring with them ...

Arieh Lebowitz


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 21:04:50 -0700
Subject: Re: card operated locks

>From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
>As I understand it, the difference between psik raisha and grama is more
>than simply one of time delay. I recall reading that when they designed
>the grama light switches for Sharei Tzedek they built in a level of
>"imprecision" to insure it would be considered a grama. The causing
>action would eventually turn on the light, but it might be in .1 second,
>and it might be in .5 seconds. Hence there was no specific moment at
>which it would definately happen - no psik raisha.

If this is so -- if it's okay to cause action which will eventually turn
on a light, as long as there's a built-in uncertainty -- then adding and
subtracting pins from a mechanical timer would always be acceptable,
because a mechanical timer (the kind that are available for household
use) is hardly ever accurate to more than half a minute (at best).

Does this mean I can turn lights on and off, simply by inserting or
removing a pin from a mechanical timer a few minutes -- give or take --
before I want action?  It seems to me that this is pushing things a bit
far, particularly if used to excess.  But then, where's the dividing



From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 07:54:55 EDT
Subject: Commute to Delaware

      From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>

      Hi If someone is familiar with the frum communities commutable to
      Delaware, please let me know.

When I lived in the western part of Philadelphia, there were folks in my
community to commuted daily to Dupont (I think.)  The shule is Beth
Hamedrosh of Overbrook Park and they are currently building in the
nearby suburbs (Penn-Wynne, I believe)

Kol Tuv
Carl Singer


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 15:20:38 -0400
Subject: RE: Conditional conversion

Eitan Fiorino wrote:
>In the case of conversions, kabalat ol malchut shamayim (acceptance of the 
>Heavenly yoke) is an essential component of the conversion process - 
>without it, there is no conversion. It is a halachically accepted premise 
>that the convert who immediately abandons observance of the mitzvot can be 
>assumed to have not had proper kabala - thus, in such a case the conversion 
>is invalid ab initio (though it could appear that the conversion is 
>retroactively nullified or that it was "conditional" on future observance).

I would say, rather, that conversion requires /kabalas mitzvos/.  A
convert who immediately abandons observance clearly had no intention
ever to keep them and lacked a kabalas mitzvos.  However, a convert who
abandons some mitzvos, even immediately, may have had a valid kabalas
mitzvos.  Exactly what can invalidate a conversion is not so clear cut.
See Shu"t Achiezer 3:26.

Gil Student


From: chihal <chihal@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 22:48:26 -0500
Subject: Geosynchronous Orbits and Shabbat

Shalom, All:

	Hmmm. I forgot to mention that a lot of satellites, such as
those that relay Hubble Space Telescope info and the National Weather
Service satellites, are geosynchronous. In plain English, from the
ground they are seen to hover in just one spot. They don't orbit Earth a
zillion times a day, but rather just once a day.

	It's very logical to believe that a space station (as opposed to
shuttles such as Challenger) could be geosynchronous. That being the
case, what's the consensus here? Should/must an astronaut observe
Shabbat one day per week?  The same day as the terrestrial point over
which s/he hovers? Or does s/he do what some say is halacha for
Antarctica, and pick any city's Shabbat?

	Obviously -- to me, anyway -- if the Jewish astronaut's labors
are essential to the station's survival, s/he would *have* to work on
Shabbat.  But what if observing Shabbat would endanger nobody, yet would
cause non-Jewish astronauts to think ill of Judaism because they get no
day off and our Shomer Shabbat astronaut does cease work one day?

Charles Chi )Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 05:45:18 +0200
Subject: Kiddush Levana Otiot

I understand that among printers (in the good old days when type was
hand set) the biggest size font was called "Otiot Kiddush Levanah,"
based on the fact that many Shuls had a large plaque outside the Shul
with the entire Kiddush Levanah text on it, with letters large enough
for everyone to read.

Paranthetically, among non-Jewish printers the largest text was known as
"Second Coming." I don't think I need to spell out who was supposed to
be coming to warrant the largest font size.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 19:55:54 +0200
Subject: Motzei Shabbat during Chag

Last month I brought up the instruction of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu to
mention a formula which includes Havdala when entering a cab on Motzei
Shabbat.  Some commented that it was enough just to say Shavua Tov, as
instructed Rav Aryeh Levin.

In a book I have been reading, a source quotes from the book Maaseh Rav
on the instructions of the G'RA, para. 174, that on the Motzei Shabbat
during a Chag, one should not say Shavua Tov as one can depend on the
Kabbalistic concept of "extension of sanctity".

Interesting in itself, this still leaves the question of what to do when
entering a cab with a Jewish driver - say something and what?

Yisrael Medad


From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 23:05:34 EDT
Subject: Nidda Issues

> In other words, is there any requirement that a married woman become a
> nida so that all the associated laws restricting contact with her
> husband will apply, or do these laws just apply if a woman does become
> a nida?  Has this been addressed by any halachic authorities?

Considering that sometimes women who are past menopause get married, I
would assume the answer to the above question is: It is not required at
all.  You would have to separate, etc, and go to the Mikvah once before
marriage but there is no REQUIREMENT.  The laws apply if a woman becomes
Niddah, ,and otherwise not needed!

Susan Shapiro, S. Diego


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 15:24:20 -0400
Subject: Re: omitting Kabalat Shabbat

Re: bentching only the four berachos (on Shabbos) and skipping Kabbolas
Shabbos, the former is a Minhag HaGra so as not to ask weekday bakashos
on Shabbos.  The latter is a Brisker Minhag due, I've been told, to
bittul Torah.  The entire custom of reciting Kabbolas Shabbos is
relatively recent and is certainly not completely obligatory.  While I
do say it, I don't worry about "catching up" if I miss something,
particularly in Lecha Dodi.

Gil Student


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 08:03:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Seeking contact information

I am seeking to contact (via e-mail) Jonathan Porat, a retired attorney
who practiced in Michigan and who authored "Kosher Revocable Trusts: The
Jerusalem Trust Form" located at
http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/revocable.html. [The e-mail address for Mr.
Porat found on that page is outdated.]

It is my understanding that he currently resides in Israel where, in
recent years, he was a member of a Kollel located in Telstone-Kiryat

Any assistance is appreciated.


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 22:14:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbat in space

> My brother raised another option regarding being off the Earth.  He
> pointed out that, due to relativity, the orbiting astronaut can claim
> that he is stationary and that the Earth, Moon, etc, are just orbiting
> around him.

OK, now you've done it.

Here's a little bit of real fun. I recall many years ago, talking with
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman (who among other things has some serious math
credentials from MIT, I believe) about the rotation of planets and such.

I don't recall the exact source of our discussion, but basically it had
to do with whether rishonim were wrong to accept a geocentric model of
the solar system. There is some discussion in the gemara about helio vs
geo centric solar systems. And while the gemara seems to accept the
heliocentric model, it is not entirely clear. And as I recall some of
the rishonim explicitly use the geocentric model. So we got to

He claimed that there is NO evidence that Mars orbits the sun. The
relativity of motion means that we can easily assume any place is
"stationary" and everything revolves around that place. We tend to use a
heliocentric model NOT because it is "more correct" but rather because
the math is easier to do (that is to say, the orbits are more regular).

Now, I don't know that that means we SHOULD assume everything revolves
around the earth, but maybe it does. and that would make a few of the
questions here more fun.

just my little bit of fun for the day
Contact me via my NEW address


From: David I. Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 15:18:09 -0400
Subject: Shir Hashirim

Shayna Kravitz wrote:
        But this is exactly my problem in understanding this approach. Pshat
        means the plain, literal meaning of the text, yes?

Short answer, not necessarily. Nechama Leibowitz zt"l always taught us
that p'shat did not mean the "literal meaning" but the actual
meaning. That, in her opinion, was what Rashi strove for in every one of
his comments on Tanach. Sometimes that could even require the use of a
midrash to understnad the peculiar wording of a specific pasuk.

David I. Cohen


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 09:18:21 +0300
Subject: Re: Tehilat Hashem

> My grandfather's minhag, which I have never encountered anywhere 
> else was three pesukim:
> Tehilat/Vaanchnu/Kol Haneshama Tehalel kah (repeated a second
> time as at the end of Psalms).

This is the Dutch minhag.

My wife is from Holland, and in her Siddur "Si'ach Yitzchak", which is
the standard Ashkenazi Siddur of the Dutch community, these three
p'sukim appear after Shir Hama'alot. It gives no indication that the
pasuk "Kol Haneshama..." is repeated. A Dutch friend tells me that they
add "Mi Yimallell..." after "Kol Haneshama...". The "Kol Haneshama..."
is thus instead of the more common "Hodu...".

Although I don't know what the underlining reasons for these specific
pasukim, a guess that one advantage in having them in an even number and
of a similar length as these tend to fit the tunes better(?).

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


End of Volume 36 Issue 63