Volume 37 Number 02
                 Produced: Tue Sep  3  6:02:36 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Asking a non-Jew to ask another non-Jew (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Barak Greenfield, MD]
Benefitting from non-Jew's work on Shabbat
         [Binyomin Segal]
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
folding of tallit
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Grape juice
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Grape Juice and Wine
         [Barak Greenfield, MD]
Grape Juice vs. Wine at the Seder
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Making Aliyah
         [Alan Friedenberg]
Moses consulting G-d
         [Solomon Spiro]
Third Perek of Eicha
         [Marsha Bryan Edelman]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 22:24:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Asking a non-Jew to ask another non-Jew

 Daniel M Wells <wells@...> made the following statement:

      'Having you in mind ALSO' is davka the problem. He is turning on
      the light for YOU (as well as himself) and thus he is like your
      servant who is not supposed to work. According to this our Rav
      also holds that if a goy is walking by an unlit Jewish house and
      realizing that the lights have failed, and without asking he
      restores the power out of the goodness of his heart, the Jewish
      owner is not allowed to benefit.

There is also a principle that the Jew is not required to leave his own 
house just to avoid benefiting from the non-Jew's work (MB 276:13, which 
notes that the Jew may derive benefit from the light as long as his 
activity would have been possible without the added light, albeit more 

For example, if the light coming in from outside would have made it 
possible to read, even with difficulty, then the Jew may read with the 
light that has just been turned on.

> > No. Light by its nature is for everyone (ner l'echad ner lemae'ah)
>Where is this stated as a halacha?

Mishna Berura 276:8; Be'ur Halakha 276 D"H Ein bo sakana; D"H Im rov 


From: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 09:58:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Asking a non-Jew to ask another non-Jew

> > But perhaps the mitzvah delayed and/or the public need dispensed with.
> > Who says its a mitzvah or public need to turn the air conditioners back
> > on after a power outage. Did people not daven 50 years ago w/o air
> > conditioners?

Regarding A.C.--see Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso 13:34 and 30:11 who permits
it even not in shul.

> > > No. Light by its nature is for everyone (ner l'echad ner lemae'ah)
> > Where is this stated as a halacha?
> It's a mishna in Shabbos with no opposing view.

Masechtoh Shabbos 122a (mishnah and ensuing gemara), and Orach Chaim 325:11.



From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 15:48:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Benefitting from non-Jew's work on Shabbat

> You spoke later in your post about the case of "tircha d'tzibura"
> permitting a *direct* request (not hinting) but in other cases you
> seem to imply that even hinting is forbidden.  I definitely remember
> that there are cases where hinting is allowed, but you seem to leave
> hinting out entirely.

I had avoided some of the details in previous posts because they were
not relevant to the discussion (and I was perhaps a bit lazy).

In halacha there is a distinction made between two types of benefit. The
classic example is the difference between turning on a light and turning
off a light.

In the first case (turning on a light) there is a direct and constant
benefit from the melacha done by the non-jew. This is forbidden even
with hinting.

In the second case however (turning off a light) halacha does not see
the darkness in the room as a direct benefit of the melacha done. As a
result, this is not seen as benefitting from the action of a goy. In
this case one is allowed to hint. - One is required to hint in this case
because the other prohibition of talking about melacha on shabbos still
applies. Hinting avoids that prohibition.

Sorry for the confusion I may have caused, and for the delay in

> 2 - tzarchei tzibbur. any time the need is a communal one,
> benefitting from non-jewish melacha on shabbos is
> permitted. hence, one can directly ask a non-jew to turn lights on
> in the shul, but not in ones house.

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

When I mentioned it originally, I mentioned it from memory.

It seems that many modern poskim rely on the baal haitur in this
case. The baal haitur paskens that any mitzvah is sufficient (even
private) for amirah l'akum. Most of the early poskim do not accept his
psak, however the later poskim suggest that in the case of a community
mitzvah, one can/should rely on the baal haitur.

For a long discussion of this issue see "The Sanctity of Shabbos" by R
Simcha Bunim Cohen in the footnote on page 56-57.

He quotes Rav Sheinberg and Rav Aharon Kutler (among others) as allowing
it in this case.

A few places to look:
mishna brura 276:25 where he allows amira to fix an eruv on shabbos
yabia omer vol 3 #23

Hope this helps.

Although I hope this does not become an annual event,
my new email address is:


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Eiruvin

>When one is in a place without an eiruv - as happens most of the time
>outside Israel

Just for the sake of accuracy, I think that statement is becoming less
and less true, especially in the U.S., where an Eruv has become more or
less expected in any community outside of New York, even in relatively
small communities.  For example, here in Baltimore (admitedly not a
small community), the eruv is pretty extensive and is taken pretty much
for granted.  I never hear of people not using the eruv here, whereas in
Israel, it seemed to be a constant theme and, along with re-maasering, a
beloved frum-ometer.

[A quick note: In general, members of the Lubavitch community will not
use Eiruvim, at least here in the US. The other main (but smaller group)
that I know tend not to use Eiruvim are those who accept the psak by the
Rambam on hilchot Eiruvim, as under those conditions, it is hard to find
a kosher Eiruv. Very often, that will include people who follow the
Brisk tradition. Mod.]


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 19:50:27 +0200
Subject: folding of tallit

In line with Steven White's reasoning:-
      The tallit is a garment with holy tzitzit, used specifically for
      prayer to Hashem, and I should treat it with respect.  And part of
      the way I treat it with respect is to fold it and put it away
      properly when I am finished using it.

as I always fold my tallit, I found it puzzling that there is an opinion
that if one folds up the tallit *other* than in the already existing
creases, it would be permissible but to fold it exactly along the
previous creases is prohibited.  My reasoning would have it just the
opposite: that making a new crease is worse than simply folding along an
old (already-made) crease.  Can someone explain this reasoning to me?

Yisrael Medad


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 15:56:22 -0700
Subject: Grape juice

I recently noticed that Kedem grape juice (OU, standard stuff) has added
vitamin C to its formulation.  Does this make any difference in its
halakhic usability for anything?  (I sure hope not, as our extended
family is more than 3/4 children, pregnant, nursing or otherwise
unable/hesitant to drink wine.)



From: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 09:58:25 -0400
Subject: RE: Grape Juice and Wine

<Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich) writes:
> Actually there is a line of thought that does differentiate between
> grape juice and wine and thus discourages the use of grape juice for 4
> cups on passover.  The line of thought is that "modern" grape juice
> differs from talmudic grape juice, Talmudic grape juice was from freshly
> squeezed grapes and had the capacity to eventually become wine. IIUC
> modern grape juice is treated so that it can never ferment and thus some
> hold it to be halakhically different from wine.

This topic was discussed late last year and the above line of reasoning
was presented to differentiate modern pasteurized grape juice from the
squeezed cluster of grapes mentioned in the gemara.

However, no halachic source for this differentiation was ever brought.



From: Eitan Fiorino <tony.fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 18:58:44 -0400
Subject: Grape Juice vs. Wine at the Seder

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
> However, I *have* heard of at least one opinion, which I unfortunately
> do not remember the author of, but will attempt to track down, that the
> four cups at the Pesach Seder must be specifically *wine*, and NOT grape
> juice.

Rav Soleveitchik zt'l held that wine is required at the seder.  The
following is excerpted from a summary of a hesped for the Rav given by
Rav Parnes (see
http://shamash.org/listarchives/mail-jewish/rav/rav_hespedim.txt), which
explains the Rav's position:

there are 2 dinim in the mitzvah of the 4 cups: the first is an inyan of
bracha shel kos (the 4 brachot are kiddush, sippur yetziat mitzraim,
birkat hamazon, and hallel).  The second inyan is an independent din of
shtiat arba kosot, related to the celebration of freedom.  Thus, in a
case where a person has no wine, one cannot be yotzei the din of shtiah
-- that is a specific mitzva to drink wine -- however, one can use other
liquids to be yotzei a bracha shel kos.

Tony Fiorino, M.D., Ph.D.
Equity Research Analyst - Biotechnology
Citigroup Asset Management, 100 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 961-6238, Fax: (203) 602-6045


From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 12:16:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Making Aliyah

Can anyone recommend any good, up-to-date reading on the initial steps a
family should take when starting the process of making aliyah?



From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 22:46:35 +0300
Subject: Moses consulting G-d

BSD, yom sheni Ki Tetze

Sandeye asks a good question: Why did Moses not consult G-d before
giving Transjordania to the tribes of Reuben, GAd and half of Menasseh
as he did on four other occasions--Tzelofkhod's daughers, Pesah sheni,
the blasphemer and the gatherer of sticks on Shabbat.  Settling two and
a half tribes away from the mainstream was truly a momentous decision.

This matter has puzzled me for a long time.
One tentative answer I have thought about is:  At the Covenant of Parts.
G-d promises Abraham that his descendants will inherit "from the river of
Egypt unto the great river Euphrates. The Kenite, and the Kenizzite and the
Kamonite ( Gen 15:18,19). And in the next verse ( 20) G-d mentions the
seven nations against which Joshua fought--The Hittites, the Perizzites etc. 
Rashi to 15:19 quotes the Midrash: Ten nations are mentioned here, but He
gave them only seven nations, while the other three Edom, Moab and Ammon,
which are the Kenite the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite, are destined to be an
inheritance in the future.
Edom, Moab and Ammon are in Transjordania. Therefore Transjordania was
already part of the land given to the Jews, even though it was for the
future, G-d's word makes it as if it were immediate.  

See also Rambam Sefer Hamitzvot Shoresh 3 that the prohibition against
taking those three lands mentioned  in the torah, was only temporary.

So giving the land to Reuben Gad and half of Menasseh was not an issue.
SThat was already settled from Abraham's time.  It was just the potential
discouragement that would ensue, the Jews not willing to cross the Jordan
and possess that part of their inheritance that caused Moses' initial
anger. And that's why he subsequently agreed.    


From: Marsha Bryan Edelman <medelman@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 12:29:14 -0400
Subject: RE: Third Perek of Eicha

Regarding the alternative melody used for the chanting of Aicha, Perek
Gimel:  the practice indeed antedates the American experience. As with all
Ashkenazic chant, there are variations between Eastern European and German
practice, but these variations obviously emerged in Europe.  Abraham Baer,
in his encyclopedic "Ba'al Tefillah" ( first published in 1877) notates a
German tradition consisting of a single line, apparently to be repeated
among all subsequent verses (see No. 139, p. 42).  The tradition of a
three-part "tune" to correspond to the triple acrostic in Chapter Three is
of Eastern European origin, and likely promulgated, along with the rest of
Eastern European musical tradition, during the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, when American Jews imported primarily Lithuanian hazzanim to
serve their musical (and other) needs.  Joshua Jacobson notates a version of
this tune in his new work "Chanting the Hebrew Bible" (JPS, 2002, p. 849.)

Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman
Professor of Music and Education
Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA


End of Volume 37 Issue 2