Volume 37 Number 25
                 Produced: Wed Oct  2  4:48:26 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Asking a non-Jew to ask another non-Jew
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Beyond Melitz Yosher
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Buttons and Buttons
         [Solomon Spiro]
Buttons on kittels
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Chagim and Work
         [Rachel Swirsky]
Cholent stain
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Finding a Tallit
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Kashrut in Trieste, Italy
         [Hannah and Daniel Katsman]
New Tallis
         [Chaim Tatel]
Socio-Economic Mitzvot
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Talis in Bathroom
         [David Glasner]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 15:29:09 +0300
Subject: Re: Asking a non-Jew to ask another non-Jew

Although not exactly in consonance with the Subject (Asking a non-Jew to
ask another non-Jew), an original poster made the following statement
(not addressed to me, by the way):

>The root of your misunderstanding seems to be that you imagine that
>there are two separate prohibitions: telling a goy, and benefiting from
>what a goy has done. In fact, I think you actually said this once in so
>many words. But this is not true. There is no separate prohibition at
>all on benefiting from a goy's work; rather, it's all part of the
>prohibition on telling a goy.

Now, I have pointed out once before that there are indeed two different
prohibitions--to wit, 1) amira lenokhri and 2) deriving benefit from the
melakha of a nokhri.

The Shulhan Arukh deals with then in two separate chapters: 276 "The
Laws Pertaining to a Light Ignited by a Non-Jew on Shabbos," and 304,
"Shabbos Laws Depending on Speech."

The latter is, I suppose clear, and may be generalized to a prohibition
against telling a non-Jew to do melakha on Shabbos, regardless of who
will benefit from it.  (With details and extenuating circumstances, as
one would expect.)

The former halakha, however, seems to be problematical on this list and
therefore could stand a bit of exposition.  However, the very first
paragraph of the Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim 276:1, states the basic
principle that "[when] a non-Jew has ignited a light for a Jew, it is
forbidden to everyone, even to one for whom it was not lit."  The
section can and should be studied in detail, but this is not the time
and place.

The Mishna Berura and the Be'ur Halakha go into much detail on all
aspects of the prohibition and are very interesting.  However, the point
made by the poster is just *not accurate*.

He stated that "There is no separate prohibition at all on benefiting
from a goy's work."  And we have just seen that there is a specific
prohibition (to which there may indeed all sorts of extenuating

Then, another poster stated, in commenting on my thesis that there are
two separate prohibitions:

>Really? none of the Rabbis on this list have supported your and your
>Rav's claim, plus I have sent email to few Rabbis not on this list, none
>of whom have supported you either.

Well, it wasn't my rav who stated anything that I've claimed, at least
not in this context (although I have little doubt that he would approve
of my statements), but any rav who stated that there are indeed two
different prohibitions, telling a non-Jew and benefiting from a
non-Jew's work, is clearly stating facts.  I would be amazed if there is
any rav anywhere who would deny this.

>So if there are any Rabbis on this list who do support the p'sak of this
>Rav in total (*including* not being allowed to stop on the curb or
>crosswalk or walk across a driveway), please speak up.

This is of course another matter, which has been addressed previously.
In that case, the poster stated his position, that, ". . .  on Shabbat,
I stand away from the curb until I see that I can safely cross without
causing a car to slow or stop for me."

Mo'adim lesimha


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 09:45:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Re: Beyond Melitz Yosher

Why must every death of a child or person be seen as a punishment from
G-d? Who are we to make those decisions of what is and isn't a

I have a completely different take, which is that children who die do so
because the circumstances around them have not been properly handled. If
a child dies of cancer, I blame society for putting more money into
weapons than they do into researching cures for cancer and other
diseases, and also for pollution that causes genes to break.

If there is an earthquake in California and people die, I will not blame
G-d. I would blame the idiots who decided to live on a giant, moving
crack in the earth and put cities there. (There was no water there,
either, and look at the problems they created try to get some--how many
people were murdered to get water to Los Angeles?)

It is my belief that when Hillel said Now Go And Study to the Gentile,
he did not mean him to study Talmud alone at the expense of all else. He
meant study the world and make it a better place. That meant we were
supposed to invest more money in health care than we do in weapons, it
meant we should stop pollution and clean up our air water and food so we
don't give our children cancer, etc. etc. etc.

If we get cancer, diseases and so on, it is our job to look for a cure.

If a bear comes out of the woods and attacks a child, we have to look at
why the bear came out of the woods. Willing to bet it had something to
do with the drought (caused by global warming, caused by people.)

Punishment from God had very little to do with it. Claiming the child
was eaten by a bear because the Jews have sinned or her parents were bad
people is ridiculous, and where I come, anti-Judaism.

Jeanette Friedman


From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 17:05:52 +0200
Subject: Buttons and Buttons

BSD, 20 Tishre, 26/09

The reason I was taught why one should really button one's coat right on
left had to do with the styles of the times ( perhaps it's still so)
that women's garment buttoned left on right ( as most garments today)
and to avoid even a remote violation of lo tilbashe gever besimlat
ishah, that men are prohibited from dressing like women.


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 15:36:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Buttons on kittels

Jack Wechsler <wechsler@...> asked (MJ v37n16)
<<why do some kittels for yomim norayim have buttons on the left and
buttonholes on the right--i.e. they button up like a female garment?>>

     I assume that the reason is something quite different. The kapote
worn by Hasidim and some other Haredim also buttons up right over left,
"so as to differentiate between Jewish and goyish garments."  (If I
remember correctly, I heard this from the Bostoner Rebbe [shlit"a] many
years ago) Thus, the concern with not imitating Gentile ways is stronger
than that of crossing sex lines on this point.  I assume the same rule
is applied by the kittel makers, it being a ritual garment.  I've seen
the same thing done on the special shirts worn by some Yerushalmi
hasidim (Toldot Aharon, etc.). 

 A second reason may be Kabbalistic: in a number of things we prefer the
right side over the left, and there are traditions of "Jewish" tailoring
in which this is done to the two sides of a garment.  (The same
Yerushalmim explained to me that the special white robe worn on certain
festivals, not to be confused with a regular kittel, is made of 26
pieces of cloth, corresponding to the gematria of Gd's Name).

 Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Rachel Swirsky <swirskyr@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 17:41:31 -0400
Subject: Chagim and Work

My husband works for a company where all of the days off for chgaim come
out of his vacation time... he is given 2 weeks (in 4 years he gets an
extra) Assuming there are;

2 days Rosh Hashana,
1 day Yom Kippr,
2 first days Succot,
1/2 day Hoshsnah Rabbah (shul ends really late, and he works an hour away...
by the time he gets there it is 1/2 day),
2 Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah,
1 purim (see hoshana rabbah, plus we are makpid to start the seuda before
skiah so he would have to leave early),
2 first days pessach,
2 last days pessach,
2 days shavuote,
1 day tisha b'av (he REALLY does not fast well).

This totals 15 1/2 days.

On the other hand, I know that they do not all fall on a work days.
What is the greatest number of days that he would ever be required to
take off?  (I know this sounds like a bad grade-school math problem, but
his manager as curious.)

Thanks and Gamar Tov,
Rachel Swirsky


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 15:36:45 +0200
Subject: Re:  Cholent stain

Andy Goldfinger (MJ v37n18) commented on the discussion about how to
identify talleisim:

<<I can appreciate the problem.  I recently bought a new tallis.  At the
store, the salesperson told me that the new tallis was treated so that
is was stain proof.  She regarded this as a positive feature.  I
disagreed. The only way I could recoginze my previous tallis was by the
cholent stain on it.  What am I going to do now?>>

    Your question reminds me of the following story I once heard from
Shlomo Carlebach:

   The Kozhnitzer maggid wore a special tallit for Shabbat with a big,
rather malodorous stain.  When asked why he diidn't clean it, he told
the following story:

    Once Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev was his guest for Shabbat.  The
Berditchever was known for his uncontrollable fits of rapture when doing
mitzvot or davening.  The Maggid asked him to make Kiddush, but he
refused, knowing he wouldn't be able to control himself and would spill
wine over everything. "I'll make do with saying 'Amen'" Likewise for
Hamotzi.  Fianlly, when they settled down to eating, the Kozhnitzer
turned to his guest to ask him if he liked fish.  He answered "I like
fish, but I love Gd," at which point Rav Levi Yitzhak was overcome with
ecstasy, and the whole tray, gelilte fish, yokh (jelly) and all, went up
in the air and fell down on the Maggid's tallt.  "And so," the Maggid
concluded, "How can I ever wash a tallit that was soiled through such
holy, pure love of Gd?"  

A gutten Yomtov, Jonathan


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 19:18:49 +0200
Subject: Finding a Tallit

<BoJoM@...> (Bernard Merzel) wrote:

      Name tags can easily be sewn on the back of the collar of a

Over three decades ago, there was a (legendary?) story about the
congregant of a Far Rockaway schule, who had a mink collar on his

Yisrael Medad


From: Hannah and Daniel Katsman <hannahpt@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 16:20:25 +0200
Subject: Kashrut in Trieste, Italy

Thanks to everyone who responded to my query about kashrut in Trieste.
The information was very useful.  Unfortunately the letters were
subsequently deleted and therefore I cannot thank you personally.
Thanks also to Avi for putting my letter in so quickly.

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 09:40:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: New Tallis

Andy Goldfinger writes:
> .... The only way I could recoginze my previous tallis was by the
> cholent stain on it.  What am I going to do now?

Here's a "novel" idea.
Take a Sharpie (or other indelible-ink pen) and write your name on one of the
squares at the corner of the tallis. Just for kicks, you can date it, also.
Gut Moed,
Chaim Tatel


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 16:07:38 +0300
Subject: Re: Socio-Economic Mitzvot

<gershon.dubin@...> writes:
>This is a Gemara although I don't recall where

Eruvin 81b, Hullin 83a

>"be'arba'ah perakim mashchitin es hatabach"



From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 11:05:00 -0400
Subject: re: Talis in Bathroom

My understanding of this question goes back to what I believe I heard
from R. Simcha Wasserman on the subject about 40 years ago when I was a
bahur in his yeshiva.  Even though, it is appropriate to take off the
talit before going into the bathroom, the question arises do you make a
brakhah on the talit when you put it back on.  The answer, as I recall,
is no, because you would only make a brakhah if you were not allowed
halakhically to wear the talit in the bathroom.  Since you are allowed
to do so, you may not make a new brakhah.  If you had not been allowed
to wear the talit in the bathroom, you would have been required to make
a second brakhah even though it was your intention to put it back on
after coming out of the bathroom.  It would seem, at least
superficially, that if your talit has the brakhah written on it, that
you would indeed have to make another brakhah after coming out of the

David Glasner


End of Volume 37 Issue 25