Volume 37 Number 47
                 Produced: Tue Oct 22  6:28:10 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buttons on Kittels
         [Dov Teichman]
Free online Jewish Encyclopedia
         [Mark Steiner]
Kriat Shma Al HaMita
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Learning Qualities from Animals
         [Russell J Hendel]
"Males Only" -- and segregation
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
mechitza and stores
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Pruzbul as legal fiction?
         [David I. Cohen]
Psychological Approach to Assimilation
         [Carl Singer]
Travel on Erev Shabbat; Negi'ah
         [Solomon Spiro]
Whiskey aged in empty wine casks (2)
         [Mike Gerver, Avi Feldblum]


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 20:37:55 EDT
Subject: Re: Buttons on Kittels

It is well known that chassidim were particular about buttoning right
over left. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was known to have told people to button
their suits/kapotes that way. There is a letter from R. Menachem Mendel
of Rimanov found at the end of the sefer Yalkut Menachem, to paraphrase
he says that all the evils that are befalling the Jewish nation are
because we are taking Non-Jewish dress and customs upon us...Many have
begun this new custom of the Gentiles to button left over right and
through this they are strengthening the left (din) over right
(chesed)...  The sefer Taamei Haminhagim mentions that pants, however,
should be buttoned left over right, in order to give something to "the
other side" so it doesn't attack us too much. (This idea is found in
kabbalistic literature, similar to the idea of the Se'ir Hamishtaleach)

Dov Teichman


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 16:52:10 -0500
Subject: Free online Jewish Encyclopedia

Shalom, All:

        There's an interesting, free, online encyclopedia that m-j
readers may find useful. It's located at
        Rather than write about the site, let me give you their own
        "This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume
Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906.
The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently became part of the public domain,
contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations.
        "This online version contains the unedited contents of the
original encyclopedia. Since the original work was completed almost 100
years ago, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish
History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.). However, it
does contain an incredible amount of information that is remarkably
relevant today."

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi
<c.halevi@...> (formerly chihal@ync.net -- please note new address)


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 12:22:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Kiddush

Ira Grinberg described the following scenario:

      In the second, the ba'al habayit also makes kiddush on behalf of
      all present, but first he pours some wine (grape juice) into the
      guests cups from the bottle(s).

This option is explictly mentioned in the Talmud, Pesahim 106a, and see
Tos. d"h hava gahin, where there is a discussion whether in this
scenario the guests must wait for the baal habayit to drink from his

Mark Steiner


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 01:41:14 +0200
Subject: Kriat Shma Al HaMita

A few questions relating to Kriat Shma Al HaMita:

a) If someone davens Maariv right before they go to bed, is it necessary
to repeat Shma again?

b) If someone goes to bed, but realizes that they are likely to talk to
their spouse / roommate for a while before they fall asleep, but on the
other hand are likely to fall asleep in the middle of talking without
stopping to say Shma, is it better to say Kriat Shma al HaMita,
including the bracha of HaMapil, even if they will be interrupting it
with talk afterwards? I realize it might be better to go to bed without
talking, but that is not always practical.

c) If someone is so tired they can't really concentrate on what they're
saying, is there any need to say Kriat Shma Al HaMita?

While logic/ individual rabbis opinions are helpful, I'm particularly
interested in printed sources if there are any.


David Curwin
Efrat, Israel


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 17:02:33 -0400
Subject: Learning Qualities from Animals

Mordechai & Yossi answers Francine in v37n33 regarding sources for
learning qualities from animals. Actually my paper TOWARDS A DEFINITION
OF TORAH (Proceedings of the AOJS, Volume 2-3) gives a reference:

Rabbi Jonathan observed: If the Torah hadnt been given then we could
have learned modesty from the cat, honesty from the ant, chasity from
the dove, and good manners from the cock who first coaxes and then mates
(Erubin 100b)

This is the source for what Yossi mentioned

I might also mention the Biblical precedent: Prv06-06 Go to the ant &
learn her ways Other lessons may also be learned (Prv30-25) Thus the
idea of learning from the animals is Biblical in its roots

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.org/


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 15:54:02 +0200
Subject: Re: "Males Only" -- and segregation

> Yes, BUT, the same Torah tells us: B'Darchei Noam v'Darchei Shalom - and
> a lot of people on the list think this kind of sign is not B'Darchei
> Noam v'Darchei Shalom.

I think we should keep in mind that "a lot of people on this list" are
*not* the target clientele of shops in Meah Shearim.  They are probably
trying to do business with a population which *does* expect this
separation, and might *not* shop there if it was not in effect.

> Also, this kind of separation is, IMHO, no more than D'Rabbanan, if that
> - and our Sages say (quoting from memory here) "Gadol Kavod HaBriyos
> sheh-Doche ..." Might this not be a factor, as well?

Again, if the local 'briyos' prefer it that way, 'ze kvodam', no?  I
prefer restaurants (bar mitzvas, weddings, etc.) where I can dine
together with my wife, so that business in Meah Shearim is very unlikely
to see me as a customer, but why do we have to complain if that is what
they want? Are we trying to 'emancipate' the women of Meah Shearim???

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://shimonl.findhere.org/PGP/


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 09:02:43 -0700
Subject: mechitza and stores

>  The burden of proof falls on those who would claim that mehitzah
> is limited to the synagogue alone (which, I believe, they have done --
> but it's still only one halakhic option).

If this was the issue then the proper response of the restaurant owner
would be to have two equally attractive areas of his restaurant for male
and female customers, rather than allowing female customers to come into
the mens area, spend their money and get out.


From: David I. Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 11:45:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Pruzbul as legal fiction?

Nachum Ziskind wrote:

> > Along the same lines, the sale of Chametz prior to Pesach is not meant
> >to be a legal fiction at all, and the Jew selling it must be willing to
> >deliver all the Chametz to the non-Jew who bought it if the non-Jew pays
> >the market value of the Chametz.
>  Oh? How many times have you delivered on your Chametz contract? Do you
>  expect to EVER deliver? I didn't think so.
>  But, legally, the sale makes all the difference in the world. That's why
>  it's a legal fiction.

While one may never expect to deliver the sold chametz to the non-Jewish
buyer, if one was not prepared to do so, he has not really sold his
chametz and any item of chametz becomes unusable even after Pesach
(chametz she'avar awlov hapesach). While one can play a semantic game,
(by different definitions of what is or is not a "legal fiction") the
key halachically is that it must be a binding, real sale, made with the
complete intention to divest yourself of ownership forever.

A true story: While he was rabbi of the Young Israel of Stamford, Rabbi
K.  Auman (now in Flatbush) was quite meticulous in making sure that the
sale of chometz was binding both under the halacha and secular law. He
required each person selling through his agency to sign a formal Power
of Attorney, valid under Connecticut law in addition to signing on the
shtar. He also insisted that the non-Jew be someone who was
sophisticated enough to understand the complexities of the transaction.

One year, Rabbi Auman asked me to see if I could find a non-Jew to be
the purchaser, and I was able to find a co-worker who was single and
lived in a large apartment building in the area. As part of the
transaction, Rabbi Auman gave the non-Jew copies of all the Powers of
Attorney which among other things contained each individuals name,
address and chametz location.  One night, during chol hamoed, the
non-Jew was telling a friend of his participation in this Jewish
transaction. As they perused the Powers of Attorney, they noticed that
one of the sellers lived in the apartemnt building. In order to prove to
his friend that he indeed owned the chometz of many Jews (and probably
needing the beer supply replenished) they descended to the apartment of
their Jewish neighbor, who was most pleased to allow them access to
their chametz. (Of course, after Pesach was over, when the entire
transaction was rescinded, the non-Jew did end up paying for the
beer) That year, we in Stamford were quite confident that our chametz had
indeed been sold.

Some legal fiction???!!!

Shabbat shalom
David I. Cohen


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 07:31:43 EDT
Subject: Re: Psychological Approach to Assimilation

      From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>

      I would use a psychological approach to the reason for

I think we're mixing several scenarios when we discuss assimiliation.
In no special order, consider the following.

1 - drifting away -- usually associated with lack of (Jewish) education
/ background / environment

2 - marriage or partnership related changing or abandoning of religion

3 - desire for social acceptance or to fit in with the majority

4 - proselytization by another religion or a cult

5 - self-generated, curiosity, exploration / attraction to another

6 - disagreement / confrontation with Jewish authority 

7 - rejection of Judaism 

And likely hybrids of these.

Not to disagree w/ Dr. Hendel, but I think one cannot put an umbrella
over all of the reasons & causes.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 21:58:34 +0200
Subject: Travel on Erev Shabbat; Negi'ah

BSD, erev shabbat lekh

I seem to remember a posting that asked if there are halakhic limits to
travel on erev shabbat.

In Sukkah 44b Aibu says one should not travel erev shabbat more than
three parasangs from home, or any place where he is resting.  The reason
is so that he will arrive at his destination in time to prepare food for
shabbat. This law is also recorded in OH 249:1. The Mishnah Berurah
discusses conditions in which the distance may be extended, as travel by
horse and wagon.  Presumably the extension would be even greater with
modern methods of travel.

A rationale for avoiding skin contact with the opposite sex:

Intimacy begins and reaches its climax with skin contact. Touching or
kissing is essentially skin contact, and the sex act, the ultimate in
intimacy, is skin contact with greater intensity, emotinally and
physically.It's all included in intimacy.  The torah, as interpreted by
the rabbis, lays special emphasis on intimacy being reserved exclusively
for one's partner in marriage. Skin contact with any one else is
considered a diminution of the exclusivity of love making one's spouse
special; it is a prodigality of a special gift of love between the

(It was accepted as a logical argument by a group of intellectuals, but
I am not sure it convinced them to behave accordingly.)


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 10:50:48 EDT
Subject: Whiskey aged in empty wine casks

It seems to me this topic has come up before, but I don't remember
when. I was at a duty free shop recently, buying a bottle of scotch, and
a sales clerk told me they were having a special on Glenmorangie. There
were several varieties, and they were advertised as being aged in empty
sherry casks, port casks, etc. I ended up buying Glenfiddich, which did
not make any such claim.

Does this present a kashrut problem for Glenmorangie? It seems that they
are at least claiming that the old wine casks affect the flavor in a
positive way. Maybe it really doesn't affect the flavor. Are there other
brands of scotch, or other whiskeys, that have this problem? I had
thought that all brands of scotch are kosher.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 21:21:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Whiskey aged in empty wine casks

This is a disgreement between the kashrut supervising agencies, and was
just covered by Kashrut Magazine. Star-K is of the opinion that aging
Scotch in sherry or port casks is a problem, and thus lists the
Glenmorangie as "not-recommended". The posek for Yeshivas Birkas Reuvan,
which Kashrus Magazine uses, does not agree, thus they say all scotches
are acceptable. This was discussed in Volume 30/31 (see for instance
v30n80 and v31n18).



End of Volume 37 Issue 47