Volume 37 Number 65
                 Produced: Wed Oct 30 23:03:43 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Animals are for eating, not wasting on G-d! (??)
         [Shalom Carmy]
Becoming a Minister
         [Stan Tenen]
Facing West
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Facing West (was Bo-ee Kallah) (2)
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad, Avi Feldblum]
Kabbalat shabat in India
         [Danny Skaist]
Looking for Ba'al Koreh [sic] -- the term is Ba'al Keriah
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Our Knowledge of Suffering (2)
         [Joel Rich, Russell J Hendel]
Rav U'manhig
         [Leah S. Gordon]
         [Gershon Dubin]
Sacrifices / A1 steak sauce
         [David Waxman]
unkosher wine
         [David Waxman]
Whiskey aged in empty wine casks
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 11:01:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Animals are for eating, not wasting on G-d! (??)

> 'barbecued' is an interesting, if amusing, term in this context (I don't

Mishna refers to use of condiments. Eating of korbanot meets the standards
of royal feasting.

> > >>As a long- time vegetarian, I don't see how anyone who eats meat can
> >object to animal sacrifices.  The meat is eaten afterwards, just like
> >any seudat mitzvah, if I'm not mistaken.  The animal isn't wasted, just
> >ritually barbecued.<<
> The 'oleh' is burned up entirely.  This includes the daily morning and 
> afternoon offering ('tamid').

If I understand this correctly, the objection to korbanot is that not
all edible portions are actually eaten. The worship of G-d is a value
only to the extent that it conforms to the cost-benefit analyses of
utilitarian economists.

This insight revolutionizes religion.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 14:04:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Becoming a Minister

There's a line between tax fraud and legal tax avoidance.  Its location
is determined by the intention of the person, and by the explicit way
they do things.  Simply using one form of language can change a
transaction from avoidance to fraud.  But this is always a fuzzy line,
and is only meaningful if a court intervenes and issues a finding.

The use of a commercial "Reverend-license" should not be a problem.  As
long as no one is claiming any form of smicha, this is no different than
the award of any other diploma-mill.  And in a country where we're each
entitled to have a religion of our own, it's certainly no fraud to call
yourself a minister of your (own) faith.

But again, it's intention that makes the difference between right and



From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 17:14:52 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Facing West

I was once stationed in Jericho, the Beit Keneset faced west, so there
was no reason to turn around for Kabbalat Shabbat. Sorry, but the base
now belongs to the PA "police".

From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 20:26:25 +0200
Subject: Facing West (was Bo-ee Kallah)

The Gemara (and not the Kabbalah) that establishes that the Shechina is
in the West in Baba Batra, 25A, towards the bottom, in the name of Rav
Abahu, as opposed to the opinion that Shechina is everywhere.

By the way, due to this opinion, the Kodesh Hak'doshim was in the
Western section of the Temple.

The Mishna Brurah, 262, note 10, writes that the direction is West, based
on the Pri M'gadim.

Yisrael Medad

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 22:45:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Facing West (was Bo-ee Kallah)

On Sun, 27 Oct 2002, Yisrael and Batya Medad wrote:
> The Gemara (and not the Kabbalah) that establishes that the Shechina is
> in the West in Baba Batra, 25A, towards the bottom, in the name of Rav
> Abahu, as opposed to the opinion that Shechina is everywhere.

But the Lecha Dodi poem and our practice of saying it, and how we say it,
is not from a Gemara, but rather from the Kabbalistic practices of the
AR"I. So how we turn when we say the Lecha Dodi poem only makes sense if
viewed within the framework of Lurianic Kabbala. That is not to say that
there are not similar concepts already found in the Gemora, just that I do
not think that is particularly relevent.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 14:23:42 +0200
Subject: Kabbalat shabat in India

<<< Remember that all of Kabbalat Shabbat was an introduction of the
kabbalist community in Tzefat. The turning at the end of L'cho Dodi is a
turn to the West. It is not relevant whether there is a door there or
whether it is in the back or side of the shul (I would be interested to
understand how it is done where the shul faces west). The choice of West
is part of the kabbalistic nature of what is being done.
Avi Feldblum  >>>

I was told by a friend who was born in India, that he never saw the minhag
to turn around until he went to Yeshiva  in England.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 13:16:39 +0200
Subject: Re: Looking for Ba'al Koreh [sic] -- the term is Ba'al Keriah

<Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu) stated correctly that:

>Ba'al Koreh is a common mistake for the Torah reader instead of Ba'al
>Keri'ah. Similarly Ba'al Toke'ah instead of Ba'al Teki'ah.

I think that the shofar blower is more correctly referred to as the
toqe`a, which is the simple qal form of the verb, also used as a noun.
This form, of course, is not the case for referring to the tora reader.

>This mistake is common, and I traced it to Eastern European circles
>where they were either not too stringent with the Hebrew grammar or
>maybe due to the Yiddish influence.

Another common example is referring to the author of a book as the ba`al
mehaber, where mehaber alone is both simpler and correct at the same



From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 00:53:37 EDT
Subject: Re: Our Knowledge of Suffering

<<  What do other readers think? (chilukim?)
 Of course, the question is what are we supposed to do with these
 gemarot??  Who of us would ever say such a thing (well, maybe some)?  It
 seems clear that different 'torah-perspectives' were taken on jewish
 suffering in different time periods.  are we to distinguish between soul
 searching/taking mussar in response to a tragedy and attempting to find
 a reason for it? >>

Dear Shalom,

I think you're discovering that as much as we try to reconcile all the
statements of chazal, the simpler explanation is that there are
differing philosophic views within the Talmud, especially on non
halachik issues.  One eventually settles on what one sees as the major
thrust and then minimizes the contradictory statements (ie one can
believe the child died for others sins or not and find support within
the talmud)

Joel Rich

From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 22:26:18 -0500
Subject: RE: Our Knowledge of Suffering

Shalom Ozarowski in mj V37n54 makes the following comments on suffering:
>>Though most respondents have rejected the suggested "reasoning" for
>>unexplained suffering/death (specifically the original tragedy of the
>>bear & the baby 'dying for peoples sins') as anti-Jewish, i think the
>>issue is still a complex one.  Obviously, we are not prophets and we
>>can't claim to know why G-d is doing something.  So why is it that we

While I think this is a good question it **does** have answers & I for
one would encourage the thread to continue. Consider the following 2
universally accepted points

1) The Rambam EXPLICITLY states (Chapter 1 of Fasts) that it is a
positive commandment to fast when a tragedy strikes the community
(Shalom notes this). Furthermore in Chapter 2 Rambam lists City
tragedies such as unemployment, plagues etc. The Rambam also explicitly
requires us, as part of the fast, to perceive the tragedy as coming upon
us because of our sins.

While it would appear that this doesnt apply to personal tragedies
(Shaloms point)consider unemployment. If I personally am unemployed I
need not fast; I can simply change jobs. It is only when my unemployment
is part of a greater community unemployment that we have a tragedy.  And
as I mentioned no one disputes that it is halachically required to fast
and regard the tragedy as coming from sins.

2) Reward and punishment **are** explicitly mentioned in the Torah.
Causing emotional anguish to a widow or orphan does invite Divine
punishment. Furthermore using Rabbi Ishmaels principle of generalization
this applies to causing emotional anguish to ANY helpless person (Rashi
Ex22-21a) The mechiltah points out that if the person doesnt pray
punishment still comes but later.

Finally with regard to the conflicting Talmudic statements mentioned by
Shalom, I heard a suggestion from the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Baer
Soloveitchick, that >perhaps sins between people are punished in this
world while we dont always see punishment for sins to God--(This
distinction could possibly explain the conflicting Talmudic
statements--but I (The Rav) havent fully examined all cases<.

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


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 16:12:06 -0800
Subject: Rav U'manhig

On the topic of parsonage, Dr. Andrew Klafter writes that there is such
a thing as "u'manhig" s'micha which doesn't really count as far as
giving p'sak, but can be used for being a communal leader or principal
or Hillel director.  Naturally, this led me to wonder, is this 'degree'
available to women?  If not, why not?  If so, is it common for women?
(I have never heard of it, but that may not mean anything.)

--Leah Gordon


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 14:17:18 GMT
Subject: Sacrifices

From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
<<I'm curious whether, once the shared portion is doled out to the Cohen
(or whomever), the recipient is then free to add condiments and
flavorings or otherwise prepare the portion in any way s/he so

Free too, and in fact encouraged to.



From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 21:29:52 +0200
Subject: Sacrifices / A1 steak sauce

>I'm curious whether, once the shared portion is doled out to the Cohen (or
>whomever), the recipient is then free to add condiments and flavorings
>or otherwise prepare the portion in any way s/he so chooses?<<

The mishna in P'sachim, 2/8 states (my translation): Don't cook the
Pesach in liquid or fruit juice, but one may baste and dip it (the
Pesach) in them.

Rashi interprets this to say that one is allowed to baste the meat while
it is roasting, and dip the meat in the liquid while eating it.  The
Rambam holds that both the basting and dipping occur only after the
roasting is done.

I would guess that other korabanoth would not be more restrictive.  So
by all means, pass the A1.


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 22:19:56 +0200
Subject: unkosher wine

 >>Some years ago a big brouhaha arose regarding the kashrut acceptability
>of the Grossinger Hotel, of blessed and lamented memory. Although it had
>become generally regarded as totally acceptable kashrus-wise, some New
>York rabbis were declaring it totally unacceptable over the issue of
>"non-kosher" wine. Apparently, such wine, long available in the nite
>club, was seen being brought into the dining room by some guests without
>challenge from management. My Rav at the time, a highly-respected posek
>and the supreme kashrut authority in his city, whose name I have not
>sought permission to use, saw no problem at all. When asked about the
>possibility that some such wine might spill onto the dishes, or better
>yet, onto "my" dish, he suggested wiping away the spill before eating
>from the dish!
>Although we call acceptable wine "kosher", this is really a shorthand
>designation, and should not be confused with the laws of kashrut and

There are two Rabbinic prohibitions against non-Jewish wine.  The first
involves 'yayin nesech' (wine poured for avoda zara).  Chazal decreed
that if a non-Jew touches the wine of a Jew, then we regard it as 'yayin
nesech'. The second is stam yainom, which is the wine of a non-Jew, even
if it is certified 100% avoda zara free.  The Rabbis prohibited Jews to
drink from it as a social barrier.  As far as I understand, these
prohibitions would be treated at the same level of stringency as chicken
and milk or bishul akum.  Perhaps your Rav determined that the risk of
the unkosher wine coming into contact with your food was negligible.

A somewhat related point...

Yarden wines are one of the few kosher wines which are not 'mevushal'
(boiled).  This means that they will be rendered unkosher if an Arab or
Jewish but not shomer shabbath waiter were to open it.  For this reason,
kosher restaurants (at least the mehadarin ones) do not serve it.

[For the same reason there are those of us who prefer to use
non-mevushal wine for Kiddush. Mod.]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 14:13:17 GMT
Subject: Whiskey aged in empty wine casks

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>

<<Although we call acceptable wine "kosher", this is really a shorthand
designation, and should not be confused with the laws of kashrut and

I'm not sure what you're getting at here.  Wine which is NOT acceptable
is forbidden by Rabbinic law.  It is not treifa, but then again neither
is pork.  The usage of treifa for all forbidden foods is actually
hundreds of years old, and applies to wine which may not be drunk no
less than meat which may not be eaten.



End of Volume 37 Issue 65