Volume 37 Number 67
                 Produced: Sun Nov  3 20:04:35 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adding uncooked meat right before Shabbat
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Adoption of Minhagim
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Becoming a Minister
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Date from Creation
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Krias Shema
Latitude 'Allowed' in Originating New Drash
         [Dov Teichman]
Legal Fictions
         [Akiva Miller]
Need to be half cooked for Shabos
         [Gershon Dubin]
Reasons for Assimilation
         [Edward Ehrlich]
Tea for Kiddush and Havdalah
         [David & Judith Weil]


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 23:50:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Adding uncooked meat right before Shabbat

>Is this correct? I thought that if an item was totally uncooked it was ok
>to put it on right before Shabos started.
>>Examples (over simplified) - one is not allowed to leave a cholent on an
>>uncovered flame unless it is half way cooked.

Not any item.  As I recall, a (meat!) cholent may be completely uncooked
right before Shabbat as there is no concern that it you will turn up
the heat to have it ready for the Friday night meal (i.e. it needs too much
cooking time)...but you won't find this in Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchata;
you'll have to go right to the source.



From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 16:53:34 +0200
Subject: Re: Adoption of Minhagim

Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>  wrote in mj v37n44:

<<My wife and I recently spent a Shabbat at a hotel. There were a number
of simchas there -- in particular, Shabbat Hatan celebrations for two
Sefardi and one Ashkenazi couples.  There seems to have been an increase
in the number of young Ashkenazi couples who have adopted what was,
once, a purely Sefardi custom, that of a "Shabat Hatan" after the
wedding (during the week of Sheva Brachot).  The question is: to what
extent has there been cross-community movement of minhagim? That is,
adoption of Sefardi customs by Ashkenazim and vice versa. I'm not
interested what individuals may have done, but more in what has become
normal in one community, even though, say, 20 years ago it was purely
the domain of the other.>>

    1) There is an halakhic basis for such a minhag among Ashkenazim as
well-- namely, that the obligation for an aliyah latorah acording to the
written halakha in the Shulhan Arukh is davka during the week of sheva
berakhot.  The presence of a hatan in shul during that week overrides
Tahanun, Av Harahamim, etc.  In addition, if you're talking about an
entire Shabbat in a hotel setting, with meals, etc., there is of course
an obligation of sheva berakhot then, and not before.

    In fact, the "aufriff" as we know it, the Shabbat before the
wedding, is of later origin, and its history seems somewhat obscure.
Even world-class experts in minhag are hard put to provide a clear

   2) I have seen this minhag followed by purely Ashkenazic couples.
Because of the separation before the wedding, they prefer to celebrate
at a time when both hatan and kalah can be present.  I think today's
society, at laest in the modern or centrist Orthodox sector, is less
inclined to male-only celebrations then their forebears.

     3) Re the larger question of the monolithic nature of minhagim,
change, etc.  You often hear people saying in Israel, "Why can't we be
one people?  Why all these minhagim that differentiate and separate
between ethnic groups within Jewry?"  While there is valid halakhic
reason to maintain minhagim, and seriosu difficulties, e.g., with things
like changing nusah tefillah or eating kitniyot on Pesah, the bottom
line is that minhag is somewhat fluid.  Don't forget that the classical
minhagim originated within geographically defined communities.  The
mobilty and total shaking up of Jewish existence during the 20th century
- the Holocaust, creation of the State of Israel, the mass emmigration
from many Muslim countries, the fact that thriving Jewish centers of a
century ago, with their great hakhamim -- places like Baghdad, Warsaw,
or Vilna, are now Jewish deserts, with barely a minyan even on Shabbat,
let alone weekdays -- means that you can't expect things to be kept
frozen forever.  And with intra-Jewish inter-ethnic marriages, plus
baalei teshuvah, you are rapidly getting people with no clearcut
identity vis-a-vis nusah / minhag.


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 11:11:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Becoming a Minister

Wendy Baker <wbaker@...> writes:
> We all would love to pay fewer taxes, but this is not the way to go
> about it.

I think the poster was trying to find a way to get legitimate tax
exemptions for religious work that he does, work of a type which might
be done by a pastor in other religions or even a rabbi.  Many people
perform the functions of a rabbi and do not have actual ordination.

Btw, does anyone know whether graduation from Drisha's scholars program
(or similar) gives women some means of declaring themselves clergy for
tax purposes?


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 22:42:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Date from Creation

> Nowadays gravestones, marriage documents etc use the date 'from the
> creation' (5,762 etc). Although Scripture uses dating such as '200 years
> since event x', there is no mention of the time elapsed to creation, and
> as far as I know few (no one?) in the Talmud seems to really take that
> date seriously (there are mentions of cycles of 6 or 7,000 years etc,
> but in Kabbalah there are cycles of billions of years too).

Of intrest to your might be the sefer Meor Eynaim (not the Chassidish
one), where he claims that our calculation of the creation is off by a
number of years.

[The issue of the difference between the two version in seder olam raba
and the impact of that on the calculation of date from Creation has been
discussed in mail-jewish a number of times. Is what you are refering to
above a version of that or some other issue? Mod.]


From: Eitan Fiorino <tfiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 23:38:20 -0500
Subject: Kiddush

In discussing Kiddush customs, Zev Sero and Ben Katz mentioned the
concept that pouring wine into the guests cups prior to kiddush is more
hygenic/sanitary.  The hygenic aspect of distributing wine after having
drunk from the kiddush cup is secondary to halachic concerns.

Drinking from the kiddush cup renders the wine in the cup pagum, which
is considered unfit for making kiddush over (Shulchan Aruch 271:10).
Thus, it is halachically inappropriate to make kiddush, drink, the
distribute pagum wine to guests - all "germ" issues aside. One can avoid
this issue by pouring wine out into a cup (leaving a reviit in the
kiddush cup), drinking from the kiddush cup, and using the wine that was
poured into another cup to distribute to guests. Alternatively, one can
drink from the kiddush cup, add new wine to it (removing the status of
pagum) and then distribute the wine from the kiddush cup.  Or one can
drink from the kiddush cup and simply distribute the cup for guests to
drink from.

Thu Shulchan Aurch does not seem to favor distribution of wine to guests
before over distribution after kiddush.  However, it does explicitly
rule that wine need not be poured from the kiddush cup into the cups of
guests (unless the guests have wine in their cups that is pagum)

Zev also wrote:

> This method . . . [of pouring wine for guests prior to kiddush] also
> has the advantage that the listeners do not experience a delay between
> the bracha and drinking.

I don't exactly understand what the problem is with a delay, as long as
people are not being mafseik by talking or leaving the room.  If guests
are simply awaiting their wine (and are thus involved in the mitzvah),
there is not really a problem here.  The person making kiddush should
simply be careful to drink a cheekful before taking the time to
distribute wine (he/she should drink within k'dei achilat pras).

-Eitan Fiorino


From: <Aronio@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 04:41:03 EST
Subject: Krias Shema

I have always been perplexed by what happens when you say Shema with
Hamapil and then you cannot fall asleep.  So you just give up and go
read your email on mail.jewish, or read pr learn, or watch t.v. - ok.
[Please don't let anyone know that I have a t.v. :)]

But, can you call a chavrusa several timezones awaw who is still awake
to learn?  You are not supposed to talk, right?  How long does this
prohibition last?  If you cannot sleep the entire night when can you
start talking?

Also, can you have a midnight snack?  You are not supposed to eat
either.  What do you do if you are hungry/thirsty?  When can you start
to eat/drink?

Sleepless in Miami.


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 14:27:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Latitude 'Allowed' in Originating New Drash

<avirab@...> wrtites:
> What is the latitude they allowed themselves, and others, in originating
> novel interpretations? Were any guidelines ever discussed or agreed
> upon? (obviously there was opposition to some, such as to Rambam in his
> time). Do there exist guidelines that we today are 'expected' [a
> loaded word, depends on who is doing the expecting of course] to follow
> in creating drash? What's a good reference discussing this issue?

In his introduction to chumash, the Ohr HaChaim Hakodosh, writes that he
has many innovative approaches to explaining the Torah, and he is not
chas veshalom arguing with the Rishonim who preceded him, but rather one
may innovate new interpretations as long as it does not contradict
halacha, and it falls within acceptable norms. 

Dov Teichman


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 22:46:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Legal Fictions

Zev Sero wrote <<< When there is a binding contract, mental reservations
have no legal effect (devarim shebelev einam devarim).  If you agree to
sell your house, it's sold, even if you can somehow prove that you had
your mental fingers crossed the whole time.  And the same applies to
chametz. So even those store owners who sign the sale contract because
the Rabbi insisted, or talked them into it, and who imagine that the
whole thing is a fiction, have in fact made a valid sale, as they would
discover if it ever ended up in a bet din. >>>

I'm not sure if that's how "devarim shebelev einam devarim" works. You
might be right, but I'm not sure, and that's why I'm asking other
readers to chime in with their understandings.

The other possiblity of how it works is like this: If the matter ever
comes to beis din (court), then one is not allowed to claim that the
sale was invalid because he only pretended to agree to the sale. Courts
can't work like that. Courts can function only on the basis of
information that is humanly possible to work with, and that does *not*
include mental reservations.

But that doesn't mean that the sale *is* valid. It only means that the
court can (and must) enforce the sale *as if* it were valid.

This is an important distinction. The Heavenly Court *does* know if he
sold his chometz sincerely, and if he was not sincere about it, I see no
reason why *that* court should not be able to prosecute him on a charge
of owning chometz on Pesach.

Akiva Miller


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 19:10:42 GMT
Subject: Need to be half cooked for Shabos

From: .cp. <chips@...>

>>Is this correct? I thought that if an item was totally uncooked it was ok to put it on right before Shabos started.

Strictly speaking you are correct;  however, many latter day poskim say one should not rely upon this and should have everything cooked before placing it on the stove for Shabbos.



From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 12:02:40 +0200
Subject: Reasons for Assimilation

Bernard Raab wrote:

>...There seemed to be little
>variability in the progression across the families and generations.
>What was frighteningly obvious is that the survival of Judaism in the
>Galut is almost totally dependent on Jewish education, and this in
>is not totally effective. And where does this leave non-intellectual or
>"blue-collar" Judaism? 
>I would appreciate other insights... 

An article by Jonathan Tobin "This controversy is more about who we are
than how many of us there are?" 
( http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/tobin.html  ) discusses
intelligently the problem of assimilation and two current approaches of
dealing with it.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: David & Judith Weil <weildj@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 07:15:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Tea for Kiddush and Havdalah

I refer to the following statement by Andy Levy-Stevenson:
> Shabbat tea is unquestionably below par, but why would that be an issue
> for havdalah? One of the greatest pleasures of motzaei Shabbat is that
> first cup of properly made tea, on which we make havdalah. Perhaps I
> misunderstood Judith, or am I doing something wrong in my observance?

I was thinking of Shabbat morning kiddush and not of havdalah. When I
grew up in England wine was expensive and strong and usually used for
family kiddush and havdala. (Grape juice is a relatively newcomer on the
scene and wines and grapejuices are altogether cheaper than they used to
be and here in Israel, where I now live, they are especially
inexpensive.) However in many homes wives and/or daughters preferred to
make kiddush for themselves on Shabbat morning, either before shul, when
they went to shul, or during shul time, if they didn't, and not wait for
the husband/father. They found the wine too strong or didn't want to
take the expensive wine "just for me".  This also often happened when
someone was visiting someone else's home and felt embarrassed to ask for

I agree that my question concerning below par tea wouldn't apply to



End of Volume 37 Issue 67