Volume 37 Number 83
                 Produced: Thu Dec  5  5:03:05 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Correct" Hebrew word for "Sunrise"
         [Mark Steiner]
Delay after Brocho
         [Stephen Phillips]
A Different "Take" ON Confiscating
         [Frank Silbermann]
Intoxication by milk
         [Shalom Carmy]
The Miracle of the Oil
         [Jonathan Traum]
         [Russell Levy]
New York Times article about the Orthodox farmer (2)
         [Stephen Phillips, <CARLSINGER@...>]
Selling Chametz
         [Perry Zamek]
Selling Chametz (was Pruzbul as legal fiction?)
         [Warren Burstein]
Shaking Hands (2)
         [Mark Steiner, David Yehuda Shabtai]
Speaking on Phone when it is Shabbat on one side (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Chaim Tatel]


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 13:35:36 +0200
Subject: Re: "Correct" Hebrew word for "Sunrise"

What is the "correct" Hebrew word for "sunrise"?
First of all, we must define the term 'correct'.  This is particulary
important for the Hebrew language, which has a long history with many
layers.  A common mistake is to impose Biblical grammar on Mishnaic Hebrew,
an error which I have commented on many times on this list.  (Even worse:
imposing Biblical grammar on the Hebrew expressions in Yiddish.)
The best source for Mishnaic Hebrew is the Mishnah itself, particularly as
it appears in the Kaufmann Codex, an ancient VOCALIZED ms. which is
considered by linguists extremely reliable in its "reading traditions."
(Proof: it gets Greek and Latin loanwords right, though neither the scribe
nor the vocalizer--not, by the way, the same person--knew either language.)
The word for "sunrise" in the Kaufmann codex is "henetz hahamah", segol not
qomotz, which just means that the Mishnah's grammar is simply different from
Biblical grammar (a number of books have been written about this).  I won't
go into the specific form here, except to say that words like "heter" are
also not found in Biblical grammar.
BTW, I am happy to say that those readers of this list who are connected to
the Internet can actually see the Kaufmann Codex (and other mss.) with their
own eyes by visiting the National Library of Jerusalem at
http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/talmud/.  By choosing "Mishnah", tractate
Berakhot, Mishnah 1, we get to
masecet=01.  Looking at the right column on the bottom you will see henetz
hahamah.  It is amazing that what took scholars a trip to Hungary once can
now be seen by all Jews without leaving your study or paying for a fascimile

The conclusion would have to be that if "correct" means the word as it
appears in the Mishnah, and in the dialect of Hebrew that the Mishnah is
written in, "netz hahamah" is incorrect, but so is "honetz".  "Honetz" is a
biblicism.  As for "netz", I have actually seen this "incorrect" form in the
rishonim, though I admit I didn't check original mss.

Mark Steiner

If you are already looking at the Kaufmann Codex, check out other
non-Biblical forms, for example the word "rashayy" (two yods with a hiriq
under the first--called sometimes a "hiriq genuva" by analogy to the patah
genuva well known in Biblical Hebrew).


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Delay after Brocho

> From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
> Several correspondents have noted the desirability of avoiding delay
> between the brocho for a mitzvah and its actual fulfillment. Considering
> that this is a general requirement, what's up with havdalah? We make a
> brocho for the wine (or whatever chamar ha'medina we are using) but not
> only do we not immediately drink the stuff, we first go on to make
> brochos over spices and fire, fulfill these mitzvos, then go on to
> recite the whole havdalah before finally drinking the wine. Talk about a
> hefsek!  Nor does this follow the format of a "brocho aruchah", an
> extended brocho. What is up?

See Shulchan Aruch Siman 296:6 and the Mishnah Berura Seif Koton 30
where it says that one must hold the wine in one's left hand when
smelling the spices. The whole Havdala is recited over the wine, so it
is not considered an interruption. The same law applies to Kiddush,
especially on Yom Tov when there may be several extra Blessings
(eg. Havdala, Shehecheyanu, Succah).

Stephen Phillips.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:39:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  A Different "Take" ON Confiscating

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi:
> 	When a student said, "That's mine -- you're stealing it" I just
> replied, "Yup, it's yours. Would you like to earn it back, or would you
> prefer I sent it to your parents to return to you, along with a note
> explaining why I confiscated it?"

Then what did you do when the student objected:  "That would be Lashon Hara!"

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:30:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Intoxication by milk

> >If the gemara concludes by permitting milk, then unless one follows the
> >Rambam who only allows alcoholic drinks (and the milk in the g'mara
> >had an alcoholic nature), anything which is stated by rishonim and
> >achronim concerning milk and hamar medina ought to be appertaining to
> >time and place.

I once heard from R. Soloveitchik the suggestion that milk may be
considered "intoxicating" midi d'meshakker, because of its soporific
effect. As this issue was incidental to the shiur (on shtuyei yayin) I
do not know how much weight he attached to this suggestion.


From: Jonathan Traum <jont@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 14:40:46 -0500
Subject: The Miracle of the Oil

Many a rav has rhetorically asked and answered the question "Why do we
celebrate Channuka for eight days?  After all, the oil was supposed to burn
for one day, so the fact that it burned on the first day wasn't

The first time I heard someone pose this question, I was very confused.  I
had always assumed that the miracle was that for the entire eight days, the
Menorah consumed oil at 1/8 the normal rate.  Thus, the miracle lasted for
the entire eight days, and if someone had happened to closely examined the
Menorah at the end of the first day, he would have noticed that the cups
were 7/8 full.

However, the question above seems to imply that the Menorah burned its oil
at the normal rate on the first day, and then continued to burn without oil
for the remaining seven days.  Thus, someone closely examining the Menorah
at the end of the first day would have noticed that the cups were empty of

Are there any sources that explicitly discuss the physical nature of the
miracle of the oil -- whether the miracle was that the oil was consumed
more slowly than usual, or whether it continued burning after the oil was

Jonathan Traum


From: Russell Levy <russlevy@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 09:12:17 -0500
Subject: Negiah

Most people rely on Rav Moshe, end of EH:56, who says that though in
theory it might be ok if she were to extend her hand, that in practice
it's hard to rely on it. And a bit in EH4:32 part 9.

I guess Rav Moshe is just emphasizing the difference between what might
be in theory allowed, and how mekil we should/could actually be (in a
way, i guess, as rav shlomo zalman defines another one of these issues,
electricity on shabbat).

But you probably knew that :)



From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: New York Times article about the Orthodox farmer

> From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
> Is this typical of religious farming practice?  What if there are no 
> non-jews?
> How does one avoid animal abuse while maintaining the shabbat?

In Israel I believe they (i.e. Orthodox farmers) milk the cows using
milking machines on a time clock and then allow the milk to go to waste.

Stephen Phillips.

From: <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 09:26:21 EST
Subject: Re: New York Times article about the Orthodox farmer

It's well known halacha that not only must you feed the animals (on
Shabbos) , but you must, for example, milk the cows as failure to do so
would be painful to them.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 12:58:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Selling Chametz

David Waxman wrote:
>2.  The Israeli army offered humanitarian relief to some starving
>Africans one Pesach.  They were inclined to break into the stock of
>chametz, and ship it to Africa.  The chief military Rabbi told them to
>help themselves, but it would be forbidden for any Jew to eat any
>remaining chametz items afterwards.  The army backed down and sent matza
>and other kosher l'pesach food items.

Yelamdenu rabbenu (please enlighten us)

I don't see why this would nullify the sale -- surely it would "only"
have been an issue of gezel hagoy (stealing from the non-Jew, the owner
of the hametz). Granted that maybe the hametz that would be taken from
the storerooms might become forbidden to Jews, but why would the other
portion become forbidden?

Note: I do not condone gezel hagoy -- the use of the word "only" above
was to distinguish this offense from the issur (prohibition) of "bal
yeraeh u-val yimatze" (owning/possessing hametz during Pesach).

Perry Zamek

From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 13:16:50 +0300
Subject: Re: Selling Chametz (was Pruzbul as legal fiction?)

David Waxman writes:

>2.  The Israeli army offered humanitarian relief to some starving
>Africans one Pesach.  They were inclined to break into the stock of
>chametz, and ship it to Africa.  The chief military Rabbi told them to
>help themselves, but it would be forbidden for any Jew to eat any
>remaining chametz items afterwards.

If the non-Jew comes to your house during Pesach to pick up his chametz, is
it permitted for you to hand the chametz to him, or does he have to take it
out of the closet himself?

If the former is permitted, could the rabbi have told them to ask the
non-Jew who bought the chametz if he would like to donate his chametz to
hungry people and the army will deliver it for him?


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 14:05:08 +0200
Subject: Re: Shaking Hands

    Readers might be interest in a story I heard when in Boston, about
the Bostoner rebbe (shlita).  At Logon airport, a woman approached him
and extended her hand.  The rebbe told her: "I'm sorry, I don't shake
hands--I make eye contact."

Mark Steiner

From: David Yehuda Shabtai <dys6@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 09:16:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Shaking Hands

Last issue Rabbi Chipman deals with the Halakhic issue of shaking a
women's hand.  While I think I understand his analysis, I respectfully
question some of its assumptions.  If the Rambam indeed says that
touching a female family member is a problem (albeit Rabbinic in
nature), shouldn't contact with a non family member clearly be
problematic at least to the same degree?  "Things leading to
intercourse" is what the Rambam requires for an action to violate the
Torah principle, it seems that other types of contact, even where the
notion of chibah does not apply (to ones relatives) are still assur
Rabbinically.  Secondly, regarding Rav Acha dancing at a wedding: Rav
Moshe Feinstein discusses this in a teshuvah (which one escapes me at
the moment) and proves that we cannot be meikil based on these ma'asim.
Thirdly, (and this is not so much a problem I have with the previous
posting but with the issue in general) why is it just not good enough to
explain that as Jews we view all contact between the sexes as holy and
as such relegate it exclusively to the framework of marriage?  I think
that many people in this world still at least respect the opinion of not
having children before one is married - is it such a jump to say that as
Jews we put that threshold much lower.  As Jews are value system
includes things that we deem as kodesh - and we treat those ideas and
institutions with respect.  We do not daven in a place that is metunaf
because something as kadosh as tefillah we treat properly and only
perform it under optimal conditions.  Similarly, we do not touch women,
because something as kadosh as negiah is relegated to world of a husband
and wife.

David Shabtai


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 13:16:50 +0300
Subject: Speaking on Phone when it is Shabbat on one side

Yaakov Fogelman writes:

><Aronio@...> asks about speaking to non-observant clients in Israel on
>the phone, when it is already Shabbat there. I would that it might
>depend on whether the alleged issur is making the phone connection or
>speaking on the phone or both; if it is only making the connection, that
>has already happened and there may be no issur in just talking, tho he
>could not initiate the connection to Israel on their Shabbat;

If there is an prohibition against making a phone connection, might there
not also be a prohibition against breaking one, as this frees up the
circuitry for another call?  In that case, you can't hang up.  And if you
don't say anything, the caller will hang up, but perhaps that's permitted
because you aren't doing anything yourself.

And if there is a prohibition against speaking, you can't tell the caller
"I can't talk to you", so whether you hang up or just leave the phone off
the hook, the caller will most likely call again.  But maybe again that's
not your problem since you didn't do anything.

But if you are allowed to speak, should you just explain why you don't want
the caller to call you from a place where it is Shabbat, so you don't get
another call like this in the future?  Or is this not your problem?

From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:13:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Speaking on Phone when it is Shabbat on one side

A similar question would be:
"Can I read Jerusalem Post online on Friday (I live on the US West coast -
GMT-8) since it it Shabbos in Israel?

Chaim Tatel


End of Volume 37 Issue 83