Volume 37 Number 84
                 Produced: Thu Dec  5  6:03:49 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Alcoholic Milk
         [Caela Kaplowitz]
Censorship of the Gemara
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Chanukah's legal fiction
         [Moshe and davida Nugiel]
Delay after Brocho
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Drinking on Purim
         [Shlomo Pick]
Feeding one's Animals on Shabbat
         [Michael Kahn]
Henetz HaChama
         [J Gross]
The Making of a Godol
         [Eugene Bazarov]
         [Steve Gindi]
Randy Cohen, the "Ethicist"
         [Frederic H Rosenblatt]
Selling Chametz - Chametz Balua (2)
         [David Waxman, J Gross]
Shaking hands
         [David Waxman]
Tzedaqah Obligations to Street Panhandlers
Request: Daily Minyan
         [Jodi Radwell]


From: Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 21:51:25 -0500
Subject: Alcoholic Milk

I wonder if Yael gave Sisera some kind of alcoholic milk when he asked
for water? (Navi, Shoftim, Perek 4)

One of my students told me that she heard about a white wine that was
called "chalav" (milk) and that's what Yael gave Sisera. Has anyone
heard of such a thing?

Chag Sameach L'Chanukah.
Caela Kaplowitz
Baltimore, MD


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 19:52:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Censorship of the Gemara

Eli Turkel <turkel@...> said:

> Actually it is not clear if these gemaras were censored by outside
> authorities or else they were removed by the publishers themselves to
> avoid problems.

I have in my home an original Vilna Sha"S, and other sforim of that
period, and while I do not understand Russian, I _can_ read it, and the
Russian comment in every volume sure looks to me like an official
notice: Dozvolyeno Tzenzuroyu - followed by a date and place.

In the volume I am holding (Bava Kama), it says "5 Dec 1881, Vilna", and
the volume is marked as published in 1882.

This seems to me to imply that an official censor had to approve each
volume *before* publication. Can a Russian speaker tell us what those
words mean? (Of course, I assume censorship of Jewish sforim in Europe,
started much earlier.)

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <mosheand@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 00:20:34 +0200
Subject: Chanukah's legal fiction

Is the shamesh on the chanukiah a legal fiction?



From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 20:43:45 +0200
Subject: Re: Delay after Brocho

In MJ v37n80, Bernard Raab <beraab@...> asked:

<<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... 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... >>

The same question could be asked abot Sheva Berakhot at the huppah, the
blessings recited at a Brit Milah, or for that matter Kiddush which,
say, on the first night of Sukkot includes three additional berakhot
after Hagafen.

   The answer is that any series of berakhot recited over wine (and
saying series of blessings over wine is SOP in halakha; we learn that
various blessings of praise to Gd should be "ordered over a cup" from
the principle that "ein shira ela al hayayin") is considered as one
unit, so there is no hefsek involved.

    Interestingly, at a Brit Milah we recite not only the brakha of
"Asher kidesh.... Barukh atah koret haberit," but a long "yehi ratzon"
in which one names the baby, recites various pesukim, etc., all over the
cup of wine, and many people don't drink until the end (although a few
drops of wine are given to the baby at "bedamayikh hayyi").  In this
case, there are those, especially talmidei hakhamim (I saw this done,
for example, by Rav Farbstein ztz"l, late rosh yeshiva of the Hevron
Yeshiva) who take a sip from the wine after "koret habrit," to avoid a
problem of hefsek, which may exist once one leaves the rubric of
consecutive berakhot.

    Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 10:59:05 +0200
Subject: Drinking on Purim

concerning the sugya in megilla 7b and the incident between rabba and
rav zeira raised by Yair Horowitz concernning Drinking on Purim

>Many overlooked commentaries comment on the "smichut" of Rava's decree
>and the story of Rabbah and Rav Zeira. The Ran, the Baal HaMaor, and the
>Meiri quote Rav Ephraim as stating that the gemara relates the incident
>of Rabbah and Rav Zeira in order to refute Rava's ruling that one must
>become intoxicated on Purim. I find it very interesting that so many
>yeshiva students find it so easy to only listen to half of the dispute.

please note the following article by Rabbi Dr. Meir Rafeld of Bar-Ilan
University and Yeshivat Ohr Zion
"On the Interpretation of a Purim Sugya in Rabbinic Literature,"
_Mentalities_ 14/1, 1999.

chag urim sameiach   
shlomo pick


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 22:48:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Feeding one's Animals on Shabbat

>>I assume that one may FEED one's animals?

As a city dweller I'm unfamiliar with these halochos. I do know that the
last perek in Shabos, Mi Shehichshich discusses how one feeds ones
animals on Shabbos and yom tov.


From: J Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 21:27:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Henetz HaChama

In a similar (or opposite) vein, what is commonly pronounced 'Dor Haflagah'
is properly 'Dor HapPlagah'.
The Heh in this case is a definite article, not part of the gerund form of


From: Eugene Bazarov <evbazarov@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 15:47:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: The Making of a Godol

I recently purchased this book for my teenage son who loves reading
history and gedolim stories. I just heard that the book has been
banned. Is it my obligation to take this book away from him while he is
in middle of it? Should I tell him that it has lies in it? Are we really
supposed to convince our children that every godol was born a godol?

E.V. Bazarov


From: Steve Gindi <steve@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 12:03:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Milknhoney


I am happy to announce that I have added new features to my Torah web
site. It still contains hundreds of interesting Torah Discussion.

I have added an online store so that you can order Judaica.

Steve Gindi - http://www.milknhoney.co.il
<steve@...> tel. 972-54-572-366
PO Box 291, Jerusalem, Israel
Sofer Stam - Sacred Tefilin, Mezuzot and Megilot
Online store  http://www.milknhoney.co.il/stam


From: Frederic H Rosenblatt <fredr@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 13:36:19 -0800
Subject: Re: Randy Cohen, the "Ethicist"

>Art Werschulz <agw@...>  writes:
>I was always taught that a gentleman doesn't extend his hand to a lady
>(for the purposes of a handshake); it's always the lady who extends her
>hand to the gentleman.  So properly speaking, said reverse scenario
>shouldn't come up.

But that premise itself is based on the old paradigm that is being
discarded here.  What may have been proper once (a gentleman not
extending his hand to a lady) may itself be seen today as gender


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 16:38:03 -0800
Subject: Re: Selling Chametz - Chametz Balua

<<I wonder how it is possible to get rid of the hametz balu`a, absorbed
>in the dishes, pots and pans and so forth without selling the hametz.>>

Gershon's answer [to this was]: "Bitul"

There is a torah prohibition of possessing chametz over the 7 days of
Pesach.  Bitul alleviates that prohibition.  [Disregard the rabbinic
decree of biur chametz for this discussion.]  There is a separate
rabbinic decree that makes chametz forbidden in benefit if said chametz
was in possession by a Jew over Pesach.  Bitul does not alleviate this
prohibition.  That is, if one does bitul on a bag of pasta prior to
Pesach, he is not allowed to derive any benefit from it after Pesach -
bitul or not.  Thus, "bitul" is not the answer to the question.  See my
previous post for my response.

From: J Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 21:36:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Selling Chametz - Chametz Balua

<<From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>

There is no need to get rid of it -- there is no issur in owning chametz
balua (the absorbed taste of chametz, in the walls of a pot).  There is
nothing to be mevattel.


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 22:01:32 -0800
Subject: Re: Shaking hands

>I'd like to comment about the halakhic question of men and women
>shaking hands, which I feel is a bit of a myth in the Orthodox
>community.  From everything I know of the sources, nowhere is there
>a specific category known as "issur negi'ah," as people seem to think

See Iggeroth Moshe, even ha`ezer 1:56 for a contrary conclusion,
including an examination of lenient opinions.

>First, I would like to report what I consider an important
>"maaseh rav." ... This is in fact the principle invoked in
>numerous places in the Talmud known as "Maaseh Rav": i.e., when one of
>the tannaim or amoraim is reported to have behaved in a certain way, his
>actions are taken as a model from which one may learn halakhot
>(sometimes even many halakhot).

Keep in mind that the ma`asim of the tannaim and amoraim that we learn
from were written into the talmud.  Thus, the ma`asim are a literary
format selected by the redactors of the talmud, but the end result is a
textual source for the halacha.

In tractate p`sachim page 51a (the bottom), there is an account of Rabba
bar bar Chana (RbbC) and his lenient practice of eating a certain
vegetable during the shmita year after zman bi`ur.  He tells his son
that only he (RbbC) is allowed to eat it.  The son is not.  Why? Because
RbbC saw his rebbi eat it.  One who did not personally witness the rebbi
eat the vegetable is not allowed to rely on the incident as a guide for

It makes sense for you, who personally witnessed the Rav ztz'l, to
follow his example.  If the Rav wanted to influence the rest of us in
this matter, however, he would have written a formal responsa.


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 06:40:24 -0800
Subject: Tzedaqah Obligations to Street Panhandlers

Over the past few months I've read articles in several Jewish
publications that chastise the (Jewish) public for not giving directly
to beggars on the street who approach and request funds.  However, as
one who is approached several times daily by such people, I have learned
"the hard way" from reliable sources in my community that some of these
individuals are not "genuinely needy," but are well-known scam artists.
Others are equally well known to be substance abusers who use whatever
they can cadge for their next "fix."

So that those who read this post can understand that I am not attempting
to avoid my obligation to give tzedaqah, let me state that I do give, as
much as I am able, to organizations who serve the Jewish needy in my
community.  I also do volunteer work regularly and often for such
agencies, including Tomechei Shabbat.  I am not wealthy myself; indeed,
I have experienced some desperately hard times in the past and don't
expect, nor do I want, to forget what those felt like, lest I become
hardened to those experiencing such hard times presently.  As well, my
entire working life has been spent in a field in which I am bombarded
daily with the harsh realities imposed by extreme poverty and some of
its consequences, as well as the constraints imposed by government
health and social welfare policies that limit what can be done about
these problems.

Having said all of that, I would appreciate clarification on the following

	* Is there an unconditional obligation to give when approached
on the streets?

	* In particular, is there an obligation to give when one has
reliable evidence (a) that the beggar is a scam artist, or (b) that the
money would be used to purchase substances of abuse?

	* Is a woman walking alone, who may very reasonably feel
intimidated and unsafe when confronted by a panhandler on the street,
obligated to give to that person?

	* If there is not an unconditional obligation to give when
confronted by any of the above 3 circumstances, how might one deal with
the panhandler who has approached?

Thank you and hag sameah in advance.


From: <jradwel@...> (Jodi Radwell)
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 02:52:58 -0500
Subject: Request: Daily Minyan

I live in Brooklyn and work in New York City around Gramercy Park.  I
need to find a list of schuls offering a daily minyan service.  Does
such a list exist?  And if so, how can I access it?

grateful if you can assist...
jodi radwell


End of Volume 37 Issue 84