Volume 37 Number 95
                 Produced: Mon Dec  9 23:44:19 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Black Stripes in Tallit - in Memory of the Hurban
         [David Yehuda Shabtai]
Chanukah's legal fiction
         [Moshe and davida Nugiel]
         [Gershon Dubin]
Doorknobs and Pesach
         [Michael Kahn]
Erev Purim
         [Dov Ettner]
Fax machine on Shabbat
         [Raphi Cohen]
Jewish Tales of Holy Women
         [David Waxman]
Miketz (2)
         [Harlan Braude, Eliezer Wenger]
New York Times article about the Orthodox farmer
         [JB Gross]
The Rambam on Kollel
         [Howard S. Farkas, PhD]
Shaking hands
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
         [David Waxman]
veshakhanti betokham
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]


From: David Yehuda Shabtai <dys6@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 09:36:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Black Stripes in Tallit - in Memory of the Hurban

  I had heard (another?) reason perhaps for the black stripes on the
tallit (I do not remember from whom, but it seems plausible).  There is
an idea of having the stripes match the tzitzit (I do not know where
this is from) and as such, the stripes should therefore be techeilet.
Rashi on the Torah, states that techeilet is the color of the sky when
it begins to darken - he uses the word 'le'hashchir' which means both to
darken and to become black.  Since the color of techeilet was lost to us
after a while, people relied upon this Rashi and colored their stripes

David Shabtai


From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <mosheand@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 08:57:34 +0200
Subject: Re:Chanukah's legal fiction

In reply to my rhetorical question re legal fiction,
> Is the shamesh on the chanukiah a legal fiction?

Stephen Phillips answers,

> Not really. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 673:1 where the reason for the
> Shamash is in case one inadvertently uses the lights (say for reading,
> which one may not do) then it is considered as if the Shamash was being
> used.

However, that is exactly the point!  "...it is considered as if the
Shamash was being used." But in reality ALL the lights were used.  Hence
the fiction of the Shamash allows one to avoid the transgression.




From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 20:09:18 GMT
Subject: Chanuka/Purim

<<Dr. Ben Katz, in concluding his Vol.37, #89 item on Hanukkah, states
that "the reason Chanukah is 8 days according to II Macabees is that it
was modeled after Succot.">>

Sukkos is 7 days, is it not?


[Sukkot + Shemini Atzaret = 8, and as pointed out by Rabbi Bulka from
the text, it was initially a form of "replacement" for the Succot /
Shemini Atzeret holiday since they were "in the hills and could not
celebrate in it's proper time" (basic idea from memory, not translation
of verse). Mod.]


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 23:37:48 -0500
Subject: Re: Doorknobs and Pesach

>Many years ago someone posted a wonderful hoax about cleaning door knobs
>for Pesach.

Funny you mention it. I once heard that Reb yohoshua leib Diskin's wife
used to kasher her doorknobs for Pesach. she was much "frumer" (I
know... forgive the term) than her husband. She said, "If we'de listen
to my husband we would have eaten treif a long time ago."


From: Dov Ettner <dov.etner@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 12:39:13 +0000
Subject: Erev Purim

Has anyone ever heard of or attended a wedding after hearing the
Megillah reading ?

Dov Ettner
e-mail :  <dov.etner@...>


From: Raphi Cohen <raphi@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 03:20:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Fax machine on Shabbat

Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> writes:

> As an aside, I know someone in Eretz Yisrael who used to receive a
> weekly Dvar Torah via fax from his father in law (who was in America)
> during his Friday nught Seudah. (It was still erev Shabos in America.)
> He used to read the fax without touching it and say" I just heard a
> vort from my father in law..."

What about "issur nolad" ? Am I missing something here?

Raphi Cohen

[Same question asked by: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 17:02:05 -0800
Subject: Re: Jewish Tales of Holy Women

>Yitzhak Buxbaum's recently published fascinating book "Jewish Tales of
>Holy Women" commences with the story of Rebbetzin Hayyeleh Aharonowitz,
>who was totally devoted to the holiness of Shabbat. It is related that
>when she lit the Shabbat candles, she would stand with her eyes covered
>for two hours and pray, pouring out her heart's desires to G-d. Only
>when the last congregants had returned from the synagogue did she move
>away from her candles and softly bless "Good Shabbos!"
>Given the halakhah that one does not petition G-d for his needs on
>Shabbat, and that even though it is customary for women to make requests
>at the candle lighting time, Shabbat entered long before she completed
>her prayers. I am in doubt if this behavior should be emulated or set as
>a standard, and welcome readers observations on this issue.

Once a woman lights candles, or at least when she says the bracha, she
has accepted Shabbath.  Thus, the length of the prayer makes no

The real question is this - given the general practice not to make
personal requests on Shabbath (source anyone?), how can ANYONE recite
the traditional prayer after candle lighting.  The practice is validated
by common practice as well as text (MB 263:2), so my question is merely
rhetorical.  The sha`rei tzion points us to tractate shabbath 23b, where
it says:
'* says Rav Huna, the one accustomed to the candle will have sons who are 
torah scholars...'   Rabbenu Bechaya, in his commentary on Shemoth 19:3 
says that praying during the performance of a mitzvah is particularly 

Yet, this does not justify the practice.  Just because this is an
effective point in time to make the petition does not make the practice
permissible.  That is to say, we don't validate that the ends justify
the means.

I perhaps remember someone saying that the prayer is permissible because
it is said on behalf of all Yisrael, and is thus not a personal request.
So maybe this response is applicable to the Rebbetzin's elongated
prayers as well.

Comments welcome,

* Rashi comments that the 'candle' mentioned here includes the mitzvah
candles of Shabbath and Chanukah, so perhaps we should recite this
petition after lighting Chanukah lights as well?


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 10:08:41 -0500
Subject: RE: Miketz

> From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
> We know Yakov was quite wealthy and that his sons were shepherds. Why
> did Yakov send his sons to Egypt to buy food rather than send servants?
> We know he had loyal servants based on his charge to them earlier when
> he sent them ahead bearing gifts for Esav.

My comments here are not based on any sources:

It seems to me that Yakov's economic situation was far different at this
point than it was when he sent gifts to Esav. Since the family had
difficulty feeding themselves, it would seem unlikely that they would be
in a position to support servants.

Of course, being shepards they had plenty of sheep they could have
eaten, but that wouldn't have made for a very good long-term business

They also had a variety of naturally growing legumes, like the tribute
they brought to Yosef on the second trip to Egypt: Botnim, for example
(Pistachios, according to Rashi - the only word in "la-az" I ever
recognized!), but I suppose that's not a menu with which to support a
regiment of servants.

From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 07:46:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Miketz

 Sam Saal <ssaal@...> asked <Why did Yakov send his sons to Egypt
to buy food rather than send servants? > An excellent and legitimate
question.  But based on how the Yalkut Me'am Loez explains the events
the answer is very clear cut. When the hunger began, Yosef knew that
eventually Yaakov's family will need food and come to Egypt to purchase
same. He wanted to make sure that he will meet his brothers, so he
instituted a number of regulations that will ensure that they
come. Amongst those regulations were that only heads of households may
come to purchase food, not any slaves, servants or workers. Neither were
they allowed to come with more than one donkey to take back the
food. This was to prevent overbuying. In this way, each of the brothers
would have to travel to Egypt. Since the regulations disallowed the
sending of servants, Yaakov had no other choice but to send his sons.

Eliezer Wenger


From: JB Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 22:28:53 -0500
Subject: Re:  New York Times article about the Orthodox farmer

>This issue was a major problem for the religious kibbutzim in
>(pre-State) Israel.  For many people, self-sufficiency was an important
>part of Zionist ideology, and they insisted on finding a halakhic
>solution which did not rely upon the subterfuge of the "Shabbos goy."(1)
>Rabbi Shimshon Rosenthal, rabbi of the "Rutges" hakhshara that preceded
>the settling of Tirat Zvi and Yavneh in the 1930's, and later the posek
>of the Kibbutz Hadati moment (as well as an important academic Talmud
>scholar), paskened that a Jew can milk cows on the Shabbat (manually),
>provided its done with a shinuy (change).  The Talmud already speaks of
>milking "onto a stone"--that is, of doing it in such a way that it's
>clearly only to relieve the cow and not to derive economic benefit from
>the milk.  Rav Rosenthal used this principle in a pesak which said that
>one can even milk into a bucket with renet, so that it becomes cheese
>rather than milk.(2)  (Sorry, I don't have any bibliography on this).

>    A few years ago I visited Moshav Yatir in the southern Hebron Hills
>for a Shabbat.  We were taken to see the barn, where we observed Beduins
>milking the cows.  Rav Moshe Hagar, head of the pre-military one-year
>yeshiva program at this place, commented that he disapproved of this
>solution, and that the approach whereby Jews themslves did the milking
>was preferable, for the above- mentioned ideological reason.(3)

1. What place does "Ideology" have in a question of Hilchos Shabbos?
The Chazon Ish had much to say on the subject.

[Similar question submitted by Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>

2. The principle is not one of Shinnui, but of changing the nature of
the milking from "removing a liquid" to "removing a food" (mashkeh habba
letoch ochel keochel dami).  But that takes one out of the frying pan
into the fire, since Gibbun - forming cheese from milk - is a melacha.

3. I'm sure the security issue is an important ingredient in such a


From: Howard S. Farkas, PhD <h-farkas@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 22:19:51 -0600
Subject: The Rambam on Kollel

Avi Feldblum writes:
> I cannot comment on the preference, but as for not giving to the man who
> chooses to sit in Kollel and has 10 children and then go out to the
> jewish community to say they are obligated to support him, the Rambam
> (in his commentary on Pirkei Avos) is pretty clear that he has no
> standing in asking for community support.

The Rambam actually states this as halacha in Hilchot Matanot l'Evyonim
10:18, based on the gemara in Pesachim 113a and Bava Batra 110a: "Even
if one was a scholar and respected and became impoverished, one should
become involved in a trade - even a disgusting trade - and not rely on
others. It is preferable to stretch the hides of dead animals (nevelot)
and not say to the community 'I am a great scholar...' or 'I am a Cohen,
so support me.'"

Interestingly, neither Talmudic source explicitly uses the example of
the great scholar ("chacham gadol"; instead it says "gavra raba" - a
great man), but the Rambam apparently wants to avoid any creative
parsing of the text to find an exception for talmidei chachamim, so he
makes it explicit.

Howard Farkas


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 15:10:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Shaking hands

      After my last posting, in which I mentioned in passing some of Rav
Soloveitchik's  humrot, two readers wrote me off line requesting the meaning
of the term "akht'l"  (as in "observing Shabbat for 90 minutes after shkiah
[an "akht'l"] on motza'ei Shabbat").
     My apologies for using an obscure term, that was probably unfamilar to
most..  "Akht'l" is a Yiddish word meaning "an eighth" -- that is, one-eighth
of the duration of the night (12/8= 1 1/2, or 90 minutes).
     Yehonatan Chipman


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 14:53:10 -0800
Subject: Vayeshev

I have noticed a parallelism within the parsha of vayeshev.  The
brothers pull off Yoseph's coat and then throw him in a pit.  The same
sequence is repeated with eshet Potiphar.  She pulls off his coat, and
then has him thrown into prison.  The prison is referred to more than
once by Yoseph as a 'bor' (pit).

Has anyone seen a commentary on this?


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 16:54:57 +0200
Subject: veshakhanti betokham

     The Sefat Emet (Hanukah, 5647, s.v. be'inyan shem hamukha) cites a
midrash (a Hazal, he calls it), that the purpose of building the mishkan
was that the light of holiness might dwell within each and every
individual Jew.  The phrase he quotes is "veshakhanti betoko lo neemar,
ki im betokham."  That is, not in the Mikdash (which would take the
singular pronoun, betokho), but within the Jews (plural).
     My question:   nothing of this sort appears in the Torah Temimah on
this verse, nor in Shemot Rabbah or Pesikta Rabbati on the relevant
verses.  Does anyone have any idea where this comes from?
    Yehonatan Chipman


End of Volume 37 Issue 95