Volume 37 Number 96
                 Produced: Mon Dec  9 23:55:12 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buddhism and avoda zara
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Delay after Brocho
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Fax machine on Shabbat
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Fine Megilot Esther on Sale
         [Steve Gindi]
Maximum Number of Brachot
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]
Nefilat Apayim
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
The Orthodox farmer
         [Bernard Raab]
Shaking Hands
         [Michael Kahn]
Touching Muktzah
         [JB Gross]


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 14:35:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Buddhism and avoda zara

David Charlap <shamino@...> writes:
> It has always been my understanding that Buddhism is a philosphy and not
> a religion.  It doesn't have any practices involving gods or other
> deities, and does not incorporate any form of worship.

Buddhism is very diverse, and there are many forms of it.  An infamous
evangelical atheist (Jewish, of course) took up Buddhism precisely
because of what you said about it being a philosophy.

However, many Buddhists do bow down to statues of Buddha and they may
also offer food to him.  Two Jews (one halachic, one paternal/cultural)
have told me of their experiences of being taken to Buddhist temples
with their Buddhist relatives; both said the exact same thing, ``I don't
know how this happened, but I BOWED DOWN to the STATUE.''

I don't know whether this meets the standard for full-fledged avoda zara
--- plenty of Christians bow down in front of statues of a different
dead guy, and I don't know if any Buddhists pray to Buddha --- but it's
definitely more than a philosophy.



From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 15:48:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Delay after Brocho

      In MJ v37n88, Jay F. Schachter posited a case where a kohen who
had no wine might make Kiddush over Lehem hapanim baked from hallah
taken from terumah on the first night of Sukkot that occurred on a
Saturday night, thereby making a series of nine consecutuve brakhot, and
asked if one could get a greater number on a sheva brakhot.

     First of all, yashar koah to Jay for demonstrating that the power
of brakha in the world is potentially greater than that of
transgression.  In Hilkhot Shegagot 4.2, Rambam cites a case (based on
Mishnah Keritot 3.5) in which a person violates eight different issurei
karet through a single sex act (assuming a number uf rather implausible
but theoretically possible coincedences; see ad loc.).  Proving that one
can make nine or more brakhot oiver a single situation is a kind of
tikkun for that possibility

     Sukkot can of course begin on a Saturday night in the era after the
rebuilding of the Temple, when there will be a Bet Din who will declare
new moons as observed, any day of the week.

     As for Jay's riddle about getting ten or more brakhot out of sheva
brakhot, he correctly mentions the possibility of using wine from neta
reva'i or teruma, and saying the blessing in the sukkah, to get up to
nine.  Since drinking wine in a certain place establishes keviut makom,
one say the Sukkah brakah according to some shitot.  Certainly according
to the Gra (who some say is the posek for Yerushalyim, where this
scenario is projected to take place), you say it every time you go into
the sukkah.

   A few suggestions for getting over ten:
    10.  Following Rambam's minhag, he says a blessing over hadasim
within the series of Birkat Hatanim.  (Ishut 10.4)
    11a.  The blessings are being recited over wine made from a
distinctive type of grape, from the new season's crop, that the mevarekh
had not yet tasted. Assuming he's a wine connoisseur, who gets pleasure
out of each distinct varietal, he would be required to say
    11b.  Alternatively, he was using a brand-new cup, specially made
for the occasion, whose acquisition gave him joy.
    12.  The MK was also the shadkhan, in partnership with another
person, and is being paid a large sum of money upon the execution of the
marriage, so he says "hatov vehametiv."
     13.  He just got out of prison or recovered from illness, and says
"Hagomel" in sequence with these brakhot, as this is the first time he
has been in a gathering of ten.  (This last one is a little bit shakey,
since it is not directly dependent upon any aspect of the
occasion--wine, cup, or the marriage itself)
    The possibilities are endless.
    By the way, this seems an appropriate way to end Hanukkah, as there
is a known tradition of playing games on Hanukkah, and this is certainly
a more elevating pastime than playing cards or even dreidl.
   Yehonatan Chipman


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 14:10:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Fax machine on Shabbat

<CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer) writes:
> I recall learning this as one of 3 reasons for now riding a bicycle on
> Yom Tov (when it's OK to carry) Reason (1) making ruts in the grass,
> etc.  (2) Moris Ayin (3) desire to fix if breaks down.

I think (and have heard elsewhere) that the third reason is the only
reason for not riding a bicycle inside an eruv/on yom tov.

One is allowed to sweep one's floor if the majority of floors in the
city are not dirt.  Likewise, I imagine that if the majority of roads in
the city are not dirt/grass, riding a bicycle would pose no problem of

I'm not sure why the second reason is a reason in itself --- as per R
Feinstein's decision about riding in a car after candlelighting,
performing a permitted action does not pose a maarit ayin problem.

Wrt the third reason --- we rely on many complex devices with multiple
parts, any of which might break.  What is the criterion for forbidding
some of them, but not others?

E.g., if a shoelace breaks, it's allowed to replace it since the shoes
once had shoelaces in them and so it's not a 'final blow'.  At the same
time, replacing a broken violin string is considered a 'final blow.'



From: Steve Gindi <steve@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 14:30:26 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Fine Megilot Esther on Sale


I run the Milknhoney.co.il web site. In addition to many interesting
discussions on a variety of Torah subjects I also have an on-line
Judaica store.

I work as Sofer Stam and my products are on sale there.

I have Megilot Esther On sale now for only 480$. For more information go
to: http://milknhoney.co.il/stam/megilah_on_klaf.html

Purim is around the corner so it is a good idea to order early.

You can order on-line.

Steve Gindi - http://www.milknhoney.co.il; <steve@...> 
PO Box 291, Jerusalem, Israel - tel. 972-54-572-366
Sofer Stam - Sacred Tefilin, Mezuzot and Megilot written with extreme
care.Written according to the Sephardic traditions with a Bamboo Shoot.
Online store  http://www.milknhoney.co.il/stam


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 20:38:29 +0200
Subject: Maximum Number of Brachot

Jay F. Schacther writes that "There ought to be something creative you
can do with the marriage scenario that gives you more benedictions, but
I can't think what it could be" After asking my brother, I am willing to
suggest the following:

When you say birkat hamazon over wine, the four brachot of birkat
hamazon are also included in the brachot pronounced over a single
drink. So--and provided you're willing to put the beracha borei peri
haggafen in the middle of the list instead of the beginning--you can add
the birkat hammazon (four) to the sheva berachot (seven) and you have
eleven to start with. If it's your only cup of wine on a Saturday night,
add havdalah (three more, making fourteen) and if it's teruma you wind
up with a grand total of fifteen brachot pronounced before you drink the

Baruch (reporting for Elliot) Schwartz


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 17:08:40 +0200
Subject: Nefilat Apayim

     Some time ago someone raised the question of Rav Soloveitchik's
custom to "fall" at Tahanun even when there is no sefer torah, provided
that there are humashim or other sefarim in the room .
    To the best of my knowledge, his custom was to fall Tahanun in all
events.  Perhaps people most often observed him doing this at Minha
following his shiur at YU, and incorrectly concluded that it had to do
with the sefarim present there.
    As  I understand matters, the Rav ztz"l, in line with the
Brisker/Vilner Gaon  tradiution, followed the Shulhan Arukh per se less
strictly than did others, and felt freer to arrive at independent
halakhic conclusions directly on the basis of the gemara and rishonim
and, especially, gave rather more weight to the Rambam.
    Re the case in point, there is no reference in either the Talmud or
Rambam to any requirement for the presence of a Sefer Torah in ordfer to
fall at Tahanun.
     The earliest source for this is Sefer ha-Rokeah, #24, who infers
this from the verse about the battle of Ay, in which Joshua "falls down
before the Ark of the Lord" (Josh 7:6).  This is quoted by Bet Yosef on
Orah Hayyim 131, but expresses some demurral from it being the final
pesak.  It is quoted in the Shulhan Arukh there (131.2) by by the Rama,
but not by the Mehaber.
     Various commentators on the Shulhan Arukh mention a variety of
attenuating circumstances under which one may fall when saying Tahanun
even at home.  Some say:  if one prays at the same time as the Tzibbur.
Others say:  if there is no impurity in the streets between the shul and
ones home.  And do on.
     But the Rav, from what I have heard of his position second-hand,
bypassed all that and would say Tahanun in a leaning position in all
      Interestingly, the Rambam, who lists "hishtahavayah" as one of the
eight things to which one praying should pay attention, mentions a much
fuller nefilat apayim -- complete full body prostration, or at least
kneeling and bowing ones head to the ground.  Our tahanun posture, in
which one reclines his haed forward slightly while seated, is described
by him as a compromise, mandated for an "important person" (adam
hashuv).  (Tefillah 5.13-14)
    Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 18:32:46 -0500
Subject: The Orthodox farmer

From: Jack Wechsler
>In a nutshell the milking parlour starts milking at a specific time >with a 
>time switch and uses pneumatic switches ,automatic milk
>sensors,compressed air to open and close doors and gates.

Thanks for the authoritative update and your summary of all the
automatic systems...please tell us how the actual extraction nozzles
(suckers?) get attached to the teets of the cow. Can this be done
automatically without manual manipulation? If not, can this be done by a
Jew or is this another job for the non-Jew?


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 23:59:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Shaking Hands

>I think it is extremely naive to assume that all teens/singles are
>either in the "no contact until marriage" group or the "no holds
>barred sexually" group.  And surely there are millions or even billions
>of handshakes daily that do not lead to climax.

Of course many handshakes that are just handshakes take place all the
time.  Yet thats not relevant to the hallacha. Whats relevent as has
been mentioned by many posters is A) Is handshaking an act of
Chiba/endearment. B) Are not chiba/endearment physical contact
permitted. That teenagers may not be keeping these hallachos is sad but
not hallachikly relevant.  I'm reminded of the Chazon Ish who spoke of
why it's so hard to conduct dialogue with non frum/ireligous people on
such issues. "How can we talk to them," he lamented. "What they call
ahava (love), we call erva (lewd)."


From: JB Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 22:12:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Touching Muktzah

<<From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
 ... But you may touch Muktzah -- the issue is moving it -- and you can even
move it under such circumstances as its being in the way or a danger.
If, for example, you come home on Shabbos to find that your wallet is
sitting in the middle of your bed, thus preventing you from sleeping --
you may move it.  ...>>

Let's not confuse "Muktzeh" and "Keli shemMelachto leIssur".

Muktzeh (meaning, roughly,"mentally classified to be out-of-bounds") is
something that lacks status as a Keli (utensile), most commonly because
it is in fact not a keli (stones, coins), or is a Keli strictly reserved
for a particular use that cannot be performed on Shabbos (Muktzeh
Mechamas Chesron Kis; stationery is a commonplace example).

"Keli shemmelachto leIssur" is a utensile whose typical use is
prohibited on Shabbos, but with additional uses that are permitted on
Shabbos, and is not so delicate that one avoids those uses on a weekday.
Since its secondary use is permitted, it retain the status of Keli.  It
may be used (tiltul letzorech gufo -- e.g., using a hammer to crack
nuts) or moved out of the way (tiltul letzorech mekomo).

If the wallet contains cash, it is regarded as Basis LeMuktzeh, and
canot be removed from the bed in the normal manner.

If it contains no cash, it is at most a "Keli shemmelachto leIssur", and
one may move it out of the way to clear the bed for use.


End of Volume 37 Issue 96