Volume 38 Number 61
                 Produced: Fri Feb 14  6:14:17 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Illegal/Obstructive Parking
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Issues of public concern and lashon harah (was Tablet K Hashgacha)
         [Steve Albert]
Lo Sisgod'du (5)
         [Andy Goldfinger, Akiva Miller, Chaim Tatel, Ezriel Krumbein,
Aharon Fischman]
Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties
Respect for your Own Contributions or for Others?
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
The Sixth International Conference on Jewish Names
         [Joseph I. Lauer]
Tablet K Hashgacha


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 06:13:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

A quick note on the original posting and the responses on the Tablet K
Kashrut question. In general, discussions on whether a hashgacha is
reliable or not does not belong on the list, and the two responses that I
have included here do a very good job of explaining why I think that
policy is correct. As one poster notes, is there any way to discuss the
issue without getting involved in lashon harah? As the second poster
notes, for practical application, you should ask your Rav, not the list.
So what value might there be on even allowing the topic on the list? Where
I have, my approach is as follows:
1) Simple factual information of who is the Rav Hamachsir, contact info
2) Any information about known chumras or kulas that the Kashrut
organization has publically said they are following
3) [and I admit this one may be controversial] If a list member has
specific information that s/he feels might be directly relevent to the
person asking the quesstion, they can contact them directly off list and
that information could be delivered with no public airing of the

Part of what sparked my interest in the original posting was that the
poster did not ask about the reliability of the hashgacha, but why it
seemed to have a wide divergance in whether people found it reliable.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 16:32:15 -0500
Subject: Illegal/Obstructive Parking

Immanuel Burton asked about halachic responses to one who parks
illegally thereby endangering the public.

See Minchat Yitzchak, Vol. 8, siman 148, where Rabbi Y.Y. Weiss, z"l
permits contacting the authorities to report a reckless driver. One may
also report someone who parks in such a manner that pedestrians and/or
vehicular traffic are endangered.

Steven Oppenheimer, DDS


From: <Salbertjewish@...> (Steve Albert)
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 08:22:48 EST
Subject: Issues of public concern and lashon harah (was Tablet K Hashgacha)

This raises some interesting side questions.  The poster asking about
the Tablet K stated that he's heard various views on the acceptability
of this hechsher, and wanted to know *why* some people have doubts about

1.  Is it possible to answer this question publicly without violating
laws of lashon harah?

2.  Is there potential valid purpose -- with respect to the laws of
lashon harah -- in getting this information?  If the questioner were a
rav deciding how to rule on its acceptability, I could see it -- though
I think such a rav would have to verify any information received in a
forum like this before relying on it.  For an individual, though, who
presumably has a rav who can rule whether or not it is acceptable, is
there a halachically acceptable reason to seek out this information?

3.  Along similar lines, should an individual ask such a question in a
public forum? Is the report that there are varying views on its
acceptability itself lashon harah?  (I'd think not, since there are some
people who will question almost any hashgacha -- the mere existence of
varying views is not, to my mind, a negative comment.)  Is the request,
which may lead someone else to post lashon harah, itself forbidden here
as avak lashon harah?

None of this is meant as criticism of the original poster, who
presumably has valid reasons for asking.  But the type of question got
me wondering about similar questions that others might ask in public
forums, which led to the questions above.

Which leads me to another, related question: On some other discussion
lists I've seen comments about the personal religious beliefs and
behaviors of Sen. Joseph Lieberman.  My immediate thought was that any
negative comments would qualify as lashon harah, but others claimed that
they have a legitimate concern about what values he'd follow if elected,
that knowing this helps them decide how to vote, and that such
discussion is therefore permissible and not lashon harah.  Can we please
discuss this as a theoretical issue, without making any comments about
Sen.  Lieberman himself?

Kol tuv,

Steve Albert


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 07:27:23 -0500
Subject: Lo Sisgod'du

Ira Bauman writes:

"I spent a Pesach in a hotel whereby a fellow yekke and myself were the
only ones to don tefillin.  As we sat next to each other we were
surprised to find several yeshiva bochurim, on the instruction of their
rebbe, isolating us on all 4 sides from the rest of the shul with
portable mechitzot that had been used for the ezras noshim."

In my neighborhood (Baltimore, Park Heights section) it is very common
for shuls to use a mechitza (partition) to separate tephillin wearing
and non-tephillin wearing groups on Chol HaMoed.

-- Andy Goldfinger

From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 09:26:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Lo Sisgod'du

In MJ 38:56, Ira Bauman wrote of a minyan which set up mechitzos to
separate those who wore tefilin on Chol haMoed from those who did not,
and that this was done in the name of "Lo Sisgod'du", the mitzvah not to
divide the Jews into separate groups. I have heard this same logic
invoked to say that there should be entirely separate minyanim for
people who do and do not wear tefilin on Chol haMoed.

I do not understand this logic. To me, it seems that the separation of
these groups is EXACTLY what the Torah is warning us against when it
says "Lo Sisgod'du - do not divide yourselves into separate groups".

Rather what the Torah wants is that we should be a single group: either
of a single minhag, or at least tolerant of other legitimate minhagim.
But the sort of division which Mr. Bauman describes seems (to me) to be
the very *violation* of "Lo Sisgod'du", not an observance of it.

Can anyone explain to me how "Lo Sisgod'du" can be interpreted as
*supporting* the divisions that he described?

Akiva Miller

From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 10:17:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Lo Sisgod'du

When I was in Yeshiva (Ner Israel-Baltimore), we had two minyanim for
Shacharis, one with tefillin and one without. The "Main" minyan wore
tefillin. When the other minyan finished Shacharis, they joined us for
Hallel and Mussaf.

In my current shul in Seattle, we have a "mixed" minyan during Chol
HaMoed. Some of us who learned in a "Charedi" yeshiva don't necessarily
agree with this, but the Rav (and his predecessor) has no problem with

From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 21:51:07 -0800
Subject: Re: Lo Sisgod'du

This regularly happens to me in Brooklyn, mostly in nusach sefard
minyanim.  I have quite gotten used to it.  When I was a teenager in a
Young Israel shul that I went to, there was no segregation but I do
remember that we tried to get a separate minyan of tefillin wearers when
possible. I know some people get upset about it.  But, I think if you
think about from a religious perspective there are many times that we
separate people out.  Israelis in Chutz LAretz are not allowed to do
melacha on the second of Yom Tov publicly. Do you feel that women should
be upset at being in a separate section?

In Israel since the minhag homokom is not to wear tefillin, I think,
many authorities would say it was wrong to wear tefillin in shul at all.
There is also tremendous issue about having second day Yom Tov minyanim.
My rebbe, Rav Dovid Lipshitz told me, that when he was in Israel he only
put on tefillin at home after davening.

Kol Tov

From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 08:42:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Lo Sisgod'du

I am not an expert, but I had to deliver a dvar torah on this issue.
The gist of what I found out was that wearing tefilin is based on
'minhag hamakom', and wherever the minhag hamakom is you should follow
in public - there is no issue of putting tefilin on in your home.  I'm
not sure how a 'minhag hamakom' was set up in a temporary setting like a
hotel, but I guess first come first serve.

The issue was a question for me since I had recently moved to Teaneck,
N.J.  and didn't know what to do.  I was told that the minhag of Teaneck
was to not have a minhag, so by default I continue the minhag hamakom of
Elizabeth N.J. where I grew up.

Aharon Fischman


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 10:48:39 -0500
Subject: Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties

I am interested in gathering information about how local (as opposed to
national) Rabbinic organizations that supervise kashruth and/or take
care of other Rabbinic communal responsibilties (e.g., gittin; beis din
services, eruv supervision; etc.) are funded/compensated.  That is to
say, are they (and the individual Rabbis involved) funded/compensated by
one or more of the following (exclusively in or some combination):
contributions from the shuls they service (by means of some mandatory
communal "tax"); voluntary contributions by individuals; fees imposed on
stores/restaurants/caterers they supervise; fees on outside suppliers
(of services or products, including food distributers); etc.

I am also interested in understanding what lay involvement or oversight
there is -- or is not -- in; tracking such funds/compensation controlled
by the local Rabbinic organization; preparing budgets; approving
salaries; approving fees; etc.

Any practical information (as opposed to idealistic notions of what
shoud be the practice), is appreciated.

[This happens to be an area that I am interested in as well, as I am
involved in the local Jewish Communal organization in Allentown, PA, and
we have discussed some of these issues. I will try and put some of my
ideas together on Sunday. Mod.]


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 12:07:33 -0500
Subject: Respect for your Own Contributions or for Others?

      Since I really believe that people should be shown respect for
      their contributions, not those of others, I shrigged off the

I can see your point, but the gemore has several instances, where the
slave of a rabbi is shown respect and preference over an ordinary Jew!
This was the subject of a recent article at NYU.  (See e.g. Qiddushin

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 15:08:57 -0500
Subject: The Sixth International Conference on Jewish Names

    Professor Aaron Demsky of Bar-Ilan University asked me to post the
following conference notice and call for papers.
    If you have access to any other relevant sites or know of
any individuals who may be interested in participating, please pass
this on.
    And, if you are interested in participating in the conference, please
contact Dr. Demsky at his E-mail address: <demskya@...>
    Thank you!
    Joseph I. Lauer


Department of Jewish History Project for the Study of Jewish Names
Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar-Ilan University


The Conference will take place on Wednesday, June 11th, 2003 at Bar-Ilan
University, Ramat-Gan


The conference committee welcomes papers on all aspects of Jewish
onomastics, including personal, family and place names. Scholars in the
fields of Jewish Studies, Ancient Near East, the Humanities and Social
Sciences and related disciplines are invited to submit their topics with
an abstract of 200-300 words, clearly stating contribution and short
bibliography, which will be reviewed by the steering committee. Deadline:
Feb. 28, ~2003
Languages of the Conference: Hebrew and English. The length of the talk
is twenty minutes, to be followed by a ten-minute discussion period.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Aaron Demsky, Project for the Study of Jewish Names, Department of
Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900 Fax: 972-3-534-6467
E-mail: <demskya@...>

Dr. Boris Kotlerman, Department of the Literature of the Jewish People,
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900 Fax: 972-3-535-1233
E-mail: <kotlerb@...>


From: rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 11:03:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Tablet K Hashgacha

In V. 38 #57 Douglas Gershuny asks about the reliability of a particular
hashgacha. One should rely on a LOR that one trusts is familiar with the
different hashgachot; an increasingly difficult task given the hundreds
of people and organizations who certify foods. I do not believe that
this forum is an appropriate place to discuss the details of a person's
reliability. In any case, I hasten to note that the kashrut of a food
item is not necessarily affected by the reliability of the certifying

I will state the following. There are different standards used by
different RAbbis giving hashgacha, such as the number of visits the
mashgiach makes in any given time frame, whether a mashgiach tamidi is
necessary when meat is served, whether a Jewish-owned establishment is
open on Shabbat, how ones approaches issues of bishul yisrael/akum,
kashering when errors are made, etc. Sometimes, a particular hashgacha
is acceptable for certain foods or types of establishments, but not for
others. None of this is to suggest that any particular Rav's standards
are less valid or acceptable than, say, the OU. Only that standards are
different and some may be more or less acceptable to your LOR.

Michael Rogovin


End of Volume 38 Issue 61