Volume 39 Number 28
                 Produced: Thu May 15  5:07:40 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adam and Chava's wedding
         [Daniel Wells]
Audio MP3 Mishneh on the line Zeraim _ Internet First!!!
Jewish community in Tokyo
         [Bernard Raab]
Passover corn syrup, and how about corn in general?
         [David Waxman]
Potato Starch (4)
         [Frank Silbermann, Ben Katz, Martin D. Stern, Mike Gerver]
Repurchase of Chometz - Notification (3)
         [Carl Singer, Zev Sero, Michael Poppers]
Sfira Beard on TV


From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 17:38:02 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Adam and Chava's wedding

>>I'm really curious.  Who was mesader kiddushin at Adam and Chava's
>>nissuin?  Who were the aydim?
>>Rabbi Ed Goldstein

> I don't remember in whose name I heard this, one talmid chocham as a
> young child answered: witnesses are required at a wedding because the
> marriage makes the wife forbidden to everyone else.  At the time of Adam
> and Chava there was no one else. Therefore, there was no need for
> witnesses. The medrash says that Hashem braided Chava's hair and brought
> her to Adam.  I don't know if that qualifies Hashem as the mesader
> kedushin.

Who says they needed kiddushin? Until Sinai, Jewish Marriage laws were not
promulgated, eventhough it would appear that Abraham knew by instinct the
halachic laws that were to come into effect. The marriage of Adam and
Chava was presumably no different to that of any goy even today - just
"taking her into his tent" - (in polite language) is what constitutes
marriage of goyim in Jewish law. Even Itzhak took two sisters for wives
which is not condoned by halacha today.



From: <Friendlyjew@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 08:30:43 EDT
Subject: Audio MP3 Mishneh on the line Zeraim _ Internet First!!!

613.org annouces...
First time on the net

Hear all of first Seder of Mishneh Zeraim at
http://list.download.613.org/mishneh/1-zeraim/ Rabbi Meir Pogrow who
learns all of mishneh once a month has agreed to post his audio shiurium
of mishneh on the net. over 500 meg. is ready for you to download.
There are in mp3 format and free to all!

Mazel Tov and let the learning no matter where you are BEGIN...

More sedarim will be added in near future BSD,,,
question email <friendlyjew@...>



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 17:45:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Jewish community in Tokyo

Edward Ehrlich wrote:

>>Sadly, while the Jewish community of Tokyo has not grown any larger,
there are now at least two separate minyans (which considering the size
of the community must be almost impossible to maintain).<<

Having spent a Shabbat in Tokyo last summer with a small kosher tour, I
can report that Friday night "we" did not have a minyan. However, a
group of about 6-8 young (Western) men and women met in a meeting room
of the Jewish Center and conducted a service which I judged to be
ecumenical-conservative.  There was no Rabbi (other than two in our
group). They then joined us for Shabbat dinner at the Center and we had
a generally delightful evening. On Shabbat morning we did have an
orthodox minyan in the synagogue, which has a very kosher mechitza, and
none of the young people from Friday night were in attendance. This
having been the summer travel season, I cannot say that the same
situation would obtain at other times of the year.


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 02:40:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Passover corn syrup, and how about corn in general?

>> A notable exception is the independent minded R. Yaacov Emden who
states his father the Hacham Zvi didn't like the minhag, and he (R
Yaacov ) begged other poskim to join him in nullifying the minhag which
Emden says is a stringency which leads to leniencies "humra deAtya lidei
kula". <<

If I remember correctly, that was because he didn't trust the matza.  As
people didn't eat beans, they compensated by eating more matza, and he
was afraid that the matza was chametz.  So the relevancy of his opinion
today would be contigent upon the kashrut of today's matza.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 08:18:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:  Potato Starch

Yehonatan Chipman wrote:
>>  Since one explanation of the prohibition on kitniyot is that it might
>> be ground into a kind of flour, which could then be confused mixed up
>> with forbidden grain flour, this would obviously not apply to oils.

In v39 n19 Danny Skaist <danny@...> responded:
> But this would apply to potato starch.  Making potatoes kitniyot.

No, this motivation would not make potatoes kitniyot.  It merely implies
that the reasoning behind the ban on kitniyot also applies to potatoes,
and therefore, one might speculate that had potatoes been used at the
time kitniyot were banned, potatoes might, too, have been banned.  But
they weren't.

I remember hearing of rabbis centuries after the ban saying: "We would
like to repeal the prohibition on kitniyot, but we do not have the
power."  So the reasoning behind the ban no longer applies today, but
the ban stands.  Though we do not have the power to repeal the ban,
fortunately we most certainly do have the power not to extend this
prohibition to kitniyot-like non-kitniyot (such as potato starch).

Since we would like to repeal this ban but do not have the power, it
only makes sense to avoid adding to it.  For example, if one's posek
said that peanuts are not forbidden unless you have a family custom not
to eat them, then if you _don't_ have an anti-peanut family custom you
_should_ eat them.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 09:56:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Potato Starch

>From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
>But this would apply to potato starch.  Making potatoes kitniyot.

         There is a strong possibility that potatos would have been
included in the ban had they existed in Europe at the time for this
reason.  While we lament the lack of an organized rabbinate today
because of an inability to act decisively on issues such as the agunah,
there may be some advantages as well.

From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 08:45:26 EDT
Subject: Re: Potato Starch

> From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
>  Since one explanation of the prohibition on kitniyot is that it might
> be ground into a kind of flour, which could then be confused mixed up
> with forbidden grain flour, this would obviously not apply to oils. > 
> But this would apply to potato starch.  Making potatoes kitniyot. >>

This was in fact the opinion of the Chayei Adam but was not generally 

Martin D. Stern
7, Hanover Gardens, Salford M7 4FQ, England
( +44(1)61-740-2745
email <mdsternm7@...>

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 18:53:40 EDT
Subject: Potato Starch

Stephen Phillips writes, in v39n24,

> I recently heard a Rov (Rabbi Tugendhaft of Elstree, England) say that
>  had potatoes been known of at the time when the Issur (prohibition) of
>  kitniyot first arose, then we would not be allowed to eat them on
>  Pesach.

I read or heard somewhere (sorry, I don't remember where) that there was
an attempt to ban potatoes on Pesach among Ashkenazim, when potatoes
were first introduced to Europe from the New World in the 1500s. But
there was a famine in Poland shortly after that, so the ban was
temporarily lifted, and by the time the famine ended, it had become
established that potatoes could be eaten on Pesach, and it was not
practical to reinstate the ban.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 07:39:37 EDT
Subject: Re: Repurchase of Chometz - Notification

      From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>

      Or, more to the point, the buyer decides not to sell all the goods
      back!  "It ain't over till it's over."

I think this eventually is precluded in the contract.  As I understood
it (many years ago) it's usually an all or nothing contract and the
"all" and the price for same is prohibitive.

Carl Singer

From: Zev Sero <slipstick1@...>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 11:53:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Repurchase of Chometz - Notification

raphi <raphi@...> wrote:

> many people come from chu"l to spend Pessach in Israel, and only
> sign the standard Rabbanut form which is designed for Israelis.
> The problem is that the chametz they possess in chu"l will return
> to their ownership about one day too early. 

But is this necessarily a problem?  The prohibition on possessing
chametz is a personal one (chovat gavra), so surely it applies only when
it is Pesach (or the afternoon of Erev Pesach) for that person.  The
only concern I can see is according to those who hold that these people
must not own chametz even on the 8th day, when the Israeli Rabbi will
already have repurchased the chametz for them.  While it certainly can't
hurt to forestall this problem by stipulating that the chametz should
not return to the owner's possession immediately when the Rabbi
repurchases it, I don't see that it's all that terrible if one doesn't.

In any case, when does one really regain possession of the chametz?
When the Rabbi repurchases it, or when one subsequently begins to use

> a) Somebody in Israel might have access to the house of the Israeli
> who spends Pessach in chu"l. That somebody (a neighbour, family
> remaining in Israel, guests) does not know that the chametz was sold
> in chu"l. [...] they think Pessach is over and use the sold chametz,
> which technically belongs to the goy.
> b) The Israeli comes back to Israel [...] He/she is still not
> allowed to use the chametz sold in chu"l. For one day AND a few
> hours (if the Israeli spent Pessach West of Israel) the chametz
> must not be used [...] he is eating the goy's property.

This goes back to the original question about whether one needs to know
that the repurchase has taken place.  I really don't see the need.
Let's suppose that for some reason it has not happened yet.  Or let's
take Raphi's cases above, where we know (though the people using the
chametz don't) that it has not happened yet, because it is still yomtov
where the Rabbi lives.  What is the problem with using the chametz?  The
problem is stealing, since the chametz belongs to someone else, who has
not explicitly given permission for this use.  But since the goy has
every intention of selling us the chametz, and we have every intention
of buying it, surely he forgives us the technical breach; and even if
you will argue that this is not sufficient to save us from the sin of
stealing, it is a `lav hanitak la'asei' - a negative commandment where
the Torah gives us a way to wipe it out.  In this case, the Torah tells
us that the sin of stealing can be corrected by returning the stolen
goods; surely buying them is equivalent, especially when there was a
tacit agreement to buy them before they were used.  Perhaps we can
relate this to the thread we had a while back, about whether it's OK to
eat goods in a shop before paying for them, where the owner seems to
have no problem with the practise.

Zev Sero

From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 14:49:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Repurchase of Chometz - Notification

In M-J V39#13, ZSero wrote:
> With such a sale, there is no reason not to sell bread, whisky, yeast,
or any other kind of chametz, and so that is what we do, and it never
occurs to us that we shouldn't. <

Based on my understanding (and any mistakes are mine, not his) of Rabbi
EMTeitz's explanation of m'chiras chomeitz (REMT being my Rav), the
m'chira was instituted for the sake of those who earned their livelihood
from chomaitz (e.g. bakers or brewers) and could very well have put
themselves out of business destroying their stock of chomaitz before
Pessach.  From this we can see that

(1) it was meant to deal with actual (and significant amounts of)
chomaitz; and

(2) it wasn't meant for the average Jew, who wouldn't incur a significant
monetary loss by destroying or otherwise eliminating any chomaitz he
owned; but nevertheless

(3) it came eventually to be used for and by all Jews.

Accordingly, some people choose not to utilize the m'chiras-chomaitz
procedure (see http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-passover-purcpesach.htm,
last stanza), not because they consider it a false sale or worry that
the buyer actually is Jewish, but rather because it's a recent
innovation (and _not_ the m'chira mentioned by the Mishna in P'sachim
2:1, which can be done by any Jew at any time before Pessach) originally
meant to alleviate hefsed m'rubah [great monetary loss/loss of parnasah]
and not to become another acceptable method for eliminating chomaitz
from one's possession.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ


From: Anonymous
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 07:46:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Sfira Beard on TV

      From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>

      I address this to those who go by the psak that it's permitted to
      shave during sfira, because it's not acceptable to be seen "like
      that" in public.  Please note--this is a sports game, not the
      weekly parshat shavua program.  Israeli tv is generally on such a
      low moral and religious level that there isn't a local show I
      would watch.  The announcer's kippah is a light color and is easy
      to notice on his head.  "Kol hakavod lo."  He's not trying to
      blend into the crowd.

As someone who grows a sfira beard and did NOT shave it off yesterday
for a job interview (I need my potential new manager to know me for who
I am -- as regards to travel on Friday's, business meals, etc.)  I,
nonetheless, would hesitate to impune any psak that allows someone to
shave given that it might impact their parnoseh (livelyhood / income.)
"Jewish Pride" does not fully enter into the halachic equation.



End of Volume 39 Issue 28