Volume 39 Number 44
                 Produced: Fri May 23  5:28:32 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycles on Shabbat
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Covering of hair
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Kabbalat Shabbat/L'cha Dodi
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
The Meitcheter
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
The Meitzer Ilui
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Mosiach and R. Kook
         [Eli Turkel]
Only teaching 10% of Torah
         [David Charlap]
Potato Starch
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Fraud and Teaching Ethics and Choshen Mishpat
         [I Kasdan]
         [David B]
Shechitah as humane
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 11:22:28 -0400
Subject: Bicycles on Shabbat

I would like to reactivate a topic that appears to have been
inadequately addressed in previous mail-jewish archives: Within an eruv,
may one ride a bicycle on Shabbat?

How would riding a bicycle differ from using a children's carriage or a
wheelchair on Shabbat (which appear to be generally accepted),
especially for people for whom walking would be possible, if a burden.
For that matter, would roller blades be permissible?

I'd appreciate any thoughts people might have on this matter.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 09:13:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Covering of hair

On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 05:59  AM,  <Smwise3@...> wrote:

> << Now it's one of the things the girls look forward to as part of
> marriage.
> Batya >>
> Why do they look forward to covering their hair? It would seem they
> still prefer to show off their natural hair--unless they have bad
> hair.  My wife covers her hair all the time, but a shaitel can be
> uncomfortable and some of the alternatives don't always look good

Well I can only speak in a personal context here but I looked forward to
putting on a sheitel because of many things I read by the Lubavitcher
Rebbe on how wearing a sheitel brings down a lot of bracha.  Also given
that for me wearing a sheitel was part of the changes that happened when
I was married and to think about how you'll soon be married is (well it
should be anyway) rather special.

Okay so physically they can be uncomfortable especially in sticky NY
weather in the summer and when you're hair is completely covered and
your hair starts growing it actually itches because there's no room to
move about and that's well, annoying but well worth the mitzvah[1] IMHO.


[1] although my husband whenever I refer to the mitzvah of covering hair
always asks me where in Rambam's count of the 613 is this mitzvah, I
think in general this is referred to as a mitzvah that woman get to do


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 15:02:16 +0300
Subject: Re: Kabbalat Shabbat/L'cha Dodi

Yisrael Medad stated:
      I have just purchased a new book entitled "The Mystical Meaning of
      Lekhah Dodi and Kabbalat Shabbat" by Reuven Kimelman and published
      in Hebrew by the Magnes Press.

It has been held that the author of Lekha Dodi, Shelomo Alqabetz,
directed that it be recited standing and not seated.  Does this book
mention such a equipment?



From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 14:51:47 +0200
Subject: Re: The Meitcheter

> >From: Chaim Mateh <chaim-m@...>
> >Just for the historical record, the grandson of the above Ilui, whose
> >name is also Shlomo Polatchek, lives here in Rechovot Israel, and I had
> >the pleasure of working in the same company/department with him for at
> >least 10 years.  It seems that illui-ness runs in the family.
> Are you sure about that? I think the Meitcheter only had daughters
> (two). 

Yup, I am sure too. I have met R' Shlomo, worked with his wife on a
computer project, their son married a daughter of neighbors of mine, and
my daughter is a friend of their daughter's.

These people really DO exist. :-)

Shimon Lebowitz                  mailto:<shimonl@...>
VM System Programmer             mailto:<shimonl@...>
Israel Police National HQ.       
Jerusalem, Israel                  phone: +972 2 530-9877  fax: 530-9308


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 14:17:58 +0300
Subject: The Meitzer Ilui

For the record, the Meitzer did not only have daughters - contrary to
what a poster wrote.

I know his son, Dr. Polachek (and maybe there was more than one son),
who is retired and lives in Jerusalem. Before retiring, he was a doctor
in Baltimore - and head of the Mizrachi youth commission when we ran
Bnei Akiva while learning in Ner Yisrael (forty years ago or so, with
the Yeshiva's approval - but that's another story ...)

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 14:38:39 GMT
Subject: Mosiach and R. Kook

Russel Hendel writes

> Ari Kahn in v39n22 gives a source for Rav Kooks statement that we
> will offer vegetables in the Messianic world.

> However the generally accepted position is that ALL OF MOSAIC LAW
> will be operative in the times of the Messiah. INDEED, the whole
> purpose of the Messiah is to allow us to practice commandments.

> In this case Rav Kooks statement of cessation of animal sacrifices
> would destroy and abrogate several Biblical commandments.
> It therefore seems to me that in cases like this we are obligated to
> simply say he was wrong."

While no rabbi is infallible I find it outrageous that one would accuse
R. Kook of not knowing basic laws that Russel claims holds.  First of
all R. Kook's position on korbanot in the days of Mosiach is not
entirely clear. However, accepting R. Ari Kahn there are still many
midrashim that talk about laws being abrogated in the days to come.

There is the famous midrash that in the days of Moshiach most holidays
will be abrogated except for Purim.  There is no the disagreement
between the Rabbis and R. Eliezer ben Azariah whether one is required to
mention the exodus from Eygpt at night or in the days of Moshiach.  In
fact R. Chaim Soloveitchik states that Rambam does not mention the
mitzvah because since it does not hold (according to Rambam) in the days
of the Moshiach it is not an eternal mitzvah and Rambam does not mention
temporary (i.e. not in the days of Moshiach) mitzvot.

Hence, not only does R. Kook not know of the elementary principle of
Russel but even R. Chaim Soloveitchik was not aware of this either.

Given the choice I prefer to decide that Russel was wrong and not R.
Kook and Rav Chaim Soloveitchik and the midrashim and many other sources

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 05/21/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 10:50:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Only teaching 10% of Torah

Stan Tenen wrote:
> The fact is that a goodly proportion of those who are currently lost to
> Torah would be attracted to Torah if more of Torah were visible.  There
> is a correlation between the fact that only about 10% of our Torah is
> known to us today, and the fact that only about 10% of Am Israel knows
> Torah.  (It's the golden rule, for heavens' sake. <smile>)
> The parts of Torah that are missing from our current command are the
> very parts that Jews go outside of Torah in search of.  Those inclined
> to meditation look to the Hindus or the Buddhists, for example.  Those
> inclined to reason, look to the sciences.  ...

It's interesting that you mention this.

This is actually a very old argument that was at the root of the
chassidim-vs-mitnagdim rift in the 1700s.

The chassidic movement feels as you do - that in order to keep Jews
learning and practicing Torah, it is necessary to teach some of those
subjects that had traditionally been restricted.  To this end, books
like the Tanya were written, in order to bring some parts of the kabbala
to the masses.

To this day, chassidim learn much more kabbalah than other Jews, and
more recently, Chabad actually teaches some of it to non-chassidim as
well.  This practice is still a source of great controversy, even today.
Fortunately, this controversy no longer incites Jews to physical

-- David


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 15:13:39 +0300
Subject: Re: Potato Starch

Interesting that you mention it.  In a shi`ur before Pessah this year,
Harav Israel Greenberger shlita, the Mot"z of Vizhnitz in Petah Tiqwa,
offered his observation that if potatoes had been known when qitniyot
were banned, they probably would have been banned for Pessah also
(exactly for the reason that Danny stated).

While I cannot pinpoint specifically when the Jewish world became
familiar with potatoes, I would point out that to this day the Zanzer
Hasidim recite the shehakol blessing on potatoes, which they thought
were akin to mushrooms.



From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 07:24:19 -0400
Subject: Re Fraud and Teaching Ethics and Choshen Mishpat

Regarding the suggestions to teach Choshen Mishpat and musar (ethics)
see http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/TorahEthics.html
also found in "The Ethical Imperative: Torah Perspectives on Ethics and
Values" (Artscroll 2000).


From: David B <dmosheborg@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 13:20:03 +0000
Subject: Shechita

I am currently studying sechita at Y.U. In the experience that I have
with birds and poultry, they die immediately following the sechita.
What the article may be reffering to, is the pirkus "death
ratteling". The pirkus is an after life nervous system reaction.  In
birds this can last for up to appox. 2 minuets.  With larger animals
even longer.  When I went to see a cow being sechted, appox. a half an
hour after the sechita, when the cow had already began to be butchered I
witnessed individual pieces of meat making small twitches.  I think that
at that stage the cow can be considered "dead" according to
everyone. This can prove that the pirkus is just a nervous system

Moshe Borg


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 14:34:48 +0300
Subject: Shechitah as humane

Many, many years ago - probably about 40 - Rabbi Munk (the founder of
Camp Munk) devoted a great deal of time to the issue of Shechitah and
its humane dimensions. I remember that together with him, Cornell
University carried out a scientific study in which electrodes were
attached to the animals' heads before the shechitah, and brain activity
was monitored before, during, and after shechitah. The findings were
conclusive - the animals immediately lost all brain function and could
not feel pain. I don't remember the scientific reasoning behind this.

Maybe Rabbi Eli Munk, Rabbi Munk's son, may have more information on

Again - I'm inclined to agree that the humane society's motivation is
not because of the animals' feelings, but is linked to other, darker

It reminds me of the quip that the Puritans were against bear-baiting,
not because of the pain to the bears, but because of the pleasure to the
spectators ...

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 16:58:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Tachnun

Immanuel Burton stated:
>The Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer by Macy Nulman
>(published by Jason Aronson Inc, 1993).  It cites Ta'amai Ha'Minhagim
>(by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Sperling), paragrapah 128, and states that
>tachnun is omitted at mincha on days preceding festivals - which are
>listed as being Rosh Chodesh, Purim and Chanukah - so that people won't
>forget to say Ya'aleh Ve'Yavo or Al Ha'Nissim in maariv.

It may be interesting to those who do not know already that the Munkacs
minhag is to omit Tahanun (including Shaharit) on the day before and the
day after "holidays" as well.  Thus, we did not say Hallel on lamed-bet,
lag and lamed-dalet b'omer.



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 14:43:53 GMT
Subject: Yigdal

The Ari is known to have opposed including the poem Yigdal, which is
based on the 13 ikkarim, in the service. Rav Yosef Dov Halevi
Soloveitchik, is quoted by Rav Hershel Shachter in Nefesh HaRav, p 231,
as saying that this opposition is based on the prohibition of Hukot Akum
(non-Jewish practice). Catholics include a recital of the cathecism,
which summarizes the elements of their faith, in their service; thus, it
is improper for Jews to do so.>

The reason the ARI opposed Yigdal is not known. The above is one
theory. R. Dovid Cohen of Gvul Yavetz theorizes that Yigdal was written
by a (unknown) poet who also wrote love poems and so the ARI opposed
this author

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 05/21/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


End of Volume 39 Issue 44