Volume 39 Number 53
                 Produced: Thu May 29  7:00:13 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another rabbi charged with fraud
         [Goldfinger, Andy]
Chassidic Garb
         [N Miller]
Heating Water
         [David Shabtai]
Hot water on Shabbat (2)
         [Leah Aharoni, Binyomin Segal]
Mishnah Yomis questions
         [Ginsburg, Paul]
Segulas and Superstitions
         [Andy Goldfinger]
A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem
         [Ben Z. Katz]
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Shechitah In The United Kingdom
         [Zev Sero]
Solar water heaters (2)
         [Carl Singer, David Waxman]


From: Goldfinger, Andy <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 09:22:41 -0400
Subject: RE: Another rabbi charged with fraud

Dani Wassner writes about whether or not jews guilty of fraud are "frum."

I ran into a rather bizarre consideration of who is or is not frum

There was a terrible tragedy in our community recently. On a Friday
night, a student of one of the yeshivas attempted to murder another
yeshiva student by deliberately running him over with a car.  (The
victim has been in a coma since then.) When a certain person was told of
this, his reaction was: "A frum kid drove a car on Shabbos?"

I do not claim this is a common reaction.  At least I hope not.  But it
does display a sort of "gut" reaction some people have to what frum
people do or do not do.

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 12:10:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Chassidic Garb

Perets Mett writes:

> Pure myth No Polish nobleman ever dressed  the way chasidim do

Not so.  The Chicago Art Institute once hosted an exhibit of paintings
of the Polish court.  The shtrayml was there for all to see.

And what's surprising about that?  If the Rizhiner could emulate the
aritocracy in the matter of equipages and fancy horses, why not
clothing?  I have in mind a picture in the Algemeyner Tsaytung of rebbe
Yosef Yitzkhak Schneerson being greeted upon his arrival in New York. 
And there on his right is his son-in-law Shmaryahu Gurari, described in
the caption as his Secretary of State, all done up in morning coat and
gray topper in the manner of the Ascot Races.

I mention these items not to poke fun but to stress the obvious, that no
one is sui generis and that even those who have put a freeze on costume
change have done nothing more than arbitrarily dignify one historical
period over another.

Noyekh Miller


From: David Shabtai <dys6@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 11:26:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Heating Water

>I know in the situations where someone walks in from the rain, one is
>not allowed to warm up hands near a heater or stove untill one is dry
>because of this concern, and certainly in the case of the rain you would
>not be warming up the water above yad soledet.
>Josh Hosseinof

The prohibition of washing ones hands and then standing in front of a
fire is a problem of bathing in hot water on Shabbat, not heating up the
water - one may not bathe in warm water even if it is not yad soledet bo
(seems like it would be an oxymoron for water to be "yad" soledet bo but
still be able to shower in it).

David Shabtai


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 14:20:58 +0200
Subject: Hot water on Shabbat

1. For the Sephardim out there, Rav Ovadia Yosef permits the use of
solar water heaters, since he considers the whole unit to be Bishul

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu on the other hand makes a distinction between
using hot water out of a solar heater on Leil Shabbat (when it is
technically permitted, but hamachmir tavo alav beracha) and using it
during the Shabbat day, which he forbids. He discussed this issue in his
weekly Monday night "Kol Tzofaich" shiur about a year and a half ago.

2. Marc Shapiro suggested creating a digital timers that would be set to
work weekly to lower water temperature before Shabbat.

There is a similar product on the market that assures water temperature
of below ~50 degrees C (~120 degrees F). It is recommended for constant
use by Israeli Family Care Stations for reasons of child safety. 50
degrees is still slightly above Yad Soledet.

Does anyone know what this product is called and whether there is a way
to further lower the water temperature?

Leah Aharoni
English/Hebrew/Russian Translator
Telefax 972-2-9971146, Mobile 972-56-852571
Email <leah25@...>

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 20:54:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Hot water on Shabbat

A good discussion about the issues involved in using hot water on
shabbos. One issue that seems to have been overlooked so far is "eish"
(fire). As I understand it, a gas water heater uses a pilot light to
ignite a fire when the water in the boiler goes below some threshold
temperature, and then stops the flow of gas (putting out the fire) when
the upper threshold is reached.

While I do agree that if the upper threshold was below yad soledet,
there would be no "cooking", nonetheless causing the fire to ignite
would, I believe, be an issue of "eish".

I believe that Rav Heineman from Baltimore spoke about this issue at a
conference MANY years ago. My recollection of what he said: He suggested
that if the boiler ran below yad soledet, was turned off before shabbos,
and the intake was off (he suggested putting the boiler in the attic so
that water would still flow from the boiler) then the hot water could be
used on Shabbos. (He suggested that a well insulated boiler would hold
water hot for quite some time, though I don't recall that he addressed
the "hatmana" (wrapping) issue)



From: Ginsburg, Paul <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 07:43:26 -0400
Subject: Mishnah Yomis questions

Who instituted the Mishnah Yomis schedule (two Mishnayos a
day) and how long does it take to complete the entire Mishnah?

Paul W. Ginsburg
Rockville, Maryland


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 09:40:49 -0400
Subject: Segulas and Superstitions

The subject matter below greatly bothers me.

We have in our hands Torah She B'Al Peh (the Oral Torah).  It contains
much material that is not present in the written Torah text.  Among this
information is the existence of certain "segulas."  Now -- I don't
really understand the concept of a segula, but they seem to be certain
acts that produce tendencies (not deterministic) towards certain
consequence.  Here are some examples that I have heard:

(1) A woman eating the end of a loaf of bread is more likely to have a
male child.

(2) A woman taking a piece of the broken dish at a Tanaim (part of the
wedding ceremony) will increase her chances of marrying soon.

(3) A man folding his tallis right after Shabbos will increase the
chances of Shalom Bayis (peace in the home).

(4) A baby should not be placed on a table, since a table is similar to
a mizbeach (altar).

(5) A person should not drink from a cup that has a chipped edge since
this will tend to make him loose his memory

(6) A person should not sew clothing while he is wearing it because he
will "sew up his brains."

Now -- it is certainly true that we must treat genuine segulas properly,
and this means both that we should treat them seriously and not blow
them out of proportion.  (As indicated in this possibly apocryphal story
about the Satmar Rebbe -- The Satmar Rebbe observed one of his Chassidim
rushing to get home after Shabbos.  He asked the man why he was in such
a hurry, and the man replied that he wanted to get home to fold his
Tallis since this was a segula for Shalom Bayis.  The Rebbe said "doing
the dishes for the wife is a 'besserer segula' " -- a better segula).

But here is what bothers me.  I suspect that some local superstitions
have somehow crept in among the Torah She B'Al Peh. And -- it is ossur
(forbidden) for us to follow superstitions.  How are we to distinguish
one from the other?

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 14:08:32 -0500
Subject: Re: A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem

>From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
>I understand that Common Law recognizes the legal entity of a
>"corporation" which can sue and be sued and has an existence independent
>of the individuals or other corporations that own it, but since when
>does Halakha recognize such an entity? An individual Jew can recite a
>brakhah, receive an aliyah to the Torah, refrain from eating a
>cheeseburger, honor his or her parents or, lhavdil, can eat pork, ride
>on Shabbat or curse his parents.  In short, individual Jews observe or
>do not observe the Halakha.  Organizations can not observe Halakha only
>individuals can.  The Union of Orthodox Synagogues has done much fine
>work in certifying products as Kosher but it doesn't itself keep Kosher.
>The Union may exist as a legal entity - a "corporation" - under U.S.
>law but it has no standing under Halakha.

	There are halachot that only apply to groups of Jews (ie a
minyan) - eg devarim shebikdusha, like reading Torah shabat morning or
repeating the amidah with the kedusha.  So there are mitzvot that only
roups of Jews but not individual Jews can perform.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Eitan Fiorino <tony.fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 10:26:37 -0400
Subject: RE: Shechita

Immanuel Burton asked:

> Are there any shochtim on this mailing list who can state from
> experience how long it takes for cows, poultry and sheep to lose
> consciousness at the time of shechitah?

Given prior attempts to ban shechitah as inhumane there is a substantial
apologetic literature devoted to the subject (not to mention teshuvot on
some aspects of the issue, such as the seridei eish on whether one can
stun an animal prior to shechita).  There was a serious effort made to
scientifically disprove the claims (regarding the pain and suffering of
the animals) made by those attempting to ban shechitah in Nazi Germany.
The name of the resulting publication escapes me at the moment but the
name and many other details of German Jewry's effort to combat the
banning of shechitah can be found in Mordechai Breuer's Modernity within
Tradition, the Social History of Orthodox Jewry in Imperial Germany (New
York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

-Eitan Fiorino


From: <zsero@...> (Zev Sero)
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 14:58:42 -0400
Subject: RE: Shechitah In The United Kingdom

Gamoran, Sam <Sgamoran@...> wrote:
> Would it be halachically permissable to do post-stunning?

This is the accepted practise in Australia.  About 10 years ago one of
the shochtim went on a few weeks' holiday, and a temp was brought in
from the USA to fill in for him; when he discovered that the animals are
stunned after the shechita, he complained about it, and a round of
debate ensued within the community.  In the end all the local Rabbis
concluded that it is permitted, but the temp shochet's Rabbi in the USA
wasn't convinced, and told him to come home.


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 09:14:44 EDT
Subject: Re: Solar water heaters

      From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>

      <<Marc Shapiro (In Israel, where they use solar heaters, I assume
      this would be permitted -- halakhic experts, correct me if I am

      It depends on which version of "Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchasa" you
      have.  In the first one It says "allowed but some don't allow it."
      In the second version it says "not allowed but some do allow it.

It would seem that one could build / install an "open" gravity feed hot
water system for Shabbos.

Essentially, fill a large, insulated container w/ hot water before
Shabbos, -- or use a heating element to heat it before Shabbos, but turn
the element off before Shabbos.  Also turn off the water intake.  Draw
from this container via gravity (this would necessitate an opening above
the water line so air could enter to equalize pressure and allow water
to flow).

It would seem that the problem with a "closed" system whether solar or
otherwise is that cold water enters to replace the hot water that has
been used.  This cold water is being heated up by the presence of the
remaining hot water and then we get into those issues re: minimum
temperatures, etc.

Carl Singer

From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 02:49:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Solar water heaters

>>It depends on which version of "Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchasa" you have.
In the first one It says "allowed but some don't allow it."  In the
second version it says "not allowed but some do allow it.  <<

To elaborate a bit...

The current version of "Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchasa" puts the strict
opinion up top (in the main text), but mentions lenient opinions in the
footnotes (printed in Hebrew edition only).  From what I hear, the
reverse was true in the older edition.  One reason offered for the
reversal was that they began to manufacture the solar water heaters with
a switch operated electric element for use during cloudy and cold
weather.  Rav Aurerbach ztz'l ruled that although the solar heated water
itself is permissible, the electric element made the unit problematic
for use on Shabbath.

We don't ever use our electric heating element (we have a gas heater for
backup.)  I asked one Rabbi if we could use the solar water heater if I
were to disconnect the electric switch, but he didn't allow it.



End of Volume 39 Issue 53