Volume 39 Number 59
                 Produced: Sun Jun  1 13:34:51 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Bicycles on Shabbat (3)
         [Michael Rogovin, Shlomo Yaffe, Keith Bierman]
Chiuvim of the Tzibbur
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Flour and Potato Starch
         [Aliza Berger]
         [Frank Silbermann]
         [Ed Goldstein]
         [Zev Sero]
When does one take on Shabbos? (2)
         [Carl Singer, Avi Feldblum]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 11:24:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

This past month has been a fairly busy one on mail-jewish. We sent out 44
issues during May. I will try and keep to no more than 3 issues in a
single day usually. The maximum number will be 4 issues (I see I hit that
number 4 times during the month).

A couple of items that will help move your submissions through more
quickly. If you want to respond to more than one topic, please do so in
SEPERATE email messages. It is my opinion that the proper use of the
subject line helps people decide what to read and to follow threads
between issues. If there is a logical connection between the two topics so
that the response is actually a joint response to the two topics, that is
OK, but if it is two seperate responses - then make it two email messages.

PLEASE do not include the entire mail-jewish issue when you are responding
to something. Please just include the single submission in that issue, and
even there where possible trim the original submission to the point you
are responding to. In the case where you include the entire submission, I
need to seperately save your submission, edit that email message to strip
off the included issue, before I can move it to the active queue of
messages. When my time is pressed, and I have more than sufficient
submissions that do not require that work, your submission can get "lost"
in the back of my email box and may get totally missed. So if you do the
up-front work, you have a much better chance of getting right into the
active queue.

One area where I know I have been weak on is getting back to people where
their message has not gone into the active queue and letting them know
that and know why I have not moved it into the active queue. I think I am
starting the day with only about 25-35 active messages in my queue, so I
hope to be able to start contacting those of you who have messages from
May in various other places in my email boxes and are not in active queue.
Just as a rough estimate, there are approximately 10 messages per issue
(depending on size of the message) so 30 messages is consistent with 3

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 13:36:17 GMT
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

Akiva Miller asks
>Yet, over the years I have heard *many* people try to place bicycles
>into this "musical instrument" category. Anyone have a guess why?

Perhaps I am too cynical, but if one feels that riding bicycles is an
inappropriate shabbat activity and should be prohibited but cannot find
an obvious issur, one looks for possible analagous situations and grabs
onto anything, however tenuous, that gets you the result you want
(lawyers do this in legal briefs all the time). An alternative approach
is to say that while no issur is involved, still it is not in the spirit
of shabbat (arguably, ball playing, at least on asphalt within an eruv,
may well fall into this category--see Edah Journal v1n1; tennis

I have not read Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's teshuva on the subject, but from
what I understand, he reviews and rejects the various possible problems
with riding a bicycle but ultimately concludes that it should not be
done. (discussed a few years ago in mj)

Unless you are riding all day or in a race, it is unlikely you will tune
up (sorry) your bicycle or otherwise need to repair it. A leisurely ride
around the park or neighborhood would almost never require any
adjustments to a bike.

Michael Rogovin

From: <syaffe@...> (Shlomo Yaffe)
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 15:33:15 GMT
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

The common thing said by rabbanim (at least orally) is that chains come
off all the time and then it is "tikun Maneh" making the bicycle into a
usable vessel as it has no use without the chain. According to this line
of thought it is similar to the issue of musical instruments, which may
not be played lest you fix a broken string or (even) tune them.  I don't
doubt that there are formal teshuvot on the subject, somewhere.

From: Keith Bierman <Keith.Bierman@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 10:09:26 -0700
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

> From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
> Yet, over the years I have heard *many* people try to place bicycles
> into this "musical instrument" category. Anyone have a guess why?

I think it is because people used to have to tinker with bicycles in the
normal course of riding. As I mentioned in my writeup, this is not
intrinsic to bicycles, so surely there must be some other reason to
prohibit bicycles as a class (as opposed to unreliable bicycles).

> From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
> I thought the reason one couldn't ride a bicycle on shabat even
> with an eruv was the same reason that one couldn't ride a horse - that
> it was a gezerah in case you plucked an apple off a tree.

Surely there must be some *other* reason. Plucking things off trees
(either fruit or a branch) is directly related to the mode of transit.
That is, a horse may be motivated by an apple or a branch (positive or
negative reinforcement) but no bicycle is going to be motivated by
either ;>

As for questions regarding wheels and grass, for urban populations it 
may be hard to find grass to depress with one's wheels ;> So again, 
surely there must be a firmer foundation for a gezirah in general ;>

> From: Alana Suskin <alanamscat@...>
> See the Ben Ish Chai - Rav Poalim, Chelek Alef of Orach Chayim, Siman 
> 25.

For those of us with a suboptimal library, could you post a summary of 
the issues?

Keith H. Bierman    <keith.bierman@...>| 650-352-4432 voice+fax
Sun Microsystems Laboratories            | sun internal 68207
15 Network Circle  UMPK 15-224           |
Menlo Park, California  94025 	        | <kbierman@...>


From: Eitan Fiorino <tony.fiorino@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 10:35:54 -0400
Subject: Chiuvim of the Tzibbur

> From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
> I know this may sound pedantic, but all Mitzvot are performed by
> individual Jews.  There are many mitzvoth which require the presence of
> a Minyan for the individual Jew to perform the mitzvah.  For instance, a
> minyan must be present in order for someone to recite Kaddish.  But it
> is still individuals who are either reciting the Kaddish or replying
> to it.

While individuals perform mitzvot, clearly some are given to the community
as a whole - for instance a taanit tzibbur or the avodah in the beit
hamikdash.  Certainly, all of the Biblical laws relating to the
establishment of societal institutions do not devolve on individuals per say
but apply to the community at large.  I understand that there is a tradition
among Briskers that tefillah b'tzibbur is in fact a chiuv on the tzibbur,
not on any individual - perhaps some of the Briskers on the list could
confirm this and, if true, can elaborate on some of the l'maaseh
consequences of the shita.


[Some of the consequences include: Standing with feet together during
the repeatition of the Amidah, not being mafsik (interrupting) with
Baruch Hu u'Varuch Shemo. Avi Feldblum]


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 16:20:24 +0200
Subject: Flour and Potato Starch

Yes, as people wrote, you can tell them apart easily -- when they are
separate. However, regarding a mixture of, say, 90% potato starch and
10% flour, the consumer could easily be unaware of the potential hametz
problem.  By the way, I see no reason to assume that Akiva (or any man)
is not a homemaker.

Aliza Berger, PhD
Director, English Editing: http://www.editing-proofreading.com/
Statistics Consulting: http://www.statistics-help.com/


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 08:52:50 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Kitniyot

In Vol39 N54 David I. Cohen wrote:

> A number of recent postings have attempted to categorize, or at least
> make some rational sense of what is included and what is (kitniyot).
> One poster claimed potatoes are not classified as a grain while corn
> is. That criteria does not seem to hold since peanuts are not grains
> and yet are considred kitniyot (despite Mr. Silbermans's recent post)

Yes, but are peanuts _correctly_ considered kitniyot?  Rv. Moshe
Feinstein said otherwise.

> The best that can be said is that the category of kitniyot has no
> rational criteria. It is what the ashkenazi community says it is.

I believe someone earlier mentioned that the Rambam somewhere and for
whatever reason (not Pesach, I presume, because Sephardim don't have
that ban) defined the term kitniyot as edible seeds grown in a field.
Is that not true?  If it's true, then the term "kitniyot" does indeed
have a rational definition (regardless of the rationality of any single
Askenazi community's practice).

If the term "kitnyot" means "whatever anyone adds to the Pesach ban"
then I know of no defense against that accusation that maize should be
permitted and has been forbidden for no good reason.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana

[Kitniyot has a technical term in relation to Hilchot Zerayim - laws of
seeds and that is what I think Frank is refering to above. However, I do
not think that it is at all clear that there is an equivalence between
what is considered Kitniyot in Hilchot Zerayim and what is considered
kitniyot is relation to the gezerah / minhag of not eating kitniyot on
Pesach. Avi Feldblum, Mod.]


From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Ed Goldstein)
Subject: Lamnatzeach

Why do we omit lamnatzeach after 2d ashrei on certain days?  What is the
logic as to why some and not others?

Rabbi Ed Goldstein, Woodmere NY

From: <zsero@...> (Zev Sero)
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 12:57:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Sefirah

Ben Katz <bkatz@...> wrote:

> what if you miscount one night and you realize your mistake
> the next night.  Can you continue counting with a beracha?

I don't see how counting the wrong number is different than not
counting at all.

PS: This actually happened to me this week.  Because Monday was
a holiday in the USA, Tuesday felt like a Monday, and on Tuesday
night I counted 40 instead of 41, and didn't realise what I had
done until the next night, when it was too late to correct the

Zev Sero


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 09:36:42 EDT
Subject: When does one take on Shabbos?

I was out of town last Shabbos at a simcha.  In many communities when
z'man for Shabbos is very late (9 PM?)  Friday Mincha and Kabbalas
Shabbos is scheduled for an earlier time.  Question -- what are the
various approaches to when individuals and family take on Shabbos.
 ...and are their multiple prevailing viewpoints?

Consider this scenario: By the sun & stars, Shabbos starts at 9:00 PM
(z'man Shabbos). The community has an 7:45 PM Mincha followed by 8:00 PM
Kabbalas Shabbos.

1 - When is licht benching?  How is it determined?
2 - How late can individuals who are not attending services take on
3 - How late can family members (spouse & children) who are not attending

Does any of the above change is there are two minyanim -- one at 8:00 and
one at z'man?

Carl Singer

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 08:26:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: When does one take on Shabbos?

I am currently interested in a slight variation of the topic that Carl
brings up. In particular, what I am looking to find out is what are the
prevailing customs for Friday Mincha / Kabbalat Shabbat / Maariv. I know
of at least four possibilities, with individual communities and shuls
having minyanim at one or more of the possibilities. After exchanging
some emails with Carl, I think the below will cover both of our
interests. If people could fill out the below and send it back to me, I
will try and summarize the results. I include the shul name and
community so as not to double count where more than one mail-jewish
member from the same shul may respond.

The possibilities I am aware of are:
1) Mincha at Plag Hamincha
2) Mincha at some fixed time (such as 7 or 7:30 pm)
3) Mincha prior to Sunset, Maariv after Sunset
4) Mincha at Plag Hamincha, followed by Kabbalat shabbat, Maariv after
5) Other

In general, most places that I am aware of use #3 for the winter schedule
in the Northern Hemisphere, although I do not know of anything that would
require that to be true.

Okay, here is the form. You may use the numbers above in your response.

Name of Community:
Name of Shul:
Does schedule for Friday evening times change between Winter and Summer:
Winter Schedule:
How many minyanim during Summer:
Summer Schedule(s):
If early Minyan, how is Candle-lighting set:
If early Minyan, when do family members start Shabbat:
If early Minyan, when must community members not at shul start Shabbat:
Are there more than one shul in your community:

Thanks in advance,

Avi Feldblum


End of Volume 39 Issue 59