Volume 39 Number 61
                 Produced: Mon Jun  2  4:48:41 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Carl Singer]
Bicycles on Shabbat (2)
         [Fred Dweck, Shlomo Yaffe]
         [Danny Skaist]
forgetting S'feirah
         [Sam Saal]
         [Martin Stern]
Omer Counting
Postponed Tevilah (was Hot Water) (3)
         [Gershon Dubin, Daniel Wells, Gershon Dubin]
Potato Starch as kitniyot
         [Akiva Miller]
A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem
         [Ben Katz]
tfilah B'Tzibur


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 14:39:01 EDT
Subject: Bicycles

      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 ;>

There's plenty of grass -- take treelawns for example.

Regarding baby strollers -- when our children were of that age, we were
reasonably careful to stay on pavement (for halachic reasons - ruts) --
this past Shabbos, back home again in Passaic, we saw two baby strollers
being pushed across a grass / mud shortcut path rather than go 2 minutes
out of the way to stay on pavement.  My wife and I looked at each other
in surprise, that this wasn't taught / learned by the parties involved
(who were, by their garb yeshivish.)  A reminder, btw, if you're looking
to older sources, the pale of settlement was not known for sidewalks,
etc.  (My Mother reminded me.)



From: Fred Dweck <fredd@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 11:31:54 -0700
Subject: Bicycles on Shabbat

For the last time, NO RABBI has the authority to make new decrees!!
This is accepted halacha. ...."ein gozrim gezerot chadashot mi'datenu!"
(from the close of the Talmud we do not make new decrees from our own
minds.) This applies to comparing a bicycle to a musical instrument;
using the decree about riding a horse; suggesting that if the chain
comes off one might fix it; It's not Shabbosdik, etc., etc., The
Rabbinate are teachers and NOT policemen. Therefore, they may say: "If
your bike breaks you may not fix it on Shabbat." But they may NOT say:
"You can't ride your bike on Shabbat, because if it breaks you MIGHT fix

For those who want sources, see the Ben Ish Chai - Rav Pealim, Chelek
Alef of Orach Chayim, Siman 25. There he permits it "afilu le'tiul"
'even for a pleasure ride' in a place with a kosher eruv, and,
conditionally, for a mitzvah in a place without an eruv. For those who
say that he retracted it later, R. Ovadiah Yosef proves, in "Liviat
Chen" (Pg. 181) that this is not true!

Also see R. Ovadiah Yosef in "Liviat Chen" (Pg. 181) where he dispels
each and every reason for prohibiting bike riding on Shabbat, according
to halacha! True, he did end by saying that a person should not ride a
bike on Shabbat because so many Acharonim are against it.  However, as I
wrote several years ago on the matter, I asked his son R. Yitchak Yosef
why his father did that after nullifying all of the prohibitions. His
answer was: "I asked my father the same question, and he said, if I had
written to simply permit it, 'they would have hung me!" Enough said?

My suggestion: If you want to ride your bike on Shabbat, you can depend
on the Ben Ish Chai and on R. Ovadiah Yosef.  If you don't want to ride
on Shabbat, then be tolerant of those who do, as they have "great trees
on which to lean." If you ask your LOR, then half of you will be allowed
to ride on Shabbat, and half of you will not! There you have the
unfortunate situation which divides Am Yisrael.  I think we need to
remember what the midrash says about what Hashem's tefilin has written
in it: "U'mi ke'amcha Yisrael goy echad ba'aretz." (And who is like your
nation Israel ONE (united) nation on earth). Until we can get there, we
will NOT see Mashiach!!!

Anyone who would like more info is invited to write me directly, at
<fredd@...> as I prefer not to submit to Mail Jewish more than
absolutely necessary.

Rabbi Fred (Yeshuah) E. Dweck

From: <syaffe@...> (Shlomo Yaffe)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 14:55:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

I just did an (easy) trail ride with my son, He has a good bike (not on
from 1905 -to obviate the argument  "oh those were the bikes in those
days") and yup- the chain came off. There is no question that fixing the
chain is tikkun Maneh (making a tool usable) and clearly the chain off
the bike is at least as common as the "broken harp string" of the Talmud
B. Trac. Shabbat. Hence, I am completely comfortable with this as
sufficient reason on it's own to have forbidden the use of bicycles on


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 08:10:00 +0200 
Subject: Cottonseed

<<David I. Cohen
kitniyot. Canola was OK for a number of years, but now usuable oil seems
to be limited to cottonseed.>>

Sorry, but since last year Cottonseed is kitniyot.  So much for not
adding to the list.  I was standing in the store with a can of tuna
(starkist) in cottonseed oil (OU-P) with a note "kitniyot free", reading
a note on the oil shelf, that cottonseed oil is kitniot, This year
starkist gave up on, went back to soy oil and listed it as "for kitniyot



From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 11:10:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: forgetting S'feirah

I understand the discussion, to date has been about what to do if you
forget. But here's a great hint my father taught me for avoiding
forgetting in the first place.

Ever since I've owned an electronic watch with a built in alarm clock. I
try to remember to set the alarm for late enough in the evening (9:30pm
seems to work). When the alarm goes off I count (If I haven't at
Ma'ariv). This is especially useful for Friday nights when we bring
Shabbat in early. With the exception of one year when I forgot to set it
before the start of Pesach, I seem to have never missed getting all the
way through. Prior to this "trick" I was lucky to make it through

Just test that the alarm will turn off after a while :-). The beeping
can get annoying quickly. My current watch beeps for under 5 minutes and
is reasonably muffled if I pull my sleeve down over it.

Sam Saal


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin Stern)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 16:03:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Lamnatzeach

In  Vol. 39 #59 , Rabbi Ed Goldstein, Woodmere NY  writes:

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

This mizmor starts "ya'ankha HaShem beyom tsarah - HaShem should answer
you on a day of trouble" so it is inappropriate to say it on a day which
is not "a day of trouble", which is slightly more circumscribed than
days on which tachanun is omitted.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 16:41:28 -0700
Subject: Re: Omer Counting

> I'll add another monkey wrench to the question: What if someone forgot
> to count Thursday night, and in his community, they bring in Shabbos at
> 7PM.  He remembers after kabbalat shabbos that he forgot to count.  It's
> before shkia and tzais.  Can he count (since the stars have not come
> out), or is it too late (since the entire community has already brought
> in Shabbos, and it would be "the next day")?

Is there a posek who says that it is allowed for the community to 
say the Omer of Shabos at the end of the early minyan?
It seems to me that the counting depends on the actual change 
from day to night.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 13:33:35 GMT
Subject: Postponed Tevilah (was Hot Water)

From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>

<<Tevilah without washing is allowed for men who are accustomed every
day of the year to tovel - and women only if it is on the prescribed 
date. If for any reason her Tevilah is defered and the next available
date would be a Friday night, she would also have to defer again to the
evening after.  This is the same situation as with Milah on Shabbat - it
is only allowed if it is exactly the eighth day)>>

Do you have a source for this?  I'm fairly sure it is not the case.

From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 17:19:29 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Postponed Tevilah (was Hot Water)

I'm fairly sure I've seen it in our 'nida' manuals at home which obviously
are based on Shulch Aruch. I will check tonight.

Checking google I found the following which would support my view:

5. A woman who was scheduled to immerse before Friday night and postponed
her immersion without a valid reason may not immerse Friday night.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a Rav in such a case.

'Valid reason' could I presume be that her husband was out of town.
But just because she was sick on Thursday night, I would doubt as being
valid. Even the fact that her husband was out of town would also seem not
so valid. Mitzvahs HaYom such as Tevilah and Milah doheh the Shabbos but
if postponed are not doheh.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 14:32:19 GMT
Subject: Re: Postponed Tevilah (was Hot Water)

<<Mitzvahs HaYom such as Tevilah and Milah doheh the Shabbos but if
postponed are not doheh>>

1. Tevila does not involve chilul Shabbos; it involves violation of
   gezera derabanan not to bathe the entire body.  As such it is not
   comparable to mila, which does involve a melacha de'oraisa.

2. Tevila bizman hazeh is NOT bizmano, since we are choshesh for zava in
   all cases.  So a delayed tevila is no less bizmano than an "on-time"
   one which is scheduled based on the 5+7 chumra of bnos Yisrael, per
   Rav Zeira in the Gemara.



From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 19:57:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Potato Starch as kitniyot

Regarding kitniyos, Bernard Raab mentioned <<< the widespread
understanding that this is [a] gezera the reason for which has expired!

I do not believe that kitniyos has expired. There are *many* reasons for
this particular custom, and I responded <<< Which reason for this gezera
has expired? When looking at wheat flour, corn starch, and potato
starch, I can't tell the difference. >>>

In MJ 39:54, several posters pointed out that they *can* easily
distinguish between them, either because the flour/starch is easily
identifiable on its own, or because of the packaging which is so common
nowadays. If they are using this as a reason to suggest that the custom
of avoiding kitniyos is no longer relevant, then I think that they are
wrong, for at least two reasons:

1) If today's city-dwellers can tell them apart, then certainly it was
simple for the pre-industrial folk who dealt with these things
constantly, and often in the pre-ground state. Surely they could tell
the difference between a grain of wheat and a lima bean! But they
accepted this custom anyway, so there is obviously a deeper reason which
might still be relevant to us nowadays.

2) Many things in Judiasm are carefully and proudly done to protect
people from sinning accidentally, even when they really should know
better. As I understand it, the reason we do not mix milk and chicken is
because people may get confused between poultry and other meats. Come
on!!! I love chicken parmigiana (or used to, a long time ago :-) but I
can't have any. Why? Because somebody can't tell the difference between
chicken and veal??? Give me a break! --- But the truth is, yes, we do
care about people who make those mistakes. So we don't mix chicken and
milk, and we don't have corn or peas on Pesach. However relevant this
was a thousand years ago, it has lost none of its relevance.

Akiva Miller


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 11:32:41 -0500
Subject: Re: A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem

>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

I would counter that even tho it is individual Jews who are doing the
mitzvah that it is the obligation of the group.  Otherwise it would be a
mitzvah to seek out a minyan n order to read Torah or say kedusha, which
is not the case (it is preferable, but not an obligation on the
individual; however when 10 indiduals with an obligation get together
that creates a new obligation for the group)


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 13:51:03 -0400
Subject: Re: tfilah B'Tzibur

> 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.

The Brisker shita is that tfilah B'Tzibur is a chiuv on nobody, as
evidenced by the language of the Mechaber "Yishtadel", which translates
as try.  In general, there are many poskim who hold that Krias Hatorah
is incumbent just on the tzibur. Actually, Briskers are very makpid on
krias hatorah, to the point of making a separate minyan just for that.


End of Volume 39 Issue 61