Volume 40 Number 59
                 Produced: Mon Sep 15  5:46:05 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The Blessing Of "Who Has Not Made Me A Gentile".
         [Immanuel Burton]
Bugs in Corn-on-the-Cob
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
is kosher cleanER?
         [Carl Singer]
Living with an Aging Brain
         [Bob Werman]
Milk and Meat
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Motion Sensors - A simple solution?
         [Charles Halevi]
Self Heating Meals and Shabbat
         [Sam Saal]
         [Shlomo Argamon]
Two Questions to post
         [Richard Dine]
Wearing Tefillin While Driving
         [Aliza Berger]


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 11:32:41 +0100
Subject: The Blessing Of "Who Has Not Made Me A Gentile".

There seems to be two variations of the blessing "...who has not made me
a gentile" recited every morning, namely "sh'lo osani nochri" and "sh'lo
osani goy".  My question is to do with the second of these variations.

The word "goy" means "nation", and in fact this its meaning throughout
Scripture.  (Source: The Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer by Macy Nulman,
published by Aronson, 1993.)  The word "nochri" means a foreigner, and
is the more correct term for a non- Jew.

The commentary in the Avodas Yisroel siddur gives another reason why it
is inappropriate to say "goy".  The two blessings recited after this one
are "who has not made me a slave" and "who has not made me a woman"
(lady readers please see my 'addendum' to this posting), both of which
are singular entities, i.e. a slave and a woman.  A nation, however, is
a plural entity, and it is inappropriate to say that one oneself (a
singular entity) has not been made a nation (a plural entity).

I have heard two further reasons why the use of the word "goy" is not
appropriate.  Firstly, when used in the sense of a non-Jew it is a
derogatory term, and one should not use derogatory terms in prayer.
(The Torah teaches us this by describing the impure animals which Noach
took into the ark as "the animals which were not pure" as opposed to
"the animals which were impure", thereby avoiding usage of the word
"impure".)  Secondly, it is just not true to say that Hashem has not
made us a nation, as He has.

The vast majority of Siddurim seem to use the word "goy", and the ones
that I have found that use the word "nochri" include the Tefilas Kol
Ha'Shonoh (aka the Singer's siddur), the Schonfeld siddur, the Sfass
Emess siddur, the Avodas Yisroel siddur and the Hirsch siddur.

I personally use the word "nochri" in this blessing.  Given the above,
where does the usage of the word "goy" come from?


For the sake of lady readers of this list, according to the above-
mentioned Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer, men say the blessing of "who
has not made me a woman" on account of their having the extra obligation
of time-dependant positive commandments, whereas women say the
alternative "who has made me according to His will" for the following
reason: When Hashem created Man, He originally created man and woman
together in the same body.  Later He created only a man, and from that
man He formed the woman as a separate entity.  Women therefore say this
blessing to thank Hashem for the special act of creation He carried out
to form the first woman.  I've often heard people complain that this
blessing is a sort of "second best", but I think that this explanation
shows that as women were created with extra thought and by a special
act, the blessing is actually "higher" than the one that men say.  (This
explanation is quoted in the Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer, with
reference being made to Eruvin 18a and Ta'am Hamin Inyanay Berachos 35.)

Immanuel Burton.


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 07:01:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bugs in Corn-on-the-Cob

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> writes:
> I think it's possible that this problem does not occur in the US.
> Agricultural pests tend to be very locale-dependent. The major corn pest
> in this country seems to be the corn earworm. A U. of Wisconsin paper
> http://www1.uwex.edu/ces/pubs/pdf/A3655.PDF indicates that this worm
> feeds on the tip of the ear and then falls to the ground. 

My experience with my grandfather's corn growing in CT is that there is
a bug which eats even in the middle of the cob, but you can see its
trail, so that if you suspect that it has gone into the cob, you could
just cut off the kernels where the bug hasn't been.

There does seem to me to be a halachic issue here, though, regarding the
question of a bug which may or may not be embedded inside a solid
inedible portion of a solid food and which is not touching the edible
portion, such as inside a corn cob or inside the pit of a peach.

1.  Would a bug in this case always be equally affected by all types of
cooking?  I can see that putting the corn into a pot of boiling water
would create a common medium between the edible and the inedible, but in
microwaving or grilling the corn without the husk, the bug is in a solid
next to another solid.

2.  None of the bitul b'shishim cases that I know about cover this bug
case completely, so can it be said to be mevatel?
	- The bug is not part of the edible portion of the food, so
	there is no concern that someone might actually eat the
	actual bug, or even part of it.  It may even be that there is
	no concern that someone might eat food that has touched the bug.
	- The bug hurts the final product.
	- There is only some probability that the bug is actually there.



From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 07:52:29 -0400
Subject: is kosher cleanER?

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
>Has properly kashered/salted meat been compared to the traif, with and
>without the spraying?  When I was growing up (mid last century), many
>non-religious Jews, who ate traif, bought their meat from kosher
>butchers, because it was considered "cleaner."  Traif meat is left
>uncooked and certainly not salted for days.  They even claim that it
>improves the texture.  I highly doubt that kosher meat has the same
>bacteria count.

Same a previous discussions re: Halav Yisroel milk going bad more
quickly -- the handling / storage of the product (in this case meat)
from the onset (schita, soak/salting, butchering) until it reaches your
kitchen probably plays a large part in condition (bacteria?) of said

Carl Singer


From: Bob Werman <rwerman@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2003 11:25:45 +0200
Subject: Re: Living with an Aging Brain

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Email: <h_freund@...>

 Robert Werman, MD


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 23:24:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Milk and Meat

>From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
>As for the milk issue, maybe an analogy can be taken from gelatine and
>rennet, which are not considered meaty even though they are of animal
>origin.  I believe this is because they have been processed to such an
>extent that they are no longer recognisable as meat, and so lose their
>meaty status.  (Why this doesn't work with gelatine from non-kosher
>animals, I don't know.  After all, why doesn't the process that removes
>a meaty status also remove a non- kosher status?)

	actually when gelatin first was developed there were poskim who
felt that even gelatin from a nonkosher animal might be permissible, but
this did not become the dominant opinion.  i find this to be an
interesting phenomenon - ie that when "new" things appear there are some
who are quite lenient, but then the dominant conservatism of the halacha
appears to win out.  2 other examples that come to mind are printing -
believe it or not there were opinions allowing a printed sefer torah
(since the ink was still being directed to paper by a human being - see
Barry Levy's book Fixing God's Torah).  A second example is electricity,
which was completely allowed on yom tov by Rav Hutner, who was arguably
the greatest posek of 19th century Germany.

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: Charles Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 22:44:55 -0500
Subject: Motion Sensors - A simple solution?

Shalom, All:

Regarding the question of motion sensors activating a/c, heat or lights
in a hotel room on Shabbat, IIRC I notice nobody has suggested simply
asking management to disable the sensors for Shabbat.

Hotel personnel can be very accommodating -- especially when properly
tipped ;) -- because they want your repeat business. I assure you, this
is one of the least bizzaro requests they'll hear in the course of a
week, and when you tell them it's for religious reasons I strongly think
they'll help if they can.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 09:13:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Self Heating Meals and Shabbat

>      La Bruite Meals contain a patented, flameless, food heater made
>of magnesium and iron. When the enclosed salt water packet is opened and
>poured onto the heating element it produces real heat and steam right
>inside the box, and your meal turns simmering hot in minutes.

Having just tried one of these meals to see if I want to stock them for
a trip to Arkansas, it seems to me that pouring the water on the metal
"chemical" cooks the water. This is beyond boiling to steam. Certainly
beyond yad soledet (hand jumps back). I don't know enough about the
halacha to understand if there is an exception for salt water (as
opposed to regular), although I don't see why there would be when
heating soup would seem similar and we don't do that on Shabbat. OTOH,
there may be an exception for cooking water if you are not using a
"real" fire (or heating element) and whether the example about heating
by the sun seems provides any guidance. The sun's chemical reaction is,
of course, different. :-)

BTW, we tried the La Briute dairy ravioli. They were adequate, although
not my taste in tomato sauce spicing (not a fault). The cookies tasted
suitably industrial for a high tech product such as this. I didn't try
the pareve "chicken" noodle soup, at least in part because it feels
strange to me to eat (even fake) chicken soup before/with a cheese
meal. I wonder why they don't provide a bean or split pea soup with the
dairy meal?

Sam Saal

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Shlomo Argamon <argamon@...>
Subject: Sources?

I'm looking for sources for a couple of ideas floating around the Jewish
community - any help would be appreciated.  The first is an idea that
the name that one is given influences who one is/becomes.  The second is
a vaguely remembered gemara stating something like "How does one honor
parents after they are dead?  One repeats Torah in their name and says
'hareini kaparat mishkavo'" or something like that.

Any ideas?  Thanks in advance.



From: Richard Dine <richard.dine@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 16:16:38 -0400
Subject: Two Questions to post

1.  In light of the Forward article about the potential suit by
    Egyptians for the goods the Israelites took when they left Egypt,
    where is the Midrash on this topic.  I think the Midrash goes that
    the Egyptians approached Alexander the Great with a similar suit,
    but the Jews successfully fought it back by arguing they were owed
    for their unpaid work as slaves.

2.  Where can I find good Hebrew language downloads (news, books,
    articles in not super difficult Hebrew) for an MP3 player?  Prefer
    free sites but would also consider paying.

Richard Dine


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 09:56:09 +0200
Subject: Wearing Tefillin While Driving

	In the context of a discussion about whether women may wear
tefillin, Arukh haShulchan (Orakh Chaim 38) reasons that one should wear
tefillin only when absolutely obligated to do so, since tefillin "require
an extremely high degree of care in order to maintain the requirements of
bodily cleanliness." He  posits  that the only reason one is permitted to
wear tefillin at all is that there is an obligation (whether or not one is
wearing tefillin) to maintain bodily cleanliness while reciting Shema and
Shemoneh Esrei. 

	How does the idea of wearing tefillin only when absolutely obligated
square with the anecdotal reports of several posters that they wore
tefillin while driving?

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


End of Volume 40 Issue 59