Volume 40 Number 66
                 Produced: Thu Sep 18 21:38:26 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Arch of Titus (2)
         [Jeffrey Woolf, Robert Sherer]
Bare Midriffs
         [Robert Israel]
Be'er hagulah (3)
         [Gershon Dubin, Zev Sero, Gershon Dubin]
Egyptian lawsuit
         [Phil G Berman]
Gelatine (2)
         [Zev Sero, Joshua Adam Meisner]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kaddish (correction)
         [I Kasdan]
Motion Sensors - A simple solution?
         [Batya Medad]
Unsupervised Bars
         [Akiva Miller]
When the Simanim
         [Bill Bernstein]


From: Jeffrey Woolf <woolfj@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 15:06:57 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Arch of Titus

The established custiom of the Jews of Rome was to NOT walk under the
Arch. A Roman Jew once told me thaty expectorating at it was also not
unknown. Things changed in 1944 when the Jewish Brigade, the EY Division
of the British Army that participated in the conquest of Rome from the
Germans, marched under it in triumph, fully armed.

I personally, as an Israeli, relied on that precedent to walk under the
arch to get a closer look at the bas-relief of trhe Menorah.

Jeffrey Woolf

From: <ERSherer@...> (Robert Sherer)
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 14:02:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Arch of Titus

    Immanuel Burton asked if anyone heard of a custom of not walking
under the Arch of Titus when in Rome. I first heard of this from a
Jesuit professor in a history class at Boston College when I was an
undergraduate. He mentioned the Arch and the occasion for building it,
and said, "No Jew will walk under the arch." He then turned toward me
(the only Jew in the class), and asked, "Do you know anything about

    To me, the custom seemed obvious. The arch was built by Titus to
celebrate his and Rome's conquest of Israel and the destruction of the
Second Temple.  The sculpted decorations across the top of the arch
portray the Roman soldiers returning in triumph with loot from their
destruction of the Temple, especially portraying the Menorah which was
taken. I don't know how much of a Jewish population Rome had in those
days, but many captives were brought back from Israel (renamed
"Palestine" by the Romans at this time). Many might have worked as slave
laborers in the construction of the arch. There was not much they could
do with respect to the arch celebrating Israel's defeat and dispersion
other than a "boycott" of this item of celebration.

                Robert Sherer 


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 20:33:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Bare Midriffs

Mike Gerver wrote:

| Maybe these girls would dress more modestly if they knew that the "riff"
| in "midriff" (originally "mid-hriff") comes from the same Indo-European
| root as "corpse."

Somehow I doubt that many of them are particularly interested in
etymology.  But in any case, "corpse" comes from Latin corpus meaning
"body" (not necessarily a dead body).  Would they feel better knowing
that "corporation" comes from the same root?

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Subject: Re: Be'er hagulah

-- Zev Sero <zsero@...> wrote:

<<The intro seems to suggest that the title should be understood as if
it were `gulat habe'er', that the book is a bucket with which one can
draw water from the well of Torah, or that it rolls away the stone
covering the well (the criticisms of the Christian polemicist to whom it
is a response), thus enabling people to drink>>

Then why is it be'er hag...ah instead of gulas habe'er, since a) the
meaning of the phrase as is, as you say, a cistern, and b) makes
reference to the cisterns that were prepared for the olei golah.

I don't see why he'd name it that way if he means what you say.


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Subject: Re: Be'er hagulah

Gershon Dubin wrote:
> Then why is it be'er hag...ah instead of gulas habe'er, since a)
> the meaning of the phrase as is, as you say, a cistern,
> and b) makes reference to the cisterns that were prepared for
> the olei golah. 

Except that in the preface he rhymes it with `kulah', not `kolah'.   

And what have Jews from foreign countries visiting the Bet Hamikdash, or
the provision of water for them, got to do with the subject of the book,
defending Rabbinic Judaism from a Christian pamphleteer?  Unless perhaps
it's the Jews in the golah who are subject to the arguments of
missionaries, so he's providing them with a well of Torah from which to
draw living water and strengthen their faith.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Subject: Re: Be'er hagulah

-- Zev Sero <zsero@...> wrote:

<<Except that in the preface he rhymes it with `kulah', not `kolah'.>>

Maybe he needed that rhyme <g>.   

<<he's providing them with a well of Torah from which to draw living
water and strengthen their faith.>>

We can conjecture on this ad infinitum. Maybe, then, according to your
theory, he should not have including the name of the CAP of the well,
but only the well itself.

That being the case, it may have been named after a well to be used by
people living in galus, since it would not have been needed when Jews
lived in Eretz Yisrael.



From: Phil G Berman <philb38@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 22:13:30 -0400
Subject: Egyptian lawsuit

The question that needs to be answered is whether or not the current
people who call themselves Egyptians are, in fact, descendents of the
Egyptians  who enslaved the Jews.  If they are not, than the whole
question seems to be moot.

Phil Berman


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:04:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Gelatine

Naomi Kingsley <rogerk@...> wrote:

> Another aside while on the subject - I was told in the USA many years
> ago [but probably an urban legend] that gelatine, although made from
> 'clean' bones, and therefore not treif as such, was made from bones
> imported from, e.g., India, of unknown origin, and it was *possible*
> that human bones were included - and therefore, was not included in
> products with a hechsher.

On the contrary, human bones should be less of a kashrut problem than 
animal bones, since human flesh is only forbidden as a Positive 
Commandment, while treife animal flesh is both a Positive and a
Negative commandment.

From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 12:09:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Gelatine

	Would human bones, halachically, be any worse than other bones
of non-kosher animals?  Perhaps due to issues of kavod ha-meit (which
itself, it seems, would be a relatively lenient reason, which shouldn't
be an issue in a case of safeik)?  Would there be a difference between
the bones of a non-Jew and that of a Jew for this issue?

	I heard a shiur at a yeshiva in Israel involving the kashrus of
gelatin.  One of the issues, IIRC, was the possibility of bones of cows
that were used for avodah zara (idolatry) being used, which is an issur
hana'ah (prohibition of benefit) that can't be batel (nullified) at all.
There was some reason, though, why this wasn't a major concern.  I think
that the shiur was based considerably on an article in OU Torah Tidbits
from the early 90s or thereabout.

- Josh


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 19:47:44 +0200
Subject: Kaddish

Carl Singer wrote
      if someone who didn't attend the shiur walks in do they say

I asked this question in reference to the Kaddish after the saying
Korbanot, as in Shiloh and in most other places in Israel, the minyan
davening starts not with Birchot Hashchar but with Hodo or Mizmor
Chanukat Babayit.  The Rav said that even if you come in just as they
are starting to say the Kaddish d'Rabanan, and you haven't recited
anything, you join in.

Yisrael Medad

From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 22:00:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish (correction)

I checked Rabbi Reisman's tape.  Raqnbbi Reisman says that the "poskim"
hold that a person does not recite kaddish at the minyon that is
finishing up before his minyon begins, provided that others are saying
kaddish for that (first) minyon.  However, if noone is saying kaddish at
that (first) minyon then the person should.  He does not mention Rav
Moshe ztl as a source as I previously posted.


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 05:37:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Motion Sensors - A simple solution?

      As mentioned already, it may not be such an easy thing to do. I
      also suspect that the managment might pretend to be accomodating

In terms of "markets," the shomrei mitzvot who spend Shabbat in
"regular" hotels are not enough of a customer base to stop "progress."
If the climate's too extreme, we not be able to stay in a room that
doesn't have heating/ac.  Life's getting very complicated with all of
the advances.  One shouldn't make reservations in a hotel without
checking all these things out; big problem with professional
conventions, etc, where there's no flexibility.



From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 01:34:34 -0400
Subject: re: Unsupervised Bars

I asked <<< If they're serving treif at the bar, wouldn't that treif up
the glassware when they all get washed (in hot water) together? >>>

In MJ 40:60, Bernard Raab wrote <<< My former Rav, a Gadol B'Torah and
Rosh Yeshiva, was once asked about this problem in connection with
"unkosher" wines which were sold at the bars of some kosher hotels
... he was asked about the possibility that a guest would bring such
wine into the dining room and accidentally spill some onto your plate.
His answer was, (to praphrase): Wipe it off your plate! ... From this I
learned that there is no issue of "treifing up" dishes or glassware from
"unkosher" wine or liquor. (When liquors are judged "unkosher" it is
generally because of the suspicion that it was aged in barrels that had
contained "unkosher" wine.) >>>

With all due respect to that Rav, did he explain *why* he held this way?

I understand that if you see the nonkosher liquor in the glass, since it
is cold, it will not get absorbed into the glass and you can simply wipe
it off. But if that glass is not emptied, when it goes back to the
kitchen and is filled with hot water to wash it, doesn't this allow the
non-kosher ingredients to get absorbed into the glass?

Furthermore, I strongly disagree with your last sentence. It may be true
of various types of scotch and whiskey, but that's far from the only
thing served at a non-kosher bar. Liqueurs have all sorts of
unsupervised colorings and flavorings. Mixed drinks use tomato juice,
maraschino cherries, and other things that we would insist on buying
only with a hechsher.

I am very curious why Mr. Raab deliberately used quotation marks in the
phrase <<< "unkosher" wine >>>. Is there any question that if wine is
made by a non-Jew, it is automatically nonkosher?

Let's keep perspective. My original point was *not* to challenge the
idea that b'dieved it's no big deal to use a glass that a guest might
have put a nonkosher drink in. (Especially if we consider the views
which hold that glass is non-absorbent and can never get treifed up

My point *was* to challenge the idea that a hechsher, especially one of
the "better" hechsherim (i.e., one of the ones who claim that everything
they do is l'chatchila), would allow an unsupervised bar in the same
room are one of their supervised catered dinners, where they would allow
(and even invite!) dozens or hundreds of guests to come up to the bar,
and put an unsupervised drink into the same glasses that will soon get
washed together with all their other dishes. And that on top of all
this, they would allow such a thing without so much as a disclaimer
posted by the bar notifying us that the bar is unsupervised.

Such a situation, in my view, is preposterous. And if someone would
convince me that it actually occurs, I would not want to consider that
hechsher to be a reliable one.

Akiva Miller


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 20:51:22 -0500
Subject: Re: When the Simanim

I dont understand what you report Rav Eliayu said.  First, I always
thought everyone did the simanim after hamotzi, saying the extra brochos
where appropriate and bentching afterward.  Filling oneself up with a
slice of apple seems like not a consideration at all.  If it is a long
list of things then most of them are part of the meal anyway so filling
up is not a factor.  And if they are things a person doesnt like then he
has no business eating them anyway since the whole thing is a minhag.
If one does them after bentching, I would think there would be an issue
of brocho sh-eino tzricha.

Kol tuv with all appropriate simanim,
Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


End of Volume 40 Issue 66