Volume 41 Number 63
                 Produced: Tue Dec 30  6:10:26 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The 101st explanation of Why 7 vs 8 days Chanukah
         [Russell J Hendel]
Chanuka Miracle 8 Days or 7?
         [Michael Savitz]
Davening if someone objects
Davening Nusach Ari
         [Isaac Balbin]
Dish soap = dvar charif? (6)
         [Carl Singer, Jeremy Rose, David Ziants, <LennyLevy@...>,
Gershon Dubin, Allen Gerstl]
Making halachic decisions that require tradeoffs
         [Carl Singer]
Speaking in the 3rd person with respect
         [Caela Kaplowitz]
Test of Faith
         [Avraham Etzion]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 23:14:15 -0500
Subject: The 101st explanation of Why 7 vs 8 days Chanukah

I would like to suggest the 101st explanation of why-7-not 8.  Quite
simply I suggest that the primary focus of Chanukah is not on
celebration of ANY miracle...the primary focus of Chanukah is on our
reattaining our autonomy.(True--there was a miracle and true it was a
component in forming the holiday...  but it is not the primary focus).

Perhaps citing Rambam Laws of Chanukah Chapter 1 Paragraphs 1 and 2 will

- The Greeks (a) made decrees on the Jews (b) decrees against
- their religion (c) against Learning Torah (d) against performing
- commandments (e) The Greeks plundered Jewish property (f) They
- deflowered Jewish women (g) They descecrated the Temple (h) They
- violated laws of Jewish purity. When God had mercy we were saved
- and regained our autonomy of Jewish Kingship for 200 years. And
- the final victory day occured on the 25th of Kislev.

So the holiday of Chanukah is like the holiday of Purim. It was a
celebration of victory. The day of victory is the start of the
holiday. EVEN if no miracle of oil happened we STILL would have
celebrated it. As to why it lasts 8 days--it has already been pointed
out that the longest Biblical Jewish holiday is 8 days.  Hence Chanukah,
a Rabbinic holiday, couldnt be longer than 8 days.  As to why Chanukah
is longer than Purim...it is clear from the above list that more was
attacked on Chanukah.

Even the blessings reflect this idea --- who made miracleS for our
ancestors --- note the plural---there were many miracles.

I have a serious point here....what we celebrate on Chanukah is not some
isolated miracle of oil. We rather celebrate our right to be Jewish--to
learn, to practice, to preserve our modesty etc I reiterate...the
holiday would have been enacted even if no miracle of oil happened.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Michael Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 23:31:36 -0500
Subject: Chanuka Miracle 8 Days or 7?

It appears that the Hebrew words for "oil" and for "eight", "shemen" and
"shemoneh", share the common root Sh-M-N.  Is this pure coincidence?
Does it have anything to do with the miracle of the oil, and Chanukah
being 8 days long?


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 15:09:51
Subject: Re: Chanukkah

> << I had a similar question this week (Chanuka). I was coming home from
>  work early, to make it to the _earliest_ minyan for maariv, since my
>  custom is to light immediately after that.   >>
> Isn't this already a study in relative priorities?  Most "earliest
> maariv" minyanim are bdeieved to the extent they are before tzait
> hacocjavim?

The intent was "earliest possible *tzeit hakochavim* minyan".

Sorry that was not clear.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 21:19:21 -0800
Subject: Re: Davening if someone objects

> I was visiting (I won't say which city) once and someone objected to the
> would-be shaliach zibur (a mourner -- it was a weekday) because he either
> had a speech impediment or bedee eved did not pronounce words clearly --
> it was a very uncomfortable situation, even as a non-involved observer.

The objector was perfectly correct in doing so. The "mourner" should not
have been placed in the position to begin with.  People may not like it,
but a shaliach zibur must be able to say the words clearly and
intelligibly(sp?). You will not find any halacha sefer that says



From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 22:35:41 +1100
Subject: Re: Davening Nusach Ari

> From: Aharon Noach <aaronnoach@...>
> <<However, several years ago, the weekday minchah assembled at work had
>  three aveilim.  One was Lubavitch and when it was his turn for the
>  amud, he davened nusach ari even though he was the only one in the
>  minyan to do so.  I questioned him and he said his Lubavitch dayan 
>  told him that he is permitted to do so even if he is the only one davening
>  that nusach>>
> The Lubavitch Dayan paskened erroneously.


Aharon has jumped the gun in attributing alleged error.  It is clear in
the Shaarei Halocho Uminhag from the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, that if
someone can get away with davening Ari without creating a Machlokes one
should do so. I am not advocating or justifying the actions of the
person who davened Ari for the Amud, however, simply dismissing the
Dayan as paskening erroneously is erroneous, especially when one also
needs to take into account what the person asking the question actually
said to the Dayan!  By the way, Reb Moshe paskened that in a Shule which
was roughly divided in Nusach, and choosing one Nusach would cause
friction (this was a Shule that had roughly equal Sfard and Ashkenaz
adherents (if not in Minyan in Binyan) that it was better that each
person who was the Shliach Tzibbur daven his Nusach, then cause
Machlokes!  Of course, one cannot simply extrapolate this Psak to each
situation. It was a specific answer to a specific Kehilla (here in

PS. I usually allow myself to answer in my own Nusach when I daven
weekly at Chabad (eg Brich Hu L'Eyloh Kol Birchoso Veshiroso as opposed
to Omein) because I am sure that they don't mind me being as certain
about my Nusach, as they are about theirs.  PPS. Many other Rebbes, such
as the Gerrer and Amshinover davened from a Chabad Siddur (AL PI Nusach


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 08:18:57 -0500
Subject: Dish soap = dvar charif?

>From: Daniel Nachman <nachman@...>
>A friend of mine holds by a din that dish soap is charif, so that any
>contact between soapy fleishig & milchig results in trefah, regardless
>of temperature or how clean the utensils are.  She remembers it from the
>Ohr Somayach baalat tshuvah program but doesn't remember sources.  I'm
>curious about where it comes from and who practices this.  Can anyone
>shed some light?

Growing up I remember that the "kosher soap" (Rokeach was the brand.)
Came in two "colors" -- white with a blue marking in the middle and
white with a red marking in the middle.  No doubt for people who were of
like mind.

Carl Singer

From: Jeremy Rose <jeremy@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 12:14:13 +0000
Subject: Dish soap = dvar charif?

Surely the dish soap is Nosein Ta'am Li'fgam and it would not therefore
be a N"t bar N"t de'Issurah?

This is no way a Psak, or any intimation of a Psak - just my recollection
of Chochmas Odom shiurim!

Jeremy L Rose                                      Tel:  +44 1727 832288
Communication Systems Limited                      Fax:  +44 1727 810194

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 15:06:53 +0200
Subject: Re: Dish soap = dvar charif?

I remember being taught once that dish soap is charif in the sense that
it is pogem (invalidates any taste of food that it contacts) as it is
inedible. Although we would not rely on this l'hatchila (on the outset),
but if a mistake is made, even when hot, there might be the possibility
to be leniant.

David Ziants
Ma'a'eh Adumim

From: <LennyLevy@...>
Subject: Dish soap = dvar charif?

Even if soap is a davar charif (sharp). I would suggest that soap added
to any ta'am left in dishes creates a ta'am lifgam-a detracting taste
(if you ever didn't rinse out the soap from your coffee maker and wound
up with soapy coffee you'd agree). This would lead to a more lenient
psak. Consult you LOR

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 13:42:19 -0500
Subject: Dish soap = dvar charif?

Not only is dish soap not charif, it's nosein ta'am lifegam at best.
Your friend should find a rabbi, and ask she'elos.  Treifing up her
kitchen out of ignorance is wrong and she is (obviously) spreading the
word around as well. CYLOR.


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 05:04:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Dish soap = dvar charif?

I would also be interested in sources as to the above as IIRC, Rabbi
Gedaliah Felder, z"l who was the posek in Toronto once told me that
dishwashing detergent was a noxious substance and that therefore it was
a "noten taam le-phgam" (imparts a deleterious taste). I assume that
such effect is quite the opposite from that of a davar charif.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 09:21:19 -0500
Subject: Making halachic decisions that require tradeoffs

> I had a similar question this week (Chanuka). I was coming home from
>work early, to make it to the _earliest_ minyan for maariv, since my
>custom is to light immediately after that.  On the way, I passed a blind
>man going the other direction, in what seemed a very halting and unsure
>way (I have seen plenty of blind people going much faster).  Question:
>Should I ask if he needs help (and mess up my Chanuka schedule), or just
>assume he will manage without me?
> The real question seems to be whether there is some halachic
> _preference_ for bein-adam-lachaveiro over bein-adam-lamakom.  Faced
> with the either/or (but not both), does bein-adam-lachaveiro really
> 'trump' the other mitzva?

Interesting dilemma --   the secular response might be that moral is
that which feels good in the morning. If you hadn't helped the blind
person would you be kicking yourself and worrying that perhaps harm
befell him, etc. Or given the same circumstances again (and information)
and the time to think it out, how would you respond. 

Parsing this halachically you were worried (a priori) that he was in
trouble or danger.  (What you know now might color your behavior in
future situations, but certainly not the original instance.)  And you
made a choice that resulted in your violating a personal minhag (of
lighting at the earliest moment after the earliest Ma'ariv.)

I would like to add to your "real question" above -- how does one best
prepare him/herself to deal with circumstances that require quick
(instant?) unaided decisions of this nature.  (I.e., you can't ponder
over the facts or call your posek.)  [ the generic one word answer:
"study" is not sufficient. ]

We have many anecdotes about people who either because of insufficient
or incorrect understanding of the relevant halachas or due to the heat
of the moment have made decisions which with clear hindsight many would
disagree with -- like the person who hesitates to call 9-1-1 (on
Shabbos) when an elderly person in his presence clutches their chest and

It's amazing to me that many are trained to make critical decisions in
other fields (for example as an EMT) but lack the training to make
critical decisions (slowly or quickly) regarding their behavior as Torah
observant Jews.

Carl Singer


From: Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 08:34:02 -0500
Subject: Speaking in the 3rd person with respect

It is not only in German that there are "grammatical" ways of showing 
respect. French makes the same distinction and they even have verbs for it: 
Vousoyer and Tutoyer. The plural "you" is used for children to adults, 
stranger to stranger, for example while the singular "you" is used in the 
family, adults to children and with very close friends. I have heard that it 
was quite common in the past for people to address rabbonim in the 3rd 
person (Hebrew's version of vousoyer). In Shemot (perek 8, pasuk 25) there 
is discussion about the way Moshe speaks to Pharoah. He says "I will daven 
to HaShem and He will remove the wild animal plague from Paro, from his 
servants and from his nation." According to Daat Mikra Mosad HaRav Kook, 
Moshe uses the 3rd person for Pharoah out of respect.

Caela Kaplowitz
Baltimore, MD

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From: Avraham Etzion <atzion@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 07:40:07 +0200
Subject: Test of Faith

I am suprised at the number of people who wrote of the command given by
god to AVRAHAM at the Akedah.Rashi brings kach no- ein no elo bakosho!
therefore there was a plea to him and not a command!

 avraham <etzion-atzion@...>


End of Volume 41 Issue 63