Volume 42 Number 10
                 Produced: Wed Feb 11  5:45:34 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Disney World (2)
         [Tzvi Stein, Esther Posen]
Eating Meat with/without Sacrifices
         [Russell J Hendel]
         [Tzvi Stein]
Imitation Non-Kosher Foods
Meaning of Tefila
         [Michael Kahn]
Taking Challah and Ignorance
         [Akiva Miller]
Tzur Mishelo - is this bentching? (2)
         [Sam Gamoran, Immanuel Burton]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 01:48:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Disney World

I've definitely noticed 2 completely different approaches to such
phenomona as minyanim at Disney World. I've seen rabbis who are
overjoyed to hear such things... they view it as Torah being brought
into new places and as "isn't it great that people who want to go to
Disney world don't have to forego davening and learning?"  And I've seen
rabbis who would do nothing but mock such things and hold it up as proof
of the "churban" of today's society and question the frumkeit of anyone
who would benefit from such a thing.  I once heard such a rabbi explain
what a terrible day it was when ice cream became kosher, which is a
similar attitude. I don't know quite what to make of this dichotomy of

On a somewhat tangential note, while I disagree strongly with the
motivation and manner in which it was presented at that convention, I
must agree somewhat that there is something wrong with a frum
person/family going to Disney World.  And it's not from any halachic
reason.  It just seems somehow wrong to spend your precious "vacation
time" going to a place that has no real purpose except itself.  Where's
the "tachlis"?  Disney World is a completely man-made "destination".  If
I'd go there, I'd feel I was just a product in the Disney money-making
machine.  Why spend your time and money in an artificial world when
there's so much fun to be had in the real world?  When I go to a place
of natural beauty or historical significance, I feel like I'm growing
and accomplishing something.  Even if I were to spend my whole vacation
lying on a beach, I would feel there was more "tachlis" than going to
Disney World... the ocean is "real".  I realize this is just my opinion
and it may seem somewhat "elitist" but I think it bears considering.

From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 08:27:23 -0600
Subject: RE: Disney World

I consider myself a "bat-torah" and I am a confessed goer to Disney Land
and user of the internet.  I can, however, stretch and play devil's
advocate.  The internet has many good uses.  So many good uses that I
could not earn my living without it.  That being said, it is also a
purveyor of "kol davar assur" with emphasis on "kol".  I am struggling
with a solution to the "can't live with it, can't live without it"
nature of the internet myself.  It is not a TV that one can get along
quite well without.  It is more like a telephone, a necessary appliance
of modern life.  But it is wreaking havoc on the Jewish community.  Much
like drugs or alcohol.  This is a documented fact.  I don't allow my
children uncontrolled access to the internet, but sorry to say, adults
have fallen prey to the lures of the internet as well.  This is a
problem looking for a solution.  Hopefully, the creative and technical
minds among us will eventually solve it.

As far as Disneyland is concerned, suffice it to say that it depends how
"holy" you are.  Would you be surprised to find the Chofetz Chaim in
Disneyland?  The Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood? Telz?  I would.  So at least
admit that there is a category of Orthodox Jew who considers Disneyland
questionable entertainment.

Esther Posen


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 22:50:03 -0500
Subject: Eating Meat with/without Sacrifices

Ed Ehrlich writes in v42n05 that

>After the Temple is rebuilt it will be necessary to work out arrangements
>for all meat to pass through the Temple in order for the sacrifices to be
>correctly performed, but once that is done and the meat is delivered from
>the Temple for general distribution, there would no longer be any general
>need to be concerned about "teumah".  Is my understanding correct,
>partially correct or totally wrong?

The relevant Scriptural source is Dt12 and Lv17. Here is the full story.

In the wilderness one could NOT eat meat from animals that could be
offered as sacrifices UNLESS they were dedicated as a sacrifice (The
technical term here is the PEACE OFFERING--the peace offering went to
the a) altar b) the priest and c) the owner who had to eat it in ritual

Once the Jews entered the land of Israel it was permitted to slaughter
animals and eat them WITHOUT connecting them to a sacrifice

As far as I know (someone correct me if I am wrong) fowl (like chicken)
could be eaten EITHER IN THE WILDERNESS OR IN ISRAEL without being
connected to a sacrfice.

When the temple is rebuilt the ISRAEL laws will hold, not the temple

However there was a general trend thoughout our history to try and
TEMPLIZE the meal---the dipping of bread in salt, the washing of hands
etc. There even arose a special sect -- the FRIENDS who although they
were lay Israelites only ate their food in ritual purity.

I believe the above distinctions should sufficen to explain both the
laws as well as the confusion that has arisen on this.

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


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Re: Ignorance

Yeah... there's definitely a lot of ignorance out there in surprisingly
"frum" families.  I remember complaining to a rebbe in yeshiva that a
girl I had been on a shidduch with did not even know the Gemorra was
written in Aramaic.  He seemed miffed by my comment and seemed to
indicate that one wouldn't expect girls to know such things... he even
said something like "I don't think my daughter would know that".  It
seems to me that it would be one of the first things one would learn
about the Gemorra.

There are plenty of examples of Israeli families not knowing that there
is such a melacha on Shabbos called "carrying".  Supposedly this is
explained by the plethora of eruvin there.  I wonder if people would
also accept that someone did not know there was such a thing as kashrus
because of the plethora of kosher food.

Most of the examples of ignorance seem to be about matters of
"priority".  People often, when faced with a halachic choice, make the
wrong one because they have a distorted understanding of which thing is
more important halachically.  One example I've heard is quite common is
that men will make their wife put off their mikva night if it falls on
Shabbos, because that would make the man stay home to watch the kids and
miss shul on Friday night.

Another example that seems to be common is confusing the "bracha" on a
mitzva with the mitzva itself.  Some people seem to think that the main
thing is to say the bracha, not to do the mitzva, to the point that if
they for some reason they could not say the bracha they would think that
there's no point in doing the mitzva.

Somewhat connected to this is the mistaken idea that just because
certain mitzvos are generally done in a certain order or along with
certain other mitzvos, they cannot be done any other way.  For example,
some people, if prevented for some reason from davening shacharis one
morning, would not put on tefillin either, even though the mitzva of
tefillin is for the whole day, and the mitzvs of tefillin and tefilla
are independent.  Similarly, some people, if they for some reason did
not have tefillin one weekday morning, they would not daven shacharis.

There is also a lot of confusion about Pesach cleaning, concerning what
is halachically necessary and what is less so, to the point that even if
they see they are going to run out of time, they do not feel they can
skip cleaning tasks that have nothing to do with chometz, just because
they always do them... and as a result, they skimp on the really
halachically required cleaning, just because it comes last.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 21:48:58 -0800
Subject: Re: Imitation Non-Kosher Foods

> As for the imitation non-kosher foods, I heard a different respected
> Rav say that such creations also show the wonder of Hashem, and we
> should not purposely avoid such foods.

Please tell us the name of that 'Rav'. I have heard and read Rabbi's
opionioning about the onslaught of imitation non-kosher foods but not to
the extent that one should not avoid them.

Plus, I know of a woman who won't allow it for her family because she
does not want her children to be tempted to try the real treif stuff and
make the comparisions to the imitation.



From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 23:21:21 -0500
Subject: RE: Meaning of Tefila

>...as a result, learning the "meaning" of tefilla was learning a
>literal translation to English - and no one really cared if you
>understood or not. I do not know how this is dealt with in chutz
>la'aretz these days, especially as much of Jewish philosophy may not be
>considered "politically correct" in Western Society.

Understanding the meaning of tfilos is unrelated to the issue of
studying philosophy. The way understanding tfila is dealt with in chutz
laaretz is that people study the Artscroll, Metsuda, or Iyun Tfila
sidurim. Iyun Tfila was written by a charedi and has been translated
into English. It is very popular. Many people in and out of yeshiva
study the Gra's commentary on tfila. The list goes on. Baruch Hashem,
understanding tfila is not a wedge issue that divides strains of


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 23:15:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Taking Challah and Ignorance

Aliza Berger wrote <<< ... The idea was that for Shabbat Shira, women
would take challah with this couple in mind. ... When I said, my husband
is the baker, she said, well, [the baker] can bake it, but only women
are allowed to take challah, so [his wife] would have to do that
part. ...  She was saying that in general, only women can take
challah. What is going on here? Have some Jews become so careful about
the sexes having any contact with each other, or sharing any roles,
that, being ignorant on the subject, they assume that only women can do
"women's commandments?" Another relevant question is: Why is this person
so ignorant? >>>

I can't explain much about this phenomenon. All I can offer is
additional examples.

Like the many women in my community who refuse to make kiddush for
themselves. Specifically, several of the women who set up the kiddush in
shul, and who are careful not to nosh anything because they haven't
heard kiddush yet. So instead up picking up a cup and saying it, they
look for a man (even one not related to any of them, or even a teenager)
who will say kiddush for them.

Or men who go away for Shabbos without their wives for whatever reason,
and it never dawns on them to light Shabbos candles. Same thing for
yeshiva boys or college boys in their dorms. Hey, for that matter, I
wonder how many dorm girls or single women think of lighting themselves.
(I'm not talking about those girls who've gotten used to it by lighting
alongside their mothers.)

My guess is that people get used to doing things a certain way, and
after a while, other ways feel wrong. Even people who are *not*
ignorant, and are aware of the halachos, will feel odd doing them --
such as when I lit candles while my wife was in the hospital. So it is
simple for me to see how the less-learned will not only get weird
feelings, but might actually think that it is wrong.

Akiva Miller


From: Sam Gamoran <Sgamoran@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 10:16:31 +0200
Subject: RE: Tzur Mishelo - is this bentching?

> From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
> Looking at the meaning of the words, it seems to be a CALL to bentch,
> and an expression of INTENTION to bentch and thus an introduction to
> bentching, rather than actually constituting bentching...

To my mind this is strengthened by the last line of the fourth stanza -
al kos yayin maleh kvirkat adonay (on a full cup of wine per God's

This implies to me that what the author had in mind to follow is the
leader raising a cup of wine and saying: Rabotai Nevarech (Let us bless)
- i.e. starting the Bircat Hamazon.

The above conclusion notwithstanding, about twenty years ago on a snowy
Friday night when I was singing a toddler to sleep I wrote a fifth verse
for Tzur Mishelo.  Where the first four stanzas seem to cover the first
three blessings of Bircat Hamazon, the fifth verse is intended to
summarize the fourth blessing (hatov v'hameitiv).

Hatov v'hameitiv gomel chasadim,
v'al yichasreinu m'cal tuvim,
hu yitpaer banu l'netzach nitzachim,
v'yithadar banu melech Adonay.
We still sing it in our house.  (I'll be happy to send the words in
Hebrew font to anyone who wishes).

Sam Gamoran

From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:10:59 +0000
Subject: RE: Tzur Mishelo - is this bentching?

In Mail.Jewish v42n06, Mark Symons wrote:
> Looking at the meaning of the words, it seems to be a CALL to bentch,
> and an expression of INTENTION to bentch and thus an introduction to
> bentching, rather than actually constituting bentching

This is in agreement with the commentary in the Avodas Yisroel Siddur,
which says that Tzur Mishelo is an introduction to benching, and then
goes on to say that it is not said on weekdays because time is more
pressing during the week and one doesn't have as much free time as on
Shabbos.  The commentary then goes on to suggest that this song could
therefore be sung on Yom Tov too.

Immanuel Burton.


End of Volume 42 Issue 10