Volume 42 Number 23
                 Produced: Tue Feb 24  7:29:09 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bet and Ballon
Disney, et. al
         [Warren Burstein]
Enjoying this world
         [Russell J Hendel]
Halachic Priority (was Ignorance)
         [Yitzchak Moran]
Halleluya vs Halleluka
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Japan kosher
         [Daniel Wells]
Kosher Versions of Non-Kosher foods
         [W. Baker]
Megillat Esther readings in the Colorado wastelands (2)
         [Andrew Marks, Jack Gross]
Shma and Interruptios
         [Russell J Hendel]
Torah in the Midbar
         [Immanuel Burton]
Weddings in Shuls
         [Ira Bauman]


From: <egeiger@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 09:03:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Bet and Ballon

> I forget the technical word, but balloon is used, because it's the same
> in both languages

It's called a cognate.

All the best,


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 17:16:00 +0200
Subject: RE: Disney, et. al

>From: Heshy Zaback <heshyzaback2@...>
>Honestly, now... Yiddishkeit is so rich, exciting... do we really need
>the balloon to illustrate the letter 'beis' and generate the childrens'
>interest in learning the alef-beis?

> When we look back at last year's Sukkos, do we think of the trip to
> Hershey Park, or the Sukkah, the Zmiros, the Simchas Beis Hashoevah?
> Something is missing in our lifestyles if we *need* to incorporate their
> culture into ours to make Yiddishkeit more attractive to us.

A child who just today learned "bet" can't read any Torah yet.  Once
they get up to "tav", they can start getting excited about learning
Torah.  Meanwhile a balloon helps them remember what they learned until
the next class.  And when they start to learn Torah we'll throw them a
siyum when they finish something (even if it's not something adults
would have a siyim for).  They're children.

But it's not just amusement parks which can distract from Yom Tov.  How
about family visits?  Maybe when you visit your family, everyone
remembers the divrei Torah, but let's say nebuch one has relatives who
don't know any, should you tell them, sorry you can't visit on Chol
Hamoed, you might distract us?  And those who do have something to teach
should not bring any presents other then seforim?  Or maybe the food
served at the Seder or in the Sukkah shouldn't be too good, someone
might remember that?


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 19:01:33 -0500
Subject: RE: Enjoying this world

I heard the following distinction from the rav, Rabbi Joseph Baer

>Judaism does not oppose pleasure, it rather opposes orgiastic hypnotic
pleasure where the receiver is bound to the pleasure.  Hence the opiion
of the mystics that the fruit of the tree of knowledge was the "golden
apple" (The ethrog) because of its great hypnotic beauty".<

Many of the pleasure prohibitions seek to prevent "impulsiveness" in

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


From: Yitzchak Moran <dougom@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 12:21:33 -0600
Subject: Halachic Priority (was Ignorance)

Tzvi Stein writes

 >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.

Actually, my problem in the area of halachic priority has been more, um,
political is perhaps the right word.  Many times I've asked many people
(rabbis, people on this list, members of my community) for some help in
prioritization, and the typical response is that "each item of halacha
is equally important."  When pressed, people admit to the "large"
differences, such as violating shabbos to save a life, but most
observant folks that I have spoken and corresponded with are either
reluctant or don't know how to balance the priorities of various points
of halacha.

I understand the danger here: "Yes, if you're famished, and you're at a
truck stop in the middle of nowhere, and all they have left is the
flounder, it's better you eat that than get sick," which can lead to,
"Jeez, some scampi would taste good; what's the big deal?"  I
understand.  But since I think many can agree that, with halacha, it's a
ladder or one step at a time (or a journey of a thousand steps, or
whatever cliche you want to insert here)--i.e., we can do it all at once
all the time--it seems reasonable that it would be helpful to have some
guidelines in this area.  I think that saying, effectively, that "It's
*all* critical!" sets the bar so high that folks trying to become more
observant are put off, to put it mildly.  (You can't strap on a pair of
skis and go immediately down the double black diamond runs, after all.)



From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 22:30:16 EST
Subject: Halleluya vs Halleluka

Rabbi Teitz gave an eloquent explanation of the Mishnah in Massechet
Yadayim claiming that: <<the Mishna in question has nothing whatever to
do with the prohibition of using G-d's name in vain; indeed, it has
nothing whatever to do with G-d's name. >>

I agree completely with the explanation, but my point was missed, as
I'll explain below.

There are two Torah sources for the prohibited usage and prohibited
erasure of the name of God. The first one is the 3rd commandment "Lo
tisa et shem ha-Shem Elokecha la-shav" (Ex. 20:6) [=you shall not take
the name of the Lord your God in vain], and a second source "ve-ibadetam
et she'mam min hamakom ha-hu. Lo ta'asu ken la-Hashem Elokeichem" (Deut.
12:3-4) [=you shall destroy their god's name from that place. You shall
not do that to your God].

The first source is usually to do with oaths and the Gemarah in Shevuot
(35a) makes it very clear that it refers to the 7 names of God (i.e.,
YkVk, Ado-nai, E-loah, E-l, E-lohim, Sha-dai, Tze-va'ot). This is
Rambam's list, Gr"a and other changes it a bit. There are NO other
names.Ramban, based on the Gemara in Terumot 3b, says that this verse is
also the source for "motzi shem shamayim levatala" [=pronounce the name
of God in vsin].

To the second source Rashi says: Azharah lemochek Ha-Shem" [=a warning
to the one who erases the name of God] Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrahi refers us
to Shevuot 35a where he says that the restriction is to the very list
mentioned above.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe-Orach Hayim (B) 55) deals with the
erasure issue in English and says [my translation] "The correct
interpretation to my humble opinion is that there is no prohibition of
erasure because it is written in English letters, and those are not
considered the letters of the name of ha-Shem, only as reading letters,
and therefore there is no prohibition of erasure" Rabbi Feinstein must
have been dealing with English transliteration of the name of God.

All the above is showing a pattern of restrictive interpretation, that
is, only these words, but not others, only in Hebrew letters but not in
English letters etc.

The Mishnah in Yadayim (dealing also with writing of holy text) is also
of the same restrictive interpretation; it is defiling the hands only if
it is written in ink, only in Ashurit Hebrew square letters, only on
parchment - anything else is not included in the group. So the
connection to the suggested writing God rather than G-d is obvious.

In my view adding items beyond the lists and specific requirements is
touching on the issue of "Bal Tosif."

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 18:55:49 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Japan kosher

> My daughter is leaving soon for a week on a business school sponsored
> trip to Tokyo.  If anyone has any ideas of how to survive on a kosher
> diet (other than brining a suitcase of tuna fish cans with her) please
> let me know directly at <RYehoshua@...> All information is apreciated.


However there are other problems involved...like on what day will she keep
Shabbat, sefiat haomer etc.

According to the Chazon Ish she will be on the other side of the dateline:



From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 13:30:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kosher Versions of Non-Kosher foods

I wonder if any of you are old enough to remember when
"non-dairycreamer" was invented.  I do and it was interesting.  Up to
that time coffee either was not served at a meat meal or was served
black(my preference).  Once the non-dairy creamers came in , they were
served int the original carton at events and even in homes when guests
were served.  This was, obvioulsy to enure that people knew that it was
not the "forbidden" cream that was being served.  Is this not imitating
the goyim or trying to eat imitations of non-kosher foods or

I am involved in a Jewish food mailing list.  Recipes are often swapped
and ways to work around kashrut to make delicious parev things are often
encountered.  How many of you have never eated a dairy ruggle(singular
of rugglach?) made with butter and cream cheese, as the original recipe
calls for.  Before the advent of margarine, how could these be made
fleishig or parev?  With chicken schmaltz!?!?

Both of these are now totally accepted in most Orthodox circles without
a blink of the eye or a question.

My mother used to make, what she called "Jewish cream sauce" using
flour, fat and chicken soup today we can make thie parev by using soy or
rice milk.  Actually the chicken stock version is a French sauce clled
veloute, but she didn't know.

When my daughter in law was first becoming observant she ws bemoaning
the loss of bacon cheeseburgers, so I make her one with a veggie burger,
cheese and kosher baco-bits.  Maybe not a lucious as the original, but
it ketchup, it was a good substitute.  she didn't have to eat them all
the time, but knew it ws there if the yen got too much.

New items in the kosher version of non-kosher foods may well always
cause a stir, but Jewish cuisine, generally follows the cuisine of the
area people live in.  Kasha is a basic Russian dish, chicken friccasee
is sourcreamless Hungarian chicken paprikash, pita and humous were local
Arab foods, etc.  We should not fear this, as it has been the pattern
over time.

As for Pesach in Disney, or Barcelona, fine!  It certinly would be much
less exhausting work for fully half the Jewish population.  maybe they
could enjoy the feeling of release from slavery!

Wendy Baker


From: Andrew Marks <ajm58@...>
Subject: Re: Megillat Esther readings in the Colorado wastelands

Somebody going on a journey can hear the megillah as early as the 11th
of Adar.  You may be able to use this.  Consult a competent posek.

From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross2@...>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 23:10:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Megillat Esther readings in the Colorado wastelands

In your position I would buy a megilla and practice reading the text.
The "trop" is not essential to performance of the Mitzvah - a spoken
rendition is kosher.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 18:59:15 -0500
Subject: RE: Shma and Interruptios

David asks whether saying BARUCH SHAYM in the recitiation of the Shma is
an interruption.

The answer is no since it reflects a commentary on the first verse
stated by the Patriarch Jacob.

What about other commentaries. One way of praying with PROPER
INTENTION(Cavannah) is to exegetize the shma. Thus it would help
concentration if, after reading each verse, you could state something
relevant that happened that illustrates that verse.

What is the status of such relevance commentaries Are they blankly
prohibited? If it is done does it invalidate the shma (I dont think so
since you can read the sha with pauses) Would it be meritorious to read
it this way (Since it increases concentration)

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


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 14:35:06 +0000
Subject: RE: Torah in the Midbar

> Then why did He give it to us in the midbar?

Initial thoughts are that since the Torah is the Torah of the Land of
Israel, Hashem had to give it to us before we entered the Land so that
we have the Torah right from the very first moment of entry into the
Land.  I suppose it's a bit like reading an instruction manual before
installing the equipment in question.

Immanuel Burton.


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 22:21:55 EST
Subject: Re: Weddings in Shuls

      The origin of this practice is in reaction not to Christianity,
      but to Reform Judaism adopting the Christian practice.  So we
      should not dismiss a practice which originated with the much
      beleaguered Orthodox community in Germany some 200 years ago; it
      is not something these friends of your father's came up with on
      their own

I would say that this answer only reinforces the question.  200 years
ago, the foregoing of hachnassat kallah to reject a Reform practice
might have made sense from a stance of Pikuach Nefesh where protecting a
Jewish Nefesh from Reform influences might have applied.  At the present
time I would say that the chance of a Jew who attends a wedding in a
shul being swept away by a desire to become a Reform Jew is practically
nil.  We then have to reevaluate whether missing the mitzvah of
attending a wedding and possibly causing a family disagreement is worth
it.  This case can actually be a springboard for a discussion of
parallel cases.

           Ira Bauman


End of Volume 42 Issue 23