Volume 42 Number 29
                 Produced: Mon Mar  1  5:25:50 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kemp Hill
Kemp Mill
         [Joshua Seidemann]
Marriage in England
         [Alexis Rosoff]
Marriage in England  /  Sopwell House Hotel (2)
         [Martin Stern, Jeremy Rose]
New book
         [Marc B. Shapiro]
overdoing  Pesach cleaning
Response to kosher versions of forbidden items (2)
         [S Wise, Shoshana Ziskind]
Tallitot for divorced men
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Wedding in Synagogues
Weddings in Shuls
         [Jonathan B. Horen]


From: <asapper@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:20:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Kemp Hill

Martin Stern recently responded to this email --
>> I live in Silver Spring, and until recently, there was not a mikvah
>> (that was accepted by R. Anemer, the Rabbi) in Kemp Mill. Kemp Mill is
>> an area with about 300-400 orthodox families.

as follows:

>A community is supposed to build a mikveh before it builds a shul. While
>this may not be practical when Jews first move into an area because too
>few require it, I find it very disturbing that Kemp Mill could have so
>many orthodox families without having built one. With that number of
>families one would expect it to be in use almost every day by several

There has been a misunderstanding and some outdated information.

        With regard to the misunderstanding: There has always been at
least one mikveh in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area that has been
accepted by all.  It is located in a community close to Kemp Mill called
Woodside.  Kemp Mill, Woodside and White Oak are all Silver Spring
communities, and they are all within easy driving distance, and even
within walking distance, of each other.  Also, there has always been a
mikveh in Kemp Mill itself, located in the Silver Spring Jewish Center,
and it was used by many.

        As to the outdated information:  The supervision of the mikveh in
Kemp Mill itself (in the Silver Spring Jewish Center) changed around
December 2003 and it is now operated by the Emunah Society of Greater
Washington, which is widely accepted.  


From: Joshua Seidemann <quartertones@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 05:55:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Kemp Mill

To clarify -- Kemp Mill is a neighborhood in Silver Spring.  Woodside is
another neighborhood in Silver Spring, about three miles away.  The
Silver Spring mikvah is in Woodside.  Also, Rabbi Anemer is not, as the
original e-mail seems to suggest, the only Rabbi in Kemp Mill -- there
are (at least) two other Orthodox shuls all within one mile of each
other.  The development of the greater-Washington area, as the Jewish
population moved from the District-proper to the outlying suburbs, lends
perspective to the issue of where mikvaos in the region were built
(there are also mikvaos in Potomac and Rockville, and a new mikvah in
the District is nearing completion).  It is also my understanding that
plans are underway to construct a mikvah in Kemp Mill.


From: Alexis Rosoff <alexis@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:19:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Marriage in England

On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 04:52:58 PST, Ed Greenberg wrote:

|> > In England it is (or was) the law of the land that a wedding had to
|> > either take place in a registry office,
|> I think this must be "was". In 1994 I took my one and only trip to

In England, unlike America, it's the venue that must be licensed, not
just the officiant. Traditionally, this meant a registry office (for
civil weddings), or a house of worship (generally church or
synagogue--many mosques are still not licensed for weddings).

Not long ago--I'm not sure of the exact date, but based on Ed's account,
it must have been by the early '90s--the licensing rules were relaxed,
and many hotels and catering halls became approved premises for

So, yes, it used to be that Jewish weddings in England were held in
shul; but now couples have a much wider choice of venues.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:39:43 +0000
Subject: Re: Marriage in England  /  Sopwell House Hotel

on 26/2/04 9:39 am, Ed Greenberg <edg@...> wrote:

> In 1994 I took my one and only trip to
> England, a business trip to Hemel Hempstead -- I worked for 3Com at the
> time. I checked into the Sopwell House in St. Albans. As I was exploring
> the place, I came upon an array of chairs in the garden, with a chuppah
> set up at the head of the array!
> It was really heartwarming to see that a Jewish wedding was going to go
> on, right where I felt myself to be a "stranger in a strange land."
> So in 1994, at least, it was OK to have a wedding in a hotel garden.

May I warn readers that as far as I know this hotel does not allow
outside caterers and has no in-house kosher facility. I found this out
when I was invited to the wedding of the grandson of the head of the UK
Masorti (Conservative) movement that was held there in the summer of '97
and took the trouble to check it out for kashrut. I have not heard that
it has changed its catering policy since then.

Martin Stern

From: Jeremy Rose <jeremy@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 10:26:30 +0000
Subject: Marriage in England  /  Sopwell House Hotel

Unfortunately, the Sopwell House Hotel is one of the very few venues
around London which does not allow kosher catering.  They only provide
"non offensive" (ie treif) meals and banqueting facilities.

The owner of the Sopwell House Hotel is Jewish.

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


From: Marc B. Shapiro <shapirom2@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 08:46:36 -0700
Subject: New book

Now that many people have had the chance to read my new book, The Limits
of Orthodox Theology (if it hasn't been banned from the local bookstore)
it is a good opportunity to send out a public message concerning
something that has been bothering me for awhile. 

Since I write about controversial matters and often am in dispute with
various scholars, I was given mussar from an outstanding scholar and
baal midot some ten years ago. He said that as Bnei Torah it is
important not simply to write like an academic, and certainly not like
an editorialist, but to give proper kavod even to the opinions that you
feel are completely wrong, if they have been stated by someone who is
deserving of respect by virtue of who he is.

Since then I think that I have meticulously kept to this, sitting
shiv'ah neki'im for everything I write (even when responding to people
who thought it proper to attack me personally). In the latest book,
unfortunately, I fell short of this. Although I read it over in proof
form, it wasn't until I had the book in hand some two months ago that I
realized that I made a mistake, and by then it was too late. God
willing, the error will be corrected if the book is reprinted (It might
have to be, as it has sold out at the YU book sale, showing that there
is an interest, both pro and con, in its argument).

In the book I express my opinion that an argument by Rabbi Parnes
(former Rosh Yeshiva of YU) is "ridiculous". Although this type of
language is found in academic works, and even in many Torah works (and
is only directed at an argument, not a person), it was improper for me
to use this expression and I have already apologized to Rabbi Parnes. I
should have been able to find a better way to register my sharp
disagreement. I say this because Rabbi Parnes has spent a lifetime
teaching Torah, is many years my senior, and has forgotten more Shas and
poskim than I will ever know. As such, more respect was called for in
attempting to disprove his argument.

 Shegiyot mi yavin, ve-ha-shem ha-Tov yekhaper.

     Marc Shapiro


From: <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 18:59:37 -0800
Subject: Re: overdoing  Pesach cleaning

> Tzvi Stein wrote <<< If they are "working themselves to the bone", then
> probably 90% of what they're doing is not halachically necessary.  There
> is an excellent halachic summary about the miniumum requirements of
> Pesach cleaning that was put out by the students of Rav Scheinberg
> several years ago. >>>
and Rabbi Reisman has a tape covering the topic.



From: <Smwise3@...> (S Wise)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 06:55:19 EST
Subject: Re: Response to kosher versions of forbidden items

<< On a related topic, there are fake bacon bits, made entirely from
vegetable matter and assorted spices, which are said to taste like
bacon.  These products are appropriately hekshered, and I know
intellectually that it is permissible to eat them.  I just emotionally
can't stand the thought or the smell or the idea of consuming these

Baltimore, MD >>

Yet, is it not so , not sure if halachically or otherwise, that if one
smells non-kosher food he or she should acknowledge how good it is, but
realize that Hashem has commanded us not to eat treif?  We can admit we
like things that are not permitted--and perhaps receive schar for
avoiding them by following halachah.


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 10:15:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Response to kosher versions of forbidden items

While I can understand your revulsion, isn't the reason why we don't eat
pig products is because G-d says so?  Isn't this considered one of the
chukim, which is beyond sechal?  if so, couldn't something that's kosher
that tastes like something prohibited be fine given that there's really
no reason otherwise why we shouldn't eat it?  Theoretically isn't it
conceivable to say "I really want to eat pig but G-d says no, so that's

On the other hand, I grew up in a reform household, one where we didn't
keep kosher at all. No two sets of dishes/pots and at the turkey
thanksgiving dinner my great Aunt made I always wanted my mom to bring
her dairy lokshen kugel.  Still, I grew up with no bacon in the house
and my great Aunt would NEVER serve ham AFAIK.  Its like for some
reason, in their heads eating pig is the ultimate bad thing which their
pintele yid can't allow.



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 12:22:30 -0500
Subject: Tallitot for divorced men

IIRC, the actual origin of the odd custom of only married men wearing a
tallis stems from the problem in the late middle ages in ashkenaz
Europe, where too many men were not marrying in a timely fashion.  The
authorities at the time ruled that only the married should wear the
tallis so as to make the singles more obvious and to add to the societal
pressure on them.  This would explain the odd apparent lack of a
connection between the two issues, and also explains why the Sfard and
German communities don't follow this custom- The Sfardim becuase they
were already totally separated from European Jewry and the Germans
because they refused to follow "modern" takkanot.  I don't have the
source handy, but I vaguely revall that this was from the Tur.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: <MRosenPSI@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:45:58 EST
Subject: Re: Wedding in Synagogues

In a message dated 2/26/2004 1:37:45 AM Pacific Standard Time, Shmuel
Himelstein writes

      "In early days, the weddings were not held in the synagogue at
      Congregation Shearith Israel, but now that has changed, and it is
      very common for the synagogue to be used for weddings. The earlier
      reluctance to permit synagogue weddings was because of the fear
      that the possible overcrowding of facilities ... might result in
      damage to the physical facilities of the synagogue building."

      Note - not a word of fear of Reform.

Thsi is not surprising. Tzvi Zohar in his masterful book "Haeiru Pnei
Mizrach" examines halachic attitudes of the great Mid-Eastern Sephardic
Poskim, similarly Rabbi Marc Angel of the Spanish Port. Shul in NY has
written some books and articles about this. On the whole the Sepharadim
were not affected by Reform. (The notable exception in NY is that the
choir and sermon were direct responses to the "shul across the Park"
Temple Emmanuel that introduced them and attracted some members (so I
was told by Rev Cardozo). As a result of not feeling threatened by the
incursion of Reform, they did not look at certain innovations as
affecting the esence of their practice.

(In the spirit of truth in adverstising, I am not Orthodox, but the
above is not my opinion but shcolarly concensus.)


From: Jonathan B. Horen <horen@...>
Subject: Re: Weddings in Shuls

I am in-favor of -- actually, I prefer -- making weddings in shul,
because the inherent kedusha of the setting helps balance the gaity of
the celebration.  Moreover, it is in-keeping-with and supportive-of Carl
Singer's rationale for mixed seating at such events.


End of Volume 42 Issue 29