Volume 42 Number 36
                 Produced: Wed Mar 31  6:04:38 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Changing P'sak
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Chaye Adam vs. Kitzur
         [Jonathan Baker]
Did Esther and Ahashverosh have any children? (4)
         [Levy Lieberman, Mike Gerver, Kibi Hofmann, Gershon Dubin]
Lactrase on Pesach
         [Aaronson, Jeffrey B.]
Lists on fridge -- and other "temptations"
         [Carl Singer]
"People" or "Nation"?
         [Ben Katz]
Pesach Seder
         [David Riceman]
"Saturday school" detention
         [David Charlap]
Shetar Halitzah
         [Elhanan Adler]
Tunes for Brachot Acharona?
         [Art Werschulz]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 07:57:57 +0200
Subject: Changing P'sak

The question about P'sak being altered/changed brought to mind a rather
interesting issue of comparatively recent history.

In one of his volumes, Rav Zevin permitted the sale of land in Eretz
Israel to non-Jews prior to the Shemittah year (the famous "Heter
mechirah" controversy).

When the book was translated into English and published by a well-known
Charedi publishing house, the English edition somehow had Rav Zevin not
approving of the "Heter mechirah."

When this publishing house was confronted with the clear discrepancy
between the original Hebrew and the English "translation," it justified
the change on the basis of the fact that it had been told by Rav Zevin's
grandson that in his later years Rav Zevin had retracted his earlier

OTOH, about 15 or so 20 years I was commissioned to translate a
different work of Rav Zevin's, "L'or HaHalachah." The person who had
commissioned this work turned the rights over to said publishing house,
which never did get around to publishing the manuscript, evidently
because of a few chapters in it about the "Heter mechirah," which were
obviously written before Rav Zevin's "retraction" (as per "his
grandson"). BTW, I still have the typed manuscript of my translation.

Another aspect of "changing P'sak" might be the airbrushed photos of the
wives of Gedolim in the 1940s, which managed to ensure that they all
hats on their heads.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 00:15:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Chaye Adam vs. Kitzur

From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>

> Without going into the relative merits of these works, I will relate the
> following (almost certainly apocryphal) story:

> When Harav Avraham Dantzig was asked why he called his work "Chaye
> Adam", he replied: The Shulchan Aruch had a work written on it called
> the "Kitzur Shulchan Aruch".  I didn't want that to happen to my work,
> so I called it "Chaye Adam."  Surely no one will write a work called the
> "Kitzur Chaye Adam"

Um, certainly apocryphal.  R' Avraham Danzig (1748-1820) long predated
the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (1864).


From: Levy Lieberman <kushint@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 03:06:14 -0500
Subject: RE: Did Esther and Ahashverosh have any children?

Once we're already broaching the subject... Does anyone know how Esther
was allowed to marry Achashverosh in the first place? Seemingly, the Lo
ta'a'ses of Aroyos are one of the three that one is commanded to
"Yehoreig Ve'al Ya'avor" (=sanctify the name of God rather than
transgress [this specific commandment])? Especially assuming that at
least some people knew who Esther was, and marrying the non-Jewish king
took place be'far'hes'ya (=under the public's eye)...

(The reason I mention this question in the "Did Esther and Ahashverosh
have any children?" thread is because I've heard an answer given to the
above question that Esther never actually slept with the king, hence the
answer to the threads original query. However, I can call on no source,
and therefore present this idea merely as a point to ponder.)

- Levy Lieberman

[The question is first asked (to the best of my knowledge) in the
Gemarah in Megila, and the discussion of active vs passive roles in
violating rules there generate some fundimental principles used in many
places. I also do remember hearing, but do not know the source, that
Esther's response to Mordechai of "veka'asher avaditi avadati" refers to
her potentially changing from a passive role to active role and what the
implication of that would be. Avi]

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 05:03:25 EST
Subject: Did Esther and Ahashverosh have any children?

According to the traditional chronology, as laid out in Seder Olam,
Esther and Achashverosh's son was the Persian king Daryavush (Darius).
The introductory material in the Art Scroll Megillat Esther ought to
give sources for this. But this chronology is not consistent with the
standard chronology accepted by historians for the kings of the Persian
Empire.  And I recently came across a nice analysis, by Rabbi Menachem
Leibtag of the Tanach Study Center, demonstrating that the standard
chronology can be supported entirely by evidence from the Tanach, with a
few things thrown in from the Gemara. I imagine it would be posted on
the Tanach Study Center web site, http://www.tanach.org. It was sent out
to the TSC email list on March 3 this year.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Kibi Hofmann <kibi@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 17:46:38 +0200
Subject: Re: Did Esther and Ahashverosh have any children?

Bavli Rosh Hashana 3b - talks about Darius son of Achashverosh, implying
he was *not* Jewish.

Tosafos (starts with word "Shnas") on the page calls this king "Darius
the son of Esther," based on the Midrash (Vayikra Raba 13:5) that says
that he was born from the union of Esther and Achashverosh and questions
why he was not considered Jewish. Anyway, the point (for your question)
is that Darius was the son

Rashi says Darius was a "ben Noach" and possibly follows another
Midrashic opinion. Possibly Rashi thinks Darius was NOT Esther's son.

Anyway, Darius is the only child I've heard of who might be from Esther.
Even if he was Jewish, the gemara didn't have the highest opinion of him
so I guess you can read in what you like about the limits of domestic
felicity in Shushan.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 23:13:19 -0500
Subject: Did Esther and Ahashverosh have any children?

There is a tradition, sorry, no source, that Daryavesh the king of Madai
was their son.



From: Aaronson, Jeffrey B. <JAaronson@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 11:03:45 -0600
Subject: Lactrase on Pesach

Does anyone know the status of Lactrase (contains an active ingredient
similar to Lactaid) on Pesach?  For a number of years Rav Blumenkratz
permitted the use of Lactrase capsules while forbidding the use of
Lactaid.  However, in the last 2 years there has been no mention of
Lactrase in Rav Blumenkrantz's book.  If it is no longer permitted, can
anyone tell me why and is there any Pesach approved Lactaid substitute
(I know of the approval for the use of Lactaid drops pre-pesach in milk)
fro those of us who are lactaid intolerant.  Finally, can any one tell
me why Lactaid is forbidden on Pesach.

Chag Kasher V' Sameach


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 07:12:41 -0500
Subject: Lists on fridge -- and other "temptations"

I agree.  I think there's no problem -- and I've never been tempted to
write on Shabbos -- we have pens and pencils all over the house for
phone messages, etc.  I've never been tempted to grab a pencil and write
(on Shabbos.)  For that matter, we have telephones all over the house
and we don't disconnect them on Shabbos / Yom Tov.  If we remember, we
may turn off the ringer on the bedroom phone (as we do overnight), but
again there's no temptation to answer the phone.

That said, a close friend who's a serious talmid said he learned NOT to
use lists.

Have a Zeesun Pesach

Carl A. Singer


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 09:42:11 -0600
Subject: Re: "People" or "Nation"?

>From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
> >From my posting where I state:
> >The bottom line is that we pray for the reestablishment of
> >"Malchut Bet David" - the kingship of the house of David aka
> >Machiach Ben David. Yisrael has to be in its Land for this to happen,
> >and be physically normalised like the other nation's of the world.
>In response to some private correspondence, I wish to clarify my words
><physically normalised like the other nation's of the world>, as I did
>not mean that we want a king in the same ways the other nations want a
>king. This was specifically the sin of Israel, when they approached the
>prophet Samuel with their request.

         It is not so clear what the sin of Israel was.  After all, when
the people ask for a king in I Samuel they are nearly verbatim quoting
the Torah (Devarim).


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 08:32:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Pesach Seder

> From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
> I remember hearing once (many years ago) that during the time of the 2nd
> Beis HaMikdash the custom was to eat the meal first and then have the
> seder.

This is a Mordechai in Arvei Pesahim.  It explains how the four
questions display knowledge of what's going to happen later on in the

> Due to a problem of people falling asleep, the order was reversed, so
> today we recite the haggadah first and then eat the meal.

This I've never heard.  A simple explanation is that during Temple times
the meal was itself a fulfillment of the mitzva.  Nowadays the heart of
the seder is recalling the ceremony of eating the Paschal lamb, so we do
that before we eat supper.

David Riceman


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:08:45 -0500
Subject: Re: "Saturday school" detention

Anonymous wrote:
> I am a teacher in a public school.  The detention/punishment for repeat
> offenders (for being late to class three times in a quarter, rude in
> class more than once, fighting--even once, etc.) is coming to something
> called "Saturday school" which is sitting in a classroom quietly
> starting at 8am on Saturday, for several hours.  The kids are allowed to
> do homework, or, I think, read a book.
> ...
> I asked the school what would happen if an observant kid couldn't do
> his/her punishment for religious reasons, and they said they would
> happily make other arrangements.  Also, in theory, a student could walk
> to school and sit and read a book, not necessarily breaking shabbat.
> However most if not all of the Jewish students are very secular, and
> would certainly break shabbat to do Saturday school.

I don't know what a rabbi might say, but here's my logic.

I am not fully Shabbos observant and as such I drive to shul and
sometimes to other places, although I do not go to my job and I try to
avoid conducting other kinds of business transactions.

Knowing this, my rabbi has occasionally invited me over to his table for
Shabbos dinner.  I once asked "aren't you concerned that I'll have to
drive to your house to accept your invitation?".  He responded by asking
me "if I didn't invite you, would you have driven elsewhere?"  I
truthfully responded "yes".  He then said, "if you're going to drive on
Shabbos either way, better you drive to my home for Shabbos dinner
instead of to other places."

Keeping all this in mind, I think I can formulate an answer to your

If those kids didn't have detention, they wouldn't be spending the time
at home.  They'd be getting in cars, driving to the mall and spending
money on things.  When you give them detention, they may drive to the
school, but once there, they are going to sit quietly for several hours.
In a very real sense of the word, they are (unwillingly) observing more
of Shabbos in detention than they would be if they were free for that

Of course, if one of your students is Shabbos observant, then this line
of reasoning would not apply.  But as you said, you could make other
arrangements for such a child.

-- David


From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 08:52:19 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Shetar Halitzah

> From: <FriedmanJ@...>
>   I am trying to learn more about the practice of Shetar Halitzah in
> America, in Charleston--how common were they, and who gave them.Are you
> aware of any other Shetar Halitzah from the early 19th century, and/or
> the practice of giving such a document?Practices regarding Shetar
> Halitzah in Europe would also be relevant

The Jewish National and University Library's Ketubbot Project
(http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/ketubbot/) lists 34 ketubbot with addenda
relating to halizah. all from 19th or early 20th century. 24 from Italy,
8 from Greece, 1 from Turkey and one from Eretz Yisrael.

Images are available at the site (select 'search the database' option,
then 'find documents...', and enter the word 'halitsah' in Hebrew)

Elhanan Adler, Deputy Director for Information Technology 
Jewish National and University Library, P.O.B. 39105, Jerusalem 91390, Israel
Email: <elhanan@...>                                       
Tel.: 972-2-6585005, FAX: 972-2-6511771, Home tel.: 972-2-6515977 


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 09:41:47 -0500
Subject: Tunes for Brachot Acharona?

Hi. Joel Wiesen <wiesen@...> asked:
> Does anyone know any tunes for brachot acharona?

There's an album called "The Bentching Tape", containing Yossi Green's
tune "Al Hamichya/Borei Nefashos".  You can order it online from various

BTW, "The Bentsching Tape" is also available on CD.  :-)

Art Werschulz
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


End of Volume 42 Issue 36