Volume 42 Number 71
                 Produced: Tue May 18  6:08:54 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bariloche Argentina
         [David Riceman]
Don't Drink the Water
         [Michael Rogovin]
Guidelines for Tzedaka
R. Moshe and Music
         [Bernard Raab]
Sheitle and Avodah Zarah (3)
         [Martin Stern, Joshua Hosseinof, Meylekh Viswanath]
Summer Time All-Year Round (3)
         [Rose Landowne, Carl Singer, Kenneth G Miller]
         [David Charlap]


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 07:54:57 -0400
Subject: Bariloche Argentina

My wife may have to go to a conference in Bariloche.  Does anyone know
anything about available kosher food, nearest synagogue, etc.?

David Riceman


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 21:35:08 -0500
Subject: Don't Drink the Water

As if the controversy over sheitlach wasn't enough, we were told this
Shabbat that there was a ruling from one of the hareidi councils in
Brooklyn (where else) that NYC water was asur because it had crustaceans
that were visible through a magnifying glass.  The rabbis in our
community were makel on this (and on wigs, by the way, at least for

What I do not understand is why anyone was looking through a magnifying
glass. Given a strong enough lens, one would be able to see all sorts of
apparently asur things in water, on food, on our hands (plastic gloves
with dinner anyone?)--in short, you counld not eat anything.

I was always taught that we do not rely on external tools to paskin
halacha. We must look at things in their natural state. Hence, when
checking a claf for defect, we do not use a jewlers lens, we use a
"naked" eye (presumably of someone with good eyesight, especially for
close ups. Same as for water--its what a person with good eyesight can
see, not what is under a microscope or magnifying glass. Am I wrong?
(this also came up when a sofer stam tried to convince me that my
mezuzah claf was pasul because there was a broken letter that he could
see through a jeweler's lens, even though I saw no such problem. AGain,
given enough magnification, all letters will have breaks in them).

One friend suggested the rumor was started by beer makers who wish to
return to the old days when beer (or wine, if you are French) was
substituted for water due to sanitary conditions (or lack thereof).

Michael Rogovin

[Just a quick note, as I understand, the question has been brought to
the OU, along with water samples and the OU rabbanim have not found
anything that would require concern.  As many people know, if you use
high enough magnification, you will find "tiny bugs" on most anything,
and surely in water. However microscopic bugs do not make something
non-kosher. If I understand things correctly (and if anyone has
additional information, please post it to the list), the claim that was
made was that there bugs of a size that were visible to the naked
eye. However, OU inspectors checking various points in NY were not able
to reproduce the claims.

Avi - Mod.]


From: <RAZLEENERS@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 11:25:59 EDT
Subject: Guidelines for Tzedaka

Is anyone aware of work done (in English) on the parameters of Hilchot
Tzedakh, including, but not limted to, the amount one must give and how
such an amount is to be calculated?


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 10:51:11 -0400
Subject: RE: R. Moshe and Music

In last week's issue of Kol Torah (5/15/04), the student publication of
the Torah Academy of Bergen County (New Jersey), Rabbi Chaim Jachter
reviews the history of this halacha. This fine publication, published
weekly is also on line (koltorah.org), but way behind in posting the
issues to their website. Therefore, in a future posting I will attempt
to summarize the various positions of the various poskim over the ages,
as reviewed by R. Jachter. For now, it appears that Mark Steiner fairly
summarizes Rav Moshe's opinion. R. Jachter adds however, that Rav Moshe
writes that one should not object to those who follow the opinion of the
Rema (that music in moderation is permitted outside a tavern). He also
brings a report of the opinion of the Rav (Soloveitchik) that the
Rabbinic prohibition applies only to music of revelry and not to music
"of the sublime", e.g., "classical music" (quoting R. Jachter).  Music
lovers everywhere are grateful to the Rav for this sensitivity.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 06:54:30 +0100
Subject: Re: Sheitle and Avodah Zarah

on 16/5/04 2:49 pm, Mike Gerver at  <MJGerver@...> wrote:

> Certainly many Western-educated Hindus would, if asked, vehemently deny
> that Hinduism is polytheistic, or involves worshiping idols. Instead, I
> imagine they would say that Hinduism is monotheistic, and that the
> different Hindu "gods" are just different aspects of the way G-d relates
> to the world, similar to the sefirot in Judaism. Similarly, they might
> say that the statues in their temples do not have any "kedusha," but are
> just meant to inspire the worshippers or help them concentrate in their
> prayers, similar to the role of pictures of famous rabbis that one not
> infrequently finds in synagogues on the back and side walls, and yes,
> even the front walls.

I think the more sophisticated Greco-Roman pagan intellectual would have
said much the same yet we still treat their temples as being dedicated
to avodah zarah. The reason is that the less sophisticated worshippers
did indeed consider the statues as somehow being 'inhabited' by the god
represented and the former were prepared to go along with 'popular
religion' for the sake of social cohesion.

Martin Stern

From: Joshua Hosseinof <jh@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 12:03:10 -0400
Subject: re: Sheitle and Avodah Zarah

>What you clearly have here is the hair being given to the Temple as a
>religious action by the women. If Hinduism is Avoda Zarah, (idol worship)
>then it would seem likely that the hair should be assur be'hanauh -
>forbidden to have any benefit from. You should now have the standard set
>of rules to deal with in regard to how to act when you do not know if the
>wig is using this hair etc, but it is clear to me that this concern is
>real and not an "urban legand" type of issue

What the article in the Wall Street Journal showed was that having a
shaved head was the object of the ritual.  The hair itself was not
needed for the ritual, and in fact the woman sold the hair shows that it
was not meaningful to the ritual.  Perhaps this a Cheftsa/Gavra issue?

Joshua Hosseinof

[From what I have seen quoted (and I have not seen any of the teshuvot
or letters), the disagreement between the poskim who are forbidding vs
those that are permitting do focus on understanding what the nature of
the ritual is, as to whether the hair gets the status of takruvot avoda
zara or not. It seems that the conclusion 10 years ago was that it did
not. The issue now is whether the investigation 10 years ago missed
certain points that are clarified now, whether the new investigation did
not fully understand what they were told, so the facts from 10 years ago
are really the correct ones, or whether there has been any change in the
reality since then which would impact the nature of the pesak. Mod.]

From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 14:33:19 -0400
Subject: Sheitle and Avodah Zarah

I'd like to know on what basis Hinduism is considered Avode Zore.  It
seems to me that of the major religions, Zorastrianism and then
Christianity probably come closest; I don't see Hinduism as being Avode
Zore.  If you read the Upanishads (one of the Hindu scriptures), God
(Brahman) is described (not described) in terms very similar to the
Rambam's doctrine of negative attributes.  In the Brhadaranyaka
Upanishad, when asked to describe God, the Ultimate Reality, a sage
replies -- "It is not this and it is not that" (neti, neti, neti).

Since the mind can only comprehend and derive inspiration in a language
that it can understand and interpret, a God of attributes in the form of
various manifestations has became the object of devotion and personal
worship (paraphrase of description from
http://www.indianest.com/hinduism/050.htm).  However, most thinking
Hindus accept that the God of attributes is only something that can help
to ultimately attain the attributeless God.  I doubt, further, that any
Hindus believe that a representation of stone or wood is actually God.
Muslims over the years have repeatedly destroyed Hindu temples; if
Hindus believed that the wooden/stone idols in the temples were actually
God, then Hinduism would not exist any more.

Does the fact that we Jews talk about ad'ni, elokim, shekhina, etc. mean
that there is a multiplicity of gods?  Of course, not. All physical
representation of God is forbidden for Jews.  However, I don't believe
this is true of non-Jews, as long as they do not confuse the physical
representation with God.  I don't believe such physical representation
makes those non-Jews ovdei avode zore, either.  I heard that one of the
YU rabbis has declared Hinduism not to be avode zore.  Does anybody know
the basis for his pask and the basis for the psak of the other rabbis,
who have decided otherwise?

Meylekh Viswanath


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 07:23:13 EDT
Subject: Summer Time All-Year Round

> From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>

> Anyone have thoughts on possible Halachic considerations.
> in France, I think, there is double Summer Time.

> Panel okays bill enforcing daylight saving time all year long
> The ministerial committee on legislation approved Sunday a bill
> proposal enforcing daylight saving time throughout the entire year... 
> According to the proposal, winter time will not go into effect on
> September 22 this year, and instead summer time will continue all year
> long.
> In the summer months, the clock will be moved forward an additional
> hour.

Not a halachik issue so much, other than pikuach nefesh, but in the US
when they tried year-round daylight savings during the energy crisis,
they found that a larger than  usual number of children were being run
over by cars while going to school in the morning in the dark during the
winter.  I believe that's why they rescinded it.

Rose Landowne

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 08:17:51 -0400
Subject: Summer Time All-Year Round

As is commonly known, in the "extreme" latitudes (far north or far
south) where days and nights are greatly unbalanced (land of the
midnight sun, etc.)  accommodations have been made to have a more
"normal" Shabbos.  This is usually in the form of accepting the halachic
times of a major city of similar LONGITUDE.

In more moderate latitudes the issue with daylight savings and even
double daylight savings is, to me, more social and operational.  The
(seasonally varying) length of days and nights as determined by sunrise
and sunset is unchanged.  If there are 14 hours of daylight and 10 of
night, the length of an halachic hour won't change, etc.  What will
change is the "clock time" that corresponds with sunrise, sunset and
other halachic times.  For example, if shkiah in Paris was at 9:30 P.M.
(2130 hours) before the clock adjustment and clocks were moved forward
an hour then it would be 10:30 P.M.  (2230) local time -- the end of
Shabbos would similarly be an hour later.  Of seasonal concern would be
earliest time for tallis & tefillin -- as this, too, would shift later
-- in the winter this time could approach 8:30 AM -- making it difficult
for some people to daven and get to work on time.

Carl Singer   

From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 13:03:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Summer Time All-Year Round

Yisrael Medad asked <<< Anyone have thoughts on possible Halachic
considerations. In France, I think, there is double Summer Time. >>>

This situation existed in the USA during the winter of 1973-74. The main
problem was that the sun rose so late (up to 8:20 AM in New York City)
that davening Shacharis at home or in shul, while getting to work on
time, proved difficult or impossible for many. Many approaches to this
problem can be found on pages 233-243 of Contemporary Halachic Problems
Vol 1, by Rabbi J. David Bleich (Ktav 1977).

 From what I see in two different sources, sunrise in Paris can get as
late as 8:44 AM -- and that is WITHOUT an extra hour. I have to wonder
how they cope even now. And then with the extra hour, the sun won't be
visible until 9:44!!! Yow, that must be difficult! Anyone here from
France who can tell us more?

Akiva Miller


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 11:57:17 -0400
Subject: Wigs

Avi Feldblum writes:
> URL for NT times article on Wigs from India and the Orthodox Jewish
> Community in Brooklyn:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/14/nyregion/14WIG.html

This article brings to mind a few questions that are tangentially
related to its content.

First off, why is it that wigs are permitted in the first place?  If it
is considered immodest for a woman to show her hair, wouldn't it be
equally immodest to show something that one could easily mistake for her
own hair?  If one is concerned that showing hair will atrract the
attention of men, wouldn't it be just as much a concern that a good
looking wig (which may even look better than her natural hair) would
have the same effect?

Second, the article mentioned teachers in girls' schools.  Would the
requirement of hair-covering apply to a teacher in an all-girls school?
If there are no men present, then the reasons for the requirement (not
appearing attractive to anyone other than one's husband) shouldn't
apply.  (But I suppose there will be at least _some_ men working in
these schools, so the situation probably never comes up in actual

Finally, why is a snood OK?  If this is what I think it is, a snood is
similar to a net - there are holes throughout where the wearer's natural
hair shows through.  I would have thought that only a headpiece that
completely hides the hair (like the berets worn by many teachers when I
was in school) would meet halachic requirements.  Or are the snoods worn
in orthodox communities different from the ones I've seen elsewhere
(mostly at Renaissance faires, as a part of female Renaissance

[What is refered here as a "snood" is different from what you describe,
it is not a net, but fully cloth, more like a beret in material but
different in shape. I'll leave it to others on the list to better
describe. Avi]

-- David


End of Volume 42 Issue 71