Volume 42 Number 72
                 Produced: Wed May 19  7:03:08 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bugs in Drinking Water
         [Martin Stern]
         [David Lichtman]
Marriage Depends on Consummation?
         [Yisrael Medad]
More on Sheitels
         [Carl Singer]
         [Tzvi Stein]
Sheitels and Avodah Zorah
         [Carl Singer]
Sheitle and Avodah Zara
         [Tzvi Stein]
Some links related to Wig issue
         [Avi Feldblum]
Summer Time All-Year Round
         [David Cohen]
Summer Time All-Year Round in Israel
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Wigs (2)
         [N Miller, Janice Gelb]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 11:20:58 +0100
Subject: Re: Bugs in Drinking Water

on 18/5/04 11:08 am, Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...> wrote:

> 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 could not eat
> anything.

We had a similar problem some years ago in Manchester, England. The
crustaceans were visible as small dots that seemed to move in the water
but their identity could only be ascertained using a magnifying
glass. Since they were visible to the unaided naked eye, there was a
kashrut problem, the lens was only used to check on the suspicious

Martin Stern 


From: David Lichtman <davidx@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 08:38:50 -0700
Subject: KosherLamp(tm)

I'm seeing ads and "advertorials" for KOSHERLAMP(tm) .  One advertorial
states, "A simple yet ingenious new invention called KOSHERLAMP(tm) is
revolutionizing the way Sabbath-observant Jews enjoy their Friday
evenings. With its patent-pending vented FADESHADE(tm) mechanism,
KOSHERLAMP(tm) safely gives off light when the shade is open and goes
dark when the shade is closed without having to switch the electricity
off.  Orthodox Jews refrain from turning electricity on or off as part
of their Sabbath observance. Until now, a lamp would have had to be left
constantly "on", for the entire period from Friday evening through
Saturday night, or operated by a preset automatic timer. Conceived and
designed by an Orthodox rabbi, the new lamp has received approval from
numerous leading rabbis."

A complete example advertorial can be found at .  Would
anyone care to comment on this interesting device?


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 22:32:23 +0200
Subject: Marriage Depends on Consummation?

Seems the opposition of the Prisons' Service to Yigal Amir's wedding is

"Representatives of the State Prosecutor's Office, which is representing
the Prisons Service, claim that the position of the chief rabbi of the
Prisons Service is that "it's preferable not to hold such weddings" if
the prisoner is not allowed to consummate the marriage."

Anyone competent to comment on this aspect of Halacha, that is if the
Chief Rabbi of the Prisons Service was reliably quoted?

Yisrael Medad


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 06:38:04 -0400
Subject: More on Sheitels

    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 practice.)

As I recall (and my memory is often faulty) There is mention made in the
Gemorah of a woman who always covered her hair -- as I recall the phrase
is that the beams of her home never saw her uncovered head -- she then
had the zchus that all of her sons became Cohain Gadol.  This would seem
to imply reasons NOT associated with male strangers seeing her hair.

Can anyone expound on this re: why hair is covered?

Carl Singer


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Shaitels

A few days ago, I saw a woman who looked vaguely familiar, but I
couldn't place her.  Then it hit me that this was someone I saw
regularly, but I had never before seen her without a sheitel. She was
one of many women that never leave the house without a shaitel, but that
day she had a hat on.

That got me to thinking that this psak may be completely unprecedented
in modern Jewish history.  A long-standing and highly significant custom
was changed among a large portion of Jews in a matter of days.  I can
certainly not recall anything similar to this in my lifetime, and I
can't think of anything like it in recent history.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 07:08:26 -0400
Subject: Sheitels and Avodah Zorah

(Again trusting to my faulty memory) There are issues as to whether one
may do business with those who practice Avodah Zorah (I believe the
specific phrase used is avdai kochavim -- those who worship the stars)
-- this prohibition is more of a blanket prohibition.  Much has been
written over time as to whether Christianity falls into that category.
I believe virtually everyone agrees that Moslems are not so categorized
as they are considered monotheists.  I don't recall anything specific
re: Hindus -- likely because of geography/distance and lack of commerce
with Hindus.

The prohibition that impacts Sheitels is, as previously stated, one of
deriving any benefit (or pleasure) from Avodah Zorah -- I would take
this as distinct from that stated above re: doing business with.  So the
exact issue is not the status of Hinduism re: avdai kochavim, but
whether or not the process for cutting, gathering, donating(?) / selling
(?)  hair (to the temple? to the gods? to the merchant?) is an act of
Avodah Zorah.  And here I stand mute as I don't know the facts.  (My
wife has a colleague who is Indian, Hindu, and a professor who focusses
on multiculturalism -- she hopes to gather more information -- facts? --
in the near future.)

While waiting for a clearer picture of what's going on, here's a
question -- is the deriving of benefit or pleasure from an act of Avodah
Zorah botel b'rove (nullified in the majority.)  Specifically, if you
have a sheitel and have no idea of its origin -- and let's presume that
the majority of sheitels (or the bulk of the hair used in sheitels) does
NOT come from sources where there is an issue of Avodah Zorah, but from
sources that sell hair for simple monetary gain -- then is there any
leniency derived from the concept of botel b'rove.

Bedikah (inspection) vs. Schmura (guarding) -- In asking this question,
I am presuming (also) that there is no practical form of bedikah
(inspection) that can determine with a high degree of accuracy after the
fact how and for what purpose the hair was gathered.  Certainly DNA
testing (at what cost) could determine if hair was of European or Indian
origin but unlike Shatness testing of clothing we're not dealing with
only the physical traits of the sheitel but the process by which
materials were gathered.

Lastly: Many years ago my wife decided that rather than pay thousands of
dollars for sheitels she would purchase commercial synthetic sheitels
that cost under $100 so that we could apply that money saved to Yeshiva
tuitions -- over the years our paying full tuition (now in excess of
$250,000 in total) has, no doubt, subsidized the purchase of many
sheitels by people who can't afford tuition but can afford luxurious
sheitels (and Pesach vacations ....)  -- Is there now an issue of marat
ayin in wearing a synthetic or European hair sheitel?

If you think the price of gasoline is going up in leaps and bounds --
wait until you see the price of schmura sheitels :)

Carl Singer


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 10:30:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Sheitle and Avodah Zara

> From: Joshua Hosseinof <jh@...>
> 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?
> :)

You bring up a good point, but that is not exactly what happens.  The
women do not receive any money for their hair.  They give it to the
priests.  The priests then sell it.

So even if the act of selling would negate the avoda zara aspect (and
their are opinions that it would), it is already too late by the time it
is sold, since the women themselves could have made it avoda zara by
their intentions at the time it was cut.


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 06:18:46 -0400
Subject: Some links related to Wig issue

Interesting reading on Rabbi A. Abadi's web site regarding the previous
investigation of Indian hair.

PDF of R. Ribiat's letter (from Monsey, NY and is matir [permits] most
http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~spotter/Letter.pdf (R. Ribiat's letter)

and PDF of R. Elyashiv's original 3 page teshuva being mattir the Indian hair

Link to NYTimes article on wig burning in Brooklyn, NY


From: David Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 19:43:28 -0400
Subject: RE: Summer Time All-Year Round

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
> This news just in.  Anyone have thoughts on possible Halachic
> considerations.  In France, I think, there is double Summer Time.

That's pretty wild, considering that France is already an hour off from
where it "should be" -- based on its longitude, most of France really
ought to be in the GMT time zone, and instead, it's in GMT + 1, so as to
be together with the rest of continental Europe.  The new plan, if I
understand it correctly, is to effectively put France on GMT + 2.

These means that Shabbat in Paris, which now ends at 11:03 p.m. at the
end of June, will end at 12:03 a.m.  People may have to stay up way past
their bedtimes just to say keri'at shema shel `arvit each night.  Those
who want to make "early Shabbat" at that time of year will not be able
to do so before pelag ha-minchah, at 9:17 p.m.

Sunrise in Paris, which is now at 8:43 a.m. in the end of December and
beginning of January, will be at 9:43 a.m.  People may have trouble when
they need to be at work on time, but won't be able to even put on their
talit and tefilin before 8:31 a.m.  On the other hand, this could be a
late sleeper's paradise, as one may be able to attend an 11:15
a.m. minyan on Shabbat that will still say keri'at shema by its deadline
(according to the Gra) of 11:49 a.m.

Tangentially, I'm a little surprised that France would adopt a plan that
would make sunrise so late in the winter.  If I'm not mistaken (it was
before I was born), the U.S. tried out year-round Daylight Saving Time
in the 1970s, but decided not to implement it permanently, since it
wasn't safe to have kids waiting for their morning school buses in the
dark.  That didn't make winter sunrise in the continental U.S. anywhere
near as late as it would be in France under this proposal.

In any case, I wasn't able to find this proposal anywhere in the news.
What is your source?



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 14:06:15 +0300
Subject: Summer Time All-Year Round in Israel

Of course the Shinui ministers who introduced this bill are not
concerrned about such issues, but as right now in the heart of winter
hanetz is at 6:32 a.m., it will now be 7:32 a.m. Considering that
Israelis often start work at 8 a.m., this will play havoc with

Shmuel Himelstein


From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 11:00:24 -0400
Subject: Wigs

I wish to second David Charlap's question: why are wigs permitted in the
first place?  When and where were they first permitted and by whom?  My
own hunch is that, just as the rebbishe shtrayml was adopted from the
Polish nobility, the shaytl or perik was first worn by ladies of the
court before being adopted by affluent (mainly urban) Jewish women.  In
the Ukrainian shtetl I hark back to only the rebitsin wore a perik--and
she didn't count because she was from Galitsye.

Noyekh Miller

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 08:56:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Wigs

David Charlap <shamino@...>
> 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?

The question I've been asking for years is related: if the point of the
sheitl is to save the beauty of the wife's hair for her husband, the
constant wearing of sheitls has the opposite effect: many women end up
cutting their hair short so the wearing of the sheitl is more
comfortable. This means that their "hair" actually looks better when
they go outside than it does to their husbands!

> Finally, why is a snood OK?  If this is what I think it is, a snood is
> ...
> 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 clothing)?

For examples, see http://www.tznius.com/cgi-bin/group.pl?id=30

-- Janice


End of Volume 42 Issue 72