Volume 42 Number 82
                 Produced: Sun May 30  0:07:26 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

48 hour Yahrzeit light
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Auto donation of hair (2)
         [Anonymous, Batya Medad]
Bameh Madlikin
         [Perets Mett]
Droit de seigneur (was "Why they shave their heads")
         [Mike Gerver]
Hindhu hair
         [Art Kamlet]
Hinduism and Avodah Zarah
         [Janice Gelb]
How far need one go?
         [Janice Gelb]
question concerning schita from DER EWIGE JUDE
         [Bob Kosovsky]
Sea creatures in the water
         [Carl Singer]
Sheitels and Avodah Zarah
         [Esther Posen]
         [Art Kamlet]


From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 23:09:41 -0400
Subject: 48 hour Yahrzeit light

Shmuel Himelstein wrote:
>What is special about it is that it is supposed to burn for 48 hours
>Can anyone enlighten me about what this is all about?

There is a custom to light a Yahrzeit light on days that Yizkor is said.
In the diaspora, when there are two days of Yom Tov, Yizkor is said on
the second day of Yom Tov.  A Yahrzeit candle is considered a Ner Shel
Batala - a light that is not needed for a Yom Tov purpose and as such
may not be lit on Yom Tov unless certain procedures are followed.  One
way around this is to light a candle before Yom Tov that will burn for
48 hours and therefore will still be burning on the second day of Yom
Tov when Yizkor is being said.  This would also work for those who
commemorate a Yahrzeit on Yom Tov Sheini.

For a more detailed analysis, see my article in The Journal of Halacha,
Spring 1999, entitled, "The Yahrzeit Light".

Chag Sameach
Steven Oppenheimer


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 06:36:31
Subject: Auto donation of hair

> As part of the never-ending discussions about wigs at the Shabbos table
> the last few weeks, a question came up about "auto-donation."  Would a
> frum woman be allowed to cut off her hair, have it made into a shaitel,
> and then wear it?

At the risk of sound like I'm paskening, the answer is NO -- it's still
her hair.  I recall reading (perhaps in long ago Mail Jewish) of twins
who each cut of their hair pre wedding (I suppose they got married at
nearly the same time) and used same to make sheitels for each other --
i.e. exchanged hair.)

Which brings me to an awful story, I've a friend who has smicha as does
his father who is a Rosh Yeshiva, etc. -- if the term "a sheina Yid"
still was in use today, that's the term I'd use.  His identical twin
daughters got married several months apart.  When the still single
daughter went to visit her newlywed sister in Lakewood, a neighbor's
daughter saw her uncovered hair and "sheygisted her out" -- that is ran
screaming down the street that Mrs. ____ is not covering her hair.  To
me this story is "awful" because it reflects the mentality that these
so-called frum kids are growing up with.

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 10:12:02 +0200
Subject: Re: Auto donation of hair

      If an unmarried woman grows her hair long and then marries, may
      she cut her hair and use that hair to fashion a wig for herself?

I remember learning that it's forbidden.

The source of the mitzvah is that an "adulteress's" hair, as punishment,
is to be "loosened."  Considering hair care in Biblical times, the best
guess is that hair was normally braided.  A big question is whether all
females had braided hair, or just married ones.  It seems like "loose
hair" was used to signify a "loose woman."  The English idiom is
probably Biblical.

Considering the history of wigs, its use most probably started as some
sort of hetter that gathered momentum and popularity, especially in the
past 70 years or so.



From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 10:37:46 +0100
Subject: Bameh Madlikin

Mike Gerver wrote about the common practice of Teimanim and Ashkenazim
to say Bameh Madlikin on Friday nights.

AFAIK, this custom is universal except amongst chasidim.  Does anyone
know when, and why, chasidim stopped saying Bameh Madlikin?

Perets Mett


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 03:50:01 EDT
Subject: Droit de seigneur (was "Why they shave their heads")

Noyekh Miller, initially quoting Jeanette Friedman, writes, in v42n80,

      > middle ages, when lords of the manor asserted their droit de seigneur,
      > and Jewish women were ordered to shave their heads the night before the
      > wedding to make them unattractive to the leige lords.

      Those dreadful 'middle ages'!  There are a number of things wrong
      with this explanation.  First, Jews were not vassals and hence
      were not bound to their liege (sic) lords. Second, there are no
      references to this practice in the voluminous Jewish record that I
      know of (though I am prepared to be corrected).

How about Rashi on "ki tovot hena" in Gen. 5:2? Not exactly a reference
to Jews being subject to this practice, but at least an indication that
the practice occurred and that Jews were aware of it.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <Artkamlet@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 23:29:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Hindhu hair

      From: Howard S. Joseph <hsjoseph@...>
      A Hindu specialist colleague of mine at Concordia University says
      that for Hindus hair is polluting so it would not be an offering.
      Women may cut off their hair as a sign of mourning or in a
      personal vow as in : if god grants me a child I will cut off my
      hair, but it is not an offering in temple.

And if in a temple would it be an offerring?

If, in a temple, a woman vows If God grants me a child I will dedicate
him to the service of God, surely no one would consider that AZ??

Art Kamlet at aol dot com   Columbus OH


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 20:54:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Hinduism and Avodah Zarah

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote:
> Finally I believe that one of the first sources of hair for sheitels
> was that shaved off Catholic nuns when they entered their
> vocation. Does anyone know more about this? If true it might be a
> possible paradigm for how we look at the Hindu practice.

I wouldn't think so: the cases aren't parallel at all. I believe the
nuns who shave their heads when they make their final profession do so
as a symbol of their vow against vanity, not as an offering.

-- Janice


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 12:42:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: How far need one go?

Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:
> We are all familiar with the dashes uses in Hashem's 
> name when writing His name in English.
> How far does one need to go with this type of designation? 
> The reason I ask is that I recently bought a religious English-language
> magazine published in Israel, which had "HaSh_m," and - this one I had
> never seen - "Heav_n forbid."

I've often wondered about this. It's very, very common to write "G-d"
but hardly anyone ever writes "L-rd," even when the context is
identical.  Your phrasing above, "His name in English," is the cause, I
guess, but why? It's not even a transliteration!

-- Janice


From: <kos@...> (Bob Kosovsky)
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 23:50:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: question concerning schita from DER EWIGE JUDE

I am well aware that the Nazi film DER EWIGE JUDE (1940) is one of the
most horrendous works of propaganda, where nearly every statement is a

Having recently seen the film for the first time, I was surprised to
discover there are quite a number of sequences showing Jews practicing
various rituals e.g., a shacharis service with leining, a Purim seudah,
children learning in cheder, guys learning in yeshiva, etc.

One of the sequences purports to show the manner of schechting of cows
and lambs.  (It's quite graphic and difficult to watch.)  I'm not that
well educated in schechting, but the way it's done in the film seems at
odds with what I have learned.  (Unlike most of the "cultural" scenes in
the film where the participants are not watching the camera, the
schechting sequence is clearly done for the camera, which suggests that
it might have been filmed under duress.)

Can anyone knowledgable in schita who has seen the film comment on the
accuracy of that sequence?

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Librarian
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    Listowner: <OPERA-L@...> ; smt-list@mail.lsit.ucsb.edu


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 06:43:40 -0400
Subject: Sea creatures in the water

The "Brooklyn water story" came up as we were walking home from shule
with our lunch guests.  The son, a 16 year old budding talmid chochum,
recalled that the prohibition is "things that crawl in the earth" (sorry
for my inexact translation) and that things that are naturally in water
(crustacea?) are thus exempt.

I realize that this is a separate line from the size / visibility
discussions, but had not seen it before in Mail Jewish.

Carl A. Singer
70 Howard Avenue, Passaic, NJ  07055-5328
(973) 472-2531
<casinger@...> ; www.mo-b.net/cas


From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 11:36:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Sheitels and Avodah Zarah

So I've finally broken down and I'll throw my wig into the ring.  What I
found most interesting about this whole - clearly not over - controversy
is the proof of the now global nature of our society and the "emunas
chachamim" displayed by this now globally connected Orthodox Jewish

It's clear to me that:

1) The indian hair/tosure thing has been discussed by our poskim for

2) There has never been, nor is there now, a concensus of halachic
opinion that this is truly an avodah zarah problem

3) Once Rav Elyashiv has decreed that we should not wear Indian hair
wigs there was instant, literally overnight global action to comply with
the decree to stop wearing indian hair wigs.  This is really commendable
on the part of the Orthodox Jewish community.  So this whole issue is
more about emunas chachamim then avodah zorah.

4) This is a 21st century phenomena of the global Orthodox Jewish
shtetl.  I find Onlysimchas.com similar in nature in that it has become
the town square of the Orthodox Jewish Community.  We have no more need
for the yenta.  We are all yentas.

5) No one will ever want Indian hair in their wig again however this
matter resolves itself halachically

6) A new opportunity for the Orthodox Jewish pyromaniac has presented
itself.  Apparently biyur chometz and lag baomer are not sufficient

7) For the most part this will become an economic issues.  A cheaper
sheitel option has been removed and a "hecsher" cost will be added to
the cost of all sheitels.

Esther Posen


From: <Artkamlet@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 23:41:12 EDT
Subject: Re: Wigs

      From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>

      We learn the din that a married woman must have her hair covered
      in public from the ritual of Sotah (woman accused by her husband
      of consorting with another man) in which the kohen uncovers her
      hair. This obviously only applies to a married woman.

If married women had their hair uncovered or unloosed as part of the
sotah cermemony, that in itself does not prove unmarried women did not
also have their hair covered.  If all women, married or not, had their
hair covered, having the married woman's hair uncovered is not, in
itself, proof that unmarried women did not have their hair covered too.

If I remember, Sotah describes the full ceremony, including the priest
unloosening or ripping open the blouse (or similar) of the woman.  I
don't think anyone would use that as proof that unmarried women did not
cover themselves with a blouse.

So if all believe both married and unmarried women covered themselves
with a blouse, why is it so hard to believe both married and unmarried
women might have covered their hair?

(This assumes the woman's hair was uncovered by the priest and not

Art Kamlet at aol dot com    Columbus OH


End of Volume 42 Issue 82