Volume 42 Number 88
                 Produced: Wed Jun  2  6:49:56 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

24/48 hour candles
Avodah Zorah - Sheitels
         [Carl Singer]
Hinduism, Avode Zore and Shittuf
         [I. Balbin]
Indian Wigs and Religious Priorities
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Kosher in Adelaide, Australia
         [Shayna Kravetz]
Name & Personality
         [R. Jeffrey Saks]
Not benefitting from avoda zara
         [Frank Silbermann]
Shabos lamps
Vocalization of Mordechai
         [Eli Delman]
Wigs (2)
         [N Miller, Ephraim Tabory]


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:16:30 -0700
Subject: Re: 24/48 hour candles

> I like the 48 hour ones better, especially for Rosh Hashannah, than
> the 24 hour.  It's more reliable.  Every few years the Israeli 24 hour
> ones go out early.  Almost every year my next door neighbor and I
> "take turns" needing a light for the second night of RH. 

2 suggestions:

	1: freeze the candle - laugh all you want, but my 24 hour frozen
candles have yet to last less than 28 hours and have gone up to 35

	2: Light the second candle 3pm - nothing says you have to wait
till night of the 2nd to light the second candle. Light it at 3 (or
whatever) then warm your hands or check your fingernails with it.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 09:10:55 -0400
Subject: Avodah Zorah - Sheitels

Would someone care to clarify the following, citing sources:

1 - The prohibition of doing business with people who practice avodah
zorah.  The necessity to investigate people with whom we're doing
business re: their status vis a vis avdah zorah.

2 - The prohibition of getting hanoh (pleasure or benefit) from acts of
avodah zorah -- as opposed to acts done by practitioners of avodah
zorah.  The distinction here is what halachically constitutes a
(forbidden) act of avodah zorah -- for example, is simply doing
something and declaring it as an act of avodah zorah make it such, or --
and this is a distinction -- must the act in some way(s) resemble the
bringing of a korban on the mizbayach.

Carl A. Singer


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 18:38:04 +1000
Subject: Re: Hinduism, Avode Zore and Shittuf

> From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
> There is a distinction, I believe, between what is avode zore, and what
> is permitted to Jews.  For example, some have suggested that worship of
> the Christian trinity is shittuf and not avode zore, but nobody argues
> that such worship is permitted to Jews (cf. however Mark Steiner's
> posting in mj_v37i68).

Yes, that is true but my point remains that the "fixation" on a physical
device by Hindus themselves as individuals would seem to be a compelling
case for Avodo Zoro.  In particular, the Jewish form of worship was
limited to a Mizbeach (altar) as the "bench top" if you will, for
preparing offerings to Hashem, Lehavdil, for there to be Avodo Zoroh the
Mizbeach is replaced at least in part by a Physical god (getchke)
Lehavdil (in contradistinction) in the eyes of the offerer (not all, of
course).  Now, in respect of the argument that this is perhaps Shituf
because the god is really not separate from Hashem in the eyes of the
Hindu, I submit in keeping with your own later observations that the
issue is at best very complex. Consider also the argument here


which would seem to suggest that tonsure is a Buddhist mode of worship,
and that Brahmans in fact encouraged their adherents to leave a tuft of
hair so as to show they weren't buddhists. Now I'm no expert on these
things of course.  From what I have seen though Poskim consider the
WORST case scenario (and they must): that it IS Avodo Zorah, and that
the person is intending to offer their hair to the Avodo Zorah and work
from that basis.  That's not to say that Hinduism is Avodo Zorah anymore
than somebody trying to talk about Hinduism as one homogenised
religion. As you've pointed out, that's not on. However, from the stand
point of practical halocho le-maaseh, it seems to me that it would be
prudent for the Posek only to assume it's Avodo Zoroh.  Even if there
was a Posek with the expertise to analyse Hinduism, it is doubtful that
they could analyse the individual thoughts of those who practice the
religion, and this _is_ relevant.  In my experience, the level of
sophistication in understanding the various practices and their
"intended meaning" ranges from zero to 100 amongst the population. India
is very very diverse (I go there at least twice a year ... that's my
only "extra" knowledge and I interact with Indian students daily)

In a case of Sofeik D'Orayso we might very well be Machmir, and many
Rishonim hold that Takroves is D'Orayso.

By the way, I started reading a Tshuvo on this topic by Rav Yitzchok
Raitport (see http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~spotter/sheitel/raitport.pdf)

However it is missing a page. Does anyone have the missing page or know
how I can get it easily?


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 10:23:38 -0400 
Subject: Indian Wigs and Religious Priorities

In Vol. 42 #85, Immanuel Burton writes:

> Although I understand the sentiment of this, I do feel that I have to
> object to the word "prevalent".  Is theft really prevalent amongst
> otherwise frum individuals?  There are ineed people who steal but who
> are otherwise frum, but is it accurate to say that it is prevalent?

Actually, I softened the version of the quote I originally heard; it was
more like "it's a shame that 'lo signov' is one of the Ten Commandments;
that's why nobody cares about it..."!

In any event, the concern with dishonesty in the frum world has been
discussed with great erudition and detail in past issues of m.j. - see,
in particular, threads on "Chillul Hashem" and "Yeshiva Tuition" in
Volume 14 (available at





From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:07:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Kosher in Adelaide, Australia

Channah asks:
> I am traveling to Adelaide, Australia. Can you give me a list of any
>kosher products there by the manufacturer so I might eat something
>besides veggies.

After an Australian non-Jewish friend gave me a small container of
Vegemite as a gift, I embarked on a quest to find out if it was kosher.
I contacted these people who were both courteous and helpful:

KAWA (Kosher Authority of Western Australia)

I expect that Channah can get answers there.  (And, by the way, the
Vegemite was kosher.  The telltale is a K juxtaposed to the factory
use-by date stamp to identify kosher manufacturing runs.)

Kol  tuv from
Shayna in Toronto


From: R. Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 16:42:21 +0200
Subject: Name & Personality

[While R. Saks ended up answering his own question before I had a chance
to post it, I thought the request and info was worth sending out to the
group for those that might be interested. Mod]

I'm looking for the source -- which I was certain was in the Gemera in
Shabbat -- that one's name somehow impacts on his/her personality. Any
ideas as to the source are appreciated.

[second message from R. Saks]

I found the Gemara that I was looking for (and asked about in an earlier
post), re: impact of a name of the future of the bearer/ on personality.
See Berakhot 7b (1st wide line): "Mina lan de-shma gareim? Amer R.
Eliezar, de-amar kra "L'chu chazu mifalot Hashem asher sam SHAMOT
be-aretz" (Tehillim 46:9) --al tikei SHAMOT ele SHEIMOT.
See also the Maharsha there, and Rav Kook in the Eyn Ayeh there.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 15:15:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Not benefitting from avoda zara

David Charlap <shamino@...> (V42 N84):
> If someone dedicates money to an idol, and the foreign priest deposits
> the money in his temple's bank account... When that priest later withdraws
> the money, he almost certainly will get back different physical currency
> from what he deposited.
> The actual bills/coins given to the idol ... are ... given out to other
> bank customers.  ... A Jew has absolutely no way of knowing whether
> the cash he gets from a bank withdrawal (or as change from a purchase)
> was once used as an idolatrous offering somewhere in the country.
> Perhaps this means Jews today must forsake the use of cash and do all of
> their financial transactions with credit/debit cards and other purely
> electronic means?

Given the way money circulates, this would have been no less of a
problem in ancient times than today, and yet, Jews were always allowed
to benefit from money.  (Even money with stamped likenesses of idols!)
So we need to look into the reasoning to see whether the principle also
applies to the Indian-hair sheitel question.

If money is permitted because most money isn't donated to idols then
this pinciple might apply to sheitels, assuming that most sheitel hair
does not come by way of this ritual.

On the other hand, it might be that money is merely a placeholder or
symbol for that which it purchases, and it is not really the money that
is dedicated to idolalotry but rather whatever the priests purchase with
the money.  In that case, one would need to ask whether the women are
dedicating their _hair_ to the idol or whether they are dedicating their
temporary _baldness_ -- the hair being given to the priests to sell
merely in lieu of a cash contribution.  If that is indeed the case, then
hair is a placeholder for the money the priest receives for it (which is
in turn a placeholder for the goods which the priest buys with the money
he got from selling the hair).  Under this theory, if money donated to
idols is permitted to us due to the indirect nature of the real
contribution, then how much more so is the hair permitted to us -- its
participation in idolatry is _doubly_ indirect!

I would also ask whether this ritual supplied hair to sheitels made
fifteen or twenty years ago.  If there had been any association with
Avodah Zara, the Lubavitcher rebbe would certainly have smelled the
Klipah (unholiness) associated with the sheitels -- given his well-known
supernatural powers of observation and intuition -- and he never said
anything about it to my knowlege.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:16:29 -0700
Subject: Re: Shabos lamps

> This is what bothers me about this product.  Since it's movable, Might
> it be muktzeh, especially if it could be easy to turn it off by
> accident? 

Why would a lamp be muktzeh to move? A fan is not and even flowers are not.



From: Eli Delman <eli.delman@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:06:49 -0400
Subject: RE: Vocalization of Mordechai

The Minchas Shai (Esther 2:5) comments that in France and Germany,
Mordechai appears with a Chataf Kamatz beneath the Dalet except where
the next word is "Ha-Yehudi", in which case there is a sh'va beneath the
Dalet [probably to give the two-word name some "balance"]. In Spain,
however, the Chataf Kamatz appears consistently.



From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:40:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Wigs

Yossi Ginzberg writes:

> While I strongly took a stand against this simplistic explanation of a
> minhag Yisroel offline, here I must point out that there is a long and
> very well-known mishnaic sugya of "Betula Niseis", (days of the week
> when a virgin is allowed to marry), and the Talmud elaborates on the
> issue (and avoidance of) "tiboel L'hegmon techila", the "right" of the
> local governor to deflower her.
> While this clearly was not in the middle ages, nor was it the reason for
> head-shaving, it did figure into Jewish issues, and I think this would
> certainly qualify as "in the voliminous Jewish record".

It most certainly does and I am grateful for the correction.

Noyekh Miller

From: Ephraim Tabory <tabore@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 11:58:04 +0200
Subject: Wigs

I am searching for the alleged Hindu ritual that has led to the latest
"off with their wigs" reaction. I have not found any indication of such
a ritual on Hindu or/and Indian web sites. Are there readers who have
first hand knowledge of such a ritual (or who can point me to a primary
source about this) please? Thanks.

[See, for example, the reference in Isaac Balbin's posting above,
although that author argues that the ritual is Buddist not Hindu. Avi]


End of Volume 42 Issue 88