Volume 42 Number 89
                 Produced: Thu Jun  3  5:03:05 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hebrew board books?
         [Jonathan Katz]
Is this a plausible understanding of a well-known Gemara
         [Ben Katz]
"Jewish law" website -- www.jlaw.com
         [Yitzchak Kasdan]
kosher food, etc., in Jamaica?
         [Rise Goldstein]
Marrying someone with your mother's name? (2)
         [Ben Katz, <chips@...>]
Mikveh on Shabbat
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Sotah, Goose and Gander (5)
         [Eliezer Shemtov, David and Toby Curwin, Andrew Jonathan Marks,
Avinoam, Michael Poppers]
Sotah's husband
Source/reason? for not marrying women with mothers name
         [Russell J Hendel]
Yemenite and Ashkenaz nusach
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Yemenite Nusach
         [Tony Fiorino]


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 19:33:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hebrew board books?

Does anyone have information on how to find board books (for babies) in
Hebrew (in the US)? I have seen children's books in Hebrew with paper
pages, but I am specifically looking for *board* books with the heavy
pages that will not rip.

I have not seen any in the various Jewish bookstores I have been to, nor
have I been able to find anyone on the Internet who will ship to the US.

Any leads would be appreciated...


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 18:11:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Is this a plausible understanding of a well-known Gemara

         If the Avot are really (as opposed to homoletically) the source
of our 3 daily tefillot, why would tefilat arvit have been reshut in the
times of the mishna?  Only when one realizes that the basis for arvit is
the shme uberchoteha and that the amidah was added to make arvit
equivalent to shacharit and minch in that regard does this make sense.


From: Yitzchak Kasdan <ikasdan@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 14:49:29 -0400
Subject: RE: "Jewish law" website -- www.jlaw.com

I am looking for assistance -- on two levels -- with regard to the
"Jewish Law" website, www.jlaw.com. Specifically, I am looking for
someone to help identify and obtain substantive materials for posting on
the site, and/or someone capable of posting the materials (i.e., a
webmaster). Both these "positions" are non-paying (i.e., volunteer), as
has been association with the site since I created it in the late
1990's. If you have an interested or know of someone who might have an
interest, please let me know. Thanks.

Yitzchak Kasdan (<ikasdan@...>) 


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 12:05:29 -0700
Subject: kosher food, etc., in Jamaica?

A friend of a friend is planning IY"H to travel to Jamaica shortly and
needs information about kosher food availability, minyanim, and such
like.  I'll be most grateful if anyone who knows about any of these
could e-mail me privately.

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 17:51:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Marrying someone with your mother's name?

>From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
>I recall hearing of some custom or halacha that prevents a man from
>marrying a woman who has the same name as his mother. What is the source
>for this, and what communities practice it? (If I'm remembering
>incorrectly and you've never heard of this, please let me know that.)

I believe the first source for this is R. Yehudah HaChasid's (d. 1205)
sefer chasidim.  It is not mentioned in the Talmud, but is brought down
in the codes.

From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:16:29 -0700
Subject: Re: Marrying someone with your mother's name?

> Subject: Marrying someone with your mother's name?
> I recall hearing of some custom or halacha that prevents a man from
> marrying a woman who has the same name as his mother. What is the
> source for this, and what communities practice it? (If I'm remembering
> incorrectly and you've never heard of this, please let me know that.)

Well, when I was still going to school we were told that the reason was
so that there should not be any confusion when the husband said
'plonyah, come to bed' . far fetched, i know.

On a more practical and psychological level, I would think there would
be some natural inhibition for the husband to have relations with a wife
whose name was the same as his Mother's. Of course, this should also
apply to the wife-husband/father and I never heard of that

For what it is worth, I know of some cases where the wife had same name
as his Mother and there were no children until after the wife changed
her name.



From: Joshua Hosseinof <jh@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 21:53:22 -0400
Subject: re: Mikveh on Shabbat

The prohibition is bathing in hot water (gezerat merchatzaot) - so if
the mikvah water is heated then indeed it is a problem for men to go to
the mikveh on shabbat, and according to some opinions even a problem for
women to go to such a mikveh on shabbat.

Josh Hosseinof


From: Eliezer Shemtov <shemtov@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 13:31:16 -0300
Subject: Re: Sotah, Goose and Gander

> From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> While reading the parsha this week (Naso) from the Artscroll Shabbat
> Chumash siddur, I came accross a commentary (no source in English) that
> the "sotah proof" only works if the husband himself is "perfect."  Or
> what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
> This aspect doesn't get the same publicity as the simplistic wife guilt
> = sotah.  Does anyone know more of this interpretation?

See Sotah 47a.
Rambam Hilchos Sotah 2:8, 3:17-19.

The Rambam states clearly that effect of the water on the woman is
contingent upon her husband's good behavior in this area.

Eliezer Shemtov
Montevideo, Uruguay

From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 22:24:56 +0300
Subject: RE: Sotah, Goose and Gander

In this week's Shabbat B'Shabato, Na'ama Etzion relates to this question:
(From http://www.moreshet.co.il/alonparash/print.asp?id=14446&kod= )

The Talmud and the rabbis emphasize that it is not only the woman who
must be faithful to the family. ``And the man will be free of sin
[Bamidbar 5:31] - When the man is free of sin, the water tests the
woman, but if the man is not free of sin, the water will not test the
woman.`` [Yevamot 58a]. In addition, ``If any man had forbidden
relations after he became an adult, the bitter water will not test his
wife`` [Rambam, Hilchot Sottah 2:8]. As early as the time of the Second
Temple, the sages of the Sanhedrin understood that the test of a sottah
can be realistic only when family morality is a highly regarded
religious and social standard, and only when society rejects the
phenomena of shattering the framework of the family. ``Therefore, when
the number of adulterers openly increased in the Second Temple, the
Sanhedrin cancelled the ritual of the bitter water.`` [Hilchot Sottah

-David Curwin

From: Andrew Jonathan Marks <ajm58@...>
Subject: Re: Sotah, Goose and Gander

If I remember correctly, this comes from either the Tosfos Yom Tov on a
mishna in masechet Sotah or from the mishna itself.  I'd tell you for
sure, but my good mishna set isn't with me currently, so i can't look

From: Avinoam <avib@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 00:04:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Sotah, Goose and Gander

See Mishna Sota 5:1, with the BT Sota 28a expounding further.

The Rambam elaborates in Hilkhot Sota 2:8 and again in 3:17-19, where he
explains that the Sanhedrin cancelled the "sotah proof" due to the
increase in societal promiscuity. (This led to failure of the "proof"
which undermined its validity in the eyes of the populace.)

The actual halakhic implementation of the "sotah proof" is far more
complicated and balanced than a simple reading of the Humash appears.

Avinoam Bitton

From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 22:38:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Sotah, Goose and Gander

See BT Sotah 28a (upon Sotah 5:1): "...and we've learned [from P'Naso,
5:31]: when the husband is 'clean of sin' (see RaShY ad loc; also see
RaMBaM Mishneh Torah Sotah 2:8, who explains the nature of that
"cleanliness" differently), the waters will examine/penetrate his wife;
when he isn't, they won't."  The husband's "cleanliness" doesn't seem to
relate to perfection, just to a lack of hypocrisy.

All the best from
-- Michael Poppers via RIM pager


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 11:16:29 -0700
Subject: Re: Sotah's husband

Define "publicity". I've always had it been taught and seen it taught in
tandem.  I'm pretty sure it is a RAMBAM , among others, who discuss
this. I vaguely recall a Gemorah about this also, relating to why no
Sotah's in 2nd Bayit.



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 23:01:34 -0400
Subject: Source/reason? for not marrying women with mothers name

Several poeole (v42n87) discuss the prohibition of marrying someone with
the same name as your mother.

As I understand it this was ADVICE that occurs in Rav Yehuda Hachasids
books (Some people take all his advice as law).

My own opinion on this is that a) the advice should not override the
Biblical obligation to marry someone you like b) the law should be
understood in terms of the great poverty that existed many years ago.

For example the Talmud relates how a person ACCIDENTALLY committed
incest. He lived in poverty with his sister. There were no lights in
those days. He came home one evening and visited his wife without waking
her (and in the morning found out she was his sister).

People frequently lived together in extended families...hence having a
mother and wife with the same name could lead to confusion I dont think
we have any such problems today and hence the law (even according to
those who follow Rav Yehudas advice) wouldnt apply.

I-d be interested in hearing other peoples opinions on abrogating a
piece of advice based on considerations of poverty as I have done above.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 11:40:17 +0200
Subject: Re: Yemenite and Ashkenaz nusach

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

> The true origin of the term Shami is the Arabic name of Damascus (and
> Syria generally) "Ash-Sham" meaning originally "on the left (or north)"
> in contrast to Yamin, the Arabic for Yemen meaning "on the right (or
> south)", cognate with the Hebrew s'mol and yamin. This probably refers
> to the directions relative to Mecca.

When I first saw you saying that Arabic used left and right for North
and South, I assumed this was in parallel with ancient (and Biblical)
Jewish usage.

For example, Zecharya 12:6 "ve-achlu `al yamin ve-`al smol et kol
ha`amim" - as the targum translates "min daroma umin tzipuna". Or Iyov
23:8-9 where all four directions are referred to by their subjective
sides: "... kedem ... ve-achor... smol...  yamin" which Rashi points out
refer to East, West, North, and South. (Several other examples are

So, what would make you think that this is based somehow on Mecca? And
how can the directions be relative to Mecca which looks to me to be
pretty far south, or west of most of the Arabic world?



From: Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 09:44:50 -0400
Subject: RE: Yemenite Nusach

Mike Gerver made 3 observations of similarities between the yemenite
nusach he heard and nusach ashkenaz, and he went on to ask:

"Does anyone know the historical reason for this similarity between
Temani and Ashkenazi nusach? I don't think either of them could have
borrowed these things from each other, so I suppose they must have both
borrowed them from the same place. Perhaps nusach Ashkenaz and nusach
Teman both derived from Eretz Yisrael, while the Sephardi nusach derived
from Bavel?"

It is a widely held view that nusach ashkenaz is derived from the the
ancient Palestinian rite whereas the western Sephardic nusach, which
would eventually heavily influence the nusach of eastern (Levantine)
Sephardim post-expulsion, is derived from the Babylonian rite.  Current
research, especially but not exclusively driven by the mass of geonic
literature in the Cario geniza documents, has painted a much more
muddled picture.  Certainly, on the face of it all modern nusachot more
closely resemble the Babylonian rite (e.g. annual torah reading cycle,
kedusha said weekdays and shabbat) than the Palestinian rite, and there
are Palestinian elements in the Sephardic nusach, and similarly
Babylonian elements in the Ashkenazic nusach.  Part of the problem here
is that the Palestinian and Babylonian rites themselves were fluid
throughout the time of the geonim (compare the Seder Rav Amram gaon with
the siddur of Rav Saadia gaon) and there were regional differences even
between Sura, Pumbedita, and the communities of Bavel.  



End of Volume 42 Issue 89