Volume 42 Number 92
                 Produced: Tue Jun  8  6:55:01 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

24/48 hour candles
         [Stan Tenen]
Bameh Madlikin
         [Martin Stern]
Bameh Madlikin and Hassidic custom
         [Perets Mett]
Guidelines for Tzedaka
         [Daniel Cohn]
Hebrew Board Books
         [Michael Rogovin]
Israeli perspective
         [Tzvi Stein]
Marrying someone with your mother's name?
         [Bernard Raab]
Meat with Fish _Broth_?
         [Stan Tenen]
Say Cheese...
         [Michael Rogovin]
Source of Directions
         [Martin Stern]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 07:58:28 -0400
Subject: Re: 24/48 hour candles

>From: <chips@...>
> > 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.

It must be much cooler in the room where your candles are than where my
candles are.

We have been freezing Shabbos candles for many years. This only helps
sometimes, and when it helps, it only helps a little.  There are two
problems with Shabbos candles.

1) The "freeze" wears off in a room at normal room temperature, in about
15 minutes.  So, at most, that's the only benefit.  (The heat capacity
of wax is far less than that of water, so it cools and heats much faster
in the same environment.)

2) The vast majority of Shabbos candles fail because the wick melts
through to the outer edge (since it was not centered during
manufacture), or it droops over and melts the outer part of the candle.
This causes a runaway side-burn and meltdown.  Freezing can affect how
the wick gets started, however, and often this is where freezing can
have a useful effect -- sometimes.  Other times, freezing causes the
wick to fail before the candle becomes fully lit.

Which leads to a question. If a Shabbos candle wick goes out before the
blessing, I assume it can be re-lit, and then the blessing said.  Yes?

The problems with 24- and 48-hour candles are:

1) Again, the freeze wears off at normal room temperature in much less
than an hour. (The mass of wax of the 48-hour candles is usually much
greater than that of Shabbos candles, so it takes longer for them to
return to room temperature -- but not hours longer.)  So, it has very
little effect.

2) The wick is not sturdy enough, or fat enough, so it never quite gets
the wax going, and then it just goes out by drowning itself in melted
wax.  Freezing does affect how the wick gets started, however.

The lesson is, _all_ candles that I'm aware of that are currently
available are unreliable, and all candles are fire hazards.

This does not have to be.  It seems to me that making candles for
Shabbos and holiday use, etc., that are dangerous or unreliable is as
close to the definition of "making a stumbling block" as I can imagine.

How is it that the Torah community tolerates this mostly unnecessary
unreliability and hazard?  Is it just a matter of making the cheapest
possible candle? And is this actually appropriate when an improperly
made candle can cause difficulty and/or danger?

I've even begun to see 48-hour candles made in Israel that are in
plastic, not glass or metal, containers or jars.  Even if the plastic is
not supposed to be flammable -- which is unlikely -- this has to be



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 11:27:52 +0100
Subject: Re: Bameh Madlikin

on 3/6/04 10:29 am, I. Balbin <isaac@...> wrote:

> Namely,that Bameh Madlikin's insertion was (if my memory serves me
> correctly) designed to delay the davening to accomodate those who were
> a touch late and wanted to be Mekabel Shabbos with Borchu together
> with the congregation.

I was always told that the recital of Bameh Madlikin was so that
latecomers would not be left in shul and therefore obliged to go home on
their own which was dangerous in Talmudic times when shuls were out in
the fields.  Putting it at the end of ma'ariv would then make a lot of
sense.  Unfortunately coming late to davenning is still a problem with
many people.

Martin Stern


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Subject: Re: Bameh Madlikin and Hassidic custom

Seth Mandel wrote:

> The answer to that is that Bameh Madliqin was said right when the 
> Sha'Tz said qiddush; in many communities in Ashk'naz, it was said 
> concurrently.  Chasidim abandoned the saying of qiddush in shul, 
> probably because they woiuld accompany the rebbe and stand around his 
> shabbos tisch, where he would say qiddush.  When they dropped the old 
> custom of saying qiddush in shul, they dropped saying Bameh Madliqin.

That may well be a plausible explanation of the reason why chasidim
stopped saying Bameh Madliqin, but let us be clear as to the correct
reason why chasidim stopped making kidush in shul on Friday and YomTov
nights. It is nothing do with standing around the tish of a rebbe.

The mechaber says in Shulchon Orukh that the custom of saying kiddush in
shul should not be instituted in new communities (as the reason for it
is n o longer applicable) but should be maintained in old communities
which already have the custom. In matters of tefilo chasidim frequently
adopt the psak of the mechaber, and that is why they did not institute
kiddush in shul when they founded new minyonim.  It may well be that as
a result the saying of Bameh Madliqin fell into disuse, as Seth

Perets Mett


From: Daniel Cohn <cohn3736@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 01:17:16 -0400
Subject: RE: Guidelines for Tzedaka

In his submission on guidelines for tzedaka, Meir brings a comprehensive
list of what type of income is "tzedaka liable".

Now let me ask a simple question - assume a person makes $50,000 in
"liable" income, and has $48,000 in expenses (mortgage, car, tuition,
groceries, bills, etc.) which according to the book Meir quotes would
not be deductible. So do we make this person give $5,000 to tzedaka and
incur in a $3,000 debt each year? Or what about someone whose income is
less than his expenses in a certain year, should he get even more in
debt in order to give 10% to tzedaka?

I don't think this makes any sense. When I asked my rabbi he said that
one should take "basic expenses" out of the liable income. He also said
that since there today giving maaser is a minhag, there are no "official
guidelines" as to what is liable and what is not.



From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 09:24:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Hebrew Board Books

Jonathan Katz asks:

> Does anyone have information on how to find board books (for babies) in
> Hebrew (in the US)?

Try Sifrutake (www.sifrutake.com; 800-737-8853; <sales@...>)

They are the premier Israeli book and music store in the US. They have
stores in Brooklyn and Queens (NYC) and I have purchased Israeli board
books and other children's books there.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Israeli perspective

I just had an interesting phone call with a "chareidi" friend in Israel,
the gist of which was basically, "What the heck is wrong with all you
American Jews and your rabbis?  There has been a clear psak from the
gedolei haDor for two weeks already that sheitels are avoda zora, and
you're all still carrying on like nothing has changed! We keep sending
chashuve rabbonim over there to explain it and you still don't accept

He seemed quite passionate about the issue.  He even stressed that
burning the sheitels is not sufficient... one must then bury the ashes,
and that all this applies even in the case where there is a slightest
doubt that a single hair in the sheitel may have come from India, and
that this doubt would apply to all human hair sheitels.  Apparently all
"chareidi" Jews in Israel have accepted this psak and the walls are
plastered with signs attesting to the psak, signed by all the gedolei
haDor.  My friend seemed to view this as a serious schism between
American and Israeli Jewry.

After I hung up with my friend, I immediately went to ask highly
respected local posek if there was any news on "the sheitel issue", and
he said that he is still investigating it and, for now, unless you are
sure the sheitel has Indian hair, it may continue to be worn.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 13:27:10 -0400
Subject: Marrying someone with your mother's name?

 Batya Medad wrote:

> Before neighbors (who are very machmir, ashkenazim) married they had to
>check if it was ok, because his second/middle name was the same as her
>father's first.  They were told that since he didn't use the name, it
>was ok.  Then over twenty years later when her father died, their
>married kids wanted to name baby boys after "grandpa" and were told by
>very respected poskim that they couldn't use the exact name, since it's
>also the father's, and he's (ad meah v'esrim) still alive.

This minhag apparently does not apply to Sephardim. I know a family
where the first-born of every son is named after the grandfather, who is
very much alive (ad meah v'esrim). This is clearly intended to honor the
grandfather. Perhaps our Sephardic listers can tell us if they have any
minhag which might hinder a marriage if the partner has the same name as
a parent of the bride or groom.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 18:18:08 -0400
Subject: Meat with Fish _Broth_?

I know the majority opinion is clearly that one should not eat fish with
meat.  There's also a minority opinion that it's okay.

I'm wondering, assuming that it's not okay, where the dividing line is.

Here's a hypothetical I'd like some feedback on.

Let's say I prepare totally vegetarian tofu "meat" balls, and I use a
_dash_ of OU-Fish Worcestershire sauce as part of the seasoning for a
couple of pounds of tofu balls.

Let's say nobody likes tofu balls, and I have lots of leftovers.  Is
there any possibility of my taking the tofu balls that have a small
amount of Worcestershire sauce, which itself has an even smaller amount
of fish broth and/or pulverized anchovies as an ingredient (and no fish
bones, or any solid part of the fish), and mix it with 2 lbs of real
beef hamburger.

Is this kosher?  And if it's not kosher, why not?  How dilute does the
fish in the fish broth in the Worcestershire sauce in the tofu balls
have to be, for it to be acceptable to mix the tofu balls with

If there is no lower limit -- why?  And just to make things even more
extreme, what if, upon calculation, it turns out that the amount of
actual fish in the fish broth in the Worcestershire sauce in the tofu
balls is at "homeopathic" concentrations -- in other words, essentially
nil?  Nevertheless, the mixture wasn't an accident.  I did deliberately
put the Worcestershire sauce into the tofu-ball mix.

There is no possibility here of mistaking the final product for anything
but fleischig, because the two pounds of meat would be very noticeable,
and it would not be possible to mistake this either for fish or anything
else pareve.  Also, there is no possibility of accidentally being
injured by swallowing fish bones, because we're dealing with fish broth,
and/or at worse, pulverized anchovies -- i.e., no bones.

Please respond on-list or off-list, as you choose.  I really would like
some feedback on when, if ever, it's permissible to allow a small
quantity of fish liquid to be used with a large amount of meat.

Many thanks.



From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 09:46:54 -0500
Subject: Say Cheese...

The topic of cheese has come up in mj with some frequency so I thought
it was worth noting that some rather good kosher cheese is making its
way to the US. I recently purchased cheese from Italy that was excellent
and the store was also selling cheeses from France, Germany, Denmark and
an excellent new comer from the US: Sugar River Cheese in
Wisconsin. Cheese seems to be catching up with wine as new imports and
domestic production finally gives us choices from the bland, low quality
stuff that is typically found (and for those who don't know, Migdal,
HaOlam, Millers, KoSure and Tam Tov are all one company and are the same
cheese; although I note that Millers is now private-labelling some
better quality cheeses, including goat and imported Italian
cheeses). Also, Tnuva has a new US distributor and is expanding its
imports and some smaller Israeli boutique dairies are entering the US
market as well.

According to a recent article in the Jewish week
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=9477 and my own
research, the following stores (all in Manhattan or NYC area) are
carrying them: Eretz (Israeli products), Zabars, Fairway, Fairway,
Citarella, Ideal Cheese, www.igourmet.com, www.kosheritalia.com, Glatt
Express-Teaneck, and Supersol-Westchester), www.vtbutterandcheeseco.com,



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 11:18:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Source of Directions

on 3/6/04 10:03 am, Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote:

> 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.
> 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?

The parallel is obviously correct but I would imagine Arabs would
understand it with reference to Mecca or the Hejaz, their centre in the
Arabian peninsula (in a N-S direction), which lies between Syria to the
North (Ash-Sham) and Yemen to the South (Al-Yamin). Clearly both we and
they enumerate points of the compass as if standing at a central point
facing East. If I am not mistaken ancient maps had East at the top, not
North as is our convention today. Can anyone confirm this?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 42 Issue 92