Volume 43 Number 18
                 Produced: Wed Jun 23 22:04:53 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels
Another digression into plumbing
         [Carl Singer]
Encountering an electric device inadvertently on Shabbat
         [David Charlap]
Evening of 17th of Tamuz
         [Seth Lebowitz]
In England, London NW11 need Friday night invitation
         [David Ziants]
Info about Rav Natan Yerachmiel Note Halevi Litvin?
         [Shlomo Argamon]
Nusach Tefillah
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Privacy of going to Mikveh
         [Joseph Kaplan]
Single-handled faucets on Shabbat (2)
         [<mauricew@...>, Carl Singer]
Why stripes on tallis?
         [Ben Z. Katz]


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 01:44:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels

>From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
>It is my understanding that the torah regards donating something as a
>benefit to the donor, regardless of tax deductions, etc... because of
>the Mitzvah fulfilled through donation, and because of the merit accrued
>through donation. Thus, if one is forbidden to benefit from something,
>then they are forbidden to benefit by donating it.

This is somewhat of a paradox, although maybe not an endless one.

If one is forbidden to benefit by donating some particular thing, and
they donate it anyhow, how could that be a mitzvah?  And how could any
merit be accrued, if they were forbidden to donate it in the first

Well, you didn't actually say that they were forbidden to donate it, but
that they were forbidden to benefit.  Since I don't think it could be
possible to perform a Mitzvah or accrue merit from doing something which
it would be prohibited to benefit from, it must be that if they donate
these things, they get no benefit, no merit, and no mitzvah.

In other words, how could someone fulfill a mitzvah or get merit or
self-satisfaction from doing something he's not allowed to do?  So if he
does it it, he must get none of these.  So isn't that ok?  Isn't doing
it ok, since he gets no benefit?

So why do it?  For the sake of the benefit that the recipients, and only
the recipients, get.

If a parent can spank or otherwise punish his child and say truthfully,
This hurts me more than it hurts you, but he does it for the benefit of
the child, isn't it possible to do something that only the other party
benefits from?  (If this is a bad example, please don't discard my whole
point because of that.)

>A similar case to compare this to (that more people would be familiar
>with) is the case where one found unsold Chametz during Pesach. The same
>halachic principles are involved in whether the Chametz could be donated
>as whether the sheitel could be donated.

The situation does seem very similar and iirc one isn't allowed to
donate such chometz, but I'll bet there is a lot of discussion about
this, and maybe some crucial part of it revolves around a difference
from the sheital situation.

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 07:10:43 -0400
Subject: Another digression into plumbing

If your hot water heater were on your roof, you'd still have a problem
(with an ordinary closed) water system.  No inflow of water means no
outflow.  The workaround would be to have a valve that allows air (in
lieu of cold water) in to replace the exiting hot (or by now warm?)
water.  This is essentially like a coffee urn.  I don't know that anyone
considers heating air to be cooking -- but I'm sure corrections will
come if I'm wrong.

Even if you build a system like this and hot water flows without cold
water entering your hot water (and thus being "cooked") you still need
to consider what happens when the hot and cold water "mix" at the point
of the single faucet nozzle.  If we have (hot) water above a certain
temperature mixing with water below that temperature we are in effect
heating the lower temperature water.  If the temperature in question is
above the halachic threshold that we subscribe to then it's cooking.

Carl A. Singer


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 15:25:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Encountering an electric device inadvertently on Shabbat

Stephen Phillips wrote:
> I'm sure we must have discussed this problem before. The most common 
> occurrence of the problem is in regard, at least around where I live,
> to where a security light comes on at night when you pass a house. As
> far as I am aware, the p'sak is that one try and avoid the problem
> but, if not, then it is not forbidden to pass in front of the
> electronic eye. No doubt others more learned than I will be able to
> give the relevant authorities.

My understanding of this has always been the same as yours.

The way I understand it, there are three broad categories of melacha here.

1: Intentional
2: Unintentional where you benefit
3: Unintentional where you do not benefit

Melacha in the first category is absolutely prohibited

Melacha in the second category is permitted after the fact, but should
be avoided whenever possible.  This may be, for instance, walking in
front of an electric sensor that turns on a light that helps you see
where you are going.

Melacha in the third category is always permitted, but it is a good idea
to try and avoid this if you can do so without undue hardship.  This
category might be something like walking in front of a security camera
that's aimed at the street.

The situation posed by Anonymous is clearly in the second or third
category.  If the sensor did something beneficial (like turn on the
lights), it would be the second.  If it did nothing obvious (e.g. all
you notice is a red light turning on on the sensor), then it would be in
the third category.

You would want to avoid that room in the future, but I doubt anybody
would say that you are prohibited from walking out again.  The key thing
here is that your intention on walking into the room was not to trigger
the sensor or the device(s) attached to it.  Your intention in walking
out also will not be to trigger the sensor.

But if you have a real concern about this, CYLOR.  Psik Reisha (where a
seemingly permitted action inevitably leads to a prohibited consequence,
and is therefore actually prohibited) may also come in to play here.

-- David


From: Seth Lebowitz <SLebowitz@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 19:27:08 -0400
Subject: Evening of 17th of Tamuz

Tal Benschar asked for sources about the following:

"I believe that both Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Soloveichik ruled
otherwise, i.e. the restrictions of the three weeks begin at shkio the
night before 17 Tammuz."

See Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim part 1, no. 168.  There, Rav Moshe Feinstein
allows a wedding to take place on the evening of the 17th of Tamuz
"l'tzorech" (when necessary).  I don't know if he has any other teshuvot
(responsa) on the topic but this is certainly relevant.  I think that
there are other poskim who are more machmir (strict) about this, but I
don't have specific citations.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 21:58:41 +0300
Subject: In England, London NW11 need Friday night invitation

My family (wife + two and half year old + 7 mnth old + my mother who is
visiting from Leeds) and I will, next week, be staying in Golders Green,
at a (kosher) hotel that only gives bed and breakfast.

We need a Friday night invitation (we already have our Shabbat lunch
organised), for Shabbat Parshat Balak (2nd July) and we are hoping that
someone on this list is able to offer us their hospitality, or to direct
us to anyone who can organise this for us.

We understand the late hour, and obviously we would prefer an invitation
from a family who brings in Shabbat at "p'lag". Also, obviously, a house
that doesn't mind children these ages. We do not have a problem with
using the NW London eruv.

Thank you very much in anticipation. I will receive my emails till
Sunday (Israel time) evening, otherwise try contacting me at: 020 8458

David, Judith, Motti & Simcha Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Shlomo Argamon <argamon@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 19:39:31 -0500
Subject: Info about Rav Natan Yerachmiel Note Halevi Litvin?

Do any of you perhaps know or know someone who knows anything about
HaRav Natan Yerachmiel Noteh HaLevi Litvin Z"L, who was a Rosh Yeshiva
in Kurshan, Lithuania, in the early 20th century (I am his
great-grandson).  Perhaps some of his talmidim are still around?  Any
information at all about him (or even about the yeshiva or the town)
would be greatly appreciated by me and my mother (his granddaughter).



From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 23:04:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Nusach Tefillah

>From: Binyamin Lemkin <docben10@...>
>For those interested in nusach issues, Rav David Bar Hayim
>(www.torahlight.com) explained in a recent shiur that the Rokeach, one
>of the Baalei HaTosafot wrote a siddur which is an uncensored version of
>nusach Ashkenaz. Fascinatingly, the original uncensored version of the
>shemoneh esreh contains the word "Velameshumadim" instead of

There is a long history and much well-known scholarship on the
self-censorship of this passage.  Probably the only better known example is
the line removed from alenu (shehaym mishtachavim lahavel varik ...)

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 14:50:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Privacy of going to Mikveh

I found Michael Rogovin's views on keeping going to the mikveh
illuminating, mainly, I have to admit, because they echo many of the
thoughts that I have had on this issue for many years.  As opposed to
michael, though, my wife has a similar view.  Thus, once my children
were old enough to (a) understand about mikveh and taharat hamispacha
and (b) observant enough to notice my wife leaving the house or coming
home with wet hair, she stopped using the stale excuse of a meeting amd
said openly that she was going to the mikveh.  Now that (most of) my
children are adults and we've discussed this matter, they said that they
appreciated the fact that we treated them in this mature way (and
stopped laughing at our feeble and futile attempts to hide the mikveh

I remember having a similar reaction to reading a post (I don't remember
if it was on this list) about a married couple holding hands on the way
home from shul, and that the poster said that it wasn't done in his
community because then the couple would be saying publicly that the
woman wasn't a niddah which means, well, we all know what it means.  My
reaction was that in my community such an occurence is not unsual, and
that when I would see such a couple, I would not think, "oh they'r
having sex tonight (or had it last (friday) night."  Rather, if I
thought about it at all, it was simply to have a warm feeling that it
was really nice to see a married couple showing public, though
understated, affection for one another.  In fact, there is an older
couple (probably where niddah is not an issue) who walk to and from shul
each Shabbat holding hands. And my older children have commented more
than once how lovely it was to see that and what a wonderful lesson it
was to them; that love and romace have no age limits.

I agree that a married couple telling anyone else that they were
planning on having sex that night would be breach of tzni'ut.
Mentioning that the wife was going to prefrom a mitzvah is simply not
the same thing, at leat to most mature people.

I also agree that one possible result of making going to the mikveh such
a secret, is that some women who might go to the mikveh do not do so.
One yaer on Purim, my wife dressed up as the mikveh lady (who had, I was
told, a very distinct outfit.)  The "joke" was, of course, all the women
who asked my wife who she was.  When my wife told this to our rabbi, he
asked, with a smile, for a list (remember it was Purim).  But in a more
serious vein, the feeling my wife had seeing which women did not
recognize the mikveh lady, was that if going to mikveh was not so
hidden, and that these women relized how many of their friends did
observe this mitzvah, then many more women would go to the mikveh.

Perhaps, just like some other areas of tzniut depend, according to some,
on the times in which one lives (eg, not wearing a veil or wearing
skirts below the knee but above the ankle), some of the of the tzniut
customs with respect to mikveh need to be reevaluated.

Joseph Kaplan


From: <mauricew@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 20:50:26 -0400
Subject: RE: Single-handled faucets on Shabbat

I cannot imagine that any cold water entering the hot water tank would
be heated to the point that it would not be permissable on shabbat,
i.e., yad soledet bo.  On the other hand I have never measured it but
I'll ask the fellow who does this if he has anything to add.

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 21:28:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Single-handled faucets on Shabbat

I believe it depends on the temperature to which the hot water tank is
set.  For simplicity, let's say that I set my tank for X degrees and
that all of the water in the tank is of uniform temperature (no hot
spots, control thermometer is accurate, etc., etc.)  Then when I turn on
the hot water tap anywhere in the house a first drop of cold water
enters the tank.  That first drop is heated to X degrees (less an
infinitesimal fraction.)  So if X is above Yad soledet bo you're cooking
(the cold water coming into the tank.)



From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 23:06:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Why stripes on tallis?

I believe it was done to weed zoroastrians out of the synagogue (for whom
anything black would signify the evil deity to whom one shoudl [obviously]
not pray)

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187


End of Volume 43 Issue 18