Volume 43 Number 36
                    Produced: Thu Jul  8  5:39:17 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abbreviations and Sources
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Appropriating other Religions' Ritual Objects
         [Sam Saal]
Avot and Torah laws (2)
         [Gil Student, <chips@...>]
Being a Tzenter
Deliberately invalid marriages
         [Shalom Krischer]
Discussions and Sources
         [Shalom Krischer]
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Headgear and Clothes
         [Tobias Robison]
The Hot Water Boiler on Shabbat
         [Sam Saal]
Jewish library in Poland
         [Leah Aharoni]
Mikvah Secrecy
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
         [Y. Lovinger]
Visual Art
         [Yocheved Leiman]


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 07:01:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Abbreviations and Sources

In MJ 43:32, Yehoshua Lovinger asked for help finding some sources
referred to in Pischei Teshuvah and Darchei Teshuvah on Yoreh De'ah.

The first one, Kuntres Breichos BeCheshbon, is from R' Shlomo of Chelm
(perhaps the original "Chelmer sage"?); in it he analyzes various
Torah-related mathematical issues. It was originally published as an
appendix to his major sefer, Mirkeves HaMishneh (a commentary on the
Rambam). I don't know whether KBBC been republished in modern times, but
an English adaptation of parts of it - including the part that Pischei
Teshuvah is referring to, about the shape of a container that has the
largest volume relative to the thickness of its walls - was published
several years back under the title Approaching Infinity, by M. Littman.

The second, Shoresh MiYaakov, is probably the sefer of that name on
Yoreh De'ah by R' Todros Zundel Horowitz (published Lvov, 1858). The
Chabad library in Brooklyn has a copy of it, although the catalog entry
(http://www.chabadlibrary.org/catalog/C56/C56418.HTM) states that it
covers only the second half of Yoreh De'ah, from siman 159 onwards.

The third, Teshuvos B"SH Acharon, is in full Teshuvos Beis Shmuel
Acharon, by R' Shmuel b"r Moshe Pinchas, Av Beis Din of Posen (first
published in Nowy Dwor, 1806). The Chabad library catalog entry for it
is at http://www.chabadlibrary.org/catalog/C29/C29460.HTM.

Kol tuv,


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 09:48:48 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Appropriating other Religions' Ritual Objects

David Prins <prins@...> wrote:

>Coming from England, I would never have dreamed of decorating my sukka
>with what I see used in Israel.  In Israel I see tinsel sukka
>decorations that I would clearly associate as being Christmas
>decorations.  Is this a problem?  Is it better that Jewish Israelis
>don't have any idea what Christmas decorations usually look like?  Does
>it make a difference if the packet in which the decorations are sold
>actually says "Christmas decorations"?

Reminds me of a story of my cousin's husband and his family. The family
made aliyah before my cousin's husband was born. His father used to sing
Shir HaMa'lot to the tune of "Jingle Bells". For a while after my cousin
came to the States, when shopping in December, her husband could be
heard merrily singing Shir HaMa'lot to the tune Musac of "Jingle
Bells". He had no idea there were other words to that tune.

Sam Saal


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 17:22:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Avot and Torah laws

Avi Feldblum wrote:
>However, as far as I remember seeing, what is common to all is that
>they only level they are assumed to be following is the d'oriaca level
>(Torah law) and it is not assumed that they followed all the

The Gemara (Yoma 28b) says that Avraham even kept eiruvei tavshilin, a
clear rabbinic commandment (cf. Rashi). Some, however, translate that as
being the equivalent of ta'aroves tavshilin (mixtures of food) and
explain it to mean the biblical prohibition against cooking meat and
milk together, which is prohibited through the Oral Torah (as stated
subsequently in the Gemara). I believe this explanation is from the
Chasam Sofer.

Gil Student

From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:56:28 -0700
Subject: RE: Avot and Torah laws

> > ... An hour between milk and meat sounds correct to me.
> They were from Holland?

I am surprised that Avi didn't respond himself to this.  Let me answer
by asking the question of How long did people wait prior to the closing
of the Gemora? a side question would be, how much of that time is
required by the Torah?  



From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:56:28 -0700
Subject: Re: Being a Tzenter

> If I am on my way to shul (or a ball game), why does the fact that
> another shul has nine men obligate me to change my plans?
> The only thing I ever remember hearing about a tzenter was that it is
> advantageous to be one (but I forgot the source of that too). Of
> course, it might be a gmilut chasadim too, being a "nice guy" and
> helping them out, but an *obligation*?

There is one case for sure, as it came up this past winter more than
once.  If you are at a minyan for mincha you can not leave before maariv
if there only 10 people.  If you are part of a group that if the whole
group left would leave less than 10, the group can not leave. (an
accomadation was made in that the time between mincha and maariv was cut
to 2 minutes instead of the usual 10 or so)



From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 16:16:32 EDT
Subject: Deliberately invalid marriages

Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> said:
>  Especially since, in many weddings the groom says to the witnesses
>  "atem, veraq atem, eidai."  (You, and only you, are my witnesses.)  To
>  accept the job with the intention of not performing it!?

I've seen/heard this formula at many weddings over the years, and I've
always wondered about it.  How can "formally" stating that "Reuven" and
"Shimon" are my witnesses disqualify "Levi" and "Yehuda"?

And, if the formula is indeed effective, why can I not use it for evil??
I.E. let me perform a murder, and just beforehand, state "none of you
shall be witnesses for the deed I am about to commit"?  Or, for all the
talmudists there, "only Reuven and Shimon (my accomplices) shall be
witnesses" ???


From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 16:25:18 EDT
Subject: Discussions and Sources

Anonymous stated:
>  The same holds true for many, many other topics of discussion recently.
>  To echo the calls of others, perhaps all of us can refrain from posting
>  what purport to be answers to questions without taking the time to cite
>  a supporting source.  I suspect that we'll all find ourselves both
>  better informed and with more time on our hands as a result.

And others have stated similar.

Now wait a minute!  This is a DISCUSSION list, NOT a halachik reference.
I hope that noone uses this list to actually pasken anything; note all
the references to CYLOR!!!

When I DISCUSS things with my friends (I hope all here are included), I
do not always cite sources.  Clearly a statement made with sources
backing me up carry more weight than those without, but shutting down
dialogue because sources are not always at the tip of my tongue is also
not what a DISCUSSION is about!

And, lest someone point out that someone MIGHT (God Forbid) use this
list as a LOR (especially since sources are posted), might I point out
that just because a source is supplied does not mean that it is
normative halacha; (otherwise all the Ashkenazim <self included> will
start to eat rice on Pesach; after all Amoraim are quoted as doing so in
the Gemara!!)

Might I humbly suggest that:
   1) Supply sources when you can remember/find them
   2) Don't attack someone who doesn't; rather ask/refute (with sources)
      when you disagree (hey, you can refute with sources even in the first


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 22:53:13 +0200
Subject: Hats

Noyech wrote

      I treasure the photo of Rabbi Shmaryahu Gurari, at the time
      "Secretary of State" to the former Lubavitcher rebbe, wearing a
      topper on his arrival in the U.S. from Japan via Canada

was that not from France?

Yisrael Medad


From: Tobias Robison <trobison@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2004 12:27:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Headgear and Clothes

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

"... what really counts is that the streimel was as much a copy of the
dress of the 'better' elements of Polish society as the top hat or
tzilinder worn by Western Jews at one time, and not a specifically
Jewish form of headgear."

Can anyone refer us to images of ancient Polish dress that actually show
hats resembling a streimel? I'm curious because I've browsed dozens of
web pages devoted to historic Polish dress - obviously not the final
authority on this matter - without seeing similar hats.

- tobias robison


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 09:50:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: The Hot Water Boiler on Shabbat

Carl Singer <casinger@...> wrote:

>YES -- perhaps it's different on Israeli hot water heaters -- but both
>intake and outflow on most U.S. water heaters are located on the very
>TOP of the cylinder.

Presumably the out flow pipe is like a straw, sucking water from the
bottom. This makes US and Israeli water heaters functionally equivalent.
Our water heater's outflow pipe goes straight to the ceiling of the
basement, then to all sinks, etc both in the basement, as well as above.
Having the outflow on the bottom would mean additional piping to bring
hot water to the ceiling. As someone else pointed out, this would be
just that much more piping from which to lose heat.

Sam Saal


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2004 21:49:51 +0200
Subject: Jewish library in Poland

My brother- and sister-in-law are the first Israeli shlichim,
representatives to Wroclaw, the forth largest city in Poland with a
population of over 700,000. Over the past year, they have dedicated all
their energies to helping the reemerging Jewish community in the city.
During this time, they have noticed an unprecedented interest in all
things Jewish and Israeli on the part of both Jews and non-Jews.

Subsequently, they have decided to establish a library that would offer
books, magazines, audio- and videotapes, DVDs, and other materials
related to Judaism, Zionism, and Israel in the broadest sense.

Anyone interested in donating either materials or funds for the library
is kindly requested to contact Yinon and Yael at

Thank you in advance,

Leah Aharoni


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 19:20:51 -0400
Subject: Mikvah Secrecy

There's a (perhaps apocryphal) story of how the Ramah came to author the
annotations to the Shulchan Aruch with all the various customs.

As the story was told to me, he became Rav in Cracow, and at the first
Shachris saw the shammas go over to several men and say "mazel tov".
This happened several days in a row, so the Ramah asked about it, and
was told that this was the local minhag. Since the shammas's wife was
the local "mikva lady", when she returned home she told her husband who
had been there and he would give them a "mazel tov" the following
morning.  The Ramah immediately abolished this flagrant lack of tznius.

A few weeks later there was a fight between the shammas and a
congregant.  When the Ramah asked why they were fighting the shammas
responded " this man has been out of town for several months, and is
upset with me for not telling him "mazel tov".  He is wrong for two
reasons- the Rav ordered this to stop, and anyway, his wife wasn't

As the Ramah realized that the originator of the minhag knew the women
of Cracow and how to keep them honest, he reinstated the custom and
undertook to write the Hagahot on Shulchan Aruch as a penance.

A different look at the issue, no?

Joseph Ginzberg


From: <Shuanoach@...> (Y. Lovinger)
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2004 12:00:19 -0400
Subject: Sources

I have been having some trouble finding answers to two questions, i
would appreciate if anyone could help.

1) At the end of the chavos daas on hilkhot basar bechalav (or
taaroves), there is an added piece by a different rabbi (not rabbi jacob
of lisa, the author of chavos daas, a r. leibush (addressing the
"kushyat ha-olam". WHo is this? WHy is it added to chavos daas? (was he
related to the author or printer in any way?)Is it found in the first
editions of chavos daas or is it added in later editions? 

2)In the keren orah to zevachim on the mishnah 67b about the process of
making the korban ha-omer, he cites a view that the korban ha-omer did
not have salt put upon it. WHose view is this that he is disagreeing
with? (is it found in any writings after the rishonim?- i have seen the
SMaG's girsa of the mishnah.) 

any help would be appreciated.

y. lovinger


From: Yocheved Leiman <yoleim@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 09:50:01 -0700
Subject: Visual Art

 I was wondering if anyone knew the source (if any) for the prohibition
of specifically viewing nudist art in a museum or classroom (text)

Thanks, YL.


End of Volume 43 Issue 36