Volume 43 Number 38
                    Produced: Fri Jul  9  6:16:36 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beit Lechem Yehuda - who is he?
         [Aliza Berger]
Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah (4)
         [Y. Askotzky (STAM), Kenneth G Miller, Jack Gross, Chaim
Custom of naming after deceased family members
Erev 17 Tammuz
Incomplete Pesukim
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Megillah for sale
Milk and Meat
         [Immanuel Burton]
morning minyan @LAX
Naming after Deceased Relatives
         [Sholom Parnes]


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 11:07:40 +0200
Subject: Beit Lechem Yehuda - who is he?

This is the name of a commentary on the Shulkhan Aruch, but I am having
trouble finding out who the author is. I need to write a proper
bibliographic reference (in English) for this. A search of the Hebrew
University National Library catalog turned up Yehuda Aryeh ben Yitzchak
Modena, but his book seems to be on the Ein Yaakov and not the Shulkhan

Sincerely, Aliza
Aliza Berger, PhD - Director
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com


From: Y. Askotzky (STAM) <sofer@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 15:05:27 +0200
Subject: Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah

> So what is one to do in an ordinary shul, where the question arises in
> the middle of the Torah reading whether the letter is a kaf or a bet,
> and no such expert is present to decide whether or not to ask a child?

Shalo-m uvracha!

Very good question but one without a good answer. What does a shul or
community do if there is no local rav who can judge whether a particular
stain makes a woman a nida?, etc..... Lack of an option doesn't allow
the child to be used to pasken as he can only be brought in when the
letter at hand is a shailah. Consult a posek how to deal with these
situations.  I did mention that a child can be in clear cut borderline
cases such as the leg of the vav being clearly in between a vav and a

kol tuv,
Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer & examiner
<sofer@...>  www.stam.net  1-888-404-STAM(7826)  718-874-8220

From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 08:31:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah

Ira Jacobson asked <<< So what is one to do in an ordinary shul, where
the question arises in the middle of the Torah reading whether the letter
is a kaf or a bet, and no such expert is present to decide whether or not
to ask a child? >>>

I would expect that even if the rabbi of the shul is not an expert in
these laws, he would at least know which sort of situations he can be
lenient in, and which he needs to be strict in.

This won't solve the problem when the rabbi is out of town, but I wanted
to use this opportunity to point out my opposition to a trend which I
see as growing, namely, that a shul will deliberately choose to have no
official rabbi, on the grounds that they're all sufficiently educated to
live without one. On the contrary, it seems to me that this attitude in
unhealthy for a community, and they should, at the very least, choose
one from among themselves to take on these sort of leadership and
communal responsibilities.

Akiva Miller

From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 07:52:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah

There are some issues that a Moreh Horaah decides based on clear-cut
legal criteria, and others where he needs to consult an outside expert
regarding a matter of fact.

When there is a specific technical P'sul (say, one of the heads of a
Shin or that of an Aleph is detached from the body of the letter), a
child's opinion cannot render the letter Kasher, for the letter does not
qualify even though it is clearly "recognizable".

But when a letter is "distorted", or the spacing between letters of a
word greater than usual, or between words less than usual, the issue is
whether it meets the threshold requirement of recognizability as the
intended letter or word or words.  ("Is this a short Vav, or a Yod with
a longish tail, or not a letter at all?"; "is this one word or two?")

That is an issue of naive first impression, based on proportion and
general appearance, and the opinion of a naif is the golden standard.
If such a child is not available, I believe one may still _estimate_
what the hypothetical child's reaction would be.

From: Chaim Tabasky <tabafkc@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2004 21:27:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah

Ira L. Jacobson, in response to Y. Askotzky's explaination, asks:

>In other words, we must ask the child's opinion on what the letter is
>only if an expert in the "Laws of Letters" cannot decide.
>So what is one to do in an ordinary shul, where the question arises in
>the middle of the Torah reading whether the letter is a kaf or a bet, and
>no such expert is present to decide whether or not to ask a child?

Tha plain reading of the Shulchan Aruch in Siman 32 is that when a
letter is "in between", for instance a long zayin that may look like a
final nun, or a short vav that might look like a yud, then a child is
asked. One doesn't have to be a major halachic authority to recognize
that sort of case, (though if such an authority is available it would be
preferable to first consult before asking the child) Generally, the
caf-bet question will fall into this rule, though there are cases where
a letter is posul even if the child reads it correctly. I believe it is
possibl;e for a reasonably educated layman to study these halachot at
least on a basic level. See "Sefer Torah sheNimtzah vo Taut" by Shteiner
and Goldstein. Thouigh they are machmir on several points, the sefer is
an excellent starting point.


The logic here is that an adult will generally see both positions, but a
child, who will be more instinctive. There are however, many cases when
a child might be consulted, that require more background.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2004 07:35:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Custom of naming after deceased family members

> > When I asked my Rosh Yeshiva this when in post high school yeshiva
> > he promptly responded Aharan haKohen & Elishava with their oldest
> > son.
> Nadav was named for a deceased family member? 

her father

> > There were also Yosef's in the generation around the time of the
> > Exodus.
> Whom do you mean?

for instance, check beginning of sedra Shelach



From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie)
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 06:23:52 +0000
Subject: Erev 17 Tammuz

Jonathan Chipman writes:

>on a certain theoretical level all public fast days are based upon the
>classic model of ta'anit tzibbur, i.e., like Tisha b'Av, both in terms
>of their duration and in terms of what is forbidden. It was only so as
>not to unduly burden the public that, when the Sages took these fasts
>upon Klal Yisrael, that certain leniencies were allowed.

While Jonathan is certainly correct, as I understand it, the reason we
are lenient regarding fasts (aside from Tisha B'Av) is because the
Gemara in Rosh HaShana rules that in an "in-between" period
(i.e. neither Shalom nor Gzeirat Malchut) the community can choose
whether or not to fast (Ratzu Mit'anim, Ratzu ein Mit'anim). Our
community has chosen a compromise position whereby we "half fast" - we
begin in the morning and do not refrain from all of the Inuyim. (See the
Mishna Berura 550:1)

In other words, these leniencies are based on our perception of the
reality of the position of the Jewish community in the world. When there
were pogroms, the community should have been keeping full day fasts (see
the Mishna Berura 550:6 and the Sha'ar HaTziyun 9). When things are good
for the Jews (say, when the Beit HaMikdash is standing or when the
Jewish community has returned to Israel) one is forbidden to fast on
these days (see the source for this Halacha in Rosh HaShana 18b).

I find it difficult, therefore, to agree that the question about erev 17
Tammuz is dependant on the status of the night before a fast, which,
according to our minhag was not accepted as a fast day. More likely it
is an issue of when the aveilut of the entire three week period begins.



From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2004 16:06:16 +0200
Subject: Incomplete Pesukim

bh, yom sheni pinhas

In Megillah 22a there is a dispute between Rav and Shmuel on how to
divide a paragraph in the torah which has only five pesukim between two
olim la torah.  Rab says we "jump back," that is, we read three pesukim
for the first oleh, and for the second oleh we repeat the last pesuk of
the first aliyah and then two more.  Thus each gets the required minimum
of three pesukim.  Shmuel on the other hand says we read two and a half
pesukim for the first oleh and and the other half of the last pesuk plus
two subsequent ones or the second oleh.  The reason, says the gemara,
that Rab disagrees with Shmuel, is that he holds "any verse that Moses
had not divided, we may not divide." Shmuel maintains we may divide
them.  The halakhah decides in favor of Rab, and that's how we conduct
ourselves on Rosh Hodesh with the aliyot of the kohen and the levi.

  Their disagreement applies to the formal reading from the torah,
whereas in prayer Rab ( and we) may very well agree with Shumel who
allows breaking up pesukim.


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2004 15:30:01 +0200
Subject: Madonna

      Douglas Moran wrote:

      >On a more serious track, the fact that being connected with
      >Judaism in some way at least, is now getting popular with
      >celebrities is wonderful.  Sign that the real moshicah is G-d
      >willing getting closer.

      While I agree with Yisrael in principle, my impression from the
      stories I've read is that Esther/Madonna is merely treating
      Kabbalah as a sort-of new (or old?!) version of Est or Esalen or
      some other hip, celebrity-popular pop-psychological
      learning...practicing "buffet Judaism," I personally find this
      interest in Kaballah on the part of non-Jews to be irritating,
      merely because it is a fad.

      For me, the question breaks down into two areas:

      1) What does Jewish law say about studying and teaching Kabbalah
      to goyim?  (See?  There's the Jewish law portion, Yisrael!)

      2) What does Jewish law say about a person with two small children
      studying Kabbalah?

actually, I'm pretty sure my wife, Batya, wrote that bit about Mashiach
if only because my transliteration follows my S'fardi pronounciation.

but, to the point, my recollection is that when the Kabbalah first made
its big breakthrough 300 years ago, the "Goyim" had a big part to play
and I can't recall any of the Kabbalists getting annoyed or using any
Torah restrictions.  In France, Spain, Germany Holland and England,
Kabbalistic study among non-Jews then was hotter than Madonna, to borrow
a metaphor.

as for the 40 year rule, a pedagogic suggestion, I'm pretty sure it
doesn't apply anymore.  as for the "two small children" case, I doubt
the "Torah" says anything about it.  Maybe some Rabbis do, though.



From: <Nytorah@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 17:10:32 EDT
Subject: Megillah for sale

Kosher, brand new megillat kohelet for sale. Superb script,
approximately 9.5" tall. Surprisingly large letters for such a small
page, yet a light megillah. Email <nytorah@...> if you are interested.

Kol Tuv


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 08:59:37 +0100
Subject: RE: Milk and Meat

In Mail.Jewisch v43n33, Martin Stern wrote:

> Perhaps Harlan is unaware that the only Torah prohibition is to eat
> meat and milk together.

The verse "you shall not seethe a kid in its mother's milk" occurs 
three times in the Torah, and I was under the impression that this 
teaches us three Torah prohibitions:

(1)  One may not cook meat and milk together.
(2)  One may not eat meat and milk together.
(3)  One may not derive benefit from such a mixture.

Immanuel Burton.

[My recollection is that #2 refers only to a mixture of meat and milk
that have been cooked together. So all three items above refer to the
same mixture, and that the three times it is cited teach that the action
of cooking "it", eating "it" or deriving benefit from "it" is
prohibited. While Martin may have been unclear in his formulation on
what the "only" refers to, based on the context of the previous
discussion, I would interpret it as the only biblical prohibition on
eating refers to food cooked together, but not to serving meat cooked
alone and cheese together on the table, which is what the simple
undersatnding of the verses by Avraham indicate. Mod]


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 8:41:35 -0700
Subject: morning minyan @LAX

Where is there a very early (5:30 or so) Shacharis minyan in or around
Los Angeles airport during the summer?



From: Sholom Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 22:28:17 +0200
Subject: Naming after Deceased Relatives

In this week's Parsha (Pinchas), chapter 26 , verses 38-40, mention is
made of five of Benjamin's sons.  Compare this with Genesis 46:21 where
Benjamin has ten sons.  Furthermore, in Pinchas, two of Benjamin's
grandsons are mentioned (Ard and Naaman) and these are the same names of
two of the sons mentioned in Genesis.

Chizkuni explains that five of the ten sons died and that Bela, one of
the surviving sons, named two of his sons in memory of his two brothers.

Sholom Parnes


End of Volume 43 Issue 38