Volume 43 Number 50
                    Produced: Sat Jul 17 23:06:31 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Digital Thermometer on Shabbat
         [Elazar M. Teitz]
Library Books Help
         [Yisrael Medad]
Mikvah night etc - third post
         [Chana Luntz]
New idea?  Jewish web search engine (3)
         [Stan Tenen, Kenneth G Miller, Sam Saal]
Origin of the phrase Aufruf (3)
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad, Martin Stern, Gershon Dubin]
Partial Pesukim (2)
         [Martin Stern, Akiva Miller]
Partial pesukim IS the standard of the Talmud.
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
Unidentified people in Degel Machaneh Ephraim
         [Paul Ginsburg]


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 16:57:43 +0200
Subject: Re: Child Determining Kashrut of a Sefer Torah

In response to what Y. Askotzky <sofer@...> wrote
  >   One who has thoroughly studied the laws of the letters, such
  >   as from the Mishnas sofrim (Mishna Brura), yet has no or
  >   minimal shimush, practical training, would generally not be
  >   considered an expert to be able decide whether a child may be
  >   asked other than in clear cut cases such as the leg of the
  >   vav being in the middle between a yud and a proper vav and
  >   the like.

Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>  wrote      
>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.

About this I wrote:
> Ira did not understand Y. Askotzky's statement.

However, Y. Askotzky himself wrote about Ira's comment

In light of the above, my claim about Ira has become untenable. I
withdraw it with regret.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:16:07 GMT
Subject: Re: Digital Thermometer on Shabbat

<<Use of a digital thermometer is permitted only when there is
SAKANA(danger) and no other thermometer is available.>> 

<This essentially goes unchallenged, and I don't even doubt that poskim
write this in their responsa.  Yet, I wonder if this is really
appropriate.  After all, the "av melacha" (principal category of
Shabbat-forbidden creative activity) is *measuring*, and where
temperature is concerned, there is no doubt that measuring temperature
with an analog mercury thermometer is "k'darko" (the normal way one
performs this melacha), at least at present.>

Measuring is *not* an av m'lacha.  It is a rabbinic prohibition, and is
permitted for mitzvah purposes (e.g., to determine whether a mikveh has
sufficient water, or to determine whether a piece of matza is
sufficiently large to fulfill the mitzvah of its being eaten).  Thus,
taking temperature of a sick person, in and of itself, is permitted even
without danger to life -- provided that the manner in which it is taken
does not constitute a m'lacha.

Hence, the statement was correctly made that a digital thermometer,
whose use may constitute m'lacha, should only be used (a) where there is
danger to life necessitating the temperature-taking and (b) where no
other, non-m'lacha, method is available.

Elazar M. Teitz


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 15:04:28 +0200
Subject: Library Books Help

May I ask the listmates to help me.

I presume that I will soon be asked to suggest names of books for a very
basic Bet Medrash library - from Tanakh to Talmud to Machshevet, etc.

Any suggestions within, say, a $10,000 ball park figure, will be
appreciated.  I don't mean for each price to be stated but to take that
into consideration in terms of multiples and different editions (small
Frankel Mishneh Torah vs. big).

Please, do this off-list to this address: <winkiem@...>

Yisrael Medad

[Yisrael, when you complete the task, I would ask that you send us the
list you come up with, I suspect that may be of interest to others on
the list. Mod.]


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:59:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Mikvah night etc - third post

Shimon Lebowitz  Writes: 

>> Now a) one cannot guarantee that one will conceive
>>children on any given night (even if, statistically it can 
>>be shown that more women are more likely to conceive on the 
>>date of completion of her count than any other it is still 
>>fundamentally a matter for HKBH); 

>Was the custom described already in the gemara "afilu .. 
>yoshvot shiv`a nekiyim" already practiced in Yehoshua's 
>time, before `Am Yisrael even first entered Eretz Yisrael???
>According to the Torah law, a woman should be immersing on 
>the 7th night from the *beginning* of her period, rather 
>than the (at the earliest)12th, as practiced today. This 
>would be a bit early for any chance of conception, wouldn't 

Sorry, I obviously wasn't clear.  The reason that people were prevented
from marital relations in Yehoshua's time was because of a special
halacha that no marital relations were allowed when the Aron was out of
its place, as it was on the night in question.  That was true regardless
of where people were in their cycle, ie whether it was mikvah night or
any time later.  Thus statistically there might well have been at least
some people who would have conceived on that night, but who didn't
because of this halacha, and it is this conception that Yehoshua
prevented by not returning the Aron to its place.

However, the Beis Yosef brings this situation with Yehoshua as a proof
text for the fact that it is a mitzvah not to delay going to mikvah when
the permitted time for this arrives (in the individual case).  And my
comment was that even if it is statistically more likely that conception
occurs on mikvah night, it seemed in some ways surprising (at least to
me) to say that any given person is delaying the mitzvah of pru u'rvu
for even one night by not going to mikvah given all the other factors
necessary for the mitzvah to ultimately be performed.  Although I agree
that, if everybody does it, as a matter of course, then it would seem
likely that at least some people would in fact be delaying the mitzvah
of pru u'rvu (although in such case I would have thought it was more
likely to be for more than just one night).

Shabbat Shalom



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 07:04:08 -0400
Subject: Re: New idea?  Jewish web search engine

At 05:03 AM 7/15/2004,  <meirman@...> wrote:
>What I would like to see is a Jewish web search engine, that would
>search only reliable Jewish sites.
> ...
>Does anyone know someone who would want to work on this?

This sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it's doable.

"The devil is in the details," as they say.

Who is going to decide what "only reliable Jewish sites" are? We have
such a wide range of opinions displayed right here, that it's not clear
to me that there would be general agreement on what is "reliable".

I'm particularly sensitive to this. As mail-jewish readers know, there
are some respected "anonymous" persons who think very poorly of my work,
and would certainly consider it to be highly unreliable. There are also
a large number of respected (and named) persons who think that what I'm
proposing is both very reliable (as good scholarship) and very

Worse, whoever is left out is going to feel that they've been left out
unfairly. Unless the Jewish search engine is completely private, there
could be legal (and halachic) issues here. If, for example, O-U sources
were "in", and Kaf-K sources (on issues of kashrut, for example) were
left out, there would be reason for both legal and halachic
complaint. Likewise with regard to Chassidic and Mitnagic sources. There
is a good deal of Kabbalah (and some other issues also) in Chassidut,
which might appear to be very close to heretical to some.

With regard to your anecdote about Starbucks -- whatever the facts may
be, who is it that's going to establish these facts? Will the search
engine look into every submission and claim, and function as a court
comparing them and accepting some and rejecting others?

And just to make things more complicated, there are also strong reasons
for considering the proposal. My work has been widely plagiarized and
abused (in ways that are abusive to Torah and Judaism). I would greatly
benefit from not having my work available to people who would misuse it,
and to being able to display more of my work without these concerns
within the Jewish world. In fact, if it weren't for the general search
engines, my work and my life would not have been so horrendously
disrupted by the loonies who have overwhelmed the search engines on some

I'm interested in hearing how selections would be made, and how some of
these issues would be dealt with.


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 19:53:27 -0400
Subject: Re: New idea?  Jewish web search engine

In MJ 43:46, Meir asked <<< Would it be hard for one of you computer
guys, or one of your friends, to make a search engine that would look at
ou.org and aish.org and aishdas.org and jewsforjudaism.com/org and all
the other good sites, some small, some large, but at no others. >>>

Google already has a feature by which you can restrict your search to a
specific site. After your search words, add "site:" and the name of the
site without any blanks. For example,

kosher shabbat site:ou.org

gave me 1620 hits. It will only do one site at a time, and Meir has
asked for something which will do a whole bunch of sites, but this has
an important advantage: it already works!

Akiva Miller

From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 08:04:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: New idea?  Jewish web search engine

Ummmm ... Who decides what is to be consiered "reliable"?

There aleady has been a stab at this, but I can't vouch for reliability.
See, for example:


Sam Saal


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 22:11:22 +0200
Subject: Origin of the phrase Aufruf

Here's a reply I received from a friend (RH) who knows Yiddish:

Aufruf - is literally "calling up".....

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:07:55 +0100
Subject: Re: Origin of the phrase Aufruf

on 16/7/04 10:06 am, HB <halfull2@...> wrote:

> Does anyone know why and when the phrase "aufruf" came into popular
> usage in describing a chassan's aliyah, as opposed to "Shabbat Aliyah"
> or "the last hurrah", etc?  My understanding is that "aufruf" is a word
> of German origin, but I am not familiar with when the phrase originated
> or what its original meaning is.

Aufruf is a noun derived from the German verb aufrufen formed from the
preposition auf (meaning up) together with the verb rufen (to call)
i.e. it means call-up (to the Torah reading)

Martin Stern

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 15:41:22 GMT
Subject: Origin of the phrase Aufruf

Aufruf means (Yiddish) calling up and refers to what you call "Shabbat
Aliya" i.e. that the chasan is called to the Torah. Among Chasidim it's
known as "bavarfung", meaning throwing and referring to the throwing of
sweets at the conclusion of the chasan's aliya.

I don't know why you assume that any other terminology was in used
before this "came into popular usage". I also have no idea what it's
called in Israel (other than the same terminology as here in both the
yeshiva and Chasidic communities).



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:11:57 +0100
Subject: Re: Partial Pesukim

on 16/7/04 10:06 am, Yakir <yakirhd@...> wrote:

> Aside from the "technical" aspects of partial psukim, I remember hearing
> years ago ???? talking about commonly used "fractured pesukim" where it
> is convenient for many people to overlook part of the original quote.
> Two that come immediately to mind are:
> "Let My people go" -  and serve Me.

This raised objections to use of the slogan by the secular movement for
Soviet Jewry in some religious circles since it seemed to omit the last
phrase for anti-religious political reasons.

Martin Stern

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 19:41:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Partial Pesukim

In MJ 43:42, Yakir gave two <<< commonly used "fractured pesukim" where
it is convenient for many people to overlook part of the original quote.

To that list, I will add:

"... Not by bread alone does man live" - but by everything that comes
out from the mouth of HaShem does man live.

Akiva Miller


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:28:01 EDT
Subject: Partial pesukim IS the standard of the Talmud.

It is the "standard" of the Gemara to quote (almost all the time)
partial pesukim, sometime with "vegomer" and sometimes without it. It is
the preferred method in learning Gemara to look up the complete pasuk
since the missing part/s is/are often the pivotal part/s. One might
argue that initially the full pesukim were there, and that later
scribes, for brevity and speed reduced the full pesukim to partial
pesukim. However, they saw nothing wrong with partial quotes of verses.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:56:21 -0400
Subject: Re: Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

Big Oops, I meant Rebbetzin Yehudis Heller OBM,
NOT Tziporah Heller.


From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 07:18:22 -0400
Subject: Unidentified people in Degel Machaneh Ephraim

In Parshas BeHa'aloscha of the sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim, the Rebbe
of Sudilkov cites the teachings on Yehuda Leib Fistener (alt. Pistener)
and also Shaul of Medzhibuz.  Does anyone know who these people were?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Paul W. Ginsburg
Rockville, Maryland


End of Volume 43 Issue 50