Volume 43 Number 67
                    Produced: Mon Jul 26  5:54:19 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Jeanette A. Friedman]
Inviting deceased relatives to a simcha
         [Joshua Meisner]
Library Books Help
         [Eliezer M. Wise]
"Oseh ma'asseh Zimri"
         [Martin Stern]
Roshei vs Rashei (2)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu, Boruch Merzel]
Stripes on the Talis- sources
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Sushi (2)
         [Martin Stern, Mimi Markofsky]
Teaching about Pinchas and Zimri
         [Martin Stern]
Tefilat HaDerech
         [David and Toby Curwin]


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette A. Friedman)
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 09:33:01 EDT
Subject: Re: Brachot

      one doesn't know it, then quite possibly one would not be
      permitted to eat the apple.

Halacha says otherwise. You may craft a bracha if you use Baruch Atah H-
elo-eynu melech haolam in any language.....and finish the bracha in any

You are then permitted to eat the apple.

Jeanette A. Friedman


From: Joshua Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 10:57:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Inviting deceased relatives to a simcha

 	Recently, someone mentioned to me a custom that prior to a
simcha (weddings, and maybe also other types), the ba'alei simcha go to
the gravesites of deceased relatives to "invite" them to partake in the
simcha.  This struck me as sort of odd (or maybe the explanation is just
oversimplified), so was wondering if anyone else is familiar with this
custom and can provide a source for it.


- Josh


From: <ewise@...> (Eliezer M. Wise)
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 19:45:49 EDT
Subject: Library Books Help

I am the Director of a Judaica library and I read the post with much
interest. My suggestion would be to create an overall plan for
collection development that determines the levels of materials, types of
editions, people who will be using the material etc. The average price
of books is about $50 per volume. Translated your core collection will
be approximately 200 volumes. Have you thought about the materials will
be organized in the best possible user friendly way. Please feel free to
write or call me. I would be very happy to give you suggestions on any
relevant issue concerning the creation of a library.

Shabbat shalom

Eliezer M. Wise
Library Director, Tuttleman Library of Gratz College
7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, Pa. 19027
215-635-7300 extension 159


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:00:28 +0100
Subject: Re: "Oseh ma'asseh Zimri"

on 25/7/04 2:12 pm,  Ken Bloom <kabloom@...> wrote:

> The sin of Ba'al Peor had two parts - one was sex, the other was
> idolatry, as the name implies.

The public sex act WAS the act of idolatry!

Martin Stern


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 12:40:05 EDT
Subject: Roshei vs Rashei

Martin Stern (MJv43n64) argues that it the Plural of Rosh Chodesh should
be Roshei Chodashim as if there Kamatz under the letter Resh is Kamatz
Katan and not as most say it Rashei Chodashim with a Kamatz Gadol.

In order not give misinformation on this issue, although I trust Rabbi
Tal's siddur spelling Rashei, I directed the question to Prof. Asher
Laufer from the Department of Hebrew Language at the Hebrew University,
who regularly deals with these issues. He replied in Hebrew which is
hereby translated: "This word "Rashim" appear at least 23 times in the
Bible and always with Kamatz. According to the Tiberian method of
vocalization this is a Kamatz Gadol, and this is being supported by
following the readings of all the eidot. The only time that one has a
Kamatz Katan is in closed sylable which is unaccented.

Dr. Saul Barkali "Luach HaShemot HaShalem," Jerusalem, 1959, Example 9
(see note 9) also listed it with a Kamatz Gadol.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel)
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:14:21 EDT
Subject: Roshei vs Rashei

Martin Stern (in mj 43:64) defends his position, that in the word
"Roshei" the Kametz under the letter "resh" is a kamatz katan by arguing
that the Aleph following it may be considered a closing consonant and so
"has the effect of closing the syllable in which case it is closed and

While it is true, as Mr. Stein inisists, that normally a Kometz
replacing a Cholom is a Kometz Katan ---- this is true only if the more
basic requirement is fulfilled i.e. that the syllable is closed by a
Sh'va nach that is sounded (nach nireh)or a Dagesh Chazak, which closes
the syllable with a sounded consonant.

Mr. Stern should take note of the last Rashi on page 7 side 2 in
mesechet Makos where it is pointed out that an unvoweled Aleph following
a kametz serves to stress and elongate the open sound of the kametz
rather than shorten it .  Thus the Aleph can in no way be considered a
"nach nireh".

 Jack Gross, while agreeing that the word is Rashei rather than Roshshei 
> " Were the kamatz of Rashei short, the Shin would be meduggeshes."

I don't believe that is true .  It is the consonant immediately
following the short vowel (in this case the aleph) that is required to
have a dagesh or sh'va nach and obviously the Aleph can receive neither.

Fortunately, for us Ashkenazim it makes litlle difference.  Kamatz katan
or Kamatz gadol, either way we pronounce the word Roshei.

Boruch Merzel


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 11:42:22 -0400
Subject: Stripes on the Talis- sources

The Sefer "Otzar kol Minhagei Yeshurun" by R. Avrohom Hirschovitz (no
publisher name, reprinted in Israel 5730) is an odd book with reasons
given for many customs, including non-Jewish things such as April fools.
It has approbations for the first edition from many Rabbis including
R. Yitzchok Elchanan of Kovna, and for subsequent editions from
R. Avrohom Yitzchok Kook and Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel.

He states that the reason given for "tcheles" in the talis is to see it
and be reminded of heaven, as was the stated purpose of the tcheles in
the tzitzis. Since the time that the tcheles was lost, this custom
emerged, so as to retain the reminder (without violating the Rabbinical
enactment of Tzitzis now being allowed to be only white).

The Likutei Maharich page 12 (R. Yisroel Chaim Freidman) quotes the Prei
Megadim in a similar vein, that the colored stripes are in memory of the
lost mitzva of tcheles.  This same source is also quoted by the Taamei
Haminhagim (Tzitzis 15).

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 15:53:41 +0100
Subject: Re: Sushi

on 25/7/04 2:04 pm, Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:

> The Ha'Aretz issue of July 21 carries a story relating that laboratory
> tests indicate that sushi ingredients imported into Israel from Japan
> may be problematic kashrut-wise. A Rabbi Shneur Zalman Revach found
> shrimp and/or crab remains.

As I do occasional hashgachah work for the Manchester Kashrut Authority,
I receive notification of any kashrut alerts. Some weeks ago we were
told that there was a problem with Japanese seaweed products because of
a heavy infestation with very small shrimps which could not be
effectively cleaned off, probably akin to those found in the New York
water supply, and so should not allow their use by licencees. This is
probably the source of the problem mentioned in Ha'Aretz which the
latter may have slightly misreported as if the shrimp were introduced
during manufacture. Such infestations are not uncommon in water-grown
vegetation of which water cress (UK name, it may have a different name
in US) is a notorious example which we have banned for years.

Before anyone jumps on me for chumra-mongering these creatures ARE just
visible with the naked eye, not microscopic, but one has to know what
one is looking for in order to see them. A similar problem is with
thrips which look to the uninformed like one-millimetre bits of thread
and can also be easily overlooked. They are not uncommon on many salad
vegetables and are especially difficult to remove from asparagus tips,
making the almost unusable without considerable time and effort in their

Martin Stern

From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 14:39:27 -0400
Subject: Sushi

With regard to the recent sushi issue, I was told by the Va'ad haKashrut
this past week that I was no longer able to use the nori for sushi until
further notice.  I was told that it was due to "infestation".  Nothing
was mentioned about the other products (wasabi, etc.)  I asked about
shipments that I received 6 months ago and was told that due to the
inability to determine when this began I could not use it until further

Does anyone know what the Star-K (which is the hashgachah on the
packages I have in stock) has to say about this?

Mimi Markofsky
Elite Kosher Catering Inc


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 16:40:41 +0100
Subject: Re: Teaching about Pinchas and Zimri

on 25/7/04 2:04 pm, I wrote:

> There has been a considerable discussion on this matter but nobody has
> seen fit to point out that the main reason why Pinchas acted as he did
> was because Zimri and Cozbi were doing something in public as an act of
> rebellion against HaShem.

Having given the matter more thought I would like to suggest that any
teaching about this matter should first concentrate on the essence of
the Pe'or cult.

The principal form of worship of this Avodah Zarah was defaecation in
front of the idol. This normally private act was therefore done in
public as a way of breaking down the devotees' self-restraint and I
would posit that this was its true purpose. Copulation in public would
then be just another example of this.

One could certainly inform 5 year olds about the former and then talk
generally about publicising what is normally private (obviously not in
such an abstract sense). One does not have to describe the precise act
of Zimri and Cozbi, which they probably would simply not understand, but
defaecation in public should get the idea over to them. Once what the
couple did is seen as disgusting when done in public, and meant as an
act of rebellion against HaShem by prominent personalities (an Israelite
prince and a Midianite princess), Pinchas' action can be explained as a
necessary emergency measure to prevent such behaviour becoming

This could be used as an introduction to warning youngsters that there
are still people who try to do this sort of thing and that if any adult
approaches them to do something they feel uncomfortable about
(i.e. child sex abuse) they should feel free to refuse and should tell
their parents as soon as possible, especially if the person suggests it
should be a secret between them.

With older children one might draw a parallel with the way modern
society's levels of acceptable behaviour have been progressively lowered
by the publicity given in the media to that of prominent persons in
politics and entertainment.

Pe'or is still with us in its attempt to destroy the essence of modesty,
as Cole Porter's song of the 1930s put it "In days of old a sight of
stocking was absolutely shocking but now, who knows, anything
goes". Even he would be appalled at what has transpired over the last 70
years. It is not that some people did not do certain things in the past,
the problem now is that they do it in public and it no longer shocks.

The whole incident of Cozbi and Zimri does show quite clearly the true
nature of Avodah Zarah about which Chazal state "Nobody serves idolatry
except to permit themselves forbidden sexual activity in public".

Martin Stern


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:55:42 +0200
Subject: Tefilat HaDerech

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>

> It seems to me that there is a difference between a prayer like Tefillas
> HaDerech and a Berocho.
> There is, as far as I am aware, no requirement that if one doesn't know
> the wording in Hebrew of Tefillas HaDerech one shouldn't embark on a
> journey.  There is, however, a requirement to say the relevant Berocho
> before (say) eating an apple. If one doesn't know it, then quite
> possibly one would not be permitted to eat the apple."

I think there is a major misconception about the point of Tefilat
HaDerech.  According to the Bavli (Brachot 29B) the purpose of Tefilat
HaDerech is to "consult with your master (before) leaving". The main
focus is not the prayer for safety, but rather that we should consult
with our master before such a step as leaving a town. The Ran on that
gemara (which I don't have in front of me) makes an interesting
distinction with halachic consequence. The Yerushalmi states that "all
roads are considered dangerous". The gemara states that in terms of
distance and tefilat haderech "ad kama - ad parsa" (How much? Until a
parsa.) Rashi gives two opinions as to the meaning of "ad parsa". Either
that after one has walked a parsa he can no longer say tefilat haderech,
or that if his whole journey (outside of the town) is less than a parsa,
he shouldn't say tefilat haderech. The Ran explains these two opinions
as based on the two reasons to say tefilat haderech. According to the
Bavli, we say tefilat haderech to ask permission before our journey.
Therefore, if one has already traveled a parsa, he can no longer really
be asking permission. On the other hand, according to the Yerushalmi,
the reason for tefilat haderech is because of the dangerous roads. And
so if one travels less than a parsa from the town, he has not truly
entered a dangerous area, therefore he has no need to say tefilat

So to return to Stephen's position (which was responding to my original
post), while you might not be prohibited from leaving on your journey if
you don't say tefilat haderech, you very likely would have a problem
saying tefilat haderech once you already left.

-David Curwin


End of Volume 43 Issue 67