Volume 44 Number 13
                    Produced: Thu Aug 12  6:01:28 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dairy cakes
         [David Charlap]
dairy vs. parve cakes?!
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Gematria/ Ktav Ivri (3)
         [Michael Poppers, Jeanette Friedman, Stan Tenen]
Lubavitch (3)
         [Susan Shapiro, Annice Grinberg, Michael Kahn]
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Rabbinical honor (2)
         [Joseph Ginzberg, Avi Feldblum]
Shiva for "Outmarriages" Is based on Error
         [Yitzchak Moran]
Simchat Bat (3)
         [Ben Katz, Martin Stern, Aliza Berger]
Vaad Hatsedoko
         [Perets Mett]
Who are these rabbis?
         [Perets Mett]


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 11:05:52 -0400
Subject: Dairy cakes

Batya Medad wrote:
> I remember learning that there's a halachik problem with dairy bread;
> it's forbidden/unacceptable.  Since people expect bread to be parve, and
> dairy bread looks like parve bread....  very problematic and confusing.
> IMHO the same should be for cakes.  But I never heard of a halacha for
> cakes, contrary to the bread issue.

When I was growing up, it was understood that all cakes are dairy.
Butter was a necessary ingredient for any kind of cake.

It's only today, with non-dairy shortenings being good enough to use
instead of butter, that pareve cakes are now common.

Since (at least until very recently) people always assumed that cake was
dairy, there was no issue of people getting confused.  There's no
problem accidentally serving a pareve cake at a dairy meal, and people
are careful to check the status of whatever deserts they serve after a
meat meal.

It's the same reason nobody has a problem serving Tofutti.  A person who
doesn't know what it is will assume dairy.  It is very unlikely that a
person (even one accustomed to eating Tofutti after meat meals) will
start thinking that ice cream is pareve.

If most people really are now assuming that all cakes are pareve, then
maybe a ban against dairy cake would be in order.  But I don't think it
will ever happen.  Any rabbi that issued such a ban would face a revolt
from the community when all the women find out that they are no longer
allowed to bake anything in their grandmother's recipe book.

-- David


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 07:54:09 -0700
Subject: dairy vs. parve cakes?!

Chas v'shalom that we should have a chumra restricting ourselves from
having good (read: milchig) cakes!

:) Leah


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 13:14:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Gematria/ Ktav Ivri

In M-J V44#08, STenen (with thanks to Avi for devoting an entire issue
to his response) gave us some great insights which relate not only to
k'sav Ashuris but to issues much more fundamental.  I urge M-Jers to
devote some thought to his research and to its implications for Torah
and for our purpose in this world.  The URLs he listed in his message
may be a good starting point.

> please, if you're interested, ask me for more details, and I will
respond to questions and comments <

Some months ago, I took Stan up on this offer, and I'm glad I did.  Re
this last post, he and I have conversed privately -- with his
permission, I just wanted to note two minor corrections which may be of
benefit to all.

> because of its perfect symmetry, as "thummin" <

Stan was referring to what I would transliterate as "tumim" (see Shmos

> the ketonot passim <

Typo.  Should be "the ketonet passim."  I'm sure you all knew that :-).

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 10:11:52 EDT
Subject: Gematria/ Ktav Ivri

It's hard to understand what Stan is talking about until you actually
SEE him do it, as I did one Sunday morning this June.

Visit his website. Talk to him. He makes a lot of sense. Especially when
you SEE it in action.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 09:28:03 -0400
Subject: Gematria/ Ktav Ivri

The word "tumim" is mis-spelled in my long posting in m-j v.44 #08.
<sheepish apology> I'd like to thank the m-j'er who graciously pointed
this out.

Also, near the end of my posting, there was a phrase left out in the
paragraph beginning,

"In a sense, the life of Akiba as we know it literally acts out Sefer
Yetzirah . ."

This sentence should have read,

"The life of Akiba acts out the geometry in Genesis as given in Sefer




From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 09:48:48 EDT
Subject: Lubavitch

In reference to your comment:

      This group, I would hope, is small and unrepresentative of
      Lubavitch as a whole but, because the leadership has not taken
      firm steps to denounce this heretical trend, it has brought the
      whole movement into disrepute. Once a clear line has been drawn
      between the Jewish Lubavitch movement and this neo-Sabbatian (or,
      dare I say, neo-Christian) sect there is every hope that
      eventually good relations will gradually be restored as was
      beginning under the leadership of the Rashab 100 years ago.

What is most clear since the passing of the Rebbe is that there is NO
united leadership, and those who do NOT hold the same feeling as
mentioned above, do denounce it.  By the way, those who believe the
Rebbe can come back as Moshiach are not nearly as damaging as those who
believe the Rebbe did NOT die and is waiting to be revealed as Moshiach.

As a Lubavitcher myself, Chabadnik [semantics] I feel that, whatever
your feeling, one should keep it to onesself until asked, and even then,
be gentle with your explanation. It saddens me terribly to see the
alienation, however, there is "inbuilt" animosity, as you so well
explained in your post.

It should also be added that the Ba'al Shem Tov arrived "on the scene"
very soon after SHabtay Tzvi, the Messianic imposter, and that, too,
caused fear and apprehension amongst all. The bigger challenge came when
those who did not believe in Chassidism would not discuss it with the
Chassidim, [it seems that their followers did not present the case to
the leaders well] and therefore, that created "we must not accept
Chabad" in the world at that time, and even now.

Here's to wishing that in our day NOW we see Achdus amongst Yidden.

Susan Shapiro

From: Annice Grinberg <annice@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 15:49:32 +0200
Subject: Re: Lubavitch

Binyamin Segel stated:

    The single biggest issue - the one that can translate into children
    being made fun of in school (yes, I have seen litvish kids make fun of
    Lubavitch kids) - is the mashiach issue. This issue has, I hope and
    pray, passed its peak.

It doesn't seem to have passed its peak here in Israel, where the streets
are plastered with posters of the rebbe along with the words "ha melech


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 22:42:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Lubavitch

>...you will see how many Roshei Yeshivos.. and representatives of
>Chassidic Rebbes are present and speak at Chabad functions
>(farbrengens), ..

Could you name one Rosh Yeshiva from the yeshivisha velt (yeshiva world)
who goes to fabrengens?


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 15:36:11 +0200
Subject: Meshulah

bh, ]yom revi'i ekev

In hutz la'aretz we called anyone who came to collect for a charity
(most often institutional) as a <meshulah.> And anyone who was sent by
Israel to man the aliyah office, or to teach a year or two in our day
schools a <shaliah> It is odd, because the person sent by Israel is a
<meshulah>--he is sent, and the one who represents a charity is a


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 13:36:29 -0400
Subject: Rabbinical honor

>Actually"not allowed to debate" may not be the best way to put it.
>Perhaps "have taken upon themselves not to debate" would be more
>accurate. (was the Vilna Gaon not allowed to debate earlier
>authorities-if so, someone forgot to tell him:-). It's also hard to
>define when this applies-a recent discussion concerning electricity
>comes to mind as an example

I will agree with you that this should apply to everyone in any time
from any place.  The benefit of the doubt applies universally.

However... The Mishna says no Bet-din can invalidate the work of another
previous to them until they are more numerous and greater (wiser) than
them.  The commentaries as I recall agree that this pretty much "locks
things up" as a rule.

There have been exceptions, such as the Gaon, or the Rogatchover, but
perhaps it's the exception that proves the rule.  It is in fact our
adherence to this ruling that prevents simply annulling R.  Gershoms
dicta, thus easing things for agunot, or easing the rules of eiruv to
make it less controversial.  Many rulings in Tzniut too would be eased
by such annulments, easing for example the issue of slacks for women.
I'm sure everyone can easily think of other examples.

Yossi Ginzberg

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 05:42:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Rabbinical honor

On Tue, 10 Aug 2004, Joseph Ginzberg wrote:

> However... The Mishna says no Bet-din can invalidate the work of another 
> previous to them until they are more numerous and greater (wiser) than them. 
>   The commentaries as I recall agree that this pretty much "locks things up" 
> as a rule.

I do not think this is correct. The above Mishna is specific to Sanhedrin
and I'm pretty sure that is the way the Rambam brings that halacha in the
Yad. The common "practice" of later poskim not disagreeing with earlier
poskim - probably needs to be reviewed to see how universal and true that
statement really is.



From: Yitzchak Moran <dougom@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 09:05:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Shiva for "Outmarriages" Is based on Error

On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 08:57:47 +0100, Martin Stern wrote:

>The very fact that there can be a debate as to whether one should attend
>such a wedding shows how far we have moved from this instinctive
>recoil. I believe that in many Reform congregations, an applicant for a
>'rabbinic' post is asked if he will officiate at such unions (without
>even the pretence of their so-called conversions) and, if not, he (or
>she) is rejected.

I don't know that many Reform rabbis (or many Reform congregations), but
I honestly don't believe that that's true.  Indeed, in recent years
there has been considerable discussion and movement among Reform rabbis,
so I've read, to move to a greater embrace of halacha.  My evidence is
only anecdotal, but I know of at least one couple in the Bay Area that
could not find a rabbi willing to officiate at a mixed marriage, and had
to go to Los Angeles to find one.  Given that, I would find it very hard
to believe that being *unwilling* to officiate at a mixed marriage would
be grounds for not being hired.

If one goes to the UAHC web site, it says this on the topic: "The
Central Conference of American Rabbis, recalling its stand adopted in
1909 that mixed marriage is contrary to the Jewish tradition and should
be discouraged, now declares its opposition to participation by its
members in any ceremony which solemnizes a mixed marriage."  A little
further on is this: "Practically speaking, what this means is this: most
Reform Rabbis do not officiate at mixed-marriages, but each is free to
act as his or her individual convictions and conscience lead."

In any event, it seems unlikely to me that Martin's note above is
correct.  A small point, given the overall topic, but I felt it should
be addressed.



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 19:24:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Simchat Bat

<BERNIEAVI@...> (Rabbi Ed Goldstein) wrote:
> A bit premature, but planning is important. Has anyone out there done a
> simchat bat and what did you do and when?

A good place to start is the zeved habat ceremony of the sephardim.  As
a father blessed with 3 girls, I have a lot of experience with these
(and bat mitzvah celebrations).  If you are interested, contact me off

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 12:12:25 +0100
Subject: Simchat Bat

What is the occasion of this celebration? I have never heard this term used.
If it is on the occasion of the birth of a daughter there is a custom among
Sephardim called Zeved HaBat which can be found in some of their siddurim.

Martin Stern

From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 14:58:13 +0200
Subject: Simchat Bat

See a large bibliography and some links on the Jewish Orthodox Feminist
Alliance site:


You also may find a "zeved habat" ceremony in a Sephardic siddur.


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


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 15:07:58 +0100
Subject: Vaad Hatsedoko

Harlan Braude asks, in connection with a meshuloch using a false or 
expired certificate, would the Vaad...

> Post a letter and photo at community synagogues saying 'be on the look
> out for...'? Not likely, and even if they did it would be relatively
> ineffective.

Well, I don't know what the Vaad does in other areas but, in North West
London, that is precisely what the Vaad Hatsdoko does.

On the (happily rare) occasions that an individual is reported using an
expired certificate, it posts a notice in all local shuls ... with a
picture, if relevant.

Perets Mett


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 15:08:08 +0100
Subject: Who are these rabbis?

Rabbi Menachem Mendl Rubin of Linsk (aka Lisko) was the father of the
famous Rebbe R' Naftoli of Roprzyce

Perets Mett

> The sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim has many haskamos [approbations],
> among them are haskamos from Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Liska
> and Rabbi Chaim of Batishan.  Does anyone know who these rabbis
> were and the names of their seforim?


End of Volume 44 Issue 13