Volume 44 Number 40
                    Produced: Tue Aug 24  5:32:25 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Yisrael Medad]
Changing Names: Rav Aharon Kotler
Changing Names: Why the Kotzker Rebbe Did It
Elite -  Parve and Milchik
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Font Size in Siddurim
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Genetic Differences Among Jews
         [Mike Gerver]
Kashrut Authorities/Eruv Threads (Different Standards)
         [Joel Rich]
Meat in Salad
         [Eitan Fiorino]
New Mother Not Leaving House?
         [Akiva Miller]
New Mother Not Leaving House
         [Aliza Berger]
"political correctness" in speech, continued
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 17:59:36 +0200
Subject: Ashkenazi-Sefaradi

I caught this in Chana Luntz's posting:

>the Sephardim have no real source for holding anything other than R'
>Chaim Na'eh (the larger shiurim tend to be an Ashkenazi thing).

Somehow, I think that Rav Naeh was himself Ashkenazi.  I am fairly sure
that his son (or grnadson?) was our neighbor in Bayit Vegan.  Can any
listmate correct me or confirm?

Yisrael Medad


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 10:32:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Changing Names: Rav Aharon Kotler

> I've heard that Rav Aharon Kotler changed his name when he came to
> America because, while it's a common enough name, it can easily be
> mispronounced into something less, well, palatable in English. Does
> anyone know if this is true?

1000% not true. In the 1920's in Kletsk he was using the name Kotler.
According to the family, the name comes from the passport he managed to
obtain (his siblings were not called Kotler)


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 06:45:03 -0500
Subject: Changing Names: Why the Kotzker Rebbe Did It

Shalom, All:

I wrote that >>... the family of the Kotzker Rebbe told me he changed
his name from "Halpern" to "Morgenstern" because he was wanted by the
anti-Semitic Russian authorities under the "Halpern" name.<<

Perets Mett replied >>Now this one ***IS*** an urban legend. It has been
published in books and gets repeated from time to time, but there is
absolutely no hard evidence for it. The Kotsker Rebbe's father and his
brothers all used the name MORGENSTERN - so why do people think that the
Kotsker Rebbe himself originally used a different surname?<<

I got my information straight from the Morgenstern family of Chicago,
direct descendents of the Kotzker Rebbe. At the time, I was married into
that family. Nice folks -- and I never heard *anyone,* then or since,
say they weren't exactly who they say they are.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 15:03:01 +0300
Subject: Elite -  Parve and Milchik

Today's Israeli press contained a story about an Elite Company product,
claimed to be Parve, which turned out to be Milchik. The product was not

This fact emerged when a child allergic to dairy products reacted after
eating the so-called Parve product.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 17:01:52 +0300
Subject: re: Font Size in Siddurim

>    Not on point, but there was a practice in siddurim to print the
> Kiddish Levana in really large type - because this prayer was supposed
> to read out of doors at night and therefore in very dim light.  As a
> result, setting something in boldface or large type was called
> "Kiddish Levana type".

And I once heard from Dr Avshalom Kor that the term for the opposite of
"Otiot Kidush Levana", meaning really fine print, is "Otiot Tal uMatar".

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 07:36:12 EDT
Subject: Genetic Differences Among Jews

Bernie Raab asks, in v44n33

      My first question is: How reliable are such estimates (e.g. 50%
      contribution of DNA)?  This presupposes a rather large-scale
      survey of the DNA of a large proportion of the population. I
      rather doubt such data is available. Nobody I know has had his DNA
      tested and databased. Where would such numbers have come from?

First of all, you don't need to survey the DNA of a large proportion of
the population in order for the results to be statistically significant.
You only need to survey a properly randomly chosen sample of the
population that has a large number of people absolutely, but it doesn't
matter how large a percentage of the total population the sample is.

The results I was describing were published in a paper "Jewish and
Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of
Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes," by M. F. Hammer et al, Proceedings
of the National Academy of Science, vol. 97, pages 6769-6774 (June 6,
2000), which is posted online at

A great deal of the paper is devoted to analyzing the statistical
significance of the results. They used a sample of 1371 males, Jewish
and non-Jewish. Briefly skimming the paper (I waste enough time on
mail-jewish at is), it seems that the sample is large enough to conclude
that the contribution of non-Jewish Europeans to the paternal line of
Ashkenazim is between 0% and 30%, but you can't be much more precise
than that.

The higher figure is possibly enough to account for the relatively light
skin of Ashkenazim, so perhaps Bernie is right about its cause, and it's
not necessary to posit a dominant contribution from female converts,
especially if there is also some effect from natural selection. On the
other hand, the paper said that the most-likely figure is 12.5%, so
probably non-Jewish paternity is not enough to account for the light
skin, hair, and eyes of Ashkenazim. I suppose what you believe depends
on how likely you think my scenario of 1% female converts into Judaism
per generation is, a priori, compared to Bernie's scenario of 1%
non-Jewish paternity per generation. If you think my scenario is
intrinsically much less likely, then you could reasonably believe
Bernie's explanation, even though it is only barely consistent with the
DNA evidence.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 08:10:59 EDT
Subject: Kashrut Authorities/Eruv Threads (Different Standards)

There is another concept of "not making it look like there are multiple
Torah's".  As in most cases, there are competing priorities and each
generation (including leaders and lay people-but that's another thread)
wrestle with how to reconcile competing "goods".

The Rav (Rabbi Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik ZT"L) pointed out (good
topic since it's Elul) that we are judged both as individuals and as
members of the whole of klal Yisrael. IMVVVVVHO we live in a generation
where way to much emphasis is put on the individual/individual subgroup
and way to little on the klal. In particular the Rav wrote that
submission(defeat) is an essential part of our avodat hashem (think of
the chatan separating from the kallah for 1 drop of blood). Sometimes we
seem very reticent to accept individual "defeat" (ie accepting
someone/someothe group's halachically acceptable standard instead of our
own) at the cost of the collective good (notwithstanding the best of
individual intentions)

Joel Rich


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:50:57 -0400
Subject: RE: Meat in Salad

> About how parve is falafel when shwarma's sold at the same 
> stand?  In Israel, at least, many of the places provide a 
> "salad bar" and even if they don't pieces of meat can fall in 
> the salads, and the serving implements touch the meat.  So, 
> when you really think about it, can you, or would you 
> consider yourself parve and have ice cream or coffee with 
> milk afterwards?  I wouldn't, and I asked a neighbor who had 
> a parve falafel place for a number of years.  I asked him if 
> my "psak" was neurotic or correct.  He told me (his real 
> training is as a rav) that I was correct.  Meat does get 
> mixed with the salads.

It seems to me that were one to get salad at an establishment as
described, the competing issues would be as follows (I'm going to
exclude the obvious case in which one is eating a supposedly parve salad
and notices and eats a piece of meat):

1. To begin with, it is a safek as to whether a salad obtained in such
an establishment contains any meat - by this safek I mean a real dispute
as to the facts - was the utensil clean, if it wasn't clean, did
anything come off into the salad, was it meat or poultry, etc.

2. If the same utensils that were used to pick up a piece of meat off
the grill were used unwashed to pick up salad and in fact some grease
and tiny pieces of meat come off, or if there is a piece of meat sitting
at the bottom of the salad somewhere, perhaps the meat that actually
mixes with the salad would be considered batel.  I am certain that as
far as the amount of meat in one's salad is concerned, it would be
batel, but perhaps a salad is not a homogeneous enough mixture for
batala to work.  In this case, given that we are talking about grease
and bits of meat could come off into the salad and probably get mixed up
in the dressing and seasonings, I think one can make the argument that
it would be batel.

3. And finally, we have the question of waiting 1, 3, 5, 6 hours after
such a salad before having dairy - the length of time being a rabbinic
din at best but is perhaps best understood as minhag, and in fact there
are sources that permit one to eat dairy immediately after meat if one
has cleared the table and recited the appropriate bracha acharona.

So there is a safek as to whether the salad contained any meat, and
reason to believe if it did that the meat was batel within the salad (I
would not call that a safek because I think there is a definitive answer
to the question, its just that I don't know that answer right now), and
the evidence of my own eyes which did not see a big piece of hamburger
atop the salad.

Until someone tells me otherwise, this is not enough for me to create a
need to avoid dairy, though I probably would not sprinkle cheese on top
of such a salad.  I am prepared to accept that this last thing may be a
personal chumra on my part.

Shabbat shalom,


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:39:15 GMT
Subject: re: New Mother Not Leaving House?

Martin Stern wrote <<< The custom among Ashkenazim, as I understand it,
is that the new mother does not go out (except in emergency situations
of course) until she has gone to shul at a time of kriat hatorah, when
her husband is a chiyuv (entitled to an aliyah). >>>

This is new to me. Do you understand this to be an actual Minhag (i.e.,
one which we're obligated to follow), or simply the current practice in
your community? Any idea what the reasons might be?

Also, could you please clarify what you mean by <<< until she has gone
to shul ... when her husband is a chiyuv >>>

Do you mean that (A) new mothers do not go out until the husband has a
yahrzeit or has to say "hagomel" or other similar situation, or (B) the
wife's recovery and arrival at shul is a big enough simcha to justify
entitling the husband to an aliyah, or (C) the practice in your
community is for the husband to say "hagomel" on behalf of the new

Akiva Miller

From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 17:59:47 +0200
Subject: New Mother Not Leaving House

Martin Stern answered my question, saying in part:
<The custom among Ashkenazim, as I understand it, is that the new mother
does not go out (except in emergency situations of course) until she has
gone to shul at a time of kriat hatorah, when her husband is a chiyuv
(entitled to an aliyah).>

What is the reason behind this custom?
Also, this is certainly not universal among Ashkenazim as Martin suggests.

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


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 04:42:56 -0700
Subject: "political correctness" in speech, continued

With regard to using the words 'gay,' 'SO,' etc., I have already
articulated my position.

I would like to reiterate that no matter how sure of one's own morality
one may be, it is rude to use insulting terms.  And the only way to know
what is an 'insulting term' is to consult the person/group being
insulted.  This is in no way Orwellian.  Would those who think that it
is, kindly explain whether they would make the switch from
e.g. 'colored' to 'Black' if they think that any such request is too
much of an imposition.  And if not, please elaborate.

How about another example.  Suppose a group critical of circumcision
decides that it should be called 'Jewish baby abuse'.  Personally, I
don't think they should be encouraged to use such a term, because it is
denigrating to my people and our practices, and is just a pejorative,
obnoxious term to use.  Would any of the m.j posters who think it's fine
to describe people that *they* don't respect in rude terms, approve of
the above term used by others?

I think it can be easy to wrap oneself in grand ideas about enforcing
the good old morality while using rude terminology to describe other
people.  Homosexuality is a convenient target for this language, because
a specific male-male act in a specific context is a Torah prohibition.
But then, so is shatnez, and I don't hear a lot of support for rude
language about people who may not know better wearing a wool blazer with
a linen shirt.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


End of Volume 44 Issue 40