Volume 44 Number 41
                    Produced: Tue Aug 24  5:45:39 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Binyomin Segal]
Dairy challa
         [Gershon Dubin]
Details of Kosher Labeling
         [Steven White]
Follow-Up on Clothing/Sleeves
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Gaps in Halacha Observance
         [Ira Bauman]
Hijacking of Language (2)
         [Ken Bloom, Bill Bernstein]
Impurity and Entrance to Temple Mount
         [Yisrael Medad]
Ktav Ashuri
         [Mark Symons]
K'tav Ashuri
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Mock Weddings
         [Akiva Miller]
Seven-thirty AM Minyan
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 13:11:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Arrogance

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 21:37:38 -0400 (EDT), Meir Shinnar wrote:
> If someone has the psak that eruvin are not permissible, he should
> follow it.  However, if he believes that they are permissible, then I
> would argue that it is mechaze keyohara for him not to use an eruv that
> is sanctioned by the community.

I agree with Meir that PUBLICLY refusing to use the eruv might be
yuhara, in a place where the eruv is (close to) universally
accepted. Today however there are few places where that applies. If many
people choose to not use the eruv, then it is no longer yuhara to
practice that chumra.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 17:26:19 GMT
Subject: Dairy challa

<<Lehatchilla (on the outset) one should not eat this challa with meat,
but if one (for example unknowingly) does eat the two together, it is
not the end of the world. It is not necessary to say anything to the
host if in someone else's house, as it is not like eating actual milk
and meat and one does not traif the dishes etc. It is more of a kind of
accepted stringency not to eat at the same time, meat and products that
are "b'chezkat chalavi".>>

I was with you most of the way, but not when you say it's an accepted
stringency.  I don't recall if it's a Mishna or a Gemara, but it's a
siman in Shulchan Aruch and definitely not the latest chumra.

<<Thus there is no "stumbling block" involved, and so there is nothing
wrong with making the bread this way.>>

As above, it's a clear halacha in Shulchan Aruch (YD 97).  The halacha
is that bedi'avad, it's OK to eat it and it doesn't traif up the kelim,
(although if there's enough milk in there it might make the oven
rack/pan dairy).  So there is definitely "something" wrong with making
bread lechatchila this way.

<<I didn't understand on what aspects, sephardim can be more lenient.  I
think this "accepted stringency" might be within the glosses of the
Rama, thus only applies to ashkenazim. Can anyone please help me here?>>

The "stringency" as above is from well before the Shulchan Aruch.  The
difference in practice stems from a difference in interpretation of
"bedi'avad" but without sefarim in front of me I can't be more specific
than that.

<<Also, is anyone on this list able to present sources to qualify, (or
possibly refute) the above line of argument?>>

I tried <g>!



From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steven White)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 16:36:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Details of Kosher Labeling

In MJ 44:33, Martin Stern notes:

>However, I do not think that pressure to clearly label dairy products
 would meet such strong resistance and might be a more fruitful matter
 on which to campaign.<

I'm sure that's true.  People dealing with extreme sensitivity to dairy
products -- Jewish or not -- now understand that a Parve hechsher is a
much better indicator of safety for them than the words "non-dairy" on
the label.  At least in the US, I am surprised from a liability
perspective that this isn't required -- unless the laws and regulations
on bakeries implicitly assume that all bakery products are _dairy_ if
not otherwise specified.

Steven White
Highland Park, NJ


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:07:39 -0700
Subject: Follow-Up on Clothing/Sleeves

My friend Ari Trachtenberg asked for clarification on different genders
and their upper arm coverage.  The reply that he got (I'm sorry that I
did not note who wrote it) was that mean have to cover various parts of
their bodies during prayer, and women have to cover other parts of their
bodies/voices [with no specific instructions as to when].

To me, this begs the question--how in the world could a woman hide her
singing voice while she is davening (and presumably singing)??  And if
this is not what is meant, then could it be that the sources are
considering only men davening, but both genders dressing to facilitate

This still leaves open the question of what parts of men's bodies should
be covered when they are in front of women who might be aroused by
seeing their bodies.  This is not answered either by what a man must
cover for his private prayer, nor by what a man should not see of a

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 16:31:18 EDT
Subject: Re: Gaps in Halacha Observance

      Tosfos on Shabbos 49a discusses the reason for laxity in wearing
      of tefilin (in general). The details there need not concern us,
      but it is apparent from that Tosfos that there were periods in
      Jewish history when most Jews did not wear tefilin
      daily. Therefore there may have been extended periods during which
      tefilin were not worn widely, resulting in confusion as to whether
      tefilin should be worn on chol hamoieid

It is true that there were gaps in halacha observance in the period of
the Judges, First Temple and yes, even during the Middle Ages.  That
explains quite nicely how halachos were forgotten. A better question is
how were they subsequently remembered.  What was the mechanism.  Was it
Ruach Hakodesh or some other connection to past Torah knowledge.  Any
student of the Talmud knows that at first glance, many discussions in
the Talmud, for example the discussion I am learning right now in the
last chapter of Pesachim about the the text of Havdalah, seem as if they
are being tackled for the first time.  I'm sure this was not so but what
was the mechanism here?

Good Shabbos
Ira Bauman


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:03:39 -0700
Subject: Re: Hijacking of Language

> Bill Bernstein writes:
> >Agudah publications consistently eschew the use of gay
> >or even homosexual in favor of "what the Torah describes as
> >'toeivah.'" Does this viliify homosexuality?  Yes, of course it does.
> > And that is the point of using such language.
> This is already a bit of a surrender: If something is a toeivah, call
> it that. Using the phrase "what the Torah describes as..." is, as I
> see it, an attempt to shield oneself from criticism as being
> "insensitive":"Don't blame me, the Torah says it!"
> Nachum Lamm

Toeivah translates to abomination - the verse (Vayikra 18:22) states
"v'et zachar lo tishkav mishk'vei isha toeivah hi" "You shall not lie
with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination". The usage
"what the Torah describes as ..." is perfectly OK, and not an attempt to
shield oneself from criticism - the torah merely *describes* it that
way, it doesn't make the word "toeivah" a sysonym for homosexuality.

From: <billbernstein@...> (Bill Bernstein)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 16:37:09 -0500
Subject: Hijacking of Language

<<This [sc. "what the Torah calls a toeiva"] is already a bit of a
surrender: If something is a toeivah, call it that. Using the phrase
"what the Torah describes as..." is, as I see it,an attempt to shield
oneself from criticism as being "insensitive":"Don't blame me, the Torah
says it!">>

I dont understand this point.  The Torah does describe such behavior
this way.  If it didnt I would not know that it was.  Many cultures
practiced homosexuality and I would think there was nothing wrong with
it, as indeed many people do.  Were it not for the Torah's strictures I
would have agreed.

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 00:19:01 +0200
Subject: Impurity and Entrance to Temple Mount

In previous postings a long time ago, I pointed out the contradiction of
those who oppose entrance to the Temple Mount based on impurity (tum'ah)
when in fact, there are explicit instances when entrance even in a state
of tamei met (impure through contact with a corpse).

As I just came across another example, I thought to share it with the list.

In the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam notes that on Yom Kippur, if the person
specifically selected (ish iti) to lead the goat by hand to the desert
(sa'ir la'azazel) becomes tamei, nevertheless, he enters into the Temple
compound to take the goat by his hand and no one other's (Hilchot Avodat
Yom Hakippurim, 5:21).

Yisrael Medad


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Ktav Ashuri

Martin Stern wrote:

> The modern Assyrian Christians are in no way connected to the ancient
> Assyrians but are the remainder of the (if I am not mistaken Nestorian)
> Christian community of Mesopotamia from pre-Arab times who used Aramaic
> as their liturgical (and previously spoken) language. Thus their use of
> our current script is not surprising and has no relevance to this
> discussion.

An interpreter I have worked with who describes himself as Assyrian,
tells me that they revere the prophet Jonah, and that they observe an
annual 3-day fast.

Mark Symons 

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:26:57 EDT
Subject: K'tav Ashuri

Following Noyekh Miller and Yaakov Kayman (MJv44n27) and others I
suggest to look at the sources: Does K'tav Ashuri means the square
script or something else?

"bacharu lahem [the Jews] k'tav Ashuri ve-lashon Ivri. ve-lamah nikra
shemo Ashuri? she-hu me-ushar bi-chetavo. amar R. Levi al shem she-alah
be-yadam me-Ashur" [The Jews chose to themselves Ashuri script and Ivri
[=Hebrew] language. And why is this language called Ashuri? For it is
elegant/happy in its script. R. Levi said because it came with them from
Assyria] (My free translation--GJG) Source: Jerusalem Talmud, Megilah
71, b and Yer. Sotah 21:c. These source already gives a midrashic
explanation (Elegancy) and pe'shat one (came from Assyria). A second
source is "ve-lamah nikra shemah Ashuri? she-alah imahen me-Ashur" [=
And why is [the language] called Ashuri? For it came with them [the
Jewish people] from Assyria] (My free translation--GJG) (Tosefta,
Sanhedrin 4:7).

In fact there is a second midrashic meaning of Ashurit from "meyushret"
proper, from yashar, while someone find its etymology in "ashar" to be
firm (Critical Grammar of the Hebrew Language, Isaac Nordheimer,
New-York, 1838, p. 1 in a note) A 166 years old book, one of the first
seriously written Hebrew grammar book published in the USA.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 15:48:44 GMT
Subject: Re: Mock Weddings

William Friedman wrote <<< I've never understood the ban on mock
weddings. SA EH 42:1 -- Ain ha-isha m'kudeshet ela lirtzonah [a woman is
only betrothed with her consent/desire].  You can't tell me that it's
the desire of any of these young women to actually to be married to
these guys, not to mention that there's also no intention from the guy's
side. >>>

But an action *has* been done, and the legal system must judge whether
or not that action has the legal standing of a wedding or not. And for
something as serious as a wedding, the law must have rules with which to
ascertain whether the marriage is valid or not. And among those rules is
that we go by what people say and do, not by what their internal
intention might be -- "dvarim shebalev aynam dvarim".

<<< (Yes, the Rema there does say not to rely on umdanot [estimations]
or "hochachot hamochichot shelo kiv'na l'shem kiddushin" [proofs which
prove that she didn't intend kiddushin], but that's in the case where
she first commands the man to be m'kadesh her and then claims afterwards
it was sechok b'alma [just a joke] -- in the case of mock weddings,
there is no such statement of "kidshani".) >>>

I haven't read that inside, but I'll take your word for it. Now, let me
ask, are you saying that the ONLY case where the Rema would consider the
marriage valid is where the woman instigated it, but that if the two of
them came up with the idea together, or a third party suggested it, that
this is a different case, so that the Rema would consider it invalid?

<<< Also, IMO, any poseik or rabbi who ruins a woman's chances to marry
a cohen (or possibly deprive her of a week of sheva berakhot if she ends
up marrying a divorcee or widower) because of a joke or a mock ceremony
has acted with complete insensitivity and irresponsibility. >>>

As befits a couple of teenagers who have acted with complete
insensitivity and irresponsibility.

Ah, but they're just kids, can't we cut them some slack? Maybe, but
realize that if we do so, the next bunch of kids may push the envelope
even further. And what will we say then? That we can't be lenient
because they crossed over a subtle line of technicality that they didn't
see? Perhaps it is better to draw a line in the sand, and not allow any
of these pretend weddings at all. (And I do mean "perhaps"; I can see
where you and others might not want to dig in your heels, but I hope
that you can see where others would see this as very important.)

Akiva Miller


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 00:08:01 +0200
Subject: Seven-thirty AM Minyan

I have found a reference to the forcing by the Gerrer Rebbe, Avraham
Mordecahi, upon his chassiddim and others, the institution of a
seven-thirty AM minyan.  This was an example used by Rabbi Shimon
Hubberband, grandson of the Chentzin Rebbe, to highlight the power held
by such leaders of Polish Jewry in his complaint that more could have
been done by them in terms of Eretz-Yisrael.

Does anyone have a source for this incident - when it took place, what
was the previous norm, who opposed, etc.?

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 44 Issue 41