Volume 44 Number 63
                    Produced: Mon Sep  6 13:13:10 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beer and Yayin Nesach
         [Bernard Raab]
Chumrot at Other's Expense
         [Michael Mirsky]
Did The Torah Explicitly Permit Meat
         [Immanuel Burton]
Following the minhagim of the husband
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Laxity in putting on Tefilin
         [Martin Stern]
New Mother Not Leaving House? (2)
         [Martin Stern, Adina Gerver]
Reason for Minyan
         [Paul Ginsburg]
Saying Amen to Bracha
         [Rose Landowne]
Vegetarianism (2)
         [Sam Saal, Adina Gerver]
Wikipedia Mishna
         [Stuart Feldhamer]


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 13:02:29 -0400
Subject: Abomination

In the Davka Tanach CD, there are three different Hebrew words in the
written Torah translated as abomination.  Toevah and sheketz and pigul.

Pigul is used in Lev. 7:18 "And if any of the meat of the sacrifice of
his peace offerings is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be
accepted, nor shall it be credited to him who offers it; it shall be an
abomination, and the soul who eats of it shall bear his iniquity."

Sheketz is used for those animals that are intrinsically not kosher.

To'evah is used for lying with a man like with a woman; graven images or
other acts to other [believed-to-be] gods; using a soothsayer or a
necromancer, etc; a woman wearing a man's clothes or a man wearing a
woman's clothes (although I've seen this from a O rabbi on Purim and
think it is ok then); "bring[ing] the hire of a harlot, or the price of
a dog, into the house of the Lord your God for any vow; for these are
both abomination to the Lord your God."; a man marrying a woman a second
time after he has divorced her if she has been hutamo'oh in the
intervening time; and having inaccurate weights in your house and maybe
some other things that precede that verse (That's not clear to me. I'm
just working with the written Torah.)

Could someone elaborate on the differences between the three words?  And
the groups of transgressions that they represent.

And don't some people -- I'm not including any sage, rabbi, or any of
you -- sometimes assume every use of "abomination" represents to'evah in
the original.  In other places, I think I've seen eating shellfish
called a to'evah, or at least, when a particular thing is called an
abomination, some writers I often read, usually don't say which Hebrew
word is used.  I had to make my own list.

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 14:11:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Beer and Yayin Nesach

>I am puzzled as to why the "logical extension" would not also extend to
>hard liquor and mixed drinks. And if we are not concerned with drunken
>behavior but only with social interaction, then the takana should
>probably extend to soft drinks as well!
>I think this illustrates why we do not rely on "logical extentions" when
>dealing with takanot the rationale for which may have expired.
>[I see no reason to believe the rationale has expired. The theoretical
>question of what would be forbidden today, if Chazal were instituting
>this fence today, is what I see this discussion about, and it is not at
>all clear to me that hard liquor and mixed drinks might not be
>included. Again, as I have stated more than once, this is a discussion
>of the logical implication of the intent of the fence, not a proposal
>for practical extensions of the gezeirah (decree). Avi.]

I suggest that the rationale for this gezeirah may have expired (a long
time ago, I believe) precisely because it has not been extended to other
beverages, and that therefore it is no longer a useful inhibitor to
social interactions between Jews and non-Jews. Those who have both
social and business interactions with non-Jews can testify that the wine
restrictions are no barrier at all. The food restrictions are another
matter, however.

Avi is quite correct to assert that logically beer and hard liquor might
be included in such a gezeirah if it were instituted today, but I
believe that this would create such a "tircha d'tzibur" (hardship to the
public: remember that this would mean that only beer or liquor produced
by religious Jews would be approved for consumption) that it would be
widely ignored and ultimately dismissed, carrying the wine restrictions
with it as well. Just an opinion here.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 13:21:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Chumrot at Other's Expense

Sammy Finkelman responded to the following:

 >> Several years earlier I heard an engaged couple discussing this issue,
 >> and I was appalled to hear the kallah, who didn't want to adopt chalav
 >> yisroel, say, "I'll have my dairy products and he'll have his."

by saying:

 >This is exactly the situation, though, that prevailed in the household
 >of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. (R Moshe Feinstein considered his use of only
 >Cholov Yisrael to be in the nature of a Neder, which of course does not
 >apply to anyone other than the person making the vow. He did not
 >consider this halachah at all, not even a Safek (doubt)

Using only Chalav Yisrael is Halacha, not a chumra!  What you are likely
confusing is the heter Rav Moshe gave to allow regular milk products in
the U.S. based on government supervision ( I believe it was in response
to a shayla from an elementary school).  Halachically, then the milk
could be considered acceptable as Chalav Yisrael.  But he chose to use
Chalav Yisrael with direct Jewish supervison himself.

[And this choice is clearly what Sammy is refering to Reb Moshe
considering to be in the nature of a Neder. Mod] 

There's a story I heard about a public gathering of some sort which R.
Moshe attended.  In front of him were two cartons of Chalav Yisrael, one
from one dairy and one from another.  R. Moshe was seen to lift up one
carton, hesitate, and put the carton down.  He then lifted the other
carton and poured himself some milk from it.  A rumour started that the
hechsher on the first dairy was not good, Fortunately, before the first
dairy lost many of its customers, someone asked R. Moshe why he didn't
drink from the first carton.  He replied that it was empty, so he took
from the second!!  :-)


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2044 09:10:29 +0100
Subject: RE: Did The Torah Explicitly Permit Meat

In Mail.Jewish v44n50, David Curwin wrote:

> This was the approach for all mankind. "But when the Torah was given
> to Israel... God prohibited certain animals which produce coarseness
> and ugliness of soul." That explains kashrut.

I don't think this explains all of kashrut.  For example, how does a
faulty shechitah render a cow likely to produce coarseness and ugliness
of soul?

My father once advanced the following idea to explain that kashrut has
nothing to do with health and hygiene: The first commandment given to
Adam to Eve was a dietary one, when they were told that they were
allowed to eat of all the vegetation except for the Tree Of Knowledge.
Had dietary commandments been for the sake of health, then wouldn't God
have warned Adam and Eve to steer clear of hemlock, nightshade, mandrake
and other such poisonous or harmful plants?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 16:34:46 +0300
Subject: Re: Following the minhagim of the husband

etzion <atzion@...> stated the following on Sun, 29 Aug 2004
17:55:37 +0200

      3)AS anyone who lives in Israel knows there are many synagogues
      where the congregations follow the nusach of the Baal tefila-
      whether it is Ashkenaz' Sefard' or Adot Mizrach.Baalei Tefila
      daven as they wish. All nushchaot are kosher!

There are indeed a (relatively small) number of synagogues where this is
the practice.  I wonder whether any posqim deal with the issue, and if
so, what do they have to say?

My own impression is that this is a questionable practice, but I am
willing to learn otherwise.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 11:54:20 +0100
Subject: Re: Laxity in putting on Tefilin

> See the introduction of Rabbi Moshe Couchi author of the Halachot
> gedolot where he states that he preached in France on the importance
> of putting on Tefillin daily-and thar due to his efforts the Jews once
> again took on the Halacha of daily observance of Tefillin

NOT R. Moshe Couchy but Moshe miCoucy (a town in Picardy) and NOT
Halachot Gedolot but Semag - Sefer Mitsvot Gadol (as opposed to Semak -
Sefer Mitsvot Katan by R. Yitschak miCorbeil, a town in the Isle de

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 11:58:20 +0100
Subject: Re: New Mother Not Leaving House?

> Martin Stern <md.stern@...> commented:
>> Whether the husband say "hagomel" on her
>> behalf or she does so herself (which is not a widespread custom)

> I do not remember *ever* seeing a husband say the brocha for his wife,
> except possibly Rav Henkin (who perhaps will read this and answer). I
> say "possibly" because I am *sure* I heard him say Hagomel *for someone
> else*, but I no longer remember if it was for his wife or another family
> member for whatever reason.

I know of one such case here in Manchester.

Martin Stern

From: <AdinaLeba@...> (Adina Gerver)
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 10:55:37 -0400
Subject: Re: New Mother Not Leaving House?

Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote:

> Martin Stern <md.stern@...> commented:
> > Whether the husband say "hagomel" on her behalf or she 
> > does so herself (which is not a widespread custom) 
> I also do not remember this custom being common *in Hutz 
> la'Aretz*, but now that I live in Yerushalayim I see it a 
> lot.

It is also common for a woman to say her own "hagomel" after childbirth
in Cambridge, MA and on the Upper West Side of New York, and I've never
seen a man make that bracha for his wife in either location. (I am not
in any way claiming that that this is therefore a widespread custom in
chutz laaretz in general, only that it is a widespread custom in some

> Women after childbirth say Hagomel in our shul after kriat 
> haTorah, and when the baby was a boy I have also seen it 
> done at the brit.

As far as I can recall, I have seen it said between aliyot during kriyat
hatorah, at the brit for a boy, and at the simchat bat for a girl.

Adina Gerver
New York, NY


From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 08:25:31 -0400 
Subject: Reason for Minyan

The requirement of a minyan for davening is derived from the story of
the Spies. Why is something so fundamental to our relationship with G-d,
such as Minyan and davening, derived from such a negative event?

Paul W. Ginsburg
Rockville, Maryland


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 07:44:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Saying Amen to Bracha

      Does saying Amen constitute a brocha?  Doesn't the person who says
      amen get "credit" for saying the brocha, too?  So does this mean
      that the shomeret (mikvah attendant), who listens to the brocha of
      the woman who is immersing in the mikvah (and is therefore not
      clothed), should not say amen to her brocha?

Interesting suggestion - I often wondered why the mikvah lady never said
"Amen". This could explain it.

Rose Landowne


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 05:54:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Vegetarianism

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> posted:

>This is perhaps a slight exaggeration though there are some animal
>rights activists who, given the choice, would rather see a human die
>than let an animal suffer even slight discomfort; I can't believe that
>any Torah Jew would even consider this.

Dennis Prager used to ask audiences something like "you see your pet dog
and a stranger drowning and you can only save one. which would you

He reports being upset at how many would save the pet, especially
(though probably not unnexpectedly) among teenagers.

Sam Saal

From: <AdinaLeba@...> (Adina Gerver)
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 10:51:06 -0400
Subject: Vegetarianism

Zvi Greenberg wrote:

> Steven Davis, professor of animal science at Oregon State University,
> points to the number of field animals inadvertently killed during crop
> production and harvest....It seems that many vegetarians do not take
> the deaths of these animals into account.  How can they think that
> vegetarians are more humane?

That's easy. The same article also said that "the U.S. livestock
population-cattle, chickens, turkeys, lambs, pigs and the rest-consumes
five times as much grain as the U.S. human population," so by eating
meat, you're indirectly killing not only five times as many gray-tailed
vole and other field creatures, but also the livestock. They mow down
the grain to feed the animals the same way they mow down the grain to
feed the people, only it takes a lot more grain to feed animals to feed
people than it feed people directly. (Some animals are grazed, not
grain-fed, but often on land that used to be forest, and presumably a
lot of little animals died when the forest was turned into a meadow.) 

Anyway, I think a large percentage of vegetarians are not against
killing any animal, ever (see all of the other reasons for being a
vegetarian that we've listed), and that the death of a few gray-tailed
vole is preferable to the death of many gray-tailed vole and many large

Adina Gerver
New York, NY


From: Stuart Feldhamer <Stuart.Feldhamer@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 10:12:10 -0400
Subject: RE: Wikipedia Mishna

> From: Dovi Jacobs <dovijacobs@...>
> If so, then please consider actually typing that translation (it
> shouldn't take too long for one mishnah) and donating it to "The Open
> Mishnah Project" at <wikisource.org>.  (WikiSource is a less-known
> sister project of the more famous <wikipedia.org>.  It is for
> source-texts of all kinds in all languages.)

I very much dislike what I have seen so far from these wikipedia
things. The problem with them is that any idiot can and does
contribute. There is no way to determine the quality of anything that
you read. I would much rather stick with my Kehatis.



End of Volume 44 Issue 63