Volume 44 Number 65
                    Produced: Wed Sep  8  5:31:49 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ain't gonna work on Saturday
         [Carl Singer]
         [Meir Shinnar]
Bagrut Exam
         [Paul Shaviv]
Childless Kvatter?
         [Shayna Kravetz]
ecommerce and Shabbat
         [Stuart Feldhamer]
A grammatical point (2)
         [Shayna Kravetz, Robert Rubinoff]
         [Batya Meidad]
Kohanim in Poland
         [Yisrael Medad]
Speckled sticks and sheep (was: Jewish Genetic Differences)
         [Mike Gerver]
         [P.V. Viswanath]
Yiddish Names  -- make that non-Hebrew names
         [Carl Singer]
         [Ben Katz]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 17:28:55 -0400
Subject: Ain't gonna work on Saturday

> Why is it then that the Rabbis, chazzanim, Balei Koreh and people making
> kiddushim are the ones that actually do work on Saturday and benefit
> monetarily from work performed?

I believe the above cases are different from the situation of an auction
taking place on Shabbos.  With the Auction, the entire event and the
questionable act takes place on Shabbos.

With the Rabbi, Chazzan, Bal Koreh the "work" they are doing on Shabbos
(speech, davening, layning) is not "work" in the halachic sense -- that
is they do nothing that violates the Shabbos Av meloches, to the
contrary they are performing mitzvahs (learning Torah, davening to
haShem, Layning Torah) -- the issue of pay is "handled" by paying them
for their pre-Shabbos preparation and study.

The caterer may appear to be a bit less obvious -- but again since
there's no issue of devar mitzvah, etc. -- he may not do anything that
is in violation of Shabbos (say cooking) - catering gig or no catering
gig -- and therefore he, too, is being paid for his pre-Shabbos
preparation and being reimbursed for the food (which I presume he must
"sell" to the b'al simcha prior to Shabbos.)

Again, contrast each of these with the Auction -- here it's something
that is apparently a form of work that otherwise would be considered
forbidden on Shabbos -- but is permitted by some under the rubric of
this (otherwise forbidden) work also being a d'var mitzvah.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
See my web site:  www.mo-b.net/cas
OH BOY - IT'S A GIRL!!!   Born 22:45 on 2004-08-31  our first grandchild


From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 20:06:18 -0400
Subject: RE: Arrogance

In response to my post on arrogance, REMT responded 

>      Not necessarily. It may mean that the individual follows the
> dictate of the Chafetz Chaim, who writes on this topic that "although
> we lack the authority to interfere with those who accept the lenient
> position, . . .  every G-d-fearing individual should be stringent for
> himself" not to rely on an eruv where the streets have the requisite
> width and multitudes using them, but lack 600,000 daily.  (Biur
> Halachah, Siman 345)

WADR to REMT, I think he misunderstood my point.  The arrogance consists
precisely in the belief that the individual is the "G-d fearing
individual" who therefore should not adopt the lenient position adopted
by the community, viewed as a lesser status.  There is no question that
the more stringent position is viewed by the mishna brura as preferable
- but my question is the right of the average individual to view himself
as being at the level where he can adopt a position appropriate for a
"God-fearing individual", even if not required of the community.

Meir Shinnar


From: R. <cap_r_dot@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 07:51:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Bagrut Exam

Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> informed us:

>  My friend, who by Israeli standards is on the left fringe of
> Orthodoxy is concerned that this will turn off her daughter to
> religious Judaism. Can anyone suggest a book (in Hebrew) that deals
> with these issues in a more modern, balanced way?

1) El Neshei Uvnot Israel - R. Zusha Wolf
2) Habayit Hayehudi - R. Yossef Karassik
You can call the publisher at 03-9606018 and ask how to find them in your


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Subject: Benedictine

I cannot comment on the kashrus issue directly, but forty years ago in
Golders Green Benedictine was a favourite at Kiddushim. I also remember
the 'tish' of the Sassover Rebbe ztz'l after minchah on Shemini Atzeret,
which featured Benedictine in large quantities and - his particular
favourite, I recall -- English mead (a honey liqueur).  By the time we
reached hakafot, there was definitely a sameach atmosphere.

-- Paul Shaviv, Toronto


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 18:47:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Childless Kvatter?

Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote in part:

> I tend to cringe at these 'good-luck' things people are supposed to do
>so that they will get pregnant.  And I include in that category when
>someone tells a woman who has miscarried that she should be more
>careful with mikvah.

Rakhmana litzlan! (God save us!)  I am appalled when I hear such
simplistic, reductionist explanations for personal tragedies.  Such
straight-line explanations deny the complexity and wondrous nature of
God's physical creation.

The person who suffers may come to such a conclusion for oneself,
determining to bring a new intensity to some appropriate mitzvah in the
search for some positive action to respond to the loss.  But that is not
the same thing as deciding that there is a cause-and-effect relationship
at work.  And it is miles away from someone telling another person in
pain that they brought on their own suffering by their own action and
(by implication, even more outrageously) "deserved" it.

Kol tuv and Shanah Tovah
from Shayna in Toronto


From: Stuart Feldhamer <Stuart.Feldhamer@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 17:37:23 -0400
Subject: RE: ecommerce and Shabbat

> From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
> For their credit, B and H Photo (bhphotovideo.com, I've been told,
> shuts down their ecommerce site on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Whose Shabbos and Yom Tov? Let's say someone is coming to the site from
Israel and it's Shabbos in Israel but not in New York? What about the
reverse? You can see how this would get tricky...



From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 18:09:05 -0500
Subject: Re: A grammatical point

After Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> wrote:
>>       in order to avoid real berakhot levatalot.
>>The expression really ought to be "berakhot levatala."

Ben Katz <bkatz@...> commented:
>         In English when one pluralizes a compound noun, only the part
>that is relevant should be pluralized (eg mothers in law, not mother in
>laws or mothers in laws).  However, I am not sure that this is the case
>in Hebrew, or at least for rabbinic hebrew.  see for example batei
>kenesiot (not batei keneset) in yehum purkan

I think Ira Jacobson is correct.  The phrase b'rachot le-vatala consists
of a noun and an adverbial phrase comprising preposition and noun
(le-vatala = for no purpose).  There is no s'michut/apposition between
the noun b'rachot and the following adverbial phrase that would require
them both to agree in case.  I don't find the example of batei
k'nesset/k'neisiot very helpful because, in the singular, the word beit
is clearly in appositive form (i.e., not "bayit") and there is thus a
much stronger argument for the inflection of k'nesset to match beit.

Shanah tovah from
Shayna in Toronto

From: Robert Rubinoff <rubinoff@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 18:27:18 -0400
Subject: Re: A grammatical point

> From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
> However, I am not sure that this is the case in Hebrew, or at least
> for rabbinic hebrew.  see for example batei kenesiot (not batei
> keneset) in yehum purkan,.

Of course, Yekum Purkan is not in Hebrew.....



From: Batya Meidad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 19:17:42 +0200
Subject: Re: Havdalah

        Havdalah on Motzei Shabbos requires a new flame, i.e. one lit
        after Shabbos has gone out. However, lighting a flame is a
        melachah [action forbidden on Shabbos], and one is not allowed
        to perform any melachah after Shabbos until one has made
        havdalah. This is normally done by saying "atta chonantonu" in
        maariv. However, if one had forgotten to say this one would then
        have to say "boruch ha'mavdil bain kodesh le'chol" before
        lighting the candles for havdalah.

        Why is the havdalah ceremony with wine, spices and lights
        arranged such that one must already have made a basic havdalah

You're "after Shabbat" if you've dovened Ma'ariv and added the special
paragraph, that'll be indicated in your siddur.  Then there's no



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2004 00:48:49 +0200
Subject: Kohanim in Poland

Shmuel Himelstein asks:

>Would anyone know of any Piskei Halachah regarding whether Kohanim may
>visit any/all/parts of the different extermination camps in Poland?

I can just add "halacha l'ma'aseh", as it were.

On my trip this past Adar (from which I raised here on the list the
issue of Birkat Kohanim abroad for benei Eretz-Yisrael), the Kohanim
went everywhere but when we were at specifically defined burial sites,
they were told to stand off.  For example, at Chelmno forest, they could
not come into the very large open area but walked in through the back
side, from behind the memorial area which was actually some 30 meters or
so from the crematorium area.  I would presume one of the best sources
is Rabbi Benny Kalmanson of Othniel.  (I am passing this on to a friend
who has taken a good few religious group tours there for input)

Yisrael Medad


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 18:07:43 EDT
Subject: Speckled sticks and sheep (was: Jewish Genetic Differences)

Ben Katz, quoting Rhonda Stein in v44n59, writes

      >lived.  Remember Yaakov Ovinu putting speckled and striped sticks
      >at the watering troughs?

      This is a very difficult story to understand unless you are a
      Lamarkian and believe in the inheritance of acquired

Yehuda Feliks, in his marvelous book "Man and Nature in the Bible,"
offers a cute Mendelian explanation, involving recessive genes, which
Yaakov had a way of detecting and Lavan did not. The speckled sticks
were just used by Yaakov to mislead Lavan about what he was really

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: P.V. Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Subject: Vegetarianism

Martin Stern wrote:
 > 4. The person believes that killing animals for human consumption is 
 > wrong i.e. we have no right to put our diet above the right to life of
 > other sentient beings.

To this, Robert Israel responded:

 >So it's not really a conflict between animal needs and human needs,
 >but rather a conflict between the most basic animal need (life) and a
 >non-essential, perhaps not even healthy, human craving.

I agree.  The Torah permitted the consumption of meat; other than the
korban peysakh, it did not _mandate_ the consumption of meat.  Hence
there is no reason to conclude as Martin does that vegetarianism on
moral grounds is "being frummer than the Torah."  As others have pointed
out, there are several Torah concepts that are consistent with "moral
vegetarianism" -- tsar baalei khayyim, for one.  I don't see it as being
unjewish to hold the position that it is better for all jews to be
vegetarians from a moral point of view -- au contraire.

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 17:57:14 -0400
Subject: Yiddish Names  -- make that non-Hebrew names

> Not everyone is given a Hebrew name.  Indeed, most p'sukim for women's
> names in old siddurim are for Yiddish names.

My Mother, born in 1925 has only a Yiddish name -- Frima -- named after
her grandfather, Froyim (likely Efraim) -- we have a close family friend
a contemporary who is 50 years old (+ or -) and she too has only a
Yiddish name -- but in this case she's named after her Grandmother who,
in turn, had only (this same) Yiddish name.

In naming children after relatives who had only Yiddish names this
tradition carries on --

NOW WONDERING OUT LOUD -- Yiddish names are common and are acceptable
with no Hebrew name given -- do others, say Persian Jews use names that
are Pharsi (only) without a Hebrew name.

Carl Singer


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 17:21:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Yuhara

>One can watch this phenomenom in progress in the example of "Glatt"
>meat.  Fifty years ago, only eating "glatt" was a chumra. Nowadays
>(outside of Israel) galtt has become the defacto , if not de jure,
>standard of mainstream kashrut.
>David I. Cohen

         This is an exaggeration.  Many smaller observant Jewish
communities (eg New Haven) do fine with just "regular" kosher.  One
could even make a halachic argument against glatt because of the
increased expense.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


End of Volume 44 Issue 65