Volume 45 Number 04
                    Produced: Mon Sep 27 23:53:15 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Martin Stern]
Dairy Label
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Eruv Tavshilin
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
         [Martin Stern]
Haviva Ner-David (halakhic process)
         [Leah S. Gordon]
New Chumra?
         [Jeffery Zucker]
Non-Dairy Creamer (was: Dairy Bread)
         [Perry Zamek]
Tanach chapter divisions
         [Yehonatan Chipman]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 09:07:20 +0100
Subject: Re: Abortion

on 27/9/04 1:09 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:
> Which brings me to a related concern--surely you are not suggesting that
> abortion is antithetical to halakha.  Indeed, there are cases where
> abortion is required by halakha (which means, actually, that any kind of
> Christian "pro-life in all cases" stance is not halakhically
> appropriate).

In reality the Jewish position on abortion is based on the priority of
the mother's life to that of the unborn foetus. The latter does have
some halachic status of its own and so cannot be killed without due
reason. It is this which distinguishes it from Christian "pro-life"

The consequence is that, effectively, abortion is either obligatory or
forbidden depending on the individual case, the difficult problem facing
a rav is deciding from the particular circumstances which applies. There
certainly is no such thing as an elective abortion permitted by

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 14:12:41 +0200
Subject: Dairy Label

A dairy label on a loaf of bread, a cake, box of cookies, candies, etc
is insufficient, because the label is frequently thrown out before the
dairy food is finished.  It's fine on a one-portion wrapped
cookie/pastry, lollie pop.  There is no way to enforce that the food
will be stored in its original label.

This brings us back to an old topic, mezonot rolls, which are
indistinguishable from hamotzi rolls and breads.  One of the points in
the psak that there is no such food.  You can check the archives, but I
remember reading something like this on this list: "If it looks like
bread, is used like bread, tastes like bread--then wash and homotzi."



From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 11:42:21 +0200
Subject: Re:  Eruv Tavshilin

In v44n96, Matthew Pearlman wrote: 

<<Batya Medad said in passing "This year especially, as with erev
tavshilin we could cook for Shabbat but not for Friday."  I am not
entirely sure I understood this correctly, but the halakha (Shulchan
Aruch Orach Chaim 527:13) is that even on a two day Yom Tov, an eruv
only allows you to cook from Friday to Shabbat, not from Thursday.>>

What Matthew writes is correct, but Batya is addressing another, equally
or more serious point:  that one is not allowed to cook from the first
day of Yom Tov (Thursday) to the second day (inclduing Thursday
supper)-- neither on Rosh Hashanah nor on second day Yom Tov in the
Diaspora   not when it falls in mid-week and not when there's an Eruv
Tavshilin.  One cannot even warm food or set the table for the second
night's Yom Tov meal 'till after nightfall.  

I have seen many people who do not know this halakhah, and mistakenly
perform forbidden labors on one day for the next.  In particular, people
seem to think that because the two days of Rosh Hashanah are called
"yoma arikhta" ("a long day") or "kedusha ahat" ("a single holiness")
that they may cook from one day to the other.  It should be stressed
that the halakhic concept of "yoma arikhta" is a humra only, without any
side of kula. It is expressed in three differences, that I know of,
between the relation between the two days of Rosh Hashana to one
another, vis-a-viz that between the two days of holiday observed by
those who have not yet settled in Eretz Yisrael (thought I'd get in a
little Zionism):

1.  There is a doubt whether one may make sheheyanu on the second day;
    hence the well-known practice of having a new fruit on the table for
    Kiddush on the second night of RH; also, the shofar blower needs a
    pretext (new garment, etc.) for Sheheheyanu on the second day.

2.  If one forgot to make an eruv tavshilin Erev Yom Tov of RH (i.e.,
    Wednesday afternnon), one cannot make it on Thursdsy, as one can on
    other yamim tovim (the explanation is a bit complicated, so I will
    skip it).

3.  An egg laid on the first day of RH is muktzeh on the second day
    (important for the numerous chicken farmers among Mail Jewish's

   To reiterate: one may not cook on Thursday afternoon of Sukkot or
   Shmini Atzeret for the next day, nor for the subsequnt Shabbat!

   Hag sameah to all,
   Yehonatan Chipman


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 08:58:50 +0100
Subject: Re: Evolution

on 27/9/04 1:09 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:
> Second, evolution.  I'm not sure what you mean by it being "to
> me...kfirah".  Certainly, there are Orthodox viewpoints that Gd made the
> world according to the order and epochs of time in an 'evolution' way.
> There is overwhelming evidence for natural selection and evolution,
> including definite antibiotic-resistant bacteria development.

Leah is confusing microevolution, i.e. changes within a species, which
is well documented, and macroevolution, i.e. one species evolving from
another with which interbreeding is not possible, for which there is no
conclusive evidence. The nearest to the latter is such crossbreeds as of
horses with donkeys but the offspring are almost always infertile,
suggesting that the two species are perhaps closer than conventional
taxonomy would accept.

In reality biology uses evolution as a working hypothesis, since it is
convenient, but has yet to explain how it in fact worked. On the other
hand, we simply do not understand how G-d produced the world we know;
the only 'article of faith' is that He did so.

Martin Stern


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 04:35:22 -0700
Subject: Re: Haviva Ner-David (halakhic process)

> Mordechai Horowitz wrote, in part:
> 	  >In addition, Haviva Ner-David, a modern Orthodox scholar currently
> 	  >completing her dissertation on an aspect of niddah, is planning to
> 	  >write such a book in the next couple of years.
> "Haviva Ner-David is a reform Jew who calls herself an Modern Orthodox
> Jew for the purpose promoting herself as the first woman studying to be
> an Orthodox Rabbi. She is not a legitimate source for any information
> from an Modern Orthodox perspective.
> "I define her as a reform Jew because she rejects the authority of
> halacha.  She believes that she can create "halacha" herself based on
> her personal desires."

 I am not familiar with Ms. Ner-David's work.  More significantly,
 though, I take a dim view of anyone trying to own a term like
 "Orthodox" and keep others from using it.  It strikes me as a losing
 proposition to try to keep someone else from self-identifying a certain

 Also, I feel the need to comment that one person's "create 'halakha'
 herself based on her personal desires" is another person's "interprets
 the sources and makes a halakhic ruling".

 Leaving aside for the moment the gender of the individual, it is
 certainly the established halakhic process that rabbis study the
 sources and "create" halakha themselves based on those sources.  I
 daresay that well-respected rabbis in our time (e.g. Rav Moshe
 Feinstein, Rav Tendler) have written long opinion pieces that have
 gained respect as "halakha".

 This leads to a question that has been often discussed on m.j--who
 determines what sources/rabbis are reliable or on the 'gadol' path?  Is
 it a majority rule kind of thing?  A matter of religious-intellectual
 dynasty?  Certainly, it seems circular to say that a reliable person is
 someone who tells us what we already believe.

 Going back to the gender issue: if there are those on m.j who believe
 that it would be beyond the pale ever to have a female Orthodox Rabbi,
 would you please cite solid sources.  By "solid," I mean other than
 "we've never done it" or questions of whether it is "modest" for women
 to have leadership roles-- I discount the former because of the
 "modern" in "modern Orthodoxy" and the latter in light of the
 well-established modern Orthodox viewpoint that women can and should
 have positions of leadership e.g. Chief Surgeon, Principal of School,
 President of Shul Board, etc.

 --Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


From: Jeffery Zucker <zucker@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 04:28:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: New Chumra?

Shmuel Himelstein asks:

> We just found a packet of tissues made in Israel, with the comment on
> it: "Mi'f'al Shomer Shabbat" (i.e., that the company is Shomer Shabbat)
> in Hebrew. These particular tissues are often used as Shabbat toilet
> paper.
> What I didn't understand is that the word Shabbat is spelled out Shin,
> Dash, Bet, Dash, Tav.
> I know that the dash is sometimes used between the letters Alef and
> Lammed to avoid spelling out God's name, but can anyone give me a
> logical reason for the dash in the word "Shabbat" above?

I presume the reason is that some kedusha [=holiness] is held to adhere
to the word "Shabbat" itself, and it is therefore considered
disrespectful to have the complete word appearing in the toilet, which
is where the packet of tissues would be kept.

I have seen, similarly, in Israel, a brand of pre-cut toilet tissues,
with the text "Nyar chatuch lesh'vii" [i.e. "paper cut for the seventh
(day)"].  Presumably this is for the same reason, as the word "sh'vii"
[seventh] is considered not to have the same kedusha as "Shabbat".

Interestingly, this packet also has the text: "Lelo chashash geniza;
lelo chachash telisha ba-shevii".  The second part means: without fear
of (accidental) tearing on the seventh (day).  The first part means (I
think) that the tissues have not been produced from waste paper (e.g.
newsprint?) which might have contained holy words or texts, which should
rather have been buried in a geniza. (Right?)

Jeff Zucker


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 12:20:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Non-Dairy Creamer (was: Dairy Bread)

Anonymous wrote:
>                 We do not make new g'zeirot.  However, regarding the
>non-dairy creamer, it should be noted that if it is indeed pareve, and
>is being served with a meat meal, it should be served with some
>indication that it is pareve, such as serving it with its container.

Does this still apply? Surely it is sufficiently well-known that parve
substitutes for cream/creamer/milk exist, and therefore the concern for
mar'it ayin no longer applies.

Perry Zamek


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 11:26:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Tanach chapter divisions

In v44n96,Tzvi Stein asks: 

<<The King James Version and our Hebrew Tanach have *different* chapter
divisions in some place.  How does one explain that, if we take into
account that the Tanach chapter divisions are of Christian origin?  Does
it mean that there were 2 different Christian chapter divisions?>>

To which Martin Stern asked:

<<In recent years some editions have introduced chapters because the
original ones are based on Christian theological concepts but, as far as
I am aware, we did not originally have chapter divisions as such and
only adopted them because we were forced to use them in the mediaeval
disputations. If this is not what he has in mind, perhaps Tsvi could
give examples.>>

The phrase "recent years" is a bit out of place, referring as it does to
the last 800 or 900 years -- but we're a people with a long memory.  As
far as I know, Jews have been using chapter and verse numbers also for
internal use (Hebrew Humashim) since at least the invention of printing.
But that's not the main point.

Some examples of discrepancies that come readily to mind: Standard
Hebrew Bibles count the headings of the various Tehilim (when they have
more than two or three words) as separate verses, beginning the text
proper with verse 2, while Christian Bibles, such as the Revised
Standard Version (a kind of update of King James,which has itself gone
through a few gilgulim) places this heading before verse 1.

   Christian Bibles divide Malachi into 4 chapters, adding a new chapter
start at our 3:19.   

   They begin Deuteronomy 23 one verse later than we do(at 23:2).

   They count each of the Ten Commandments, including the second group
of five, as one or more verse, whereas we count dibrot 6-9 as one
long verse (in both Shmot 20 and Devarim 5)

    In Leviticus, Jews begin Chapter 6 where our parshat Tzav begins,
Chapter 5 having 26 verses; Christians end Chapter 5 after verse 19, and
start Ch 6 at what we call 5:20, the beginning of parshat asham vadai.

   Many other examples could be adduced.  

Interestingly, Jews originally combined Psalms 1 & 2 as one mizmor.
Hence the saying in Berakhot 9b, "David siad 103 parshiyot [i.e.,
psalms], but did not say Halleuyah until he saw the downfall of
evildoers" -- and then quotes the verse which we know as the end of
Psalm 104.

Also, Psalm 19 is called Psalm 18 there, it breing explained that Psalm
1 & 2 taken together begin and end with Ashrei.  I believe that there
are some Christian Bibles that have 149 psalms, and not 150, but don't
rely on my memory.

As for there being two different Christian chapter divisions: there are
significant differences between Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles,
which bear examination if anyone is interested.  First and foremost, the
Catholics include the Apocrypha within the rubric of the "Holy
Scriptures."  But neither one is identical to the Jewish numbering (not
to mention the totally diffrent sequence of the books!).

   Yehonatan Chipman


End of Volume 45 Issue 4