Volume 46 Number 24
                    Produced: Wed Dec 22 20:43:43 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Book Review of 'Tears of the Oppressed'
         [Michael Broyde]
The Dubner Maggid's 200th Yahrtzeit
         [Moshe and Elise Kranc]
History of the "Hadran"
         [Yael Levine]
Jewish World Review
         [Gershon Dubin]
Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt (6)
         [David Bendory , Carl Singer, Martin Stern, Joel Rich, W.
Baker, Gershon Dubin]
Request - Sources about Life Insurance
         [Yehoshua Berkowitz]
Taking Aisle Seats
         [Chana Luntz]
Talking in shul
         [Noyekh Miller]
Van or Truck in Jerusalem
         [Richard Schultz]
Women in Shul
         [Aliza Berger]


From: Michael Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 10:59:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Book Review of 'Tears of the Oppressed'

Dear Chevra --

Over the last six weeks, a number of people have asked about my views
concerning the book "Tears of the Oppressed" by Aviad HaCohen which
defends the practice of the bet din of Rabbi Rackman.  I have told all
such callers that my opinion is unchanged that the conduct of the bet
din of Rabbi Rackman is not to be considered consistent with halacha and
women freed by that bet din are still married al pe din.  This is the
view of the Beth Din of America, the RCA bet din as well as every other
bet dint hat has spoken on this matter.

I have written my analysis of this issue in for form of a book review
which was just posted.  It can be found at:


for those who are interested.

Michael J. Broyde


From: Moshe and Elise Kranc <mekranc@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 22:47:35 +0200
Subject: The Dubner Maggid's 200th Yahrtzeit

Please join us to commemorate the

200th Yahrtzeit of the Dubner Maggid

Rabbi Jacob Krantz z"l, the renowned preacher, commentator and teller of
Jewish fables

Date: 17 Tevet 5765 (December 28, 2004) at 8:00 PM
Location: Yedidya Social Hall, 12 Lifshitz St., Jerusalem

 Moshe Kranc, a descendant of the Dubner Maggid, and author of The
Hasidic Masters' Guide to Management (www.hasidicmanagement.com)
 David Zucker, author of Voice of Weepers: Commentary of the Dubner
Maggid on the Book of Lamentations

Admission is free, light refreshments will be served


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 16:10:00 +0200
Subject: History of the "Hadran"

I am seeking references concerning the history of the nusah appearing at
the end of the masekhtot of the talmud, also known as "hadran". I am
particularly interested in the nusah "Yehi razon...she-tehe Toratkha
umanutenu ba-olam ha-ze ve-te-he immanu la-olam ha-ba". The first
portion of this ma'amar appears in BT Berakhot 16b, and I'm interested
in knowning when the remaining part was formulated.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 09:18:35 -0500
Subject: Jewish World Review

Jewish World Review, a very highly regarded website on political and
Jewish issues, is looking for writers for the religious part of the
site, (i.e.,not the political).  If you think you may have the ability
and desire to contribute to a significant force for kiruv, please email
me offlist and I will pass it along.

If you're not familiar with the site, at www.jewishworldreview.com, you
should visit it, whether or not you can contribute.



From: David Bendory  <david.bendory@...>
Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

This is a fascinating custom in that it has no halachic basis
whatsoever. The closest legitimate halacha is the stabbing of a knife
into hard ground ten times -- the equivalent of scouring it before the
days of scouring pads -- in order to allow the use of a meat (milk)
knife to cut cold cheese (meat). See the Rama in Yoreh De'ah 89:4.

I find that this practice of burial is one of the most prevalent
mistaken customs in common use in otherwise kosher kitchens.

--Reb Dovid

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:34:52 -0500
Subject: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

I have no idea -- but Buddy Hacket (real name Leonard Hacker) used to
tell a great story about burying a triefed-up knife in his backyard -- a
neighbor saw him and called the police ... mayhem ensued.

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 06:56:37 +0000
Subject: Re: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

As far as I am aware, this is not a kashering process at all but,
rather, a way of cleaning utensils that have come into contact with cold
treife food or meat/milk mix-ups. The process involves plunging the
article into hard earth and immediately pulling it out, the process then
being repeated (I think) twice more at a different point. I cannot
understand why they should be left in the earth at all. Probably modern
scouring powders are equally effective but I cannot give a halachic
ruling for which one's LOR should be consulted.

Where the offending food was hot, the appropriate kashering process of
either hagalah (immersion in boiling water) or libun (heating to a glow)
must be used on the principle of kebol'o kach polto (as it absorbed
[forbidden material] so it 'spits it out').

Martin Stern

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 18:16:10 EST
Subject: Re: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

See Avodah Zara 86b for the sopurce of this "custom"

Joel Rich

From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 22:37:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

MY Mother also followed this custom and I thought it was correct until I
was quite far into becoming kosher and observant, when I was told it was
not valid.  Ny Mother's origins were from Russia.  Her Mother had been
raised in Moscow and came to the US in 1891 as a teenager.  I remember
seeing big knives in the flower pots in the living room as a girl.  The
silveware would stay in the pot for several days.  sorry I have no more
information than this.

Wendy Baker

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 13:52:04 GMT
Subject: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

The origin is a halacha in Shulchan Aruch, from pre-detergent and steel
wool days, that if a knife is greasy then one can clean off the grease
by sticking it into hard ground 10 times.  This of course doesn't kasher
the knife but only prepares it for whatever kashering is required based
on the circumstances.

This was perverted by people who were not aware of the reasons for it
into some kind of magical way of kashering silverware.

<<5) Length of time required to Kasher the silverware>>

Never could get a straight answer on that.  My mother in law left them
in there for months.  I told her that if you "plant" stainless it will
never "grow" sterling, but she ignored me, assuming I was ignorant of
how to keep a kosher kitchen.



From: <RYehoshua@...> (Yehoshua Berkowitz)
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 04:49:44 EST
Subject: Request - Sources about Life Insurance

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can cite an article or any
other sources that discusses the issue of life insurance policies and
the what may appear to be a lack of "bitachon" (faith).

Please respond to mail-jewish or privately.   Thank you.

Yehoshua Berkowitz


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 13:29:59 GMT
Subject: Taking Aisle Seats

Eitan Fiorino wrote:
>>"I think that earlycomers take aisle seats not because they lack
>>derech eretz or are lazy but because those are for any the most
>>desirable seats, mainly because of significantly more freedom of
>>movement.  I think most people who take aisle seats (be it in shul or
>>on an ariplane) think the trade-off of having to stand up to allow
>>others to enter andleave is well worth having a few extra feet of
>>space on one side."

And Leah S. Gordon further wrote:
>These are exactly my thoughts on the seating issue.  I strongly
>disagree with the suggestion that the 'best' (aisle) seats should be
>left for those who did not make the effort to get there on time...in
>the theater, airplane [with open seating], or shul.

As the person who raised the aisle seat aspect, I would just like to
restate what I said:

<<If you have no fixed seats, it is arguably just as much not derech
eretz to fill up the aisle seats when you are early to minyan, so as to
make sure the latecomers have to push past to get a seat, instead of
thinking of them and leaving the space.  And if you take an aisle seat,
you are putting yourself in the position that means others will have to
push past or be forced to stand.  Again, a question of conflicting needs
that does not necessarily go to the question of attitude to tephila at

The thrust of that post was about conflicting needs.  The question is,
whose needs should be paramount in the circumstances?  Your and Eitan's
answer is "mine" - I got there first and I want the best seats (assuming
one regards aisle seats as the best seats) and my kavannah/comfort is
more important because I arrived on time and those who come late have to

That is certainly one perspective.  An alternative perspective is to
consider the needs of the community and whether the taking of a
particular seat might or might not facilitate/mimimise disruption vis a
vis the community even if one's individual comfort and/or kavannah is
diminished(if you need to go to the bathroom often taking an aisle seat,
even if you arrive early, might in fact facilitate the community but if
you do not need to go often then taking an aisle seat may serve to
maximise not minimise the total disruption).

The point I am making is that it is the same tension of conflicting
needs that we are seeing elsewhere, eg in relation to latecoming.  Whose
needs should prevail, the greater good of the community or the needs of
the individual (eg for more sleep, a more comfortable davening time
etc)?  I don't believe that the answer is straightforward - I was just
trying to point out that the argument works both ways in a whole host of
circumstances. There are clearly times when the needs of the individual
should prevail, and there are times when the needs of the community
should prevail.  And does it not all go back to Hillel in Pirkei Avos,
sometimes one has to be "for oneself" and sometimes one does not.

My understanding of the ideal way to behave is to attempt to go lfinim
meshuras hadin [beyond the letter of the law] when it comes to one's own
needs (even though one is entitled and has right and halacha on one's
side) whereas where it comes to other's behaviour one ought to try to be
dan l'chaf tzchus [judge the other favourably] and to assume that the
circumstances/needs of the other is of the nature that they ought to be
prevailing over what might seem to be the general needs and/or
circumstances (and the classic stories that relate to such judgements
require extremely far fetched assumptions indeed, despite them, in the
stories, turning out to be true).

But all this is about a pursuit of righteousness (not necessarily the
pursuit of happiness), it is not where people are required or expected
to be.  There is a concept though that Hashem judges us the way we judge
others and deals with us the way we deal with others.  That can be a
pretty scary thought particularly in the context of a discussion like



From: Noyekh Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 14:37:24 -0500
Subject: Talking in shul

Carrying on conversations in shul are apparently as time-honored a
custom as are the efforts to curb them.  Here is R' Lipman Yom Tov
Heller's 17th C. mi sheberakh as recently displayed on the French Vie
Juive website:


Noyekh Miller

[A personal note: my main machine is broken and until it is repaired I
can't hold up my end of a couple of threads.  Sorry about that.]


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 14:42:09 +0200
Subject: Van or Truck in Jerusalem

This isn't normally the kind of subject that is dealt with in
mail-jewish, but since it's in a good cause, maybe Avi will let it

I want to donate some old bookshelves to a charitable institution.  The
only problem is that the bookshelves are in Petach Tikva and the
charitable institution is in Jerusalem, and neither they nor I own a
vehicle suitable for transporting furniture.  And it seems rather silly
to spend 1000 shekels shipping something that's only worth a couple

So does anyone who reads this list own (or know someone who owns, or
know someone who knows someone who owns. . .) a van or pickup or
whatever and be willing to help out with this?  Naturally, I'll pay for
gas and any other reasonable expenses.

Thanks in advance.

Richard Schultz


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 16:02:10 +0200
Subject: Women in Shul

In spite of being, or perhaps because I am, a self-appointed feminist on
the list, I agree with Martin Stern's comment:

<<The real problem is that the ezrat nashim is almost never used by
women during the week so some men feel entitled to take it over. This
will only be solved if women come during the week to daven there.>>

While I agree IN THEORY with others who responded that men should always
leave the women's section available, human nature dictates othewise.


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


End of Volume 46 Issue 24