Volume 46 Number 50
                    Produced: Thu Jan  6  6:08:06 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bread at Seuda Shlishit (3)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Bill Bernstein, Shayna Kravetz]
Cell Phones
         [Eli Turkel]
Cochini Jews
         [Brian Wiener]
Coming late to shul -- A Curious Anecdote
         [Bernard Raab]
Grandiose Statements (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Avi Feldblum]
Rabbinical authority
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Reuven was the beginning of my virility
         [Russell J Hendel]
Synagogue Without Women's Section (2)
         [Aliza Berger, Leah S. Gordon]
Tardiness in Tefilah
Wedding Band (2)
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro, Avi Feldblum]


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 23:05:05 +0200
Subject: RE: Bread at Seuda Shlishit

>  If one is too full to eat a kezayis of bread, isn't he also too full
> to eat a kezayis of cake? If one does have enough room to eat a
> kezayis of cake, can't he eat a kezayis of bread instead?

To quote the talmudic version of "there's always room for jello":
"ravcha levesima shachiach" - there is room for sweets. (Meg. 7b).

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 08:51:57 -0600
Subject: Bread at Seuda Shlishit

<<If one is too full to eat a kezayis of bread, isn't he also too full
to eat a kezayis of cake?>>

Not according to my kids.  They tell me that they have two pockets in
their stomachs.  The "dinner" pocket might get filled up but the
"dessert" pocket is still empty!

Bill Bernstien
Nashville TN.

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 07:01:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Bread at Seuda Shlishit

After Mark Steiner wrote <<< The Shulhan Arukh states that if one is "very
>satiated" then (rather than forcing himself to eat bread, which itself
>is not the right thing to do on shabbat) he can eat other things, even
>fruit, but preferably cake. >>>
Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> replied:
>Yes, it does say that, but I've never understood it. Cake is much more
>*convenient* than bread (since it doesn't require washing or benching),
>but that's not the factor mentioned, which is satiety or fullness. If
>one is too full to eat a kezayis of bread, isn't he also too full to eat
>a kezayis of cake? If one does have enough room to eat a kezayis of
>cake, can't he eat a kezayis of bread instead?

Ah, this is the luxury of modern cuisine talking. Most of us eat challot
on shabbat that are nearly as light as cake. But a kezayis is a measure
of volume, not weight, and in the old days when bread was made with
stone-ground whole-grain flours, a given volume of bread would be much
denser and thus outweigh the same volume of cake by a considerable

Moreover, something sweet seems more appealing and easier to eat than
something savory on a full stomach; this is why sweet desserts come at
the end of the meal in Western culture.  (This is the Talmudic
equivalent of the there's-always-room-for-Jello factor! <g> )

B'teiavon and kol tuv.
Shayna in Toronto


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 08:43:35 +0200
Subject: Cell Phones

<Clearly, we are talking apples and oranges.  I am speaking about a ban
on *internet access* on *everyone's* cell phones.  That ban has nothing
to do with full-time Torah learning.

You are talking about a complete ban on *cell phones*, themselves, with
or without internet access, only applied to full-time Torah learners.>

The problem is that the two are not distinct. Over a period of time all
cell phones will have internet access. Today it is just beginning but in
a few years it will be standard.  A similar comment applies to computers
with internet access. In the no so far future many transactions like
paying most bills will only be done over the internet. Those who refuse
to have internet access from either a computer or cell phone will queue
up for hours (bitul Torah?)  to pay manually.

Once the phone/computer has internet access it is difficult to control
and say it can only be used for essential activities and not for web

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel


From: Brian Wiener <brian_wiener222@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 22:39:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Cochini Jews

Cocchini Jews have been in India for somewhere between 1000-1500 years.
Their adhesion to STRICT jewish/halachic tradition has never been
questioned. You can refer to the famous Notaciones (Spelling>? I am
writing from memory) of R Moses de Paiva in the late 18thC, in which he
came prepare with a list of questions from the Chachamim of Amsterdam,
to 'check out' the 'Jewishness' of the Cochinis. They were absolutely

The Cochini community is totally unique- a completely self-contained
community, producing over many centuries the most wonderful scholarly
works in Hebrew. Just look, for example, at the many piyyutim and
prayers that were written there.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 22:15:54 -0500
Subject: Coming late to shul -- A Curious Anecdote

>From: Gershon Dubin: 

>In the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn, many/most people would not
>even think of showing up to a wedding or other simcha before about 3-4
>hours after it's called for.  This is apparently so well rooted that
>when Ashkenazim are invited as well, often people print different (i.e.,
>much later) times for them so they don't waste hours waiting for the
>simcha to start.

Are the invitations marked with some secret symbol (say like a circle-A
for Ashkenaz) so you can be sure you received the right one? Do you have
to ask yourself whether they know that your grandfather was Syrian? And
if you are Ashkenaz married to a Syrian, do you get one of each?
confused Ashkenazi

Bernie R.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Subject: Grandiose Statements

<RYehoshua@...> (Yehoshua Berkowitz):
 >Finally - again respectfully, but emphatically - one should be careful
 >about such grandiose statements that begin with the preamble "Judaism
 >rejects...."  Last time I checked no one has yet been given the right to
 >make such apodictic statements - for that kind of system you need to go
 >to another form of religious faith.

On that note ... how about the ad that ran in Jewish newspapers last
week (at least in Boston's Jewish Advocate), apparently as a result of
the recent PETA kosher slaughtering video, with the headline to the effect
"only the rabbis and certification agencies can define kosher slaughter"?
It was signed by some of the most respected rabbis in the Orthodox community.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Subject: Grandiose Statements

I think that the point of the add was not that there was either one
individual or Rabbi that was defining exactly what is or is not Kosher
Slaughter, but that the role of doing that defining was for the Rabbi's
of the communities, not an outside interest group like PETA. I would
suspect that there are likely portions of the laws of Shechita (Kosher
Slaughter) that all those signing the letter agreed on, as well as other
details in the law where they disagreed and each certification agency
had it's own standards. So I do not see any "Grandiose Statements" in
the response to PETA ad.

Avi Feldblum


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 10:33:57 -0500
Subject: Rabbinical authority

  Mark Steiner <marksa@...> wrote:
 >The question arises whether a rav who is not my rebbe, nor has he been
 >appointed by my kehillah, has any status of authority with respect to

The mashgicha at the Va-ad supervised kitchen where I ate told me once
that when she had a kashrut question, she would first call the Va-ad to
get a p'sak for the kitchen, and then call her father (a very
well-respected rabbi and masgiach) for a personal p'sak...


Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 22:09:22 -0500
Subject: Reuven was the beginning of my virility

Just to answer Meirs question about Reuven. First recall that before the
Torah certain types of premarital behavior were allowed (See Rashi on
Ex02-20, Gn39-06 who ascribes such behavior to Joseph and Moses).

The statement that Reuven was the 'beginning of Jacobs virility' could
be simply interpreted as a statement of abstention on Jacob's part
during his seven years of service. This makes sense for several reasons:
First, Laban hated Jacob and wanted to tease him in any way possible so
he restricted dating with Rachel. Second: The Bible explicitly ascribes
the 'cloud-9' experience to Jacob--'and the 7 years were in his eyes
like a few days because of his love to her'.

Thirdly and this is important: Too often in discussions of matching
people talk excessively about personality and relgiousity. Physical
attractiveness is a very important componenet of a marriage. Rachel was
the type of woman who could encourage a man to patiently wait.
Undoubtedly this is one of the reasons that Jacob wanted her.

Finally:Jacob was a patriarch and hence superior to Joseph or Moses-- he
had the capacity to abstain for 7 years and indeed Reuven was the first
drop of his virility (after marriage).

Russell Jay Hendel;http://www.rashiyomi.com


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 12:59:26 +0200
Subject: Synagogue Without Women's Section

Yisrael Medad wrote:

<<the location and layout of that synagogue, which I have used numerous
times during my two Kaddish periods for my late parents, o"h, would
mitigate against a women's section.>>

I understand that Yisrael is sympathetic to women's issues. But women
say kaddish too! My mother, an only child, as a teenager in the 1950s in
Chicago, said kaddish for her father who perished in the Holocaust. I
said kaddish once a day for my father two years ago (both of my brothers
said it three times a day). My husband is currently in the year of
mourning for his father, the only one saying kaddish, and one morning
when he was sick, I went to shul and said kaddish instead of him. My
mother (also on mail-jewish) asked me to remind the list of Rav Henkin's
ruling that women can say kaddish.

Women's rightful place in the synagogue should take precedence over any
logistic difficulties, which can be overcome if the authorities decide
to do so.

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
Director: English Editing: editing-proofreading.com; Statistics Consulting:

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 19:23:02 -0800
Subject: Synagogue Without Women's Section

Yisrael Medad wrote, in part:

"...the location and layout of that synagogue, which I have used
numerous times during my two Kaddish periods for my late parents, o"h,
would mitigate against a women's section.  The corridor leading to it
and the very small area, without the possibility of a tzniusdik entrance
for women, is problematic...."

Yes...but my immediate thought (and possibly Aliza Berger's as well) is,
why on earth did they *design* or *build* this thing, just a few years
ago, without making room for half of the populace?  It seems terribly
unreasonable and obnoxious.  If this means that it will take more effort
*after the fact* to correct things, well, that's what it takes.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 12:56:12 +0100
Subject: Re: Tardiness in Tefilah

Shlomo Spiro wrote:

> I am not a psychologist but it seems to me that it is possible that  
> those who notice others coming late to services and find it so wrong are  
> perhaps envious.  They come on time because of the imperative to daven  
> with a minyan, but deep down in their subconscious they too would like  
> to enjoy sleeping in.  So when they see others doing it riles them no  
> end.

It's not about coming late in the day, but coming late relative to the
others. Many people might like to enjoy sleeping in, but few, I take it,
have the evil inclination to be there davke 20 minutes after the others,
whatever the time is.

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 16:22:06 +0200
Subject: Wedding Band

bh, yom sheni vaera

See Tikkunei HaZohar #5 (p. 20b in the edition with biur HaGra), cited
in Rama on Even HaEzer 27:1.

This has been cited as the source of wearing a wedding band.

But all that the Rema says is that the kiddushin is done with a ring. 
But he does not say that the ring is worn after the wedding.

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 16:22:06 +0200
Subject: Wedding Band

While I agree that there is no halachic requirement to wear the ring
after the wedding, it would seem logical that if there was a
halachically identified custom to use a ring as the vehicle of creating
the Kedushin (first part of marriage) that the ring be worn
afterwards. As such, it would be clear to me that one could say there is
a halachic source (but not a requirement) for women to be wearing
wedding bands.

Avi Feldblum


End of Volume 46 Issue 50