Volume 46 Number 53
                    Produced: Sun Jan  9 13:34:02 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Imitation Traif Food (4)
         [Irwin Weiss, Andy Goldfinger, Joseph Ginzberg, Ari
It's Greek to me (3)
         [David E Cohen, Shimon Lebowitz, Eitan Fiorino]
Kosher in Ventura, CA and Orlando, FL
         [Richard Schultz]
Reuven was the beginning of my virility
         [Mark Steiner]
         [Barry S. Bank]
Smoking ban
         [Josh Backon]
Ties and Wedding Rings (2)
         [Joel Rich, Avi Feldblum]
Wedding Bands
Who is the gadol hador
         [Israel Caspi]


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 07:16:04 -0500
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

Carl Singer wrote:

> Today, I find the same psychological (?) revulsion re: foods that are
> obviously traif.  I couldn't eat / enjoy a kosher "cheeseburger" even
> knowing that it's tofu.  Kosher fish tinted red to look like shrimp is
> a similar turn off for me.  Having grown up knowing that these are
> traif I just can't stomach them.

I cannot, from a purely psychological perspective, eat bacon bits or
bacos or whatever they are called. They are pure vegetarian and Kosher,
but to me, the smell and flavor of eating this particular substance is
just not in the cards for me.  I know, intellectually, that they are
Kosher. But, I just can't eat them.

Irwin E. Weiss, Esq.
Baltimore, MD

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 12:34:43 -0500
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

(In the following posting, I will not identify the Rabbis I am quoting,
since I did not ask their permission.)

Regarding the Hashkafa of imitation traif food: this question puzzled me
a number of years ago.  I telephoned a major Rav who I trust and feel
close to.  Our conversation (virtually verbatim) ran as follows:

Me:     "We have a new product here.  It is a kosher imitation shrimp."
Rav:    "I didn't like it."

My question was answered!

On the other hand, I know of another major Rav in New York who has
publicly stated that after 120 years he will be able to say to the bais
din shel maalah (heavenly court) that in his whole life he never ate
Pizza -- only Jewish food.

So -- there are widely differing positions among talmudei chachamim.
This is not surprising, since we are really talkin about Hashkafa rather
than Halacha.

-- Andy Goldfinger

From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 09:03:38 -0500
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

Carl Singer wrote:
>Today, I find the same psychological (?) revulsion re: foods that are
>obviously traif.  I couldn't eat / enjoy a kosher "cheeseburger" even
>knowing that it's tofu.  Kosher fish tinted red to look like shrimp is a
>similar turn off for me.  Having grown up knowing that these are traif I
>just can't stomach them.
>(1) I was wondering whether others have the same feelings.

In the late 1970's, there was briefly a kosher pizza shop near Herald
Square (I think Broadway and 32nd) that specialized in foods that seemed
non-kosher but were actually tofu-based or the like.  I remember the
pepperoni pizza and cheeseburgers, and the off-putting odors.

Since it only lasted a few weeks as I recall, I assume that others DO
have the same feelings.

Yossi Ginzberg

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 10:28:34 -0500
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

 >Having grown up knowing that these are traif I
 >just can't stomach them.
 >(1) I was wondering whether others have the same feelings.

We have only a dairy kitchen (my wife is a Vegetarian), so it is a
necessity to come up with good protein substitutes.  I have never (to
the best of my knowledge) eaten a real cheeseburger, but my wife and I
find the fake ones a delicious source of protein (with a lot of
ketchup).  Likewise, I find veggie Ham very tasty (though I suspect it
tastes nothing like real Ham, given that the fake beef tastes different
from real beef).

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


From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 09:54:39 -0500
Subject: It's Greek to me

C. Halevi wrote:
 > In the Hanuka song/hymn Maoz Tzur, there's a verse that
 > begins (free-hand translation) "Greeks have gathered against
 > me, just as in the days of the Hashmoneem."

I had understood the word "azai" as a poetic form of "az."  I would
translate it as "Greeks gathered against me then, in the days of the
Hasmoneans."  This also makes sense given that the rest of the stanza is
talking about the Chanukah story.


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 23:12:02 +0200
Subject: Re:  It's Greek to me

I am a bit puzzled at your translation.

How about "Greeks were gathered against me" in the past tense.  It looks
like you are taking it to mean that they are NOW gathered.

"Then, in the days of the Hashmonaim". 
"azay" meaning "then", as in "az... yashir Moshe" (ignoring the use of
"yashir" which implies future tense).

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

From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 18:21:46 -0500
Subject: RE: It's Greek to me

Considering that the recitation of Maoz Tzur is an Ashkenazic minhag
(though it has in quite recent times crept into some Sephardic
households) I would guess that it was/is not recited by Greek Jews
whether they follow either the Romaniote or Sephardic nusach.



From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 13:49:15 +0200
Subject: Kosher in Ventura, CA and Orlando, FL

I am going to conferences in Ventura, CA and Orlando, FL (the latter is
*not* taking place at Disney World).  I was wondering if anyone has any
information on the availability of kosher food in the two cities.  The
hotel at which the conference in Ventura has already informed us
specifically that kosher food will *not* be available.  In the olden
days, they would get kosher airline meals, but now that the airlines
have stopped serving them, I guess the hotel doesn't either.

The last time I was in Orlando, there was a kosher delicatessen that
would deliver to the downtown hotels.  Does anyone know if that deli is
still in existence, and if so, how to contact them?  There used to be a
restaurant in Orlando that claimed to be kosher.  Perhaps I'm overly
suspicious, but their choice of a mashgiach from New York (!) made me
just a little unsure of the actual status of the restaurant.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

					Richard Schultz


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 13:59:20 +0200
Subject: RE: Reuven was the beginning of my virility

"Physical attractiveness is a very important componenet of a marriage."

	One of the great roshei yeshiva of Lithuania, is supposed to
have remarked to his son, who refused a "shidduch" on grounds that,
although the candidate was pious and of good lineage, she lacked
physical attractiveness: "Vos iz dos, an esreg, vos hot a din hodor?"


From: <bsbank@...> (Barry S. Bank)
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 07:45:22 -0600
Subject: Smoking

Regarding R Moshe Ferinstein's letter to Rabbi Aaron Kirshenbaum (Igros
Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:49 ) about smoking cigarettes, Bernard Raab
<beraab@...> opines that "if R. Moshe were writing this letter
today, when the evidence on the many harmful effects of smoking is so
clear, his conclusion might be different."

A number of years ago I attended one of HaRav Tendler's lectures in
Jerusalem on the topic of medical ethics.  In the course of the lecture
and in strongest of terms, R. Tendler took to task the Roshei Yeshiva
and rabbanim who permit smoking.  Then he addressed himself to
R. Moshe's t'shuvah in the preparation of which R. Tendler was very
closely involved.  R. Tendler stated unequivocally that, had the dangers
of smoking been as clear then (1963) as it is now, he has no doubt that
R.  Moshe would have issued a virtually absolute ban on smoking.

--Barry S. Bank


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Thu,  6 Jan 2005 14:50 +0200
Subject: Smoking ban

It occurred to me that an additional reason why throwing away the friend's
pack of cigarettes is neither baal tashchit or gezeila (I had mentioned
forcibly removing, even damaging a garment of shaatnez d'oraita, and
'hezek acherim'] would be a further elaboration of 'hezek acherim':
not just the danger or unpleasantness of passive cigarette smoke (which
is forbidden as per Choshen Mishpat 155:41 if it bothers anyone. See also
Iggrot Moshe Choshen Mishpat II 18) but the immediate danger of the
cigarette smoke to male fertility (British J Obstetrics and Gynecology
2000;107:55-61) whose effect is almost immediate (5-10 minutes). [It is
well known that nicotine lowers sperm motility, morphology, viability
and count. See: Fertility & Sterility 1993;59:645; 1996;65:835-40; J
Assisted Preproduction & Genetics 1995;12:217].

Since it is prohibited to "l'hafsid evrei ha'zera" (lower sperm countor
motility) as per Shulchan Aruch EVEN HA'EZER 5:11-12 and the Beit Shmuel
there EH 5 s"k 13 rules that any "psik reisha" (something that will
inevitably result) is prohibited,having to inhale passive cigarette smoke
would engender immediate danger via lowered fertility. Thus, removing
this danger (pack of cigarettes) should be permitted.

As for prohibiting smoking: the Chofetz Chaim (Likutei Amarim Ch. 13)
prohibited smoking as did the Birkei Yosef in Machazik Bracha OC 210
s"k 13.

Dr. Josh Backon
Hebrew University
Faculty of Medicine


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 09:09:52 EST
Subject: Re: Ties and Wedding Rings

      From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
      I do not wear a wedding ring.  I am a physicist [snip]

You probably don't wear a tie (being a physicist) but many orthodox
Jewish men who don't wear wedding rings(I'm not sure if they think it's
chukat haakum) wear ties. Why? Where is the source in Chazal for wearing

Joel Rich

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 09:09:52 EST
Subject: Re: Ties and Wedding Rings

I was not so aware it was due to my having been trained as a physicist,
but I also in general do not wear ties. However, I do feel that there is
a strong biblical source for the wearing of ties, although I do believe
it is likely only an asmachta (a reference to the pasuk), and not a true
biblical requirement.

The pasuk in describing the requirements for Yom Kippur states:
"V'eenesem et nafshoseichem" - and you shall inflict your souls (this is
a poor translation, I know). It is clear to all (or at least to me) that
there are few inflictions worse that the wearing of ties, so it is clear
that one is required to wear a tie during Yom Kippur services.

Avi Feldblum
(Ph.D. Experimental Solid State Physics, U. of Pa., 1983)


From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 15:57:44 +0100
Subject: Re: Wedding Bands

> 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.

In communities, there were rings that belonged to the kahal and were
used for kiddushin - I take it, after conferring official ownership to
the choson who later sold it back.

They surely weren't worn outside of chupe vekidushin. Also, there were
and are rings with little houses on them, especially in Germany, Austria
and Italy. At least, my dear wife shet' hasn't worn hers after we
married.  Probably wouldn't be allowed according to weapons laws anyway.

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 09:13:24 -0500
Subject: Who is the gadol hador

Mark Steiner <marksa@...> raises the question of "'Who is the
gadol hador?', or: how do we know who the gedol hador is..."

This brings to mind an experience I had when shopping for a mesh talit
katan in a Judaica store located in one of Jerusalem's more religious
neighborhoods.  The proprietor of the store stated that he did not stock
mesh talitot k'tanot because they were questionably kosher and he dealt
only in items which were not questionable.  When I pointed out that, to
the best of my knowledge, R. Moshe -- the Gadol HaDor -- had written
that arba kanfot made from mesh do require tzitzit, the proprietor
responded some thing to the effect that "here in Israel we have other

Israel Caspi


End of Volume 46 Issue 53