Volume 46 Number 56
                    Produced: Mon Jan 10 22:16:37 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ba'er Heitev
         [Aliza Berger]
Cake Substituting for Bread
         [Akiva Miller]
Cell Phones
         [Janice Gelb]
Mesh Arba Confos
         [Carl Singer]
Smoking Ban (3)
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro, Yisrael Medad, Robert Israel]
source for story in Maharam Shik
         [Aliza Berger]
Synagogues Without a Women's Section
         [Yisrael Medad]
Who is the gadol hador
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 15:57:41 +0200
Subject: Ba'er Heitev

I would like to know the full name of the Be'er Heitev gloss on the
Shulkhan Aruch. The front of the Shulkhan Aruch identifies him as
Zecharia Mendel, Rav of Belz.

I am referring to Yoreh Deah specifically, and the information given on
the title page of Yoreh Deah. This does not seem to be the same person
who wrote the Ba'er Heitev appearing in the Mishnah Berurah (Orah
Hayyim, of course).


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


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 12:48:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Cake Substituting for Bread

Yisrael & Batya Medad wrote <<< Restating something I have confirmed
with my LORs: if one is "kovei'a seudah", one purposefully substitutes
cake for bread, that is, like with seudah shlishit, one washes and says
Birkat HaMazon in any case. >>>

What your LORs said would apply in some cases, but maybe not in others.
The problem is that "kovei'a seudah" (literally, "establishes a meal")
is defined differently for different circumstances.

Short version: My understanding is that if person substitutes cake for
bread and eats it as a meal (example: using slices of cake to make a
sandwich), that's when he has to wash and bench. But if he eats a piece
of cake instead of eating a piece of bread, and eats it on its own, as a
snack, then it remains Mezonos / Al Hamichyah, and there's no need to
wash, even if he fulfills the mitzvah of Shalosh Seudos in the process.

Long version:

I have found a wide range of how a meal is defined for various mitzvos.
For example, it seems that 'kevias seudah' is defined very differently
for what must be eaten in a Sukkah, as compared to when Hamotzi is said
on cake.

The Mishna Brurah 639:16 paskens like the Maamar Mordechai "that one who
eats cake with coffee in the morning, or similar things such as we do
all year long, then even though he would not say Hamotzi because it's
not the amount which most people would be kovea on, nevertheless it does
require a sukkah, because he is being kovea seudah on it."

I have found four different definitions of "seudah", which apply in
different situations.

(1) Seudas Mitzvah Type A - The dinner and lunch meals on Shabbos and
Yom Tov are fulfilled with anything requiring Birkas Hamazon. Sheva
Brachos requires any meal at which Birkas Hamazon is said. (I imagine
the same is true of a Seudas Bris Milah or a Seudas Pidyon Haben.)

(2) Seudas Mitzvah Type B - Kiddush must be done at a meal; this meal
can be one kezayis of bread, cake, or pasta (or possibly even a reviis
of wine). Also for Seuda Shlishis and Melave Malka, even a kezayis of
cake or pasta is enough. (From what I have seen on Erev Pesach, it seems
that cake suffices for a Siyum as well.)

(3) Sukkah - Only a "seudas keva" must be eaten in the sukkah. According
to some, there may be social factors (such as the presence of wine
and/or friends, or the day being Shabbos or Yom Tov) which help the meal
get this status. Otherwise, it is generally accepted that only a meal
containing *more* than one kebaytza of bread, cake, or pasta *must* be
eaten in the sukkah. (A kebaytza is double the size of a kezayis.)

(4) Birkas Hamazon on Cake - To do the mitzvah of reciting Birkas
Hamazon, when one has eaten baked goods other than bread, one must have
eaten enough of it to constitute a meal. There are several opinions how
to define a meal for this case. Some require one to eat 3 or 4 kebaytzim
of it. Others hold that even one kezayis is enough, if it is eaten the
same way as one would eat bread. In any case, this different than for
any of the three preceding paragraphs.

Please note that I am concentrating here specifically on the question
"Does this meal constitute a seudah or doesn't it?" This is distinct
from the more general 'eating', which has different definitions for
bracha rishona, bracha acharona, and Yom Kippur, for example. I am also
*not* discussing certain kinds of Seudos, such as seudah hamafsekes, or
seudas havraah, which are for specific occasions and require specific
foods. I am also not discussing the distinctions between when benching
is d'oraisa vs. d'rabanan; I understand that to be dependent on seviah,
not seudah.

Final note: Normally, my practice is to supply sources for the halachos
which I mention. I have not done that in this case, because the main
point here is simply to illustrate that there are many different kinds
of "meals", and if you want to quibble about the details, it won't
affect my main point. Even so, I acknowledge that much of the above is
subject to many disputes. For example, some shitos hold that one is
*not* yotzay Kiddush B'makom Seudah on cake, but that the Kiddush must
be said at a Hamotzi meal. If the listmembers would like to discuss
those details, that's fine with me, and I'll be happy to defend any or
all of what I wrote above. But please change the Subject line to reflect
the specific point you want to debate.

Akiva Miller


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 13:51:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Cell Phones

Eli Turkel <turkel@...> wrote:
> 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
> surfing.

This implies that because one's phone has the capability of connecting
to the Internet that all one has to do is push a few buttons and connect
by phone. In fact, at least here in the U.S., one must pay separately
for the service that provides the connection from the phone to the
Internet. Without this service, even if the phone is Internet-capable
you can't connect to the Internet from it.

As for practical matters such as bill-paying becoming so universal that
one would be put to enormous extra effort if one did not use the
Internet, companies would certainly like to see the day when they can
eliminate the expense of paper bill printing and mailing, and manual
logging of payments. However, the odds of Internet access being that
universal in the short or even near term are low, given both geographic
and economic difficulties in many areas of providing universal access.

-- Janice


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 14:23:54 -0500
Subject: Mesh Arba Confos

A neighbor of mine -- who is rather susceptible to mishigas was riding
in an elevator at work (he works at IDT which has a large Jewish

He's a bit portly (I'm  being kind) and is always untucked.  His begged 
was poking out through an open shirt button and someone on the elevator 
gave him musar that the mesh arba confos was not kosher.   It really 
upset him and he mentioned it to me just before davening.  I told him 
that he shouldn't listen to strangers BUT that he was wearing suspenders 
and those ARE assur -- unless they hold his pants up.

Oh well,  Purim will soon be here.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
Passaic, NJ  07055-5328


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 22:12:29 +0200
Subject: Smoking Ban

bh, yom hamishi vaera

In a recent survey in the US it was found that smokers are less obese
than non smokers.  Both obesity and smoking are killers, the former by
heart attack and the latter by cancer.  So it follows that people can
choose their deaths.  Cynthia Ozick once wrote an article about a
hierarchy of refinement in diseases as perceived by society. In the
nineteenth century dying of tuberculosis was a noble death.  Today dying
by a heart attack is considered more of a refined death than dying by
cancer. Cancer is an ugly disease.  So it's better to be fat than smoke!

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 20:33:30 +0200
Subject: Smoking Ban

I was in Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva High School in Forest Hills on Kessel
Street (yes, where the Rabbis' Sons band was born) and so it must also
have been 1962-63 when the Rosh Yeshiva Chanoch Leibowitz banned
smoking.  I don't think all quit at once but it was definitely the talk
of the Beit Medrash.

Yisrael Medad

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 12:51:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Smoking Ban

Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> wrote:

> The starting point for a prohibition on smoking are two contrasting
> laws. Rambam Character 4 states 'Certain fruits are bad in
> excess---nevertheless we do not prohibit them.'  By contrast in murder
> 12 Rambam prohibits (with punishment of rabbinic lashes) sucking coins
> because 'coins have dirt and bacteria and these can cause harmful
> affects'.

When you write something in quotes after a reference to a source, it is
generally understood that this is an actual quotation from that source
(subject, of course, to translation if it's in a different language, but
it should be a reasonably literal translation).  If you want to
paraphrase, you might say "Rambam Character 4 states that ..." rather
than "Rambam Character 4 states '...'".  In this case, I'm pretty sure
that the Rambam did not literally mention bacteria, which were not
discovered until several centuries later.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 12:51:44 +0200
Subject: source for story in Maharam Shik

I have seen references to a story that is supposed to appear in the
introduction to Shu"t Hamaharam Shik, but cannot find the story
there. The story is about Maharam Shik's daughter going to the cemetery
while in nida.  Does anyone know the source?

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


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 20:29:17 +0200
Subject: Synagogues Without a Women's Section

Aliza Berger wrote:
> 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.
Leah S. Gordon wrote
> 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.  

I do not disagree with either of the above.  Yes, women belong in the
synagogue and yes, they so in part because, if they want, they can say
Kaddish and yes, most men I know and especially builders and contractors
are not as smart as they should be.

But a) we are ex post facto and b) given the problematic layout, inside
the synagogue itself is going to be quite difficult, probably harder
than the Women of the Kotel outside.

But I did suggest that the space to the left of the entrance door as you
come in could be curtained off and with the door open, which it usually
is, 2-3 women could participate in the services which go on repeatedly,
although not as rapid as Zoharei Chama.

Ladies, I'm on your side.

Yisrael Medad


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 13:42:54 -0500
Subject: Who is the gadol hador

From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>

<<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 authorities.">>

Rav Moshe himself was known to refuse to pasken for people in Eretz
Yisrael because they had their own poskim, so this person was simply
following Rav Moshe's "pesak" on this <g>.



End of Volume 46 Issue 56