Volume 46 Number 66
                    Produced: Wed Jan 19  5:59:19 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beauty in Marriage (2)
         [Tzvi Stein, Heshy Grossman]
Dr. Aaron Demsky lecture on the Book of Ruth
         [Joseph I. Lauer]
Kallah's family hosts the wedding
         [Joel Rich]
         [David Neuman]
Never eating Pizza
         [Tzvi Stein]
On ignoring the decisions of gadolim
         [Richard Schultz]
"Personal Piety"?
         [Tzvi Stein]
Salting Meat- What does it do chemically?
         [Jack Stroh]
Smoking and Gedolim
         [Tomer Shiloach]
Websites with coupon codes
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Wedding Expenses
         [Joseph Ginzberg]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:40:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Beauty in Marriage

> From: <chips@...>
> I actually got into some difficulty because of this. When I was
> in my early 20's and people/shadchun would ask me what I was looking for
> in a mate I responded with "sensuality , common sense and backbone". I
> was surprised when a Rabbi who was also a bit of a shadchen responded
> that he bet I didn't get setup too much, which was true. He said I
> shouldn't mention sensuality which I thought was silly since a major
> component of marriage is having sexual relations, which should require
> that there was a sensual attraction.  He said true, but that people in
> BoroPark/Flatbush were not willing to hear someone single say that. So I
> stopped listing 'sensualitly' when asked (not that it helped).

All I can say, is yasher koach for being honest about what you want (at
least until you were told to cut it out).  Hopefully, you were (or will
be) able to find that out about a shidduch before getting serious, even
if you can't state it openly.  I bet if you are creative you could find
a way to find out if she is sensual, within the bounds of halacha.

You could even resort to discussing it honestly with her, after you've
gone out for a while. I think differences in sensuality is an
unfortunate source of many mis-matches, and it would be very helpful to
sort that out in advance, as people have very different natures in that

I once brought this up in a discussion with someone and they said that
it can't be discussed in advance, because it's not tznius.  In my
opinion, if you are considering marrying someone, you should be able to
discuss some of the things that are critical to success in marriage
before getting engaged, regardless of tznius concerns.

From: <Rabbihg1@...> (Heshy Grossman)
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 22:30:46 EST
Subject: Re: Beauty in Marriage

Russel Jay Hendel wrote: "In passing: That is exactly what the Bible
states about Jacob...he did marry her for her attractiveness"

The Torah says no such thing, nor does it ever imply that Jacob was
attracted to her physically. In fact, a careful reading of the Torah
reveals that every aspect of Yaakov Avinu's family relationships was
motivated only for the sake of Heaven, and not for any personal gain,
benefit or pleasure.

A common error among literary critics of any sort is to attribute one's
own motives and feelings to the character or situation being described
by the text. Do not assume that the Avos thought about mariage, family
and life in the same manner as we do.

Heshy Grossman


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 12:29:55 -0500
Subject: Dr. Aaron Demsky lecture on the Book of Ruth

    Readers in the New York City area may be interested in the following
notice regarding a lecture to be given by Prof. Aaron Demsky of Bar-Ilan

    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York

    Dr. Aaron Demsky - On The Book Of Ruth.
    Wednesday, January 26, 2005, 7:30 pm
    Bar Ilan University historian Dr. Aaron Demsky will discuss the
structure and message of the book of Ruth. Dr. Demsky will look at the
literary devices used by the author to present a story that emphasizes the
value concept of loving-kindness (gmilut-hesed). The lecture will focus on
the author's portrayal of village life in the biblical period and especially
the status of both women and the stranger in that community.
    Professor Aaron Demsky is the director of the project for the study of
Jewish Names at Bar Ilan University's Jewish History Department.
    Synagogue for the Arts (Civic Center Synagogue),
    49 White Street, Tribeca, New York.
    For more information call:  212.966.7141
    or email: <info@...>


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 10:05:06 EST
Subject: Re: Kallah's family hosts the wedding

      Not that it's any of my business but (1) it's traditionally the
      Kallah's family that plans and hosts the wedding

What is the halachic source of this minhag?
Joel Rich


From: David Neuman <daveselectric@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 08:21:43 -0500
Subject: Mezuzah

What is the obligation of a tradesman, handyman, or service tec doing
work at a home owned by a none-Jew if [s]he findas a Mezuzah on the door
post?  Is there an obligation to remove the Mezuzah?  Is there an
qobligation to ask the owner permission to remove the Mezuzah?  Should
the claf be removed and the case left on the door post? Is it considered
gezel from a non-Jew and not permitted?

I am sure there are many other related questions.  Thaks for any and all

duvid neuman


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:46:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Never eating Pizza

> From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> How long ago?  It may have been during the days when many frum people
> thought all cheese was kosher and ate pizza out at traif pizza places,
> before there were kosher ones.  So saying that he "never ate pizza"
> meant that he only ate home-cooked food from kosher kitchens.

Nice try, but I doubt that was the situation.  There is indeed a
"hashkafa" out there that you shouldn't eat "goyish" food, whatever that
is.  I remember in yeshiva, one of my maggidei shiur quoted a certain
rav that said something like, "the worst thing that ever hapenned to the
Jewish people is when ice cream became kosher".

Along the same lines, there are families who seem to think that every
Shabbos they have to have exactly the same meals, year after year.


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 07:40:46 +0200
Subject: On ignoring the decisions of gadolim

In mail-jewish 46:65, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> writes:
: As far as the general infallibility of Rav Moshe Feinstein is concerned,
: there are many things in the Igrot Moshe that are widely ignored.  For
: example, can someone tell me why no major kashrut organization seems to
: accept his tshuva that blended whiskey is mutar because stam yeinam is
: batel beshisha (one part in six)?  

When I was growing up -- not a very long time ago -- just about everyone
in the U.S. used peanut oil on Pesach.  Now Rav Feinstein wrote a
teshuva in which he stated that it is permissible to eat *peanuts* on
Pesach; how much more permissible should peanut oil be.  Shortly before
I made aliyah, I remember being at a synagogue in the U.S. at which the
rabbi (by and large fairly liberal, btw) was discussing laws of Pesach,
and he stated "if your family has a tradition of using peanut oil on
Pesach, then you may continue doing so," with the clear implication of
"if you come from a family of apikorosim. . ." -- since nearly every
family in the U.S.  has such a tradition, why would the statement need
any qualification at all?

But this is just part of the trend toward pseudo-religiosity that is
visible not only within Judaism but within many religions, and not just
in the U.S.  I'm sure that there is a sociological explanation for all
of this, but, fortunately for all of us, I am no sociologist.

					Richard Schultz


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:58:55 -0500
Subject: "Personal Piety"?

The folowing is an excerpt of an account of Rav Shteinman's recent trip
to the U.S.:

"Rav Shteinman arrived in the United States in the afternoon hours.
Almost immediately after clearing customs, the entire entourage davened
Mincha, and then set out on the first leg of the journey, to
Lakewood. On the way, the group made a brief stop to prepare for their
arrival in Lakewood.  At that point, one of Rav Shteinman's close
confidants brought him something to eat, the first food to enter his
mouth since he had left his home in Beni Brak 20 hours earlier.  For
reasons of personal piety, he did not eat or drink throughout the long
trip.  And what was the food that he allowed himself to eat in order to
have the strength to continue his journey?  Nothing more than a spoonful
of honey and a glass of water."

What do you all make of that?  It seems that the writer of the account
intended it as a form of praise to Rav Shteinman, but to be honest, it
made the opposite impression on me.  I found it downright disturbing and

I brought up my concern to a friend, and he explained it as a difference
in "madreiga".  But that didn't sit with me.  There comes a point when
it ceases being a matter of madreiga and begins to seem like a different


From: Jack Stroh <jackstroh@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:25:46 -0500
Subject: Salting Meat- What does it do chemically?

How exactly can we explain the chemical process of salting meat to
remove its "blood"? Salt acts to dessicate the meat (pull out liquid)
and probably dries out the red blood cells within. We know from Mesorah
that this process kashers the meat. However, salt does not pull out
blood, just some of its water. Any chemists out there?



From: Tomer Shiloach <tshilo12@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 00:41:51 -0600
Subject: Smoking and Gedolim

In Vol. 46 #65 Digest, Orrin Tilevetz writes (among other things):

"The analogy, no matter who makes it, is absurd."

and later,

"Either way, the proper analogy is not to eating but to playing Russian 
roulette, crossing a busy street blindfolded, or eating arsenic.  If a gadol 
said that it's ok to play Russian roulette--once only, of course--would that 
opinion be given any deference?  What about, for that matter, if a gadol 
declared that the moon is made of green cheese?"

I would like to respectfully point out that Rav Moshe ("Ramaf" as I like
to refer to him) did not make an analogy, he used a precedent, which is
a very different thing.  In any case, the analogy to Russian roulette,
crossing a busy street blindfolded or eating arsenic (where does this
stuff come from?!) is at LEAST equally absurd as the analogy to possibly
harmful foods (like for instance, gefilte fish?).  Respectfully,
Messr. Tilevetz is making a logical fallacy, specifically appealing to
emotion.  There is no "proper analogy", but an APPROPRIATE analogy
perhaps would be to excessive exposure to harmful solar radiation.
Nobody has recommended subsuming personal judgment of a gadol's
statement, quite the opposite in fact, so the question about green
cheese is patronizing blather bordering on lashon hara.  In any case,
for those who are smokers, as well as for those who are vociferous
anti-smokers, emotionalism has no place in a discussion of halakha.

Travis Krueger
webmaster Temple Sholom, Eau Claire


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 10:41:41 EST
Subject: Websites with coupon codes

Any thoughts on Halachik issues regarding using the many websites that
list coupon codes to online retailers?

Chaim Shapiro


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 13:01:37 -0500
Subject: Wedding Expenses

I have been afraid to post on this subject, as I am father to 5
daughters and have very strong feelings on the subject.

However, I will share a "discovery" of my own, made at the wedding of
#4, that saved me a considerable amount: By offering several options on
the response card, I reduced the number of reserved seats and meals by
almost 20%!

Printing was of two sets of response cards. For close relatives and
friends I sent a regular card, with only "will" or "will not"
attend. For the many others I sent a card that offered "will attend full
affair", "Chuppah only", "simchas Choson v'kallah only".  Because the
affair was on Thanksgiving, I had a good excuse to do this (many people
had family dinners), and it was much appreciated by those who really had
either other plans or were tired of going to weddings.

Planning to do it for #5 too, when B"ezh the opportunity arises.

Yossi Ginzberg


End of Volume 46 Issue 66