Volume 48 Number 14
                    Produced: Thu May 26  6:38:43 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Honoring One's Parents, Rejecting Their Food
         [David Charlap]
Kaddish and women
         [Stephen Phillips]
Matzho Farfel
         [Carl Singer]
New Resources from ATID
         ["R. Jeffrey Saks"]
         [Perets Mett]
"Single-Use" Digital Camera (3)
         [Carl Singer, Tzvi Stein, Carl Singer]
         [Perets Mett]
Women with [their exclusively own?] Small Children
         [Martin Stern]


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:47:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Honoring One's Parents, Rejecting Their Food

Nachum Klafter:
> Again, if your parents offer you food which is truly prohibited
> me-derabanan (and all the more so me-de-oraitah), it is forbidden to
> eat it.  Kibud Av-Ve-Eim is not a dispensation to transgress biblical
> or rabbinic prohibitions.  Kibud av ve-eim does not require (or
> entitle) us to transgress halakha.

It sounds nice and simple when you write it this way, but it's rarely 
that simple in practice.

How about when the parents, upon hearing that their son will no longer
eat anything in the house, get personally offended?  How about when they
make a chillul hashem by telling their friends and relatives that the
yeshiva taught their son to hate their parents?

These things have happened.  These are not contrived hypothetical

I know people whose kashrut standards are so strict that they won't eat
in a glatt kosher restaurant if their own personal rav didn't give the
hechsher.  (Needless to say, it makes travel virtually impossible.)
Good luck explaining this custom to your parents in any way that doesn't
cause then to be personally offended.  Especially when you reveal that
this means you're never going to visit them, since they live 1000 miles
away from you.

Claiming that you just have to explain it properly is a cop-out answer.
It's been my experience that a lot of people (especially the non-
observant elderly) will get personally offended at any attempt to tell
them they are wrong, no matter how politely you try to phrase it or how
logically you state the argument.  And if they're your parents, choosing
to avoid the fight by not visiting will also be taken as an insult.

It would seem to me that, when parents are concerned, one should seek
out every possible leniency.  Much more than simply relaxing ones
personal chumrot, and much more than you would do for anybody else.

I'm not saying you should eat treif just because your parents service it
to you, but you know as well as I do that most people's kashrut
practices go far beyond the minimum-necessary halachic requirements.

Eating kitniyot on Pesach is a perfect example.  This is not a halacha,
but a minhag.  And a minhag that only half of Jews practice.  And one
that rabbis can (and occasionally do) give permission to break.  Would
you really say that it is OK to insult and offend your parents in order
to keep it?

> However, it is simply not true according the halakha that one is
> allowed to consume food which is "only" rabbinically forbidden in
> order to avoid hurting one's parents' feelings.

But it is true that when a rabbinic law is in conflict with a Torah law,
the Torah law takes precedence.

How do you know that being strict about kashrut at the expense of your
parents' feelings is correct?  How do you know that the one law is more
importand than the other?

You see the person being extra-lenient on kashrut.  I see that person
being extra-strict on honoring his parents.

-- David


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 11:08:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Kaddish and women

> From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
> Moreover, "shaking up our customs the way they have been practiced for
> generations" can cover a multitude of practice that often rest, when one
> examines them, on a combination of superstition and ignorance rather
> than actual halacha. For example, I recently had a discussion with a
> male friend in another community where he said that his rabbi had
> categorically stated that women are not allowed to dance with a Torah on
> Simchat Torah because of niddah issues. When pressed for details, he
> said that his rabbi had not provided any sources for this statement. I
> researched the issue and provided him with sources that refute the
> allegation and asked him to query his rabbi again. He didn't do so but
> instead asked another rabbi in the neighborhood, who said that while the
> research was accurate, his congregation would never stand for the
> practice to be changed.

> Even more than the narrow point of this particular issue is the fact
> that my friend had accepted the rabbi's statement without any
> authority to back it up, and without checking on it himself. How many
> communities and generations of men have accepted such statements and
> practices without ever examining whether they are based on halacha and
> source-related rabbinic opinion? To say that these are forbidden
> because "our rabbis are not happy with their practice" without such a
> basis seems to place them in a category of practice based on social
> norms rather than halacha, the very rationale that you scorn when it
> applies to what you perceive as women's motivation.

I believe it's called "Emunas HaChamim", a belief in and an acceptance
of what a Rav says without question. Especially in this case when it was
your friend's own Rav.

Stephen Phillips


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 06:30:34 -0400
Subject: Matzho Farfel

For better or worse matzoh farfel is usually baked less than matzoh --
or at least is has a lighter color.  Perhaps to please consumer tastes.
It, like matzoh, lasts forever, we've used three and four year old boxes
that have been stored with our Pesach dishes and supplies.

You might consider just stocking up during Pesach for year round use.
You might even find it at a reduced price during chol ha'moed or after
yom tov is over.

Carl Singer


From: "R. Jeffrey Saks" <atid@...>
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:38 AM
Subject: New Resources from ATID

We wanted to make the Mail-Jewish community aware of two new resources
from ATID--one virtual, and one print:


ATID is proud to announce the appearance of an important, new web
resource: Challenges and Issues in Modern Orthodox Education: An On-Line
Library of R. Shalom Carmy's Essays, a downloadable collection of
essential articles by one of our community's leading teachers and

Rabbi Carmy's work provides important models for the thoughtful Modern
Orthodox educator. We hope that you will discover insights and
approaches which will aid your understanding of some of the more complex
and subtle challenges facing Orthodox Jewish life, learning, and
teaching. Grappling with Rabbi Carmy's treatment of these issues will
enhance your teaching, both in the classroom and in counseling students.

Available here: www.atid.org/resources/carmy.asp


Prepared by Dr. Caroline Peyser and an ATID Fellows Research Team, Body
& Soul is an invaluable guide for Jewish educators and schools: spells
out the basics of eating disorders and treatments in laymen's terms
("everything you need to know"); reviews current and notable school
programs and policies; recommends specific policy changes; recommended
resources; and provides a guide to Jewish sources on health, diet and
self-care -- not as a replacement for treatment, but in recognition that
a Jewish school must frame the issue as part of a larger campaign of
Torah education. As a professional courtesy sample copies have been sent
to high schools in the Diaspora and seminaries in Israel. To obtain a
copy, Available here: www.atid.org/publications/body&soul.asp

Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
Director, ATID: Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions 
Tel. 02-567-1719 * <atid@...> * www.atid.org 


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:36:12 +0100
Subject: Pesia

Batya Medad wrote:
> Batya, derived from Bassya

derived in turn from Bashe (spelt Basia in Polish)



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 06:55:32 -0400
Subject: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>There is a certain store that sells a "single-use" digital camera.  You
>pay $20 for the camera, take your pictures, bring it back to the store,
>pay another $11 for processing, get your prints, and the store keeps
>your camera to sell again.  The camera cannot be connected to your own
>computer... you must bring it in to the store to get your pictures out
>of it.
>I recently saw a website that explains in full step-by-step detail (with
>illustrations!) how to modify the camera so that it can be used any
>number of times and can also be connected to your own computer so you
>don't need to ever bring it back to the store.
>Any halachic ramifications?

I guess it depends on the written or implied "contract" associated with
this transaction -- but it could, very simply, be theft.

Here are three interpretations of the transaction:

[1] Store RENTS you a camera for $20, expecting that you'll return it to
them and pay an additional $11 for processing the pictures.
(Forget about what the camera can / cannot do, be modified to do, etc.,
or what is it called.)
You purposely do not return the rented item.  

[2] Store LENDS you the camera with a $20 security deposit ....
You purposely do not return the borrowed item.

[3] Store SELLS you the camera for $20.  Expecting, but not committing
you, to exchange the camera for another and pay $11 processing at some
future date.  Should you return the camera to the store it repurchases
the camera from you and charges $11 plus the re-purchase price of the
camera for processing.

You choose not to sell the camera back to them or to use their
processing processing service.

Option #3 is clearly contrived, and I could not imagine the store
constructing such a transaction.

Carl Singer

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 07:47:22 -0400
Subject: Re: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

[1] and [2] seem quite problematic, since it would be quite a strange
"rental" or "lending" when there is no term of time specified for the
return of the item nor any consequences mentioned for failing to return
it, not to mention that in none of the ads do they mention any
expressions resembling "rent" or "borrow".

As for [3], the store is not "repurchasing" the camera... they are
simply not returning it because it is a "1-use" camera.  They probably
consider that they are taking back the "used parts" of a 1-use item and
"refurbishing" it.  Their taking back the camera seems to be part of the
"processing" transaction, not part of the original "purchase"

In reality, what the "modifier" of the camera is doing is "converting"
an item away from its intended use, which doesn't seem to have any
halachic prohibitions.

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 08:37:05 -0400
Subject: Re: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

Re: options #1 & #2 -- time period is not that relevant.  Since they are
expecting that you return the camera to them for processing (and that
they will then keep the camera subsequent to the processing.) why isn't
it rental or lending.  Certainly they wouldn't use those words in an ad
as it would point out to the customer that they are paying for both the
use (rental) of the camera and the processing.  Ads point out the
service -- the pictures.

Re: option #3, the store, no-doubt "re-sets" the camera (cleans it,
erases the memory) and then reuses it for another round of pictures.
"Single-use" is from the consumer viewpoint, not from the store's
viewpoint.  This may be unlike a "single-use" film camera where only
certain parts are salvageable.

Do you think the cost (to the store) of the camera is only $20.  If so,
why not purchase it outright from the store.  Forthrightly tell them
that you have no intention of returning the camera and using their
processing services.  That you simply wish to purchase the camera (for

Passaic, NJ  07055-5328
See my web site:  www.ProcessMakesPerfect.net      


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:33:12 +0100
Subject: Tosfos

Someone wrote:

> Actualy, Tosfos in Kesuvos mentions exactly this rational.

I don't know what Kesuvos is/are. There is a masekhta Kesubos, though.

Perets Mett


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:02:47 +0100
Subject: Women with [their exclusively own?] Small Children

on 25/5/05 9:45 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:
> Or, of course, the fathers of those children should be caring for them
> during that time...particularly if, as you say, a minyan is not
> required.  I am quite irritated to read of these ubiquitous "women with
> small children" as though the father (who must exist in at least a few
> cases) is a non-entity.  Don't any fathers out there feel the same way??
> Surely, the correct phrasing is, "families with small children".

Men (i.e. males) are obligated in communal prayer, women (i.e. females)
are not. While it is highly commendable for women to come, this is
entirely voluntary and should not be at the expense of men being able to
daven. Therefore in families with small children who are too young to
come to shul and participate at any level, the mother should stay at
home with them and not expect the whole congregation to be disrupted.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 48 Issue 14