Volume 48 Number 66
                    Produced: Mon Jun 27  5:12:23 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
High-interest loans
         [N Miller]
Maariv Erev Shovuos
         [Eliezer Wenger]
A note about maariv and shavuot
         [Jack Gross]
         [Mike Gerver]
Phone and Tefila
         [Carl Singer]
         [Janet Elise Rosenbaum]
Software licenses
         [David Charlap]
Tefilin Poster and Cards
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Eliezer Wenger]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 08:03:55 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Accepting Psak without reviewing

>From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
>What you say is true by definition ... the more important question is
>whether these individuals would be morally culpable if the p'sak is

I think that the point here is how the individual decided that this
particular rov is to be the one to give the psak.  Indeed, under certain
circumstances, what appears to be a "wrong" psak would indeed be
considered "correct" for that person.  If in that case the rov *is*
wrong, then he does bear the responsibility.

In the latest tape that I received from Rabbi Reisman, tape Yirmiyahu 52
- dated Jun 4, titled Aufruf, he repeats a story involving Rav Pam.

A young man who had just been married came with a kashrus question.  His
parents had given them some expensive china and his wife had put chicken
on the "milchig" server platter hot from the oven.  Note that the plate
had not been used before, but it would cause problems as it was now
fleishig and could no longer be used for milchig.  Rabbi Pam answered
that it was a very difficult question and "don't you daven with Rabbi
Ploni?  You should ask him.".

Rabbi Reisman who was present asked Rabbi Pam what was so difficult
about the problem, after all, kli cheres - an earthenware utensil -
cannot be kashered or converted from meat to milk.  Rabbi Pam answered,
that Rabbi Ploni held (as a valid shita) that the particular type of
glazing involved had a halacha like glass and could be converted.  Thus,
rather than giving the psak (that nothing could be done about it), he
sent the young man to Rabbi Ploni.

Once the young man received the psak (that the service dish after 24
hours could be used fo dairy), the plate was completely kosher and Rabbi
Pam had no qualms about allowing him to use it.

I think that this shows the necessity of maintaining a rov who can be
asked as well as showing how to answer.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:21:56 -0400
Subject: High-interest loans

Yossi Ginzberg writes:

 > While Jews were forced into the moneylending industry by church
 > rulings forbidding usury to xtians...

'Forced' is a pretty strong word.  Is there any historical evidence to
support it?  Were/are Jewish money-lenders also 'forced' to adopt
'predatory' practices, such as those prevalent in Lakewood?

Finally, is there any reason--other than fear of inciting
antisemitism--why observant Jews should not be engaged in fleecing the

Noyekh Miller


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 01:03:22 -0400
Subject: Maariv Erev Shovuos

One of the posters inquired about other Poskim who rule concering Maariv
on the first night of Shovuos.  See Shulchan Aruch hoRav 494:2 where he
states that neither Maariv nor kiddush should be recited earlty.


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 16:52:27 -0400
Subject: Re: A note about maariv and shavuot

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
> The assumption that by reciting the Evening Prayer early one is
> thereby beginning the Festival of Shavuot seems based on the assumption
> that by reciting the kiddush hayom (mekadesh yisrael ve-hazemanim) one
> is "accepting Yom Tov" and extending the sanctity of the Festivate
> backward in time.  (Tosefet Yom Tov.)
> Note, however, that the Rambam in 30 chapters of the Laws of
> Sabbath never mentions any obligation to extend the kedusha of shabbat
> either at the beginning or the end.  Thus, the license to daven (a
> Yiddish word for which I have not seen a satisfactory etymology) early
> both Friday evening AND Saturday evening (before shabbat is over), as
> well as the license to recite kiddush and havdalah "early", has nothing
> to do with the question of when Shabbat begins or ends.  A fortiori this
> is true on Yom Tov.  Thus, according to the Rambam, saying maariv early
> on Shavuot does not end the sefirah period early.

Reciting kedushas hayom in tefilla certainly is a kabbalas hayom,
whether or not there is a mitzva of hosafa.  In fact, the mitzva of
hosafa may well just entail abstinence (from melacha or eating,as the
case may be), without kabbalas hayom.  (Acc. the Rambam, tosefes
Y.K. obviously does not entail kabbalas hayom.)

So davening arvis early (specifically its Tefilla component) brings in
Shavuos early, with whatever implications that has for sefirah.

Note that, acc. the Chasam Sofer I cited there cannot be kabbalas hayom
early, yet there is a mitzva of tosefes as with any other Y.T.


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:53:29 EDT
Subject: Orthodox

David I. Cohen writes, in v48n61,

      As the term "orthodox" is commonly used in this forum, there are
      certain practices that are commonly accepted as being beyond the
      pale of "orthodox" practice.  So, no matter what label I give
      myself, I am not actually within the camp if I, for example,
      habitually eat my McDonald's cheeseburger and claim that it is
      acceptable to do so.

Actually, in this forum and elsewhere, I think the word "Orthodox" is
used even more often in another sense, more sociological than halachic.
In this sense, someone is defined as "Orthodox" if and only if he
follows certain mitzvot, generally those which are conventionally
considered "ritual," rather than those which are conventionally
considered "ethical."

For example, if you discover that someone who you thought was Orthodox
was in the habit of eating cheeseburgers, you would say "Isn't that
something! And all along I thought he was Orthodox! I guess I was
wrong!"  But if you discover that someone who you thought was Orthodox
was in the habit of engaging in insider trading in stocks, or
mistreating residents at a nursing home he owns, you would more likely
say "Isn't it terrible that an Orthodox person would do something like
that? What's the world coming to?"

Sometimes, the term "Orthodox" is used strictly to refer to things like
shul membership, without much implication at all about observing
mitzvot.  Consider the phrase "non-observant Orthodox." Everyone
understands that it means someone who belongs to and attends an Orthodox
shul, and maybe keeps kosher, at least at some level, at least at home,
but goes to work on Shabbat, or drives on Shabbat, or eats traif in
restaurants, etc. But someone who belongs to an Orthodox shul, and
strictly observes kashrut and Shabbat, but engages in insider trading of
stocks, etc., would never be described as "non-observant Orthodox," let
alone "non-Orthodox." He would be described as "observant Orthodox" but
doing things he shouldn't be doing.

I agree with David that, right now at least, homosexual behavior falls
within the "ritual" category that affects whether someone is considered
Orthodox. I'm not sure this will always be true, though.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 10:34:53 -0400
Subject: Phone and Tefila

> My Sister-In-Law and Brother-In-Law recently celebrated the bris of
> their son Dov Baruch in Yerushalayim.  Since it was not feasible for my
> wife and I (and three kids) to attend, my other brother in law held up
> his cell phone so that we could listen to the proceedings.
> Sitting in bed at 2:00 AM we found ourselves reflexively responding at
> the appropriate points in the service asking ourselves afterwards if
> there is any halachik need or prohibition to participate in such a
> situation.  I know that one is not yotzei [fulfill the obligation of]
> the Megilla via phone but does any chiyuv [religious requirement] still
> exist to answer Amen?
> Aharon Fischman

I remember at the previous sium haShas at Madison Square Garden that
someone near me held out his cellphone during what was likely one of the
largest recent groups involved in a tephila at one time.

Here's a related question -- you are in a shul that has multiple
minyanim.  As you are waiting for your minyan you hear through a closed
door something that you would normally respond to (amen, borchu, Y'haysh
may rabba ...) -- do you answer? are you obliged to answer?  What if
your waiting area is an inappropriate locale for davening -- say a
vestibule outside a lavatory, etc.

Another question, you are saying kaddish for someone.  You show up early
for your minyan and (again in the hallway through a door) you hear an
earlier minyan at Aleynu.  Do you (a) do nothing, (b) enter that
minyan's room and say kaddish, possibly disturbing others by your hasty
/ late arrival or (c) say kaddish in the hallway.



From: Janet Elise Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:57:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Silicone

There is a new type of bakeware made of silicone which is light,
flexible, can be subjected to a wide range of temperatures, and nothing
sticks to it.  It's derived from sand like glass, can withstand high
temperatures like metal and clay, is more flexible than plastic, and the
high quality stuff is non-absorbant like glass.

Can it be kashered?  
Does it need to be toveled?  
How do we even start to answer these questions?  I haven't read R Moshe
Feinstein's tshuva on the status of plastic, and that may be a start.

For more information, you can google "silicone bakeware".



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:00:04 -0400
Subject: Software licenses

Shaya Potter wrote:
> Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
>> Computer software is leased without the owner's keeping track of the
>> property.
> just to make a comment, from what I understand, this isn't quite clear
> in US law.  i.e. what actual force the EULA (end user license agreement)
> actually has.

"Shrink-wrap" and "click-through" licenses (where opening the package or
clicking an "accept" button in the program's installer, are not
generally considered binding under US law.

The exception is in MD and VA, where they passed a law known as the
UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act.)  In all other
states, a licxense/contract must actually be signed in order to be

In the 48 states where UCITA is not law, items that feature shrink-wrap
and click-through licenses are regulated only by existing (state and
federal) copyright law, not by the terms of that license.  This means
you, as purchaser can do quite a bit (including lease, resell, and
install on non-supported hardware) with the software, whether the
publisher likes it or not.

Of course, other countries will have other laws.

How this relates to halacha is anybody's guess.

-- David


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 00:00:05 -0400
Subject: Tefilin Poster and Cards

I would like once again to remind list members that a poster showing how
to adjust the size of tefilin shel rosh is available at

3x5 cards with the same directions (for either kesher, separate cards)
are available by contacting me off list.  There is no charge for the
cards and anyone who so chooses is welcome to request more than needed
for personal use, for distribution.



From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 01:00:13 -0400
Subject: Yarmulka/Daven

One of the origins for the word Yarmulka is that it is a combination of
the words Yirah Meieloka -- fear of G-d, since the yarmulka is supposed
to remind a person that there is a G-d above.

The word daven comes from the word d'avunan -- from our fathers, as the
Talmud states that our forefathers originated the concept ofr davening;
Avraham - Shacharis, Yitzchok - Mincha, Yaakov -- Maariv.

While w'ere on the subject of word origins, Rabbi chaim Lieberman in his
Sefer "Ohel Rachel" states that the origin of the word Kvater (the one
who brings i the baby to the Bris) originates from the words "Kavod Tir"
-- a honor at the door, since that is where the baby is handed over to
the kvater.


End of Volume 48 Issue 66