Volume 49 Number 09
                    Produced: Wed Jul 20  8:24:16 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

16 Kaddishes
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
All the Tosfos ...
         [Yitschak Maser]
         [Evan Rock]
         [Carl A. Singer]
Contributing Heat
         [Jack Gross]
Do Not Call List
         [Aaron Lerner]
How High a Mechitza
         [Martin Stern]
looking for "Friedman the Tutor"
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Mechitzah on Swimming Beaches
         [Russell J Hendel]
Splitting up family
         [Carl A. Singer]


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 09:47:58 -0400
Subject: 16 Kaddishes

In the sefer HaMinagim (Chabad customs) printed by Otzar Hachassidim,
the old official publishing house at 770, it says (page 78) that the
Rebbe Maharshab was particular to say 16 kaddishes every day except on
Shabbat or holidays, but that this is not a "halacha" for all.

This would support the conjecture that Gehinnom operates on a 24-hour
day rather than 12, according to Chabad. Thus on Shabbat when even the
sould have respite there is no need for so many kaddishes.

It does not explain why this halacha is not the "norm" for Chabad,
(forgive the oxymoron).  The Rebbe's customs apparently differed from
the common mans custom, as in other places too, where i.e. the Rebbe
circled the bima on Sukkos but others are not to do so.

Another custom per this book, although I have never seen it practiced,
is for an avel to read the Torah Monday, Thursday, and Shabbat
afternoon, presumably to allow for an extra kaddish.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Yitschak Maser <simone.maser@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 21:42:45 +0200
Subject: All the Tosfos ...

 Andy Goldfinger wrote:

> I recall a person commenting that there are a great many Rishonim who
> are just as important as Tosfos, but that Tosfos has achieved greater
> prominence since it has been printed on the daf.  Would people care to
> comment on this?  That is -- is there something about Tosfos that
> makes it more important than other Rishonim (excluding, of course
> Rashi).

Two comments:

On the plus side, the Tosfos blazed the trail. To quote Prof. Haym
Soloveitchik (1):

"Sometime late in the second quarter of the twelfth century, Europe
declares her independance of Babylonian tutelage and within the wondrous
span of sixty years, achieves it. North of the Loire it was it the
dialectical revolution of Rabbenu Tam which heralded the the advent of
European Halachic thought...

While Maimonides was hewing in granite the upshot of Talmudical
discussions, a new Talmud was being written in northern France.
Dialectic, dormant for some three-quarters of a millenium, was
rediscovered by Rabbenu Tam and R. Isaac of Dampierre, and the two
proceeded to do to the work of Abbaye and Rava what those Amoraim had
done to the Mishnah. Anyone who comes to the Yad from studying a sugya
with the writings of the Tosafists, with their vast collection of data,
their discovery of hidden problems, and proffer of multiple solutions,
will find Maimonides' presentation thin and simplistic..."

On the other hand, if only instead of Tosfot, Rabbenu Asher's Piskei
HaRosh would have been printed alongside the Talmudic text, we would
have been much better off! So teaches the Maharal of Prague (2):

"Indeed, we have the evidence of our own eyes to testify to this
"sharpening" (pilpul) and its effect on its practitioners. Young men are
left with nothing -- entirely as a result of their study of
extra-curricular matter ( tosfos davar...) which is supplemental to the
text. This pitfall is entirely a consequence of the publication of the
Tosafos commentary alongside the Gemara.If the Piskei HaRosh or the
novellae of later commentators, may they repose in honor, were there,
everyone, even young students, would study with an eye to the process of
Halachah. .. We have many times with a broken heart alerted people to
this destruction of Torah.."

(1) Rabad of Posquieres: a Programmatic Essay, in Studies in the History
of Jewish Society in the Middle Ages and in the Modern Period, presented
to Prof. Jacob Katz on his 75th birthday, Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 1980

(2) Sefer Nesivos Olam/Nesiv HaTorah ( Artscroll/Mesorah
Publications,5754,transl. R. Eliakim Willner, chapter 5, p. 131).

Yitschak Maser
Montpellier, France


From: Evan Rock <theevanrock@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 11:45:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Berakha

Please explain the concept of "Barukh ata HaShem....."  Barukh is
translated as "blessed are you," it seems to me that this is wrong.  A
problem with translation, certain concepts do not travel well from one
culture and society to another.  Are we blessing our creator?  Is
"barukh" a salutation?  When we say a berakhah are we saluting and
acknowledging our creator rather than blessing him?  We wear tephilin
and tallit as a way of constantly acknowledging the exodus and
redemption from Egypt.  Is a berakha in the same vain?

Given that the word "barukh" is related to the word for knee are we in a
way hinting that we are kneeling before HaShem?


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 10:24:05 -0400
Subject: Competition.

> Actually, no.  The Jewish vendor may take an item that is $5 wholesale
> and sell it for $8.  The goyish vendor may sell the same thing for
> $7.80.  The buyer saves 20 cents and the Jewish vendor loses $3.  His
> lower volume may also in the future prevent his getting as low a
> wholesale price as he did before.

The Jewish vendor has lost nothing -- he simply has yet to sell his
merchandise.  If in the long run he can't sell at $8.00 then he needs to
either lower his price to market ($7.80) or offer better service
(delivery) or better terms (accepts Chesed dollars) to attract customers
at a higher price.  The buyer need not subsidize the Jewish vendor --
even to the tune of 20 cents.

I recall hearing two chasidishe bochurim saying that they only buy Plony
brand potato chips -- it cost a nickel more but they'd rather support a
Jewish business. (Kashrus was not at issue here.)  I suggested instead
that they buy the national brand and put a nickel directly into the
tzedukkah box.



From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:12:28 -0400
Subject: Contributing Heat

Several contributers referred to the comparative heights of the inner
and outer receptacles of the crock pot.

Chazon Ish is widely quoted as saying that, when warming a baby bottle
by immersion in hot water, one must be careful to keep the milk level
inside the bottle higher that the water level outside the bottle, in
order to avoid performing hatmana.  It's not enough to keep the
8-oz. marking of the bottle above water, if you are warming only 4 or 6
oz. of milk.  In other words, "issur hatmana" is defined in terms of the
food, not its container, and not even its containers point of practical

On this basis, the critical question is not whether the outer receptacle
of the crockpot overlaps the walls of the inner one, but rather whether
it rises to the level of the top surface of the stew inside the inner
receptacle.  That in turn will depend on the cook's practice (which may
vary from week to week), not just the design of the crockpot's


From: Aaron Lerner <alerner@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 12:33:07 -0400
Subject: Do Not Call List

>From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
>Does anyone have a definitive answer -- i.e. is a not-for-profit when
>engaged in an unrelated BUSINESS ACTIVITY (not soliciting tzedukah)
>exempt from the do-not-call lists.

>From the National Do Not Call Registry FAQ page at

Q:  	If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will
it stop all telemarketing calls?
A:	 No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will
stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. You may still receive calls
from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies
with which you have an existing business relationship.

Q: 	 I get calls soliciting money for political organizations or for
charities - will the National Do Not Call Registry stop those calls?
A:	 Political solicitations are not covered by the National Do Not Call
Registry. Telemarketers calling to solicit charitable contributions are not
covered by the registry, but if you make a request to a specific
organization that they not call you, they are required to honor your
request. If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine
of up to $11,000.	

Aaron Lerner
Silver Spring, MD


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 20:32:20 +0100
Subject: How High a Mechitza

on 18/7/05 1:30 pm, Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:
> In responding to the idea of a pool mechitza, (btw, Jews have been known
> to be even more creative in solving problems), Martin Stern writes:
>> For purposes of tsniut, a rigid opaque barrier from floor to ceiling
>> would be required
> is this his opinion in any really serious tzni'ut situation, say a
> downtown bus or train on a hot summer's day and that without it, one
> cannot be there at all?

There is a distinction between going to places out of necessity such as
to a shop, for a necessary purchase, in the summer where one may pass
unsuitably dressed ladies in the street and something which is optional
like going to a swimming pool where this is inevitable. I would imagine
a bus or train journey would usually fall in the first category but for
a practical ruling one has to consult one's LOR as to what one may do.

> and as for his assumption about synagogue modesty, I think most of us
> can testify to occasional breakdowns upon bar-miztva occasions with
> non-religious relatives showing up.

This is unfortunate and perhaps shuls where this happens on frequently
should not rely on the various kullot. It would behove the ba'al simchah
to inform non-religious guests as to how they should dress when
coming. This is not religious coercion; they would act respectfully if
they went into a Catholic church in Spain and even Golda Meir covered
her hair when she visited the Pope! It is strange that those shuls where
the women do dress appropriately are precisely those with the thickest

Martin Stern


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 14:44:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: looking for "Friedman the Tutor"

In helping clear out some old books at my shul last week, I rescued from
the "shamos" box an extremely interesting little pamphlet entitled "How
to Get Deeper into Torah without Going off the Deep End: a tutor's
suggestions for maintaining your sanity while studying in a baal teshuva
yeshiva", copyright 1994 by Friedman the Tutor with illustrations by
Susan Slapak.

A Google search turned up only 2 or 3 references, quotes used
approvingly ("according to Rabbi X and Friedman the Tutor".  1994 was at
the beginning of the widespread use of the Internet and there's no email
address given.

There IS a Jerusalem POB, but I'm wondering if anyone out there is aware
of anything else by or about this person.  It was an outstanding work
and I'm making a few copies to pass on (the author encourages this in a
note at the back).  I'd love to see more of Friedman's work, if any

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:06:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Mechitzah on Swimming Beaches

Lets approach this logically: There are two viewpoints on Mechitzoth (a)
They are a SYMBOLIC SEPARATION--they prevent access (b) they prevent
peaking at women during prayer.

Separation (throughout Jewish law) requires a minimal 10 handbreadth
wall (about 36-40 inches). Separation from sight requires 6 feet

There is room for leniency in synagogues: But CLEARLY (Think about it!)
the goal on a beach is to prevent arousal. Conseequently (b1) the
mechitzah must be 6 feet (b2) it must be solid and not laced.

Of course one COULD dispute this...all I am saying is that if so one is
arguing that it is permissable to go to the beach with the intent of
seeing women in bekinis (I would find that a difficult position to

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.rashiyomi.com


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 15:59:35 -0400
Subject: Splitting up family

> a) One of the major mitnaged criticisms of Chassidut was the fact that
> too many of the chassidim would leave their families and travel to the
> Rebbes for holidays and other occasions leaving the wives to fend for
> the family.
> b) thousands of East European Jews left for England, the U.S. and South
> America, leaving behind families for years before being able to send a
> ticket for them to join.
> c) and then, we have something called annual milu'im here in Israel for
> up to three weeks.

I think one needs to distinguish among these three examples:

a) is / was voluntary to achieve some form of spiritual betterment (We
must presume positive motives.)

b) involved a calculated sacrifice made in seeking a better life.  My
zayde, ztl, went to Brazil in the 30's and bought land there.  He
returned to Poland to bring the family but was killed during the

c) involves either an obligation and / or a sense of duty.  Of course my
wife will note that I used to do my milu'im (U.S. Army Reserve duty)
right before Pesach so I would be out of the way during Pesach cleaning

Carl Singer  


End of Volume 49 Issue 9