Volume 50 Number 77
                    Produced: Tue Dec 27  5:25:45 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Any experience with hagalah tanks for pesach?
         [Tom Buchler]
Other Types of Kashrut Certificates
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
         [Russell J Hendel]
so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'? (3)
         [Russell J Hendel, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Akiva Miller ]
Tefillin Found/Tefillin Lost
         [Sam Fink]


From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 15:04:22 -0500
Subject: Any experience with hagalah tanks for pesach?

For a number of years, we've used a product sold in many large hardware
stores that is advertised for use deep-frying turkeys. It is basically a
large propane single burner on a short stand that puts out perhaps
35,000BTU, and is sold with a large kettle. These must be used outdoors
to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. We replaced the kettle with an
even larger one from a local restaurant supply store.

Their main advantages are that they are relatively inexpensive and put
out massive amounts of heat, letting you get a large kettle boiling in
perhaps 20 minutes or less, and keep it boiling with insertion of
utensils to be kashered. They are relatively low to the ground, making
them more convenient to use for this purpose than a commercial cooktop.
Also, when done outdoors, the issues of spilled water are less serious.

A couple of pairs of large and STURDY tongs and a mesh laundry bag are
useful for getting items in an out of the water, but you need to take
care to adequately shake the bag in the water or grasp items in various
places with the tongs so that all parts of the item are directly exposed
to the water. There is a hard rubber-like oven mit that can be useful to
avoid burns. Regular cloth mits, and even the combination kevlar/cloth
mits sold as Ov-Glove don't adequately protect from burns since boiling
water soaks right through them.

If your rav holds that the mesh laudry bag is too much of an
interposition, then just through the items into the boiling water, and
fish them out with the tongs. Be forewarned that fishing flatware out of
hard-boiling water from a large kettle with tongs is a challenge. Two
tongs helps. Wearing eye protection protects eyes from splash burns, but
prevents seeing as they will fog up as soon as you lean over the kettle.

Check with your rav, but it is my recollection that large items that
can't be immersed in their entirety they can be immersed a part at a
time as long as the entire item is eventually immersed. Convex items
should go in sideways and rotated so that the hollow parts come
completely in contact with the water.

When the water gets low, add more as needed, and allow to come to a full
rolling boil.

A sturdy waterproof table next to this setup with towels laid across it
gives a place for the items you've pulled out of the boiling water to
cool sufficiently to be touched before the items are rinsed.

Have a hose handy to act as a rinsing station. People should bring their
own towels for drying, as it is impractical for you to supply towels for
the whole community.

The attendant should be fully aware of your community's kashering
standards, and be above reproach. A list of the more common issues and
what people should not bring might be useful. For example, some permit
kashering of hard plastic, some not. Some kasher Corel, some not. Most
Ashkenazim don't kasher glass for Pesach, some Sephardim hold that glass
doesn't need to be kashered at all and just wash glass and use it. I'd
avoid kashering glass just to avoid breakage issues.  Kitchen knives and
other utensils with separate handles are an issue. Items must be
'completely' clean.



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 12:27:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Other Types of Kashrut Certificates

Hillel (Saba) Markowitz writes: <If there is a definite health issue so
that the item is a definite danger, then the medical authorities should
ban it. It is not the function of the kashrus organization to assume
that something is or is not dangerous because of publicity or scare
tactics.  Thus, if the medical authorities or the government do not
consider something "dangerous", then how can the kashrus organization do

I'm not sure that's the standard, because safe substances may be banned
and dangerous substances may not be banned for political reasons.  For
example, neither the government or medical authorities in the U.S. have
banned tobacco consumption (although the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration once attempted, unsuccessfully, to regulate it).  If you
ran a kashrut supervisory organization and a tobacco company asked for a
hechsher on cigarettes, would you give it?

I note that kashrut organizations routinely do decline hechsherim for
reasons having nothing to do with kashrut, one example being the Glatt
Yacht affair a number of years ago where one organization pulled a
hechsher because of mixed dancing.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 09:56:13 -0500
Subject: RASHBAM

Some answers to Aryeh (In passing I am glad that the discussion is
finally settling down to explicit texts rather than our rights to say
certain things about Rishonim)

Aryeh brings down the Talmud Kidushin and the verse "When your brother
the son of your mother...seduces you privately to idolatry" from which
the Talmud infers that a son (brother) can be alone (privately) with his

In my original article on Peshat and Derash (Tradition Winter 1980..url
below) I offer the following terminology and analogy. Suppose I tell my
hostess "Get me milk ALSO." Here is the way to analyze this
sentence. (a) My PRIMARY intention is to get MILK. (b) But a SECONDARY
implication of the sentence is that others are getting milk and I want
milk also (alternatively...the secondary intention is that I am getting
cookies and want milk also) (c) However the sentence implies about the
real world that (c1) I do want milk and (c2) other items (either cookies
to me or milk to others) is being served.

In other words I distinguish between the TRUTH of the sentence and the
HOMILY of the sentence. An example of HOMILY would be the observation
that MILK in English Gematria is 45 which spells the Hebrew word MAH
which stands for WOW which implies the MILK was of good quality.

I am saying that EVERYONE agrees that the sentence TELLS US that other
servings are being made (cookies to me or milk to others). However it is
not TRUTH and INTRINSIC to the sentence that the milk is of good
quality.  True, there is a primary vs a secondary meaning and in that
sense there are layers of meaning. But the statement there are layers of
meaning is independent of what is TRUE vs what is HOMILY in the

This is my real point which I again restate: I believe that the sentence
GET ME MILK ALSO has one set of TRUE inferences whether those inferences
are primary or secondary. On the other hand I reject the homiletic
gematria above as a Layer of meaning. There is NO reason to interpret
the sentence using gematria.

Returning to the Talmud Kidushin, the comment in the text is based on a
database query showing that all genealogy is paternal in the Bible
unless there is some reason for others. Hence most SIBLING genealogies
are interepreted by Rashi (Usually as indicating caring behavior or
helping in marriage (See http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gn04-22b.htm
). Similarly maternal genealogy would be so interpreted. Since the Bible
deliberately deviates here I have the right (or obligation) to see a
secondary meaning that is however TRUE. This in turn differs from
secondary meanings which are homiletic and fanciful

Russell Jay Hendel http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rashi.pdf


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 09:42:09 -0500
Subject: so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'?

The Hebrew root Ayin-Beth-Daleth means to WORK. It can connote a wide
range of work. The highest form is TEMPLE SERVICE (the so called
Avodah).  An intermediate form is WORKER. The lowest form is SLAVE. That
this root **does*** mean slave can be seen from the last few verses from
the rebuke section in Ki Thavo "And you will be sold there for SLAVES
and BONDMAIDS..." Clearly the reference here is to SLAVES and not
WORKERS (Because it is a curse)

Since the Hebrew root Ayin Beth Daleth can have such a wide spectrum of
meanings it does not make sense to say it means WORKER but not SLAVE.
Again: It can refer to temple service (This is a biblical usage as in
the verse "and the levite shall SERVE, THE SERVICE OF THE TEMPLE TENT).

The proper procedure in this case is the following: (a) There is no
Biblical word that EXCLUSIVELY means SLAVE. (b) Jewish Law gave the
Biblical slave so many rights that for all practical purposes it would
be better to refer to them as a LONG TERM CONTRACTED WORKER (The
"slavery" consists of not being able to get out of it unless you have
sufficient money).

In other words I would focus more on the laws granting rights then on
the meanings of words.

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

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 10:14:58 -0500
Subject: Re: so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'?

> From: .cp. <chips@...>
> I'm watching 'Bible Battles' on History Channel, pretty much as a
> lark. Sometimes I get interested in the blinders that others wear, spurs
> review of learning in my mind (and sometimes get me to lookup) and once
> in a great while I hear an idea that I can develop without resorting to
> ignoring the Torah.
> Anyway, "Exodus" comes up and an expert is shown saying that the word
> `avodym` does not mean 'slave' but only 'worker'. This just puzzles me -
> what then is the word for slave ?

In the sense that the English uses it, there is no separate word.  There
are different halachos for different people.  Consider the "eved ivri"
which is better translated as "indentured servant".  Indeed, in colonial
times, people would come the the colonies as indentured servants for
specific periods of time and be free once they worked out their
contracts.  I have seen references to the time of indenture being
derived from the Torah (Yaakov and the 7 years - and eved going free in
the seventh year).  An eved kna'ani is closer to the concept of slave as
it is for life, *but* the halacha is such that it is not the same as
slavery in the nonJewish world (such as in the U.S. before the civil
war). Indeed, an eved who escapes from a master is to be treated as a
free man and allowed to live in Eretz Yisroel (Devorim Ki Seitzei -
23:16). I do not recall seeing the use of the term "eved" to refer to a
hired workman as I think that term comes from "schar" (wages) and has
more of the connotation of an independant contractor.  That is someone
hired for a specific task.  Eved has the connotation of someone required
to do whatever he is told, not just a specific job.

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

From: Akiva Miller  <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 17:00:22 GMT
Subject: Re: so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'?

When translating, it is important to understand that there is rarely a
one-to-one correspondence between languages. In this case, I'd say that
'eved' can mean either 'worker' or 'slave', depending on the context.

My favorite demonstration is in the words "yad", "hand", and "arm":

"Yad" is an ambiguous word, which can refer either to everything below
the shoulder, or only to the part below the wrist.

"Hand" is unambiguous; it always refers to the part below the wrist.

"Arm" is ambiguous, referring either to everything below the shoulder,
or only to the part *above* the wrist.

If you want to throw in "zroa", it too is unambiguous, referring
specifically to what is above the *elbow*.

Four similar words, none of which always means the exact same thing as
another. BTW, the same problems exist with foot, leg, and regel.

Akiva Miller


From: Sam Fink <samfink@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 11:28:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Tefillin Found/Tefillin Lost

I want to personally thank all list members who worked so hard in
helping me to locate Joel Rosenfeld, who lost his tefillin in the
Montreal airport.  Thanks to mail-jewish, Mr. Rosenfeld was found,
identified his tefillin, and I shipped them out to him a few weeks ago.
I couldn't believe the number of members (more than 50) who were willing
to help, send emails, and had useful suggestions...what a terrific

Now, how did I get Mr. Rosenfeld's tefillin in the first place?  My son,
Jonathan, went to Camp Mossad in Montreal last summer, and we believe he
lost his tefillin in the Montreal airport...when we called the airport's
lost and found, the said they had them...and then sent us
Mr. Rosenfeld's tefillin instead! (they did not have ours).  When we
told the Montreal airport that the tefillin were not ours, they did not
seem that interested, and I felt uncomfortable sending them back,
fearing they would become permanently lost....I just knew that
mail-jewish would be a better answer.

My son's tefillin (one pair) were in a black tefillin bag, with the name
"Jono" inscribed on the bag.  I believe that the tefillin bag was in
another plastic bag, possibly with a small siddur inside (depending on
how he lost them).  If anyone on the list knows about the tefillin, I
would much appreciate hearing from you at <samfink@...> .I believe
that they were lost at the end of August, probably in the airport,
although not definitely.  I would strongly urge everyone to please make
sure that a business card or some sort of identification is placed in
your tefillin/tallit bags!  Thanks to all!....Sam


End of Volume 50 Issue 77