Volume 51 Number 43
                    Produced: Fri Mar  3  6:16:34 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Change in Kashrut policy
Descendants of the Arukh HaShulchan
         [Nathan Lamm]
The letter Shin
         [Mark Symons]
Mezuza at work
         [Mark Symons]
Paid Kaddish Services (2)
         [Ben Katz, <ERSherer@...>]
Rabosay . . . . . mihr velen NIT bentchin
Valentine's Day and New Year's Day (2)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Janice Gelb]
Zeved HaBat (2)
         [Sarah Green, Asher Grossman]


From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 11:22:02 EST
Subject: Re: Change in Kashrut policy

> Up to now, the Kashrut policy of all Israel's city rabbinates has been
> an "all or nothing" approuch, whereby if one branch of a certain chain
> could not receive a Hechsher, none of the other branches would receive
> it either. Thus, for example, since one branch of the "Aroma" coffee
> shop chain in Jerusalem is open on Shabbat, none of the others (even
> though they are closed on Shabbat) could receive a Hechsher.
> This rule, though, is based on cities. For example, while McDonalds in
> Jerusalem is not kosher (open on Shabbat, cheeseburgers, etc.), the one
> in Mevaseret Tziyon (10 minutes outside Jerusalem, but under a different
> city rabbinate) does have a Hechsher.

    I don't know whether these "chains" are really "chains" (all owned
and operated by the same persons or entities) or wether the stores are
each an independent franchise, using the name and purchasing supplies
from the "chain". An example here (in America) is Dunkin Donuts, each
individual store is an independent franchise, which buys baked goods
from Dunkin Donuts, but is free to buy other products from other
sources. I get my coffee and pastry every morning from a store across
the street from where I daven. This store has a hashgocho; there is
another place a mile east and a mile west of it on the same street,
nether of which has a hashgocho.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 07:27:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Descendants of the Arukh HaShulchan

R' Meir Bar-Ilan was a grandson of the Arukh HaShulchan. He has
descendants living in Israel; I believe it is they who have custody of
R' Epstein's papers and the like.


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 23:51:43 +1100
Subject: The letter Shin

A few weeks ago a non-jewish patient of mine brought in a mezuza that a
friend had somehow acquired and given it to him. He thought it was
something jewish, so brought it in to ask me what it was. Interestingly,
he noted the letter shin on the outside, and thought that it was a
trident, ie being a Neptune-like symbol. The now obvious similarity of a
shin and a trident had never struck me before. Is there a connection
between them? What is the source of the particular shape of the shin?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 23:54:16 +1100
Subject: Mezuza at work

What are the halachic opinions about whether it is necessary to have a
mezuza on the doors of one's work place?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 03:43:33 +1100


The following story is doing the rounds on the WWW - in Yiddish.  I have
 forwarded it in the original Mameh Loshon to some on my list, but have
 had requests to translate it for those 'vos farshteyen nisht", so I am
 sharing it with our Chevra.

Two weeks ago, a Viznitzer Chossid from Bnei Brak celebrated the Chasuna
of his son in Monsey, NY, who was marrying the daughter of a Chossid of
the 'Monsey-Viznitz' Rebbe [brother of the Bnei Brak Viznitz Rebbe].

The wedding was held in the Monsey-Viznitz Simcha hall.

During the Chasuna, Rav Eliezer Hager shlita, a son of the M-V Rebbe

He approached the BB Mechuten, gave him a hearty Mazel Tov and wished
him all the best.  As he finished giving his Brochos, the Mechuten
turned to him [RAH] and said: "Keiner hot eich nisht gerufen" ["Nobody
called you!!].

REH ignored this and continued on his way towards the head table where
he made a Brocho, and then went on to dance with the Choson.

Meanwhile REH's Gabai got wind of the remark made by the Mechuten and an
remonstrated loudly at this Chutzpah. A commotion ensued and it looked
like it could become quite Lebedig.

Meanwhile REH was preparing to leave. But perceiving a disturbance -
immediately asked for an explanation.

He was informed that some of the guests were quite upset at the shameful
comment the Mechutan had made to him..

Hearing this, Rav Eliezer Hager immediately requested calm and

"The Mechuten from Bnei Brak and I have been close friends for many
years.  When he arrived from Eretz Yisroel for the wedding, he told me
that he needed a cellphone and asked if I had a spare one to lend him. I
said that I did. When handing it to him, I asked that he notify me if
anyone tries to contact me on that number.

When I arrived here, he informed me: NOBODY CALLED YOU.."

   / SBA


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 10:19:51 -0600
Subject: Re: Paid Kaddish Services

>From: Anonymous
>I have a more general question -- when / how does one take on saying
>kaddish for someone when they are not a chiuv?  Especially when there is
>someone else who could - but isn't - saying kaddish.
>For example, when a friend's spouse passed away, he said for the 30
>days, but having only daughters and since both his parents are living
>there was no one to say for the remainder of the year.

         I believe if one obtains permission from both parents one is
allowed to say kaddish for someone else.

From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 11:31:23 EST
Subject: Re: Paid Kaddish Services

>Does  one draw a distinction between no (male) chiuv and no willing chiuv?

    I would say there is a difference.


From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 11:41:09 EST
Subject: Re: Rabosay . . . . . mihr velen NIT bentchin

> yet answered my question: Does his inappropriate and offensive
> invitation to bentch trigger an obligation in all those present to
> respond?

    I would say "no". I would say that the person who announces
"Rabosai, n'vareich" should be the Baal habayis or Rebbe, if this takes
place in a shul or the host if it is in some one's home.


From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 08:51:51 -0500
Subject: RE: Valentine's Day and New Year's Day

> But even aside from the drunken revelry, people routinely mark Jan. 1 as the
> beginning of a "new" year: newspapers have reflections on the previous
> year and speculations on what the "new" year will bring; and people
> wish each other a "happy new year" - and at least some people seem to
> mean it.  That's pretty "meaningful." So they are "celebrating" and
> "observing" it not merely as a day off, but as the beginning of
> something new.  And that's the problem: for us, it isn't; there is no
> more difference to us between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 than between March 2 and
> March 3  We believe that Rosh Hashana is our new year - or one of them,
> but none of the others is Jan. 1.  If we "observe" or "celebrate"
> Jan. 1 as the start of a "new" year in any way (as opposed to merely as
> a day off), we are taking something away from our own holiday, and I
> don't think we may do that.

I still don't get the logic here. Halachah recognizes multiple "New
Year's Days" for Jews (and probably for non-Jews; Rosha Hashana is the
anniversary of the creation.  Does celebrating tu b'shevat "take away"
from Rosh Hashana?  Not at all - they are celebrations of different
cycles, of the start of different kinds of years.  So to - New Year's
day is merely the start of the secular calendar.  I think if one wanted
to invest January 1 with some particular Jewish ritual, particularly one
that mimicked elements of Rosh Hashana, then one could be accused of
engaging in something un-halachic.  However, I find thoroughly
unconvincing your claim that marking the day with some kind of
celebration (eg, getting together with some friends, attending an office
New Year's party) or even simply "observing" it with a casual "Happy New
Year" greeting "takes away from" Rosh Hashana and is thus is forbidden.
It is not enough to simply assert repeatedly that uttering "Happy New
Year" takes away from Rosh Hashana and thus should not be done - you
must demonstrate HOW such an observance "takes away" and you must also
show that if there is indeed "taking away," that such action is


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 11:21:51 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Valentine's Day and New Year's Day

Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:
> Janice Gelb writes:
> > The fact is that the world operates on a secular calendar so even
> > observant Jews deal with the secular year . . . 
> I have no problem with recognizing the existence of a calendrical
> change; I do not wait until Jan. 2 to change the date on checks.  But a
> calendrical event is not what's being celebrated; people normally don't
> throw quadrennial (or tetracentennial) Feb. 29 parties.  It's precisely
> the notion that Jan. 1 represents something new, whatever the "level of
> involvement", that I find problematic.

January 1 *does* represent something new: it starts a new secular
year. The fact that this new year is not a Jewish new year does not mean
that the event does not occur.

>  The point is that derech avodato, the ritual of the day, is drinking
> - frequently to excess -, which is not something we should be doing
> simply because the goyim are doing it; and this drinking does not mark
> anything that we, as Jews, ought to mark.

I notice that you did not quote the part of my message that brought up
the point that other celebrations, such as weddings, have drunkenness to
excess and debauchery among some people but that doesn't mean we don't
celebrate weddings. The ritual of the day is to wish friends and
neighbors a happy new year and to get together to mark the
occasion. Some people do so with drunken excess; other people do so with
funny hats and noisemakers. New Years parties that I have both thrown
and attended involved no liquor of any kind so it is certainly possible
and accepted to have a non-drinking celebration of this secular event.

-- Janice


From: Sarah Green <sarahyarok@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 15:53:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Zeved HaBat

Anonymous notes that his participation in a pseudo-bris ceremony may
imply some sort of validation of the ideological point being made.

We asked a similar question when a relative was making a bat-mitzvah,
complete with women's tefillah group, where the bat mitzvah would lein,
followed by speaking in the main shul (from the Ezras Noshim).

This family does have some feminist leanings (Dad says kiddush & Mom
does motzi) I think they're more within normative halachic guidance.  My
impression is that they did the leining thing because that's what's done
in their YI.

We were told by a gadol known for his tolerant views that our attendance
at the WTG, as the "yeshivish" branch of the family, would tend to
indicate our approval, and we should not attend.

As far as the bat mitzvah speaking in the main shul, the Rov said "'siz
nit ossur, ober 'siz nit shain", but they could be there for that.

From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 00:59:45 -0500
Subject: Zeved HaBat

I know i'm a bit late with this, but there is one more custom which no
one seems to mention, perhaps because it has been completely lost.

My grandmother, who was of Yekkish descent, told me of a ceremony which
was held by German Jews on the occasion of a girl's birth, named
"Holigrasch" (I'm not sure of the spelling). The children from all the
neighborhood were called to the home of the newborn child. The child was
placed in a bassinet filled with candy and other sweets. The father
would hold the bassinet high up, and the children would call out (I
won't attempt to write the original German, although I can pronounce
it): "Holigrasch! Holigrasch! What is to be this child's name?", and the
father would announce the name, after which the candy was given to the

The book "Minhagei Ashkenaz" brings this custom and has a lengthy
explanation for its origin and name.



End of Volume 51 Issue 43