Volume 51 Number 72
                    Produced: Sun Mar 26 10:30:05 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Any Halachic Problems with using a Self Cleaning Oven? (2)
         [Shoshana Ziskind, Avi Feldblum]
anything Jewish/kosher in Rotterdam?
         [Naomi Kingsley]
Dialects vs. mispronounciation (3)
         [Aliza Berger, Mark Steiner, Orrin Tilevitz]
Geniza halachos
Jewish vs. non-Jewish calendars
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Neturei Karta
         [P.V. Viswanath]
Portable Eiruv for Camping
         [Eli Adler]
Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk
         [Frank Silbermann]
"Shoshanat Yaakov"
Wine in Talmudic Times
         [Elozor Reich]


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 04:51:11 -0500
Subject: Any Halachic Problems with using a Self Cleaning Oven?

I'm going to call the local Beis Din but I'm curious. Does anyone know
of any halachic problems with using a self cleaning oven over Pesach?
That is to have it clean itself and then use it for Pesach? I was told
it gets hot enough for it to be usable.

Shoshana Ziskind

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 
Subject: Any Halachic Problems with using a Self Cleaning Oven?

Obviously, this is something each person would need to check with their
own posek, but in the halachic circles I move, either first doing a
chemical clean (e.g. easy-off) followed by the self-clean cycle, or
according to some, just the self clean cycle by itself, is considered
all that is required for kashering for Pesach. In a number of circles,
it is considered prefereable to using a blowtorch, since during the
self-clean cycle, all parts of the oven surface are at a significantly
higher temperature than used during regular cooking, while when using a
blowtorch, part of the surface is hot, but other surfaces are cooling



From: Naomi Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:35:31 +0200
Subject: anything Jewish/kosher in Rotterdam?

I am going to be in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, for a few days
[including shabbat] for a conference.  Any information [off list]?

Naomi Kingsley


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:33:50 +0200
Subject: Dialects vs. mispronounciation

Carl wrote:
>The judgmental me would find this same pronunciation improper coming
>from a twenty-something who grew up and was educated in a main-stream
>US yeshiva.

The anthropologist and linguist in me would find this pronunciation a
gold mine, and would find it a terrible thing to allow this
pronunciation to become extinct.


Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:44:34 +0200
Subject: RE: Dialects vs. mispronounciation

Concerning dialects: I once asked a Satmerer little boy, farvos zogstu
"booreekh atoo"?  Without batting an eye, he answered immediately, "Azoy
shtayt in sidder."

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 12:32:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Dialects vs. mispronounciation

I once knew a baal tefilah who, Instead of "Hashem oz le-amo yitein"
(the Lord will give His people strength), or even "Hashem oiz le'amo
yitein" (translation unclear), would invariably say "Hashem eiz le-amo
yitein" (the Lord will give His people a goat).


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 01:58:41 +1100
Subject: Geniza halachos

This week's "Shabbos beShabbato' newsletter by the Antwerp Kehilla has a
comprehensive list prepared by their Bedatz on which items require
geniza [and how] and which not.

I can email the newsletter upon request.

SBA <sba@...>


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 22:03:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Jewish vs. non-Jewish calendars

> From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
> Andy Goldfinger writes, in v51n62,
>       Anyway, the point of all this is that I asked [Robert] Newton
>       about the Jewish calendar, and he said it was the most accurate
>       calendar he knew of.  He claimed that the "Hebrews" could not have
>       gotten the length of the synodic month as accurately as they did
>       from information in the surrounding culture, since it was not
>       known to this accuracy.  When I asked him how they got this
>       figure, he said (literally): "they were lucky."
> If he referred to "Hebrews" rather than "Jews," I suspect he thought
> that the value for the synodic month used in the present Jewish calendar
> (the same value as calculated by Ptolemy) was used as far back as First
> Temple times, in which case the Jews could not have gotten it from
> Ptolemy.  Since Newton is an expert on the history of the calendar, I
> would be very interested to know what evidence he has for that. Simply
> the fact that it was a mitzvah, going back to Moshe Rabbeinu, to make
> calculations of the molad is not in itself evidence that they used this
> particular value for the synodic month in making the calculations, or
> any value that was nearly as accurate.
> Of course, it is quite possible that Jews did know the length of the
> synodic month to this accuracy before Ptolemy calculated it. If so, they
> could have figured it out the same way that Ptolemy did, by using lunar
> eclipse data extending over hundreds of years. They could have taken
> Babylonian data (maybe older data than that used by Ptolemy), or they
> could have made their own observations of lunar eclipses. All this would
> be very interesting, but I would like to know what evidence there is for
> it, if any.

Aside from the mesorah that the value that we use has not changed and
was originally "halacha leMoshe miSinai" (sorry, I do not remember where
I heard that), I have heard a reference to Dovid and Yehonasan.  In the
haftara of Machar chodesh, it is pointed out that not only did they know
that the next day was rosh chodesh, but they knew that the eidim would
not come and that it would be a two day rosh chodesh.  They would have
known this only by calculating in advance that the eidim would not be
there on the first day.

Of course, since the chodesh was determined by eidim until the
destruction of the bais hamikdash, they could recalculate each month.
However, the gemoro says that during galus bavel, they used a fixed
calendar, since the beis din could not declare the chodesh by means of

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


From: P.V. Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 14:05:59 -0500
Subject: Neturei Karta

In m.j. 51.69, Yisrael Medad wrote regarding Martin Stern's comment
about the Neturei Karta that "their theological position which does,
whether we like it or not, have a basis in Talmudic sources," among
other things:

>As Prof. Aryeh Morgenstern has pointed out, the pupils of the Vilna
>Gaon invalidated them by claiming that this was supposed to be a
>"package deal" and if the goyim don't keep their end of the bargain,
>well, Bnei Yisrael surely have a right to immigrate to Land of Israel
>and build it up (see in his book "Geula B'derech Hateva", pgs. 7-9).

I am certainly not pro-Neturei Karta.  However, I must say that my eyes
were opened to the issue that Martin Stern raised, after a shiur that my
rabbi gave to show that the anti-medina position of certain rabbis was
not well-founded.  Contrary to my rabbi's intention, I realized for the
first time that, in fact, the anti-medina position can be held by bnei
Torah.  The argument that Yisrael brought from the Vilna Gaon's students
is certainly a valid basis for rejecting the Three Adjurations, but it
doesn't look to me like it's a knock-down argument that demands that you
have to absolutely reject the Three Adjurations.  In other words, to
show that the anti-medina position doesn't hold water, it is not
sufficient to find support for the pro-medina position, you have to show
that the anti-medina position is impossible to hold.

I would welcome seeing such arguments.

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Eli Adler <eliedaat@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:16:14 +0200
Subject: Portable Eiruv for Camping

This summer I hope to take the family camping in the Canadian Rockies in
a motorhome.  How can I setup a quick simple but kosher eiruv for the
immediate camping area.  What materials to prepare etc...

Any other Shabbat camping or kosher motorhoming hints appreciated...

Eli Adler


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 14:07:45 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk

Eli Turkel
>> RYBS and the Brisker's in general claim that one cannot ask "why" about
>> mitzvot but only "how".  Does anyone know any sources in RYBS or other
>> Brisker works for this?

Aryeh Gielchinsky <agielchinsky@...> V51 N69:
> The Beis Halayvi brings down this idea in parshas Bo, on verse 12:26
> (page 119 in the new edition of the Beis Halayvi, starting on paragraph
> Vihegadita livincha bayom). (In short) He says the wicked son of the
> Hagadah is someone who will not do a mitzvah until he understands the
> reason behind it.

Does he explain why why the Hagadah text itself does not make this point
when explaining the wicked son's wickedness?

> He says making up reasons for mitzvos is a bad idea because when one
> of those reasons doesn't apply, people will say the mitzva is
> obsolete.

On the other hand, if the one learns that a mitzvah is performed only
because it is G-d's command, people will conclude that anytime there is
a halachic way around the mitzvah there is no reason not to take it.
With no logical motivations to the contrary, we can only assume that
whatever halacha permits G-d approves.

For example, we are not to wear new clothes during the three weeks of
mourning before Tish B'Av.  I asked my rabbi, is it OK to buy a dress
for my daughter during this period provided I have the gentile little
girl downstairs put it on first (thus rendering the dress no longer
new)?  He responded, of course not!  The whole reason for the custom is
to deny ourselves pleasure during the three weeks; your daughter would
have no less pleasure from the dress merely because her friend put it in
briefly before her.  I responded, "Aha!  Now you're trying to look for
reasons behind the mitzvot!"

Frank Silbermann	Memphis, Tennessee


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 17:41:10 +1000
Subject: Re: "Shoshanat Yaakov"

> From: Leah S. Gordon <>
>> In almost every shul I've been to for Purim, after the megillah reading
>> someone starts singing the hymn "Shoshanat Yaakov" that appears in some
>> siddurim for Purim services. ..
>> It seems to be a remarkably poorly-memorized part of the liturgy.
>> Is it halakhically necessary to sing this hymn?

> The brocho 'Harov es Riveinu' is part of the service.
> Shoshanas Yaakov is only a minhag - first mentioned in the Maharil.

I now have some further info about this.

The Likutei Maharich writes that "Asher Heni' was composed by the Anshei
Kneses Hagedolo, which lechoreh, would give it far more importance.

I have also learned that Shoshanas Yaakov is actually a continuation of
Asher Heni - whose verses are in Alef-Beis order but end with the letter
'reish'. Shoshanas Yaakov and Teshu'osom make up the Shin and Tav.
[Then I noticed that the Artscroll siddur indeed has these letters

And while I am at it, it is known that Shoshanas Yaakov refers to the
Jews who are sometimes called Shoshana. But it is also a remez on

Another 'chiddush' in the LM.

In Asher Heni, where it says 'Hein' Hadassa, it should really be 'Chen
Hadassa' - referring to Esther finding 'chen' in the eyes of all.



From: Elozor Reich <lreich@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 11:34:14 -0000
Subject: Wine in Talmudic Times

Saul Davis <saul.davis@...>  posted:-

>>........it must be understood that they [ancient wines - SD] were very
>>different from wines as we know them today. They were often so intense
>>and coarse that they needed a fair amount of "adjustment" before they
>>were considered drinkable". The adjustment he refers to is dilution
>>and flavouring.

>>BTW he writes that in ancient times pottery vessels were coated with
>>clay but the clay would absorb as much as 20% of the liquid stored in
>>them, thus it was wise to store better, ie older, wines, in old,
>>second-hand, vessels. ..............."

Without wanting to dreg out this thread longer than is needed, I think
two further points made be made.

1) The Talmud (Avoda Zara 32a) talks about Cheres Hadriani (Hadrianic
shards).  Pieces of pottery were saturated with wine (made from grapes
grown on virgin soil) and used by soldiers to create 'instant
wine'. Would this work with today's wines ?

2) It has been suggested to me that the character of all our wines
underwent a fundamental change in the 19th Century due to the phylloxera
plague. This destroyed (virtually ?) all of Europe's vineyards, with the
industry having to start again with new disease resistant rootstocks
imported from America.

Elozor Reich 


End of Volume 51 Issue 72