Volume 51 Number 74
                    Produced: Mon Mar 27  5:59:38 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Any Halachic Problems with using a Self Cleaning Oven?
         [Michael Poppers]
Current Kosher Situation in New Orleans
         [R E Sternglantz]
Glossery of Terms
         [Richard Dine]
Jewish vs. non-Jewish calendars
         [Mike Gerver]
Jews in Eretz Yisrael
Neturei Karta
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Passover on the J Site and 172 Passover Hotsites
         [Jacob Richman]
Portable Eiruv for Camping
         [Dr. Josh Backon]
Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk (2)
         [Ben Katz, Mike Gerver]
Second Day of Yom Tov revisited
         [Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise]
Self-Clean Oven & Blow Torch
         [Michael Mirsky]
Tzedek Hadin
         [David Neuman]


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 13:22:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Any Halachic Problems with using a Self Cleaning Oven?

In mail-jewish Vol. 51 #72 Digest, Shoshana Ziskind asked:
> 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?

The usual Halachic caveats apply to this and most such responses,
especially as I'm not qualified to offer advice and am merely relating
what I've heard. AIUI, the self-cleaning cycle works well for the oven
interior (according to one group of opinions, even without a 24-hour
quiescent period, as the level of "libbun" performed by the cycle
actually destroys any food particles rather than merely "extracting"
them), but one also needs to worry about racks (on which any
food/containers may have rested while the oven was in normal use) and
the oven door (both that part which doesn't get "as hot" during the
cycle and the seal, which is an issue similar to the seal on a
refrigerator or freezer). Summaries of the Halachic issues involved with
an oven should be available at the Websites of various
Kashrus-certification organizations, including the Star-K and the OU.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Someach and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager


From: R E Sternglantz <resternglantz@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 11:13:39 -0500
Subject: Current Kosher Situation in New Orleans

Hi -

I will be traveling to New Orleans in mid-May for a conference and am
curious as to the current post-Katrina state of availability of kosher
food.  I remember seeing an announcement that one of the large kosher
stores in Metairie had reopened. Has the kosher restaurant in the French
Quarter reopened (that's actually where I'll be).

Thanks for your help.
Ruth Sternglantz


From: Richard Dine <richard.dine@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 10:32:17 -0500
Subject: RE: Glossery of Terms

A good glossary of terms exists in the Steinsaltz reference guide
(available in both Hebrew and English editions).  For Asmachta, R.
Steinsaltz writes "literally (mere) support.  Sometimes the Rabbis in
the Talmud explicitly state that the Biblical verse cited as the basis
for a law is merely an allusion to the law rather than its actual
source; in such cases, the verse is called an Asmachta -- 'support' --
for the law.  Since laws of this kind do not actually derive from the
Biblical source (which serves, instead, as a sort of mnemonic for
remembering them) they are generally Rabbinic decrees...."

Richard Dine, Silver Spring, MD


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:03:14 EST
Subject: Jewish vs. non-Jewish calendars

Hillel Markowitz writes, in v51n72,

      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 eidim.

Still, they would not have needed anywhere near the accuracy of the
present fixed calendar, in order to be good for 70 years.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:18:24 +0200
Subject: Jews in Eretz Yisrael

Richard Fiedler wrote:
> The Ramba"m relates the calendar to the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael. But
> what would happen if there was no Jews at all living in Eretz Yisrael? I
> believe the calendar would become undefined.

Reading the Ramba"m (Sefer HaMitzvot - Positive 153) indicates that if
there were no Jews in Israel the calendar would not simply be
"undefined" but there would be no way to celebrate any Yamim Tovim,
Roshei Chodashim etc etc.

Also - "Am Yisrael" would be considered to have ceased to exist !

(Please insert "Heaven forbid" "Chas v'Sholom" liberally in the above).

Chodesh "haChodesh haze lachem" Tov !


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 11:14:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Neturei Karta

Meylekh Viswanath wrote:

> [ . . . 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.]

Read Eim Habanim Smeicha.


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 19:18:16 +0200
Subject: Passover on the J Site and 172 Passover Hotsites

Hi Everyone!

Passover is a Jewish holiday, of Biblical origin, marking the birth of
the Jews as a people and their emergence as a unique nation in history,
devoted to G-d's will. It celebrates the liberation of the children of
Israel from slavery in Egypt over 3000 years ago, under the leadership
of Moses.

This year Passover begins on Wednesday night, April 12, 2006.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment

has several entertaining features for Passover:

Passover Trivia
In what Hebrew month is Passover celebrated ? 
Why do we eat matzah during Passover ? 
How old was Moshe's mother when she gave birth to Moshe ?
How long did the Jews' exile in Egypt last ?
Where did the Jews live in Egypt ? 
How many days did the plague of blood last ? 
What happened to Pharoh's daughter, Batiya, when the
Jewish people left Egypt ?

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice 
Flash quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.
Both kids and adults will find it enjoyable.

Additional Passover resources and games on the J site include:
Free Passover Clipart
The Multilingual Hangman Game (English / Hebrew)
The Multilingual Word Search Game (English / Hebrew / Russian)
My Jewish Coloring Book (online / offline)
Hebrew Passover Songs with Vowels (Nikud)

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not
enough, I posted on my website 172 links about Passover,
ranging from laws and customs to games and recipes.
Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, 
French, Portugese, Italian and German.
All 172 links have been reviewed / checked this week.
The web address is:

Please forward this message to relatives and friends,
so they can also benefit from these holiday resources.

Happy Passover,


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:03:20
Subject: Re: Portable Eiruv for Camping

Eli Adler asked:

>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...

If you can get a copy of HILCHOT TZAVA, published by Hamerkaz l'Hilchot
ul'halichot Tzava from Yeshivat Shaalavim in Israel, the book has a
large 60 page section with extensive diagrams on a "do it yourself"
Eruv. You'll get detailed instructions how to make proper Mechitzot,
Tzurat haPetach (including how to set it up in the field), description
of Pirtzot.



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 21:35:08 -0600
Subject: Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk

>From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
>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:
>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.

         Mr. Silverman (and others in this thread) seem to be taking the
maximalist position on this issue as espoused by Yeshayahu Leibowitz.
For a critique of this position, see Daniel Statman's "Negative theology
and the meaning of the commandments" in the current (Spring 2005 [sic])
issue of Tradition.

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 17:55:41 EST
Subject: Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk

Frank Silbermann says, in v51n72,

      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

When my father a"h passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack 6 years
ago, I had some new pairs of pants which I had bought, but not yet worn,
and which I needed, to replace other pants that had worn out. I asked a
good friend, who wears the same size pants as I do, to wear them for a
little while, and to return them to me without washing them. (I even
told him to exercise in them so they would get all sweaty, just as a
chumrah.)  I'm pretty sure that I asked a local rav if that would be an
appropriate thing to do, and he approved. I think this is a standard
thing to do in these circumstances. Of course, the situation was
different than in Frank's case, because I really needed to use the
pants, and maybe his daughter didn't really need the dress then.

I decided not to use that heter in the case of my tallis, though,
because, while it is not that unusual or thrilling for me to get new
pants, I only replace my tallis about once every 12 years, and I do get
special pleasure from buying a new tallis. My old tallis was really
falling apart, and one of the tzitzit had recently been replaced, in an
emergency, with one that didn't match the others. I had been planning to
buy a new tallis a couple of months later, after we made aliyah, since
it costs a lot less in Israel than in Brookline. But I continued to use
my old tallis for the next year. By that time, I REALLY enjoyed buying a
new one!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise)
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 12:13:41 EST
Subject: Re: Second Day of Yom Tov revisited

Richard Fiedler writes and I quote: "Certainly from the time that this
was proclaimed (the talmud admonishing those outside Israel to be
careful to observe the second day yom tov) there have been many
persecutions yet none of them , even the Holocaust confused us"

I would like to testify that when I and other rabbis and rabbinical
students visited Moscow and Petersburg in the 70s we found no-one who
was expert in the Jewish calender as a result of the ban on Jewish
education which commenced in 1918!


(Rabbi) Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise, London


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 19:05:44 -0500
Subject: Self-Clean Oven & Blow Torch

Be careful when using a blowtorch - especially on oven racks.  Don't
leave the flame too long continuously in one spot.

I did one year, and because of the uneven heating the rack warped,
wouldn't fit into the oven any more and we had to buy a new one!



From: David Neuman <daveselectric@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 11:09:06 -0500
Subject: Tzedek Hadin

Does anyone know if there is a minhag to say Tzedek Hadin before closing
the grave? or before the casket is lowered into the grave?

duvid neuman
Dave's Electrical Service, LTD.


End of Volume 51 Issue 74