Volume 51 Number 99
                    Produced: Mon Apr 17  6:12:00 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Yeast on Passover
         [Janet Zangvil]
Digitized version of the 13th Century Worms Mahzor
         [Elazar M. Teitz]
Layperson selling Chametz
         [Martin Stern]
Minhag of the Apta Rav
pay non-Jew with non-kosher food?
         [Tzvi Stein]
Sefarim in a Shul
Supplement to the Haggada
         [Martin Stern]
Use of electricity on Shabbat
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Janet Zangvil <j.zangvil@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 12:34:17 -0400
Subject: Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Yeast on Passover

There is an urban legend among non-Orthodox Jews that baking soda,
baking powder, and yeast are inherently not kosher for Passover.  As
Orthodox Jews know, all baking soda is kosher for Passover; baking
powder is KLP as long as it is made with acceptable ingredients like
potato starch instead of cornstarch; and even yeast is potentially KLP.
I believe that Red Star yeast was on R Eidlitz's Passover list; it is
still on R Abadi's Passover list.

Obviously, this myth comes from overgeneralization of the concept of
"leavening", but does anyone have more specific information about the
origin of this myth?

This myth is very widespread, and I think in some ways it constitutes as
much of a challenge to the mesorah as myths among non-Orthodox Jews
about what is permitted by the Torah since the implication is that you
can know what the Torah allows and doesn't allow by taking two minutes
with the English translation of the text.



From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 09:05:01 GMT
Subject: Re: Digitized version of the 13th Century Worms Mahzor

The comment was made that from the machzor "we see here unmistakably
that the ancient Ashkenazic vocalization was "'kedushah kulam ke'ehad
`onim' rather than the Avudraham's 'uvne`imah kedoshah, kulam...' "

There is a more authoritative source predating the machzor by two
centuries.  Rashi, in his commentary on the verse containing the k'dusha
(Y'shayahu 6:3), quotes the text of the prayer as "k'dusha kulam k'echad



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 09:42:02 +0100
Subject: Re: Layperson selling Chametz

On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 16:53:04 +0300, Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> wrote:
>> No rav includes chametz utensils in the sale, for that reason.
>> Instead, they are rented to the non-Jew, and only the chametz absorbed
>> within them is sold.
> But the text in the highly discussed Qitzur Shulhan `Arukh (at least in
> the Frenkel edition) refers to selling the spirits and the barrels "`im
> hakelim" (with the containers or utensils), as well as empty barrels
> that had been used for storing whiskey and containers for hametz, such
> as kneading troughs and flour chests.
> Also, there are indeed some contemporary rabbis who continue to sell the
> utensils.

The keilim Ira mentions all seem to be storage vessels, as opposed to
ones which are brought to the table, over which there is some dispute as
to whether they require tevilah at all. Perhaps they would not need
tevilah after the 'repurchase' from the non-Jew after Pesach because of
a double safeik, first, that they may not need tevilah at all, even when
purchased new, and, second, that we know that the non-Jew may have
purchased them for commercial purposes, i.e. to resell to a Jew after
Pesach, rather than for his own personal use. This might not apply to
keilim used for consumption of food proper as opposed to storage but
these may not have been included in the sale in any case.

Martin Stern


From: Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 08:04:13 +0200
Subject: Minhag of the Apta Rav

In his Ohev Yisrael, the Apta Rav, Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, notes a
minhag to be observed at Seuda Shlishit on the Shabbat after Pesach
which is to make an impression on the challot with a key (and maybe even
to bake the challot in the shape of a key?).

Anyone hear of this?  Practice it?


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 23:46:09 -0500
Subject: Moonies

Shalom to Klal Yisrael:

The Chicago Tribune this week published an expose about a sprawling
conglomerate that supplies much of the raw fish Americans eat. That
conglomerate is owned by, and funnels millions of dollars to, the
Unification Church headed by anti-Semite Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who claims
he is the Messiah.

for full story.)

[This link did not work for me, and I had to register to read the
article on their web site. Mod.]

The Moonie operation is centered around the True World Group which, the
Trib shows, builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers
and, each day, supplies most of the nation's estimated 9,000 sushi

I know there are kosher sushi restaurants in the U.S. Does anyone know
if the kosher sushi restaurants in your town use Moon's company?  Also,
it wasn't clear to me from the Trib article as to whether True World
Group also sells to regular fish markets.

I know that halachically, a corporation has a different standing than a
private firm when it comes to the issue of, say, paying interest.
However, I question whether we can be lenient about True World Group
because it's a Unification Church cash cow. To quote Trib one last time:

"Moon's Unification Church is organized under a tax-exempt non-profit
entity called The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World
Christianity. The businesses are controlled by a separate non-profit
company called Unification Church International Inc., or UCI."

"That company's connections to Moon's Unification Church go deeper than
the shared name. A 1978 congressional investigation into Moon's
businesses concluded: It was unclear whether the UCI had any independent
functions other than serving as a financial clearinghouse for various
Moon organization subsidiaries and projects."

Kol tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 22:46:08 -0400
Subject: pay non-Jew with non-kosher food?

I went to a gas station to use their vacuum to clean my minivan for
Pesach.  The seats were already removed and the floor looked about like
what you'd expect it to after being used by a large family for a year,
(with food having been removed during the year only when you could
locate it by smell).

A non-Jewish-looking homeless man was stationed by the vacuum (not sure
how he got the idea that it was the place to be) and offered to vacuum
the van for me so he could "buy a sandwich".  I insisted I would only
pay him in food, not money (to avoid the money going for alcohol) and he

Was it OK for me to let him pick out something from the Burger King
drive-thru (I made sure it didn't have meat and cheese... he ordered a
chicken something meal) or should I have taken him to a kosher place
(which would have cost me more and been more complicated since they
don't have drive-thrus)?


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 12:07:08
Subject: RE: Sefarim in a Shul

I don't know if this issue has come up, but I would like list member's

A shul member recently purchased a few sefarim for the shul.  There have
been some questions on a couple of these, specifically (1) The Book of
Legends, Sefer Haagadah, by Nachmin Bialik and Ravnitzky, translation by
William Braude and (2) The Commentator's Bible, The JPS (Jewish
Publication Society) Mikraot Gedolot, Sefer Shemos, by Michael Carasik.

The issue revolves around both the content and the source and some of
the questions that have arisen are:

1) Do other Orthodox shuls have one or both of these sefarim on their
shelves? (The JPS Mikraot Gedolot is fairly new, 2005, and includes a
translation of Shemos, with Rashi, Rashbam, Ramban and Ibn Ezra

2) JPS has translated many works over the years, with an original
translation in 1917 (I think) and a 2nd translation in 1985.  Obviously
Art Scroll has taken over the market for the majority of shuls, but are
JPS works (still) used in Orthodox shuls?  (I believe it is the offical
translation used at JTS and Hebrew Union College).

3) If these works are not used, what are some of the specific objections
(content, source, both)?

4) In more general terms, I believe that there is distinction made
between what sefer one would have in their private home vs. what sefer
would make its way onto a public shul's bookshelves.  One would think
that one would tend to be more conservative with sefarim in the shul,
outside of one's control.  Comments?

This post is not meant to criticize specific authors / institutions etc.
but I think it is reasonable to discuss the applicability of sefarim in
an Orthodox shul.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 09:56:49 +0100
Subject: Supplement to the Haggada

On Tue, 11 Apr 2006 06:08:44 -0700 (PDT) David Mescheloff
<david_mescheloff@...> wrote:
> The supplement, in Hebrew only, and for reading in Israel only,
> consists of the pasuk from parshat "arami oved avi": "va-yevienu el
> hamakom hazeh, va-yiten lanu et ha-aretz ha-zot, eretz zavat chalav
> u-devash", followed by breaking the pasuk into its three component
> phrases, with appropriate d'rashot chazal (or references to other
> pesukim in Tanach) on each phrase.
> I am deeply gratified by the reception the supplement has received
> across Israel.

I also downloaded the suggested supplement which, though quite
interesting, disappointed me in that it was not based on the
continuation of the text of the Sifri but rather an eclectic selection
of midrashim. When the Beit HaMikdash is rebuilt (bimherah veyameinu)
and we are able once again to bring a Korban Pesach (and Bikkurim) I
would presume that it would be that section which would be added to the
standard Haggadah as stated in the Mishnah "and we explain from 'arami
oveid avi' until the end of the section." We are not on the level of the
Tanaim to construct our own midrashim.

Martin Stern


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 00:51:12 -0400
Subject: Use of electricity on Shabbat

>From: David Charlap
>Either way, the issues surrounding electric use on Shabbos are not
>simple.  One should be very careful when making statements that imply a
>particular electric device could be permitted.

On the contrary, I believe that M-J is the proper forum for delving into
such issues. We are not issuing piskei halacha, but, ideally, we are
exposing information and having discussions which might be useful for
poskim to consider.

This thread started with posters asking about the differences between
incandescent, flourescent and LED lighting, with regard to how these
might be treated differently in halacha. The tendency to date has been
to find reasons to assur manipulation of all such lighting equally on
Shabbat. Beyond this, the issur of manipulating electricity in all its
forms has become pretty much entrenched in halacha. This is the path of
least resistance and controversy. Up to this point, this has led to a
moderate inconvenience under most conditions, although the proliferation
of electronic locks in hotels has resulted in more that a little
inconvenience for many of us. But the trend toward more and more use of
influence switches, security cameras, and motion detectors throughout
society will eventually (actually very soon) require a more
differentiated and subtle rulemaking by our rabbunic leaders, lest we
become the new Amish, clinging to a pre-industrial lifestyle in an
ever-more robotic-electronic age, at least one day a week.

If those MJ-ers who enjoy poring through the halachic literature will
research how we got to where we are now with regard to electricity use
on Shabbat, I will seek to answer the questions regarding the different
forms of lighting we now have available to us. (Starting right after the
chag.) Deal?

Chag kasher v'sameach--Bernie R.


End of Volume 51 Issue 99