Volume 52 Number 41
                    Produced: Thu Jul  6  5:30:49 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Airline meals during the nine days
         [Nadine Bonner]
Awareness of kosher needs
         [David Charlap]
Disproportionate emotional impact
Had To Work on Shabbos
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
HaRav Pinchas Tzvi (Phillip Harris) Singer ZT'L
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Jewish Blogs
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Kashrut Ignorance
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Kohen on Air Flights
         [Rabbi Wise]
Koren Siddur
         [Marc Yunis]
Midrash Aggadata
         [Sholom Parnes]
Naming of children getting converted
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
References to the Creator
         [Nathan Lamm]
Research question: references to the Creator
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Siddur Ergonomics
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 10:17:05 -0400
Subject: Airline meals during the nine days

I've been following this thread with some amusement. I don't remember
where the original poster was flying, but unless you are travelling
internationally, airplane meals are no longer a problem--they don't
provide them on US domestic flights.

I can remember enjoying a nice kosher lunch on a two hour flight from
Philadelphia to Atlanta. Last year, my husband flew from Philadelphia to
Northern California and was told meals were available for purchase on
the plane. We didn't even ask if they had kosher meals available. If you
have to buy food. you might as well purchase something you want to eat.

It was quite a long flight and he had to change planes in Houston. I
sent him off with some LaBruit self-heating meals--which are available
in some non-meat varieties I believe. He was nervous about eating them
on the plane because they do give off some steam, but they were quite
nice and came complete with plastic utencils and napkins.



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 10:02:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Awareness of kosher needs

Carl Singer wrote:
> I recall people being upset when the waiter removed the double foil
> for them, as if the waiter, serving tens of meals at a busy dinner is
> supposed to know ....

The kosher airline meals I've seen all have printing, in very large
letters, telling the staff not to unwrap the package.

It's one thing to not expect a flight attendant to understand kashrut.
it's quite another to expect them to follow the instructions printed on
the package.

-- David


From: <areivim@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 22:44:12 +1000
Subject: Disproportionate emotional impact

From: Joseph Ginzberg
> I have long wondered at the oddity of people's disproportionate
> emotional reactions to certain halachic issues, and this has been highly
> visible here lately with the interminable discussion of women and
> kaddish.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?
> Why does kaddish carry such psychic weight to aveilim?

Maybe because it is done/said so publicly.

> Why is eating ham or bacon so much "worse" than eating shrimp or
> gelatin?

Probably because the issur of chazzir is clearly mentioned in the Torah
- and EVERYONE - even non-Jews - know that it is forbidden to us.

> Why is marrying "out" so much less acceptable than, say, chilul shabbat?

Because if one wishes to do Teshuva on Chilul Shabbos and become a 100%
shomer shabbos, he can usually do it quite simply.

Marrying out and having a non-Jewish wife and childen and then deciding
to return - is a VERY complicated matter. Thus marrying out usually
means a complete cutting off from Judaism and Jews.

> Why is a womans wearing slacks or her style of hair-covering so much
> more important than her level of knowledge or committment to kashruth or
> shabbat?

I don't think that weqaring slacks is really considered worse that being
careless with kashrus, but is possibly frowned upon more noisily because
she does it so publicly. Bifresiye and shameless..  The halocho is that
a mechalel shabbos befresyo is 'menasech yayin'.  OTOH if he only is MS
privately he isn't.



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 09:29:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Had To Work on Shabbos

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
> But I still feel that to give all the people that "had to work on
> Shabbos" a free pass dishonors the heroism of those that resisted.

Not at all ... as you yourself stated, those who worked on Shabbat paid
a spiritual penalty for it (even though it was probably halachically
justified) - their families lost some of the connection to the Jewish
tradition.  Generally, only those who later tried to make up for this
loss by bringing (or encouraging) their children back to tradition (when
the time was more amenable to it) were successful in maintaining a
connection to our religion.


From: Sammy Finkelman <finkelmanm@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 17:09:37 -0400
Subject: HaRav Pinchas Tzvi (Phillip Harris) Singer ZT'L

A lot of information can be found at http://www.seraphicpress.com. What
is on the main page now is all the main entries since June 20. Typekey
comments are also there.


From: Arnie Kuzmack <Arnie@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 06:58:56 -0400
Subject: Jewish Blogs

> From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
> ...
> One could have made the same argument about books, in that anyone can
> write what they want and publish it.  However, the abundance of books
> has lead to consumer skepticism and discrimination in what they read.

In fact, people did make that argument about books.  In the Christian
world, it was a capital crime to possess (let alone print) the Bible in
a vernacular language.  The availability of the Bible to ordinary people
who did not know Latin was intimately connected to the rise of
Protestantism and the corresponding loss of power by the Catholic

One result was groups of Protestants who considered the King James
Version holy and made all sorts of home-grown interpretations of the
English text, unconstrained by any knowledge of the original languages.
There even were groups that started using "thou" instead of "you" in
daily speech, because it was holier.

As this synopsis indicates, changes of this sort have widespread and
profound results that are difficult if not impossible to foresee.  On
the other hand, it does not seem to be possible to stop them.


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 08:26:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Kashrut Ignorance

I experienced a somewhat difficult situation due to very well meaning
kashrus ignorance.  I was at an all day meeting at a company in Japan.
The time came for lunch, which was quite elegant and served by
waitresses.  I was prepared to take out my cheese and crackers when the
president of the company came up to me.  Now -- this is VERY unusual,
since senior people rarely speak during meetings there.  He said: "Dr,
Goldfinger, we realize that you have dietary restrictions and cannot eat
this food.  Please go with Mr. ___ who will help you."  So -- I went
with Mr. ____, a young junior employee of the company.  He took me to a
car and explained that the president had "directed" him to take me to
the restaurant that had the largest menu in that part of Tokyo in the
hope that I could find something to eat.  Gulp!  What could I do???
Well -- we got to the restaurant and Mr. ____ patiently read the five or
six page menu to me translating and explaining every dish.  I sheepishly
explained that I couldn't eat any of them, and settled on getting a beer
to have with my cheese and crackers.

Boruch HaShem -- it did not turn out to be a problem.  Mr. ____ was a
junior employee going out on an expense account to the fanciest
restaurant he had ever been to in his life.  He ate enough for both of
us, and we had a good time.

I thanked the president profusely when I returned.

-- Andy Goldfinger


Another not so happy Japanese type story:

Many years ago, I taught a Torah class in a kiruv environment.  The wife
of one of the students was a non-Jewish Japanese lady.  This was in the
years before sushi became popular in the observant community.  I
commented to the class, at one time, that I had never had sushi and
wondered what it tasted like.  The next week, during class, the Japanese
woman announced that she had made my some sushi using an old family
recipe that took three days to make.  She got up in front of the class,
and gave it to me.

Now -- if this had been in private, I probably would have said thank
you, taken it home, and thrown it out.  But -- it was in front of the
class.  If I had accepted it, this would have been a serious problem
with "maaras ayin" (appearing to do the wrong thing).  So -- yeharag
v'ol yaavor -- I thanked her, but said I could not eat it since it was
not perpared in a kosher kitchen etc.  She was deeply offended.  She and
her Jewish husband never attended the class again.


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 12:24:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Kohen on Air Flights

As a kohen myself , we rely on opinions that since any coffin has also
to be enclosed in a metal box and then placed in a seperate hold this
suffices to prevent the impurity rising. Rabbi Bleich has a long article
in his latest book - vol 5 of his halachic discussions in English.

In repsonse to Shoshan Boubil , despite apllying the title of Mochi'ach
to Chacham Ovadia whom I hold in the utmost regard, one would
nevertheless expect his statements to be consitent with those of the
Talmudic and Medieval Rabbis (including Maimonides) who clearly stated
that after the destruction of the Temple and especially outside Israel
Hashem's hashgacha is not evident - that is what "HESTER PANIM" means.
Hence it is impossible to attribute natural disasters to moral lapses.

Rabbi Wise

(It is erev shabbat or I would quote sources. They might follow if I
find time)


From: <GrchoMarc@...> (Marc Yunis)
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 17:58:00 EDT
Subject: Re: Koren Siddur

Tzvi Stern lauds the Koren Siddur and I too enjoy using it. It it still
available and I recently bought two nicely leather bound copies from
Pomerantz Booksellers in Jerusalem.

Marc Yunis


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 05:38:42 EDT
Subject: Re: Leadership

      Without having yet formulated my own spiritual response, may I ask
      what the alternative is?

be your own best jew and don't rely on others to decide what judaism is
for you. 


From: Sholom Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 21:45:54 +0200
Subject: Midrash Aggadata

At a weekly parshat hashavua shiur here in Efrat, the following was said
about Midrashim:

"Anyone who takes the midrash literally is a fool and anyone who does
not is an apikoreis."

I can't say I agree with this 100% but it is interesting food for



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 07:49:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Naming of children getting converted

Rabbi Wise writes:

> In the ketuba it is writtten ben/bat Avraham Avinu alav hashalom but he
> Avinu alav hashalom is not read out.

Maybe not, but a convert bride is called "giorta", and that is read


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 06:25:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: References to the Creator

Arabic speaking Jews use(d) "Allah," which, of course, is a generic word
for "god", related to the Hebrew "El," and thus may refer to *the*
God. I wouldn't be surprised if the Rambam used this, or Jews in any
Muslim (not just Arabic) country.


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 08:07:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Research question: references to the Creator

The minhag of the Bostoner Rebbe is, at the Pesach seder, to sing "echud
mi yodeah?" in Arabic.  The word used for G-d is "All-h," (spelled with
the dash when transliterated as I have.)  I take this to mean that the
word simply means "G-d" and is the cognate of the Hebrew word

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 11:06:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Siddur Ergonomics

>> It dawned on me this morning at Shacharis that several of my fellow 
>> daveners were bobbing their heads up and down during that portion of 
>> tachnun where they were trying to lay their heads down.
>> The reason is rather simple, the siddur that they were using has that 
>> portion of tachnun across two pages and necessitates turning a page in 
>> order to complete the entire tefillah.
> When I went pocket siddur shopping about 5 years ago, I ended up empty 
> handed since no pocket siddur had the tachanuns first section on one 
> page. For a pocket siddur , this is especially vexing.
> I think Rinas Yisroel has both on one page,

Why not photocopy the relevant stuff, cut-and-paste, re-copy, and paste 
that piece into the back of your siddur, or tuck it into the appropriate 
place in your siddur?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


End of Volume 52 Issue 41