Volume 52 Number 54
                    Produced: Tue Jul 18 14:08:33 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Aseh Lecha Rav"
         [David Curwin]
         [Stu Pilichowski]
Kohein flying in a plane carrying a  dead body
         [Perets Mett]
lettuce, professionalization, and the Foxfire books
         [Andy Goldfinger]
loss of credibility?
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Mesechtos Ketanos
Modern Orthdoxy
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Online Publication of the Rashi Short Guide
         [Russell J Hendel]
Text of Ketuba
         [Rabbi Wise]
Two-days of Yom Kippur
         [Michael Pitkowsky]
         [Martin Stern]


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 08:56:08 +0300
Subject: "Aseh Lecha Rav"

I have heard that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach held that "Aseh Lecha Rav"
is good advice, but not a halacha, and in our days it is preferable to
consult with a posek based on their field of expertise.

David Curwin
Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 05:14:01 +0000
Subject: Intermarriage

> No.  Until recently (and often even these days) parents sit shiva after
> a child that married out RL.

What's the purpose for sitting shiva for an intermarried child? What's
the purpose of demarking this as the "end of the line?"

A child willing to intermarry in most cases won't have a serious problem
with not being part of the Jewish community.

Why not do just the opposite: increase closeness and warmth. Perhaps the
couple will come closer to Judaism. The other way will only distance
them and lose them forever. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion, Israel


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 07:26:21 +0100
Subject: Kohein flying in a plane carrying a  dead body

Eli Turkel wrote:
>> 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

> Having recently finished the article it seems difficult to permit it
> as most answers have serious problems. OTOH in practice almost no
> Cohen stops flying to Israel.

I don't know how much evidence Mr Turkel has collected to support his  

I do know that in London there are Kohanim who, when flying El Al to
Israel, will ascertain that there is no dead body on board before
flying. There is of course no objection to a Kohein flying when (as in
most cases) there is no dead body on board. Likewise with other
airlines, who do not transport bodies to Israel.

Perets Mett


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 14:24:47 -0400
Subject: Re: lettuce, professionalization, and the Foxfire books

 [My son-in-law asked my to submit this on his behalf] 

Re: David Riceman. (idea that "Mothers" previously were the experts on
removing insects from vegetables) 

A most interesting perspective! Please allow a different one.

    The issue is not the specialization or proffessionalization of
halocha, rather it is that people in this day and age are under so much
stress and pressure that they are looking for all the short cuts
possible. Of course our grandmothers knew how to salt & soak, they also
knew how to check vegetables for insects.

    Today however people want the convenience of buying everything pre
kashered and pre checked. If a butcher store would open in your town
selling shechted, unkashered meat would you buy it, knowing that you
would have to kasher it at home ?  The process of Melicha and Hadacha is
long complicated messy and difficult. The appropriate process for
checking lettuce is also not one that can be done in 5 seconds. It
involves soaking, agitating and inspecting each piece in front of a
light box or a window. If you choose to do this then "ashrecha", more
power to you. However, today most people would prefer to purchase
"prewashed and prechecked lettuce".

 If you look carefully at the advertisements which we have seen of late,
they do not say that you can not check lettuce on your own ; rather they
say that it should have an appropriate, reliable hechsher. Many of the
packaged prewashed vegetables go through a washing process which "in
theory" removes most of the bugs making them into a "miut sh'aino
matzuy" (such a small percentage that it does not need checking).
Recently the Rabbanim hamachshirim checked some of the pre checked
packaged lettuces and found that they were infested with insects. That
is why there has been a round of advertising reminding us to use only
properly checked lettuces.


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 04:05:41 -0700
Subject: loss of credibility?

In a discussion last month on M.J about who should say kaddish and how
many times, R. Aron Soloveitchik was quoted as saying, approximately,
"if women are told that they can't [halakhically] do things that are
actually permitted, then we [Rabbis?] lose credibility around things
that are truly forbidden."

I find this to be an interesting quote for two reasons.  First, it is
undoubtedly true and should drive more M.O. responsa in my opinion.

But second, it seems that only rarely do rabbis follow this line of
reasoning, for either men or women.

For instance, some women are still under the misimpression that they
should not say kiddush, motzi, or havdalah for themselves or their minor
children if the occasion arises.  (I realize that these three are
distinct, and that in fact both kiddush and motzi can arguably also be
said for the husband by many opinions.  I'm taking the most exreme
attitude as an example.)

Why are women under this impression?  I am less interested in the
halakhic answers in this context, because we've been down that road
before.  I'm much more interested in the social implications for our

And to follow up on my "for either men or women" comment above, why is
it that rabbis aren't more forthcoming about denouncing various chumrot
that prohibit the permitted (table cloth color or whatever)?

I suppose I also have a larger question: how does it get determined
which snippet of a gadol's paragraph will get seized upon as social
instruction and which will be ignored as rhetoric?  This is not as
simple as it seems, because I think it revolves around who holds the
social power in our community.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 01:24:34 +1000
Subject: Mesechtos Ketanos

Does anyone know about the availablity of any editions of Mesechtos
Ketanos - with and without meforshim - other than the standard one at
the back of the Vilna Shas Mesechte Avodah Zarah??



From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 10:29:26 -0400
Subject: Modern Orthdoxy

Sharon wrote

> A friend sent me a link to this article that talks about the
> disappearance of the orthodox middle-ground.  As a member of this
> vanishing breed, I found it to be a true representation of what orthodox
> society is becoming.  While I don't necessarily agree with every
> sentiment expressed by the author, he brings an important issue to the
> forefront.  Click on the link to the article below and see what you
> think....
> Mourning Modern Orthodoxy
> http://www.beliefnet.com/story/194/story_19407_1.html

I found the article a bit silly for example

"...Take my recent visit for Passover. My father and I went to dinner at
a kosher restaurant. Looking around at the other diners, I was struck by
the number of people who, through their garb (covered hair and
ankle-length skirts for women; black velvet kippot ((skullcaps) and/or
black hats for men) signaled their allegiance to right-wing Orthodoxy.
Hardly anyone there looked like me, clad in jeans and a T-shirt and a
knit kippah of my own. The clothing, always a priminent symbol of
difference in the Jewish community, indicated to me that the
neighborhood, once a gathering spot for observant Jews of all kinds, was
Jewishly diverse no more..."

There is no shortage of Jews who wear jeans.  It depends on what
neighborhood you are in.  But clothing doesn't say anything about Modern
Orthodoxy.  When I went to Yeshiva HaMavtar none of Rabbeim wore jeans
and several wore black hats and velvet kipot. I've never seen a picture
of Rav Soloeveitchik in Jeans and a T-shirt, yet he defined modern
Orthodoxy for the last generation.

If we really want to see the problems of Modern Orthodoxy I would look
to the upcoming death of Edah http://www.edah.org/edah-to-close.htm as
part of the problem.  Another example is the fact that there are only
two Modern Orthdox Yeshiva Gedolah in the US, Yeshiva University which
has failed to integrate its Yeshiva and University identities.  The
University is fully secular and the Yeshiva doesn't have one identity
with its multiple "Rosh Yeshivas" ranging from MO to Charedi.  The on
the left we have Chovevei Torah, which is a great idea but does
questionable practices such has hiring Reform Rabbi's and JTS Professors
to teach Orthodox Rabbinical students.  (I'd love an explanation of
these two practices from anyone more familiar with the situation)

If Modern or Centrist Orthodoxy is to succeed we need more Centrist
Torah institutions.  We need to populate our schools with modern
Orthodox Rabbis, not hire Charedi Rabbeim who teach the children that it
is wrong to believe to Torah U Madda or in religious Zionism.  Our Young
Israel's and OU synagogues need to only hire MO Rabbis, not haredi
Rabbi's who look down on the Centrist beliefs of their congregants.

As MO Jews we need to make Torah more of a focus of our lives.  MO Jews
need to understand we need to learn on a regular basis. We need to have
regular Chavrusas at the shul and not lead Judaism to the professionals.
MO does not mean pick and choose Orthodoxy, it doesn't allow us to eat
fish out because its good for business or even worse, there are no good
kosher restaurants in town.  Even if we aren't wearing suits ever day,
we need to dress modestly, daven tefilla btzibur and be involved in the
community as Jews.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 23:39:42 -0400
Subject: Online Publication of the Rashi Short Guide

Hi. From time to time (or maybe more frequently) I have gotten into
discussions in mail jewish on the meanings and interpretations of Rashi
and Midrash. As you all know I believe all Rashis present the simple
spontaneous meaning of the text. I recently published an online book,
The Rashi Short Guide, containing a 6 part lecture series that I gave at
one of the local synagogues.

It is a free download for anyone who wants it. In the book I carefully
go thru the 30 Rules that make all Rashis spontaneous intuitive and
logical.  You can download the book at

http://www.Rashiyomi.com/RashiShortGuide.htm or

for the HTML book zip version (Or simply go to http://www.Rashiyomi.com
and chose the form you want). I have received positive feedback (that
the monograph clearly explains the principles) from several people. Many
of the discussions on mail jewish (not all:)) have helped me to
formulate the principles involved

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd.; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 01:59:00 EDT
Subject: Re: Text of Ketuba

In response to Orrin Tilevitz.

As we celebrate 350 years of re-settlement in England, I can assure him
that no pregnant bride was promised less than 200 zuz. Can he produce a
ketuba to support his assertion?

Rabbi Wise


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 23:44:48 -0400
Subject: Two-days of Yom Kippur

See the comments of R. Yaakov Molin in Responsa of the Maharil par. 166
in the Machon Yerushalayim edition and sources cited in note 7 on
p. 278.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 06:19:36 +0100
Subject: Re: Yisro-kel

On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 10:47:56 -0400, Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
> On a first meeting, the shy Yerushalmi boy asks his prospective mate,
> "Aich Korim Lach?" (What's your name?).

I was not aware that the shiddukh system had got to such a state that a
couple don't even know the name of the person they are to meet!

> She responds "Bas-kah", (instead of the usual pronounciation, Batya,
> simultaneously using old Hebrew and the -kah suffix to avoid the Holy
> name and thus proving how frum she is.. ) She then asks him, "ulecha
> aich korim?"  (And what's your name?)
> He immediately shoots back with "Eli-kaku", instead of Eliahu, showing
> how silly this whole thing is.

Surely he must have said Kelikaku! Just like drinking Ginger Kale on a
hot day!

Martin Stern


End of Volume 52 Issue 54