Volume 52 Number 66
                    Produced: Sun Sep 10 11:22:45 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Air Conditioning Units - Emptying Water Tank on Shabbos
         [Tom Buchler]
Bet Din Survey
Dr. Feng Shan Ho (2)
         [<FriedmanJ@...>, Bernard Raab]
Email contacts needed
         [I. Balbin]
Jewish Agency and Nefesh B' Nefesh
Maharal and The Philtrum (4)
         [Alan Rubin, David Riceman, SBA, Ben Katz]
A Response from David Kranzler on Shanghai
         [Perets Mett]


From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 09:34:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Air Conditioning Units - Emptying Water Tank on Shabbos

If, as you describe, the unit shuts off when it gets filled with water,
then regardless of the muktze issue, I'd be more concerned about
reactivating the unit by emptying the water and reinserting the tank.
There would have to be some kind of switch (electronic or mechanical)
involved in the mechanism for it to work the way you describe.
Re-inserting the tank might be construed as equivalent to turning on a



From: Hakirah <HakirahFlatbush@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 18:04:05 -0400
Subject: Bet Din Survey

Hakirah is conducting a survey regarding your experiences and your
feelings about bet din. Your answers will be used for one or more future
article in Hakirah about battei din. Your privacy will be protected and
your identity will not be revealed. To participate in the survey please
go to our Web page www.Hakirah.org and click on Bet Din Survey.

Alternately you may click on www.Hakirah.org/BetDinSurvey.htm.

Thank you for your help.
Heshey Zelcer, Hakirah
www.Hakirah.org, <HakirahFlatbush@...>
Fax: 718-534-3142


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 08:26:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Dr. Feng Shan Ho

> You couldn't get out of Europe without a visa to anywhere.Hence, the
> fabrication of the non-transit visas to Curacao that allowed for that
> tiny window of opportunity that allowed Telz and Mir students and anyone
> else who could get one to get to Shanghai.

David Kranzler is the expert on this.

As for the letter J on Jewish German passports--that had to do with the
Swiss Jews who asked that German Jews' passports be so stamped before
allowing Jews into Switzerland, because the Jewish Swiss leadership
didn't want smelly Jews coming into Switzerland and creating an
"antisemitism problem." I can, if I wanted to, offer the name of the
individual who insisted on it. In fact, he was the same individual who
tried to prevent the Kastner transport from coming to Basel and,
according to my POLISH mother, who was on that train, said that "the
rabbis on it should be like sea captains and go down with the ship."

Manli Ho, the diplomat's daughter, is always looking for information and
has information. This is just one site devoted to the topic.

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 15:05:57 -0400
Subject: Dr. Feng Shan Ho

>From: Shlomo Pick
> >It is clear that at no point was there ever a need for a Chinese visa
> >to get into Shanghai - in fact, during the entire period in question
> >Shanghai was not under Chinese rule.  Mr Pick's claim that
> >>> a visa stamped into your German passport with the red "J" would
> >>> guarantee a ship's ticket
> > is clearly not true - to get a ticket you needed money, not a visa
> > which the shipping companies knew was worthless!......
> > See http://www.rickshaw.org/visas_for_life.htm for arguments on both
> > sides of the question.
>After a break of almost 4 years, i have more information:
>concerning the site, i can't get into that visa for life site any more.
>in any case.  However, there is a DVD my father gave me called "Shanghai
>Ghetto" in which a number of interviews are given as well as historians
>who chime in also.  Prof. emiratus Irene Eber of Hebrew University even
>claims that it wasn't a ghetto but standard Japanese policy that was
>applied to all European peoples. In any case, she also states that one
>didn't need a visa to go to Shanghai, but one needed a visa to get a ship
>ticket to any foreign country.  That was standard policy of all shipping
>companies, according to her statement.  i don't even know if i should
>post this as i have not followed mail jewish in years, but i think that a
>good word should be put in for this righteous gentile who did help is
>saving my father's and his parent's life. in any case.

If I may, I believe I can set the record straight. Prof. Eber did indeed
say that in the film, but she was not entirely correct. The visas were
required to get out of concentration camps in Germany and Austria for
citizens of those countries, and to get exit visas. For those Jews Dr.
Feng's help was critical. But boat tickets to Shanghai could be bought
without visas, and many did. His visas were entirely bogus, since China
no longer controlled Shanghai, but the shipping companies knew that
their passengers could debark in Shanghai without papers of any kind.

--Bernie R.


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 08:07:50 +1000
Subject: Email contacts needed

a) I've am reading Menachem Glenn's thesis on the life of Reb Yisroel
Salanter and have some questions. Does anyone know of an email address
for him?

b) I read Shalom Friedman's book on Rav Goren and have some questions
there as well. Does anyone know of an email address for him?

Please respond by email (if the above two don't mind me
contacting them) Thanks in advance.


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 08:04:19 EDT
Subject: Jewish Agency and Nefesh B' Nefesh

As someone who worked on temporary assignment as a public relations
consultant on the flights for aliyah from JFK this summer for the Jewish
Agency--which pays the Aliyah bills and subsidizes the NBN grants--there
is important information missing from these aliyah posts from Jacob

Everyone of this list needs to know the following: Nefesh b' Nefesh is a
wonderful organization, but they are PARTNERS with the JEWISH AGENCY FOR
ISRAEL.  The Jewish Agency pays for the olims' seats on the plane and
the chartered flight. The Jewish Agency pays for the Klita, the Jewish
Agency processes the papers, the Jewish Agency does way more than half
the work, but the Jewish Agency rarely gets credit. That's plain wrong.

The Jewish Agency for Israel is a vital, integral part of the Aliyah
process, pays most of the bills and while not perfect, does a fantastic
job. Give them proper, positive credit. They deserve it.

And while one or two olim may not have had a perfect experience with the
Aliyah Department, from what I have seen in the weeks that I worked with
them, the people in the Aliyah department are some of the most
dedicated, hardworking people I ever met in my life. The people in the
main office in NY and the schlichim around the US and Canada are on call
24/7 to meet the needs of those making Aliyah. They aren't clock
watchers and bureaucrats and give of themselves personally.  That was my
experience with them.

And for those of you who want to make aliyah, here's a little detail
worth almost its weight in gold: The Jewish Agency allows olim 3
suitcases at 70 lbs. each.


From: Alan Rubin <alanrubin1@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 14:58:19 +0100
Subject: Maharal and The Philtrum

Michael Green asked,

> We know that when a child exits the womb a angel taps it on the
> Philtrum--the vertical groove or dimple in the upper lip--causing this
> Jewish child to forget all of its Torah learning acquired in the womb.

> Does anyone know of a source that deals with an explanation as to why
> both Jews and non-Jews alike have this indentation?

The philtrum forms from a mass of tissue which fuses with tissue on
either side. Failure of this fusion results in hare-lip and explains why
hairlip is always on one side of the philtrum. The dimple in the
philtrum is a result of the way that it was formed.

Alan Rubin

From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 10:15:59 -0400
Subject: Maharal and The Philtrum

> Does anyone know of a source that deals with an explanation as to why
> both Jews and non-Jews alike have this indentation?

The same story appears in Plato, only there the child learns Platonic
philosophy.  Maybe the Jewish kids forget Torah and the non-Jewish kids
forget philosophy.

David Riceman

From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 21:09:35 +1000
Subject: Maharal and The Philtrum

It seems to be generally accepted that the angel taps the child on the
philtrum (thanks, I've been looking for that word for years...), but
actually the gemoro - the source of this - (Niddah 30b) says "ba malach,
vesitroy al piv" - slaps his mouth.

Younger members of this forum have probably never heard about the 'yeled
peleh' (as he was labeled by the israeli press) in the early 50s.

When this child began attending cheder in Jerusalem, his melamed soon
realised that amazingly he knew everything - Kol Hatorah kulah -
Chumash, Mishna, Gemara and even certain sefarim published at that time!

He was tested by many rabonim (including our former rav) and even
lehavdil - galochim, who had heard of his amazing knowledge.

Eventually this was put to an end by the late Belzer rebbe zt'l.  The
'yeled pele' is alive and well (living in Natanya, IIANM) but all he has
left of those times are the many newspaper clippings of his short term

I have heard said in the name of the Steipler that the reason that such
an 'open' miracle occurred at that time was to help restore the faith of
the holocaust survivors and their families.


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:46:50 -0500
Subject: Maharal and The Philtrum

         We "know" this from folklore/legend/midrash.  The reason for
the philtrum is of course related to the way the face develops
embryologically (which also explains the anomalies seen if the process
goes awry, the most common of which is a cleft lip).


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 12:48:27 EDT
Subject: A Response from David Kranzler on Shanghai

Dear Jeanette,

    Here are my minor corrections. Yes, one did not need a visa to
Shanghai, only a ship ticket. No, not all of Shanghai was under
international sovereignty. There was the Chinese sector under Chinse
control. Since the Japanese controlled the harbor since the 1937
Japanese-Chinese hostilities, they could decide who comes in and who does
not. They decided, based on a Dec. 5, 1938 Top FIve Minister's
Conference, to permit theentry of the Jewish refugees. The French or
British would permit their entry only if they had $400. U.S. cash. (a
fortune at the time).

    No, Prof. Irene Eber, doesn't knpow what she is talking about. There
was a real ghetto, i.e., a sector into which all Jewish refugees had to
move, from their former apartments. It did not have a wall around it,
but it was surrounded by Japanese soldiers or Jewish Pao Chia Police,
weho checked the entry or exit, which depended on obtaining a permit to
leave for a certain time limit. Should someone return past the deadline
on the permit, that person was thrown into jail (where one could catch
typhus).. She is also wrong re All Europeans were treated this way.
Nonesense. The  stateless Russian Jews did NOT have to go into the
Ghetto. The Europeans who had passports from the Allied nations were
interned in special internment camps a year after Pearl Harbor.

    Mr. HO, the Chinese Consul, who gave out visas to China, (based on
research in my book, HEROINE OF RESCUE, wasintended purely as a means of
legitimizing the refugees fleeing into Switzerland. With these visas Rech
Sternbuch was able to have the refugees remain in Switzerland for a short
while, after which (based on these visas)  they were permitted to go to
Italy, from where they went on illegal Immigration to Eretz Israel
(instead of China). So HO is a hero and the refugees never entered CHina.



From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 12:55:13 +0100
Subject: Vakhnakht

SBA wrote, in response to an earlier message:

>> What about a Vachnacht?
> What about it? It seems to be an old minhag which, these days is VERY
> strong amongst chassidim. In fact many make a bigger deal of the
> vachnacht than they do of the Seudas Bris.

Never mind the chasidim, but bavliyim and other 'sfardi' communities  
make an even bigger thing of it. They callit Brit Yicchak.

Perets Mett


End of Volume 52 Issue 66