Volume 52 Number 68
                    Produced: Mon Sep 11  6:19:47 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Air Conditioning Units - Emptying Water Tank On Shabbos
         [Daniel Wells]
         [Eliezer Shemtov]
Emptying Water Tank on Shabbos
         [Carl A. Singer]
Heter for turning off an alarm clock on shabbat?
         [Ken Bloom]
Hollekreisch (3)
         [Dov Bloom, Dov Bloom, Meira Josephy]
Jewish Agency and Nefesh B'Nefesh (2)
         [Batya Medad, Abbi Adest]
Ki Tavo prohibitions
         [Tom Buchler]
LO Tasur
         [Joel Rich]
Maharal and The Philtrum, Yeled Pelah
         [I. Balbin]
Siddur Textual Contradiction?
         [Yisrael Medad]
why Jews & non-Jews have the "bump from the malach (angel)"
         [Sarah Green]


From: Daniel Wells <wells@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 16:04:37 +0300
Subject: Air Conditioning Units - Emptying Water Tank On Shabbos

This is not strictly MJ, but for those who are interested, I have the
water flow into a 25 Liter plastic can located above the toilet. From
the top of that can I have another waterpipe leading into the toilet as
an overflow. On the side of the can there is a faucet to drain the
condensed water (on weekdays) into plastic soda bottles for use in steam
irons etc.


      From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...> >

      I have at home a mobile air conditioning unit that has a water
      tank.  This water tank fills with condensed water as the unit
      chills the air, and periodically requires emptying.  When the tank
      is full, the chilling element stops functioning, and the unit
      effectively becomes a fan.

      Is the water that condenses in this tank muktze on Shabbos on the
      grounds of being nolad?  [I'm not sure what a good definition of
      nolad is, but I believe that it is essentially something that is
      newly formed on Shabbos, for example an egg laid by a hen.]  If
      the water is muktze, then would there be a problem in emptying the
      tank on Shabbos?  If there is a muktze issue, then can the tank be
      emptied by an unusual method, e.g. syphoning the water out rather
      than removing the tank and emptying it in the sink in the normal

      Immanuel Burton.


From: Eliezer Shemtov <shemtov@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 13:37:10 -0300
Subject: Chamsa

What is the origin and significance of the hand-shaped amulet called
'chamsa' or 'hamsa'?

Eliezer Shemtov
Montevideo, Uruguay


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 11:47:42 -0400
Subject: Emptying Water Tank on Shabbos

From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
> 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
> switch.

This sounds analogous to the dehumidifier issues we had.  The
dehumidifier has a large open topped tank where the water that's
"dehumidified" (moisture drawn) from the air is deposited.  This tank
has an overflow switch so that when it approaches capacity the switch is
tripped and the system shuts off -- thus not spilling water onto the

Ideally, if one empties the overflow tank before Shabbos its capacity is
sufficient that it will run all Shabbos without shutting off and there
is no need to deal with it.  However, if one sees that it is filling and
doesn't want it to shut off, one could (from a mechanical -- not
halachic viewpoint) take a large glass (for example a washing cup) and
bale water from the tank.  The immediate question is whether this is
halachically permissible.  Also consider the (minimal) consequences of
just letting the thing shut off.

A long term cure for most of these systems is hooking up a drain hose
that drains into a catch basin or sink thus alleviating the overflow



From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 17:07:02 -0500
Subject: Heter for turning off an alarm clock on shabbat?

I made the mistake of experimenting with the time-bake feature of my 
oven about 5 minutes before shabbat, to keep the oven on low until it 
was time to eat. Little did I know that after the oven turned off,
the  oven would beep every minute or so to indicate completion until
someone  hit a button on the control panel to turn off the beeping.

It happened that when I and my guest had gone to bed, my frum
roommate  returned and turned off the beeping. When I asked him about
it in the  morning, he said it was some kind of "crazy heter" (his
words) that if  you couldn't move a beeping alarm clock somewhere to
muffle it (e.g. in  the case of this oven when it's too big to move),
you could turn it  off.

Has anyone heard of a heter for this?



From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 22:59:55 +0300
Subject: Re: Hollekreisch

I participated in one in a shul in Yerushalayim a few years ago. A
relative of mine married into a family with "yekke" traditions, who
presented this as a traditional "Yekke"-German naming ceremony for a
girl. It included a number of mishaberachs and psukim, a dvar Torah and
of course food.  It seemed entirely Jewish to me, I can't see who would
think it is a "German Jewish secular naming ceremony", it seemed very
non secular to me, and not at all what Eugene Bazarov implied that
perhaps it was of non-Jewish origin.

Of course we have modern-day revisionists who look at any minhag of any
Jewish community only through their own narrow experience ( or their
present day Rebbe's narrow experience).

Dov A Bloom

From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 00:32:41 +0300
Subject: Re: Hollekreisch

>Daniel Z. Werlin wrote on Thu, 7 Sep 2006 

>I did notice extensive treatment of this topic in two books: Sharshei
>Minhag Ashkenaz (vol 1), Hebrew, by Rabbi Binyamin Hamberger, published
>Machon Moreshet Ashkenaz.  Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Josuah
>Trachtenberg, reprinted JPS

I see that Trachtenberg quotes what I understood is the Mahari Mintz
"19" -but I cannot find any responsa #19 in my BI responsa, it only goes
up to about 14.  Does anyone know what "Responsa of Moses Mintz 19" he
is referring to?

What does Hamberger say about it? Any critisism of purported goyish

Dov A Bloom

From: Meira Josephy <mjosephy@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 09:16:54 -0400
Subject: Hollekreisch

You may want to look at this article:

Hammer, Jill "Holle's Cry: Unearthing a Birth Goddess in a German Jewish
Naming Ceremony" NASHIM: A Journal of Jewish Women╩╝s Studies and Gender
Issues. 2005

She mentions several sources (Maharil, Mahzor Vitry, Yosef Ometz, Sfat
Emet, Sefer Hasidim....) which reference the hollekreisch or ceremonies
that are quite similar to the hollekreisch.

I did not look at the sources quoted, but Hammer suggests that some of
these sources associated Hol-kreisch with "z'aakat chol" -profane
cry. In modern german kreischen means cry or shriek. So its the ceremony
where the secular/profane name of the child is called out.  Because the
ceremony was associated with galut/exile, some of the sources were a
little uncomfortable with the idea of it but don't seem to be
uncomfortable with it due to a possible connection to a witch figure.


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 19:31:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Jewish Agency and Nefesh B'Nefesh

I flew with an NBN flight both last summer and this one, too, as a

>From my understanding, the Jewish Agency is much more involved this year
than last.  In the earlier NBN years, NBN was the active agent helping
counsel and absorb olim.  This year seemed very different.  The Jewish
Agency has taken over more aspects.  There have also been changes in
Nefesh B'Nefesh.  It was good seeing them working together.


From: Abbi Adest <abbi.adest@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 20:22:42 +0300
Subject: Re: Jewish Agency and Nefesh B'Nefesh

The Jewish Agency might indeed be a partner in the Nefesh B'Nefesh
project, but it's a fact that until NBN came along, North American
aliyah numbers were a joke. Yes, the JA has had an aliyah department
since its inception (for that really is their raison d'etre) but it was
NBN that singlehandedly put North American aliyah back on the table as a
serious consideration for many Jewish families across the
continent. Once the Jewish Agency saw their success, they tagged along.

The Sochnut has many wonderful, noble goals for Israel and Diaspora
relations. Unfortunately, because of some very stultifying bureaucracy
and confused priorities (it was their grand idea to bring any Russian
with a vague connection to the Jewsh nation into the country), they are
not able to always realize these goals themselves. So I will have to
respectfully disagree and give the proper credit to NBN for these
extraordinary flights of North America olim.

Abbi Adest


From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 13:35:11 -0400
Subject: Ki Tavo prohibitions

Last Shabbat, in Ki Tavo, we read in Devarim 12:15-26 a dozen curses
associated with prohibitions. Does anyone here know what is special
about these particular prohibitions, that they were singled out from the
several hundred more that were not called out in this particularly
spectacular fashion?



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 05:23:19 -0400
Subject: LO Tasur

> I think I recall seeing an answer somewhat as follows:
> The case in Horios is where the Sanhedrin erroneously ruled that
> something that's really prohibited is permitted (e.g., that a certain
> type of cheilev [hard fat] may be eaten). They didn't say, though, that
> it's a mitzvah to eat it! 

See the Ramban on the pasuk lo tasur who specifically says you "must"
eat (or put the individual judged to death even though you "know" he is

Joel Rich


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 08:09:11 +1000
Subject: Re: Maharal and The Philtrum, Yeled Pelah

> From: SBA <sba@...>
> 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!

Which Girso-os (versions) of Shas did he know. Was he born
with a true one, or was he born knowing all the versions.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 20:47:42 +0200
Subject: Siddur Textual Contradiction?

In the Ashkenazi version of Mussaf for Rosh Chodeshof our Siddur, the
second paragraph after the Kedusha correctly repeats, word-for-word, the
source for the Temple sacrificial ritual, specifically, one se'ir (kid
goat), as found at Numbers 28:11.

Yet, in the previous paragraph (roshei chodashim l'amcha&#8230;), we
read that the sacrifices consisted of "olat rosh chodesh" , i.e.,
singular and se'irei izim, i.e., plural.  The olah, while multiple (10
elements) is rendered in the [collective] singular but the singular kid
goat is rendered, inexplicably, to me at least and to my magid shi'ur,
Rav Yaakov Navon, in the plural while it is actually singular.  There's
a contradiction here, seemingly.  In Sfard siddurim this problem does
not exist as it is in the singular.

Can anyone explain?

P.S.  Do not confuse this matter with the problem of chapters 46:6 in
Yechezkel which note that the new moon sacrifice consists of "one young
bullock without blemish, six lambs, and a ram," but the instructionsfor
this same sacrificial ceremony in Numbers 28:11 stipulate "two young
bullocks, seven lambs, and a ram."

Yisrael Medad


From: Sarah Green <sarahyarok@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 11:07:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: why Jews & non-Jews have the "bump from the malach (angel)"

I asked this question to a teacher in seminary about 30 years ago.  He
suggested that if only Jews had this mark it would take away some of our
bechirah (free will)


End of Volume 52 Issue 68