Volume 52 Number 96
                    Produced: Tue Oct 31  6:14:45 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fish in Noah's Ark
         [Yael Levine]
GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows (2)
         [Art Werschulz, Ari Trachtenberg]
Hoshanos after Shacharis
         [Ben Katz]
Hoshanot after Shacharit - Nusach Ashkenaz
Is this Chescher "kosher"
         [Carl Singer]
Kavanah software? What's next?
         [Jeanette Friedman]
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
So you want to be a Rebbe?
         [Paul Shaviv]
Sotah and the "bitter waters"
         [Alan Friedenberg]


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 12:53:52 +0200
Subject: Fish in Noah's Ark

I have been asked if there are any sources concerning the way the
various types of fish were preserved in Noah's ark. One may assume they
were put in some type of aquarium.



From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 09:44:02 -0500
Subject: Re: GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows


No Open Source version for Unix? :-)

Seriously, in response to

> Yes, I agree that the only possible way to evaluate one's kavanah is a
> purely subjective assessment.  I don't think that subjective unreliable,
> however.  A person who is truly honest with themselves is able to decide
> how much kavanah they actually had, once a tefillah is completed.

ISTR that Rabbi Dr. Twersky wrote something to the effect that if one
thinks that they had extra kavanah after davvening, then they most likely
did *not* have extra kavanah.  It's somewhat like humility--if you think
you're humble, you're most likely not.

Anyway, good luck on your project.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 10:33:13 -0500
Subject: Re: GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows

  From: Fishkin, MD <Joseph@...>
> kavanah. We can debate whether theoretically the program would work or
> not, but the proof is in the pudding - the Kavanah Improvement Project
> has been demonstrated to help people improve Kavanah.

Oh really ... how would you demonstrate such a thing (I am really quite
interested!).  At best, I would think that you could demonstrate that it
helped people's subjective interpretation of their own level of kavanah,
but (and this is certainly meant to be facetious) so would an idol!

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 17:45:26 -0600
Subject: Re: Hoshanos after Shacharis

>From: <Smwise3@...> (S Wise)
>Also, it seems the minhag in Eretz Yisroel that even those who daven
>nusach ashkenaz do hoshanos after Shacharis instead of after musaf as
>done here.  Does anyone know the source for this difference even within
>the same nusach?

Logistically it makes more sense to do hoshaanot after shacharit as you
already have your lulav and etrog out after saying Hallel.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 22:12:53 +1100
Subject: Re: Hoshanot after Shacharit - Nusach Ashkenaz

From: Gershon Dubin <>
> A local minyan here wanted to do hoshanos after hallel, so they asked
> a shaila when they started up the minyan.  They were told that since
> they were a new minyan, and the minhag to say after musaf was not that
> solid, they could indeed "adopt" the more convenient practice.

See SA OC: Hilchos Lulav 651 -  Shaarei Teshuva (SK 10):
quoting sefer Korban Chagiga:
" ...sheminhag Yerushalayim lomar haHoshanos acher Hallel hu minhag



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 07:06:40 -0400
Subject: Is this Chescher "kosher"

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> It would to me to be improper for our worthy editor, Avi, to allow
> through a statement which says that:
> "My father in law called a travel agent who put him in touch with
> someone who once worked for the Vaad of [name of the city deliberately
> left out by me, although it appeared in the original posting] and said
> it wasn't reliable."
>Surely such a hearsay statement - at best at third hand and referring to
>some time in the past - belittling a kashrut endorsement, is unwarranted
>and enters into the realm of lashon hara/mitzi shem ra.

I don't recall the original post -- but the above posting points to an
ongoing problem with the plethora of chechsers.

How does one assess the reliability of a chechser?  Or perhaps more
precisely, how does one determine if they will eat food carrying that
chechser.  The situation becomes more acute when traveling or faced with
a "real time" decision.

Even skipping the rare, but real, situation where the chechser that
appears is not valid (i.e., the product or restaurant is displaying an
"unauthorized" chechser) --

1 - How does one know if the chechser is "reliable" and 
2 - what their standards are?

I segregate reliability and standards as follows:  

Reliable = they have sufficient staff in sufficient locales to do the
job of supervision.  Thus a 1-person kashrus agency in Brooklyn giving
chechser to a restaurant in Nome, Alaska gives me pause. (This is a
contrived example, if there is a kosher restaurant in Nome, I
apologize.)  Similarly, I'm bothered by out of town chechsers when there
is a reliable locale vaad.  Kudos to those communities that establish an
enforceable local vaad.

Standards speaks to specific things they do and don't allow (vice what I
do and don't allow.) But these need to be determined via research /
contact and likely can't be done in the spur of the moment.

I remember years ago attending an off-site company meeting at Bellcore.
As usual my kosher meal was waiting for me, properly sealed, etc.  But
the source was a caterer / restaurant that I had never heard of?  What
to do -- we're sitting down to lunch (and the food is getting cold :)
and time is short, we need to get back to our meeting -- I called the
restaurant, itself, no way to reach the "new to me" kashrus agency --
and asked them if they were open on Saturdays -- "Yes, and we deliver,
too!" -- Since that isn't in keeping with my personal standards -- a
rather large colleague of mine got to eat a second lunch -- "This is

Again -- what can one do other than contact a third party?  Much easier
today with mobile phones.  More than once I've called my wife to ask her
if we use the "strange K" And how should a third party reply -- and if
in the negative -- is it loshan hora or any other transgression.


Let's say I'm asking you about Joe, the plumber -- should I use his
services?  Consider these replies:

1 - He charges too much!  <fact>
2 - He charged me for his travel time to and from my house.  <fact>
3 - He charged me for his travel time to and from my house -- that
gannif  (thief) <fact + derisive comment> 
4 - The pipe he fixed started leaking again two weeks later and I had to
call another plumber.  <fact re: object> 
5 - He can't even fix a pipe -- two weeks later it was leaking again.
<opion / fact re: plumber & object> 
6 - No you should not use his services.  <direct, terse, response to
7 - I wouldn't use his services.  <direct response at a slight angle>
8 - I cannot recommend his services.  <about the same.>
9 - I wouldn't use his services.  <evasive?>
10 - I wouldn't use his services, again.  <implies something more --

And here's another twist -- is there any difference (halachically, of
course) if your spouse or sibling tells you something vs. an
acquaintance or stranger.  I.e., can you tell your wife that plony
cheated you and not to use his services any more.  And how is it
different than telling your neighbor (in response to a question.)

Always travel with peanut butter.



From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 06:58:28 EST
Subject: Kavanah software? What's next?

I am watching this debate on this kavanah software program with
amusement as well as deep, deep sadness.

A software program to monitor Bitul Zman would probably be more
appropriate than a Kavanah measuring program. What about measuring for
menschlichkeit? Has anyone devised a scale for that? Seems to me that
there is a greater need for that than software for kavanah.

Question: Does this program apply to speed-minaynim, where the faster
you daven the more brownie points you earn for letting everyone get back
to work/home/play? Does how fast you shukel get measured in the program
too? They taught us as children that the harder you shukel, the more
kavanah you have....

Imagine, davening and wondering if you will fill your kavanah quotient
and earn your points upstairs. G-d's program isn't good enough for you?
You need software? Gevalt!

 Are you going to put a kosher certification on that download to send
along with the software? Chas ve shalom people would think it fell off a
truck and was rewrapped for "kavanah" consumption.



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 20:26:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Mashgichot

Shaya Goldmeier complains that what I say might be the "hava amina",
necessitating Rav Moshe's tshuva, that "a woman may be relied on in her
own kitchen but not for public food"

> is directly contradicting a basic halacha of "eid echad ne'eman
> bi'issurin".  Women are trusted even for public functions. The hava
> aminah is terrible and k'neged halacha.

While I have absolutely no doubt that women may act as kashrus
supervisors and their supervision may be relied on, Shaya's logic
escapes me.  First, I do not see why it necessarily follows (without a
secondary source confirming it) from the rule of eid echad neeman
be'isurim (and the concomitant rule that if one witness is believed, a
woman is likewise believed) that women are trusted even for public
functions.  Second, AFIK any hava amina, which by definition is a
refuted halachic contention, is k'neged halacha.

Shaya also writes: 

> The reason many larger cities do not use women is .  . . [t]he kollel
> husbands need jobs and starting out they took mashgiach jobs as a
> means of support. as well, the role of a mashgiach is to be a boss and
> protector of halacha, and the larger communities have said it's not
> tzanu'a for a woman to be a boss nor in tight quarters with the men.

I'm sure some mashgichim are kollel guys, but those I know personally
(there are 3 in my shul), all of whom work or worked for one of the
major organizations, are middle-aged Orthodox, non-charedi men who
simply needed a job.  There have to be women in the same boat.  Why
should kollel guys get preference?  (2) Shaya assumes that all kitchen
staff in kosher restaurants are male.  I don't think that's true.  (3)
That "it's not tzanua for a woman to be a boss" is directly contradicted
by Rav Moshe's tshuva permitting mashgichot notwithstanding serrara (the
woman boss issue).

Orrin Tilevitz
Brooklyn, NY (to answer Perets Mett's question)


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 01:08:26 -0500
Subject: So you want to be a Rebbe?

Given the huge teacher shortage in the Jewish educational system, I am
surprised that no other Principals have responded to H. Goldsmith's
request for information about what qualities Prinicpals seek in
recruiting staff.  I can't speak for all Principals, but as head of N
Americas's largest Jewish High School (1,440 students, G9-G12), and
employing over 170 teachers, of whom 65 are teachers of Ivrit or Jewish
Studies, this is more or less what I seek:

1. Inspired teachers with lively, educational minds, who can transmit
their enthusiasm and knowledge to their students 
2.  Teachers who are prepared to take teacher training, and master the
craft of the classroom 
3. Teachers who like and respect young people, and who have an innate
sympathy for the roller-coaster of teen years 
4. Teachers who are always willing to hear out their students, and who
have tolerance for different points of view 
5. teachers who are always prepared to go the extra length for their
6. teachers who take their profession and their collegial
responsibilities seriously. 

I tend not to employ:

1. teachers who think that teaching needs no training
2. Teachers who simply don't like, or respect, young people
3. teachers who want to teach 'only the top students'
4. Teachers who have 'agendas' that override their duty to the school
5. Teachers who are not themselves intellectually curious, have very
fixed views, and are unable or unwilling to grow as educators 

In the excellent video 'A World Apart', about Hasidic life in Brooklyn,
there is a marvellous scene where a young man utters the great line:
"Then my father-in-law went bankrupt, and I had to become a teacher".
That is not a convincing line to a Principal, either!

Paul J. Shaviv, M.A.,M.Phil.
Director of Education
TanenbaumCHAT - The Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto
"One school, two campuses"
TanenbaumCHAT is the Community High School of the Greater Toronto Jewish
Community - 1,440 students G9 - G12 on two parallel campuses. 


From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 07:01:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Sotah and the "bitter waters"

This topic came up at Shabbat lunch, somehow.  Suppose a husband
suspects his wife of being a Sotah, and takes her to the Bait Hamikdash.
Can the wife refuse to drink the "bitter waters?"  Does she have a
choice?  What would happen if she does not drink?

Alan Friedenberg
Baltimore MD


End of Volume 52 Issue 96