Volume 53 Number 19
                    Produced: Thu Dec  7  6:08:04 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying an Infant on Shabbat
         [Joshua Goldmeier]
Does age equal authenticity
         [Carl Singer]
Good behavior=non-feminist daughters?
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Help With Finding Editions Of The Singer's Siddur.
         [Immanuel Burton]
Inspecting tefillin at airport security (8)
         [Carl Singer, Stu Pilichowski, Michael Rogovin, Mark Goldin,
Art Sapper, Shani Thon, wechsler, Avi Feldblum]
Sefer ha-Tapuach
         [Sarah Beck]


From: Joshua Goldmeier <Josh@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 08:29:20 -0600
Subject: Re: Carrying an Infant on Shabbat

I am confused.  I was given a psak (thank god we now have an eruv) that
carrying the infant in reshut harabim, less than daled amos at a time,
(take a step or 2 and stop) is mutar, bidieved, due to "chai nosei et
atmo".  Yet, your quote is using it to assur it?

Joshua Goldmeier


From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 08:24:19 -0500
Subject: Does age equal authenticity

From: SBA <sba@...>
> IIRC, some time ago we discussed the authenticity of the well known
> portrait of the Chofetz Chaim zt'l, with some claiming that the image is
> actually that of the Radin butcher.
> I have just been perusing the latest Baranovitch Judaica auction
> catalogue where this portrait "fashioned from the micrographic writing
> of his work Zachor laMiriam" appears, stating that it was printed in
> 1929. (ITEM # 341)
> I think that the fact that already 75 years ago it was accepted as the
> CC, should be enough to dispel any doubts of authenticity.

There are a few people who B"H are still live and active who knew / saw
the Chafetz Chaim -- why not ask them?



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 09:37:14 -0500
Subject: Good behavior=non-feminist daughters?

>His response was to buy another pair so as to have one in each country,
>>and to schedule trips so as to not need them en-route.
>>This type of behavior may perhaps explain why his two sons are both
>>roshei-yeshiva, while his daughters both married incredibly outstanding
>Since when is it particularly meritorious to have enough disposable cash
>to buy tefillin for every port?
>At any rate, since when do good deeds lead predictably to one's children
>having good careers/marriages?  And finally, since when is it the best a
>woman can hope for as an achievement to marry, even an "incredibly
>outstanding" person?  Did the sons also marry incredibly outstanding
>people?  Did the daughters achieve great learning?  Can we please reduce
>at least the overt sexism in these stories?
>Lest anyone be unclear, I think great marriages to outstanding people
>are wonderful events for everyone.  Just not the be-all/end-all reward
>for one's daughter as the result of one's mitzvot (!)....

>--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon

You are seeing things that aren't there. I simply said that this type of
behavior (being so careful of having one's t'filin disrespected) shows
(to me, at least) an incredible "eidelkeit" or sensitivity, and most
people I know consider sensitivity a good thing.

Parents that are sensitive, and /or show other good traits, tend to have
nice and fine kids. Is that uncommon in your world?

And as far as the "overt sexism" is concerned, I am sorry that these
particular women seem to have let you down, but they did not become
famous for their feminism or their Talmud study.  And, in fact, the sons
did marry wonderful outstanding women, but the types that prefer to stay
home and raise families, not that there's anything wrong with that.

I did not say nor did I mean to imply any connection between one's
mitzvot and "winning" a good spouse.  If I felt otherwise, I'd be doing
something other than responding here-I'm single!

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 17:45:39 -0000
Subject: Help With Finding Editions Of The Singer's Siddur.

The latest edition of the Singer's Siddur (or the Authorised Daily
Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British
Commonwealth of Nations, to use its formal name) has just been
published.  I am looking for some older editions to add to my library:

1st edition, dated 1890.
2nd edition, dated 1891.
6th edition, dated 1900.

If anyone has any of these that they are willing to part with for an
appropriate remuneration, I should be grateful if they would contact me.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 08:32:58 -0500
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

> All this discussion about inspections of tefillin at the airport is
> very interesting.  However, does anyone know of an actual situation in
> this day and age where anyone actually was subjected to a real life
> situation where a security officer insisted on tefillin being opened?
> It seems to me that with the equipment that they have to "see" into
> luggage, the machines should be able to "look into" tefillin or most
> anything else in a non-invasive, politely respectful manner.

When the equipment is working well, there is likely no need to "look
into" tefillin, etc.

I do recall one fine morning as I was flying off (in uniform) to
Washington, DC.  The metal detector was working -- and, of course, just
about everything on my uniform set it off (from belt buckle, to buttons,
to medals, to the "military bling" of my dogtags.)  The luggage checking
system was not working so they started going through my luggage, piece
by piece.  Because I only had 15 minutes or so to catch my plane -- I
mentioned to the lady going through my luggage that had I known she was
going to go through piece by piece, I would have put the clean underwear
on top.  She quickly closed up my suitcase and I caught my flight.

Circumstances vary.  And as Hanno's story illustrates -- both security
inspectors and customs agents are intelligent beings.


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 11:10:29 +0000
Subject: Re: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

I don't see what purpose is served by offering up a story (apochryphal
at best) that only leads to snickers and snide remarks.

Don't we experience enough of this without MJ having to join the fray?

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion, Israel

From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 09:27:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

Pre 9/11 story

I was travelling NY to Ontario in the late 1980s. Upon arrival,
everyone's luggage was being thoroughly searched - it looked like a
preboarding scene at El Al. I was told that the tefilin must be opened
and I refused, explaining what was inside, how they were sewn and that
unless the security personnel were going to pay to have them re-sewn, I
would no consent. Of course, they could x-ray all they wanted. There was
a back and forth and they eventually consented to let it go.  (aside: I
did get pulled aside for detailed questioning because I did not have a
passport with me; I had been told that it was not necessary for
US-Canada travel. But I was interrogated for about 45 minutes, so lesson

I do not travel much, and very little since 9/11, and have not had
trouble with tefilin in checked or carry-on so far. Somehow I doubt it
would be so easy if I were stopped again.

Michael Rogovin

From: Mark Goldin <goldinfamily@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 21:16:24 -0800
Subject: RE: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

I came across this article written by a Los Angeles based security
official.  It discusses the challenges faced by security personnel in
dealing with members of various religions, and I was surprised at its
sensitivity.  If all TSA agents are trained this way we should have
little to worry about.  I recently returned from a trip to Asia with
tefillin in my hand luggage and was screened in multiple airports
without incident.

Here is the full article:


And a relevant excerpt:

The screeners' training should include advice on the handling of
religious items carried by different faiths. For example, orthodox Jews'
lulav holders can be scanned or searched, but while a lulav holder can
be opened, a screener should never try to open tefillin, as this is
tantamount to destroying a scared object. Instead, the exterior of the
tefillin can be visually scanned, and the interior can be viewed by an
x-ray machine.

Mark Goldin

From: <asapper@...> (Art Sapper)
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 09:09:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

Leonard Paul asked:

>[D]oes anyone know of an actual situation in this day and age where
>anyone actually was subjected to a real life situation where a security
>officer insisted on tefillin being opened? It seems to me that with the
>equipment that they have to "see" into luggage, the machines should be
>able to "look into" tefillin or most anything else in a non-invasive,
>politely respectful manner.

        I once came pretty close to this.  I was in an airport in a
small Midwest town and, probably because my ticket was one-way, I was
subjected to a special search of my carry-on bags that was intended to
go beyond what the x-ray machines could pick up.  When the security
inspector came to my tefillin bag, he wanted to inspect the objects
inside.  I firmly stated that the bags held religious objects considered
to be holy and I stated that I "objected" (I used that word) to his
handling them any further.  I was wearing a kippah and must have
appeared to him to be sincere.  He replied, "Well, they couldn't hold
enough explosive anyway" and let me go -- but added that, if he thought
that they need inspection, I would have had to submit to their being
searched or forgo traveling on the flight.

        Asking that tefillin be searched by x-ray won't solve the
problem.  According to a news report, an April 2005 report by the
Department of Homeland Security entitled, "Systems Engineering Study of
Civil Aviation Security - Phase I," concluded that current airport x-ray
machines don't detect explosives.  (That's why x-raying shoes is pretty
pointless.)  It would be better for Agudah and/or OU to approach the
Transportation Security Administration and ask that their employees be
sensitized to the matter.  The issue remains, however -- what should be
done if a TSA employee believes that the tefillin could hold enough
explosive to bring down a flight?

From: Shani Thon <shanit716@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 19:55:23 +0200
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

   Several years ago on a trip from Israel to NY, I stood in the JFK
customs line directly behind a Chassid in full regalia. The agent asked
him a few questions, took out a knife and slit open his tefillin to
reveal diamonds! It happened soooo fast that I was too shocked to
protest "No, don't cut THOSE!" The agent obviously knew what he was
doing and what he was looking for. Credit where credit is due!

   In my past life experiences working alongside US customs agents, I
found them to be very knowledgeable and honest. Nowadays, I am not sure
what the situation is but I wouldn't tangle with any of them---except
the Israeli ones of course!

    Shani Thon

From: wechsler <wechsler@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2006 22:41:16 +0200
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

Joseph Ginzberg wrote on the  29 Nov 2006

> Mr. Jack Stern O"H, a New Yorker who lived in New York and commuted to
> South Africa for some years in the 1970's, had his t'filin pried open in
> U.S.  customs once, because his frequent trips to diamond-mining areas
> aroused suspicion that he might be a smuggler.

Surely the most logical thing to do would have been to put them through
an x-ray machine? The difference in outlines of the parshiot or the
outlines of diamonds would have been readily discernable !!

Jack Wechsler

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2006 
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

Relative to the point made just above that the outlines of the diamonds
vs the parshiot would be readily discernable in an x-ray inspection
machine during the 1970's, I have a few questions for anyone who may be
an expert in this area.

Does anyone know what the mass absorbtion co-efficient for diamond is
in the x-ray region? I believe that there is a trend to use diamond as
x-ray research applications, as it's absorbtion co-efficient is rather
low, possibly an order of magnitude lower than silicon. I know that in
the commercial x-ray machines I use at work, when looking at IC chips
etc, I can easily see the lead in the solder, and the gold wire using in
bonding, but the silicon substrate is much more difficult to see due to
the lower absorption co-efficient. So I would tend to guess that
Tefillin, whether filled with parshiot or diamonds would be rather
transparent in the type of x-ray equipment I use. Does anyone know more
about the security type x-ray equipment, and how it is configured, to
know how diamonds would show up there?



From: Sarah Beck <beckse@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 12:15:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Sefer ha-Tapuach

I'm sorry I don't have an authoritative source in front of me right now,
but De Pomo is pseudo-Aristotle, not actual Aristotle. Of course there
may still be much to learn from it. Caveat vescor!

Sarah Beck


End of Volume 53 Issue 19