Volume 54 Number 56
                    Produced: Thu Mar 29  5:35:45 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Conservative Responsa
         [Dr. Josh Backon]
Kalba and Pesach
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Talking in shule
         [Carl Singer]
Torah Centered Judaism (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Shimon Lebowitz]
Whole wheat flour for shmura matza
         [Leah Aharoni]
Zeycher vs Zecher
         [Boruch Merzel]
Zeycher/Zecher and Machlokess


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 16:13:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Conservative Responsa

>The issue here was not sifrei torah but Conservative responsa.  It is
>quite ok to learn Torah from an apikores, see the episode in the Gemara
>involving Acher, and AFIK no halacha requires books written by goyim or
>wayward Jews to be destroyed, by burning or otherwise.  In any event,

I see Mr. Tilevitz didn't see my recent post. Since there are so many
egregious errors in what he writes above, I will take the liberty of
reposting and adding some further material:

A Sefer Torah written by a gentile is hidden; that written by a Jewish
APIKORUS [according to the Rambam only one written by a MIN] is to be
burnt (see: gemara in Gittin 45b; Gilyon Meharsha YOREH DEAH 281 s"k 1
d"h apikorus, where the meaning is "anyone who doesn't believe in the
Oral Torah"; Tosafot there (Gittin) d"h sifrei, where the meaning is a
Torah FOUND [rather than written] on the premises of a MIN; Rambam
Hilchot Tefillin 1:13; Machaneh Efrayim YOREH DEAH Hilchot Sefer Torah)

BTW note that the Gilyon Meharsha YD 281 s"k 1 would say that a Torah
written by a Jew who doesn't believe in the Oral Law would be burnt;
more intriguing is the opinion of the Tosafot Shabbat 116a d"h sifrei
minin who would think that a kosher Torah FOUND on the premises of a Jew
who doesn't believe in the Oral Law is also burnt.


The Meiri in Sanhedrin 90a defines an apikorus as one who doesn't follow
the Oral Law and one whose rulings cause others to sin ["v'chen
machti'im ha'rabbim afilu l'dvarim kalim"]. He also explains the phrase
*megaleh panim batorah shelo k'halacha" as one who uproots a mitzva by
explaining it allegorically.  The Yerushalmi in Peah 5a explains the
phrase as someone who denies TORAH MIN HA'SHAMAYIM [Hashem giving the
Chumash verbatim to Moses at Sinai].

See the gemara in Sanhedrin 99a: "v'afilu amar, 'kol hatorah kula min
hashamayim chutz m'pasuik zeh shelo amar ha'kadosh baruch hu elah moshe
mi'pi atzmo" is an apikorus. [even one who says the entire Torah is from
God except for one verse (a line below uses the expression: "even a
grammatical change") but that Moses wrote it himself is an apikorus who
has no share in the World to Come]. See also the gemara in Avoda Zara

The Tshuvat HA'RASHBA VII 179 in the name of Rabbenu Yonah states that
someone who willfully violates the sabbath or who doesn't believe in
*divrei Chazal* [the Oral Torah] is a MIN and his touching wine places
it in the category of Yayin Nesech [prohibited to drink] (see also the
Nekudot haKesef YOREH DEAH 124].  The Mishna Brura 55 #47 writes that
anyone who doesn't believe in the authority of the Oral Law can't make a
*minyan* or can't serve as a chazan [Mishna Brura 126 #2] (see also the
Biur Halacha 216 d"h "hamevarech apikorus").

This what the Rambam writes about Apikorsim:

Hilchot Rotzeach U'Shmirat haNefesh 4:10:

"Heretics (ha'apikorsim), they are idolators or those who transgress
spitefully, even eating "nevelah" or wearing "sha'atnez" deliberately,
behold, this is a heretic (apikorus), and those who deny the Torah and
prophecy, it is a mitzvah to kill them (mitzvah l'hargan).  If there is
in one's power the strength/opportunity (koach) to kill them by sword,
one kills [him/her]..."

Denial of Mosaic (Divine) authorship of the Chumash is the putative
criterion of the KOFER BA'TORAH (one who denies the Torah). The Rambam
in Hilchot Tshuva 3:8 defines the KOFER BA'TORAH as one who denies that
even one letter of the Chumash wasn't dictated by Moses directly from
God. The punishment of the MIN, APIKORUS and KOFER BA'TORAH are
delineated by the Rambam in Hilchot Tshuva 3:6 (ein lo chelek l'olam
ha'ba ela nichratim v'ovdin v'nidonin al godel rish'am v'chatotam l'olam
ul'olmei olamim [he has no place in the World to Come; instead he is cut
off and destroyed and judged for his heinous crime for all eternity).

And you want to learn Torah from them ????????????????????

Josh Backon


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 06:13:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Kalba and Pesach

From: <RYehoshua@...>
> Any suggestions for chametz-free dog food?  Appreciate receiving
> response on or off line.

A google search found


The 2006 crc guide at http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/crc2006/

shows the following

The following is a list of pet foods approved for Passover 2006. Make
sure to check all labels. Some acceptable varieties have names which are
very similar to unacceptable formulations. There should be no chometz
such as wheat, wheat starch, wheat gluten, barley, oats, oat fiber,
pasta, or rye listed. A product listing both meat and dairy ingredients
may not be used any time during the year. Feed available at zoos is
often chometz and should not be purchased or fed to the animals on
Pesach. After Pesach, pet food with chometz may be purchased only from
stores which are non-Jewish owned (e.g. Petsmart, Petco) or Jewish owned
but have sold their chometz. One may feed his pet any of the following

CATS: Evanger's: Beef & Liver Dinner, Chicken Dinner, Chicken Liver &
Tuna, Seafood Dinner; Friskies: (canned) Special Diet Ocean White Fish
Dinner, Special Diet Beef & Chicken Entrée, Special Diet Turkey &
Giblets, Special Diet with Salmon, Special Diet Beef & Liver Entre,
Senior Pacific Salmon in Sauce, Turkey & Giblets Dinner.  Prescription
Diet: a/d, c/d (dry only), d/d, g/d (dry only), i/d, k/d (dry only), m/d
(canned only), p/d, r/d (dry only), s/d, t/d, w/d (dry only), x/d (dry
only), z/d. Science Diet: (dry) Advanced Protection Adult, Advanced
Protection Senior 7+, Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe, Adult Lamb & Rice
Recipe, Adult Ocean Fish & Rice Recipe, Adult Original, Hairball Control
Adult, Hairball Control Light Adult, Hairball Control Senior 7+, Kitten
Original, Light Adult, Oral Care Adult, Senior 7+ Original, Sensitive
Skin Adult; Science Diet canned cat food has been reformulated and
contains Chometz, except for Mixit.

DOGS: Evanger's: 100% Beef, All Natural Puppy Food, Beef & Beef
By-Products, Beef Chinks Dinner, Beef with Chicken, Beef Chicken &
Liver, Beef with Liver, Chicken & Rice Dinner, Chopped Beef Dinner,
Chopped Turkey Dinner, Cooked Chicken, Lamb & Rice Dinner, Senior
Dinner, Turkey Chunk Stew; Mighty Dog: (canned) Chicken Eggs & Bacon,
Gourmet Dinner, Senior Beef & Rice Dinner, Senior Chicken & Rice Dinner,
Senior Turkey & Rice Dinner, Turkey & Bacon. Iams: (canned) Adult Beef &
Rice, Adult Chicken & Rice, Adult Lamb & Rice, Adult Liver & Chicken,
Adult Turkey & Rice. Prescription Diet: a/d, c/d, d/d g/d, h/d, i/d, j/d
(dry only), k/d, n/d, r/d, s/d, t/d, u/d. w/d (dry only), z/d Low
Allergen. Science Diet: (dry) Active Adult, Adult Beef & Rice Recipe,
Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe, Adult Large Breed, Light Adult, Light Adult
Large Breed, Light Adult Small Bites, Oral Care Adult, Puppy Original,
Puppy Small Bites, Puppy Large Breed, Senior 5+ Large Breed, Senior 7+
Original, Senior 7+ Small Bites, Sensitive Skin Adult, Treats Adult
Large Bone with Real Chicken, Treats Adult Medium Bone with Real
Chicken, Treats Puppy Medium Bone with Real Chicken; (canned) Active
Adult Original Recipe, Light Adult, Mixit.

FISH: Fish food and Vacation blocks often have chometz. Goldfish and
Tropical fish can have tubular worms, frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried
worms (if they do not contain fillers).

Mixes sold in stores often contain chometz.  It is advisable to mix
regular and Pesach food together one to two weeks before Pesach before
switching completely to Pesach food. The ratio of regular and Pesach
food should be changed slowly to get the animal used to the new
diet. Check with your veterinarian before changing diet.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 10:56:36 -0400
Subject: Talking in shule

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
> As I was saying kaddish for my mother after Ein Kelokeynu and before
> aleynu this past Shabbat, I was happy that my shul doesn't follow Dr.
> Hendel's approach and insists on quiet until the conclusion of adon
> olam.  I think it would upset me (and the other aveilim [mourners]
> saying kaddish) if people started talking during ein keylokenu and
> continued through our saying kaddish, and I think if they started
> talking and taking off talleisim at ein kelokeynu, there would be no way
> to quiet them.

Joseph brings up another very important issue re: talking in shule --
while some are splitting hairs re: what parts of davening are more
"important" and which are "OK" for talking, etc., -- the fact remains
that talking in shul disturbs others who are davening.  God may be able
to take talking in stride, so to speak -- BUT one's fellow man (or
woman) may not be.

The aspect of talking in shule as something that disturbs other daveners
cannot be swept away.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 13:24:22 GMT
Subject: Re: Torah Centered Judaism

Dr Russell Hendel wrote:

> David Eisen ... brings in a 3rd type of slave the non-jew who is a
> slave. David then brings a scriptural passage (also codified in Jewish
> law) that the master has the right to hit his slave ... I believe this
> another example of our readiness to accept misperception. IN ALL legal
> systems parents have a right to hit their children. The non-Jewish
> slave has a status of a child and is treated as such. The master has
> the right to discipline him.

I do not see any misperception here. I and others are very uncomfortable
with the idea that (to use Dr Hendel's terminology, which avoids use of
the concept of "owning" the slave) the slave has become the "child" of
the person who purchased him. Workers should be treated as employees,
not as adopted children.

Akiva Miller

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 00:43:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Torah Centered Judaism

Russell Jay Hendel wrote:
> IN ALL legal systems parents have a right to hit their children.

You don't say?  I believe (having read or heard so...) that the law on
the books in Israel is that it's a criminal offence.  'chosech

Shimon (takes the 5th)


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 17:08:01 +0200
Subject: Whole wheat flour for shmura matza

Recently, we bought matza shmura (from one of Israeli matza
manufacturers) which we were told is made from whole wheat flour
(although this is not mentioned anywhere on the packaging). When
pressed, the lab technician at the factory told me that since the flour
has high fiber count (9%), it is considered whole wheat. All their
shmura is whole wheat, but this is not mentioned on the packaging for
marketing reasons.

We are trying to evaluate the accuracy of this statement. Could anyone
shed any light on this?

Leah Aharoni
Email:  <leah25@...>


From: <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 13:22:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Zeycher vs Zecher

Mark Polster writes:

>At the risk of further beating an already dead horse, I note that
>Boruch Merzel has declared the issue "resolved, long ago" in favor of
>zecher (i.e. six dots), by the Vilna Gaon, relying on Radak (who is far
>from the most authoritative rishon on these matters).  This would no
>doubt come as a surprise to no less small time baalei dikduk such as
>Aharon ben Asher, Menachem de Lonzano, Minchat Shai, and others all of
>whom quite clearly felt that zeycher (i.e. five dots) is correct.<<

Mark should have been a bit more m'dakdek in what I wrote.  I did not
say the issue was "resolved long ago in favor of Zecher" I said that for
"me the issue the issue had been resolved long ago by the G"RA" For like
Mark I don't believe in beating a "dead horse".  One has to decide on a
position (Since we have to daven every day).  I am,therefore, more than
happy to follow the Gaon who, as I noted was "no small time Baal Dikduk.

Jonathan Baker writes on the same issue:

>Congratulations, you've picked one position and stick to it.  The
>problem arises because the Gra said Zecher, while R' Chaim Volozhin,
>his chief student, said Zeicher, and the Mishna Brura suggested that
>one say both.  Probably out of uncertainty whether the Gra really said
>Zecher if RCV said Zeicher.

The Ma'ase Harav, whose author davened regularly in The G"RA's shule and
is considered to be the ultimate authority in his minhageh hatfila and
nusach, very clearly states the Gaon said "Zecher" .The Mishna B'rura
suggests saying Zecher and Zeycher only for Parshas Zachor, not when
davening or saying Thilim.  As I said one must resolve the issue for
one's self since we must say Ashre 3 times daily.

Boruch Merzel


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 07:45:43
Subject: Zeycher/Zecher and Machlokess

Let's focus on the machlokess for a moment.

How do various shuls deal with this?    

Is it "dealer's choice" or do they choose one pronunciation as correct
THEN how do they communicate / enable / enforce this.

I'm rather flustered by what I perceive as "dealer's choice" -- certain
people emphatically use one pronunciation while others us the other.

For example, during the repetition of the Shmoneh Esraei -- the "zecher
l'tziot mitrayim" may be said with as "zecher" at shacahris and
"zaycher" at musof.  Similarly, it may depend on who is layining, etc.

Also how do shuls trade off "tradition" (their traditional minhag re:
pronunciation) vs. "erudition" -- someone digging in with a scholarly --
"this way is better." or "this way is more authentic"

Perhaps it's more of a people thing not an halachic thing.  After our
rabbi of over 3 decades retired our new, and I must say outstanding,
Rabbi is dealing with among others a gabbai who seems to lean on his
Rebbe rather than this shul Rabbi.

I know that there are more important issues in the world -- but this and
several similar issues seem to crop up.


End of Volume 54 Issue 56