Volume 55 Number 54
                    Produced: Tue Aug 28  5:47:59 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Internet Monitor?
         [Tzvi Stein]
Is a Converted Jew Still a Jew? (2)
         [Marilyn Tomsky, Avi Feldblum]
Kellogg's cereal - notice
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Limudei Kodesh b'Ivrit (2)
         [Frank Silbermann, Ira Bauman]
Query re messianic era
         [Leah Aharoni]
Talmudic Grammar - Was Torah and Ivrit
         [Allen Gerstl]
Wake-Up Calls and Brachahs
         [S. Wise]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 22:11:28 -0400
Subject: Internet Monitor?

A friend of mine mentioned that there is some frum internet monitoring
service that records all the websites you visit and some rabbi checks if
they are kosher and if not... he didn't know what hapenned then.  He
said he thinks it's called Shomer Achi Anochi.  I was not able to find
anything on Google by that name.  Has anyone heard of something like


From: Marilyn Tomsky <jtomsky@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 15:40:04 -0700
Subject: Re: Is a Converted Jew Still a Jew?

A relative told me how proud she is to have been born of a Jewish 
mother.  I told her, that her mother was not a Jew, when this relative 
was born, since her mother had converted to Buddhism long before she 
married another Buddhist.  This relative herself converted to 
Christianity.  Was I wrong?  She wrote me, "According to traditional 
Jewish law, a Jew is anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in 
accord with Jewish law.  Judaism maintains that a Jew, whether by birth 
or conversion is a Jew forever.  Thus a Jew who claims to be an atheist 
or converts to another religion is still technically Jewish."  I don't 
think that this is correct.  If you convert to another religion you are 
no longer a Jew.  When you marry a non-Jew your children from the 
marriage are not born of a Jewish mother.

Marilyn Tomsky

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007
Subject: Re: Is a Converted Jew Still a Jew?


In short, your relative is correct. The ruling is that anyone born of a
Jewish mother is Jewish and that is not changed by conversion etc. Such
a person has certain rulings that apply to a Jew who chooses to
associate with a different religion, and may be treated as a "non-Jew"
in respect to certain specific issues. However, the child of a
Jewish mother who converts to Christianity before the child is born, and
then the child returns to his/her roots, that child does not require a
conversion, that child is Jewish. 

Avi Feldblum


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 20:03:09 -0700
Subject: Kellogg's cereal - notice

As most in the U.S. probably know, Kellogg's has many kosher kinds of
breakfast cereal.  For our recent trip, I bought a multi-pack of the
small boxes, which made for convenient/tasty (and somewhat nutritious)
snacks and breakfasts when we couldn't find a convenient, kosher

I made sure there were no marshmallow cereals etc. in the collection.
BUT, included among all the kosher kinds (Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran,
Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, etc.), was "Frosted Miniwheats" - we were
about to eat them when I noticed gelatin in the ingredients of that
particular little box.  I wrote the company to ask what was up, and got
the following reply, in case anyone is interested.


------- Forwarded Message
From: <kellogg@...>
To: <leah@...>
Subject: Re: Consumer Affairs 012861846A
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:31:12 -0500

Ms. Gordon,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding gelatin used in some of our
products.  We are glad you contacted us and we are happy to provide you
with this information.

Gelatin is used to help the texture of the product and is derived from
either beef or pork.  Type A gelatin is derived from pork and is found
in Kellogg's cereal products that contain marshmallow additives, for
example Kellogg's Marshmallow Froot Loops cereal and Kellogg's Smorz
cereal.  It is also found in all varieties of Kellogg's Rice Krispies
Treats Squares and Special K Protein Snack Bars.

Type B gelatin is derived from beef and is found in all varieties of
Kellogg's Frosted Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal, and
Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats cereal.  Some of our Kellogg's Fruit
Snacks contain gelatin.  If the Fruit Snack does contain gelatin, it is
from a beef source.

None of the equipment that comes in contact with the gelatin in
Kellogg's Frosted Pop-Tarts is used in the production of the other
pastries.  As a result, Plain (unfrosted) Kellogg's Pop-Tarts do not
contain gelatin. The pre-gelatinized wheat starch contained in some of
our toaster pastries is derived from wheat and does not contain any

The Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal is not considered kosher.

Again, thank you for contacting us.  We appreciate your loyal use of our
products and hope that this provides you with the information you need
to make food choices appropriate for you and your family.


Perla Salas
Consumer Affairs Department


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 09:23:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Limudei Kodesh b'Ivrit

Teaching in Hebrew is fine if you have the same group of pupils from
kindergarten onwards, but it doesn't work so well when families move and
children change schools.  At the Chabad school my children attended in
New Orleans, religious classes were taught in English.  (In the
hard-core Chabad schools in Brooklyn, it is my understanding that
limudei kodesh was taught in Yiddish.)

When we moved to Memphis, my daughters adjusted but my sons had trouble.
They made zeros on their exams because they didn't understand the
directions written on the tests.  I suppose they should have asked,
"What does this mean -- what does that mean?" but being boys, they
rebelled and basically stopped trying.  So my wife had to spend two
hours every evening tutoring them in the limudei kodesh that they
weren't learning in class -- which was very disruptive of our household
routine.  Also, we suggested that just as the teacher gives our boys
vocabulary lists of Chumash words they were expected to learn for the
week -- she should give them vocabulary lists of all the Hebrew words
she intended to use in the written directions.

I think we've mostly weathered the crisis -- the new academic year is
starting up, so we shall see.  But I can well see that a teacher having
to deal with children at different levels of Hebrew knowlege might well
find it easer to teach in English than to have to give individual
attention to each child according to his level of deficiency.

On a related theme, Carl Singer (V55 N53) noted:

> As a child in the 50's my Rebbeim were all lamdim ... and were,
> figuratively speaking, from Minsk & Pinsk.  The bright eyed young boy
> who finishes our davening with Adon Olum, sounds like a native Israeli
> -- only because his Hebrew teacher is, indeed, a native.

and asked:

> With the advent of radio and television, for example, regional English
> pronunciation differences in the U.S. have diminished -- we
> mid-westerners same to be the accepted middle ground.
> Why, then, the marked differences among Hebrew speakers? 
> Is it today a matter of linguistics or "social politics" that seems to
> lead us to the various Hebrew pronunciation themes?

The Chabad rabbis (and their sons) in New Orleans seemed to make a point
of maintaining the Lubavitch pronunciation (as distinct from standard
Ashkenazi pronunciation -- much less modern Israeli Hebrew).
Apparently, they treated their pronunciation as being a Minhag of Their
Fathers.  They did not seem to pressure others outside their families
into adopting their pronunciation, although some some of their baale
tshuvos have done just that.

Frank Silbermann           Memphis, Tennessee

From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 22:11:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Limudei Kodesh b'Ivrit

Back in the sixties, I went to a typical orthodox New York yeshiva.  By
the time we graduated high school we could make a leining on the page of
gemarah in Aramaic, understand a Ramban that was written in Rabbinic
Hebrew and even get through some Acharonim.  Our conversational Hebrew
was only enough to allow us to pass the Regents.  The rationale was that
we had enough Hebrew to allow us to do all the learning we have to and it
was no use wasting time from real learning to learn Modern Hebrew. 
Forty years later I find that I am still hadicapped.  On my occasional
visits to Erets Yisroel, I muddle through any necessary conversations. 
However I find an even greater source of frustration is that I cannot
easily work my way through seforim of chidushei Torah that are published
nowadays in Israel in Modern Hebrew.  The books put out by Mosad Harav
Kook seem to be on the cutting edge of Torah scholarship.  There is a
whole body of Torah coming out that people like me will only experience
from the sidelines.  If my rebbeim all those years ago could
have anticipated this situation, perhaps they would have been more
serious about Ivrit instruction.

Ira Bauman


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 11:00:07 +0300
Subject: re: Query re messianic era

For a detail discussion of the messianic times, refer to the last two
chapters Rambam's Mishnah Torah (Hilchot Melachim, Ch. 11-12)

Rambam's description includes the following points:

1. Mashiach will reinstate the Davidic dynasty, rebuild the Temple, and
gather in the exiles.

2. Mashiach will not perform any supernatural acts (Rambam proves this
from the fact that Rabbi Akiva considered Bar Kochva to be Mashiach).

3. There will be no change in the natural world, but the Jewish people
will no longer be subjugated to foreign rule.

Leah Aharoni
Hebrew/Russian/English translator
Email:  <leah25@...>


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 20:22:22 -0400
Subject: Talmudic Grammar - Was Torah and Ivrit

R' <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise) On Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007
11:38:17 EDT Wrote: 

>Without a good grounding in Hebrew Grammar and Tenach, I cannot see how
>students can understand the Talmud. All the Sages from the Talmud to
>the Lithuanian Roshei Yeshivot knew Tenach and Hebrew Grammar well.

A knowledge of basic Hebrew Grammar, IMO, useful both for the purpose of
learning Tanach and also as a background to learning the grammar of the
Targum and of the Gemarah as Aramaic grammar uses similar grammatical
concepts to those of Hebrew grammar.  An excellent book for then
learning the grammar of the Gemorah is one by R. Yitzchak Frank, Grammar
for Gemorah, which is available in both English and Hebrew and now in a
more recent edition has enlarged to include Talgumic grammar.  The
latter has also written a useful companion volume, A Practical Talmud
Dictionary and he also edited the excellent Talmud Dictionary of his
late teacher R.  Ezra Zion Melamed and that dictionary is available in
both Aramaic- Hebrew and Aramaic-Hebrew-English editions.



From: <Smwise3@...> (S. Wise)
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 22:43:35 EDT
Subject: Wake-Up Calls and Brachahs

I've been following a couple of threads elsewhere regarding two topics
that I thought are worth raising on mailjewish: Interpreting every
tragic event that befalls the Jewish community as a wake-up call to
teshuva, and the value of brachos from rebbes and other tzadikim.

It seems to me that while the Rambam apparently supports the position
that every tragedy is a wake-up call to teshuva, some of the events that
occur are common enough to not warrant that attachment. For example, a
4-year-old girl nearly drowned in a backyward pool, a tragic event that
happens all too often, and immediately there were declaration that this
is wake-up call. I seemed to agree with a person who felt that the
wake-up call isn't to teshuva but that one should be more vigilant. That
person was called heartless and missing the point of these signs.
Truthfully, considering how many such wake-up calls there have been over
the decades, it seems to be meaningless to even call it such.

The other issue has to do with the power of berachos. There are many
people who go to great lengths and expense to obtain a berachah, but do
they truly work? A friend says he knows many instances where it works
only if the person receiving it believes it. More important, do the
berachos actually work? It would seem that if they are not fulfilled
100% of the time, the laws of probability would dictate that some times
they will work and sometimes they won't. And if we depend on these
berachos, what about our direct line to Hashem? Does Judaism believe in
the interceding nature of rebbes?



End of Volume 55 Issue 54