Volume 55 Number 79
                    Produced: Fri Sep 21  4:36:10 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Da'as Torah (2)
         [Shmuel Himelstein, Perets Mett]
Fasting During Ellul
         [Harry Schick]
Hechsher on Fruit Juice
         [Akiva Miller]
Jewelry on Yom Kippur
         [Janice Gelb]
Month of fasting
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
Natural Law
         [Frank Silbermann]
Noahide Movement
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
The sentence "yihiyu leratzon imrai phi..." printed as part of Shema
         [David Ziants]
Small Size Shulchan Aruch
         [Nachman Yaakov Ziskind]
Sukkot on the J Site and 62 holiday links
         [Jacob Richman]
         [A. Goldberg]
Vowels in vav hachibur
         [Leah Aharoni]
Why 2 days RH are different from other Yamim Tovim
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 15:41:34 +0200
Subject: Da'as Torah

Richard Fiedler states that "In many respects Zionism is dead or dying
as can be evidenced by what one might have thought as a zionistic
institution the Grus Center, an Israeli division of Yeshiva University,
in Jerusalem rejecting the heter mechira and supporting the arab cause
by purchasing its produce this year from them."

To me, this comment lacks a degree of logic. It implies that a
"zionistic instititution" must support the Heter Mechira, and if it does
not it is not Zionistic. And here I thought all this time that the
question of whether or not to use Heter Mechira was a purely Halachic
issue, and was surely not to be construed as a political act either
way. And find me one reputable Posek who will issue a Psak based on
whether one is or is not "supporting the arab cause."

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 14:11:52 +0100
Subject: Re: Da'as Torah

Richard Fielder wrote:

>> From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
>> Which rabbis were wrong about whether to support Zionism?  History
>> has shown that Zionism is a tool to dissociate Jews from Judaism, and
>> the rabonim have sadly been proved correct.  ksiva vachasima tova
> By this logic Das Torah was a tool to kill many religious jews in the
> holocaust.

I fail to follow Richard's line of argument.

Zionists have never hidden their intention to establish a secular state,
devoid of religious Judaism, and to do everything possible to implement
it by "re-educating" religious Jews, especially children separated from
their parents. This happened repeatedly: in the Cyprus camps, with the
Yaldei Tehran and with Yemenite Jewry.

When did the rabonim of Eastern Europe deliberately "kill many religious
jews in the holocaust" ?

Perets Mett


From: <Learn111@...> (Harry Schick)
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 07:44:00 EDT
Subject: Re: Fasting During Ellul

There is a kabbalistic custom quoted in Yedid Nefesh by Rav Yechiel Bar
Lev to refrain from food--drinking only (preferably water) during
daytime hours beginning Ellul through Yom Kippur. The days of Rosh
Hodesh, Rosh Hashana and Shabbos were exempt from this. I don't know if
he says when the earliest mention is.

Harry Schick


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 12:28:31 GMT
Subject: re: Hechsher on Fruit Juice

Joshua Hosseinof quoted a posting by Prof. Marc Shapiro:

> ... the Rashba holds that if a non-Jew, in the normal process of
> making a food product, adds some non-kosher element, even a very small
> percentage, then it is not batel. Bittul only works when it falls in
> by accident. ... If you look at any of the standard Yoreh Deah books
> you will find, however, that the halakhah is not in accordance with
> this Rashba. Rather, any time the goy puts a small amount of treif
> into the food it is batel, even if it is intentional on his part.

As suggested, I would very much like to "look at any of the standard
Yoreh Deah books" and see this for myself. Can someone tell me where
this Rashba can be found, and give some examples of which poskim
disagree with that Rashba, and where in their writings they say so?

Thank you
Akiva Miller


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 17:14:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Jewelry on Yom Kippur

In a discussion this week, someone mentioned that you are supposed to
remove all jewelry on Yom Kippur because you're not supposed to adorn
yourself and because of echoes of the Golden Calf. I am pretty sure that
I was told once, however, that you are allowed to wear "habitual"
weekday jewelry like a wedding band or small earrings. An extensive web
search came up with only one source that confirms my memory

page 78.

Has anyone else ever heard this or have any confirmation?

Thanks and g'mar tov.
-- Janice


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 13:12:42 +0000
Subject: Month of fasting


Yes. Since most of Mohammad's original thoughts on the establishment of
his religion seems to be from Judaism I was wondering if he also derived
the Ramadan from a Jewish custom. In fact only after the Jewish tribe
rejected him did he turn towards Mecca instead of Jerusalem



From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 06:15:17 -0500
Subject: Natural Law

What is the difference between "natural law" (which most MLJ
contributors suggest is nonsense to a Torah Jew), and the notion that,
had the Torah not been given, we could have learned many of its precepts
from nature (i.e., watching the animals)?  (The latter is something I
have indeed read or been told in shul, though I cannot remember the

Frank Silbermann        Memphis, Tennessee


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 10:42:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Noahide Movement

> What's a Noahide?  Or more precisely what do you mean by a Noahide?
> When I "googled" the term -- the first references are to a website
> established by Chabad Lubavitch.  Are there any people who SELF-IDENTIFY
> as "Noahides" today?  Or is this a red herring?
There are a few online sources on the noachide movement

http://www.rainbowcovenant.org/  (I know their rabbinical advisor 
Michael Katz, he is not a Chabadnik)

I have not reviewed all these sites yet in detail but I think they will 
show some of the diversity within that movement


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 00:35:33 +0200
Subject: The sentence "yihiyu leratzon imrai phi..." printed as part of Shema

I think this question has been asked in this forum before, but I haven't
yet seen a satisfactory answer.

There is a sentence "yihiyu leratzon imrai phi..." which is printed in
most additions of the ashkenazi selichot books (both Poland and Lita) as
part of the section that is read aloud in famous "shema Kolainu"
piut. [Avraham Rosenfeld's edition is an exception, and moves this and
the sentence before this towards the bottom of the piut, which is not
read aloud.]

In practice though, this sentence is always skipped by the hazzan and
congregation, and is not read at all.

I asked a Rav, if maybe this should be said individually and quietly,
and he said "no".  I asked him why, and he answered because this is not
a "pasuk" (i.e. quoted from tanach) but a convolution of one.

It seems that the piatan (poet) transformed the original pasuk from the
singular to the plural, as we usually express our prayers in the plural.

Apart from "hashivenu", none of these sentences are "pesukim", so my
questions are:

a) Why do we not say it, if it is printed there?
b) Is this sentence anyhow inferior because of the convolution?
c) If it is not meant to be said, why was it ever printed?
d) Why did Avraham Rosenfeld change the order? Is it anything to do with 
this issue?

G'mar hatima tova,
David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 23:29:03 -0400
Subject: Small Size Shulchan Aruch

Anyone know if there's a small-ish edition of the shulchan aruch beis
yosef? small enough to fit in a book bag; i have in mind 8.5 x 11.



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 05:01:46 +0200
Subject: Sukkot on the J Site and 62 holiday links

Hi Everyone!

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday that commemorates how protective "Clouds of
Glory" surrounded the Jewish people after leaving Egypt during the forty
years of wandering in the desert.  It also commemorates how the Jews
lived in temporary dwellings during that same time.  Sukkot begins
Wednesday evening, September 26, 2007.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment 
has several entertaining features to celebrate Sukkot:

Jewish Trivia Quiz: Sukkot

What is the Hebrew date of the first day of Sukkot ? 
What is another name for the Sukkot holiday ? 
What does Sukkot commemorate ? 
What is the minimum area of a Sukkah as defined in the Talmud ? 
What is the maximum height of a Sukkah ? 
What does the Aramaic word "Ushpizin" mean ? 
Who gets called to the Torah reading on Simchat Torah ? 

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice Flash
quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.  Both kids
and adults will find it enjoyable.

Additional Sukkot resources and games on the J site include:
Free Sukkot Clipart
The Hebrew Hangman Game 
The Multilingual Word Search Game (English / Hebrew / Russian)
My Hebrew Songbook (Hebrew Song Lyrics)
My Jewish Coloring Book (online / offline)

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not enough, I
posted on my website 62 links about Sukkot, from laws and customs to
games and recipes.  Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian,
Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian.

All 62 links have been reviewed / checked this week.
The web address is:


Please forward this message to relatives and friends, so they may
benefit from these holiday resources.

Happy Sukkot!


From: A. Goldberg <ocjs18@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 20:22:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Uman

>   Chasidut was at least perceived as, if not in actuality was, a
> rebellion against rabbinic authority to a large extent; that is why it
> elicited such vitriolic responses from the leading rabbinic figures of
> the time, such as the Vilna Gaon.

Some have argued that the Vilan Gaon's real reason for excommunicating
the Hassidim had to do with perceived messianism of the movement. In
those days the upheaval caused by Shabati Tzvi was still fresh in many
people's minds.  Not without reason, it was feared that
Rebbee-veneration could evolve into messianism (as indeed it has in
certain parts of the Habbad community).  Gamar Hatimah Tova Ari
Goldberg, Ottawa

The Ottawa College of Jewish Studies


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 15:52:13 +0200
Subject: Vowels in vav hachibur

I have noticed that vav hachibur in davening and in tanakh sometimes
carries a shva and at other times a patakh. Does anyone know the rule
for which each one of the vowels is used?

Leah Aharoni


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 09:01:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Why 2 days RH are different from other Yamim Tovim

> From: <md.stern@...> (Martin Stern)
> Perhaps the most obvious reason why the 2 days RH are different from
> the 2 days of other Yamim Tovim (in chuts la'arets)is that the first
> day RH is treated as the first day of Tishri whereas for every other
> Rosh Chodesh, on which the date of the other Yamim Tovim depend, it is
> the second day which is the first of the month.

However the logic for this is that it is based *not* on Rosh Chodes but
on the idea of two days of Yom Tov.  In fact, one reason for it being
two days in Eretz Yisroel, is that as soon as Bais Din declared the "new
month", it was Yom Tov and noone outside the Temple grounds (or the bais
din facility) could know that it was now Yom Tov (1 Tishrei).  If the
first day of Rosh Chodesh were Elul 30, then Yom Tov would not be until
the next day and you would have the first day of Rosh Chodesh as a
regular day and the second day of Rocsh Chodesh as the Yom Tov (followed
by the second day of Yom Tov on 2 Tishrei).

This could lead to all sorts of problems.  It seems better to just keep
Rosh Chodesh (and Rosh Hashanah) as 1 and 2 Tishrei.

All other Yom Tovim are based on the 15th of the month (Succos and
Pesach), while Shavuos is an absolute count from Pesach and not a day of
the month.  If any other chagim were scheduled on Rosh Chodesh, we would
have the same problem.

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


End of Volume 55 Issue 79