Volume 58 Number 03 
      Produced: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 15:54:53 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

an unappealing but major(?) proverb 
    [Yeshaya Halevi]
    [Shoshana L. Boublil]
electronic stuff etc 
    [Bernard Raab]
green eggs and ham for Purim 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Israel independence day (4)
    [ Gilad J. Gevaryahu  Avraham Friedenberg  <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>  David I. Cohen]
marriage and separation 
waiting for dairy (2)
    [Steven Oppenheimer  David Ziants]


From: Yeshaya Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 22,2010 at 01:01 AM
Subject: an unappealing but major(?) proverb

   Know how it goes when you've read or heard something, and
it literally takes many decades before you open your eyes and question
it?  After all this talk about something not being worthy for even a dog
to eat, my mind just clicked to Meeshlay (Proverbs) 26:11, where it uses
the phrase, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his

   Obvious question: If a dog eats vomit (and, BTW,
excrement), just what exactly is meant when we permit certain things to
be eaten on the grounds they are so inconsequential and nasty that not
even a dog will eat them?

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 20,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: education

Stuart Wise wrote:
> Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
>> One of  the things I truly love about Judaism is that it's main book is
>> called  Torah - To Teach... I've never seen anything good come from 
>> ignorance.
> Would you feel the same about exposing children to pornography? Why, based
> on your reasoning, children should be educated and shown it so they know
> what to avoid. Sorry, I don't buy that either.

I truly pity a person who doesn't know the difference.  But I'll answer.

Just as you won't let your child put their hands in the fire - similarly you 
won't provide them with pornography.  P. is not knowledge of any kind.

OTOH [On the other hand --MOD], teaching your child, at the appropriate age,
about the human body; aiding him/her in understanding their physicality and
other knowledge about biology is important. You would also teach your child to
value a human being, and to respect themselves.

I'll never forget the case of a Kallah [Bride --MOD] (I met her when I was in
Sheirut Leumi [National Service --MOD]). We met her a week before her wedding -
and discovered, while discussing a related issue, that she had NO knowledge of
human biology in general, nor of female biology in particular - nor how women
become pregnant - and this was a week before her wedding!  When we asked her how
could this be, she said that when she tried to ask, she was shushed for 
raising untzniusdik [immodest --MOD] questions.

So, yes, I repeat - I've never seen anything good come from ignorance. And 
not feeling the flame does not mean you are ignorant of the damage the flame 

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 9,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: electronic stuff etc

Ralph Zwier wrote:
> Bernard Raab wrote in mail-jewish Vol.57 #97:
> > Rav Ovadiah Yosef has a teshuva (Responsum) about wearing synthetic 
> > garments on Shabbat - (Yechave Da'at Volume II 46), and my simple reading 
> > of it is that there is indeed a concern in the first analysis, and the main 
> > reason it is ultimately permitted to wear synthetic garments, is because of 
> > the lack of intention and the lack of material consequence to the sparks, 
> > NOT because the sparks are intrinsically different from those created by 
> > striking a flint.

Although I did not write this I am grateful for the input. But how did you know
that R. Yosef was making that distinction? Did he say so or is that your
inference? I would be very impressed to learn that the distinguished Rav is
aware of the difference in nature of the two sources of sparks. In the flint
case it is certainly a process of combustion. In the separation of garments, it
is purely the conduction of electricity through the air.

David Tzohar wrote:
> ... There is a passage in the Rambam where he says that heating up metal
> until it glows is a sub-category of the prohibition of cooking but again
> this only  explains incandescence. The hazon Ish had a brilliant and original
> solution. The prohibition of electricity is "boneh" (building).  Any 
> electrical circuit before it is activated has absolutely no purpose. By
> closing the circuit we are "building" a new construct, bringing to life
> something that could not be used previously.  This is a torah prohibition and
> it also explains the prohibition of  molid zerem...

I am grateful for this summary. I recall a few years ago reading a summary of
these issues, in which it was claimed that R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach had denied
the relevance of the "Boneh" argument. I do not recall the reasoning; perhaps
one of our posters can resurrect that article.  However, this just reinforces my
argument that we are in a new era of electric applications.

Remember, the "spirit of the first poskim" were dealing with an era in which
electric energy was in widest use as replacement for gas lights or candles for
illumination.  In general, microelectronic applications are always "on", even if
only in a standby mode. Of course, in performance of any active operation,
typically data transfer, transistors are rapidly switching from "on" to "off"
and back again millions of times per second.  Automatically assuming that these
are prohibited activities, especially d'oraita [from the Torah] requires a more
nuanced argument that offered by the Hazon Ish, in my humble opinion.

And this stance will lead to many more poignant stories like that told by Sam
Gamoran in this issue (57/98). Mr. Gamoran encountered the fact that mercury
thermometers are no longer produced in favor of electronic thermometers. He asks
quite plaintively whether this means that he (we) must be convinced that it is a
matter of pikuach nefesh [threat to life] before we can check the temperature of
a sick child? The blanket prohibitions are simply not sustainable. The question
will be are we capable of making distinctions which will enable us to continue
our preferred and revered "nature of Shabbat", or will we risk the overthrow of
all forms of prohibitions by a new generation?

Bernie R.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 9,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: green eggs and ham for Purim

In M-J V57#97, Martin Stern wrote:
> As a Yekke, proverbially thought to lack a sense of humour, might I suggest
> that there could well be a problem with the kashrut of green eggs
> (presumably the eggs themselves rather than their shell) since they might
> come from some non-kosher species. AFAIK the eggs of kosher birds are not
> green!
> Martin Stern

While I did find (from a crossword puzzle) that the emu (a nonkosher
bird) lays green eggs, I did find that other birds (such as chicken)
that may be kosher also lay colored eggs (including green).

Google is your friend.

Guillemot eggs

The default color of vertebrate eggs is the white of the calcium
carbonate from which the shells are made, but some birds, mainly
passerines, produce colored eggs. The pigments biliverdin and its zinc
chelate give a green or blue ground color, and protoporphyrin produces
reds and browns as a ground color or as spotting.


A passerine is a bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more
than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or,
less accurately, as songbirds, the passerines form one of the most
diverse terrestrial vertebrate orders: it is roughly twice as diverse
as the largest of the mammal orders, the Rodentia.


Chicken eggs vary in color depending on the hen, typically ranging
from bright white to shades of brown and even blue, green, and
recently reported purple (found in South Asia) (Araucana  varieties).

An unusual variety of chicken that has its origins in South America is
the araucana, bred in southern Chile by Mapuche people. Araucanas,
some of which are tailless and some of which have tufts of feathers
around their ears, lay blue-green eggs.


Cream Legbar

The eggs they lay are green/ blue in colour, any pullets hatched from
these eggs will also lay green/ blue eggs.
   Sabba   -         -   Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water

From:  Gilad J. Gevaryahu <gevaryahu@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 20,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Israel independence day

Mordechai Horowitz  asks:
> Why is Israel Independence day pushed off when Israel's day of 
> remembrance falls on Sunday?  I understand why you would move the day 
> when there is a conflict with Shabbat but when it falls on Motzei 
> Shabbat it doesn't make sense?

The reason is indeed the chilul Shabbat [desecration of the Sabbath --MOD] from
the preparation on Shabbat to the Motzaei Shabbat Memorial Service. For sources
of change of the law for the date of Yom Ha-Atzmaut celebration see:

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 20,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Israel independence day

When Yom Hazikaron [Israeli memorial day --MOD] would normally fall on Motzay
Shabbat/Sunday (like this year), it is pushed off until Monday.  This is because
the Chief Rabbinate does not want pre-program preparations done over Shabbat. 
Since Yom Hazikaron is pushed off one day, Yom Ha'atzmaut [Israeli independence
day --MOD] is pushed off one day as well.

Avraham Friedenberg
Karnei Shomron

From: <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 21,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Israel independence day

In MJ 58/02
> Why is Israel Independence day pushed off when Israel's day of 
> remembrance falls on Sunday?  I understand why you would move the day 
> when there is a conflict with Shabbat but when it falls on Motzei 
> Shabbat it doesn't make sense?

The problem is Hillul (desercration) Shabbat. As the ceremonies take place 
at night, and Israel has been on summer time starting about 25 years ago, 
Motzei Shabbat is a bad time. As it was, even in standard time, the army 
and police would start setting up the soldiers and policemen in the 
afternoon. The present situation is that memorial day & independence day 
are together. However, in today's newspaper there is an article about a 
suggestion to split the two days, as it is hard for the bereaved families 
to move so quickly from sadness to to celebration. 

BTW, in the first years of the state, the chief rabbinate held that their 
Independence prayers would be said on 5 Iyar. In 1950, that was Shabbat, 
in 1951 that was Friday. Then in 1954, it was pushed off to Sunday, and 
memorial day was before Shabbat. Nowadays, it is the Knesset that decides 
when to celebrate.

From:  David I. Cohen <bdcohen613@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 21,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Israel independence day

Mordechai Horowitz wrote:
> Why is Israel Independence day pushed off when Israel's day of
> remembrance falls on Sunday?  I understand why you would move the day
> when there is a conflict with Shabbat but when it falls on Motzei
> Shabbat it doesn't make sense"

Yom Hazikaron, Memorial day is pushed off from Sunday to Monday to prevent
preparations for and travelling to the events of the start of Yom Hazikaron,
on Shabbat. Pushing off Yom Hazikaron pushes Yom Haatzmaut (Independence
Day) off by one day, as they are always one after the other.

Similarly, if 5 Iyar falls on a Friday, it is celebrated one day earlier on
Thursday 4 Iyar to prevent Shabbat desecration, and Yom Hazikaron occurs on
Wednesday 3 Iyar. This will occur in 2012.

David I. Cohen


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, Mar 23,2010 at 07:01 AM
Subject: marriage and separation

I am looking for halachic opinions on the following scenario. I am a single man
who is friendly with a non Jewish woman. She wants to proceed to a sexual
relationship, which I would like. Her situation: living in her home, separated
from her husband. He also lives there but they have been separated for two
years. They stay in the "marriage" until the kids are older. What lines do I
cross if I cross the line.

[Moderator's note:  This submission should be understood as a general
solicitation for halachic thoughts and *not* a specific legal decision, as per
mail-jewish guidelines.]


From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 18,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: waiting for dairy

About 15 years ago, I wrote this explanation for our Shul newsletter.  It
may be helpful for MJ readers.

Did You Know?.........................
by Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.

There is a custom to eat dairy foods on Shavuot.  Before the giving of the
Torah, the  Jews were permitted to eat non-kosher meat.  After the giving of
the Torah (on Shavuot), this became forbidden.  All their dishes became
prohibited, and they could only eat dairy foods.  There is a custom to wait
up to six hours after eating meat before partaking of dairy.  The custom is
different regarding meat following dairy.  If one drank a glass of milk, he
need only rinse out his mouth before partaking of meat (many recite a *bracha
acharona* [post-eating blessing --Mod.] and wait one half hour in between).
One who ate cheese must additionally wash his hands and eat solid food to clean 
his mouth before eating meat.  Why do many people wait up to six hours between 
meat and milk, but eat meat very soon after having milk?  If I have a steak, I 
have to wait up to six hours before drinking a glass of milk.  But if I have a 
glass of milk, I can have a steak at most half an hour later.  Why?  We may also 
ask why some people wait six hours between meat and milk, while others wait
three hours and some people only one hour?

Common misconception associates the proscribed 6-hour interval to the time
required to digest the meat eaten.  This is not the accepted rationale.  Rashi
explains that meat leaves a fatty residue in the throat and palate, and
Rambam maintains that particles of meat may remain lodged between the teeth.
Once six hours have passed, the fatty residue has dissolved and the meat
particles are sufficiently decomposed by the saliva.  Dairy foods do not
leave a fatty residue in the throat and palate, nor do they remain lodged
between the teeth.  Thus one need not wait after dairy foods the longer
period of time required after meat foods.

The Talmud (Chullin 105a) relates that Mar Ukba waited from one meal to
another before eating dairy after meat.  In those days, people only ate two
meals a day.  The Talmud (Shabbat 10a) explains that a *talmid chacham* [Torah 
scholar --Mod.] ate his first meal in the sixth hour (of the day).  The Talmud
(Yoma 74b) states that blind people, since they can't see their food, eat 
without becoming satisfied.  Therefore, Abaye said, one should only eat a meal 
in daylight.  In a perfect day, the sun rises at 6 AM and sets at 6 PM.  Mar 
Ukba, who was a *talmid chacham*, ate his first meal at noon and in order to be 
satisfied, ate his second meal at 6 PM while it was still light.  This is the 
reason for the custom to wait six hours between meat and milk.  Not all days,
however, contain twelve hours of daylight.  In the winter, many countries
have only nine hours of daylight.  This is the case in Babylonia where Mar
Ukba lived.  Therefore, when daylight began at 7 AM, Mar Ukba ate his first
meal at 1 PM (sixth hour).  The second meal must have been eaten at 4 PM.
That was when it got dark, and Mar Ukba would have to have eaten his meal
before night in accordance with Abaye's statement.  We see that there were
times when Mar Ukba ate dairy after meat after waiting only three hours.  This
is the source for the German Jewish custom to wait only three hours.

Dutch and Scandinavian Jews follow the custom brought by Rama (Y.D., 89:1)
to wait one hour and say a *bracha acharona*.  This is because there are
*Rishonim* [leading Rabbis and Halachic decisors during, approximately, the 11th 
to 15th centuries CE --Mod.] who maintain the essential point is not to eat meat 
and dairy in the same meal.

Sorry, you are not allowed to switch to the more lenient custom.  People who
are ill, nursing women, infants and small children may modify their custom
on the advice of a Rabbi.  Ask our Rabbi if you have any questions.

...And Now You Know
Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 21,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: waiting for dairy

In M-J V58#01, Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...> wrote:
> Apparently, the German community still relies on the Ashkenazi Rishonim'
> opinion of one hour -- but generally accepted a chumra (stringent custom)
> of extending it an extra two hours.

Frank Silbermann confirmed to me, off-list, that he is supporting the 
position in my M-J 57:98 posting that three hours is a stringency 
of the one hour practice...
>> By the way, concerning the Germanic (and English) custom of waiting 
>> three hours after meat for milk, it was suggested by the city Rav where  
>> I live, that it might be a stringency that was taken on by the majority 
>> of western Ashkenazi communities (except Dutch who did not accept this 
>> stringency), as these communities essentially only had to wait one hour.

I am pleased that Menashe Elyashiv (see M-J V57#99) was able to mention 
the Rambam (6 hours) vs Tosfot (1 hour) issue as, although I remembered 
the general principle here, I would not been able to have detailed this 
as much as he did. We still have to acknowledge that there is the very 
established Germanic 3 hour custom that is not mentioned in the 
Rishonim. If three hours is not a stringency on 1 hour, in what other 
ways can this sparsely documented custom be explained?

Referring to the posting of Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 
<sabbahillel@...> (M-J V58#02, thread "waiting for dairy" --Mod.):
> I think that the original question was based on the assumption, that 
> rather than being a community chumra [stricture --MOD], the 3 hours was 
> a specific determination, just as the 1 hour or 6 hour values were 
> specific determinations of a time.

If this is referring to my original question, then my not mentioning the 
1 hour vs 6 hour issue was an oversight. I assumed that it is known that 
the 3 hour wait is not on the same status as the 1 hour and 6 hour waits 
(or possibly into 6th hour which is really after 5 hours) and it was 
wrong for me to have made that assumption in my initial posting on the 

This posting continues:
> In any case, the question would still arise as to how the chumra 
> developed and how it was determined that three hours was the proper 
> amount of time for this chumra.

I do remember learning about "average" time between meals as being a 
factor. Is this from the Tosefot?

So taking into account three types of eating patterns:
a) Germany and England (and rest of Western Europe society ?) in general 
follow(ed) the following eating pattern:
Breakfast, 11cees (very small meal at 11am, called "aruchat eser" [=10 
o'clock meal] in Israel), lunch, tea (meal towards end of afternoon, 
called  "aruchat arba" [=4 o'clock meal] in Israel), so there is a gap 
of approx. three hours between each of these meals.

b) In poorer Eastern Europe I expect the normal folk would not bother 
with mid-morning meal and afternoon tea. I doubt that meat or poultry 
was consumed so much anyway, except for Shabbat. So the average gap 
between meals was 5 - 6 hours. I have no idea what the eating pattern 
was in the Middle Eastern countries, but the longer wait as mentioned 
above is as in the Rambam and so I guess 6 hours has always been the 
Aidot Hamizrach [= communities from Middle Eastern countries] custom.

c) The Dutch still continue to eat small meals throughout the day. See, 
for example, URL http://www.alloexpat.com/moving_to_netherlands_forum/food-
dining-in-netherlands-t148.html (or http://tinyurl.com/283ecru --Mod.)
and then scroll to lunchtime paragraph:
<<< Dutch sitting down for a koffee and one of these delicious hapjes 
(small snacks, or literally, "bites") throughout the day.>>>
(The web-page is of course talking about Dutch general society so don't 
expect a kosher cuisine there - am just using to show Dutch eating 

The "time between meals" issue could explain why in Germany the 
stringency became the three hour wait. No one would want to adopt the 
more stringent view of 6 hours if it does not fit into the eating 
pattern of society. On the other hand, what was normative custom of 1 
hour still seems too short, as one still has the taste of meat in one's 
mouth. So three hours took root. This custom was imported to England at 
beginning of 20th century and adopted as the official LBD (London Bet 
Din) waiting time for functions under their supervision.

The Dutch, who are not going to give up on their snacks, never adopted 
this stringency.

The above is only an idea. It would obviously need more research to 
ascertain how accurate this idea can really be. Can anyone disprove the 

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


End of Volume 58 Issue 3