Volume 58 Number 10 
      Produced: Fri, 07 May 2010 18:57:49 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

8 year old's utterances 
    [Carl Singer]
absorbtion in the laws of kashrut (2)
    [Martin Stern  David Tzohar]
edutainment panel discussion recording 
    [Jeffrey Saks]
electronic stuff etc 
    [Carl Singer]
gabbai rules for davening priority for yahrzeit 
    [Elimelekh Milton Polinsky]
halacha influences or halacha influenced 
    [Joel Rich]
Israel independence day 
    [David Ziants]
kid inadvertently treifs grape juice? 
    [Martin Stern]
marriage and separation (2)
    [Orrin Tilevitz  Orrin Tilevitz]
Repetition In Esther 3:4. 
    [Immanuel Burton]
taharat hamishpaha 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
waiting for milk 
    [Rabbi Meir Wise]
weddings at full moon? 
    [Perets Mett]


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 29,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: 8 year old's utterances

> My eight-year-old son, to my utter horror, took the leftovers in the
> kiddush cup the other week, and said, "I offer this to the god Poseidon!"
> as a kind of joke.  Did he treif [render unkosher --MOD] the grape juice
> in the cup?

Does an 8 year old have "status" such that his words can have this impact?

Carl Singer


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 20,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: absorbtion in the laws of kashrut

N. Yaakov Ziskind wrote:
> Akiva Miller wrote:
>> If anyone *has* successfully gotten the apple juice flavor out of such
>> a bottle, I'd love to know what their cleaning method was.
> Have you tried soaking vinegar in it?

This would certainly get rid of the apple juice taste but almost certainly
replace it with that of vinegar. One could also use bleach, but, likewise, it
would hardly make an improvement!

Martin Stern

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 25,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: absorbtion in the laws of kashrut

In the Shulchan Aruch the point is not whether anything is absorbed or
adsorbed in the scientific sense of molecular mingling, but rather is
ta'am (taste absorbed in the sides of the vessel). One of the major ideas is
that ta'am ki-ikkar (taste dertertmines the law). This is especially true in
mixtures where there is more than 1/60 of a forbidden substance, the whole
mixture is forbidden. Is what is absorbed in the sides of the pot included
in this determination? Since this can't be objectively quantified, the
halacha relies on subjective taste, sometimes bringing in a Kfeila (non
Jewish taste tester).
David Tzohar

From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Mon, May 3,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: edutainment panel discussion recording

If you were not one of the 100+ educators who gathered last week in
Jerusalem for ATID's panel discussion on "The Economics of Edutainment" then
visit www.atid.org/edutainment for the recording.

Four panelists, all experienced teachers or administrators in one-year
programs for men and women discussed our two short essays we made available
on www.atid.org entitled "The Economics of Edutainment," asking hard
questions about a declining educational atmosphere in certain yeshivot and
seminaries which educate Diaspora students in Israel, and questioning a lack
of economic professionalism and poor treatment of staff in at least some
schools. Many respondents thanked ATID for saying what others feared to say,
while others questioned the authors' premises, or suggested that lamenting
problems did little to solve them. The evening concluded with the formation
of a working group to explore the scope of the problems and suggest
constructive steps for improvement.

The Panel Discussion featured: Mrs. Mali Brofsky, R. Yamin Goldsmith, R.
Dani Goldstein & R. Alex Israel. Dr. Yoel Finkelman, Moderator; Director of
Projects & Research, ATID. Audience Discussion and Concluding Response: Dr.
David Bernstein.

Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
Director, ATID - Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 29,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: electronic stuff etc

[Ari] Trachtenberg said that solar water heating may be permitted on Shabbat
See R' Moshe Harari in "Mikrai Kodesh, Hilchot Chashmal B'shabbat" for those
who permit the use of solar water heaters on Shabbat.  There are two
questions here:

1- Do the solar panels charge storage batteries?
2- Does the cold water enter the already heated water directly thereby
"cooking it"?

Re: #2 -- is the heated water hot enough that one might consider cold water
(or food)  that comes in contact to be cooking?



From: Elimelekh Milton Polinsky <miltonpo@...>
Date: Tue, May 4,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: gabbai rules for davening priority for yahrzeit

Three questions on davening priority for yahrzeit:

1 - Scenario: yahrzeit bo bayom [on that Shabbos] is on shabbos: 
a. Does the yahrzeit observer have the right/priority to daven for the omud [act
as prayer leader] or get an aliyah or maftir on the shabbos before? 

b. Does the yahrzeit bump an avel's [mourner in the year after a parent's death]
right to daven on the preceding motzaei shabbos?

2 - Does a yahrzeit observer for a grandfather, father-in-law, uncle or any
other relative, that would not qualify him as an avel, bump an avel from the
omud [have higher priority to act as prayer leader]? What are the minhagim
[customs --MOD]?

Sources? Reasons?

Elimelekh Milton Polinsky


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, May 3,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: halacha influences or halacha influenced

Yisrael Medad wrote:
> In Yoreh Deiah 169, the laws dealing with magic, Paragraph Two reads:
> "the practice is not to commence on a Monday nor on a Thursday and weddings take
> place at the full moon".
> It is my distinct impression that couples planning their weddings do not take
> into account the time of the full moon to fix the date.

AIUI [As I understand it] it is viewed as good advice to take into account with
other factors.

One might consider whether this is related to simanei milta [significant omens
--MOD] which a rationalist would explain as items which reinforce a positive
outlook and thus impact the attitude of the doer (e.g. the belief that I will
succeed will actually help me succeed).

Joel Rich


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 21,2010 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Israel independence day

Chillul shabbat may come about because:

a) People who do not understand the need to keep Shabbat will travel on 
Shabbat to reach the Yom HaZikaron [=Remembrance Day] ceremonies on 
Motzei Shabbat.

b) Setting up and preparations for the Motzei Shabbat will likely be 
made on Shabbat. Although the cemeteries (military and others) are under 
religious auspices and there ought to be control there with respect to 
when the preparations are done, there are many commemorations at 
national sites that are not specifically under religious auspices.

Thus Yom HaZikaron is delayed to Sunday night and Monday, so making Yom 
Ha'Atzma'ut [=Independence Day] Monday night and Tuesday.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 7,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: kid inadvertently treifs grape juice?

In M-J V57#97, Anonymous wrote:
> My eight-year-old son, to my utter horror, took the leftovers in the
> kiddush cup the other week, and said, "I offer this to the god Poseidon!"
> as a kind of joke...

Since your son was only eight, he could be considered as being incapable of
any halachically significant action so I would think that he did not create
any yayin nesech d'oraita [Biblically defined wine of oblation as opposed to
the Rabbinic ban on wine handled by a non-Jew]. If he had been bar mitsvah [a 
Halachic adult, responsible for his own actions --Mod.], that would have been
much more of a problem so it would be worth explaining to him the rules
regarding avodah zarah [idol worship] and the serious consequences that
would be involved from such acts.

Martin Stern


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 30,2010 at 12:01 AM
Subject: marriage and separation

Josh wrote:
> The Shulchan Aruch YOREH DEAH 2:5 ("mumar l'hach'is
> afilu ledavar echad") indicates that someone who deliberately violates a 
> prohibition has the halachic status of a gentile.

Neither Josh nor the moderator translates "mumar l'hach'is afilu ledavar
echad". The term means a person who consistently and deliberately violates even
a single a Jewish law for the purpose of incitement, to cause anger
("lehach'is"). It is to be distinguished from a similarly-situated "mumar
letaavon," one who violates the law for purposes of enjoyment. The latter, not
the former, is the case we're addressing, and as reprehensible as it may be, the
source Josh quotes does not support his contention..

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, May 4,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: marriage and separation

Yaakov Shachter takes issue with my point that the proposed adulterous
relationship would violate the principle of "dina demalchuta dina" because, he
says, the principle applies only to monetary, not sexual, matters and only to
laws that are enforced, unlike those of adultery which, he says, are not. 

First, by "monetary" I assume Yaakov includes property. While regulating sexual
conduct is one purpose of the law against adultery, it seems to me that another
purpose is preserving the exclusive property right in a spouse's sexual
activity, thereby (for example) reducing the likelihood of violence between
various mates. By the same token, I wonder if any halachic prohibition of
adultery among, or with, non-Jews is based not on the concept of erva (forbidden
sexual conduct) but rather of hasagat gvul (infringement of property rights),
which is a form of theft. Among non-Jews it would be considered one of the seven
Noahide commandments either way. So it may be that adultery, particularly among
or with non-Jews is a violation of a property right covered by dina demalchuta.

Second, while Yaakov probably is correct that adultery is not prosecuted, that
does not mean that it is de facto permitted or that violating this law has no
legal consequences. For example, it may be grounds for a "fault" divorce. So
unlike some laws, this one may be enforced, albeit civilly rather than
criminally, and so again not removed from dina demalchuta.

Yaakov is correct that any dina demalchuta considerations pale beside the
obvious chilul hashem [desecration of God's name]. But chilul hashem is a broad
concept. There is chilul hashem when an outwardly religiously observant person
is arrested for, say, money laundering or attempting to bribe a politician. What
Anonymous is asking is, I think, worse: it is a request for a heter [religious
dispensation] for an act that is plain wrong, and wrong on so many levels. If
such an act is permitted by the Torah, it implies that our Torah is false. That
is why I raised the issue of menuval birshut hatorah as opposed to mere chilul


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Mon, May 3,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Repetition In Esther 3:4.

I noticed this year that the person who leined Megillas Esther in the shul that
I attended on Purim repeated the first few words of chapter 3 verse 4, with a
variation on one word.  First of all he said, "Vayehi be'omrom aylov", then went
back and said, "Vayehi ke'omrom aylov".  The written text has the word
"be'omrom", but the traditional reading is "ke'omrom".  In other words, this is
an occurrence of what is called a kri-ksiv, a situation where a word is written
in one way but read another.  (Two extreme examples of this are in Deuteronomy
28:27 and 28:30, where words entirely different from the written text are read.)

When I first learnt to lein the Megillah myself, I asked my teacher about the
repetition of various words nearer the end of the Megillah, namely:

(1)  Esther 8:11, the word "la'harohg" is read, and then repeated as "ve'la'harohg".
(2)  Esther 9:2 - the word "biffnayhem" is read, and then repeated as "liffnayhem".
(3)  There also seems to be a custom to reread "ba'yehudim" as "ba'yehudee-im".

I was taught that the reason these words are repeated is that there is a doubt
as to what the word should be.  As a result, both readings are read, regardless
of what's actually written on the parchment.  I then asked whether these were a
type of kri-ksiv [see the definition in the first paragraph of this posting],
and was told that they were not.  In a situation where there is a kri-ksiv there
is no doubt as to what the word is, even though it's written one way but
pronounced another.  The situation in Esther 3:4 is a kri-ksiv, the tradition
being that the word "be'omrom" is written but read as "ke'omrom".  I was
therefore quite surprised to hear the person reading the Megillah repeat both
the written and pronounced forms of the word in this verse.

I have  consulted two books about this:  A Practical Manual On The Scroll Of
Esther by A Weil (London, 1961), and Kuntras Megillas Esther Ke'Halochoh by Y Z
Moskowitz (published in Israel in 2003).  The Practical Manual points out that
there are occurences of kri-ksiv in Esther, and says that these are words which
are written one way and read another.  It points out the above three
repetitions, and describes this as an innovation.  It makes no mention of
repetition in 3:4.

The Kuntras, on the other hand, points out that some people say both "be'omrom"
and "ke'omrom" because there's a difference between the written and read forms,
and then goes on to say that there is also the customto say just "ke'omrom"
because there is no doubt as to what the words is.  I presume there is no doubt
because the kri-ksiv tradition defines what should be written and what should be

I now have two questions:

(1)  Is it correct to say both the written and read forms of a kri-ksiv, or is
this is a mistaken custom?

(2)  Why is that this particular kri-ksiv seems to have been picked on for
repetition?  There are others, for example in 1:16 the name "Memuchon" is
written as "Mumchon", but no-one seems to read both options.

The person who taught me to read the Megillah told me that he's met people who
think that the occurence of the word "be'omrom" in 1:17 (there's no kri-ksiv
there), should also be read as "ke'omrom" followed by "be'omrom".

I realise it is some time after Purim, but I recently moved from London to
Toronto and have only just unpacked my library, and so wasn't able to consult
the two books that I cited.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 30,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: taharat hamishpaha

Anonymous wrote:
> Manhattan is filled with women in all manner of hair-covering and
> over-the-elbow sleeves and with husbands in yarmulkes who take pride
> in finding a mincha minyan at the office. But the mikva'ot, while not
> empty, are not exactly filled to capacity.

It seems the opposite in Israel: you can find woman who observe mikva, but 
their dressing is far from being halachikly correct. I doubt if their 
husbands even look for a Minha minyan.


From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 14,2010 at 07:01 AM
Subject: waiting for milk

Menashe Elyashiv's comment "The German 3 hours is a custom, but not a  
known Rishonim opinion" is wrong.

If one cares to look in the Darkei Teshuva simon 89 seif 1 seif koton  
6 in the name of the Sefer Mizmor Ledovid "the custom from many  
places that they only wait approx three hours" and this custom is  
based on holy mountains (ie great authorities = rishonim)  as is found  
in the pamphlet Issur veHeter of Rabbenu Yerucham z"l (an Ashkenazi  
Rishon) which is printed in the margin of the Sefer Adam veChava  
(Venice edition Simon 39) according to Rashi ... If one ate meat one should wait
three hours until eating milky foods....

My Shulchan Oruch rebbe Harav Moshe Turetsky zatza"l gave a logical  
explanation. The Talmud in Hullin does not mention an actual time but  
says from one meal to the next. In the Talmudic period people ate  
twice a day (pat shel shacharit and pat shel bein ha'arbayim -  
morning and late afternoon) however in cold Ashkenazic lands people  
started to eat three meals a day hence the gap between meals was less.
Of course most people do not eat a meaty breakfast (a notable  
exception was my late grandmother Wise of blessed memory who ate fried  
wurst and eggs at 6.30am followed by a tot of whiskey - she lived  
until 85) but for most of us the only practical application is after  


Meir Wise, London


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, May 4,2010 at 02:01 AM
Subject: weddings at full moon?

Yisrael Medad wrote:
> On the background of the recent discussion as to whether Halacha is
> affected by the current culture, fashion, social customs or practices of
> the day, I turn attention to this Halachic custom (Halacha because it is
> codexed in the Shulchan Arukh):
> In Yoreh Deiah 169, the laws dealing with magic, Paragraph Two reads:
> "the practice is not to commence on a Monday nor on a Thursday and
> weddings take place at the full moon".
> It is my distinct impression that couples planning their weddings do not
> take into account the time of the full moon to fix the date.
> Why is this instruction ignored?  Is it simply that it fell out of use?
> That it is related to an awkward concern. i.e., luck?  That it is a
> cumbersome consideration?  That the majority of the public do not
> consider the fixing of the date according to the moon critical?  That it
> isn't Halacha?

I wish to make several observations on Yisrael's posting, based on the words of
the Mechaber in YD 179:2.

1. Is the Mechaber stating halocho (instruction)?
2. What exactly is the custom he is quoting?
3. Is this custom observed nowadays?

1. I don't believe this is a halocho at all. The Mechaber says 'nohagu'= people
have a custom. The Mechaber (as opposed to the RMO) rarely quotes customs.
Therefore the Mechaber is not saying what we **must** do but what we **may** do.
If the Mechaber wanted to instruct us to when to amke weddings, he would have
mentioned this in Even Hoezer, in the context of weddings. The reason he quotes
this custom in the laws of meonen unmechashef (witchcraft and sorcery) is to
**permit** the custom, that is to say, in case you think this custom is
forbidden as a form of sorcery, the Mechaber allows you to have such a custom.
This custom is therefore not in any way prescriptive.

2. The words do not say "at the full moon". The phrase is "bemilui halvono" =
when the moon is filling. This is widely understood to mean teh first 22 days of
the month, when the moon is either waxing, or has not yet become too thin.

3. The custom is indeed observed widely nowadays. Many people (but by no means
all) avoid weddings between the 23rd of the month and the molad (new moon

Perets Mett


End of Volume 58 Issue 10