Volume 6 Number 66

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Gomel for Wife
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Hot water heater on Shabbat (3)
         [Howie Pielet, Yisrael Sundick, Zev Farkas]
         [David Cohen]
Lo Tilvash
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Eli Turkel]
Streimels and other Chasidishe attire
         [Mark Katz]


From: Jeffrey Woolf <JRWOOLF@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 13:20:31 EST
Subject: Gomel for Wife

 According to the Poskim that I've seen, Birkat Gomel is certainly not
transferable. What I did as a Rav in a young congregation was to have the
woman come to the Mehitza at the appropriate time and recite the Berakha and
that;'s it. There is no issue of hearing a woman say the blessing. In fact,
according to Rav Ovadia Yosef in ShuT Yehave Daat, there is no inyan of Kol
Isha in shul due to the sanctity of the setting which discourages untoward
thought (though I'm sure he's not referring to actual singing.)


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 13:58:28 CST
Subject: Hot water heater on Shabbat


Do these two methods work?

1) Turn the thermostat down erev Shabbat.
   Use enough hot water that the water remaining in the tank is no
longer 'hot'. 
   Use the combined hot/cold faucet on Shabbat.
   Turn the thermostat back up after Shabbat.

2) Turn the thermostat down erev Shabbat.
   Close the inlet erev Shabbat.
   Wait until the water has cooled to less than 'hot'.
   Open the inlet on Shabbat.
   Use the combined hot/cold faucet on Shabbat.
   Turn the thermostat back up after Shabbat.

Must the thermostat be turned off, or can it be set to warm the water

Does anything less drastic work yet still allow use of a combined hot/cold

Howie Pielet   Internet: <pielet@...>  (East Chicago, Indiana, USA)

From: Yisrael Sundick <sas34@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 13:49:31 -0500
Subject: RE: Hot water heater on Shabbat

Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchatah says solar water haters are allowed on Shabbat?
I don't have a copy of the book here, but I do find it somewhat
surprising since the main problem of a hot water heater on shabbat as I
recall was the cold water entering and being cooked. One area were solar
heating could help is in that there is no open flame or glowing element
which is a problem in of itself. 
I do have a queston regarding Hillel Markowitz's plan to put a hot water
on a timer. Isn't this really the same as a refrigerator which we open
without concern to turning the motor on an Shabbat? We are alowed to open
the refrigerator door because turning on the motor is an indirect,
unwanted result. Who really cares if the heating element is on? Also, I
am not sure, but I don't think putting two hot water heaters in series is
the greatest of ideas if only because standard hot water heaters are
designed for cold water intake. 
This probably won't help you, but in appartment buildings were the
majority of the residents are non-jewish there is grounds for alowing hot
water to be used. Since it is a sufek psaek reshah, a question if you are
acctually starting the intake of cold water or if someone who is alowed ie
a non jew already turned the hot water on. Ask your LOR if you think this
might apply to you.
There is also a book put out by the Institute for Science and Halachah
wich describes several schemes for constructing halcachically permissible
water heating systems. If I get ahold of the book, I will post the title.

*     Yisrael Sundick       *        Libi beMizrach VeAni                   * 
*  <sas34@...>  *             beColumbia                        *

From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 93 20:27:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Hot water heater on Shabbat

in reply to len moskowitz <moskowit@...> reply to my reply:

i'm not sure i understood the plumbing and mechanics behind your most
recent proposal (gas and electric heaters operating in series), and i
would probably need to see drawings to give a reasonable opinion (email me
in private if you want a mailing address or want to fax a drawing).

one item in particular that i did not understand was the thermostat to
turn the heat off, but not turn it on.  this is not your standard
thermostat, but would have to be a modification that latches out after one
cycle (i think there are safety cutoffs that work like that - if the
temperature gets too hot, they kick out until reset manually).

however, if you are setting the thermostat below "yad soletet bo" (the
temperature at which the hand reflexively retracts), it would seem that
all the rest of this technology would be unnecessary.  of course, you
would have to consult a halachic authority (i am not one) on several issues:

1)  is it permissible to warm water to less than yad soletet bo on shabbat?

2)  what temperature is yad soletet bo?  (and what kind of safety margin
do you need to account for such things as human error, variations
in thermometer and thermostat, and uneven heating of the contents of the

3)  is it permissible to cool a thermostat which MAY as a consequence turn
on a heating element or fire?  (similar to questions of whether it is
permissible to open the door of a heated or air-conditioned house, or that
of a refrigerator)

someone else (sorry, i'm too lazy too look up the name) suggested the use
of solar heating.  could be.  i think solar heat may have special halachic
status (i have fuzzy recollections of gemarahs to that effect), in that
cooking by solar heat may not be considered cooking from the halachic
point of view.  AGAIN, i make no claim to being a posek, so you must check
this out with an appropriate authority before acting on it.


Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278


From: <dec2@...>   (David Cohen)
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 93 20:24:29 -0500
Subject: Interest

 Shalom.  My name is David Cohen.  I was raised in a conservative 
community on the southwestern part of Long Island, NY.  Currently a student
at Cornell U, I have begun an effort to learn more about halacha and the
parts of my heritage that were absent in my education.

Reading some of the digests that I have received, I recalled an issue that
has been puzzling me.  I understand that interest may not be collected
on loans made to fellow Jews.  Does this mean that banking within the
Jewish community is prohibited?  When I put money in the bank or when I 
buy a Treasury, I am lending the money and earning interest.  Is this not
acceptable under halacha?  Is there an allowance because I am lending the
money to an institution in those cases?  What if I own the bank?  Or a 
company that makes low-interest loans to its employees?  Hope that I 
understand this forum correctly.  Todah. L'hitraot, David


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 93 14:03:42 +0200
Subject: Lo Tilvash

    Prof. Lehman states that the prohibition of men wearing woman's
clothing (and vice-versa) depends on the local custom of the orthodox
people. I think that this is exactly the question of controversy. how
do we know that it is the observant that determine what is "men's or
women's clothing". let me very clear that I am not talking about
questions of modesty (tziniut). To be specific if all observant ladies
only wear skirts and all (to be extreme) nonjewish or jewish but
nonobservant women wear " women's " pants (again, that present no
tziniut problems) how to know which determines the definition of
women's clothing for the prohibition of "lo tilbash gever simlat isha".



From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 93 09:52:13 +0200
Subject: Rashi

    The following oroginated from the daf-Yomi board but may be of
more general interest.

   I have tried to do some research on Rashi on various mesechtot but
have not been successful. Rav Azulai in shem gedolim quotes a yad
malachi that the "Rashi" on nedarim from page 22 and on is from Rabbenu
Gershon. This is quoted in the Sedei Chemed who also says that the 
"Rashi" on nazir and me-ilah is suspect. All of these seem to be one
acharon quoting another. I have never seen any analysis of the reasons
that these tractates are suspect. The only modern research I have seen
was an analysis of the last chapter of Sanhedrin (helek) to see if that
was written by Rashi by comparing the style to other places and also
to look in other 'early' rishonim to see if they quote Rashi and how it
compares to our Rashi. His conclusion was that the "Rashi" was
     In addition the "Rashi" on the Rif (Alfasi) also seems to be of
unknown authorship though it is generally agreed that it is not by Rashi.
      Any further references would be appreciated.



From: Mark Katz <mark@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 93 21:36:20 GMT
Subject: Streimels and other Chasidishe attire

Are there any halachic/minhag reasons for the style of dress of Chassidim.

I heard (perhaps cynically) that this was inherited from the 'gentry'
of the Russian/Polish countries in which they lived. Over the years
this has achieved some formal religious status.



End of Volume 6 Issue 66