Volume 6 Number 74

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Conservative Temple, Solar Water Heater
         [Yechiel Wachtel]
Jews and Sports
         [Frank Silbermann]
Kosher for Passover Pet food
         [Rachel Sara Kaplan]
         [Eli Turkel]
Reading Hebrew
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Seder in Vermont or New Hampshire
         [Simon Streltsov]


From: Yechiel Wachtel <YWACHTEL@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 93 03:03:08 -0500
Subject: Conservative Temple, Solar Water Heater

	A few thoughts that may or may not still be relevant; Regarding
conservative temples; Rav Gustman ZZ"L was asked a Shayla (question) by
a craftsman who, due to a certain circumstance had to do some work in
the temple, Rav Gustman only allowed this person due to "hefsed meruba
meod" (great loss) to enter the building but NOT the chapel. But as
mentioned before each case may have its own angle.
	Another interesting point about "chupas" and "mesadrai kedushin"
that was related by Rav Gustman ZZ"L was that in Vilna the shamas of the
Shul (undoubtedly a great scholar in his own right) used to perform the
ceremony in the Shul itself (if I am not mistaken, he said with the Aron
(arc) doors open.
	Solar heaters, I have not seen the Psak in ssk, but of course
this heter is for solar heaters only (due to the sun heating) and in
certain instances only; I can say this from a "befairush tzetel" on the
wall.  (writing on the wall)(, no I do not claim to be a prophet, I live
in Yerushalayim were the "walls" in some areas have more information
than some newspapers) The "wall" advertised a solar heater devised in
accordance with the ssk (Shmiras Shabbos Kihilchaso) and with the
approval of the Institute of Science and Halocho in Bayit Vegan.  The
changes in the heater include air valves, (to let air in, and allow the
gravity feed of the water instead of pressure feeding due to cold water
intake) and other modifications.(if I understood the advertisement
correctly, it was covered up by the time I passed by the second time!!)
The use of heaters is obviously quite problematic, the problem of
"maaris eyin" was one of the reasons that Rabbi Newworth Shlita (I was
told) originally forbade the use of solar heaters, this (marris eyin)
may be a problem in places where water is usually heated with a medium
other than sun.
				Kenny Wachtel	  


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 11:27:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Jews and Sports

Avi Hyman recently asked about the halakhic ramifications and historical
attitude to Jews in sports.

In his medical works, the Rambam emphasized the importance of daily
physical exercise (e.g. brisk walks).  This can be a way of fulfilling
the mitzvah to safegarding one's health.  To do so via sports, however,
introduces a couple of issue.

Sports can be very pleasureable.  Enjoyment of exercise enriches our
lives, and helps us keep the habit, but it can become an obsession,
distracting us from other duties, or even an end in itself.  (Vince
Lombardi, late coach of the Green Bay Packers once asserted that winning
is not just the _main_ goal, but in fact the _only_ goal).

If we impose high standards of sportsmanship, athletics can serve as a
valuable tool for developing a "mussar personality".  To do this, we
must demand careful observance of the rules, quiet acceptance of the
referee's decision, modesty in victory, graciousness in defeat.  On the
other hand, acceptance of bad sportsmanship will have negative effects.

The most serious problem with sports is that it may encourage an
undesirable elitism based on physical characteristics.  We would rather
harness ambition and pride to the service of kindness and scholarship.

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: Rachel Sara Kaplan <rachelk@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 11:05:11 -0500
Subject: Kosher for Passover Pet food

> From: <hem@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
> Cats -
> Amore: Ocean Whitefish, Seafood Supreme
> Fancy Feast: Chopped Grill Feast, Beef & Chicken Feat, Savory Salmon
> Feast, Tender Liver & Chicken Feast, Cod, Sole & Shrimp Feast.

Does anyone have the name of any other cat foods that are kosher for
Passover.  All of the above cat foods (if I recall rightly) are very
high in ash and/or magnesium which can cause some real health problems
in cats.  Also, does the liver/beef/chicken in cat food have to be
kosher meat?  (Is it kosher meat used in Fancy Feast and Amore?)

Off to the pet store to check the science diet labels,


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 13:57:38 +0200
Subject: Rashi

      In response to several questions about Rashi on the Talmud I have
looked up several sources. To the best of my knowledge there has been
very little serious work concerning which "Rashis" on the Gemara are
really from Rashi and which are from other people. Similar questions
have been raised about the commentary on portions of Tanach.

      As a general background the first printed Talmud was by Bomberg
who was a gentile. As such he hired some rabbis to decide on how the
Gemara for each tractate should look. These were local rabbis and not
necessarily the greatest gedolim of that generation or historians. As
such they took their material from many different manuscripts without
any concern of consistency or historical accuracy. Thus, for example,
tosaphot on the Talmud is not one collection from some individual.
Instead the tosaphot on each tractate is frequently some one elses
tosaphot, though many are Tosaphot "Tuch". In some tractates the entire
tractate is not necessarily from one person (e.g. kesuvot). For more
information see Baalei Tosafot by Ephraim Auerbach (in Hebrew).

       It is known that Rashi did not finish his commentary to Baba
Batra and Makot. The majority of the commentary on Baba Batra is by
Rashbam, a grandson of Rashi while on Makkot it is by Rivan, a
son-in-law of Rashi. In both cases these rabbis wrote a commentary on
the entire tractate but the editors saw fit to include only those
portions that were not covered by Rashi. Incidentally, it seems that
Rashi wrote several versions of his commentary and that we have only the
third revision.  It is likely that both Rashbam and Rivan wrote their
commentaries with Rashi's manuscript in hand and with possibly Rashi
seeing their work.  Rashbam writes in some places that he argued with
Rashi about some peshat and Rashi agreed that Rashbam was correct.

     Beyond these two tractates nothing seems to be known for sure. The
only serious discussion seems to be about the last chapter, helek, of
Sannhedrin, Most historians feel that our "Rashi" is by Rivan while
other historians claim that it is an authentic Rashi. There are two
kinds of proofs for these assertions. One is based on the style of the
commentary and how it compares to other places. The other depends on
quotes from other Rishonim of Rashi's opinion and a comparison with our

For Nedarim: Our current text states that the commentary in the middle
is from Rabbenu Gershon. As pointed out Rabbenu Gershon lived about 2
generations before Rashi. However, that is no difficulty. Again, the
commentary was not written to complete Rashi but rather was written
independently and later editors combined them together. It is not clear
whether the rest is by Rabbenu Gershon or a portion or what. There are
all sorts of rumors including that it is by Rivan or even Rashi's
daughters. I have not found any basis to these stories. The commentary
of Ran on Nedarim doesn't seem to quote Rashi and he wrote his
commentary as if starting from scratch.  Since ran lived about 200-300
years after Rashi it seems that there was no standard commentary to
Nedarim for many years.

The Rashi to Nazir, Meilah, Taanait, Horayot, Moed Katan are also
suspect but again there is no serious work, that I know of, about their
origin.  Some Acharonim discuss the problem but generally solve the
problem by quoting other Achronim.

There is also a Rashi printed as a commentary on Alfasi (Rif) which is
also of unknown source.

Some references are Judaica on Rashi; Vol. 13, p1564.
Mahartz Chayot on Ta-anit and A. Kupfer.

I thank the various people who sent to me references and other material.



From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 08:07:49 -0500
Subject: Reading Hebrew

     Meylekh's recent post raised an issue that continues to raise my
hackles, namely the inability/unwillingness of present-day "bnai Torah"
- individuals committed to learning and Torah scholarship - to read
HEBREW. Art-Scroll has to some extent been a boon to those intersted in
learning texts but for a ben Torah to avoid the original and rely merely
on what his LOR or friendly scholar tells him is to my mind criminal.
     The fault clearly lies with the Day School/Yeshivah Ketanah Systems
which, for what I believe are primarily political reasons, have avoided
teaching IVRIT Be-IVRIT (in Hebrew).  We are raising a generation of
Torah committed individuals who can barely understand Shas and poskim
without a translation. It is a Busha ve-Cherpa (Crying shame) that even
people who have learned in Yeshivot Gevohot (Lakewood, Telz etc) will
come to Israel and learn in English speaking institutions - merely out
of hesitancy of mastering a language with which G-d communicated with
the Jewish people, with which Jews for millenia communicated with each
other and thru which G-d, the neviim, the Rishonim and the Acharonim
transmitted Torah to klal yisrael.  Hebrew remained alive throughout
the Galut (exile - there I go translating again!) primarily because the
poskim (codifiers) and the Bnai Torah used Hebrew/ lived Hebrew - that
this is no longer the case is a terrible indictment of the present day
Yeshivah system.


From: <simon1@...> (Simon Streltsov)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 11:35:47 -0500
Subject: Seder in Vermont or New Hampshire

I need information about Sedorim in a reasonable distance from Randolph,
VT. ( Burlington,Montpilier(sp?), Lebanon,NH, Dartmouth College, etc).

Please, reply to <simon1@...> before Pesach. Thanks in advance,

Simon Streltsov,
Boston University


End of Volume 6 Issue 74