Volume 6 Number 80

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Musar Message For Nissan
         [Yisrael Medad]
Changing Chazzan before Yishtabach
         [Howie Pielet]
Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature
         [Victor S. Miller]
Education of Young Children
         [Morris Podolak]
Question from Haggodoh
         [Danny Farkas]
Source against Obesity
         [Naomi G. Cohen]
T'anat Bechorim - Fast of the First Born (2)
         [Henry Abramson, Ari Z. Zivotofsky]


From: OZER_BLUM%<YARDEN.DECNET@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 05:10:40 -0500
Subject: A Musar Message For Nissan

Yesterday I attended the dedication ceremony of the synagogue in the
former Jerusalem Central Prison in memory of Rav Aryeh Levin and wish to
pass along a mussar vort his grandson, Rabbi Benji Levine a graduate of
YU, spoke of as relevant to his grandfather and the month of Geula
(Reemption) which is Nissan:

Two people, a father and son, came before the local Rav.  Each one
claimed the same coat, the father because he was old and cold, the son
because he was the one going out to work.  The Rav asked them to come
back the next day but to argue the other's case which they did.  The Rav
then gave them an extra coat he had.  The were perplexed, after all the
coat was there in the closet the previous day.  He replied that whereas
they had each demanded the coat for themselves, he also demanded the
extra coat for himself.  But today when each asked that the other
receive the coat, so he too became less self-centered and decided to
give up the coat.

I'm sure each will read into this story their own parameters and that not
only our learning but our behavior edge us along the path to Geula.

Yisrael Medad


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 93 11:49:30 CST
Subject: Changing Chazzan before Yishtabach


Why does the chazzan for shacharis 'take over' _before_ Yishtabach?
Would we make any other hafsakah (interruption) there?

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


From: Victor S. Miller <victor@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1993 10:27:50 -0500
Subject: Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature

In going through my (incredibly messy) desk, I came across a flyer
that someone handed to me on Ben-Yehuda street in Yerushalaim last
year.  At the time, I just stuffed in my pocket, and didn't really
look at it.  Upon looking at it (my reading knowledge of Hebrew is not
as good as I would like), it became apparent that it was from
"Messianic Jews" (though that's not too clear until the next to last
page).  My question is, can I just throw it away, or must I send it to
a Genizah -- it contains an excerpt from Yeshiyahu containing the 4
letter name Hashem (a few times)?

		Victor Miller


From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 93 09:17:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Education of Young Children

With regard to the postings on the education of young children, I must
agree very strongly with Ben Svetitsky's view.  My six year old has no
problem in dealing with an omnicient being.  I suppose his concept is
rather different from the RAMBAM's, but it is pretty good nontheless.
When my younger daughter was about five, she too was asking questions
that all the classic philosphers ask.  Children are capable of quite
alot.  The difficulty is with the parents.  We can't always answer their
questions properly.

With regard to this I would like to relate a story about the late Rabbi
A.H. Lapin z"l, a man whose understanding of the spirit of the Torah
always impressed me.  One day when he overheard me struggling to find an
answer to a five year old's question about the infinite, he asked me
what I did when I didn't know an answer.  I told him that I generally
admitted it.  He agreed that it is important to tell a child the truth.
He mentioned that a one time he heard a collegue giving a child an
answer that was clearly wrong.  Rav Lapin afterwards asked how he could
give such an answer.  The man replied that he knew it was wrong, but a
child has to get some sort of answer.  Rav Lapin felt that a true answer
was preferred, even if it was only "I don't know".  It might be useful
to combine the "I don't know" with "lets see if we can find someone who
does".  Any good question should have an answer, if not, it represents a
difficulty of Judaism.  


From: Danny Farkas <cs922177@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 02:29:23 -0500
Subject: Question from Haggodoh

   A friend of mine asked me this question on the haggadah.  I haven't
really put that much effort into finding an answer, and the few I've
heard haven't been that great.  I'd appreciate a good answer....
   In "Ha Lachma Anya" we say 'This is the bread of affliction that our
fathers ate in Egypt.'  According to legend, the origin for matzoh is
that when b'nei yisroel left Egypt, there was no time for the bread to
leaven, so they took it while it was unleavened.  According to this, they
wouldn't have eaten matzoh until *after* they left Egypt.  So what do we
mean by saying that they ate 'this bread of affliction in Egypt'?


From: Naomi G. Cohen <RVOLF01@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 21:47:48 IST
Subject: Re: Source against Obesity

Respecting the question seeking a source against obesity. How about the
following which I translate - as transliterating is too tedious: And
eating is like with a h>Ner<h (= an oil candle): When one plies on oil
it burns; without oil it becomes extinguished.  But it is more harmful
to put in too much oil than too little; Not to mention that this comes
in the way of concentration upon one's Torah study.
Unfortunately I don't recall the exact words; and I'm not entirely sure
that it is from R. Yehiel the nephew of the Rosh - and this in spite of
the fact that I copied it out nicely and hung it up in my kitchen for
an entire year.
PS Bli neder, after Pessach I'll try to remember to look it up and relay
the exact quote.



From: Henry Abramson <abramson@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 93 18:02:23 -0500
Subject: T'anat Bechorim - Fast of the First Born

Just checked the Mishna Berurah -- something I should have done long ago,
really, and found the following regarding the fast of the first born:

1) Although there are several leniencies regarding the nature of the
fast (and some stringent opinions, like first-born daughters should also
fast, etc) neither the Mehaber (Shulkhan Arukh) nor the Baal Haga (R. Moshe
Isserles, for Ashkenazi practice) mention the idea of avoiding the fast
_except_ when if falls on Shabat.

2) The only reference here to the reasons for avoiding the fast is in the
text of the Mishnah Berurah, where the Hafetz Haim (yud, halfway through)
mentions that it depends on the custom of the individual community (minhag
ha-mekomot), and he lists several, in the following order:

	a) there are places which are stringent in this , and therefore
	if one wishes to eat at a _pidyon ha-ben_ (redemption of the
	first born) or _brit milah_ (circumcision), one requires
	permission (hatrah) to do so -- only the father (or sandek, etc.)
	are allowed to eat without specific permission.  Those who get
	permission to eat must make up the fast after Pesah.

	b) there are places which are lenient and allow first-born to eat
	at a seudat mitsvah "even the completion of a tractate"..."even if
	the first-born did not themselves participate in the learning of
	the tractate".

It seems to me that while it is good to follow in the minhag of the community,
my sense of the phraseology of the Hafetz Haim is that fasting is nevertheless
the preferred option.  Note however that there are many leniencies if one
finds the fast too difficult, or if it will ruin the Seder.

All references from Mishnah Berurah Taf Ayin, esp. s. Yud.

Henry Abramson
University of Toronto         <abramson@...>

From: <azz@...> (Ari Z. Zivotofsky)
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 93 18:02:29 -0500
Subject: Re: T'anat Bechorim - Fast of the First Born

There is an excellent summary of the sources regarding this fast 
in a (rather lengthy) footnote on P. 120-122 in Minhagei Yisrael
Vol 2 by Daniel Sperber.  Two comments regarding some issues raised:
1) it is ludicrous to say that one is REQUIRED to find some way not
to fast since it is forbidden to fast in Nissan, as someone suggested.
The source for both those laws is one and the same.  Sofrim 21:1 states:
"One does not fast until Nissan has passed, except for the first borns
who fast on Erev Pesach."  It is therefore clear that this fast is not 
in violation of the prohibition to fast in Nissan.
2) Sperber points out that there are many who feels that the Yerushalmi
(Pesachim, beginning ch. 10) argues on this law.  In addition, it was 
not universally accepted even in the time of the Meiri (Pesachim, P230)
who says it was only observed in parts of Germany and France and is not
required.  In addition many Chassidic Rebbes, even post-Shulchan Orach
rejected this fast.  These points, plus a number of Shoots he quotes, 
may be, he postulates the source for being lenient with regards this 



End of Volume 6 Issue 80