Volume 6 Number 86

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia: New S.C.J. Reading List under development
         [Soc.Culture.Jewish Reading List Maintainer]
Jewish Calendar Programs
         [Janice Gelb]
Mustard on Pesach ?
         [Barry H. Rodin)]
Non-Wheat Matza
         [Daniel Faigin]
Photographic Reconstruction of Hard-to-Read
         [Lenny Oppenheimer]
Readable editions of old texts in old print
         [Sigrid Peterson]
         [Marty Liss]


From: Soc.Culture.Jewish Reading List Maintainer <faigin@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 13:32:05 -0500
Subject: Administrivia: New S.C.J. Reading List under development

I'm in the process of developing part 11 of the s.c.j reading lists (available
from rtfm.mit.edu in the usenet/news.answers/judaism/reading-lists directory,
or on nysernet in the israel/lists/mail.liberal-judaism/info-files directory).
This particular list will focus on Jewish Periodicals. I'm looking for
suggestions of periodicals to add to the list. If you have any, please send
them to me *in the following format*: Stuff in () is replaced by your

	FOCUS: (one or two sentences)
	FREQUENCY: (quarterly, bimonthly, whatever)
	SUBSCRIPTION RATES: (for both USA and non-USA, if available)
	SUBSCRIPTION ADDRESS: (where do I send da' money)
	PUBLISHER: (who's producing the mag, both name and address, because
		this often differs from the subscription address)
	COMMENTS: (any comments you may have about the publication)



P.S.: Updated reading lists, including this information, should be next posted
to soc.culture.jewish on the 8th of April.


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 13:32:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Jewish Calendar Programs

A further note on the Mac/Windows Hebrew calendar program HaYom that
Cindy Carpenter talked about: the most impressive thing to me about the
program is not its wonderful features, but the fact that when an
upgrade came out, the note I got with it from the developer suggested
that instead of a fee for the upgrade being sent to him, registered
users should send money to the fund-raising Project Exodus and gave
their address! I therefore strongly urge Macintosh/Windows users to buy
a copy: not only is it a good program but the developer should be

HaYom, $36
A.G. Reinhold
14 Fresh Pond Place
Cambridge, MA  02138

Chag kasher v'sameach,
Janice Gelb


From: Barry H. Rodin) <brodin@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 13:56:40 -0500
Subject: Mustard on Pesach ?

In V6#85 Neal Auman says:
     As far as corned beef on rye matza - you couldn't seriously
     consider eating that without mustard, could you ? :-)

Why is mustard not allowed on Pesach?  (same question about green beans).
Why is grapefruit allowed (it has seeds) ?  How about spaghetti squash
(which looks like spaghetti)?



From: <faigin@...> (Daniel Faigin)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 13:31:59 -0500
Subject: Non-Wheat Matza

On Fri, 2 Apr 93 11:53 N, Josh Klein <VTFRST@...> said:

> J. Traum asked about non-wheat matza. There is a disease called celiac
> (spelling uncertain) which causes inlfamed bowels in those who eat
> gluten-rich flours (such as wheat). This disease is genetically linked,
> I believe. In any event, the Manchester England Bet Din for some time
> has been producing oat- based matza for those who 'medically require'
> it.

This is an important medical note. If one has Celiac disease, also known as
Sprue, continued ingestion of gluten can result in the inability to digest
anything. Flours containing gluten are: wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt
(does this look familiar?). Thus, for an individual with Celiac/Sprue, Oat
Matza is not safe medically.

I'm familiar with this. Although my wife does not have Sprue, she is extremely
gluten-sensitive, and her doctors have taken her off of all gluten grains. She
no longer gets to enjoy a week of Matza (on the other hand, she does get to
enjoy all the gluten-free products that become available at this time, such as
the baked goods that use potato flour and potato starch only).



From: <leo@...> (Lenny Oppenheimer)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 11:16:01 -0500
Subject: Photographic Reconstruction of Hard-to-Read

> Recently a friend contacted me about ways of making old books of
> Jewish Law, particularly commentaries and Midrashim written long
> ago, more accessible to a wider Jewish audience. These books are
> quite rarely found and little known, because, with their old carved
> type-faces, they are very hard to read. Therefore, few Torah
> scholars ever bother with them, despite their potentially great
> importance to a full understanding of Torah.

There are two institutions in Jerusalem that I know of that have been doing
this sort of work for many years.  They have published many works of
Rishonim that  were previously unavailable, and these are widely
distributed in Yeshiva circles.

One institute is called "Machon Yerushalayim".  A contact person there is
Rabbi Avrohom Kabalkin, who lives at 8 Hida St in Bayit Vegan.  

There is another person who has published many of these works, but his name
escapes me now.  Rav Kabalkin would know.


From: Sigrid Peterson <SIGPETER@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 01:53:14 -0500
Subject: Readable editions of old texts in old print

For Clifford Feldman's friend who wants to reconstruct old printed editions so 
that they are more readable and hence will be read. 
	a. Doesn't everyone just go to the stacks of a nearby library and spend
	   the day browsing the shelves of commentaries, every once in a while?
	b. Recognizing that it's nice to have the text at home or office or 
	   maybe both, and that libraries don't always let the really oldest
	   editions circulate; is your friend aware of the Bar Ilan Responsa
	   Project? They have electronic versions of TaNaKh, Mishna, Talmud 
	   Bavli with Rashi, Yerushalmi, Midrash and Rambam on one CD-ROM, and
	   another, more expensive CD-ROM that adds 253 volumes of Responsa to
	   the above list. The two CD-ROM editions are called Taklit-Torah and

In addition, they have plans to add more texts to these basic CD-ROMs. So, 
certainly the first thing to do is to find out from Bar Ilan whether the texts
your friend has in mind are already in electronic form, or on a list to be 
placed in electronic form. 

Another thing to check is with University Departments of Middle Eastern Studies
or Jewish Studies. Graduate students are putting all manner of things into
electronic form all the time.

A third option is to have the texts scanned by a location such as the Center
for Computer Analysis of Texts (CCAT) at the University of Pennsylvania, which
does scanning projects on an hourly fee-for-service basis. The problem is 
whether the OCR software that's available can be trained to "see" the old
carved type-faces.

A fourth option is to photograph the texts you want to preserve, using color
photography, and then, with 24-color monitor, suitable system components, and
sophisticated retouching equipment, clear the images of the text so they are 
readable. This would be the long, tedious way to produce something usable. I'd
suggest it only for things like amulets and documents with visual appeal in 
the way they are laid out.

Sigrid Peterson    for the next few days,    <sigpeter@...>
	           after that,               <petersig@...>


From: Marty Liss <marty@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 08:00:02 EST
Subject: Takkanot

Here's a twist to the recent discussion of "takkanot" {Rabbinic
decrees}, etc.  To the extent that anybody is enlightened and/or
halachically motivated by it, it may lessen the scruffiness otherwise
bound to crop up in the "frum" community about ten days from now... (the
CYLOR disclaimer applies, of course)

I heard the following principle in the name of Rav (J.B.)  Soloveichik,
"the Rav":

If a takkana was enacted in order to achieve a certain goal, and the
social reality of the (observant Jewish) community changes such that
continuation of the takkana in fact achieves the _opposite_ of this
goal, then the takkana is de facto rescinded.  (This may be an extreme
case of the "chashash" category of the Tiferet Yisrael mentioned by Zev

A concrete example, in which context this principle was framed, may help
to clarify it.  Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim 531 discusses the
prohibition of shaving on Chol Ha'moed.  The reason given: lest one be
complacent about shaving before Yom Tov (the first day or days),
figuring he can shave a couple of days later, and end up beginning the
chag in a scruffy state ("menuval" - disgraceful).  The Rav's
understanding was apparently that in earlier times men predominantly
wore beards, so that shaving once before Yom Tov would suffice until
after Chag.  Now thaat much of the male population is clean-shaven,
enforcing the takkana results in their appearance being menuval for most
of Chol Hamoed and the final day(s) of Yom Tov!  Therefore, the takkana
is no longer binding, at least on those without beards.  I'm not sure if
he expressed this as a heter (leniency) for those who prefer to shave or
as a compelling reason _requiring_ the beardless to shave throughout
Chol Hamoed as an element of k'vod Yom Tov.

Ma'aseh she'haya {anecdotal evidence}: Rabbi Twersky (the Talner Rebbe
in Boston and a son-in-law of the Rav) was once asked for p'sak halacha
on this by someone whose custom was to _not_ shave, heard this
reasoning, and wanted to shave pronto.  R. Twersky told him he could
shave, but only after saying "hatarat nedarim" (formula for annulling a
vow, recited before three men serving as a beit din).  I don't know his
full line of reasoning, but I have heard R. Twersky say that he
consistently tries to posken as he knows or infers the Rav would.

Finally, a caveat: As noted in an earlier posting (re: Reb
Moshe{Feinstein}'s comment regarding the Australian community and the
International Dateline), it's difficult to rely on transmission of
important halachic statements made orally.  This is especially true with
respect to the Rav, since so much of his Torah has _not_ been committed
to writing, and so much nonsense is floated with the label "The Rav
said...".  So if anyone can reliably confirm or refute this concept,
please do.


End of Volume 6 Issue 86