Volume 6 Number 89

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Loss of a Gadol Hador
         [Avi Feldblum]
Fast of the first born.
         [Rachel Sara Kaplan]
Hametz images
         [Jay F Shachter]
Kinneret is Hametz?
         [Bob Werman]
Kitni'os and the Tosephos Yom Tov
         [Ezra L Tepper]
Question re Akhron shel Pesach
         [Freda Birnbaum]
Toseftas shabbas
         [Yossi Wetstein]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1993 10:06:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia - Loss of a Gadol Hador

Baruch Dayan Emet

It is with great sadness that I report to the mail-jewish readership on
the death this past Thursday evening of one of the preeminent Jewish
thinkers and teachers of our generation, Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik.
His funeral will be in Boston, at 10:30 am today (Sunday). 

May all of the nation of Israel be comforted on this loss to all of us.

Avi Feldblum
mail.jewish Moderator


From: Rachel Sara Kaplan <rachelk@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1993 14:42:06 PDT
Subject: Fast of the first born.

> From: Henry Abramson <abramson@...>
> 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.

What does the Mishna Berurah say to explain why they feel that the 
first-born daughters should also fast.  I will admit that I have not
read much on the subject yet (my library is building slowly) but I
always figured that the fast was to remember that the first born
sons of the Jews were spared when the first born sons of the
Egyptians were slain.   Do they give another reason for the fast?
Or are there other reasons why the first born daughter should fast?



From: <jay@...> (Jay F Shachter)
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 93 14:20:42 -0400
Subject: Hametz images

Does anyone have any computer-readable images of things that are
clearly Hametz?  I enjoy putting up "Hametz-free zone" signs at
the entrances to my house this time of year.  I use the Empty Set
glyph from the Adobe Symbol font, reflected around the x-axis, and
underneath it my children draw pictures of things like bread and
pizza and cookies.  But my children, who are now eight and nine,
are no longer young enough for their drawings to be cute, and it
is time to move up to something more professional-looking.
The Adobe ZapfDingbats font has no glyphs that look like Hametz --
scissors, airplanes, telephones, hands, an envelope, but no bread
or pizza or cookies or cake or beer or whiskey.  But I don't require
an image in PostScript format.  I can take any bitmap in any format
and convert it to what I need.  I do not know whether the Hershey
fonts have any hametz images in them, but even if they have not,
I am sure that somewhere in the mail.jewish readership there is
someone who has some bitmaps or PostScript descriptions of hametz
images.  Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give.

			Jay F ("Yaakov") Shachter
			6424 N Whipple St
			Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 93 10:00:55 -0400
Subject: Kinneret is Hametz?

A ruling [psak] by R' Freund of the Eda Haridit just before PesaH has
had many repurcussions here in Israel.  He said that since the fisherman
used bread as bait during PesaH, the waters of the Kinneret are hametz.
These are admixed or the main source of water throughout the country.

R' Ovadi'a Yosef immediately came out with a counter psak that the
waters were not hametz and that like during the year, the hametz is
batel b'shishim [greatly and halachaly diluted].  His method is
generally to count precedents and it is clear that hametz in water
during PesaH is a maHlochet rishonim [a classical dispute].

A asked our rav shkuna or LOR, R' David Avraham Rosenthal, a very
sensible man, about this.  He said the psak caused great behala
[anxiety] and is a gzira that the tzibor cannot observe.  He related
that for many years he has personally disconnected his water from the
main supply with the onset of PesaH and relied on water from the tanks
on his roof during that period.

__Bob Werman

With wishes for a Kosher and Freilich PesaH.


From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 93 09:57:44 +0300
Subject: Kitni'os and the Tosephos Yom Tov

There have been many postings in n.j dealing with the question of
_kitni'os_ (legumes), which according to Ashkenaz tradition are not
eaten on Passover. Due to the great confusion on this topic, I have
found the most helpful definition of _kitni'os_ is given in the
introduction of the Tosafos Yom Tov commentary to the Tractate Kelayim
(included in the more elaborate editions of the Mishnah).

Here he divides crop plants into three categories: grains (the five
standard varieties: wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye (identifications
of the last two species are not agreed to be all _poskim_)) from which
matzo can be baked; _kitni'os_: seeds raised for human consumption,
which are not one of the five standard grains (here he cites beans,
peas, lentils, millet, rice, sesame seeds, etc., apparently implying
that _kitni'os_ are crops which, like grains, are annuals and are raised
primarily for human consumption of the seeds); garden seeds (which are
raised for consumption of the fruits, not the seeds which he says are
not fit for human consumption). Under the category of garden seeds he
includes onion seeds, garlic, leek, cumin, turnip, flax, and mustard.

According to the definitions provided by the Tosafos Yom Tov, one could
conclude that mustard seed is not _kitni'os_, as the seeds are not eaten
as a food, but rather is used as condiments or as a medicine. (In the
days of the Mishnah, mustard was grown like lettuce primarily as a
vegetable -- in fact a very healthful one.) Also cotton-seeds (like flax
seeds mentioned by the Tosafos Yom Tov) which is produced as a side
product of cotton crops would not be _kitni'os_, as the plant was not
grown primarily for its seeds (such as is rice). This would also explain
why cucumbers or tomatoes are not _kitni'os_, as these are raised
primarily for eating the fruit surrounding the seeds, but not the seeds
alone. One might also conclude that pumpkin seeds would not be
_kitni'os_ because the crop is raised for eating the fruit, as well.
Please note that pumpkins and cucumbers belong to the same biological
family. Sunflower seeds, however, would clearly be _kitni'os_ because
the plant here is raised solely for its seeds.

I conclude here with the stipulation that this posting is only for
discussion purposes and not halachah, as I have no idea whether the
definition of _kitni'os_ given by the Tosafos Yom Tov in Tractate
Kelayim is accepted with regard to _kitni'os_ and Pesach. Moreover, the
thing that determines practice here is family custom, rather than any
theoretical analysis.

However, the Tosafos Yom Tov's definition does explain why there would
be a custom not to use _kitni'os_ on Passover. They are similar in their
agricultural rational to grains. Were people to use them, they might
confuse them with the five species of seeds to which the _chometz_
prohibition applies. It would also explain why we have no problem using
potato flour, which is derived from a tuber not from a seed.

With wishes to all readers, a Mo'adim Lesimchah.

Ezra L. Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 93 13:05 EDT
Subject: Question re Akhron shel Pesach

My husband would like to know if mail-jewish readers have any thoughts
on the following:

There is a tradition that the last days of Pesach herald the ultimate
Redemption.  We have heard that some even celebrate a "Seudas Moshiach"
toward the end of Yom Akhron (last day of Pesach) as a Neilas Hachag
(closing of the festival).  We are looking for detailed sources and
traditions regarding the messianic nature of the last part of the

The matter is of particular interest to the descendants of the late
Nathan Birnbaum who passed away in 1937 on the last day of Pesach.  It
will be remembered that Nathan Birnbaum, a seminal Zionist pioneer long
before Herzl (he coined the very term "Zionism"), in the middle of his
life became a major herald of today's Baal Teshuvah movement. (For a
sketchy review, check the Encyclopedia Judaica.)

His oldest grandson, my husband Yaakov Birnbaum, and I hold a Yortseit
Seudoh on Yom Akhron.  This year, one guest will discuss the apparently
disparate images of the prophet Elijah in the Bible (the "wild
revolutionary") and in later tradition, the almost invisible presence
who brings comfort, aid, and healing to the afflicted and brings
reconciliation to the generations, preparing the way ("Panu Derekh...")
for the ultimate Redemption.  Another guest, recently in Prague, will
focus on the Maharal.  Till recent decades, the Maharal was much better
known (to folklore) as the creator of the Golem than as a significant
thinker.  Today, he is emerging as a figure of major importance.  Does
anyone have any ideas as to why it is only recently that this is so?

Freda Birnbaum, <FBBIRNBAUM@...>


From: <jpw@...> (Yossi Wetstein)
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 19:27:38 -0400
Subject: Toseftas shabbas

I rembember hearing about why we start Shabbas 18 minutes before and end
42 minutes (shitah) after sun rise/set, and understand that it is d'arasya,
but I can't remember the source (Ramban?).

I would appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction.

Moed Tov,
Yossi Wetstein


End of Volume 6 Issue 89