Volume 60 Number 20 
      Produced: Fri, 08 Jul 2011 11:42:49 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Obscure Midrashim  and Aggadic Reasons 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
Facing Temple Mount in prayer 
    [David Ziants]
In vitro meat 
    [Bernard Raab]
In vitro meat--Erratum 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Pictures of Women 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Time Zones (2)
    [Guido Elbogen  Larry Israel]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 24,2011 at 06:01 AM
Subject:  Obscure Midrashim  and Aggadic Reasons

Russell J Hendel stated (MJ 60#19):

> I recently suggested (MJ 60#8) that the "real reason" for a Shalom 
> Zachar (party held the first Sabbath after a male baby is born) is 
> to fulfill "Love thy neighbor as thyself" which obligates us to 
> visit the sick, gladden the bridegroom, comfort mourners and (I 
> contend) help newborn parents.

If that were the case, then it would be equally valid to celebrate 
with a "shalom neqeva" in the case of a baby girl.

But since we don't, the logic does not appear to be valid.



From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 27,2011 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Facing Temple Mount in prayer

There is a Gemara relating to the direction one must face when saying 
the Amida - I think in Mesechet B'rachot, but I do not know the exact 

It goes something like:- If one is outside the Land of Israel - one 
should face the Land of Israel, if one is in the Land of Israel - one 
should face Jerusalem, if one is in Jerusalem - one should face the 
Temple Mount, if one is on the Temple Mount one should face the Holy of 

My question is - is there any hiddur [doing the mitzva in a better 
way] if one skips a level. For example, if one is in Jerusalem, and 
makes business to find a more exact orientation to face the Holy of 
Holies, and not just to face anywhere towards the Temple Mount, is one 
making a hiddur?

Another example (and this is the situation I am in on a regular basis), 
is being outside Jerusalem enough distance (approx. 7km) that I can 
choose to face Jerusalem (very new suburbs), Jerusalem (new city suburbs 
close to old city) or Temple Mount itself.

Because of the relative short distances, the orientation one stands is 
noticeable. Most people I daven [pray] with, choose one of the first 
two options. The position of the Aron HaKodesh [Holy Ark] and direction 
of the amud [leader's stand] in the shul, encourages the second and the 
direction of the front wall encourages the first.

A few people seem to be choosing the third option - but is there any 
real hiddur in facing this direction? Maybe more and more people will do 
this (it means turning to left approx. 75 degrees from front wall), and 
it will start a trend.

David Ziants

PS It took me some work with Google Maps to work out where the 
directions lead, and before now I was able to observe and decide, 
without understanding fully. Within the community, each person seems to 
face the way they feel comfortable, but I have yet to hear a shiur or 
even any informal public debate on the issue, within. This is why I want 
to try and find out more about the principles, from this forum.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 27,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat

In MJ 60#19, Orrin Tilevitz writes:

> In response to my question about the status of in vitro meat, David Tzohar
> writes (MJ 60#18):
>> I think that the question of kashrut of in vitro meat is similar to that of
>> using non-kosher bones for gelatin.
> Gelatin presents an entirely different issue. Gelatin is made by treating
> bones with acid, which dissolves the calcium and leaves the protein.
> The acid bath makes the protein inedible and therefore not non-kosher.
> The question is whether the former non-kosher status returns when the acid
> is neutralized, rendering the protein edible. Those who are lenient say
> that it does [not --OT in a correction; Mod.]. This is not the question
> which in vitro meat raises.

[WARNING: Those with sensitive stomachs are advised to skip this posting.]
It may not be so different. As I understand the issue (full disclosure: my 
knowledge of this subject is based on a shiur I attended last week on the 
subject of Gelatin, and not from any great independent lamdus [study]), if you 
start with the bones of a non-kosher animal, the process Orrin describes renders
the material inedible. Thus, the original source becomes irrelevant, since
material which is not edible (in a "normal" way) can be neither kosher nor
unkosher. The dispute, as Orrin correctly describes it, arises when this 
inedible powder residue of the bones is mixed with other ingredients to produce 
material which can now be eaten, such as Jello. Those who are stringent say that
the former non-kosher status is restored by making it once again edible (the
position accepted in the US, based on a ruling by Rav Moshe Feinstein), while
those who are lenient (the Rabbanut of Israel), say that it can be used and
eaten, if all of the other ingredients are kosher. Just last week, a news report 

appeared in various sources that a Japanese researcher has succeeded in
producing edible "steaks" from protein-rich sewage containing human excrement.
(I warned you!) Quote: "The researchers then extracted those proteins, combined
them with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder which created the
artificial steak. The 'meat' is 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and
9% minerals. The researchers color the poop meat red with food coloring and
enhance the flavor with soy protein. Initial tests have people saying it even
tastes like beef." 

In this case, the starting material is not food that can be consumed in a 
"normal" way, so it is neither kosher nor unkosher. Therefore, "restoring" it to
an edible form should be kosher ???; parve ???? (My friend Bernie Z. says we 
should pray that it be ruled non-kosher.) --Bernie R.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 26,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat--Erratum

In MJ 60#19, in response to a post by David Tzohar comparing the status of in
vitro meat with that of gelatin, I stated that in the case of gelatin, the
question is whether the former non-kosher status returns when the acid is
neutralized, rendering the protein edible. Those who are lenient say that it
does. I should have said that it does not.

Thank you to David Ziants for pointing out this error.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 24,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Pictures of Women

In MJ 60#90, Stuart Wise writes "I can't help thinking sometimes I don't 
recognize the religion I practice."
But do think.
It's the people, not the religion.  Like the 'askanim' (court hangers-on) and
the Rabbanim which is the usual excuse here in Israel.

Look at the fourth poster here 
http://myrightword.blogspot.com/2011/06/wall-posters-contd.html (and the 
congratulatory poster here: 



From: Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 26,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Time Zones

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote (MJ 60#19) in reply to me (MJ 60#18):

> Crossing the date line (halachic or otherwise) requires that you change the
> date on your watch. (I always wear a watch with the date on it -- my
> mishegas  If you are travelling west, you will move your date
> ahead one day. If you keep travelling west (or never come back) you will
> indeed have "lost" a day. Your next birthday will come a day sooner than it
> would have if you had stayed home.

You've got it the wrong way around. If you DON'T adjust the date on
crossing the dateline, the date according to your determination -
measuring by sunsets or midnights on which you will arrive at your destination
will NOT be in sync with the local populace.

Date is detemined by location and not personal calculation. For a location
Shabbat always begins 7 sunsets after the previous Shabbat of that location.
but for an individual, crossing the dateline, Shabbat could begin 6 or 8 sunsets
after his/her previous Shabbat.

>> Up to the introduction of the International Date Line  every place on
>> earth had at one time in their day exactly the same date and same day of
>> week as everyone else.

> Not really. A gedanken (mental) experiment: At any given moment, somewhere on
> Earth they are experiencing midnight. The timezone to the west is 
> experiencing 11 PM; the timezone to the east is experiencing 1 AM of a new
> day. ?

No - its 11 PM and 1 AM of the same day. When the sun sets on or close to the
dateline, all the landmasses that don't straddle the dateline will have the same
date and weekday for a short period of time.

The Chazon Ish who hold by a zigzag dateline shows that it not an
unalterable 90 degree parallel from Jerusalem, but rather a division between
those that align themselves with the eastern hemisphere and those with the
western hemisphere populations.

The only reason why Samoa shouldn't change its hemisphere alignment is if
there were Jews on the island, since as stated above for a location, Shabbat
is always 7 sunsets after the previous sunset. But if there are no Jews,
then why not even if there is a settlement later on of Jews.

And here is an interesting concept. If a person would lie across the dateline,
as the sunset passes across his body, the lower part of his body on the west of
the dateline would be say experiencing the end of Monday and the upper part the
beginning of Tuesday while the lower part on the east of the dateline would be
experiencing the end of Tuesday and the upper part, the beginning of Wednesday,
i.e. he is straddled across 3 days!

From: Larry Israel <larry.israel@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 27,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Time Zones

Where in the rabbinical writings is the first mention of the need for different
time zones, i.e., that it is not simultaneously noon everywhere? And where is
the first mention of the need for a date-line?


End of Volume 60 Issue 20