Volume 60 Number 70 
      Produced: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 13:36:40 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Chassidic Hats in the New York Times 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Mi Shebayrakh for the ill 
    [Arthur G. Sapper]
Quinoa 2012 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Silent mi shebeirachs 
    [Yakir Hameiri]
    [Carl Singer]
Tikkun (was App. for Laining) 
    [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 16,2012 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Chassidic Hats in the New York Times

The Viznitz men dress in the black suits and hats characteristic of Hasidim
but distinguish themselves by wearing *the hat bow on the right side*.

Yisrael Medad
Shiloh, Mobile Post Efraim 44830, Israel


From: Arthur G. Sapper <asapper@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 13,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Mi Shebayrakh for the ill

Chaim Casper asks (MJ 60#69):

> ... why do we use the name of the mother when we pray for an ill person
> (child ben/bat mother)?"

I recall reading, but can't recall where and cannot find it now, that HaShem's
mercy is more easily stirred when a choleh's [sick person's - MOD] mother is
invoked.  That HaShem would hold, and that Jewish custom would reflect, this
view is understandable, for it reflects the reality of mothers in nature as well
as in Jewish culture.  While fathers work hard to support and nurture their
children, the investment of mothers is greater still:  A much larger percentage
of a woman's body is devoted to reproduction than a man's.  A mother gestates
the child for nine months, devoting large parts of her nutrition and energy to
the child.  She risks danger and trauma in pregnancy and childbirth. 
Thereafter, she feeds the child mother's milk from her own body, often for
years.  A mother's hormones condition her to bond strongly to her children.    A
mother even contributes a slightly greater percentage of her total DNA (nuclear
plus mitochondrial) to a child than the father.  No wonder we more commonly hear
of Jewish mothers going the extra mile for their children than Jewish fathers. 
So it is not surprising that we would invoke the greater passion of a mother for
her child in asking HaShem to make the child well.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 18,2012 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Quinoa 2012

In recent years, those who eat quinoa on Pesach have been permitted to use
Bolivian-sourced quinoa, e.g., Ancient Harvest or Trader Joe's, albeit only
after checking it to make sure no other grains are present. But according to
this item on the Chicago Rabbinical Council website,
http://www.crcweb.org/alerts.php, the Star-K has now found a problem: some
Bolivian farmers are growing quinoa near barley, covering the quinoa with cloths
used to cover barley, or using the same sacks for both. The Star-K managed to
track a single lot from beginning to end and is sure this lot is OK, and that is
the only lot that may be used. Here are my questions:

1. It seems to me that in the worst case, there is a doubt, probably a remote
doubt (sfeik sfeika) that there is some chametz present. If I bought quinoa more
than a month before Pesach (as I did), any chametz would be chametz nuksheh
(lit., hardened chametz) and therefore forbidden only derabanan. Isn't this
governed by the principle of "safek derabanan lekulah" (or doesn't that apply on

2. I understand that quinoa is sold in Israel with a hechsher for Pesach. Is
this hechsher based on knowledge of what actually happens to it in the field, on
the old assumption that all Bolivian quinoa is permissible, or only for those
who eat kitniot on Pesach?

Orrin Tilevitz


From: Yakir Hameiri <yakir.h@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 14,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Silent mi shebeirachs

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 60#69):

> Another issue relating to this mi shebayrakh prayer is why do we use the name 
> of the mother when we pray for an ill person (child ben/bat mother)?   Every 
> other time we refer to a person, we always use child ben/bat father ...

> B) Rabbi David Lehrfield said there is always an (outside) chance
> the child may have another father other than the father in his name.
> Therefore, if we are asking God for mercy on this sick person, we want
> to make sure we have the right parent's name connected to this sick person

I could not help but remember the anecdote my father, a"h, told. It is
purportedly about R' Chaim (?) when he was a young boy.

In any case, one Friday night the young boy's mother asks him to bring her
a cup of tea. His father adds that he would like one as well. The boy
proceeds to bring two cups, first for his father, then for his mother.
The father asks him why that order. The boy answers that it is a well known
Halacha, that because he is obligated to honour his father and his mother,
and that the mother is also obligated to honour the father, then the father
takes precedence.

The father then poses a Halachic problem - that the mother is his mother is
in the category of a "vaday" (a certainty), but the father's status is only
"shema" (not a certainty), and vaday takes preference over shema, therefore
the mother should take precedence.

The young boy thinks a bit and then answers,  that it would certainly not
be honouring his mother to act on the basis that it is not sure that the
father of her child is not her husband.


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 16,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Tefillin

Why are Tefillin (phylacteries) painted black as opposed to, for
example, finished in the natural color of the leather?

(How) did we make / wear Tefillin in the midbar (desert)?

When did Rabbainu Tam Tefillin originate?

Are there additional "shita"s [opinions --Mod.]?


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 13,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Tikkun (was App. for Laining)

Abe Brot in (MJ 60#69) wrote:

> Stephen Phillips wrote (MJ 60#68):

>> It does, however, have the same error that I have seen in many of the older
>> Tikunei Sofrim, including the one I studied from for my Bar Mitzvah. Have a
>> look at Pareshas Vayakhel, Exodus 35:11, and see if you can spot the extra
>> vav.

> I checked my tikun published by KTAV in 1946, which I have been using since
> my bar-mitzvah in 1952. Sure enough, it says "ve-et krassov" instead of "et
> krassov".

And the error in Parshas Noach too. I am a bit surprised I missed the
error at the beginning of Vahekhel, but I think I really practiced
from a Chumash mostly.

I have two that I think are identical. One I got before 1968 and the
other one is an old one somebody discarded. I think the same thing was
sold for many years.

I checked the one that I found less than ten years ago. It says "KTAV"
publishing house.  47 Canal Street New York N Y Copyright 1946 by Fannie 

This was published for many years.

Even when somebody corrected one mistake, they left the other. They've
all been using the same Sefer Torah. Does any one know what Sefer
Torah this was taken from?

> Seriously, I have many examples of extra letters, missing letters and even
> extra words in old Sifrei Torah that were written before the era of
> computer checks. Apparently the task of proof-reading a Sefer Torah is so
> difficult that many errors were never spotted until they began using
> computer checks.

Yes, and this shows you that it's not good to rely on only one copy
(unless it has really been checked).

A lot of things by the Rishonim were published in a manuscript only one time.


End of Volume 60 Issue 70