Volume 60 Number 71 
      Produced: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:38:29 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Suggestion for Communal Co-responsibility 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Bnei Aharon: hakohanim or hakohein? 
    [Martin Stern]
Gluten Free Matzo 
    [Rick Turkel]
Possible Shabbat Violation 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Quinoa 2012 (2)
    [Josh Backon  Bill Bernstein]
Sfeik sfeika (was Quinoa 2012) 
    [Martin Stern]
Tefillin (2)
    [Chaim Casper  Martin Stern]


From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Mar 24,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: A Suggestion for Communal Co-responsibility

The Rambam in his Mishneh Torah, Laws for Yom Tov, Chapter 6, Halacha 7

"A person may establish an *eruv* [the Halachic remedy that allows one to
cook food on a holiday for use on a Shabbat that immediately follows it] on
behalf of all [the inhabitants of] a city, and all those within its
[holiday] limits. On the following day, he may announce, 'Whoever did not
establish an *eruv tavshilin* may rely on my *eruv*.'"

Nowadays, there is a custom that the Rabbi of the synagogue, to make sure
that the eruv tavshilin is performed, assumes the responsibility for all.
As the Rambam notes, anyone really can.

But the point I am making is that the announcement that the eruv has been
made, in addition to that which is usually made in newsletters, emails or
from the pulpit the previous Shabbat that it should be done, should also be
made on the Holiday itself.  What I would call communal co-responsibility.
And by anyone who has made it.

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 23,2012 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Bnei Aharon: hakohanim or hakohein?

In Vayikra the kohamim are generally referred to as "bnei Aharon hakohanim -
the sons of Aaron, the priests" (1:5,8,11 etc.). Yet in regard to setting up
the wood for the pyre (1:7), they are referred to as "bnei Aharon hakohein -
the sons of Aaron the priest". Is there any significance in this change of
emphasis? One thing that occurred to me is the latter would include the sons
of a kohein who was not himself a kohein, i.e. a challal,  one whose mother
was a woman specifically prohibited to marry a kohein, but this seems an
unlikely explanation. Can anyone shed further light on this anomaly?

Martin Stern


From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 28,2012 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Gluten Free Matzo

Maybe it's just me being picky, but I find this product somewhat deceptive. Yes, 
it may well be Kosher for Passover, and yes, it may well be gluten free, but it's 
NOT matzah! Matzah by definition must be made from one of the chamesh minim (the 
five grains over which we make hamotzi), and all five of those species contain 
some gluten. It's true that the packaging says "Matzah style cracker," but I 
wonder how many people are going to buy it thinking that it is matzah and will 
inadvertently end up not fulfilling the mitzvat `aseh de'orayta (Torah-level 
commandment --Mod.) of eating matzah on the first (two) night(s) of Pesach.

Rick Turkel


From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 25,2012 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Possible Shabbat Violation

I was directed to a video clip of a sermon delivered by a Reform Rabbi.
Since it was recorded on the Shabbat (two camera angles, btw!), can it be
viewed by observant Jews? Why yes. Why no?

Yisrael Medad


From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 22,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Quinoa 2012

There is KLP quinoa in Israel from SUGAT. The package erroneously states
KITNIYOT but there is a message on the package that the product needs to
be checked 3 times (on a flat pan) [the same way Sephardim check rice 
for Pessach].

Josh Backon

From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 22,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Quinoa 2012

Orrin Tilevitz makes comments about quinoa in MJ 60#70.

It seems to me, watching this over the last several years, that many in the
Orthodox world are simply itching to find something -- anything - to render
quinoa unacceptable. Maybe the idea that anyone would have some kind of
additional enjoyment out of Pesach food is troubling. Maybe people take the
injunction "chadash ossur min haTorah" [an opposition to innovation --Mod.] 
really seriously. But every year there is an attempt to find some kind of 
problem that would make quinoa "problematic."

Looking at the link he provided, I do not think Mr. Tillevitz reported 
accurately what the Star K found. They seem to have two issues: first, that some 
farmers cover the quinoa with oats or barley to keep birds away while drying. 
This seems very odd. Birds eat barley and oats and would be attracted, not 
repelled, by those grains. Further, quinoa itself has a bitter outer part that, 
according to the Wiki entry, makes it unpopular with birds and thus requires 
minimal protection.

The second issue is that burlap sacks are used for both barley and quinoa
harvest. I am not aware that whole grains in the field are susceptible to
becoming chometz. I was always under the impression it required some minimal
grinding and exposure to water for grain to undergo the process. Can someone
correct this?

All of this reminds me of one of our rabbis in Philadelphia many years ago who
lamented that people had confused the halakhos of chometz and matzo with tumah
and taharah (purity/impurity).

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 22,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Sfeik sfeika (was Quinoa 2012)

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 60#70):

> ... probably a remote doubt (sfeik sfeika) ...

A sfeik sfeika is not merely a remote doubt but a specific situation along
these lines:

"A may be of type 1 (and therefore permitted) or of type 2 (forbidden) -
first safeik - but even in the latter case there is another point of doubt -
second safeik i.e. sfeik sfeika - so we permit A."

According to the Shach, it only works to permit A if we can reverse the
applications of the two sources of doubt, i.e. in the situation where what
had previously been the second source of doubt is considered first, we can
then apply the previously first source of doubt to the situation where it
would appear to forbid.

Martin Stern


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 22,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Tefillin

Carl Singer asks (MJ 60#70): 

> When did Rabbainu Tam Tefillin originate? 

Just an historical footnote:  The oldest extant pair of tefillin we have is from
the Qumran community that Yigal Yadin bought just after the Six Day War (1967) 


which is an excerpt from his book, Chave'otav Shel Archelog Yehudi.   The
parchments in that set of tefillin go according to the order of Rabbenu Tam!  
So while Rashi Tefillin are more in vogue today, it appears the historical proof
is that of Rabbenu Tam (Rashi's grandson).    As Rav Moshe z"l notes on another
issue, we don't necessarily go by what is historically correct; rather, we go by
what our mesorah (tradition) tells us is the correct path to follow.  

Best wishes for a Hag Kasher v'Sameah,

Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 22,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Tefillin

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 60#70):

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

This is a halachah leMoshe miSinai. [Mod. note: see 
for more on this term.]
> (How) did we make / wear Tefillin in the midbar (desert)?

According to the Rambam in his commentary on the Mishnah in his
introduction to Chelek (last chapter of Sanhedrin), in which he discusses
the underlying principles of faith, the way we perform mitsvot today is
exactly the same way as was done since Matan Torah (the eighth principle,
Torah min haShamayim).
> When did Rabbainu Tam Tefillin originate?

Rabbainu Tam held that the Gemara (BT Menachot 34b) implied that the two
parshiot 'vehaya im shamoa' and 'vehaya ki yeviacha' had to be next to each
other, and therefore had to be in the middle, with 'shema' on the right and
'kadesh' on the left. Rashi held that the order was, from left to right of
the wearer,  'kadesh', 'vehaya ki yeviacha', 'shema' and 'vehaya im shamoa',
their order in the Torah.
> Are there additional "shita"s [opinions --Mod.]?

There are two others, the Shimusha Rabba and Ra'avad, which are essentially
the reflections (i.e. the order of the parshiot from right to left is reversed) 
of those of, respectively, Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam. There are diagrams of
the four opinions in the Artscroll commentary on BT Menachot 34b, 4th page. For
further information, see the notes there. [Mod. note: Webpages 
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2008/03/tefillin-rashi-and-rabbeinu-tam.html , its 
followup http://torahmusings.com/2011/08/tefillin-shimusha-rabba-and-raavad/ , 
and http://www.ott.co.il/tefillin_rashi.html may be of help to the readership.]

Martin Stern


End of Volume 60 Issue 71