Volume 61 Number 78=20
      Produced: Wed, 24 Apr 13 10:33:24 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Chalav Yisroel and milk fraud=20
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Changing a minhag (2)
    [Martin Stern  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Don't Blame Women for Not Going to Shul=20
    [Chaim Casper]
    [Keith Bierman]
HaKedoshah or HaGedushah? (4)
    [Yisrael Medad   Shmuel Himelstein  Michael Rogovin  Sammy Finkelman]
Kitniot revisited=20
    [Abraham Lebowitz]
Living in the Land of Israel=20
    [Martin Stern]
Metzitzah BePeh=20
    [Steven Oppenheimer]
Pesach as a personal name=20
    [Stu Pilichowski]
Selling chametz (2)
    [Eli Turkel  Leah S. R. Gordon]
The Sharansky compromise=20
    [Chaim Casper]

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 23,2013 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Chalav Yisroel and milk fraud

Nachum Binyamin Klafter, MD wrote (MJ 61#75)

> Furthermore, it is very far fetched to imagine that the milk of non-koshe=
> species would be mixed in with cow's milk because non-kosher animals do n=
> graze along with cows at large, modern dairy farms, and cows are milked b=
> automated equipment which would not even work for non-kosher animals like
> dogs or pigs.

The economics of fraud nowadays are different. What they did in China was t=
o add
the chemical melamine, which is a poison, at least when cyanuric acid is al=
added or ingested separately at about the same time by the same person or
because it is mixed with something else, that is poisonous, such as
formaldehyde, because melamine does not dissolve in water and must be mixed=
something else to dissolve in water.

Milk is, or was priced, in China according to its protein content and this
resulted in the milk being measured as higher in protein (the protein test
itself may have been used to detect dilution with water, which was the firs=
kind of fraud attempted.


The state of ethics in commerce (and law and freedom of the press) is such
in China that I read that Kashrus organizations refuse to certify any food
product made in China, but I did see it I think on fruit not so long ago.

> The most straightforward understanding of the Sages' enactment that we=20
> drink only chalav yisrael is that it was a method of insuring that we wil=
> not unknowingly ingest the milk of non-kosher animals.

This was at a time when Jews rather freely ate food produced by non-Jews, i=
f it
seemed to consist only of what had to be kosher. This may not be true now e=
for fruits and vegetables and eggs, and maybe coffee, partly because there =
few really pure foods on the mass market, and even vegetables now have this
worry about insects. The enactment about this, and also about cooking,
presumably stems from some worry about a non-Jewish person secretly
adding something to the food.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Changing a minhag

Stu Pilichowski writes (MJ 61#77):

> If it's possible to change one's family minhag - and I posit it is - why
> don't Ashkenazim that want to eat kitniyot on Pesach simply change their
> minhag? What am I missing?

There is a general principle that once a minhag has been accepted by a
community it becomes din (Minhag Yisrael Torah Hu) even if the apparent
reason for its adoption no longer applies. I write "apparent reason'
deliberately since we may not be aware any more of the real reason so we
cannot rely on our speculations to abolish it. Only where a minhag is
clearly against halachah can, and should, it be abolished. Abstention from
kitniot on Pesach may be unnecessary but it is not against halachah so it d=
not fall into the latter category.

Martin Stern

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Changing a minhag

In reply to Stu Pilichowski (MJ 61#77):

The whole point of a family minhag is that it should not be changed
without a specific psak from a Rav that it was a mistakeken or erroneous
(there is a technical difference) minhag. In the case of kitniyos, it is
not a minhag of an individual family, but of entire communities. As a
result it cannot just be dropped.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Chaim Casper<surfflorist@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 23,2013 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Don't Blame Women for Not Going to Shul

I found the blog post below [on the subject of why women don't come to
(Orthodox) shuls and what can we do to get them to come] very interesting. =


The author, R` Eliyahu Fink (he is the rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center, =
synagogue in Venice, CA), points out that women do not participate in synag=
worship in any great number or intensity because they are excluded from an
active role due to halakhah and Orthodox custom; without changing the syste=
(which most of those reading this post would respond, "NO!"), we must resig=
ourselves to limited or even non-participation by most women.   [There are =
obvious exceptions: the Yamim Nora'im/High Holidays and Yizkor in many
synagogues on one hand, and Congregation Shira Hadasha and R` Avi Weiss' He=
Institute of Riverdale on the other.]
Yet mens' participation cannot be called stellar either.  Many men come for=
socializing aspect of shul (is there a background buzz going on in your Sha=
and Yom Tov davening?   Thought so.   These are the people for whom praying=
an interruption to their conversation).   There are men who are drawn to th=
kiddushim and the schnaps.   Some always come late and leave early.    In o=
words, men's attendance at and participation in tefilot leaves much to be d=
Given these two realities, how can we say one group deserves exclusive cont=
and participation in our communal prayer service?   =20
Any discussion?

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL

From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Frumming

David Makowsky (MJ 61#77) wrote:

> In MJ 61#76, Menashe Elyashiv wrote:
>> That is correct...I receive all 4 (!) haredi newspapers (my library
>> subscribes to them for research). A female soldier who killed a terroris=
>> becomes a soldier, a policewoman becomes a citizen, Kafar Habad or
>> anything Habad is changed in Yated Ne'eman, the attack in Yeshivat Merca=
>> Harav took place in a Jerusalem building. In obituaries of rabbis, some
>> years are missing because he taught in a dati leumi or habad yeshiva,
>> etc. ...
>> But they sometimes miss "correcting" the news ... they wrote the PM
>> of South Korea's full name
> I am guessing they did not know that person is a female.

Since the leader of Korea is male, I don't see why they should treat him
any differently than they did, according to their principles.

Kim is a common male name in Korea.

Keith Bierman
kbiermank AIM
303 997 2749


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Apr 20,2013 at 07:01 PM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

Eliezer Berkovits (MJ 61#77) asked:

> Can anyone explain the propriety of the word 'HaKedoshah' in the phrase
> in Bentching: 'Ki im leyodcha HaMelyah, HaPesucha, HaKedoshah veHorechova=
> ...
> A local Medakdek (here in London) has suggested an alternative text:
> 'HaGedushah' which would make more sense. Has anyone come across this
> version? Can anyone explain the popular text?

My daughter researched it and her wedding bencher 2002 was printed with
g'dusha. I sent it off to Prof. Moshe Halamish who wrote a scholarly articl=
e on it:=20


It being in the Baal Shem Tov's siddur is researched here:


Rav David Lau responded that "our fathers' custom" obligates the illogical
reading of k'dusha.


Btw, a discussion in Yiddish is here:

See also the submission from Baruch Merzel (MJ 36#98):

> Rav Yhonatan Chipman writes concerning Paltiel Birnbaum's Siddur:

>> My favorite correction of Birnbaum's is in the third blessing of
>> Birkat Hamazon, where in a footnote (not in the text) he changes
>> "kedoshenu" to "gedoshenu" (as in the adjective "gadush," meaning full,
>> overflowing), making the phrase into a series of synonyms ("yadkha
>> he-mele'ah hepetuha hagedosha vehar'hava...").  Gd's Holiness is
>> irrelevant in this particular context.

> This change is not original with Birnabaum.  R' Baruch Epstein, Z"L, the
> baal "Torah T'mima " was the first to offer this emendation in his sefer
> "Baruch She'omar".  In the sefer he makes a very convincing case for
> this correction .  Among other things he states, as Rav Chipman notes,
> that G-d's holiness does not fit the context.

> I believe that this was one of his concepts that his father, the baal
> Aruch Hashulchan would not endorse without textual proof from earlier
> siddurim or other sources, as R' Baruch himself mentions in his book of
> memoirs entitled "M'kor Habracha"

and from Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka (MJ 37#05):

> The new Rabbinical Council of America Madrikh, which I was privileged to
> prepare, and my The Haggadah for Pesah, both refer to the alternate
> reading of "hagedushah" in the Birkhat HaMazon.
> It is a most appropriate rendition.
> May "gedushah" describe the abundance of blessings that God will hopefull=
> bestow upon all Clal Yisrael in 5763 and beyond.

Yisrael Medad

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 12:01 AM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

In reply to Eliezer Berkovits (MJ 61#77):

I understand that that is the Chabad (Ari?) Nusach.

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

In reply to Eliezer Berkovits (MJ 61#77):

I am not sure how we got to kedoshah but it could have been a scribal error=
. I
have seen several bentchers with the alternative text, and even a defense o=
f it,
but alas none cite a source to support their claim that it is the correct o=
original version. I believe this has been discussed on the list before (I d=
not have time to search the archives, but do have a distinct memory of read=
about it here). It certainly makes more sense.

Michael Rogovin

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 23,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

I thought I read somewhere - maybe it was on Mail-Jewish - that the Lubavic=
rebbe also said Hagedushah and I found the following:

At http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/sichos-in-english/27/06.htm it says=

 ...May there be no need for help, for G-d will bless everyone with childre=
long life, and abundant sustenance from His "full, open, holy, and generous=

The latter phrase is quoted from the Grace after Meals. It must be noted th=
the Baal Shem Tov's Siddur contained the word, Gedushah, "overflowing," rat=
than the word, Kedoshah, "holy."  ...

This assertion about the Baal Shem Tov is also noted here as footnote 153 t=
Sichos in English *Vol. 5 - Shvat-Iyar 5740 where it says:

"In the Siddur of the Baal Shem Tov, instead of the word *Kedoshah* - holy =
the word *Gedushah* - overflowing - (more than full) was printed."


Similarly, here:


This Siddur apparently was one of the rare Seforim possessed by the Lubavic=
movement. It is handwritten (not printed) and is/was estimated to have been
written in 1750 by Moses ben Joseph of Luboml and Rabbi Mordechai Twersky o=
Chernobyl and has visible tear stains on the page of Yom Kippur viduy and a=
stain on the page featuring the Pesach Kiddush. (should that be the page is=
by the Yom Kippur Viduy and there are wine stains by the Pesach Kiddush?)

It's a Tefilah me-ha-Arizal (Nusach Ari siddur) and 223 pages long. It was
passed down through the Chernobyl dynasty from father to son, has visible t=
stains on the page of Yom Kippur viduy and a wine stain on the page featuri=
the Pesach Kiddush. and is also known or thought to have been used by the B=
Shem Tov in his life. It was sold at  auction by Sotheby's for $572,500 in
December ,2011..


There is also an article here:


It says the Siddur was written by the brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov, =
Gershon Makitov. Hand-written on the margin of the pages of the Amida are t=
names of his most well-known disciples which they wrote asking for personal
blessings and on the pages of Tekias Shofar there are clear stains of blood=
tears. And that legend has it that the Siddur was salvaged from a destructi=
fire. The lost pages were reentered by the Baal Shem Tov's aide Rabbi Nachm=
an of
Horodok. Not sure if this is the same Siddur.

From: Abraham Lebowitz <asaac76@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Kitniot revisited

In reference to an article by Rabbi Daniel Sperber, Martin Stern wrote (MJ =

> However, his carelessness in transliteration makes me suspicious that he =
may be
> equally cavalier in other matters. Can anyone shed any light on this?

I live in Israel and read the Jerusalem Post fairly regularly.  Many articl=
seem to be received in Hebrew and translated by Post staff. This sometimes
results in translations and transliterations which can range from the humor=
to the absurd.  Before suggesting that a scholar of Prof. Sperber's caliber=
"being cavalier" perhaps Mr. Stern should consider alternative possibilitie=

Abe Lebowitz

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Living in the Land of Israel

Haim Snyder wrote (MJ 61#77):

> In MJ 61#76, Martin Stern's response on the issue of Orthodox Jews and th=
> aliya crisis brings up the question of whether there is or there is not a
> mitzva to live in the Land of Israel, and he cites the Rambam as one who =
> not think that it is.
>      =20
> The Rambam omits other "mitzvot" when they are implied or are a necessary
> prerequisite to mitzvot he does list. Since there are mitzvot which can o=
> be performed in the Land of Israel (for example, shmita [I picked that si=
> it isn't dependent on the existence of the Temple]), it follows that livi=
ng in
> Israel has its religious "rationale" and is the reason why many of the
> Orthodox Jews who oppose the State of Israel still feel obligated to live
> there.=20

I am aware of this principle used by the Rambam in excluding some mitsvot.
However, I think Haim may be mistaken in his choice of shemittah as his
rationale for excluding living in the Land of Israel from his list since, i=
the absence of yovel, shemittah is generally accepted as being only a
mitsvah derabbanan.

Furthermore, yovel is not observed even when the Temple exists, and is
functioning, but will only become operative when the majority of Jews resid=
in the Holy Land. Haim might argue that "Yishuv Erets Yisrael" is,
therefore, only a hechsher mitsvah and that might be the Rambam's reason fo=
excluding it.

Martin Stern

From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Metzitzah BePeh

Sammy Finkelman (MJ 61#77) suggests that the infants who have contracted
Herpes Simplex infections most likely contracted the illness from friends
or relatives who came in contact with the infants.  He suggests that the
friends or relatives may kiss the infants and that is the mode of
transmission.  Mr. Finkelman posits that this is far more likely an
explanation than the suggestion that it is the mohel who infected the

I would ask Mr. Finkelman to suggest how the babies developed *herpetic
lesions on their genitals*.  I do not believe that family friends are
kissing the infants in that area.

See the following article that was published in Pediatrics and look at the


This is not a new issue.  A glass tube was recommended and approved by
major poskim more than a century ago.  As time has passed, more and more
evidence has accumulated that should convince concerned Jews to strongly
consider using a glass tube instead of direct oral contact.  Rabbi Chaim
Brisker paskened more than a century ago that using a glass tube is
considered MbP.

It is very sad that this discussion never seems to end.  Everyone has free
choice.  The decision, however, should be an informed one.

May Hashem protect our children.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.

From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 24,2013 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Pesach as a personal name

What's the source of "Pesach" turning into a name that we call someone by t=
name? We don't see people walking around with the name "Sukkot" or "Shavuot=
"? =20



From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Selling chametz

Rabbi Teitz wrote (MJ 61#77):

> Shortly after the end of the chag, the rabbi repurchases the chametz by
> returning the amount of the deposit.  He stipulates that if, during the
> eight-and-a-half days during which the non-Jew owned the chametz, it=20
> appreciated in value, the non-Jew forgives the amount due him.  If, on th=
> other hand, ithas depreciated in value, so that the non-Jew owes the amou=
nt of=20
> depreciation to those purchasers who are getting back less value than the=
> sold, we forgive that difference to him.

Why would any rational non-Jew forgive the appreciation in value (assuming
it is substantial). Doesn't this make the contract into a farce

Rabbi Tendler once told a story that there was a fire in the whisky whareho=
in Scotland over Pesach and the price of scotch rose dramatically because o=
f the
lower available supply. He demanded that the people in his shul buy back th=
scotch at the higher price

Eli Turkel

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 21,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Selling chametz

One year I realized that I hadn't included my workplace stash of tea/snacks=
the main form that we'd already done with the rabbi, and I explained the
situation to a non-Jewish (Indian) colleague of mine.  He said, "I will buy=
stuff, but there's no guarantee you can buy it back next week."  I said,
"Perfect.  That sounds all the more kosher!"  And that's just what we did. =
 :) =20

I think in the end he did eat some of it and I bought back the rest.

--Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Chaim Casper<surfflorist@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 22,2013 at 11:01 PM
Subject: The Sharansky compromise

For those unfamiliar with the issue:   For years, the Orthodox nature of
prayer at the Kotel has been an irritant in the non-Orthodox's relations
with Israel.   Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked the Jewish Agency
chair, Natan Sharansky, to come up with a solution that makes everyone
happy.   His proposal is that the area to the south of what we call the
Kotel be set up as an area where there will be mixed gender praying as
well as a place where the "Women of the Wall" (WOTW) can go to pray.  (As y=
look at what is currently called the Kotel, one sees to the right a ramp
leading up to the Mughrabi Gate and the Temple mount; the area in question =
is to
the right of this ramp towards Robinson's Arch.  While this area is not tho=
of being part of the Kotel, it is part of the same wall that surrounds the
Temple mount).   The Rav of the Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, shlit"a,
reportedly has signed off on the agreement.  The RCA (Rabbinical Council of
America, the organization to which most Orthodox pulpit rabbis in the Unite=
States belong) issued a statement in support of the compromise.  To the bes=
t of
my knowledge, neither the Agudah, Shas, Degel HaTorah, etc have publicly
rejected the proposal.

I have read some heated personal discussions about the proposal.   The
people in favor of the proposal say that the alternative to rejecting the
proposal is a forced Israeli government solution that would be worse from
our perspective (I say "our" because I assume everyone reading this post
is Orthodox).   The WOTW include Orthodox women (Anat Hoffman, notwithstand=
who approach the tefilot from an Orthodox perspective (i.e. the tallitot th=
wear are bigdei nashim [tallesim specifically made for women], they don't s=
any d'varim she'bik'dushah [i.e. Borekhu and Kaddish], etc.); they should b=
entitled to a place to daven at the Wall.  The Kotel is central to all Jews=
as such should be made available to all Jews.   The Israeli Supreme Court h=
already ruled that Robinson's Arch can be used by the WOTW so Sharansky's
proposal merely codifies what is law in Israel.

The people against the proposal say that this is part of a slippery
slope; in other words, the first of many compromises that will undermine
our (i.e. the Orthodox) best interests.    Quoting Rav Mordechai Gifter,
zt"l, in another context, "you give them a finger, they will take your
hand."    The compromise has not been accepted/proposed by any of the
g'dolim.    The proposal will enshrine the "Christianizaiton" of the
Kotel (Rav Joseph Dov Halevi Soloveitchk, zt"l, called mixed seating the
"Christianization" of the synagogue).   =20

Any comments from the MJ participants?

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


End of Volume 61 Issue 78