Volume 64 Number 96 
      Produced: Sun, 07 Mar 21 11:24:20 +0000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Commemorative coins 
    [Perry Zamek]
Covid Shul Changes? 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Doing Laundry Halachically (2)
    [Dr. William Gewirtz  Prof. Yitzchok Levine]
Kupat tzedaka  
    [Joel Rich]
Sim Shalom 
    [Michael Poppers]
Timing of Parshat Zachor 
    [Dr. William Gewirtz]
Waiving mourning practices 
    [Joel Rich]
What Is and What Is Not TIDE 
    [Prof. Yitzchok Levine]


From: Perry Zamek <perryzamek@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 1,2021 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Commemorative coins

Martin Stern asks (MJ 64#95):  

> The other day I found such a coin embedded in the mud. Does it have the din
> [status] of ma'ot mefuzarot [scattered coins] which automatically belong to the
> finder or is it an aveidah [lost item] on which one must make a hachrazah
> [public announcement] so that the owner can claim it?

If the coin was lying on its own in the mud, then I would imagine that you may
take it - the nature of coins when minted is that they are all alike, and so
they do not have identifying marks by which an owner can make a claim.

If it was wrapped or similar (e.g. in a cardboard and plastic envelope, such as
used by coin dealers), then that in itself would possibly be an identifying
mark, and then you may have an obligation to publicize the find.

Perry Zamek
Translator and MS-Access Database Developer


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 7,2021 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Covid Shul Changes?

How has your minyan changed, if at all, in this twilight zone of returning to
shul after Covid vaccinations......?

After a full year of not participating in shul or minyan I've returned.

My minyan - Shabbat only - hasn't added, deleted or changed any tefillot. And
the Rabbi still speaks. We daven outside. People have the option of davening inside.

Our torah reading has changed: Shachrit: We use two torahs - one on one table
for the baal koreh and another torah on another table for the one getting the
aliyah. They're separated by about twenty feet. Mincha Shabbat: One sefer torah
- the oleh reads his aliyah. Even if, for example, the first and third oleh are
one and the same.

Maybe I expected some major change other than geographic or musical chairs. I'm
aware of many rabbinic leaders / synagogue leadership taking stock and thinking
about changes post-covid.

What's new by you?

Stuart Pilichowski

Mevaseret Zion, Israel

Phone +972- 527-222-827


From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 1,2021 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Doing Laundry Halachically

Carl Singer (MJ 64#95), in the spirit of Purim Torah, mentions that there is not
a special Passover certification on the various forms of detergent and they may
not be able to be ingested over Passover. Rest assured, detergent is not ra'ui
le'achilat kelev, and hence one can ingest detergent to one's heart content on
Passover. I am reminded of the story told of someone telling the Rav zt"l about
their dog ingesting something the Rav considered inedible (I believe it was
toothpaste). His response: you have a crazy dog.

From: Prof. Yitzchok Levine <larry62341@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 2,2021 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Doing Laundry Halachically

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 64#95):

> I've been closely following the erudite -- and eruditer -- discussions re:
> laundry.
> There seems to be one point missing -- my laundry detergent has a hechser on
> it-- an "O-U".
> Does that mean I may consume it?   Should I assume it's parve?
> I see no "O-U-P" so I will eschew same during Pesach.

For the record, I believe that there are toilet bowl cleaners under
OU supervision. Also some poisons. So, do not consume any of them.

Someone I know who handles Pesach questions for a well-known kashrus
agency once got a call in which a woman asked, "Rabbi,  what is the
story with poisons on Pesach?" He replied, "Do you want to consume
them or administer them!"

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 3,2021 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Kupat tzedaka 

I am learning the Aruch Hashulchan hilchot tzedaka and am struck by the poverty
in the communities he relates to. This reminded me of imi morati ZL""HH relating
her father's description of the grinding poverty in the shtetl (lots of
sociological history in halacha). Of particular interest was his description of
how the universal practice of a single communal kupat tzedaka came to an end.

Sometimes reality trumps "halacha" and maybe the mimetic tradition fails to
restart in cases where it should.


Joel Rich


From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 3,2021 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Sim Shalom

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#95):

> Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 64#94):
>> ...
>> Some say sim shalom at mincha is recited only when the reading of the torah
>> takes place, i.e. Shabbat afternoon or a Ta'anit tzibbur. The posuk - ki 
>> beohr panecha is related to torah learning.
> I would have thought the phrase "Torat Chaim" found in sim shalom, but not in
> shalom rav, is more likely a reason.

Or perhaps that "Sim Shalom" is an expansion (either chiastic or in order) upon
the tripartite bircas kohanim -- as others greater than me have noted, the
middle component of "Sim Shalom" revolves around "or panecha" and seemingly
connects with the middle verse of bircas kohanim, and one can then connect
either the first or the third component of "Sim Shalom" with either the the
third or the first verse of bircas kohanim.  For some more on this, I highly
recommend online document:

https://www.beureihatefila.com/files/2007-06-01Tefila_Newsletter.pdf .

All the best from
Michael Poppers
Elizabeth, NJ, USA


From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 1,2021 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Timing of Parshat Zachor

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#95):
> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#94):
>> Immanuel Burton wrote (MJ 64#93):
>>> ...
>>> Before the Purim story happened, when was Parshat Zachor read?  Or was the
>>> mitzvah of remembering Amalek fulfilled differently?
>> Obviously in Ki Teitzei where it also is read as maftir.
> I'm not sure it is so obvious that zechirat amalek was always observed by a
> public reading (IIRC The Rambam doesn't mention it and others say its rabbinic
> in nature)

In addition to Rambam, Ramban as well is uncertain on the precise parameters
of the commandment to remember Amalek. Tosafot, Berachot 13a,is the earliest
reference. Tosfot's underlying logic that the Torah reading must fulfil a
biblical requirement is questionable. Freeing a servant to fulfil a rabbinic
obligation may be permitted as well.


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 1,2021 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Waiving mourning practices

> Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 64#95):

> In response to Joel Rich (MJ 64#94):
> I wonder about the question because there are so many areas about which it can
> be raised if it is a legitimately valid question eg, selling chametz, prozbul,
> eruv, heter iska, halachic wills, and the like. So isn't the answer for halacha
> observing Jews simply this: follow the halacha and leave God's wishes out of it
> since we really can't know what God wants from us other than for us to follow
> halacha.

I certainly agree that there are quite a few applications where I've raised this
question. I don't think its as simple as saying to follow the Halacha because in
these cases there is a range of halachically acceptable practices. Perhaps the
question is, is God equally happy with any halachically acceptable action or are
some more appropriate than others. 

As to how to determine which is the most appropriate, I've always thought it's a
combination of "to thine own self be true for then how cans't though be false to
any man" and making sure that you have someone you can speak to who will hold a
mirror for you rather than pat you on the back all the time.

Joel Rich


From: Prof. Yitzchok Levine <larry62341@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 3,2021 at 06:01 PM
Subject: What Is and What Is Not TIDE

The following is from the article, The Legacy of RSRH, ZT"L that appears in the
Sefer Selected Writings by Rav Shimon Schwab, ZT"L.

Rav Hirsch is usually accepted as the exponent of the Torah im Derech Eretz
philosophy. This principle is explained by his grandson, Dr. Isaac Breuer, as

"He was strictly opposed to compromise or reconciliation, or even a synthesis:
he demanded full and uncompromising rulership of the Torah. The Torah cannot
endure co-rulership, far less tolerate it. As a true revolutionary he seized the
liberalistic individual, the liberalistic, humanitarian ideal, liberalistic
capitalism, and the human intellect, celebrating orgies in the liberalistic
science, and dragged them as "circumstances", in the narrowest sense of the
word, to the flaming fire of the Torah to be purified or, if need be, to be
consumed. As a true revolutionary he solved the unbearable tension between the
Torah and the new era which had dawned over the Jews of Western Europe. He
invaded the new era with the weapons of the Torah, analyzed and dissected it
down to its last ingredients, and then shaped and reformed it until it could
be placed at the feet of the Torah, as new nourishment for the Divine fire. The
proclamation of the rulership of the Torah over the new era was the historic
achievement of Hirsch's life for his own contemporaries." ("Hirsch as a
Guide to Jewish History'' in Fundamentals of Judaism, published by Feldheim,

Unfortunately, the principle of Torah im Derech Eretz is grossly misunderstood
by our contemporary Jewish orthodoxy. It does not mean that one who is a
full-fledged citizen of hedonistic America and at the same time keeps the laws
of the Torah, is a follower of Torah im Derech Eretz. Not to violate the laws of
the Torah certainly deserves praise and recognition but it is not an embodiment
of the Hirschian philosophy.

Likewise, an academy dedicated to the study of science and philosophy, not in
order to serve the understanding of Torah or to further the aims of the Torah
but as the independent search by the human intellect to understand and control
the world around -- even when added to a department of profound and very
scholarly Torah studies - this is not an outgrowth of the Torah im Derech Eretz
Weltanschauung of Samson Raphael Hirsch.

Also, a secular university in Israel, albeit under skullcap auspices, complete
with Judaic studies, is extremely remote from a Torah im Derech Eretz school
even if it has established a "Samson Raphael Hirsch chair" as part of its
academic set-up, something which almost borders on blasphemy.

The Orthodox professional who is not regularly "kovea' ittim batorah", or
otherwise lacks in the performance of mitzvohs, or who is immodest in dress or
behavior, is not a follower of Samson Raphael Hirsch. From all of Hirsch's
prolific writings, it becomes evident that his main concern was to establish the
majesty of the Divine Word and the role of the Divine Will as revealed in the
Torah, to dominate all the highways and by-ways of mundane life.

Those who abuse Torah im Derech Eretz as a "hetter" to lead a life of easygoing
and lenient "Yiddishkeit" or those who consider the Hirschian idea as a
compromise between the right and the left in Jewish thinking have distorted the
meaning of the principle as laid down in the Mishne, Avos, Perek 2, 2:
"Beautiful is the study of Torah combined with Derech Eretz for the effort to
attain both makes one forget to commit sins". The Torah is not a mere branch of
human knowledge, one discipline amongst many others, but rather must the Torah
dominate all secular knowledge and all worldly activities. Equally so, the
community of Israel, Klal Yisroel, as well as all Kahil!os and organized
communities, be they local or international -- which are all segments of Klal
Yisroel -- are not supposed to be mere branches of a neutral Israel but are to
be totally independent. The Torah community is not beholden to any non-Torah
community and it does not even recognize its authenticity. This is the essence
of the Hirschian Austritt (separation) ideology. The so ailed "Austritt" is the
militant vigilance of the conscientious Jew defending the Torah community
against all encroachments from the non-Torah powers that be. The "AustrittL" and
Torah im Derech Eretz go hand in hand, they form "one package", so to speak, and
both these aspects of Hirschian thought have one aim: the total domination of
Torah over all thinking and actions of individual and national life.

He who separates the rule of the Torah over all facets of the communal  life of
Kial Yisroel from the rule of the Torah over all human knowledge, in short, he
who separates the "Austritt" from Torah im Derech Eretz, renders a disservice
to both.

Furthermore, the leit-motif is neither Torah and Derech Eretz nor Torah U'Madoh
-- the two are not equal partners nor must it be twisted around into Derech Eretz
plus Torah. It is neither a synthesis of Torah with assimilation nor a bloodless
orthopraxy blended with earthbound Americanism.

It is none of these.

Prof. Yitzchok Levine


End of Volume 64 Issue 96