Volume 66 Number 01 
      Produced: Sat, 15 Oct 22 16:58:14 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A message for the new volume and New Year 
    [The Moderation Team]
Eating at other people's homes 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Mapik Heh 
    [Martin Stern]
Secular education at Brooklyn yeshivas (2)
    [Carl Singer  Perry Zamek]
What to do with Israeli esrogim after Succos 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Whose Hashgacha Does It Have? 
    [Prof. L. Levine]


From: The Moderation Team
Date: Sat, Oct 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: A message for the new volume and New Year

As moderators, may we take this opportune moment of starting a new volume on
Hoshanna Rabba to wish all contributors to and readers of Mail Jewish, a gemar
tov and a happy and healthy year.

We apologise for any errors on our part in processing your submissions and thank
you all for your many thoughtful and incisive contributions. We look forward to
many more in the future.


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 15,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Eating at other people's homes

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#99):

> Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 65#98):

>> The only awkwardness I have come across is Chabadniks demanding their 
>> shechita for the meat. Of course, purchasing special salads and the like is 
>> no problem. The problem is either a certain shechita and/or pots used for the
>> cooking/baking.
> I consider making such a demand the height of bad manners. The correct 
> approach should be to say they must decline the invitation because they only 
> eat that particular shechitah. Of course, if the prospective host volunteers
> to use the desired shechitah, that is another matter but, whether that would
> satisfy the guest is another matter ...

I am not sure. I would think it depends on the social solidarity the community
display. Or among relatives. In a sense, it is similar, but not fully, to a
request to be served vegetarian food. I have been at a Seder of my sister whose
nephew on her husband's side was a Chabadnik and he had a separate table. Some
of the food he brought himself and some he ate from my sister's kitchen.

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Mapik Heh

David Olivestone wrote (MJ 65#98):

> I am constantly surprised by how many baalei tefillah [leaders of the
> davening] do not know how to pronounce a word which ends with the letter heh
> with a mapik (dot) inside it. I am thinking specifically of the name of God
> when spelled aleph, lamed, vav, mapik heh, which is found several times in the
> Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur davening and, of course, in many other places. As has
> been pointed out previously in this group, the mapik indicates that the vowel
> (patach) beneath the heh should be pronounced before the letter, so its not
> ha, but ah. 

Even more relevant is its occurrence in the second mizmor in Hallel. A question
that has bothered me for a lpng tome is whether someone who mispronounces this
Divine name may not have fulfilled the mitzvah of saying hallel and be required
to repeat it (at least from the verse in which it occurs).
> Also, almost everyone seems to ignore the fact that the accent is on the
> second, i.e., the penultimate, syllable (milel), not at the end of the word;
> thus its not EloAH, but eLOah.

Just a little quibble the patach mappik heh is not considered to be a separate
syllable and the word has only two syllables and the second is actually the
final one.

Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 14,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Secular education at Brooklyn yeshivas

Professor Levine brings up important points. Let's not limit only  to Brooklyn
-- but look in general at what's going on.

Many "milk" the system -- I recall sitting at Logan Airport ages ago and
engaging in conversation with then Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp.  We were
both flying back to Philadelphia. He basically said that the Federal Government
is a cow with many teats -- and as governor he assigned staff to each of these
sources to see what funding was available for his state. The same applies to
Yeshivas (and many other religious and secular enterprises.)

Funds are available for "Special Education" -- and schools  identify many
students with such needs, etc. etc.

(1) is it ethical -- deena d'malchusa deena   and 

(2) does it help the students?

Similarly we find communities get preferential treatment because their
leadership can assure high voter turnout and nearly 100% in favor of a specific
candidate. Some religious communities try to pack the public school boards in
order to starve the secular school system because it doesn't help them. But
wait, if there's funding for school busing, that's another story.

And then we have communities where couples get married halachically but abstain
from getting a civil license.  Thus we have "unwed mothers" milking the system.

Kosher or traif?


From: Perry Zamek <perryzamek@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 15,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Secular education at Brooklyn yeshivas

Prof. Levine (MJ 65#98) asks for the views of members regarding secular
education in Orthodox Jewish schools (perhaps ultra-Orthodox would be a better

I wonder if the rule of dina demalkhuta dina [the law of the land is law] would
apply in such cases. After all, the education authorities are not singling out
Jewish schools and ordering them to provide secular education, while not
requiring this of other schools. What appears to be the case is that the
education authorities want to ensure that all children reach a certain age with
a certain minimum specified skill set, in terms of English language,
mathematics, and perhaps some other basic areas. 

If those could be taught using textbooks that are appropriate for the schools
(e.g. Harry [replace with: Hershel] buys two packets of bacon [replace with:
brisket] for $2.40 per packet, how much change does he receive from $10?), what
is the issue?  

Prof. Levine's quote from the New York Jewish Week included the following: 

> A spokesman for a group that represents yeshivas on religious liberty grounds.

What issue of religious liberty is involved? The freedom to keep children
ignorant (and therefore under the thumb of powerful askanim [powerbrokers] in
their communities)? 

Naturally, if there are issues of required content that go against Jewish
values, the schools can and should object. But objecting to values-neutral
content (if such a thing exists) seems inappropriate.

Perry Zamek
Translator and MS-Access Database Developer


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 14,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: What to do with Israeli esrogim after Succos

I received the following from Rabbi Eli Shulman, the rabbi of the Young Israel
of Midwood in Brooklyn which may be relevant to some members of MJ:

> If you bought an Israeli esrog this year, be aware that it has special halachos
> because of shemittah.
> In particular, after Succos it cannot simply be disposed of. Rather it must be
> put away until after the time of biur, that is that time when there are no
> longer esrogim growing on the trees in Israel, at which point the esrog - if it
> is still edible - must be taken out of your home and declared ownerless.
> Since it is not at all clear when the time of  is - especially since there's a
> tendency on the part of the farmers to remove the remaining esrogim from the
> trees soon after Succos in order to promote the healthy growth of new fruit -
> the following procedure is recommended:
Soon after Succos, bring your esrog to shul, put it down and declare it hefker
> (ownerless) in front of three people. Declare further that even if you take it
> back home, you are not acquiring it and it remains hefker and available for
> anyone to take and keep.
> You can then take it home - having in mind not to acquire it - and leave it out.
> Eventually it will shrivel up of its own accord at which point it can be
> wrapped up and disposed of.


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 14,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Whose Hashgacha Does It Have?

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 65#89):

> I can understand Prof. Levine's concern if the bakery was actually non-kosher.
> But he does not quite define that as such. For him, it is a matter of 
> "supervision".
> Disregarding the specific woman involved, can we know what supervision he
> considers not adequately kosher so if we are in the neighborhood we could
> think twice about purchasing baked goods from it?

Here are my personal kashrus standards:

I rely only on the OU, the Chicago Rabbinical Council and 3 heimishe hashgachas
- the Volover, the Nirbater, and Rabbi Asher Eckstein.  I do not use the OK, the
Chof K, the Star-K and any other heimishe hashgachos. I will not buy a product
from EY unless it has an OU on it.

I realize that my standards are unique to me and do not expect anyone else to
follow them.

However, if you think that I am being overly strict, here is what a rabbi who
works for a national kashrus organization sent to me in response to my email on
this topic.  While it is somewhat sarcastic and a bit tongue in cheek,
nonetheless, it contains a great deal of truth.

> You obviously do not understand kashrus.
> If heimishe people buy it, by definition it is not only kosher but mehuddar.
> What does it matter if any living person visits? You think that the people
> the heimishe supervision sends to visit know anything about kashrus anyway?
> When I asked a mashgiach from a well-respected hashgocho what he did in the
> meat plant, he looked down at me and answered,  "Ikh tee vi di hailige
> rabbunim  zugn mir [I do what the holy rabbis tell me]" which was to stand
> there.  He had no idea of what was going on nor what needed supervision.
> And you're complaining that the lady did not know whose hashgocho? Probably it
> would have been better if it had none.
> This is a true story.  I have a witness. 

Professor Yitzchok Levine


End of Volume 66 Issue 1