Volume 7 Number 58

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An-eem Zmirot
         [Yisrael Medad]
Artificial Insemination (2)
         [Anonymous, Morris Podolak]
JTS Cafeteria
         [Seth L. Ness]
Kosher whiskey
         [Itzhak Kremer]
Nusach - Shabbos Mincha
         [Moshe E. Rappoport]
         [Zev Farkas]
         [Dov Bloom]
The Rav
         [Zvi Basser]
The Rav and Secular Knowledge
         [Arnold Lustiger]


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 15:45:17 -0400
Subject: An-eem Zmirot

    The proper transcription of the hymn should be An-eem Zmirot as the
Hebrew root stems from "na'im" - pleasant and many err in the
pronounciation because the word means "I will make pleasant with song".

Yisrael Medad


From: Anonymous
Date: Fri, 21 May 93 13:43:01 -0400
Subject: Artificial Insemination

Susan Slusky suggests that the husband or the woman herself do the
insemination in order to avoid tzniut problems.

In cases where the husband's sperm is used (which is the only situation
that most poskim allow), there's obviously some kind of fertility
problem.  Therefore it's unusual for low-tech insemination to be used.
Usually a catheter is inserted into the cervix.  It's hardly a procedure
for amateurs, although once it's inserted, the husband could push the

From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 06:23:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Artificial Insemination

Much has been written over the last few weeks on artificial insemnation.
This past Shabbat I decided to look into the issue and came across a 
surprising amount of literature.  Since the original posting asked for 
sources I thought this might be of interest.
The problem is complex and has many ramifications, and cannot be properly 
discussed in this forum (although I will be happy to answer specific
questions both publicly and privately).  There are sources in the Gemara
rishonim and early achronim (i.e. the halachic literature for the past
1500 years) that relate to the problem.  My intent here is to give 
references to some of the more recent responsa that deal with the modern
version of the problem.

One of the earliest responsa is that of Rabbi Schwadron at the beginning 
of the 20th century (MAHARSHAM vol. III #268) who was rather lenient on the
whole.  Another source from that era was the Divrei Malchiel vol. IV #107.
Somewhat later were the responsa:
Seridei Aish (III,5)
Mishpatei Uziel (E.H. 17)
Tztitz Eliezer (III, 27) see also a later responsum (XV, 45) which deals 
with test tube babies.
Yabiya Omer (II, E.H. 1)
Minchat Yitzchak (IV,5)
Igrot Moshe (E.H. I, 10, 71; II, 11, 18; III, 11, 14; IV, 32/5)
Chelkat Ya'akov (II, 24, 25; III, 45-52)  The latter responsa include 
letters from R. Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe) defending his (lenient)
It is interesting that the very strict responsum of the Minchat Yitschak
was written at the behest of the Satmarer Rabbi, who urged Rabbi (Dayan)
Weiss to state his position in response to some of the more lenient 
rulings that had appeared in the literature.  Rabbi Feinstein, in the 
last responsum listed, affirms that he has not changed his mind, and has
written to the gedolim involved defending his views.  Only the Chelkat
Ya'akov published the letters he received.
Finally, in the first volume of Noam (published sometime in the fifties)
there are seven articles on the subject, including those by Rabbi Mintburg,
the rabbi of the Old City in Jerusalem, Rabbi Hadayah, a member of the 
Jerusalem rabbinical court, and Rabbi Auerbach.  A more recent summary of 
the literature can be found in the Nishmat Avraham.  Some are more lenient,
some are less, and the issue is certainly not cut and dried.  


From: Seth L. Ness <ness@...>
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 12:09:44 -0400
Subject: JTS Cafeteria

In regards to not eating at the JTS cafeteria, I and many other orthodoax
students at columbia wouldn't eat there. We all had no doubts about it
being kosher, which it certainly was by any standard, but i just didn't
feel right eating in the building which is the heart and soul of a
movement and philosophy i strongly disagree with and feel is kofer
b'ikar(rejects the essence) of judaism. and eating is such an essential
and metaphorical action, i didn't want to take sustenance and nourishment
from JTS. of course many orthodox people at columbia did eat there.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: <kremer@...> (Itzhak Kremer)
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 10:00:04 -0400
Subject: Kosher whiskey

In the weekly Torah leaflet distributed in our schul in Maaleh Adumim,
there was a list of some liquors whose Kashrut is questionable. This was
based on a list put out by the Israeli Chief rabbinate last year. Among
the NON-recommended liquors were:  

    Blended whiskeys            Lord Calvert
    Seagram's 7 Crown           Sloe Gin                    
    Canadian Club Classic       Ouzo     
    Most brandies               Drambuie                    
    Irish Cream                 Don Quixote Rum
    Glayva (England)		Tequilla (with a worm in the bottle)
    PinaColada (Holland)

Although the problem with some of these (brandies, Tequilla) is obvious,
with others it is not.  What are the Kashrut problems involved with the
whiskies for example? Are they mixed with wine alcohol? 

Do American liquors carry a kashrut certificate?  Last time I bought a
bottle of American whiskey (about 2 years ago) I don't remember having
seen a kashrut symbol on the any of the labels.  

Itzhak Kremer


From: Moshe E. Rappoport <mer@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 14:47:38 SET
Subject: Nusach - Shabbos Mincha

I doubt that these have any particular significance since there is no
set rule when to go up or down, and it varies from shul to shul and
chazan to chazan.

Certain Congregations that were led by the same Chazan for long times
may have "formalized" the nusach over time, and since this became
predictable, the Kohol began responding at fixed points in the Tefilla
as Kohols are wont to do.

M. E. Rappoport - Zurich Research Lab


From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 13:49:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Penguins

Arthur Roth, writing on the issue of kashrut of birds (penguins and
turkeys, to be specific), mentioned a lunchtime shiur given at Bell Labs,
but could not remember the name of the maggid shiur.  It's been a while
since I was a "the Labs", but i do remember this shiur quite well.  It was
(and I hope, still is) given by Dr. Herman Presby. [He still gives a
lunchtime shiur, as far as I know. Mod, fellow Bell Lab's person, and
Town-mate :-) of Dr. Presby.]

Someone else (sorry, i can't remember who) raises the issue of whether a
penguin is a bird or some other type of animal from the point of view of
halacha.  This is an important point, since the torah classification of
animals may not necessarily correspond with the taxonomic classifications
used by biologists.  (Is a bat a bird or an "animal"?  Are dolphins and
whales fish?)

Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278


From: Dov Bloom <Bloomdov@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 93 03:21:04 -0400
Subject: Shemot

     It is clear that anything written in English is not true "shemot",
which are names of Hashem that it is forbidden to erase.  Shulchan Aruch
Yore Deah 276 9 lists those true "shemot" names. The basic prohibition
is to erase one such name written for holy purposes (ie written for a
sefer Tora). The Rema in 276 10 even comments that it is permissable to
erase the double yod alias that is written in our siddurim.

     Rema in 276 13 adds that one should not write such names even in a
book because the holy name may be shamed (bizayon) for example if its
tossed in the garbage. This is esentially our problem.

     Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 276 5 and Choshen Mishpat 27 3 discusses
writing name of God in a letter in a non Hebrew language such as German.
The fear is again shame or disrespect. His example given in the Y.D. 276
is that the letters or papers may eventually be used for wiping after
relieving oneself, surely the height of disrespect.

    It always seemed to me that the kind of example given by the Aruch
Hashulchan and other acharonim is not necessarily relevant to our cases
such as E-mail and letters nowadays. I am also interested in knowing of
acharonim that discuss these issues.

                                             Dov Bloom
                                             Kibbutz Maale Gilboa


From: <fishbane@...> (Zvi Basser)
Date: Wed, 19 May 93 16:07:43 -0400
Subject: Re: The Rav

Perhaps someone might know what was happening.
It was fall 1960, and I was dovening my first shabbos at YU. I had
never see the Rav before, he had never seen me. I was sitting at the
back, he was at the front at the mizrach wall. Suddenly, the rav ztsl
stopped everything and sent someone to get me and bring me up to the front.
He stood and placed me at his right.
He began to chant something-- maybe in yiddish maybe in hebrew-- i
didnt follow a thing. periodically he said things to me probably in
yiddish but at the time I could not make sense of anything he was
saying or doing. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein was there and came to
translate the questions-- names and things I think. after the rav ztsl
returned to his place Rav Lichtenstein said to me-- I have no idea why
the Rav did this-- this is something only for members of the family.
It was clear he understood the Rav didnt have a clue who I was and I
never knew what he said, let alone why he said it, why he had to ask
me things in yiddish when it turns out his English was proficient. the
intensity with which he looked at me and said whatever he said remains
strikingly in my mind. Does anyone know what that might have been
about. It seemed to me at the time the Rav was unapproachable and I
never asked, and clearly Rav Lichtenstein was confused and probably
didnt want to appear to question the Rav. Does anyone know what this
might have been about?
zvi basser


From: Arnold Lustiger <ALUSTIG@...>
Date: Wed, 19 May 93 09:10:27 -0400
Subject: Re: The Rav and Secular Knowledge

There is a tape of the Rav speaking to the RCA in 1956, in which he goes into
detail concerning his opinion regarding secular knowledge. He starts by saying
that Hallel Hagadol (i.e. the chapter in Tehillim with the repeated refrain
"ki le'olam chasdo") describes great miracles including the Egyptian redemption
yet the last verse ends with the rather prosaic "notain lechem lechol basar",
"that he provides sustenance to all living creatures". The reason this phrase
appears is to tell us that the everyday workings of the natural world are
every bit as miraculous as the events during our redemption from Egypt, but
that unless one studies and understands the workings of the natural world, one
cannot appreciate the miraculous nature of natural phenomena.

The Rav adds that the first chapter of Shmuel discusses Shmuel's father as
"min haramatayim tzofim", literally,"from two peaks, scouting" The Rav homi-
letically explained this phrase as meaning the two peaks of Torah and Mada,
and that the study of each was an imperative. He concluded the tape by telling
the audience that he used to watch his son, Chaim staying up until all hours
of the morning learning Torah, but also studying philosophy, history, law.
The Rav's wife begged the Rav to tell Chaim that he should go to sleep. The
Rav in a very impassioned way told his wife that he could not do this: that
study of all these disciplines is necessary.

Arnie Lustiger


End of Volume 7 Issue 58