Volume 7 Number 68

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Convention Announcement - Association of Jewish Libraries
         [Elisheva Schwartz]
Heicha Kedusha
         [Mike Gerver]
Heicha Kedusha for individuals
         [Barry Siegel]
Minhagim for a New Baby
         [Lou Rayman]
Pepsi de-hechshered in Eretz Yisrael
         [Steven Schwartz]
Shavuot and Matan Torah
         [Susan Hornstein]
Thought Processes in Decision Taking -  Strive for Truth
         [Manny Lehman]


From: Elisheva Schwartz <es63@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 93 10:45:36 EDT
Subject: Convention Announcement - Association of Jewish Libraries 

The 28th Annual Convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries
(AJL) will be held on June 20-23, 1993 at the New York Hilton, New
York City.  This year's keynote address will be given by Dr. Menahem
Schmelzer of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, speaking on
"When Hebrew Books are Endangered: The Jewish Response."  Other
presentations will cover: automation, Jewish storytelling, children's
literature, media selection and storage, archives, Holocaust
literature, reference cataloging, the Internet, Yiddish literature,
Jewish booklore, RLIN cataloging, research resources, and MUCH MORE.
In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and speak
with distinguished authors at a reception honoring the 50th
anniversary of the Jewish Book Annual.  The final highlight of the
convention on Wed., June 23, will be a luncheon address by Rabbi
Joseph Telushkin, noted author, speaking on "Jewish Humor: What the
Best Jewish Jokes Say about the Jews."

EXHIBITS Judaica Books and Crafts Marketplace, June 20-22.  The
largest gathering of Jewish books, videos, software, and Judaic crafts
and art work in New York Metropolitan Area this year.  Jewish
storytelling marathon led by master storytellers (Marcia Lane, Gerald
Fierst, Nina Jaffe, Heather Forest, Roslyn Bresnick-Perry, Peninah
Schram, Joshua Kane) and author signings on Sunday, June 20.

For Convention information, please contact:
Edith Lubetski
(212) 340-7720
FAX (212) 340-7788

For information about exhibiting at the marketplace, contact Carolyn
Storman Hessel:
(516) 692-8616
FAX (516) 694-0313


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 2:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Heicha Kedusha

Jonathan's thorough discussion of heicha kedusha contradicts something I
thought I knew, although I don't remember where I heard it and could just
be mistaken. I thought that one was not allowed to say a heicha kedusha
for shacharit, because it would constitute a hefsek [interruption] between
"ga'al yisrael" and the beginning of the shmoneh esreh. At least this would
be true going by the ashkenazi practice of everyone else starting shmoneh
esreh after the sheliach tzibur finishes saying kedusha. If you go by the
sephardic practice of having everyone start shmoneh esreh with the sheliach
tzibur, then there would not be any problem with hefsek. Does anyone know
of a source for not saying heicha kedusha for shacharit, for this reason?

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <sieg@...> (Barry Siegel)
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 93 12:03 EDT
Subject: Heicha Kedusha for individuals

Many thanks to Jonathan Ben-Avraham for a superlative writeup on tfilla
ktsara (with kedush but without hazarat hashats) sometimes called heicha
kedusha.  This writeup summarized when a MINYAN was allowed to say a
Heicha Kedusha and it was very limiting.

This leads me to question the permissability of a practice which I've
seen (mostly when I'm in NYC) where an individual will make a Heicha
Kedusha!  This usually happens when someone is late for davening and
missed Kedusha.  The individual will singulary recite the beginning of
the Shemona Esreh out-loud, while the rest of the folks listen and then
recite Kedusha normally, then this individual will finish up silently.

I have seen this done mostly when one misses mincha so one is bound by
time constaints.  However, it does not fit into the limited heter as
specified by Jonathan's posting:

> * A minyan MUST do a tfilla ktsara for either shaharit, minha or
>   musaf, weekday or shabat when the time for that tfilla would pass
>   if they were to wait until everyone finished the silent amidah.

This would not seem to qualify as a Minyan davening together, as the
rest of the minyan has already fulfilled their obligation and are not
davening. Does anyone know of a heter (or even a hint) for this?  Is
this mostly a Chasidishe custom? How widespread is this custom?

Barry Siegel


From: Lou Rayman <rayman_l@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 93 19:16:28 -0400
Subject: Minhagim for a New Baby

My wife and I having had a baby boy 3 weeks ago, I am curious as to some
of the minhagim my wife's family has:

- Hanging cards titled "Shmira Layeled V'Layolades" - "Guarding (or
Protecting) the child and the mother" These cards start with "Shir
Hama'alot Esa Einai" and have alot of other mostly illegible stuff on
them, including a picture of a hand with eyeballs in the finger nails.
What is the significance of all this?  Where does it come from?

- Tying red threads (called bendels) on the corner of his crib and
stroller.  Supposedly, its to keep away "ayin hara" - the "evil eye."
Also, when we got engaged, my wife started wearing a red bendel on her
fancy watch.  (I remember that once, on a trip to London, a gypsy woman
tried to sell me a red thread, for good luck.)

Is there a legitimate source for these minhagim - or are they
superstitions picked up from the goyim over the years? (Or did they
steal them from us?)

p.s. I'm having trouble finding the halachot of Pidyon Bachor in the
Rambam.  I've found Hilchot Bechorot in Seder Avodah, but that deals the
laws of first-born animals (unless I've missed something - I haven't
gotten much sleep lately).  Could any of you kind people point me in the
right direction?

Lou Rayman


From: <schwartz@...> (Steven Schwartz)
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 93 12:29:54 -0400
Subject: Pepsi de-hechshered in Eretz Yisrael

Food for thought:  the following appeared on the cover of Westchester
Reporter-Dispatch, Friday, June 4, 1993.  Usual copyright notices apply.


[Los Angeles Times]

JERUSALEM--Pepsi is no longer "the right one, baby"--at least not in Israel.

Complaining yesterday that Pepsi was promoting a culture that would
corrupt the nation's young people through rock music concerts and
advertisements featuring santily clad women, rabbinical authorities
revoked certificates declaring that the soft drink conforms to Jewish
dietary laws and is kosher.

The move will subject Pepsi products to a consumer boycott by the
estimated 35 percent of Israel's Jewish population that observes the
dietary laws.  It will probably also remove Pepsi from hundreds of
restaurants and hotels that follow kashrut requirements and are subject
to rabbinical inspection.

The court objected to what it considered immodest dress by the women in
Pepsi ads, showing much more of their bodies than only their faces and
hands, and to the recent Saturday night concert by the rock group Guns
'n' Roses that, it said, violated observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

Pepsi-Cola International's planned sponsorship of a concert in
September, also on a Saturday evening, by pop star Michael Jackson
aroused even more worries; Jackson is regarded by many of the
ultra-religious as a seducer of youth.

Jewish dietary laws prohibit certain foods or food combinations, and
Israeli rabbis maintain a complex system of supervision to ensure that
most food conforms with those laws.  But a product that is otherwise
acceptable, such as Pepsi-Cola, may also be deemed not kosher if its
preparation or marketing violate other Jewish laws, such as those
governing observance of the Sabbath of requiring modesty in dress.

After its officials met with the rabbis, Pepsi said in a statement that
it could not agree to the "stringent demands."


From: <susanh@...> (Susan Hornstein)
Date: 2 Jun 1993  10:04 EDT
Subject: Shavuot and Matan Torah

Although it is no longer inyan d'yoma (a timely issue), I'd like to
relate what the Rabbi of our shul said this past Shabbat (the Shabbat
immediately following Shavuot) about the relationship between Shavuot
and Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah).  Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg of
Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park, NJ made the following
observation.  He said that the Torah's emphasis on the observance of
Shavuot is the bringing of the Omer, mincha chadasha LaShem (a new
offering to Hashem).  One of the commentators (I'm really bad at
remembering commentator citations, but I believe it was the Kli Yakar)
relates this phrase to Matan Torah, commenting that we must be vigilant
in making our Torah new every day.  Rabbi Schwarzberg explained this in
a modern context: when we buy a new toy or electrical appliance (I
believe a CD player was his example) we are excited about it and we play
with it a great deal, exploring all of its features.  This is how we
should treat our study of Torah every day, not playing per se, but with
the level of excitement and exploration that we accord a new
acquisition.  He emphasized that we engage in concentrated Torah study
on Shavuot, often staying up all night and making an extra effort to
attend shiurim and the like, and that we must take this lesson with us
from Shavuot, to be kovea itim laTorah (set regular times for the
learning of Torah) throughout the year.  Not an exegetical prooftext for
the relationship between Shavuot and Matan Torah, but an important
take-home lesson nonetheless.

Susan Hornstein


From: Manny Lehman <mml@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 93 08:15:12 -0400
Subject: Thought Processes in Decision Taking -  Strive for Truth

With regard to Dov Krulwich's recent query about possible Jewish sources
for his thesis re "Thought Processes", I would recommend that he takes a
look at "Michtav Me'eliyahu" by Harav Dessler z'zl. This is available in,
currently, 4 hebrew volumes. A 3 volume translation, "Strive for Truth" by
one of the original editors ( Harav Arieh Carmel n'y) of only the first
volume of the Hebrew translation is also available. 

I have, unfortunately, so far only worked my way through the first half of
the first volume (Hebrew). Whilst the text does not address Dov's problem
explicitly there is much material there which clearly is relevant and gives
at least, the Mussar (don't know how to translate that) Movement's view of
how "the mind, the Yezer (internal inclination or driving force), both tov
and ra (good and bad) work in influencing decision taking". I'm certain Dov
would find lots of valuable ideas there, particularly if he has had no
serious access to the Derech Hamussar.

Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman
Department of Computing Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Phone: +44 (0)71 589 5111, ext. 5009 Fax.:  +44 (0)71 581 8024
email: <mml@...>


End of Volume 7 Issue 68