Volume 7 Number 98

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Jasons Bread Crumbs
         [Ezra Tanenbaum]
Parental Permission to say Kaddish
         [Zev Farkas]
         [Isaac Balbin]
Responsibility - Arevut
         [Turkel Eli]
Women's Krias HaTorah
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Word Origins
         [Ben Reis]
Yam Shel Shlomo
         [Hillel Markowitz]


From: <bob@...> (Ezra Tanenbaum)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 11:47:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Jasons Bread Crumbs

Jasons Bread Crumbs are certified by the OU.  They will be more than
happy to tell you if they are "pas Israel".  Call the Union of Orthodox
Hebrew Congregations Kashrut Division in Manhattan, and they will tell

My understanding is that the OU insists on the Ashkenazi standard of
Bishul Akum (non-Jewish cooking) which is more lenient than the Sefardic
standard. Therefore, Ashkenazim do not have to worry that an OU
certified product violates Bishul Akum, but Sefardim do have to worry.

I do not know the difference between avoiding Bishul Akum in general,
and the principle of Pas Israel, nor what the OU standard is.

I also question whether bread crumbs are in the category of "Pas" !!

But you can easily find both out by calling the OU.

Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (908)615-2899
email: att!trumpet!bob or <bob@...>


From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 15:06:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Parental Permission to say Kaddish

writing about the need for parental permission to say kaddish if both
parents are alive, arthur roth asks if it is not inconsistent that one
who has lost either parent needs no permission to say kaddish, while
some authorities require a person with both parents alive to get
permission from both parents.

it seems to me that once a person has lost either parent, they have had
the obligation to say it for that parent, so subsequent recitation of
the kaddish is no indication of disrespect for the living parent.

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


From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 19:20:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Pepsi

  | From: Shaul Wallach <f66204@...>

  | that conflict with the Torah. The problem of giving a hechsher to Pepsi
  | (or buying clothes from a concern that indulges in indecent advertising)
  | is that one is mesayyea` bidei `overei `avera (aiding transgressors)
  | which may fall into the Biblical prohibition lifnei `iwwer (not putting
  | a stumbling block before the blind). 

This is not Lifnei Iver since it is not a situation of singular direct
cause.  When I buy a can of Pepsi I am not the direct cause for any
aveira.  Firstly, it isn't certain that the money that I contribute will
be used badly. Secondly, even if it is used badly, there is still doubt
that the person will do an aveira, and Thirdly, (and this also is
relevant to the allegation of Mesayyea above) it isn't clear that if
they do the aveira that my money through Pepsi was the cause, and
fourthly it isn't clear that Mesayyea applies to Mechalelei Shabbos
Befarhesya anyway.  The issue is more complicated and would require a
proper analysis, nevertheless, Shaul is drawing a very long and tenuous
halachic bow.

Having said that, I have no problems whatsoever in a Rov withdrawing
a hechsher from Pepsi for the well known reasons.
Saying however that this is either Lifnei Iver or Mesayyea is far-fetched.


From: Turkel Eli <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 09:01:44 -0400
Subject: Responsibility - Arevut

Rena Whiteson writes,

> I am referring to the concept that one group of people (men) are weak,
> and another group (women) have to bear the responsibilty or pay the
> price for that weakness.  In the example above, if a man cannot keep his
> mind on his prayers when a "pretty young woman" is going to the Torah,
> he should take responsibility for it and stay home, or wear blinders or
> do whatever it takes.  Why should the woman be penalized by being
> excluded from this important community activity?  The situation is
> similar in the rules for modest dress for women.  Why should a married
> woman have to cover her hair whenever there is a man around?  It's a
> very big nuisance, and she has no problem.  Why can't she walk around
> with her hair exposed like everyone else? If a man cannot look at her
> without having 'impure' thoughts he should look elsewhere.  Surely his
> thoughts should be his own responsibility, not the responsibility of
> every single woman in the world.

      Without going into the specifics of this case I would like to respond
to the general situation of responsibility.

      The operative principle in Halakha is "kol yisreol arevim ze la-zeh"
(all Jews are 'responsible' for each other). Philosophically this
implies that there is a connection between all Jews and cannot just ignore
someone else's problems. On the Halakhic level it means that one person
can say a blessing for someone else even though the first person has
already fulfilled the mitzvah. It also means that a Jew shouldn't do any
deed that might  cause another Jew to sin. It is not legitimate to say
that it is his responsibility and I can do what I want. In some cases
there is a biblical prohibition "lifne iver" (one should not put a
stumbling block in front of the blind), in other cases the prohibition
is only rabbinical. However, more important than the prohibitions is the
principle that we are indeed responsible for our brothers and sisters
and cannot say that someones thoughts or deeds are their own responsibilty
and not mine.

Eli Turkel


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 02:36:24 -0400
Subject: Women's Krias HaTorah

        The amount of MJ's received makes it difficult to remember who
said what when, but to the best of my recollecion, this issue is being
approached here from a pure black and white halachic perspective. I will
briefly address that first to say that in my opinion, this trick of
women abstaining from Birkas HaTorah until getting an aliya involves the
prohibition of learning before the bracha, since they here laining
before their bracha.
        However, what is not sufficiently discussed here is that in
reality there is a sociological issue involved here, and that sociology
is just as important an area of Judaism, despite its meta-halachic
nature, as halacha. The more right wing might define this as a Da'as
Torah area, but even the more left wing must concede that Avodas Hashem
and Yahadus does not begin and end with halacha.  The questions which
must be raised concern the nature of communal Avodas Hashem and the
integrity of our society in the context of "kol ma'asecha yiyu l'shem
shomayim", and whether this is davka (in a more expressive term, punkt)
what we need to be greater Ovdei Hashem at the moment, or whether some
more basic areas need to be tackled...


From: <reis@...> (Ben Reis)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 11:53 EDT
Subject: Word Origins

	I have been wondering about this for quite some time: Does anybody
know from where the term "Gentile" originates? I usualy see it used by
non-jews to refer to themselves in a Jewish setting. I assume it was 
coined by a non-Jew in the past few centuries. Any ideas?

Ben Reis


From: <hem@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 10:48:29 -0400
Subject: Yam Shel Shlomo 

>I think that the apparent inconsistency between the diameter and 
>circumference of the Yam Hamutzak [ Molten Sea - a huge laver in
>the first Temple ] can be resolved as follows :

Actually, the meforshim deal with this matter. (I am behind on my
reading and just spotted this one article).  The following is an
article I sent to a usenet group some time ago which deals with the
matter.  Note that the main reason for the "30" is because of the
volume of water is given in terms of how many "mikvahs" it contained.

Subject: Re: value of Pi 

This dispute shows the necessity of checking sources.  An
excellent source for English speakers is the Judaica Press
Tanach.  It has a summary of meforshim which shows where the
commentaries are derived from.  The figure of "2,000 bath" is
approximate and Rashi gives the calculations needed.

1. The "yam" was used to purify the priests and as such had
hollow legs connecting to an artesian well (since water contained
in a vessel could not be used for a mikvah [ritual bath for

2. A "bath" is three "seah".  A kosher mikvah is required to be
at least 40 seah.  Thus 2,000 "bath" is 6,000 "seah" or 150

3. Tosfos in Meseches Eruvin points out that the value used is an
approximation. (thus the "circumferance" of 30 showing the size
of the approximation).

4. The Rabbis define 40 seah as 1 x 1 x 3 cubits of water.

5. The lower part of the yam was square with sides of 10 cubits
while the upper portion was round with a diameter of 10 (a
circle drawn inside the square).

6.  Rashi states that the bottom portion was 10 x 10 x 3 cubits
which by 4. contained 150 mikvahs worth of water.

7. The upper part (using my calculator for pi) comes to 157 cubic
cubits which is (again by 4.) 52.36 mikvahs or approximately 50.
This is the reason for the approximation of the circumferance.

8. Rashi gives another approximation method.  A circle in a
square is approximately 0.75 of the square's area
(actually .785398...).  

Since the upper portion (the cylindrical part) was 2 amos high, 
the volume would be a third less than a cylinder of three amos.  
The square cross-sectioned bottom part held 100 mikvahs, a cylinder of 3
amos would hold (approximately) 75 mikvahs, which makes the
actual top part (of 2 amahs) hold 50 mikvahs.

As to the discrepancy, with Chronicles, it involves the overflow
and dry measure.  I don't have the Tanach here so I can't quote
it.  However, I would reccomend getting a copy of the Judaica
Press edition and studying it.

Note:  the reason for saying that the bottom was the square
cross-section is that it says that part of the yam was 10 amos on
a side (which couldn't be if the entire yam was a cylinder).


End of Volume 7 Issue 98