Volume 8 Number 10

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hesped for the RAV
         [Uri Meth]
Obvious May Not Be Obvious
         [Frank Silbermann]
Rabbi Tendler's letter
         [Elliot Lasson]
The B'datz vs. Pepsi
         [Yosef Branse]
Women's Reading of Torah, Separately
         [Bob Werman]
Women's Tefilla and Hashkama Minyan
         [Joseph Greenberg]
You get to vote on a new service
         [Avi Hyman]


From: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 18:24:58 EDT
Subject: Hesped for the RAV

Last Wed. night, June 23/93, in the Lower Merion Synagogue in Lower
Meron, PA (right outside Philadelphia), R' Hershel Shacter gave a Hesped
for the RAV ZT"L.  I would only like to write here about one point that
he brought out of the RAV's character.

The RAV always looked for the _halachik_ (Jewish Law) reason behind 
the _Minhag_, custom.  He felt very strongly that a _minhag_ is not 
just something that comes about by itself, _yeish ma'ayin_, but that
there was some _halachik_ reason to back it up.  I will only quote one
example here.

There is a custom that during the 9 days between Rosh Chodesh Av and
Tishah B'Av, that one does not bathe.  Where does this custom come from?
We know that the custom of laws of mourning pertaining to the 9 days are
comperable to someone who is in _Sheloshim_, the 30 days after a relative
passes away.  There is no prohibition of a person who is in _sheloshim_
to bathe, so where did this custom come from?  The _Ba'alai Tosofot_
write that in their times people did not bathe also during the period of
_sheloshim_.  So from this came the custom also not to bathe during the
9 days.  However, in out time, since people do bathe during the period
of _sheloshim_, therfore the custom not to bathe during the 9 days no
longer applies.

What his point was, is that if you understand the reason behind the
custom, you can understand why Rabamin can say that this custom is no
longer applicable.

By the way, this letter is in no way meant to _paskin_, give a religious
opinion, on what the laws of bathing during the 9 days are.  Ask you

Uri Meth                (215) 674-0200 (voice)
SEMCOR, Inc.            (215) 443-0474 (fax)
65 West Street Road     <umeth@...>
Warminster, PA 18974


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 07:59:56 -0400
Subject: Obvious May Not Be Obvious

In a recent post someone mentions that when a newly married young man
asked a rav (I believe it was the Chason Ish) about exactly how much
hair his wife was permitted to have outside her head-covering, the
response was that he refused to be bothered with such trivial questions. 

Zev Farkas interprets this to mean that the answer should have been
obvious to the young man, and complains that years later,
beavosainu harabim, the answer may no longer be obvious.

Perhaps the rav in this case was merely saying that on such an issue
there was no need for a top posek to establish a wide-ranging standard,
and that on such a question the young man should be content to follow
the advice of his LOR.

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot Lasson)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 21:46:06 -0400
Subject: Rabbi Tendler's letter

For those of you who read the obituary for the Rav in the Jewish
Observer, there are two follow-up letters to it published recently (not
in the JO, of course!).  IMHO, the obituary was a bland statement of
systematically selected facts.  In this fashion, the JO can say they
were "yotzhei".  However, the content and context bordered on "bizayon.
There was a letter by Rabbi Genack in last week's Jewish Press (an open
letter).  There was also a scathing letter in the shul newsletter of
Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler's shul in Monsey, which critiques the JO's
obituary and "reads between the lines".  Both are worth reading.

Elliot D. Lasson


From: <JODY@...> (Yosef Branse)
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 93 07:56:42 -0400
Subject: The B'datz vs. Pepsi

In the continuing discussion about the removal of the hechsher from
Pepsi, there's one factor that hasn't been brought up (as far as I

The B'datz and Pepsi must have had some written agreement, which would
presumably have specified the conditions under which either side could
annul it. If improper advertising were one of those conditions, then the
B'datz would be within their rights in lifting the hechsher; if not, it
seems to me they would be on shaky grounds in terms of both halacha and
secular law, though in terms of hashkafa [non-halachic outlook] I tend
to sympathize with their stand.

Does anyone know more about the contractual angle?

We should also remember that what we refer to as the "B'datz" is not a
distinct entity, but a convenient, universally adopted handle for what
is properly called (in rough English translation) the "Kashrut Committee
of the Rabbinical Court of the Haredi Community of Jerusalem".  A
similar situation exists for other kashrut bodies. As such, the "B'datz"
represents more than just kashrut, but the way of life and thought the
Eda Haredit is trying to maintain, and they are well within their rights
in determining to whom they will give and not give hechsherim. However,
this doesn't answer the question of how to proceed after the fact, once
they have granted a hechsher and want to remove it.

There seems to be a consensus among the stricter kashrut bodies about
the matter of improper advertising, as reported on the front page of the
English-language Yated Ne'eman (house organ of the Degel ha-Torah party)
of 18 June:

"All of the major chareidi kashrus organizations have reached agreement
on acceptable advertising standards as part of the ongoing campaign to
combat the spread of indecent advertising in public places....the
granting of a hechsher will depend on the contents of the ads displayed
by the company. In addition,...if one kashrus organization removes its
hechsher because a given company failed to live up to the advertising
standard, then no other kashrus organization would then grant that
company a hechsher in its place.

"The agreement was signed by the kashrus committees of She'eris Yisroel,
Eida Hachareidis, Machzikei Hadas [Belz], 'Mehadrin' of Rechovot
Rabbinate, Chug Chasam Sofer and Rav Moshe Landau of Bnei Brak. [The
only chareidi body missing from this list is the kashrut committee of
Agudat Yisrael. - YB]

"The Kashrus organizations stressed that those companies that are
interested in marketing their products to the chareidi consumer cannot
at the same time display ads in public that restrict chareidim from
walking in the streets and hurt their feelings."

Yosef (Jody) Branse       University of Haifa Library                    
Internet/ILAN:     <JODY@...>                                  


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 10:34:27 EDT
Subject: Women's Reading of Torah, Separately

Gitit, my daughter-in-law Cana's sister was married this week on Kvutzat
Yavne.  She is an interesting girl, or rather woman, along with being
bat meshek [kibbutz born].  An identical twin (Idit, the other, is still
not married), Gitit was an outstanding student in the Hug l'Talmud
[Talmud major] at the Hebrew University and then became one of the
members of the first course for rabbinical to'anot [lawyers in
rabbinical courts; in this case, specifically women].  She was again an
outstanding student and one of six (the only woman) to receive a m'ula
[highest honors] in the national exam.  She needed to be married (as do
the to'anim, or male rabbinical court lawyers) to be licensed, now that
the rabbinical courts agreed to hear to'anot along with to'anim.

I was not present at either the wedding or aufruff (I am in avel) but my
wife, Golda, was at both and reported extensively.  The relevant portion
is the double aufruff held this past Shabbat at Yedidiya's minyan in
Ba'aka, Jerusalem, mentioned previously in mail.jewish.  The women split
apart for a separate reading of the Torah but otherwise participated in
the tephillot together.

We are more familiar with the splitting off of minyanim for Torah
readings on SimHat Torah.

In view of the ongoing discussion of women's prayer, I thought this
option might be of interest.

__Bob Werman    <rwerman@...>    rwerman@vms.huji.ac.il


From: Joseph Greenberg <72600.225@...>
Date: 01 Jul 93 09:16:11 EDT
Subject: Women's Tefilla and Hashkama Minyan

In regards to Eitan's "criticism" of Avi Weiss's position of not
allowing a second minyan in the shul (ie., Hashkama), but allowing
the seeming contradiction of a Women's Tefilla, I don't see this as a
contradiction at all. After all, we've already been told numerous
times in the list that most Womens' Tefilla groups are careful to not
use the term minyan, which they are not. So this "group" is not a
separate minyan meeting in the Hebrew Institute. It is similar, in
fact (at least in theory) to the "overflow" minyan that Avi Weiss
attracts on the Yomim Noraim, although I seriously doubt that Rav
Weiss would call that an overflow minyan. That group is a free
"service" that meets in the afternoon of the days of Yom Tov, which
attracts people from all walks of Judaism (and paths more or less
outside of it too), and gets them to enter a shul. This meets despite
the claim of "minyan unity", every year for the last 7 (at least),
and is about as far from a minyan as I can imagine.
   Joe PS If you know anyone that has little affiliation anyway, this
minyan is a _very_ good place to steer them.


From: <AJHYMAN@...> (Avi Hyman)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 17:20:08 -0400
Subject: You get to vote on a new service

Attention: Here is your opportunity to vote (with no obligation)

Recent efforts have been made to organize and maintain an
A list of potential journals to be reviewed has been compiled
and now you have the opportunity to vote on which journals
you would like to see reviewed.
To receive a ballot send a post requesting a ballot to
        <AJHYMAN@...>   or   AJHYMAN@utoroise.bitnet
instructions will be included.
FURTHER, a synopsis of discussions on this new service will
be featured in a special edition of JewStudies to be posted in
July. To subscribe to "JewStudies - An e-Journal of Jewish Studies"
(no cost), please send the message
        SUBSCRIBE JEWSTUDIES <your name>
to      <LISTSERV@...>



End of Volume 8 Issue 10