Volume 8 Number 74
                       Produced: Mon Aug  9  0:17:42 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Apartment for rent in Jerusalem Area
         [J. Y. Yosh Mantinband]
Bar Kamtza (3)
         [Daniel Wexler, David Kramer, Zvi Basser]
Counting the Torah or a Katan (Minor) in a Minyan
         [Aaron Peromsik]
Equinoxes and Mitzvot
         [Gary Davis]
Jewish Traveler's Database
         [Harry Kozlovsky]
Kashrut Organization "KOA"
         [Leon Dworsky]


From: <cm406@...> (J. Y. Yosh Mantinband)
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 16:41:07 -0400
Subject: Apartment for rent in Jerusalem Area

I often see people asking about apartments available in Israel on
this forum, so I thought someone may be interested in the following:

Furnished Apartment Available in Israel

  What:  4-rooms (3 bedrooms); kosher kitchen; air conditioner; fully 
         furnished (except for dishes, etc.); telephone; large yard

  Where: Mitzpe Nevo, a religious neghborhood in Maale Adumim, a
         suburb 10 minutes north of Jerusalem (i.e., 10 minute drive 
         to Mount Scopus, French Hill, Ramat Eshcol)

         Near grocery, bus stop, mikveh, yeshiva, shuls

  When:  August 17, 1993 for a year (some flexibility)

  Who:   The Zweibach Family
         Tel/Fax: (02) 354-085  (from outside Israel: +972-2-354-085

         (Alternatively, contact me on Internet: 
          and I will pass it on)

- Yosh 


From: Daniel Wexler <genesis!<dwexler@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 21:03:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Bar Kamtza

The M'Silos Y'esharim (The Path of the Just) explains this gemorah in a
different light.  From the chapter Mashkel HaChasidos (The weighing of
Saintliness) he explains: (Refering to the above story) "It was to this
that Rabi Yochanan was referring when he said, "The humility of Rabi
Zechariah destroyed the Temple, consumed out Sanctuary and exiled us
among the nations."  We see, that one should not decide upon the
saintliness of a deed on the basis of surface appearances, but should
view it from every angle that human intelligence can be brought to bear
upon it".

Daniel Wexler

From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 10:31:47 -0400
Subject: Bar Kamtza

Eitan tried to bring proof from the story of Bar Kamza that if a
halachic decision might be misunderstood it may be desirable in some
circumstances to rule otherwise.

While I do not dispute the point you are making, Eitan, I don't think
this passage is a very good proof, because the Talmud goes on to say -
"mipnei anvesanusu shel R. Yachanan Ben Avkolas sarfa irainu..." -
because of the modesty of R. Yochanan Ben Avkolas our city was
destroyed. While I have always been fascinated at this statement - and
still don't clearly understand what the talmud means here by 'modesty' -
I think it is clear that the rabbis are criticising him for his

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]

From: <fishbane@...> (Zvi Basser)
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 19:40:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Bar Kamtza

I heard that Gaon of Vilna explained the anivut of
Rabbi Zechariah Ben Avkilos destroyed the Beyt Hamikdash as follows--
the rule is that the least qualified judge is to offer an opinion
first so as not to be intimidated by the opinions of greater
authorities. This man was so humble he thought himself the least
worthy but in fact everyone else recognised his greatness. He spoke
firstd, and when the other rabbis who had thought to give more valid opinions,
heard the opinion of rabbi zechariah did not say anything to
oppose his reasons for being stringent.  So the temple was
destroyed because he was too humble and the rabbis were too impressed
with his status to overturn his decision (which is how they got into
trouble in the first place by not protesting that bar kamsa be allowed
to stay at the feast-- as eitan has given the story). At any rate, the
gaon did not see the psak here as reasonable. Josephus has a similar
story about how a hot headed decision was made not to offer the

zvi basser


From: Aaron Peromsik <peromsik@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 13:51:55 -0400
Subject: Counting the Torah or a Katan (Minor) in a Minyan

MK> RE: the recent remarks concerning counting the Torah in a minyan.  Is
MK> it related to the minhag of counting a boy of 12 (or is is 12 1/2) in a
MK> minyan, provided he holds a chumash?  Any comments on sources and/or
MK> variations will be welcome.

I think the child can be as young as nine. The reference (I'm not sure
where it's from) is "katan v'chumash b'yado"-- "a minor with a chumash
in his hand." I've been to shuls where they would count the Sefer Torah,
and others where they would not count the Sefer Torah but would count a
minor with a chumash. I even heard one person take the allegorical
approach, saying that the reference to "chumash b'yado" means simply
that the minor is capable of learning and understanding the chumash; in
other words, as long as Torah study is not beyond his grasp, he doesn't
actually need to _hold_ the chumash. I've never seen that one put into

The first time I was ever counted to a minyan was on a Sunday morning
about eleven years ago at Congregation Beth Judah - Young Israel of
Worcester, MA. I was nine years old at the time, and I took advantage of
the chumash they handed me to review what I had been learning in school
that week.

Aaron Peromsik | Good Morning! Are we having fun yet?
<peromsik@...> | Every solution breeds new problems.


From: Gary Davis <davis@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 13:51:51 -0400
Subject: Equinoxes and Mitzvot

Dov Bloom's interesting posting about the mitzvah of calculating equinoxes
could probably be extended without loss of much generality to broader
scientific inquiry, and may even help to explain the apparent dedication
of many Jewish people (regardless of racial background) to secular
sholarly studies.

Gary Davis (PhD)    Associate Professor   Faculty of Business
      University of New Brunswick in Saint John (UNBSJ)
     P.O. Box 5050   Saint John, N.B.   Canada   E2K 3M2
(506) 648-5537 (Office phone)    (506) 652-9573 (Private fax)


From: Harry Kozlovsky <HKOZLOVS@...>
Date: 8 Aug 1993 17:06:56 EST
Subject: Jewish Traveler's Database

I am uncertain what relationships exist here but an updated Jewish
Traveler's Database is being established on the Jerusalem One Network. I
have seen a number of country's restaurants and bakeries listed as well
as many cities in the U.S. Jerusalem One appears on Gopher but it
appears that universal access to the information is not yet available.

[If anyone from the Jerusalem One Network is on this list and can
address this question, I would like to hear from you. Thanks in advance.


From: <ljd@...> (Leon Dworsky)
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 01:18:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Kashrut Organization "KOA"

To the question:

>> Would appreciate information on a Kashrus organization called "KOA".
>> Symbol consists of map of U.S.A. with words "KOA" inside.

Shimon Schwartz (<schwartz@...>) replied:

> These are the initials of CA-based Kashrut Overseers of America.
> Their usual symbol is a K with a semicircle to the left of
> the vertical ("half-moon-K").
> I don't personally hold by them, but your mileage may vary.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Why?  Have you had a bad experience?  Have you personally investigated
them or one of their products?  Has YLOR advised you?  Has some other
LOR investigated them and given a reason for not considering them
reliable?  Is your opinion based on scuttle-butt or facts?  Who is the
administrator and what is his background?  Is this the only thing he
does, or is this just a part time thing?

I noticed a question raised regarding a product supervised by the Delta
(triangle) K.  This is Rabbi Ralbag's own personal company.

It has been considered unreliable by some because of scuttle-butt I have
heard, but no hard facts have ever been presented to me.  However it was
sufficient to make my wife and I nervous about using a product with his
endorsement (snack cracker packages by _Austin_) containing "cheese".
The ingredient listing said just that - no "K" Cheese, nothing.  I had
occasion to ask Rabbi Ralbag (a very affable and friendly person) about
this.  He gave me a lesson on the politics of certifying organizations,
but never answered my question.  My wife decided to call the companies
800 number and inquire.  The customer service rep did not know a thing
about the cheese, but said she would find out and call us back.  When
she did, she advised us that company policy forbade her to tell us the
name of the cheese producer, but that the cheese was a dried powder and
all of the containers had an OU-D on them.  "Would that help us any?"
Obviously, it did.  So much for scuttle-butt.

Leon Dworsky   <ljd@...>

[We have here a more general issue and problem I think. Ther have been a
few related messages to me on other topics discussed on the mailing
list. The common thread is that we need to give more thought to some of
our postings. In particular, repeating unproven allegations may very
likely be Lashon Harah - evil speech, which all know is a serious issue.
I am not saying I know where the line exists between saying what is your
opinion, and slandering another. If I think it has crossed the line, I
will send back the posting. But I think it would be a good idea for
people writing to make sure they read their posting carefully before
sending it out.  Mod.]


End of Volume 8 Issue 74