Volume 9 Number 44
                       Produced: Tue Oct 12 18:29:39 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Kashrut of "Classic Ovaltine"
         [Anthony Feinstein]
Minhag and Gehinom
         [Moshe Waldoks]
Priestly Blessing and a Moom (2)
         [Israel Botnick, Aaron Naiman]
Pronunciation (Havara)
         [Ezra L Tepper]
Removing Rings for Handwashing
         [Frank Silbermann]
Request -  Sources on minhag
         [Joel Wein]
Rogachover Gaon (Ruby Stein)
         [Steven Friedell]
Who Causes the Wind to Blow & the Rain to Fall
         [David Ben-Chaim]


From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 18:01:54 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I hope that everyone had a good Yom Tov. As you may be able to guess
from the fact that I did not have your mailboxes filled with mail-jewish
editions, I took some time off to enjoy Yom Tov (and try to get work in
between the three day Yom Tov/Shabbat here in Galut). Well, now I am
back so expect to see a bunch of issues over the next two days. 

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <drwatson@...> (Anthony Feinstein)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1993 01:33:42 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Kashrut of "Classic Ovaltine"

	A product on the shelves of my local supermarket recently got my
attention due to a seemingly strange conflict on the label. A powdered
chocolate milk mix known as "Classic Ovaltine" was marked with the usual
Union of Orthodox Rabbis dairy symbol (circled U with a D to the bottom
right) but contained both dairy whey as well the real culprit : "beef
extract." This led to the following questions:

a) Is the principle of bateil beshishim valid here in that the beef
extract is less than 1/60 th of the overall composition? If so, then why
is the beef extract not said to impart a flavor or perform a coagulating
function? Is it considered inedible? Is this a mistake?

Anthony Feinstein


From: <WALDOKS@...> (Moshe Waldoks)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 93 14:04:01 -0400
Subject: Minhag and Gehinom

I love our tradition because it supplies so many possibilities of
interpretion. One contributor quotes a rabbi who tells him that
tampering with a "minhag" is akin to "gehinom" (the same letters in
mirror image). When I was in Yeshiva, a rabbi told me that when "minhag"
gets in the way of what the actual halachs is it becomes an avenue to
"gehinom". I beleive that this, albeit elitist, way of seeing the role
of"minhag" is more accurate. But then again it may be immaterial when
the majority of "pan-halachists" have little regard for the "obligatory"
nature of midrashic materials.It is often painful to see our "sacred
lore" subjugated to our "sacred law".

 moadin l'simcha, Moshe Waldoks


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 93 09:53:11 EDT
Subject: Priestly Blessing and a Moom

There is a Mishna in the 3rd (or maybe 2nd) perek of Megilla which says
that Kohanim cannot recite the priestly Blessing if they have a mum
[Blemish] on their hands or face. This is because it would detract from
the kavana [concentration] of those being blessed. (Whereas by the other
jobs of the kohanim in the beis hamikdash, a kohain with a blemish is
biblically disqualified, by the priestly blessing it is only a rabbinic
prohibition to insure proper concentration).

The shulchan aruch (Orach Chaim chapter 128 numbers 30 and 31) mentions
2 leniencies.  One is where the kohain with the mum is known in the
community (has lived there for 30 days). In this case people know about
the mum and will not lose concentration.  The other leniency is one
suggested by Rabbi Yosef Karo (author of the shulchan aruch. - in his
earlier work Kesef Mishna on the Rambam, he suggests it but is unsure,
but in the shulchan aruch he says it authoritatively). The leniency is,
that in a place where the custom is for the Kohanim to cover their faces
(and in some places hands too) with their tallis [prayer shawl], if the
mum is covered by the tallis, then it is ok.

The rav ZT'L explained that the reason chazal were so concerned about
proper concentration for the priestly blessings, is because they involve
a hashra'as ha-shechina [arrival of the divine presence].  (see chagiga
16a for a discussion of this).  Being in the presence of HKBH kaveyachol
requires extra concentration and pure thoughts.  In the silent shmona
esreh we are also standing before HKBH (which is why we start with three
steps forward - approaching HKBH) and for that reason there are many
special laws to preserve our concentration (one cannot walk in front of
someone praying and one praying cannot hold onto an expensive object).
Therefore for the priestly blessings there are also a number of laws
(this one included) to insure proper kavanah.

From: <naiman@...> (Aaron Naiman)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 93 09:53:19 -0400
Subject: Priestly Blessing and a Moom

Lorne Brown asked for information on the Priestly Blessing, specifically
problems and solutions on how to deal with a moom [blemish/deformity]:

It just so happens that I gave a shiur on the topic of the Priestly
Blessing over Shabbat Chol Hamoed, based on a shiur I heard (on tape)
from Rabbi Frand of Ner Yisrael, Baltimore, MD.  (I say this so that one
should not think, incorrectly, that I am so erudite, and always have
these sources in RAM. :-) ) Rabbi Frand did not discuss the issue of
blemishes, but I came across it pretty much everywhere in the Halacha
sifarim.  The Minchat Chinuch has a discussion of it in Mitzva #378.
The source for these laws in the Tur/Shulchan Aruch is Section 128 of
Orach Chayim (first section of Volume 2 of the Mishna Brura).  A very
good (not that my approbation is needed) summary is in the Aruch
Hashulchan.  In a sentence (or two), he says that the blemishes which
can disqualified a kohen are due to the distraction that it causes when
people would stare, e.g., a discoloration of the hands which people are
not used to seeing.  He _does_ say, bottom line, that a lot (all?) of
this does not apply since these days a kohen's hands are under the
talit.  (There is also a discussion of opinions which compare the
blessing to the temple service, thereby widening the number of ways to
disqualify a kohen.)

Moadim lisimcha,
Aaron Naiman | IDA/SRC          | University of Maryland, Dept. of Mathematics
             | <naiman@...> | naiman@math.umd.edu


From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 93 13:08:47 +0200
Subject: Pronunciation (Havara)

Let's forget all the arguments pro and con on the use of modern Israeli
pronunciation in the U.S.

I also want to talk about the supposed traditional pronunciation in the
schools that attempt to transmit the Hebrew of the previous generation
to the up and coming generation of native English-speaking youth.

Both the traditional "boruch" schools and the Israeli-type "baruch"
schools have one major common problem: neither group transmits the
proper pronunciation of the "resh" in "baruch." As far as I know there
are two traditions for this letter: one like a French er, where the
tongue trills the letter on the palate or the guttural German r, which
is what is used in Yiddish or in Israel. The American or English
(England) "r" which is a lip-produced consonant has no tradition and is
simply incorrect.

I have no idea how any native English yeshiva or day school student
properly fulfills the Torah command of the recital of Shma, unless we
put his incorrectly pronounced Hebrew in the same category as reciting
Shma in English which (according to the Shulchan Oruch) is valid.

Moadim le'simchah,
Ezra Tepper


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 93 14:04:10 -0400
Subject: Removing Rings for Handwashing

I have heard from some that one must remove all rings before washing the
hands Al Netilat Yadayim.  However, I have heard from others that one
need not remove a ring that one otherwise would never remove.  Is this
latter view correct?

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


From: <wein@...> (Joel Wein)
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 93 12:35:01 -0400
Subject: Request -  Sources on minhag

Our Shul is having a series of lectures this year given by 4 congregants
on the topic of minhag.  I would be greatful for pointers from members
of the list to noteworthy articles/books on the following four topics.
(We're already aware of the obvious places to start, such as
Tur/Shulchan Aruch, the book Taamei haMinhagim, etc.)

(1) The general notion of minhag, and its philosphical and halchic
importance/strength (An example of the sort of article that would be of
interest would be a discussion of cases where an established minghag
wins out over what seems to be the correct halacha).

(2) Minhagim in tefilla, especially historical and/or halachic
treatments of the genesis of the different nuschaot (Ashkenaz, Sefarad,
Ari, Yemen, etc.)

(3) Minhagim of different communities in Lifecycle events.

(4) Minhagim of different communities on the Chagim.

Thank you very much!

--Joel Wein


From: <RUBY@...>
Date: 12 Oct 1993 10:56:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rogachover Gaon (Ruby Stein)

A story about the Rogachover that I heard from R. Isaacs at Yeshivat
Darche Noam.
The Rogachover and the Brisker Rav learned together when they were 
six years old.  One day the Brisker's father came to the pair and asked
"which one of you is the better learner?"
The young Brisker replied. "I don't know what to say.  If I said that 
I'm better I'd be a ba'al giva [haughty], but if I said that he is 
better I'd be a lier."
To which the young Rogachover responded- "You just made yourself 
into both!"

Ruby Stein


From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 93 08:53:45 -0400
Subject: Tahanun

Does anyone know the basis for the varying traditions of whether to say
Tahanun on the days between Sukkot and Rosh Hodesh?

Steven F. Friedell                                     (609) 225-6366
Professor of Law                                   Fax (609) 225-6516  
Rutgers School of Law                  e-mail  <friedell@...>
Camden, NJ 08102


From: David Ben-Chaim <DAVIDBC@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1993 8:37:15 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Who Causes the Wind to Blow & the Rain to Fall

1) In different siddurim the phrase "...and the rain to fall" (mybd
cixen) has different vowels under the gimmel. Some has a segol and some
have a kamatz.  Which is the proper form?

[In general, nusach Ashkanaz has a Kamatz, and nusach AR"I and Sepherad
has a segol, I don't know what Eidot Hamizrach (i.e. "real" sepharad)
has. One reason for the difference is where you think the sentance ends.
If it ends with "rain to fall" then you should have a kamatz. If this is
just a part of the next "paragraph" as printed in our sidurim, then it
should have a segol. That is my understanding of the matter. Those who
knoe more, can now correct/clarify. Mod.]

2) In our synagogue they read H' H' kal rachum (megx lw 'd 'd) after opening
the ark. In some siddurim it says not to say it on Shabbat, and some said
to say it on Shabbat. Which is correct? Remember we're talking about praying
in Eretz Yisrael, if it makes a difference as to the custom.

|    David Ben-Chaim                      |
|    Tel: 972-4-292503 or 292502          |
|    email: <davidbc@...>    |
|    fax: 972-4-233501                    |


End of Volume 9 Issue 44