Avodah Mailing List

Volume 02 : Number 012

Wednesday, October 7 1998

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 20:01:32 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Lack of mesorah and consistency

I believe, in my experience at least, that the reverse is true quite
often, especially when one "in-towner" marries another. Ponim Chadashos
are hard to come by, and you are often in a situation where the minimum
becomes the norm.

In any event, if indeed the CS allowed the use of women as PC, as you
note, in some configuration it should have been utilized.

Mo'adim l'Simcha,

On Tue, 6 Oct 1998, Chana/Heather Luntz wrote:

> After all, any case of using one lonesome *man* as ponim chadashos is,
> by definition, a bidieved situation.  If you, in organising your sheva
> brochas - only invite one single new person, and thereby run the risk
> that they will have an emmergency, or not be able to come for some
> reason, then, it seems to me, you are an organisational idiot.  You are
> basically leaving the chances of your sheva brochas in the hands of
> somebody who (in most cases) was not even important enough to the
> chosson kala to come to the wedding!!  I fail to believe that *anywhere*
> you will find a jewish baalabos/baalabooster that is that stupid (or at
> least a community of them).

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 23:17:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sammy Ominsky <sambo@charm.net>
Re: Needing a gadol

Akiva Miller writes:
> I have found the recent discussion about the history of women's mezuman
> quite interesting. Would anyone be interested in explaining, along
> similar lines, how women relate to mayim acharonim?

I'd have to go look at his sources if you want them, but R. Ovadiah Yosef,
in the Yalkut Yosef says they must, as does the Ben Ish Hai.

My wife has participated in (and led) womens mezumanim with myself and
other men present, but only if there were only two of us (the men) and so
couldn't have a "regular" zimmun. This follows the response of my Rosh
Yeshiva, Hacham R. Ben-Zion Abba Shaul zt"l, to a question that I
personally asked him, because I had learned of the possibility and wanted
to give my wife any possible opportunity for a mizva.

We (the men) did not answer the womens zimmun, and they don't do it over a


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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 08:24:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
comments from amutat p'til tekhelet

Saul Guberman, who is affiliated with Amutat P'til Tekhelet, asked me to
forward the following to the list. (He's a subscriber, but is in the midst of
technical trouble.)


I am involved with P'til tekhelet. I have forwarded many of the
tekhelet related posts to the group in Israel. Here is their response.

Saul Guberman

I have been reading with great interest your discussion on tekhelet. I am
very impressed by what appears to be a real striving for the halachic truth,
and wanted to share the following with you. We went to the ocean 8 years ago
together with Rabbi Eliyahu Tevger who did modern halachic background work on
tekhelet from the murex and we collected the first murex for tekhelet in about
1300 years. We did this after discussing it with the son of rav shlomo zalmin
z"l. We made the first pairs and wore them with our individual ravs ok. The
halachic process is slow and that is a sign of health, and an entire literature
has evolved discussing the murex as well as contrasting it to Radzin.

I refer you to our web page http://www.tekhelet.co.il for a downloadable
library of articles. We will soon have a 600 article database available to
view and order articles or books including radzin, scientific and chemical
and even some translated latin texts that help prove murex as the only
possible source of tekhelet. Rav Shabtai Rappaport, the editor of the final
iggrot moshe, has a compelling article on mesorah and Tekhelet on our web
page. Without rewriting it here in detail with all sources here is the gist
of what he suggests. The article in its entirety is very powerful.

He contrasts mesorah by birds, fish, chagavim, and etrogim. After an
exhaustive discussion of the gemara, rishonim, and shuts he concludes that
something that has simanim deorayta,like fish needs no mesorah and if you
catch an unknown fish if it has fins and scales it is kosher to eat without
a mesorah. The other items have no clear siman dorayta and therefore need a
mesorah to ensure suitability. He then evaluates Tekhelet through the gemara
and rishonim as well. The known siman is the color. A blue, indistinguishable
from the fake kala ilan. The eye could not differentiate it from the real
thing. Kala ilan we know from multiple sources, however most impressively,
from the sefer ha-aruch ( a relatively early rishon) where he defines it as
"indiko" or as we call it, indigo, a plant grown in the beit shaan valley 2000
years ago that was also indigenous to Israel at the time called Isatis. The
rambam mentions Isatis relating to tekhelet in zitzit 2:2.

We have studied the kala ilan and it is chemically indistinguishable from the
real tekhelet. For those of you with no chemical background let me explain
how absolutely fantastic that is. I have searched and found NO OTHER EXAMPLE
LIKE THIS IN ALL OF NATURE where a plant and animal secrete a substance
that is exactly the same. Not the same in color only but theoretically
indistinguishable even in the chem lab. So we have a halachically known plant
dye mentioned in the gemara,that matches the supposed tekhelet perfectly. He
feels that this is like scales by fish. I fear I have not done justice to
the strength of the original article. I discussed the mesora issue with Rav
Aharon Lichtenstien, who told me that in his opinion, mesorah is a strong
chain of evidence, not necessarily mouth to mouth but compelling evidence
would be similar. He even told the students that they may make a shehechiyanu
the first time they wear their tekhelet. See Rav Shechter's book nefesh harav
on the issue of mesorah, where he discusses Tekhelet. Another difference with
most of the previous cases is that you have an issur if you eat a not kosher
bird or make a brocha on a non kosher etrog. So the mesora has a greater
role to play. Whereas with tekhelet, as the Radziner decidedly proves, if
it is wrong, you have lost nothing, but if it is correct and you don't wear
it, you are over on " doche mitzvat ase beyadayim". In a letter to me Rav
Shecter said one should wear it metaam safek deorayta lechumra. He mentions
the opinion that that klall applies only when you will definitively fulfill
the safek nonetheless he says to wear it based on the klall. Rabbi Abraham
Twerski paskened that it should be worn as well for similar reasons. In a
recent article in the Journal of Contemporary society and halacha R. Yitzchak
Twerski deals with the mesorah issue at great length as well. If one needs to
choose a basis point for reference start with this. Lets look at the often
quoted Beit Halevi that the Radziner quotes. Most people know of this and
say that the beit Halevi requires mesora re. tekhelet.

He actually says, you Radziner are using a substance known to my father and
grandfather, they did not know it was tekhelet and now you come and say that
it is. It is almost as if you have a negative mesorah in that they knew of
the squid for generations and yet did not know it was the T. source. Bring
something" that it, or the process of dying with it was forgotten" and then
we can talk about reinstituting the tekhelet. No where does he say one needs
a mesorah rather he implies that to use the tekhelet one needs something
that has been FORGOTTEN yet fits chazals' description! Finally the mishna
in Men. has a machloket if one does not have tekhelet if one fulfills the
mitzvah of zitzit or not. Chachamim say tekhelet ayno maakevet halavan and
we pasken that way and that's why all jews wore zitzit without tekhelet for
all the generations. Rebbe says it is meakev and without it one can't wear
zitzit and if one does the bracha is a bracha levatala and probably one is
over baal tigra. The baal hameor makes an astounding comment. Even we, who
pasken like chachamim, do so only when there is no tekhelet, but if there is,
one is not mekayem the mitzvah of zitzit without it! Based upon that we had
a group of chassidim from Meah Shearim who stopped wearing their tallit from
the time they heard tekhelet was available. I leave it to you to understand
the mashmaut of that statement. I have attempted in a very limited way
to bring some of the important issues before you. Clearly a rav would not
pasken on a practical schita question without seeing the bird with his eyes,
so to this. We will provide a copy of any source anybody would like. I invite
anybody to contact us for a demonstration and tiyul to the ocean with us to
understand the practical aspects of the issue. All questions are valid and
will be dealt with in a serious manner. Halachic truth is about learning
the issues with open mindedness and without the encumbrance of preconceived
notions. I commend you on yours in this discussion and hope to help you
mekayem mitzvat zitzit beshlemuto.

Ari Greenspan

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 09:50:41 EDT
From: EDTeitz@aol.com
Re: Conservative & Reform

Chana Luntz wrote a stinging critique of a school in England which refused
admission to a student based on their feeling that the student's family was
not adequately Torah observant.

I agree wholeheartedly with Chana.  As an administrator of a school, I ( as
well as the other administrators ) look for the personal commitment of the
student.  If the child is interested ( and in some cases we will even take
disinterested students, as long as they are not actively aggitating against
yahadus ), then we are interested in educating that person.

When a family that is not observant comes to enroll a child, we are very open
that we push Orthodoxy and that we expect our students to adhere to those
guidelines.  We inform the parents that if they are not comfortable withthat
lesson and with the strong possibility of pressure from the child on the
parents that they become mobservant, then maybe they should seek a different
school.  We are rarely rejected, even after such a conversation.

I understand the need that some people feel they must insulate their children
from behavior they feel is inappropriate.  But if a student comes in and
demonstrates all the proper behavior, then it is our duty and moral obligation
to afford that student a full Torah education.

Eliyahu Teitz

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 09:53:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan J. Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Re: Conservative movement and its dangers

Are we sure that we want to take the list in the direction of
denigrating the other movements?  Not that denigrating the other
movements isn't a time-honored mode of Orthodox expression, but
I, at least, look to mailing lists as a haven from the OCR-wars
on soc.culture.jewish.

On the historical question of "why didn't the Sephardim have 
Conservative and Reform" asked by Saul Guberman, the simple answer
is Napoleon and America.  Were it not for Napoleon spreading the
idea of Emancipation and republicanism across Ashkenaz, there might
never have been the bargain of "cast off your Jewish practices and
you will be accepted as full citizens", which (it seems to me) 
leads directly to the ritual-vs.-ethical distinction made by 
classical Reform.  It was politically and socially desirable to
discard the rituals, the practices, and one was left with belief
and ethics as the remains of Judaism.  Later, theoreticians such
as Geiger rationalized this into a positive value (see Dayan
Grunfeld's introduction to Hirsch's Horeb).

As for Conservative, the Jews of Muslim lands never had America -
mass migration away from their homeland into a country whose dominant
Jewish culture was Reform, and whose dominant political culture was
secular.  When the Spanish Jews migrated, they went to Muslim 
countries primarily.  When the Russian and Polish Jews migrated, 
they went to America.  Conservative in Europe was a school of 
thought that never really caught on as a mass movement.  In America,
it represented a nice medium between the traditional observances
that one or one's parents had tossed off as impractical, and
traditional synagogue experience, which felt right. 

In 1902, Conservative practice was almost indistinguishable from
Orthodox, when the Seminary imported R' Solomon Schechter as its
new head.  It was only later that the Conservative movement began
to espouse a distinctive ideology, and in the last 30 years it has
strongly embraced the feminist agenda (but that's another story).

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 09:54:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan J. Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Succoh on Shmini

I went back and looked at Mechy Frankel's original post in Mail-Jewish
26:59, and combined with the current one in Avodah 2:6, I have a bit
of a nit.  The M-J post is based on observations that there were other
communities that didn't sit in the succah on Shmini Atzeret, without
a pre-chasidic textual justification.  How does citing the Sfat Emet
improve on this?  Wasn't the Sfat Emet the second rebbe of Gur, the
son of the Chidushei haRim?

I suppose if you can find chasidic ancestors, you might be able to
claim a tradition for not sitting in the succah on shmini atzeret.

Have you checked the Dikdukei Sofrim, or R' David Weiss-Halivni's
Meqorot uMesorot, for possible support for Wertheim's text-critical

	Mo`adim lesimchah
	Jonathan Baker

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 10:12:22 EDT
From: EDTeitz@aol.com
Re: Conservative & Reform

A recent writer wrote:

I ask: who are we, simple human beings, to judge another's faith or
 ways to get to the Almighty? Do we have this right?
Where's is the principle of Ahavat Israel we've learnt since we're
Who has the right to handle a flag of a "true judaism"? 

I would like to address two points.

First, in the entire discussion to date, no one has in any way written
derogatorily agianst Jews who do not have Orthodox beliefs.  We might write
negatively about those beliefs themselves, and say that practitioners of those
beliefs are not observing Torah Judaism.  But I have not seen anyone
disparaging the Jews themselves.

I am sorry if the second point will come out sounding harsh, but I must write
what I feel.

The questions above smack of modern 20th century politically correct
relativist morality.  In Torah Judaism we believe in an absolute morality as
dictated by the Troah.  As such, there is a definite right and wrong when it
comes to observance.  Many beliefs are outside the pale of acceptable belief.

Those who accept the 3,300+ year tradition of our mesora are the only ones who
can nwave the flag of authentic Judaism.  The beuty of our religion is that
there are many shades in that spectrum of belief.  However, conservative and
reform fall outside the mesora-defined range of belief.

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 16:47:32 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@netmedia.net.il>
Re: Conservative movement and its dangers

Jonathan J. Baker wrote:

> Are we sure that we want to take the list in the direction of
> denigrating the other movements?  Not that denigrating the other
> movements isn't a time-honored mode of Orthodox expression, but
> I, at least, look to mailing lists as a haven from the OCR-wars
> on soc.culture.jewish.

This comment is rather inappropriate and disparaging. There are three
issues 1) Judaism has boundaries of what is acceptable behavior and
belief. Do the Reform and Conservative movement cross that boundary 2) If
we agree they have crossed that boundary what is the appropriate
response.  3) Is it productive to discuss the issues in this forum. None
of the above is the result of a desire to denigrate  the "competition".

These are legtimate halachic questions which relate to the issues of
Chanifa, unity of klall Yisroel etc. - that there can be valid
disagreements of tactic. It is not legitimate, however, to deny that
there is such a red line that can not be crossed - in the name of Ahavas
Yisroel or political correctness.

In sum, the issue as to whether it is productive to devote time and
energy to this topic is independent of the validity of the halachic
categories and response.

                                              Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 12:29:50 -0400
From: "Michael Poppers" <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Re: "...v'nakeh lo y'nakeh..."

Richard: Shmos 34, 7 vnakeh lo yenakeh,  seems to me al pi dikduk that the
     lo goes on both halves and that this is an emphatic lo yenakeh - and
     that the nakeh we use in the 13 middos is al pi drush only...
my response: On the contrary, the ta'amei ha'mikrah reveal that "v'nakeh"
is a
     separate phrase, as it is graced with a ta'am mafsik -- the next ta'am
     is the zakeif katan gracing "y'nakeh", leaving us with "lo y'nakeh" as
     next phrase.
Richard: Never Mind: Rashi clearly points out that indeed according to
peshat it is one
     phrase and that al pi drush the Chazal spearted into 2 distinct

As Richard is aware, we've had a behind-the-scenes e-mail conversation re
this and related issues.  Suffice it to say, for the purposes of this
forum, that I was responding to the "al pi dikduk" statement and reiterate
that the ta'amei hamikrah contradict his conclusion that "the
lo goes on both halves".  Since he mentioned RaShY's comment on the possuk,
I'll add that his interpretation of the comment isn't so clear to me --
earlier today, without having yet seen that mention, I e-mailed him as
follows [slightly edited]: >I believe that RaShY *is* taking the t'omim
into account (although I can understand the view which disagrees) in
commenting that "v'nakeh[?]: lest you think that the sinner gets off
scot-free, lo y'nakeh: He does punish such a person in His own way."  The
distinction between this p'shat and the "v'Rabboseinu dorshu" explanation:
the former refers to one [type of] person, while the latter refers to two
sets of people, which is not inherent in the posuk (or even the parsha) per
se and thus is at the level of "d'rash" (as it takes the entire Torah into
account, i.e. in this case, Sh'mos 19:7).<  I may be off-the-wall in such a
belief, and grant that RaShY lists no explicit "bitmi'ah" re "v'nakeh"; in
any case, the issue of when a commentator considers the affect of ta'amei
hamikrah on p'shat in his commentary and when he doesn't (which I explored
a bit in the e-mail conversation) is peripheral to whether or not we can
break "v'nakeh lo y'nakeh" into two phrases "al pi dikduk."

Moadim l'simchah (esp. for all those who distinguish in practice between
Moed and YT :-) and Chag Someach!


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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 13:53:25 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Avodah V2 #10 More on Chumro

     RE: Chumro
     I am just wondering if people REALLY wnat a chumro why not don 
     Tefillin on Chol Hamoed (bli brocho) and make some sort of Tenai?
     I hHappen to put on Tefillin based upon my family Minhig.  I wonder 
     about those who drop therir family minhog in favor of a shito they 
     learn (EG goingt to Eretz Yosroel).  I don't see the logic of being 
     meikil in this case.  UNLESS, refraining from Tefillin is itself some 
     kind of chjmro (kovod Yomtov)?
     Now re: techeiles, we might see the light of day (makirr bein techeles 
     lelovon <smile>).  IMHO, one should follow their minhog.  Of course, 
     this newly found techeiles has little in the way of mesoro behind it, 
     so how to apply this principle is quite tricky.
     On a totally differnet holiday (gezeiro shovo 15 - 15) I disucssed the 
     mitzov of lishmo with my Rebbe (Hoprov Yeruchem Gorelick) and machine 
     Shemuor.  I proposed that if we can rely on lishom to manufacture the 
     thread for tsitsiz on a machine, that we can apply the same principle 
     to mahcine shmuro.  He concurred (as best as I recall).  So there 
     should be no problem of lishmo on machin shmuro IF one holds you can 
     use a machine to manufacture lishmo threads for tsitsis.  Question: 
     who first decided machines were ok for tsitisis?  The answer to that 
     might hold an indirect key to viewing the advent of techeiles bizom 
     hazeh.  That is to say, machines at one time had no mesora either.
     The next issue might be tefillin derabbeinu Tam.  A colleague at work 
     insists they are a chiyuv.  al pi his minhog, they might be.  Al pi my 
     minhog they might not.
     Gmar Tov
     Richard Wolpoe   

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 13:51:39 -0400
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
mesorah -eating turkey and chagavim

The discussion of tcheilet has naturally spawned a discussion about mesorah which
led RYGB to mention turkey.

Im ein ani li mi i so I could not let such a mention pass without plugging a recent
article on the topic.
See: Ari Z. Zivotofsky. "Is turkey kosher?" The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society, 35:79-110, Spring 1998.

It should be noted that RYGB point may not be precise since the turkey mesorah
could not have been restored in the sense that the tchelet mesorah could be. It was
never lost since it never existed. Rather, it was somehow introduced.
What turkey proves is that, despite the oxymoron, it may be possible to introduce a
new mesorah.

Someone also mentioned the point of a "negative mesorah". Indeed such things do
exist and are discussed in regard to the kashrut of birds. But they in general have
to be actively introduced by rabbinic authorities. (on lo rainu raya or ano raya
see the exhaustive analysis by the Frimers in their recent Tradition article about
woman's tfilla groups).

I have long wondered, and to date have not found a satisfactory answer, if we
ashkenazim have a "negative mesorah" on chagavim and could therefore not rely on
the mesorah of a tamanei (like Rav Kapach) or do we just lack a mesorah and I could
indeed eat chagavim if a reliable Yemenite or Moroccan instructed me on what was

> BTW, the great chiddush that a mesora can only be restored al pi navi, would
> of course, preclude the consumption of turkey, as I think we have once
> discussed, and probably several other observances.

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Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 13:58:26 -0400
From: rturkel@cas.org (Rick Turkel)

	Gut mo`ed.

	There has been quite a lot of discussion here of late on
tekhelet in general and the Murex tekhelet from Ptil Tekhelet in
particular.  As a Ph.D. chemist who has been following the development
of the latter in the dye literature for almost twenty years, I'd like to
add my $0.02-worth.

	First of all, I agree that the Murex tekhelet is most probably
the "real McCoy."  Although much of the basis for this is more dumb luck
rather than masora, a good review of it can be found in a series of
articles by I. Ziderman (the chemist from the Makhon LeSibim in
Yerushalayim who did the research) in various dye journals.  (I don't
have my bibliography handy, but can supply it on request.)  He describes
the serendipitous discovery of the dye on a trip to a snail fishery, I
believe in Spain or Italy, where a fisherman smeared the clear liquid
from a Murex snail on his white shirt; over a short period of exposure
to sunlight the smear developed the characteristic blue color.  He also
describes archaeological sites up and down the Lebanese coast where
there are dye factories surrounded by large piles of Murex shells broken
in just the right spot to extract the fluid from which the tekhelet
(and, incidentally argaman) is produced.

	As for kalla ilan, Dr. Ziderman's understanding is that it is
chemically identical to tekhelet, i.e., the colorfast dye known today as
indigo.  That's why it was such a big problem in Talmudic times - it is
completely indistinguishable from the xilazon-derived material, yet
clearly not useable because it comes from a vegetable rather than an
animal source.  That is also how he proves that the Radziner tekhelet is
not the correct dye - chemical analysis shows the latter to be not an
organic material at all, but rather the inorganic dye Prussian blue, a
ferroferricyanide that is formed by their manufacturing process from
_any_ proteinaceous meterial, including egg white or pastrami!

	At this point I'd like to pose a question to Rabbi Bechhofer and
anyone else who holds by the Murex tekhelet, namely, exactly how is it
to be used?  The first set I got several years ago contained only the
four strings to be used as shamashim, i.e., those that wrap around the
others between the knots.  When I tied those on my shabbat talit they
were several inches longer than the other tzitzit on either end.  I
recently ordered another set via a friend who knows Baruch Sterman (one
of the principals of Ptil Tekhelet), and that was a complete set which
came with four white shamashim and four tekkelet strings that are the
same length as the other eight white ones.  My friend isn't answering
his email lately, and the email address I have for Baruch Sterman is an
old one that no longer works.  Can anyone tell me the proper way to tie
the tekhelet or, failing that, a valid email address for someone who

	Kol tuv.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
rturkel@freenet.columbus)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \ eyn |navi| be|iro\__)    |
rturkel@cas.org        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 14:38:10 -0400
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
woman's zimmun

with regards to woman and zimmun interested peope might want to see the
following article:

Ari Z. Zivotofsky and Naomi T.S. Zivotofsky. "What's Right with Women and
Zimmun." Judaism, 42:4(168), 453-464, Fall, 1993.

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 14:44:36 -0400
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
Re: Needing a gadol

This is from a footnote in a paper that I am currently working on.
Hope it provides some of the sources you are looking for.

chag samaach,


"Even in families that are careful to wash, there seems to be a general
laxity about women washing. Since all the reasons given for this obligation
are equally applicable to women, this negligence seems inexplicable. This
laxity has been decried by many significant authorities who insist that the
requirement for women to wash is pashut - obvious. These include Rav shlomo
Zalman Auerbach, Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and the Mor Uktziah, who says
that women should be so instructed. Others, such as Rav Shmuel halevi
Wossner in Shevet Halevi, have offered various post-facto rationalizations,
based on SA OC 181:10, to excuse this laxity. It has even been condoned by
some (Rav Shternbach, Tshuvas v'Hanhagas 1:174). See R. Yitzchak Yaacov
Fuchs, Halichos Bas Yisrael Vol. 1, pg 57-58 and R. David Auerbach,
Halichos Baysah, p. 92 for sources."

Kenneth G Miller wrote:

> I have found the recent discussion about the history of women's mezuman
> quite interesting. Would anyone be interested in explaining, along
> similar lines, how women relate to mayim acharonim?
> Akiva Miller
> ___________________________________________________________________
> You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
> Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
> Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

Ari Zivotofsky, Ph.D.
Building 49 / Room 2A50
Bethesda, MD 20892-4435

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 20:49:44 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@netmedia.net.il>
Re: mesorah -eating turkey and chagavim

Ari Z. Zivotofsky wrote:

> I have long wondered, and to date have not found a satisfactory answer, if we
> ashkenazim have a "negative mesorah" on chagavim and could therefore not rely on
> the mesorah of a tamanei (like Rav Kapach) or do we just lack a mesorah and I could
> indeed eat chagavim if a reliable Yemenite or Moroccan instructed me on what was
> kosher.

I asked Rav Moshe Sternbuch that question. He said that the Yeminite Mesora is not
reliable in this issue and thus can not be utilized. I asked a Yeminite friend who
confirmed Rav Sternbuch view. He said the mesora is considered strong enough that
Yeminites don't criticize those who eat grasshoppers but that those who are more
knowledgable about halachic do not rely on it.

                                              Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 15:01:17 -0400
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
Re: mesorah -eating turkey and chagavim

Interesting that he should be malshin Rav Kapach like that. I spoke to Rav Kapach about
this years ago and he said that he remembers eating chagavim and would do so today as
well. He is in most circles considered an ish neeman.

But Rav Moshe Sternbuch's answer implies that ashkenazim do not have a negative mesorah
and in theory could rely on a Yemenite mesorah, if one that he considered reliable

Daniel Eidensohn wrote:

> Ari Z. Zivotofsky wrote:
> > I have long wondered, and to date have not found a satisfactory answer, if we
> > ashkenazim have a "negative mesorah" on chagavim and could therefore not rely on
> > the mesorah of a tamanei (like Rav Kapach) or do we just lack a mesorah and I could
> > indeed eat chagavim if a reliable Yemenite or Moroccan instructed me on what was
> > kosher.
> >
> I asked Rav Moshe Sternbuch that question. He said that the Yeminite Mesora is not
> reliable in this issue and thus can not be utilized. I asked a Yeminite friend who
> confirmed Rav Sternbuch view. He said the mesora is considered strong enough that
> Yeminites don't criticize those who eat grasshoppers but that those who are more
> knowledgable about halachic do not rely on it.
>                                               Daniel Eidensohn

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