Volume 10 Number 47
                       Produced: Mon Dec  6 17:21:20 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beta Yisrael & Tzitsit
         [Steven Edell]
Divine Will
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Hidden Codes in the Torah (2)
         [Yankee Raichik, Warren Burstein]
Piercing Ears
         [Marc Shapiro]
         [Percy Mett]
Rabbinic authority, free will, et al.
         [Jonathan Goldstein]
Sepharadi Pronounciation
         [Yisrael Medad]
Upcoming trip to the US
         [Shaya Karlinsky]


From: Steven Edell <edell@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 93 06:48:12 -0500
Subject: Beta Yisrael & Tzitsit

Beta Yisrael follow more of a literal understanding of text as they were
"cut-off" from the rest of the Jewish people before the codefying of the
oral law.  Thus, they follow completely the written law, and (those now
in Israel) just now are learning the oral law.

Steven Edell, Computer Manager   Internet:<edell@...>
United Israel Appeal, Inc                   <uio@...>
(United Israel Office)            Voice:  972-2-255513
Jerusalem, Israel                 Fax  :  972-2-247261


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 12:08:38 -0800
Subject: Re: Divine Will

	And if another rov had said: "get out as fast as you can" (as,
	apparently, a few rabbonim did), that too would presumably be a psak
	Halacha and would also reflect God's will.  Amazing.

	Even more amazing is how close the Hendeles doctrine is to that
	of the Catholics.  I don't remember ever reading that our
	rabbonim are anointed or appointed or that ordinary Jews should
	regard them as God's vicars.  I hope I've misunderstood.

Every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we solemnly declare that on this day
it is decreed who shall live and who shall die. Understand it or not, I
refuse to believe that any of those who perished during the Holocaust
were decreed for Life on Rosh Hashana. Why G-d choose to preserve
certain people and not others, I cannot answer. What I will say though
is that I can only assume those who received good advice had been
decreed for life on the previous Rosh Hashana, and those who received
faulty advice had been decreed for death.

Why were certain people spared and not others? I heard (from Rabbi
Frand) that the Ponovizher Rav was haunted by this question. He reasoned
that G-d only spared him for the purpose of re-building the Jewish
people. And it was only this thought that continued to drive him long
pass the stage were others would have given up, and enabled him to do as
much as he did.

Hayim Hendeles


From: <raichik@...> (Yankee Raichik)
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 93 10:32:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Hidden Codes in the Torah

There are four levels the Torah can be understood:

Pshat - The literal meaning which Rashi uses for his commentary
Remez - Something hinted at but not openly there such as G'matria
Drush - We learn this through the 13 attributes of study
Sod   - Hidden or mystical studies such as Kabbalah

The "codes" fall into the category of Remez. It is not Sod (hidden)
because anyone with enough patience (and the right software) can find
them. Kabbalah is hidden in that it was only revealed to a select few
such as Rav Shimon Bar Yochai (Zohar). Remez means that it is good only
insofar as it is true. If a situation happened, i.e. a yartzeit, and I
can find a hint to it in the Torah, that is wonderful. A hint alone does
not cause the action to happen. We cannot make our own G'zeiro Shovo
(two similiar words in two different places to create a common rule).
All the G'matrias we find are only good as a hint to the rule. G'matria
cannot make the halacha, it can hint to it. The same applies to the
"codes" that they can be nice, cute, etc. but only after the fact has

On a practical side, I once heard from a prominent Rav who lectures on
the "codes" that he has yet to meet one person who became a Shomer Torah
U'mitzvos because of the "codes". He only uses it for people after they
are in the process as a strengthening tool. For a good understanding of
this, the introduction to the book "G'matria" is an excellent reference

From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 20:12:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Hidden Codes in the Torah

Dan Rice has both a cleaned-up masoretic chumash and some programs for
fooling around with codes.  Those interested in conducting their own
code research can take a look on nysernet.org in

This stuff should all be available via listproc as well, send a
message to <listproc@...> saying
    index tanach

If anyone writes programs or data files that they want to share,
please be in touch with me and we'll make them available, too.

/|/-\/-\       The entire ***		Jerusalem
 |__/__/_/     is a very Czarish hamantasch.
 |warren@      But the ***
/ nysernet.org is not all that ***.


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 93 17:36:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Piercing Ears

Regarding piercing ears, see Rivvot Efrayim vol. 5 no. 526 where the
author argues (somewhat unconvincingly) that there is nothing wrong with
piercing one's ears. Even though Rabbi Greenblatt's arguments are not that
convincing the fact remains that Jews, including the most Orthodox, have
always pierced their ears. No rabbi, to my knowledge, have ever protested.
For us to tell our women not to pierce their ears would be another example
of the humra syndrome. If the gedolim of the past saw no problem with the
practice, who are we to disagree.
							Marc Shapiro


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 13:25:32 -0500
Subject: Pronunciation

As far as I know the thav (tav without a dogesh) was differentiated by
Ashkenazim well into the middle ages and possibly beyond. (I do not have a
"Yosef Omets" but I think it is mentioned there.) The pronunciation of thav
as 's' should not be too strange to anyone who has heard a German speaker
speak English. For thumb, throw and think you get something like 'sumb'
'srow' and 'sink'. There is every likelihood that as Ashkenazi Jews lost
the 'th' sound from their everyday speech it began to disappear from their
Hebrew too. (Just think of how many English speakers are unable to
pronounce chaf.) It would then have been approximated by a form of 's' as
German speakers continue to do to this day.

Perets Mett


From: <Jonathan.Goldstein@...> (Jonathan Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 19:12:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbinic authority, free will, et al.

In Volume 10 Number 37 Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...> writes:
> Subject: Rabbinic authority, free will, et al.
> In V10N30, Jonathan Goldstein somewhat takes issue with my statements
> > I must also conclude that if the person used his own judgment in a NON-
> > HALAKHIC matter, limiting his following of Torah sages to TORAH matters,
> > not to practical ones where the Torah sage may have no better knowledge
> > of the matter than he ...
> > It has not been demonstrated ... that one is obligated to consult halachic
> > authorities on non-halachic matters.
> with the comment:
> >I have yet to meet anyone subscribing to Halacha who would suggest that
> >there are decisions to be made that do not fall within the authority of
> >Halacha.

> I do not believe that the purview of
> halacha, in the sense that I need to ask a shaila before I do anything
> at all about anything, extends to such decisions as to whether I should
> wear the green shirt or the blue shirt today, ...

I believe my comment has been taken out of context. Without the rest of
my posting it could appear that I advocate asking a shaila before doing
"anything at all about anything".

This is not the case. I intended to suggest that no decision-making
process is insulated from Halacha. This does not mean that every
decision must be made with a conscious awareness of all Halachic issues
involved. If this were so then we would always be thinking and never

Many of our actions, although they conform with Halachic requirement, do
not require recourse to a discussion (or even thought) of the Halachic
issues involved. Take, for example, washing one's hands upon waking.
This action is so automatic after a time that the Halachic requirement
is not consciously acknowledged. But the action is still mandated by

I agree with Freda that if we were always thinking about Halachic issues
then we would never *do* anything. I do not agree that there exists a
decision for which the Halacha does not provide a guide.

Given this, there is no such thing as a "non-Halachic matter".

Jonathan Goldstein       <Jonathan.Goldstein@...>       +61 2 339 3683


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 93 22:27:49 -0500
Subject: Sepharadi Pronounciation

I am submitting this on behalf of my wife, Batya, who noticed it
in the Jewish Press "From Our Sages" Column

	"Rabbi Nasan (sic!) was also the only great Rabbi in
	Europe who made it point to pray and read the Torah in the
	Sepharadi Hebrew accent only because this was the way that it
	was spoken in Eretz Yisrael. In order to get into the habit
	of speaking fluent Sepharadi Hebrew he invited one of the
	great Sepharadi Rabbis of Jerusalem, Rabbi Chaim Modai,
	to live in his house that he may speak to him in Sepharadi

The (sic!) is for the name being written in the Ashkenazi way.

Yisrael Medad


From: Shaya Karlinsky <HCUWK@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 16:13 IST
Subject: Upcoming trip to the US

     I will be in the US from Jan. 5-16, as a Scholar-in-Residence in
Washington, DC, and attending the AJOP convention.  It was recommended
that I make time to see the Holocaust Museum while in Washington.  It
was written about in an M-J posting or two earlier in the year, in a
positive tone.  On the other hand, Harper's magazine had a piece on it
in July that wasn't so positive - to kitsch and commercialized.  I would
like to hear from M-J'ers about their reactions to it.
     A program that I was supposed to do over the Shabbos of Jan. 15 was
postponed until Feb. (when I will again be in the US), and I am
available to for an educational program, giving text based shiurim on
any number of topics.  It needs to be on the east coast.  If your shul
or an educational program you are associated with might be interested,
please contact me directly (e-mail, fax, or voice) for possible topics
and more details.

Shaya Karlinsky
Yeshivat Darche Noam / Shapell's
POB 35209 - Jerusalem, ISRAEL


End of Volume 10 Issue 47