Volume 10 Number 51
                       Produced: Wed Dec  8 12:26:47 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Chaim Schild]
Martyr in Singer story
         [Aliza Berger]
Need sufganiot recipe
         [Joel Grinberg]
Pierced Ears
         [Jeff Mandin]
Psak of R' Moshe on Use of Rare Medicine
         [Bob Werman]
Putting Tfillin on During the Day
         [Sol Lerner]
Rabbinic Authority
         [Najman Kahana]
Removing hashkamot:  Evidence against Biblical criticism?
         [Frank Silbermann]
Tefilin and Work
         [Rachel Sara Kaplan]
Understanding the Holocaust
         [Sigrid Peterson]
What's the Jewish response to Santa online
         [Najman Kahana]


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 09:33:52 -0500
Subject: Gematrias

I am interested in the history of the use of gematrias in Torah. Thus far
I have traced things back to the Chassidei Ashkenaz / Tur era and I know
Rashi uses them in his commentary on the Gemara. Anybosy know of any earlier
users ???



From: <A_BERGER@...> (Aliza Berger)
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1993 11:53:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Martyr in Singer story

>From: <ericd@...> (Eric Lowell Davis)
>ubject: Re: Understanding the Holocaust

>A long time ago I read a story written by Issac Ben Singer.  Unfortunately
>I can't remember the name of the story or the main character, but I will

>What does the great martyr ask for?  What great aspirations has his life of
>silent suffering brought him to?  "Well, for breakfast, I would a piece of
>toast with jelly on it, please." he says.  The angels look down in shame.  

The name of the story is "Bontsche Schveig" - Bontsche the Silent.
He asks for a hot roll with fresh butter, as I recall (sounds more
Eastern European, anyway, than toast and jelly). I read it in English;
maybe in Yiddish he asked for something else.

Aliza Berger

[Similar Response sent in by <zisblatt@...> (Sam Zisblatt) who
notes though: I believe it was written by either Peretz or Shalom
Aleichem.  Mod.]


From: <Joel.Grinberg@...> (Joel Grinberg)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 20:55:10 -0500
Subject: Need sufganiot recipe


This may not quite belong on this list.

[With Chanuka almost here (or here already for our members from
Australia through England, I guess) what can be more important than
sufganiot and latkes? Mod.]

However, I am craving to eat sufganiot like those of my childhood
in Israel. If you have a recipe, I would very much like to hear from
you. I will pass it on to my wife, and it will be warmly appreciated 
by the whole family...

Thank you very much,
Joel Grinberg


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 18:54:29 -0500
Subject: Pierced Ears

A couple of recent postings have indicated that ear-piercing could in 
fact be a halakhic problem.  It appears that R. Baruch Epstein had
no objection to the practice, as is seen from the Torah Temimah to the 
pasuk "v'hu yimshal bach"("and he will reign over you" - addressed to 
Chava) in Parshat Bereishit, where he says something to the effect that 
it is plausible that the custom for women to pierce their ears and place 
ornaments in them is an allusion to the fact she is enjoined to tilt her 
ear to the words of her husband.

Don't flame me ...  please.


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 05:54:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Psak of R' Moshe on Use of Rare Medicine

It was penicillin and the year, 1943, if my memory serves me.

__Bob Werman.

PS The details are essentially right but I do not believe that
R' Moshe spelled out the inyan of hashgacha, but put the emphasis
on no one's blood is more blue.  From memory.  __B.


From: <slerner@...> (Sol Lerner)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 09:33:50 -0500
Subject: Putting Tfillin on During the Day

In response to the question about putting Tfillin on during the day, the
poster should speak to his LOR.  Rav Moshe ZT"L has a Tshuva (responsa,
Orach Chayim A, Siman 10) that says that one is allowed to put Tfillin
on in the morning (after one wakes up, but before daybreak) if one
cannot put it on during the day because of work.  He has some mild
conditions, and I'm not sure that this is the accepted practice so
again, please ask your LOR.



From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 11:10 JST
Subject: Re: Rabbinic Authority

>From: <alustig@...> (Arnold Lustiger)

>This fact leads to the first paradox. When we engage in discussion regarding
>Rabbinic Authority, bringing sources and scholarly opinion, we are missing a
>crucial fact. There are no better masters of this source material than the
>gedolim themselves. When they insist that their opinions constitutes da'as
>Torah in extra halakhic matters, and they insist that their opinions are
>binding, none of us are even remotely qualified to second guess them, no
>matter how much scholarly debate takes place in this forum or in Tradition.
>The premise that "da'as Torah" constitutes a mask for a political power
>grab by the Gedolim is nothing less than slander.

	A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox ....
	- Rav Ovadia, an acknowledged gadol, has given a public, binding
	  psak that the "peace process" is paramount, that for the sake
	  of peace "land" should be returned.
	- The Lubavetcher, whose greatness no one doubts, has given a public
	  psak that the "peace process" is a disastrous error, and that no
	  "land" should be returned.

	I just happened to choose one public and diametrically opposed
issue.  The point I am trying to make is that even the Gedolim are
Human, not Angels, and when so many issues argue which is "Derech
Torah", perhaps there is room for the "apikorsishe" thought that even a
Gadol may be voicing his opinion and not "Halacha's".


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 93 21:12:35 -0500
Subject: Removing hashkamot:  Evidence against Biblical criticism?

A few years ago I was surprised to hear that the well-known Halachic
"innovations" of "Conservative Judaism" were considered by many Orthodox
to be minor issues, and that the chief reason for their general
condemnation was the issue of Torah min Shemayim (Torah from Heaven),
i.e. their acceptance of Biblical Criticism.

Though it's obvious that much of the literature in this field can only
be described as anti-religious, it was unclear to me at the time why the
method as a whole was considered intolerable.  However, I believe I have
a better understanding of this issue, due to Marc Shapiro's post about
removing haskamot in vol. 10 #41:

> ... what is unforgivable is when haskamot and teshuvot are removed
> from books after the author's death.  There is a man in Williamsburg
> named Braver and he reprints a number of seforim (sold at Bigeleisen)
> and he removes haskamot from Zionist authors.  When I confronted him 
> and said he is committing a great sin, he told me that the authors
> of the works, having now reached gan eden, realize that they were wrong
> in including Kook's haskamah and they are pleased with his censorship!

If not for the doctrine that every letter in the Torah was dictated
directly by G-d (and therefore unchangeable), imagine what such a
printer might have cut out of the Torah itself!  Biblical criticism must
be emphatically rejected if the Torah is to survive among people like

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


From: Rachel Sara Kaplan <rachelk@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 20:28:27 -0500
Subject: Tefilin and Work

Although ideally you should pray with your tefillin on, the mitzvah of
wearing tefillin can be fufilled by putting them on and taking them
off immediately afterwards.  This is not preferable to wearing them 
while praying, but is better than not wearing them at all, and might be
a partial solution.   Are there any parks or semi-secluded areas outside
near where you work.  (During the winter I know this may not work, depending
on climate, but if you get in before dark during warmer weather you 
might take a break and go outside.)  You might see if there is a meeting
room you can reserve for a half an hour.  
Or if there is some other place near by with a room you could use
(library study room, Jewish friend who has an office down the street etc.)
you could try going there.  I hope you find a good solution.



From: <petersig@...> (Sigrid Peterson)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 05:54:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Understanding the Holocaust

Jewish theology states that we believe that G-d is the creator of evil
as well as good. There is halakha to the effect that we thank/bless G-d
for all that comes.  [K'shem shemevorchim al hatova, kach mevorchim al
harah - Just as one is obligated to make a blessing over the good, so
must one make a blessing over the bad. Mod.]  To do differently is to
succumb to a dualistic view, that G-d is *not ONE, having only created
good, while ANOTHER created evil. To me, it is consoling not to be a
perpetrator of evil, to remember that my blood is no redder than

Sigrid Peterson  <petersig@...>


From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 11:10 JST
Subject: What's the Jewish response to Santa online

>How many of you let your kids have 'free' access to the net anyway? Do
>you believe in creating some kind of checking mechanism to see what they
>are doing or bringing into the home via email is halachikly acceptable?

An excellent point !!
We (my wife and I) pride ourselves on the "censorship" we impose on our
So,.... last Chanuka we bought our 8-year-old a Pinochio tape. What can
be bad abouth Pinochio !!!. The title "Pinochio and the vampires" seemed
rather innocuous.  After watching for a while, our daughter, who like most
Israeli kids is not familiar with the Xtian world, wanted us to explain to
her, why does the vampire cringe when Father Jepetto threatens him with a
crucifix and what does the "Whoooooo" music and radiant halo indicate?
So mutch for "safe" censorship.
Happy chanuka, and may your Latke not be oily.

>! !\  ! /  ! NAJMAN KAHANA    ! Hadassah University Hospital ! thanks,       !
>! ! \ !/\  ! najman@HADASSAH. !    Jerusalem, Israel         !   we have our !
>! !  \!  \ !        BITNET    ! (visit our capital soon)     !   own viruses !


End of Volume 10 Issue 51