Volume 10 Number 83
                       Produced: Fri Dec 24  8:42:21 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

CD-ROM on Judiam
         [Mark Katz]
Jewish Adoption
         [Mindy Schimmel]
Maoz Tzur Verse (2)
         [Michael Shimshoni, Sean Philip Engelson]
Small Cattle (3)
         [Gedalyah Berger, Neil Parks, Zev Farkas]


From: Mark Katz <mark@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 93 17:16:27 GMT
Subject: CD-ROM on Judiam

Moises Haor wrote recently
>Subject: Talmud on CD-ROM
>Shalom from Venezuela !
> Do anyone uses their (Kabbala) Talmud on CD-ROM? Any comments?

 The LIMITED EDITION from the CD Rom Judaic Classics Library, contains
 the entire text of T'nach, Talmud Bavli and Rashi's commentary on
 the Chumash and Talmud.

 The DELUXE EDITION CD adds to the above the following : Aggadic Midrashim,
 Mishnei Torah, Talmud Yerushalmi, The Zohar, Torah Commentaries : Ramban,
 Ohr Hachayim, Ball Haturim, Onkelos, Mussar : Shaarei Teshiva, Orchot
 Tzadikim & Mesilas Yesharim.

 The DELUXE PLUS EDITION CD adds further, Shulchan Aruch : Orach Chayim with
 Mishne Brurah, Beur Halacha & Shaar Hatziyun, Choshen Mishpat with Ketzos
 Hachoshen, Mechilta, Sifri, Sifra, Tosefatah, Mesechtos Ketanos, Kisvei
 Maharal (not Gur Aryeh) and Kisvei R' Tzadok M'Lublin.

 The SONCINO TALMUD CD, includes the full Hebrew AND English translation
 of the Talmud Bavli. (MAC ONLY)

 Each of the above come with a complete search program that enables you
 to quickly find any word or even complex phrases. If you do not know
 the exact word, wildcards and grammitical rules can be used
 automatically. Results can be viewed on screen or saved to disk and
 there is an add-on utility to allow printing. Typical speeds to find a
 group if words in Shass, on a single speed CD are LESS THAN 5 SECONDS.

 It is available for the PC (requires VGA and CD Drive) or MAC.

 My son Eli, (<akatz@...>) has the dealership for Europe
 and may be able to help directly.

Yitz Katz, London


From: <MINDY@...> (Mindy Schimmel)
Date: Wed,  22 Dec 93 8:20 +0200
Subject: Jewish Adoption

Two Orthodox friends of mine, in their early thirties, are considering
adopting a child.  Because it is so difficult to find a Jewish child for
adoption, they are looking into the possibility of adopting a non-Jewish
child.  They have looked into the halakhic issues (and have consulted
their LOR) but would like some insights into the philosophical
ramifications of such an adoption.  My friend writes:
   Why do we have the right to convert a child to Judaism without his or her
   knowledge when he or she is a baby?  The Rabbis say it is because the
   conversion is considered to be for the benefit of the person converted, so
   it is allowed.
(I believe the principle here is "zokhin le-adam be-fanav ve-shelo be-fanav"--
one may do something to benefit a person in his presence [i.e., with his
knowledge] and out of his presence [i.e., without his knowledge].)

Another question they have is: How would this child feel saying such
prayers as, "Our God, and God of our fathers."  I pointed out that this
would be a concern for any convert, not just an adopted child.  They
agreed and are interested in feedback on this issue as well as the

[The Rambam discusses this point in one of his letters, and I remember
discussing it here on the list. If anyone can check back the archives
and see where it was discussed, please forward it to me and I'll post
it. Mod.]

If anyone has any information, from halakha and/or from personal
experience, I would appreciate hearing from you, and I shall pass the
information on to them.  You can write either to mail.jewish or to me
personally, depending on the general interest in this topic.

[This may be an area where it is worthwhile setting up a closed support
list for families in this situation. I have already discussed this with
one person. If there is a desire for such a forum from members of the
list who are in this situation, please let me know and I'll see if we
can start up such a discussion group. Mod.]

Mindy (Malka) Schimmel (<mindy@...>)


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 93 17:18:57 +0200
Subject: Maoz Tzur Verse

In MJ 10,75 Jeff Finger asked:

>Are there any good commentaries on the poem "Maoz Tzur"?
>The last line of the added last verse,
>        "D'khe admon b'tzel tzalmon hakem ro'im shiv'a"
>has me confused. This stanza seems to be about the present galut
>[diaspora]. According to Siddur Rinat Yisrael, "Admon" [the red one] is
>Esav, and "ro'im shiv'a" [seven shepherds] refers to a pasuk from Micah
>5, "hakimonu alav shiv'a ro'im" [place us upon him as seven shepherds].
>So, I assume the verse must be speaking of the time of living without
>difficulties from Esav, but I think I am missing something. What's the
>"tzalmon" ["tzelem" is an "image"] about? And is Esav all non-Jews, or
>is it referring to a particular group?

In *my* copy  of Rinat Yisrael, b'tzel tzalmon is  explained as b'tzel
tzalmavet, where tzalmavet generally means  the shadow of death (so we
have here  doubling of  tzel in  some sense).   Tzalmavet is  not only
found  in Tehilim  (Psalms)  23,4,  but also  in  Iyov  (Job) 3,5  and
Yirmiyahu (Jeremias) 13,16.  There may be more.  I have found the last
two references in the Even Shoshan dictionary.

>The Yaakov Emden "Siddur Beis Yaakov" had no commentary, but it had
>a very different last line:
>       "M'khe pesha ve'gam risha, hakem lanu ro'eh shiv'a."

Strangely my childhood  recollection is of a mixture of  the two texts
(I  may  be  wrong on  that,  but  as  we *sung* it I  might  remember
correctly).  I remember: "D'khe admon  b'tzel tzalmon hakem lanu ro'eh

>Strange. Are we perhaps seeing the hand of the censor?

I have no  clear view about that, but the  difference in texts *could*
be the  result of this being  a late (when?) addition  to the original
text,  thus  till it  got  established  it  could have  been

    Michael Shimshoni

From: <engelson-sean@...> (Sean Philip Engelson)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 93 15:20:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Maoz Tzur Verse

Well, Esav (or Edom) is generally connected with Rome in the Rabbinic
literature, and in the Middle ages was used to refer to the Catholic Church
(based in Rome and arguably the heir of the Roman Empire). "Edom" may, by
extension, be taken to refer to Western Civilization as a whole, which has the
galut generally in its thrall in many different ways.  I have no comment about
the "tzalmon" bit.



From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 93 21:51:08 -0500
Subject: Small Cattle

In #53, Neil Parks asked about small cattle in Eretz Yisra'el:

> > From: Jack A. Abramoff <71544.2433@...>
> > Subject: Berochos: Eclipse of the Moon
> >
> > tractate Sukah 29a.The Gemorah (talmud) cites four reasons for an
> > eclipse: 1) people engaging in forgery, 2) bearing false witness, 3) the
> > breeding of small cattle in Eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel) and 4)
> > the cutting down of fruit trees.
> Numbers 1, 2, and 4, I understand.But what are "small cattle"?

Well, it sounds strange, but it really is a halakhah. The mishna in Bava
Kamma (79b) says: "En megadlin behemah dakah be'Eretz Yisra'el, aval
megadlin beSuriyya uvamidbarot shel Eretz Yisra'el." That is, "One does 
not raise small animals in the Land of Israel, but one does raise them in
Syria and in the wildernesses of the Land of Israel." Rashi there 
explains that the purpose of the restriction is to prevent the
destruction of crops due to the animals' grazing. The Gemara actually 
says that large animals would have been prohibited too had that not been a
gezera she'en rov hatzibbur yekholin la`amod bah - a decree which most of
the community can not live up to. (Large animals were needed around to do

This is indeed a very difficult halakhah to understand; as a rebbe of
mine once put it, "Is it really possible that noone in Israel in the
time of Chazal raised cattle except in the desert?" While I of course
don't have an answer to that question, I should point out that the
Gemara there does give a 30-day dispensation for those who have to bring
a korban (sacrifice) and for butchers (30 days before the yom hashuk,
the big market day). It would be interesting to see if there is any
recent teshuvah literature on this issue regarding the modern yishuv

[This topic has been discussed under the titles:

	Goats in Eretz Yisrael [v6n71]
	Raising goats in Israel [v6n54, v6n60, v6n65]
	Raising Goats In Israel (II) [v6n68]

One other note: When I was learning the earlier perakim of Bava Kamma,
another rebbe of mine (Harav Aharon Lichtenstein, shlita) often
emphasized the Torah's over-arching goal in hilchot nezikin (laws of
property damage) - to strike a balance between the right of recovery of
the damaged person one the one hand and the right of people to be able
to live their lives somewhat normally without having to think twice
every time they take a step because they might be illegally endangering
someone else's property on the other hand. (Sorry for the extra-long
sentence.) The above mishna, I think, is among the most radical halakhot
on the side of the plaintiff.

A Freiliche Chanuka to all,

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS

From: <neil.parks@...> (Neil Parks)
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 93 01:34:00 -0500
Subject: Small Cattle

 => As <Dhg@...> stated to Neil Parks on 12-10-93  07:30: <=

 Dh> Message-ID: <9312101230.AA05178@...>
 Dh> "Small cattle" is probably being used as a translation of "Behama
 Dh> Daka," which is a reference to sheep and goats (as opposed to cows.)
 Dh> Among those who are unfit to give testimony are shepherds and goatherd
 Dh> because they allow their flocks to graze in the fields of others.  It
 Dh> is the stealing which was apparently a widspread practice for shepherds
 Dh> which is the source of the problem
 Dh> David Gerstman
 Dh> <dhg@...>

From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 09:54:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Small Cattle

just a technical point -

i would imagine that the word "cattle" is being used in a more general
sense, meaning any herd of domesticated animals, and not just cows and
bulls.  in hebrew, the phrase would be "behaima daka", literally "thin
animals", referring to ovines (goats and sheep), as opposed to bovines

the prohibition against raising ovines in eretz yisrael came about because
shepherds had a nasty habit of letting their flocks graze on private
property without permission.

also, (this is one of those little facts in the back of my mind that may
or may not be factual...   :)    ), sheep have a tendency to eat grass
very close to the ground, making it difficult for the land to recover.

Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278


End of Volume 10 Issue 83