Volume 11 Number 1
                       Produced: Tue Jan  4  0:39:16 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Concept of yotzei/motzi
         [Mitch Berger]
Correction to MJ 10:90
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Interesting charity?
         [Sam Saal]
Mass Prayer Group at Kotel
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Need Book about Court Action on Mechitzah
         [Jonathan Goldstein]
Nichum Aveilim
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Origin of the word gematria, aperion
         [Mitch Berger]
Rav Goren's Psak on Refusing an Order
         [Najman Kahana]


From: <mitch@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 93 19:00:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Concept of yotzei/motzi

To understand the notion of yotzei/motzi from a ta'amei hamitzvos
(purpose of the mitzvos) perspective, I suggest we go down to basic

One of the deepest philosophical distinctions between Hassidim and
Misnagdim (lit. opponents, use: non-hassidim) is the purpose of
performing mitzvos and of life in general. To the Hassid, man's goal in
life is to achieve closeness to G-d. To the misnaged, it is to achieve
self-perfection - or get as close as possible to this ideal. Do to
personal upbringing, I only feel capable of analyzing the problem from
this latter perspective.

If the purpose of life is to perfect the self, then mitzvos are the
tools by which one can obtain this perfection. Therefor, it is
propensity to certain flaws or mistakes that would create the obligation
to do a mitzvah. If one group is obligated to do something, then it is
some indication that they share some imperfection, or a tendency toward
some imperfection.

We say that only a bar yichuvah (one who is subject to the obligation)
that can be motzi another bar chiyuvah. The obligation need not be upon
the person now, it is just that the person is obligated in some sense.
It is because, la'aniyas da'ati (IMHO), it is the common obligation, but
the common underlying flaw that binds them and makes yetzi'ah
(fulfilling another's obligation) possible.

The way I see it, yetziah works along the same lines as Alcoholics
Anonymous.  :-)

       | Mitchel Berger, TFI Systems, 26th fl. | Voice: (212) 504-3144 |
       | Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette          |   Fax: (212) 504-4581 |
       | 140 Broadway  New York, NY 10005-1285 | Email: <mitch@...>  |


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 93 00:18:49 -0500
Subject: Correction to MJ 10:90
                                  A Correction

         In my recent posting on the Mussar movement I wrote:

         Chazal expressed it succinctly: "Rachmana liba  ba'i"  - "It
         (Avodas Hashem) requires the heart" -  sensitivity, emotion,
         awareness,   and  understanding  -  to  make  it  alive, and

In fact, the proper translation is: "Hashem  (Rachmana)  requires 
the heart. Sorry!


From: Sam Saal <SSAAL@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 93 08:25:00 PST
Subject: Interesting charity?

In yesterday's delivery of junk mail, I received a request from the
"Kiyyum Shmitta Program."  This organization, sponsored by Yeshiva
Yagdil Torah of Jerusalem, denies affiliation with Keren Hashvi'is and
asks for $36 for which they will make donors into owners of small
parcels of land in Israel that will specifically be guarded so the laws
of Shmitta can be applied.  It is effectively a lease as ownership
reverts back to them at the end of the year.

This seems like an interesting idea.  It allows those of us who cannot
get to Israel, let alone own land in Israel, to participate in the
mitzvah of shmitta.  However, I have some questions:

Does anyone know this organization?  Is it reliable? It's one thing to
go out of your way to participate in this mitzvah, but I wouldn't want
to go out of my way to mess up on it. Is this scheme halachically
correct?  Does it work?

Tell me about the yeshiva it supports.  I do not care to support
yeshivot that provide military deferments.  I don't think all men need
to serve in fighting units; there's all sorts of other ways to serve.
What is the attitude of this yeshiva towards national service?

I suspect these are questions that should be discussed privately.  If
you have information for me or want to continue the discussion, please
send me mail.

Sam Saal
vaphtach HaShem et pea ha'atone


From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 17:34:00 -0500
Subject: Mass Prayer Group at Kotel

I have just returned from the most moving spiritual experience of my
life, one that is unprecedented even here in Israel.   At the behest of
Haredi Gedolim, headed by Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rav Yosef Eliashiv
and the Belzer Rebbe and (in tandem) Religious Zionist Gedolim and
Rashei Yeshiva and Rabbanim, tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of
Jews from Non-Observant to Hasidic jammed and filled the entire area
before the Kotel, lining the roofs, climbing hills and stair approaches.
They gathered for an Atzeret Zeaka to beg God to protect Jewish Lives
from the murderous attacks of our enemies (and hopefully to remove the
causes of the recent atacks). This massive group davened Minha, said
Tehillim, Selihot (accompanied by the sounding of the Shofar), and the13
Middot. It culminated a massive act of accepting the Yoke of the Kingdom
of Heaven as we do at the end of Neila on Yom Kippur. Waves of emotion,
Kavannah and Kedusha crossed over the group which melded into one in a
unity unparalleled for the Religious Community. One could very much
sense G-d's presence hovering over the multitudes. Behind us was the
memorial to the Six Million. Before us the Kotel and the Temple Mount.
It was a moment sublime.   May God answer our prayers, teach us to
always be so unified in His Presence, foil the plans of the enemies of
His People and of His Land and Torah.


From: <Jonathan.Goldstein@...> (Jonathan Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 93 01:25:20 -0500
Subject: Need Book about Court Action on Mechitzah

I remember seeing a book a while back that documents the court action
brought by some members against their congregation when a decision was
made by the board to remove the shule's mechitzah. This was a landmark
case; I think it occured somewhere in the USA. The book brings many
sources to win the case for the plaintiff who purports that a shule
cannot be Halachically acceptable without a mechitzah.

I have forgotten the name of the book. Could someone please remind me?

Also, would anyone know where I can find *anything* about Judaism
written in Japanese (either Katakana or Hirigana is okay). A friend has
a friend who has a friend ...

Thanks for any help you can give.

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


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 94 03:54:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Nichum Aveilim

    My family and I would like to express our sincere and heartfelt
appreciation to Avi and all those who wrote with words of comfort and
tribute to my father, Rabbi Dr. Norman Frimer Zatsal, Hareini kapparat
Mishkavo. We are indeed blessed with the memory of his exceptionally
rich life of Torah and community Service. Yehi Zikhro Barukh.
    A Shloshim Azkara is being organized by his many talmidim to be held
Sunday Evening January 23 (Or le-12 Shvat) at the Bnai Brith Hillel
Foundation Building at Brooklyn College.



From: <mitch@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 93 08:11:46 -0500
Subject: Origin of the word gematria, aperion

> the word [gematria] comes from the Greek "geometria"...

I knew it was Greek, but I was under the impression the origin was
gamma-tri (gamma is the third letter in the Greek alphabet, tri is 3).

It might, however, originate in Phoenician....
For example, the word "aperion" is used by Shlomo Hamelekh (giving the
bible critics a field day). It too is Greek, but liguists later found
that it is Phoenician too. Since Shlomo had many dealings with Phoenicians,
it's not too odd to find som of their words in his Hebrew.

It seems odd to me that Hebrew, loshon haKodesh, the language designed by
the Master Linguist, could get such cavalier treatment by a person of
Shlomo's stature.

       | Mitchel Berger, TFI Systems, 26th fl. | Voice: (212) 504-3144 |
       | Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette          |   Fax: (212) 504-4581 |
       | 140 Broadway  New York, NY 10005-1285 | Email: <mitch@...>  |


From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 93 11:07 JST
Subject: Rav Goren's Psak on Refusing an Order

>From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)

>In the latest issue of the YESHA Rabbis Journal, #14, 3 Tevet, Rav
>Goren, formerly Israel's Chief Rabbi, responded to a question whether
>a religious soldier could fulfill a military order to dismantle a Jewish
>This Psak, as expected, has raised a storm and will continue for a while yet.
>Updates to come.
>Yisrael Medad

	It sure did !!

	The Chabad shabbat newsletter had a rather interesting point on
the subject, as did a Jerusalem Post weekend editorial.  The foremost
critics of Rav Goren criticize him for placing "Halacha" before "Law",
since to them the Law is paramount.
	These same people voted to give the "Pras Israel" to Prof Leibovitch,
who called on Israeli soldiers to refuse military orders to serve over
the "green line" on Moral grounds.
	These same members of parliament met with the PLO at a time
that the Law forbade it.

	One must make a table of priorities:
		- Morality above all !
		- Law, as long as it agrees with my concepts.
		- Religion.

	Whether we agree with Rav Goren's psak or not, he has delivered a
terrible message.  While abroad, I knew that every action had to be weighed
against my Jewish, Orthodox requirements.  In Israel, I was lulled into
forgetting it.  With a shock I realised that even here, we must get our
priorities right.  "American or Jew first" has given way to "Israeli or
Jew first"!

	The second shock struck today, when Rav Gad Navon, the Chief Rabbi
of Tzahal (IDF) forbade burying a Jewish soldier next to a non-Jewish soldier.
His reason: Halacha.  His critics: If a man wears a uniform, he is "as good"
as any other soldier.

As Yisrael Medad said, more to come.

Najman Kahana


End of Volume 11 Issue 1