Volume 11 Number 23
                       Produced: Wed Jan 12 18:46:35 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adoption and circumcision
         [Jack Reiner]
Brookline Shul burns down
         [Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund]
European Sifrei Torah
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
         [Herb Basser]
Music and Tehillim
         [Jack A. Abramoff]
Pronunciation - fulfilling mitzvot
         [Alan Mizrahi]
Pru Urvuh
         [Jeffrey Claman]
Rav Meir
         [Joseph Steinberg]
         [Isaac Balbin]
Seeking Mishloach Manot distribution Software
         [Yosh Mantinband]
Simple Hebrew Word Processor
         [Bernard Katz]
Son of G-d
         [Sigrid Peterson]
Three day purim
         [Jan David Meisler]


From: Jack Reiner <jack@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 13:59:22 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Adoption and circumcision

In issue v11n4 <gfis@...> (Gary Fischer) wrote:

>What we did not completely come to grips with until after the adoption
>was circumsizing him.

When you say circumcision, do you mean medical (secular) circumcision or
a religious bris?  Does anyone know if it is permitted to have a religious 
bris for a gentile baby boy whom we plan on converting and raising Jewish?

Regards,                                 | To do justly,                     |
Jack Reiner                              | To love mercy,                    |
<jack@...>                  | And to walk humbly with thy G-D   |
#include <standard_disclaimers.h>        |                       Micah 6:8   |


From: sg04%<kesser@...> (Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund)
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 94 12:36:13 -0500
Subject: Brookline Shul burns down

Today, Jan 11, the Young Israel Synogogue of Brookline Massachusetts
burned down. It appears to be a total loss. The fire started at
approximately 5:00 AM. The cause has yet to be determined.  Two sefer
Torahs were saved.

Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund		 	   <sgutfreund@...> [MIME]
GTE Laboratories, Waltham MA        http://www.gte.com/circus/home/home.html


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 94 20:35:08 -0500
Subject: European Sifrei Torah

I was once speaking to Rabbi Refael Shmuelevitz, shlita, son of Reb
Chaim zt"l, who told me that in the town of Mir, Poland, where, of
course, the Mirrer Yeshiva was once located, the main Jewish profession
was safrus (writing Sifrei Torah). Problem was, these sofrim were
overwhelmingly Mechalelei Shabbos, so of course no Shomer Shabbos Jews
in the vicinity would buy their Sifrei Torah. Reb Chaim, Reb Refael (who
was born in Shanghai) related, once asked one of thes Sofrim where all
the Sifrei Torah they wrote were successfully sold, and the answer was,
obviously to those who read Eli Turkel's recent posting, to America. I
once attended a lecture given by a young, yet experienced American Sofer
who note in his speech that for reasons he did not understand, most
European Pre-War Siferi Torah that he checked were not kosher. I related
this tidbit to him as well. Caveat emptor!


From: <fishbane@...> (Herb Basser)
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 94 12:36:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Gematria

Unless it can be established that gimatria has an original yod as the
second letter i would derive the word from gamma=tria, i.e. the third
letter equals the third number. why pick on the third letter for the
word?  probably because when the system is explained you give three
examples, as is typical in pedagogy, the last one being gamma=tria,
hence the name.  anyways this is my guess. stenographers and geometries
are far removed from what we call geometry, on the other hand Avot
speaking about the sweet dishes which accompany wisdom may really be
talking about geometry and not gematria. It wouldn't be the first time
there was confusion for translators betwen two similar loan words.

zvi basser


From: Jack A. Abramoff <71544.2433@...>
Date: 11 Jan 94 13:36:09 EST
Subject: Music and Tehillim

I would like to thank all of the members of the list for their interest
in my query about musical structure and Sefer Tehillim.  I have received
scores of email requesting that I post the answers I get to the list.
Please be assured that I will indeed do so and, while it is always a
pleasure to hear from other members of the list, there is no further
need to make this request.

Thank you.
Jack Abramoff


From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 94 19:18:48 EST
Subject: Pronunciation - fulfilling mitzvot

I recently read an old article in the Journal of Halacha and
Contemporary society entitled "Variations in Sephardi and Ashkenazi
Liturgy, Pronunciation, and Custom."  In the article, Eli Turkel (I was
wondering if this is the same person who frequently writes to MJ)
discusses, among other things, whether one can fulfill the mitzvah of
davening or hearing the Torah in a different accent than one's own.

It seems that in all cases this is permissible, except for one.  He says
that because the readings of Parshat Zachor and Parshat Parah are
mandated in the Torah, one should be strict about hearing them
correctly.  Some Rabbis say a Sephardi must hear Zachor and Parah in a
Sephardi accent.  Others say this is not necessary.

Does anyone know if there is a generally accepted Sephardi p'sak on this
issue?  This is of particular importance to me because I generally daven
in an Ashkenazi shul.

Alan Mizrahi


From: Jeffrey Claman <claman@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 94 23:56:26 -0500
Subject: Pru Urvuh

Judging from some of the mail I have recieved, it appears that the
intention of my original letter,"pru urvuh to what lengths" may have
been unclear.

It is not advise that I seek, rather it is discussion.

The halachic/clinical problem posed can be paraphrased as follows:
Should a relatively "elderly" couple with a boy and a girl prevent
further pregnancy altogether if they know they will terminate pregnancy
should the developing fetus prove to be abnormal?

JMClaman MD


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 1994 10:28:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rav Meir

It is interesting to note that -- perhpas because Rav MEir learned from 
Acher at a time when Acher was already a heretic -- Rav Meir himself is 
refeered to as 'Acherim' many times throughout the writings of Chazal -- 
i.e., Acherim Omrim usually refers to the opinion of Rav Meir....

                             Joseph Steinberg                    
                             (201) 833 - 9674          


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 94 08:27:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Rav-Muvhak

  | From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
  | And what is the problem?
  | My problem is that I have never been able to find a Rav, a Rav muvhak.
  | I am a shomer mitzvot and am accepted, it seems to me, in the orthodox
  | community I live in as a Jew in every sense, if a bit peculiar, but
[ etc]

Bob, you are a good Jew even without a Rav Hamuvhak! There is a
wonderful treatment of this topic in the Aruch Hashulchan in Hilchos
K'Void Talmidei Chachomim. He says, amongst other things that there is
probably no Rav Hamivhak today, but rather Rabbonim Muvhakim.  I think
you will find some peace if you read it (assuming you haven't)


From: <ak764@...> (Yosh Mantinband)
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 16:54:49 -0500
Subject: Seeking Mishloach Manot distribution Software

As Purim approaches, our neighborhood is once again having a Mishloach
Manot project to help people avoid excesses while also raising money for

Last year, a Unix shell script to handle the management of the Manot was
posted to MJ (available in the software archive as mmm).  I tried it
under DOS with the MKS shell, but, alas, it didn't work.

I was about to sit down and write my own program in AWK, when it
occurred to me to ask if anyone else already has a working system to
handle this, including reciprocity, for the PC/DOS environment.

If I get no responses, I suppose I'll write my own & make it available
to whomever wants.  If someone can save me that time, though, I'd be

Thank you,
Yosh Mantinband


From: <bkatz@...> (Bernard Katz)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 12:10:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Simple Hebrew Word Processor

A friend of mine is interested in acquiring an HP Palm Top computer;
the model number is 100 LX. He needs a computer that he can use in
his kollel, while surrounded by all sorts of seforim; apparently a
notebook computer would be too cumbersome for his purposes. The problem
is that the Palm Top 100 LX is an XT machine with a CGA monitor.

Does anyone know of a simple Hebrew word processor (or text editor)
that would work on such a machine? More generally, has anyone had
any experience using a Palm Top? My friend would be grateful for any
information that anyone might have. Since this is not apt to be of
general interest, anyone having such information might e-mail me directly. 

     Bernard Katz
     University of Toronto


From: <petersig@...> (Sigrid Peterson)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 94 00:21:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Son of G-d

I was wrong. "Son of G-d" (_lbar elahin_ [Aramaic]) appears in TaNaKh in
Daniel 3.25: at least it's been translated that way (King James Version). 
New Jewish Publication Society, however, has "divine being." Shadrach,
Meshach and Abednego are in the fiery furnace, not being consumed, when
Nebuchadnezzar notes that there's a fourth presence in the fire, "and the
fourth looks like a divine being." My Jerusalem Bible says "angel"; the 
New Revised Standard Version says "g-d" -- lower-case, no hyphen. 

Also, Psalm 2.7 (I quoted 2.12, earlier) as someone has brought to my
attention off-line, has David say, of G-D -- 'amar 'ely, bny attah. hayom 
yladtekha - `He said to me, "My son art thou. Today I am conceiving you."

Sigrid Peterson  <petersig@...>


From: Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 1994 12:10:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Three day purim

Lou Rayman recently mentioned in a post about the "three day Purim" that
falls for people in Jerusalem and other walled cities when Shushan Purim
falls on Shabbos.  I was wondering what is actually done on each of the
the three days in those locations that makes it a "3 day Purim".

                                 Yochanan Meisler


End of Volume 11 Issue 23