Volume 11 Number 49
                       Produced: Fri Jan 28  6:54:31 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aggadaic Midrash
         [Rabbi Eli Shulman]
Announcing Tanach Forum
         [Eli Bunan]
Authorship of the Zohar
         [Danny Nir]
Belief in Agadata
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Contraception and London
         [Mechy Frankel]
Hamehulal Berov Hatishbachot
         [Israel Botnick]
Kotel decision
         [Irwin H. Haut]
Rav Breuer
         [Gedalyah Berger]
Upcoming trip to the US
         [R. Shaya Karlinsky]


From: Rabbi Eli Shulman <shulman@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 02:56:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Aggadaic Midrash

Regarding "those who believe all of them..."; this seems to be a 
corruption of a popular expression about Chasidic tales: one who believes 
all of them is a fool, while one who believes none of them is a heretic. 
Whatever this aphorism's merits regarding Chasidic tales, it was 
certainly never said about Aggadaic Midrash.


From: <EBENUN@...> (Eli Bunan)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 00:01:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Announcing Tanach Forum

Mail-Jewish readers might be interested in the following new mailing

          JUDAIC SEMINAR Mailing List

The Judaic Seminar has been formed to provide a forum in which Tanach
will be discussed on an advanced level by researchers and serious
students of the Bible. This is a panel moderated forum, led by a group
of Bible instructors, that will be of value to those pursuing a better
understanding of the Biblical text.

Periodically, topics for discussion will be announced in order to keep
the forum focused. These topics will be updated regularly. Subscribers
will have the opportunity to interact by submitting questions and
insights on these relevant themes.

This seminar operates in the classical Jewish tradition that recognizes
that all fields of knowledge may contribute to a better understanding of
the intent and message of the Torah.  To that end, postings that
incorporate research including the fields of ancient Near Eastern
history, archaeology and philology are welcome.

The intent of the forum is to arrive at and explicate the
straightforward meaning of the text (i.e. the peshat). Any submission
whose aim is to provide this meaning of the text will be considered for
publication to the list.

To subscribe , send an e-mail message to the following
internet address:  <listserv@...>

In the body of the message type:

subscribe j-seminar FirstName LastName

Substitute your name for "FirstName LastName".

For further information please contact me at:

Eli Benun


From: Danny Nir <danny@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 13:18:50 -0500
Subject: Authorship of the Zohar

David Kaufman asks if there is any recent work verifying traditional
assignation of authorship and date for the Zohar.

  While I am uncertain if he published anything on this subject, R.
Leiman of Kew Gardens Hills, Queens (NY) lectured on the subject several
years ago.  He concluded, based upon recent discoveries, that certain
information and style of authorship pinpoint the date to no later than
the Roman period (or thereabouts).

Incidently, R. Leiman is an expert on the Eybeshitz & Emden controversy,
as anyone who attended his lectures can quickly testify.  Also, R. Dovid
Shaipro, the principal of Maimonodies School in Boston is an expert on
that subject as well.

Danny Nir                                              Meyad Computers
<danny@...>                                         Moshav Ya'ad
Tel:972-4-909966                                           D.N. Misgav
Fax:972-4-909965                                   Haifa, Israel 20155


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 05:07:41 -0500
Subject: Belief in Agadata

The quote in MJ 11:38 about "Anyone who believes them all to be true
is a fool, any one who believes they could not have occured" (or any
variation of this theme) to the best of my recollection was stated
concerning the wonders attributed to the Ba'al Shem Tov zt"l in
Shivchei HaBesht, a book about... wonders performed by the Besht.

In a note, Avi commented that this is similar to the Rambam's
approach.  Not exactly. The Rambam accepts all Agadatas to be true,
but allegorical and possessed of a deeper, more profound meaning than
face value would indicate, their true meaning concealed so that those
not on a level suitable for understanding should not understand. In
fact, I have seen quoted, although have never pursued this in the
source, that R. Avraham ben HaRambam, agreat sage and chasid, writes
in his introduction to the Agadatas of Shas (printed in the Ein
Ya'akovs) that one who does not accept the AGADATAS of Shas as being
true is not an Apikores. I do not know any more off hand, perhaps some
other MJ'er can expand on this point.

BTW, Mazel Tov, Avi, v'harbei osher v'nachas.


From: <frankel@...> (Mechy Frankel)
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 14:46:42 EST
Subject: Contraception and London

Don't get excited, these are two (so far as I know) orthogonal topics.

1. Daniel Epstein (Vol 11#28) asked about sources for halacha related to
contraception. A previous poster already referenced R. Hershel
Schachter's 1982 article in J.of Halacha and Cont. Society.  Another
very fine reference on this entire subject is David Feldman's "Birth
Control in Jewish Law" (NYU Press). In particular the book's footnotes
can be used as a reasonably comprhensive mareh mikomot to the original
and relevant Talmudic/halachic sources if you don't like Feldman's own
explication of same. (in the caveat emptor and noted without comment
department: Feldman is - at least when he wrote the book - affiliated
with JTS).

2. It seems likely that I will be in London for some meetings the week
of February 6th and will likely stay throught the next Shabbat. Does
anyone know of kosher restaurants/bakeries/ in the downtown area (I will
be in the Old War Office Building in Whitehall). I am also planning to
take along two of my incumbent teenage daughters (17 & 15) who will
sightsee while I'm shmoosing. On previous trips to London I've stayed
either in a random B&B in Golders Green or in Edgeware (with R. Gershom
Lopian). Any current B&B recommendations (especially for Shabbat)?
locations? Any recommendations and addresses for restaurants (or any
other touristy suggestions) would also be appreciated .  Please reply
directly to my e-mail. Thanks.

Mechy Frankel                                     W: (703) 325-1277
<frankel@...>                               H: (301) 593-3949


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 16:38:19 EST
Subject: Hamehulal Berov Hatishbachot

Moshe Goldberg wrote in vol. 11 # 39
<< This explains the phrase in the Shabbat prayer "yishtabach" -- mehullal
<< berov tishbachot [exalted with many praises]. Translating the word rov
<< as "most" implies that for some reason there are some praises that we
<< don't use, which is hard to explain.

The Rav ZT'L gave an explanation as to why we say HaMehulal BeRov
HaTishbachot [that HKBH is exalted with most(but not all) of his praise].
If we expressed every praise imaginable to HKBH, it would become
so blatantly obvious that all is in his hands and nothing in ours,
that we couldn't bring ourselves to feel grateful for another persons
actions anymore. We would have no more hakarat hatov [feelings of gratitude]
to people anymore and only have hakarat hatov to Hashem, even when people
do us favors. We therefore say most of the praise and not all, to allow
for hakarat hatov to exist between people.

Why is it so important for us to have hakarat hatov to other people
in addition to hakarat hatov to HKBH?  The Chovot Halevovot explains
that without the hakarat hatov we feel towards others, we would not
be able to have any hakarat hatov towards HKBH. This is because the
gratitude we owe to HKBH is so great it is beyond our comprehension.
We can only understand the concept of gratitude because we feel it
sometimes on our own level. The gratitude we are then able to express
to HKBH, though it is severely lacking, is at least something and is
the best we are capable of.

I heard this From Rabbi H. Schachter a number of years back.
If there are any inaccuracies they are my own.

Israel Botnick


From: Irwin H. Haut <0005446733@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 94 21:22 EST
Subject: Kotel decision

At long last and after a delay of over three years the Israel Supreme Court
has finally rendered a decision in the cases of womens' groups in America
and Israel, who desired to conduct separate and Halakhic prayer services at
the Kotel. On december 1, 1988, a group of women, led by rivka haut,
conducted a womens' prayer service at the Kotel for the first time, under
guidelines prescribed by Rabbi Avi Weiss. Men on the other side of the
mechitzah shouted insults, shook and nearly broke the mechitzah and hurled
chairs over it into the womens' section. The women pesevered however, and
when they were barred from conducting those Halakhic services litigation was
instituted. The cases, two in number, one by the Diaspora women and the
other by the Israel women, were argued and submitted to the Court three
years ago. I am informed by my wife, who will receive the decision tomorrow,
that three separate opinions have been rendered. Judges Levine and Shamgar
each wrote short opinions and Judge Elon rendered a weighty opinion of
approximately 116 pages. the three opinions consume approximately 126 pages.
that's all i have for now. more will follow upon receipt and review of the
yitzchak haut 


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 02:56:36 -0500
Subject: Rav Breuer

Apparently, at least one person found a comment I made recently about
Rav Mordechai Breuer to be insulting.  I did not at all intend to be
pejorative; I was simply making a good-humored observation about a great
man with a fascinating and refreshing personality.  I have learned much,
both directly and indirectly, from Rav Breuer; his innovative approach
to Tanach study has been extremely influential in Israel and formed the
foundation of much of my education in Tanach.

I apologize for the unintended tone of my post.

Happy Chag Ha'ilanot

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS


From: R. Shaya Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 13:46:15 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Upcoming trip to the US

     I will be in the US from Feb. 2-20 on a speaking tour for student
recruiting.  I have been in contact with a few MJers about meeting or
speaking over the phone during my stay, and I would look forward to
hearing from others.  My approximate schedule, shiur topics, and the
hosts, are as follows:
     Feb. 3: Princeton University  "The Foretold Conflict Between
Yitzchak and Yishmael Over the Land of Israel"
     Feb. 4-5: University of Pennsylvania: If We Had Seen The Miracles In
Egypt, Would We Be Bigger Believers in G-d?
     Feb. 7-8: Montreal (McGill and JEP)
     Feb. 9: Toronto (NISHMA): same as U of P
     Feb. 10-12: Boston University(10); Brandeis(11-12): same as U of P
     Feb. 13-16: Los Angeles (JLE, YOLA)
     Feb. 17-20: NY. Oheb Zedek Shabbaton (18-19): Hester Panim -- G-d's
Hidden Face

     For more info on the programs, if there is anyone interested in
learning this summer or next year at Darche Noam/Shapell's or at
Midreshet Rachel (our women's school), or if I can help out with info on
Israel in general, you can leave a message for me at our US office: 908-
367-9101.  You can also send me an e-mail message before next Monday.
(Please note new address.)

Shaya Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Darche Noam/ Shapell's
PO Box 35209                  Jerusalem, ISRAEL
tel: 9722-511178              fax: 9722-520801


End of Volume 11 Issue 49