Volume 11 Number 56
                       Produced: Tue Feb  1 23:14:02 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fair Press Coverage
         [David Sherman]
Genesis and the Big Bang
         [Robert J. Tanenbaum]
HaGriz Al HaRambam
         [Jack Abramoff]
Hamehullal Berov Hatishbachot
         [Henry Edinger]
Men setting up kiddush
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Mishloach Manot (2)
         [Aharon Fischman, Elliot Lasson]
Mormon Software
         [Jonathan Goldstein]
Mormons, etc.
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Non-Orthodox members of Batei Din (sic)
         [David Kramer]
Repeating words in prayer
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 02:30:09 -0500
Subject: Fair Press Coverage

>  NO Federation papers print articles which do not toe the
> Peres/Beilin line. No speakers are allowed address Jewish groups without
> being sure they will be 100% behind the present government.

For the record, the situation in Canada is rather different from
that described in the quote.  The Canadian Jewish News (the mainstream
Jewish Establishment weekly, widely distributed in both Toronto and
Montreal) prints opinions representing both sides.  Although their
editorial approach favours the peace process, they covered Ariel
Sharon's recent visit, printed a full-page interview with him,
and have printed many letters and opinion pieces expressing grave
concern about the process.

David Sherman


From: <btanenb@...> (Robert J. Tanenbaum)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 11:24:35 EST
Subject: Genesis and the Big Bang

I am reading an interesting book, "Genesis and the Big Bang" by
Gerald L. Schroeder, PhD. and Orthodox physicist.
His thesis in the book is to show that modern physics shows that
there is no disagreement between science and a literal reading of
the Torah. 

[Interestingly, Barak Moore sent in a reccomendation for this book at
the same time as Ezra did. So that looks like a two thumbs up from m-j
readers :-). Mod.]

For example, he says that the theory of relativity allows for the
Torah to describe the creation of the universe as occuring in 6
days while scientific evidence shows 15 billion years.
Both are literally true, because a frame of reference "outside
the universe" would not have the same time measurement as a frame
of reference "inside the universe". Our measurement of 15 billion
years occurs in our particular corner of the universe under the
influence of gravitational forces and speeding planets and solar
systems and galaxies and inside an expanding universe.
G-d's measurement of 6 days would be from a different reference point.
He quotes the Rambam to show that "pre-Adam" accounts in the Torah
are not according to natural laws (including time) as we experience them.

My question: Does anyone out there know of any theoretical reference
point from which we could calculate a difference in the experience of
time which would make 6 days equivalent to 15 billion years of time
as we experience it? He doesn't provide such calculations - and I believe
it would make his thesis more believable if he did.

Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (212)450-5735
email: <btanenb@...>


From: Jack Abramoff <abramoff@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 13:42:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: HaGriz Al HaRambam

I believe the correct title of the sefer being sought by Mr. Laks is
probably available through Beigeleisen's in Brooklyn.

Jack Abramoff


From: Henry Edinger <edinger@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 12:47:59 -0500
Subject: Hamehullal Berov Hatishbachot

There have been two recent postings on the phrase in the Nishmat prayer
"hamehullal berov hatishbachot" including one reporting on an explanation
given by the Rav ZTL. I would like to add two observations:
1. The Sephardi text of the same phrase is "hamehullal *bechol*
   hatishbachot"-- the word "rov" is not used. My referance is the Spanish
   & Portuguese siddur edited by Dr. David deSola Pool.
2. The word "rov" in Tanach always means many-- not majority.

Henry Edinger

P.S. I want to wish Mechy Frankel and his daughters a "nesiyah tova" on their
trip to London.


From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 14:11:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Men setting up kiddush

In our shul, the Gentile caretaker sets up kiddush.  Nobody has to miss

In another neighborhood minyan, there are too few people to merit hiring
outside help.  In this case, congregants wait 5 - 10 minutes -after-
davvening while volunteers set up kiddush.


From: <afischma@...> (Aharon Fischman)
Date: 31 Jan 94 19:54:23 GMT
Subject: Mishloach Manot

Whether or not the shul list method of Mishloach Manot fullfills the 
requirement to sent, a possible solution exists that covers both the financial 
and halachik issues. Send a synagouge list Shlach Manot to make sure that you 
have 'given' everyone, and not slighted anybody, and give yourself 2 of your 
own Shlach Manot that you made yourself to two close friends to cover the 
halachik probelms.

From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot Lasson)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 20:06:53 -0500
Subject: Mishloach Manot

Someone posed the question recently as to why community- based M.M.
projects do not cover the individual's obligation.  A suggestion was
that it was not a formal "shlichut".  As far as I know, this mitzvah
does not require a "shliach" in a pure sense like other things.
Therefore, one could also fulfill the mitzvah through a non-Jew, for
instance.  The problem with the community-based M.M. is that one is
obligated to send 2 things to one person.  If you are paying to be on a
list of (let's say) 10 names sent to a given individual, and there are
less than 20 food items in the parcel, you would not be yotzai (even in
the best case scenario, where there were more than 20 items, it would be
problematic, as one has to take into account the amount of profit which
the organization is making on the project). So, in such a system, one
could never be sure if he/she is fulfilling the mitzvah (not to mention
the obligation of each gadol/gedolah in the household to send 2 items to
1 person.

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.
Wayne State U.
Detroit, MI


From: <Jonathan.Goldstein@...> (Jonathan Goldstein)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 15:58:53 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Mormon Software

In Volume 11 Number 46 Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...> write:
> Re: Mike Gerver's posting on the use of Mormon software.  I thought that
> the halakha was perfectly clear to the effect that a Jew can derive no
> benefit from any implement that has been used for avodah zarah.  In his
> commentary on last week's Torah portion, Eliezer Ashkenazi uses that
> principle to explain why Pharaoh's horses had to be drowned (Ma'asei
> Mitsrayim, ch.  23): "Since Pharaoh had made himself into a god, God
> cast all of his servants and horses, who were in the service of
> idolatry, into the sea."  See Avodah Zarah 49b, and throw the Mormon
> software into the Yam ha-melach (Salt Sea).

Now we must ask: what consititutes "ownership" and "use"? With Pharaoh's
horses, it is easy to identify these agents that were used to perform avodah
zarah (idolatry).

With computer software, however, the case is not so simple. *What* do the
Mormons actually use to perform a"z?

It could be the *concepts* behind the genealogy package, in which case I would
be forbidden to copy their ideas and produce (and profit from) my own package.
But this is unlikely. It should be relatively easy to find *some*
technological breakthrough that is widely used by all peoples including Jews,
such breakthrough having been found (and originally used) for idolatrous

It could be the fact that they profit from my purchase of the product, in
which case I could use a pirated copy of the software. This would solve the
problem of a"z, but I then have a problem of copyright infringement.

A similar problem is this: if an idolator invents a cure for a terminal
disease and then uses this cure to advance idolatry, am I allowed to use this
cure on a Jew who suffers from the disease?

Jonathan Goldstein       <Jonathan.Goldstein@...>       +61 2 339 3677


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 14:11:46 -0500
Subject: Mormons, etc.

In the discussion of the use of software sold and used by the Mormons, I
was puzzled by Alan Cooper's comment.  Why is it obvious that the Mormon
religion, or any other variant of christianity, is avoda zara---which
means, in the strict sense, idolatry?  I know that the Ramban and
Tosafot ruled in various places that christianity as practiced in their
times was NOT idolatry.  In studying the parasha last week (Yitro) we
had a long discussion on what exactly constitutes idolatry, and what
constitutes the lesser error of tziruf---"joining" powers to God, but
not supplanting Him.  The latter is forbidden to Jews, but while it is
undesirable for goyim to follow such teachings I don't think it
constitutes avoda zara as defined in the seven mitzvot of b'nai Noach.

I don't want to get into a technical discussion of how christians view
the trinity and such, but I would be interested in hearing of relatively
recent p'sakim regarding whether avoda zara exists anywhere in the world
(Buddhists? Hindus?) today.

Ben Svetitsky           <bqs@...>


From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 14:12:00 -0500
Subject: re:  Non-Orthodox members of Batei Din (sic)

> Today's ISRAELINE cited Ha'aretz as saying that the Israeli "High Court of
> Justice" ruled that "candidates who are not Orthodox Jews can still serve in
> local religious councils," and "instructed the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
> councils" to consider non-Orthodox candidates.
> I may be misunderstanding this.  Does this mean to say that local Rabbanut
> organizations are being forced by Israeli law to admit non-Orthodox rabbis?

You have a Major Misunderstanding. The ruling may be bad for the Jews, but
it is not the disaster you think. The religious council (Moazta Dati)
of a town is not a beit din - nor does it have any direct connection to the 
local rabanut! It is a group of LAY leaders who help provide services
for the religious public (siddurim, chumashim, sifrei tora and funding for
shuls etc...).

>Can someone explain what's happening, and the implications?
Now that's another story..... 

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 11:25:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Repeating words in prayer

Larry Teitelman writes that when asked,a  rabbi commented that singing
"E-l Adon" (even without repeating words) might constititute a hefsek
(break forbidden during prayer).  Why?  Is it that one isn't allowed to
sing prayers?  Why not?

Aliza Berger


End of Volume 11 Issue 56