Volume 11 Number 94
                       Produced: Mon Feb 21 19:50:27 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Definition of Rov
         [Moshe Stern]
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Interesting Gematria
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Office Ethics (2)
         [Aryeh Blaut, Warren Doud]
Shabbat for one person but not another
         [Rivka Goldfinger]
Strangers and Minyan
         [Alan Mizrahi]
Yeshivishe Pronunciation and Yashsher Koax
         [Mark Steiner]


From: <MSTERN@...> (Moshe Stern)
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 94 09:22:00 PST
Subject: Definition of Rov

In v11 n46 Harry Weiss writes "In laws of Kashrut there is a principle of 
"bitul b'rov" (nullification through the majority).  In this case Rov is 
definitely a majority and not just a large quantity.  (Whether Rov in a 
specific case refers to a simple majority orone to sixty is a separate 

I think that the issue is somewhat more complex.  There is little doubt that 
the word rov can be used to refer to a majority and in some instances this 
seems clearly the case .  There is a clear sense, however, in some aspects of 
bitul (nullification) where Rov indicates an overwhelming large quantity.  
Batel b'rov, then, is equivalent to the expression "lost in the crowd".  This 
is fully demonstrated by the exception noted for anything whose presence is 
obvious despite the numerical relationships.  The great number obscures the 
unwanted factor.

Moshe Stern
University of Manitoba


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 94 08:08:33 -0500
Subject: Hebrew

   Nachum Chernofsky's recent post about the sorry state of Hebrew
skills among US Yeshiva High School graduates strikes a resonant chord
with me. MJ-ers may remember that about a year ago(?) I went on a tirade
about this subject - how those who consider themselves "bnai Torah"
can't even read a simple Hebrew passage without a translation. Certainly
the easiest way to learn Hebrew is to come to Israel for a year and
learn in an Israeli Yeshiva/medrasha with an American Program. I
continue to be astounded that kids continue to enroll (with parental
approval) in English-speaking institutions here in Israel and miss the
opportunity of learning Hebrew relatively painlessly. Unfortunately, the
situation is getting worse - since fewer and fewer teachers have a basic
knowledge of Hebrew. And the "Frumier" the institution the worse the
problem. If you can't "swim" in Hebrew you can't be a Talmid Chochom -
it's as simple as that! In my very humble opinion, the prognosis for the
States ain't good - ve-ha-meivin yavin.
               Try to be happy -
                    It's Adar!


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 94 00:35:39 -0800
Subject: Interesting Gematria

A friend of mine pointed out the following intriguing gematria,
generated by his father-in-law, a London accountant.  It has one gap
(pointed out at the end) that needs some help.  Can anyone be of

We take it as axiomatic that the zechus of Avraham Avinu stands by his
children throughout the generations.  Consider the following remez.

At the beginning of Vayera, Avraham entertains three melachim.  In the
pasuk in which he spots them, the gematria works out as follows.  Vayisa
(317) eynav (146) vayar (217).  Skip the next four words, as explained
later, and go on to the next word: elav (116).  The total is 796.

Many, many years later, three people would be thrown into a kivshan
aish, and emerge unscathed, as Avraham was.  We may assume that his
zechus played some role in this.  The three, Chanania (123) Mishael
(381) and Azaria (292) add up to - 796!

Just how long in the future?  Consider the four words we skipped before,
or see it as Avrahan skipping ahead and seeing a different set of three
standing before him.  Vehinay (66) shelosha (635) anashim (401) nitzavim
(192) add up to 1294.  Now from this incident, there would be one year
till the birth of Yitzchak, 400 till yetzias mitzrayim, another 480 till
binyan bayis Shlomo which would stand for 410 years.  According to
Daniel perek 2, Nevuchadnetzer had his dream two years after the churban
(see all the meforshim there).  If [and here is the gap we haven't
proven yet] his edict against Chanania et al took place the next year,
the total is - 1294!


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 94 06:43:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Office Ethics

Michael Lipkin asked regarding the use of the copy machine, telephone,
etc. on or off of company time has any Halachic parameters.

I cannot explain the halachos of this but I can retell a story I heard
when I was in yeshiva about how certain Roshei Yeshiva (Heads of the
Yeshiva) would keep a notebook record of every minute that he was on the
phone that was not related to "company business" (this included
answering people's questions in Halacha).  At the end of the pay period,
he would have this time deducted from his check.

I can also recall the lesson in Parshas Noah of why the world was
destroyed by the flood.  I was because people took small items (worth
less than a sheva pruta) from each other.  This basically meant that the
owner could not take the person to court because the value of the
"stolen object" was less than the smallest monitary amount.

Aryeh Blaut

>Date: Wed, 16 Feb 94  19:11:22 EST
>From: Gena Rotstein <JSF@...>
>Subject: Yeshiva
Gena Rotstein wrote:

>I was just recently at a confrence where there were a lot of students
>from YU and Stern.  I am looking into attending a Yeshiva next year,
>however, not to find a husband but to actually learn all that I can.  I
>was informed that Stern was a place where girls leave with an MRS. 

I do not think that this is a fair statement about Stern or any other 
institution, orthodox or not.  

Aryeh Blaut

From: <doud@...> (Warren Doud)
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 94 22:00:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Office Ethics

Michael Lipkin wrote:

>I'd like to know if anyone knows about or has reference to sources on
Halachic parameters regarding office ethics. Specifically, answers to
questions such as:

- Are there global guidelines which can be applied to such things as personal
  use of the copy machine, telephone, pc, office supplies, the internet 
  (e.g. mail-jewish), etc.? 
- Does it matter if it's on one's own time or on company time? 
- Do "norms" of the working world or of one's particular office environment
  come into play?  
- Does it matter if the owner of the company is Jewish, Shomrei Mitzvot, a
  publicly held corporation? 

        These things surely are not subject to "global" parameters. The
people who pay your salary and pay for the copy machine, phone, etc. would
be the ones to ask.

        I would severely limit personal use of this type for my employees.
They are being paid to do work for me. If they use my machine and supplies
and add to my phone bill with their personal business, my profits go down.

        Think of it this way. If you hired me to do landscaping at your
house for $20 per hour, would you mind if I spent some of that time on

Warren Doud


From: <RGOLDFINGER@...> (Rivka Goldfinger)
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 1994 11:34:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shabbat for one person but not another

In response to Mike Gerver's story about Boston (and whoever he was 
responding to) I once asked my Rabbi this same question.  His response
was that not only can a Jew for whom it is still Shabbos ask another Jew 
for whom it is not Shabbos to do work for him, but if it is Shabbos for
-both- Jews (such as earlier in the day when there are no disputes as to
whether it is Shabbos), and one person holds that something is not permitted
and the other holds it is, then the person for whom the work is not
permitted can ask the other to do it for him. 
This came up in setting up Kiddush and Shalosh Seudos.  My family minhag
(custom) is not to open paper goods on Shabbos, and when we ran out at Shul
the Rabbi said that I could ask someone by who's minhag it is o.k. to do it
for me.
As to the story in Boston, not only does the Rebbe seem to hold that both
minhagim are valid, but he himself holds by the longer one, but the Rebbe's
minhag even allows for some hachana (preparation) for after Shabbos, after
the earlier time.  It is common practice in Boston to set up Havdalah (minus
the candle) before 72 minutes, but after 60.

Rivka Goldfinger


From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 94 17:44:16 EST
Subject: Strangers and Minyan

Malcolm Issacs asks about strangers coming into a shul, and whether we should
question their being Jewish.  In the case of a Bar Mitzvah, this is perhaps 
alright, but as a general principle, I think there are many reasons why you 

1) How can you prove it on the spot?  There are no physical signs that someone
   is Jewish (I don't think you're going to check if the person is circumsized,
   and even then, this doesn't prove anything).  No one carries around
   documents that prove their religion.  An extensive search would have to be
   carried out, and this doesn't help if you need a tenth for a minyan.

2) Why would someone not Jewish want to come and be counted as part of a 
   minyan?  Even if someone wanted to ruin a minyan by posing as a Jew, it
   would take a lot of work to be able to pass himself off as Jewish, and
   I don't think anyone would go through the trouble.

3) It is incredibly rude!  I would not feel comfortable in a shul where people
   had doubts that I was Jewish, and would be terribly insulted if they asked.
   I think it is safe to assume that anyone who comes into your shul and 
   doesn't tell you he is not Jewish (as someone going through conversion
   would) is Jewish.  If it turns out that the person wasn't, the members of
   the congregation have not done anything wrong.  It is better to spare 
   insulting all the Jewish strangers that come into your shul and risk the
   extremely minute possibility that one of them may not in fact be Jewish.

Alan Mizrahi            |     The whole ladder is a bitter carrot
<amizrahi@...>        |     but the plaza isn't worried at all


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 94 16:54:03 -0500
Subject: Yeshivishe Pronunciation and Yashsher Koax

> From: Lawrence J. Teitelman  <csljt@...>

> Rav Efrayim Zalman Margaliyot in his _Mateh Efrayim_ (compendium on
> the laws pertaining to Elul and Tishrei, 592:11) cites a practice to
> greet the shaliach tzibbur, tokea`, kohanim, etc. with "asher koach".
> He notes that others say "yeasher koach" and explains that while the
> former is in the second person, the latter is in the third person
> which signifies an added measure of respect.

	This source is striking confirmation for one of my hypotheses,
that perhaps "ashsher koax" and "yashsher koax" are the same phrase,
spelled differently, where the basic meaning is to strengthen, not to
straighten, and the verb is an imperative.  'Aleph and `ayin simply
alternate.  This phenomenon is true even in spoken Israeli Hebrew.  I
have not yet studied the Matteh Efrayim, but it is at least possible
that what the author reports as "ye'ashsher" [which actually means, "may
(G-d) strengthen"] may in fact be "yashsher."  There is lots more to be
done here.


End of Volume 11 Issue 94