Volume 12 Number 31
                       Produced: Wed Mar 30  9:01:51 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Daniel J Berleant]
Falsifying Torah
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Life's Highs and Lows
         [Saul Djanogly]
         [Seth Magot]
money in ketubot
         [Gerald Sacks]
On "Chumrot - Pesach or otherwise".
         [Michael Chaim Katzenelson]
Pastoral Care
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Question on Ketuba practice
         [Moshe Shamah]
The "Language of Ben Yehuda"
         [Gedalyah Berger]
What is Kitniyos?
         [Robert Rubinoff]
Wheat Oil
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Yeshiva programs
         [Ari Kurtz]


From: <djb@...> (Daniel J Berleant)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 14:51:02 -0600
Subject: Concordances

I am interested in early sources in which the number of meanings of a
Hebrew word is found by examining the various contexts in which it
occurs in the Torah (in other words, where concordances are used to
find out how many meanings a word has in the Torah). I would be
grateful for any pointers to such sources.  

Thank you, 
Daniel Berleant


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 15:50:40 -0800
Subject: Falsifying Torah

Rav Yosef Bechofer added a vital element to this discussion by pointing 
out the Yam Shel Shlomo in Bava Kama, who opines that one must give up 
his life rather than lie about the content of Torah.

There may be a caveat to this.  Rav Moshe, zatzal, was reliably reported 
(as much as anything not in print is reliable!) to have questioned the 
extent that this idea was accepted.  He pointed to the innumerable works 
that were published up until this century that made marginal emendations 
to please the Church censors, or the local goyish potentate.  Wherever a 
reference to "akum" or "nochri" or "goy" appeared in the text, an 
asterisk would direct the reader to a disclaimer at the bottom margin 
that read something like this:  "All of the following applies only to 
the pagan non-Jews of antiquity, but not to the civilized, G-d fearing 
non-Jews of today."  While this was true in some instances, it was 
patently not true in others, but put there just to keep non-Jewish 
criticism at bay.

Rav Moshe pointed to this practice as evidence that the Yam Shel Shlomo 
was not accepted fully.


From: <saul@...> (Saul Djanogly)
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 17:30:14 GMT
Subject: Re: Life's Highs and Lows

Re the recent discussion on depression,I just discovered a fascinating
passage in Rabbeinu Bachai's Shulchan shel Arba(P.470 Kitvei Rabbeinu
Bachai Mossad Harav Kook edition)which strongly suggests that life has
a high/low (manic/depressive?)cycle which the Rabbis tried to
even/smooth out.  Here's a free translation.
'About the happiness of this world Kohelet says(2.2) ''As for jesting
Isaid it was worthless and what does happiness (simchah)do?''  The
explanation is that happiness and sadness are bound one to another
like the proximity of night and day,and just as a man is sure that
night will follow day and day night,so a man can be sure that
happiness will follow sadness and sadness happiness......We learn from
this that the happiness of this world is utterly incomplete.In fact
all its good and tranquility is vain and empty, and all its glory ends
in shame...for when a man's hope is strong when he is happy it then
fades away.Therefore our Rabbis instituted the blessing of ''Hatov
Vehameitiv''which is said when new wine is brought to the table and
was originally said on those massacred at Beitar thanking Hashem that
He did not let their bodies decompose and allowed us to bury them.And
all this is done to sadden man,who is sunken in sensuality,and restore
him to equilibrium when he is excessively happy(when drinking and

He also explains the custom of smashing a glass at a wedding in
similar terms.

saul djanogly


From: Seth Magot <MAGOT@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 18:27:56 -0500
Subject: Mispatim

I was reading mispatim (nothing like being behind the times :-) ) when I
came across the famous "eye for an eye"; I then came across the 'if an
ox that is known to gore, gores, its owner is also put to death'
(approximate overview).  How does mishnah/halacha deal with these

Seth Magot


From: Gerald Sacks <sacks@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 94 15:40:09 EST
Subject: money in ketubot

Janice Gelb recounts in vol 12 #17 a digression during the reading of a ketuba
about old vs. new shekels.  I think the unit of currency in a ketuba is the
zuz, so I don't understand the story.


From: nelson%<bnlmcn.dnet@...> (Michael Chaim Katzenelson)
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 94 17:41:22 -0500
Subject: On "Chumrot - Pesach or otherwise".

The pots used with meat that was only not glatt are probably kosher.
And, it seems there is a prohibition to consider the vessels used
with meat that comes from a legitimate schita as not kosher.

Our present house was occupied by a Rabbi of recent smicha, who ate
from schita other than our own.  We asked our Rav about the oven.
The Rav replied that we can presume that the oven is kosher, and that
there is no need to kosher it.  The local schul Rabbi commented that
there is a prohibition to consider such as non-kosher.  The Rav however
did permit to perform the action of koshering the oven for the purpose
of making some people feel more comfortable. 

The point is that it takes education to be Machmir.  For a Chumrah,
you need at least a "yesh omrim" in Schulchan Aruch.  One is otherwise
free to be m'haddur in various ways.  To know the difference and the
limitations on how far you can go, you need to be pretty well educated.


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael and Batya Medad)
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 94 08:47 IST
Subject: Pastoral Care

In response to a posting in Vol 12 No 13, my wife requests to write:
1.  Our experience has been with Shaare Zedek and Hadassah-Ein Karem.
There, social workers "sniff out" every case.  One is responsible for
each ward.  They bring whatever additional help is necessary.  When our
youngest was in neo-natal intensive care (10.5 years ago), there were
group sessions for parents with doctor and social worker.

2.  In recent years, most J'lm hospitals have special Shabbat meals
(sponsored by *g'machim*) for family & friends staying with patients over
the Shabbat or Chag.

3.  Only place without religious or emotional help is the Alyn
Children's Orthopedic Hosptial.  Our other son was there briefly after a
hip dislocation accident in August 1990.  All there is is a synagogue
used by neighboring residents, which wasn't large enough to accommodate
a patient if restricted to a bed (our son took up the entire Ezrat
Nashim area).  A request for space for Shabbat candles was rejected as
an unnecessary fire risk and the first any staff member could recall.
In the end, room was found in the nurses' station.

Yisrael (and Batya) Medad


From: <MSHAMAH@...> (Moshe Shamah)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 18:53:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Question on Ketuba practice

Warren Burstein wonders why a ketuba is not invalid when the amount
written is 200 zuz, that for a virgin, and it is known that the bride is
in the category of 100 zuz.  The ketuba is a set of obligations the
husband accepts upon himself for the protection of the wife, not a
religious ritual document.  Hazal obligated the husband a minimum of 100
zuz for any wife and 200 for a virgin.  If the husband wishes to accept
the higher amount upon himself why should anyone stop him?

A question that should be discussed is whether we should obligate the
husband a larger amount today to be in harmony with the purpose of the
original takana (legislation) and not rely solely on the government for
the wife's protection.

mshamah @delphi.com


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 18:28:04 -0500
Subject: The "Language of Ben Yehuda"

In #15, I responded to Percy Matt's posting about Yeshiva programs in 
> > And do you really mean Hebrew speaking, or is that meant to be Ivrit
> > speaking? Do students go on yeshiva programs just so that they can learn
> > the language of Ben Yehuda?
> ...
> Does Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, or Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, or 
> Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg speak the "language of Ben Yehuda," ch"v?

Being that I am 21 years old, and am thus of the "younger" generation, I
instinctively assumed that "Ben Yehuda" meant the street in Yerushalayim;
hence my strong objection and the "chas veshalom."  Someone (from an older
generation) astutely pointed out to me that it is of course very possible,
and even likely, that the intention was to refer to the person after whom
the street is named, and that the "language of Ben Yehuda" is simply a
euphemism for modern Hebrew in general.  If that is indeed the case, then
I apologize, and retract my "chas veshalom."  The three eminent rabbanim
mentioned do indeed speak the "language of Ben Yehuda" in the latter

Chag kasher vesame'ach,

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS


From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...> (Robert Rubinoff)
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 1994 18:37:20 -0500
Subject: Re: What is Kitniyos?

>> From: Joe Slater <joe@...>

>> My understanding of the definition of Kitniyos is that they have two 
>> characteristics:
>> 1) They are "Maase Kedera"; the sort of thing you cook in a pot; and
>> 2) They are "gathered in a heap"? - I didn't quite follow this one.

Number 2 refers to how they're harvested; if they are piled up in heaps
during harvesting, they are considered kitniyot.

What I don't understand is that both of these criteria apply to
potatoes.  So why aren't potatoes kitniyot?  All I can figure is that
the Ashkenazi Rabbis must have figured that without potatoes, many
people would have nothing left they could eat.



From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 23:02:33 -0500
Subject: Wheat Oil

Danny Skaist asks why not use wheat oil for Pesach. In theory one
could, however, each kernel of grain would have to be checked to see
if it had become moist and fermented, i.e., became chometz, which is
impossible unless the grain is watched from the harvest (when dealing
with large volumes).


From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 22:38:47 +0200
Subject: Yeshiva programs

Peretz Mett writes

> More significantly,ein toyro ketoyras erets yiroel, Torah just isn't the 
> same anywhere else. The mere fact of living in  Erets Yisroel is worthy. 
> ..
>And do you really mean Hebrew speaking, or is that meant to be Ivrit
>speaking? Do students go on yeshiva programs just so that they can learn
>the language of Ben Yehuda?

"Ein toyro ketoyras erets yiroel" only applies when the studying of Torah
is released from all influence of toyro chus lerets . That is why Rabbi Zera
when he came to Eretz Yisroel fasted a hundred fasts so he would forget all
he learned in galut . The situation in the American Yeshivot are pathetic
there a ghetto of galut in Eretz Yisroel and deny from themselves the 
true worth of Eretz Yisroel . But since it seems almost impossible to remove
the galut from some people at least them making the trip to Israel is an
important step in the right direction .

                                Ari Kurtz 


End of Volume 12 Issue 31