Volume 12 Number 37
                       Produced: Thu Mar 31 23:35:20 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Correct Name
         [Yisrael Medad]
in re: Anonymous
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Irish Cream Recipe
         [Warren Burstein]
Kashrut of tilapia
         [Charles Arian]
RAMBI on-line
         [Elhanan Adler]
Rashi's Descendents
         [Mike Gerver]
Rashi's Torah
         [Howard Reich]
Substance Abuse and Jewish Law
         [David Charlap]


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 10:16:11 -0500
Subject: Correct Name

In Vol. 12 No. 12, there is an error in the name of the author
of the article mentioned by Ezra Rosenfeld on Bet HaMikdash:
it is *not* Shailat but rather _Shilat_ which is abbreviation
for "shviti hashem l'negdi tamid".
Yisrael Medad


Subject: Australia

	Am looking for Australian e-mail contacts.  Please
get in touch either via e-mail or at home address: Shiloh,
Mobile Post Efraim 44830, ISRAEL, Phone/Fax 972-2-942328.

Yisrael Medad


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 18:33:30 -0800
Subject: in re: Anonymous

To "Anonymous," who resonded to the inquiry about cremation:

Surely you must be unaware that the "guy" who issued the psak about not 
observing aveilus for a cremated relative was Rav Shlomo Zalman 
Auerbach, Shlit"a.  While there may not be an official Numero Uno Posek 
of the World, in a forced choice question as to the most respected 
halachic decisor of our time, Rav Shlomo Zalman would likely get the 
most votes.  The suggestion to look around for another psak is limited 
by this fact.  Everyone recongizes that "shopping around" for the 
decision you want makes a mockery of halacha and is never valid.  Asking 
for another opinion when a particular decisor doesn't know all the facts 
- either the existence of other valid  halachic arguments, or all the 
parameters of individual feelings, mitigating circumstances, etc. that 
also enter into the halachic process - does have validity.  But these 
considerations  hardly apply when one deals with the handful of world 
class poskim who stand at the very top of the halachic mountain.

I'm also sure that you didn't want to give the impression that EVERY 
halachic question has alternative, more "palatable" (my word, not yours) 
solutions.  If there are such solutions, then halacha demands nothing at 
all.  Part of kabalas ole [accepting the Yoke of Heaven] is recognizing 
that the Ribbono Shel Olam asks us to do things that we find 
uncomfortable.  Contrary to current rumors, a woman who wishes to have 
an affair with another man cannot find halachic sanction by selling her 
husband to a goy.


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Subject: Irish Cream Recipe

If someone wants to have Irish Cream, here's a recipe from "Maida
Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts" (anyone who likes to make
desserts should buy everything that she has ever written)

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur (1.5 pints)
    1 c irish whisky (now we can have a discussion of the kashrut of
irish whisky)
    14 oz sweetened condensed milk
    4 eggs
    2 Tbsp vanilla extract
    2 Tbsp chocolate extract
    1 Tbsp coconut extract
    1 Tbps powdered instant espresso or coffee (not granules)
Combine in a blender on low speed until thoroughly mixed.  Transfer to
a bottle with a tight cover.  Refrigerate overnight or longer.  Shake
well before serving.

The author says that she has kept it for as long as month, it might
last even longer because the alcohol acts as a preservative.

 |warren@      But the Kibo
/ nysernet.org is not hungry at all.


From: Charles Arian <CARIAN@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 09:03:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Kashrut of tilapia

"Tilapia", as explained on a box of frozen tilapia fillets I bought,
product of Israel with both the (u) and the "Mehadrin" hechsher of
the Tiberias Rabbinate, is indubitably kosher. It is another name
for, ahem, "St. Peter's fish" which is very popular in and around
the Kinneret.

Rabbi Charles Arian


From: <ELHANAN@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 7:53:27 +0200 (EET)
Subject: RAMBI on-line

From: Daniel May <dmay@...>
>	Lately, I have been using RAMBI on-line quite frequently. 
>However, due to the fact I am accessing it from a remote location, it is 
>time very time consuming to go through various sets of records manually. 
>On many (actually, almost _all_ ) libraries that I have used, sets of 
>records can be e-mailed to any address. 
>	Does RAMBI have such capabilities?
>	Furthermore, if there is a complete set of instructions 
>available, I would very much appreciate a copy. 

The question is not RAMBI but the ALEPH software itself which is common
to all the Israeli university libraries. The new version of ALEPH now being
tested does include the capability to Email the results of searches. It is
scheduled to be implemented this summer, provided various bug, problems,

* Elhanan Adler                   University of Haifa Library              *
*                                 Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel          *
*                                 Tel.: 972-4-240535  FAX: 972-4-257753    *
* Israeli U. DECNET:      HAIFAL::ELHANAN                                  *
* Internet/ILAN:          <ELHANAN@...>                          *


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 1:44:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rashi's Descendents

In v11n95, Susan Slusky points out that members of famous rabbinic
families tend to marry members of other famous rabbinic families, and
within their own extended families, and asks whether this would greatly
increase the time required before all Jews are descended from Rashi.
This was in response to my earlier posting, in which I estimated 
(analytically) that the time required was about 800 years, and proposed 
to do a computer simulation to improve this estimate.

This tendency of people to choose spouses of their own social class has
a similar effect to the tendency of people to choose spouses who live near
them geographically. If people never move up and down in social class,
or never move very far from their homes, then it could take a very long
time before everyone is descended from Rashi.

One result of my analytic calculation was that if there is even a small
amount of geographic mobility, then the time required for everyone to
become Rashi's descendent is only slightly longer than if there were
complete geographic mixing in each generation. The important thing is
that there is some probability (even if only 1%) of a person moving
a large part of the way across the Jewish world in one generation. If
lots of people move to the next town, but no one moves further than that,
then the time required for Rashi's descendents to cover the world will
be much longer.

The same argument should apply to social mobility. Initially, and maybe
for 100 or even 200 years, all of Rashi's descendents will know they
are Rashi's descendents, and this will give them high social status,
and they will marry mostly people of similar status. Eventually, though,
many of them will forget they are Rashi's descendents. Or, due to
lack of talent or bad luck, they may decline in social and economic
status, and potential spouses will not care that they are descended from
Rashi, or will not believe them. If there is even a 1% chance of this
happening to someone in each generation, then, in a relatively short time
compared to the time between Rashi and our era, there will be lots of
lower class descendents of Rashi as well. Of course there will continue
to be some descendents of Rashi who are members of distinguished rabbinic
families and remember that they are descendents of Rashi, but after
several hundred years these will be a small minority of all the descendents.

Although it may not be possible to obtain precise data on geographic and
social mobility for all Jewish communities between Rashi's era and our 
own, we expect to show that, assuming reasonable lower bounds for 
geographic and social mobility, the amount of time required for everyone 
to be descended from Rashi can be bounded within fairly narrow limits.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Howard Reich <0006572811@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 10:16:51 -0500
Subject: Rashi's Torah

     My post in v10n1 (of nearly four months ago) mentioned a 
commentary by the Eitz Yosef to the effect that 
_when_it_comes_to_questions_of_Malei_V'Chaser_ (words that are 
either "full" or "missing" with respect to a vav or a yud), the 
Medroshim cannot be relied upon if they contradict the way it is 
written in our text.  I commented that I found that particular 
Eitz Yosef rather astounding, as in my limited understanding, I 
expected Medroshim to be more reliable and that any differences 
in the text would more likely be attributable to errors that 
crept into our text.  

     Ari Kurtz recently stated:
>in regards to Howard Reich's closeing question about the inconsistensy
>between quotes from the tanach by the Sages in the Midrash and the
>accepted text today. Most of the Sages quotes from the tanach are
>misquoted as this is also obvious in the Talmud this missmatching
>derives from the custom of that time not to reproduce quotes from the
>tanach . Therefore there is no validify of proof through quotes of the
>Sages in the Midrash

     I find Ari Kurtz' response to be more astounding than I 
found the Eitz Yosef.  He seems to claim: (1) that most of the 
Sages' quotes from the tanach, are inaccurate; (2) this 
misquoting is obvious from the Talmud; (3) this misquoting/ 
mismatching derives from a custom of the time not to reproduce 
quotes from the tanach; and (4) he concludes that there is no 
validity of proof through quotes of the Sages in the Midrash.  
While there is a principal that written texts should not be 
recited orally except in prayer, there is no indication that this 
was not adhered to by the Sages.

     The claim that there was a custom not to reproduce quotes 
from the tanach (3, above), is inconsistent with the existence of 
quotes throughout the Talmud.  Does Ari Kurtz believe that they were 
added later?  While there are rare instances of discrepancies, these 
are addressed by the commentaries, e.g., Rashi and Tosafot.  

     Michael Shimshoni asked Ari Kurtz to supply a reason for the 
purported custom.  I would first ask Ari Kurtz to explain his 

          Howard Reich
          <hreich@...> or 6572811@mcimail.com


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 94 12:22:41 -0500
Subject: Substance Abuse and Jewish Law

<leo@...> (Leonard Oppenheimer +1 908 615 5071) writes:
>I am a law student, and I am currently taking a course with Judge Jack B.
>Weinstein of the S.D.N.Y. Federal Court.  Judge Weinstein has gotten some 
>press recently for opposing Federal sentencing guidelines on drug-related
>crimes as being too rigid and harsh.  He is trying to develop his judicial
>philosophy on alternatives to incarceration.
>Being a proud Jew, he would like some input on the Jewish Theological/
>Philosophical attitudes that have come down through the ages on this issue.

What exactly are you interested in?  How Judaism feels about druge
use/abuse? How Judaism feels about incarceration and other problems
involving punishment/rehabilitation, or what?

I can attempt an answer the first one.  I think that was what you were
interested in.  You should still consult a rabbi, though, since I
probably don't have all the facts.

1) Judaism treats drugs like any other substance you take into your
   body.  If it does benefit (like medication), then it is permitted,
   and possibly even required (as in life-saving medication).  If the
   substance does damage (like cigarettes, and "recreational" drugs),
   then opinions range from strongly discouraged to outright
   prohibition.  For substances which neither help nor harm a person,
   I don't think Judaism has an opinion.

2) Note that Jewish law only prohibits the use of such substances.  I
   don't think it says anything about posession or sale.  But I
   suspect that many rabbis would prohibit that, since possession and
   sale of drugs serves no purpose other than prviding a medium for

3) Judaism has the concept of "Dina d'malchuta dina" - the law of the
   land is law.  So, a Jew living in America has a Torah obligation to
   obey the American laws - which include many of the Halachik gray


End of Volume 12 Issue 37