Volume 13 Number 37
                       Produced: Tue May 31 22:23:21 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 Education Questions
         [Aryeh Blaut]
         [Joey Mosseri]
Cholov Yisroel
         [Moshe E. Rappoport]
Es and eis
         [Gedalyah Berger]
Halacha Yomi
         ["Yaakov Menken"]
Joseph and Faith
         [Ari Kurtz]
Lesbianism in Hallacha
         [Sam Juni]
Nusach Askenaz: Israel and the Diaspora
         [Anthony Waller]
Primers on Judaism
         [Mike Gerver]
Probability and 'Rov'
         [Dr. Moshe Koppel]
Rambam and Astronomy
         ["Ezra Dabbah"]
Ruach Hakodesh and Gedolim
         [Rabbi Freundel]


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 1994 02:22:05 -0400
Subject: 2 Education Questions

Question #1:

Rambam discusses the idea that a class should be 25 students for 1 
teacher, 25-40 students for 1 teacher and an assistant and for more than 
40 students, an additional teacher should be found.

My question is, does the Rambam mean that a teacher should have no more
than 25 students (without an assistant) per class or total.  For
example, according to him, would it be mutar/allowed for a teacher to
have 60 students every day, 20 students in 3 classes without an
assistant or does he mean total for the day (in my example, there would
be 2 teachers and 1 assistant).


I need different Mikoros/Mikorot/sources on the topic of women/girls 
learning (or not learning) G'marah (oral law).

Thank you,

Aryeh Blaut


From: <JMOSSERI@...> (Joey Mosseri)
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 22:31:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Astrology

Just wondering what is the halakhic opinon on astrology. Is it permissible
to cosult astrology or is it considered 'Abodat kokakhabim ?

Before anyone answers please consider the following.
The Talmud (Mo'ed Qatan 28a) records Raba as saying that whether a man
enjoys long life, whether he has children or whether he earns an adequate
living depends not on his merits but on the stars (mazal).

Well, any thoughts or comments???

Joey Mosseri


From: Moshe E. Rappoport <mer@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 19:48:01 -0400
Subject: Cholov Yisroel

Here in Zurich, horse's milk is freely available and considered desirable.
There can be a problem of use of the same equipment to process Non-kosher
milk and cow's milk.


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 20:09:01 -0400
Subject: Es and eis

Hayim Hendeles asked:
> I have been unable to determine the pattern for this, why some
> objects require "es" and others "ais". Can anyone out there
> please explain this?

"Ais" is used when the word stands alone and has its own "trop" [musical
note].  "Es" is used when the word is attached to the next word with a
makaf [hyphen]; in these cases the word usually does not have its own
trop, except for an occasional qadma.

Gedalyah Berger


From: "Yaakov Menken" <ny000548@...>
Date: Mon, 30 May 94 15:28:28 -0400
Subject: Halacha Yomi

The most recent idea for a World Connection Learning List is Halacha Yomi.
Obviously, a tremendous amount of work would be required for one person
to present the material daily.

However, the current idea is to rotate presentation of the daily Halacha.
Each participant in the rotation would be responsible for presenting the 
Halacha once weekly - for example - thus distributing the obligation to 
the point that it is much more manageable.

I have already received a few responses from individuals who would like to
take part in presenting the Halacha Yomi, but we still need a few more 
participants to make the list feasible.

Please respond to me (as above, or at <menken@...>) if you
are interested in taking part!


From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 22:06:59 +0300
Subject: Joseph and Faith

 Shalom Alichem 
  Some time ago there was a letter discussing Joseph being punished for
requesting from the butler to get him out of jail and not having
complete faith in Hashem. I want to clear up a few things on the
 the midrash itself appears in Midrash Rabbah Bereshit 89,3 : "asrei
hagever asher sum Hashem mvtacho ze yosef " {joyous is the man who
places his faith in Hashem this is Yosef } ".. al yadai sh'mr lsar
hamashkin zchartani ntosif lo stei shani " { .. on that he told the
minister of beverges remember me two years were added on }
 (excuse the translation its not one of specialties )
 On the midrash the RSS explains quoteing Rashi that becuase in all other
matters Joseph had complete faith in Hashem (seems he was known for such )
so on this one instance were he took matters into his own hands he was 
punished . But in general one should do what one can to help himself 
keepin gin tune to Chazal words : "yechul afilu yoshev vbatel "
{is it possible that one can sit and do nothing }
"talmud lomar lman yevorechecha ect . bec'l asher tashe ."
{the posuk comes to teach you in order that you will be blessed ect.
in everything that you do }
  this expalnation actually fits well with the begining of the midrash
which starts of stateing that Yoseph is the person who is regarded by
the posek "asrei hagever" with otherwise contradicts the rest of the
midrash .
So at least according to the RSS one must do all he can to help himself.

Ari Kurtz 
tel : 04-282310


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 15:00:56 -0400
Subject: Lesbianism in Hallacha

   I am curious re any references regarding the Hallachic view of
Lesbianism.  Socially, of course, it has been much more acceptable than
male homosexuality. My impression is that the Torah does not focus on
sexual "relationships" in its prohibitions, but rather on sexual "acts".
Thus, cardinal prohibitions on male homosexuality are technically
limited only to specific acts which are defined as "the" sexual activity
which is "intended" to parallel hetrosexual activity. Since female
homosexuality has no such prototypical act, it seems to have been exempt
from ostracization in the Torah.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (718) 338-6774
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: Anthony Waller <P85014@...>
Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 09:13:48 -0400
Subject: Nusach Askenaz: Israel and the Diaspora

  The recent disussion on "Sim Shalom" in "Minha" leads me to the
following discussion.

  There are several differences found between Nusach Ashkenaz in
Israel and the Diaspora.  Let me list them.

(1) Ein Kelokeinu in weekday Shaharit.
(2) The extra bracha before shemona esre in weekday Ma'ariv.
(3) The vidui and 13 middot before tahanun on Torah-reading weekdays.
(4) Barechu after Shaharit on a non Torah-reading weekday and Barechu
    after Ma'ariv on all weekdays.
(5) Sim Shalom in Minha on Shabbat. (Shalom Rav in the diaspora)
(6) The days when Tahanun is not said (eg in Israel until 13 Sivan,
    in the Diaspora until 8 Sivan)
(7) "Morid HaTal" in the summer.
(8) Birkat Kohanim (The Priestly Blessings)

    1,3,4,7 and 8 are said in Israel and not in the diaspora.
    2 is said in the diaspora and not in Israel.

  This does not include some further differences which are found in
those congregations who daven "Nusach Ha'Gra" such as saying a special
psalm on Yamim Tovim (holydays) instead of the regular "Shir Shel Yom"
(psalm of the day).

  Let me ask a few questions related to these differnces:

(1) Can anyone add to this list?
(2) What are the reasons for these differences?
(3) How does an Israeli who davens Nusach Ashkenaz act when he is in
    the diaspora and vice versa?
(4) Are there differences in other nuschaot (Sefarad, Edot HaMizrah)
    between Israel and the Diaspora?

Anthony Waller                     Internet:  <p85014@...>
Bar-Ilan University                Bitnet:    p85014@barilvm


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 3:37:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Primers on Judaism

A book no one has mentioned so far is "The Informed Soul," by Rabbi Dovid
Gottlieb (Artscroll, 1990). It is seems to be aimed at students from
non-observant backgrounds who are getting interested in Judaism. It is not
a "how to" book, but presents and answers a series of philosophical
objections to Torah observance that people from a secular background
are likely to have.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <koppel@...> (Dr. Moshe Koppel)
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 22:08:12 +0200
Subject: Probability and 'Rov'

People have inquired about my perplexing translations of the terms ruba 
d'isa kaman (=propensity=chance), ruba d'lesa kaman (=plausibility), 
and sfeq sfeqa (=Boolean weight). Let me make matters worse by attempting 
to explain myself.
I'm using those terms in a very specific technical sense. Philosophers 
distinguish between two meanings of the word 'probability'.
'Chance', 'objective probability', 'propensity' et al
refer to the expected frequency with which an event occurs in repeated
trials. 'Subjective probability', 'plausability' et al refer to the
degree with which some proposition is believed to be true. Thus when
one refers to, say, the probabilities in a game of craps, one is referring 
to 'chance', while when one refers to the probability of the theory of
relativity being correct one is referring to 'plausability' (since its
hard to imagine in what sense that probability can be expressed as a
frequency; you surely don't mean that the theory holds n% of the time).
To be sure, there are those who argue that one or the other flavors of
probability is reducible to the other and each flavor is further
sub-divided etc., but this need not concern us.

Now the fact that ruba d'isa kaman means 'chance' or 'propensity' I think is
clear. That ruba d'lesa kaman is 'plausability' is less obvious, I admit.
Nevertheless it is the case that rlk is typically used in the gemara 
in the sense of a probably approximately correct law of nature which is 
precisely the case in which 'plausibility' is more appropriate than 'chance'.
Perhaps this is what Rav Shimon Shkop means (beginning shaar gimel) when he
says that rik is only a hakhra'a (second-order decision method) since 
the other result is regarded as possible, whereas rlk is a birur (means 
of ascertaining the facts) since once it becomes an accepted 'law' it is
presumed to always hold. I wouldn't swear to any of this though (perhaps 
Mark Steiner could correct me, if necessary).

As for 'Boolean weight' the definition is as follows:
Let B(p1,p2,...,pn) be a Boolean function in the propositions p1,..,pn.
Suppose that the full disjunctive normal form of B includes exactly m
disjuncts. Then the Boolean weight of B is m/2**n. This is just the
probability that B is true given that each pi is independent of all
the others and each holds with probability 1/2. I do not claim that
the kind of sfeqot used in sfeq sfeqa are in fact independent or hold
with probability 1/2. On the contrary, I think that sfeq sfeqa means
only that the Boolean weight [l'chumra] is less than some threshold
(1/2 ?) regardless of the 'actual probabilities'. Moreover 'mis'hapekh'
refers only to the different propostions not entailing each other
which is far short of independence in the probabilistic sense.



From: "Ezra Dabbah" <ny001134@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 18:30:11 -0500
Subject: Rambam and Astronomy

David Charlap's points in v13#24 about creating a mathematical solar
system which puts the earth at the center of the universe misses the

When the Emoraim and Rishonim were discussing astronomy, they were looking
for a truth. Sort of like when King Solomon was looking for a truth
when 2 women claimed the same child. He couldn't use a mathematical 
equation to solve that problem. They can't both be right.

Ezra Dabbah


From: <Dialectic@...> (Rabbi Freundel)
Date: Mon, 30 May 94 16:41:00 EDT
Subject: Ruach Hakodesh and Gedolim

There is much confusion about the claim of Ruach hakodesh that
supposedly adheres to Gedolim. It does not mean, nor can it mean, that
the gadol presents psak as a matter of prophecy. Any gadol who speaks
this way is subject to the death penalty as a false prophet attempting
to take on a role left only and exclusively to Moshe. It cannot mean
infallibility or Ramban for example couldn't argue with Rashi who had
previously spoken "infallebly".  The best definition I have ever seen
comes from a tosefos in I believe Berachot (I will attempt to find the
exact cite) That speaks of this in terms of an intuition that leads the
Gadol to the appropriate source as he is deliberating the question under


End of Volume 13 Issue 37