Volume 13 Number 65
                       Produced: Mon Jun 20  6:51:36 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

American Christianity and Freedom of Religious Expression
         [Barry Freundel]
Breaking Off Noses (v13n59)
         [Mark Steiner]
Broken Noses
         [Meir Lehrer]
Chalav Yisrael
         [Yechiel Pisem]
Hebrew alphabet/Hebrew Months
         [Rani Averick]
Hebrew Standard
         [Yechezkel Schatz]
Hebrew: The first language
         [Michael E Allen]
Ideology & pronunciation
         [Shalom Carmy]
Pesach in Winter (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Michael Shimshoni]
Rashei Tevot
         [Aryeh A. Frimer]
What year is it?
         [David Charlap]
         [Susan Slusky]


From: <Dialectic@...> (Barry Freundel)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 94 13:32:36 EDT
Subject: Re: American Christianity and Freedom of Religious Expression

In response to this comment:

> See Lemon v. Kurtz, which is the paradigm precedent in this area.

Lemon is no longer applicable it was overturned by Smith versus Oregon.
Much if its protection was restored by the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act passed last year. The difference is that it is legilative not
constitutional protection a much lower Madreigah (level).


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 03:18:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Breaking Off Noses (v13n59)

	I also doubt that the broken noses of Roman statues were done by
prospective converts to Judaism.  But it is incorrect to state that, had
they done so, the prohibition against deriving benefit ('issur hana'ah)
would not be lifted; it would.
	This is true only if a gentile defaces the idol (assuming we are
dealing with an idol; cf. Tractate A.Z. Chapter 3, first Mishna and
Gemara thereon)--a Jew cannot remove the prohibition by defacing an
	It is interesting to note that figures on Roman vessels found in
the "Bar Kokhba Caves" near the Dead Sea were defaced, clearly
deliberately, presumably by the Jews (these vessels are found in the
Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum).  Although this would have no
halakhic validity in terms of nullifying an idol (again, assuming they
were idols--and figures on a vessel require a separate study), defacing
the figure makes sense for a different reason: in my last posting I
raised the question of mar'ith `ayin (appearances) in keeping a human
figure at home even if not an idol.  Defacing the figures on the vessels
are thus required rabbinically (de-rabbanan) to save the appearances, as
the figures are 3-dimensional.  The prohibition of keeping a decorative
statue at home because of appearances is explicitly mentioned in the
Talmud and codified by the Rambam etc.
	On the other hand, I do not believe that it is necessary to chop
off the crosses on chess pieces.  These have no religious significance
whatever, except for the obvious fact that if Jesus had not been
crucified, the cross would not be so ubiquitous today.  I understand the
emotions raised in some Jews at the very sight of a "tzelem" but, as
some readers pointed out, the crosses on money are ok.  Mark Steiner


From: lehrer%<milcse@...> (Meir Lehrer)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 03:01:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Broken Noses

On June 16 1994 Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...> wrote:

>Interesting thought!  Personally, I prefer the standard explanation.  If
>these romans (or anyone else, for that matter) had converted, I would
>expect them to turn any avodah zara into gravel!  We are not permitted
>to have any Hanahah (sp?) (Pleasure) from avoda zarut, and even breaking
>off their noses would not "Nullify" that prohibition!

   A statue is not considered as avoda zarah unless it was worshipped,
or was made with the specific intention to be worshipped. Therefore, the
reason why a mum (flaw) is made on the statue, such as breaking/chipping
off the nose (the shita, view, which I personally hold by) is due to the
possible infraction of 'Morit Ayin' (wrongful/evil appearance). In order
that others should know for sure that we don't possess this statue for
the purpose of idol worship, we make a flaw.
{| Meir Lehrer      [Motorola Israel Ltd. Cellular Software Engineering]     |
| (W): 03-5658422; (H): 03-6189322; Email: lehrer%<milcse@...>| 


From: Yechiel Pisem <ypisem@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 15:27:07 -0400 (edt)
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

Following is an interesting question:

Where I live, in Brooklyn, NY, there are 2 different brand names of milk 
marketed by the same people with cows from the same farm.  One brand is 
Chalav Yisrael and one is not.  Would anyone who eats/drinks only Chalav 
Yisrael use the 2 brands?

Kol Tuv,
Yechiel Pisem


From: <rya@...> (Rani Averick)
Date: 16 Jun 1994  15:09 EDT
Subject: Hebrew alphabet/Hebrew Months 

The discussion on Hebrew as the first language brought to mind a
question about the Hebrew alphabet & a sort of related question about
the Hebrew months:

As I understand it, our current Hebrew alphabet is not the original one
with which the world was created.  Yet there are many writings about the
significance of the shape of each letter in the current alphabet, and
the holiness of the alphabet.  How is it that the original alphabet was
replaced, and why did the replacement take on such religious

Similarly, how is it that we adopted foreign names for the months of the
year and lent them religious significance as well?

Any historical background on these topics would be appreciated!



From: Yechezkel Schatz <lpschatz@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 01:21:47 -0400
Subject: Hebrew Standard

   As was previously stated, the problem of putting the accent on the
wrong syllable is most common in two contexts: songs and names.
   Other cases are simply colloquial mistakes.  Most cases turn a
milera` word into mile`eil.  There are also opposite cases, such as the
words meUmah or EItzel (not meuMAH and eiTZEL).  In any case, I don't
see any trend towards incorrect pronunciation of words, just common


From: <allenme@...> (Michael E Allen)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 10:11:43 -0400
Subject: Hebrew: The first language

In the Kuzari, it is brought down that Hebrew was the only language
spoken until Migdal Bavel (Tower of Babel).  Further, the language is
called "Ivrit" because Ever continued speaking and teaching Ivrit.  My
reading of this is that HaShem did not give make everyone forget Hebrew
when he mixed up the languages.  Rather, He merely gave them an
opportunity to speak a language that his neighbor would not understand.
I think this puts a different light on that whole situation and on what
Abraham being called Ivri means.  He didn't go to the other side --
everyone else did!


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 00:29:36 -0400
Subject: Ideology & pronunciation

B. Harshav LANGUAGE IN TIME OF REVOLUTION (U. of Cal, 1993), and which I
have yet to read, also deals with the question of modern Hebrew


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 13:42:32 GMT
Subject: Re: Pesach in Winter

Jonathan Katz writes:

>Regarding Michael Shimshoni's post about the dates of Pesach in the future:
>I was just wondering what you were basing your projections on. You gave
>a date (or an approximate one) for Pesach in the year 15115 CE!!! I though
>that the calendar as set by Hillel did not extend that far into the future.

Hillel II did not write out a six-thousand year calendar, he established
a formula for computing the calendar on any year.  While it is "common
knowledge" that the calendar is only supposed to be good until the year
6000, no one yet has posted a source that makes this claim.

Even if it is the case that Hillel II explicitly declared that his
formula is not valid after the year 6000, it still is possible to use
the formula and see what results it gives.

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon."
/ nysernet.org                       Stuart Schoffman

From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 94 15:43:55 +0300
Subject: Pesach in Winter

Jonathan Katz asked me quite correctly:

>Regarding Michael Shimshoni's post about the dates of Pesach in the future:
>I was just wondering what you were basing your projections on. You gave
>a date (or an approximate one) for Pesach in the year 15115 CE!!! I though
>that the calendar as set by Hillel did not extend that far into the future.

I got a bit  carried away.  The main purpose of my  note was to negate
the  claim that  Pesach  moves *backwards*  towards  the winter  (i.e.
before March  22).  After  showing that  it drifts  in general  in the
opposite direction, I  was using extrapolation of the  rules of Hillel
till I found when  it first would be in Summer, and  that was in 15115
(18875).  BTW  the computation is "exact"  in the sense that  it would
happen in *that* year if the calendar rules do not change.

It had  been pointed out to  me by an  eagle eyed lady reader  that in
Australia Pesach *would* be indeed in winter in 15115. :-)

 Michael Shimshoni


From: <frimer@...> (Aryeh A. Frimer)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 10:11:54 -0400
Subject: Rashei Tevot

	The Rashei Teivot Mem Bet in the Magen Avraham usually refer to the 
Resp. Masat Binyamin, written by one of the very early Aharaonim.
	Aryeh (for the next 3 months at Nasa without a
 Reference library or files)
			Phone: 216-433-8627


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 94 21:38:09 -0400
Subject: Re: What year is it?

<6524dcurw@...> (David Curwin) writes:
>And notice: "Sod Daniel" (the secret of Daniel) in gematria = 165!

Your article sounded great until this line.  So what if "Sod Daniel"
is 165.  Your evidence showed that the calendar was off by 169 years,
not 165.

Still, I really like this explanation.  It jibes with a few other
things I've heard before.



From: <segs@...> (Susan Slusky)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 94 13:55:38 EDT
Subject: Yizchor

I was taught that Yizchor began as a group memorial to the Jews who died
in Europe during the Crusades (The Crusaders practiced killing local
infidels while heading for Jerusalem to kill distant infidels.), and
only later became associated with individual relatives who had died at
other times. So it would make sense that only the Ashkenazim have this
custom. In Muslim countries, where the Sephardim lived, the Crusaders
killed both Jews and Muslims so the Crusades were not regarded as a
specifically Jewish catastrophe.

(I wonder why I'm writing this when I know there are people on this list
who REALLY KNOW about medieval Jewish history.)

Susan Slusky


End of Volume 13 Issue 65