Volume 14 Number 17
                       Produced: Thu Jul 14  0:30:17 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Compromising Decisions
         [Mitchel Berger]
Egyptian brain surgery
         [Doug Behrman]
Inquiry about Circumcision
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
Kabbalistic Healing
         [Fred Dweck]
Mussar vs. Rechilus
         [David Steinberg]
Ocean Spray Hashgacha
         [Eric Safern]
Talit Katan
         [Ari Shapiro]
The 6th Commandment - Kill or Murder?
         [Howard Berlin]
Tzedaka and Yeshiva Tuition
         [Warren Burstein]
Tzitzit & Wearing tallit over the head
         [Chaim Schild]


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:10:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Compromising Decisions

In v13#98, Ezrah Dabbah writes:
> 2) Are you to take into account the so called halacha of "Esav soneh
> Yaacob" and say that you could never reach a compromise to deter reprisals.

"So called" is too mild. "Esav sonei es Ya'akov" is aggadita, not
halachah. There is some indication that it is about physical vs.
spiritual; Rome, which rules by physical might, can't stand Ya'akov,
whose existance is based in spiritual commitment.


From: <ASLAN7@...> (Doug Behrman)
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:56:21 -0400
Subject: Egyptian brain surgery

In reference to the  posting about evidence of "brain surgery" found in
ancient Egyptian archeological digs: I find it very unlikely that actual
neurosurgery was performed and the patient survived. There are two reasons
that come to mind (there are probaably more but I am neither a neurosurgeon
nor a neurologist):1)Although Seth Gordon is correct in his statement that
there are no "Major arteries" in the brain,such as ,say,the AORTA,the
arteries are major enough for an organ such as the brain which occupies a
*very* cramped space. A bleed from one of these vessels can cause compression
of the brain and result in coma or death quite easily.
2)Gangrene is not the only infection to be concerned about. Even today under
sterile conditions  neurosurgery can( and fairly often does) result in
meningitis. Bacterial meningitis left untreated,there were no antibiotics in
ancient Egypt, is almost universally fatal.
        It is much more likely that these people were subjected to an
ancient practice of drilling a hole in the skull to "let out the evil
spirits".No brain tissue was involved. While this is not without similar
risks, they are much reduced without actual surgery on the brain.


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:56:18 -0400
Subject: Inquiry about Circumcision

Would subscribers to mail-jewish please refer me to texts that explain,
from a halakhic point of view, how women are understood to enter the
covenant between God and Israel.  Specifically, I am interested in
recent sources that react to the feminist claim that women are not
allowed full membership or participation in the covenant because they
cannot undergo the ritual of circumcision.  These sources might be
halakhic discussions or halakhically-based homilies, but please, no
polemics, diatribes, personal testimonies, or the like.  Please post
references to me personally if you do not feel that the topic is
appropriate for discussion by the entire list.

With thanks and good wishes,
Alan Cooper <Alan.Cooper@...>


From: Fred Dweck <71214.3575@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:42:15 -0400
Subject: Kabbalistic Healing

Before this subject becomes hot and heavy, with each person adding a
totally uninformed view on the subject, I would like to point out some

In massechet Berachot (5:2) we see R. Haninah heal R. Yochanan by taking
his hand, IE: touching him. The Ar'i z"l explains this in "Sha'ar
Ma'amarie Razal"

The Ar'i z"l was very well known for his healing touch. There are many
stories attesting to this.

These are only two of many examples. Mekubalim have been healing people,
successfully for hundreds of generations.

In order to understand the concepts and possibilities of Kabbalistic
healing one only need read A) "Derech Hashem" (The ways of G-d) by R.
Moshe Hayim Luzzato (Part 3 chapter 2) and B) any of the hundreds of lay
books on "the mind body connection." This should give a clear
understanding of the workings of Kabbalistic healing. Even the medical
proffession is *beginning* to recognize it's value.

I know for a fact, that the person who sent out those "advertisements"
was not advertising at all. Rather, he was just trying to inform those
who might be in need, that such a service exists in the community, at
the insistence of his students and patients. It was, and is absolutely
"Leshem Shamayim."

Fred E. Dweck Los Angeles, CA 


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 20:37:22 +0100
Subject: Mussar vs. Rechilus

I have been following the debate which has arisen from Arnie Lustiger's
post about the 'failure' of the Haredi community.  While I understand
the concerns that led Arnie to post, his post raises , for me at least,
other concerns.

A key role of any Manhig Yisroel (Jewish religious leader) to give his
followers Hochacha and Mussar - (reproof).  Moreover any individual
seeing his 'brother' doing an Aveira (sin) has the same obligation.
Contrariwise, one of the worst things a Jew can do is to 'Saleich
Rochil' (gossip).  It is clear from the sources that you can be a
'Seileich Rochil' even of you are telling the truth. (See Rambam Yad,
Deios 7:1) The Gemorah in Shabbos 53. attributes much suffering to this

When is it Mussar vs Rechillus?  There are times it is hard to tell.
One clear criterion is intent.  That cannot always be determined (at
least by a Bossor V'Dom - human).  Another factor is the audience
present to hear the message.  If the audience is primarily those
reproved, then it is likely that they are being given Mussar.  If there
are very few or no reprovees in the audience then one must at least
suspect for Rechillus.

I once heard a prominent Rabbi give his shul a mussar drosho.  He railed
against the behavior of 'rich Five Towns' jews (not his community) and
problems in the Chassidic community (ditto).  For me at least the drosho
(sermon) lacked impact.  And I question whether is ultimately was

Arnie stated that Rav Gifter addressed these issues of Chilul Hashem in
an address to a recent Agudah convention.  But Rav Gifter was addressing
THAT Community.

Chazal tell us that the Second Bais HaMikdash(Temple) was destroyed
because of Sinas Chinam (ungrounded hatred amongst jews (Yoma 9)).
Please accept this post as as attempt to raise sensitivity of the issue;
not as a flame or to stiffle positive discussion.

Al Pi Droosh (stretching an exegisis) on can Taitch (explain) the verse 
in Vayikra 19:16 'Lo Seileich Rochil B'Amecho' = Don't gossip ABOUT your 
people.  The magnitude of saying Loshon Hora about the Jewish people 
cannot be overstated.  Consider that the Chait HaMeraglim (sin of the 
Spies) was that the spoke badly of the Land of Israel - Kal V'Chomer on 
the people.  Even Bilaam knew this.  Bamidbar 23:8 'Mah Ekov Lo Kavo 
Kel..' (how can I curse them if Hashem has not).


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:42:31 -0400
Subject: Ocean Spray Hashgacha

I spoke with Ocean Spray Cranberries just now.  Products with a plain 'K'
are supervised by Rabbi J.H. Ralbag, of Triangle K fame.

Just out of curiosity, is there anyone who would not drink fruit juice
under this hashgacha?


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 94 20:26:23 -0400
Subject: Talit Katan

Jeffrey Wolf writes:
<3) A Tallit Katan IS a pious custom and hence generated a blessing
<according to the position that blessings are recited on customs. 

This is not correct.  The reason one would put on a Talit Katan may be
because of a custom but once you put it on you are fulfilling the torah
obligation of wearing tzitzit and therefore you make a Bracha.  Here the
reason for doing the action may be a custom but since the action itself
is a mitvah the action requires a Bracha.

Ari Shapiro


From: Howard Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 06:56:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The 6th Commandment - Kill or Murder?

For many years I have always tried to correct those who use the 6th 
Commandment as the basis of their objection to the death penalty in the 
U.S. - not whether the death is right or wrong, but the translation of 
the commandment.

Shemot (20:1-14) and Devarim (5:6-18) both cite the Aseret Ha'dibrot 
(Decalogue, Ten Commandments). It has always been my understanding that 
the 6th Commandment, which reads as "lo tierzak" (Shemot 20:13 and 
Devarim 5:17) translates as "you shall/will not murder," as opposed to 
the frequently "shall not kill" used by many Christian groups.

Although killing and murdering have the same finality (death), I always 
thought that there were definite semantic differences between "kill" and 
"murder" - that it was permissible to kill under some circumstansces, but 
never permissible to murder, one of many interpretations 

My point is now this. My Hersh Chummash uses "murder" in its translation. 
The Stone Edition of the ArtScroll Chummsh (p. 411) in its commentary says:

	"13. Sixth Commandment: Prohibition against murder.
	 (In Hebrew, lo tierzak) - You shall not kill ........"

and further down, it continues:

	"..... many have noted that that a prohibition against murder
	seems to ...."

The ArtScroll Chummash uses the word "murder" in its commentary, but 
translates tierzak as "kill."  I believe that this is the first time that 
I have seen "kill" used instead of "murder" in a Jewish/Hebrew source as the 

Which is it? - Kill or Murder.  Enquiring minds want to know!

Shalom -- Howard M. Berlin
<berlin@...>      |    What did Delaware boys?
Howard M. Berlin, W3HB    |    She wore a brand New Jersey!
Wilmington, Delaware      |    


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 06:04:42 GMT
Subject: Re: Tzedaka and Yeshiva Tuition

Frank Silbermann writes:

>David Griboff (Vol14 #1) suggests that paying Tzedaka while accepting
>day-school scholarships may be motivated by tax considerations --
>tzedaka is tax deductible, but tuition is not.

>David suggests that this may be ethically improper.  I disagree.  To me
>this sounds like an excellent and appropriate strategy, _especially_ if
>one can arrange that one's Tzedakah goes to the same school from which
>one receives scholarships.

I would suggest, both as good advice, and also to minimize a possible
Chillul Hashem (if the IRS objects), that anyone contemplating the
above consult a good tax lawyer first.  I'm not a tax lawyer, and I'm
not saying that this is illegal, all I'm saying is that if someone
proposed it to me, I'd get good legal advice.

If one accepts tzedaka from A and gives it to B, I don't imagine
there's a legal problem.  If one exchanges tzedaka with C (even if on
paper one gets a scholarship from the Ploni Scholarship Fund and gives
tzedaka to the yeshiva) I think one ought to check the legality of it.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:10:48 -0400
Subject: Tzitzit & Wearing tallit over the head 

I am sorry that i do not have the time to look it up at home but
R. Aryeh Kaplan z"l in his book on the topic (the thin set now in
Anthology) states that only married men wear it over their head.
A reference is surely there.



End of Volume 14 Issue 17