Volume 14 Number 53
                       Produced: Wed Jul 27 17:23:25 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anaesthetic and Milah
         [Harry Weiss]
Begin the Talmud teacher
         [Shalom Carmy]
Clinton the Talmudist
         [Shnayer Leiman]
Day school tution
         [Fivel Smiles]
Halacha and Morality
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Mezuzah writing
         [Chaim Schild]
Parentheses in Rema and Yerushalmi Kodashim
         [Shalom Carmy]
Parshat Ekev, Devarim 10:6
         [Norman Tuttle]
: Higher Costs
         [Dov Ettner]
Secondary Consideartions in Hallacha
         [Sam Juni]
Test of Faith
         [Robert Braun]
Yerushalmi on Kodshim
         [Elie Rosenfeld]


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 19:01:10 
Subject: Anaesthetic and Milah

I had a discussion with a Mohel the other day who recently performed a
Bris on a baby who was given a local anaesthetic prior to bringing the
child to the Bris.  (This was done without the advance knowledge of the

He was very agitated at the Bris.  I mentioned the various discussions
that were on MJ on the matter.  He said the problem was not whether it
was prohibited Halachically.  The anaesthetic caused a swelling which
made the Bris much more difficult.  He said that would delay the healing



From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 00:53:22 -0400
Subject: Begin the Talmud teacher

"Who is a hero? He who makes his foe his friend" is found in Avot
d'Rabbi Nathan (Version A) ch. 23.

This text was frequently cited by Premier Begin during the Camp David
negotiations. This may have been President Clinton's source.

In fact, I recall an interview in which Begin asked the predictably
self-righteous telejournalist "Have you ever studied the TalMUD?" When
he received the predictably negative answer, the Prime Minister
muttered, "I thought so" and launched into the quote.


From: Shnayer Leiman <szlyu@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 13:55:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Clinton the Talmudist

It appears likely that the President was quoting from one of his
favorite works, Avot d'Rabbi Natan. If he used the edition printed in
the Vilna shas, it is at 23:1. If he used Solomon Schechter's edition,
it is on p.  75. The President's rendering of the passage into English
was not borrowed from either Judah Goldin's The Fathers According to
Rabbi Nathan (New Haven, 1955) or Soncino's Minor Tractates of the
Talmud (London, 1965).
						Shnayer Leiman
[Source also given by Mordechai Perlman <abeperl@...>. Mod]


From: <FSmiles@...> (Fivel Smiles)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 23:24:50 -0400
Subject: Day school tution

The grandfather ( Judah Isaacs of the upper west side New York ) of my
wife was at the founding meeting of torah umesorah.  Two ideas were
presented on how to pay for day school expences.  One was that the
parents pay. He among others thought it should be the duty of the whole
communtity to pay. Each member of the communtity would be taxed according
to their means and not according to how many children they had.  If this
were done, could not every one take the donation to the community off
their taxes.  Also no one would have to worry about the tution expence
of extra kids. Her grandfather is supported by the rambam who says it a
communal duty to make schools for children.  (hilchot talmud torah
chapter 2 halacha 1 )Teaching children benifits us all so even single ,
retired , and childless people should pay too.

Fivel Smiles


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 20:11:45 -0400
Subject: Halacha and Morality

Yesterday someone asked me what I do with a Gemara in Sanhedrin that
says that one may not return the loss of a Goy. I could not find any
such Gemara. What I did find, however, is Baba Kama 113b, where R.
Pinchas ben Yair (one of the great "Bnai Aliya"), see Chullin 7b, and R.
Shimon B. Yochai's son-in-law) says that where a Chillul Hashem might be
generated one is forbidden to keep the lost item of a Goy.  The
ramifications of this principle are discussed in Choshen Mishpat 266.


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 10:01:27 -0400
Subject: Mezuzah writing

I have been unable to locate the REASON why the letters following
"HaShem Elokenu HaShem" are written on the reverse side of a mezuzah
scroll. Plenty of sources (Rema, Tur, etc) say it is done and the
letters are those following but not WHY ?? I have found in contrast many
reasons why Shakai is written. In Rambam (Hil Mez. 5:4) it states that
writing names of Angels is strictly forbidden (in attempting for an
extra segulah [re Kesef Mishna]) so the above inscription must be done
for some other reason.......... ????



From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 01:11:37 -0400
Subject: Parentheses in Rema and Yerushalmi Kodashim

1. Prof. Daniel Sperber in his MINHAGEI YISRAEL several times discusses
parenthetical comments in Rema. One place is Vol 3, p 54, n 39 (if my
handwritten notes are legible). There are also examples in Volume 2.
Sperber asserts that these comments are not by Rema. He cites the Sede
Hemed referred to by Michael Broyde.

2. Also in Sperber's Vol 3: The Hafetz Hayyim began to use Rabbenu Tam's
tefillin about the time of World War I. It was thought that he had done
so because the war had exiled him to Ukraine, where Hasidim abounded
(who adopted R"T's tefillin as a matter of course), and the Hafetz
Hayyim didn't want to deviate. When he was questioned by his son,
however, a different story emerged. The Hafetz Hayyim had come upon the
recently "discovered" Yerushalmi on Kodashim, on the basis of which he
determined that the case for R"T's tefillin was stronger than had
previously been thought. His son finally convinced him that the work was
a forgery.  Nevertheless the Hafetz Hayyim continued to wear Tefilin
shel R"T for the rest of his life.

With reference to Jeffrey Woolf's comment: Shlomo (?) Friedlander, the
forger of Yerushalmi Kodashim, was clearly not a university scholar, but
I don't know if I would call him a yeshiva man either. If my
recollection is correct, he once claimed to be a Sefardi from the land
of Israel, and when, several years later, he was questioned about the
quality of his Yiddish, he explained that he was actually speaking
German, which he had learnt in Germany. Nobody followed up on why his
"German" had a Galitzianer accent. In short, he was one wild and crazy

[Yosef Bechhofer also questions the identification of Friedlander as a
"pietist". Mod]


From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 13:54:55 -0400
Subject: Parshat Ekev, Devarim 10:6

Jay Bailey asks regarding the contradiction Devarim 10:6 "Moserah, where
Aaron died and was buried" vs. Parshat Chukat which refers to "Hor
Hahar" in Num. 20:22-29 as the place where Aaron goes up for his
"famous" death and transfer of office to Elazar.  He says that the
Ramban (Nachmonides) disagrees with the explanations of both Rashi and
Ibn Ezra, and additionally that the geographical argument of Ramban is
untenable.  He wonders if there is a mistake in the text.

I would 1st like to point out that there are no such things as
"mistakes" in Torah.  Since the Five Books of Moses is direct Divine
word, there can be no mistakes in the written text, as it was preserved
faithfully through the generations.  See the explanation given by Dave
Steinberg earlier in m-j as to why there is an apparent difficulty.

To resolve this problem, I first looked at the sources in question,
Rashi, Ibn Ezra as brought down by Ramban, and the Ramban.  Rashi does
not really explain why Aaron's death is mentioned at Mosera; it only
"seemed" as if he died there, since they went back 8 stages to Mosera
after Hor HaHar, when the Canaanites (or Amalekites), under King Arad,
waged war against them and the clouds of glory had (temporarily) parted.
Ibn Ezra says Moserah is not the "Moserot" of Parshat Maasei.  The
Ramban claims that Hor HaHar is name of a mountain ridge, and Moserah
the name of town opposite the ridge where Aaron went up to die.

I looked at the Malbim, since he often has a unique Pshat.  He referred
me to his commentary on Num 20:29, in Parshat Chukat.  There he explains
that the burial of Aaron actually took place in Mosera, not Hor HaHar.
Aften Aaron died on Hor HaHar, the "Canaanites" started to wage war
while the Jews were hoping to make a proper Hesped for Aaron HaKohen.
They were forced 8 stages back and had to make the burial at Mosera.  As
far as the reason for the attribution of death to occur at Mosera rather
than Hor HaHar, this is because "Gevia" and "Mitah" are considered to be
separate terms or stages of death.  Gevia ("expiration" in the JPS
translation) is mentioned explicitly in Chukat, while Mitah ("death") is
mentioned in Parshat Ekev.  Malbim says that the Roshem Mitah ("the
evidence of death") was not visible in Aaron until he reached (and was
buried in) Mosera.  [This explanation is also not without its questions,
since (1) Mitah is stated in reference to Hor HaHar in Parshat Maasei
and (2) If the parting of clouds (Ananei Kavod) occurred the same time
that the Roshem of Mitah became visible (as Malbim seems to imply at the
end of his commentary on 20:29), how could the "Caananite" have
successfully waged war with the Jews so as to push them back 8 stages,
with the cloud of protection still effective for the Jews?]

Nosson Tuttle


From: <dovle@...> (Dov Ettner)
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 12:07:46 +0300
Subject: Re : Higher Costs

There seems to be much discussion about high tuition costs for religious
education and paying exhorbitant prices for kosher food abroad. It is
always more expensive when you dine out or have to pay for special
services when you are away.

There are many things that we have to pay high prices for in Israel but
in my experience in living here 20 years, one does not have to pay the
same amount of money for a true Torah life style.

"Be it ever so humble there is no place like HOME".

Lehitraot B'Eretz Yisrael
Dov Ettner 


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 20:11:51 -0400
Subject: Secondary Consideartions in Hallacha

In his posting of 7/20/94, Rabbi Irwin Haut presents a category of
Hallacha which I find intriguing. Rabbi Haut, as I read it, refers to a
string of activities (a convert striking his gentile father, stealing
from a supermarket, cheating on exams) which may not be prohibited by
Hallacha (for the sake of argument), but which are prohibited by local
secular law (and I presume are ethically contraindicated).  The
principle Rabbi Haut mentions is worded as "so that it may not be said"
that Jewish law is less just than non-Jewish law.

There is a built-in issue of levels of prohibition in this line of
ruling.  It is implied that the derivation of the prohibition is based
on what "people" will say rather than on a-priori Hallachic
consideration re these acts which are unethical.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <REB@...> (Robert Braun)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 15:10:41 -0800
Subject: Test of Faith

In response to Sam Juni's comment on the Akeidah (Vol 14, No.  42),
there seems to be an assumption that G-d is obligated to act on his
knowledge.  If that were the case, the Torah itself would be

Similarly, if the Akeidah were solely a personal test between Avram and
G-d, then the Akeidah surplussage; however, the Akeidah, and the lessons
learned from it, is for the benefit of others.  As such, G-d's knowledge
of Avram's future action is not necessary.  Instead, it is more
important that G-d establishes a test from which others may learn and


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 10:59:23 -0400
Subject: Yerushalmi on Kodshim

Could someone who knows more about this topic expand on it for this
list? From what I know of the story, it's incredibly fascinating.
Someone actually forged an entire seder of gemara, and did such a
skillful job that it fooled several gedolim!  Can you imagine the
twisted brilliance it would take to pull off something like that?  You
have to wonder what motivated the person who did it.

I'd love to hear more details on this bizarre incident.  I do think that
the topic has it's place here.  At a minimum, it's an interesting and
little-known piece of halakhic history.  I'd especially like to know:

 * How was the forgery accomplished

 * Who was fooled, and for how long

 * Who finally discovered the forgery


Elie Rosenfeld


End of Volume 14 Issue 53