Volume 15 Number 16
                       Produced: Wed Aug 31 23:46:12 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Judaism and Vegetarianism
         [Ellen Golden]
Milk Herd Information
         [Doni Zivotofsky]
Outside Sources on the Bible
         [Ira Robinson]
         [Joseph Steinberg]
The Hidden Prophecies of the Verses
         [Fred E. Dweck]
The Ultimate Curse (3)
         [Sam Gamoran, Eric Safern, Yitty Rimmer]
Two Coverings
         [Yosef Bechhofer]


From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 94 00:53:20 EDT
Subject: Judaism and Vegetarianism

  From: <JPREICHEL@...> (Jules Reichel)

    I particularly noticed Richard Schwartz's statement that, "over 70% of
    the grain produced in the United States is fed to animals destined for
    slaughter, while an estimated 20 million people die annually due to
    hunger and its effects." This is IMHO a common type of vegetarian
    assertion but it always troubles me. ...

It troubles me, also, because it just isn't so.  A lot of grain is
used to fatten cattle in the United States, but "corn fed" beef is
pretty rare (and that's why the United States has the best steaks...
to refer to a semi-related post about wishing for a good steak in
Israel).  IF... and this is a BIG IF... grain production in the United
States is being funnelled in the wrong direction, it is FAR MORE
LIKELY that it is (a) being unnecessarily subsidized by Congress <i.e.
farmers paid not to produce> or (b) warehoused.  Some surplus grain is
shipped overseas, but it is still true, I think, that there is grain
in silos in this country that would feed the world, in spite of the
large amounts that are already sold/sent to other countries.  What the
cows eat is not of much consequence.  Conscience in treating cattle
humanely in the United States, on the other hand, is probably long overdue.


From: <DONIZ@...> (Doni Zivotofsky)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 01:35:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Milk Herd Information

A brief reply to a lengthy post by Barry Freundel:

I assume that he missed both my previous post on this issue and the post
by Jan Gelb that preceded it but am responding because of the light
which his post portrays the Rabbonim that took the issue seriously.
	Ruminal tympany/bloat - a distention of the rumen/first of a
cow's four(fore)stomachs is a condition that has been recognized for
years and is in fact treated by 1) pasing a tube orally into the rumen
or 2) poking a hole in the left side of the cow (eg. large bore
hypodermic) in the case of free gas or, in the case of frothy bloat
where the distention is due to an accumulating proteinacious froth, by
slicing a big hole thru the left side of the cow into the rumen.  I
myself have used a large butchering knife and made a 6" hole that let
off a geyser of froth.  No peritonitis results and all usually heals.
	None of this is relevant to the question at hand. Not keres,
cannula or bloat.  the conditon dicussed is abomasal displacement
(displacement of the 'Keva' or fourth stomach) along with associated
tearing of the omentum (chelev).  This conditon and its treatment is
surely not discussed in older rabbinic sources as it only first appears
in the veterinary literature in 1954 in Vet. Med. in an article by Riley
and Moore.  The treatment advocated by Cornell University (amongst four
common treatments used by veterinarians in the field) which is NY
state's college of Veterinary medicine where that issue came up(in NYS)
is one in which two stings actually exit the abomasum and the body of
the cow and buttoned down outside her skin for a considerable amount of
time after the "operation" (No peritonitis ensues as the nylon suture
holds the punctured abomasum tightly against the body wall until an
adhesion fo forms).  I am by no means saying that a real kashrus problem
exists.  Only that in NYs where an average of 10% of all cows used for
milk sales are affected per year if the OU or other repected
organization feels it is worth investigating we should not be overly
  I have respect in particular for the Mashgichim of the OU (as
I eat from their Hashgacha and would guess that many other subscribers
to this list do as well.  If they deemed it necessary to send a team of
Rabbonim to cornell (aroud 12 I understand) to ensure that there was no
problem ( by examining affected animals, seing the procedure etc..)
(reviewing statistics of which animals are affected and which are
treated by wha what technique)I think we owe them the decency not to be
too critical until we know all the facts.  Not thru the OU but from a
contact at Cornell I am under the impression that as of last thursday
the OU had completed a (four page?) synopsis of the whole issue.  I
think we should anticipate that as their final word on the subject.
						Doni Zivotofsky, DVM


From: <ROBINSO@...> (Ira Robinson)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 13:34:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Outside Sources on the Bible

Recently someone spoke of "outside" references to Biblical characters
and/or events in e.g. the writings of the ancient Hittites.  To the best
of my knowledge this is not so.  Ancient Near Eastern literature, taken
as a whole,does tend to confirm specific details in some Biblical
narratives, but does not speak specifically of events such as the Exodus
from Egypt.  The only person appearing in the Torah whose name has been
discovered in an ancient inscription is Bilam ben Beor.

Ketiva va-hatima tova to all,
Ira Robinson


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 10:05:52 -0400
Subject: Racism

Someone posted:
:        While I noted above that I think the reason fo r racism in the
:Orthodox community is sociological, it is also possible that there is some
:theological basis. Theological basis you say. Why that is impossible, Jews
:believe all people are created equal. 

We believe that all people were created to accomplish different things in
life -- all people are Bnei Adam -- Btzelem Elokim -- but most definitely
not equal. 'Asher Bacahr Banu Mikkol Am', Kohen vs. Levi, Yisrael vs. 
Mamzer, Kohen vs. Yisrael, B'chor vs. Non-b'chor, Amoni & Moavi vs. rest
of nations, Mitzri vs. rest of nations -- check out the Talmudic chapter
of 'Asarah Yuchsin' -- 10 lineages -- i.e., more than 10 different
'castes' and then try to make the claim that all people are created 
equal according to traditional Jewish thought.

This is simply not so. 

Now a mamzer who becomes a talmid chacham is greater than a Kohen Gadol 
Am HAaretz -- no question about it... but at the moment of birth they 
were simply not equal.

   _\ \ \  / __`\  /',__\  /'__`\/\ '__`\\ \  _ `\    Joseph Steinberg
  /\ \_\ \/\ \L\ \/\__, `\/\  __/\ \ \L\ \\ \ \ \ \   The Courant Institute
  \ \____/\ \____/\/\____/\ \____\\ \ ,__/ \ \_\ \_\  <steinber@...>
   \/___/  \/___/  \/___/  \/____/ \ \ \/   \/_/\/_/  +1-201-833-9674


From: <FDWECK@...> (Fred E. Dweck)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 18:36:27 -0400
Subject: The Hidden Prophecies of the Verses

Howard Reich says:
<<<5708, the creation of the State of Israel (1948), corresponds with 
> Deuteronomy 30:6, "And the L-rd thy G-d will circumcise thine heart and 
> the heart of thy seed, to love the L-rd thy G-d with all your heart and 
> with all your soul, that you may live."
> ...>>>

If one counts correctly, then Deuteronomy 30:5 would correspond to 5708
(1948), and is even more indicative of what he is saying.
"And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers
possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply
you above your fathers:" 

Likewise, the pasuk corresponding to 5727 (1967) is:
"And the Lord shall do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the
Amorites, and to the land of them, whom he destroyed:" Which is Deuteronomy
31:4, and NOT 31:5. This is also more applicable to the six day war.

There are many other pesukim which when looked at in this way, provide, to
say the least, a mindblowing experience. There is a program called "Bible
Scholar" by Torah Educational Software Inc., which will do searches like the
ones mentioned.

Fred E. Dweck (Yeshuah Ezra Dweck)
Los Angeles, CA 


From: gamoran%<milcse@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 05:43:10 -0400
Subject: Re: The Ultimate Curse

Re: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>

I too have been wondering about the origins of "yimach shemo".  The
relevant question here is what is the meaning of the word "yimach".

It comes from the pasuk (verse) "macho timche et zecher Amalek" - a
commandment to <Macho> the memory of Amalek for attacking the Israelites
in the desert.  This portion is read on Shabbat Zachor just before Purim
because Haman is attributed to be a decendant of Amalek.

<Macho> is generally translated "to erase" or "to blot out" so this
would be a commandment to wipe out Amalek, or in the modern "yimach
shmo" to obliterate the memory of the evil one.  This is also consistent
with the story given in the book of Samuel in which Saul is commanded to
utterly destroy Amalek and is punished for failing to do so...  So too,
we say "yimach shmo" about the subsequent (spiritual) decendants of

Yet there is a paradox here.  In saying "yimach shmo" and in remembering
Amalek we prevent the utter obliteration!  Indeed we are commanded to
always remember Amalek and to not forget.

I'm not certain what is the "shoresh" (grammatical root) of the word
"yimach".  At first glance it seems to be a variant of "MaHoK" (to
erase, obliterate).  In light of the paradox above, (and this is my own
original thought) I wonder if it might be derived from the root (MaCHoH)
where "limchot" means to protest.  Not that we are commanded to
obliterate Amalek, for we cannot, because then we would not remember
him, but we are commanded to perpetually PROTEST the existence of
Amalek, to OBJECT to his evil values and their existence in this world.
This rendering would be consistent with remembering and not forgetting
the evil in these values.

Sam Gamoran

From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 09:22:10 -0400
Subject: Re: The Ultimate Curse

>When referring to an exceedingly wicked person, the custom is to mention
>the individual's name followed by the phrase "Yimach Shemo Vzichro"
(snip, snip)
>I was wondering if someone could explain the significance behind this
>ultimate curse.

Is this really an appropriate topic for the days of selichot, when we
ask G-d to forgive our sins?

Please recall the Talmud, Berachos 55a:

	Three things recall a person's sins...
	1) Standing under an unsound wall
	2) Scrutinizing one's prayers to see if they are all answered
	3) Asking G-d to punish another

Now is not the time to curse others, but rather the time to repair
our own personal (and communal) judgements.

In that vein, if I have offended anyone in some way in the past year
(including this post... :-) , please accept my sincere apologies.

			K'tiva v'Chatima Tova,
			Eric Safern

From: <ny000544@...> (Yitty Rimmer)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 94 09:42:02 -0400
Subject: The Ultimate Curse

	Wouldn't it appear that the ultimate curse to any human being is
no recognition that they ever existed or no children to continue the
line of descendants? We are all well aware that one of the most severe
punishments for a serious sin such as "eating Chametz on Pesach" is
Kares - the line of descendants are "cut off".
	 When the wicked are cursed with "may his name and memory be
obliterated", we are in essence saying that he did not deserve to exist
for he failed to be productive in life. We can safely say that if one
fails to accomplish something good in life, they wasted their life
away. Therefore to the wicked who wasted his life in evil pursuits, we
tell him he might as well not have existed for his life was wasted
	Just food for thought!
Yitty Rimmer 


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 20:25:25 -0400
Subject: Two Coverings

Ari Shapiro writes that two coverings are necessary so that no
prohibited substance gets absorbed in the food. I am confused. Are we
talking about a microwave in which there is a glob of forbidden
substance? If not, then the problem is one of "ze'ah", i.e., moisture,
and that only reqires one cover. See, for example, Igros Moshe YD

Completely unrelated: I do some Kiruv occasionally, and I see how
much people are turned off by racist jokes (which, as Marc Shapiro
pointed out, can only be regarded as an aberration, and indicate that
some people simply are not fulfilling Mitzvos lishma - otherwise, they
would have achieved SOME refinement), and I strongly admonish my Daf
Yomi Ba'alei Battim and others not to tell them. B"H, Mussar works.


End of Volume 15 Issue 16