Volume 15 Number 38
                       Produced: Fri Sep 30  1:21:22 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hoshanot oddities
         [Jerrold Landau]
Lactose digestion and Nostratic languages
         [Stan Tenen]
Retroactive Conditionals as Talmudic Paradox
         [Sam Juni]
Yom kippur
         [Claire Austin]


From: <LANDAU@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 94 10:13:24 EDT
Subject: Hoshanot oddities

A question was asked on mail.jewish about Hoshanot oddities. The answer is
as follows:

Hoshana 5 (Adon Hamoshia), has direct references to requests for rain.
It is always said on the next to last day of Succot (i.e. the last
hoshana before Hoshana Rabba).  If that day is Shabbat, it is displaced
completely, since it is not proper to explicitely pray for rain early in
Succot, since there are a few days of the mitzva of Succa remaining.  On
the second last day of Succot, just before Hoshana Rabba, once most of
Succot is over, it is already acceptable to pray for rain.  Adon
Hamoshia is, of course said as one of the seven Hoshanot for Hoshana

Hoshana 3 (Eeroch Shui), has direct references to Yom Kippur (see
phrases gimel and dalet -- I prayed to G-d to help me on the fast of my
sin).  It is appropriate to say this as close to possible to Yom Kippur,
but it is not appropriate to say it on Yom Tov, since it has requests
for forgiveness.  Therefore, it is said on the first day of Chol Hamoed
(i.e.  the third day of Succot), which is the same day of the week as
Yom Kippur fell the week before.  If that day is Shabbat, it is
postponed one day.  However, if the first day is Shabbat, and Hoshana 1
is pushed off to day 2, you would expect that hoshana 2 would be pushed
off to day 3.  But it is not since Hoshana 3 (Eeroch Shui) is most
appropriate for day 3.  Therefore, Hoshana 2 gets pushed off one more
day to day 4.  (Another principle is that hoshana 1 and 2 (Lemaan
Amitach, and Even Shetia) are always said, no matter which day falls on

A bit complicated, but hope this clears up the confusion.  This is all
described at length in the Artscroll Machzor.  I have heard that nusach
Chabad does not change the Hoshanot for each day.  They must have an
easier time of remembering things.

Pitka Tava,   Jerrold Landau


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 1994 20:09:48 -0700
Subject: Lactose digestion and Nostratic languages


I don't know anything about Lactose digestion, but I do know odd things 
about languages.

The Indo-European language hypothesis is all but dead (of its own 
inconsistencies and its sordid origin - see below) and the (far more 
sophisticated) Nostratic fix is nearly as shaky.  I know that these are 
the predominate teachings in academia, but as one who has tried to make 
sense of university linguistics for several years now, I have come to 
strongly question all but a few odd facts in these models.  

There is a stinging indictment of the Indo-European hypothesis in Isaac 
Mozeson's "The Word", and eclectic Hebrew-English dictionary that 
demonstrates Torah Hebrew word root origins for a wide range of modern 
English (and related) words.  Mozeson points out, and I agree with what 
he says (even though his language is a bit strong even for me), that the 
Indo-European hypothesis was basically anti-semitic in origin.  It was 
considered necessary for the Church/State sponsored schools in northern 
Europe last century to throw out Hebrew (and African) roots and to 
replace them with what we might call "Aryan" roots.  There never was any 
scientific basis for the Indo-European language hypothesis.  It is 
little more than a rationalization for anti-semitism.  The newer, and 
far less anti-semitic, Nostratic hypothesis and its variants is probably 
somewhat closer to reality.  It is a fairly good model as far as it 
goes.  But as long as academia starts from the hypothesis that spiritual 
traditions, such as Judaism, are devoid of real meaning beyond (Joseph 
Campbell level) mythology, they will never have a complete or correct 

My own studies seem to demonstrate that whatever the evolution of spoken 
languages (including the languages Jews have spoken throughout history, 
like Egyptian, Babylonian, Aramaic, Canaanite, Greek, modern Israeli 
Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, English, etc.), Torah Hebrew is different.  I 
believe that I can demonstrate that Torah Hebrew was originally a formal 
language NOT intended to be used for ordinary speech and/or commerce at 

Hebrew cannot be understood as the pre-Babel universal language, as 
claimed by Torah, as long as the reality of Torah is dismissed.  And 
that means that the academics must exclude formal spiritual language 
from their theories.   That means that they cannot properly sort out 
their own data.

Gimel-Bet means "hollow", etc., because Gimel FORMALLY refers to 
contained relationship and Bet FORMALLY refers to its container.  In 
Biblical Hebrew, the word meaning is determined by the sequence of 
formal operational meanings of each of the letters.  In academia, the 
idea that letters are not arbitrary, not phonetic, and that they carry 
formal meaning is anathema.  So, there is no way for academic theories 
to account for Biblical Hebrew or other sacred languages that are 
apparently based on or derived from it.

The idea that letters have individual meaning is not as far fetched as 
some scholars would like to believe.  Seen as conventional phonetic 
markers (in ordinary, non-Biblical Hebrew), each letter requires 
particular muscles to speak.  It has been clinically demonstrated that 
different movements and postures elicit different feelings. This is 
because the neurotransmitters that mediate our production of the phoneme 
also affect (and/or reflect) how we feel.

Likewise, as visual shapes, the Hebrew letters appear to be generated by 
an idealized model hand bound on the hand like a Tefillin strap.  The 
natural (universal, as in the Tower of Babel story) meaning of each hand 
gesture that displays a Hebrew letter to the wearer IS the name of that 
letter.  Thus each letter corresponds to a gesture with a particular 
feeling.   In this way, Torah Hebrew could be a truly universal FORMAL 
language (for defining spiritual feelings.)   This is well beyond the 
scope of any currently acceptable academic hypothesis.

Stan Tenen
Meru Foundation


From: Sam Juni <JUNI%<SNYBKSAC.BITNET@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 94 22:56:48 EST
Subject: Retroactive Conditionals as Talmudic Paradox

   I have been working for years with versions of Zeno's paradox.  It
took me some time to solve the problems on the intuitive level to
correspond to the mathematical solutions.  However, the Hallachic
versions (which I relate mostly to conditionsal and retroactive
consecrations) proved much more difficult. I just ran into some
citations which may hold the solutions.  I will outline these, and hope
for some input from the theoretical folks who relate to this
stuff. Please note that these are all tentative ideas that I am trying
to work out and reconcile at both ends.

  My translated version of Zeno went something like this: A train begins
100 miles from the terminal station travelling at 100 mph.  There is a
fly which is flying at a steady 200 mph between the train and the
terminal (with no rest stops). It seems that the fly cannot ever get
crushed since: a) the fly was not standing still when it was crushed,
thus it must have been moving, b) if moving, it must have had a last
trip, c) the last trip must have been either toward the train or toward
the terminal, d) if it was toward the train, then it reaches the train
before the train reaches the terminal, leaving room between the train
and terminal, meaning there is no crush, e) if it was toward the
terminal, the fly reaches the terminal before the train does, meaning
there is room between the train and terminal, meaning there is no crush.
The solution lies in the physical fact (opposed to the mathematical)
that there is no fly (or bouncing ball) that can accomplish such changes
in direction without periods of non-motion, and the crush occurs at such
a period.

   The Talmudic versions of Zeno take various forms. Here is one:
Suppose one betroths a woman on condition that she marry another person.
She then gets betrothed to this other person. The problem is that the
second betrothal is invalid if the first is valid since she is then a
married woman. But, if the second betrothal is invalid, then so is the
first. Which makes the second valid. (The paradox is known as "Chozer
Chalilah" in the Talmudic literature.)

  The above and countless other scenarios form the Hallachic means of
formulating Zeno in a context where there is retroactive causality, and
where the causality is assumed to be simultaneous with the cause.  E.g.,
If one issues a divorce to become effective on Sunday, it is not
necessary for Sunday to first elapse to some degree before the divorce
activates, but rather, it is effective simultaneously with the advent of
Sunday. Similarly, if A sells B an object with the sale to be effective
only upon B's conversion (for example), then when B converts he will
attain ownership of the object at the same moment, not a moment later.

  This scenario is built on a logical positivistic formulation of
Hallachic reality which allows for instantaneous reactions spanning two
events seperated by space, time (including the retroactive), or both.
Clearly, a mechanistic model (e.g., one built on energy or information
transmission) could not tolerate such instantaneous reactions of
simultaneity especially when one is the cause of the other.

 I am slowly coming to believe that the positivistic model is passe not
only in physics but also in Talmud. Conditionals seem to be built on a
sequence pattern which is mechanistic in its model, so that something
must "take effect" (and hence take up time) before it can affect other
events.  This would make sense if one does not see Hallachos as mere
formulae, but as behvioral edicts resulting from an underlying
metaphysical structure.

  Prompting me toward this direction in Talmudic reasoning is a thread
of an discussion we had on MJ some time ago re retroactive causality.  I
had a chance to re-read R. Shimon Shkop's analysis at the very beginning
of Ksuvos, where he assumes that any retroactive effect does not change
any status of the past, but only of the future's treatment of the
past. (I cited in our last discussion the Rosh in Nedarim who states
that although a vow can be annulled retroactively, it is still
considered to have been prohibited and then permitted, rather than
having been a permitted entity from the start, seeming to echo R. Shimon
Shkop's basic stance.)  This came together with a citation of the Talmud
Yerushalmi (in Even Haezer 143) which seems to imply the following:
Suppose A gives his wife a writ of divorce on the condition that she
have a "conjugal" event with B. The Yerushalmi states that if the she
and B then engage in this act, then the original divorce is valid
retroactively; however, it is forbidden for the two to do so, since the
"beginning of the act" will have been forbidden, since the woman was
still married. This seems to imply a mechanistic model where the effect
of an act does not get initiated with the very beginning of the act, but
is somewhat delayed.

(I have a strong notion that my hypothesis is closer in line with R.
Shimon Shkop's approach which has more of the metaphysical constructs in
its vocabulary, than it is to the classic Brisk approach which uses
linguistic based constructs which avoid dynamic roots.)

   I realize that there are cases of simultaneous causations (and even
recursive ones) in Hallach.  One that stands out in my mind is when a
slave is liberated by being presented with a writ of freedom:
ordinarily, a slave has no "yad" (legal "hand") to acquire ownership
since all his acquisitions revert to his master.  However, when being
liberated, his liberation affects his ability to have his own "yad" so
he can attain ownership of the writ.  I also know of several (cited)
ways out of this dilemma (named "Gitto V'Yudo Boin Ke'echad), which
relates to such ideas as a deliberate exemption of the above principle
which is implicit when the slave is liberated in this manner, thus
cutting out the Zeno circle.

I am not sure where to proceed with this approach.  I wonder how it
would relate to such principles as "Kol Sheeino Bzeh Achar Zeh" which
pertains to the event where one marries two sisters simultaneously (for
example) where this principle states that any two events which cannot
succeed each other cannot be created in unision. This principle begs the
paradox idea, especially if one tries to see the "lomdos" (dynamics)
which could cause the nullification of any one of the two marriages
based on the invalid other.

If this were all an issue in linguistics, one would conclude a-priori
all we are dealing with is a problem of circular definitions.  Thus, I
do not think any lawyer would lose any sleep trying to justify how, in
Western law, two marriages affected simultaneously to two sisters (or
any two women, for that matter, given anti-bigomy statutes) both become
invalid.  I do not, however, see the solution to the Hallachic dynamic
problems in this vein.


From: Claire Austin <CZCA@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 21:39:58 EDT
Subject: Yom kippur

When I returned home from shul after Kol Nidre on erev Yom Kippur I
found a note at my home addressed to me.  The person who sent it is not
Jewish.  I would like to share it with m.-j. readers.

       Dear Claire,

       In this great day of Judaism I want to express my faith that all
       your prayers will bring this world closer to G-d, that all your
       prayers will encourage each of us to make a moment of silence and
       listen to the Voice inside us.  I wish you peace of soul and love
       for everyone.  G-d bless you.

I was astounded.

Claire Austin


End of Volume 15 Issue 38