Volume 16 Number 50
                       Produced: Sat Nov 12 20:52:32 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Day School lay leaders
         [Bob Klein]
Martial Arts
         [Motty Hasofer]
Netziv (Clarification)
         [Zvi Weiss]
         [Stan Tenen]
         [David Phillips]
What did Chizkiaya Hamelech do?
         [Hillel Eli Markowitz]


From: Bob Klein <KL2@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994  20:33:08 EST
Subject: Re:  Day School lay leaders

In Vol 16, #43, Stanley Weinstein asked about the status of a mail group
for lay leaders of day schools.  Since I'm the one who posted the
original message, about this, I figure it's time for a status update.  I
completed the Shamesh Project form for starting a mail group and was
told there already is a somewhat similar mail group, Geshernet.  I
looked at some of the issues in their archives and it seems that the
purpose of the group is for day school students.  I then contacted the
coordinator of the group (it's a closed group).  She responded that she
thought the group could include day school staff and lay leadership.
That was in August.  I told her that I was going to be on vacation and
probably would not be able to explore the various possibilities with her
until after the Yom Tovim.  I sent her some email in late September and
did not hear anything from her.  I sent her another email message a
couple of weeks ago and still have not heard anything from her.  If
anyone can give me any information on the current status of Geshernet, I
would be glad to continue to follow up on this.  Thanks for your


From: Motty Hasofer <mottyh@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 10:30:07 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Martial Arts

Two of my sons have recently decided that they wanted to learn martial 
arts. I read a little about the procedures and activities at the sessions 
and I was struck by the fact that there appeared to be a lot of bowing 
and chanting of names in Japanese. Personally I felt that it *smelled* of 
Avoda Zarah (idolatry). 

I was wondering if anyone had seen any responsa on whether practicing 
martial arts is or is not permitted. Maybe there are ways in which one 
can partake, maybe to a particular level.

I would like to thank all respondents in advance.

Kol Tuv,

Motty Hasofer
Jewish Singles Services.  Working Group On Intermarriage.
159 Orrong Rd. East St. Kilda Victoria Australia.
Phone 61-3-5282216  Fax 61-3-5238235.


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 1994 13:24:02 -0500
Subject: Netziv (Clarification)

1. I never had any distinction between "getting out" and "getting together".
   The original posting noted that without an Eiruv, in many cases, a woman
   cannot et "out" -- AT ALL.
2. In that context, I cited the NEtziv who appeared (and I still think means)
   that the Eirus was explicitly part of increasing the peac of Shabbat -- and
   that it seems to me to be a legit. concern that women are unable to leave
   their homes at all on Shabbat -- and that I thought that the notion of an
   eiruv as a device to encourage "getting out of one's house" was supported
   in the Netziv.
3. At the beginning of Kedoshim, the netziv makes clear that the mitzvot in
   this portion are to encourage "peace and domestic tranquility".  He offers
   a contrast between this parsha and the previous one of Acharei Mot.  It 
   was based upon this section of the commentary that I "began".
4. Based upon the above, and the fact that I have never found the Netziv to
   particualrly obscure -- on the contrary, he seems to be focused directly
   upon P'shat, I feel that the Netziv's comments of Shabbat being for
   "friendship and delight" coupled with the fact that THIS is given as the
   reason for Eiruv -- strongly indicate that a major consideration for an
   eiruv is to allow the "friendship and delight" -- which is lacking when 
   there is no eiruv.  
5. How is it lacking? Well, one may not carry things (such as food) back and
   forth and -- in many cases -- one cannot easily get out of the house AT
I do not find this "hinted at" in the Netziv as Shaul did... If anything, I
would say that Shaul is giving much too much emphasis to the Yerushalmi
cited in a very brief format by the Netziv -- while ignoring the plain
focus of the commentary.
Based upon the above, I agree that the Netziv isnot focused upon a particular
eiruv BUT it is pretty clear that he sees a social dimension in the enactment
of Eiruv -- and that we should be equally sensitive to such social dimensions.



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 15:11:45 -0800
Subject: Rumi

In an entirely different context, in m-j 16, no. 48, Steve Bailey
mentions the famous Sufi "poet" Rumi.  A few comments on Rumi:

Rumi's poem describing the Mevlevi Sufi Round Dance is quite famous.  If
you read Rumi's poem word by word and line by line you will find an
exact, feature by feature, description of the Tefillin Hand form (and
Continuous Creation model) that we have demonstrated generates the
Hebrew letters as hand gestures.  The Tefillin Hand is a section of the
"Continuous Creation" model we derived from the letter sequences of
B'reshit.  The "Continuous Creation" model fits descriptions in
kabbalistic literature of the Ain Sof and of the Sufah (whirlwind) in
Torah.  The root of SoF, SuFah, SuFi (and the Christian/Greek SoFia) is
the same.  S-F means "wool."  This is also known as the "Golden Fleece"
in Greek mythology.  That is because the "Continuous Creation" model
starts from a "golden" central "seed" and because it looks like a puff-
ball of wool that is spinning furiously like a whirlwind or a tornado.

Rumi's Mevlevi Sufis are/were from Abkahzia, the region adjacent to the 
Crimea that is currently being destroyed by revolution and civil war.  
Abkahzia is very near to Sebastopol, where Askhenazim were living in the 
same period when Rumi's Sufism was developing.  (I can provide some 
references on this for those who ask.)  So, it is no surprise that Rumi 
knew something of the kabbalah.

BTW, the same Tefillin Hand that generates the Hebrew letters also 
appears to generate the Arabic letters of the same period.  (But, I have 
not done enough work on this to be entirely certain.)

Rumi's Round Dance is part of Sufi meditational/spiritual dancing. It is 
intended to have similar effects as those ascribed to kabbalistic 
meditation.  In my opinion, it is _possible_ that the Sufis have 
preserved certain aspects of the Levite dances known and used at 
Solomon's Temple.  It is interesting in this regard to notice that all 
of the instruments mentioned in Psalm 150 are different aspects of the 
exact same Tefillin Hand that generates the letter shapes.

The Tefillin Hand can be understood to represent AND to function as a
Kinor, a flute, a Shofar, drums, cymbals, the human voice, etc.  For
example a Kinor, a harp, has a frame that even in modern language is
called a hand.  Its strings are stretched between the "thumb" and the
"fingers".  The word Kinor Kaf-Nun-Vov-Resh literally means a "candle"
in the "palm".  Nun-Resh, Ner is a candle and the letter Kaf means
"palm" (or the hand.)

Good Shabbos,
Stan Tenen,
Meru Foundation

P.S.  We have a draft paper demonstrating some of the parallels between 
Rumi's Mevlevi Sufi Round Dance and the Continuous Creation model we 
derived from B'reshit. If anyone would like to see this, please ask and 
send your surface mail address.


From: <davidp@...> (David Phillips)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 94 21:40:21 EST
Subject: Vegetarianism

On the matter of vegetarianism:

There is a controversial hashkofo on Torah (which I'm sure can be
expressed better and more accurately by its spokesmen) that says, in
effect, that yes, the Torah is the word of Hashem, and, yes, it is
complete and perfect, but that doesn't mean that we cannot be better
than what it demands of us.  (This point of view was only recently
touched upon after many postings on the topic, and I want to elaborate
on it.)  This philosophy does not allow for Conservative/Reform-type
changes in Halacha, but allows for things akin to "lifnim mishuras
hadin" (loosely translated as "going above and beyond the call of
duty").  This would allow for some religious authority (and possibly
individuals to decide for themselves) that something that the Torah says
is "mutar", is actually no longer a good idea.

A good proof that this philosophy has some basis even in the g'mara is
that the g'mara says that a marriage can be accomplished in one of three
ways: Kesef (money - the groom gives something of value to the bride for
the purpose of acquiring her hand in marriage, Shtar ("contract" or
ketubah) or Bi'ah (sexual intercourse for the purposes of creating a
marriage).  The sages banned Bi'ah alone as seeming too vulgar.  (Of
course, after giving a ring AND a ketubah, we do have "yichud" today, a
time which the couple spends alone together to symbolically have
adequate time to consummate the marriage.)  Here you have a specific
example where something that was "mutar" became "asur" (forbidden), for
apparent changes in the what the chachamim thought was moral.  I think
similar logic could apply to slavery.

(This philosophy starts to get more controversial when it gets into
things like a woman's right to a "get" and other matters where, again,
they don't allow for violation of a single Torah rule, but feel that the
Torah had to be talking for its time and that we can "improve" on it
today based on major (non-fad) changes in general morality and creative
solutions to "problems".  They also believe that the Torah actually
expects (demands?) that we achieve a morality greater than it explicitly
requires.  This, too, is controversial.)

Although I am a carnivore - a real meat and potatoes kind of guy - and
never expect to be a vegetarian, and I don't believe in karma or
ying-yang or any other such nonsense, and I am even opposed to the
animal rights activists, I cannot help but admit that I think that in
the scheme of things, it is "better" to not kill animals than to kill
them.  And maybe, just maybe, Hashem would be pleased by our killing
less animals, even for food.

--- David "Beryl" Phillips


From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994 20:00:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: What did Chizkiaya Hamelech do?

> >From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
> The Talmud teaches us that the King Chizkiyah raised the level of
> learning to such an extent, that you could not find a child "from Dan to
> BeerSheva" who was not well-versed in even the esoteric laws of purity.
> ...
> So what did Chizkiyah do to ensure that even those children in a foreign
> country, under a different King, learn? How could he have enforced
> anything there?

I recall two statements that have an answer to this.

1. MeDan vead Beersheva (From Dan to Beersheva) was used as a phrase 
meaning all of Eretz Yisrael even when the Jews controlled more or less 
territory (that includes when they controlled down to Eilat).

2. At the time this statement was made, the ten tribes had already been 
destroyed and Sancherav's army had been destroyed in front of 
Yerushalayim.  Thus, Chizkiyahu had been able to extend control of the 
school system to the north.  I believe that Yirmiyahu had already gone to 
collect remnants of the ten tribes earlier (I think in the reign of 
Yoash??).  Someone more knowledgeable in history should explain this.  I 
believe that there is a mention in Melachim of Yoash(??) consulting 
Chuldah Haneviah and the reason given is that Yirmiyahu was away on this 

|  Hillel Eli Markowitz    |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|  <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


End of Volume 16 Issue 50