Volume 16 Number 57
                       Produced: Wed Nov 16 20:05:01 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Age of Rivkah
         [Stephen Phillips]
Channuka Gift Giving
         [Steven Shore]
Chanting of Names in Japanese
         [Shimon Schwartz]
         [Eli Turkel]
Lubavitch Rebbe's "Yom"
         [Stan Tenen]
Martial Arts (2)
         [Josh Backon, Frank Silbermann]
Modzitz Composers
         [Percy Mett]
Payment for Work on Shabbat
         [Bobby Fogel]
Rebecca's age
         [Mitchel Berger]
Urbanism in the Talmud
         [Josh Backon]
Yaakov's deception
         [Yitzhak Cohen]


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 94 11:07 GMT
Subject: Age of Rivkah

>From: <CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall)

> A commentary in the Soncino Chumash in the beginning of Toldot states
> Isaac married Rebecca when she was 3 years old. Can someone clarify
> this? Hertz's Chumash doesn't allude to this. The Stone does, but again
> without any explanation.

I believe Rashi deals with this point. It works out as follows:-

1. Sarah was 90 when Yitzchok was born.

2. Sarah died at 127 immediately after the Akeidah, so Yitzchok was
   37 at the Akeidah.

3. Immediately after Sarah's death Avrohom hears the news of the
   birth of Rivkah, so she was born when Yitzchok was 37.

4. Yitzchok was 40 when he married Rivkah, so she must have been 3
   when they married.

I believe that the Ramban disagrees with Rashi on this.

Stephen Phillips


From: Steven Shore <shore@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 94 09:15:38+010
Subject: Channuka Gift Giving

Is the giving of gifts on Channuka a Jewish thing or is it just a
reaction to Xmas gift giving?  Is it preferable to give Channuka Gelt
(money) as opposed to giving gifts?  What is the source of the tradition
some people have of giving a gift every night as opposed to one gift or
all of Channuka?

Chag Channuka Sameach to all mj'ers

Shimon Shore				<shore@...>


From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 10:20:48 +0500
Subject: Re: Chanting of Names in Japanese

> Motty Hasofer <mottyh@...> writes:
> >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 studied the Kokushikan style of karate for a while.
We began and finished each session by shouting a "kun," or school slogan,
in Japanese:

	Seii:		sincerity, faith, trust.
	Kinro:		labor, endeavor, exertion.
	Kenshiki:	knowledge, insight, dignity, and awareness.
	Kihaku:		spirit (personal midah, not a dead soul :-) ).

It is like shouting a school cheer; I did not see any reason to ask a
she'ilah on it.  Of course, I did ask what it meant.

We also counted (e.g. one to ten) and referred to exercises in Japanese.
I did not hear any other (spiritual) use of Japanese.


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 94 10:38:27 +0200
Subject: Heresy

    Yisroel Rotman asks "heresy" - what are the limits of what an
orthodox jew must believe?

    I would suggest looking in the recent issues of the YU Journal Torah
and Mada where there was a debate between Rav Parness and Prof. Berger
on this issue.



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 13:17:55 -0800
Subject: Lubavitch Rebbe's "Yom"

I assumed from the first posting that the Lubavitch Rebbe (zt"l) had
taught that the "Yom" of B'reshit was a "phase" and now I see another
posting that disputes this.  My original source for this idea (when I
first encountered it many years ago) was non-Jewish - and I based my
understanding and analysis on my independent research.

Could someone cite the Rebbe's actual teaching in some reference?

I suspect (this is my conjecture) that the Rebbe likely taught both
views, but each to a different audience (or in a different context) as
was appropriate to their level of understanding.  Can anyone refute or
confirm this possibility?



From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Wed,  16 Nov 94 8:54 +0200
Subject: Re: Martial Arts

In my Bujinkan Ninjutsu class in Jerusalem, there is no bowing. Knife
throwing, yes, but no bowing. I suggest that your son look in at a class
in a martial arts dojo and find one that suits him, physically and


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 10:39:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Martial Arts

In Vol.16 #55 David Charlap reports:
> You should realize that there is no one karate, but many variants, such as:
> Aikido, Hap-ki-do, Tai-kwon-do (Korean karate), Judo, Jujitsu, ...

Has any thought been given as to the style of martial arts which would
be most appropriate for Jewish schools to teach?  The best choices would
depend upon one's reasons for learning.

I am told that most of these arts were developed as a response to the
rise of feudalism, in which all but members of the hereditary warrier
elite class were systematically disarmed.  As a result, most martial
arts emphasize techniques for killing or crippling a man quickly with
one's bare hands (and feet).

Though the political situation in New York wrt self-defense may be
analogous to feudal Japan or China, in most of the U.S.  the martial
arts are recommended only for less-than-lethal confrontations, e.g.  for
self-defense against brawling hooligans.  If this is the aim, then
_Akido_ has several advantages over the other styles.

Akido's lack of flashy acrobatic moves makes it suitable for any age
group.  In fact, the best Akido masters are well into middle age.  (This
characteristic of Akido re-inforces respect for elders.)

Akido emphasizes nonagressiveness.  There are no attacking moves; no
counter-punching.  Each technique is a _response_ to an incoming blows
or attack, so that which the opponent's force is turned against him.
The attacker voluntarily ceases his aggression, lest he proceed to break
his own bones in struggling against a clever hold.  (This characteristic
of Akido re-inforces the Torah's teachings about love of peace).

For defense against truly lethal attackers, it would be much more
efficient and effective to train in the use of weapons.  Why rely on
bare hands if you can do better?

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 14:45:06 +0000
Subject: Re: Modzitz Composers

In mail.jewish Vol. 16 #47, <davidp@...> (David Phillips) wrote:

>virtually all Jewish music composed to p'sukim or t'filot was composed
>by either Chazzanim or Chasidishe Rebe'im (or their appointed court
>composer (e.g., like Ben Tzion Shenker is for Modzitz)).  Although

I find this misleading. True Reb Bentzion n"y has composed nigunim sung
in Modzhits. But virtually all (more than 95%) of Modzhitser nigunim
have been composed by the various Modzhitser rebbes, all accomplished

Perets Mett


From: <bobby@...> (Bobby Fogel)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 15:07:04 +0000
Subject: Payment for Work on Shabbat

As far as I understand, those who do an activity on shabat that could be
construed as work, are paid for their "preperatory" work during the week
and not the work done on shabat.  Lets take an example that I am
personally familier and have had experience with: Layning on shabat.
Many shules pay their Baal Koray anywhere from $25 to $250 per parsha.

Now as far as I understand the rational is that: the Baal Koray is payed
for his preperatory work during the week and not for the actual layning
on shabat.  The problem i have with this is that it is totally and
thoroughly a Legal Fiction!  WHY?  If the Baal Koray is truly paid only
for his work during the week, then there should be no big deal if he
does not show up on shabat right?  Yet we all know that if this Baal
Koray did not show up, that would be the end of his layning career in
shule on shabat!  Thus, there is no escaping the fact that his presence
and participation as the Baal Koray on shabat is an integral part of his
contractual obligation with the community WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS WRITTEN
INTO THE CONTRACT. It is an implied obligation.  SO... How do we
ethically deal with this.

All this holds true for a Rav's work on shabat.  We can say to him that
"we are paying you for your work during the week" yet how long would
this Rav last with this shule if he decided to take shabasim off any
time he pleases. In fact: why does he have to show up at all?  Thus, his
presence and performance on shabat becomes mandatory as implied by the
consequences of his absence on shabat.

Does this bother anyone else?  Any one out there with sources,
suggestion (but not rationalizations), ethical feelings on this topic?


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 13:45:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rebecca's age

Three years and one day is the youngest age at which halachah recognizes
the possibility (elbeit not probability) of sexual relations for females.
Thus, three was the youngest age at which Rivka could have wed Yitzchak.

There are two reasons I know of for the medrash that asserts that
Rivka was at that minimum when she married Yitzchak.

1- The gemara asserts that the avos (forefathers) kept all the mitzvos.
   This is taken to include, for reasons not clear to be, even dirabbanan's
   (Rabbinically enacted laws). Yitzchak kissed Rivka when they met, even
   though this would be in violation of the gezeira (Rabbinic protective law)
   of negi'ah (touching a member of the opposite gender in a way that might
   engender romantic feelings). This would not be an issue if she were younger
   than 3, since there was no need for such a gezeira when sex is impossible.
   This would indicate that she wasn't three yet when Eliezer brought her
   to Canaan to marry Yitzchak.

2- After the Akeidah, when Yitzchak was placed on an alter and nearly
   sacrificed, Yitzchak had many of the same laws as a kohein. A
   kohein may not marry a woman who had sex out of wedlock, even if it were
   rape. Someone who converted after age three, or was living as a captive
   among gentiles after age three, could not be assumed to be marryable
   by a kohein -- and therefor, neither by Yitzchak. Yitzchak must have then
   married her at the earliest possible time.


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Wed,  16 Nov 94 8:39 +0200
Subject: re: Urbanism in the Talmud

Hune Margulies asked if there are Talmudic references to issues of
environmental protection and neighborhood structure. The Talmudic tractate
BAVA BATRA deals with some of these issues. Zoning laws are not 20th
Century innovations ! The Talmud prohibits the opening up of tanneries,
setting up of a store on residential premises, and setting up one's threshing
area near a town. The Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (see Chapter 155) deals
with laws that would fall in this area.



From: <COHEN@...> (Yitzhak Cohen)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 94 13:11:10 EST
Subject: Yaakov's deception

What do we tell our children about *lying*, WRT the incident in which
Yaakov, albeit reluctantly, deceives Yitzchak, at Rivka's insistence,
such that Yaakov receives Yitzhak's blessing instead of Esav?

     Yitzhak Cohen


End of Volume 16 Issue 57