Volume 16 Number 93
                       Produced: Tue Nov 29 23:45:49 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Wife Beating" Request
         [Jonathan Katz]
Beef pollution?
         [Warren Burstein]
         [Yaacov Haber]
Book Recommendation
         [David Phillips]
Chareidi Yiddish Politics
         [Sam Juni]
Degeneration of Generations
         [Melvyn Chernick]
         [Binyomin Segal]
         [Larry Israel]
Getting Paid for Work on Shabbos
         [David Phillips]
Lice eggs
         [Mitchel Berger]
Pronunciation of kamatz and kamatz katan
         [Yechezkel Schatz]
Question about narrative points re Yaakov, Esav and the Covenant
         [Lou Rayman]
Rambam's medical knowledge
         [Warren Burstein]
Ramban on Rainbows
         [Moishe Kimelman]


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 01:55:43 EST
Subject: "Wife Beating" Request

Could someone please send me the source in the Rambam where he talks
about the wife-beating issue? Thank you

Jonathan Katz
<frisch1@...>, 410 Memorial Drive, Room 241C
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 1994 10:59:15 GMT
Subject: Re: Beef pollution?

"18% of visible haze" is not the same as "18% of the air".

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: Yaacov Haber <haber@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 14:46:17 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Re: Birthright

> >From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
> If the sale of Esau to Yaakov of a B'chorah is considered a valid sale -- 
> why can't a non-Kohen buy the Kehunah from a Kohen? The Kehunah would be 
> more esaily sold than the B'chorah -- the Kehunah is already in the world 
> (Davar Shekvar Ba L'olam) while the B'chorah at the time of Yaakov was 
> not (it was possible that Esau would die before Yitzhcak an never inherit 
> 2x -- and the avodah obviously did not exist yet!)????

I recently saw in the name of the Alter of Slobodka, that really the
Bechorah (birthright ) is not salable. But here there was a Halachic
question who it belonged to. The fact that Esav sold it, says the Alter,
was a proof that it never belonged to him. (A bit of Solomonic wisdom).

BTW the question is discussed in Pardes Yosef ad loc.

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Director                  
Australia Institute for Torah                
phone: (613) 527-6156                    
fax:   (613) 527-8034                     Internet:<haber@...>


From: <davidp@...> (David Phillips)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 18:46:54 EST
Subject: Book Recommendation

I recently recommended reading "Lovesong" by fellow m-jer, Julius
Lester.  I subsequently found out it is out of print, although it may be
republished in the near future.  If your library doesn't have it and
can't get it, write to me personally on the Net.  I may know where a few
copies can still be found.

--- David "Beryl" Phillips


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 94 14:33:31 EST
Subject: Chareidi Yiddish Politics

In the recent elections, I was fascinated by the editorials in the local
N.Y.  Chareidi Yiddish Newspapers.  The major thrust involved "being on
the winning side."  Some writings involved "Hakaras HaTov"
(Political/personal payback), and some involved the risks of alienating
those in power.  Occasionally, the actual (or perceived) issues were
alluded to, but these were Bottel B'Shishim (insignificant in
number). One particular weekly which is on the fanatic verge did not
mention the issues at all during the entire campaign.

I see this pattern as part of the indigenous Gouls (Diaspora) mentality,
where living in crisis preempts analysis of issues and restricts focus
to the ever- present questions: "Is it good for the Jews?"


From: <chernick@...> (Melvyn Chernick)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 07:02:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Degeneration of Generations

In answer to Esther Posen's query (V16, N90) about the deterioration of 
the generations theory, I remember hearing a lecture by Dr. Norman Lamm 
at a Manhattan synagogue on the theme a few years ago, and later found it 
in his book Torah Umadda. He refers to it as "the degeneration of the 
generations," and offers an analysis which diverges from the usual and 
simplistic interpretation normally accorded this concept.

Melvyn Chernick


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 10:23:19 -0600
Subject: Discovery

Yosef Bechhofer:
>that  parents would not perpetrate grand hoaxes...

Steve Levy:
>I have heard this argument from the Discovery people. It does not hold true.
>Billions of people mislead their children into believing that [Jesus] is the

but the christian parents also are not lying to their children.they
believed that Jesus was therir saviour. the key difference is that the
christian parents claim to have SEEN nothing. they claim that Jesus
taught, and that some wise men accepted him as their saviour. fine. we
believe them - but they were fooled by jesus and his small group of
cohorts. The original Jewish parents claim is far more serious. They
claim that they SAW G-d give the Torah. A personal experience to 600,000
people. Now either they were all fooled, or they were all lying to their


From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 21:48:21 +0200
Subject: Enosh

Enosh and Adam (and b'nai enosh and b'nai adam) are used to refer to a
person/people. I understand the usage of Adam - as the first man his
name is used for people. But why Enosh? Why not Sheth, Noah, Meshuselah,
or someone else? What was special about Enosh? Or is there no
connection, and the word and the name just happen to be the same?


From: <davidp@...> (David Phillips)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 18:47:56 EST
Subject: Getting Paid for Work on Shabbos

Even if you have the excuse of paying the Rav and Ba'al Koreh for
(preparatory) work done before Shabbos (where that is the bulk of the
"work"), what about orthodox waiters who work a kiddush or se'udah on
Shabbos?  Most of them do NOT do set up before - or cleanup after -
Shabbos.  And what about oneg or youth group leaders?  And even if you find
some prep work for all these jobs, what about the singing "troubadours"
hired to walk around and sing at Shabbos Bar Mitzvah parties?  I never
really thought about this issue, until a ba'al t'shuva asked me about the
heter.  (I didn't know what to tell him.)  Anyone?

--- David "Beryl" Phillips


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 1994 10:00:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Lice eggs

Danny Skaist talks about "the Rosh Yeshiva who said..." that lice eggs
have no halachic existance, since they can not be seen by naked eye.

Perhaps he is referring to something I posted to Mail Jewish. I wrote
the R. Dovid Lifshitz zt"l quotes R. Shimon Shkop that MAGGOT eggs have
no halachic significance.

Since the discussion has come down to egg size, the species of egg may
be important.



From: Yechezkel Schatz <lpschatz@...>
Date: 29 Nov 1994 08:36:52 +0200
Subject: Pronunciation of kamatz and kamatz katan

  In mj vol. 16 #66, Mark Steiner challenges the concept of a Kamatz
Katan.  He goes even further than that, and questions the historical
validity of the system of dikduk (Hebrew grammar) as we have it now.
  In mj vol. 16 #74, Mark Rayman brings a specific example of a havara
s'gura (closed syllable - ending with a consonant) bilti mut`emet (with
no accent on it), which would call for a t'nu`a k'tana - in our case a
kamatz katan. Mark R. demonstrates that while it may be possible to
question the distinction in pronunciation between the kamatz gadol and
kamatz katan, it is no so easy to question the theory underlying this
  I'd like to point out another simple phenomenon which would support
the distinction in pronunciation as well as in theory.  When a word is
attached to the word after it (s'michut) by a hyphen, the accent is
taken away from that word.  If the last syllable of the word is
"closed", then with the accent, before we took it away, this syllable
called for a t'nu`a g'dola.  After having the accent taken away it now
calls for a t'nu`a k'tana.  In a case like this:

a kamatz (tnu`a g'dola) shortens to a patach (k'tana)
a cholam (g'dola) shortens to a kamatz katan (k'tana)
We see here a clear correlation between the pronunciation of kamatz and
patach (the A vowel sound), and the pronunciation of cholam and kamatz katan
(the O vowel sound). 
  As for the historical validity of our dikduk system:
I think the dikduk system passed down to us from Ba`alei HaMasora and
developed by the scholars of the middle-ages has been accepted simply
because it is so beautifully coherent and systematic, giving insight
into the behavior of vowels, accents and syllables.  I should live to
see the day when an alternative grammatical system be proffered by a
Hebrew linguistics scholar.


From: <lrayman@...> (Lou Rayman)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 11:22:01 +0500
Subject: Re: Question about narrative points re Yaakov, Esav and the Covenant

Constance (Chana) Stillinger <cas@...> writes (in
v16n75) about Yaakov referring to "Hashem, *your* (meaning Yitzchak's)
God" when posing as Esav.  She says that perhaps Yaakov is making a
comment on the attitude of Esav to Hashem, saying that Esav thinks that
God is only *your* God, not his own.

I don't think that reading can be supported from other p'sukim.

In Yaakov's dream at the beginning of Parshas Vayetze, Hashem introduces
Himself by saying, "I am Hashem, the God of Avraham your father, and the
God of Yitzchak."

When Yaakov prays to be saved from Esav in Parshas Vayishlach, he
starts, "God of my father Avraham, God of my father Yitzchak..."

The only time I can think of when Yaakov refers to Hashem as "my" God is
after the dream, when Yaakov make a neder (oath) (my own translation),
"If God will be with me, guards me on this path on which I go, gives me
bread to bread to eat and clothes to wear, returns me in peace to my
father's house, *and Hashem will be a God for me (vehayah Hashem li
Leylohim)*, then this stone which I have made a shrine (matzevah - whats
a good translation for that?) will become a house of God, etc"

It seems that having Hashem as a "personal" God is something to strive
for - it does not come automatically.

Louis Rayman


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 1994 11:20:06 GMT
Subject: Re: Rambam's medical knowledge

Rabbi Yaacov Haber asks why we "are so flippent about ignoring" the
Rambam's medical advice, as it is based on the Talmud.  It was my
impression that, without flippency or disrespect, we are instructed by
halacha go to our doctors for medical advice.  I think I am on firm
ground in asserting that what our doctors tell us is not Torah.  I
leave open the question of what medical advice found in the Talmud or
Rambam is.

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 17:33:49 +1100
Subject: Ramban on Rainbows

In answer to Yosef Becchofer's comment that the Rishonim would never accept 
science over the interpretation of chazal, Mark Steiner writes in mj #86:

>     Consider the following passage from the Ramban's Commentary on
>the Torah, Gen ix,12:
>     THIS IS THE SIGN OF THE COVENANT: The plain meaning
>     (mimashma`) of this sign is that there was no rainbow at
>     the Creation, and now Hashem created the rainbow...and
>     [Chazal] said...that the rainbow was not made with its
>     legs facing upward, looking as though from Heaven [G-d]
>     is shooting with it [at humanity]...but we have no choice
>     but to believe the Greeks when they say that from the
>     glow of the sun in moist air, the rainbow appears as a
>     natural effect [toladah], since we see a rainbow-like
>     image in a glass of water standing in the sun.  And when
>     we look further into the language of Scripture we can
>     understand it thus, since it says I PLACED MY BOW IN THE
>     CLOUD and not I PLACE...and the words MY BOW indicate
>     that [G-d] had the rainbow from the beginning...

The word "mimashma", which Mark translates as "the plain meaning", 
invariably precedes a false premise of which the user intends to dispose, 
and is often used to present an interpretation which in fact could never 
have truly been considered correct.  This coupled with the fact that when 
the Ramban supplies us with the correct interpretation of the passuk, he 
writes that upon further critical reading of the pasuk we WILL understand it 
thus ("navin kain",  not "we can understand it thus"as Mark writes which 
would have been  "nuchal l'havin kain"), leads me to believe that rather 
than the Ramban changing an interpretation because of scientific knowledge, 
he is actually using science to show that an clearly incorrect translation 
must be rejected even from a scientific basis.


End of Volume 16 Issue 93