Volume 17 Number 66
                       Produced: Mon Jan  2  9:25:29 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another Ammah
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Army and Limud Torah
         [Yaakov Menken]
         [Zvi Weiss]
Isaac Newton
         [Stan Tenen]
Israeli Zip Codes
         [David Kramer]
Language spoken during First Temple period
         [Avram Montag]
Marriage in an Orthodox Shul
         [David Neustadter]
         [Ezra Rosenfeld]
Tuning forks on Shabbat
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 95 13:18:24 +0200
Subject: Another Ammah

I am  quite sure that  Yisrael Medad describes correctly  the Halakhic
aspects of how long an Ammah is:

>The size of the Ammah is varied but because of its ramifications
>regarding possible entry into areas outside the sacred, limited
>portions of Har Habayit (Temple Mount) which was at the most,
>500 x 500 ammot, the studies here in Israel based on Halacha as well
>as archeology, start at 48 cms. and end at Rav Naeh's 57 cm.

Just some personal  aspect.  From the time I came  to Eretz Yisrael in
the mid 1930s  I found that the  length unit used for  buying cloth or
similar things was the "ammah".  It  was 68 centimeters long.  We also
had a  weight unit called  "oqiya" (or  oddly enough ounce)  which was
slightly different in  the northern parts of the country  from that of
the south,  about 240 grammes. 12  Oqiyot were a "rottel".   The funny
thing about is  was that sometime in the 1940s,  the British who stuck
then still to their own non metric units at home, ordered Palestine to
become metric, and soon enough ammah, oqiya and rottel were forgotten.

 Michael Shimshoni


From: Yaakov Menken <ny000548@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 94 08:57:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Army and Limud Torah

>>From my research into the issue I remember reading that the Torah of a 
>talmid Chacham defends him and thus he is not required to pay for city 
>walls (by parallel serve in IDF). I have a great respect for those who 
>Oskim Be Torah, but can someone answer the following question: why did so 
>many yeshivot relocated out of Eretz Israel during the Gulf War? Why did 
>some many from the yeshiva velt rushed to leave the country? If this is 
>their heter, shouldn't they at least believe in , and if they don't how 
>can they use it?

Having stayed in Eretz Yisroel myself, I know that the information Leah
received was inaccurate in the overwhelming majority of cases, at the
very least in Jerusalem (my info elsewhere is 2nd hand).  Israelis
stayed in Israel, as did chutzniks who could convince their parents to
let them stay.  Those whose parents insisted they should go home, went

Apparently, sources from Rav Chaim P. Scheinberg to the Gerrer Rebbe all
said the same thing - "You don't need to go home for safety; you _may_
need to go home for Kibud Av V'em [respect of parents]."  If your mother
will have a breakdown, then staying _is_ dangerous!  So in the Gerrer
yeshivos, where about 100% of the parents were Gerrer chassidim, just
about no one left.  In my Yeshiva, as with most "Lithuanian" yeshivos
where many of the parents do not follow Da'as Torah as strongly as their
children, roughly one-third of the students _had_ to leave.  The worst I
heard was about 50% - without claiming to know every Yeshiva, I know of
not one in Jerusalem or elsewhere that "relocated out of Eretz Israel".
People that left waited until the last minute - which is why Lod was
filled with black on January 13.

While residents of neighboring Ramat Gan took off for Jerusalem, Eilat
and Haifa (and one can NOT blame them... scud missiles are hard to sleep
through), some students of Ponovizh in Bnei Braq took the promises of
safety for Lomdei Torah quite seriously... and went up onto the roof of
the Yeshiva to watch the scuds fly.  At that point, Rav Shach shlit"a is
reported to have said: "It is true that every bullet has an address.
However there is no need to advertise yours."

Yaakov Menken


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 18:23:53 -0500
Subject: Hesder

I certainly have no intention of "insulting" Hesder when I describe them
as secondary to the "Classic" Yeshivot.  However, it is fairly
well-known that the ideal of the person who can truly "sit and learn" to
the exclusion of all esle is considered extremely exalted.  This goes
all the way back to the stories surrounding Rav Shimon Bar Yochai and
his son (Cf the Gemara in Shabbat and B'rachot).  I do not question the
dedication of people learning in Hesder -- however, [and I belive that
Shaul Wallach has already cited supporting material] it appears that Rav
Kook more than recognized the special sitaution of those who truly
devote themselves to learning.

Again, I am not going to qusetion the "intensity" of the learning in
either situation.  All I am asserting is that traditional Yeshiva
learning is considered extremely exalted -- for those who truly sit and
devote themselves to learning.  In that context, Hesder Yeshivot --
because of the different focus -- may prove to be extremely appropriate
for those who cannot function in the traditional Yeshiva environment.

In the terminology used in B'rachot... Many sought to be like Rav Shimon
Bar Yochai (and devote themselves) solely to learning to the exclusion
of all else... and they did not succeed.  Many sought to do like Rav
Yishma'el (who said that one should "mix" learning with other
activities) and succeeded [I believe that Rav Shimon's counterpart here
was Rav Yishma'el].  this does not imply an insult for those who
followed Rav Yishma'el and his approach.  It *does* mean that the
exalted path proposed by Rav Shimon is *not* for many if not *most*
people.  In the same way, I assert that while the traditional appraoch
is praiseworthy, it is not suitable for many and it is *wrong* to
discourage young men from going to Hesder keeping them in "black"
yeshivot when the sole purpose *appears* to be just to stay out of the



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 18:28:39 -0800
Subject: Isaac Newton

In m-j 17,48 Mark Steiner mentioned Isaac Newton's work on the cubit, 
the Temple, etc.  A number of years ago I read of a fairly recent (circa 
1985-1990ish) English translation of Newton's Latin writings on 
"metaphysical" subjects that had just been published, I believe in 
Cambridge, England.  Does anyone know how to obtain a copy of this?

I am particularly interested because of what I have read it contains.  
Apparently, Newton lost his Lucasian chair at Trinity College expressly 
because he insisted that his own detailed translation of B'Reshit both 
differed from the acceptable translation and, he said, proved that J 
could not have been either the messiah or a member of "the trinity."  
Newton would have been working only a decade or two after Jews were 
again permitted to live in England and, it is likely, he studied with at 
least one rabbi.  Further, and even more interesting from my point of 
view, Newton is said to have claimed that his discoveries of the laws of 
motion ("Newtonian mechanics") and the inverse square law of gravitation 
came from his study of "Egyptian metaphysics", the then-current term for 

Can anyone confirm any of this?  Is there any part that is clearly not 
possible or that we know to be untrue?

The reason I am asking is more than simple curiosity.  We all know the 
story of the "apple" that hit Newton on his "head" while he was lying 
under an "apple-tree."   The question is, are these the same "apple",. 
"apple-tree" and "head" as appear on the Continuous Creation model I 
found by pairing the letters in B'Reshit?  It is clear the algebraic 
function that best describes the vertical component of the Continuous 
Creation (and Tefillin-hand) model IS Newton's inverse-square law - and 
the model looks like an "apple", an "apple-tree" and a "skull". 

I know that this may sound outrageously speculative and perhaps even 
silly at first.  Nevertheless I think it is likely that the bulwark of 
atheistic mechanistic determinism, Newton's equations of motion and law 
of gravitation, are actually directly based on a universal organizing 
principle specified by the letter text of B'Reshit!  IF true, consider 
the irony.

Any comments or any help in verifying or refuting the above would be 
greatly appreciated.  If Newton already worked out the measurements for 
the Holy Temple, for example, why should I try to rediscover this 
without first seeing what has already been proposed? Newton may not have 
been Jewish, but he was certainly smart enough and intellectually honest 
enough for his suggestions to be taken seriously.

Good Shabbos,
Stan Tenen                     CompuServe:  75015,364
Meru Foundation                Internet:    <meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


From: David Kramer <davidk@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 08:54:10 -0700 (IST)
Subject: Re: Israeli Zip Codes

In Volume 17 Number 63 Michael Shimshoni writes:
> [...] and for other Israelis,  I recommend to get such a Miq'ud
> guide, as I found it very useful,  and using codes does often speed up
> delivery.

 IMPORTANT NOTE : The above is ONLY good advice when sending mail from
 Israel to within Israel - when sending from the US it is highly recommended
 NOT TO USE the 'mikud' because in the rapid sorting process it is often
 confused with the US zip code and is sent to the US town with that zip 
 code before being forwarded to Israel - SLOWING delivery by days - if not 

[ David H. Kramer                     |  E-MAIL: <davidk@...>   ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone: (972-3) 565-8638  Fax: 9507 ]


From: <avram@...> (Avram Montag)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 95 09:40:09 +0200
Subject: Language spoken during First Temple period

Chapter 36 verse 11 of Isaiah may shed some light on the language spoken
by the Israelites during the time of the first temple. During the reign
of King Hezekiah, Sancheriv, the king of Assyria, besieged
Jerusalem. The Assyrian general, Rav-shakeh, tried to demoralize the
people of Jerusalem with threats. The Israelite negotiating party began
its reply with the request:

   Please speak to your servants in Aramaic for
   we understand it; and don't speak to us in Yehudit  
   in the ears of [i.e. that will be understood by]
   the people [the assembled inhabitants of Jerusalem]
   on the wall.

Though I'm tempted to translate Yehudit as Yiddish, I was taught in a
class by Professor S. D. Goitein that Yehudit, the language of the
Kingdom of Judah, is what we now call Hebrew.

Avram Montag               Elscint, Ltd.
Physics Department         P.O. Box 550 
MRI Division               Haifa 31004, Israel 
 Tel: (972)-4-579218  Fax: (972)-4-575593   email: <avram@...> 

[Same text was sent in a message by: Michael Shimshoni
<MASH@...> making this point. Mod.]


From: David Neustadter <david@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 08:23:07 +0200
Subject: Marriage in an Orthodox Shul

in mail.jewish Vol. 17 #62 Stephen Phillips writes:

> the first marriage was in an Orthodox Shul
> and therefore required a proper Get

I assume that Stephen didn't mean this literally, that an orthodox
wedding should or must be held in a shul, or that where a wedding is
held would affect its validity, but I think that on an open forum like
this one should be more careful in their wording so as not to mislead

In fact, Orthodox weddings do not have to be in a Shul, and for that
matter there are orthodox people who frown on the idea of having
weddings in a shul, as a shul is a place set aside for prayer.

In addition, it should be made clear that the Rabbi has no DIRECT
influence over the validity of a wedding ceremony.  What Rabbi was
involved may influence a later decision as to what are the chances that
a valid wedding took place, but it is the details of the ceremony that
make it valid or invalid.  (for example, whether or not there were
proper witnesses, etc.)

David Neustadter


From: Ezra Rosenfeld <zomet@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 11:24:25 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Microphones

I don't want to get into the entire issue again, this is just a 

Zomet does not "have a microphone which does not generate current", as per
David Charlap's post. Rather, after Rav Shaul Yisraeli, Rav Chaim David
Halevi and Rav Pinchas Toledano (an Av Bet Din in London) published
articles or letters which permitted the use of electronic microphones in
shuls on Shabbat, Zomet developed a list of specifications for
installing such a system. One of the requirements was that the microphone
not be "dynamic", i.e. that it not generate current. Such microphones
exist in catalogs and can be purchased just about anywhere. 

Ezra Rosenfeld


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 22:13:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Tuning forks on Shabbat

Andrew Greene asked in MJ 17:63 if tuning forks may be used on
Shabbos. He explicitly asked about tuning forks as opposed to pitch
pipes, and gave several arguments why they might be allowed. The
Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa (28:34) mentions tuning forks by name
("Mazleg Chazanim" -cantor's fork) as being forbidden. He quotes several
sources, including the Mishna Brura 338:4.


End of Volume 17 Issue 66