Volume 17 Number 68
                       Produced: Tue Jan  3 21:00:36 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia: mail-jewish, Where do we go from here?
         [Avi Feldblum]
Bais Yosef, Acharon or Rishon
         [Rabbi Yaakov Meyer]
Bat Mitzvah
         [Yakov Zalman Friedman]
Being Married in an Shul
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Genetic manipulation in plants
         [Ira Rosen]
Kosher Mike
         [Jim Phillips]
light sensors on Shabbos
         [Alan Davidson]
Reasons for Reciting Hallel
         [Sheldon Korn]
         [Doni Zivtofsky]
Torah Codes
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Tu B'Shvat
         [Lorrin Lewis]
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 18:40:53 -0500
Subject: Administrivia: mail-jewish, Where do we go from here?

With the changing of the calendar page for many to 1995, and people
coming back from their vacations, it is time to deal with the issues
that we have raised about how to move forward with mail-jewish. What I
would like to do is have a limited number of options, say 3-5 and then
call for a vote of the membership. In this posting I try to lay out what
the options are based on the email that several of you have sent me over
OPTION YOU WANT. If you feel that one of the options should be
changed/modified/clarified, I want to hear from you this week. Some of
the options are not mine, so I am happy if someone who favors one of the
options below tightens it up.

1) All submissions that meet the halakhic and flame-free requirements
get posted to mail-jewish. No limits on the size of postings, no limits
on the number of issues per day.

2) mail-jewish should be limited to XX issues per week. To try and
acheive this postings will be prioritized by size. Postings greater that
a certain size will be either placed directly in the archive area or
will be forwarded to a editorial board for review.

3) mail-jewish should be limited to XX issues per week. To try and
achieve this, maximum weekly or monthly limits will be placed on all
submitters. No more than YY lines will be accepted from any single user,
the value YY will be chosen/modified to achieve the weekly XX issue

4) mail-jewish should be limited to XX issues per week. To try and
achieve this more a rigorous editorial policy will be implemented [what
should this policy be?]. An editorial board will be convened to help
implement this policy.

5) mail-jewish should be subdivided into 2 or more lists. [What is the
criteria for this subdivision?]

OK, here is my first shot at a short description of several options. I
welcome either other possibilities or suggestions on modifications of
these options. 

The final format of the options will go out as special mailing next
Sunday, with a call for votes. The voting period will be 10 days. I will
be looking to get at least a 20% response rate to the call for votes, so
when the time comes, I will pester you to vote. THAT WILL BE NEXT WEEK,

I expect to hear from at least some of the more vocal members this week,
and ALL of you next week.



From: <Yaakov_Meyer@...> (Rabbi Yaakov Meyer)
Date: 03 Jan 1995 14:00:23 GMT
Subject: Bais Yosef, Acharon or Rishon

The Bais Yosef is considered by many to be an early Acharon, not a Rishon,
hence , the disagreements of the REMA. Secondly, at the very least, he would
be no different than Rav or Rav Chiya etc. in relation to the Tannaim.


From: Yakov Zalman Friedman <bfriedman@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 22:42:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

Regarding the question of bas mitzvah celebrations which has been 
discussed recently in m-j, I would like to point out two sources which, I 
think, clearly dispute the ruling of Rav Moshe.  Interestingly enough, 
the fact that girls may feel discriminated against seems to be an 
important  factor in their similar conclusions.  Please see Yechaveh 
Daas  Volume 2, Question #29 (Rav Ovadiah Yosef) and Sridei Aish  Volume 
3  Question #93 (Rav Yechiel Weinberg).

Yakov Zalman Friedman


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 13:12:59 -0500
Subject: Being Married in an Shul

i heard in the name of rav dovid lifschitz, zt"l, that he was against
this particular practice because it is copying the christian custom of
being married in a church.

eliyahu teitz


From: Ira Rosen <irosen@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 95 14:53:15 EST
Subject: Genetic manipulation in plants

	I was quite interested in the question concerning genetic
manipulation in animals and the response that explained the lack of an
issue as one is not forcing a physical mating act between two different
	How about with plants?  The torah states that one may not plant
them together (Vyikra, 19:19), and i believe that grafting is also
forbidden (correct me if I am wrong).  Genetic manipulation moving a
gene from one species of plant to another seems very similar to
grafting,, and is certainly similar to the "mixing of seeds" (not just
proximity, but actual combination).
	Additionally, is there a problem placing a plant gene into an
animal cell or an animal gene into a plant cell (this was done for the
first commercially available genetically engineered crop, the Calgene
	Finally, would it make a difference if the inserted gene had no
effect physiologically on the species into which it was transplanted (it
was only used as a 'marker' gene)?
	I would appreciate any responses with sources as i have yet to
find a book on the subject, and as a plant biologist, I'm quite
interested in the potential halchic problems regarding this issue.

Ira Rosen


From: <RocketP@...> (Jim Phillips)
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 08:04:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Kosher Mike

I would be most obliged if one of our more well versed readers out there,
would take the time to discuss the various issues in a transisterized vs non
transister mikes and how this relates to Shabbos, and how the transformation
of energy forms does or does not constitute Mechalel Shabbos. I would very
much appreciate if you  would provide source references. 
look forward to hearing the answer. Jim Phillips


From: Alan Davidson <DAVIDSON@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 95 20:26:40 EST
Subject: light sensors on Shabbos

I recently stayed with a Rabbi who, as long as the traffic is not too busy
(i.e., not endangering one's life) walks onto the shoulder of the street
when passing a neighbor's house which has a light sensor.  If it's a busy
street or one's own Apartment building, the situation may be different,


From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 00:21:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Reasons for Reciting Hallel

Regarding Eli Rosenfeld's questions dealing with the reasons for 
reciting Hallel.  I believe Erachin 10 will offer some solutions.
To recite the full Hallel we need Moed and eesur melacha.
Hanuka is different because of Pirsuma D'nisa
Sukkos is different than Pesach because:
1) we don't normally recite full Hallel on Hol Hamoed.    We do so on 
Sukkos because each day has a different Korban and is considered a Hag 
on its own.
2) Pesach is left with one last day to recite the full Hallel...but we 
don't because of the Shirah and the Midrash that the Egyptians are 
drowning and you sing Shira?  Therefore the Hallel is subdued.

3) Purim is considered different than Hanuka because on Purim although 
there were great Nissim, the Jewish people were left in seervitude to 
Ahashverosh and not to Hashem.  Also, Purim took place in Galus and 
Chanuka did not.

B' Shalom

Sheldon Korn


From: <DONIZ@...> (Doni Zivtofsky)
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 1995 00:37:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Steers

Clair Austin asked about steers.  The term Ox can refer to a castrate
but is often used to refer to any bovid (I think this would be
paricularly true in British texts but of that I am not sure). I would
like to say the same about bullock but my Websters did not agree.
         I think she is correct in her assumption that what we eat is
mostly steer meat which might have no issur hanaah (prohibtion of
benefit) after another (a "goy" most likely) violated the prohibition of
Sirus (castration).
        It also seems logical (although I have no proof) to say that
when the Torah speaks of these animals be it for korbonos (sacrifices)
or in other contexts such as nezikin (civil law) (eg.  Shor Shenogach -
an ox that gored) it is referring to an intact animal.  If we lived in a
society guided entirely by Torah then we would have to eat bull or cow
meat rather than steer or spayed-heifer meat.  Some people who raise
their own beef prefer a bull for its faster growth rate, better feed:
gain and muscling.

                       Doni Zivtofsky,  DVM


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 3 Jan 1995 14:50:52 U
Subject: Torah Codes

In reference to the Torah Codes, here is a reply to A. Feldblum's
comments from Harold Gans, who is one of the codes researchers here in
the US and who is presently submitting a follow up article for
publication.  In this paper, he replicates some of the results using an
independent methadology, and also extends the study to new cases.
Harold Gans's text follows:

    "In terms of philosphy, the existence of these equidistant codes is
referred to by Rabbainu Bachai (13th century) in the beginning of
Bereshis.  It is also mentioned in the Pardes Rimonin (Shaar lamed) by
R. Moshe Cordevero (the teacher of the Ari Z"L).

    With respect to computers: the original research by Witztum
et. al. was done in the late 1980's on a time shared VAX.  The
experiment reported in the paper took several months to complete.
Today, the research in Israel is being carried out by the authors of the
paper on a 33MHz 486 and in the states by myself [Harold Gans#005#] on a
50 MHz 486.  A full experiment can usually be completed in a couple of
days.  No "super computers" were used for the research.

   Please note that, in the paper, the authors offer both the data and
the programs to anyone who wishes in exchange for a nominal charge to
cover the cost of the media."


From: Lorrin Lewis <lorrin@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 21:01:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Tu B'Shvat

There is a Kabbalist tradition to have a Tu B'Shvat seder including four 
cups of wine starting with white  and ending with red.  Various fruits 
are served: those we eat all of, those we eat only the inside, those we 
eat only the outside.

I always save a few pomegranets in the refrigerator from the fall to have 
on Tu b'Shvat as well as picking fresk bokser (carob).  We try to have as 
many of the fruits of Israel as we can.

There are a number of different texts that are used.  I can try and find 
out sources.  Those I have seen have all been xeroxs. 


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 17:54:58 -0500
Subject: TU Bi'SHEVAT

Joseph Mosseri (MJ17#67) asks for the reason of the name Tu Bi'Shevat
rather than Rosh Ha'Shanah La'Ilanot and some minhagim for this holiday.

My guess is that the term Rosh Ha'Shanah was used s'tam, for THE Rosh
Hashana, whereas all the other three rashei shanah needed the third word
attached to them. Thus we have Rosh Hashana La'Ilanot (RHL); Rosh
Hashana La'Melachim Ve'Laregalim, etc., and since this term (RHL) was
simply too long, Tu Bi'Shvat was more convenient and became the norm. It
also rhimes with Tu Be'Av, another joyious festival.

Note that many of the Jewish holidays are celebrated around the middle
of the lunar month (full moon) (and the Romans le'havdil used the term
"ides" for the middle of the month such as March).

The custom in Jerusalem was to plant on Tu Bi'Shvat a cedar-tree for
every new-born male and a cypress-tree for every female. When a marriage
was about to take place the trees were cut down and used as posts for
the huppah.  (Gittin 57a) A beautiful minhag which we should find a way
to reinstitute.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


End of Volume 17 Issue 68