Volume 17 Number 84
                       Produced: Mon Jan  9 23:47:54 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Daas Torah [& S.L.]
         [Yaakov Menken]
Divine Authorship
         [Stan Tenen]
Lifesaving Genealogy
         [Eugene Rosen]
Moshe Not Inspire
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]


From: <menken@...> (Yaakov Menken)
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 95 00:57:18 EST
Subject: Daas Torah [& S.L.]

>I just recently chanced upon Yaakov Menken's posting of Nov. 30,
>entitled, "Stifling Daas Torah." I would like to focus on one element of
>his piece which struck me as remarkable--it troubled me because I was
>present at an event which he misinterprets and probably
>misunderstands.  [...very different version of story re: Rav Lamm...]

I'll admit it - my only source on this one was the report in the JO - thus I
mentioned this _very_ much as a side point.  I am a _little_ struck by the
vast chasm between the two reports.  I think the JO based their _entire_
report on NY Times news reports - and it's quite possible that the reporters
(as they often do) reported something quite different from what the
participants saw happen.

What we all agree upon - with _either_ version of this story - is that which
I intended to point out: that the Reformers & Conservatives are quite
anxious to see an Orthodox "approbationary stamp"... and if not, to use the
banner of "pluralism" to shove us off the stage.  This was all I intended to
prove, and all Halachic Jews are in the "same boat" in this regard.

[Zvi - you now understand exactly my original intent concerning Rav Rotter
and S.L. (that which I promised not to write about again...) - according to
him / the Chazon Ish, a secular gov'ts sway (such as you described re: Rav
Kaminetsky) over placement in a co-ed environment _is_ an unacceptable moral
atmosphere, especially considering what a co-ed environment means in our
era.  As said previously, I'm sorry that my original comments seemed to some
readers to imply something a great deal more than that!]

Yaakov Menken


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 14:54:57 -0800
Subject: Divine Authorship

Re Jules Reichel's posting in m-j 17,75.  There is a way to understand
how and what happened to Moshe that might be satisfying to all
concerned.  (But, I guess that is asking too much. <sad smile>)

We are taught that Torah, however given, is a "templet" or "templte" of 
creation.  If this is literally so, then there are implications.  There 
are, in a limited sense, other entities that carry certain aspects of 
this "template of creation" that we do know about.  (No, I am NOT 
referring to anyone else's sacred texts.)  Transcendental numbers, Pi 
being the prime and archetypal example, are also intrinsically linked to 
the creation of this reality.  Change a single digit in the billionth 
decimal place in Pi and the universe might be unrecognizably different.  
One reason that numbers like Pi are called "transcendental" is because 
their mathematical properties suggested a comparison to The Transcendent 
to the mathematicians who worked with them.  ("Squaring the circle", 
which is dependent on being able to construct Pi, was THE riddle of the 
ancient world because of its intrinsic spiritual implications.)

Now IF Torah is similar to Pi, then we should be able to learn something 
about Torah from Pi.  For example, one of the characteristics of a 
special number like Pi is that it is _completely_ determined (even 
though we can never carry out the infinite calculations required to 
write out an "unending" and non-repeating number like Pi.)  Once we have 
the formula, the "gestalt", of Pi and once we begin the calculations, 
every following digit is predetermined.   This is also true of natural 
processes - although in complex systems not in a completely determined 
way.  Nevertheless, a golf swing, once started, has only a limited 
number of _harmonious_ ways to be completed.  It is easier to "follow 
through" with a natural process than it is to "choke up", disrupt, and 
abort such a process once it has begun.   (Think of this sort of 
inexorability as a kind of "inertia" - which it actually is in the 
mechanical case.)

So, it may be with Torah.   We will never know what Moshe experienced 
until we can internalize all of Torah as one "gestalt" - one 
extraordinary and unique meditational experience.   We might be able to 
do this if we could internalize all of the letters of Torah as a stream 
of consciousness. (I don't have the right words for this.)  This "stream 
of consciousness" is comparable to calculating the digits in Pi or to 
following through on a golf swing.  Once started, once in the right 
groove, the result is inexorable.   This inexorability is exactly what 
G. Spencer-Brown attributes to the fundamental topological process 
initiated by "the mark of distinction", (which I compare to the initial 
letter Bet of Torah.)   "The first distinction" leads _inexorably_ to 
all of formal logic - and in a greater, but analogically appropriate 
sense, I believe, to the sequence of letters in B'Reshit.

In my opinion, it is possible that this is what Moshe experienced.  It 
is neither "inspired" nor "dictated" in the simple sense we usually mean 
by these words.  Nevertheless, Torah is exactly isomorphic to this 
reality (a Template of Creation) and it could only have been "projected" 
to Moshe (and via Moshe to all of us) directly from HaShem.  If this 
sort of transcendental inexorability is so for Pi and for "golf swings", 
how much more so might it be true for Torah?

BTW, this model offers one additional property.  It can be tested.  If 
it is tested and something like what I have outlined turns out to be so, 
then we won't have to continue debating with non-orthodox views.  The 
issue would be settled and it would be world-changing.

Good Shabbos,


From: <erosen@...> (Eugene Rosen)
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 10:39:29 -0500
Subject: Lifesaving Genealogy

My name is Eugene Rosen and I responded to a note for help on Compuserve
regarding Jay Feinberg.  I had my blood tested (my parents, first cousins,
lived not far from Lvov)but was not a match.  I gently implore each of you
to read Jay's letter and of course network with those who might also help.
If you have any suggestions on how I may further disemminate this plea for
help, please feel free to write to me at <erosen@...>

"My name is Jay Feinberg and I am 26 years old. In June 1991 I was
diagnosed with a lethal form of leukemia and told I would only have a
few years to live unless I had a bone marrow transplant. Unable to
locate a compatible donor in my family or in international registries,
my family and friends decided not to sit back and let me die. Instead,
we decided to exercise some control over a disease which we had very
little physical control over.

Shortly thereafter, the Friends of Jay Feinberg, a non-profit marrow
donor recruitment foundation, was established. Friends of Jay is an IRS
approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation. All contributions are
tax-deductible to the extend allowable by law.

Friends of Jay has thus far tested nearly 50,000 bone marrow donors for
registries around the world, including in the U.S., Canada, Israel,
South Africa, the Republic of Belarus, Australia and Japan. Though I
have yet to find a perfect match, we have found donors for numerous
other patients who are alive today becaus eof this campaign. It is this
knowledge that inspires me and my family to continue fighting.

Since tissue type is ethno-geographically determined, like the color of
one's eyes or hair, the best chance of finding a GENETIC match lies with
thouse of similar ancestry. For me, these are people of Eastern-European
(Ashkenazi) Jewish background. In particular, we are looking for people
from Byelorussia (Sopotskin, on the Polish border in the Grodno area),
Hungary (an area now considered Solovakia), Ukraine, formerly Austria
(Nesterov, formerly Zolkiew, near Lvov), and Poland (Warsaw and
surrounding areas). Paternal family names include Feinberg, Plaskoff
(Plaskov or Plaskovsky), Grossman, Tuchband and Richman. Maternal family
names include Gross, Cohen, Gietter, Gersten, Hirsh and Gold. People
with these names from the areas listed are urged to take a simple blood
test - just 2 tablespoons of blood - to see if they match. This could
benefit me or if the donor chooses, some 9,000 other patients also in
need of life-saving matches.

The Talmud teaches us that "He who saves one life, it is as if he had
saved an entire world." I have been told by many of the donors who were
tested for me and match other patients similarly affliced that it was
the greatest tift that one human being could give to another. I think
that about says it all.

Marrow is a replenishable organ - it's like giving blood in that it
regenerates in a matter of weeks. You can donate marrow multiple times
throughout your lifetime. The donation process itself, should you match
as a result of the preliminary blood test and choose to donate, is a
simple procedure requiring no cutting or stitching. It requires
aspirating 2-3 percent of the marrow from the hip bone in a quick
approx-1 hour outpatient procedure. You receive a local (epidural) or
general anesthetic so you do not feel any pain during the
procedure. Most donors take Tylenol afterwards and return to work the
next day.  There is no cost borne by the donor - that is covered by the
recipient entirely!

People interested in donating a tube of blood to see if they match
should call (800) 9-MARROW or write to PO Box 326 (WOB), West Orange, NJ
07052. Inquiries can also be directed to INTERNET address
<73130.3626@...> Call the 800 number for a list of donor
drives in your area or for a simple kit by mail (have the nurse in your
doctor's office or local lab draw the tube of blood - that's all there
is to it).

On behalf of all patients afflicted with blood-related diseases like
leukemia, who are in need of a stranger who can give them the gift of
life and make the marrow transplant miracle happen, THANK YOU!"

Gene, it is important to stress that all donors tested for me will
benefit ALL patients seeking donors. They are tested for the registry -
NOT for Jay alone.

Thank you to each of your for your time and consideration.

Eugene Rosen           <erosen@...> (e-mail)
22 Riverside Road
Sandy Hook, Ct. 06482-1213
203 4266764 (home) 203 4264084 (fax) 203 5964249 (work)


From: <yitzchok.adlerstein@...> (Yitzchok Adlerstein)
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 95 19:52:05 -0800
Subject: Moshe Not Inspire

On January 5, Jules Reichel wrote: 

>Despite R. Adlerstein's concern that"inspired" allows for loose
>interpretation, it's probably as close as we can come.  Consider the
>following simple model.There are 3 objects in the process: God as
>author, Moshe in some role, and the final manuscript. If you use words
>like, "dictated" or "written" then God is not transferring information
>to Moshe but controlling the process so completely that Moshe can no
>longer be Moshe Rabbeinu. But that's clearly a wrong image.  Saying
>that Torah is inspired by God allows for Moshe to be fully instructed
>while remaining free to be our teacher.  The problem is that as the
>words get stronger to insure that there is acceptance of every letter
>as written, the need for Moshe and his reliability as a human teacher
>diminishes. It's a conundrum. I think that divine "author- ship" and
>divinely "inspired" are the best images we have.

Surely Mr. Reichel cannot mean that G-d did NOT dictate every
single letter of the Torah!  The fact that Moshe was the faithful
amanuensis of Hashem, and that he received all of it directly from
G-d, is of course the substance of the eighth of the Thirteen
Principles of Faith of Maimonides.  Those principles determine (as
Rambam himself adds at their end) who is in and who is out of the
community of the Torah faithful.  One who denies, in the Rambam's
own words, that Moshe was "like a scribe who is called and writes
all the happenings and stories and mitzvos," or who denies the
Divine origin of even a single letter of the Torah, in the words of
gemara Sanhedrin, is halachically an apikorus.  He indeed has no
reliability in any matter of halacha, as I wrote.  And, like it or
not, the Conservative movement has often used the word "inspired"
to deliberately contrast their enlightened "view" (afra le-
pumayhu!) of how G-d communicates with man, avoiding the fanatical
certainty of we Orthodox.  What is inspired still leaves room for
the subjective feelings and thoughts of the recipient of
inspiration.  Dictation does not.  (Avi Feldblum did the readership
of this list a great favor in pointing out the citation from
Meshech Chochmah that much more elegantly conveys the thrust of
what I'm writing about.)

More likely, Mr. Reichel merely means to point out the problem of
"reducing" Moshe to a writing instrument.   What greatness does
this leave for Moshe?  The answer is simple, at least according to
Rambam.  Could G-d have chosen an intelligent monkey to commit
words of Torah to his people?  Decidedly not.  Simon and Garfunkel
wrote, "...and the words of the prophet they are written on the
subway wall."  They were wrong.  Hashem does not (cannot according
to Rambam) choose your average straphanger and turn him into a
prophet.  Nor can he take a monkey, or even a Jew of incomplete
spiritual attainment.  A prophet must be a giant among men.  And
Moshe was the singular giant among prophets.  His greatness lies in
achieving the highest form of human perfection, and thus becoming
a candidate for the most elevated form of prophecy.  He is Rabbenu,
our teacher, not because the lessons of the Torah are of his
authorship, chas v'shalom, but because he was great enough to
understand the intention of the real Author, and adept enough at
teaching that he could convey the message in terms that his flock

For the record, a thought of the Gra is cited by several sources. 
The Gra differentiates between the first four Chumashim and
Devarim.  The first Chumashim were "the word of Hashem, [spoken]
through the throat of Moshe."  Devarim was transmitted more
similarly to the visions of other prophets:  Moshe received the
work in a prophetic encounter, and later relayed the words to Klal


End of Volume 17 Issue 84