Volume 18 Number 06
                       Produced: Mon Jan 23  0:14:58 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 people - 1 parachute
         [Mike Grynberg]
A Cohen cannot marry
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Cohen marrying a divorcee (2)
         [Leah S. Gordon, Avi Feldblum]
         [Sylvain Cappell]
Kobe, Japan..
         [Daniel Wroblewski]
Rashi - Parasha Yitro
         [Dave Curwin]
Sidrat T'rumah
         [Walter Poor]
Synagogue in Kobe
         [Finley Shapiro]


From: <spike@...> (Mike Grynberg)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 95 14:13:27 +0200
Subject: 2 people - 1 parachute

it appears to me that this is a case of "shnaim ochzin" (lit. 2 people 
holding onto) which is described in the first perek, the first mishna
of bava metzia. The gemara relates the case of two people who come
to beis din holding a talit. each one claims he found it first and
that the whole thing is his. the mishna says that each one swears that
he owns at least half the talit, and then they divide it.
	Well in our case i suppose if they both grab the parachute
at the same time they should go to a beit din who will decide who should
maintain posession of the aforementioned parachute. In extreme circumstances,
(like the plane crashing in a minute) we can assume that the 2 people will not
have the opportunity to get to the beit din. but according to the mishna
it seems clear that they should either physically divide the parachute
between themselves, or as i believe the gemara says sell the talit 
(parachute) and divide the money. 
	I hope this helped shed some light on the matter. 
(I was very free citing the mishna, by condensing it. the mishna itself is
more detailed.)

mike grynberg


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 00:18:48 -0500
Subject: A Cohen cannot marry

Gedaliah Friedenberg (MJ17#96) suggests that: "A Kohen cannot marry a woman
who has had intercourse with a non-Jew."

A Cohen cannot marry a divorcee or a prostitute or a halalah (=the
product of a cohen and a prohibited wife) (Vayikra 21:7; Even Ha'ezer
6:1). In fact an extreme suggestion was made in the Bible that cohanim
can marry only virgins (Yechezkel 44:22) but this view did not make it
to normative halacha.  Therefore, a Cohen cannot marry a woman who has
had intercourse with a non-Jew OR A JEW unless she is a widow. A Cohen
Gadol (=high priest) cannot marry even a widow.

Any sexual relationship must be either lekinyan (= for marriage) or for
prostitution. Therefore, the Talmud says: "he who had intercourse with a
penuya (=a non married woman) made her a prostitute" (Yevamot 59:) and
Rashi there says:"and she is not allowed even to Cohen hediot" (=simple

If you follow R. Feinstein's ruling that C/R marriages can be annulled,
you certainly have a risk that halachicly these women might be
considered prostitutes, and will not be allowed to Cohanim. Maybe we
should revert back to "Kidushei Biah"(=marriage by intercourse), rather
than make every C/R marriage into an instance of prostitution. It is
conceivable that R. Feinstein's ruling solved some mamzerim problems but
created a different problem, and one can see why R. Henkin rejected his
view on this issue.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 00:25:06 -0800
Subject: Cohen marrying a divorcee

In reference to the question of what would happen if a Cohen and
divorcee find themselves married and want to do the halakhically right
thing, I seem to recall that although such a marriage is forbidden, it
is not invalid.  In other words, the marriage stands b'di eved (after
the fact), though it is not allowed l'chatchila (to begin with).
Unfortunately, I do not have the source at my fingertips; perhaps
someone else can help me on this.

Leah S. Gordon

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 23:46:41 -0500
Subject: Re: Cohen marrying a divorcee

Leah S. Gordon writes:
> In reference to the question of what would happen if a Cohen and
> divorcee find themselves married and want to do the halakhically right
> thing, I seem to recall that although such a marriage is forbidden, it
> is not invalid.  In other words, the marriage stands b'di eved (after
> the fact), though it is not allowed l'chatchila (to begin with).

There was at least one other posting that came in saying a similar
thing. I wrote back saying that I thought the issue was
mis-understood. Here is how I understand the issue, and if I am wrong,
then one of the experts on the list will correct me. There are a class
of relationships that even if they go through the motions of a marriage,
no halakhic relationship results. An example of this is if a man were to
give a ring to his sister and say that I am wedding you with this ring,
nothing has happened halakhically, they are not married. The language
used is that kedusin (first stage of marriage) are not "tofes" - do not
take hold. There is a second class of relationships that are forbidden,
but if one goes through the motions, then the marriage does take
effect. An example of this is a Cohen and a divorcee. So if a Cohen
gives a ring to a divorcee and tells her that he wants to marry her with
this ring, then halakhically marriage (kedushin) has taken place. To
dissolve this relationship requires a get. So the Cohen is married to
the divorcee, but at the same time he is violating the Torah commandment
not to marry a divorcee. This violation continues until he divorces her.

Avi Feldblum


From: <cappell@...> (Sylvain Cappell)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 95 19:15:00 EST
Subject: Kobe 

    There have been recently some requsts, follwing the tragic
earthquake, for news of the Jewish Community of Kobe. I have not seen
any replies and would be glad to receive information.
    I had occasion to spend a few days, including a Shabbat, there about
a half dozen years ago in connection with some mathematical meetings in
nearby Osaka and Kyoto. The Jewish Community of Kobe has a very curious
history and the large Synagauge buiding, in a vaguely Japanese style,
was very charming. Relations with the local population, the city and the
Imperial authorities have always been good. Indeed, during the Second
World War, Kobe Jews holding foreign passports had nevertheless
generally avoided internment as enemy aliens precisely because the local
authorities saw them as a distinct group.
   Some years ago several popular books in Japanese on the Jews
appeared; by pandering to the considerable fascination there with the
Jews of the world and their accomplishments and by grossly exaggerating
their roles and power, they had an antisemitic tone. In apparent
response, the Imperial family had sent the late Emperor Hirohito's
brother to make an official visit to the Kobe Synagauge. In Japan, this
was a very distinctive honor and photos of the occasion were displayed
in the Kobe Synagauge.
   However, for several reasons having to do with the vast and rapid
changes in the local economy, the Kobe Jewish Community was evidently
declining and most of the Jewishly knowledgable members had moved, or
were about to move, abroad. The Jews had once played an important role
in the pearl trade in Kobe as well as in the exportation of the cheap
manufactured goods that had been so typical of Japan earlier in this
century. Also as living in Japan had become so expensive and it was, in
any case, nowadays readily accesible by modern communications and
transportation, many of the Jewish merchants now thought it more
reasonable to live with their families abroad in more Jewishly
conventional locales and just fly in as needed. Sadly, nowadays they
didn't always reach a minyan in the Kobe Synagauge on Shabbat and I was
happy to help complete it. ( I recall the kind hospitality of my Shabbat
host there, a Mr. Gamal, who was evidently the Synagauge leader and was
about to relocate his family to Israel. I would be glad to have news of
him. )

    The Synagauge was located fairly far up the hills from the port in
the part of the city that had once been the official foreign residents
area, well beyond the "bullet train" tracks. Judging by the descriptions
in the newspapers of the areas of damage, it may well have been severely
hit. If so, I fear that given the ongoing decline of the Jewish
Community of Kobe and the great costs of construction in Japan, it might
not easily recover. This would be a great shame; between Kobe, Osaka and
Kyoto there are a very surprisingly large number of Jews living
permanently or temporarily in the region and many have had at least some
indirect or occasional contact with this, the only Synagauge, in this
very populous and econmically, historically and academically important
region.  Of couse, there are also a growing number of visitors, like
myself, who availed themselves of its kind and memorable hospitality.
                                                                                <cappell@...>          Prof. Sylvain Edward Cappell
                              Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
                              New York University


From: <WroboDan@...> (Daniel Wroblewski)
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 18:27:47 -0500
Subject: Kobe, Japan..

According to the "World Guide for the Jewish Traveler" by  Warren Freedman,
there is a small Jewish community of 20 families in Kobe, Japan. Listed is
the Ohel Shlomo Synagogue with contact of Victor Moche (tel: 222872 or
333730) or Jack Gotlieb, Box 841, Kobe, Japan. JCC there is at 66/1
Kitano-Cho 4-chome Ikuta-Ku (tel: 078-221-7236)
One major caveat: the book was written in 1984.


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 12:46:53 EDT
Subject: Rashi - Parasha Yitro

SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild) wrote:

>In Rashi in Yitro (Shemos 19:12), he states that the gevul (boundary)
>SPEAKS to the people........
>Does anybody know of a supercommentary on Rashi where they elaborate on
>this statement which appears to derive from the "extra" "laymor/saying"
>in the passuk ?
>That the boundary itself speaks is certainly a novel interpretation
>similar to the goral (lottery) speaking when they divided eretz Israel.

 Take a look at R' Menachem Kasher's Tora Shleima, in his first book
on Parshat Yitro, Miluim Tet. In the article entitled, "Nisim Shelo
Huzkaru b'Sifrei Chazal" (Miracles that aren't mentioned in the works
of the Sages). He quotes several supercommentaries -- Tzeda L'Derech,
Divrei David, Mizrachi, Z'chor L'Avraham, and Shem Efraim, but comes
to the conclusion that it is a printing error in Rashi. He does
discuss the midrash/Rashi of the goral speaking, and other similar

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: <POORONES@...> (Walter Poor)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 20:33:59 -0500
Subject: Sidrat T'rumah

Your address was given to me to see if you can answer a question about the
pronunciation of a word that appears three times in aliyah sh'vii in Sidrat
T'rumah (which I will be reading in two weeks).  The word is an example of
the sort of question I have as a Torah reader whose native language is not

The English meaning is "twisted".  The Hebrew word is spelled 
   mem (with kamats), shin (with sh'va), zain (with kamats), resh. 

The accent is on the second syllable, and the adjective is derived from the
verb shazar.

According to the grammar rules I think I understand, there are two possible

   ma - sh'zar   (if the first kamats is a kamats gadol)
  mosh - zar     (if the first kamats is a kamats katan)

According to my modern Hebrew dictionary, the modern pronunciation is
   moosh - zar
so it does not answer the question for me.

Both pronunciations preserve the consonants, but the 
syllabifications are different, and at most one of these choices can be
right.   What is the correct pronunciation? 

I have lots more questions, but for now will settle for an answer to this

     Walter Poor  (Avraham Sh'lomo ben Avraham) 


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 20 Jan 1995 12:17:15 U
Subject: Synagogue in Kobe

I have dug out a map from my trip to Japan in 1983 which shows the
synagogue in Kobe, and I compared it to the map of Kobe in The New York
Times this past Wednesday.  The location of the synagogue is marked
"Yudaya Kyokai (Jewish Synagogue)."  It is (or was) in the center part
of Kobe, but at the opposite side of center part from the collapsed
highways.  The distance from the nearest collapsed highway looks like
about 1 to 2 km.  The synagogue seems to be on a street for which no
name is given on the map, but it is just off a street called Kitano-dori
(Kitano Street).  The nearest landmark is the Shinkansen train station
for Kobe, called Shin Kobe Station.  The synagogue appears to be a
little less than 1 km southwest of the station.  In my picture of the
synagogue its name is given as "Ohel Shelomo Synagogue."  Some or all of
this information may have changed in the past 11 years.  I did not meet
any members of the Jewish community when I was there.

Finley Shapiro


End of Volume 18 Issue 6