Volume 18 Number 14
                       Produced: Fri Jan 27 11:23:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 adars or 1
         [Lori Dicker]
2000 Amot on Shabbat
         [Etan Diamond]
Avraham - Aramaic
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Burning bush rocks (2)
         [Joe Slater, Hillel Eli Markowitz]
Fleischig airline meal during 9 days
         [Warren Burstein]
Japanese-Jewish Relations (2)
         [Eric William Burger, Ellen Golden]
Japanese-Jewish Relations mail-jewish (v18n11)
         [Bill Thomas]
         [Francine S. Glazer]
Lo Tachmod
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Magnets on Shabbat


From: Lori Dicker <ldicker@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 18:31:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: 2 adars or 1

In mj V18 #10, Chaim Schild wrote:

> Rav Feinstein z"l aside (whether he was born in a leap year or not),
> did the miracle of Purim occur in a leap year !?

Based on an unrelated recent conversation with a local Rabbi regarding 
birthdays, I would assume that Purim did NOT occur in a leap year, 
because if it did, there would be no Purim katan.

(The conversation involved the fact that 2 of his children were born in 
Adar sheni, but if they had been born in non-leap years, the family could 
have celebrated the birthdays twice, once in Adar rishon, and again in 
Adar sheni.)



From: Etan Diamond <aa725@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 08:27:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 2000 Amot on Shabbat

What exactly are the reasons that one can only walk a distance of 2000 
Amot out of the city on Shabbat?  how can one get around this 
prohibition?  Why do you think the rabbis cared how far we walk on 
Shabbat?  What if you live more than 2000 amot from a shul?


Etan Diamond
Department of History
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 12:13:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Avraham - Aramaic

> According to archeologists, however, Arameans didn't migrate into that
> region (originally just called Naharayim) until several centuries after
> the time of Avraham, in fact even several decades after Matan Torah. If
> archeologists are correct, then references to Aram Naharayim and to
> Lavan as an Aramean could be similar to Gen. 14:14 which describes
> Avraham chasing the four kings as far as Dan (explained by Rashi). Even
> if the archeologists are wrong, it is easier to imagine that they are
> off by a few decades, and the Arameans came into that area at the time
> of Matan Torah,

If what you say is true then you will have a BIG problem explaining 
Lavan's calling of the 'Gal Ed' 'Ygar Sahadutha'... This is ARAMAIC... 
and Lavan said it... only a few decades after Avraham's time... He must 
have spoken Aramaic...Ya'akov spoke to him.... hmmm....

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://iia.org/~steinbj/steinber.html
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


From: <jds@...> (Joe Slater)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 08:29:53 +0000
Subject: Re: Burning bush rocks

>From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
>I remember reading, perhaps on soc.religion.jewish, about rocks from
>Mount Sinai that contain an inclusion resembling the shape of a bush
>(the _sneh_). The miraculous aspect of these rocks that if one smashes
>them into pieces, each one retains the image of the bush, I imagine in
>a smaller version.

I'm trying desperately to remember the name of these. There's nothing
especially miraculous about them. They consist of a mineral inclusion in
a rock with many fractures. The mineral spreads out like a tree along
the surface of each fracture, which means that if you break the rock
open (typically at a fracture) you'll see the tree shape repeated.  At
least, if it *is* miraculous then it's one that can be found at many
sites other than Mt Sinai, and one I first observed on a rock in the
wall of the synagogue in Doncaster, Melbourne.


P.S. Graphtolites, maybe.

From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 00:56:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Burning bush rocks

> I remember reading, perhaps on soc.religion.jewish, about rocks from
> Mount Sinai that contain an inclusion resembling the shape of a bush
> (the _sneh_). The miraculous aspect of these rocks that if one smashes
> them into pieces, each one retains the image of the bush, I imagine in
> a smaller version.
> There were also reports that the rocks have been examined scientifically.
> Perhaps some one has some citation that I could check.

Rabbi Berel Wein in one of his tapes spoke of being shown such rocks.  I
have also seen them and they look like veins of iron ore in a branching
pattern.  However,one should not regard this as any kind of "proof" of
any miracle.  Even if there are little men sitting up late at night
painting rocks, it would have nothing to do with the validity of the
Torah.  It makes a cute souvenir and a nice story and that is all.

Sorry if I seem a bit rough, but too many people give such matters more
importance than they deserve and we must be careful not to overdo

|  Hillel Eli Markowitz    |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|  <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 15:13:28 GMT
Subject: Re: Fleischig airline meal during 9 days

I once travelled on El Al during the 9 days.  It was possible to order
fish or vegetarian meals.  Unfortunately, we didn't ask our travel agent
to do so, we figured he'd take care of it anyway.

It may be possible to order kosher fish/vegetarian meals on other
airlines as well.  Not knowing the source for the heter, I am unable to
look to see if it recommends that travellers abstain from meat if
possible, or if it makes no distinction.

I recommend

1) don't count on your travel agent to think of everything
2) if you fly during the nine days, ask your rabbi what to do

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


From: <ericb@...> (Eric William Burger)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 09:49:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Japanese-Jewish Relations

Forwarded message from Bobby Fogel:
> The outcome of the Japanese alignment with Nazi Germany and their attack
> on America caused the US and their allies to split their effort over two
> fronts sperated by thousands of miles.  If the Japanese had not done so,
> I think it reasonable to suggest that WWII would have ended much earlier
> with the result of saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of
> Jewish lives.

On the other hand, one could call the Japanese invasion of the
U.S. (Hawaii) a miraculous event.  The Japanese knew they would lose,
and as such the invasion "did not make sense".  However, without the
invasion, the U.S. probably would never have entered WWII.  Nazi Germany
would have finished conquering Europe.  Thus, rather than saying...

> While I am not suggesting that the Japanese entered the
> war for enything other than their own self interest, as Jews we cannot
> forget that their actions, whatever the motivation, resulted in the
> additional loss of countless Jewish lives.

we might say: that the Japanese, quite unbeknownst to themselves, saved
countless Jewish lives.  [Did G-d harden the Japanese hearts to save us?
What eventually happened to the Japanese people was just short of the
plague of the first born...]

  Eric William Burger       --  <Eric.Burger@...>  --

From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 00:31:12 EST
Subject: Japanese-Jewish Relations

    >From: <bobby@...> (Bobby Fogel)
    [...quote about Kobe...]
    I believe that this approach, taken by a recent MJ.er, in relation to
    how we as Jews should view the Japanese, leaves out very important fact.
    The outcome of the Japanese alignment with Nazi Germany and their attack
    on America caused the US and their allies to split their effort over two
    fronts sperated by thousands of miles.  If the Japanese had not done so,
    I think it reasonable to suggest that WWII would have ended much earlier
    with the result of saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of
    Jewish lives.

I have two thoughts on this:

1.  Remember history... the US did not enter the war until December 7,
    1941... when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  To be sure, if
    the allies had not had to fight on two fronts, it might have been over
    faster, but how long would it have taken for US involvement
    without the direct attack by the Japanese?  Because Pearl Harbor
    happened, we'll never know, but any good US history book will
    indicate that Roosevelt was not ready to enter into "another"
    European War.

2.  The Japanese were themselves very brutal in Asia, and had been
    waging a war against China already in 1939.  If some righteous
    Japanese in the Kobe area assisted refugees, this is very good,
    but I have friends from mainland China who speak of the brutality
    of the Japanese and how the number of Asian peoples killed by the
    Japanese exceeds the numbers killed by Hitler.

I am not trying to disagree with Bobby Fogel or anyone who has spoken
up for the efforts of the people of Kobe to aid Jewish refugees, I
just want to do a reality check on (a) the US involvement in the war,
and (b) Japan's more general procedures in Asia.  (a) does cast some
doubt on Bobby Fogel's statement, and (b) does seem to support that
statement, but can also simply make the efforts of those in Kobe more


From: Bill Thomas <billt@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 09:37:56 -0800
Subject: Japanese-Jewish Relations mail-jewish (v18n11)

With regard to the Japanese in WWII:

1) Had the Japanese not bomb Pearl Harbor the U.S would not have declared
war against Japan. A strong isolationist pacifist movement existed in
the U.S. at that time.

2) Had the U.S. not declared war against Japan, Germany would not have
declared war against the U.S. The declaration of war against Japan did
not mention Germany.

3) Had Germany not delcared war against the U.S., the U.S. would not
have declared war. Some have called Germany's declaration of war a
major mistake on the part of Hitler.

4) The U.S. and its allies agreed on a Germany first plan which meant
that all resources would first go to defeat Germany and then to defeat

Therefore, had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbor, even more Jews would have
died.  Japan could have caused the saving of more Jewish lives had they
attacked Pearl Harbor sooner.


From: <fglazer@...> (Francine S. Glazer)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 16:31:30 EST
Subject: Kobe

Over five THOUSAND people lost their lives in Kobe.
Do we really only care about the Jews???

Fran Glazer


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 11:11:12 +1100
Subject: Lo Tachmod

In an earlier post to mj Ezra Dabbah asks about the 10th dibrah 
(commandment) "lo sachmod" (don't envy), and how can we rule on something 
that is "part of human nature".

The Ibn Ezra asks Ezra's (something in the name?) question.  In a nutshell, 
he explains that if a person trains himself not to desire things that Hashem 
does not want him to have, then he will not desire them.

Secondly, from the point of view of Halachah, the Rambam (Hilchot
Gezeilah 1:9) rules that one only transgresses "lo sachmod" if one acts
on his desire.  For example, he nags the owner into selling the item,
and then buys it.


From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 17:37:29 EST
Subject: Re: Magnets on Shabbat

> >From: Orin D. Golubtchik <ogolubtc@...>
> Does anybody know if there is any halachic prohibition against playing
> with/using magnets on Shabbat (eg: magnets on a refrigirator).
> Is there an issue of muktzeh ?  or boneh (are you opening/closing a circuit
> of some kind?)

There are no circuits involved in magnetic attraction.  There is an
attractive force between the magnet and every other piece of metal (of
the sort that's subject to magnetic attraction) in the universe.
Putting the magnet on (or close to) the refrigerator simply increases
the force of the magnetic attraction to the point where it's stronger
than gravity, so the magnet doesn't fall down.  In physical terms, the
magnetic force is just like gravity (except that the Earth is so large
that we never move far enough to detect a noticeable change in the
strength of the gravitational force.

There may be some other form of melakha involved, but (unlike
electricity) there is absolutely no issue of opening or closing a



End of Volume 18 Issue 14