Volume 18 Number 23
                       Produced: Tue Jan 31  0:18:02 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Animals in the Torah
         [Josh Backon]
Bridal Mikve "Party"
         [Danny Skaist]
Coming of age
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Hayyei Adam
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Motivation of Women
         [Zvi Weiss]
Ohab Zedek and tallitot
         [S. H. Schwartz]
One Bottle of Water in Desert
         [Chaim Stern]
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Yishuv Ha'Aretz & zilzul Mitzvah
         [Lon Eisenberg]
YU and Homosexual Clubs
         [Michael J Broyde]


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Mon,  30 Jan 95 13:32 +0200
Subject: Re: Animals in the Torah

Bernard Horowitz asked about the availability of an article on animals
in the Torah for a Hebrew school class. There were a series of articles
precisely on this subject in the Jewish Bible Quarterly (an affiliate of
the Joint Authority on Jewish Zionist Education of the Dept. of Jewish
Education and Culture in the Diaspora of the WZO).The author of these
articles is SP Toperoff:

The ass in the Bible XIII 43
The ant in the  Bible and Midrash XIII 179
The Bee in the Bible and Midrash XIII 246
Birds in Bible and Midrash XIV 45
The camel in the Bible and Talmud XIV 108
The cock and the hen in Bible and Midrash XIV 187
Canines in Bible and Midrash XV 114
The dove, the turtle dove and pigeon in Bible and Midrash XV 181
The eagle in Bible and Midrash XV 260
Fish in Bible and Midrash XVI 46
The Fox in Bible and Midrash XVI 112
The goat in Bible and Midrash XVI 197
The hart and hind in Bible and Midrash XVI 271

Back volumes available also on microfiche.

Josh (*volunteered* secretary of the JBQ)


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 11:38 IST
Subject: Bridal Mikve "Party"

>Yisrael Medad
>my wife replies that:-
>a) Sefaradim do have special parties, i.e., 'henna', but at
>least nowadays, not in the Mikveh for sure.

Tell your wife that it is not the henna, but another thing altogether.  In
my neighborhood the mikve is next door to to the shuls (one Ashkanazi, one

While passing, I have witnessed the setting up of tables outside the mikve,
(just before maariv) with all sorts of goodies for the celebration.  The 10
to 15 guests I have seen (but they are still only setting up) are mostly
women and children but, of course the men (if there are any invited) would
probably be in shul.

The "henna" is indoors, much more formal, and has a larger crowd.



From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 11:41:35 EST
Subject: Re: Coming of age

> From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
> I do not know what it means to say that women are no longer Jews solely
> through being daughters and then wives....  Does that mean that men were
> defined as being Jews through being sons and then husbands?  To claim

While it may be somewhat off the original intent, I heard something this
past shabat which may illustrate the above sentiment, about women being
or not being Jews by veritue of being daughters/wives/mothers.

It is well known that one stands out of respect for a talmid chacham, a
Jewish scholar of Torah.  It is also a well known midrash that an angel
teaches a Jewish child the entire Torah while he is still in the womb,
and just before birth touches him under the nose (the "source" of the
bump there) to have him forget.  In this way the "next" time he learns
the Torah it won't be so unfamiliar.

The lecturer asked, "Perhaps a pregnant woman has a BOY in her womb.
Shouldn't people be makpid (strict upon themselves) to stand up for her
unborn son, who at this time is a talmid chacham.  He answered that it
was the effort that merited repect, and the unborn boy did not put any
effort into it.  What struck me is even as an unborn child, the boy is
getting the benefit of being taught the Torah, and the girl is just
"sitting" there.  I have not reviewed the source to see if it is
unambiguous in this respect.  I was, however, in a room full of people,
men and women, who did not seem to bat an eyelash at this.  This is a
woman being defined as a Jew (or at least a Jew worthy of respect) by
virtue of her being a mother to a boy.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 10:54:21 -0500
Subject: Hayyei Adam

George Max Singer writes in (MJ18#20)

>R Yehiel Michel Danziger (d 1821) was known for his "Hayyei 
>Adam" which set forth a version of halachah and musar that 
>common people could understand.  Chevros Hayyei Adam were 
>common in Lita and in America in the 19th century and into this 
>one.  My query is this:  In my hometown, a shul was incorporated 
>under the name of "Hai Adam" (sic). Were we unique, or were there 
>other shuls, as opposed to study hevros, by that name in this
>country? Thanks to any respondent.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica, (EJ), Vol. 5, pp.1297-1298 gives details of
this remarkable rabbi. But first couple of corrections. His name was
Abraham ben Jehiel Michal Danzig (Danziger) (1748-1820) and the book
Hayyei Adam was covering all the laws of the Shulchan Aruch dealing with
daily conduct, based on the Orach Hayyim sections, with an addendum
called Nishmat Adam in which he justified his decisions which were not
in accordance with accepted view (quoted from EJ). EJ adds that "Groups
called 'hevrot Hayyei Adam' were formed in several communities for the
regular study of the code". Similar to Hevrot Mishnayot and it makes
perfect sense that shuls will be named after the book or the havurot.

I have heard that R. Danzig named his book "Hayyei Adam" with two
purposes in mind: one that "Haim" be in the name, since it is based on
Orach Hayim; and two in order that nobody will write a Kizzur
(=abridged) form of his book. If someone wrote an abridgement of his
book they will have to name it "Kizzur Hayyei Adam"! But since the
similar book, by content, "Kizzur Shulchan Aruch" (by Solomon ben Joseph
Ganzfried 1804-1886) came years later, I started to wonder that may be
this name story was composed later in time to fit retroactively the two
books. Any sources on the name of the book "Hayyei Adam"?

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 17:35:02 -0500
Subject: Motivation of Women

With all due respect to Ms. Gordon, Micha Berger's concerns about motivation
can be found in a responsa of the Iggrot (O.C. #4, Siman 49) where R. Moshe
is quite clear that one whose observance is NOT based upon a sincere "inner"
desire to do a Mitzva but rather because of the need to "battle" to show some
sort of "equality" is to be strongly discouraged... He actually uses stronger
terms.  R. Moshe celarly notes that the actual observance of the Mitzva by the
woman may be permissible -- yet that does not stop him from raising serious
issues.  Ms. Gordon's assertion (in her posting of 16 Jan) that it would be
even more important for women of so-called questionable motives to be involved
in active religious practice appears to directly contradict this responsa.
I would be most interested in what HER source is..



From: <schwartz@...> (S. H. Schwartz)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 13:36:37 +0500
Subject: Re: Ohab Zedek and tallitot

  >However OZ (Oheb Zedek in NYC) was founded over 100 years ago and its
  >minhag was that every man, single or otherwise should ALWAYS wear a
  >talit. Through the years that minhag has been lost/modified so that
  >(perhaps out of respect for the original minhag) you wear a talit for
  an >aliya.

  The reason for the original minhag (as some readers may have already
  guessed) is that OZ was originally founded as a German shul, and the
  German minhag was for every adult male to wear a tallit... In fact,
  if you pay close attention, you will note that many of the older
  members of OZ speak German, not Yiddish.

This didn't sound quite right.  This morning, I asked one of the senior
gabbaim about the shul history.  OZ was founded as, and has remained, a
-Hungarian- shul.  It has historically been western European custom for
all b'nai mitzva to wear tallitot; the eastern Europeans followed the
minhag of waiting until marriage.

With respect to the German language, many Hungarians apparently
regarded German as a higher-class language to speak.  Also, one of the
early OZ rabbanim spoke, and in fact darshaned, in German, attracting
worshippers of the same language.  It was later that English became the
language of the shtender, following complaints by non-German-speaking

Note also that our shalichei tzibbur (prayer leaders) wear a tallit at
all daytime tefillot, as opposed to other minhagim mentioned here.

  Presumably, the minhag has been modified to follow common Eastern
  European practice because the majority of the current membership is of
  Eastern European rather than German extraction.

This seems to be case, present company included.



From: Chaim Stern <PYPCHS%<EZMAIL@...>
Date: Mon 30 Jan 1995 12:35 ET
Subject: One Bottle of Water in Desert

Regarding Jerrold Landau's question of what to do if two people come
across one bottle of water in the desert (The Talmud only speaks about a
situation where one of them owns it):

The Maharsha (Baba Metzia 62a) says that if both own the bottle, then
both drink half, even though that will cause them both to die before
reaching civilization (in a situation where one bottle is necessary to
survive). In Igros Moshe Y"D Vol. I # 145, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein goes
into a lengthy discussion on this whole topic, and it seems to me based
on his logic that if they both came across a bottle at the same time,
they would also split it. CYLOR.

The Chidushai Harim on the verse "You shall love your neighbor as
yourself" explains that a person should want to split the bottle even if
they own it, but the halacha forces you to drink it all yourself. He
also says that if there were 3 people and one person has 2 bottles, he
must drink one himself, and give each of the others half a bottle, even
though they'll both die before reaching civilization and he could have
saved one if he gave him the whole bottle.

I found no discussion about what to do if one has a whole bottle of
COCA-COLA and the other has half a bottle of PEPSI. Are they allowed to
trade ?

Chaim Stern


From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 09:18:52 EST
Subject: Volunteering

> >From: <dlm@...> (David Lee Makowsky)
> 	I have a question that I was wondering if anyone reading this
> could possibly help me with.  Like (I assume) most of the people
> reading this, I am in the computer field.  I have some talents that I
> believe I could use to help out some Jewish organization.  I very
> much want to contribute my time and computer knowledge to some worthwile
> Jewish organization.  However, I do not know of any organizations that
> currently could use me and I feel a little awkward (perhaps I should
> not?) about just making "random" phone calls.

Well, I don't know of a service, but I might think about what sorts of
things you would like to offer, or think you can offer.  Many places may
have a computer but may not know what ways they could use it that would
help them.  Since you know computers you might think of things that you
might be able to provide these organizations.  With that in hand you may
feel a bit less awkward about making "random" phone calls.  Many
organizations, especially non profits, love to have offers of volunteer
work.  If you know what you want to/can offer them you are in a better
position to have a productive converstation with them.  Now, of course
you need get an idea from them (when you call them is fine) what they
need but with your half of the picture you can match up skills and
needs.  You could look under volunteer in the yellow pages to see if
there are actually any organizations that coordinate volunteers and
places that need them.

Kol tuv,


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 10:01:16 IST
Subject: Yishuv Ha'Aretz & zilzul Mitzvah

>In another place R. Feinstein says:
> ...                         since the Jewish people were dispersed in
> the galut in the entire world, when the majority of the Jewish people
> could not fulfill such a mitzvah, and it is known that since the
> Tanaitic time only a small minority of Jews lived in Israel, not even
> one out of a thousand, ...

But today, about 1/3 (more?) live in Israel.  In fact, the majority of
observant (commtted?) Jews of the world live here.


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 10:15:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: YU and Homosexual Clubs

I cannot tell if Binyamin Jolkovsky is retracting or not.  The initial
post of his stated rather clearly that he was referring to a club run in
the same building as the beis medrash.  This type of allegation is easy
to make and apparently quicky retracted.  I take it to mean that Mr.
Jolkovsky no longer stands by that allegation and indeed, he is not
certain if that is even what he was told.
	I again question the ethical propriety of this type of reporting
and I ask based on what halachic rule would reporter Jolkovsky make such
an allegation?  Indeed, a number of private posters have written to me
stating that this type of Journalism is reporter Jolkovsky's forte.  It
ought not be tolerated on a halachic net of this type.
	The same thing occurred with his explanation of the Jewish Press
incident.  In his first posting Jolkovsky implied that the money issued
had to do with the Jewish Press's need not to hurt a financial
supporter; when pushed Reporter Jolkovsky tells us that that is not what
is really meant; rather the intent was to explain that YU felt it could
do nothing about this because of loss of government funds.  The readers
should go back and examine of that is what Reporter Jolkovsky stated in
his last posting.
	So too, his falure to mention that fact that he spoke to Rabbi
Lamm about this issue or the obvious distinction noted by Feivel Smiles
concerning the Yeshiva Program, and the Graduate divisions all indicate
to me that a hatchet job was done by a person whose reputation precedes
him.  Reporters, like all halachic Jews, are under an obligation to
verify that there posting are in accordance with halacha's rules
regarding false speech.  I question if such was done in this case.
Rabbi Michael Broyde


End of Volume 18 Issue 23