Volume 18 Number 25
                       Produced: Wed Feb  1  0:54:52 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

10th Commandment
         [Joshua Lee]
         [Bob Werman]
Animals in the Torah
         [Yitzhak Teutsch]
Jewish Environmentalism
         [Yosef Winiarz]
Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
         [Adina B. Sherer]
Kosher Cheese
         [Zvi Weiss]
M'shenichnas Adar
         [Israel Medad - Knesset]
NCSY list
         [Seth Rosenblum]
Sinai Stones
         [Micha Berger]
The Seven Extra Days
         [Elie Rosenfeld]


From: Joshua Lee <jlee>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 02:09:04 +0000
Subject: 10th Commandment

<EDABBA@...> quotes/writes:
>>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.
>Again, this seems like  perfection of a character trait, not a commandment.

I think perhaps, a reason for this being ennumerated as one of the ten
commandments is that we not be too complacent. :-) After all, most of us
do not murder, and for us, theft is rare. However, "thou shalt not
envy"?  I think our lifestyles today attest to the fact that this is a
mitzvah that we nearly all have transgressed in the past.

Incidentally, I'm currently reading a book on the mitzvos that deal with
"inner duties", Rabbeinu Bachye Ibn Pakkuda's famous mussar sefer
_Duties of the Heart_.  Where he goes into this in detail. Other
Rishonim, if not all Rishonim, agree that such Torah mitzvos exist. Also
the Talmud clearly treats them as significant mitzvos as well.

A problem with this Mitzvah, however, is that only One, besides oneself,
would know if one is obeying it or not. It would be difficult, if not
impossible, for an earthly court to convict one of a misdeed that
occured in this fashion?

This is true of other things. In the privacy of one's home "by
yourself", for example, if one ate a ham sandwitch, who would be to
know? However, who would argue that this is a transgression?

As long as HaShem is a witness to the misconduct, it is a transgression.

Yes, this is a tough mitzvah to follow. But it would not be there if it
were not possible, if it were not in our reach. As it says in D'varim;
"It is in your heart, that you may do them..."


Internet: <jlee@...>                      | Free internet/Usenet BBS
ArfaNet: <Joshua.Lee@...> | My personal machine.
FidoNet: Joshua Lee at 1:271/250.9              | The same address, in Fido.


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Tue,  31 Jan 95 9:20 +0200
Subject: 5000-DEAD

Moshe Hacker is right about the need of Jews to worry about Jews first.
We have a pretty good record of thinking about others, too, and that is
to our credit, but our primary obligation is not to save mankind.  That
was NoaH's job, and he was promised that there would never be a flood
again, and I presume that also means no nuclear warfare that would wipe
out mankind.

I would like to remind our younger readers that in the 1960's when the
African-Americans in the South were given the right to vote, they did
not know how to exercise that right.  Young people from the North and
the West endangered their lives by volunteering to help these
unfortunate people to register to vote, hundreds of volunteers.  Three
were killed in Mississippi, two of them Jews.  Kiddush ha-shem?
Perhaps.  Someone noted the Jewish element and did a survey of the
volunteers.  It turned out that two of three of them were Jewish, too.
Something to be proud of?  I think so.  When these brave young Jews were
asked if their being in the South and putting their lives on the line
was related to their Jewishness, almost all denied any relationship.
How could they be so blind?  How can we be so blind?  Something to
mourn?  Yes.

And of course the Afican-Americans do not remember either, nor was it
ever spelled out to them.

Musar haschel?  Practical lesson to be learned?  We will not be there to
help others unless we survive.  And we will not survive if we do not put
our survival first on the agenda.

__Bob Werman


From: Yitzhak Teutsch <TEUTSCH@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 11:50:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Animals in the Torah

Bernard Horowitz asked in Mail-Jewish v.18 n.20 for information on 
animals mentioned in the Torah.  I would recommend starting with these 
books of Dr. Yehuda Feliks:
           ha-Hai shel ha-Tanakh (Tel-Aviv, 1954)
           The Animal World of the Bible (Tel-Aviv, 1962)
           Hai ve-tsomeah ba-Torah (Yerushalayim, 1984)
In the third book, for example, Dr. Feliks provides for each animal: 
a photograph or sketch; the name in Hebrew, Latin, and English; a brief 
description; and verses from the Torah.  Your local Jewish bookstore 
should carry at least one of these books.               

                       Yitzhak Teutsch 
                  Harvard Law School Library
                    Cambridge, Mass. 02138 


From: <yosef@...> (Yosef Winiarz)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 19:32:21 +0200
Subject: Jewish Environmentalism

>From Mordechai Horowitz:
>I have a friend who will be running a program at the Spitzfer conference
>on Jewish environmentalism.  The problem is finding the Jewish part of
>the issue.  Any suggestions?  If you could add in anything regarding
>how halachic Jews should act in the American political system regarding
>the issue.

If you are comfortable with Halachic sources in their original form, have
access to a good library or friends in Israel and you think that you can
interpret mishpat ivri (halachically derived legal principles) in a way that
is relevant to the American political system, then try CDCHUT HASEVIVA:
Rakover (Sifriyat Hamishpat Haivri:  Jerusalem, 1993) 160 pages.

Prof. Rakover is currently the Deputy Legal Advisor to the Government of
Israel and considered an expert in the field of mishpat ivri.  His original
research on ecology in Jewish sources was published in 1972 and funded by
the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be presented at an international
conference on ecology in Stockholm.  In English, by the same author (I've
not seen this one personally) see ECOLOGY IN JUDAISM in Encyclopedia
Judaica, Decennial Book 1973-1982, p. 227-229.

There is a chapter on ecology in JUDAISM AND GLOBAL SURVIVAL by Richard H.
Schwartz, Ph.D. (Vantage Press:  New York, 1984)pp.40-52.  At one time Dr.
Schwartz was on this mailing list.  If he is still here and reading this,
then perhaps he can supply you with more source material in English.  I have
also heard that Rabbi Saul Berman (still at YU?) has collected source
material on this subject.


From: <adina@...> (Adina B. Sherer)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 95 7:58:24 IST
Subject: Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society

There's an interesting series that has a lot of articles on topics that
people are discussing here at great length.  It's called the Journal
of Halacha and Contemporary Society, published by RJJ School.  
There's an article on Judaism and the Environment in the Fall 1991 XXII issue
by R. Eli Turkel.
And one on Vegetarianism By R. Alfred Cohen - Fall 1981
Which also has one on Are Women Obligated to Pray - R. Menachem Kasden

Also articles on the following familiar subjects:
Variations in Seph. and Ashken. Liturgy, Pronunc. & Custom
Performing a Wedding in a Syn.					Fall 1989
Yeshiva Men serving in the Army
Modern Techn. & Sabbath						Spring 1992
Mezonot Bread							Spring 1990
Bishul Akum 							Spring 1984
Electr. on Shabbat & Yom Tov					Spring 1991
Carrying People on Shabbat					Fall 1992
Understanding the Heter Mechira					Fall 1993
Fruit from Israel - oblig. for Terumah & Maaser			Spring 1994
The Status of Non-Halachic Marriages				Fall 1984
Celebration of the Bat Mitzva					Fall 1986
And for the Chumra issues -
Chalov Yisrael							Spring 1983
Chodosh in America						Spring 1992

Maybe we should all skip mail-jewish and subscribe to this instead?
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 14:29:53 -0500
Subject: Kosher Cheese

This will not be a full-dress presentation but I hope to stir things up
a bit.  There are [at least] 2 different issues here.
1. The Torah status of Rennet.  note that Rennet can (I think) come
 directly from the Stomach of a cow *or* it can be made from
 semi-digested products found in the Animal's Stomach.. I am not
 positive if the terminology "semi-digested products" is quite accurate
 -- I am not sure of a better description of the term "Kevah" as used by
 commentaries like RASHI.  Anyway, depending upon the source, this
 Rennet is either not considered to be meat at all (and hence can be
 used in Cheese) or else it *is* a problem.  Of course we can agree that
 Rennet derived from NON-meat sources (e.g., vegetable) would not be
 considered meat and would be usable in Cheese without any problem.
2. There is a Rabbinical proihibition of Gevinat Akum -- which is
 distinct from the porhibition of Chalav Akum.  In fact, there is a
 major discussion whether one is even required to use "certified" Chalav
 Yisrael in oder to make Kosher Cheese (this is a major difference
 between HaOlam and Migdal Cheeses).  The reasons for this Rabbinical
 prohibition are discussed in the Talmud and the exact reasoning is a
 bit complicated.  However, one effect of this prohibition is that even
 if the Cheese uses "Vegetable Rennet", it will STILL not be considered
 kosher unless it is made under Jewish Auspices...

The above should be enough to get started.  For a more thorough
discussion of the first point, there is a section of Yoreh De'ah that
may prove interesting.



From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 12:51:30 +0200 (IST)
Subject: M'shenichnas Adar

As this year, the Moslem fast month of Ramadan coincides exactly with
our Adar I, and since statistically, terror attacks have increased
during this period, we here can only trust that the HOBBH will have a
special "simcha" for us that will protect us.  Whatever it is, and I do
not expect a repeat Purim, we will be grateful.

Yisrael Medad


From: <SDavidR@...> (Seth Rosenblum)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 12:37:31 -0500
Subject: Re: NCSY list


Nice to see that there are actually some cyber-NCSY'ers out there!

My name is Seth Rosenblum.  I live outside of Albany, New York. I am a member
of the Har Sinai Upstate NY region.

It is most definitely possible for us to start a list-I know USY has one on
NYSERNET- why can't we?

If you care to call me, my number is (518) 452-8120, after 3pm M-F or on

Please write back, <SDavidR@...>
Tell me about yourself and let me know if you have had any other responses.
                o(: - )                 --- Seth Rosenblum

[Yes, you can have an NCSY alumni list. Let me know if you are
interested, and I can help you get it set up. You can also get the main
information you need on the main Shamash gopher, under the About Shamash
section. Mod.]


From: Micha Berger <berger@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 07:50:51 -0500
Subject: Sinai Stones

My first reaction to the Sinai stones postings was, "We're not sure
which mountain Sinai is, how can you get stones from it?"

But, the description of the stones having the outline of a bush, even
when broken, doesn't sound miraculous to me either way. Such
self-similarity is typical of fractal patterns. The equilibrium state
of a chatoic system is often fractal. The pattern described would just
tell me that some vein ran through these rocks in a chaotic way.

I don't want to get onto a long math discussion on a topic I am not so
clear on myself, so I'll just refer those interested in knowing what a
fractal is, James Gleik's "Chaos" is a good popularization.

Micha Berger                     Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3022 days!
<berger@...>  212 224-4937             (16-Oct-86 - 26-Jan-95)
<aishdas@...>  201 916-0287
<a href=http://www.iia.org/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 31 Jan 1995  13:08 EST
Subject: The Seven Extra Days

In V18n16, Aleeza Esther Berger writes

>The 12 days is a result of "the daughters of Israel being strict upon

I've always been curious about this expression.  Does it imply a
"d'rabannan" [Rabbinnical] level of prohibition - equal to that of, say,
riding a horse on Shabbos - or does it imply a different, possibly
lesser level of prohibition?

Of course, there is not much of a practical halachic difference either
way, except possibly the following.  I have heard of cases of couples
who are having trouble conceiving, who have been given a heter to skip
the "extra week", (i.e., the woman goes to the mikvah right after
cessation of menses, as per the original Torah law) in the hopes that
their problem is simply due to ovulation occuring during that week.
>From what I've heard, in fact, this heter was given at a rather early
stage of the difficult process that such couples go through, and not
only after all other avenues have been exhausted.

Can anyone with more "first-hand" information verify/correct this?

Elie Rosenfeld


End of Volume 18 Issue 25