Volume 19 Number 05
                       Produced: Wed Mar 29  9:13:48 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fish and Meat
         [Ellen Golden]
Megilah Questions
         [Mordechai Zvi Juni]
Mishloach Manot
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Purim and Shushan Purim
         [Meshulum Laks]
Purim question
         [Adina B. Sherer]
Two Parties in the Megillah
         [Yitz Etshalom]


From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 95 23:26:27 EST
Subject: Fish and Meat

    I think that according to RASHI on that spot in the Gemara, the danger was
    that this combination could cause "Tzara'at"...


I'm not from the Hebrew scholars, and "Tzara'at" isn't translated
here, but I do have this handy husband who is Yeshivah educated (up
thre MTA) and I asked him what it meant.  He checked in a dictionary,
and it seems to mean "Leprosy".  The causes of Leprosy are known, and
mixing meat and fish aren't them.  A little common sense here would
tell you that mixing meat and fish is not unhealthy or dangerous.
Check your cookbooks for recipes for "Paiella", for example.  Consider
the goyim who regularly enjoy "Surf and Turf".  These are ways of
eating that have been around for centuries, and the people who indulge
in them are as healthy as any of us who stringently wash and cleanse
between the gefilte fish and the chicken soup on Friday night!  I
second the demands for "the real" source, but expect that this is
another of those commandments that HaShem has given, to set his Chosen
People apart (or, to keep us away from the "Surf and Turf" places...
;-)... joke, "The Devil Made Me Do It"...).


From: <bi029@...> (Mordechai Zvi Juni)
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 23:29:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Megilah Questions

In V18N90
Jan david Meisler asks a few questions: (i will reply to some of them)
a) Why did esther make to Party's why didint she tell him at the first?
R: I'm going to ask you a Question: Why didn't she tell him right away why
did she have to make any party at all.
To this question i heard an answer: The Jews Fasted 3 days they thought
that esther would tell Achashveirosh right away (without the Party) so
when they saw what Esther was doing they thought that she was going Nuts,
so insted of puting their trust in Esther they started to Put Trust in
Hashem to save them
Thats what Esther wanted that's why she made the Party (I heard this from
my Rebbe)
 Now why did she make the second?: this i don't know why but i have sort
of an idea:
The Meguilah says that that night he couldn't sleep, Why couldn't he
sleep? i heard (i'm not sure when or from who) that he couldn't sleep
becouse he was getting angry at haman: Becouse why would Esther invite
both Haman and Me they are most probably planning to Kill me or somthing
So most probably thats why Esther waited till the second Party so that
Achashverosh should get angrier at Haman that way it will be easier for
Achashverosh to kill him

Mordechai Zvi Juni         :        -(*) (*)- 
<bi029@...>  :           /-\                                 


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 17:56:15 +0000
Subject: Mishloach Manot

Orin d Golubtchik <ogolubtc@...> asked about the commonly "know"
requirement of giving two items, each having a separate blessing.

As it turns out, there seems to be no source for such a requirement.  In our
class, one student believed he had a source and stated it, but the following
week came back and said after rechecking it, that it just wasn't the case.  I
believe Ramba"m suggests giving 2 pieces of meat! (but not from the same
original piece).

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: Meshulum Laks <mpl@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 23:12:26 -0500
Subject: Purim and Shushan Purim

     Purim is now upon us and this brings up the topic of Purim and
Shushan Purim.
     The only cities that I have celebrated Purim are NY, Boston and
Atlanta. These New World cities, celebrate Purim on the 14th.  I am
interested in hearing from our m-j compatriots about what happens
	In particular what is done in the different neighborhoods of
Yerushalaim - I understand that the Megilla is read on the 15th in Meah
Shearim, Ramot, Bayit Vegan and Har Nof. What about the new
neighborhoods of Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev? How about just outside
yerushalaim in Mevaseret Tzion or Beit Lechem, or even in Maaleh Adumimm
(can it be seen from yerushalaim? on a clear day?). What about other
cities such as Tiveriah or Lod?  Are there any other ancient sites where
it is read on the 15th or read both on the 14th and 15th, with a bracha
only on the 14th?
     What about the jewish community in Gibralter? How about in Paris in
the Ile-de-la Cite (outside Notre Dame) or Ile Saint Louis? For that
matter what about Manhattan? Are there any other places besides Shushan
and Yerushalaim these days, where it is read on the 15th?
     Let me give some background to my question.
     Megillat Esther records that the Jews of Achasverosh's Kingdom
fought on the 13th and celebrated on the 14th, while in Shushan itself
they fought on the 13th and 14th and celebrated on the 15.
     The Mishna in the beginning of Megilah reports that walled cities,
whose city wall dates from the days of Joshua, read the Megillah on the
15th of Adar, while other large cities read it on the 14th.
	  The Gemarah (Megillah 2b) records that R. Yehoshua ben Karcha
disagreed and felt that it should depend upon whether there was a wall
at the time of Achashverosh - similar to Shushan, a walled city, which
celebrated on the 15th as recorded in the Megillah. (We follow the
opinion of the Mishna contra R. Yehoshua ben Karcha.)
     The Gemarah then records that the Mishna derived its position from
a Gezeirah Shaveh (derivation based upon identical words) from a
sentence referring to cities with walls dating from Joshua's
time. However even the Mishna would agree that in Shushan itself they
would read on the 15th, since that is where the miracle occurred.
	The Rambam says "Why did they link this to the days of Joshua -
to give honor to the land of Israel, which was in ruins at that time.
That they should read like the people of Shushan and they should be
considered like walled cities, even though they were at that time in
ruins, since they were walled at Joshua's time, and thereby there would
be a remembrance for the land of Israel in this miracle."
	Others opine that the association to Joshua's time is related to
the fact of the beginning of the destruction of Amalek by Joshua.  (Ran,
     Practically speaking which cities were walled in Joshua's time?
     The Mishna in Erechin 32a lists some walled cities dating to
Joshua's time. "The old castle of Sepphoris, the fort of Gush- Halab,
old Yodfpat, Gamala, Gadud, Hadid, Ono, and Jerusalem etc".  This is
mentioned in the context of technical laws relating to real estate law
(redeeming inheritance land that has been sold - property in walled
cities differs from real property in open cities).
     The Gemarah in Megilla 4a quotes R. Yehoshua ben Levi who lists
Lod, Ono and Gay Hacharashim (cities in the tribe of Benjamin) as walled
cities from Joshua's time. (Note that Rashi seems to have had a text of
the Mishna in Erechin including Lod, while Tosafot has our text with Ono
mentioned and not Lod).
     The Gemarah on 5b records that Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi celebrated the
15th as purim in Tiberia while Chizkiah treated the matter as a doubt
reading on both the 14th and 15th, because one of the "walls" of the
city was the Kinneret.  Chizkiah wasn't sure - does water count as a
wall? Is the issue one of "open" vrs a strict enclosure - not
accomplished by water, vrs is the desiratum a defensive structure - and
the water suffices.  The Gemarah has differing traditions with regard to
a city called Hutzal whether the reading was on the 15th or both the
14th and 15th.
     The Mishna Berurah 258:9 quotes that in Teveriah the reading is on
both days because of the doubt recorded in the Gemarah.  Moreover he
states "In our countries there is no room for doubt about whether the
walled cities were walled at the time of Joshua since they are in the
north, and far from Israel and not settled in the time of Joshua." Now
it is clearly true for just about any of the walled cities that Jews
were living in Europe - all the cities and walls were built much later
than the time of Tanach.  However what would archeologists say with
reference to places like Gibralter - as a Island - with no need of a
wall (according to Rebbi or for Chizkiah - as a doubt) all we would need
is settlement there in Joshua's time. What if we find really old
artifacts of civilization on Manhattan Island?
     The other question is the modern suburbs of Jerusalem. The Gemarah
Megilla 2b and 3b quotes R. Yehoshua ben Levi - Proximity or joint
visibility of a neighborhood determine that the neighborhood follows the
city in laws. R. Yermiah or R. Chiah bar Abba says - it must still be up
to 1 Mil away (the distance of Chamtan to Tiveriah).
     The Shulchan Aruch quotes this as the Halacha. The Mishna Berurah
following Rashi quotes that the Mil maximum distance applies only to
proximity - but if based upon visibility there is no maximum. This is
the opinion of Ritva and Meiri and R Yerucham with a possible
qualification of requiring joint municipal authority (see the Shaar
Hatziun 5,6).  However he quotes a second opinion that perhaps the
distance requirement is absolute (Rokeach, Rambam and Tur).
	I would be glad to hear from people who have been in Tiberias or
other places with 2 days of Megilla readings and also from people in
Maaleh Adumim and Beit Lechem (any Jews there besides Rachel Eimeinu?).

Meshulum Laks


From: <adina@...> (Adina B. Sherer)
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 95 8:06:40 IST
Subject: Re: Purim question

>From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenkiy)
> Why were letters sent on Sivan 23 and not immediately on Pesach?

Menachem Leibtag discussed this question in the Purim shiur which he sent 
out over the net for Gush alumni.  He said that much of the "nistar" in
the Megilla was a hint to the Jews that they had become complacent
in their galut and should take advantage of the opportunity to return
to Eretz Yisrael.  If you count the days from 13 Adar to Sivan 23 there
are 70 days corresponding to the 70 years that the Galut Bavel was
supposed to last, in order to remind the Jews that it was time to
return to Eretz Yisrael.

-- Carl Sherer
Adina and Carl Sherer, You can reach us both at: <adina@...>


From: Yitz Etshalom <rebyitz@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 06:20:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Two Parties in the Megillah

>From: Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu>
>I have 3 questions about the Megilah that came up yesterday in
>discussions with people.  
>First of all, why did Esther have 2 parties for Achashverosh and Haman?  
>Wouldn't 1 party have been sufficient to tell the King what was going 
on?  >Instead, she had one party to invite them back to a second.

Instead of seeing the party(ies) as an opportunity to ask the king to 
rescind the orders, I would like to propose a "psychological intrigue" 
approach - that Esther was playing "mind games" with both Achashverosh 
and Haman. this was, of course, to ensure success in destroying Haman. In 
order to do this, she had to turn Achashverosh against Haman. She led 
each of them on, knowing their weaknesses and allowing them to convince 
themselves what they wanted to believe. 

Haman: She understood the nature of megalomania - by inflating Haman's 
ego (inviting him to exclusive parties) - he would be easier to "deflate" 
- as evidenced by his greater anger upon seeing Mordechai, unbowed, after 
the first party.  The greater his anger, the more likely he would be to 
make a mistake - and that is indeed what happened (his downfall began 
when he rushed to the palace in the middle of the night to ask 
Achashverosh to allow him to hang Mordechai immediately).  This ego 
became most inflated when, at the first party, she invited the king and 
Haman to a second party.  

Achashverosh: The king was clearly insecure and had a weak reign over his 
subjects. Witness the great party he had to throw to (as the Gemara 
explains) strengthen the loyalty and alliance with members of his court 
and the citizens of Shushan.  Witness the assasination attempt, reported 
by Mordechai.  The king  was in the dark about Esther's background - such 
that intrigue is a constant in his court.  Esther risked her life to 
invite Achashverosh and Haman to a party - the king must have wondered: 
Why is his queen suddenly favoring Haman?  Are they plotting against me? 
Are they having an affair? His insecurities, heavily anchored in reality, 
must have exploded against him.  At the first party, Esther again asks 
for Haman and Achashverosh to a party.  The paranoia must have increased 
in Achashverosh.  That night, he can't sleep.  Why not?  The 
Gemara explains that he was looking to see if there was someone to whom 
he owed a favor.  This can be understood in several ways: Either that he 
was afraid that someone had not been repaid and was angry and plotting 
against him - or that he wanted to reward him in order to publicize how 
good it is to support the king (and, by inference, how dangerous it is to 
threaten him).  Just at that moment, as Mordechai's unrewarded deed is 
recalled, Haman is creeping around the palace - in the middle of the 
night! It is essentially downhill from there...

>Third question - Achashverosh was supposed to be a tremendous
>anti-semite.  If this was the case, why did he need Haman to recomend to
>kill the Jews, and then give Haman his ring to do it?  Why didn't he
>instead decide himself to kill the Jews, and if not that, then why
>didn't he do it on his own when Haman recommended it?

What is your source for Achashverosh's anti-Jewish sentiments?  In the 
Megilla, he never knows about the plot against us - just against a 
"nation, spread out among the domains of your kingdom..."


End of Volume 19 Issue 5