Volume 20 Number 19
                       Produced: Mon Jun 26 22:59:16 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Atchalta Degeula
         [David Kramer]
Gerald Sutofsky's post on Shok
         [Yehudah Prero]
         [Stuart Schnee]
mechitza height
         [Seth Ness]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
The Avot - People or Malachim??
         [Avrom Forman]
Viewing Hebrew using Mosaic
         [Asher Breatross]
Yom Tov 2
         [Chana Luntz]


From: David Kramer <davidk@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 10:07:22 -0600 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Atchalta Degeula

Micha Berger <aishdas@...> writes:
> For those Zionists who believe that Israel is "reishis tzmichas
>ge'uloseinu - the begining of the bolossoming of our redemption" we need
>not worry about the "birthpangs of the Messiah".
>It quite likely happened already.

I recently heard R. Simcha Kook speak about the issue. He said that he
recently consulted with a great gadol in Yerushalayim (he didn't say
who) who told him that it's a mistake to think that the periods of
'Atchalta Degeula' and 'Chevlai Meshiach' are necessarily separate

He said that we are in fact living in a time which is *both* Atchalta
Degeula *and* Ikvita Demishicha. While there is progress being made
toward the geula there are still painful pangs.

[ David H. Kramer                     |  E-MAIL: <davidk@...>   ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone: (972-3) 565-8638  Fax: 9507 ]


From: <DaPr@...> (Yehudah Prero)
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 19:59:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Gerald Sutofsky's post on Shok

How unfortunate it is to see people express themselves in such ways as those
seen in that post. If one would only give a cursory glance at the very
beginning of Mishna B'rura (2:1), one would find the reasons for why the
"machmirim" act with modesty while on the beach. The Mishna B'rura explains
that "...a person needs to conduct themselves with modesty and embaressment
before the Holy One, Blessed Be He, even when it is at night, and in the
inner chambers of rooms - Does Hashem's splendor not fill the world!? Whether
is is dark or light, one is before Hashem..." While I will not continue to
loosely translate this Mishna B'rura (as I have provided the source) , it
does continue and say that beacuse of this reason, if there is no need for
one to reveal any body part  that is normally covered, it should not be

>But then again those who machmir have even - as it was related here
>earlier - compelled yeshiva girls, in an all girl surrounding at the
>beach, to wear robes over their bathing suits. One wonders if they fear
>that an airline or heliocopter pilot may spot one of them and due to
>their being aroused jump down or are they afraid that some of them may
>G-d forbid be lesbians.  When will we finally be true people who know
>our place - boy & girl - men & women - in the reality of the world and
>cease these practices which only create mockery of religion - if that
>is religion.

Such thoughts are a "mockery of religion," not one's conducting
themselves in accordance with what the Mishna B'rura says and Halacha
dictates. Maybe it is because some cannot appreciate the fact that we
are always before G-d that conduct is not always in accordance with
Halacha. If only we were more concerned with what the Torah says and not
what we might want it to say, our pursuit for the truth might be easier.
 Yes, there are laws regarding tzni'ut as it applies between men and
women.  One cannot just write them off because one thinks it sounds
silly. Chazal, in their infinite wisdom, knew exactly what was doing,
what they were doing, and what the Torah has in store. Just because one
of us does not understand a part of the Torah does not mean that law
(and hence the whole Torah, really) is now open to pot shots, to
ridicule and disparagement.  If you do not understand the laws of
tzniyut, ASK someone competant before you decide to espouse your
theories of why it is irrelevant. The Mishna B'rura talks about tzniyut,
as do many others. It concerns a realtionship between humans and G-d as
well. Please, please, please, let this be an inquiry as to the reason
behind a mitzva you do not understand, not an opportunity to attempt to
ridicule Hashem and the Torah

And, if it satisfies the curiosity of Mr Sutofsky (or his father in law, who
ever takes responsability) , I consider myself part of the "heimishe and
Yehivese (?) community. 

Yehudah Prero


From: Stuart Schnee <msstu@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 18:47:41 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Re:  Grapes

There have been grapes in all the stores and shuks here for a few weeks
now. Stu - Jerusalem


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 10:22:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: mechitza height

what are the factors involved in how high a mechitza should be?
What are the reasons behind 3 feet, 50 inches, 60 inches etc?

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 13:01:21 +0000
Subject: Quail

>However, Rabbinic law had not yet been enacted by that time, so that
>birds did not require shechita (or have problems with neveila and
>tereifa), making things easy on everyone.

I wish to ask Arthur Roth for a source to indicate that the requirement of
ritual slaughter (shehitah) for fowl is only rabbinic.

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


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 08:17:25 GMT
Subject: Revisionism

It's a strange world we (the frum) are living in today. It seems that
all those "western" values such as historical accuracy must be replaced
by a type of "newthink" of "correct thought." That is the only way I can
understand the views expressed in MJ (although some of them go back
hundreds of years) that Ramban "did Teshuvah" in his later years
vis-a-vis kabbalah. I'm not even sure which kabbalah this "newthink" is
referring to - certainly not the Zohar, which only appeared in the 13th
century (written or discovered by Moses de Leon - born 1240), while
Rambam died in 1204.

This revisionism brings to mind others of more recent vintage:

In a translation of one of Rav Zevin's works into English, the English
edition stated that he was opposed to the Heter Mechirah for Shemittah -
even though the Hebrew said the *exact opposite.* When complaints were
made about this "minor" inaccuracy in translation, the reply was that
"Rav Zevin's grandchildren asserted that he had changed his mind (done
Teshuvah?) about this issue in later years. (Sound familiar?)

The various hagiographical biographies of Gedolim published in English
and Hebrew. Obviously Gedolim are in many ways sui generis, and their
lives are indeed replete with remarkable behavior characteristics from
which we have much to learn, but the way some of these books are
written, one would think that they had the ability to leap over a
building in a single bound.

The considered opinion of a leading rabbi associated with the Torah Im
Derech Eretz school that Jewish history should not be taught (period!),
because to teach history about gedolim properly would require one to
teach the subject "warts and all." Instead, I assume, we are to throw
out the baby, bathwater and bathtub.

The covering up of anything which might in any way detract from the
"frum world's" view of what *should* have happened. The classic instance
is _My Uncle the Netziv_, withdrawn by the Lakewood Cheder because,
among others, it stated that the Netziv - Shomu Shamayim - read
newspapers on Shabbat.

All in all, it seems to me that we've entered a new era, one which I
would characterize as the publication of "history as it *should* have

A sad reflection, indeed.

       Shmuel Himelstein
Phone: 972-2-864712   Fax 972-862041
<himelstein@...> (that's JerONE not Jer-L)
             Jerusalem, Israel


From: Avrom Forman <AS402714@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 22:24:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Avot - People or Malachim??

I have an interesting question to ask regarding the Avot and all other
leaders and Rabbonim in previous generations. Were these individuals on
higher spiritual levels such that they could be compared to Malachim, or
were they 'people' who had attained greater spiritual levels as a result
of hard work and Emunah.

I ask this question as a result of the educational background I recieved
growing up. My parents sent me to a 'yeshiva ketana' (which was an only
boys school) for my elementary years, and a 'yeshiva gedola' for my high
school years. Both schools would be considered by most as 'black'
yeshivot. In any case, my teachers in both schools always taught me that
the Avot in particular were on such high levels of spirituality, that
their every moves were calculated and above all NEVER wrong. Even in
cases where the Torah says that these people had erred (E.g. Moshe
hitting the Selah), I was taught that the Avot had somehow understood
their actions and that they were correct.  Furthermore, it was suggested
that their actions MUST have been perfect, because of Maseh Avot Simah
Lebanim, and if they erred, then we as their children would be doomed to
repeat the same errors as well.

However, in the past few months I have heard some deep shiurim from a
number of distiguished and widely followed rabbonim. Their understanding
of the Avot seemed quite different (and in fact, my two previous schools
would probably say that these rabbonim did not know how to learn). This
new understanding of the Avot suggests that in fact they were 'people'
who lived on this world, and in addition to achieving great heights, and
in addition to leading the entrire nation, they had lives similar to our

For example, it was suggested that Yitzchak was a poor father who did
not understand his children. Proof comes in two forms. First, he did not
even know that Esav was a killer and hunter. He beleived that Esav was a
better son than Yaakov, whom Yitchak deemed to be a simple person
"Yoshev Ohalim". Second, when Yaakov comes as dresses up as Esav,
Yitchak is fooled even though he says "Hakol Kol Yaakov".

Another example is with Yaakov and his sons. It was argued in the shiur
that this family had serious problems. First the incident with
Reuven. Then Shimon and Levi go out and kill Shechem. The brother want
to kill Yoseph, but sell him instead. This does not seem like a happy

I only bring out these points because I am currently lost to explain
either side. On one hand, it seems clear from the recent shiurim I have
attended that there were some serious problems with the Avot. On the
other is all the past learning and experience I have from school.

I would like to end by saying the following: In no way do I mean any
disrespect to the Avot in all the aforementioned. There is no question
in my mind that these people who great people who accomplished many
great things. These Tzadikim are the reason why we have a Jewish nation
today. However, I would like some insight to the teaching of other
rabbonim and educators. Please provide proofs and mekorot if possible.

Avrom Forman


From: <ash@...> (Asher Breatross)
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 15:58:59 -0500
Subject: Viewing Hebrew using Mosaic

I know that with Netscape one can view Hebrew on the Internet. Is it
possible to do it with Mosaic? If yes, how is it done (or if you don't know
can you direct me to someone who does know.)



From: Chana Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 23:23:30 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Yom Tov 2

In mail-jewish Vol. 20 #18 Zvi Weiss <weissz@...> writes:
> Norman Singer misunderstands me... I did *not* say that we keep Yom Tov 
> Sheni because it caught on -- even if the reason is wrong.  I supplied 
> source material to state that the Sanhedrin EXPLICITLY declared that even 
> though we NOW know when the calendar comes out, we are to continue 
> keeping this "custom".  thus, there has been an explicit halachic 
> decision that -- in effect -- redefines the rule of Yome Tov Sheni from a 
> pure "Safek" (case of "Doubt") to a special "Minhag" (Custom) to be kept 
> in the Diaspora.

My sfarim are all packed away (sob) so I can't give you the exact 
reference, but as I recall the Rambam poskens explicitly that an eid 
[witness] is possel to give eidus m'divrehem [ie Rabbinically] if he 
violates Yom Tov Sheni. If my memory serves me right this would support 
Zvi's position that it is more than just an issue of doubt, or even a 
custom, but is a full fledged rabbinic enactment, and would seem to 
indicate that it is not just a takana that should/will be annulled by any 
future Sanhedrin, but a decree which on the rabbinic level is considered 
comparable with Shabbat on a Torah level, a violation of which possels 
an eid on a Torah level.




End of Volume 20 Issue 19