Volume 20 Number 65
                       Produced: Mon Jul 24 23:40:33 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Angels, Good and Bad
         [Tara Cazaubon   x3365]
Authorship of the Zohar
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Chinuch and Shabbos
         [Israel Botnick]
Daas Tora & Berlin Seminary
         [Pinchus Roth]
Difference between Idolatry for Jews and Non-Jews
         [Joe Goldstein]
Eliyahu Hanavi
         [David Steinberg]
         [Linda Levi]
Freemasonry and Christianity
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
         [Shalom Carmy]
Method for Partitioning Erets Yisroel
         [Mike Marmor]
Mormons, Freemasons, Xtians, etc.
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Using Bathrooms in Treif Restaurants
         [Leah S. Gordon]
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon   x3365)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 10:48:33 -0700
Subject: Angels, Good and Bad

Regarding the posts below, Rachel Rosencrantz and David Charlap mention
that angels do not have free will like men, that they can only do what
Hashem tells them to do.  How then do we explain the "bad angels" (like
the Satan mentioned in the bedtime shema)?  I understood that there were
good angels and bad angels.  Does Hashem command bad angels to do bad
things?  Any comments or elucidation would be welcome.

Tara Cazaubon
San Diego, CA


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 05:41:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Authorship of the Zohar

    Regarding the study of Tzvi Yehuda that the Vilna Gaon did not have 
the second Mekhilta in his library.  The Vilna Gaon traveled extensively 
in his youth and one of the reasons that is given was to see all types of 
manuscripts that he had no access to while in Vilna.
    Regarding the authorship of the Zohar Rav Yaacov Emden writes in his 
famous sefer "Mitpachas S'forim" that not everything written in the Zohar 
came from Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai but it was written in the era after the 
sages of the Talmud and until then people wrote comments on the side of 
the page and the publishers erred and incorporated the comments into the 
text.  The Chassam Sofer praised this view and said that if you would 
gather those pieces of the Zohar which are just from Rebbi Shimon bar 
Yochai, the sefer would be very small.    Other sources in this area can 
be found in the sefer Shorshei Minhag Ahkenaz Pages 166-169.



From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 13:36:32 EDT
Subject: Chinuch and Shabbos

Micha Berger brought up the topic of whether one can hold a toddler near
a light switch on shabbos and wait for him/her to push it.  Would this
be a violation of "You shall not do work on shabbos You and Your sons"
(Ata u-Vincha)

The gemara in Shabbos (121a) says regarding the prohibition of Ata
u-Vincha that a father only has to object to his son doing a melacha
[work which is prohibited on shabbos] if the child is acting al daas
oviv [with his fathers knowledge] which means according to Rashi that
the child can sense that the father would be pleased if this melacha is
done.  (The gemara discusses a case where a child wants to put out a
fire.)  In the situation of the light switch, if the child is young
enough that he doesnt realize that everyone wants the light on, and
nobody coaches him then there is seemingly no problem of Ata u-Vincha.

There may be a different problem with this though.

There is a more general prohibition of Bal Ta-Achilum (forcing or asking
a minor to do something that is prohibited). The Chasam Sofer (teshuvos
orach chaim #83) discusses whether you can place a toddler next to a
plate of unkosher food knowing that he will eat from it. He says that
maybe it is ok because noone told the child to eat from it. However it
might be considered Bal Ta-Achilum since the child is being put in a
situation where he will almost certainly eat the non-kosher food. (The
basis of most of the discussion is a gemara in yevamos 114a which
discusses a similar case).  Purposely placing a toddler near a light
switch sounds very similar to this undecided question of the Chasam

Izzy Botnick


From: <roth@...> (Pinchus Roth)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 19:24:49 +0300
Subject: Daas Tora & Berlin Seminary

I know no-one has mentioned this for a long time but I don't seem to
remember anyone bringing sources for the story that R Chaim Ozer said
that Daas Torah forbade moving the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary to

First of all, there are a bunch of letters about it in the second volume
of R Chaim Ozer's letters, which is called Achiezer, like his responsa.

Second, last week I saw, in the latest (Tamuz, I think) issue of
HaMaayan, an article by Mordechai Breuer on "Yeshiva and Seminary",
which brings some interesting material on the issue, including a letter
from R. Yechiel Y.  Weinberg to R. Chaim Ozer, complaining about some
derogatory comments the latter had made about the seminary.

Pinchas Roth
 Office: +972-2-864323       Mail: PO Box 23637, Jerusalem, 91236 ISRAEL
 Fax: +972-2-259050          Email: <roth@...>


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 95 12:06:00 
Subject: Difference between Idolatry for Jews and Non-Jews

Ms. Tara Cazaubon asked why would christianity be allowed for GOYIM and
not for Jews, since we have similar prohibitions of of Idol worship.

  There is a concept called SHITUF, or Partnership. i.e. is one
obligated to believe the RIBBONO SHEL OLOM created the world by himself
and continues to run the world by himself, OR is there another power in
addition to Hashems. (Similar to the Roman/Greek beliefs in many gods.
The god of thunder, earth, war, etc. etc.) For a Jew there is the
prohibition against this kind of belief. However , according to some
Meforshim, there is no prohibition for a Goy to to believe in other
deities in addition to HASHEM. This is what the previous posters
referred to when they said Christianity was not idol worship. (Nor is
Islam, for Goyim)

Hope this helps                                                                
Yosey "Joe" Goldstein                                                          


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 19:23:22 +0100
Subject: Eliyahu Hanavi

Moishe Kimmelman recently posted an article where he referenced sources
that maintain the Elihahu Hanavi was a cohen.

For what its worth, Beraishis Raba on Beraishis49:18-19 says that
Eliyahu was from Gad.



From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Levi)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 22:59:57 -0400
Subject: Fajitas

Israel Wagner stated that fajitas fall under the category of "pas haba
b'kisnin" and a mezonos should be made when eating them. Though I'm no
connoisseur of Mexican cuisine, I'm pretty sure this is incorrect.

Without going into a detailed explanation of pas haba b'kisnin al pi the
Shulchan Aruch- fajitas don't really fit any of the halachic
definitions.  They are not filled dough (they are wrappers- not baked
with filling inside.)

They are not crunchy (ie: the classic example of crunchy pas haba b'kisnin=
They are not sweet.
They are made with flour and water and (at least in my limited understanding)
should be hamotzi.
And- if his lamdus was based on a comparison to pizza- where whether it's a
hamotzi or mezonnos based on the amount consumed- it should be noted that in
cases where a pizza dough is baked prior to the toppings being added (eg: a
pizza bagel) the correct bracha is always a hamotzi.

Please describe the type of wheat-wrapper used as specifically as possible
when consulting your LOR!

Linda Levi


From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 95 21:55:53 IDT
Subject: Freemasonry and Christianity

The best works on Freemasonry and on the status of Christianity are by
the greatest living Jewish Historian, Jacob Katz. The books are 'Jews
and Freeemasons' and 'Exclusiveness and Tolerance' respectively. There
are important articles on the latter issue in Katz' book 'Halakha

                                                     Jeff Woolf


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 00:50:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Freemasons

Jacob Katz, FREEMASONS AND JEWS, deals with the 18-19th century relations 
in Europe. I don't recall anything of a halakhic nature in the book.


From: <mar@...> (Mike Marmor)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 17:35:04 -0400
Subject: re: Method for Partitioning Erets Yisroel

Meylekh Viswanath wrote:
> Could anybody tell me where I should look to find out the precise method
> that Yehoshua followed to implement the goral (lottery) that was used to
> apportion erets yisroel among the shevatim?
> I saw the radak around chapter 17, v. 14; he talks about a lottery for
> seven tribes, adding that yehuda, menashe and efraim had already been
> taken care of. I couldn't find the details.

The explanation can be found on daf (page) 122a of Baba Batra. There
were two lottery boxes, one containing the names of the shvatim
(tribes), and the other containing the names of the areas to be

Using the Choshen (containing the Urim V'tumim), Elazar would announce
the names of the next shevet and portion to be 'drawn', i.e. the name of
the shevet, then the name of the portion would be spelled out on the
Choshen. (Names spelled out by the Choshen were typically not in order,
so it was up to Elazar to unscramble them, using ruach hakodesh (~holy

An entry would then be drawn by Yehoshua from each of the boxes,
matching Elazar's announcement. (Obviously, we're not a nation that
believes in chance!)

I also saw that after this, the goral itself would announce the
allocation! (If anyone knows a source for this, please let me know.)

I hope that helps.

/Mike Marmor
Thornhill, Canada


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 22:14:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mormons, Freemasons, Xtians, etc.

     I'm not going to say that Mail Jewish is not the list for these
things but I know what is the list for these things.  M-Debate.  A great
deal of expertise in variant religions which have met up with Judaism
over the generations, is to be found among the members of that list.
     To subscribe send the message:  
subscribe m-debate [first name] [last name]

     to:  <listproc@...>



From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 11:27:07 -0700
Subject: Using Bathrooms in Treif Restaurants

In the course of the discussion on ma'arit ayin for driving to shabbat
in an emergency, there were a few comments about the case of a person
appearing Jewish (wearing a kippah, etc.) and entering a treif
restaurant to go to the bathroom.

One poster had heard that a Jewish man should remove his kippah (and
indeed most men I know do this), and another poster said that witnesses
should assume that the Jew has the best intentions in entering the

My question is not about wearing a kippah or not (although what about
the problem, in the "assume the best intentions" case, of an ignorant
Jew who concludes that the restaurant is kosher?).  I was wondering,
does it constitute g'neiva (theft) to use a bathroom in a place where
one has no intention of buying anything?

Personally, I feel dishonest sneaking in and out without giving them any
business, and it reminds me of the lectures that we got in yeshiva and
camp about not going into a store just to "window shop," because then
you are stealing the air conditioning, time of salespeople, etc.

If this is a problem, can one safely assume that there is no kashruth
problem with buying a soda or juice?  Often these places are very
greasy, and who knows who touched your cup etc.  Finally, if you really
have to go to the bathroom, does that constitute some kind of chole/a
[sick person] status with special allowances?  (I assume that just
feeling like going to a gas station bathroom would make you sick does
not qualify.  :) )

Leah S. Gordon


From: <yitzchok.adlerstein@...> (Yitzchok Adlerstein)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 09:05:41 -0700
Subject: Zohar

A recent posting cited the opinion of R' Aryeh Kaplan, z"l, regarding
the authorship of the Zohar.  Having had the privilege to personally
discuss this matter with him, I will share a few recollections.

R' Kaplan mentioned the skepticism of a contemporary of R' Moshe de
Leon, who claimed that a respected contemporary of R' Moshe de Leon, the
purported discoverer of the Zohar, reacted with skepticism to the news
of the revelation.  He set out to visit R' Moshe de Leon, and settle the
matter in his mind.  Unfortunately, his diary entries give out before he
can give us his conclusions.  Gershom Scholem cites this skeptical
finding in his Major Trends.

What Scholem did not cite, remarked R' Kaplan, is something that his own
research revealed: a later reference to the Zohar by the initial
skeptic.  This later work casually makes reference to the Zohar as the
product of R' Shimon bar Yochai.  Apparently, his fears had been

He also mentioned with disappointment those who pointed at R' Yaakov
Emden's famous piece in which (as cited by others on mail- jewish) he
expressed reservations about considering R' Shimon bar Yochai as the
sole author of the Zohar.  R' Kaplan observed that these reservations
did not prevent R' Yaakov Emden in other places from attributing great
kedusha to the work.

The bottom line, according to R' Kaplan, was a simple one.  There can be
no question that the CONTENT of the Zohar is ancient, and there is no a
priori reason to doubt the mesorah [tradition] that the IDEAS of Zohar
originated with the teaching of R' Shimon bar Yochai and his son.  This
corpus of teaching was passed on orally, as had been other parts of
Torah She-b'al-peh [the Oral Law] until they were redacted in the
Mishnah and Gemara.  Whether medieval terminology (and even historical
references) were incorporated in a much later redaction of the kernel
material of the Zohar need not concern us.  In the final analysis, we
are interested in the truths that the Zohar conveys to us, and we have
no reason to doubt the sincerity and scholarship of the redactors, nor
the source of the Zohar's content in a tradition of nistar [hidden parts
of the Torah] that is mentioned in many earlier works.


End of Volume 20 Issue 65