Volume 21 Number 83
                       Produced: Mon Nov  6  9:08:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hachnasat Orchim in the US
         [Sam Saal]
Jewish Brainteasers
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Klal Yisroel
         [Ari Shapiro]
Motzei Shabbat Maariv
         [Henya Rachmiel]
NO interest unless related to money
         [Shlomo Grafstein]
Sefer Chassidim
         [Chaim Schild]
Woman as "Ezer Knegdo"
         [Alan Zaitchik]
Yirmiyahu ve'hanevi'im
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]


From: Sam Saal <saal@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 07:21:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Hachnasat Orchim in the US

Regarding Waldo Horowitz's post in Mail.Jewish Volume 21 Number 80...

I've done a fair amount of thinking and even working on this issue. I'm
grateful to our moderator for considering this topic appropriate for
mail.jewish even if it is not necessarily directly halachic.

While Torah is the most important aspect of our Jewish existence, it is
unlikely a Torah commitment can survive in a hostile atmosphere, an
environment that does not include support for both Torah activities and
its adherents. In a community, this translates not only into the most
obvious needs - Jewish education for children and other communal
life-cycle services (shul, mikvah, cemetery, etc.) but to outreach as
well. And outreach cannot be defined solely as external to the Orthodox
(Torah) community. It must be defined to encompass the
"not-yet-disaffected." In an era in which we hear smug use of the term
"chozer b'sheilah," it is critical to address, if not cut off, avenues
of potential disaffection.

How does disaffection grow? What is its growth medium? For singles, one
source is often the feeling of being left out of Judaism's overall
family orientation. In an Orthodox community, I do not believe the shul
is the center of communal life. Rather, it is the family. So a single,
living alone, is at a serious disadvantage. How many Friday night
dinners alone does it take for a person to begin doubting his
connection to the community?

I live in a community that is generally very good for - and to - the
singles in town. It is rare that I do not have someplace to go for
Shabbat if I'm not entertaining at my own house. For this I am
extremely grateful.  Yet there are singles who have not built up enough
of a personal network to assure they do not have to eat alone more
often than they'd prefer. Some reasons include their not having been in
town long enough or because they simply feel awkward asking to be
invited to dinner. These are problems Jewish communities must address,
with or without the direct involvement of singles as a group.

In Highland park, we've attempted to address this problem with formal
and informal programs. In one shul, a person would go around during
Kabalat Shabbat (Friday night) to the singles he knew and ask whether
they had a place for dinner. If anyone said yes, he'd either invite
them himself or find someone to invite them. Unfortunately there were
two problems with this informal approach. This person could/did not
address single women (many of whom probably wouldn't be in shul Friday
night). Secondly, when he left town, no one took over this important
task. The more formal solution we instituted involves a rotating team
of coordinators. When a single person needs a meal, he or she calls one
of the coordinators and asks to be set up. We believed this level of
indirection would make it easier for singles to ask for hospitality
because the coordinators are people they know. Unfortunately, this
system has been minimally successful because it takes as much effort to
overcome the shyness to call a host directly as it

Waldo Horowitz asks some important questions, but I'm not sure they
can't be turned around.

Do singles appreciate being hosted? Absolutely. Even when they don't
show it effusively or by helping with the dishes. Is it an imposition
on the family? Possibly. But even with any feelings of alienation, few
singles mind observing - or participating in - a family's discussion of
the kids school work, or the week's activities. Further, not everything
is Judaism is free and clear of some imposition. In this case the
imposition may be visible, but the cost of not doing so is even higher.
Inviting singles is a critical piece of Jewish continuity.

Of course BTs and other singles should get together to host each other.
But this can't be the only way if for no other reason than that they
need a model for a Shabbat meal, for a family life, and for a Jewish
family goal.

As a family, how often do you have _exactly_ enough food for your
family? Is there not room for "just one more"? Do you know someone who
might not have a place to eat except alone? Just recently, some of the
singles in Highland Park began lamenting to me and others how few
people asked them to meals. While it is true that some have difficulty
asking to be invited, they are not wrong in some level of expectation
that the community would reach out to them for Shabbat and Yom Tov

I urge all families to look around at shul and try to notice whether
there are new faces or old who might benefit from being invited to your
table. And if you already occasionally do this, urge your friends to do
the same. And please try to keep this important need in mind long

Sam Saal       <saal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Peah haAtone


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 19:59:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Jewish Brainteasers

	I'm really sorry I didn't get back to the list about this until
now.  I thought of looking for the book many times at home but always
forgot.  But here it is.
	It's entitled, "Haycha Timtza" (A Treasury of Torah Riddles).
The author is Rabbi Mordechai Weintraub.  It was published in New York
in 1962.  There is a publisher's address (but who knows if it still

	Pasheger  Publishing Co.
	90-18 63rd Drive
	Rego Park 74, N.Y.

	It's written in English and had a haskomo from Rav Moshe 
Feinstein zt"l.  The preface is written by Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky 
(National Director of Torah Umesorah).
	Apparently, from the author's introduction, the author used to 
write these questions to the Jewish Press.  The book has 200 questions.

Hob A Varme Vinter Zman
			Mordechai Perlman


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 95 20:09:51 EST
Subject: Klal Yisroel

< I think the reason that Jews in the Diaspora are not included in the
<count are because of communications.  They were less likely to be
<affected by the erroneous ruling of the Court.  Proof of this can be
<found by flipping the page.  Horiyot 3b(in the Mishnah) says that if
<the Court ruled erroneously and corrected its error, but someone erred
<based on that, if they went overseas they are exempt from a personal
<offering.  Ben Azai explains that this is since the person who went
<overseas could not have heard that the Court overruled its previous
<error.  Every Jew is part of Klal Yisorel.

The halacha does not work like that. Halacha is a system (similar 
to physics lehvadil) based on principles. You are giving
the historical background not the halachik principles. R' Shachter in his
sefer Nefesh Harav(p.12) says the following in the name of the Rav
(liberally translated) 'A historian wrote that in the time of the Tannaim
there was a shortage of wood and that is why the Rabbis came up 
with the principles of Lavud, Dofen Akuma, etc. (halachik principles
regarding the walls of the succah), to make life easier for the people. The
Rav said that this is not Apikorsis (heresy) it may be true. The Tannaim
may have felt a need to find leniencies because of a wood shortage, but it
doesn't explain how these halachos works. The end result is that 
because of these difficuties (the wood shortage) the Tannaim
used established halachik principles for this, to come up with these 
leniencies. This is similar to the following, the atom bomb was built
because the US was afraid that the Germans would build it first. This is 
the historical background. However, this doesn't explain how the atom bomb
works, you have to know physics to understand that. So too by the succah ,
the historical background for these halachos might have been a wood 
shortage (just like the historical background for the atom bomb was 
WWII)but this doesn't explain how the halacha works, you have to understand
the halachik principles.'
The same thing would apply here. The historical background may have been 
that there was a communication problem, but this doesn't explain the 
halachik principles used to solve the problem. R' Shachter based on the
Rambam and the Minchas Chinuch understood the halachik principle behind 
this to be that people living outside of the land of Israel are not FULL
members of K'lal Yisrael. If you have any sources that say otherwise I
would be glad to listen.

Ari Shapiro


From: <RACHMIEL@...> (Henya Rachmiel)
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 1995 07:44:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Motzei Shabbat Maariv

In response to Jay Kenkberg's concern about carrying a siddur to shul.
(assuming that the eruv is ok, etc).  Why not just use the siddur before
the end of shabbat, but after you reach the street corner?  A few psukim
of Tehillim or Pirke Avot would constitute the non-time-dependent
mitzvah of Torah study.  Then, after sundown, the siddur is there to be
used for davening maariv.  (this is of course an amateur opinion) ps.  I
found the idea of a "street corner shul" intriguing.

Henya Rachmiel


From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Sun, 05 Nov 1995 19:52:04 -0400
Subject: NO interest unless related to money

There was a question raised about someone who ran out of computer
paper and he borrowed about one inch of paper.  He was worried if he would
be allowed to give back (hard to be exact) more.  This is allowed 
according to our Torah and Rabbinical aurthorities.  Interest is only
related to money and extension thereof.  What I mean by extensions is
if you loaned me one hundred dollars and I paid you back the $100 and 
I gave you a ride in my car to work which I normally would not do
because it is 5 miles out of my way... then I paid you back interest,
above and beyond the loan.  There is even a small question on "Ribit
Devorim." I paid you back the $100 plus "thank you."  However, we say
that the thank you is/can be implying "thank you for the trouble"
This is a normal way to speak and it would not be "Ribit Devorim"
THe ALM-GHTY is so Divinely Wise that G*D knew life could not
go on if there was interest in non-money matters.  For example
if you loan to me an opened bag of sugar 9/10 filled and I give you 
a full bag.. I am allowed to give chesed.  If I had to give you
not more, was the bag .92 filled or .89 filled.  Thereas with money,
I can give you $15.03 and you can pay back exactly the same amount.
The loaner can say pay me back $15.00 and s/he can be "mochel"
forgive the change.  Money is exact and most other things are not.
People should not be afraid of give back more when they receive
a non-money loan.  Can you imagine, you loaned me your cassette player
with weak batteries and I replaced them with new ones and return you
your cassette plus my addition of batteries!! It is allowed,
and even recommended.  So give the extra paper with a blessing
of chesed.  No money no "interest"

Sincerely Yours,
Shlomo Grafstein, Halifax Canada


From: <SCHILDH@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 1995 08:27:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sefer Chassidim

Although I know little in depth, it seems that many customs etc. come
from Sefer Chassidim, written by R. Yehuda HaChassid. Could someone
please fill me in with some details as to just what and how many customs
and more about the author. Also, what editions (Hebrew and/or English)
are currently in print of the sefer ?



From: Alan Zaitchik <ZAITCHIK%<INCDV1@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 1995 13:35:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Woman as "Ezer Knegdo"

Yaacov Dovid Shulman brings down blatantly sexist interpretations by
various mepharshim (expositors) of the verse wherein God refers to woman
as an "ezer knegdo" of man, and a more egalitarian interpretation by
R. Shimshon Rephael Hirsch, and then asks:

>This raises important questions.  What is the source of the
>concepts of the Radak, Seforno, et al.?  Are they eternal "daat Torah,"
>or a more idiosyncratic point of view?  What is the source of
>R. Hirsch's interpretation, in lone opposition to the other viewpoints? ...
>Do we consider R. Hirsch's statement "daat Torah," or is that statement
>also merely a private point of view?  Were all these points of view
>written to speak to--or, for that matter, as a result of--surrounding
>cultural beliefs?

Yaacov, I think you have given us a perfect example of what the answers
to these questions are, viz. that the concept of "daat Torah" as a
viewpoint (or narrowly constrained set of viewpoints) independent of the
values, perspectives, and beliefs of the larger non-Jewish world in
which we all live, is a pious illusion. Between "eternal daat Torah" on
the one hand, and "idiosyncratic" interpretation, on the other hand,
which Yaacov mentions, lies the genuine alternative, viz. a broadly held
view which is causally influences by the world around one and which is
used to interpret Torah. In 19th century Germany the surrounding values
had changed considerably from those prevalent in earlier times. (I
certainly do not think that Hirsch was "faking" liberal values for
merely polemical reasons.)  

> What is the mechanism of knowing when one must accept statements made by 
> previous authorities and when one may, or should, disagree with them?

 As in other matters in life, there is no "mechanism" for knowing when
one "may or should disagree" with a philosophy. This is because even an
explicit ban on a philosophy still needs to be interpreted by you as an
individual: what does the ban mean?  what does it refer to? The problem
of interpretation always remains, and there are no mechanisms for
getting around it, short of "I forbid you to read these particular
(enumerated) books", which is not what is at issue here (although could
be at issue in other contexts).

I think it is somewhat ironical that Hirsch is reputed to have said
something like "Jews have a history but Judaism does not" (apologies if
I have misquoted).To me this means that he, no less than many other (but
not all) traditional Jewish thinkers, could not accomodate the notion of
historical development within his conception of Orthodoxy. So Hirsch
would be the first to reject what I said above in connection with his
own interpretation of the pasuk!



From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 11:21:13 -0500
Subject: Yirmiyahu ve'hanevi'im

Help request in locating an expression!

I am putting the final touches to an article which my late father
deliverd as a lecture. I am trying to find the source (Rabbinic
probably) of the expression "Yirmiyahu ve'hanevi'im". (=Jeremiah and the
prophets). The context is that the book of Jeremiah was cannonized first
(before, say Isaiah) and this expression referring to "Jeremiah and the
rest of the prophets" is a left-over expression or a reminiscence of its
early canonization.

Todah me'rosh. Please respond directly to me, as the answer has a
limited interest to the group.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


End of Volume 21 Issue 83