Volume 22 Number 08
                       Produced: Mon Nov 20 23:26:22 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abarbanel Relies on Christian Scholars?
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Aggadic Quotes about Ye'ush (Despair)
         [Lawrence Feldman]
An outside appreciation
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Cochlear Implants
         [Hannah Gershon]
Despair & Yetzer HaRa
         [Richard Friedman]
Kabbalah & the Kabbalah Learning Centre
         [Michael Merwitz]
Parents who Witness the Death of their Children
         [Tom Divine]
Pulsa d'nura ritual
         [Lawrence  Englander]
Questions about Kitchen Kashrus
         [Akiva Miller]
Secular Holidays
         [Alyssa Berger]
Tzelaphachad's Estate
         [Aaron D. Gross ]
Zinkover Rabbanit
         [Mike Gerver]


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 23:52:56 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Abarbanel Relies on Christian Scholars?

I just taught tonight Shmuel I 3, where the Abarbanel takes issue with the
Rambam in the Moreh as to whether prophecy is necessarily an internal
experience (Rambam) or can also consist of external visions (Abarbanel). The
Malbim in pasuk 8 quotes & sides with the Abarbanel. In his piece the
Abarbanel notes, seems to me as evidence for his side, that the Christian
scholars agree with him! Does he do this often? Perhaps I am naive, or
ignorant, but it seems kind of shocking!

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Lawrence Feldman <larryf@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 95 13:08:11 PST
Subject: Aggadic Quotes about Ye'ush (Despair)

>From: <ATERES@...> (Mordechai Kamenetzky)
>I never heard that but once heard a variation on the Sugya of "Yaiush
>Sheloh MiDaas" in the name of the Kotzker Rebbe. "Those who despair are
>those with no Daas"

According to the version I heard in the name of the Kotzker Rebbe,
depression is symptomatic of laziness.

Larry Feldman


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 10:58:37 GMT
Subject: An outside appreciation

The approach of Rosh Chodesh this week brought to mind a statement by a
Christian Bible scholar, J.G. Herder (quoted in Sidney Greenberg's *A
Modern Treasury of Jewish Thoughts*, p. 184), that:

"It is worth studying the Hebrew language for ten years in order to read
Psalm 104 in the original."

Psalm 104 is the psalm recited at the end of the prayers on Rosh Chodesh
morning, "Barechi Nafshi" ("May my soul praise ...").

           Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem 97280, Israel
    Phone: 972-2-864712: Fax: 972-2-862041
   EMail address: <himelstein@...>


From: <GERSHON@...> (Hannah Gershon)
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 18:33:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cochlear Implants

  Please pardon the intrusion of a small personal problem during this
time of travail for Klal Yisroel.  I am currently being medically
evaluated for having a cochlear implant, possibly as soon as February.
It seems to me that there are several serious potential problems with
the use of implants on Shabbos.  Naturally, I am working with my Rav on
this, however, I would like to ask if anyone out there has heard of any
discussions regarding cochlear implants on Shabbos?  If so, could you
send me any info you might have?  I am curious about the technical
issues involved, espicially in regards to connecting the transmitter to
the receiver.  Thanks --
 -- Hannah Gershon   <gershon@...>


From: Richard Friedman <RF@...>
Date: 19 Nov 1995 14:37:14 EST
Subject: Despair & Yetzer HaRa

     Some recent posts have asked about a source for the idea that
despair assists the yetzer hara (evil inclination).  I have heard this
idea attributed to R' Yonah's Sha'arei Tshuva, though I have not
verified this.  As it was explained to me, the idea is that, if we lose
hope that we _can_ do tshuva, this state of mind will itself lead us to
commit sins.

          Richard Friedman


From: Michael Merwitz <merwitz@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 16:32:47 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Kabbalah & the Kabbalah Learning Centre

Has anyone come across this organization & its head, Rabbi Phillip Berg ?
Any information of any sort much appreciated

Michael Merwitz                                       (<merwitz@...>)
Windemere Technology                                       (<windemere@...>)
 ---( Information Technology Consulting * Systems Delivery * Training )---
PO Box 3015 Ripponlea  VIC  3183    (V) +613 9527-2193  (F) +613 9527 2205


From: <divine@...> (Tom Divine)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 11:48:54 -0500
Subject: Parents who Witness the Death of their Children

        At Yoma 23a and at Kiddushin 39a there are stories told about
parents who witness the death of their children.  Does any mail jewish
reader know of any other Talmudic or midrashic material on the same


From: Lawrence  Englander <102173.2651@...>
Date: 17 Nov 95 16:29:30 EST
Subject: Pulsa d'nura ritual

In the issue of the Jerusalem Report which came out, ironically, the
week before the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin (alav hashalom), there
was an article about a group of Kabbalists who invoked the curse of
"pulsa d'nura" upon Rabin.  This group had previously invoked the same
curse upon Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, as well as upon anyone
connected with an office building that was allegedly built over a

I am writing to ask if anyone knows the text in which this curse
appears.  The expression "pulsa d'nura" occurs only once in the Zohar as
far as I know (3:263c, R'aya Mehemna -- thanks to the miracle of
CD-ROM!): it is the punishment which emanates from heaven to punish one
who does not fulfil the mitzvot.  There is also reference in the Bavli
(Hagigah 15a) to sixty "pulsey d'nura" which force the angel Metatron to
stand upon his feet, lest the Yordey Merkavah be led to the false
conclusion that there are "sh'tey reshuyot".  The reference to the 60
occurs elsewhere in Talmud and Zohar, but not in the context of a ritual
invoking a divine curse.  If anyone can locate it, I'd be grateful.

Please understand that this is purely for research purposes.
Many thanks,
Lawrence  Englander


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 17:17:38 -0500
Subject: Questions about Kitchen Kashrus

There has recently been quite a stir on MJ about pots and stoves on
Shabbos, and whether or not previous generations were sufficiently
observant, sufficiently learned, sufficently caring, and so on. I would
like to entry this fray with a question which has bothered me ever since
I learned Yoreh Deah quite a number of years ago. The specific subject
we were learning had to do with accidental mixings of meat and dairy
foods, but my problem can be applied to many many areas of halacha,
mainly in the kitchen, but in general as well.

Namely: for thousands of years, the rabbis debated many specific
questions about situations which arise in the kitchen. They were debated
in the gemara, debated in the mishna, debated in the rishonim, debated
in the acharonim.  Many of them continue to be debated even today. But,
slowly but surely, many of them were settled at some point in the past,
and the seforim printed since then have reflected that final
decision/consensus/whatever. Many of the answers were 'it is allowed',
and many were 'it is not allowed'.

The fact is, like it or not, *all* of the people involved in this
process were men.

For thousands of years, how did this information reach the women?

Of course, most Jewish women were fortunate to be able to learn many
details from their mothers. But that simply begs the question. How did
new halachos enter into the mother-daughter chain of tradition? It seems
to me that they would enter that chain only when a particular woman saw
a situation which she was unsure about. In such a case, she (or her
husband) would ask the rabbi, and (with luck) the answer would be passed
on to her daughters and friends.

What kind of procedure is this? Imagine if FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS the
only thing men knew about davening or tefillin was what they learned
directly from their fathers and friends. No yeshiva. No gemara. No
shulchan aruch. No books. No monthly journals investigating some rare
situation. No spending hours over a shtender aguring about some picayune
detail which could have great relevance to an *apparently* unrelated

If you want to take this as an indictment to the entire
no-women-learning philosophy, then that is *your* problem. I do have
faith in chazal and in torah, and all other aspects of our tradition. I
am just trying to figure out how the system works. Suppose a man spends
a great deal of time investigating a certain halacha, learns it in his
books, argues it with his chavrusa, and asks his rav for a
decision. This might be a situation which actually occurs in his home on
a regular basis, but he doesn't know it because he is hardly ever in the

Now, if his wife learned about this situation, then it does not bother
me that the halacha which she was taught may differ from what he was
taught.  That doesn't bother me, because the halachic process is still
at work one way or another. What bothers me is that if the wife has not
sweated over the gemara et al, how will she be sensitive to the issues,
and how will she know when to ask a question?


From: ishtam <ishtam@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 15:00:45 +5
Subject: Secular Holidays

In relation to discussion about Thanksgiving,  I have also been 
wondering about Torah viewpoints on celebration of other holidays 
such as Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day,  birthdays (secular v. Jewish 
calendar),  anniversaries, etc.  To many people having grown up in 
secular society these days are important,  and the question of their 
observance becomes a Torah issue especially when dealing with Shalom 
Bayis. ???


From: Alyssa Berger <aberger@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 15:03:05 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Thanks

Thanks to the people who sent me ideas for my Talmud research project. I 
deleted the messages by mistake so I can't thank the people "in person".

Aliza Berger


From: <aaron.g@...> (Aaron D. Gross )
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 14:57:17 -0800
Subject: Tzelaphachad's Estate

Danny Skaist wrote:
>>And if Tzelaphchad's daughters had had only daughters and had had 
>>husbands whose deaths preceded their own, wouldn't Tzelaphchad's 
>>granddaughter's inherit (subject to marrying within Dan, as did 
>>their mothers) portions of Tzelaphchad's portion?
>The injuction to marry within their own tribe applied only to
>Tzelaphchad's daughters.  It was to insure (IMHO) that the original
>"portion" of land distributed among the tribes would be according to 
>the people who left Egypt. The granddaughters would have inherited
>anyway and the land would have became part of the "inheritance" of 
>whichever tribe they married into.

I'm not sure if you answered my question.

Given the assumption that the daughters of Tzelaphchad married Danites,
and the hypothesis that they only had daughters (i.e. all the
grandchildren of Tzelaphachad were granddaughters), if the
granddaughters married out of Dan, wouldn't Tzelaphchad's portion have
effectively been transferred to other tribes?

If all Tzelaphchad's granddaughters had married Levites, for instance,
what would happen to the land, as Levites were not entitled to rural
real estate?

To whom would the Danite land revert in the Jubilee year, as there would
be no direct descendants of Tzelaphchad?



From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 2:56:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Zinkover Rabbanit

Several months ago I came across the following passage, which I thought
was relevant to the discussions of women's roles which periodically
come up here. I didn't post it then, because I didn't know where it came
from, and wanted to properly cite the source. Recently I found out where
it came from: "Hayah Ish, Hayu Zmanim" by Meyer S. Cohen, M. Neuman Ltd.,
Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, 1972, p. 134. It was translated into English by 
Eliav Bar-Hai. My own comments are in brackets.

	When the [Zinkover] Rebbe, Rav Chaimel [Heschel] died [in 1894],
	his two sons Pinchasel and Moishele were too young to take his
	place, so the rabbanit, Rachele [daughter of R. David of Talna,
	I assume this was the Talner Rebbe, David Twersky], who was in
	her own right a Torah scholar and educated woman, took the place
	of her husband. Her wish was to continue to manage the "yard" of
	the rebbe until her sons grew up. My grandfather, Yitzhak Leib,
	who was the melamed of her two sons, served also as gabbai for
	the rabbanit Rachele and they called him Itzhak Leib Racheles.

	The Zinkover Hasidim who were devoted to that dynasty continued
	to visit the "yard" regularly, and to present petitions to the
	rabbanit who advised and counseled the hasidim by virtue of her
	wisdom and knowledge. On Shabbat eves the hasidim would come to
	her table to hear words of Torah from her mouth. She enthralled
	them with her wisdom, charm, and beauty, although they held their
	faces toward the ground and took care not to look at her face
	because of fear of foreign thoughts.

	The reputation of the rabbanit Rachele spread throughout the area
	including residents who were not Jewish, as a wise woman,
	understanding the ways of the world. She had influence also on
	the local authorities and many were the favors done for her hasidim,
	or other Jews, because of her intervention.

	It was only natural that among the visitors to the rabbanit were
	those that came primarily because of her feminine attractions. One
	of those was a wealthy hasid who during the life of Reb Chaimel
	olav hashalom, kept away from the yard but after his death the
	hasid became a frequent visitor to the rabbanit. He spent a fortune
	for the good of the "yard."  It was told that he once stood before
	her with his face turned downward in modesty. The rabbanit said,
	"Reb Levi, it doesn't matter where your face is turned as long as
	my words enter your heart."

	When the two sons grew up, the rabbanit vacated her place...

The author then goes on to tell how the Zinkover dynasty split into two
houses, one led by R. Pinchasel and one by R. Moishele, and that "in
most towns in the area, the Bet Knesset of the Zinkover Hasidim was
split in two by the building of a wall down the middle..." But that's
another story.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


End of Volume 22 Issue 8