Volume 22 Number 29
                       Produced: Mon Dec  4  7:40:35 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Birchat Cohanim Minhag
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Chamar Medina
         [Rafael Malfatto]
Giving Land Away
         [Chaim Stern]
Haircut at 3
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Kashrut of Turkey
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Kohanim covering hands
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
         [Elisheva Appel]
Marshmallow Fluff
         [Andy Sacks]
Notes on Shiur HaRav on Vayetze
         [Josh Rapps]
Oops- Citation Correction
         [Mechy Frankel]
Opening an Oven on Shabbat
         [Shlomo Grafstein]


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 08:25:03 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Abarbanel

Carl Sherer asks what difference it would make to frum Jews if the
Abarbanel relies on Christian scholarly views as to the nature of

While I could think of several possible ramifications, my original query
was more of a question "lishma", for the sake of the question itself:
After all, this is a surprising phenomenon. Is it isolated?

The ramification issue is a broader and more complex one, that doubtless
will generate different perspectives...

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 11:34:31 -0500
Subject: Birchat Cohanim Minhag

Avi Feldblum writes:
>Today, we have changed the custom, at least in any place I have been 
>at, so that the Cohanim put the tallis over their hands, so I guess 
>now we have "double protection" for the non-Cohanim.

This is not the first change:

The Mishnah (Megila 4:7) states that a cohen who has blemish hands may
not lift his hands (participate in the blessing service) because the
people look at him.  This appears also in the Tosefta (Megila
3:17). However, in Yerushalmi (Megila 32:2 ;Chp.  4:8). Rabbi Yosa said
that one may not look at the Cohanim while they are blessing Israel..

These sources suggest that at early point (Mishnah & Tosefta) it was
customary to look at the cohanim and their hands while blessing, but
that it was changed later (Yerushalmi).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <Yafael@...> (Rafael Malfatto)
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 14:00:12 -0500
Subject: Chamar Medina

Can someone send me information on chamor (or is it chemer) medina? I
read something about it on this bulletin a while back



From: Chaim Stern <PYPCHS%<EZMAIL@...>
Date: Thu 30 Nov 1995 13:06 ET
Subject: Giving Land Away

  Avi Feldblum writes:
>............. Rather, it is the Melech Hamashiach who will take back
>land from whomever (non-Jewish) is holding it. This event will clearly
>be outside the normal commercial and likely political
>interactions. Rather I would compare the case to one who is buying
>property, and there may be a nearby or distant kingdom that may be about
>to go to war and will conquer this area. In the common latin/english
>phrase - let the buyer beware.

What about Jews who now buy land (even from Jews) in Israel ?
When Moshiach comes, will they be able to keep that land,
or will everything be split up again according to the 12 tribes ?


From: Rachel Rosencrantz <peterr@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 15:42:56 +0000
Subject: Haircut at 3

> From: <raisrael@...> (Andy Sacks)
> Does anyone know the origins of the minhag to cut a boy's hair, at
> the age of three, for the first time?

Well in many ways a man is compared to a tree.  He starts from a small
seed. He grows and branches out and eventually he is to bear fruit. (Be
fruitful and multiply is only encumbant on men.)
 Now a tree cannot have its fruit picked for the first 3 years.  So,
likewise a, a boy's hair is not cut for the first 3 years.  At 3 the
hair is cut, he get's his arbot canfot (tallit katan) and kippah and
much simcha is had.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 12:39:29 GMT
Subject: Kashrut of Turkey

When I grew up in South Africa, a friend of mine was of the levitical
Horowitz family (descendants of the author of Shnei Luhot HaBrit -
Shalo). The family had a tradition not to eat turkey, based on one of
their ancestors having forbidden his descendants to do so.  Whether this
was the Shalo (late 16th - early 17th century) I don't know. According
to a secular encyclopedia, turkeys were brought to Europe in 1519, which
would mean that at the time of the Shalo they were a relatively new
species in Europe.

           Shmuel Himelstein


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 12:39:32 GMT
Subject: Kohanim covering hands

We kohanim are kept very busy in Israel, with the Priestly Blessing at
least once a day and twice on days when the Mussaf prayer is recited
(this is at least the case in most of Israel - there are other customs,
especially in Galilee). On Yom Kippur, the Priestly Blessing may go up
to three times - if the Neilah service is said before sunset.

As to covering the hands, I was taught (by my father?) that during the
Priestly Blessing the Shechina (Divine Presence) rests on the kohanim's
hands. That is why a) the kohanim cover their hands with a tallit, so
that the congregation can't see their hands, and b) why the kohanim
themselves keep their eyes closed throughout the Priestly Blessing. As
to those places where the kohanim have their hands outside the tallit, I
understand that the congregation would then be required to keep their
eyes closed during the blessing.

           Shmuel Himelstein


From: <ELISHEVA@...> (Elisheva Appel)
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 23:45:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Lilith

My mother just sent me a book called _But G-d Remembered_ by Sandy
Eisenberg Sasso which has stories of women in the Torah. Not really a
kosher book, but it's hard to tell my mother that!  The first story in
it is about Lilith, who is presented as a woman created before Chava,
who was "equal" to Adam.  Because Adam couldn't handle this equality, he
sent her away, and then Chava was created (who presumably could be
dominated).  In this book, Lilith is presented as a feminist hero (as
she is in other feminist writings I've seen).

I looked this up in another book I have _A Treasury of Jewish Folklore_
by Nathan Ausubel, and the same story is presented there, said to be
from the Midrash, except that after Lilith was sent away, she became a
"she-demon" who weakens infants unless she sees a certain amulet on each
wall of the house where a woman is giving birth with the names of three
angels on it.  Doesn't sound like a woman to present as a hero!

I did ask a rabbi once where this appears in the Midrash, but he said he
had never heard of Lilith, so I'm hoping someone out there can help me.
I'm curious about the source of this legend, and more details about it.
Also wondering why some Jewish feminists have adopted her as a hero.
Does anyone know?


Elisheva Appel


From: <raisrael@...> (Andy Sacks)
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 09:36:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow Fluff (with an o/u) is now sold in Israel. The o/u is printed 
on the label.  In addition, a large Hebrew label, containing the 
ingredients is glued on.  So far all seems"kosher."
Strawberry Fluff is also sold.  Here too the big Hebrew label which is 
glued on in Israel has the o/u.  But, upon carefully removing the Hebrew 
label, the original American label does not have an o/u (as does original 
flavored Fluff).

1.  Is Strawberry Fluff under o/u supervision.  If so, why does it not 
have an o/u printed on the label.  If it is not under o/u supervision, 
why have the Israeli importers printed an o/u on the label?

2.  Is there an Internet address at which one can check out these matters?

Andy Sacks


From: <jr@...> (Josh Rapps)
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 14:23 EST
Subject: Notes on Shiur HaRav on Vayetze

"And Yaakov continued on his way and met angels of G-D.  And when Yaakov
saw them he said 'this is the camp of G-D' and he called that place
Machanaim."(Breishis 32:3)

The Rav (Rabbi Y.B. Soloveitchik z"l) analyzed the terms Machane (camp)
and Machanayim (two camps) according to two different approaches.

1. Rashi interprets Machanayim as 2 Machanos-two camps: one of Angels
belonging to Chutz l'Aretz (outside the land of Israel) who escorted him
to the border of Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel), and the second
consisting of Angels who were to escort him into Eretz Yisrael.

2. The Ramban raises the following question on Rashi's interpretation:
at this time Yaakov was still quite far from reaching Eretz Yisrael. How
could one of the camps refer to angels of Eretz Yisrael?  The Ramban is
therefore of the opinion that these groups of angels were sent to
reassure Yaakov.  Yaakov was traveling through danger, exposed to
enemies lying in ambush for him. The purpose of showing him legions of
angels was to reassure him that his "camp" will never be left alone. For
wherever his camp may go and how hopelessly outnumbered they may appear
to be, there will always be a second "camp" of Malachei Hashem that will
protect the camp of Yaakov. Yaakov has the G-Dly strength in his "camp"
and need not fear the earthly powers of his enemies.  Machanayim refers
then to the camp that was traveling with Yaakov and to the heavenly
camp, the angels of G-D who were sent to protect him.

The Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel on this verse indicates that the term
Machanayim means the Beis Hamikdash. The sanctity of the Beis Hamikdash
and its surrounding areas, referred to as Kedushat Machanot, increases
in gradations, each of which is called a "camp" since they correspond to
the different camps which the Jewish people consisted of in their
sojourn in the desert.  As the Rambam states (Hilchos Beis Habechirah
7:11) "There were three camps in the desert, and correspondingly three
camps throughout the generations."  In other words, besides the obvious
sanctity of the Mikdash, the Mikdash and its surrounding areas also
contained a Kedushat Machane (sanctity by camp) that derived from the
three camps in the desert:

	a) Machane Yisrael (camp of Israel) which is all of
	   Jerusalem outside of the Temple mount. (Jerusalem
	   is not simply a city, but rather it is an integral
	   part of the Mikdash for several Halachic parameters.
	b) Machane Leviyah (camp of Levites) which is the Temple mount.
	c) Machane Shechina (the Beis Hamikdash itself).

Let us examine this Kedushat Machane more closely.  Chazal say that
Avraham called the place of the Beis Hamikdash "Har" a mountain,
Yitzchak referred to it as "Sadeh", a field, and Yaakov referred to it
as "Bayis", a house.  The term house implies that there is a owner of
the house who controls access to his house.  There must be a protocol
for approaching and entering the Bayis.

A camp, however, particularly a military camp, has a greater sense of
equality among its inhabitants.  The general and the private live
together under the same conditions. The private can more readily
approach the general and speak with him because of the shared cramped
and difficult conditions than he could under more normal conditions.

The Kohen Gadol is called the watcher of the Beis Hamikdash, as it says
in Zechariah (3:7) "And you [referring to the Kohen Gadol] will judge my
House and watch my courtyards...  The Kohen Gadol can invite his
friends, i.e. the scholars and leaders of the generation into the home
of Hashem.  But what of the plain and simple Jew?  How does he approach
and enter the house of Hashem?  Here is where the Machane concept comes
in.  The simple Jew approaches the Mikdash as a Machane.  He, the lowly
private, can enter the Mikdash and pour out his heart to the General
himself without deference to the disparity between their "ranks".

"And I will meet with you there and speak to you from atop the Kapores
between the two Kruvim..." (Shemos 25:22).  The rendezvous of G-D and
Moshe Rabeinu took place in the Holy of Holies.  What about the simple
Jew?  Where will he encounter G-D?  The Torah tells us (Shemos 42:43)
that the altar in the Temple courtyard was the rendezvous for G-D and
Klal Yisrael. Any Jew could approach Hashem there.

Returning to our discussion, it is worth noting that it was Yaakov alone
who recognized the Malachim as angels.  To the rest of his entourage
they appeared to be ordinary people. Yaakov said "This is the camp of
G-D" but he called the place Machanaim.  By this he meant that each
person, each Jew, has the ability to grow spiritually to the point where
he too will recognize the angels as such.  Machanaim-two camps-the
earthly one which you see and the heavenly one which Hashem has provided
to the Bnay Yisrael to protect them from their enemies. I, Yaakov, see
them clearly and you, potentially, can see as well.

When Yaakov embarked on his journey to the house of Lavan, his
impression of what the Mikdash was to be was that of a house, as he said
"This is the house of G-D..."(Breishis 28:17).  The home of Hashem is
exclusive; not all can enter.  When he returned from Lavan, however, he
saw the Mikdash as a camp where each Jew has the potential to raise
himself to the level of seeing the angels of G-D and to ally his own
personal camp with the camp of G-D.

(NB: When Avrohom went to the Akeida, he saw Mount Moriah from afar.  He
asked Eliezer and Yishmael what they saw; they saw nothing.  He asked
Yitzchak and Yitzchak saw a cloud of G-D's glory over the mountain, as
did Avrohom himself. In order to discern that there even is another camp
beyond your own, one must be on a higher spiritual level.  Avraham and
Yitzchak reached that higher level and were able to see and distinguish
the two camps while Eliezer and Yishmael had not and could not. This is
similar to Yaakov, and his message to his childresn, that the level of
spirituality one has achieved determines how much of the heavenly "camp"
one is privileged to see.)

In summary, the Machane Elokim provided Yaakov with security and
confidence to face his challengers as his camp included the Machane
Elokim as well. Each and every Jew must strive to reach the spiritual
level of perceiving the Machane Elokim that surrounds him.

(c) Dr. Israel Rivkin, Gershon Dubin, Josh Rapps.
 Permission to reprint in any form, with this notice, is hereby
granted. These summaries are based on notes taken by Dr. Rivkin at the
weekly Moriah Shiur given by the Rav ZT'L over many years. Thanks to
Arnie Lustiger for his comments on this article.


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 1995 17:39:16 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Oops- Citation Correction

In a post the other day i recommended the recently published "Hakerah
Sheloa Nisacha" by Jacob Katz as a helpful source for assessing some of
R. Hirsch's communal political initiatives. My fingers, apparently of
their own volition, typed M. Ben Zvi for the publisher while my brain
was thinking Mercaz Zalman Shazar.  The latter is correct.

Mechy Frankel


From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 13:08:12 -0400
Subject: Opening an Oven on Shabbat

 There was a question raised regarding the opening of the oven to return
food in a permissible manner.  Hanna Wolfish has a good question.  THe
question of causing a flame would also be applicable Friday night when
one opens the oven to remove (even not to return) your roasted chicken
and potatoes etc.  This may be intertwined with opening a refigerator
and causing the motor to start up. (some only open the refrigerator when
the motor is going) as well as the question of opening the front door in
the cold winter, so that eventually the thermostat will cause the
furnace to go on.
 Please do not take this as Halacha but rather consult your own Orthodox
rabbi in whom you have trust in P'sak.
 On Shabbat P'sik Rai'sha (can you "cut off the head" of an animal and
it will not die?) is forbidden.  Every time one would put on the switch
of a light, one is completing a circuit (Chazon Ish -- says that this is
the creative work of `building') and it is forbidden on the Shabbat.
Every time I pull a plant from the ground it is definitely a form of
harvesting.  However, not every time that I open the door to my house in
the winter will the furnace have to go on.  Not every time time that I
open the refrigerator e.g. I can open it for 2 seconds and the motor
will not go on.  THus these actions are not "definitely going to cause a
melacha (creative forbidden work of Shabbat)" Sometimes yes and
sometimes no.  When I open the oven, it will not be definitely causing
the flame to ignite more.  It is not p'sik rai'sha.  Also it is g'ra'ma,
"an indirect causing of something" So when you combine:
 not a p'sik rai'sha action
 a g'rama
 in the situation of a mitzvah (oneg Shabbat)
 you do not want more flames (food will get burnt/dried out)
We allow one to return dry food in the permissible manner of "not the
way of cooking --- in a non-cooking utensil, or inverted so that there
is no thoughts on the part of `observers' that you are cooking.  You are
merely reheating.  If the oven goes on eventually as a result of the
oven door being operned, itK.  is O.K.

Sincerely Yours,
Shlomo Grafstein
Halifax Nova Scotia Canada


End of Volume 22 Issue 29