Volume 22 Number 33
                       Produced: Sun Dec 10 16:09:51 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
6-month "birthday" party?
         [David Charlap]
Gersonides, Crescas
         [Alana Suskin]
Haircut at Three
         [Carl Sherer]
Halachic Issues: Corporations and Corporate Status
         [Michael J Broyde]
Jeremiah and Ezekiel
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Lilith reference -- a correction
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Marshmallow Fluff
         [Hannah Wolfish]
Netilat Yadayim
         [Jay Bailey]
Overzealous correcting of Torah reading
         [Louise Miller]
Rav Elchonon Wasserman hy"d
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Strawberry Fluff under o/u
         [Debbie Klein]
Zinkover Rabbanit - correction
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 16:04:33 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

This is to let you all know that after the batch of issues that go out
today (and maybe early tomorrow morning), you will have a break until
probably Friday morning. I do not forsee any major break in mail-jewish
from then until Jan. 1996.



From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 95 14:57:49 EST
Subject: 6-month "birthday" party?

My father asked me the following question that I can't answer:

>A guy in my office (not Jewish) was invited to a "birthday party" for a
>nieghbor's little girl.  They are Israeli, and the girl is 6 months
>old.  He was confused as to why a party for a 6-month old.  I told him
>that it probably was to commemorate the baby's naming in the synagogue.
>Is that right?

>Also, is there any special naming gifts that are particularly
>appropriate?  I know of none, and I advised that any baby gift is fine.
>Also, please confirm.  Is there any Taboo gift?

Can anyone here help out?


From: Alana Suskin <alanacat@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 08:46:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Gersonides, Crescas

Does anyone know of articles *in English* about Gersonides' or Crescas' 
views of science?

Alana Suskin,
Mitnaggedet Mama


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 95 8:06:22 IST
Subject: Haircut at Three

Andy Sacks asks:

> Does anyone know the origins of the minhag to cut a boy's hair, at the 
> age of three, for the first time?

According to the book "Yalkut Hatisporet" (the Haircut Briefcase?) by
R. Yosef Yitzchak Serebriansky(?) "[I]t is not clear when exactly they
started giving children their first haircut at the age of three.  The
first testimony regarding this custom is from what the Ari za"l did with
his son's haircut, and in the words of the book Shaar HaKavanos (the
Gate of Intentions) (Matter of Pesach, Drush 12) of... Rav Chaim Vitale
[his] student. The matter of this custom which Israel has to go on Lag
BaOmer to the graves of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son Rabbi Elazar
who are buried in Meron as is known, and they eat and drink and are
happy there, I saw my Rebbe z"l go there once on Lag BaOmer with all his
family and sit there for the first three days of that week and this was
one time when he came from Egypt, but I do not know if he was then
expert in this remarkable wisdom which he later received and Rabbi
Yonasan Shagish told me that the year before I went to learn with my
Rebbe z"l, that he took his small son there with all of his family and
there they cut his hair in accordance with the known custom and they
made a party there... and I wrote all this to show that there is a
source for this custom which is mentioned.'"

He also goes on to quote the Taamei HaMinhagim (who refers to it as a
custom dating from the times of the Rishonim, a response of the Radvaz
(Section 2 Number 608 - which is significant in part because it talks
about making the haircut at grave of Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel the Prophet)
and not at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai), and the reason given
by another poster relating to Orla in trees which is based on a
comparison between the laws of Orla and the laws of shaving the head in
the Yerushalmi in Peah 1,4 (see also the Ritva in the first chapter of
Shvuos who makes the same comparison).

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 15:04:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Halachic Issues: Corporations and Corporate Status

I am looking for articles that address halachic issues raised by
corporations and corporate status (such as limited liability, or chametz
owned by corporations and the like). Hebrew or English.
Thank you very much.
Michael Broyde


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <SCHWARTZ@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 95 06:47:34 IST
Subject: Jeremiah and Ezekiel

In response to Jack Stroh's queries concerning the prophets Jeremiah and

1) Nebuchadrezzar and Nebuchadnezzar are both Hebrew trasncriptions of
the Babylonian king's name, which in Babylonian (Akkadian) was nabu-
kudurri-usur (sorry I can't put in accent marks: usur should have a dot
under the s, meaning this is a "ts" sound (Hebrew tzadi) and not an
"s").  The name means" "May (the god) Nabu protect my boundary-stone
(i.e. my territory)"; you will recognize the root nun-tzadi-resh, which
means "watch, guard" in Hebrew as well, in the word usur. (There is
another, less widely accepted, translation; consult the commentaries or
biblical dictionaries). Because the word may have been pronounced with
or without the "n" sound, that is, either usur or unsur, the Hebrew
transcription reflects the two different ways of pronouncing the same
name: either with the resh of kudurri or with the nun of unsur. By the
way, inter- changes of lamed-nun-men-resh are known in Hebrew thoughout
the ages and are evident in the talmud as well (Hebrew almanah "widow"
appears as armalah, for instance).  Ezekiel always uses Nebuchadrezzar
with a resh (and HE lived in Babylon); this is certainly the more
correct form. Jeremiah does so most of the time (he too lived druing the
regin of N.), but in chapters 27-29, except for 29:21, he switches to
Nebuchadnezzar, for no apparent reason. The latter form, with nun,
appears in the rest of the Bible, but this is still a minority of cases
(see conconrdance).

2) Jeremiah 31:18 must be a misprint; the passage referred to is in
Jeremiah 17:26. But the writer is under a double misconception. The
prophet is speaking about the present, not about the future, Temple.
He promises that if the people will heed God's word, and cease
desecrating the Sabbath, the city of Jerusalem and its temple will
survive and not be destroyed, and further, that it will become a
place of worship for kings and their officers, all of whom will wish
to present sacrifices to the God of Israel. It thus would not be
quite correct to say that he is speaking about the times of the
Messiah. Further, and this is the important part, ALL of
the prophets who speak about the rebuilding of the Temple explicitly
say that the sacrifices will be reinstituted. This is part of the
basic prophetic vision. We echo this prophecy in all of our prayers
(the last words we say in the Amidah are Malachi 3:4). The idea that
in the time to come their will be no sacrifices is a problematic
one, and is certainly not held unanimously by medieval or modern
authorities either--but for sure, it is absolutely unhear-of in
biblical prophecy. Israel's prophets were thoroughly convinced that
the Temple ritual was the proper and necessary form of worship,
ordained by God Himself, and the rabbis underscored this when they
said that it is one of the three pilalrs on which the world stands
(Avot 1:2). The entire prophecy of Ezekiel 40-48 is devoted to this
theme, as are many many others. So the passage you discovered in
Jeremiah (if I have the right one, or even if I don't) is by
no means unusual but is rather the norm.

And may we live to see the rebuilding of the Temple soon, where we
will offer all of the sacrifices in their proper fashion and at
their correct times.


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 12:11:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Lilith

         Although it has flaws, the Encyclopedia of Judaism CD ROM
offers interesting info on a variety of subjects, including Lilith.
Here's what it says:
         LILITH The main female character in Jewish DEMONOLOGY, from
biblical times through the Middle Ages and the modern period. Originally
Lilith referred to a certain type of evil spirit; only in the Middle
Ages was she identified as a specific demon, the first wife of Adam and
consort of Samael.

Lilith's origins lie in Babylonian demonology, which mentions male and
female evil spirits named Lilu and Lilithu.  The actions of these
spirits include the seduction of men and endangering of women in
childbirth.  Lilin and Lilith are names for types of evil spirits in the
Talmud and in midrashic literature. Lilith is mentioned once in the
Bible: "Wildcats shall meet hyenas, goat-demons shall greet each other;
There too the lilith shall repose and find herself a resting place"
(Isa. 34:14).

Lilith is described in the Talmud as a winged creature with long hair
(Er.  100b, Nid. 24b) who haunts people sleeping alone in their homes
(Shab. 151b). The Talmud recounts that during the time that Adam lived
separated from Eve, he gave birth to spirits, demons, and liliths
(Er. 18b). According to later traditions, it was Lilith who seduced Adam
and bore from him spirits and demons.

According to Jewish folklore, Lilith is particularly threatening to
newborn babies. Already in ancient times, it was customary to write
AMULETS for protection against her.

The geonic text Alphabet of Ben Sira views Lilith as a specific demon,
as does kabbalistic literature.  In the writing of 13th-century
kabbalists, especially in the ZOHAR, Lilith is described as the wife of
Samael and mother of the demons.  In kabbalistic literature, too, Lilith
retains her role as strangler of babies and seductress of sleeping men
for the purpose of conceiving demons.


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 07:34:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Lilith reference -- a correction

In V22N32, I wrote:
> Don't know offhand, but good English sources would be Louis Ginsburg's
> _Legends of the Jews_ and the _Encyclopedia Judaica_.

Can't believe I let this slip by, but that's Louis Ginzberg, NOT Ginsburg!

Lots of other good stuff in there, BTW (especially in the original 
7-volume edition).

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
.... shoulda rowed harder...


From: <Hannah.Wolfish@...> (Hannah Wolfish)
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 95 12:58:37 EST
Subject: Marshmallow Fluff

The Strawberry Fluff (the brand is Fluff) on sale in Baltimore has an
o/u.  It has only recently appeared on the shelves here and my kids love
it but when I tried it I had trouble associating the taste to the red
fruit that comes from the ground.

Hannah Wolfish


From: <jaydena@...> (Jay Bailey)
Date: Tue,  5 Dec 95 20:48:33 PST
Subject: Netilat Yadayim

I have always wondered why Netilat Yadayim is referred to by that
particular nomenclature. Specifically, nitilah is "taking," and there is
really no way to stretch that into what we do with our hands.

Today I learned the answer from a linguist friend of mine. A washing cup
in Greek is apparently a "natla". At some point (when did washing start?
historians?) The word got bastardized into Netila, which, after all, is
word associated with Jewish ceremony, e.g. lulav.

Confirmations? Refutations?

                    Jay Bailey
  Rechov Rimon 40/1 <> PO Box 1076 <> Efrat, Israel
Phone/Fax: 02/9931903 <> E-mail:<jaydena@...>
     Written on 12/05/95 at 20:48:34 (Israel Time)


From: <miller@...> (Louise Miller)
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 95 10:14:53 PST
Subject: Overzealous correcting of Torah reading

My husband is a baal koreh for our shul, and a volunteer.  He's
told me that the only corrections that should be made are those
that change the meaning of the word.  Overzealous correcting
(what we in La Jolla call the "Gotcha Gang,") can be disruptive,
and quite annoying to the families of the gentlemen who have
given up their time to prepare the laining.
Louise Miller


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 04:45:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rav Elchonon Wasserman hy"d

	Does anybody know of any living descendants of Rav Elchonon 

					Mordechai Perlman


From: Debbie Klein <dklein@...>
Date: Wed,  6 Dec 95 14:42:28 -0500
Subject: Strawberry Fluff under o/u

Andy Sacks asked whether or not Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff is under
o/u supervision.  I checked with a friend who works in the o/u kashrus
division, and Strawberry Fluff manufactured by Durkee-Mower IS under o/u
supervision.  They will check into why certification is not appearing on
the label.

Incidentally, the o/u is completely updating their systems, and expects
to be hooked up to Internet over the next few months.

Debbie Klein


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 2:44:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Zinkover Rabbanit - correction

It seems that the widow of the Zinkover Rebbe was not, as I thought, the
daughter of R. David (Twersky) of Talna. Neil Rosenstein has informed me
that, according to two different sources, it was the Zinkover Rebbe's
first wife who was the daughter of R. David of Talna. Both of these
sources give the name of his second wife as "Esther Dina", however, not
"Rachel", the name that appears in the story, so there is some confusion
on this point.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


End of Volume 22 Issue 33