Volume 22 Number 43
                       Produced: Tue Dec 19 17:03:34 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Micha Berger]
Jews and Astronauts
         [Leah Wolf]
Matityahu HaCohen
         [Barry S. Bank]
Meaning of the name Rivka?
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
Name of Rivka
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Netilat Yadayim
         [Mark Steiner]
Pig heart valves???
         [Debbie Klein]
Smoking (3)
         [Arnie Kuzmack, Zvi Weiss, Eliyahu Teitz]
         [Joe Slater]
Two days Rosh Chodesh
         [Issie Scarowsky]
Visain Tal Umatar
         [Zale Newman]
Yad Shaul
         [Michael J Broyde]


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 06:53:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Driedel

Louis Carol has Alice play with a teetotum in Through the Looking Glass.
Martin Gardner's notes describe the teetotum as a four sided top with
Latin letters on it. The name teetotum comes from the fact that "T"
played the role of the dreidel's "gimel", you got the entire pot, in
Latin, totum.

I don't know which is the original, the dreidel or the teetotum, but I
have a feeling it wasn't us.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3255 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  5-Oct-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <ldwolf@...> (Leah Wolf)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 95 13:17:39 PST
Subject: Jews and Astronauts

In response to the discussion on Jews and Astronauts:
 If you permit a little humor here, I never forgot the reaction of our
day school custodian when the first manned flight into space dropped the
astronaut into the Atlantic on a summer day which happened to be on
Tisha B'Av..  Since Mr. Zeke (not-Jewish) had been involved with the
school and the day camp for years, he knew that Jews don't swim during
the nine days.
 I still remember him telling me, cigar in his mouth, and I a child in
the day camp, "You know why a Jew can't be an astronaut? Cause when he
lands on 'Tooshie Bav' he won't be able to swim!"  True story.


From: <bt492@...> (Barry S. Bank)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 06:53:28 -0500
Subject: Matityahu HaCohen

What is the halachic status of Matityahu's act in killing the Jew who
was willing to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein (I Maccabees
2:20-26)?  (Or that of Pinchas in killing Zimri [Numbers 25:1-15]?)


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Tue,  19 Dec 95 11:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Meaning of the name Rivka?

I quote: Mesechta Eruvin 19a (second line from bottom)

Tana - rivka nichnesset verivka yotzet ...
	rivka here means oxen bound in parallel by one yoke.

Harav Bartenura (Eruvin 2:1) says the source of the word is from "egel

Please remember who Rivka's father was.

IMHO Hashem took a leading part in the naming process but without
sources I wouldn't try to guess Hashem's reason for the name.

Chanuka Sameach



From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 11:48:24 -0500
Subject: Name of Rivka

Shalom, All:
         I find very interesting the question surrounding the meaning of
the name "Reevka."  Please permit me to suggest the following.
         In Hebrew, the letters which form Reevka are an anagram which,
rearranged, are a mere letter away from the word "heekreev," meaning "to
sacrifice."  We encounter Reevka in the Torah shortly after her future
husband, Yeetzhak, is brought as a sacrifice.
          I noted that the name Reevka is a mere letter away from the
word "heekreev," however.  And what is that letter?  It is the letter
yod, which is so often added to a name to associate it with God's own
name (e.g.  Yehoshua).
         A more exact anagram can be found using the same letters found
in Reevka to form "hakrav," meaning "the battle."  This too is rather
interesting as during her pregnancy with the twins Aysav and Yaakov, the
Torah tells us the children struggled within her; foreshadowing the
eternal battle between the two. Which word does the Torah use to
describe "within her?"  It is not a form of "betocha," but rather
"bekeerba."  Rearrange "the letters in "bekeerba" and they are the same
as the Hebrew for "within Reevka."
        I think both of the above attempts at scholarship are original,
but if there is merit to my words, with so many generations of real
scholars preceding me I will not be surprised if someone writes in to
say that someone beat me to the punch by many years.
        If not, and my words did indeed bring light to anyone's eyes,
let it be known they were written today, the second day of Hanuka, the
Festival of Lights.
    <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Tue,  19 Dec 95 11:30 +0200
Subject: Netilat Yadayim

	On the expression netilat yadayim: the expression seems to me to
be elliptical for "netilat mayim leyadaim" (what is taken is water, not
the hands).  In Tractate Yadayim, the object of the verb "netila" is
always mayim [water], not the hands, as in Yadayim 1:1 "natal [mayim]
leyado ahat", Yadayim 1:2 "natal [hamayim] harishonim lemakom ehad,"
etc.  In short, netalat yadayim is simply an elliptical expression for
"taking water FOR the hands."

Mark Steiner


From: Debbie Klein <dklein@...>
Date: Thu,  7 Dec 95 18:05:05 -0500
Subject: Pig heart valves???

Someone  I work with just told me that he has a Jewish friend who  
just got a heart valve replaced with one from a pig!  I didn't know  
that this kind of this was done, but medicine is not my field.  I am  
really curious whether this kind of thing is Halachically  
permissible.   Does anyone have any idea?

- Debbie Klein


From: Arnie Kuzmack <kuzmack@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 18:56:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Smoking

> I suggested in the journal that perhaps the daily ritual immersion in a
> hot Mikva may be beneficial as head-out-water-immersion is known to
> drastically lower hormonal levels of vasopressin with its inimical
> effect on the cardiovascular system and its effect on free
> radicals. Sure enough, we also found that there was a major decrease in
> glaucoma and cataract as well in Charedim who did go daily to the Mikva
> (predominantly Chassidic) rather than Litvishe).
> Now with the very recent finding of 30% polyphenols by weight in tea
> bags the rest of the variance gets explained. At least in Jerusalem,
> Charedim drink *lots* of tea.
> MUSAR HASKEL: although they chain smoke, most Charedim are healthier
> than you or I. Although I wouldn't *encourage* someone to smoke, there
> are ways to avoid the side effects of smoking.
> Josh Backon
> <backon@...>

Before we get carried away, what are the rates of cancer of the lung
(and of other sites known to be related to smoking) in this population?

Robert Montgomery writes:

> The point I am trying to get to is where do the people who are against
> smoking _ultimately_ wish to go with this issue?  I would like to see
> the answer to this.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I personally would like to see as few
people smoke as possible.  I doubt that Prohibition would work under
current circumstances, so I would rely on persuasion and legal
limitations that do not place an undue burden on smokers.  Persuasion
can work: smoking rates in the US have dropped substantially over the
past few decades (just look at any movie from the '40s).

I would also increase taxes on tobacco products so that smokers pay more
of the costs they impose on the health care system.

"Second-hand smoking" does not only refer to the reactions of
non-smokers but also to provable adverse health effects that they
suffer.  This evidence has had a major impact on the secular society's
approach to smoking.  However, to us as observant Jews, it should not be
necessary.  We are forbidden to injure ourselves as well as others.

BTW, alcohol in moderation does have positive health effects, such as
reducing cholesterol.  Tobacco does not.

Arnie Kuzmack

From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 22:39:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Smoking

Mr. Montgomery, I believe, posted a question wanting to know where this 
whole issue of smoking is leading to (if I understood correctly).
He compared this to drinking and prohibition.  I think, however, that he 
missed a couple of curcial issues.
1. The Torah, itself. mandates appropriate time to drink.. I know of no 
such mandate in the case of smoking.
2. Research is beginning to show that *moderate* alcohol consumption is 
actually beneficial while I know of NO benefical effects from smoking.
3. The effects of drunk driving, alcoholism, etc. appear to stem from an 
ABUSE of drinking (I do not want to get into a detailed discussion here 
about the exact nature of alcoholism...) while the intrinsic act of 
smoking appears to be destructive...

In that light, I think that it would be accurate to state that many of us 
*are* looking forward to the total prohibition of smoking.


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 12:46:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Smoking

In a discussion concerning cigarette smoking the following arguement was

> "Shomer p'saim Hashem" (G-d watches the simple and prtects
>from commonly accepted widespread hazards...

There has to be a distinction made between a pesi, a simpleton or fool,
and a poshe'a, an intentional sinner.  While those who started smoking
before the hazards were well known could be called p'sa-im, those who
start today, with all the documentation of the health risks, are no less
that posh'im b'gufam, sinners against their bodies ( as well as those in
proximity to them ).



From: Joe Slater <joe@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 10:07:37 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Smoking/Tobacco

> From: Robert Montgomery <st94zwy9@...>
> With people writing
> in that several yeshivas have banned smoking in and around their
> premises, stressing other persons' reactions to smokers ("second hand
> smoking"), etc., what are some other enjoyable things that people do
> that should no longer be continued?  Drinking? Many pages could be
> written on the effects of alcoholism and its effects on peoples'
> families, along with drunk driving, heart, liver, and kidney disease?

Alcohol in moderation is actually good for one. I have seen several 
studies on this, and I enclose quotations from _The ELectronic 
Telegraph_,  a newspaper available on the Internet:

_The ELectronic Telegraph, Wednesday December 13_

	[T]he Department of Health recommends light, daily drinking for
	middle aged and elderly men and women. 
	[P]ositive encouragement to older and elderly people who do not
	drink, or drink very little, to consider taking a regular tipple. 
	Measurable maximum benefit for both older men and women is said to
	be one or two units a day. 
	This low level reduced the risk of heart disease by 30 to 50
	Drinking more than ten units per day increases the risk [of heart

This was an official recommendation by the British Health Secretary and
may be too conservative. From the medical research I have read, the
actual health benefits in the general population might be greatest at
three to four drinks per day for men and two to three for women.  These
are British "standard drinks": eight grams of alcohol. That would be
32ml of whiskey or a correspondingly greater amount of beer or
wine. American standard drinks contain twelve grams of alcohol. The type
of liquor drunk does not now appear to be a factor.

Tobacco is a substance unknown to our ancestors, while wine and beer
have been drunk in our earliest history. The Tanach is replete with
references to it, and its use is praised by our sages. Like all of G-d's
blessings it should be used wisely, but it should be used.



From: Issie Scarowsky <Issie_Scarowsky@...>
Date: 11 Dec 95 11:08:44 
Subject: Two days Rosh Chodesh

Why do some months have two days of Rosh Chodesh, and others one? Could
we not have some months where Rosh Chodesh is on the 30th day of the
previous month and others where it is on the 31st day of the previous
month?  Alternatively, some months could be 29 days, others 30 days, but
in either case Rosh Chodesh would be one day. Clearly, the two day Rosh
Chodesh is not because of "sefaka d'yomei", a doubt of the days because
then all months should have two days Rosh Chodesh outside of Israel and
in Israel they should always only observe one day for Rosh Chodesh which
they don't do.


From: Zale Newman <jacobt@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 12:20:37 -0500
Subject: Visain Tal Umatar

This is an issue of great halachik discussion.  Why do we follow the 
secular calendar and begin saying this on Dec 4 or 5th?
Are we saying this for rain in Israel, in which case we should start 
when they do.
Are we saying this when rain was needed in Bavel?  If so, why?
Are we saying this as a prayer for rain in our local vicinity?
What do they do in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are reversed?


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 20:29:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Yad Shaul

I am looking for a volume called "yad shaul" published in memory of Rav 
sha'ul Weingart of the Yeshiva in switzerland.  I was hoping I could find 
some deeply kind soul who would be willing to copy and mail to me a 
teshuva from Rav Weingart himself that is published on pages 35-50 of the 
volume published in his memorial.  I cannot find the book anywhere obvious.
I would be deeply in someone's debt.
Thank you.
Michael Broyde
1428 Lachona Court
Atlanta, GA 30329
404 727-7546
404 727-6820 (fax


End of Volume 22 Issue 43