Volume 22 Number 73
                       Produced: Sat Jan  6 19:59:11 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chanukah Trivia
         [Aaron H. Greenberg]
Eruv in Indianapolis
         [Shoshana Sloman]
Halachic pre-nuptials in UK (v22 #67)
         [Rafael Salasnik]
Mourning Customs
         [Micha Berger]
Repeating Pesukim
         [Gershon Dubin]
Singular vs. plural
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Torah, Nature and Rav Kook
         [Yaacov-Dovid Shulman]
View of Judaism toward Nature
         [Harry Mehlman]


From: Aaron H. Greenberg <greenbah@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 00:27:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Chanukah Trivia

While I know this is a bit late, I think some will find it interesting.

In repsonse to the question:
>>  "Why was there no Shabbat Chanukah in the year 1948?"

Already has been replied:
>>  Shabbat Chanukah fell out on Jan. 1, 1949.

with the technicality, that Shabbat would have started a few hours before
1948 rolled over to 1949...

Someone investigated when this would happen again, but could not search
far enough into the future.  I having access to a computerized infinite
hebrew calendar calculator was able to come up with the following

First, it is not all that unusal for Chanukah to extend into January, it
last happened in 1986.  It will happen again in 2005, 2016, 2024, 2027,
2035, 2043.

The year 2043 is where I stopped searching, because 2043 is when there
will next be a year (defined by the Gregorian calendar) without a
Shabbat Chanukah -this time without a technicality. (or at least a
lesser one) The first day of Chanukah will occur on Sunday, Dec. 27,
2043 -the last day of 2043 is Thurday Dec. 31, hence a year without a
Shabbat Chanukah.  For the nitpickers... Chanukah's first day will start
at Sunset of Shabbat day, since we keep Shabbat for 42-72 minutes after
Sunset...it will be shabbat chanukah for 42-72 minutes that year.

Since I only wait 42 minutes, I'm willing to disregard it since it is
less than an hour...  Give me some more time, I will work on a program
that will iterate endlessly; I think eventually it would find a year
completely without a Shabbat Chanukah.

I would like to thank and give credit to Danny Sadinoff who wrote the
hebrew calendar caluculator (hebcal).

Aaron Greenberg


From: <ssloman@...> (Shoshana Sloman)
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 96 13:43 EST
Subject: Eruv in Indianapolis

>>	1) when did this big spurt of eruv constructions begin?  I know 
>>some cities had eruvim several decades ago (Toronto being one).  When did 
>>YOUR city build its eruv?
>Although there has been an Orthodox community in Indianapolis for many
>decades, and our shul has been at its current location since the 60's, our
>eruv wasn't put up until about five years ago.  I believe it is the first
>one we've had in Indiana.

It has been brought to my attention that there was, in fact, an eruv in
existence for a couple of years before the one I mentioned.  It
connected the rabbi's house to the shul (directly adjacent to it).

Also, I forgot to mention that we a have a small Sephardic eruv, joining
the shul with an apartment complex directly behind it.

Shoshana Amelite Sloman


From: Rafael Salasnik <rafi@...>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 23:00:31 GMT
Subject: Halachic pre-nuptials in UK (v22 #67)

>From: Andy Levy-Stevenson <andyls@...>
>I recently received this as part of a message from the British Jewish Net
>announcement service. Thought it would be interesting to share, and
>perhaps to begin a discussion. Does anyone else know more about this
>recent announcement?

As the person who posted this on brij-announce, I'm glad to see Andy re-post
it to mail-jewish (and thanks Andy for leaving the source in).

We are hoping to be able to put up more detailed info on the PNA (maybe
even the text) soon.  At the moment all the offices (including the Chief
Rabbi's office) located in London's premier communal building are in the
midst of moving (I know I've been helping my wife move her office out!)
and it maybe a couple of weeks before we can get this.



From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 07:47:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mourning Customs

In v22n72, Aryeh Frimer writes:
>           I became sensitive to the number of people who had a rough
> time remembering the Phrase "Hamakom Yenachem etchem/etchen/otcha/otach
> betoch she'ar aveilei tziyyon ve-yerushalayim (in Israel they add) ve-lo
> tosifu/tosif/tosifi le-da'ava od".

Trans: May the Omnipresent (or perhaps: the One Who is not bound by space)
       console you amongst the rest of the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.
and the addition: and you shall should never again have sorrow.

I'm not sure if this last phrase is always that appropriate. In the US,
people instictively add "you shouldn't know from any more tza'ar (pain)".

When I was sitting shiva for my daughter, this phrase bothered my father
alot. Both my wife and myself have all of our parents. In the normal
course of nature we will sit shivah again, achar mei'ah vi'esrim (after
120). It would be far worse for us not to live normal lifespans, and not
outlive our parents. In other words, as "knowing no more tza'ar" is
worse than the alternative.

The same argument would be true if the person sitting shivah was sitting
for one parent but still had the other.

While most people wouldn't read it that way, it's hard to picture the
Chachamim coining an expression without reading it very closely.

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: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 96 12:20:00 -0500
Subject: Repeating Pesukim

> I asked my Rav about such an idea and he said that the posuk
> should be finished because there is one opinion in halacha, of the
> Derech Hachaim (Rav Yaakov Loeberbaum, author of a commentary on
> prayer and more well known for his sefer N'sivos Hamishpat) that even
> if a posuk is read incorrectly, even changing the meaning, we do not
> re-read it.  Therefore, according to that opinion, that posuk has
> validity as a verse and refraining from finishing the posuk will make
> us split a posuk where no split was intended, and cause the shem to be
> said for nothing. 
       And what if there's a shem later on in the posuk.
<gershon.dubin@...>      |
http://www.medtechnet.com/~dubinG |


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 13:14:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Singular vs. plural 

Shalom, All:
       Zev Barr asked, << I have just been to a Minyan where the only
mourner is an only daughter and it struck me as strange that we say the
same words "HaMakom yenachem ETCHEM b'toch shaarei aveilei Tzion
v'Yerushalayim" to every set of avel/im.  Does anyone have the custom to
say "HaMakom yenachem OTACH...." etc.,>>
         I prefer the singular "otach" to an individual female mourner,
and "otcha" to an individual male mourner.  Maybe using the plural form
is a polite way of implying that not just this individual, but all of
Klal Yeesrael has suffered a loss at the death of the relative.
         Then again, perhaps the practice of using the plural form
"etchem" is rooted in the same custom that has us saying "Shalom
Aleichem" even to an individual.
     <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <YacovDovid@...> (Yaacov-Dovid Shulman)
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 14:30:28 -0500
Subject: Torah, Nature and Rav Kook

     A recent post asked about a more-than-utilitarian point of view
expressed in the Torah regarding the relationship between human beings
and the rest of creation.
     I found the following in Rav Kook's Orot Hakodesh, volume 2, #26
(p. 361).  The translation is mine and not necessarily reliable:

     A person stands and wonders: What need is there for the profusion
of such a variety of creatures?  And he fails to understand how they all
constitute one great entity (chativah).
     The slumbering life that exists within inanimate matter marks the
beginning of a lightning flash that shines continuously within the
vegetative world, splitting into tens of thousands of rays, each unique
and individual.  These arrive at the sanctuary of life, and there they
sparkle joyously; they rise to the height of the crown of the universe's
creatures: man.  The entirety of the quality of man's life, its
streaming illuminations, the constant rising of his spirit--these are
merely great ocean waves flowing back and forth, impelled by all the
movements of life within existence: from the smallest particle of life
to the greatest, from inanimate matter to human being.
     If you are astonished at how it is that you are able to speak,
hear, smell, feel, see, understand and have emotions, consider that all
of life, and all that precedes it, causes all of your existence to flow
upon you.
     Not   even the smallest   point   is  superfluous.  Everything   is
necessary; everything serves its purpose.   You [exist]  in all that  is
below  you, and you are  tied to and rise with  all  that is higher than
     Animals, who do not have great intellectual expression, possess an
earthy, strong drive.  [This drive is] somewhat weakened by its
freshness and strength of existence, which is caused by the pressure of
its activity.  [That in turn is] due to the ideal core of will that has
entered into [that drive].  [The animal] draws its complete strength
from its connection with the vegetative world, which does not have even
that slight disturbance of the revelation of life.
     In turn, vegetation, with all its healthy, unwavering [life force],
suffers from [its possession of] movement and a limited imaginative
faculty.  It is healed from its weakness by being connected to the
inanimate world, which has a spirit of permanence and constant, solid
     The peak of life arises within man.  [But it] is very much weakened
by the freedom that characterizes [his] will.  [In turn,] it attains its
strength by being connected to the more corporeal world of life.
     The various strata of mankind are linked by this law as well.  The
ideal side [of man] stands ready to collapse from the weakness that
resides within refinement.  But it attains a [firm] stance by being
based on the tangible aspect of reality.
     And thus, all creatures in the world constitute one entity.
Nations and parties, people of different opinions and temperament,
together build a world that is full: filled with a union of strength and


From: Harry Mehlman <mehlman@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 01:11:16 +1100 (EST)
Subject: View of Judaism toward Nature

Aharon Manne <manne@...> wrote:
>In mj 22#53 Avi Feldblum wrote 
>>  I have great doubts as to whether the ideas above are consistant with 
>> what I see as the approach Chazal and the Reshonim take to the animal 
>> kingdom. From what I see, the fully acceptable purpose of an animal 
>> would be to in some way support/enhance a person's life and in 
>> particular, a Jew's ability to continue to do mitzvot.

>I think Judaism might be a bit "greener" than that.  While the pantheism
>currently associated in pop sociology with "Native Americans" is certainly
>foreign to Judaism, nature seems to have some purpose other than to serve
>humanity's physical needs.  The classic example is in Devarim: "ki ha-adam
>different manner.  Nonetheless, the bottom line is that a Jewish Army
>cannot wantonly destroy trees in the course of laying seige to a city.

>Another example is the halacha (cited by the Rav of our Regional Council)
>which states that one may not arbitrarily kill living things, such as ants
>in a field.  Clearly one may deal with pests, but one may not arbitrarily
>kill creatures which pose no threat to your health or livelihood. 

>The Sefer HaHinuch explains the law of sending away the mother bird
>("shiluah ha-ken") as an educational discipline, to teach us the quality
>of mercy.  Here, it seems, we are commanded to imitate HaShem ("rahamav al
>kol ma'asav" - His mercy extends to all His creation).

>I have always wanted to interpret Adam's stated purpose in the Garden of
>Eden ("le'ovdah u'l'shomrah" - to work it and guard it) as a dialectic
>between shaping nature and preserving it.  There is a grammatical problem 
>I would be more than glad to see others on the list pick up this thread
>and point out other relevant sources.

According to "Derech Hashem" by R'Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Translation by
R'Aryeh Kaplan):

     "The creature designed for this great condition, namely,
     [attaining perfection and thereby achieving] a bond of
     closeness to Him, is considered the main element of all
     creation. All else in existence is only an aid, in some aspect
     or regard, toward this goal, to have it succeed and become
     reality. They are therefore all considered secondary to this
     primary creature... This primary, essential creature is man."

     "...even though man must be immersed in the physical, he should
     be able to attain perfection through his worldly activities and
     the physical world itself..." (I:4:4)

The examples you quote of mitzvot which "seem to be green" are in fact no
contradiction to the above. As you yourself pointed out, the mitzvah of
"Shiluach hakan" is intended to teach man to be merciful. You could
therefore say that in a given case the birds existed for the sake of the
person who did the mitzvah, to refine his character. The other examples you
quote refer to the Torah's disapproval of WANTON destruction. Again, this
does not contradict the principle that the world exists for man's benefit.
(Actually, the final halacha on destroying trees in a siege is much more
complicated than it seems from reading the p'sukim alone. In some cases it
is permissible to destroy trees in a siege. I can't remember the sources,
but will look them up if this discussion continues.) Later in Derech

     "Before man makes any use of the world, he should pronounce
     G-d's name over it, blessing Him and realizing that this good
     ultimately comes from G-d. He should consider the true nature
     of that good, namely, that it is more than a mere physical
     pleasure and material concept, but is actually something
     prepared by G-d to bring about the true benefit discussed
     earlier [that all existence should attain perfection]..."


End of Volume 22 Issue 73