Volume 22 Number 77
                       Produced: Wed Jan 10 20:07:04 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Benefits of Daily Mikva Use
Correction: When Bad Things Happen
         [David B Cooper]
Divining Rod for Graves
         [Steven Stein]
Er and Onan / Barmitzvah
         [Eli Turkel]
Form of Letters
         [Michael J Broyde]
Hamokom Yinachem ETCHEM
         [David Steinberg]
Looking for R. Munk's commentaries
         [Arielle Cazaubon]
Love your neighbor
         [Linda Levi]
         [Zvi Weiss  ]
Mourning Customs (v22n73)
         [D'n Russler]
         [Micha Berger]
Yehuda's Grandsons
         [David Steinberg]
Yosef and Binyamin's ages
         [Louis Rayman]


From: Zale_Newman <jacobt@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 11:43:41 -0500
Subject: Benefits of Daily Mikva Use

Re: Dr. Backan

He mentioned his theory that Chereidim in Israel have 75% less coronary
and artery disease (as well as a reduction in glaucoma and cataracts)
due to their daily dip in a mikva (presumably a hot mikva).

Additionally he mentioned the benefits of drinking tea and its
prevelance in the chareidi lifestyle.

I posted this in the Bobov shtibel in Toronto and it was received most

My questions are twofold:

1) If immersion in hot water and the consumptions of tea lead to a
drastic reduction in heart disease would we not find similar results
amongst the population, where it is customary to bathe in a tub daily in
place of a shower and where tea consumption is the highest in the world?

2) Could it be that the reduction in heart disease is due to a less 
stressful lifestyle? (ie: greater faith in G-d, less work hours, etc)

--Zale L. Newman  - Toronto


From: <dacooper@...> (David B Cooper)
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 17:17:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Correction: When Bad Things Happen

In Vol. 22 #74, Sharon Stakofsky-Davis <mdavis@...>wrote:
> Something that helped was reading "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", 
> by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner.

The book was actually written by Harold Kushner.  It's available in 

David B Cooper				Jewish Theological Seminary of America
....but others call me Dov		Office of Public Events
<dacooper@...>			3080 Broadway
Hom: (212) 316-6254			New York, NY 10027
Fax: (212) 678-8947			Off: (212) 678-8802


From: <zweigh@...> (Steven Stein)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 08:48:09 PST
Subject: Divining Rod for Graves

At a shiur (gemara lesson) given last night by Rabbi Israel Shurin in
Efrat, the existence of a 'divining rod to locate graves' was
discussed. Rabbi Shurin told us that last year, when he and several
others were in Russia to relocate two graves of matyrs who were buried
there, to Israel, he personally saw this rod made out of metal wires
shake at the actual spot of the graves, when no one had any idea where
they were. The device was brought by a Rav Dessler from Cleveland. Of
course, all of us at the Shiur were very skeptical. Does anyone have any
information about such a device or idea why it might work?


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 19:47:10 +0200
Subject: Er and Onan / Barmitzvah

     Rabbi Chaitkin writes
>> According to the description of Er and Onan's sin [coitus interruptus],
>> it would seem that they were post-puberty. In that case all laws of post
>> Bar-Mitzvah boys would apply, including punishment for their actions and
>> laws of marriage.

    However to be considerd an adult ("gadol") one needs two
requirements both age (12 for a girl 13 for a boy) and also signs of
puberty. Thus, although Er and Onan showed signs of puberty they were
not 13 years old and hence not subject to punishment according to
Halakha. Thus I still don't understand how they were punished and how
they got married. In fact the Talmud states that one is not punished in
heaven until the age of 20!

Eli Turkel


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 19:35:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Form of Letters

	My sweet first grade son explained to me that I write my pay
sofet's (final pays) like an old fashioned person, and that EVERYONE
knows that the proper way to make a pay sofet is like a tzak sofit, but
with the final curve going down (as opposed to the way I make them,
which is lamed that continues to curve down once, and then a second time

	Penmanship was never my favorite subject, but it is my sense
that there are two "authorized" ways to make a pay sofit, with my way
favored in the diasopora, and my son's way in Israel.  Am I twenty years
behind the times in terms of the social conventions?

Michael Broyde 

(P.S. The Beit Yosef quotes two dayot on how to make a pay (and perhaps
a pay sofit) in ketav provincial (which we do not use) in hilchot
gitten.  Maybe there always were two traditions on what a pay sofit
looks like, particularly since modern hebrew script is related, I would
wager, to the rishonim's ketav provincal.)


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 18:18:26 +0000
Subject: Hamokom Yinachem ETCHEM

When my Rov, Rav Noah Isaac Oelbaum, of Kew Gardens Hills was sitting
shiva, someone asked about this use of the plural.  Rav Oelbaum stated
that the text is a formula for Tanchumin - comforting the bereaved - and
therefore we use the plural form regardless

Dave Steinberg


From: <tarac@...> (Arielle Cazaubon)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 10:39:04 -0800
Subject: Looking for R. Munk's commentaries

I am trying to get a copy of the original French edition of Rabbi Elie
Munk's "The Call of the Torah".  Does anyone know where I can order this
from?  I would also like to get a French sfardi siddur minhag Livorno.
A new one has just been published in Israel but I don't have the
title/author.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

Arielle Cazaubon


From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Levi)
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 22:41:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Love your neighbor

Carl and Adina's posting makes me (and I'm sure most of us) very
sad. This level of categorization in Israel- and the way charedi and
mizrachi camps disparage each other is far worse than I'd imagined. I
remember having a problem with not fitting into any of the "boxes" many
years ago, when I was considering aliya, and discarding the idea- mostly
because of how uncomfortable I felt about this. Sounds much worse now.

I'm not a spokesperson for "multi-denominational achdus".  I find that
some categorization IS necessary- mostly when it comes to dating and
making shidduchim and choosing schools- we each have the right to feel
good about our differences, choose our own roads, and use our unique
attributes for the good of Clal Yisroel.

But we CAN say "I'm a little different from my neighbor when it comes to
lifestyle and hashkafa- but we still work together and respect each
other, and as long as we're all trying to serve Hashem the best way we
can, we're on the same team." The Torah instructs all shomri mitzvos to
have this attitude.  (I won't go so far to say that we must have that
attitude about all people or even all Jews- though I know many disagree
with me on that...)

In America- (with a few exceptions in NY)- this spirit (of Orthodox
unity) is regularly encouraged by many of our gedolim. Sometimes we see
each other as elitists and recognize only the problems- but - take
heart- I've seen several out-of-town communities that are succeeding and
where room for optimism remains.  

Linda Levi


From: Zvi Weiss		 <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 22:55:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mattityahu

> Hillel Markowitz writes:
> Zimri was not killed as a rodef but as a boel aramit.  One who is about
> to commit a murder on live TV is a rodef, just like one who is about to
> do it with only one observer.  I can't see how either case has relevance
> to someone who is about to do a different sin, even one as terrible as
> idolatry.  Nor do I understand how the princple of rodef can be extended
> to "attempting to destroy the judicial system of Bnei Yisrael" or that
> such an attempt carries a death penalty.  Wouldn't the principle of boel
> aramit equally apply to one who had no such intent?

==> Refer to the Gemara in Sanhedrin 73a and 73b... where there is an 
opinion that an Idolator can be treated like a Rodef... Perhaps, that is 
how Matityahu held as well...



From: D'n Russler <d_n@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:34:56 +0300 (IST)
Subject: Mourning Customs (v22n73)

On Tue, 9 Jan 1996, Micha Berger wrote:

> I'm not sure if we necessarily believe that techiyas hameisim will
> happen within one lifespan of bias haMoshiach.

I've heard a number of opinions. One is that this period will be 40
years, I've also heard 1000 years. Anyone know of other opinions,

We can assume, for the sake of the matter under discussion, that the
Mourners' Consolation "you shouldn't know from any more tza'ar (pain)")
relates to one of the shorter time periods.

      /-----\                   D'n Russler


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 07:51:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Toothpaste

In v22n75, David Riceman (<dr@...>), asked:
>   If, in fact, one is permitted to use toothpaste containing non-kosher
> ingredients, why would one prefer to use toothpaste without such
> ingredients?

Because I have gum disease, my dentist recommended I use a toothpaste
with baking soda and peroxide. At the time, the only brand available was
Mentodent. Mentodent contains glycerine, which is non-kosher.

My dentist had already checked with his Rosh Yeshiva (he learns during
the morning, when few people can come anyway), who said it was
permissable.  But, he suggested that I ask my own LOR, since there is a
variety of opinion.

I asked Rabbi Yonasan Sacks (from YU, not the Chief Rabbi of the UK). He
said that if there existed no alternative toothpaste, it would be okay.
(Crest since then started offering a baking soda and peroxide
toothpaste, so there does exist an alternative.)

My personal experience is complicated by the issue that the toothpaste
was also serving to some extent as a medication.

I would conclude from this, though, that the answer to the question is
"depends who you ask". I found two LORs, one said that one could use the
non-kosher toothpaste (although this might only be a leniency because of
the medication aspect), and one said that it was okay only in the
absence of an alternative.

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: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 18:52:12 +0000
Subject: Yehuda's Grandsons

The Ibn Ezra in VaYeshev on Genesis 38:1, addresses the question of when
Yehudah married and the subsequent timetable leading to the inclusion of
Chetzron and Chomul in the list of the 70 in VaYigash Genesis 46:12.

The Ibn Ezra uses (without adopting the terminology) the concept of Ain
Mukdam U'M'uchar Batorah -- events in the Torah are not necessarily
related chronologically - to move the births of Er and Onan before the
sale of Yosef.

Another answer that I have heard for this question relies on close 
reading on the pasuk in VaYigash.  "VaYihyu Bnei Peretz" may be 
translated as the sons of Peretz _will be_ ...  According to this 
approach, Chetron and Chomul were included in the count even though the 
were born subsequently.  The Rabbi who told me this had other examples, 
that i have forgotten.  If I remember correctly, he explained that 
Chetzron and Chomul were included because they (in some way) took the 
place of Er and Onan.

Dave Steinberg


From: <lou@...> (Louis Rayman)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 11:45:31 -0500
Subject: Yosef and Binyamin's ages

Some recent comments regarding Yosef's and Binyamin's ages at the time
he was sold try to fit the birth of all of Yaakov's children (except, of
course, Binyamin) into seven years:

Yaakov was with Lavan a total of 20 years; He did not marry until 7
years had past (first Leah and, a week later, Rachel); After Yosef was
born, he asked Lavan for permission to leave (here comes the big
assumtion) and the six years that he says he worked for Lavan's sheep
all came after Yosef was born.

This would make Yosef 6 years old when Yaakov and family left Lavan to
return to Eretz Yisrael, and 7 to 9 years old when Binyamin was born,
depending on how long the trip home took.

This whole analysis forces us to assume that Yaakov first 12 children
(11 sons and a daughter) were all born in a 7 year stretch.  Leah had 7
of those children - in 7 years.

But the psukim tell us that after Yehuda was born, (29:35) "Vata'amod
Miledes" - she stopped giving birth.  During this interruption in her
baby-making, she gave her maid-servent to Yaakov for a wife, who gave
bith to 2 sons.  After that, Leah had 3 more children.

I dont see how it is possible to fit all that into 7 years - unless you
say that Yosef is older that Leah's youngest children.  But I dont see
how that could jive with the other pasts of Yosef's story (for example,
"Ben Zekunim" (son of old age - 37:3), and the bit about Yosef
recognizing his brothers in Egypt because he had seen them all with

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End of Volume 22 Issue 77