Volume 22 Number 82
                       Produced: Sun Jan 14  9:41:41 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar- Mitzvah Drasha Ideas
         [Daniel Wadler]
Correcting Torah Reading
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Correcting Torah Reading, Health of Chassidim, God's Omnipotence
         [David Riceman]
Leah's Children
         [Carl Sherer]
Parsha question on Vayechi (48:16)
         [Barry Siegel]
Torah Tziva
         [Binyomin Segal]
Tzaddik V'ra lo
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Wife Abuse
         [Linda Levi]


From: Daniel Wadler <wadler@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 20:22:21 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Bar- Mitzvah Drasha Ideas

> >From: Joshua Schainker <Sheryl.Schainker@...>
> >Dear Mail-Jewish friends,
> >In February I will be celebrating my becoming of a Bar- Mitzvah.  I 
> >need to write a speach, but I need some ideas.  My parsha in Parashas 
> >Yitro.  If you don't mind, could you please email me information 
> >about my parsha (I would reallly love something on the 10 
> >commandments.)  Thank-you.
> >                                        Joshua Schainker

_Shabat_b'Shabato_ has a nice vort on Parshat Yitro. If I remember 
correctly it goes as follows;

Why did G-d wait between Yitziyat Mitzrayim and Matan Torah, why not
have both chavayot together, since they are intrinsically connected
anyway?  Furthermore, once G-d did wait, why wait specifically until the
third month after yitziyat mitzrayim?

The medrash compares matan torah to a marriage between G-d (the chatan)
and Benei Yisrael (the kallah). The halacha dictates that a widow, a
divorcee, a convert (a woman), etc must wait three months after changing
status before remarrying. This is to insure, in case she is pregnant,
that we know who the father of her child is.

Chaza"l tell us that immediatelly prior to yitziyat mitzrayim B"Y were
about to descend into the 49th gate of tumah. Had this happened there
would be no coming back. In other words, B"Y were about to be totally
assimilated into egption culture, one of the dominant cultures of the
aincient world.  B"Y were about to wed the devine Torani culture. Had
this "marriage" happened imediatelly we would have had to question where
each chidush came from, is it's father the Torah, or, chas v'shalom, is
it's father the Egyption avoda zara.

						Shabat Shalom,
							Doni Wadler


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 22:57:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Correcting Torah Reading

On Sun, 7 Jan 1996, David Pahmer wrote:

>  Regarding the issue of correcting the Torah reader after reading the
> name of Hashem, R. David said that there is no need to complete the
> pasuk, rather immediately return to the mistake and continue. R. Perlman
> cited his Rav who pointed out that the Derech Hachaim does not require
> repeating any pasuk due to mistaken reading, even if it changes the
> meaning. Thus, one ought to complete the pasuk.
>  I expect that others may have already researched this, but I do not see
> this ruling in the Derech Hachaim. Rather he says what everyone says-
> any mistake which alters the meaning requires the reader to reread the
> word correctly. I don't believe any of the regular poskim argues with
> this.  Thus, it seems that the reader ought not to complete the pasuk.

	I have not seen the Derech Hachayim inside.  However, the Biur 
Halacha quotes him in Mishna B'rura siman 142 s.v. "Ein Machzirin Oso".  
He writes that the D.H. rules that one who is accustomed not to repeat 
the posuk even after making a mistake which changes the meaning, one may 
no protest and he quotes the Elya Rabba too.  However the Biur halacha 
concluded that the proper way is to follow the Gra that one should repeat 
for any error, even if it does not change the meaning, but it is enough 
if one is lenient, to follow the Ramo who says to repeat only if the 
error changed the meaning. 

				Mordechai Perlman


From: <dr@...> (David Riceman)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 08:48:40 EST
Subject: Correcting Torah Reading, Health of Chassidim, God's Omnipotence

 1.  One possibility if you've made a single mistake way back when
reading Torah is to reread that pasuk (and several surrounding it) as
maftir.  As far as I know there is no obligation to read the Torah
portion in order, and there is no prescribed maftir.
 2.  Could your sample of chassidim be biased? Chassidim have a high
birth rate, hence a high proportion of younger (and healthier) people.
 3.  I haven't read "When Bad Things ..." either.  I do know, however,
that there is considerable dispute about what omnipotence means.  The
Ralbag thinks that it is limited by human free will (unlike most
rishonim).  Could Kushner be a disciple of the Ralbag?

David Riceman


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 96 1:51:25 IST
Subject: Leah's Children

Louis Rayman writes:

> 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 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
> beards).

Chazal tell us (I don't recall where) that all of Leah's pregnancies were
seven months in length and all of them were "mekutaot" (i.e. that she gave
birth *in* the seventh month).  In addition, there is no reason we could
not say that Dina was only a few months older than Yosef and that Leah
and Rachel were pregnant with Dina and Yosef (respectively) at the same
time.  In fact, we may almost be *required* to say so, because we know that
Leah davened for Dina to be a girl so that Rachel would not be "less than 
the shfachos" (Rashi Breishis 30:21), the Mishna in Brachos (9:1) says that
one whose wife is pregnant who prays for the baby to be a boy is saying a
Tfillas shav (wasted tfilla) and the Gemara there (60a) says that this applies
once one's wife is forty days pregnant.  Thus Leah must have davened for
Dina to be a girl (and by implication for Rachel) early in her pregnancy.

With all that in mind, let's try to work out how the children could have all
been born so quickly:

Months 1-6.x - Leah pregnant with Reuven
Months 7.x-13.x - Leah preganant with Shimon
Months 14.x-20.x - Leah pregnant with Levi
Months 21.x-27.x - Leah preganant with Yehuda.  Rachel gives Bilha to Yaakov
                   as a wife.
Months 22.x-28.x - Bilha pregnant with Dan
Months 29.x-35.x - Bilha pregnant with Naftali.  Leah gives Zilpa to Yaakov
                   as a wife.
Months 30.x-36.x - Zilpa pregnant with Gad
Months 37.x-43.x - Zilpa pregnant with Asher
Months 38.x-44.x - Leah pregnant with Yissachar after 11 months without a
Months 45.x-51.x - Leah pregnant with Zvulun
Months 52.x-58.x - Leah pregnant with Dina
Months 59.x-65.x - Rachel pregnant with Yosef.

As you can see, I'm still seven months short of the six year mark.
Obviuously some of that would go to the overlapping months but 
nevertheless it still looks doable.

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


From: Barry Siegel <sieg@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 96 13:34:50 EST
Subject: Parsha question on Vayechi (48:16)

I have a Parsha question on Parshat Vayechi:

When Yaakov Aveinu is blessing Yosef's children Ephraim & Menashe and
utters the famous Pasuk (48:16) "Hamelech Hagoel Osi... " ("The angel
who delivered me from all evil may he bless the lads....")

Yaakov uses the term "The angel" why does he not just say Hashem who
delivered me ..?  True, the angel is always sent by Hashem, and yes
Yaakov did have many angels who helped him earlier, but why not call on
HASHEM directly for the beracha.

In the Pasuk before (48:15) Yaakov Aveinu uses the work Elokim twice, so
why should he switch to using the word Angel now in his Beracha?


Barry Siegel  HR 2B-028 (908)615-2928 windmill!sieg OR <sieg@...>


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 14:32:53 -0600
Subject: Torah Tziva

 * >As you know, the first two were spoken directly by Ha-Shem, but the
 * >others were relayed by Moshe.  This is alluded to in the verse "Torah
 * >tziva lanu Moshe..." (Moses commanded us the Torah...).  The numerical
 * >value of "Torah" is 611.  Of the 613 commandments, two came directly to
 * >the people from Ha-Shem, but the other 611 we learned from Moshe.
 * I thought that Torah MiSinai means that all Torah is MiSinai.  If not, I
 * at minimum Sefer Habris is described as revealed text (Seere habrit is
 * the end of Yisro and Parshas Mishpatim are described bim'forash as
 * MiSinai.  If only the firt two dibros are from Sinai, then on what leg
 * can we stnd when we argue that Torah Sheb'al Peh is from Sinai?
 * Seriously, what is described above is a nice drush.  It, however, is not
 * the pshat of the Chumash.  While a nice drush is always exciting to
 * learn and provides wonderful insight, let's not confuse drush and pshat.

The above nice drash is a gemara in Makkos (23b) stating that the first
2 of the 10 commandments were heard _by all the jews_ directly from
Hashem, while the other 611 (from the gematryia of TORAH) were told to
Moshe and he taught them to us.

In fact the Rambam uses this gemara as proof that "I am the Lord..."
should be counted as one of the 613 mitzvot. (The ramban - and i believe
others - disagree)



From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 08:09:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Tzaddik V'ra lo

On Thu, 11 Jan 1996, Aryeh Frimer wrote:
> The issue of "Tzaddik ve-Ra Lo" is as old as mankind. Hazal struggled
> with the issue and came up with no definitive answer. So did the
> Rishonim and the Aharonim. So did our generation after the holocaust.

	This is not entirely accurate.  Chazal say that a tzaddik is
punished in this world for the minute sins that he has so that he may
depart this world for the next one, totally clean.  What was difficult
was pinpointing the exact misdeeds.
	Regarding the Holocaust, one cannot include that in Tzaddik V'ra
Lo.  This is because Chazal say "K'she'adrolomusya bo l'olom eino
mavchin bein tzaddik lorosho (when a calamity befalls the world, it does
not choose between the righteous and the evil).  As my Rebbi explained
it, when collective punisment falls on the world, if a person is part of
the world community, he suffers with them.  However, if he possesses
some special merit from only Hashem knows where, he may be saved.

				Mordechai Perlman


From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Levi)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 16:24:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Wife Abuse

 OK- here's one that's sure to get an angry response- but no one else is
gonna say it, and, though politically incorrect, I feel it probably
should be said--
 Of course I think everything in the world should be done to educate
everyone and prevent the possibilities of wife abuse- and I
wholeheartedly agree with Miriam Rabinowitz when she says " We need to
educate our rabbincal authorities as well as our young women who are
growing up and will be getting married within the next few years.  And
it wouldn't hurt to educate young men either."
 But ... do I dare say this?
 I *don't* think the mikveh is a place where this should be
emphasized. Mikveh ladies are not there for counseling purposes- this is
not the "examining" ladies are attending for-and this could make some
women uncomfortable about going to mikveh- which must be avoided.  The
goal must be to get women to go... and a woman who already chv"sh has
horrible marital difficulties may already not even want to....

I think (and B"H I don't have this problem) I would feel uncomfortable
if I thought a mikva attendant had questions about bruises on my body!
As someone about to be married- and currently going over all the laws of
Taharas HaMishpacha in detail- a recurring theme I keep noticing is the
goal of being together- and how the goal of taharas hamishpacha laws is
to unite a couple in kedusha- not to keep them apart. The mikveh is
about the most pure and sacred aspects of a marriage- and should not be
a place where marital friction should be brought up, unless the abused
woman brings up the problem herself, and asks woman to woman for advice.
 Anyway, it's just before Shabbos and I cannot think about correct words
or grammar or Torah sources right now- but the idea of educating mikvah
ladies to serve in that type of role *really* rubs me the wrong
way....and I would hope these "Shalom" groups will carefully seek
rabbinical approval before they act. It sounds like there are chashuva
rebbetzins involved- and I hope it stays that way and doesn't get out of
 Linda Levi


End of Volume 22 Issue 82