Volume 23 Number 09
                       Produced: Thu Feb  1 23:47:07 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Civil Damages for False Testimony?
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Custom in House of Mourner
         [David Hollander]
Dinosaurs and Chinuch (4)
         [David Charlap, Mordechai Perlman, Zvi Weiss, Mike Gerver]
Eight Gates
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
Eight Gates (mail-jewish)
         [Rafael Salasnik]
Kashrus Notice
         [Avi Wachtfogel]
Moshe's Life and 120 Years
         [Mordechai Torczyner]
Switching Chazanim Midstream
         [Perry Zamek]


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 11:08:19 EST
Subject: Civil Damages for False Testimony?

In studying makot, we came across the notion that the penalty of zom'mim
witnesses (false testimony by virtue of other witnesses testifying that
the original witnesses were elsewhere at the time they claim to have
witnessed the event) is a fine rather than a debt.

Now, they have caused damage to the potentially injured party in a
number of different ways, including time lost for court appearances,
loss of reputation, embarrassment and possibly others.  Can the
potentially injured party(the one whose interests would have been hurt
by the original testimony of the zom'mim witnesses) recover anything
from the zom'mim witnesses in return?

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <David_Hollander@...> (David Hollander)
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 14:36:51 EST
Subject: Custom in House of Mourner

I asked my Rav about haMakom yinachem eschem/osach etc.  He told me the
reason we generally say eschem is like our custom to say Shalom Alaychem
plural, as a sign of respect.  But actually all over Shas (the Talmud)
we find Shalom Alecha [Rebbe] singular.  Similarly, the Mishna in Midos
2:2 has the nusach for mourners Alecha in the singular.  So really you
could say it anyway you like.


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 96 12:55:10 EST
Subject: Dinosaurs and Chinuch

On Fri, 26 Jan 1996, Asher Breatross wrote:
> My son attends a school where his English teacher is prohibited from
> teaching the class about dinosaurs, even if he presents it in a Torah
> framework.  I plan to complain to the administration about it but in
> order to give my letter some substance I am looking for sources that
> have considered the subject of dinosaurs vis a vis the age of the world
> from a Torah perspective.  If anyone can provide sources it is
> appreciated.  (I vaguely recall that the Tiferes Yisrael in his Perush
> on Mishnayes has a discussion about this but I cannot remember where it
> is located.  If anyone knows this source it would be appreciated.)

While I'm not about to get involved in the "age of the universe" debate,
I would like to point out that the existance of dinosaurs is explicitly
mentioned in the Torah:

On the fifth day of creation (Genesis 1, 20-23), God created the
"taninim gedolim", which JPS translates as "great sea monsters".

Sounds a lot like dinosaurs to me.

From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 16:50:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Dinosaurs and Chinuch 

	Mind you I don't see why children should be taught a section of
science which is proven by some bones.  You can be assured that the
models of those huge hulking beasts found in the museums; the bones of
which were not found together in one piece like skeletons of humans.
The photographs that they make of dinosaurs are as much an artists
guesswork as the pictures of Rashi we see.
	However, regarding the Drush Ohr Hachayim of the Tif'eres
Yisroel, it is found at the back of the volume of Tiferes Yisroel
Mishnayos in N'zikin 1.  In the standard edition it starts on folio 183.
However, I'm not certain that you want to explain to your child the
concepts of there being worlds before this one and we're only the fourth
cycle of seven cycles of 7000 years each.
	There is the interpretation of the Malbim found in Parshas
Noach.  See posuk 7:23 (Vayimochu Min Ho'oretz), where he discusses
geological strata and the large bones found within them.  Also see posuk
8:22 (Od Kol Y'mei Ho'oretz) where he discusses the finding of huge
mammoths and monkeys complete under the snow in the north.  He explains
that the tilt of the earth as we have it toward the sun did not exist
before the flood.  Read it for yourself.  He does a better job than I
can do here.

				Mordechai Perlman

From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 15:46:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Dinosaurs and Chinuch

Check the NeTzIv in Parshat NOach where the verse states that the 
water "erased" all that was upon the surface of the earth.  There is a 
brief discussion of fossils there...


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 1:21:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Dinosaurs and Chinuch

The first chapter of Yehuda Feliks' "Man and Nature in the Bible"
(Soncino Press, 1981) has a discussion of this question, and gives lots
of sources, including some interesting quotes from Rav Kook.  Although
not dealing specifically with dinosaurs, there is also an excellent
article on Breishit and the age of the universe ("Holy Alliance:
Reflections on Contemporary Science from the Tents of Torah") by MJer
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein in the Fall 1991 issue of Jewish Action (the
O.U. magazine). If you have trouble finding either of these in the
library or bookstore, let me know and I can send you a copy.

Finally, if you are really a glutton for punishment, you can wade
through the many postings in mail-jewish listed in the index under such
headings as "Age of the Universe", "Evolution", "Dinosaurs", etc.

[Note, while the punishment level might be higher in first checking the
index and then finding the issues, you might want to give the search
engine on the mail-jewish home page a try and read the articles that
way. Some advantages, some disadvantages, but worth a try. Mod.]

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Mon,  29 Jan 96 11:17 +0200
Subject: Re: Eight Gates

>In my son's Hebrew class he was given an assignment on the "eight gates"
>in Israel. We have tried to search the net for information but to no
>avail.  Could you kindly forward any information to me at:
><jasp@...> Thanks in advance.

IMHO, the question is: What are the eight gates to the Old City of Jerusalem.

West wall (of the Old City):
    Jaffa Gate - this includes a breach in the wall right next to it
used by car traffic.  So called because this was the exit for travellers
to Jaffa (now Tel-Aviv).  One of the main entrances for visitors to the
Kotel (Wailing Wall).

North wall (west to east):
    New gate - opened by Jordanian King Hussein in the 60's as a direct
entrance to the Xian Quarter.

    Shechem Gate - Built on top of a gate from the time of the Second
Temple.  So called because this was the exit for travellers to Schechem
(Nablus).  One of the main entrances for visitors to the Kotel (Wailing
    Flower gate - So called because of flowers inscribed in stone over
the entrance.  Entrance to the Mixed (Jewish + Moslem) Quarter.
Contrary to popular belief, Moslems rarely lived in the Old City.  This
quarter was called the Moslem Quarter only after 1948.

East wall (facing Mount of Olives, north to south):
    Lion's Gate - main entrance to Temple Mount.  So called because of
lions inscribed in stone over the entrance.
    Gate of Rachamim (pity?) - So called because of legend that when
Hashem will have pity on us, we will return to the Temple Mount through
it.  The Arabs have a legend that Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet)
will lead the procession into the Temple Mount so they sealed the gate
and put a graveyard at the entrance (Eliyahu is a priest so he can't go

South wall (facing Mount Zion, east to west):
    Dung gate - main entrance for visitors to the Kotel (Wailing Wall).
So called because of Roman statute to dump garbage by Kotel (possibly
legend).  I personally saw arab city workers dumping garbage near the
gate in 1967.
    Zion Gate - connects between Mount Zion and the Old City.

I suggest you visit so as to get a feel for the place.


From: Rafael Salasnik <rafi@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 20:13:24 +0000
Subject: Eight Gates (mail-jewish)

>In my son's Hebrew class he was given an assignment on the "eight gates"
>in Israel. We have tried to search the net for information but to no
>avail.  Could you kindly forward any information to me at:
><jasp@...> Thanks in advance.
>Jeff Gold, Toronto, Canada

Have a look at a site we (Brijnet) developed on behalf of the Agency for
Jewish Education and the UK Jerusalem 3000 committee. Its an educational
resource of Jerusalem with one section on the gates:

the url is:

(if you are having errors go to http:\\shamash.nysernet.org\ejin\brijnet and
follow the route via the Agency for Jewish Education and then the Jerusalem
3000 icon)



From: Avi Wachtfogel <awachtfo@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 13:12:36 
Subject: Kashrus Notice

To all who are kashrus concerned:

 From time to time I hear that my name -- and even that of my father
who was niftar in 1972 -- still appear as machshirim on Pesach

I am writing mainly to advise you now, erev Pesach, that I gave up all
supervisions involving meat upon coming to Israel in 1980, and all other
supervisions in 1982. I did not sell any supervisions nor authorize in
any way those who succeeded me because my experience persuaded me that I
wanted no responsibility, however indirect, for any American
supervisions or supervisors -- especially for those in Philadelphia,
where lack of genuine demand for kashrus had made enforcement

I want especially to emphasize the enormous difficulty of guaranteeing
the kashrus of chickens. This is because of the huge markup on kosher
chickens made necessary by cold-plucking. This places an irresistible
temptation on nonobservant suppliers who can increase their profits many
times over by substituting treife chickens. Our bitter experience was
that chickens with the metal tags of the most respected machshirim and
plants were placed upon treife chickens. My personal estimate is that
more than half the chickens sold as kosher in the United States are in
fact treif. Only the greatest care and the most diligent machshirim can
prevent this fraud upon faithful and observant Jews,

Please be sure to advise me if the Wachtfogel name appears on any foods,
and do what you can to warn others.


Rabbi Joshua B. Wachtfogel
46/3 Arzei HaBira
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Mordechai Torczyner <mat6263@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 15:02:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Moshe's Life and 120 Years

	While we're on the topic of Moshe's life, I would be curious to
know whether anyone has a source for the oft-used blessing "Until 120
years". I have heard two sources, both of which are proven invalid by
examination. One is the pasuk at the end of Parshas Bereishes, "And
their days shall be 120 (6:3)," which refers to the time left until the
Mabul, not to the length of people's lives. Yes, references are made to
a hint in that Pasuk to Moshe Rabbeinu, because he lived 120 years, but
that says nothing of a limit on lifespan.
	The other source I've heard is the Gemara on Moshe Rabbeinu
turning 120 (121?) on the last day of his life, but the only thing
stated there is that Hashem completes the days and years of tzaddikim,
implying that one who is supposed to live 75 years will, if he is a
tzaddik, live 75 full years. Again, nothing to do with a 120 year life
	It is also known that R' Akiva and R' Yochanan Ben Zakkai die at
120, which is considered by some as proof that 120 is the ultimate
lifespan, but to this argument I would point out Tosafos Bava Basra 115a
(113a? It's not in front of me at the moment), which begins "U'Matu", in
which Tosafos remarks unblinkingly that R' Yehoshu'a Ben Karcha must
have been at least 140 years old when he had a certain conversatio with
Rebbe.  Clearly, this Tosafos has no inkling of a 120 year limit. Any
ideas out there?
					Mordechai Torczyner


From: <jmarksmn@...> (Perry Zamek)
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 18:52:16 +0200
Subject: Switching Chazanim Midstream

In v22n99 Wendy Baker writes:

>In regard to switching Chazonim , the same thing occurs at the end of
>Shabbat Shacharit.  The Musaf Chazan begings with Yekan, Purkan after
>the Torah and Haftorah readings.  He also says the Kaddish for the
>Shacharit service as the Shacarit Chazan says the P'sukei D'Zimrah
>Kaddish.  This has long puzzled me.

Many people think that the breakup of Shacharit/Musaf on Shabbat is the
following (probably because of the Derasha :-) ):

        Shacharit: Korbanot, Pesukei deZimra, Shma and its Brachot, Amida,
Kaddish Titkabal, (Shir shel Yom), Torah Reading, up to putting
the Torah in the Aron

        Musaf: Half-Kaddish, Musaf Amida, Ein Keloheinu, Alenu, 
                Shir shel Yom, etc.

The proper breakdown is the following:

        Shacharit: Korbanot, Pesukei deZimra, Shma and its Brachot, Amida,
Kaddish Titkabal

        Torah reading: (Shir shel Yom), Torah Reading, up to putting the
Torah                 in the Aron, Half-Kaddish

        Musaf: Musaf Amida, Kaddish Titkabal, Ein Keloheinu, Alenu, Shir
shel                 Yom, etc.

Kaddish Titkabal is the formal end of each of Shacharit and Musaf (see my
posting in v22n99). Thus, the Musaf chazzan actually takes over in the
middle of the Torah reading service (after Half-Kaddish at the end of the
Torah reading), and he says the Half-Kadish that breaks between the Torah
reading and the Musaf Amida (which is not the end of Shacharit). And it all
fits together nicely.

BTW, in some shules on Yamim Noraim, the Musaf Chazzan takes over to take
out the Sefer Torah. Probably for the Chazzanut value ;-)

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should live his life in such a way
Peretz ben    | that people can say of him: "There goes
Avraham       | a living Kiddush Hashem".


End of Volume 23 Issue 9