Volume 23 Number 22
                       Produced: Thu Feb 15 23:11:30 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

120 yrs
         [Michael Shimshoni]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Elef L'mateh
         [Binyomin Segal]
Hacol Tsafui, Omniscience, & Free Will II
         [Mechy Frankel]
Ignored Halakhot
         [Gershon Dubin]
Information on Machine Matzo Production
         [Israel Botnick]
         [Steve White]
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]
Omnicience and Free Will
         [Warren Burstein]
         [Elozor Preil]
         [Israel Rosenfeld]


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 96 15:40:07 +0200
Subject: 120 yrs

On: Tue, 6 Feb 96 DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist) suggested:

>>Mordechai Torczyner
>>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 gemorrah in tractate Megilla asks, "Moshe min hatorah minayin" [from
>where in the torah do we know about Moshe]. It brings this pasuk, "he is
>still but flesh and their days shall be 120 (6:3)".  So the connection
>between this pasuk and Moshe is sanctioned and ancient.
>A better blessing may be the one used by Bat-sheva in Kings I 1:31
> .."let my lord King David live forever."

Accepting the reference of Danny Skaist that this verse is about Moshe
as well, I would not accept a change in the traditional blessing from
120 to "forever".  What is the value of such life if, as the verse says
that after 120 "lo yadun ruhi va`adam le`olam" (my spirit shall not rule
in the human forever)? Prolonged senility? BTW the above mentioned King
David died at age 70.

 Michael Shimshoni


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 13:32:05 -0500
Subject: Dowsing

Shalom, All:
         While I find fascinating all the learned dialogue on dowsing, I find
it even more remarkable that those who so vigorously debate it, pro and con,
have done so without picking up a telephone and asking Rabbi Dessler if he
did it and if so, how.
         If it matters that much, call him.  He is listed in the phone book,
last time I checked (3 minutes ago).
   <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 17:50:15 -0600
Subject: Elef L'mateh

Ira Benjamin writes

 * I heard that the Posuk which states "Elef LaMateh, Elef LaMateh", "One
 * thousand to a tribe, one thousand to a tribe" has a very deep meaning.
 * The question is asked, why the repetition?  Why do we say it twice?  And
 * although I cannot find the commentary that says this, I once heard an
 * answer that I believe with all my heart.  I heard that the meaning of
 * this is that for every thousand soldiers that went to fight the war for
 * Kllal Yisroel, another thousand went to the Bais Hamedrash to learn, AND
 * EACH CONTRIBUTED EQUALLY TO THE VICTORY.  Without the thousand fighting
 * the war could not be won, and without the thousand learning the war
 * could not be won.

My rebbe Rav Yerachmiel Chassid told me this vort in the name of his rebbe
Rav Chaim Shmulevitz zt"l. I am fairly certain that Rav Chassid related
that it was originally said to the Mirrer Yeshiva students during the six
day war, to indicate that during the war they were on duty.



From: Mechy Frankel <"FRANKEL@GD"@hq.dna.mil>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 17:53:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Hacol Tsafui, Omniscience, & Free Will II

I note the recent outbreak of yet another mj harmonic on the subject of
omnisicence and free will, a subject reasonably well masticated about a
year and a half back.

1. While a bit declasse, at least tacky, to quote oneself, I would yet
refer the interested reader to Vol 16 #63 where i made the point (I
thought) that, contrary to a poster's recent (& earlier) assertion that
R. Akiva "clearly felt that there was an apparent paradox between
omniscience and free will", it was in fact reasonably likely that
R. Akiva felt nothing of the sort.  Instead, R. Akiva's articulation of
the problem in Avos 3, "hacol tsafui veharishus nesuna" (quite
reasonably rendered by Micha as "All is seen, but free will is given")
refers not to God's seeing the future, but rather His ability to see
deeply into the nooks and crannies of the present - God can "tsofeh"
what is in the innermost recesses of the heart. In the same sense of
Mishlei 15/3 that "ainei hashem tsofos ra'im vitovim" (This point was
made by Auerbach in his Emunos Veday'os Chazal)

2.  This understanding of R. Akiva's use of the word "tsafui" to refer
to the present rather than the future is butressed by a) R. Akiva's own
use of this verb form elsewhere where there can be no doubt that it
refers to the present state (Succos 3 "tsofeh hoyeesi beraban
gamliel..."), b) by the parallel usage in Avos DiRabi Nasan 39 "hacol
tsafui vehacol galui" apparently using "tsafui" and "galui" as
synonyms,and c) by the observation that "harishus nisuna" allegedly
offered as a solution to a supposed omniscience vs free will paradox,
does not do so, it rather restates the problem without adressing the
critical "but how".  Also, it was pointed out by Auerbach that no other
tanachic source ever utilized "tsofeh" as referring to the future.

3.  Also Rashi, Bartenura, & the Meiri also all explain this maimra of
R. Akiva as referring to God's seeing the present deeds and hearts of
men, not the future.

4. The only fly in the above majestic chain of irrefutable logic is
that, alas, the rambam does seem to agree with Micha's (and the
admittedly popular) interpretation of R. Akiva and the rambam is not a
comfortable sort of guy to find on the opposite side of your argument.
At the very least I would hope that Micha might agree that what R. Akiva
felt was not necessarily so "clear".

5.  To provide some new information in this posting, rather than
recycling parts of my old one, there is a recent summary article on just
this subject by an S.Ingvar published in the second volume of a new
torah & madda journal (BDD - Bechol Derackheha Daehu, put out by Bar
Ilan U Press - I'm indebted to Eli Turkel for kindly sending me a copy,
I've also temporarily misplaced his e-mail address so this is also my
opportunity to thank him) and the interested readers who have access
might want to check it out - the article does not purport to be
encyclopedic and does leave out a number of classical jewish sources who
felt that God did not in fact see the future, at least not all the fine
zoned, sub-grid scale details, e.g. ralbag.

Mechy Frankel                                  W: (703) 325-1277
<frankel@...>                            H: (301) 593-3949


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 96 23:54:00 -0500
Subject: Ignored Halakhot

> From: Elchanan Shor <yu141869@...>

> I remember being in a "Yerushalmi" wedding in Jerusalem where there
> was no orchestra, just drums to accompany the dancing. If I'm not
> mistaken, this Minhag derives from the prohibition against instrumental
> music. 

      My sources indicate that this is specifically a Yerushalmi takono
(enactment of the rabbis) of several generations ago.  Opinions differ
as to the source, whether it is in fact due to mourning over the Bais
Hamikdosh or a limitation on spending.  It isn't that old, and it does
not extend to any other city.  This is not to deny that there is reason
to follow the strict interpretation that listening to music is totally
forbidden outside of a mitzva situation; some people do conduct
themselves that way; most don't.

> From: <arubin@...> (Alan Rubin)
> Subject: Temple Candelabra

> I do not know what Norwich's source is for this.  Does anyone have any
> other information on this episode or the later history of the menorah?

  I'm not sure of the chronology, but there was a rabbi in the Talmud
who said he saw it in the Roman archives.

> From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
> Subject: Vort

> I just read where a couple had become engaged to be married, and the
> "vort" would be held at a certain time. I assume that "vort" means
> "word" in English. But what sort of ceremony is it?

       Years ago, the engagement would be formalized by signing Tenaim.
This is not done outside Chassidic circles these days.  Instead of
signing a formal document agreeing to get married, the two sides give
their "word" to do so.  Hence: vort.

<gershon.dubin@...>        |
http://www.medtechnet.com/~dubinG   |


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 12:08:19 +0500
Subject: Information on Machine Matzo Production

I am looking for information on the process of machine made matzoh
production. I am interested in the historical aspects such as when matzo
first began to be kneaded by machine and different types of technology
that have been used for matzo production.

replies can be sent to <icb@...>
Thank You
Israel Botnick


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 11:09:53 -0500
Subject: Kedusha

In #18 from Chaim Shild:

>In the Kedusha of Yotzer (during Brachas of Shema) we say:
>Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh
>Baruch Kavod HaShem M'mkomo
>In the Amidah Kedusha we say:
>Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh
>Baruch Kavod HaShem M'mkomo
>Yimloch HaShem ....
>In the Kedusha of Uva L'Tziyon we say
>Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh
>Baruch Kavod HaShem M'mkomo
>HaShem Yimloch .....
>Does anyone know why they differ ? and the relevance that Kadosh is from
>Isaiah, Baruch from Ezikiel and Yimloch Hashem (Tehillim) and HaShem
>Yimloch (Exodus) ?

I think that's a great question, and I don't know the answer.  But I do
know that if you are davening in a different place from the
congregation, and they get up to one of these three places (and you are
in a spot where you should not interrupt), you don't answer at yotzer or
the end of davening, and you only say the *first two* pesukim during
"kedushah" during Shemone Esrei.  Is this related?

Steve White


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 07:50:33 +0200
Subject: Mirrors

Yeshaya Halevi writes:

>            Mr. Book asks, <<Answer (a) implicitly assumes that Yosef
>had a mirror (and a good memory).  Does anyone know if mirrors existed
>at that time?>> According to my encyclopedia "The familiar hand mirror,
>or looking-glass, has been known from ancient times.  The earliest
>mirrors were crudely fashioned by polishing disks of metal such as
>bronze."  To which I add, the _earliest_ mirrors were clear reflections
>in ponds.  There is no reason to suppose anybody never looked at
>themselves.  And certainly there is every reason to suppose the astute
>Yosef had a good memory.

We do know however that there were mirrors in Egypt at least by the time
that Bnei Yisrael left there.  The Torah tells us that the mirrors which the
women used in Egypt to entice their husbands after long days at hard labor
were later used to make the kiyor (washbasin) in the Mishkan (tabernacle).

-- Carl Sherer
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 07:29:25 GMT
Subject: Re: Omnicience and Free Will

Rose Landowne writes:

>       You're on the Express train.  You don't pass a local for  many
>stations.  You know that the people you see waiting for the local at the
>stations you pass will have to wait a long time for a train. They don't know
>it. ( They are wondering if a local is just around the bend. )  You know
>their immediate future.  You have not, however, caused it.  

The people at the station cannot influence the time of arrival of the
local with their free will.  The time of arrival of the local *is*

 |warren@           an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ itex.jct.ac.IL


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 00:35:48 -0500
Subject: Orloh

>From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
>	Do you know anything about the status of Israeli fruit for

Please forgive me for an "I once heard...", but I remember asking this
question many years ago when I was teaching Kashrut and I recall that
the answer was that fruit grown during the first three years is not good
enough for export.

Kol tuv,
Elozor Preil


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Wed,  14 Feb 96 14:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Vort/Tenaim

>From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
>I just read where a couple had become engaged to be married, and the "vort"
>would be held at a certain time. I assume that "vort" means "word" in English.
>But what sort of ceremony is it?

I am answering as a charedi-yerushalmi.
vort: where both sides sign the REAL contract - cash, dates, etc.
    We only invite the closest family, though our kids' (chasan+kalah)
    closest friends always crashed in.
tenaim: Where we sign the fancy tenaim contract.
    In the fields where your supposed to fill in amounts, etc. we write "as
    I've seen these reach wedding proportions.
A plate is usually broken in both.

The separate "tenaim" is really an excuse to get together.
When I got married, no one but the rich separated the two
    and we called it "tenaim" only.
Now? Some do some don't. B"H I can so I do.

Besimcha rabba.



End of Volume 23 Issue 22