Volume 23 Number 35
                       Produced: Fri Mar  8 10:44:53 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Binyameen vs. Binyamin
         [David Hollander]
Eruv in Palo Alto and Stanford University, CA
         [Stan Sussman]
Free Will
         [Stan Tenen]
G_d's Omnicience vs. Free Will
         [Warren Burstein]
Parashat Terumah
         [Edwin R Frankel]
Shabbat Yitro - 4th commandment
Torah given to our sight
         [Shlomo Grafstein]
Two sets of Keruvim?
         [Al Silberman]


From: <David_Hollander@...> (David Hollander)
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 96 14:53:54 EST
Subject: Binyameen vs. Binyamin

        In MJ23#15 <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)  writes:

>The book Nachalat Shiv'ah (1st print 1681) by R. Shmuel ben David 
>Ha'Levi is the classical book for the determination of name spelling 
>in Hebrew, predominantly for Ketubot and Gittin. (Another excellent 
>book for that purpose is Kav ve'Naki)

>In Siman 46 R. Shmuel Ha'Levi discusses the proper spelling of names. 
>He prefers Benjamin to be spelled with two Yods, despite the fact that 
>the majority of Benjamins in the Torah are spelled with one yod.  He 
>gives a lengthy discussion for the reasons why Benjamin is the correct 

 I showed this post to my Rav.  He showed me the Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 
129:30 where the M'chaber paskens one yud.  Also the Bais Shmuel (on the 
page) brings down D"M who argues for two yuds.  My Rav said it is a 
machlokes rishonim (dispute among the early sages) and he paskened like the 
Shulchan Aruch.

>Nonetheless, I agree with the conclusion that in English we should 
>spell it Benjamin and not Benjameen, or a short ee sound. (Benjamin is 
>the endorsed English spelling by Webster and Random House 
>dictionaries). In the last generation people move back to 
>transliteration and re-examination of name spelling, and thus Moses 
>reverts back to Moshe; Jacob back to Yaacov, and likewise Benjamin back 
>to Binyamin. But to be politically correct, for havorah Ashkenazis it 
>should be Binyomin.

Just to clarify my original post, my intention is to point out that Binyamin 
today is spelled with one yud (chirik chaser).  I was not discussing English 


From: Stan Sussman <SSUSSMAN@...>
Date: 11 Feb 1996 11:42:11 PST
Subject: Eruv in Palo Alto and Stanford University, CA

We are in the middle of the process to erect an Eruv for our community
in Palo Alto and Stanford University, CA.  Soon, we will be approaching
city authorities to obtain the necessary approvals and permits. It would
be very helpful to us if we could reach groups that have already gone
through this in other communities, so that we could benefit from their
experiences. We are interested in copies of relevant newspaper articles,
letters, etc. We would appreciate a response from Eruv contacts, so that
we can follow up by mail or phone.

Also, is there an up-to-date "Eruv Database" that provides basic
information (including lay and Rabinnic contacts) on existing Eruvim? If
one doesn't already exist, we are prepared to create and maintain an
electronic Eruv database on our Palo Alto Jewish community web site. Any
information/comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

Please respond to <eruv@...>


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 07:45:47 -0800
Subject: Free Will

I would like to suggest a "simple" solution to the free will problem.
What if some of the quantum mechanics (physicists) who suggest a
multiple world hypothesis are correct, and at each instant we split into
all of the decisions we can make?

Some worlds would be worlds of blessing and some worlds of curse.  
HaShem, of course, knows not only which choices we will make - but, 
unlike ourselves - HaShem is aware of ALL of the multiple world paths 
simultaneously.  Each of the separate us-es that find ourselves in any 
particular world would think that that is the only world and that we are 
the only us.  Our free choice to pick a world would not be impeded by 
HaShem's foreknowledge, because it would be we who had "forgotten" our 
other choices (life paths) while HaShem would know all of them.  The 
limitation is in our perception, not in HaShem's will or knowledge.

Are there really multiple worlds?  I think that this is also a possible 
solution to the "dinosaur" problem.  They were not in an independent 
past world, but rather in a parallel world that has become quantum-
mechanically entangled with our normative world.  HaShem created the 
thread that distinguishes this reality 5756 years ago _in terms of our 
conscious historical time_, but HaShem also created an infinitely 
infinite number of other quantum mechanically probable worlds also. 

When we open Schroedinger's cat's box, one cat is found in our reality 
and the other cat is found in a parallel reality.  Both cats are alive 
to themselves, but they are now two different cats and we can only be 
aware of the one (dead OR alive) in our reality.  The live cat has, in a 
sense, picked the path of blessing, and the dead cat has picked the path 
of curse.  HaShem knows both; each cat only knows the one it's in -- and 
swears it's the only cat.

Does any of this make sense to anyone else?  If so, could you please say 
it better so I can understand it too?  <smile>



From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 11:14:08 GMT
Subject: Re: G_d's Omnicience vs. Free Will

Elozor Preil writes:
> It is equally axiomatic that Hashem, the Creator of Time as well as
> Space, is not bound or limited within Time - He is outside of Time,
> looking in.  All Time is open before Him at once, like pages of a calendar.

Where is this axiom found?

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


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 20:45:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Parashat Terumah

There are numerous inconsistencies between the descriptions of the Bet
HaMikdash in Melachim and the items mentioned in Chumash.  In addition
to the keruvim, as noted below, one might question the aron of the Bet
HaMikdash, What did it truly contain.  According to Melachini, nothing
but the luchot.  However, among items listed in Torah are both sets of
luchot (including luchot shevurot), the flask of Manna, and Aaron's rod.

While I like to depend on the meforshim for answers, as we weren't
there, it is difficult if not impossible to know which is truly more
honest a description.

>From: <SCHILDH@...> (Chaim Schild)
>In parashat Terumah, the construction of the Ark is described. I always
>thought it was the only one ever made that later was put in the
>Temple. Yet while looking at the Rashi on the sentence which then
>refered to Gemara Sukka 5b, it appears that the Keruvim in the Temple
>were bigger than those in the Tabernacle....was there a second set of
>Keruvim and one ark ? ???? two arks !!?? If two sets, then did both
>pairs turn away when the Jews were not following Torah ???

Ed Frankel


From: <czca@...> (Claire)
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 96 15:34:05 -0500
Subject: Shabbat Yitro - 4th commandment

Aish HaTorah's dvar Torah for Shabbat Yitro (found on shabbatshalom)
translates the fourth commandment as:

	... do not do anything that constitutes work, you, your son, your 
	daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal and your convert 
	within your gates ...

Is this a commonly accepted way of translating ger-cha in this context?
What would be the basis and/or sources for translating it as "your
stranger" (to mean non-Jew or non-Jewish visitor or non-Jewish resident)
or for translating it as "your convert"?  What are the consequences of
understanding it in one way or in the other?  How does a born Isrealite
acquire possession of a convert (ger-cha)?  Does the latter
understanding mean that one may not put one's animal to work on Shabbat
but one may put the non-Jew within one's gates to work on Shabbat?
Should we translate "la-ger" in Devarim 14:21 in the same manner?

	...Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself; thou
	mayest give it unto the convert that is within thy gates that he
	may eat it.



From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Sun, 03 Mar 1996 15:47:39 -0400
Subject: Torah given to our sight

 With respect to creeping crawling creatures, no matter how small they
may be .... the Torah was given to humankind; it was "not given to the
serving angels."
 Therefore, G*D did not prohibit a Jew from consume bacteria, or the
dead "sh'rah'tzim" (crawling creatures) which are so small that you
cannot see them with the naked eye.  Every glass of water has much
non-lethal and strictly kosher "bugs" -- very miniscule bacteria.  They
are O.K. Or else you could not eat most food items since they possess
very very small "creatures" of G*D's creation.  One reason that I heard
that nowadays we much check certain legumes even though in previous
generations they were not required to check is because:
 in the past they never had these bugs (the smalls) in their lettuces.
Since they started spraying, and the spraying killed a goodly number of
the larger bugs, and the larger bugs used to consume the smaller ones,
therefore many smaller bugs remain.
 Some crops have virtually no little bugs and other crops are infested.
 There are a number of lieniencies.  A number of years ago, I was asked
by my chaver Rav Mordechai Machlis to ask Rabbi Moshe Heinienneman of
Baltimore about a heter - lenient approach.  Rabbi Heinienneman told me
on Shavuoth of 5753 that he based his approach on Rabbi Shlomo
Kluger. Namely: if you thoroughly check the outer ( or other) 3 leaves
and find no bugs, then you have established with a "cha'za'kah"
(established set pattern) that there will not be any in the remaining
leaves. Sincer Halacha is dependent apon the reality of a situation, and
maybe realities have changed, it ism worthwhile for some in Baltimore to
ask Rabbi Heinenneman if this heter of Rabbi Shlomo Kluger still applies
now in 5756.
 May HaShem help us to guard "our going and our coming out."  This can
mean, "may HaShem help to protect us from non-kosher food entering our
holy bodies, and may HaShem guide us, so that the words which come out
from the utterance of our n'shimah ("neshamah") or our breathe be pure
and filled with love one to the other.
 Wishing you all a happy Purim with no more sadness to our people.  May
HaShem, the Master of Compassion help to comfort the families who lost
loved one in the senseless bombings in our Holy City Yirushalyim.
 Sincerely Yours,
Shlomo Grafstein
Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada


From: <asilberman@...> (Al Silberman)
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 08:22:00 -0500
Subject: Two sets of Keruvim?

In MJ V23n24 Chaim Schild writes:
>In parashat Terumah, the construction of the Ark is described. I always
>thought it was the only one ever made that later was put in the
>Temple. Yet while looking at the Rashi on the sentence which then
>refered to Gemara Sukka 5b, it appears that the Keruvim in the Temple
>were bigger than those in the Tabernacle....was there a second set of
>Keruvim and one ark ? ???? two arks !!?? If two sets, then did both
>pairs turn away when the Jews were not following Torah ???

There is a lengthy description of the set of keruvim which Shlomo Hamelech
built for the Temple in 1 M'lochim (1 Kings) 6:23-28. These keruvim were
free-standing and were not attached to any ark. The ark that was used was
the one from the Mishkan. The keruvim which were attached to the ark had a
height of about 1.5 amos whereas the free-standing keruvim had a height of
10 amos. These free-standing keruvim were placed in the Holy of Holies on
both sides of the ark.

The gemara in Bava Basra 99a records a dispute whether the keruvim of
Shlomo faced each other or faced "inwards". In response to a contradiction
of 2 pesukim the gemara concludes that according to the view that Shlomo
placed them facing each other, they miraculously turned away and faced
"inward" when Israel sinned. This stated miracle as a resolution of the
contradiction is unnecessary according to the opposing view. In any case
the contradiction only applies to Shlomo's keruvim not to the one attached
to the ark.

In Yoma 54a the gemara discusses the keruvim and says that they were
intertwined one with the other. After a discussion of some issues dealing
with this subject, the gemara ends the discussion by saying that the
heathens when they entered the Temple found the keruvim intertwined. I
would like to point out that the accepted view seems to be that Moshe's ark
was hidden prior to the destruction. Rashi,too, clearly indicates that the
gemara is only discussing Shlomo's keruvim and not those on the ark. The
Maharsha however, after clarifying that the gemara in Yoma is only
according to the opinion in Bava Basra that there was a miracle, states
that it applies to Moshe's keruvim too.

The question of how many arks there were is a separate issue. A dispute is
recorded in Yerushalmi Shekalim 6:1 as to whether there existed one or two
arks. I believe that the accepted opinion is that there were two arks based
on the following argument. In Bamidbar 10:33 it says that the ark preceded
the congregation when travelling from one camp to another (see Rashi).
However, in the description of the travel arrangements in Bamidbar 10:14-28
there is a clear indication that the ark travelled in the center of the
congregation. The conclusion reached is that there were two arks. One ark
containing the first (broken) Luchos (tablets) travelled in front of them
while the second ark (the one made by Bezalel and containing the second
Luchos) travelled in the center.

I have not been able to ascertain where the second ark was stored when not


End of Volume 23 Issue 35