Volume 23 Number 50
                       Produced: Tue Mar 19 19:32:33 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Old postings
         [Avi Feldblum]
A 'gift' of chametz
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Chometz that arrives in the mail on Pesach
         [Barry Best]
Codes in Torah?
         [Stan Tenen]
Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai
         [Nahum Spirn]
Hametz in the mail
         [Rafi Stern]
Hava Nagillah
         [Edwin Frankel]
Matza from 5 grains
         [Jonathan Katz]
Oral Torah to gentiles
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Torah Tidbits is on-line


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 19:32:06 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Old postings

Hello All,

I continue to work my way through my old mail, so you see here a number
of postings from the January time frame, that when I reread I thought
would still be of interest to the list. There is no clear method to what
part of my mailbox I am excavating (I typically pick a round 100 number
out of the air and go there, I think set was the 400 set).



From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 9:41:58 EST
Subject: Re: A 'gift' of chametz

> From: Josh Wise <jdwise@...>
> On a similar note, as happenned to my family once several years ago, a
> guest that came to our home for seder brought a bottle of wine as a
> token of appreciation. Unfortunately, the guest did not realize that it
> was not Kosher L'Pesach. We subtly put the bottle of wine outside, and
> had in mind not to accept ownership of it.

Surely at worst the wine had corn syrup in it, which is kitnyot and is
not subject to the prohibition of possession on pesach.  Or are there
kosher wines that are truly chametz?

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: Barry Best <bbest@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 96 16:05:00 EST
Subject: Chometz that arrives in the mail on Pesach

I seem to remember learning many years ago that one way to effect a
jewish divorce (which specifically requires that the wife legally
acquire the GET (-- writ of divorce --) from the husband or his agent)
when the wife is unwilling, is to throw it in her courtyard.  By landing
in her courtyard, the GET is considered legally acquired by her even
though she had no intention of acquiring it and presumably has specific
intent not to acquire it.

Am I mis-remembering this principal, and if I remember it correctly,
what does this imply for Chometz that is delivered right into a home
(e.g., through a mail slot).  I would imagine that even with the
specific intent not to acquire it, you would still take ownership.

Perhaps such a case is covered in the Bitul Chometz we recite prior to


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 13:19:31 -0800
Subject: Codes in Torah?

The parsha for this past Shabbos is replete with references to weaving
and related crafts.  Here is a small sample (quoted from R. Aryeh
Kaplan's Living Torah translation.)

Ex 35:25 - "Every skilled woman put her hand to spinning, ..."

Ex 35:35 - "He has granted them a natural talent for all craftsmanship, 
to form materials, to brocade or embroider patterns with sky-blue, dark 
red and crimson wool and fine linen, and to weave.  They will thus be 
able to do all the necessary work and planning."

Ex 36:8  - "All the most talented craftsmen worked on the tabernacle 
itself, which consisted of ten tapestries made of twined linen, together 
with sky-blue, dark red and crimson wool, brocaded with cherubs."

Ex 36:10 - "The [first] five tapestries were sewn together, as were the 
other five. 11 -  Loops of sky-blue wool were made on the innermost 
tapestry of the second group [of five].  12 - There were 50 loops on the 
first tapestry, and 50 on its counterpart on the second group, with all 
the loops [on one side] parallel to those [on the other side]. 13 - 
Fifty gold fasteners were made to attach [the sets of] tapestries 
together to make the tabernacle into a single unit."

There is also much discussion of cables, cords, rings, braiding and 
other weaving, knotting, twining and cord-making references.

It seems to me that we have here a description of the tabernacle that 
has many features in common with the Equal Interval Letter Skip 
patterns.  Approximately 2/3rds of the longer, statistically robust, ELS 
patterns are 49, or 50-letters long. 

I would like to know if anyone working on the ELS patterns has attempted
to compare these patterns with these weaving and tabernacle-making
descriptions in Exodus?

My own work indicates that the Torah has a letter level structure that
is woven.  We have a direct statement that the tabernacle was woven:
"...craftsmen worked on the tabernacle itself, which consisted of ten
tapestries..." The ELS patterns are displayed on rectangular arrays that
also have a woven structure.

Does anyone know if any work is being done by any of the ELS researchers
to discover the Torah source for these patterns?  Do the statisticians
have a motive to explain what they have found in a Torah context?  Does
anyone know?

The stakes here are high.  IF the weaving discussions in Exodus are 
related to the statistical letter skip patterns, then it is worth 
considering that the plans for building the tabernacle are present in 
Torah and that they are recoverable.  This can only happen if the 
researchers doing this work get beyond the statistics (now confirmed by 
peer review) and attempt to find the _meaning_ of the patterns.

Any thoughts?



From: Nahum Spirn <spirn@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 17:04:38 -0600
Subject: Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai

        In MJ #47, Mordechai quotes the Rambam in Shoresh Sheini of
Sefer HaMizvos that Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai is Midivrei Sofrim, and
understands this to mean these laws are only Rabbinic.  He then quotes
the Ran in Shabbos that there is no punishment imposed by the Jewish
Courts for violation of such laws.
        There is a misunderstanding here.  The Rambam defines Divrei
Sofrim as any law derived from one of the 13 Midos She'hatorah nidreshes
bahem (the Hermeneutical (spelling?) Principles of Biblical exegesis).
These laws are BIBLICAL, not Rabbinic; but they are DERIVED laws, not
explicit in the Written Torah.  The famous example is Kiddushin through
money, which the Rambam says (beg. Hilchos Ishus) is "Midivrei Sofrim",
and the commentaries point out that such marriage is certainly complete
on a Biblical level, and the Rambam is just using the term "Midivrei
Sofrim" as he defined it in Sefer Hamitzvos.

        The reason there is no punishment imposed by the courts for such
laws is because we have a rule: Ain Onshin Ela Im Kain Mazhirin - we
must have an explicit negative commandment in the Torah in order to
execute punishment.

        All laws which are Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai are Biblical.

        The Chavos Yair which Mordechai quotes deals with the
fascinating question, Is it possible to say that anything Hashem told
Moshe at Sinai might have been forgotten?  See Tosfos Yevamos 77b and
R. Betzalel's glosses who refers you to the Chavos Yair (though Siman
152 is cited, Mordechai's citation is correct, it is Siman 192;
obviously the top of the "tzaddi" got cut off).


From: Rafi Stern <iitpr@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 08:29:47 PST
Subject: Hametz in the mail

>> I'm sure someone will correct me, but I didn't think an object that
>> someone gives you becomes yours until you actually take posession of it.
>A kinyan chatzer (lit.: a transaction of a domain) can occur without the
>knowledge of the owner.

Maybe I'm on the wrong track, but seeing as no-one wants to receive
Hametz on Pesach, is this not a case of "Lo MeHayvim Adam SheLo BeFanav"
and therefore no kinyan?

Rafi Stern
Bet Shemesh


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin Frankel)
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:18:32 -0100
Subject: Hava Nagillah

Some time ago there was a thread on the origins of various tunes. I
heard the following anecdote directly from Mr. Henry Rosenberg, the
shamash (caretaker) of Harav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman z"l while I was at
Ner Israel:

The Rosh Hayeshiva z"l was sitting at the Shabbos table when he remarked
that he had never hear the students ever sing a certain tune, and he
began to hum "Hava Nagilah". It was explained to him that this song/tune
was a secular Zionist song, not usually sung in "yeshivish" circles.

Interesting the tune is Chassidish, and the lyrics are also from the
yeshiva world.

Think of it, the words were written early in our century by a student at
the Flatbush Yeshiva in Brooklyn, or so my teachers taught me.

So, if it is not the words and not the niggun, what makes the best known
song of Israel secular Zionist?

Ed Frankel


From: <frisch1@...> (Jonathan Katz)
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 96 11:52:45 EST
Subject: Matza from 5 grains

I have always found it very interesting that while matza made from any of
the five grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt) is acceptable, most matza
is made only from wheat. Only recently have we even seen the addition of
"whole wheat" matza.

Which brings me to my question:
Has anyone ever seen matza from one of the other 5 grains for sale? Does
anyone know if there is a place in either Boston (where I go to school) or
Monsey (where I live) where I can buy matza from one of these "unusual"

Thank you

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 14:24:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Oral Torah to gentiles

[Forwarded from m-debate list]

Regarding telling gentiles about the Oral Torah in our forum, I asked Ohr 
Somayach in Israel about it and received this response.

				Mordechai Perlman

From: Ohr Somayach <ohr@...>
To: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>

> 	If in an internet forum which is open to both Jews and gentiles, 
> a question is asked by a gentile about our Judaism, either in genuine 
> interest or to discredit, is it permitted to answer using sources from 
> Torah Sheba'al Peh, because there are some Jews on the list which will 
> never hear the real answer otherwise?  I am talking specifically about 
> discussions on M-debate (affiliated with Jer 1).  Here there are also 
> missionaries asking and reading.  If the answer is no, what excuse should 
> be offered for not divulging the whole story, for not revealing our 
> traditional sources?
> Mordechai Perlman


My husband said that he wrote about this in the book he wrote 
together with Rabbi Mordechai Becher: "Avosos Ahava", Published by 
"Sifrei Nof" (Targum Press) in 1991.  He suggests that you see what 
they wrote in the Sefer - Ohr Somayach Toronto, where Rabbi Becher is 
now, should have a copy.  
In short, he says that it is permitted, since you are trying to reach 
the (majority) of Jews, and not specifically or specially teaching 
the non-Jews, just like in the Yeshiva, if a non-Jew occasionally 
comes into a classroom the lesson goes on as usual.  (I hope I got 
that right, and wrote clearly.)

Kol Tuv
(Mrs.) Priva (Moshe) Newman


From: <scribe@...> (Krauthamer)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 16:00:54 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Torah Tidbits is on-line

Thanks for your help in getting the word out about TT on-line.  Here's an
announcement for you to post:

Torah Tidbits is on-line!  This is a cyber-version of the popular pamphlet
which is published in print and e-mail versions by Jerusalem's Israel
Center.  It features an insightful aliya-by-aliya sedra summary,
user-friendly articles relating to the parasha, a colorful new version of
ParashaPix and all kinds of interesting tidbits of gematria, parasha-stats,
etc.  In coming weeks TT on-line will feature more useful Jewish information
and links.  Make sure to bookmark this site and check in weekly!  


End of Volume 23 Issue 50