Volume 23 Number 98
                       Produced: Mon May 13 22:59:10 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Census Counts--an abnormal number
         [Russell Hendel]
Charity not run by Torah Observant Individuals
         [Zvi Weiss]
Correcting Note/Cantillation Mistakes
         [Ira Y Rabin]
Help Conceiving
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Holocaust Museum
         [Paul Shaviv]
J. D. Eisenstein
Jewish High Schools
         [Jake Levi]
Khidushei R. Khayyim on Bava Metzia
         [Melech Press]
news about Rosh Hodesh
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Origins of Bas Mitzvah
         [Micha Berger]
         [Jack Smythe]
Tikun for reading the Torah
         [Edwin R Frankel]


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 12:33:05 -0400
Subject: Census Counts--an abnormal number

In this weeks Sedra, Bamidbar, we have the census of the tribes All
numbers end in 00, except for the tribe of Gad that ends in 50 Why?

The question was first pointed out to me by my grandfather David Hendel
but I have never found an adequate answer or even a source discussing
it.  Does anyone know of anything on this.

One thought I had should be mentioned: The endings in 00 suggest
rounding.  If we use the rule "round to the nearest 100 unless you end
exactly in 50" then that would explain the oddity provided only Gad
ended in 50. One can calculate the probability that at least one tribe
should have *exactly* 50 among the 12 (or the probability that exactly
one should have exactly 50).  This is a binomial probability problem and
is not that low.

At any rate I would expect at least some commentary to mention
this. Also this raises the issue of when numbers in Tenach are exact and
when they are approximations.  Any one have any ideas.

Thanx, Russell Hendel, Ph.d, ASA,   rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 09:48:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Charity not run by Torah Observant Individuals

> From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
>            <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller) says that Rav Moshe Feinstein
> <<opposes donations to any charity not run by Torah observant individuals.
> You should go through it yourself if you want to make sure you get a clear
> picture of how strongly he feels that way.>>
>            While my intellect and knowledge are far less than Rav Moshe's, I
> see what appears to be a serious flaw in this statement.

While "Al Tifrosh Min HaTzibur" is an important Halachic *Principle*, I
believe that it takes a Rav or Posek to understand when to apply it.
Does the poster honestly think that R. Moshe ZT"L was unaware of this
principle?  As the original poseter noted, the Teshuva should be read IN
THE ORIGINAL before questioning it.  Imho, I would add that it is
*possible* that R. Moshe *may* have had a different opinion regarding
some of the Federations currently operating (as opposed to the situaiton
at the time of the Teshuva).  However, the issue is a difficult one --
esp. since one's contribution may end up being channeled to suppport
institutions/"services" that are halachically proscribed.

>            Aside from the question of "al teefrosh meen hatzeeboor" (don't
> separate yourself from the community) if Orthodox people adopt this attitude
> of not donating to a charity not run by Torah observant Jews, the people who
> run Jewish Federations and other charities will retaliate by not giving
> Orthodox institutions one penny.  And who could blame them?

 I *believe* that at the time that the Responsa was written, the
Federation, in question, was NOT particularly interested in supporting
Orthodox institutions -- so I am not sure if that latter point would
have been relevant.  Again, one should keep in mind that a responsa is
often specific to the particular situation that was in effect when the
question was posed.



From: <irabin@...> (Ira Y Rabin)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 20:36:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Correcting Note/Cantillation Mistakes

	This is in response to the question about correcting
note/cantillation mistakes in leyning, posed in Vol#90. The Ramah in
hilchos krias hatorah does indeed point out that mistakes in the "nigun"
"ain machzirin oso." Yet the question raised is certainly a good one,
and is only one of many examples of how making a troupe mistake can lead
to a change of meaning. Another quick example is in parshas re'eh during
the discussion of the holidays- I once heard a bal kriah on Yom tov end
an aliyah "lo, sa'aseh melacha," "no, do work" instead of "lo sa'aseh,
melacha" "don't do work." He was not corrected for changing around the
mercha and the tipcha.
	Since troupe often is our guide for commas, pauses, and
phrasing, if we corrected troupe mistakes that obviously changed the
meaning, then we would have to correct all troupe mistakes as these
mistakes may also in some small way change the meaning or implications
of the leyning. This can also be extended to some kri/ksiv
occurences. Does every bal kriah really have in mind that if a "lo" with
an aleph (meaning no) is supposed to be read as "lo" with a vav (meaning
him) that he is reading it with a vav and not an aleph? if not it should
be corrected as well.
	The point is, correcting mistakes with require us to ask what
the bal kriah is thinking instead of saying is virtually an impossible
task.  Although a troupe mistake may make the phrasing sound bad,
usually the kahal and the bal kriah know the meaning of what is
saying. Lehavdil- in english we can say "in the elevator, we talked
about going fishing" or we can say "we talked about going fishing in the
elevator." While the phrasing is wrong in the latter example, both the
speaker and the listener know what is meant. The sefer "mikraey kodesh"
(on hilchs krias hatorah) doesn't discuss an instance of correcting a
troupe mistake. I have not had time to look up the "tammay hamikra" yet.

I have been leyning since my bar mitzvah. This has included professional
jobs, high holidys, and sometimes 3 or 4 minyanim on one shabbes.  The
best way to avoid these mistakes is to understand troupe (knoweldge is
power!)  If balley kriah understood what troupe means (ie the difference
b/t a pashta and a kadma) these mistakes would rarely be made. Just as a
couple quick examples. "vayigash aylav yehudah" has a kadma v'azlah,
revi'i.  Which really means "the 4th went and attacked" - yehudah, the
4th son in this case was 'attacking" yosef for keeping binyamin. Also,
in migilas esther on the words "u'vihagiah tor ester vas avichayil dod
mordechai" there are all munachs (rests) until mordechai where there is
a pazer, unlike with all the other girls where the pazer is on
"uvihagiah." We learn from this that all the other girls brought
themselves, whereas mordechai had to drag esther to achashvayrosh.
There are countless examples like these. So even though it may not have
to be corrected, troupe is an integral part of leyning which, if
understoond can increase our appreciation and understanding of the

I must say that the same applies to nusach (musical mode) in davening 
(and i don't mean devakus or other popular tunes!) but that's for a 
different discussion.

Respectfully submitted
-Ira Rabin


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 12:26:48 -0400
Subject: Help Conceiving

Tefilla Buxbaum, (MJ 23#94) suggested (inter alia) using kosot ruach
(i.e., suction cups) as a fertility method, for women who have problems

It is well known that psychology (state of mind) can help in conception
as many of us heard of women who could not conceive, decided to adopt a
child and immediately got pregnent after the pressure was off.  However,
the method described above (kosot ruach) sounds to me like witchcraft
which is prohibited by Jewish Law, as it is said "machshefah lo
techaye". This is just as good as the pigeon treatment mentioned here
last year. I do not know if the kosot ruach are mentioned as a fertility
method in the Talmud, but I do know that some advances were made in this
field since that time.

The only reasonable method of solving a fertility problem (with God's
help) is to go to a medical doctor (OB/GYN) with a fertility
subspecialty who is trained in this subject. Sending women with
fertility problem to an old Yemenite lady might deprive them of proper
medical care, waste valuable time and worse, it might give them a false
hope. An MD can do more than ([toyte] bankes).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <shaviv@...> (Paul Shaviv)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 16:40:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Holocaust Museum

A few weeks ago I accompanied a group of High-school students to the
holocaust Museum in Washington. IN answer to Carl and Adina Sherer's

1, The Museum is not recommended for kids under the age of 11. I'm not
even sure that I would take a 12-13 year-old in. The exhibition is very
powerful indeed.  There are many other museums in the vicinity (eg the
NASA museum) that will keep children of every age happy for hours.

2. You should get tickets beforehand, although a small number (relative
to the total) are available directly to the public each day as the
museum opens. Details of how to order tickets are on the Website (see

3. Consult the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Web Site (www.ushmm.org) for
full details.

4. Exceptionally useful preparation is to read the book "Preserving
Memory" (??have I got this right) by Linenthal -- an account of how the
Museum came into being, how it was planned, the decisions and dilemmas
facing those responsible etc.

5. Having said all of the above .. the Museum is absolutely outstanding
in evry way; don't miss it.  

Paul Shaviv 
Principal, Bialik High School, Montreal 
Fax: +514-483-6391 (school)/ +514-488-6532
(Home) Tel: +514-481-2736 (school)/ +514-488-8631 (home)
6500 Kildare, Cote St Luc, Quebec H4W 3B8, Canada


From: <Mordechai.E.Lando@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 96 15:17:28 EST
Subject: J. D. Eisenstein

In addition to the sefarim already mentioned on m-j, Eisenstein put out
an excellent haggadah with the complete commentary of the Abarbanel(and
3 other perushim).  It was also unique because of the 'modern' artwork
by a woman artist. It was republished within the last decade, but I
can't find my copy.

Another sefer is Otzar Hamidrash; a collection of small midrashim.

Twenty years ago, my oldest son received, as a bar-mitzvah gift, a
reprint of the Otzar Haminhagim. I haven't seen it in years, but I found
the introduction to be very ironic.  The sefer was originally published
in 1917 or '18; and Eisenstein writes:

   We have just received the great news from the East.  The terrible
yoke of the Czar has been lifted.  Now our Russian brethren will be able
to live tranquil lives in a democratic country etc.

With the hindsight of almost 80 years, we know that what followed the
czars was much worse for jews and torah yiddishkeit than what they had
suffered earlier.  It only verifies the old yiddish proverb "Don't pray
for the death of the czar.  Who knows what the next one will be like."



From: <jlevi@...> (Jake Levi)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 13:36:17 -0800
Subject: Jewish High Schools

There have been many years of ongoing effort put in by many leaders and
members of the Jewish community in San Diego towards the construction of
a Jewish highschool in the area. Such an institution would allow our
children to continue their secular and Judaic education locally without
having to move to other cities. The major problems are related to the
diverse backgrounds and level of observance within the population which
is partly (if not largely) non-affiliated and serving the needs of such
a diverse group under one roof. I would greatly appreciate receiving any
ideas or comments from members or leaders of other communities where
this puzzle has been addressed and perhaps been solved.

Thanks in advance!

Jake Levi


From: Melech Press <PRESS%<SNYBKSAC.BITNET@...>
Date: Mon, 13 May 96 01:28:32 EST
Subject: Re: Khidushei R. Khayyim on Bava Metzia

In response to Ari Shapiro:
The Khidushei R. Khayyim on Bava Metzia is based on the misappropriation
of the manuscript that was in possession of the Rov's family.  It would
appear a priori to be forbidden to purchase the sefer; I have already
heard of considerable distress in the broader Soloveitchik family
over this unauthorized (and occasionally inaccurate) publication.
Melech Press

M. Press, Ph.D.   Dept. of Psychiatry, SUNY Health Science Center
450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 32   Brooklyn, NY 11203   718-270-2409


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 13:07:53 -0400
Subject: news about Rosh Hodesh

Steve White <StevenJ81@...> wrote:

>I thought I had heard somewhere that those travelling with the news
>about Rosh Hodesh were allowed to be mechallel Shabbos (or Yom Tov) for
>that.  Is that in error?

That is an error.  I assume he was confusing this with the desecration
of the Sabbath permitted for the witnesses to come and report having
seen the new moon to determine the first day of the new month (Sabbath
desecration for this reporting was permitted only when determining a
month containing a holiday).  See the appropriate Mishnayoth in Rosh
HaShannah as a starting point.


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 07:59:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Origins of Bas Mitzvah

There was a Bas Mitzvah celebration in Florence, Italy, the week my
parents were touring there. The girls' father is called to the Torah and
says "Baruch shepatrani" [the blessing fathers say in most communities
after his son's first aliyah] with grammatical alteration for
gender. There was a big kiddush following the service, according to the
locals, identical to what would have been made for a boy's Bar Mitzvah

When my parents asked the Rabbi how old this practice is, he expressed
surprise. This observance has been in the Italian community for
centuries.  It possibly dates back to the era of the Rishonim.

According to legend Mordechai Kaplan brought the Bas Mitzvah back with
him from a similar trip to Italy.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3448 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  1-May-96)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: Jack Smythe <kermit@...>
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 16:14:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Remarriage

Has anyone heard of the "minhag" that children do not attend the 
remarriage of a parent?  If such a "minhag" does exist, does anyone know 
of a source for it?

Jack Smythe


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 08:04:38 -0700
Subject: Tikun for reading the Torah

From: Schwartz Adam <adams@...>
        any baalei kriyah (readers of the torah) out there who have an opinion
        on what is the best tikkun (book designed to help people read from the
        torah)?  most importanat factor i assume is spelling and trop
        (cantillations).  ease of use is also nice

I like the two tikunim published by Ktav.  For most uses I prefer the
tikun lakorim, but other times for halachot as well as kriyah, I use the

Ed Frankel


End of Volume 23 Issue 98