Volume 24 Number 12
                       Produced: Sun May 26 11:48:09 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Census Counts
         [Joe Goldman]
Creation of Eve and Evolution
Devorim Betailim?
         [Yosey Goldstein]
Keriyat HaTorah- this and that
         [Israel Pickholtz]
Negia and Hand Shakes
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Soda cans (mail-jewish Vol. 24 #09)
         [Andrew Marc Greene]
Yenta revisited
         [Shaul & Aviva Ceder]


From: Joe Goldman <joe.goldman@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 09:35:12 -0400
Subject: Census Counts

Two questions to those that think rounding is a viable explanation as to
why the census figures in Parshas Bamidbar are (almost) all even
multiples of 100:

 1) Why?  Why would the Torah Hakedosha - precise to the letter and
beyond - round in this case? (This is purely a rhetorical question - No
respone sought!)  and
 2) The families of Levi are also counted and their populated all end in
00 (hundreds) as well; if this census is only an approximation, then how
does the Torah perform arithmetic with it and end up with an exact
difference between the number of Levi'im and B'chorim (first borns)?
That remaining 273 is then used as an exact number in calculating the
total number of Shekels that were used in the redemption process (273 *
5 = 1,365).

I would be more satisfied leaving the question open than consider
rounding.  For those that would like to think about an answer, perhaps a
few comments of the Sh'lah Hakadosh (Sh'nei Luchos Habris - Sha'ar
Haosiyos) may shed some light:
 As all creation has its roots in the Name of Ha-Shem, so too, do numerical 
values, as follows:
Units;		the final Hei
Tens:		Vav
Hundreds:	the first Hei
Thousands:	Yod

Bearing this in mind, perhaps the census of Shivtei K"ah (Tribes of
Israel) - representing the first two letters of Ha-Shem's name -
consistantly ending in multiples of hundreds represents sh'leimus
(completeness) in some way.  This would be appropriate at the two (2)
times that these census numbers rang true, namely B'midbar Sinai &
B'ohel Mo'ed, e.g. when receiving the Torah at Sinai and when it came
time for the Sh'chinah (Divine Presence) to dwell among the people.

To those who say that this is statistically impossible, I say this is
Hashgacha Protis (Divine Supervision) that the census was taken exactly
at these points.

The remaining question, which (I think) actually opened the topic for
discussion, is why the tribe of Gad is the only one that does NOT end in
an even hundred (45,650). Again refer to the Sh'lah - Shalos Machanos,
which explains the first 3 Sedrahs in Chumash Bamidbar - who offers an
elegant explanation of structure of Holiness based on recurring patterns
of 3 and 4 (ie. 3 Machanos, 4 Degalim, how within each are 3-tiered and
4-tiered structures (K"K, Kodesh & Courtyard/Beis Hamikdash, Har
Habayis, Yerushalayim...), how each are represented in the Spiritual
worlds, et al).  He also mentions that this structure of Holiness is
represented by the two letters Shin on the T'fillin Shel Rosh, one of 3
heads and one of 4 heads.  Readers will be well served to review the
text, which, I understand, is now available in English (but that's
subject for another discussion!).

May I suggest that the tribe of Gad was singled out to contain the odd
number to highlight the following points:
 1) The oddball figure ends with 50 instead of 00 to emphasize that the
Sh'leimus of the other census figures are borne out from the letters Yod
(10) and Hei (5) of Ha-Shem's name (10 * 5 = 50),
 2) Because the name of this tribe elludes to the 3- and 4-tiered
structures mentioned in the Sh'lah (Gad is spelled Gimel Dalet, and
Gimel = 3, Dalet = 4)
 3) Because each figure in their population (45,650) represents the
relationship between Ha-Shem and man; 45 = the name of Ha-Shem when you
spell out each letter (Yod=10 Vav=6 Dalet=4 Hei=5 Aleph=1 Vav=6 Aleph=1
Vav=6 Hei=5 Aleph=1), and 45 also equals Adam.  6 in Hebrew is Sheis,
spelt Shin Shin, referring to the two letters Shin in the T'fillin Shel
Rosh as mentioned above.  50 is 10 * 5 as mentioned above.

Y'hi Ratson sh'lo yomar pinu davar sh'lo kirtzono.

Joe Goldman


From: Alana <alanacat@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 12:04:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Creation of Eve and Evolution

> From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
> Purely as an intelectual exercise, I notice that Josh specifies three
>     chemicals (testosterone, AMH, androgen).
> And all three are present in males only.
> Maybe Hashem cloned Adam but repressed production
>     of these three?

Purely to clear up a factual matter, I wanted to note that the above is 
incorrect. Both males and females produce nearly all hormones, however, 
the average male produces more testosterone (e.g.) than the average 
female, and the average female produces more estrogen (e.g.) than the 
average male. Of course, this doesn't tell us anything about a specific 
male or female.



From: Yosey Goldstein <JOE-G@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 96 18:27:27 EDT
Subject: Devorim Betailim?

    I have had this sitting and churning inside of me for several weeks
now and I have not had the time to formulate this note. But I think it
is time I MADE the time.

    Maybe I have the wrong ideas about what a forum like Mail-Jewish
SHOULD be. (Or maybe my idea just does not conform with other people's)
But I would assume the purpose of a JEWISH forum, a forum that is run
with a sensitivity to Torah values and Halacha would be a place where
questions are asked and answered, whether they be Halachik or
philosophical, Hashkafic, in nature.

   There have been several disturbing discussion recently that have had
NO practical purpose and have deteriorated into silliness, name calling
or worse. A couple of examples to make my point.
   There was a discussion of Kollel several weeks ago and it re-surfaced
last week. I will not go into the details of the discussion. However, a
poster wrote something about "being productive" as opposed to sitting in
the Yeshivah. I was upset by this statement and other statements to this
effect that surfaced in the earlier discussion. Whether one understands
the purpose and usefulness of Kollel or not I do not think it fits into
the "Darchei Noam" rule of the forum. I would then compound that by
asking WHY are such statements different than this statement in the
Gemmorah in Sanhedrin. (Perek Chelek) The Gemmorah asks, What is an
Apikorais? (Loose translation, an unbeliever) One who says what purpose
do the Rabbonon serve? When ones denigrates people who learn and devote
their lives to Torah is that not what the Gemmorah call an Apikoras? (I
will not address the Kollel issue here. That is, or should be, an issue
to be addressed by each person individually.) The discussion of this
topic in this forum will not encourage or CH"V discourage ANYONE from
learning in Kollel. (And we should not discourage anyone from learning,
  There was another discussion about AGUNOT, and wife abuse recently.
One poster said, basically, what's the big deal it is not a prevalent
problem. A poster blasted that view, another said, orthodox men! What do
you expect? That is why I have joined the conservative movement! This
discussion went from a serious discussion to a silly statement, Because
if there is even one instance of abuse of ANY kind it is much too much,
to man bashing and Orthodox bashing! What is the purpose of this
discussion? Does anyone think if a man who abuses his wife will read our
justified disgust with this behavior, that man will change his behavior?
Will our righteous indignation change him? Absolutely not!
   The last example is the well meant post about cheating in High
schools. A poster responded that this is an illegal action, it is
immoral, and it will have a bad effect on the cheater himself! I do not
think for a moment that the original poster thought there was any
justification in cheating. However what discussion will be generated by
this? Everybody condemning this? And then what will change? Will WE
become better people because of this?
   I feel that some of these topics and discussions remind me more of
the "Bull sessions" we had late night in the dorm. Discussions with
absolutely no purpose. Is this why we subscribe to this forum? I think
the reason we subscribe to this forum is to exchange KNOWLEDGE. To ask
questions of one sort or another and encourage others to THINK and share
their knowledge with others.
   I would hope that other people agree with me and discourage the
"Cyber bull sessions"



From: Israel Pickholtz <rotem@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 22:09:09 +0300
Subject: Keriyat HaTorah- this and that

a) The same "good old blue tikkun" with the extra vav in va-yakhel 
also says in Noah:
vatanah TATEVA bahodesh hashevi'i

That's on the sefer Torah side.

b) Mr. Perets Mett is correct that Pashta and kadma are printed 
differently - with one stipulation: that the tikkun is a good one. 
Some are sloppy about their printing.
See "a" above.

c) Kadma and geresh (called "kadma veazla" when they are next to one 
another) are not necessarily to be read together.  Sometimes yes, 
sometimes no.  Depends on the meaning.  THAT is the responsibility of 
the reader to know. See Devarim 13 v. 6, where the meaning could be 
either way, and the correct stop makes a difference.  And in any case, 
you can't get up in front of everyone and say that another god spoke 
to Moshe!!  Remember, public reading of the Torah is based on the idea 
that the masses learn it from hearing it.

d) We know people who have been reading for twenty-five years who 
don't know that a tevir is subordinate to a tippeha or that a geresh 
is subordinate to a pashta. Unfortunately longevity only proves 

 Israel Pickholtz
 Student of Mechel Perlman z"l


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 14:54:10 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Negia and Hand Shakes

	I was put in a rather uncomfortable situation today.  I recently
graduated, (commencment was yesterday) and was concluding some
unfinished buisness at my school.  When I was leaving, I bumped into the
President of the University walking to lunch with three of her
subordinates.  She asked me how I was doing and what was new, etc (we
know each other...I had to confront her on several issues).  When I
mentioned that I had graduated, she offered her congragualtions and
asked me why I wasn't at the ceremony. When I told her that I wasn't
able to make it, she offered me her hand and said, "well I shook all the
graduates hands, I might as well shake yours now."  I shook her hand,
but I am wondering if I did the right thing.  She is jewish, and I would
assume that negia is an issue.  Should I have refused her hand telling
her that I could not shake for religious reasons?
 Chaim Shapiro 


From: Andrew Marc Greene <amgreene@...>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 09:49:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Soda cans (mail-jewish Vol. 24 #09)

I used to run the "CokeComm" for a student group in college, and the way
the deposit worked (in Massachusetts, at least) was that the Coca-Cola
*distributor* would charge us 5c per can, and would pay us 7c per can on

So (in theory) we would clear nothing on the deposits for "sales", but
we would make 2c profit on each "returned" can. Since the distributor
had a monopoly for the region, they would presumably lose 2c per can
net. (I don't know if they were subsidised by the commonwealth, somehow
I doubt it. That 2c probably showed up in the price of a can of Coke.)

Returning this to the initial question, if I were to buy a can of Coke
in MA and return it in NY, then even though I'm not personally seeing a
profit, I am causing the MA distributor to gain money at the expense of
the NY distributor. Is that wrong? Does the fact that I gain nothing in
the transaction make a difference?

- Andrew Greene


From: Shaul & Aviva Ceder <ceder@...>
Date: Wed, 22 May 96 18:23:10 PDT
Subject: Yenta revisited

It's gratifying to see that the use of "Yenta" in the context of shmirat
halashon has been generating such a lively response. Still, due to the
vicissitudes of e-mail, I still haven't reeceived the digest in which my
message was first carried, although I have gotten a couple of later
ones.  First, on to Yeshaya Halevi's comments.

>        I knew a rebbitzen in Cleveland whose first name was/is indeed
>Yenta, and I'm pleased to say this rebbitzen was/is nothing like the
>stereotypical, lower case "y" yenta.  So I was very interested when, a
>couple decades ago, I read one elderly writer's recollection of what
>changed our attitude towards this once ordinary name.

It's refreshing to know that there are some people who are not affected by 
the stereotypes.

>      Approximately 1910 - 1920 (I stress the modifying word
>"Approximately") a writer for an American Yiddish newspaper -- probably
>the Forward -- invented a humorous character named Yenta Telebenta.  And
>boy, was she ever.
> A yenta, that is.  

Then again, it is also possible that Yenta was already in such use by then. 
In any case, my source on this was Rabbi Shmuel Gorr z"l.

> Somebody net-named Aahdi posted on AOL once that <<Yenta comes from the
>French word gentille(sp) almost a thousand years ago when Yiddish was in
>its formative stages and a center of Jewish population was Southern
>France. >>

So claimed Leo Rosten.

>       I have also heard that Yenta comes from the Spanish, via Juanita.

Thus said Dan Rottenberg, the author of "Finding Our Fathers".

As for Josh Males' comments:

> "Yoram", however, is used to signify a nerd or geek. "Zalman" is also
>occasionally used. This deviates from the "yud theory".  In 1984, when

Since "Yoram" is not used derogatorily in my circles, I had to rely on
secondhand information. As for Zalman, I recall reading many years ago
in "Israel on $5 and $10 a Day" (and you can guess how many years ago by
the figures quoted in the title!), that it was derived from some stuffy
official who wore Bermuda shorts (hence "Zalmans" had once been slang
for that item of apparel as well).

One other poster, corresponding with me privately, mentioned the use of
Chelm for simpleton stories in the same vein. Actually, I had intended
to bring that up in any case, since some people fail to distinguish
between the real Chelm and the mythical Chelm. In fact, my father,
having made the acquaintance of someone from that town in a displaced
persons' camp, asked him where he was born, and the Chelmer simply
replied, "Bist DU klig!" ("So YOU'RE the smart one!"), and my father had
his answer. So it is a possibility that Chelm stories might fall into
the same category. Any feedback would be welcome.

Name: Shaul and Aviva Ceder
E-mail: <ceder@...>


End of Volume 24 Issue 12