Volume 24 Number 80
                       Produced: Mon Aug 26  0:12:56 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Age of the Universe
         [Aharon Goldstein]
Email and Other Items (2)
         [Asher Samuels, Hillel E. Markowitz]
Jew and non-Jew souls
         [Mordy Gross]
Jewish and non-Jewish Souls (2)
         [David Riceman, Yehoshua Kahan]
Male vs. Female Souls
         [Sholom Rothman]
Mazal Tov
         [Shmuel Jablon]
Positive time-bound mitzvot
         [Judy Heicklen]
Some questions from Vayikra
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]


From: Aharon Goldstein <ayg@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 1996 11:39:41 GMT
Subject: Age of the Universe

        Hi, Someone asked me, is there any sourse in the Talmud or
medrash about the age of the universe, or better said does state in the
Talmud that the Torah was given in the year 2448, or that Abrahan was
born in the year of 1948, etc.

Please write any answer or sourse to this
           Phone :   313/995-3276 (99-L-E-A-R-N)
                          Email: <ayg@...> 
                   Web site:http:// www.hvcn.org/info/chabad


From: Asher Samuels <Asher_Samuels@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 96 22:52:15 UT
Subject: Email and Other Items

<jacabraham@...> (Abe Rosenberg) wrote: 
>Regarding email and other related items, I have a couple of questions.
>Can you send email to a part of the world where it is Shabbat at the
>time you send it (I'm assuming it is NOT Shabbat where YOU are!)
<Several lines of other questions deleted>

While it might me a different case than e-mail through a network, I
remember the Bostoner Rebbe advising his wife not to dial in to a
computer in Brooklyn on Motzei Shabbat from Eretz Yisrael, but rather to
wait until Sunday AM Israel time.

Asher Samuels
Asher <Samuels@...>

From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 21:19:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Email and Other Items

On Sun, 11 Aug 1996, in Mail-Jewis, Abe Rosenberg wrote:
> Can you send email to a part of the world where it is Shabbat at the
> time you send it (I'm assuming it is NOT Shabbat where YOU are!)
> Can you access a Web page maintained in a location where it is currently
> Shabbat? For that matter, can you access the Web AT ALL on Erev Shabbat
> or Motzaei Shabbat, since it's likely a part of the Web is being
> maintained in a location where it is still Shabbat.
> crossed enough time zones to land in a place where Shabbat had not
> ended. You WOULD be violating the Shabbat. If you "travel" via email or
> the Web, would the same rules apply?

This is from memory of a shiur by Rav Frand.  Please note that it is
from memory and any mistakes are due to my flawed memory.

Rabbi Frand talked about the halacha of mail delivery on Shabbos and the
use of FAX machines and answering machines on Shabbos.  THe person for
whom it is Shabbos is can look at the message sufficiently to determine
that it is not an emergency (Chs veshalom) which would involve pikuach
nefesh as with receiving a postcard in the mail.  There is no isur
involved with sending the mail.  He stated that until his son in Israel
had raised the question he had not even thought of it being an isur.
His conclusion at the end of the shiur was that he had been correct.
However, many people in Eretz Yisroel do turn off the FAX machine for
shabbos.  THe Answering machine is usually turned down so as not to
disturb people on Shabbos but there is nothing wrong with leaving a
message (as long as the person leaving the message is in a nonShabbos
time zone.

As far as browsing a web site, l'aniyas da'ati (IMHO), I would say that
the rule would be the same and one would be allowed to do so.
Especially since the probability is that one is not causing anyone to to
any aveira.  This is even less problematic than the answering machine
since one does not cause the person at the other end to perform an act.

|  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|   <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: <mordy_gross@...> (Mordy Gross)
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 21:49:12 PST
Subject: Re: Jew and non-Jew souls

>I was asked if there is an intrinsic difference between the soul of a
>Jew and that of a non-Jew, and if so, prove it.  I refered him to a
>passage in Tanya (last section of ch.1; first section. of ch.2).  He
>then asked 1) do all orthodox believe this (that Jews and non-Jews are
>different in essence, not just in codes of behavior or even in
>chosenness)?  and 2) If yes, is there a more normative, universally
>accepted source that makes the point.  Can you help on this?

A Jewish soul has in adition to a Nefesh [which can be translated as a
spirit (the thing which makes the body live,)] a Neshomoh, whereas a
non-Jew only has a Neshomoh.


From: David Riceman <dr@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 11:27:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Jewish and non-Jewish Souls

  As far as I know this is a dispute between Maimonides (they are
similar, see H. Ysodei Hatorah 4:8) and Halevi, who strongly implies
that they're different (see Kuzari 1:27 ff.).  The Zohar (mishpatim 94b)
agrees with Halevi.

David Riceman

From: <orotzfat@...> (Yehoshua Kahan)
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 07:19:28 +0200
Subject: Jewish and non-Jewish Souls

This is in response to Yerachmiel Tillis' (my collegue and neighbor!)
inquiry regarding the univerality amongst Orthodox Jews of the Chabad
position, based on the common understanding of Tanya, that non-Jews lack
the "nefesh elokit" which is the distinguishing feature of Jews.  It is
my impression that those whose hashkafah is shaped primarily by Kabbalah
and/or Kuzari will basically accept the absolute distinction between the
souls of Jew and non-Jew.  To remind everyone, R. Yehudah Halevi in the
Kuzari speaks of the "inyan eloki" and uses it to base his five-level
taxonomy of all creation: mineral, vegetable, animal, human and Jew.
This distinction is drawn even more sharply and powerfully in many
Kabbalistic texts, though the Zohar seems to distinguish equally
profoundly between those who know the secrets of the Torah and those who
wander around unenlightened.
        On the other hand, those whose hashkafah is shaped primarily by
philosophical texts will take a more univeralistic approach to the
nature of the soul.  This can already be detected in R. Sa'adiah, the
pshat of whose well-known statement, "we are a (distinct) people only in
virtue of Torah" is that nothing else other than "kabbalat hatorah"
distinguishes us from non-Jews on a peoplehood level, and presumably on
an individual level as well.
        Rav Kook, zt"l, seems to combine both approaches.  In an
outstanding, if challenging, article in Yovel Orot (Hebrew, trans. into
English as "The World of Rav Kook's thought"), Rav Yoel Bin-Nun explores
these notions amongst other facets of Rav Kook's thought on Am Yisrael,
and asserts that Rav Kook held that while on the level of one's
individual soul, non-Jew and Jew are equivalent, on the level of the
national (over-)soul [in which all indivuals partake as a constitutive
element] there is a difference: Am Yisrael is the only nation to possess
a national Neshama, with all that that might imply on a national level.
Nefesh on a national level, as well as some parts of Ruach, are shared
by all nations.
        I recall many years ago visiting in Tzfat before I ever even
dreamed of moving here, and spending a Shabbat meal with a family in
Kiryat Chabad.  In response to hearing for the first time this notion of
non-Jews lacking a "nefesh elokit", I asked my host how it was possible
that one might convert to Judaism.  His response was that the successful
approach of a "non-Jew" to Judaism indicates retroactively that this
person really possessed all along one of the scattered, shattered sparks
of the soul of Adam Harishon, reconfigured only partially in post-Egel
Yisrael.  To me then, as now, this smacked, l'havdil, of a Calvinistic
determinism unbefitting the tradition which understood free human choice
as the pinnicle of "tzelem elokim".  I prefer Rav Kook's response.  It
throws for me brilliant light on Rut's unforgettable words, "Amech ami
[and only then] v'elokaich elokai".

The purely righteous do not complain about evil,
         rather they add justice!
They do not complain about heresy,
         rather they add faith!
They do not complain about ignorance,
         rather they add wisdom!

         Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, Arpilei Tohar p. 39


From: <Sheldon_Rothman@...> (Sholom Rothman)
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 96 12:45:58 EST
Subject: Male vs. Female Souls

    Yrachmiel Tilles wrote "I was asked if there is an intrinsic
difference between the soul of a Jew and that of a non-Jew, and if so,
prove it". I wonder if there is an intrisic difference between the soul
of a Jewish male and that of a Jewish female?
    An interesting point on this subject may be found in Shulchan Oruch
Orach Chaim Siman 23, Si'if 3, in which the halacha is taught that one
should not wear Tzitzit openly in proximity to a grave because it seems
like one is mocking the dead person who is no longer required to fulfill
the Mitzva of Tzizit. The Mishna Brura in Si'if Katan 5 states that this
is so even in proximity to the grave of a minor because his soul may
have inhabited the body of an adult previously(in an earlier
incarnation). The Mishna Brura continues to state that in proximity to a
woman's grave there is no problem because even in her lifetime she was
not commanded to wear Tzitzit.
    My inference from this Halacha is that a woman at no time had the
possibilty of having a man's soul(from a previous incarnation), or else
there would be a similiar problem as exits in proximity to the grave of
a minor, i.e. don't wear a Tzizit openly in front of a woman's grave
because it is possible that her(his?) soul previously inhabited the body
of a man.
    Any takers? Do men have different souls than women?
                         Sholom Dov Rothman 


From: <u28324@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 05:14:23 -0500
Subject: Mazal Tov

B"H, Becky and I are pleased to tell you that at about 3:54 pm Erev Shabbat
Kodesh, Parshat Re'eh, our daughter arrived.  The naming will be IY"H on
Monday.  B"H Imma and baby are doing well!
Mazal tov!

[cut to Monday - Mod.]

This morning I was zocheh to name our daughter.  "And her name shall be
called in Yisrael, Leah bat Shmuel Aryeh."  Becky and I pray that we
will also be zocheh to raise her to Torah, chuppah, and ma'asim tovim
b'ahavat Am v'Eretz Yisrael.  We hope she will live up to the love of
Torah, tzedakah, and chesed of her namesake, great-great grandmother
Leah bat Shmuel Leib.

Both Becky and Leah are B"H doing well.

Kol tuv-
Shmuel Jablon


From: Judy Heicklen <JHEICKLE@...>
Date: 01 Aug 1996 21:10:21 EDT
Subject: Positive time-bound mitzvot

In response to Jonah Bossewitch's question in Vol. 24 #55-

>I was wondering if anybody knew the number of time-bound positive

Of the 613 Toraitic commandments, there are seven positive time-bound
commandments from which women are exempt:

1. Shema
2. Tzitzit
3. Tefilin (some people count this as two separate mitzvot- one for
   the head and one for the hand)
4. Sukkah
5. Lulav
6. Shofar
7. Omer

Rose Landowne had responded that she had remembered the number
fourteen- this refers to ALL of the positive commandments from which
women are exempt, not just the time-bound ones (for example, Pru Urvu
and Limud Torah are positive non-time-bound commandments from which
women are exempt).

There are also a number of positive time-bound commandments of
Rabbinic origin from which women are exempt; the seven (or eight)
time-bound and the seven non-time-bound refer only to the 613 Toraitic

[BTW, I believe there are two negative Toraitic commandments from
which women are exempt- the prohibitions on rounding the corners of
one's beard).


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 14:13:47 -0400
Subject: Some questions from Vayikra

Jonathan Katz asks (MJ24#76):
>1. Vayikra 17:13 "Any man...who traps [hunts?] an animal...which may be
>This sure doesn't sound like kosher slaughter! The word used is tzayid
>denoting hunting, not shochet denoting slaughter.
 To which Josh Backon responded (MJ24#78):
>Jonathan Katz asked about the language used for hunting TZAYID and how
>could this be reconciled with kosher slaughter. They probably used nets
>that were thrown over the animal to capture it.

I would have accepted Dr. Backon's proposed solution, that the animal
was caught in a bloodless method by a net, and indeed the word METZUDAH
(from the same root TZAYID) in archaic Hebrew means a trap, but the end
of the pasuk is specific that the animal was wounded and bled
"ve'shafach et damo ve'kisahu afar". This pasuk is the source to cover
the blood of slautered poultry and animals.

The passage is very clear that tzayid was acceptable method of capturing
kosher animals for food. We can also ask the same question about Essau
hunting tzayid for Yaacov. There are two ways about this problem: 1. The
laws of kosher slaughter were not yet what we have them today, just like
the process of "NECHIRAH" [killing animals for consumption by a blunt
instrument which is not a kosher shechitah] was allowed in the desert,
but not later.  (Yad, Shechitah 4:14-15) or, 2. That the animal was not
mortally wounded, was not yet in the category of neveilah and then was
properly slaughtered.  The issue of what type of wound would render the
animal as a neveilah is complex, and beyond the scope of this
discussion, (see Yad, Hilchot Shechitah) but generally, if the wound is
such that it will not kill the animal, and the animal could survive,
than it is unlikely to be called a neveilah (Yad, Ma'achalot 4:8-9), and
it can be slaughtered properly later.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


End of Volume 24 Issue 80