Volume 25 Number 01
                       Produced: Thu Sep 26 23:07:36 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A question on Ki Setze
         [Benjamin Waxman]
         [Jay Kaplowitz]
Meaning of the Word Rabbi
         [Russell Hendel]
Meaning of the word Rabbi
         [Mordechai Gross]
Proper way to bury holy texts
         [Steven Edell]
RAMBI citation search system
         [Yosef Branse]
RAMBI database
         [Josh Backon]
Sigmund Freud's bar mitsvah
         [Eliezer Finkelman]
Some questions from Vayikra
         [Mordy Gross]
Sunset times
         [Robert A. Book]
The Written Law, Orah Law and defintion of Torah
         [Russell Hendel]
Writing down the Oral Torah
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]


From: Benjamin Waxman <benjaminw@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 10:11:31 +0200
Subject: A question on Ki Setze

>Does the halacha account for the likely scenaro where a woman would be
>raped in the city, and she cried out, and nobody came to help?

First- of course she would bear no reponsiblitity in such a situation.
"Oness Rachmaneh Patreh"-In a situation where a person is forced, God
forgives him.  This rule is found all over the halacha.  For example, a
person who has a violent allergy to grain products does not have to eat
matza.  Even more so is the situation that you have described.  She did all
that she could to protect herself.  She has nothing to be ashamed of.

Second- the people in the city have violated one of the most important
percepts in the Torah-Thou shall not stand over your brother's blood.  

Ben Waxman, Technical Writer
<BenjaminW@...>, www.livelink.com
        Tel. +972-2-6528274, Fax. +972-2-6528356


From: <iii@...> (Jay Kaplowitz)
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 14:35:57 -0400
Subject: Esrogim

Just saw an unusual item on Arutz Sheva (Sept. 19 edition).  The Israel
Citrus Export Council said that Israel would export 360,000 esrogim this
year.  That raises some interesting questions.  Where else are esrogim
grown?  Has anyone ever seen data on the number of esrogim purchased in
the US each year?

Chag Sameach
Jay Kaplowitz


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 20:10:14 -0400
Subject: Meaning of the Word Rabbi

I would just like to add two other connotations to the root RV in RABBI
to supplement the meanings listed by David Charlap, Micha Berger, and
Diane Sandoval in V24 #99.  I obtained these verses from the Radack, The
Book of Roots (Sefer Hasharashim) which is an excellent source of ideas

1) Roveh Kashath...from the Rosh Hashanah laining in Vayayrah...the
connotation is clearly one of archery "teacher".  (2) ..vechal tarbuth
baythchah yamusu anashim...which could probably be loosely translated as
"..the followers of your household..."(like a Chasidic Rebbe).

This would support the idea of Rabbi as creating a "following to a
school of thought" which would fit in nicely with many uses of Rabbi.

I hope this adds insight.

Russell Hendel, PhD, ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

From: <mordy_gross@...> (Mordechai Gross)
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 14:46:27 EDT
Subject: Meaning of the word Rabbi

>In Na"ch (Prophets and Writtings, the last 2/3 of Tanach), the word "Rav"
>refers to the master of a slave.

It doesn't. It just refers master, in most cases master-servant, but in
many cases just plain master.

>We first find the use of "Rav" to mean a mentor about the time that the
>Saducees arose. I was wondering if they invented the term, and meant it
>disparagingly -- that the Pharasees follow their teachers as masters instead
>of the True Master. We then adopted the term for ourselves. (Much the same
>way the word "Orthodox" came into usage.)

The use of Rav only arose to difrenciate between those in Babalonia, who
didn't have Smicha, and those in E.Y. who were called Rebbi, and had
S'micha. Saducees were the Talmidim of Tzadok and Baysus, who were before
the Chashmonaim.
Mordy Gross


From: Steven Edell <shatil@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 22:49:22 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Proper way to bury holy texts

> From: Sam Jacobs <jacobs@...>
> 	Can someone tell me the proper way to bury old prayer books etc?
> I know that they should be gathered together, placed in a wooden box and
> buried in the Jewish Cemetery.  Are there any prayers to be said as the
> box is buried?  Does one need a regular burial plot or can one use the
> area near the fence?  Please excuse my ignorance. I simply cannot find
> any references or guidance.  Sam Jacobs

When my mother Z"L was niftar my Rabbi brought a large box of damaged
Holy texts with him, and put them near (not on) her, before I covered
the grave. I assume this is one proper way of doing it, and was told
that it also pays respect to the deceased to have them surrounded by
Holy objects.

Steven Edell, Computer Manager Shatil / New Israel Fund (Israel)
<steven@...> OR  shatil@actcom.co.il
972-2-6723597  Fax: 972-2-6735149


From: Yosef Branse <JODY@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:04:54 +0200 (EET)
Subject: RE: RAMBI citation search system


Michael Broyde asked:

>Does anyone know how to get software that will let a person run a search 
>on the Israeli citation search system called rambi?

You don't need any special software, just the ability to run Telnet from
your host computer. RAMBI is one catalog among many available from the
Israeli university library network. Telnet to any one of them - e.g.,
ALEPH.HUJI.AC.IL (the Hebrew University) - and follow the login
instructions. Then type 'LB' and hit return. You will see a list of
other accessible catalogs. Select the code indicated for RAMBI.

You should not have any problem searching in English. If you need to
work in Hebrew, be sure your Telnet software supports it (such as EWAN,
PowerTerm, Reflection) - Hebrew support on foreign computers (i.e., from
my perspective, outside of Israel) is an extensive discussion in its own

* Yosef (Jody) Branse       University of Haifa Library                    *
* Internet/ILAN:     <JODY@...>                                  *


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Wed,  25 Sep 96 17:19 +0200
Subject: Re: RAMBI database

To access the RAMBI database at Hebrew University, telnet
aleph.huji.ac.il login as aleph and then type lb/jnl.rbi

RAMBI (Index of Articles on Jewish Studies) scans thousands of journals
(Hebrew, English and other) for articles relevant to Jewish studies.

Josh Backon


From: <Finkelmans@...> (Eliezer Finkelman)
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 01:25:43 -0400
Subject: Sigmund Freud's bar mitsvah

Does anyone out there know what Parshah was read at Sigmund Freud's bar


From: <mordy_gross@...> (Mordy Gross)
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 08:18:54 PST
Subject: Some questions from Vayikra

>I had a few questions which came up while learning Vayikra. Since I
>looked only in Rashi for possible solutions, I am curious to hear
>what other commentators have to say, and would also be interested in
>what people on mail-jewish think.

>1. Vayikra 17:13 "Any man...who traps [hunts?] an animal...which may
>be eaten..."  This sure doesn't sound like kosher slaughter! The word
>used is tzayid denoting hunting, not shochet denoting slaughter.

>2. Vayikra 23:9-13 speaks about the bringing of the Omer on Pesach -
>no new grain may be eaten before this is done. Vayikra 23:14 says
>"...an eternal decree for all generations in all your dwelling
>places" Yet, we do not keep this law today. While we do wait to eat
>new grain until this time, we certainly don't bring Omer anymore!

1. Tzayid does not nescaserally mean trap, it can be used for
capture. I think it means here the entire capturing process, from
capturing to slaughtering.  Another possible Peirush may be from what
the Ba'al HaTurim says regarding the reason why we must cover the
blood of a Chayah. He says "The blood of a Chayah or a bird must be
covered because we do not bring their blood on the Mizbaiach, so that
the Satan will not prosecute 'how can "blood" eat other blood'. From
this we can infer that the only reason why we must cover the blood is
so that these animals, which are generally trapped, and their blood is
spilled, are treated with the proper respect. In this aspect, Yatzood
Tzaid Chayah, to trap an animal, may be read to trap an animal which
is trapped, and the reason for this Mitzvah is because it is trapped.

2.There are a lot of people who will not eat new grain until after the
time which the Omer would have been brought. Admittadly, there is no
reason why we should also not accept this Minhag on ourselves, but
most Poskim say that because for generations we were not Makpid on
this Minhag, there must be a good reason for it.


From: Robert A. Book <rbook@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 22:26:04 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Sunset times

You can find out the time of astronomical sunset (and sunrise, and
other information) for any point in the U.S., for any given date (or a
whole year at once) from the U.S. Naval Observatory's web site:


The USNO's home page is:


This should be useful for computing candle-lighting and davening

--Robert Book    <rbook@...>
  University of Chicago


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:15:16 -0400
Subject: The Written Law, Orah Law and defintion of Torah

Chana Luntz [V24 #96] following Akiva Miller raises some interesing
questions about the defintion of Torah. I believe 3 simple points
can help answer most of the questions.

FIRST: There are three (not two) categories of Torah:
TORAH SHEBICTAV: This includes all matters dealing with reading
the Tenach (punctuation, laining) as well as meaning (e.g. a Rashi
in Megillah explaining the meaning of an obscure word).

TORAH SBAL PEH: This has two parts:
MISHNAH: This includes all laws and traditions not explicitly
found in the Torah. As Chana correctly points out without the Mishnah
I would have no way of knowing the 5 invalidations of a Schecitah.

GEMARRA (See Rambam for this definition) This includes all matters
of analysis, generalization, rationalization and distinction on
Torah and Mishnah matters. 

SECOND: A variety of modern psychological authors have dealt with
the concept of self esteem or perception of accomplishment which
is very important for emotional health. Using this concept we
can analyze a possible **reason** for having 3 categories of Torah by
suggesting that it creates a balance between the needs for self
esteem on the one hand and humility on the other.

Thus Torah Sbal Peh can be mastered by memorizing a finite number
of vowel and cantillation signs. A person can say (=self
esteem) that they e.g. know how to lain their Bar Mitzvah parshah.
The knowledge in this case is complete.  Similarly (using Chana's
example) a person can say that they  know the five (all) methods 
of invalidating a Schchitah...the knowledge is complete and a person
has a feeling of self accomplishment.  On the other hand Gemarrah
is notorious for being endless and hence engenders a sense of
humility since we are constantly made aware of the distinctions and
generalizations that we don't know. It also creates self esteem 
by allowing individuals to create new Torah.

THIRD: In an article I wrote, Towards A Definition of Torah, I 
suggest that the Torah was not meant to be fixed in domain but
rather to continually grow.  I use the analogy of loveletters.
Loveletters grow in effect not by repeating phrases of love 
but rather by the couple sharing with each other more and more
experiences (ie. the loveletters are defined by the *relationship*
and not by the *content*).  In a similar manner if say I use 
the proof that the square root of 2 is not rational and *connect
it to other Torah such as the measurments of Succah* then that
piece of mathematics becomes Torah since I share my worldly
experiences with Hashem (see the Tosafoth in Succah which *is* 
Torah but pure geomery).

Using these three concepts we can quickly answer many questions:`
1) A rashi explaining a Biblical word is Torah Shebictav
2) All 24 books are Torah Shebictav
3) Mishnahs collecting laws are Torah Shebal Peh--Misnah.    
4) A rashi explaining a meaning of a text is Torah Shebictav
5) A rashi explaining reasons for Posooks may be Gemarrah
6) An internet posting that summarizes known laws or views isMishnah
7) An internet posting that compares and contrasts texts is Gemarrh

Some further examples might help

8)A listing of which drugs are ok on Pesach and which you have
to watch out for is MISHNAH (like the list of Wicks in Bemeh
9)Similarly a Rabbi who in a Shabbos Derashah connects a 
Political event to a Torah law is also engaged in Mishnah
10) If the Rabbis sermon has distinctions comparisons and
generalizations then it is Gemarrah.

If one asks why this is so: Why should dentists and Rabbi sermons
be classified as Torah.. we could respond either using the loveletter
analogy or the self esteem analogy---the purpose of Torah is to
share with God our worldly matters; its emotional affects on
us should balance a sense of humility about what we don't know with
the self esteem of having mastered old torah or creating new torah.

I hope these ideas add clarification to this difficult subject.

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


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 13:35:03 -0400
Subject: Writing down the Oral Torah

Akiva Miller (MJ 24#86) asks for examples of changes of Torah laws by the
rabbis. I recently found such a case in Bavli Yevamot (in the first 4 pages).
 The rabbis changed the order of "yibum" first and if not then
"chalitzah" to "chalitzah" first and if not then "yibum". This is a
change of Torah order of things, a change of priorities. This
"chalitzah" first and if not then "yibum" is the acceptable halachah to
the Ashkenazim today; Sefaradim, according to Rabbi Yossef, follow the
Torah order.

It appears to me that the above change negates Miller's statement that "My
stand has been that the rabbis have the ability to make halacha stricter, but
not more lenient." This yibum/chalitzah change is in the direction of
leniancy. The reason articulated in the Talmud for this change is that Israel
will not fullfill the original intent of "yibum" by keeping the name of the
deceased borther, but rather will perform the yibum for their own
gratification. This, according to my anderstanding, will cause the "arayot"
like situation to emerge. Please note that it is a prohibited marriage
between a widow and her brother in law UNLESS it is a yibum case.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


End of Volume 25 Issue 1