Volume 25 Number 09
                       Produced: Thu Oct  3  6:45:53 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Eli Passow]
Aliyah and Mitzvat Yishuv Eretz Yisrael
         [Perry Zamek]
Blood donation
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Blood Donation and other issues
         [Frank Silbermann]
Creation Ex Nihilo (2)
         [Jonathan Katz, Stan Tenen]
Eretz Yisrael- a clarification
         [Shmuel Jablon]
Tehillim Request
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Text of Nachem
         [Joe Halberstadt]
The 613 Mitzvot and Midoraysa
         [William H. Bernstein]


From: Eli Passow <passow@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 13:40:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Aliya

	Shmuel Jablon wrote: "What is more surprising to me is that
there has never been a mass migration of Torah Jews -- as a COMMUNITY --
to Israel."
	Indeed, that is the great failing of the American Jewish
community, especially the Orthodox one, from which the most can be
expected. We all have our individual reasons (excuses) for not making
aliya (yet). But it is really not so suprising that more of us don't go.
Do we demand it of our children? How many schools even raise the issue
among its students? How many rabbis talk about the ideal of aliya? The
Zionist youth movements are moribund today. It is not even on the agenda
of the Orthodox community. Our children should be challenged with the
idea of aliya, they should struggle with the possibility, and, should be
sad if they decline to do make aliya.
	We have failed to answer the call of Jewish history, and we will
undoubtedly be called into account for this failure. Israel would be a
far different country today if a million or so American Jews were living
		Eli Passow 


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 1996 23:39:19 +0300
Subject: Aliyah and Mitzvat Yishuv Eretz Yisrael

Just a short comment, since various sefarim have been discussed in the
context of this thread:

Rav Soloveitchik's "Kol Dodi Dofek" (published with both the Hebrew
edition of "Ish Ha-Emunah" -- The Lonely Man of Faith -- and in "Besod
Hayachid VehaYachad", edited by the late Rav Pinchas Peli), suggests
that Orthodox Jewry has been somewhat "deaf" to the "knocking of our
beloved" (i.e. God).  In very beautiful imagery drawn from Shir
Hashirim, the Rav analyzes the response of Orthodox Jewry to the key
events of the decades leading up to and immediately following the
establishment of the State of Israel. (I think the article was written
in about 1956?)

Apart from the direct analysis above, the Rav also gives a marvellous
interpretation of the story of Iyov, which is itself worth studying,
even if one doesn't agree with the Rav's application of that
interpretation to modern events.

As for "making Israel in Galut", it was one of the Lubavitcher Rebbeim
(I don't recall which one), who, when asked whether one should go on
Aliyah (this was well before the mass Aliyah of the 1920's and 1930's I
think), said "Mach Yerusholayim Do" (Make Yerushalayim Here). There are
still some among Lubavitcher chassidim of my acquaintance who believe
this to be operative even today (while at the same time declaring that
the Mashiach has arrived!).

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should hold his head high. 
Peretz ben    | "Even in poverty a Hebrew is a prince... 
Avraham       |       Crowned with David's Crown" -- Jabotinsky


From: <mshalom@...> (Saul Mashbaum)
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 17:25:01 EDT
Subject: Blood donation

Kol hakavod to Yossi Wetstein, who described to MJ readers the
importance of blood donation. I became a regular donor a number of years
ago, and have donated whole blood 12 times in that period through Magen
David Adom. The procedure is simple, only a tiny bit painful, and the
benefits to the community are tremendous. I would like to echo Yossi's
call to MJ readers to donate blood and to encourage others to do so.

Although pregnant women and those soon after childbirth are not accepted
as donors, healthy women not in those categories are perfectly
acceptable donors. Although women of childbearing age often get "out of
the habit" of donating blood (mazal tov), they should seriously consider
donation when circumstances permit.

I think that many MJ readers, if they give blood even once, will say to
themselves (as I did when I started a few years ago) "It's so simple,
I'm sorry I didn't do it long ago", and become regular donors.

Ktiva vehatima tova to MJ readers, and to our faithful moderator.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 06:37:31 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Blood Donation and other issues

> From: Joseph P. Wetstein <jpw@...>
> When I was in yeshiva, my Rosh HaYeshiva, Reb Shmuel Kamanetsky,
> shelita, was always one of the first to donate from the community.

A few years ago I was asked to donate blood for the wife of a Persian
Jewish family -- she needed transfusions and the husband was anxious
that she receive blood only from Jews.

Are there any sources or customs advising Jews in need of transfusions
to prefer blood from Jews?  Or was this likely just his own idea?

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 1996 10:14:57 EDT
Subject: Creation Ex Nihilo

In v25n3, David Charlap comments:
> The entire first chapter of Bereshit (Genesis) describes in detail how
> God created the universe from "tohu va'vohu" (void and nothingness).

Actually, I don't think that "void and nothingness" can possibly be an 
accurate translation of "tohu va'vohu". If you have a source for this, I
would be interested to know.

The reason I say this is the structure of the first two verses. A rough
translation of the first verse and the first half of the second verse
might be:
"(1) In the beginning of God's creation of the heaven and the earth
 (2) - And the earth was without form (tohu va'vohu)... -
 () ...and God created light..."

Note that the first pasuk does not mean "in the beginning God created..."
[See the Artscroll B'reishit, and I believe the distinction is made
by Rashi as well]. According to the wording above, the gist of the
verses is that God created the universe, the universe was formless, and
_then_ He created light, etc. The (incorrect) wording implies that
_before_ God created anything, there was "tohu va'vohu" - not only that,
but before God created anything, there was an "aretz" ["earth"] which
could be in the state of "tohu va'vohu"! Thus, any proof of creation
ex nihilo from the words "tohu va'vohu" must explain how there can 
be an earth while maintaining "nothingness".

Besides which, I believe "tohu va'vohu" has the connotation of a jumble,
something without form, stuff all mixed together. I don't see any way it
could be taken to mean "nothing".

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

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 08:24:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Creation Ex Nihilo

There is no _simple_ answer to the question of whether "G-d" created the 
world ex nihilo.  This is because _different_ attributes of "G-d" 
created the world differently - from our perspective.

Kabbalistically, there is little doubt that HaShem created the world 
exclusively from His Will (as opposed to His Being.  It is only the Vov-
Key aspect of YKVK that acts; the Vov denotes "doing" because the Vov 
indicates unfoldment - what happens around a "pin", the traditional 
meaning of Vov.  The YK, denotes His Essence, which we can never know 
anything about other than Exquisite Singularity).  HaShem's Willful 
action occurs in an eternal, non-material space, that exists OUTSIDE of 
time and "before" (from our perspective) there is any regular cyclicity 
in the world to measure (or detect) time by.  HaShem creates/projects ex 
nihilo by means of His metaphoric Hand. (Hand = Yod-Dalet.  The Yod is 
the will projector, the DaLeT, what happens at a DeLTa, is its 
dispensation.) His Hand represents His Will, just as our hand represents 
our will.  HaShem's hand projects His Will from within (whatever that 
means, and as represented by the initial Bet of B'Reshit) Himself into 
what we call the world.  We project the portion of our will that we 
receive from HaShem into the physical world by means of our body's 
movements - especially by the pointing and gesturing of our hand(s) or 
by the use of our language to have someone else do our bidding (our 
will) with their hands.

HaShem creates the world, ex nihilo, from His Consciousness.

Elokim, on the other hand, is the aspect of "G-d" that represents (to 
us) the Expanse and Extent of G-d throughout the Expanse and Extent of 
the entire universe. Elokim is all around always.(HaShem is outside of 
time; Elokim is Eternal.) Elokim "creates" the "heavens and the earth" 
by representing the aspect of G-d that we know as the Will of HaShem to 
draw out the world between the "poles" of consciousness (the heavens) 
and physicality (the earth.)  (We live our lives stretched between our 
personal internal consciousness and the consensus physical world 
outside.)  This space is created without explicit organization (or with 
the peculiar potential for organization attributed to "tohu v'bohu"), 
but not ex nihilo.  Elokim, as the Manifest aspect of G-d, makes 
HaShem's Transcendent Will manifest to us in what we experience as the 

This is why some kabbalists translate B'Reshit I.1 to read "...(He) 
created Elokim ..."  The implied "He" is the Will aspect of HaShem.  
Elokim, being the Manifestation that we experience as the world, appears 
to us to be created "from."  This is not so, but it is logically correct 
once you make a distinction in the apparent functions of HaShem and 
Elokim. (From a higher perspective, there is no distinction whatsoever.) 

Think of HaShem as an Infinitely "high" and Transcendent Point of All-
Being/All-Action. (Sometimes comparable to the Exquisite Point of Light 
that draws a meditation.) Think of Elokim as the Manifest Infinite 
"spectrum" of all manifestation in the Universe. (Sometimes comparable 
to the "Great Flame" that Tzaddikim yield to each night in their 
meditations.) HaShem is the Exquisitely Singular aspect while Elokim is 
the All-There-Is Whole aspect.  Singularity creates ex nihilo; Wholeness 
creates from (and is the externalization, extent and expanse of) 

This is just like a "fruit tree yielding fruit whose seed is inside 
itself." (B'Reshit I.11.)  The Single seed, via the self-organization of 
the embryonic path, creates the Whole Tree (the "earth") and the Whole 
fruit (the "heavens") with new seed inside - endlessly.

There is a flat-out modern physics "prediction" than can be inferred 
from this.  The ultimate model of creation (in science) will be found to 
be a complementary conjugation of Big-Bang (ex nihilo) and Continuous 
Creation, just as the element of the creation, the photon, and the other 
elementary particles, are now seen to be both particle-like and wave-
like even though they, as aspects of HaShem-Elokim are also a Single-
Whole Unity from a "higher" view.

....On that day, "HaShem-Elokim's" name will be One.(for the physicists)

Stan Tenen

P.S. For an illustration of Continuous Creation, check our web site: 


From: <u28324@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 21:55:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Eretz Yisrael- a clarification

1) In looking over my last post regarding living in Eretz Yisrael, as
opposed to Chutz laAretz, I realized that one item was unclear...  There
is a chiluk (difference) between where an individual may desire and/or
need to be, and where the future of the Nation as a whole lies.  An
individual may, for whatever reason or challenge, need to be in CHU"L.
Yet, the future (and indeed present) of the Jewish Nation clearly lies
in the Land of Israel.  The Nation is ultimately built in its Land- not
in galus.  What we do in CHU"L as individuals is a preparation for what
we, as individuals and a NATION, will do b'Artzenu.  Thus, as I noted
previously, our eyes (and hearts) must be on Tzion (even if our feet
presently need to be in CHU"L).

2) Obviously, all agree that part of the above is the need to constantly
daven for Eretz Yisrael...and all of the Jews residing there.  We also
need to support with our funds, each on our own level, those Jews who
are building Our Nation in Our Land.  If anyone wants some ideas, just
let me know!

Moadim l'Simcha-
Shmuel Jablon


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 12:16:08 +0000
Subject: Tehillim Request

Please say Tehillim for a Refuah Shleima for our son, Baruch Yosef ben Adina 

Many thanks and a Ksiva VaChasima Tova.

-- Carl  and Adina Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Joe Halberstadt <fx_joe@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 14:10:51 BST
Subject: Re: Text of Nachem

Geoffrey Herman wrote:

>The "mahzor" for Tisha BeAv produced in Britain (under the auspices of the
>United Synagogue, I think) also contains an alternative version of the Nahem
>prayer in the edition that was updated following the Six Day War. It omits
>the reference to the city being  desolate and in ruins, moves some of it into
>the past tense. Well done (British) United Synagogue for responding to

I would hasten to add that subsequent editions of Rev. Abraham Rosenfeld's
Kinos (if that is what you are referring to) reverted to the standard
text for Nachem.

Joe Halberstadt                                 <HALBERSTADTJ@...>


From: William H. Bernstein <104337.635@...>
Date: 11 Sep 96 10:34:42 EDT
Subject: The 613 Mitzvot and Midoraysa

Perhaps someone can clear up a question I have.  We say that
such-and-such mitzva is a midoraysa, although it is not one of the
taryag (613 - Mod.) mitzvos.  What determines whether something is
midoraysa even where it does not appear among the standard taryag


End of Volume 25 Issue 9