Volume 25 Number 41
                       Produced: Tue Dec 10 21:30:11 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2-and-a-half tribes
         [Jonathan Katz]
Jewish Calendar Algorithm: Visual Basic Code
         [Russell Hendel]
More on Tropen
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Reuven vis-a-vis Yosef
         [David Herskovic]
Riddle (3)
         [Aaron D. Gross, Larry Haber, Elie Rosenfeld]
Seven Nations
         [Claire Austin]
Shabbat at a Hotel in Eilat
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Yisaschar vs. Yisachar
         [Aaron Aryeh Fischman]
Yissachar (2)
         [Saul Mashbaum, Zvi Y Goldberg]
         [Bacon Gershon]


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Sat, 07 Dec 1996 20:27:40 EST
Subject: 2-and-a-half tribes

While studying Bamidbar, perek 32 (the portion which relates how 2.5
tribes elected to stay on the other side of the river, and not receive a
portion of Israel) I had a few questions. I'm sure these are dealt with
extensively, but I was limited to Rashi for help...

1) Where/when does the half tribe of Menashe come into this? We see no
mention of them for ~30 pasukim, and then, all of the sudden, their name
comes up in 32:33. Why the omission up to this point?

2) Pasuk 32:30 struck me as being very strange: Moshe tells the tribes
(very paraphrased) "if you help us conquer Israel, we will grant your
request and let you stay on the other side of the river. But, if you do
not help us fight, you will then (only) be given land in Israel"!  The
pasuk makes it seem as if land in Israel is a punishment! Furthermore,
if Reuven and Gad do not enter Israel to help their brothers fight, why
would they then be given land in Israel?!

3) General questtion: why does Moshe give in to their request at all?
And why does he seemingly give in so easily (he doesn't even ask God)?

Answers will be appreciated...

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


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 20:34:35 -0500
Subject: RE: Jewish Calendar Algorithm: Visual Basic Code

Joseph Greenberg (Vol 25 # 27) asks about visual basic code to convert
a Hebrew date to an English date.

I frequently hear questions like this and my response is simple

You can probably write it yourself.

Let me explain: The algorithm (ie. rules) for getting a Hebrew date are
clearly set forth in Rambam, Calendars Chapters 6 - 10.  The Rambam himself
notes that these laws are easy and can be mastered in a few days (and are
not as difficult as the other laws in chapters 11-end of book).

Thus a person studying these laws and making appropriate tables and
lists of cases would then have the program before him except for a few
technical terms Personally I can think of no better way to test ones
knowledge of a Soogya then by writing code to deal with it.

The above arguments hold in any domain where there are
	a finite number of outcomes 
	numerical outcomes
	many cases to consider.

Some example might be the Shabbath laws, divorce laws, Toomah taharah
laws, Niddah laws, etc.

Of course some software exists for some of these but a person starting
on his own can periodically modify the software. Furthermore she/he
knows exactly what cases the program covers.

I personally have increased my learning by writing such code for many
areas.  Usually my first attempt has some flaws (not bugs but omissions
of cases) and this helps me become aware of distinctions I didn't
originally see.

 From a computer point of view the reason these programs are easy is
because they really involve only ONE statement: if-then-else or a case
statement. In the case of calendars some simple functions to divide and
calculate remainders are also necessary.

I hope the above increases some peoples learning the way it has
increased mine.

Russell Jay Hendel, 
Associate Professor
Dept of Math and Computer Science
Drexel University


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 11:21:05 -0500
Subject: More on Tropen

David Herskovic (MJ 25$33) says:

>What is the correct trop for the Kotoynti in this week's sedra. Most
>Chumoshim have an azlo geireish and going by the humming of the
>congregation that is what most people expect. However, I have found a
>few Chumoshim which have a Revi'i. So which is the right one?

We discussed this in my Beit Knesset, and we noted that both Koren and
Redellheim have Reviyi, while Letteris (Spl?) has Azla on the word "Katonti"
(Breshit 32:11). I venture to guess that the dispute over the correct ta'am
over this word goes back to antiquity. I also noted that some (such as Koren)
count this pasuk as 32:10, whereas in other chumashim it is 32:11. The
different stems from counting pasuk "va'yashkem Lavan ba'boker..." as 31:55
or as 32:1. I wonder if there is a relation between these two masoretic

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: David Herskovic <100114.750@...>
Date: 09 Dec 96 18:39:35 EST
Subject: Reuven vis-a-vis Yosef

In the parshe of Reuven's misdemeanor the posuk explicitely states 'And
Reuven lay Bilho the pilegesh of his father'. According to Chazal
however, all Reuven did was move his father's bed from Bilho's tent to
his mother Leah's tent. Because Reuven did this this without his
father's consent, the posuk considers it as bad as if if he would have
actually lain with her.

Compare this to Yosef. In the story with Potifar's wife all the posuk
says is 'And he came to the house to do his work'. Innocent enough, one
would think.  Yet Chazal put a more sinister meaning to it. According to
one opinion he actually had in mind to sin with her but he had a
sighting of his father's image to warn him of the consequences.

The two stories, so close to each other in the Torah, make a striking
contrast. Chazal go out of their way way to vindicate Reuven and in so
doing give the text a whole new meaning. Yet by Yosef where the posuk
doesn't say anything, instead of leaving it at that they go out of their
way to implicate him. Why?

David Herskovic


From: Aaron D. Gross <adg@...>
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 13:05:21 -0800
Subject: Re: Riddle

From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
>> Name something that a Kohen can see and a Yisrael can see, but a
>> Levi will never see.
>The Pidyon haBen of a grandson.

If a Levi has a child by a gentile woman, and the child converts,
wouldn't the child's children require pidyon haben?

[Same reply from:
	From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>

From: Larry Haber <larryhaber@...>
Date: Sat, 07 Dec 1996 21:17:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Riddle

>Name somthing that a Kohen can see and a Yisrael can see, but a
>Levi will never see.

They tell me (I am a Levi) that if there is a Kohen present on a Torah
reading day, and there is no Levi present, then the Kohen is given two
Alyahs.  _I_ never saw that! :)

[Same answer also sent in by:
	<RabbiI@...> (P. Idstein)

From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 10 Dec 1996  11:04 EST
Subject: Riddle

The riddle posed by Elozor Preil:

>Name something that a Kohen can see and a Yisrael can see, but a Levi will
>never see.

A couple of folks suggested: "The Pidyon Ha'Ben of a grandson".  Not
sure how that would work.  The rule is that there is no p-h-b if either
parent is the child of a Cohen or a Levi.  So even in the case proposed,
where the grandfather married a divorcee, and thus his son (the father
of the baby in question) is not himself a valid Cohen, wouldn't the "son
of a Cohen" rule still apply to him in terms of exempting his baby from
a p-h-b?

Besides, a Levi's grandson could require a p-h-b in a slightly different
case.  If the Levi married a gentile, had a son, and then both wife and
son converted, the son is not a Levi (nor is he even considered a ben
Levi) and _his_ eventual son could then require a p-h-b.

Anyway... I came up with a different answer!  To repeat the riddle:

>Name something that a Kohen can see and a Yisrael can see, but a Levi will
>never see.

Answer: Someone getting two aliyas in a row.

Explanation: When there are Cohanim present in shul but no Levi'im, the
Cohen called for the first aliya gets the second aliya as well.  Thus,
only Cohanim and Yisroelim can witness such an event - by definition, if
a Levi were present it wouldn't occur!

Elie Rosenfeld


From: <czca@...> (Claire Austin)
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 96 09:59:48 -0500
Subject: Seven Nations

In response to the question about why we don't name all of the 7
Canaanite nations during the davening:

My recollection (don't remember the exact reference from Rambam) is that
when Yehoshua entered Canaan he give the people living there three
choices: (1) to leave peacefully; (2) to stay and live in peace amongst
the Jews, the condition being to abide by the Noachide Laws; (3) to stay
and fight.  The Girgashites chose the first option and left for Africa.
The Gibeonites chose the second option.  [In fact, they were the ones
who built the Temple. Presumably their task masters were more
enlightened than the Egyptians].  The remaining five chose the 3rd
option and lost.

Claire Austin


From: <toramada@...> (Shoshana L. Boublil)
Date: Mon,  2 Dec 96 12:37:36 PST
Subject: Shabbat at a Hotel in Eilat

Just as a point of general knowledge, there are hotels in Eilat that
have keys for rooms, non-electronic faucets, and what's more important -
have the knowledge and background to cope with the problems mentioned in
Hilary's post.

I think one way to find out in advance would be to contact the local
Mo'etza Datit and ask for their recommendation.  They usually have the
necessary experience and knowlege, and can let you know what is the
hotel's general attitude towards the needs of religious people.

My family has spent Shabbat in Eilat with no such problems, in a first
class hotel.  Perhaps we were lucky.  I hope you'll have a better time
next year.

come visit: www.hilonet.com/achdut/ - the Achdut Yisrael web site!
Shoshana L. Boublil (nee Skaist)


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 13:15:26 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Yisachar

See Daat zekanim mebalai hatosafot on that pasuk and also Hatam Sofer.
(I saw them in Iturai Torah on the parasha)
Menashe Elyashiv Bar Ilan U. Lib of Jewish Studies


From: <afischman@...> (Aaron Aryeh Fischman)
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 1996 12:52:18 -0500
Subject: Yisaschar vs. Yisachar

My Bar mitzvah parsha was parshat Vayetze, the first time Yisachar is
mentioned. My father and I asked Rav Pinchas Teitz (ZT"L) about how to
pronounce the name, and the answer he gave was Yisachar for the first
time, and evry time.

Aharon Fischman


From: <mshalom@...> (Saul Mashbaum)
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 11:31:45 EST
Subject: Yissachar

<<I have heard two different customs regarding the pronounciation of
Yisachar's name the first time it appears (in VaYatzay): (i) it is
pronounced the same way as it always is -- Yisachar; and (ii) it is
pronounced as it is written -- Yisaschar.  I have read that the silent
sin is because Yisachar "gave" it to his son who he originally named Yov
(B'raishis 46:13), but whose name was changed to Yashuv (B'Midbar 26:24)
becuase Yov is the name of a particular idol.  In Vayatzay, Yov (Yasuv)
was not yet born and so perhaps, Yisacahr may have been called

The above explanation of how Yissachar "lost" the second sin in his name
is cited (without a source) in the work Imrei Shefer, a commentary on
Rashi, quoted in the "full" Siftei Chachamim (not the Ikkar Siftei
Chachamim printed in most chumashim) on Rashi to B'Midbar 26:24,
footnote nun.

In "Nefesh Harav", his book about Rabbi Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveichik
zt"l (the Rov), Rabbi Hershel Shachter, shlita, one of the Rov's most
outstanding talmidim, cites two variants of the standard practice of
pronouncing Yissachar's name as if it contained only one sin:

1) In Volozhin, Yissachar's name was pronounced with two sins up to
Parshat Pinchas (where Ya*shu*v is mentioned), and one sin afterwards.

2) Out of doubt, in his private minyan the Rov directed the baal Koreh
to read the name Yissachar twice - once with one sin and once with two -
each time it appears up to Parshat Pinchas; it was read once, with one
sin, afterwards.

See Nefesh Harav page 308.

In his commentary on Divrei Hayamin Aleph 7:1, Rashi again notes that
Yashuv is Yov, but gives another explanation for the change in his name:
he and his descendents were scholars who in effect learned in yeshiva (=
Yashuv).  The descendents of Yissachar are praised for their scholarship
in Divrei Hayamin Aleph chapter 12.

From: <zg@...> (Zvi Y Goldberg)
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 00:09:27 EST
Subject: Yissachar

	In response to Barry Best's question about Yissachar's
pronounciation, the Rashbam in parshas Vayeitzai comments : the double
sin stands for "sachar", which means both "hire" and "reward".  Leah
hired Yaakov with the dudaim and was rewarded through her prayers and
pure intent with a child.
	The Baal HaTurim adds, but since the 1st allusion is
uncomplementary,        *the 1st sin is not pronounced*.


From: Bacon Gershon <GBacon@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 96 14:15:00 PST
Subject: Yissachar/Yissaschar

In one of the early volumes of Daniel Sperber's Minhagei Yisrael there
is a well-documented study of the varying local customs in pronouncing
this name.

Gershon Bacon
Bar-Ilan University


End of Volume 25 Issue 41