Volume 25 Number 51
                      Produced: Tue Dec 24 16:17:15 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
22,000 oxen & 120,000 sheep
         [Stan Tenen]
Cheese (2)
         [Tanya Scott, Ronald Cohen]
         [Martin Dauber]
Kohanim in cemetaries
         [Rafi Stern]
Levite cities
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Ma'ariv on Motzai Yom Kippur
         [Moshe Poupko]
Sin and Knowledge of G-d
         [Eli Turkel]
Slach Lanu Motzaei Yom Kippur
         [David Oratz]
Trams and Cohanim in Arlington
         [Yehuda Poch]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 16:06:09 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

OK, This issue is one from the "archives" of my email box.

Avi Feldblum
Shamash Facilitator and mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 08:14:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 22,000 oxen & 120,000 sheep

The Haftorah for Shemini Atzeret tells us that "Solomon offered as peace 
offerings to G-d, twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty 
thousand sheep.  So the king and all the Israelites dedicated G-d's 
house." (1 Kings 8:63, Kaplan, The Living Torah, p. 1355)

Not being a farmer, my estimation of the size and weight of oxen and 
sheep may not be too accurate.  Say a sheep is about 3-feet tall, 3-feet 
long, and 1-foot wide = 9-cubic feet (counting the empty space between 
their legs.)  Oxen can be large or small, but are always larger than 
sheep (I think).  Let's say an ox takes up 4-times the volume of a sheep 
= 4 x 9 = 36-cubic feet.

22,000 x 36 = 792,000 cubic feet of oxen
120,000 x 9 = 1,080,000 cubic feet of sheep

Together the oxen and sheep take up well over 1.5-million cubic feet.  
If we say that oxen and sheep together average 3-feet tall, then the 
1.5-million cubic feet is spread out over 500,000 square feet.  If 
square, this area is over 700-feet on a side.  This is comparable to 
the size of the entire Temple Mount.

Is there any explanation for this?  Is there any way that this text can 
be taken literally?  If so, how?  If it is not literal, what do the 
numbers and animals actually refer to?

Note, the estimates above do not allow for any space between the 
animals, nor space for handlers to walk, as would be required to feed 
them (and etc.) and, if these animals were sacrificed, no allowance is 
made for their remains and their disposal.  Was the local population 
capable of eating this much meat or preserving it?  Where did all the 
blood go? ...And, how long would it take to gather, feed, and slaughter 
them? Etc.

I believe that the text is not to be taken literally.  It seems to me 
that the oxen represent one aspect of sacrifice and the sheep another, 
but that they are _not_ real living animals and they were not 
slaughtered - at least not in the numbers stated.  What do our sages say 
about this?  Could this offer us any insight into the meaning of 
sacrifice in the future?


P.S.  When I originally submitted this I had mixed up square feet and square
miles, and had gotten a truly impossible area.  But even using the correct
units and making modest estimates, the argument still holds.  This is an
enormous amount of live-stock (or meat).


From: Tanya Scott <SCOTTT@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 96 16:47:00 PST
Subject: Cheese

> Could someone tell me what makes non-kosher cheeses not kosher? I need
> this info for my rabbi who needs to pasken a question about eating at
> someone's house where non-kosher cheeses are used.
> Avi Bloch

Well, since cheese comes from milk, there's always the possibility that   
the milk could come from a non-kosher animal, but I think this is an   
unlikely  possibility in the US where the milk used is from cows.  But   
the  issue of greater concern, I believe, is whether the cheese has been   
hardened using the enzyme that comes from the lining of a calf's stomach.   
This would be a mixing of meat and dairy.  There may be some rabbinic   
disagreement between the Orthodox and Conservative movements on whether   
rennet (the enzyme) is a meat product because it undergoes some chemical   
treatment before it's used to harden cheese.  You may want to consult a   
Rabbi who's well versed in Kashrut.  

From: Ronald Cohen <cohen@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 09:46:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cheese

Cheese must be supervised because (1) there is a prohibition against
Gevina Akum (cheese made by a non-Jew); (2) cheese contains additives
including either Rennet, which must be from a kosher animal or pepsin
which is from pigs; (3) cheese is a processed food which can contain
other additives or be cooked in utensils which contained pork or other

%Ronald Cohen			FAX and phone: 202-537-3951
%Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington
%5251 Broad Branch Rd., N.W.,  Washington, D.C. 20015


From: <mhd601@...> (Martin Dauber)
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 1996 10:08:11 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Esrogim

In repsonse to the question of origin of esrogim, let us not forget the
"city" of "YANOVA" (also probably known as Genoa, Italy).  Although
esrogim were never actually grown in the city of Genoa, the market there
had the reputation of providing esrogim that were free from any doubt of

I refer interested readers to the Shulchan Aruch Harav in Hilchos Lulav,
where he states that even Moshe Rabainu got his esrog from Yanova while
he was in the Midbar!!!!!!!  ?!!!!!! (Because of the chezkas kashrus
upon them.)


From: <iitpr@...> (Rafi Stern)
Date: Wed,  9 Oct 96 02:47:54 PDT
Subject: Kohanim in cemetaries

As a digression from the discussion about Kohanim going to Arlington
National Cemetary, do Kohanim have to be worried about the Safek of a
Jew being buried as a Goy, or do they only have to worry about definite
cases of Jewish bodies?

Rafi Stern
IITPR - The Israel Institute of Transportation Planning and Research
Tel:972-3-6873312   Fax:972-3-6872196
E-mail: <iitpr@...>


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 20:24:51 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Levite cities

> From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...> 
> While studying Bamidmar, the following question came up regarding the
> 48 cities given to the Levi'im (Bamidbar, chapter 35).  6 of these
> cities were to be "cities of refuge". 3 of these cities were to be
> outside of Israel, in the territory of the 2.5 tribes.  Did Levi'im
> actually live in those cities outside of Israel? If not, why were the
> cities considered theirs? If so, why should they be punished by living
> outside of Israel? And, how did they serve in the Temple?

Way I learn it in makkos (as I remeber it) was that there are 2 different
categories: Arei Miklat and Arei Leviim.  Arei Leviim can act as Arei 
Miklat with one difference.  If the killer accidentally killed in the Ir 
Leviim he must go to another Ir Leviim or Miklat.

Write to : <segaleli@...>


From: <mopo@...> (Moshe Poupko)
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 96 08:18:39 PST
Subject: Ma'ariv on Motzai Yom Kippur

[I have a number of responses still on this topic. A few add an
interesting insight or twist, so I'll pass them along. I will not send
any more that have us saying Selach lanu for having complained about the
Chazan, Rabbi's speech etc. Mod.]

On the night of Yom Kippur we arrive in shul quite full from our pre-fast 
meal. We are comfortable and have a sense of physical well being. Yet when 
we come to Kriat S'hma we say the verse "Baruch shem kavod......." aloud 
because we are like angels! 
After a full day of fasting and praying, crying and bowing,abstaining from 
all physical pleasures, wearing white and standing, if not the entire day 
then certainly long stretches of time, we have finished Ne'ela and cried 
out "Hashem Hu HaElokim" 7 times we have reached great spiritual heights. 
So why do we say "Selach Lanu" in Maariv. Because it's not where you come 
from that's important  but where you are going.
Moshe Poupko


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 09:18:22 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Sin and Knowledge of G-d

     Russel Hendel defines yetzer ha-ra as "impetuousness" and uses this
to explain why awarness of God and sin aren't necessarily contradictory.

    IMHO this might explain only half the difficulty. There are two
types of sin. One based on impestuousness and desire
(le-te-avon). However, there is another type of sin that is premeditated
rebellion (le-hach-is).  It would seem that knowledge of God would
prevent the second type of sin.

     I would also like to point out that there are limits to free will.
Rav Dessler, Rav Soloveitchik and many others have pointed out that it
is not reasonable to expect any person to change drastically
overnight. The world works on the assumption that what happened
yesterday will happen tommorow. It is not reasonable to assert that a
member of the mafia has free will and can become a good guy
tommorrow. Besides the chances that he will be killed, people just don't
change that dramatically overnight. Similarly, it would be difficult for
most people on this list to commit murder even though we theoretically
have free will. The stories of most converts and balle teshuva speak of
many months and years of struggle between the initial and final stages.

    Hence, any awareness of God would take a long time until it filtered
down to the level of affecting our daily lives. As an example, when
Newton discovered gravity and inertia it was a major change in man's
thinking.  Today every youngster takes it for granted. Similarly an
absolute awareness of God would force one, over the long run, to act



From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Dec 1996 19:32:52 +0200
Subject: Slach Lanu Motzaei Yom Kippur

>From: <rabbi_gabbai@...> (Jeff Fischer)  

>On Motza'ay Yom Kippur, we say the regular weekday Shemoneh Esray with
>Ata Chonantanu.  How come we say the b'racha of Selach Lanu if we just
>finished an entire day of selicha ulchapparah and fasting?  Why not
>skip it?"

 I Once heard from "the Magid", Rav Sholom Shvadron  
Shlitah, a similar question:  
 Why do we say "Boruch shem kvod Malchuso..." out loud as if we were
Malochim for Maariv of Yom Kippur "Ven de Gefilte fish shvimt noch in
boich" [When the Gefilte fish is still swimming in the stomach. - Mod.]
whereas Motzoei Yom Kippur, after fasting like Malochim an entire day,
we do not?
 His answer was that with the mindset of entering Yom Kippur one could
immediately attain the level of the malochim,whereas the mindset of
leaving Yom Kippur was inconsistent with being a maloch.
 This may not be a fully satisfactory answer for slach lanu. An answer
for slach lanu itself is given by the commentary to the beginning of
Maariv for Motzoei Yom kippur in the ArtScroll Machzor in the name of
Rav Yotzchok of Vorki. Some of the subsequent answers touched on similar
themes from more modern sources.  I believe that the classical source
for the answer is from the Chovos Halvovos in Shaar Avodat Elokim
chapter three, where he explains while the truly pious used to do fresh
tshuvah each and every day.

Dovid Oratz


From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 23:35:12 -0500
Subject: Trams and Cohanim in Arlington

[Yehuda and I had an email exchange on his reply below, which I present
after his first message. Mod.]

>From: <bsbank@...> (Barry S. Bank)
>Some time ago I wrote to inquire if anyone knew if a cohen could use the
>tourist trams in Arlington National Cemetery -- i.e., are there any trees
>over the roadway on which the trams travel which are also over graves
>which would transmit tumah to a cohen who was riding in the tram.  

Let me ask you another question.  The road that these trams travel on.  Does
the road cut through the cemetery, or does it just go around in a circle.
If you can get from one side to the other on this road, then you have an
issue.  If not, then you are not allowed to use this road, or the trams at
all, assuming there is one Jewish grave in the cemetery.

[My email to Yehuda - Mod.]

>At 21:50 96-12-01 -0500, Avi Feldblum wrote:
>What is the halakhic basis for your response. I understand the halakhic
>basis of the question (is the road closer or further than 4 amot to the
>nearest grave, is there a tree that overhangs a Jewish grave and the road
>acting as an Ohel and it therefore would be forbidden, if you do not know
>if the grave is Jewish how do the rules of Safek Tumah Birshut Harrabim
>play out), I do not understand the halakhic basis of what you are
>answering. What difference does it make if the road goes through or
>around and how many roads there are?

 1. My father is a funeral director, who served 18 years on the chevra
kadisha beforehand.
 2. The difference is that if the road goes through the cemetery and
exits on the other side, then it can be considered a thoroughfare and
can be used by kohanim to pass through the cemetery as long as there are
no overhanging trees.  Many still do not use them as a "geder".

[I still do not follow the arguement, and look forward to one of the
other members or Yehuda further enlightening me. The laws of Tumah are
known to be difficult, so I don't feel to bad not understanding. Mod.]

\  \  \  \   |   /  /  /  /       Yehuda Poch		 __/\__
 \  \  \  \  |  /  /  /  /        Toronto, Ontario		 \  /   \  / 
  \_\_\_\|/_/_/_/         <yehuda@...>		 /_\_/_\  
           _|_                 http://www.interlog.com/~yehuda	     \/


End of Volume 25 Issue 51