Volume 25 Number 69
                      Produced: Sat Jan  4 20:42:14 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aggada - Kabbalistic Paradigm
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Microphones in Shul
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Microphones in shul
         [David Kachani]
More on souls
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
Plagerism (2)
         [Chana Luntz, Catherine S. Perel]
Serious Riddles Anybody?
         [Russell Hendel]
Surrogate Mothers
         [Moishe Rosenberg]
Tu b'Shevat
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 13:09:56 -0800
Subject: Aggada - Kabbalistic Paradigm

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
>Daniel Eidensohn writes
>> In a strong attack on the Mahretz Chajes - the major modern Kabbalist
>> Rabbi Shlomo Eliyashiv asserts that Chazal are describing things they
>> knew directly through Ruach HaKodesh and are not guessing or merely
>> applying general principles.

>In this case how do arguments arise between conflicting Aggadic statements?

	In my previous post I asserted that there are two distinct
paradigms - the kabbalistic and the non kabbalistic. The non kabbalistic
is what we would call an Aristotelian or Newtonian view that something
is either true or not true. Chagar was Keturah or she wasn't. This view
has characterized Western thought for thousands of years. Starting with
the Renaissance, however, the Aristotelian monopoly on common sense and
logic was broken and Platonic or mystical thought became more
acceptable.  The kabbalistic view is that we don't know reality
absolutely - but we have a language in which we talk about reality. This
language, however, is not identical with reality and is dependent on
context and perspective. [see Inventing Reality:Physics as Language by
Gregory] According to the mystical view, various apparently
contradictory observations can all be true because they represent
different perspectives. This mystical view was rejected in the
Scientific world until the advent of Quantum Mechanics in the early
1900's. Science was then faced with a number of experimentally verified
paradoxes e.g., the fact that a particle - the electron was also a wave.
Major scientists such as Einstein refused to accept the non Aristotelian
view of the world but they were soon in the minority. The new view says
there is a phenomenon which we call an electron which behaves as a wave
in situation A but as a particle in situation B [see Genius the
biography of Richard Feynman by Gleick]. It is not legitimate to ask
what it is really.  Mystical or quantum mechanical phenomenon are not
just limited to subatomic particles - see [Shroedinger's Cat in a recent
article of Science]. Since the 1960's with the publication of the Tao of
Physics there have been many popular books trying to make sense out of
phenomena which clearly contradicts the Aristotelian view of reality as
well as Aristotelian logic [see Pi in the Sky by Barrow which explains
its impact on Mathematics]
	A recent pamphlet by Rabbi Moshe Schatz (Sparks of the Hidden
Light) lucidly explains the relationship between kabbala and modern
science. In terms of classical Jewish sources, the Michtav M'Eliyahu III
page 353 provides a good explanation of how "contradictory" descriptions
can all be true. Furthermore that Truth is not just what is factual but
what is the will of G-d (vol I page94). This is discussed under the
category of Eilu v'Eilu for halacha [Ritva, Maharal, Chovas Yair,
etc]. In sum, kabbala is a different paradigm of reality.  I can provide
more material for those interested.


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 1997 20:20:15 -0800
Subject: Microphones in Shul

From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
> No, not on Shabbos!  This question concerns weekdays.

> The shul I dovened in this morning had a microphone for the baal
> tefiloh.  Thus, the congregants were hearing mostly an amplified sound
> produced by loud speakers, rather than the actual voice of the
> chazzan.  Now, we don't say amen to a bracha we hear over the radio,
> nor can we be yotzei kedusah from a recorded voice.  So -- why can we
> answer amen and respond to the chazzan who is heard only over a PA
> system?

This is discussed by Reb Moshe (Igros Moshe Orech Chaim II #108)
concerning the nature of the sound heard from a PA system for hearing
the Megila. This is further clarified in Orech Chaim IV #126 page 216.
He permits hearing Havdala over a telepone for someone who is in the
hospital and answering amen from sofek (Orech Chaim IV #91.4 page 174.)

The specific issue of answering Amen to a Beracha that you didn't
actually hear is discussed in relationship to the Shul in Alexandria
which was so large that people answered Amen when they saw a signal flag
being waved.

See Mishna Berura Simon 55 (38) and the Biur Halacha  Simon 215 *2.

From: David Kachani <kachani@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 19:26:22 +0000
Subject: Microphones in shul

Rav Ovadiah Yosef discusses this question in connection with a person
being yotzei (fulfilling his duty) hearing the megillah via a sheliach
zibur reading it with the aid of a microphone (Yechave Daat 3.54). He
concludes that the people near the sheliach zibur who could hear him if
he did not have a microphone, are indeed yotzei, but those who would not
have been able to hear him without his microphone are not yotzei.
Presumably the same would apply for a person being yotzei the mitzva of
tefilla b'zibur (saying Shmona Esrei and hearing repition with a
 However, answering amen to a bracha or answering kedusha is a
completely different question. If a minyan is going on in another room
and one hears kedusha from that minyan, one must answer. Indeed
R. Ovadiah himself holds that one may answer amen / kedusha coming from
a live broadcast and this seems to be a majority opinion as discussed by
others on this list.

David Kachani


From: Israel Rosenfeld <iir@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 16:35:49 +0200
Subject: Re: More on souls

> From: <orotzfat@...> (Yehoshua Kahan)
>  1) I have always wanted to understand better,
> after learning Tanya several times, the notion of "from His perspective"
> vs. "from our perspective".
> In other words, we only think there is a reality, but from the only
> perspective which, ultimately, is more than a perspective (lit: a
> sidewards glance!), "ain od milvado".  If we have only the illusion of
> independant existance (I must ask here, "who" is it who possess such an
> illusion?), we must have only the illusion of free will, and how is
> Calvinistic determinism and avoided?

By definition, "change" is a physical concept, so "tzimzum", which is
    a type of change, cannot be applied to Hashem.
The world that Hashem created includes "change" and "tzimzum",
    humanity and free will, etc.
So our perspective contains concepts like "free will" and it is as
    real as we are, not an illusion.

> 2) Could someone please cite the pre-Chasidic movement source of the
> statement that the souls of all future "converts" were standing at
> Sinai?

B. Shabbat 146a
Behatzlacha raba.

Israel Rosenfeld


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 20:23:44 +0000
Subject: Plagerism

Tova Taragin <tovt@...> writes:

>I would like to know, I would like to know, from people in yeshiva
>circles, what the rationale is behind plagiarism when doing term papers
>while in college.  I know, first hand, that this occurs, and it is very
>annoying to me, as I feel there is a chilul Hashem involved which is
>greater than the excuse of "bitul Torah".

Not to answer your question (rather to bring more support, perhaps),
there is a lovely teshuva from Rav Moshe Finestein - Iggeros Moshe
Choshen Mishpat, chelek beis, siman 30 on the issur of stealing
questions and answers for the High School State exams (for New Yorkers,
known as Regents.)  Rav Moshe states that this is prohibited, not only
due to dina d'machusa dina [the law of the land is the law] but also
according to din Torah, because this is both genavas daas [see Chullin
94a] and genava mamesh [true stealing] - because afterwards one will
seek a parnassa on the basis of the results produced in these tests, and
in general, the person who gets the best results, gets employed, and the
employer relies on the results gained to decide who to employ.  And he
emphasises that it is still forbidden even if it was done to spend more
time in limud torah, for even for the sake of limud torah it is
forbidden to steal.  But he goes on to say, that in truth there isn't in
this any issue of bitel torah, but of pure lazyness, and rather than
saving time for torah learning, such behaviour is likely to negatively
impact on torah learning as the student in question is accustoming
himself to lazyness. [There is also much discussion about what this will
do to the reputation of yeshivos and of other students of yeshivos who
may seek to be employed, and the weaponry such behaviour will give to
those who hate torah and Yirei shamayim].

No, that doesn't answer your question.


From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 1997 15:49:23 -0600
Subject: Plagerism

In Vol. 25, #61, Tova Taragin wrote:

> I would like to know...from people in yeshiva circles, what the 
> rationale is behind plagerism when doing term papers while in college.

I am not from a yeshiva circle.  In fact I'm still learning Hebrew and I
find myself lost on this list from time to time.  Nonetheless, I
remember reading, I think in *Pirket Avot*, that it is a sin to use
someone's scholarship without attributing its source.  I believe there
was something about it was like killing a world, but I'm not sure.  (I
am ill right now and cannot get to my books.)  I can't imagine any
rationale that would justify it.  Even in the Talmud, the Rabbis would
speak in the name of the Rabbi who had first used that argument or


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 14:14:57 -0500
Subject: Serious Riddles Anybody?

Over the past few months there have been several postings about
trup. Some of these have been in the form of "one line riddles"..."Does
anyone know a verse where..." These one liners seem to contrast with the
heavier MJ topics, while still stimulating minor research into sacred

It has occured to me that we can use these one liners for SERIOUS
research while STILL maintaining their light stimulating nature. Let me
give two examples. I am curious whether other MJers are interested in
such an undertaking. If so I have other examples.

I am currently learning Mordechai Breuers 1st edition of his book on
Trup.  While reviewing the book my Chavruthah, Mosheh Feldman, and
myself have discovered or conjectured several simple rules for which we
don't have counter examples but don't have complete proofs. I give two
recent examples:

1) It is well known that trup are either SEPARATIVE/DISJUNCTIVE (zarkah,
segol, garmay, revii, pashtah, zakef, tipchah, ethnachtah, pazer,
telishah gedola, geresh, tevir, siluk) or JOINING/CONJUNCTIVE (munach,
mapach, kadmah, merchah, telisha ketanah, dargah). Sometimes there is a
vertical line (Pasayk) after a JOINING trup. For example: G-d | will
reign forever(Ex 15:18).They say that the vertical line indicates a
pause and that this is done out of respect for G-ds name. Moshe and I
(both Baalay Keriah) think this is ALWAYS true (instead of MOST of the
time). We found only one counterexample which we can explain.

So the question to MJ is: Find the one example where: G-ds name occurs
on a JOINING trup(Mesharath) where there is NO pasayk(vertical line)

2) Moshe and I similarly conjectured that there are NO examples where: 2
or more MUNACHS occur before a PAZER and there is no PASAYK. Is this

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


From: <rmoses@...> (Moishe Rosenberg)
Date: Sat,  4 Jan 97 23:40:04 PST
Subject: Surrogate Mothers

I would greatly appreciate any guidance in obtaining material on the
subject of surrogate mothers and the halachic issues involved . If any
knows where I can track down any articles written on this subject please
contact me ASAP.  I need this to assist me and my wife in preparing a
talk in our local study group.

Thank You.

Moishe Rosenberg
E-mail:     <rmoses@...> (home)
            <moses@...> (work)


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 13:16:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Tu b'Shevat

A good friend who has some interest in this sort of thing pointed out an
unusual astronomical alignment at 17:35 GMT, January 23, Tu b'Shevat, in

Do we have any tradition with regard to unusual astronomical (astrological?)
alignments with regard to holidays such as Tu b'Shevat?  

The pattern is an extrordinarily symmetrical representation of the Mogen
David.  Of the six points of the six-pointed star, the upper point points to
mid-heaven (of course), the opposite lower point aligns with Pluto.  On the
upper left point sits the moon, on the upper right sits Saturn.  At the
lower left sits Mars, and on the lower right is the sun.  

Since I am not an astronomer or an astrologer (I only have knowledge of some
of the kabbalistic geometry involving the zodiac), I can't say if this means
anything at all, or if it's widely known or unknown.  But I'm curious.

Let me be clear.  I'm not advocating anything, but I would like to know
what, if anything, our sages may have said.



End of Volume 25 Issue 69