Volume 25 Number 73
                      Produced: Tue Jan  7 22:24:04 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Amy Davis]
Aggada:Kabbalistic Paradigm
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Cohanim on planes
         [Zvi I. Weiss]
Halacha for lefties - V25n40
         [Sarah Kaiserman]
Is Free Will Limited
         [Russell Hendel]
Plagerism (2)
         [Carl Sherer, Tova Taragin]
Plagerism and Cheating
         [Esther Posen]
         [Kibi Hofmann]
Sources for Learning Aggadata
         [Avi Lerner]
Surrogate Mother
Tfillas Shov (Meaningless Prayer)
         [Adina and Carl Sherer]


From: <davisa@...> (Amy Davis)
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 1997 23:45:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Adoption

A friend has asked me a question to which I have no answer, so I thought
someone on this list might have some info/knowledge.  Here's the
question: If a single jewish woman adopts a jewish child whose father is
unknown, how does one determine the FULL hebrew name of the child?
E.g. if the child's name is avraham (male or female shouldn't matter),
would the child then be "avraham ben [adopted mother's name]"?  Thanks
for any info.



From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 1997 16:05:14 -0800
Subject: Aggada:Kabbalistic Paradigm

Regarding your comments about Kabbala. I was primarily emphasizing that
according to Kabbala a statement found in Chazal has to be true on some
level. That means that it might not be true historically but is still
true on the level of drash or remez or sod. The position, however, of
Maharetz Chajes is that the statement is a chance to present a truth. It
is merely an asmachta. It is also possible to understand Kabbala in the
sense that you understood it. It could be that historical issues are not
included - maybe. (There is a minority opinion in physics that believes
there are parallel universes.) However, they could view that the same
item could in fact be tamei or tahor depending on viewpoint - that is
the view presented from the Yom Shel Shlomo and the Ritva. In addition
from the view of the Chavas Yair, The accepted ruling of the rabbis
causes the physcial reality because G-d agrees to their view. This
requires more elaboration but see the introduction to Shomrei Emunim
HaKadmon where he acknowledges that the Rambam might not have been able
to accept Kabbala because it would make no sense to him.

The issue needs a clarification also of what pshat, drash and asmachta
means which has never been done.  The bottom line is that according to
Kabbala the statements of Chazal are Divinely inspired and thus must be
true in some sense. The alternative view is that their statements may
contain truth but that there is no absolute connection between what they
are saying and the event or halacha. It could be simply a guess or
excuse to state what they wanted to say. Another explanation is that
according to Kabbala each statement of Chazal needs to be treasured as
an expression of G-d.  According to the others it can simply be rejected
or labeled as wrong.


From: <isrmedia@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Fri,  5 Jan 96 08:21:46 PST
Subject: Chronology

Believe it or not, the Israeli Ministry of Defence Publishing House has
issued in the past 2 or even 3 volumes on Biblical chronology by Eliezer
Schulman.  These books are handwritten (that is, facsimile of Schulman's
lists and columns) tracing chronology of all persons in the Bible,
events and even geography.  It is an amazing effort.  They are in album
format and well worth the purchase.

Yisrael Medad
E-mail: isrmedia


From: <weissz@...> (Zvi I. Weiss)
Date: Sun, 05 Jan 97 10:12:52
Subject: Re: Cohanim on planes

>From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
>	You have an even bigger problem than.  If the plane itself
>becomes tameih than how can a Cohen go on the plane even when it is not
>actually carrying a dead body?

 The prohibition for Kohanim refers -- I believe -- only to specific
types of Tum'ah associated with a Corpse.  The residual Tum'ah of the
plane (which I believe falls under the category of "Cherev harei hu
k'chalal") is NOT one which is proscribed to Kohanim.  The Netziv -- in
fact -- references this matter in a couple of places in the chumash and
notes that the Kohein is only proscribed from Tum'ah that a Nazir would
be required to "shave over" were said Nazir to become Tamei from that
Tum'ah and since a Nazir (according to the Netziv) is NOt required to
"shave over" the tuma'h caused by "Cherev..", the Kohein would not be
proscribed either.....



From: Sarah Kaiserman <yu200420@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 12:23:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Halacha for lefties - V25n40

 I recently heard that the halacha about how to put on shoes has
something to do with tefillin, or something. Does anyone know if there
is a difference for left-handed people, considering that they put
tefillin on the other hand?


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 13:13:34 -0500
Subject: RE: Is Free Will Limited

Eli Frankel, V25n51, cites authorities who suggest that free will may be
"limited". Eli further points out that real Teshuva requires a total
personality transformation and cannot e.g. be done overnight.I first
quote a talmudic story of instantaneous repentance of a mass murderer. I
then cite 2 sources answering Eli's question: "But how could he
transform in an instant?"

THE STORY: The Talmud explicitly relates that when Jerusalem was
captured one of the generals discovered the blood of Zecharyahu ben Ido
who had been murdered in the Temple while rebuking the people.  The
blood could not be swept away and the general started slaughtering
thousands of Jews to appease it. When this didn't work the general
asked:"Zecharyahu I have killed the choicest of them do you want me to
kill all of them", at which point the blood went away. The general in
turn was shocked that one life could mean so much.  He said to himself:
"If this one murder required so much to atone for it what will happen to
me who has killed many thousands of people?". He repented and converted
and several great talmudic scholars came from him.

A PHILOSOPHICAL ANSWER: First, the question of the justice that one
person can repent at the end of his life and achieve the next world
while others must toil their whole life to achieve it was dealt with in
a beautiful article in BOR HATORAH by Dr. Schlessinger.

Secondly, a direct answer to Eli's question is provided by Rav Hirsch
who comments on the talmudic story of a person who sinned with every
prostitute he heard about until one day upon seeing his Tzitzith while
undressing he remembered the message of "leaving Egypt" and
repented. Rav Hirsch explains that this person put on Tztitzith 365
times a year and probably never thought of their symbolic or spiritual
meaning. Nevertheless at the right moment these acts bubbled to the
surface of his consciousness and saved him.

This then is the answer to Eli's question: "Teshuva requires alot of
work--how could he repent in the instant?"The answer is:"He had been
putting on Tzitzith all these years and without knowing it this activity
formed the basis for his Teshuva." In summary we never know with any
person how suddently the varied acts of their life will reorganize and
bubble to the surface.

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


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 22:32:01 +0000
Subject: Plagerism

Catherine Perel writes:

> 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 teaching.

I think you're referring to Avos 6:6 although it is slightly 
different from the way you cite it.  The Mishna there says that one 
who says something in the name of the person who originally said it 
brings redemption to the World.  The Mishna cites the verse in Esther 
2:22, where Esther tells Ahashverosh of the plot to kill him, in the 
name of Mordechai.  As a result, Ahashverosh refuses to hang 
Mordechai later in the Megilla, and Esther is able (with Hashem's 
help) to save the Jews from Haman's scheme.

-- Carl 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: Tova Taragin <tovt@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 11:58:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Plagerism

I really truthfully was not looking for a "rationale" -- I wanted to
better understand the mindset of those who do it.  I know there is no
halachic rationale and fully agree with the responders. It is just an
issue that bothers me greatly.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
Subject: Re: Plagerism and Cheating

Come on.  If someone cheats and justifies it, they can use any means of
justification but of course its wrong.  Next time someone tells you its
okay, ask them which rabbi they asked.



From: <ahofmann@...> (Kibi Hofmann)
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1997 16:27:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Plagiarism

With regard to Tova Taragin's question and Chana Luntz's reply, I think
this is another instance of what Meir Shinnar mentioned in v25n67 (a
question we should be ashamed to have to ask).

Unless Tova was posing a rhetorical question (which is what I assumed
when I read her post) there isn't really much to say...."What is the
rationale behind plagiarism (read: "cheating") in tests..?" It doesn't
(or oughtn't) take a great Rav like Reb Moshe ZT"L to tell you that
there is NO rationale - it's wrong.

What is the rationale behind lots of "Yeshivishe" types being involved
in questionable financial dealings? Or anything else *obviously* wrong
you might hear "religious" Jews are doing....there is none. Either it is
not true (often the case) or they are by definition not really acting as
"religious Jews" - either through a temporary lapse or a less than
temporary one (even if you can find a halachic "kvetch" to absolve them
of the actual wrongdoing, they are caught out by "Kedoshim Tihyu" the
catchall that says we cannot be a "menuval bireshus hatorah" [degenerate
with the torah's permission]).

I was actually amazed that there WAS a teshuva from Reb Moshe ZT"L on
the subject. Could anyone who read it tell me if he mentions something
along the lines that he was shocked at the assumption it might be



From: Avi Lerner <alerner@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 23:21:08 +-200
Subject: Sources for Learning Aggadata

I am giving a weekly Gemara shiur and we will soon be approaching the
chapter of Helek in Sanhedrin. I would appreciate suggestions for
seforim as source books for understanding the aggadot. I mean somethings
BEYOND Maharsha and Maharal.

Best Wishes,


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 22:10:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Surrogate Mother

Would a surrogate mother impregnated by artificial insemination be
considered a pilegesh?


From: Adina and Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 22:32:02 +0000
Subject: Tfillas Shov (Meaningless Prayer)

Yehoshua (Garry) Seidenfeld writes:

> This was written Lezchut  a Refuah Sheleyma for Hayeled Boruch Yosef
> ben Adina Batya as I continue to enjoy his father's contributions to
> this and other lists.

First of all, I want to thank you very much for the sentiments.  
Adina and I are convinced that Baruch Yosef is Baruch Hashem doing so 
well because of all the tfillos from people around the world who have 
been mispallel (prayed) for him.

There's something that has been bothering us that relates to Baruch 
Yosef and I thought it would be an appropriate discussion for this 
group.  As many of you are aware, Baruch Yosef became ill on Tisha 
B'Av.  He had five surgeries over the course of the summer, and one 
very major surgery (seven hours) during Chol HaMoed Succos.  Since 
that surgery, Baruch Hashem, he has improved greatly.  He is off of 
all medications and is able to do all of the things that any other 
eight-year old boy can do.  Despite his appearing clinically well, we 
do not know for certain how successful the surgery was.  Baruch Yosef 
will IY"H be having a test within the next month to determine how 
successful the surgery was.  The test is essentially a picture of an 
existing situation.  

As many of you are aware, the Mishna in Brachos 54a gives several 
examples of Tfillas Shov (meaningless prayers) because they are 
prayers that relate to things that have already taken place.  The 
examples the Mishna gives are "tzoek leshavar" (one who prays 
regarding something that has taken place in the past), one who prays 
that his wife should give birth to a boy (this the Gemara interprets 
as being more than forty days into her pregnancy) and one who hears 
shouting and other signs of trouble as he enters a city and prays 
that it not be coming from his house.

My question is, given that Baruch Yosef's test is a picture of an 
existing situation, do I need to worry at any point that praying for 
the results of that test to be good results might constitute a 
tfillas shov.  For example, can I pray that the results should be 
good while he is in the test itself (it seems to me that the answer 
ought to be no to that one).  Can I pray on the way to the hospital? 
The day before? The week before? At what point in time (if there is 
any clearly definable point) do those prayers become a tfillas shov?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

-- Carl 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


End of Volume 25 Issue 73