Volume 25 Number 82
                      Produced: Fri Jan 17  8:40:52 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

15 Shevat
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Arzei Halevanon
         [Myron Chaitovsky]
Arzei Levanon
         [Les Train]
Calculating Parshiot
         [Rafi Stern]
Drinking On Purim: 3 Examples: 1 Rule
         [Russell Hendel]
Fasting on Taanis Esther
         [Carl Sherer]
Forethought vs Impetuousness
         [Micha Berger]
Yeshiva Tuition as Tzedaka
         [Carl Sherer]
Yeshiva Tuition for girls as Tzedaka
         [Seidenfeld, Garry]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 19:51:24 +0200 (WET)
Subject: 15 Shevat

Tu BeShavat hegea hag la-greengrocer.There are differnt customs on
eating fruits on Tu Beshvat, some eat 30 fruits! However, be carefull,
many of the dried fruits and some of the nuts may have tolaim (worms and
other insects). Open them and check. Of course fresh fruit or canned
fruit solves the problem but it is hard to find summer fruits in the
winter. (I have a pomegranate from the summer)
 Tu BeShvat Sameah    Menashe Elyashiv   Bar Ilan U Lib of Jew Studies 


From: <MCHAIT.BROOKLAW@...> (Myron Chaitovsky)
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 10:34 EST
Subject: Arzei Halevanon

I am doing this from memory so forgive the inaccuracies/vagueness of the

There are several versions of the Kina (Lament) referred to as Asara
Harugei Malchut.  These have been recorded, I believe , in a Sefer
called Beit Midrash . The editor's name might be Jellinek, and the book
was not new in 1971 when I first saw it in Israel.

There have been articles in varios places about the different versions
of the Kina, (noting for example that we usually don't have ten martyrs
listed, and the names of those cited are not identical, etc). At least
one such article appeared pre 1975 in Jewish Quarterly Review and
possibly more recently in Tradition?

In any case, in some of these texts, the Arzei HaLevanon are cited
 ... the Midrash to which this refers is along the following lines.

When H' created the world, the Cedars of Lebanon were the most
magnificent of those things created. They grew haughty and arrogant
until they discovered that H' had also created iron, and that Man was
destined to invent the axehead--their source of destruction. But they
were told that as long as neither they nor their relatives (other trees)
cooperated in providing Man with handles, axeheads would be relatively
harmless.  When this Roman ruler sought an excuse to kill the Chachamim
(sages), he found his pretext in our Tora, punishing these ten for the
kidnapping of Joseph by their ancestors. He took a 'handle' from their
Tora learning and attached it to his axehead.


From: Les Train <ltrain@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 01:18:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Arzei Levanon

Shir Hashirim mentions in 1.17 qorot bateimnu arazim - the
beams/foundations of our houses are cedars, and again in 3.9 - Shlomo
made an aperion out of the trees of levanon. The allegory alludes to the
pillars of Judaism - and the martyrs at the time of the Roman
persecutions were certainly gedolim - pillars and sustainers of
 Les Train


From: Rafi Stern <iitpr@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 09:48:06 -0800
Subject: Calculating Parshiot

Several weeks back someone asked for code to calculate months 
and Avraham Reiss sent to all those who expressed an interest 
code (Pascal) and a sheet explaining the Gauss formula for 
calculating lunar dates from from solar ones. After several 
hours of work and some help from the RaMBaM I have written a 
program that will calculate any lunar date from a solar date 
and vice-versa. What I want to do now is expand this to 
calculate the Parashat Shavua for that week. Can anyone give me 
a lead where I can find the rules for fixing the Parshiot (in 
HU"L and Eretz Yisrael). Maybe the RaMBaM? But where?

Many thanks,

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


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 13:17:01 -0500
Subject: Drinking On Purim: 3 Examples: 1 Rule

1) Rachi Messing [v25n58] asks about the "mitzvah" of drinking on Yom
Tov. The talmud [Megillah 7b] states "One should drink on Purim until
one doesn't know the difference between 'Bless Mordechai' and 'Curse
Haman'". The Rambam however [Megillah, 2:15] modifies this to exclude
damages: "A person should drink till he falls asleep."

2) It is a well established custom that people "throw candy" at a
Chathan when he gets his Ofroof aliyah on the Shabbath before his
wedding. However in the synagogue where I am now affiliated there were
several instances of children being a little bit too enthuiastic and
some people were hurt in a minor way (mostly other children). The Rabbi
of my synagogue therefore instituted the custom of using a trap door in
the ceiling which is pulled open so that the candy can "fall" on the

3) The Talmud [Baba Metziah, 56] explains that the laws governing the
responsibility of lenders and watchers of articles do not apply e.g. to
temple loans or to real estate. A remarkable Rambam [Hire, 2:3] states:
"But of course a lender of real estate is only exempt from
responsibility in e.g.  cases of theft..but if the lender damaged the
property than "obviously" he is liable."  The Rambam concludes: "..And
this is 'clear' to those who really understand matters."

In all 3 cases certain leniencies---to get drunk, throw candy, not be
responsible for watched articles--do NOT override the prohibitions of
negligence and damage.

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


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 21:48:29 +0000
Subject: Fasting on Taanis Esther

Moshe Friederwitzer asks:

> My wife will be leaving for Eretz Yisroel erev Taanis Esther. When
> should be begin the fast?

Some years ago I asked one of my Roshei Yeshiva when I should end a 
fast on a fast day when I was flying westbound, and I was told that I 
could not end the fast until it was dark outside.  Based on that 
answer, I would say that she should start fasting when she sees the 
sun start to rise out the window of the plane.  On the other hand, I 
have heard of people getting a different psak (mainly going 
westbound).  You should probably ask your posek (I am not a Rav and 
cannot pasken halacha).

I should add that three years ago, I flew to the States on the day 
after Tisha B'Av, and asked when I would be permitted to eat meat 
(since the custom is that the prohibition against eating meat during 
the first nine days of Av carries over until mid-day on the tenth of 
Av).  I was told that I could meat when it was Chatzos (mid-day) here 
in Israel, regardless of where the plane was at that time.

-- 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: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 10:55:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Forethought vs Impetuousness

There does seem to be a tradition that puts the battle between good and
evil in terms of forethought vs impetuousness.

For example, from the Ramchal:
    Taharah is the correction of the heart and thoughts... Its essence
    is that man shouldn't leave room for the inclination in his
    actions.  Rather all his actions should be on the side of wisdom
    and awe [for the Almighty], and not on the side of sin and desire.
    This is even in those things which are of the body and physical.
				Mesilas Yesharim Ch. 16
				(translation mine)

I'm translating "yeitzer" here as inclination, since this is the common
usage. Although I'm not too sure of the etymology. As far as I can tell,
it would be from tzurah, and would mean "that which gives an image",
which is an inclination, in the sense that it pushes you to act in a
certain form.

A similar idea is the focus of a short seiefer I just looked at,
"Cheshbon Hanefesh" by R. Mendel MiSatanov in Lemberg, in 1812.
It's a classic of the mussar movement, reprinted in 1845 under the
urging of R Yisroel Salanter, with an added preface by R. Yitzchak-Isaac
Sher of Slobodka.

This sefer uses the terms "nefesh beheimis" (animal soul) and nefesh
sichlis (mental soul). R. Mendel describes the challenge of the seichel
to harness and use the beheimah. (BTW, he repeatedly demonstrates the
techniques of training the nefesh beheimis by comparing them to training
animals.) For that matter, of R. Yisroel Salanter's list of 13 attributes
to work on (which he takes to be examples only) seven are presented as
focussing on keeping your wits about you in the face of temptation,
stress, or disappointment.

The apparant problem with this position is the lack of a yeitzer-ness
in the yeitzer hatov. If we take the Ramchal's usage to mean that
yeitzer refers to irrational urges, than your hard pressed to define
yeitzer hatov as "forethought".

I would argue, therefor, that the yeitzer hatov is man's instinctive
desire to create, to improve the world and himself, to be closer to
godliness. This is also an irrational urge?

What then with the Ramchal and Baalei Mussar? I think they're working
with a target audience that don't doubt the dictates of the Torah. If
given a chance, of course you would choose what is right.

Perhaps this is why mussar as a movement didn't make it beyond WWII.
In today's world people are far more exposed to alien definitions of
morality, ethics, and religion -- often more than to our own. (How
many of us find ourselves humming Xmas tunes that you /constantly/
hear?) A movement that worked with the assumption that the logical
mind would side with the yeitzer hatov, was just not equipped for
this environment.

I'm neither the navi nor the son of a navi, but there is enough
frustration around with being "FFH - frum from habit", issues of
poor business ethics, etc... to generate another mussar movement.
I also would expect it to be significantly different than the
last one.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3737 days!
<micha@...>                         (16-Oct-86 - 10-Jan-97)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://aishdas.org>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 23:50:07 +0000
Subject: Yeshiva Tuition as Tzedaka

Esther Posen writes:
> I hate to bring this up, but I recall hearing that tuition for a
> girl can be considered tzedaka since one is not obligated to teach
> his daughter torah.  (I know this thought may offend some people,
> but can someone recall where I may have heard this?)

As far as teaching one's daughter Torah, the reference is to the Gemara
in Sotah 21b (Kol hamelamed bito Torah k'elu melamda tiflus - one who
teaches his daughter Torah it is as if he has taught her something
unimportant).  Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l in Iggros Moshe YD 3:87, cites
the Rambam in Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:13 and rules that this means that
one may not teach a daughter Torah She'Beal Peh, with the exception of
Pirkei Avos.  Instead, one should teach her Chumash, Tanach and Halacha.
It is well known that Rav J.B.  Soloveitchik zt"l was much more willing
to teach girls Torah She'Beal Peh (the Oral Torah) (see, e.g. Rabbi
Joseph Stern, "Torah Education Today" in The Journal of Halacha and
Contemporary Society, Volume VII (Spring 1984), starting on Page 88,
especially Pages 94-95).

As far as paying a daughter's tuition with Tzedaka money, in Iggros
Moshe YD 2:113, assuming that I have understood it correctly, Rav
Feinstein zt"l prohibits (generally) the use of Tzedaka money to pay for
girls' tuition, for were it not for the fact that they go to Jewish
schools, the government would require them to go to public schools, and
therefore he is obligated to save his daughter by sending her to a fruhm
school at his own expense (i.e. not from Tzedaka).  The sole exception
appears to be where one is desparately poor.

> Also, in regard to money spent on shabbos and tuition, I understood
> that to be slightly relative.  In other words, it does not mean that
> a pauper should be extravagant when shabbos comes the way a truly
> rich man would be, rather, that a person could spend a "bit above"
> their means and not worry...

This would be in keeping with the saying of Chazal, "aseh Shabboscho
chol v'al titztarech labreyos" (it's better that one should make his
Sabbath on a weekday standard than that he should become dependent on
other people).

-- 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: <gseiden@...> (Seidenfeld, Garry)
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 13:37:57 -0500
Subject: Yeshiva Tuition for girls as Tzedaka

In response to Esther Posen, what you heard may have been related to a
Teshuvah by Rav Moshe Feinstein (Yorah Deah 2, Siman 113).  When asked
if tuition to Bais Yaacov was permitted to be paid from Maaser money, he
answered that the rules for daughters and sons were the same.  He gave
two reasons.  Both are based on the precept that Maaser money should not
be used to fulfill an obligation one already has to perform a mitzvah.
Firstly he argued that although the obligation to teach daughters is not
part of "Veshinantam Levanecha" still there is an obligation to send
them to school because of Dina DeMalchuta and obviously, he argues, we
should not send to public schools.  Secondly, he states there is an
obligation of Chinuch (education) for daughters at a minimum to believe
in Hashem and keep away from forbidden matters (Issurim).

He ends by pointing out that the individual involved had expenses
greater than his income and therfore was not obligated in Maaser.  I
understand this to be a unique Psak for the person who asked the
question and not necessarily applicable to everyone living beyond their
income/means (eg. most Israelis who use their line of credit).

Yehoshua (Garry) Seidenfeld


End of Volume 25 Issue 82