Volume 26 Number 04
                      Produced: Wed Feb 12 20:21:03 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Rick Turkel]
Eretz vs. Adamah
         [Jacob Lewis]
Maaser Ani
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
         [Eli Passow]
Prayers for the health of Robert Werman
         [Bob Werman]
Pronunciation Redux
         [Mechy Frankel]
Rashi Script
         [Jay Rovner]
Simanei Taharah and Wallabies.
         [Mottel Gutnick]
Throwing Candy
         [Carl Sherer]
What is Causation
         [David Oratz]


From: <rturkel@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 01:03:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Cheese

Ronald Cohen <cohen@...> wrote at length in m.j 25#96 about
cheese and rennet.

Back during the middle 1960's when I was in graduate school in the
Boston area I used to attend a gemara shiur given by Rabbi (Shlomo?)
Sternberg.  We were learning perek chet of Chullin, perek tipat chalav,
but when we came to the issue of cheese we took a detour to perek bet of
`avoda zara, perek ein ma`amidin, which discusses cheese in detail.  We
touched on all of the issues mentioned by Mr. Cohen and one that he
omitted, namely, the process by which rennet is manufactured from the
stomach linings.

Another of the participants in the shiur was a food technologist by
profession, who brought in copies of technical articles which described
the prevailing process of the time.  At least in North America, the
first stage of this process involved drying the stomachs at a
temperature above the boiling point of water, rendering them "yavesh
ke`eitz" (as dry as wood).  Next, the active enzyme was extracted from
the dried stomachs by leaching with either concentrated hydrochloric
acid or sodium hydroxide (I don't remember which), rendering the enzyme
solution "lo' ra'ui la'achilat kelev" (unfit [even] as food for a dog).
Rabbi Sternberg's conclusion was that since the rennet had passed
through such stages it could no longer be considered a foodstuff, and
was therefore kosher and pareve.  Thus, at least in theory, any North
American cheese should be permissible to us as regards the rennet.

That said (written?), I think that Mr. Cohen's final comment still

>Finally, cheese is a processed food, containing various additives other
>than milk and enzymes.  Thus is requires rabbinic supervision for
>several reasons.  To trust that all cheese is kosher is, I believe, a
>great error.

Of course, none of the above addresses the issue of gevinat `aku"m
(non-Jewish cheese).

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \     |    |   |   \__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.


From: Jacob Lewis <jlewis@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 22:01:06 CDT
Subject: Eretz vs. Adamah

Is there a difference between "adamah" and "eretz" as used in the Torah
(or in the Na"ch, for that matter)? My father, while we were discussing
parashat Yitro, guessed that their usage as it relates to the Land of
Israel was different, but neither of us had read anything on this?
Anyone know?

Jacob Lewis


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 12:53:47 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Re: Maaser Ani

Maaser Ani is taken from grains,fruits and vegetables etc. on the 3rd
and 6th years of the shimitta cycle. Maaser Kesafim is taken from our
income.  There are three opinions: Halacha, Minhag, or Maase
Hasidut. Maaser Ani really should be given to the poor, but how does one
do that? Subscribing to a a Trumot & Maasrot organization solves the
   Menashe Elyashiv


From: Eli Passow <passow@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 11:12:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mimareiach

	I sat in on Rav Soloveitchik's sheurim on Shabbat about 35 years 
ago at Yeshiva University. In one of the sheurim the question of using 
toothpaste on shabbat was raised, and the Rav said that it is absolutely 
permissible. When one of the students asked, "Isn't it a case of 
memareiach?", the Rav answered that memareiach requires smoothing of the 
<surface> to which the paste or lotion is being applied, and since a 
person who brushes his teeth is <not> smoothing his teeth, toothpaste is 

			Eli Passow 


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Wed,  12 Feb 97 22:49 +0200
Subject: RE: Prayers for the health of Robert Werman

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts which clearly worked for me,
1/60th at a time.  I am now home at my son and daughter-in-law's home in
Tenefly, doing reasonably well.  The rotoblator procedure has apparently
succeeded and I am doing reasonably well, tryting to organize my flight
home.  haShem y'raHem.

Roy Sacks's description of me is clearly an exaggeration but his motives
were those of a good friend's.  I thank him and Avi Feldblum for their
kind words.

__Bob Werman


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 22:10:50 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Pronunciation Redux

M. Shinnar writes:
< His thesis is that there was a universally accepted
mode of pronounciation which we can recover..
Third, one poster suggested that the pronounciation of daled without a
dagesh as aspirated th (as in the) is a borrowing from the Arabic rather
than native Hebrew.  In the book S'fath Emeth he brings down different
kehillot that had the tradition of saying a daled that way.  For
example, in Bagdhad, they used to pronounce the daled in shem hashem and
in ehad in shma this way..>.  

Since I am the poster who tossed off that suggestion I am pained to
realize that mj readers with deficient mind reading skills have once
again failed to compensate for my lack of clarity.  To wit.  I had not
intended to suggest that there were no hebrew speakers who distinguished
their daleds. Rather i had intended to question the presumption that
finding such automatically implied that discovery of authentically
ancient hebraic pronunciation.  After all, such speakers are generally
to be found after an historically lengthy embedding within an arabic
speaking society and are themselves native speakers of arabic.  It
doesn't seem beyond the conceptual pale to consider whether their hebrew
articulations have in turn been influenced by prolonged exposure to
their native linguistic matrix.  Indeed, this is simply the symmetrical,
though generally not raised parallel, to the claim that sefardic
pronunciation (whatever that may be - there seem to be more versions of
sefardic than damning pieces of OJ evidence) is more "authentic" than
ashkenazic hebrew, popularly presumed to be influenced, i.e. corrupted,
by prolonged exposure to a Yiddish linguistic matrix.

I also am skeptical of the sefer's (which I am not familiar with)
reported belief in some ur-hebrew, at least within recorded times.
There is ample evidence for hebrew differences in Chazalic times, and
one ought not forget that a linguistic litvak detection
(shibboles/sibboles) scheme is already mentioned in tanach.  So much for
the "universally accepted mode of pronunciation".

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>		W: (703) 325-1277


From: <jarovner@...> (Jay Rovner)
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 13:52:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rashi Script

"Rashi" script is a semi-cursive Sefaradi (Spanish) script that
developed by the fifteenth century CE.  It developed at a time when
cursive Oriental (Near Eastern) scripts were receiving a more finished
style: hence the term "semi-cursive." This came about out of a desire to
produce a script that was both clear and beautiful for the copying of
books during a period and a place when Hebrew scripts were under the
influence of Arabic scripts, which are cursive (there is no square
Arabic script).  See Ada Yardeni, The Book of Hebrew Script [in Hebrew],
1991, p. 216; M.  Beit Arie, Hebrew Manuscripts of East and West, c1992,
p. 41 and 52)
	This style was picked up by scribes elsewhere (Jews wandered and
travelled), and even before the Inquisition, there were scribes in Italy
who were influenced by the Sefardic semi-cursive style. Therefore, when
Hebrew printing began (in Italy), the type was cut to resemble the types
of manuscript scripts that the printers were hoping to replace.


From: Mottel Gutnick <MottelG@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 01:59:27 AEDT
Subject: Simanei Taharah and Wallabies.

Wallabies aren't kosher. No great revelation, you might say, but did you
know that they chew the cud, which, of course, is one of the two simanei
tahara (signs of a kosher animal) listed by the Torah?

I didn't know that either -- until today, when I saw an ABC natural
history documentary on research into the behaviour of rock wallabies in
an area of Queensland which showed them doing this. This wasn't regarded
as extraordinary; it was apparently known to be normal digestive
behaviour for rock wallabies (and -- I'm not sure about this -- perhaps
wallabies (and kangaroos ?) in general -- I don't know how broadly the
comment was meant to be interpreted.) This gastronomic characteristic
was depicted more in passing, its chief point of interest being only the
rather dramatic abdominal convulsions and body movements associated with
the regurgitation of the food.

Wallabies and kangaroos are environmentally friendly soft-pawed animals.
They have no hooves, let alone cloven hooves, which is the other siman
listed by the Torah (in parashat Shemini), and they are therefore not
kosher whether they chew the cud or not. So why am I telling you this?

Well, when I was a young lad attending high school in the (Lubavitch)
Yeshivah College in Melbourne, one of our teachers often used to make
great stock of the point that the Torah (Lev. 11.4) enumerates by name
four exceptions to the animals possessing these simanei taharah. (The
Torah says that they may not be eaten because they display only one of
the two simanim, not both.) He claimed that to "this very day"
naturalists, zoologists and explorers the world over have never
discovered any other species that fits into the category of those four.

This, he claimed, constituted a 'proof' of the divine authorship of the
Torah. How else, he asked, could Moshe on his own (or later writers for
those who maintain that there were other authors) have been certain that
no other such exception existed anywhere on earth? Without
aforeknowledge of this, surely it would have been more prudent to make
it clear that these were merely examples, not an exhaustive list, which
seems to be implied by the opening words of verse 4, "ach et zeh" (only
these) shall you not eat amongst the chewers of cud and the cloven
hoofed ...", though "ach" might be better translated here as "however"
or "except".

I have always thought it was dangerous for religion to claim
corroboration for the 'authenticity' of its beliefs from scientific
'evidence', because when such corroboration goes up in smoke, as it
often does when newly discovered facts displace old assumptions or when
old theories are found to be untenable, it does not prove or disprove
anything about the belief, but it certainly discredits those who place
stock in such 'proofs'.

The classic example of this is of course Galileo's "heretical" reports
of his observations through his telescope of mountains on the moon and
satellites of Jupiter, which the Church found so threatening to its
dogmatic view of a geocentric universe, as opposed to the Copernican
view, that it placed him under house arrest and made him recant his (now
proven) theories. The Church's view of the physical universe was held to
be consequent upon its doctrinal views of a anthropocentric creation and
perfection in the heavens.

When science is not claimed as an ally to religion when they appear to
agree, religion and science cease to be a threat to one another when
they appear to differ. The Torah is called a "book of life"; it is meant
to teach us how to live, not to teach us history or science, and even
its narratives should not be appraised as a history text would be
judged. They are wholly subsidiary to the moral purpose of the Torah and
are included primarily for their instructive value in that sphere or
because they indirectly help serve that purpose.

Now that one of the 'articles of faith' taught to me in my childhood has
been debunked, I am curious: Is the rock wallaby the only instance of
another animal, in addition to those listed in Shemini, in which only
one siman taharah is present, or are there others as well that my
teacher did not know of?

Mottel Gutnick, Melbourne Australia.


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 08:07:32 +0200
Subject: Throwing Candy

Steven White writes:
> In #87, Elanit Rothschild (<ezr0th@...>) writes:
> > Good idea.  When my brother was bar-mitzvahed (they do it at bar
> >  mitzvahs too!) the Rabbi and gabbai of my shul just covered the
> >  Sefer Torah with a Talit and because of the risk of someone
> >  getting hurt from being hit with hard candies, my mother bought
> >  those soft, mushy Sunkist candies instead.
> In our shul, there is a policy only to allow use of soft foods, such
> as the Sunkist candies, Hershey's Kisses and Hugs or raisins.

I admit to some puzzlement at this.  While I can see the idea of using
Sunkist candies, the Hershey's don't strike me as being a whole lot
softer than hard candies, while the raisins would either have to be in
boxes (in which case they also have the potential to injure) or would
pose a problem of bal tashchis (destroying food).

-- Carl Sherer

Thank you for davening for our son, 
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya. Please 
keep him in mind for a healthy, long life. 

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 15:12:41 +0200
Subject: What is Causation

In mj 25 volume 98 Dr. Hendel asks for a clarification of the laws of
causation. One of the foremost experts on the subjects is Rabbi Levi
Yitzchak Halperin, Rabbi Rozen's (who made the original statement on
causation) former mentor when he worked at the Machon Hatechnology in
Yerushalyim. Rabbi Halperin wrote "Maaseh Ugrama Bahalachah" which
clearly analyzes all the different aspects of causation, making a
coherent whole of all the apparently contradictory rulings. The sefer is
published by the Machon, whose address is 1 Rechov Hapisgah, Jerusalem.



End of Volume 26 Issue 4