Volume 26 Number 28
                      Produced: Tue Apr 15  1:00:56 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An internet shayleh - not for Purim (2)
         [D. A. Schiffmann, Hillel E. Markowitz]
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Dolphinim (Rashi: mermaids) and Souls
         [Micha Berger]
Form of the Numerals in Hebrew as Adjectives
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Gerim as Rabbis - any restrictions?
         [Aryeh Meir]
Internet Sheila
         [Ranon Katzoff]
Is There A Connection Between Hebrew & English?
         [David Brotsky]
Sefer Torah Fungus Query
         [Michael J Broyde]
Tikun Simanim
         [Mark J. Feldman]
When Minhag Intefers With Observance
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Howard M. Berlin]


From: D. A. Schiffmann <das1002@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 13:14:29 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: An internet shayleh - not for Purim

> From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
> If you sit down for a minute to figure it out, it's Shabbos for let's
> say 25 - 26 hours at any given location on earth.  From the time Shabbos
> starts in Eyr HaKodesh, Yerushalim, until it ends somewhere just East of
> there, is somewhere around 49-50 hours each week.
> My question thus concerns electronic communications, internet for
> example, during this time period.  For example, sending to a mailing
> list of people all over the world, or specifically sending email to /
> through an area where it is Shabbos.  Or having a bulletin board or web
> site open and accessible when it Shabbos somewhere -- even not where you
> are.

Something similar to this was asked to Ohr Somayach's 'Ask the Rabbi'
email list; an archive of the reply can be found at:

The 'Ohr Somayach International Home Page' is at

Shabbat Shalom,


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 09:58:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: An internet shayleh - not for Purim

On Fri, 28 Mar 97 Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...> wrote
> My question thus concerns electronic communications, internet for
> example, during this time period.  For example, sending to a mailing
> list of people all over the world, or specifically sending email to /
> through an area where it is Shabbos.  Or having a bulletin board or web
> site open and accessible when it Shabbos somewhere -- even not where you
> are.

Rabbi Frand in Baltimore dealt with this question in a shiur and I saw
an answer to this on Ask THe Rabbi form Ohr Sameach.  The question is no
different from leaving your telephone answering machine or FAX machine
on over Shabbos. As long as you do not do anything with the machine, you
are doing nothing wrong.  As long as the person calling your machine is
not in Shabbos, then he is doing nothing wrong.  Thus, just before
Shabbos in the United States, you may Fax a message to Israel, where it
will be read after Shabbos.  Similarly, after Shabbos in Israel a person
can leave a message in the United States, to be picked up afterSHabbos.

If someone uses the system when it is Shabbos where he is (assuming he
is Jewish) it is his sin not yours.  It is not even a consideration of
lifnei iver [do not put a stumbling block before a blind person].

|  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|   <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 15:12:19 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Cloning

> From: <rachim@...> (Rachi Messing)
> Even though there are many questions surrounding cloning of human
> beings, the technology to do so has not yet been developed.  We still
> have to deal with the technology we DO have. questions regarding cloning
> of animals.  1) If you clone a sheep does it need shechita?  2) Is a
> cloned animal actually considered an animal at all - i.e.  would a
> cloned pig be considered a pig and not be kosher, or maybe it's a new
> category and may be eaten?  

	A similar question was asked to Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg 
SHLITA.  The question was if a pig was born to another animal would it 
be kosher.  I believe he said no because just because it is not born to a 
non-kosher animal doesn't change the fact that it is still itself not 


From: <micha@...> (Micha Berger)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 09:02:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Dolphinim (Rashi: mermaids) and Souls

The question of the existance of mermaids aside...

How did the Chachamim address the issue of people, in this case dolphinim,
who were not descendant of Adam that were capable of thought?

We only find the Chumash telling us by Adam that Hashem "breathed into
him a living soul". Were dolphinim believed to posess souls anyway? If
not, were they capable of cognizance or metacognizance (aware that they
are aware; ie have a sense of "I")?


Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3767 days!
<micha@...>                         (16-Oct-86 - 11-Apr-97)
For a mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah its light.
http://aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed


From: Meylekh Viswanath <viswanat@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 14:25:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Form of the Numerals in Hebrew as Adjectives

Does anybody know why the numerals in Hebrew take on a feminine-seeming
form when modifying a masculine noun and a masculine-seeming form when
modifying a feminine noun?  I.e. shlosha talmidim, but shalosh talmidot.

Meylekh Viswanath     Voice: (914) 773-3906  Fax: (914) 773-3920
Lubin School of Business, Pace University, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville,
NY 10570
Email: MAILTO:<viswanat@...>         WWW: http://library.pace.edu/~viswanat


From: Aryeh Meir <ameir@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 22:07:44 -0800
Subject: Gerim as Rabbis - any restrictions?

On another list it was mentioned that a ger who is now a rabbi may not
sit on a beit din for the purpose of conversion?  Is this true?

It came as a surprise to me as I thought there were no restrictions on
gerim past conversion(except for those dealing with cohanim).

If it is true can some one explain the halakha in this area?  Are there
any other restrictions.



From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 09:44:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Internet Sheila

Carl Singer observes that for a 49-50 hour period each week it is
shabbat somewhere on the globe, and wonders what the implications of
that would be for the web-connected computers.

At first sight the implications would be nothing. The halacha was
decided, nearly two millenia ago, that "sh'vitat kelim" was not
required, that is that we are not required to prevent our inanimate
objects from executing a task that would be forbidden for humans on
shabbat. We all are familiar with the principle from our lamps, shabbat
clocks, air conditioners, even silent mills. So the computer could go
about doing its thing as long as people did not intervene when it was
shabbat for them.

The observation about the 49-50 hour period of shabbat was made early in
this century as part of an argument in favor of retaining second-day Yom
Tov despite modern communications. G-d, it was argued, observes shabbat
whenever any Jew does. Every week, then, G-d observes a 49 hour shabbat.
It would be overly burdensome to require all Jews to observe G-d's
shabbat every week, but on yom tov and on yom tov alone we observe G-d's
yom tov.  Presumably G-d, in this line of reasoning, does not observe
yom tov sheni shel galuyot, for if He did, G-d's yom tov would be 73 or
so hours long, v'ein ladavar sof.

Ranon Katzoff  


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 12:02:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Is There A Connection Between Hebrew & English?

A friend of mine was wondering about the relationship between Hebrew and
English. I thought the list might be able to answer his question.


(excerpt follows)

 Is there some sort of connection between Hebrew and English?  The two
alphabets start out pretty parallel (at least phonetically) but then
fall apart.

      A - Aleph  (match)
      B - Beth   (match)
      C - Gimmel (not really)
      D - Dalet  (match)
      E - Hey    (sort of close) 


      Then there is a pasuk from Nach-  something to the effect that "I will 
      send you a clear language".  Aryeh Kaplan, et al, theorizes that since 
      the majority of the world now speaks English, the "clear language" 
      mentioned in Nach, might be English.

Has any work been done on computers to try to find a tie-in from Hebrew-
English. In other words, something akin to the Discovery codes, but
along different lines?

David Brotsky
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From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 1997 20:15:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Sefer Torah Fungus Query

In the Young Israel of Toco Hills we have a sefer torah that has vast
sections of the white parchment that have turned light brown, which is
still kosher to read from, but harder to do.  A person recently told me
that this light brown overlay is a fungus that grows on parchment and
that there were readily available chemical solutions to fix this that
could be purchased in Israel, which killed the fungus and returned to
torah to its white state without damaging the ink. More than that he did
not know, other than than the fact that there was a machon (he could not
name it) that did this work in Israel.  Has anyone heard of either the
machon or the product?

Michael J. Broyde


From: Mark J. Feldman <MFeldman@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 18:30:41 -0500
Subject: Tikun Simanim

Some time ago Bernard Horowitz wrote in mail-jewish:
 << To emphasize psukim which end with the tipcha preceding the mercha,
the text after the tipcha is printed in a smaller font size.  Phrases
which are similar to other phrases in a different pasuk are printed
hilited in grey. .....  Some of the unique typography is on the 'Torah
side' and I found this troublesome at first.  >>

Since I might mail-order this tikkun (sight unseen), I have the
following questions:

 1.  Which of the "hints" is highlighted on the Torah side?
 2.  Given the fact that there are hints, how can you make sure that you
really know the Parsha?  Do you, at the end of practicing, use your old
tikkun as a final check?
 3.  How accurate is this tikkun as compared with Mordechai Broyer's
Tanach (from Mosad HaRav Kook)?

Kol Tuv,


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 22:14:43 -0400
Subject: When Minhag Intefers With Observance

Martin Rosen brings what I consider excellent arguments for allowing
(given the criteria he mentions) Mikvah for women during the day.

This brings up a general question that has bothered me for a long time.

While Minhag yisroel has a status of Din is it permissable to abrogate
that minhag either temporarily or permanantly either for an individual
or community if the minhag creates a "bother" whose removal would
increase observance of the mitzvah.

A simple example of this would be to remove "learning" between Minchah
and Maariv or removing "excess Mishebayraching" (or Chazanuth) in order
to increase shule attendance.

Another example I have seen on occassion is when I have told people that
Sefirath Haomer can be accomplished just by saying the blessing and
counting in English (instead of saying all the Kabbalistic prayers in
the Siddur). I have actually gotton some people to start observing this
mitzvah by doing this.

A more complex example is the one brought by Martin Rosen: Certainly
Tzniuth has created many minhagim (like going to Mikvah by night). But,
even if Martins arguments are wrong, suppose people's perception of
Mikvahs at night or their fears of going inhibit a small percentage from
going. Does this legitimize abrogating the nighttime injunction to
increase going.

(Let me put it this way: Suppose a community tries daytime Mikvah for a
month or two and sees a statistically significant rise in average mikvah
attendance---by the words statistically significant I simply mean NOT a
dramatic increase but rather enough of an increase so that a
Statistician can say with confidence that the day vs night caused the
increase).  I realize this would not justify encouraging daytime Mikvah
in all communities but would it justify it in this community I believe a
strong argument for overriding minhag exists here.

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


From: Howard M. Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 18:45:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: X-files/Golim

About a month ago there was an episode on the X-files that first showed
a funeral/burial in an orthodox cemetary. The desceased a (chooson who
was to be married in a few days) was murdered by several young men.
Apparently someone (the Chalah) fashioned a "Golim" out of mud at night
after the burial. The Golim in turn serially went after each of the
murderers and killed each one.

The FBI agents, who are "stars" of the show found a mystical book "Safer
Yizera" (Book of Creation) which described the creation of a golim and
the letters aleph, mem, tet for "emet" (truth). The hebrew scholar told
the FBI agents that by removing the aleph from emet, you get mem-tet,
met (death) and one could destroy this type of golim - The letters
aleph-mem-tet were "tatooed" on the top of the golim's hand between the
thumb and index finger, etc.........

Anyhooo...., Does this book really exist and does the Safer Yizera
actually discuss golim/emet/met situation as was played out in the show?
My mother-in-law (from Ukraine/Hungary/Czechoslovakia) is a Kabalist,
but is not aware of this.

I gave a video copy of this X-files episode to my Rabbi to watch. I
normally do not watch the X-files but was aware ahead of time about the
content and taped it.

Humbug Howard the Humble

 /~~\\       ,    , ,                             Dr. Howard M. Berlin, W3HB
|#===||==========#***|                           http://www.dtcc.edu/~berlin


End of Volume 26 Issue 28