Volume 26 Number 38
                      Produced: Mon May  5 22:38:29 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dikduk Query
         [Al Silberman]
Eating Human Flesh to Survive (2)
         [Hyman L. Schaffer, Hillel E. Markowitz]
Jewish Wedding Ceremony
         [Adam Weingarden]
Pig Born to Another Animal
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Programs for gifted students
         [Daniel Stuhlman]
Shecheyanu and The Sefirah
         [Russell Hendel]
Shevatim in art
         [The Meth Family]
Upsheren (3)
         [J Gold, Jacob Lewis, Ranon Katzoff]
Wigs made from hair from India... a problem?
         [Aaron D. Gross]


From: <alfred.silberman@...> (Al Silberman)
Date: Mon, 5 May 97 15:44:01 EDT
Subject: Dikduk Query

In MJ V26n35 <empreil@...> (Elozor M Preil) writes:
> Re the word "kos" (cup), my small "milon" (dictionary) has it as
> feminine.  My guess is the mikra source is Tehillim 23: "kosi revayah".
> Yet the mishna in Pesachim ch. 10 has it both ways: "v'lo yifchasu lo
> me'arba (f) kosot shel yayin", but also "mazgu lo kos rishon (m)" and so
> sheini and shlishi.

I don't know if I am directly addressing the question but here are some
general thoughts on this subject.

Many nouns in Tanach are used as both genders. See Bavli Kidushin 2b in
the Gemara and Tosfos where many examples are cited. One example not
cited is the word Shabbos which also has both genders.

The word "kos" in the Torah has an (assumed) masculine form as the name
of a bird.

As to differences between the usage in the Torah, the rest of Nach and
the Talmud:

See Bava Kamma 2b, Chagigah 10b, Nidah 23a where it says that Torah word
meanings cannot be deduced from post-Torah (Nach) words.

See Avodah Zarah 58b and Chullin 137b where it says that the language of
the Torah is distinct from the language of the Sages. The comment in
Avodah Zarah happens to address the word "mazgu" mentioned by Mr. Preil.

 From Bechoros 50a: Silver coinage mentioned in the Torah means a
"sela"; in the Prophets it means "litrin" and in Kesuvim it means

A little over a year ago I sent in a post about the name Yitzchak /
Yischak which may be related to the above quoted statements.


From: <HLSesq@...> (Hyman L. Schaffer)
Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 22:18:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Eating Human Flesh to Survive

>From: David Brail <dbrail@...>
>I was watching "Alive" on tape the other night, and it got me to
>thinking, what is the Halachic view on that sort of thing?  If you don't
>remember the movie, it is about a plane wreck in the Andes, where the
>survivors, with no other option for sustenance, eat their dead comrades.
>They ultimately survive long enough to be rescued.

Rabbi Bleich addressed that exact case in vol.I Contemporary halachic
Problems. There he notes that there is no explicit biblical injunction
against eating human flesh, but Rambam based on Lev.11:2 (describing
what we may eat) infers such a prohibition from the absence of
permission in the section. This apparently is the opinion of Ritva to
Kesuvos 60a, where he concludes that the flesh of a dead person is
prohibited because of lack of shechita (!) . Other rishonim believe that
there is no specific biblical prohibition, although agree that it is
impermissible due to gaining benefit from a corpse, which is biblical at
very least for Jewish corpses. Rabbi Bleich notes that the general issue
does not address the question of suspending the prohibition where one's
life is at stake. He brings a responsum of Radbaz which permits the
consumption even by one who is ill, but not life-threateningly so, of a
mummy (which apparently were thought to have medicinal value because of
the embalming spices and herbs)--because the mummy is completely dry and
unfit for a dog's consumption. Rabbi Bleich concludes that the value of
maintaining an existing life suspends the other prohibitions involved
and declares the practice permissible under the circumstances
there. Presumably, respect for the deceased would require that as much
care as possible be taken so as not to unduly disgrace the body.
Because the flesh is being eaten permissibly, I would think a bracha
would be needed; it seems to be the same issue as whether a bracha need
be made over other forbidden foods permitted due to illness.

From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Sun, 04 May 1997 09:05:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Eating Human Flesh to Survive

On Fri, 2 May 1997, David Brail wrote:
> I was watching "Alive" on tape the other night, and it got me to
> thinking, what is the Halachic view on that sort of thing?  If you don't
> remember the movie, it is about a plane wreck in the Andes, where the
> survivors, with no other option for sustenance, eat their dead comrades.
> They ultimately survive long enough to be rescued.

I remember learning about a case (I think it was during the rebellions
against Rome) in which such a situation occurred.  One man hid his
father's body so it would not be eaten, but someone else found the
grave.  It was considered one of the curses of the Tochacha, but it is
indeed a matter of Pikuach Nefesh and the body may be eaten.  The
haftorah of Metzorah speaks about the end of the siege of Shomron during
which such things happened.

As long as the people were careful not to hasten the death of others
(which is murder) and treated the bodies with respect, then they acted
properly.  I remember the newspaper reports of the time speaking about
the incident and missing the point (as usual).

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


From: <au277@...> (Adam Weingarden)
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 16:31:23 -0400
Subject: Jewish Wedding Ceremony

I am writing to see if anyone can explain the wedding ceremony to me in
depth.  I am getting married on July 6th. My fiance was brought up in a
conservative home, while mine was ultra reformed.  We keep a kosher
home, since that is what she was taught to do.  After 1.5 years, I still
sometimes grab the wrong silverware for meat or dairy.  However, I am
much better these days.  I have been trying to consume as much knowledge
about Judaism as I can lately.  It's amazing that I was never taught any
of this stuff, when my mother and father both grew up in very
conservative homes.  I identify with our history.  However, there are so
many questions I have regarding the bible, and the differences between
Christianity and Judaism.  Is the idea about the Messiah the only
difference? Sorry to sound so naive, but I just want to educate myself.
Thank You
 Adam Weingarden


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 22:56:37 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Pig Born to Another Animal

> From: Israel Rosenfeld <iir@[]>
> > From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
> >  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
> > kosher
> I'm sorry but IMHO either the question or answer was something else.
> I quote:
> Rambam - Laws of Forbidden Foods (Maachalot Asurot) 1:5
>  A kosher animal that gave birth (in the presence of a human)
>   to an apparently non-kosher animal, even if the new-born
>   does not ruminate, has no split hooves, even if it is a horse
>   or mule, it may be eaten.
> Behatzlacha raba.
> Yisrael
	I asked the Rav and you're right.  I apologize to everybody for
not checking before writing the message. Sincerely
		Eliyahu Segal


From: <ssmlhtc@...> (Daniel Stuhlman)
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 15:00:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Programs for gifted students

We are trying to form a parents group to start a program for gifted
students in the Chicago area.  If anyone from this area would like to
join us please let me know.  Also if you know of the names and addresses
of any schools or communities that run gifted programs under Jewish
sponsorship please let me know.


Daniel Stuhlman


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 20:53:51 -0400
Subject: Shecheyanu and The Sefirah

Several recent postings [Vol 26n32-36] discuss Shecheyanu on the Sefirah
and cite opinions of the Rav. I actually heard the Rav give a lecture on
this and would like to summarize his opinions so as to help clarify the

* Originally, we did say Shecheyanu during Sefirah just as we say
Shecheyanu on many other Joyous mitzvoth which have no direct monetary
or personal loss and this is true whether they are Biblical or
Rabbinical: SOme examples are Chanukah, Megillah, Shofar, Lulav etc. Why
shouldn't Omer be included?

* It is NOW established that we have certain elements of mourning in
Sefirah.  The standard explanation is that this is due to Rabbi Akibah's
24000 students who died during this period. A secondary explanation is
the fact that we no longer have a temple and can't offer the sacrifices
(though e.g.  the fact that we can't shake Lulav as they did in the
Temple or that we can't light the Menorah does not stop us from saying
Shecheyanu on Chanukah and Succoth).

* The Rav said he felt a 3rd reason (besides the death of Rabbi Akibah's
students and the absence of sacrifices) was of primary significance in
the mourning during the Sefirah: The Rav explained that many of the
atrocities of the Crusades happened around the time of the Omer (since
some crusades happened during the summer).  The Rav elaborated on this
by pointing out 3 things that the crusades lead to:

	- The Rav said he personally examined prayer books and found
that JOY & HAPPINESS (SASON/SIMCHA) was initially in the High Holy day
prayer but was deleted around the time of the crusades

	- Similarly the practice of saying "Kadish Yasom"---Kadish for
one's deceased parents originated during the time of the crusades
(because of the great number of orphans created)

	- Finally, the Rav suggested that Shecheyanu was deleted from
the Sefirah blessings and some of the mourning customs were intensified
because of the crusades.

I hope this adds some non standard insights into this topic

Russell Jay Hendel; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: The Meth Family <meth@...>
Date: Sun, 04 May 1997 20:18:54 -0400
Subject: Shevatim in art

I am looking for the symbols of the 12 tribes in an art form dating back
at least 100 years.  It can be in any form: manuscript, mosaic,
tapestry, painting, etc. Please reply directly to me. Thanx.


From: <yoss@...> (J Gold)
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 12:31:13 -0400
Subject: Upsheren

<<From: <zg@...> (Zvi Goldberg)
	<<Some families (usually Chasidic) do not give their male child
a haircut until he is 3 years old (upsheren). Can anyone explain the
source and reason ? Also, I've heard that in Israel, they make bonfires
on Lag B'omer and throw the locks in. What is the reason for this ? And
why on Lag B'omer ? And why the fires ?>>

There are many sources for this Minhag - In Shalos U'tshuvos Arugas
Habosem #210 it is explained that there is a Medrash that states that
when the Torah states "Shalosh Shonim Arelim" - For three years you
shall not touch the fruit - it is referring to a child whose hair should
not be cut until he reaches his 3rd. birthday. He should also not be
taught any Torah until that period.
 The Tamei Haminhagim brings that the Ari Hakodosh traveled especially
from Mitzrayim to Meron with his 3 year old son to give him his first
haircut on Lag Baomer.
 There are many more sources (& reasons) for making the Upsherin on Lag
Baomer in general and particularly in Meron at the Kever of the Tanna
Rabon Shimon Bar Yochai.
 The Minhag to make bonfires os an older Minhag - It is however solely
to make a bonfire in Meron. One of the reasons is because Rabon Shimon
enlightened the world with the Zohar and this will light our way to the
dat that Moshiach comes. There are many more reasons.
 I have never seen anything connecting the Bonfires with the Upsherin. I
have heard the there are people who throw the hairs in the fire but I am
not sure if that is a Minhag from the times before. If anyone is more
familiar with the source and reason for this, it would be interesting to

From: Jacob Lewis <jlewis@...>
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 15:45:06 CDT
Subject: Re: Upsheren

On  2 May 97, Zvi Goldberg wrote:
> 	Some families (usually Chasidic) do not give their male child a
> haircut until he is 3 years old (upsheren). Can anyone explain the source
> and reason ? Also, I've heard that in Israel, they make bonfires on Lag
> B'omer and throw the locks in. What is the reason for this ? And why on
> Lag B'omer ? And why the fires ?
The Lubavitch gopher server has information on upsheren and how 
Chabadniks observe it. The document can be found at 
gopher://gopher.fhcrc.org:70/10/08, I think.

Jacob Lewis

From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 00:39:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Upsheren

Zvi Goldberg asked about "upsheren":

Yoram bilu delivered a marvelous lecture on it at a conference organized
by Albert Baumgarten at Bar Ilan University last November. his email
address is:


Ranon Katzoff


From: Aaron D. Gross <adg@...>
Date: Mon, 05 May 1997 10:25:30 -0700
Subject: Wigs made from hair from India... a problem?

Just wondering if the following would be a cause for concern among
shaitel wearers...

	NEW DELHI, May 5 (UPI) -- A Hindu temple in India has earned 
$1.8 million by selling the hair of devotees who got their heads 
shaved as part of their offering to the deity. 
	The Press Trust of India reports that more than 6.5 million 
devotees got their heads shaved at the Venkateswara temple in southern 
India during 1996. 
	The temple authorities auctioned the air to businessmen, who 
will use them to make wigs. 
	Hindus believe in shaving their heads at the temple as an 
offering to the deity. More than 500 barbers work around the clock 
at the temple. 	
---   Aaron D. Gross -- http://www.pobox.com/~adg  


End of Volume 26 Issue 38