Volume 26 Number 54
                      Produced: Sun May 18 14:35:30 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calendar Configurations
         [Joseph Tabory]
Differences in emor vs. tetsave
         [Leslie Train]
         [Leslie Train]
Hendel - Cold Cream and Shabbat Melachot
         [Shlomo Pick]
Jewish calendar configurations
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Lo ra'inu Ra'aya/eino Ra'aya
         [Eli Turkel]
Megan's Law
         [Ben Rothke]
         [Robert Werman]
Tumah v' taharah
         [Hillel E. Markowitz]
Two Questions
         [Jordan Wagner]


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 05:06:14 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Calendar Configurations

Marga Hirsch <marga@...>,

Your question can be answered in a general way and in a more technical
way. The general answer is that there really should not be a 385 day
leap year. Since the month is about 29 1/2 days long, 13 months should
give a year of 383 1/2 days. The reason that there are longer years is
that sometimes the year following the year should fall on one of the
days which can not be leap year and so the year is lengthened by one
day. Thus, when the leap year begins on Tuesday, the next year should
begin on Monday and it can, so the leap year has 384 days. However, when
the leap year begins on Monday, Thursday, or Saturday, the following
year should begin on, respectively, Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday, which
is not acceptable.  Therefore, the New Year following the leap year is
postponed by one day and thus the leap year consists of 385 days.

	The more technical answer is that for the leap year to fall on
Tuesday, the molad must have been no later than Tuesday noon. In this
case, the molad of Tishri of the following year will fall early Monday,
and there is no reason not to declare Monday as the New Year. In the
other cases, it would be necessary to postpone the New Year, as stated

Joseph Tabory 
Talmud Department 
Bar Ilan University


From: Leslie Train <ltrain@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 23:06:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Differences in emor vs. tetsave

Tora readers run the risk of confusing the teamim in shvi'i of emor, with
the opening verses in tetsave. The main difference, is that in the first
occurence in tetsave (Exodus 27.21) Ahron is mentioned together with his
sons, as the ones to light the ner tumid. Later, in Leviticus, Ahron is
mentioned alone, and no reference is made to his sons.
The veteran tora reader in our shul, Mr. Philip Zucker, believes that the
reason the sons are excluded in Leviticus, is that Ahron had already lost
2 sons to the eish zoro, and he didn't want them 'playing with fire' any
more, as long as they didn't need to. Therefore, he assumed full
responsibility for the fire.
I haven't seen any commentary similar to this on the subject, and was
wondering what you thought of this chidush. I like it.
Les Train


From: Leslie Train <ltrain@...>
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 23:57:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Hagba

Just as many tap the table when they recite 'al shulchan ze sheachalnu
alav'  during bentshing - on this here table upon which we've dined - so
too is it appropriate to point when you recite 'vizois hatoiro' - 'behold,
this is the tora'. To distinguish that the object that youre pointing at
is very special, you don't use your usual pointing finger, but a pinky.
Les Train


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997 15:59:20 -0700
Subject: Hendel - Cold Cream and Shabbat Melachot

hi I am writing concerning the submission by Dr. Russel Hendel of
Sunday, Feb. 2, 1977, found in vol. 25, no. 99.  His posting concerned
"How Shabbath Melachas are Made:Cold Cream" and wrote the following:

> Mark Feldman asks the basis for Rabbi Soloveitchick holding that
> smoothing a paste is prohibited on Shabbath Biblically provided there is
> a new surface created. This affords the opportunity to demonstrate the
> methodology in analyzing the very complex world of Shabbath Melachas.

 Nothing could be more correct.  The Rav zt"l had stated a number of
times that the most basic of Talmud methodology was to translate
properly and thing logically.  Without that, there is nothing to talk
about, as it is not Talmud and certainly not Halacha.
 Dr. Hendel's posting was in response to Mark Felman's posting (vol.
25:98) dealing with "mimarei'ach" which was a tolday of "mimachek".  In
the mishnah, Shabbat 73a there appears a melakha "ve-ha-memacheko" which
Rashi explains as "megarer sa'aro" which (exuse the pun) roughly means
rubbing a rough surface which is the purpose of removing the hairs on
the skin.  The late Dayan Grunfeld translates it as "scraping pelts"
(The Sabbath, p. 25).  On p. 52, he offers the "tachlit" the purpose of
this melakha: to remove the roughness of the surface.  The Hebrew term
"memakhek" means just that - scraping or smoothing, and so in Jastrow,
s.v.  Machak in his second definition (p. 763 and cf. p. 759 s.v.
 Consequently, Dr. Hendel's next statement is incorrect:

> The first step is to list the essential attributes of the so called
> "FATHER" prohibition. In this case (as Mark points out) the "Father
> prohibition" is the prohibition of "ERASURE" (Say the erasure of ink
> markings from wood). Erasure in turn seems to have 4 attributes:

 Five words after the word "ve-ha-memakheko" appears the term
"ve-ha-mokhek" which means "and he who erases".  Here the mishna
stipulates that one is obligated only when he erases in order to write
on the surface.
 Now clearly we have here two independent melakhot with two independent
purposes to define them.
 If they had had the same purpose, then the Talmud would have asked why
there are two melachot with identical purposes, as found in fol. 73 b
why is there winnowing, selecting and sifting.
 Consequently, all of Dr. Hendel's following statements no longer
necessarily follow as they are all based upon mistranslation and hence

> 1) It is created by a rubbing motion
> 2) It makes disappear an unwanted surface
> 3) It allows the emergence or appearance of a new surface
> 4) This new surface was an intrinsic part of the object(in fact covered
> by the old surface)

 Erasing is only associated with writing. one need not smooth any
surface, just remove the old writing to make way for the new writing.
The surface itself is not intrinsicly or essentially changed - I should
say the substance, just the surface has been cleaned in preparation for
writing. i would add, that erasure means removing the letters of an
existing word - cleaning off dirt or dust to prepare the surface is not
erasure and not even a toldah. erasing is totally related to removing
and erasing existing writing.  That is the essential pre-condition for
the melakha of ERASING!
 On the other hand, memekhek, effect the substance worked upon, in and
for itself, bettering it.  Hence any scraping or smoothing which
produces lasting results.  At this point one can understand a
disagreement whether a new surface must be created as in the mishna's
exact case, or just making something smoother is enough to qualify as a

I would like to thank mail jewish for provinding a good opportunity for
demonstrating the primary methodology of analyzing the very complex
world of Talmud - proper translation and logical thinking - certainly in
that order.  

Shlomo Pick


From: Saul Mashbaum <mshalom@...>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 12:27:24 GMT-2
Subject: Jewish calendar configurations

Marga Hirsch's father asked:

>Regarding the calendar, I have a question: Based on the actual record of
>the 332 year period from 1784 to 2116, which I examined - almost one
>third of a milennium! -it is correct, as your sources assert, that there
>are only seven (7) configurations for leap years.  In theory, however,
>there ought to be an eighth configuration with Rosh Hashana falling on a
>Tuesday, with that year having 385 days, i.e. Cheshvan and Kislev both
>having 30 days, the first day of Pesach falling on a Sunday and the
>subsequent Rosh Hashanah again on a Tuesday.  Why does that never

Rosh Hashana is on the day of the molad (the re-appearance of the moon)
of Tishrei, unless we are 'forced' to push it off by a principle like 
"lo adu Rosh" (Rosh Hashana cannot fall on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday) 
or "molad zaken" (if the molad falls very late in the day, the next day 
is Rosh Hashana).

A lunar leap year is a bit less than 384 days long (54 weeks and six days). 
If we calculate the molad of the year *after* a leap year which starts on 
a Tuesday, it will fall on a Monday, and not late in the day. Since Monday 
is a valid day for Rosh Hashana, we do not push Rosh Hashana off. Thus the 
'regular' configuration of 384 days for the leap year is used: Cheshvan has 
30 days, Kislev has 29, Pesach comes out on Shabbat, and the following
Rosh Hashana is in Monday.

The configuration suggested in the question is never needed, thus never
appears in the calendar.

See Rambam Hilchot Kidush Hachodesh 8:10 and Tur OH 428.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 15:47:39 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Lo ra'inu Ra'aya/eino Ra'aya

    Aryeh Frimer asks about "Lo ra'inu Ra'aya/eino Ra'aya" with respect
to women's issues. In the last issue of Mesorah (#13) there is an
article about Women and Schechita by Rabbi Wahrman and some discussion
of this question (he is very negative). Also in the last issue of
Techumim (#17) there are several articles about a Women's "gathering" at
the Kotel with some side references to the issue.

    Beyond the general question whether one can be bring a proof from
the non-existence of a custom several authors claim that it is more
questionable to bring prrofs from previous generations concerning
women's issues because of the general change in women's status. As one
person says, women in previous generations did not go to shul except on
special occasions. Does that make it unacceptable for women to go to
shul now becuase this has become accepted parctice?



From: Ben Rothke <BRothke@...>
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 22:18:39 -0400
Subject: Megan's Law

In ref. to mail-jewish Vol. 26 #53 "Megan's Law"- Gershon Klavan
<klavan@...> wrote that once someone has received his
punishment of Malkot, he should be treated like any other Jew and then
seemed to equate malkos with a prison sentence.

That would seem to be true, but malkos is much harsher than most

Of additional consequence is that teshuva and charata is necessary in
addition to the malkus.  When one studies the phychology of child
molesters, it is clear that they lack the ability to have charata, since
they views their desires as who they are, as opposed to deviant


From: Robert Werman <rwerman@...>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 10:10:43 +0300
Subject: Plagiarism?

While the idea of plagiarism, or at least not quoting the source of an
opinion, is stressed throughout Hz"l, I can't find a technical term for
plagiarism.  I'm sure that there must be something.  Any help?

The closest I've come and I'm hardly sure if that is right is - gnayvat
inyanot [gimel-nun-bet and ayin-nun-yod-yod-nun].

__Bob Werman
<rwerman@...>   Jerusalem


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 09:05:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Tumah v' taharah

On Fri, 16 May 1997, Bill Page wrote:
> In a discussion a few weeks ago, someone stated that the Torah's
> prohibition on touching the carcase of a pig was not in effect because
> the Temple is not in existence.  As I recall, the statement was
> something like "there is no prohibition on becoming tamei."  I told this
> to someone recently, and he asked why, if that is true, are the laws of
> niddah still in full force. I didn't have a good answer, so I pose the
> same question here. Why are the laws of _family_ purity in a special
> category?

I would point out that the effect of the halachos of family purity do
not depend on the existence of the Temple.  Instead they are related to
the actions of the people.  Similarly, one becomes tahor not through a
korban (sacrifice) at the temple but by going to the mikvah.  The tum'ah
of touching a pig (or becoming tamei mais [from a dead body], etc.) only
effect the eating of kadshim (sacrifices) and going to the Bais
Hamikdash which we do not have anyway.  If there were other halachos
which would be affected by this tum'ah then we would continue to follow

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


From: <JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Wagner)
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 00:03:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Two Questions

Two questions:

1.  In communities where the sheliach wears a tallis on Friday night and
Shabbat mincha, do those getting aliyot (or hag'bah) also grab a tallis on
their way to the bima? 

2.  When a man lights but doesn't yet want to be "in Shabbos", has anyone
heard of communities using particular forms of declaration of intent, or is
it totally informal everywhere?  

--- Jordan


End of Volume 26 Issue 54