Volume 26 Number 71
                      Produced: Wed Jun 25  7:01:56 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Lo Ra-inu and Bat Mitzva
         [Hyman L. Schaffer]
Maariv on Shavuot
         [Reuben Stein]
Playing with a Balloon on Shabbat
         [Reuven Miller]
R. Shimon b. Yochai
         [David Glasner]
R. Shimon b. Yochai -Reply
         [Shlomo Katz]
Regarding Changing Biblical Texts
         [Russell Hendel]
Women's Services
         [Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 06:12:45 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Welcome back!

Actually it's been I who have been gone for a while from mail-jewish and
my email, but welcome back to you all. I expect to have a number of
issues coming out over the next week, probably somewhat higher than the
usual number I allow each day for the next week. There are also a few
topics that have been skimming the surface, that I will try and define
for a more focused conversation. If I'm really ambitious, I have a few
topics to start up on the mj-chaburah list, and if I can get properly
focused here and on mj-announce over the next week, expect some
Administrivia about mj-chaburah by this time next week.

Avi Feldblum
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: <HLSesq@...> (Hyman L. Schaffer)
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 12:16:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Lo Ra-inu and Bat Mitzva

I believe that Sridei Aish deals with this point explicitly (the fact
that we haven"t seen it done is no proof that it is impermissible),
although I don't have a copy and can't give the exact cite. Yabia Omer
and Yechaveh Daat also have several tshuvot concerning similar
objections to bat mitzva celebrations, although not, to my recollection
dealing explicitly with li ra-inu.


From: <ruby@...> (Reuben Stein)
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 13:27:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Maariv on Shavuot

Shalom Haverim,

In Mail.Jewish Volume 26 Number 51, Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler discusses an
article he saw in a sefer, 'Marganita Tava' by Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer
Silverstone (pub. 1956) regarding the time of service on eve of Shavuot.

Rabbi Shisler writes..
>Based on the commentary of the Taz to Orach Chayim 494, as also brought
>in the Mishna Berurah, most communities have the practice not to bring
>in Yom Tov on the first night of Shavuot, until after nightfall.
>Rabbi Silverstone makes a very powerful case that this custom is
>absolutely >wrong!

Those are some pretty strong words coming from a Rav in 1956. (or are
they Rav Shisler's words). The Taz is absolutely wrong? The Mishna
Breura?  Absolutely wrong? Incidentaly, I showed Rabbi Shisler's posting
to my LOR and he pointed out to me that this would make the Shagas Aryeh
and the Prei Megadim absolutely wrong as well!!

Rabbi Shisler writes that
>the Bet Yosef, nor the Rema nor the Chayei Adam mention waiting until
>night on the eve of Shavuot.

This is not a strong argument, considering the many other sources that do
speak of it.

Rabbi Silverstone/Shisler then goes on to criticize this p'sak as follows:

>The ruling of the Taz is based on the requirement that we must count
>'seven *complete* weeks.' Therefore we must wait until the completion of
>the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, before we can bring in
>In Rabbi Silverstone's view, there is no doubt that we must bring in
>Shavuot while it is still day, to fulfill the Torah obligation to add
>from Chol to Kodesh, just as we do on every other Shabbat and Yom Tov of
>the year.

This argument is not supported by the sources he cited.

The Taz AND the other souces I cited above ALL say that we wait until
after nightfall before DAVONING MAARIV. There is no mention of waiting
to "bring in Shavuot". Therefore, the custom is to be mekabel (accept)
Shavuot BEFORE sunset (and to refrain from doing melacha after that) and
then to wait until nightfall before davoning maariv. This solves the
major problem which is raised by Rabbi Shisler/Rabbi Silverstone.

The diyuk that R. Silverstone makes on the Gemmara Menachot makes for an
interesting kashah but hardly a reason to call the Taz absolutely wrong.

Ruby Stein


From: <millerr@...> (Reuven Miller)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 16:34:09 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Playing with a Balloon on Shabbat

 My daughter asked me a question on Shabbos.
 Is it ok for my 7 year old son to play with a inflated balloon or is it
mukza? The ballon is a simple one costing a few aggorot that is inflated
and tied with a knot.
 The Shamirat Shabat K'Hilchata doesn't discuss balloon but brings the
halacha from the Badei Hashulchan the a ball which is inflated and tied
is mukza because of a concern that the ball may deflate on Shabbos and
one may come to inflate it again thereby transgressing 3 prohibitions-
 1. Fixing a keli on shabbos and 2.untying and 3. retying the knot.

I have two questions:
 1.Is a simple balloon included in the gezeira(prohibition) of the Badei
Hashulchan? It seems to me as not as it would be very unusual to untie
the knot on the balloon and reinflate it.It is more usual to simply
discard the ballon.

2.How is it that the Badei Hashulchan can establish a "new" prohibition
that is not mentioned on the Talmud? We learned that we maintain the
enactments of the Rabbis(Chazal) but we ,after the closing of the
Talmud,no longer have the ability to make new enactments.?

Reuven Miller


From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 15:27:33 -0400
Subject: R. Shimon b. Yochai

In response to Shlomo Katz's question about the reason for Talmud's
references to R. Shimon b. Yochai without his father's name in halachic
material and with his father's name in aggadic material, a quick check
of the Encyclopedia Judaica turned up the following.  There is one
mishna (Hagiga 1:7) that does refer to R. Shimon ben Yochai.  The reason
there presumably is because the mishnah records a dispute between Rashbi
and R. Shimon ben Menasia.  My own memory which is corroborated by the
few references from the Encyclopedia article that I could check is that
when the Talmud does mention his father's name, the reference is
generally (as in the case of the mishna in Hagiga) R. Shimon ben Yochai
not bar Yochai.  The only reference I found to bar Yochai is in the
Shabbat 33b-34a where in the famous story about the escape of R.  Shimon
and his son from the Romans, Elijah summons R. Shimon from the cave by
addressing him as Bar Yochai.  Elsewhere in the story, R.  Shimon is
twice referred to as R. Shimon ben Yochai and once as Ben Yochai.
Despite the apparent preponderence of references to Rashbi as R. Shimon
ben Yochai, the name is popularly rendered as R. Shimon bar Yochai and
even the Encylopedia Judaica article appears under the entry of Simeon
bar Yochai.  It might be suggested that the use of bar Yochai in this
case a contraction for ben rabi Yochai.  For example, R. Shimon's
illustrious bar plugta is R. Judah ben rabi Ilai, which is normally
rendered either R. Judah barabi Ilai or R. Judah bar' Ilai.  However,
when the latter form is used an apostrophe appears after the reish to
indicate that it is a contraction.  This does not appear to be the case
for Rashbi.  Nor have I seen any reference to a R. Yochai in the Talmud,
whereas R. Ilai's opinion is recorded in a number of mishnayot.  Thus,
the question that I would pose is why does everyone call him R. Shimon
bar Yochai when the Talmud usually calls him R. Shimon ben Yochai?

Getting back to Shomo's question, the case of R. Judah bar' Ilai shows
the same difference between how he is identified in halachic sources and
in aggadic sources as Shlomo notes for Rashbi.  In fact it is a famous
dictum in the Talmud that stam R. Judah is R. Judah bar' Ilai.  In all
the many halachic disputes between R. Judah and R. Shimon recorded in
the Talmud, the fathers' names are never mentioned.  So it is likely
that it is only in aggadic material that the full name R. Judah bar'
Ilai is recorded.  The same seems to be true of R. Joshua ben Hananya
and R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus who are usually referred to in halachic
material simply as R.  Joshua and R. Eliezer.  There are probably other
similar examples.


From: Shlomo Katz <skatz@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 18:47:58 -0400
Subject: R. Shimon b. Yochai -Reply

In reply to David Glasner's reply to my question, my CD search (DBS, if
anyone's wondering) revealed instances of both "ben" and "bar" Yochai.
As for whether "bar Yochai" stands for "ben Rabbi Yochai," I searched
(both by computer and manually in numerous midrashim and other sefarim)
for any indication that Yochai was a scholar.  I found none.

HOWEVER, it appears that he may have been.  My own theory regarding my
original question, which was agreed to by a talmid chacham I was
referred to (the son of a major American Rosh Yeshiva [non-chassidic,
black hat] -- I did not ask permission to make him famous, so I won't
name him) is that Yochai was R' Shimon's rebbe in aggadatah/kaballah.
 "Af al pi sh'ein ra'aya ladavar, yesh zecher ladavar":

* When Eliyahu Hanavi called him out of the cave he called him "ben
Yochai," and did not mention the name "Shimon" at all.  It seems to be
agreed upon that most of the 13 years in the cave were devoted to
kabbalah.  (The aforementioned Talmid Chacham said that this is alluded
to by the gemara's statement that they took off their clothes, i.e.,
they removed the garments of "chitzoniut" and dealt with "pnimiyut
haTorah.")  Perhaps the reference to Yochai was in recognition of the
role that he played in teaching his son kabalah.

* The gemara (I forget where, and I'm not near my CD now) says that
Rashbi promised that the Torah will never be forgotten as the verse
says: "Ki lo tishachach mi'pi zar'o."  R' Nachman of Breslov observes
that the "sofei teivot" of the pasuk spell "Yochai."  If one theorizes
that Rashbi was "prophesying" regarding the chassidic movement and
others who revived the Torah through aggadatah/kabbalah (rather than
halachah, at first), then again, "Yochai=kabbalah."

Until here is my "chiddush."  The aforementioned Talmid Chacham added
that Rashbi's role in halachah is not of the same stature (relatively)
as in aggadatah.  In halachah we find the expression, "Kedai Rabbi
Shimon lismoch alav be'she'at hadechak."  In kabbalah, he THE rebbe par
excellence.  Maybe this is because of his father, as suggested above.
This fits in with the fact that when the name Yochai IS used in a
halchic discussion (and it is on rare occasions, contrary to my initial
assertion), either the halachah is like Rashbi in that case or he is
being praised for his wisdom.  For example:

* Me'ilah 15 or 16:  "Mahn chakim ben Yochai tfei" ("Who made the son
of Yochai so smart?)

* Numerous occurrences of "Amar Rabbi Yochanan amar Rashbi" -- Obviously
Rabbi Yochanan holds like Rashbi.

In conclusion, "adayin zarich iyun."


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 22:27:45 -0400
Subject: Regarding Changing Biblical Texts

During the Memorial day weekend I had a chance to catch up on some
research needed to answer some challenging questions on former postings.

In particular a while back there was discussion on comments in the
literature on our traditional texts. One such comment lists 18 verses in
the Bible which were "fixed" by the scribes. The question arose as to
whether the verses were actually "changed" by the scribes for reasons of
discretion or whether they just appear changed.  As a simple example,
Gen 18:22 mentions "And Abraham was still standing before G-d" when in
reality according to the text it should have said "And G-d was still
standing before Abraham". So now we have the question. Was the text
changed?  Or does it just appear changed. Also what does Rashi there
really believe. I believe I have found some new sources that place this
in a better light.

Everyone agrees that One job of the Mesorah is to prevent scribes from
'correcting' "queer" constructions which they might think are errors.

For example: It usually says "As G-d commanded Moses(e.g. Ex
40:19,21,23,25..)  In one verse it says "As G-d commanded *TO*

The Mesorah says "Appears without TO". Clearly the Mesorah is simply
warning us against making the error of leaving out the *TO*. This
Massoretic style "Appears.." is frequently used with "queer"
prepositional constructions.

Additionally, the Rabbis researched and found 18 texts where sentence
order or word forms appear wrong. Again their goals were simply to warn
scribes against errors (not to indicate that anyone changed the text).

Mechy Fraenkel and Steve Oren were concerned that the phrase "which the
Rabbis 'turned'" (Rashi Gen 18:22)seems to indicate a "willful" change
of texts (for reasons of discretion).

However my research shows that it is only in English that "turned" means
to "Change".  In Hebrew the word "turned" means to do research
(cf. Avoth 5:27). Similarly the Biblical Hebrew word "plough" denotes
thinking. I hope this strengthens the possibility of this approach.

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


From: Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 15:11:43 -0700
Subject: Re: Women's Services

As I have noted several times in the past (perhaps ad nauseum), my
brother Dov and I are writing an article on women's services. I have
thrown out several queries to mail-Jewish over the years and have
received much useful info and good leads. I am pleased to inform the
patient mail-Jewish readership that the paper has indeed been submitted
to the editors, and in preparation for publication, the MS has be
submitted for review to several readers. One of the reviewers noted that
while all the halakhic points are meticulously and profusely documented,
there is very litle in the article in the way of documentation as to
women's services from a historical/sociological perspective. The reader
is unfortunately correct. I searched my own and Bar Ilan's library for
recent books on Women and Judaism, which have extensive sections on
prayer ritual, such as:
	Jewish and Female, Susan Weiman Schneider, 1985
	And All your Children Shall be learned, Shoshana Pantel Zolty, 1993
	Four Centuries of Women's Spirituality - a sourcebook, Ellen M Umansky
and Dianne Ashton, 1992
	The Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition, Michael Kauman, 1993
	To be a Jewish Woman, Lisa Aiken, 1992
But other than passing mention of women's tefillah groups, I found very
	I would appreciate references to any books or articles that deal
with Halakhic women's prayer services from a from a sociological,
historical perspective: Origins, locations, motivation, halakhic
authorities consulted etc.
        Thanks in advance, Happy Yom Yerushalayim 

                        Aryeh Frimer


End of Volume 26 Issue 71