Volume 27 Number 10
                      Produced: Tue Oct  7 23:26:07 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

13 Midot
         [Edward B. Black]
A Honey Sweet Symbolism of Shofar For the New Year
         [Russell Hendel]
A Smelly Shofar
         [Sarah Doshna]
Artscroll and History - Whoops!
         [Daniel Stuhlman]
Bracha on brandy made from 100% wine
         [Percy Mett]
Btzror HaChayim
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Do we interpret Tzitzith as Hypocrosy or Religiosity
         [Russell Hendel]
More on when / who to ask
         [Carl Singer]
New sefer from BEER HATORAH
         [Lazar Apter]
Smelly Shofar
         [D.A. Schiffmann]
Status of a Geyoret Who Renounces Judaism
         [Sam Gamoran]
The Essence of Kaddish
         [Sam Gamoran]
Torah U'Mada and Torah Im Derech Eretz
         [Mark Dratch]


From: Edward B. Black <"Edward B. Black"<eblack@...>>
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 97 13:45:41 -0600
Subject: 13 Midot 

It is my understanding that there is a general principle that we do 
not quote from a passuk (verse) without quoting to the end of the 

Each year at this time when we regularly recite the "13 Midot 
ha'Rachamim" (G-d's thirteen attributes of mercy) I attempt without 
success to solve what is (to me at least) a puzzle in relation to the 
13 Midot -- they end in mid-passuk, and, arguably, in mid-phrase.

Any answers from among the wise subscribers to this list?

G'mar Chatima Tovah
Edward Black


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 22:41:38 -0400
Subject: A Honey Sweet Symbolism of Shofar For the New Year

Akiva Miller asks >>Why does the blessing on SHOFAR mention, not the
	SHOFAR, but instead the TRUAH.>>

I will answer this with a recap of Rabbi Hirsch's nifty symbolism on Shofar.

(Incidentally, I would advocate for this list that a regular feature
from time to time should be short 'gems' in explanations or
understanding that are obscure. It would add to the flavor of the group
and contrast well with some of the more 'polarized'
discussions. Actually I believe this already takes place)

Rav Hirsch begins his analysis of Shofar with the procedure for breaking camp
mentioned in Num 10. This has 3 components:
	* An announcement that we are breaking camp and going to move
	* Actual "packing" to move
	* Final call that packing is over and the start of the move
Rav Hirsch now suggests in a simple manner (consistent with the text) that
	* A long blast (Tekiah) is an attention getter<--->like an
	* A collection of short blasts (Teruah) denotes
activity<--->packing for moving 
	* A final long blast (Tekiah) then focuses attention for the move
In passing, the use of wailing (Shvarim) vs Teruah focuses on the
EMOTIONAL aspect of the moving---it saddens us that we are leaving our
old home. 

To summarize 
	Tekiah-Teruah-Tekiah = Attention--Pack---Lets go
and is symbolic of moving to a new home.

In typical Hirschian pithiness Rav Hirsch now deftly makes the following
	Moving to a new home (spatial movement)
	Moving to a new year (temporal movement)
	Moving to a '(re)newed soul'(spiritual movement)
In other words the triplet
	Tekiah-Teruah-Tekiah = Attention=Pack your things-Lets go
applies equally whether we move to a new home, to a new year or renew
our souls. 
This is the symbolic explanation of shofar.

To answer Akiva's question --why Teruah vs Shofar--we now see that the
hard part of Shofar is not focusing our attention---knowing we have to
do Teshuva--rather the hard part is--'packing'---taking an account of
our previous actions and making corrective action plans to change. It is
therefore no wonder that the emphasis in` the blessing is on
Teruah=packing and change vs the shofar itself.  As for the mention of
"QooL"--the "voice" of the shofar---this would correspond to the Shvarim
=Wailing aspect of packing, since "QooL" in Tenach often denotes "tone"
and "mood".

Wishing everybody a Gmar Chativah Tovah with Good Torah for the coming

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


From: Sarah Doshna <sarah_doshna@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 09:22:00 -0400
Subject: Re: A Smelly Shofar

Yechezkal Shimon Gutfreund <sgutfreund@...> writes:
>Any advice on what to do about a smelly Shofar?

Plain vinegar, or 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water mixture works wonders.  Rinse
well after cleaning, otherwise you end up with a different sort of
smelly shofar.  For stubborn smells, you can soak the shofar in vinegar
for short periods of time, but be very cautious.  A prolonged soak can
damage it, particularly an old shofar.

Sarah Doshna


From: Daniel Stuhlman <ssmlhtc@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 09:39:47
Subject: Re: Artscroll and History - Whoops!

Reply to  Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
>I apologize!
>I mistakenly wrote that "My Uncle the Netziv" was a Targum Press /
>Feldheim book. It is Targum (which I believe is normally distributed by
>Feldheim, leading to my careless error), but was distributed by Artscroll.

 From privious contacts with Mesorah Publications, I learned that they
do not edit all the books that appear with their imprint.  Some are
produced and edited by outsiders.  I once had a cataloging question
concerning an author.  I called Mesorah Publications and they were
unable to help because they were only distributors for that book even
though the title page and its verso did not indicate any other body had

 This practice is really quite common in the publishing industry.  Many
books arrive at the publisher's office almost ready for the printer.
The publisher is then just an agent to get the book printed, bound and
distributed. (Which is no small group of tasks.) Sometimes this
relationship is clear with statements such as: Published by ABC for XYZ
and sometimes not.  Look at who claims copyright for clues.  If the
publishers claim copyright they may have more responsibility for the
book then when the author claims copyright.

Daniel Stuhlman
Chicago, IL

This is a private message-- not connected to my organization.


From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 13:08:31 +0100
Subject: Re: Bracha on brandy made from 100% wine

>A friend of mine has received different opinions from authoritative sources
>on the correct bracha to be made over brandy made entirely from wine.  He is
>(understandably) most anxious to resolve this problem.
>Could readers please advise whether they would make (a) shehakol or (b)
>borei pri hagafen, and why.

1 Definitely a shehakol. Brandy is made by a process of distillation
during which the wine is vaporized. It therefore no longer has the
status of wine and the brocho borei pri hagofen cannot apply.

2 I don't accept the expression 'made entirely from wine'. Distilled
alcohols are produced to a high degree of purity (above 90% I should
think). To make them drinkable they are reduced with water.

Gmar Chasimo tovo
Perets Mett


From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 16:15:23 -0700
Subject: Btzror HaChayim

Just an interesting note to the prior discussion on Thay Nafsho Tzrura
Btzror HaChayim.  In the current edition on Biblical Archaeology Review
Victor Hurowitz wrote in response to a letter .  "In the Biblical
context  this verse may refer to a practice in which shepherds check the
number of sheep or goats in their flocks by putting a stone for each
animal in a pouch.  When an animal dies or is sold, a stone is removed
from the pouch."

Kol Tov - A Ksiva VaChasima Tova to all


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 13:05:32 -0400
Subject: Do we interpret Tzitzith as Hypocrosy or Religiosity

I would like to suggest that this discussion be inspired by halachic
sources.  The Chafetz Chayiim in his classic halachic work on speech
clearly deals with the general issue of how we may reqard other people's
actions and considers 5 cases according to STATUS OF THE PERSON and the
STATUS OF THE ACT. They are as follows:

1) All acts of a righteous person are interpreted favorably. A famous
Talmudic story about a Rabbi who went to a house of prostitution and
asked his students "What did you think when I went in" says that they
(correctly) replied "To get money to redeem captives and/or to find
government contacts (I forget the exact details)".

2) All acts of a wicked person are interpreted disfavorably. The classic
example is the statement of the Holy Lamp (Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai) that
the Roman government only made baths and public roads to get taxes (not
to help the populace)

If a person is "middle of the road" there are 3 cases:
3) His good acts must be interpreted favorably
4) His bad acts should be interpreted disfavorably
5) His middle of the road acts should not be interpreted disfavorably.

To often we classify as "character traits" matters that are strictly
legal. The issue of how to deal with a Yeshiva boy who is wearing
Tzitzith is NOT a psychological issue but rather a halachic issue.  I
hope this brief introduction helps steer the discussion in the right way

Russell Jay Hendel; PH.D;ASA; RHendel @ MCs Drexel edu  


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 97 21:16:17 UT
Subject: More on when / who to ask

I'm still upset that no-one offered me any brandy :)

This opinion is a "rough draft" so to speak as I'm still chewing on it
as I type.  There are multiple ways of learning, be it Torah or secular
stuff.  Many of us with secular academic backgrounds (3 years in 2nd
grade, 2 years in 9th ....)  have a research mode, where we seek out
multiple sources -- usually don't question our sources unless they
conflict -- after all they're bound in hardback books in a wood-paneled
library.  The Web has a similar impact, so for that matter does a laser
printer.  This wide, secular based approach is not necessarily the same
approach as used to study Torah.  For want of a better quick-thought
word, the Torah approach tends to be deep, focussing more and more
expert resource on a single point.

Now back to halacha and when / how / who to ask a shaileh and when / how
to make a decision (choose to act) in response.  Although the power of
email and the Web help with wide queries (for information gathering)
seems tantalizing, this width and the potential for multiple,
conflicting or (even slightly) different responses is appropriate for
only certain kinds of information.

[Even setting aside "jurisdiction", a most important aspect.]  When one
wants in-depth it seems that "width" (in the form of multiple sources)
is in conflict.  If I need a single answer then I should go to my Posek.
If he's unsure, he'll do the research (most likely go to his books or
also to a single Posek ....)  Is this better?  It probably is if my
intent is to listen (i.e., cling to what I'm told) If I'm just shopping
for information (triflers need not apply) then we have a different

Let's take the brandy (please, a small glass) Should we ask more than
one person at a time (say leave message on two phone?)  won't this
invite trouble.  If we ask one Posek and get an answer, what are the
motivators for asking again -- (a) the Posek expressed uncertainty, (b)
we didn't like the answer, (c) we wanted more ammunition to support our
view, (d) we did like the answer???

When you ask a Shale it is not equivalent to asking your Physics teacher
a question.



From: Lazar Apter <MACHON@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 19:07:26 +0000
Subject: New sefer from BEER HATORAH

If you started learning DAF YOMI the new sefer BEER MORDACHAI newly
published should be of intrest to you.

Its clear to the point. Beutiful print & bound 

TRY IT!!  

You can contact us through our  e-mail  address <MACHON@...> or
our mailing address Machon Beer Hatorah 600 Forest Ave. (Suite 19) Lakewood
NJ 08701 USA

Eliezer Apter


From: D.A. Schiffmann <das1002@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 14:38:53 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Smelly Shofar

From: Yechezkal Shimon Gutfreund <sgutfreund@...>
Any advice on what to do about a smelly Shofar?

This is discussed in an edition of Ohr Somayach's 'Ask the Rabbi'
publication; you can look it up at: 




From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 19:39:41 +0000
Subject: Status of a Geyoret Who Renounces Judaism

Suppose there is a geyoret (feamle convert to Judaism) who underwent a
halachically valid conversion and was observant for a goodly number of
years.  This woman was also married k'dat Moshe v'Yisrael (a Jewish
wedding) and had children who, of course, halachic Jews and are being
brought up in Jewish fashion?

Suppose the woman, at a later point in life, renounces her Judaism?
What is her status?  What is the status of her children?  What if she
causes the children to lead a non-Jewish lifestyle?

What if she is divorced (halachically) and then marries a non-Jewish
man?  What is the status of children born in this subsequent marriage
who have no Jewish connection?

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Wireless Access Department


From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 19:47:54 +0000
Subject: The Essence of Kaddish

A question that has troubled me year-round, but more so when we have the
nusach (melodies) of the high holidays close at hand:

There is a position presented in Talmud Berachot that the essence of the
Kaddish (in all its variants) is the congregation saying in unison
"yehei shmei rabah mevorach l'olam u'lialmei almaya" (May his mighty
name be blessed forever).

In the liturgy that I remember from my youth in New York (both regular
Shabbat and high holidays), this phrase is also the musical crescendo
with the entire congregation singing loudly.

In the versions of the same melodies that I hear in synagogues in
Israel, the music is modified (I hesitate to say "distorted" but that's
the way I feel) so that Yehei shmei rabah is mumbled and then the cantor
continues with the next line "yitbarach v'yishtabach..."

Any comments on these two customs?

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Wireless Access Department


From: <MSDratch@...> (Mark Dratch)
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 09:11:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Torah U'Mada and Torah Im Derech Eretz

<< The motto of YU is Torah U'Mada. The motto of the Breuers Kehila is Torah
 Im Derech Eretz. What exactly are the difference between these two
 phrases? Don't they both mean that you should incorporate secular
 knowledge into your Torah studies? In terms of Hashkafa, how exactly do
 these two Washington Heights community differ?
 Elana Fine >>

For an excellent and scholarly discussion on this topic see Dr. Norman
Lamm's "Torah uMadda" and his chapter entitled "Two Versions of
Synthesis" in his "Faith and Doubt."


End of Volume 27 Issue 10