Volume 27 Number 34
                      Produced: Mon Dec  8  6:32:10 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Artifacts from Victims Remains
         [Tzvi Harris]
Definition of Melacha on Shabbat
         [S. H. Schwartz]
Mishnah Berurah 330:8
         [Michael J Broyde]
Organization of the Tanach
         [Akiva G Miller]
Sforno vrs. Siporno
         [Ira Kasdan]
Shabbath! Who makes babys--God or Us?
         [Russell Hendel]
Simple Torah Origin of the World To Come
         [Russell Hendel]
The '4' Megillos
         [I. Harvey Poch]


From: Yeshaya Halevi <CHIHAL@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 21:39:22 EST
Subject: Re: (Pro)creation

        Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...> notes, "Many people
explain that the common underlying theme of the 39 categories of
forbidden 'work' on Shabbos to be their creative nature. That is, since
G-d spent six days creating the universe, but did no creating on the
seventh, so too, we engage in creative activities for six days but not
on the seventh. In MJ 27:30, Ezriel Krumbein asked that if so, then it
would seem that the ultimate in creative activity -- marital relations
and creation of a new life - -ought to be forbidden as well."
         Akiva then goes on to say, "My suggestion is that 'creative
activity' is a bit too broad an explanation for what we avoid on
Shabbos. Rather, on Shabbos we step back from our mastery of nature, and
let nature's course continue, unhindered by human activities...."
         I've heard -- and believed -- that theory, but Akiva has made
me think.  Didn't Bayt Hillel (the academy of Hillel) overcome Bayt
Shammai's contention that we should sit in cold, fireless houes and eat
cold food on Shabbat because (to simplify) leaving a fire burning before
Shabbat which would keep burning/cooking on Shabbat would violate the
Shabbat? Would not leaving a fire burning/cooking demonstrate a mastery
of nature?  Heck, even eating off plates with forks and knives, or
sweeping up dirt would constitute a "mastery of nature," and those are
permitted, as are "Shabbat elevators."
          Maybe the answer to procreation on Shabbat is similar to the
heter (dispensation) for eating honey.  After all, honey should be trayf
(not kosher) because it comes from an insect.  However, since Israel is
described in the Torah as "Eretz zavat halav u'dvash (a land flowing
with milk and honey)" the rabbis concluded that honey is an exception.
          So maybe procreating with your honey is an exception too,
since it is not just a meetzva, but the first commandment in the Torah.
   Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 08:40:12 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Artifacts from Victims Remains

S. C. Rutherford requested information regarding artifacts of victims'
remains: R' Ben-Zion Meir Chai Uziel z"l (former Sepharadic Chief Rabbi
of Israel) has a teshuva (responsum) regarding the need to bury soap
made from victims remains.  It appears in mahadura tanyana, Yoreh Deah
vol. 2 # 116 (Jerusalem 1952).  In addition there is an entire chapter
on this subject in "Hashoah B'mkorot Rabaniim" by Avraham Fuchs,
Jerusalem 1995.  Both of these sources are in hebrew.

Regarding (dilul ubarim) selective abortion:
This subject is covered extensively in a recent volume of Sefer Asia (#8).
Teshuvot of R' Chaim Dovid HaLevi and R' Yitzchak Zilberstein appear there. 
Tzvi Harris


From: S. H. Schwartz <schwartz@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 13:12:35 -0500
Subject: Definition of Melacha on Shabbat

There has been recent discussion about how to describe prohibited
Shabbat labor, e.g., as "creative work" or something else.

If we were more explicit in describing melacha as, "work required to
operate the Beit haMikdash," maybe we would concentrate a bit more on
-restoring- the Beit haMikdash, and (re-) structure our lives

S. H. Schwartz
Home: mailto:<schwartz@...>
Office: mailto:<steven.schwartz@...>


From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 10:23:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mishnah Berurah 330:8

I am in need of some help concerning the proper text of the mishnah
berurah (MB) on 330:8, where the MB discusses violating shabbat, by a
doctor, to save a non-jew.  The text, and the star footnote, appears to
have been changed, and differs from eddition to edition.  In no
edditions is the MB properly left and right justified, as it always is.
In some edditions, the star footnote, which the MB sometimes uses to
address contemprary issues in a mussar manner, is present in others
(modern Israeli edditions) it is missing.
 I have the following questions, which I cannot answer.
1]	Does the first edition of the MB have a text different than the
text we have, and if so, what is it?  Does the second edition? Third?
2]	Was the star footnote put in by the author of the MB or by the
printer?  Was the first printer a printer who did these things?
3]	Clearly, there are words missing, as the justification is
incorrect.  What words are missing?

If anyone has seen any discussion of this issue, or has early edditions of
the MB that can be photocopied, I would appreciate being sent a copy.

(I am on leave this semester and next, and can be reached by fax at 212
807-9183, voice at 212 807-9042.  This email address works fine.)

Thank you. 

Michael J. Broyde
Emory University School of Law
Atlanta, GA 30322
Voice: 404 727-7546; Fax 404 727-3374


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva G Miller)
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 21:07:25 EST
Subject: Re: Organization of the Tanach

Recently, several people have raised the question of the way that the
Tanach is divided into chapter and verse. According to page 79 of
Artscroll's _Bereshis_, <<<The division of the Bible into chapters is of
non-Jewish origin, introduced in the Middle Ages by Christian Bible
printers. Most Jewish Bibles follow these divisions for identification

My understanding is that these chapter divisions frequently go against
Jewish traditions. Look towards the end of the first weekly portion of
the Torah, for example. The sixth aliyah begins at the same verse as
where the fifth "chapter" begins. The Christians chose to end that
chapter with the 32nd verse, and begin chapter 6 afterward. From a
literary point of view, it is not difficult to see why they did that,
since verse 32 surely seems to continue the genealogy of the first 31
verses. However, if one looks in a Hebrew version, one sees that a break
is placed between verses 31 and 32. Verse 32 is properly connected to
the four verses which follow it. It seems to me that a proper Jewish
interpretation would point out that what the Christians refer to as
verse 32 is not so much the end of the genealogy, but it is the
beginning of the story of mankind's corruption and the subsequent flood.

The very identity of the books often goes against Jewish traditions. We
do not consider Samuel (Shmuel), Kings (Melachim), nor Chronicles
(Divrei Hayamim) to be split into halves numbered "I" and "II", but they
are each considered a single book of the Tanach. Similarly, Ezra and
Nechemia are actually parts of a single book.

Most Jewish books have incorporated the Christian book titles and
chapter numbering, but purely for practical reasons. During the many
forced debates between Jewish and Christian scholars which took place in
Europe long ago, it was impossible to communicate without adopting
it. (Imagine the Rabbi being challenged with a statement like "Well,
what about what it says in Deuteronomy 38:23?" I think that it would
have been counterproductive for the rabbi to respond with something like
"Which aliyah is that in?")

Still, despite a *general* acceptance of numbering system, some
significant differences remain: The books which we place in the third
section of Writings (Kesuvim) are scattered among the Prophets (Neviim)
in the Christian versions. If I remember correctly, the Christians
consider the first phrase in each Psalm (Tehillim) to be merely a title,
and the numbering starts afterward, while Jewish Bibles number each
Psalm from the very beginning. Also, someone recently mentioned to me
that the verses of the Ten Commandments are counted differently: we
number those chapters according to the "Taam Tachton", while the
Christian numbering is similar to the way the Torah is read with "Taam
Elyon". (Those two phrases refer to two different sets of trop notes for
reading the Torah in the synogogue; many different customs deal with
when to use which one.)

Akiva Miller


From: Ira Kasdan <IKASDAN@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 13:01:09 -0500
Subject: Sforno vrs. Siporno

Does anyone know which pronunciation of the name of the commentary on
Chumash is correct -- Sforno or Siporno?  Also, what is the source for
each pronunciation?

Yitzchak Kasdan


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 18:04:42 -0500
Subject: Shabbath! Who makes babys--God or Us?

The popular viewpoint that Shabbos prohibitions are those "where man
creates" was recently cited.

On this view someone asked, "Why then should making children be allowed"

To this response we were told "God makes the babies not us"

I just wanted to clarify some of the confusion running around.

First: (Citing the Psalmist) If God doesn't make the house then of what
avail are the builders...so God makes everything not just babies Also if
all babies were miraculous makings of God then adulterers would not have
any children and we see they do. So the first thing to note is that we
DO make babies (in the same way that we make houses and dyes and
everything else that needs assitance from above)

Second: The Shabbath prohibitions are Equated with the acts needed to
make the Mishcan(Tabernacle). Thus cutting wood, cooking plants to
create dyes, killing animals for curtains, lighting fires, finishing
utensils etc. Clearly, having relations or making children does not help
build the Mishcan.

Thus what is really prohibited on Sabbath are the same types of creative
acts that we use when we build our houses. Also prohibited are those
acts that resemble these acts in form and purpose.

The torah did not ask man to stop creating (for only death can do that)
It asked him to stop building civilization/houses/communitites for 1 day
a week

I hope this helps

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 20:21:02 -0500
Subject: Simple Torah Origin of the World To Come

Howard Gontovnick asks for readings on the "emergence of the world-
to-come" in the Torah and Midrashic writings.

This was recently extensively discussed on another email group. I
offered the following simple points and ideas which clarifies greatly
the whole matter:

 1) Judaism obligates people to believe in the World to Come
 2) Judaism obligates people to believe that this World To Come is a
Biblical concept (and not made up by the Rabbis (e.g. to comfort people)

So it logically follows that we should be able to find "world to come"
quickly and easily someplace in the Torah -- but where.

3) First: I note that many words denoting "muchness" of QUANTITY also
denote "increase" in QUALITY (e.g. the word for heavy means honor, the
word for big means important, the word for reproducing quantitavely also
denotes qualitative improvements (Rabbi = Pru Urvu=multiplying your

4) Point 3) is general. Let us look at the particular word "long": Long
can denote "lengthening"= an increase in length. It can also denote
increasing quality of existence (e.g. Aruchah=healing=lengthening and
improving quality of life).

5) Continuing the idea of 4) I note that ARCHU *LO* HAYAMIM ( stayed
long in a place) uses the indirect object *LO*. According to Radack, a
Mideval Grammarian, ARCHU HAYAMIM (long days) (without the indirect
object) refers to a "higher quality of life".

6) If points 3,4,5 are too technical think of the following list:
	GDL= big	GDL=important
	RV= increase 	RV=Rabbi= Teacher (increases quality vs quantity)
	ARCH= lengthen	ARCH= heal
	ARCH=lengthy stay	ARCH=high quality stay
The Radack in the Book of Roots has his way of defending this but I believe
the above synopsis is slightly easier to see 

7) I then took my idea and checked ALL times that it says to follow Gods
will in order to LENGTHEN DAYS=INCREASE QUALITY. I found the list of
things that give INCREASED QUALITY to be similar to the idea of the
WORLD TO COME: Vis: If you do Mitzvoth, are honest, retell God's
miracles then you will have a higher quality of life. Rather than
belabor the point I invite each person to use a Konkordance and judge

8) In short I posit that                      
	ARCHIUS YAMIM of the BIBLE = WORLD TO COME of the Talmud 
 It is a world where the source of enjoyment is not physical pleasure
but the performance of goodness and kindness, honesty and the recounting
of God's protection.  Because of our physical bodies we can't fully
achieve this in this world.

I believe the above 8 points summarize all things said in the vast
literature on the World to Come and they also derive them from the

I hope this helps people with this important topic

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


From: I. Harvey Poch <af945@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 08:50:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The '4' Megillos

Thanks to a list member who sent me a private note regarding my saying
"Al Mikro Megillo" quietly when I say Eicho from a printed Kinos. He
only asked what is my source for this custom. Like many other things in
my religious life, I learned this by discussion and observation, not
from sources (no Yeshiva boy I). This got me to look it up. Guess what...!

In Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 490:9, the Rama is VERY emphatic that any
brocho on any megillo, other than Esther, even if read from a klaf, is a
brocho levatolo. All of the commentaries agree. Some of them say that
there are later poskim which differ, but they are not be relied on.

Now I'd be interested in the source used by Young Israel of Stamford to
say the brochos.

I. Harvey Poch  (:-)>


End of Volume 27 Issue 34