Volume 28 Number 84
                 Produced: Sun Jun 20  9:37:57 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ani vs Anochi
         [Isaac A Zlochower]
Demand the Release of the 13 Iranian Jews
         [Joe Harlin]
Electric Timers on Shabbat
         [Joel Rich]
Faxes on Shabbat (3)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, cp, Richard Wolpoe]
Following a symbolic Zohar if it involves a Biblical Prohibition
         [Alexander Heppenheimer]
Info. on Am Hofshi
         [Rabbi Shmuel Jablon]
Request for Aid
Waiting for the Rav
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 23:46:23 -0400
Subject: Ani vs Anochi

ML 28:71 featured a self-styled quick answer to the question about a
possible difference in meaning of the two biblical words for I (ani and
anochi).  "Ani" was taken to indicate a confrontational posture, while
"anochi" was said to be non-confrontational.  The writer went on to
relate such differences to the question of the significance of the two
main ways of referring to GOD in the Torah (the tetragrammaton -
pronounced ADONOI, and ELOHIM).  The former was taken to represent the
attribute of mercy while the latter, the attribute of justice.
Unfortunately, the above interpretation given to the two sets of words
is easily refuted by the many counter examples that can be cited using a
concordance.  In fact, the very illustration that the writer used to
distinguish between "ani" (Deut 32:39) and "anochi" (Deut 32:40) can be
used to infer a different interpretation of these words.  " I (ani) will
slay and make live, I have broken and I will heal..." (Deut. 32:39).  Is
this a confrontational statement or an assurance that GOD will make
things right in the end?  Similarly in Deut. 32:40, "...and I (anochi)
will say, 'As I live eternally....and My Hand shall take hold of
justice, I will exact vengence on My enemies.."  Is this a
non-confrontational statement?    Several verses prior (Deut 32:36) we
find, "For GOD (tetragrammaton) will judge His people and 'reconsider'
His servants..."  Is this the attribute of justice or mercy?  In last
week's Torah reading about the unfortunate spy episode we find (Num
14:28), "Tell them, 'As I live', says GOD (tetragrammaton), (see) if I
will not do to you just what you have uttered ("would that we had died
in this desert").  Again in verse 35, "I, GOD (tetragrammaton) have
spoken, (see) if I do not do so to this entire evil community who have
assembled against Me; in this desert they will end and there they will
die"  Is this the attribute of mercy?

A more defensible distinction between the biblical names of the Deity
considers that the tetragrammaton is the personal name used by GOD,
while ELOHIM is a generic name that is even used when referring to pagan
gods.  The beginning chapter of Genesis uses the latter name exclusively
to reflect the role of lord and master of creation.  When a personal
relationship is established with Adam and his descendants, then the
tetragrammaton is also used.   When a close relationship is established
with Moshe and his people, then the tetragrammaton is used

As far as I can see, "ani" and "anochi" are synonyms.  Anochi may be
used more in poetic expressions and may reflect an older form of the
word.  The sages of the talmud and secular scholars have found an
Egyptian source for the word, but it also occurs in Canaanite
(Phoenician) hebrew.

Yitzchok Zlochower


From: Joe Harlin <joeharlin@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 21:36:53 PDT
Subject: Demand the Release of the 13 Iranian Jews

13 rabbis and teachers in Iran, falsely accused as "Zionist spies", have
been in custody awaiting trial for espionage.  If they are convicted,
they will be given the death sentence.  Please do everything in your
power to demand their release.  Enclosed please find information
concerning Iran's Permanent Mission to the UN:Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations 622 Third Avenue,
34th Floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Telephone:

687-2020 Telefax: 867-7086 Email: <iran@...>

[From a different source: Mod]

I append an extract from the Sunday Arutz-7 News Bulletin that you may
wish to consider including.

Meir Lau called today on Jews throughout the world to offer special
prayers for the safety of the 13 Jews who have been arrested in Iran.
Rabbi Lau's appeal was issued in light of the announcement by Iran's
Justice Minister Muhmad Yazdi that Iranian authorities intend to try the
Jews - who have been incarcerated for four months - according to Islamic
law.  Rabbi Lau asked that everyone read Psalm 142 - which states "He
(G-d) freed me from prison" - at least once a day, as well as "Acheinu
Kol Beit Yisrael" - a prayer referring to 'our brothers in captivity'
that appears in the siddur [prayer book] following the weekday Torah


From: Joel Rich <Joelirich@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 15:21:30 EDT
Subject: Re: Electric Timers on Shabbat

 In general it is well known that Rav Moshe Feinstein was quite hesitant
 to allow use of electric timers on shabbat for similar concerns. His
 logic was, that had chazal known about these devises they would have
 prohibited them, as they did work by animals and non-Jews (in situations
 where the Torah did not prohibit the usage).... As the use of machines
 becomes more complex, it is easy to imagine a time when due to complete
 automation factories can function on Shabbat without any external input,
 clearly Chazal would have disallowed this.
 Ari Kahn  >>

Please help me with this - I agree that R' Moshe's position is as
outlined.  Clearly "the world"(other authorities) has not accepted this
position.  Why then is it clear that Chazal would have outlawed
automatic factories if we can't agree that they would outlaw timers?

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 22:40:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Faxes on Shabbat

A couple of years ago Rabbi Frand gave a shiur in which he discussed
this issue.  Since this is from memory, I am just giving a brief
summary.  For the full discussion see the appropriate tape (if this
particular discussion was issued in Rabbi Frand's tape series.

1.  Rabbi Frand said that the issue of the fax is the same as that of a
telephone answering machine.  He had originally not thought that it was
a problem to send the message, since the sender is not in Shabbos.  As I
recall, he only gave the shiur after his son told him that the people he
was staying with in Eretz Yisrael would be turning off the fax machine
before shabbos.

2. The recipient of a fax is subject to the same rules as someone who
receives a postcard through the mail on Shabbos.  One can look at it
only enough to determine that it is not an emergency that is permitted
on Shabbos, just like listening to the answering machine to determine
that it is not a pikuach nefesh message.

I want to emphasize that this is a brief summation from memory and the
original tape should be used to follow exactly what Rabbi Frand said.

From: cp <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 20:59:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Faxes on Shabbat

I am puzzled by those that say a fax would not be permitted to be used
by the recepient in a case where one place was `chol` and the other
`kodesh`.  I have never seen anyone check the dates of Israeli
publications to see if they had been prepared on Saturday nights (Sunday
Jerusalem Post for example) or other `motzei yomtov`.

From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 14:09:10 -0400
Subject: Faxes on Shabbat

> The paper which comes out may very well be Nolad, and
> therefore muktza, (though here the reasoning would be circular).

We've already discussed this.  I can't understand how anyone could consider a 
piece of paper to have been `born' merely by having ink applied to it.<<

Let's not forget that the egg prior to be ing laid, exists internally
within the hen.  The act of laying doen't create an egg, rathe it's a
change of status for the egg, from internal to external.

Similarly, document is being born out of a blank piece of paper.

Water derived from melted ice is also considered (by many authorities to be)  
Nolad.  There is no change to the chemical compound only to its status.

Richard Wolpoe


From: Alexander Heppenheimer <Alexander.Heppenheimer@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 14:16:28 -0600
Subject: Re: Following a symbolic Zohar if it involves a Biblical Prohibition

> Russell Hendel asked:
>Take an idea like abstaining from Kiddush during the "reign of Mars"
>(from 6-7 on Friday night). This is a zoharic concept at best and is not
>found in normative halacha (like the gmarrah, mishnah...).

Actually, it's found in normative halachic writings beginning at least with
the Ba'er Heitev (to Orach Chaim 271).

>There is an explicit Jewish Law (eg Rambam, Idolatry 11)
>that it is Biblically prohibited to decide what activites you are doing
>based on the position of astral bodies.
>How then can we risk violating a Biblical law based on a Zohar whose
>meaning may be symbolic?

This question can actually be extended further: there are explicit
statements in the Gemara - which evidently are meant to be taken
literally - that certain activities (especially hazardous ones, such as
bloodletting) should or should not be done on certain days (see, for
example, Shabbos 129b). Furthermore, the Gemara gives plenty of space
(ibid. 156a) to a description of how various personality traits are
associated with being born under the influence of the various
planets. All of this seems contrary to the Rambam's description of these
ideas as "lies, which fools believe to be true scientific facts" (Avodah
Zarah 11:9).

The Beis Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 179) discusses this issue at some length. He
concludes, contrary to the Rambam, that astrology is in fact not
included in the prohibitions of nichush (divination) or me'onen
(designating favorable/unfavorable times): those prohibitions apply only
to ad hoc determinations that have no basis in logic or in any
established system.  (The Perishah (loc. cit.) offers another
explanation of the difference between nichush and astrological
predictions: the former claims that the omen actually _causes_ the good
or bad effect; the latter uses the astral bodies only as indicators of
the existing facts.)

Astrology, according to this view, is a science ("chochmah," in the Beis
Yosef's words) that correctly explains the workings of Hashem's world
(provided, of course, that an expert - not one of today's so-called
"psychics" - is interpreting it), and therefore, if one finds out an
astrological prediction, he should treat it with respect: the Beis Yosef
flatly states, "I believe that it is forbidden to go against the stars
and rely on a miracle."

On the other hand, astrological predictions are not totally infallible:
they can be reversed by prayer, tzedakah, or other mitzvos (the Gemara,
Shabbos 156b, gives several examples of this). Therefore, he concludes,
"Our Sages warned that one should not concentrate on these matters;
rather, one should rely on Hashem, Who will mercifully save His servants
from evil occurrences.  Thus they said (Pesachim 113b): 'From where do
we know that one may not inquire of astrologers? The Torah says (Devarim
18:13): "You shall be wholesome (tamim) with Hashem your G-d."'"

[The Beis Yosef doesn't explain, as far as I saw, how the Rambam would
explain those statements of the Gemara. The Rema (Darchei Moshe,
loc. cit.)  explains that the Rambam would agree to make an exception
where astrology indicates danger to health - which would explain the
Gemara's statements about bloodletting on certain days.]

It seems, then, that according to this view, there's no violation of
halachah involved unless a person either makes up his or her own "lucky"
or "unlucky" days (me'onen), or consults an astrologer to find out such
days (contrary to "tamim tihyeh"). In the case of avoiding Kiddush
between 6 and 7, neither of these factors exists.

Kol tuv y'all,


From: Rabbi Shmuel Jablon <rabbij@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 07:26:53 -0700
Subject: Info. on Am Hofshi

Shalom to all!

I am heavily involved with one of our local Jewish Federations.  They
grant some money to groups that they believe support "pluralism and
co-existance."  I am certainly aware enough politically to know why they
feel they want/should/need to (depending on philosophy) need to do this.

One of the groups they give to is Am Hofshi.  I expressed a concern to
their board (on which I am nominated to serve beginning in July) that
this was a group that was involved in activities that are certainly not
bringing people together, and that they exist essentially to be "anti
Orthodox" as opposed to "pro" something else.

Does anyone have any info that might help me to substantiate this?
Rabbi Shmuel Jablon
e-mail: <rabbij@...>
homepage: http://pweb.netcom.com/~shmuelaj/rabbijablon.html


From: <EngineerEd@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 14:12:56 EDT
Subject: Request for Aid

Our good friends Rabbi Stanley and Shlomit Fass have asked for our help.
Rabbi Fass was the founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Aaron in Teaneck,
NJ prior to making Aliyah.  Both Stanley and Shlomit grew up in the NYC
area and have many friends in both in the US and in Isreal community.
He is currently the Rav of the Young Israel of Ramot Gimmel in Jeruselem
and previously was the Rav of the Young Isreal in Petach Tikvah.

	A young mother of four in his congregation is in desperate need
of a kidney transplant.  She has no funds at all.  Her condition is too
critical for her to wait for a donor and the operation in Israel and her
only chance is to have it performed abroad.  We need to raise $160,000
immediately to cover expenses.  Without the money, there will be no
surgery and her life expectancy is only a few months at best.  In the
meantime, her condition continues to deteriorate.  The situation is

	We are appealing to the Mail Jewish community to help save the
life of this mother of four young children.  Please send whatever you
can to:

 The Rabbi's Discretionary Fund,
 Congregation Rinat Yisroel, 
 389 West Englewood Avenue 
 Teaneck New Jersey 07666.

 Checks are tax deductible and should be earmarked for the Young Israel
of Ramot Fund.

	May Hashem provide you and your family with good health for
helping in this great Mitzva of Hatzalat Nefashot.

Thank You,

Ed  and Gilda Norin of Pompton Plains, NJ
David and Esther Benovitz of Teaneck, NJ


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 99 14:29:52 PDT
Subject: Waiting for the Rav

In almost every schule I've davened in on three continents, the Chazan
always waits for the Rav to finish unless the Rav signals to him to
 Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 28 Issue 84