Volume 30 Number 68
                 Produced: Tue Jan  4 17:45:01 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Books for a Non-Observant Nephew
         [Rise Goldstein]
Eli`ezer vs. Elazar
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Giving Kosher to Non Jews
         [Russell Hendel]
Mi Sheberakh and Anthropology
         [Yehuda & Rebecca Poch]
Oral vs Quiet Prayer (2)
         [Fred Dweck, Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes]
Toilet Paper on Shabbos
         [Carl Singer]
Torah Codes
         [Binyomin Segal]
Torah Misinai
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Rise Goldstein <Rbg29861@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 11:01:11 EST
Subject: Re: Books for a Non-Observant Nephew

Anonymous wrote:

>  May I suggest that you also find books for and time to speak with the
>  parents, your cousins -- your nephew may be reflecting a hunger that his
>  parents also share (my optimistic view) or your nephew will need to
>  overcome circumstances in his home that you might be able to assist with
>  (the realistic view.)  Too often kiruv focuses on the dis-enchanted or
>  rebellious child (rebellious by definition as rebelling from his
>  parent's path) and ignores other family members -- to the end that we
>  have a frum kid who is at odds with his non-observant parents.

As a trained mental health professional and researcher, I would
respectfully suggest that there may also be another component to the
situation with some people/families, though I AM BY NO MEANS IMPLYING
that such is the case with the child/family who are the subjects of the
present thread.  SOMETIMES, though by no means invariably, rebellion,
whether in the form of "getting religion" or otherwise, bespeaks a much
more serious set of problems within a family, or within the individual,
than a simple intrafamilial disagreement.

I certainly have not presumed to attempt to "diagnose" all or even any
of the ba'alei teshuva of any age whom I have met outside of
professional settings.  However, even without my "professional hat" on,
I have seen clearly that a lot of these individuals, and often their
families, are deeply troubled in ways that go far beyond, or may not
even include, hunger/thirst for that which a Torah lifestyle potentially
could offer them.  In such circumstances, uncritical encouragement of
these people to take on more and more, while ignoring their need for
professional help to deal with the underlying psychological issues, is
doing no one a favor.  Those issues will rear their ugly heads in myriad
ways irrespective of how many mitzvot, or (a propos of another current
m-j thread) chumrot, the individuals are keeping, and probably will
adversely affect their families of origin, families of procreation if
any, and others in the individuals' social environments as well.

>  Sometimes this ameliorates itself with time (maturity) and
>  grandchildren, sometimes it remains an unfortunate lifelong conflict.

Sad but true, and I agree that this should not be encouraged.  However,
sometimes, including under circumstances of a kid trying to become
observant over vehement parental objections, such estrangements MAY BE
unavoidable.  Among the more obvious examples that comes to my mind is
emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, where an offspring would be
placing her-/himself literally into a situation of sakkanat nefashot
(mortal danger), or at minimum a serious threat to physical or emotional
health, by maintaining contact with abusive parents or siblings.  I am
acquainted with several individuals whose "flight into Torah" during
late childhood or adolescence was at least partly precipitated by an
abusive familial environment.

I am not aware that there is ANY obligation on the part of the offspring
to expose her-/himself to such danger.  As such, trying to force a
reconciliation based on "kibbud av va'eim" (honoring parents) or "shelom
bayit" (family peace) is not defensible, and offspring should be
supported in their need to maintain their own personal safety and
physical as well as emotional health.

>  I know in my wife's kiruv work we've seen her walk young women down the
>  aisle because their mothers refused to attend the wedding (which to me
>  is tragic) -- which was in a sense another battle in the "I'm your
>  parent why don't you believe as I taught you war" but she's been able to
>  help establish communications with a (now adult child) and non-observant
>  parent so they can derive mutual support and respect for each other.
>  But it would have been much easier if the support and respect was there
>  from the start.

And sometimes the support and respect can never be there, e.g., in the
case I have described.  IMHO, it is not always tragic when a parent, or
for that matter a sibling, does not attend her/his offspring's wedding,
especially if the parent by her/his very presence would cast a pall on
the offspring's future prospects for a happy married life.  There are
people who do not invite their parents or siblings to their "life cycle
events" for precisely this reason.  IMHO, the young women to whom the
poster refers, and others like them, are truly fortunate if they have
more suitable mashpi'im/mashpi'ot (individuals who influence their
religious/spiritual development), like the poster's wife, as friends to
share in their semachot (joyous occasions).

Rise Goldstein (<Rbg29861@...>)
Silver Spring, MD


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 17:16:13 EST
Subject: Eli`ezer vs. Elazar

There are several examples in the Talmud where there is a confusion
between Eli`ezer and Elazar see for example Gittin 50a where the Vilna
Rom edition and the various MSS vacillates between Eli`ezer and
Elazar. This confusion has a 2000 years history.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 20:21:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Giving Kosher to Non Jews

Rach in Volume 30 Number 60 asks if it is "right" to tell a
non-jew to order Kosher food. But indeed the Rambam is explicitly
more severe. Rambam Sales 18-1 and 3 states

>If is forbidden to deceive people in sales ...  eg to sell traif meat
>to a non jew and say it is Kosher even though the non jew treats traif
>and Kosher the same.

Hence we infer that if a non jew wants Kosher meat he should get it

Russell Hendel; Math Towson; <rhendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simple;http://www.shamash.org/rashi


From: Yehuda & Rebecca Poch <butrfly@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000 20:58:41 +0200
Subject: Mi Sheberakh and Anthropology

In response to Yoel Finkelman's questions about the increase of late in
Mi Sheberach's, there are several reasons:

Firstly, as someone who moderates the internet's largest cholim list
(<cholim@...>) I can state that I have noticed the same phenomenon
in the five years of the list's existence.  Now for the reasons:

1. The huge growth of the internet has made it possible for many people
to become rapidly aware of many sick people who they otherwise would not
have heard of.  A prime example is Carl Sherer's son, for whom I have
been saying a Mi Sheberach for 3.5 years.  Now, I know Carl and Adina,
but I had not yet met them when their son became ill.  I "met" them
through the internet, and took their request to heart for my own

2. The second reason is that there has been an increase in the number of
cholim in Jewish society.  Part of this reason is the aging population.
Part is an increase in the incidence of tragedy within the community.
This has been debated on this list in the past.  There is a whole
organization in the US working to stem this tide, whose leader is a
member of this list as well.  Many rabbanim support their efforts, as do

3. The third reason is, as Yoel points out, a generic caring among Jews
for the well-being of each other.  This manifests itself in chesed
projects, community affairs, bikur cholim, etc., and with the advent of
the internet, has only become more widespread -- to our collective

    \ ^ || ^ /       Yehuda and Rebecca Poch	    \ ^ || ^ /
     >--||--<       Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel	     >--||--<
    / v || v \         <butrfly@...>	    / v || v \


From: Fred Dweck <fredd@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 08:36:46 -0800
Subject: Re: Oral vs Quiet Prayer

Just as a clarification: It is the opinion of the Zohar and of The Ari
Z'l that the amidah (Shemoneh Esre) should be said by moving one's lips
only and that one should NOT hear his own voice. It is also the opinion
of the Zohar and of The Ari Z'l that on weekdays the entire tefilah -
other than the amidah - should be said quietly (IE: only audible to
himself) and on Shabbat one may pray a little more loudly. The reason
given is so that the "sitra ahara" (the other side) can not interfere
with our tefilot going up.

Rabbi Fred (Yeshuah) E. Dweck

From: Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000 13:30:07 -0800
Subject: Re: Oral vs Quiet Prayer

Yisrael Medad <yisraelm@...> wrote:
>a)  is it/why is it permitted to say the verse "Hashem open my lips" when
>one is supposed to put the Geula Blessing together with the Amidah
>without interruption?

The gemara in Brachos 4b asks your question (and also about
Hashkiveinu).  It concludes that since the Rabbanan made the takana to
say it, it is considered joined to the Amidah as one long prayer, so it
isn't an interruption.  (Hashkiveinu, on the other hand, is considered
an extension of the Geula bracha.)

>b)  if one forgot the verse, do you repeat?

Biur Halacha 111:2 says not.


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 14:27:15 EST
Subject: Toilet Paper on Shabbos

I forget whose home I was at, but during one of my "road Shabboses" when
I was on Army duty and spending Shabbos with a host family -- with the
hustle-bustle of Shabbos preparation, they gave one of their younger
children the job of tearing toilet paper for Shabbos.  I thought it was
a great idea, keeping idle hands busy, making the child aware of an part
of the preparation for Shabbos, and becoming part of the pattern for
easing into Shabbos.

There are those (clearly with much time on their hands) who argue
whether you should tear on the perforation or avoid same.

Carl Singer


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 13:14:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Torah Codes

Not too many years ago (as jews mark history) a small group of jews
began working on "torah codes". It became the hallmark of Arachim in
Israel and Arachim and Discovery in America, let's _prove_ the Torah.

Other religions ( and a few atheists who like Shakespeare) have jumped
on the bandwagon and found codes in their respective holy books. And
this has led many to disparage the use of codes.

And yet. There seems to be one unique attempt to test a code in a
mathematicaly and statistically significant fashion. The Arachim folks
did a pretty sophisticated test with Rabbi names and date of birth/date
of death. This particular code was published in a peer reviewed
journal. None of the (perhaps well deserved) skepticism that is directed
at codes in general applies to this particular code. It doesn't get as
much press perhaps, because it's not very "flashy" - but yet it seems
pretty solid evidence of the Torah's divinity. (not a proof, but
certainly evidence).

Do any of the friendly neighborhood skeptics have anything to say about
this one particular code? I find it perhaps especially relevant given
the recent discussion of how the Torah text may be at least slightly in


[I know that some of the "friendly neighborhood skeptics" have things to
say about this, and some of them have discussed the article at some
length in volume 19. I'd recommend reading some of those issues before
we re-open it here for discussion, but 11 volumes is a while. Mod.]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 20:24:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Torah Misinai

Gilad Gevaryahu's posting (v30n48) suggesting that our current Torah is
NOT perfectly identical with the one that Moses gave us seems to have
gone unchallenged. Furthermore his posting to Torah Forum which he cites
was answered there. Since this is a doctrinal belief I would like to
reopen it and would encourage an extended conversation. Gilad makes 4
specific questions to the doctrine that the Torah we have is totally
identical to the one given by Moses. I shall try and keep myself brief
(but we can go into detail if the dialogue continues)

1) "Talmudic statements on where the 'middle of the Torah is'": A
russian emigree answered this in Torah forum--the word MIDDLE could mean
MIDDLE letter, or the MIDDLE of double words (DRSH DRSH) or the MIDDLE
of the big and small letters. Furthermore even Gilad must grant that
being off by several 1000 letters is inconsistent with the small number
of variants in modern sefer Torahs--hence we must posit a different
meaning to MIDDLE

2)"We are not expert in FULL and DEFICIENT": I recently gathered all
Rashis on FULL and DEFICIENT spellings. Following Rav Hirsch I showed
there are two ways that Chazal deal with these: a) the deficiency
creates a new word so the Biblical sentence is read in two ways (eg
'this is my name forever' & 'this is my ineffable name (Ex 3:15); b) the
deficiency of spelling indicates a deficiency in the object (eg In Lev
23 the deficiently spelled succah indicates permissability to be
deficient in a wall). Thus we have a grammatical rule here. All the
Talmud means when it says we are not expert is that we don't fully know
how to apply this rule in all cases..there is no doubt about the
spellings in the Torah (see http://www.shamash.org/v1-1-28.htm for
further details).

3) "Rav Moshes Teshuva". Rav Moshe was not asked a question about the
authenticity of the torah;he was asked about making extra aliyahs at eg
Bar Mitzvahs (so peoples feelings should not be hurt).Rav Moshe based
himself on the well known law that you can be lenient in Rabbinic
matters to avoid hurting people--hence he took a talmudic statement out
of context. There is no reason to believe he was commenting on the
authenticity of the Torah (Especially since it explicitly states that
any verse which Moses did not break up we cannot break up)

4) "Variant texts". Lets be precise here. There are about 100 or so
variants BUT only two of them deal with actual letters. The rest deal
with hyphens, cantillations and paragraph markings. eg the first
controversy of Ben Asher and Ben Naftali deal with whether the phrase
LET THERE BE LIGHT (Gen 1:3) is hyphenated--there is no controversy on
the text. There are only two words (DCA and VAYIHIYU) where there is a
variance of text. There is a sefer Torah in Europe which goes back to
Ezra which has DCA with an aleph. Furthermore I published an analysis in
HebLang showing the etymology of all Lamed Aleph verbs justifying this

I think there is something to talk about here and would encourage dialogue
Russell Hendel; Math; Towson; <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/


End of Volume 30 Issue 68