Volume 31 Number 09
                 Produced: Fri Jan 21  5:56:38 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adnei Hasadeh
         [Dov Teichman]
Atmosphere of Secular Colleges (2)
         [David I. Cohen, Janet Rosenbaum]
Boro Park Eruv
         [Moish Gluck]
Eating in a Supermarket
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Daniel Cohn]
         [Bill Bernstein]
Torah Codes Controversy (3)
         [Harold Gans, Mordechai, Andy Goldfinger]
Yeshivas closing on Secular Holidays
         [Carl Singer]


From: Dov Teichman <DTnLA@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 00:42:48 EST
Subject: Adnei Hasadeh

Just as a side note, the Chanukas Hatorah asks how all the animals could
have converged on Egypt during the Plague of Wild Animals if the animal
"Yidoni" (=Adnei Hasedeh) is connected to the ground and can't leave his
umbilical cord's radius. He therefore expounds on the verse in Sh'mos
8:17 and says that the ground where the cord is connected to must have
gotten uprooted to allow the Adnei Hasadeh to converge on Egypt
too. (see Maayna Shel Torah that quotes this too.)  According to this,
the creature must have been extant at least as recent as the Exodus.

Dov Teichman


From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 19:48:17 EST
Subject: Atmosphere of Secular Colleges

    While it is true that the moral atmosphere (or lack of morality) on
the modern American college campus is antithetical to Hlachik standards,
and that an observant Jew will face problems he would not otherwise
encounter, we should also recognize that thousnads of young comitted
Orthodox youth have flourished in just such an atmosphere, by creating
vibrant halachic enclaves in just such a hostile environment.
    I daresay that the battle to maintain standards can result in a
strengthening of belief and observance.
    Just to cite a few examples (and I'm sure others on the list can
enlighten us about others), the kosher suites on Columbia's east campus,
with its vibrant Othodox life, highlighted by the ability to learn every
night of the week; or the Orthodox floors in the highrise at UPenn; or
the hundreds at minyanim at Brandeis, where a number of dorm rooms have
been combined to form a well-stocked Bais Medrash which is in constant
    These students have banded together and formed their own orthodox
communities that are vibrant and growing.
    As far as being exposed to heretical teachings and ideas, it is
naive to think that thoughtful young adults will always be sheltered
from alien ideas.  Hopefully, a good Jewish high school education
togther with a thoughtful year in Yeshiva or Midreshat in Israel can
give students the tools to deal with these ideas. ZHiding from them
won't make them go away.
    David I. Cohen

From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 13:19:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Atmosphere of Secular Colleges

Alexis Rosoff <alexis@...> writes:
> There are two issues with regard to the atmosphere of secular colleges,
> both of which have changed 
> 1) Universities no longer regard themselves as in loco parentis.
> 2) The academic values of campuses have been affected by the
> revolutionary changes of the 1960s. 

This must have been discussed at the time of the Yale Four, but to be
brief: I think that we should be careful to distinguish the unavoidable
from the possible.  It is definitely true that at most schools any
enrolled student can live in a coed dorm and take a Friday afternoon
class on nudity in church art, but these may also be avoided.

Also (and this is obviously a secondary consideration), I think much
good can come from interacting with less observant Jews who are often
curious about frumkeit but wouldn't venture more than questions in
chance encounters from study groups and the like.



From: Moish Gluck <moish@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 15:07:36 -0500
Subject: Boro Park Eruv

<From: <DTnLA@...>
<Firstly, not all of the Rabbonim were, nor are, opposed to the Eruv. I
believe the recent Eruv controversy has rearisen due to the fact the the
Serdehaly Rov Shlita just put one up. In this week's Jewish Press a list
of Rabbonim on both sides of argument are listed.>
<One argument in favor of the Eruv that I have seen is the Munkatcher Rov
Shlita's 10 page letter issued last week. In it he states his view that
he approves of use of the BoroPark eruv, and he respectfully argues with
Reb Moshe Feinstein's Tshuvos. He writes that in his opinion, BoroPark
is no different than many other large cities that had eruvin which were
approved by the Gedolim of previous generations.> 

While today there are Rabbonim for the Eiruv, the Rabbonim if the
previous generation did NOT go for it. Even the one's that were not
against it Halachakly, nevertheless they did not have any desire AT ALL
for any eiruv in any part of Brooklyn. Would not the Satmarer Rav  do it
if he felt it was a Mitzvah? He did more complicated stuff. As a matter
of fact, most of them signed against it. If so, why should we be smarter
than them?? (incl. Satmar Rav, Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Moshe Feinstein,
Rav Bick, Debretziner Rav, Skulener Rebbe etc., ZTL 

By the way, do you know where I can get a hold of the Munkatcher Rov
Shlita's Tshuva? Is there an automatic fax back (or hotline) for all the
letters (Halacha, Hashkofo, Pashkevil etc.)? 


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 22:04:10 -0500
Subject: Eating in a Supermarket

From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
<<If someone takes something out of another person's cart and buys it,
have they done anything wrong?>>

	Absolutely.  Even if the person is only looking over the item
and considering buying it, you may not take it.  The halacha is called
"oni hamehapech becharara": a poor person "turning over" a loaf of
bread, which makes it out of bounds for everyone else.  Kiddushin 59a



From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 17:24:10 +0100
Subject: Marranos

>I would like to ask in what language this is true?
>I've heard this statement many times, from many people, but when I look
>through a Spanish-English dictionary, I find that there is no such word
>as "Maranos" (or other variant spelling), and the word for "pig" is
>"cerdo" - which is completely different.

I haven't checked my dictionary (I don't have one here at work), but
rest assured that in spanish-speaking countries (like the one I live
in), the word marrano is known to all to be a synonimous of pig. Whether
it started out that way or became so in order to derise Jewish converts,
I can't tell.

Daniel Cohn

[In Harrap's Concise Spanish/English English/Spanish dictionary, under
pig the entry is:
pig n 1 [Zool] cerdo m, marrano m; (...)
and the entry for marrano is:
marrano I adj (sucio) filthy, dirty, II nm,f 1 fam (cochino) dirty pig,
slob; (cabron) swine. 2 Zool pig.

Several other postings from people either spanish speaking or asking
spanish speaking that also confirm the marrano - pig definition. Mod]


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 09:27:17 -0600
Subject: Re: Pollard

Several postings have discussed the Pollard case.  Obviously as a
political matter it should be outside this forum.  I have not seen an
answer to the specific question of what constitutes pidyon shivuim
today.  To claim, however, that someone who knowingly violated the civil
laws of a state and is now in jail seems to fall outside the purview of
pidyon shivuim.  Pollard is not sitting in jail because he obeyed the
clear letter of the law: he's there because he knowingly violated both
the law itself and the trust his employer put it him.  Whether the
sentence was comensurate or not is irrelevant to pidyon shivuim.


From: Harold Gans <HaroldGans@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 12:32:31 EST
Subject: Torah Codes Controversy

 Mr. Gerver has posted some questions concerning the validity of some of
the codes experiments. In particular, he questions the correctness of
the "ben" experiment by Witztum. He finds that Witztum used dates from
the 1961 edition of the Margalioth encyclopedia, whereas Mr. Gerver used
dates from the 1956 edition. Using the dates from the earlier edition,
the experiment produces random results. In fact, this observation
actually validates the experiment.  First note that no nicknames were
used. The father's names were taken directly from Margalioth. Similarly,
the technique used to measure proximity and p-level is precisely the
same as in WRR. Finally, the dates used are exactly as published by
Statistical Science in 1994 (WRR). Hence every component of the
experiment is apriori. There is zero wiggle room because every last
element of the experiment was publicly fixed beforehand. Thus the
experiment is valid. The fact that the experiment does not succeed on
list 1 is totally irrelevant to the success on list 2. It does, of
course, raise the question as to why it did not succeed, but it cannot
detract from the success of a completely apriori experiment.
  Now, as to Mr. Gerver's result on the dates from the 1956 edition of
the encyclopedia. He notes that there are several dates that differ
between the two editions. One would expect that the editors of the
encyclopedia, when changing the dates, would change incorrect dates to
correct ones, rather than the other way around. Hence, the fact that the
experiment does not work on the 1956 data but does work on the 1961 data
shows that if incorrect dates are used, the experiment does not work!
This is exactly what one would expect of a true phenomenon. Surely, had
the results been otherwise, Mr. Gerver would not have claimed that the
experiment was correct because it worked as well on incorrect data as on
correct data! This also shows that despite all the "problems" the
technique is supposed to have, when incorrect data is used, random
results are obtained.
  As for all the other arguments against the validity of the codes
experiments, raised by Mr. Gerver and Dr. McKay and others, I invite
everyone to read by Primer on the codes controversy which is posted on
the Aish HaTorah web site. After reading it, judge for yourself where
the truth lies.
  Harold Gans

From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 01:39:18 EST
Subject: Torah Codes Controversy

I just would like to submit my perspective on the modern 'Torah codes'

I think that a significant aspect of the fascination of so many with the
subject is due to the fact that is connected with that oh - so -
prominent symbol of high technology - the computer - to which there is a
great attraction among many, who view it as some type of miracle
machine. If the Torah codes were pursued with another tool, that was not
so prestigious, attractive and prominent in our culture, I wonder if
they would be so popular....There are powerful and very important (and I
dare say more meaningful and important) aspects of Torah that are
neglected (relatively) - perhaps because they are still pursued with low
tech seforim / books which makes them less 'hot', 'cool', 'chic', ' with
it ' , etc.

Also, when people talk about using computers to find Torah messages they
are communicating (between the lines) that they are ' with it ' and that
Torah can be / is 'cool' and ' with it ' and that one can be into Torah
study and ' with it ' at the same time.

I am not saying that this type of Torah study is worthless. 

I consider it similar to / on a par with something like the 'gematria'
aspect of Torah study (which I will translate here as Jewish numerology
- is that a proper translation?) - which is somewhat similar to the
Torah codes, as they both involve calculations and focus on
letters. This aspect of Torah is not generally considered part of 'gufei
halachos / Torah' (Torah fundamentals) which are the primary course of
study - rather something which people might explore briefly, on occasion
(cf the last mishna of perek [chapter] three of maseches Avos). Based on
this classification, I question whether the 'Torah codes' are not at
times given undue prominence by some.


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 14:59:05 -0500
Subject: Torah Codes Controversy

	A lot has been written on the Torah Codes controversy, and I
don't want to add heat or bandwidth to this machlokes.  However, in
light of the recent discussion on this group, I would like to direct
interested readers to a lengthy rebuttal to Dr. McKay's article written
by Mr. Harold Gans.  It can be found at the web site:


	Look under the area called: A Primer on the Torah Codes
Controversy for Laymen.  It will take three downloads to obtain the
entire reply, as it is quite detailed.

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 10:27:24 EST
Subject: Re: Yeshivas closing on Secular Holidays

As a parent, former board member at a couple of day schools and spouse
of the secular studies principal of on yeshiva ketana.  Consider the
following re: closing on secular holidays.

1 - not having limudai kodesh is zman bitul Torah.

2 - secular studies are frequently canceled on those days when there is
no public school since a number of the secular studies teachers
"moonlight" -- if they're not working their "day job" then travelling
into town to teach an hour or two doesn't make sense -- also it allows
them to schedule long weekends, etc.

3 - if the parents are working on this secular holiday then there's the 
problem of who will care for the children, etc.  

Now re: what others will think of us, the black-Jewish relationship is
more complex than whether or not we observe MLK day.  This past issue of
the Cleveland Jewish News showed an old picture of a bloodied Rabbi
Lelyveld who was participating in the Selma marches.  People will judge
you on whatever criteria they wish.  Another thought -- what other
groups take of Jewish Holidays.


End of Volume 31 Issue 9