Volume 31 Number 19
                 Produced: Wed Jan 26  7:08:40 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Assorted Responses
         [Y. Dovid Kaye]
Churban Bais Sheni (2)
         [Stan Tenen, Cheryl Maryles]
MLK day - without comment
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
MLK Day and Yeshivot
         [Jack Gross]
State of Israel Bonds
         [Frank Silbermann]
Yeshivas closing on Secular Holidays
         [Carl Singer]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 06:57:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Good Morning, All,

A quick note, I have been working on the web page
(http://shamash.org/mail-jewish) and have made a few changes/additions.
Some are purely cosmetic, and do feel free to send me your comments, but
the ones I wanted to point peoples attention to are the following:

Added new page called "New Additions / New Articles" and I've put there
two articles I received from list-member Aryeh Frimer on the general topic
of Women and mainyan / prayer groups, a jpeg from a fax of a pamphlet on
saying the Shema. If other listmembers have longer articles or other
material that you would like to see there, please contact me.

In the mail-jewish subscription/contribution area
members from Canada who would like to contribute, Harvey Poch will collect
contribution in Canadian currency and then forward to me. Thanks a lot,
Harvey! In addition, I'm trying to be better in sending an email
acknowledgement for anything sent directly to me, so if you sent in during
January and did not hear from me, please let me know.

A reminder to people to translate the transliterated Hebrew they use, as
well as forwarding the thanks from some list members to those who have
really done a good job of that recently. Any takers on creating a
Glossery of often used Hebrew terms??

One last item for this morning. I've been thinking about the Chaburah
issue. This is something that we have talked about for a while but were
never able to get really moving. I'm back where I would like to think
about getting this happening. Here is my thoughts. View this as a open
request for special topic guest owners. The guest owner will put together
a description of the topic, and it will get announced. There will be one
week for people to send source locations / materials to the guest owner,
who will put that material together and he or I will put that on the web.
There will then be 3 weeks of discussion on that single topic, at the end
of which the owner will summarize the topic, and we will put all the
material together in an single archive. So this is a request for comment
on getting this started again, as well as a call for volunteers to own/run
a topic. I will support the owner as needed, so as long as you can handle
email, we can work together on this.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Y. Dovid Kaye <David.Kaye@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 06:59:57 +0100
Subject: Assorted Responses

1. With Regard to the issue of Flags (U.S or Israeli) in a shul, Rav
Moshe Feinstein writes in Shut. Igros Moshe O.C. 46 that while there is
certainly no issur to have flags in a shul it is not proper to do so. He
adds that it is certainly so with regards to placing a flag near the
Aron Kodesh.

2. With regard to the issue of the authenticity of our Sifrei Torah, I
suggest looking at Sefer HaIkkarim 3:22. Here is a free translation
(although I suggest looking at the original in Hebrew):
		The Torah which we have today and which has been handed
down to us by unbroken tradition from father to son, is the same that
was given to Moshe on Sinai, without any change. It could not been
changed in the time of the first Beis HaMikdash when the Kohanim and
teachers of Torah were present and the Torah was well known to everybody
and though there were among them kings who worshipped idols, they also
had prophets during the entire period until the time of the destruction,
who admonished the people to observe the Torah. And as for the great
alarm which Yoshiyahu felt when Chilkiah the Kohen found a Sefer
Torah... this does not mean that they had no copy of the Torah, for
Yirmiyahu was alive then. The reason was this: Amon and Menashe were
worshipers of idols and they angered G-d, so much so that our Sages say
that Menashe cut the names of G-d out of the Torah and substituted names
of idols in their place. Accordingly, one of the Kohanim fearing that
the king might do the same with the original Torah which Moshe had
written, hid it in the walls of the building. Subsequently, in the days
of Yoshiyahu...they looked for it and could not find it. And when they
repaired the Beis HaMikdash, Chilkiah found it in the walls and was very
much elated over it...He sent a message to the king saying, `I have
found the Sefer Torah, the well known one which Moshe wrote'. he did not
say, I found a Sefer Torah. Now the reason that King Yoshiyahu was so
alarmed at the find and rent his garments... is as our Sages explain:
The Torah which Moshe wrote was rolled so that it opened at the
beginning, whereas they found it now opened on the verse, `The L-rd will
bring thee unto a nation that thou hast not known...'. This is the
reason why the king was alarmed, and not because the people had
forgotten the Torah, G-d forbid!
		Nor could the Torah have undergone change when the
nation was exiled to Bavel for in the beginning of the exile under
Yehoyachin, before the destruction of the Temple, the craftsmen and the
smiths and the leading sages were exiled. Daniel was among them and so
also the prophet Yechezkel...And all the Jewish exiles who were
scattered through all the land of Assyria had in their possession a copy
of the Law, for even the Cutheans, whom the king of Assyria settled in
the cities of Samaria, had a copy of the Law. When the Temple was
destroyed, the Torah had already spread through all Babylonia and could
not have undergone any change due to the destruction...
		...The differences in word and expression which are
found...among the other nations are due to errors of translation into
the other languages by unskilled persons. The Jews were very careful
about the letters of the Torah, the plene and defective. They prided
themselves on knowing the number of letters and verses, which they
recorded in the margins of their copies, calling it Mesorah - a practice
which the other nations did not follow...

3. G. Dubin wrote that Moreinu HaRav Moshe Feinstein ruled that in
certain situations mechalelei Shabbos could be included in a minyan. He
failed, however, to mention that HaRav Feinstein also notes that in his
opinion one does not fulfill the mitzvah of tefillah b'tzibur in such a

4. M. Steiner quoted the Rema's comments about the Shabbos wedding as
Orach Chaim 331. It is 339:4 (and the original comments and psak appears
in Shut.  HaRema 125).

5. M. Steiner accidentally misrepresented what Moreinu HaRav Feinstein
wrote in Shut. Igros Moshe Y.D. 62 when he said that Rav Feinstein drank
the blended whiskey "more than once in shul, where he didn't want to
offend a baal simcha." What HaRav Feinstein says (and by the way, this
teshuva was written to my illustrious Rebbe of blessed memory, Moreinu
HaRav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz in 1948) is that he drank so that it would
not appear that he was acting in an extreme "halachicly haughty" manner.

B'birkas HaTorah

Y. Dovid Kaye


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 13:12:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Churban Bais Sheni

At 11:41 AM 1/24/00 +0000, Chaim Shapiro wrote:
>I am looking for the earliest reference to the famous explanation for
>Churban Bais Sheni [destruction of the second Temple - Mod.](Sinas
>Chinam) [hatred of fellow Jews for no reason - Mod.].  Was that
>explanation available immediately following the Churban?  Or was the
>explanation an idea that developed over time?

The story of the destruction of the Second Temple because of unwarranted
hatred is likely to be apocryphal.  I'm sure there was some cultural
truth here too, but the model is purely Kabbalistic, and it alludes to
Rabbi Akiba's Pardes experience, the loss of his original students, and
their replacement with new students.  I don't know if I can successfully
outline this here, but let me try.

In this model the "unwarranted hatred" actually refers to "diametrical
opposition."  The Kabbalistic meditational model of the Temple includes
elements that are diametrically opposed by virtue of their being on the
circumference of a circle.  (Geometrically, there isn't any hatred, but
there is pairing of positive-negative, east-west, north-south,
front-back, up-down, left-right, around the circle.)  The circle is the
circle of Akiba's original students.  These are not 24,000 students, as
the simple translation goes.  Rather, they are 12 pairs of masters.
(Aleph can be translated either as "thousand" or as "master.")  These 12
pairs around the circle are a metaphor for the 12 pairs of students, the
12 pairs of ribs of Adam Kadmon, and the 12 tribes, etc.

They surround the Temple.  Because of the geometry, when the students
and/or the Temple are destroyed, there are five "new students" left in
the center.  These are Akiba's new students.  If you'd like to know more
about this, and if you'd like to work through the details until you
understand it, please contact me directly.


Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>

From: Cheryl Maryles <C-Maryles@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 12:51:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Churban Bais Sheni

> From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
> I am looking for the earliest reference to the famous explanation for
> Churban Bais Sheni [destruction of the second Temple - Mod.](Sinas
> Chinam) [hatred of fellow Jews for no reason - Mod.]. 

I believe the earliest reference is the gemara in yoma 9b which quotes
R. Yochanan ben Torsa

> Was that explanation available immediately following the Churban?  Or was the
> explanation an idea that developed over time?

since the tannaim lived during the churban and the gemara was written
soon after it would seem that the explanation was available soon after

> How did whomever first explained the Churban in this way, know his
> information to be fact?  Was it Ruach hakodesh [form of prophecy -
> Mod.]?  Mesorah [tradition - Mod.]?

The gemara in Baba basra first perek says chachan adif minavi (the wise
are greater then the prophets) see ramban there for an explanation, but
it would seem that chazal using their great preception knew this to be
true, I would be comfortable calling it a form of ruach hakodesh--after
it was given as an explanation it became part of the mesorah of the
wisdom and insight of chazal. It's therefore not clear to me if R'
Yochanan is the author of the statement or is merely reporting what his
rabbeim told him. It would help if anyone knew precisely when he lived.

  An in depth look at the political
> and social data from the Churban era?

for a look at the political and social data as it relates to this
statement of chazal--see Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Torah Nation, see also
the artscroll Yoma which brings many sources which discuss this issue.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 16:37:15 +0200
Subject: MLK day - without comment

Sixteen years after Congress established Martin Luther King Day as a
national holiday, a majority of employers still do not offer it as a
paid vacation day for workers. According to a study by the Bureau of
National Affairs, just 23 percent of companies offer MLK Day as a
holiday, down from 25 percent in 1999. The upcoming President's Day
observation is a day off at more than half of all employers.


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: 25 Jan 00 11:02:36 EST
Subject: Re: MLK Day and Yeshivot

For what it's worth: The NY Times reported that the museum exhibit at
Jewish Theological Seminary would be closed Sunday and Monday in honor
of MLK day.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 100 07:02:01 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  State of Israel Bonds 

Earlier I mentioned that buying Israel Bonds at _slightly_ lower than
market rates allows us to help the state using pre-tax money.

Gershon Klavan notes that "The campaigns in the past focused on such a
response by focusing on the emotional aspect: your investment will help
Israel grow.  Today, however, the campaign minimizes this emotional
aspect and focuses on the hard core financial data.  Thus I am forced to
speculate whether this change is due to an overall decline in the Jewish
emotional commitment towards the State of Israel."

Not necessarily.  It may be a new IRS requirement.  If we stress the
helping aspect, then the IRS might choose to tax the phantom interest
never received, treating the interest deficit as a _nondeductible_ gift
to Israel.  Hence, we are _required_ to speak of it as an investment

Frank Silbermann <fs@...>  www.jpfo.org/askrabbi.htm


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 10:19:02 EST
Subject: Re: Yeshivas closing on Secular Holidays

<<  From: Rose Landowne <
 << 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. >>

 Do you not feel that as Americans, the secular legal holidays are ours ,
 even though we also have our own Jewish holidays?  Should we identify
 only as Jews and not as Americans? >>

I'm not sure how Ms. Landowne associates her response with my statement
re: observance of MLK's birthday, and the Jewish-Black experience w/
civil rights.

I unlike many of my Jewish friends (with the exception of a few
chaplains, and, of course -- the over 70's WW II generation) I have
served for nearly 30 years in the US Army and Army Reserve.  (I claim,
only half in jest, that more Jews of my generation got Smicha due to
Viet Nam than to Har Sinai.)  Of course I fly the US flag on Legal
Holidays.  (With the exception of Christmas, when I make a point of
going to work.)  I have bristled and responded quite strongly when asked
such questions (at work) as "do Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?)

But that isn't the point.  The implication of an earlier posting is that
somehow "what will the goyim think" is an important issue re: Jewish
observance of MLK day.  It is important to bear in mind and to educate
that there were, are, and will be Jews who have been at the front lines
of such issues -- some have paid with their lives in following their
convictions (not in kissing up or trying to look good.)

Colonel Carl A. Singer USAR


End of Volume 31 Issue 19