Volume 32 Number 03
                 Produced: Thu Apr  6  6:43:14 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are raffles michshalim?
CD-ROM Concordance
         [Alan Cooper]
Collect Call Game
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
corporal punishment
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Corporal Punishment
         [Rena Freedenberg]
DeSola Pool siddur
         [Carl Singer]
A Halachic Precedent solution for Female Invisibility
         [Michael Horowitz]
Invisibility, funerals, consideration for mourners
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Learning Schedule
         [Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes]
Motion Detectors on Shabbos
         [Alan Strauss]
Question: Actual Middle Word of the Torah
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Ranking Aliyot
         [Warren Burstein]


From: <zscherman@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 12:29:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Are raffles michshalim?

> In past years both my waistline and I have often chosen not to go to
tzedukah dinners, but rather to send a check -- thus it's (a) fully
deductable and (b) the tzedukeh gets the full amount without having 
> to pay for my meal.

I heard from R' Chaim Davis [I think in the name of R' Aharon Kotler]
that one who gives tzedakah to an oganization without participating in
the dinner get credit in heaven for that donation , but one who
participates in the dinner gets credit as a participant in all that the
dinner raised!


From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000 09:55:29 -0400
Subject: CD-ROM Concordance

Russell Hendel wrote:

> A CD ROM searches for LETTER Patterns. By contrast a good Knokordance
> (Mendelkorn or Ibn Shoshan) lists verses with a COMMON ROOT (This is not
> possible to do on a CD ROM if the verse has a weak letter which is
> sometimes not present). In other words, by opening the Konkordance I can
> find all verses where the verb TO FALL(NFL) occurs (Some CD ROMS allow
> 'Boolean Seardhes' but this does not give ROOT listings without alot of
> work and knowledge of grammar--it would be hard to get all listings of
> NFL (To fall) using a CD ROM)

With all respect, the above statements are erroneous where Tanakh is
concerned.  There are several products on the market (including Bible
Windows, which I use) that feature morphologically-tagged biblical
texts.  Not only can one search by root, but by all sorts of other
morphological patterns as well.  Show me the printed concordance that
would allow you to search for all third-person feminine singular Piel
imperfects with object suffixes ;-) It's child's play with the
morphologically-tagged text.  Syntactic patterns such as ki...ki
sequences are easily searchable as well.  Of course, one is subject to
the judgement of the people who did the tagging, but that is equally
true with a printed concordance.

Perhaps Mr. Hendel was thinking of some of the CDs on the market that
contain only plain texts.  They may be convenient and cheap, but they do
not represent the state of the art in electronic texts and search

Best wishes,  Alan Cooper


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 07:33:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Collect Call Game

Shalom Krischer comments:

> About 2 years ago, a friend of mine who is a venture capitalist, asked
> me to be a "technical expert" on a cpmpany's product that he was looking
> at.  (Please excuse the vaguenesses that follow, but I did promise
> non-disclosure).
> Basically their "mobile" product communicated with their "home base"
> product via the caller ID block.  The mobile unit would call the home
> unit; the home unit would read the signal (but never answer it); "goto
> 1".
> My first question at the time was "is this legal?"  (sounds familiar
> now, but at the time...).  They told me that their lawyers and phone
> company lawyers had already battled it out in court, and they (the
> startup) won.

This has been said before... but just because it's legal, doesn't make
it right.  Much as some of us have negative feelings about big
companies, THEY do the research and development and maintain the
infrastructure.  Why not pay the company a royalty for the use of their
facilities?  Although if you PAY for the caller ID, I suppose that

It seems to me there's a difference between a very occasional call to
let people know you've arrived safely and the wholesale use of someone
else's property for your own venture.  Sort of like the difference
between being at a party and putting ONE extra cookie in your pocket to
eat later and piling up stuff to take home and use at your own party.

I don't think it's any extraordinary "beyond the letter of the law" to
refrain from the wholesale use of someone else's property.  It's basic

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 15:03:51 -0800
Subject: corporal punishment

Leah> ... child-development research has shown conclusively that children
Leah> raised with violence are far more likely to become violent
Leah> themselves, and have all kinds of emotional problems.

Frank Silbermann>Research on the effects of child abuse and cruelty
Frank Silbermann>implies nothing about
Frank Silbermann>the use of ordinary, old-fashioned spanking.

On the contrary, there is a significant body of research showing that
*any* use of "spanking" leads to increased adult violence, emotional
disturbance and problematic adult relationships.

Some sources follow: (Some of these are recommendations from friends, so
I have not reviewed them all.)

SUSAN H. BITENSKY (1998). "Spare the Rod, Embrace Our Humanity: Toward a
New Legal Regime Prohibiting Corporal Punishment of
Children". University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Volume 31,
Issue 2.

JAMES GILLIGAN (1996). Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic. New
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

IRWIN A. HYMAN and PAMELA A. SNOOK (1999). Dangerous Schools: What We
Can Do About the Physical and Emotional Abuse of Our Children. San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

AARON KIPNIS (1999). Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers, and
Counselors can Help "Bad Boys" become Good Men. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass Publishers

ALICE MILLER (1983). For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child Rearing
and the Roots of Violence. London: Virago.

MURRAY STRAUS (1994). Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment
in American Families. New York: Lexington Books.

FELICITY de ZULUETA (1994). From Pain to Violence: The Traumatic Roots
of Destructiveness. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc.

as well as research articles by Dr. Aletha Solter and Mr. Jordan Riak.

--Leah S. Gordon

From: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 01:01:59 +0200
Subject: RE: Corporal Punishment

Ploni in v31n75 states
> >>>>
> Even if a student *dies* from corporal punishment by a teacher (even a
> secular teacher), the teacher has no culpability at all, and does not
> even have to go into exile, because he did absolutely nothing wrong.
> >>>>
> True he doesn't go into exile but I would hardly say he did nothing
> wrong. In fact the teacher accidentally killed somebody. All Jewish law
> is saying is that since it is permissable to hit a student therefore we
> will not find him NEGLIGENT (SHOGAYG)--this does not mean that nothing
> 'wrong' was done. The person did do an accidental sin and eg requires
> doing teshuva on Yom Kippur..however the persons 'accidentness' is not
> enough to make him go into exile.

You know, there are things that it is ruled that a bais din cannot
directly punish but that does NOT mean that Hashem does not take care of
these things Himself. Just because the bais din cannot rule that the
teacher was shogayg does not mean that the teacher will not have to
answer to the Ribbono Shel Olam for his actions.

The mere fact that a teacher actually killed somebody he was supposed to
care for means that there is blood on his hands and just the fact that
he [the teacher] came to that sorry state of affairs leaves him open to
divine retribution. Now, getting some punishment from the bais din might
not be so bad as the punishment awaiting that teacher with blood on his
hands after 120, lo aleinu.

We should all remember that the more we resemble Hashem [merciful] the
less painful tikkun we as a people have to go through. We should never
need a shoah to show us how distasteful cruelty is to a human being.



From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 09:34:07 EDT
Subject: Re: DeSola Pool siddur

<<  Oy, why do we refer to the siddurim without the prayer for Medinas
 Yisroel as "the frummer ones"?!  >>

It's not the siddur that's "frum or frummer or frummest" ; but the shule .... 

Bede-eved.  Since the the Artscroll comes in multiple "flavors" -- (with
and without the prayer for the Medinah -- actually the RCA version is
the "with" ) shules seem to define themselves by their choice of
siddurim.  And yes, there is much politics and animus involved.

I share your discomfort with correlating a distain for Israel with

Carl Singer


From: Michael Horowitz <michaelh1@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 14:17:32 PST
Subject: Re: A Halachic Precedent solution for Female Invisibility

> Rebbetzin Rivkah Slonim who has written extensively on women issues from a 
> halachic point of view.
> Rivkah has pointed out in a lecture that in the middle ages (when women in 
> the women's section could not hear the chazan) there were female chazanoth 
> who would echo what the Chazan in front were doing --this way the women 
> could follow.

I was wondering where she wrote this.  As a BU graduate, I know this is
not the practice at the Chabad house in Binghamton (where she is a
shaliach of the Rebbe Z"L.


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 19:48:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Invisibility, funerals, consideration for mourners

Shlomo B Abeles comments:

> >Freda B Birnbaum wrote:
> >This past summer, I was at the funeral of a dear friend, ... standing
> >next to an elderly lady... she said to me, "Maybe they don't want the
> >women up front?"  .....IMHO, people (especially women) need to reclaim
> >their rights and not let well-meaning or even not-so-well-meaning
> >people tell them what they "can't" do at a funeral.
> There is a very harsh warning (Sakono CV) in Kitzur Shulchan Oruch
> (198:10) against men and women seeing each other during and after
> funerals.

Guess the (very halachically-aware) rabbi missed that one...  or decided
other considerations were more important... I am happy to say.

As one of my rabbis says, there's HALACHA, and MINHAG, and "THING".  If
this is a "THING", IMHO it is time to refrain from using it when the
offense and unhappiness it causes to mourners outweigh other advantages.

Freda Birnbaum,
who shared shoveling duties at her parents' funerals with her male and
female siblings....


From: Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2000 17:48:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Learning Schedule

In article <20000329095347.10918.qmail@...>,
Eliezer Appleton <eliezerappleton@...> wrote:
> Here in Chicago, we have one of the only Mishna Yomis shiurim that I'm
> aware of. Is anyone else aware of such a shiur in other cities? I'd be
> happy to post a calendar of the Mishna Yomis cycle on a web page if
> there is interest.

There is a Mishna Yomis schedule at http://www.torahcc.org/mishna/ It
also has an English translation of the Kehati for each day.


From: Alan Strauss <Alan_Strauss@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 14:24:13 -0800
Subject: Motion Detectors on Shabbos

I don't know if this was ever discussed; I could not find it in the

In order for my lights to go on during Shabbos, I use a product called
x10 Home Automation, which hooks up to my computer, and allows me to
download commands from my computer to a controller, which will then
cause lights in my house to go on and off at certain times (and days).
(BTW, this is much easier than using regular timers. )

My question is with regard to motion detectors.  Obviously, on Shabbos
you can not have motion detectors controlling your lights.  But using
this x10 system you can tell the controller to ignore motion detector
signals on a certain day, like Shabbos.

So my question is, if a person's movement causes the motion detector to
send a signal to a controller and the controller then executes a few
lines of a program, is that a problem on Shabbos?

Yes, I know you are completing a (microscopic) circuit, but there is no
physical manifestation of this circuit completion. At least none that is
readily apparent.

Does the fact that there is no evidence of a circuit being completed
help as far as being permitted on Shabbos?

Avromy Strauss


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 09:29:51 -0400
Subject: Question: Actual Middle Word of the Torah

As this week's Torah reading contained the famous "darosh darash" verse,
it got me thinking about the middle-word-of-the-Torah problem again.  I
have a theory I want to confirm, but I need to know where the actual
middle word of the Torah is - or middle two words if there are an even
number.  Could someone please post this information (or email to me at
the address above)?  I am somewhat behind in my mail.jewish so I
apologize if this was already posted.


Elie Rosenfeld


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000 14:58:07
Subject: Re: Ranking Aliyot

Wasn't the decision to call a Cohen first and a Levi second to stop
arguing about who gets the first aliya?  I suggest a new manner of
allocating aliyot in shuls where they care about which aliya is more
important: many gabaim already have cards that have the names of the
aliyot on them.  After deciding who gets an aliya, (and handing out the
cards to the Cohen and Levi, if present) *shuffle* the cards.


End of Volume 32 Issue 3