Volume 32 Number 17
                 Produced: Wed May  3  6:23:31 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avinu Malkeinu after the Shoah
         [Joseph Tabory]
Call Collect
         [Daniel M Wells]
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
Maybe that is why we don't yet have the Messiah
         [Russell Hendel]
Middle Word of the Torah
         [Eli Lansey]
Mukdam Umeuchar
         [Avi Rabinowitz]
Nachum versus Nochum
         [Daniel Katsman]
A New concept for the Aliyah discussion: OBLIGATED vs PIOUS
         [Roger & Naomi Kingsley]
Purim Costumes and Mixed Seating
         [Joel Goldberg]


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 16:32:04 -0400
Subject: Avinu Malkeinu after the Shoah

Dan Mechman mentioned, in an article, that Moezet Gedolei hatorah ordered,
after the Shoah, that the verses in the Avinu Malkenu prayer referring to
those burned and slaughtered should br recited out loud. Does anybody have
any information on this? was it ever published? Are there communities that
follow this practice? 

I intend to post this also on -Judaic

Joseph Tabory 
Department of Talmud, Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, Israel
email: <taborj@...>


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 02:14:16 EDT
Subject: Bookburning

 <<From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>

 When R Yonah repented for burning the Rambam's books, his mistake was
 that the Rambam was not a heretic, and his books didn't deserve burning;
 I'm not aware of any evidence that he repudiated the *principle* of
 burning those books that do deserve it.

 Similarly, when the Vilner Gaon burned the Tanya, I'm not aware of any
 protests, from either side, that bookburning was wrong in principle; the
 chasidim merely objected to his choice of this holy sefer to burn.>>

I just want to state for the record, that the Gaon of Vilna alone did
not personally burn the Tanya AFAIK. If it was burned, it was by order
of a bais din / group of Rabbis I believe - and I believe it ocurred
after his death, if it occurred.  Some books discuss this. An English
book is 'The Hassidic Movement and the Gaon of Vilna' by Elijah
J. Schochet (Aronson publishing).  There are some misconceptions / false
information floating around about the GR"A. One should first verify the
facts from a neutral and reliable source before saying certain things.

Presumably the same with Rabbeinu Yonah - that there were a group of
Rabbis that held as he held - not just him alone.

We should not attribute something solely to one person if it was done by
a group.



From: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 20:49:28 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Call Collect

> This has been said before... but just because it's legal, doesn't make
> it right.

I don't understand your logic. If Jewish and or civil law don't see any
reason to forbid an action, then one has a perfect RIGHT to avail
oneself of that action.

> 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.

Why confuse one issue with another. Taking home more than the extra
cookie is an inyan of Derech Eretz which is not the case with the
collect call especially since the phone companies have not placed

The different positions surrounding the "call collect game" are like
that of the Jewish Vegetarian who holds that while Jewish Law allows
animal flesh to be eaten, prefers not to avail himself of it.

To deny the legal right under Jewish law is tantamount to apikorsus - a
denial of the truth of Jewish law. And obviously we are talking in a
situation where a person does have a psak to make use of the "call
collect game".

> 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
> fairness.

Fairness is dependent on either what has been agreed upon or that which
is 'minhag hamakom' - local custom.



From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 13:20:37 -0700
Subject: Re: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

> From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
> I found the book irritating since it is full of Hebrew grammatical
> errors. I checked many editions, and most of them carry the same errors,
> with the exceptions of the new editions printed in Israel and the Mosad
> Harav Kook editions. I did not research the sources of the errors, i.e.,
> was it the author or the printer's. Recently I protested vigorously to
> the school of my children for using an edition full of errors. In one
> case I found 10 errors on a single page. Most errors had to do with
> masculine feminine mix up, which I attribute to the Yiddish influence of
> Eastern Europe.

I'm surprised to hear this. The author of "Qitzur Shulhan `Aruch", R.
Shlomo Ganzfried, is also the author of the book "qeset sofrim" which,
to this day, is the authoritative guide to Ashqenazi Tora scribes. R.
Ganzfried was a careful and recognized scholar of holy texts and was
clearly expert in the ins and outs of the grammar of our language. It is
possible that his deviations from the grammar of standard modern Hebrew
in the Qitzur derive from the innovative and "non-standard" Hebrew of
the Talmudic sources as well as of the posqim. To this day, we say
shlosha (or shalosh) rgalim, kos rvi`i (or rvi`it), based on
"non-standard" postbiblical Hebrew grammar.

Yosef Gilboa


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 23:55:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Maybe that is why we don't yet have the Messiah

Yeshaya Halevi citing Meir Shinnar citing Rav Dressler in v31n95 states

> in Michtav Me Eliyahu (R E Dessler)... R Dessler says that the
> opposition to corporal punishment is based on infiltration of modern
> ideas, and that the true haredi approach mandates corporal punishment.
> He even goes so far as to say that if a student is well behaved,

Yeshaya continues

>    I also witnessed the way Rabbi Dessler -- my Uncle Velvel -- used
> his belt on my cousins.

First I would like to publicly state that maybe the reason we are in
Galuth(Exile) without a Messiah is because of stories like the above---
maybe we are forced to live with Americans and other non-jewish nations
so that we can learn not to beat our students.

Second, I think one chilling story deserves another chiller. A chilling
Rambam in Murder 2:14 states
It appears to me based on Ex 21:21 that it is only permissable for
a master to hit his servant (or student) with a non-lethal object--
but a person has NO PERMISSION to hit his servant with a STONE or
FIST or AN IRON OBJECT (and if he does hit the servant and the servant
dies then the master is liable to a FULL death penalty because he was
out of bounds!!! (In passing a belt would ONLY be permissable if it
was eg made out of cotton or some other material that could not inflict
much harm (but scare the student)

I conclude with the fact that hitting ANYBODY ("wicked/righteous
man/woman adult/minor) is a Biblical crime(negative commandment) Rambam
Torts 5:1) Josh Backon (v31n95) cites similar sources in the Ritva and

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is SImple


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 16:02:15 -0400
Subject: Middle Word of the Torah

Elie Rosenfeld wrote:
> 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.

This topic is discussed in Kiddushin 30a.  There it also mentions the
middle letter (the vav in 'gachon' [Vayikra 11:42]) and pasuk (beginning
with in the word 'v'hitgalach' [Vayikra 13:33]) Torah.  The interesting
thing is that the middle letter, word, (and I am pretty sure) pasuk are
not actually the middles. For example, there are 304,805 letters in the
Torah. Therefore the middle letter should be the 152,403 letter. But the
vav is the 157,237th letter, 4,834 letters off.  There is another
interesting thing.  The vav in gachon is enlarged.  It is *not* to
signify the middle letter, rather it is the size that causes it to *be*
the middle.  It is the middle letter of the different sized letters.  In
other words, there are an equal number of not regular sized letters
(bigger and smaller: i.e. bet in 'Bereishit' and aleph in 'Vayikra') on
either side of the vav.  Although I don't have the individual sources,
the "darosh darash" is not the middle of the words, rather the middle of
the double words.  What I mean by double words is two consecutive words
that are identical without nikudot.  I am sorry, but I don't have the
numbers for this one, but I can try to find them out.  I am not entirely
sure about the middle pasuk being the middle ot not, but I will try to
find that out as well.  Also if anyone is interested I can email them a
list of the different sized letters, either just from Chumash, or from
all of Tanach.


From: Avi Rabinowitz <avirab@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 19:59:51 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Mukdam Umeuchar

For some time I have wanted to excerpt all the psukim related to kabalat
hatorah, luchot, commandments to Moshe R to write things down etc and
place them in their chronological order - what is the best source to use
in determining the possible/traditionally accepted orders (various
shitot etc)?


From: Daniel Katsman <hannah@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 08:35:25 +0200
Subject: Nachum versus Nochum

I. Balbin wrote:

>It would appear to be fact that the only way that the name Nachum was
>ever written (certainly in Nach) originally is Nachum with a Patach
>under the Nun. Yet, I knew and know people who are called Nochum, as if
>there was a Kometz under the Nun. <snip>How did this come to be?

Although Nahum in Tanakh is written with a pattah (the one time the name
appears), this may be an irregular form.  Generally an unaccented
syllable preceding a het takes a long vowel (kamats), since the het
cannot take the dagesh that would follow a short vowel.  As a result,
some editions of the mishna vocalize the name of Nahum ha-Madi (Shabbat
2:2) with a kamats.

Nonetheless, Hanokh Yalon, who vocalized the Albeck mishnayot, considers
Nohum with a kamats to be an Ashkenazic invention, in the same way that
the words "tonis" (ta'anit) or "omud" (ammud) developed a kamats in
Yiddish to replace the original pattah.  (See Introduction to Seder
Zera'im, page 21.)

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva


From: Roger & Naomi Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 12:36:13 +0300
Subject: A New concept for the Aliyah discussion: OBLIGATED vs PIOUS

I am amazed by Russell Hendel's post in mlj 32-09 under this heading.
The various mitzvahs with which he wishes to compare the mitzvah of
living in Israel all seem to come within the mishnah of "Eileh devarim
she'ein lohem shi'ur" - mitzvah's which have to be done, but ab initio
have no formal lower or upper limit.  Eretz Yisrael does not appear in
the list - because, IMHO, it does not belong to this category - and Dr.
Hendel gives no reason or other source for assigning it to it.

Surely it is much easier and more consistent with the line of halacha to
say that there is a mitzvah to live in eretz Yisrael, but one who really
cannot make a living there - or has other serious problems (often
emotional ones) - may be onus - unable to do it - and so potur.  In that
case, of course, such a person may reasonably be expected to benefit
fromn such help, encouragement and advice as others can give him to help
remove the onus - or to help him remove the onus.

Roger Kingsley


From: Joel Goldberg <joel@...>
Subject: Purim Costumes and Mixed Seating

Sorry to quote so much previous material.  Aadam S. Ferziger
<ferziger@...> writes:

// R. Mintz
(1408-1509) was a German Jew from (where else but), Mainz. He came to
Italy after the Jews of Mainz were expelled.  This background is at the
core of his lenient decision re costumes.  In the initial section of the
responsum he states categorically that even without his own additional
reasoning, the custom is permissible, for: "Great and righteous ones of
blessed memory, in whose surroundings I was brought up, [who] saw their
sons and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law wearing such masks
as well as switching clothing from men's attire to women's and vice
versa.  And if, heaven forbid, there had been the slightest
transgression involved, heaven forbid, that they would be silent and not
protest - surely they had proofs and authoritative sources that
demonstrate that this [practice] is absolutely permissible"//

Now let's see, how does the counter argument go? Perhaps the great and
righteous ones knew they were doing wrong, but they had to worry about
more important mitzvot, and the community just wasn't there yet.

Seriously, if this argument *by R. Mintz* is valid, then why is it
invalid to base the permissibility of mixed seating on the actions of
the g'dolim of the generation previous to our own?

Joel Goldberg
Beit Shemesh


End of Volume 32 Issue 17