Volume 32 Number 34
                 Produced: Mon May 29 19:32:25 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Bob Werman]
Computers vs Manual counts of Verses
         [Russell Hendel]
Drug Problems in the Yeshiva World
         [Eli Lansey]
Dune SF and "Kwisatz Haderach"
         [Alexis Rosoff]
The Famous Minchat Shai on "Corrections of the Sages" (2)
         [Ben Z. Katz, Daniel Katsman]
Female Jewish Slave
         [Moshe Nugiel]
First Seder on Motzaei Shabbat - bakeries opening on Friday?
         [I. Harvey Poch]
Yom Ha'Atzmut / Yom Yerushalayim versus Tisha B'Av (3)
         [David and Toby Curwin, Akiva Miller, Ezriel Krumbein]


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Mon,  15 May 2000 17:19 +0300
Subject: Coca-Cola

In this discussion, it might be worth mentioning the first mashgiah for
Coca Cola, R' Gefen of blessed memory, the great grandfather of my son's
intended kala.

Story has it that the rav, of Atlanta, was asked to give a heksher.
This was arranged when the rav stipulated that he would never reveal the
formula.  It is also known that he insisted that one ingredient
[hametz?, ktniya?] be replaced for pesah.

__Bob Werman


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 23:24:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Computers vs Manual counts of Verses

Al Silberman in Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 26 shares an exquisite
piece of research on the number of words in the Torah(Yasher Coach Al)

I just wanted to add a note on the benefit of computers in counting.
Al's count was 79980. But the Leningrads own count is 79856 (I own
a hard photocopy of Leningrad---at the end of the Torah is a 'count')
The exact text is

>Total verses in the Bible is 5845
>Total words in the Bible is 79,856 (error is  .15%)
>Total letters in the BIble is 409,045

In passing I may have used the number, 97856 words in a previous volume
of Mail Jewish--this was a transcription error)

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


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:52:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Drug Problems in the Yeshiva World

Russell Hendel in v32n16 writes
> What **is** being done about drugs in the Yeshiva world?
> How widespread is it?
Frank Silbermann responded in v32n20:
>Wouldn't admitting the problem be loshen hara?

How would it be lashon hara?  If it helps stop many Yeshiva students
from voluntarily committing suicide ( Yes, that is how I look at it )
then it is not lashon hara because it is pikuach nefesh.  And admitting
to the problem is the first step in fixing the problem.  If the Yeshiva
world keeps hiding all of these drug problems then nothing will be able
to be done.  If the school administrations know about certain problem
students, and refuse to do something about it ( Either rehab, or
counseling, or something ), then they are only helping these students
along to their own demise.  I think that the people who can do something
about it should wake up and smell the marijuana smoke, and stop
sidestepping the problems because of "lashon hara" or some other bogus

Eli Lansey.


From: Alexis Rosoff <alexis@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 14:39:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Dune SF and "Kwisatz Haderach"

On Mon, 08 May 2000 14:08:46 CDT, Chihal wrote:
|>         Can anyone enlighten me with info on the Jewish concept of the
|> "Kwisatz Haderach?"

Perhaps the name was borrowed from the Talmud, but I really doubt that
there's much of a conceptual relation. Maybe you could view the Kwisatz
Haderach as a sort of Messiah, which is a very Jewish concept, but
that's the limit.

For those of you who aren't sci-fi buffs, Dune is a complicated
futuristic series. The basic idea of the Kwisatz Haderach is that he is
the product of a centuries-long breeding programme of a group called the
Bene Gesserit. The BG, who are all women (and whose opponents call them
witches) developed human mental talents after an anti-machine
revolution. One of their abilities has to do with a truth-telling drug.
However, there's a limit to their abilities, which can only be breached
by a man--the Kwisatz Haderach.

It is a good read (well, the first book is. The 2nd and 3rd are weaker;
by the time Leto II becomes a giant sandworm, the whole thing has
descended into farce) and there is some interesting cross-cultural and
religious stuff in there (the Fremen seem to be based on Arab Muslims).
However, the concepts don't seem to be specific to any one religion; it
all comes across like Herbert took bits and pieces from many religious

 Alexis Rosoff ---=--- http://www.li.net/~alexis ---=--- Long Island, NY


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 00:34:55 -0500
Subject: The Famous Minchat Shai on "Corrections of the Sages"

>>From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
>>Moshe Rudner asks about the phrase "Tikkun Sofrim" (Literally "Fixed by
>>the sages") which implies that Chazal corrected Torah texts. He brings
>>one example (cited by Rashi) where it says that "Abraham still stood
>>before God" while the text really means "God still stood before
>>Abraham".  This is an example of a "Correction of the sages".
>>This has been discussed in the past on Mail Jewish.A very good source is
>>the Minchat Shai on Zecahria 2:12
>>>And this explanation (that people changed the text) is not correct.
>>>And God forbid we should say this. But rather we can use the explanation
>>>supplied by the Rashbah, HALICOTH OLAM, YFAY TOAR, and Mizrachi. Their
>>>explanation is that the sages researched all of Tnach and found 18 verses
>>>which SAY one thing (eg Abraham still stood before God) but the real
>>>meaning seems to be the opposite (eg God still stood before Abraham)

 While the above is the standard, apologetic response to the question, the
fact of the matter is that the tikkunai soferim are mentioned in 4 lists (3
of which are in midrashim to Ex. 15:7).  The most complete list (with 18
tikunim) is given in the standard edition of Midrash Tanchumah (not Buber's
edition) where the midrash clearly states that the men of the great
assembly CHANGED (from the Hebrew root knh meaning "to name" or "to give
title to") these sentences.  If these were only verses the Bible should
have written a different way but didn't, why are they listed in the margins
of many Bibles as masoretic notes with the abbreviation t"e (for tikunei
ezra)?  Second, Rashi is generally clear on many of these tikunim where he
states (for example on Malachi 1:13) that one word was written and the text
was modified to a different word.  Finally, from a historical perspective,
since most of the verses in question were changed because the originals
were too anthropomorphic, if most of the verses currently read well without
anthropomorphisms, why should anyone be interested in a tradition that the
verses really should have been more anthropomorphic but were changed?  It
makes much more sense to assume that the verses were originally too
anthropomorphic and were changed (as the midrash says they were).  

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital - Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20  -  Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187
Fax 773-880-8226

From: Daniel Katsman <hannah@...>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 23:23:19 +0200
Subject: The Famous Minchat Shai on "Corrections of the Sages"

If my memory still serves me after 17 years, there is a chapter on this
in Saul Lieberman's "Hellenism in Jewish Palestine".  There he reviews
the midrashic sources that discuss the phenomenon, and concludes that
they variously reflect both positions mentioned in Minhat Shai.  I think
he says that an important issue is the terminology used: whether the
midrash says "tikkun soferim hu zeh (lit. this is a scribal
emendation)", e.g. Bereshit Rabba 49:7, or "kinna ha-katuv (Scripture
used a euphemism)", e.g. Mekhilta Beshallah 6, Sifre Bemidbar 84.

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva


From: Moshe Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 01:25:13 +0300
Subject: Female Jewish Slave

At our Shabbat table this afternoon, in connection with a discussion of
slaves being freed at the Yovel, my daughter brought up the topic of
young girls being sold into slavery by their fathers.  She wanted to
know why it is that only girls are sold, and not boys.  I answered that
I wasn't sure, but that I would try to look up an answer.  Having spent
significant time this motza'i Shabbat looking through texts, I'm still
not sure why this discrepancy should exist.  Granted that such a sale
only takes place under the most dire of economic collapse, why should a
family which is blessed by having only boys starve to death, while their
luckier neighbors, who have girls, are able to weahter the storm?  On a
more serious note, we certainly accept that men and women have different
kinds of ways in their service of the Almighty, and that these
differences are reflected in the halacha.  How do I explain to my wife
and four daughters (ages 5-11), the nature of the difference between a
man's service and a woman's service which this halacha reveals?

Moshe Nugiel


From: I. Harvey Poch <harvpoch@...>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:18:18 -0400
Subject: Re: First Seder on Motzaei Shabbat - bakeries opening on Friday?

> Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...> wrote:
> Can I trouble you all to find out what the custom is in various towns
> regarding bakers trading on Friday Erev Erev Pesach?
> Was Thursday or Friday the last day your local baker sold chometz?
> And was there any difference beween Good Friday and non Good Friday
> occurrences?

I currently live in Toronto, Canada, where B"H we have a number of
kosher bakeries (and where it has become the norm to bake with "yoshon"
flour - but that's another discussion).

Most of our bakeries close for Pesach. Those which do so normally sell
chometz until the eve of Erev Pesach, since one can only eat chometz
until about 10:00 the following morning. With Pesach beginning motzo'ei
Shabbos, I can foresee one or two opening on Friday morning to sell the
last minute small challahs, but they will be the exceptions.

As far as Good Friday is concerned, it is usually the Friday of Chol
haMo'ed, since Easter must fall after the full moon. Only in 1981 did it
occur Erev Pesach (my goyishe calendar did not go back into the fifties,
but did include the seventies). Here in Toronto, the coincidence with
Good Friday would not be a concern, since Jewish stores are not forced
to close for Xian holidays - it would be business as usual, whatever
that means on Erev Pesach.

There are a couple of bakeries in Toronto which sell Pesachdig baked
goods - one bakes its own, the other imports from Montreal. Both of
these close anywhere from three days to a week before Pesach in order to
prepare. This will not change in 2001.

If you are planning to bake for Pesach, may all brochos (blessings) be
as sprinkles on your baked goods. My youngest son (YLChT"V) was born on
the Thursday preceding a motzo'ei Shabbos Pesach. On my way home from
the hospital, I stopped at one of the bakeries which was baking for
Pesach and picked up a 'flat' of macaroons for the Sholom Zochor (Friday
evening party welcoming a son) for the following night. That bakery is
closed now, and I'm certain its former owners have a special place in
shomayim (heaven) because they had a hand in such mitzvos.


From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 14:29:03 +0300
Subject: Yom Ha'Atzmut / Yom Yerushalayim versus Tisha B'Av

 Immanuel Burton <iburton@...> wrote:

> Is saying Hallel (with or without a blessing) on Yom Ha'Atzmut and/or Yom
> Yerushalayim inconsistent with fasting on Tisha B'Av?

I don't think it is any more inconsistent than saying Hallel on Chanuka
and fasting on Tisha B'Av. We have an obligation to thank God for all
redemptions, even ones where we don't benefit now from the freedoms they
achieved. Certainly we are obliged to thank God for a redemption we
currently benefit from, and all the more so for a redemption on the
level of the current one we have been benefiting from over the last 100

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 19:55:15 EDT
Subject: re: Yom Ha'Atzmut / Yom Yerushalayim versus Tisha B'Av

In MJ 32:27, Immanuel Burton asked <<< Is saying Hallel (with or without
a blessing) on Yom Ha'Atzmut and/or Yom Yerushalayim inconsistent with
fasting on Tisha B'Av? >>>

I do not have an answer, but it reminds me of a similar question:

The entire section of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 561 is devoted to the
halacha that one must tear his clothing in mourning, not only if he sees
the Temple Mount itself, but also upon seeing the destroyed city of
Jerusalem, and certain other cities. As far as I know this halacha is
not disputed by anyone.

However, without disputing the law itself, Rav Moshe Feinstein declares
that it no longer applies. He writes in Igros Moshe O"C 70:11:

"It is reasonable that those who travel to Eretz Yisrael, even though we
have still not yet been redeemed, from our many sins, they should not
tear upon seeing Yerushalayim, since it has been rebuilt beautifully
[b'nuyah l'tiferes] by the grace of Hashem, and in any case it is no
longer under non-Jewish rule. The blessing should be said only upon
seeing the place of the Temple, even if seeing it from a distance, and
certainly when they come to the Wall. When they see those Cities of
Yehudah which are under non-Jewish rule -- and likewise if part of
Yerushalayim is under non-Jewish rule -- even if they are built nicely
[nivnu yafeh], one must tear."

My question, similar to Mr. Burton's, is whether such a position is
consistent with reciting the standard text of "Nachem" on Tisha B'Av:
"... the city that is mournful, ruined, scorned, and desolate: mournful
woithout her children, ruined without her abodes, scorned without her
glory, and desolate without inhabitant.... For You, Hashem, with fire
You consumed her and with fire You will rebuild her..."

Yes, without her Temple, Yerushalayim does still mourn. But still, I
can't see that the text can stand unchanged while Rav Moshe proclaims
that she "has been rebuilt beautifully".

Akiva Miller

From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 23:14:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Yom Ha'Atzmut / Yom Yerushalayim versus Tisha B'Av

Not at all. Fasting on Tisha Bav is to appreciate what we are missing.
The Beis HaMikdash, A Country run according to halacha etc.  Hallel on
Yom Ha'Atzmut and Yom Yerushalayim is to appreciate what Hashem has
given us. Control over many of the Mekomos Hakedoshim.  A center for
Torah and Yiddiskiet The opportunity to fulfill mitzvot hateluot baretz.

While on this topic.  In the mincha minyan which I daven in at work
someone was outraged that they said tachanun on Yom Ha'Atzmut.  I think
this is a big mistake. Davenning is a conversation with Hashem.  It is
never wrong to talk about teshuva with Hashem.  Even if it has become
the practice not to say tachanun on days when we are specially happy.
Remember we always say Yizkor on Yom Tov and the only "holiday" that we
don't offer a sair l'chaper is Shabbos.

The important thing to remember is that davenning is not a contest for
political expression.  It is an intimate conversation with Hashem and in
intimate conversations with those close to us we often express emotions
and ideas that on the surface may appear conflicting.


End of Volume 32 Issue 34