Volume 33 Number 23
                 Produced: Fri Aug 25 13:18:46 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eretz-Zayt Shemen (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, David Mescheloff]
Hat for Dovening (2)
         [Sam Saal, Andy Goldfinger]
Machnesei Rachamim
         [Saul Feldman]
Mehadrin (2)
         [Shaya Potter, Gershon Klavan]
Mild Learning Disabilities (MLD) Schools
         [Batya Medad]
Parsha ending in a bad light?
         [Norman Tuttle]
Sea of Solomon and 'Pi'
         [Daniel M Wells]
Sign on the Grama Wheelchair
         [Carl Singer]
Text of Torah
         [Yehonoson Rubin]
Using verses and midrash to establish facts.
         [Gershon Dubin]
When is sunset in an airplane
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 13:15:56 -0400
Subject: Eretz-Zayt Shemen

David Mescheloff <meschd@...> writes:
<<Why are the words "eretz" (a land of) and "zayt" (olives of) connected as
one for the reading, and not the words "zayt" and "shemen"?>>

	Why do you say they aren't?  The mercha tipcha connects the
three words eretz/zays/shemen as one, with devash separated.


From: David Mescheloff <meschd@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 00:37:06 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Eretz-Zayt Shemen

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.  Your answer relates to
"eretz/zayt/shemen" as one unit distinct from "udevash", but that is not
relevant to my question.  Virtually every verse in the Torah has several
groupings and sub-groupings of words and phrases.  Within the
mercha-tipcha configuration it is still "eretz" and "zayt" that share a
mercha, as if one word, while the "shemen" has its tipcha all alone.
So, I ask again: why are "eretz" and "zayt" joined by a makaf (a dash),
and not "zayt" and "shemen"?



From: Sam Saal <saal@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 10:52:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hat for Dovening

Carl wrote:

>>The Mishna Brura (91:12) writes:
>>"And in our times, one must put a hat on his head during prayer, as he
>>would go in the street, and not only with the small hat (i.e.  yarmulka
>>- C.S.) under the hat, because one would not stand that way in front of
>>important people." [Translation mine - C.S.]

Then Rachel Smith <rachelms@...> dommented:

>Since one must put on a hat *"as he would go in the street"*, it can be
>inferred that the MB would also hold that one must wear a hat in the
>street, i.e. the yarmulka is not a sufficient head covering outside.

What does "as he would go in the street" mean? For warmth or for style?

Sam Saal            <saal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 19:14:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Hat for Dovening

On the other hand -- could we argue that the MB is being descriptive
rather than prescriptive.  That is, the MB observes that people wear
hats on the street, and before important people.  This is the social
custom at the time of the MB.  Therefore, one must wear a similar hat
while dovening or bentsching.

In our day, the custom of wearing a hat outdoors has gone away.  Indeed,
people do meet important people without hats.  Therefore, would the MB
say that in our day we no longer have to wear hats to doven or bentsch?

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Saul Feldman <sfeldman@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 00:48:23 -0400
Subject: Machnesei Rachamim

I was just wondering if anybody has the transcribed words/translation of
the yiddish Machnesei Rachamim song sung at the daf yomi siyum? or the
words to any other of R' Abish Brot's yiddish songs. Please reply to
Saul feldman


From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:31:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mehadrin

Sorry for not quoting the previous message (trying to find a decent way
to respond to digests).  Carl Singer asked what the difference in
Mehadrin vs. non-Mehadrin in Israel is.  As someone who spent 97-98 in
Yeshiva in Israel, this is my understanding of the issue. The Rabbanut's
goal is to have all Israelis keep some form of kashrut.  This means that
they will rely on kulot that we don't normally rely on.  They will also
mix sephardic and ashkenazik kulot.

A prime example of this is gelatin. Under the regular Rabbanut hashgacha,
they will give a hashgacha to products that contain gelatin.  Acc. to
mainstream Orthodox hashgachot, these products would not be certified.
However, there are minority Ashkenazic opinions (I believe, can't quote
any) and (again, I believe) Accepted sephardic opinions that do allow
gelatin.  The Rabbanut would therefore allow gelatin in products under
their regular hashgacha.  I'm not someone to say if this is kosher/not
kosher, however as it's not the level of kashrut most of us observe in the
US, it's probably inappropriate for us to rely on it.  This is why most of
the yeshivas and seminaries that have americans attending strongly
reccomend that these students keep to "mehadrin" hashgachot, be they
Rabbanut Mehadrin, Bedatz....

[Note, the topic of the kashrut status fo gelatin has just finished
being discussed at great length in V22, so please review those postings
if you are planning to respond to the gelatin issue in particular. Mod.]

This can also be seen pesach time.  In this US it's fairly difficult (if
not impossible) to find Kitniyot products being called Kosher L'Pesach, in
Israel it's very common.  However, all the times that I saw a kitniyot
product, it was labeled that it was only for people who eat kitniyot.

In yeshiva they also told us that their are also problems with trumot and
maiserot on "regular" rabbanut products.  Not that they dont take trumah
and maiser, but that the way they do it is problematic.    Therefore, if
one bought a product (such as sunflower seeds) under a rabbanut hashgacha,
one was encouraged to take off trumah and maiser himself.

In the end, the "Mehadrin" hashgachot might be more "mehadrin" than the
hashgachot that we rely on in the US (be they the O-U, star-k...), but
from experience, the regular non-mehadrin hashgachot are less strict.

Shaya Potter
<spotter@...>    spotter@yucs.org

From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 100 16:00:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mehadrin

With regards to Carl Singer's request  for an Israeli comment, here's an
American comment.

When I learned Yoreh Deah in Jerusalem some years ago at YU's Gruss
Kollel, we were told quite explicitly that the real issue with Basar
Kafui (meat that was frozen within the allotted 72 hours and then salted
at some future date after defrosting) was NOT that the meat was frozen
(and thus unsalted within 72 hours) but rather an issue of shechutei
chutz.  The issue was really over the reliability of the shechita which
was primarily done in Argentina if memory serves me correctly.

Can anyone in touch with past Israeli kashrus politics provide some

Gershon Klavan


From: Batya Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 14:56:45 +0300
Subject: Re: Mild Learning Disabilities (MLD) Schools

Mild Learning Disabilities, that's the kid/adult with normal IQ and
higher, who has one or many learning disabilities, such as dyslexia,
ADHD and others.  Problems can be in concentration, writing, functioning
in the morning, organization.....  This can be problematic dovening in
the morning--no, the kid isn't just lazy, or learning Gemorrah--eyes get
confused.  Problems understanding questions.... or bad aim when marking
the multiple choice.... etc., etc.  Too many subjects at once in the
mod-orthodox/mamlachti-dati curriculum.

In Israel there are a few yeshiva high schools specializing in helping
these kids get good educations.  Our sons have attended Ahavat Chaim, in
Kochav HaShachar.  The younger will be a senior this coming year.  I
find it important that the kids are "like everyone else."  Less stress.



From: Norman Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 11:08:49 -0400
Subject: Parsha ending in a bad light?

Art Roth <AJROTH@...> writes:

<Last week's parsha (Balaq) ends with the statement that 24,000 Jews died
<in the plague which resulted from the sins of the Jews with the women of
<Mo'av.  When we add a hosafa (extra `aliya) during leining, we are not
<allowed to stop at a davar ra` (bad thing), e.g., a death or a sin.  In
<particular, if the last verse of Balaq were NOT the end of the parsha,
<nobody would even THINK of ending an `aliya there.  So can anyone
<explain why Xazal saw fit to end the parsha there (pausing at that point
<for a whole week when it appears to be inappropriate even for just a
<minute or two)?

Actually, I see the Parsha-ending mentioned above in a more positive or,
at least, "it could have been worse" light.  The previous verse to the
one mentioned tells us that Pinchas' action totally stopped the plague.
How much worse would it have been had he not stepped in to act when he
did; how many more people would have died?!  The last verse set a limit
to the fatalities - this itself was a positive thing.


From: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 00:20:10 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Sea of Solomon and 'Pi'

> From: Avi Levi <av_levi@...>
> In a famous paragraph in Eruvin 14a the Gmara uses the verse in I Kings 7,
> 23 about the "sea of Solomon" to prove\establish that the ratio between the
> diameter and circumference of a circle is 3.

Just out of interest the posuk states the circumference was 30 and the
'kav' - diameter was 10. Kav in the posuk is spelled Koof Vav Heh which is
111 in gematria. Next to it is written that the 'Kri'- the pronunciation
should be Koof Vav without the Heh and thus 106 in gematria.

The circumference is 3 times the diameter
    circumference =  3   *       111/106   = 3.1415  to 4 decimal places.

Amazingly C=Pi*D in mathematics where   Pi = 3.1415  to 4 decimal places.



From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 19:49:47 EDT
Subject: Sign on the Grama Wheelchair

Aharon Fischman <afischman@...> writes:
> While visiting the Old City in the middle of last week (and thanks to
> all that suggested eLuna) I saw an elderly man driving a wheelchair/cart
> with a big sign on the back that said that it was made for use on
> Shabbat and a contact phone # (050) 242-785.  This is not an observation
> of halachot on the matter, but rather an avenue of information for those
> interested.

Wow -- this (the sign) gives one pause.  Is it so that second guessers
and busy bodies can find out more to satisfy themselves that this is OK,
or is it to advertise the product.

It reminds me that Arnie Lustiger who happens to have an apple tree on
his front lawn, display the appropriate related halachas on a laminated
sheet of paper hanging from the tree.

I was in Cleveland today (what a segue) and a cousin told me that some
of the signs (framed prayers -- such as modim) that her Father (my
Grandfather's brother) a sopher had written and which hung in a local
shule for decades were copied and distributed to children and
grandchildren.  Great idea for other shules with similar items -- copies
or photos would be appreciated gifts (and possible fundraiser)

Carl Singer
Back in Joisey


From: Yehonoson Rubin <rubin20@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 21:57:28 -0700
Subject: Text of Torah

Regarding the difference between the text of "our" torah and the
Gemaras, see the introduction to Shu't Bais Halavie, in which he claims
that the Gemarah intentional changes the text, as so not to be saying
written torah oraly. Also see Rabbi Reuven Margolisis Eiyunim Bmikra, in
which he posits a brilliant solution to the fact that it would seem
various tanaim were unaware of the text of the aseres hadibros!!!!
Basically he claims there was a written and oral version of the Torah,
sort of like our Kri and Ksivs). When then dead sea scrolls were
uncovered, bible critics were sure that they would find the "original "
text of TANACH. In fact there are no differencess, and those scrolls
were written at the same time or before the gemra. Therefore, it is not
resonable to assume that ther was a diffrent text in the time of chazal.


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 14:08:24 -0400
Subject: Using verses and midrash to establish facts.

Avi Levi <av_levi@...> writes:
<<I wanted to ask if there are other similar examples in the Talmudic
literature in which verses (or midrash on verses) are used to "find" or
establish facts in mathematics or empirical sciences, that could have been
found using analysis, measurement or experimentation.>>

	I know of no other, although the Gemara does refer to different
geometric relationships other than that.

	The Vilna Gaon asks why the Gemara in fact felt it necessary to
learn this from a posuk where it could have been measured just as
easily.  Further, he asks, why 3.0 when we know the value to be

	He answers in a typically "Gaonic" way that the posuk which Avi
mentions, refers to a "kav" or line which ran the circumference of the
yam (bowl?) which was 30 long compared to the diameter which was 10.

	The word kav is spelled, instead of kuf vav, kuf vav heh.  (kri
ukesiv).  The ratio between gematria of the full spelling, 111, and the
deficient spelling, 106, is the ratio by which one multiplies 3 to

[Not pi, but as mentioned in submission above, an approximation to pi
correct to 4 decimal places. Mod.]

	This answers both questions: the Gemara knew full well that 3.0
was only an approximation. What the Gemara wanted to learn out from the
posuk is that for halachic purposes, 3.0 is good enough.  It might also
explain why other ratios are not derived from pesukim, because why
bother if you can measure them; for this the measurement is not
halachically correct.

	I enjoy this dvar Torah all over again every time I hear it or
retell it!



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 17:59:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: When is sunset in an airplane

<Andy.Goldfinger@...> (33:6) asks about which sunset is used to
determine the end of a fast day if you are flying in an airplane.

I would simply answer "Replace the airplane by a mountain" Clearly in a
mountain you go by the sunset AT THAT ALTITUDE. The same would be true
in a plane.

By the way you would still have to wait till the stars come out

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Dept of Math <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simple
http://www.RashiYomi.Com                NEW & IMPROVED


End of Volume 33 Issue 23