Volume 33 Number 57
                 Produced: Tue Sep 12  7:00:26 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bombay + fish
         [Saul Davis]
Evil eye
         [Lawrence  Kaplan]
Frum Jews don't wear wedding rings
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Full-Defective Spellings
         [Ben Katz]
Hebrew & Roman Calendars
         [Barak Greenfield, MD]
Kad yasvin Yisrael
         [Gershon Dubin]
Parents Walking Down at Weddings
         [Jeff Fischer]
Rabbits and Camels (2)
         [Rick Turkel, Mike Gerver]
Spelling of Jesus
         [Mark Steiner]
Wearing a Towel
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Wedding ring and Tefilin and washing
         [Jonathan Shaffer]


From: Saul Davis <sdavis@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 20:05:33 +0200
Subject: Bombay + fish

If anyone was in south India or Bombay in a shul or for any yom-tov I
would love to know of their experiences. (My wife and I will be there in

Does anyone please know where I can get a list of all the kosher fish.

Saul Davis


From: Lawrence  Kaplan <lkapla@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 13:14:18 -0500
Subject: Evil eye

Concerning the meaning of the "evil eye," I think it worth noting that
Maimonides in his commentary on Avot 2:10 interprets "evil eye" as "the
desire for money." Similarly, in his comment on Avot 2:8, he describes
the "evil eye" as a moral vice where one views what one has to be
insufficient and always wants more. I believe this interpretation also
lies behind his comment in his responsum to the Sages of Lunel, where he
distinguishes between two types of "hezek re`iyah," damage caused by
seeing: One type, where a person invades the privacy of his fellow by
watching his activities, is 'hezeh vaddai", i.e., a genuine type of
damage; while another type, where a person sees his fellow's crop in
time of harvest and looks at it with an evil eye, is only "a matter of
piety that a person should not look askance at his friend with the evil
eye." I think it is clear that Maimonides does not believe that the evil
eye here causes any damage, but rather that as a matter of piety one
should avoid creating a situation whereby people would look jealously at
what one has and would thereby fall prey to a moral vice. This is borne
out by the continuation of the responsum, which, however, is too
complicated to discuss here.

In a similar vein, Maimonides in another responsum, explains that the
law that one should not marry a katlanit, a woman who has already been
married twice and whose both husbands have died, is not based upon any
actual danger she poses, but just on the imaginary psychological fears
that some people with weak constitutions might have. For this reason,
Maimonides mentions all types of ways of getting around this law, and
states that both in Spain and Egypt he and the Rif and R. Josph ibn
Migash allowed a man to marry a katlanit in a private ceremony and would
afterward write a ketubah on her behalf.

It would be nice, if we in the 21st century would catch up with
Maimonides' 12th century enlightened views . But I am not holding my

Lawrence Kaplan
McGill University


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 11:09:07 EDT
Subject: Frum Jews don't wear wedding rings

The issue of men wearing wedding ring has a couple of facets: 1. Lo
yilbash gever simlat Isha (halachic issue), and 2. vanity, and maybe
3. minhag.

My father, his father, his grandfather going back never wore any
jewelry, and therefore he did not wear a wedding ring. My father-in-law
had the same tradition (for him it was vanity). For me it is a double
family tradition not to wear a wedding ring or jewelry. This is not a
new chumrah (I am not a machmir!) but rather following minhag avot.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 10:10:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Full-Defective Spellings

>From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
>Ben writes >>The major problem with Dr. Hendel's clever arguments is
>that they violate a fundamental law of logic known as Occam's razor or
>the law of parsimony. 
> [Snip]
>The only reason
>not to follow this approach is if the unifying hypothesis is shown to be
>incorrect, which can happen.  I submit that in instances such as this
>the unifying hypothesis is theologically problemmatic to current
>thinking and is therefore rejected a priori.>>
>My question to Ben is "What is 'theologically problemmatic' about the
>above grammatical rule on full/defective spellings which has 1-2 dozen

I am not sure this is of interest to the group, but here goes:
        There are about 5,000 kri/ketiv variations, many of which deal with
defective spellings.  In many instances the same passage that appears in
more than one location in Tanach has different kri/ketiv (a famous example
is magdil/migdol before the last paragraph of birchat hamazon which appears
in II Samuel and Psalms 18).  I don't see how any theory can take all of
these into account, esp. if the "purpose" is to say that the Talmud did not
have a different text than our mesorah (which is theologically problemmatic).

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: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 22:48:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Hebrew & Roman Calendars

Eli Linas <linaseli@...> wrote:

>I didn't know that I was "bemoaning" anything! I was merely responding
>to Jay F Shachter <jay@...> statement: "I know of no article of
>faith which requires Mr Wells to believe that we are better
>mathematicians and astronomers than our neighbors." As I mentioned in my
>original post, this is not an article of faith in the way the Rambam's
>13 principles are, but it does count for something! Astronomy is far
>from my area of expertise, but it seems to me that any statement in the
>Gemara is one to be reckoned with, and instead of knocking Jewish
>knowledge in this area, we should try to be matzdik it.

Does the gemara ever claim that its version of the calendar is 100%
accurate, or even that it is more accurate than that of other nations? I
realize there is a contemporary belief that every piece of scientific or
historical information mentioned in the gemara is undeniably correct; but I
wonder whether the gemara itself ever makes that claim.

Barak Greenfield


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 01:34:21 -0400
Subject: Kad yasvin Yisrael

This song was in fact a favorite of Rav Hutner z"l.  I'm not sure if he
himself adapted/modified it;  he did compose several nigunim.



From: Jeff Fischer <NJGabbai@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 10:51:43 EDT
Subject: Re: Parents Walking Down at Weddings

I asked my rabbi this question and he gave me an answer, but I want to
see if anyone out there who had a similar situation, handled it

My fiance and I are getting married next Sunday.  I am FFB and my fiance
is a Gieres.  My parents will walk me down and her parents will walk her
down, but only until right before the Chupah and then I will walk her
under the Chupah and she will go around by herself.  I would love it if
her parents (who are not Jewish), would be able to walk her around the
chupah and then go down or stand right outside the Chupah instead of her
walking around by herself or by my mother.

Has anyone had non-Jewish parents walking their daughter around the
Chupah?  If so, please reply and if there is a halachic source for this,
please quote it.



From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 10:36:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rabbits and Camels

	I remember seeing in the English commentary in the Hertz chumash
that rabbits and hares look as though they're chewing their cud because
of the movements of their mouths.  That idea wasn't cited as having come
from another source, so maybe it was just Hertz's private opinion.

	Just my NIS 0.08-worth, FWIW.

Rick Turkel      (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>      )     |   |  \  )  |/  \ ein |navi| be|iro\__)    |
<rturkel@...>    /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.    Ko rano | rani, u jamu pada.

From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 11:30:36 +0200
Subject: Rabbits and Camels

Alan Rubin, in v33n49, mentions the peccary and hippopotamus as other
cloven-hooved species which do not chew their cud. It's true that the
hippopotamus family, like the pig family, is in the non-ruminant
suborder of the mammalian order Artiodactyla, the even-toed
ungulates. For that matter, so is the camel family. But hippopotamus
feet, like camel feet, are wide and soft, and do not look like hoofs.
Hoofs wouldn't work very well in mud.  As for peccaries, they do have
split hooves, and biologists do classify them as a separate family of
non-ruminant even-toed ungulates. But to a non-biologist, they look an
awful lot like pigs.  Since the Torah is concerned with categories based
on outward appearances (hence classifying camels and rabbits as
cud-chewers, even though they are not technically ruminants), I don't
think peccaries are a good counter-example to the claim that no other
species have split hooves and don't chew their cud.

In v33n51, both Sheldon Meth and David Kaye mention the theory that the
shaphan is a llama. (You'll soon see why I'm spelling it that way,
rather than "shafan.")  I have often seen "shaphan" translated as
"hyrax" (which Alan Rubin mentioned) or "coney."  I think (I'm not sure)
that hyraxes and conies are the same animal, or closely related, and
that they constitute their own order of mammals. They are not, of
course, ruminants in the biological sense, but I assume they make
cud-chewing motions, like rabbits and camels. One piece of evidence
against the idea that the shaphan is a llama: I read somewhere (I don't
remember where, and I don't know how accepted this is) that the place
name "Spain" came from a Phoenician word that is cognate with the Hebrew
"shaphan," because the Phoenicians found lots of conies scampering
around when they first came to Spain. I doubt there were ever llamas
running around in Spain!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 17:54:04 +0300
Subject: Re: Spelling of Jesus

    On the name of Jesus, the spelling yod-shin-vov is certainly not an
acronym for "yimah shmo vezikhro"--in fact the claim that it is, like
the gematria on vorik, is an antisemitic libel by the Church, which we
should avoid like the plague.  The name yeshu was not an uncommon one
during the period in question--I recently saw an exhibition at the
Israel Museum on the origins of Christianity with a number of sarcophagi
containing the inscription yeshu--including even one yeshu ben yehosef!!
I believe that yeshu and yeshu`a are variants of the same name, with the
`ayin having dropped out in places where it was not pronounced (in the
Galilee, for example, where Jesus was probably born, despite what the
New Testament says).

In case anybody questions my statement that vorik in aleynu has nothing
to do with Jesus despite the gematria, here's an historical proof:
aleynu was written for the Musaf of Rosh Hashana, and thus could not
conceivably have been written later than the first generation amoraim.
Scholars I have consulted agree that early Christianity could not have
been regarded by Orthodox Jews as avoda zara (yet) in that generation.
The reference to Yom Notzri or Natzri in Tractate Avoda Zara, says the
Meiri, is not to Christianity but to a pagan religion in Babylonia who
also observed Sunday as a holiday.  Recent scholarship suggests that he
was right, but I can't go into the matter here.

Mark Steiner


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 17:22:22 +0300
Subject: Wearing a Towel

I was asked a question, and was surprised I never 
thought of it before. It is quite common (I think) to 
wear a towel as a wrap, on the way back from bathing,
etc. Doesnt this require that the towel have tzitzit attached,
as it is a true 4-cornered garment?

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel         PGP: members.xoom.com/shimonl/pubkey.htm


From: Jonathan Shaffer <Jshaffer@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 10:30:07 -0400
Subject: Wedding ring and Tefilin and washing

	Can anyone provide any further authority on not taking off a
wedding ring to wash or when putting on Tefilin. I had been following
the practice of taking my ring off to wash netilat yadayim, until I
stopped when I realized that the only time I ever take off my ring was
for that purpose (i.e. I wouldn't take my ring off to knead bread if I
ever kneaded bread and I don't take it off to work on my car, etc.).



End of Volume 33 Issue 57