Volume 33 Number 77
                 Produced: Fri Nov 10  6:01:47 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll perush la-Gemara
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Artscroll Talmud
         [Seth Lebowitz]
         [Eli Turkel]
Halachically pregnant
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Leining Article in Le'ela
         [David Neuman]
Order of Hoshanna prayers
Resources for the Blind
Rings and Watches
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Science in the Talmud
         [Eli Linas]


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 14:56:05 EST
Subject: Artscroll perush la-Gemara

Several important contributions were made to the issue of the Artscroll
perush la-Gemara [Schottenstein Shas] (MJv33n76) and I'll try to put
this issue into perspective.

The whole problem stems from the historical tension between Torah
she'bichtav and Torah she'beal pe. The Talmud already tells us that the
rule is: "devarim shebichtav ee atah rashai leomram al pe; devarim
she-al pe ee atah rashai leomram bichtav" [oral law should not be
written, written law should not be oral](Gittin 60b)

According to the Mahara"l, because of the above rule, even Rabbi Yehuda
ha-Nasi, the codifier of the Mishnah, wrote the Mishnah in a
laconic-brief style, and even left some ambiguities, so that not
everything will be written, and you'll need the Torah she-beal pe to
understand it. (see f/n to Steinsaltz perush, id)

This kind of tension repeated itself time and again when someone wrote a
new translation or a new commentary. This is true to the Soncino English
translation of the Talmud in England in the 1930s (A major attack by
Rabbi Adler on that project), this was true when Adin Steinsaltz started
his series of Talmud books, and in this context the Artscroll falls. To
some extent the attack on Mishne Torah of the Rambam is of the same
nature. I sense that the attacks are milder now.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Seth Lebowitz <LEBOWITZS@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 13:36:06 -0500
Subject: Artscroll Talmud

Why shouldn't someone learn using the original text to the best of his
ability?  For example if he is able, he could learn Talmud at a slow
enough pace to allow himself (and his chavrusa) to figure out the text
and ask all the questions that need to be asked (and find answers if
they are learning in great depth).  If he is not capable of learning
Talmud at all, he could learn mishna; if not mishna, chumash, etc.

I think that learning the original texts to the best of one's ability is
far more important than gaining exposure to sugyas and halachic concepts
second-hand through an English translation and explanation.  Isn't it
better to participate in the debate in the beis medresh in bavel (or in
France, etc.) even if only on a few points and even if it takes a long
time, than to sit as an observer being told what is going on in that
beis medresh (by the Artscroll commentary) even if the participants in
the debate are going at the rapid-fire pace of daf yomi?  The answer
that it is better to participate in our holy mesora rather than be told
about it second hand is obvious.  And this holds true not just for
Talmud study, but I believe it is better to sit and learn Chumash as
well as one can and engage Rashi in debate about it than to "get a
general idea" of what a sugya --even one that is very famous or very
complicated-- is about the way one does using these "aids" to learning.

I note that Gidon Ariel wrote that people learning will only use these
aids for bikiyus learning because they will "realize that iyun requires
true understanding of the text."  I never imagined that ANY kind of
learning can be done without "true understanding of the text."  Note
that I am NOT suggesting that people who aren't talmidei chachamim are
not really learning.  I simply think that everyone needs to get the best
"true understanding" that he is capable of, at the depth that he chooses
to go to on that subject.  Also please note that I am not questioning
the centrality of Talmud study to Torah study in general.  I simply
believe that all Talmud Torah presupposes understanding to the best of
one's ability.

Seth Lebowitz


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 09:57:00 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Glatt

> |> Carl Singer writes:
> |> 
> |> > With Glatt Kosher -- there no longer seems to be a reliable / available
> |> > / convenient supply chain for kosher (but not Glatt) meat -- the metziah
> |> > has changed, to where Glatt Kosher is essentially synonymous with
> |> > "reliable" kosher, I personnally know of not even a single organization
> |> > that supplies (non-Glatt) kosher meat that anyone in the Orthodox
> |> > community uses (correct me if I'm wrong.)  

I recently heard a theory that many of the chumrot being observed were
started by commercial companies to increase their profits.

Eli Turkel


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 22:55:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Halachically pregnant

Regarding the prohibtions of the veset, see the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh
Deah 184:2 "During her time of Veset he must separate from her for one
nighttime or daytime period (onah), not from the secondary prohibitions
of niddah (she'ar kreivot), but only from intercourse itself (tashmish
hamitah bilvad)."  So in answer to your question, the authority that
holds that the only prohibition of Veset is intercourse is the Mechaber
(who himself is following the Ra'avad and Ramban and Rashba on this
issue).  See Taharat Habayit of Rav Ovadya Yosef v1 p.67 (who holds that
the Mechaber here was only allowing "chibuk v'nishuk" (kissing and
hugging) and not allowing sleeping in the same bed.)

He brings two sources that explain the Mechaber here as permitting
sleeping in the same bed - the Shulchan Gavoah, and the Zivchei Tzedek.
Rav Ovadya admits that while the language of the Ra'avad, Ramban, and
Rashba and Mechaber implies that even sleeping in the same bed is
allowed, he contends that their intent here was to permit "she'ar
kreivot" such as hugging and kissing, or passing objects or eating from
the same plate.  So yes, the vast majority of modern poskim prohibit
sleeping in the same bed, the language of some major Rishonim seems to
allow it or is ambiguous about it, but there are at least two modern
poskim that allow it specifically.

Now as to your question of why shouldn't the issue of Veset disappear
after the first time the woman misses her period during the pregnancy.
There are two reasons: a. The woman might have a veset kavua (fixed
regular date/time for her period) , in which case it takes 3 months of
her not seeing the period on the expected day in order to break the
veset kavua (and its prohibitions).  b. See Encyclopedia Talmudit v.11
column 540 where you will see that Most Rishonim hold that a woman
without a veset kavua has to treat the "onah beinonit" (the 30 day
veset) as a veset kavua and as such would need to wait three months into
the pregnancy (and not seeing blood) in order to cancel out the "onah

In my original posting I listed three types of vestot (beinonit,
haflaga, and chodesh), in trying to point out that in the WORST case, a
pregnant woman in the first three months would have the veset
prohibitions at most for 3 days a month.  The person I was replying to
had said that in the absence of seeing a period during pregnancy the
number of days of vestot prohibitions would rapidly become unwieldy -
that is a statement which I still do not understand.

As for sources stating 3 months as being Halachically pregnant see
Breishit 38:24 with regards to Tamar.


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 01:41:08 EST
Subject: Leining Article in Le'ela

<< From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
 Does anyone know how I could obtain  the article:

 'Putting the meaning back into leyning : An expressionist approach to
 the Taamei Neginah', Le'eyla, 32, pp. 16-18. (It is a publication of the
 British Chief Rabbinate. Email to the address at their website won't go
 through). Thanks  >>- 

Perhaps you can get it at a library (esp. Jewish one) down under.

You might try the leela website too at http://www.leela.org.uk - it said
that they would be adding back issues in the future, when I checked.



From: David Neuman <dav-el-svc@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 03:59:03 -0500
Subject: Matzeva

It is possible that the Rav did not want to go into the cemetery because
the bronze marker is flush to the ground.  Hence, there is no Tzuras
HaKever and he did not want to walk on any graves.  The stone markers
are usually above the ground.  In Israel the stone markers cover most of
the grave and lessens the chance of walking on it.


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 01:49:18 EST
Subject: Order of Hoshanna prayers

<< From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
 There is a definite order of reading the hoshanas through Sukkot
 depending on the day on which the holiday begins.  I would appreciate
 some clarification or explanation of the association of each hoshana
 with its assigned day within the holiday or the day of the week. >>

Based on a pair of fine new siddurim that I have here, I will attempt to
shed some light on the matter (according to Eastern Ashkenazic custom -
I don't have information on Sepharadic customs here now).

The fine new siddur 'Shaarei Tefilah' (Feldheim Publishers 5759-1998)
brings reasons for some of the order (from the Machtzis Hashekel Orach
Chaim 663 in name of the Levush), as follows.

1) Limaan amitach - said first as it speaks about the honor of Hashem.

2) Even shisiya - said on second day due to it's importance as it speaks
of the honor of the beis hamikdosh (Temple).

3) E'eroch shui - said on first day of chol haMoed ( 3rd day in
diaspora).  Reasons given are a) it refers to Yom Kippur when it
mentions 'gilisi batzom pishi' (I revealed my sins on Yom Kippur) so we
try to say it as close to Yom Kippur as possible while avoiding saying
it on (non chol haMoed) Yom tov because we don't say 'techina' (certain
types of supplications) on Yom tov [according to this reason it should
be said on second day in eretz Yisroel, notes siddur Eizor Eliyohu] and
b) the third day of Sukkos falls on the same day of week as Yom Kippur
[according to this reason Eretz Yisroel should also say it on day three

4) Adon hamoshia - said on day # 6 as it contains a prayer for rain and
rain on Sukkos is considered bad (as it could prevent activities in
Sukkah, etc.), so it is said near the end of Sukkos.

Parenthetically, according to the GR"A, no hoshannas are said when
Sukkos falls on Shabbos, while others say 'om ani chomah'....

The excellent siddur 'Eizor Eliyohu' (Jerusalem 1998 and 2000 [revised /
improved edition])(a siddur whose focus is the nusach haGR"A, but which
contains very valuable notes on nusach Ashkenaz in general, as it uses
old editions of siddurim to try to determine the original and proper
nusach Ashkenaz when there is no received tradition from the GR"A)
states in it's recently issued improved edition that the Western branch
of nusach Ashkenaz has a different order.



From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 02:00:12 EST
Subject: Resources for the Blind

<<  From: Ada-Rivka Stein <AdaatSBCo@...>
 A friend of ours who is a big talmid chochom has macular degeneration.
 I am trying to find resources for him.  ............Any suggestions will be 
most welcome. >>


There are two organizations that come to mind that might be able to help.

One is called Jewish Heritage for the Blind - http://www.jhftb.org and
another is the Jewish Braille Institute - http://www.jewishbraille.org.

Hatzlacha and refuah shleima...... to the talmid chochom!



From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 22:21:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Rings and Watches

Bill Bernstein wrote:
If we are arguing about whether it is permissable, preferable, or
forbidden to wear a wedding ring, I have not seen anyone bring any
sources one way or another, just customs of some particular groups. 

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein forbade a double ring ceremony and wrote that
giving a man a wedding ring is an imitation of non-Jewish practice.  See
Igrot Moshe, E"H 3:18.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.D.S.


From: Eli Linas <linaseli@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 12:03:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Science in the Talmud

Russell Hendel writes:

>Several erudite sources have been cited on the science-talmud-vs-modern
>thread. I would like to respond to Rabbi Linas' posting (v33n68). I
>think a few distinctions will show that his reasoning is not 100%

>First: It is generally accepted that SOME talmudic passages are Agaddic.
>In particular some of the medicinal gmarrahs MAY be agaddic.
>SO..Rabbi Linas cannot tell me a
>la Rosh and Rabbi Auerbach that the literal Talmudic opinion is
>scientific UNTIL Rabbi Linas has given GOOD CAUSE to believe that the
>passages in question are not agaddic (NOTICE: At this point I am not
>questioning Rabbi Auerbach or the Rosh...I am questioning whether these
>Gmarrahs were meant to be taken non-symbolically)

Please note that I was not taking sides (although I have my opinion -
and guess which one it is :)), I was just noting that this is a
machlokes Rishonim, and Rav SZA says that the ikker deiya is the one
that their science is correct. By the way, I must correct a mistake - it
is not the Rosh, it is the Rashba, and the Rivash. As for halachic
verses aggadic, since Rav SZA is not around for us to ask if he meant to
make this chiluk, it's hard to say. However, from the fact that he
didn't, I would assume that he didn't mean to.

>Second: I think the conversation should focus on WHICH scientific
>passages are halachically binding rather than on whether we should
>believe all of them.

I think this is wrong - as I said above, Rav SZA did not make

>However there are many examples where we make determinations based on
>science today. To take Rabbi Linas own example if the experts told me
>that only Cobra snake venom kills when digested and there are no cobras
>in my area then I would be permitted to drink water left uncovered

No you would not, because of the well grounded halachic concept of LO
PLUG, which does not allow for exceptions.

>Thirdly: I don't think it sufficient to CITE Rabbi Auerbach or even the
>Rosh---we have to know both the context and the reasons for what they
>said (Please don't misread this statement...I am certain that what the
>Rosh was said and reasonable..I just don't believe it applies blanketly
>to everything).

The Rivash is in simon 447. The Rashba is in Shmiras HaBayis, bayis 4,
sha'ar 1, daf 9b. If I didn't mention it before, this entire topic is
discussed at length in the work, Shmiras HaNefesh v'HaGuf, by Rav Yosef
Yitzchak Lerner, shlitta, in the fifth perek of the introduction, and
see the miluim, in the back of the second volume, in the second edition.

Eli Linas


End of Volume 33 Issue 77