Volume 34 Number 13
                 Produced: Mon Jan 22 22:19:34 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The 10 Commandments as a Classification Scheme
         [Stan Tenen]
An Argument FOR Learning in Silence
         [Russell Hendel]
Buying Israeli Produce Outside of Israel during Shmittah year
         [Mike Gerver]
Canned Vegetables
         [Harry Weiss]
Hanuka Candle/Candles
         [Ralph Zwier]
Jewish Education
         [Carl Singer]
Night before bris
         [Alan Davidson]
         [Murray Sragow]
Rashi's daughters
         [Seth Lebowitz]
         [Bob Werman]
Transliteration Glossery
         [Sheldon Meth]
Universal Higher Jewish Education
         [Binyomin Segal]
Women and Gemara
         [Dan Rabinowitz]
Request: Travel to Eilat
         [Paul Jayson]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 09:08:04 -0500
Subject: The 10 Commandments as a Classification Scheme

Kabbalistically, the 10 Commandments are the externalization of the
Four-Letter Name into the social and political world, and they are
complementary and symmetrical to the 10 Spheros, which are an
internalization of the Four-Letter Name in meditational mind-space.

The number of Commandments (but not what each is) is laid out in the
first verse of B'reshit.  There are 365 restrictions on Adam Kadmon as
delineated by pairing the letters in the first verse, and 248 degrees of
freedom of Adam Kadmon as delineated by the letters in the first verse.
The Torah then goes on to unravel all of the commandments in detail from
the first verse.


PS If anyone would like to see a diagram of how this could be I can send 
some rather fuzzy jpegs.
Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 20:20:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: An Argument FOR Learning in Silence

Yaakov Feldman in mjv34n2 asks

>>    What is the accepted halacha regarding learning out loud? Is it 
compulsary? Is one who seems to learn better by not uttering the words 
permitted, even encouraged to do that?
    The Alter Rebbe's "Hilchos Talmud Torah" is rather clear cut. It says 
that if one doesn't learn out loud, he's not credited with Talmud Torah-- 
unless he's delving into something in his mind at the time.
    Yet I've read where Rav Soloveitchik referred to learning out loud as a 
mere eitzah tovah for retention, and not at all obligatory.<<

Allow me to suggest a simple approach: The Biblical source for the
commandment to learn is the phrase in the Shma Dt06-04:08 >And you will
TOOTH them to your students< (denoting that Torah should be memorized in
the form of short pithy dictums like the style of the mishnah).

Hence >ANY< activity that contributes to >sharpening ones knowledge of
Torah< is a fulfillment. This includes, reading out loud, thinking about
distinctions, reviewing by reading silently etc since all these
activities contribute to learning.

Furthermore if one plans to read a Torah article (silently) before
Davening than one MUST say the blessing on the Torah (Does the Alter
Rebbe really disagree with this case)

Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA
Dept of Math; Towson Univ
Moderator Rashi is SImple


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 14:01:59 +0100
Subject: Buying Israeli Produce Outside of Israel during Shmittah year

David Schiffman asks, in v34n12, whether all Israeli produce exported
during shmitta year uses the heter mechira.  I was told (in response to
a question about trumah and maaser several years ago) that all Israeli
agricultural exports are handled by Tnuva, and I was told by the rav of
our shul this year that all Tnuva produce relies on the heter mechira.
So, unless something has changed recently, it is indeed true that all
Israeli exported produce uses the heter mechira.

When confronted with food that they are not absolutely sure about,
people often decide not to eat it, because it would be too much trouble
to check it out carefully.  Ordinarily, perhaps, there is nothing wrong
with this attitude, but I think it is a big mistake in the case of
Israeli produce (either in Israel or exported abroad) during the shmitta
year.  If lots of people don't buy Israeli produce, this can have a
serious effect on the Israeli economy, at a time when it is already
reeling from the decrease in tourism. In the opinion of many poskim, the
halachic problems with not buying Israeli produce are at least as
serious as the halachic problems of relying on the heter mechira.  So,
ask your rabbi, but don't decide you're going to take the easy way out
by not buying Israeli produce.  There is no easy way out in this case.

If you are living outside of Israel and your rabbi tells you not to rely
on the heter mechira and not to buy Israeli exports, then you can still
help the Israeli economy by visiting Israel as a tourist!  Many hotels
and tour guides have great bargains these days.  The odds of
encountering any violence, particularly if you avoid certain areas, are
still very low, no greater than in places that people often visit in the
United States.  And it is quite possible to buy "otzar beit din" produce
here, which everyone says is OK during the shmitta year.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 11:07:12 -0800
Subject: Canned Vegetables

There was an article in the December issue of Kashrus magazine saying
why there has been a change by Kosher supervising agencies requiring
supervision on all canned vegetables.


From: Ralph Zwier <ralph@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 22:36:38 +1100
Subject: Re: Hanuka Candle/Candles

>> Yeshaya asked for the rationale for using the singular "ner" for 
>> the beracha before lighting followed by the plural "ha'nerot" 
>> afterwards.

Here is a bit of a forced answer: I see from the Gemoro that you need to
have a shamash light even if you only light one candle. The bracha goes
on the candle and NOT on the shamash. So you always have at least two
nerot in front of you. If you will say to me "ah yes, but only one of
the two candles is Kodesh, so why say Hanerot Halalu in plural??" my
answer is that even with one candle for Hannukah and one for shamash,
you are STILL not allowed to count money in front of the arrangement
according to the Gemorro, therefore: "hanerot halalu kodesh HEM"

Ralph Zwier                        Voice    61 3 9521 2188
Double Z Computer                    Fax    61 3 9521 3945


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 07:47:39 EST
Subject: Jewish Education

Interesting questions raised re: level of (Yeshiva) education,
proportion of population attending, etc.

There's a (secular) economic theory that speaks of more education as an
economic safety valve keeping the job market from being flooded by
providing a socially acceptable alternative (to going to work) for young
people --- in essence DELAYING their entering the job market.  I
emphasize "delaying" as opposed to avoiding.

I believe that Yeshivas have to some extent stratified themselves -- and
the spectrum might be characterized as ranging from those that demand a
higher level of learning and others that are to a greater extent

A separate issue is whether Judaism is a religion for all the people or
only for some elite, and some of the characterizations presented about
other Jews -- I believe the ice is pretty thin when we start
characterizing groups of observant Jews in disparaging tones.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: Alan Davidson <perzvi@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 10:05:12 -0500
Subject: Night before bris

Many, especially in chassidishe circles, still make a party the night
before a bris as well -- especially for children. 


From: Murray Sragow <msragow@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 08:08:45 -0500
Subject: OU / NCSY

I maintain a discussion group of people with ideas (often at odds)
regarding the current OU/NCSY crisis.  Please respond to the address
below if you'd like to join the discussion.

Murray Sragow
Home - (201) 836-2204
Work - (212) 207-0786


From: Seth Lebowitz <LEBOWITZS@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 10:25:12 -0500
Subject: Rashi's daughters

Leona Kroll wrote:

"many pious women throughout the ages(including Rashi's daughters) were
learned in Gemorra."

I have heard people make this claim about Rashi's daughters (also that
they put on tefillin).  I have heard it stated as though it is common
knowledge.  I, however, am not knowledgeable enough to know what the
source is for these statements.  If anyone could enlighten me, thanks in
advance.  It would be helpful to have as exact a citation as possible so
that I could look it up.

Seth Lebowitz


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Mon,  15 Jan 2001 12:30 +0200
Subject: Sensitive-Inner-Ear-and-Davening

As I grow older, I have more need to confess things that I have been
silent about for too long.  I find that others suffer some of my
pecularities and I hope my "confession" will provide solice to others in
the mishkal of "misery loves company."

I have been blessed with a terribly sensitive inner ear mechanism from
youth onwards.  You might imagine what constant sea sickness was to a US
Naval officer [Korean War].  Not fun.

One of my sons insisted on having his huppa on board aan anchored ship.
With anti-sea sickness patches behind both ears, and another son
supporting me from behind, I read the ketuba.

Rhythmic movement in my vicinity is enough to set off waves of nausea,
but only when I am reading with attention.  Black rhythmic movement is
the worst stimulusss.  stimulus.

Invariably, during minha or ma'ariv, some black clothed [usually young]
man will park himself -- at the last moment, when I can no longer
escape, directly in my visual field.  I can do the shmone esre by heart
by prefer to read it [see Bet Yosef on this]; so I have learned to read
with blinders -- my hands -- around my eyes, reminiscent of those used
for horses.

HaShem y'rahem.

__Bob Werman


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 10:17:26 -0500
Subject: Transliteration Glossery

In v34n9, Howard Berlin rerequests that posters translate Hebrew
phrases/words for the benefit of those who don't know their meaning.
This is a valid concern.  However, as Howard himself states, the line
between "common" words/phrases which should not need translation, and
those which do, is "fuzzy."

How 'bout starting and maintaining a glossary which would be posted on
the MJ web site?

[I will be happy to put it up on the web page, if there is someone who
will create and maintain it. Mod.]


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 16:22:42 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Universal Higher Jewish Education

in a recent post stan tenen made some statements about the dumbing down
of the higher ed curriculum and how that might be relevant to the jewish
scene as well.

while to some degree i agree with stan's comments, there are a few
religious concepts that i think modify the analogy from the secular

first and foremost,there is a a strong tenet in the yeshiva world that
success in torah learning is not tied to ability, but rather to devotion
and effort. what this suggests is that yeshivot should select not the
best and the brightest like universities, but rather the hardest

further, while academic studies find value only if a person is
successful, jewish learning has a spiritual effect on the world
regardless of the ultimate knowledge gained. there is value in having
people learn even if they never become great rabbis. in fact, everyone
(sorry every man) has a clear religious obligation to study. to the
degree that we can create a climate of universal competency in jewish
texts (not expertise, but competency) we are encouraging people to
continue this life long work.

on the other hand - i want to enthusiastically agree with stan that
while doing this, we need to be able to convey to students that they are
or are not mastering the material. students need an accurate assessment
of their level of expertise. this happens in many yeshivot
already. sometimes the issue is that people - who were told clearly that
they are not experts - present themselves as experts anyway. and this is
a problem that needs a soltuion.



From: Dan Rabinowitz <rwdnick@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 06:09:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Women and Gemara

Re: Gilad J. Gevaryahu

The source for Eli Hakohen of Bagdad learned daughter is the Sivivuv of
Rabbi Petahai of Regensberg a travelouge that he wrote it has been
published numerous times. All the other sources are just quoting this.

Re:Leona Kroll

L. Kroll cites Rashi's daughters were erudite. There is no legitamate
source for this. The only source that discusses this is the Shibbolei
Haleket ( the same teshuvah appeares in other works of Rashi but it is
just copying the Shibbolei HaLeket)which only says that Rashi's
daughters transcribed his teshuvot for him. Even this has been showen to
be a mistaken reading of the text and is not discussing rashi's
daughters rather his grandsons. There is no other source for the
erudition of rashis daughter this is a misconception which unfortunatly
is common.  There definatly other women who were learned just we do not
know if rashis daughters were.

Dan Rabinowitz


From: Paul Jayson <P.Jayson@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 11:10:10 -0000
Subject: Request: Travel to Eilat

My wife and I are intending to travel to Eilat in the near future. We do
not rely on the Heter Mechirah and are wondering whether it will be
possible to eat (healthily) for a week. Does anyone, particularly those
in Israel or connected with kashrus, know whether produce is grown
locally in Eilat(or outside biblical Eretz Yisroel) as there are no
Mehadrin hotels and only one or two Mehadrin restaurants.

A second, related point: In Israel does the use of the term "Mehadrin"
have any definitive meaning when used by Kashrut
authorities/restuarants.  Can meat be assumed to be Glatt, Milk Chalav
Yisroel, Vegetabloes, Shemittah LeChumrah ?



End of Volume 34 Issue 13