Volume 34 Number 16
                 Produced: Sun Jan 28 23:16:57 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eating after Fasting
         [Eli Turkel]
Fast Strikes
         [Russell Hendel]
Floodlights on Shabbat
         [Eli Turkel]
Jews of Alexandria
         [Anthony S Fiorino]
         [Barak Greenfield]
Learning out loud with a tune
         [Caela Kaplowitz]
"Mad Cow Disease" and Kosher
Tefilla Be'tzibur
         [Esther &Sholom Parnes]
         [Gershon Dubin]
Transliteration coincidence
         [Glenn Farber]
Women and Gemara (2)
         [I.H Fox, Yisrael & Batya Medad]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 14:33:43 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Eating after Fasting

> And I've noticed that
> I often feel worse after I start eating at the end of Yom Kippur, than I
> did before I started eating.  This is especially true if I really
> stuffed myself before Yom Kippur.

A number of books advise eating lightly after Yom Kippur.  However, my
own doctor said he did not believe that a one day fast was enough to
change any metabolism behavior in the body.

Eli Turkel


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 22:39:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Fast Strikes

In mjv34n11 Moshe Goldberg asks about the current hunger strike in
Israel over the status of Jerusalem as follows:

>Can anybody on the list provide sources referring to whether it is
permitted to do such a strike, in view of the prohibition of inflicting
harm on one's body? Has this question ever been discussed from the
halachic point of view?<

A few pros and cons may help the discussion. It is certainly permissable
and even obligatory to make a one day fast on an important issue like
Jerusalem(See Rambam laws of FASTS 1:1-4). The Rambams exact language is
that > it is rabbinically obligatory to fast on every communal tragedy
UNTIL there is mercy on them from Heaven<

The Rambam then answers Moshes question in the next paragraph: >These
(communal-tragedy-) fasts are not on consecutive days since most people
cannot fast that much. Rather they are on Mondays and Thursdays<. So the
Rambam seems to say that consecutive day fasts are permissable if the
individual can medically endure it. Furthermore the Talmud relates the
story of Rav Tzadok who fasted for 40 years to prevent the takeover of
Jerusalem in Talmudic times.

In passing a legal fast requires abstention of both food and drink
during the day. Furthermore (Fasts 1:17) the obligation is to >Have the
rabbinical courts sit and investigate community sins and help people

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Dept of Math; Towson Univ
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 14:37:05 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Floodlights on Shabbat

> <<  From: S&M Rosen <mrosen@...>
>  I am very interested in the current discussion on the automatic sensor
>  light issue as it is impacting us directly.  Our (Jewish) neighbor has
>  installed such a light and since our walkways are next to each other, it
>  is impossible to enter our house without triggering the floodlight.
>  There is no other means to enter/exit our house.  We have tried speaking
>  to this neighbor, appealing to city hall, and so forth, but the light
>  remains.  Either we are homebound Friday night or we will set off the
>  light.  Does anyone have a psak in a similar situation?  >>

I went to a shiur on this topic this week based on the psak of Rav

Basically he advised (as bidieved) to set up one owns light that is on
all the time or else works on a timer. Thus, one has no benefit from the
floodlight that is turned on by walking near the neighbor.  According to
the Arukh "psik reisha delo nicha le" is allowed. Although one ordinary
does not rely on the Arukh one can use it in extenuating
circumstances. In particular many such switches work through "gerama"
i.e. by walking one stops a sensor which interrupts the cycle and turns
on the floodlight.

A second problem is leaving the area depending on the details on what
turns off the floodlight, a timer or another sensor.

Eli Turkel


From: Anthony S Fiorino <fiorino_anthony@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 13:29:39 -0500
Subject: Jews of Alexandria

Regarding the question of the Jewish community of Alexandria attacking
the local population:

Josephus describes an altercation between the Jews of Alexandria and the
local inhabitants in which Jews may have been initially on the
offensive, although the local inhabitants called in Romans to brutally
attack the Jewish community.  There appear to be some internal
contradictions within the account given by Josephus, which is also very
sketchy as to the events leading up to the altercation.

Philo also writes of a "sabbath crisis" within the Jewish community,
apparantly an internal dispute between observant and Hellenistic Jewish
factions.  I believe,, but I am not certain, if this incident is thought
to have been violent.  There are historians who have claimed these two
accounts refer to the same episode.

I'm sorry for the poor quality of these details but perhaps they will
point in a useful direction.

-Eitan Fiorino


From: Barak Greenfield <DocBJG@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 19:20:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Krakatoa

Stan Tenen <meru1@...> writes:
> But the situation is pretty obvious.  Whether or not it was Krakatoa,
> some major catastrophe did wipe civilization globally, at about 535 CE.
> It really doesn't matter what the actual cause was -- although the
> volcano is the best candidate.  What matters is that we take seriously
> what happened to the Savora'im, and why the Geonim who followed
> understood that they did not understand as well as their predecessors.

This theory has yet to explain how ten cold years could accomplish what
two churbanot (destructions of the Holy Temple), large-scale exiles, and
numerous invasions and occupations could not: force such a profound
break between one era of poskim (halachic authorities) and the next.



From: Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 17:20:09 -0500
Subject: Learning out loud with a tune

I have read a few of the postings on the issue of learning out loud and
I would like to make two comments. I am a limudei kodesh (Judaic
Studies) teacher and I have taught from kindergarten through fifth grade
over the last thirty years. I have taught children Chumash (Jewish
Bible) both using a tune (in my earlier years of teaching) and without a
tune (in my later years of teaching). I don't think that the issue here
is learning with a tune or without a tune. The issue is "teaching by
rote memorization". Rote memorization is the least efficient way of
learning a subject because the material often only stays in place for
that particular chapter, that particular verse. Words learned by rote
memorization often can't be carried over into another form or another
place. A second problem is that many children can't memorize. I often
hear of children who are doing very poorly in school simply because the
methodology of rote memorization doesn't work for them. They fall
further and further behind and end up feeling stupid and frustrated.
Their brains haven't failed them, the methodology has. Children need to
be taught by a variety of methods so that everyone in the classroom
setting has a chance of grasping the material.

A second comment on learning out loud: Two summers ago at my son's bar
mitzvah I was standing near the mechitzah (separation) trying to hear
him lain (read from the Torah). I couldn't see him very well as the
mechitzah has a double layer of lace and it would have been nice if I
could have at least heard him. Unfortunately, someone on the other side
was learning out loud during my son's laining to the point that I could
barely hear him. I don't know who it was, it doesn't matter anyway, but
I thought it was unbelievably rude to 1) not be listening to the bar
mitzvah boy on his day of being called to the Torah for the first time
and 2) interfere with other people's (especially his mother!) ability to
hear the bar mitzvah boy. I'm sure there is a time and place for
learning out loud with a niggun (tune). But not during a shul
(synagogue) service, perhaps.

Caela Kaplowitz
Baltimore, Maryland


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 07:09:30 EST
Subject: "Mad Cow Disease" and Kosher

<<  From: Chanie  <crew-esq@...>

 There have been a number of European cases of new variant
 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD), more colorfully known as Mad Cow
 Disease because scientists suspect that it is contracted by eating
 infected meat. The basic background is that there are certain types of
 brain-wasting diseases, prevalent in animals, which appear to have
 jumped the species barrier to infect humans. I recall hearing (I believe
 it was on a tape by Dayan Dunner of England) that this shouldn't be an
 issue for Kosher consumers because the main way animal brain matter ends
 up in the meat (muscle) is due to slaughter methods that basically
 involve blasting the animal's brains out (sorry if I've grossed anyone
 out!), but that doesn't happen in shechita. Technically speaking, animal
 brain matter can also end up in the muscle because animal feed includes
 ground up carcasses. >>

I believe I read a piece in it in the Jerusalem Post not too long ago
that stated that it was not a problem for Israelis who ate kosher meat
because their meat comes from South America mostly, where it is not
known to be a problem at present .

Also, I think that the inclusion of material that could spread the
disease in animal feed has declined - perhaps heading toward near
disappearance - at least in advanced countries - due to all the focus on
the problem.

Perhaps the idea of 'shomeir pisaim Hashem' may have application here
too (if there is something that multitudes of people do and the
statistical chance of danger from it is very small, we are not
absolutely prohibited from indulging in it - rather we can put our faith
in Hashem and are not required to avoid it, even if it includes a minute
possibility of a potential danger). Many things in life have elements of
danger, e.g. driving a car, consuming certain food products, etc. We are
only required to avoid the greater dangers - it is impossible to totally
avoid all risks.



From: Esther &Sholom Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 21:12:40 +0900
Subject: Tefilla Be'tzibur

I usually take my 9.5 year old son with me to Maariv at the shul across
the street from my house.

When my wife or older daughter are not home to babysit for the sleeping
4 year old I have two choices:

1) Going to Maariv by myself and letting the 9.5 year old babysit for 15
minutes. (He does not mind doing this.) or
2) Sending the 9.5 year old to Maariv and staying home myself with the 4
year old.

My obligation to join the minyan is Rabbinic in nature. My obligation to
have my 9.5 year old daven with a minyan would seem to me to fall under
the Torah commandment to teach my children. (mitzvat chinuch.)

What are the MJ members thoughts on this matter ?

Sholom & Esther Parnes
Hamelech David Street 65/3
Efrat 90435 ISRAEL
tel. 972-2-993-2227


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 16:12:09 -0500
Subject: Tnuva

From: David A. Schiffmann <das1002@...>

<<I remember hearing that 'there is on whom to rely' from the point 
> of view of ma'aser/trumah [a percentage of the crop that needs to be
> separated], when it comes to Israeli produce on sale outside of 
> Israel>>

	I am fairly sure that truma and ma'aser are NOT taken from
exports.  As to shmita, there is the additional prohibition of removing
shmita produce from Israel.  I suggest you CYLOR.



From: Glenn Farber <Farb@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 15:55:36 -0600
Subject: Transliteration coincidence

Moshe Nugiel mentioned: 
> I am worried that this is an early manifestation of an
> insidious undermining of our living our lives l'shame shemiyam.

There must be a term for this unusual phenomenon, where the
transliteration is the antonym of the translation.  :>

Glenn Farber


From: I.H Fox <ilan_25@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 16:03:59 -0000
Subject: Re: Women and Gemara

> The current prohibition is based on a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
> "Igrot Moshe," but other prominent rabbis disagree.

Can you state what tesuva I belive that his position was more complex

From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 07:53:33 +0200
Subject: Re: Women and Gemara

Alexis Rosoff <alexis1@...> wrote:
>I'm interested in knowing about how the ban on teaching women Gemara was
>instituted...And why was this changed in recent years by more `modern'
>Orthodox groups?  Aside from societal change, what was the halachic

As the father of a "Yeshiva Bachura", all I know is that the change is
dramatic.  My second girl finished law studies at Bar-Ilan where she was
in the Bet Medrash program and then continued for a full year of Gemara
learning at MaTan, including chavruta and real "beis-midrash" learning -
"just like the boys".  She reads the Purim Megilla at women's minyanim
and gives occasional shi'urim either in Jerusalem or here in Shiloh.
Societally, it's as if it always was that way.

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 34 Issue 16