Volume 34 Number 20
                 Produced: Fri Feb  2  5:59:06 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Does the Torah command emotions or behaviors
         [Stuart Wise]
Eating after Fasting
Glossary for the Uninitiated
         [A. Seinfeld]
God **is** a person
         [Russell Hendel]
Harry Potter (2)
         [Ralph Zwier, N Miller]
         [Ben Z. Katz]
         [Eric W Mack]
Pronunciation of Holy Name
         [Barak Greenfield]
Snow on Shabbat
         [Michael and Abby Pitkowsky]
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Travel to Eilat
         [Yehuda Landy]
Trip to Chicago
         [Catherine S. Perel]


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:17:33 -0800
Subject: Re: Does the Torah command emotions or behaviors

Just wanted to add to this discussion:

Some years ago, when I was somewhat depressed during Succos (for reasons
having nothing to do with yom tov), a friend saw me looking down and I
told him I was a little depressed.  He admonished me that pasuk says
"Vsamachta v'chagecha" so I needed to be happy despite myself.

I took offense at this friend's insensitivity because he didn't appear
to care about why I felt the way I did.  I responded, "How can the Torah
legislate happiness?"  To which, he had no answer, other than one must
fulfill the mitzvah to the best of one's ability.

So I tried to find things to make me happy, and succeeded in lifting my
spirits.  However, when I saw my friend sometime later and told him how
he had helped, he said, "I don't think that is what the Torah meant by
simcha."  (I had gone to a movie, which I rarely did but was good
escapist activity.)

You just can't win with some people, but I didn't feel guilty.  Maybe
the Torah did have something else in mind, but some creative people sure
come up with a lot of chol ha-moed type activities that probably weren't
what the Toah had in mind with the word "simchah."

My response: "V'chai ba-hem" -- live by the mitzvos, whatever will
enrich your life and make it easier to fulfill "ivdu es Hashem


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 07:25:04 EST
Subject: Re:  Eating after Fasting

Eli Turkel wrote:
>  > 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.

Except, for some unfathomable reason, on Yom Kippur, I frequently have
sufficient difficulty fasting that I'm doing well if I am physically
able to stand up, let alone to walk around or do much of anything else,
by early afternoon or so.  However, even when I've fasted easily, I
often have to eat more slowly, in smaller quantities, and to choose my
selection of foods more carefully, for a few days and sometimes even for
a week or more after the ta'anit, or experience unpleasant consequences.
I also at times find it extremely hard to drink enough liquid for the
first several days after fasting to rehydrate myself properly.  Believe
me, I've tried all the standard "tricks of the trade" that are supposed
to make fasting easier, as well as a few not-so-standard ones, and they
haven't worked.

With all due respect to you and your doctor, this may be a situation in
which individuals' personal mileages may vary.


From: A. Seinfeld <aseinfeld@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 00:16:54 -0800
Subject: Re: Glossary for the Uninitiated

There is already a book:

Frumspeak : The First Dictionary of Yeshivish
by Chaim M. Weiser
List Price: $25.00
Our Price: $20.00
You Save: $5.00 (20%)
Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.
Hardcover - 108 pages (August 1995)
Jason Aronson; ISBN: 1568216149 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.85 x 8.53 x 5.86
Amazon.com Sales Rank:  186,375

> 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?


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 08:19:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: God **is** a person

Stan Tenen in v34n15 states about God 4 items:(Caps are mine)
>God IS A PLACE in meditation.  God IS A VERB in the world.

I disagree. It is best to call God a PERSON not a VERB. Here is
my reasoning.

First recall Chapter 1 of Foundations of the Law of the
Rambam which states that all these attributes of God are metaphors--
God is described in human terms to facilitate thinking about him.

Next allow me to recall the commandment of prayer--a commandment
whose focus is that God can be approached and spoken to directly!

In light of this commandment I can ask which of the 4 metaphors that
Stan uses--PLACE VERB PERSON THING--is most descriptive.

We immediately conclude that >PERSON< is the best metaphoric descriptor
of God since it facilitates relating to Him thru prayer. By contrast
calling God a VERB while it does contradict Gods corporeality does not
inspire me to pray to him. (Also see Ex15-03 >God is a PERSON of...<)

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA <RHendel@...>
Dept of Math; Towson University
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Ralph Zwier <ralph@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 20:50:05 +1100
Subject: RE: Harry Potter

I know that we all read secular books. However in Shulchan Aruch Hilchot
Shabat O"C Siman 307 (Shin Zayin) Se'if 15 it says "...such as Sefer
Immanuel..are forbidden to read from them on Shabat, and even on a
weekday it is forbidden...".

You might think that Sefer Immanuel was some kind of "unkosher" Jewish
publication which people used to read on Shabbat afternoon.  Far from
it. Immanuel bears the sole distinction that it was the VERY FIRST work
of fiction to come off the Printing Press. I do not know what it
contained, but to the Mechaber (and others) it was scandalous to abuse
the invention of the press to print fiction. Up to that time the Press
had only been used to promulgate academic and holy works.

The Shulchan Aruch Harav also brings down this law 200 years after the
Mechaber (R Joseph Kar'o). I just bring this into the Harry Potter
debate because I am unaware of what the current Halachic status of a
secular work of fiction actually is.

I do know that RamChal (R Moshe Chayim Luzzatto) wrote plays and other
works of fiction, but they are lehavdil not part of the same debate.

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

From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 16:01:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Harry Potter

Reading the interesting discussion about the Harry Potter books I was
struck by the way words like magic, witchcraft, sorcery were being used.
For anthropologists this has always been a _very_ large subject, and
without insisting that they know best it might be helpful to see how
they cut up the goods.

Magic has a single essential ingredient: the belief that x causes z
without any specification as to the nature of y.  Example: step on a
crack and break your mother's back. Thus spells, thus amulets, etc.

Witchcraft or sorcery involves the belief that some persons possess some
supernatural ability to make certain things happen.  Witchcraft is
learned and witches differ from religious professionals in that they
work for clients on a fee-for-service basis.

While belief in the efficacy of magic and witchraft may be common in a
given society, most such beliefs have to do with attaining _private_
ends (or avoiding certain outcomes).  Religious practices are frequently
magical as well, but differ in that they are typically
community-oriented and have a moral dimension.  Finally, there are
antinomian religious movements such as the various forms of Satanism.

What about the world of Harry Potter?  It's an alternate universe of
wizards (magicians) who are in every way identical to their non-wizard
counterparts.  Since they don't have fee-for-service clients they aren't
witches or sorcerers.  Since they don't have a religious system that's
focussed on the 'dark forces' they aren't Satanists.  Harry Potter and
friends are purely imaginary creatures, which is to say that they
constitute our own infantile or not-so-infantile wishes and fantasies.

Whether this makes it good or bad for frum children and their parents to
read is another matter and about which I have nothing to say.

Noyekh Miller


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 23:49:30 -0600
Subject: Re: Maqom

	One additional makom comment:

	When we say to mourners "hamokom yenachem etchem betoch shear
avaylat tziyon veyerushalayim" the usual meaning, as it is understood
today, is "May God comfort you among the rest of the mourners of
Jerusalem (ie all of us who mourn Jerusalem in its current, unredeemed
state).  However, the original meaning was different.  When mourners
came to the Temple mount on the shalosh regalim they entered through the
opposite gate onthe Southern side that everyone else used, so you always
passed them in the opposite direction.  When one met someone walking
towards him (ie a mourner) one would then say "May this great place (ie
the place of the Temple, as is being discussed currently on MJ, makom
meant the Temple Mount) comfort you among all of the other mourners of
Zion (who are also walking in your direction).

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: Eric W Mack <ewm44118@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 14:57:53 +0200
Subject: Mezuza

Is there a minhag or halacha that the mezuza klaf [parchment] should be
rolled up, rather than flat?  I've seen some mezuza cases which are too
thin to allow the mezuza to be rolled up, but most mezuza cases are deep
enough that the klaf can be rolled up before it's inserted.

Eric Mack
Jerusalem Israel


From: Barak Greenfield <DocBJG@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 23:05:33 -0500
Subject: RE: Pronunciation of Holy Name

Stan Tenen writes:

> My work indicates that there never was a prohibition of pronunciation of
> the Four Letters, because the pronunciation was never an issue. 

Do you have a halachic source for this?



From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 23:00:11 +0200
Subject: Snow on Shabbat

Today I purchased a sefer which has a responsa about shoveling snow on
Shabbat.  The sefer is called _Peninei Hora'ah_ and is published by
Machon Ariel which is under the directorship of R. Sha'ar Yishuv
Hacohen.  The responsa are collected from questions asked to the rabbis
affiliated with the institute.  Rabbi Y. Neuberth, the author of
_Shmirat Shabbat KeHilchatah_ answered the question about shoveling snow
on Shabbat and said the following: (pgs. 89-91)

1.  With an eruv it is permitted since snow is not muktzeh, there is no
problem of nolad, and the snow is equivalent to a thorn which in the
public domain and presents a danger to people (see Orah Hayyim 308:18)
R. Neuberth does say that one should shovel in a different manner than
usual, shinui.

2.  If there is no eruv he says that one should shovel but move the snow
less than four amot (cubits) each time.

3.  One is also allowed to spread sand on the snow to prevent people
from slipping.

4.  He feels that one shouldn't pour water on the snow in order to melt
it (I would also add that this might also cause ice to form, thus
increasing the possibility of someone slipping)


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 08:11:36 +0300
Subject: Re: Tnuva

Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...> wrote:
>  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.

While I understand that those who follow the Heter Mechira (accept
selling the land as a means of removing the prohibitions of Shmitta)
would consider the produce to *not* be limited by Shmitta laws, and
therefore exportable, I think that Gershon's statement regarding truma
and ma`aser (tithes) to be a serious accusation. I would appreciate
knowing what sources there might be for such a claim.

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


From: Yehuda Landy <nzion@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 03:44:22 +0200
Subject: Re: 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.

If it does not have a special mehadrin shmittah hechsher, the chances of
it being from outside the boundaries is slim. Any such produce is
shipped north and sold there. There is an organization called El-Artzi,
try contacting them for information.

> 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 ?

Hard to generalize. The best mehadrin Rabbanut hechsher are Jerusalem,
Rechovot, Tzfat.

Yehuda Landy
Author of The Easy Guide to Shmittah Foods


From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 03:13:41 -0600
Subject: Trip to Chicago

Thanks for the many responses to help me obtain kosher food.  I will be
in touch with you all.  I was blindsided by a medical problem, so my
trip is delayed.

Catherine S. Perel


End of Volume 34 Issue 20