Volume 34 Number 41
                 Produced: Thu May 10  4:07:35 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 days or 1 day
         [Janice Gelb]
8th Day on a Lighter Note
         [Bob Werman]
Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate (6)
         [Robert Israel, Stan Tenen, Zev Sero, Yisrael & Batya Medad,
EDardashti@aol.com, Shmuel Himelstein]
Candy Tossing (2)
         [W. Baker, Gershon Dubin]
         [Carl Singer]
middle letter of Torah
         [Stan Tenen]
Personal request
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Shabbat and Yom Tov
         [Arieh Kadosh]
Sholom Aleichem
         [Chaim Twerski]
Website with Free Old Seforim (Hebrew books)
Yeminite Sefirah Counting
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Yom Tov Shanei Shel Galus
         [Barry Best]


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 10:04:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: 2 days or 1 day

Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...> wrote:
> Chabad holds that you keep according to where you are, so for me the
> question never came up, even before I made aliyah. The basic criteria I
> heard from non-Chabadniks studying in Israel was if you intend to stay
> in Israel, keep 1 day and if you intend to go back, keep 2. 

I didn't know it came from Chabad but the reasoning that the determining
factor should be your physical location always has made the most sense
to me. As far as I understand, the whole rationale for 1 day vs. 2 is
the announcement of the new moon, which is made in Jerusalem and took
longer to get to hu'l.  Therefore, where you ultimately live full-time
seems to be to be much less of a determining factor than where you
physically are.

-- Janice


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Wed,  9 May 2001 21:35 +0200
Subject: 8th Day on a Lighter Note

I was born on the 8th of Pesah [22 Nisan].  Since coming on aliya 34
years ago, I have had no birthdays and remain just as young as I was
when I came.

Best all.

__Bob Werman


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 13:35:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

Mordechai <Phyllostac@...> wrote:
>What is / are the source(s) for the belief of some that Pomegranates
>contain 613 seeds? Is it perhaps just a misinterpretation of a Talmudic
>statement? Is anyone aware of any articles or scientific studies on the
>matter - re whether the reality matches up to the (folk?) belief?

According to
the average pomegranate contains more than 800 seeds.  Of course, the
fruit we have these days is not necessarily the same as the fruit in
Talmudic times, as a lot of selective breeding has gone on since then.
There are many varieties of pomegranate, and probably some have more
seeds than others.  But on general biological principles, I would expect
the number of seeds to vary from one pomegranate to another, even from the
same tree.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 18:34:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

An interesting question.

Of course, the number of seeds in a real pomegranate varies widely.  So, 
this can't be the reason.

One of the fruits that contributes to our understanding of the "apple" in 
Eden is the pomegranate.  Each of the different fruits or trees suggested 
makes a different contribution, based on a different quality.  For example, 
for the quality of shape, the apple is best.  Also suggested are figs, 
wheat, willow, and several others.

The "fruit" that's defined by the letter sequences at the beginning of 
B'reshit also includes Adam Kadmon, the archetypal human.  Geometrically, 
this model has an extraordinary quality.  It has a "belt" that 
metaphorically represents the year, and consists of 365 restrictions in 
time.  Adam Kadmon also has 3 arms or loops.  Each is 2pi radians.  2pi x 
2pi x 2pi = 248.  This expresses the "degrees of freedom" of the model of 
Adam Kadmon.  These are also the number of negative and positive 
mitzvot.  The pomegranate is a model of what mathematicians call 
"sphere-packing".  Adam Kadmon is defined by this sphere-pack.  Thus, it 
would be convenient to understand the number of "spheres" (that is, seeds) 
in the pomegranate to equal 613.

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>

From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 15:50:20 -0400 
Subject: RE: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

Many (many many :-)) years ago, my father decided to test this legend,
and counted the seeds in one quarter of a pomegranate.  He found about
100 seeds, so concluded that that whole fruit probably had about 400
seeds, and therefore that the legend was just that.  As you surmise,
it's probably based on a misreading of the gemara's statement that even
the worst Jews are full of mitzvot, just as a pomegranate is full of

Zev Sero

From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 00:07:00 +0300
Subject: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

Rav Nechemia Taylor, now of Petach Tikva and Bar-Ilan University, once
related that as when he was studying in Kerem B'Yavneh a group decided
to test out this theory in a simple mathematical analysis: they took
several pomegranates, cut them open and counted the seeds.  The average
was just over 600, if I recall correctly.

Yisrael  Medad
Shiloh 44830

From: <EDardashti@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 21:53:31 EDT
Subject: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

I have grew up in a society where pomegranates were apart of our seasonal 
fruit diet.  Pomegranates seeds number in the low one hundreds.  The wish 
that "we may be as full of mitzvoth as a pomegranate" was not meant to be 
taken literally.    Apples, oranges, pears, prickly fruit, melons and grapes 
all have seeds too however the seeds are only a small part of the whole 
fruit.  A pomegranate is all seeds!!! Nothing but seeds and a thin membrane 
that separate cluster of seeds.

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 07:59:45 +0200
Subject: Amount of Seeds in a Pomegranate

When my wife was a young girl, she and her brothers counted a
pomegranate's seeds and found about 300. This was indeed a cause for
great disillusionment at the time.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 16:36:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Candy Tossing

> From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> As a spin-off on the Candy at Aufruf, our Rav at Shiloh, in line with
> others, have required all candy to be wrapped and hard so as not to
> cause "mi'us", denigration of food although he has expressed himself
> that the best preference is not to throw at all.

Hard candy, wrapped or not, can be a real problem.  Our chazan was hit
in the head with a piece a few years ago and was injured.  Fortunately,
he is just fine now, but it is a consideration.  There are wrapped gummy
candies here in the states that you cn get with a hechsher that work well
for the purpose.

Wendy Baker

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 22:48:24 -0400
Subject: Candy Tossing

From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>

<<As a spin-off on the Candy at Aufruf, our Rav at Shiloh, in line 
 with others, have required all candy to be wrapped and hard so as not to
cause "mi'us", denigration of food>>

        Taking to care to avoid bizayon ochel is part of this custom as
codified in halacha.  I disagree, however, with the statement that

<< the best preference is not to throw at all.>>

        This is a very old minhag, with probable roots in the Gemara.  I
don't think it's proper to simply wave it away.



From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 18:44:29 EDT
Subject: Couples

Russell Hendel write
<< SOMETIMES it is important to abstain for a period from
 other couples if you feel that at that stage in your life/marriage
 it is important to you. The important point to emphasize is that
 other people should respect such needs.  >>

Agreed --- but that's an "Asseh" not a "Lo T'asseh" -- meaning (to me)
that there are times when people may need to isolate themselves and
concentrate on each other -- "work on the relationship" as some say
-- certainly the  dynamics of two is different than that of 4 or 6 and
also somewhat less complex than that of 4 or 6, etc.  -- 
But I believe the original discussion wasn't focused on spending 
so called "quality" time (alone) with one's spouse, but rather with
modesty(?)-related issues of socializing with other couples.

Kol Tov



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 18:34:45 -0400
Subject: Re: middle letter of Torah

We know less about the structure of the Torah than past generations.

One theory that I've been working on understands the first word of B'reshit 
to be based on the root, "reshet," instead of "rosh".  A "reshet" is a 
woven network.  If we presume Torah was originally woven of its letters -- 
sort of like a "ketonat passim" (striped coat), then the middle of the 
weave might not correspond to the middle letter or the middle word or the 
middle verse.

It's quotations similar to those you've cited that force an intellectually 
honest person who believes in Torah to search for deeper understanding than 
is currently available.  The "woven" theory of Torah also solves several 
other seemingly impossible riddles, puzzles, and paradoxes in the teachings 
of our sages, and in modern investigation.

For example, if Torah were woven and if the weave included a striped 
effect, then when the weave was unraveled, the stripes would appear as skip 
patterns on the thread of letters.  I believe that the equal-interval 
letter-skip patterns statistically demonstrated to exist throughout Torah 
are not related to prophetic claims, as the "Bible codes" partisans seem to 
believe, but rather, that they are a result of the original weave -- which 
has far greater significance than an ad hoc list of prophecies.

There is much more to this, but I'm not sure mail-jewish is the place for it.

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 07:59:47 +0200
Subject: Personal request

As was unfortunately the way with many high-tech companies, the company
I worked for in Jerusalem went bust. If anyone is aware of a position in
any of the fields below (preferably - but not necessarily - in
Jerusalem), I'd appreciate hearing from you:

Human Resources manager (my last position)

QA manager (a previous position)

English writing, editing, and/or translating from Hebrew or Yiddish (I've
got 40 edited and/or translated books to my credit).
As to the last, I'm quite able to work on books, etc., from my Jerusalem
home, with materials supplied from abroad, thanks to the convenience of the

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Arieh Kadosh <akadoch@...>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 22:45:27 -0400
Subject: Shabbat and Yom Tov

	While not really quoting any particular sefer, I have sometimes
thought that Shalom Aleichem, Aishet Chayil, etc... represents the
completion of Kabbalat Shabbat; i.e., at the home.  In shul, according
to Nusach Ashkenaz, Lechu Neranena, Mizmor LeDavid and Lecha Dodi
represent Kabbalat Shabbat but is completed at home, so-to-speak.  There
seems to be a concept of symmetry here.  Friday Night Kiddush represents
a formal enunciation of the sanctity of the day and therefore any
zemirot preceeding it is a 'preparation' for that statement.  Similarly,
Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbat (Psalm 90) which is said EVERY Friday night,
represents the formal acceptance of Shabbat upon an individual in terms
of refraing from Melacha, etc... [and according to halachic opinion, a
Tsibur that says Psalm 90 can indeed bind the community to accept that
aspect of Shabbat (i.e., refraining from Melacha, etc...)].  Therefore,
it may be that Shalom Aleichem, etc... is skipped on Yom Tov Shehal
B'Shabbat, Shabbat Chol HaMoed and Shabbat immediately following Yom
Tov; i.e., Yom Tov was Friday, since the formal Kabbalat Shabbat service
is not said on those Friday evenings.

Arieh Kadosh


From: Chaim Twerski <chaimtw@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 18:51:21 -0500
Subject: Sholom Aleichem

"Singing shalom aleichem anytime is problemmatic, esp. the verse that
begins barchuni leshalom, because we are not allowed to pray to
intrermediaries such as angels.  Rav Moshe Feinstein zz"l writes in one
of his teshuvot that in his father's house they used to leave out that

See Breishis 32:27.  May we assume that Yaakov Avinu was not guilty of
"avodah zara"?  It would seem that there is a difference between asking a
bracha and beseeching an angel as a power. 

Chaim Twerski


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 22:53:07 EDT
Subject: Website with Free Old Seforim (Hebrew books)

I would like to make the M-J public aware of a fine website that is
dedicated to making old and out of print (primarly early American)
seforim available online. It contains over 150 complete seforim (mostly
Hebrew, though there is English content on the site too) which are
available for download (free of charge!), in *pdf format.

The website is www.hebrewbooks.org




From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 00:24:02 +0300
Subject: Yeminite Sefirah Counting

I asked my neighbor, Zechariah Nagar, Yemenite born, and his reply was
that the lingua of Yemenite Jewry was a mixture of Arabic and Aramaic
and he doesn't recall anyone ever asking him about before but considers
it natural as in "it's always been that way".

Yisrael  Medad
Shiloh 44830


From: Barry Best <barry.h.best@...>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 14:19:00 -0400 
Subject: Yom Tov Shanei Shel Galus

I wonder if any MJers can recommend a good book on the institution of Yom
Tov Shanei Shel Galus.  


End of Volume 34 Issue 41