Volume 34 Number 85
                 Produced: Thu Jun 21  5:09:41 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Allentown Info Request
         [Avi Feldblum]
Authority vs Logic: RE: Angels
         [Russell Hendel]
English translations of Ibn `Ezra on the Xumashim
         [Ben Katz]
flood and conquest
         [Shalom Carmy]
Gateshead kehilla require frum dentist
         [Bernard Raab]
Hechsherim and Chumrot
         [Eli Turkel]
Ice makers on Shabbat
         [David Charlap]
         [Shoshana Socher]
Pronunciation of kometz
         [David Herskovic]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 04:49:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Allentown Info Request

Hello All,

As I continue in my search for my next position, I would like to speak to
someone who is either living in Allentown, PA or is familiar with the
Jewish community there. Thanks in advance.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 00:08:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Authority vs Logic: RE: Angels

Avi Feldblum in v34n68 comments about my observations of the
Angel and Jacob fighting. Avi states

< The question of asking a blessing from an Angel may be meaningless
according to the Rambam and Abravanel. The posing of the question may
require that the person asking / discussing holds according to the
position of the Ramban [I would invite comments from people if they
agree or disagree with that conclusion I have drawn]. If so, your
response does not elucidate the question. >

I have tried to shift this from an argument of AUTHORITY (Rambam vs
Abarbanel) to an argument of LOGIC. I have posited that there are two
types of angels: HUMANS With angelic status (Like Moses) and VISION
ANGELS (Like Gavriel) who appear in Visions to prophets.  I then argue
(based on reasonableness) that asking Moses to bless me in person would
not be idolatry while asking Gavriel to bless me would be.

EVEN if there is a controversy on whether Jacob actually fought with an
angel or had a vision I still maintain that the above distinction solves
the problem (Indeed there is no prohibition against asking a physical
being (like Moses) to bless you). Also there is no prohibition of seeing
yourself ask someone in a vision for a blessing.

If there are Rishonim who disagree perhaps we should try and elucidate
their logical reasons.

Russell Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm MY Mail Jewish Archives


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Subject: English translations of Ibn `Ezra on the Xumashim

>>From: Jay F [Yaakov] Shachter <jay@...>

>>As it happens, the 2 commentaries in Mr Davis's xumash with which Dr
>>Katz is unfamiliar -- collectively known as the "Mexoqeqey Yehuda" --
>>are more than anything else the basis for the Wiser notes which Dr Katz
>>lauds.  Wiser almost invariably sides with the Mexoqeqey Yehuda when
>>there is disagreement among the supercommentaries.

        I thank Mr. Schachter for enlightening me regarding the Mechokekey

>>But notice the highlighted excerpt from Dr Katz's posting: "The English
>>Ibn Ezra ... on Bereshit, Shemot ... and Bemidbar".  This is a
>>remarkable passage!  In fact, Ktav is the publisher of the English
>>translations of Ibn `Ezra's commentary on Vayyiqra and Devarim.  They
>>are excellent.  They are more than excellent.  I cannot praise them
>>enough.  They are the best books that have ever been written in the
>>world.  And that includes Moby-Dick and Gone With The Wind.
>>Published in 1986, Ktav's translation of Ibn `Ezra's commentary on
>>Vayyiqra was the first translation, into any language, of any of Ibn
>>`Ezra's commentaries on any of the books of the Torah.  For a completing
>>touch of irony, both the Vayyiqra and Devarim translations, on their
>>title pages, acknowledge the Mexoqeqey Yehuda as the translator's
>>primary commentary on the text.

      I am familiar with the English Ibn Ezra on Vayikra; I did not know
that Ktav had also published Devarim.  However, I purposely left it off
my list because I found it extremely unreadable and therefore would not
recommend it; I much prefer Strickman's English (or Weiser's Hebrew) on
Bereshit, Shemot and Bamidbar.  But, since reasonable people can differ
on issues such as this, I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.
(I too am in no way related to either translator of Ibn Ezra or either
publishing house.)

There is also an English Ibn Ezra on Hosea translated (if I recall
correctly) even before the English Yayikra by Ktav.

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: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 10:00:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: flood and conquest

> I agree with Dr. Katz that archaeologists have explored the historicity of
> the conquest more than any other part of Tanach. However, my personal
> experience from teaching is that the most challenging part of the Torah
> archaeologically (or geologically) is the Flood. Anyone else share my
> experience?

I think this is true. I'm not sure why. One possibility is that in the
story of the flood the supernatural is much more evident. Thus it is a
more colorful sugya, a better target for cracker barrel skeptics and for
irreverent humor. (Imagine Bill Cosby recording a sketch on Joshua...)

Another factor is that the Flood affects universal religious issues. The
story of the conquest is of interest primarily to Jews. For that reason
Jews who care more about Jewish nationalism than about Torah and/or
divine special intervention may be willing to express skepticism about
the Flood but not where Jewish rights to Israel are concerned.

Or it may be that Humash is taught to little children and repeated each
year in Shul, while the conquest is not ubiquitous. Those who are
embarrassed by the idea of divinely ordained conquest may be even more
reluctant to recognize these parts of Torah.

On the Flood see the recent exchange, based on e-mail, in Ten Daat.

In general, while it may be useful to have textbooks written from a
Torah perspective, I can't imagine that anyone who is serious about
fielding questions on this material (even with laymen) can avoid reading
the literature presenting dominant positions. Unfortunately, however,
many of those teaching are not adequately versed in Torah approaches or
in the philosophical moves to be used when the consensus positions in
different disciplines clash. A little knowledge, consequently, may be
worse than none at all.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 18:30:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Gateshead kehilla require frum dentist

>From: Simon Brooke <Sbrooke@...>
>Gateshead kehilla (England) require a frum dentist to take over an
>existing dental practice including all equipment and office. There is
>great potential in this vibrant and inspiring community. Replies to

I would appreciate being enlightened regarding the halachic (or social) 
imperative which would require that a dentist be frum. Please.
And thanks to all who submitted inputs on repetitions by a Shaliach Tzibur. 
I learned more than I ever expected to!--BR


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 14:13:28 +0200
Subject: Hechsherim and Chumrot

> <Most people would become quite interested in the details if they
> found out that hechsher companies were adopting chumros that prevent
> them from eating various foods. >

> Everything we've always talked about on this list: canned peas without
> a hechsher, bitul b'shishim, whisky aged in sherry casks, dairy
> equipment, the major hechsher companies refusing to acknowledge the
> minor ones (who can forget the OU not permitting Coca-Cola to be
> served in restaurants because it was certified by the Triangle-K?),
> etc. etc.

Some hechsherim tried different symbols for dairy and dairy equipment
(DE) products. They found that it caused more problems than it helped.
Despite the claims here 90% and more of consumers do not want or care
about the details of the hechsher. Once they accept a hechsher thats it.
While it is true that a small minority wants more details these
organizations found that most consumers get overwelmed by the details
and that more details actually do harm. In addition with the existing
possibilities of error more details compound the possibility of errors.

The major chumrot/kulot like cholov yisroel are well known. There is no
need for the OU to note on every dairy product that they rely on US

In terms of one hechsher relying on another this is a major problem.
Almost every hechsher relies on other hechsherim (I am told that Badatz
does not). However, obviously they cannot rely on everyone since the
weakest link determines the total kashrut. Hence, every hechsher has to
make decisions whom they will trust and whom not.  Obviously, for legal
reasons these decisions cannot be made public.

Even when a local rabbinate gives the hechsher it is rare for them to
list the reasons for each decision. Bottom line one has to trust the rav
hamachsher of each hechsher in order to trust that organization.  Major
decisions are usually well known and can be dealt with individually.

Eli Turkel


From: David Charlap <shamino3@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 19:16:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Ice makers on Shabbat

Sherman Marcus wrote:
> What are the halachic implications of using an ice maker on shabbat?
> Many side-by-side refrigerators have a section on the outside of the
> freezer door that can provide cold water and/or ice.  Are there
> models that operate mechanically which might facilitate their use on
> shabbat? If there IS a problem, or if the operation is electronic, is
> it possible/permissible to retrieve the ice manually from inside the
> freezer?

I am not a rabbi, so CYLOR before acting on my statements.

I think the permissibility would depend greatly on the ice maker's
design.  The refrigerator I had in my apartment a few years ago was not
mounted in the door.  There was an ice bucket inside the freezer
compartment.  The ice maker would continuously make ice and dump it in
the bucket.  A switch would turn off the ice maker if the bucket filled
up.  You could also manually set the switch to force it off.

With this kind of ice maker, I always assumed that:

- There would be no problem using the ice from the bucket if you turn
  it off before Shabbos.  After all, with the machine off, this is no
  different from just keeping a bucket of ice in the freezer.
- If you don't turn it off before Shabbos, and the bucket is not full,
  you can probably use the ice.  The reason is that the machine is
  continuously making ice.  Your taking the ice does not make it turn
  on, even though it will run longer before shutting itself off.
- If you don't turn it off before Shabbos, and the bucket is full, then
  you probably can not take the ice.  The reason is that your removal
  of the ice will cause the machine to turn on.  While turning the
  machine on is not the purpose for taking the ice, it is an inevitable
  effect, and one that you will benefit from, so it would probably be
- If you don't turn it off before Shabbos, and the bucket is full, and
  you then moved the switch to "off" to prevent it from turning on
  when you take the ice, I don't know what the decision would be.  It
  would probably depend on the nature of the switch.  (With the ice
  maker I used, the switch was physically moved by the level of ice in
  the bucket, so moving it from "off" to the "lock-off" position didn't
  make or break any circuits.  Other designs may be different.)

With an in-door ice maker, it is often possible to take ice from the
inside.  If you do so, I would assume that you can treat it like the
in-freezer ice maker.  There may or may not be a switch to turn it off.

I have never seen an in-door dispensing mechanism that didn't use
electric motors.  I would assume that taking ice from the front of the
door would be prohibited on Shabbos.

-- David


From: Shoshana Socher <shoshanasocher@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 07:06:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Meshulchim

Hi--if you have been visited by meshulchim (people asking for tzedakah),
I'd like to hear your story.

I am currently writing a book about various meshulchim--their styles,
personalities, the tzedakah institutions they support, etc.  This book
will not be necessarily positive or negative, but will let the reader
draw their own conclusions.

All issues of privacy will be respected.

Thank you in advance,

Shoshana Socher


From: David Herskovic <crucible@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 02:23:30 +0100
Subject: Pronunciation of kometz

Mechy Frenkel wrote:
Perhaps list members can provide
(anecdotal to be sure) data from their own observations.

Well, with a Munkatsher pedigree (or minkatsh, as we pronounce it), a
galitsyaner khasidish yeshive upbringing and a Monday/Thursday/Shabes
afternoon bal koyre I can provide some evidence. Please bear in mind
that the English equivalents are as I hear them and pronounce them in

There are three pronunciations for komets in our Godly circles.

1. omar, dovid, lovid (or lovud) and, indeed, komets. In all of these
the komets sound is like the 'oo' in door, or, more.

2. atoo, koodoysh, ishoo, khalooloo. Here it sounds closest to mood,
rude etc. It is not exactly the same as the English but as close as you
will get.

3. lo, isho, borkhi (or borkhu), hamevoyrokh, v'shomri (v'shomru). The
sound is as in God, rod, nod etc. This pronunciation is used for all the
mapik hay's (hey's) as well as for where the following letter's sound is
attached to the letter with the komets as a result of a shvoo
nokh. There seems to be a difference of opinion or accents whether the
first kometz in 'otoo' (ki keyl toyv v'salokh oto) is pronounced as in 2
or in 3.

Dovid Herskovic


End of Volume 34 Issue 85