Volume 35 Number 52
                 Produced: Wed Sep 26  6:55:58 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Gods OMNIPOTENCE and OMNICIENCE is mentioned in Torah
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Jewish meditation
         [Nomi Voroba Guberman]
Miriam's children (was: Request for Meqorot) (3)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, <rubin20@...>, Neal B. Jannol]
The story of Kamtza u'bar Kamtza (Gittin 56a)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Tallit customs
         [Gershon Dubin]
World Trade Center Tragedy
         [Mark Steiner]
Yehiyu Leratzon
         [Perets Mett]


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Jay Hendel)
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 19:22:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Gods OMNIPOTENCE and OMNICIENCE is mentioned in Torah

I was a bit surprised by Roberts statement in v35n48 that

>Secondly, most Orthodox Jews teach that God is omnipotent; anyone who
holds otherwise is held to be potentially - or actually - a heretic.
This is especially odd, since God is not presented as omnipotent in the
Tanakh, in some of the Talmud and in much of Kabbalah.  This belief
isn't even a part of Maimonides' principles of faith.  Nonetheless, it
is a sociological truth that this belief is what most of Orthodox
Judaism teaches.<

The doctrine of Omnipotence DOES appear in Tnach. It means God can do
anything PHYSICAL. The explicit verse mentioning BOTH Gods Ominpotence
and Omnicience occurs in Job42:02 I KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO ALL AND NO PLAN

Furthermore without citing an ISOLATED verse it is certainly doctrinal
to our religion (According to ALL authorities) that God redeemed us from
Egypt. But the Egyptian Exodus is precisely a show of Gods power. In
fact we have the explicit verse Ex09:14-16 ...I HAVE LET YOU (PHAROH)

In passing the so-called 13 principles of faith were not produced by
Maimonidees. They ALL explicitly occur in the Bible: Thus the 1st
decalogue mentions the existence of God and the prohibition of
Idolatry. ANd it was God, not Rambam or Ralbag that wrote in the Shma
that He is ONE--a prayer who obligation is Biblical!!!

Russell Jay Hendel;http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm


From: Nomi Voroba Guberman <nguberma@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 09:31:53 +0200
Subject: Jewish meditation

Rabbi Natan Ophir, an expert in Jewish meditation residing in Maaleh
Adumim, has recently written a Hebrew article exploring the meditative
properties of Tekhelet in tzitzit.

The article is available at P'til Tekhelet's website in PDF format,
400K.  http://www.tekhelet.com/pdf/medi.pdf

Allow several minutes for download!
The author is available for comment at mailto:<natan21@...>

Nomi Voroba Guberman
Maaleh Adumim


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 10:27:12 -0400
Subject: RE: Miriam's children (was: Request for Meqorot)

>From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
>      Many women in the Bible are famous in their own right, perhaps
>because geneologies of women seem to be of less importance to the Bible
>than male geneologies.  Two obvious examples are Miriam and Esther (the
>former of whom, according to the chumash, never married or had children,

I should point out that while the Torah does not say who the mother (and
grandmother) of Chur (put in charge with Aharon when Moshe ascended the
mountain) were, the medrash states that he was Miriam's son (or was it
grandson - my memory is shaky today).

Similarly, the Torah does not give the children of anyone unless their
identities are important to what the Torah wishes to convey.  Note that
we do not hear of Yehoshua marrying and having children, the children of
Moshe Rabbeinu are not mentioned once they do no directly impact the
story, etc.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>

From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 09:14:21 -0400
Subject: Re: Miriam's children (was: Request for Meqorot)

Miriam never married? It would seem obvious from the recounting of
Miriams leprosy that she was married. With regards to the original
question, I can't belive nobody mentioned Sara Schneira, founder of the
Bais Yackov movement. She was briefly married, with no children.

From: <nbj@...> (Neal B. Jannol)
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 8:45:23 -0700
Subject: Miriam's children (was: Request for Meqorot)

Regarding Miriam not having children - I thought Hur, who was killed by
the kahal (or erev rav) during the Egel episode, was a nephew of Aaron
and Moshe, because he was Miriam's son.  At least that is how I
remember the Medrash.

Neal B. Jannol
Riordan & McKinzie


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 12:31:11 EDT
Subject: The story of Kamtza u'bar Kamtza (Gittin 56a)

I Kasdan MJv35n45 asked for additional comments on the story of Kamtza
u'bar Kamtza (Gittin 56a). We have done some research on this issue and
propose to comment on your inquiry. In this segment we'll deal with the
exact meaning of R. Yochanan's indictment of R. Zecharia ben Avkules.

The story of Kamtza u'bar Kamtza (Gittin 56a): on the meaning of

The tradition tells us that the second Temple was destroyed as a result
of senseless hatred that peaked in the story of Kamtza u'bar Kamtza. The
Talmud tells us in Gittin 55-56 about a man who gave a banquet to which
he invited his friend Kamtza, but his emissary invited by mistake his
enemy Bar Kamtza.  The owner asked Bar Kamtza to leave the place. But
despite his protest and his willing to pay for the meal, first proposing
to pay for his own portion and later offering to pay for everybody, the
owner threw him out shaming him publicly. Sages who attended the meal
did not protest his improper treatment, and Bar Kamtza was on his way to
revenge. He went to the Roman Caesar claiming that the Jews had rebelled
against him. The Caesar did not believe him, and Bar Kamtza suggested
that the Caesar send a sacrificial offer to the Temple as a proof that
the Jews had rebelled against him. The Caesar send a "triple" (superb
kind) animal, and Bar Kamtza blemished the animal, but with such a tiny
blemish that was not considered a blemish in the Roman lore, but by
Jewish rule made the animal unfit to be sacrificed. The majority of the
sages suggested to sacrifice the animal despite its blemish for the sake
of peace, but Zecharia ben Avkules objected saying: people will say from
now on that blemished animals are allowed. As a result this idea was
rejected. A second proposal was made to kill Bar Kamtza and by doing so
the Caesar will never know that his sacrifice was rejected, but this
second idea was again objected by Zecharia ben Avkules saying: From now
on people will say that he who blemishes a sacrificial animal is subject
to death. So the sacrifice of Caesar was rejected. (And Caesar thought
that indeed the Jews had rebelled) Years later the Amora Rabbi Yochanan
said: "anvetanuto" of Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkules caused our houses to be
destroyed, our Temple to be burnt and we were expelled from our own

Many interpreters and historians dealt with this passage. We will try to
explain the meaning of "anvetanuto" and put a new meaning to the
explanation of Rabbi Yochanan's statement.

First, see the various meanings of this statement and the word

Rashi (ad loc):savlanuto, shesaval et zeh velo harago". Normally
"savlanut" is usually translated as patience, but we will show later
that in this case it does not. "He did not kill him because of

Z.H. Chayes: (ad loc) because of the great modesty of Avkules, he did
not want to rule on the issue against him, and he was concerned that he
might have ruled improperly, denied himself the status of "gadol" to set
the halacha and make a decision suitable to the urging of the
times. Levi Ginzburg concurs with this explanation (see at the end of
the Arukh ha-Shalem) Lieberman strengthens this same opinion while
showing that Avkules consistently refrained from making decisions
(Tosefta Kifshuta, Shabbat 268-269).

Joseph Klausner suggests that "anvetanuto" is a euphemism for "ka-naut"
zealotry (Historia shel ha-bayit ha-sheni, Tel-Aviv, 1974, vol. 5,
p. 146)

Kohut suggests that Avkules did not want to exercise power of authority
over which is the precise meaning of the name Avkules (timid) in Greek
(Arukh ha-Shalem s.v. Avkules), This explanation was expanded by David
Rokeach as a "pun" (Zion 53, 1988, pp. 53-56 and 317-322, see rebuttal
by Daniel Schwartz 313-316).

Rashi dealt in his interpretation only with the second issue, that of
not killing Bar Kamtza whereas the other explanations above deal with
both; not sacrificing the animal and not killing Bar Kamtza.

Our suggested interpretation of the word "anvetanuto" is based on Rabbi
Yochanan himself in Tractate Megilla 31a. Note that Rabbi Yochanan was
an expert in Hebrew grammar as attested in Avoda Zara 58b and Hulin 137b
and as such his careful selection of words is significant.

"Rabbi Yochanan said: every place where you find the might of God you
will find also his "anvetanuto". This is written in the Torah, repeated
in the prophets and said the third time in the Ketubim. It is written in
the Torah that God is your supreme God and it is written later that he
renders justice to orphan and widow; it is repeated in the prophets: so
said the Mighty and Holy and later about the help to the depressed and
low spirited, and it is said the third time... in God his name and later
the father of orphans and the judge of the widows" (free
translation). (Megilla 31a)

In all the three cases cited above the mightiness of God is shown by his
power and his "anava" by his care of the weak and needy. So one can see
that contra to the prevailing explanation of "anava" which requires the
lowering of the person to become meek and humble, "anava" also includes
the opposite, that is the lifting of the poor, orphan and widow for
protection and salvation. In fact the spectrum of "anava" in the entire
gamut of lowering oneself and upping the other side. This meaning of
"anava" is shown in the Bible and in Rabbinical literature. Therefore,
when Rabbi Yochanan says about Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkules that it was
his "anava" which caused all the trouble, it means that he took care of
Bar Kamtza, the one who needed protection in those circumstances, since
he was targeted for death, and by doing so he caused the destruction of
the Temple. Rabbi Yochanan does not suggest that Rabbi Avkules was a
modest person by the prevailing meaning of the "anava".

Rashi's explanation above by using the term "savlanut" corresponds to
another of his explanations from Bamidbar 12:3 where he explains
"anav"in reference to Moses as "shafal ve-savlan" that is as a "sabal
ba-shuk" someone who carries weights in the market.  Rashi's explanation
of Moshe's anava is that of a person who carried Bnei Israel on his
shoulders. So he clearly saw the meaning of "anava" as both lowering one
self and lifting the others. His dealing only with the killing of Bar
Kamtza is consistent with this interpretation.

In the same vein the Midrash says: "piked ha-Makom le-Israel le-heitiv
le-gerim ve-linhog ba-hem anava" (Sifrei, beha'alotcha 78) Likewise
"anav be-mamono" [gave a lot of money] (Sifrei, beha'alotcha 101) See
also the Mishna, Peah 1:2 which fits the same explanation. For the sake
of brevity we did not include all notes and examples.

Harvey Sicherman
Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 21:57:22 -0400
Subject: Tallit customs

From: Rich Mintz <richmintz@...>

<<If one must go urgently and temporarily out of shul during Shaharit
(e.g., to tend to a crying child, or for medical reasons), should the
tallit be removed before leaving the building, or worn outside?>>

        I don't know about crying babies, but when members of Hatzola
leave to attend to a medical need, they do not remove their talis as it
would delay them.  It is usually removed at some later point when the
situation is stable.

        The question reminded me of the early days of Hatzola when,
attending to a patient on Yom Kippur, members showed up still wearing
their kittels.  The poor patient thought he was already dead and being
greeted by angels!



From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 14:43:56 +0300
Subject: Re: World Trade Center Tragedy

    I heard a horrible story (which I have not authenticated) where a
chassidic man trapped in the WTC called his wife to inform her that he
was in the building so that she would not be an aguna, called his
brother to ask him to take care of the family, and then called the rebbe
(in the story I heard it was the Belzer rebbe) for permission to jump
out of the building, so that there would be a body and thus a levaya

[There are various versions of this story going around. I have no idea
of whether they are correct. Mod.]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:26:46 +0000
Subject: Re: Yehiyu Leratzon

Mechael Kanovsky wrote:

> I was always wondering what is the reason that the verse "yehiyu
> leratzon" in the "shmah Koleinu" that we say in "slichot" is skipped

This "custom" is a modern, and mistaken, notion. Yihyu lerotsoin is
always said as a silent prayer eg after the Chazon introduces the
central section of musaf with "Oychilo lo-e-yl". For some reason, many
people are unaware that it should be said silently in Shma Koleinu and
omit it altogether!

> what is the reason that we say two half sentences on most of the
> "piyutim" that we say on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For example
> "l'kel orech din le'bochen levavot b'yom din" is one sentence but we say

I don't see why these two are "one sentence"

> l'kel orech din and then we say "le'bochen levavot b'yom din le'goleh
> amukot badin" which is the last half of one sentence and the first half
> of the next sentence. Any thoughts?

It would appear though that originally the Chazon said "l'e-il oreikh
din" to which the kohol responded "levoikhein etc" and so on.

Later the kohol started saying the chazon's piece as well - in advance
of the chazon.

gmar chathimo toivo

Perets Mett


End of Volume 35 Issue 52