Volume 35 Number 55
                 Produced: Sun Oct 14 22:21:39 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
IDT Update and Information
         [Yosef G. Bechhofer]
Kamtza and Bar Kamtza
         [Eli Turkel]
Otzar Bet Din Etrogim
         [Jacob Sasson]
Piyutim (2)
         [Michael Kramer, Andrew J Libby]
Sara Schenirer A"H
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Shiurim  in the Workplace
         [Joel Rich]
Top Seven Male Jews
         [Ed Norin]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 22:02:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I hope that all members of the list have had a very good Yom Tov period.
Now that we have 6 working days again during the week, I hope to be able
to catch up on some of the personal mail-email that has come in and I have
not been able to answer. So if you have emailed me and I have not
responded over the last several weeks, I will try and get to you over the
next 2-3 weeks. By then I hope to back to staying current on all the

I'm currently in the process of reading a book that I find has significant
relevance to many of our discussions (as well as to some of the email I
need to answer) and I hope to present some small pieces in future
messages. The book is "Arguments for the Sake of Heaven" by R. Jonathan
Sacks. The book is not new, I think it is from 1989 or 1990, but I find
that he places a lot of what is happening in a perspective that lets one
see the bigger picture.

My goal here on the list is that as long as it is clear to me that the
Argument is for the Sake of Heaven, it is valuable to engage in it here on
the list. The critical question to ask ourselves is what is my purpose in
the discussion / argument.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Yosef G. Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 21:30:16 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: IDT Update and Information

Baruch Hashem, we are off to a great start, with over sixty outstanding
talmidim. Beis Medrash Harav Shmuel Yaakov (al shem Ha'Gaon Ha'Rav
Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg zt"l, Rosh Yeshivas Ner Yisroel), The IDT Center
for Torah and Technology, still has the capacity to accept a few
additional talmidim for the Winter Zman. Here's what our Beis Medrash

Gemara b'Iyun (Seder and Shiur) on all levels.
Mussar Va'adim and Hashkafa Shiurim.
Additional Shiurim in Gemara Bekiyus, Parashas ha'Shavua, Halacha
l'Ma'aseh and Yedi'as ha'Torah.
Optional Night Seder (in Monsey).
Professional training in an exemplary Torah environment with instructors
that are Bnei Torah.
Comprehensive training in Networking (our alumni have achieved the
highest grades in certification exams).
Complete curriculum leading to a degree in Business Administration
(B.B.A.) through our affiliation with Touro College.
State of the art facilities for instruction and individual review.
Scholarships and grants for qualified students.
The unparalleled resources and facilities of the IDT Corporation.
Interaction with role models integrating careers with Avodas Hashem.
Rabbeim and instructors are dedicated to achieving meaningful, personal
relationships with talmidim, helping to maximize growth in Avodas Hashem.

If you know of anyone you think might be interested in the program, or for
more information, please call me or pass on my phone number (or e-mail

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
<ygb@...>, http://www.aishdas.org/rygb


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 11:36:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kamtza and Bar Kamtza

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

I think a more [basic] question is how literally to take the gemara
rather than homiletically.
There was building over many years a rebellion of the Jews against
the Romans based on many reasons. It is difficult to justify that it
was exactly this one event that caused the revolt and the Roman
reaction to it.
Furthermore, I don't think that much is known about
Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkules. More specifically why wasn't a decision
like this made by the Nasi, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel or by R.
Yochanan ben Zakai. We know of other tannaim of that era and none of them
seem to be involved, including the High Priest and his sgan who was
a talmid chacham.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel


From: Jacob Sasson <jacobsasson@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 19:06:10 -0400
Subject: Otzar Bet Din Etrogim

Being that Otzar Bet Din must only charge the cost of shipping and
packaging for their products and cannot make a profit, why are the Otzar
Bet Din Etrogim priced based on quality? Does it cost more to package a
nice Etrog?

Jacob Sasson


From: Michael Kramer <mikek@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2001 22:18:23 -0700
Subject: Re: Piyutim

Gedolim have always gone to great strides to justify minhagim, on the
grounds that "Minhag Yisrael Torah Hu". The chazakah is that if a large
majority of the people - including whole communities with great learned
men, then there must be a valid reason for the Minhag.

So why is there such a prevalence of second guessing and denigrating
practices which appear difficult to understand? Does our society breed
such Hubris?

I have a conjecture about why we read the piyutim as we do. I am driven
to this conjecture by the above convictions. This particular conjecture
may be wrong, but there is some explanation and if I haven't found it
then we should keep trying.

I heard in the name of Rav Y"B Soloveitchik ZTz"L that the reason we
stand up and open the Aron Kodesh for these Piyutim is because they are
recited as a dialog between the Chazan and the Kahal, similar to Kedusha
and Kaddish.  Therefore they actually (or almost - I am not clear on
this) have a status of Davar ShebiKdusha and therefore the Aron Kodesh
is opened to induce us to stand. This ends what I heard in the name of
Rav Soloveitchik.

Based on this, I imagine that this explains the structure of the piyut
as such that the Chazan says a stanza and then prompts the kahal to say
its piece. Like in Kaddish - the chazan says a recital and then says the
word "V'Imru" which prompts the Kahal to say "Amen Yehay SHemay Rabbah",
or "Leumatam Barauch Yomeru" from Kedusha or "Uv'Divrei Kodshecha Katuv
Laymor". Each of these is a recitation followed by a prompt by the
Chazan to the Kahal to respond (or by the kahal for the chazan to
respond as well).

So in the piyutim, the Chazan says a stanza and then prompts the Kahal
"Imru Lelokim" i.e. "Say the next stanza as a recitation to G-d". So
there is no need to explain the run-on thought from one stanza to the
next as the MJ resppondents have struggled with.

Mike Kramer

From: Andrew J Libby <slipstick1@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 06:08:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Piyutim

<Chidekel@...> (Meir Shinnar) wrote:

>> Thus we end up with such nonsensical pronouncements as `vehi  
>> tehilatecha asher ematecha'.  This is exactly like those chazzanim
>> who daily end each chapter of pesukei dezimra with `halelukah
>> halelukah'.

> The history with piyutim is correct.  However, the issue of psuke
> dezimra is not quite the same - the hazzan is supposed to both to
> finish one tehilla and to begin the next out loud.  I was so 
> specifically instructed by someone who was baki both in nuschaot
> and history of tefillot, as well as different minhage tefilla, and
> who was very medkakdek on proper phrasing.

That's all very well, but the proper way to do this would be to end the
first chapter (with the tune indicating the end), pause for a fraction
of a second, and then start off the new chapter with a tune that clearly
announces that this is a new chapter.  It's difficult to describe it in
writing but it's really very simple, and I'm sure you know what I mean.

-- Zev in Yerushalayim


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 09:56:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sara Schenirer A"H

Devorah is a friend of mine, and very determined in her project.  
Please circulate this as widely as possible.  --- Janet

>From <DSANDORFY@...>  Sun Sep 30 09:36:07 2001

Dear Friends,
	Let me begin by wishing all of you best wishes for a Gut Yor.  

This past summer I was fortunate to join a tour to Central
Europe. Although, the tour covered many aspects of European Jewish
history and stirred many emotions, one of the highlights of my trip was
the visit to Sara Schenirer's house in Cracow and the first Bais Yaakov
school and Teacher's Seminary at 10 Stanislava.

In 1915, Sara Schenirer set out on her mission to educate Jewish women
in Cracow.  She met with much resistance, but persevered.  In her quest,
she went to see the Belzer Rebbe to plead her case.  The Belzer Rebbe
initially cited a gemara which argues against teaching Torah to women.
In her wisdom, she immediately responded with the words "Eis L'asos
L'Hashem. Heifeiru Torasecha."  "It is time to act for Hashem.  Save the
Torah by violating a portion of the Torah."  (Tehillim, 119).
Immediately, the Belzer Rebbe answered "Bracha V'Hatzlacha" and thereby
gave his Haskama.

Sadly, after our visit to the school building, we visited the Plaszov
cemetery where Sara Schenirer was buried.  Sara Schenirer chose Plaszov
to be with the common people, instead of with Tzadikim.  The Plaszov
cemetery was destroyed during the Churban in Europe.  The Nazis came and
destroyed the cemetery and built a concentration camp on it.  Then,
shortly before liberation they dismantled and bombed it.  Today, it is
but an empty field of grass and weeds.

When I stood at the desolation of Plaszov, almost sixty years after it
was destroyed, I was shocked that Sara Schenirer, the mother of all
Jewish education for women - whose foresight and dedication we are
forever indebted to - should be housed for so long in shrubs and lie in
disrespect with no memorial commemorating where she was buried.  There
and then, I committed myself to doing something to correct this wrong.
I am working with a team of people to put up a Matzeiva at the Kever of
Sara Schenirer, A"H.

Unfortunately, Europe today is beset by sharp Anti-Semitism.  The Chief
Rabbi of Poland has explained that the only way to safeguard the
Matzeiva is to build a gate around the entire cemetery to protect it
from vandals.  This too is a tremendous mitzvah, as it will honor the
rest of the departed that lie in Plaszov.

Towards the end of Parshas Haazine, Hashem instructs Moshe to begin
preparing for his death.  Rashi comments on these psukim that Moshe had
to do this in spite of the objections of Klal Yisroel, who had said, "If
we see Moshe preparing for his death, we will not allow him to do so.
The man who brought us forth from Egypt, split the sea, brought us the
Slav and the man that gave us the Torah- we will not allow it."  Klal
Yisroel refused to allow Moshe Rabeinu to die.  Do we not have a similar
commitment towards Sara Schenirer?  The person who brought Jewish
education for women into existence, struggled to save our Jewish
daughters from the enticements of society, and who educated students and
educators alike so that Jewish education for women would continue past
her death.  The list continues on and on.  We cannot allow her memory to
be forgotten.

Although Sara Schenirer is no longer with us, her legacy remains with
the countless children of her movement.  Sara Schenirer never did have
children, but always said that "her girls" were her children.  I ask
you, isn't putting up a Matzeiva the least we could do for our mother?
It would also provide a recognizable place where Talmidos from Europe,
Eretz Yisroel and the world could come and honor her memory and pray to
Hashem Yisborach.

Eis L'asos L'Hashem.

With best wishes for a year filled with Bracha and Shalom,
Devorah Sandorfy

(If you choose to partake in this important Mitzva, your tax deductible
contributions can be made payable to FJC- Jewish Community of Warsaw
Fund.  Any donations can be mailed to my attention at: 
1441 East 26th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11210
The cost of the project is tremendous due to the gate necessary to
protect the cemetery.  In addition, the work needs to be done very
quickly, before winter sets in this November.) 


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:23:04 EDT
Subject: Shiurim  in the Workplace

Dear Chevra,
I'm trying to gather some information on lunch time shiurim - not those
set up by the OU or Agudah but in private offices. In particular I'm
trying to find out how they were arranged, funded and "advertised" as
well as how the topic and maggid shiur was selected
I'd ask that  responses  be sent directly to me.
KT& Moadim Lsimcha,
Joel Rich  (<joelirich@...>)


From: <EngineerEd@...> (Ed Norin)
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 08:16:49 EDT
Subject: Top Seven Male Jews

This last week we have invited the Ushpizen into our Sukkah.  They
include Avraham, Yitzhak, Yaacov, Moshe, Aaron,David and Joseph.  These
seem to be someones list of top seven male Jews.  This reminds of of the
begining of the Mishaparach we make over the Torah for sick people.  Six
of the seven names are identical to the Ushpizen list.  However, the
seventh name is Shlomo for the Mishaparach.  Can anyone on the MJ list
enlighten me to why the difference?

Ed Norin


End of Volume 35 Issue 55