Volume 36 Number 32
                 Produced: Mon May 13 21:11:57 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

4 Sources for inferring halachoth from Women
         [Russell Hendel]
Old Tefillin
         [Carl Singer]
         [Samuel Groner]
Rashi haKadosh
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
Rashi Hakodesh
         [Eli Turkel]
Rav Soleveichik on Daas Torah and Education
         [Joseph P. Wetstein]
Why Rashi is in RUACH HAKODESH--Comment from Rav
         [Russell Hendel]
Women as Halachic Resource
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Women in synagogue lay leadership roles
         [Jay S. Lapidus]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 22:39:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4 Sources for inferring halachoth from Women

4 answers to Yisrael Medad and Avi Feldblum who in v36n31 discuss
inferring halacoth from women. I have 3 sources

1st) As Avi pointed out Women are trusted to say something is
permissable or prohibited. Although many people are aware of this the
source for this ruling (That women are relied on) isnt always
mentioned. This source comes from the Bible itself: The Bible clearly
states that women are trusted on declaring their status of female ritual
impurity (e.g Lv15-28)

2nd) As I am sure others will mention the Talmud mentions how Rebbes
students learned the meanings of obscure words in tnach from Rebbes maid
The Talmud emphasizes that Rebbes maid because she was CONSTANTLY with
Rebbe potentially knew more than his students.

3rd) Rebbetzin Yaffa Elyach in her lectures about her home town in
Russia emphasized that frequently the Rebbetzin, not the Rabbi, would
answer routine ritual questions (eg questions about Kashruth). The
reason for this arrangement was so that the Rabbi could sit undisturbed
and learn.

4th) FInally, Rebbetzin Rivka Slonim mentions that her research shows
that large synagogues routinely had female cantor leaders who would
guide the female congregants in matters of prayer in the womens section

Russell Jay Hendel;Phd ASA;http://www.RashiYomi.Com (Now Hebrew enabled)


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 12:17:37 EDT
Subject: Old Tefillin

Here's a social question, for discussion.

Our youngest son will soon turn 12 and we're about to puchase tefillin.
We have a most reliable and ehrlach sopher who we deal with -- so source
is no problem.  There's a possibility of getting our son's
great-grandfather's tefillin instead.  We would obviously get them
checked and refurbished.

What are the pros and cons / decision criteria among the two choices.

A Guten Choydish

Carl Singer


From: Samuel Groner <spg20@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 14:43:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Probability

| From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
| The fact is that during the 19th century many seforim were written, in
| Hebrew, about what we consider secular subjects, including philosophy
| and the newly emerging sciences.  There is one sefer in which Kant is
| discussed in detail, and criticized.  This sefer also has large sections
| devoted to biology and physics.  It was lauded by the Chasam Sofer and
| is mentioned in many 19th century Responsa.

The Malbim (1809-1979) in his commentaries on Chumash and Navi
frequently makes reference to modern science, as well as to Kantian
philosophy. In his commentary on Chumash, most of his discussion of
science is, for obvious reasons, in his commentary to parshat Bereishit.
See his commentary to Genesis 1:6 for a direct reference to Galileo
(toward the end of his rather lengthy comments on the first part of that
verse).  In addition to his extensive use of science in explaining
parshat Bereishit, see Genesis 18:3 where the Malbim talks about how
"ru'ah" contracts and expands in the bodies of malakhim, which Zvi
Faier, in his translation of the Malbim's commentary, takes to be a
reference to Boyle's and Charles' law of gas behavior.

For a discussion of the presence of Kantian philosophy throughout
Malbim's commentaries (although Kant, as was the convention, was never
mentioned by name), see "HaMalbim V'ha'philosophia Ha'modernit" by Noah
Rosenblum, p. 14-41.  Since this may be hard to find, suffice it to say
that it is a 41 page-long pamphlet on the Malbim and modern philosophy,
and there are 27 pages of examples and analysis of the way the Malbim
used and adopted Kant's ideas in his commentaries.

Incidentally, Rosenblum mentions that Kant's "Grounding for a
Metaphysics of Morals," written in 1785, was already translated to
Hebrew by 1797, making it easy for even Jews not fluent in German to
have access to it.  The Malbim, though, would have been able to read it
in the original German.  He makes clear in his treatise on logic
(Yesodei Hokhmat Hahiggayon) that he is fluent in reading German.  See
David Berger's article "Malbim's Secular Knowledge and His Relationship
to the Spirit of the Haskalah" for more details.

Sammy Groner
Silver Spring, Maryland


From: Israel Rosenfeld <israel.rosenfeld@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 20:57:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Rashi haKadosh

> From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
> On Wed, 8 May 2002, Israel Rosenfeld wrote:
> > Because Rashi haKadosh was written with Ruach Hakodesh.
> I'm interested, how do you know that? I would assume that one would
> need to have the level of Navi to be able to state that, yet that
> status ended prior to Rashi.

The Ari Z"l and the Chida Z"l state this. All Hasidic works consider
    Rashi as Ruach Hakodesh and to the best of my knowledge, the Gr"a in
    his kabalistic works discusses him as such.

As to the difference between Nevuah and Ruach Hakodesh, there is a whole
    chapter in Sefer HaBrit. Also, the Zohar HaKadosh in Shemot 154a
    says that Shaul Hamelekh was a Navi when the pasuk "Hagam Shaul
    baneviim" was said, but was reduced to Ruach Hakodesh when he was

Please understand, I am writing from a hasidic, kabalistic point of view
    and therefor for me this is practically a question of
    belief. Someone brought up differently, or who hasn't learned what I
    try to learn, might, of course, have a different idea.

I've been lurking on Mail-Jewish long enough to know that even though
    the Gr"a and the Baal-Shem-Tov (and, of course, pratically all of
    Edot Hamizrach) believe in the Zohar HaKadosh and other Sifrei
    Kabbala, a large part of the Jewish Nation, including Gedolei Torah,
    consider this an academic question.

So therefor, when you ask me how I know that Rashi Hakadosh was written
    in Ruach Hakodesh, maybe my answer should be "IMHO". What do you

BTW, even though the status of Navi doesn't exist today, as you say; the
    Maharsha in Sukkot says that the status of "Chacham adif minavi"
    still exists. I think its on 45b.

Behatzlacha raba.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 11:09:21 GMT
Subject: Rashi Hakodesh

>> Why is Rashi called haKadosh and Rabbenu Tam is not
> Because Rashi haKadosh was written with Ruach Hakodesh.

So can Rabbenu Tam disagree with Rashi? Moreover in many places we
pasken like Rabbenu Tam against Rashi.  Since Rabbenu Tam was Rashi's
grandson he presumably "knew" that his grandfather wrote with ruach
hakodesh.  It is even more problematic with his older brother Rashbam
who actually learned with Rashi and still disagreed with the ruach


From: Joseph P. Wetstein <jpw@...>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 14:06:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rav Soleveichik on Daas Torah and Education

I am looking for some material by Rav Soleveichik on the topics of Daas
Torah, and also on Education. If anyone has some pointers, I would
appreciate it.

Yossi Wetstein

 Joseph P. Wetstein, P.E.	  
 (707) 202-0600 fax
 PP/ASEL & KA3VJY [Tech+]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 22:39:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Why Rashi is in RUACH HAKODESH--Comment from Rav

First, I agree with Avi, that we shouldnt lightly toss around the
concept of RUACH HAKODESH. It has overtones of being a NAVI (though it
is not clear that you cant have RUACH HAKODESH without being a
serious Biblical prohibition.

I once heard from the Rav (Rav Joseph Baer Soloveitchick) a remark
concerning the fact that certain Yedishe expressions treat Rashi as
feminine while other rishonim as masculine (I am not up on my Yidish but
I think it was SVERER(difficult) RASHI which is feminine for Rashi but
masculine for other Rishonim--I honestly dont remember which expression
the Rav commented on though I do remember the explanation)

The Rav explained that Rashi was like a mother to Judaism while other
Rishonim were like fathers. The Rav continued: >Judaism couldnt have
survived without Rashi(Hence the comparison to a mother) while it could
have survived without other rishonim.

Perhaps this idea could be applied to RUACH HAKODESH & Rashi

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/ (Now Hebrew enabled)


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 12:04:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women as Halachic Resource

Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> writes:
> Going back to the article of Chaim Soloveitchik on the difference of
> "learning" - one from books and the other, from observing and watching
> the practices at home and copying them, are there other indications that
> authorize dependence on women as reliable resources for halacha?

Historically, Devorah and Beruria.  Also, see the gemaras on women's
ability to determine kashrut and nidah status, as well as to testify as
to whether a husband is dead, etc.

More recently, the nearly universal acceptance in the dati leumi and
modern worlds of Nishmat's yoatzot halacha, and their growing acceptance
in the charedi world.  Rabbanit Henkin tells the story that a yoatzet
went to her father's charedi rabbi who quizzed her on halacha and
concluded that he would not have instructed her to begin this program,
but now that she had completed it, it would be asur for her to not give
halachic advice to women.  Also, women serve as mashgichot kashrut for
reputable agencies such as Star K --- if anyone knows the history of
this, I would be interested in hearing it.

Really, my question is whether there are any sources which would say
women are unreliable resources for halacha.



From: Jay S. Lapidus <jlapidus@...>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 13:04:35 -0500
Subject: Re:  Women in synagogue lay leadership roles

Here in West Hartford, CT, we have a husband-wife team at Beth David 
Synagogue (MO) serving as co-presidents.  They alternate weeks making 
announcements from the bima.  In the previous administration, a woman 
was VP and she, too, made announcements from the bima when the pres 
was not there.

Hodesh tov,
Jay Lapidus       http://jlapidus.tripod.com


End of Volume 36 Issue 32