Volume 36 Number 43
                 Produced: Thu Jun  6 23:41:16 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2nd day minyanim
         [David Waxman]
3 days before Shavuot
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]
Adam as Prophet
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]
Art Scroll Siddur
         [Carl Singer]
         [David Maslow]
The First Jew
         [Binyomin Segal]
Learning on 7th night of Pesach (Re: 3 days...)
         [Joshua Adam Meisner]
Non-Jewish prophets
         [David Charlap]
Permissible xamec on Pesax
         [Jay F Shachter]
Pidyon Haben
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Spaying Animals
         [Zemira and Tzvi Woolf]


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 03:00:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 2nd day minyanim

> (1) Second day in Israel should be kept bexadrie xadarim (= in secret)
> So why the tourist minyan?!

If I remember correctly, the mishnah brurah agrees with you.
Nevertheless, it is the common practice for chutznakim b'aretz to form
their own minyanim.  In har-nof, most of the large shuls have chutznik
minyanim.  The beis yoseph mentioned that the phenomenom of 2nd day
minyanim existed in his day, so the practice dates back a while for the
good or the better.

I heard one opinion whose logic seems to be compelling - the minhag of
'yom tov sheini shel galios' is to keep 2 days of yom tov in chutz
l'araetz, not Israel, and is thus not dependent on 'daas lachzur'.  Thus
even a tourist in Israel would be exempt from 2nd yom tov b'aretz.  (I
realize that no one, except perhaps Chabad, paskans this way, but it is
an interesting idea.)


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 10:31:52 -0400
Subject: 3 days before Shavuot

From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
>     1) To the best of my knowledge, there is no such humra or hiddur
>suggested for the three "days of hagbalah," certainly not in any
> standard halakhic sources.

See Taharah Yisroel (on Hil. Niddah etc) Siman 240 par. 11. (part 2 p
193), based on "Elyah Rabbah" 240:1, from Knesses Hagdolah etc.  However
see Kaf Hachaim 240:5.

Chaim G. Steinmetz


From: Russell Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 22:02:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Adam as Prophet

Avi Rabinowitz in Vol 36#40 speaks about the possibility that Adam was a
prophet and that the eden story was a vision.

A thorough discussion of Adam as prophet occurs in my paper GENESIS 1
WORLD which will appear this summer in BOR HATORAH Volume 13E. A copy of
this article may be found at the URL below.

In the article I show that the laws of symbolism REQUIRE us to interpret
Genesis 1 as describing the creation of the prophecy not the creation of
the world. In other words what happened 6000 years ago is that the first
prophecy was created.

However it is clear that Gn3 is NOT a vision. Indeed the snake was an
actual person who tried to seduce Eve and murder Adam. There are
numerous supports for this...but briefly there is no necessity to
interpret Gn3 symbolically(Except for interpreting the SNAKE as
referring to a SLIMY character).

I suppose this will turn into a thread and depending where the questions
land I will post sources (Some of them may be found in the defenses of
Rashi on the Rashi website)

Russell Hendel;  Phd http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 10:31:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Amidah

> From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
> How hasidim living in eretz yisrael who are stringent about "gebrokts"
> eat knaidlach is a mystery to me for there is no yom tov sheni shel
> galut which would allow this leniency. Perhaps they extend the last
> day through tosefet yom tov and base the leniency on it not being
> truly tom tov, but even then to anyone extending the holiday in that
> fashion, all the humrot apply to him! (There is a debate amont the
> rishonim if tosefet yom tov is min hatorah or only midrabban, but in
> either case it is like yom tov.)  kol tuv

I don't know wether they eat gebroks or not, but aren't you allowed to
eat even Chometz in the middle of the seuda - according to many
(most?)  Poskim even without havdala?  

Chaim G. Steinmetz


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 12:06:44 EDT
Subject: Art Scroll Siddur

Personally, I find the commentary distracting from my davening.  I tend
to go back to my old Tikun Meyer.

I appreciate the outstanding graphics and the fact the type fonts are
uniform, not a haphazard mix of big & small with no particular rhyme or

I'd appreciate better pagination, also.  I'd prefer white space to a
brocha that is split by a page break in order to save a bit of space.

And finally, there's now a presumptive authority to the Art Scroll --
what some folks half-jokingly call "Nusach Art Scroll."  That's a very
tenous position.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:49:55 -0400
Subject: Chodosh

I am interested in hearing any comments on why the restriction on the
use of chodosh has been so neglected in the US, even in many segments of
the Orthodox world, including generally acceptable hashgachot
(supervisions.)  Is there a question on its applicability outside of
Israel, has it just not taken hold yet, or is there some other reason?
Without much analysis, it would seem to be more important than glatt
kosher, which really seems to have become the almost universal standard.

David E. Maslow


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 09:16:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The First Jew

The debate about who is the first jew is a long one (I myself have
engaged in this debate for over 12 years :). And while here again there
might be multiple answers, there is a pretty clear halachik answer.

The first jews are the nation of Israel who stood at Har Sinai and
accepted the Torah. We know that these people are the first jews because
they are converts. We know they are converts, because all the
requirements for conversion are learned from their behavior. (They
circumcised, went to a mikvah and accepted the Torah. We require these
three things of all converts.)

This suggests that "jew" is defined as someone who has accepted/is
obligated by the Torah. This is at least a necessary (but might not be
sufficient) condition.

Other conditions which might be necessary (but are clearly not
sufficient) include:

1. has responsibility for the spirituality of the world
2. has a special relationship with G-d by right of birth

1 was accepted by Avraham, and it is why we distinguish Avraham as the
father of the jews (as opposed to Noah, for example, who was as much our
ancestor, but not our father).

2 was accomplished by Yaakov and his children with "mitaso shleima'
(lit. "his bed was complete" refers to the fact that Yaakov was the
first to have all his children accept G-d)

In fact, based on Rashi (who says the shvatim ate ever min hachai) the
Maharal in Gur Aryeh (I think, and other commentaries as well)
attributes the disagreement between Yosef and his brothers to the
question of whether they had a status of jew or not.

Hope this helps


From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 10:02:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Learning on 7th night of Pesach (Re: 3 days...)

       Rav Yehonatan Chipman wrote that there is a custom to abstain
from marital relations <on both 7th of Pesah and Shavvuot because of the
custom among at least some people of all-night learning on both
occasions>.  What are the source and reason for all-night learning on
the 7th night of Pesach, and are there places in which this custom is
observed, nowadays?  Thanks.

- Josh


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 10:59:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Non-Jewish prophets

chihal wrote:
>         But the Torah does record that God told Noah some things which
> became true, including advance notice of the flood and God's promise
> never to destroy the world with another flood. ...

My mistake.  You are right about that.

I was thinking only of the order to build the Ark, which in itself is
not prophecy.  But the revelation of the impending destruction of the
world, and the attempt to get the population to repent to stave off the
destruction, and the later promise for the future is prophetic.

Shimon Lebowitz wrote:
> I did not understand your differentiation between the commandments
> Noach was told by G-d, and other forms of prophecy. Can you clarify
> why these are not prophecies? As we say in the 13 Principles of
> Faith by the Ramba"m: "... that the prophecy of Moshe our Teacher is
> true...", referring to the Torah. Maybe I misunderstand, but I think
> that the Ramba"m's (main) intention here was "the prophecy of Moshe
> is true" and therefore we must obey the commandments he recorded,
> not "his prophecy is true and therefore we must believe the 'stories'
> in the Torah".

Not everything said to a prophet is prophecy.  Just like not everything
by a Torah scholor is psak halacha.

A prophecy is a promise for the future, or advance warning of an
impending event.  Prophecies of bad events usually include instructions
on how to avert the bad event.

When Moses told the people about the blessings and curses for the
future, that was definite prophecy.  But when he was detailing the
specifics of how to conduct sacrifices, he was relaying commands.

Your understanding of Rambam backs this up - Moses's prophecies are
true, and therefore we also accept the non-prophetic things he said,
including the commandments.

-- David


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:39:40 -0600 (CDT)
Subject: Permissible xamec on Pesax

> How hasidim living in eretz yisrael who are stringent about "gebrokts"
> eat knaidlach is a mystery to me ... Perhaps they extend the last day
> through tosefet yom tov and base the leniency on it not being truly [y]om
> tov, but even then to anyone extending the holiday in that fashion, all
> the humrot apply to him!

This point was addressed in a very recent issue of mail.jewish but
apparently it needs to be restated.  If you extend the last day of Pesax
though tosefet yom tom, all the laws of yom tov apply, but the
prohibition of xamec does not.  Thus, bread can be eaten on the last
meal of Pesax if it is late enough.

			Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
			6424 N Whipple St, Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2002 17:12:28 +0300
Subject: Re: Pidyon Haben

Ben Katz <bkatz@...>, in the course of the thread on "Laining in EY
for those from Chutz L'Aretz," opend a new issue, that of Pidyon Haben.
He wrote there (v36n39):

   << BTW, I have never come across a good explanation as to why
"yichus", which nearly always follows the father (if your father was a
kohen, you are a kohen), seems to have something to do with the mother
in a single instance that I am aware of -- pidyon haben.  As is
well-known, the first born son of the daughter of a kohen or a levi does
not have to be redeemed.  Why should this be so?  I was once told that
perhaps the reason it that it would be unseemly for a grandfather to
redeem his own grandson, but I was never satisfied with this
explanation.  Any thoughts?>>

The answer, to my mind, is very simple: Pidyon Haben celebrates the
birth of a first born who "opens the womb" (peter rehem) -- which is by
definition a function of the mother.  So when the mother has,
so-to-speak, a kohanic or levitic womb, pidyon haben is irrelevant.

    Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 17:41:17 +0300
Subject: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

Maybe I'm looking at this question a little differently, but what would
be the "advantage" if Rashi did have Ruach HaKodesh? The gemara (Bava
Batra 12a) says "chacham adif mi'navi" - a sage is superior to a
prophet. All of man's wisdom is a divine gift, but when man uses his
wisdom to accomplish greatness in the study of Torah then he has
utilized this gift in the ideal way. A prophet, in a sense, is passive,
whereas the sages takes advantage of his intellect to fulfill the will
of God. Similarly, to say that Rashi had ruach hakodesh - on a higher
level than "atah chonen l'adam da'at" ("You grant man wisdom", from the
Amidah prayer) - would actually detract from what Rashi accomplished
with the intellect that God gave him.

David Curwin
Efrat, Israel


From: Zemira and Tzvi Woolf <tzywoolf@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2002 00:35:46 +0200
Subject: Spaying Animals

What is the halacha with regard to spaying or neutering an animal (a

In the past we were told by a posek ( if we understood correctly) that
it is OK to give the animal to a non-Jewish vet as a gift, have him spay
the animal, and then hope that the vet will give the animal back.

However, that seems to be clearly at odds with the Shulchan Aruch, Even
HaEzer 5:14.

Can anyone shed some light on this,please?

Thank you very much,
Tzvi Woolf


End of Volume 36 Issue 43