Volume 36 Number 74
                 Produced: Tue Jul 16  6:21:56 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll (2)
         [Alexis Rosoff, Shaya Potter]
Better is frummer?
         [Gershon Dubin]
Frum Community near Delaware
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
groom/bride = melech/malkah
         [Perry Zamek]
Modesty by Avraham and Sara
         [Gershon Dubin]
Proving the rule
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Sheimot in Senge
         [Ben Katz]
Sheimot in Senge; holiness in halakha
         [Jay F Shachter]
Tevilas Keilim in Hotels
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
Two bachelors in the same room
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Alexis Rosoff <alexis1@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2002 20:40:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

On Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:42:10 EDT, Carl Singer wrote:

|> It depends on the audience(s) mature, knowledegable, novice, youthful?
|> -- A challenge for anyone who's ever taught a course or written a paper
|> or a book.  Going back to the Art Scroll Siddur and by extension to the
|> Shir HaShirim -- is the audience envisioned as a using the siddur for
|> davening (only) or for casual study, for serious study or for teaching
|> others (say as in a kiruv situation.)  As much as the Art Scroll is not
|> my favorite, I appreciate their great efforts.

The translation of Shir HaShirim is my least favorite thing about the
Artscroll Tanach. There are many arguments given--the meaning of the
text is not literal, and so on--but I fail to find them convincing,
because of the overall impression given by the translation and
layout. Artscroll makes it very difficult to find the literall
translation: it's in single phrases in the notes. If the editors of the
Artscroll Tanach felt it was imperative to include the allegorical
translation, there are several ways they could have done it without
obscuring the original. Their method tends to feel like they're trying
to shield the reader from the text. Surely, even though the meaning of
the text is paramount, there is also significance in the way it is
expressed? Shir HaShirim was written that way for a reason, and we can't
comprehend that reason unless we can read the text itself. I know that a
perfect translation from Hebrew is not possible, but that's not a
justification for deliberately trying to hide behind allegory.

As a side note, I'm not particularly fond of the layout of the Artscroll
Tanach, particularly the English typeface. It's a poor choice to begin
with (a simple serif typeface would be much cleaner and easier to read)
and having the entire text in italics is tiring on the eyes. I have the
JPS Tanach as well, and the designers did a much better job. I dislike
the formatting of the English as poetry rather than prose, but it's much
cleaner, better spaced, and easier to find chapters and verses. This may
sound like a petty gripe (and I don't regard it as a major factor in my
choice of Tanach--aside from Shir HaShirim, I prefer the Artscroll) but
in a book like the Tanach, which will be read intensively and used for
study, a clear, usable layout is very important.

Alexis Rosoff ---=--- http://alexis.dusk.org.uk ---=--- Long Island, NY

From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: 10 Jul 2002 12:14:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

> From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
> Binyomin Segal, in replying to an earlier post of mine objecting to the
> ArtScroll translation of Shir ha-Shirim, brings some examples of what he
> calls "complex pshat" from Rashi and Ibn Ezra.
> >"An eye for an eye" rashi says it means "the cost of an eye for an eye"
> >while ibn Ezra seems to take the literal meaning as a moral statement,
> >someone who takes an eye deserves that his eye be taken (see ramban).
> But in each case, the example you bring seems to me to reinforce my
> argument. Rashi and Ibn Ezra both start from the plain meaning of the
> words and t h e n expand into more complex or metaphorical
> interpretations which they urge as the "true" meanings.

When I was taking bible classes at YU, the classes that opened my eyes
the most were R' Hayyim Angel.  As he explained it, and what makes most
sense to me, is that pshat is not "simplest meaning", but "primary
meaning of author".  In that case, rashi and ibn ezra are arguing on
what the pshat is.  I don't see how one can say the pshat is not the
"true meaning".


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 17:22:13 GMT
Subject: Better is frummer?

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
> Woman decides that maybe it is also ok to eat from the tree as well.
> Such is one danger of chumra,

More specifically, and importantly, a lack of recognition of what is
chumra and what is the halacha.  There is a specific requirement to
enact "chumras" over and above ikar hadin.  Examples abound throughout
the Talmud.  It is important to keep perspective on what is a din Torah,
what is a derabanan (rabbinical enactment) and what is custom.



From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 09:44:53 -0400
Subject: Frum Community near Delaware

Baltimore is about an hour a way... all highways (Baltimore Beltway and
I-95).  There is a woman at my office who does the reverse commute
(lives in Delaware and commutes to Baltimore every day).


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 13:36:05 +0200
Subject: groom/bride = melech/malkah

At 10:15 10/07/2002 +0000, Gershon Dubin wrote:
> > However, I have not found any mention of the Bride being a
> > Queen anywhere. I suppose being the wife of a King makes her a Queen.
>The reason for this is that we assume that a queen is a monarch, just of
>the female sex.  In the times of the Gemara, this was usually not true.
>Most queens were, as you say, wives of kings, and therefore possessed of
>no independent power.

Note the Gemara (Baba Bathra 15a):

Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan: Anyone who
says that the Queen of Sheba was a woman is [simply] mistaken.

On this the Maharsha comments (paraphrased, from memory):
How can you say that she was not a woman, when the text refers to her in 
the feminine?! Rather, his point is that the usual meaning of the term 
"malka" is "the wife of the king". Here, however, she was a queen in her 
own right.

Amazing what you will find when  you help your kids with their homework!

Perry Zamek


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 17:35:46 GMT
Subject: Modesty by Avraham and Sara

From: Turkel, Elihu <turkel@...>
:I remember seeing one of the commentators (either in the Gemara or the
Shulchan Aruch - the Bais Shmuel?), that explain that she was doing a
lice-check. Seems strange and, although it answers both above questions,
raises others (e.g., ma pit'om "lice-checks" in olam haba?). 

IIRC the story is used to prohibit lice checks -in Olam Hazeh! by a wife
for a husband, not to imply that that is what Sara was doing.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 13:36:04 +0200
Subject: Proving the rule

Since I'm the one who started the whole brouhaha about "prove" meaning
"test," I figured I might as well go back to the books - in this case
the so-called "Shorter Oxford Dictionary," Third Edition (2500 pages
short).  There, it gives as its first definition of the word "Prove,"
"to test," and traces it back to the Old French "probare," which means
"to test."  The Dictionary adds that one tests "a thing as to its

Shmuel Himelstein


From: chihal <chihal@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:28:01 -0500
Subject: Shaymot

	Leah Gordon asks: <<I recently bought the book, _The Fifth
Discipline_ for a class that I'm taking.  It is by a [probably not
Jewish] guy named Senge.  Anyway, I was shocked to find that around page
160, he writes the four-letter version of God's name, in Hebrew, to
illustrate a point about some acronym or other.  So, can I recycle/throw
away this book?>>

	I'm not a posek (nor do I play one on TV), but in my ignorance
it seems to me that Leah could just tear out the page with God's name,
turn that into the Shaymot collection for burial -- and recycle/throw
away the rest of the book.  Or is that forbidden?

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 12:08:22 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Sheimot in Senge

>From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
>I have a question--
>I recently bought the book, _The Fifth Discipline_ for a class that I'm
>taking.  It is by a [probably not Jewish] guy named Senge.  Anyway, I
>was shocked to find that around page 160, he writes the four-letter
>version of God's name, in Hebrew, to illustrate a point about some
>acronym or other.  So, can I recycle/throw away this book?  (It's not
>such a great book, so I don't plan to keep it.)  The intention of the
>name is definitely as "God's name for Jews".  There must be a lot of
>copies of this book floating around, as it is a trendy management kind
>of book.  What are the issues?

As usual, you should consult a competent rabbi.  However, this issue
does come up a lot, eg with pictures of Torah scrolls or mezuzah klapim.
I believe there is a teshuvah where Rav Moshe Feinstein said that only
ritually-used materials themselves (eg a sefer Torah or a mezuzah or
tefillin klaph) but not any likeness (eg their photographs) are actual

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, Voicemail and Pager: 3034
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 08:45:02 -0600 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Sheimot in Senge; holiness in halakha

Everything is the universe is holy, but there are different degrees of
holiness.  Our halakha teaches us that the degree of holiness requiring
the kind of reverential treatment indicated above must be conferred by
human intent.  It does not automatically inhere in objects with certain
physical forms, as certain more magical religions might teach, when the
intent to confer holiness was absent.

The classic example in halakha is a Sefer Torah written by an Epikuros.
We are accustomed to thinking of a Sefer Torah as the holiest object in
our experience; people take their most solemn oaths on a Sefer Torah;
but a Sefer Torah, otherwise 100% kosher, written by an Epikuros, has no
holiness whatsoever, and to prevent it from ever being used, it must be
burnt.  The halakha also discusses a Sefer Torah written by a non-Jew.
Such a Sefer Torah could not be used for ritual purposes, because the
necessary level of holiness is lacking, but it can be used for nonritual
purposes, and when it is discarded it must be discarded in a reverential
manner, since the non-Jew may have believed in God the same way we do,
and may thus have conferred a certain level of holiness on the Sefer
Torah when he wrote it.

(Similarly, a publisher who intentionally falsifies or mistranslates the
texts that he publishes confers no holiness on them.  Such books may be
taken into the bathroom, and need not be discarded in a respectful

Thus, the question is not whether Senge knew that yhwh is our Name for
God.  The question is: What is Senge's attitude toward that Name?  That
marks with a certain form are assembled together on a page means
nothing, absent a human intent to confer holiness on those marks.  Not
having read Senge's book, I can offer no answer to the factual question.

Note that the seal of Yale University contains a quote, in Hebrew, from
the Torah (albeit less than a complete verse).  The seal of Columbia
University contains, in Hebrew, the four-letter Name of God.

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


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <eifrah@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 16:41:40 +0200
Subject: Re: Tevilas Keilim in Hotels

In Vol. 36 #67, Immanuel Burton wrote:

> According to Shulchan Aruch 120:8 and Rambam's Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros
> 17:6, a Jew who borrows vessels from a non-Jew may use them without
> tevilah.  Seeing as if one eats in a hotel owned by a non-Jew and uses
> his special kosher vessels, one is borrowing the vessels, and so they do
> not need tevilah.

> However, can one argue that the fee one pays for one's room includes
> entitlement to use the special kosher vessels, in which case it could be
> further argued that one is in effect renting the vessels; Darchai
> Teshuvah 120:64 cites a ruling of the Radvaz that renting a vessel from
> a non-Jew is considered a purchase, and so tevilah with a blessing is
> required.

I do not think you can extend this ruling of the Radvaz to the case of a
Jew residing in a hotel owned by a non-Jew because the vessels are not
really in the "reshut" ("domain") of the Jew: the non-Jewish owner would
certainly not allow this Jew to take the vessels out of the hotel to
bring them to a miqweh, lest he should break them, etc.  And until the
vessel is not really in the Jew's reshut, it is not subject to the
obligation of tevila.  In the case about which the Radvaz gave his
ruling, the Jew was renting the vessels and thus taking them home, in
his reshut.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 13:23:36 +0200
Subject: Two bachelors in the same room

For all those who question the propriety of having two bachelors sleep
in the same room, I have but one question: what do you think the
sleeping arrangements are in most Yeshivah dormitories (except those
which have three or more males in the same room)?

Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 36 Issue 74