Volume 36 Number 83
                 Produced: Fri Jul 26  2:51:07 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Carl Singer]
Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Reuben Rudman]
carrying ID on Shabbos
         [Daniel Cohn]
Geocentric vs Heliocentric
         [Alan Rubin]
         [Tzvi Briks]
Har Choma
Interpreting Avraham's and Sara's "Embrace"
         [Moshe and davida Nugiel]
Jewish "Amish Country"
Mei Raglayim
         [Shalom Carmy]
Modesty by Avraham and Sara
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Observance in Outer Space
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Schar Bitul
         [Andy Goldfinger]


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 07:10:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Acceleration

      In addition, why do you say that planes are 'on Earth'?  When you
      are driving in a car you generally don't have massive acceleration
      and altitude changes (ear popping, etc.) like you experience on a
      jetplane takeoff.  Just because we are accustomed to it now
      doesn't mean that the first plane travelers felt the same way.  In
      100 years people might find space flight as comfortable as plane


Just a technical note, what you feel (usually with some discomfort) is
not acceleration (the third derivative of distance with respect to time)
but the CHANGE in acceleration (the 4th derivative) which is,
appropriately enough, named "jerk"

An you wonder why quantum mechanics was so easy :)

Kol Tuv

Carl Singer


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 15:30:50 -0400
Subject: Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael

From: Yaakov Ellis <jellis@...>

<<Why are we wishing people to build a trustworthy house? why not a
"bayit maleh Torah v'chessed b'Yisrael" (filled with Torah and kindness)
or some other appropriate blessing? Is there a source for specifically
saying this beracha?>>

        I urge you to get a copy of Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon's essays,
recently published in English.  He is the mashgiach in the Lakewood
yeshiva and a speaker in incredible demand world wide.

        In this book (I believe the title is on the order of "With
Hearts Full of Faith" but can't find my copy just now), the first essay
(any of the essays is worth the price of the book) is specifically on
this question.


From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 15:44:14 -0400
Subject: Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael

The phrase bayit ne'eman is from Tanach.  For example, it is found in
Samuel I, 2:35 and in Kings I, 11:38.  It is used by the commentators
and is also found in the Rambam, Maharal, and Shelah HaKadosh, among
others.  The phrase essentially means to establish a House that will not
cease to exist.  For example, the Metzudot David (on Samuel) says it
means to establish a permanent 'house' for himself and his descendents.
The word ne'eman is used in the sense of 'kiyum', a measure of

Thus by using this phrase we are contuning the use of a Bracha that was
given by HaShem and that has continued to be used by our Nation for
thousands of years.  This is always better than making up our own
phrases and blessings.  On the other hand, there is no reason why one
cannot add to this their own wishes for a bracha, in their own words.

In a similar maner, we do not coin our own phrases for critical parts of
the Prayers, yet we are allowed to state our own desires and
supplications in our own words in addition to, not in place of, the
prayers coined by the Masters of the Talmud (Chazal).  In fact the
phrase used in the Halacha is that we should not change the "mat'be'a"
used by Chazal, where the literal translation of "mat'be'a" is coin.


From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 22:10:57 -0400
Subject: Re: carrying ID on Shabbos

During the military rule in Uruguay (South America), where the failure to 
produce an ID might have landed you in a military jail, which was certainly 
a potentially life threatening situation at that time, I was told that 
people used to carry their ID in a shoe (I guess because of shinui). Never 
heard of such a practice in "normal" times.

Daniel Cohn


From: Alan Rubin <arubin@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 22:05 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Geocentric vs Heliocentric

> It has nothing to do with Quantum Physics. Relativity theory deals with
> this issue (A sees B moving towards him -- B sees A moving towards him
>  -- A and B have no way of knowing WHO is moving).
> But the actual mechanics of geocentric vs heliocentric were calculated
> hundreds of years ago -- it was the vastly simpler mathematics of the
> heliocentric model that convinced people of it's correctness.

Surely this notion, that relativity would allow a geocentric model of
the solar system ignores the fact that this is an inertial system. It is
not equivalent to the example of A and B moving towards each other
because the body that is in orbit is subject to an acceleration.

Furthermore is not the special theory of relativity according to which
bodies with large masses cause distortion of spacetime in keeping with
the heliocentric rather than the geocentric model?



From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 01:31:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Haftarah

Yisrael and Batya Medad's comments concerning the reading of the
Haftarah seems to be all pervasive.  The Shamashim in the Mitpeh Ramot
Synogogue in Jerusalem and the Young Israel of Scarsdale in Scarsdale NY
do the same marking for the beginning and end of Haftarat Hashavua.

Tzvi Briks


From: Sharon <shani716@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 22:15:52 +0200
Subject: Har Choma

   Does anyone have any information on the Yerushaliyim neighborhood of
Har Choma, ie shuls, older/younger population, transportation, services,
security, etc? Any input appreciated. Please respond to me at
<shani716@...> Thanks, Shani


From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 23:17:35 +0200
Subject: Interpreting Avraham's and Sara's "Embrace"

In his introduction to his "Juggler and the King," Rav Aharon Feldman
teaches us that unlike Scripture, whose straightforward meaning (pshat)
is always a part of its teaching, Aggadic Midrash is just the opposite. 
It's straightforward meaning is never the intention of its author. 

In support of this, Rav Feldman brings the Rambam's Introduction to
Perek Helek.  There the Rambam has very unkind things to say about those
who "adopt the words of the Sages literally," and great praise to those
few in number who recognize that the Sages communicated their teachings
in mashal, or parable.  The literal meaning needs to be studied to find
the teaching beneath the parable.  Those who do not do so: "...in their
own opinions they are honoring the Sages, whereas in reality they are
all the time degrading them to the lower depths...[they] rob our
religion of its beauties, darken its brilliance, and make the Law of God
convey meanings quite contrary to those it was intended to convey."  The
Rambam suggests trying to understand Aggadic Midrash by:  "pass[ing] the
night wrapped up in thought and dwelling in anxious reflection over its
interpretation, mentally striving to find the truth and the correct
point of view..." 

Therefore, questions about how it is possible for corpses to move miss
the point.  What we need to ask is what the ba'al ha'midrash is trying
to teach us about modesty and its relationship to the yetzer ha'rah by
using this strange image to get us to start thinking.  After all, we
need to do some work, too.

Moshe Nugiel


From: <migdalah@...> (Madeline)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 15:38:56 -0700
Subject: Jewish "Amish Country"

Hi there,
Well there is not a whole lot there in Lancaster. There is one of each
type of synagogue in Lancaster. An Orthodox, Conservative and a Reformed.
The Orthodox shul is small in amount but I am pretty sure they have
minyan on Shabbat. The name of the shul is Degel Israel... I am not sure
of the Rabbi's name. 
I had heard there is now a kosher restaurant in Dutch Wonderland but I am
not sure of the info and I do not know who is overseeing it.  As far as
Jewish Interest I know of nothing. There are lots of crafty type things
to do and see and there are lots of outlets. I advise calling the shul
office in Lancaster and talking to someone there.

Be well,


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 00:49:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mei Raglayim

> An old yerushalmi once pointed out to me that a well immeadiately
> outside the old city has the name "regel" (or something similar, this is
> a twenty year old memory) and hence mei raglayim would refer to water
> from that well.  As a result, Saul's suggested interpretation would be
> correct.

The idea belongs to the TaZ.


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 00:28:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Modesty by Avraham and Sara

Zev Sero <zev.sero@...> writes:
> that R Eliezer b"r Shimon remained in his attic for many
> years after his death, answering questions that were shouted up at him
> from the ground level.  

If I recall correctly, the gemara clarifies that he only adjudicated
civil matters which may be decided by any mutually agreed-upon party.



From: <ERosen613@...> (Eric)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 20:56:53 -0400
Subject: Obligations

Last week I stopped into a shul to daven Mincha.  Before Alenu, the
Rabbi got up to give what I thought would be a brief d'var Torah.
Instead, he began lecturing on the need to destroy enemies of the Jewish
people, begining with Arabs but then going on to include Jews (!) who,
as far as I could tell, didn't agree with his point of view. 

Many people hissed, and a few (including me) walked out.  My question
is, what is the appropriate halachic response to such a "lecture"?  What
listener's response(s) are considered mandatory halachically?  Or
optional?  [I leave aside what the speaker's obligations are---my issue
is what obligations those in the audience have.]



From: Russell Jay Hendel
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 02:56:42 -0400
Subject: RE: Observance in Outer Space

Mark Dratch in v36n65 talks about the obligation of mitzvoth in outer

>Although I haven't seen R. Firer's article, I understand the position as
>follows; earth is the frame of reference of the Torah.  Outside of that
>frame of reference, the mitzvot are irrelevant.  Consider: intelligent
>life on another planet must also have a relationship with God, no?  <

Some rather obvious comments

First: ALl negative prohibitions would certainly apply.  You cant kill
people; you cant commit adultery etc

Second: Being in outer space is no different than living in a
scandinavian country(where the sun may never set). No one ever suggested
that you are free from ANY commandments in a scandinavian country. True,
there are >calendar< problems -- but there resolution does not influence
whether you are obligated in commandments.

So at most there are problems about how to implement time dependent
commandments (like prayer and tefillin).

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:03:27 -0400
Subject: Schar Bitul

This question actually came to me in a dream last night ...

There is a prohibition on taking money in exchange for Torah, e.g.
learning Torah or even teaching Torah.  How, then, is it permissible for
us to pay teachers or kollel students?  In a recent shiur (class) the
Rabbi spoke of the concept of schar bitul (hard to translate, something
like "compensation for idle time.").  The basic idea is that the person
in question, for example a Torah teacher, could have used his teaching
hours to earn money.  It is to compensate him for this lost income that
we pay him.  I asked a question: what if he has a paying full time job,
and teaches Torah in the evening, time he would not be earning money
anyway?  The answer -- it doesn't matter -- the potential is there to
earn money, and it is the loss of this potential we compensate him for.

Now -- my question.  Different people have different earning potentials.
Some lawyers can be payed $500 per hour, or even more.  On the other
hand, other people do not have marketable skills, and therefore can earn
little more than minumum wage.  If we are paying the teacher for lost
potential wages, shouldn't we pay no more that what he could earn in the
marketplace of jobs?  For some people this would be less than what they
are payed for teaching or (especially) tutoring?

-- Andy Goldfinger


End of Volume 36 Issue 83