Volume 37 Number 41
                 Produced: Sat Oct 19 21:45:09 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

80E.  Gan Eden?
         [Stan Tenen]
Bat Kohen
         [Howard S. Joseph]
Hamar Medina
         [David Ziants]
Havdalah and orange juice
         [David Ziants]
High Holiday Prayers
         [Michael Rogovin]
         [Carl Singer]
Learning from the Animals
         [Andrew Klafter]
Listing of the ten tribes (2)
         [Ezriel Krumbein, Shalom Ozarowski]
Reasons for Order in the Tribes (The Coffin Flag Midrash Gn50-13a)
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 14:15:09 -0400
Subject: 80E.  Gan Eden?

At 01:48 PM 10/13/02, Zev Sero wrote:
>So the dateline must follow that curving line, being the eastern edge
>of the Twilight Zone, when the sun is over the equator, at 80E of
>Greenwich (he brings another midrash indicating that that is the
>location of the physical Gan Eden; at present that spot is under

Does anyone know more about this?

The reason I ask, is because there is a possibility that Plato's story
of Atlantis was possibly associated/confabulated with Gan Eden, and that
if some ancient sources are interpreted based on the convention that
what we now call the "South Pole" was in the north (and east was west),
Atlantis turns out to be likely described as in the Indian Ocean near
this same longitude also.  (And then, of course, there is the
extraordinarily long and straight 90-East Ridge nearby. If the ocean
were lower, and Earth were viewed from space, this would be a very
prominent feature.  Perhaps a now subducted land mass just west of the
90-East Ridge might account for both Gan Eden and Atlantis.  Is there
any deep-sea geologist or oceanographer on m-j who can tell us if this
is possible, or not?)  I know this is pretty wild speculation, so let's
see if it checks out any further.

Does anyone know if the midrash indicates a latitude?  If this overlays
the upside-down interpretations of the Plato Atlantis location, then
there might be something worth investigating.  Maybe there's another
"legendary Troy" hiding somewhere in reality where we haven't yet

Please respond on or off-list.  Thanks.



From: Howard S. Joseph <hjoseph@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 09:48:21 -0400
Subject: Bat Kohen

So far all the respondents spoke from the Ashkenazi perspective.
However, in our Congregation we have Syrian and Lebanese Jews who are
Kohanim and their custom is that unmarried daughters do not go into the

Howard S. Joseph
Rabbi, Spanish Portuguese Synagogue
4894 St. Kevin Ave, Montreal, Quebec  Canada  H3W1S1
Tel. # 514-737-3695, Fax # 514-737-7430
Urgent Mobile # 514-574-5931


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 02:37:20 +0200
Subject: Hamar Medina

As a continuation of the thread on orange juice and havdala, I want to
try and summarize an article that HaRav Yehoshua Ka"tz (ashkenazi chief
rabbi of Ma'aleh Adumim) wrote some years ago called "L'Hagdarat Hamar
Medina" [= The definition of "Hamar Medina"], which was published in
"Kotleinu" of Yeshivat Hakotel (yr 5747 - Vol 12 pp209-220). I just read
this article, and I will try and summarise the "conclusion" section in
English, citing the sources he brings in the main sections. Any mistakes
from misunderstandings, mistranslation or incorrect expression etc., in
this summary are mine.

Firstly, in the body of the article he discusses at length the well
known halacha that alcoholic drinks can be a wine substitute and are
hamar medina. This is also true for alcoholic beer.

In the conclusion to the article, where he summarises the less obvious
issues, his opinion is that:

(1) Milk - Seems from the Birkat Yosef (Orach Chayim 296:3) that this is
chamar medina especially as in the Gemara Kritut (13) milk used to be
alcoholic, and those who disallowed it was because it wasn't a common
drink in their locale. The matter still needs research for today, as
milk is not served at parties etc.

Shoko [= chocolate drink] made from a mixture of milk cocoa powder and
sugar, however, is an "important" non-thirst-quencher drink, and is
chamar medina. Although it is not drunk so frequently this isn't an
issue in societies where "important" drinks are drunk less often (Aruch
HaShulchan 272:14) .

(2) Natural juices are called hamar medina.

(3) Coffee ("botz" [= Turkish (I assume -DZ)] and instant) with sugar
and milk (emphasis on "sugar and milk" - I assume that milk adds
importance) are called hamar medina.

(2) and (3) can be called hamar medina according to most opinions, but
not according to Rav Ovadia Yossef who learns from "Baal Halachot
Katanot" of R. Yaakov Chagiz Sect 1 Chap 9, based on "HaSheiltot" of Rav
Achai Gaon that only alcoholic drinks are considered hamar medina.

(4) "Light" drinks whether fizzy or non fizzy - cannot be called hamar
medina at all as these are like water [Rav Moshe Feinstein 2nd part of
Orech Hachayim 75[.

(5) Black coffee and and sweet tea should only be considered hamar
medina in an emergency and there is no other choice, as there are
sources to rely on this (eg Aruch HaShulchan). Coffee is better than tea
as this is a brew, and also is a drink that gives physical
strength. Some of the sources talk about tea but not coffee (Aruch
HaShulchan and Rav Moshe Feinstein), but the reason for the omitting is
because coffee is less problematic than tea and these texts prefer to
discuss the more problematic option.

I hope I transmitted the important points in this summary. I looked also
at the footnotes of Shemirat Shabbat K'hilchato and many of these points
seem to be mentioned there, but possibly in a slightly different order.

Rav Ka"tz states at the end of the article:
"V'kashe lahachria bchol zeh halacha l'ma'aseh; v'hashem yair ainainu
b'torato." = "It is difficult to weigh this all up for pratical halacha;
and hashem will light up our eyes in his Torah.".

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 02:35:51 +0200
Subject: Re: Havdalah and orange juice

Concerning havdala and concentrate mix, I asked HaRav Yehoshua Ka"tz
(ashkenazi chief rabbi of Ma'aleh Adumim) for more details, when I
bumped into him last week. He gave me permission to mention his name.

He reiterated the ruling he had given someone a few years ago, that
ordinary concentrate mix is really just "water" and one would have to
repeat havdala if done with this. Pure natural orange juice, on the
other hand is definitely OK as "hamar medina".

I asked him concerning reconstituted juice (although I didn't have the
details on the process which I read on a later posting).

Rav Ka"tz said that a juice made by removing the water from natural
oranges and then adding later, would certainly not be allowed to be used
lahatchilla (on the outset) as "hamar medina" as this is doubtfully
permitted. If this was erroneously done, he would not instruct someone
to repeat havdala because of the safek (doubt), [as we have the
principle "safek b'rachot lahakel" which means we don't repeat b'rachot
(except birkat hamazon) if there is a doubt involved -DZ].

With the above, HaRav Ka"tz told me that alcoholic beer is still the
best type of hamar medina.

He directed me to an article he wrote many years ago called "L'Hagdarat
Hamar Medina" [= The definition of "Hamar Medina"], which was published
in "Kotleinu" of Yeshivat Hakotel (yr 5747 - Vol 12 pp209-220). I just
read this article, and I will try and summarise this as a separate

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: <rogovin@...> (Michael Rogovin)
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 16:23:54 -0500
Subject: High Holiday Prayers

On the subject of high holiday prayers, I notice each year that the
organization of stanzas in certain piyutim which are commonly sung by
the congregation seems incorrect. Most machzors print them as follows: 


Rather than


The example that comes readily to mind is v'chol maminim ("and all
believe"). Look at the parallels in language between the verses (not to
mention the grammatical problem of starting a sentence with
"and"). The pairing as printed and sung just seems wrong to me. The
printed/sung pairing also forces starting and ending with a single
verse, rather than pairing all verses. If paired as I suggest, the
parallels work and there are no dangling stanzas. I was wondering if
anyone else noticed this or felt the same way. 

Michael Rogovin


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 15:09:38 EDT
Subject: Re: Husband/Wife

      R' Boruch Ber Leibowitz came to the U.S. to collect money for his
      Yeshiva. In his travels he came to the home of a former
      Talmid. When he entered the Talmid's home, the Talmid, out of
      respect for R' Boruch Ber, turned off the phonograph to which his
      wife had been listening.

      R' Boruch Ber pulled the young man aside and went out with him to
      the porch. He told the young man: "Your wife was listening to the
      phonograph, and you summarily turned it off without receiving her
      permission. You owe her an apology."

      Shmuel Himelstein

Perhaps now that many of us are in "dual income" households, and thus
have less "role distinction" and more, so-called "equality" -- we may
not appreciate the great importance of the ba'alat habayis and her role
of keeping the house -- and I'm not refering to laundry & dishes.  There
are, of course, several anectdotes similar to that mentioned above --
and today's gedoleh ha'dor by there example continue to display this.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Andrew Klafter <KLAFTEAB@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 15:03:28 -0400
Subject: Learning from the Animals

>From: Francine S. Glazer <fglazer@...>
>I am looking for a reference in the texts to what we learn from each animal.
>Stems from a discussion I had recently re: the spider was put here to hide
>Dovid haMelech, the wasp to wake him, etc.  Isn't there a more extensive
>list somewhere in Talmud?

Talmud bavli, Eruvin 100b: "If the Torah had not been given, we could
learn modesty from the cat, theft from an ANT...," etc.

Andrew B. Klafter, MD (<Andrew.Klafter@...>)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry-University of Cincinnati
222 Piedmont Ave, MAB 8500, Cincinnati, OH  45219 USA
(513)475-8710   FAX(513)475-8023


From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 20:19:34 -0700
Subject: Re: Listing of the ten tribes

>From: David Farkas <DavidF@...>

>There appear to be numerous different ways of listing the ten tribes.
>While we know the proper order of their birth, they seem to be listed
>under all sorts of configurations throughout Tanach. I am looking for a
>list of all places in Tanach where they are listed, and perhaps an
>explanation for each variance. Does anyone know any references?

Two sources; One, Sefer Toras Rash"i (page 142) which is a compilation
of charts relating to Rash"i's comments on Chumash ( and now na"ch) has
a chart of the 12 places the shevatim are mentioned in Chumash. Two,
Sefer Shitei Yisrael (pages 52-61) has to chapter on the order of the
shevatim one related to the meraglim and the other related to the
Berachos and Klalos on Har greizim and har eival.

Kol Tov

From: <Shalomoz@...> (Shalom Ozarowski)
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 01:35:00 EDT
Subject: Listing of the ten tribes

I'm assuming you mean 12 tribes (sometimes 13?).  for some of the lists
in chumash, menachem leibtag discusses the various orders in his shiur
on parshat bamidbar, based on theme & context IIRC.  you can read it at
http://mail.tanach.org/bamidbar/bamid/bamids1.htm for the rest of na"ch
i'm not sure of anything offhand.  i would guess many lists would be
somehow related to their geography/nachalot.

kol tuv
shalom ozarowski


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 16:59:42 -0400
Subject: Reasons for Order in the Tribes (The Coffin Flag Midrash Gn50-13a)

David Farkas (v37n35) asks for methods for listing the tribes and their
significance. I am sure many people will comment on the methods--I just
wanted to mention an obscure Rashi on significance

The famous coffin-flag Midrash interprets Gn50-13a (Jacobs sons buried
him AS HE COMMANDED) to mean that Jacob ASSIGNED the
North-East-West-South camp order that we find in Nu02. Recall that the
12 tribes camped in a rectangle formation--3 on each side.

It turns out that there is a whole psychological literature on pairing
people in work/living situations(These methods were developed during WW2
to enable efficient troop performance and to avoid unnecessary
strifes). Basically, people with similar interests and attitudes tend to
"get along" with each other while those with dissimilar interests or
methods for handling situations do not.

Comparing Gn49 and Nu02 we see that each compass direction corresponded
to a similar group of interests Thus the eastern tribes (Yehuda Zevulun
Yissacar) were known for their SCHOLARSHIP, the western tribes (Joseph
Binyamin) were involved in the TEMPLE, the northern tribes (Dan, Asher,
Naftali) were known for JUDGES.

Hence I interpret the Rashi/Chazal to mean: Jacob indicated similar
interests and preferences in his blessings and this served as a basis
for the flag formations in the wilderness.

The above correspondence is almost perfect but has some discrepancies.
For more details see the URL below from the Rashi website

Russell Jay Hendel;http://www.RashiYomi.com/gn50-13a.htm


End of Volume 37 Issue 41