Volume 37 Number 86
                 Produced: Fri Dec  6  6:30:45 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buddism and Lashon Harah
         [Stephen Phillips]
Censorship of the Gemara (2)
         [Michael M. Schein, Russell Levy]
Chanukah's legal fiction
         [Stephen Phillips]
Hanukkah away from home
         [Eliezer Wenger]
Kaufmann Codex
         [Michael Kahn]
The Miracle of the Oil
         [Richter Mark]
More requests for Sources on Idolatry of Shituf
         [Zev Sero]
question about the oil burning
         [David Cohen]
Request to Members
         [Bill Bernstein]
Shmuel Himelstein's request for info on 20th century Jewish cities
         [Yaakov Fogelman]
Speaking on Phone when it is Shabbat on one side
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Theological Significance of Shabbat?
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Request: Daily Minyan
         [Eliezer Wenger]


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 12:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Buddism and Lashon Harah

> From: Keith Bierman <Keith.Bierman@...>

2 points. First, I think the laws of Lashon Harah only apply when
referring to other Jews. Secondly, it was my understanding that Buddhism
is considered Avodah Zarah [idol worship].

Stephen Phillips.


From: Michael M. Schein <mschein@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 09:10:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Censorship of the Gemara

"Dozvoleno tsenzuroyu" means "allowed by the censor."  All books
published in Russia had to pass censorship, but Jewish ones in
particular.  In all books published in the USSR, you'll find a similar
declaration on the last page; the phrase used is "podpisano v pechat'"
(= signed (approved) for publication".

From: Russell Levy <russlevy@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 09:50:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Censorship of the Gemara

I can't remember where I read it (still looking), but until the 1830s (I
think 1835), places where the gemara was censored was left as a blank
space. However, the czar at the time (Nicholas I) made a lot of
anti-Jewish laws one being a restriction of Jews to the Pale of
Settlement, and another being that censored areas in books cannot be
left as blank spaces. This is why in the Vilna shas (published in
1870s-1880s), there are no big blank spaces in masechtot like Avodah
Zara and Sanhedrin, but in other editions, there are (since they were
not published in Russia).

Though this isn't discussed in the article, you can see a short history 
of censorship at 
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=293&letter=C#1057 .

Just trying to answer the question of voluntary/mandatory censorship.
Until the decree of Nicholas I, we at least could remember where there
were textual emendations. In the Vilna shas however, we have no
indication at all that something was left out.



From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 12:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Chanukah's legal fiction

> From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <mosheand@...>
> Is the shamesh on the chanukiah a legal fiction?

Not really. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 673:1 where the reason for the
Shamash is in case one inadvertently uses the lights (say for reading,
which one may not do) then it is considered as if the Shamash was being

Stephen Phillips.


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 07:45:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Hanukkah away from home

In MJ Vol. 37 #81 David Waxman <yitz99@...> wrote < Perhaps you
should also remind the couple to use at least one big candle for Friday
night that will continue to burn 30 minutes after sundown.>. Somehow an
error crept in that statement. The lights must burn for at least thirty
minutes after Tzeis Hakochavim (when the three stars come out), not
after sundown. 30 minutes after sundown is generally before Tzeis and
the obligation does not start until Tzeis. Thus, on Friday nights, it is
necessary to make sure that the candles burn for a minimum of 90
minutes. It should be pointed out at the same time, that since the
regular boxed candles of 44 that is sold on the market don't last for
over 45 minutes with luck, it is necessary to make sure that even
children under Bar Mitzvah also use at least one candle that will burn
the minimum of 90 minutes.

Eliezer Wenger


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 00:39:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Kaufmann Codex

>BTW, I am happy to say that those readers of this list who are connected to
>the Internet can actually see the Kaufmann Codex (and other mss

What is the Kaufmann Codex and what does mss stand for?


From: Richter Mark <richter-mark@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 12:20:43 -0500 
Subject: RE: The Miracle of the Oil

  From: Jonathan Traum <jont@...>
>Are there any sources that explicitly discuss the physical nature of the
>miracle of the oil -- whether the miracle was that the oil was consumed
>more slowly than usual, or whether it continued burning after the oil was

There is an insightful treatment of this issue in the first volume of R.
Yitzhak Mirski's Hegiyonei Halakha.  I believe it is in the chapter
titled "Quality and Quantity in Hanuka."  IIRC, R. Mirski begins with
the Beit Yosef's question, if there was sufficient oil only for one day,
then the miracle itself lasted for only seven.  In light of this fact,
why do we celebrate the miracle of Hanuka for eight days?  R. Mirski
brings a passage from the Ramban on Shemot clarifying that even a
miracle does not create ex nihilo (olam keminhago nohag).  Moreover, oil
used for the menora must be obtained from olives and not from a
miraculous source, because had it been from a miraculous source, it
would not have been subject to Torah laws. (See Radak on story of Elisha
and woman who sought his assistance to alleviate her debt and save her
children.)  R. Mirski concludes (citing Rav Zavin) that the miracle was
in the oil's quality, not its quantity.  The amount of the oil was not
multiplied, rather its strength (or longevity) was increased.  I
apologize that have not done justice to Rav Mirski's article, which goes
well beyond what I sketch out here.  I highly recommend it.


From: Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 16:53:40 -0500 
Subject: Re: More requests for Sources on Idolatry of Shituf

Gil Student <gil_student@...> wrote:
> How do those who hold that shituf is prohibited for a Gentile
> (e.g. Rambam)

Where do you see that the Rambam forbids shituf for goyim?  (Note: I'm
not aware of any variety of Xianity that fits the definition of shituf.)

> understand the verse in Rus 1:16 "Elokayich elokai", which
> the gemara uses as a source for the halachos of conversion?  If Gentiles
> are prohibited in shituf then even before converting the statement
> "elokayich elokai" would have been accurate and this should have no
> significance for conversion (this is the Torah Temimah's question).

A `frum goy' believes in Hashem as the One True God, but does that make
Hashem `his'?  At least until Moshiach comes, Hashem is `our god', `the
god of Israel', not of the nations.  By converting, Ruth became a member
of Hashem's people, and He became *her* god.

Zev Sero


From: David Cohen <david.cohen@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 10:23:15 -0500 
Subject: re: question about the oil burning

The most comprehensive source about this question would seem to be the
first siman in the Bet Yosef about Chanukah. If my memory serves me
correctly, that is siman 670, or taf reish ayin, in the bet yosef orach
chaim. There he gives three answers to that question, none of them being
that the menorah continued to burn without the oil. the three answers he
gives there are:

1) they only used one eighth of the oil every night, and instead of
lasting one eighth of the night, it lasted the whole night, thus the
miracle was actually for all eight days.

2) the answer you gave in your email, which was that the oil just burned
slowly, and on the first morning, they came back and saw that 7/8 of the
oil was still there

3) that when they poured oil from the pach shemen, they poured on the
first night enough to last the first night, and there was still 7/8 of
the oil left in the pach shemen

if you have a good version of the tur bet yosef, then the mar'eh mekomot
there will lead you to the source of these three answers, although
again, i'm not sure, but if my memory serves me correctly, it may have
been the bet yosef himself that gave all three answers.

David A. Cohen


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 09:19:23 -0600
Subject: Request to Members

Very often members in replying to questions raised cite an article or
book without ever summarizing anything about it.  For those of us who do
not live next door to vast Jewish libraries this makes the post less
than useless.

I would appreciate it if any time someone mentions an article, book,
tshuva etc in making an argument or responding that he should also give
just a brief summary of what was said.  It would be a big help.

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 14:10:21 -0500
Subject: Shmuel Himelstein's request for info on 20th century Jewish cities

At this week's Jewish Film Days in Jerusalem, at the Jerusalem
cinemateque, I saw a wonderful Bosnian film, with English subtitles, on
the sephardic Jews of Sarajevo- Adio Kerida, by Vesna Ljubic; they had a
live Ladino musical performance too, with an extraordinary singer,
Yasmin Levi, and a reception featuring Sephardic food. Minyan in
Keifang, from the National center for Jewish Film at Brandeis, is a
modern journey to an ancient Chinese jewish community. Keep on Walking,
a Swedish film, deals with the black Jews of Newark and their remarkable
Carlebachian soul singer and teacher, Joshua Nelson.  Tonight is the
last night of the festival, including Funny Girl and the yiddish film,
God, man and the Devil.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 08:31:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Speaking on Phone when it is Shabbat on one side

> From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
> A similar question would be:
> "Can I read Jerusalem Post online on Friday (I live on the US West coast -
> GMT-8) since it it Shabbos in Israel?

This is from memory so I could be wrong but I attended a shiur which
dealt with leaving a message on an answering machine or sending a fax
(which the magid shiur stated was mutar) rather than speaking to a human
being on the phone (which as I recall would have been assur).

In any case, the recipient is required to wait until after shabbos to
pick up the message (like reading mail in a sealed envelope) but the
sender is allowed to leave the message.

However, many people in Israel turn off the FAX or the answering machine
so that they will not come to use the equipment on shabbos.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
<sabbahem@...>, Sabba.Hillel@verizon.net


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 00:14:13 +0200
Subject: Theological Significance of Shabbat?

A book I was reading the other day mentioned matter-of-factly how
Shabbat is an "ikkar of emuna" (a principle of faith). Obviously Shabbat
has great halachic, ritual and social significance in Judaism, but what
is the great theological point of Shabbat? I don't entirely accept the
argument that it shows that God created the world, certainly an
important principle of the faith. How does the fact that He rested after
creation prove that he created the world any more than a commemoration
of the creation itself?

A parallel example would be the holidays, particularly Pesach. They show
the important theological concept that God is involved in human
history. Do we need a special day to commemorate God's lack of
involvement in human history? Isn't the commemoration of His involvement
sufficient to prove the theological point? What does Shabbat teach us
then, on that same level?

(I do agree that there are important religious messages to be learned
from Shabbat, such as the human need to also cease from creative
activity, etc, but their source is more from the sense of Imatio Dei, as
a mitzva, and less of a message for us to learn about Him.)

David Curwin
Efrat, Israel


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 12:07:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Request: Daily Minyan

 In response to the request of <jradwel@...> (Jodi Radwell)
regarding a list of schuls offering a daily minyan service.

An excellent site is www.godaven.com which has a huge database of shuls
throughout the world with davening schedules and much more. If your shul
is not listed, you should get it listed.

[Same link pointed out by: 
      Samuel Pianko Groner <spg20@...>
      Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>


End of Volume 37 Issue 86