Volume 38 Number 04
                 Produced: Tue Dec 17  5:44:49 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Everyone Can become a Gadol IF they make sacrifices
         [Russell J Hendel]
Haneitz or Heinetz
         [Shmuel Ross]
         [Frank Reiss]
New vs Old Versions of Seforim
         [Michael Kahn]
Sons, si. Servants, no (2)
         [Carl Singer, Sam Saal]
Speaking on phone when it is Shabbat on the other side
         [I Kasdan]
Standing for the Choson and Kallah
         [Ira Bauman]
Wallet on Shabbat (2)
         [Ari and Felicia Trachtenberg, JB Gross]
Wallets/Credit cards -- Muktzeh
         [Perry Zamek]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 23:20:02 -0500
Subject: Everyone Can become a Gadol IF they make sacrifices

I strongly disagree with a statement made in v37n99; I do believe that
most people can become a gadol IF they really wanted to. However it is
important to address the sources cited:

First: The Rambams actual statement is made in Repentance 5:2 (pointed
out by Neil in that same issue). Rambam says >>Every person can be as

But Moses and Yaravam were LEADERS. Thus Rambam is talking about
Rambam is not touching on prophetic capacity.

In passing, my brother the honorable Neal Hendel of Beer Sheva once
pointed out to me that Moses lacked basic leadership skills since he had
to be taught such elementary things as DELEGATION by Jethro.  In
summary: Rambam is simply saying that anyone can be as GREAT AS MOSES IN
his subjects to worship idols).

The above answers the question (in the affirmative) on whether one can
literally be as great as Moses

NEXT: Let us deal with the issue of whether EVERYONE can become
great. (In the above posting, Joel, held this is not true) I can think
of modern examples: Golda Meir writes in her autobiography that I GAVE

I think the statement well taken: If we really wanted to become a prime
minister, or a great doctor, or world champion in chess etc all we have
to do is give up our entire lives and study the subject at hand.  Here
is another example: The recent solution of Fermats last theorem --- a
complicated mathematical problem that was unsolved for 400 years-- was
only accomplished by someone who was willing to sit and stare at the
problem for 7 years(and give everything up)

So you can become a Gadol...but you have to give everything up. Compare
the Talmudic statement: A person who says I accomplished (learning)
without work Should NOT be believed while a person who says I devoted
much effort but did not accomplish my learning should also NOT be

I think there is room for a serious thread here (With much
disagreement).  I think we SHOULD publicize the fact that everyone can
become a Gadol IF they want to give everything up.

Russell Jay Hendel;Ph.d.; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Shmuel Ross <shmuel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 23:47:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Haneitz or Heinetz

On Sun, 15 Dec 2002, Zeev Atlas wrote:

> We see the same phenomenon in what one of the people here coined as
> "Yeshivish" which is another name for a sloppy way of talking and
> pronouncing words by rabbis and rabbinic students.

   That was me.  Not my coinage; for the definitive work on the shprach,
check out *Frumspeak,* by Chaim Weiser, the first -- and thus far, only
-- dictionary of Yeshivish.  (Also of interest: "Yeshivishe Reid," by
Abie Rotenberg, on *Journeys III*, and my own "How to Talk Yeshivish" in
*Country Yossi's Family Magazine,* sometime in 1995.  The term was used
"in the wild" for the language/dialect/whatever-you-call-it much
earlier, though.)

> The reason that I say it is sloppy rather than give it quasi legitimate
> status is because it is.  I'll illustarte it with an anecdote.  I had
> listened to Daf Yomi Shiur given in a mixture of bad English and Yeshivish.

   By definition, Yeshivish includes what could be called "bad English,"
but never mind that.  :-)

   (And I'm just being snarky; it's no more bad English than bad Hebrew.
It's actually a particular mode of speech used by a specific speech
community incorporating elements of both languages [along with Yiddish
and Aramaic], in a consistent manner with rules of its own... it might
sound inaccurate to non-native speakers, but it isn't really.)

> The Rabbi was speaking about VEST.  It took me time to realize he is talking
> about VESET (woman's period).  Now, the same distinguished Rabbi does read
> the torah in public and he would not dare reading the word Vav Samekh Tav
> any other way then VESET (unless he wants the people to yell at him).  So
> the people who use Yeshivish know very well that their pronounciation is
> sloppy!

   No, they know very well that they're not speaking *Hebrew.* This is
no more sloppy than pronouncing "Ya'akov" as "Yankiv" in Yiddish is
sloppy.  (Or "mess-less" for "may'ais le'ais", turning "havamina" into a
noun -- putting aside the altered pronunciation -- and so on.)  This
actually backs up my point, rather than refuting it: reading the Torah
is not comparable to contemporary language use.  Unlike words written on
a page, language in active use is never static.  There is no reason for
modern speakers of a dialect with Hebrew terms to try to maintain the
pronunciation or word formations used by native Hebrew speakers a couple
of millennia ago, nor would it be realistic to expect them to do so.

Shmuel Ross


From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 10:21:21 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Marijuana

Is there any view whether using Marijuana when one is in a country where
it is a legal item is going against any Halacha?



From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 21:10:35 -0500
Subject: Re: New vs Old Versions of Seforim

>Carl Singer wrote of:
>...people who have old (shall we say original) versions of seforim find
>that newer editions have conveniently removed or revised items that
>would be not be politically correct today.  This practice trashes
>legitimate scholarship.

Could you please give an example of such a thing.


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 07:45:08 EST
Subject: Re: Sons, si. Servants, no

      From: Rachel Swirsky <swirskyr@...>

      >If your extended family needed food to avoid starvation, would
      >*you* give cash to a servant, then send them to another country
      >and hope they didn't take the money and run?

      Wouldn't it depend on the servant?  Avraham was willing to trust
      the fate of not only his extended family, but all of the future
      k'lal Yisroel to a servant when he sent Eliezer to search out a
      wife for his son.

I recall a neighbor wondering out loud about her live-in "servant"
(employee) trying on her clothes, and perhaps stealing from her -- but
had no similar compunction about this same person raising her children.

I know this is a bit off topic -- but there are issues of employee
cooking for you, etc.  I recently saw Spanish-language stickers for
milchig & fleishig -- presuming that these are for employees (not for
frum folks whose native language is Spanish) -- is it at a sign that the
apocalypse is coming :)

Carl Singer

From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 11:33:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: re: Sons, si. Servants, no

c.halevi <c.halevi@...> wrote:

>	I'm seeing some creative answers to the question of why Yakov
>sent his sons to Egypt to buy food instead of sending servants, but I
>haven't yet seen the obvious answer.
>	If your extended family needed food to avoid starvation, would
>*you* give cash to a servant, then send them to another country and hope
>they didn't take the money and run?

No more, no less than I'd give them valuable gifts to give tp an angry
looking Esav backed by 400 men. Obviously, Yakov had trustworthy
servants. I could imagine all sorts of scenarios in which
non-trustworthy servants could have done much more damage in the
showdown with Esav that mere cash and food in Egypt. Thus my question.

A midrash talks about Yoseph not communicating with his family because
he was included in a vow (without his consent but bound by it,
nontheless) the brothers made when they sold Yoseph and another States
Yoseph set up purchase rules forbidding agents and limiting purchases to
force the family to come. Some of these seem inconsistent with Halacha
(can you be bound by an illegal/immoral oath in which you did not even
participate?) or logistically difficult (how many thousands of people
could the Egyptians process moving through their grain sale, to say
nothing of the national security issues?). Nonetheless, I find the
suggestions interesting and worthy of thought.

Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 21:52:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Speaking on phone when it is Shabbat on the other side

Rabbi Yisroel Taplin (Lakewood NJ) discusses the issue of talking to a
non-Jew by phone when it is Shabbos where the non-Jew is located (but
not on the side where the Jew is) in simon tes (9) of his "Taarich
Yisroel" which is a massive sefer dealing with numerous halchos and the
issue of the international dateline. He is matir (permits). Haskamos for
rthe sefer include those by Rav Sheinberg nd Rav Alyashiv, shlita.

An English synopsis of Taarich Yisroel called "The Date Line in Halacha"
compiled by Zalman Tropper (1999), Rabbi Taplin's brother-in-law, is
also available. (Haskamos in the English version include those from Rav
Tovia Goldstein and Rav Moshe Heinemann, shlita).  There is a fax number
in the English book to order copies (presumably for either the larger
sefer or the short English synopsis) from Rabbi Taplin, and I would be
happy to provide it off-line to anyone who is interested.


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 11:30:01 EST
Subject: Standing for the Choson and Kallah

Growing up, I don't recall ever seeing the participants at a chupah
standing when the choson and kallah walk down the aisle.  It seems to be
obligatory nowadays.  What is the reason?  It can't be that the choson
is a melech or the kallah is a malkah, because that honor is only given
to them after the chuppah.  Proof of this is that tachanun is said if
the choson is attending shacharis right before his chatuna.  Also,
standing is apparently not an issue that we are careful about after the
chuppah, so why before?  A more important issue was raised by Rabbi
Rothwachs of Teaneck who asked why those standees will then sit when the
elderly grandparents walk down?  There is a d'oraysa of mipnei seiva
tokum that is being ignored.  

Ira Bauman


From: Ari and Felicia Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 21:07:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Wallet on Shabbat


 >From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
 >What about a wallet that doesn't contain cash, but contains things which
 >are used in the same way as cash (like debit cards)?  What about items
 >that are not used identically to cash, but for the same purposes (like
 >credit cards?)  Does it matter that the card itself has no intrinsic
 >value, other than that of the information printed/recorded on it?

My understanding about cash is that it is muktsah [set aside for lack of
use on Shabbat] precisely because of the risk of getting a printed
receipt when paying for something, and printing the receipt is the
violation of shabbat.  As such, a credit card and the like would be
similarly muktsah.

On a tangential note, I have noticed that the original requirement of
mail-jewish that all non-English words be explained has been slowly
relaxed over time.  I would recommend that the original requirement be
reinforced for reasons of clarity (I sometimes have trouble
understanding various dialects of transliteration) and education.


From: JB Gross
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 21:53:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Wallet on Shabbat

It is entirely possible that present-day coins are not Muktzeh (just Kli
Shemelachto LeIssur).  It is not the presence of monetary value, but
rather the absence of status as a physical utensil, that rendered money

In the USA (and presumably in most other countries) coins are minted to
a precise standard (roundness, diameter, thickness, weight) specifically
in order to operate toll and vending machines.  So a quarter is (by
design) basically an Allen wrench, coupled with monetary value.

I don't think coins qualify for Muktzeh MeChamas Chesron Kis -- I've
used dimes as screwdrivers -- so I'd expect them to have the lesser
status of Kli Shemelachto LeIssur, not the more stringent status of
Muktzeh MeChamas Gufo.

Same could be argued for credit cards -- they are designed and commonly
used to OPERATE a gasoline pump, inter alia.  While they are more
fragile than coins, people still commonly use them, on occasion, to
jimmy open a door or scrape ice off a windshield.

I'd be curious to see how the various LORs react to the suggestion.


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002 10:36:54 +0200
Subject: Re: Wallets/Credit cards -- Muktzeh

If I recall correctly (not having a Shmirat Shabbat here in the office), 
Muktzeh me-hamat Hesron Kis is defined as an item which has such value that 
one would be careful not to use it for any other purpose. Money falls into 
that category, but so do valuable documents (you wouldn't use them to cover 
the table while cutting vegetables), and so is a Milah (circumcision) knife 
(you wouldn't use it to cut oranges). Credit cards, although they are more 
durable than paper money, would probably fall into the same category, since 
one would be careful not to use it for purposes that might lead to them 
being invalidated (e.g. bent or cracked). CYLOR.

Perry Zamek


End of Volume 38 Issue 4