Volume 38 Number 11
                 Produced: Tue Dec 24 11:01:02 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia: Seminar at Bar Ilan in Memory of my father 12/30
         [Avi Feldblum]
         [Avi Feldblum]
Censorship example
         [Rose Landowne]
Everyone Can become a Gadol IF they make sacrifices
         [The Rogovin Family]
         [Danny Skaist]
Making of a Gadol
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Moshe and Pharaoh's court
         [Harlan Braude]
Preview of Drisha Programs
         [Judith Tenzer]
Signs and unilateral statements
         [Carl Singer]
Theological Significance of Shabbat?
         [David Waxman]
Tzedaqah Obligations to Street Panhandlers
         [Richard Schultz]
Wallet on Shabbat
         [J B Gross]
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 10:23:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia: Seminar at Bar Ilan in Memory of my father 12/30

For any mail-jewish members that may have been students of my father, and
any others that might be interested:

There will be a special Memorial Seminar at Bar Ilan University in memory
of my father, Professor Meir Simcha Feldblum z"l. The seminar will take
place on Monday, December 30th at 1:30 pm and will be held in Ulam Bak (I
hope I have a reasonable transliteration here).

Professor Yosef Tabori - M.C.
Professor Yehoshua Schwartz - Opening Remarks
Dr Avi Feldblum (me) - Mishnayot Study
Rav Dr. Pinchus Hyman - Methodology of Prof. Feldblum in the study of
Professor Chai Feldblum (my sister) - Speaking for the family
Arial Feldblum (my nephew) - In memory of Grandfather

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 10:11:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I hope to get a few administrivia messages out to the group today, as I
have a day off from work. However, I would like to get the this and one
additional message out quickly.

There may be an interruption or at least a slow-down in mail-jewish issues
going out between 12/26 - 1/1, as I will be going to Israel (see previous
message as well). I will be in Jerusalem much of the time.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 08:23:45 EST
Subject: Re: Censorship example

I have the 1969 Hebrew edition and there is no mention of Yom Haatzmaut or 
Yom Yerushalaim.
Rose Landowne

> As an example of what I believe might be "reverse censorship," R.
> Eliyahu Kitov's classic Sefer HaToda'ah, which deals with the cycle of
> the Jewish year (possibly among other topics), the Hebrew edition (which
> I assume was first - he was an Israeli) has no reference to either Yom
> Ha'atzma'ut or Yom Yerushalayim, while the English translation, "The
> Book of our Heritage" (translated by R' Nachman Bulman z.tz.l., has
> sections on each of these.
> Another alternative might be that the Hebrew had these sections, but
> these were removed in later editions.


From: The Rogovin Family <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 21:15:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Everyone Can become a Gadol IF they make sacrifices

Russell J Hendel writes:
> So you can become a Gadol...but you have to give everything up. ...

Everything one does in life involves sacrifice and achieving greatness
in any field of study involves major sacrifices without a doubt. But
(and maybe I am picking nits here), I question the assumption that one
must give everything up to be a gadol. We have many models of Rabbaim
who were gadolim but also were learned in other subjects, including
secular studies, who had rich family lives and were involved in communal
affairs (we also have examples of Rabbis whose family lives were less
than perfect, who learned only in Yeshivot and were removed from mundane

Indeed, not only do I question the assumption that complete devotion to
the single cause is necessary to be a gadol, I question whether one can
even be a gadol if one does so. While a gadol need not be an electrical
engineer to answer a complex shabbat question where understanding of
such principles helps determine the correct answer (gadolim rely on
experts for fact finding), I believe that a truly great Rabbi is one who
has not only mastered Torah, but lives in the world and not the ivory
tower. Living in the world, facing the struggles of family, community,
etc. enriches one's knowledge and experience and makes for better psak
halacha, which after all must be lived in the world of family,
community, etc., and not just within the four walls of a Beit
Midrash. Living a life withdrawn can help make one knowledgable in book
learning, but that is a two-dimensional life and, IMHO, a gadol must
have the third dimension as well to truly be great. Indeed, it is the
ability to master Torah AND live a rich, fulfilling life that makes a
person a gadol.

Michael Rogovin


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 14:05:21 +0200
Subject: Hyksos

	<<From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
	The question of the real status of shepherds in Egypt at the time of
	Yosef is tied to the identification of the dynasty that ruled Egypt
	then.  If they were the Hyksos kings, a nomadic Asian people who
	conquered Egypt, then it is reasonable that a Hyksos pharoah would
	appoint another Asian as a viceroy >>

 A Jewish proof that the Hyksos were indeed Ivrim is the fact that in
B'reishit, Onkelos translates "Ivrim" as "ivrim" but in Shmot Onkelos
translates it as "Yehudim".  As if the only Ivrim left in Egypt were
indeed the Jews.



From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 08:58:03 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Making of a Gadol

Well- this Friday's Yated Neeman had a front page ban on the book,
signed by their leading Rabbis - Rabbis Elyashiv, Karelis, Kunyevsky and
others.  It was quite strong (sorry, at I don't have a copy here now),
forbiding sale or reading.

OTOH - here in Bar Ilan - I'm on the waiting line to borrow the book.


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 10:33:22 -0500
Subject: RE: Moshe and Pharaoh's court

> From: c. halevi <c.halevi@...>
>  	However, since he was raised in Pharaoh's court Moshe in all
> likelihood did not know the Torah until God Himself taught him. Hey:

Well, this week being parshas Shemos and all... :-)

Moshe lived in Pharaoh's court, but he was raised by his mother/father
who clearly passed on to their son whatever 'mesorah' they had (would
that classify as Torah? It was the same 'mesorah' as Yaakov passed on to
his children which he learned from Avraham, Yitzchak, Shem and Aver.)

When Torah describes the incident during which Moshe kills the Egyptian,
it mentions that he had gone to walk among his people. Moshe had a very
good understanding of who he was, to which people he belonged and owed
his allegiance and what his priorities were.

Also, in the encounter with the 'sneh', when he hears the voice of the
'malach', the reaction of 'hineni' isn't translated literally as 'here I
am', but rather 'I'm ready!'. He needed no elaborate education at that
point to recognize the Creator of the universe.

I doubt these were things taught in Pharaoh's court.


From: Judith Tenzer <jtenzer@...>
Subject: Preview of Drisha Programs

Winter Week of Learning

"The Message of Midrash" is the theme for this year's Winter Week of
Learning on December 23-24-25. In response to popular demand, all three
days of the program are open to women and men. Speakers include David
Goshen, Nathaniel Helfgot, Joseph Turner, Lisa Schlaff, on subjects
ranging from "'Because I said so:' The Development of a Talmudic Legend
on Honoring Parents" to "Dealing with Evil in Midrashic Literature."
Participants may attend the entire program of six sessions, or
individual classes. For details and registration information,

Discover Drisha: Hollywood, Florida

This year, for the first time, Drisha is bringing its Winter Week
program to a community outside of New York. "Heroes of the Bible and
Midrash" is the theme of the two-day December 23-24 learning program for
women and men. Drisha's Yesodot Director, Rachel Friedman, and Drisha
graduate, Tammy Jacobowitz will be addressing Floridians and snow-birds
on subjects including "Tamar at the Crossroads: The Story of Judah and
Tamar" and "Moral Ambiguity in Sefer Bereishit: The Story of Dinah and
Shechem." The program will be at the Young Israel of
Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale. For details and registration information,

Spring Semester begins February 2

The Spring Semester of the Joseph Straus School for Continuing Education
will begin on February 2 with many exciting courses, including Biblical
Hebrew, Talmud, Parshanut, Bible, Philosophy, Jewish Law. For example,
there are courses on Women's Obligation in Reading/Hearing Megillat
Esther, Care and Treatment of the Critically Ill in Jewish Law, and
Learn to Layn. The catalogue will be on the website within the week and
in the mail shortly thereafter. If you would like a sneak preview
emailed to you, please request it from <jtenzer@...>

Summer Programs

With Spring Semester is about to start, summer cannot be far
behind. Where can a high school girl combine Talmud, Chessed Projects
and Sports? The Drisha Summer High School Program, June 30 - August
1. For information and an application,

We look forward to your continued participation in our programs.

Judith Tenzer
Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
131 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-0307


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 08:08:14 EST
Subject: Signs and unilateral statements

>     I remember that in certain classes of mine in high school, on the
>     first day of class, the teacher informed us that part of the
>     condition for being part of the class was not bringing food, and
>     any food that would be brought to class would be confiscated, and
>     this would not be considered stealing in any way because the
>     teacher had stated this as a condition for being in class, and
>     coming to class thus indicated an agreement to this deal.

      It has become very common that shuls and yeshivot and mikvaot will
      put up a sigh saying that anyone leaving personal items for more
      that 30 days is agreeing to "mafkir" it and these items can be
      taken or sold or dispossed of in any way seen fit!


Signs can be informative and possibly may direct or change our
perception and behavior -- Their halachik status may be questionable --
Just like the Rebbe's unilateral announcement to his class that he has
the right to confiscate whatever he considers to be contraband.  Perhaps
someone would like to tackle this?

My Father, l'shulum, was a tailor -- when someone left clothes for
repair and didn't pick it up (perhaps because they didn't have the fee
and were embarassed, perhaps because they no longer wanted / needed the
garment and thus would "stiff" him for the cost of his labor by not
returning to pick up the garment, etc. -- it (possessing the garment
that is not his) became a problem to him.  He, of course, knew who the
owner of the garment was and would (try to) contact them, but still it's
a problem.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 16:07:00 -0800
Subject: Re: Theological Significance of Shabbat?

 >> I have heard Rav Shimshon Pinchus ztz'l address your question on a 
couple of recorded shiurim in English, and I believe that he wrote a book 
in Hebrew on the subject.<<

The name of the book is 'Shabbath Malcatha' (Hebrew), sells for about 25
NIS.  Your question piqued my interest, so I bought the book and have
started to read it.  It does address your question.



From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 17:49:15 +0200
Subject: Re:  Tzedaqah Obligations to Street Panhandlers

In mail-jewish Vol. 38 #07, Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote
about a well-spoken "Professor" who asked for charity, and notes that

: I did receive a reward in olam hazeh: I wrote up the story for the
: Washington Jewish Week as a cautionary tale for tourists to New
: York. They amount they paid for the story covered my "tzedakah" plus a
: small "profit"! Write your own moral.

There was a time when the true identity of a mysterious stranger who
enables you to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah, and then arranges for
you to be repaid with a profit, would have been immediately apparent to
anyone who heard the story. . .

					Richard Schultz


From: J B Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 11:37:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Wallet on Shabbat

> From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
> ...Isn't a credit card a keli she-melachto le-issur?  If so, the wallet is
> a basis le-davar ha-assur and is muktzah.

No, the wallet is then a "basis le-cheli she-melachto le-issur", which
has at most the status of keli she-melachto le-issur.  Probably not even
that, given the close relation between "mevatel keli me-heichano" (which
would not result from becoming keli she-melachto le-issur) and "basis".

- JB Gross.


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Re: Yeshivish

The one thing I CAN'T STAND about Yeshivish is when people use the
pronoun "by" for just about every other pronoun ("at", "with", "for",
etc.)!  They even do it to non-Jews causing very puzzled reactions.


End of Volume 38 Issue 11