Volume 38 Number 14
                 Produced: Wed Dec 25 15:00:33 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Giving Charity to Non Worthy
         [Batya Medad]
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Invitation to participate in the Jewish Trivia Database
         [Jacob Richman]
Making of a Gadol
         [Bob Werman]
Marijuana Use
         [Ira Bauman]
Mirijuana and Smoking
         [Tovia Lent]
Standing for Bride and Groom (3)
         [Batya Medad, Risa Tzohar, Binyomin Segal]
Two new points on the Support-scholar issue
         [Russell J Hendel]
Yosifun (2)
         [Judy and Paul Shaviv, Robert Israel]
Yosifun (Josippon)
         [Jonathan Baker]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2002 14:35:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

This may be the last set of mail-jewish issues until Jan. 2nd, depending
on how easy / hard it is to get access from a hotel in Jerusalem. We
will be making the Dan Panorama our base during the week, if anyone
wants to get in touch with us, you should be able to leave a message
there for us.

There are a number of interesting and I think valuable discussions going
on in the list. Some require more editorial / moderation activity than
others, and I would like to make sure that I am doing the job that I
think is needed to keep this list at the quality that it is. From many
of your comments, I know that many of you agree with how I am managing
this list.  However, I know that almost by definition, there will be
those who disagree with my decisions, both from the "left" and the

A few true "administrivia" points (many of which are covered in the
welcome message, but can't hurt to repeat).

Please try and translate hebrew words that you use. The common hebrew
words do not need to translated, but remember that many people on the
list may not have your background in Hebrew language. Someone sent in a
recommendation that a glossary of all the used hebrew terms with
translations / explanation be created and put on the mail-jewish web
site.  I'll gladly put it on the web site if someone creates the

Please only put one submission into any one mail message. The way the
scripts I use create the issue, it is a lot of extra work if I have
split your submission into two different submissions.

Please make sure that you do NOT include the WHOLE issue in your
submission when you want to respond to something. That requires that I
save your submission to a seperate file, open up that file and edit out
most of the issue before I can send it to the scripts I use. Sometimes,
after I save it to the seperate file, I may not use the submission that
day, and then forget that I have a file that needs to be pruned down,
and your submission may get lost. So if you can take the time to make
sure you properly include only the material you want included, it will
make it more likely that your submission will get into an issue in a
prompt manner.

I would strongly recommend that people take the time to review their
submissions and try to make sure that it is clear, does not have typo's,
that spelling and grammer are as correct as you can do, etc. I will be
looking at all the submissions, and do my best to correct things, but
having things come in reasonably clean in the first place is a big help.

OK, those are the items that are on the top of my thoughts at the

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 05:59:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Giving Charity to Non Worthy

      It is made clear there that ANY PERSON REQUESTING charity is

We are credited with the mitzvah even if the asker is a con artist.  One
can give with caution, but we don't lose the mitzvah if the shnorrer
isn't legit.



From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 22:05:16 -0800
Subject: Re: Haskamot

>From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
>Without addressing the issue haskamot on a sefer do NOT mean that the
>rabbi who gave the haskama read the work or in any way approves what was
>written. The haskama usually says that the author is a nice guy

My personal favorite is the haskama to the sefer VOleihu Lo Yivol; a
sefer published posthumously containing Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's
opinions on different topics.  The haskama from Rav Auerbach's son
essentially says the sefer should have never been printed.

Kol Tov,


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 06:48:18 +0200
Subject: Invitation to participate in the Jewish Trivia Database

Hi Everyone!

As of this week I started collecting trivia questions for a new feature
on the J site called: The Jewish Trivia Database.  http://www.j.co.il

My idea is to create a database of 3,000+ trivia questions and answers
dealing with 30+ Jewish topics. In the future I plan to also have a
Flash quiz connected to this public database.

I starting collecting and entering information on 7 topics:
Entertainment, Israel - General, Israel - Jerusalem, Israel - Places,
Passover, Purim and Sports.

Each topic has two levels of questions.  I am trying to reach at least
50 questions for each level for these 7 topics (700 questions) before I
move on to the next group of topics. I currently have 354 questions in
the database.

If you would like to help out in this global project you can pick any of
the 7 topics and send me 3-4 questions that do not appear already.
Please send the topic, suggested level, question, correct answer and 3
incorrect (closely related) answers.  If possible, please list a source
of the information

Your 5-10 minutes will really help alot.

Thanks for helping out!
Have a good day,


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Tue,  24 Dec 2002 9:50 +0200
Subject: Making of a Gadol

Apropos of the discussion on making of a gadol, I would like to bring
Samson Raphael Hirsch's piquant discussion of the meaning of the word
anav, usually translated "humble."

Hirsch points out that Moshe, greatest of anavim, has hardly humble.
Hirsch suggests that the word be derived from eyen- nun-hah, to answer -
and mean "responsive."

He certainly did not intend it to mean responsive to one's self, but to
the kadosh, baruch hu.

__Bob Werman


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 22:46:02 EST
Subject: Marijuana Use

In 1969 I was present at the Yeshiva University open house when Rabbi
Moshe Tendler fielded a question about the halachic permissibility of
marijuana use.  His main objection was Dina D'malchusa Dina.  However,
he stressed a second point.  Whenever one puts his brain on hold so that
he can no longer be an oved hashem with his full conscious, he is doing
an averah.  This would include substance abuse and even applies to the
person who takes naps, not because he is tired, but rather to pass the
time.  Remember, he was talking to a group of adolescents.

     Ira Bauman


From: Tovia Lent <sld11@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 00:27:37 -0500
Subject: RE: Mirijuana and Smoking

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

    A better question would be whether it is halachically permitted in
this country to smoke cigarettes as it is a sakanah nifashoth to smoke
given all the medical evidence. It amazes me to see the percentage of
right wing yeshiva boys who smoke. Why is the percentage so much higher
than in less "frum" yeshivahs-whatever that means. Is it a measure of
their coolness or is it because many of their Rabbeim do it also

           Tuvia Lent M.D.


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 06:07:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Standing for Bride and Groom

Funny debate.  We're in Israel over thirty years.  When we got married
in the states before aliya, chairs were very orderly in front of the
chupah, and everyone was expected to sit.  At weddings, then, in Israel,
only a feeble grandparent was provided with a chair--kibud av
v'eim/zkeinim.  Now as weddings, along with everything else, are doing
their best to imitate AMERICA, chairs are being set up for the guests at
the chupah.  I wouldn't bother looking for deep meanings--Americans who
spent time in Israel and yordim are standing at American weddings to act
Israeli, and Israelis trying to be American are sitting in Israel.


From: Risa Tzohar <rtzohar@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 09:27:03 +0000
Subject: Re: Standing for Bride and Groom

Here in Israel up to very recently there was usually nowhere to sit
during the chuppah and everyone stood for the whole thing.  Those who
couldn't stand sat far away and only those who were really close
actually saw very much.  Both chatan and kallah are brought to the
chuppah surrounded by a mob of dancing boys and men (once in a while
women lead the mob around the kallah - but that's a different question)
so sitting for any of that is for the weak.

Nowadays they have taken to setting up rows of chairs but in homage to
the past most people still stand crowded around the chuppah.

Risa Tzohar

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 20:12:52 -0600
Subject: Re: Standing for Bride and Groom

Just to add my two cents to this thread. I too recall not standing for
choson and kallah at weddings before around 86. Then I came to Chicago,
and the universal custom here has been (just my observation) to stand
for both.  This is true of chosson and kallah.

A couple of years ago, I was helping arrange a wedding, and wound up
sitting in the front row of seats between Rav Shmuel Fuerst (the Dayan
for Agudah - Chicago) and the choson's Rosh Yeshiva from Israel (whose
name I forget, but who was going to be mesader). Neither one stood,
although the vast majority of people did stand. Sitting between them, I
felt I had no choice but to sit with them, even while everyone
stood. Afterwards, I spoke to Rabbi Fuerst about it, he was adamant that
it was NOT a minhag to stand for the choson and kallah (despite the fact
that many people in Chicago do it).



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 23:26:01 -0500
Subject: Two new points on the Support-scholar issue

The old issue of Rambam vs other rishonim--on whether people can receive
stipends for learning has emerged in v38n5,6,7,8.

Let me try and add 2 new points that have not been brought up before.

First: Rambam is not telling us to abstain from giving Scholars
money. Rather Rambam is requiring that money not be given as gifts but
rather in the form of business preferences. eg If I need a computer
programmer then I am REQUIRED to give the Talmid Chacham preference in
hiring over the non Talmid Chacham (Assuming they are equally
qualified). Especially today, when jobs do not require 8 hour shifts
such an approah seems very feasable.

But my main point here is that the issue is not MONEY vs NO MONEY but
rather GIFTS vs JOB PREFERENCES. I think this makes the Rambam more

Second: Having a job INCREASES your awareness and understanding of
nuances of halacha. A Rabbi who is NOT a businessman or who doesnt have
little children does not properly FEEL the issues of a businessman or a
mother who asks questions. He is not as respected By contrast, a Rabbi
who has been OUT THERE can inspire more respect.  It just sounds better
when a Rabbi says: I had a case like this last year and we explored the
following workarounds and the following psak seemed best fit to the

I would like this thread to continue. I think the above items give fuel
for further thought

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/(NEW: Translation of Job)


From: Judy and Paul Shaviv <shaviv@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 23:14:09 -0500
Subject: Yosifun

'Sefer Yosifun' is a pseudo-Josephus, written in Hebrew, probably in
Southern Italy, and not known before the tenth century.  The author-
'Yosifun', is also known as Joseph ben Gorion, and is referred to in
English as Josippon or Yossipon.  The book was very popular in the
Middle Ages among Jews and in Christian Hebraist circles, and was/is
often confused with the real Josephus.  A long and learned article may
be accessed by referring to www.jewishencyclopaedia.com and punching in
'Josippon' or (better) 'Joseph ben Gorion'.  Incidentally, whoever put
the full 1912 Funk and Wagnall's Jewish Encyclopaedia (no longer
copyright) on the www deserves a great 'yishar koach'.

Paul Shaviv, Toronto

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 22:11:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Yosifun

Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> wrote:
| Who was Yosifun? From what I have heard he was not the same person as
| Yosifus, or Joseph Flavius.  Any information would be apreciated.

See the article on "Joseph ben Gorion" in the online Jewish
Encyclopedia, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com.  The book "Yosippon",
which is mainly a history of the Jews in the Second Temple period,
claims to have been written by the 1st century CE historian Josephus
Flavius, but is generally believed to have been written in the ninth or
tenth century CE.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2

From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 00:03:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Yosifun (Josippon)

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, it was a pseudepigraphic work long
thought to be a shorter version of Josephus.  It seems to have been
written in Italy in the 9th or 10th century - nobody quotes it before
the 10th century.  See the full article at


   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


End of Volume 38 Issue 14