Volume 38 Number 39
                 Produced: Thu Jan 23  5:51:01 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Govt and food kitchens
         [Rise Goldstein]
Hebrew fonts for downloading?
         [David Charlap]
Moses and the Ari Z"L
         [Lawrence Kaplan]
Naming Babies
         [Jonathan Katz]
Relatives of CC
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 05:36:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Sorry, all, I missed seeing that my email was CC:'ed to the list and went
out to everyone. As I got a few emails about how easy it is to get email
addresses from a search of the web, either using a general web search
engine or a search on the mail-jewish search engine, I agree that anyone
who knows something can likely find your address. However, if I am asked
for your address by someone, I will not give it to them, but will rather
forward their message just to you. [Usually I don't end up sending it
also out to the world, I have already apologized for that.]

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:49:10 -0800
Subject: Govt and food kitchens

Chaim Shapiro wrote:

> {...snip...} programs that are community based as
> opposed to bureaucratically run from central Government agencies miles
> away are almost always more successful than their counterparts as they
> have a better idea as to the needs of individual communities.

I would respectfully disagree with "almost always" here.  At their best,
individual communities certainly *can* have the edge over central
government in addressing these issues.  In recent U.S. history, however,
leaving the care of the needy to the localities, or the private sector,
has become a code phrase for saying that care of the needy should not be
a public policy priority.  A strong central government imperative may be
necessary to make human services/social welfare/health care efforts
happen, among many other reasons because it establishes a *norm* that a
decent society has an obligation to see to these things on behalf of
those who, for whatever reasons, cannot see after themselves.  As we
know, halachah does establish certain mandates here, but some observant
communities do better than others at making sure those mandates are
honored.  For communities that do less well, we at present have no
"central authority" that can exert any sort of pressure to make things

> LA has an incredible Tomchei Shabbas program that works wonders.  I go
> to school on Thursday nights, the night that Tomchei disburses Shabbas
> packages.  I was asked to help on Thanksgiving this year in case the
> "regulars" couldn't do their runs {...snip...}

As one of those "regulars" here in L.A., I second Chaim's assessment of
the program.  :-)

> I am confident that there is no government program that can perform
> the absolutely necessary and community specific work of Tomchei with
> even close to the same level of success.

While I have less familiarity with how other communities implement this
program, or others like it, I'm not as confident as Chaim, for reasons
noted above, in making his across-the-board generalization.
Nevertheless, as a research scientist, I also know how difficult it
would be to get unimpeachable data one way or the other.

> The same is true of chesed programs at many of our yeshivot.
> Nothing the Government can do will match the work our High School kids
> can do when they visit people in nursing homes, etc.

Again, I would go along *when* the community takes these needs seriously
and follows through appropriately.  I've lived in a great many places as
an adult and have seen wide variation in the amount of attention paid,
whether by yeshivot or at the level of the larger communities, to "hesed
programs," whether involving biqur holim, hachnasat or'him (especially
toward newcomers), or other efforts.  As but one, admittedly personal
and anecdotal, example, I have lived in cities where I have been
enthusiastically welcomed, offered all manner of assistance in getting
settled and finding my way around, deluged with more invitations than I
could handle, and where it was relatively easy for me to invite people
to my apartment once I was settled for Shabbat and yom tov meals.  I
have also lived where, after 2 full years, a distressingly large
proportion of the membership in the minyan with which I davened most
regularly would not say "Shabbat shalom" to me, even if I said "Shabbat
shalom" to one or another of them first.

> {...snip...} Government funding can help these programs financially
> {...snip...}  when the disbursement of funds does not require the
> compliance with never ending {...snip...} regulations.  {...snip...}
> Let us allow our communities to see their responsibilities to those in
> need, and let us allow our communities the pride in knowing that they
> live in a place which takes care of its own with dignity and respect.

This is not meant as an attack on Chaim or anyone else who believes as
he does about these matters, but what should be the response when
communities *don't* properly care for their own with dignity and
respect? I've seen it happen all too often.

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 09:54:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Hebrew fonts for downloading?

Deborah Wenger wrote:
> Does anyone know a website for downloading a Hebrew font for Word for
> Windows (98)?  Please be specific.  I found a couple through random
> searching that were not complete (or maybe I downloaded incorrectly).

The easiest way is to add Hebrew support to Windows itself.  If you are
running Windows 98 or later (Me, NT, 2000 or XP), it is either built-in
to Windows or can be added as a part of Internet Explorer.  I know that
you add it as a part of IE for Windows 98 and Windows NT.  This is how
to do it:

Use the Windows Update facility (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/) to
install the latest Internet Explorer, if you don't already have it.
After it's installed, go back to Windows update and apply any critical
updates for it (since the original release of IE 6, has some serious
security bugs.)  Once this is done, go back to Windows Update yet again
and locate the "Hebrew language support" item - it should be an Internet
Explorer optional component.

This will give you Hebrew support in any application that supports
Hebrew (like Internet Explorer, Notepad, and others.)  It also installs
Microsoft's official core set of Hebrew fonts (David, FrankRehuel,
Narkisim, etc.)

Windows 2000 and XP should have Hebrew support built-in already.  You
just have to use some of the control panels (sorry if I don't remember
the specific names of them) to make the Hebrew language available, and
to turn on the system-tray menu for language switching.

Once Hebrew support is installed, you should be able to install Hebrew
support for Word.  Word 2000 has this as an optional components.  Go to
the MS Office installer (on the CD) and tell it to add/change
components.  You should be able to locate the International Language
component for bi-directional language support (Hebrew and Arabic).
Install it.  (I don't know if other versions of Word support all this -
I've only used 2000 for Hebrew editing.)

The keyboard layout is:

Once this is installed, you're all set.  You can select languages using
an icon in the system tray.  (and alt-shift will toggle them, if you
don't disable this keystroke).  When you select Hebrew, the font will
change to a Hebrew font, the keyboard will generate Hebrew characters,
and the input direction will become right-to-left.  Additional options
will appear in the Character and Paragraph formatting dialogs as well.

I have been successfully using Word 2000 on Windows 98 to edit Hebrew
documents in this fashion for over a year now.

-- Davod


From: Lawrence Kaplan <lawrence.kaplan@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 18:11:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Moses and the Ari Z"L

In my most recent message to Mail-Jewish I retracted an earlier
suggestion of mine, contained in previous message, regarding the view of
the Rambam about Moshe and the Moshiach. In this message I would like to
issue not a retraction, but a minor correction. I hope this won't become
a tradition!

In that same previous message I stated that Rav Zadok ha-Kohen in
Resisei Laylah #56 argues that the Ari, z"l, reached a higher level of
theological understanding than did Moshe Rabbeynu. This reference should
be corrected to read Resisei Laylah #52. In Resisei Laylah #56 we find
the main discussion of R. Zadok regarding the superiority of the oral
Torah over the written Torah and correspondingly of the Sage over the
Prophet. But "all" that R. Zadok states there that is of relevance is
that "The Rabbis, of blessed memory, and the Sages of truth [i.e., the
Kabbalists] resolved many questions regarding the flourishing of the
wicked and like issues [of theodicy] through making use of the oral
Torah that was revealed to them that had not as yet been revealed in the
time of the prophets." But there is no specific mention in that essay of
any contrast between Moshe and the Ari.

On the other hand, in Resisei Laylah #52 in the context of a discussion
of Purim as the holiday of the oral Torah, R. Zadok takes note that in
B.T.  Rosh ha-Shanah 21b there is an anonymous comment on the verse
"There did not arise a prophet like Moshe" stating "Among the prophets
there arose not, but among the kings there did arise." R. Zadok explains
this comment as follows:

That is, [there did arise people like Moshe] among those [i.e., the
Sages] who apprehended God through the attribute of kingship [Malkhut,
the last of the ten sefirot = Shekhinah = the oral Torah], that is the
lower wisdom which is a lower form of apprehension, but nevertheless is
superior [to prophecy] in that it can apprehend more exalted
matters. Thus, as is known, the Ari, z"l, revealed the root and source
of Moshe's apprehension, and he [the Ari] revealed exalted truths that
stemmed from a higher root than that root [i.e., the root of Moshe's
apprehension] . But all of his [i.e., the Ari's] apprehensions were only
via Ruach ha-Kodesh which bears no relationship to the visionary mode of
apprehension of the prophets.

As to whether this view lies within the mainstream of Judaism, a
question raised by a previous correspondent to mail-Jewish -- Who knows?
Certainly the Rambam believed that Moshe was not only the Master of the
Prophets but also the Master of the Sages, and he describes him thus in
the Guide 1:54.  Similarly, Rav Kook in his famous essay "The Sage is
Greater than the Prophet" describes Moshe as being both a Sage and a
Prophet. But if R.  Zadok is of a different view, we may agree with him
or disagree with him, but who are we to pronounce such a view as falling
outside the mainstream of Judaism? As I argued on a previous occasion in
mail -Jewish, our commitment should be to the binding authority of the
Torah of Moshe, but within that shared framework of commitment there
should be room for very wide --- to be sure, not unlimited --
theological disagreement.


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:18:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Naming Babies

Leah S. Gordon writes:

>IMO, this kind of superstition is both baseless and destructive.  It is
>baseless because there is no scientific or halakhic evidence that you
>cast some kind of spell for early death on a person by naming them.  It
>is destructive because it sets up a terrible guilt or worry situation
>for parents or prospective parents.

>Superstition is common surrounding conception, birth, and child-rearing
>(e.g. don't buy a nursery ahead of time and so forth).  But it is
>anathema to anyone who considers herself/himself to be a rational adult
>or a halakhic Jew or both.

I don't know if this perspective is entirely fair. In many (I hesitate
to say all) cases of "superstition" there are logical explanations for
the resulting behavior. For example, it has been noted many times on
this list before that the concept of "Ayin Harah" [evil eye] might refer
to actions which engender negative feelings from others, thereby causing
stress (among other things) and for this reason to be avoided.

In the case of not setting up a nursery ahead of time, the explanation I
have heard is that this is for psychological reasons: imagine how
horrible it would be for a mother and father who have set up a nursery
in advance to return home if something goes wrong during
delivery. Presumably, when the custom of not buying items in advance
began, complications during childirth were more common than
today. Whether we should abandon the custom nowadays, when such
complications are less likely, is another discussion altogether.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 10:33:58 GMT
Subject: Relatives of CC

In connection with relatives of gedolim I read the following story in
Hatzofe about a year ago. Anyone with more details would be appreciated.

(summary); A son of the Chafetz Chaim, Rabbi Leib Poupko (it seems that
the CC was known as Kagan/Poupko) moved to Antwerp and the CC wrote a
letter to Rabbi Amiel (Mizrachi leader of Antwerp 80 years ago) to help
his son out. A son of Rabbi Poupko became a professor in the Free
University in Brussels and had little contact with Judaism.  He once
called in a religious student and gave him a package which he said
contains the tefillin of his grandfather (CC) and a bunch of letters. A
son of this grandson became a member of parliament in Belgium and no one
knew he was Jewish.  When he died they wanted to cremate the remains but
the ceremony was pushed off by a day because of a national holiday. In
the meantime rumors started that he was a great grandson of the Chafetz
Chaim even though no one knew he was Jewish. In the end he was buried by
the chevra Kadisha of Antwerp with speeches by 2 representatives of the
Belgium governmant and by Rabbi Pinchas Kornfeld, the representative of
Machzike Hadaas in Antwerp. It was unclear what other descendants of the
CC were still living in Belgium.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 38 Issue 39