Volume 38 Number 47
                 Produced: Sat Feb  1 21:56:33 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cholanit vs. Cholah
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Gedola BaTorah
         [Gil Student]
Golem of Prague
         [J B Gross]
"M'dayeiq" -  mail-jewish Vol. 38 #44 Digest
         [Shayna Kravetz]
Singles Groups
         [Jonathan B. Horen]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
The Terach and Avram Sagas are Intertwined, not Sequential
         [Avi I Rabinowitz]
Torah Study and Effort
         [Michael Kahn]
Tzedakah Appeal
         [Stephen Colman]
Tzedakah Appeal (based on distortions)
         [Andrew Klafter]
YU seforim sale schedule
         [Judah Diament]


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 09:48:41 EST
Subject: Cholanit vs. Cholah

Mark Steiner (v38n45) says:
<<Holanith is Rabbinic Hebrew, though I have been able to trace it only
as far back as Rashi, Sota 12a.  In any case it is not a Yiddishism, and
certainly not an adverb.>>

Cholanit in Rashi to Sota 12a is indeed sickly and not sick. Miriam was
sick for a long time, and nobody wanted to marry her. Cholanit is close
in its meaning to a chronic disease. Rashi does make the distinction
between cholah=sick and cholanit=sickly. For Cholah in Rashi see
Bereshit 39:11, Yirmiyahu 15:18, Micha 1:9. The meaning of
Cholanit=sickly is already in the Yerushalmi (Horayot 48:1) while they
retained choleh =sick (Yerushalmi, Yoma 45b). I do agree with Mark that
at certain point there was some use of cholanit for sick(f) and there
was an interchangeability between choleh and cholani, (See Raba"d [12th
century], Ha'emunah Ha'rama, 1st ma'amar 1) but I will not call it
Leshon Chakhmim, as it is Middle Ages. I am also not sure of the first

Therefore, for consistency of the linguistic form, a misheberach for the
sick should be for "Choleh and Cholah" while misheberach for the sickly
should be to "Cholani and Cholanit." But since nobody wants to get into
medical diagnosis within misheberach to determine if the person is sick
or sickly, it should probably be for "Choleh and Cholah."

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 11:12:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Gedola BaTorah

Ari Trachtenberg wrote:

>Would you hesitate to call a world-class surgeon a gadola b'refuah
>(despite probably knowing very little about, say, infectuous diseases)?
>or Albert Einstein a gadol b'mada (despite probably knowing very little
>about biology)?  I would argue that being a master of any one area of
>Torah, and especially Tanach (which relies very heavily on oral Torah),
>would give a person the stature and reputation for having a deep
>understanding of Judaism, at the level of "gadol/a".

I strongly disagree.  I would not call Ibn Ezra a gadol ba-Torah of his
generation either.  He was a brilliant commentator and philosopher.

What if I know Maseches Berachos inside and out, literally by heart,
with all commentaries.  I have a deep understanding of the aggadatas, I
know the halacha developed from the sugyos, and I've seen every
commentary ever written on the tractate.  I've spent the past 30 years
learning only Berachos to the exclusion of all else.  When it comes to
Shabbos, or Bava Metzia or Sukkah or Kiddushin, I don't know anything.
But I know Berachos inside out.

Would that make me a gadol ba-Torah?  I don't think so.

Gil Student


From: J B Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 23:01:58 -0500
Subject: Golem of Prague

> On Friday night, I noticed that the chazan recited the mizmorim of
> "Mizmor shir leyom haShabbat" and "[Hashem] malach, gei'ut laveish" twice.

    Some Syrian shuls do something similar -- first both are said as
part of Kabbalat Shabbat, followed by Kaddish Yehei Shelama; then Mizmor
Shir (alone) is repeated as the mizmor leading into Kaddish and Barechu.

> I believe that the custom of reciting "mizmor shir" is earlier than that

    It's mentioned as an existing custom in a teshuva of the Rambam.


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 11:43:38 -0400
Subject: Re: "M'dayeiq" -  mail-jewish Vol. 38 #44 Digest

Eli writes about why orlah years are not defined by Tu B'Shevat, during
which he noted:

> If you look at R' Ovadiah m'Bartenura on the 1st mishna in Rosh haShanah
>where he explains this issue, you can be medayeik (Sorry, I have no idea
>how to say that in English.) from his words "shekvar na'aseh eitz" -
>"since it has already been made a tree".  (From the language of the
>Mishnah itself you can also be medayeik this: "neti'ah" - "planting"
>vs. "eitz" - "tree".)

"M'dayeiq", like "b'dyuq", relates to precision and details. So in
English, one might say that this interpretation can be "teased out of"
or "logically can be inferred in detail from" the words "she-kvar
na'aseh eitz". But certainly the Hebrew word is much more compendious
than the English alternatives.



From: Jonathan B. Horen <horen@...>
Subject: Re: Singles Groups

Freda B Birnbaum wrote:
>>While there are orthodox singles groups that get together for
>>recreational activities they are generally coed and thus inappropriate
>>for single frum men who don't socialize with women (other than in
> From one point of view, wouldn't a coed frum singles group that got
> together over activities they were all interested in, enhance the
> shidduch process in a less "fraught" manner than the shidduch/shadchan
> process sometimes involves?

I'm going to take the easy way out of this, and restrict my thoughts to
the area of greatest interest to me: "older" and/or divorced/widowed

As a dati (Modern Orthodox), 51-year-old, divorced male (who lives on a
large yishuv in the Shomron), I miss a woman's companionship... simple
things, such as going shopping (whether to the supermarket or a mall),
preparing for Shabbat or Yom Tov, hosting guests (or being hosted) on
Shabbat or Yom Tov, or just taking a walk and shmoozing (to name only a

Same-sex friends are vitally important, but it's the opposite-sex
friendships (which might or might-not evolve into a "relationship") that
refine us and make us g(l)(r)ow.

We get caught-up in the demands of our adult lives -- children and work,
mainly -- and coed activity groups for frum singles could help us add
quality to them, as well as open them to the blessings HKB"H has in
store for us.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 05:26:04 +0200
Subject: Terach

All this talk about Terach reminds me of a story I put into one of my
books, although I forget which book and which Gadol was involved.

It seems that a certain Chassid had a "Minhag" that was contrary to

His rebbi asked him from where he had received the Minhag. "I received
it from my father," the Chassid replied.

"And where did your father receive it?"

"From his father."

"Now I understand it," said the Rebbi. "This traces back from generation
to generation, all the way back to Terach Avinu."


From: Avi I Rabinowitz <air1@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 06:55:16 GMT
Subject: The Terach and Avram Sagas are Intertwined, not Sequential

The creation and Eden accounts are intertwined, not sequential: the
events in the Eden account takes place take place (probably) on the
sixth day of the creation account.

The Torah indicates that it is using the same technique in the Terach
and Avram sagas:

1) Terach's death is related in the account long before it actually
occurred, clearly indicating the non-sequential relationship of the two
2) Avram is commanded to leave his birthplace, which is (almost
certainly) Ur, indicating that this event, the command of "Lech LeCha"
to Avram, preceded the earlier-related event of the departure from Ur.

The Torah completes the Terach saga by telling us that he left with
Avram (one can read this into the enigmatic: "vayetzu itam" [this could
also mean the Tower of Bavel exodus]); since he is the head of the
family, it is told as though he initiated the trip (chazal state
explicitly that the Torah was careful of the kavod of Avram, hiding the
fact that he left his father, and so it is in line with this to imply
that Avram did not leave Ur and drag his father but rather his father
left and took Avram; then the Torah goes into detail "Lech Lecha" etc
telling us how it came about that Terach took his family and left. 

This also explains why Terach didn't complete the journey.


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 00:33:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Torah Study and Effort

Re one having difficulty in his torah studies one wrote:
>I _can_ see where this can be inspirational to someone who really does
>have the talent to make it if they keep trying, and needs that push >from
>a respected person to stay with it when it seems so uphill, but to the
>person who hasn't a snowball's chance in the hot place of getting that
>far, it's very oppressive.

I hear what you are saying. In fact I think the gemara says (not sure where) 
that one who is unsuccessful in his learning after 5 years (aino roeh siman 
bracha) will never be succesfull.( I'm not sure I understand what the 
Gemara's point is. Should such a person stop learning?)
On the other hand, the gemara famously says: One who TRIES, is succesfull 
when it comes to limud Torah. (Yagata umatzasa Taamin) Torah learning is 
more than just learning, it is a mitzvah possessing kedusha. Thus, what Rav 
Shachter was saying is that the Chazon Ish is an example of one who, through 
his tremendous effort, was granted from Hashem a special siyata dishmaya, 
unnatural aid, to achieve more than he would have normally been capable in 
The Mishna in Pirkay Avos (I think that's the source) says, "One who learns 
despite poverty will be privileged to learn in a state of wealth." Rav 
Hutner said that this Mishna does not only refer to material poverty and 
wealth: It refers to mental 'poverty' and 'wealth' (lack of understanding) 
too. The Mishna is telling us that one who persists in his learning even 
though it is hard for him mentally will eventually develop the capabilities 
to learn in a state of wealth of understanding.


From: <StephenColman2@...> (Stephen Colman)
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 06:48:07 EST
Subject: Tzedakah Appeal

Unfortunately, it would appear that many letters and appeals for
particular funds which are endorsed by well respected & well-meaning
Rabbonim, do not originate from said Rabbonim, but from individuals who
present the 'facts' to the Rabbonim and get their signatures on the
basis of those 'facts'. I get numerous appeals weekly (who doesn't
?)signed by some of the most chosheve Rabbonim both from here in the UK
as well as from Israel. If the Rabbonim would investigate all the cases
before signing the letters - this alone would be a full time job. It
would further appear that certain issues of Halochoh are also treated in
a similar way and letters have appeared with statements endorsed by
certain Rabbonim and which possibly do not have the support of the whole
Rabbinate of that particular Beis Din....

It all depends on how the facts are presented to those Rabbonim - and by

From: Andrew Klafter <aklafter@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 01:47:45 -0500
Subject: Tzedakah Appeal (based on distortions)

Irwin Weiss <irwin@...> writes:
> I recently received a mass mailing appeal from some highly respected
> local Rabbanim, seeking funds for a woman (unidentified) who has some
> small children, is divorced, and needs the funds for the education of
> her children.  The letter, while not identifying the husband by name,
> accuses him of all sorts of wrongdoing and criticizes the civil court
> judge who is handling the divorce and support matters.  Anyone who knows
> the family would be able to identify the ex-husband.
> I know the ex-husband, his lawyer and the judge, and I know that the
> letter is quite unfair to his position.
> What would the proper response to the letter be?  Should I remain quiet,
> out of respect to the Rabbanim? Should I speak up privately, to adhere
> to the rule "Lo Tahmod Al Dam Re'echa?" (Excuse please my
> transliteration, something I have never been good at).

I think you should talk to one or more of the rabbonim who signed the letter
and inform them that:

(1) The letter has been written in such a manner that the ex-husband is
easily identified.
(2) The letter does not accurately convey the situation.
(3) The letter embarrasses the ex-husband and is ruining his reputation
(4) The letter embarrasses and ruins the reputation of the judge.
(5) You wonder if they have been misled about the facts.
(6) You assume that they do not realize that the situation is widely known
in the community and that many people will identify the ex husband, mother,
children, etc., in the letter and will therefore their impressions and
opnions of this man and judge will be adversely impacted by their letter.

To avoid speaking up to the rabbonim is not an act of "honor" or
"respect" in my opinion.  If you tell them privately and respectfully,
that is a great act of honor and respect than remaining silent.

Hatzlocha and tizku l'mitzvos,


From: Judah Diament <diam7644@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 12:30:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: YU seforim sale schedule

just saw this, thought people would be interested:


Belfer Hall Room 502
2495 Amsterdam Avenue at 184 Street

Thursday, February 13                6:30 pm-11 pm
Sunday, February 16                   2 pm-10 pm
Monday, February 17                  1:30 pm-10 pm
Wednesday, February 19             9:30 am-12:30 pm
Thursday, February 20                6:30 pm-11 pm
Saturday, February 22                 8 pm-11 pm
Sunday, February 23                   2 pm-10 pm
Tuesday, February 25                 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 6:30 pm-10 pm
Thursday, February 27                9:30 am-12:30 pm and 6:30 pm-11 pm
Sunday, March 2                         2 pm-10:30 pm

For more information: tel (212) 960-0156, fax (212) 960-0157, email


End of Volume 38 Issue 47