Volume 38 Number 50
                 Produced: Wed Feb  5  5:30:26 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Drisha Offers 30 Classes on Sunday and Weekdays, February 2- May 16
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Gedolah BeTorah
         [Harlan Braude]
Good Map showing Sura and Pumpudisa
         [Michael Kahn]
netz/hanetz/henetz hahamah
         [Mark Steiner]
Out of Print  sfarim and copyright
         [Tobias Robison]
Rav and Medinat Yisrael-- Part I
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Rav Soloveitchik
         [Michael Kahn]
Request for essay
         [Gershon Dubin]
Requirement of Saying blessings on Eclipses
         [Bernard Raab]
Shechiyanu on Shabbat Candles
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Singles Group
         [Carl Singer]
Why Rabbis don't wear black tie
         [Bernard Raab]
Woman Gadol
         [Shlomo Argamon]


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Subject: Drisha Offers 30 Classes on Sunday and Weekdays, February 2- May 16

Spring Semester Begins February 2

Drisha will offer a full array of courses at its Joseph Straus School of
Continuing Education. There are four classes open to women and men,
including one on Sunday morning, and nine short courses. You can sample
courses during the week of February 2. Complete course listing on the
Drisha website http://www.drisha.org/programs/straus.htm

Biblical Hebrew, Yesodot Program

Daytime and evening courses in Biblical Hebrew, Parshanut (exegesis),
Talmud and Bible. Yesodot courses are designed to enhance language and
text skills. http://www.drisha.org/programs/straus.htm

Biblical Hebrew - New Course

In response to student requests, we are considering offering a new class
in Biblical Hebrew, intermediate level, to meet once a week, on
Tuesdays, 11:15 - 12:45 p.m. taught by Deena Grant. The tuition is
$250. The class will materialize only if ten women pre-register by the
end of the day on Thursday, January 30. Thus far, six students have
registered. Registration form
http://www.drisha.org/pre-registration_form.doc. For information, phone
Judith Tenzer (212) 595-0307 or email <jtenzer@...>

Family Matters in Gemara - New Sunday class

Is a mother obligated to breastfeed her child? What are parents'
obligation toward their children? Study laws pertaining to family
relationships in this course that is open to women and men. Sunday
morning, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. http://www.drisha.org/programs/straus.htm#law

Learn to Layn In response to growing participation in inclusive prayer
services, Drisha has a class where women and men can learn traditional
Torah cantillation. This highly participatory course taught by Julia
Andelman is offered to women and men.

Courses for women and men

We have increased the number of courses in which men can participate,
and offer four this semester: Family Matters in Gemara, a nine-week
course examining laws of family relationships, taught by Tamar Tanner,
Sunday, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. King David: The Early Years, an
advanced-level Bible courses taught by Nathaniel Helfgot, Monday, 6:00 -
7:30 p.m. Haggadah shel Pesach, a nine-week course on the historical
development of the Haggadah, taught by David Goshen, Tuesday, 7:45 -
9:15 p.m. Learn to Layn, a highly participatory, interactive course
taught by Julia Andelman, Wednesday, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

Short Courses

Students have asked for more short courses, and we are offering nine
this semester, ranging from three to nine weeks each. Subjects include
Women's Obligation in the Reading/Hering of Megillat Esther, Shame and
Honor in Rabbinic Literature, Song of Songs, Moses Mondelssohn's
Jerusalelm. For a complete list and course descriptions,

Open Beit Midrash

Women of the community are invited to Open Beit Midrash on Monday, from
7:15 - 9:15 p.m. Come with your own havruta or find a new one at Drisha.
This is a wonderful opportunity to sudy a subject that has always
intrigued you and receive guidance throughout the semester.

Daf Yomi for Women

Join members of the Drisha Scholars Circle in learning a folio of Talmud
every weekday from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. The schedule will follow that of
Daf Yomi classes worldwide.

Summer is Coming.
Summer High School Program

Despite the frosty weather, preparation for the summer programs are in
full gear. The Drisha Summer High School Program brings together high
school students from across the United States and abroad for a five-week
program of intensive text-study with stimulating faculty and dedicated
peers. This year's program will run from June 30 through July 31. For
information and an application, please contact Miriam Udel-Lambert,
Director, Summer High School Program, <udellamb@...>, (617)

Summer Institutes

Drisha offers a three-week Summer Institute from June 9-27, and a
five-week Summer Institute from June 30 - August 1. Both programs offer
intensive text study geared to building skills in learning Talmud,
Bible, Jewish Law and more. For information, contact Judith Tenzer,
Program Director, <jtenzer@...>, (212) 595-0307.

We look forward to seeing you next week at Drisha!

Judith Tenzer
Program Director, Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
131 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-0307
<jtenzer@...>, www.drisha.org


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 08:42:17 -0500
Subject: RE: Gedolah BeTorah

In V38, #46, Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
> In the case of Nehama Leibowitz, my personal feeling is that she stayed
> away from g'mara because of the social taboos at the time.

When it was needed for the analysis of the issue she was teaching, she
would quote a g'mara just as she might quote any other source. She was
teaching how to learn and how to teach. How could such an important
source be ignored?


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 00:10:29 -0500
Subject: Good Map showing Sura and Pumpudisa

Does anyone know of a good map of present day Iraq showing where Sura
Pumpudisa exists? If you know of such a map online it would be even
better.  Also, if anyone knows of reliable websites dealing with
Talmudic history I'd appreciate hearing about it.  Thirdly, what do we
mean by calling our Gemara Talmud Bavli since many amorayim where in
Eretz Yisroel such as Reb Yochanan for example?  Also, when the Gemara
discusses things without using names, (a shaklah vtarya of a stam
gemara) where did this take place? Is there any rule for this? Or could
it have taken place in any of the Babylonian yeshivas?  I'm trying to
make heads and tails out of the talmudic period historicly.

Thanks for all help,


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 15:56:14 +0200
Subject: Re: netz/hanetz/henetz hahamah

To round off the discussion of netz/hanetz/henetz hahamah, I thought the
readers would be interested in a conversation I overheard in my shul
this week, which I give verbatim (my translation):

"Where are you?  We never see you."

"I daven now at the shtiblakh, at the neitz minyan."

"What is that?"

"Neitz means 'nokh tsen.'"


From: Tobias Robison <trobison@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 17:59:22 -0500
Subject: Out of Print  sfarim and copyright

Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...> wrote:

>There has been some effort to put out of print sfarim up on the web.
>Does anyone know whether there has been an effort to put up old sfarim
>which are not out of print?

Care must be exercised to avoid (civil law) copyright violation when
doing this. In general, anything published in the United States from Jan
1, 1923, is NOT in the public domain and requires explicit permission to
copy to the web (you may wish to CYLOR if you feel that permission has
been halachically granted in a specific situation).
If you are interested in relevant copyright issues, a
good place to start  is: http://www.gutenberg.net/vol/pd.html
(Project Gutenberg is dedicated to placing all public domain texts
online, and is scrupulous regarding copyright permissions.)

- tobias d. robison


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 20:33:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Rav and Medinat Yisrael-- Part I

Mike Gerver wrote on Mon, 27 Jan 2003
      father R. Moshe became Rosh Yeshiva of Tachgemoli (?).

I am pretty sure this was Tachk'moni


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 20:22:41 -0500
Subject: Re: Rav Soloveitchik

>where his father R. Moshe became Rosh Yeshiva of Tachgemoli (?).
It was the tachkimoni school.

>It is clear from the letter that R. Moshe is proud of the Rav's secular
>knowledge as well as his Torah knowledge.

Rabbi YB Soloveitchik sister, Mrs. Miselman writes in The Soloveitchik 
Legacy (I think thats the book's name) of the culture shock Rav moshe 
solloveitchik experienced when he first lived with the more "worldly" 
familly of his wife's.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 18:17:49 GMT
Subject: Request for essay

If anyone can send me a copy, offline, of Rav YB Soloveichik's essay, "A
mentsch is a lebedikeh sefer Torah", in Yiddish or in translation, I'd
appreciate it.

Thank you.



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 15:03:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Requirement of Saying blessings on Eclipses

>From: <chips@...>
>...it does seem odd that a bracha would be made on a rainbow but not an 
>eclipse.  The rainbow is supposed to remind us that we would be destroyed 
>if not for the promise.

Although an eclipse appears to be a "cosmic" event compared to a very
local rainbow, consider that an eclipse is an event which is eminently
predictable and precisely predetermined, whereas a rainbow appears
spontaneously, is charmingly unpredictable, and might prompt a
spontaneous and unexpected acknowlegment of God's promise.


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 19:49:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Shechiyanu on Shabbat Candles

(for those who don't like my transliteration in the subject, I'll write
about that later.  :) )

I don't know about others, but my sisters and I lit one candle each for
shabbat from a very young age (possibly instigated by our hassidic
summer camp experiences).

When I married and began to light two candles, I did say shechiyanu the
first such shabbat.  I added a candle with each son's birth and did the
same thing with the shechiyanu the first shabbat.  I did not wear a new
dress or eat pomegranite or any other hedging, because I figured that
the life changes were plenty of reason themselves.  (And by the way, I
think that this is one way that women ought to be very empowered
Jewishly, acknowledging such changes...for those of us who are not on
the gadola track ;) ) If wearing a new blouse merits the bracha, then
all the more so should acknowledging a new family member!

--Leah S. Gordon


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 01:37:43 EST
Subject: Re: Singles Group

      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?

 From limited hearsay from others who've discussedthis -- many singles
groups become an entity and life style onto themselves -- people become
"regulars" -- enjoying (?) this single's scene.

The shiddach method works quite well for people in certain circles with
certain expectations, etc.

Carl Singer


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 10:06:51 -0500
Subject: Why Rabbis don't wear black tie

Many have opined on this subject, tha latest being Bill Bernstein, who 
>>Perhaps one reason that rabbis do not wear black tie is that tuxedoes
are, properly, worn only at night.  The day-time wear would be white
jacket.  I also suspect that the general cheapening of the tuxedo, as
seen by its use in piano bars and the like, probably makes it something
no rabbi would want to be seen in.<<

so here is my 2 prutot worth:

There is clearly no uniformity (sic) in this practice, since I have seen
Rabbis wearing tuxedos at the weddings of their own children, when the
Rebitzen has decided to make it a "black tie" affair. At other
occasions, when the Rabbi is there in an official or semi-official
capacity, he will be wearing his rabbinic "uniform". i.e.; black suit
and black hat. It does not imply disrespect to the ba'alei simcha or any
reference to (or knowledge of) piano bars!


From: Shlomo Argamon <argamon@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 11:29:02 -0600
Subject: Re: Woman Gadol

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
> > From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
> > I do not see why a woman cannot become a gedolah ba-Torah but I question
> > whether being a brilliant expert in Tanach is sufficient to being called
> > a gadol/gedolah ba-Torah.  I would think that the term is reserved from
> > those who are masters of ALL AREAS of Torah.
> In the case of Nehama Leibowitz, my personal feeling is that she stayed
> away from g'mara because of the social taboos at the time.  Had she
> given opinions on g'mara as well, some people would have considered her
> a rebel and not valued her opinions as much (is his not what happened to
> Blu Greenberg, whom I would consider a gedola ba-Torah as well?).

Regarding Nehama Leibowitz Z"L, I have it on good authority (a Rabbi
student of hers) that she was also a beki`ah beShas, though she denied
ever having learned Gemara.  The point being that by learning all of
Tana"kh in great depth, with all the mepharshim, one will perforce learn
a great deal of Talmud (sort of the inverse of the argument for the
Yeshivish focus on Talmud).

Regarding Blu Greenberg yblh"a, I believe the issue is the problematic
hashkafa expressed in some of her books, not just the fact that she
learns Talmud.



End of Volume 38 Issue 50