Volume 38 Number 90
                 Produced: Tue Mar 25  5:35:15 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Handguns vs. Long Guns
High-quality Hebrew typesetting
         [Art Werschulz]
Jewish community in the Netherlands
         [Eli Turkel]
Madonna Torah
         [Yaakov Fogelman]
Making of a Godol (2)
         [Eugene Bazarov, Lawrence Feldman]
         [Michael Kahn]
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Tircha d'Tsibura
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Tircha D'tzibura
         [Carl Singer]


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 11:38:34 -0600
Subject: Handguns vs. Long Guns

Shalom, All:

	Addressing the issue of selling a gun to a goy, Frank Silbermann
says >>So if one does not accept the argument that sport qualifies as a
defensive purpose, the sale of a compact, center fire handgun would be
less problematic than that of a long-barreled rifle or shotgun.>>
	I have two friends who are cops, and both say that a shotgun is
the best weapon for home defense for two reasons: (1) Just the sound of
the shotgun being primed is often enough to scare away a burglar or
rapist. "That distinctive sound crosses all language barriers: even a
non-English speaking bad guy understands that sound and will run away,"
said Detective Sgt. Les Smulevitz. (2) Mike Carlson, a long-time cop and
security consultant, added that a handgun bullet will go through walls
and could kill an innocent someone in another room. Shotgun pellets,
OTOH, embed in a wall and are thus safer.
	Reb Frank also noted >>It might be forbidden for a Jew to sell a
weapon to a "gun buyback" program run by gentiles -- because a destroyed
weapon would not be used for defense, and because one violates the
prohibition against destroying a useful object.<<
	I respectfully disagree because there are many useful objects
that must be destroyed when they become dangerous. One example is a
guard dog that bites indiscriminately.

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 09:55:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: High-quality Hebrew typesetting


This might be of interest to those of you who are interested in
typesetting biblical verses.

Alan Hoenig has released the second version of his Makor system for
typesetting biblical and modern Hebrew.  It produces really beautiful
results.  It accepts several input formats (transliterated, BHS, ...)
and does trope, vowels, Yiddish.  It has several nice Hebrew fonts.

If you want to see a sample, look at
This is chapter 2 of Esther.  It appears that you have to view the PDF
file at a *very* high magnification for things to look right.  I
typeset this from a BHS text that I found online.

Another nice thing: you don't have to pay for it.

Makor runs on top of TeX, the typesetting system designed and built
by Prof. Don Knuth of Stanford (originally for typesetting material
with lots of mathematics).  More precisely, it uses Omega, which is a
version of TeX that can handle Unicode, mixed-direction typesetting,
and so forth.  Note that the TeX system is freely available (but it's
*not* free software, since Prof. Knuth assigned the copyright to the
American Mathematical Society).

You can find as much info as you would like about TeX from the TeX
User Group (http://www.tug.org).  TeX software can be downloaded from
there, as well as through the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network
(http://www.ctan.org).  If you have a Mac running MacOS X, there's a
program called i-Installer that simplifies the process.  If you're
running Linux, you probably have TeX already installed.

What's the catch?  Installing and configuring TeX takes a bit of work,
although it's gotten better over the last few years.  I also found
that installing and configuring Makor required a bit more fiddling
than I had expected.

Anyway, enjoy (if you're intrigued by the idea of high-quality free 
Hebrew typesetting).

Art Werschulz
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 08:19:28 GMT
Subject: Jewish community in the Netherlands

Regarding the inquiry posed by Elanit Rothschild regarding Jewish
communities in Netherlands. There are Chabad Shluchim in the following
cities of the Netherlands: Almere, Amersfoort, Amstelveen-Amsterdam,
Haarlem, Maastricht, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

Besides Chabad Amsterdam has a fairly strong community with several
ashkenazi and chassidic shuls. On Shabbat there is also the Portugese
shul which is recommended to see something different. There are also
several restaurants, bakeries/etc.

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 24/03/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 12:04:42 +0200
Subject: Re: Madonna Torah

To be truly, i.e. talmudically, Jewish, I will answer Yisroel Medad's 
question on Madonna, non-Jewish, learning the Torah of kabbala, with 
another question- is, indeed, all kabbala Jewish? Besides 17th century 
Leon D'Modena, about 100 years ago, great Yemenite sage Rav Yichye Kapach 
(grandfather of Rav Yosef Kapach, z"l, the world expert on Rambam, who 
concurred with his views) decided that the Zohar is a  combo of Judaism 
and Eastern mysticism,  and thus not a reliable source for Jewish 
teaching, and not included in Rambam's Jewish learning program of Torah 
and science; Kapach's Dor Deah movement is still alive and kicking here in 
Israel (including great sage Rav Arussi), eliminating all references to 
the Zohar in their prayers, e.g. b'rech shmei. The vast majority of Torah 
scholars and observant Jews  indeed, eventually, accepted the 
authenticity, and the antiquity, of the Zohar . tho the vast majority of 
them never actually investigated the questions on its age and validity; 
its actual writing down, tho it was possibly an ancient oral tradition, 
was clearly by Moshe DeLeon, in the 13th century, in then contemporary 
Aramaic- Sholom notes several Zoharic references to the destruction of the 
temple, "1200 years ago"). Indeed a group of Jerusalem rabbois 
excommunicated their Yemenite colleagues, who questioned the Zohar, about 
100 years ago (Rav Kapach reprinted, and responded to, their diatribe! Rav 
Kook did not sign their statement, but rejected Kapach's view, simply 
because most Jews had accepted the Zohar, but did not discuss his 
arguments in Milchemet Hashem, which is available in English, Italian and 
Hebrew on the web)  

But laws of lashon hara, tho Madonna may have learned them from Phillip
Berg, are not of kabbalistic, but of halachic origin. I believe that
Yeshiyahu Leibowitz's observation is applicable- the attitude of sages,
thruout the ages, vis-a-vis teaching Torah to non-Jews, was: was it good
for the Jews! Where they were studying it to refute it or justify
persecution of the Jews, their study was a bad thing; but where they
were citing it to appreciate it and spread it, e.g.  Bnei Noach, we can
use all the help we can get in our universal mission- to bring all
humanity back to itself and God from Jerusalem. So it was fine for
Sporno to teach curious fine gentile folks in Italy, and for Berg to
teach Madonna in California. Re an alleged prohibition to teach kabbala
to those under 40 (never trust anyone under 40, the age of understanding
in Avot!), Rav Kook noted that today, when everything is available
anyway, fully translated and explained, in most public libraries, such
prohibitions serve no purpose- better we help them get and spread it
correctly- I would say the same about teaching Torah to non-Jews. Better
we teach it to them from our truly traditional standpoint, that it is
the Word of God, than they pick up and spread the documentary hypothesis
and other fashionable heresies, such as the documentary hypothesis. May
Madonna, like Shmuely Boteach, help create tikkun haolam, via
Torah. Just as Rav Meir learnt from his heretical master, Acher,
carefully separating the wheat from the chaff, just as Shloimo followers
can share his connection to God and Man, without copying him in Negia,
so we can separate Madonna's sense of how to treat humanity from her
loose sexual morals, whioch, other than adultery, homosexuality and
certain incest prohibitions, are not incumbent upon Bnei Noach anyway.

 Yaakov Fogelman (anyone who would like to get my free weekly e-mail 
 studies, where I explore such issues, in the context of parashas 
 hashavua, has only to send me an e-mail address).


From: Eugene Bazarov <evbazarov@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:54:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Making of a Godol

As far as I know this is the first review of the book "Making of a
Godol" by Rabbi Nathan Kamenetsky.


After my last post on this topic I got about 30 e-mails from people
asking me to buy my copy of the book. I am not selling it. Although I am
thinking about putting some of the more interesting parts of the book on
the web for free. This will effectively nullify the ban. Its time to
stop the ignorance!  Sincerely,

E.V. Bazarov

From: Lawrence Feldman <lpf1836@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 00:30:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Making of a Godol

I've been told that Rabbi Kamenetzky's out-of-print book is being sold
by auction. For details see:


Larry Feldman


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 14:12:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Poskim

>If the practice were akin to mechitza, then there is no question that
>poskim would vigorously protest day schools that instituted the
>practice. The fact that they don't does not mean approval, but it
>certainly means that an optional course of study is not beyond the

I pity the poskim. When they protest they are called divisive while when 
they are silent people take it as an indication of acceptance.


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Shidduchim

>as for shidduchim, we can daven.

I doubt you would have such a "light" attitude if it was you in the
situation.  "Great takanos" from the times of the gemara would also give
little comfort, I imagine, for someone with nothing wrong with them,
getting toward their upper 20's, who goes out every 1 or 2 months.  Have
some compassion.  When these "great takanos" were made, I imagine that
there were "a few" differences in the culture, and I imagine that they
didn't have that many women in their 30's who had never been married.

We need solutions, not quotations from seforim to defend the status quo
and say that everything is just fine the way it is.  Things are not
fine, and something needs to be done.  I'm not saying that "singles
clubs" are the answer, but we need more than "we can daven" as a


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 12:18:58 +0200
Subject: Tircha d'Tsibura

All this talk of Tircha d'Tsibura and Misheberachs after one makes after
an Alyah reminded me of a sign I saw in a Shul in South Africa about 45
years ago, that specifically limited the Misheberachs to five names.

However - theory and practice clashed, and one person had 14 names

On the other hand, I understand the motivation to the regulation was
that prior to it, people would mention (literally!) every single person
in the Shul!

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 15:05:57 EST
Subject: Re: Tircha D'tzibura

I wanted to introduce perhaps a different perspective on Tircha
D'tzibura -- that is deviation from the expected.

When you go to the same shule for a long time you get into a comfort
zone -- the pace, the "rhythm", the style of davening, whether or not
they schlep mishibayrachs or squeeze in extra Aliyahs, the formality /
informality, the exactness or laid-backness (?)  etc.  I'm sure that we
can all think of many such examples.

I believe that when there is a change from this (our?)  "expected norm"
that we have the possibility of Tircha D'tzibura -- and it's not always
longer -- if you're used to a melodic, well-paced Mussaf and the ba'al
Mussaf is "machine-gun Cohen" that's no less a Tircha than the chazen
who goes 30 minutes beyond your (fondest) expectations while introducing
you to variations from Rigiletto.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


End of Volume 38 Issue 90