Volume 38 Number 99
                 Produced: Tue Apr  1  5:52:05 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Academic Jewish Journals
         [Fay Berger]
Canonization of Hebrew Scripture
         [Shalom Ozarowski]
Chumra (was: Re: Modern Orthodoxy: definition)
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Dati Leumi
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Found Tefillin at JFK
         [Sharf, Michael L [SMTP:<msharf@...>]]
kitbag questions
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Kol Isha
         [Gil Student]
Learning in Yahadut
         [Tzvi Briks]
Modern Orthodoxy
         [David Cohen]
My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU (4)
         [Shmuel Himelstein, Gilad J. Gevaryahu, Barak Greenfield,
Ezriel Krumbein]
Or Lagoyim
         [Danny Skaist]
Questioning the motivation of women who want to learn
         [Paul Shaviv]
Waiting for Rabbi


From: <JuniperViv@...> (Fay Berger)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 23:55:09 EST
Subject: Re: Academic Jewish Journals

A wonderful resource is <lookjed@...>
Perhaps someone on that list can help.
Fay Berger


From: <Shalomoz@...> (Shalom Ozarowski)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 14:11:08 EST
Subject: Re: Canonization of Hebrew Scripture

>> "We are thus left with two interesting, and no doubt interrelated,
>> questions: How did our Tanakh come to be arranged as it is?  And how and
>> when were the five megillot grouped together?  I join Alan Cooper in an
>> appeal for information, and especially scholarly bibliography on the
>> subject."
> Shneur Leiman has an extended article on this issue.  In an earlier work

i'm not sure if you are referring to the same work, but R. Leiman
republished his book/dissertation on the subject in 1991 entitled "The
Canonization of Hebrew Scripture: The Talmudic and Midrashic Evidence." 
I recently bought the book and have only read the intro. (so i dont know
yet what he says about the megillot specifically), but his revised
bibliography is very comprehensive.  he is absolutely right in noting the
underdeveloped-ness of this interesting topic.

kol tuv
Shalom Ozarowski


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 10:16:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Chumra (was: Re: Modern Orthodoxy: definition)

Binyomin Segal writes:

> As an example - when deciding whether to accept an eruv as kosher or
> not, a number of factors come into play. One might be the ability of
> women (who even in the MO camp are still generally the primary care
> givers for small children) to come to shul. This factor is perhaps more
> important to a MO rabbi then to a Charedi one. So while the issue of
> chumra/kula is the same, the factors that contribute line up
> differently.

The issue of an eruv might be equally related to whether the mothers can
take the children to the park on Shabbos afternoon, of equal interest to
mothers all across the spectrum.  Why all these other hidden agendas
for/against women in shul, etc.?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 14:08:54 +0300
Subject: Dati Leumi

Has anyone noticed that while its name is the "National Religious Party"
(NRP), it's Hebrew name is MaFDal, "Miflagah Datit Le'umit" - literally,
"the Religious National Party"?

Should any importance to be attributed to this difference?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Sharf, Michael L [SMTP:<msharf@...>]
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 23:06:25 -0800
Subject: Found Tefillin at JFK

A friend of mine found a talit bag with a talit and 2 pairs of tefilin
inside it. it was found in jfk airport this past sunday. If anybody
knows who it belongs to please email me. <jay1fbkny@...> If not
please forward this to everyone that you know because it will probably
get to the person who lost it. I'm sure you all know that it is a huge
mitzvah to help return the tefilin. Thank You.


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 10:15:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: kitbag questions

Yisrael Medad asks:

> Isn't the modern term for "Kitbag Question" something like: DADT = Don't
> Ask, Don't Tell which came into use with Clinton and the subject of
> homosexuals in the armed forces?

It seems to me that while there's an element of that, it's more like the
person who has so little sense of his own self-interest or rights that
he thinks he has to ask permission for everything, OR who thinks his
self-interest lies in appeasing authority.  In children it sometimes
looks like being a goody-goody or sucking up to the teacher.  It doesn't
seem to me to be a particularly healthy pehenomenon, most of the time.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:20:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Kol Isha

Lisa Halpern wrote:
>I am interested in the subject of kol isha. What are the sources of
>the prohibition of a woman singing in a man's presence? Is the
>prohibition from the Torah, or rabbinic? Any information would
>be welcome.

I once put together a non-comprehensive list/summary/translation of
sources on the subject.  You can see it at

Gil Student


From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 08:03:34 EST
Subject: Re: Learning in Yahadut

Learning in Yahadut involves the understanding of the entire scope of
Literature available to us: Peshat, Remez, Drush, and Sod.  We spend too
much time in the learning of Halachot without direction or without an
underlying principle.  It is the study of Peshat without the rest,
especially the last study component - the Sod.  The sod provides the
underlying principle by which we can derive an understanding of many
Halachot, like seeing the forest for the trees.  Women and men should
study all, and together.

Tzvi Briks
New Rochelle, NY


From: <bdcohen@...> (David Cohen)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 12:42:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy

Binyomin Segal wrote: 

<<As one example, most of the elementary orthodox jewish education we
have in the US was initiated by innovative charedim from ny in
partnership with locals of all flavors (I don't think that is
controversial, is it?).>>

I cannot speak for all day schools, but I attended one of the first, the
Yeshiva of Hartford (now the Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford) which
was founded in 1945, by the local baal habatim (members of the
community) with nary a chareidi or a New Yorker in sight!

So unless you have better historical proofs, I suggest we stay away from
sweeping generalizations

David I. Cohen


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 14:05:44 +0300
Subject: My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU

The way I have always understood "AYLU VEAYLU" ("both these and these
are the words of the Eternal God") is as follows:

We have 13 principles as to how to interpret the Torah, as stated by R'
Yishma'el. Now, if the appropriate God-fearing rabbinic authorities
apply these rules to the text, whatever conclusion they reach is "the
words of the Eternal God." Thus, both the rulings of Beis Hillel and of
Beis Shammai fit into that category - they are "the words of the Eternal
God." They are both equally true, in that they are true to the Torah's
deductive principles.

Now, when it comes to Halachah, though, one can hardly accept both
views, which are often contradictory. At this point, another principle
steps in - that of how one is to rule OPERATIVELY (e.g. one follows the
majority, etc.). Thus, the individual operatively has only one decision
to follow.

I believe that proof to this view is that even though Beis Hillel and
Beis Shammai disagreed about questions of marriage, each accepted the
other's marriages as valid. This was because on the deeper level, each
decision was a valid halachic one.

Shmuel Himelstein

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 09:51:59 EST
Subject: My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU

Russell Hendel (v38n96) suggests that the meaning of "Elu VaElu" <<AYLU
VEAYLU does not legitimate CONTENT but METHOD>>

A quick look at any database will show that Chazal refer to the content
and the outcome of the discussion, when they say "Elu VaElu."  Since I
did not study every single case it is conceivably that some might refer
to the method as well. So in Eruvin 13b the subject matter is the
halacha not the process, as is the case in Gittin 6b. Ozar Midrashim
(Eisenstein 214) says "Im tekayemu et divrei shteihen...Elu VaElu"
clearly the outcome of the discussion is the subject matter of "Elu

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Barak Greenfield <docbjg@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 13:53:48 -0500
Subject: RE: My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU

Russell J Hendel writes:

> AYLU VEAYLU does not legitimate CONTENT but METHOD

Dr. Hendel expresses a very nice sentiment, but it is unlikely what the
gemara had in mind. For one thing, the translation of elu ve'elu means
that both viewpoints are God's, not that one is God's and the other,
well, nice try. Further, the gemara uses this axiom to explain how the
opinions of two authorities can both be correct, even though the halacha
may be decided according to only one of them (Eruvin 13b, Gittin 6b).
The gemara does not say that one is authentic and the other is just a
good shot, but they are both authentic. Dr. Hendel's hava amina
regarding the possibility of different rewards for the "right" vs the
"wrong" posek may have occurred to him but is not found in the gemara.

I doubt that Dr. Hendel really believes that elu ve'elu does not
legitimize opposing halachic viewpoints. If so, this would mean that, in
the case of any unresolved machlokes, half of all Jews are, in the final
analysis, doing something wrong. Eating non-glatt according to the
Ramoh? You might be eating treif your whole life! What should I daven
after p'lag hamincha--mincha or ma'ariv? Better choose wisely--half of
all Jews are davening the wrong tefillah!

All kidding aside, where does this view of elu ve'elu come from, and
what other statement does legitimize opposing halachic viewpoints?

Barak Greenfield, MD

From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 00:09:38 -0800
Subject: Re: My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU

>I would just like to present my interpretation.
>AYLU VEAYLU does not legitimate CONTENT but METHOD

This is a very nice idea and certainly fits if all you quote is Aylu
Veaylu.  However it does not fit with the end of the phrase dvrei elokim
chayim.  If you are correct it should be avodas or ameilus or zechus but
not divrei.

It is also does not fit the gemara in gitten daf 6b that discusses why
the 'husband' of plegesh bgivah sent her away.  It clearly says that
both were true just that one was a more primary reason.

Kol Tov


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 14:38:12 +0200
Subject: Or Lagoyim

> Bill Bernstein 
> The other view is the "or lagoyim" view, that interaction is not only
> desirable but one of the foundations of Jewish existence.......
> ...
> In the opposite way, we have opportunities for kiddush haShem,
> that when we behave in ways sanctioned by the Torah others will see it
> and the status of the Jewish people and HaShem will be raised in the
> world.

"or lagoyim" does not raise the status of the Jewish people.  When the
Jews act in a manner sanctioned by the Torah, the goyim compare their
own actions with those of the Jews and are forced to demonize the Jews
to make themselves feel less evil.  This is called anti-semitism.



From: Paul Shaviv <shaviv@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 19:11:14 -0500
Subject: Questioning the motivation of women who want to learn

Does anyone *ever* question the motivations of men who want to learn /
become observant ??  Is it ever said of any man that his reasons for
wanting to learn are *suspect* ?

The quest for learning among contemporary women is a huge blessing for
the Jewish people; it will bring us the spiritual insights (and, who
knows, leadership, even) of the 50% of our people who until recently
were our very own 'Jews of Silence'.

We should stop this absurd, chauvinist posturing.

Paul Shaviv, Toronto.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 22:59:48 -0800
Subject: Re: Waiting for Rabbi

> Baruch Hashem, our Shul happens to comprise Ba'alei Batim who are Kovea
> Itim Latorah, who do know what they daven and who do not daven "so
> quickly".  And, to my way of thinking, once most of them have finished,
> it is surely time for the Shatz to continue, be it on a weekday when
> people have to go to work, or on a Shabbos. I do not think that waiting
> for a protracted length of time instils in the tzibur any additional
> kovod for the Rav. If anything the practice which I have come across in
> other Shuls where the Rav has an "arrangement" whereby the Shatz in
> instructed to continue, either when he is seen to be bowing down for
> Birchas Hoda'a, or when enough of the mispallelim are ready, is more
> conducive to k'vod haRav.

As one who davens at an early minyan and goes straight to work 
after davening is over, I have no problem waiting 3 minutes for the 
Rabbi to finish - and he is not even my Rabbi!

In fact, at any shul I would be upset if the Shatz dared to start 
before the Rabbi was finished (unless the Rabbi decides to arrange 
for the Shatz to start at a certain point/time). It is not just an issue 
of Kovod Ha'Rav - it also an issue of showing respect for the 
position. If a Rabbi considered greater than the ShulRav was 
davening, I think the ShulRav is the one the Shatz should go by.



End of Volume 38 Issue 99