Volume 39 Number 04
                 Produced: Mon Apr  7 22:52:21 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai
         [Ari Kahn]
Candle Lighting when away from Home
Corrections in Torah Literature
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Dwarfs on Giants
         [Shlomo Pick]
         [David Farkas]
Modern Orthodoxy - Actual Quotation makor
         [Farkas, David S]
Niskatnu Hadoros
         [Ben Z. Katz]
On the shoulders of giants
         [Mike Gerver]
Open Orthodoxy (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Avi Feldblum]
Say Cheese
         [Michael Rogovin]
Ulchaparat Pasha
         [Perets Mett]
Various (Apikorus)
         [Gil Student]


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 23:19:29 +0200
Subject: RE: Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai

The gemara does say that they did marry each others children and when the
gemara poses the obvious question - how is this possible? The Yerushalmi
(Yevamot 1:6 3b)offers various answers to this question one is that Beit
shammai backed down, a second answer is that Hashem protected them from
these extreme cases. Tosfos as stated by the Ritva in Eruvin clearly says
that both sides were valid opinions.

Also see zohar Berishit 17a, and the commentary of Mikdash Melech - to
locate the source that in the future the law will be according to beit

Ari Kahn


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 06:33:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Candle Lighting when away from Home

I have been travelling for a little while, and found an interesting
problem as regards candle lighting.

Most hotel rooms now have official policies prohibiting the lighting of
flames in the room or anywhere within the building. Many of these are
meant to obey fire codes and laws which are rightfully concerned about
fires occuring in the building.

So, the answer would be to go to a local shul and ask if you can light
there, right? Not anymore. At a shul that I recently visited, they also
needed to prohibit the practice of allowing guests to light candles on
the premises, because one had accidentally started a serious fire the
month before!

I've taken a set of candlesticks with me on my recent travels, but have
not been able to use them as a result of these restrictions. What is one
to do? Is there any way to fulfill the mitzvah without actual flames?


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 02:02:33 +0200
Subject: Corrections in Torah Literature

Dear friends,

I was asked by my friend and neighbor Rav Baruch Kahane to post this

Please note that this is a call for *suggestions* for corrections, a
team of Talmidei Chachamim will check such suggestions thoroughly before
placing them on the Internet. (Allowing every self-defined expert to
make corrections would probably be exactly what Rabbeinu Gershom was

At present the web page mentioned is in Hebrew only.


Maybe you too have on occasion discovered a typographical error in a
sefer, and wished you had a way to publicize the correction, but didn't
know how.

Now there IS a way for every ben-Torah to help others, by publicizing
corrections in Torah literature. At the Machon Halacha Berura and Birur
Halacha website, a section has been created for corrections to works
of Haza"l, Rishonim and Acharonim. Its URL is:
This section is meant to be of service to those who do not want to
commit the issur of "possession of a book with incorrect content"
(Ketubot 19b) and also for publishers who will be able to publish
corrected editions of Torah works.

We call upon all those who have such corrections to send them to us by
email to: <hb@...>

Additionally, the Machon Halacha Berura and Birur Halacha website has
other data which can be helpful to those who wish to add breadth and
depth to their Torah study: indexes to commentators on the Ramba"m and
to commentators on Aggadic material in the Talmud. links to online
full-text copies of Torah books, and an index to the books of Birur


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 13:52:18 +0200
Subject: Dwarfs on Giants

Actually the ri"d in shu"t no. 62 quotes philolophers, not nezirim or

please note the following:.
      Pigmaei gigantum humeris impositi plusquam ipsi gigantes vident
(Pigmies placed on the shoulders of giants see more than the giants
themselves). Didacus Stella in Lucan, 10, tom. ii. 
Lucan [= Marcus Annaeus Lucanus] (A.D. 39-65) from The Civil War, Ib. II,
10 (Didacus Stella).

shlomo pick


From: David Farkas <DavidF@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 16:04:35 -0400 
Subject: L'Chaim

There is a famous passage in the Gemara Shabbos that speaks about a
phrase some of our Chazal used to say when drinking wine" Chamra Vichay
lifom rabbanan" The meaning is unclear ( it is discussed by R' Reuven
Margolis, among others, in his book on Talmudic riddles) but it may have
led to the "Lchayim" of today.

I have seen it written also that wine leads to misery and destruction in
the world, as brought down in the gemara, and consequently "lichayim" is
said to ward off any negative effects the wine may bring.  Another
reason is given by the Daas Zekeinim Miballei Tosfos on Chumash, but the
exact location escapes me here in my office.

David Farkas
Cleveland Ohio


From: Farkas, David S <DavidF@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 15:56:07 -0400 
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy - Actual Quotation makor

The "standing on the shoulders of Giants" quotation was addressed by
Rabbi Shnayer Leiman in an article by that title in Tradition magazine
about ten years ago or so.

David Farkas
Cleveland Ohio

[Similar reference to R. Leiman's article sent in by Joseph Mosseri
<joseph.mosseri@...>. Mod.]


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 20:09:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Niskatnu Hadoros

>>The Rambam didn't believe in the notion of "meut hadorot".
>Isn't the idea of "niskatnu hadoros", in the gemara?

The fact of the matter is that the Rambam disagreed with certain ideas
that are found in the gemara (eg astrology).  This is what makes his
approach so enlightening or threatening, depending on one's outlook.
Remember also that it was the Rambam's figurative interpretations of
Scripture that by and large caused the Rashba to attempt to ban such
learning in 1305.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187; Fax 773-880-8226


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 22:08:18 EDT
Subject: On the shoulders of giants

Mechy Frankel writes, in v39n03, regarding the origin of the saying "If I 
have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants:"

> I believe the first published source of the metaphor - dwarves standing
>  on the shoulders of giants - is Bernard of Clairvaux, who in turn
>  attributed it to his rebbe, John of Sylvester.  Tosophos Rid is the
>  first jewish guy to use it, but he explicitly acknowledges lifting it
>  from the (goyish) "philosophers", though he doesn't name them.

I assume Mechy got this information, directly or indirectly, from Robert
K.  Merton's book, "On the Shoulders of Giants," which indeed traces the
quote back to Bernard of Clairvaux, who I think lived in the 12th or
13th century CE. In the fall of 1966, not long after Merton's book was
published and not long after I first saw it, I came across a reference
to a very much earlier use of the metaphor, at least, and possibly the
quote as well. It was in a book by the amateur British antiquarian
Robert Brown (1844-1912), that I found in the Brandeis University
library. I don't remember the title (I wrote it down at the time, but
can't find it now). However, the only likely candidate listed in the
Brandeis library online catalog is called "Researches into the origin of
the primitive constellations of the Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonian."
There was a discussion there (on page 300 something??) about an ancient
Greek play, now lost, called "Kedalion," about the giant hunter Orion,
after he was blinded, carrying around the dwarf Kedalion on his
shoulders, to see for him. Brown says, I think, that this was the origin
of the phrase "on the shoulders of giants."

If someone who has easy access to the Brandeis library would care to
look up this book for me and tell me exactly what Brown does say, I
would be grateful. The book seems to be quite rare-- it is not listed in
either Widener Library or the Library of Congress.

Robert K. Merton, by the way, was a professor of sociology at
Columbia. Both my father and Norman (Noyech) Miller, a long-time reader
of and occasional contributor to mail-jewish, were graduate students of
his in the late 1940s.  It was largely because of this, I think, that my
father bought the book, and that is why I saw it. At the time that I
made my discovery of the earlier source, in 1966, my father encouraged
me to write to Merton about it, but to my regret I never got around to
it, and only a few weeks ago my mother told me that she saw his
obituary. (To my surprise, the obituary said that Merton was born Meyer
R. Skolnick. Norman told me that when he was a student of Merton's,
"every (Jewish) student at Columbia spent far too much time speculating
about his original name.")

If any of you readers out there have been putting off doing something
like this, I urge you to sit down and do it!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 19:14:13 +0300
Subject: Re: Open Orthodoxy

R. Yehonatan Chipman stated:

      Those of us who are loyal to Torah and mitzvot, but dissent from
      the doctrine of "da'as Toirah" and obedience to the so-called
      "gedolim," are in an analogous situation.

I don't know, but there is a whole chapter in the Tractate of Sanhedrin,
called Heleq, that deals with some of the hashqafot of Judaism.  For
example, one whose behavior pattern is what might be defined as
"orthodox," but denies that resurrection of the dead is from the Tora,
is regarded as an apostate.

Thus, the denial of Jewish belief, and not only the failure to practice
the physical comandments, is normatively regarded as a departure from
"Orthodoxy," (that is to say, from Tora Judaism), similar to what
certain modern groups among Jewry do, and we rightly condemn.


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 22:33:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Open Orthodoxy

Ira L. Jacobson wrote: 
> I don't know, but there is a whole chapter in the Tractate of
> Sanhedrin, called Heleq, that deals with some of the hashqafot of
> Judaism. ... [See above]

The issue for many of us, however, is that we disagree that what is today
called "Daas Torah" is a valid and required hashqafa of Judaism. Thus we
all agree that Judaism encompasses both practices and beliefs. I however
may see more similarities between the current definition of Daas Torah to
Christian concept of Dogma and Papel infallibility than to the shakla
v'tarya of Amoraic Judaism. I see the rejection of diversity and the
encouragement of a non-intellectual approach to Judaism as one of the
most disturbing aspects of modern Chareidi Judaism. I accept that many of
them see my embracing of diversity and an intellectual approach to
Judaism as dangerous to the long term health of the orthodox community.

Avi Feldblum 


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 13:17:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Say Cheese

Janet Rosenbaum writes:
> Wrt unfair competition, the non-Jewish companies would presumably use
> chalav hacompanies while World Cheese Co only uses chalav yisrael, so
> this does segment the market and may diminish the concern.

I can't answer the other questions authoritatively, but World Cheese has
products that are Chalav Stam (e.g. Millers, HaOlam) and Chalav Yisrael
(e.g. Migdal). It is all the same cheese, made in the same factory, the
same day(s). The way it was described to me was the KAJ mashgiach
supervises the CY run, then the CS run, then leaves and the OU mashgiach
watches the CS run, etc. The mashgiah may be the same person "wearing
different hats" as it were (pun intended).

Michael Rogovin


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 16:04:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Ulchaparat Pasha

Daniel Werlin <Daniel.Werlin@...> wrote:

> What minhagim do people have for the addition of "ulchaparat pasha" to
> the Rosh Chodesh musaf amidah?

The Mishna Bruro (423:6) mentions the minhog of saying it until "after
the leap month" i.e. Ador II, but makes no mention of a minhog to say
ulchaporath posha during Nison.

> It is not always clear, though, from these sources whether the year begins
> with Tishrei of the leap year, or with Nisan of the year *preceding* the
> leap year and that is what I am particularly interested in...

Nowhere is there a suggestion that one should start saying it during
Nison of the preceding year. The debate is whether to continue after
Ador II until the end of the current year (i.e. Elul) or whether to stop
after Ador II

> Although I might be misunderstanding it, it says "ad chodesh Nisan" in Sidur
> Amudei Shamayim [R. Yaakov Emden], page 885-886.

My edition of of R' Yaakov Emden's sidur has different page numbering,
but certainly no mention of Chodesh Nison. It says that the words are
added in a leap year as a 13th attribute.

Perets Mett


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 14:47:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Various (Apikorus)

Michael Kahn wrote:
>Is disrespect for a Torah scholar a violation of one of the 13
>ikram (sic)? Isn't that a requirement for apikorsus?

Rambam (Teshuvah 3:14) says that it is "lighter" than disbelief in
G-d and other heresies but that one who frequently disrespects Torah
scholars etc. has not portion in the world-to-come.  See also
Sha'arei Teshuvah 3:144,147.

Gil Student

[Gil, it has been a while since I checked it out, but as you are
bringing the Rambam, my memory is that he has a well defined criteria
for "Apikorus", which does not co-incide with Michael's assumption of
the use of the term. Avi]


End of Volume 39 Issue 4