Volume 39 Number 06
                 Produced: Sun Apr 27  6:17:44 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Definition of Apikorus
         [Ben Katz]
Dwarfs on Giants
         [Shayna Kravetz]
Kosher hotel in Budapest
         [Irving Green]
         [Meir Possenheimer]
Men's Razors
         [Rachel Swirsky]
My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU
         [Ralph Zwier]
Non-intellectual approach to Yehadut
         [Evan Rock]
Observant Jews as vegetarians?
         [Howard M. Berlin]
On the shoulders of giants
         [Mike Gerver]
On the Shoulders of Giants
         [Michael Frankel]
Pants or Skirts?
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Rabbi Solomon Schechter
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Ulchaparat Pasha
         [David Ziants]


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 13:27:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Definition of Apikorus

>From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
>Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> writes ( 39 #01):
><< Is disrespect for a Torah scholar a violation of one of the 13 ikram
>(sic)? Isn't that a requirement for apikorsus? >>
>     The Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b brings several opinions as to the definition
>of an apikorus: either "one who embarrases a talmid chacham" (Rav and R.
>Chanina) or "one who embarrases his friend in front of a talmid chacham" (R.
>Yochanan and R. Yehoshua ben Levi). Later it brings Rav Yosef's opinion: "One
>who says 'What use are the rabbis to me?' " However none of these speak of
>someone who denies the 13 ikkarim.

That's because there were no 13 ikarim in the time of the Talmud.  They
are a product of medieval philosophy, probably Islamic, that many Jewish
philosophers (eg Sadia and Rambam) sought to emulate in Jewish thought.


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:40:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Dwarfs on Giants

In tracking down the source of this quote, Shlomo Pick gives us Didacus
Stella by Lucan, who was himself quoted in Robert Burton's Anatomy of
>      Pigmaei gigantum humeris impositi plusquam ipsi gigantes vident
(Pigmies placed on the shoulders of giants see more than the giants

The same quote turns up with variations in Jacula Prudentum by 17th C.
British poet George Herbert and in Essay VIII of Samuel Taylor
Coleridge's The Friend (according to my ancient and much battered copy
of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations).  But there is a slight difference in
emphasis that emerges: Isaac Newton's version ("If I have seen further,
etc., it is only because I have stood on the shoulders, etc.) embodies a
certain modesty about Newton's own abilities. On the other hand, the
various quotes listed here seem to stress the advantage for the pygmies
in using the giants. I wonder which emphasis is embodied in the version
used by the RI"D.



From: Irving Green <scanrom@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 09:55:29 -0400
Subject: Kosher hotel in Budapest

In addition to the hotel mentioned The Kings,

 There is also a communal dining room-nothing fancy- about a block away-
next to the Orthodox synagogue. Actually, it is in the same courtyard as
the synagogue.

There is a kosher bakery on the same street. However, it is not open
every day. It produces challah and bread. Several stores nearby carry
Israeli brand foods. Your best bet is to go to the community center and
ask where you can find kosher food. I suggest that you take along some
foodstuffs with you. Wine for Kiddush, in small bottles, is an
especially good idea.

There are some 80,000 Jews in Budapest. They live in different sections
of the city and there are about a dozen minyanim in the city itself.

Please note-the area near the Kings and The community center is not a
very good one. You have to be careful walking there in the nighttime
hours. The gypsies have a way of stopping you on the street and asking
to check your money to see if it is 'legal'. You have to either ignore
them or scream at the top of your lungs so that they see that you aren't
falling for their tricks.

The major hotels in the city are not in this area. They are about a 20-30
minute walk to the kosher hotel and restaurant.

Irving Green



From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 21:23:57 +0100
Subject: Re: L'Chaim

> From: David Farkas <DavidF@...>
> Another reason is given by the Daas Zekeinim Miballei Tosfos on Chumash,
> but the exact location escapes me here in my office.

The Daas Zekeinim referred to is to be found in Parashas Shemini, 10:9
where it is brought that Odom Horishon became shikur from drinking wine
at his Nissuin, as a result of which he transgressed Hashem's warning
not to eat from fruit of the tree of knowledge, thereby causing death to
be brought into the world.


From: Rachel Swirsky <swirskyr@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 00:29:27 -0400
Subject: Men's Razors

Well, after many years of faithful service my husband's electric razor
has just decided that it no longer wants to work for him.  We have heard
that not all of the electric razor's are ok within the realms of
halacha.  We were told that there was a list of those that are
acceptable.  I was wondering if anyone has a copy of this list.  I can
not seem to find it anywhere!  Also any information on who put the list
together and under whose hashgacha.  Thanks very much!

Rachel Swirsky


From: Ralph Zwier <ralph@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 13:57:23 +1000
Subject: My interpretation of AYLU VEAYLU

None of the posters on this topic have drawn attention to the odd
expression "chayim" as a description of G-d. (Elokim Chayim) Where else
is it used? What does it add to the expression? My theory is that
chayyim is separated from Elokim by a comma. It is not a descriptor of
G-d at all.  Chayyim here is not to be interpreted as "living" but "raw"
as in uncooked.

So the expression means something like this: "These and these are the
words of G-d, in a pre-processed state".

Ralph Zwier


From: Evan Rock <theevanrock@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 20:42:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Non-intellectual approach to Yehadut

The non-intellectual approach to Yehadut is indeed as troubling as some
of the trends on the "liberal" wing.  The idea that a popular siddur
would not translate Shir ha shirim but would opt to run the commentary
in lieu of the text is an insult to the text and all those who came
before us.  This approach seems more like an act that would have been
taken by the Church than by our people.

What is next?  Changing the actual Hebrew text, so that it would conform
with the commentary!

While I as "amkha" welcome the beautiful typeset and eye friendly font
of this new popular beautifully produced siddur, I find what has been
done in the translation as an affront to the Jewish way.  Are we to be
afraid of the pshat?  There is space allocated for commentary, why would
it take the place of the text?  Are we uncomfortable with our own texts?
Are we now the censors of the text?

Evan Rock


From: Howard M. Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 08:46:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Observant Jews as vegetarians?

With Pesach coming, the following question has occured to me. Can a Jew
who is a vegetarian also be an observant Jew?

Specifically, during Pesach on the seder plate there is a shank bone.
Since vegetarians abstain from eating meat and their products, can one
have a seder plate without the shankbone? (Even though one does not
actually eat it).

Of course vegetarians eliminate the problem of mixing meat with dairy
products and the need to keep separate cooking utensils. Even with
vegans, the need for parve utensils, etc, is eliminated and only dairy
utensils/plates, etc. are needed.

Besides Peach, are there any situations where one is required to eat
meat (beef chicken, etc.)? This would eliminate the famous Jewish
penicillin (chicken soup) as medicinal treatment.

Dr. Howard M. Berlin


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 05:11:22 EDT
Subject: On the shoulders of giants

To clarify some misunderstandings about my posting in v39n04, I did not
mean to imply that the Greek myth about Kedalion is found only in that
book by Robert Brown. You can find plenty of references to it if you
search for "Kedalion" on google.com, for example. I only meant that I
have not found any other reference to a lost Greek play called
"Kedalion" being the source of the expression "on the shoulders of

Saul Stokar asked me, offline, why I care about this obscure play, if
the idea of the expression is found in the widely known Greek myth of
Kedalion.  But it's not so clear that the myth of Kedalion, by itself,
really incorporates the idea. Kedalion is presumably sitting on Orion's
shoulders so that he can see further than he could if he were only
walking next to Orion, like a seeing eye dog. But did the author of the
play necessarily have the idea that Kedalion, by standing (rather than
sitting) on Orion's shoulders, can actually see further than Orion
himself could see, even if Orion weren't been blind? That's what I'd
like to know, and that's what I hope Robert Brown's book might throw
some light on, if someone could look it up for me, since my recollection
of it is vague.

It's clear at least that the quote from Lucan, supplied in v39n04 by
Shlomo Pick (Subject: Dwarfs on Giants), does incorporate the
idea. Perhaps Lucan provides the link between the Greek play (still
extant, probably, at the time of Lucan) and Bernard of Clairvaux/John of

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 23:33:05 -0400
Subject: Re:  On the Shoulders of Giants

<<From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Mechy Frankel writes, in v39n03, regarding the origin of the
saying "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of 
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

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^>>

Nah. At least not directly since I don't think I ever read merton.  
Obviously I can't testify to the "indirectly" if only because I can't quite 
remember where/when that factoid got lodged in the old neural net.  However, 
now I'm thinking it could have been in conjunction with a study of hilkhisoh 
k'basroi. I recall reading an article - perhaps by tashma? - which attempted 
to make the case that for about 800 years no one thought to apply the 
principle to any post Talmudic figures, until it was introduced by the 
Rosh's sons to give preference to their father's p'saq.  And then developed 
apace.  His point, as I remember, was that introduction/acceptance of this 
principle into post Talmudic p'saq at such a late date coincided with, and 
was enabled by, the penetration of the nanos-onoq/dwarf-giant metaphor into 
jewish discourse, mediated by the Tosophos Rid.  It seems likely to me that 
the author of that article also may have cited the "origin" of the moshol - 
perhaps from Merton, but I really don't remember.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 845-2357


From: Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:09:17 -0400
Subject: Pants or Skirts?

This is a series of questions that pertains to the issue of women's

Where is it dictated what a woman may or may not wear?
What is considered modest and by whom?
Does the issue of place and time have any bearing?
Why aren't there such equal restrictions on men?
Please before responding, look up everything and only reply if you have
source material to back it up with.
This is a very complex issue and I am trying to study it and understand it

Thank you,
Joseph Mosseri


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 13:25:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Rabbi Solomon Schechter

> 1)my reference to feminism being a rebbellion against Hashem was directed
> at the leadership, who like moses menelson, abraham gieger (reform),
> zacharia frankel, soloman shecter(conservative) in their desire to rebel

Are you familiar with the opinions of Rabbi Solomon Schechter?  If so, I
challenge you to find among his views opinions that are inconsistent
with modern orthodoxy.  In fact, my understanding is that until the
1940's, Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) smicha was accepted in much of
the orthodox movement.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 21:45:24 +0300
Subject: Re: Ulchaparat Pasha

> > 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.

This is the instruction in siddur "Tefilat Kol Peh", published by
Eshkol. I assume "ad" implies "to", but "not including" RH Nissan.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


End of Volume 39 Issue 6