Volume 39 Number 14
                 Produced: Tue May  6  4:58:47 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aylo ve-Aylo
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Aylu Vi'aylu Deevray Elhoheem Chayim (2)
         [Ari Kahn, Meir Possenheimer]
Birchat Ha'Chodesh
         [Mark Steiner]
Divrei Elokim chayim
Divrei Elokim Chayim; smichut
         [Andrew Klafter]
Holocaust-Era Insurance Holder List to Be Posted
         [David Lichtman]
Jerusalem Mehadrin
         [Batya Medad]
Kosher Goat's Cheese
         [Stephen Phillips]
         [Ed Goldstein]
Modern Orthodox Educational History
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Technical Contact
         [Stan Tenen]
These and These
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:13:44 +0300
Subject: Re:  Aylo ve-Aylo

     In MJ v39n06, Ralph Zwier suggests that the adjective word "Hayyim"
in the phrase "Aylo ve-aylo divrei Elohim Hayyim" (usually translated
"These and these are the words of the living God") actually modifies
"Divrei" (words) and not "elohim" (God), and means "raw" or
     If one compares other uses of this phrase in the Bible, one finds
that this is not so.  Thus, when David sets out to do battle with
Goliath, he describes him as "cursing [or "reviling"] the armies of the
living God" (1 Samuel 17:26, 36).  An almost identical phrase appears in
Isaiah 37: 4 and 17, only there the word used is "elohim hay."  In all
four verses cited, it seems clear that "hay" or "hayyim" refers to God,
and means "living."
     Likewise in our Prayer Book: during the Ten Days of Repentance
there are various additions to the Amidah prayer, such as the phrase
added to the first blessing, "Zakhrenu lehayyim.... lemankha elohim
hayyim" ("remenber us for life... for your sake, O living God").  Again,
it's clear that the word Hayyim, which appears four times in this
phrase, means life.

     As for Charles halevi's question in v39n08 as to why this adjective
is in the plural rather than the singular, given the central tenet of
Judaism that God is one: let's just say that meaning and grammar don't
always coincide.  God is one, but one of His names is in the plural
form, and is conjugated as such, just as a flock of sheep (tzon)
consists of many individuals, but is in the singular.  Or water, even
when thought of in generuc terms as a subnstance and not as a collection
of individual drops, is in the plural (mayim).
     Speaking of grammar, one anomaly which has always puzzled me, and
of which I was again reminded during the reading of Shir Hashirim this
Pesah: breasts (shadayim) are unique to the female body, but they are
gramatically masculine ("shnei shadayikh...." and not "shtei" -- in
three separate verses in Song of Songs).  This is particularly odd,
given the general rule that all parts of the body that come in pairs,
and by and large common to both genders, are feminine (einayim,
raglayim, yadayim, oznayim, etc.)  Any explanation would be appreciated.

     Yehonatan Chipman


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 15:10:34 +0200
Subject: RE: Aylu Vi'aylu Deevray Elhoheem Chayim

I have a suggestion - perhaps the phrase should be translated as "These
and these are the living words of God", and not "These and these are the
words of the living God". I have taught this text many times over the
years and I find this reading more convincing.

Ari Kahn

From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 18:21:59 +0100
Subject: Re: Aylu Vi'aylu Deevray Elhoheem Chayim

also Daniel 6:21 & 6:27, and of course in tefillah "leMelech Keil
Chay  Vekayom"


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 13:45:25 +0200
Subject: Re: Birchat Ha'Chodesh

The (Ashkenazi="prushim") custom in Jerusalem is to say, indeed, hodesh haba.


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 03:11:12 EDT
Subject: Divrei Elokim chayim

Interesting theory.

It should be noted that the same expression is found in birchas yotzeir
in shacharis, where there is a description of the malochim (angels) in
shomayim. It states there that "umashmi'im biyiroh yachad bikol * divrei
Elokim Chayim * umelech olom'.

Also, IIRC, it is mentioned elsewhere in Chaza"l as well [IIRC,
something like that someone (Hillel ? ) went to hear divrei Elokim
chayim from (Shemaya Va'avtalyon ?)].

Also of interest is that the expression appears at times in Lubavitcher
literature / teachings, etc. - perhaps more than elsewhere generally -
and they (consequently ?) have a roshei teivos (acronym) for it - DAC"H
(daled - alef - ches).

As to the origin of such expressions - we have similar expressions in
Torah shebiksav - e.g. tzomo nafshi le'Elokim liKel chai (in Tehillim,
IIRC). One might assume that the later such usages of such expressions
are related to the ones in Mikra.



From: Andrew Klafter <aklafter@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 18:03:31 -0400
Subject: Divrei Elokim Chayim; smichut

> From: C. Halevi <c.halevi@...>
> Even if one disagrees with Reb Ralph's interpretation, he has
> forced us to notice that the term "Eloheem" should carry a singular
> adjective or verb, because there is only one God -- but "chayim" is
> **plural.*
> Indeed, the very first words of the Torah say Eloheem created
> the world, and the Hebrew for "created" is singular. Why, then, do we
> use the plural "chayim" instead of the singular "chai?"

I have wondered about this myself, and here is my solution: "Divrei
Elokim Chayim" should be translated as "the living words of G-d" and not
"words of the living G-d."  Therefore, the plural "chayim" (living)
modifies the plural "Divrei", which is "devarim" (words) in the
smichut/construct state.  The rule for the construct state is that the
adjective following a smichut generally matches the first word in the

If you translate the expression as "words of the living G-d" then there
is a mismatch of a plural adjective (chayim) modifying a singular noun.

Alternatively, it is helpful to remember that in mishnaic and rabbinic
hebrew, there are some idiomatic expressions which do not conform to
Biblical Hebrew.  For example, "batei dinin" (courts); "talmidei
chachamim" (great scholars).  Therefore, we need not be concerned about
latent polytheism, ch"v.

-nachum klafter


From: David Lichtman <davidx@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 20:42:42 -0700
Subject: Holocaust-Era Insurance Holder List to Be Posted

I felt the following information should be distributed to as many people as
possible.  You are encouraged to pass it along to your e-mail lists as
relevant.  D. L.

Holocaust-Era Insurance Holder List to Be Posted, Reuters News
Summary: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of new names  of
German life insurance policy holders from the Holocaust era  -- many of
whose claims were unpaid -- will be published this  week, an international
commission aimed at settling Holocaust  insurance claims said on Tuesday.
The International Commission  on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims will publish
on its Web site  (www.icheic.org) on Wednesday more than 379,000 names of
people, almost all German Jews, who held life insurance  policies before
World War II.


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 12:57:33 +0200
Subject: Jerusalem Mehadrin

Try eluna   http://www.eluna.com

Very extensive listings, including phone numbers, addresses, and best of



From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 16:55 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Kosher Goat's Cheese

I have just bought some goat's cheese. It's originally from Chile with a
Hechsher [Kashrus certificate] from the OK Labs. The Hechsher states,
below the OKD, "Cholov Yisroel koshered at 212 degrees."

My question is what does it mean that it was "koshered at 212 degrees?"
How can boiling up something make it kosher?

Stephen Phillips.


From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Ed Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 05:26:31 EDT
Subject: Re: l'chaim

I'm really curious.  Who was mesader kiddushin at Adam and Chava's
nissuin?  Who were the aydim?

Rabbi Ed Goldstein


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 09:22:52 +0300
Subject: Re:  Modern Orthodox Educational History

In MJ v39n07, Amitai Bin-Nun <binnun@...> asked about:

<<the founding attitudes Modern Orthodox educational institutions in
light of the general attiude of Eastern European immigrants to Halacha
And Modernity...  How did the community reconcile- or did they not feel
the need to- the founding of schools such as Flatbush and Shulamith with
the traditional European model of education? Did any sort of precedent
exist (I am aware of Yavneh in Lithuania- the precursor of Shulamith,
but I would like to know if anyone knows of any literature on the
subject). Did the immigrants view co-education and modern pedagogy as
"American" vs. "European" as opposed to "Traditional vs.
non-Traditional"? Does anyone know of any literature about the founding
of these institutions....>>

Three points:
     1.  A woman named Suri Mandelbaum has written a doctoral
dissertation about Sarah Shneur, the founder of the Beis Yaakov movement
in Europe, which in its day was considered quite a revolutionary
movement.  I don't know if this work has been published in book form (if
not, try University Microfilms in Ann Arbor), but she doubtless brings
other literature as well, about both Europe and the US.
     2.  My great-uncle, Rav Yonah Mordecai Zlotnik, founded an
"enlightened Orthodox" gymnasium in Plotsk (central Polamd, WNW of
Warsaw) in 1915. A copy of a pamphlet in Hebrew wth the talk he gave on
that occasion is in the Hebrew University Library, and perhaps
elsewhere.  I have a xerox copy, which I have unfortunately not yet
read.  When I do so, I will be happy to share my impressions with you.
If there was a gymnasium in Plotsk, I imagine there were similar
institutions elsewere.
      3.  There is a book entitled "Toldot ha-Hinukh be-Yisrael," whose
author's name I forget.  Try any good Judaica research library.
    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:03:04 -0400
Subject: Technical Contact

Dear e-list members,

As a few of you know, I work for Meru Foundation (Meru is a 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt educational non-profit, established in 1983).  We do research
on the letter-text of B'reshit, and the Hebrew alphabet.  While I have a
BS in physics, it's from very long ago.  Our research now requires that
we do some computer modeling of real physical systems.

If you have a background in Newtonian mechanics and gravitation (and
programming simulations), and/or if you know of someone who does and
could help us with an introduction, that would be most appreciated.
It's likely that there are several facilities at MIT, Northeastern,
Harvard, Brandeis, and several of the other schools in the area that
could handle this, but I don't know who to ask.

If you're curious about what we're doing, please ask, and/or have a look
at <www.meru.org> (which admittedly is a bit overwhelming and not as
well-organized as it might be).

This is a serious research (not new-age fluff) that has begun to be
published in peer-reviewed journals.  A short essay will appear in the
next issue of B'Or HaTorah, and several essays have appeared in the
Noetic Journal (Oakland, CA), which deals with the interface between
physics and consciousness.  (Reprints and preprints are available.)

If you'd like to know "who holds by this" in the Jewish world, please
ask.  Meru Foundation's Board of Advisors is posted at
<www.meru.org/adviboard.html>, but this doesn't include everyone on our
support team.

If you'd like more information, please email, or call us at 781-784-8902
(Sharon, MA).


Yours truly,
Stan Tenen
Director of Research, Meru Foundation
Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>
POB 503, Sharon, MA 02067 USA
Voice: 781-784-8902  eFax: 253-663-9273


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 23:36:50 -0400
Subject: Re: These and These

A while back I suggested that BOTH THESE AND THESE ARE THE WORDS OF THE
LIVING GOD means that two opposing views are equally valid as LEARNING
EXPERIENCES even though one is correct and the other wrong.

Since then several people have pointed out that it is (perhaps) clear
from context that the Talmud DID intend that they are both legitimate
psaks (decisions) (See eg Ralph Zwier in v39n6 or C Halevi in v39n8 for
some recent discussions).

Be that as it may--the question still stands IN ITS OWN RIGHT. What
about my suggested interpretation: In other words if say I and Rav Moshe
spend 4 hours reviewing an Agunah question and say I find reason to
prohibit while Rav Moshe finds a brilliant way of letting the women
marry--in such a case, what is the status of our respective learnings.

Independent of HOW we interpret THESE AND THESE we have a legitimate
question here---is the fulfillment of Learning the same for Rav Moshe
and me? OR, is the fact that his decision is binding and correct mean
that he has done BETTER LEARNING?

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


End of Volume 39 Issue 14