Volume 39 Number 74
                 Produced: Tue Jun 10  3:35:35 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycle safety
         [Art Werschulz]
Bracha on Tefila shel Rosh (2)
         [David I. Cohen, Martin D. Stern]
Collections of Jewish Texts on CDROM
         [Daniel Raye]
Counting the Omer
Ethical Behavior and Halacha
         [Perry Zamek]
The Goals of Judaism
         [Gil Student]
Journals (2)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Janice Gelb]
Name Origins
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Ruth's conversion (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Avi Feldblum]
Tikkun Leil Shavuot Materials
         [Joel Rich]
Umbrellas and Rain (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Harlan Braude]
Wide Brimmed Hats and Sombreros?
         [Jack Hollander]
Wide brimmed hats (was: Umbrellas and New Gezerot) (2)
         [Perry Zamek, Shimon Lebowitz]


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 10:29:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bicycle safety


Sam Saal writes:

> While not particularly relevant to this topic, I have long been
> concerned about the boys from a local yeshiva that I see riding
> their bikes. I rarely see them with helmets.

NJ has a bike helmet law, requiring people to wear bike helmets up until
the age of 14.  But if one takes the mitzvah of shmirat hanefesh
seriously, one will *always* wear a helmet when riding a bike.  BTW,
*please* make sure that bike helmets are worn properly.  I've seen kids
wearing their helmets at angles that provide no protection whatsoever.

> Frighteningly, I have seen many riders oblivious to automobile
> traffic: riding the wrong way in traffic, running lights, not
> signalling....


And now, a word to motorists: keep an eye out for cyclists!  Don't open
your car door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, don't cut off
cyclists when making turns, etc., etc.

The preceding msg is brought to you by somebody who will be riding in
the American Diabetes Association's "Tour de Cure" in two weeks.
(Ob. Jewish content: this is almost immediately after the yahrzeit of my
dad, who was afflicted with diabetes, among other things.)  My wife and
I will be doing the intermediate route (nominally, 30 miles, but it's
more like 32-35).  The route is not on dedicated bike paths; may the
Ribbono Shel Olam will inspire the motorists to show a little rachmonus
(or at least to pay more attention than usual).

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: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 15:24:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Bracha on Tefila shel Rosh

<< From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>

>There is an intersting Shagas Aryeh on this, including the question of
>whether a one armed person puts on the tefila shel rosh. (I'm at work so
>I'm sorry I do not have the citation).

         How does a one armed man put on tefillin shel YAD?>>>

Obviously, he doesn't.
The question is: despite the fact that he is exempt from "shel yad" is
he still obligated in "shel rosh"? That issue is to some extent
dependant on the issue of whether the shel yad and shel rosh are two
parts of one mitzva or two separate mitzvot.

David I. Cohen

From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 12:22:52 EDT
Subject: Re: Bracha on Tefila shel Rosh

> How does a one armed man put on tefillin shel YAD?

The most obvious answer is "with great difficulty"! but, to be more
serious, he can only do so if someone else to helps him; it is a good
thing that 'kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh'

Martin D. Stern
7, Hanover Gardens, Salford M7 4FQ, England
( +44(1)61-740-2745
email <mdsternm7@...>


From: <Daniel_Raye@...> (Daniel Raye)
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 15:51:57 +0200
Subject: Collections of Jewish Texts on CDROM

(I know this is rather off-topic but I hope that some of the list
members would be able to help.)

I am interested in buying one of these CDROMs containing such texts as
Tanach, Talmud, Commentaries, Halachic works, Responsa etc. From what I
have learnt from this list and other places, the Bar Ilan collection
seems to be the preferred one. However, it looks rather expensive. Does
anyone have any recommendations of alternatives? (And where can I get
hold of one?)

Please respond to me directly.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel Raye
Beit Shemesh


From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 16:07:23 EDT
Subject: Re: Counting the Omer

<< All the different ways of counting always start with "today is such and

danny >>

Still, the observance is called Lag B'Omer ad not Lag l'Omer.  One must
wonder why.


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 09:12:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Ethical Behavior and Halacha

Eitan Fiorino wrote:

>1.  People are very happy in general to have their tzedaka or other good
>deeds publicized, with various journals, dedications etc. in shuls,
>schools, other charitable organizations.

I heard at one time (no idea of the reference) that it is appropriate to
publicize donations to tzedaka (as Eitan says, in the right context), in
order to encourage others to become involved. I think this referred to
the organization itself publicizing the gift. Naturally, the important
thing is the gift itself, and not the associated publicity.

Perry Zamek


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 10:52:18 -0400
Subject: Re: The Goals of Judaism

Stan Tenen wrote:
>With all due respect to those who believe that Torah is only for Jews,
>isn't the goal of Judaism that we become "a light unto the nations"?
>Isn't our goal not only to help ourselves, but to be examples of how,
>in so doing, others can also help themselves?

Gerald J. Blidstein, in an article in the Orthodox Forum book on Tikkun
Olam, argued quite convincingly that there is no imperative to be "a
light unto the nations" or to fix the world.

Gil Student


From: Eitan Fiorino <tony.fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 11:20:45 -0400 
Subject: Journals

> How do I go about subscribing to Journals such as Tradition Torah
> U-madda Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society

You contact the publishers:

Tradition: RCA (Rabbinical Council of America) -  212-807-7888

TUMJ: Yeshiva University (the Torah uMadda Project, which I believe is run
out of the Max Stern Division of Communal Services) - 212-960-5263

RJJ Journal: Rabbi Jacob Joseph School - 212-334-9285

> and also where can I get hold of back issues

I've seen back issues of the RJJ Journal for sale at the YU Sefarim sale
which is not going to help you very much.  I'd ask the publishers.

[A CD-ROM of all back issues of Tradition is available from the RCA for
$65.00. Mod]


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 09:52:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Journals

These were harder to find than I thought they would be!

> Tradition
[Also check http://www.rabbis.org/tradition.htm  Mod.]

> Torah U-madda

Torah U-Madda Project
Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street 
New York, NY  10033

> Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society




From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 12:49:49 +0300
Subject: Name Origins

Perry Zamek mentioned Dr. Avshalom, a noted Israeli language expert. In
this context, three name origins which Dr. Kor discussed on the radio
may be of interest. All are from Spanish.

a) Shprintze - a common Yiddish name a few generations ago, comes from
"Esperanza" - which means "Hope" - which I suppose would be the same as

b) Yente - from "Gentile" (pronounced Zhaanteel) - I think a "refined

c) Shneur Zalman - a corruption of "Senor Salomon".

It would be interesting to hear of other name origins of this type.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 17:06:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Ruth's conversion

In MJ 39:73, Danny Skaist wrote <<< If Ruth converted after her husband
died, then she was "reborn" and had no relationship to Boaz or Tov or
even Naomi.  There is no "goel", The whole story then makes no sense. So
Ibn Ezra and Zohar hachadash learn that she must have converted before.

This makes a lot of sense to me, but I do have one difficulty with it:
What kind of Beis Din was there in Moav?

Elimelich was severely criticized for moving to Moav. One of the reasons
was that it's simply not a proper place for Jews to live. So I'm trying
to find an answer to this question: Was Moav totally devoid of Jews? Or
did a small community of learned people live there despite the negative
environment, and was it of sufficient numbers and knowledge as to
constitute a valid Beis Din for Conversions?

Akiva Miller

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 03:32:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Ruth's conversion

> This makes a lot of sense to me, but I do have one difficulty with it:
> What kind of Beis Din was there in Moav?

I received a couple of postings that as written I was uncomfortable
posting directly to the list, so I am taking the liberty of summerizing
what I believe is the main point behind the submissions.

It seems that it is clear to some people that you can take status of how
the halachot of Conversion have evolved to todays state and exactly
project them back to the time of Ruth and Naomi.

Other people question to what extant is that true. Simply because we may
paskin that conversion requires a Beis Din, what requires us to say that
was the Halacha pesuka in the time of the Shoftim?

I suspect that difference between some of the people in the first group to
those in the second may be represented in the machlokes [disagreement]
among the reshonim (e.g. Rambam and Raaved) regarding what was given to
Moshe on Sinai in terms of Torah she'baal Peh (Oral Law).

One camp (represented by the Rambam) focuses that what was given was
basically a methodology of how to interpret the Torah (various lists of
Medos she'haTorah Nidreshet bahem), along with a very limited subset of
actual halachot. The application of those rule sets to the written Torah
is what constitutes the Oral Law, so the details of any particular
halachic issue may have come to fruition when the practitioners of
halacha at any specific time had that issue come up and it was
discussed, debated and resolved.

A second camp (represented by the Raavad) focuses that a fully developed
detailing of all laws along with all future decisions in halacha (kol ma
she'talmid asah lechadesh k'var neemar lemoshe - understood in a literal
sense) were given to Moshe on Har Sinai. In that case, Moshe was
instructed exactly what was the requirement for conversion, was a Beit
Din needed, was the prohibition on a female moabite or not etc.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 06:54:06 EDT
Subject: Tikkun Leil Shavuot Materials

A number of shuls have shiurim with extensive handouts of sources. I'd
be interested in hearing what's available and sharing any that any of
our contributors present or think are of value.  I'd be happy to
coordinate off line .

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 12:19:28 +0400
Subject: Re: Umbrellas and Rain

Carl Singer writes:

>2 - rain is a blessing from HaShem -- should we shield ourselves from
>same, vs: a coat which simply allows us to stay dry.

On weekdays, as well?

From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 08:37:50 -0400
Subject: RE: Umbrellas and Rain

 From this perspective, an umbrella is inappropriate even during the week!


From: Jack Hollander <JackHollander@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 07:10:33 -0400
Subject: Wide Brimmed Hats and Sombreros?

Rabbi E.M.Teitz (am've)  writes
> Our hats, however, have as their saving grace that we don't wear them
> for their brims to supply shade, and hence they do not qualify as an ohel.

Here in sunny Sydney Australia, hats have wide brims specifically to
shade against intense sunshine, this being a land with high incidence of
melanoma.  I know when I choose a hat for Shabbat wear, I go a bit wider
than standard not just for appearance but also for shade, in deference
to my dermatologist who might consider it a ----mitzveh --- to do so. I
also happen to appreciate the shade. It's comfortable in the shade.  And
what about hats for kids who would rather not wear them given the
choice.  This is one chumra I did not want to hear.

Kol Tuv   Jack Hollander


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 12:37:36 +0200
Subject: Re: Wide brimmed hats (was: Umbrellas and New Gezerot)

Rabbi Elazar M Teitz wrote:
>         As for the wide-brimmed hats, that, too, is not so simple.  There
>are Rishonim, among them the Rambam (Shabbos 22:31), who prohibit wearing
>hats whose brim is hard and more than a tefach wide. Our hats, however,
>have as their saving grace that we don't wear them for their brims to
>supply shade, and hence they do not qualify as an ohel.

What about in countries such as Australia, where people are encouraged
to wear hats specifically to provide shade (actually, protection from UV
radiation, which can cause skin cancer)? What if this is but one of a
number of motivations behind an individual's choice to wear a hat
(shade, fashion, kvod ha-Boreh, etc.)?

As an aside: When I recently saw a skin doctor as part of a screening
program for skin cancer, he commented on my Australian hat, and noted
that, in Australia at least, people are aware of the protection that a
hat affords. He expressed the wish that Israelis would become more aware
of this.

Perry Zamek

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 23:35:10 +0200
Subject: Re: Wide brimmed hats (was: Umbrellas and New Gezerot)

OTOH, I have definitely heard of this as a problem with (women's) wide
brimmed straw hats which ARE supposed to supply shade.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


End of Volume 39 Issue 74