Volume 40 Number 03
                 Produced: Mon Jul  7 20:55:13 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The 13 Attributes and the 13 principles
         [Yitschak Maser]
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Alarm Systems
         [Eli Turkel]
Beracha on dessert
         [David Charlap]
Converts, captive women and Ruth, redux
Cut Open Chicken Legs
         [Gamoran, Sam]
Question about Tanaim
Question re Meat and Fowl
         [David Prins]
Right to steal to Save ones life
         [Mark Symons]
Simcha Guidelines
         [Batya Medad]
Steipler Rebbe and Automobiles
         [Akiva Wolff]
Straddling Plag
         [Matthew Pearlman]


From: Yitschak Maser <simone.maser@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2003 11:57:54 +0200
Subject: The 13 Attributes and the 13 principles

In his commentary on parshas Ki Tissa, in Sefer Kedushat Levi, Rabbi
Levi Yitschak of Berditchev compares the thirteen Attributes of Mercy
(Ex. 34:6-7 ) with Rabbi Yishmael's thirteen principles of Torah
interpretation (Introduction to Sifra).

In one comment the Berditchever says that the 13 Attributes *are* the 13
principles, and proceeds to show the equivalences between certain of

A similar comment can be found (also on the web) in a maamar by R. Y. Y.
Schneerson ( 6th Lubavicher Rebbe) written in 5688: "The correlation
between prayer and study is emphasized by the interrelation of the 13
Attributes of Mercy, which are elicited by communal prayer, and the 13
principles of Biblical interpretation enumerated by Rabbi
Yishmael...This is because the 13 principles of biblical exegesis
correspond to the 13 Attributes of Mercy. This was emphasized by the
Maggid of Mezritch...."

Does anyone know of other instances of this teaching? In particular, are
there earlier and non-chassidic sources documenting 13 and 13?

Yitschak Maser
Montpellier, France
email:  <simone.maser@...>


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 21:22:43 +0200
Subject: Abracadabra

Stephen Philips wrote:

      "Beware of shabrire" : Shabrire, berire, rire, ire re, I am
      thirsty for water in a white glass.'  The note in my Soncino
      translation says that the "Shabrire, etc." is: "An incantation
      against the demon of blindness resembling an Abracadabra amulet,
      in which each succeeding line is reduced by one letter."

      There is a similar passage in Avodah Zarah p12b and the comment in
      Soncino is: "So Kohut, who calls attention to the resemblance of
      this incantation against the demon of blindness to the amulet
      bearing the inscription Abracadabra reduced by one letter on each
      succeeding line till the last letter only remains, and used by
      Romans as an antidote to the influence of evil spirits."

Sort of a reverse "Na, Nach, Nachman, Nachman M'Uman.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 23:14:47 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Alarm Systems

In the latest Techumim there is an article on indirectly turning on
various alarm lights on shabbat. In particular it is debateable if the
turning on the control lights of many alarm systems is a problem on
shabbat or not.  There may also be differences if it is one own's system
or not.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 10:48:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Beracha on dessert

Gil Student wrote:
>> why should one be required to recite a seperate bracha over a cake
>> dessert when he recited a bracha on hamotze
> Because ha-motzi only covers food that is eaten as part of the meal.
> Dessert is not part of the meal and therefore requires a separate
> berachah.  See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 177.

I don't have a copy of the Shulchan Aruch on-hand, so forgive me if I
get this wrong...

That explanation seems to imply that you would not make a separate
beracha in those situations where the desert is considered part of the
main meal.

For example, on many occasions, I will deliberately choose to eat dairy
or pareve food for dinner in order to be able to have ice cream for
desert.  In this situation, I would not consider the desert separate -
if not for the desert, the meal itself would have been something else.

-- David


From: <halevi@...> <halevi@halevi.biz>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 16:59:53 -0500
Subject: Converts, captive women and Ruth, redux

Shalom, All:

	Responding to the issue I raised about the woman captured in
battle who is permitted to become her captor's wife even though she is
not an altruistic convert, Yair (<Ggntor@...>) wrote >> Historically
speaking, when a people was conquered, the usual raping and pillaging
took place, and many times the women were taken as slaves (although not
for hard labor I presume).<<
	We agree on the former -- that raping and pillaging in those
situations was common -- but I must respectfully yet strongly disagree
on the latter.  There is no evidence I've ever seen in any society to
presume that after the indignities of rape and pillage, hard labor did
not follow.
	I have problems understanding Yair's next assertion, that >> The
Torah prescribes a fairly simple conversion process for the Yefat To'ar
for her benefit only - to prevent her from becoming enslaved and to
provide her with the highest degree of dignity possible.<<
	The highest degree of dignity arises when one's family and
friends are not raped and pillaged. (This obviously also applies to the
many enemies of the Jewish People who have done this to us down the
centuries.) Is being the wife of a man who raped and/or pillaged this
woman's family and friends such a wonderful fate'
	Will she not have hatred in her heart every time she sees the
people responsible for her being ripped from her prior existence' Can
she ever truly love the son or daughter born to her from such a union'
	That being the case, is this the woman we want to raise a Jewish child'
	Yair also asserts >> This is a far cry from a woman who wants to
convert to make a marriage to a Jew more amenable to relatives.<<
	I'd not disparage a woman or man who wants to convert 'for the
sake of the relatives' without mentioning that she or he is attempting
to create Shalom Bayit ('household/family peace'). This concept is an
extremely important Jewish value.
	Secondly, a woman or man converting for the sake of marriage has
a choice: regrettably, he or she can, in far, far too many cases, marry
the Jew without converting. The captive woman described in the Torah has
no choice: none, zero, zip, gornisht. No choice to convert or not
convert, and no choice to return to her now destroyed home. Yet the
Torah says that's it's OK for her to become a Jewish man's wife.
	Similarly, I have to wonder why we can understand that the Torah
properly legislates against such human traits as greed, robbery and even
murder, yet some say that the case of the Yi'fat To'ar (the captive
woman) is a 'bidee-eved' ' that the Torah allegedly recognizes that a
Jewish warrior would do what he wanted to do anyway, so let's legislate
to give him a sanctioned 'out.'
	My original question regarding Ruth therefore stands. Based upon
the case of the captive woman, the issue of a Bayt Deen (ecclesiastical
court) being necessary to convert someone to Judaism is not as cut and
dried as we have always thought. As we know, nowhere in the Written
Torah does it specifically say that a convert has to be converted by a
Bayt Deen, nor does the Written Torah say the convert can have no
ulterior motive. On the contrary, a person whose motives are **totally
against** joining the Jewish people is allowed to do so, as in the case
of the captive woman.
	I find all this very troubling and confess I can not understand

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Gamoran, Sam <Sgamoran@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 22:07:57 +0300
Subject: Cut Open Chicken Legs

Living in Hashmonaim we sometimes do shopping in the nearby Hareidi town
of Kiryat Sefer and sometimes in the city of Modiin.  As a result we
have both Rabbanut Hashgacha (e.g. Tnuva brand with a government
rabbinate certification) chickens and sometimes Bada"tz (bet din tzedek
or Hareidi certifications) chickens.

A whole Rabbanut chicken in Israel looks much like an Empire chicken in
the States - neck attached, no feet but no giblets.  The Bada"tz
chickens all have the drumsticks sliced open as if someone was trying to
remove a "gid hanashe" (sciatic nerve) as required for kashrut in large
animals but not applicable to birds and fowl.

Could someone enlighten me as to why the legs are cut open?

Sam Gamoran


From: <Minikar30@...> (Karen)
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 21:08:22 EDT
Subject: Question about Tanaim

I havent gotten a great answer to why we break a plate at t'naim at a
wedding..I've heard fit's or the same reason you break the glass at the
chuppah and I've also heard that both the mothers do it because it
symbolizes the permanance and that they have both contributed and are
both adding to making this family. If that's the case shouldn't they be
bringing something together rather than breaking something apart? Where
did this come from?



From: David Prins <dprins@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 21:15:24 +1000
Subject: Re:Question re Meat and Fowl

In relation to the use of the tern "basar" in the Torah, <chips@...>
wrote in v39n98:
>One answer I got was that the term "bosur" does not refer to "real meat"
>on an exclusive level. You need look no further than the section where
>the BnaiYisroel ask for "bosur" before the quail storm. They pine for the
>"bosur" of fish.

This suggestion that the Torah refers to fish as meat seems to come from
two consecutive verses in Bemidbar Ch 11 (ArtScroll translation):
v4: The rabble that was among them cultivated a craving, and the Children
of Israel also wept once more, and said, Who will feed us meat [basar]?
v5: We remember the fish [dagah] that we ate in Egypt free of charge; the
cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic.

There are two reasons why I don't think that you can deduce from this
that the Torah calls fish "basar":
1. Asking for "basar" and then remembering "fish" does not imply that
fish is a type of basar.
2. The translation of "dagah" as "fish" is not accepted by all
commentators. The Tosafists in Daat Zekeinim suggest that dagah is a
generic term for produce, which would also explain why the word "dagah"
is followed by a list of types of vegetables, rather than species of

David Prins


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Right to steal to Save ones life

Notwithstanding possible halachic opinions to the contrary, would anyone
really seriously consider not stealing to save their lives?

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Australia


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 21:02:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Simcha Guidelines

In Israel there has been a trend in recent years to lower the expense of
weddings.  Some of the "hesder" and "chardal" yeshiva rabbis refuse to
attend a student's wedding if they believe it to be over a certain sum.

There are also caterers that offer a nice, but much cheaper wedding.



From: Akiva Wolff <wolff@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 12:59:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Steipler Rebbe and Automobiles

The Steipler Rebbe was reputed to have said that if there were a
Sanhedrin today, they would forbid the automobile (presumably because of
the high number of people killed in them). Does anyone have any further
information on this, such as where this might appear in the Steipler's
writings? Also, does anyone have any other information on the opinions
of other Rebbeum on the desireability or lack thereof of the automobile?


Akiva Wolff


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 09:45:36 +0100
Subject: Straddling Plag

<chips@...> asked whether the determinant for the timing of mincha
was to start or to finish before plag.

The gemara in Berachot 7a says that Bil'am's special power was that he
could determine the exact moment each day that God vented His anger.
Tosefot ask what terrific curse Bil'am could then utter in such a tiny
moment.  Their (second) answer is that all he had to do was to start the
curse at that moment to have the required effect, even if the curse
itself lasted longer.

The Aruch HaShulchan (OC 110:5) derives from here that so long as once
starts the prayer in the appropriate time period, then one has fulfilled
the requirement.

I am unsure as to whether this is accepted as normative halacha.

Matthew Pearlman
Lane Clark & Peacock LLP, 30 Old Burlington Street, London W1S 3NN
Telephone:   +44 (0)20 7439 2266
Email:       mailto:<enquiries@...>


End of Volume 40 Issue 3