Volume 40 Number 36
                 Produced: Fri Aug  8 15:02:23 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brooklyn (2)
         [Art Werschulz, Edward Ehrlich]
Caleb (4)
         [Robert J. Tolchin, Alan Salzberg, Joshua Seidemann, Yisrael
Halacha and Aggadic text
         [Michael Kahn]
Halachic Scruples
         [Rabino Eliezer Shemtov]
Heter Meah Rabbanim - 100 Rabbis Heter
         [Zev Sero]
Looking for kosher hotel/guest-house in NW London
         [David Ziants]
Magnetic Lock on Shabbat and Yom Tov
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
More comments on Chumrahs vs Religiousity
         [Russell J Hendel]
Seforim Websites
         [Michael Kahn]
Shabetai Zvi and R' Shmuel Vital
         [Alan Felt]
Tzruya's Husband (3)
         [Gershon Dubin, Yisrael and Batya Medad, Gershon Dubin]
"Young Lion," Psalms 34:11
         [Alan Cooper]


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:37:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Brooklyn

<JAlexan186@...> (Richard Alexander) writes:
> Just as a point of information, Brooklyn takes its name from
> Brueckelen (I'm not sure of the spelling), a town in the
> Netherlands, which is where most of the original settlers of NYC
> came from. 

Visit http://www.brooklyn.net/other_bklyns/other_bklyns_01.html for a
list of other Brooklyns (including hyperlinks).  The states of Alabama
and Illinois each boast three Brooklyns.  This page also has some pix
of Breukelen, Netherlands, including the Breukelen Bridge.

> That's also where the names Midwood (Midwout), Harlem (Haarlem), and
> Flushing (Vliessingen) come from. To say nothing of Kill van Kull,
> Sputen Duyvil, and Yonkers, to name but a few.

Not to mention my least favorite river, the Arthur Kill.  :-)

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) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325

From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 23:38:24 +0300
Subject: Re: Brooklyn

<FriedmanJ@...> wrote:

>A quick history of Brooklyn
>   In 1646, the Village of Breuckelen was authorized by the Dutch West
>   India Company and became the first municipality in what is now New
>   York State (the predecessors of the Cities of Albany and New York
>   were numbers two and three, respectively).

New Amsterdam which became New York when it later surrendered to the
British was founded even earlier - 1629.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Robert J. Tolchin <tolchin@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 11:37:08 -0400
Subject: Caleb

Joshua Seidemann asks: "Does anyone have an inkling as to why the name
Calev is not used popularly (I don't think I've ever met one, except
maybe a Caleb in the mid-west)?"

Sorry, Josh.

My nephew is Caleb. My 18 month old daughter's friend is Caleb.
And Caleb is listed as the 44th most popular boys' name for 1999 on
So, I don't agree with your premise.

--Bob Tolchin

From: Alan Salzberg <salzberg@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 11:45:32 -0400
Subject: RE: Caleb

I think it has not become popular in Israel due to the close association
(and same hebrew spelling) as Kelev.  For that reason, our son's hebrew
name is Pri-El rather than Calev (though his american name is Caleb).

From: Joshua Seidemann <quartertones@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 09:03:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Caleb

Mr. Tolchin,

Thank you for your response -- just a note re: your disagreement with
the premise of my question -- my premise is/was based on my personal
experience . . . and, as I write this, I was about to say that my
personal experience is not ripe for disagreement (i.e., you can disagree
with my reasons for purchasing and owning a Toyota, but you can't really
disagree with the actuality of my ownership, per se) -- but now I
realize that a more accurate and academically sound question would have
been -- "Is my personal experience of meeting few people named Caleb
reflective of general society or general Jewish society, and if so, is
there a reason for the seeming paucity of people named Caleb?"

As a lawyer by training, I should be more specific in my inquiries -- it
seems that participation in this group is already sharpening my skills.

Kol tuv,


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 20:47:27 +0200
Subject: Re: Caleb

My daughter works with another lawyer named Calev Barak in Jerusalem
and there is a Calev I know in Eli.
Now that we know what "big" mitzvot are, how do we know
what is "popular"?

Yisrael Medad


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 17:21:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Halacha and Aggadic text

>If it is in fact aggadic text then based on the meta halachic rule that
>one does not learn halacha out of aggadic text it may be that these
>shavuot may actually not be the basis for a halacha lemaase.

Where is this rule? I do know, however, that the exact approach to
Halacha vs. Agadatah was a dispute between the Sfardic (Spanish) and
Ashkenazic Rishonim.


From: Rabino Eliezer Shemtov <shemtov@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 13:00:47 -0300
Subject: Halachic Scruples

Dear all:

I am working on a new course for college students, called Jewish

The idea is based on the popular board game Scruples, in which different
moral and ethical dilemmas are presented and the participants have to
state what their course of action would be.

My idea is to then present them with the halachic and talmudic criteria
for defining right and wrong courses of action, thereby introducing them
to the fact that Torah affects and sanctifies all areas of our daily

If any of the readers on this forum have any suggestions or ideas for
interesting situations and contrasted (halacha/secular law) approaches
and definitions, I would greatly appreciate them sharing it with me. You
can email me privately at <eshemtov@...>

Thank you,

Eliezer Shemtov
Montevideo, Uruguay


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 17:20:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Heter Meah Rabbanim - 100 Rabbis Heter

Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...> wrote:
> In a course on Hilchot Ishut, the subject of the heter was discussed.
> In Israel the 2 Chief Rabbis sign first, and 98 other offical Rabbis
> sign. 

Don't the 100 Rabbis have to come from 3 different countries?

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Subject: Re: Looking for kosher hotel/guest-house in NW London

Although I personally thanked at the time, everyone who replied to my
posting from a few months ago, I also want to deliver a public thank
you. (I apologise if, by mistake, I left anyone out at the time.)

This was when we were looking for a kosher hotel in NW London, UK. We
found a b&b hotel with a teudat hechsher (kosher certificate) and are
happy to refer it to anyone looking for the same.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 13:50:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Magnetic Lock on Shabbat and Yom Tov

In France, and specially in Paris, a growing number of buildings are
closed by magnetic doors.

In order to unlock the door, one is to insert a magnetic key or,
sometimes, just to bring a magnetic "pebble" near to the door.

What is the halachic status of such a device on Shabbat and Yom Tov?


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 22:42:57 -0400
Subject: More comments on Chumrahs vs Religiousity

Just a short note on the Chumrah (stringent ruling) controversy

I have frequently pointed out that Chumrahs are only valid when there is
no counter-thrust from Jewish law.

Here are some good examples. The Chafetz Chaiim once reprimanded a
businessman who came early to Synagogue to say the special Selicoth
prayers that are said before the Jewish New Year. The chafetz Chaiim
pointed out that by getting up early the businessman was hurting his
business acumen and therefore wouldnt be able to help the Jewish
community with charity to the same extent he had done previously. The
Chafetz Chaiim used a military analogy This persons station was in the
business world and he had no business coming to synagogue early (Like a
soldier reassigning himself to another front).

Thus this person was using stringencies in prayer when there were
counter-thrusts in charity. I dont know anyone who would think that the
Chafetz Chaiim is not ultra orthodox.  Yet he told this business man not
to be stringent.

A few issues ago I gave another example. Some people think it ideal to
abstain from any involvement with women to the extent this is possible
in our world. But what I pointed out is that there are
counter-obligations in Jewish law such as the obligation to make ones
wife happy (Where SHE defines what is happiness) or the obligation to
get married and have a family. These counter-thrusts creates a necessity
of balance As I pointed out (in response to a query from another
mljewisher) I was not trying to override any EXISTING Jewish laws on
modesty-- I was rather pointing out that modesty stringencies SHOULD be
overridden by requirements of marriage (The discussion focused on ultra
orthodox Rabbis and their position on parties).

Enough said....I believe that we should all follow the Chafetz Chaiim
and LOUDLY PROTEXT those who in the name of stringency override
counter-thrusts in Jewish law.

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


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 19:41:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Seforim Websites

I've recently come across two websites mailjewish subscribers might
enjoy. One is www.hebrewbooks.org which has pdf files of seforim and
Torah journals printed during the last 2 centuries. It has interesting
tshuvos like one regarding if a lady whose husband was on the Titanic
could remarry and another tshuvah regarding the kashrus of Coca-Cola.

www.seforimonline.org is also a great site. It has allot of seforim that
are not available to the average person, such as a sefer written by
Menashe Ben Israel which discusses, in part, if the American Indians
were descendants of the 10 tribes.  I have no connection to the above
two sites.


From: Alan Felt <alanfelt@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 12:05:27 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Shabetai Zvi and R' Shmuel Vital

I read in a book "The false Messiah" by John Freely that the son of
Rabbi Chaim Vital - R' Shmuel, was one of the disciples or prophets of
Shabetai Zvi. Could that be true?!


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:11:37 GMT
Subject: Tzruya's Husband

From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>

<<Nachash is then another name for Yishai.  Somehow, I now recall that
there's a midrash that Nachash refers to the fact that he was bitten by
a snake.>>

He was one (of the four) who died only "because of the snake" i.e., he
was without sin.


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 22:09:06 +0200
Subject: Re: Tzruya's Husband

Baba Bathra 17A:

Amsha is Yithra HaYisraeli who came upon Avigayil daughter of Nachash
sister of Tzruya mother of Yoav.

But is she the daughter of Nachash or of Yishai?  but Yishai is Nachash
because he died from a snake bite

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 19:12:32 GMT
Subject: Re: Tzruya's Husband

Thanks for the mar'eh makom.  I looked there and found that Rashi (or is
it Rashbam at that point?) says exactly what I wrote, namely,

"He was one (of the four) who died only "because of the snake" i.e., he
was without sin."  Ayen sham.



From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 11:33:49 -0400
Subject: Re: "Young Lion," Psalms 34:11

Gilad Gevaryahu writes:

>. . .even R.  Kittel brings this [i.e., koferim] as a proposed reading
>although he has no MS to back it up.

True, but the versions do not support the reading kefirim either.  The
Septuagint has plousioi, which scholars generally regard as a
translation of either kevedim or kabbirim, either of which would fit the
context reasonably well.  The emendation to koferim is found in many
critical commentaries, including those of Duhm, Gunkel, and Kraus.  For
an interesting note, see Mandelkern's Concordance s.v. kefir (p. 597):
"it is possible to interpret [lefaresh] kefirim in Psalms 34:11 like
koferim, in accordance with Chaza"l."  That would be a reasonable
compromise from a traditional point of view.  For a defense of the
"young lion" image on the basis of alleged parallels in Babylonian
literature, see the article by J.  J. M. Roberts in Biblica 54 (1973).

Alan Cooper


End of Volume 40 Issue 36