Volume 40 Number 37
                 Produced: Fri Aug  8 15:25:00 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bnei Efrayim (3)
         [Binyomin Segal, Yisrael and Batya Medad, Binyomin Segal]
B'tai din and surrounding issues
         [Binyomin Segal]
Dam Betulim (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, I.H Fox]
Goldschmidt Machzorim
         [Gavriel Wasserman]
Religious Zionism & Outreach (follow-up)
         [Seth (Avi) Kadish]
Ten Lost Tribes
         [Mark Symons]
Three Oaths
         [Zev Sero]


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 10:58:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Bnei Efrayim

Reb Yisrael asked about my presentation of Bnei Efrayim from the

>>       The Satmar Rav (actually the medrash itself) blames their failure
>>       and death on the fact that they violated the shvuos.

> i don't think so.
> a)  the Gemara in Sanhedrin 92B places the blame on the fact that the
> Bnei Efraim (whose bones Yechzkel revived) "manu laketz v'ta'u", that is,
> they miscalculated the years of the Egyptian Exile and left too early.
> b)  there are several other candidates to be identified as to whose bones
> were revived but none of the reasons have to do with the Vows.
> c)  in my edition of "VaYoel Moshe" (1961), there is no reference in the
> index to this page of Sanhedrin but I haven't flipped through all 372
> pages.

I can't speak to the gemara you quote. Although, I might ask, according
to you, so what if they left early? The whole point is that because of
the shvuos, it is forbidden to leave early. This may very well be how
the Satmar Rav reads this gemara (though I hesitate to make any
commitment, as I am just not sure).

 With a quick look at my Vayoel Moshe the only reference I can find to
bnei ephrayim is at the end of maamar aleph, siman 24 (on page 39, top
of the 2nd column). There may be others, but its what I can find now.
My notes (from when I used to know this stuff about 20 years ago) quote
a medrash in shir hashirim raba. The medrash is on the pasuk in shir
hashirim 2:7. The language that I have in my notes makes it clear that
this source, at least, states that bnei efryaim's mistake was that they
violated the shvuot. It was this medrash I was referring to, it goes
without saying that there might be multiple opinions cited in chazal in
various locations.

Hope this helps

From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 21:48:55 +0200
Subject: Bnei Efrayim

Binyomin Segal wrote [see above - Mod.]

This understanding then assumes that the Shavu'ot existed in a binding
form when the Bnei Efrayim lived and left Egypt too early (or the
midrash is an extra-chronological throw back ).  A review of the midrash
in Shir Hashirim Raba 2:18 indicates that the Bnei Efrayim are mentioned
in another version of the Shvu'ot theme - this time a four-fold one
dealing with four separate generations rather than three separate (or
six, as the case is) vows.

As this whole issue is complicated, may I recommend the article of Rav
Shlomo Aviner published in Noam, Vol. 20, 1980 (which I have in an

Yisrael Medad

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 17:15:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Bnei Efrayim

Yisrael Medad wrote:

> This understanding then assumes that the Shavu'ot existed in a binding
> form when the Bnei Efrayim lived and left Egypt too early

That is the Satmar Rav's position. As I recall, basically, he sees the 
shvuot essentially as explanation of the belief in redemption as part 
of the overall requirement for emunah and bitachon (faith and trust?).

> As this whole issue is complicated, may I recommend the article of Rav
> Shlomo Aviner published in Noam, Vol. 20, 1980 (which I have in an
> off-print).

This issue is tremendously complicated, and I have been talking from
recollections and notes that are about 20 years old. My personal
"stance" is one of great respect for the Satmar Rav even while it is
clear that his position has not been accepted as normative by the Jewish
people as a whole (even the Agudah position is more open to
compromise). For anyone that wants to understand the issues well, there
are many sources that are crucial. As a starting point, I would
recommend a careful read of the Satmar Rav's maamer. To understand the
emotional strength and motivation for the arguments, it is crucial that
one read the preface. To get a real sense of what the issues are, one
must independently examine the sources the Satmar Rav quotes.

may this issue soon become a truly moot point,


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 10:34:00 -0500
Subject: Re: B'tai din and surrounding issues

Robert J. Tolchin wrote, referencing a very troubling article in the New
York Magazine.

I certainly don't know anything about this particular case, and so I
won't comment on it specifically. Nonetheless it seems clear from
various sources that there are batei din out there that are just plain
evil. It is, I think, a particularly painful part of the current galus
that we do not seem to have the tools to deal with this. Certainly, a
sanhedrin and the oversight that implies would be a good way to solve
this problem.

However, regardless of the cause, we must seek a solution for now - not
waiting for G-d and the Messiah to solve it for us.

In fact, the solution seems so obvious to me, I must be missing
something. A community can not allow batei din to operate without some
form of community oversight. Most, if not all, beis din sanctions only
carry weight if the community enforces them. Why should a community
enforce a beis din's edicts if there is not any kind of supervision over
the beis din.

There is, I think, a bitter irony here. In Chicago, the two legitimate
community batei din have a hard time imposing any sanctions. When they
do impose them, they are not very strongly enforced. Yet it seems from
this story and others like it that some private group of rabbis with no
real authority can impose sanctions to devastating result.

To reiterate, I do not know what the truth is in this particular case.
And frankly, since there is little I can do to help, I am not sure I
need to know the truth in this case. Yet, it seems clear from the
consistent cry of pain one hears that there is some truth to the overall
charges. These particular rabbis may be on the up and up, but clearly
there are batei din out there that are not. Why do we continue to give
these batei din the power to do evil in our names?



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 15:49:57 GMT
Subject: Dam Betulim

From: Joseph Rosen <rosenjoseph1@...>
<<This rav told him that if the gynecologist tells his wife that her
hymen is intact, then she doesn't have to worry about dam betulim, even
if she bleeds>>

This rav has some fairly broad shoulders, as the requirement to treat
dam besulim as dam nida is brought by the Rama in the name of Tur, Beis
Yosef and most poskim.  The Mechaber simply states it as undisputed.

If the rav doesn't know this, or knows it and "disagrees" with that
power lineup, then IMHO your friend should find someone else to learn
with.  It's more likely that he misunderstood.


From: I.H Fox <ilan_25@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 16:23:26 +0000
Subject: Re: Dam Betulim

>A friend of mine will be getting married soon. He is studying the laws
>of Niddah with a local rav (a fairly charedi rav). This rav told him
>that if the gynecologist tells his wife that her hymen is intact, then
>she doesn't have to worry about dam betulim, even if she bleeds. If she
>no longer has a hymen she also doesn't have to worry about it. The only
>time she would have to separate from her new husband after first
>intercourse is if she has no hymen and she bled. Has anyone heard of
>this shitah before?
> Yosef Rosen

This subject is dealt with in YD 193 and the only thing I can see there
in this subject is that there is a machloket on the subject of a woman
whosw hymen was removed and if she did not see blood the zera emet is
machmir and Reb Moshe is makeil according to the Rema


From: <gwasserman@...> (Gavriel Wasserman)
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 07:01:30 -0400
Subject: Goldschmidt Machzorim

Dear MJ-ers:

For years, I have been looking for the machzorim for the out-of-print
Rosh Hasshana and Yom Kippur edited by Prof. Daniel Goldschmidt zatza"l.
I have found that they are impossible to find in any used bookstore,
whether in New York or in Yerushalayim.  I would like to know if any
MJ-er owns a set, or knows someone who owns a set, and would be willing
to sell it to me.

Thank you.

--Gavriel Wasserman

PS:  The Sukkos, Pesach, and Shavu'os machzorim, edited by Yonah Frankel
(Goldschmidt's son-in-law) are in print, and easily availible; I own them.
I have no interest in buying any of these second-hand.


From: Seth (Avi) Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 09:43:35 +0200
Subject: Religious Zionism & Outreach (follow-up)

Religious Zionism (follow-up)

A few months ago I posted a notice about an article of mine, entitled
"Normal People in Normal Places: A Plea for Change in Religious
Zionism."  The response to the posting was overwhelming; scores of
people requested to read it, and a great many even sent back responses
and comments, which lead to some fascinating correspondence.

The article, by the way, is currently being considered for "Tradition,"
and will be published in Hebrew IYH in the Israeli journal "Tzohar."

I recently wrote a short (3 pages) follow-up to that essay, which is
about a real-life, down to earth project my wife and I are working on
here in Karmiel, and which requires assistance.  It is entitled "From
Germany to Israel."  (To find out what the title has to do with
Religious Zionism, you have to read the essay:-)

I would have prefered to simply send the follow-up offline to the people
who already corresponded with me, but there is a practical problem: We
recently had to wipe our hard-drive to reinstall Windows, and lost our
e-mail address book.  (Yes, I know I should have made sure it was backed
up.)  I lost all previous correspondence.  Thus, I hope Avi will excuse
me for posting this.  Anyone who is interested in reading the follow-up
essay can write to me offline and I will forward it to them.

Seth (Avi) Kadish
Karmiel, Israel

[If you would like either the essay or the follow-up posted on the
mail-jewish web site, please feel free to send it to me and will put it
up (probably next week). Mod.]


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Ten Lost Tribes

How do you arrive at the number of lost tribes being 10? Yehuda and
Binyamin weren't lost as they were in the South. Shimon was incorporated
within Yehuda. Levi wasn't lost. That leaves Reuven, Issachar, Zevulun,
Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim, Menashe, which is only 9. Or does
Menashe count for 2 as half was on each side of the Jordan?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia

From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 13:48:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Three Oaths

Daniel Gross <gross@...> wrote:
> Subject: Three Shavuot

Please, people, if we're going to keep discussing this, let's maintain
the distinction between shavuot and shevuot.  Shavuot is a holiday;
Shevuot is a tractate.  The mourning period that is currently coming to
an end is the Shalosh Shavuot; the discussion at the end of Kiddushin is
the Shalosh Shevuot.

> A key question he raised was whether "the shvua that Gd has sworn in
> Israel" should be considered an aggadic text or a halachic 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.

I doubt that that rule applies here - the 3 oaths, if they really exist
and are in force, are not halachot per se; they're oaths, and their
binding status comes from the law of oaths.  The aggada merely tells us
the historical fact (if it is one) that these oaths were taken by our

> I am also wondering. In case we do consider the midrash text to reflect
> a halachic ruling, what status would the "3 shavuot" halacha have:
> Deoraita, Derabanan, an injunction miphi Haneviim, halacha lemoshe
> misinai?

They would be de'oraita, as is any oath.

> Finally, also, what type of "ase" is being alluded to by the passuk in
> Yirmia? Is it a mitzvat ase deorita (such as lulav, matza), or is it a
> horaat shaa (mipi neviim). 

The positive mitzvah in question is to obey a prophet.  The prophetic
command itself cannot be a mitzvah, because only the commands in the
Torah are mitzvot, `and no prophet has the right to innovate anything
from now'.  In this case, Yirmiyahu announced that Hashem had told him
that the contents of the Bet Hamikdash and the royal palaces would `be
brought to Bavel and there they shall remain, until the day that I
remember them'.  Now the simple reading of the prophecy refers to the
property, not to the Jews.  And even if it does somehow refer to the
Jews, it would be simpler to take this as a prediction of what will
happen, rather than a command to each individual to remain in Bavel.
But R Yehuda held, and this comes down to us as halacha, that Yirmiyahu
was indeed conveying a command from Hashem, and it was directed at each
individual, both in the first Galut Bavel and today, not to leave Bavel.

> Note also Tosaphot tells us that the Passuk
> in Yirmia is said for Galut Rishon but explains that the passuk also
> applies to Galut sheini. Is this because its also Babel (as explicitly
> stated in the passuk) or is it any other Galut from then on. 

The Rambam, living in a time when most Jews did not live in Bavel, cites
this law as applying to Bavel, not to other countries.  Once Bavli Jews
left Bavel out of necessity (e.g. during the Persian persecutions, the
Mongol invasion, or the pogroms of the 1940s), they are free to go
anywhere they like.


End of Volume 40 Issue 37