Volume 40 Number 39
                 Produced: Fri Aug 15  5:18:13 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"abstain from any involvement with women"
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Animals on the Ark
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Are Jews Ethically Challenged?
         [Yakov Spil]
B'tai din and surrounding issues (2)
         [Shraga Rubin, Michael Appel]
Goldschmidt Machzorim
         [Ed Norin]
Three oaths (2)
         [Michael Toben, Daniel Gross]
A Two Layer interpretation approach to Psalms
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Re: "abstain from any involvement with women"

>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.

Hmm ... can you clarify a bit what is meant by "to abstain from any
involvement with women"?  This is very vague.  On its own, I would have
interpreted that to mean "abstain from involvement with women outside of
marriage," but the continuation of your remarks seem to suggest it means
even abstaining from "involvement" with one's own wife or even not
marrying at all.  If it is the last two, I have not seen that particular
chumrah at all, even in the most stringent of Orthodox circles. (On the
contrary, the more strict the group, the more pressure is broght to bear
to get married, in my experience) Have you?  Please be more specific.


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 13:17:14 -0400
Subject: Animals on the Ark

I was recently reading a children's book (by a well-known "frum" publisher) 
with my 7-year old son, which mentioned that 7 of each kosher species were 
on the ark.  My son brought a kasha that he learned that there were 14 (7 of 
each gender).  I looked it up in the Artscroll Rashi on Chumash, and in the 
footnotes it presents this issue as a machlokes between Rashi and the 
"Maskil l'David".  I just thought it was interesting to bring this up.  On a 
related topic, I have seen countless pictures in children's books of "Noah's 
Ark" and there are invariably 2 giraffes.  Since giraffes are kosher (I 
think according to all opinions), shouldn't there be either 7 or 14?


From: Yakov Spil <yspil@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 13:28:15 -0400
Subject: Are Jews Ethically Challenged?

>This group deserves termination plus trial by a beis din leading toward
>excommunication if their defense cannot present some mitigating factors.

I sure am happy none of us are the authors of Jewish Law.  That someone
can say this with such seriousness as it SHOULD BE the din, is as
blasphemous to me as it is outrageous to him that Jews could do this.

I shouldn't have to say it, but of course this is wrong.  There is no
excuse for it.  Jews SHOULD do everything that is a Kiddush Hashem.
Jews should never do anything that is against halocho or gives the
appearance of any impropriety, but to demand cherem for this?  Have we
gone mad?? We can all be so high and mighty to make such demands on our
fellow Jews- when somewhere along the way we are halachically challenged
in some other area- like davening with a minyan, saying birchas hamazon
with kavana, or being careful with all the intricacies of borer on
Shabbos as well as other melachos- I'd like to see how demanding we are
in those areas. And that's before any discussions of chumros and all
that that seems to be so popular here.

Now, this issue also has nothing to do with tochocho.  A din of tochocho
is that even though we may not be such "shlemim" ourselves, we still
must point out the shortcomings of our neighbor if we notice something,
and he will listen to us, AND we say it in a way he will accept it and
hear it and maybe even thank us for pointing it out to him. (that's how
you know you are doing it right!)

But that is not the reason for my objection here. To demand cherem where
the halocho does not, just shows how disinterested we are from the way
Hashem runs the world to our own silly notions of what is right and

Now, again, the avla mentioned here is wrong and deserves tochocho.  But
I would suggest that our rachmonos is a little deficient if we are
jumping to excising the guy from Yiddishkeit for it!

You will remember the ONLY place in Shulchan Aruch the following loshon
is used is in Hilchos Tefila- "Godol avono m'n'so," and that is talking
during davening.  Do all of us take this admonition seriously as the
words of Shulchan Aruch indicate we should???

And besides, the title of this thread is outrageous.  When we have
gedolim like the Chofetz Chaim, Chazon Ish, The Steipler, Rav Shimon
Schwab, Rav Pam, ybl'ch Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita among countless other
gedolei Yisroel who have admonished us about our Choshen Mishpat
obligations and how exemplary their lives were in this regard- and we
can ask such a question????  I am ashamed.

The question is certainly not whether JEWS are ethically challenged -
but whether are WE listening to our mesora and our gedolim about how we
must conduct our lives with the yashrus that the Torah demands and
expects of us.  Any criticism of how we lead our lives must be in
relation to the demands of the Torah on our lives.  Because we know,
being Orthodox, that the Torah is perfect,and that we allegedly live by
it, so it must be we have some growing to do.  When we listen to our
elders we will all be much better off and we wouldn't be asking such
shameful questions that don't address the issue.


From: <BaalHaIkvei@...> (Shraga Rubin)
Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2003 17:51:34 -0400
Subject: Re: B'tai din and surrounding issues

In MJ n40v75, Janice Gelb wrote

> It's a likely possibility that the woman did not seek out the newspaper
> reporter for this story, but that he noticed the uniqueness of the case
> pending in secular court and followed up on the story. So it's unclear
> that the wife in this case deliberately went to a newspaper to have a
> story written.
> A larger question is this: assuming for the sake of this discussion that
> the allegations in this case are true, this wife has been betrayed by
> her husband and her community to an egregious degree. Can you really
> blame her for not taking extra precautions to protect their 
> reputations?

While you might be correct, whether she can be blamed or not after the
fact for not taking extra precautions wasn't the question posed.  The
topic under discussion was is it correct (lechatcheela- before the fact)
to use a newspaper story as a way to protect those who might otherwise
be harmed or not protected in the bais din system.

In the same volume, <FriedmanJ@...> writes

> If he is messing about, he is opening himself up to HIV infection, which
> is a death sentence. Anyone hear of pikuach nefesh? She has every right
> to go on a mikvah strike to save her own life and health.

Once again, however you moraly feel about the situation, what does
pikuach nefesh have todo with anything?  See the Mail Jewish issues from
a few weeks ago that a one in six chance (%16.6) of danger is called
piku'ach nefesh.  The odds of HIV, especially as her husband probably
was not philandering with... you know what I mean, but rather with
somebody in his social stature, are considerably less than that.

Shraga Rubin

From: Michael Appel <myappel@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 15:49:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: B'tai din and surrounding issues

It seems that there is confusion in the exchange below. Apparently, the
middle poster assumed that the mikveh strike entailed not telling the
husband (ie they would have relations and that it is an act of putting a
stumbling block in front of him.)

The last followup appears to assume that the wife would go on the mikveh
strike with the husband _aware_ of such, essentially meaning that they
will not be intimate. I would think from the context of the original
posting, that this is the intent.

>>> 5.  What obligation does a married woman who knows her husband
>>> is philandering have to go to a mikvah each month?"

>>What does one have to do with the other?  If they are still living
>>together (as he is allowed to have two wives, me'de'oraisa), how
>>can she be machshil him into a cheyuv karais? And even without
>>him, it's a cheeyuv karais on herself as well.  Why would she want
>>to do that?  What does that have to do with other misdeeds?

>If he is messing about, he is opening himself up to HIV infection,
>which is a death sentence. Anyone hear of pikuach nefesh?  She has
>every right to go on a mikvah strike to save her own life and health.


From: <EngineerEd@...> (Ed Norin)
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 19:06:49 EDT
Subject: Goldschmidt Machzorim

I can not help you with the Goldschmidt Machzorim.  However, I own a
similar set called Abodat Israel by the Hebrew Publishing Company.  It
was translated by S. Singer, N. Adler and A. Th. Philips.  It has a 1931
copywrite.  Does anybody know anything about the history of this Machzor

Ed Norin


From: Michael Toben <tobenm@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:34:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Three oaths

Did I miss it or has everyone forgotten the book: Aim HaBanim S'maicha
by HaRav Yissachar Shlomo Taichtel ? The author was a Satmar Hassid and
struggled with the issue of Satmar anti-Zionism during the WWII. He
wrote the book actually during the war - which was a remarkable
achievement in itself. Since he, himself, was a Satmar Hassid, he writes
truly as an insider using arguments and materials that are part of that
world. The book makes for very interesting reading and deals very
specifically with the Three Oaths. It is essential background reading
for any discussion on the subject.

Michael Toben <tobenm@...>

From: Daniel Gross <gross@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 16:12:13 -0400
Subject: RE: Three oaths

Do we have such a principle provided in the halachot of oaths that oaths can
be taken by a nation in addition to oaths taken by individuals, and that a
nations oath can be/is binding for the whole nation and for all generations?
How would that practically be done -- every individual is called upon to
take an oath, or a representative (the navi?) takes an oath for all.

For a notion of a collective Oat taking I can only think of one such
occurrence and that is maamad har sinai. If maamad har sinai is an instance
of oath-taking by the nation, would this shevua be equivalent to the oath of
maamad har sinai. Is Kabalat Thora a special case of hilchot oaths? 



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 23:15:46 -0400
Subject: A Two Layer interpretation approach to Psalms

There have been about a dozen postings on Ps34-11(Young Lions) Allow me
to add 4 points that have not yet been made. My comments will apply to
translation of Psalms in general and not just to this particular
verse. Let me start with a brief summary (and then make the points

SUMMARY: The Psalmist asks people to depend on God but not on people. By
contrast many young adults starting in life think they have TO BELONG.
King David uses the analogy of YOUNG LIONS. They belong--but they spend
their time fighting to protect their pack leaders--they have no turf of
their own and frequently get displaced (Resh-Shin).  So they too ONLY
BELONG IN NAME and have no security.  There is really no
counter-alternative. Young adulthood is tough...the best approach is to
depend on God

Here are the points defending the above.

First: We are now in possession of the authorative Aleppo codex--we are
therefore certain that the correct Masoretic text is KeFiRiM.

Second: No one has explicitly pointed out the obvious point that the
Psalms are POETIC literature. Therefore it is REQUIRED to understand
every verse at TWO levels - (a) the literal and (b) the
symbolic. (Ironically mljewish has had a recent discussion on the
dual-translation approach to the Song of Songs)

So the verse is talking about LION-LIKE people and can refer to ANY such
person (Wealthy, evil, heretical, powerful etc) The important point is
that it can refer to ANY such LION-LIKE person (In poetry there need not
be ONE correct answer)

Third: The reader of the Psalms must bear in mind that it is normal in
Biblical literature to paint pictures of people and nations using animal
metaphors. We need go no further than the Shagal windows (Gn49). The 12
tribes are painted as hard workers (donkeys), mighty (lion), graceful
(The gazelle) (For a general discussion on HOW to interpret symbolically
see http://www.RashiYomi.com/gen-1.htm for an article on symbolism
recently published in BOR HATORAH 13E).

Fourth: Resh-Shin has 3 meanings (POOR, INHERIT, TO OUST) and never
refers to BEING IN NEED OF PROTECTION. It would seem to mean
DISPLACED. For a list of about a dozen verse examples see

Similarly Kaph-Pay-Resh has about a dozen meanings (frost, villages,
young-adult lion, atonement). It seems to have a unified theme of
VIGOROUS ACTIVITY (the type used for cleaning tar-like stains). The
Radack points out that KFIR does not mean cub but YOUNG ADULT LION. For
a thorough discussion of the dozen meanings and Radack and Rashi.

Remarkably to understand this one verse I have had to (a)discuss
Biblical symbolism in general (b) review the 3 meanings of Resh- Shin
and (C) the 12 meanings of Kaph-Pay-Resh. This is normal in the
Psalms...if you really want to become one with the words this is the
proper approach.

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


End of Volume 40 Issue 39