Volume 41 Number 20
                 Produced: Mon Nov 17 22:25:29 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

ACH=MOST OF || Methodology in Biblical exegesis
         [Stan Tenen]
Chazaka that clothes do not have sha'atnez
         [David Ziants]
Ketonet Passim
         [Nathan G. Lamm]
Kosher / Non-kosher steak
         [Jeremy Rose]
Machon Torani Yerushalayim, Torah-in-Depth, Hanukkah 5764
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Batya Medad]
Reading on eighth day Succot
         [Yehuda Landy]
Toldot Chag Simchat Torah
         [Martin D Stern]
Women seeing Men in Pants
         [Bernard Raab]
Women Wearing Pants
         [Janice Gelb]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:10:00 -0500
Subject: Re:  ACH=MOST OF || Methodology in Biblical exegesis

>From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
I have snipped all of Russell's introductory and highly interesting material.
>Note how example 5 sheds light on a complex Rashi-Ramban controversy on
>the nuances of Ach.
>I could say more but I would like to take up the general question
>brought up by Anonymous: If Russell (or anyone) brings forward a new
>English translation, then how do we test it? Does one counterexample
>refute it? If the example usually works should it be accepted
>(especially when the traditional translations in English dont work)? In
>my article I ironically point out that the translation ACH=USUALLY is
>consistent with Talmudic derash and makes them the simple meaning of the
>text while the traditional translation ACH=ONLY is inconsistent with
>But is consistency with Derash a criteria for good translation.
>I think all these questions sorely deserve a thread Too often I see on
>mail-jewish and elsewhere a good idea shot down because of one
>counter-example EVEN THOUGH the idea is correct and solves more problems
>than it causes. (There was some cynicism in Anonymous' post--->Or does
>ACH=USUALLY only work MOST OF THE TIME<. Actually it works all the time
>but EVEN if it worked most of the time I think there would be validity
>to it).

As always, Torah Hebrew roots can be read most accurately as acronyms,
based on the _functional_ meaning of the name of each letter.


Aleph - "In general", above all, at the top of, as an archetype,
all-inclusively, whole and single.

KafSofit - To possess.

ACH, therefore, is the property or possession of all-inclusiveness, or
of an archetype, or of a generalization.

Where, you may ask, is there even a hint of justification for the
acronym interpretation of Torah Hebrew roots? This is from a drash on
the Tower of Babel by R. Yehonatan Chipman, which was part of his drash
on Noach last week.

"Now all the land was one tongue and single words (devarim ahadim)...."

"One tongue" refers not to the tongue in the mouth, but to the tongue of
the thumb in the "mouth" of the hand. This is an allusion to the letters
being part of a universal _gesture_ language, not a spoken language.

And "single words" actually refers to single letters as words -- in
other words, an acronym language.

Of course, out of context, these quotes demonstrate very little. But
there is a context -- it's just not possible to fit it all here. <smile>

In every case I have examined, the root meaning of Torah Hebrew words is
not only consistent with the acronym reading of the letters of the word,
but also completely consistent with the full gamut of alternate phonetic
meanings and shades of meaning. Returning the _functional_ meaning
clarifies and unifies all of the traditional noun-meanings. If anyone
would like to see further examples of this, or challenge this, please
say so, and I'll respond.

Be well.

PS I think it would be helpful for the conventional linguists who
usually protest what I'm proposing here to have a look at some recent
findings with regard to how words in English can be discerned regardless
of whether or not the letters of the word appear in their usual order,
or in scrambled order.

This is an example of what technical people call a "look-see proof." All
you have to do to see that this is so, is to have a look at it, and then
play with it yourself a bit. Please ask yourself what the implications
of this finding are for our understanding of Torah Hebrew roots, which
also carry a similar meaning, even when the letter order is scrambled or

>Typo? What Typo?
>Accoridng to renect rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer 
>in waht oredr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht 
>the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a ttoal 
>mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the 
>huamn mnid denos't raed ervey lteter, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig!


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 22:35:11 +0200
Subject: Chazaka that clothes do not have sha'atnez

The issue of lab testing clothes for sha'atnez (Torah prohibition of
wearing clothes made of both with wool and linen) seems to be very much
the domain of the chareidi (ultra orthodox) community.

Many years ago, when I was at a (non chareidi) yeshiva in Israel, I
asked one of the rabbannim whether I had to check a shirt for sha'atnez.
This shirt happened to be linen, and this prompted me to want to ask.
Obviously, there was no wool mentioned on the label, otherwise it would
obviously be not allowed. The Rav said that I did not have to check it,
and when I asked why, he said that because we can rely on the chazaka
that there is no shaatnez. Many a time, I have had clothes with wool in
its composition, and have assumed that the chazaka also applies,
especially as there is no social indication that the (non chareidi frum)
people around me do these tests.

I would be grateful if anyone can throw light for me on the issue of
chazaka here, and how accepted it is in different religious circles.

BTW, most of the time I have heard about sha'atnez tests, it has been in
conjunction with suits and jackets, which I do not own and do not wear.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 12:41:06 -0500
Subject: Ketonet Passim

I once learned that "Passim" means "long sleeved," which would explain a
lot of the story: People working in the fields can't wear sleeves,
because they'd fray. Presumably, the other brothers wore vests of some
sort. Royalty, on the other hand, don't have to work with their hands
and so can wear sleeves, perhaps to signify their status. In fact, in
Japan the upper classes didn't even have openings on their sleeves, to
show that they had others doing everything for them. (Some academic
gowns follow this practice, with openings at the elbow only.) Therefore,
by giving Yosef the coat, Yaakov was symbolizing that he, alone, would
have an easy life, and wouldn't have to work. Hence the resentment.

Nachum Lamm


From: Jeremy Rose <jeremy@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 23:08:32 +0000
Subject: Kosher / Non-kosher steak

My understanding is that if you have three similar pieces of meat, two
of which were kosher and one was non-kosher then Mi'd'oraysoh the
principle of Rov applies and they are all OK to eat (although some say
you shouldn't eat them all together).  The interesting point is that the
piece which was treif is now "nahafoch la'asos heter" (it is now a
kosher piece of meat - the rationale possibly being that as it was
Halochoh which made it treif - because it wasn't shechted properly or it
was otherwise a Neveiloh - is the same Halochoh which says that the
principal of Rov over-rules that).  Anyway, if these three pieces of
meat (two of which were always kosher and one of which "became" kosher)
were now mixed (inadvertently) with two similar pieces of treif meat
then the two new pieces of meat *also* become kosher, because of Rov
(remember that the first piece of treif meat is now kosher, and is
included in three kosher pieces, as a majority over the two new treif
pieces).  And so on ad infinitum, I suppose......

Jeremy L Rose                                 Tel:  +44 1727 832288
Communication Systems Limited                 Fax:  +44 1727 810194


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Subject: Machon Torani Yerushalayim, Torah-in-Depth, Hanukkah 5764

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From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 06:58:24 +0200
Subject: Re: Pants

      But surely on fitness machines chances are you'd be surrounded by
      all women and you'd wear whatever you want?  When I go to the
      woman's gym across the street I change into very non tsnius
      workout gear because its all women there.

If someone needs it for physical therapy or whatever and lives in a place
that doesn't have all-women facilities. 

Also swimming.  Our daughter was administrator of our local swimming
pool one summer and had to get the exact psak about life
guards. According to the strict law male life guards can guard women,
because it's pikuach nefesh.  But in the holy town of Shiloh we're
machmir (these males are the neighbors' sons) and insist on female of
which we have a few.  But one day, for one shift, Tzruya couldn't find
one, so a female with foreign qualifications (not recognized in Israel)
guarded the pool, and a male life guard stayed in the pool office, ready
to rescue if the need arose.  That was the halachik and practical
solution of Rav Elchanan Bin Nun.



From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 18:16:46 +0200
Subject: Re: Reading on eighth day Succot

Yes, but this really has no bearing whatsoever on the issues dicussed.

Yehuda Landy

> From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
> > Regarding Succot it states that on the eighth day "Kol Habchor" is
> > read
> > Yehuda Landy
> Not quite correct - see the Masores Hashass who brings the nusach of the
> R"n with which the comment of Rashi concurs that the reading commences
> with Aser TeAser.


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 17:02:37 EST
Subject: Re: Toldot Chag Simchat Torah

In a message dated 14/11/03, Avi Feldblum wrote concerning A. Ya'ari's
book: Toldot Chag Simchat Torah:

<< By the way, the quote from the book of minhagim from the chazan of
Frankfort regarding this new fangled custom of hakafot is one of my
favorite passages in the sefer. >>

The book of minhagim to which he refers is the Divrei Kehillot by
R. Zalman Geiger who was dayan as well as chazan in Frankfort in the
early nineteenth century. It is in the form of a diary commencing with
Shabbat Chukkat in 1818 and finishing with Shabbat Korach the following
year, in which he records all the customs of the community regarding
liturgy, tunes etc. on a weekly basis. It was published in 1862 and is
now out of print; hopefully somebody will produce a new edition with
notes and references. Zalman geiger was the elder brother of the more
widely known Reform leader Abraham Geiger, showing the precarious
condition of German Judaism at the time, ki ein bayit asher ein sham
meit.  Incidentally Ya'ari gives the wrong page number for his
reference, it should be 340 not 338.

    Martin D Stern


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 00:35:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Women seeing Men in Pants

>From: Leah S. Gordon:
>Since we're being asked....  I think that it is definitely a suggestive
>sight to see men in pants, because you can see their bodies more
>outlined than you could if they were wearing robes.  Heterosexual women
>definitely can get sexually interested by seeing such a sight.  Anyone
>who doubts this can look at advertsing campaigns for e.g. the GAP, or
>for those new-fashioned "boxer brief" underpants for men.

Thank you for this input. The operating assumption throughout halachic
literature, including the gemara, is that women are not susceptible to
sexual arousal by mere sight or sound (e.g.; no prohibition of "kol
ish").  How valid is this?


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 21:01:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Women Wearing Pants

Anonymous wrote:
> I was recently at the JCC in Deal, NJ -- entering the building were many
> women who were obviously heading for the gym.  I noticed several wore
> what I would consider "designer" (logo) sports outfits that included a
> matching long (ankle length?) skirt OVER what appeared to be a pair of
> jogging pants.

This seems to me to be irrationally cumbersome.  To require a woman to
wear a skirt over a pair of baggy exercise pants but allow pencil-thin
clinging skirts in synagogue shows the absurdity of defining tznius by
pants vs skirts. The yardstick of something being clinging or revealing
vs whether it's a skirt or pants would result in much more tzniusdik
results, imho.

-- Janice


End of Volume 41 Issue 20