Volume 41 Number 39
                 Produced: Mon Dec 15 21:32:14 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

ACH = BUT vs MOST OF--3 views on Exegesis--Requirements of
Information about Bangkok?
         [Rise Goldstein]
Kiddush Clubs
         [Harold Hoffman]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Rambam's proof of Hashem's Incorporeality
         [Eugene Bazarov]
Safek D'Rabanan
         [Simon Wanderer]
Should the Law change because Women initiate more--R Friedmans Book
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
TWO articles on the Orthodox Union and unemployment among Jews
         [Lawrence Lebowitz]
When a Body is a Body
         [Stan Tenen]


From: <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 23:33:55 GMT
Subject: ACH = BUT vs MOST OF--3 views on Exegesis--Requirements of

Shlomo and Syma Spiro (v41n18) suggest that the best translation of ACH
is BUT. Their argument is as follows:

-BUT connotes limitation but leaves room for flexibility.

There is in fact a serious philosophical issue here. What is the GOAL of
exegesis. Three views were presented in my Tradition article Peshat and
Derash (http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rashi.pdf)

One position is that the Bible has a simple meaning and the Rabbis
PEGGED on laws. These pegging methods were NOT THE SOURCE of the laws
but just memory devices.

A second position is that there are fixed grammatical type laws that
GENERATE Rabbinic law. Thus as Shlomo says if we translate ACH as BUT
then "BUT observe the Shabbath" connotes some type of limitation. The
Exegete is then free to interpret this limitation anyway they please.

But my article suggested a third approach. Rabbinic exegesis not only
flows grammatically from the text--it in fact flows SPONTANEOUSLY from
the text. The true test of exegesis is whether a 5 year old when hearing
the verse SPONTANEOUSLY notes the Rabbinic law!

For example if you told a 5 years old: God said USUALLY observe the
Sabbath. The child would SPONTANEOUSLY respond: When dont you? Here, the
limitation of USUALLY is not only grammatical--it is also intuitive.

Similarly the translation MOST OF NOACH remained in the ark connotes
that he was injured and missing an organ. The 5 year old (and adult)
HEAR the spontenaiety.(By contrast BUT Noach remained in the ark does
not so connote)

So to summarize: The point of my article was that Derash should not only
be grammatical but also intuitive. The challenge of the Biblical
translator is to find a punchy translation which grips the listener and
makes them spontaneously respond.

Please read the above article for a wide spectrum of examples.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rashi.pdf


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 20:34:01 -0800
Subject: Information about Bangkok?

I may have to attend a professional meeting in Bangkok next summer.  The
meeting is to last about a week and, if I go, I will have to be in
Bangkok over a Shabbat.  Could anyone with any information about kosher
food availability, Shabbat logistics, etc., please e-mail me privately?

Thanks in advance--

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA


From: Harold Hoffman <hoffman.esq@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2003 14:32:24 -0500
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

Are there any responsa justifying kiddush clubs?  Where can they be
located?  Thank you.

Harold M. Hoffman, Esq.
800 Third Avenue, 29th Floor; New York, NY  10022
T. 212-486-6322; F. 212-980-8748
e-mail: <hoffman.esq@...>


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 07:17:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Population

I remember once reading that around the year 1, 10% of Roman citizens
were Jewish. That's 13 million out of 130 million, and doesn't include
the Jews of the Parthian Empire (Mesopotamia, Persia). Also, it is said
about 1 million were killed at the time of the First Jewish Revolt (in
different places, I guess).  I'm not sure how much of this is actual
fact, but it would seem to indicate that Jewish population has hovered
around the same point over the centuries.

Also, the Encyclopaedia Judaica has charts and the like under


From: Eugene Bazarov <evbazarov@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2003 16:55:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Rambam's proof of Hashem's Incorporeality

Rather then discussing if the Rambam's physics was based on
Aristotelian, Newtonian or Einstein's ideas, I would like to point out
the Rambam's opinion on Rabbinic astronomy/physics.

Moreh Nevuchim. Book III. Chapter 14, end.
"You must, however, not expect that everything our Sages say respecting
astronomical matters should agree with observation, for mathematics were
not fully developed in those days: and their statements were not based
on the authority of the Prophets, but on the knowledge which they either
themselves possessed or derived from contemporary men of science. But I
will not on that account denounce what they say correctly in accordance
with real fact, as untrue or accidentally true. On the contrary,
whenever the words of a person can be interpreted in such a manner that
they agree with fully established facts, it is the duty of every
educated and honest man to do so."

It seems to me that the Rambam would have no problem ---now---admitting
that Aristotle was wrong and hence his proof fails. Perhaps he would
have had another proof. We will never know. But there is no reason to
defend the proof or the physics.

The more pertinent question is what to do about the Rambam's halachic
rulings - as opposed to his philosophical/theological ideas - that he
made based on faulty astronomy/physics.

E.V. Bazarov


From: Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 14:21:52 -0000
Subject: Safek D'Rabanan

> 2.  Several people have reported stories about prominent Rabbis who didn't
> sit on train seats fearing that the cushion may have been covered with
> sha'atnez.  Isn't sitting on sha'atnez a rabbinic prohibition? Wouldn't that
> be classified as safeik d'rabanan [only possibly a violation of rabbinic
> law] and be permitted?
It is a little simplistic to say that any safek d'rabanan is
permitted. There are opinions in the Rishonim (one which I recall is a
Ran in Pesachim, although I cannot recall the precise reference) that
say one should generally refrain from Sfeikos D'Rabana, and the rule
allowing one to go L'Kulah is only to be used on specified situations. I
may be quoting the opinion slightly inaccurately, but that is the gist.


From: <rjhendel@...> (Russell Jay Hendel)
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 23:32:50 GMT
Subject: Should the Law change because Women initiate more--R Friedmans Book

Bernard Raab calls for a possible change in laws to reflect new gender
roles where women may have a more "initiative" role: Bernard states

>Certainly, the Rabbis understood that women could be aroused by sight or
>sound, but relied on the assumption that they are far less likely to act
>on this feeling than are men. I suppose this has been a valid assumption
>for centuries (any anthropologists out there?), but is rapidly becoming,
>or has already become, a falacious assumption in our day and age. It is
>my distinct impression from today's media that the roles are being, or
>have already been, largely reversed in the last 20-30 years. Perhaps
>less so in our more traditional society, but is this only a time lag
>phenomenon? If I am correct in this analysis, then perhaps the Rabbis
>need to react to the new reality

That is EXACTLY the point of Rabbi Friedmans excellent book DOESNT

Rabbi Friedmans point is that this is the first generation in human
history where people have "gender" confusion. They dont know who they
are or what their roles are. Therefore there is so much anxiety. And of
course, the natural solution is to return to Jewish law.

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


From: Lawrence Lebowitz <ariehnyc@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 12:09:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: TWO articles on the Orthodox Union and unemployment among Jews

Two articles dealing with the Orthodox Union, and unemployment among
Jews - and others.  Here they are - and their websites.  >> Arieh

Middle-Class Job Woes Persist Despite Bright Economic News
Forward, NY - Dec 3, 2003
By NATHANIEL POPPER. Unemployed Jews were spilling out of the lecture
hall at the Orthodox Union's national office in downtown New York
Tuesday morning. 

Career Adviser Pushes New Paradigm for Job Seekers
Forward, NY - Dec 3, 2003
BY NATHANIEL POPPER. ... Many of the unemployed are reaching a point
where they are willing to try ...


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 23:11:09 -0500
Subject: Re: When a Body is a Body

>From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
>1) How does one define "matter" or the "physical" to account for
>entities that are not corporeal but that one still wishes to call
>material or physical?

Easy. <smile>

First of all, reality is based on processes, not on things. "God is a
verb" is a throwaway line for this.

The idea is that _any_ "thing" can be misinterpreted or enlisted as an
idol. But processes have no form per se, and cannot be easily made into
a visual, static idol -- an idol of wood or metal or stone.

So, physical processes are physical, even though they have no form, no
image, and no corporeality per se.

I believe that it has been a fundamental mistake of wordsmith-based
scholarship to translate the vast majority of Hebrew roots as if they're
based on nouns rather than on verbs. As physicist David Bohm has pointed
out, Torah Hebrew is a rheomode language (verb-based, not noun-based).

I have developed a series of _process_ models that help to elucidate the
"quality-less" and non-corporeality of the two primary Names of God,
YH-VH and Elo-him. These models are also fundamental to all of the
sciences, and in particular to Dirac's models of the particle and wave
nature of fundamental quantum mechanical entities.

For a series of pictures of the dynamic processes associated with
absolute Singularity and all-inclusive Wholeness, have a look at the

1) First, for context, have a look at a comparative translation chart
for Ezekiel 37: 15-23 (Haftarah Vayigash) at
<www.meru.org/1203/Vayigash.pdf> (21K)

I'm suggesting that the "Stick of Judah" refers to the Singularity
represented by YH-VH, and the "Stick of Ephraim" refers to the Wholeness
represented by Elo-him.

2) "As Above, So Below", which provides a dynamic geometry for "Torah on
one foot" (the "golden rule").  <www.meru.org/1203/AsAboveSoBelow.html>
This simple diagram is based on the Sh'ma, and just happens to generate
all of the mainstays of Greek geometry: The One and the Many; The Same
and the Different; the tetractys triangle; the 3,4,5 Pythagorean
triangle, and of course, the golden proportion. This is a "2-line
construction", based on the Sh'ma, and the results are mathematically
precise without any approximation.

3) The Dirac delta function as utter Singularity, and the Fourier
transform of the Delta function as all-inclusive Wholeness.
<www.meru.org/1203/DeltaFunction.html> This is the basis for
wave-particle duality, and it was known in the ancient world -- at least
approximately -- because the same effect can be observed musically,
where one sharp strike sets all the instruments resonating, and it ks
also demonstrated by a simple prism that breaks up a single beam of
white light into a spectrum of colors.

This is an excellent model for the incorporeality of Hashem/Elokim.

The Delta function itself has no qualities, other than infinite
amplitude, and instantaneous (out-of-time) action.

The Fourier transform of the Delta function itself also has no
qualities, other than infinitesimal amplitude for all frequencies over
all time (eternal).

The Delta function enables us to understand the utter Singularity of
YH-VH (and even looks like an "adin", a pedestal).

The spectrum of the Delta function enables us to understand the
all-inclusive Wholeness represented by the Name Elo-him.

In this model, YH-VH has infinite amplitude, and acts instantaneously
and outside of time, while its spectrum (identical to itself in toto),
representing Elo-him, is uniform throughout nature, and eternal over all

Both are utterly featureless. Both are utterly infinite. Both are
utterly single. Both are utterly whole. Both are utterly Echad --
One. (And this is the basis of wave/particle complementarity.)

4) "Mountains will Melt like Wax"
<www.meru.org/1203/MountainsMeltLikeWax.html> -- this graphic essay
shows how the geometry of the Delta function and its transform are
referred to in traditional sources.

5) "Delta Combo" <www.meru.org/1203/DeltaCombo.html>This is a mechanical
way of understanding the Delta function and its transform, that could
have been made use of with the tools available in the ancient world. It
demonstrates how the "different" leads to the 10 devarim, while the
"same" leads to the Sephirotic Tree.

6) Center-Line-Circle <www.meru.org/1203/Rainbow.html> -- a few
real-world examples for the same Single/Whole principle.

Projecting this model of the unification of the two primary Names of God
as set forth in the Sh'ma into 3-D produces a specially-shaped "tefillin
strap" which, when worn, generates all of the rabbinic forms of the
Meruba Ashuris letters -- both shapes and meanings.

To see how Dirac's model for the spin of fermions (electrons, et al.)
generates the shape of the "tefillin strap" that makes the letters, go
to "The Dirac String Trick -- First Hand" at <www.meru.org/dirac.html>.

If you'd like to know "who holds by this" before spending any time on
it, please ask.

And finally, for another version of the same model, have a look at the
upcoming issue of B'Or HaTorah (English) for a short essay, "Man Bites
Dog". Ask for a pre-print if you'd like.

Ask questions. <smile> Be well.



End of Volume 41 Issue 39