Volume 41 Number 43
                 Produced: Wed Dec 17  6:05:48 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bride wearing white
         [Michael Kahn]
Chanuka Question
         [Michael Kahn]
Double names
         [Kibi Hofmann]
         [Russell J Hendel]
Michael Berg Translation of Zohar
         [Shlomo Pick]
Reproving a respected Rabbi (2)
         [Michael Kahn, Gil Student]
Timely Joke
         [Leah S. Gordon]
When a Body is a Body (2)
         [Michael Frankel, Jack Tomsky]


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 00:00:03 -0500
Subject: RE: Bride wearing white

>The minhog for a kallo to wear white is very old - it is mentioned by
>both the Maharil and the Maharam Mintz. (Actually mentions sargeinez =
>kitl) However, nowadays there are some who prefer the kallo to wear a
>cream or pink dress (apparently because they consider a white dress to
>be chukas hagoy, but I don't really know)

Interesting. I had thought that the generall practice for the bride to
wear white was started when Queen Victoria made off one of her daughters
and had actually wondered if Jewish brides had started wearing white at
that point too.


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 23:18:34 -0500
Subject: Chanuka Question

How do you fullfill lighting the menorah in a motel room? I'm thinking
about going on vacation but wondering how to deal with this?


From: Kibi Hofmann <kibi@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 09:20:05 +0200
Subject: Double names

In mail-jewish Vol. 41 #37, Leah Aharoni wrote:

>The practice of giving children double names seems to be a relatively
>recent one. I can't think of anyone with a double names in the Tanakh,
>Gemara, or among the Rishonim.
>Any ideas as to the origins of Jewish double names?

I heard that the first ones were borrowed from the Torah - in Bereishis
49:27 Binyamin is referred to as a wolf, the verse says "Binyamin
Ze'ev...." which is a very common double name. Similarly 49:21 Naftali
is compared to a deer so "Naftali Tzvi" is a common name.

Then there are the ones which are simple Yiddish
translations/transcriptions "Dov Ber", "Tzvi Hirsh", "Ze'ev Velvel",
"Yechiel Mechel", "Shlomo Zalman", "Yitzchak Izak", "Yisrael
Isser"...and probably once there were some accepted double names the
flood-gates were opened.

Certainly there is a possibility of misunderstanding from some of the 
German Jewish families, where the son was often named after the father 
without the traditional "ben" (son of) in between the names - Rabbi Shimson 
Rafael Hirsch was really Shimshon _son_of_ Rafael Hirsch, yet the name is 
often given to (yekkish) children as a double-barrelled one.

Kibi (Akiva Asher Hofmann) 


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 14:30:49 -0500
Subject: RE: Exercise

Marilyn Tomsky writes in v41n34:

-The stress on the body from the nine flights up and down is not a good
-thing.  We are taught that to save a life is the highest quality.  As
-you age you need to save that body higher unneeded stress.  I think that
-would be a good thing to do.  It isn't easy to accept the truth that you
-are aging but the pain of your body is the 'cry' of reality.

Well I certainly wouldnt recommend that someone who climbs no flights
all of a sudden climb nine.

But I otherwise disagree with Marilyn. All the literature that I know of
states that the stress of exercise is very beneficial for
aging. Climbing 9 flights of stairs (AT YOUR OWN PACE) is a very good
exercise (even if done slowly).

Here are some simple guidelines: During world war II alot of research
was done on exercise. The single most important correlate of exercise is
heartbeat. So quite simply if you climb 9 flights very slowly (say over
20 minutes with lots of conversations instead of climbing in 4 minutes)
your heartbeat does not go up and the exercise is fantastic (You have
lifted your body weight 9 flights).

In fact I (and alot of exercise books) recommend eg if you live on the
9th floor to take the elevator to the 7th or 8th and then climb the
remaining two flights.

Note: Not everyone has "time" to exercise. Naturally climbing 9 flights
to get to your apartment is good and accessible.

I dont know if discussion of exercise is a mail-jewish topic But it
would be worthwhile to hear how busy orthodox jews work exercise into
their daily regime (Eg climbing stairs on Shabbath, jogging to shule,
lifting Torahs etc).

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


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 14:09:49 +0200
Subject: Michael Berg Translation of Zohar

Does anyone know about the Michael Berg translation of the Zohar into
English?  It includes the commentary of the Ba'al haSulam. Are there any
problems with it?

happy chanuka


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 23:51:44 -0500
Subject: RE: Reproving a respected Rabbi

>What is the proper way to "reprove" a respected and educated rabbi who
>is not very careful about certain mitzvahs between people.  In the
>specific case in mind, this rabbi often confides in me negative things
>about fellow congregants and donors that I really have no business or
>benefit knowing.  Any suggestions on this difficult mitzvah would be

I would start by saying, "I really have great kavod for you (assuming
you actually do have kavod for him) but I want to ask you something
about what you do that I don't understand, but I'm afraid you'll get
angry at me."

I think the Rov would probably say, "No, go ahead."

Now that he's told you to go ahead he probably won't at least
(outwardly) get angry with you.

This is my practicall advice as to how you could tell him mussar with
him blowing up at you. Regarding if it is hallachikly inappropriate to
give a Rov mussar-that I don't know.

You might also wan't to reconsider if this person is really someone you
should be involved in if he is a baal lashon hara. In any event I wish
you luck.

From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 13:20:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Reproving a respected Rabbi

>What is the proper way to "reprove" a respected and educated rabbi
>who is not very careful about certain mitzvahs between people.

If you have a flair for drama, you might want to try presenting him with
a mashal, asking his opinion, and then saying that it really applies to
him (like what Nassan the navi did with King David).

Otherwise, try doing it respectfully and in the form of a question,
hedging with words like maybe and probably.

"Maybe it is best for me that I not hear such confidential information?
It should probably be kept private."

Gil Student


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 19:04:08 -0800
Subject: Timely Joke

I read this on another email group and thought other m.j'ers might
like it:

"A famous American rabbi in the 1920's was concerned about assimilation
and antisemitism.  Through a miracle, he's sent forward in time to right
now.  He sees Hanukah decorations in stores, huge hanukiot, etc. and
exclaims in joy that his fears for American Jews were totally unfounded.
"If they make such a fuss out of a minor holiday like Hanukah," he says
ecstatically, "I can hardly imagine what they do for Shavuos!""

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 01:40:39 -0500
Subject: Re:  When a Body is a Body

From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>

>"left/right side" are not descriptors appropriate to an electron,
>nevertheless - and with apologies to the traditional metaphysical
>viewpoint you cite - it is still no composite.  perhaps TMV should
>consider this as a counterexample to their current paradigm but i leave
>such ruminations to those more metaphysically ept than myself.
>Mechy Frankel

RSC: <<As far as I know, "corporeal" means occupying space. A corporeal
body is mathematically divisible. If G-d is a unity, then G-d is
indivisible, and G-d is not a corporeal body.  You can talk about
physical entities that are not corporeal bodies, you can talk about
"matter." If it does not occupy space it isn't a corporeal body.  This
leaves two questions:

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?

2) What beliefs about G-d do Rambam (and everybody else) want to exclude
when we say that G-d has no body or image of a body?  I can propose
answers to both questions, but am not sufficiently in the sugya to go on
the record.>>

RSC states that as far as he knows corporeal means occupying space.  I
do not pretend to know whether this is the common agreement amongst the
metaphysicians and theologians (who seem to be the only present
employers of words such as 'corporeal') but I have already explained
that corporeal is better served as a referent for objects having mass
-mass is in some ways less problematic than the concept of 'space'. See

as to R. Carmy's two questions:

1) I do not mean to be disrespectful but cannot help feeling that
'matter' or 'space' are intellectual constructs that are, by the
twentieth century, more fruitfully left to physics than metaphysical
taxonomical exercises.  in much the same way that philosophical
descriptions of the matter based on the classical constituents of air
earth fire and water were by the previous century best left to the
taxonomy of the periodic table.

The problem is that mental constructs - intuition if you will -
developed through long experience, may be quite misleading when applied
to the realm of the very small (but still finite) outside the experience
of the ordinary senses.  Particles that are very small may not exactly
'be' in a specific localizable location that we could unambiguously
point to one 'side' of it.

  And how are you going to point to the 'side' of an endlessly
'spinning' (though not in the usual sense) particle with no possibility
of ever being brought to rest. And there may be no particular clear
boundary between object and non-object as we are used to from the
macroscopic world.  and what is the "side" of a particle that perhaps
doesn't "exist" at all while its not being measured and thus can't be
said to have such a property as a side at any time since it can never be
measured (this was/is actually the perspectiveof the predominant school
of thought associated with nils bohr during much of the twentieth
century) or alternatively what's the "side" of an object that does exist
but as a superposition of many locations (according to a different sect
of physicists) - oy vey, we should not get started down these paths, at
least not on this forum.

R. Carmy imagines that we can, at least mentally, continue to carve
space or particles into smaller and smaller segments. He suggests that
space/corporeal bodies are 'mathematically divisible'.  But this is in
fact not so.  The real universe doesn't act at all like this
mental/mathematical construct. The real world of the very small differs
in many fundamental ways from the macroscopic world intuited by the
sense experience.  'space' becomes a hazy notion when you focus down
closely enough to perceive that at sufficiently high magnification the
very geometry of space itself fluctuates so violently* that it is
meaningless to discuss 'shapes' or 'sides'.  They don't exist.  So space
at very small lengths is not smooth and subdivisible but infinitely and
dynamically chaotic and practitioners refer to spatial 'foam'.  Even if
you neglected that little bit of reality, just how were we gonna define
a 'side' if space really has 10 or 11 dimensions as many believe, and at
very high magnification these 'extra' dimensions are as real as the
conventional four**.  And what of "sides" if the indivisible electrons
are merely a particular mode of vibration of some very small but finite
string?  Rather than some spherical mass or 'point'.  Bottom line -
electrons, along with other leptons, have mass and are thus corporeal
but they are indivisible.  and - though irrelevant to their corporeal
status - while nobody has been able to measure a "radius" i am confident
they are not true "points"***.  Which is a counter-example to the
original assertion by metaphysicians amongst us re the supposed
divisibility of all corporeal bodies.

*(because of uncontrolled quantum fluctuations of the gravitational
field at lengths less than the planck scale which in turn determines
local spatial 'curvature') '

** (we don't perceive the extra dimensions macroscopically because they
are topologically 'rolled up' with very small radii, though attached to
every point in ordinary space)

***(in which case perhaps all electrons should already be black holes as
their mass would be contained by their schwarzschild radius - though
perhaps quantum shmearing within their de broglie wave legnth would save
them from such a fate. have to think about it)

2) while I tend to feel R. Carmy may be trying to overanalyze the
precise nature of beliefs Rambam was opposing - naive anthropomorphism
would be my guess - I confess I tend to slough off such questions
perhaps too hastily and perhaps there is indeed more to it.  But I shall
leave such investigations to him. .

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 845-2357

From: Jack Tomsky <jtomsky@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 07:31:06 -0800
Subject: Re: When a Body is a Body

God is atomic.   A concentration of power.  He has the ability to change 
shape.   The ability to project a visual form.  His 'body' is constantly 
renewing itself so that He doesn't age as we do. 

Marilyn Tomsky


End of Volume 41 Issue 43