Volume 41 Number 82
                 Produced: Fri Jan 16  6:00:53 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ari vs. Aryeh
         [Jonathan Baker]
Gevinat Akum
         [Meir Shinnar]
Number Theory (4)
         [Ben Katz, Stan Tenen, William Friedman, Carl Singer]
Quotation source
         [Richard Rosen]
Saying the names of other gods
         [David Ziants]
Schools paying tuition to other schools
         [Carl Singer]


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 08:29:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Ari vs. Aryeh

From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>

> What is the difference between the names Ari (aleph - resh - yud) and
> Aryeh (aleph - resh - yud - heh)?
> Is one biblical an the other talmudic? If so canyou post an example?
> Is one a dimunitive (which)?
> Is one male and the other female?

Most Aris seem to be diminutive of Aryeh.  Adding to the confusion may
be European spelling conventions.  My grandfather was Aryeh, but his
record on the ship manifest (SS Lapland, 1914) is spelled "Arie
Beckerman", and he took the name "Harry" when he lived here.  And that's
what they called each other, "Harry" and "Becky" - as my father says,
their policy was "We're in America, we speak English".  My grandmother
didn't revert to Yiddish until she started going senile about age 89
(1979 or thereabouts).

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: <pitab@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 09:27:38 -0500
Subject: Gevinat Akum

A while back the question was raised regarding the eating of
unsupervised cheese and the gezeira of gevinat akum.  I came across a
responsum of R. Shlomo Goren in which he permits the eating of
unsupervised cheese manufactured in American factories.  Two of the
reasons are that the rennet used today is not problematic and also that
the ownership of large companies with stocks are not necessarily
regarded as "non-Jewish" ownership.

He says that his pesak is only for a time of great need, she'at hedehak.
His responsum can be found in _Meishiv Milhamah_, vol. II, par. 151.


From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 12:41:04 -0500
Subject: Kollel

As the kollel thread keeps reappearing, some people don't understand why
some of us oppose kollel, and suggest that ultimately, it is the
decision of the individual that affects primarily the individual and his
family.  Given the positive benefits of torah study, and the presumed
positive impact on the overall community from the presence of the
kollel, they suggest that it be left to personal choice.

Let me present a rabid anti kollel perspective (deliberately extreme):

1) Part of the problem is that torah study supported by the community
   has an intrinsically different status than torah study in general.
   The Rambam's position is well known even if ignored - that anyone
   studying in kollel (that is, anyone who says that he wants to study
   and it is up to the community to support him) is mehallel hashem,
   mevaze hatora, umechabe or hadat - he desecrates the name of god,
   defiles the tora, and extinguishes the light of religion - and some
   of us do hold by that.  What is also less known is that even
   ashkenazi poskim, such as the rama, hold that the rambam's position
   is the preferred a priori - and only allow communal support post
   facto.  The question arises about the development of an institution
   which holds by such communal support as the preferred a priori mode
   for the community.  It is one thing to argue that secondary to
   societal changes and public needs, we need today to have a system to
   generate rabbinic leaders - something most of us support - and quite
   another to propose the current model, advocating universal kollel
   (and the ideology of the kollel movement is universal kollel - Rav
   Dessler has written explicitly that it is important that the only
   options available are either kollel learning or menial tradesmen jobs
   - even though in America this is tempered by economic reality).

2) This raises the issue that the kollel, in its current form, rather
   than being the continuation of old models, is a very radical
   innovation - in some ways as radical as Reform, and many of us are
   quite conservative on core values.  While we all appreciate the value
   of torah study - the kollel movement transmogrifies this.  The model
   of universal kollel is not a sustainable one, which is why it was
   never held until today.  It therefore is incompatible with the view
   of the torah as a torat chayim.

3) The role of the kollel in maintaining or destroying the Orthodox
   community can be debated.  Yeshaya Lebowits recounts a conversation
   he had with Agnon, where Agnon asked what happened to the tremendous
   power that Torah had exercised over the Jewish community and people -
   and RYL answered that Torah became talmud torah - rather than being
   the concern of every Jew on some level, it became a profession.  One
   might argue over the historical reality, but there is much truth to
   that argument.  This concern - that by paying for torah, one
   denigrates it and reduces it to a profession - is not novel, and is
   quite explicit in the rambam's discussion.

Furthermore, the position of kollel today is different than 100 years
ago, or even thirty years ago.  Rav Salanter argued that when a Jew
learns in Kovno, he stops a Jew in Paris from converting.  Today, when a
Jew learns in Bne Brak, it could be argued that he is causing a Jew in
Haifa to eat hazir (this phenomenon - that kollel, which is perceived by
much of Israeli society as a parasitic phenomenon (due both to the
public support and lack of army service)causes people to despise all
religious jews - is quite well documented in Israel, even though it is
not polite to talk about it)

In America, the role of kollel is different - but the kollel is not
viewed by the general community as wonderful role model, but rather as a
danger that they hope their kids won't be sucked into.  This leads to an
ambiguous relationship and concern about the education of their kids -
hardly the shining light that is maintaining the community.

4) It is argued that this is primarily a private choice.  This,
    unfortunately, is no longer true.  In Israel, being in kollel means
    that one is supported by the general community.  The kollel
    community is among the largest per capita consumer of social welfare

Even in the states, it is not only a private choice.  The community has
limited funds, that are stretched to the limit - ask most day school
principals whether there are excess funds.  The establishment of a
kollel in a community draws funds from the existing funds and donors, as
well as bringing in families who will make extra demands (outside of the
direct funding that the kollel itself draws) on the existing social
welfare system.

Rav Teitz argued that the incremental cost of one extra kid is minimal.
That is correct.  However, most school systems already give substantial
scholarships to many whose need isn't based on a personal choice.  The
community therefore should have the right to determine whether this
choice is the optimal use of scarce funds - but is rarely given the

Meir Shinnar


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 11:33:23 -0600
Subject: Re: Number Theory

>From: David Waysman <waysmand@...>
>Subject: Number Theory
>A friend & fellow subscriber showed me an article in the jerusalem
>report in which the author observed that the the ages of the patriachs
>can be displayed algorithmically.
>Avaraham   - 5 * 5 * 7 = 175 years
>Yitzchak    - 6 * 6 * 5 = 180 years
>Yaacov       - 7 * 7 * 3 = 147 years
>It looks very elegant to analyse the numbers this way, BUT, what
>significance might the numbers have ?

         This is mentioned in Sarna's JPS Genesis commentary.  II am
sure it did not originate there, I am just not aware right now of
earlier sources.  I would argue that numbers with symbolic meaning ( the
surfeit of 7's and squares) obviate the difficulty with accounting for
the unusually long lifespans.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226
e-mail: <bkatz@...> 

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 08:44:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Number Theory

"Gematria" is always dicey. However, the names for people, animals, and
things in Torah are usually based on some important feature by which the
person, animal, or thing is known. (This is no different than today,
when a person who does carpentry might become known as "Mr. Carpenter,"
or a person who lives in London might become "Mr. Londoner".)

Given that the spelling of these names is meaningful, and given that one
of the universals is geometry, it's possible that these numbers relate
to geometric features -- in progression -- represented by the name.

I'll bet that people who are into gematria can probably respond with
specifics. But it's worth being skeptical, because numbers by themselves
are really too "flat" to convey deep meaning. However, if you do find a
pattern for this progression, I'd certainly like to know of it.

Be well.


From: William Friedman <williamf@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 18:10:40 +0200
Subject: Number Theory

Nahum Sarna (JPS Torah Commentary on Genesis, page 324, s.v. "one
hundred and forty-seven") notes this as well, and writes:

"In this series, the squared number increases by one each time while the
coefficient decreases by two.  Furthermore, in each case the sum of the
factors is seventeen.

Through their factorial patterns, the patriarchal chronologies
constitute a rhetorical device expressing the profound biblical
conviction that Israel's formative age was not a concatenation of
haphazard incidents but a series of events ordered according to God's
grand design."

I have no clue what that means, nor do I attribute any meaning or
significance to numerical coincidence.  However, at least this one
scholar has tried to attribute some sense to the mathematical pattern.

Will Friedman 

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 07:33:38 -0500
Subject: Number Theory

Not to be a spoil sport, but I would posit the these number have no
significance whatsoever, just a cute coincidence.

True 147,175 & 180 can be factored as you show above.  And two of the
prime factors are the same - which means that these three numbers each
contain a perfect square (49,36,25.)

There's apparently a lot of "analysis" done on number runs, etc., Every
N'th letter or is it N'th word produces some mystic pattern or sentence.
Given a large enough data source (a big enough body of writing) and an
agile computer algorithm, one might find the same results from any
written text.

Carl Singer


From: Richard Rosen <richard.rosen@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 08:15:36 -0500
Subject: Quotation source

I am looking for the text of a quotation, and perhaps your subscribers
can help.  I believe it was written by a Christian cleric during WWII.
It says, in effect: When they came for the Jews I did not speak up
because I was not a Jew.  When they cam for the socialists I did not
speak up because I was not a socialist.  When they came for ... When
they came for me there was no one left to speak up for me.

I'd be grateful if anyone can provide the proper quotation and its

Richard A. Rosen, MD


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 23:09:05 +0200
Subject: Re: Saying the names of other gods

Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote:
> The Gemara in Sanhedrin 63B says: " 'Vesheim elohim acheirim lo
> tazkiru' [Shemot 23:13] -  (do not *mention* the name of other gods)

<meirman@...> (Meir) replied: 
> I think I have observed Jews who are careful not to mention yoshke,
> but don't have a problem saying the names of ancient Greek or Roman
> gods.  Is there a distinction?  What about current Hindu gods, for
> example?

I know that there is definitely an issue about naming a baby for a false
god. As far as this goes, I learnt that it depends whether this has
current relevance as a foreign deity.

The name of my two year old son is Mordechai, who is named after my
father z"l, who in turn is named after my great-grandfather ...  who
knows if more generations ...  named after Mordechai HaYehudi in
Megillat Ester.

I read in Da'at Mikra Tanach on the name Mordechai that this was
originally from the name "Marduc" of a Babylonian god, but was already
disused in this context and confused at the time of these events - thus
although not a "Jewish" name as such, could still be used by Jews.

Are there any older Rabbinic sources to back up what Da'at Mikra says,
or is this purely based on historical scholarship?

(I learnt elsewhere that a typical Jewish name in the Tanach, would
often incorporate a name of Hashem, for example with the suffix "el" or

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 07:07:36 -0500
Subject: Schools paying tuition to other schools

>Although this is not related to mail Jewish, educational institutions
>are allowed to pay tuition directly to other schools. I am not sure
>exactly why, but when I was a school administrator, I had our accountant
>verify this.

I don't know the full details, perhaps someone who's a school
administrator can step in.  But in certain circumstances this allows a
teacher to have pre-tax income used to pay their child's tuition at
another school.  So, for example, if a teacher makes $25K / year, they
can have $5K sent directly to another school in order to pay for one of
their children's tuition.  They thus make $20K taxable income and pay
less income tax than if they made $25K and paid tuition out of their

Carl Singer


End of Volume 41 Issue 82