Volume 41 Number 88
                 Produced: Sun Jan 18 12:47:42 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Yehuda Landy]
Church to Synagogue
         [Joseph Tabory]
Entering a Church (3)
         [Wendy Baker, Gil Student, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Left at the Church?
         [Gil Student]
Location of Selichot in Tefilah
         [Martin Stern]
Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact (5)
         [Yehuda Landy, Mark Steiner, Stan Tenen, Gil Student, Yisrael
Who carries Sefer Torah in Women's Section
         [Aliza Berger]


From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 15:23:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Bekorot-8B

> From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
> Can anyone help me with the real meaning of the rather strange debate
> between R. Yehoshu'a and the elders of the Athenian academy on Bechorot
> 8b?

	The Gr"a has a fascinating explanation. It can be found in
English in the book "The Juggler and the King".

	All the best.
Yehuda Landy


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 15:47:45 +0200
Subject: RE: Church to Synagogue

The beis hamidrash hagadol, on the lower East side of New York, was
originally a church. The church community moved several times, ending up
as Union Church on the upper East Side, not far from JTS. The archivist
of the church was kind enough to give me a photograph of the original
church building and it is interesting to compare it with the synagogue
building. Besides taking off the cross which crowned the building, they
also removed the crenellation along the roof, assuming, perhaps, that
this was characteristic of a church.

Joseph Tabory
13 Zerach Barnet St., Jerusalem 95404, Israel
tel: 02-6519575


From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 10:59:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Entering a Church

I am involved in food reclaimation.  As many of the places that house
soup kitchens and food pantries for the hungry are in church basements,
etc.  some volunteers have asked the question.  Every rabbi that had
headed our shul has said that there is no problem, as we are not going
either to the sanctuary or for services.

Wendy Baker

From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 10:25:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Entering a Church

I would be very hesitant to enter a church for any reason. Of course,
ask your local rabbi and follow his ruling. But see the following
responsa on the subject:

Yabia Omer, vol. 2 Yoreh Deah no. 11, vol. 7 Yoreh Deah no. 12 Tzitz
Eliezer vol. 14 no. 91

Gil Student

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 12:55:43 EST
Subject: Entering a Church

Gad J. Frumkin, the only Jewish Supreme Court justice in Mandatory
Palestine, tells of the event he attended in the early 1920s in
Jerusalem (No year was stated):

"On the day of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Ottoman yoke, on
December 9, in the morning there was a prayer (1) in the St. George's
church ... among the participants was the Rabbi Yaakov Meir (2) who came
in his official dress with his many medals which he received from the
Turkish Sultan, and the Greek and British Kings" Gad Frumkin, Darach
Shofet biRushalayim, Tel-Aviv, 1955, p. 294. [my free translation - GJG]

(1) I assume some kind of ceremony rather than a prayer service (GJG)
(2) Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Jakob [his way of spelling!] Meir
(1856-1935), an activist for the development of Jerusalem, and a major
figure in the renewal of the Hebrew language.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 10:28:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Left at the Church?

Daryl Vernon wrote:

> Has anyone encountered a synagogue such as in one small Ontario town,
> where many decades ago a church building was converted, so to speak,
> this having been fairly easy for correct directional orientation &
> lack of grosser inappropriate prior embellishment?

R' Yosef Shaul Nathanson has two teshuvos, from 1858, in which he
permits converting a Protestant church in New York into a shul.

Shu"t Sho'el u-Meishiv, mahadurah 1 vol. 3 nos. 72-73

Gil Student


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 14:07:42 +0000
Subject: Re: Location of Selichot in Tefilah

> Selichos were originally part of the sixth b'racha of Tefilla.  When
> the practice developed to omit s'lichos from the body of Tefilla, they
> were given the next available slot.

They still are said in the 6th b'racha in shuls following the German
Ashkenazi nusach

Martin Stern


From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 15:20:59 +0200
Subject: Re: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

	The most popular source for this, is Rashi in Massechet Succah
41a, based on the possuk in Az Yashir "Mikdash Hashem Ko'nnu
Yodecha". This is also the opinion of Rabbeinu B'chya (sorry I don't
have the source handy). The Rambam (Hilchot Melachim) mentions that the
Moshiach will build the Beit Hamikdash.

	The timeline is a much more complicated issue. The Yerushalmi
Masser Sheini 5:2 states that the Beit Hamikdash will be built before
Ben Dovid arrives. But of course this could mean that it would be built
by humans before Moshiach comes. According to some acharonim, were it
possible to build a Beit Hamikdash nowadays, we would build it in the
same format that the second Beit Hamikdash had. Only at a later period
will the heavenly one descend, and it will match the description of
Yechezkeil's Beit Hamikdash.

	Interestingly, one of the Dead Sea Scroll documents has the
people yearning for the heavenly Beit Hamikdash to descend, with
reference to the possuk from Az Yashir mentioned above. Keep in mind
that this was written while the Second Beit Hamikdash was standing. This
clearly shows us that the sequence of events as described above is a
very ancient tradition.

	May we merit to see this happen in the very near future.

Yehuda Landy

P.S. The Dead sea Scroll document mentioned above is currently on
exhibit in the Israel Museum, and will remain there until Feb.

> From: Elana Schachter <elana@...>
> Can someone in this illustrious and knowledgable group tell me the
> source of the fact? midrash? gemara? that the third temple will descend
> intact from Heaven? Any information about the timeline would be
> interesting to me also: will this happen before or after Mashiach is
> revealed? Before or after tchias hameisim?

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 14:26:03 +0200
Subject: RE: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

On the idea that the Third Beit Hamikdash will come from Heaven:
cf. Rashi to Sukkah 41a s.v. Iy Nami, where he offers this as an
explanation how the Temple could be built on Yom Tov, as the Talmud
there suggests.  He does, however, hint that he believes this regardless
of the particular problem that this solves, and bases his faith on the
verse "konenu yadekha" at the end of the shirat hayam (Song of the Sea),
which implies that the Almighty is the Builder of the Holy Temple.

Mark Steiner 

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 09:02:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

Not having a yeshiva background, I'll leave it to others to find the
sources for you.

But the reason the third temple descends from heaven intact, is because
the Third Temple is the earthly embodiment of the Pardes experience of
Rabbi Akiba.

Pardes is reached by meditation.  The word itself stands for the
integration of the four levels of Torah: Pshat, Remez, Drash, and Sod.
The Pshat leads some to believe that the Temple is primarily a physical
entity.  Well, it certainly was.  But even more important than the
physical Temple is our access to the spiritual Temple, in Pardes, in the
Heavenly Jerusalem, where Moshiach can be found, which we must regain
_before_ we can rebuild the physical Temple.

The Pardes meditation is not for everyone.  One of Rabbi Akiba's highly
qualified co-meditators was so entranced by the experience that he never
returned from it, and died.  A second came out of the experience, but
was so overwhelmed as to be non-functional.  Acher returned with his
intellect intact, but with his spirituality severed. (In modern lingo,
you might say he "had a bad trip".)

The Pardes meditation leads to an ego-death and rebirth experience,
which is why the early Christians came to externalize this information,
and made it into the life-story of their hero.  When externalized, the
Pardes meditation becomes the "hero's journey" of the local idol-hero in
every faith and mythology.  These ideas are not generally known, because
in less than fully mature hands, they can mislead some to idolatry
instead of to Hashem.

So, part of the answer to your question is, Moshiach, the Temple, and
the Pardes meditation are linked and appear together.

We know that Moshiach is waiting in Pardes, because Ramban, in his
famous disputation with Pablo Christiani under James I of Aragon, tells
us that Moshiach is waiting in Gan Eden.  Gan Eden is identified with
Pardes.  Why?  We gain our volition and our "skins" in Gan Eden, and to
get to Pardes, we (like Rabbi Akiba), must shed our ego, the carrier of
our volition, and lose our "skins". (As you may recall, Rabbi Akiba
designated Ben Kassiba as Bar Kochba -- Moshiach -- and was ultimately
"skinned alive" by the Romans.)

The Pardes meditation is preserved in the letter-text of Torah, the Sod
level of Torah.  Rabbi Akiba was the "master of the letters" (and the
person who wrote down Sefer Yetzirah), so he was uniquely qualified to
internalize the letter-text of Torah and, because he was also shalaym
(whole/balanced, and bitul), to reach Pardes and to return intact.

As to timeline: The Pardes meditation is still in the letter-text of
Torah.  It's available at any time.  There is no predetermined time or
place for Moshiach. When and where is entirely up to each of us.  It's
not even entirely clear that Moshiach is a person or persons.  Moshiach
may simply be the name for the experience of reaching Pardes and
returning.  This is a life-changing experience, because of its
intensity.  So, perhaps the simple teaching that Moshiach will come when
we all keep Shabbos for two Shabboses is really meaningful.  When only
individuals are able to reach Pardes, it may be that Moshiach does not
reside on Earth (as can be seen by the story of Rabbi Akiba -- perhaps
Bar Kochba would have "been" Moshiach, if Rabbi Akiba's three companions
in meditation had been as successful as he was.) But when all of Am
Israel is in harmony, as we will be when we all keep Shabbos, then the
experience of Moshiach can be seen in the world, and effective

What I've written here is based on new research, and on materials that
are not often discussed -- such as Mishna Ain Dorshin ("Do Not
Discuss"), Chagigah, BT, where the story of Rabbi Akiba can be found.

Be well.


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 14:39:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

It would be incorrect to call this a fact. It is a matter of dispute
whether the future Temple will be built by G-d or by man. There are many
was to harmonize the different opinions, but the simplest reading is
that there is a disagreement on the matter.

As to your specific question, see Rashi, Tosafos, Ritva and Rashba on
Sukkah 41a.

Gil Student

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 21:05:43 +0200
Subject: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

This is a major dispute between Rashi, Tosefot, Rashba, Ritba,
HaMe'iri, Rav Saadya Gaon, etc, & et al.

Exodus 15:17
Rosh Hashana 30A  (Rashi beginning Ee Nami)
Sukkah 41A
Shvuot 15B
Midrash Tanhuma Breishit on Asher bara Elokim la'asot

Enough for a start?

Yisrael Medad


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 22:30:10 +0200
Subject: Who carries Sefer Torah in Women's Section

Jeffrey Aaronson wrote:
<<When we return the Torah, it is carried through the women's section.  At
other shul's where this is done, who carries the Torah - a man or a

The answer is, it depends on the shul. I have seen and participated in
both.  I think I have even heard that there is a shul where the man does
not directly hand the Torah to the woman, but puts it down and she picks
it up.  The argument against a man carrying it through the women's
section is that it mixes the sexes unnecessarily. I am not sure what the
argument is in favor of a man carrying it through the women's section
rather than a woman - maybe the handoff problem. In my personal
experience, there was once a problem when the man handing it to me just
sort of stood there and held it close to him, rather than holding it out
toward me. I think he was new to the shul. But usually it is quite
modest and not a problem.

Aliza Berger, PhD, Director
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


End of Volume 41 Issue 88