Volume 42 Number 04
                 Produced: Tue Feb  3  5:24:27 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Do potential spouses really have to tell everything
         [Rise Goldstein]
Eating Contests and Halacha (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Joel Wiesen]
Encourage Rabbinic Publication
         [Russell J Hendel]
Kim Li
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Leningrad Codex
         [Russell J Hendel]
Leningrad Codex - Karaite?
         [Yisrael Dubitsky]
Praying Aloud
         [Mark Symons]
Praying Loudly (2)
         [Mimi Markofsky, Meir]
Stock Market and Mashiach
         [Michael Kahn]
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
         [Leo Koppel]
Thank G-d for Tupperware
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Tsur Mishelo and bentching
         [Rela Mintz Geffen]


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 05:26:28 -0800
Subject: Do potential spouses really have to tell everything

Jeanette Friedman wrote:  
> I wrote off-line to the writer and said that felony crimes in a parent
> should 100% be disclosed, as should domestic violence (even misdemeanor
> domestic violence). After all there are also chromosomal predilictions
> toward violence.
> Someone must know the precise research. It's been known for decades.

I do know the research.  The weight of the evidence is that, in the
overwhelming majority of cases, there is *not* a genetic predisposition
toward violence per se.  That is, despite all the talk from politicians
and other pundits of hunting for and eradicating such a genetic factor
that folks in my field heard in the 1990s, there *isn't* what
statisticians might call a "main effect" of genetic predisposition here.
By contrast, there *is* good evidence for a genetic predisposition
toward *property* crime (theft, etc.), some of which gets classified
under felony status in various jurisdictions and some of which doesn't.

Some of the more interesting pieces of the puzzle include the following.
First, there is a relatively rare genetic predisposition, limited to men
and transmitted from father to son, toward "Type 2 alcoholism," which
includes both the alcohol abuse/dependence piece and violently
antisocial behavior.  However, this accounts for very little of the
total universe of violent behavior, particularly in the domestic sphere,
which I suspect is of special concern to Ms. Friedman.

Second, there is "gene-environment interaction" that apparently can
predispose to violence.  That is, with a particular genetic background,
someone reared or living as an adult in one set of circumstances would
be at no greater risk for violence than a member of the general
population, but in a different environment would be more prone to behave
violently.  AFAIK, the genetic background at issue here hasn't been
fully characterized; certainly, no genes have been identified or cloned.

In the interest of not taking up bandwidth by going into additional
detail, I will once again extend my offer to provide bibliographic
citations or answer further questions to the best of my ability by
private e-mail.

Shabbat shalom--

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


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 11:02:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Eating Contests and Halacha

Mordechai Phyllostac wrote <<< Anyway, I think such contests should be
opposed and not allowed, as they are not in accordance with the Torah
view of eating, are not healthy and promote waste ('bal tashchis') ... I
wonder if any Rabbis have spoken out about this phenomenon ... >>>

I don't know if any rabbis have spoken out, but my dear wife certainly
has. On more than one occasion, as I protested her discarding of
leftovers, she answered: "Look, it can go in the garbage or it can go in
your extra-large stomach. You really think the garbage can is the worse
bal tashchis? I don't think so!"

Akiva Miller

From: Joel Wiesen <wiesen@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 09:28:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Eating Contests and Halacha

The Artscroll text on Brachos (by Forst) speaks against such contests.
I did not find the exact comment, but I recall it being strong.

Shabbat Shalom,


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 00:20:37 -0500
Subject: Encourage Rabbinic Publication

It was refreshing hearing J Backon mentioned that Yadin Yadin requires

I agree that the distinction between "Rabbi" vs "Ph.d." lies not in
mastery of a field but in publication.

But if that is the case maybe we should ENCOURAGE our potential Rabbis
to publish

First this would remove the myth that the Rabbinate is simply memorizing

Secondly the ACT of publication sharpens ones analytic skills and ones
capacity for debate.

Thirdly: Publication can be fun. I annually Judge in the New York math
fair. This fair encourages high school students from all over to write a
paper.  It is a great fair...the students get involved and the parents
are proud. And just because it is fun doesnt mean that the students dont
learn alot.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA


From: <Danmim@...> (Dovid)
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 18:23:17 EST
Subject: Re: Kaddish

Why is the name of G-D not used in the Kaddish?


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 08:31:46 -0500
Subject: Kim Li

No -- Kim Li is not an oriental martial arts actor, it is a halachic
(Jewish legal) principle.

If I understand it correctly, it goes as follows:

Reuven is bringing Shimon to Bais Din (court) to sue him for a sum of
money.  Reuven has the obligation of proving his case (HaMotzei Mi
Chavero Alav HaRiah).  He brings an halachic opinion that supports his
claim.  Now -- in defense -- Shimon brings a conflicting halachic
opinion that counters Reuven's claim.  Since a conflicting opinion
exists, Reuven has not proved his case, and he loses.

Now -- here is the question.  To claim "kim li," Shimon must bring a
conflicting opinion.  But -- there are often many opinions that can be
found.  Some are due to major poskim (halachic authorities).  Some are
due to minor, and largely forgotten sources.  Some may be from sources
that are largely discredited.  Just how "major" must a source be for
Shimon to use it for "kim li?"  How is this judgement made by the bais


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 00:21:36 -0500
Subject: RE: Leningrad Codex

A quick comment on the Leningrad codex.If someone had it in their
possession for a while then they may have made personal comments and
emendations to the text (not necessary maliciously)

I have a famiscle of the 1971 edition. There are definitely erasure
marks in it and there are definitely errors. For example PSALM 114 is a
header for BOTH PSALM 114 and 115 while what we call PSALM 116 is called
PSALM 115.

(It wouldnt surprise me if the PSALM numbers were eg added by one of the
purchasers of the Codex (hence the errors) and not necessarily but the
original author. But in any event we DO have errors in the text.

I have never seen anyone comment on this. If anyone knows further things
on this I would like to know.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA


From: Yisrael Dubitsky <Yidubitsky@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 16:28:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Leningrad Codex - Karaite?

> >Stan Tenen wrote : "The Leningrad Codex is about 1000 years old, and
> >was produced in Cairo. It is a Karaite codex. It has full Masoretic
> >notes and vowelization."
>IIRC, Karaite or not, that is a subject of a very major dispute. Aron
>Dotan's monograph (published by the IOMS - Int'l Organization for
>Massoretic Studies) I believe holds that it was, but many other
>Massoretic Scholars disagree, I dare say most hold otherwise, against
>Dotan. For instance, R Mordecai Breuer.

I believe this is incorrect. Prof. Dotan makes that case that Aharon and
Moshe (his father) ben Asher were NOT Karaites. He does not discuss the
Leningrad Codex per se, except to analyze one of the poems at the back
of it, from which he again suggests that the ben Ashers were not
Karaites. In fact, one of his proofs is that there is in it reference to
Hanukkah, something a Karaite would not do. Now, the Codex text itself
and the accompanying masorah were not written by ben Asher; only later
was it corrected by the original masorete to comply with ben Asher. The
scribe/masorete was probably not a Karaite; the artist of those "carpet
pages" is unknown -- for all we know he may have been a Karaite. That
Karaites at one time owned it is not significant vis a vis the original
text or illustrations. It is hardly indisputably "a Karaite codex." But,
then, I only see geometric shapes on the cited page, not a menorah, so
it wouldnt matter anyway.

>Perhaps a detailed study of the carpet pages and their micrography could
>help to tell us of its origin.

There was one done by B Narkiss some years back, although your page was
not among those included. There were no radical conclusions vis a vis
the artist's alleged links to Karaism.



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 08:26:27 +1100
Subject: Re: Praying Aloud

ArtScroll says that you should say the silent amida loud enough for you
to hear your own voice (though it doesn't specify whether whispering
satisfies that criterion) - what is the source of this?

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Australia


From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 00:30:44 EST
Subject: Re: Praying Loudly

With regard to "praying loudly" and signs - we have a member of our shul
who put little cards on every seat prior to Kol Nidre that said "If you
are talking you are not davening".  Needless to say, nobody speaks to
him at all!

Mimi Markofsky

From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 19:12:26 -0500
Subject: Praying Loudly

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote:
>As regards Shema one is supposed to say it so that one's ears hear what
>one's mouth utters  but not necessarily the ears of one's neighbour. It
>is only with regard to shemonei esrei that there is a definite
>prohibition on others hearing what one says.

My rabbi gave me the impression that one should say mourners and
yahrtseit Kaddish so that a minyan's worth of men can hear it.  Did I
understand correctly?



From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 14:54:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Stock Market and Mashiach

>Might Tupperware be a good stock to buy as investment?

Will there be a stock market when mashiach comes? Will you care about
profit anymore?


From: Leo Koppel <wallyut@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 15:32:28 -0700
Subject: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

>From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
>I agree wholeheartedly with Shalom Carmy.  To put it a bit more bluntly,
>when a scientist or engineer makes a mistake, we know about it because
>unless the engineering is correct, the metaphoric airplane won't fly.  In
>other words, in the technical and scientific world, there are performance
>standards that keep the researchers honest.

>However, in non-technical scholarship, there is no "bottom line".  One gets
>ahead by telling one's mentors what they want to hear, which is basically
>an extension and confirmation of the world-view and work of the
>mentor.  Thus, scholarship rapidly drifts away from reality because there
>is no way to see if it "works", and because what's acceptable is based on
>fad, style, and pecking order.

You might want to read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn
before you argue that technical and non-technical scholarship are so

Yonatan Mehaber


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <hsabbam@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 12:44:56 -0500
Subject: RE: Thank G-d for Tupperware

>From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
>That is where Tupperware comes in.  It is made of plastic, and to the
>best of my understanding, plastic is not mekabel tumah (capable of
>becoming impure).  Tupperware, and other plastic implements and utensils
>will make our lives much easier.
>Might Tupperware be a good stock to buy as investment?

Rabbi Reisman in on of his recent tapes brought up the fact that gloves
will be needed.  He pointed out that when Shmuel killed Agag, or when
Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi, they could have required gloves so as
not to become tamei.  IIRC they would have needed two pairs of gloves so
that the tum'ah does not cause the gloves (which are now tamei) to make
the person tamei.  I think that is because the level of tumah for a
sword is higher than a regular object that touches a dead body.

The comment about plastic means that a person can wear platic disposable
gloves and not become tamei at all.  Just pull out the gloves and put
them on before touching anything tamei.

Sounds like a good investment.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahillel@...>


From: <Rela1@...> (Rela Mintz Geffen)
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 23:38:39 EST
Subject: Re: Tsur Mishelo and bentching

I have often visited the home of sephardi friends on Shabbat both in the
US and in Israel. They sing Tsur Mishelo as the lead in to Birkat
HaMazon instead of Shir HaMaalot. I don't know if this is a well known
minhag. Perhaps someone on the listserve knows the origin of this custom
and how widespread it is.

Dr. Rela Mintz Geffen, President
Baltimore Hebrew University


End of Volume 42 Issue 4