Volume 42 Number 13
                 Produced: Sun Feb 15  0:46:47 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying RFIDs on Shabbat and Yom Tov (2)
         [David Charlap, Mike Gerver]
Davening on the beach (was "Disney World")
         [Mike Gerver]
Disney world
         [Harold Greenberg]
Disney World
         [Bill Bernstein]
Halleluya vs Halleluka
         [Michael Poppers]
Hashem in Zemirot
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Hebrew Roots
         [N Miller]
Imitation Non-Kosher Foods
Maasay Avos Siman Labonim
         [Michael Kahn]
Ramba'm Ha-Nesher Ha-Gadol
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
         [Michael Kahn]


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 10:17:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Carrying RFIDs on Shabbat and Yom Tov

Tobias Robison write:
> I'm wondering whether we will be required to remove RFIDs from any 
> clothes we plan to wear on Shabbat and Yom Tov, and would like to see
> some comments on this rather new topic. Please note that RFID 
> manufacturers are working on ways to allow us to turn RFIDs off after
> we buy clothes containing them. An "off" RFID presumably would not
> respond to any reader. Its halachic status (since it is an utterly
> useless thing at this point) might still be problematic.

I would find it hard to believe that this is something we'll have to be 
concerned with.

Within the categories of melacha, there is intentional and unintentional
work.  Within unintentional, there is work that you derive benefit from
and work that you derive no benefit from.

Everybody agrees that intentional work is prohibited, and most hold that
unintentional work is prohibited if you derive benefit from it.  But I
know of no opinions that prohibit unintentional work from which you
derive no benefit.

And in this case, you don't even know if the unintentional work is being
done, because you never have any way of knowing when the RFID tag is

Many cars have alarms that will make a noise when someone walks nearby.
  But we don't prohibit walking on the street in order to avoid the
  unintentional melacha of triggering the sensor.

This is really no different.

-- David

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 15:29:23 EST
Subject: Carrying RFIDs on Shabbat and Yom Tov

I'm certainly not a posek, but I can't imagine any reason why RFIDs, in
either their "on" or "off" state, would present any problem on Shabbat.
If I understand correctly what they are (and please correct me if I am
wrong), they are passive devices, with no power source of their own,
which, when they are exposed to electromagnetic fields at RF
frequencies, emit electromagnetic waves of a different frequency,
because of their nonlinear response, or maybe just a different
distribution of frequencies because of a linear resonant response. How
is this any different from your skin, or any article of clothing you are
wearing which is not black, which, when exposed to electromagnetic waves
in the visible range of frequencies, emits electromagnetic waves of a
different distribution of frequencies, or of a different frequency
altogether if it is fluorescent (e.g. your fingernails, or white cotton,
when exposed to ultraviolet)?

If wearing RFIDs on Shabbat does present a halachic problem, then I
guess the corollary is that you are only allowed to wear a black hat and
a black coat on Shabbat, to avoid emitting any electromagnetic radiation
in the petahertz range.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 15:50:22 EST
Subject: Davening on the beach (was "Disney World")

Tzvi Stein writes, in v42n10,

      I've definitely noticed 2 completely different approaches to such
      phenomona as minyanim at Disney World. I've seen rabbis who are
      overjoyed to hear such things... they view it as Torah being
      brought into new places and as "isn't it great that people who
      want to go to Disney world don't have to forego davening and

This reminds me of an experience I had about three years ago, not long
after we made aliyah. We were at the beach at Nitzanim, where my son was
taking photographs of sand dunes, and of the sunset. As sunset got
closer, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to get to a shul in
time for mincha, so I davened mincha by myself on the beach, even though
I was saying kaddish for my father at the time. I had seen some people
in bathing suits, both men and women, further down the beach, but it
never occurred to me that they might form a minyan. But my son, who
passed by those people on the way back to the parking lot when I was
davening mincha by myself, told me that they HAD formed a mincha minyan!
Because I had made some unwarranted assumptions about what kind of
people would or wouldn't daven mincha, I had missed a kaddish and a
chance to daven with a minyan. I'll try not to make that mistake again!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Harold Greenberg <harold.greenberg@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 14:54:22 +0200
Subject: Disney world

Several commentators quote RAV in the Jerusalem Talmud, Kiddushin 4:12
(I have not been able to verify this) to have said - in the World to
Come a man will be obliged to give an account and a reckoning before the
judgment seat of Gd for every legitimate pleasure he denied himself in
this world.


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 19:14:46 -0600
Subject: Re: Disney World

I agree with those posting that the article in the Observer was
disturbing in many ways.  But some of the posts here prompted me to
think: is the issue going to Disney World itself or is it any vacation
travel?  Would the same individual be shocked to hear that Bnei Torah
took trips to, e.g the Grand Canyon?  Is it the very act of vacationing
that is so repulsive or the choice of vacation?  I don't know.  I do
know that in Europe gedolim were want to go to spas and resorts quite
often.  What they did there would be an interesting study.  Rabbi
Yissochar Frand has an essay where he is obviously vacationing in the
White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Yes, we could certainly imagine that e.g. the Chofetz Chaim would never
go to Disneyworld.  But could we imagine him going to the Grand Canyon?
My concern here is that there may be a growing feeling that outside of
working (and maybe that too) anything other than sitting and learning is
to be condemned.

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 08:23:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Halleluya vs Halleluka

>From Mark Symons (M-J V42#08):
> I understand that unless davenning or reading a whole pasuk it is
> considered wrong to say YAH including in HALLELUYAH because it is
> supposed to be a name of Gd, so that people say HALLELUKAH instead.

(Tangential note: in writing a transliteration of or another language's
name for a Divine name, elision of letters or a dash replacing a letter
is not necessary.  Whether you write YAH or God, you're not writing a
Divine name about which erasure is a concern.)

Mark's post reminded me of a question that regularly bothers me: when
nearly every line of a modern Israeli song praising God for many things
starts with "Hal'luyah," including (for what it's worth) lines like
"Hal'luyah al mah shehayah" which intentionally repeat the "yah"
syllable for rhyming affect, is it wrong to sing the song as meant and
written?  After all, we're not trying to say Hallel, and we certainly
don't mean to invoke the Divine name in vain, but, true, we're praising
God, so we who understand the song do consider the Divine when we sing
the lyrics.  If you can argue the matter either way, and especially if
you can bring sources to bear on the matter, please reply.  Thanks!

All the best from

-- Michael Poppers via RIM pager


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 15:24:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Hashem in Zemirot

> Hence any form of PRAISE or PRAYER (Or LEARNING) can be done 
> with Gods name.

Thank you Russel, your words quoted above reminded me of a Mishna Berura
that it hadn't occurred to me to apply to this thread.

The Mishna Berura, in 5:1(3), says:
"If one is recounting G-d's great mercies to him, and begins by 
mentioning the Name, and wishes to continue his description of 
what G-d did for him, it is forbidden to interrupt, lest he not finish
his words, and thus G-d's Name was mentioned in vain". (My own 
ad hoc translation)

It seems clear from this that the Chafetz Chaim has no apparent
complaint with the actual saying of the Name, as long as some praise of
G-d is in fact following. And if the praise was said *first*, it seems
like there is no problem at all.



From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 11:35:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Hebrew Roots

Stan Tenen, who by his own admission is not a linguist, writes:

"Our roots are verb-based -- which is why Torah Hebrew is described
technically as a rheomode language."

My question is: who, aside from Stan Tenen, has ever so described Torah
Hebrew?  For that matter, who besides Stan Tenen avers that "rheomode
language" means "verb-based"?

Indeed, what is the name of a single linguist who agrees that Torah
Hebrew is "verb-based" or that, for instance, bet means "housing"?  I
don't ask for yet another long answer.  Just the names please.

Noyekh Miller


From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 18:22:31 EST
Subject: Re: Imitation Non-Kosher Foods

<< Please tell us the name of that 'Rav'. I have heard and read Rabbi's
opionioning about the onslaught of imitation non-kosher foods but not to
the extent that one should not avoid them.

Plus, I know of a woman who won't allow it for her family because she
does not want her children to be tempted to try the real treif stuff and
make the comparisons to the imitation.

-rp >>

I'm reluctant to name names because as often happens, it may get back to
the one who spoke it and then will be on the defensive from some of his
fellow rabbonim.  But the speaker often speaks about kashrus and
hasgacha and lives in the New York area.

As for your female friend--if her children are so easily tempted to try
the "real stuff" I suspect there is a lot more going on Yiddishkeit wise
with her kids than just food.



From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:39:38 -0500
Subject: RE: Maasay Avos Siman Labonim

Rav Dovid Cohen has written two volumes on Maasay Avos Siman Labonim in
which he shows how it applies to Jewish history up to the present. He is
also very careful to say over things bshem amroh and even quotes me :-)!


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 11:24:35 EST
Subject: Ramba'm Ha-Nesher Ha-Gadol

Ramba"m, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1138-1204) halachist, philosopher,
scientist, physician (doctor to the Sultan of Spain and the Vizier in
Egypt) and the leader of Egyptian Jewry. He organized halachic
subject-matter according to the theme in his influential "Mishneh
Torah." Maimonides was respectfully nicknamed "The Great Eagle," for his
far ranging and accurate sight. It is reported that the eagle sees eight
times better that humans. The eagles carry their fledglings aloft, and
not in their claws as do other birds. they carry them on their back, to
protects them from the arrows of human hunters. His wing span is up to
240 cm.  The great "Nesher," the Eagle, strongest of the Bird Kingdom,
is generally a positive symbol for, God says "I carried you on the wings
of eagles, and I brought you to Me," (Ex. 19:4) in support of the
Children of Israel as the support that the eagle gives its hatchlings.
There they are protected from above, because no bird of prey can fly
higher than the eagle, and from below, from the arrows of the hunter,
because the mother eagle prefers that they pierce her body rather than
her children. Likewise, the "Mishne Torah," the magnum opus of the
Maimonides, where that great Torah scholar is described by the
publishers as the "Nesher HaGadol," the "Great Eagle," who could fly
higher and farther than any of his contemporaries in the study of
Torah. (culled from various Internet sites) I don't know who was the
first printer or author to have called him Ha-Nesher ha-Gadol, and I
would like to hear from others on the first use.

Note that the king of Babylon was also called the "nesher ha-gadol" in
the Bible, as the eagle was the symbol of his kingdom.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:35:07 -0500
Subject: RE: Vacation

>It just seems somehow wrong to spend your precious "vacation time"
>going to a place that has no real purpose except itself.

As a matter of personal preference, I understand what you are saying. I
too prefer reading non-fictional history rather than novels because it's
real. But this is just a personal preference. I think you go to far in
calling it 'somehow wrong' to go to man made destinations.

>Where's the "tachlis"?  Disney World is a completely man-made

The tachlis is in my enjoying myself. It is in my relaxing. If we want
to justify it by relating it back to Torah and mitzvos then it is in my
relaxing so I can daven, learn, do chesed better. (Although I wonder if
how much people relax lshaim shamaim.)

>Even if I were to spend my whole vacation lying on a beach, I would
>feel there was more "tachlis" than going to Disney World...

Wouldn't you enjoy a man made lake?
The main problem with Disney World is the pritzus, if you ask me.


End of Volume 42 Issue 13