Volume 42 Number 15
                 Produced: Tue Feb 17  6:28:37 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Article in Jewish Observer
         [Eugene Bazarov]
Disney world
         [Akiva Miller]
Halleluya vs Halleluka
         [Akiva Miller]
Hebrew Roots
         [Stan Tenen]
         [Michael Kahn]
Ramba'm Ha-Nesher Ha-Gadol
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Stock Market and Mashiach
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
What's Jesus?
         [Robert Sussman]


From: Eugene Bazarov <evbazarov@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 11:59:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Article in Jewish Observer

From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
>Although, as did S. Wise, I would disagree with much of the content, the
>JO and the Agudah world are not the only place where it is pointed out
>that observant Jews spend too much time in trying to act like non-Jews
>and stay within halachic confines.
>Are we a community of "reverse Marranos'?

The short answer is "Yes". We are reverse Marranos. (Perhaps a more
technical term is that we have acculturated but not assimilated. ) And
"Yes" it is lamentable but it is unavoidable. It is simply human
nature. There has never been a more powerful and exciting culture then
Western culture. Locking our children away from this culture
(e.g. Monroe, Tush, Lakewood,...) will not work. They will see it and be
attracted to it.

Now what is to be done?

Perhaps the shir at Disney world is not a bad idea? We are going to go
to Disney anyway. Talking against going to Disney will not work. If we
are going to Shea anyway, maybe there should be kosher franks there? It
is perhaps a little shortsighted to think otherwise.

E.V. Bazarov


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 11:21:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Disney world

Zvi Greenberg quoted the Jerusalem Talmud accurately: <<< 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. >>>

The operative word, of course, is "legitimate". Not everyone will agree
on what's legitimate and what's not.

Akiva Miller


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 11:46:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Halleluya vs Halleluka

Mark Symons wrote <<< 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. >>>

This *is* the way I see most people act, but I'm not sure if it is
required or even proper.

Let's look at some other constructs which contain's G-d's name: the
place-name "Beit El", the person-names "Ariel" and "Yeshayah". As far as
I know, no one pronounces these as "Beit Kel", "Arikel", or "Yeshakah".
Even in the case of "Beit El", where there is a blank space in the
middle, we consider it to be a single name (like "Kiryat Arba" or "New
York") and the meanings of the separate words is distinctly secondary.

Accordingly, it seems to me that "halleluyah" is a new word, with an
independent meaning, notwithstanding the fact that it's new meaning is
very similar to that of the words it is made from -- just like "Beit El"
is! (Specifically, I would suggest that "halleluyah" is no longer a
command meaning "Praise G-d", but is rather an interjection or
exclamation like "amen" or "selah".)

Is there a fault in my logic somewhere, or can anyone offer an
explanation why people treat "halleluyah" differently than these other

(PS: I must admit that I *have* heard people use the pronunciation "Beit
Kel", but it is almost always meant jokingly, and often in sentences
such as "If we go to Beit Kel, I'll buy you a bottle of Ginger Kale." Or
maybe I'm wrong -- Do people actually refer to the place that way?)

Akiva Miller


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 12:32:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Hebrew Roots

>From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
>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.

 From the middle of p. 30:
"Now, in some ancient languages -- for example, Hebrew -- the verb was in 
fact taken as primary, in the sense described above. Thus, the root of 
almost all words in Hebrew was a certain verbal form, while adverbs, 
adjectives and nouns were obtained by modifying the verbal form with 
prefixes, suffixes, and in other ways. However, in modern Hebrew the actual 
usage is similar to that of English, in that the noun is in fact given a 
primary role in its meaning even though in the formal grammar all is still 
built from the verb as a root."

 From the bottom of p. 30 - top of page 31:
"...Similarly, we will now consider a mode in which movement is to be taken 
as primary in our thinking and in which this notion will be incorporated 
into the language structure by allowing the verb rather than the noun to 
play a primary role. As one develops such a mode and works with it for a 
while one may obtain the necessary skill in using it, so that it will also 
come to function whenever it is required, without the need for conscious 
choice. For the sake of convenience we shall give this mode a name, i.e., 
the _rheomode_ ("rheo" is from a Greek verb, meaning "to flow")."

The above quotations are from "Wholeness and the Implicate Order," by
David Bohm, (c)1980.

As you may or may not know, David Bohm was at the time a leading
world-class expert in quantum mechanics, but neither a linguist nor to
my knowledge a person with a yeshiva education (but I could be wrong on

Lest this trouble you, let me point out that it is not uncommon for
outside expertise to be flatly rejected by insiders.

Perhaps there are linguists and/or persons with Talmudic knowledge of this 
subject who might find references that you might be more likely to 
appreciate. (In fact, I'd like to see additional references also.)

It is not uncommon for important discoveries to come from "outside the 
box", though it is very uncommon for those "inside the box" to see them 
coming, or accept them when they do.

Be well.

Meru Foundation  http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>
POB 503, Sharon, MA 02067 USA  Voice: 781-784-8902 eFax: 253-663-9273


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:35:58 -0500
Subject: RE: Internet

>That being said, [the internet] is also a purveyor of "kol davar assur"
>with emphasis on "kol".

Have filtering software been developed that adequately block these
things? The original filters weren't perfect. But I would assume by now
they are.


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:24:13 EST
Subject: Ramba'm Ha-Nesher Ha-Gadol

Rambam, 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. But Rambam was not the
only one who was called "Ha-Nesher Ha-Gadol," but rather one of the more
important ones. In fact many rabbis over the centuries were called by
that honorific title. Among these are: Abravanel, Ramban, Hatam Sofer,
Mahar"m Halevi, Yosef Taitatzeck, Mohari"t, Yaakov bei Rav, Rashbetz,
Haim from Zanz, Rashash, Ha-Ari, Menachem Mendel Shneirson, Nathan Adler
and others

Note that the king of Babylon was also called the "nesher ha-gadol" in
the Bible (Ezekiel 17:3), as the eagle was the symbol of his kingdom.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 18:45:09 +0200
Subject: RE: Stock Market and Mashiach

 In MJv42n06, in reposnse to Michael Kahn's question, <Will there be a
 stock market when mashiach comes? Will you care about profit anymore?>>

Perry Zamek writes, 

 <<I should hope we will.
IIRC, Rambam writes: "There is no difference between Olam Hazeh [the
present world] and Yemot HaMashiach [the days of the Mashiach] except
only for our subservience to the nations [Shibud Malchuyot]".

In other words, we will still go about our normal lives, albeit with a
true Jewish leadership in place in Eretz Yisrael. (Certain halachot will
return to being d'oraitha, but that's a separate thread.)

Looking forward to those days (and considering the investment in
non-Tumah goods).>> 

I won't get into an ideological debate about capitalism, of which I am
rather less enamored than my friend and colleague Perry, and which in my
opinion has in fact caused much of the suffering and injustice in the
world.  The rampant capitalist ideology that has grown more and more
dominant in Israel in the past three decades, and particularly in recent
years, has caused much suffering to the ordinary Israeli on the street,
ve-od yado netuyah.

But I said I wouldn't talk about it. To return to Rambam, and texts on
which one can agree: Everyone always quotes what he says about "shibud
malkhuyot," and ignores what he says a few halakhot further on, in the
very last halakha of the entire Yad, in Hilkhot Melakhim 12.5:

      In those days there will be neither hunger nor was, neither
      jealousy nor competition (kinah ve-taharut), for there will be
      great abundance, and delicacies will be as common as dust, and the
      whole world will only be engaged in acquiring knowledge of

All this, it is true, will be within the bounds of natural law: that is,
according to Rambam, the pastries growing on trees and lions lying down
with lambs are metaphor, not literal truths (ibid., supra), but there
will be no need for peopel to exert themselves nor to concern themselves
with economic profit and the like.

I understand this to clearly imply that the market economy as we know it
will cease to exist.  Anyway, why would you want to play the stock
market when you can sit all day in yeshiva and perhaps learn a
geshmackde Rambam?

   Yehonatan Chipman 


From: <Robsussman@...> (Robert Sussman)
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 07:58:13 EST
Subject: Re:  What's Jesus?

I would suggest that you explain it to him in the simplest terms
possible.  Jesus was a man who (may have) lived approximately 2000 years
ago and who some people decided to worship as their god.  You can point
out that approximately 70 - 120 years after his death, some people who
had never met him decided to compile stories about him along with some
of his teachings.  Those stories are just that - fictional stories (I
would suggest you prompt them for details about a family relative who
lived so long ago and see how much they know!).  Thereafter, his
followers were quite successful in converting others to their beliefs,
usually by the sword and other threats of violence/death.

I would continue by saying that there is serious debate regarding
whether this person referred to as Jesus ever actually existed.  Because
he was a Jew, those who decided to worship him considered him to be a
Jewish prophet.  This will provide you an opportunity to point out
portions of the Torah which refer to what must be done in the case of a
prophet that attempts to lead us astray from Torah (see, for example,
Devarim 13:2).

You may also want to say that throughout our history there have been
several individuals who claimed to be the mashiach.  To my knowledge,
Jesus represents the only widely followed figure who lacked rabbinic
endorsement.  In other words, although he, or more likely those who
wrote about him long after he was dead, claimed he was the mashiach,
there was no rabbinic endorsement regarding this claim as there was, for
example, in the case of Sabatai Tzvi.  Bringing up the topic of mashiach
will enable you to learn what I like to refer to as the "job
description" for the mashiach.  Make a list of the "job
responsibilities" of the mashiach, and then run through the list to show
how Jesus failed to meet the job qualifications.  In short, learning
about another religion can and should provide a springboard to better
understanding Judaism.

By the way, I don't think you need to get into the theology behind the
trinity - your average believing Christian cannot explain the concepts
behind the trinity (and I say this as an Orthodox Jew who can!).

All the best -
Robert Sussman


End of Volume 42 Issue 15