Volume 42 Number 30
                 Produced: Wed Mar  3  5:41:37 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dani-el or Daniel (2)
         [Ben Katz, Nathan Lamm]
Halachic fish
Niddah program
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Non-Dairy Creamer/Bacon Bits
         [Bernard Raab]
Shiur from Rav Shlomo Riskin
         [David I. Cohen]
Weddings in Shuls
         [Janice Gelb]
Yom HaAtzmaut
         [Abie Zayit]


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:02:19 -0600
Subject: Re: Dani-el or Daniel

>From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
>I must say that that although the first part of the posting found its
>way into the Da'at Mikrah commentary, I nonetheless find this
>inconceivable. How could the Possuk/Yeshezkeil mention a name Daniel
>referring to a person who is never mentioned in Tanach? Is there any
>other example of this in Tanach?

         Amrafel melech Shinar (Gen. 14) might be Hammurabi.  Bilaam ben
Beor is mentioned in an extra-Biblical source (the Dier el Yasin
combinations).  There are plenty of individuals mentioned in Tanach in a
single location about whom we know nothing else, and plenty of
characters missing that we only know about from extra-Biblical sources
(e.g., Sargon, king of Asyria whom the Bible skips over, despite the
fact that he played a significant role in the exile of the Northern
kingdom after Sancherev died).  Unlike ArtScroll and perhaps Mr. Landy,
the authors of Daat Mikra are very aware of modern archeological
findings, geography and linguistics and incorporate much of that
material into their commentaries.

>I need not mention that the second half of the posting is totally

         To whom?  It obviously got thru our moderator who is quite
careful (and i know whence I speak, as at least one of my previous
postings was deemed unacceptable and did not get in [I am sure my
friends in Skokie are not surprised to hear that])

         shabat shalom.

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 13:02:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Dani-el or Daniel

Yehuda Landy wrote:

"How could the Possuk/Yeshezkeil mention a name Daniel referring to a
person who is never mentioned in Tanach? Is there any other example of
this in Tanach?"

Certainly. Some kings of, say, Egypt or Moav or Assyria or Babylon or
Persia which are mentioned only in passing in Tanach have much more
extensive histories elsewhere. This doesn't make Tanach outdated at all-
it just gives different layers to readers at different times.

In addition, there are many references in Tanach to events not
elaborated upon within Tanach itself. The Nephilim, for example, or the
story of Lemech is treated as if there's much more to the story that was
well known at the time, but is not recorded here. To take a timely
example, "Hu Achashveirosh" could be taken to mean "This is the famous
Achashveirosh who you've heard other things about already." Furthermore,
the Tanach lists dozens of books not in Tanach, like the Divrei Hayamim
of various kings, and even of Hashem, making only passing reference (if
at all) to their contents. Of course, various Midrashim tell some of
these stories, but they never claim to be those books themselves.

The Neviim Acharonim also make frequent mention of events for reference
purposes- "Like it happened in the time of the earthquake," or "It was
at the time that X did Y" without elaborating further.

"I need not mention that the second half of the posting is totally

Why not? I never said which is the "real" story behind, say, Noach (but
see below). As for Iyov, many say the story is, essentially, fiction,
perhaps based on an older story. For a more recent example, take the
Kuzari- based on an older story (the conversion of the Khazars) that may
or may not have been true (or may have been true in some details only)
which R. Yehuda Halevi then took and used as a base for a work of

So too, Moshe Rabbenu (or, as suggested by the Gemara, someone much
later) took the story of Iyov and used it as a base for a work of Jewish
thought. And so with Noach: Compare the Gilgamesh version with Tanach,
and see which is the far more moral story. I can't say anything about
Daniel, though, because I don't know much behind that. But there are
other stories about Daniel not in Tanach which clearly use him as a
historical wise man to base (probably) fictional stories on, which would
lead some to wonder about the book itself. Note, of course, that Daniel
is in Kesuvim, not in Neviim.

I imagine an issue some people might have is that we know what's
mythology. The legends of the Greek gods are mythology, of course, as is
probably much of the works of Homer. We feel comfortable saying
that. And, if we didn't have Biblical parallels, we'd probably feel
comfortable dismissing flood stories found elsewhere as mythology. Or,
for example, if we found Bilaam stories- as we have- independent of
Tanach, we'd dismiss them. However, these stories and characters do
appear in Tanach, in one form or another, and so we'd prefer not to
think that they also appear in "non-kosher" sources.

But why not? I'm not going so far as those who would suggest that the
Torah simply made up a story about a well-known character- why go so
far? It's certainly possible that Bilaam appears in more than one
source, if he was famous- and it's likely that if he was so well-known
as the Torah suggests, that he'd appear elsewhere as well. And the same
would go for stories of Noach, or Adam for that matter- why shouldn't
they appear in other cultures' documents? And who's to say which story
is historically real- or whether any are?  The stories of the Flood, and
especially Gan Eden, may have more metaphor than fact in them. In fact,
you'd be hard-pressed to explain the story of Gan Eden (or the first
perek in Bereishis) non-metaphorically.

I'm troubled by the use of the word "unacceptable."  How so?

Nachum Lamm


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 10:55:40 -0500
Subject: Halachic fish

>From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
>> "Yes, if you're famished, and you're at a truck stop in the middle of
>> nowhere, and all they have left is the flounder, it's better you eat
>> that than get sick,"
>... Unless the danger is VERY EXTREME it would be forbidden to eat that

I'm not commenting on how sick is sick, or the quality of the example,
only on the use of flounder as an example.

I guess "that fish" refers to uninspected fish cooked on the trief grill
of a truck stop.

But otherwise, what's wrong with flounder?

"One can purchase filets such as tuna, skinless salmon, sardines,
herring, sole & flounder etc. with proper kosher supervision, that is
that a religious individual has physically seen every fish with the skin
intact & can testify that all of the filets are from kosher fish."

"Worms In Fish? Fish that feed on the bottom of the ocean, like haddock,
flounder and sole, are especially susceptible to having worms in the
flesh of the fish. The fish eat parasites that contain some of these
worms and they will work their way through the intestines and into the
flesh of the fish. Not all of the worms in the flesh have originated on
the outside, some may actually originate in the flesh. The fish fillets
can be put on a light table and checked for worms.

Most fish are worm free. [Not sure if this means most species of fish or
most flounder. Meir] Only the ones that originate from parasites would
not be permitted to consume..."

"The John dory is a non-kosher flat fish similar to the kosher flat fish
sole / flounder. The dory will have a large dark spot on the skin, yet
when it is filleted there is no dark spot on the flesh & it is almost
identical to the sole / flounder fish. Even the average fish merchant
can only guess as to what type of fish the filet came from."

So one needs to be concerned about worms and about mistaking one fish
for another, but that doesn't mean flounder is treif (used

I think the notion that flounder is treif comes from the fact that it is
a bottom feeder, but bottom feeding is not prohibited, afaik.
Apparently haddock and sole feed off the bottom too.

And I've read about this and I'm pretty sure cows and chickens for the
kosher market have never been fed animal-based feed, anywhere.  But if
they were, isn't it true that if it did not make them sick, they would
still be suitable for kosher slaughter?

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 18:31:36 +0200
Subject: Niddah program

Ulrich Greve thanks those who undertook to test his Niddah software
calculation program, but has stopped working on it as there is a free
Niddah calculation program entitled "Vestos" labelled "a Rabbinically
approved computer program for your personal Taharas Hamishpachah

This can be downloaded at: http://www.torahsoftware.org/



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:45:16 -0500
Subject: Non-Dairy Creamer/Bacon Bits

I was always taught that the appropriate response to non-kosher food is
not revulsion but acceptance of its desirability, or even admiration, so
as to emphasize that we reject it l'shem mitzvah and not because we
consider it unfit for consumption. And the bacon bits are really good in
a salad or an omelet!

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:50:49 -0500
Subject: Shiur from Rav Shlomo Riskin

In #14 Bernie Raab replied to my post concerning
"reverse marranos" as follows:

<<Of course we expect our Rabbis to preach for greater torah observance
and more Jewish learning. But where in Judaism is the requirement to
forego all earthly pleasures and become a nation of ascetics? Would it
be wrong for a Rabbi to extol the pleasures of fine dining, say, or of
classical "secular" music, for example. Or more significantly, would it
be wrong for a Rabbi to recognize the value of studying science, or
philosophy, or world history "lishma", rather than as a compromise for
"parnasa"?  By accepting, or seeming to accept, the unidimensional
definition of Jewish values promulgated by the "yeshiva" or Agudah
world, we must ipso facto come out in second place.  I reject the
designation of "reverse Marrano". It is an insult!  Does my attendance
at an opera or a concert, or a scientific conference, mean that I am
seeking to hide my Jewishness?  This is nothing but self-destructive
nonsense. And if I choose to spend Pesach in an exotic locale, I thank
the Rebono-Shel-Olam that I live in an age and have the means to make it

It is obvious that Mr. Raab just didn't get it.  There was no intent to
denigrate the worth of aspects of secular culture. After all, the basis
of Modern Orthodoxy is the acceptance of the value of much of the
secular culture.  Thus, there was no intent to prohibit opera or
scientific conferences.  The intent was to describe the emptiness of the
values of many practitioners, who "follow the rules" but who don't
consider the halachic value system as a priority in their lives.

Just to use one example which Mr. Raab picks on,the question of going to
an exotic locale for Pesach.  The issue is, what is the priority,
celebrating Pesach or going to the exotic locale? Is your Yiddeshkeit
somehow enhanced by being in Hawaii for Pesach, or is Pesach just an
excuse for a kosher Hawaiian vacation?

Similarly, what value is most important when looking at a Jewish
community --- is the availability of eating pizza out the priority in
determining the "quality" of Jewish life, or is it the availability of
study opportunities?

Sadly, I am afraid that the priority is to libe mora and more like
everyone else while shoehorning in the observance of mitzvot.

David I. Cohen


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:37:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Weddings in Shuls

Batya Medad wrote:
> Maybe I'm too much the CPA's daughter, but.... Why 
> deprive the synagogue of the business of a wedding?

Sometimes synagogues are a bit *too* concerned about the business
aspects of weddings. When I got married several years ago, my
father-in-law, who lives in Israel and has smicha, was performing the
ceremony.  Despite this, the synagogue in Miami Beach where we were
holding the wedding insisted that we still had to pay $300 for the rabbi
of the synagogue's fee, even though he wasn't going to be performing the
wedding or even attending! It was only because the rabbi was going to be
out of town that we finally got out of paying this fee.

-- Janice


From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 19:47:23 +0000
Subject: Yom HaAtzmaut

> What has happened to Yom Ha`assmaout?
> Over 50 years ago the Chief rabbinate of Israel Led by Rabbis
> Ouziel and  Kook declared special prayers for this miraculous day. The
> pronounced the recital of the Hallel. What has happened now? Why can
> one barely find a Jerusalem synagogue  that adheres to this?

Speaking of "what happened to Yom HaAtzmaut," my Israeli friends tell me
that the Rabbanut has ruled that Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut will be
"pushed off" this year, so that people traveling to Yom HaZikaron
commemorations on Saturday night will not have a problem with Chillul
Shabbat. Therefore Yom HaZikaron will be commemorated on 5 Iyyar (Monday
April 26) and Yom HaAtzmaut will be celebrated on 6 Iyyar (Tuesday April

As the concern with Chillul Shabbat on Yom HaZikaron is not really a
problem outside of Israel, what do the Diaspora shuls and schools plan
to do? Follow the Rabbanut's psak for Israel or follow the traditional
calendar date?

Abie Zayit


End of Volume 42 Issue 30