Volume 42 Number 58
                 Produced: Sun May  2  8:33:23 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Clarification and apology
         [Robert Israel]
Daniel and Dani-el
         [Joshua Meisner]
Davening in a Room where a Pet may be Present
         [Yehonatan & Randy Chipman]
Dog Ownership
         [Ephraim Tabory]
Listening to Music the Whole Year
         [Tzvi Stein]
Pet Propriety
         [Jeffrey Saks]
Pets and Tefilin
         [Abie Zayit]
R. Akiva and Bar Kochva (2)
         [Martin Stern, Chaim G Steinmetz]
v'sabeinu m'tuvah
         [Martin Stern]


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 11:40:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Clarification and apology

In v. 42, #56, Chi Halevi wrote:

 >In v. 42, #50, Robert Israel relayed a message from his son, Hillel. In
 >it Hillel Israel referenced http://www.crowndiamond.org/cd/torah.html .
 >I went there, rooted around some, and it is a "Hebrew-Christian" site.

Hillel replies:

I had no idea what this "Crown Diamond" thing was. I just found it by
doing a google search for paleo-hebrew.  I just put the link in because
I thought it was an impressive site (though I didn't click on very many
of its links), showing the Tanakh in ancient Hebrew letters like that.
I think it's very probable that Mosheh Rabbenu's tefillin were written
in those letters.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2

[The above situation points to a common problem that list members should
be aware of. The groups that missionize to the Jews are well funded and
some are very technically adept. They know how to get their sites high
up in searches on Jewish topics. While they may put material that is of
great interest to us up on their sites, in general one must be very
careful about using such sites, since they will distort many things to
acheive their goal of bringing as many of us over to the cross. Mod.]


From: Joshua Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 23:31:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Daniel and Dani-el

Shalom Ozarowski wrote:

> Note that you often find midrashim or sources in Chazal attempting to
> identify nebulous biblical characters with other, more prominent ones (a
> few examples are ketura with hagar, mal'achi with ezra [or mordechai],
> hatach with daniel, and many others).  The Ibn ezra often argues with
> these assertions and claims it was someone else who is otherwise
> unmentioned, since the identification is more likely an individual
> opinion than an established tradition ('im kabala hi nekabel').  [Are
> these examples somehow different from Pinchas=Eliyahu and the like?]

	Pinchas = Eliyahu isn't so clear cut, either.  In Tanna d'bei
Eliyahu Rabba ch. 18 (my notes say par. 49, but the edition that I have
here doesn't seem to have numbers), Eliyahu appears to identify himself
as being Eliyah ben Yerocham of shevet Binyamin (I D"H 8:27 - the
chronology would be a bit wacky, then, but that argument doesn't have
any relevance in discussions about Eliyahu, anyway).  When approached
point-blank with a proof that he's really a kohein, Eliyahu rejects it.

	This Yemini identification is also brought down by R' Eliezer in
Bereishit Rabbah 71:9.  The opposing shita in that medrash, R' Nehorai,
holds that Eliyahu was from shevet Gad, based on his connection to the
region of Gilad (and see Yehoshua 13:25).

	Additionally, Eliyahu is the last link of the 7-step "lineage
that spanned the world" mentioned in Bava Basra 121b: Adam, Metushelach,
Sheim, Yaakov, Amram, Achiya HaShiloni, and Eliyahu.  Tos'fos notes that
if Eliyahu were Pinchas, the steps of Amram and Achiya could be
condensed into Yair ben Menashe, who saw both Yaakov and Pinchas
(although I'm not sure how he knows that Yair saw Yaakov), thereby
allowing us to use only 6 steps.

- Josh


From: Yehonatan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:04:46 +0200
Subject: Re:  Davening in a Room where a Pet may be Present

 In v42n56,Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> responded to an
earlier question:  

  I would like to know what the sources say about davening in a room
  where a pet may be present. I realize that one may daven with a seeing
  eye dog

She writes:
<<I'll never forget that it's forbidden to touch a dog when you have
t'filin on, not that I've ever (had them on that is.)  My son was almost
thrown out of school in the 8th grade, because he didn't know it....>>

To my mind, her story raises serious questions about the state of
religious education, and the ignorance of teachers and principals about
the laws of "hokiah tokiah" -- how to properly admonish someone,
particularly one who is not yet an adult (even if bar mitzvah) who has
violated one or another halakah.

As for the subject itself: From the rule she cites, it does not
necessarily follow that it is forbidden to daven in a room where there
is an animal.  The prohibition agaist touching an animal while wearing
tefillin is because the animal is considered unclean, and contact with
it requires netilat yadaim.

But if there is no actual contact, the only reason for reciting prayers
or brakhot woud be if there were actual excrement present, or other
strongly malodorous things. In our society, domestic pets are normally
house-trained, so I do not see what issur there might be.  However, I
have not investigated this issue thoroughly, so this shouldn't be taken
as a pesak.

However, from a cursory review of Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim ##74-87,
which gives a variety of rules about aspects of the physical setting
that contravene reciting Shema or brakhot, I see nothing about animals.
One may not recite Sheama in the presence of nudity (i.e., with
uncovered genitals), but it is clear that refers only to nude human
beings, and even there there's some question whether it applies to very
young children. One probably could not daven or say blessings in the
presence of animals who are copulating, but this would be an unusual
event, certainly inside a house.

But let be conclude with an anecdote of my own.  My father, z"l, told me
that his own father, Rav Simhah Eliyahu Chipkewitz z"l, who served as a
rav in the Bronx for over thirty years, and learned in the outstanding
yeshivot in Lithuania before WW1, used to joke abot a certain
congregationer who was always pestering him with "klutz kashas" -- silly
or trivial questions.  The example given was "I heard a dog barking;  do
I have to lain krishma over?"  or "There was an animal in the room.  Do
I have to repeat davening?"  My grandfather, who was a pious Jew of the
old school, and a real matmid, dismissed these questions as ridiculous.

    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Ephraim Tabory <tabore@...>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 07:57:59 +0200
Subject: RE: Dog Ownership

The word on the street in my early yeshiva days was that owning a dog
was strictly assur--indeed, I remember one rebbe who said that it was
prohibited as a torah injunction. (Unfortunately anyone who asked "why"
too often would generally be sent to the prinicpal's office, so we all
just learned to accept things on face value.) Recently, I heard that the
prohibition against owning a dog is a halachik myth. Now in response to
the discussion on tefillin we read

"For starters, before I even answer the question, be aware that although
one may own a pet to protect property (see: Choshen Mishpat 409:3 for
parameters), the She'eilat Yaavetz (Alef 17) indicates that having a dog
as a pet is a 'maaseh akum'."

I do not know in this context to what "maaseh akum" refers (given
several possible interpretations), but I do wonder whether it is a
general rule that Fido has to go.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 15:23:11 -0400
Subject: Listening to Music the Whole Year

Just a note... this hints to the fact that R. Moshe himself holds that
one may not listen to music the whole year.... a fact that surprises
most people when they first hear it.

Personally, I never understood R. Moshe's logic of assuring music during
the whole year, because it would seem then that the halacha of not
listening to music during sefire and the 3 weeks would not makse sense.
I'd appreciate if anyone knows the explanation for this.

>From: Harry Zelcer <reliablehealth@...>
> However, R. Moshe Feinstein, in Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah vol. 2, chap.
> 137, page 231 writes: '...He [the RM"A] who permits one [during the year
> to listen to music] when he is not at a party would nevertheless forbid
> during the year public gatherings for the sake of excessive joy. If so,
> then the minhag that we add [stringencies] in the days of s'fira would
> apply even to an individual who is not accustomed to it.'


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Subject: Pet Propriety

Although Josh Backon reminds us of the opinion that pet ownership =
maaseh akum (R. Yaakov Emden), and I would add that of the Rambam as
well (see Hil.  Nizkei Mamon 5:9), there are many other
opinions--including Shulchan Aruch, Chosehm Mishpat 409:3--who limit the
issur to "evil dogs."

See the fine article by Howie Jachter addressing this issue and other's
related to pet ownership:

"Halachic Perspectives on Pets," Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society (Spring 1992): 33-62.

(I believe this issue has also been addressed on-list over the years.)


From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 07:22:58 +0000
Subject: Pets and Tefilin

I'm confused. Has anyone given a source for forbidding contact with
animals during Tefila or while wearing Tefilin?

If I remember my Bible stories correctly, one of the requirements for
bringing sacrifices in the Bet HaMiqdash was Semikha - laying one's
hands on the animals head.

Is the distinction, then, between kosher and non-kosher animals?  Can I
pet my chicken or my goldfish while wearning Tefilin, but not my dog?

I suspect that this "halacha" is a fabrication.

Abie Zayit


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 06:28:54 +0100
Subject: Re: R. Akiva and Bar Kochva

on 2/5/04 4:50 am, Ken Bloom <kabloom@...> wrote:

> This cannot be correct, considering that Rabbi Akiva [started to] learn
> torah at age 40, and was able to stand at the smoldering ruins of the
> Temple (70 C.E.) and make his optimistic statement that just as the
> prophecy of the destruction of the temple had been fulfilled, so too
> would the prophecy of the redemption. According to these Encyclopedias,
> he would have been 20 at the time.

The incident to which this refers about stand at the ruins of the Temple
(Mak. 24b) does not indicate that they were smoldering but rather that
they had been desolate for dome time and therefore took place
considerably after 70 C.E. probably on the eve of the Bar Kokhba revolt
60 years later.

Martin Stern

From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2004 22:49:40 -0400
Subject: R. Akiva and Bar Kochva

> From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>

> I've never heard before that Rebbe Akiva lived to 120. But don't take

See Sifri Parshas Brocho that four lived to 120: Moshe, Hillel Hazoken,
R' Yochanan Ben Zakai and R' Akiva, see there is detail.

Chaim G Steinmetz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 06:32:02 +0100
Subject: Re: v'sabeinu m'tuvah

on 2/5/04 4:50 am, Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>:

> I recall seeing a quote from the Rosh in T'shuvos (I believe it's quoted
> in the Tur) that if he were able, he would make those in Chu"L switch to
> Tal Umatar on 7 Cheshvan as well.

The Rosh wanted to introduce saying tal umatar in the summer in Spain
because rain was needed there at that season.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 42 Issue 58