Volume 43 Number 52
                    Produced: Mon Jul 19  6:17:19 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A bracha in any language is a bracha. God is multilingual
Christmas and Xmas
Cryptic nature of the Chumash
         [Jack Levenstein]
Forty Year Rule
         [Yisrael Medad]
Hassidic saying
         [Joel Rich]
Kosher Foods in Ireland
         [Larry Israel]
An (obscure) source for Partial (And full) Pesukim
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Origin of the phrase Aufruf
         [Nathan Lamm]
Possible Abbreviation
         [Edward Ehrlich]
Question about Mishlei
         [Larry Israel]
Rachav the Zonah
         [Martin Stern]
Visual Art
         [Roger Jefferson]
Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Batya Medad]
Yehoshua ben Nun's daughters
         [Art Kamlet]


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:53:03 EDT
Subject: A bracha in any language is a bracha. God is multilingual

      "Depending on the situation..." Ahh, there's the rub. We're
      talking about an emergency situation, where he's stuck without a
      siddur and must improvise. Without knowing in advance which parts
      he'll remember and which parts he'll mess up, there's no way to
      answer this question, short of personal study into all the details
      of all the brachos.

Doesn't God understand English? Or French? Yiddish? Serbo-Croat? Pig
Latin? Spanish? Urdu? Ivrit and Loshen Kodesh are only two languages God

The issue is clear and the answer is use common sense. If you are going
to eat or do something that requires a bracha, say it in any language.
God understands. The point is, you ARE making a bracha. Duh.


From: Rephael <raphi@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 06:50:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Christmas and Xmas

Nachum Lamm wrote:
> [...]
> Let's face it: It's a Christian holiday, so unless we say "December
> 25th" or "Oso Hayom" (my own invention, as of this moment, related to
> "Oso Haish"), we're stuck using Christian terms.
> [...]

The Mishna [Avoda Zara 1.1] uses "Eydehen shel goyim", which means you
can say "Yom eydam shel hagoyim".  We can stick to our terms, without
being stuck to theirs.



From: Jack Levenstein <levenste@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:49:30 +0300
Subject: Cryptic nature of the Chumash

Dear Mr. Burton:

I ask the same question about the stories in the chumash. One example of
so many examples is the question of who sold Yosef into slavery.
Rashbam writes that it was not Yosef's brothers but a passing
caravan. Also see Rashbam's view on what Ya'akov paid Aisav for the
bekhorah. It was not lentil stew. Ya'akov paid a substantial sum to
Aisav. The stew was similar to a dinner at the conclusion of a
significant business deal. Thus even actual events are described
ambiguously. It sometimes seems that almost every pasuk leads to a
disagreement among the parshanai hamikrah whether it is halakhah or

I am less bothered by this problem with respect to halakhah. This is
because via mori verebi, Rav Aaron Rakeffet, I have been exposed to Rav
Soloveitchik's explanations as to how studying Torah is so different
from studying, for example, science. With respect to Torah the human
component in the passing of the Torah from generation to generation is
crucial. I refer you to Rav Rakeffet's book, "The Rav" for examples of
Rav Soloveitchik's comments on the Rebbi-talmid relationship and its
relevance for the teaching of Torah. I refer you to Rav Rakeffet's tapes
where he explains and expands on his Rebbi's views in a way that he
could not in his book.

Let me suggest that this applies not just to teaching halakhah but even
to teaching the stories of the Chumash as within the stories are also
eternal lessons. Thus Hashem decided that the Written Torah must be
written in a way that will require Torah Sheb'al Peh. Thus a chain of
Rebbe'im and a chain of Rebbi-talmid relationships is needed in order to
understand both halakhah and narrative.

Another possible answer might be based on something Rav Rakeffet told
his students. Rav Rakeffet provided his students with several answers to
the question why we need both an oral and written Torah. One of his many
answers is that the nations of the world also deserve something and the
Written Torah is thus available to them. Now comes my own suggestion
that maybe while the nations have access to the Written Torah (when I
was younger it was available in every hotel room) it was not meant to be
that they should be given a complete understanding. For every answer to
a question one can usually ask why. Why are they not to be given a
complete understanding? This may be related to the reasons it is
forbidden, in some cases and in some fashion, for us to teach Torah to
some or all gentiles. I could go on and on, but it is time to get ready
for Shabbat. Yes, I am using this as an excuse to avoid entering another
complex issue.

Shabbat Shalom,
Jack Levenstein


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 00:09:54 +0200
Subject: Forty Year Rule

A while ago, the 40 year rule of not learning Kabbalah until then was

According to a source I have, Yosef Shapria's B'ishvilay HaGeulah, 1947,
he claims that the Brody cherem against the Frankists from the summer of
1756, included an admonition not to learn Kabbalah until passing the age
of 40 which would mean that they were more concerned about sexual mores
than other Kabbalistic influences.

Yisrael Medad


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 08:54:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Hassidic saying

> Interestingly, there is a Hassidic saying that goes something like
> this - 'someone who believes all the stories about the BESHT (founder of
> Hassidism) is a fool ; however, someone who says that such stories are
> impossible, is an apikorus (heretic of sorts)'. Implicit in it is an
> admission by Hassidim that at least some of the stories about the
> founder of their movement are untrue, even if such stories are not told
> about everyone, as people, especially partisans, cannot always be
> trusted to be sticklers for accuracy.
>  Mordechai

I think this was originally a statement concerning aggadic material in
the gemora.

Joel Rich


From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 04 21:29:40 +0300
Subject: Kosher Foods in Ireland

Where in Cork and Dublin can kosher ready-to-eat foods be purchased?
What "nosherei" (snack foods) are kosher?


From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 04:50:05 GMT
Subject: An (obscure) source for Partial (And full) Pesukim

The following references and ideas on PARTIAL(And full) PESUKIM (vol 43
# 50--Akiva and martin) may prove useful.

There is a delightful obscure book HAMIKRAH VEHAMESORAH by Rabbi Reuven
Margoliyoth which deals with several thorny Talmudic-Mesorah issues and
gives original answers

Essay 15 deals with Partial Pesukim. Several standard sources are cited
where our talmud seems to disagree with our mesorah (The most famous is
Shabbath 55b) Rabbi Margoliyoth then cites several sources that >written
law may not be recited orally< (He cites Talmudic sources such as Gitin
60b; he also cites several midrashic sources --e.g. Gen Rab 63 where
citations must first be made from an actual book).

Rabbi Margoliyoth suggests the following idea:>Since it is prohibited to
recite written law orally, THEREFORE, when the Talmudic sages wanted to
cite a verse--that was not being read from an actual book before
them--they DELIBERATELY paraphrased the verse (so as not to violate the

In other words (to use Akivas example): Saying >Man does not live by
bread alone< is prohibited (because I am reciting a written verse
orally); so it is preferable to say e.g.  >Man does not live by food
alone<. Such a substitution does not mean I have a different text--it
rather means I am paraphrasing in order to avoid a technical violation.

There is much more in this essay but the above should suffice for now.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 07:07:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Origin of the phrase Aufruf

I once was at a museum exhibit displaying the Ringelblum Archives of the
Warsaw Ghetto; one object was a poster put up by the Nazis announcing a
"call up" (for deportation and death) of Jews. The word used was
"aufruf"; I've tried to avoid using the word since then.

As a side note, my shul has a minhag of singing an old short Ashkenaz
piyut after the chassan's aliyah (we do it to the tune of "Od
Yishama"). Has anyone else ever heard of this?

Nachum Lamm


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 12:48:28 +0300
Subject: Possible Abbreviation

Does anybody know the meaning of the word or abbreviation "mem-vav-heh"
that would appear on a tombstone before a man's name?

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 04 21:30:40 +0300
Subject: Question about Mishlei

My daughter asks:

In Proverbs 31:15 it says, speaking in praise of a woman, says that she
gets up while it is still night to prepare food. On the other hand, in
31:18 it says that her lamp is lit all night, i.e., she doesn't go to

How do you reconcile these two? How can she live without sleep?


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:33:47 +0100
Subject: Re: Rachav the Zonah

on 16/7/04 11:45 am, <graetz@...> (Naomi Graetz) wrote:

> In B.T. Megillah 14b, it is written that "Rachav the Prostitute
> converted and married Joshua....Joshua did not have sons, but he had
> daughters. Eight prophets who were also priests came from Rachav the
> harlot."

The word "zonah" comes from the root "zun" meaning provide. Though it is
usually translated as "prostitute" or "harlot", i.e. a provider of
sexual services, traditionally the word when used with reference to
Rachav is translated "innkeeper" i.e. a provider of board and
lodging. The correct classical Hebrew word for a prostitute is
"kedeishah" as in the story of Yehudah and Tamar. Is it necessary to
denigrate a righteous convert in our columns by using a description of
her previous behaviour which may not, in fact, be accurate? Surely we
should give her the benefit of the doubt in this matter.

Martin Stern


From: Roger Jefferson <rogerjefferson1975@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 05:41:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: Visual Art

As to whether it would be permissable to view nude art in the context of
art study. It would appear that it should be permissable.  Though I have
not found anyone that specifically discusses this, there is a similar
issur that would shed light on this.  In the context of Avodah Zorah,
which is just as strict as Gilui Ariyot, it is not permitted to even
read about the variuos Avodah Zarahs.  However, if one sole purpose is
to understand them, that is, to learn about them then it is
permissable. Therefore, in the context of nudes, where the prohabition
would be gilui arious, if ones purpose is not to engage in licitoiusness
or the like, instead, it is for another purpose, that is to study art it
should be permissable.  



From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 07:34:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher

      I keep on having this feeling that most of the people involved in
      this project are doing so because of a political message that they
      wish to express.  This is clearly a Jewish feminist phenomenon,
      regardless of whether one identifies with it or not.

A few years ago a friend (a female mj-er) and I went to see the play
based on her story.  I can't say how much was true, and I thought that
the directing was horrendous.  Considering the growth, in all
directions/dimensions in Jewish learning by females, the story is very

In recent decades a few fully Torah observant women have been recognized
as scholars; rabbinic courts accept to'enot; religious girls high
schools teach gemorah; there are many institutions of Torah learning
(all subjects) for women.  (among other things)

Remember that Chana Rochel lived in a time when few men learned
seriously for economic and sociological reasons.

Besides the Jewish aspect, there's the human story of a person searching
for her place and being rejected by society.



From: <Artkamlet@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:12:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Yehoshua ben Nun's daughters

<graetz@...> (Naomi Graetz) writes:

>Chana Luntz <chana@...> writes:

>In B.T. Megillah 14b, it is written that "Rachav the Prostitute
>converted and married Joshua....Joshua did not have sons, but he had
>daughters. Eight prophets who were also priests came from Rachav the

Were these eight priests who were also prophets from the marriage with
Joshua, an Ephraimite, not a kohen?  If so, could you expand on this

Or are these priests only in the sense of important men but not Kohanim,
as in "the Sons of David were kohanim" (2 Sam 8)

Art Kamlet   Columbus OH    K2PZH

[Since Joshua and Rachav had only daughters, their grandchildren's
affiliation would be based on whom the daughters married, not Joshua's
affiliation as an Ephraimite. So all that is needed is that at some
point decendants married into Cohen families for the Gemera's statement
to be applicable. Mod.]


End of Volume 43 Issue 52