Volume 43 Number 83
                    Produced: Mon Aug  2 15:56:59 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Batim (was Roshei vs Rashei)
         [Matthew Pearlman]
The Cohanin Haploid Itaslians Hungarian Kurds and Lemba
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
Corruption in the 18c Polish Rabbinate
         [Eli Turkel]
Dropping the dime
Inviting deceased relatives to a simcha
         [Joel Rich]
Kol Isha
         [Jay Bailey]
Lubavitch practices
         [Carl Singer]
Meshullachim who ask for More
         [Martin Stern]
More shtreimels (and some Spodeks)!
         [Martin Stern]
My approach to Alarm clocks on Shabbath
         [Carl Singer]
Sleeve Length
         [Immanuel Burton]
Too few Leviim[Levites]
         [Bob Werman]
Turning off an Electrical Oven on Shabbat when Thermostat is Off.
         [Daniel Gross]


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 09:34:00 +0100
Subject: Batim (was Roshei vs Rashei)

Following the discussion on the kamats in "rashei/roshei" I would be
grateful if someone could explain the nature of the kamats in "batim".
This word appears several times with the kamats unaccented (and the tav
has a dagesh) which would normally imply that it should be a kamats
katan, but I had always assumed this was a kamats gadol.  Examples
include Shemot 1:21 (vayaas lahem batim) and in compound forms eg
"batei" and "bateinu" in Shemot 12:27. However, in other compounds,
there is sometimes a stress on the kamats, eg "habatim" in Shemot 12:13,
but not on "habatim" in Shemot 8:9 and 9:20.  Thank you

Matthew Pearlman


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 11:33:37 -0400
Subject: The Cohanin Haploid Itaslians Hungarian Kurds and Lemba

There might be another explanation for the Cohani hapliod appearing
among other than Jews. For instance the Lemba claim Jewish decent, The
Kurds are in an area that the Aaayrians sent Isrealis to after they
conquered Isreal, The southen and central Italians may be from
conversions, and the Hungarians from theit KHazar anscestors. These
could mean that all of these were at one time Jewish



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 18:40:28 +0300
Subject: Corruption in the 18c Polish Rabbinate

I would venture some middle position between the warring camps.  In the
18th and 19th centuries it is clear that some/many rabbis were not
inspiring their flock. This in particular led to the rise of chassidism
and later the musar movement and possibly haskalah etc. What percentage
actually bought positions I suspect is pretty small. However, as the
saying goes a few rotten apples spoil the whole group.

Also as we learn in the story of Bar Kamtzah the people are very
affected by the reaction of the rabbinate to abuses. Bar Kamtzah
actually started his trouble making because the rabbis did not object to
his mistreatment. Similarly, in many eras the rabbis are more interested
in protecting the rabbinate than in getting rid of the rotten apples
which posoins the atmpsphere.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 08:56:54
Subject: Dropping the dime

There are people in our community who are building illegal additions to
their homes -- that is without permits, etc., Many in violation of code
- which for example does not allow basement apartments.

A friend came to me with this question -- should he "drop a dime", that
is call authorities?  His reasoning is that if, G-d forbid, there is a
fire in one of these basement apartments and someone gets hurt or
killed, he would feel responsible for allowing this to happen.  His
feelings aside, what are the halachic issues?

I heard a similar question some time ago re: Mrs. Plony, who runs
errands leaving her 5 year old in charge of the house -- but that was
addressed by simply speaking to her about the danger involved.


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 08:23:23 EDT
Subject: Inviting deceased relatives to a simcha

Is an interesting gesture. There are many sources that hold that meitim
ainam yodim (the dead don't know what's going on in this world, or
certainly not through perusing invitations left on their graves) I think
the "olam" holds they do know, but I often think that's based on our own
psychological needs rather than a complete analysis of all the sources.

Joel Rich


From: Jay Bailey <JayB@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 15:59:10 +0300
Subject: RE: Kol Isha

> > Yes, it's more complicated than that, because then the issue of Kol
> > Isha naturally arises and this is probably one of the most hotly debated
> > issues between the Conservative and every "flavor" of Orthodoxy
> Jay, what aspect of Kol Isha are you saying all Orthodox agree on, and
> Conservative disagree with?

Sorry, Aliza, I didn't mean that - I was trying to imply that both
Conservative and various flavors of Orthodoxy all have differences of
opinion (Okay, various chareidi opinions are probably pretty similar. I
was stuck because while trying to make a point about the variety of
approaches that exist; it's hard to draw the line as to where it's no
longer really discussed and women's voices are never heard in any way -
though for Conservatives it simply isn't an issue. I spent a while
trying to write the sentence accurately and then gave up, hoping nobody
would - quite correctly - nitpick.)

And thanks for the Charles Sheer psak about "dressing one level above
society" - it's precisely what I was getting at. I had heard it too,
thought it was incredibly creative and reasonable, but didn't recall who
had said it...


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 08:00:41 -0400
Subject: Lubavitch practices

> Rabbis who make new Chabad houses are not there to influence people to
> become Lubavitchers but to influence people to want to learn Torah and
> do Mitzvos.

Please cite Lubavitch policy sources.  The above statement although
politically correct does not reflect apparent practice.

Carl A. Singer


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 09:10:48 +0100
Subject: Re: Meshullachim who ask for More

on 30/7/04 10:21 am, Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...> wrote:

> One other point I would like to raise concerns meshullachim who ask for
> more.  This has happened to me several times, i.e. rather than say
> thank-you they have demanded more.  Is such a request acceptable?

Definitely not! If the person is not satisfied with what you offer and
does not accept your assurance that you cannot manage more at that time,
just take back what you gave him and let him go without. Tefasta meruba
lo tefasta! [If you grab too much, you end up with nothing. Mod]

Hopefully this sort of chutspah is not too common though I have come
across it from time to time as well. A touching incident occurred to me
some years ago when a gentleman came to my house soliciting funds for
hachnossas kallah. I gave him a small donation explaining that I could
not manage more.  He responded that he had (I think) 6 daughters and
perhaps I could provide a little more help. When I informed him that I
had 8 daughters he immediately wanted to return the donation but I
assured him that I wanted him to keep it. Halevai the others had such
derekh erets!

On a lighter note now that Tisha beAv has passed, the question is often
asked as to why Yitro had seven names. The answer is obvious, he had
seven daughters and was bankrupted each time he married one of them off,
forcing him to change his name in order to start up again in
business. Maybe this could prompt a new discussion topic, the excessive
expenditure expected when one makes a simchah.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 09:48:53 +0100
Subject: Re: More shtreimels (and some Spodeks)!

on 1/8/04 9:22 pm, Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...> wrote:

> Putting "yehareg V'al Yaavor" into this as a reason for some Jews but
> not other Jews to adopt it is a stretch.

It just happens to be true of the reaction of the Polish chassidim, as
opposed to the Russian Jews generally, to the Russian dress decrees.

> The idea of adding Chabad into this is totally incorrect, as the first 6
> Chabad Rabbis did in fact wear the hat and only the last Rebbe decided
> not to.  It was in fact a "cause celebre" in non-Chabad circles at the
> time the last Rebbe took over and declined to put the shtreimel on.

> Generalizing this into Russian Chassidim is also incorrect, as at least
> the huge Twersky family of Rebbes representing many branches of Russian
> Rebbes based on the Chernobel dynasty, all wear the shteimel.

While the rebbes may have worn shtreimels, their followers did
not. Possibly the Russian decree did not apply to 'clergy' whom even
they recognised as being entitled to wear special vestments. Perhaps,
also, in the Ukrainian provinces the decrees were not enforced as
strictly as in the northern parts of the Pale.

> The chassidim did in fact adopt specific
> dress styles, as even a casual observer to Willaimsburg or Jerusalems
> Meah Shearim can see.  Go into a hat store and see the listings, by
> chassidus!  While it is true that the objections to chassidus were
> against the innovations and not against the clothing, this certainly
> proves nothing about the other.  The inter-chassidic dispute literature
> does talk extensively about these things.

I think Joseph is confusing the words 'adopt' and 'adapt'. Over the
years each chassidic group has adapted the style with its own nuances
but the basic form of chassidic dress is much the same for all (and
shared by the Mitnagdim of the Old Yishuv in Yerushalayim)

Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 08:46:40 -0400
Subject: My approach to Alarm clocks on Shabbath

Why make life so complicated.  There are many digital watches -- the
cheap 5 dollar kind sometimes called chicklets - that have a 24 clock
(that is distinguishes between AM & PM) and whose alarm turns itself off
after one minute.

Carl Singer


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 13:00:36 +0100
Subject: RE: Sleeve Length

In Mail.Jewish v43n80, Aliza Berger wrote:

> This point underlay the psak I received from Orthodox Rabbi Charles
> Sheer, Hillel rabbi at Columbia University. He said (I am paraphrasing
> here) that women are required to dress one degree more modestly than
> women in general society, e.g. loose pants instead of tight jeans,
> short sleeves instead of sleeveless.

Does the phrase "e.g. loose pants instead of tight jeans" imply that in
some societies it it permissable for Jewish women to wear
trousers/pants?  I was under the impression that trousers/pants are
never permitted for women to wear, regardless of the standards of the
society in which they are living.

If women are required to dress one degree more modestly than women in
general society, is there nonetheless a cut-off point?  For example, one
sometimes sees pictures of African villages in which people are not
wearing very much at all, and the women don't seem to have any problem
going around topless.  Would that mean that in such a society a Jewish
woman could get away with a bikini?

Immanuel Burton.


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Mon,  2 Aug 2004 15:35 +0200
Subject: Too few Leviim[Levites]

There are a number of probems and a number of solutions to this
perplexing conundrum.  In addition to the fact that Ezra only lists 4
Levis against 120 Cohanim coming back from Bavel, the Levis who returned
did not have their work, their tithes or their salaries and there seems
to be evidence that the Cohanim took over the Levite functions
[m'shorer, shomer, etc.] as well as their perks in the time of the
second Temple.

More disturbing is the genetic evidence among Ashkenazi Levis [the
Sephardic study is not done yet].  A common gene has been found, passed
on maternally [mitochondrial DNA].  But -- unlike the Cohanic gene, 2500
to 3000 years old -- it appears to be only 1000 years old.  Moreover,
unlike the Cohanic gene -- with an origin in the Middle East -- the
origin of the Levite gene is in the area of the Asiatic Republics of the
former USSR.  Current speculation is that these Levites [the majority of
Ashkenazi Levis] may have arisen from 3-4 people in that area, perhaps

__Bob Werman


From: Daniel Gross <gross@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 11:17:23 -0400
Subject: RE: Turning off an Electrical Oven on Shabbat when Thermostat is Off.


>From: Daniel Lowinger <Daniel.Lowinger@...>
>A similar question to Daniel's would be whether one would be allowed to
>swich a light on or off whilst the shabbos clock has turned off for the
>night in order to have light or darkness for the next day. Any

Based on (my understanding of) the (hebrew version of) shmirat shabbat
kehilchata, Chapter 13, Section 28: it is allowed to unplug or switch
off a light, when a shabbat-clock has closed down the electicity, so the
light would not come on again, when electicity is restored. However, its
emphasized, one should be doing that in an indirect way, to avoid issues
of muktze related to carrying the plug. The smirat shabbat continues,
that in great need, it is permissible to plug in equipment -- in an
indirect manner. however, one should ask an authority what to do in such
cases. In the footnote issues and parameters of Gramma are discussed.

However does this also apply to the knob of an oven when the thermostat
has switched it off?



End of Volume 43 Issue 83