Volume 45 Number 21
                    Produced: Fri Oct 15  6:29:17 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aramaic in Private Davening (2)
         [Ben Katz, Avi Feldblum]
Gentile (5)
         [Shmuel Himelstein, Nathan Lamm, Joseph Tabory, Shayna Kravetz,
Martin Stern]
         [Jonathan Baker]
Missing Methuselah?
         [Sam Fink]
Not benefiting from work done by Jew on Shabbat (2)
         [Carl Singer, Avi Feldblum]
Objections to female rabbis (2)
         [Abbi Adest, Avi Feldblum]
Senor vs. Mister


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 11:09:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Aramaic in Private Davening

         I made my comment knowing full well that "machnesei demaot" is 
ascribed to Sadia Gaon.  I find this hard to believe, considering the 
latter's philosophical bend.  And even if it were true that he wrote it, I 
still wouldn't say it.  We are allowed to progress in knowledge and 
philosophy as time goes on.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004
Subject: Re: Aramaic in Private Davening

You have the right to dispute whether it is or is not correctly ascribed
to Saadia, and to choose to not say it even if it truely came from
Saadia. At the same time, some of us can choose to accept that it may
have come from Saadia and decide that even if we do not fully understand
the philosophical underpinnings of the tefilah, we choose to accept it
rather than say that our knowledge and philosophy is greater than or has
progress beyond that of Saadia. To each their own.



From: Rephael <raphi@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 09:14:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Bochur


> which would mean yet another older bochur on the singles scene with
> all those hurdles to overcome before the mitzvah is in sight

The very simple expression "single man" seems to be very difficult to
use for those who are not. Why it is so is a mystery for me.

Rephael Cohen


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 14:42:00 +0200
Subject: Gentile

Tzvi Stein wonders why any Jew would name a girl "Gentile." He is
obviously confusing "gentile" (=a non-Jew) with the name "Gentile"
(pronounced "Zhan-teel") which is akin to the English word "gentle," or
"refined." I imagine the Hebrew equivalent would be "Adina."

And indeed, if you take the pronunciation "zhan-teel," you can
understand how it became "Yentl" in Yiddish.

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 06:56:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Gentile

Tzvi Stein wonders who would name their child "Gentile," if that is the
root of "Yente."

First, the root may well be "Juanita." Second, the word "gentile" means
"of the same clan," and is related to such words as "gentle," "genetic,"
and so on. If we stick to the English meaning, one may also wonder why
non-Jews would use it as a name- and yet they occasionally did.

An interesting (and true) story: In 1916, Simon Bamberger, a Jew, was
running for governor of the state of Utah. Utah is virtually all Mormon,
and Mormons refer to non-Mormons as "Gentiles." (The Mormons are heavy
on the "Old Testament" and the like.)The story runs that Bamberger was
campaigning in a settlement of immigrant Norwegian Mormons when the
community leader got up and declared that he won't have any "Yentile"
speak to his people. Bamberger replied, "I've been called many things in
my life, but I've never been called a d***ed Gentile!" The leader threw
his arm around him and yelled, "A Yew! An Israelite! Our next governor!"
Bamberger won the election.

From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 05:46:22 +0200
Subject: RE: Gentile

The scholarly assumption is that "Gentile" comes from French, being the
equivalent of Hebrew Adinah.

Joseph Tabory

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 03:27:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Gentile

Because in Romance languages such as French [pr., zhonteel] and Italian
[pr., jenteeleh], it is a perfectly delightful adjective -- cognate with
English "genteel" -- meaning "nice, delicate".  It is the precise
equivalent of Yiddish "eidel."

Shayna Kravetz

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 20:32:02 +0100
Subject: Re: Gentile

It is pronounced with a sounded 'e' at the end and a long 'i' to sound
like Jenteelay and not as the English word for a non-Jew.

Martin Stern


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 14:49:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Glassware

From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>

>  I could understand the objection to treating Corelle as if it were a
> simple glass, since it looks like a ceramic.  However, I can not
> understand the basis for distinguishing between different types of
> silical glass.

R' Tendler would agree with you.  From a set of notes from 4th Year
Contemporary Halacha at RIETS a few years ago (original notes found

: The "koshergram" says that those things that need tevila without a
: blessing include glazed china. Rav Tendler says that that does not
: need a tevila at all. It includes corningware. Rav Tendler says that
: that is glass, and it needs tevila with a blessing. It includes
: duralex. Rav Tendler says that this is glass, and it needs tevila
: with a blessing. It includes pyrex and corelle, both of which Rav
: Tendler says are glass and needs tevila with a blessing. All these
: things are really glass, and they need tevila with a blessing. They
: may be stronger than glass but they are still glass. Pyrex is an
: original glass of chazal. Whether glass is glass is a question. But
: pyrex is certanly glass. Plain glass is silicate, and pyrex is
: borosilicate. It depends on the sand that is used. The Boron makes
: it stronger and it makes it more resistant to heat so it does not
: crack as easily. But it is for sure glass both for heter and for
: issur. So glass is not bolea, so this is not bolea. Rav Tendler
: says that pyrex is the only glass that chazal knew about. Rav Tendler
: says that glazed china is pure cheres and it does not need tevila.
: When chazal speak of cheres hemitzupeh b'zechuchis, they speak of
: cheres that was made fancy by covering it with glass, they do not
: speak of this glazed china that we have nowdays. So glazed china
: does not need to be toveled. Bone china is the same as glazed china.
: It is just heated longer so it becomes more like glass, but it is
: cheres, and both types of china do not need tevila. They are both
: cheres. You can not melt it. If it breaks, you can not fix it. Glass
: has to have the abiltiy to be melted together once it is broken, and
: this does not have that ability. So bone china, glazed china, and
: eartherware belong together in the column that do not need tevila.
: Enamel is meat, and it is boleh. Enamel is steel pots with a glass
: layer. So it is pure metal, and it needs tevila with a blessing. Then
: only question is regarding bliah because the glass may be so smooth
: that it does not absorb at all. 

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: Sam Fink <samfink@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 22:50:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Missing Methuselah?

   The Artscroll Stone edition Chumash (page 25) notes that Methuselah
died in 1656, after having lived 969 years.  But, 1656 was the year of
the flood (page 53).  Did Methuselah die in the flood or before this?

Sam Fink

[My understanding is that the accepted timeline is that Methuselah died
before the flood. If I am wrong, I'm sure that people will reply. Mod]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 06:44:25 -0400
Subject: RE: Not benefiting from work done by Jew on Shabbat

From: Risa Tzohar <rtzohar@...>
> Here in Israel we are faced with what seems to be more than a question
> of whether you can benefit from Jews working on Shabbat in the sense of
> can you use the tissues from the box that doesn't say made in a shomer
> shabbat plant because maybe they were made by Jews on Shabbat.  Whatever
> the halachic reasoning might be to allow it, many of us DO choose to use
> the 'shomer shabbat' product in order to encourage and reward those who
> are proudly shomer shabbat.  I try to partonize businesses that are
> shomer shabbat as in Rehovot we have two taxi companies that are shomer
> shabbat and advertise as such.

It's certainly praiseworthy (as they say) to support Shomre Shabbat
companies / products / service providers, etc.  Given a clear
alternative, why not.

At issue is whether it is realistic to restrict oneself to only Shomre
Shabbat ....

In most societies (including, I believe, Israel) if one restricts
oneself ONLY to Shomre Shabbos companies / products / service providers,
they will return to a past culture -- sew your own clothes, grow your
own food, make your own candles - don't use the telephone (it or some of
its components were certainly not made my Shomre Shabbos companies),
forget about the generator for electricity -- what about the light bulbs
and the stove?


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 
Subject: RE: Not benefiting from work done by Jew on Shabbat

I'm not sure what is at issue here, but I guess I would have the
following comment / question. If we are talking about a "chumrah" /
"preference" as for instance Risa is indicating, then this says that
when you have two basically equivalent products / services before you,
you have a preference to use the one that minimized the chillul shabbat
activity. In this scenerio, I do not see Carl question of practicality
coming up, as it is triggered by the existance of the two choices, and
even the choice that you pick may have some chillul shabbat in the full
stream, but you are rewarding the minimization of it somewhere along the

However, if there is a valid halachic position that if the situation is
that if anywhere in the full manufacturing stream, any act of chillul
shabbat occuring will make this item forbidden to use, then the question
is how can such a position be compatible with using any product with
Israeli origin in the full manufacturing stream be used, since one in
general should have to assume that some chillul shabbat was involved.

So the question I see is what are the halachic positions between these
two extremes. What are the sources and what are the shu"t (responsa)
that address this question.

Avi Feldblum


From: Abbi Adest <abbishapiro@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 11:22:23 +0200
Subject: Objections to female rabbis

Avi Feldblum's quote from the last volume of mail-Jewish:

"I'll take the liberty of interjecting: I think that many, if not most,
of the Orthodox women who support the idea of a women Rabbi would be
very happy if your statement above would be true - that there would be
no controversy over a women getting s'mecha for use in
non-congregational purposes, e.g. p'sak halacha. I strongly suspect
there are many among us who do object to that. Avi]"

Since you seemed to include yourself in the group of objectors (or maybe
you didn't and I misunderstood) maybe you could elucidate the problems
with a knowledgable or proficient woman getting smicha for use in
non-congregational purposes or women poskot in general.

Abbi Adest

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 
Subject: RE: Objections to female rabbis

[I see that this is my issue for responding to things. Does not happen
so often.]

I tried to write my comment above not from what my personal viewpoint
might be, but rather is response to a posting that said that NO-ONE
would object to a given statement. Since Abbi specifically asks, I'll
venture out a little bit.

As I see it, we have two relatively seperate tasks / functions
convoluted with the same function / title /requirements. We have
congregational Rabbi's and we have Halachic / Talmudic leaders and
teachers. Sometimes these two functions are totally seperate, sometimes
they are both found in the same individual. We use the modern semicha
process for both.

>From a purely halachic perspective, the first question I would see that
we need to answer is what is the function of semicha as a requirement
for a congregational Rabbi. I would tend to argue that from a purely
halachic perspective, it is largely irrelevent. He rarely, if at all,
performs any halachicly required function. Anyone (and I'll address the
"one" part of anyone in a minute) can sit in the front, can give
leadership to the congregation, can give the sermon, can "officiate" at
a wedding / funeral / bris etc. What the title Rabbi gives, is that it
says someone or some organization has determined that he has the
required knowledge to do the above actions. That may or may not be true,
and it may or may not be true that someone without semicha has the
equivalent or better knowledge / ability to do the above. The question
then can be asked as to whether a women can or cannot act in the role of
congregational Rabbi. To be able to answer that question, one would need
to list all the activities of the Congregational Rabbi and see which
require a male vs which can be done by both. Since my personal bias is
more along the lines that one does not require a congregational Rabbi,
my personal opinion is probably that one could structure a fully
Orthodox shul such that the "Rabbi" was a woman sitting in the womens
section, and all activities that required a man be done by a man who was
not the "Rabbi". However, I would tend to think that this would be a
fairly awkward situation and I'm not sure what the value would be other
than "political", which I would not tend to favor. Better in my opinion
to just not have any such function as rabbi in the congregation.

We then move to the aspect of Talmudic / Halachic teacher and
leader. Here is where an earlier posting referred to the difference
between giving over "halacha pesuka" - known and well defined halacha vs
true 'psak' - dealing with and ruling on new issues for which there is
no clear 'psak'. The great majority of Rabbi's deal only with the first
case. In this situation, I again do not know if "semicha" is a halachic
requirement, it again is just a short hand method of saying that we
know this person has that level of knowledge. I see no reason why a
women with this level of knowledge cannot answer a question of 'halacha
pesuka' and there are now several programs that prepare women to
function in this role, it at least a number of areas of Halacha, but
just don't use the term semicha.

The issue of true 'psak' is more complicated. Here I think there is a
true halachic requirement for one's teacher in Torah to certify that the
student has reached the level of "Yoreh Yoreh" or "Yadin Yadin". Without
this, there may be issues forbidding a student to pasken in the presence
of / without the permission of his teacher. Here I would like to defer
to some of the group members who are at this level, as to what the
halachic implications of Semicha are, and to what degree, if there is a
committed women, she can reach this level and be granted semicha or
not. There may be issues with serarah (leadership) involved with true
psak, there may be other issues. I do not feel comfortable dealing with
these issues, so I will not comment on them. As to whether any members
who do know enough to comment here will choose to, that is an open
question. But I, for one, will refrain from holding my breath.



From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 19:34:52 -0500
Subject: Senor vs. Mister

Shalom, All:

I must take issue with a couple of Noyekh Miller's remarks. Firstly, he said
>> While 'senor' in modern Spanish has come to mean 'mister', its original
meaning was 'lord'. It is thus an honorific. (The same is true of course
for 'mister';...)

While it's true that **El Senor** means Lord in Spanish, the same is not
true, AFAIK, regarding plain ol' senor, which just means either "man,"
"mister" or "gentleman."

The English word "mister," OTOH, stems from Middle English, and is an
abbreviation of maister, master. Not lord, just master.

Reb Noyekh also wrote that >> The fact that the Jewish name for Faybush
is 'Shrage', from the Aramaic for light or lantern, might suggest some
embarrassment at Jews being named for strange gods.<<

Au contraire. "Esther," says the Jewishencyclopedia.com, >>is derived,
according to some authorities, from the Persian "stara" (star); but
regarded by others as a modification of "Ishtar," the name of the
Babylonian goddess.<< And though there are differing opinions on the
origin of the name Mordecai, many scholars say flat out it came from the
Babylonian "god" called Marduk.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Mark <nomasesq@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 07:51:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Shemot

Can anyone tell me definitively whether it is permitted to dispose of
(in the garbage) a paper (e.g.  a D'var Torah) upon which words such as
"God" "Lord" "He" "the Almighty" are printed (in English in excactly the
form they appear in this e-mail.

Mark F.

[NOTE: There is probably very little on this list that can (and should)
be said as "definitive". If you are looking for a definitive answer for
how you should act, that is the job of your Rabbi or whomever you use
for halachic decision making, not this list. The value and purpose of
this list would be to discuss the issues and range of (possible) answers
to any question. Sorry for the strong response, but as this is a general
comment to the list that is useful to make on a regular basis, I took
this oppertunity, rather than just edit the response. As to the answer
for your specific question, the answer is probably: It depends - on whom
you ask, on exactly how you dispose etc. Mod.]


End of Volume 45 Issue 21