Volume 45 Number 34
                    Produced: Sat Oct 23 23:05:28 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Beautiful Theory on Chapter Divisions
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"
         [Lawrence Myers]
Funeral in Yerushalayim
         [Nathan Lamm]
         [Shayna Kravetz]
         [Martin Stern]
Orthodox Jews and math
         [Chaim Shapiro]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Shaking the Lulav
         [Immanuel Burton]
         [Michael Kahn]
The state of YU
         [Abbi Adest]
State of YU
         [Nathan Lamm]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 22:47:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I have recently been more able to keep up with the pace of material
coming in, and have even been able to send emails out to people who have
submitted material that for one reason or another I felt I was not going
to use on the list. For those of you that have gotten such email from
recently, that is the reason, for those of you who have sent material in
that has not yet been used, I will try to get to a few more of those
during the weekend.

In general, I am very pleased by people's submissions and I think we
continue to have a number of good quality discussions here on the list.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 13:46:30 +0200
Subject: Re: Beautiful Theory on Chapter Divisions

Stan stated the following on Tue, 19 Oct 2004 10:03:16 -0400

      But "HaShanah" has a value of 360.  This may be significant,
      because even though we call it the "new year", Rosh Hashanah may
      actually more accurately be called the "Head of the Cycle/Circle".


Sure.  If shana meant cycle/circle, then your translation could be

But is means year, so what would make your translation "accurate"?

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Lawrence Myers <lawrence@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 16:26:00 +0100
Subject: Re: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

> From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
> Obviously different shules have different mihagim.
> I've been to shules where a few people take it upon themselves to pound
> a bench or make some other banging noise -- usually to the confusion of
> some and to help others remember -- sometimes they clop when they
> shouldn't.
> [...]
> On occasions of major change (such as Moreed HaGeshem) the Rabbi may
> spend a minute or two reminding us as well as discussing the halachos of
> what to do if we forgot, etc.
> It seems that the least civil and least informative of all of these
> options is the bang the bench.

There are times when banging on the desk etc is the only means available
to remind worshippers of changes. Specifically, before the Shacharit
amidah, when no interruption of any kind is allowed after "Ga'al
Yisroel" the accepted method to remind about Ya'aleh Veyavoh is to
bang. However, there should be one designated official who should do it
so it doesn't descend to a cacophony of banging.

Lawrence Myers 


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 06:24:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Funeral in Yerushalayim

Is it possible the family were Kohanim? That would explain a number of
these points.


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 08:40:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Glassware

Akiva Miller writes:
>> I am interested in how these terms (non-porous and non-absorptive) are
>> defined in that scientific context. The reason why I'm asking is that my
>> amateur experimentation had led me to conclude that glass *is*
>> absorptive, at least for some materials. The specific experiment
>> involves buying a glass bottle of apple juice, emptying it, washing it,
>> and then trying to use it as a water bottle. To me, the water always has
>> a faint taste of apple juice, even the fifth or tenth time I've reused
>> it. This seems to be contrary to the concept of "non-absorptive" as I
>> understand it.
to which Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...> replied:
>More kitchen wisdom:
>I'm guessing that the bottle you used has a very narrow opening, such that
>you can't get your hand in with a sponge to wipe of the surface, and that
>you've cleaned the bottle by rinsing and shaking only, so the inside
>surface never really got clean.

And yet more: the real issue is not the bottle but the cap, which is
generally extraordinarily hard to clean thoroughly.  The lip of most
metal bottle caps curls under to create a smooth edge, thus also
providing a narrow crevice which harbours drips.  The interior of such
caps is usually not plain metal but lined with plastic -- especially so
for juice bottles whose contents are acidic -- and plastic is, of
course, notorious for absorbing flavours.  Even if the interior of the
bottle is clean, the cap's interior will carry a ta'am of whatever was
stored in the bottle.

Shabbat shalom,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 12:49:49 +0100
Subject: Re: Kiddush

on 17/10/04 3:44 am, Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...> wrote:

> Hmm, I've not been following this discussion closely so maybe this has
> been put out there already, I'd like to see a source that defines the
> halachic "weightiness" of b'rav am hadrat melech.  The rabbi consulted
> by Martin seems to feel that the multitude of reasons (some with
> meaningful halachic weight behind them) are so overweighed by b'rav am
> that b'rav am renders the minhag "taut."  With all do respect this seems
> to be substantially overstating the case.

First may I make the point that I would not have personally referred to
minhag B as a taut on my own authority and therefore quoted it in the name
of my rav.

> Finally, according to this shita which holds that b'rav am trumps all
> other considerations and renders the alternate approach "taut," then why
> is the "taut" limited to only kiddush?  Why not all the time?  Thus why
> not insist that whenever one is eating with others that only one person
> make the bracha on whatever food is being eaten by the assembled group?
> A couple of people sit down to lunch - is it a "taut" for each to make
> his/her own hamotzi or mezonot or whatever? How about a few people about
> to say any bracha whatsoever - candle lighting, seeing lightening,
> netilat lulav, etc. etc.  Surely it would be a fulfillment of b'rav am
> hadrat melech for one person to recite "lehitatef tzitzit" and then the
> entire congregation to put on their tallitot - is it not a "taut" to do
> otherwise?  How does this shita distinguish among all of these cases?

The distinction is that, in the case of kiddush, and for that matter
havdalah, the berakhah itself is the mitsvah, in the other cases suggested
by Eitan it either is required before having benefit (e.g. hamotzi), on the
performance of a mitsvah (e.g. candle lighting) or as a personal praise
(e.g. on lightening).

Martin Stern

[This is all nice, but I would agree with Eitan that at this point some
sources would be useful here. Avi]


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 09:49:47 EDT
Subject: Orthodox Jews and math

Let us note that the study Dr Segal so kindly found for us limits its
results to Israeli schools.  Without reading the reasoning provided in
the article, I have to presume we do not know that similar results could
be replicated in American schools.  This might present a great
dissertation topic to an orthodox graduate student!

Chaim Shapiro


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 06:27:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Psak

David Cohen responded to Tzvi Stein:

> Unless you know, through your own learning, what the correct psak is,
> then, at the very least, you should question your own posek as to
> whether you have to follow the posted psak.

But the reason for the psak was given: People don't know how to take
maaser properly. So if a person *does* know how, why follow it?


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 10:37:09 +0100
Subject: RE: Shaking the Lulav

Common practice when shaking the lulav is to hold the esrog upside down
until one has recited the blessing, and then turn the esrog the right
way up.  Rather than engaging in such acrobatics, I have adopted the
practice of holding the lulav only, reciting the blessing and then
picking up the esrog the right way round.  I was rather bemused one day
to be challenged by someone about this, as he seemed to think that the
way the mitzvah is fulfilled is to hold the esrog upside down until the
blessing has been recited and then turn it round, and that one can't
fulfill the mitzvah the way I was doing it!

With regards to holding the lulav and esrog during Hallel and the
Hoshanos, is there a requirement to hold the lulav and esrog in both
hands throughout in the way that one does when shaking the lulav
initially, or may one hold them in one hand, as is common practice?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 19:51:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Shemot

>It is pretty clear in the Shach (YD 276:11) that the name of God is
>only in Hebrew.

Some of you may remember my post a couple weeks ago worrying about
halachik/hashkafic issues that may arise in the public school student
teaching I was about to start.

Well, It is going very well! In fact, I was observing a class on
religion and the assistant principal, out of respect for me, wrote G-d
on the black board.


From: Abbi Adest <abbishapiro@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 14:39:13 +0200
Subject: The state of YU

>Just to give one example: When Mr. Joel was chosen as president, there
>was actually a Tehillim rally on campus led by the Roshei Yeshiva. And
>yet, within a short amount of time, at his inauguration, all of them
>quite proudly led the academic procession. Give people a chance to talk,
>and conflict tends to disappear. Of course, lack of conflict doesn't
>sell newspapers or magazines, even the online variety- hence this


The Tehillim rally organized to pray for the failure of Richard Joel's
candidacy is a poor example of dialogue as you seem to imply with the
line "Give people a chance to talk". It was a prime example of
embarrassing someone in public and even carried of whiff of the radical
criticism that led to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin
z"l. I don't understand how you can brush off such despicable behavior
on the part of the Roshei Yeshiva, as if publicly praying for someone's
failure is normal and even to be condoned. I was nauseated when I heard
about it at the time and it deeply embarrassed me as a Stern alumnus.

Unless you talked to the Roshe Yeshiva personally, it's impossible to
know whether they led the academic procession proudly or not. If
anything, I find it most hypocritical that they didn't resign immeditaly
after Richard Joel was voted in, if they were so against his nomination.
Their actions do not reflect a wealth of integrity.

Abbi Adest


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 06:39:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: State of YU

I have to apologize to Bernard Raab and to any to whom I may have seemed
"smug" in my reply. It wasn't my intention to be so; as the moderator
pointed out, my points can be found in the letter I forwarded later.  (I
can't really call myself an "insider," having been out of YU for a few
years and following it from a distance.)

Mr. Raab added:

> What this incident illustrates is that either Mr.  Joel is a superb
> diplomat, or he caved completely to the Rabbis and assured them that
> they will retain veto power over all important student issues and
> activities.

>From what I've seen, I'd say the first, combined with a healthy dose of
cooperation, rather than "caving."  The worries many had when Mr. Joel
was selected were well reported: The process was quite closed, he didn't
have semikha, he had worked in a non-Orthodox organization, etc. But
once you meet him, and realize his respect and religion, doubts can be

Of course, it's not as if previous administrations hadn't had issues as
well. I guess it'd be best to think of such things as indicative of a
healthy institution.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 45 Issue 34