Volume 45 Number 52
                    Produced: Tue Nov  9  5:33:33 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Administrivia - Cutover from listproc based mailing list to listserv
         [Avi Feldblum]
Aliyot origins
         [Ben Katz]
Burials in Jerusalem
         [Eli Turkel]
Hebrew fonts in Word
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Humans are not non-kosher animals
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Humans are not non-kosher animals (was: Honey)
         [Mike Gerver]
Modern Orthodoxy
         [Bernard Raab]
Names for HaShem
         [Stan Tenen]
Talmud torah and reading aloud
         [Yehonatan Chipman]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 05:15:02 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Cutover from listproc based mailing list to listserv

Shamash, the Jewish Network is upgrading their mailing list software.

This will make our list, mail-jewish, easier to use for you and easier
for me to operate.  Shamash is upgrading to ListServ software, which is
a modern, updated, mailing list software used by industry, universities,
and government agencies since 1994.

The new software has many features, including archives, that you can see
through the web interface, at
[Note, I think this will just be the new issues, and the existing archive
will continue to function. So this is less of an issue for our list.]

Note: for people that had asked me to change their address or drop them
from the list over the last few weeks, I had thought we already using
the listserv, so I made the changes there, and they probably never had
an effect.  In addition, when the cut-over was made and the two
subscriber lists remerged, it is always possible that errors
happened. Please feel free to contact me to fix, or now it is much
easier for you to do so via the listserv web interface.

To send mail to the mailing list, please continue to send it to:

There will be a few changes:

1.  Please send list commands to <ListServ@...> instead of to

2.  To change any of your settings, subscribe or unsubscribe,
please go to the web interface at:
You will need to type in your email address and pick a new password of your choosing.

3.  To reach the list owner, please continue using <mljewish@...>

4.  The software offers 6 different types of digests, in order to create
a digest which works best with *your* email software.  If you get mail
in a "once-a-day" digest, please log into the web interface, and select
the digest option you like the best.  You may want to try a few
different ones until you find the one you like the best.  Shamash picked
the digest format that was most similar to the format you used on their
old software, but if this does not work well for you, Shamash and I
would like you change your digest format to one that works the best for

To learn more about this upgrade at Shamash, please go to

Shamash has 750 list owners and tens-of-thousands of subscribers.  In
order to make this transition as smooth as possible, please contact me,
your list owner, with questions, so I can coordinate with Shamash.


Avi Feldblum
List Owner of the mail-jewish list


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 08:43:57 -0600
Subject: Re: Aliyot origins

>From: Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...>
>What is the origin for the aliyot in each perashah as we know it today?
>How decided where each aliyah would begin and end?  Where is it 1st
>Are these stops universal or are there other traditions and if so why?

         Partial answer: There are different minhagim and there are rules
where stops and starts are prohibited.
         Speculation: They probably arose in Babylonia where the years
Torah reading cycle originated.

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: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 15:27:15 +0200
Subject: Burials in Jerusalem

> All civil burials in Israel are without coffins. Only military
> burials  use coffins. The burial mitah (bed?) is used for Kabalistic
> reason. The  army uses coffins for humanitary reason, because some
> times there is only ashes or parts of the deceased soldier. Outside of
> Jerusalem,  the sons usually attend the burial, and women stay behind
> the men.

The implication of this post is that in Jerusalem sons do not attend the
funeral and women stay behind. While some chevra kadisha have this
custom it is far from universal. When my mother a"h passed away in
Jerusalem both my sister and I attended the burial and the chevra
kadisha said they had no problem with it (on Har Tamir). I spoke about
it with R. Shalom Gold and he told me that many years ago he and all his
brothers went to the burial of their father in Jerusalem.

Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 11/4/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 09:47:40 -0000
Subject: Hebrew fonts in Word

I am wondering if anyone can help me.  I have several documents that I
originally created in Word 2000 including Hebrew text.  These were
created painstakingly by typing these in backwards, or in some cases,
copied from other applications.  I now have Word XP, and this seems to
very cleverly reverse all my Hebrew text so it reads backwards.  It is
actually worse than this as it seems to replace the original font (eg
Narkisim) with Times Roman (using the extended character set).  I am sure
this is all extremely clever programming by Mr Gates, but it is driving
me bonkers!  Does anyone have any idea how I might get back to my
original text as I typed it in the correct font, reading in the correct

Once you have solved this, perhaps the same solution will work for all my
Excel sheets?

Thank you
Matthew Pearlman


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 10:20:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Humans are not non-kosher animals

Irwin E. Weiss wrote:
> Well, there is one more example of a substance that comes from a
> non-Kosher animal which is yet Kosher.....................Milk from a
> human is frequently consumed by the infant offspring of the human.  It
> is, beyond any doubt, Kosher, while humans are not themselves Kosher.

Is human milk clearly kosher?  My understanding was that it is kosher
only for the infant, but that I could not, for example, make adult food
from it.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 17:14:06 EST
Subject: Humans are not non-kosher animals (was: Honey)

Irving Weiss, discussing why honey is kosher, writes, in v45n46,

      Well, there is one more example of a substance that comes from a
      non-Kosher animal which is yet Kosher.....................Milk
      from a human is frequently consumed by the infant offspring of the
      human.  It is, beyond any doubt, Kosher, while humans are not
      themselves Kosher.

Humans are not, halachically, non-kosher animals. They are not in the
category of animals at all. I don't think that eating human flesh would
violate the mitzvah of not eating non-kosher animals. It would, of
course, violate halachot about treating the dead with respect. There are
other examples showing that humans are not halachically animals, for
example it is permissible for a human and an animal to plow together,
while it is kilayim to have two different species of animals plowing
together. See the end of Kilayim 8:6.

So there is no reason why human milk would not be kosher. Indeed, I'm
pretty sure it is pareve.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 01:22:25 -0500
Subject: RE: Modern Orthodoxy

>From: Nathan Lamm
>-Finally, Mr. Bernstein states that "Today it is rare to find a rabbi of
>any stature (at least in my experience) who views exposure to secular
>culture as anything but deleterious to observance, much less as enobling
>in its own right."
>With all due respect to Mr. Bernstein, his experience may be quite
>limited indeed. I have no problem finding many rabbis of stature for
>believe just that.

I have been struck by the same phenomenon noted by Bill Bernstein, even
when the rabbi himself may have a fine secular education. I used to
attend a regular gemara shiur given by a "moderm" (i.e., clean-shaven)
rabbi with a Ph.D. in history, who regularly denigrated the value of
secular education. I have heard that the same was true of the late
Lubavicher rebbe, whose chasidim frequently bragged on his secular

On the other hand, I am quite willing to believe Nathan Lamm in his
assertion. But I'll wager that the "many rabbis" he talks of are all YU
graduates. Depending on your own attitude toward secular education, you
will count this as either a triumph of YU or as an indictment.  There
are rabbis of other yeshivos who are educated secularly, but who display
the attitudes noted by Bill Bernstein. How to explain this phenomenon? I
have a theory based on my admittedly limited observation: I believe in
many or most cases, these rabbis attended night classes in university
near their yeshivos. The attitude and atmosphere in that environment is
heavily vocation-oriented and not very academic. Plus there is generally
zero interaction with other students or faculty outside of class. Thus
the deeper values of such education are largely unexplored. If the
student then decides to go into the practical rabbinate or into chinuch,
the value of the entire experience is focused on the diploma as a

Having thus avoided the "normal" college environment, which they
associate with all sorts of depradations, they have great hesitation
about approving such an experience for their students. In many cases
thay will regard YU as an acceptable compromise, but only if a "real"
yeshiva is out of the question.

Anybody out there to confirm or contradict my observations?

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 16:22:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Names for HaShem

>From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
>I know that we use the term Scheninah, which is feminine, to refer to
>HaShem's presence.  However, I can't recall ever using the image of
>HaShem as our mother.

There are many reasons why we identify the name Hashem with the
masculine aspect, and the name Elokim (in spite of the Yod-Mem ending)
with the feminine aspect.

Most that I'm aware of (because I'm into geometry) are somewhat
problematic, because they involve geometric metaphor, and simple people
often don't appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of metaphor, and
thus confuse geometry with idolatry.

I'd like to mention one "model/metaphor" that identifies YH-VH with the
masculine aspect, and Elokim with the feminine aspect.

In the current issue of B'Or HaTorah, there's an essay I wrote called
"Man Bites Dog." I use this title because it's a catch-phrase in English
for something unusual, an anomaly, something that attracts our
attention. I wrote the essay many years before I caught up with the
appropriate references. You can find "Man Bites Dog" at

Shaar Hayichud Vehaemuna, in Tanya, gives us a metaphor that I
originally came on to by analysis of the letter-text of B'reshit. We are
told that Hashem (they use a different stand-in term) Elokim is like "a
sun and a shield".

Now, obviously, Hashem is infinitely greater than the sun, and whatever
a shield may be, the term Elokim refers to something infinitely greater
than that. But this is the metaphor, and it's explored in the text.

A sun is in the middle, and the shield -- the sky, that is -- is
all-surrounding. This is the masculine/feminine metaphor. The sun is
within and surrounded by the sky-shield. This is the metaphor that leads
to the use of gender-language, because similarly, the masculine
principle is within and surrounded by the feminine principle.

Thus, Hashem is comparable to (an Infinite) "Father", and Elokim is
comparable to (an Infinite) "Mother". This is also the origin of the
"Mother Nature" model, that exists in many cultures, and the
identification of Elokim with "Mother Nature" and the stick of
Joseph/Efriam (Yezekhiel, Vayigash). Likewise, Hashem is identified with
the mind and consciousness, and with the stick of Judah (Yezekhiel,

If anyone reading this would like to see this geometry and check out the
"geometric and gender metaphors" for themselves, let me know off-list
and I'll send it to you. (There's a lot more detail than I'm attempting
to outline here.)



From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 10:04:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Talmud torah and reading aloud

In v45n46, Dov Teichman asked:

<<Could anyone confirm, with a reference if possible, whether there is
any respected halachic opinion that to fulfill the Mitzvah of Talmud
Torah one has to actually say the words aloud?>>

The Rambam does not say that it is a requirement to fulfil the mitzvah
of Talmud Torah, but in Hilkhot Talmud Torah 3.6 he does say that:

  "... whoever makes his voice heard in the study house at the time of
his study, his learning lasts.  But one who reads silently, quickly

It is thus " a good thing to do," rather than a hard and fast halakhah.

Jonathan Chipman.


End of Volume 45 Issue 52