Volume 45 Number 56
                    Produced: Wed Nov 10 21:32:23 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

         [Avi Feldblum]
Adon Olam
         [Yisrael Medad]
Aliyot origins
         [David Cohen]
Chanukah on the J Site and 140 holiday links
         [Jacob Richman]
Halacha and Change
         [Meir Possenheimer]
Simplicity of Rashi
Talmud Torah
         [Jeffrey Saks]
Tfillin and Mirrors
         [Ed Goldstein]
Torah L'Shma
         [Akiva Wolff]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:24:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I'm continuing to learn this new system. I'd like to thank those people
who pointed out to me that when the list was transfered over, it somehow
got converted from an edited list to a pretty much open list. That is
why a few individual posting went out to the list. I think I figured out
how to configure the list to behave the way it used to, and all postings
sent to the list should now just come to me (I hope).



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2004 21:47:10 +0200
Subject: Adon Olam

Rabbi Yaakov Goldman, the American-born chaplain of the Jewish Agency in
Jerusalem in 1947, spent the last evening with Moshe Barazani and Meir
Feinstein in their jail cell in the Central Prison prior to their
scheduled hanging, which they foiled by killing themselves with an
explosive hidden in an orange the following morning.  The Lechi and
Irgun fighters sang together with Rabbi Goldman, as I heard him retell,
Adon Olam as their last religious act.

Yisrael Medad


From: David Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 22:41:42 -0500
Subject: RE: Aliyot origins

Andrew Marks wrote:
>  ... The Gra's minhag is to have aliyot (for monday, thursday, and
>  shabbos mincha) be 3 pesukim for kohen and levi, and four pesukim for
>  shlishi...

Also adding whatever is neccesary, of course, not to end an aliyah
within 2 pesukim of a parashah (petuchah or setumah) break.

Siddur Ezor Eliyahu (of which I am generally a big fan) attempts to
implement this algorithm.  (In the first edition, that's all it had, but
in subsequent editions, they had the wisdom to include in small print
all of what is customarily read, so that you can actually use the siddur
to follow along in a real shul.)

It seems strange to me that a pasuk is treated as some abstract
commodity, with its actual content not being figured in at all.  This
leads to some bizarre endings.  Last week (Chayei Sarah), for example,
it has shelishi ending with Bereshit 23:10.  In rough translation, this
means "Efron was sitting amidst the Hittites.  Efron the Hittite
answered Avraham , within earshot of the Hittites, to all of those who
came to the gate of his city, saying as follows:" That's quite a
cliffhanger.  If we pay any attention to the meaning of the pesukim, it
makes no sense as a stopping place.

I am highly skeptical that this is actually what the Gra did.  IMHO,
perhaps it is possible that the editor of the Siddur Ezor Eliyahu (whose
name I am honored to share) was reading too much into the relevant
passage in "Ma`aseh Rav."  There is also, as far as I know, no actual
tradition of students of the Gra acting like this.  While the siddur
does point out a number of places where the custom of the Perushim of
Yerushalayim differs from that of the Gra, it's usually because they
picked up a Sefaradi practice when they first got to Erets Yisra'el.
But had their rebbe really divided the weekday `aliyot in such an
unusual fasion, I find it hard to believe that they would have
completely lost that tradition.



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 16:14:42 +0200
Subject: Chanukah on the J Site and 140 holiday links

Hi Everyone!

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is observed for eight days,
beginning on the evening of the 25th day of the Hebrew month of
Kislev. This year Chanukah starts at sundown, Tuesday, December 7, 2004.
Chanukah is a wonderful holiday of renewed dedication, faith, hope and
spiritual light. It's a holiday that says: "Never lose hope." Chanukah
commemorates the victory of a small band of Maccabees over the pagan
Syrian-Greeks who ruled over Israel.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment <a
href="http://www.j.co.il"> http://www.j.co.il </a> has several
entertaining features to celebrate Chanukah:

Jewish Trivia Quiz: Chanukah

What does the Hebrew word Chanukah mean ?
What type of foods do we specificaly eat on Chanukah ?
What activities are forbidden during Chanukah ?
Are woman obligated to light the menorah ?
How many candles do we need for all of Chanukah ?
Which family was Judah the Maccabee from ?
How many branches did the menorah in the temple have ?

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice Flash
quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.  Both kids
and adults will find it enjoyable.

Chanukah Clipart
Whether you need a picture for your child's class project,
a graphic for your synagogue, Hillel or JCC Chanukah
announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the pictures
for you. You can copy, save and print the graphics in
three different sizes.

Multilingual Hangman - Chanukah
It's the classic Hangman game recreated in an online Flash version.
If you expect your simple "hang the man by the rope" drawing then
you are in for a surprise. The game can be played in English or

Multilingual Word Search Game: Chanukah
Enter the Multilingual Word Search game and choose the
language you would like to play in: English, Hebrew or
Russian. There is an easy mode for the kids and a harder
mode for us big kids. Each game is randomly generated.
You can even print out a blank game (and the solution page) for
offline playing.

My Jewish Coloring Book - Chanukah Pictures
Young kids love to draw and this online coloring book
is made just for them. Three different size "brushes"
and 24 colors to choose from. You can print the completed
color pictures or print black and white outlines to color offline.

My Hebrew Song Book - Chanukah Hebrew songs (with vowels)
for viewing and printing. All songs are in graphic format so you
do not need Hebrew installed to view or print them.

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not
enough, I posted on my website 140 links about Chanukah,
from laws and customs to games and recipes.
Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish,
French, Portuguese, German and Italian.
All 140 links have been reviewed / checked this week.

The web address is: <a href="http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/j-hdaych.htm">
http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/j-hdaych.htm </a>

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, so they may
benefit from these holiday resources.



From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 11:47:14 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Halacha and Change

Mordechai Horowitz writes:

      "Judaism is not immutable. It changes with every generation.
      Moshe Rabbeinu never davened Shmonei Esrei, he certainly didn't
      own a black hat. The idea of the Oral law is that Judaism must
      change, in accordance with halacha, to the needs of the

Black hats, streimals, kipot srugot etc have nothing in themselves to do
with Judaism - what we cover our heads with is irrelevant, the main
point is that we cover our heads. As for Moshe Rabbeinu and Shmonei
Esrei, Tefilla was instituted to replace the korbonos now that we have
no Beis Hamikdosh.  Judaism may adapt to the times in accordance with
immutable Halacha, change it cannot. And orthodoxy simply means
conforming with this immutable Halacha.


From: <rjhendel@...> <rjhendel@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 23:10:51 GMT
Subject: RE: Simplicity of Rashi

The view advocated on my website (http://www.rashiyomi.com) about Rashis
simplicity is that: a) SIMPLE MEANING of a verse refers to what the
ISOLATED verse would mean by itself while b) MIDRASHIC MEANING of the
verse refers to how the verse is perceived in the CONTEXT of its
paragraph and book. I give 3 examples below.

Before the examples note that the REAL INTENDED MEANING of the verse is
the MIDRASHIC meaning since no author wants ideas taken out of context.

I give 3 controversial examples which illustrate the flavor and problems
of this approach.

The Verse EYE FOR AN EYE (Ex 21) **by itself** means that if A takes out
B's eye then A is punished by having his eye taken out. But if we look
at this verse in the CONTEXT Of the Bible--most of whose laws are
merciful--for example the other torts such as DISABILITY, SICKNESS and
EMBARASSMENT are Biblically remedied by PAYMENT--then it becomes
reasonable and consistent with context to interpret EYE FOR EYE as
MONETARY WORTH OF EYE for an eye. There is even a bold Talmudic
statement in Sanhedrin that applys LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF to
execution laws---the Talmud says we drug him first since cruelty pain
and humiliation were not intended. My above interpretation is consistent
with this apporach.

For a second example take THOU SHALL NOT STEAL mentioned in the
decalogue. By itself it means DONT STEAL MONEY. But the context of the
10 commandments is one of capital crimes (Murder, adultery, sabbath
descecration , idolatry). Hence it is reasonable to see THOU SHALL NOT
STEAL as including all theft including KIDNAP-AND-STEAL. (This approach
of seeing THOU SHALL NOT STEAL as INCLUSIVE of both capital and
non-capital crimes explains the otherwise weird position of the Rambam
(Theft 1:1) who derives the prohibition of stealing from THOU SHALL NOT
STEAL even though the Talmud seems to indicate that THOU SHALL NOT STEAL
applies to kidnapping. The Rambams commentators deal with this
difficulty. My approach is that CONTEXT dictates that all decalogue
commands include both capital and non-capital cases (e.g. dishonoring
ones parents vs wounding them).

For a final example we note that there are only 5 times that the phrase
FEAR GOD is mentioned in a commandment(Lv16-14c, Lv25-42a, Lv19-32b,
Lv25-17a and Lv25-36b). Rashi explains the unifying theme of these 5
commandments that drives the text to say FEAR GOD. On Lv25-36b Rashi
presents two explanations.

The first explanation is: "Dont take interest" is a monetary crime and
people like money; so the Bible had to say FEAR GOD to scare them into

Such an explanation is SIMPLE. It only looks at DONT TAKE INTEREST--FEAR
GOD. But if we look in CONTEXT---Dont insult; Dont take interest; Dont
make the blind stumble; Honor the elderly; Dont overwork slaves---then a
different theory emerges. FEAR GOD is stated in commandments where
performance is subjective For if I insult somebody I could say I was
trying to give constructive criticism; if I dont stand for the elderly I
could say I didnt notice; if I lend money to a non-jew to lend to jews
on interest it is (Biblically legal). Hence FEAR GOD urges us to comply
based on our intent not on our outward performance (See

I think these 3 examples show the elasiticity (and problems?) of my
approach. The Rashi website is committed to seeing all Rashis--as
simultaneously Midrash and Peshat--as the real intended meaning of the
text. If further interest and discussion ensues I will be happy to give
more examples.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd. A.S.A. http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 22:08:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Talmud Torah

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

Although birkhat haTorah is not required for learning through hirhur
(mere mental contemplation), one does fulfill mitzvat Talmud Torah even
without oral recitation (paradoxical as it may seem). Source: Shulchan
Arukh, Orach Chaim 47:4 (note that the Gaon disagrees in the Biur

For more on this, and the Rav's resolution of the paradox, see the
preface to J. Saks and S. Handelman, eds., Wisdom From All My Teachers
(ATID/Urim, 2003), available at: http://www.atid.org/bookcover.htm See
also opening discussion in Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's essay, there.


From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Ed Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 05:28:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Tfillin and Mirrors

In the siddur of the Bostoner, shlita, it unequivocally states in the
minhagei kodesh, that it is NOT permitted to use a mirror to check the
shel rosh.

Rabbi Ed Goldstein, Woodmere NY


From: Akiva Wolff <wolff@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 11:16:56 +0200
Subject: Torah L'Shma

I seem to remember that Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch describes the
concept of learning Torah l'shma quite differently than the usual
'yeshivish' definition. Apparently he writes that learning Torah lishma
means learning in order to do, to make the learning l'ma'aseh. Does
anyone know the exact quote from Hirsch and where it is found?


End of Volume 45 Issue 56