Volume 45 Number 65
                    Produced: Sun Nov 14 22:29:37 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Aliyot origins
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Chanuka - Oil vs Candles
         [Brandon Raff]
Human Products
         [Joshua Younger]
I LIKE/LOVE this parsha question
Mirrors and Tifillin
A new Tanakh translation
         [Noyekh Miller]
Permissibility of Human Flesh
         [Shlomo Spiro]
Putting on Tallis & Tefillin prior to entering shule (2)
         [David Riceman, Natan Kahan]
Yes, we have bigger problems
         [Harlan Braude]


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:22:39 +0200
Subject: Re: Aliyot origins

Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...> wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 45
#59 Digest

>It's also usually possible to figure out, at least approximately, the logic
>behind the divisons:
>to have the aliyot roughly even in length -- i.e., not
>extremely short or extremely long (but there are notable exceptions to
>this; e.g., Ki Tisa, where each of the first two aliyot is as long as
>the last five together)

There is a specific reason for this exception to Y. Chipman's correct rule:

The incident of the golden calf starts about in the middle of Ki Tisa.
It is considered a disgrace for a Yisrael to be called to the Torah for
the reading of this passage.  Since the Leviim did not worship the
golden calf, it is not considered a disgrace for a Levi to have this
incident read while he is called up.  Therefore, the aliyot are arranged
so that the golden calf incident is read during the second aliya.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 13:20:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Chanuka - Oil vs Candles

>[Two quick notes. First, the list includes Chassidim among the various
>groups who take part in our conversations here, they they are not
>outside of "us", second there are many of "us", both chassidic and none,
>who do use olive oil for the menorah for Chanuka. Many of "us" who do
>not, feel that the primary issue is the light itself, not the source of
>the light, and candles provide a better light. Mod.]

Just a quick point of clarification. I did not intend to single out
Chassidim as "outside of us" Chas v'Shalom. The prevailing custom in
South Africa is to use candles unless you are Chassidic or have adopted
this custom from them (which is quite common). I personally use olive
oil because as I understand it the miracle of Chanuka commemorates the
miracle of the olive oil in the menorah and not necessarily the light
that the flame gives off. Thus my question, where does the custom of
using candles come from.



From: Joshua Younger <jyounger@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 14:06:27 -0500
Subject: Human Products

Regarding Human Products, I recall learning a Rambam (not sure where)
that stated eating the blood of a human is only a D'Rabanan and eating
the blood of a Bhemah [animal] is a d'Orisah. I think this is in sync
with the statement made by Pinchas Roth.


From: Adereth <adereth2003@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 09:04:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I LIKE/LOVE this parsha question

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> I just took a better look at the pasuk.  What Yitzchak loves is that his
> son prepares food for him, kibud av."

From: Sara Eisen <dseisen@...>
> "Clearly, "ka'asher ahavti" does not refer to the meat per se; rather,
> to the sacrifice that was made for him."

I think this explanation is almost certainly incorrect, as can be seen
from Rivka's statement to Ya'akov later (27:9) "v'e'ese osom mataamim
l'ovicho ka'asher oheyv".  See Rashi on the spot - it's the taste that
Yitzchok likes/loves.

The admonition not to say "I love fish" is, I believe, a statement by
R. Dessler - it's not a chazal, simply a mussar vort.  Echoing the
comments of D. Charlop, I'd say that the question is not really a
question on the posuk - it's a question on the vort.

We have a general principle of "dibro torah b'loshon b'nei adom" (the
torah uses human language).  Hebrew in fact doesn't distinguish between
loving/liking.  Given that this is not a teaching of anyone earlier than
R. Dessler, one is free to accept or reject the value of such precision
in speech, bearing in mind that the torah itself doesn't seem to value
the precision that he called for.

As a general matter, it's extrememly important IMO to always subject
unsourced mussar ideas to the test of whether they are consistent with
torah/diverei chazal.



From: <D26JJ@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 15:04:39 -0500
Subject: re: Mirrors and Tifillin

Natan Kahan <datankan@...> wrote from Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 12
Siman 6 paragraph 6 Looking in a mirror to put on teffilin is a chumrah
(and a ridiculous one at that) which relies on a kula: allowing men to
look in the mirror which is assur midorayta according to the Shulchan
Aruch and the GR"A (Yorah Deah 156:2 and 182:6) as a derivative of the
prohibition of "lo yilbash gever simlat isha".

I think it is important to separate the mirror and Tiffilin issue into 2
parts. The first is whether a man looking into a mirror in general is
acceptable or not. The second part is whether it is appropriate for
checking the tiffilin. The previous posts that quote Sefarim that forbid
the use of a mirror for checking tiffilin seem to hold that the use of a
mirror for a man in general is forbidden.  I did not do any research on
the matter, however to be "dan lekaf zechus" the numerous men who use a
mirror in shul, I would venture to say that these days, where a man
looking into a mirror is accepted (for whatever reason), using a mirror
in shul is not a problem and might in fact be considered a "hiddur" in
tiffilin.  (I am under the impression that the guidelines as to what is
considered "lo yilbash gever simlat isha" can change according to the
custom of the place and times - Anybody?)


From: Noyekh Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 20:36:20 -0500
Subject: A new Tanakh translation

  A propos the recent discussion about Rashi, there's a new Tanakh
edition, _The Jewish Study Bible_, Oxford University Press.  The editors
are Adele Berlin and Mark Zvi Brettler, and the consulting editor is
Michael Fishbane.  It has a lot going for it.

I should say to begin with that my long-time favorite was and remains
Aryeh Kaplan z"l's translation of the Khumesh.  It has the original
Hebrew on facing pages.  The translation is brisk and concise.  There
are maps and drawings. The commentary is obviously informed and very
helpful.  R. Kaplan wanted readers to enjoy (itself an eyebrow-raiser)
his translation and he succeeded brilliantly.  Compared with other O.
editions there's no contest, the principal reason being that a
translator needs to be master of _two_ languages (at least) and those
responsible for the Artscroll and Metsuda editions don't cut the

If the Kaplan has a shortcoming it's that it includes only khumesh.  (It
also comes in a hideous lavender cover but that can be easily remedied.)
Enter the JSB.  The translation is that of the Jewish Publication
Society, certainly adequate to the best of my knowledge but not as
lively.  This translation has already appeared in numerous editions over
the last 40 years, including a five-volume annotated Khumesh which
belongs on every bookshelf.  But the JSB is the only _annotated_ edition
of the JPS Tanakh in its entirety.

Like Kaplan, this 2200 page book contains maps (some in color) and
drawings.  It does not contain the Hebrew original.  But the commentary,
which like Kaplan draws upon the entire Jewish critical tradition, is
somewhat more extended.  I have not compared these commentaries with an
eye to 'kashrus' because I don't know enough for that.  Were it possible
to do a double-blind test, I suspect that quite a few peiople might be
surprised.  No matter: this translation will in any case never be found
in Lakewood.  All the more so because it contains some 200 pages of
essays, though these essays alone are worth the price of the volume.
The two dozen or so authors are all scholars, some of them rabbis as
well.  Of particular interest to the discussion about Rashi and pshat is
an essay by Barry Walfish who traces the method back to 8th C. Karaites,
followed by Saadya and Ibn Ezra among others.  So the French can't claim
they invented explication des textes after all.  ;-)

Noyekh Miller


From: Shlomo Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 15:43:38 +0200
Subject: Permissibility of Human Flesh

bh, rosh hodesh Kislev

There are three opinions regarding the permissibility of consuming human
flesh.  The Ramban maintains it is permitted altogether as is discussed
in the Kerisus 20a.  The Rambam maintains that there is a prohibition of
a positive commandments ( issur eseh) .  Only those mentioned in the
torah "these shalt thou eat" are permitted, All else is not permitted.
See Ran Ketubot 60.where this is discussed at length.  Then there is a
third opinion, Rah Halevi, brought by the Magid Mishneh in Hilkhot
Makhalot Asurot Cap 2:3 that human flesh is prohibited by a negative
commandment .

With respect to human milk, we are faced with the rule is that that
which is extracted from something prohibited is also prohibited ( kol
hayotze min ha tame tame), but this rule only applies to something
prohibited by a negative commandment , since according to the Rambam the
prohibition is by a positive commandment it is permitted.  But what
about the opinion of the Rah Halevi? One would have to then invoke the
gemara in Keritot where passages in the torah are brought to permit
human blood.  Milk would be in the same category as a extract of the

However, as many of the posts have mentioned, there are rabbinical
restrictions on human blood and milk for a variety of reasons.


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 09:25:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Putting on Tallis & Tefillin prior to entering shule

> Yes, I recall the S.A.  -- BUT what is the reason / source.

IIRC the Alter from Kelm wrote an essay saying that the source was the
prohibition of dressing or undressing before one's Rav.  He compared
standing before the Aron to standing before one's Rav, and concluded
that that's why one had to be fully dressed (i.e., wearing tallis and
tefillin) before entering, and could not undress (i.e., remove tallis
and tefillin) while present.

David Riceman

From: Natan Kahan <datankan@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:41:41 +0200
Subject: RE: Putting on Tallis & Tefillin prior to entering shule

See Mishna Brurah seif katan 8 where he explains the reason for putting
on tallis and tefillin at home so as to walk out the front door of your
house wearing tallis and tefillin as brought by the Beyt Yoseph and the
Dagul Merevavah (Harav Yecheskel Seagal Landau author of the Nodah
Beyehudah) who quote the Zohar as saying this is an "Inyan Gadol" a
great thing.  The Orach Hashulchan (25:2 and 5) quotes the Zohar as
saying it is an "Inyan Gadol" to walk to Shul while wearing Tallis and
tefillin.  I found this reference in the Zohar Parshat Vaetchanan Siman
98, "Rabbi Shimon said: ...and in the morning he puts tefillin on his
head vetfilin b'roshem hakodesh that being the tefilin of malchus on his
arm. And he wraps himself (nit'atef) in the wrap of mitzvah.  And then
he leaves via the door of his house where he meets the mezuzah which is
the roshem of the holy name which is malchut at the gate of his house.
And then, four holy angels join him and they leave together from the
doorway of his house and escort him to the beit Knesset, and declare
(machriz) before him tnu kavod (give honor) to the figure of the holy
king, tnu kavod to the son of the king, to the figure of the face of the
king. And a holy spirit (ruach hakodesh) rests upon him, declares and
says Yisrael asher bcha etpa'ar.


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 12:29:05 -0500
Subject: RE: Yes, we have bigger problems

On the topic of lateness in shul...
> > with so many serious issues that need to be addressed in the frum
> > community, is lateness to shul what we need to focus on?
> I disagree with this "logic" as life is not an either proposition.
>     etc.  -- I propose that a perfectly acceptable response is for the
>     appropriate person (congregation's Rabbi?) to privately tell him
>     that his behavior is unacceptable and that he should remedy same --
>     you may be doing him a favor.

This is something worth trying, but it may not provide the remedy some
might hope for.

I've been in synagogues where this was attemped and, when it worked at
all, it provided only temporary relief from the problem. Even if person
A reacted in a positive manner, person B did not.

Not everyone is receptive to "correction" and not every designated
"appropriate person" is willing to perform this service repeatedly in
the face of failure.

Sometimes, the options are say nothing and fume at one's seat or create
an openly combative environment (yes, the requirement was for "private"
mussar, but when that doesn't work the next step is to either escalate
the conflict or, again, say nothing and fume at one's seat.)

Sometimes the choice comes down to tolerate the objectionable behavior
or find someplace else to daven (assuming the next place is any

Not fair? Perhaps not, but it is realistic.



End of Volume 45 Issue 65