Volume 46 Number 21
                    Produced: Tue Dec 21  6:07:17 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Bar-Ilan Responsa CD
         [Dovi Jacobs]
Brachot for aliyah to the Torah - Russian transliteration
         [Harold Greenberg]
Cost of Simcha's (2)
         [Tzvi Stein, Martin Stern]
kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Length of Davening
         [Martin Stern]
Mystical Intentions
         [Tzvi Stein]
Rashi on Jacob's messengers (2)
         [Binyomin Segal, David Prins]
Torah view on endangered species
         [Akiva Wolff]
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Dovi Jacobs <dovijacobs@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 08:48:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Bar-Ilan Responsa CD

A number of people discussed the Bar-Ilan Responsa project CD over the
past couple of weeks. I urge those who are interested in Torah Databases
to contribute to and update the already quite comprehensive article on
that subject in Wikpedia. Click on:


Though the article already contains a great deal of useful information,
much more can still be added. The article's talk page is a great place
for up-to-date practical discussions on these programs/databses.



From: Harold Greenberg <harold.greenberg@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:33:35 +0200
Subject: Brachot for aliyah to the Torah - Russian transliteration

Could someone please refer me to a website where I can find a Russian
transliteration of the Brachot for aliyah to the Torah, preferably
including Birkat Hagomel.

Eilat, Israel


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 15:30:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Cost of Simcha's

Unless both sides are extrememly wealthy, whenever I go to a chasuna, I
always have a twinge of regret and mourning over the money being spent,
even though it's not mine.  I can't help but wonder how much it cost and
what sacrifices are being made.  How much in debt are they going?  How
long will they be saddled with it?  Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but it
really prevents me from enjoying the event fully.  Maybe my values are
wrong, but it just does not seem worth it to me, for one night's
indulgence.  My chasuna cost $10,000 (about 12 years ago, in
Yerushalayim, with over 200 guests) and I would have been just as happy
with less.

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 14:05:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Cost of Simcha's

on 12/12/04 12:51 am, <FriedmanJ@...> wrote:
>> Everyone helped with my daughter's wedding, we had 250 guests in New
>> Jersey, for an all day affair that was a milchig buffet with all the
>> trimmings for less than $27,000...
> It's interesting. If I had done what I wanted to do, it wouldn't have
> cost more than three grand, no picutres, no flowers, no food, no gowns,
> no guests, no hall, no nothing but the papers and the rabbis. But the
> Holocaust survivors grandmothers had other ideas and sort of ordered
> what to do. So I think I really did the best I could, considering I have
> three daughters. Considering that I was told and sworn to that there was
> no way I could make the smallest wedding for less than $50,000, I am
> pretty proud of myself. The grandmothers and all the people who wanted
> me to give my kids a "proper" start were satisfied, not to mention I
> helped a few people make a parnassa to pay some of those outrageous
> costs of being Jewish. Everyone I hired has kids in yeshiva, is trying
> to make a living.  I did give stuff to a gemach.
> Why do i have to feel guilty for making a nice simcha?

First, there is no reason to feel guilty for making 'a nice simcha' if
one could afford to pay that much without having to go into long term
debt.  One's money is one's own to do with as one pleases.

If 'the Holocaust survivor grandmothers had other ideas and sort of
ordered [one] what to do', then they should have put up the money and
not expected one to pay more than one wanted to lay out. It is all very
well to have fancy ideas but it is immoral to expect them to be paid for
by someone else.

Since I have eight daughters (and three sons), when my oldest daughter
became a kallah (followed a few months later by the second), my wife and
I sat down and decided that we would have to minimise the costs since
whatever we did for one we would have to do for all the others. I don't
think my gross annual income at the time was as much as $50,000 so such
an outlay on a one night celebration was out of the question. We
therefore restricted the number of guests, since that is the major
source of expense, and more or less told the chatan's family (who would
not be paying) how many they could invite. We also hired the bride's
dress rather than purchasing it, used satin flowers which could be
reused rather than fresh ones (ketsits noveil as we say in unetanei
tokef), and did not have a large band; the weddings were no less

We have now married off all our children except our youngest daughter
without having to go begging from door to door but I would have refused
to even consider doing so to satisfy any third party.

As I said above let those who want to have more spent open their wallets
(pocket books in US?) and pay for it. Unfortunately, I suspect, most
people are not prepared to risk 'offending' family members or mechutanim
by taking such a firm line. That is where sumptuary laws can help less
well-to-do people avoid incurring crippling debts as a result of social

Martin Stern


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:39:47 EST
Subject: kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh

 Ari Trachtenberg writes (MJv46n15):
<<As far as I know, there are two different renditions of the above quote
[kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh] (depending on the gemara used):

"kol Yisrael areivim ze bazeh" - all Jews are "mixed" one by the other -
our behaviors affect each other.  This is the harsher, active reading
because it implies that if I do not rebuke the sinner, I will be hurt by

"kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh" (the version I had originally learned) -
all Jews are responsible one *to* the other - this is the more passive,
lighter reading: I have a responsibility to my fellow Jew to guard him
from sin and hurt.>>

Actually there are three types: "kol Yisrael areivim zeh mizeh" is found
at Siddur Rashi 381. Only "kol Yisrael areivim ze bazeh" is found in the
Talmud (Shevuot 39a), and it appears to me to be the original one,
"lazeh" is indeed found in Rabbinic sources, not in the Talmud, but
later on, and the version is attempting to improve on the Hebrew. "Zeh
bazeh" is not standard Hebrew, whereas "zeh lazeh" fits better, and as
Ari attested it is the one which is better known and often used. Since
"kol Yisrael areivim zeh mizeh" appears only ones in my Bar Ilan CD, I
venture to guess that it reflects an attempt to fix the same Hebrew
issue, or is simply a scribal error. I leave this question to scholars
who have access to MSS of Siddur Rashi, but suffice it to point out that
Rashi himself bring the variation ""kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh" in
Vaiykra 26:37 as well as ""kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh" in Nidah
13b. Note that often the quote will be "arevin" in the Aramaic form
instead of "arevim" in the Hebrew form. In conclusion I think that all
of them stem from the very same source and mean the same, that is "all
Jews are responsible to each other". There are different meaning in
Hebrew to the expressions "zeh mizeh" as compared to "zeh bazeh" and as
compared to "zeh lazeh" with some overlap, and I am sure that some
linguist will attempt to define the differences.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 14:25:33 +0000
Subject: Re: Length of Davening

on 11/12/04 10:47 pm, Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...> wrote:

> I find it astonishing that I can get to an Askenazic minyan 15 minutes
> late on shabbat morning to find them somewhere between nishmat and
> kriat shma

Surely Eitan is exaggerating. We daven fairly fast (total time for
shabbat shacharit between two and two and a half hours) and still take
at least half an hour to get to shokhein ad. It would be interesting to
hear what happens in the shuls of other contibutors to mail-jewish.

Martin Stern

[As a note in response, based on various minyanim I have been in, I
would consider 1hr 45min as "fairly fast", 2hr to 2hr 15 min as "normal"
and anything greater than 2hr 30 min as "tirchah d'tziburah". Avi]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 15:32:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Mystical Intentions

> The Ropshitser answered "You fool, the reason is obvious: after
> soaking in a hot mikveh the toe nails are softened and easier to cut."

I heard the same story, but with a caveat.  What the Rebbe really said
was, "the mikva softens the klippas".  That itself can be interpreted as
having very deep kabalistic meaning.


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 19:19:18 -0600
Subject: Re: Rashi on Jacob's messengers

Jeffery Zucker asked:
> At the beginning of that parsha we read: "Vayishlach Yaakov malachim..."
> ("And Jacob sent messengers").  Here Rashi comments: "Malachim mamash"
> -- "actual angels", i.e. not ordinary but divine messengers.
> I find this hard to understand.  To me the pshat (simple explanation)
> for "malachim" here is obviously (human) messengers.
> What could Rashi's motivation have been for his explanation?

I would suggest looking at the psukim at the very end of the previous
parsha. In 32:2 the Torah tells us that Yaakov encountered "malachei
elohim". A reasonable translation of that would be angels (messengers of
God). And so then when Yaakov sends malachim two psukim later, it might
be reasonable in context to suspect they are the same as the ones
previously mentioned.


From: David Prins <prins@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:15:42 +1100
Subject: Rashi on Jacob's messengers

Jeffery Zucker questioned (v46i17) why on Bereishit 32:3 at the
beginning of Parashat Vayishlach Rashi choose a Midrashic explanation
(based on Bereishit Rabba 75:4) of "malachim" to be angels (divine
messengers) rather than human messengers.  Jeffery wanted to know what
could have been Rashi's motivation for this explanation.

Addressing this very question, both Siftei Chachamim and Kli Yakar refer
to the fact that "malachei Elokim" - i.e. angels not humans - are said
to have met Yaakov just two verses earlier (at the end of Parashat
Vayetse), and suggest this may have been what motivated Rashi - these
were the "malachim" that Yaakov sent.  Siftei Chamamim refers to other
sources of answers as well, and Kli Yakar also offers other


From: Akiva Wolff <wolff@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:24:23 +0200
Subject: RE: Torah view on endangered species

> What is the Torah view on the preservation or otherwise of endangered
> species. Does the Torah see a problem in the extinction of species, or
> is it within Man's prerogative to develop the world as he sees fit, even
> at the risk of wiping out species. Are we required to delay or abandon
> plans for development because of the risk to other species (or even the
> potential for risk)? Is financial loss a factor here?

In his commentary on the mitzvah of shiluach haken, The Ramban writes
(my translation):

"If you happen across a bird's nest. - this commandment is also clearly
similar to "It and its young [you shall not slaughter on the same day]"
(Deuteronomy 22:28). For the reason with both of them is that we should
not have a cruel heart that is lacking in compassion. Alternatively,
Scripture does not permit us to engage in destruction, to uproot a
species, even through it did allow the slaughter of animals of that
species. When one kills a mother and young on one day, or takes them
both together when they could have flown away, it is as though one has
exterminated that species.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 20:01:30 -0500

Jeff asks  (v46n17)
>At the beginning of that parsha we read: "Vayishlach Yaakov malachim..."
>("And Jacob sent messengers").  Here Rashi comments: "Malachim mamash"
>-- "actual angels", i.e. not ordinary but divine messengers.
>I find this hard to understand.  To me the pshat (simple explanation)
>for "malachim" here is obviously (human) messengers.

This is answered on the Rashi website: The set of verses Gn32-01:04
forms a paragraph of verses. It clearly states that Jacob met ANGELS
(Messengers of God). It clearly states that he then became two camps
(Alliance). If in the next verse it says that he sent ACTUAL ANGELS,
then Rashi is simply using the context.

Here we use the Rabbi Ishmael exegetical rule of INFERRING FROM CONTEXT
(MESSENGER by itself does mean messenger; MESSENGER in a CONTEXT of
angels means angels). On the Rashi website I call this the rule of OTHER
VERSES (Rashis inference is based on an other verse).

You can browse verses and read about Rashi rules at the url below (Oops
just noticed that this Rashi has not yet been added...so I will add it
this week and give Jeff and mail-jewish acknowledgement)

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 46 Issue 21