Volume 47 Number 07
                    Produced: Thu Feb 24  5:46:11 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Collaborative development of a Luach
         [Jonathan Baker]
Is the Great Divide upon us?
         [Chaim Tabasky]
Jewish Ed. in Lit.
         [R. Jeffrey Saks]
Le'elah u'le'ela
         [Shimon Harary]
Metsitsah -- statistical aspects
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Metzitza B'Millah
         [Yisrael Medad]
pores mapa u'mekadesh
         [Binyomin Segal]
Purim on Friday
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]
Recycling and Genizah
         [Ed Norin]
Tasting like Traif
         [Batya Medad]


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 10:01:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Collaborative development of a Luach

> From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
> - "Luach" info such as tefillot, laws & customs, historical events etc.
> What I am proposing is a collaborative effort at producing _basic_ luach 
> data.

Maybe you could produce Zionist and non-Zionist forms of the data, with
& without the State of Israel-linked holidays (Yom Haatzma'ut, Yom
Hazikaron, Yom Yerushalayim, Rabin's yahrzeit)

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: Chaim Tabasky <tabafkc@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 18:59:56 +0200
Subject: Is the Great Divide upon us?

       Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

      In the latest issue of the weekly BeSheva, a strongly
      National-Religious freebie paper given out in Shuls in Israel,
      there is an interview with Rabbi Shear Yashuv Hakohen, chief rabbi
      of Haifa. According to the article, Rabbi Hakohen said: "If the
      Israeli government raises a hand to uproot Jewish settlements from
      Eretz Yisrael, it will destroy with its own hands the very
      justification for and goals of the existence of the State."

This past Shabbos I happened to pick up a copy of "Nekuda", the magazine
of the settlements in Yesha (Yehudah, Shomron, Aza) from November 1996,
right after the Rabin assassination. One article pointed out that in the
rhetoric of the National Religious camp the choices of Geula
(redemption) or Churban (destruction) were the only options. The author
of the article argued that this "all or nothing" position would lead to
abandoning hope for the gradual historical process of kibbutz galuyot
(gathering the exile). I find a similar apocalyptic leaning in the
present proclamations, especially of the Rabbanim. The quote Shmuel
brought in his letter is a good example.

Rabbi Hakohen quotes Rabbi Yosef Ber Solveichik, in his "Al Hateshuvah,"
that he would not be willing to give unquestioning support to the State,
as to do so would be idolatry.

To the extent I can understand it, the Rav was also saying that
"unquestioning" means "all or nothing" and that one is obligated to deal
with each issue on its merit. Unquestioning rejection of the state would
also be akin to Avodah Zora in this line of thinking.

A few months ago, before the Likud referendum, a very popular Rabbi
remarked (in a closed forum) that he couldn't fathom how anyone could
vote for the disengagement as there is not one logical argument in its
favor. When I pointed out to him that a Talmid Chacham is obliged to
know 150 arguments to declare a sheretz (an impure reptile) pure, and
continued to present some of the arguments for leaving Gaza, he looked
at me as if I cam from Mars.

I am personally against the present policy, yet cannot bring myself to
see it as churban or shoah (holocaust). It is a calculated risk taken by
a government that does not share the Torah commitment of many orthodox
Jews. There are arguments pro and con and we pray that we will not

      It would thus seem to be that the National Religious camp may be
      on the brink of a great divide, between those who still see the
      State as something different, the "beginning of our redemption,"
      and those who see it as no more than any other state. And
      ironically, the latter view puts those who hold of it in the same
      category as Agudath Israel.

I think Shmuel has hit the proverbial nail on its apocalyptic head.



From: R. Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 10:47:40 +0200
Subject: Jewish Ed. in Lit.

I'm looking for examples of good literature that depicts scenes of
Jewish education or learning--from any and all periods or genres (up to
and including modern English or Hebrew fiction). 
Any suggestions welcome: on-list or to <atid@...> 
Jeffrey Saks


From: Shimon Harary <Shimon.Harary@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 14:19:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Le'elah u'le'ela

I was surprised by the comments here about the sefaradi nusach.  I
clearly remember discussing this with my father and he emphasized that
some Morrocan Jews and Jews of spanish ancestry say: "Leela Leela"
[without vav hachibur] and that this is what his father, my grandfather,
Harav Yaakov Elcharar [founder of the Morrocan synagogue in Bet-Shemesh,
"Shevet Achim"], always did, in private as well as at the synagogue.
This was the minhag as practiced in Morroco and was transplanted to
Israel and here as well as this is what my family still does. If anyone
is in Bet-Shemesh, they can walk over to Shevet Achim and check it out -
I havnt been there in some years so I don't know if they changed from
this practice but my father clearly remembers growing up there and
saying "leela leela" when his father was Rav there.


From: Arnie Kuzmack <Arnie@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 23:18:38 -0500
Subject: Metsitsah -- statistical aspects

>      See the most comprehensive report to date in Pediatrics (URL:
> http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/114/2/e259) where all
> tested mohalim (4/8; the others did not consent to be tested) were
> positive and 7/8 tested mothers were negative

> I am not taking a stand on the issue.  My reaction is shock that a
> medical journal of any sort would report on "research" with such a
> tiny sample size and assign any degree of reliability to such a study.

There has already been a lot of discussion of this issue, and I would
quite understand if the Moderator felt enough was enough.  But perhaps
the following can make the statistical issues more accessible to the

Suppose you observed a coin being flipped 8 times and coming up heads
every time.  Would you then believe that it was a fair coin (with a 50%
probability of heads)?

This is the situation of this study.  Having identified 8 male infants
with a genital herpes infection, the researchers found that all of their
mohalim had used oral metsitsah.  On the null hypothesis that there is
no connection between oral metsitsah and the infection, the mohalim
would be a representative random of all mohalim.  Thus, the coin was
tossed 8 times and came up heads 8 times.  (There is a slight
complication in that two of the infants had the same mohel, but that
does not affect the basic point.)

There does not seem to be good data on what proportion of mohalim in
Israel use oral metsitsah, but the discussion here suggests that it is
well under 50%.  If the true proportion is in fact 50%, then the
probability of the result observed by the researchers is 1 in 256.  If
the true proportion is 25%, which may well still be an overestimate,
then the probability is 1 in 65,536.  These results are clearly
statistically significant, despite the small number of cases.  (The
study seems small compared to most published studies.  On the other
hand, you rarely have 100% of the sample with the hypothesized

Add to this picture that fact that all of the mohalim who consented to
be tested were positive for the virus, and it is pretty hard to maintain
that there is no problem.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 23:04:32 +0200
Subject: Metzitza B'Millah

I would like to draw the attention of the list members to a letter just
recently published in MORIAH, #11-12 (311-312), Kislev 5765, a
Torah-Halachic journal here in Israel.

It was actually written in 1957 by Rav Akiba Schreiber, a scion of the
Soffer dynasty, a former Chief Rabbi of Pressburg (according to his
stationery logo) and now republished.

I will attempt to summarize his points:-

a) Metzitzah does not negate any principle of Derech Eretz (parameters
of decency, modesty, I understand from the context, such as having the
penis displayed while saying a bracha or putting one's mouth to it).

b) Using the mouth is a tikkun to the sin of Adam Rishon when he reached
out and took food to his mouth to eat (and moreover, he quotes the Ari
Zal that in gematria "peh" equals "millah" (85) [interesting btw that
Kabalah is used in a Halachic situation, see Moshe Chalamish's book].

c) Metzitza is an integral and inseperable part of the mitzva of millah

d) what doctors say, that there is no danger without metzitza, is all
hokum ("hevel yitzeh pihem").

e) and what is said that there is danger in communicable diseases
through metzitza, to the mohel or the infant, the book Brit Shalom
states expressly that we need fear no danger and moreover, a
heaven-fearing Mohel presents no danger in this area and quotes a
Rabbinic pronouncement made in Hungary in 1901 that metzitza cannot be

Yisrael Medad


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 07:26:18 -0600
Subject: Re: pores mapa u'mekadesh

> pores mapa u'mekadesh

Just a short note in regard to pores mapa. The term comes from a
discussion in Arvei Psachim (psachim 100a). My understanding is that it
does _not_ refer to the spreading of a tablecloth. Rather it refers to
covering the food (like we cover the challah) before kiddush. It is an
alternative to clearing the table. Rather than clear all the food away,
one may spread a cloth to cover it, and make kiddush.

To the WORLD, YOU may be ONE person; but to ONE person, YOU may be the WORLD

[Question: Does pores mapa require covering all the food or just all the
bread. It was unclear to me from the sugya how to interpret. Avi]


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 16:48:30 +0200
Subject: Purim on Friday

This was sent to me by my brother, Elliot Schwartz of Riverdale

Purim on Friday:

Kol Hakkavod to Joseph Mosseri for gathering together such a
comprehensive list of authorities weighing in on the issue.

I believe there is an unfortunate tendency to approach these issues with
the question "what is the right way to procede?" as opposed to "what are
my options?" Let's admit that both minhagim are acceptable. Seudat Purim
must be partaken during the day, that is clear. But it doesn't matter
when in the day. If it works better for you and your family in the
morning, do it in the morning--just make sure you take care of
dispersing your charity beforehand. If the afternoon works better, then
review the guidelines of "pores mappah umekadesh"--make sure to start
early enough not to be obligated to stop for arvit, and make sure you
are sober enough to daven afterwords.

I, for one, prefer the "pores mappah" option, but the practical
liturgical issues get complicated. Blessings on wine at kiddush and on
bread afterwords are matters of dispute. What I did last time was
confine my drinking to beer or liquor until shabbat, so I could say a
"normal " kiddush. Forgo a second hammotzi, as put forth by most poskim.
Any ideas of what to do about lehem mishne?

Mincha and Arvit are problems, because it's hard to find a shul to work
on such a schedule, and then get everyone in the community to
synchronize their seudot. The best would to have a minyan at your
seudah, if they fit in your house. Otherwise I might daven without a
minyan. As Mosseri pointed out, kabbalat shabbat may somewhat flexible,
but I would say at least Mizmor shir leyom hasahabbat after lighting
candles and before kiddush.

The aharonim go to town fighting about al hannissim and retze
vehahalitzeinu--one, the other, both? The only way to satisfiy all
opinions is to have your seuda in the morning, and some have insisted on
that for this very reason. I personally agree with the authorities
Mosseri quotes that it's best to say both, but I admit the jury is still

Purim Sameah,

Elliot Schwartz


From: <Engineered@...> (Ed Norin)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:34:18 -0500
Subject: Recycling and Genizah

I have three questions or recycling of Shamos and Genizah:

1.  Are there any articles that suggests that a person can recycle genizah?

2.  If so, what were his limits?  (name of God...)

3.  Were there any responses from Rabbinic figures?

Ed Norin


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 22:01:17 +0200
Subject: Tasting like Traif

According to my neighbor and teacher, Rabbi Nissan Ben Avraham, this is
the source that says one is allowed to have foods that are kosher, but
taste like traif.  Chulin 29, amud bet



End of Volume 47 Issue 7