Volume 47 Number 47
                    Produced: Tue Apr  5  6:08:03 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll and "truth"
         [Tzvi Stein]
Car damage (3)
         [Carl Singer, Tzvi Stein, Carl Singer]
Esther as an intermarriage
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Midreshei Bitya Bat Pharaoh
         [Yael Levine]
new anti-disengagement ring/site/blog
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
R' Wein and History
Rabbi Berel Wein
         [Norman Miller]
Rabbi Berel Wein's history works
The Schiavo case (and developing halacha)
         [David I. Cohen]
         [Mark Steiner]
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 07:48:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Artscroll and "truth"

With the utmost respect to R. Schwab, his purported advice to ArtScroll
"if it brings yiras shamayim, print it even if it's not true. If it
doesn't, don't print it even if it is true" seems short-sighted.  What
about the issue of ArtScroll (and perhaps even other frum publishers)
losing their credibility when it becomes common knowledge that they are
following that advice.  As a result, nothing they publish will bring
yiras shamayim, even if it's true, because everyone will doubt it.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 07:07:23 -0500
Subject: Car damage

Does Shimon owe still owe me for the damage he caused?  Or does he
benefit because he delayed paying me?

I am neither lawyer nor scholar -- but (1) he still owes you and (2) you
might want to give the $$ to tzedukah.

On a related matter -- I imagine some might say that you had the
opportunity to repair the damage whether or not Shimon reimbursed you
AND to exact full payment from the insurance company is problematic


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 07:38:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Car damage

I don't see the issue of genayva from the insurance company.  As I
stated in my email:

      It turns out Shimon's damage ended up being repaired without me or
      the insurance company spending any more than we would have had
      Shimon not damaged the car.

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 07:53:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Car damage

I do.  But I'm not paskening.  Let's say this was coming out of your
pocket and you hit someone's car and knew that the car had previous
damage in the same location -- how would you feel about paying to
restore it to new condition without sharing the cost.


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 14:05:11 EST
Subject: Esther as an intermarriage

One quick question for Yossi; Esther hiding her heritage did not keep
the information of her marriage away from other Jews.  Presumably they
all knew who the Queen was.  Her identity was only hidden from the King.
For that reason alone I would reject your assimilation hypothesis.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:24:59 +0200
Subject: Midreshei Bitya Bat Pharaoh

Midreshei Bitya Bat Pharaoh: Iyyun Nilve le-Leil ha-Seder (A Seder
Companion), Jerusalem 2004 (68 pp.)

I am including below some of the info which I mentioned in my posting
from last year. There remain a limited number of copies. I may be
contacted for further details.

In the Be'er Avraham commentary to the haggadah, by R. Abraham Grate of
Prague, published in Sulzbach in 1708, several of the simanim of the
seder are interpreted as referring to Bitya, daughter of Pharaoh. R.
Grate explains the siman rahzah in connection with her bathing in the
Nile and rescue of Moses (3c). In his commentary to the siman mozih, he
writes, inter alia, that since Moses was considered equal to the sixty
myriads of Israel, the rescue of Moses by Bitya is to be regarded as
though she took the entire people of Israel out of Egypt (3c-d). Based
on the commentary of R. Abraham Grate concerning Bitya, the present
compilation offers an annotated compendium of sources from the talmudic
and midrashic literature concerning Bitya. This material is intended for
study on the seder night or in preparation for the Eve of Passover. The
chapters include: Midreshei ha-Ketuvim (midrashim to Exodus 2, 5-10 and
II Chronicles 4, 18), The Aramaic Translations, The Lists of Righteous
Women, The Entrance of Bitya to Gan Eden in her Lifetime, Midreshei
Eshet Hayyil.

The introduction includes a discussion of the various sources in the
midrashic literature that attribute the Exodus to deeds of female
biblical personalities: to the righteous women in Egypt who encouraged
their husbands during the bondage; to the women who kept themselves from
immoral behavior; to Miriam the prophetess; and to the Matriarchs.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 07:36:57 +0200
Subject: new anti-disengagement ring/site/blog

A new resource has been established in the hasbara effort against
"Visit," read, join


From: Michael <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 13:23:23 -0500
Subject: R' Wein and History

>The only conflict occurs if you view R. Wein's publications as 
>History. I have always viewed them as a form of historical novels. In 
>this genre the story is set in, and informs the reader of a historical 
>story, but there is no assumption that everything in the story is 
>real. When the plot of story demands it, liberties can be taken with the 
>actual historical information. In the case of R. Wein, rather than the 
>story plot demanding the deviation from best historical information, it 
>is the ideological framework from within which R. Wein operates. 
>Avi Feldblum

At a lecture at our shul, Rabbi Wein once quipped "All of my stories are
true, just some of them haven't happened yet!"

I agree with Avi.  Other's like Hanoch Teller's books contain
embellishments to improve the story and make it more accessible.  The
funniest one I remember was in Teller's book on R. Joe Tenenbaum A"H
called "bridges of Steel, Ladders of Gold".  There was a vignette where
Teller was describing Joe's wife Faye and a Toronto policeman both
looking up at Joe scampering about 200 feet up on the beams of a
building he was constructing.  The transliteration of the policeman's
remarks in a Bronx accent broke me up.  (eg. "Wadaya mean?")  If any cop
spoke like that in 1950's Toronto, they would think he's from the moon!



From: Norman Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 16:54:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbi Berel Wein

As Avi Feldblum suggests, we are dealing here not with a historian but a
writer of historical novels.  That much is obvious to anyone who has
ever read a mainstream Jewish historian, my own standard being my
teacher Salo W. Baron.

But I'm afraid that R.G. Green and I may be on the losing side of this
debate if by winning side we mean the centuries-old European Jewish
tradition.  The very notion that a narrative be a straightforward and
truthful account is something picked up from the Enlightenment and it
has by no means replaced the older method of telling 'just-so' stories
and peddling pious forgeries.  That is a core difference between
yeshivish and modern O.  The Enlightenment and the haskole have not been
as much under attack in a hundred years as they are today and I'm afraid
that the momentum is with the attackers.

And to be strictly fair, this rueful observation.  Not everything
written in the apparent spirit of the Enlightenment is kosher.  Frauds
and mountebanks are found on both sides.  As they say in Prof. Green's
Britain, 'no names, no pack-drill'.  Hameyvin yavin.

Noyekh Miller


From: <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 19:56:42 EST
Subject: Rabbi Berel Wein's history works

Rabbi Wein shlit"a is a 'history buff'. He is not a professor of
history, nor does he claim to be one.

Does Professor Green wish to assert that only history professors can
talk about history ? Is a PhD in history a requirement to speak on the
topic ?  What about all the memoirs and history books from
non-historians and 'ordinary people' ? Would he consign them to the
rubbish bin ? How does he account for disagreements between them ? Are
history professors never wrong ?

I think that history is the property of humanity at large, and not just
a few history professors, who may or may not reside in 'ivory towers'.

Rabbi Wein is a very intelligent man, with a varied background - Rav,
Rosh Yeshiva, attorney, etc., as well as being a history buff. I think
he is qualified to speak on a wide range of topics, including
history. He is a popularizer of (esp. Jewish) history, but his works
have depth too. If Professor Green has specific objections to some
things Rabbi Wein has stated, he can raise the specific points as he
wishes. However, to cast aspersion so widely on Rabbi Wein's historical
writings and lectures, as if every other word was an error, is, in my
opinion, unfair and unwarranted. One sometimes wonders if there may be
an element of jealousy involved here, when an academic challenge a
popular outsider so strongly.  Why doesn't Professor Green, in typical
academic fashion, write a detailed article explaining his position on
the subject, instead of posting undocumented allegations on the internet?

Re Rabbi Wein giving his sources - I just saw the new Destiny foundation
DVD production on the Rambam. In it, the Rambam was asked the same
question. One answer given was that the work was intended for the
masses, to popularize learning, and making it too complicated would get
in the way of that. Perhaps the same could be said for Rabbi Wein here.



From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 12:33:30 -0500
Subject: The Schiavo case (and developing halacha)

Bernard Rabb wrote:

"How did this change come about? Simply put, public pressure, or public
necessity if you prefer: Jews were wiling recipients of organ
transplants, but were halachically ineligible to be donors, based on the
accepted definition of death. In Israel, the Rabbinate was able to
enforce this definition. The situation was critical, as the world
governing body for organ assignments threatened to cut off the supply of
organs to Israel. In this case I would modify my statement to say that
public pressure by the community leads the way, and the halacha follows"

I take strong issue with this conclusion, akin to the oft quoted canard
(usually in the agunah context) that where there is a will, there is a
halachic way. This casts aspersions on the gedolim who follow the
halachic method of determining legal issues, and consider their rulings
to be agenda driven. Without proof, I believe apologies are in order.

In the specific case of the definition of death, while it is true that
the reason the halachic question arose was because of the issue of the
permissability of organ donation, it is also true, and far more
relevant, that the traditional halachic definition of death, cessation
of respiration and heart activity, was initially stated at atime when
there was no such concept as brain death. It is only within the past
decades that technology has enabled the continuation of respiration
etc. without brain activity. Therefore, at the time of the gemara, there
could be no such definition of death as what we refer to as "brain
death" (nor did they have any means by which to measure brain
activity). Thus, the modern posek is dealing with a new situation, just
as poskim have been doing throughout the millenia (for example,
electricity). But that is a far cry from saying that the psak is driven
by an agenda to allow to allow organ donation.

David I. Cohen


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:30:00 +0200
Subject: RE: Siddurim

By the way, Baer's (and hence Singer's) "di-amiran" (hiriq) (which was
mentioned by a previous poster as another difference between Singer and
Artscroll) is also a gratuitous emendation.  There is nothing wrong with
the "da-amiran" in Talmudic Aramaic, which is what the kaddish is
(generally agreed by linguists to be) written in, and indeed "da-amiran"
is what our Frankfurt siddur (1691) has.


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 08:09:59 EST
Subject: Wikepedia

my son Daniel, aka Mobius, sent everyone to the wickepedia site for jew
when he googlebombed Jew Watch.

so I trust wikepedia, and didn't see anything wrong in its definition of
a Jew.



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 21:38:55 +0200
Subject: Zrachya

Zrachya is the name of the Ha'aretz newspaper's Knesset finance
correspondent as a first name.  I suggested it as a family name to a
British family living in Gush Shiloh whose original German name was
something like Himmellicht or something similar.

Yisrael Medad 


End of Volume 47 Issue 47