Volume 47 Number 74
                    Produced: Thu Apr 21  5:10:47 EDT 2005


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Historic Haggadot in the JNUL Digitized Books Repository
         [Elhanan Adler]
Israel and the "great divide"
         [Rabbi Y. H. Henkin]
Kinyan Over the Internet
         [Marc DVer]
Kosher for Passover in Los Angeles
         [Sam Gamoran]
LeChaparat Pasha
         [Nathan Lamm]
Parat Moshe Rabbeinu
         [Ilana Goldstein Saks]
Tefillah b'tzibbur- any physical/medical limitations
         [M Dratch]


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From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 21:49:40 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Historic Haggadot in the JNUL Digitized Books Repository

In honor of the Pessach holiday, this month's additions to the JNUL
Digitized Books Repository include several Haggadot of particular
historic significance:

"Haggadot shel pesah", a Haggadah printed in Wadi al Hijara, Spain,
approx. 1482. This Haggadah is generally regarded as the first printed,
and is the only known copy (unicum).

An additional unicum Haggadah: Lublin, 1610

A Prague, 1527 Haggadah; the first Haggadah printed with illustrations.
And a later Prague, 1590 edition.

A Haggadah printed in Mantua, 1560 with illustrations of Italian
Renaissance style.

These join seventeen other Haggadot already in the Digital repository,
dated 1609-1844 and printed in Italy, Germany, Holland, Poland and
India.

The Digitized Books Repository can be accessed via the JNUL homepage:
http://jnul.huji.ac.il

Hag Pessach kasher ve-sameah

Elhanan Adler
Deputy Director for Information Technology
Jewish National and University Library
<elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il 

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From: Rabbi Y. H. Henkin <henkin@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 18:43:33 +0200
Subject: Israel and the "great divide"

Shalom,

    In light of the current discussion of the crisis in Religious
Zionism, I am attaching a greatly abridged, beginning of Chapter 13 of
Equality Lost (Urim Publications, 1999). Chapters 12 and 13 deal at
length with understanding the exile from and return to the land of
Israel.

    Copyright  by the author.
        With Torah blessings,
        Yehuda Henkin

THE THEOLOGICAL MEANING OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE

            Rabbi Y. H. Henkin

What are we to make, theologically, of the establishment of the State of 
Israel? The crashing dissonance between the extremes of good and bad, 
between the restoration of Jewish national independence on the one hand and 
the secularization of much of Jewry on the other, has led many religious 
Jews to wonder how this juxtaposition can be reconciled with faith. Why is 
it that from among all the generations, this one, so marked by abandonment 
of G-d's worship and violation of the mitzvot, was restored to its land? 
Even those who, until recently, were convinced  that the State marks the 
atchalta d'geula, the beginning of the inevitable final Redemption, are 
today beset by doubts.

There is, however a clear and simple explanation for the restoration of 
Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel in our time. After 1,900 years of exile 
and 200 years of assimilation, after the inroads of Socialism and Communism 
and secularism[1] and Reform, The Jewish people was on the verge of losing 
its ability to do teshuvah. It was necessary to remove us from the countries 
which had bred these plagues and concentrate us in a country of our own, 
lest we completely lose our spiritual strength---not to force us to repent, 
but to preserve our ability to do so.

Just as we do not doubt that G-d performs miracles to prevent our physical 
extinction, for "netzach Yisrael" will not renege on His promise that Israel 
not disappear, so too we should not be surprised that He performs miracles 
to prevent our complete degeneration and thereby the loss of the strength to 
repent.There is powerful support for saying that G-d may initiate even a 
historic salvation as only a tactical move. We read in II Kings (14:23-27):

 In the fifteenth year of the king of Judah Amatzyahu b. Yoash, Yeravam b.

 Yoash acceded to the throne in Shomron and ruled for forty-one years. He 
did evil in haShem's view, and did not deviate from [following] all the sins 
of Yeravam b. Nevat who corrupted Israel. He expanded Israel's borders from 
Levo Chamat until the Aravah Sea [the Dead Sea], in keeping with the word of 
haShem, G-d of Israel, which was spoken through His servant Yonah b. Amitai 
of Gat-Chefer. For haShem saw Israel's extremely bitter affliction and [saw] 
that no one was left to lead or be led and no one was helping Israel. HaShem 
had not decreed that Israel be obliterated, and He delivered them through 
Yeravam b. Yoash.

            We read with astonishment that Yeravam b. Yoash followed in the 
footsteps of his namesake who had set up golden calves and corrupted the ten 
tribes, yet he expanded the borders of the land of Israel and through him 
G-d delivered Israel. His victories were of such magnitude that the Sifrei 
to Devarim (1:8) avers that the Torah itself alludes to them: [2]

"To give them"--these are the Israelites who entered the Land; "and to their 
descendants"--these are their children; "after them"--these are the 
conquests of David and Yeravam, as it is said, "He expanded Israel's borders 
from Levo Chamat until the Aravah Sea."

His conquests are mentioned in one breath with those of David!  To such an 
extent do the wicked prosper!?

The midrash Eliyahu Rabba (17) explains the reason for Yeravam's 
achievements. In Amos (7:10-11) Amatziah, priest  of  Bet-El, notified 
Yeravam that "Amos is conspiring against you....This is what Amos said: 
^Yeravam will die by the sword and Israel will be exiled.' " Nevertheless, 
Scripture reports no action taken by Yeravam against Amos, and the midrash 
elaborates:

Yeravam rebuked Amatziah and threw him out. He told him, "G-d forbid, Amos 
never prophesied such a prophecy, and even if he did he didn't do so on his 
own but because Heaven told him to." At that moment G-d said, "this 
generation together with its leader are idolators, [nevertheless,] the 
territory I promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that 'I will give it to your 
descendants' I hereby give into the hands of this one, because he did not 
accept slander against Amos."

But how could non-acceptance of lashon hara outweigh Yeravam's idolatry and 
his leading all Israel to sin?[3] By analogy, if Ben-Gurion honored the 
Chazon Ish, would that be sufficient merit to entitle him to end the current 
exile?

In fact, the midrash is quite simple. The question was not whether or not to 
rescue Israel, for the Book of Kings states clearly: "For haShem saw 
Israel's extremely bitter affliction.... HaShem had not decreed that Israel 
be obliterated." G-d decided to save Israel for His own reasons, and the 
only question was: who should bring it about? Yeravam b.Yoash, or perhaps 
his father or son?[4]  Yeravam's merits did not cause Israel's deliverance; 
rather, because of them G-d chose him and not someone else to be His 
instrument to save Israel.[5]  That is the meaning of the midrash's 
introductory question, "How was Yeravam b. Yoash different from all the 
kings of Israel who preceded him?" and its ending: "I hereby give [the 
victory] into the hands of this one [Yeravam]," i.e., and not into the hands 
of someone else.

This is even clearer in the midrash Eliyahu Zuta (7) which repeats all the 
above and concludes, "From this they said, good things are brought about via 
the worthy and bad things via the culpable. G-d applies this principle to 
all Israel, everywhere, and to all idolaters and nations on earth." This 
means that G-d chooses relatively worthy people, even among idolaters, to be 
the vehicle of His doing good (and relatively culpable people for the 
opposite)---good (as well as bad) which would come about in any case.

In our time as well, G-d chose sinful leaders to bring about the salvation 
He had already decided upon. It is not hard to find merits in those who 
established the State, even if in the final analysis they corrupted Israel 
as much as did Yeravam b. Nevat and Yeravam b. Yoash.  We are not dealing 
with the total balance of merit in a person, but with specific merits, or 
acts of righteousness, alone.

The righteous minority livingwho lived at the time of Yeravam b. Yoash faced 
a double trial. On the one hand, they had to avoid copying his idol worship 
and way of life. How easy it was to be swept away by his victories and to 
conclude  mistakenly that his policies had proven themselves, including his 
idolatrous practices, for they had expanded Israel's borders! On the other 
hand, they had not to deny G-d's goodness and claim that it was impossible 
for salvation to have come via a wicked king, and that therefore the 
salvation they experienced was not real, was not from G-d and that they need 
not praise Him for it. The salvation was real, and with it came the 
obligation to praise G-d.

Many failed the first trial, and others the second. Few were at the same 
time unswayed by the success of the wicked and yet thankful to G-d for 
saving Israel. In our day, as well, too many err in the mistaken belief that 
the question of the establishment of the State of Israel is one of our 
attitude to a secular state and not of our attitude to G-d and his works. 
Happy are the righteous who succeed in both trials!

Notes

1.  This is not the place to detail the disintegration of religious life in 
the shtetl, the  non-Orthodox majority in Warsaw, etc., idealizations of 
history notwithstanding.

2. II Kings itself hints that the Torah refers to Yeravam's time. In 14:26, 
"no one was left to lead or be led (v'ephes atzur v'ephes azuv)" (the 
translation follows Rashi on the Torah) is virtually the same language as in 
Devarim 32:36 (v'ephes atzur v'azuv) 

3. A similar question is posed by the attribution in Yoma 9b of the 
destruction of the second Temple to baseless hatred, outweighing Israel's 
occupation with "Torah, commandments and acts of kindness," discussed in the 
previous chapter.

4. G-d normally brings about military victory through a king or general, and 
not through a prophet or rabbi.

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From: Marc DVer <mdver@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 00:32:35 -0400
Subject: Kinyan Over the Internet

I know I cannot get a psak here, but I am interested in hearing if
anyone knows of any sources that would relate to the concept of a kinyan
that could be executed over the internet, both between Jews and between
a Jew and a non-Jew.  This would be especially relevent to such issues
as executing a purchase over the internet, and of more immediate
relevence, selling Chametz.

Marc DVer

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From: Sam Gamoran <SGamoran@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 17:53:54 +0300
Subject: Kosher for Passover in Los Angeles

I am going to be in Los Angeles the week of Chol Hamoed with my family
and working.  Is there a list anywhere of kosher restaurants that will
be open during Chol Hamoed.

Thanks,

Sam Gamoran
Program Engineer, Consumer Devices - Verifier Group
NDS
<sgamoran@...>

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From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 05:58:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: LeChaparat Pasha

Elazar Tietz wrote:

"The siddur actually says Cheshvan to Adar II, since the b'racha is not
said on Rosh Hashana."

My mistake!

"However, before our fixed calendar, when the decision was made each
year whether or not to add a month, the Talmud in Sanhedrin states that
the decision could not be made until after Rosh Hashana. Hence, the
addition for the leap year is not made until then."

But the decision was made either before Adar Aleph or even before Adar
Bet. Under this logic, we should say the extra clause only once or twice
in the year.

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From: Ilana Goldstein Saks <lonnie@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2005 21:39:40 +0200
Subject: Parat Moshe Rabbeinu

Since posts about the Hebrew word for ladybug seem to appear on the list
with some regularity... Here's a link to an article on the subject in
Friday's Haaretz:

 http://tinyurl.com/dl9h4

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From: <MSDratch@...> (M Dratch)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 07:56:02 EDT
Subject: Re: Tefillah b'tzibbur- any physical/medical limitations

In response to Carl Singer
"I don't know the halachic source sited, but I was at a minyan where one
of the lay leaders (someone with smicha -- but the not the shul's Rabbi
who was not present at mincha / ma'ariv) stated that plony could not
daven for the amud because he stammered badly when davening."

See R. Meir of Rothenberg, Teshuvot Pesakim u-Minhagim I, 53:

It is better if the Prayer-Reader is deformed.  God is not like a king
of flesh and blood who uses whole vessels and throws away those that are
broken.  God prefers broken vessels, as the Psalmist declares, ^^A
broken heart and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise.^^
(Ps. 51:19)

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End of Volume 47 Issue 74