Volume 48 Number 91
                    Produced: Tue Jul 12  5:27:42 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Appointment of Kohen Gadol
         [David Curwin]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Free Market
Free Market and Hasagas Gvul
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Gay pride messages (3)
         [Meir, Martin Stern, Avi Feldblum]
Head Tefillin
         [Y. Askotzky]
Secular Translation of the Torah (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, W. Baker]


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 10:57:29 +0200
Subject: Appointment of Kohen Gadol

What was the procedure for appointing the kohen gadol in Bayit Rishon?
In Bayit Sheni?

-David Curwin


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 23:41:52 +0200
Subject: Feminism

As this topic draws much interest, I thought that the list members
should be aware of a feminist element I came across.

In Chapt. 7 of his Hilchot Korban Pesach, the Rambam deals with the
situation in which "most of the congregation of Israel" is impure and
the conclusion is that, when the impurity is of the category of 'tum'at
met', that is, one caused by contact with the dead (and only that kind),
and the majority of the congregation is indeed impure, then the Korban
Pesach is not put off until the next month (Pesach Sheini) but the
sacrifice is made on 14 Nissan because a "public sacrifice" is
unaffected by the impurity of 'tum'at met'.

In Para. 3, he notes that the 'majority' is counted by including the
women and not solely the men who are to be found in the area that is
counted (which in itself is a bit complicated, see end of Para. 6).  In
other words, the 'congregation of Israel' is not exclusively a male
concept but females are to be included.

p.s.  as I am not a feminist studies expert by no menas, if someone has
pointed this out previously, I tip my kippah off to them.

Yisrael Medad


From: Michael <mordechai@...>
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 22:34:24 -0400
Subject: Free Market

>><FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman) wrote
>>If Plony, the cab driver in Monsey is making a living driving people to
>>the doctor and the hospital, and suddenly the service is provided for
>>free by others, that IS DISGUSTING.

>I take it then that you don't tip service personnel, then?  After all, 
>all tipping does is allow the owner to reduce the staff's salary 
>according to the expected tip, thereby leaving the staff much more
>vulnerable to income fluctuations.

By the logic of this discussion we should shut down Mail Jewish.  After
all we could be on AOL paying their fees to use their proprietary chat
rooms.  We could by a newspaper subscription and have these discussions
in the letters to the editor.

[I'll put in a more formal announcement at the beginning of the next
volume, but this was too good of an opening to let pass
completely. Please feel free to pay the voluntary mail-jewish
subscription fee (but do not use the address listed on the mail-jewish
web site, I'm trying to regain access and correct that), best is the
PayPal option on the mail-jewish home page. Mail-Jewish has been around
for almost 20 years now. Sorry for the "commercial" interruption and
back to your regularly scheduled programing. Mod.]

If Plony loses his job because someone does the mitzva of driving a sick
woman to the hospital, then plony can get a new job.  Why should the
sick women not have money for her other needs.  Furtheremore the
products she purchases with the money she would have given Ploni will
provide Yitzkaq with a job.  Can anyone explain why Yitzhaq's parnassa
is less important that Ploni's?

People need to understand the free enterprise system.  In the end free
markets provide a higher standard of living for the community at large.
Regulation only means some government type authority (whether a
legislature or a Beit Din) to decide the winners and losers.
Unsuprisingly the community at large always loses but those with
connections to authority win.


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 08:59:52 EDT
Subject: Re: Free Market and Hasagas Gvul

      Along this line can someone elaborate on the halachic basis for an
      existing merchant to object to a new merchant opening nearby.

Reality bites, doesn't it? Hasagas Gvul is the most ignored Halacha in
the tri-State area.

16 years ago, the simultaenous opening of three kosher bakeries in
Teaneck to serve one relatively small community, after an established
kosher bakery had been there for six years forced the owner's family
into bankruptcy. The amazing thing is that the bakery product was
excellent, and 16 years later that tiny bakery, Phibbleberry's, is a

Now the hasagas gvul question comes up again in regards to my "new"
profession--where my competitors give their stuff away for free and I am
told by certain list members to go find myself another job because I am
behind the times.


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 22:06:14 -0400
Subject: Gay pride messages

  From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>

>They actual claim that they are demanding full acceptance of the
>"homosexual lifestyle" not acceptance as "human beings".  They have made
>this public statements to this affect.

The only thing I know on this topic concerns the Reconstructionist
congregations.  I had a friend who was on their USA national committee
for whatever covered this topic, and she asked me for advice on their
requests to be treated the same as straight people, that is I guess,
straight couples mostly.  I'm not very quick, but eventually I pointed
out that even straight couples shouldn't be violating the rules of
modesty at shul.  They shouldn't be holding hands or kissing**.  So they
should publicize within the congregation the proper standards of public
behaviour, for everyone.  I thought I was so clever, but she said that
they wanted their weddings announced in the congregation newsletter.  I
couldn't think of a compromise.  I think it was asked that new baby
announcements too refer to the two adults so as to describe their roles
clearly.  What the Recons eventually did, I myself don't know, but I'm
sure it is no secret.

**And in Jewish congregations of all kinds, they really aren't.  Only
once have I seen much more than a kiss for the bar mitzvah boy,

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 19:19:42 +0100
Subject: Re: Gay pride messages

What I cannot understand is why homosexuals have to publicise their
sexual preferences. As people, I would treat them just as anyone else
insofar as their sexual practices are irrelevant to the matter in
hand. Following the Torah, I cannot accept that the latter are
permissible but so long as I do not have to witness them, I do not need
to be aware of what they get up to unless they tell me. If they were to
ask my opinion, I would have to tell them that they are transgressing a
Torah prohibition just as much as if they were eating a ham sandwich or
wearing sha'atnez. Does that make me a homophobic bigot?

Martin Stern

From: Avi Feldblum <avi@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 
Subject: Re: Gay pride messages

As I'm pretty sure has been mentioned, there is no monolithic Jewish Gay
movement that speaks equally for all parts of that community. There is a
part of that community that is very much "in your face" in the sense
that they are very explicit about trying to force full acceptance of
homosexuality as an fully valid "alternate" lifestyle. In general, that
part of the community tends also to be non-religous or
anti-religious. From the perspective of the mail-jewish community, what
I would see as more to the point is the community of religious gay
Jews. This group does exist, and for the most part they are not asking
people to accept sexual practices that are against the Torah. However,
they are asking for what Meir refers to above. If they have established
a relationship between two people, to be acknowledged as a couple. If
they have a child, for that child to be able to attend a Yeshiva. The
experiences I have heard from many of them (on a mailing list that was
started several years ago to promote dialog between the straight and gay
orthodox jewish communities) is that basic civil behaviour from the
larger Orthodox Jewish community is often missing.

Avi Feldblum


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 01:38:52 +0200
Subject: Head Tefillin

Sometimes people, particularly those without yeshiva educations but
certainly not limited to them, (I have even seen roshei yeshiva with the
bayis shel rosh resting too low) wear their tefillin shel rosh
incorrectly. The primary responsibility falls on the rabbinical
leadership, particularly the shul rabbi, to teach these laws to his
congregation and to figure out a respectful way to approach these
individuals so as not to embarrass them. Many rabbis do not know how to
adjust the knot and this is likely one reason why they allow their
congregants to continue to not fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin. If the
rabbi fails to fulfill his obligation then it falls on others (not just
the gabbai and learned members) to deal with it. It has been my opinion
that if a community wide tefillin awareness program was put into effect
and all the rabbis would review the laws from the pulpit and posters be
hung up and fliers given out and a sofer invited to speak in each shul
and individuals in each shul designated to go around to assist others in
putting on their tefillin correctly then an atmosphere would be created
whereby individuals would not feel embarrassed and become defensive.

One of the reasons why I published a Tefillin Placement Poster and have
given out over 1000 to date over the last year and published my book was
to deal with this specific issue. Over the years I have adjusted 100's
of tefillin, often after giving a class or when it is made known in the
shul that a sofer is present.

kol tuv,

Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer & examiner
<sofer@...>  www.stam.net  1-888-404-STAM(7826)  718-874-8220


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 23:18:53 -0400
Subject: Reflexive

From: <T613K@...> (Toby Katz)
>lehispallel means to pray, not to pray to oneself


>in drashos you hear people say "when you daven you just judge yourself"
>but that's not pshat

I don't know about pshat, but aren't meanings of l'pallel "to judge, to
think"?  Those are meanings given by Ben Yehuda and Langenscheidt.

And isn't lehispallel litterally not to pray to oneself, but "to judge
oneself"?  Wouldn't a native Hebrew speaker, now and earlier, likely
think of it that way, much more than a native speaker of another
language in which praying wasn't related to judging?

>many examples of hispael where the meaning is not reflexive

There are a lot of verbs that don't seem transitive or reflexive in
English that are translated with transitive verbs in Spanish, for
example, always with a direct object, and often used reflexively.  The
only ones I remember now are Spanish "irse", "to go oneself" meaning, to
leave..  Leaving does not seem transitive in English, but when Spanish
say "irse" they think so.  And they usually translate "What is your
name" as "Como se llama usted?", How do you call yourself? Same in all
three persons.  I find almost 11 pages of "his-" verbs in Ben
Yehuda. Doesn't the his- eliminate the need for a direct object, and
don't all the verbs have some sort of reflexive meaning even if the
reflexivity is not always obvious to us?

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 01:10:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Secular Translation of the Torah

> From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
> Any and all translations are, in part, an expression of the translator's
> opinions.  This applies to any non-trivial text, not just the Torah.
> So, when the book is important, you must know the background of the
> translator.  Is he going accordng to traditional sources?  If they're
> not traditional, is he showing respect for tradition?  Does he have
> personal theories that he is expressing with this translation?

It is precisely because all translations are expressions of the
translater's opinion (in addition to distortions caused by the
impossible fit of grammar and vocabulary) that a scholar should never
place his trust in the translator's background alone.  Any text must
stand on its own and be subjected to numerous and varied critiques to
gain credibility.


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 13:18:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Secular Translation of the Torah

In my Parshanut class at Drisha, we use the Torat Chaim as our basic
text with other reading provided by our instructor, Rachel Friedman, a
fine scholar and teacher.  We are not, for the most part, those who deal
with the Hebrew easily, but we struggle through, often having questins
about the translation of a particular pasuk or even a word, based on our
selves or apparent conflict among commentators.  We have several
different translation in the room, including the Alter and occasionally,
a Septuagint and will consult all of them, comparing the meanings.
Sometimes, with phrases that are particularly ambiguois we do this as
part of our preparation and then discussion.  As all tranlation is
commentry in some way, we try to find consensus and meaning this way.
It leads to interesting discussions and understandings.

Wendy Baker


End of Volume 48 Issue 91