Volume 49 Number 04
                    Produced: Tue Jul 19  9:45:31 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buying Jewish in gentile countries
Competition vs. Protecting Jobs
Do-not-call list
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Mixed Swimming
         [Tzvi Stein]
Rashi holds Hitpael is INTERACTIVE--4 Rishonim views on  Hitpael
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Secular Translations of Torah (2)
         [W. Baker, .cp.]
Yitgadal-yitgadell -- HITPAEL means INTERACTIVE
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Mordechai <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 12:00:00 -0400
Subject: Buying Jewish in gentile countries

>Recently, a frum Jew opened a liquor store in town.  He's probably a
>fine fellow and despite having a smaller store and selection, only sells
>kosher wines.  It's been suggested to me that I should transfer my
>patronage to that store because I should support a fellow Jew.  I hate
>leaving my present store since the owner is always so accomodating.
>What message would I be giving to a non-Jew who wants to service the
>frum community?  What is the prevailing opinion?  Can I stay or should I

Do you only work for Jews?  If you work for gentiles how will you feel
if they fire you because they have to give your job to a fellow gentile?
How would you react if the local church or Mosque were trying to boycott
Jewish owned businesses to support their own.

How does it go, Do not do unto others what is hateful to yourself.


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 23:45:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Competition vs. Protecting Jobs

>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...> V48#99
>I think the halacha is pretty clear that if a product sold by a
>non-Jewish (or non-local) merchant is of significantly better quality or
>lower price, you can buy it.  What I've never understood by people who
>are so strict with "buying Jewish" is... why is the seller's parnassa
>more important than the buyer's?  If the buyer has to spend more to buy
>from this particular seller, isn't that taking away the buyer's
>resources just as much as losing business takes away the seller's?

Actually, no.  The Jewish vendor may take an item that is $5 wholesale
and sell it for $8.  The goyish vendor may sell the same thing for
$7.80.  The buyer saves 20 cents and the Jewish vendor loses $3.  His
lower volume may also in the future prevent his getting as low a
wholesale price as he did before.

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


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 05 10:16:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Do-not-call list

Carl Singer wrote,  Vol. 48 #99 Digest:

CS> I recently got a most annoying sing-song telephone call (taped)
CS> from a telephone service which is affiliated with a tzedukah (and /
CS> or donates all of its profits to this tzedukah.)  At the end of
CS> the message was a disclaimer that THEY were exempt from the
CS> do-not-call lists because they were a tzedukah.  Really?

I am not sure iif that would exempt them - it may apply only if you are
asking outright for a charitable contribution, rather than selling
anything - but telephone service is exempt from the do-not-call list.

It does not apply to Verizon, Sprint, MCI, or any company offering any
kind of a telephone plan, and you have probably gotten a few calls along
those lines, probably from one or more of the smaller telephone
companies. The person you spoke to may have been a little confused as to
exactly what the exemption rested on.

Note: It also does not apply to polling or market research.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 18:10:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Mixed Swimming

> From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
> I once asked Rabbi Hershel Shachter that same question. He told me the
> prohibition of mixed swimming is due to the immodest dress and the
> prohibition of seeing immodesty. I then asked what about if the women
> are fully covered like the old swimming costumes. He replied that the
> very nature of the clothes being wet and clingy is also problematic. He
> mentioned a certain Rov who, due to his extremely poor eyesight, would
> take off his glasses and swim even if there were women around since he
> couldn't see anything anyway.

So this brings up a very interesting area.  Often it's possible to go
out and just swim around without looking at the women on the beach.
Also, a related question.  Suppose someone often goes to places (such as
walking in the street) where women are dressed basically the same as on
the beach.  Why can't such a person also go to mixed swimming?  Aren't
they just kidding themselves if they are makpid for swimming but not for
other areas if the reason is the same?


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 16:43:36 +0300
Subject: Re: Rashi holds Hitpael is INTERACTIVE--4 Rishonim views on  Hitpael

Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> stated:

      Ira must grant at the very least that he spelled my name
      incorrectly (Russell has 2 els)

R' Russell is of course right.  I could not find that name anywhere in
the Tenakh and so guessed wrong.  I apologize.  (Someone once said,
"write whatever you want about me; just spell my name right.")

      Second: I did not say PERHAPS. Rather I asserted this was Rashis
      view-- hitpael means interactive.

Actually, Russell was referring to my questions, but I could not find
where he endeavored to answer them.  I certainly am not going to repeat
my long posting, but to summarize, in the hope that someone WILL answer
my questions;

I asked what might be the logic of claiming that the two words are
Hebrew rather than Aramaic, and I referred to the pasuq that says
vehisgadilti vehisqadishti.  And I pointed out that there are indeed at
least one other Hebrew (biblical) expression that made its way into
qaddish, but translated into Aramaic.  And I traced briefly the halakhic
references to this pont, including that Sha`ar Hatziyyun 56:3 refers to
the Pri Megadim as his source.  The Pri Megadim does not explain WHY,
but uses the Henau siddur as HIS reference.

      Finally Ira calls what I do an imaginative derush and states "I
      could probably provide tens if not hundreds of examples".

      Most people are rather surprised but there are way under 1000
      usages of hitpael in ALL of Tanakh.

Just as "Russell" appears in extra-biblical literature, so does the use
of hitpa`el.  And my brain being what it is, I use words and read words
and write words without necessarily referring to (or being conscious at
the moment of) whether they are used in the bible or elsewhere, and in
what way they are used.  So I did not limit myself to biblical usage,
nor did I think that necessary, since Russell himself made no such
condition initially, as far as I can recall.

So that I have no intention of changing the premises of my original
statement; to do so would be less than fair to myself or to Russell.
Sort of like moving the target after the fact.

In light of the fact that much has been said here in MJ about how the
rules of Biblical Hebrew are different from those of other Hebrews, and
there is therefore no justification for rewriting the siddur to use
biblical constructions, I have no qualms about my approach, either.
After all, we WERE talking about qaddish, which also does not appear in
the Tenakh, or at least not in the versions I have seen.

Or to put it in slightly different terms, when we are analyzing a prayer
written entirely or almost entirely in Aramaic, why would I want to
apply anyone's idea of the rules of Biblical Hebrew?

Now, I could pick up a dictionary and find hundreds of words used in the
hitpa`el that are not what Russell refers to as interactive.  But since
Russell has changed the ground rules, that would be little more than an
exercise in frustration (or something).

      Which brings me to another point: At least I gave 3 examples (Many
      from Rashi). If Ira thinks he can give several hundred examples
      (Which as I just pointed out he cannot) could he be so kind as to
      at least cite 3-4 verses and state why an interactive
      interpretation is not valid.

As I said, that was not what I had in mind.

      There are two kinds of disagreement on Mail Jewish: Statements of
      feeling ("I could probably provide....imaginative derush") and
      counterexamples. The thread would flow more smoothly if Ira
      provided examples.

Tell you what: "Milon Hahoveh," by Bahat and Mishor, 1995 edition,
conveniently has about 26 pages of hitpa`el words (pp 422 to 447).  That
would make about 1000 such words.  Just a quick glance ought to convince
you that there are hundreds of verbs in hitpa`el that are not
interactive.  And I believe you will even find some that ARE
interactive.  And some that are reflexive.

      As long as Ira brought up the whole subject: There are 4 views
      among Rishonim on the meaning of Hitpael. My understanding is that
      Rashi believed that they are ALL interactive. Rashi is a respected
      rishon and Ira owes Rashi (and the rest of us) the courtesy of
      providing some examples.

Check over the reference I have given you and I look forward to your

I have no bones to pick with Rashi and apologize to him and his
descendants if they thought that I did.  And to those who honor his

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 14:18:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Secular Translations of Torah

> From: <bkatz@...> (Ben Katz)
> My understanding is that Prof. Alter is traditional, but not Orthodox.
> And he doesnt CHANGE THE TORAH TEXT; he proposes translations based on a
> slightly modified text on rare occassions when the original is difficult
> to translate in a peshat-oriented manner.

The Artscroll, while not changing the hebrew test will make its
translations fit with Rashi's interpretation of a given passage.  This
woudl make it very difficult to understnd what many of the other
Meforshim were saying when they actualy disagree with Rachi.

Would this constitute "changing the torah Text" in English?

Wendy Baker

From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 8:46:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Secular Translations of Torah

From: <bkatz@...> (Ben Katz)
>From: .cp. <chips@...>
>> The author in question CHANGES THE TORAH TEXT to fit into what he feels
>> the translation should be.

> My understanding is that Prof. Alter is traditional, but not Orthodox.
> And he doesnt CHANGE THE TORAH TEXT; he proposes translations based on a
> slightly modified text on rare occassions when the original is difficult
> to translate in a peshat-oriented manner.

How is "slightly modified text" not changing the text when he is the one
doing the modifying?


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 17:48:56 +0300
Subject: Re: Yitgadal-yitgadell -- HITPAEL means INTERACTIVE

Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...> stated:

      Ira Jacobson (v48#80) asks about the meaning of YITGADEL. 

Actually, I did not ask about the meaning.  Not at all.  I asked why it
MUST be Hebrew, and I brought the Hafetz Hayyyim's reference, which
trickles down to the Henau siddur, which has been criticized by much
greater people than your humble servant.

      I suggest that the HITPAEL means INTERACTIVE (not reflexive).
      Here are some punchy examples:

      1) Gn26-20a: Ayin-Shin-Kuph means to WITHOLD wages.

While `ayin shin qof is indeed used to mean to withhold wages-- this is
a special case of its wider meaning, "to exploit"--`ayin sin qof appears
to be a different root, one related to the familiar `ayin samekh qof,
meaning "to deal with."  And thus I fail to understand Russell's logic

      The hitpael form would mean to INTERACTIVELY WITHOLD WAGES-- that
      is to BICKER about property(Give and take on ownership)

As I have pointed out, this seems to be inaccurate.

      2) Ex08-05a The root Pay-Aleph-Resh means to GLORIFY. The hitpael
      would mean to CHALLENGE (Interactively glorify)

Interesting derush.  It does not seem to appear in Rashi and thus is
likely Russell's own idea.  I believe Rashi considers this word to
indicate a challenge to Pharaoh.

      3)Nu11-18a Kuph-Dalet-Shin means to DEDICATE. The hitpael would

I understand Rashi to understand the word to mean "get yourselves
ready."  I don't see any dedication there, but Russell is certainly
entitled to his own interpretation of Rashi.

      4) Hence since PLL means to JUDGE, HITPALEL means to INTERACTIVELY
      JUDGE: It refers to a prayer where you e.g. say "God I want
      this...I really need it"..  and then e.g. say "But maybe this is
      the reason I havent gotten it till now" and then eg say "I repent
      of former behavior...". In other words HITPALEL is not so much
      working thru using prayer as a medium on ones merits and what one
      really deserves.

I consider this once again to be Russell's derush rather than the
inherent meaning of the word.  As long as it does not go against any
particular principle formulated by Hazal, I can see no objection.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 49 Issue 4