Volume 49 Number 22
                    Produced: Tue Jul 26  6:44:32 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artichoke and Marror (2)
         [Martin Stern, <auntiefifi@...>]
Cellphone safety
         [David Charlap]
Cellphones while driving (3)
         [Carl A. Singer, Harlan Braude, Abie]
gedeirot vs g'darim
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Hebrew Etymology
         [Jeremy Steinberg]
Hot Water on Shabbat
         [Carl A. Singer]
Kaddish Pronounciation
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Orthodox Jews in the Military (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Ira L. Jacobson]
Teachers who throw kids out of class/Jewish educational systems
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Teaching Aramaic (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Abie]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:15:50 +0100
Subject: Re: Artichoke and Marror

on 25/7/05 10:28 am, <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman) wrote:
> Romaine lettuce, raddichio, escarole, also qualify [as maror], but I don't
> understand why romaine lettuce does because it is not bitter at all.

Most of the bitterness has been bred out of modern lettuces, and
similar, salad vegetables, but originally they had a bitter aftertaste
especially if chewed for some time. This does still occasionally occur
as I have personally experienced though less often than with chicory,
especially the unblanched variety.

Martin Stern

From: <auntiefifi@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 13:09:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Artichoke and Marror

Granted, artichoke hearts have very little flavor but the bases can be
very bitter.  Also, romaine has been used as maror because the stalk,
not the leaves, are considered bitter.  Many people combine the stalk
and freshly grated or sliced horseradish root to create the necessary
amount needed for the mitzvah.


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:55:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Cellphone safety

I'm sorry, these "studies" sound to me like they were bought and paid
for by anti-cellphone advocates.

They seem to be doing their work by studying accident reports.  This
results in a count of the number of accidents involving phones vs. the
number of accidents that don't involve phones.

But this is a meaningless figure unless it is compared against the
number of people /not/ involved in accidents that are using cell phones
while driving.  As far as I know, nobody has even bothered to come up
with that figure.

These studies should be attempting to get the percentage of cell-phone
users involved in accidents vs. the percentage of non-phone-users
involved in accidents.  And you can't come up with these numbers if you
only look at those people who have had accidents.

Put another way, if phone usage has no affect on accidents, then you
should expect to find the percentage of accidents involving phones to be
equal to the overall percentage of phone usage.  If 100% of the
population should start using phones while driving, then you will
obviously find phone-usage in 100% of accidents.  But this statistic
will mean nothing, except to a political hack looking to scare the

-- David


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 06:15:08 -0400
Subject: Cellphones while driving

Perhaps we need input from a psychologist or anthropologist.

Telephones, cellphones included, seem to demand our attention.  There
are people who would stop eating a meal in order to answer the
telephone.  In contrast, we talk with fellow diners during mealtime, but
have integrated conversation with eating.

Same probably goes for driving a car -- we can talk w/ passengers
without devoting full attention to them -- unlike, so it seems, talking
via the cellphone.

Carl Singer

From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 09:38:10 -0400
Subject: RE: Cellphones while driving

> enough people to raise the accident rate.  Plus, when talking 
> to someone in the car, the moment the driver is distracted by 
> trouble, the other party usually notices either his change in 
> behaviour or directly notices the same danger the driver has, 
> and he shuts up, leaving the driver free to drive.

That makes sense with adult passengers. How about passengers below the
age of, say, 7?

From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 15:11:25 +0000
Subject: Cellphones while driving

I know that I am off the statistics charts, but I find that talking on
my cell phone while driving keeps me awake and a much more alert driver.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:11:50 +0300
Subject: Re: gedeirot vs g'darim

      g'darim for themselves (ie, "fences");

I thought fences were gedeirot.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Jeremy Steinberg <jeremy.steinberg@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:50:11 -0400
Subject: Hebrew Etymology

I have been doing research into the sources of Leshon Hakodesh for the
past three years or so.

Specifically, I have become fascinated by such devices as Chazal's use
of "Al Tikrei", and how they shed light on the underlying roots of
words. This has led to some much-neglected works such as Machberes
Menachem (quoted by Rashi hundeds of times), the sifrei hasherashim of
Radak and Rabeinu Yona, and commentators such as HaKesav Vehakabbala,
and brilliant works such as the Yerios Shelomo and Targumna dedicated to
etymology and related disciplines.

The purpose of all this is simply to literally get at the root meaning
of Hashem's words, and concomitantly to demonstrate the infinite
profundity of the Divine Language.  I'd be very interested in
corresponding with others with similar interests.

Yehoshua Steinberg
Ft. Bragg, NC 28310


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 06:39:21 -0400
Subject: Hot Water on Shabbat

> However, by keeping our week day hot water temperature on the low side
> and by turning the water off before the last long shower, I have found
> that the water can be turned down less that 30 minutes before Shabbot
> starts.

I thought we had exhausted this topic some months ago.  It seems like
going to a lot of trouble -- both mechanically and halachically.  And
without proper measurement of temperature, how do we know whether we are
below Yad Soled Bo - aren't we just guessing.

If you really need hot water on Shabbos, then install a hot water heater
in your attic.  Have it fitted with an extra valve on top.  Before
Shabbos turn off the heating element, turn of the cold water intake and
open up the extra valve (to allow air in.)  What you then have is a
gravity feed hot water system equivalent to a large urn.

Which reminds me, even under the first scenario of turning down the
water heater before Shabbos -- is the water coming out considered as if
it's from a clay rishon and to be treated accordingly?  Or am I all wet.

In a shiur this past Shabbos we got to discussing why there is a
tendency to try to get around situations.  For example, someone gets a
traffic ticket and their response isn't a self-examination of their
driving habits, but how do I get out of this ticket.  I don't recall the
source, but there was "musar" re: staying on the straight and narrow and
avoiding "angles" -- I'm paraphrasing (poorly).

Carl Singer


From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:59:16 -0400
Subject: RE: Kaddish Pronounciation

Some time ago I mentioned in the name of Guggenheim, author of The
Scholar's Haggadah, an opinion on the usage "yitgadel" instead of
"yitgadal" - I ascribed to him the opinion that using the reflexive
tense created a statement that was both absurd and theologically
problematic.  Rabbi Teitz questioned the broadness of Prof. Guggenheim's
shoulders for making the statement given the Vilna Gaon's views, and so
I dug up the precise citation to make sure I wasn't misquoting him:

Vocalized haggadah texts before the end of the eighteenth century show
no difference betwwen Sephardic and Ashkenazic versions in this respect
[with regard to use of Biblical versus Mishnaic Hebrew].  Current
Ashkenazic texts deviate from the historical forms under the influence
of R. Eliahu of Wilna in Eastern Europe and Isaac Stanow and Wolf
Heidenheim in Western Europe.  (Some Ashkenazic authorities have gone to
quite absurd lengths in the adaptation of texts to biblical paradigms;
so we find versions of the Qaddish in which the rabbinic subjunctive
yitgaddal "may (His great name) be magnified" is chaged into Biblical
reflexive (t-passive) yitgaddel "(His great Name) will magnify itself.")

So the reading of "yitgadel" as reflexive was not characterized by
Prof. Guggenheim as "theologically problematic;" that was my
editorialization (with apologies to Prof. Guggenheim, though I'm not
sure he'd disagree with it).



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:37:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Orthodox Jews in the Military

> From: Dov Zakheim <zakheim_dov@...>
> In addition to kosher MREs (meals ready to eat) every effort has been
> made to provide. Jewish forces in Iraq Pesach rations as well.

I read this as "it is possible that kosher food will not be available"
 ...  what does a Jewish service-person do in these cases?  The friends
I've had who've been involved with the US armed forces have all had to
take on more liberal kashrut standards in their work ... on the other
hand, maybe pikuach nefesh (they are protecting our lives in the US, for
which many leniencies are not only permitted but even required) allows

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 13:00:51 +0300
Subject: Re: Orthodox Jews in the Military

<meirman@...> (Meir) stated:

      I really regret not serving in the IDF.  Had they sent me a draft
      registration form or a draft notice, I would have not even
      considered avoiding it.  But they don't do that to Americans.

They sent such notices to me and all my friends, several months after we
became Israeli citizens.  And similarly years later for the children,
when they came of age, even though they are Americans.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 07:40:58 EDT
Subject: Teachers who throw kids out of class/Jewish educational systems

>>"The rebbe screamed : get out my class, you Zionist!"<<

Could this possibly have been the same rebbe in Chaim Berlin who turned
my husband into a haredi-hating chiloni? Sure sounds like him, and some
of my teachers in Beis Yaakov--right across the street.

Some of my teachers, especially the men, if they didn't have a real
answer to a real question, made the student feel like they committed a
major crime for asking and then threw them out of class, so they could
spend the rest of the time hanging out in the hallways or bathrooms--and
then gave them daleds or worse and called their parents to tell the
parents that this kid needs a beating.

How do I know?

>From the time we moved to Brooklyn from Weehawken, and I was removed
from what later became YNJ and slammed into Rabbi Levy's Beis Yaakov.,
it happened to me at least twice a week.

And of course, my parents would comply with the teacher's wishes, and I
would get the requisite beatings.

And I know I am not alone on this list in these experiences, but I am the
only one who will raise the issue.


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 12:49:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Teaching Aramaic

> My question stands: if Jewish education wishes to further the knowledge
> of G'mara and other important Judaic works, why aren't we teaching
> Aramaic as a language?

I think the main answer is that there are very few teachers qualified to
do this.  I know that several years ago Telshe high school (Cleveland)
had a class in proper Aramaic. When spoke to the teacher he said that
the rebbeim in Telshe were not very supportive. They saw no reason to
"waste" time learning proper grammatical Aramaic.

Eli Turkel

From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 15:18:21 +0000
Subject: Teaching Aramaic

Funny, Dr. Shmuel Schneider (Chairman of Hebrew Language and Literature
at Yeshiva University) just wrote an article calling for day schools to
teach Hebrew in a systematic way!

I guess everyone has their own priorities :-)

See http://www.emunah.org/magazine_comments.php?id=374_0_4_0_C


One would have expected the study of Hebrew to serve as the cornerstone
of Jewish education in today's Orthodox schools. After all, if the
bedrock of Jewish education is Torah she-bikhtav and Torah she-be?al peh
(Bible and Talmud), which are taught from the original Hebrew, then
acquiring the skills to facilitate such study - a thorough grounding in
Biblical and Rabbinical Hebrew across the ages, from the Sages to the
present - has to be a priority.

Yet, against all logic, the study of the Hebrew language as a systematic
discipline is notable for its absence. In some religious institutions,
it is even considered a hindrance.



End of Volume 49 Issue 22