Volume 49 Number 69
                    Produced: Wed Aug 24  5:03:42 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

bet resh kaf
         [Lisa Liel]
Jewesses, Lionesses, and Ogresses
         [David Charlap]
Josephus vs. Sefer Yosefon
         [Nathan Lamm]
Language... and Pidyon-ha-Ben
         [Art Werschulz]
Learning on Tisha b'av
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Pidyon HaBen references
         [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 08:35:42 -0400
Subject: Re: bet resh kaf

From: Yehoshua Steinberg <ysteinberg@...>
> Menachem ben Saruk (entry kuf-dalet) says the word comes from
> 'bircayim' (knees), just as 'lichroa' comes from 'kara'aim'
> (legs). Likewise 'veyikod' derives from the bending of 
> the 'kadkod' (head), as 'hishtachavaya' comes from shechoach 
> (bending). Praying involves active demonstration of subjugation 
>to Hashem's will.

I was taking a course in Jerusalem, and the teacher, Rav Blachman,
explained that "bracha" comes from the verb meaning "to kneel".  When
you kneel, you lower yourself, and that the image here is of Hashem
"lowering" (kavayachol) His influence into our domain of perception.

This would also explain the connection to "breicha", and the idea that a
bracha relates to Hashem's beneficence coming into our world.

He also related this to the way in which brachot switch from second
person at the beginning to third person at the end.  The bracha over
wine, for example, would be translated like this:

"You are revealed/unveiled/exposed, Hashem, our Governor and Melech of
the world, as the Creator of the fruit of the vine."

That's why we raise up the thing we're saying the bracha on, because
we're essentially saying, "Check it out!  This wine is a palpable
testament to Hashem's influence in the world."



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 10:01:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Jewesses, Lionesses, and Ogresses

Orrin Tilevitz wrote:
> As for "Negress" there is no comparison because so is "Negro".  That 
> itself is a remarkable transformation; when I was growing up "black"
> as a noun was considered offensive; black people were properly
> "Negroes". The last black person of prominence to call himself a
> "Negro" was Justice Thurgood Marshall, and he did so until he died.
> ...

The politically correct term for this race of people seems to change
with the wind.

Today, any term other than "African American" is considered offensive by
some overly-sensitive members of society.  Even when the person being
discussed is not American.

I remember one friend in college - from Kenya on a student visa - who
gave an interview to a reporter.  The reporter kept on calling him
"African American", which offended him greatly.  He kept on insisting
that he be called "Kenyan" or "African" or "Black" or anything that
doesn't tell a lie about his citizenship.  The reporter refused, saying
that her editor would consider any other term derogatory in the eyes of
the paper's readers.

It's one thing to avoid terms that offend people.  It's quite another to
replace one accurate but potentially-offensive term with an inaccurate
and definitely-offensive term, simply because political correctness
demands it.

-- David


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 07:06:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Josephus vs. Sefer Yosefon

Yosippon is a medieval Jewish adaptation of Josephus.  Of course, for
historical accuracy (or as accurate as Josephus gets), you'd want the
original, although there are aspects of interests in Yosippon as well. I
don't see why the former should be allowed on Tisha B'Av and not the
latter: In all likelihood, the halakhic works mention Yosippon because
they had no access to Josephus, which is written in Greek.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 10:25:17 -0400
Subject: Language... and Pidyon-ha-Ben

To the following run-on conversation ...

>>>> One should do what one feels adequate which might be only a family
>>>> gathering with a few close friends and not be forced to "keep up with
>>>> the Cohens".
>>> and Art Werschulz replied:
>>> There's no danger of that in this case, since the Cohens wouldn't be
>> holding a seudat pidyon haben. :-)
>> I take it this is a joke but it seems to assume everyone with the
>> surname Cohen must be a kohen which is simply untrue.

Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:

> Ooh, ooh...do I get a chance to show Martin that I *do* have a sense of
> humor and knew he was making a joke on purpose when he said that in
> reply to my earlier post??

Of course it was a joke.  Didn't you see the smiley?  :-) :-)

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Ira L. Jacobson <iraeljay@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 17:53:43 +0300
Subject: Re: Learning on Tisha b'av

<RYehoshua@...> stated:
      Secondly, the last line of Sotah needs an explanation: The last
      Mishna of that Tractate states that the death of R" Yehudah
      Hanassi marked the end of humilty (anivut).

Just as a matter of curiosity, why did you see fit to translate the
Hebrew term `anava to the Yiddish anivut?

      Yet one amorah challenges that remark by pointing out that as long
      as he is alive humility still lives.  Has anyone come across a
      good pshat for this comment - other than the one that would
      interpret this as a sarcastic comment.

The Bertinoro notes that this comment was added by Rebbi's
talmidim--Rebbi himself was apparently too `anav to call himself `anav.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 05 22:06:00 -0400
Subject: Pidyon HaBen references

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
>>          Why does the first born son of a woman who is a bat kohen or
>> bay levi NOT have a pidyon haben?  This is the only example of
>> "yichus" (status, as oppossed to religion) following the mother.  I
>> know the shulchan aruch brings a pasuk to justify this, but the logic
>> of the limud has never been satisfying to me.

> I do not think this is the only case. I do not remember all of the
> tosafot in shas (thereby invalidating myself as a posek) but I have a
> recollection that there is one which says that the daughter of a kohen
> is a valid recipient for monetary "matnot kehuna" (gifts to the
> priesthood).
> [from subsequent posting. Mod]
> "Amar Rav Kahana" quotes the gemara Kiddushin 8A that Rav Kahana
> accepted a sudar (a garment) as pidyon haben, and the gemara in
> Hulin 132A that he ate the kohein's portions of a slaughtered animal.
> In both cases, Rav Kahane, who was *not* a kohein

Tosfos comments on this precisely to try to establish that he not a Kohen.

One thing that wasn't clear to the Rishonim was whether or not R Kahana
was a Kohen. This would affect what the Halacha was. (In earlier
generations at some point they obvuiously knew, but they didn't know by
that time) So they had to try to deduce it from the Gemorah.

The statement of R. Kahana that is quoted in Pesachim 49a - that if he
not married a Kohen's daughter he would not have had to leave - amd we
know it is Bavel he left- seems to indicate he was not a Kohen (although
you can't be completely sure, and the statement, taken by itself,
doesn't seem to follow. How does the fact that his wife was the daughter
of a Kohen do anything to increase its probability?

Obiously there was a whole story connected with that, but evidentally we
don't have the whole story. This is brought up here in the genara
because it is one of a series of quotaions by Rabbis in connection with
the fact that they married a daughter of a Kohen.

Here he probably means some other things happened to him as a result -
that the particular events in his life that followed from that marriage
caused his exile. The fact that he puts it this way is maybe because the
reason he chose this woman as a wife rather than another was that she
was the daughter of a Kohen. Why he wanted that? Maybe greater
yichus. Some other Rabbis seemed to want this too.

> it was just his name, like a lot of Mr Cohen today)

This looks like a first name. Was it name he got later in life?

> accepted these priestly portions because his *wife* was the daughter
> of a kohein.

> According to the Ein Mishpat on Hulin 132A, this halacha is in the
> Rambam at Hilchot Bikurim 9:20, but my MTR Rambam shows it as halacha
> 18: 'A kohenet can eat "matanot", even if she is married to a Yisrael,
> because they have no sanctity; and what is more, her husband can eat
> because of her'.

This is the issue of eating it - but first we have the issue of owning
it - that is, does this cout as giving something to a Kohen, which I
think is the real question.

I have a number of sources I can contribute - entirely by Siyatta
Dishama. This Motzai Shabbos, I noticed on a window sill in my shul a
number of volumes of the Encyclpedia Talmudit and I decided to look into
it. I picked out volume 4 and saw that the last article was Bas
Kohen. While it started with the more familiar issue of eating terumah,
I looked for it, and indeed it dealt later with Pidyon Haben.

The Rishonim divide. Some think you give Pidyon Haben money to a
daughter of a Kohen and even her husband because of her [91] and most of
the Rishonim that a Pidyon Haben you do not give to a Kohen's daughter

For 91 the sources are: Tosfos Pesachim 49a at "Amar", Kiddushin 8a at
Rav Kahana. It says there Beis Taf apostrophe and then a letter Beis and
I don't know what that means. [Someone told me tonight that this means
Teretz B - that is, the second answer Tosfos gives.]

It continues then: Rosh Hilchos Pidyon Haben end Bechoros in the name of
Rashi and it is not in the Rashi that is in front of us - iyun there -
and then a word that I don't know "Beis" "Mem" "Ayin" "Daled" "Yud"
followed by what looks like the abbreviation for Yom Tov. [Someone told
me tonight that B'Madnyai Yom Tov is the name of a Sefer. This is a
separate source. It is apparently more known about than read or studied.

For 92 (those who disagree, which the encyclopedia says is the majority)
it gives:

Rambam Bikurim Perek Aleph "Hey", Shalos and Teshuvos of the Rashba in
Chayai Adom Sif 836, Rosh the end of Bechoros, [Sefer] Hachinuch Mitzvah
number 392, Tur Yoreh De'ah 305, Shalos and Teshuvos Radbaz, Iyun
Chasdei Dovid 1,267 (196), Shalos and Teshuvos of the Chasam Sofer Yoreh
De'ah 301, Yoreh De'ah 333:14 Perek Bikurim.

I hope some other people can decipher this. The Rosh evidentally quoted
Rashi as being of a different opinion than himself, but we can't find
this Rashi now. So that's why the Rosh at the end of Bechorois is in
both lists.

> The Shulchan `Aruch, Yoreh De`ah 61:8 also says explicitely "one who
> gave the matanot to her (the kohenet's) husband who is a Yisrael, has
> performed the mitzva of the gift, and of course the husband himself is
> patur from giving".

> These halachot refer to parts of a slaughtered animal, but the tosafot
> also mentioned pidyon haben, and the Rambam stating lack of sanctity as
> a reason, seems to include all of the monetary gifts (e.g. the first of
> the shearing).

There are some separate sources for Matnos Kohunah. (For Reishis Hagaz
there is a refeernce to the tur and Shulchan Aruch Yore De'eh 333:14
already mentioned as against giving to her the Pidyon Haben money)

That you give Terumah, Maasar and Challah to a Cohanet is stated flatly
and the notes to that [72] are:

Rambam Bikurim Perek Aleph, "Hey" - the same source cited for NOT giving
Pidyon Haben - and so you understad also from the Tosephta Bikurim,
Perek beiz in connection with an androgenous. And I can't follow what it
says next.

Someone told me that R Chaim Brisk said a lamden is not someone who
knows how to learn, but someone who learns, and the proof of this is,
that the word ganof doesn't just mean someone who knpws how to steal.

One thing. You don't hand out Terumah in a granary to a women. This is
either because of the issue of Yichud or it is because of a Bas Yisroel
who married a Kohen - and later maybe could have been divorced That's
the Meiri Yevamos Omud 314.

One thing you have to understand is that in those days, Kohanim
frequently married only woen from families of Kohanim. This is because
they investigated the woman's family - whether she was born a Jew and
hadn't had the possibility of not being a besulah, and they could most
easily be sure of course from their own families, and taht's the context
of all these quotations from Rabbis who married the daughter of a Kohen.

Josephus writes in Against Apion:

....for he who is partaker of the priesthood must propagate of a wife of
the same nation, without having any regard to money, or any other
dignities; but he is to make a scrutiny, and take his wife's genealogy
from the ancient tables, and procure many witnesses to it. (7) And this
is our practice not only in Judea, but wheresoever any body of men of
our nation do live; and even there an exact catalogue of our priests'
marriages is kept; I mean at Egypt and at Babylon, or in any other place
of the rest of the habitable earth, whithersoever our priests are
scattered; for they send to Jerusalem the ancient names of their parents
in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors, and signify who
are the witnesses also. But if any war falls out, such as have fallen
out a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an
invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the Great and Quintilius
Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that have happened in our
own times, those priests that survive them compose new tables of
genealogy out of the old records, and examine the circumstances of the
women that remain; for still they do not admit of those that have been
captives, as suspecting that they had conversation with some


End of Volume 49 Issue 69