Volume 50 Number 21
                    Produced: Fri Nov 25  8:41:01 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Canadian and US Thanksgiving
         [Michael Mirsky]
Comparative Linguistics
         [Warren Burstein]
Hebrew source of English words
         [S. Wise]
Hebrew the Original Language---Was HEBREW SOURCE OF ENGLISH WORDS
         [Russell J Hendel]
Internet Bans (4)
         [Russell J Hendel, R E Sternglantz, Aryeh Gielchinsky, Avi
Rabbis salary


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 17:46:56 -0500
Subject: Canadian and US Thanksgiving

Frank Silberman said in regard to my comments about frum Jews in Canada not
celebrating Thanksgiving:

>I suppose that Thanksgiving is not such a big deal among Canadians 
>because it does not resonate with their sense of national identity. 

>I'm not even sure Canadians have much of a sense of national identity. 
>Originally, Canadians defined themselves as the Anglo-Americans who 
>remained loyal to the British Crown -- but later they abandoned even 
>that distinction. Perhaps Canadian Orthodox Jews would celebrate a 
>"National Democratic-Socialism Day" -- should their government ever 
>institute such a thing.

WELL EXCUUUUSSSSE ME!  We certainly *do* have a sense of national
identity, and Frank's depiction of us is something out of the 1800's.
We long ago have removed most legal ties to Britain. What remains is
mostly traditional such as the Governor General as the Queen's
representative. Canadians view themselves as honest brokers and
peacekeepers on the world stage.  A comparison: Americans desire "Life,
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".  The motto for Canada is "Peace,
Order and Good Government".  The pursuit of individual liberties is not
as driven as for Americans.

And we are ALSO certainly very grateful to Canada for providing an open
society where all peoples and religions are respected.  I would not
attribute Jews not celebrating Thanksgiving to that.  Looking into the
origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving, it appears to be very similar to
the American one.  So I'm still left without an answer as to the lack of
Jewish observance.  Maybe some Canadians on the list can suggest a

Thanks to Joel Rick and Lawrence Feldman for the interesting article
from Torah from Dixie on the halachic ramifications.  I'm pretty sure
that halachic concerns aren't the issue for Canaian Jews.

Frank: - "National Democratic Socialism (Day)"!!!???  Isn't that the
name for the Nazi party? Whatever did you mean by that?

Michael Mirsky  <mirskym@...>


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 11:11:48 +0200
Subject: Re: Comparative Linguistics

Yehoshua Steinberg finds it unreasonable that linguists trace the
Mod. Eng. "ashamed" to the OE sceamod.  Perhaps this might seem less so
in light of the knowledge that the "d" is part of the conjugation of the
verb (just like the "d" in the modern word), not of the root, and the
combination "sc" in OE is pronounced "sh" in many words.  While we do
not of course have firsthand knowledge of how the language was spoken,
there other examples of this - some that I found at
http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/research/rawl/IOE/pronunciation.html are
scip (ship), aesc (ash - the tree), wyscan (wish), and fisc (fish).

For "ae" being pronounced as a long "a" in Mod. Eng., I also found at
that side that the OE geat has become the modern "gate".

Granted, the OE word itself could have come about by dropping the "a"
from the Heb. Asham, but as Mod. Eng. has its sources in OE, Greek,
Latin, and Old French (I hope it is not being claimed that Mod. Eng. was
created directly from Hebrew without these posited intermediate steps) I
would suggest that future research into Hebrew roots be done in these


From: <Smwise3@...> (S. Wise)
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 23:38:52 EST
Subject: Re: Hebrew source of English words

      Simply because the theory has nothing to back it up.  Too often,
      it takes words whose origins are well known and removes "roots"
      from them that don't really exist, and then tries to find a Hebrew

      I'm afraid that some people have a mistaken notion that a
      religious Jew *must* believe that all langauges come from Hebrew,
      or that Hebrew was the "original" language. These theories come
      from this belief; however, there is no such requirement.

      Nachum Lamm

Might I add in a slightly related way, that chassidshe rebbes of days
gone by, adopted some secular melodies as nigunim -- and the explanation
is that these were originally Jewish songs that got lost and picked up
by goyim.  I guess for some Jewish pride extends the parameters of our

I know that the English word cinnamon dervies from the Hebrew qinnamon,
but years ago a non-frum Jew told me the word copasetic is a corruption
of "ha-kol b'seder." I have read that he word may dervie from Hebrew --
but also Italian and French. Also, I once hear someone say that Boss
comes from Baal Habayis, but while in meaning they seem to relate, I
understand the word is of greek origin.



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 10:42:26 -0500
Subject: Hebrew the Original Language---Was HEBREW SOURCE OF ENGLISH WORDS

Just thought I would give another interpretation of HEBREW IS THE
the postings have been discussing it the FORMAL words of say English are
seen as coming possibly from the FORMAL words of Hebrew.

However we can also interpret this statement to refer to CONTENT.  e.g.
The word ISHAH etymologically comes from ISH (See Gn02). This etymology
REFLECTS the fact that MEN and WOMEN both are HUMAN and differs from
other languages where the word for female comes from a word meaning
WEAK.  So the etymology reflects the human rights of the male and

Here is a second example: The root Cheth-Beth-Lamed means both ROPE and
LOAN SECURITY. Thus the language etymology reflects the anguish of the
person making the loan in that "stings" are attached to the loan
'binding' him and making him dependent on the lender.

Here is a 3rd example:Two words for sex in (Biblical ) Hebrew are either
Ayin-Gimel-Beth which also means flute(or someother instrument) or
Aleph-Hay-Beth-Yud-Mem(Plural of the word love). These etymologies
reflect certain desirable aspects of sex which are sometimes overlooked:
a) emphasis on the softer aspects of the relationship b) the need for
both parties to participate (plural of love). By contrast a 3rd word for
sex, Beth-Ayin-Lamed, also meaning ownership, emphasizes male aggression
and conquest. However this 3rd word is considered perjorative in Hebrew
(Cf. verse in Hosea...'I(God) will be called your(Israel's) man and not
be called your owner.').

Notice how the emphasis on concepts vs form leads to philsophical
discussion and lessons learned. Finally acknowledgement should be given
to Rav Hirsch who championed this point of view in his commentary

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 10:46:59 -0500
Subject: RE: Internet Bans 

I might mention one of the reasons that America ENCOURAGES the internet.
Part of Democracy is provision of access. The point of America is that
any person no matter how poor can go into their local library, go on the
internet and eg read any of the following with translations: a) Bible b)
Talmud c) Daf Yomi d) Mishnah Berurah e) My Rashi website. Many of these
websites have search capability. I still remember how the Rav (Rav Yosef
Baer Soloveitchick) described the poverty in his house---'Father would
bring home a book and we would have to read it by the moonlight because
we had no money for candles.' Of course access of torah books brings the
right to have access to 'other non-halachically acceptable matter.' THE

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/

From: R E Sternglantz <resternglantz@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 08:33:26 -0500
Subject: RE: Internet Bans

I confess that blanket bans on Internet access worry me, because they set up
a situation where many families will be forced either into non-compliance,
massaging the edges of the ban (not very good chinuch), or leaving the
Lakewood community.

Unlike television, "Internet access" covers broad ground. For instance,
before reading my email this morning I used the Internet to serve a motion
in a case I'm working on. Indeed, Internet access allows me to work from
home on Erev Shabbos (as well as any other time I would rather not be in the
office). Not all the students in the Lakewood yeshivos have fathers who are
still in learning full time (I know, because I went to law school with some
of these fellows), and many of them have mothers who work in the secular
world. At least some of these people need Internet access at home in order
to do their jobs.

Is the ban articulated to allow for this sort of (non-entertainment use)

Ruth Sternglantz

From: Aryeh Gielchinsky <agielchinsky@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 23:22:38 -0500
Subject: Internet Bans

>From: S Wise
>I am curious to hear opinions on this latest attempt to make the
>non-Yeshiva people feel unwelcome.  It sounds discriminatory and taking
>it out on innocent children.

If you sent your child to a coed school, and the administration decided
one day to ban short skirts and sleeveless shirts would you assume they
were trying to discriminate? Most people would assume the administration
felt not having a dress code would be a bad influence on the
students. The Yeshivish administration aren't out to get us, they feel
usage of the Internet is a bad influence so they banned it like a Modern
Orthodox school would ban mini skirts and sleeveless shirts.

>The "decree" seems the type of things Islamic extremists might do to
>control the private lives of citizens.

It is unfortuante that Modern Orthodox Jews feel their two greatest
enemys are Islamic extremists and Yeshivish Jews.

Aryeh Gielchinsky
President of the Yeshiva University Physics and Engineering Club, retired

From: Avi Feldblum <avi@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005
Subject: Internet Bans

Aryeh writes:

>>The "decree" seems the type of things Islamic extremists might do to
>>control the private lives of citizens.

>It is unfortuante that Modern Orthodox Jews feel their two greatest
>enemys are Islamic extremists and Yeshivish Jews.

I read S. Wise's submissions and I do not see how you go from his/her
concern about the intrusive nature about some practices / groups of
Chareidi / Yeshivish Jews and you statement that Modern Orthodox Jews
feel thier greatest enemies are Islamic extremists and Yeshivish Jews.

I have no problem with your defending the right and even the
appropriateness of these types of internal rulings (e.g. preventing any
children from homes you view as being a "bad influence" from attending
your schools) as well as others argueing that this is a bad and
dangerous practice. But this arguement does not make the two groups



From: Michael <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 20:24:29 -0500
Subject: Rabbis salary

>Our Shul has a policy of not divulging the rabbi's salary to Shul
>members, with only the Shul Committee privy to this information. (The
>salary is subsumed under different clauses in the budget.) Some members
>of the Shul have claimed that there are halachic prohibitions against
>divulging this information.
>I'd be interested in hearing the policy of other Shuls in this regard.
>Shmuel Himelstein

Unfortunately it's a common problem.  The prohibition is certainly not
halachic in nature.

The members of the shul are the owners of the shul, and as such have the
right to know how much they pay their employees.  The Rabbi, if he is
getting paid is an employee.  Certainly the owner of any corporation has
the right to to evaluate how much an employee is being paid.

Members are asked to pay expensive dues, run and participate in
expensive fundraisers etc.  They should know how that money is being
spent in the shul's entire budget.  It's a different situation if a
Rabbi making $40k wants a raise in his contract vs one make $140K


End of Volume 50 Issue 21