Volume 53 Number 20
                    Produced: Wed Dec 13  6:10:29 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avodah Zarah?
         [S. Wise]
Carrying an Infant on Shabbat (2)
         [Stuart Feldhamer, Orrin Tilevitz]
Eating or Not Eating Meat
         [Frank Silbermann]
         [Jack Wechsler]
Looking for Montrealers
         [Tamar Gindis]
Mumbai (Bombay) Jewish Cemetery - List of Graves
         [Jeremy Rose]
New book: Harry Potter and Torah
         [Dov Krulwich]
Online Manuscript of the Tosefta
         [Elhanan Adler]
Picture of the Chafetz Chaim (2)
         [Andy Goldfinger, Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise]
Posul Eidus
         [Michael Gerver]
         [Robert Sasportas]
siyyum Tanach
         [Daniel Z. Werlin]


From: <smwise3@...> (S. Wise)
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 10:55:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Avodah Zarah?

I was walking by a new frum-owned silver store and couldn't help noticing
in the display window a sterling silver horse, maybe a 18 inches hight
and two feet long, could be bigger. I couldn't help thinking GOLDEN CALF!
Aside from being excess, I am wondering whether there is any halachic
issue in owning such a piece. While it isn't avodah zarah, obviously,
would it not consistute a graven image that should be avoided? Unless
some ostentatious frum person buys it, I suppose it's there for the
general public, but should a frum person be selling it?

S. Wise 


From: Stuart Feldhamer <Stuart.Feldhamer@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 11:31:57 -0500
Subject: RE: Carrying an Infant on Shabbat

> I am confused.  I was given a psak (thank god we now have an eruv) that
> carrying the infant in reshut harabim, less than daled amos at a time,
> (take a step or 2 and stop) is mutar, bidieved, due to "chai nosei et
> atmo".  Yet, your quote is using it to assur it?
> Joshua Goldmeier

 The point is that "chai nosei et atzmo" does not apply to an infant,
who is not capable of "nosei et atzmo" (carrying him/herself).


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 08:19:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Carrying an Infant on Shabbat

My question is whether a sefaradi may carry an infant on Shabbat, in an
area that is technically not reshut harabim, in the normal way, without
resort to the less-than-4-amot technique and without there being any
extenuating circumstances.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 09:37:57 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Eating or Not Eating Meat

In V53 N18 Natan Slifkin <zoorabbi@...> cited Rabbi Yosef
Gikatalia's (Shaarei Orah) understanding of meat eating as elevating the
animals we eat.  That approach does not appeal to me, as it reminds me
too much of Bertolt Brecht's poem, "Wenn Haifische Waeren Menschen" ("If
sharks were people ... they would teach little fish that there was no
bigger honor than to swim into a shark's mouth.")

I do tend to agree with Avi Feldman <feldblum@...>, however:

>> The Torah clearly states that we have that right (to eat meat), and
>> (to disagree) is tantamount to saying that your own sense of morality
>> superceeds the Torah.

Objecting to Avi's position, David Riceman <driceman@...> wrote:

> Consider the example of yefas toar [woman captive of war who is forced
> to marry her captor].  The sages say that this law is a concession to
> the evil inclination, i.e., that it is immoral to do such a thing, but
> it is permitted lest soldiers behave even worse. ... Certainly, I've
> never heard anyone complain that the Geneva Conventions, which forbid
> such behavior, are heretical because they are more stringent than the
> Torah requirements.

IMO, The Geneva Conventions are not viewed as heretical because:

(1) Yefas Toar is probably already forbidden rabbinically,

(2) Yefas toar is not something that our holy prophets and rabbis 
    of ancient times made a practice of doing, nor is it something
    that our ultra-Orthodox communities do today.

What I find most obnoxious about the no-right-to-eat-meat crowd is their
implication that various hippies and granola nuts are in some way
morally superior to our Tzadikkim.  That is an untenable position, and
it requires that we reject the idea that meat-eating is immoral.

At best, one can argue that minimizing the eating of meat -- if done for
reasons which do not slander those Orthodox Jews who do eat meat -- can
be a chumra (an optional piety that goes beyond the plain halachic

Frank Silbermann	Memphis, Tennessee	<fs@...>


From: Jack Wechsler <wechsler@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2006 22:28:06 +0200
Subject: Kotonti

In this weeks parsha (vayishlach) there seems to be a difference of
opinion as to the ta'amye hamikra on the word kotonti in the first
parsha. Should it be an azla keresh or should it be a reveeas the tanach
koren prints it ?

Perhaps one of our expert baale kreya on the list can throw some light
on this subject. Why the difference ?

Jack Wechsler


From: Tamar Gindis <tlg@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 00:09:24 +0200
Subject: Looking for Montrealers

My parents, Arthur and Gisela Garmaise, would like to know of
Monterealers, ages 65-85, who are living in or visiting Israel, in order
to arrange a get together. If you are interested, please e-mail
me. Thank you.


From: Jeremy Rose <jeremy@...>
Date: Sat, 09 Dec 2006 16:32:19 +0000
Subject: Mumbai (Bombay) Jewish Cemetery - List of Graves

I have just been to the Knesset Eliyahoo cemetery in Bombay and I was
able to get a complete copy of the Registration Book, which lists every
burial since about 1855.  At least it looks complete, but no guarantees!

Each entry has the grave number, name of deceased and date of death.
Some graves have no name (probably not legible).

It's available to anyone who wants it as a ZIP file (with multiple
JPEGs) or I can probably make a PDF when I get back to London.

Let me know by e-mail if you'd like a copy, and please feel free to pass
this message on to anyone who might be interested.

Kol tuv,  Jeremy Rose


From: Dov Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 07:36:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject: New book: Harry Potter and Torah

I haven't been involved in mail.jewish for 15 years, but thought that
the list members might be interested in a book I just finished writing
and publishing called Harry Potter and Torah.  As the name implies, it's
a collection of Jewish insights into themes raised in the Harry Potter


The book is written for adults and teenagers, and can be enjoyed by
readers with little or no Jewish background.  Those with a background
and interest in Jewish scholarship will enjoy the over 300 footnotes.
All the chapters, some esoteric and some fairly mainstream, are based
fully on traditional Jewish sources.

The book's Web site http://www.harrypottertorah.com/ has links to a
sample chapter, letter of haskama, and to buy the book.

Comments and questions are welcome.

--Dov Krulwich


From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 09:47:15 +0200 (GMT+0200)
Subject: Online Manuscript of the Tosefta

Of possible interest to mail-jewish readers:

The Jewish National and University Library, David and Fela Shapell
Family Digitization Project and the Hebrew University Department of
Talmud are pleased to announce the expansion of the Online Treasury of
Talmudic Manuscripts to include a first manuscript of the Tosefta: the
so-called 'Erfurt' manuscript.

This manuscript, which survived the Pogrom of the Jewish community of
Erfurt in 1349, is held by the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin and reproduced
with their permission. It is one of the two most important major
existing manuscripts of the Tosefta and contains four sedarim: Zera'im,
Moed, Nashim and Nezikin.

The Tosefta manuscript is indexed by tractate, chapter and halacha.

The Online Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts project continues also to
grow with additional manuscripts of the Mishna and Talmud Bavli. We hope
to also add manuscripts of the Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashim in the
coming year.

The Online Treasury of Talmud Manuscripts site is found at:

Elhanan Adler
Deputy Director for Information Technology
Jewish National and University Library
Email: <elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 08:09:21 -0500
Subject: Picture of the Chafetz Chaim

Here, in Baltimore, there is an older man who had personal contact with
the Chafetz Chaim.  He says that "none of the pictures" he has seen look
like the Chafetz Chaim since "He was always smiling."

In Boro Park, a Rabbi Deutsch is curator of a private museum ("The Torah
Museum" -- very well worth visiting) and he has a picture which he says
he has personaly verified is of the Chafetz Chaim in middle age.  The
picture can be seen at this web site:


It is in the upper left corner.  Clicking on it will enlarge it.  I have
not shown this picture to the older man in Baltimore.

Andrew D. Goldfinger

From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise)
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 08:08:09 EST
Subject: Re: Picture of the Chafetz Chaim

The late Gaon - Reb Koppel Kahana (my rebbe's rebbe) was a talmid in the
kollel kodshim in Radin and said that the picture did not resemble the
Chofetz Chayyim as did the late Dayan Fisher of London (who died aged 92
several years ago) also a talmid of the Chofetz Chayyim.

The elder Rabbi Cofnas aged 93 (till 120) is alive in Liverpool and might
also be consulted.

Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise, London


From: Michael Gerver <mjgerver@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 02:28:21 +0200
Subject: Posul Eidus

Daniel Wells writes, in v53n18,

> Just a side point on kosher witnesses, anyone who has ever stolen
> something, even using a pen from a friend without attaing his assent,
> and has not done teshuva is probably posul eidus.

I thought that there is a chazakah that another Jew would not mind
giving you something worth less than a pruta (or whatever the minimum
monetary unit is in the country where you live), unless he tells you
that he would mind. Assuming you don't use up too much ink from the
borrowed pen, I think that would fall in that category. Or are you
talking about a situation where he has already told you he does not want
you to use his pen? Also, in the case of a friend, Jewish or not, if you
are almost sure that s/he would not mind, I would think you would be
permitted borrow the pen, and then confirm later that it was OK, since
there would be a chazakah initially that your friend wouldn't mind.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Robert Sasportas <clara@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 09:47:33 +0200
Subject: Shehakol


What exactly does the blessing sheakol mean?
Shabbat Shalom


From: Daniel Z. Werlin <dzwerlin@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 10:04:10 -0500
Subject: siyyum Tanach

Is anyone aware of a hadran or hadran-like text that is recited at a
siyyum for Tanach?

Dan Werlin


End of Volume 53 Issue 20