Volume 53 Number 21
                    Produced: Thu Dec 14  6:30:53 EST 2006


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avodah Zarah? (2)
         [Israel Caspi, <FriedmanJ@...>]
Carrying an Infant on Shabbat (3)
         [Carl Singer, Joshua Goldmeier, Avi Feldblum]
Katonti/Kotonti
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Posul Eidus
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
siyyum Tanach
         [Jonathan Baker]
Vote for President Joel
         [Menachem Gielchinsky]


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From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 22:17:18 +0200
Subject: Avodah Zarah?

On 12 Dec 2006 <smwise3@...> (S. Wise) writes:

> 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 [sic] 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?"

TTBOMK, the issur is not about making a representation of a living thing
itself, but rather making it for the purpose of bowing down to it or
bowing down to an existing representation as though it was a god.  If
that is not correct, how then explain the ever-present lions on the
curtains of the aron kodesh (for example) and/or other representations
of animals symbolic of 1 or another of the 12 tribes, to which it might
appear we are bowing to at various parts of the service?

--I. Caspi

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From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 08:37:42 EST
Subject: Re: Avodah Zarah?

damage the statue of the horse and it will be fine for display.

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From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 07:20:10 -0500
Subject: 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).

If this sounds dangerously like I am paskening -- take it with several
grains of (kosher) salt - I am not paskening, just relaying something I
learned long, long ago.

IFF for whatever unforeseeable circumstances one finds themselves in a
situation where an infant is somehow stranded and needs to be carried
(and one doesn't have their L-O-R at their side to answer a shaileh....)
THEN pick up the infant and move him/her to "safety."

And if you're more worried about what your neighbors might say if they
see you doing so, than what your Maker might "think" -- then move to a
different neighborhood.

I'm reminded of a possibly aprocraphyl story of a young yeshiva bochur
who somehow found himself with his shoes knotted together and thus
hopped all the way home .... ridiculous.

Carl  A. Singer

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From: Joshua Goldmeier <Josh@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 08:51:42 -0600
Subject: Carrying an Infant on Shabbat

Orrin - thank you for the claryfication.

Stuart - no.  the rule applies to a living being regardless if they can walk
unaided.  "chai" means living.  The explanation of the rule is exactly that
something alive has it's own ability to carry someof it's own weight.  the
proof is that a dead person weighs more/is heavier to carry.  As if the
neshama is helping maintian the guf.  But thank you for responding.

shaya goldmeier

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From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 
Subject: Carrying an Infant on Shabbat

Orrin, what is the reason that you expect sefaradi psak to be different
from ashkenazi psak on the the question of carrying an infant in a
carmalis (or other area that is neither reshut harabim or reshut
hayachid - an area that is neither public nor private from a halachic
view of carrying on shabbat)? Is it a difference in the understanding of
chai nosei es atzmo (someone/something that is alive carries itself). Is
it related to the idea of carrying an infant?

On Stuart and Shaya's points above, could someone point to references on
this, I know the question has come up in discussion as to whether chai
nosei es atzmo requires the individual to be able to generally be able
to be "nosei es atzmo". The typical case is a toddler who walks but is
tired and wants to be carried. Is it halacha pesuka that an infant that
is not able to be carried falls under the rubric of chai nosei es atzmo?

Carl, your point seems to be that in practical terms, if there is an
issue of danger / sakana then there is a different over-riding halachic
principle that takes effect. So if the infant is on the road, and it is
more than 4 amot to the side, one should pick up the infant and carry it
off the road. The discussion above, possibly largely theoretical in
nature, to me seems to be in a case where danger / sakana is not
involved. One question is whether the concept of chai nosei es atzmo
applies to an infant that does not walk / crawl. The second, which may
or may not be related to the first, is that in a non-sakana situation,
may you simply carry the infant in a non-public / non-private reshut on
Shabbat, or must you do it in the manner of carrying less than 4 amot at
a time. Is the halacha different in a true reshut harabim - public place?

Avi

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From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 11:09:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Katonti/Kotonti

Jack Wechsler asks about the taamei hamikra on ^”katonti^‘ in
Vayishlach.  An old question, to which I suspect no definitive answer
exists.

Yes, the Koren tanach has a "revii".  This tanach is supposedly based
on the Leningrad codex (which I think is oldest complete manuscript of
the Tanach in our hands but is known to have errors).  TBut the Leningrad
codex has an "azla-geresh".   I do not have the first edition of the
Koren Tanach, the introduction to which explains precisely (I am told)
why certain variants were selected, and would appreciate hearing from any
list member who does.

Rav Breuer's tanach, an attempt to reconstruct the authoritative Aleppo
codex (of which we have only fragments), is based on a comparison of the
Leningrad codex and a few other ancient manuscripts.  His tanach and, it
would seem, all of the other manuscripts he looked at have an "azla
geresh".

I looked through some (not all) of the old printed copies of the tanach
on the Hebrew University website.  Two that I saw, one printed in 1494, 

http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/books/djvu/1229521-1/index.djvu?djvuopts&thumbnails=yes&zoom=page

and another printed in 1482,

http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/books/djvu/1158964/index.djvu?djvuopts&thumbnails=yes&zoom=page

appear to have a revii.

My theory - which I would love to see either verified or debunked - is
that the original version was an azla-geresh, and some scribe, perhaps
even the publisher of one of the first printed Hebrew Bibles,
substituted a revii because he thought the azla-geresh was a mistake
(how can Yaakov sing an azla geresh, which musically rises in pitch,
when he is saying how humble he is?)  But the taamei hamikra are not,
AFIK, torat moshe misinai, so even if I am correct, it would seem to me
that the community's minhag to read one way or the other would take
precedence (e.g., I believe the German chumashim have a revii).

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From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 02:58:39 GMT
Subject: Posul Eidus

A quick response to Mike's arguments. Mike suggested that Jews are
PRESUMED to not mind fellow Jews borrowing pens since the amount of ink
used is less than a cent.

This is not true. The major reason why it is not true is the following:
As soon as I lift my friends pen (with OR without his permission) I
perform an ACT OF ACQUISITION Consequently I become liable for
accidental damage to the pen. For example if I borrow a glass and drop
it I **must** reimburse my friend for the value of the glass.

It follows that it is prohibited to borrow without consent, my friends
pen. Even though my USAGE is minimal (under a cent) my RESPONSIBILITY is
over a cent. It also follows that this is a Biblical act of stealing
(and in fact invalidates me as a witness)

The above is a LOGICAL defense of this prohibition. However an EXPLICIT
source occurs in Rambam, Laws of Robbery and Lost, Chapter 3: "It is
PROHIBITED for a person to borrow his friends animal and use it for work
EVEN THOUGH there is no monetary loss (and nothing to reimburse). If a
person habitually does this we fine him."  Here the Rambam introduces
the prohibition of theft in a case where no loss is incurred.

Finally I mention that there are many "commercial presumptions" of
allowance of pen usage (to both Jews and non jews). For example if I
enter a doctor's office or bank I am allowed to use the pen's there
since they are left out for such a purpose and this is common usage. It
would appear to me that since the usage is minimal I would even be
allowed to enter a bank and use the pen to eg address an envelope
(Provided I dont intefer with customer usage of the pens).

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

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From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 10:37:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: siyyum Tanach

Dan Werlin:

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

Yes.  See the back of R' Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer's "Bigdei Sheish al
Sefer Shoftim"

The sefer is available online through
http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/education.htm
(Davka format, free reader available)

or buy it at your local seforim shop; I think it was published by Feldheim.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: <jjbaker@...>     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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From: Menachem Gielchinsky <agielchi@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 21:03:09 -0500
Subject: Vote for President Joel

[I normally would not pass something like this to the list, but I think
it is interesting and potentially significant. Newsweek has an on-line
poll as part of their "Boomers at 60: Hall of Fame" for the "best of the
best" in 9 catagories. Education and Religion is one of these, and they
have 12 people on the poll. With over 22,000 votes, there are two people
with more than 20% of the votes (the rest are under 10%). One is Richard
Joel, as YU President, the second is Tom Ark from the Gates
foundation. I think that having a Jewish educational institution and
individual so widely recognized is a positive thing. Mod.]

Vote for President Joel in a poll in newsweek for top educator!

Paste the link below and go vote! He is in second place and could rise
to first with your help!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15754874/site/newsweek/

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End of Volume 53 Issue 21