Volume 53 Number 47
                    Produced: Mon Jan  1 14:25:09 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Binyamin's sons (4)
         [Mechy Frankel, Perry Dane, David Glasner, Yitschak Maser]
Crystals and the Such
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Katon - Katan
         [Sammy Finkelman]
King Saul
         [Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld]
Late Prayers
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Late Tefillah on Friday Night
Rug sweeping
         [Yosi Fishkin]


From: Mechy Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 09:27:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Binyamin's sons

From: <azqbng@...> (Baruch C. Cohen)
> This past Shabbos, I heard Rabbi Danny Korobkin the Morah D'Asrah of
> Kehilat Yavneh in Los Angeles, pose the following fascinating
> question: assuming that Yaakov Avinu was the sandak at each bris of
> Binyamin's 10 sons,...Yaakov would have known that Yosef was till
> alive. ..Any insights?

Why yes.  This would seem yet another "proof" of the ancient provenance
of the otherwise peculiar directives in tzavo'as r. yehudoh hechosid,
adopted with such remarkable enthusiasm by subsequent generations (viz
the kotsker's remark bemoaning r. yehudoh's failure to include the ten
commandments in his tsavo'oh - from which source they would doubtless
have been accorded more deference).  Surely, as your rov suggests,
yaacov would have liked to be the sandek for all ten but checking out
his r. yehudoh, would have quickly realized that is a no-no.  hence
after sandek-servicing the first he'd have been out of the loop and your
rov's question is answered.  Incidentally, this would also point to the
resolution of the academic question whether r.  yehudoh's strictures
were meant only for his own family or for the general public.  Clearly
yaacov ovinu pasqined it was for everyone. TFIC.

Mechy Frankel			(301) 593-3949

From: Perry Dane <dane@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 07:07:39 -0500
Subject: Binyamin's sons

At 06:35 AM 12/27/2006, Baruch C. Cohen wrote:
>From: <azqbng@...> (Baruch C. Cohen)
>In Parshas Miketz, 43:30, Rashi reveals the names of Binyamin's 10 sons:
>Bella, Becher, Ashbel, Geira, Naaman, Eichi, Rosh, Mupim, Chupim, Ard -
>as they alluded to Yosef and the troubles that he encountered.
>This past Shabbos, I heard Rabbi Danny Korobkin the Morah D'Asrah of
>Kehilat Yavneh in Los Angeles, pose the following fascinating question:
>assuming that Yaakov Avinu was the sandak at each bris of Binyamin's 10
>sons, he probably had the opportunity to ask Binyamin what was the
>significance of these names. If Binyamin told him the above-referenced
>reasons, then Yaakov would have known that Yosef was still alive.
>Further, Binyamin's 10 brothers who sold Yosef who also lied to their
>father Yaakov that Yosef was mauled to death by a wild animal: what were
>they thinking as Binyamin named son after son in Yaakov's presence?
>Wasn't Binyamin giving away the secret that Yosef was still alive? Any

         If this question is asked factually, the answer is simple:
Since when do midrashim have to be entirely logically or narratively

         If the question is asked homiletically, one answer might be
that, at some level, Jacob always knew, and yet didn't want to know,
that the story that Joseph's brothers told him was not the truth.  So he
might never have asked, and yet at some level understood, about the
significance of these names.  And Binyamin's brothers would surely have
gotten the hint, and felt the stab, every time another son was born.

         Meanwhile, consider Binyamin himself, compulsively,
methodically, naming one son after another this way.  The power and
beauty of this midrash, understood as midrash, is downright chilling,
almost gothic.

Perry Dane
Professor of Law, Rutgers University
School of Law  -- Camden

From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 12:43:04 -0500
Subject: Binyamin's sons

Baruch Cohen raises the question how Binyamin could have revealed that
Yosef was still alive by way of the names that he gave to his sons.

One answer might be that Binyamin withheld the true meaning of the names
and offerred a cover story for each of them.  This seems to have been
what Leah did in naming her first son Re'uven with the explanation
"ra'ah ha-sheim b'onyi."  Rashi however quotes the Gemara in Berakhot
that explains that the true reason was "r'u mah bein b'ni l'ven hami"
(see the difference between my son and the son of my father in law,
i.e., Esav).  However, to avoid offense, she provided a pretextual
explanation which is the one that the Torah records.  But the Torah
signals the pretextual nature of the explanation by prefacing it with
"ki amrah," which occurs

only in one other case, "ki amrah min ha-mayim meshi'tihu," where the
explanation may also have been pretextual since the reason offered would

have required the name to be "mashui" and not "moshe."  For further
elaboration see Shevivei Eish (parshiot va-yeitzei and shemot) of by the
Dor Revi'i, accessible in English translation on the Dor Revi'i website

David Glasner

From: Yitschak Maser <semaser@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 20:05:45 +0100
Subject: Binyamin's sons

>From Rashi on 37:33 we learn that the brothers had pronounced a curse
and called for the excommunication of anyone of them who would reveal
what they had done to Yosef and, in Reuven's temporary absence, they had
Hashem (as the tenth) participate in this curse. The brothers thought
that if their father found out the truth it would bring his eternal
curse on them, and this would ultimately compromise the future of the
Jewish people.

Granted this applied only to telling Yaakov. It did not apply to telling
Reuven, nor Yitschak -- nor Binyamin.  But they too never revealed the
secret (reasoning: how can I reveal it when Hashem does not do so --
Rashi) and thus the family destiny was able to unfold according to the
providential plan ( Rabbi E. Munk zatsal).

So Binyamin's ten brothers who sold Yosef had complete confidence that
their secret was safe with Binyamin, even if he had his own reasons for
naming his ten sons.

Yet some questions come to mind:

Binyamin, a father of ten, is called "lad" (43:8), also Yaakov says of
Binyamin: "and he only is left"(42:38) -- what about his ten children?
Secondly, regarding Yosef's questions to Binyamin, Rashi (43:30) notes
the first query as "yesh lecha ach me'aym -- do you have a brother from
your own mother?"  This question is very strange -- some might well
wonder at the motives (and real identity) of the questioner!

And so it could be that the question of Yaakov's suspicions turns out to
be no question at all.  Binyamin knew he would have children to make up
the twelve that Yosef should have had (cf. Maharsha on Sotah 36b). But
at the time of Yosef's questioning, Binyomin had no children. His reply
to Yosef was in anticipation of the future.  His ten sons were born
afterwards when they all went down to Egypt -- after Yaakov had been
informed that Yosef was still alive. That is the perspective of the
Zohar (Vayetse).

(I could not find an earlier source for Rashi's "yesh lecha ach
me'aym?".  Other sources substitute "Do you have a wife?(Zohar) or omit
this initial question entirely (Bereshis Rabba)).

kol tuv
Yitschak Maser
Montpellier, france


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 22:36:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Crystals and the Such

> From: .cp. <chips@...>
> Why would there be an issue with using crystals (or stones or twigs or
> what-have-you) for helping in getting into or keeping in meditation?

Because the usual reason for using a crystal rather than a piece of
paper, a twig, a bowl of water, etc. is usually a superstition as to the
*intrinsic* properties of the crystal in a way that is very close to
avodas zara or kishuf (usually translated as magic).

This can be verified by reading the many web sites about crystal
meditation taht can be found.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 06 21:33:00 -0400
Subject: Katon - Katan

In the beginning of Parshas VaYigash we have two different words being
used to refer to Binyomin's position amomng the brothers. He is Yeled
Zekunim Katan (44:20) (with a kamtetz) and Ahenu Hakoton (44:26) with a
Cholam. And HaKoton appears in Miketz also.

So the question has arisen what is the difference.

I have the feeling that Katan is an adjective and Koton is a noun. Now
Katan is used as a noun nowadays - we referer to a boy under 13 as a
Kotan, but porinciple it means small as an adjective.

Judginbg from some translations Koton (with a Cholem) is indeed a noun
and means the most small. And taht actyually is a noun.

the thing I don;t know where you can find this brought down anywhere.
rashi says nothing about this. Does anyone know any commentaries that
might say somethinbg abot this?


From: Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld <seinfeld@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 10:44:03 -0500
Subject: Re: King Saul

> I'm also an out of the box thinker by nature, so I could never be
> chareidi.  Recently I discovered how different the chariedi mind set is.
> Someone emailed me complaining about one of my articles.
> http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2006/12/yes-i-know-were-not-supposed-to-be.html
> The person objected to my depiction of King Saul.  When I said that I
> took it from the pshat, the straight words from the Tanach, the response
> was that we're not supposed to learn from the pshat; we're supposed to
> find out what the rabbis say the words mean.

I enjoyed your article but I too object to your portrayal of Shaul, not
because of a "Haredi mind set" but because I think you've got the wrong
pshat! It's not a Charedi-MO issue. It's a question of what's pshat.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 10:50:17 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Late Prayers

Is the late Kabbalat Shabbot for Rabanu Tam people? Or, as I have seen
here in the summer, some who want to eat early, but not to pray Arvit in
daytime (pleg haminha), say Kabbalat Shabbot before dinner, and pray
Arvit at Rabanu Tam time (about 9:15). OTOH, in the "old days", when
B'rchu was said, everyone & everything stopped. This of course was
before sunset. In R. Epstein's (Torah Temima) town, some machmirim
wanted to change the time so Arvit would be said at night. The Rav would
not allow it, because it could cause hillul Shabbat.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 19:07:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Late Tefillah on Friday Night

> Oh, it's allowed all right.  Kabbalas Shabbos is similar to kiddush
> halachically, in that just as you can make kiddush either before sunset
> (common in the summer months) or after sunset, you can also say Kabbalas
> Shabbos before or after sunset.

 Could Kabblas Shabbos be said after kiddush ?


From: Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 19:15:05 +0200
Subject: Rug sweeping

Martin wrote:
> ...apart from the problem of UK libel laws which are much more
> stringent than those in the USA and might well inhibit any direct
> reference to any specific individual.

Funny, others had no problem.
Here's a snippet from http://ejpress.org/article/12451:-

"Among those speaking out against the 80-year-old Rabbi's decision to
accept Ahmadinejad's invitation to attend the conference were Rabbi
Yehuda Brodie, registrar of the Greater Manchester Beth Din and Louis
Rapaport, president of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council.

Brodie told The Jewish Telegraph: "It is an affront to the Rabbinate and
the orthodox community as a whole that he should call himself a' rabbi',
and it desecrates all that Judaism stands for. By associating with those
who deny the Holocaust, he is effectively lending them his support."

And Rapaport added: "I find it incredible that any man can behave as
Ahron Cohen has - he represents the very worst type of religious
fanaticism in a world that appears to be full of it. Actions like this
affect the rest of the world. It is the best possible campaign the
Iranians could have hoped for."

and from the Manchester Evening News:

    Rabbi slammed over conference role

THE attendance of a Manchester-based rabbi at a controversial Holocaust
conference in Iran has been labelled a "stab in the heart" for the
Jewish community.

Orthodox Jew Rabbi Ahron Cohen provoked anger with his appearance at the
two-day meeting which questions whether the systematic killing of six
million Jews took place.


From: Yosi Fishkin <Joseph@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 18:13:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Zmanim

In light of the recent discussion about minyanim that seem to push the
limits in terms of Shabbos, I cannot comment on the halachic aspects,
but I can contribute that in reviewing the Friday night davening times
from around the world in the GoDaven database, I find that there are *at
16 Minyan locations that begin Friday night davening 30 minutes
after candlelighting (12 after sunset), 
1 begins 35 minutes after candelighting (17 after sunset)
2 begin 40 minutes after candlelighting (22 after sunset) 
6 begin 45 minutes after candlelighting (27 after sunset)
7 begin 30 minutes after sunset
1 begins 60 minutes after candlelighting (42 after sunset)
4 begin 45 minutes after sunset
3 begin 50 minutes after sunset.

 Yosi Fishkin, MD
www.GoDaven.com - The Worldwide Minyan Database


End of Volume 53 Issue 47