Volume 55 Number 83
                    Produced: Tue Sep 25  4:23:53 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

College Reunion?
         [Tzvi Stein]
come-and-hear.com online Soncino translation
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Dying on One's Birthday
         [Carl Singer]
Heter Mechira (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Kenneth B Posy]
Perfume on Yom Kippur (3)
         [Akiva Miller, <chips@...>, Rose Landowne]
SA Beis Yoseph (2)
         [Emmanuel Ifrah, David Riceman]
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Vowels in vav hachibur
         [Robert Rubinoff]
         [Perets Mett]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:39:42 -0400
Subject: College Reunion?

I was wondering if anyone on the list has experience with attending a
college reunion taking place on Shabbos and what they thought of it?
i.e. did you find it awkward / uncomfortable and not worth it or was it
no big deal?  I am mulling over it... the Shabbos activities would be
things like receptions, walking tours, listening to speeches, walking in
a procession, etc. and there are hotels within walking distance of the


From: Sammy Finkelman <finkelmanm@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:44:36 -0400
Subject: come-and-hear.com online Soncino translation

Art Werschulz:

AW> I don't recall whether this has been discussed on mail-jewish.  However,
AW> we did discuss the come-and-hear website on the
AW> soc.culture.jewish.moderated newsgroup.

Yes, it was discussed. There are a few messages about it on Volume 49
Number 38 produced on Thursday Aug 4 2005.

The Mail-Jewish archives search at http://mail-jewish.org/mjsearch.htm, 
linked to from the home page is broken. You have to search using 
site:http://www.ottmall.com plus your search term in Google. I found this 
quickly online using Soncino as the search term.

[I will look at this after Yom Tov and fix. Mod.]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 06:11:34 -0400
Subject: Dying on One's Birthday

 From: <chips@...>
> There are commentaries who mention that Moshe's dying on Adar 7, which
> was anniversary of the day he was born, was a special `segulah` .
> Something I've read and hear many times when getting close to Simchas
> Torah. I was at a Shabos lunch table recently when this came up and a
> teenager asked is it really so unusual - after all it seems it would
> only be less than 1-in-400 chance of occuring. Is the statistical
> chance different from that? Is there more to the concept of same
> die/birth date?

Statistically, IFF death is a random event then dying on one's birthday
is has a probability of slightly MORE then 1-in-400, more accurately
about 1-in-365.25 (let's not get overly involved with leap years at
century years, etc.)

However, if the probability of dying on any particular day is not purely
random but may be precipitated by say, emotion, excitement, loneliness,
activity -- then to the extent that people feel or behave differently on
their birthdays the probability might differ. Examples of such
extenuating circumstances might include -- feeling especially lonely on
one's birthday, over indulging at one's birthday party, binge drinking
on one's 21st birthday, deciding one's birthday is a good time to go
bungee jumping, etc.



From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 12:19:58 GMT
Subject: Re: Heter Mechira

Risa Tzohar wrote:
> And while I'm at it, a word about Yeshiva University: It is very
> disappointing to hear this news if only because Rabbi Issac Elchanan
> Spector (who RIETS is named for) was one of the first supporters of
> the heter mechira.

Rav Spector's support for the Heter was NOT unequivocal. He imposed
several conditions on his support. One, that the rabbis of Yerushalayim
would also agree to it, which they did not. And two, that it was
provisional for that shemittah only, based on the dire economic needs of
that particular year, and subject to review for future years.

Third, his heter imposed specific conditions on how the sale was to be
transacted, and how the land would be worked during the shemitta. It was
not carte blanche. It was much more complicated than selling one's
chometz -- which is already complicated to begin with.

There is no way any of us can be certain that Rav Yitzchak Elchanan
would have supported the Heter Mechira with today's economic conditions,
sold in the way it is sold today, and with the practices which are
thought to be allowed on such sold land.

Akiva Miller

From: Kenneth B Posy <kbposy@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 10:42:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Heter Mechira

>Richard Fiedler states that "In many respects Zionism is dead or dying
>as can be evidenced by what one might have thought as a zionistic
>institution the Grus Center, an Israeli division of Yeshiva University,
>in Jerusalem rejecting the heter mechira and supporting the Arab cause
>by purchasing its produce this year from them."

The assertion that all real zionists use heter mchira is inaccurate, in
my experience.

I spent the last two Shemitta Yom Kippur's, and the Yom Kippur after
Shmitta, at Yeshivat Har Etzion.  Anyone who hears the "Kol D'mma Dakah"
of the Rosh Yeshiva as he whispers "Kel Maleh Rachamim", name by name,
for all of his "sons" who gave themselves as Korbanot for the State of
Israel, cannot but copy "V'Hamalchim Yechafezun" at the depth of his
Zionism. Their names, Hashem Yinkom Damam, adorn a golden plaque at the
entrance to the Beit Midrash that all the students walk by on their way
to the dining room.  Nevertheless, there is no heter mechira in the
Yeshiva dining room.  I believe the same is true of Yeshivat Shaalvim,
where Rav Zuriel shlita quoted on this list spent many years as well. Of
course, the Yeshiva does not reject heter mchira, many of its students
and staff do use it, but the Yeshiva itself does not.

Betzalel Posy


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:55:54 GMT
Subject: Re: Perfume on Yom Kippur

Carl Singer asked:
> what about Perfume or Cologne on Yom Kippur -- from an
> Halachik standpoint.

There are five basic prohibitions on Yom Kippur (besides the regular
Shabbos melachos). They also apply on Tisha B'Av.

1) eating and drinking
2) anointing
3) washing
4) wearing leather shoes
5) marital relations

Category 2 includes not only creams and ointments, but other liquids
which are applied to the skin, including perfume, cologne, scented
deodorant, and others.

Source: Just about any halachic text on the halachos of Yom Kippur or
Tisha B'Av. Here's one example, published online by Yeshivat Ohr
Somayach: http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/1098 "Anointing for pleasure
is prohibited including oil, soap, alcohol, cream, ointment, perfume,

Akiva Miller

From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 14:18:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Perfume on Yom Kippur

aren't perfumes oil based and thus forbidden on Yom Kippur?

From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:14:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Perfume on Yom Kippur

Wouldn't it fall under the issur of annointing?

Rose Landowne


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 03:49:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: SA Beis Yoseph

Eli Turkel asked: "Does anyone know if the original SA (with Ramah) is
printed without all the commentaries is available?"

As a matter of fact, it is. There is a newly typeset edition of SA in 4
volumes (one for each chelek) with only Maran and Moram. The first
volume includes an interesting introduction about the various editions
of Shulchan Aruch. This SA is parted in daily sections for a yearly
study cycle (the original one was supposed to be reviewed *monthly*!).
I think the same edition exists also with Baer Hetev and Beer ha-Gola
(there are old editions of this version two, 2 volumes for YD, 2
vol. for ChM, etc.).  

Emmanuel Ifrah

From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 08:44:27 -0400
Subject: SA Beis Yoseph

I actually own two editions like that.  My favorite (despite the
misprints) is printed by "Hotza'ath Kethubim", and it contains several
extremely useful indices.  The other is a twelve volume pocket size
paberback set published by "Yerid HaSefarim".

David Riceman


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 09:26:28 EDT
Subject: Shemita

I hear many opinion for and against the shemita and its related issue of
Heter mechirah. As you know Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi (aka Rebi, the codifier
of the Mishnah) was the first one trying to cancel shemita, and was
opposed by the "Badatz" of his time, and consequently relented
(partially). Nothing really changed in the last ~1800 years. Our minhag
is to fight over it every seven years.... (Source: Demai 1 and 22a, Tur
118, and Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi, A. Oppenheimer, Merkaz Shazar, 2007,

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Robert Rubinoff <rubinoff@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:04:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Vowels in vav hachibur

> From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
> (It is understood that "past tense" and "future tense" in
> indo-European languages and in modern Hebrew correspond only
> approximately to the two verbal moods in Biblical Hebrew; but those
> are the terms that are commonly used when describing such forms.)

Biblical Hebrew doesn't have "tense", in the sense of modern Hebrew or
Indo-European languages, as Jay say.  Rather, it has what linguists
refer to as "aspect", which is the distinction between "perfect" and
"imperfect" forms.  This has nothing to do with whether the word is
somehow defective, rather it reflects whether we are talking about an
action that is finished or still on-going (at the time we are
considering).  In English, this corresponds do the difference between "I
am going" and "I have gone".  (These are often called "present
progressive" and "compound past" in English, but they are really the
same thing as what are called "present imperfect" and "present perfect"
in many languages.)  These refer to an action of "going" that, at the
present time, is ongoing in the first case and completed in the second

In English, though, these verbs have tense as well as aspect.  (That's
why it's "present (im)perfect".)  In Biblical Hebrew, verbs just have
aspect, not tense.  So "lamad" means, roughly, "there is an act of
learning by someone that is completed at the time we are talking about",
and "yilmad" means, roughly, "there is an act of learning that is not
yet complete at the time we are talking about", without in any way
implying whether we're looking at the past, the present, or the future.
(It's hard to translate literally into a language with tense.)

Now the default assumption is that if you're talking about a completed
action, it's in the past, and if you're talking about an incomplete
action, it's in the future (or possibly the present and the future, but
that gets into some other complications which I'll skip over).  So most
of the time, it's safe to treat the perfect and imperfect forms as if
they were past and future tenses.  But it's not always correct to do
that, and the "vav hahipuch" is a sign that the verb is being used to
describe the action relative to something else in the text, which
generally is needed only when the default assumption fails.  So in
practice, we can act as if the vav "converts" between past and future,
even though that's not really what's going on.



From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:57:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Zionists

Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

> Perets Mett writes that
>> Zionists have never hidden their intention to establish a secular
>> state, devoid of religious Judaism, and to do everything possible to
>> implement it by "re-educating" religious Jews, especially children
>> separated from their parents. This happened repeatedly: in the Cyprus
>> camps, with the Yaldei Tehran and with Yemenite Jewry.
> I would like to know what Perets means by "Zionists". All Zionists?
> Some Zionists? Mizrachi Zionists? Etzel Zionists led by Menachem
> Begin? Rav Meir Bar-Ilan Zionists? Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik Zionists?
> By the same token, I could say that "Charedim" have gone to Teheran to
> participate in anti-Holocaust conferences and have physically beaten
> up Religious Zionists. Maybe generalizations are not so good after
> all, Perets?

This is disingenuous in the extreme.

1 The Zionist movement was founded as an irreligious alternative to  
torah Judaism
2 The leadership of the Zionists was in the hands of the anti-religious.

So, yes, MOST Zionists.

Perets Mett


End of Volume 55 Issue 83