Volume 56 Number 46
                    Produced: Tue Sep 23 21:52:45 EDT 2008

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chatam Sofers Position
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Digitized 13th Century Mahzor Catalonia
         [Elhanan Adler]
Eating fish and meat (3)
         [Dr. Josh Backon, <channen@...>, Russell J Hendel]
Found Tefilin (forwarded)
         [Gershon Dubin]
LeDavid Hashem Ori Veyishi
         [Martin Stern]
         [Deena K]
Torah Webcasts
         [Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 09:33:52 -0400
Subject: Chatam Sofers Position

> So he would be against ... (assorted technological marvels),
> ...Jews learning in Kollel full time ... Artscroll ...
> All that is new cannot be ossur. If he really believed that we would
> have to reject the idea he was a gadol. Indeed the most ironic part of
> this alleged Psak as it itself would be new, as such an idea cannot be
> found in Jewish history.

I think there's been a misunderstanding here. His famous line about
Chodosh being Assur was, I believe, a general attitude conveyed by humor
rather than a halachic ruling.

His takanos, 12 of them IIRC, were all anti-Reform and were along the
lines of requiring the Shulchan to be in the middle rather than in
front, the Rabbi was to speak only in Yiddish, and so on.

He famously agreed with the plan to build an elegant Moorish-looking
strictly Orthodox synagogue to attract those who wanted the elegance
that the Reform (actually, Neolog) movement was offering.

And welcome back, MJ!
Yossi Ginzberg


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 02:18:56 -0400
Subject: Re: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah

Shmuel wrote

> I recently read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah," by Rav Michael
> Laitman, with Collin Canright (sounds like a pseudonym, no?)

Don't know much about him but his website claims

Rav Michael Laitman, Professor of Ontology and Theory of Knowledge, PhD
in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics,
established Bnei Baruch in 1991, following the passing of his teacher,
Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash). ....

Rav Laitman received his PhD in philosophy and Kabbalah from the Moscow
Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and his MSc
in Medical Cybernetics from the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic
University. In addition to his scientific engagements, Rav Laitman has
been extensively engaged in Kabbalah for the past thirty years. He has
published over thirty books, translated into more than twelve languages
as well as hundreds of articles on Kabbalah, and over 10,000 hours of
video/audio Kabbalah lectures.

Laitman's extensive contributions to the field of Kabbalah led to his
receiving the title of Professor in Ontology and the Theory of
Knowledge, granted by the Highest Interdisciplinary Academic Attestation
Commission of the Russian Federation.

Additionally, Rav Laitman collaborated with prominent scientists
conducting unique research on modern science and Kabbalah. In 2005 he
co-authored a book on this topic with Prof. Vadim Rozin of the Lomonosov
Moscow State University, the State University of Human Sciences in the
Russian Academy of Sciences.



From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 05:28:41 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Digitized 13th Century Mahzor Catalonia

The National Library of Israel, David and Fela Shapell Family
Digitization Project, is pleased to announce that a digitized version of
the Library's manuscript "Catalonia Mahzor" is now available for public

The "Catalona Mahzor" is a Mahzor for Rosh Ha-Shana and Yom Kippur
according to the Spanish Catalonian Rite. It is dated approximately

The text includes liturgical hymns by Spanish Jewish poets. Most of the
piyyutim conform to the rites of prayer that have been preserved by
Jewish communities which originated in the city of Barcelona or the
region of Catalonia.

The manuscript is ornamented with micrographic drawings and incipit

The manuscript is presented in the DjVu format which provides high
quality, magnifiable images compressed into relatively small files for
easy downloading. In order to view DjVu images it is necessary to
download and install (once) a special free viewer program.

The Mahzor Catalonia can be accessed at:

http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/heb6527/index.html (Description in Hebrew)
http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/heb6527/index_eng.html (Description in English)

ketivah va-hatimah tovah to all.

 Elhanan Adler                                                     
 Deputy Director for Information Technology                        
 National Library of Israel                                        
 P.O.B. 39105, Jerusalem 91390, Israel                             
 Email: <elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il           


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 17:35:31 +0300
Subject: Eating fish and meat

1. Dr. Katz had mentioned that the halachic prohibition of eating meat
and fish (SIMULTANEOUSLY) is "faulty medicine".

2. I countered by mentioning some older work (late 1980's and early
90's) that fish oil IN SOME CASES paradoxically increased incidence of
psoriasis.  I also mentioned the very ancillary material on lipid
abnormalities in psoriasis.  [I shouldn't have mentioned it at all as it
was basically irrelevant]

3. Dr. Fiorino, instead of discussing the adverse effects of
SIMULTANEOUS EATING of dietary fish oil with dietary stearic acid from
beef, simply stated that psoriasis is a T-cell abnormality, harped on my
ancillary comment on lipid abnormalities in psoriasis, and completely
ignored the issue at hand: simultaneous ingestion of fish with beef.

4. I calmly suggested to the laypeople on MAIL JEWISH to access the
website http://scholar.google.com and key in the terms "psoriasis
dietary lipids" where they would see hundreds of journal references to
T-cell signalling and the immune response being affected by specific
dietary lipids.

5. Instead of letting the issue rest, Dr. Fiorino ignores the above
(T-cell signalling and the immune response being affected by specific
dietary lipids) and posts a very insulting and demeaning reply
("meaningless fact", "utterly beside the point". "Illusory nature",
"garbage"). I would like to point out to Dr. Fiorino that I **teach**
the seminar on Evidence based medicine at the Hebrew University Faculty
of Medicine. I **teach** about clinical trials; I **teach** how to read
a journal article. During the mid-1980's when Eitan was still in high
school I was the Consulting Editor of the Journal of Pediatric
Endocrinology, the Associate Editor of the International Journal of
Adolescent Medicine and Health, and the Editor-in-Chief of Reviews in
Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences.  I know what's good science
and what's called "junk" science.

6.  If you had carefully checked the list of papers you would have
noticed that eating hydrogenated fish oil [trans fats] (free radicals)
has been etiologically linked to prevalence of psoriasis. The only
question that needs to be answered (and it's a logical conclusion) is
whether eating stearic acid (beef) WITH fish (oil) can induce this type
of partial hydrogenation. In other words, will the unsaturated fatty
acid convert into a saturated fatty acid. To the best of my knowledge,
this topic has never been addressed.

7. All you need to show that the "halacha is faulty medicine" is to ask
experts in lipid biochemistry whether saturated fats in a piece of beef
(steak, burger, brisket) plunked in fish oil will cause inhibition of
delta-6-desaturase in the liver [which would then explain the lipid
abnormalities in psoriasis].  If it doesn't, the "halacha is faulty
medicine"; if it does the halacha is correct.

Dr. Josh Backon
Hebrew University
Faculty of Medicine

From: <channen@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 16:32:38 +0300
Subject: RE: Eating fish and meat

Why are fish bones more likely to be stuck in one's throat if they are eaten
with meat rather than vegetables or cheese etc.?

From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 11:28:24 -0400
Subject: RE: Eating fish and meat

I have to disagree with BOTH Eithan and Dr Backon.

First: If Josh's argument was taken to its logical conclusion then he is
showing that fish and meat should not be eaten together. But their is no
such prohibition.  We are discussing a same-fork prohibition.

Furthermore I would argue that one can eat meat and fish together. I
have published several times (Mail jewish, Torah.Org, Tradition)
explaining that the resolution of the two Rambams - (Murder) One is
PROHIBITED to suck coins, vs.  (Character) one is ADVISED against
excessively eating certain fruits - is resolved by distinguishing
between items which have BOTH positive and negative effects (like
fruits) and items which have ONLY negative effects (like
coins). Excessive fruit eating is not prohibited because any particular
person may judge that FOR THEM the benefits outweigh the harms.

In a similar manner it is not prohibited to eat eggs, cake, use salt [or
drink caffinated beverage] even though these items may contribute (in
proper quantities) to cholesterol and/or high blood pressure.

So Josh's point that fish and meat can be harmful is not sufficient for
prohibition (We have never heard of a prohibition of mixtures on food in
the Talmud).

Rather the issue is why the same fork should not be used. My
understanding is that the prohibition has to do with bones (which can
cause lacerations if ingested accidentally).

I think this is a useful thread. We should first establish how real the
fear is of bones. Then we should discuss whether the prohibition still
exists and if we have the right to override it based on our science. I
believe this is a useful question applicable to other areas.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd.  ASA; http://www.google.com//


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 14:50:20 GMT
Subject: Found Tefilin (forwarded)

One of the nurses (not Jewish) found tefillin on the street in Lake

She had the sense to realize they looked important and gave them to her
local orthodox contact. They have no identifying information.  The only
clue was the number of mercaz hastam where they were checked 1 1/2 years

I already called mercaz hastam to see if they keep any records.  No
go. I also posted on Five Towns Shuls but got no response.  Can you
disseminate this information a little more widely for me?



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 13:57:31 +0100
Subject: LeDavid Hashem Ori Veyishi

I am told that the earliest mention of the custom of saying LeDavid
Hashem Ori Veyishi from Rosh Chodesh Ellul until Hoshana Rabba is in the
Sefer Chemdat Yamim, first printed in Izmir in 1731-2. Does anyone know
of an earlier source?

The anonymous author of Chemdat Yamim was accused of Sabbatean
tendencies by, among others, R. Yaakov Emden and the balance of
scholarly opinion today is that this is true. I have heard that the
Sabbateans interpreted some psukim from this mizmor as alluding to their
heretical doctrines but I cannot think what these may be. Does anyone
have any information on this?

Martin Stern


From: Deena K <dak1@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 10:14:31 -0400
Subject: Pi

Since pi is still being discussed, I will share with you something I
learned long ago.  If one counts the letters in the following rhyme, it
gives the numbers in pi to 30 decimal places.  (I actually found it
easier to memorize the numbers and then recall the rhyme, but in any
event, here it is) -

Now I even I would celebrate in rhymes inept

The great immortal Syracusan rivaled nevermore

Who in his wondrous lore passed on before

Gave men his guidance how to circles mensurate.





          Deena from Atlanta


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 02:01:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Torah Webcasts

> The WebYeshiva Blog - http://blog.webyeshiva.org - features daily divrei
> Torah, mini-shiurim, and essays from WebYeshiva's faculty of teachers -
> halakhah yomit videos with R. Chaim Brovender, Nach Insight Series with
> R. Yitzchak Twersky, Machshavah and Aggadah columns by R. Yitzchak Blau,
> Haftorah Podcast with Ilana Saks, and more.
> A variety of Torah resources in video, audio, text - MP3s and podcasts,
> too.

I just want to add I have been taking one of the live shiurim in
Gemorrah with Rabbi Brovender and really want to recommend the web
yeshiva program to others like me who don't have access to a real decent
shiurim in their local communities.


End of Volume 56 Issue 46