Volume 57 Number 47 
      Produced: Tue, 01 Dec 2009 00:13:53 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

    [Avraham Norin]
    [Wendy Baker]
Beer for Havdalah on Motzei Pesach 
    [Carl Singer]
Cameras and sensors 
    [Ben Katz]
Chanukah Educational Resources and New Chanukah Clipart 
    [Jacob Richman]
Chulent pots from baker 
    [Stephen Phillips]
How much did he pay 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Invention of the Jewish People 
    [Stuart Wise]
Is there a halachic concept of "take one for the team"? 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Middle Names (2)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Alex Heppenheimer]
Naming a child "Shem" 
    [Martin Stern]
    [Leah S. R. Gordon]
    [Avraham Norin]
Visiting graves 
    [Ben Katz]


From: Avraham Norin <harbashan@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Anot

In addition to the translations given until now, Anot also can mean to assist,
to help out.
See the following article for nice examples of the usage of this translation.


Avraham Norin


From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Aramaic

> From: Yisrael Medad 
> A thought:
> When the vernacular was Aramaic, the custom was instituted to have a
> secondary reader translate the Hebrew of the weekly portion reading into
> Aramaic.
> Many Yeminite services are still conducted this way.
> However, today, when Hebrew is much better known and Aramaic almost
> absolutely not, isn't that a reverse of the original situation some 2000
> years ago?
> If so, why do the Yeminites continue and why does the minhag of "Shnaim
> Mikra v'Echad Tirgum" persist?

I have often wondered why we continue to use the
Aramaic portions of the siddur in Aramaic, rather than translating them into 
the vernacular, as they  were, obviously, originally done by putting them 
into the Aramaic.  Is is just habit or is there some real reason?

Wendy Baker


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Beer for Havdalah on Motzei Pesach

Following up on:
> The story about chulent reminds me of the story my grandfather  (AH) used
> to tell about motzei pesach in his small town in Bohemia where  the entire
> kehilla went home from shul via the local pub and each person took  home a
> pint of beer on which to make havdala.

We always place some money in our car so that when we drive home from shul
after havadalah we can visit a certain liquor store to buy our one bottle of
beer for havdalah.   The bottle is sold wrapped in a fitting, plain brown
paper bag.  We seem to be among the few customers who do not imbibe on the
sidewalk next to the store.

Which brings up a serious (unrelated) question -- what are the prohibitions
re: drinking with a non-Jew?
Here's a specific:  You attending a fancy (elegant?) dinner.  A kosher meal
will be served to you.  BUT there is a reception prior to dinner where wine,
beer and cocktails are served.  May you mingle?  May you have a beer?



From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 16,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Cameras and sensors

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote:
> According to the Hazon Ish the melacha that one transgresses  by using
> electricity has nothing to do with heat or fire but is boneh that is you are
> in effect "building" a new physical construct every time you close an
> electric circuit. Therefore there is nothing indeterminate or random about
> electric usage.

From: Moshe Feifer <mfeifer@...>
> Just wanted to point out that the Chazon Ish was a minority opinion
> on this. R Shlomo Zalman and others refuted his claim about boneh(or
> makeh bepatish - the chazon ish said either or) and paskin that
> electricity in general is not a deorytah at all but a derabanan and
> only light bulbs and heating coils were considered fire.

The other problem with the Chazon Ish's understanding is: why wouldn't closing a
door be "boneh" (building) a wall?


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 30,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Chanukah Educational Resources and New Chanukah Clipart

Hi Everyone!

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is observed for 
eight days, beginning on the evening of the 25th day of 
the Hebrew month of Kislev. This year Chanukah starts 
before sundown, Friday, December 11, 2009.
Chanukah candles are lit before the Shabbat Candles.

Chanukah is a wonderful holiday of renewed dedication, 
faith, hope and spiritual light. It's a holiday that says: 
"Never lose hope." Chanukah commemorates the victory of a 
small band of Maccabees over the pagan Syrian-Greeks who 
ruled over Israel. 

The Jewish Trivia Quiz

What does the Hebrew word Chanukah mean ?
What type of foods do we specificaly eat on Chanukah ?
What activities are forbidden during Chanukah ?
Are woman obligated to light the menorah ?
How many candles do we need for all of Chanukah ?
Which family was Judah the Maccabee from ?
How many branches did the menorah in the temple have ?

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice 
Flash quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.
Both kids and adults will find it educational and enjoyable.

Free Chanukah Clipart 

Whether you need a picture for your child's class project, 
a graphic for your synagogue, Hillel or JCC Chanukah
announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the pictures
for you. You can copy, save and print the graphics in
three different sizes. There are 49 Chanukah images including
new Chanukah Party Invitations

Cool Chanukah Videos

I created a list of 134 (yes 134!) Cool Chanukah video links.
There is something for everyone.

To learn more about Chanukah, I posted on my website 
140 site links, ranging from from laws and customs to games and 
recipes. Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, 
Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian.

All 140 links have been reviewed / checked this week.
The web address is:


Please forward this message to relatives and friends, 
so they may benefit from these holiday resources. Thanks!

Happy Chanukah!


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Chulent pots from baker

> From: Jeremy Conway 
> It would also seem inadvisable from an educational point of view to allow
> chidren to carry on Shabbat because they might become accustomed to carrying on
> Shabbat.  I think that in Chapter 343 of Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Rabbi Schneur
> Zalman objects to wine being given to children on a regular basis at Kiddush in
> Shul on Friday night because children might become accustomed to this.

And yet such is the custom in many many Shuls, especially in those that belong
to the United Synagogue (the Orthodox one in the UK, not the Conservative one in
the USA).
Stephen Phillips


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: How much did he pay

Shmuel Himelstein wrote
> Cave of Machpelah), it was sold to him by Efron the Hittite for what seems
> to be "trifling" sum of money, a "mere" 400 Shekels of silver. Of course 
> the "trifling amount" would be a term used by any seller trying to sell
> something. However, to get an idea of the actual value involved, I 
> remember that the Hertz Chumash mentioned that the average YEARLY income of 
> workers at that time was between six to eight Shekels. Thus the "trifling 
> amount" was something like fifty years' earnings of an average person.

Does any money record exist from Avraham's time? Or is this based on later 
sources, and as today, silver value changes all the time. Work wages also change.


From: Stuart Wise <Smwise3@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Invention of the Jewish People

I am disturbed about the book "Invention of the Jewish People," by a Tel  
Aviv U Professor Shlomo Sand. I have read that it has been discredited. 
However,  what is the response to the assertions that there is no proof (physical 
 evidence) of the historical events that we hold to be true? What is what 
he  says has some truth to it? I have more than a passing interest in 
archaeological  finds that help support our history, but there is so much that 
doesn't. Why  would Hashem leave no obvious remnants of events as a testimony to 
what the  Jewish people experienced?
Stuart Wise


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Is there a halachic concept of "take one for the team"?

> From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
> Finally I deal with my second proof: Suppose someone is sick (e.g chest pains
> etc....). He certainly needs to call 911. Suppose he doesn't. Then he is
> violating "Don't stand by your friends life" (Here the person is his own
> friend). Is it permissible (yea, obligatory) for me to call 911 seeing that he
> hasn't. Yes. That is I must commit the sin of calling (on Shabbath) even though
> he could call and thinks the whole thing silly. Thus we indeed have an example
> here where **I** sin (call on Shabbath) to prevent **him** from not calling and
> violating "don't stand by idly on your friends (your own) life" (True: I am
> sinning to save his life...but that is my point...there are sometimes
> circumstances when this is permissible).

There is actually a machlokes (argument) about the issue of whether or
not one is sinning by "violating" the Sabbath in order to save a life.
While there are those who say that one has violated the law
(permissibly) by doing so, However, there are those who say (this is
from memory as I do not have time to look it up) that when one is
*required* to "violate" the Shabbos in order to save a life, it is
*NOT* a violation as one is following halacha.  IIRC the same or a
similar argument is used about taking non-kosher medicine in order to
save a life.

There is a story about a person who had pork prescribed as a medicine
and insisted that it be shechted (slaughtered in a kosher manner). It
was an interesting discussion and I think it wound up that, even
though it was totally invalid and not needed, part of the cure process
is having the sick person accept what is being done. Consider someone
who *must* eat on Yom Kippur. There is actually a part of Yaaleh
Veyovo to be said as part of beanching (grace after meals) to be said
on Yom Kippur in that circumstance.

       Sabba     -          ' "        -     Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
 <SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Middle Names

> From: S. Wise <Smwise3@...>
> What is the source of referring to people by their middle names? I haven't  
> been able to detect a specific pattern but from my observations it seem 
> Jews  from Galicia in particular often refer to male especially by their middle 
> Hebrew  name, rather than their first, or both names.

You specified "middle Hebrew name". This implies that the first name is 
a secular name given to be used in general (secular) society. Thus, the 
middle (or Hebrew) name would actually be the real name and the first 
name, just the one that is used for nonJewish society. An example would 
be names that nonJews in America cannot readily pronounce or spell such 
as Chaim or Chana.

We did this with one of our sons (though the English was the middle 
name) and it actually caused some problems with official documentation.

       Sabba     -          ' "        -     Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
  <SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water

From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Middle Names

I don't know about Galicia vs. other places. But it may be that it's related to
the origin of giving a person two names in the first place.

The idea was that a person would have two names: a"shem kodesh" (lit., a holy
name- i.e., one derived from Hebrew or one of the other classical Jewish
languages, such as Aramaic or Greek), and a "shem chol" (lit., an ordinary name-
generally derived from Yiddish or one of the other local languages, and often a
translation, or a shortened version,of the shem kodesh). The shem kodesh would
be used for formal purposes, such as being called to the Torah; the shem chol
would be used for day-to-day use. (Incidentally, the German Jews have an
official ceremony, called Hollekreisch,for the shem chol naming; it's been
discussed on MJ before, in vol. 52:64-69.)

Examples that are still in use, where the two names are parallel,include:
Dov-Ber, Shlomo-Zalman, Alexander-Sender, Menachem-Mendel (or Menachem-Mann),
and so forth. (But eventually the distinction between the shem kodesh and shem
chol was blurred, which is why nowadays you find people with only a shem chol,
or two shemos chol, or two shemos kodesh, and other permutations.)

So it would make perfect sense, for example, that a person named, say, Zev-Wolf
would be familiarly called Wolf (or a nickname for it, such as Velvel), since in
its origin that was exactly the purpose of this name. Once that pattern is
established, people would probably tend to apply it in other cases, such as
where the middle name is also a shem kodesh.

Kol tuv,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 26,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Naming a child "Shem"

On Wed, Nov 11,2009, SBA <sba@...> wrote:
> When I was in yeshiva one of the magidei shiur had a son called
> Shem-Tov.

This was at one time quite a popular name among Sefrdim and is the Hebrew
equivalent (translation) of the Ashkenazi name Kalonimos which is of Greek
origin (kalos = good, onoma = name).

Martin Stern


From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Scales

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
> The current dapim (pages) of Baba Basra (a tractate of the Talmud) that are
> being studied daily deal with honesty in using weights and measures.
> Part of the discussion deals with balance scales.  The gemara (Talmud) gives
> dimensions to use for those scales used for weighing heavy things, such as iron,
> and light things, such as wool.  It specifies (recommends?) smaller dimensions 
> for the light things and larger dimensions for the heavy ones.  Thus, a scale
> for weighing iron should have a beam length longer than one for weighing
> wool. I would have expected the opposite - that light things need a more
> sensitive scale and hence one with a longer beam.  Does anyone have any insight
> that can help me here?

While of course Andy is correct that you would get a more precise measure
of anything (therefore a higher percentage precision dafka for lighter
things) with a longer beam, I think that they may have wanted a longer
beam so they could use the same counterweights for both balances.

Since you have conservation of torque (Fxd), a heavier object with a
shorter beam will have similar torque to a lighter object with a longer
beam.  I guess I'm assuming the location of the fulcrum is not variable
for these balances, and I guess I'm also assuming that the beam length
variation Andy refers to, is on the side withOUT the stuff to be measured.

--Leah S. R. Gordon

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving!


From: Avraham Norin <harbashan@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Shma'ani

Rav Mordechai Breuer explains the usage of the word "Hear me out" in Parashat
Chayei Sarah:

Avraham asked for three things from the Bnei Chet:
1. To be able to purchase
2.his own burial area
3.to bury his dead.

The Bnei Chet agree only to his third request: 
"Among our graves bury your dead"

Avraham thanks them for this, but continues to press his other two requests:
"If you agreed to let me bury my dead, also let me purchase the Marat HaMachpela
for my own burial grounds"

Efron now agrees to his second request:
"I give you the Marat HaMachpela for free"

Avraham thanks him for this, yet presses his to fulfil also his first request:
"Please take money for the transaction"

Efron unwillingly finally agrees to Avraham's first request:
"What is 400 Sheckels of Silver between you and me"

The words "Hear me"in this context means "I heard you, now please hear me". They
signify the reservations one has toward a request, or towards an offer given to him.

When Efron agreed to sell the land to Avraham, the verse says that "Avraham
heard",meaning that he accepted the deal without any more reservations. He
heard, and has no need to make himself heard because he fullyaccepts the offer.


From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 27,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Visiting graves

Stuart Wise
> I am somewhat bemused by the custom of visiting graves.

> What is the purpose behind it? The neshama [soul --MOD] is not entombed there
> and the physical part of the human is of no consequence.  When we daven [pray
> --MOD] at a grave, where are the prayers going? What is the significance
> attached that inspires people to visit graves not only of their loved ones but
> also of great people?
As a cohen who can't visit cemeteries, I agree with Mr. Wise.  I have no desire
to visit my father's grave.  As a Maimonidean, to me it even borders on


End of Volume 57 Issue 47