Volume 6 Number 43

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Foreign Words in Responsa Literature
         [Steven Friedell]
Mishloach Manot Manager
         [Art Werschulz]
Number of letters in the Torah
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue
         [Daniel Lerner]
Shiva Notice
         [Hillel Markowitz]
Stealing Land in Erez Yisrael
         [Danny Skaist]
Torah mi-Sinai
         [David Sherman]


From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:14:21 EST
Subject: Foreign Words in Responsa Literature

Does anyone know if there is a dictionary of foreign words in the
responsa literature.  My particular problem at the moment is the meaning
of a word Taqa (Tet Alef Qof " Heh) that appears in Responsa Rav
Pe'alim, part 3, Hoshen Mishpat no. 8.  From the context it is some kind
of material used to make clothing.  The author of the responsum, R.
Joseph Chaim b. Elijah al Chakam, lived in Iraq in the last century.  So
my guess is that the word is Arabic.  Thanks.

Steven F. Friedell           Internet:  <friedell@...>
Rutgers School of Law        (609) 225-6366
Camden, NJ 08102	     Fax: (609) 225-6487


From: <agw@...> (Art Werschulz)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1993 16:19:10 -0500
Subject: Mishloach Manot Manager

Shalom yawl.

Our shul has a Mishloach Manot project.  People in the shul send in
lists of people to whom they'd like to send shlach manos, with an
indication as to whether they want to reciprocate.  At Purim, lo and
behold!  Baskets appear, one per family, with a piece of paper
attached to each basket, said note giving the name of the recipient
family, along with a list of those sending shlach manos to said

The reciprocation wrinkle: Suppose Reuven says he'll reciprocate.  If
Shimon sends to Reuven, but Reuven didn't originally send to Shimon,
then Reuven will automatically send to Shimon.

Naturally, we charge for each shlach manos sent.  [I think we stole
this idea from Amit women.]

I have written a stupid little shell script to manage all this,
modestly called mmm (Mishloach Manot Manager).  I have appended it to
this note for your possible use and probable criticism (I've never met
a programmer worth his/her salt who ever saw a program that couldn't
be improved).

It's a horrendously dirty hack, but it appears to get the job done.
It uses sed and grep.  It can probably be done better [faster?] with
awk and/or perl.  If you want to suggest improvements, feel free.

The input file (data.input, unless you want to call it
somethingelse.input) consists of lines of the form: 
sender reciprocating_flag name name name 
where the sender is the sender, the reciprocating_flag is either t or f,
and the remainder of the line is the list of names the sender is
sending to.

The output files are data.rawtags (or somethingelse.rawtags) and
data.recip (or somethingelse.recip).  The former is a file of raw tags
to be stuck on each basket, each line being of the form
recipient sender1 sender2 ...
The latter is a file of reciprocating information, each line being of
the form
sender name1 name2 ...

These output files should be postprocessed.  The former could easily
be TeXed, troffed, or whatever you like.  The latter should be
massaged for billing information, and then TeXed (etc.).

[The shell script is available from the archive server under the name
mmm. To get it, send the message:

get mail-jewish mmm





  Art Werschulz		(8-{)}
  Internet:  <agw@...>  ATTnet: (212) 636-6325

Too bad the original version of the Unix stream editor wasn't called "done."
Then we could say, "It's easier sed than done."


From: Elie Rosenfeld <er@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:05:07 -0500
Subject: Number of letters in the Torah

This is kind of late as I'm a few weeks behind in my reading.

A recent topic dealt with the discrepancy between the number of
letters/words in the Torah as given in the Gemara, and the number we
actually have today.  Eli Turkel gave the specific numbers as listed in
the Torah Shelayma.  He determines that our current Torah differs from
the Masorah by 9667 letters.

Simple arithmetic shows that this equals almost two incorrect letters
per verse.  This sounds fairly reasonable, given that the Gemara itself
states that we are unsure as to haser and maleh (words that can be
written either with or without a "vav").  But wouldn't the discrepancy
significantly impact the current research being done on hidden codes in
the Torah?  If I understand correctly, the codes depend on messages
appearing every "N" characters.  If the current text differs from the
original one (the one in which the patterns were presumably placed) by
even one character, any patterns which span the word with the
missing/extra character should be invalid.  And our Torahs are
apparantly off by almost two characters per verse!  So even patterns
with the smallest of "skip lengths" would be affected.

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that this is meant as an
honest question, not a loaded one.

Elie Rosenfeld 


From: <dml@...> (Daniel Lerner)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 10:14:32 MST
Subject: Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue

A friend of mine said that a tshuvah of Moshe Feinshtein, in which it is
stated that an orthodox minyan may not meet in a Conservative synagogue,
is quoted in a book called "Daughters of the King" in a article by the
founder of the Woman's Tefillah Group in Riverdale.  Is anyone familiar
with either the book or the tshuvah?  I am working in Los Alamos until
April and will not be able to find it here.  This issue came up when I
mentioned that the Orthodox minyan in Santa Fe meets in the old building
of the Reform Synagogue.  (In addition, A Conservative minyan meets in
the new building -- perhaps this is the only place outside of campus
Hillels with this sort of arrangement)


From: <hem@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 09:44 EST
Subject: Shiva Notice

[ Avi Frydman is member of our mailing list. Mod.]

Please post that Avi Frydman is sitting shiva for his mother until
Thursday.  His e-mail is <afrydman@...>  His phone number is
(410 764-1669 and his address is 6711 Westbrook Road, Baltimore, MD

Shacharis is 7:00 AM and Mincha/Maariv is 5:30 PM.

| Hillel Markowitz    |  Od Yishama Bearei Yehudah  |
| <H_Markowitz@...> | Father of the Bride 5/30/93 |

[Hamakom Yenachem etchem betoch shaar avlei tzion ve'yerushalaim
May the Almighty comfort you along with all those who mourn Zion and

Avi Feldblum (for many members of the mailing list, I'm sure)]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 93 05:54:25 -0500
Subject: Stealing Land in Erez Yisrael

[This was originally in #39, but had the infamous "single dot on a line"
problem, which trashed the rest of the posting. I have removed that dot
and am resending it. Mod.]

>From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>

>I would nevertheless like to see a discussion of it from a strictly
>halachic point of view.

>1) Does land in Erez Yisrael fall under the prohibition of gezel
>   hagoy (stealing from a non-Jew)?

Conquest of land is a valid kinyan (change of ownership).  So there is
no question of gezel.  The issue is discussed in relation to the
question of cutting your own 4 species for Succoth.  Since all land is
considered, by Halacha to be stolen, by virtue of kings having taken
land from one subject and given it to another (not a valid kinyan),
unless we know the entire history of the specific land in question, from
the time of the previous conquest, even legal ownership cannot be
accepted, so you have to let someone else cut them. He now has legal
possession (even if he stole them) and you can take them from him.



From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 93 21:08:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Torah mi-Sinai

> I am carrying on a debate with a friend of mine about how we can justify
> the view of "Torah mi-Sinai".  I have used all the standard "logical"
> arguments about 600,000 men witnessing revelation at Sinai.  That they
> would not "lie" to their children etc... That each generation swore to
> transmit the Torah to the next generation - unabridged and with nothing
> added...

I've been wondering about the force of this argument recently, in light
of the passge in nevi'im (melachim, I believe) where the population
appears to have "forgotten" Torah, and a scroll was discovered during
renovations and brought to the king.  If I recall correctly, the
commentaries are unsure whether the scroll was Sefer Devorim (the book
of Deutoronomy) or the entire Torah.  As recounted in Tanakh, the scroll
had a significant effect on the king and the population, and caused them
to do teshuvah.

How is this account reconciled with the concept of constant-transmission
through the generations?

David Sherman


End of Volume 6 Issue 43