Volume 60 Number 65 
      Produced: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 10:30:05 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Caleb / Bitya / Myriam 
    [Ben Katz]
Candy Thrown 
Dairy after Meat, Meat after Dairy -- and sleep 
Helicopter disaster and Haphtara for Parshat Yitro 
    [David Ziants]
How modern politics can learn from Yetzias Mitzrayim 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Seeking pattern to confusion of authorship in Talmud 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Sins and Cohanim 
    [Dr Isaac Balbin]
Vatikin on the road 
    [Jack Gross]


From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Thu, Feb 9,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Caleb / Bitya / Myriam

In V60#64, Lisa Liel replied:
> Nicolas Rebibo wrote (v60n63):
>> because I already knew that Caleb married Myriam, Moshe's sister. So I
>> assume he married both.
>> I would be interested in references.
> It's a complicated issue, because Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles --Mod.) is a
> complicated book. While I don't often recommend Artscroll, Rabbi Moshe
> Eisenmann did a two-volume commentary on Divrei HaYamim for Artscroll,
> and he deals with questions like this. There's an entire section on Calev.
> He discusses the fact that Chazal are unclear as to whether
> (a) Calev ben Chetzron and Calev ben Yefuneh were the same person; and
> (b) Calev ben Yefuneh was Calev ben Chur ben Calev ben Chetzron. The verses
> are wickedly confusing, and no alternative really fits the words all that
> well. But in Divrei HaYamim, it's the drash that's primary, unlike the
> rest of Tanakh, where pshat is primary, so a lack of clarity is
> rather expected.
I do not agree with Ms. Liel's comments above.  Divrei HaYamim is tricky on many
levels, not the least of which is that it is a rewriting of history from a later
perspective.  We know that by comparing the events there and in earlier books of
the Bible.  There are literally dozens of examples of the author of Divrei
HaYamim either leaving out derogatory material (e.g. about David and the sin of
Bat Sheva, Solomon worshipping idols in his old age), leaving out material re
the N. Kingdom of Israel (except when it has an impact on the S. kingdom), and
leaving out or changing behavior when actions seem to contradict Torah law (e.g.
burning bodies, whether the korban pesach was roasted or cooked and what kind of
animals it could come from, whether David's sons were leaders or Kohanim,
whether Solomon celebrated Shemini Atzeret, etc.).  The genealogies are also
very confusing and hard to follow, as Ms. Liel points out, but they sometimes at
least seem to have an agenda as well (to be sure Samuel is a Levite, to include
Caleb in the tribe of Judah, etc.).  Just because one does not like the peshat
(because it does pose serious issues) does not mean that drash is primary.  See
my article in Jewish Bible Quarterly (1998;26:45) where I show the approach of
some Rishonim who clearly read the book as peshat and tried to deal with some of
these issues in creative ways.


From: <richardlouis@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 12,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Candy Thrown

For an extensive review of this subject, see Sharshei Minhag Ashkenaz (Volume 4, 
pages 430-461).

Richard Steinberger


From: <richardlouis@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 12,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Dairy after Meat, Meat after Dairy -- and sleep

Further to my e-mail on the subject (MJ 60#58), I regret to inform you that the 
reference quoted ("the Imrei Emes (or the Sefas Emes)") was erroneous. The correct 
reference is the Piskei Teshuva (Siman 285), written by R' Avrohom Pietrekovski 
(see http://www.hebrewbooks.org/1757). Thanks.

Richard Steinberger


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 12,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Helicopter disaster and Haphtara for Parshat Yitro

Every year I tend to get a vibe when I follow the Haphtara of Parshat 
Yitro. The second part of the Haphtara (read by Ashkanazim), Chapter 7, 
tells that Yeshayahu [Isaiah] is commanded by H' [G-d] to meet Achaz, 
King of Juda, together with his son Shaar Yashuv at the top end of a 
laundry drying field. He is told not to get frightened when he sees two 
tails of fiery smoke. Most of the mepharshim [commentators] on the Neviim 
[Prophets] that I looked at don't seem to have much to say but the Biur 
haGr"a comments in a cryptic way that the language is difficult for him 
and so he does not want to write down something that does not sound 
right and so he is not delving into the subject.

The thing is, almost exactly 15 years ago there was a terrible army 
accident with two helicopters transporting soldiers from Lebanon 
crashing into each other. Up to that time, it was considered the worst 
helicopter accident in aviation history. See (in Hebrew):-

(To help type the URL - the hex part of the URL spells out in unicode 
Ason_HaMasokim - aleph, samech,vav, nun-sofi _ 
hay,mem,samech,vav,koof,yud,mem-sofi )

73 soldiers were killed, including 8 members of crew.

What gets me is that this disaster happened over the settlement that 
was named for Yeshayahu's son - Shaar-Yashuv - and in the week many 
communities read the story in shul.

Nothing in the Tanach is reported for nothing. The Nevi'im talk about a 
lot of good incidents and also bad incidents that (will) happen(ed) to 
our People. They were written down for their period and for future 
generations. Most of these incidents are very much of a global nature  
(for example, going into galut h"v [exile]; and the ingathering of the 
exiles - may the process finish speedily in our times). May H' give us 
only good things.

If the Tanach wanted to point to an incident that will happen around 
three thousand years later, why this and not any other, possibly more 
prominent incidents?

How should we really relate to this "coincidence"? (I, of course, put 
"coincidence" in quotes because everything happens with hashgacha 
[Divine Providence]).

Has anyone written any insights on this episode with relation to this 
story in the Tanach or anything Chazal say?
(For example "73" - just above the number "70" = Nations of the World = 
Offerings on Sukkot.)

I am a pretty down-to-earth person but cannot help but to relate to this.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Feb 9,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: How modern politics can learn from Yetzias Mitzrayim

Here is a post as to why modern politics can take a lesson from the 
Exodus from Egypt.

      Why were Bnei Yisroel reluctant to leave Yam Suf?
to.html> (or http://bit.ly/x1LqBF --Mod.)

Rashi gives the most-quoted reason, which is that Bnei Yisroel were so 
intent on collecting the wealth that washed up with the dead Egyptians 
that they had to be forced to leave. Rabbi Sorotzkin in "Oznayim 
LaTorah" gives two other reasons that actually tie into modern politics. 
The Egyptian army had been destroyed. Egypt was no longer a world power. 
Indeed, we do not hear of the Egyptians again for almost 500 years, when 
King Solomon married the daughter of the resurgent Egyptian Pharaoh. 
This is an illustration of the point that most people lose sight of the 
long-term goal because of the short-term results that face them.

As a result, there was a group of Israelites who wanted to settle the 
area of the Yam Suf (Reed Sea) where they had emerged. Since they no 
longer feared the Egyptians and G0d had shown his power at that spot, 
they fell for the then-current superstition that a god had his main 
power at certain locations in the world. The closer to the center of 
power that a people remained, the better the god would be able to show 
his power. The ten plagues were actually a prelude to the use of power, 
and it was here at the sea that the center of power had been manifest.

Another group of Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt and take over the 
government. Moses would become the Pharaoh and the Children of Israel 
would become the owners and their former owners, the Egyptians, would 
now be their slaves. This is indeed like most of the revolutions that 
have occurred in the world (except for the American Revolution). The 
former "oppressed class," instead of embracing freedom and learning how 
to behave, merely take the place of their former oppressors. This is 
similar to the results of the French and Russian revolutions. It is also 
what actually happened when the empires of Europe left their African 
colonies. The former slaves had no model of a society other than what 
they had seen from their masters. Since they had been slaves, they would 
never have seen the actual methods of governance or had a chance to 
learn what was actually required to build a society.

This is why the American Revolution was actually able to succeed. The 
people had built a society for themselves already and were defending 
"the rights of Englishmen" rather than uprooting what had been imposed 
on them. Similarly, the Bnei Yisroel needed to be taken to Sinai and 
given the laws of the Torah in order to be shown the society that was 
going to be built. This is also one of the reasons that they needed to 
have an entire generation grow up under the rule of the Torah before 
they could enter Eretz Yisroel and attempt to live on their own.

       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: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Feb 10,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Seeking pattern to confusion of authorship in Talmud

In Mail-Jewish Volume 60 Number 59, Yehuda Wiesen wrote:

> When the Talmud says a teaching might have been after ploni A or ploni B,
> are there reasons why the two plonim might be confused with one another?
> Are they generally both students of the same school or rabbi? Did they
> live in the same town or study together?

I think all of these were recorded some time after these Rabbis taught.

> As one who has studied learning and forgetting, it seems to me that
> there must be a pattern to the confusion.  Little of this type
> happens just by chance.

This is not so much errors in memory as errors in transmission. I
think most of these are:

1) Knowing that two Amoraim disagreed but forgetting who said what. It
is very common to get Rav and Shmuel mixed up.

2) Having two or three possible sources of a single statement, with
the names usually being similar to each other.

3) Sometimes a historical anecdote gets names reversed.

The statements as recorded in the Talmud probably date from 3 or 4
generations of students after they were first made. At that stage the
rabbis making it were mostly just names. If you know someone, A said
this and B said this are quite different statements that resonate.
You would remember who said what.

There were lots of independent fragments of learning.

When an individual is not sure, someone remembered something wrong,
then maybe later got it right, and then forgot which version was right
and which version was wrong.

> Surely someone as studied this. Does anyone know who or where?

So much has been written on the Talmud that it is probably true that
somebody has studied this and offered some answers, although possibly
they were quite wrong.


From: Dr Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Wed, Feb 8,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Sins and Cohanim

In M-J V60#64, Moshe Poupko wrote:
> In M-J V60#60, an anonymous listmember wrote:
>> In a discussion recently, the following questions were posed (but no one
>> knew the answers, including the resident Cohen):
>> -- What sins, if any, would bar a Cohen from duchaning (ascending to 
>> recite the priestly blessings on yom tov in the diaspora or every day
>> in Israel)?
>> -- Would any of the following be such a bar: eating non-kosher food,
>> non-observance of the shabbat, carrying on illicit liaisons with a niddah
>> or non-Jew (or engaging in other prohibited sexual acts), cheating
>> on taxes, etc?
>> -- Does it matter if any such acts are done publicly as opposed to in 
>> secret?
>> -- Does it matter if the act was, however deliberate, giving in to 
>> temptation as opposed to a deliberate act of denial of God or Torah law?
>> Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
> The answers to most, if not all, of your questions can be found in Mishna 
> Berura 128 paragraphs 35 to 42. A Cohen who has killed someone, even
> by accident, may no longer duchan. A Cohen who violates Shabbat may, on
> his own, duchan but should not be instructed to do so. A Cohen who violated
> "arayot" (sexually forbidden acts) may duchan, but a Cohen who is married to
> a forbidden spouse may not. The above citation gives a complete list of acts
> that prevent a Cohen from going to duchan.

Moshe, it's not as black and white as the Mishna Brura.
On an issue like this, which is generally not black and white, it is better to 
liaise with a competent posek [Halachic advisor --Mod.].
For example, in the case of a Cohen who runs over a pedestrian, you would follow 
the Mishna Brura?  I know that Poskim do not.
Some Poskim consider that you should ask a Cohen who is a Mechallel Shabbos to 
Duchen. Why should he not do a Mitzvah. It depends on the community.


From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 12,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Vatikin on the road

Can any subscribers provide info on vatikin minyanim (or vosikin or wathiqin
- nusach is not a concern) in the cities in Israel (Tel Aviv, Haifa,
Tiberias, Acco)?  There must be many such minyanim out there, but Google and Bing
searches proved fruitless.

(deep in the heart of Brooklyn)


End of Volume 60 Issue 65