Volume 60 Number 81 
      Produced: Mon, 07 May 2012 17:59:50 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A problem with tumah (2)
    [Perets Mett  Josh Backon]
Beta Israel (3)
    [Robert Schoenfeld  Martin Stern  Martin Stern]
Haredi 'draft dodgers' bad, Arab 'draft dodgers' OK (3)
    [Daniel Cohn  Stuart Pilichowski  Menashe Elyashiv]
Hashem yinkom damam? 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Mysticism in Judaism 
    [Marshall Gisser]
Nat bar nat deheteira 
    [Stephen Phillips]
    [Leah S. R. Gordon]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 10:01 AM
Subject: A problem with tumah

Martin Stern (MJ 60#80) wrote:
> My problem is what degree of tumah does a man who has relation with a zavah
> get? As regards the niddah, it states explicitly "if a man lie with her, her
> niddah status is transferred to him  and he will be tamei for seven days...."
> Since a zavah does not have such a seven day tumah, does the man who has
> relations with a zavah katanah, who is tamei only for one day, become tamei for
> seven days (dan minei uminei - transfer the rules from one situation to the
> other without allowing for any differences) or only one day (dan minei ve'oki
> be'atrei - modify the rules to take account of differences in the second case)?
> Even worse, a zavah gedolah is potentially tamei indefinitely (if she cannot
> manage to count shiva nekiim), so would this mean a man having relations with
> her would be permanently tamei since he certainly cannot possibly count shiva
> nekiim?

There is no difference. A man who has relations with a nido, shomeres yom
keneged yom, zovo gdolo or yoledes becomes tomei for seven days.

Source: Rambam Hil. Metamei mishkav umoishov 3:3.

Perets Mett

From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: A problem with tumah

Re Martin Stern's MJ 60 #80 questions [quoted above --Mod.]:

A zavah is an *av ha'tumah*, and the person touching the zav or zavah (or in
contact with fluids from a zav or zavah [termed mayanot ha'zav]) becomes a
*rishon l'tumah*. See: Rambam Hilchot Mishkav u'Moshav 1:16. However, a
*bo'el niddah or zavah* becomes an Av haTumah !! See: Rambam Hilchot Mishkav
u'Moshav 3:1. See the commentary there of the Mishneh l'Melech.

Josh Backon


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Beta Israel

According to several published books I have read:

     1. Falasha does not mean what Dr. Kaplan was reported as having said.
     2. All the Beta Israel come from one tribe centered around Lake Tana 
and originally did not speak Amharic, the major language of Ethiopia.
     3. The rivers into and out of Lake Tana suspiciously sound like the 
Sambaton (spelling) where the ten tribes lived after the destruction of 
Israel by Assyria, with the exception of not running on Shabbos.
     4. He never said anything about reports of Jewish Kings and Queens 
prior to the 15th century.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 6,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Beta Israel

Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 60#80):

> Josh Backon (MJ 60#79) wrote:
>> Dr. Steven Kaplan of the Dept. of African Studies at Hebrew University
>> in Jerusalem is a acknowledged expert on Ethiopian history. His research
>> definitively shows that there was NO connection between the Tribe of Dan
>> and the Ethiopian Falasha community.
>> ...
>> Translation: they're not Jewish."

> This issue is obviously of great importance and has a direct and extremely
> significant impact on the lives of, according to Wikipedia,  the more than
> 121,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel.  It seems to me that great care must
> be taken before their Judaism is, at this late date, questioned or, chas
> veshalom (IMO), revoked.

It was, I believe, worries along these lines that prompted the Israeli Chief
Rabbinate initially to ask Ethiopian immigrants to undergo tevilah leshem
gerut mishum safeik [immersion in a mikveh for conversion purposes to remove
any doubt] to clarify their Jewish status. It was only the prompting of
left-wing activists that prompted them to refuse to do so.
In reality, treating them as being converts rather than born Jews would have
been a great benefit to them because, as is well known, they were unaware of
the Torah shebe'al peh and so any divorces performed among them would have
been invalid. On the other hand, their marriages might well have had halachic
validity ex post facto so there might have been a suspicion of mamzerut
among them. This is a similar situation to that of the Karaites with whom
intermarriage is problematic.

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, May 7,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Beta Israel

Josh Backon wrote (MJ 60#79):

> Dr. Steven Kaplan of the Dept. of African Studies at Hebrew University
> in Jerusalem is a acknowledged expert on Ethiopian history. His research
> definitively shows that there was NO connection between the Tribe of Dan
> and the Ethiopian Falasha community. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef based his ruling
> re the Jewishness of the Ethiopian community on a ruling of the RADBAZ, a
> 16th century Egyptian rabbi which was simply in error.
> ...
> The Ethiopian word FALASHIAN means *monk* and the term given to those
> Christians who lost their property was FALASHA. Anyone who resisted the ruler
> EVEN IF THAT PERSON WAS CHRISTIAN was called AHUDAI (e.g. "Jew"). That's why
> the Ethiopian *Jews* never referred to themselves as Jews but as BETA YISRAEL.
> These people (AHUDAI) never married Christians who obeyed the ruler.
> ...
> Translation: they're not Jewish. The RADBAZ assumed that because they were
> called AHUDAI they, in fact, were Jews. What a mistake!

If they were from the tribe of Dan then they were not from the tribe of
Yehudah and so would not have called themselves, or been called by others,
Yehudim - Ahudai. In fact, it was common for Christian sects throughout the
millenia to call their theological opponents Jews as a term of abuse,
whether the latter's doctrines had any resemblance to Judaism or not.
Perhaps the RADBAZ, living in predominantly Muslim Egypt, was unaware of
this, which led him to make what seems to be a mistake.

Martin Stern


From: Daniel Cohn 
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Haredi 'draft dodgers' bad, Arab 'draft dodgers' OK

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 60#80):

> Clearly [Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman] was having a dig at the haredim
> who choose to remain in learning rather than serve, but what about the far
> larger number of non-Beduin Arabs? Why do we hear constant criticism of the
> former and hardly ever any calls for the latter to do compulsory national
> service (not necessarily in the army)?

The debate also concerns Arabs, and every proposed amendment to the law
would also mandate or strongly encourage Arabs to perform National Service,
just like Haredim.

Having said that, I think it's legitimate that public criticism is directed
at Haredim more than at Arabs. As a Jew, I am more hurt when another Jew
refuses to take arms to defend Israel, belittles those who do so, and even
won't pay respects to those who fell in Israel's wars, than when an Arab
does so. I have much higher expectation from Jews, especially
Torah-observant Jews, than from non-Jews in this matter.

Having said so, of course there are those who hate everything that has to do
with Torah and Mizvot and will take anything as an excuse to attack
Torah-observant Jews, but in the case of army service deferral, I believe
for most people it's legitimate criticism as I explained above.



From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Haredi 'draft dodgers' bad, Arab 'draft dodgers' OK

I don't believe this political issue is relevant to the MJ listserv.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Thu, May 3,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Haredi 'draft dodgers' bad, Arab 'draft dodgers' OK

It is commonly thought that all non-Arabs serve in the Israel army. This is 
correct for the Druze and the Circassians. However, it is not correct for 
the Beduins. Over the years, the Beduins have been changing from a secular 
society to a more national-islamic society. They never had mosques, now 
they have. And some of their tribes have become dodgers.


From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Hashem yinkom damam?

Re Martin Stern's MJ 60#80 "yinkom" vs."yikom" grammatical query based on 
his thinking that "Nakam is a peh-nun verb", I can but suggest that a review of 
Tanakh will bring us to Exodus 21:20's "he shall surely be punished" and Nachum 
1:2's "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God" and Numbers 31:2's "Avenge the 
children of Israel..." -- all three examples, and more, suggest otherwise.

Yisrael Medad


From: Marshall Gisser <mgisser@...>
Date: Fri, May 4,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Mysticism in Judaism

Today's Jewish Times special issue on mysticism (vol. xi no.17, 4 May '12)
tackles many of the Jewish mystical beliefs that are contrary to Torah; a must 

It includes a major article addressing mysticism in general; how to understand
amazing Talmudic stories like Rava creating a man; segulot; and what demons are.


Marshall Gisser
www.NYDesign.com - mobile.NYDesign.com
Where Good Design is Smart Business
623 Central Ave. #406; Cedarhurst, NY 11516; (516)569-8888


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, May 2,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Nat bar nat deheteira

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 60#80):

> When staying at a mehadrin glatt non-gebrokt (und alle maialos [and the
> ultimate in Kashrus strictures --Mod.]) hotel over Pesach, an interesting
> problem arose. In the late afternoon, we wished to have a cup of tea and
> were told that milk was not available. Intrigued, I asked the proprietor
> why, and she explained that the cakes had inadvertently been baked in the
> meaty oven. This must have been a case of nat bar nat deheteira [use of a
> cooking utensil that had absorbed permitted (in this case meaty) flavour to
> cook a pareve item - both being permitted foodstuffs - but which had not
> been left for 24 hours in between].

A couple of points come to mind.

First of all, what are we concerned about here? If it is zei'ah [a sort of thick
steam] bringing back down into the cake the meaty taste absorbed by the oven,
then I doubt that baking a cake would cause zei'ah. So it seems to me, IMHO,
that the cake would remain parev.

Secondly, Sephardim who follow the rulings of the Mechaber [author] of the
Shulchan Aruch, Yosef Karo, are not concerned with nat bar nat in such a
situation. They would only forbid baking the cake with the intention of eating
it with milky food, and Rav Ovadiah Yosef rules that not even that is forbidden
by the Mechaber. So if there are Sephardi guests, why not let them have a milky 

> A similar situation might concern the availability of milk in the tea room
> after a meaty meal - would the proprietor be justified in not allowing it for
> six hours even if some guests kept a shorter gap. After all, this is not a
> matter of strict halacha but rather minhag, and everyone is entitled to
> follow their own ancestral custom.

It's minhag [custom] for Ashkenazim, but halacha for Sephardim. But I agree, I
see no reason why milk can't be available right away (especially for vegetarians
who haven't even eaten any meat).

Stephen Phillips


From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, May 6,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Non-gebrokts

Martin Stern (MJ 60#80) wrote:

> There was one point, however, that I noticed and on which, perhaps, those
> who are particular not to eat gebrokts can help me. I noticed some other
> guests were breaking their matzah into their soup, which I imagine would
> cause problems. What is the status of the crockery, cutlery, etc. as far as
> non-gebrokt eaters is concerned?
I know that some people who follow the non-gebruchts custom, do eat
gebruchts (on their Pesach dishes) on the last day of Pesach. Also this
year, when the eighth day fell on Shabbos I believe they prepared the
gebruchts food on Friday, the seventh day. My guess is that, from their
point of view, it doesn't 'treif' the dishes when they do it themselves, so
the most they would have to do is to put the dishes aside and not use them
until the next year. Could that be correct?

Leah Gordon


End of Volume 60 Issue 81