Volume 62 Number 02 
      Produced: Sun, 05 Jan 14 17:44:56 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Daf Yomi Matches Reality 
    [Lawrence Israel]
Parashas Vayhi and Inheritance Law (2)
    [Martin Stern  Orrin Tilevitz]
Purim & St. Patrick's Day 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Riding a bicyle on Shabbat 
    [Katz, Ben M.D.]
Shema and kedushah 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Lawrence Israel <larry.israel@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 13,2013 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Daf Yomi Matches Reality

In today's (Friday, 10 Teveth) Daf Yomi (Yoma 35b) we read about Hillel being
covered with snow while lying on the skylight of the study hall because he could
not pay the fee to get in.
One look outside in Jerusalem and you can understand this.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 11,2013 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Parashas Vayhi and Inheritance Law

Lawrence Israel wrote (MJ 62#01):

> We are now learning the laws of inheritance in  Bava Bathra. On 117A we learn
> of the rules of the original distribution of the land. Rashbam gives the
> hypothetical example of two brothers Reuven and Shimeon, one of whom has ten
> sons and the other one has only one son.
> My question is -- why pick Reuven and Shimeon as examples? In Parashas Vayhi
> we already have an example of two brothers with exactly that number of
> children, Binyamin and Dan.

The Gemara, as is its wont, is merely taking the names in sequence as it
does elsewhere e.g. Yevamot. It is not referring to the actual personalities
in Parashas Vayhi.
> Perhaps I should have saved this question for Purim, but that would not be the
> right Torah reading.

Perhaps :).

Martin Stern

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 11,2013 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Parashas Vayhi and Inheritance Law

In reply to Lawrence Israel (MJ 62#01):

Yes, this is a Purim question, although I'll give the straight answer: because
they were the first two. Later in Bava Batra, I think, when two other sons
are needed as an example, the Gemara picks Levi and Yehudah. I had much the same
question when, in a torts exam, the parties were Abel and Baker. (Hint: the next
one was Charles.)


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 11,2013 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Purim & St. Patrick's Day

Since these two days coincide this year, what do we call it? Has it been 

St. Mordechai?

Yisrael Medad


From: Katz, Ben M.D. <BKatz@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 11,2013 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Riding a bicyle on Shabbat

I always thought the reason for not riding a bike on Shabbat was similar to the
rabbinic reason for not riding a horse, that one might pluck something from a
tree (e.g. a branch to use on the horse, or an apple).


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 13,2013 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Shema and kedushah

In my book "A Time to Speak" (Devora Publishing,'10), I noted (p. 24) that the
word kadosh has the same gematria, 410, as the word shema and suggested that
this might be one reason for the connection between kedushah and shema in
several places in the liturgy. I wondered whether the fact that the word kadosh
is repeated three times in the kedushah might also be connected to the number,
three, of paragraphs in Kriat Shema. It seemed fairly easy to connect the first
two with the words shema, referring to the first paragraph, and shamoa,
referring to the second, which is spelled the same. 
What puzzled me was how the word kadosh could be connected to the third
paragraph. One idea that occurred to me was that it might summarise the whole
process of Yetsiat Mitsraim if it is treated partially as an acronym. The last
letter, shin, might allude to SHibud Mitsrayim, slavery. The next two, vav (6) and
dalet (4), with total gematria 10, correspond to the ten plagues. The plagues
themselves consist of three groups, the first two of three each (detzach and
adash), which were preparatory, and the final one of four (be'achav), which
culminated in leaving Mitsrayim, as Rabbi Yehudah is quoted as doing in the
Haggadah shel Pesach. The first letter, kof, corresponds to Kriat Yam Suf, the
splitting of the Reed Sea, which was the final stage of Yetsiat Mitsrayim. That
this should require the word shema to be read backwards might be to indicate
that the whole process could only be understood in hindsight after it had been
completed (Shem. 14,31).
Conversely, our recital of the three paragraphs of the Shema might be seen as
equivalent to the trisagion, the praise consisting of three words, sung each
day by the angelic host.

Comments, anyone?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 62 Issue 2