Volume 62 Number 54 
      Produced: Sun, 06 Sep 15 16:00:08 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Additional aliyot for Kohanim 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Calling police on the Shabbat 
    [Yisrael Medad]
    [Yisrael Medad]
Reflecting and Extrapolating from Jewish Women and Magic in Babylon 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Relative priorities 
    [Alan Rubin]
Strange Baladi custom 
    [Yaacov Fenster]
Who Does Halacha View as the therapists concern? 
    [Joel Rich]


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 10,2015 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Additional aliyot for Kohanim

Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 62#53) wrote:

> I am familiar with Kohanim in a minyan with Yisroelim receiving the first 
> aliyah (and the second in the absence of a Levi) and also possibly receiving 
> acharon [the last aliyah when there are more than seven] and maftir. 
> But what about a Kohen receiving aliyot 3,4,5,6, or 7? 

When he writes "a Kohen", does this mean the same Kohen or up to another five
different Kohanim, a situation that is usual in Djerba [where most of the
kehillah are kohanim - MOD]?

Yisrael Medad
Post Office Box 9407
Mobile Post Efraim 4483000


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 4,2015 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Calling police on the Shabbat

Here is a notice I received.  I slightly edited it and left the relevant
Halachic question in place.  Any thoughts on it?

Ner Yisrael shul  (London).
03 Sep 2015
Dear Member,

Last Shabbat there was an anti-Semitic attack on a member of Dayan Abraham's
community. The young man was walking to Shul in a residential street in Hendon
and was approached by two men ... He was threatened physically and was verbally
and aggressively attacked with vitriolic anti-Semitic remarks and a Nazi salute
... Thank G-d the aggressors walked away in this instance (although they were
heading towards Kinloss Shul).

The young man was very shaken but not hurt. Nobody called the police ... He
reported the incident to our Security Team Leader outside our Shul about 25 mins
after the event. In that time others could have received the same treatment or
worse, and the aggressors were still out and about in a heavily populated Jewish
area and heading towards another shul. FYI - The young man (or any other person
for that matter) didn't call the police as it was Shabbat. Should he or an
onlooker have called the police on Shabbat?

Yisrael Medad


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 27,2015 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Intoxication

I found this request and am passing along to the list.  Perhaps someone has
the qualifications to reply?

"On a number of occasions the Talmud notes (e.g., Shevu'ot 23a) that eating
fig-cakes (dveila kil'it) or drinking honey or milk would cause someone to
become intoxicated, precluding a priest from participating in the Temple
service. Does anyone know of a discussion of how these foods lead to

Yisrael Medad


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 28,2015 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Reflecting and Extrapolating from Jewish Women and Magic in Babylon

I spotted this in a recent book review and offer it up for discussion
together with the following questions:

a.  Why, despite the very strong anti-'magic' exhortations in mainstream
Judaism, were such things as demon bowls incorporated into Jewish life

b. Is the term 'male gaze' actually a modern one or does it have roots in
early rabbinic paskening?

c. Given Elman's previous study
that geographically differentiates between two centers of Jewish life in
Babylon in various aspects, is it possible or even suggested to read more
into the dictum "ein torah k'torat eretz-yisrael v'ein chochma k'chochmat
eretz-yisrael" (Breishet Raba 16:4) ["there no torah like that of the land
of israel and no wisdom as that of the land of israel] and moreover, given
the subject of the articles reviewed below, should preference be so awarded
today to that dictum given, for example, recent disputes between the Chief
Rabbinate of Israel and chutz-la'aretz [outside of
Israel] Rabbis, and can we say that in today's cyber-age, that dictum is

"Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2015.07.15
Kimberly B. Stratton, Dayna S. Kalleres (ed.), Daughters of Hecate: Women
and Magic in the Ancient World.   Oxford; New York:  Oxford University
Press, 2014.  Pp. xv, 533.  ISBN 9780195342710.  $39.95.

"Reviewed by Maxwell Teitel Paule, Earlham College

"An edited collection of fifteen articles, Daughters of Hecate: Women in
Magic in the Ancient World...This particular volume - which is not a
conference proceedings - focuses on women and magic and helps narrow the
scope of a potentially broad field...

"...Three articles focus on the Jewish tradition, two of which engage
extensively with the Book of Watchers (I Enoch 1-36) while the third is
concerned with the manufacture of Babylonian demon bowls. Both Rebecca
Lesses' 'The Most Worthy of Women is a Mistress of Magic' and Annette
Yoshiko Reed's 'Gendering Heavenly Secrets?' advocate caution when
evaluating gendered remarks about sorcery in I Enoch, Genesis, and rabbinic
commentaries. Lesses notes that such texts do not represent a unified
belief system and that they often undermine or directly contradict one
another. Reed critiques modern scholarly analyses of these (and other)
texts and the latent perpetuation of gender stereotypes accomplished
through assuming an 'active male gaze' therein. Yaakov Elman's 'Saffron,
Spices, and Sorceresses' is a more esoteric analysis of the tradition of
Babylonian demon bowls and posits that women, in addition to being
'consumers, victims and perpetrators of incantatory attacks' (p. 365), were
also likely involved in the production of these prophylactic bowls."

Yisrael Medad


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 10,2015 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Relative priorities

Joel Rich asked (MJ 62#53):

> A yahrtzeit shiur is "being sponsored" at the same time as your regular
> learning seder. How should one evaluate the various 'score cards' in
> shamayim (yours, the niftar's, your chavrutah's)

To be honest I don't quite get the mentality that tots up score cards in
shamayim. It is an approach that I can't relate to. Anyway, to me it's a
no-brainer. My regular seder takes priority unless I have a particular
negius [connection -- Mod.] with the yahrzeit.



From: Yaacov Fenster <yaacov.fenster@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 10,2015 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Strange Baladi custom

Rabbi Meir Wise wrote (MJ 62#53):

> Can anyone explain why the Baladi Yemenites always read Chukkat and Balak
> together?

There are really two interesting customs as to what to do instead of combining
Matot/Masai (but only in those years where they are typically combined), one
of the Baladi and one of the Dardarim. It should also be noted that when Shavuot
comes out on Friday, Hukkat and Balak are read together in the Diaspora also by
non-Yemenites, since they "lose" the reading of the following Shabbat due to it
being a second day of Yom Tov.
The Baladi custom is to combine Chukkat and Balak together because the end of
Hukkat (Israel defeating Emor) is related to the beginning of Balak (Balak
seeing what Israel did to the Emorittes). This relation is stronger than the
relation in content between Matot/Masai.

The Dardarim split up Chukkat so that we do not read about the deaths of two
righteous people (Aharon & Miriam) in the same week. The first half is combined
with the preceding Korach and the second half is combined with the succeeding Balak.
I have also found some comments that there is a meta-consideration to always
have the reading of Pinchas prior to the 3 weeks in order to "properly" read the
3 Haftarot of Calamity ("Pooranut").
The Shaami use the "normal" division - reading Matot/Masai together when needed.
A reasonably good write up (in hebrew) can be found at


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 11,2015 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Who Does Halacha View as the therapists concern?

Apparently, in the U.S., the therapist's duties are owed to the client, subject
to statutory obligations such as the mandatory-reporting requirement. There is
no exception for the therapist's religious custom or belief, unless, in limited
circumstances, the client consents to it.

Question-from a torah point of view should it make a difference who shows up at
the therapist's (or Rabbi's) door (for any therapy or advice)? How does Halacha
balance the needs of the individual, the family, the community, Jewish society
and/or society in general?

Joel Rich


End of Volume 62 Issue 54