Volume 64 Number 32 
      Produced: Fri, 21 Jun 19 12:22:23 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Modern Orthodox Jewish Education 
    [Joel Rich]
Nesi'im wording anomalies (2)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Matthew Pearlman]
Tzitzit = totality of mitzvot (2)
    [Martin Stern  David Tzohar]
Yoav's father? (3)
    [Martin Stern  Isaac Balbin  Leah S. R. Gordon]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 18,2019 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Modern Orthodox Jewish Education

I just read Compartmentalization and Synthesis in Modern Orthodox Jewish
Education By David Stein


This is a long piece focusing on proposed approach to education. The entire
piece is interesting reading but this statement alone is worth our consideration

"Modern Orthodoxy is a worldview that encompasses intellectual, social,
spiritual, cultural, and professional dimensions, and which recognizes that
there exist multiple - and competing - values in our world, all while upholding
the primacy of Torah learning and observance. All too often, however, it gets
reduced (at worst) to an ideology of compromise, or (at best) a superficial
pairing of general and Judaic studies."

Can we quantify "All too often"

Joel Rich


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 18,2019 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Nesi'im wording anomalies

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#31):

> At the end of Naso (Bam. 7) the offerings brought by the nesi'im [princely
> leaders of the tribes] to inaugurate the mishkan are listed - and all brought
> precisely the same. While it might not be unexpected that the formulation of the
> first, Nachshon ben Amminadav, might be slightly different from the rest, there
> seems to be no reason why, on day 2, the word "hikriv" is inserted before the
> nasi's name, Netan'eil ben Tzu'ar, unlike all the other days where it is
> omitted. Also his tribal affiliation, Yissachar, is stated after his name
> (incidentally just as for Nachshon on day one) unlike the subsequent nesi'im
> whose tribal affiliation precedes their personal name.
> Does anyone have any explanation for this discrepancy?

Rav Hirsch says that this was done in order to give it (and all the following
entries) the same importance and independant declaration on behalf of the tribe
as the first entry.

He also points out that the Sifri explains that the tribe of Yissachar was
recognized as the tribe of "talmidei chachomim" and that Nesanel was the one who
set up and planned that all the korbonos were to be the same.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 19,2019 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Nesi'im wording anomalies

Martin Stern (MJ 64#31) asked about differences in the wording of the second
Nasi at the end of Naso.

While I can't answer for the specific wording changes, I did read once (sorry
can't remember where) that in long lists in the Tenach (and other similarly
dated works in other cultures) there is often a small difference made to the
second item of the list.

Another example is the second of the shirei hamaalot - which is shir LAmaalot. I
don't recall any other examples although I would be very grateful if anyone has

Also note the subtle difference in the second passuk of Nachshon from that of
subsequent days.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 18,2019 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Tzitzit = totality of mitzvot

Yaakov Shachter wrote (MJ 64#31):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#30):

>> The Gemara (Menachot 43b) quotes a beraita that states that the mitzvah of
>> tzitzit is eqivalent to all the mitzvot combined based on the verse "...
>> ure'item oto uzekhartem et kol mitzvot Hashem ... [and you shall look at it
>> and remember all Hashem's mitzvot]" (Bam. 16:39) on which Rashi comments that
>> this is based on the fact that the gematria of tzitzit is 600 which together
>> with the 5 knots and 8 strings makes a total of 613, the total number of
>> mitzvot.
>> While this might appear to be a rather fanciful drush [homiletic
>> interpretation], it struck me recently that it might actually be hinted to by
>> the text. The mitzvah of tzitzit is performed by wearing a rectangular
>> garment with tzitzit attached to each corner, i.e. 4 in total, so one would
>> have expected the verse to have stated "ure'item otam [them]", in the plural,
>> rather than "ure'item oto" in the singular. That it uses the singular might
>> indicate that each tassel individually, rather the complete set which
>> constitutes the mitzvah, is meant to remind us of all Hashem's mitzvot and it
>> is on this that Rashi is basing his explanation.
>> Any comments?

> If Martin wants us to take the above seriously, he should first provide some
> evidence for his implicit assumption that "tzitzit" is a plural noun. It is
> not morphologically plural, and, as he has himself admitted above, it is not,
> in Scripture, grammatically plural, so he is going to need some very
> convincing evidence, which, except for popular usage, he does not have.

I fear Yaakov has misunderstood what I was saying. I was not suggesting that
the word "tzitzit" is a plural noun but pointing out that Rashi's drush was
based on its gematria which depends on it being in the singular form (the
plural "tzitziyot" has gematria 606 if it is written malei [with a vav]).
This might mean that "ure'item oto" is used specifically to indicate that we
should look at just ONE of the tassles rather than ponder the totality of
the mitzvah which involves fixing all FOUR of them.

Martin Stern

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 19,2019 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Tzitzit = totality of mitzvot

I agree with Sammy Finklestein and Immanuel Burton (MJ 64#31)that the peshat of
"ureitem oto" refers to the ptil tchelet. Thanks for the chiddush about techelet
and radiation. It is also interesting to note that there is a scale in optical
physics of the refracted light of colors from 1 to 1000 the number given to
tchelet (the tchelet of Machon Ptil Tchelet} is ... 613!!!.

As for Immanuel's question about the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit with techelet
outside clothing there are two major halachic disputes. 

1. Are we required to see the petil techelet at all times or is it enough to see
them for the beracha.

2. Is the modern techelet truly the techelet of the Torah. There are many poskim
in Israel (Harabbanim Re'em Hacohen, Simcha Hacohen Kook all SHELITA and many
others who say that wearing the new techelet is a mitzvah and perhaps even
chovah even though Rav Kook wears his underneath his frock,saying he doesn't
want to make a pesak for the tzibbur because of the problems of chesron kis
[expense] and yohara [arrogant behavior]. If I am not mistaken Harav Herschel
Shachter wears techelet outside of his clothes. I do not know if he considers
this a minhag, mitzvah or chovah.
David Tzohar Armon Hanetziv,Yerushalayim


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 18,2019 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Yoav's father?

Isaac Balbin wrote (MJ 64#31):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#30):

>> My wife has been learning Sefer Shemuel and asked me why Yoav is always
>> referred to as 'ben Tzeruyah', the son of his mother, Tzeruyah, who was David
>> Hamelekh's sister, and not as in the case of almost every other person as the
>> son of his father who seems never to be mentioned.
>> Two ideas came to mind:
>> 1. She had been kidnapped by non-Jews and raped, resulting in his conception,
>> so he did not have a halachic father.
>> 2. His father was a relative non-entity whereas his mother was a royal
>> princess so this was a way to enhance his standing...

> I wouldn't be so bold as to write the guesses that Martin did, especially
> without any evidence. I believe its arguably spreading a negative name (Motzi
> Shem Ra) against Yoav and his mother to even intimate Tzeruya was raped!

I must take strong exception to Isaac's suggestion which appears to imply
that a rape victim is somehow culpable. If I had suggested that she had had
an illicit relationship voluntarily, that might have constituted being Motzi
Shem Ra but I had specifically avoided that. The Torah explicitly states
that a woman bears no such culpability even if she might have been deemed
careless of her safety by going out to the fields (Dev. 22:25-27) where
there may not have been anyone to help her should she have been attacked or,
even more irresponsibly, acted like Dinah who went to visit the non-Jewish
girls of Shechem (Ber. 34).

Similarly Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 64#31):

> If choice 1 is closer to the truth, it wouldn't be that she was kidnapped, it
> would be that she married someone not Jewish who never fully converted (which
> it could be argued helped account for Yoav's brutality.)

Sammy's suggestion would seem to fall foul of Isaac's complaint since, if he
were correct, Tzeruya would have been complicit in an illicit relationship.
There is no such thing as being 'married' to someone not Jewish who never
fully converted. Either they had converted  - and were fully Jewish - or
they had not and remained fully non-Jewish.

I had specifically mentioned kidnapping since it appears from the Gemara
that, in those days, one could assume [chazakah] that any shevuyah [woman
kidnapped by non-Jews] would be have been raped unless one had evidence to
the contrary.

I tend to agree with all the respondents that my scenario 2 is more likely
but would feel happier if there were some corroboration in the commentaries.

Martin Stern

From: Isaac Balbin <isaac.balbin@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 18,2019 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Yoav's father?

I am sorry I made a minor error in my earlier submission (MJ 64#31):

> Yoav is listed as such because his yichus (pedigree) was that he was a nephew 
> of King David. Unfortunately his other Uncle, Amasa killed him, Amasa being the 
> son of Aunty Avigayil, sister to Tzeruya.

As Rabbi Teitz pointed out to me off-line, Amasa was Yoav's first cousin and
Yoav killed Amasa.

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leahgordonmobile@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 19,2019 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Yoav's father?

In response to Isaac Balbin (MJ 64#31):

I ask Isaac to withdraw his implication that a rape victim is somehow culpable.
Surely, he does not think it reflects poorly on the rape VICTIM that she was
raped.  It reflects poorly only on the perpetrator and thus would not be any
kind of motzi shem ra about the victim (or her son).

--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


End of Volume 64 Issue 32