Volume 7 Number 6

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Allocation of Medical Resources
         [Zvi Basser]
Kol dikhfin - addendum
         [Elhanan Adler]
Reading Hebrew
         [Yosef Branse]
Responsa CD-ROM - Taklit Sh"ut (2)
         [Aharon Bejell, Alan Lustiger]
Shloshim Shiurim at YU
         [Anthony Fiorino]


From: <fishbane@...> (Zvi Basser)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 16:24:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Allocation of Medical Resources

information regarding allocation of medical expenditures in Judaism.
Why not call Laurie Zoloth who wrote her dissertation on this topic.
she lives in berkeley calif. 525 4388.

zvi basser


From: <ELHANAN@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 93 06:37:08 -0400
Subject: Kol dikhfin - addendum

Back in M-J v.6 #103 I mentioned a commentator who suggested that kol
dikhfin referred to non-Jews. Aryeh Frimer contacted me directly wanting
to know whether the commentator was a halakhic authority or not (i.e.
how seriously should we take the halakhic implications).

This was a bit of a challenge, since had I remembered who said it in the
first place I would have cited the commentator - but having been so
challenged I checked through my pile of Haggadot and managed to find it
in the commentary of R. Yaakov Emden.

* Elhanan Adler                   University of Haifa Library              *
*                                 Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel          *
* Israeli U. DECNET:      HAIFAL::ELHANAN                                  *
* Internet/ILAN:          <ELHANAN@...>                          *


From: <JODY@...> (Yosef Branse)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 03:22:28 -0400
Subject: Reading Hebrew

A few comments on the recent discussion of "learning in Hebrew."  (My
reply is belated, thanks to Pesach and cleaning up afterward...)

1) I was startled a few years ago to discover that someone had put out
an English translation of the Meiri's commentary to Masechet Kiddushin.
("Tractate Kiddushin According to the Meiri" by Yecheskel D. Folger;
Feldheim, 1989). It has a "haskama" (approbation) from Rabbi Avraham

This seemed to be really going too far! Anyone who is at a level that
they are referring to the Meiri should be able to read it in Hebrew.
However, just to be fair, I read the translator's foreword. He writes
"the present work is a complete and expanded English adaptation of the
Beit ha-Behirah on Tractate Kiddushin...It is not a literal translation.
It reworks the Meiri into contemporary legal terminology and modern
modes of argumentation....My goal has been to enable modern English
speaking students of the Talmud to penetrate beyond a basic
comprehension of the Talmudic text, which they can arrive at using the
Soncino translation. Using the Meiri, these students can now gain access
to the underlying Talmudic dialectic."

Unfortunately, I didn't find what I was hoping for, some acknowledgement
of the odd situation of Talmudic students having to rely on a
translation. On the contrary, there seems to be an assumption that the
intended readers of this work are already using an English translation
of the Talmud (Soncino edition.)

2) Years ago, when I was learning in a yeshiva and both Hebrew and Torah
were new to me, I acquired a copy of Philip Birnbaum's edition of the
Mishneh Torah.  (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company, 1967), It is
abridged, with selections from nearly all the sections of the Mishneh

The main attraction for me was that the book consists of Hebrew and
English on facing pages. This enabled me to learn the Hebrew by
comparison with the corresponding English. I recall the book as having
been extremely useful - I got a grasp of the Hebrew used by Rambam,
which was also a good background for both Mishnaic Hebrew and modern
spoken Hebrew; and I obtained a broad overview of the Rambam's great
work, with its encyclopedic coverage of the scope of halacha.

Since, then, I've occasionally made use of facing English-Hebrew texts
for learning - the Mesilat Yesharim comes to mind - but the Birnbaum
Mishne Torah stands out as having a very strong influence on my early

3) I have a difficulty with Hebrew reading, which may well be my own
personal oddity. After years of reading mostly Hebrew, I still cannot
skim, as I can do pretty well in English.  I must still read word by
word, slowly picking up the sense of a sentence. Granted, this is not a
critical problem for sacred texts, where one must generally read slowly
anyway in order to understand the material. It does interfere with my
ability to read newspapers, articles, work-related material etc.

Has anyone else found that the different alphabet proved a hindrance in
being able to read a text quickly? I find it quite odd that when I come
across a passage in French, which I studied for a relatively short time
in college, I can still get the gist of it from a quick scan, whereas
the same material in Hebrew would require some effort.

Yosef Branse. University of Haifa Library. <JODY@...>


From: <etzion@...> (Aharon Bejell)
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 93 06:48:38 -0400
Subject: Responsa CD-ROM - Taklit Sh"ut

The Bar-Ilan CD-ROM is the only one of its kind that works fully under
Windows 3.1 (English) with its own Hebrew support.  (In fact, the
current version will not work with Hebrew Windows.)  The interface is
great and searches are quick (the drive used has an access time of
~240ms).  At present it includes Tanach, Shas Bavli, Rashi on Shas,
Midrashay Agada, Mishne Torah (Rambam), and 250 selected volumes of
Responsa from Geonim until the present.  This summer there will be a
second release which will include: Shas Mishnayot, Shas Yerushalmi,
Midrashay Halacha, and Tur.

The search program is very good, although occasionally on realizes that
there are some features that are missing (such as the ability to select
only part of the results of a search for printing) which would make life
a little bit easier.

Aharon Bejell - Head Librarian, Yeshivat Har Etzion
(parenthetical comments added by Mike Berkowitz)

From: Alan Lustiger <alu@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 93 09:18:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Responsa CD-ROM - Taklit Sh"ut

The Taklit Sh"ut CD-ROM is now being updated, with supposedly a new
version due out in a couple of weeks. I still have only the original
version, and I'm due to get an intermediate update today. So this
information may be a bit outdated.

IMHO, the interface and documentation is not nearly as good as for
"normal" commercial packages. In my version I have to reload the
diskette part of the software often, and I've heard one complaint about
the installation procedure on the current intermediate release. My
version has no support for on-line help. Also, the current release uses
a copy-protect "dongle" that plugs into the parallel port.

There are no hypertext capabilities. So if you want to look up a Gemara
and then see the appropriate Rashi, there is no shortcut: you have to do
a full search on the Rashi database.

The Sh"ut databases are divided into three or so sections (Rishonim,
Acharonim, 20th century) making it impossible to do an exhaustive search
of a single topic in one step.

The current release does not support printing! I have a way around it
but this is still intolerable. The new version is supposed to be able to

On the plus side, the searches are almost instant. The Windows interface
lets you keep the results of a few searches on the screen
simultaneously. You have a choice of English or Hebrew menus. The search
strings, while not user-friendly, allow some pretty sophisticated
boolean searches as well as searches for combinations of words in a
certain proximity to each other (for example, Bikur Cholim and Telephone
within 5 words of each other.) Any word in the texts may be searched on,
as well as different grammatical forms of the word ("Get" and "Gittin").

Even though there are many shortcomings, the sheer amount of information
makes it worthwhile, in my opinion (if you can afford it.) If there is
interest, I can give a quick review of the newer version when it comes
out iy"h.

Disclaimer: I (Kabbalah Software) am a reseller of this product (as well
as lots of other Jewish software.) You can e-mail to
<kabbalah@...> for an electronic catalog or to be added to
the Kabbalah Software mailing list.

Alan Lustiger	INTERNET:<lustiger@...>  	UUCP:att!pruxp!alu	
                ATTMAIL:!alustiger	 	CIS:72657,366


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 93 10:31:06 -0400
Subject: Shloshim Shiurim at YU

The following schedule of shiurim was distributed by YU:

Throughout shloshim, and beyond, our Rabbeim shlita who were talmidim of
Maran HaRav Soloveitchik zt"l will share with our B'nai Yeshiva some of
the Torah they were priviliged to learn at his feet.  Shiurim will be
delivered in the Main Bais HaMedrash at 9:15 PM on the following evenings.

[Although the above says "with our B'nai Yeshiva", these shiurim are
open to the public, I'm sure - Mod. P.S. If anyone goes to tonight to R'
Brondspigel's shiur and you get a chance, please say hello to him from
me. He was my first Rebbe at YU]

mon, 4-26:  R. Hershel Schachter
wed, 4-28:  R. Abba Brondspigel
thr, 4-29:  R. Aharon Kahn
sun, 5-2:   R. Yosef Blau
mon, 5-3:   R. Shlomo Drillman
tue, 5-4:   R. Yaakov Neuburger
wed, 5-5:   R. Moshe Tendler
thr, 5-6:   R. Yehuda Parnes
mon, 5-10:  R. Hershel Reichman
tue, 5-11:  R. Mordecai Willig
wed, 5-12:  R. Michael Rosensweig
thr, 5-13:  R. Meir Twersky
mon, 5-17:  R. David Horowitz
tue, 5-18:  R. Yitzchak Cohen


End of Volume 7 Issue 6