Volume 7 Number 74

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brussels, Belgium
         [Adam Schwartz]
Consultative Mode in Pasak
         [Steve Ehrlich]
Hallel - Pronunciation
         [Sam Goldish]
Math in Talmud
         [David Garber]
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Rabbi at a 'mixed' shul
         [Steve Edell]
The Eight-Days Skip
         [Yisrael Medad]
Upstate NY: Ithaca/Syracuse/Rochester/Buffalo
         [Sam Gamoran]


From: <ads@...> (Adam Schwartz)
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 93 19:03 EDT
Subject: Brussels, Belgium

	I'm going to be in Brussels from June 14th until the 20th.
Does anyone know about the kosher food situation?  Where do they buy
their food staples?  Does the local community ever eat out?
I need to suggest a place to eat business dinners.
I see there are alot of shuls.  Is there an Eruv?  I have the Jewish
Travel Guide but I've learned the hard way that the book is not always
up to date.  Thanks alot.

Adam Schwartz


From: ihlpt!stevee (Steve Ehrlich)
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 93 19:30 EDT
Subject: Consultative Mode in Pasak

Recently I heard a shiur from a Chicago area Rabbi concerning a certain
"Lefnai Ever" question: Whether it was permissible for a frum scientist
to have his company send a non-frum colleague to a conference on Eruv
Yom Tov in the frum guy's place. But my question here concerns something

In the course of the shiur, the rabbi mentioned that he had consulted
three Poskim. That startled me. It struck me as a variant of "Pasak
shopping" -- Is there a qualitative difference between my asking my
shaila of N different people and then picking a result (which is, I
understand, forbidden), and having my rabbi ask those N different people
as consultants? Some have claimed there is a distinction, in that when a
fellow rabbi asks his peers/teachers its no worse then looking up
something in their printed responsa. The questioner is then bound by the
decision of the (one) rabbi who did the surveying for him.

I'm not really used to this multiple consultation model. ( I dont know.
Maybe the only difference here was that this rabbi *admitted* he
consulted others...)  Has anyone else out there seen it used in
practical Pasak? For that matter, what exactly *is* the issur in my
asking N people a shaila myself?

I'd be interested in peoples thoughts.


Steve Ehrlich


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 93 12:47:39 -0400
Subject: Hallel - Pronunciation

This is a question with regard to proper pronunciation.  In the second
paragraph of Hallel (Tehillim, Chap. 114, Verse 7), we find the phrase
"...mi'lifnei E-lo-ha Ya'akov."  That is the way I have always
pronounced it--with the "h" (i.e., the "hay") fully aspirated, simply
because that is the way I was taught in early childhood, and is the way
I have heard every ba'al t'filla and chazzan pronounce it--until

Each Pesach, over the past several years, it has been my privilege to
hear a world-class chazzan, Cantor Moshe Kraus, of Ottawa, Canada, (and
former Chief Chazzan of the Israeli Armed Forces) recite Hallel.  Cantor
Kraus is a ba'al medakdek (a meticulously strict observer) in
enunciating each word clearly and precisely.  That is why I (and many
other congregants) were surprised to hear Cantor Kraus pronounce the
word: "E-lo-ah". with an almost explosive emphasis on the syllable "ah."
(Note that Cantor Kraus does NOT aspirate the "H" (i.e., the "hay")--it
remains silent.

When Cantor Kraus concludes the Hallel, the rav of the shul comes to the
bima and--after extending his yeyasher ko'ach to Cantor Kraus--makes a
special point to congratulate him on his proper pronunciation of The
Name, as it appears in that posuk of Tehilim.

I later asked Cantor Kraus about his pronunciation.  He answered me like
this: "Take the word "Noach," spelled "Nun, chet," with a pattach under
the chet.  We don't pronounce it "Nocha."  So, the same principle
applies here.  Not only that, but there is another pronunciation that is
also correct: "E-lo- va."

Not being a mayven of Hebrew orthography or pronunciation, I am curious
if others have heard the same rendering or know of any sources for this
pronunciation.  BTW, I now follow Cantor Kraus' pronunciation when
reciting Hallel.

Kol Tuv!

Sam Goldish


From: <garber@...> (David Garber)
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 93 14:46 EDT
Subject: Math in Talmud

In continuation to the question about the GR"A & Mathematics, we have
two questions:

1. There is a tradition of "Reading-vs.-Writing" in Melachim Aleph [1 Kings],
23:7, about the value of PI: the word written as "Qavo" [Qof, Vav, Heh] is 
read as "Qav" [Qof, Vav] (this word means "line", and it refers to the 
circumference of the "Yam Shel Shlomo" [the molten sea of king Shlomo]).
>From the Pasuk [verse] we learn that the ratio between the circumference
of a circle to its diameter (i.e. PI) is 3. But a more percise value is
given as follows: (the Gimatriya [numerical equivalent] of "Qavo")
divided by (the Gimatriya of "Qav"), i.e. 111 [(Qof=100)+(Vav=6)+(Heh=5)]
divided by 106 [(Qof=100)+(Vav=6)] is approximately equal to PI divided by 3:

           PI = 3 x ------- = 3.1415094  (!)

   There is a rumour (?) that this was reminded by the GR"A, but we couldn't
find the source. Does anyone know the source for it???

2. (This is has nothing to do with the GR"A). 

  ... As for the Jewish proof of the formula S=PI*r^2 for the area of a circle,
the earliest known Jewish proof is from ~1123 , and is proved by R' Abraham Ben
R' Hiya Hanasi (we couldn't find a similar proof in mathematics before that 
time), later to appear in the commentry of the "Tosafot" (="Tosfot") 
in the Talmud, Succa page 8a and Eiruvin page 56a. The proof goes as follows: 
the area of the circle could be regarded as made of "[infinitely?] many" 
cocentric circles [much later this idea will appear in Cavalierri's notes!]. 
If you "cut" the circles along the radius of the original circle, and flatten
them, you get a triangle with base length equal to the circumference of the 
original circle, and height equal to the radius of this circle. This means
that the area of a circle is equal to half of the multiplication of the radius
and the circumference, i.e. r*(2*PI*r)*(1/2)=PI*r^2 (!). 

     One can say [as "Havot Yaiir"(Responsa 172) did indeed!] that this proof 
is incomplete, as no explanation is given why the area does not change when
"flattening" the circles. We can only say that R' Abraham "felt" that it should
work, as he didn't have the mathematical tools we're having today. However, it
can very easily formalised this in Advanced-Analysis (the method of changing 
variables gives here a bijection with Jacobian (i.e., determinant of 
differential) 1 ! Moreover, this bijection is uniquely defined !!). This can
also be formalised in Nonstandard-Analysis (some may claim this is a more
"natural" formalisation). Anyway, the proof is CORRECT.

     Now let's try to draw a picture which may help to understand the above 
proof (for a REAL picture, look in the Talmud, Succa page 8a, or Eiruvin page

Here there is a sketch of the cocentric circles, forming the original circle:

                          /  /---\  \
                         |  / /-\ \  |
                         | | | + | | |
                         |  \ \-/ /  |
                          \  \---/  /

After we cut these "infinitely" many circles, along the radius, and let them
"fall down" to the tangent:


Our question is if there is a similar proof before Rabbi Abraham Ben R' Hiya

David Garber (<garber@...>)
Boaz  Tsaban (<tsaban@...>)


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 93 02:46:46 -0400
Subject: Oneis

Two general questions on the topic of contemporary non-religious Jews,
relating to their status as "raised in captivity."

First, exactly what does this status mean?  Clearly, they are not
exempted in any way from obligations in mitzvot.  The single consequence
of this status seems to be that one is required to love such Jews and
not hate them, whereas if they were classified as heretics, one is no
longer be required to love them, and may be required to hate and destroy
them.  Are there others?

Second, how far does this classification extend?  A Jew with this status
can deny the ikarim, or can publicly desecrate shabbat, and he/she is
still not classified as a heretic.  Yet can such a person kill and still
be granted the same status?  What about avoda zara?  It seems intuitive
that some categories of aveira might be excluded; but which ones?  Only
those that one is required to give up one's life rather than transgress?
Or perhaps the sheva mitzvot of noach?  (ie, if they are "raised in
captivity," then one would expect that at least they would have learned
the sheva mitzvot).  Or perhaps if one has this status, all of his/her
sins are considered as performed under oneis, even the big three.
Furthermore, can this concept be applied to non-Jews? (ie, if non-Jews
are raised in an environment where they do not learn the sheva mitzvot,
can they then be considered "raised in captivity?")

Anyone got answers?

Eitan Fiorino


From: <edell@...> (Steve Edell)
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 93 17:40:31 -0400
Subject: Rabbi at a 'mixed' shul

I am certain there is a heter for such, as Mike Gerver pointed out.
When Rabbi Steve Riskin was approached at Lincoln Square Synagogue in
New York to be the shul's Rabbi, the shul was (either) mixed seating or
separate seating w/o a mechitza.  Rav Riskin went to _his_ rabbi, the
Rav, ZT"L, who said that R.Riskin could be Rav there if it is with
purpose of getting the congregation to be Orthodox.

R.Riskin went to Lincoln Square & said that he'll be Rabbi there for _6_
months: the congregants will have to choose at that time between what
they have now, or Rabbi Riskin & separate seating.  The rest is obvious,
altho there is a caveat: Lincoln Square had just hired contractors to
build their new shul -- as a circle, with everyone facing each other,
including men facing women (assuming they would sit separately).
R.Riskin went back to the RAV ZT"L, who gave a p'sak din (ruling) that
small partitions could be constructed between the men's & women's sides,
as well as partitions in front of the women (for modesty), so as to
separate the men & women.

Steven Edell, Computer Manager    Internet:  <edell@...>
United Israel Appeal, Inc
(United Israel Office)            Voice:  972-2-255513
Jerusalem, Israel                 Fax  :  972-2-247261


From: OZER_BLUM%<YARDEN.DECNET@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 93 04:25:57 -0400
Subject: The Eight-Days Skip

	According to a report in Ha'Aretz of Sunday, June 6th, Prof.
Ariel Cohen of the Hebrew U. claims that because of various astronomical
problems, we might be faced with a decision of skipping eight days into
the future so as to correct the situation.  He says the month is
27.321582 days long according to the "star month" but there is a
difference between the flight of the moon around the earth and the earth
around the sun which includes angles and so there is a "draconi month"
(what that means I do not know) of 27.212221 days.  Then there is a
"anomalist month" of 27.554552 days and a "synod month" of 29.530594
days and that every 216 years, Pesach moves a day into the summer
because the averageHebrew year is 12.368267 months.
	I hope there are mathematicians and/or astronomists who understand
what I've written from the article.

Yisrael Medad


From: <shg@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 93 09:05:55 -0400
Subject: Upstate NY: Ithaca/Syracuse/Rochester/Buffalo

It's been a looong time since graduation from Cornell (16 years).

Can someone tell me about kosher food service at Cornell over the summer
(mid-week).  We're planning a trip the beginning of August, just before
going back to Israel.  I'm also interested in the other cities that may
be on our way.



End of Volume 7 Issue 74