Volume 8 Number 61
                       Produced: Fri Jul 30 12:25:15 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An easy fast?
         [Aaron Peromsik]
Counting the Torah in a Minyan
         [Mark Bell]
Dead Sea SCrolls
         [David Kaufmann ]
Mikveh Specifications
         [Gary Levin]
Missing Nun (2)
         [David Kramer, Arnold Kuzmack]
Modern Intelligent Orthodox Women
         [Sam Goldish]
R. Ahron's defense of the Rav zt"l
         [Anthony Fiorino]
         [Najman Kahana]


From: Aaron Peromsik <peromsik@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 16:07:10 -0400
Subject: An easy fast?

I've noticed that several people have ended their posts wishing us all
"an easy fast." One of my rebbeim ( rabbis / teachers ) in high school
mentioned that this may not be the most appropriate greeting. His point
was that if the fast is too easy, then it may not be serving its purpose
in terms of atonement through suffering. Though he was actually
referring to Yom Kippur, his point seems equally relevent.


Have a productive fast.

From: idela!<bell@...> (Mark Bell)
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 93 23:50:42 -0400
Subject: Counting the Torah in a Minyan

I've encountered the custom of permitting the Torah to be counted as the
tenth member of a Minyan.  All present stand while the Torah is out.  Is
this generally accepted?

Mark Bell


From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 93 01:01:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Dead Sea SCrolls

In regard to the Dead Sea Scrolls (and thank you, Eitan Fiorino, for the
references), I have a related question: secular "Jewish Studies" places
quite an emphasis on the non-Mosaic origin of Torah, whether as the
original Documentary Hypothesis or some variation thereof. Are there any
recent studies that deal with the issue in terms of academic standards,
i.e., literary analysis, cognate languages, archaeology, etc., showing
the Mosaic origin?

Though I have not worked out the details, I know that a strong case can
be made from a strictly narrative approach, but I'm curious if there are
answers/arguments that have been supressed/ignored in academia.

David Kaufmann INTERNET:	david@.ee.tulane.edu


From: Gary Levin <levin@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 12:03:24 -0700
Subject: Mikveh Specifications

Does anyone know of architectural specifications available for the
construction of a "basic" mikveh ?  We are interested in a set of
drawings that a contractor could use as a baseline for an estimate on
the cost of it's construction.

Additionally, are there any books written in english on the construction
of the mikveh ?



From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 09:52:07 -0400
Subject: Missing Nun

Since nobody has offered an explanation to the seemingly puzzling
statement of R. Yochanan (Brachot 4b) that the 'Nun' in Ashrai is
missing because there is a verse in Amos that begins with 'Nun' that
talks about the falling of the people of Israel - let me share with you
the way I understand this statement.

Like with most Talmud passages you have to understand the context to
appreciate what this statement is trying to tell you. The talmud is
explaining why the chapter "Tehilla LeDavid" - what we call "Ashrai" -
plays such an important role in our prayers and why it was picked out
from all the other chapters of Psalms.

The talmud answers that it has two very important features that no other
single chapter has - it has a praise of the almighty for every letter of
the alphabet - which expresses that we are attempting to give praise to
Him in an all-encompassing, complete way, and it also praises Him for
giving us our daily sustanance - a praise/thanks/reminder that without
the Almighty's continued and constant sustanance we would not be living.

To this I believe R. Yochanan is adding that this chapter has another
important function - that of a very subtle supplication ("techina").
That the missing Nun in a subtle way expresses a theme that we see in
other places in our prayers - we pray that the Almighty continue to
sustain us so that we can continue to praise Him. We demonstrate to Him
by this missing 'Nun' that we view serving the Almighty and prasing Him
as the reason for our existance - so He should continue to sustain us so
that we can continue to serve him. If the verse in Amos is carried out
we will no longer be able to do this. Thus the pasuk with a Nun is
missing - to demonstrate what would happen were the verse carried out.

It could be that this is why the talmud continues (I'm not sure if it's
still R. Yocahnan talking or not) that in the land of Israel they have a
positive way of interpreting the verse in Amos - (this is my own very
loose translation) "the people of Israel will NO LONGER fall - Rise
Israel!". This further demonstrates that the point that we are
expressing the determination of the Jewish people and our desire to
survive so that we can continue to serve the Almighty.

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]

From: <lkuzmack@...> (Arnold Kuzmack)
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 00:35:54 -0400
Subject: Missing Nun

In v8n50, both Kibi Hoffman and Shaul Wallach suggest the possibility
that the Nun verse in Psalm 145 was a sectarian variation by the Dead
Sea Scroll community.  The missing Nun verse (in the same form as in the
scroll) *does* appear in the Septuagint, according to Kittel's Biblia
Hebraica.  This would make the sectarian explanation unlikely and
suggests that the generally accepted version at one time included this

I share Kibi's problems in understanding the explanation of the gemara.
Can anyone shed further light on these questions?  Are there any more
"academic" treatments of the missing verse?

Arnold Kuzmack
<lkuzmack@...> (my wife's Internet account)


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 20:51:25 -0400
Subject: Modern Intelligent Orthodox Women

Leora Morgenstern, in her eloquent posting (V8-56) upholding the 
right of women to study Gemara, says:

"...There is also a subtle and unfair implication to the 
But-you-haven't-learned-all-of-Tanach-yet argument..."

That reminded me of an anecdote related a number of years ago by Rabbi
Ya'akov Feitman, then the rav of YI of Cleveland, during a YomTov
"drosh."  Rabbi Feitman said that when he was learning at Yeshiva Chaim
Berlin, he happened to walk into the office of his rebbe, the Rosh
Yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner, z"t"l.  As he entered, he saw Rabbi
Hutner hurriedly deposit a sefer into a drawer in his desk.  Rabbi
Feitman asked Rav Hutner what the sefer was that he had so obviously
tried to conceal.  Rabbi Hutner, somewhat embarrassedly, explained that
it was a Tanach, but that among the yeshiva bochrim it was considered so
"declasse" to be caught studying Tanach that he reflexively concealed
it.  Rabbi Feitman went on to explain how many of the talmidim had
virtually no grounding in Tanach per se, but that the Tanach they knew
came from learning the p'sukim cited in Talmud, so that when a posuk
from Tanach was cited, they would say: "Oh, we learned that in Mesechta
such-and-such, daf so-and-so."

Have a meaningful ta'anis.
Sam Goldish


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 93 16:07:23 -0400
Subject: R. Ahron's defense of the Rav zt"l

As was mentioned on M-J, R. Tendler wrote a scathing attack on the
Jewish Observer for their bland obituary for the Rav zt"l.  "An open
letter to Rabbi Moshe Tendler" appeared in response.  Recently, Rav
Ahron wrote a long reply to this, "In defense of my brother Rabbi Yosef
Ber Soloveitchik" which appeared in the Algemeiner Journal.  The letter
is too long to summarize, but in it, Rav Ahron blasts the anglo-Jewish
press for perhaps misquoting rabbaim, he blasts rabbaim for discussing
the Rav's approach with the anglo-Jewish press in the first place and
perhaps assessing the Rav without a proper understanding of him, and he
denies as absurd the very idea that the Rav experienced a conflict
between the torah of Brisk and the force of Berlin philosophy.  But, Rav
Ahron says, "my greatest righteous undignation is directed towards the
self acclaimed Tzadikim who under the mantle of tzidkus criticized my
brother for studying philosophy in the University of Berlin."  Rav Ahron
then presents a rigorous defense of the pursuit of wordly knowledge, and
gives examples of other gedolim who had received PhD's in philosophy.
Rav Ahron says, however, that "there is a great divergence between
having a positive attitude towards wordly wisdom and being committed to
mada.  Being committed to mada implies a belief that mada is an ikar in
life.  My brother did not consider mada as an ikar in Yahadut."  There
is also a story Rav Ahron tells of the last "flash" he saw of the Rav, a
conversation they had 2 years ago over chol hamoed pesach.

The letter is fascinating, but echoes with Rav Ahron's anger, and it is
sad to see that this dispute has had to come this far.  It has caused me
to reflect upon my own approach to this very issue, which was splayed
out across the network not so long ago.

Eitan Fiorino


From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 93 09:39 JST
Subject: Tchelet

>	I'm confused by the whole historical tekhelet controversy.  Can
>dyeing with the wrong colorant disqualify the tzitzith?
>	If yes, then why would anyone risk dyeing with the wrong stuff?
>If no, then what's the big deal; why not at least *try* to get it right?
>	Suppose I'm convinced that the "tekhelet" used by the Radzin
>chassidim is definitely wrong.  Can I use their tzitzith anyway?
>					Zev Kesselman

	I would like to enlarge upon Zev's question.

	As I understand it, we use white Tzizit because of the Rambam's
Psak that we do not know the correct Tchelet.

	If I have come to the conclusion that a particular dye is the
correct Tchelet, and start using it, have I then removed from me the
Rambam's Heter?  Am I now barred from using ANY 4 cornered garment which
does not have blue?  Can I borrow a Talit from some one else?

	And last, if my choice has barred me from all-white Tzizit, is
the wearing of such Tzizit a D'oraita prohibition ?

Najman Kahana


End of Volume 8 Issue 61