Volume 9 Number 30
                       Produced: Wed Sep 22 12:55:22 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Agendas and Halacha
         [David Charlap]
Birth Customs (2)
         [Susannah Greenberg, Lorne Schachter]
Celebration for daughters
         [Larry Weisberg]
Dinosaurs and Kashrut
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Gedolim and the Peace Agreement
         [Michael Kramer]
         [Morris Podalak]
Kol Echad Chorale is holding auditions
         [Max Stern]
Maharal's writings in English
         [Chaim Schild]
New Publication
         [Charles Cutter]
Pidyon HaBen
         [Avi Feldblum]
Ragechaver Gaon
         [Larry Weisberg]


From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 16:04:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Agendas and Halacha

<baker@...> (Jonathan Baker) writes:
>Think about women's schools, at any level, from elementary to
>post-college.  Do not the women in such schools get together every
>morning to daven?  They may not read Torah, but otherwise, they are
>public prayer for women.

The few women's yeshivot that I know of have at least ten rabbis on
the teaching staff.  They attend shacharit and mincha and make a
minyan.  It's interesting to notice that these are probably the only
places where you'll find a tiny men's section and a HUGE women's
section in a shul. :)


From: Susannah Greenberg <sjg@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 09:43:08 -0400
Subject: Birth Customs

Upon the birth of our son several months ago, my husband and I went
through the relevant sections of various Seforim.  If I remember
correctly it was Taamei Haminhagim that mentions the custom that Danny
Wildman has related.  It is in exactly that format - A woman's first
time out of the house should be for Kedusha.  In our case, my first time
out was our son's Bris so that was easy.  I also noticed that Taamei
Haminhagim mentions the practice of making something (I don't remember
the term but it was definitely not ) for the birth of a girl.  The
reason which is given is quite beautiful and somewhat puzzling as well.
When the name is given, the Neshama is considered to be entering the
child's body and that is what we are celebrating.

 |Susannah Greenberg                                          |
 |Bell Communications Research                                |
 |Piscataway, NJ  08855              <sjg@...>   |
 |Phone: (908) 699-5623               Fax: (908) 562-0104     |

From: Lorne Schachter <lhsux@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 10:35:33 -0400
Subject: Birth Customs

When the Beis HaMikdash was around, women had to offer korbanos after
giving birth to a child.  Today, we don't do that, but the Kedushah of
Shmoneh Esrai has taken its place.  Therefore, the tradition has arisen
that a women`s first departure from home after the birth of a child
should be to hear Kedushah.  I was a chiyuv when my oldest son was
gemalt and I b`davka waited to do Chazaras haShatz until my wife had
shown up in shul so she could hear kedushah.

					Lorne Schachter


From: Larry Weisberg <WEISBERG@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 17:00:06 IDT
Subject: Celebration for daughters

  A few people mentioned in their personal experiences celebrating the
birth of a girl, that the wife said Birkat HaGomel.  I wanted to emphasize
this so that it would not go unnoticed.  I whole-heartedly agree that it
is proper that the woman "Bentch Gomel."  However, in all fairness I
must point out that it is a somewhat controversial issue.
   The Magen Avraham says the husband should say it for his wife, when
he gets an Aliyah, based, (I think) on the concept of Ishto K'gupho
(his wife is like his body, i.e., husband and wife are one...).  The
Aruch HaShulchan says the wife can (should?) say it herself.  Some
Rabbi's seem to favor the Magen Avraham's opinion, though I personally
do not see why the woman should not say the brachah in front of 10 men.
   In fact when my wife gave birth to our first son, I was living
some place where the custom was for the man to say the Brachah.  I asked
one of the Roshei Yeshivah at YU, if there was any reason that my
wife couldn't say the Brachah herself, given the community's custom.
He said, No problem at all.

Larry Weisberg (<weisberg@...>)


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 93 21:04:07 -0700
Subject: Re: Dinosaurs and Kashrut

Let me preface my remarks, by stating that if one were to believe that
the Creator used evolution as His chosen mechanism for creating man, I
would have no qualms against him.

But unfortunately, G-d is not a factor in contemporary theory. And
therefore, I vehemently object.

As the original poster said quite correctly:
	>> What is argued in
	>> scientific circles is the mechanisms by which evolution occurs;
	>> there is no challenge to the underlying construct. 

IMHO this statement itself illustrates a major flaw. The one thing all
evolutionists can agree on is that the other guy's opinion of the
underlying mechanism is virtually-impossible/ridiculous.

Now, suppose they are all correct - and an objective reviewer must
concede the possibility that this is a distinct possibility - then it
follows there is no known mechanism by which evolution could have
occured.  Then, we must concede the POSSIBILITY that evolution COULD NOT
have occurred.

So why are there no challenges to the underlying construct? Why is
evolution taught as a "fact" for which no reputable scientist will

Very simple. Since modern day science does not and cannot posit the
existance of a Creator, then the fact that we are here proves that
evolution must have occurred whether or not I know the underlying
mechanisms. There is NO alternative. Therefore, evolution must be
presented as a "fact". Refusal to do so, implies the possibility of a
First Cause beyond the realm of science - which of course is scientific

Hayim Hendeles

P.S. As an aside, Scientific American had an excellent article about the
origin of life, in the Feb. 1991(?)/1992(?) issue - which is a major,
serious problem for which there are no known generally accepted answers
as to how it happened. The article begins with the statement which
everyone agrees on, that the odds of life beginning by accident are
equivalent to that of a tornado going through a junkyard and fully
assembling a 747 jetliner. So how did life begin?

The article presents 4 possibilities - where of course, the only thing
each proponent can agree on, is that the other 3 suggestions are
impossible. According to the 4th opinion quoted in Scientific American,
one of the most respected journals today, - and this one is my favorite,
- is that agreed, life could not possibly have originated on Earth.
Rather what happened, is that life on Earth was seeded from Outer Space.

Now I ask you, can an objective atheistic-scientist assume the previous
statement AND STILL teach evolution as a fact?


From: <mpkramer@...> (Michael Kramer)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 11:24:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Gedolim and the Peace Agreement

In response to Sam Gamoran's response (MLJ 9:29) to my response to Rabbi
Karlinski's remarks on "pikuakh nefesh dokheh shtakhim" [saving lives
overrules territories]

IMHO, the Labor government's past or present record on religious issues (or
the Likud's for that matter) is very much beside the Halakhik point. 
Indeed, it might very well be the sort of agenda that, some have argued in
recent numbers of MLJ, influences Halakhic decision-making.  After all,
the issue is pikuakh nefesh, not shabbos or kashrut or marriage.  And it
would be eggregiously defamatory, as well as untru, to suggest that _any_
Israeli government--or any of its ministers, even the ever-denounceable
Ms. Aloni--does not care, constantly and desperately, about Jewish lives. 
Pikuach nefesh should not only be dokhe shtakhim (if we follow the halakhic
line of thought) but it should also be dokhe (for the time being, at least)
other issues.

Now, one might argue that it is ultimately impossible to predict the
results of the peace agreement in terms of pikuach nefesh, short term and
long term.  But that is a different question with other implications.

Michael Kramer
UC Davis


From: Morris Podalak <morris@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 05:39:45 -0400
Subject: Kapparot

Someone wrote in a while back asking about sources for a minhag of
waving a plant over a child's head and throwing it into a river
(something _very_ reminiscent both of kapparot and tashlich).  The
source is in RASHI to Shabbat (81b) who says he found it in the responsa
of the Geonim.  The curious thing is that he gives the verses recited as
"ze kaparati etc." just like what we say for kapparot.

G'mar Tov


From: Max Stern <lms@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 13:16:39 -0400
Subject: Kol Echad Chorale is holding auditions

Kol Echad Chorale of Los Angeles, the premier Jewish choral group
in the west, is holding auditions for its 17th season.

The chorale rehearses on Monday evenings and concertizes all over
Southern California througout the year.

For more information, contact me by email or telephone.

 |\/|  /_\  \/                    <Max.Stern@...>
 |  | /   \ /\                    (818) 501-3470


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 16:23:25 -0400
Subject: Maharal's writings in English

Are any of the Maharal's writings available in English ?

Chaim Schild


From: Charles Cutter <CUTTER@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 93 09:29:30 -0400
Subject: New Publication

I would like to announce the publication of the following title:
Judaica Reference Sources: A Selective, annotated bibliographic guide by 
Charles Cutter and Micha Oppenheim. Juneau, Alaska:Denali Press, 1993.

[Congradulations Charles! Mod.]


From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 12:42:51 -0400
Subject: Pidyon HaBen

Does anyone know what the halakhic definition of the silver weight
needed for the five Selaim for Pidyon HaBen (Redemption of the First
Born) is? How does it compare to 5 US Silver Dollars?

Is there any requirement that there be a Minyan for a Pidyon HaBen, or
do you just need the Kohan and the father of the child?

Thanks in advance for any info

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Larry Weisberg <WEISBERG@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 17:00:06 IDT
Subject: Ragechaver Gaon

  If someone would like to read about the Ragechaver's learning style,
you can look in R. Zevin's "Ishim V'Shitot".  The book describes the
learning styles (plus a bit of a biography plus a picture) of 8-10
figures from the past 100 or so years.
  One story I heard was, as someone pointed out, the R. (Ragachever)
used to answer questions (Shealot) on a post card, with references of
where to look up the answer.  In one case, someone got a post card
back, filled from top to bottom with references.  He bragged about it
to all his friends, until he started looking them up, and realized they
were references all over the Talmud for Am HaAretz (ignoramus)!
  Apparently, the R. was very sharp witted.  I believe I also heard
that he wrote with both hands, sometimes writing 2 things at one
time, such was his brilliance.


End of Volume 9 Issue 30