Volume 9 Number 78
                       Produced: Wed Nov  3 19:39:57 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature
         [Gerald Sacks]
Evolution (3)
         [Kenneth L. Menken, Bob Werman, Michael Allen]
Gematria of Ba'kol
         [Chaim Schild]
Kosher Symbol
         [Harry Weiss]
Peace Accords
         [Allen Elias]
Rambam Yomi (Daily Rambam)
         [Avi Bloch]
Rescuing the Captive
         [Seth Magot]
Samkhem Bevinyan Shalem
         [Michael R. Stein]


From: Gerald Sacks <sacks@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 01:47:04 EST
Subject: Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature

Way back around Volume 6 number 84, there was a discussion of how to
dispose of "messianic" literature containing shaimos.  I mentioned a
gemorah that said that a Sefer Torah written by an apikores should be
burned.  I wasn't sure where this gemorah was, but since I'm a Daf Yomi
participant, I had hoped to be able to answer within 7.5 years.  Lo and
behold, only 7 months later I have the answer -- it's in Gittin 45b.


From: menken (Kenneth L. Menken)
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 00:11:19 -0400
Subject: Evolution

In Vol. 9 #71, David Charlap writes:

>Although the "missing links" are (for the most part) still
>missing, the underlying principles of natural selection are very real.

>For instance, there is a species of crab (near Japan) whose back bears
>the image of a Samurai warrior.  This happened because, for the last
>thousand years or so, Japanese fishermen would refuse to eat a crab
>whose back pattern resembled samurai warrior.  So all the
>non-samurai-back crabs got eaten, and the others were thrown back, to
>reproduce and spread their genetics.  Today, it is very rare to find any
>crabs of this species that do not have this imprint.

That, however, does not create a new species, but only a shift
in the proportion of animals of the _same_ species bearing a particular 
trait.  Take, for example, the British moths often used as a perfect
example of natural selection.  Originally the majority were white -- when
soot from factories made the trees black, the white were often eaten and
over time the black, properly camouflaged moths became the majority.

Today, with environmental controls, the trees -- AND the moths - are 
WHITE again!  In other words, white AND black always existed, remained
in existence during the "Sooty era" and still exist today. NO new
species emerged.

>>Evolution makes no predictions and can never be tested. It can also, by
>>that same token, never be disproved, since any incongruous fact will be
>>absorbed and fitted in somehow to the new new revised really correct
>>theory of evolution.Since it can't predict anything it serves no
>>scientific purpose - it is merely a tool to support a metaphysical
>>arguement about the existence of G-d.

>Again, I don't think you're right here.  Natural selection makes very
>definite predictions.  A species that can not survive will die off and
>be subsumed by another.  We see it in Australia, where the rabbit
>population explodes out of control, due to lack of predators.

That is not a _prediction_: a definite, a priori claim which IF NOT
LATER OBSERVED DISPROVES THE THEORY. Such as: a feather and a stone, 
when dropped in a vacuum, will accelerate and fall at the same rates.
This is true, and PROVES the Theory of Gravity.

>I can use it to predict that the Panda will almost certainly become 
>extinct, since it's digestive system is incapable of properly processing
>it's preferred diet.

This again fails the test.  Almost certainly is NOT a prediction - if the
Panda FAILS to become extinct, that will not disprove evolution. On the 
contrary, the fact that the Panda exists in the first place _should_
be regarded as a problem! But no - if tomorrow a rabbit gives birth to a 
frog, that too would not disprove evolution. A theory that cannot be dis-
proven cannot, by definition, make predictions. In ANY part of science - 
Physics, Chemistry, OR Biology, a theory that cannot make predictions is 
of no _scientific_ value. 

Ken Menken

From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 17:51:26 -0400
Subject: RE: Evolution

David Charlap writes:

>For instance, there is a species of crab (near Japan) whose back bears
>the image of a Samurai warrior.  This happened because, for the last
>thousand years or so, Japanese fishermen would refuse to eat a crab
>whose back pattern resembled samurai warrior.  So all the
>non-samurai-back crabs got eaten, and the others were thrown back, to
>reproduce and spread their genetics.  Today, it is very rare to find any
>crabs of this species that do not have this impring.

>The original image could have appeared through almost any means -
>probably through random chance, since the species has fossils millions
>of years old, and thousands of different back-patterns existed at one

>[and].....Evolution is simply natural selection on a much larger scale.

As a shomer mitzvot who professes biology, I am reluctant to enter the
argument for or against evolution, which I cannot fail to teach.

Natural selection, though, is merely wishful thinking or sometimes
circular reasoning in evolutionary circles.  The idea is based on the
work of the breeders who indeed [unnaturally] select the qualities they
hope to breed.  Most evolutionary records, even the most complete ones,
argue for punctate evolution, with leaps "forward" to the next step.
The argument for survival of the fittest is similarly circular; that
which survives is somehow "best fitted" for survival.

The crab story, although lovely, is anecdotal, and unproven.  The famous
experiment of cutting off the mouse tails for twenty generations showed
the opposite side of that coin.  Don't take it too seriously.

__Bob Werman     <rwerman@...>      Jerusalem

From: Michael Allen <allen@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 19:34:59 -0400
Subject: Evolution

>> From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
>> just two points,
>> 1. there are thousands of transitional fossils.
>> 2. there are many instances of observed evolution-speciation.

Please provide references.  As far as I know the best "transitional"
fossil record we have is the horse.  Even in this case there are no new
features, only increased and decreased prominence of already existing
features.  In fact, I would like to know how one distinguishes between
evolution and the kind of phased creation that the Torah describes based
on the fossil record anyway.

There are certainly much evidence for specialization.  In fact, one can
actually do experiments that show this kind of specialization, since the
type of changes that are touted as evidence for evolution usually occur
in a few generations (tens or less).  Just looking at all the different
kinds of dogs is a fair indication of the kind of variety that is
possible within a species, and most of that variety has occurred in the
last few centuries.  What happened during all those supposed 100's of
millions of years?

But what about the evidence that tipped Darwin to his hypotheses, the
incredible variety of life forms that are so beautifully matched to
their environment?  The Zohar already discusses this, and says that
HaShem wanted to maximize the expression of His Glory in the world.  The
point is not to prove that this is the real reason, but to point out
that there are other solutions to the problem that fit/explain the data
and are not contrived within the total world view of which the origin of
species is one small part.


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 10:24:38 EST
Subject: Gematria of Ba'kol

In Drash Moshe for this weeks parsha Chaya Sarah...Reb Moshe z"l notes
that Rashi says that the gematria of ba'kol is equal to son. (Avaraham
was blessed ba'kol) He makes further comments on this that I did not
follow. Anyone have a chance to look it up and explain ??



From: Harry Weiss <73132.2266@...>
Date: 31 Oct 93 11:50:04 EST
Subject: Kosher Symbol

The map of the US with KOA inside is the symbol of "KOA" Subsidiary of
Orthodox Association for the Observance of Kashruth, 72 Ascension St.
Passaic, NJ 07055 201-777-0649, Grand Rabbi Meir Issacson (Romander Rav
of Statn Island) Halachic Authority; Rabbi ShlomoIssacson, President and
Kashrus Coordinator; Rabbi Chaim Sholom Issacson, Executive Director.

This should not be confused with the Map of the US with only a K which
is Rabbi Yehudah Bukspan of Los Angeles.  This information was taken
from Kashrus Magazine.



From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 30 Oct 93 15:39:58 EDT
Subject: Peace Accords

Rabbi Menachem Zemba hy"d speaking at a meeting of Agudat Israel before WWII
said in response to the Partition resolution by the Peel commission (1937):

Only those who are willing to cut out parts of the Torah are willing
to agree to cutting out parts of Eretz Israel.


From: <avi@...> (Avi Bloch)
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 01:46:51 EST
Subject: Rambam Yomi (Daily Rambam)

Several years ago Chabad suggested learning a daily dose of Rambam. They
initiated several cycles depending on the amount learnt each day.

What I would like to know is if anyone knows how to get the relevant
information pertaining to these cycles, i.e., where they're up to know,
how much is learnt each day, a calendar for each cycle, etc.

Although I read m-j, I am so far behind that I won't see the answers. So
please email me. [Send it to the list as well, so it will be there if
anyone else is interested. Mod]

Thanks & kol tuv.
Avi Bloch <avi@...>


From: Seth Magot <MAGOT@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 93 13:12 EST
Subject: Rescuing the Captive

I am presently team teaching a class on midrash.  One of the books being
used is "A Torah Commentary For Our Times" by H.J. Fields.  In this book
(pg 41) there is a quote from Genesis Rabbah (43:2) -> "rescuing the
captives is one of the most important commandments of Judaism."  One of
the students who is a survivor who was born in Yugosolvia, found this
most interesting.  He wanted to know is this statement is 'still true.'
He asked in connection with the Jews who are (to use his term) trapped
in Yugosolvia.

I have a problem with the use of the word 'commandment' in the
translation.  Because the student wanted to 'see' the commandment in the
Torah itself.  This commentary was alluding to were Abraham rescues Lot
after he had been taken captive.  Any halachic (or related) help would
be appreciated.

Seth Magot


From: <mike@...> (Michael R. Stein)
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 01:36:19 EST
Subject: Re: Samkhem Bevinyan Shalem

In Mail.Jewish Volume 9 Number 73, <mpkramer@...> (Michael Kramer)
asks for the source for the lyric "Samkhem bevinyan shalem".  

It can be found in "Kol m'kadesh shvi'i" (recited on Friday nights) near
the end of one of the middle verses.  I learned this from Sid Mosenkis
(ha'omer davar b'shem omro.....).

Mike Stein

[Same response also sent in by Lenny Oppenheimer. Mod]


End of Volume 9 Issue 78