Volume 9 Number 85
                       Produced: Sun Nov  7 22:33:32 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Agudat Israel
         [Eli Turkel]
Frost-Free freezers on Shabbat
         [Yisrael Sundick]
Measurable phenomena
         [Warren Burstein]
Mincha Minyan
         [Yaakov Kayman]
Noachite Laws
         [Art Kamlet]
Parasha Question and Morid Ha-geshem
         [Michael Gitt]
Peace Accords
         [Morris Podolak]
Redeeming Captives
         [David Clinton]
Torah and Science
         [Robert A. Book]
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 13:23:05 +0200
Subject: Agudat Israel

Allen Elias writes that

>> 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.

    I am not sure exactly what Rabbi Semba was referring to. However, it
is well known that the Brisker Rav (Rav Zeev Yitzhak Soloveitchik) wrote
a letter to Ben Gurion shortly before independence was declared pleading
that there should be no declaration of independence since that will mean
war with the Arabs and the possible annhilation of the yishuv.

Eli Turkel


From: Yisrael Sundick <sas34@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 93 01:31:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Frost-Free freezers on Shabbat

> From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)

> This past Shabbas, a friend said his brother heard a Rabbi say in his
> drush that Frost-Free freezers should not be opened on Shabbas since it
> is certain that a fan will go off. I never heard of this ever in all the
> issues with Fridges and motors. Anybody aware of how this added fact
> affects the issue??

Unfortunatly, very often halachic psak is given with IMHO, minimal
regard or knowledge of the science or engineering facts it is based on.
Namely how is the fridge in question constructed. SOME refrigerators or
freezers have a switch attached to the door controling both the light
and a fan.  (the idea is to turn the fan off when the door is opened to
limit the amount of cold air lost and save some electricity). If this is
the case, the fan will clearly be turned off as soon as the door is
opened and as a direct result of the door opening. NON-frost free
fridges in general tend to be simpler and rairly have a fan to circulate
air inside the fridge.  The compressor and fan cooling the coils on the
fridge are controled by both a thermostat and a clock. This motor is
what most psak generaly refers to in regards to allowing the use of ie
opening and closing of the fridge on Shabbat. It is very easy to
determine how your fridge is wired.  When you open the door does the fan
INSIDE the fridge turn off? Find the button which turns the light on.
when you push it in does the fan turn back on? if so, it is connected to
the fan (you should also check to make sure if there is a second switch
for just the fan) If the fan is controlled by the switch, you must in
some way disconnect the switch. My Rav had a "Shabbat/Chol" switch
installed in his fridge for exactly this reason. Also some brands are
more likely to be wired in this maner, in particular, almost all
Sub-Zero brand fridges are wired this way.


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 06:52:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Measurable phenomena

>Has anyone read _Reality_Revisited_ by Solomon Sassoon? In it, he
>postulates a 4th physical force called a "field of spread", and then
>demonstrates how such a force can account for the development and
>continued existence of intelligent life-forms.

I'm an engineer, not a physicist.  I leafed through the book for quite a
while in a bookstore.  I was unable to comprehend just what the author
was talking about.  It seems possible to me that the book is not about
physical reality (e.g. something falsifiable by experiment) but rather
is philosophy couched in the language of physics.


From: Yaakov Kayman <YZKCU@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 15:25:32 EDT
Subject: Mincha Minyan

There is a Monday-Thursday mincha minyan in the office of Mr. Kohane
(1:45 PM EDT; 12:45 PM EST) in which some readers may be interested. The
building is at Columbus Cirlce at West 58th Street, and the minyan is on
the 12th floor. The phone number is (212) 315-3333.  There is also a
short shi'ur after davening.

I hope this information is helpful to at least some of m-j's readers, and
I will be glad to see them there.

Yaakov K. (<yzkcu@...> on the Internet)


From: <ask@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 93 20:20 EST
Subject: Noachite Laws

>Noachites were obligated in Pru U'revu until Sinai. Since it was not
>repeated there, it became applicable only to Jews. See Sanhedrin 59b,
>Mishneh LeMelekh to Rambam Hilkhot Melakhim 10:7, and Minhat Hinukh to
>the first mitsva.

Perhaps just one more question:  This seems to say since Pru U'revu
was not repeated [ to B'nai Yisrael ] at Sinai that Noachites were
released from that commandment.  If anything, it would seem that G-d
chose not to repeat the commandment to B'nai Yisrael; so it seems to
be counter-intuitive that B'nai Yisrael are obligated to Pru U'revu
yet Noachites are not.  Could someone Please clarify?  Thanks.

Art Kamlet  <a_s_kamlet@...>


From: <gitt@...> (Michael Gitt)
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 93 01:08:25 -0500
Subject: Parasha Question and Morid Ha-geshem

     First, I want to thank all those who responded to my request
regarding tzedaka organizations.  I hope to report on these shortly.
[Responses sent to the mailing list on this topic have been forwarded to
Michael. Mod.]

     The reason for my post today is to ask a couple of questions.
First, in this past week's parashah (Vayera), Sarah laughs about the
possibility that she might have a son in her and her husband's old age.
In perek 18, pasuk 13, Hashem reports Sarah's laughter to Avraham,
asking Avraham why she doesn't believe that this is possible.  This
seems like lashon hara to report Sarah's actions to Avraham.  What was
Hashem's goal here?  Shouldn't He confront Sarah directly about her
deficient faith, rather than run a risk of damaging Shalom Bayit (peace
in the household)?  Rashi doesn't seem to deal with the implications of
this report.  Are we to learn anything from this exchange?

     Second, in the Shmona Esreh, there are a couple additions in the
winter months dealing with rain.  In the g'vurot (G-d's might) blessing,
we say, "mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-geshem (or ha-gashem) (causes the
wind to blow and the rain to fall)" between Shmini Atzeret and Pesach,
and later on in the Amidah, we say "ve-ten tal u-matar livrachah" (and
give dew and rain for a blessing) between the beginning of December till
Pesach.  It's understandable why we do not ask G-d for rain during the
summer months but why do we not say the g'vurot insertion all year long,
since the g'vurot blessing is not a bakashah (request) but one of
praise.  Even though it isn't raining the rest of the year, surely we
still recognize Hashem's role in providing for the Earth and its
inhabitants, and do not forget the importance of rain once the season is

     Good Shabbos to all!
     Michael Gitt


From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 93 04:03:19 -0500
Subject: Peace Accords

I don't necessarily agree with the government's actions in the peace
accords, and I certainly don't want to get into flaming arguments about
them, but I have to comment on the posting quoted below.

> 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.

Rabbi Menachem Zemba was indeed a great man.  A giant both in Torah and
in actions.  He refused to be rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto and
remained with the other Jews there.  He did not survive.  I can't help
wondering whether he and many other Jews would have survived if they had
been more ready to live in a smaller Israel, rather than holding out for
the whole thing.



From: <ai917@...> (David Clinton)
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 10:51:09 -0500
Subject: Redeeming Captives

Seth Magot wrote:

> "rescuing the captives is one of the most important       
> commandments of Judaism."  ...the student wanted to 'see'
> the commandment in the Torah itself.

Perhaps you can show him the Rambam (Matnas Ani'im, chapter 8, para 10)
where he lists four negative commandments and four positive commandments
all dealing directly with this mitzva.

David Clinton


From: <rbook@...> (Robert A. Book)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:48:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Torah and Science

Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...> writes:
>    Pinchas's belief that the mitzva of Shobbos depends on the 6 day
> reading as opposed to the 6 era reading is nonsense. First, of all, I
> think it makes perfect sense for the 7 day (week) cycle to represent a 7
> era (creation) cycle.  Secondly, the posuk he brinks as proof merely
> says "[keep Shobbos] because in six yamim [usually trans. as days] God
> created the heaven and earth]". Of course, if one is interpreting yamim
> as eras with regard to creation, then the word has the same meaning
> here!

We might also note that the six-day period followed by Shabbat is not
the only situation where we observe six periods of work followed by
one period of rest.  The shmitta year [sabbatical year in which the
land lies fallow] is another perfect example.  So, even now we observe
the cycle of six periods followed by a seventh period of rest in
periods of other than 24-hour days.

--Robert Book


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 93 14:03:30 -0500
Subject: Yiddish

Regarding the funny pronunciations of Hebrew words in Yiddish, I would
like to know which of the following is correct:

1) They are mispronounciations of Hebrew words, much as one might
use a French word in English speech and mispronounce it, or

2) They are real Yiddish words, cognate to the Hebrew words, derived
from corruptions thereof and incorporated into Yiddish.

I'm not sure what the linguistic difference between the two cases is,
and I'd appreciate a linguist's opinion.

Ben Svetitsky        <bqs@...>    (temporarily in galut)


End of Volume 9 Issue 85