Volume 9 Number 95
                       Produced: Thu Nov 11 23:23:45 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

AJOP Members
         [Ken Yaakov Menken]
Avram's Converts
         [Jonathan Baker]
Healing a Non-Jew on Shabbat
         [Jeff Woolf]
Hechshers and your LOR (2)
         [Gerald Sacks, Chaim Schild]
How a 4- or 5-year-old boy in Vilna learned Parashat Toldot
         [Yitzhak Teutsch]
Mincha Posting
         [Mayer Danziger ]
Ramban on Genesis 1:1
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
Rashi and Ramban on Beginning of Berashit
         [Pinchus Laufer]
         [Yechiel Wachtel]


From: Ken Yaakov Menken <ny000548@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 93 18:38:40 -0500
Subject: AJOP Members

The Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals is interested in
creating a new mailing list for members - they have been trying a
stand-alone BBS with quite limited success, and I'm convincing them that
Internet is a much better alternative!

If any readers are AJOP members, they should please write me for futher
information: <menken@...>  Thanks!

Yaakov Menken


From: <baker@...> (Jonathan Baker)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 93 09:16:23 -0500
Subject: Avram's Converts

A question came up at shale-shudis (interesting term, that) a few weeks
ago which our rabbi couldn't answer; I thought I'd put it to the list.

In Bereshit 12:5, Avram is described as traveling with, among others,
"hanefesh asher asu b'Charan" [the soul(s) which they had made in
Charan].  The Midrash Rabbah translates this as "the converts which they
had made in Charan" (loosely).  What happened to these converts?  Did
they marry in with Avram's descendents?  Did they revert to their old
ways after Avram died?  Did they go down to Egypt?  Nobody could find a
hint of their fate, at least in the limited resources at our shul.

	Jonathan Baker


From: Jeff Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 09:23:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Healing a Non-Jew on Shabbat

Regarding healing a Non-Jew, Aiva is a potent argument on Shabbat and is
strongly maintained by Rav Dr Moshe David Tendler.

                                            Jeff Woolf


From: Gerald Sacks <sacks@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 14:20:53 -0500
Subject: Hechshers and your LOR

Regarding widely-accepted hashgachas, besides the ones mentioned by David
Charlap (OU, OK, Chaf-K), there's Star-K (R. Heinemann) and KAJ (K'hal Adath
Jeshurun, aka Breuer's).

From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 14:21:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Hechshers and your LOR

From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
> I know with almost certainty that everybody accepts O-U, O-K, and
> Chaf-K.  Only a very very small minority do not accept these.

Ah, broad sweeping statements :). Although, most people do hold by those
hechshers, one must qualify the statement. Real Right-Wing Black Hatters
who only eat pas, bishul, and cholov Israel would not eat such items
(bread/cookies, milk etc) with the above hechshers unless they knew more
details aqbout the item.



From: Yitzhak Teutsch <TEUTSCH@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 14:20:58 -0500
Subject: How a 4- or 5-year-old boy in Vilna learned Parashat Toldot

This week being Parashat Toldot, I thought I would share with fellow
m-j'ers a short passage from the introduction to the Binyan Shelomoh
(Vilna, 1888), in which the author, R. Shelomoh Hakohen of Vilna,
describes an interesting exchange between his father and his older
brother Bezalel concerning Parashat Toldot.  (The translation is my

     "When my Father of blessed memory merited to raise in Torah his
beloved son--my brother the gaon R. Bezalel Hakohen, may the memory of
the righteous be for a blessing--he himself began to learn with him
Chumash with Rashi's commentary in the proper order and all of Talmud,
thereby fulfilling what is written in the Torah: 'You shall teach them
to your children...'  (Deut. 6:7).
     "And I heard from my Father that when he was learning Chumash with
Rashi's commentary with my brother--my brother being at the time a boy
of four or five years of age--and they came to the verse in Parashat
Toldot: 'He [Yaakov] brought it [the food] close to him [Yitzhak] and he
[Yitzhak] ate; he [Yaakov] brought to him [Yitzhak] wine and he
[Yitzhak] drank' (Gen. 27:25), my brother asked Father from where did
Yaakov have wine to bring to his father, for Rivka had given Yaakov only
two young goats for a tasty dish, and nowhere in the verses is there any
mention of Rivka giving Yaakov wine.
     "At the moment Father did not know how to respond.  On the
following day, however, Father chanced upon a Chumash with the Targum of
Yonatan ben Uziel, and he saw that the Targum comments there that an
angel brought wine from the Garden of Eden to Yaakov, and Yaakov brought
it to his father Yitzhak, and Yitzhak drank.  Father showed my brother
this Targum in order to answer his question.
     "Immediately my brother answered that it would appear that the
interpretation of the Targum was, in fact, hinted at in the verse, for
in the phrase 'brought to him,' the cantillation merkha khefula appears
below the word 'to him,' and it is well known that the melody of a
merkha khefula sounds as if the word is said two times--since one needs
to prolong the chanting of this cantillation--and consequently it is as
if the word 'to him' is written twice in the verse, (and the melody of
the cantillations has its origin at Mount Sinai, as is known), and thus
comes to hint that the angel brought the wine 'to him'--to Yaakov, and
Yaakov brought the wine 'to him'--to Yitzhak.
     "Father nodded his head and said to my brother, 'You have spoken

(R. Bezalel Hakohen is known as the author of responsa and the "Mareh
Kohen" commentary in the back of the Vilna Shas; his brother R. Shelomoh
Hakohen, also known for his responsa, wrote the "Cheshek Shelomoh"
commentary in the Vilna Shas as well as innumerable haskamot
[approbations], including one to the Mishnah Berurah.)

May we all merit raising children with such Torah insights!
Good Shabbos to all, Yitzhak

                              Yitzhak Teutsch
                         Harvard Law School Library
                           Cambridge, Mass. 02138
                               (617) 495-4295


From: diverdan!<mayer@...> (Mayer Danziger )
Date: 11 Nov 93 19:30:40 GMT
Subject: Mincha Posting

There is a Monday-Thursday Mincha minyan at At&T 30 Knightsbridge Rd. in
Piscataway. The minyan is in one of the second floor conference rooms.
Check 2nd floor bulletin board for the daily location. Non-AT&T people
are welcome, just tell the security guard you are here for services and
you will get a visitor's pass. Time is 12:30.

Mayer Danziger


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <ACOOPER@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 10:20:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Ramban on Genesis 1:1

With all respect, David Clinton has completely misunderstood Ramban to
Genesis 1:1.  Mr. Clinton is correct in his characterization of one of
Rashi's statements about the verse, namely that the fact of creation
justifies God's apportioning territory to whomever he chooses--a sort of
divine right of eminent domain.  But Ramban cites that interpretation in
order to reject it--yesh lish'ol bah, he writes ("This must be
questioned.")!  Much more is at stake in this story, according to
Ramban, then an apology for Israel's dispossession of the Canaanites.
Rather, it is shoresh ha-emunah ("the root of our faith"), containing
profound secrets that can only be comprehended by means of the qabbalah.
Ramban alludes to and skirts around those "secrets" throughout his
commentary on the verse.  A clearer statement is in Rabbeinu Bachya's
introduction to his Torah commentary, esp. on pp. 12-13 of the Chavel
edition published by Mosad haRav Kook.  "On the basis of belief in the
creation of the world ex nihilo, a person can attain knowledge of Hashem
yitbarakh by meanans of His ways and deeds, and this is the most that a
person can attain."  Now I will not pretend that this point is simple,
or easily explicable.  I hope, however, that it will confirm my original
point, which is that Ramban and R. Bachya do not view the creation story
as providing us with knowledge of the *world*, whether of the scientific
or historical variety, but with access to knowledge of *God*, the
attainment of which represents our ultimate felicity.

With good wishes,
Alan Cooper


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 14:21:37 -0500
Subject: Rashi and Ramban on Beginning of Berashit

From: <ai917@...> (David Clinton)

>I'm afraid I'm not sure where this Ramban is.  The very first Ramban in
>Chumash (which is really only explaining the first Rashi) ascribes the
>Torah's need to include details of the creation story, not to
>"demonstrate that if there is no God..." but to provide the Jews with a
>legal claim to Israel on their first entry (40 yrs after the giving of
>the Torah).

>I'm teaching this parsha to my high school classes this year, so I'd
>appreciate these sources (i.e. your Ramban and Rebbeinu Bachya).

Check that first Ramban again - including the introductory material.

(1) The Ramban states that the purpose of all the stories are moral lessons
(2) puts a very different spin on the "legal claim" interpretation.



From: Yechiel Wachtel <YWACHTEL@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 01:16:59 PST
Subject: Refrigerators

	I think that the subject of refrigerators was discussed a while
back, but just to clarify a point I would like to add my 2 agurot again.
As mentioned the frost free refrigerators work with a fan forcing air
across a coil and distributing it throughout the box. (as an air
conditioner does to a room) Some models have door switches that shut the
fan off when you open the refrigerator door, on some the switch is
located on the freezer door, on some they are on both doors, on some it
is the same switch as the light, on some there is a separate switch.
CYLOMechanic (?!?!)
 The MACHON TECHNOLAGY in Bayit Vegan issued a list of the workings of
several brands of refrigerators, or one can use the sound test as
	When the refrigerator coil freezes up it is defrosted by a
timing devise (approx. every 6 hours) that activates a NOT so small
heating coil, some models are from 500-750 watt. The defrost cycle is
timed for 30 minutes(approx.) but the heaters can be stopped by a
thermostat on top of the coil.  This timing devise is SOMETIMES wired in
series with the ON/OFF thermostat, so that the defrost cycle if it was
programmed for 6 hours, is 6 hours of running time. SO the question was
asked, by causing the refrigerator to turn on or run longer you are
causing the heating elements to turn on sooner, theses heating elements
get red hot,thus an issur deoraysa. (The list from the MACHON also lists
the different models and if there timers are wired in series with the
thermostat or not. I did not intend on getting involved in the halachic
point to point out that the LORs do know what they are talking about as
the MACHONs list can verify.
	The above heating element question was one of the reasons the
Tadiran Shabbos refrigerator was manufactured. On this model you push
the Shabbos button the thermostat is overrided and the rerigerator
cycled by another timing device and the light switch bypassed, if I
remember correctly .


End of Volume 9 Issue 95