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Volume 16 : Number 051

Thursday, December 8 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 07:24:04 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
RE: TIDE and TuM

Simcha Coffer:
> The Rambam then goes on to say that it is assur to wear a begged that is
> *miyuchad* to goyim. A tie is not miyuchad to goyim just as pants, shirts,
> jackets and any other universally accepted form of dress are not miyuchad
> to them. You can be sure that R' Moshe would never wear jeans though.

But weren't at least ties at some point miyuchad to non-jews?

Joel rich

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Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 20:59:06 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: TIDE and TuM

On December 7, 2005 Harry Maryles wrote:
>> The Rambam then goes on to say that it is assur to wear a begged that is
>> *miyuchad* to goyim. A tie is not miyuchad to goyim just as pants, shirts,
>> jackets and any other universally accepted form of dress are not miyuchad
>> to them.

> Why are these Beggadim not M'yuchad to Goyim?  Because Jews started
> wearing them.

Wrong. They are not meyuchad to goyim because clothing is a human
accoutrement, not a national one. The Torah talks about pants and suits and
shirts etc. and it was written far before any current culture was conceived.
As a nation, we've been around for over 3000 years. If anything, we have
been imitated, not the converse. But neither is true. Staple clothing is
uniform to all classes of humanity however, within the various
classifications of clothing, there are styles and colours that make the
clothing conspicuously associated with a certain group or culture. Also,
there are colours, such as black, that are inherently Jewish due to their
modest nature. The Rambam requires a Jew to dress conspicuously Jewish which
is partially the animating force behind the black hat / shtreimel / kappota
etc. minhagim of certain Jews.  

> I do not remember seeing his Teshuva Assuring Blue Jeans.

I'm not saying that they are assur but they definitely label you.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 23:12:38 -0500
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
RE: Being exposed to minus

R' Simcha Coffer quoted
>>> an open halacha. The Rambam in Hilchos AZ perek 5 halacha
>>> 11 states: "v'chol AZ hakisuva bikisvei hakodesh mutar
>>> lihazkir shimah" and he goes on to give examples of some
>>> AZ in nach (as opposed to Tanach)

And he offers this explanation:
>>> Perhaps the answer is that at the time these AZ initially
>>> appeared, it was takka assur to speak their names but
>>> once they entered the canon they became mutar.

I do not understand. To me it sounds like circular logic. How does
writing the name in kisvei kodesh magically remove an issur d'Oraisa?

I offer a contrasting example. Suppose there is a certain garment which
was worn only by women in the days of Moshe Rabenu, and was therefore
assur for men to wear, because of Beged Isha. In a certain culture,
styles slowly changed, and men began to wear it. The first men to do
so would have violated Beged Isha, but eventually it became mutar for
men to wear that garment. Now, this is *not* a case of a halacha which
changed; the only thing that changed is the status of this garment:
First it was in one category, and now it is in the other category,
and the halacha (which only spoke of categories and never of specific
garments) remains unchanged.

But that is NOT what happened to the names of these AZs. Let's take,
for example, the AZ whose name was "Nergal", mentioned in Melachim Beis
17:30. "Nergal" was the name of an AZ then, and it is the name of an
AZ nowadays. In what way has it changed? What is the new category that
it entered?

If someone would say that "It is assur to speak the name of an AZ who
has followers, but if no one prays to that AZ then it loses its status
as an AZ and it is mutar to say its name", then I would understand the
change in status, because the name is in a different category. But that is
NOT what is being said. RSC's Rambam draws the line between those whose
name appears in kisvei hakodesh and those whose name does not appear in
kisvei hakodesh. Why would that be relevant to an issur which appeared
before the kisvei hakodesh were written?

Here's my guess:

Perhaps there was a mesorah, a list which existed only in Torah Sheb'al
Peh, passed down from Moshe Rabenu to Yehoshua and the rest. It was
a list of names which HaShem Himself exempted from the issur against
speaking the name of an AZ. If an AZ appeared in a later generation,
and its name was on this list, it was mutar to say the name. But if
its name was not on the list, then its name could not be mentioned. It
turns out that the author of Sefer Melachim was privy to that list, and
"Nergal" was indeed listed there, and that's why he could recite that
name and write it in the sefer for us. Likewise for all the other AZs
whose names appear in Tanach: The fact that it appears in Tanach is a
guarantee that it was on the list, so we can pronounce it. But any AZ
whose name does not appear in Tanach, we have no way of knowing whether
it had been on the list, so we must avoid uttering it.

Far-fetched? Yes, of course. Anyone got anything better?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 11:03:19 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: midvar sheker tirchak

Per Mike Wiesenberg:
>>Ibn Ezra points out that this is pasuk warning dayanim to be honest(see
>>also shevous 31a, where it is interpreted as such). Merely lying with
>>no financial gain involved is not necessarily assur.

While I agree the pasuk prohiting lying is referring to the court
system - but that doesn't mean that lying is not prohibited. There is a
prohibition of geneivas daas (hilchos deo's 2:6) - one can not deceive
another. Also Hilchos Mechira 18:1, Tur CM 228 SA CM 228:6 Kitzur Shulchan
Aruch #63.

 The prohibition of geneivas daas is doreissa [this is fully discussed
in Encyclopeida Talmudis] - it is included in the prohibition of stealing
Vayikra 19:2. While it seems to be focused primarily on the issue
of whether a favor is genuinely being done - it also includes the
prohbition against magic according to the Rambam and Radvaz.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 13:50:29 -0500
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
RE: Torah Riddles

From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
>> Riddle:
>> When is it permitted to say that you heard something from someone,
>> even if in truth you haven't?

>> Qualifier:
>> Although giving a case of being "m'shaneh m'pneh hashalom" would
>> technically answer the question; that is not the answer we're looking for.

>The witnesses in a blasphemy case are permitted - and required - to
>testify that they heard the defendant curse some poor guy by the name
>of Yossi, even though in fact they heard nothing of the sort. For all
>they know, Yossi is the defendant's best friend, and he would never say
>anything bad about him. Only when the judges are about to vote for a
>conviction do they ask the witnesses to repeat the defendant's exact
>words, just in case it turns out that he really did curse Yossi, which
>isn't a crime (unless Yossi is deaf or a judge). (I wonder what would
>happen to witnesses who pulled a "prank" like that; after all, at no point
>did they tell anything but the exact truth, so how can they be punished?)

This is an interesting answer. It seems to fit the riddles conditions.

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
>To get people to accept a devar Torah or pesaq that they wouldn't accept
>if you said in the name of your real source.

This is the primary answer the sheet gives.

Due to OCR problems I have not been successful in posting
the sheet to Avodah directly. It can be viewed here:

In essence, my OCR can't handle a document with both Hebrew and English,
it converts the Hebrew to gibberish so that I can't just retype those
few words to English. If someone knows of a workaround, please contact me.


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Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 10:05:30 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: R" Akiva and Yaakov Avinu

 From RTzH in Avodah V16 #48:
> If anyone has something to add, I'll be happy to here about.

In the d'var Torah I gave during the s'udas mitzva after bringing my son
Akiva Moshe (named after my late father Ya'akov Moshe) into bris Avraham,
I noted that Akiva big'matria was one more (yes, the aleph in "Akiva")
than Ya'akov and expanded a bit on that thought utilizing some concepts
("b'damayich chayee," l'shonos g'ula) from the recent chag (my son was
born on LaB BaOmer).

All the best from
 -Michael Poppers via RIM pager

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Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 11:01:33 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: shnayim mikra

In a message dated 11/22/2005 4:34:39pm EST, gershonseif@yahoo.com writes:
> Question for you all.... is there a source that says one is obligated
> to say/read shnayim mikra v'echad targum out loud? perhaps just reading
> would suffice....

I would assume that if there is question regarding the Trop that it means an 
actual reading, and see Pri Mgodim M"Z end of simon 285 which implies that 
this is a Mitzvah haTolui bDibur.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 08:00:24 +1100
From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
cheese and honey

Why is the enzyme that changes nectar into honey (see below) different
to the enzyme that changes milk into cheese.

From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky - FAM" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 10:41:22 -0400 (EDT)
> To better understand what the rabbis were referring to, I consulted with
> Gene E. Robinson, Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois
> and a specialist in bees. He noted that what comes out of the bee as
> honey is not identical to what the bee takes in via its proboscis.

> Enzymes in the bee's saliva acts upon the 12-carbon sucrose molecules
> in nectar and splits them each into two 6-carbon molecules, glucose
> and fructose. Saliva also causes a steep drop in the Ph of the
> honey compared to nectar. Finally, the honey is fanned by the bees
> to concentrate it. Robinson agreed that the talmudic distinction was
> solid. The bee does not decompose food into base components and then
> "produce" honey. Nothing new is added to the nectar besides the minute
> quantities of enzymes, nor is it ever decomposed. The nectar is indeed
> "spit back out," having undergone only a minor chemical transformation.

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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 00:02:52 +1100
From: Rael Levinsohn <ralevinsohn@gmail.com>
hair question 1

I have some questions halacha lameisa. Of recent as I mentioned on my blog
http://www.emet.blog-city.com [see under the right side bar under halacha
for my posts on the electric shaver] I have begun to use depilatory cream
to remove for my beard, for a variety of reasons among them halachic ones.

I want to write some more posts regarding "hair" in halacha and also
for my own personal knowledge. I therefore need some answers regarding
these questions. My sources mainly come from a brilliant article found
at http://www.koshershaver.com/why.htm

"Most poskim permit the use of shaving cream to remove one's beard.
Although it burns off all the facial hair to which it is applied, and it
is considered to be destroying the hair, nevertheless, its fails to meet
the guidelines of shaving. Care should be taken when using shaving cream,
that one does not use a hard and sharp item to assist in the removal of
the hair. This is because any hair that has not yet been totally burned
off by the cream, will be cut with the sharp item. Consequently, one
would be performing an act of shaving and destroying, which is forbidden."

My question is:

1) What falls under this category of "hard and sharp"?. (I spoke to a
Rabbi recently and he said that in Europe they used a piece of wood to
remove the cream afterwards)

2) I personally use a towel (like a hand towel) to remove the cream,
but my question is as follows. Sometimes when one uses the cream, the
hair gets "frizzled up" (for lack of a better word). So basically it
is still attached to the face by its roots, but it is all "burnt up".
One needs to rub the towl on his face (sometimes one can even use ones
hands) to get these hairs off. My question is in this circumstance for
these "frizzled hairs" that are still attached to the face by the roots,
is one doing "giluach" with the face towel?

[Depilotory cream is mutar because it only achieves destruction. But if
the towel or wood or whatever is achieving "shaving" ie giluach when
passed over it defeats the whole point, because now its equivalent to
a razor]

I hope I have been able to quantify and get my questions accross

Looking forward to some responses,
Rael Levinsohn

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 01:20:30 +0200
From: Simon Montagu <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Re: Q on Parshas Shemos

On 12/7/05, S & R Coffer <rivkyc@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> The reason I didn't choose
> Yisro's daughters is because when the Torah mentions that they were
> shepherdesses, Moshe had just escaped mitzrayim and was a young man. When
> Hashem spoke to him, he was eighty years old. I'm sure Yisro's daughters
> weren't still shepherding their father's flock 50-60 years later. They
> were alta bubbas by then. (OTOH, Moshe, despite his age, was robust
> until the day he died.)

According to the Ramban on 2:23, RMAH spent around 60 years on the run
from Pharaoh without going into any inhabited towns, and only arrived
in Midian a few years before Hashem spoke to him. Ayen Sham.

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 16:28:42 -0500
From: "Jonathan Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
RE: Age of the Universe (and Rabbi Miller Shlit"a re Bell's theorem and EPR)

[RYGB wrote]
>>I spoke to Rabbi Miller Shlit"a this morning and he said that, 
>>according to our mesora, Dr. Schroeder's approach to time during the 6 
>>days of creation is also wrong!

> Uh-uh. What you say he told you (below) is that a specific 
> point of the Schroeder approach is incorrect - to wit, his 
> incorporation of human evolution into his approach. This is 
> true, and it is a problem I have with Schroeder as well. He 
> did not tell you that the application of the theory of 
> relativity to the time of Sheishes Yemei Bereishis is incorrect.

He specifically said that Dr. Schroeder is wrong on the *time* of Sheishes
Yemei Bereishis --- there were no billions and billions of days (or years),
as all we know is that it occurred in six days regardless of perspective. 

Please read my post again.


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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 15:53:13 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: billions of years

On Wed, Dec 07, 2005 at 11:15:38PM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote [also to Areivim]:
:                        [I]t may be believing that that the world is
: billions of years old may (or ,ay not) be apikorsus but it definitely
: is not wrong.

The Rambam makes the (obvious, to my mind) point that the truth could
never be apiqursus. He used it with the example of what would happen has
Aristotle's "proof" that the universe had no begining were valid. I'm
not sure I'm interested in depating with RMShinar again about how the
Rambam feels we should deal with cases where mandatory belief seems
false. But all contradictions must come from misunderstood science or
misunderstandings of the Torah.


Micha Berger             Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of
micha@aishdas.org        greater vanity in others; it makes us vain,
http://www.aishdas.org   in fact, of our modesty.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              -Louis Kronenberger, writer (1904-1980)

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 17:03:26 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Age of the Universe (and Rabbi Miller Shlit"a re Bell's theorem and EPR)

On Thu, Dec 08, 2005 at 04:28:42PM -0500, Jonathan Ostroff wrote:
: He specifically said that Dr. Schroeder is wrong on the *time* of
: Sheishes Yemei Bereishis --- there were no billions and billions of days
: (or years), as all we know is that it occurred in six days regardless
: of perspective.

Relativity was not only experimentally proven, but it stymied early
efforts at GPS. Currently, recievers have to compensate for shifts in
timing due to the difference between the reciever's frame of reference
and the the satellite's.

Thus, one can construct an infinite number of frames of reference that fit
the equations of turning 1 week into the appropriate billions of years.
Are any of them significant? And if so, are any of them significant to
peshat in the pasuq?

But if R' Miller really said "regardless of perspective", he doesn't know
the relevent science or rejects its truth. (In which case, how does it
account for the needed GPS software?)

To illustrate my problem understanding this mehalekh....

RNS's discussing Mike the Headless Chicken was a factor in getting more
rabanim to ban his work. But Mike was on the geek circuit for over a
year. There are pictures, etc... How does disccusing how "pesiq reishei"
works lehalakhah even if the category gets its name from a circumstance
that is "only" nearly always true threaten emunah?

It's like denying relativity, but more so. Or denying something
provable by anyone with access to an elephant, or even a structural
model of one.

We're not talking about archeology or paleontology. We're talking about
events with living witnesses. Not even arguments over what is theory
are relevent; this is experimental data being denied.


Micha Berger             "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
micha@aishdas.org        heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org   Love is not two who look at each other,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      It is two who look in the same direction.

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 17:25:32 -0500
From: "Jonathan Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
RE: Toriah on the Fossil Record

[I forwarded the following -mi:]
> "We note that fossils of dinosaurs can form rapidly, that 
> their bones are discovered on or near the surface, that the 
> bones look fresh and could even be confused with bison or cow 
> bones (both large mammals)."

> But the authors of Toriah then follow this up with this sentence:
> "This means that dinosaur bones (ancient reptiles) and large 
> mammals are found in the same layer."

> Yet this statement completely does not follow from the 
> previous one! The fact that certain dinosaur fossils were 
> initially mistaken for bison bones, and were exposed when the 
> rock was worn away, does not mean that dinosaur bones are 
> actually found in the same layer of rock as bison bones!

How do you know that 65 million years of rocks wore away?

Why would the discovers think the dinosaur bones are bison bones if they
were not found where bison bones are found?

This was not just one bone but thousands of bones. As Curie
states: "A more spectacular example was found on the North Slope of
Alaska, where many thousands of bones lack any significant degree of
perrnineralization. The bones look and feel like old cow bones, and the
discoverers of the site did not report it for twenty years because they
assumed they were bison, not dinosaur, bones."

Although the site is described as late Cretaceous (overlain by much later
Plio-Pleistocene) which of course depends on speculative dating methods,
the reason they thought they were mamallian bison bones is because they
were not buried deep in the rock; rather, it is described as a surface
collection (as stated lower in the post, see below). It is quite amazing
that bones so exposed would still seem fresh if 65 million years had
already passed.

I was myself astonished to read that Curie states that fossilization of
dinsours could have occurred in a matter of days because I had always
thought that fosils indicate extreme age.

Even more remarkable and unexpected are the finds that have been reported
in Science recently with soft tissue and cells that look like blood
cells now being found in T. Rex, whereas DNA normally decomposes within
thousands (not millions) of years. The researcher who made these finds
was shocked that the there would still be DNA. (references available
on request). When you look at the photos in the Science article you see
read tissue!



 From: Duck-bill dinosuars (Hadrosauridae, Ortnithiscia) from the North
Slope of Alaska. KYLE L. DAVIES. Journal of Paleontology, v. 61, no.1,
January 1987, pages 198-200.

HADROSAUR BONES have been found on the Colville River north of Umiat
on the North Slope of Alaska. This find represents the first report of
dinosaur bones in Alaska and their northernmost reported occurrence. ...

The hadrosaur bones were collected in 1961 by the late R. L. Liscomb while
working for Shell Oil Company. Renewed research around the Colville River
led to the bones being sent to the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park,
where they were tentatively identified as hadrosaurian by C. Repenning. He
sent the bones to the Texas Memorial Museum for further investigation,
and the Shell Oil Company was kind enough to donate the bones to TMM for
safekeeping. The bones were found on the Colville River at approximately
70N, 151 W (Figure 1), and the site was relocated in 1984 by two U.S.
Geological Survey field parties (C. Repenning, personal common.). The
site is easily accessible by float plane or helicopter, common means of
transportation in the area, and to deter possible vandalism it is felt
best not to reveal the exact location of the site. Precise locality
information is on file at TMM.

The site occurs in what is mapped as undifferentiated Upper Colville
Group of Late Cretaceous age, which is overlain by the Plio(?)-Pleistocene
Gubik Formation (Brosge and Whittington, 1966). Recent studies. however,
have indicated Paleogene rocks in this region (Carter et al., 1977;
Nelson, 1981: Marincovich et al., 1983). Pending resolution of the
stratigraphy, beds underlying the Gubik Formation in the region are being
referred to simply as "pre-Gubik" (Carter et al., 1977; R. V. Emmons,
personal commun.). Hadrosaurs are exclusively Late Cretaceous and their
presence limits the age of the pre-Gubik rocks. "This datum has allowed
H. J. Clippinger to interpret somewhat contaminated pollen samples and
establish a Maastrichtian or possibly Campanian age for the strata 28
feet above and 12 feet below the dinosaur bed. Foraminifera 2 feet below
the bone bed indicate a shallow marine environment" (Shell Oil Company
memorandum, with per-mission of R. V. Emmons and H. J. Clippinger).

Shell Oil Company's stratigraphic section of the locality shows the fossil
bones come from a thin sandstone in pre-Gubik silty sands. Matrix still
adhering to the bones is a soft, brown, sandy silt.

The bones, catalogued as TMM 42475-1. apparently represent a quick surface
collection by Liscomb, and consist of fragments of limb bones, ribs,
and vertebrae. The quality of preservation is remarkable. The bones are
stained a dark red brown but otherwise display little permineralization,
crushing, or distortion. None of the diagnostic cranial or pelvic bones
were recovered, so determination below family level is not possible.

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