Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 162

Saturday, August 14 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 16:01:10 -0400
From: Sholem Berger <bergez01@med.nyu.edu>
"Chazal had access to advanced technology"

If so, shouldn't there be some physical evidence of it?  After all, we know a lot about the Romans' advanced technology (aqueducts, etc.) from surviving artifacts.  (The old joke comes to mind: we know the Israelites had wireless telephones because nothing has been found underground...)

Maybe what is meant is not technology, nor even science, but (as was suggested by someone else earlier, I forget who) a heightened empirical perception?  

Or maybe -- and here's my opinion --  Chazal had access to no superhistorical intellectual or cognitive abilities, and Mesorah is their claim to fame?  This last claim requires no extraordinary proof -- the first two do.  

Sholem Berger

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Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 15:51:29 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
RE: Volume (fwd)

  This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
  while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.
  Send mail to mime@docserver.cac.washington.edu for more info.

Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=windows-1255
Content-ID: <Pine.HPP.3.93.990813154952.5970D@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

Just got back from out of town. Unless somebody can verify otherwise, I
retract my statement on volume based on the communication belwow.

Have a Good Shabbos and sorry about your clock/radio!


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

---------- Forwarded message ----------

I spoke to the person.  Changing the volume of a modern radio changes the
internal workings (circuitry) of the radio.  It has nothing to do with the
LCD gauges that we see.  Older radios used what called a potentiometer to
control the volume.  That instrument doesn't change the electrical
circuits.  That is not the case with a radio that you buy today. 


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Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 16:52:44 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Brushing Teeth on Shabbos

Rich Wolpoe wrote: <<< Perhaps baking Soda was ok. >>> and Joel Rich
wrote: <<< R' N Alpert advised students of the powder alternative(I think
there was a product called Vince which was a powdered tooth paste) >>>

Wouldn't such powders be a lishah (kneading) problem?

Akiva Miller

Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

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Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 17:01:53 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Software Piracy

In the News:
<<Israel is allegedly a hub of piracy in our part of the world" and a
``candidate to be the only country in the highest level" of a U.S. list of
countries that are most active in copyright infringement, said Yossi Beilin,
Israel's justice minister 
Beilin met in Washington on Thursday with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno
to discuss possible U.S. sanctions for the rampant high-tech forgery. 
Penalties could run to more than $100 million if Israel does not pass new
laws protecting copyrighted computer software and music from piracy, Beilin
told reporters before his meetings in Washington. 

Question: I note the fact that the Torah software (Shu"t and Encyclopedia
Talmudit) I bought from Bar Ilan has protection in the form of a "key" which
goes into the parallel port of my computer.  Not only is it cumbersome, but
it also discourages me from carrying the CD from my home computer to my work
computer.  Apparently, there are frum people out there who would consider
copying these expensive programs in which Bar Ilan invested a lot to
produce.   While I understand that the exact halachic underpinnings of why
it is assur to copy software are debated, I know of no posek who permits it.
Why then are people moreh heter to copy these programs?

Kol tuv,

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Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 16:05:05 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Allegory - Distortion of my comments

Sorry, not sure what I didn't understand, but time away from Avodah heals
all wounds! I ask mechila (publicly, of course) if I misrepresented your

Have a Good Shabbos!

Mon, 9 Aug 1999 EDTeitz@aol.com wrote:

> I have been away for a week (always good to leave after dropping a 
> bomb-shell) and am just now getting back to reading some of the fall-out of 
> my comment about mesora.
> I have not yet read through the entire batch of journals, but feel I must 
> respond to one particular comment immediately.
> <<
> I credit the honesty of one of the most sever of my critics here today,
> who concedes - in his opinion, it seems, corageously, while in my mind, in
> a way that brings to mind "al da vadai ka'bachina" - that his Judaism is
> what he has chosen, and that mesorah is but relatively insignificant. It
> is not Chazal's religion that we received in humility and cognizance of
> their greatness. It is our approaching their buffet table and picking and
> choosing based on our superior epicurean expertise.
> >>
> RYGB...
> I hardly saw myself as one of your most severe critics.  Maybe one who 
> criticized your style, as well as your comments, although I have had precious 
> little to say about the sources you have brought up so far.  My comments have 
> been almost exclusively to your putting words in other people's mouths, as 
> you have done yet again, this time with my words.  Distortion of comments 
> might incite one against another, but does little to really resolve the 
> issues at hand.
> My personal beliefs, which you so freely attack without really reading what I 
> wrote, but rather putting your spin to my words, are hardly mine alone.  
> Nowhere in my comments did I say anything of the sort that my "Judaism is 
> what he has chosen, and that mesorah is but relatively insignificant"
> Try reading what people write before you attack them.  What I said was that 
> we have accepted upon ourselves the mesora, and that is what makes it 
> binding.  We accepted it before it was "mesora", we accepted it as it was 
> taking place.  The we is not me personally, but Klal Yisrael collectively.  
> And when we get a Sanhedrin back again, they will be empowered to overturn 
> most of what was previously decided.  This does not mean that they will in 
> fact do such a thing.  But they will have the power and the right to do so 
> should they desire.  That is the meaning of Yiftach b'doro kiShmuel b'doro.  
> Or do you have another understanding of this?  (I have been told that some 
> people have commented that g'zeros can not necessarily be overturned, which 
> is why in my original comment I said that large parts can be overturned, and 
> not everything).
> My comments were about a system of halacha, one that, I think if you took the 
> time to actually think about what I wrote, you might even agree with.  Actual 
> practice of halacha had nothing to do with my comments.  I do not pick and 
> choose, as you put it, from a buffet table.  I accept our mesora as coming 
> from giants, which is why I believe that when we get the opportunity to have 
> the power to change things, little will in reality change.  But that does not 
> preclude the possibility for change.
> Nor does it alter in any way how or why our mesora is binding upon us.  The 
> very same Chazal that you quote and that I quote, grappled with the 
> understanding of the phrase kiymu v'kiblu.  They see it as a willing 
> re-affirmation of a previously forced acceptance.  If the mesora is binding 
> just because it is there, why the need for kiymu?  Obviously Chazal saw the 
> need for willing acceptance in order for there to be a binding nature upon 
> us.  What I say is far from heretical; in fact, it is quite mainstream.  And 
> of that, yes, I am proud.
> Save your tears.  
> <<
> I see no point in continuing to correspond. 
> >>
> Another point on which we agree.  Will the wonders ever cease?
> <<
> Indeed with the exception of
> two-three other individuals, it seems that I am here a kol koreh
> ba'miidbar. But I thank everyone for educating me as to the view of
> certain segments of Orthodoxy today.
> >>
> Ayn kol anos g'vurah.  Maybe chalusha.
> Eliyahu Teitz
> Jewish Educational Center
> Elizabeth, NJ


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 22:33:45 +0300
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@barak-online.net>
Kol kore

I followed with interest the arguments whether to connect bamidbar to the kol kore or 
to the panu derekh haShem.  Trop vs. christological exegesis,  Isaiah vs. Matthew, 
mefareshim vs goyim etc., etc. But, unfortunately, a quite simple reason makes it 
difficult for me to understand the discussion.

Does the trop definitely say,  Kol korei:  Bamidbar panu derekh haShem?.

A glance at the ta'amim shows a zakef katan on korei and a zakef gadol on bamidbar.
Both the zakef katan and gadol are in the same category of mafsikim. They are both 
melakhim.  IOW they are both strong stops approximately equal in strength.  The only 
stronger mafsikim are the sof pasuk and etnachta.  (Some say the segol and 
shalshelet are slightly stronger than the zakefim.)

According to the trop, then, there are two strong commas or breaks in the first half of 
the sentence. 

		 Kol korei,  bamidbar,  panu derekh haShem...
So, basically, it appears that there is no clear decision made to which side the word 
bamidbar should be connected.  Take your choice:

Kol korei.  Where?  Bamidbar.  What does it say? Panu derekh...

Kol korei.  What does it say?   In the midbar panu derekh...

So why argue?



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Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 00:12:21 +0300
From: Hershel Ginsburg <ginzy@netvision.net.il>
Re: Avodah V3 #161

>Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 10:13:54 -0400
>From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
>Subject: Electricity is not esh. Do we alter halakha?
>According to my theory that Chazal had access to advanced technology but
>the terminology to express those concepts to their contemporaries, I would

Hypothesis, not theory... it's only a hypothesis...

Chodesh Tov, K'tivah V'chatimah Tovah, etc. etc.


                             Hershel Ginsburg, Ph.D.
              Licensed Patent Attorney and Biotechnology Consultant
                          P.O. Box 1058 / Rimon St. 27
                                  Efrat, 90435
              Phone: 972-2-993-8134        FAX: 972-2-993-8122
                         e-mail: ginzy@netvision.net.il

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