Avodah Mailing List

Volume 08 : Number 041

Monday, November 5 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 11:31:16 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Talmud and Science

On Fri, Nov 02, 2001 at 01:36:48PM -0500, Gil Student wrote:
: R. Kasher also quotes R. Saadia Gaon in his commentary to Sefer Yetzirah
: who says that there was a minority among Chazal who believed that the
: earth was flat but most believed that it was round.

Back in v2n183 <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol02/v02n183.shtml#11>
I tried to show that Chazal's science kept pretty much in pace with that
of the rest of the world.

The term "Chazal" refers to a group of people who lived over a period of
centuries. It is therefore unsurprising that we find differing theories
espoused by tannaim than by amoraim.

For example, the discussion of where the sun goes at night (Tamid 31b)
involves early tannaim, when the Ptolmeic universe was a new theory.
Rebbe believed in an earthe surrounded by spheres. Vechulu.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 17:08:49 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: Talmud and science

In message , Gil Student <gil_student@hotmail.com> writes
>>If it is true that the Mishnah Berurah was the first posek to permit
>>chillul Shabbos for a baby born in the eighth month,

>I did not see the Mishnah Berurah permitting it. In his commentary to
>SA OC 330:7, he seems to forbid violating Shabbos for a baby born in
>the eighth month. R. Chaim Kanievsky ... notes that his uncle, the
> Chazon Ish, permitted violating Shabbos....

Just a query for clarification about what is being discussed here - what
is generally held to be meant when describing "a baby born in the eighth
month" as opposed to the ninth month or the seventh month.  Is the
"first" month the month from conception until one month after
conception, in which case, the eighth month is from  the date seven
months after conception until eight months after conception, or is the
first month the month commencing one month after conception - in which
case the eighth month is the month commencing eight months after
conception and ending exactly nine months after conception?


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Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 22:24:39 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Rabbi Herzog's objections to murex

At 11:03 AM 11/2/01 -0500, Mendel Singer wrote:
> P.S. I apologize for referring to the Rabbi Spektor as the Maggid of
> Kovno. I am sure I have seen it that way in print before, and I did
> not want to "lower" him to the level of "Rav of Kovno" or "Kovno Rav" :)

I meant to ask this the first time it came up - isn't the Dvar 
Avraham (and not R. Yitzchak Elchonon) generally referred to as 
"the Kovno Rav?" 

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 16:34:17 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <sjtait@surfree.net.il>
Re: T'kheles

R. Seth Mandel wrote:
> I continue to believe that the evidence is not much better than it was 85
> years ago. The only change has been that it has been discovered that you
> can make a color fast dye of the right shade of blue  from Murex.

There is significance in that (though not proof). Like I previously
pointed out, there is no mashmaus in sifrei Chazal nor, l'havdil, in the
ancient secular works that more than one creature (beyond the insects)
can be used to create a permanent dye, and similarly nowadays the murex
snails are the only ones known to be able to do the same. Add to that
they all produce blue dyes . . . (Don't jump yet where do I get that
the goyim used murex for blue--I'll get there.

> There is no evidence that anyone in antiquity tried to make such a dye;
the large-scale purple dye industry apparently liked the purple colors
better, although I agree that they probably knew how to make blue.
There is absolutely no evidence from anywhere of the t’kheles industry
or what it used as the source of the dye,<

 From my unpublished response to Dr. Singer's article:

"And we can clearly deduce from the classical scholars that the color
blue was produced from the purple snail. Pliny throughout his work
Natural History refers to purpura and conchylia, two different dyes
prepared from the same kind of shellfish (IX, lxi, 130). The translators
are very confused by this. Pliny, however, is quite clear about the
difference between them, not only in their dyeing processes (ibid. lxii
and lxiv), but also in their colors. Describing different colored fabrics
in relation to flowers, he considers some types of purpura red; others,
amethyst or reddish purple; but conchylia runs the colors of heliotrope,
mallow, and violet flowers. Pliny's heliotrope was blue (XXII, xxix:
"caeruleum florem," blue flowers). This third category of colored
fabrics seems to include the blue to bluish-violets. What would be
more apt to use from among the three Mediterranian dyeing species of
purpura (trunculus, brandaris, haemastoma) for conchylian colors than
trunculus, which produces blue also? And Pliny tells us that was indeed
what they used: "The pebble-purple is named after a pebble in the sea,
and is remarkably suitable for conchylia dyes" (IX, lxi, 131). If one has
seen murex trunculus and realizes that its common name is "rock murex,"
one quickly realizes that this pebble purpura, "remarkably suitable for
conchylia," is none other than trunculus. I should clarify that I am not
necessarily of the opinion that only techeiles from trunculus would be
kosher; if blue could naturally be produced from brandaris or haemastoma
it is a possibility that they too could be used for mitzvas techeiles,
as all three species may be considered one. But it would be wise to
remember that the possibility of this is only conjecture: a blue dye
like that of trunculus has not been produced from any other species—it
remains to be proven that it could."

I will not claim to be a baki in Latin, and P'til Tekhelet may have
succesfully produce fast blue from the other snails; so if anyone knows
any of the above to be incorrect, please—don't be shy.

and I continue to hold that there is no evidence from the rishonim who
could have known about the t'kheles industry.<

The Aruch equates "tyrian" to techeles, and the Ramban (which RSM has
conceeded seems to be so) believed that the source of the royal-purple
dye was the same as that of tekheles. I realize that your (RSM's)
argument is that neither (or at least the Ramban--I'll have to check
up what you said) were in a position to really have known. However the
Ramban equates the two: why would the Ramban have made such a statement
without some certainty? He could have as easily said that tekheles was a
chashuv dye made from sea creature like the royal cloaks of the "melech
hagoyim" are made presently. Instead he attributes tekheles to His Royal
Gentileness— Similarly, if the Aruch had no inkling of what tekheles was,
why would he say that's the peirush hamilah. If he knew what "tyrian" was
and not tekheles, what's the sense of being toleh d'yoda b'd'lo yoda?" If
he didn't know what either was, what's he talking about; it's about as
logical as saying, "A Jabberwocky is a Clamcididdlehopper"—now that's
very informative! May there not have been a mesorah or some practical
knowledge here? And from even earlier, the Midrash haGadol from Yemen
quotes Rav Chiya as saying, "the purpura of the kings is made out of
techeilet." Now R' Chiya I suppose was the first generation Amora. True
the Midrash Hagadol itself is a far more recent work, but parts of it a
re based on older midrashim—is there any reason not to believe R. Chiya
is tellin us that tekhele is produced from purpura (murex) snail?

And there are many fish in the sea (c'mon, to show we are light hearted
about this, let's all join in a chorus of that), and some that are now
extinct; I have not investigated about getting a color fast blue dye
from any of them. I will point out again that you can make indigo from
Murex brandaris and Thais haemastoma by the same process that you make
it from Murex trunculus. If they are all good, then the identification
of the hillazon as the source of t'kheles must mean that hillazon just
means some sort of mollusc or gastropod.<

1) Like the ancients considered many types of purpura to be all "purpura",
maybe the halacha too doesn't recognize a hevdel between these snails
(which all are really pretty similar to each other). 2) Chilazon could
just mean snail (we can leave the oysters and octopodes out of this).

> The problem with that is that there are many, many gastropods around in
the Mediterranean, most of whom do not produce the dye.  So why do the g’
moro and the Rambam make a point that it has to come from a hillazon?  Just
to exclude kala ilan?<

Sounds good to me. If kala ilan is perfectly similar to t'cheles,
so it has to make such a point -- or else you may use kala ilan. I'll
continue from my article: "In fact, while the Tosefta (Menachot 9, 6)
states unequivically: "Kermes from the mountain [species] is kosher, not
from the mountain [species] is posul," all it says about techeilet is,
"from the chilazon is kosher, not from the chilazon is posul." If there
are two chilzonot (or a species similar to a chilazon) that can naturally
produce a blue dye—and you most certainly can produce a natural, indigo
blue dye from murex trunculus—why did the Tosefta not warn us like it
warned us about the non-mountainous kermes?"

And I already know your next question: "Who says chilazon means anything
more than the creature that produces t'cheles?" Which belongs together with
what you continue . . .

I will also point out that it seems to me that the Rambam at least had
a more specific word to describe the Murex: shabb'lul, which he uses
in hil. Tzitzis in talking about the test to distinguish t'kehles
from plant indigo. (The g'moro has the same word, but other rishonim
interpret it differently.) It at least indicates that the Rambam did
not think that Murex was the hillazon.<

There are definitely rishonim who equate "shabb'lul" with chilazon
(see Radak, Shorashim, ShBL, where he references to mesechta A"Z 28b
for a use of shabb'lul, though over their it mentions this refuah as
coming from chilazon). Rashi also quotes the midrash on "Simlas'kha lo
val'sah" As a "khomet's clothes grow with it...." The source midrash
(Psikta d'Rav Kahana) has "As a chilazon's shell (nartiq) grows with
it...." Consider that Rashi in Shmini explains khomet to ba a snail
(limace). Rashi reserves the word chilazon for the t'kheles source alone,
but even he seems to believe chilazon to be a snail. Just as shabb'lul in
T'hillim he explains as limace—snail. I could go on (if you read my book
you'll find numerous more examples, some clearer but from achronim). But
why did the Rambam use the word shabb'lul and not chilazon? First of
all, the Rambam tends to use the lashon of the Gemara if it's clear,
even if it may be clearer otherwise. Besides, from context, it seems
that chilazon is always referring to a sea snail, while shabb'lul is the
land sort. Another possibility (suggested to me I believe by Dr. Sterman)
is that chilazon is the one with a conical shell; shabb'lul, a spiral one.

> That, of course, is not proof against is, since I
> have argued that the Rambam clearly did not know what it was.

This may be true; but he has simanim (I'm thinking of the dried black
blood) that he either knew about or had b'mesorah. In other words,
he wasn't writing in the dark (just in the Dark Ages).

>There are a lot of unknowns, too many, I feel, for people to start
wearing in light of the fact that none of the Litvishe, Polish, or German
g’dolim wore, and only a tiny minority of Hungarian and Galiciane.
(There: I have qualified it, since there is the sole example of the
Maharsham, a Galicianer godol who felt it was a sofeq, and R. Shlezinger
who may or may not be considered a gadol, although he certainly was a
great talmid chokhom). I have given one possible reason, which I believe
is true.<

Woh... ! One second here. What are you referring to? Radzyner t'kheles
I'm not talking about (I've already stated enough times why it wasn't
serious). That it might be a problem of lavan? Not only Maharsham
didn't think it was a problem of that, but the Kutner Rav -- the Yeshuos
Malko, the Yeshuas Yisrael -- write clearly in T'shuvah #3 that it is
not a problem to wear even true kalailan in place of lavan. The fact
that the Kutner Rav wrote that and still didn't wear Radzyner t'kheles
demonstrates that the that at least he , and perhaps the other g'dolim,
did not wear the Radzyner hamtzo'ah simply because they did not take it
seriously. As he himself wrote (ibid) that the Radzyner Torah is based
on hash'aros and he could say hasharos the other way . The other g'dolim
may not have agreed with that reason; but it SEEMS to me that if that
was the reason, the g'dolim coud have—would have come out and said that
to hold the issue. If however thay agreed with the Kutner Rav's position,
then we understand their quiet also: Kutner Rav writes he can't elaborate
on the problems with the Radzyner's reasoning as it is not appropriate
to put in writing.

>  His inference that my 'kashya on the CI is more
> "it sounds like he doesn't agree with me, maybe if he would explain the
> lomdus I could show how it isn't soseir what I say" is a gratuitous attack
> on my integrity in learning; those few on the list who know me know that I
> learned from my Rebbi that it is a mitzva to admit when you are wrong.

I apologize. And, I should point out, the Ma'aseh Ish that I got the CI
tid-bit from is from a diary of R. Shraga Heiman zt"l (if the name says
anything to anyone).

But please understand that your hisyachsus to the statement of the CI
is my sentiments exactly about the Brisker Y'sod. The main reason why
many in the Litvishe Oil'm don't even bother to consider this is because
of the Brisker Y'sod that a cheftza shel mitzva needs a mesorah. Now,
the Maharil for sure did not hold this (at least in terms of the
chilazon) as he writes in his T'shuvos Chadashos (M'chon Yerushalayim)
#5 (b). Similarly, the Chemdas Shlomoh and Bris Avraham of the turn of
the 19th century say the same thing.

So the Brisker Y'sod is arguing at least with this rishon and these
achronim. Even the Rambam seems not to hold like that. (The Rambam
freely admits he has not the least of a mesorah on what Ma'aseh merkava
or ma'aseh breishis is, but from s'vara establishes their identity and
goes on to pasken the identification l'halochoh; the consequences of
course being permitting learning these subjects which would otherwise
be considered bittul Torah, besides other ramifications which I leave to
your imaginations. But the Rambam seems to believe that the identification
of a cheftza shel mitzva is like many other things in Torah—ein l'dayan
ela mah sheinav ro'os.) Furthermore, the consequences of this Y'sod (at
least how R. Shachter portrays it in his Nefesh Harav) is neged how we
(meaning most besides for shpitz Briskers) pasken (like not saying JUST
mezonos on rice, and considering our sifrei Torah to be m'duyakim). So I'd
be very interested to understand what this is all about. Without knowing
why the Beis Halevi said what he said (or in what context): 1) How can
anyone else even start to consider it in a cheshbon of what to follow
(obviously this would not apply to a talmid muvhak as RSM is of RYBS);
2) Considering those t'shuvos of the Maharil were not published yet in
the days of the Bais Halevi, is there no place to say that if the Beis
Halevi saw the Maharil he may not have said what he said, considering all
the consequences mentioned above? If we would know what the s'vara is,
it might be a different story.

> But I insist that social pressure does not explain the refusal of the
>roshei yeshiva -- every single one of them -- to wear it.

That I definitely agree to.

> I think I have laid out what would be needed for such a proof: showing how
> the Murex dye meets the test of the g'moro to distinguish it from plant
> indigo, which P'til apparently is working on, and finding archeological
> evidence about the t'kheles, either finding real tzitzis or finding
> evidence of a t' kheles dying facility.

This last point I refer you to above where the fact that blue was also
produced from purpura was mentioned.
But let's go through RSM's list again of why murex t'kheles is a no go:
1) For himself, no mesorah etc.—discussed above.
2) No rayah from the Gemara: The point RSM made that "blood" from an living
or freshly killed organism would be necessary from any creature that would
be used for dyeing is well taken. With kermes this is definitely NOT the
case as only (California) sun-dried kermes (for about 2 weeks) are used for
dye. I believe, however, that considering that something called chilazon has
a shell (midrash p'sikta above and Rambam peirush haMishnayos, Keilim 12:1)
I think the Gemara and Tosefta should have been more clear in warning us
which kind of chilazon to use. The argument that the expense of murex
precluded a need to warn against its use—though logical—doesn't fit with
what the Gemara warns us not to write Shem Hashem in STA"M with gold nor
cover battim with gold; in other words, the Gemara also tells us m'furash
not to try to improve on the mitzvos using more valuable materials.
3) No rayah from Rishonim: dealt with (partially) above.
4) No archeological findings: that our murex was used anciently for
dyeing is archeologically proven. That blue was dyed from murex, I refer
to Pliny above. That we can dye blue from our murex I refer to Pt'il
Tekhelet. So what's missing, we haven't found our murex dyeing blue at
the archeological digs. OK, the search goes on . . .

RMS writes concerning wearing sofeik t'kheles b'makom lavan:
> I am not so sure that he is right concerning the R'mo. I have stated in the
> past that it is clear that Tosafos holds that the color of the tzitzis make
> no difference, and that they do not understand where Rashi gets his shitto
> from.

I think it should be pointed out that the Tosafos are trying to explain
Rashi -- they believe Rashi holds it's a d'rabbonon based on "zeh keili
v'anveihu." On 41b they indeed use "shemo", but on 38b (s.v. midi tziva
ha garim) they state it as "v'yaish lomar." But, yes, perhaps I can't
rule out someone saying a different p'shat in Rashi.

> the T'rumas haDeshen that the Beis Yosef quotes is slightly different:
> "lo nahaginan haidna b'shum maqon raq b'tzitizyot shehem l'vanim v'lo
> tz'vu'im, va'afilu b'talit qatan shehu mimine tz'va'im lo ra'iti miyamai
> ehad shehaya m'tzuyyatz raq b'tzitzit lavan." Pretty clear to me that
> he is saying the tzitzit cannot be any color other than lavan.

But in the source he continues "v'af al gav d'ein k'peida b'tzeva k'lal."
His whole point (gathered from, or more like m'furash in, the t'shuvas
T'rumas Hadeshen himself) is that nowadays no one uses anything besides
white strings; therefore the issur of sewing within the knaf of a tallis
because one may use the unused thread for tzitzis does not apply to
colored thread. From the end of his statement (that I just brought)
it seems clear that he doesn't hold it has to be white, just l'ma'aseh
that is what is done.

<Then the Beis Yosef quotes his rebbe who quotes the Ba'al ha'Ittur
"tzitziyot shel lavan qod'min l'khol hatziv'onim.. stam talitot
shelahem hayu l'vanim aval im 'ein lanu lavan az tzarikh sheyihye
mitzeva' hattalit." It still seems to me as well that Rashi for sure
and probably the Rambam believe that the din that lavan has to be the
color of the garment is a d' orayso,>

Yes, I have to admit that at least according to the Ba'al Haittur one
could not just wear any old blue string (not even a new one). But is
this d'Oraiso? The string needs to be white so it should be the same
color as the talleisim of Dor Hamibar based on "hak'naf -- min k'naf,"
but if he doesn't have white, then it needs to be the same color as the
tallis from the same drosho. This looks d'rabbonon to me.
Similarly, if Rashi, Rambam, and Ra'avad hold that tzitzis need to be
the same color as the beged is d'Oraiso,and there is no limud that it is
not l'ikuva, that would mean that they hold white strings on a colored
beged is posul. It seems a bit extreme, but maybe its true. What's
strange about it is that even the Ba'al Ha'ittur agrees that you are
yotzei with colored strings; why didn't the previous doros indeed wear
colored strings to be yotzei tzitzis according to everyone instead of
white which is best according to the Ba'al Ha'ittur, but is nothing
according to all those rishonim.
Also, according to Rambam (based on the Gemara obviously) on a tallis
shel t'kheles you put lavan shel sha'ar tzva'im (from the Gemara it seems
quite clear that this is a d'Rabbonon): if m'd'Oraiso lavan has to be
the same color as the beged, then for the same reason they were gozer on
a beged of pishtan they should have been gozer not to put tzitzis on a
beged shel t'kheles. What's accomplished by sha'ar minei tziv'onim for
lavan? (This isn't a ta'anah on shittas Rashi because he has a whole
different m'halech in lavan.)
All this besides the ta'anah of "lo yehai ela lavan" which I believe
that if it was not l'maskana, then that indeed is what the Gemara needed
to answer. And besides that the Mabit says on the Rambam that the same
color is a d'Rabbonon

> (The Beis Yosef, as is his wont, is too cautious to know what he really
> thinks or himself would pasken.)

Except he certainly doesn't pasken like the Ba'al Ha'ittur (unless al pi
the way I said above, better color according to everyone... ).

<it seems clear to me (and to other people that I show Rashi and the
Rambam to) that they held that without t'kheles all strings must be lavan
and not any color you want... although the taqqono that I claim exists
that without t'kheles all strings must be lavan is d'rabbnon. But not
a sofeq d' rabbonon, just a taqqono d'rabbonon. I am sure R. Taitelbaum
will disagree, ...>

Why are you so sure, I'm not allowed to admit mistakes also? I admit
in Rashi it's pushing things, although in Rambam... Rambam has a whole
other m'halech in t'kheles and lavan. T'kheles is just used for tying the
bundle; it has no part in lavan. Yes it would be very strange tzitzist
that are white tied with orange (Rambam may even stick his tongue out at
you... I refer the reader to previous posts), but to say it must be... I
cautiously disagree.
But if shelo bizman t'kheles it is only d'rabbonon, then a sofeik d'Oraiso
is docheh the d'rabbonon.

> and I leave it to the reader to analyze the sources himself.

Absolutely agree; and there is no better source to get the sources than
my sefer, Lulaoth Tekhelet, where all these issues were already discussed
at length.

And if the readers agree that there is a serious sofeik here, it would
seem they should avail themselves of murex t'kheles as soon as possible
(enough known g'dolim wear it b'tzin'a, you need not worry anyone will
tear it of your back).

And we'll end of from Dr. Mendel singer:
> So, who thinks Rabbi Herzog would agree with Ptil if he were alive today?
> We know Ptil votes "Yes", I (and it seems, Seth) vote "No". What about
> others on the list? I would like to hear how those not actively in the
> fray are thinking?

PS P'til Tekhelet asked me for my input when they were composing a response
to Dr. Singer's article. I wrote an article which they used pieces of.
Anyone interested in seeing it can drop me a note and I'll email it to them.

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 12:29:18 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: T'kheles

On Thu, Nov 01, 2001 at 06:21:22PM +0000, Seth Mandel wrote:
: Whatever the explanation, it does not change my other point: that the
: Litvishe roshei yeshiva were open to new ideas, and not as subject to
: communal pressure, did not wear the Radzyne t'kheles even as a sofek.

My point was not that they could be subject to communal pressure, but
that such pressure existed; that the inyan at the time was the subject
of heated argument.

Today, even given recent discussion here, the same is not true. The
usability of murex does not threaten communal unity.

I therefore wondered if presishah min hatzibbur issues were greater then
than now.

On Fri, Nov 02, 2001 at 01:58:59PM +0000, Seth Mandel wrote:
:                     I continue to believe that the evidence is not much
: better than it was 85 years ago. The only change has been that it has
: been discovered that you can make a color fast dye of the right shadeof
: blue from Murex....

I am reminded of the legend of the critic who asked, "Aside from that,
Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?"

RMT and I made each argued, using very different arguments, that the
possibility of making such a dye is a critical point and potentially
sufficient proof.

:                                                         .... However,
: the T'rumas haDeshen that the Beis Yosef quotes is slightly different:
: "lo nahaginan haidna b'shum maqon raq b'tzitizyot shehem l'vanim v'lo
: tz'vu'im, va'afilu b'talit qatan shehu mimine tz'va'im lo ra'iti miyamai
: ehad shehaya m'tzuyyatz raq b'tzitzit lavan." Pretty clear to me that he
: is saying the tzitzit cannot be any color other than lavan...

That we are NOHEIG to do such, yes. Not that there is a chiyuv or
even a lechatchilah.

:                               ... the Ba'al ha'Ittur "tzitziyot shel lavan
: qod'min l'khol hatziv'onim.. stam talitot shelahem hayu l'vanim aval im
: 'ein lanu lavan az tzarikh sheyihye mitzeva' hattalit." ...

Again, no indication of a chiyuv.

: The R'mo says about that in the Darkhei Moshe: "va'ani lo ra'iti miyamai
: tzitzit ela lavan v'ein l'shannot." It seems clear from his loshon
: that he is agreeing with T'rumas haDeshen, that lavan must be white...

Actually this lashon also is that of describing a minhag, not a din.
"Lo rai'isi."

On Fri, Nov 02, 2001 at 11:03:28AM -0500, Mendel Singer wrote:
: 1.	Comes up once every 7 or 70 years. 
: Rabbi Herzog considered this to be an important criterion. His candidate,
: Janthina, had a periodicity, and he devotes a fair amount of space to
: this idea in his dissertation. Currently, there is no reasonable way to
: explain how murex trunculus fits this description...

And yet it did. Or at least, in the trash heaps of shells, murex
shells are found in bands. It would seem that they were harvested
only in certain periods, with regular breaks in between.

I do not claim to know why.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 14:01:41 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Giving aliyos to those who are intermarried

From: Gil Student [mailto:gil_student@hotmail.com]
> I'm glad I'm not an out-of-town rav.  My brother-in-law was an assistant...
> and I believe that they gave aliyos to those who are not (yet) shomer 
> shabbos but would not let them daven from the amud.  That meant that the 
> rabbi and assistant rabbi frequently led davening.

Actually, (given what you had written in the prior email) I was asking in
particular about giving aliyos to an intermarried man in an out-of-town shul
in which almost everyone is not frum.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 18:41:25 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

At 10:24 PM 11/3/01 +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
>I meant to ask this the first time it came up - isn't the Dvar
>Avraham (and not R. Yitzchak Elchonon) generally referred to as
>"the Kovno Rav?"

I do not think that either is generally referred to as the Kovner Rov -
they did, however, occupy the same position. RYES is generally referred
to as Reb Yitzchok Elchonon, and the Dvar Avrohom as the Dvar Avrohom.

An interesting dichotomy did (at least at one time) exist between
"Ha'Rav Me'Brisk" - R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin, AKA R' Sheya Leib; and
"The Brisker Rov" - of course, R' Yitzchok Zev (R' Velvel) Soloveitchik.

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2001 08:22:31 +0800
From: "sadya targum" <targum1@juno.com>
re:chasidim harishonim

In this entire discussion about the chasidim harishonim and the talk of
niskatnu hadoros, may I ask a stupid question?
Why do we assume that the 3-hour period was the norm? The chasidim
harishonim may have been a small group of unusually pious men, while the
average person davened just as quickly as we do nowadays. Surely today,
too, there are tzadikim whose davening takes inordinately longer than
the average.

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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 11:38:49 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: chasidim harishonim

On Sun, Nov 04, 2001 at 08:22:31AM +0800, sadya targum wrote:
: Why do we assume that the 3-hour period was the norm? The chasidim
: harishonim may have been a small group of unusually pious men..

As RCS noted, the gemara notes the 3 hours period, but only comments
on the abnormality of the one hour preparation time.


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Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 14:07:15 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Tanach Yediot Acharanot

I recently picked up a Tanach "Meurashim" published by Yediot Acharont with a 
Peirush from Shlomoh Zalman Ariel.

Is anyone familiar with this edition? 

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2001 20:08:08 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Shape of the Earth

> I think all agree to this.  I am not certain about the history, but I
> believe that all respectable scientists in Rabbeinu Tam's time and place
> agreed that the earth was flat.  Can anyone confirm or deny it?

The diameter of the earth (as a sphere) was first calculated well before
Rabbeinu Tam (COSMOS goes into the history of the calculations).

Also, IIRC there is a Tosephos on Avoda Zara that talks about the earth
being a sphere (Rebi and Antoninus built a tower so high they could see
the earth as a sphere...)


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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 17:38:27 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: Tevilas Kelim

Yitzchok Willroth <willroth@voicenet.com> writes
>I'd guess that since a disposable keli is patur (according to many) from
>tevila, many erroneously make the connection that since a diposable keli
>is being used once (and only once, to be cconsidered disposable), _all_
>kelim are patur from tevila for the first use.

Is there a way of finding a limud zchus on such people or is the following
too far fetched:

The question centres on what makes a kli disposable. Is it possible
to argue that if an individual regards a kli as disposable, even if
the rest of the world does not, then such a kli is to be considered
disposable. Take, for example, the wealthy aristocrats who were reputed
to smash any glass after they had drunk from it so that no (inferior)
person should ever drink from it. That would presumably make all of
their glasses disposable in their eyes (but depending on the ratio of
aristocrats to plebs, not in the opinion of the majority). Would such
a person have to tovel those glasses? If you can answer no taking this
view, then could not any individual claim (or in fact hold as a hava mina)
that they are treating the kli as disposable for one use - as only on the
second use are they making it clear that they regard it as permanent.
(This certainly happens in reverse for aluminium containers - ie one
intends it to be disposable - ie expects to get only one use out of it,
but it turns out after one use to be in pretty good shape - do you then
throw it out because otherwise retrospectively you should have tovelled it
(if you hold that aluminium needs toveling) which means you throw out a
perfectly good container, or do you use it again, the second time again
expecting it to only have one more use, etc etc)

Kind Regards

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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 17:45:05 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: disagreeing with rishonim

RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com writes
>Syrian/Iraqi have generally followed Ben Ish Chai {BIC} over the Mechaber
>who is known as simply Maran.

>When BIC over-rules the Mechaber, it is usually by citing the Zohar.
>See an earlier thread where it was mentioned that the Mechaber might
>not have had a complete text of the Zohar.

Not that I am by any means an expert, but from what I understand, ROY
tends (ie in general) to side with Maran against the BIC, and hence
restore psak to the status quo ante. Note that the BIC is relatively
recent (he passed away around a century ago). A lot of those with
Syrian/Iraqi minhagim these days will follow ROY when he comes out against
the BIC (but a lot won't - it appears to be the big division in eg my
husband's shul, my impression is that more of the younger crowd follow
ROY over the BIC).


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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 13:37:53 -0500
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Talmud and science

R' Micha Berger wrote <<< Infant mortality was high, I am sure it was
higher for 8th and 7th month babies. But until someone actually sits
down and collects statistics, it is quite possible no one noticed that
8th month babies are more likely to survive than 7th. >>>

My recollection is that halacha presumed 8th month babies to be
non-viable, but that 7th month babies *are* viable. If my memory is wrong,
I apologize. But if I have it right, then either (a) they did collect
statistics but nishtaneh hateva, or (b) the presumed non-viability of
8th-month babies was based on something other than statistics.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 21:24:55 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
RE: Talmud and science

On 3 Nov 2001, at 19:38, Rena Freedenberg wrote:
> Huge difference. The last month of development is a very important one for
> the fetus and one of the major problems with preemies is underdeveloped
> lungs....

Actually, in OUR generation most of these babies would have died 
R"L. We have friends with a 13-year old whose lungs were grossly 
underdeveloped at birth (not to due to premature birth). The parents 
were told that five years earlier, nothing could have been done for 
him R"L. 

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

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