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Volume 16 : Number 055

Sunday, December 11 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 20:29:20 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Being exposed to minus

On December 6, 2005, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
> 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?

What's the problem? The issur d'oraysa *is* not to enunciate shmos of
AZ not found in the canon. Once it enters Tanach, the issur naturally
disaptes. If you are looking for a little "doreish taama d'kra" kind
of explanation, I already offered one as refers to Yoshko's name and it
applies here too. As long as a name of an AZ is in the Torah, than saying
it is simply a way of learning it. Chazal darshen "lo silmad la'asos" -
"aval atah lamed lihavin ulihoros". But stam stating the name of an
AZ that is not in Tanach doesn't look good. It might look like one has
reverence for that particular idol, especially if the name of the idol
is moreh on elohus (as opposed to a human name like Yoshko) although
when it comes to idols, I don't think it makes a difference.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 08:00:50 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Re: Q on Parshas Shemos

From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
> On December 6, 2005, Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
>>> The same people who watched them for the next 40 years. When Moshe didn't
>>> return to the sheep, I'm sure his father-in-law hired new sheppards.

>> I'm sorry, but I beg to disagree. Rivka S's daughter asked a wonderful
>> question. She has shown herself to be a true compassionate daughter
>> of Israel.

> I never implied differently.

My disagreement was with the Seifa of your response. My comment was on
the Reisha. I should have parsed the paragraph better.

In any case, it was important to note her daughter's achievment.
When our children ask good questions, especially those that show concern
and caring -- we should do our best to encourage them.

>> As to the answer it's simple, and it is written in the Torah. Before
>> Moshe came, Yitro's daughters watched the sheep.

> Your answer is precisely the same as mine except that you substitute
> Yisro's daughters for my "hired shepherds". 

I'm sorry, but hired shepherds are NOT family members. In the
original situation described in the Torah, Yitro's daughters were the
shepherdesses, and they were in trouble from Ro'ei Minyan precisely
b/c Yitro had no sons -- and didn't hire male shepherds. Therefore,
the emphasis in this case was on the daughters. I doubt people hire out
their daughters, especially in those times.

You also misquoted me, and therefore your following words were irrelevant:
>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. 

The original content was as follows:
"I'm sure once Moshe Rabeinu became busy with Tzorchei Tzibbur, Yitro's
daughters, including Tzippora, and their children took over the job.

For those living outside Israel, you may find it interesting that
the Bedouin tribes in the Negev and Sinai send their young daughters
(starting at 3 yrs. old) to watch the sheep. "

As you can read, the emphasis was actually on the younger generation,
not the respectable grandmothers, as you can see from the example I gave
of behavior among the lifestyle "descendants" of Yitro and his family --
caring for the sheep is given over to the very young children of the
family, usually to the girls.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 13:36:05 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Q on Parshas Shemos

On December 7, 2005 Shimon Motagu wrote:
> 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.

I did and you're right. I guess it could have also been Yisro's daughters
like Shoshana mentioned. Thanks for the mareh makom.

Simcha Coffer 

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Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 16:22:58 -0500
From: mlevinmd@aol.com
Q on Parshas Shemos

> The teacher told them that Moshe Rabbeinu spent 7 days debating with
> HKB"H before agreeing to go to Par'oh (I presume it's a medrash).
> She asks, "Who was watching his sheep?"

Who watched Choni Hameagel's donkeys for 70 years?

M. Levin

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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 19:29:24 -0500
From: "Rivka S" <rivkas@thejnet.com>
re: parshas Shmos (Moshe Rabbenu's sheep)

Thanks, R'n SB, for your very perceptive remarks about my maideleh.

I guess we're wondering how it worked practically. I.e. did Moshe
Rabbenu say, "Excuse me, Hashem, can I just call Yisro's daughters to
watch these sheep and I'll be right back to continue our discussion"
or did Hashem just send the little sheep to Yisro's tent. Or maybe,
Moshe Rabbenu said, "Sorry, I really don't want to go to Par'oh, anyhow
I have these sheep and I can't leave them" so Hashem said, "don't worry,
I'll make sure your sheep get home, come on, we have work to do."

Unfortunately, we don't (yet) know of any medrash to answer our curiosity.

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 22:32:58 -0500
From: David Hojda <dhojda1@juno.com>
Maharal & The Rock(s)

This week's parasha has a seminal Gur Aryeh that should be of interest
to those who ponder what attitude we must take towards the aggadatot of
Chazal. The topic is the "argument" between the rocks.

Aside from Maharal's fascinating explanantion of this aggadata, of
particular note is the stance he takes towards those who say that peshat
in the pasuk is "even achat."

Rather than go with the "multiple levels of meaning" approach (peshat
vs derash), he considers their interpretation an outright rejection of
Chazal, as if those commentators were saying that Chazal's statement
(that rocks could argue) was nonsensical and untrue. This attitude,
according to him, even caused them to distort the peshat.

While he does not identify the objects of his wrath, the even achat
interpretation is found in the Ibn Ezra, Radak, Rashbam, and Tosefos.
Ayen Sham.

Dovid Hojda

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Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 22:55:22 -0500
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Vayeitzei "The Dream That Preceded Sleep" rw

I don't know if the following question has ever been asked. Chapter 28,
verse 16 states: "Vayikatz Ya'akov mishnaso," And Jacob awoke from his
sleep..." Now my question is: if it says "Jacob awoke," then why does
it have to say "from his sleep?" Of course it was from his sleep. All
it had to say was: "And Jacob awoke."

To further the legitimacy of my question, if you look at verses 11 and
12, it says "...vayishkav bamakom ha-hu. Vayachalom..." "...and he lay
down in that place. And he dreamt, and behold!..." Now why didn't it say:
"...and he lay down in that place AND HE SLEPT," and THEN "And he dreamt,
and behold!..."?

In other words in the first scene it doesn't say that he slept, but
it does say that he "awoke from his sleep," instead of following the
pattern of the first time and just say that he "awoke." So "sleep"
should have been used either both times or neither times.

One answer might be that in the beginning when he had the dream, it
was really a prophetic vision and it wasn't an ordinary sleep, hence,
the word sleep was never used. However, after the dream, he slipped into
a regular sleep, and therefore it says he "awoke from his sleep."


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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 01:07:57 -0500
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Re: Cheese and honey

From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
>Why is the enzyme that changes nectar into honey (see below) different
>to the enzyme that changes milk into cheese.

Excuse my ignorance. Could you further elaborate on your question? I'm
assuming that it's not the bees' enzymes' that are converting milk into
cheese. :-)


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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 20:02:48 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: cheese and honey

On December 7, 2005, Meir Rabi asks: 
> Why is the enzyme that changes nectar into honey (see below) different
> to the enzyme that changes milk into cheese.

Who says it is? Lactase breaks up the complex sugar in milk into its two
component sugars thereby facilitating comfortable digestion in mammals
(lactase is found naturally in the intestines of mammals) but essentially,
the enzyme does not add anything new to the milk. Enzymes are merely
catalysts, nothing more.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 08:53:22 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Re: hashkafa 101 - some thoughts and questions

From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
> Then he brought the idea of yisurim. We've all learned that suffering
> is a kapara. How exactly does that work? How does that fit in to the
> general game plan of a neshoma improving itself by good choices? Perhaps
> an adult will accept some yisurim as Hashem's judgment and that humble
> acceptance will be the point of growth. But what about other yisurim,
> such as an infant, or an adult who has Alzheimer's or is in a coma? Does
> anyone have a good pshat in how this helps the neshama?

There is no good pshat. This comes under the heading of "Lu Yeda'ativ
-- Hayeeteev".

In general the answers mix Sachar Va'onesh with Yissurim Memarkim and
create a plethora of answers to a variety of problems. Oh and don't forget
"Pokeid Avon Avot..." and issues of Hashgacha Pratit.

One standard response to women who lose a child during pregnancy is that
the baby had a Neshama of a Tzaddik who needed the partial pregnancy to
complete his soul.

This is comforting, but I doubt we truly understand what is going on.

As to your first question in this section, you can start with the idea of
Baderech She'adam Holeich - Molichim Oto. There are crossroads of choice
in our lives where we make concious decisions on how we will act and
behave. We then find our life (at least for a time) filled with further
"meetings" with situations where we are faced with choices based on our
first choice.

For example, if you chose to help someone, you may find yourself in
situations where you continue to help others for a time.

This was a 2 second commentary on a subject that fills whole libraries.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 15:42:43 +0200
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <zivotoa@mail.biu.ac.il>
Re: midvar sheker tirchak

Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
>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.

relevant to this thread of the last several weeks, people might want to 
see the following article:


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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 20:15:02 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Moshiach

In a message dated 12/8/2005 8:06:03pm EST, gershon.dubin@juno.com writes:
> There's also a teshuva on why anything that requires Eliyahu Hanavi's
> pesak should be a davar sheyesh lo matirin. The answer given (I believe
> it's a rishon; certainly not less than an early acharon) is that the
> food would rot by then.

See Nkudos haKesef (from the Shach) on Y"D Simon 102 end of Ois 1 who
who brings the Issur vHeter that says that it isn't DSL"M because then
Pshat is that it was never Ossur, and adds from the Ramah that we cannot
say that it is because it will rot by then because "Yochol Lovoi Bchol
Sha'ah", see also my other post BL"N on this topic.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 18:23:38 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
RE: Dress Code (was TIDE and TuM)

S & R Coffer <rivkyc@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> When I said
> "universally accepted" I merely meant that it goes into the geder of
> clothing for mankind without having a colour or fashion that is particular
> associated with a non-Jewish ideal. 

I don't disagree with that. As long as the non-Jewish ideal involves
Issurim. It is the neutral categories that I dispute you on and a tie
is in that category. Of course men going to a bar to pick up some women
is Chukas HaGoy, even if the women are Jewish. But going to a classical
music concert or seeing a Kosher movie is not Chukas HaGoy.


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Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 11:15:03 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Please do not submit more RNS related posts

As forewarned, no posts on the subject were accepted since Shabbos. This
policy will continue unless something else significant arises on that


Micha Berger             "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org        excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org   'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (270) 514-1507      trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 22:52:46 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Dress Code (was TIDE and TuM)

On December 10, 2005, Harry Maryles wrote:
> But going to a classical
> music concert or seeing a Kosher movie is not Chukas HaGoy.

I disagree. Especially about the movie part. And equally so if there are
women singing in the classical concert such as opera. But even without
that, the SA talks about "achsadraos" and other gatherings of goyim. Just
curious...how would you respond to that?

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 05:47:37 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
TIDE and TuM - Wearing Black

At 09:11 PM 12/10/2005, R. Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
>In European yeshivas, in Israeli yeshivas and
>in American yeshivas, black garb was virtually unknown for bochurim,
>with black hats even rarer, and even rabbonim and rashei yeshiva did
>not all wear black other than on Shabbos and "dress-up" occasions.

The following is from <http://www.manfredlehmann.com/sieg269.html> and
was written by Dr. Manfred Lehmann. He came to Ner Yisroel in August 1941.

"There were some seventy students when I arrived. At that time there
were no black hats, not even beards, nor any chasidim, among the
students. The Lithuanian influence, especially by the mussar teachings
of the Mir Yeshiva, dictated that any outer demonstrations of frumkeit
(piety)­like black clothes, peyes, etc.­were signs of gayve (haughtiness)
and had to be shunned. Hence the emphasis on light-colored suits and
hats and clean-shaven faces­even among the oldest talmidim."

If one looks at pictures of yeshiva bochrim in Europe,
REMT's statements about dress are shown to be, of
course, true. See, for example, the picture at the end of
at <http://personal.stevens.edu/~llevine/slabodka_1914.pdf>, at

Yitzchok Levine

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Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 03:09:18 -0500
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Re: NJ Culture

>> This doesn't follow logically. Was there a "mass Jewish acceptance" of
>> the entire Non-Jewish culture?

R' HM:
>No one said anything about mass acceptance of an entire non-Jewish
>culture. Only those things which are neutral, which are a great many
>things. Mada does not mean "all". No one said anything about adopting the
>lifestyle of "Hollywood". However, if one wants to buy a fancy chandelier,
>or a nice car, why not? There may be some reasons not to buy a chandelier,
>but Lo Seilechu isn't one of them.

You clearly stated, that "[a]ny time there is a mass Jewish acceptence
of a non-jewish mode of dress or any thing else, it ceases to be
Chukas HaGoy." The flip side of this, is that if there was /no/ mass
Jewish acceptance of something it remains Chukas HaGoy, no? So you next
sentence doesn't follow logically, "That makes anything in non Jewish
culture eligible for us as long as it is not an object or action of
Issur." This would only be true if there was a mass Jewish acceptance of
the entire NJ culture. This hasn't happened.


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Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 19:42:20 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Meor Ainayim - Historical reality

There is an interesting article dealing with the Meor Ainayim by Robert
Bonfil. Some reflections on the place of Azariah de Rossi's "Meor Enayim"
in the cultural milieu of Italian Renaissance Jewry. Printed in "Jewish
Thought in the 16th Century." pages 23-38 edited by Cooperman 1983.

The following is an excerpt:

"What is undeniable is that /the majority and senior part ofthe
outstanding Italian scholars never joined R. Katzenellenbogen's
cam?­paign. /It was not only such "friends" of de Rossi as R. Moses
Proventzalo and R. Judah Moscato (both of whom were among the few who
/did /object to de Rossi's arguments) whose names did not appear on the
manifesto. Others who did not sign included: R. Raphael Joseph Treves,
R. l;Iizkiya (Cesare) Finzi, R. Samuel del Vecchio and R. Abraham
Proventzalo of Ferrara; R. Eliezer Ashkenazi, R. Aaron David Norlinghen
and R. Isaac Seligman l;Iefetz (Gentili) of Cremona; R. Zangwil Pescarol
of Alessandria; and R. David Proventzalo of Mantua. This without
mentioning such minor personalities as R. Peretz Trabot, R. Avtalion
Modena and R. Solomon Modena in Ferrara; R. Samuel Archivolti, still in
Venice at that time; R. Ezra Fano (the teacher of R. MenaQem Azariah da
Fano) and R. Moses Norzi in Mantua.

We must consider that by 1574 the vast majority of Italian Jewry was
concentrated in northern Italy, particularly in the duchies of Ferrara,
Mantua (including Monferrato) and Milan and in the Venetian Republic.
Hence the absence of the above mentioned rabbis, the leading figures of
the north Italian rabbinate, from the anti-de Rossi campaign appears all
the more significant. *In *fact, it seems that beyond abstaining, they
even supported de Rossi by appending their signature to a document which,
unfortunately, has not reached us.^36 * *In* *any case, de Rossi had good
reason to believe that he could bring the entire affair to an end with
minimal effort-by publicizing the signatures of the rabbis who supported
him on the one hand, and by printing R. Proventzalo's objections together
with his own answers, as well as by making some editorial changes in
the troublesome sections of the /Meor Enayim, /on the other.

With that aim in mind he travelled to Venice, where he indeed struck
such an agreement. It should be emphasized that /this agree?­ment did
not obligate him to retract his statements on the chronological issue,
/nor to remove the relevant chapters from the book. This having been
achieved, he returned to Mantua, fulfilled his part of the agreement,
and could, so far as he was concerned, regard the affair as closed.^37

De Rossi was now in a position to demand of his opponents to recant.
Indeed, once R. Porto saw with his own eyes "bundles of signed testimonies
acquitting him and his book, especially those of the two excellent Mantuan
scholars" and noted that "the excellent scholars here with us removed
the painful thorn from chapter twenty," he fully recanted and removed any
restrictions from owning or reading the book. R. Porto signed a document
to this effect,38 and there can be little doubt that his recantation
was directly related to the agreement reached by de Rossi in Ven?­ICe.

In contrast to R. Porto' explicit and public recantation, the signatories
of the manifesto simply confined themselves to silence. Anyhow, during
the following year some academic discussion of the chronological issue
continued,39 but in other respects, the storm had passed and the book
sold.^40 It is even possible that de Rossi benefited from the publicity
aroused by the storm, despite the continued reluctance of the more
bigoted elements of Italian Jewry to deal with such delicate issues.

The printed manifesto, however, diffused by R. Katzenellen?­bogen and
his acolytes, continued to be preserved. This should not be disregarded.
/Verba volant, scriPta rnanent. /Even after the /drama tis personae
/had passed away, the printed sheet was capable of triggering the
hypersensitive consciences of religious minds whose authoritarian
orientation demanded that all controversies be settled in the most
stringent manner, so as to satisfy all opinions. With little difficulty
one's conscience could be calmed by obtaining formal permission to own
and read the book. Doing so could involve other psychological benefits as
well: one could pride one?­self on having been considered sufficiently
mature and sophisti?­cated to read a dangerous book without fear of
harm; and the rabbis granting such recognition could see their spiritual
authority strengthened as a result of their being empowered to do so.

It seems to me that this psychological dimension helps to explain
the survival of statements of permission to read the /Meor Enayim
/which were preserved mostly in copies of the book. The earliest of
them was issued twenty years after the affair^41 and the others are
considerably later. 42 We can reasonably assume that with the passage
of time anathemas launched from abroad, such as that of the MaHaRaL,
strengthened the impact of the manifesto.

It is possible to adduce indirect testimony concerning the in?­hibitory
powers of the printed edict upon persons who sincerely considered it
foreign to their own reality. R. I:Iananel (Graziadio) Neppi (1759-1863),
for example, stated that "from his youth" he had heard "that it is
prohibited for any student to read this book without first obtaining
permission from his master." Upon dis?­covering, however, that there was
not to be found in the book "a morsel of heresy or unbelief," he was
forced to conclude that all this flurry stirred up by those excellent
scholars and foundations of the world was probably a result of their
apprehension that the book might perhaps come into the hands of some
unworthy student, who could drink from the noxious waters of various
opinions of certain au?­thors in these matters, and be influenced by
them, causing him to stray from the opinions of the Sages and to deny
the principles of our holy Torah.^43

Daniel Eidensohn

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