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Volume 16 : Number 127

Friday, February 10 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 13:58:44 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Killing kinim on shabbat

On February 9, 2006, David Riceman wrote:
> From: <T613K@aol.com>
>> I agree with
>> him, of course, in subscribing to the halachic infallibility of Chazal.
> Then what's the point of Massecheth Horayoth?

Then what's the point of relying on shas for anything? 

Hu mosiv lah v'hu mifarek lah. Your turn. 

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 23:16:41 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Re: Ikkar Ha Din an Chezkas Kashrus

RYGB wrote:
>  This whole conversation mystifies me. Does no one remember that there is
> a Meseches Demai (currently being studied as the Daf Yomi Yerushalmi)?
> Ne'emanus is not automatic by any stretch of the imagination. It is a
> privilege that is earned (Chaveirus) not an automatic right

We are talking about a rav ha'machshir who is a talmid chacham and yirei
shamayim (but is known to require only ikkar ha'din, not chumros on
hashgachos given by his kashrus organization). Would such a person not
qualify as a chaver in the time of the mishnah? I note that the Rambam
Hil. Maasros 10:1-2 states that in order to be ne'eman on ma'asros,
one must publicly accept upon himself to eat only food which is tithed,
and witnesses must come stating that he did so and that regularly tithes.
However, every talmid chacham is automatically ne'eman on maasros.
(See also Shu"t Da'as Cohen 59, stating that a talmid chacham in our
times is considered to be at least a chaver, even if a talmid chacham
today does not qualify as a talmid chacham of the gemara.)

Moreover, is it clear that chaveirus is the standard required? Shu"t
Da'as Cohen 59 distinguishes between a chaver and a ne'eman on ma'asros.
S.A. YD 119:1 states that one may not eat from one who is chashud to eat
nonkosher food. Ramo adds that one may not buy even from one who is not
chashud, so long as he is not known to be "muchzak b'kashrus." From Beis
Yosef YD 119, it seems that he is comparing kashrus issues to maasros,
and that one need be just a "ne'eman." In fact, Aruch Hashulachan YD
119:11 states that one is "muchzak b'kashrus" even if not known to be a
"yirei Elokim," so long as one puts on tefillin and davens every day,
makes sure to eat kosher and generally follows halacha even if there
are a couple of (presumably non-kashrus-related) halachos which he is
lax about because he doesn't realize their severity. (See his proof.)

In addition, Aruch HaShulchan YD 119:2 says that according to the
Mechaber, there is a fundamental difference between demai and other issues
of kashrus-only in the case of demai did the rabbanan make a *gezeirah*
because they sent messengers throughout Israel and found that the amei
ha'aretz were meikil on demai. Min ha'torah, even with that situation, an
am ha'aretz would be neeman on demai because eid achad neeman b'isurin.
The gezeira did not apply to anything other than demai. Therefore,
in the case of regular kashrus, a stam Jew can be relied upon, even if
you know nothing about him. Aruch HaShulchan YD 119:4 explains that
the Ramo, who paskens like Rambam, does not disagree with this position,
but says that in the case of a seller, who has a financial interest which
may cause him to be moreh heter to violate lifnei iver, you may buy from
him only if he is muchzak b'kashrus and you cannot eat his food without
knowing anything about him. (Note, however, that the Ramo states that
even if the seller is not muchzak b'kashrus, you may eat at his home-i.e.,
every Jew has a chezkas kashrus and therefore can be relied upon outside
of the context of a store.)

One thing which became very clear to me from studying these sources is
that we can rely on chazakos and the Torah does not require us to be 100%
sure that something is kosher.

R. Y. Levine wrote (based on the story of the Chasam Sofer):
> It would seem that given this, and I do not know the exact source, that
> every person who has a business that sells food requires supervision,
> no matter how observant the owner may be.

At least in the time of the Ramo, this was not true. All that was
required was that he be "muchzak b'kashrus." Aruch Hashulchan YD 119:9
(living after the Chasam Sofer) says that it is forbidden to buy meat,
etc. from a person whom you *don't know* [to be muchzak b'kashrus]
without a ksav hechsher from a rabbi.

I wrote:
> Until now, we
> have been discussing whether a kashrus agency headed by a talmid chacham
> yirei shamayim has a chezkas kashrus.
> <snip>
> Now, you ask whether a store owner has a chezkas kashrus, given the
> fact that he is frum. That is a different issue, given the fact that
> the store owner may have a pecuniary interest in cutting corners.

R. David Riceman responded:
> I am blissfully ignorant of the economics of supervising kashrus.  Are you 
> implying that kashrus agencies don't have a pecuniary interest in keeping 
> the businesses they supervise happy? How are they funded?

It would seem to me that this din applies specifically to storeowners
and not to kashrus agencies themselves. I.e., if a kashrus agency makes
money on hashagachos (as most do), this fact should not require us to be
chosheid the kashrus agency if the rav hamachshir is a talmid chacham
and yirei shamayim for two reasons: (1) The Ramo's halacha voiding the
natural chezkas kashrus of all Jews was stated specifically with regard
to storeowners. We should not expand this to others, certainly rabbinic
agencies, without strong proof. (2) The Ramo agrees that someone who is
muchzak b'kashrus does not require a hashgacha. A talmid chacham/yirei
shamayim is muchzak b'kashrus.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 20:13:27 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Avodah V16 #119

RMB wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 08:44:54AM +0100, Arie Folger wrote:
>: While I cannot answer your question directly (I don' supervise cheese
>: productions), I am being told that for most cheeses, 'or haqevah is used,
>: which, according to all, needs to come from a kosher animal.

> One Tues evening in Moriah, RYBS questioned whether this is really true
> for cheaper cheeses, e.g. Kraft. As my father retold it he explicitly
> said he was wondering about the metzi'us, not pasqening.

Uhm... Around here we wouldn't refer to that stuff as cheese. Process
cheese (which, as you note, is the correct name) is generally made with
bacterial rennet. So are some Ementhaler and Gruyere cheeses. However,
cheeses set with microbial rennet doesn't age well, and so Blue cheese,
Camembert, Reblochon, Savoyard, Raclette, Gouda, Parmesan, Morbier,
etc. will fare better or only be manufactureable with animal rennet.

In addition, animal rennet is often used even in cheeses that could be
manufactured with bacterial rennet (even in some cream cheeses).

In America, where the cheese making tradition is less varied and more
industrialized than in Europe, it is indeed more likely that synthetic
rennet will be used, as the staple, American Cheese, can perfectly well
be set with bacterial rennet.

Arie Folger

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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 17:00:59 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Segulah For Parnassah - Parshas Hamon

O  February 9, 2006, L.E. Levine wrote:
>>> Reb Mendel M'Riminov said that saying Parshas Ha'monn (Shneyim Mikroh
>>> V'Echod Targum) on Tuesday Parshas B'Shalach, is a Segulah for Parnasah.

> I have a question about this. How does doing this fit with the statement
> that our Parnassa is decided on Rosh Hashanah? If what we will get is
> already decided, then how can saying this change anything? Or, is it
> perhaps a Segulah for next year's Parnassa?

> We non-Chassidic types tend to have problems with these sorts of
> things. :-)

Non-Chasidic? It's tosfos's kasha (I assume Chasidim learn tosfos...top
tosfos in RH 16a.) Following tosfos's second teretz, R' Dessler says
that although our general affairs are indeed arranged on Rosh haShana,
there are other spiritually influential times in the year during which
we have an opportunity to establish certain elements of our material
status for the coming year. (MM 2 pg. 67-71)

Simcha Coffer

[I think RnTK gets a "berukhah shekivant"! -mi]

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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 14:38:07 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Creation and Allegory

In defense of his post
>but better one not be an Aristotilian trying to force 
> Yahadus into those >categories.

RMB cites the lette to R Yosef Ibn Aknin (omitted) and then states
> The Rambam urged him to desist from the pursuit of logical proof and
> methodology, from trying to study Judaism like the Mutakallemim study
> Islam (or the Scholastics, Xianity). That he was studying 
> things in the
> wrong organization -- which is why I thought of categories. And that
> motivated the Rambam to write the book for other people in 
> this situation.

IMHO, that is a complete misunderstanding of the rambam. The rambam was
saying that there is an order to study. The metaphysical issues that Rav
Yosef wanted to study are properly at the end of the studies - there are
many preliminary studies that need to be done before one can understand
and appreciate the metaphysical studies. One can not take short cuts.

That is why the rambam doesn't say that he won't answer Rav Yosef,
or that he shouldn't continue his studies of philosophy, but says

> I urged you to desist from this pursuit, and enjoined you to continue
> your studies systematically; for my object was that the truth should
> present itself in connected order, and that you should not hit upon
> it by mere chance.

The problem is not that he should desist from the pursuit of logical proof
and methodology (something that is nowhere to be found in the rambam -
and is utterly foreign to him) - but that he was not at the stage of his
studies that he could understand the metaphysical issues that bothered him
- and the truth is not to be found haphazardly, but in a connected order.

after citing the rationale for the moreh in the introduction, he continues
> So, I do believe the Moreh really is the Rambam's opinion, but phrased
> in more Greek terms then he would have otherwise, aiming at someone
> whose faith in Aristotle had created conflict with his faith in Torah.

Again, IMHO a misunderstanding of the rambam. Aristotle and philosophy,
to the extent that they are proven, represent truth. (it is why he argues
against the aristotelian proof of eternity) It is not a matter of faith
(a word, as previously discussed, that does not appear in the moreh
or mishne torah - the translation as emunah in the perush hamishnayot
is according to kafih wrong). The rambam, essentially posits several
possible positions.

1) Unaware of possible contradictions between aristotle and torah - emunah pshuta
2) Aware of the contradictions, and therefore rejecting aristotle
3) aweare of the contradictions, and rejecting torah
4) Aware of the contradictions, and confused (the nevuchim)
5) Aware of the contradictions, but resolving them (as in the moreh)

you would posit, if I understand you correctly, that the rambam phrased
the moreh in greek terms aiming at group 4, but ideally was group 1
- but the rambam (especially, eg, in his parable of the castle) is
fairly explicit that group 1 - who are not aware of the issues raised
by aristotle - are at a lower level, because of lack of knowledge of
the truth. He suggests that chazal and neviim present the aristotelian
truths in a symbolic language, and had knowledge of that truth, There
is also an awareness that the masses are not ready for such knowledge -
and therefore one writes differently for them. However, the resolution
of the contradictions a la moreh is really the highest level - and
explains the true meaning of neviim and hazal.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 23:21:12 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Re: Creation & allegory

> Fri, 03 Feb 2006 R' Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il> posted:
>> Can someone explain the apparent neglect of the Moreh Nevuchim 2:30 
>> where the Rambam seems to assert that the sequence of the days of 
>> creation are not necessarily reflective of the historical order of 
>> events.

And on Thu, 09 Feb 2006, he elaborated:
> The Rambam clearly asserts that he agrees with Aristotle that there
> is no time without physical motion ... He asserts ... that in fact
> Creation started with Heavens & Earth and everything they contain on the
> First Day. Regarding the obvious problem - what were the 6 days
> needed for? - he answers that the physical entities were not put
> into place until after the first day...

> ... All of this leads to the problem - if the solar system or the
> celestial spheres in which the stars and planets exist were not put
> into place until the fourth day - what does "day" mean for the first 3
> days, since time did not exist ?... Because time cannot exist without
> physical motion, it follows that the term day for the first 3 days
> cannot refer to a temporal quality.

I'm afraid Rabbi Eidensohn, whose works I truly admire, missed an
important clause in the passage he is quoting (from MN II:30). After the
Rambam frames the question he says led to the mistaken opinion that time
and/or worlds existed before this world's creation ("What determined the
first day, since [until the fourth day] there was no rotating sphere,
and no sun?"), he goes on to /answer/ it.

He shows from Chazal that there /was/ a rotating sphere from the very
beginning. Contrary to a simple reading of the p'sukim, the celestial
bodies were not first created on the fourth day. Rather, the celestial
diurnal sphere (along with everything else) came into existence
simultaneously with the earth and began its motion, and therefore time
existed as soon as the universe existed. This answers how the first three
days were measured: each turn of the sphere (which, relatively speaking,
and in our lingo, would be each rotation of the earth) defined a day:

    "... I told you that the foundation of our faith is the belief
    that God created the Universe from nothing; that time did not exist
    previously, but was created: for time depends on the motion of the
    sphere, *and the sphere had been created* [and therefore from then on,
    there was time and measurable days]. ... Our Sages ... assume that
    God created with the heavens everything that the heavens contain,
    and with the earth everything the earth includes."

There is therefore no basis to say that "The Rambam seems to be implying
that in fact the first three days were not historical - temporal days
... [but] were allegorical descriptions...."

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 00:22:39 -0500
From: hankman <salman@videotron.ca>
Re Review by J. Peacock of 'The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design'. by Leonard Susskind

    'A comment made by Steven Weinberg in his 1977 book The First
    Three Minutes sums things up well: "The more the universe seems
    comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless." Pointless to look
    for meaning in our existence in the universe, and also (according to
    Susskind) pointless to look for meaning in physics. To a physicist,
    this is a pretty depressing conclusion, but there is some consolation:
    The beauty we perceive in the laws of physics perhaps tells us as much
    about the human aesthetic response as it does about any fundamental
    design of the universe...'

The above is a quote from a review of The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory
and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. by Leonard Susskind written by
John Peacock. Although this idea is nothing new - the lack of meaning
in a random chaotic world without a creator and therefore without
justice and with no difference between good and evil - I still found
this realization quite striking coming from a review of a book that is
clearly antagonistic to the existence of a deity. I have no idea of the
views of the reviewer, but I suspect from this review that at best he
is agnostic and likely an atheist (my apologies to him if I am wrong in
this assumption). The original comment came from Weinberg - a Jew - who
perhaps was more sensitive to these ideas? (Anybody know if Weinberg had
any public views on the existence of G-d or if he affiliated himself as
a Jew?) (I guess his logic goes something like this: if the universe is
comprehensible, then you do not need something like a "G-d of the gaps"
to explain away the mystery, but since no need for G-d therefore the
universe is pointless).

I think the basic human psyche recoils from the thought of a universe
which is not "fair" and where justice does not prevail. I think this is
a basic human emotional need. The fact that this powerful need exists
is by itself a strong statement (if not proof) about the existence of
a creator who built this in to our psyche. If the universe was only
a collection of random events without any expectation of justice and
fairness why would we have evolved such a deep need for something that
does not exist and is a mere futile figment of our overactive imagination?

Imagine one man who suffers continuing torment and torture and is torn
apart limb from limb, and another living the life of Riley with all the
pleasures life can provide. The first not harming a fly and the latter
a big strong thug who can take from others whatever he pleases. Yet
in the big picture, non of this makes any difference in the universe
at large and neither the suffering of the first nor the pleasures of
the latter make any more difference than the dust blowing in the wind,
or the gurgling water rushing in the brook or the countless stars and
galaxies traversing timeless and meaningless orbits. None of it matters,
none of it is remembered, none of it is recorded, none of it is punished,
none of it is rewarded and ultimately none of it matters any more
than a hill of beans. Our psyche can not accept such a world. Such a
world without (has vesholom) a creator is the ultimate Haveil Havolim,
pointless and meaningless.

Kol Tuv
Chaim Manaster

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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 18:58:01 -0500 (EST)
From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@panix.com>
Re: Kashrus

 From: Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
> As a practical matter, it is possible that the OU decided that given
> the wide range of places that it services, it cannot rely on a frum
> person's good reputation and therefore wants a mashgiach temidi even on
> the premises of a restaurant run by frum people and frequented by frum
> people. However, AIUI this is a new phenomenon and is not based on the
> requirements of the S.A. Therefore, we should not condemn hashgachos which
> have not accepted the OU's chumra (which, incidentally, is a money-maker
> for OU), or people who continue to eat in heimeishe restaurants run by
> people they know and trust.

I agree with what you are saying. Everything has to depend on the
situation and a competent Rav has to make a call. In our community if our
butcher/deli was forced to have a mashgiach temidi, he would be forced to
shut down immediately. In our case many of the customers who come from C
or R homes would just buy the treif products in the supermarket, if kosher
was not readily available. (I would not eat in their homes, but much of
what they eat may qualify as minimially bidieved kosher vs. pure treif))

That does not even addres the issue of the severe hardship that would
be created to out chumra the others.

Yotzei venichnas does meet all the requirements by the etzem halacha,
especially with an observant owner.

There is much discussion of the more complicated situation now days.
I found that for other than manufacturing the opposite is true. In
the old days a person got the meat from the Shochet and had to trieber
the chelev, kasher the meat, look for problems, yet in Eurpose there
was never hashsgach temidis. Now everything that is allowed in has a
hashgacha approved by the Rav Hamachshir. All meat is is cryovacced
packages, ready to cut.

Even in a larger community how many businesses cannot survive because
of the extra expense needed of hashgacha temidis. I wonder how much of
that is the result of the need to provide jobs for people who are not
qualified for anything else.

Harry J. Weiss

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 09:26:24 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Killing kinim on shabbat

From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
>>> I agree with
>>> him, of course, in subscribing to the halachic infallibility of Chazal.
>> Then what's the point of Massecheth Horayoth?
> Then what's the point of relying on shas for anything?

> Hu mosiv lah v'hu mifarek lah. Your turn.

What Hazal have is authority, not infallibility.
As an example (unfortunately from the Geonim IIRC) we are supposed,
midina digmara, to start saying "v'sein tal umattar" 60 days after the
fall equinox, i.e., on Nov. 21. We however, start saying it several days
later because the geonim established an unreliable method to calculate
when the equinox occurs. They had the authority to tell us how to do
the calculation; they were not infallible, or the calculation would
be correct.

David Riceman 

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 10:19:41 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Killing kinim on shabbat

On February 10, 2006, David Riceman wrote:
> What Hazal have is authority, not infallibility.
> As an example (unfortunately from the Geonim IIRC) we are supposed, midina
> digmara, to start saying "v'sein tal umattar" 60 days after the fall
> equinox, i.e., on Nov. 21.  We however, start saying it several days later
> because the geonim established an unreliable method to calculate when the
> equinox occurs.  They had the authority to tell us how to do the
> calculation; they were not infallible, or the calculation would be correct.

I don't think you are correct. We say vtu'l several days after the sixty day
marker to the autumnal equinox because it is easier to follow Shmuel's
calculation in the Gemara of 365 and a quarter days (instead of the true
365, 5 hours, 48 minutes 48 seconds as imposed by Gregory the something 7 or
8 I think). So at the expense of a small inaccuracy, the chahcmim stuck to
the less accurate cheshbon of Shmuel. If anything, you can claim that Shmuel
was fallible for proposing this cheshbon however he was just copying it from
Julius Ceasar.

Simcha Coffer 

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 06:15:57 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
RE: Shiras HaYam

Has anyone noted that the flourishes with which we lein parts of Shiras
HaYam (usually those pesukim that contain the shem Hashem) are identical
in tune with the tune of Shir HaShirim?

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 02:01:57 GMT
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese

My high school chemistry is over five decades old, but I believe that
enzymes are catalysts, which means that they enable or speed up a process
without undergoing change. If such is indeed the case, then if all
the bee contributes to the honey-making process is enzymes, there is
truly nothing of the bee's in the final product. While kol hayotzei
min hatamei is tamei, there is no rule that any outside substance which
undergoes a reaction within a tamei, while absorbing nothing _from_
the tamei, should be prohibited.

For the same reason, I don't understand why there is a problem for Pesach
in using products grown on chametz-derived enzymes, or year-round for
products grown on animal-derived enzymes. So long as the chametz or
n'veilah is only an enzyme, it may allow a process to take place, but
it contributes nothing of its substance to the finished product.

Will those with a firmer grasp of chemistry please either validate or
explain the fallacy of the above?


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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:54:08 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese

On Fri, Feb 10, 2006 at 02:01:57AM +0000, Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
: My high school chemistry is over five decades old, but I believe that
: enzymes are catalysts, which means that they enable or speed up a process
: without undergoing change. If such is indeed the case, then if all
: the bee contributes to the honey-making process is enzymes, there is
: truly nothing of the bee's in the final product....

The Chozeh of Lublin notes that there are bee parts dissolved in honey.
Makes a derashah from it about teshuvah and metaheir es hatemei'im
and honey on RH. And some of the enzymes remain in the honey, even if
we consider them impurities and not the ikkar honey. (Being an ezyme
means it's not in the final chemical, not that it couldn't end up in
the mixture as an impurity.)

I can tell you that the taste, smell, texture, and appearance of honey
barely resembles that of nectare. Clover nectar looks like water, and
tastes like a florist shop dipped in way too much sugar.

So the question I asked was why honey is not considered a product of
the bee. Regardless of whether any of the component came from a source
other than the nectar, few of the chemicals in the nectar go through
the bee unmodified. Is there a shiur for how modified it must be,
and if so, is this shiur unrelated to sensory experience?

And, do we believe the tanna and rishonim who suggest this sevara for
the permissability of honey were really thinking about such a shiur, or
did they think it was a drying process? Given the transition from grape
to raisin, which also involves a total change in appearance, texture
and taste, is also drying, why would we assume anything different than
simple peshat of their words? (I hope to have a mar'eh maqom that such
is the shitah be"H after Shabbos.)

But this started out on a slightly less extreme question: Why isn't the
bee's enzyme a davar hama'amad?

I therefore am personally far more comfortable with the "gezeiras hakasuv"
sevara. Even though it relies on the pasuq meaning bee's honey rather
than date.


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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