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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 23:37:45 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: The Gematria in Nu06-05 Alexander Heppenheimer in v32n40 gives a very lengthy response to my question about "What is the real reason for avoiding nuts on Rosh Hashana" as well as "Should we be following laws based on Gematrias". Most of his comments were very informative and brought new issues to light (For example I was unaware of the Mordechai) 2 Small corrections: Alex incorrectly argues against my claim that doing rabbinical ordinances because of gematrias is superstitious and hence prohibited" by citing the famous Sifrah on Nu06-05 that if a person says "I vow to abstain from wine" then he must abstain for 30 days. The Talmud derives this because the GEMATRIA of the verses words "he shall be in his nazariteness (YHYH)"is 30. (To be fair to Alex he offers other arguments against my superstitious classification) But according to the Malbim the derivation is NOT from the Gematria Rather the derivation is from the fact that the Hebrew word WILL BE always denotes EMPHASIS and hence a nontransient period (The minimum non transient period in many parts of Jewish law (like renting) is 30 days) Even without this Malbim it is an accepted principle that "Quantities come from Moses at Sinai". In other words the law was NOT derived from the Gematria but from a Sinaitic tradition. So...I don't know of any laws which were DERIVED from Gematrias...and hence following Alex's sources I ask if we are allowed to follow the recommendation of the Rma not to eat nuts seeing that the Rma's 1st reason is a numerical association. My 2nd point is on Alexs citation of Rambam, Shechitah 10:12-13 where Rambam states that we do not use Medical Authorities to override classification of TRAYFAH in an Animal (ie a deadly disease).Correct! But my understanding is that it is only in certain Biblical commandments where we do not use Medical authorities. In certain areas (eg violation of Shabbath) and in all Rabbinical ordinances my understanding is that we do use Medical authorities. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.edu Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.RashiYomi.Com/ Surfing the Talmudic Sea