Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 276

Tuesday, January 11 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 06:43:59 -0600
From: Saul Weinreb <sweinr1@uic.edu>
Subject:
techeiles


I said that I would fill you in on the resaons for not weariing tzitzis
bereshus harabbim on shabbos.   Like I said there are many reassons given
for the chumra of the Maharam.  In a paper I wrote I found six different
explanations - 1)that he was choshesh for the shita of the baal hamaor
(most popular) 2) that he was afraid that they would tear and hence he
would be carrying on shabbos (Ramban - in explaining this chumra, which was
BTW not only the maharam's, just that he was the major Rishon who we know
had this chumra) 3) that he was choshesh that his talis katan was not
considered a begged (Ritva) 4) That he had in mind to put on techeiles
ASAP, and when it is daato aleyhen lesaknan they do not have a din of
finished (my own, based on various sources) 5) that he considered the extra
two strings that are zecher letecheiles eynam reuyin lebilah and not
beteilim to the other strings (Rebbe from Radzin and Shaagas Aryeh) 6) that
the eatra two strings of white were only a zeicher and not beteilin
("Lomdically" slightly different from #5, - various acharonim).
The most popular explanation however as wee can see from this list is # 1.
Shaul Weinreb


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 14:54:32 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Gittel


Gittel

One goes to do the mitzvah of nichum avelim- (comforting mourners)  in
trepidation, and in the slight hope we can give a little
chizuk-(encouragement) to the bereaved. In almost every instance we come
away with more chizuk than we were able to give.

Allow me to tell you about Gittel.  She was a sweet child of Hashem who
passed away last erev Shabbos,  just a few weeks shy of her ninth birthday.
She had suffered many years from a variety of health problems since she was
born with Down's syndrome.  In her last months she was afflicted with a
distressing heart complaint and suffered from fluid and blood in her lungs.
And yet-  Gittel was completely herself till the day she returned her soul
to her Father in heaven.

When we feel pain and experience serious illness, most of us tend to retire
to our beds. We feel justified in our self-centredness- after all, we have
to take care of ourselves in order to get better, right?  Let's be honest
with ourselves. How many of us use our pain and all kinds of cheshbonot
(prognoses) as excuses  to be selfish, lazy and miserable-  at least to some
degree?  It's not even a matter of "having the energy". Gittel was
physically weak compared with most of us  (not that we should exert
ourselves beyond doctor's orders, but we can accomplish a great deal while
being gentle with ourselves)

Gittel was relatively free of cheshbonos. She probably was not aware how
close she was to losing her life- who knows?  She did not wish to stay in
her bed-  she preferred to circulate, playing and chatting with nurses and
patients, handing out candies to all and sundry.  In her enforced simplicity
she could allow the essence of her soul to shine through-  a soul which only
wanted to relate and to give.

I expect none of us would want to trade our minds for less sophisticated
models, but with all our advanced understanding, it is much harder for us to
deal with the wordly reality of our various problems. It's easy for us to
imagine where they will lead and it's not so easy for us to accept our pain
in the way Gittel could accept pain.  Indeed, she did feel pain, she would
mention the fact from time to time, but it did not seem to have such great
importance for her.  The hospital staff marvelled at her general lack of
complaint.

Years ago on yom tov Succos we visited Rav Avraham Sheinberger in the Old
City of Jerusalem shortly before he passed away. He was pale, emaciated and
obviously in pain.  When he saw us, he struggled up from his resting place
and with the greatest concern asked us "have you heard kiddush, have you
heard kiddush?"

We need to learn from Gittel in her simplicity, and from Rav Sheinberger in
his developed wisdom  to understand that our sophisticated minds can lead us
to self absorption-  but it doesn't have to be that way.       Mrs. G.A.


===================================================


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:00:29 EST
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: Conservative/Reform/Orthodox/Whatever - Who cares?


Mrs. GA wrote <<< The ikkar is Ratzon Hashem-  the rest is labels. 
However,  we still have need of those labels to some extent- orthodox vs
reform conversion for example. >>>

Actually, this is a good example of the harm that can come from the
"orthodox" label. I have too often seen cases where "orthodox conversion"
means tevilah but not much in the way of accepting mitzvos.

Akiva Miller

________________________________________________________________
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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:27:21 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re[8]: value of shas


comments interspersed.
> If TB was meant lema'aseh what's the point of Aggedito?

I don't think we truly understand much of Aggadita. I think there are 
(particularly musar) lessons there that go way beyond the pshat of 
the words that we just don't get.

===>  Agreed

> And if theory is as important as lemaaseh, why not Taharos?

Much of Kodshim is more than just theory. Bchor still has kdusha 
today. Even in Chutz LaAretz. But Taharos involved (principally) 
questions of being able to EAT Kodshim and Truma and that we 
cannot do today.

> And if lemaaseh is ikkar, then what's wrong with Tur?

It wasn't around when Talmud Bavli was finished. If I understand 
correctly, what we are discussing is whether TB was intended at 
the time it was finished to be the sum of TSBP (as was the Yad).

===> Agreed.  If TB was intended as the sum total of TSBP, then 
it fell short in certain areas.  And many laws of zeroim were 
applicable at that time in EY, but was not applicable in Bovel . 
Which gives the TB a specific flavor re: time and place.

-- Carl


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:35:29 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: Missing Masechtos - was: value of Shas


The question might be reframed as follows:

Just what IS the TB?  Here is an exercise:  give a 1 or 2 entence definition or 
description of the TB.

If you understand what the TB IS and what it IS NOT, it will help.

Rich Wolpoe


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Missing Masechtos - was: value of Shas 


R' Wolpoe wrote: <<< The point I was attempting to make was that IF the 
Bavli were designed to be the BE all and END all of TSBP, they 
woulda/shoulda/coulda included all 63 masechtos. TB did not. Which 
implies to me that the Gemoro did not consider itself as  nigmar (lo 
loech hamlocho ligmor) and therefore it was never designed as a 
stand-alone sefer (unlike the Rambam's Yad!) >>>

It is true that there are many masechtos missing from the Bavli, i.e., 
there are masechtos which exist in the Mishna but not in the Gemara. R' 
Wolpoe seems to be saying that they were deliberately omitted. I had 
always thought that they were simply missing, i.e., that Ravina and Rav 
Ashi never got around to compiling them, and/or they got lost over the 
centuries.

I had expected to see someone question R' Wolpoe on this point, but I 
have not seen such a point made by those who know history better than I, 
and I'm wondering if I've been wrong all along. So now I'm asking -- 
What's the deal with the missing masechtos?

Akiva Miller

________________________________________________________________ 


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:35:59 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
Subject:
Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern Orthodox?


This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand
this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

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Yes, I asked an attendee, and I can confirm that Chaim Berlin permits mixed
seating at their annual dinner.  The mixed tables are located in the rear of
the hall; the separate tables are in front, by the dais.  (FWIW, the
attendee I spoke with estimates that there were more separate tables than
mixed, but that it was pretty close to 50/50.

I find this fact interesting in that I have heard (and I have witnessed on
one occasion) that R' Aaron Shechter won't stay for the meal at a wedding if
there is mixed seating.  (He'll come for the chupa but will leave before the
seuda.)  Of course, there is a halachic distinction between an annual dinner
and a wedding seuda, but...

kt
Aryeh

===============================================
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 11:22:26 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject: Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern Orthodox?


<snip>

Also, I heard that Chaim Berlin allows mixed seating at their annaul
dinners. 
Can this be confirmed?

Rich Wolpoe

------_=_NextPart_001_01BF5C38.CEFD3F90
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	charset="ISO-8859-1"
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charset=3DISO-8859-1">
<META NAME=3D"Generator" CONTENT=3D"MS Exchange Server version =
5.5.2650.12">
<TITLE>Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern =
Orthodox?</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Yes, I asked an attendee, and I can confirm that =
Chaim Berlin permits mixed seating at their annual dinner.&nbsp; The =
mixed tables are located in the rear of the hall; the separate tables =
are in front, by the dais.&nbsp; (FWIW, the attendee I spoke with =
estimates that there were more separate tables than mixed, but that it =
was pretty close to 50/50.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>I find this fact interesting in that I have heard =
(and I have witnessed on one occasion) that R' Aaron Shechter won't =
stay for the meal at a wedding if there is mixed seating.&nbsp; (He'll =
come for the chupa but will leave before the seuda.)&nbsp; Of course, =
there is a halachic distinction between an annual dinner and a wedding =
seuda, but...</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>kt</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>Aryeh</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT =
SIZE=3D2>=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 11:22:26 -0500</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>Subject: Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered =
modern Orthodox?</FONT>
</P>
<BR>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>&lt;snip&gt;</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Also, I heard that Chaim Berlin allows mixed seating =
at their annaul dinners. </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>Can this be confirmed?</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Rich Wolpoe</FONT>
</P>

</BODY>
</HTML>
------_=_NextPart_001_01BF5C38.CEFD3F90--


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:37:18 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: MO and the Rav


FWIW I also attended several of those lectures. And R. Riskin said: "MO is NOT  
{about} a heter for mixed swimming. <SMILE>

Rich Wolpoe


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: MO and the Rav 



        In the late 70's and very early 80's, when Rabbi Riskin was living
in New York, I heard him speak several times concerning the differences 
between "Modern Orthodoxy" and "Right-Wing Orthodoxy."  I understood him 
then as identifying three areas of difference:

<snip>
Jeff Zuckerman


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:42:22 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: standing for choson


One answer given  is because choson domeh l'melech. However, he is not a 
chasan in the Talmudic sense until after the nisuin, and certainly not 
before even the erusin has taken place. <snip>

====>  An educated guess, the Chosson is considered a Melech byom 
chuposso - even before the maase.  Of course if for some reason it 
 doesn't go thru he might retroactively be considered a non-choson, but I 
would then venture to say eitehr al pi rov or chazoko that a chosson WILL 
go thru with the chupo and we rely upon that.

Sadya N. Targum

.


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:42:24 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: Prenant women and cemetaries


Wasn't this thread discussed about 2 months ago?
Rich Wolpoe


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Prenant women and cemetaries 


Anyone know where the idea of a pregnant woman not going into a cemetery for 
a funeral comes from? Is there any legitimacy to it?
Any information would be most helpful. 
Thanks!!
Yitz Weiss


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 09:21:34 EST
From: Chaimwass@aol.com
Subject:
Re: Avodah V4 #275


Carl Shere wonders about standing at a wedding as a chosson (and kallah) come 
to the chuppah.

He is correct that this is recent. The practice emanates from certain 
yeshivot and if I am not mistaken Yeshivas R. Chaim Berlin and Rav Hutner 
were among the earliest trendsetters in this area.

Is this unique to America, he wonders. What is uique to America is that there 
are almost always sufficient chairs for the chuppah attendees. True, there 
are some ("bochrim" or "avreichim") who always will choose to be near the 
chuppah for whatever reason (not to hear a brachach through the agency of a 
microphone or just to be up front the very moment that the glass is broken). 
But, as a widely noticed rule, there are seats for virtually everyone. In 
Israel, however, providing seats for all those assembled at a wedding is, I 
am told and have seen, a rarity. Therefore, most all stand. 

chaim wasserman


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 06:34:30 PST
From: "aviva fee" <aviva613@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Chabad What went wrong?


Hello:

Does anyone have any insights into what went wrong with Chabad and the Rebbe 
ztzíl?

What started as a dynamic movement has turned into a personality cult.  I 
just heard Rabbi Butman on the radio speak as if the Rebbe was still alive.

On one said, here was a gadol, Rav MM Schnayorsohn ztzíl, who in a few 
decades created an organization whose scope extends to every point on the 
globe.  The well known saying of ĎAnywhere you go you can find Coca-Cola and 
Chabadí is not an exaggeration.

On the other hand, how could someone as great and brilliant as the Rebbe 
ztzíl let Chabad turn into a personality cult in his lifetime?

Does anyone have any psychological insights into the Rebbe?

I am not try to bash the Rebbe or Chabad Ė but what went wrong?


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 13:35:26 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Subject:
re: Conservative/Reform/Orthodox/Whatever - Who cares?


REClark wrote: <<
But the idea (some
would say myth) of an unchanging Orthodoxy dating from Sinai to the
present day was essentially born in the 19th century in response to
Reform.  >>

Are you saying that sociologically pre-19th-century European 
Jewish society was somewhat like the Sephardim today?
As one Sephardic scholar once described it to me,
Sephardic society can be viewed as concentric circles of ever
increasing observance  - unlike the rigid division into 
"movements" characterizing the Ashkenazim.

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:51:01 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Subject:
Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern Orthodox?


Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the most
outstanding "MO" feature of the Rav zt"l was the degree of 
intellectual autonomy in his learning and his philosophical
thinking.   To use his own terminology, he seemed to feel
that the quintessential ish halacha required as healthy a dose
of Adam I (boldness and independence) as of Adam II (piety
and acquiescence).   I  think the other distinctions mentioned
in earlier postings are epiphenomena of this basic 
independent style of thinking.

In fact, I think the various flavors of "orthodoxy" - MO, RW, and
the various shades thereof - can largely be categorized by 
where they appear on the autonomy-heteronomy continuum.

KT,
Shlomo Godick


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:55:39 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Subject:
re: Sadigora


Regarding RMFrankel's comments on Sadigora:

Another Sadigora shul (at least formally speaking) is that of Rav 
Mordechai Auerbach, who is a son of Rav Shlomo Zalman zt'l and
the son-in-law of the late Sadigora rebbe.   Located in south Tel
Aviv (not far from Sheinken),  it is probably the only religious
community in TA that is actually *growing*, thanks to the steady 
influx of baalei tshuva who are drawn to Rav Auerbach.  They
have had a kollel for years and have recently started a baal tshuva
yeshiva.  Although the shul has a chassidic flavor, there are few
"real chassidim" in the shul.

R' Frankel, your stories of the chassidic and musar movements are
very entertaining and fascinating, but sometimes my fingers itch 
to scribble  along the margins that red-lettered word my high
school English teachers would sometimes write on my Monday
morning themes: "DOCUMENTATION?".

KT,
Shlomo Godick


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 10:02:03 EST
From: Tobrr111@aol.com
Subject:
metsuva veose


In a recent post I noted that the TAZ in hilchos Talmud Torah quotes Tosfos 
as saying that metsuva veose is greater because of a greater yetser hara. I 
was mistaken however when I indicated that the TAZ was reffering to Tosfos in 
kidushin 31a. He really is reffering to Tosfos in Avoda Zara 3a which 
specifically mentions this reason. Tosfos in Kedushin does not mention yetser 
hara (as noted by R. Feldman) and gives what seems to be a different reason. 
The reason of yetser hara is also mentioned by the Shach and Aruch hashulchan 
in hilchos TT.


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 07:06:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Sadigora


--- Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil wrote:
> Still cleaning up back issues: one of the israeli
> contingent asked about the
> sadigora chasidim and mentioned that he thought they
> were a small group. 
> 
> I am not sure how they're doing these days, though I
> was under the vague
> impression that they were actually a pretty
> successful group in the present
> era- somewhere in the tel aviv area

He lives in Bnei Brak.  My grandfather was a
Chortkover Chasid and used to take my father to see
the Rebbe who at that time (pre-WWII) lived in Vienna.
Upon Making Aliya, in 1974, my father reverted to his
roots and sought out Rebbes of the Rizhiner dynasty. 
He found the present day Sadigerer Rebbe and became
very close with him.  But he ultimately was drawn to
the Boyaner Chasidim who are much larger in number,
and have established a large Yeshiva building on
Malchei Yisroel Street in the Geula section of
Jerusalem, "Tifferes Yisroel of Rhizhin".  When the
son of the previous Boyaner Rebbe, YU's Rabbi Dr.
Menachem Breyer's own son decided to become The
Boyaner Rebbe at a very early age (somewhere in his
20's), he gained immediate acceptance and popularity
amongst the very large contingent of Boyaner Chasidim
and Boyan is now the most powerful and Dominant of the
Rhiziner Chasidim.

HM
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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 10:12:50 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: Chabad What went wrong?


May I suggest that this topic be handled off the list lest soome people might 
say CV, Avodah - what went wrong?!

Rich Wolpoe 


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Chabad  What went wrong? 

Hello:

<snip>

I am not try to bash the Rebbe or Chabad - but what went wrong?


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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 17:12:51 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Subject:
Re: Chabad What went wrong?


On 11 Jan 00, at 6:34, aviva fee wrote:

> On the other hand, how could someone as great and brilliant as the Rebbe 
> ztzíl let Chabad turn into a personality cult in his lifetime?

My recollection is that it actually happened after the Rebbe zt"l 
was no longer able to speak - and therefore he was presumably 
unable to put up any resistance. I recall in particular reading of one 
farbrengen where the Rebbe allegedly waved his hand after the 
Chassidim had sung "Yechi adoneinu" and they took that as a sign 
of his acquiesence. I don't recall any other "signs" during his 
lifetime. IOW I don't think the Rebbe "let" it happen.

Not the first time a Jew has been deified after his death....

-- Carl


Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461
mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il
mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il

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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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 07:17:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Re[2]: Is techeles m'akev a Talis Katan?


--- richard_wolpoe@ibi.com wrote:
> This is what I was told that Briskers do is where a
> non-wool begged.
> 
> The problem they have to deal with is that virtually
> NOBODY wore a non-wool 
> tallis Gadol as far back as anyone can remember (yes
> let's dicount those 
> American silk Taleism)
> 
> IOW, how can Brisk ignore the entire "velt" minhag
> on this?

I believe that the GRA also wore a non-Tzemer Beged
for his Talis Katan.  It is likely that his Talis
Gadol was woolen as is R. Aaron's.  Perhaps the answer
is that for the relatively brief period of Tefilah a
Talis Gadol is worn just Lephi Daas HaOmrim that
Tchelis is not Meakev and a cotton Beged is worn as a
TK because one wears it all day and therefore it
minimizes the time span of issur. 

Just speculation.

HM
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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 07:22:12 PST
From: "aviva fee" <aviva613@hotmail.com>
Subject:
Haredim abuzz about halachic ban on Internet use


From:  http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/01/11/News/News.1182.html

Any comments?

Haredim abuzz about halachic ban on Internet use
By Judy Siegel And Tamar Hausman

JERUSALEM (January 11) - A halachic ruling issued last week by a number of 
prominent haredi rabbis prohibiting their followers from using the Internet 
- except for work - has triggered unease, surprise, and some agreement in 
the haredi community.

The ruling, displayed on flyers and posters pasted on walls in haredi 
neighborhoods, was signed by leading halachic arbiter Rabbi Yosef Shalom 
Eliashiv; the rabbinic leaders of Belz, Sadigura, and Vizhnitz; Rabbi Leib 
Sheinman; and Shas Council of Sages members Shalom Cohen and Shimon 
Ba'adani.

Neither Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef nor rabbis of the Habad 
movement - both of whom have extensive Web sites and services - signed the 
document, nor did the Gerrer rebbe.

Although almost no haredi families have (or admit to having) TV sets, 
personal computers are common and found in an estimated 40 percent of haredi 
homes. Computer experts also say they sell quite a few TV cards and digital 
video disk drives for computers for the haredi sector.

A considerable number of those haredi families who have a computer are not 
hooked up to the Internet, but many still do - not only to keep in touch 
with families and friends via e-mail, but also for business and other uses.

Some of the largest growth in the Internet has been in Jewish educational 
and religious sites, which include hundreds of sites devoted just to the Daf 
Yomi (daily study of Talmud). Yeshivot for penitent Jews, such as Aish 
Hatorah and Ohr Somayach, have tens of thousands of "hits" on their sites, 
and services offering responses from rabbis on any question posed elicit as 
many as 40,000 queries a year.

The haredi rabbis who barred having an Internet connection - except for 
one's livelihood, and in this case it should be only at work and not at home 
- declared that use of the Web "burns souls" and leads impressionable young 
people astray.

The ruling also prohibited watching TV or digital movies via a personal 
computer.

The rabbis did not refer to the dilemma of the many haredim - men and women 
- who run businesses from home using the Internet. Numerous haredi 
businesspeople who have Internet- related businesses said they rushed to 
study the ruling and hoped they would not be affected.

A provision stating that people may receive exemptions from their rabbis is 
not written in the posters, points out Uri Sharf, head of Jerusalem's 
Business Development Center (MATI). He says such a provision exists, and 
that it is used for people who work with televisions.

MATI, which provides advice and instruction for people wanting to start 
their own businesses, offers classes and advice to the haredi population, 
some of whom have started computer-related businesses. Sharf believes that 
many people will be granted permission to use the Internet because they use 
it to earn their livelihood.

Sharf, who keeps in touch with haredi male and female "graduates" says he 
believes that those who don't receive formal exemption will disregard the 
decree. Eventually, some will develop screening software and, he predicts, 
the Internet will eventually be approved by the same leaders. "I do not 
believe the Internet can be disregarded by any serious business people," he 
said.

The problem faced by haredim who want Internet services was supposed to have 
been solved about two years ago, when a haredi-owned Internet service 
provider named Toranet was launched. It claimed to allow entrance only to 
sites that had been approved in advance and did not include clickable links 
to unacceptable sites.

But Toranet has, for some reason, disappeared, and no other haredi Net 
censorship service has replaced it.
Yosef Levinhartz, the expert in charge of computerization for Habad-Israel 
and responsible for its Web site, said yesterday that "Habad has for many 
years used all media to reach the Jewish people." This includes TV, 
satellite broadcasts, video, computers, and Internet.

"We use it to disseminate Judaism. But that doesn't mean we have this in our 
homes," said Levinhartz. "Habad rabbis have apparently not discussed the 
issue, because our people know the general rules of behavior; Habad rabbis 
usually don't issue rulings in great detail about how to observe these 
rules. I myself believe that children should not be exposed to the Internet 
and their use of computer software should be strictly supervised," said 
Levinhartz, who lives in Kfar Habad. "Parents have to be smart enough to set 
limits."

A local rabbi who works with a 10-man team for a yeshiva with a prominent 
Web site said that he has a computer at home but no Internet condition 
because he does not want his children exposed to it. He also vets the 
software they use.

"The rabbis allowed the use of the Internet for work - and our job is 
promoting Jewishness and study of the Torah. The large majority of people 
who access our site have no other source of information about Judaism. There 
is a tremendous positive side to the Internet, as well as many negative 
sides. Rabbi Yosef, Habad, and various yeshivot for penitent Jews also use 
their sites to bring Jews closer to the Torah, so this is permitted."

However he said he didn't know what effect the ruling would have on haredim 
who already use the Internet for general information purposes. "I don't know 
how many will actually disconnect."
The ruling did not relate to e-mail, he added.

"One can get e-mail services without being linked to the Internet, so that 
is kosher."
As for the question whether rabbis' forbidding Internet surfing would 
actually induce haredi youngsters to try to taste the "forbidden fruit," he 
could not comment. "That's a sociological question. There's a very fine 
line. The rabbis must have weighed the pros and cons of the issue."


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