Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 294

Saturday, January 15 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 13:18:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Mixed seating at weddings

--- Yzkd@aol.com wrote:
> Another issue that I am not aware if discussed is
> what happens during dancing 
> is there Mechitza (men watching women dancing is
> prohibited).

There is usually a Mechitza up at  O mixed weddings 
when the music starts, everyone gets up to dance on
either side of the Mechitza so there should be no
Histaklus problem.  To the extent that a man who may
be sitting on the womens side of the mechitza does not
get up to dance, well there's always the possibility
that men will cross over the mechitza to watch the
women dance even at a seperate seating affairs.  There
are no perfect solutions.

Maybe we should ban Women dancing at weddings. That
would be perfect.  Sounds like a do-able Takanah.

I like that Idea.  It will solve a lot of problems. 
The women will just watch the men dance.  The Kallah
will be sitting in the middle of the dance floor next
to the chasan during the entire dancing portion of the

After all what's more important, women dancing, or
avoiding the internet at all costs? 

(am I mixing threads?)

Better this than to take a chance on Histaklus.  No?

Seriously, though, at my oldest daughter's wedding
(mixed) we tried to avoid the problem by having a
mechtiza down the middle of the dance floor and, where
the women were dancing, and we had a smaller less
abtrusive mechitza (some artificial potted plants set
up in a row) on the other side of the women's dance
floor to obscure the view from that side of room.

Where there is a halachic will there is a halachic way
(with apologies to Blu Greenberg).

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

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Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 16:31:22 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Internet and Issur Histaklus Binashim

In a message dated 1/14/00 3:46:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
hmaryles@yahoo.com writes:

<<   They can
 just lock trhemselves up in the closet for that matter
 and stare at the clothes on the Hangers. >>
A bit of an overstatement perhaps?
One must consider the pros and cons. Rashi in sota 22: defines a parush 
kizai( a negative term) as one who closes his eyes in order not to stare at 
women and because of this hits his head against the wall and bleeds.

Shabbat Shalom
Joel Rich

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Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 14:55:33 -0700 (MST)
From: Daniel Israel <daniel@pluto.ame.arizona.edu>
Charedi vs. MO (was Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern Orthodox?)

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
>A chareidi approaches a new idea, venue, or invention with the question "What
>challenges does this pose?" Mod-O's first question is "What opportunities?"
>This is why mod-O is more likely to embrace the new, which is why we call it
>I assume a chareidi will correct me. But that's my first approximation.

One problem I have with dividing things between MO and Charedi is it
leaves out quite a few people.  Unfortunately, the rules seem to have
been already set for this symantic game, and I think they are stacked
against reasonable dialogue (not, chv"sh, by Micha, but by the "oilam"
in general).

For one thing, I associate "Charedi" with a Israeli demographic.  In
chutz l'aretz the RW demographic is usually called "Yeshivish."  While
there are many things the two groups share, there are some significant
differences.  For one thing, the Yeshivish world seems to me to have a
much larger segment that is accepting of secular education (even
advanced degrees).  (OTOH, perhaps part of that perception is due to
having more direct exposure to American frumkeit than Israeli, if so, I
assume that some of our Israelis will correct me.)

The other very important problem is that there is very little
difference, in my experience, between so called "MO" who are really
serious and committed to learning and careful observance of halacha and
so called "RW" who are open to secular education.  For example, (and
Micha can repudiate this claim if he wishes), I am probably very similar
to Micha in my hashkafah (except w.r.t. techeilis ;) ) but I would never
identify myself as MO, and I think Micha would.  While the size of the
group (which perhaps consititutes the real "center," but is left
unnamed) is not huge, I think it is bigger than either of the extremes
would like to admit to.  I would guess that many of us on this list fall
into it.

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

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Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 14:58:50 -0700 (MST)
From: Daniel Israel <daniel@pluto.ame.arizona.edu>
Re: Internet ban

Yzkd@aol.com wrote:
>While in general this may be true, however children should be sheltered from 
>the potential Sakana, the best way by NO access to the web (Umah Tov to even 
>e-mail), but at the least supervised access.

I understand (although disagree) with those who wish to keep children
from exposure to the many parts of the Interent.  But can you explain to
me what (other than, perhaps, bittul z'man) is bad about e-mail?  Would
you allow children to use the postal system or the telephone?

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:57:10 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@zahav.net.il>
Re: Avodah V4 #293

----- Original Message ----- >
> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 12:12:32 -0500
> From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
> Subject: Re[2]: Kavana beTfilah
> Here is another technique that occasionally works for me.
> Concentrate on the mintuae of the dikduk. EG pretend the
shmoneh esrai is like
> shma and enuncite each word with extra care to the mil'el
milera nad the nekudos
> etc.
> It doesn't help me much with focus upon peirush hamilos;
but it does keep me
> from wandering off into left field.
> Rich Wolpoe

A method I employ from time to time is recalling Abudarham's
peirush on Shmoneh Esrei which includes the source psukim
for many of the sentences and their intention + the
reasoning behind the order of the various berachot.  This
helps to keep me focused on what I'm actually
saying/praying/asking for.

Shavu'a Tov and Mazal Tov to HM and his family,

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 19:04:28 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Conservatives

In message , Clark, Eli <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM> writes
>I had written (to Ms. Janet Rosenbaum ):
>>>Assuming I understand your suggestion, I find it theoretically possible
>>>but fairly dubious when applied to reality.  First, in the current
>>>generation, there are very few, if any, halakhists who have started in
>>>the Orthodox camp, then joined the Conservatives.
>And Chana Luntz replied:
>>I assumed that Janet was thinking of the current head of JTS in Israel.
>>I don't think she is the only one (if you are thinking of male
>>halachists, then you are probably right).
>If I understand correctly to whom you are referring, then I would say
>that she is many things -- an intellectual, a pioneer in women's
>education, a feminist, the holder of a doctorate in English literature,
>but not a halakhist.  Indeed, to me, the placing of someone with so
>little Torah scholarship at the head of an institution called the "Bet
>Midrash" speaks volumes about the priority of imagery and public
>relations over substance.

Sorry, I think I misunderstood the thrust of what you were saying.  From
your response I now gather that you mean to include in the discussion
only those people who can be considered to have significant Torah
scholarship.  On the other hand, I assumed you to mean people who claim
to identify with a halachic way, and who start off within Orthodoxy.
That is, I understood the debate to be about whether there is, today,
any movement from Orthodoxy to Conservative, and if so, whether
ideological belief/practical halachic rulings play any part in such a
movement (and if it does, what sort of ideological belief, paralleling
the Torah m'Sinai issues of previous generations).  That is, does the
Conservative movement have any idealogical pull for people within
Orthodoxy, does it pose any kind of idealogical threat for people with
Orthodoxy?  My understanding of the debate, which may well be erroneous,
was that you were arguing that, while it may previously have had, it no
longer does, and that Janet was querying that assertion.

>However, Janet herself explained that she was thinking of R. Eliezer
>>He was one of the ones I was thinking about;  I was told that he joined
>>Masorti in the last years of his life.  (The person who told me was
>>very disappointed in R Berkovits's move, and so I definitely trust he
>>verified the issue.  I would love to hear otherwise, though.)

I am extremely surprised to hear it, and I find it dubious. I used to
visit him in hospital when he was having his buypass (1986-87), and
while he certainly never discussed such issues with me (telling me
ma'aselach was more like it) I think I surely would have heard.  And
while he did recover from this, there weren't exactly a huge number of
years of quality left, and I would be surprised if he had the strength
to join anything.  

Besides which, at that time in Israel (where he lived) Masorti was very
small and I don't believe organised - and as I am pretty sure there was
nothing in the area in Jerusalem in which he lived, I can't quite work
out where exactly he would have joined had he even had the desire.  So
while it would not surprise me to hear that he was willing to give a
talk to Masorti if asked, and that rumours started from there, I find
the idea that he made any radical change such as "joining" anything new
and different difficult to credit.  

This is especially because it is such a convenient rumour for those who
would want to write him off (it is either that or he had charata on the
books he wrote).  What I suggest anybody does, if they are interested in
acertaining the truth, is speak to his son Dov, who was, last time I
heard, teaching at Yakar (an Orthodox but fairly wacky (should I say
Habbakuk) shul/institute in Jerusalem) and hence is eminently traceable.

>Kol tuv and Shabbat shalom,
>Eli Clark

Shavuah tov


Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:40:30 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Internet Ban

> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 12:07:57 EST
> From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
> Subject: Internet ban 
> >>>While this might not bother non-Haredim, is it so hard to
> >>>understand the Haredi perspective that this is 
> assur gamur or easily leads to an issur gamur, even without going to a
> site specifically for filth? <<<
> If your reasoning be true, then there should be no difference between
> using the 'net for work, research, or recreation - I will see the same
> AOL login screen (to use your example) no matter where and why I
> connect, yet apparently there has been mention of some of these type
> distinctions.  

I think it's important to point out that the average person in Israel 
does not have AOL and if you log in through a mail program (as 
most people I know do for non-AOL ISP's), you can easily get one 
that does not show any pictures. I use Pegasus both at home and 
at work, and if I do not go onto the web I do not see *any* pictures 
unless someone sends me one as an attachment (and even then 
only if I choose to open it). I think that's what the Rabbonim (well, 
whichever ones actually signed it :-) were thinking of when they 
were matir the net for work.

-- 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.

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:40:31 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Riding Buses to Work (was Internet Ban)

> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 12:15:04 EST
> From: Yzkd@aol.com
> Subject: Re: Internet ban 
> In a message dated 1/14/00 12:08:24 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
> C1A1Brown@aol.com writes:
> > Since you assur the internet based on the chashash of seeing a davar
> > ervah, why not assur riding the train, working in a store or
> > business open to the public, or even walking down most city streets?
> >  
> Good point! It is well known that many communities encourage against
> riding by train, etc., while Lhalacha I highly doubt that there is a
> Issur a Takkana is rooted in Tzorach Hasha'a, I would assume that
> Mchanchim can say how much damage uncontrolled access to the Internet
> has brought.

Actually there are separate Charedi busses in some parts of 
Yerushalayim that are for men only (women are assumed to have 
better control of their taavos I guess). In many other parts of the 
city, there are busses that only run through the Charedi 
neighborhoods, and you rarely see chilonim on them. So even if 
there are men and women, they are dressed tzniustically as a rule. 
And even on those busses, there have been posters urging women 
to sit at the back of the bus and men to sit at the front, and men go 
out of their way not to sit next to women and vice versa. Finally, in 
at least one case that I know of, a Yeshiva runs its own hasaa to 
bring yungerleit from the Yeshiva to the neighborhood every night 
(from the Mir to Ramat Shlomo where I live).

I mention this only to make the point that there is a large olam out 
there that really does not see the "sights" (and the "sites") that 
many of us on this list take for granted.

-- 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.

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:40:31 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Can Rav Soloveitchik zt"l be Considered Modern Orthodox

> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 13:04:48 -0500
> From: gil.student@citicorp.com
> Subject: Re: How is Rav Soleveitchik ztzl considered modern Orthodox?
> There have been a few attempts to list 3 or 4 beliefs which define
> Modern Orthodoxy.  As someone who has been worried about drifting
> towards MO lately I'd like to thank you for assuring me that I'm not. 
> But that leads to another problem, as RG Dubin pointed out:
> >>Some of us have described spectra/continua of Orthodox
> >>belief/practice.
> Would one of them please inform me where exactly a semiHaredi person
> stands?>>
> What happens to those of us who believe in some but not all of the MO
> "creeds"? Belief in one removes us from the Chareidi world but lack of
> acceptance of all bars access to the MO world.
> I guess that makes us CENTRISTS!

In Israel, you would be called an "American Charedi" as long as 
you continue to wear a black yarmulka and a hat :-) 

-- 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.

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:40:32 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Pollitics. Money. Power. Control

> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 14:16:23 -0500 (EST)
> From: Kenneth Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
> Subject: Re: Politics. Money. Power. Control.
> Carl Sherer wrote <<< those who are opposed to the registry of yichus
> should keep in mind that a separation of religion from the State of
> Israel would likely make the registry a certainty, at least here. >>>
> Whoa! I am totally lost here. I thought the main reason for the
> registry was the fact that the State Of Israel registers incorrect
> religions on their Teudat Zehut (Identity Card), which are then
> incorrectly accepted as accurate. If the government would stop putting
> this official stamp on such things, then the situation in Israel would
> become much like elsewhere. That is, questions of Jewishness would be
> resolved by personal testimony, family history, etc, on a case-by-case
> basis.
> In other words, it seems to me that a separation of religion and govt
> in Israel would make the registry *less* important than it is now.
> What did I miss?

My apologies for confusing you R. Akiva. No one takes seriously 
the stamping of a teduat zehut with the word "Jew." That is a 
determination made by the Interior Ministry, and especially since 
that Ministry is no longer controlled by a religious party, no one 
fruhm would accept that determination as evidence that someone 
is Jewish.

However, since currently a "Jew" can only marry in Israel by going 
through the Rabbinate, and since the Rabbinate DOES check 
people's Jewishness, and its inspections are taken as absolutely 
reliable (i.e. if you have a file with the Rabbanut that you were 
married there, and you are still married to the same person, then 
when your child goes to marry at the Rabbanut his/her Jewishness 
will not be questioned), as long as one holds that the Rabbanut is 
responsibly fulfilling that task a registry is likely not necessary.

However, if one does not have to go to the Rabbanut to marry 
(which is implicit in separating the State from religion), then down 
the road the children of such marriages WILL have to prove their 
Jewishness in another way if they want to marry someone fruhm. 
That is where a registry will come in.

-- 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.

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 00:10:06 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Fw: Avodah V4 #284

> > >
> > >Flour, oil, spices-  vital ingredients in the Beis
> > hamikdash and
> > > vital ingredients at home.
> >
> > Actually the relevant trio is Flour, Wine, Oil  or:   Dagan,
> > Tirosh and Yizhar.

Yes, true.  Here, though, I was focusing on the meal offering itself as
parallel to the work of baking by women. By spices, here I refer only to the
levona.  Only after sending the post did I remember that the kemitza of meal
taken from the meal offering can be seen as parallel to hafrashat challa.
(You might want to insert that in the relevant place if you choose to use my

btw a woman is also often concerned that her home should have a pleasant
aroma - in the Beis hamikdash we have the ketores.  In both the home and the
Beis hamikdash,  music enhances the simcha of the place.  Not stam a home is
called the "beis mikdash me'at".

Thanks for your notes related to permaculture-  that's all really good and
important stuff.

Kol tuv and Shavua tov all   Gila Atwood.

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