Volume 10 Number 19
                       Produced: Tue Nov 23 20:34:13 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Care of Jewish Cemetary
         [Gary Levin]
Classical music with non-Jewish religious content
         [Barry Kingsbury]
Critical Need for Funds
         [Bob Klein]
Madonald's Israel
         [A. M. Goldstein]
Noachide Laws Binding?
         [David Charlap]
         [Malcolm Isaacs]
         [Rick Turkel]
Women and Minyan
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Yeshiva Students and Gemilut Chasadim:
         [Esther R Posen]


From: Gary Levin <levin@...> 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 16:00:26 -0700
Subject: Care of Jewish Cemetary

I have visited a jewish cemetary where the headstones are flat with the
earth. I was told that they are flat for maintenance of the lawn
(grass). I noticed that the lawnmowers drive over the graves of people
to cut the grass.

Isn't this disrespectful to the dead ? Is this within the bounds of
halacha to cut grass and maintain the cemetaries this way ?

Gary (Gershon) Levin 


From: <barryk@...> (Barry Kingsbury)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 11:07:21 EST
Subject: Re: Classical music with non-Jewish religious content

I find it a little difficult to believe that I should not be listening
to most choral music. To be denied Mozart's <Requiem> or Beethoven's
<9th> is inconconceivable. While I can do without Mendelssohn's <Elijah>
or even Douglas Moore's <The Devil and Daniel Webster>, it is much
harder not to listen to Brahms' <German Requiem> or Rossini's <Stabat

In contrast, it is alright to listen to punk rock, acid rock, rap, elvis
(ugh) and the Beetles.

Bernstein's <West Side Story> and <A Quiet Place> are OK but not his

Is <Les Miserables> acceptable?

Let me put this as a question: "Is it wrong for a Jew to appreciate art
of the nonJew if the art was derived from or is related to the artist's
religion?"  If yes, am I prohibited from reading for enjoyment the works
of Homer, Virgil, and Dante? Was it wrong to view and admire
Michaelangelo's <Pieta> at the 1964 New York World's Fair? Was it wrong
to hear the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood perform <Carmina Burana>?

On the other hand, is it permissable to listen to the works of Rimsky
Korsakov and Prokofiev which are created in a world that is goddless?

When I was in college, I enjoyed Sitar music. As most of this music is
derived from Hindu ritual, was this wrong?

Doesn't a prohibition upon this kind of music say that beauty isn't
beautiful if there is a nonJewish religious connotation?

Barry Kingsbury


From: Bob Klein <KL2@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1993  19:40:39 EST
Subject:  Critical Need for Funds

Rachel Bassan Horowitz, a 31 year old woman whose family belongs to our
shul, needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life.  Her brother
Ephraim is a compatible donor, but the operation will cost $250,000.  A
nationwide campaign is underway to raise funds.

I know Rabbi Bassan and Mrs. Bassan, Rachel's parents, and they are
among the finest people in our shul.  Rachel presently lives in Israel
and has three sons, ages 2, 4, and 6.

Please make checks out to Young Israel Shmorei Emunah Tzedakah Fund,
1132 Arcola, Silver Spring, MD 20902.  In the memo section of your
check, please write "Rachel Bassan Horwitz."

Thank you for your support.

Robert P. Klein                          NIH Computer Center
<kl2@...> (Internet)                kl2@NIHCU (BITNET)
Phone: 301-496-5524                      Fax: 301-402-0537


From: A. M. Goldstein <MZIESOL@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 10:26:51 IST
Subject: Madonald's Israel

I have heard it said that Macdonald's Israel is the only place where you
can get a true violation of meat and milk sandwich, inasmuch is its
cheeseburger (you shouldn't know from it) uses kosher meat and cholov
yisroel cheese.  Abroad, Macdonald's uses treif meat, so it's not
strictly speaking a basar-halav issur (meat-milk prohibition).  Of
course, I don't know if this fact will now increase aliya.


From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 12:17:51 -0500
Subject: Noachide Laws Binding?

<okYOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer) writes:
>Jennifer Fisher notes that she once heard that Noachide laws are no
>longer binding. Our Moderator is skeptical :-) . In fact, there is an
>enigmatic - at least I don't understand it, and it is, to the best of my
>knowledge not quoted by the Rambam - Gemara in Baba Kamma 38a which
>states that Hashem saw that the goyim do not keep the seven laws, and he
>therefore released them from their obligation. Some say they lost their
>reward, but not the underlying obligation (? - my question mark.)

I don't know the Gemara in question, but I heard from my rabbi this week
(as part of our regular learning) that goyim are certainly still
obligated in the 7 mitzvot.  The only mitzvah that the goyim lost os the
obligation to "be fruitful and multiply".  But that was given to Adam,
and not to Noah.


From: <M.Isaacs@...> (Malcolm Isaacs)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 10:47:07 -0500
Subject: RE: Pronounciation

>From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
>This is all true, but the reason I picked out that one difference in
>pronunciation is because it is the least subtle of all of them.  Between
>other letters that vary only by a dagesh, there is a similar sound, kaf
>and khaf for example.  Though taf without the dagesh almost surely was
>not pronounced the same as taf with a dagesh, I would think that the
>sound was more similar to a t then an s.

The Edot Mizrach pronounciation of the letter without a dagesh is a "th"
sound, which is similar to the "t" sound with a dagesh, in the sense
that a Kaf is similar to a Chaf.  The "s" sound, ie. taf without a
dagesh in 'ashkenaz' is as closely related to "th" as "t" is (IMHO).  I
suppose that the migration from "th" to "t" is equally likely as the
migration from "th" to "s", assuming that the "th" sound is closest to
the original.

I ask, though, why would the sound become the same as an existing sound,
ie the taf with a dagesh (which seems to be universally pronounced as
"t")?  Perhaps ignorance and laziness gradually crept up, and the
distinction was forgotten (in ivrit)?  Should those of who speak using
the ivrit pronounciation make a token distinction between 'taf' and



From: <rmt51@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 11:16:41 EST
Subject: Tattoos

In m.j 10#15, Aryeh Erle asks about burying people with tattoos in a
Jewish cemetery.

I am a member of the Chevra Kadisha of my shul.  Not long ago we had to
deal with a young man who had a tattoo; there was never any question as
to whether or not he should be buried in our cemetery.  My understanding
of the issue is that we never know whether or not someone did teshuva
[repentance] on his/her deathbed, so we are dan lechaf z'chut [give the
benefit of the doubt] and assume that he/she did.

He also writes:

>                                                    and how do they
> justify earings and other forms of desecration besides the Brit Melah?

Does he mean to imply by this that the Brit Mila is a form of
desecration?  I sure hope not.  Anyway, give me a break!  Women have
been piercing their ears since time immemorial, and many more than half
of the women and girls I know have pierced ears - does anyone question
where they are to be buried?  This is clearly an example of people's
political opinions clouding their eyes in dealing with the halacha.

Rick Turkel         (___  ____  _  _  _  _  _     _  ___   _   _ _  ___
(<rmt51@...>)         )    |   |  \  )  |/ \     |    |   |   \_)    |
Rich or poor,          /     |  _| __)/   | __)    | ___|_  |  _( \    |
it's good to have money.            Ko rano rani,  |  u jamu pada.


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 06:19:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Women and Minyan

    As Jonathan Baker notes, Judith Hauptman has recently published two
papers on Women and Prayer which have reserved much deserved criticism.
In both these papers which appeared in Judaism, she ignores completely
2000 years of Halakha. She may not believe that the Rishonim were
divinely inspired - but at least they "knew how to Learn" :-)! I am
truly astounded at the lack of any scholarship and I am more astounded
that the Editor let such poor material through. There is clearly no
serious refereeing  - or what refereeing there is had no sway with the
editor. The errors are too numerous to list so let us just refer to
Hauptman's claim (mentioned by Jonathan) that prior to the Shulchan
Arukh OH 55:1, there is no source excluding women from a Miyan by
Tefilla be-Tzibbur. This is literally absurd. Kindly see my article on
Women and Minyan (Tradition  Summer 1988, vol. 23 pp 54-77 - Available
upon request, bitnet me your name and mailing address). For starters see
footnote 62 where I cite close to 20 RISHONIM who say just that 10 Women
don't count for a minyan - including no less than the Tosafot to Brakhot
45b. The subject is discussed at length in Rishonim regarding Megilla,
Zimmun in a Minyan etc. (see Ibid.)  Hauptman's claim is only one simple
example of her shoddy scholarship. She didn't even see an explicit
Tosafot!  And she cites my article so she knows it exists -  but
she doesn't even condescend to read it! Shame on Hauptman and Shame on
Judaism. (Enough frothing at the mouth!)
                        Aryeh Frimer


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: 23 Nov 93 15:34:11 GMT
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Students and Gemilut Chasadim:

I know that this is right out of the right wing yeshivish party line,
but someone needs to defend the faith.  I believe that the position of
many of the yeshivot is that a beit medrash in which torah learning
takes place on a constant basis is a tremendous gemilut chesed for the
community whether they know it or not. (Obviously, this does not
preclude visiting the sick or helping little old ladies cross the

People who support a particlular yeshiva should be aware of its
curriculum and schedule and decide on their donation accordingly.  There
are many places to give tzedakah that focus exclusively on "pro-active"
gemilat chesed.  Your LOR can assist you in deciding where to "spend"
your tzedakah dollars.

Esther Posen 


End of Volume 10 Issue 19