Volume 10 Number 32
                       Produced: Mon Nov 29 16:06:04 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyah, Religious or Not!
         [Danny Weiss]
         [Ezra L Tepper]
Beta Yisrael and Tzitzis
         [Ezra L Tepper]
Making non-Jews Happy
         [Sigrid Peterson]
         [Reuben Gellman ]
Tfillen at work
         [Jack Reiner]
Women and Minyan
         [Aliza Berger]
writing Bet-Hay vs. Bet-Samech-Daled
         [Jan David Meisler]


From: <danny@...> (Danny Weiss)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1993 23:36:20 -0500
Subject: Aliyah, Religious or Not!

I am puzzled by the postings stating that it is correct to pasken against
aliyah (in the 20's and 30's or now in the 90's) because Israel is not a
religious state by government or majority population.
First, what better way for Hashem to get the irreligious involved in doing
tremendous mitzvot (above and beyond yishuv ha'aretz, resettling the land).
Look at the absolute pure ahavat chinam (as Rav Kook would have said) shown
every day in taking in wave after wave of immigrants who are usually dirt
poor and worse. What about risking their lives for fellow Jews - Entebbe (OK,
you could say there would have been no terrorist attack had there been no
Israel), operations Magic Carpet, Moses, etc., etc., etc., ...! What about
the tremendous benefit every anti-Zionist Jew reaps as a Jew in the non-
Jewish world because of the fact that he can no longer be put down as the
"wandering Jew whom no one wants and who has no home," all because Israel
exists, whether he likes it or not. To my mind, Hashem pulled off quite a
trick in getting so many Jews, even irreligious ones, involved in Judaism
in at least some way, because Israel is something they can feel a part of -
something they might not have felt (unfortunately) if it were a wholly
religious state. Reform Jews in the late 1800's wanted to distance themselves
from the whole idea of a return to Zion *ever*. And let's not forget how many
Jews we would lose to assimilation if they lived outside of Israel. At least
there they marry Jews, know of the Holidays and Shabbat, give tzedakah
(directly or indirectly through taxes) to the poor and for yeshivot.
Second, if the state of the State is not satisfactory from a religious 
perspective, GO THERE AND CHANGE IT! Make aliyah, vote for a religious
platform, live a religious life, be a shining example of the beauty of a 
life of Torah, and try to make a difference. Don't sit in galut (the diaspora)
and whine about the lack of religion in Israel. We are supposed to be an Or
La'goyim (light unto the nations). Perhaps we need to start with our own first.
To every Haredi in Israel not voting and not attempting kiruv and by his/her
lifestyle antagonizing the secular Israelis' feelings toward Torah, I say
the secularist soldier or beaurocrat planning and executing yet another of
those incredible saves of Jews has a lot to teach you, perhaps more than you
can teach them. Irreligious Jews in America/diaspora who do not at least 
visit Israel or become involved in her affairs can at least be justified by
there ignorance of yiddishkeit. The religious have no excuse. Their acts in
a local level (teaching a shiur, doing acts of chesed) are important but
only local. Like it or not, the only way to make a worldwide difference in
Jewish life for jews is via Israel - just, it seems, as Hashem planned it
all along.


From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 14:20:33 +0200
Subject: B"H

May I make a suggestion and hope not to get any flack from your readers
regarding the placing of B"H on scraps of paper, business cards,
commercial signs, and doodling paper.

It appears to me that the origin of this explosion of B"H-ing has its
origin in the standard opening of a Hebrew letter, which will commonly
start with the date.

B"H Tet-Vov Kislev Tav-Shin-Nun-Dalid, Po Be-Rehovot, Eretz Yisrael TVBB"A
Adon Nichbad,

(B"H Kislev 15, 5754, Rehovot, Israel, May it be speedily rebuilt in our
own days, Amen; Dear Sir,)

In this context, everything is clear. We recognize and thank G-d
provenance in allowing us to reach this date, a fact which we should not
take for granted. It does not appear to be simply a question of adorning
every scrap of paper with B"H.

It is a kind of formality for letter writers, just as is Dear Sir. When
writing to the president of the U.S., one does not open with Hi Guy.
Here too when writing the date and realizing that not everyone was
priviliged to wake up that morning, a recognition of G-d's mercy for
preserving us is the Jewish thing to do.

Ezra Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>


From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 15:14:27 +0200
Subject: Beta Yisrael and Tzitzis

Perhaps some reader out there has some information on the customs of the
Beta Yisrael (Ethiopian Jews (?)). I was at the Western Wall a few weeks
ago and saw a whole group of Beta Yisrael wearing white four cornered
garments in the same manner as we wear our tallis. However, the garments
had no tzitzis on their corners, just fringes along two of edges (which
were not knotted as are the side fringes on our talleisos). Moreover,
the women were also wearing this garment.

It is interesting to note that the Ibn Ezra in his explanation of the
commandment of tzitzis discusses one possible understanding of the
mitzvah of tzitzis as referring to the side garment fringes, but
stresses that the rabbis rejected this interpretation.

Ezra Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>


From: <petersig@...> (Sigrid Peterson)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 93 23:27:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Making non-Jews Happy

 From 22 years of close encounters with Mormons when I lived in Salt
Lake City, Utah, I wish to assure you that in a practical sense, any
Mormon who is selling you software on a Sunday is not involved in
worshipping their god(s). An observant Mormon does not work on Sunday.
If he or she did sell you software, s/he should not be happy about it.
Does the text in Avoda Zara apply to weekly days of rest, or was it
intended to apply to festivals?

Sigrid Peterson   <petersig@...>


From: Reuben Gellman  <rsg@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1993 10:00:15 -0500
Subject: Pronunciation

A (probably irrelevant) note on "original" pronunciation:
Some years ago I  was discussing "correct" pronunciation of
alef/ayin, chet/chaf, kaf/kof, etc. I asked about samech/sin, and
my interlocutor claimed (whether seriously or not, I know not) that
a colleague of his had written an article on this subject, entitled
"The Original Sin".

Reuven Gellman


From: <jack@...> (Jack Reiner)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 14:59:12 CST
Subject: Tfillen at work

Shalom Y'all!

How do you deal with putting on tfillen during the work day?

Since I am becoming observant as an adult, I have just started putting on
tfillen about a week ago.  My work schedules varies, and there are some
mornings that I am on the road by 6am.  On these days, during the winter 
months, I must put on tfillen during the work day.  Where?

I am a computer programmer.  I share a bullpen with two gentiles, and we 
have computer users entering our area all the time.  Not even my boss has 
a private office that I could use undisturbed for twenty minutes!

I am open to suggestions, recommendations, personal experiences, etc. 


Regards,                                 | To do justly,                     |
Jack Reiner                              | To love mercy,                    |
<jack@...>                  | And to walk humbly with thy G-D   |
#include <standard_disclaimers.h>        |                       Micah 6:8   |


From: <A_BERGER@...> (Aliza Berger)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1993 19:20:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Women and Minyan

>From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>

>    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.

>  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.

Recall that *Judaism* and Judith Hauptman do not hold themselves to
Orthodox interpretation of rabbinic sources.  That doesn't mean that
they can't make some good points.  Once you have taken them seriously
enough to address something they have said, what is the purpose of
simply dismissing them under the ambiguous categories "numerous errors",
"poor material" and "shoddy scholarship"?  Inform us as to what is the
poor material and what is the lack of scholarship.

In one instance Aryeh does give an example of what he means by poor

>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!)

A dispassionate examination (i.e. no frothing) of Dr. Hauptman's article
would reveal that she never claims that the rishonim allow ten women to
constitute a minyan.  Her claim is that there is no explicit source
among rishonim that limits a minyan to an all-male group.  This would
allow for groupings such as 9 men and one woman. The "explicit Tosafot"
only precludes an all-female group from forming a minyan; it doesn't
consider the question of a mixed group, and thus is not directly
relevant to Dr. Hauptman's claim.

This example, based upon which one is supposed to trust that there are
other "numerous errors" in Judith Hauptman's presentation, winds up in
her favor.  What are the other "numerous errors"?  This could make for a
productive discussion.  I would especially be interested in a fuller
examination of men's obligation to attend minyan (or lack thereof) than
was done in the original article "Women and Minyan" (see Michael
Broyde's and Judith Hauptman's *Judaism* articles, Avi Weiss' book
"Women at Prayer" and some discussion a few months ago on mail-jewish),
and the implications of this for counting women to a minyan.

I have saved my comments on the tone of Aryeh's posting for the end.  I
just wonder why the moderator accepted without revision a submission in
which the entire tone indicates, and the submitter himself admits, that
he was "frothing at the mouth."  Is this attitude acceptable when (a)
the object of the criticism is not Orthodox,(b) the submitter himself
has written an article on the subject, (c) both a and b are necessary
conditions, or (d) such an attitude is never acceptable?  I think the
correct answer should be "d".  (sorry, I spend a lot of time making up
test questions.)

[Good question. I spent some time thinking about it before letting it go
through. After reading it a few times, taking into account the statement
in the end about frothing at the mouth, I felt that Aryeh had something
valuable to contribute, and the tone was a thought out deliberate one.
While at first glance that might make it worse, let me explain why I
think not. What I am trying to avoid is emotional driven responses,
where the "heat" of the reply tends to obscure what the person is trying
to say. Sending those postings back, tend to result in much better
responses when they come back. The other thing I don't want is just back
and forth name calling on the list. In this case, it was clear to me
that Aryeh was giving us the information he wanted in reply. The "heat",
as it were, was more academic than real. So it is definitly not a), it
may be b) in a modified sense, i.e. not because he had written an
article on the subject, but that he had something valuable to add but
with d) still as my preference, i.e. I prefer not to have to make these
"close" calls on things. Mod.]

Aliza Berger


From: Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 93 11:34:11 -0500
Subject: writing Bet-Hay vs. Bet-Samech-Daled

Jumping back to a recent discussion in mail-jewish regarding writing
Bet-Hay or Bet-Samech-Daled on a document, etc., Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer
of Silver Spring, MD gave a talk this past Shabbos on erasing G-d's
name.  What came out in the end was that according to Rav Ovadiah Yosef
writing Bet-Hey is a good thing to do.  According to Rav Moshe
Feinstein, however writing Bet-Hay should not be done out of concern
that the paper might be thrown away, or used in a bad way.  Writing
Bet-Samech Daled however is ok to do.  The difference is that the letter
Hay is written to specifically refer to the name of Hashem, and
therefore writing the Hay is like actually writing the name of Hashem.
The Daled however is different.  It is a referance to heaven
(di'shmaya), which in turn refers to Hashem.  Therefore, it is not the
same as actually writing out the name of G-d, and therefore there is
nothing wrong with it.


End of Volume 10 Issue 32