Volume 10 Number 34
                       Produced: Mon Nov 29 20:56:07 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A vote to continue archiving
         [Freda Birnbaum]
Ear Piercing and Loshon Hara
         [Robert A. Book]
Ear Piercings
         [Evelyn Leeper]
Jonathan Pollard
Pierced Earlobes
         [Danny Skaist]
Tfillen at work
         [Steven Schwartz]
Tzedaka Priorities
         [David Zimbalist ]


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 17:50 EDT
Subject: A vote to continue archiving

I'd like to add my vote to continue to archive mail-jewish.

I sympathize with some of Joe Abeles' concerns, but I think that the
benefits outweigh the potential problems.

I especially recall how useful it was that Avi made that material from
the homosexuality discussion available a while back.  I think it helped
avert a major flame war on BALTUVA, and made some very useful material
available to folks who wouldn't have known about it otherwise.  (May
have even gotten a few new subscriptions for m-j!)

>* Individuals may suppress their thoughts knowing that
>  their words are available not only to subscribers
>  to mail.jewish but to anyone with access to internet
>  anywhere in the world at any time.

Think of it as writing a letter to the editor, and realize that if it
gets published, it's out there.  Might help tone down some of the
flaming to think of it that way, too. I admit that I was not overjoyed
at the thought of somebody putting this in hardcopy and distributing it
to his shul; but it IS a public forum.

There is the danger, with ANY Jewish list, of violent anti-Semites
getting hold of it, etc.  But that goes for a non-archived list as well.

>* Participants who gain access to mail.jewish through
>  their employers may not wish their employers to have
>  convenient access to files documenting, all in one place,
>  a long-term use of company-provided resources for
>  non-business purposes.

I'm sure this thought has occurred to more than one of us, but if we
really have scruples about it, maybe we shouldn't be doing it at all, or
only during non-working hours.  I think this was discussed on BALTUVA
and possible on m-j quite a while ago.  (In fact, I think I'm the one
who brought it up!)

>*What confuses matters further is that the present moderator
>appears to perform his own personal "peer" review, combining
>submissions, changing subject lines, freely commenting before
>others have a chance using the [Mod.] brackets, and unilaterally
>rejecting submissions (which you the reader never hear about).

Well, as someone who's up there in the 5% or 2% of posters who Avi
occasionally has to send stuff back to for rewrites :-) , I suppose I
should agree with this, BUT as a moderator of another list (kol-isha)
where editorial discretion has to be exercised, I realize that on a list
like m-j, someone probably should be doing this.  Occasionally errors
will be made, but on the whole I think it is best that the list be kept
moderated.  (Tho I do enjoy -- usually! -- the more free-wheeling
exchanges we sometimes get on BALTUVA).

I respectfully vote to CONTINUE archiving mail-jewish.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: <rbook@...> (Robert A. Book)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 15:02:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Ear Piercing and Loshon Hara

Gedaliah Friedenberg (<friedenb@...>) writes:

> In v10n19, Rick Turkel writes:
> > Women have been piercing their ears since time immemorial, and many
> > more than half of the women and girls I know have pierced ears
> I few years back I asked whether ear peircing is considered desecration
> of one's body, and the resposes that I got were of the form: "Jews have
> been doing it for as long as anyone can remember, so it must be OK."
> Can anyone explain to me WHY piercing one's ears is/is not desecration
> of the body.

Jews have also been speaking loshon hara (gossip) for as long as anyone
can remember, but that is definitely NOT ok.  This proves nothing,
except that often a prohibition is either violated through ignorance or
ignored completely.

--Robert Book


From: <Evelyn.Chimelis.Leeper@...> (Evelyn Leeper)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 08:59:24 -0500
Subject: re: Ear Piercings

> From: Heather Luntz <luntz@...>
> The reason I was always told for permitting ears to be pierced is because
> it is non permanent (ie if one doesn't keep the studs in the ear heals of
> its own accord) and therefore is not really a mutilation of the body.

Not always true.  My grandmother had her ears pierced as a small child
and though she never wore pierced earrings after infancy, the holes
never closed up.

Evelyn C. Leeper | +1 908 957 2070 | <ecl@...> / Evelyn.Leeper@att.com


From: J.Leci <te2005@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 13:19:33 -0500
Subject: Jonathan Pollard

Many people have asked who is Jonathan Pollard. Well here is a short
summary of the case.

Jonathan worked for US naval intelligence in the 1980s. He was privy
to secret information about the build up by Iraq of its nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons. This Jonathan saw as being vital
information that Israel would need incase of a war with Iraq. This
information was meant to be given to Israel anyway, but was held back
DURING THE GULF WAR. Had Jonathan not presented Israel with this
information, it is likly that Israel would not have been so prepared
for the threat of chemical warfare prior to the gulf war.

Jonathan has now been held longer than many other spies who
spied on the US for friendly countries. An Egyptian who spied on the
USA for Iraq was imprisoned for only three years.


P.S. For more info on J.Pollard please contact me <te2005@...>


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 08:59:26 -0500
Subject: Pierced Earlobes

>Gedaliah Friedenberg
>Can anyone explain to me WHY piercing one's ears is/is not desecration
>of the body.

Can somebody send me a source that "desecration of the body" is
forbidden.  I am only familiar with the prohibitin of causing a mum
[defect] in the body of a kohen, which would prohibit him from
performing the labors in the temple service.

Piercing the earlobe is NOT considered a mum for the kohen (the only
list of bodily defects/desecrations with which I am familiar), so it
should also not be considered a "desecration of the body" for anybody

Piercing the rest of the ear is considered a mum and a Hebrew slave who
is a kohen and requests to remain a slave until Jubilee does not have
his ear pierced as required in Ex 21:6, because it is not permitted to
cause a mum to a kohen.

If piercing the rest of the ear is "desecration of the body" and
forbidden for all Jews as well as kohanim then how can the law ever be
applied ?



From: <schwartz@...> (Steven Schwartz)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 17:46:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Tfillen at work

Jack Reiner writes:

  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 have been working at two major corporations over the past five years.
My current office is a "semi-private," shared with a Hindu fellow.  When
we first "moved in" together, I explained that I spend five minutes each
afternoon in private prayer, and cannot be interrupted, nor will I
respond to questions during this time.  I don't recall the first time
that he saw me in tefillin, but I assume that he would have guessed that
I was in uninterruptible prayer.  I've probably explained the
significance of the tefillin (and other things) to him over the years.

I also close the door when I'm davvening.  Only once did someone barge
in on me without knocking.  I calmly explained to him that I couldn't
speak with him at the moment, but would explain later.  And so I did,
amid his multiple apologies for disturbing my privacy.

My previous office was a cubicle with eye-height partitions.  
While davvening, I indicated privacy by placing masking tape across the 
"doorway."  Again, I was periodically asked the significance of this or that,
but have never had problems.

The key here is that I have always been open to answer colleagues'
questions (though I've occasionally needed to say, "Let's discuss this
outside of the bathroom" :-) ).  The people that I've worked with are a
high-caliber lot, and tolerant of individual practices.  Not everyone
is, so you have to call each situation as you see it.

On another thread, I've occasionally found myself davvening Shacharit in
an airport or on board a plane.  Dealing with tefillin on board tends to
be awkward (forget about trying to stand for Amidah :-) ).  So I
generally end up putting on the tefillin in a terminal or field office.
The terminal situation is easier than it sounds: people might stare for
five minutes, but they quickly return to their own matters.  Business
associates are usually amenable to a polite request for ten minutes in a
private room.  Again, it depends whom you're dealing with.



From: David Zimbalist  <MDZIMBAL@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 17:46:08 -0500
Subject: Tzedaka Priorities

There has been a fair amount of discussion about "kosher" charities
lately.  However, with the tremendous underfunding of most educational
institutions in our localities and the number of Jewish poor in our
localities, how much can we afford to send to tzedakos across the globe?

With that in mind, I would think that the amount of tzedaka that is
available for such "outside" causes is so limited that the cost of
checking is almost a waste.  <Of course, an email check via mj is quite
an efficient way to check :-)>

David Zimbalist


End of Volume 10 Issue 34