Volume 10 Number 56
                       Produced: Sun Dec 12 15:45:26 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Censoring what our kids watch, read, hear, etc
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Peter Hopcroft]
Chanukah presents
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Ear Piercing
         [Michael Broyde]
Governance and Halacha in Chu'l
         [Saul Newman]
         [J. Leci]
Reasons for halachot
         [Rick Turkel]
         [Rivka Goldfinger]
What's the Jewish response to Santa online
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
You never know!
         [Sam Goldish]


From: <VISWANATH@...> (Meylekh Viswanath)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 93 13:49:56 -0500
Subject: Censoring what our kids watch, read, hear, etc

Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...> writes regarding
imposing censorship on what our kids watch:

>So,.... last Chanuka we bought our 8-year-old a Pinochio tape. What can
>be bad abouth Pinochio !!!. The title "Pinochio and the vampires" seemed
>rather innocuous.  After watching for a while, our daughter, who like most
>Israeli kids is not familiar with the Xtian world, wanted us to explain to
>her, why does the vampire cringe when Father Jepetto threatens him with a
>crucifix and what does the "Whoooooo" music and radiant halo indicate?
>So mutch for "safe" censorship.

I remember other postings where attempts were made to keep children from
knowledge about christianity.  I was surprised then, and I am surprised
now, that this should be considered desirable among m.j. readers.  The
existence of christianity and christians in the world in which we live
is undeniable; it permeates literature, music, and other disciplines,
such as e.g. history.  How could it be desirable to keep children
ignorant of these things?  Rather, I would think it is better to inform
and _explain_ to our kids what these things are; that they are not
shayekh [relevent - Mod.] to us.  Just as you might explain the theory
of evolution (if you thought it went contrary to Judaism), or that there
are bad people in the world.  Of course, if you planned on keeping your
children away from all kinds of literature, music, writings, people etc.
that were touched by christianity, you would be on safe ground.  But I
can't see m.j. readers with such constricting attitudes.

Or perhaps I have misunderstood/failed to understand other reasons for
such behavior.

Meylekh (<viswanath@...>)


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 93 11:54:38 +0200
Subject: Censorship

    I just wish to point out that some form of censorship is practiced
by all different communities. Rav Soloveitchik dedicated his essay
"Lonely Man of Faith" to his wife Tonya. The Hebrew translation "Ish
Ha-emunah" left out the dedication. I have heard rumors that the
translators (or publishers) felt that it was inappropriate for a gadol
to acknowledge his wife in a serious piece of work in spite of the fact
that Rav Soloveitchik himself put in the dedication.

Eli Turkel


From: Peter Hopcroft <st862yb6@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 93 11:16:42 -0500
Subject: Chanukah

How are the today-Greeks related to the 'bad guys' in the time of the
story of Chanukah?


[One thing to note is that the then-Greeks had little/nothing to do with
the adversaries of the Macabees. Antiochus was King of Syria, not
Greece. Syria, though, was a Hellenistic society and that is the "yavan"
that is refered to. I wrote up the history about the period once long
ago, I leave it some other mail-jewish member to respond in greater
length, if anyone so desires. Mod.]


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 9 Dec 1993 09:07:08 U
Subject: Chanukah presents

There are certain customs that are definitely associated with Chanukah
-- dreidel, latkes, sufganiot, etc.  But, what about the giving of

When my wife and I first married, we discussed this.  We both felt, and
still feel, that this custom has come into existence because of the
proximity of Chanukah to a certain non-Jewish holiday.  We felt that it
was ironic that Chanukah, which stands for the removal of foreign
influences from Jewish life, should be associated with a custom of
Christian origin.  Therefore, we decided that in our family, we would
not give Chanukah presents.  Instead, we would give our children
presents on Purim (when there is a tradition of gift giving, at least
concerning food.)

Then, we actually **had** children (Boruch HaShem), and we were faced
with the fact that they live amongst their peer group, and that they
would have felt left out if they did not get Chanukah presents.  So --
we relented and are now part of the general gift giving in the community
(although not, perhaps, at the extreme level of some of our neighbors).

But -- it still bothers me.  Have we done the right thing?  What
hashkafot (moral perspectives) have people heard on this issue?


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 18:11:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Ear Piercing

A number of commentators have discussed the halachic acceptability of
ear piercing for women.  In my opinion, the primary reason this
*chavala* (wounding) is permissible is because wounding is only
prohibited when it draws blood.  Most circumstances where ears are
pierced *do not* draw blood, and are thus not halachic problematic.
Nose piercing (which I assume draws blood) would then be prohibited, as
would knee puncturing or the like.  The prohibition of wounding is
limited to drawing blood.  I am glad to provide sources to this
proposition, if requested.
 (In addition, one of readers wrote me a private reply to one of my
notes concerning bishul akum; I accidentally erased the letter.  Could
you please send me your address again.)


From: Saul Newman <SNEWMAN@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 18:12:37 -0500
Subject: Governance and Halacha in Chu'l

I am not a member of this listserv. Could you send any responses to
this inquiry directly to <SNEWMAN@...> or SNEWMAN@AUVM.BITNET
Thank you.
I am asking this question for a friend who is working on a project. He
would like to find halachic sources, opinions, articles and mekorot
regarding the following questions. (He is an American Jew).
What role should/can Jews play in the formation of government policy:
(a) foreign (b) domestic (in chul)? In what ways and to what extent
do Jewish interests and the interests of the rest of society converge
and to what extent do they conflict? How ought Jews in government positions
make professional decisions - in terms of Jewish interests alone or in
terms of general societal needs? What has the experience been of those
Jews who have been active in political affairs? Is there an imperative
for Jews in positions of power/influence to advocate for American laws
to more closely resemble "halachic values" as appropriately applied
to non-Jews?
Remember my friend wants halachic and hashkafah positions not personal
opinions. Any help would be appreciated. Please send responses to
<SNEWMAN@...> or SNEWMAN@auvm.bitnet but not to the account
from which this message originated. Thank you very much.
Saul Newman


From: J. Leci <te2005@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 93 13:50:27 -0500
Subject: Kibbutz

I am trying to obtain figures on the kibbutz over the period 1970 -
1990 in the following areas:

Growth in Sales
Export share

can anyone help?


From: <rmt51@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 23:11:49 EST
Subject: Reasons for halachot

In m.j 10#50 in his discussion of the mitzva of yishuv haaretz [living
in the Land of Israel], Moshe Podolak states that certain halachic
rulings are not binding today since the reasons behind them no longer

If that is a valid position, then why does it not apply to the taking of
non-prescription (i.e., non-life-preserving) medicines on Shabbat?  The
original reason given for that halacha is that the preparing of
medicines is forbidden because of the processes involved in that
preparation (grinding, etc.).  However, in our times almost all such
medicines are purchased before Shabbat in relatively stable form and
need not be treated in any way before use.  Therefore, the original
prohibition should not apply, yet many still say it is forbidden.  Can
anyone enlighten me on this issue?

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


From: <RGOLDFINGER@...> (Rivka Goldfinger)
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1993 07:43 EST
Subject: Sufganiot

This recipe for sufganiot was in the Congregation Beth Pinchas of Boston
sisterhood update.  I tried it last night, and it came out a little doughy
but it was probably my technique.

1 packet dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk (or 1/4 cup pareve milk and 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
1 egg

also--1/4 cup margarine

dissolve yeast in warm water.  Heat together milk and margarine.  When hot
add sugar and spices.  Add to yeast mixture and add two cups of flour.
Add egg, and 1/2-2 cups more flour as needed.  Knead dough until silky and
elastic.  Place in greased bowl turning to grease dough and let rise for 
one hour or until doubled in bulk.  Punch down and let sit 10 minutes or
refrigerate overnight.  Roll out to 1-1/2 inches and cut with donut cutter.
Let sit 20 minutes.  Fry in 3" of oil, and enjoy!

I found that the dough didn't need quite as much flour as the recipe calls
for, so you might want to experiment with that.  To fill the donuts you can
get a "pastry plunger" (I'm not sure what it's really called) with a special

If anyone has any hints on how to deep fry donuts....



From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 93 13:50:23 -0500
Subject: What's the Jewish response to Santa online

Najman Kahana's posting prompts me to relate the following.

When we came to Boulder for our sabbatical year, we enrolled Elisha in
the local public school, in second grade.  During the first week, he is
accosted by a little girl called Sara.

Sara:   "Do you believe in Jesus?"
Elisha: "Who's Jesus?"

After taking a few days to recover from the shock, Sara tries again:

Sara:   "Jesus made Boulder."
Elisha: "No, Hashem made Boulder."

This level of mutual incomprehension has been maintained for three
months.  Elisha sums it up thus:  "Boy, what a nudnik."

Ben Svetitsky       <bqs@...>


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 18:12:08 -0500
Subject: You never know!

My niece, Judy, who lives in Lakewood, California (a suburb of Los
Angeles) prides herself on acquiring professional skill in Hebrew
calligraphy--both in script and "block lettering" (K'tav Ashurit).  She
relates that she recently stopped by a U.S. Post Office in Long Beach to
mail a letter to her brother, Matt Goldish, who lives in Ramat Eshkol, a
suburb of Jerusalem.

To demonstrate her proficiency in calligraphy, she addressed the
envelope entirely in Hebrew, except for the word, "ISRAEL," written in
English at the bottom of the address.  She handed the envelope to the
postal clerk and asked him to please weigh it and affix the proper
amount of poatage.  Having done so, the clerk looked up at her, smiled,
and said, "You left out the second "yud" in "Yerushalayim."

A bright and joyous Chanukah to all!

Sam Goldish
Tulsa, Oklahoma


End of Volume 10 Issue 56