Volume 11 Number 88
                       Produced: Sun Feb 20 16:55:42 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hechsherim on Whiskys and beers
         [Stephen Phillips]
Jews & Dogs
         [Joseph Mosseri]
New Torah & NCSY Mailing List
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Rashi's descendents
         [Mike Gerver]
Schindler's List (2)
         [Eva David, David Charlap]
Support and Understanding
         [Vivian Finkelstein]


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 94 13:14:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Hechsherim on Whiskys and beers

> From: Avi Weinstein <0003396650@...>
> My "informal" investigation was made in order to set the record straight. 
> There is no wine in Chivas Regal, I don't know of any Scotch that has formal
> supervision, yet it is always available at affairs where the supervision is
> glatt.
There is a Scotch with a Hechsher of the (I believe) Machzikei Hadas
in Manchester, England. I cannot recall it's name, but it was served
at a Simchah I attended in Antwerp.

Stephen Phillips


From: <JMOSSERI@...> (Joseph Mosseri)
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 1994 20:56:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jews & Dogs

Regarding the note by Mr. Sam Gamoran on Jew & Dogs I took some offense to
his comment regarding Sefaradim.

[There were several such notes, and I extent my apologies in not
catching that one before it went out. Mod.] 

In most Middle Eastern countries the dog is looked upon as a dirty animal
and  Jews,Mulims,& Christians alike stay away from them.

For those interested in getting a feeling for the Middle Eastern
attidute towards dogs, much interesting material can be found in: Edward
Lane's "The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians" (1860) e.g page
98, page 292-293.  It is important to understand this in light on the
background of this issue among the people of the Middle East. We all
know that the Jews absorbed many customs and traditions of their
non-Jewish neighbors throughout their history. It seems to me that this
issue is no different.

[Note, above paragraph revised by Moderator with concurrence of poster.

Awaiting your comments, Joseph Mosseri,  Sefaradi


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 1994 15:28:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: New Torah & NCSY Mailing List

A new mailing list has been created on Jerusalem-One called KOL.
The list is a Torah mailing list run by NCSY.

To subscribe send a message to 
subscribe kol <your first name> <your last name>

The following is the welcome message from the KOL list...

Kol Hanitzachon is the official publication of Divrei Torah published by 
Monsey Senior NCSY -- the Monsey, NY, USA high-school chapter of the youth 
movement of the Union of Orthodox Congregations of America. The KOL mailing 
list is used to distribute an electronic edition of the publication -- 
and should have traffic of about one message every month.

In the future, other 'youth' Torah publications may be distributed using
this list.

Anyone wishing to contribute material to this list should contact the lists's
moderator, Joseph (Yosi) Steinberg, at <jstein@...>


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 1994 3:56:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rashi's descendents

David Gerstman and I are planning to use a computer simulation to do a more
realistic calculation of how long it would take for all Jews to be descended
from Rashi. This would take into account a number of things I left out of the
analytic calculation described here a few months ago, such as:

1. Variations in the number of children per family

2. Distribution of the age at which people have children

3. Tendency for these things to run in families

I have attempted to determine these things from data in my own family tree,
as I did with mobility from town to town in my earlier calculation. When
I do this, however, I get results which I suspect are peculiar to the late
19th century, which is the period that most of my data comes from, and 
would not apply during most of the time between Rashi's era and our own.
In particular, I find that the distribution in the number of children per
family who survive to adulthood can be entirely explained by two effects:

1) Poisson statistics on the number of children who die before reaching

2) An additional variation in the number of children which is strongly
correlated between members of the same family, and families from the same
town, in the same generation, but not between different generations. This
effect is much weaker for the middle of the 19th century than for the
late 19th century.

In trying to understand the reasons for the second effect, I compared
families that I knew were middle class with families that I knew were lower
class, and found that class differences could account for almost all of
the variation. (Families from a given town, who appeared in my data sample,
were always of the same social class, since it was there was very little
marriage across class lines among Jews in 19th century Russia.) Lower
class families had an average of 6 surviving children, while middle class
families had an average of 4 surviving children, and this difference was
statistically significant. At first I thought that this might represent
the beginning of a demographic transition to theJlow fertility rates found
in developed countries, and that the middle class families were practicing
family planning, as surprising as this might be among Jews in 19th century
Russia. On giving it more thought, I think this is not likely, and that
are other possible explanations. For example, most of the middle class people
lived in small shtetlach, while most of the lower class people lived in 
cities. (The middle class people got to be middle class by opening businesses
in small villages, usually in the Ukraine, to serve peasants in the 
surrounding countryside, and were successful because there were no
established businesses already there to compete against them.)  For the
most part, I have no data on the number of children who died young, and
the difference in the number of surviving children could well represent
a difference in child mortality rather than a difference in fertility rate.
There are a number of reasons why child mortality might be higher in
small villages than in cities: 1) Less access to medical care, 2) Lower
quality water supply, 3) Colder winters, 4) More inbreeding.

Whatever the reason, it is likely that this effect wasn't present in 
earlier periods, and in fact it is significantly weaker in the middle of the
19th century, the earliest period for which I have data. In pre-industrial
societies, child mortality was much higher in cities than in rural areas,
and in any case there were very few Jews living in small villages more
than 200 or 300 years ago. 

So in order to learn anything useful from our simulation (beyond verifying
the analytic results) we will need another source of information on the 
distribution of the number of surviving children per family, for a society
that is typical of the Jewish communities between Rashi's time (the 11th
century CE) and 1800 CE. It would be nice to have this information from
actual Jewish communities. If that's not possible, it might be a good
approximation to use data from non-Jewish families in Europe in this period,
before the Industrial Revolution. 

Is there a social scientist or historian out there who can tell me where
I can find such data?

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Eva David <ny000550@...>
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 94 15:59:55 -0400
Subject: Schindler's List

Having just recently seen the film - which I thought was phenomenal, I
was curious what the reaction is by other M-J'rs.  I have read much on
the Holocaust, however, the picture presented many other insights into
that horrible period for our people.

I know there were many people who tried to save many Jews.  However,
actually seeing how Schindler just kept trying harder and harder to save
as many as possible, really left an impact on me.

I was able to feel what these people were going through because the
horror and fear was portrayed so vividly.

Thanks for any future opinions.  

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 94 10:19:46 -0500
Subject: Schindler's List

Motty Hasofer <mottyh@...> writes:
>In the true story of Schindlers List, there had to be a selection of
>Jews who were to survive while others were to be doomed. This was also a
>regular occurrence in both Ghetto's and concentration camps Rachmana
>Question: How does Halacha view making such a choice, do we say that we
>are able to choose because we are saving some lives - Pikuach
>Nefesh,(Danger to life) Pidyon Shvuim,(Saving captives) etc. or, do we say
>that we are sending those, not selected for life, to death and therefore it
>is tantamount to murdering them? 
>Can we allow a Jew to make such a choice or can a non-Jew be permitted to 
>do so?

The issues are very complex, and I won't claim to know the answer.  Many
rabbis have agonized over this and not come up with a satisfactory
answer, so I won't claim to be better than them.

I know of one source that states if an army comes to your town asking
that a man be thrown out to be killed (otherwise they will destroy the
town, and you know the town can't defend itself), you don't pick anyone.
But if an army comes asking for a _specific_ man, you do send him out.
I think the logic is that when the army asks for a specific man, they
have a specific reason to want that man, and everything else is a means
to get him.  But if they ask for any person, then their main goal is to
take the city, and asking for the man is simply an excuse to begin the

But in the case of the Holocaust, the issues get much more complex
than this because

1) The entire city will be destroyed whether you give over the people
   or not. (although not everyone believed it then)
2) It is more than just the one city - but the entire nation that's
3) The enemy didn't want the city - they wanted the deaths of the

etc., etc.


From: Vivian Finkelstein <louisf@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 1994 17:45:59 -0600
Subject: Re: Support and Understanding

I am sorry that your wife had a miscarriage.

I understand what she is going through because I have experienced
several miscarriages and many years of infertility (I have two children
now). The best organization to contact is RESOLVE. The national address

	1310 Broadway
	Somerville, MA 02144-1731
	Phone: (617) 623-0744

They have chapters in almost every state. They offer referrals, support
groups, information, and a newsletter on infertility.

Re: Torah literature on the subject

The book, _How Long the Night: A Triump of Healing and Self-Discovery by
Mindy Gross, Targum Press Publishers, was written by an observant woman
who experienced six miscarriages. It is a deeply moving, personal, and
inspirational story, including her discussion of the traditional Jewish
view towards life's problems.

The Jewish Observer had a very interesting article on infertility a few
years ago, with reader feedback in the next issue. Maybe someone else
knows the exact date.



End of Volume 11 Issue 88