Volume 14 Number 2
                       Produced: Thu Jul  7 21:22:17 1994


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cheating vs. Deception in Jewish Law
         [Sam Juni]
Conversion celebration
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Conversion celebration.
         ["Hillel E. Markowitz"]
Leaving early on Shabbat
         [Naftoli Biber]
Lubavitch... replies
         [YY Kazen]
Round Earth
         [Danny Skaist]
Wife-Battering
         [Leah S. Gordon]


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From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 1994 22:26:56 -0400
Subject: Cheating vs. Deception in Jewish Law

I would like to expand on my previous assertion that G'neivas Da'as
("stealing one's attitude") is not a ban on deception, but rather, a ban
on conning a service from another based on deceptive information, with
the stress of the theft concept being on the service received.

My hypothesis is that according to strict Torah Law, there is no
prohibition on deceiving or lying at all.  All of the seeming
prohibitions re falsifying information actually concern the intent of
the lying.

Examples: Tehillim states "N'tzor leshoncha mei'ruh U'sfesechu Mi'daber
Mirma" (Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking
falsehood), with the latter term (mirmah) actually being the noun form
of the verb "to con." The direct ban prohibiting bearing false witness
is clearly a ban against hurting one's fellow citizen, not re banning
false speech. Making a vow re the facts which is false is prohibited
because one is disgracing the name of G-d in taking such a vow.

It is possible that the notion of "not speaking a lie" is non-Jewish in
its origin.  Developmentally, it may derive from early childhood
idealistic facets of reality, based on magical attribution to the power
of speech.

Being that it is Summer, I am prepared to take the heat.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003
˙ MAILER SNYBKSAC  7/01/94
žNetwork Mailer      JUNI@SNYBKSAC        7/01/94 Undelivered mail

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From: <mgold@...> (Moshe Goldberg)
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 1994 04:53:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Conversion celebration

>From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)   Volume 13 Number 83
>I have a friend who about to complete his conversion process.  I'd like
>to know if it's appropriate to have some type of celebration for him.

This does not directly answer your question, but I think it's relevant.
After my wife recently accompanied a giuret [convert] on the last and
formal stage of the process, we invited her to join us in a toast. We
asked her to pour the wine, as a gesture that doing so no longer
involved a problem of stam yeinam [prohibition of wine handled by a
non-Jew]. She appreciated the idea very much.

      Moshe Goldberg

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From: "Hillel E. Markowitz" <HEM@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 1994 13:22:57 -0400
Subject: Re:  Conversion celebration.

> From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)
> I have a friend who about to complete his conversion process.  I'd like
> to know if it's appropriate to have some type of celebration for him.

I would say it depends on the person involved and the people invited.  I
saw several messages on scj announcing the fact conversion by several
people and inviting everyone to join in the simcha.  This was done by
the people involved themselves so it was obvious that they wanted it
known.

I am also aware of someone who had people notified in advance when he
was going to get an aliyah on the occasion of his first shabbos as a Jew
and the rabbi spoke about it (again with his permission and because
everyone involved knew who he was).

|  Hillel Eli Markowitz    |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|  <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |

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From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 1994 23:15:39 
Subject: Leaving early on Shabbat

Here in Australia there is not the knowledge of Judaism, especially
about the observance of Shabbat and Yom Tov, as in the States.  Despite
this I know of very few people who have a problem leaving early for
Shabbat or getting days off for Yom Tov.

I am now self-employed but, in the many years that I was an employee, I
never had a problem with this.  It seems that if the observant employee
is willing to make up the time he misses the majority of employers will
be understanding.

An humorous anecdote: Before his retirement my father worked for a
company owned by church going Catholics.  In the first year that he was
there he explained to Managing Director that he would have to leave at
3pm during the winter in order to be home for Shabbat.  No problem.  One
Friday afternoon a few moths later (during the summer) the MD walked
past my father's office at 3:30pm and saw that my father was still at
his desk.  He virtually ordered my father to leave for home as he didn't
want to be responsible for my father being mechallel Shabbat.  We should
all have such employers!

Naftoli Biber
Melbourne, Australia               Compuserve: 100237,711
Voice & Fax: 61-3 527-5370           Internet: <bibern@...>

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From: YY Kazen <yyk@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 03:48:47 -0400
Subject: Lubavitch... replies

Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Subject: Lubavich Rebbe as Moshiach

>   Regarding one of the several theories extant currently in Lubavich that
>   the Rebbe will arise with T'Chias Ha'Meisim and then be the Moshiach, I
>   am puzzled by the reasoning here:
>
>     So long as we are postulating that Moshiach can be declared after
>     T'Chias Ha'Meisim, why should the Moshiach not be expected to be
>     a greater Tzaddik yet: e.g., The previous Rebbe, The Ba'al Hatanya,
>     The Besh"t, Rabbi Yehudah Hannasi, King David, etc?

The Yalkut Shimoni on Devorim (Deutoronmy) 33:21 says that Moshe will be
the one to take the Jewish People out of Galus as Moshiach.

The basic clarification afforded the above is as follows:

The Zohar says "ispashtusa d'Moshe bekol dora v'dora" which basically
means in every generation there is a Tzadik who is the "Moshe Rabeinu"
of that generation.

Accordingly, we as mortals who do not have a great big knowledge of the
spiritual worlds are afforded on occassion a story or insight into the
workings "on high" that can provide glimpses for us to understand things
beyond our realm.

There are  2 famous stories related on this subject which will shed some 
insight as to WHY the Chasidim feel/believe that the Rebbe would be the 
one.

Story # 1: There was a Chasid of the Rizhiner Rebbe who passed away and
when he came up to the Higher Court they judged him. He complained that
his judgement was unfair, for the judges were Scholars as Sages far removed
from this physical world. He insisted to be judged by 2 Sages who were
still alive and knew the pitfalls one may beget. 

Thus we see that there are Sages who are physically on this world, 
yet they are also available for helping all Jews who may have even 
passed on.... 

The second story: When the 4th Rebbe of Lubavitch passed away at the age
of 49 Chasidim asked WHY!... The reply given to them was:

As every year passes the Tzadikim of previous generations ascend higher
and higher and there is no one left in the Heavenly Court to find merit
for this generation. Accordingly, the Higher Court must have someone
present to defend the world from being destroyed. When there is no one
around, due to the passing of time.... they pull in a Tzadik from the
generation to "sit in on the High Court" and he finds merit for the
generation to continue.

Inasmuch as he is the closest to the generation it is HE who will also
be the first to rise up.

The above might shed light on the issue you raised.

You also wrote:

>  I am also unclear about the theological approach here.  The notion that
>  the Moshiach can (must?) first die before being resurrected as Moshiach
>  has only been circulated (to the lay public, at least) after the Rebbe's
>  death.  If this was a tenet, why the late circulation?

The Rebbe said many times that the verse :ki afar ata v'el afar tashuv:
can possibly be accomplished in the non-literal sense...

Afar means dust. When one is humble and like dust towards another person
he might not have to go through the physical return to the dust of the 
earth. Thus, as long as the Rebbe was alive and was in the physical
world we had hoped for this accomplishment to be sufficient.... BUT
G-d has His plans and reasons and we are unable to fathom them...
so.. one goes to the next step and that is to INCREASE in the faith
that G-d will revive the dead.

>  A knowledgable Rabbi recently told me that in the Rebbe's Sichos
>  (presentations) immediately following the previous Rebbe's death, there
>  were numerous references to the idea that the previous Rebbe will be the
>  Moshiach after he is resurrected.  I wonder how this impacts on the
>  current ideology?

It is studied and read and available for public perusal in the English
translation on the gopher of lubavitch.chabad.org  under the title
Toras Menachem.

To date (July 6, 1994) there were 3 essays translated covering about 6 
subjects.

Yosef Kazen
Director of Activities                  <yyk@...>
Chabad Lubavitch in Cyberspace

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From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 1994 07:06:33 -0400
Subject: Round Earth

>Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>
>Earth as 25,000 miles. Other evidence for the spherical earth noted by
>the Greeks was that the earth's shadow, as seen on the moon during a
>is oriented with respect to the moon. This shows that the earth is a
>sphere, but doesn't tell you its diameter. I'm not sure if this argument
>was first made before or after Eratosthenes measured the diameter. I'm
>also not sure whether any earlier Greek argued for a round earth on
>philosophical grounds.
>
>In any case, it seems that Ezra, who lived in the 4th century BCE,
>probably would not have known that the earth was round.

Why wouldn't Ezra have known the earth was round ?  Wasn't the shadow of
the earth on the moon round even in the time of Ezra.

The gemorra discusses the the size of the earth in mesechet Megilla.  It
is a machloket (3 or 4 way as I recall), and one of the measurements
given (in parsecs of course) is quite close to 24,000 miles.  How big is
the Earth anyway ?

danny

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From: <leah@...> (Leah S. Gordon)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 02:36:27 -040
Subject: Wife-Battering

Mr. Phillips writes:

>I'm afraid I put it rather badly. In most cases of wife battering, the
>wife can, even if for a day of so, find somewhere to stay out of harm's
>way, so I do not feel that Chilul Shabbos would be warranted.  We are
>not talking about danger to life, merely possible physical harm. All
>such cases that I subsequently dealt with were for non-Jewish clients
>and the occasion never arose when I had to make the decision as to
>whether to break Shabbos or leave the client "in the lurch" as it were.
>
>If asked the question now, I would still give much the same answer,
>particularly in light of my experience that the vast majority of such
>wives eventually returned to their husbands (for more of the same
>treatment!).

It is misleading to say that "in most cases of wife battering," the
woman can find a safe place to stay.  Our legal system is far too
uncaring for such women as it is, and restraining orders are often too
little too late.  I have done extensive reading on the subject,
and the men in such situations frequently stalk their victims
mercilessly.  There are constant reports of women killed (not just victims
of "possible physical harm") by husbands and boyfriends out of control,
who had shown signs of abusive behavior earlier.  It is hard enough
on a woman (she faces shame from the community, a lack of respect from
law officials, and blame from their friends and family) to admit that
there is a problem; if one seeks help, it should be absolutely out
of the question to deny it to her.
Yes, it is a problem that women almost always return to their husbands
who continue to abuse them, but in many cases, there are
children involved, and the woman feels she has no choice.  Or perhaps
the man has weakened her self-esteem so much that she feels she deserves
no better.  It cannot help matters for someone to deny her a restraining
order--that would be a Chillul HaShem, and a definite breaking of
Pikuach Nefesh.  I don't see how the man can be defined as anything
other than a "Rodef" [pursuer with the intent to harm or kill].

Leah S. Gordon (nee Reingold)

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End of Volume 14 Issue 2