Volume 14 Number 28
                       Produced: Sun Jul 17 20:16:52 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kashrut of Ocean Spray Products
         [Warren Burstein]
Legislating Religion
         [Ira Rosen]
Ocean Spray
         [Yisrael Medad]
Rabbenu Gershom
         [Janice Gelb]
Rabeinu Gershom's Herem
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Reply for Yosef Bechhofer
         [Yechezkel Schatz]
Sherlock Holmes and Transliteration
         [Sam Juni]
Torah and World Knowledge
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
         [Pinchus Laufer]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 20:19:51 GMT
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Ocean Spray Products

I looked today at Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce (both kinds) and
CranApple juice, both say (in Hebrew) that they are supervised by
Rabbi Ralbag and are approved by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Nothing about being dairy.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: Ira Rosen <irosen@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 94 10:38:42 EDT
Subject: Legislating Religion

It is heartening to see that there are others out there who are at
least, a little annoyed by the infiltration of christianity into the
laws of the USA.  I note, however that most responses focus on the
conveniences afforded by these laws (days off, mostly). While others on
the mail-jewish list discuss how to deal with shabbat and potential
employers, most respondents to the discussion of christianity and US law
(Sunday, the christian sabbath, is the prevalent day off) lay back and
enjoy the time with family (or so they say in their comments) on Sunday
and other christian holidays. I believe it is this acceptance of
christianity dictating secular laws (noted eloquently in a recent
discussion of Jewish support for Bergen county blue laws) is part of the
problem causing the difficulty of presenting shabbat constraints to
potential employers. Taking personal days off for all religions is
reasonable- however, when one religion has its days off built into a
calendar, the other religions are, automatically, at a disadvantage.

Convenience is no excuse for supporting legislation supporting one
religion over another in America. Theoretically, all religions are
supposed to be equal in the eyes of the government.

As for using jewish law to legislate (mentioned Frank Silberman in
opposition to the left's position limiting gun sales, and Barry
Freundel's oppositon to laws destroying the family structure - eg.
rights for homosexuals - as counter to halacha) this is also wrong. On a
constitutional level it is the same as legislating christianity. On a
jewish (halachic) level, other than the seven Noachite laws, there are
no other laws that should be inflicted on non-jews (gun control is not
mentioned in the Tanach or Gemara - only issues of self defense - and
homosexuality - for men - is condemned but not mentioned as a law
applying to any one but jews). From both the halachic side and the
constitutional side, legilating jewish law is not really supported.

Ira Rosen


From: <bailey@...> (Bailey)
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 12:43:04 -0400
Subject: Ocean Spray

The Cranberry Juice Cocktail does _not_ have an OU; it has a small K 
on the bottom of the label. It's fine, but be careful about the 
other juices - most have grape juice...


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 02:55:02 -0400
Subject: Politics

Re Gedalyah Berger's emphatic disagreement (Vol. 14 No. 11) on the Ihud

the question that needs to be asked and replied to is -

if an Israeli government, not resting on a firm majority decides to cede
land which is undoubtedly part of Eretz-Yisrael and therefore limits
Jewish rights to the areas, prevents the doing of certain mitzvot, et
al., contributes to the dismantling of (a) Jewish community(ies),
endangers Jewish life thereby not only in the area but in the rest of
the sovereign portion of Israel, etc., etc.,

do Rabbis have a duty, obligation or human interest to express an
opinion and have it discussed on the basis of Halachic principles?

Yisrael Medad


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 12:32:10 +0800
Subject: Rabbenu Gershom

Avi Witkin writes:
> >From: <Robert_A._Light@...> (Robert A. Light)
> >I understand that Rabeinu Gershom instituted a herem (ban) on a)
> >multiple wives and (b) that a wife must consent to accept a Get.  I have
> >heard recently that the decree was instituted in the year 992 or 993 and
> >that it was declared to be in force for 1000 years.  Can anyone shed
> >some light on this information?  Can anyone offer me source material?
> >If my calculation is right, then the Herem should no longer be in force.
> >Not to say that I'm rushing off to marry a second wife but since I'm in
> >the middle of trying to avoid becoming a male agunah, I figured that I
> >better get all the information on the subject I could find.
>  From what I know I think Rabbenu Gershom' Takana against multiple wives
> was suppose to be in force for 400 years.  Thus the takana should have
> ended around the year 1350.  But the jewish people have decided to
> continue this takana. Although there are some jews among the Yemenites
> and others who nver accepted it and till this day there are husbands
> with more than one wife.

I thought the reason this ban was still in effect was because 
secular law in most countries forbids polygamy and we are bound 
by secular law unless it conflicts with halacha.

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 09:44:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Rabeinu Gershom's Herem

:From: <Robert_A._Light@...> (Robert A. Light)
:I understand that Rabeinu Gershom instituted a herem (ban) on a)
:multiple wives and (b) that a wife must consent to accept a Get.  I have
:heard recently that the decree was instituted in the year 992 or 993 and
:that it was declared to be in force for 1000 years.  Can anyone shed
:some light on this information?  Can anyone offer me source material?

If I remember correctly the Herem was only for the time of Rabbeinu
Gershom -- but it has been accepted as a general custom amoung
Ashkenazic Jews -- to continue not marrying 2 (or more) wives except
under dire cicumstances. E.g., If a woman refuses to accept a Get and
'disappears' the Rabbis may allow the husband to remarry -- effectively
making him married to two women simultaneously. (There is a well known
Rosh Yeshiva who is in such a situation).

It is important to note that throughout history it was uncommon for Jews
to be married to multiple wives(at the same time) -- no matter what
background (Ashkenaz, Sefarad, Edot Hamizrach) they came from. There
were always those who did practice polygamy -- but IN GENERAL people
married only one wife (at a time)...

          |  Joseph (Yosef) Steinberg      |              <steinber@...>
 Shalom   |  972 Farragut Drive            |  <jstein@...>
U'Vracha! |  Teaneck, NJ 07666-6614        |               <jsteinb@...>
          |  United States of America      |       Tel: +1-201-833-YOSI(9674)


From: Yechezkel Schatz <lpschatz@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 01:41:20 -0400
Subject: Reply for Yosef Bechhofer

  I really don't want to turn Mail-Jewish into a political forum, but
just a short answer for Yosef Bechhofer:
  In our 2000 years of exile we never expected G-d to answer to our
requests or demands instantaneously.  We prayed to G-d for redemption
and waited patiently until the time when we could help ourselves and do
something about it.
  Life isn't easy, and fulfilling a 3000 year old dream, the destiny of
a people, can't be done overnight.  But we must believe in what we are
doing.  Rather than look for so-called "realistic solutions" for the
Arab-Israeli conflict which would go against everything we believe in as
Jews, we must strive to be "shalem" (at peace, sounds better in Hebrew)
with ourselves.  That means Aliyah, settling the country, making Israel
a more Jewish state, etc.


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 1994 16:17:44 -0400
Subject: Sherlock Holmes and Transliteration

Michael Lipkin recently argued against adopting a unitary mode of
trasliteration on MJ, by seeing differential nuances in trasliteration
as a means "we use to get a better insight into who the poster really

I have no idea of Michael's interpersonal perception philosophy, but I
do want to react to his message.  I find an undercurrent of cubbyholing,
if not bigotry, in that allusion.  I confess that I have used the
Ha'avarah (accenting) of posters deductively, as well, to play a
cubbyholing game when I read postings, but I would not argue for leaving
such pointers in for the reason of its telltale side-effects. I think we
can respond to, and even evaluate messsages, based solely on merit and

Just to look at the converse, from prespective of the communicator. I
have often suspected that some of us pepper our posts with Yeshivishe
and Heimishe phrases just to send out the meta-message of affiliation or
background -- I am not exempt from this generalization.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 11:14:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Torah and World Knowledge

> From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
> Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...> writes:
> >"we cannot enumerate all that was forgotten...(Koheles:) ...
> >Is Koheles really saying that the automobile existed at some previous
> >point in history??  No. Rather, Koheles is to be taken
> >metaphorically: yes, the automobile is a new invention, but it's
> >really not so different from a train ... In that sense, (and in that
> > ...
> More to the point, one could have been created thousands of years ago.
> At the time of the Temple, we could forge metals (iron and bronze were
> ...

I've always interpreted Kohelet as talking about people, not things,
that people's experiences are not, in a certain sense, unique; the people
before them had the same experiences.  The forgotten here seems to me
to be all the experiences and accomplishment of the people before us.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 09:50:05 -0400
Subject: Re: tuition

In Response to Warren Burstein:

(1) I attended Torah Vodaath High School 1969-1973 and the tuition was
$600 per year.  Based on this I'd say your recollecion of $1000 for
Yeshivah of Flatbush is on target.  I would also point out that a large
portion of the students (at Torah Vodaath) did not pay the full tuition
as it was considered a financial hardship.

(2) As to the increased costs:
     (a) In days gone by Yeshiva salaries were pittances (not that they
are great now, but they are reasonable).  My rebbeim were paid under 10K
per year!

     (b) There were no pensions for rebbeim and no social security.  (A
few years later when my father joined the board he and other businessmen
on the board fought tooth and nail to change this.)

    (c) Construction and real estate costs are much higher than in the

    (d) The majority of yeshivas back then were "community" based. That
is, they were not privately owned for-profit enterprises.  They felt an
obligation to provide a Jewish education to Jewish children whether or
not they could afford it.  This artificially depressed costs.  (this was
sometimes taken advantage of by parents who would shortchange the
Yeshiva on tuuition payments knowing full well that their children would
not be denied attendance in a jewish school just because the parents
would not pay up.)

I'm sure there are other factors I have missed.

Only a few years afterwards in one of the prominent private for-profit
schools my brother-in-law who wanted to enroll a second child was told
"This is not a charity - if you can't pay 100% for each child send them
somewhere else." (This at 2000 per child per year in elementary school)
Of course, that doesn't prevent these schools from doing massive
fund-raising to make ends meet.  It is just that "ends meet" has a very
different connotation.



End of Volume 14 Issue 28