Volume 15 Number 12
                       Produced: Tue Aug 30  0:18:18 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) - August Update
         [Jacob Richman]
Dairy products and Jewish values
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Eliminating milk and meat
         [David Charlap]
Misheberachs for sick
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Religion and Science
         [Eli Turkel]
Selichos and Tefillin
         [Jamie (j.a.) Leiba]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 18:36:32 -0400
Subject: Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) - August Update

The Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) August master list is now available
on the Jerusalem1 gopher. Over 500 companies and 1200 positions are listed.

Gopher Jerusalem1.datasrv.co.il
Choose: List Archives (currently #14)
Choose: CJI (currently #4)

Good luck in your job serach,
Shana Tova,

Jacob Richman


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 94 02:22:19 -0400
Subject: Dairy products and Jewish values

Richard Schwartz makes several excellent points about the ethical
difficulties created by the efficiency excesses of the modern dairy
industry.  In particular his point about the link between high milk
yields and the cruel way in which most American and much European veal
is raised is real food for thought.

But his lead item, the observation that only man drinks the milk of
another species, is somewhat disingenuous.  Consider that:

(1) Only man CAN drink the milk of another species.  Husbandry requires hands!

(2) Only man is COMMANDED to have dominion over any other species.  If
    this is not our place, then (hv"s) all of our herd-raising fathers
    right back to Avraham Avinu must have been sadly misguided!

(3) Only man, and not even all men, are genetically EQUIPPED to drink
    milk into adulthood.  Milk contains an extremely weird sugar, called
    lactose.  It is in all mammalian milk, from mice to whales, and in
    almost nothing else...except in minute quantities in the buds of
    certain flowers in the rose family.  Lactose is only very slightly
    sweet to the tastebuds, perhaps a fiftieth as much so as table- or
    grape-sugar.  It's not very soluble, and forms crystals when you
    freeze milk products---that's the slight sandy feeling when you eat
    really good ice cream.  The enzyme to digest lactose (called
    lactASE) is produced by infant mammals, and by some humans into
    adulthood.  Mature cats do produce a bit of it, but nowhere near as
    much as we do.

    If you eat lactose, and don't have the enzyme to digest it, the
    sugar winds up in your gut, where bacteria CAN digest it.  The
    resulting gaseous distress is what people mean when they say they
    are allergic to milk.  There are a few people who can shovel ice
    cream down their throats until their arm gets tired, but almost all
    of us have experienced the feeling of bloat and discomfort that
    comes from too much dairy in one day.  For some, a single scoop of
    ice cream leads to predictable torture within an hour or less.

    The really interesting thing is that the ability to produce lactase into
    adulthood seems to be less than ten thousand years old, and thus may be
    the single newest mutation of any importance in the human genome.  Its
    distribution is not uniform:  about 95% of Danes, 50% of Italians, 70%
    of sub-Saharan Africans, and 3% (!) of Japanese will reach age forty still
    able to drink four glasses of milk in a day.  Guessing the distribution
    of lactose tolerance in Neolithic times by the spread of cow-and-plow,
    the gene may have first appeared in our very own Fertile Crescent in
    the sixth or seventh millennium BCE.  Oddly, the conjectured Nosratic
    superfamily of languages is nearly that old, and also spread with the
    cow and plow.  So, very roughly, anyone whose forebears spoke a Semitic, 
    Hamitic, or Indo-European language can probably cope with milk.

    Here I'm going to shade off from speculative reconstruction into purest
    fancy, but it has been suggested in the last twenty years (says Nigel
    Calder) that any mutation allowing a grown male to safely eat milk, *and
    thereby compete with his own children in times of famine*, would be
    strongly disfavored.  On the other hand, once we had a steady supply of
    milk that was not derived from our own species...well, look at the hills
    in any semiarid part of the world, say Eretz Israel.  All that grassland
    is certainly going to go to waste (from a human standpoint) if you can't
    use the milk, because people don't eat grass.  Isn't it wonderful (or
    even Providential) that this wonderfully favorable mutation popped up
    just about the time that we became capable of taking advantage of it?

    What about those non-Nosratic Mongols and their horse-milk?  Well, you'll
    notice that they drank it fermented.  In yoghurt and kumiss, most of the
    lactose has been predigested for us.  And you do need to get your calcium
    somewhere:  the Chinese have to cope by cutting their meat and chicken up
    all bony, putting it in acidic sauces, and then worrying at the joints
    with their teeth a lot.  How much easier we milk-drinkers have it!

This is such a neat digression that it's a shame to pull myself back to
he topic.  But I must also mention that the fat/cholesterol/protein
argument is an indictment of the American diet as a whole, not of milk
per se.  For people who are keeping their fat intake down to
Mediterranean levels, milk is a reliable source of high-quality,
balanced protein.  Soya is moderately poor in sulfur-containing amino
acids; rice milk is extremely poor in lysine.  Clever balancing acts
between beans and grains (tortillas/frijoles, pita/hummus, tofu/rice,
succotash, millet/lentils) support meatless populations in many parts of
the world, but only by eating an awful lot of deadweight starch.  (The
average Thai eats about 400 calories a day more than the average
Canadian, and STILL doesn't get quite enough protein.)  Even worse,
vitamin B12, of which you fortunately need very little, is nearly
impossible to get from non-animal sources.  Incredibly, Indian
vegetarians seem to get most of their B12 from their own gut protozoa,
courtesy of...well, you get it.

The bottom line is that you can give up red meat, chicken, fish, and
even eggs, eat sensibly, and not worry about what you are doing.  But if
milk is your last animal product, and you give it up too, you had better
have (1) a strong cultural tradition of vegetarianism, with a diet to go
with it that has had all the bugs worked out over a few thousand years;
OR (2) a lot of fairly detailed knowledge about your body's mineral and
essential amino acid needs, and awareness of the warning symptoms of
rickets, pellagra, and borderline calcium deficiency.  Add kwashiorkor
to the list if your kids are also strict vegetarians.

As Jews, we have a dietary tradition of our own, better documented than
most and stretching back almost four thousand years.  And it's the diet
of a herding people.  Goat's milk, anyone?

What would it be like to |=====================================================
live in a world with no  | Joshua W Burton  (401)435-6370  <burton@...>
hypothetical situations? |=====================================================


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 13:06:43 -0400
Subject: Eliminating milk and meat

Richard H. Schwartz <RHSSI@...> presents two articles in
v.15 no.7.  In one, he questions whether anyone should be drinking milk.
In the other, he questions whether anyone should be eating meat.

Taken together, you get a simple way to avoid all throught when
observing kashrut.  I can't eat meat and milk together, so I'll
completely avoid the problem by not eating either at any time.

I'm not a nutritionist, so I won't argue the health aspects of these
food items.  But I will note that every few years, health "experts" in
various nations come up with new rules on what they consider healthy,
often contradicting what they said in previous years.  What makes you
think they are right this time?

WRT halacha, milk and meat are certainly permitted.  Otherwise, there
wouldn't be a prohibition against eating them together!  If one was
forbidden, then there would be no halacha against consuming them

As for the cruelty-to-animals issue, this isn't a good enough argument.
If some farmers are abusing their animals, it doesn't mean we have to
completely boycott all farm products.  Animal curelty is expressly
forbidden in Judaism, and I would be surprised if any Jewish farms
indulged in these practices.  Someone recently tried to use a similar
argument, using examples of practices that haven't been used in over 30


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 17:20:24 -0400
Subject: Misheberachs for sick

These seem even longer from the balcony or other women's section where
the setup is such that women cannot easily approach to give names.  I
have seen a number of arrangements which solve this problem.  (a) solves
the length problem, and the women problem by the way.  (c) addresses the
women problem directly, and preserves the gabbai saying each name.

(a) This has already been mentioned here: Congregation recites the 
misheberach together, each individual says names quietly.
(b) Gabbai says misheberach, individuals say names out loud from front to 
back of synagogue (first women's section, then men's section), then 
gabbai continues.
(c) Gabbai stands near mechitza and women tell him names.

Ketivah vehatimah tovah.

Aliza Berger  


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 10:17:04 -0400
Subject: Religion and Science

Jonathan Katz writes

>> My basic point is that nothing is valid unless it can be tested
>> scientificaly 

    With that attitude I don't see what is left for religion. Religion
deals with spiritual matters that can not be tested by science. There is
no way to verify any religious fact. Bottom line I believe in Judaism
and not in any other religion based on inward convictions. I cannot
prove to anyone that Moshe rabbenu existed while jesus was just an
ordinary person in second Temple days. A central belief is the thirteen
principles of Maimonides (without getting into the debate over how many
principles there really are - if any). I can not prove scientifically
that moshiach will come, that the dead will arise etc.

    Rabbi Weinberg has an excellent set of tapes on "proofs" that G-d
exists.  I haven't heard this in a while so it is mainly from
memory. From his many proofs some meant more to me than others. I am
sure that other people were affected differently. Many of the proofs
were psychological, e.g. the guilt feelings that people have but animals
don't etc. None of these are proofs in the mathematical sense of the
word, and there can't be such a proof.

    With the high holiday season upon us I don't see much point in
praying to a G-d that I can't prove exists, requesting to be inscribed
in the book of life, which can't be proved scientifically unless one has
beliefs beyond science. The essence of Rosh Hashana is the Musaf
davening with its Malchiot, Zichronot and Shofrot. In Malchiut we
proclaim our belief in God as one who is our constant king. In zichronot
we mention what God has done for us and in shofrot the majesty of God.
Can we prove that a flood ever happened ?  did Noah even exist and even
if it all was true maybe it was just a meteorological accident. What is
the purpose of prayer if whenever one sees a miracle the immediate
response is "prove it to me scientifically".

    Brilliant people like Hawkins can go through life and not see
anything beyond scientific proofs. Yet many scientists are convinced
there is more to life than scientific proofs. To answer Jonathan I would
much prefer to daven Rosh Hashana in a chassidic shtiebel where the
prayers are said with great feeling but without philosophic thoughts (or
any other such shul) and not in a university minyan were each phrase is
debated as to whether it can be proved scientifically.

   My training both in science (mathematician) and in Torah (Brisker
derech) is based on analysis rather than emotion. Nevertheless there are
limits to intellectual ways. Rav Soloveitchik also used to complain that
he succeeded in raising a generation of students who could learn Talmud
on par with previous generations. However, he felt he failed in
instilling in these students the feelings for yiddishkeit that he grew
up with. Rav Soloveitchik was the paragon of a scientific attitude to
the Talmud. Nevertheless, his appreciation of Rosh Hashana was based not
on a learned discourse of Gemara but on his memories of his
grandfather's shul and the simple piety of the people there.

    I conclude with the remark that I made before, that our generation
is too scientific and many of us cannot appreciate the finer points of
life without scientific proofs. I still prefer the nonreligious person
who admits that God watched over the land of Israel in the Persian Gulf
war to the religious scientist who insists that one can't prove that a
miracle occurred

shana tova,
Eli Turkel    <turkel@...>


From: Jamie (j.a.) Leiba <leiba@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 08:57:00 -0400 
Subject: Selichos and Tefillin 

When one arrives at Shul and, after sunrise, Selichos begins followed by 
Shacharis, should one wear tefillin for Selichos, or wait until 
Shacharis to put them on ?  

Kesiva v'chasima tova.

Jamie Leiba


End of Volume 15 Issue 12