Volume 15 Number 21
                       Produced: Fri Sep  2 12:28:46 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

After-death experiences
         [Warren Burstein]
Baal Teshuva
         [Ish Tam]
Birkat Hamazon Question (2)
         [Jeremy Nussbaum, Stephen Phillips]
         [Seth Ness]
Judaism and the Idiocy of Western Intellectuals
         [Baruch Parnas]
Judaism, Racism and Vegetarianism
         [Stan Tenen]
         [Elliott Hershkowitz]
         [Harry Weiss]
Shofar care
         [Aryeh Blaut]
THe age of the earth in Judaism
         [Ira Rosen]
The Ultimate Curse
         [Stan Tenen]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 22:21:51 GMT
Subject: Re: After-death experiences

The below article about a near-death experience that happened to someone
who "doesn't believe in the survival of personal identity [after death]"
and found the experience to offer no reason for her changing her views
on the matter.

"First Person Report: A Skeptic's Near-Death Experience", Laura Darlene
Lansberry, Skeptical Inquirer Vol 18 No 4, Summer 1994.

Another article on the subject that offers a naturalistic explanation
for the phenomenon of near-death experiences is

"Near-Death Experiences: In or Out of the Body?", Susan Blackmore,
Skeptical Inquierer Vol 16 No 1, Fall 1991.

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: <ST891591@...> (Ish Tam)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 00:08:27 -0400
Subject: RE: Baal Teshuva

I spent a year of my life at YU, and strongly agree that YU is NOT the 
place for a Baal T'shuva.  Don't get me wrong ... there are a lot of
very strong people at YU and some great rebbeim,  but there is also more
than one bad apple. The most important factor regarding YU, or in fact
any school, is who your friends are.  Anyways ... many people are at
YU as a way to hold on to their Yiddishkeit, and YU is good for this,
as otherwise they would probably lose it all at another school ... BUT
I found it harmful to be around so man people who didn't have the same
enthusiasm for Yiddishkeit, especially since I expected it from them.
I realize I sacrificed having left to go back to Brandeis, but I found
it much more fulfilling to be surrounded by people who were at least 
moving in a positive direction.  In retrospect, I think it would have 
been much wiser to take the time off ... go to Yeshiva ... then finish
college, or wait to go to Yeshiva after college. I know it's not always
so easy to do this, but YU promised me 100% Yeshiva and 100% University
 .. I worked hard and didn't even get 50%/50%. 
If anyone has specific questions about YU, Brandeis, or college in general
please E-mail me direct as I hate to publicly institution-bash.
C'siva V'Chosima Toyva L'altar L'Chaim Toyv'm Il'Shul'm ...
Ish Tam, EMT   <ST891591@...>


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 02:02:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Birkat Hamazon Question

> From: <fglazer@...> (Francine S. Glazer)
> In the Birkat Hamazon (blessings after meals), why do women recite the 
> words "v'al britecha shechatamta biv'sarenu" (and also for the covenant
> which you sealed in our flesh), when women are not obligated in Brit Milah?

An excellent question.  In fact, in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 157:3,
the Rema rules that women and slaves do not say the phrase in
question, nor the phrase about Torah.  He quotes the Kol Bo saying
that women don't have a brit, and slaves are not "bnei Torah."  The Magen
Avraham discusses on what basis "present" women do say these phrases.
One answer he quotes states that since "gevarim" are not called "adam"
unless he is married, the couple can be considered to have a unified
body.  He doesn't like this answer, and adds that in his humble opinion
that for Torah, "ko tomar lveit ya'akov" refers to the women, so why
shouldn't they thank G-d for the Torah he taught them.  Also, he adds,
under certain circumstances a woman is considered as one who is already
circumcised, so maybe women can thank G-d for the brit milah.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)

From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 08:15:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Birkat Hamazon Question

> From: <fglazer@...> (Francine S. Glazer)
> In the Birkat Hamazon (blessings after meals), why do women recite the 
> words "v'al britecha shechatamta biv'sarenu" (and also for the covenant
> which you sealed in our flesh), when women are not obligated in Brit Milah?

If this were Purim time, I'd relate how whenever I see someone knock the
table at the words "Ve'al Shulchan Zeh" I ask what they do at the words
"Ve'al Brisechoh Shechosamto Biversoreinu". :-)

But as it is only Yom KiPurim time I will merely wish all M.J. readers
a Kesivoh VeChasimoh Tovoh.

Stephen Phillips


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 10:47:37 -0400

O+ blood needed!!!

Julie Remin, born april 4, 1953, urgently needs O+ blood by Sunday, Sept. 4.

If you live in the area and can donate, please go to the blood bank in the
basement of Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. Say that the
blood is for Julie Remin and give her birthdate.

For more information, contact Rabbi Winter at 1-914-939-1006
KTI Synagogue, Portchester New York.

Thanks for any help.


Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham

Micha Berger                                Ron Arad, Zechariah Baumel,
work: <mberger@...>  (212) 526-1786    Zvi Feldman, Yehudah Katz:
home: <aishdas@...>     (201) 916-0287     until they're home, we may not rest
     <a href="http://www.iia.org/~aishdas">AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <BLPARN@...> (Baruch Parnas)
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 1994 12:57:12 -0400
Subject: Judaism and the Idiocy of Western Intellectuals

I saw a recent post on Judaism and vegetarianism dealing with hunger
around the world.  Lately, I have been hearing to fallacious arguments
for population control and increasing food supplies with biotechnology
(ie Monsanto's animal milk stimulant - I work for Monsanto).  Jews, of
course, concern themselves with the care of mankind and the world in
general, but I am dissapointed to see how many of us get suckered by
fallacious concerns.

There is no shortage of food in the world, there is shortage of food in
some parts of the world.  Thank G-d that He has not created a real
famine.  Instead, He leaves the distribution up to the nations, and they
do a tragic of it.  Plenty of grain rots at the harbors of
underdeveloped nations without distribution.  The stinking leaders of
these nations are selfish pigs who suck the blood out of their nations,
and their political opponents would do no different.  Different
organizations (many college student organizations) use hunger around the
world for their selfish aims.  Companies like Monsanto abuse peoples'
problems for their selfish ends also.

The Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch makes the point that our kindnesses must
be thought through just like anything else.  A lot of people do
"kindness" in the world to many people's detriment. 

Baruch Parnas


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 13:23:41 -0700
Subject: Judaism, Racism and Vegetarianism

The problem of racism in some parts of the orthodox Jewish world is 
serious and I applaud your willingness to openly discuss this very 
troubling subject.  The idea that anyone in the Jewish world would 
actually teach that Lincoln and/or Kennedy were killed because they 
helped persons of African heritage is almost beyond my belief.  If this 
is so, in my opinion it is an idolatry of the most vicious sort, it 
demeans Torah, Jews, and Judaism and it must be openly opposed.  
Otherwise we will be as irresponsible as we have claimed some in the 
African-American community have been in not openly opposing the views of 
Farrakhan and the like. 

If there were a Sanhedrin, there would be a means of reining in and/or 
correcting misrepresentations of Judaism, such as the racism you 
outline, in a responsible and Torah-true manner.  Without a Sanhedrin it 
is nearly impossible to criticize inappropriate behavior without risking 
stepping over the line into lashon ha-ra.  However, this having been 
said, I believe that the survival of Jews and Judaism could be 
threatened if we do not openly respond to and strongly refute these 

Perhaps we could discuss how criticism and correction can be done in a 
responsible and effective manner?  All I can think of is to scream - and 
that is usually not very effective even when warranted.

Re: vegetarianism -- the best use of any resource is in its moderate 
use.  When meat is required, it should be consumed modestly and in a 
balanced and complementary way with other foods.  Eating ONLY burgers 
and fries is just as much an abuse of our G-d-given bodies as is smoking 
cigarettes.  Eating a hard-boiled egg while traveling is a way to stay 
kosher.  One egg is good protein, eating only eggs could clog our 

Stan Tenen                     Internet:    <meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738                  CompuServe:  75015,364
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


From: <eeh@...> (Elliott Hershkowitz)
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 94 09:45:45 EDT
Subject: Liquers

Irwin Keller's question on liquers is made more complex by geography.
Having the personal z'chus to married to die G'BAAKS -Gila bas Avraham
Aishes h'Kiddush-, may she live and be well 120 years, I can tell you
that anything beyond a bottle with a hecsher is a trip into no man's
land.  Besides the article mentioned by Mordechai Lando, there was a
mention of one from N. Hollywood, CA (R. Eidlitz (sp)).

It seemed to me that Mr. Keller was in or near Bergen Co., NJ in which
case in addition to the usual CYLOR admonition I would add, CYLOC
(...Orthodox Caterer).  I've seen too many "...but they use it in Queens
all the time" scenarios.

As for real help, some Leroux brandies, Finlandia vodka, Tam Pree
liquers, HaMashkeh (sp) scotch, Old Williamsburg bourbon and a few
Kedem (Medek) seasonal specials are all under supervision.  Without
intending to advertise, Mr. Keller can find Maadan on Cedar Lane,
Teaneck which will cover him for the Bergen County area as far as
products without a hecsher on the bottle.



From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 94 22:31:55 -0700
Subject: Milk

I would like to compliment Rabbi Fruendel on his well written article
discussing the halachic sources on the milk issue.  In one of the items
that came out shortly after the story broke, complaints were made that
the story was released prematurely.  Was the problem that the story was
released and debunked prior to the certifying agency being able to set
up Glatt Milk under it supervision.  Who can resist the opportunity to
take advantage of the already overburdened religious consumer.  In the
case of the ever increasing chumrot, the ones who are hurt the most are
the ones who can least afford the additional expense including
kollelniks.  I am still waiting for the requirement that all milk come
from cows that were impregnated by bulls that had a bris from a
Chassidishe Mohel.

Ktivah V'Chatimah Tovah



From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 02:28:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Shofar care

>From: <jpw@...> (Joe Wetstein)
>Does anyone have any suggestions for how to treat a shofar (which is
>rather old) that is getting quite 'dry' and I am afraid that it may
>be getting brittle.

I was once told to use vinegar.

Aryeh Blaut


From: Ira Rosen <irosen@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 94 17:29:18 EDT
Subject: THe age of the earth in Judaism

In response to Moshe Rappoport's query concerning rationalizing the
scientific age of the earth with the Jewish opinion (5744 years), Nathan
Aviezer, in his book, "In the Beginning... Biblical Creation and
Science," does an admirable job of explaining many of the possible
questions about science vs. biblical tradition.  In simple terms,
equalizing 5754 'years' (number above is a mistake) of tradition with
the scientifically 'measured' millions and millions of years (or is it
billions?) involves a little bit of relativity. Measuring time from our
perspective (today) gives us a distorted view of time as it existed
closer to the creation of the universe/planet by G-d (also known to the
scientific community as 'The Big Bang').  What appears, today, to be a
very long period of time (relative to our measurement techniques) could
actually have occurred in a very short period of time (real time - not
relative to our measurement techniques).  Mr. Aviezer goes into a much
more eloquent and convincing discussion than I am able to, I suggest you
check out his book (Ktav Publishing, 1990)

			-Ira Rosen


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 13:23:41 -0700
Subject: The Ultimate Curse

Please forgive me for jumping in.  I don't know if this is relevant or 
not, but it seems to me that when a name is erased, so is its being in 
this world.  We can only summon by name.  HaShem's name is, after all, 
just a sequence of letters on a page that we could speak as sound, but 
we don't do so casually because even though it is ONLY a name, it does 
call out to that which is named.  The same may be true for the name of 
an evil-doer.  Without the name, the evil is not summoned, not invoked, 
and not part of our consciousness - not in our world.

Stan Tenen                     Internet:    <meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738                  CompuServe:  75015,364
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


End of Volume 15 Issue 21