Volume 16 Number 22
                       Produced: Mon Oct 31  8:20:51 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Canadian Thanskgiving
         [Michael Broyde]
Divorce in Israel
         [Yosef Bechhoffer]
Guidelines for Modesty - correction
         [Shaul Wallach]
         [Constance Stillinger]
Monsey Bus
         [Jonathan Katz]
Near Death Experiences
         [Eli Turkel]
Ordering of Events in the Torah
         [Elly Lasson]
Proof by Induction  in the Talmud
         [Sharon J Hollander]
Science and Creation
         [David Charlap]
Throwing eggs (was Halloween)
         [Yisrael Medad]
         [Zvi Weiss]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 08:20:38 EST
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I think that the Haloween topic has been about discussed to completion,
and unless I get some really incrediable posting, I will "borrow" the
Halakhic dictum - ovar zmano batul korbono - which I will translate very
non-exactly as it's time is over so it is no longer relevent, and there
will be no more postings on that topic.

There are a few other topics where I suspect we are getting to
repititions of positions already presented, e.g. the vegetarianism topic
and possible the wife-beating topic. I will be taking hard and careful
looks at future postings on those topics to make sure that there is
something new in the posting. I know that there is a lot of material
going out, but if you are going to repond to a topic, please try and
read what has already been said. Saying it a second time doesn't add to
the discussion.

I thank all those that have sent me responses about what to do as we go
forward in terms of volume of the mailing list. I will be trying to
summarize what I have received so far, and will get it out in an
Administrivia maybe this evening.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming :-)

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 94 23:32:12 EDT
Subject: Canadian Thanskgiving

In one of my postings I discussed halachic issues related to
Thanskgiving and I received a private post with a question about
celebrating what the reader called "the Canadian Thanskgiving."  Does
anyone know the historical data behind this holiday.  I am interested in
receiving documented facts, if at all possible, rather than memories
from the stories told in school.  It is mentioned in the Encylopedia
Britanica, but no real data is provided.  Thank you.

Michael Broyde
voice 404 727-7546
fax 404 727-6820


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhoffer)
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 22:08:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re:Divorce in Israel

Clearly, Dr. Eli Turkel's recent posting of an article from the Israeli
press highlights that this is a very sizable problem, and likely to get
worse and worse.

I would like to raise a "quick and dirty" rabbinical solution. Just as
there is currently one Beis Din and one Chief Rabbi (in Netanya, I
believe, Rabbi Shloush, a student of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef) that registers
Ethiopians for marriage, why doesn't the Chief Rabbinate set up a
"Sefardic" or "Yemenite" Beis Din that will follow the Rambam's ruling
and force a husband whose wife has simply claimed that she finds her
husband disgusting to divorce her?

Women who were stuck by recalcitrant husbands could then use this Beis
Din to solve their problems.

BTW, ACLU et al aside, we would also fare a lot better if we could
reinstitute floggings for those unwilling to divorce their wives. I bet
a lot of cases would be resolved pretty quickly...


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 94 15:48:55 IST
Subject: Guidelines for Modesty - correction

>     The only minor quibble I have with Claire Austin is that the men's
>obligation is not learned from the verse in Psalms 45, but from Job
>31:1 - "I made a covenant with my eye, not to look at a virgin." The
>Midrash (Tanhuma Wayyishlah 5), for example, cites this verse as well
>as the verse in Psalms. However, this Midrash derives the women's
>virtue from the men's duty; that is, since men are not supposed to look
>at women, women should not be accustomed to be outside (eg. in the
>market or in the street) where men cannot not look at them. ...
     This should obviously have read "can look at them." 


From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 23:55:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Halloween

<CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall) wrote:

> ... We all really know that those days [Halloween, St. Patrick's,
> St. Valentine's] do not have a significant religious component and
> are not normatively consider religious holidays by the bulk of the
> gentile community.

Well I don't know this at all.

Neither the fact that most nominally Xian Gentiles are ignorant about
the significance of their own religious calendars nor the fact that
Xianity has entrenched itself in the secular calendar gives Jews the
license to go ahead and celebrate Xian holidays!

We should also recognize that Halloween is celebrated these days as a
BIG religious holiday by modern pagans (eg Wiccans or whatever they
call themselves).  That in itself should put the brakes on Jewish
celebration of Halloween.  


Dr. Constance A. (Chana) Stillinger        <cas@...>
Research Coordinator, Education Program for Gifted Youth
Stanford University      http://kanpai.stanford.edu/epgy/pamph/pamph.html


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 13:40:15 EDT
Subject: Monsey Bus

In response to the statements made by Joe Abeles (in which he states that
according to American law it is forbidden to have a mechitza in a bus which
receives a government subsidy), I just wish to point out that it is not so
clear cut AT ALL. The constitution demands two things from the govt.: 
That they not pass any laws restricting religion and
that they make a separation between church and state.
It is primarily the second law which is important here. The claim is
that if a publicly funded bus has a mechitza, this erodes the separation
between church and state. However, this is not clear. The courts have ruled
differently in different cases, but they have often been willing to allow the
govt to support a religious event as long as any other religious event is
equally aupported. For instance, if a town wants to spend money to put up
a Christmas tree, they must also put up a menora. My point is not to rule
one way or another, but to point out that I'm sure the lawyers for Monsey
Trails have already looked over the facts. When in doubt on an issue like
this, one must, of course, ask your LCL (local competent lawyer) :)

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, Room 241C
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 94 16:04:17+020
Subject: Near Death Experiences

      In a recent daf yomi (Baba batra 10b) relates that Rav Yosef the
son of Rav Yehoshua became very sick. During this time his soul went to
heaven. When he recovered his father asked what he had seen in heaven.
He replied ... ((see there for details).  Hence the Talmud takes for
granted that near death experiences can be real.  This does not mean
that each case is real or that it happens to everyone in these
circumstances. What the Gemara clearly states is that it can happen for



From: <elasson@...> (Elly Lasson)
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 21:42:34 EDT
Subject: Ordering of Events in the Torah

I hope to draw upon the expertise of the MJ Bible scolars out there.

At the end of this past week's sidra, Chayai Sarah, the Torah mentions
the death of Avraham.  In next week's sidra, Toldot, there is the
midrash that the lentil soup which Yaakov was preparing was for the
mourning period of Avraham.

Since the death of Avraham was recorded before the birth of Yaakov, the
chronological dilemma is obvious.  The typical explanation is one of
"ayn mukdam u'meuchar b'Torah" (loosley translated as "the Torah as we
have it is not necessariliy written in temporal order").  This rule is
applied to reconcile many difficulties of time sequence.

My question is simply "why not"?  Wouldn't the Torah be more easily
followed if the evcents appeared in order.  I'm sure that someone
discusses this.

Elly Lasson, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Morgan State University
Baltimore, MD


From: Sharon J Hollander <sjh@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 1994 15:11:13 EDT
Subject: Proof by Induction  in the Talmud

I was just wondering if there are any cases in the Talmud where something 
along the logic of a proof by induction is used.  Proof by contradiction
is quite common and other forms of mathematical proof are used.  Is there any
general type classification of valid arguments in Talmud ?

Sharon Hollander


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 12:43:13 EDT
Subject: Science and Creation

<goldberg@...> (Joel Goldberg) writes:
><david@...> (David Charlap) writes:
>> 4) The universe is billions of years old.  Differences with the Torah
>>    are because of some strange relativity where the six-days of
>>    creation, from God's perspective equals our billions of years.
> (No article advanced argument 4, but as I and others have noted, there
>  are several time scales, depending on different scientific principles, all
>  of which lead to a universe older than 6000 years. Thus 4 should really
>  be dismissed entirely.)

The only place I've seen that theory is on this mailing list and on
other net.sources.  One person referenced a book, whose title I don't
remember.  The general theory was that if you consider the entire
universe to be one huge black hole (as some astronomers have
theorized), and perform the mass-time dilation calculations, you can
compress our billions of years (relative to someone within the
universe) to 6 days (relative to someone outside the universe, like

This sounds like an attempt to put a mathematical framework around the
"day in the eye of God" theory.


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 94 09:22 IST
Subject: Throwing eggs (was Halloween)

I might have missed a posting but to respond to Rick Dinitz in
Vol16 N19:
the throwing of eggs was not in celebration of Halloween but in
defense of the Yeshiva building from drunken anti-Semites, even
if they were 15-20 years of age, who on Halloween eve in Forest
Hills would attempt to do damage to my Yeshiva Highshool building.
We never saw the police at that time so we had to do the job ourselves.
And this was before the JDL.
Yisrael Medad


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 1994 01:04:49 -0400
Subject: Trick....

Re Warren's comments

At risk of sounding like a broken record, please refer to the halachic
sources for Chukot Hagoyim...  It is my understanding that if the
practice is *based* upon religious observance, it is prohibited... The
fact that it is now secular [maybe] does not appear to matter.



End of Volume 16 Issue 22