Volume 16 Number 51
                       Produced: Sun Nov 13 10:19:40 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Army and Benefit of the Doubt (correction)
         [Shaul Wallach]
         [David Kaufmann]
Martial Arts
         [Hillel Eli Markowitz]
Mesorah (Historical Tradition) and the Flood
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Prac-Halacha for Chanukah
         [Naftoli Biber]
R. Shlomo Carlebach
         [Yisrael Medad]
         [David Charlap]
Shimon & Levi
         [David Steinberg]
Trial and Juries
         [Finley Shapiro]


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 94 15:31:38 IST
Subject: Army and Benefit of the Doubt (correction)

     Unfortunately a misplaced command of mine messed up the reference
to Rabbi Kook's letter on military service for yeshiva students. It
should read as follows:

"Iggerot Ha-Rayah", Mossad Ha-Rav Kook, Jerusalem, 1965, pp. 88-92.

     Sorry again for your trouble.


From: David Kaufmann <kaufmann@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 94 1:09:11 CST
Subject: Re: Flood

Marc Shapiro writes, in the midst of a post on the flood and Biblical

"We don't understand God, but we have an idea about how he interacts in
this world, at least that's was Maimonides and his followers
thought. Why else reject e. g. demons, astrology and other

At the risk of starting another thread, those who accept/belief in
"demons, astrology and ..." also think we have an idea about how G-d
interacts in this world. (And to reduce the risk, I'll refrain from
asking about Maimonides.)

Further, the issue of "likelihood" isn't so obvious.

He continues:
        "In my original posting I stated that believing in the truth of
the flood (and a 5000 year old world) is more extreme than denying the
existence of George Washington. [explanation deleted] . . .

However, the entire received body of knowledge in just about every field
of human study is dependant on the fact that the world is not 5000 years
old and that there was not a flood."

The word "fact" gets overloaded in this paragraph (as I'll point out
below) and the difference between "fact" "fact that" and "facts" seems
to get lost in the process. At any rate, the above sentence is simply
not true. Some accepted theories about the mechanisms and interactions
of the physical universe, and many accepted (or assumed) theories about
the history and development of civilization culture, seem to require an
assumption of a world older than 5000 years. But there is no "fact that"
about it.

He continues:
 "These facts are the fundamentals of biology, physics, astronomy,
history, anthropology, geology, palentology, zoology, linguistics
etc. etc. etc. Belief in a 5000 year old world and a flood which
destroyed the world 4000 years ago is a denial of all human knowledge as
we know it."

I guess (since his pronoun isn't clear) the "facts" referenced are the
age of the world and that there was no flood. If so, then the first
sentence is as false as the second: None of those fields, with the
possible exception of geology (and I wouldn't bet on that one) _require_
a certain age as a fundamental. In fact, physics and astronomy (and
therefrom biology and anthropology and therefrom history and
linquistics) can do quite nicely positing a wide variety of ages as the
starting point.

How can someone who accepts biochemistry, nuclear physics, various
engineering fields, etc. - and works in them on a daily basis - "deny
all human knowledge as we know it" simply by accepting alternate
_scientific_ explanations for the origins of life, the universe and

I've seen the word "fundamentalist" used as a catch-all
condemnation-disposal in another forum. It remains here, as there, no
more valid than any other ad hominem argument. Further, belief and
denial come in many forms. The uninterpreted "fact" has no existence
(but that, too, is a different thread).

I guess I just don't see the point in denial-based readings.

David Kaufmann INTERNET:	<kaufmann@...>


From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994 21:41:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Martial Arts

> >From: Motty Hasofer <mottyh@...>
> I was wondering if anyone had seen any responsa on whether practicing 
> martial arts is or is not permitted. Maybe there are ways in which one 
> can partake, maybe to a particular level.

There is a "Torah Dojo" at Yeshivah University and I understand that 
there are places in various communities run by frum Jews.  I suggest 
asking someone who is currently at Yeshiva University about this.

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


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 00:26:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re:Mesorah (Historical Tradition) and the Flood

In his recent posting on the "Flood" of Noach, my friend Marc  Shapiro 
sounds almost heroic in denying the historical veracity  of  our  Holy 
Torah. He claims that this approach has sources in "Modern Orthodoxy." 
This alone is perhaps the most cogent argument that the "Right"  could 
muster to brand the Modern Orthodox heretical :-). But I am sure  that 
most Modern Orthodox would not cross the line Mark has crossed. 

Our sources do not  sustain  the  allegorical  interpretation  of  the 
recorded facts of Parashas Noach. To state that God,  Chazal  and  the 
Rishonim were "pulling the wool over our eyes"  with  this  blatant  - 
according to Marc - falsification, is to accuse God as much of caprice 
as to accuse Him of such were He,  as  Marc  described  and  correctly 
rejects, to have created the world thirty years ago  with  our  intact 

I know that Marc will counter that I may not like his approach, but so 
long as he does accept that this "Allegory" was given by God at  Sinai 
he is within the traditional and normative realm of Emunah - our  core 
belief system. Unfortunately, this is not so.

Marc undermines the very core of our belief system -  Mesorah  -  with 
his approach. Our entire religion is based on the Tradition - and  the 
accuracy that our Fathers and Mothers have vouchsafed for it -  in  an 
unbroken chain back to Sinai. There  can  be  much  new  and  original 
exegesis of Tanach (you are all invited to  my  Wednesday  Night  Nach 
shiur, in which I think I engage in some), but  not  exegesis  of  the 
sort Marc engages in - factual reinterpretation of Tanach that is  not 
based on that Mesorah.

Marc errs gravely in attributing such exegesis to RSR  Hirsch.  RSRH's 
exegesis perhaps breaks new ground in Homiletics and Philology, but he 
would never have broken with Chazal and the Rishonim on facts. Indeed, 
by definition, as Torah-true, he could not! I believe RSRH would  have 
been horrified by the very idea that he shed a "Secular" light on  our 
Scriptures, as Marc claims. 

I question if any of the  luminaries  that  Marc's  brand  of  "Modern 
Orthodoxy" regards in high esteem  (who  are  they?  -  with  all  due 
respect to Prof. Kimelman, quoted by Marc, he certainly could  not  be 
classified as a leader of Modern Orthodoxy)  would  have  countenanced 
such breaches in the "Chomas HaDas", the great  fortification  of  our 
religion, the accuracy of our uninterrupted historical record back  to 
Sinai (so  brilliantly  described  and  analyzed  by  the  Kuzari  and 
others), which, among all the other great Truths it has imparted to us 
also imparts the  historical  record  of  the  Flood  as  literal  and 

We   -   whom   Marc   perhaps   would   disparagingly   dismiss    as 
"Fundamentalists" - see no  reason  to  raise  difficulties  with  our 
accurate (and sacred) Mesorah on the basis on  the  latest  scientific 
notion. Those of us who  are  somewhat  beyond  High  School  Textbook 
Science know the flux and infirmity of scientific "facts." Today it is 
thus, tomorrow it shall be otherwise (take for  example,  Velikovsky's 
once intensely derided theory of the extinction of the dinosaurs via a 
comet's impact on the Earth. This theory is now (with no credit  given 
to  Velikovsky)  universally  accepted.  They  even  "know"  where  it 
happened! The Yucatan Peninsula). 

It is only "Netzach Yisroel lo yishaker" - the eternal truths  of  the 
exalted Chosen People, imparted to us by Moshe  Rabbeinu,  Chazal  and 
the great Rishonim that have withstood the  tests  of  time  with  the 
resilience of the Divine.

We have been influenced by the aggresive assertiveness of the  secular 
world. In the service of Man's efforts to shake off  the  shackles  of 
religious restrictions, the secular world  has  mounted  an  unceasing 
attack on our timeless truths and Toras Emes. Let us all take the time 
to contemplate the majesty of our great leaders and thinkers, and  the 
majestic Mesorah, and the accompanying sanctity, that they have passed 
down to us, and grasp, assert and proudly proclaim and teach authentic 
Torah Judaism. 

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 12:05:12 
Subject: Prac-Halacha for Chanukah

As Chanukah is fast approaching now would be a good time to subscribe to the
mailing list prac-halacha - "issues in Practical Halacha".

The next issue will be mailed on Friday, November 18, and will outline some 
of the laws and customs of Chanuka, including:
      1. The origin of Chanuka
      2. The time for lighting the menora
      3. Where to place the menora.

To subscribe to "Issues in Practical Halacha" send the message:
      SUBSCRIBE PRAC-HALACHA your_first_name your_last_name
      to: <listproc@...>

"Issues in Practical Halacha" (prac-halacha) is a moderated list produced 
by the Kollel Menachem - Lubavitch of Melbourne, Australia. 
"Issues" is distributed once every two weeks and discusses a different aspect 
of Halacha (Jewish Law).  Numerous sources are cited, both modern and 
ancient, and presented in a concise and readable form.  

For further help or information about the Kollel or this list please contact
the moderator, Naftoli Biber at <bibern@...>


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 94 09:39 IST
Subject: R. Shlomo Carlebach

Re posting in 16:38 of Zev Kesselman:-

Just to amplify on the l'vaya of R. Shlomo, the crowd stayed until
9 PM.  Since the k'vurah was a little bit after 11 Am, this must have
been one of the longest Carlebach performances outside of Mevo Modi'in.
I wasn't present at most of it but as the theme was set when during the
hespedim the Psalm Mizmor L'David, Hashem Roi, was sung to Sholom's tune,
it was only natural that this troubador be accompanied by nigunim.

Yisrael Medad


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 94 10:08:28 EST
Subject: Re: Roles...

<sethg@...> (Seth Gordon) writes:
>Stan Tenen <meru1@...> writes:
>>...a man and wife are considered whole while an unmarried person is
>>(usually) not considered to be whole. 
>Then why does halakha require *men* to marry and sire children, while
>*women* are free to remain unmarried all their lives?

If (as has been explained here by others) the Gemara assumes that women
will naturally want to be married, then such a mitzva would be
meaningless for women.  Men, on the other hand, who have no problem
remaining single for extneded periods of time, require the commandment -
otherwise many men would be content to remain single forever.


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 00:57:31 +0000
Subject: Shimon & Levi

Following up on Zvi Jonathan Kaplan's post on Shimon and Levi - I agree 
that the story can be read both ways.  I believe that Pshat is that 
Yaakov Avinu was upset at them and that is also Pshat in VaYechi.  
Nevertheless, I have always found it fascinating that in at least one 
sense the were adjudged correct:  Pinchus, a direct descendant of Levi 
wins Bris Kehunas Olam - eternal status as a Cohen/Priest - because he 
was a Kanai ie he acted (in a limited way) like Levi.

See the interpretations on Berashis 49:7. Only Apam - their rage -  is 
rued. Also the word Afitzem may mean I will disperse them or it 
could mean strengthen.  Note too that Afitzem BYisroel -- Yisroel 
normally refers to future generations and/or to circumstances when the 
Jews are in a posiiton of strength.

Dave Steinberg


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 11 Nov 1994 10:24:52 U
Subject: Trial and Juries

Robert Bindiger wrote:

> I would like to remind all subscribers in the NYC area that the Baz
> trial (the man accused of shooting the van of Lubavitch students on the
> Brooklyn Bridge) is currently taking place. It is very important that
> the jury see how concerned the Jewish community is. Many people feel
> that a poor showing of spectators during the Lemrick Nelson trial (the
> boy acquitted of killing Yankel Rosenbaum) was a major factor in the
> outcome.

It really disturbs me to think that a jury verdict could depend on who
the spectators are.  (I realize, however, that this is why, in murder
trials, the prosecutor usually has the victim's relatives in the front
row and the defense lawyer usually has the defendant's mother and other
relatives in the front row.)

I had jury duty yesterday.  At the beginning of the day I was in a room
with about 200 other people.  We were given questionnaires to fill out,
but before we filled them out somebody told us that we would be sworn in
or given the opportunity to affirm.  He then told us all to raise our
right hands, and he said "Do you swear or affirm that . . . "  We all
answered "I do."  Then we filled out the questionnaires.  One or two of
the questions asked whether I had any religious reason that would
prevent me from serving as a proper juror.

Over the next few hours, groups of 20 or 40 were sent to be interviewed
further for specific trials.  My group of 20 was taken into a smaller
room, where we were told that we had been assigned to a trial which was
then cancelled, either because the defendant pleaded guilty or for some
similar reason.  Then we were all dismissed.  I expect that, if I had
actually been put on a jury, I would have been given the oath in the
same manner as for the questionnaire.

Readers who are not sufficiently familiar with the jury system to follow
the discussion can write to me for more information.

Finley Shapiro


End of Volume 16 Issue 51