Volume 17 Number 23
                       Produced: Wed Dec 14  5:59:05 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"al tihyeh tzodek..."
         [Joel Kurtz]
2 sisters
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Cleaning Burnt Glass
         [Nechama Nouranifar]
Israeli Declaration of Independence
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Jews from small towns
         [Jay Bailey]
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Networking handbook
         [Erwin Katz]
Torah and Science
         [Howard Reich]
Wine and Grape Juice
         [Adina Sherer]
Women Rabbis
         [Sam Fink]


From: <kurtzj@...> (Joel Kurtz)
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 94 10:48:52 EST
Subject: "al tihyeh tzodek..."

[Although the focus of this article is "political", which we avoid on
this group, it is my judgement that the way this submission is
formulated, it is acceptable. The point is not to debate the political
points but rather the Jewish historical perspective to conflicting valid
Jewish principles and how to deal with such a situation. Mod.]

"Al tihyeh tzodek, tihyeh chacham"  (Don't be right, be smart)
						... sign on Israeli highways

This principle, used to slow down Israeli highway drivers, has been put
into my mouth by my (settler) brother to describe my (moderate) Middle East
political philosophy. My brother believes that the principle is indeed
good advice for drivers but bad advice in international relations.

Those who follow this principle believe that pragmatic considerations
should be used in formulating decisions which may then be different from
decisions based on considerations of justice alone.

For example, some people may argue in favour of the peace agreement between
Israel and the Palestinians not on the basis of "what is right" but on the
basis of "what is smart", in the face of U.S. economic and political

Another way to frame the issue is in terms of the tension between emet
(truth) and shalom.  Sometimes, in order to achieve shalom, may we
sacrifice emet.

I would like to ask for responses by e-mail to the following questions...

1. Are there examples in the T'nach and later Jewish history where the
compromises discussed above are made, particularly in regard to relations
between Jews and others?

2. Based on such examples, can we determine under what conditions such
compromises should be made?  In other words, what is the Jewish position
on the use of "realpolitik"?

If you would be good enough to send me your ideas, I will summarize
the responses in a follow-up posting.

Thank you.



From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 1994 16:57:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 2 sisters

:converted to Judasism (indeed, it is unclear to me if that is
:rabbinically prohibited either, except for cherem derabbenu 
:gershom, which has nothing to do with sisters).

You may not marry 2 sisters who converted.

The Rabbis prohibited marrying any person whom you would have been
prohibited from marrying if they remained a non-Jew and non_jews were
permitted. Since they were 2 sisters halachically before their conversion
-- you may not marry them both after conversion. Thee reason for this is
so that people will not say 'Jews have more lenient laws than non_jews --
while they were non-Jews they were prohibited to marry the same man --
after conversion to Judaism thaey became permitted.' JS


From: Nechama Nouranifar <nournfrn@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 08:07:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cleaning Burnt Glass

The easist way to clean glass that has been burnt is to spray it with 
oven off and let that sit for a while. After a couple of hours it will 
wipe clean.



From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 94 12:03:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Israeli Declaration of Independence

Warren Burstein correctly replied to the suggestion:

>In digest <199412081953.AA08078@...> feldblum@cnj.digex.net writes:
>>Does anyone have any information or feelings about ammendening the Israeli
>>Declaration of Independence to include Hashem's name (G-d) and give thanks
>>for His miracles in creating a State of Israel.

Says Warren:

>As the Declaration of Independence contains no provisions for
>amendments, it would seem that it is not possible to amend it.  As it
>isn't a law, that's probably just as well.

When the DoI was signed on Erev  Shabbat 1948 May 14, the "miracles in
creating a State of Israel" were not as obvious as they perhaps became
later.  The dangers were still enormous.

Still there is some mention of God in  the DoI in which we find at the

This "Almighty" is  the English translation, in the  original Ivrit it
says "Tzur Yisrael".

 Michael Shimshoni


From: Jay Bailey <jbailey@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:14:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jews from small towns

Here at the Jewish Week (NY) we have someone writing a cover story about 
prominent Jews from small towns in the US...does anyone have any 
suggestions (e.g., Robert Zimmerman)

You can send them directly to me: <bailey@...>

Thanx - 
Jay Bailey


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 94 11:53:27 -0800
Subject: Re: Mechitza

	>From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>

	Yes, during the Simchat Beir Hashoeva there was some minor seperation
	between the sees -- but during the rest of the year there was not. In
	fact, to get to the Ezrat Yisrael you had to walk through the Ezrat
	Nashim!!! The Third Bayit will have the same thing -- no Mechitza
	whatsoever and a walk through women to reach the mens' area (well,
	actually, men could stand in the Ezrat NAshim as well!!!)...

	Joseph Steinberg  |  New York, USA  |  <steinber@...>

Your logic is incorrect. The fact that men may have to walk through the
Ezras Nashim to reach the men's area DOES NOT imply that men walked
through women. Women were not always present, and a mechitza is only
necessary when women are present.

The Simcha Beis Hashoeva discussed in the Talmud was an exciting event
where everyone attended.

Hayim Hendeles


From: ERWIN_KATZ_at_~<7BK-ILN-CHICAGO@...> (Erwin Katz)
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 94 14:45:22 CST
Subject: Networking handbook

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the Global Jewish Networking
Handbook by Dov Winer?


From: Howard Reich <0006572811@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 94 14:26 EST
Subject: Torah and Science

Rabbi Bechhofer wrote in part:

>science, by defintion, denies miracles. Krias Yam Suf could not
>have occured either by scientific rules.

Before appearing to contradict Rabbi Bechhofer in a public forum, I wish 
to make absolutely clear that I have nothing but the highest regard and 
respect for him both as a person and as a Torah scholar, and I would be 
uncomfortable contradicting him even in private conversation.  I wish 
only to bring to the attention of those MJ'ers who would find of 
interest the existence of a study that was published in the March 1992 
issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  The 
authors of the study analyzed possible oceanographic processes resulting 
from a strong wind of 10 hour duration, and concluded that both the 
crossing of Yam Suf and the Egyptians' drowning in the words of the 
authors, "could have been the result of known natural phenomena" and 
"are certainly possible from a scientific point of view."

The apparent antipathy that can be found on the part of some scientists 
toward the Torah, is also most regrettable.  For example, although 
Exodus 14:21 speaks of a "strong east wind all the night" the authors of 
the study chose as their model a northwesterly wind only "because this 
is the most common wind in the gulf" and left the reader wondering what 
effect an easterly (or a northeasterly or a southeasterly) wind would 
have had on their model.

R. Bechhofer's earlier comment that "the Sfornu certainly did not take 
the Flood as allegorical" reminded me of how difficult if not troubling, 
I find the Sfornu's understanding of the Flood.  The Sfornu's 
commentaries at Genesis 6:13 and 8:22 describe the earth's rotation 
around its axis from the time of creation until the Flood as such that 
the climate was ideal, constant and spring-like.  After the Flood, the 
earth's axis was tilted with the result that the perfect balance of 
nature was disrupted, man's lifespan was shortened, earth's climate 
became subject to seasons, and vegetation was adversely affected.  The 
most difficult aspect of this commentary is that the change in the 
earth's axis took place 4,000 years ago!  Is there any empirical/ 
scientific evidence in support of such a drastic change having taken 
place just a short time ago?  Also, what are the Moadim that are spoken 
of as having been created on the fourth day of creation?  If anyone can 
help me out with these difficulties, it would certainly be appreciated.

     Howard Reich (<hreich@...>)


From: <adina@...> (Adina Sherer)
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 94 8:02:01 IST
Subject: Re: Wine and Grape Juice

> question became more and more complex as time went on.  Some of Kedem's
> grape juice (in the 1L bottles) is marked mevushal.  I called Kedem and
> after a week of half answers I talked to Ilan at the bottling plant in
> Milton, NY (phone # 914/236-4281) and was told that only the 1L bottles
> are boiled to the temperature that makes them halachikly mevushal.

Call Rabbi Ryback (sp?) in Passaic NJ about this - many years ago he gave
a great series of lectures about halachik issues in Kashruth that most
people are unaware of, showing how the various agencies resolved  these
issues.  One of the points was about wine and grape juice and I remember him
discussing this.  It seems that  it was a decision by Kedem to only heat
the 1 liter bottles because that was the size most likely to appear at
functions  where there might be a problem of non-Jewish waiters, and the
other sizes were usually used at home, where no one would ever have a problem
because who ever hosts non-Jews at their own table?  ( Or something like that -
it was a long time ago and I don;t remeber all the details.)  What's
frightening is if the OU itself is unaware of this!  So please call him -
he is a reliable source of information. ( and give him regards from Carl and
Adina in Israel - thanks!)



From: <sam@...> (Sam Fink)
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 23:42:07 -0800
Subject: Women Rabbis

Now that the Conservative movement has been ordaining women rabbis and 
cantors for the past ten years, I have continually heard from my 
conservative friends "Well, the Torah doesn't say you can't have a woman 
rabbi."  I'm sure that it must, and can certainly argue this point in a 
roundabout way.  But--what is the best answer, and what are the sources?--Sam

[Note: From a halakhic standpoint, there is almost nothing that a
"Rabbi" does today that requires a "Rabbi", I think we may have had that
discussion here many years ago, although I think that was actually on
s.c.j (or n.r.j as I suspect it was called then) that I discussed
that. So part of an answer to this will require defining for ourselves
just what a "Rabbi" is, and then understanding what the Halakhic
implications of a woman Rabbi would be. Mod.]

Sam Fink
Los Angeles Free-Net Steering Committee


End of Volume 17 Issue 23