Volume 17 Number 44
                       Produced: Fri Dec 23 11:29:37 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzvah
         [Irwin A. Keller]
Book on Jewish Networking
         [Howard Reich]
Chassidish vs Mignadish schita
         [Danny Skaist]
Conversion announcement
         [Laurie C Smith]
Haredim and the Future
         [Shaul Wallach]
Hebrew Pronounciation
         [Steven Shore]
Hesder Yeshivot Learning
         [Yisrael Medad]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Woman answering questions of Jewish law, woman rabbis
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]


From: <keller@...> (Irwin A. Keller)
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 23:52:53 +0000
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

You may have covered this discussion in the past, but I'd like to know why
a Bar-Mitzvah celebration is so prevalent across much if not all lines of
"Orthodox" congregations, but Bat-Mitzvah celebrations aare played down so
much more or even shunned upon by some? Each become of age at which they
are now responsible for their own Mitzvot and Aveirot and the blessing
"boruch she'paatrani" really applies to both. It is true that the male
Bar-Mitzvah has a ritual associated with his coming of age--the Aliyah to
the Torah--. But it is true that we make a much bigger deal over the Bar
Mitzvah. Is there a 'halachik'
basis for this distinction? Is it merely tradition? I suspect the tradition
is deeply rooted in economics and chauvenism. The economic motivation is
that traditionally, in the past, the father was responsible to marry off
his daughter and pay for the 'simcha'. In the case of his son, the father
bore no such obligation. Therefore, costs were allocated to the daughter at
the wedding, and to the son at the Bar Mitzvah. The Chauvenistic motivation
is obvious in that there was and is a premium placed on having sons in
preference to daughters (kadishels). I would be curious to see if anyone
knows of any 'sources' in this regard, halachik or literary.

Irwin A. Keller
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
One Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, N.J.
(908)235-7721	e-mail <keller@...>


From: Howard Reich <0006572811@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 12:56 EST
Subject: Book on Jewish Networking

Information on how to obtain the "Global Jewish Networking Handbook" 
by Dov Winer, may itself be obtained by sending the following one-line 
message to <listserv@...>: 

get ajin-announce ajin.14.07.94 

     Howard Reich (<hreich@...>)


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 94 15:39 IST
Subject: Chassidish vs Mignadish schita

>>David Maslow
>>While I would welcome information from more knowledgeable experts, it
>>was my understanding that the difference between Chassidishe shcita
>>(ritual slaughter) and others is the way the knife is sharpened and the
>>shape of the finished cutting edge.  If this is true, and I am not

>David Charlap
>You're right that the difference is in how the knife is sharpened, etc.
>And I'm right that this is a "higher tolerance" of kashrut.  Chassidic
>shechita is not unacceptible to non-Chassidim, but not vice versa.

NO! You got it backwards.

The chassidish knife was assured by the Gra.  It is thinner and sharper.
Being thinner it was declared unusable on the claim that it has the
possibility of breaking during use, causing treif.  The misnagdishe knife is
heavy and bulky and hard to sharpen, but was always accepted by everybody.

The whole world NOW accepts the kula of the Ba'al Hatanya (first Chabad
Rebbe) in his Shulchan Aruch, and permits the thinner knife.

It was a major factor in the early Misnagdim/Chassidim animosity, that the
Misnagdim held that the chassidim permitted non-kosher schita.

How about that for a candidate for chumra of the month.  Only eat from
schita done with the Gra's knife. About which there never was a safek. :-)



From: Laurie C Smith <lcsmith@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 17:15:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Conversion announcement

M-J Readers:

On 12 Teves/15 December, at approximately 10:00 a.m., after 5 long years
of frustration and perseverence, I became a bas yisrael!  My Orthodox
bes din was in Columbus, Ohio.  It was, without a doubt, the most joyous
day of my life.

I faithfully read M-J, although I haven't posted before.  IY"H, now that
I am officially a member of the club, I will actually participate in the
fascinating discussions.

I'm so happy, I am sharing my news with anyone who will listen.  Thanks
for listening.


[Mazal Tov Chaviva! May you continue to learn and grow in your knowledge
and practice. Avi Feldblum, Moderator]


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 12:00:24 IST
Subject: Haredim and the Future

    Alan Ash quotes me as follows on the haredi yeshiva students:

>>                    ... The Torah they are learning today will be the
>> inheritance of our children tomorrow.
>i hope he is not serious.

    I am, and so was Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook ZS"L when he said that the
"high" (i.e. full-time) yeshivot are on a higher spiritual level.

>our teachers of tomorrow have to have a background in everything.
>not just learning for the sake of learning but learning for the sake
>of doing, teaching, helping,& caring. ...

    And I submit that Haredim do a fairly good job at all this, too. I
kindly invite Alan to come to Benei Beraq and take a look, for example,
at the telephone book, where he will find over 30 pages devoted to free
loan funds alone. Look at all the volunteer organizations devoted to
caring for the ill and their families, such as Ezer Mizion and Ezra
Lamarpe which have received national acclaim. Look at Beit Hatavshil
at 43 Rabbi Aqiva St., which gives free meals to the needy and is now
trying to house the homeless Russian immigrants who have made their
way to Benei Beraq and its social services. And the list goes on and
on. Benei Beraq, of all places - the city with the highest poverty rate
and the lowest crime rate in the country.

    Need I say more?



From: Steven Shore <shore@...>
Subject: Hebrew Pronounciation

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 94 10:27:16+010
>Daniel Geretz writes about having learned sephardic pronounciation thoug
>his father used the ashkenazik
>>Being a basically lazy person, I'm not
>>sure I'm that committed to changing pronunciation, unless there is a
>>really good reason to do so.
>Rav Moshe (in his tshuvos) & Rav Kook (as quoted by Rav Ovadia Yosef) both
>agree that minhag is the deciding factor - ie if your father & his father
>etc used a particular pronounciation you are required to use that one as
>  [stuff deleted for brevity]

I too learned sephardic pronunciation as a child though I am ashkenaz.
When I was becoming Baal Tshuvah I asked one of the leading Rabbis in
Toronto this question. He said that the most important thing is to
have Kavaneh while davening and not to change the pronunciation I was
used to if it would interfere with my kavaneh. He stressed that you
should be extra careful not to mix up the two pronuciations especially
in one bracha. I have heard people say "Nassan Hatorah" on more then
one occassion. BTW the whole issue of pronunciation only applies
during prayer and Torah reading. 

Shimon (Steven) Shore			<shore@...>


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 09:08 IST
Subject: Hesder Yeshivot Learning

Re posting of Zvi Weiss in Vol 17, No. 5:
On behalf of my wife -

"Zvi Weiss in his #7 seriously insults Yeshivot Hesder.  They are not
for second best students or those who "are not suited for 'sitting &
learning" all day".  During the 3 and 1/2 years of the 5-year program
they *Do Learn Day and Night*!  Those who can't are encouraged to leave.
The program is not for those who cannot learn.  Many of the young men
learn with greater intensity than is found in the charedi yeshivot
because they know this is the last chance for full-time learning since
their families and society will be unable to support them and they will
need to obtain a profession as stated in Pirkei Avot 2:2 regarding
Torah study and an occupation going together to make sin forgotton.

[My addition: they also know that as soldiers in fighting units, their
personal future is not that assured.  Last year, 33% of all fatalities in
the IDF, excluding training accidents, were Bnei Akiva graduates, many of
them Yeshivot Hesder boys - YM]

Yisrael Medad


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 11:11:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mechitza

I received the following message from a subscriber who wishes to remain 

    You made a good point regarding the availability of the mechitza.
Though, in our shul if a women comes into the Beis Medrash to daven some
men will run to set up the mechitza and some chairs, I never considered
that some women may be inhibited to enter in the first place.  I don't
usually daven at that shul for shacharis, but I'll try setting up the
mechitza (it's usually there, it just has to be arranged) at ma'ariv.
As a quasi-gabbi in my shul, I thank you for your suggestion.  >>>>>>

Aliza Berger


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 09:27:25 IST
Subject: Prozbol

Akiva Miller <Keeves@...> wrote:
>Example: Shmitta (the Sabbatical year) is a Torah law (though most
>opinions say that it is rabbinic nowadays). At the end of the year, all
>monetary debts between individuals are cancelled, but not debts owed to
>the Beis Din (court). When the rabbis saw that people stopped lending
>money when the Shmitta year got near, and this was a great hardship upon
>the poor, the Prozbul was instituted, by which loans could be
>transferred to the court.  Creditors then had no fear of being unable to
>collect their debts, and the poor did not get their credit cut off. This
>loophole was not a piece of rabbinic magic, but part of the Torah
>original plan.

I've heard that this is not the case, that is, that the prozbol is possible
only when Shemittah is rabbinic.  When most of the Jews live in Israel (I
believe that is sufficient to make Shemittah a Torah requirement), then the
prozbol will not be useable.  Does anyone have any sources supporting or
refuting this?


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 12:25:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Woman answering questions of Jewish law, woman rabbis

MIchael Broyde suggests looking at the Encyclopedia Talmudit for 
sources about the "ishah chakhamah ha-reuyah lehorot" (wise woman who 
can answer halakhic questions).  If you don't have that handy, you might 
have Sefer Hachinukh, the commandment to appoint judges (Commandment #87) 
and the commandment not to work in the Temple (corollary: not to answer 
questions)  when drunk (Commandment #152). 

Ritva's (on Kidushin 35a) opinion is that women can even serve as
judges, as Deborah did (although the Yerushalmi, e.g. Sanhedrin 3:9 says
explicitly that we cannot).  This question came up when the rabbinic
courts in Israel were being established.  The first Sephardic chief
rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Uziel (Piskei Uziel 43) ruled that women could in
theory judge if both sides agree to it, or if the community agreed to it
("kiblu aleih" - this would only apply to monetary judgments).  However,
he says, since women really belong in the home rather than in the
community, and because women would psychologically not be tough enough,
"we" don't appoint women as judges. I looked at these sources in a shiur
taught by Malka Bina (of Matan, an Israeli institute for women's study).
She suggested that with differing expectations for women (e.g. that it's
not a given that women should stay at home) this could change.

Thanks Freda for taping the shiur!

Of course, it's not necessary to be able to serve as a judge in order to 
be a synagogue rabbi. These are 2 different, although related, issues.

Aliza Berger


End of Volume 17 Issue 44