Volume 18 Number 16
                       Produced: Fri Jan 27 11:42:23 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzva in the Mikveh
         [Israel Medad - Knesset]
Gays / YU
         [Aharon Fischman]
machzan, magazine, machsanit
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Marriage in a Synagogue (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Avi Feldblum]
mikavah - Conservative opinion
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Need for Tallit
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
NYC's Ohab Zedek
         [Richard Schultz]
Rennet and Udders
         [Finley Shapiro]
Single men wearing a talit
         [Reuven Jacks]
Tzitzit Again
         [Melvyn Chernick]
Women's Weapons (2)
         [Mark Bells, Leah S. Gordon]
YU Homosexual Clubs Issue
         [Binyamin Jolkovsky]


From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 13:05:21 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Bat Mitzva in the Mikveh

[from Batya Medad]
I think that the idea is a sick joke at best.
1)  Halachically, it is imperative to preserve privacy of
women who are there for tvila (immersing).  Therefore, no one other
that the Miveh Lady (balanit in Hebrew) and the women who will be
immersing are to be present.
2)  In the almost 25 since I have been married, I haved used mikva'ot
in three countries on three continents and I've rarely seen one with
enough room for anyhting remotely resembling a "party".
3)  The only "celebration" suitabel that i can imagine and once
inadvertently attended was when a Kallah's (bride) mother gave a drink
and piece of cake to the wmen waiting to use the mikveh in honor of
the pre-nuptial tvila.
4)  An acceptable idea would be for a Bat Mitzva class to tour a mikveh 
during morning hours which would include an on-site instruction and
perhaps a demonstration of tvilat keilim (immersing utensils).
5)  In Shiloh, some families have hosted the weekly women's Shabbat Shiur
in honor of the Bat Mitzva when she delivers a Dvar Torah and even a
drasha by the father, mother or neighbor.

Batya [& Yisrael] Medad


From: <afischma@...> (Aharon Fischman)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 11:06:23 -0500
Subject: Gays / YU

Yisrael Medad Writes:

>Has their been any serious discussion of this issue in the NY or
>national Jewish press?  What have the Rabbis said taking into
>consideration, as I understand it, that by law they can do nothing as YU
>is not a private institution?

The Editor of the Cardoza Newspaper has been pushing for YU to come to grips 
with this issue, either it is a school or a Yeshiva. I do not know what the
outcome is, but when he gets back from vacation I'll ask him.

[Actually, he has recently joined the list, and we had a conversation
about just this topic. As Aharon says, he will some comments on this
issue, I did not know he was on vacation. Mod.]

Aharon Fischman


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 12:17:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: machzan, magazine, machsanit

:heir lamps. This meaning of guarding or overseeing is found in the
:analogous Arabic word, which gives rise to the Arabic "machzan," a
:storage depot, whence the English word "magazine," originally a storage
:place for weapons, and only later a collection of articles.

In Hebrew a magazine (as in a clip for a gun) is a 'machsanit'. Same 
word, I guess.

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://iia.org/~steinbj/steinber.html
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 13:06:53 GMT
Subject: Re: Marriage in a Synagogue

Ralph S Zwier writes that his Rabbi insisted on an outdoor chuppah.

I honestly don't know what the winter and/or whatever rainy season
they might have in Melbourne is like, but what do those who hold
likewise do in climates where there are times when it's not possible
to hold the chuppah outdoors?

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

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 11:41:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Marriage in a Synagogue

Warren Burstein writes:
> but what do those who hold likewise do in climates where there are
> times when it's not possible to hold the chuppah outdoors?

I remember going to one of my cousins weddings held at the main Satmar
hall in NY (Vayoel Moshe?). The Satmar (or at least the subgroup that my
cousin married into) are very strict about having the Chupah
outdoors. This wedding took place in the middle of the winter in NY. My
grandparents were then well into thier eighties at the time. They put on
their winter overcoats and we all went out for the chupah. It was a
fairly quick chupah though.

Avi Feldblum
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 11:01:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: mikavah - Conservative opinion

One opinion, anyway, from an extremely highly-placed but ivory-tower source: 
Rabbi Roth of JTS.  (I am not sure exactly what his title is, but he is a 
major halakhic advisor.)  He gave a talk on this subject yesterday.  What 
follows is all from what he said.

The bottom line was that in order to encourage observance, which is
presently almost nonexistent, one should advocate the Torah level of
observance, i.e. 7 days of separation followed by mikveh.  This is a lot
more likely to encourage observance than requiring 12 days.  The 12 days
is a result of "the daughters of Israel being strict upon themselves"
and it's only according to the Rambam (who believes every period is a
doubtful "zavah", i.e. flow-at-wrong-time-of month- which requires 7
clean days (i.e. days after flowceases) on a Torah level) that the 12
days rises to a Torah level.  That aside, the daughters of Israel could
at present decide to be lenient.

Aliza Berger


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 1:56:03 EST
Subject: Need for Tallit

> >From: <RYehoshua@...> (Rabbi Joshua Berkowitz)
> If a single man (in a community where single men do not don a tallit)
> receives an *aliya* on Monday or Thursday, does he need to put on a tallit,
> if he is wearing his tephillin?  I am curious to see how other shuls are
> *noheg* and if anyone has any sources supporting any postion. Rabbi Joshua
> Berkowitz

My recollection is that wearing a Talit during a public kibud is an
issue of kavod hatzibur (respect for the congregation).  I don't
understand what wearing tefilin has to do with it.

Elbogen, in his "Hatefilah B'Yisroel," mentions that the custom is for
the "shaliach tzibur," the leader of the davening, to dress properly and
to wear a talit (p373, footnote 25, but the footnote does not cite any
primary sources).  I didn't find a reference to it in the Shulchan Aruch
or Mishnah berurah.  It's nice reading MJ from home sometimes. :-)

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <schultz@...> (Richard Schultz)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 10:49:29 EST
Subject: NYC's Ohab Zedek

In mail-jewish Vol. 18 #12, <Jay.Denkberg@...> (Jay Denkberg)
writes that

>However OZ (Oheb Zedek in NYC) was founded over 100 years ago and its
>minhag was that every man, single or otherwise should ALWAYS wear a
>talit. Through the years that minhag has been lost/modified so that
>(perhaps out of respect for the original minhag) you wear a talit for an

The reason for the original minhag (as some readers may have already 
guessed) is that OZ was originally founded as a German shul, and the
German minhag was for every adult male to wear a tallit.  (As an aside,
I note that the reason that the Conservative minhag is for every adult
[male] to wear a tallit because the founders of the Conservative movement
were themselves of the German minhag.)  In fact, if you pay close attention,
you will note that many of the older members of OZ speak German, not Yiddish.

Presumably, the minhag has been modified to follow common Eastern European
practice because the majority of the current membership is of Eastern
European rather than German extraction.

					Richard Schultz


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 25 Jan 1995 20:24:24 U
Subject: Rennet and Udders

In a few recent postings it came out that the white substance found in
udders of slaughtered cows is not considered to be milk.  I don't know
anything about how rennet is extracted, but it does not seem very
different to say that an enzyme extracted from the stomach of a cow is
not meat.

Finley Shapiro


From: Reuven Jacks <MOSHIACHNOW@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 09:22:44 +0200
Subject: Single men wearing a talit

Regarding a single man wearing a talit. As most people know, the lubavitch
custom is not to wear a talit if you are single. But our head lubavitch rabbi
here ruled that if any of the youngsters (i.e. singles) are davvening as a
shatz, then out of kovod for the tzibur, they should don a tallis.


From: <chernick@...> (Melvyn Chernick)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 17:47:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tzitzit Again

Jeremy Nussbaum (24 January) properly recanted his previous posting that 
tzitzit without tekhelet is only mi-derabbanan. He now holds that "the 
majority and perhaps universal opinion is that tzitzit w/o tekhelet is 

Well, yes and no. The majority, it is true, would agree with his latter 
statement -- but it is not universal. R. Zerachia Halevi of Lunel (the 
Baal Hamaor) staunchly maintains that nowadays, in the absence of tekhelet,
there is no obligation to wear tzitzit. In fact, the Ramban reports that
the Baal Hamaor testified that he himself never wore tzitzit!

While that opinion is clearly in the minority, it at least gives us an 
opportunity to be melamed zekhut on all those of our fellow Jews who 
never wear tzitzit: they hold with the Baal Hamaor...

Melvyn Chernick


From: idela!<markb@...> (Mark Bells)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 09:17:04 PST
Subject: Re: Women's Weapons

>From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
>In a recent article by Meir Bar-Ilan in Jerusalem Studies in Jewish
>Folklore (in Hebrew)...
>He claims that the comparison with an Eretz_Yisrael Arab folksaying
>provides the full text which runs: "A woman's weapons - in time of
>trouble, her tears; in times of argument - her screaming (or shouts); in
>times of failure - her silence; in times of disagreement - her smile."

An enduring topic in mail.jewish is how we handle change.  The external
world has become less responsive to these four weapons, I believe.  My 
sister was set upon by an escaped rapist/murderer.  She used a fifth weapon 
to free herself - deceit.  She said if her were going to kill her anyway he
might as well do so at her house.  But she had the convict drive her to
her next door neighbor's house instead.  The neighbors were some burly
bikers who knew just what to do.  After a while they also called the 

So my sister came out OK and the convict was returned to the prison 
inventory.  Nevertheless she felt that a sixth weapon was called for --
a Gov't Colt 45 Match automatic pistol.  She keeps it in a policewoman's
purse and really hasn't had any trouble since.

Weapons, like some other things, change with the times.

Mark Bell   <markb@...>

From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 02:08:30 -0800
Subject: Women's Weapons

Mr. Yisrael Medad writes:

"Risking feminist critique, I do think that the folk saying [that
women have as weapons their tears, their screaming, their silence,
and their smile] holds fairly true."

Here is the critique from this feminist:  Women have for generations
been in a position of relative physical weakness when confronted with
male violence.  Up into our own times, women are taught to use exactly
those "weapons" listed above, all of which leave them, quite frankly,

It may well be true that many women use only those techniques
for self defense, but this is no better to proclaim than it would be
to say of men:  "A man's weapons - in time of trouble, his machismo;
in times of argument - his fists; in times of failure - his denial;
in times of disagreement - his forcefulness."  What are we doing quoting
Arab folksayings on Mail.Jewish anyway, even if someone has compared them
to Jewish texts?

And I dearly hope that more and more women will learn more effective
self-defense.  If (G-d forbid) I am ever attacked or sexually assaulted,
I will be very glad to use my kick, my punch, my elbows, or my hockey
stick as my weapons instead of relying on a smile.

Leah S. Gordon


From: Binyamin Jolkovsky <bljolkov@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 13:05:32 -0500 (est)
Subject: Re: YU Homosexual Clubs Issue

A SCJ-member asks about any serious coverage of the YU homosexual issue. 
It was not Maariv that first "broke" the story about the controversy, but 
a reporter named Binyamin Jolkovsky, of the Forward. The clubs, yes, 
plural, are not just at YU's law school, Cardozo, they are active on 
several YU affiliates. And, in fact, operate within the same building 
that houses YU's beis medrash.

A friend of mine called up the Jewish Press, I obviously couldn't, and 
asked why the JP has, in the past, "borrowed" Jolkovsky's stories. Yet 
this time refuses to comment on the YU controversy. The editor, Julius 
Leib, told the caller quite bluntly that it had to do with money issues. 

Just thought you might be interested,



End of Volume 18 Issue 16