Volume 18 Number 19
                       Produced: Sun Jan 29 23:44:44 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A peculiar question (2)
         [Ari Belenky, Avi Feldblum]
         [Zvi Weiss]
Bat Mitzva & Mikveh
         [Israel Medad]
Bat Mitzvah Mikvah Tours
         [Francine S. Glazer]
Conservative Mikvah use
         [George S. Schneiderman]
NCSY list
         [Binyomin Segal]
On Arizal
         [Ari Belenky]
sof ganev le-tleeye
         [Maximo Shechet]
Volunteering for Tzedaka
         [Bracha Epstein]
         [Fivel Smiles]
YU and Homosexual Clubs
         [Binyamin Jolkovsky]


From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenky)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 95 00:58:56 PST
Subject: A peculiar question

Recently, discussing a problem of Cananite Servant, an acquintance of
mine (a convert) said that he could choose such a way in Judaism.  Is it
really possible now - to sell yourself to a Jewish master - in order to
obtain later freedom together with Jewishness?!

Ari Belenky

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 10:32:01 -0500
Subject: Re: A peculiar question

Ari Belenky writes:
> Recently, discussing a problem of Cananite Servant, an acquintance of
> mine (a convert) said that he could choose such a way in Judaism.  Is it
> really possible now - to sell yourself to a Jewish master - in order to
> obtain later freedom together with Jewishness?!

I believe that this has been used very selectively to be "metaher et
hamamzer", to allow a person who halakhically is a mamzer to have
children who can become full Jews. If a mamzer marries a Cananite
Servant, the children are servants, not mamzers, so when they are
"freed" they become full non-momzer jews.

Avi Feldblum


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 15:56:32 -0500
Subject: Adulthood

I am just catching up on a big backlog of mail....

When I first served as an "aid" ('witness') for a get, the then-Av Beit Din
in Chicago [Rabbi C. D. Regensberg ZT"L] "casually" asked if I had already
started to shave.....

It is pretty clear from the halacha that while 13 yrs is a Chazaka, and a 
pretty strong one at that, if we KNOW that physical maturity (known as
'simanim') is absent, then the person is NOT considered an adult -- unless
we spot clear signs of that person being a "saris" (congenital 'eunich', is
probably the best translation)...  I would suggest that anyone really inter-
ested in the matter should check the Rambam (among other sources) who seems
to summarize the matter pretty well.

However, there is a very good point here.... We rely on the Chazaka and
'celebrate' the resulting OBLIGATION in Mitzvot... we do not 'celebrate'
the actual physical maturity and to suggest a 'pool party' for young
women misses this whole point.  I *have* noted a suggestion that as
women have 'accepted' the obligation of Neirot Shabbat upon themselves
[even though men could also fulfill this matter] that any celebration of
a young woman reaching the age of Bat Mitzva focus upon aspects of this
mitzva (or perhaps, the mitzva of Challa -- for similar reasons)....



From: Israel Medad <imedad@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 14:05:29 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Bat Mitzva & Mikveh

Re: J Burton's posting and the Algerian NYTimes story, my
wife replies that:-

a) Sefaradim do have special parties, i.e., 'henna', but at
least nowadays, not in the Mikveh for sure.
b) It was family and not friends of the family.
c) it was for the bride and not a 12 year old.
 Yisrael Medad


From: <fglazer@...> (Francine S. Glazer)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 95 10:04:10 EST
Subject: Bat Mitzvah Mikvah Tours

> [from Batya Medad]
> 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).

Actually, the mikveh in Montreal (I think) does exactly this.  If
I remember correctly, the mikveh gives tours to the bat mitzvah
classes of conservative/reform shuls, including a movie and
presentation, as well as a tour of the mikveh itself.  The girls
come with their mothers.  It actually has turned into a
tremendous kiruv (outreach) tool -- a sizable number of the
mothers have started to go to mikvah each month.  I guess because
it's such a private mitzvah, there's no fear of peer pressure or
repercussions (the way a family might get a reaction from friends
or extended family if they started to keep shabbat or kashrut,
for example).

Fran Glazer


From: George S. Schneiderman <schneid@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 11:49:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Conservative Mikvah use

> In 18:5 Jeremy Nussbaum and Richard Friedman asked what if any niddah laws 
> women in the Conservative movement follow.  I do not claim to speak for all 
 .. . .
> by an interpretation of Rabbi Joel Roth (which is unfortunately not written
> ).  They follow one week of abstinence from the beginning of menses (
> without the additional 7 clean days) and then go to mikveh.  The additional 
> fences (separate beds...) are usually not held.

I was told, by someone who should know, that Rabbi Roth has poskin'd that 
husband and wife are both required to go to the mikvah.  (Unfortunately, I 
do not have anything in writing.)  I am also told that Rabbi Roth is 
pushing for the movement to build more mikvot.  Currently, there is one at 
the University of Judaism in LA, and (at least) one at a Masorti kibbutz 
(moshav?) in Israel.  I do not know of any others.  Rabbi Roth, 
incidentally, also wrote the t'shuva stating that women who have 
accepted upon themselves the mitzvah of public prayer may be counted in 
a minyan.          

-- George S. Schneiderman	 
<schneid@...>  120 North House Mail Center
			 Harvard College 
			 Cambridge, MA 02138-1527          


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 19:42:18 -0600
Subject: NCSY list

In my "real" life, I am actively involved in NCSY (a national Jewish-teen
organization sponsored by the OU). In villages & hamlets (& big cities)
throughout the country high school students are planning all sorts of
activities. The pressure is on to always find something new... 

Anyway, my net experience has got me to thinking - perhaps the net can help
NCSYers across the country. I envision a list for the NCSY leadership.
Youth that are on chapter boards (and regional boards) across the country
sharing tips, tricks, & ideas.

Obviously the idea here needs to be fleshed out a bit - with the help of
some NCSYers. But Im just not sure how many NCSYers are out there & would
be intrested in a mail list.

So... If you are an NCSYer, or know an NCSYer with an e-mail address that
might be intrested in joining this virtual community, send me some mail.

If I get a sufficient response, I will complete the arrangements to start
an NCSY list.



From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenky)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 95 00:11:41 PST
Subject: On Arizal

Harold Gans mentioned that Arizal was a student of Moshe Cordovero. 
It is non-true: Arizal was a student of Radbaz (David ben Zimra) in Egypt. 
Radbaz was an interesting person on his own: he was the Chief Rabbi of Egypt 
under Turks and it was he who banned the old Calendar, which counted years 
since Alexander the Great's arrival in Eretz Israel. 
In fact, Arizal lived in Sefad only two years and taught (Chaim Vital) 
rather than studied.

Ari Belenky


From: <MAXIMOTEL@...> (Maximo Shechet)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 20:26:53 -0500
Subject: sof ganev le-tleeye

Please advise me where "sof ganev le-tleeye" is it found, or is it a
made up idiom to compliment the sof beheime le-shechite as found in


From: Bracha Epstein <bracha@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 10:22:15 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Volunteering for Tzedaka

I was also wondering about the possibility of volunteering using my
technical capabilities (I'm an electrical engineer with knowledge of
computers as well as basic understanding of things related to numbers
(i.e. keeping track of financial aspects of an organization...)).  I live in
Israel (Yerushalayim to be exact).

I've been wondering for a long time why there isn't an organization that
would match people with skills to organizations that need them.  Yes, I
can go help out by selling things at a stand (or visiting someone, etc), but I
can give "better help" for my time by donating technical skills.

I (as well as some of my friends) would like to be able to donate our
skills to tzedaka organizations.  I'm sure that others would like to
donate their own specialized skills as well.  

Does anyone know of organizations in Israel that could use such help?

I at some point or other would like to be involved in setting up such an
organization.  I think that it could really help a lot of people.  Does
anything of the sort exist yet -- if so, where and how can I get in touch
with them?  If others are also interested (both in helping out, ideas,
etc. and in participating were such an organization to exist) please send
me e-mail.  Perhaps this would be the push to actually make me start now.

Bracha Epstein


From: <FSmiles@...> (Fivel Smiles)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 21:16:17 -0500
Subject: YU 

Yeshiva University has had this problem with the gay clubs for over a decade.
 A man named Jeffery Silver used to raise the issue all the time as early as
 The question is basically is YU a Yeshiva or an University.  The
problem is if YU is a Yeshiva then they can not get federal money for
certain programs.  The solution is that most of YU is an university
which means gays get their clubs.  However the Semicha division known as
the Yeshiva Program is still a yeshiva.  Hence no women or gays or
atheists are allowed to become rabbis. 
 As Rav Hayim would say there are two rules( tsvay dinim ) .  This dicotomy
was made in the early 70's by Rav Belkin to insure that YU could continue to
recieve federal money. Note: It seems that Rav Soloveitchik was against
making YU into a secular instituiton but his advice was not followed.  
Note:  I went to YU and what goes on at the law school or medical school has
almost nothing to do with what happens at the college.  We did not even
graduate together.  All the branches raise money seperately.  They still are
the only graduate schools in America that give off for shabbat and Yom Tov.
Fivel Smiles yc Riets


From: Binyamin Jolkovsky <bljolkov@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 11:54:24 -0500 (est)
Subject: Re: YU and Homosexual Clubs

	Michael Broyde acuses me of being self-serving, I'll let that
go, as I will the questioning of my motives of reporting on a very real
controversy that is brewing at YU. One, incidentally, that has resulted
in a recent meeting between Dr. Lamm and the Roshei Yeshiva of RIETS.
	For those interested, the Forward article appeared on the Front
Page of the Sept. 30, 1994 number and was picked up by "Maariv," "Yom
Hashishi," "Chronicle of Higher Education," and soon, "The Jerusalem
	My article focused on YU's very real dillema and discussed
primarily the institution's law school, Cardozo. Though there are clubs
-- or have been clubs -- operating at Einstein and Wurtzweiler as
well. The individual that called the Jewish Press, was refering to, at
the very least, the Cardozo incident, where a student speaker thanked
his male lover by name in a speech at the school's graduation ceremony
this past summer.
	The speaker, Michael Kay, was a homosexual activist at Cardozo
whose "marriage" was announced in an ad in the Cardozo student
publication. Students at Cardozo told me the school knew in advance
about Mr. Kay's intended remark. Though several rabbis were present at
the ceremony, none saw fit to protest the remark. Not before and not
afterward. Dr. Lamm refused to be interviewed for my article. After
calling somewhere around 30 times -- I'm not exagerating -- we had a
long discussion.
	Dr. Lamm alone told me he was aware of other clubs on YU's
affiliate campuses. He said the school was forced to keep them because
of financial concerns. It is these facts, the caller to the Jewish Press
was speaking of. Indeed, why is that bastion of freedom of the press,
the "Jewish newspaper of record," a paper that claims to speak for
Orthodoxy and, incindently, quite anti-homosexual, not reporting on a
issue that many in Jewry were not aware of?.
	Julius Liebb, a Jewish Press senior editor, told the caller that
they were aware of the problem, but that YU contributes too much money
to their paper in advertising and graduate allegiance to cover the
	As for my giving you an exact classroom number, I can tell you
that I received my information from a Rosh Yeshiva there that I have a
"kesher" with. If he is wrong, then I concede that I am as well. Perhaps
he meant that since they operate at Wurtzweiler, which is, I'm also
told, is on the same campus ..... I hope I've answered most of you

	Wishing you well,

Binyamin L. Jolkovsky 


End of Volume 18 Issue 19