Volume 18 Number 85
                       Produced: Tue Mar 14  0:44:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

All-female schools  -- endangered species?
         [Freda B. Birnbaum]
Gay Rabbis
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Gays and my responsibilities
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Homosexuals AND YU
         [Jeff Stier]
Medieval Homoerotic Poetry
         [Jonathan Baker]
Mikveh & Travel
         [Israel Medad]
Mikveh and Clean Days
         [Laurie Solomon]
Miqveh and Travel
         [Lon Eisenberg]
YC/Stern and Harvard-Radcliffe (v18#75)
         [George S. Schneiderman]
YU Clubs
         [Joshua W. Burton]


From: Freda B. Birnbaum <FBBIRNBAUM@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 23:36:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: All-female schools  -- endangered species?

In V18N75, Alan Mizrahi comments:
>I don't see how the YC/Stern arrangement is any different than Harvard/
>Radcliffe, for example.  There are many all female colleges in the US.
>It is not illegal to have a single gender school.

FWIW, female colleges are a good deal fewer and farther between than they
used to be.  Many of them have gone coed.  In a few instances students and 
alumni have objected sufficiently to force them to remain all-female.

It will be interesting to see where this all ends up.

Freda Birnbaum


From: Mordechai Horowitz <BR00318@...>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 95 23:23:00 ECT
Subject: Gay Rabbis

First I want to make sure to state I don't believe the charges I am
about to relate.  On hillel and hilles-shoc it was claimed that the
Spanish Rabbonin were gay pedophiles.  One of the sources was called the
Big Jewish Book pp 516-517.  Following are the three poems on that page
by Samuel ha Nagid.

I'd sell my sole for that fawn
of a boy night walker
to sound of the 'ud & flute playing
who saw the glass in my hand said
"drink the wine from between my lips"
& the moon was a yod drawn on
the cover of dawn--in gold ink.

Poem Two

take the blood of the grape from
her red jeweled glass like fire
in middle of hail
this lady with lips of scarlet
thread roof of her mouth
like good wine
mouth like her body well perfumed;
from the blood of corpses the tips
of her fingers are red    thus
half of her hand is like ruby
half quartz

Poem three

that's it--I love that fawn
plucking roses from
your garden--
you can put the blame on me
but if you once looked at my lover
with your eyes
your lovers would be hunting you
& you'd be gone
that boy who told me: pass
some honey from your hive
I answered: give me some back
on your tounge
& he got angry, yelled:
shall we two sin against the living G-d?
I answered: let your sin,
sweet master, be with me

Two questions First who is Samuel ha Nagid and second what do these poems


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 10:47:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Gays and my responsibilities

	As an officer in the NorthEastern Illinois University Student
Government, I deal with student organizations on a daily basis.  It is
my responsibility to approve the charter, designate funds and watch the
progress of these organizations.
	I am concerned about my obligations in dealing with the Gay
Lesbian and Bisexual Alliance (GLBA).  In accordance with University
policy the GLBA has a right to a charter and funding when requested.
What am I supposed to do?  Do I follow University policy and vote to
grant them full rights and privleges, or do I actively oppose and vote
against them?  Or may I remove myself from the proceedings and abstain?
If it makes a difference, there are several Jewish members involved in
the GLBA.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Jeff Stier <jstier@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 1995 01:45:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Homosexuals AND YU 

 I'm sure you are all aware of the mess at YU.....

They claim that they are allowing the gay clubs not because it is
acceptable, but because it is required by law.

YU has retained the high-powered law firm of Weil Gotchal to work on
this issue for them.  They claim to have a memorandum from the firm that
explains why it would not be legal.  I contend, and will do so in an
upcoming letter in the Commentator, the undergraduate paper at YU's
men's school, Yeshiva Colllege- that they CAN legally not allow gay
groups at YU.

Well, nobody outside of the YU administration has seen this memo.
I would ask that the readers here try to get YU to release the memo- ask 
if you could see it......
Call Dr. Lamm's office at (212)960-5400 and see if they will give it out.
Thank you

Jeff Stier


From: <baker@...> (Jonathan Baker)
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 95 22:55:09 EST
Subject: Medieval Homoerotic Poetry

I forwarded the recent question about medieval homoerotic poetry to a
friend who has done some research in this area.  Herewith, his response:

>From: <HAROLD.FELD@...>
Subject: Re: Medieval Homoerotic Poetry

1) It is true that there is a good deal of homoerotic poetry written by
some of the great Rishonim, notably the Ibn Ezra brothers and Rabbi
Yehuda HaLevi.

2) One should also note that they wrote a fair amount of hetero-erotic
poetry.  It seems chancy to me, therefore, to draw conclusions, unless
you consider (3).

3) Homo-erotic poetry was a fairly common literary form in the Arabic
word.  I understand from discussions with Dr. Gregory Rose (email
address <greg@...>) that this convention evolved as a means
to write love poetry to married women under the guise of homosexuality.
Apparently, it was much better to be thought homosexual than after
someone's wife.

4) The Hebrew, if I recall correctly, mirrors hetero-erotic poetry
except that the conjugations change.  I have noted little stylistic
difference between homo and hetero poems by the same author.

5) (3) and (4) lead me to a tentative conclusion that no evidence or
inference can be drawn.  Given the tremendous influence of Arabic forms
on Jewish poetry in the Islamic world (many introductions to period
poetry collections state that the poet will deliberately mimic Arabic
forms "in order to demonstrate the glory of the Hebrew language" or some
such), and given that Jewish poets wrote a great deal for Islamic
patrons, I believe the poems, in and of themselves, provide no evidence
for a charge of homosexuality.  I find the latter particularly true
where *no* other evidence exists except such poetry, and where all other
evidence contra-indicates it (e.g., no mention in any period sources,
married and has children, no other writings demonstrate homosexual
tendencies, etc.)

Of course, my own researches are incomplete, and I would find the
presence of more evidence interesting.  Nevertheless, I view with a
jaundiced eye the attempt to overturn the reputations of men who left
behind a considerable body of work and who lead well documented lives on
the basis of a few excerpts in the Penguin Compilation of Jewish Verse.



From: Israel Medad <imedad@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 1995 13:44:52 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Mikveh & Travel

In response on behalf of my wife to Robt. Book, Vol 18 #44:-

1. All married women are required to go to the Mikveh, even if her
husband is away from home and not extpected back even until the next

2. There is no *mar'it ayin* in going when the husband is away because
no "ayin" other than the mikveh lady need know (and she is required to
keep a secret more than a priest in a confessional box.  If other women
see her there, the usual "girls only club" atmosphere will only hear
sympathetic comments.

3. There are always surprises like an old friend whose husband
unexpectedly returned from Army service half way around the world and
she learned the hard way that she should have been going to the mikveh
regularly even if he was away.

4. If *you* think that a married women whose husband is away is going to
go to a mikveh for another man other than her husband, may I suggest,
and it's the most polite non-flame reply I can think of, that you unplug
your keyboard.

[Batya] & Yisrael Medad


From: Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 95 13:29 EST
Subject: Re: Mikveh and Clean Days

Not sure if this would be the same with a husband away, but it sounds
similar to a situation where a wife is unable to get to the mikveh on
her specified day, because it is a Shabbos/Yom Tov and the mikveh isn't
local, dangerous weather, etc.  I don't have a source, other than my LOR
who answered a shialah for one of the above reasons.

In counting the days, you don't stop or interrupt your counting.  You
"Count 7 clean days".  You then stop counting, or don't continue some of
the other restrictions (like underclothes, linens, etc.) You do
obviously have to abide by the "touching restrictions" with your husband
(wouldn't apply if he was away.)  You go to the mikveh as soon as
possible after this day.

I would assume this should apply when a husband is away.  In cases where
a husband travels for weeks or months at a time, a wife would be niddah
for such a long time and then may not be able to get to the mikveh the
day before he is to return.

Laurie Cohen


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 09:13:50 +0000
Subject: Re: Miqveh and Travel

Robert Book wrote:
>Allow me to ask a related question: Suppose that either husband or wife
>is going on such a trip, and the correct day for the wife to go to
>mikveh falls while they are apart (and this cannot be changed by
>reducing the 5 days to 4; they will be apart anyway).  Does the wife go
>to mikveh on the "correct" day, even thought they cannot be together, or
>does she go on the first day that they can actually be together?

This question was asked and discussed briefly by R. Leff.  If I remember
correctly, the woman goes only when they can first be together; however,
if they will first be together during the day, she should go to the
miqweh the night before (obviously after the full 5+7 days have been
counted) so that she will not be niddah when they meet.  Also, I
believe, if there is any possibility that they will meet before
originally planned, she can go at the regular time in case they meet
within the next day (I assume this would not apply if there were no
chance of their meeting).

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5658438 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: George S. Schneiderman <schneid@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 1995 13:38:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: YC/Stern and Harvard-Radcliffe (v18#75)

> >From: Alan Mizrahi <amizrahi@...>
> I don't see how the YC/Stern arrangement is any different than Harvard/
> Radcliffe, for example.  There are many all female colleges in the US.
> It is not illegal to have a single gender school.

Harvard students (ie men) and Harvard-Radcliffe students (ie women)
attend the same classes and live in the same dormitories.  They share a
common campus and faculty, and mostly participate in the same
extra-curricular activities.  (Except for things like single-sex sports
and choirs) "Radcliffe Yard", the "Radcliffe Quad", and "Harvard Yard"
are all shared space; the names are relics of an earlier day.  In fact,
the main reason that Radcliffe still exists as an institution (yes, it
still has an office in Radcliffe Yard) is for fund raising purposes.

By contrast, Stern and YC are essentially different educational
institutions, located in entirely different areas of Manhattan, with
different classes and different faculties and different dorms.  At the
risk of drawing great ire, I've never heard anyone claim that a Stern
education was really comparable to a YC education.  I can well imagine
why a woman might desire a YC education, and not be especially
interested in Stern.  Yes, there are excellent faculty members at Stern,
and very intelligent students, but, on the whole, the educational
resources just aren't equal.

--George S. Schneiderman, Harvard '95    <schneid@...>


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 95 08:45:24 -0500
Subject: Re: YU Clubs

Talking about this alleged gay club at Cardozo, Elie Rosenfeld writes:

> I believe it should forbid clubs which violate basic Jewish principles,
> just as it mandates that the affiliates are closed on Yom Tovim and have
> kosher cafeterias.

My initial response to this suggestion (which was to inquire whether any
abominations were actually being committed at these meetings) did not
make it onto the list.  I'm sorry if this was perceived as sarcastic,
but I do believe that the point I was making was a very serious one.  We
do not forbid Jews with drug problems to attend support groups with
other addicts, nor do we prohibit baalei t'shuva to get together with
other ex-Shabbat violators and discuss their doubts l'shem shamayim.

This is not entirely a theoretical issue in my circle.  We have a fairly
close friend who has felt that he was gay since age 7 or so (whether you
believe in biological determinism or not, that's what _he_ believes) and
who was drawn into the college Hillel world _precisely_ by talking his
problem over with fellow members of the gay student alliance, many of
whom were also undergoing religious reevaluations at the time.  Though
he is now shomer shabbat, he is still under a real handicap with respect
to some positive mitzvot, and twelve years later he remains unmarried.
But the negative transgression that started this rather nosy discussion
no longer tortures him with temptation.

Isn't it a hillul ha-Shem to suggest that a _primarily Jewish_ gay club
is more likely than a secular college one to lead its members astray?

  Either by hook or by crook,                 | Joshua W Burton  401/435-6370 |
Use them to see how you look when you aren't  |      <burton@...>     |


End of Volume 18 Issue 85