Volume 27 Number 14
                      Produced: Sun Oct 12 15:41:27 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Eli Turkel]
Heresy and Halacha
         [Hillel E. Markowitz]
Kosher Maple Syrup Has Pig Fat In It?
         [David Brotsky]
Lies, Damn Lies & Anonymous Sources
         [Michael & Bonnie Rogovin]
Mediation in Jewish Tradition
         [Allan Ament]
Organisation of the Tanach
         [Edward B. Black]
Organization of the Tanach
         [Len Mansky]
Research on Sephardic migrations from Spanish lands to Italy
         [Claudia Arlotto]
Sinas Chinom
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Smelly Shofar
         [Doshna, Sarah K.]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 13:16:26 +0200 ("IST)
Subject: Artscroll

   Rabbi Bechhofer defends Artscroll by stating
>> in all fairness to them, they did not publish "My Uncle the Netziv" -
>> it is a Targum Press/Feldheim book - and they certainly did not
>> retract it - Lakewood Cheder School did

   May be a fairer example is their translation of Rav Zevin's book on
the holidays. In this translation they remove all references to the
State of Israel that were in the original. In their defense they claim
that Rav Zevin would have done the same were he alive today. That is
complete nonsense with that claim I can change what anyone says - Rav
Kook would be an antizionist the Satmar rebbe would be a zionist etc.

    The Artscroll on the Gemara is an excellent work. Nevertheless, I am
bothered that Rav Schach Shlita is mentioned as are Rav Feinstein, Rav
Kaminetsky and others of our generation. Yet I have not seen any
reference to Rav Soloveitchik though his work has been described in
detail especially on Gemara Succah and Shevuot/Nedarim by Rabbi Reichman
and by many on Berachot.

   Rabbi Bechhofer is probably right that it depends on the author
nevertheless, it is clear that Artscroll has guidelines for the authors.

Eli Turkel


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 23:46:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Heresy and Halacha

> From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>

> 2. re. mr. clark's comment that certain gedolim required a get from
> marriages performed by certain non-Orthodox rabbis. i don't that
> r. moshe zt"l disagreed with that. r. moshe in many teshuvot, discounted
> reform marriages that were usually double ring ceremonies and hence not
> keddushin and thus did not require a get. btw, this was a big kula
> (=lenient rulling), because should the marriage end in a civil divorce
> and the woman remarry, the children of the second "marriage" would not
> be mamzarim (=halakhic bastards). [i wonder if this was the real reason
> for r. moshe's pesak and not due to questions of heresy.] i believe that
> a number of articles have been written analyzing this phenomenon of
> r. moshe to void reform marriages but not ever stating his voidance of
> conservative marriages per se. i believe that yael levin in an article
> in sefer aviad (Hebrew) already discussed this point.

I have read that lchatchila (originally) Rav Moshe stated that a get
should be granted in all cases.  The purpose of his ruling was to handle
the case where a woman had divorced (via a secular court) and then
remarried.  He wanted to prevent the birth of mamzerim.  Whenever faced
with that question he would attempt to find a reason to void the first
marriage.  However, unless such a situation arose, he would not make a
declaration about a general case.

|  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|   <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 13:27:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kosher Maple Syrup Has Pig Fat In It?

Recently I traveled to Vermont and Montreal, and was surprised to find
out how difficult it was to buy any kosher certified Maple Syrup. The
only brand we found with any supervison came from a hechsher that 'is
not generally recommended'.

When I asked why most Maple Syrup isn't kosher, I was told that in the
process of making maple syrup, you need to boil down over 40 gallons of
raw sap to make one gallon of syrup. During this process, it is
necessary to use an extremely small amount of oil to prevent the pot
from boiling over.  Traditionally, because it was necessary to add a
small amount every once in a while, the preferred method was to hang
strips of bacon from the pot and have the oil drip in slowly over time
from the wilting strips. Many still use lard and in fact 'maple ham' is
their equivalent of the 'honey baked ham' popular in the US during the
holiday season.

When I returned, I mentioned these facts to a friend and he said that in
fact some kosher maple syrups do in fact contain small amounts of lard,
because it was nullified given the minute quantities involved. I was
aghast at the suggestion, but figured where better than our list to find
out if there is any truth to the matter. Personally, I think he was
mixed up, but then again people have told me that the animal derivatives
used to coat steel cans was known of for years and allowed because of
the minute quantities involved, until others with different standards
found out and changed the status quo.

As a postscript, I managed to find properly hechshered maple syrup in my
local supermarket when I returned. So its easier to bring the mountain
to Muhammed than the reverse, it seems.

David Brotsky
Elizabeth, NJ
BILUBI - The Religious Zionists Young Professionals Group In NY
Visit Our Website At http://www.echonyc.com/~ericg/bilubi


From: Michael & Bonnie Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 19:47:57 +0000
Subject: Lies, Damn Lies & Anonymous Sources

Daniel Eidensohn writes (in pertinent part) regarding "the dangers of
anonymous authorities in ourpostings."  I confine this posting to the
procedural, as opposed to the substantive halachic, points raised.

My initial reaction was, understandably, defensive, but I chose to wait
and consider the tochacha offered by Mr. Eidensohn.  On reflection, I
composed and posted my remarks in haste and may have chosen my words
poorly.  I should not have posted the remark without first verifying my
understanding with the Rav from whom I heard it.  My intent at the time
was to stimulate discussion -- perhaps there are others who know of this
teshuvah.  My own competance in researching these matters is limited and
I intended to merely report what I had heard.

However, I wish to clarify one point. Mr. Eidensohn states that I
indicated that "that Reb Moshe was less than honest in his rulings." As
Rav Haym Soloveitchik writes in the current issue of Torah U-Mada, "An
author never has the right to complain of being misunderstood, as the
first task of a writer is to make himself understood."

This was not my intent and if that was the logical reading of my post,
then I am entirely at fault.  I certainly do not beleive that Rav Moshe
was dishonest.  Assuming that the interpretation which I cited is
correct, I don't believe that dishonesty is the only possible
conclusion.  Many factors go into issuing a psak.  Among them are
comparing various sources with differing opinions, the exact situation
presented by the person asking the question, the potential impact on
Jewish society, and the receptiveness of Jewish society if a psak would
challenge prevailing practice.  I have known many Rabbis who have
struggled with issues and the various opinions and expressed (or
implied) their doubts about a particular approach, but nonetheless ruled
in the way that they believed was the most appropriate given all of the
factors they had to consider.  I do not believe that because a posek
harbors some doubts about some elements of his particular approach to a
halachic problem, that makes him dishonest.

I will be more careful in future posts to verify my assertions in
advance of posting.  I will also not quote anonymous persons as having
made assertions about others.  I agree with Mr. Eidensohn that this was
wrong and I regret doing so.

I have discussed the issue with my Rav and will revisit the substantive
issue in a later posting.

Michael Rogovin


From: <oasis618@...> (Allan Ament)
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 09:12:59 -0700
Subject: Mediation in Jewish Tradition

Does anyone have any information about the use of mediation in
traditional or historic Jewish dispute resolution practices. By
mediation, I mean something approximating contemporary mediation in
which a third party neutral assists the conflicting parties to reach an
agreement.  Not arbitration or decision making by a rabbi or the use of
a bet din.  Is there any talmudic, halachic or other traditional support
for such a practice?

Please post response or e-mail me at:  <oasis618@...>

thanks. gmar hatima tova to all.

allan ament


From: Edward B. Black <eblack@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 97 09:46:42 -0600
Subject: Organisation of the Tanach

My understanding (although I do not have a source to hand) is that when
the first Latin translation (the Vulgate) was prepared by St Jerome in
about 535 CE he divided the text into the chapters used all over the
world until today.

I remember being told that the chapter divisions were adopted by Jews in
order that chapters could be quoted to Christians in disputations in the
Middle Ages.

G'mar Chatima Tovah to All


From: <Len613@...> (Len Mansky)
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:57:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Organization of the Tanach

In a message dated 97-10-10,  <rdegany@...> (Ron Degany) writes:

<< organization of the Tanach into books and chapters as it is 
 generally published today was performed by Christian theologians.  ---  this
organization differs from the  traditional Jewish organization.  Can someone
please tell me when this was done, and if possible, by whom? >>

According to Dr. J. H. Hertz (Chumash commentary Page 6) the splitting
of the Torah into chapters originated in the middle ages (presumably
around the time of replacement of scrolls with printed books) and
coinciding with the time of the Luther and Tyndale translations in the
fourteenth/fifteenth centuries.  These chapter divisions found their way
into the *printed* Hebrew texts because of their convenience.

The books of the Nevi'im and K'tuvim were originally individual scrolls.
To sharpen Ron's question, did the Christian *order* of these books get
set after ours, ours after theirs; or were the orders independently set
around the same time?  We know that the differences represent difference
in theology and are not accidental, but I do not know if the differences
were part of acting out a medeivial Christian/Jewish polemic.

G'mar Hatima Tova,
Len Mansky


From: Claudia Arlotto <claudia.arlotto@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:05:16 -0700
Subject: Research on Sephardic migrations from Spanish lands to Italy


I'm a student at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA doing a research
project for an anthropology class.  I'm looking for original sources
giving specific information regarding the flight of Sephardim from Spain
and the Spanish lands in southern Italy from 1492 to 1550.  I'm
interested in their relocation sites in Italy, and most specifically the
Abruzzi/Abruzzo region of Italy.  Any ideas, sources, information?  I
can read in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French.  Thanks, Claudia


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:25:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Sinas Chinom

[While this posting is more "personal" and may come closer to the line
of attack rather than discussion than I usually like sending to the
list, I've made the call to let this post through. From this and from
previous posts of Jeanette, it is clear that she comes from a family
that was/is part of an "inner circle" within the Haredi/Chassidish
"velt", and has felt driven out by it. I felt that there was a message
here that is of value for some of us, so I have let it through. Mod.]

Shlomo Pick asks if a Mizrachist is a heretic in Munkatch circles. The
answer is yes. So much so, that I watched as my uncle, Harav Baruch
Yerachmiel Yehoshua Rabinovich, was beaten by his instantly former
chassidim at his own son's wedding at the Grand Paradise in Williamburg,
and made "ois rebbe" because he had the horrible temerity, before,
during and after the Holocaust, of being a man who believed that there
should be a medinat Yisrael.  And yes, the sinas chinom of one frum
group for another is not much different than the sinas chinom most frum
people display toward those they call "frei."

All the learning in the world, all the berating of non-frum people, all
the hatred that is sloshing around the Jewish community is lessening our
influence in the "real world", which will have serious ramifications
over time and will come back to haunt us. "Never again" is what the Jews
tell themselves to make themselves feel better. We don't know it can
never happen again. We need to be united as a people, even with all our

Continually ignoring sinas chinom, or worse, justifying it, as I have
seen done lately by rabbonim on both sides of the pond, is going to end
in disaster for klal.

I watched my uncle get thrown out of his son's wedding simcha. I watched
a blue wall of cops unsuccessfully try to stop the chassidim from
punching him in the face, stomach and back.  Until that day, I was a
blindly accepting, decent Beis Yakov girl.

I have never been the same since. And that was more than 30 years
ago. Today I am what most frum people call a lost cause.  I wasn't
lost. I was driven out by the behavior of my uncle's chassidim and all
that followed from it and other vicious acts directed at me and my
family by the leaders of the haredi community.


From: Doshna, Sarah K. <sarah_doshna@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:51:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Smelly Shofar

Yeshaya Halevi writes:

>       Why not completely remove it [the smell]?  Because when the ba'al
> tekia (blower) blows it, he is influenced on audio, visual and tactile
> sensory levels.  He hears it, he sees it and he feels it.  _Smelling_
> the shofar adds a sensual component to the mitzva, and maybe lifts
> the blower to a higher spiritual level.

When I originally replied to the question, I assumed that the smell in
question was the unpleasant odor that an old shofar acquires when it
isn't gently cleaned from year to year.  This is do mostly to small
saliva particles (trapped when blowing) that are fertile ground for
bacteria and other microbes that in turn produce the odor.  This smell
can be prevented by running a clean dry cloth through the shofar after
Yom Tov each year.

If the questioner was referring to the musky smell of a new shofar, Mr.
Halevi is correct.


End of Volume 27 Issue 14