Volume 29 Number 16
                 Produced: Wed Jul 21  6:35:34 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An "evolutionary" midrashic insight into fish blood/kashruth
         [Russell Hendel]
Is Halacha a "Ceiling"?
         [Todd Davidovits]
Meat, Glatt Yacht, etc.
         [Gitelle Rapoport]
Regarding Shabbos Halachot
         [Maren Friedman]
Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time (6)
         [Leah Amdur, David I. Cohen, Isaac A Zlochower, Gitelle
Rapoport, Shmuel Himelstein, Stan Tenen]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:12:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: An "evolutionary" midrashic insight into fish blood/kashruth

Just wanted to complement the discussion on Fish Blood (e.g Janet
Rosenbaum, v28n101) with a beautiful Midrash Rabbah that

--Animals that are closest (biologically) to man require slaughter
cutting both pipes in the neck

--Birds which are less close only require one of the pipes to be cut

--Fish which are farthest away from man (in biological similarity)
do not require Schitah.

Similarly it would appear that ANIMAL BLOOD which resembles HUMAN BLOOD
is forbidden (because it symbolizes the soul (lev 17) while FISH BLOOD
which does not resemble HUMANS does not have this symbolic link and hence
is not as severely prohibited.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA;<rjhendel@...>; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/


From: Todd Davidovits <Ruckus95@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 14:55:41 EDT
Subject: Re: Is Halacha a "Ceiling"?

In response to David Curwin, 
 first of all u made the statement that "the door of the flood was
punished even though they werent warned" this is not true look at
masechet sanhedrin p 56b and 57a , secondly i think that it is this
frame of thought itself that morality is the focus and purpose of G-d's
commandments that so often leads people astray and causes rebellion
against the almighty . For if one believes that he will do what G-d says
as long as it is "moral " in his eyes than what happens when it comes to
mitzvos which arent percieved as moral (killing amalek,yibum
etc.). Finally our merits as jewish people are basically traced back to
an incident that in no means seemed moral at the time (akeidas Yitzchak)
and if Avraham Avinu (G-d forbid) thought like your "rosh gadol" i
shudder at the thought of where this world would be .



From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 14:00:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Meat, Glatt Yacht, etc.

Dear Chaim Wasserman,

I don't understand what you mean by the statement that a religious
authority that is supposed to enforce kashrut is also "mandated to
control" mixed dancing on a boat? Mandated by whom? What about married
couples who may permissibly dance with each other and would like to do
so where they can also eat kosher food? Maybe some people got a p'sak
that they may do it because they are professionals and want to
practice, or for some other reason. Also, many Jews try to keep kosher
but for one reason or another do not adhere to restrictions on mixed
dancing. At least this helps them keep kosher. 

Are religious organizations also "mandated to control" singing by a
woman/women/mixed group on a yacht, even though halachic opinions on
that are mixed? Are they mandated to control people's dress, even
though halachic opinions and minhagim on that are also mixed? Public
reminders or suggestions are fine, but it seems to me that kashrut
organizations that take on the responsibility of enforcing anything
other than kashrut are setting a problematic precedent. Where does it

BTW, I'm pretty new here, so has this issue been discussed on this list

An easy and meaningful fast to all --
Gitelle Rapoport


From: Maren Friedman <scarecrow4@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 09:45:54 PDT
Subject: Regarding Shabbos Halachot

hi.  my name is maren friedman and i have a few questions.  i have often
asked questions regarding an aruv, a shabbos goy, and a shabbos
elevator, and have since found not one explanation that i have
considered to suite me.
  so, i'm hoping someone can ease my mind on the following:

shabbos is supposed to be an extremely holy holiday.  so holy, in fact,
that right now, while we are mourning the loss of the beit hamikdash,
and have certain meal restrictions, shabbos allows us to "work around"
these restrictions and eating meat is permitted.  i was always taught
that the purpose of shabbos was to reflect, in a spiritual manner, the
week that has just passed and to start to think about the week ahead.
it is a time to relax, as often many people do, socialize with friends,
and become reaquainted with the spiritual closeness that one feels with
hash-m by davening and learning torah.

there are certain things that are not in the "spirit of shabbos" that
are not permitted.  are not a few of these such things a shabbos goy, a
shabbos elevator, and an aruv?  whatever happened to walking up and down
flights of stairs - an elevator is still an elevator, whether it is on a
timer and stops at every floor or not - you're still using electricity,
or walking to shul empty handed because on shabbos one is not allowed to
carry, or just leaving the lights turned on or resorting to a timer
instead of paying someone (in advance before shabbos) to turn on and off
your air conditioner and lights?

these are things that perplex me.  shabbos is so kuddosh that it doesn't
seem to register in my mind how and why things are done like this.  i
recently came back to america having spent my very first trip (and
shabbos) in israel.  it was incredible, but i was disturbed by one
thing.  friday night i went to the kotel to daven and beforehand, we
were told that there is an aruv surrounding the city of yerushalyim.
fine.  so, i took my siddur with me.  but something didn't register - i
was in the most holy of holy places and and i was carrying something on
shabbos.  i felt so guilty even though it was allowed.  another thing,
an aruv allows for one to play basketball and engage in other such
events, does it not?  but, that is most definitely not in the spirit of
shabbos even tough carrying a siddur may be one step closer.

i just don't understand.  could someone please answer my questions?
thank you very much for your time.

sincerely,   maren friedman


From: Leah Amdur <amdur@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 19:58:24 +0300
Subject: Re: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

Modern society has become a nightmare and a disaster with its liberal
ideas.  Slavery as described in the Torah is a much more viable
solution.  As for the earlier posting of removing the death penalty - I
have lived through that in South Africa which is now a hell on earth due
to the crime that is totally uncontrollable due to the lifting of the
death penalty.

Leah Amdur

From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:53:36 EDT
Subject: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

Russell Hendel writes:
	<<So let me add fuel to the fire and explain WHY Slavery is
moral. According to Rav Hirsch slavery is moral because the person who
was sold by the courts was a thief (without enough money to pay). >>

What about those who were sold as slaves because of inability to pay
debts, or because they were so poor, that they had no other way to
support themselves or their families? Rav Hirsch's reasoning would not
seem to apply.
	David I. Cohen

From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 21:42:58 -0400
Subject: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

Now that the challenge was issued on the slavery issue, I feel compelled
to enter the fray.  It is astonishing to read that at a time when all
the more enlightened nations have long since prohibited slavery, someone
should think that it will be resurrected in Messianic times.   Is that a
sign of progress, or the fulfillment of the prophesy that the world will
be come filled with knowledge of G-D?  Nor is the idea of liberty
something invented by the West, but it is of biblical origin ("You shall
issue a call of liberty in the land to all its inhabitants").  The Torah
clearly does not want Jews to become indentured ("they are MY
servants").  It merely allows such a development for want of a better
alternative.  The outward forms of Torah legislation was certainly
influenced by the social and economic conditions of the times in which
it was given.  Slavery was then an accepted and economically important
institution.  So was the idea that a father had total control over his
family.  He could, if he wished, sell a minor daughter to be a servant.
The Torah did not legislate against that "perogative" since the
alternative  could put her out on the street.  The Torah, instead,
sought to ameliorate her lot.  Does anyone imagine that fathers still
have or will ultimately have such powers again, or that such an action
ever was or will be moral?    As far as being sold as a servant to pay
for a theft, that was essentially ruled out by the talmudic sages when
they limited its application only to a case when the thief's market
value was exactly equal to the theft.  Besides, how do you determine
market value when there is such a limited market?  Are we to assume that
there will be enough poverty and theft in the Messianic era as to create
a market for such servants?  Are we to enslave other people, or are we
to serve as their religious guides?    To say that a period of servitude
arising from theft is better than our current penal sytem does not do
justice to the idea that rehabilitation and personal development will be
given high priority by society in Messianic times.  Society has the
means to effect such rehabilitation and development more than some
individual householder employing a servant.  If servitude ever had a
function - that role no longer exists, and the idea of recreating it in
far more ideal times for either Jew or Gentile goes against the very
idea of a Messianic society.

Yitzchok Zlochower

From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 16:54:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

To Russell Hendel:

You've got some comments, I see, but let me add a couple more,
following up on Warren Burstein's appropriate distinction between Eved
Ivri/Amah Ivriyah and Eved K'naani/te. First of all, there seems to be
a problem of trusting an individual Jew with "total rights over the
criminal" to live up to the ideal of being a "mentor and social worker"
(!) to his slave. Do you honestly believe most Jews with slaves would
do this? Shouldn't there be some sort of supervision, regular
"hashgacha" by a bet din (since we're talking in theory anyway)?

But regarding the non-Jewish slave who is owned and inherited, who is
passed on to the next generation, who can be born a slave and remain so
until death, (even given the fact that s/he has to be freed if injured
by the owner)-- I find such a system a real moral problem according to
any modern sensibility, and one that your social worker theory does not
address at all. I would appreciate any sources, primary or secondary,
that discuss the subject and any comments you may have about this kind
of slavery.

Gitelle Rapoport

From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:07:26 +0200
Subject: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

Yitzchok Zirkind would have us believe that in Mashiach's time slavery
will be "moral," because those sold as slaves for stealing will have
mentors (the people they were sold to) to set them straight.

As an aside, if a person who stole was solvent enough to repay his
theft, he would obviously not be sold. Who, then, would be HIS mentor?

More than that: my (uncorroborated) assumption was that in Mashiach's
time there will no longer be crime.

Has anyone anything to contribute about this issue?

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 09:17:46 -0700
Subject: Re: Why Slavery will be Moral in King Mesiah's time

Russell Hendel wrote:
>True in our present world no one individual should be trusted with such
>a responsibility (which is why there is no slavery today). But when the
>Mesiah comes the slavery method will be preferable to the prison method.
>I really think that Chaim and I deserve at least some comments!!!

Whether slavery is acceptable or not depends on whether we take
responsibility or not.  But the same is true in all situations.  IMHO,
we are currently living in an age with more slavery than has ever
existed on Earth before.  But we're not enslaved to an individual, and
potentially caring and humane, owner; we're enslaved to a mad machine
that eats our time and energy and prescribes our lives without a whit of
caring whatsoever.

What caring slaveowner would subject his/her slave to hours of
deadening, noisy, and polluted stop-and-go traffic; a polluted and foul
environment; deadly McDonalds' junk food (even when kosher), forced
purchase of health insurance (or risk of being left to die or be in
pain), forced schooling of our children and their removal to far cities
for an education or for military service, and a strict diet of puerile
ideas fed via antenna and cable into a vast idol-indoctrination screen
in our homes? I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift.

We live in a slave state, but our owner isn't a caring human, or Hashem,
but rather a cruel machine that runs our lives, determines what we will
eat, where we will live, what we will breathe, and how our children will
be raised.

We'd have a messianic age right now if we weren't so viciously enslaving
ourselves to the mad idol of progress.

If we want Moshiach, we've got to start acting like he/she is already
here.  We have to start treating each other to the highest standards of
the "Duties of the Heart" (the title of a translation of Ibn Pakuda's
famous work, by R. Yaakov Feldman).  We've got to open our eyes and see
that we are right now slaveholders and slaves, and we'll always be
slaveholders and slaves as long as we trust each other's promises more
than we trust Hashem.

What so upsets me is our blindness to our own condition, which leads us
to discuss and pontificate on other peoples, other ages, and other
times, and not see ourselves for what we really are here and now.  I'll
believe that Torah Jews oppose slavery, or support humane
Torah-acceptable slavery, when I see us treating each other today by the
standards of Torah: caring, integrity, and humility.

Well, you asked for comments. <smile>

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


End of Volume 29 Issue 16