Volume 29 Number 22
                 Produced: Mon Jul 26  6:28:39 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Kennedy Curse
         [Avi Feldblum]
Always facing Jerusalem
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants (2)
         [Daniel Israel, Dave Jaffe]
Head-covering in Non-Jewish Environment
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kennedy Curse (4)
         [Yisrael Medad, Mordechai, Eli Reidler, Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Magnetic door locks for Shabbat
         [Sherman Marcus]
Personal experiences of Yom Tov Rishon found in Talmudic Logic!!
         [Russell Hendel]
Question about IBM Policy
         [Jordan Lee Wagner]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 12:45:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia - Kennedy Curse

I had some hesitation when I let this go out initially, and with the
replies that have come in, I think that my hesitation has only gotten
stronger. I will collect in this issue all of the replies to date, but I
will be editing the submissions in a manner that I usually do not do. A
number of people have raised the question as to whether this is an
appropriate topic to discuss, especially in light of the fact that all
email discussions, and list discussions like this in particular, are
likely to be archived and retreivable by many people. 

As to the particular of the original question, while there are many
responses of maybe, there is no clear source for such an event with an
attributable person, date and clear source has been put forth. My personal
feeling based on what I have seen is that I would view this as an
contemporary legend, with no clear source. I have included a concise
posting from the Net forwarded by Yisrael Medad that identifies what is
fact and what is story, and have not included other speculations that
people sent in.

The area of discussion that may have some real interest to share with the
list has to do with what could be the nature of a curse and how might it
actually manifest.

Unless I receive something on this topic that I feel is compelling, I will
view this issue as closing this topic.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 10:16:27 EDT
Subject: Always facing Jerusalem

ARUTZ-7 reported today (July 23, 1999) the following:
 The European airplane manufacturer Airbus is offering to include a
 synagogue aboard the planes it wishes to sell to El Al Israel Airlines.
 Airbus is currently competing with Boeing for the sale of El Al's next
 jumbo jets.  Hatzofeh's Danny Shalom reports that the plans call for a
 synagogue to be built in the lower deck of the plane, and would include
 seats for 12 worshippers, a full-size stand for Torah reading, and an Ark
 for the Torah.  Airbus noted that it would be technically possible to
 install the Torah Ark such that it would be able to revolve on its hinges
 and face Jerusalem at all times."


From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 15:24:57 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants

> In June, I was faced with the same situation--here in Israel.  My
> neighborhood rav told me that I could participate, but to wear a hat
> that would not identify me as dati (religious). (I.E., no kippa; I don't
> wear a black hat.) There was to be a "kosher table," with food brought
> in from elsewhere, and so long as I knew that this food was indeed
> kosher (in its own container and with plastic ware), there was no
> problem eating it, he said.

I'm confused.  If there is a "kosher table" where the food is really
halachically okay, then why shouldn't the people sitting at it be
identifiable as dati?

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

From: Dave Jaffe <davejaffe@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 18:48:36 PDT
Subject: Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants

I am frum.  I am an insurance agent.  Occasionally, I am asked by a
(non-Jewish) client or prospect to meet him/her in a non-kosher
restaurant.  If there is no kosher restaurant for miles around, I do
agree to the meeting.  This is how I do it:

I absolutely wear a yarmalka.
I order iced tea to be served in a carry-out plastic cup.

That's it!  I explain to my client/prospect that I can't eat non-kosher
food.  Frankly, sometimes I gave excuse, that I'm on a special diet
which excludes eating lunch altogether.

That works for me.  I've done this for years.  It was recommended to me by 
my rav who is very well respected.

Dave Jaffe


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 99 12:29:54 PDT
Subject: Head-covering in Non-Jewish Environment

On this matter, I want to recall a personal anecdote from when I was a
Zionist youth emissary in England in 1975-77.  In Golders Green, all the
frumme kids were still wearing these semi-baseball caps instead of
crochetted kippot which was just beginning to make an inroad and
tallitot were wore under the coats and their father's in Bond St. suits.
 Anyhow, I was once accosted by a member of Munk's Schule who tried to
explain to me that I was contributing to anti-semitism by my appearance
- it was Shabbat and I had my tallit on (no eruv there then [is there
now?].  My obvious and unabashed Jewish exterior would be considered
 I'm afraid I upbraided him a bit and pointing to a Sikh and to an
Indian who just happened to be walking by I said these people are proud
to wear their garb, exotic as it is.  And do you think, I continued,
that non-Jews don't know that the kids walking around in baseball caps
and the adults sporting Borsalino stylish hats and three-piece suits
aren't Orthodox Jews - what you're wearing is an identifying uniform as
much as my kippah and tallit are.  And we were in Golders Green, *the*
Jewish neighborhood of London then.
 Yisrael Medad
E-mail: <isrmedia@...>


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 23:15:59 +0300
Subject: Kennedy Curse

this came over the net.

What do you know about the famous Kennedy Curse? In the Jewish community
there are several versions of the same essential story: a significant
rabbi, one of the Greats of the Generation, cursed Joseph Kennedy through
his children because of some extreme manifestation of Jew-hatred on his
part. That the stories all have in common. The most interesting story is
that Joe Kennedy had personally intervened in the fate of the SS St. Louis,
the one the book "Ship of Fools" was written about. It carried Jewish
refugees from Nazi Europe, and could not find anyplace that would allow
them to land. In the end, the ship returned them to Germany, where they
were all sent to concentration camps where nearly all were murdered. That
much is fact. It is also fact that Joe Kennedy intervened, as ambassador to
the UK, using his power with the administration, expecially the State
Dept., to make sure that none of the refugees found a place to land. Here,
fact ends and stories begin. The most interesting is that the son of one of
the Chassidic rebbes of Poland was one of the refugees returned to the
Nazis and murdered. The rebbe put a curse on Kennedy, that he should live
to bury his sons own at the hight of their power. It does not explain what
is going on now. This is already "from generation to generation". 

From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 15:35:05 EDT
Subject: Re: Kennedy Curse

 	 2) Assuming the story is true, and that is an assumption that I
 cannot personally prove, what on earth kind of curse was it?  The

 	A more basic question deals with curses in general.  Why must
 they include seemingly innocent descendants of Joe Kennedy?
 	Why Joe Kennedy?  There were many people around the time of the
 War that were much worse!  Why would he be the one chosen for a curse?
 Chaim Shapiro >>

BS"D,I would like to make a few comments.
 I can't shed light re the curse tale you mentioned,however,it does
bring to mind the curse in Tanach on the House of Eyli-that 'vichol zera
bayscha yamusu anashim' (loose translation-all the men of his house will
die before reaching old age).The gemara says that (Rosh hashana 18 and
elsewhere) Rava and Abaye came from the house of Eyli-but they lived
longer than other sof the family because they were osek in mitzvos
(Torah,gemilas chasadim).  So perhaps-lihavdil elef alfei havdolos!-if
there was a curse on the Kennedys maybe some were not/less affected if
they did good deeds...


From: Eli Reidler <eli@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 09:34:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Kennedy Curse

In regard to Chaim Shapiro's posting about the Kennedy curse - all his
questions are on the mark.  We can answer them by saying we don't know
why Hashem has decided to do things as He has.  But then we can also say
that even if there had not been any "curse".  The saying goes: Someone
who believes all these mystical things is a fool, but someone who does
not believe they're possible is a koifer.

The point I would like to make is that I do not think it is wise or safe
to tout that it is a Rabbi's curse.  The Kennedy family is a loved and
popular political family.  They have done many good things helpful to
jews (excluding Joe). 

Eli Reidler

From: Elanit Z. Rothschild <Ezr0th@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 09:29:31 EDT
Subject: Re: Kennedy Curse

I would venture to say that besides for the elder Joseph Kennedy that was 
vehemently anti-Semetic, the rest of the Kennedy clan was not, and because of 
this, the "curse" could work in the way stated above.  In fact, there is a 
concept in Judaism where one's offspring might be cursed because of the sins 
of the father, and we ask why?  What did the the children do wrong and why 
should they be punished for something they did not do?  Because the Kennedy 
family is so well-known, and entrenched in American history, people all over 
the world can learn from their good actions.  That is what is going on at 
this moment - all the news reports about all the good that JFK jr did, the 
money he gave to charity, how he helped build up a school his good friend 
started for Black children, etc etc.  To tell you the truth, in a few weeks, 
I, and the rest of the world, will probably forget this happened - and 
without this happening, we would not have come to know so much about those 
who died - so because this happened, we had the opportunity to learn about 
the people and the good they did in their short lives.

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: Sherman Marcus <shermanm@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 00:50:28 +0300
Subject: Magnetic door locks for Shabbat

I recently stayed at a religious hotel in Brooklyn where the door key
consisted of what appeared to be a standard electronic card.  But when I
inquired what arrangement is made for Shabbat, they told me that this
card can be used on Shabbat since it is magnetic and not electronic.
The card was attached to a large plastic plate on which the room number
was written which leads me to believe that there is no code that is
changed from one guest to another.  The card itself did not contain the
standard magnetic stripe that appears on credit cards.  When opening the
door with it, there were no lights to blink and there is no timer.  That
is, after insertion and removal, the door remains unlocked until it is

Does anyone know the principle of operation of such card keys / locks?
I attempted to detect a magnetic field near the card by placing a small
metallic object near it, but could not discern anything.


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:14:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Personal experiences of Yom Tov Rishon found in Talmudic Logic!!

Several postings mention the beauty of having a second day Yom Tov since
we can't fully recover from all the preparation for the first day till
the second day and therefore the 2nd day is a more appropriate time to
enjoy oneself (Gittele (v28n101), Aaron(v29n3), or the dissenting
opinion (from an Israeli, Menasheh) in v29n7).

It may come as a surprise but the personal experiences of these posters
is reflected in halacha. The Talmud, Sifray and Rashi treat the word ACH
in Biblical sentences as implying LIMITATION. I have explained this by
suggesting that ACH means USUALLY. For example, "USUALLY observe the
Shabath (Ex 31:13)" immediately suggests that there are LIMITATIONS or
EXCEPTIONS when you don't observe the Shabbath (See Footnote for

Similarly USUALLY YOU WILL BE HAPPY ON YOM TOV (Dt 16:15) implies that
MOST of Yom Tov you will be happy but not necessarily all of it.

However the Bible does not say WHICH day of Yom Tov is the exception.
After a short Talmudic discussion the Talmud (brought down in Rashi on
Dt 16:15) says 'It is the first day of Yom Tov when you can't
necessarily be happy both because of all the preparations as well as
because you are barging in to Yom Tov from the weekday work atmosphere'
Thus we see a (happy) harmony between our personal experiences and the
Talmudic derivation.

FOOTNOTE: See my article PSHAT & DERASH (Tradition, Winter 1980) or
visit the Rashi website (http://www.shamash.org/rashi/v2b31-13.htm for a
discussion of all 42 times that ACH occurs in Tnach).

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; <rjhendel@...>;Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Jordan Lee Wagner <JordanleeW@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 16:51:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Question about IBM Policy

>  Does anyone know (who works at IBM) whether IBM has put in to place an
>  unambiguous policy regarding taking *Personal Days* for Rom Tovim? thanks.
>  --Zvi

I don't know what the policy is, but when I used to work there years ago
(as a salesman) I once tried to classify as vacation days the dates that
I had been out for Yom Tov.  My (non-Jewish) boss looked at me
quizzically and asked "Wasn't that day a Jewish Holiday?"  and when I
said yes, he struck out my codes and put in something that didn't come
off my vacation time.


End of Volume 29 Issue 22