Volume 30 Number 05
                 Produced: Thu Nov 11  6:12:01 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Mature" "Love" discussions
         [Moshe Nugiel]
Art, pornography and our community
         [Paul Shaviv / CHAT]
Helping Children with Gemorah (2)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Neil Parks]
helping children with Gomorra (homework )
Mi Sheberach
Negiah (2)
         [Ellen Krischer, Gitelle Rapoport]
New Orleans Lending Library Open
         [R. Hartline]
         [Larry Rabinovich]
         [Shalom Carmy]
Public Displays of affection
         [David Zilberberg]
Second day yom tov
The value of the Ketubbah
         [Larry Rabinovich]


From: Moshe Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999 22:58:21 +0200
Subject: Re: "Mature" "Love" discussions

Gitelle Rapoport writes:
>One of my nephews' teachers at a yeshiva high school once told his
class that they should not see the film "Schindler's List," despite its
powerful portrayal of certain elements of the Holocaust, because it has
a nude love scene and scenes of naked Jews in the concentration camps.>

"Schindler's List" is a good example.  I saw it and I thought it was
absolutely inappropriate for high-schoolers, or for adults for that
matter.  Let us grant that the scenes do not arouse the prurient
interest of the viewer (which is probably untrue for the high-schooler.)
I would still argue that a very negative impact is made upon
impressionable viewers.  The hero of the film, Schindler, treats women
as mere objects.  The villain sadistically beats his house-maid.  What
possible positive benefit can be derived from such entertainment?  There
are many books and movies which offer "powerful portrayals of certain
elements of the Holocaust" without the gratuitous abuse and negative
role modeling.  Such filth should never be allowed to enter the
consciousness of our children.  The potential good, viz., learning about
how awful was the Holocaust, is certainly outweighed by the potential
harm of introducing into our children's awareness deviant behavior
patterns.  For this to be done with a parent's blessing is, IMHO, not in
line with normative Jewish parenting principles.

Moshe Nugiel


From: Paul Shaviv / CHAT <pshaviv@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 11:36:46 -0500
Subject: Art, pornography and our community

Writing this only hours after reading the haftarah of Hayye Sarah (David
and Avishag), and then coming across a new book on tznius ("Oz vehodor
levushah" - publ by Feldheim -- plus the newly-issued 'Supplement', with
detailed sketches of 'kosher-non-kosher' female dress), I take a few
minutes to ponder.

'B'kitzur' -- the penalty we pay for not allowing discussion /
appreciation of any issue -- sex, culture etc - that gives our community
the ability to learn, appreciate and discriminate between the tasteful
and the meretricious is that our sense of taste becomes non-existent,
and the community then becomes vulnerable to the cheapest and worst of
popular culture. That is then adopted under the banner of being 'with
it'. A less controversial example than sex is music, where the frum
community has adopted / adapted the worst and cheapest of modern music,
and, tragically, seems to think it is wonderful.  A more controversial
comment (made by others before me) is that in their ostensible disavowal
of all sexual interest and display, many Orthodox communities have
created societies that are more highly charged with sexual energy than
the surrounding cultures in which we live. You gain little by forbidding
a handshake when every woman in shul is dressed to kill.

Our kids (and adults) are going to see, hear and otherwise encounter
every image of popular culture. We need to educate them on how to
develop taste and judgement so that they can distinguish between
pornography and art, whether visual or written. (One might also say that
such faculties would obviate the need for books such as the new one on
tznius referred to above, which has pages on, eg different types of
womens' and girls' socks, stockings, neck fasteners etc.)  What art or
literature they wish to enjoy is another matter, but as several
contributors have pointed out, in the past the Jewish community
(especially the Sephardim) has been able to accomodate a wider range of
enjoyment of life than we do currently.  You only have to read Shir
Hashirim carefully to understand that even it is a metaphor, it is a
metaphor couched in extremely explicit sexual imagery.

Paul Shaviv, Headmaster
CHAT - Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto
200 Wilmington Avenue, Downsview, Ont M3H 5J8
Tel: +416-636-5984	Fax: +416-636-7717


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 20:08:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Helping Children with Gemorah

Here in Baltimore, there is an organization (Yesodei HaTorah) which is
set up in order to have shiurim on all different levels for adults.  We
have shiur and chavrusa in a beis medrash setting.  This has enabled
people who had never learned gemoro to begin as well as people who have
been to Yeshiva to continue to learn and raise there level.  Speak to
rabbonim in your community about setting up a program.  It is much
better to have a program for a community than attempt to begin as an
individual.  Since the Baltimore program began, similar programs have
also been set up in Seattle and Atlanta (and I think some other
communities as well).

This is a benefit not just for an individual, but for the entire Jewish
community.  If you are interested in finding out how this is done,
e-mail me and I will put you in touch with the head of our program,
Rabbi Tzvi Goode.

Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore" | Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
 Jews are the fish, Torah is our water | Zovchai Adam, agalim yishakun

From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 15:14:36 
Subject: Helping Children with Gemorah

Here in Cleveland, the Fuchs Bet Sefer Mizrachi, in conjunction with the
Torat Tzion Kollel, have addressed this very situation by creating a
program in which parents are invited to study the same gemorah that
their children are learning.

Perhaps if there's enough demand your friend's school might consider
doing something similar.

For details you could write to FBSM at 2301 Fenwick Rd., Cleveland, OH


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:11:34 -0500
Subject: helping children with Gomorra (homework )

	I am not really at that stage yet -- my daughter is just 3 --
but I have seen friends with their children and it seems that in the new
generation, helping children with their homework seems to have become a
sacred institution.

	I remember that when I was growing up, I never even thought to
ask my parents for help, let alone have a regular "chavrusa" with them
to get my math or chumash homework done.  I see my friends spoon feed
their children answers and *rob* them of the wonderful experience of
working through a challenge by themselves.  These parents have the best
intentions in the world but their children are going to grow up
deficient in independent problem solving.

	Wouldn't it be better for parents to stimulate their children's
development by challenging them independently of the framework of
school, like talking about current events or history or science at the
dinner table "as if it is something that actually is interesting" or
having a steady chavrusa with them on a *different* maseches than they
are learning in school (maybe a mishnayos seder) to *complement* what is
done in school, or a Navi chavrusa -- there cannot be a parent in the
world no matter what his/her level of formal learning, that cannot
enrich his/her child's understanding of the stories in the n'viim
rishonim with his/her life experience and wisdom (all they really need
is a hebrew/english nach, or even just an english one), and how many
adults or children learn enough of the n'viim?.

	As many posters pointed out, the lesson of love of learning and
the time spent together are certainly more important for a child's
development than the actual content covered.  And it is a shame that so
many children are being robbed of the wonderful experience of
independent discovery.


From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:33:27 -0800
Subject: Re: Mi Sheberach

Nice idea! Another decorous minhag that I am aware of:

After the END of tfilla, the rav or hazzan waits for congregants to
approach him and he makes a private and quiet mi she-berach for each and
every one who requests it. This avoids both tirha d-tsibbura and qri`at
ha-tora (`ayin of qri`at is intentional!).

I believe I saw this minhag in action in the Sfardic congregation of

As for individual mi she-berach for each `ole, I have seen a general mi
she-berach "...et kol mi she-`ala ha-yom la-tora" before returning the
scroll to the aron qodesh. Almost no break in the entire parasha!

Yosef Gilboa`


From: Ellen Krischer <krischer@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 09:27:24 -0500 
Subject: RE: Negiah

> I found a great paperback Sefer called Pri Yitzhak written in easy
> Hebrew by an anonymous author. It's really a compilation of existing
> halachot with extensive references. 

 Is anyone else disturbed by the notion that we should learn halacha by
reading a compilation of sources selected via unknown criteria by an
anonymous author?

Ellen Krischer

From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 15:41:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Negiah

Danny Schoemann writes:

I would be very careful about referring people to an anonymous author as
an authoritative source. Real scholars are not quite so shy.  While I
unfortunately do not have the time at present to find or look up all the
sources listed, I think we should all remind ourselves occasionally that
all such sources (on any topic) must be taken in context and along with
other sources that may present a range of opinions.

One observation:
>Touching a Nidda woman or any married woman is a
>Torah prohibition Vayikra 18:19) - Rambam Isur Bia

 The Rambam in 21:1 specifically refers to hugging and kissing a woman
*derech ta'avah* -- i.e., in a sexually desirous way. One of the sources
on Mr.  Schoemann's list, the Shach, Yoreh Deah 157:10, quotes the
Rambam as dealing with such activities "derech chibat biah" -- in an
affectionate manner related to sexual intercourse -- and points out that
many amoraim hugged and kissed their daughters and sisters, who were
certainly prohibited to them sexually as "ervah" -- presumably because
there was affection but no sexual element present.

We also have to be careful about which opinions are considered halacha
l'maaseh and which are not. For example, shaking hands, discussed in
this book, is in contemporary American culture a polite social courtesy
generally lacking sexual connotations or intentions.  If shaking hands
were in the category of "yehareg v'al ya'avor" (a person should die
rather than commit the sin), a very large number of halachically
observant people I know would have been dead a long time ago.

Gitelle Rapoport
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com


From: R. Hartline <jtpub@...>
Subject: New Orleans Lending Library Open

The first of two Breslov lending libraries is now open in New Orleans. 
to find out more about our library program please call Ruven Hartline @

A second lending library will, I'YH, be open in one of the local shuls
within a month.


From: Larry Rabinovich <lrabinovich@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:43:13 -0500
Subject: RE: Pardes

Like my friend ari kahn i am unaware of any earlier use of pardes as an
acronym for four different types of interpretation than the late 13th
century. It is not unlikely that this system derived (neutral word) from
christian biblical interpretation which closely read every verse in the
bible pursuant to one of four methods.(the four do not coincide directly
with the pardes categories but two or three of them are pretty
close). The pardes system is different in that it assumes that every
verse is subject to all four types of "pardes." larry rabinovich


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:34:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: PRDS

An article on the term and its divisions appeared in Journal of Jewish
Studies circa 1981.


From: David Zilberberg <ZilbeDa@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 10:13:38 -0500 
Subject: Public Displays of affection

To this I would add the wording of the Aruch HaShulchan (Even HaEzer 21
(I think)), who prohibits public displays of "chiba yiseirah" rather
than "chiba" which is how the Rema terms the prohibition.



From: <millerr@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 04:33:15 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Second day yom tov 

It seems that the accepted Halacha(I don't have the sources in front of
me) is that an Israeli on a short visit to the USA is prohibited from
all melacha even d'rabbanon even in private

[I'm not so sure this is such an accepted Halacha. My understanding is
that melacha can be done but only in private. Mod.]

Why is it different then any ma'ris aiyen which permits doing a Rabbanan



From: Larry Rabinovich <lrabinovich@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:54:10 -0500
Subject: RE: The value of the Ketubbah

Several years ago I spoke at a conference of Jewish Law here in New York
on the subject of currency in Halakha. During one of the other sessions
relating to Ketubbah questions, one of the audience members, an Israeli
professor of Jewish Law, suggested that the true value of the Ketubbah
was $20,000. (Some YU rabbeim have suggested this as well). The speaker,
an old timer, whose name i forget, said "oh no, it's much less than
that." During a break i calculated, based on the value of silver that
appeared in that morning's Times that the amount was about $150. I
showed the calculation to the speaker who told me that that was the
amount that Rabbi Feinstein had told him was the correct figure.  Larry


End of Volume 30 Issue 5