Volume 36 Number 82
                 Produced: Thu Jul 25  6:52:52 US/Eastern 2002


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avoiding Resume Gaps
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael (2)
         [Baruch J. Schwartz, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Cleaning up after seudoh shelishis
         [Harry Weiss]
Hugs
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Jewish "Amish Country" (3)
         [Janice Gelb, Mordechai, Mitchell Raven]
Orlando Minyan?
         [Jack Stroh]
Physical contact between sexes
         [Akiva Miller]
Reason for a Mitzvah
         [Carl Singer]
Sharing a Hotel Room
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Third Pereq of Eicha
         [<HLSesq@...>]


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From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Avoiding Resume Gaps

I'd like to throw out an ethical question for the group's consideration.
As you know, when applying for a job, it's important to avoid having
large "gaps" in your resume. In other words, all your time should be
accounted for in as much of a productive, career-advancing way as
possible.  Then comes the thorny problem of yeshiva and kollel study.
How does one account for this time on a resume?  One novel approach I've
heard is that if you have participated in a "chabura" during that time,
you can record it on your resume as "teaching".  What do y'all think
about that, ethically?

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From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 07:57:36 +0200
Subject: Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael

Yaakov Ellis asks why we wish the newlyweds a bayit neeman. I think I can
answer this one.

The word neeman, today used to mean faithful, trustworthy, is used
frequently in the Bible to mean "lasting, enduring" (in addition to its
frequent use in the sense of "unfailing, reliable" which is quite
similar. One can see that the modern meaning too is derived from this
but is slightly different.)

The root alef-mem-nun in the niphal appears in this meaning, for
instance, in Isaiah 7.9, 1 Kings 8.26, 1 Chr 17.23 (and check the
parallel to 2 Samuel 7.25: "haqem"!), Psalm 93.5 which we say every
Friday and Shabbat ("Your decress are indeed enduring") and in many
other places. The word neeman (participle) is used in this sense in
Numbers 12.7, Jer 42.5, etc.

The subject of neeman (past tense) is bayit in 2 Samuel 7.16, and the
phrase bayit neeman appears in 1 Samuel 2.35, 25.28, 1 Kings 11.38. In
all of these the meaning is "long-lasting house = enduring dynasty". Not
"faithful", but enduring, abiding, stable, constant. That's what we are
wishing the newlyweds: that they establish a "house", i.e. a line of
descendants, that endures and continues to be a part of the "house" of
Israel.

ken yehi rason.

Baruch Schwartz
Department of Bible
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 12:32:29 EDT
Subject: Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael

Yaakov Ellis asks (MJv36n75) <<Why are we wishing people to build a
trustworthy house? ["Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael] "why not a "bayit maleh
Torah v'chessed b'Yisrael" (filled with Torah and kindness) or some
other appropriate blessing? Is there a source for specifically saying
this beracha?

The expression "ubaniti lo bayit ne'eman" appears twice in the Bible (I
Sam. 2:35; I Kings 11:38). Both of these cases are building a solid
future priest (Sam.) and a good king who follows in the footsteps of
King David. So the two uses above are for proper functioning Beit
Ha-Mikdash and regal houses; two worthwhile houses to emulate. A third
mentioning of "bayit ne'eman" is I Sam. 25:28 also with a positive
connotation.

Literary "bayit ne'eman" has within the term: correct, truthful,
righteous, non-treacherous, permanent, dedicated. So this beautiful
blessing is all encompassing.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

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From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 10:42:33 -0700
Subject: Cleaning up after seudoh shelishis

In our shul we try to clean up right after the dvar Torah, and prior to
singing zmiros, thus the cleaning is so we have a clean table for the
zmiros and bentchng.

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From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 09:53:22 +0200
Subject: Re: Hugs

At 04:17 21/07/02 +0000, you wrote:
      of why Orthodox Jews are not allowed to have physical contact
      (specifically hugs) with members of the opposite sex.  I explained
      that it was to prevent temptation of leading

All Jews, not just Orthodox. 

In societies in which hugging is not the custom, there is to instinct to
hug.  Physical affection, especially in public, are "taught."  It gets
complicated, because people move in "integrated societies" with
different norms.  Those not accustomed to hugging the opposite sex as a
greeting wouldn't think of it; those who do hug and kiss without
thinking of it as forbidden/problematic sometimes cause some interesting
reactions.  I'll never forget my parents' affectionate friend who when
visiting Israel tracked us down on Shabbat as shul was ending.  After
warmly hugging and kissing us, she was introduced to our rabbi--long
white beard and black coat--and she lunged at him for more hugs and
kisses.  He amazingly, very adeptly, caught her by the wrists, kept her
arms open and moved his head far from hers to miss the kiss!

Shavua tov,
Batya

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From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 21:36:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Jewish "Amish Country"

Jeffrey Saks <atid@...> wrote:
> Anybody know of availability of kosher food (besides 
> the obvious packaged products available nation-wide 
> in supermarkets), synagogues, or things of Jewish 
> interest in "Amish Country" (=Lancaster County, PA)?

I recently visited Philadelphia and the Beiler^s Amish 
Bakery booth in the Reading Terminal Market has hechshers 
on some of its products.

-- Janice

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From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 03:43:58 EDT
Subject: Jewish "Amish Country"

See         www.homestead.com/ourkehilla/

It looks like alot of what you seek is available...

Mordechai

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From: Mitchell Raven <m.raven@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 04:28:49 -0400
Subject: Jewish "Amish Country"

For the most up to date info on kosher food in the Pennsylvania Amish
Country call Rabbi Shaya Sackett at 717-392-0804 or717-291-1475 .He is
the head of the local Va'ad Hakasruth and in my opinion can be relied
upon . The va'ad's symbol is an Amish buggy with a 'k' in it.  

Rabbi M. Raven

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From: Jack Stroh <jackstroh@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 01:07:09 -0400
Subject: Orlando Minyan?

I am saying Kaddish and will need a minyan in Orlando for the week of
August 11-18 when I will be there for a medical course. Please help.
Thanks.

Jack Stroh

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From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 08:57:53 -0400
Subject: Physical contact between sexes

In MJ 36:75, Marc Meisler asked <<< I was having a discussion with
someone ... They felt that if a person saw a friend they haven't seen in
a long time, there was nothing wrong with a quick hug because it will
for sure not lead to anything. >>>

I was priveleged to be a student of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin the last year he
taught Freshman Hashkafa at YU ('72-'73). Virtually the identical
question was asked. (Speaking about friends, a fellow student asked,
"What if you *know* that it won't lead to anything?")

Thirty years later, I still have not found a better answer than the one
Rabbi Riskin gave that day:

     "Famous last words."

No, it does not always lead to problems. But there is the occasional
case where it does. No one should be so confident of himself that he can
be *sure* that he will be immune. Granted that the odds are very low,
but the stakes are so *very* high!

Akiva Miller

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From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 07:04:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Reason for a Mitzvah

      I was having a discussion with someone at work and the question
      came up of why Orthodox Jews are not allowed to have physical
      contact (specifically hugs) with members of the opposite sex.  I
      explained that it was to prevent temptation of leading to anything
      more, but the person did not find that sufficient.

Why is an explanation necessary, even appropriate? -- Do you need to
explain that you keep kosher because in the desert heat the "Israelites"
would get sick from eating traif animals -- or some similar balderdash?
To ascribe a "technical" reason behind a mitzvah in a way demeans the
mitzvah.

Kol Tuv
Carl Singer

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From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 17:00:17 +0300
Subject: Re: Sharing a Hotel Room

Re:  the discussion about two men sharing a hotel roon, Freda Birnbaum
rightly commented in v36n62, that

<< I thought the issue was about two guys sharing a bed, not a room, but
I haven't studied this in any detail.  Also I think the rulings on this
have varied in times and places, depending on what the state of morality
or whatever in the general and/or Jewish society was perceived to be.
But I'd welcome more information on this.>>

To start with the bottom line: The consensus of the halakha is that
there is no prohibition against yihud between men, nor even an explicit
issur against them sleeping in the same bed, although it is preferable
to avoid the latter, as shall be explained below.

The mishnah in Kiddushin 4.14 cites the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah that
two bachelors should not share a blanket, and that of the Hakhamim who
allow it.  The discusion in the gemara ad loc (Kiddushin 82a), which
follows a discussion in the same mishnah about whether or not bachelors
may work as sheohereds), concludes by stating that "Jews are not
suspected of homosexuality or of bestiality."  This is echoed by Rambam
in Hilkhot Issurei Biah 22.2, and by the Tur and the Beit Yosef in Even
ha-Ezer 24.

      The probelms begin when the Beit Yosef in his own sefer pesak, the
Shulhan Arukh, states that "in our days, when this sin is widespread, we
do worry about yihud [between men]."  The two standard commentators on
the page, Beit Shmuel and Helkat Mehokek, both immediately state that
this only applies in his time and place (Ottoman Turkey), but today we
return to the original heter, i.e, not to worry about the subject, and
only suggest that two men not actually sleep under the same blanket
"mishum darkei hassidut.".

     The question that begs to be asked is, of course: Given that in
contemporary Western society, homosexuality has become widely accepted
in liberal and "politically correct" circles, and has even become a
significant political force, bullying its opponents underground, with
serious thinkers even stating that those who continue to preach the idea
that there is something wrong with it are themselves benighted and
possibly even themselves, by denying others the right to "freedom of
sexual orientation," vehadevarim yeduim (what does this last week's
haftarah say?  "Kisdom hayinu, ka'amorah diminu"), should we return to
the Mehaber's stricter view?

     I would invoke in this context something Rav Soloveitchik said more
than once: that the hazakot of Hazal, i.e., the presumptions about human
behavior upon which all kinds of rules and arguments in halakha are
built, are not only based upon empirical observation of society and
human nature, but are in many cases meant as normative statements,
transcending changing circumstances.

    Admittedly, in this case that approach leaves a big question on the
statement of the Shulhan Arukh.  Nevetrheless, the dominant tendency in
pesak is to be extremely reluctant to uproot an existing hazakah of this
type.  As Shmuel Himmelstein rightly observed in v36n74, many yeshivah
dormitories have two boys in a room, on a fixed basis, and no one has
thought to object.

    One anecdotal point: when I was a student (and a bachelor), I was
once invited to the home of our community's (Orthodox) rabbi for a
Shabbat, along with another young man, and both of us were billetted in
their guest room, which had one fold-out, Castro convertible type couch.
This would imply that at least one learned rabbi thought there was no
issur.

    Rav Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalyim

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From: <HLSesq@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 17:47:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Third Pereq of Eicha

Re: a special tune for the third perek of Eichah. I have leined this
perek on several occasions, and I,too , recalled learning as a youngster
that the tune of this perek was different .This first time I leined it
in my current shul,people, including the chazzan, said they had never
heard this tune before; thereafter I leined it with the regular trop
thinking that maybe my memory was faulty. I guess there are others out
there who learned the same way I did.

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End of Volume 36 Issue 82