Volume 38 Number 64
                 Produced: Mon Feb 17  6:45:31 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blocking Someone In
         [Perry Zamek]
Ellul - Correction
         [Eli Lansey]
Hebrew Reading Comprehension
         [Fay Berger]
Jewish Communal Organization
         [Avi Feldblum]
Jewish life at SUNY and CUNY schools
         [Sarah Elizabeth Beck]
Kiddush Clubs (4)
         [Akiva Miller, Joel Rich, Judy and Paul Shaviv, Robert Tolchin]
Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties
         [Arthur Altman]
online Legends of the Jews
         [Alan Cooper]
Shabbat Shalom - Correction
         [Mark Steiner]
Stones and Bugs
         [Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 10:22:14 +0200
Subject: Re: Blocking Someone In

There was an interesting juxtaposition in MJ Vol 38 #62: Carl Singer 
writing on Chutzpa, followed by Eli Lansey writing on Ellul. Two totally 
separate threads, but the juxtaposition brought something to mind regarding 
the thread on one person's parking blocking someone else in.

Rambam, in Hilchot Teshuvah (if I recall correctly), discusses those sins 
which are almost impossible to repent for, some of them because the 
offender does not see them as an aveira. Wouldn't blocking someone in 
(thereby stealing their time) fall into this category?

Perry Zamek


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 19:46:23 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Ellul - Correction

I made a mistake in a previous posting (re: Ellul) regarding the Mishna
in masechet Rosh haShanah 4:4.  When I said 'korban mincha' I meant
'korban tamid shel bein ha'arbayim'. 



From: <JuniperViv@...> (Fay Berger)
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:34:26 EST
Subject: Re:  Hebrew Reading Comprehension

In responce to the person who is looking for fourth grade reading
comprehension material, a wonderful "list" for educators is

Fay Berger


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 05:32:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jewish Communal Organization

I'm looking forward to hopefully hearing from a number of people on how
the communal organization is set up in different communities, in response
to the request last week. In particular, I would be very interested inn
any information from small Jewish communities.

I live in Allentown, PA. We have one Orthodox shul in town, although in
the past there have been at least two. The community itself has been in
Allentown for quite some time, as our shul is celebrating it's 100th year
at our shul dinner this year.

The Jewish communal activities are overseen by a seperate organization,
the Hebrew Family League (HFL). The HFL oversees three major areas: the
mikveh, the chevra kadisha and the local kashrut supervision. All the HFL
officers are non-paid volunteers, as well as the members of the boards /
committes that oversee the three areas mentioned above. The only paid
person is the local kashrut supervisor. The HFL charges a yearly
membership fee (the members are all the shomer shabbat, shomer
kashrut members of the community) which allows members use of the
mikveh, the chevra kadisha charges a modest fee for services, and
the LVKC (kashrut supervision) charges the local establishments that
it supervises.

The Chevra Kadisha is fully self-sufficient, as it has minimal expenses
and will usually return some money to the HFL to support some of the
expenses of the other two arms of the organization. The mikvah is
currently housed in the basement of a building that is rented out, so that
the rental fees cover a fair amount of the mikveh expenses, the rest
coming from HFL dues and non-local use of the mikveh. The LVKC is the
furthest from being self-sufficient, as the amount that can be charged to
local establishments is not sufficent to cover the expenses of the
organization. I would estimate the kosher consumer market in Allentown to
be on the order of 40-50 solidly kosher families, and another 50+ families
that while not solidly kosher, likely support the kosher establishments.
We manage there via a combination of fees charged to establishements under
supervision, money from HFL dues as well as some money from a grant to HFL
from the local Federation.

The HFL officers and board are all lay members, we also have a three
person Vaad Halacha, which is made up of the Rabbi of the local Orthodox
shul, and two other Rabbis from the local day school. They give halachic
direction to the LVKC, and are where any halachic policy questions
regarding the mikveh or chevra kadisha would be addressed. Most individual
questions regarding individual use of the mikveh are likely addressed
privately by the shul Rabbi in his position as shul Rabbi, not Vaad
Halacha chair.

As I said earlier, I would be very interested in either hearing from, or
being put in contact with, board members or officers of any kind of
similar organizations in other small jewish communities.

Avi Feldblum


From: Sarah Elizabeth Beck <sbeck@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:46:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jewish life at SUNY and CUNY schools

I need info from a (current) expert on schools in the SUNY and CUNY
systems. I want to know where the friendly, heimish, but (not
necessarily) frum Jewish communities are, and which institutions are the
best academically. This will greatly assist a friend of mine who's
applying soon, a very bright new Russian arrival.

Please email me *off-list* with comments.
Thank you very much.



From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:37:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

Someone posted <<< The Rabbi is opposed to Kiddush Clubs in principle
but does not believe that they can be eliminated by legislation and he
will not ban them. >>>

Unless the Club is meeting in a nearby private home, I do not understand
why he feels this to be impossible. He can follow them to their location
and physically stop them, no?

My guess is that what he really means is that they *can* be eliminated,
but that the price to pay is too high. This might mean that he can't
think of a way to correct those people without turning them "off" to
Judaism. Or it could be that some member of that Club are big donors to
the shul (or to some other tzedaka) and banning the Club would cut off
those funds.

Or there might be some other repercussions which the Rabbi feels to be
so significant that he should just let this slide. And perhaps he is

I don't like the existence of Kiddush Clubs either, but you can't always
get what you want. Choices must be made, priorities must be set, and if
not the shul's rabbi, then who?

I am reminded of Mike Gerver's post in MJ 38:49, where he told the story
of <<< the Shabbos morning minyan held at Maimonides School, which Rav
Soloveitchik started in 1962, and which generally did things according
to his minhag. ... One Shabbat morning, when the Rav was still alive and
in good health, someone started saying the tefillah for the State of
Israel.  The Rav turned to someone next to him and said "You would have
thought they would have asked me!"  That was all. He didn't make any
attempt to stop them from saying the tefillah for the State of Israel,
and didn't think it was his place to ask the congregation not to say it
if they wanted to. >>>

I read this story to my family yesterday, as evidence that just because
the rabbi allows something, don't presume he approves of it. He might
disapprove, but have valid reasons for not making a fuss.

Akiva Miller

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 08:02:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

Help them realize that tfila btzibbur is an act of chesed by HKB"H to
allow us to approach him and he will listen (per R' Soloveitchik) 

How to do that??????

Joel Rich

From: Judy and Paul Shaviv <shaviv@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 11:08:58 -0500
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

There has been a great deal of comment over the last few months around
various problems - including alcohol consumption - among Jewish teens.
This is a real problem in some shuls on Simchat Torah and Purim. Our
shul has taken some commendable steps to restrict alcohol consumption
altogether on Simchat Torah, and has also published warnings in the shul
bulletin that minors under the age of 18 found with alcohol will be
escorted off the premises and their parents informed etc etc.
However,as I have said to various shul leaders, it is difficult to take
such warnings seriously when every week the same teenagers see the most
respected leaders of the shul exit en masse for kiddush club, with the
accompanying 'cult of the single malt'.  The behaviour being patterned
is clear, and noone can blame the teenagers from reaching the conclusion
that the shul committee isn't really serious about limiting alcohol.  It
is also not too difficult to imagine what message the teenagers are
getting about shul .........

-- Paul Shaviv, Toronto

From: Robert Tolchin <tolchin@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 12:16:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

I simply cannot believe the intolerance and pedantic holier-than-thou
and self-rightous response from Mordechai Horowitz.

If you don't like kiddush clubs, don't attend them. You can sit in your
seat and listen to the Haftorah and the Rabbi's sermon. Live and let
live. How dare you involve yourself in other people's practices that
don't interfere with your own.

The local orthodox rabbi has ruled that the kiddush club should be left
alone. Where do you get the chutzpah to suggest, contrary to the rabbi's
ruling, that these Jews should be banned from honors and have their
membership revoked in the shul?

And surely you are not serious that making kiddush and having a drink
during the Haftorah is the same as eating a ham sandwich. Give me a
break. You know, in some circles using the internet is considered as bad
as engaging in prostitution. By your reasoning, we should all be banned
from all shuls because we use the internet.

By the way, how do you know that the kiddush club members don't read the
Haftorah to themselves, anyway? Aren't you supposed to assume that that
is what they do?

Rather than sending the kiddush club members to AA, I think Mordechai
Horowitz should lighten up. Perhaps having a drink would help.


From: Arthur Altman <arthur_altman@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 14:40:30 -0600
Subject: RE: Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties

I serve on the Board of the Vaad HaKashrus of Dallas, Texas, which also
does business as "Dallas Kosher" or DK. The DK is our community-wide
agency for Kashrus. The DK is organized like many other non-profit
organizations, in that it has a professional Executive Director who acts
as a "CEO", and who reports to a lay Board of Directors.  The Chair or
President of the Board and the Executive Director have a close working
relationship, much as you would see between, say, the Head of a day
school and the school board President.  The Executive Director is
responsible for hiring and supervising directly or indirectly all other
staff, including the Rabbis that perform or oversee Kashrus supervision.
The Board sets operating policy (e.g., the DK follows the OU standard for
Kashrus) but the Executive Director is responsible for carrying out the
policies. The Board and the Executive Director also cooperate to come up
with key goals and objectives, e.g., budgetary targets, but the ED owns
achieving those objectives, and by and large, how they are met. Funding
comes from many sources: supervision fees paid by businesses, individual
and synagogue memberships, fundraising, and the local Federation. 

If you want to benchmark in more detail, I can put you in touch with the
Executive Director of DK, Mrs. Jeri Finkelstein.

Best Regards,


From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 12:01:38 -0500
Subject: Re: online Legends of the Jews

I would like to note that the online Legends of the Jews, for which the
URL has appeared twice on mail-jewish, appears to contain only the first
four volumes of the set.  In other words, it includes Ginzberg's
narrative, but not his invaluable notes, which are contained in volumes
5 and 6.  The index volume is missing, too, but that is less crucial in
an electronically searchable edition.  Without the notes, the work
retains its charm, but loses its all-important connection to the
underlying sources.  Those who wish to have a complete electronic
Legends, therefore, still will have to purchase it.  (I did buy a copy
of the CD, but returned it when its installation routine crashed my
system, so I cannot report on it.)  I recently heard from a reliable
source that JPS soon will be reissuing the work, newly typeset in a more
compact format, and with a new index.  Perhaps that new edition will be
made available in electronic form, too.

Alan Cooper


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 19:08:45 +0200
Subject: Re: Shabbat Shalom - Correction

    I would like to apologize to the readers for a false reference to
Bialik in my last posting.  I quoted from memory, always a bad thing.
Shabbat Shalom does NOT occur in the poem I mentioned.  Sorry.


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 11:47:46 -0500
Subject: Stones and Bugs

>In our family we always have had a tradition to search through rice
>grains before cooking them. I invariably find a few grains that are black
>or look spoilt. I am sure that the majority of kitchens cooking large
>quantities of rice (schools,caterers,large companies etc) do not have the
>cabability to check rice for bugs stones etc. What is the din about rice
>is there a botel be shishim rule ?

I've never heard of checking rice.  However I don't think that stones
are a kashrut problem.  Bugs however, I don't believe are able to be
botel b'shishim because ain breira, a complete creature cannot be botel


End of Volume 38 Issue 64