Volume 39 Number 47
                 Produced: Tue May 27  4:41:07 US/Eastern 2003


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chasidic Garb
         [Percy Mett]
Christian view of God's "hand" and Song of Songs
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Lincoln Square and conservative Judaism (2)
         [Mordechai Horowitz, Michael Kahn]
Mechitza
         [Joel Rich]
The Meitcheter (3)
         [Moshe Goldberg, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer,
Reuben Rudman]
Safe Candles
         [Stan Tenen]
Shechita and EU Ban
         [Martin D. Stern]
Solar water heaters
         [Danny Skaist]
Wearing Man's Apparel
         [Batya Medad]


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From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 23:33:08 +0100
Subject: Re: Chasidic Garb

On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 10:34 AM, Joseph Mosseri wrote:

> Even the hassidim borrowed their
> distinctive garb from the Polish nobleman of the eighteenth century.

Pure myth
No Polish nobleman ever dressed  the way chasidim do

Perets Mett
London

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From: <halevi@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 10:12:23 -0500
Subject: Christian view of God's "hand" and Song of Songs

Shalom, All:

	Regarding anthropomorphisms - saying "the hand of God" when we
all know God is non-corporeal -- Matthew Pearlman says >>I think this is
a comment on idiom, in other words although God does not really have a
hand, it is OK to talk about His hand because everyone will interpret it
correctly. <<
	Jews will, many Christians won't. I have seen Christians and
Jews for Jesus cite this as "proof" that Jesus is God, because he had a
physical body. 
	Matthew then notes >>On the other hand(!) I suppose that it
could be interpreted as a requirement on the translator to substitute a
more appropriate word according to his audience.<<
	It boils down to this: do we dumb down to an audience that
inevitably includes certain non-Jews who find it advantageous to believe
a physical hand is involved, or do we remain faithful to the poetic
imagery of the Torah and Prophets, content in knowing that Jews and many
Christians are aware of biblical allegory and anthropomorphisms?
	For the record, just as our sages debated canonizing Sheer
HaSheereem (Song of Songs), troubled by its sexuality, the Catholic
Church had the same debate. AFAIK Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of
Clairveau, among others, concluded that Song of Songs was "an allegory
for God's love of his Church."

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi
<halevi@...>

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From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 21:30:40 -0400
Subject: Lincoln Square and conservative Judaism

>Linclon Square Synagogue began as an OU without mechitza.  Rabbi Riskin agreed
>to conduct services while dovening somewhere else for a limited period
>of time.  After that either they had to become fully Orthodox or he'd
>leave.  Well, as they say, the rest is history.

I seem to remember hearing Rav Riskin say the first act he did at
Lincoln Square was to change the name from the Lincoln Square
Conservative synagogue.

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From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 21:49:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Lincoln Square and conservative Judaism

>Linclon Square Synagogue began as an OU without mechitza.  Rabbi Riskin
>agreed to conduct services while dovening somewhere else for a limited
>period of time.  After that either they had to become fully Orthodox or
>he'd leave.  Well, as they say, the rest is history.

My dad was part of that history. He told me that Rabbi Riskin got his heter 
from Rabbi YB Soloveitchik and like you said he only had a certain amount of 
time to stay and try to bring in a mechitza. Also my father told me that 
until Lincoln Square had a mechitza  Rabbi Riskin would refrain from 
performing things that required a minyan there. Hence the group would recite 
Shma but would not recite the kadish.

I have college break for next week may 25-30 and the Sunday and Monday of 
the following week. If anyone in Brooklyn is interested in getting together 
to learn in the mornings I'd be interested. Just email me.
Thank you

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From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 07:11:11 EDT
Subject: Mechitza

<< I like to know what's going on "down there" and think it makes for
 better dovening, but I don't want to be on display.  That's the point of
 the separation; we should be able to see when the Aron Kodesh is open or
 shut, but we shouldn't be able to watch or communicate with the opposite
 sex.

 Batya >>

Actually IIRC your last line defines a halachik debate as to the height
and make up of the mechitza - does it need to cut off communication or
all interaction (including seeing).  A community may do more if it
desires(eg as you articulate or more as Satmar does) but we're
discussing "required"

KT
Joel Rich
PS how do you deal with tall people like your husband and me :-)

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From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 13:35:02 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: The Meitcheter

The Meitcheter had two sons and three daughters. The youngest son is
living in Jerusalem (and his son Shlomo is the one that Chaim Mateh
mentions in his mail).

You also have your other facts wrong - it is not Rabbi Mowshowitz's
daughter that is a conservative rabbi. Many grandchildren and
great-grandchildren of the Meitcheter live in the United States and Israel
(even some great-great-grandchildren), with many different variations on
being "more" or "less" religious.

Moshe Goldberg

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From: Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 11:37:02 -0400
Subject: The Meitcheter

[Given that the original posting was made on mail-jeiwsh that said that Rabbi
Mowshowitz's daughter became a Conservative Rabbi, I want to post this
correction from R' Yosef. In general, the particular affiliation of any
given individual is not likely to be a valid topic of discussion on
mail-jewish. Mod.]

Sorry, it was Rabbi Mowshowitz's grandaughter, not daughter, as the 
following quick find on the web indicates:

Rabbi Debra Orenstein lectures

Rabbi Debra Orenstein, an instructor at the University of Judaism in Los
Angeles, presents "Rituals for Modern Times" on Feb. 11 as part of an
ongoing lecture series sponsored by the South Bay Institute for Jewish
Living and Learning.

The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth David, 19700
Prospect Road in Saratoga. Orenstein is the creator of the Lifecycles
book series, which includes Lifecycles, Volume 1: Jewish Women on Life
Passages and Personal Milestones, and Lifecycles, Volume 2: Jewish Women
on Biblical Themes in Contemporary Life. A third volume in the works
deals with Jewish holidays and customs. With her grandfather, Rabbi
Israel Mowshowitz, Orenstein also co-authored From Generation to
Generation, a collection of sermons and Bible commentaries.

A seventh-generation rabbi, Orenstein is a graduate of Princeton
University, the University of Judaism and the Jewish Theological
Seminary.  She is a recipient of the Wolfsan Award--which honors
individuals for their scholarship and service--as well as Revson,
Finkelstein and Woodrow Wilson fellowships.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for those age 30 or
younger. Babysitting is available with advance reservation. Tickets are
available by calling 793-5190, and can also be purchased at the door.

This article appeared in the Saratoga News, February 3, 1999.
1999 Metro Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

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From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 18:50:54 -0400
Subject: Re: The Meitcheter

The fact is that the  Meitcheter had 5 children, 3 daughters and 2
sons.  One of the sons was a doctor in Brooklyn and the other a
mathematician in Washington DC.  There are a number of his grandchildren
living in Israel.  One of them is a regular contributor to MJ, but I
will leave it to him to reveal himself (if he wishes).

Illui-ness is not for me to comment on, but several of his grandchildren
do have jobs requiring a certain amount of mental dexterity.

There is a street in Jerusalem, called Rehov Ha-ilui, named after the
Meitcheter.  It is just off Kanfei Nesharim, as you head towards Har
Nof, on the right side, where Angels' Bakery is on the left.

Why do I know this?  Because my grandfather and the Meitcheter were
cousins and were quite close ( as youngsters, in Volozhin and in the
US).  We have kept up contact with the family over the years.

Reuben Rudman

[A similar confirmimg email from Chaim Mateh who was contacted by two
Meitcheter grandchildren, including at least one who is a mail-jewish
member. Mod]

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From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 16:04:31 -0400
Subject: Safe Candles

The simplest way to make conventional candlesticks with tall wax candles
safe, is to get a large aluminum broiling pan (the kind that's deep, not
the shallow sort) and place the candlesticks inside, and place the
broiling pan, with the candlesticks, on a wooden cutting board.

The cutting board provides heat insulation from any surface below, and
the aluminum broiling pan can accept any amount of wax that drips from
the candles that could ignite.

The only other requirement for complete safety is that the candlesticks
be on a table of normal height, with a normal clearance from the
ceiling, so that if melted wax does ignite, the flames won't reach the
ceiling (or any adjacent curtains or upholstery).

This is not the most esthetic solution, but if a family knows it's going
to be out on Shabbos, or out of the room on Shabbos after lighting
Shabbos candles, then this precaution provides complete safety.  Even if
everything goes wrong, no damage is done.

For a more esthetically pleasing effect, simply use a large (long and
wide enough to contain the volume of wax if both candles melted
entirely) decorative metal serving tray (if it's affordable, a silver
tray would be excellent), instead of the aluminum baking pan.

It has been my observation that candles sold for use on Shabbos are made
very very very poorly, and extraordinarily cheaply, with little or no
quality control. In other words, they're intrinsically dangerous.  A
wick that is not centered can cause the flame to consume one side of the
candle in less than a minute, and cause a melt-down of the candle in an
unpredictable and very fiery way.  If it weren't for the fact that I
would greatly prefer that the government not involve itself in Jewish
practice, I'd certainly report the intrinsically unsafe candles that are
routinely available to OSHA or another government protective agency,
that could see to it that some sort -- any sort -- of safety standards
were met.

It sometimes helps to hard-freeze the candles a day before Shabbos, in a
very cold refrigerator/freezer.  They're just as easy to light, but they
tend to burn more conservatively -- at least at first when they're tall
and most dangerous -- until they come to room temperature.

It seems to me that it should be a basic, in any school education,
whether public school or yeshiva, to teach everyone that no open flame
should ever be left unattended.  To leave an open flame unattended is
statistically guaranteed to cause life-threatening fires.  This goes
just as much for gas stoves and ovens, campfires, and barbecues.  No
open flame should ever be left unattended.  To do so is to put life at
risk, and therefore should be clearly forbidden.

Good Shabbos.

Best,
Stan

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From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 06:43:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Shechita and EU Ban

In mail-jewish Vol. 39 #40 , Carl Singer writes in reply to a previous query:
<< "Are there any shochtim on this mailing list who can state from
      experience how long it takes for cows, poultry and sheep to lose
      consciousness at the time of shechitah?"

It doesn't matter -- The Farm Animal Welfare Council is making a
political decision that will not in any way be swayed by facts or data. >>

His assessment may be correct but this sort of attitude can only
undermine the Jewish position. It is essential to have the facts even if
we know that the Farm Animal Welfare Council will not be moved. There
are many other people who are not as blinkered about shechitah and they
can still be influenced. This is analogous to the answer to the rasha'
in the haggadah where we say "li velo lo, ilu haya hu sham lo haya
nig'al - for me not for him, if he had been there he would not have been
saved". If we were answering him we should sat "lekha - for you" not "lo
- for him" i.e. we warning the impressionable children not to follow his
evil ways.

Martin D. Stern
7, Hanover Gardens, Salford M7 4FQ, England
( +44(1)61-740-2745
email <mdsternm7@...>

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From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 12:50:48 +0200
Subject: Solar water heaters

<<Marc Shapiro
(In Israel, where they use solar heaters, I assume this would be
permitted -- halakhic experts, correct me if I am wrong).>>

It depends on which version of "Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchasa" you have.
In the first one It says "allowed but some don't allow it."  In the
second version it says "not allowed but some do allow it.

danny 

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From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 20:43:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Wearing Man's Apparel

      "A woman must not put on man's apparel nor shall a man wear a
      women's clothing" (Deut. 22:5). There are two explanations for
      this prohibition:

I was hoping to avoid this topic.  It's complicated.  There are
societies in which women women wear pants--loose harem style and men the
skirts, long.  In many of the religious girls high schools in Israel,
there is debate over harem pants being women's clothes or not.  From
what I see, the "harem" pants are winning.  Even "matrons" wear them,
sometimes under tunics.  (Not me; I'm happily skirted.)

Batya

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End of Volume 39 Issue 47