Volume 44 Number 39
                    Produced: Tue Aug 24  5:23:37 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accuracy in Language
         [Shayna Kravetz]
A grammatical point
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Kosher Sports Stadiums (was Dairy Bread) (2)
         [Yisrael Medad, Shayna Kravetz]
A non Jew at the Seder
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
non-Jews at a Seder
         [Martin Stern]
Repressed Memories
         [Lynn Zelvin]
"Unmarried Girls" [sic]
White "African Americans"
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 07:06:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Accuracy in Language

Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> notes:

>While we are on the topic, some have used the expression of calling a
>spade a spade. However, it is wise to know that black people consider
>this offensive. It has something to do with the Ace of Spades in a deck
>of cards being black. Thus it is an expression that should be avoided
>even though those who used it here definitely not know that. In fact, a
>frum politician used the expression a few years ago without knowing its
>racist meaning. When his fellow black politicians complained he told
>them that he was honestly unaware of its racist conection and he
>apoligised and everyone was happy.

It is unfortunate if this is true.  The spade in the phrase used here is
the garden implement and has nothing to do with the idea of "black as
the ace of spades".  The latter is, indeed, offensive when applied to a
human being and leads to the derogatory use of "spade" to mean a black

The full version of our proverb is "to call a spade a spade and not a
shovel," meaning to be accurate in speech, rather than flattering.  It
is completely unconnected to any issue of race.

This ignorance of language's history is also leading to the
disappearance of "niggardly", a perfectly respectable word without a
trace of offence in its meaning or history.  Despite all this deplorable
stuff, I still think that political correctness has done more help than
harm in sensitizing us to how others hear what we say.

Halachically, we know that truth-telling is not always the highest value
and that speech serves purposes other than the pure relay of factual
information.  While I appreciate the feelings of those who hate (the
word is accurate here, I think) euphemisms such as "gay" or "significant
other" to describe illicit sexual relationships, I am reluctant to view
every conversation or piece of correspondence as an opportunity for
tokhachah (reproof).  I would save my energy for the discussion of the
problem of secular culture's misuse of sexuality, which is the disease;
not the use of euphemisms, which is the symptom.

Kol tuv.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 13:21:58 +0300
Subject: A grammatical point

      in order to avoid real berakhot levatalot.

The expression really ought to be "berakhot levatala."
IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 13:46:39 +0200
Subject: Kosher Sports Stadiums (was Dairy Bread)

      Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote

      Today, I understand, there are quite a few ball parks and even
      football stadiums which have reliable kosher food stands.

Although baseball (unless Shabbat comes in to it is not a halachic issue
and despite the seemingly unfathomable ability of Yeshiva bochrim to
recall baseball statistics better than a Rishonim source) and whereas,
it has been a very long time since I spent any time in an American ball
park or football stadium, nevertheless, I heard a rumour that besides
kosher eateries, there are also minyan spaces (PC for a prayer area that
doesn't make even the stheibel grade).  Yankee Stadium and where the
Mets play seem to highlight.

Yisrael Medad

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 06:30:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Kosher Sports Stadiums (was Dairy Bread)

 Bernard Raab <beraab@...> writes:

>Today, I understand, there are quite a few ball parks and even football
>stadiums which have reliable kosher food stands. One of the first was in
>Baltimore, where I once "chapped" a mincha together with my hot dog
>during an Orioles game. Any other personal experiences to share?

There is a kosher hotdog stand at Toronto's Skydome.  I saw the Toronto
Blue Jays play the Yankees there just after Tisha B'Av and so my first
meat after the Nine Days was a frank at the ball game.  As Charlie Brown
so famously observed, "A hot dog just doesn't taste right without a
baseball game in front of it."  I've never davened at the Skydome but
judging by the frequency of kippot in the crowd, a pickup minyan would
probably pose no problem.

Kol tuv from


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 13:54:48 EDT
Subject: A non Jew at the Seder

Following the discussion of the participation of a non Jew at the Seder
the following was posted before:

<<One is not permitted to invite a non-Jew to a Yom Tov meal on a day
when cooking, etc., is permitted, lest something be heated expressly for
the non-Jew. Cooking on Yom Tov is permitted only for the sake of a Jew.
Only on Shabbos, when all cooking is prohibited, is it permitted to
invite a non-Jew to a Yom Tov meal.>> <<See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:36
for starters.>>

Elkan Nathan Adler, the son of the British Chief Rabbi in his book _Jews
in Many Lands_ (Philadelphia, 1905, p. 68) tells the story of Crown
Prince Rudolph (1858-1889) of Austria, a Christian, who visited
Palestine in 1881, and published it in 1884. Adler wrote: " When in
Jerusalem he [Rudolph] was present at the Seder given by the Chacham
Bashi [i.e., Turkish title for Head Rabbi/Chief Rabbi], and the ceremony
made a deep impression upon him."

The software of dates conversion suggests that the Seder in Jerusalem
took place on Wednesday night, April 13, 1881. The Chief Rabbi at the
time was Rabbi Meir Raphael Panigel (1804-1893), who actually got the
Turkish title of Chacham Bashi only in 1890 (EJ 13:56), but Adler
published the story in 1905, so he called him by his later title.

Thus the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of the time saw nothing wring with having
a Gentile attending his Seder. This Ma'ase Rav [=an act of a prominent
rabbi] is of interest and of relevancy to our own discussion. One should
note that since there is only one Seder in Israel, cooking could have
been completed before the Yom Tov, and adding of another individual to a
large group might not add to the quantity of the cooking anyhow.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:04:42 +0100
Subject: Re: non-Jews at a Seder

on 20/8/04 3:09 am, Mark Symons <msymons@...> wrote:

> Yes, but didn't "Erev Rav" (a "mixed multitude") ie non-jews, accompany
> them on their exodus?

This reminds me of the joke in Frankfurt some 100 years ago when Rav
Nobel was referred to as the 'Eruv Rav' when he set up an eruv which was
much opposed by the Austritt Gemeinde headed by Rav Breuer.

Martin Stern


From: Lynn Zelvin <lynn@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 02:06:51 -0400
Subject: Repressed Memories


I have no letters after my name to relate expertise in this area, but I
certainly have the real experience. I grew up in a household where there
was much physical and emotional abuse going on. I had complete unbroken
memory of all of this for a very long time and am happy that the
memories have started to fade. My brother who got the worse end of the
emotional abuse remembered the physical abuse but not all of the
emotional abuse. My sister remembered my brother's abuse and didn't
remember herself being part of any of it or of how constant it was. When
I would talk to her about it she would start to remember but we would
have the same conversation a year later and it was as if she was
remembering for the first time all over again. . In general, she
remembers very little of what goes on between her and other people in
human interactions for any period of time and nothing from more than a
year ago except for special events, like when she met her husband,
things that happened on vacations, etc. I, however, have trouble losing
memories that I would just as soon get rid of.  There is nothing wrong
with my sister's memory in general - she memorizes lots of intricate
details for her professional work and is much better than I am at
remembering people's names.

I was gratified to see discussion on this list that affirmed the need to
report child abuse. It seemed to have taken us longer to have gotten to
this place than it did for non-Jews, at least in America. I'm in my 40's
and when I was growing up a kid practically needed to be on their
deathbed before anything a parent did was considered unacceptable and
abusive. I may have remembered what happened but it took me a long time
to get it into my head that I hadn't done anything to deserve it and
that there was something really wrong in my home. You learn to accept as
normal what you grow up with if you never knew anything
different. Having watched someone who lived the same experience I did
somehow completely block memories that were always there for me and then
regain them only to forget again, I can testify to the reality of
repressed memories.  I hope this isn't another area where Jewish
community is so concerned with keeping our dirty laundry private that we
continue to hurt the very people who have already lived with too much
pain by pretending their experiences couldn't possibly have happened.



From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 03:19:02 -0400
Subject: "Unmarried Girls" [sic]

>From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>

>On a partially related note, if anyone thinks that we need to avoid
>using "politically incorrect" language so as not to offend someone, you
>obviously haven't been paying attention to what "Palestinian
>freedom-fighers", and "Palestinian militants" have been doing in the
>field of PR with their language.

I don't like the Orwellian Newspeek change to the word "militant"
either, but if it is any consolation, the press is now iiac using that
terminology wrt most or all terrorists around the world.  I don't know
if describing Palestinian Arab terrorists that way came first or not,
and I don't know if any people had their lives threatened or not to
cause the change, but I wouldn't be surprised.

What particularly galls me is that now people like Menachem Begin will
still be described in books as terrorists, and people will read that as
if he murdered civilians, and they will read about Arab terrorists and
think they were only mere militants (a word that reallly means people
like those Black Power advocates who gave speeches but neither did nor
urged violence.)  They will end up thinking that Abu Nidal and Arafat
were a kinder men than Begin and George Washington.  Already most seem
to have forgotten that in the 60's, even before the 1967 War (and years
later but I don't recall how long) Arafat was the one giving the orders
when terrorists murdered Jewish women and children.

>Does anyone get the impression that "girls" and "boys" have less
>responsibility in their lives (particularly less responsibility to
>behave appropriately and morally)

Of course not.  In those areas they have just as much responsibility.

>than"men" and"women", even if they're all 20 years old?

But the vast majority of 19^^ year olds have not assumed any
responsibility for anyone *else*.  I don't mean that they don't do
chores for others, but they are not the person primarily responsible for
anyone**.  In my view, and I think historically in most of both the
Jewish and gentile world, religious and secular, taking on
responsibility is one of the two primary determinants of who is a man or
woman.  Age is the other one.

  ^^I don't know much about the legal etc. change that affects a Jew
  when he/she? becomes 20.  But that's why I used age 19 at the start of
  my post.

  **As a husband is responsible to take care of his wife and a wife is
  responsible to take care of her husband. Yes, of course each person is
  obliged to take care of hirself more than anyone else is, but I'm not
  including that in my choice of words here.

I don't think age determines who is responsible so much as assuming and
making a real effort at fulfilling responsibility, serious but optional
responsibility, is what makes a man or woman.

When I was in my 20's I knew plenty of people in their 20's and few of
them seemed like men or women to me, including me. So I continue to use
the same definition I developed then.  Except I would now add that it
may be that many O Jews run about 2 years ahead of the rest of the
population in terms of taking on responsibility by marriage.  Anyhow,
not counting that, a boy or girl becomes a man or woman when s/he turns
30, when s/he turns 25 and is married, when s/he turns 20 and is married
with a child, or when s/he serves in combat.  Not just in the army but
actual combat.

I have an Israeli friend whose responsibility in the IDF was to meet
wounded pilots and get them out of their airplanes so that medics and
doctors could treat them.  If she had actually done this in battle I
would have counted that as combat, but since, thank G-d, there were no
wounded pilots, or none that she met, during her years in the IDF, I
don't count it.

(I'm tempted to count firefighters, ambulance crews, and doctors who
have actually rescued or treated those who would have died within the
hour if they had not helped them, but I don't know enough about people
in those professions.)

I don't count 15-year old mothers because most can't take care of their
babies without a lot of help and because in most societies, it's
irresponsible to become pregnant when 14.  I don't count 19-year old
mothers unless they planned to get married and then planned to get

  ***(I don't want to think about those who have gotten pregnant through
  forceful rape.)

>Maybe we should be agreeing with Leah, but making the change just feels
>so unnatural for my generation.

I've lost track of what agreeing with Leah on this would mean, but your
generation is little different from any other one. :)

>(I'm 21.)

(I'm 57.)  ;) 

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 04:53:37 EDT
Subject: White "African Americans"

>From Leah Perl Shollar in v44n30

      Actually, friends I know qualified for a special mortgage rate
      being "African-Americans" although they were Causcasian; the form
      did not ask for race.  The assumption that African American =
      black was implicit.  In any case, they were authentically

Around 30 years ago, I knew a Sephardic Jew who applied for and received
some kind of student financial aid that was reserved for Hispanics.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 44 Issue 39