Volume 45 Number 44
                    Produced: Mon Nov  1  5:49:58 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adon Olam and Yigdal
         [Joel Rich]
Coffee with non-Jews
         [Alexis Rosoff Treeby]
         [Reuben Rudman]
Kabbalat Shabbat
         [Martin Stern]
kashrut in ElAl
         [Eli Turkel]
Modern Orthodoxy (5)
         [Frank Silbermann, Ben Katz, Shinnar, Meir, Stan Tenen, Bill


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 09:06:54 EST
Subject: Re: Adon Olam and Yigdal

> Why are Adon Olam or Yigdal said at the end of Shabbes and Yom Tov
> evening and morning prayers (or for that matter, every morning at the
> beginning of services)?

According to Rav YD Soloveitchick ZT"L we show our eagerness to engage
in our next round of prayer by concluding this round with the opening
prayer of the next round.

Joel Rich


From: <Shuanoach@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 13:35:59 -0500
Subject: Coffee with non-Jews

There was a discussion a while back about this - i just noticed in the
sefer of hanhagot of the Ar"i by R. Jacob Zemach, Naggid u-Metzaveh,
that he says on p. 93 of the jerusaLEM 1965 edition that the Ar"i said
that coffee from non-Jews one should not drink because of bishulei
goyim. [he gives the reason too].



From: Alexis Rosoff Treeby <alexis@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 05:07:28 +0000
Subject: Hillel

On 26/10/2004, 09:14:08, Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...> wrote:

> The problem with Hillel is that its supposed to be for all Jews.  It
> tends to be good about being for reform or conservative or renewal or
> non affiliated but it often ends up breaking down when it comes to Jews
> who are frum especially in schools with a very tiny frum population
> going (I'm not talking about Brooklyn College for example).

The issue isn't any institutional bias against religious Jews. It's due
to the fact that Hillel (in my experience) is very much demand-led. It
provides what students at that particular college ask for. So at
colleges with tiny frum populations, there's rarely the demand for
Orthodox services, kosher food, etc--and it becomes a self-perpetuating
cycle, because observant students want to go to colleges where these
services will be provided. Where the demand exists, Hillel can and does
provide appropriate services and programming. (I have heard of a couple
of campuses where the demands of Orthodox groups were not met, but in
these cases, a great deal of the problem seemed to be the student

The growth of Chabad houses has presented an additional wrinkle--I've
recently encountered the concept that "Hillel is for Reform and
Conservative, Chabad is for Orthodox". And that does bother me, both
because I'm ambivalent about Chabad's role as sole representative of
Orthodoxy even where alternatives exist(*), and because I think it's a
good thing for all Jews on a campus--Orthodox and not--to work together
in certain areas.

(* - This is not a slight on Chabad or the work that they do; merely a
dislike of the "Chabad = Orthodox" idea and a preference for a certain
amount of diversity.)



From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 18:26:27 +0300
Subject: Honey

The question as to why a bee's honey is considered kosher was raised and
discussed about 40 years by Rabbi Moshe Tendler, who as most readers of
MJ know, is both a Talmid Chacham and a well-known biologist.  Although
I do not recall the exact details of his answer, it was answered.
Perhaps one of the other MJ readers recall more details.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 13:47:06 +0000
Subject: Re: Kabbalat Shabbat

on 31/10/04 1:01 pm, <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel) wrote:

> This is the reason why the Shliach Tzibbur leads Kabbalas Shabbos from
> the central Bima rather than from the Amud where he normally would lead
> T'filos.  This is a public demonstration that the Kabbalas Shabbos is
> not to be considered a part of T'fila B'Tzibbur.  Therefore, when it
> comes to Maariv he leaves the Central Bima and leads the Maariv from the
> Amud below as is proper for T'fila B'Tzibbur

In our shul, and all those of German origin of which I am aware, the
shats only goes up to the bimah for Lekha Dodi and returns to the amud
for Barekhu. Perhaps saying tehillim from the amud is a regular event
and so does not require any change (we say a few chapters every day
before shacharit for example).

Martin Stern


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 14:09:22 +0200
Subject: kashrut in ElAl

For a discussion of the OU kashrut on ElAl flights originating in NY

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 10/31/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 06:49:22 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy

As I see it, the Modern Orthodox believe in being part of general
society to the extent that halacha allows, whereas Haredi Orthodox wish
to isolate themselves from the general society to the extent that
parnussa allows.

Frank Silbermann	New Orleans, Louisiana		<fs@...>

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 10:27:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy

         The classic definition of modern orthodoxy by its leading
proponents (altho nowadays modern is too modern a word, so centrist is
often used; but this makes no sense as my friend David Gleicher points
out, because there is no one to the left) is that we are Zionistic,
place at least equal emphasis on beyn adam lachavero as well as beyn
adam lemakom and are willing to engage the secular society/and see value
in at least some aspects of the modern world.

         That being said, I believe there is a more subtle difference:
the notion of whether there can be "too much" halacha.  For a charedi
the answer is generally not - no chumrah should go unmet.  For the MO, I
believe the answer can be a qualified yes: I am not going to eat 2.25
matzot at the seder BEFORE my meal no matter who says the shuir is
"really" 3/4 of a matzah and that I need to eat 3 shiurim to be yotzay
kol hadayot.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Shinnar, Meir <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 09:39:40 -0400
Subject: RE: Modern Orthodoxy

> I am also wary of defining modern orthodoxy by the embracement of
> secular values. For example is a person modern orthodox because they
> learned computer languages and practice programming? How is that
> different than the Tanaiim and Emoraiim (Talmudic scholars) who were
> woodcutters and shoemakers. My point is that in every generation there
> will non-teaching jobs and these jobs will be secular. How then can we
> define a modern orthodoxy movement based on its secular jobs when
> every generation has them.  Indeed the patriarch Jacob defined Zevulun
> as a sea-merchant--does that make Zevulun modern-orthodoxy.

Some of us would argue (precisely on those grounds) that there is no
difference between the tanaiim and amoraim and modern Orthodoxy - and
indeed between modern Orthodoxy and classical Orthodoxy - and that it is
RW Orthodoxy that is a modern development (as radical in many ways as

Meir Shinnar 

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 09:18:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy

Again, I'm very pleased to find that I agree almost entirely with what
Russell Hendel has written.  I'm going to <snip> and leave just a few
sentences that I think do need additional discussion.  This doesn't
change the thrust of Russell's comments, however.

>I am also wary of defining modern orthodoxy by the embracement of
>secular values. For example is a person modern orthodox because they
>learned computer languages and practice programming? How is that
>different than the Tanaiim and Emoraiim (Talmudic scholars) who were
>woodcutters and shoemakers. My point is that in every generation there
>will non-teaching jobs and these jobs will be secular. How then can we
>define a modern orthodoxy movement based on its secular jobs when every
>generation has them.  Indeed the patriarch Jacob defined Zevulun as a
>sea-merchant--does that make Zevulun modern-orthodoxy.

I think one of the major problems that we have today in fully
understanding and appreciating Chazal, traditional teachings, et al., is
based on a misunderstanding of the importance of work, and what work is.

When a person such as a Tana or an Emora cuts wood or makes shoes, they
are working with their hands in a "hands-on trade".  Their mind and
their body must be coordinated.  Their hands are the tools for somatic
learning, and this is a vital part of all learning.

When a modern person learns computer languages and works at programming
(or is an accountant, a businessman, or a mathematician, e.g.), they are
not using their hands and mind together in the same way.  Head-work
makes use of the hands merely as slaves to do the wishes of the mind.
It doesn't require the sort of tactile, somatic feedback from the hands
that hands-on work requires.

One of the reasons that my work seems so difficult to some (even though
it isn't), is because most people these days use their hands as their
servants, and not as part of their thinking process per se.  But in the
world up until the past century, almost everyone worked with their
hands, and the sort of skills and world-view that comes from this
hands-on experience is the world-view that's assumed by Chazal and our
traditional teachings.

In other words, it's only (in general, there are plenty of exceptional
people) people who work with their hands in a hands-on trade that are
going to have a natural ability to recognize the context and metaphor
necessary for proper understanding of traditional teachings.  Without
hands-on experience, many descriptions of reality are necessarily
reduced to metaphor and poetry, or reduced only to their legalistic
"skin".  Thus, our traditional teachings become increasingly divorced
from their full, and original intended, meaning, when read and studied
by people who do not have hands-on experience, and who do not use their
hands as part of their learning mind.

So, it makes a very big difference whether a person is learning computer
languages or repairing shoes.  If I'm right about this, then hands-on
"vocational" training must be part of our education in order for us to
fully understand, to fully appreciate, the original intended meaning in
the original context of our teachings.  When we divorce learning from
our hands, we leave half of the world (the objective world, outside of
our mind) out of the equation.  And as we all know, "errors of omission"
can just as easily lead one astray as "errors of commission".

The strongest example I can give is with regard to the sexual
experience.  There is no way that any person can comprehend sexuality
without experiencing it.  We don't expect children who have not reached
puberty to be able to make sense of issues regarding sexuality.  I won't
continue with this metaphor, because it may be problematic on this list,
but the parallel is simple.  There are some things -- no matter how
diligently studied -- that cannot be properly understood without
personal experience.  Experience is not a head-trip. It must be somatic,
and it must involve feeling.  This is why hands-on learning is


From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 08:39:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy

A number of posts have appeared on this topic.  "Modern Orthodox:" seems
to mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean.  Usually it is used in
one or another simply as a synonym for "schwach"--weak in observance.
This is unfortunate.

When the shul here in Nashvile sought out, explicitly, a modern orthodox
rabbi (the previous rav is a well-known Lubavitcher) they hired someone
without a beard, with a law-school degree and so on.  Thus they were
shocked when he insisted on checking vegetables for bugs, and other
points in halakha that often go by the wayside here.  He clearly was not
what they thought the term meant.

I think a more productive distinction is offered in the Michtav M'eliahu
v.3 where he discusses a seminary in Israel based on the Berlin model.
He posits two approaches, the "Frankfort" approach and the yeshiva
approach.  These are his terms, not mine.  The Frankfort approach is to
encourage learning in a university as "lechatila"--a positive good.  The
downside, he says, is that few, even when they studied in the yeshivas
of Lithuania and Poland, become "gedolei baTorah."  The up-side is that
few members of the community abandon observance.

On the flip side the yeshiva approach is to "ossur" all university
learning and concentrate on producing gedolei haTorah.  He aknowledges
that many will be lost to observance altogether but justifies it as
worthwhile, (mis-)quoting the Rambam "let a thousand fools die and one
wise man benefit."

Today it is rare to find a rabbi of any stature (at least in my
experience) who views exposure to secular culture as anything but
deleterious to obsevance, much less as enobling in its own right.  Yet
that, imvho, is the distinction between "Modern Orthodox" and anything

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


End of Volume 45 Issue 44