Volume 46 Number 19
                    Produced: Mon Dec 13 17:12:36 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

ATID Seminar: Experiential Torah Teaching
         [R. Jeffrey Saks]
Expecting Perfection (3)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Binyomin Segal, Binyomin Segal]
Halacha Conference
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Hanuka Gelt's Origin?
Looking for a Yeshiva
         [Carolynn Feldblum]
Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt


From: R. Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 13:48:36 +0200
Subject: ATID Seminar: Experiential Torah Teaching

Seminar on Experiential Torah Teaching
Conducted by Rabbi Mitch Heifetz

(Dear Colleagues: Please help us promote this upcoming seminar by
forwarding this announcement to young teachers* and people preparing for
careers in Jewish education.)

If you are preparing for a career in Jewish education, join us for a
one-time introductory seminar on Experiential Teaching in Jewish
Studies. Non-frontal teaching methods which engage both teacher and
student in a shared learning experience can help talmidim develop their
religious, ethical, and emotional life skills. Every teacher, whether in
yeshiva, seminary, day school or youth organization can benefit greatly
by learning the principles, methodology and techniques of non-frontal
value transfer. Visit www.atid.org/seminar.asp for more information.

Wednesday night, December 22, 2004 (Motzai 10 BeTevet) 7:30-9:30 PM OU
Israel Center, 22 Keren HaYesod St., Jerusalem

The seminar is free, will be conducted in English, and is open to young
men and women preparing for careers in Jewish education. A delicious
dessert buffet will follow the seminar for those who pre-registered.

To register or for more information:
02-567-1719 or email: <atid@...>

*-While geared to young teachers, the program is open to seasoned
educators as well. The evening is sponsored by ATID and the Jewish
Values Education Institiute of the OU Israel Center.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2004 12:45:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Expecting Perfection

 >From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
 >We can not expect our teachers to be perfect - and doing so is unfair
 >to them, and sets everyone up for failure. Judaism is about striving
 >for perfection, not reaching it.

Agreed ... whitewashing our gedolei torah as having been perfect sets up
unreasonable expectations of existing rabbis.  That said, I think that
the example of Moshe rabbeinu is that anyone who publicly affiliates
himself as a rabbi or leader is judged more harshly for his
shortcomings.  Though this is probably not fair, I do think that it is
reasonable and, ultimately, in the best interests of our community.


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 14:03:42 -0600
Subject: Re: Expecting Perfection

Ari Trachtenberg wrote:

> I think that the example of Moshe rabbeinu is that anyone who publicly
> affiliates himself as a rabbi or leader is judged more harshly for his
> shortcomings.  Though this is probably not fair, I do think that it is
> reasonable and, ultimately, in the best interests of our community.

It is not in the best interest of our community if it means that only
people who are "perfect" are willing to become rabbis and leaders. These
are people who are either fooling themselves or lying to everyone around
them. They are not perfect, they are merely giving that impression.

Would it not be better for our community to acknowledge the need for
imperfect leaders, and find leaders who are willing to acknowledge their
own imperfections?


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 16:15:32 -0600
Subject: Re: Expecting Perfection

Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
> Of course ... I would by far prefer a leader who acknowledges
> imperfections ... but I think it's also important to realize that
> the imperfections of a leader have larger consequences than the
> imperfections of a follower.  The classic example (lehavdil) are
> the rabbis who "accepted" the assassination of Rabin.

And I, of course, agree that there are certain flaws that should
disqualify a person from being a leader. I'm just not entirely sure what
those flaws are. And I certainly do not think that coming late to
davening is one such. A discussion defining which flaws are sufficient
to disqualify a person from leadership would, I think, be a productive
and important one.

Just to get things started, I might suggest a look at Kings Shaul and
Dovid. Both made mistakes, but only one's mistakes were such that we are
told that Hashem regretted making him king.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 11:32:32 +0200
Subject: Halacha Conference

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Department of Jewish Thought

An International Research Conference
The Halakhah and Philosophy of Halakhah:
a Multi-disciplinary Perspective
The Second Conference on Philosophy of Halakhah*

will be held on

Tuesday-Thursday, the 4th to the 6th of January, 2005
(23-25 Tevet, 5765).

At the Hebrew University at the Center for Jewish Studies, Rabin Building
and at the Van Leer Institute at 43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem.

The conference will deal with the relationship of diverse fields of
halakhic studies particularly with the contributions of these
inter-related fields to discourse in Halakhic Philosophy

The Academic Committee

Dr. Avinoam Rosenak (Chair), Prof. Ya'akov Blidstein, Prof. Aviezer
Ravitzky, Prof. Shalom Rosenberg, Prof. Tamar Ross, Prof. Yohanan

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

9.00 - 9.30 Registration
9.30 - 12.00
Chair: Avinoam Rosenak
Rachel Elior, Isaiah Gafni

Opening Session
Moshe Halbertal: Philosophy of Halakhah and Philosophy of Law
Yohanan Silman: Philosophic Models and Halakhic Practice
David Weiss Halivni: Can a believing and observant Jew adopt the
critical Method?

12:00-12:15  Break

Scripture and Halakhic Inquiry - 12.15 - 13.30

Chair: Yohanan Silman
Israel Knohl: The "Sanctuary of Silence": A Critique of the Concept
of Prayer
Aryeh Strikovsky: "You Shall Cut Off Her Hand"

13.30 - 15.00 Lunch Break

[II] The Philosophy of Law and Halakah - 15.00 - 16.45

Session A: Between Ethics and Halakhah
Chair: Aviad Hacohen
Daniel Sperber: Let Mercy Push the Law Aside: the Halakhah Confronts
Moral Issues
Shimshon Ettinger: Jewish Law and Its Relationship To Halakhah
Amihai Radzyner: Can legal research help Halakhic research? - A renewed

16.45 - 17.00 Break
17.00 - 18.45
Session B: The Halakhah and the International Law
Chair: Shimshon Ettinger
Asher Maoz:   Can Judaism Serve as a Source for Human Rights
Aviad Hacohen: Vive la Differance! - Between Philosophy of Law and
Philosophy of Jewish Law
Amos Israel:    When the world changes: International Law in Halakhah

18.45 - 19.00  Break
19.00 - 21.00 Panel Debate
Considerations in Halakhic Rulings: Values, Formalism and Leadership
Chair: Avinoam Rosenak
 Izhak Englard
 David Hartman
 Aviezer Ravitzky

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
        The Halakhah and the Natural Sciences
9.00 - 10.45
Halakhic Development and Thought in Light of Science and Philosophy of
Chair: Hanan Alexander
Ariel Furstenberg: Halakhic Development through the Prism of Philosophy
of Science: Transformation or Progression?".
Yoram Kirsh: The Exact Sciences and the Philosophy of the Halakhah
David Golinkin: The Use of Science in 20th-Century Responsa

10.45 - 11.00  Break
[IV] Education and Halakhah
11.00 - 12.00
Norms, Laws and Halakhic rulings in light of The Philosophy of Education
Chair: David Resnick
Hanan Alexander: The Halakhah as an Educational Category
Avinoam Rosenak: Education and Philosophy of Halakhah in Light of Joseph
J. Shwab

12.00 - 12.15 Break
[V] Halakhic Research, Sociological and Anthropological Inquiry
12.15 - 14.00
Session A: Ritual and Halkhah
Chair: Nissan Rubin
Ithamar Gruenwald: The Study of Halakah as a Ritual: Methodological
Tamar El-Or:  A Temple in your Kitchen: /Hafrashat Hallah /as a public Ritual
Adiel Kadari: The Contribution of Ritual Studies to the Philosophy of
Halakhah the Case of/ Birkot ha-Torah /

14.00 - 15.00 Lunch Break
15.00 - 17.15
Session B: Re-reading the Mitzvot Through the Prism of Sociology and
Chair: Tamar El-Or
Nissan Rubin: Approaching Talmudic Texts through Sociological and
Anthropological Theories
Ariel Picard: The Halakhic ruling and the concept of Shabbat: a Levi
Strausian Perspective
Shalem Yahalom: Halakhah and Demography: Testimony of Relatives as a
Test Case
Harvey E. Goldberg: Anthropological Perspectives on the Prohibition of
Mixing Meat and Milk

17.15 - 17.30  Break
17.30 - 19.45
Session C: Identity and Norms in Halakhic Research
Chair: Ariel Picard
Yehuda Goodman: Between Halakhah and Practice: Jewish Conversion and
Power Relations in Israel
Floriane Chinsky: The Tension between Religious Law and Principles of
Gideon Aran: /Hesed shel Emet/: Recent Trends in Haredi Religiosity

19.45 - 20.00 Break
[VI] Feminism and Gender
20.00 - 21.15
A Gender Reading of the Halakhah
Chair: Floriane chinsky
Alick Isaacs: //Kvod Hatsibbur/: A Contextualist Approach
Rachel Gordin: Cultural theory and gender studies as a basis for Halakhic

Thursday, January 6, 2005
[VII] Classic Philosophy and Halakhic Research
9.00 - 10.45
Session A: Logic and Aristotelian Philosophy in the Halakhah
Chair: Shlomo Naeh
Aviram Ravitsky: Medieval Logic, the Thirteen Exegetical Principles, and
Talmudic Methodology
Izhak Brand: Philosophy at the Service of the Halakhah in a Changing
Hannah Kasher: Philosophic-Aristotelian Discourse on "Intention:; Its
Halakhic Significance in Maimonides.

10.45 - 11.00 Break
11.00 - 12.45
Session B: Christian and Philosophical Elements in Halakhic
Chair: Hannah Kasher
Yossi David: Memory and Knowledge according to Plato, St. Paul and,
R. Yochanan
Admiel Kosman & Reimond Licht: Paul, Buber; and Existentialist Readings
of the Halakhah
Shlomo Naeh: The Commandments and the World-to-Come According to
the Last /Mishnah /of/ Makkot/

12.45 - 13.45 Lunch Break
[VIII] Modern Philosophy and Halakhic Thought
13.45 - 16.00
Session A: Historiosophy phenomenology and Ethics in Halakhic
Chair: Yossi David
Michah Goodman: Halakhah and the idea of progress
Stephen Wald: The phenomenology of rabbinic consciousness as a
prolegomenon to the history of Halakhic philosophy
Alan Brill: Values or Formalism?: The influence of Scheler and Dilthey
on the philosophy of halakhah
Joelle Hansel: Hermeneutics: Emmanuel Levinas on Halakha and Jewish

16.00- 16.15 Break
16.15 - 17.15
Session B: Philosophy of Language and Halakhic Analysis
Chair: Joelle Hansel
Menachem Fisch: What can the Philosophy of Language Learn from the
Philosophy of Halakhah?
Meir Buzaglo: Halakha Science and Language

17.15 - 17.30 Break
[IX] Halakhah and Psychology
17.30 - 19.45
Halakhic Ruling in Light of Psychology and Psychoanalytic Analysis
Chair: Meir Buzaglo
Stanley Schneider: Psychoanalytic Insights into the Halakhic Decision-
Making Process
Maoz Kehanah: "Personality and Halakha: Legal decision and personal
Mordechai Rotenberg: The Dialogical Concept of /Al Tikri/ as a Basis of
Paradoxical Halakhah
Hanoch Ben Pazi: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Study of the
Philosophy of Jewish Law

19.45 - 20.00 Break
20.00 - 21.15
[X] Final Session: Halakhah and Kabbalah
Chair: Prof. Rachel Elior
Shalom Rosenberg:  Concerning Research of Kabbalah and Halakhah
Moshe Idel: R. Joseph Karo: Halakhah and Kabbalah


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 19:38:57 -0600
Subject: Hanuka Gelt's Origin?

Shalom, All:

            I recently mentioned to some colleagues that the origins of
giving kids Hanuka gelt (specifically coins) were rooted in Antiochus,
forcing Jews to use coins with a graven image on it, i.e., his own, as
the supposed "god-king" and that giving presents of coins harks back to
our regaining the power to mint coins that were acceptable to Jews.

            However, except for a brief reference to coinage in the
non-canonized Book of Maccabees, I haven't found a source that backs up
my contention.

            Can anybody help?
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: <KrauseyF@...> (Carolynn Feldblum)
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 08:59:48 EST
Subject: Looking for a Yeshiva

I am looking for a yeshiva in Jerusalem that caters to retired
professional men who never had the opportunity to learn full time but do
now.  The Yeshiva should be welcoming to Americans but should be of a
higher level of learning in hebrew as well as daily available chavrusas.
In other words it should be structured and serious for those who want to
come to Israel for 2-3 months to learn rather than hitting the beaches
in Florida.

Please email me privately and thanks,


From: HB <halfull2@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 20:31:17 -0500
Subject: Origin of burying Treif Silverware in dirt

Does anyone know the source of this custom?

1) Where it originated
2) When it originated
3) Why it originated
4) What it accomplishes
5) Length of time required to Kasher the silverware

I remember my Hungarian mother-in-law keeping a flowerpot full of Treif
Silverware but I never got around to asking her why. My wife on the
other hand says she remembers my mother doing it.  But lets leave the
Bubbe Meises out of the question.

Thanks, HB


End of Volume 46 Issue 19