Volume 47 Number 08
                    Produced: Fri Feb 25  6:03:15 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Collaborative development of a Luach
Disagreeing with a Gadol
         [David Eisen]
Early American Jewish History
         [Nathan Lamm]
Early New York Jewish Community (2)
         [Leah Perl, Robert Rubinoff]
Early New York Jews
         [Carl Singer]
Is the Great Divide upon us?
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Noam Elimelech - first time we know of in English
         [f smiles]
Pores mapa
Seudath Purim (Festive Purim Meal)
         [Russell J Hendel]
Staying in Manhattan
         [Alan Rubin]


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 15:34:59 +0200
Subject: Collaborative development of a Luach

Jonathan Baker:
> Maybe you could produce Zionist and non-Zionist forms of the data, with
> & without the State of Israel-linked holidays (Yom Haatzma'ut, Yom
> Hazikaron, Yom Yerushalayim, Rabin's yahrzeit)

The Tamar luach (currently) supports options for Israel/Diaspora observance.
There is no option to omit HolyDays of one type or another.

(Interesting that you lumped Rabin's yahrzeit with Yom Haatzma'ut, Yom 
Hazikaron, Yom Yerushalayim).

I hope to incorporate data from the Chabad luach and Ezras Torah (separately 
of course) luach as well when I get a round tuit and finalize permissions 

All suggestions gratefully accepted (but not necessarily implemented).

-- Yakir.


From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 12:35:09 +0200
Subject: RE: Disagreeing with a Gadol

Batya wrote:

>In Perkei Avot, we're instructed to "find ourselves a rabbi."  That
>means that we should choose a rabbi, a rabbinical authority for
>ourselves.  Nobody has the right to force us to follow the psak of a
>rabbi we haven't chosen.  Even the greatest gdolim of the same
>generation disagree with each other at times, so all we have to say as
>a reply is: "He's not my rabbi."

This had always been my understanding of this issue until I heard HaRav
Hershel Schachter, Shlit"a, disagree and rule that the Gadol HaDor - or
a consensus of the Gedolei HaDor&#8211; has/have equal if not superior
status to one's personal rabbi/posek. You can access the mp3 of this
shiur delivered in Bet Shemesh 2 years ago at the following URL:
http://www.bmtl.org/online.html (the shiur is entitled Daat Torah).

B'virkat HaTorah,
David Eisen 


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 05:37:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Early American Jewish History

"What was more amazing is when the Brits took the city over, they didn't
change the rules, which they normally did, to throw the Jews out of
their territory, like they did back home."

By the time the British took over New Amsterdam, Jews were allowed to
live in England again as well. Jews had difficulties in some of the
other colonies, but were never kept out or expelled. Holland, of course,
was Europe's most tolerant country at the time.

"In 1654, when the Jews came to New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant wanted them to
speak Yiddish only, force them to wear yellow armbands and live in a

Doubtful, as these were Sefardim who didn't speak Yiddish. Stuyvestant
wanted to kick them out entirely, and I doubt he ever heard of Jewish
badges (yellow armbands wouldn't be invented for a while, although
badges were in use in some parts of Europe).

"As investors in the Dutch West India Company, however, the burghers, in
charge back in Holland had other ideas and told him to back off."

Not the complete story- there were a number of Jewish Dutch investors in
the West India Company who had a say in what was, however, more a
business decision more than a tolerance one.

"In the meantime, they needed a place to daven because they got here
about two weeks before the yomim noraim, and the Dutch Reformed Church
gave them a place to do so."

They rented a small building to use as a bet knesset at first. The
Church wasn't involved.

Nachum Lamm


From: Leah Perl <leahperl@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 10:00:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Early New York Jewish Community

> In 1654, when the Jews came to New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant wanted them to
> speak Yiddish only, force them to wear yellow armbands and live in a
> ghetto.

I'd find Yiddish hard to believe, as these were Jews from
Spain/Portugal.  I'm sure they knew about as much Yiddish as we know
Ladino (and probably less!).  As for the armbands and ghettos -- Holland
allowed for religious freedom within its borders.  He actually wanted to
expel them.  A little different.

Leah Perl Shollar

From: Robert Rubinoff <rubinoff@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 12:53:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Early New York Jewish Community

> >From the beginning, in New York, there was the only religious freedom in
> the colonies, and the Jews tried to emulate the Protestants as much as
> possible in their worship because they didn't want to be all that
> different. Puritans and Protestants came here for religious freedom, for
> themselves, not for Jews, and the fact that New Amsterdam granted them
> religious freedom was amazing. What was more amazing is when the Brits
> took the city over, they didn't change the rules, which they normally
> did, to throw the Jews out of their territory, like they did back home.

In 1664, when the British captured New Amsterdam, the ban on Jews in
England had already been repealed.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 08:18:30 -0500
Subject: Early New York Jews

I had the good fortunate to attend a 350th anniversary celebration /
lecture at Congregation Shearith Israel recently.  The host generously
gave a fine book "The Remnant of Israel" by Rabbi Marc D. Angel to all
attendees -- I would suggest this book to those interested in early
history of Jews in New York.

BTW, I recently read of earlier Jewish presence in the American

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
See my web site:  www.ProcessMakesPerfect.net      


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 09:29:12 -0500
Subject: RE: Is the Great Divide upon us?

On Feb 24, 2005, at 5:25 AM, Bernard Raab <beraab@...>wrote:
> I wonder what sort of state is envisioned by those who will accept no
> compromise on their vision. Certainly it is not democracy. Do they
> wish for a theocracy, a Jewish version of Saudi Arabia? Or does the
> "flowering of our redemption" require that all real power reside in
> the clergy, a la Iran? What is the model for their vision? Have they
> thought it out in any depth?

I thought though that if Israel was run according to Torah Israel would
NOT be a democratic state. After all, and correct me please if I am
wrong, I thought that according to Torah non Jews could only live in
Israel if they followed the Noachide laws.  So maybe in this case a
"theocracy" is not like a Jewish Saudi Arabia but a world driven by
Torah law.  The problem is, that before Moshiach comes there's so much
divergence of opinion with what that means but certainly a lot of it is
explained fairly straight forwardly in Tanach or Gemora.  (Not that I've
read Gemora much to know but it seems reasonable)

Shoshana Ziskind


From: f smiles <fsmiles@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 13:10:00 +0200
Subject: Noam Elimelech - first time we know of in English

Get a taste of the Noam Elimelech at 

FIrst time you can read this hasidic classic on the net in English.  PS,
talking about Hasidut in English, Rav Zev Reichman ( in charge of new
program Mechina for yu students ) has written about hasidut .  check out
first 9 chapters at http://www.613.org/hasidism/


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 15:50:24 +0200
Subject: Pores mapa

> [Question: Does pores mapa require covering all the food or just all the
> bread. It was unclear to me from the sugya how to interpret. Avi]

My understanding is that it meant covering all the food.  This signaled
that the meal (from now) was in honour of Shabbat.

In those times the food was brought in on tables (usually) for each
person and thus bringing in the table signified the start of the meal,
removing it signified the end.  According to the accepted opinion this
was not necessary but it was sufficient (preferable) to pores mapa.

This remains one of the reasons for covering the challot today, and the
reason for those who "hold" like the GR"A and others who do not put the
challot on the table until after kidush. Others ensure to no food other
than the (covered) challot is on the table.

It is also reflected during the Seder as one of the reasons for
covering/uncovering matzot, removing / returning etc the Seder plate
during the early stages of the seder. (Kids: How come we're removing the
"table" - we haven't eaten anything substantial ?)  Which is why one
year at that stage I removed the table settings of plates and cutlery as


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 23:29:36 -0500
Subject: RE: Seudath Purim (Festive Purim Meal)

This is in response to Joseph Mosseri's very fine and thorough analysis
of the issue in Volume 47 Number 5.

Several times on this list I have advocated an approach by REASONS vs
AUTHORITIES. In fact the Rambam in the Laws of Courts makes it clear
that MAJORITY RULE is NOT a majority of PEOPLE but rather a MAJORITY of
arguments. Let me make this clearer: Suppose 90 Rabbis all say position
X for reason A but the other 10 Rabbis hold position Y for reasons B-K;
then the law is to follow position Y not X. For the majority is
determined by the number of arguments not the number of people (See e.g.
Rambam, Courts, 10:5).

With this background let us examine the issue of the Festive Purim meal.
Everyone agrees that there is a Rabbinic commandment (based on verses in
the prophets) to physically enjoy oneself on the Sabbath. Hence we are
not only obligated to have a Sabbath meal on Friday night, but we are
also obligated not to have a major meal on Friday afternoon so that we
may enjoy the Friday meal.

It would immediately follow that we should not have the Festive Purim
meal in the afternoon. Mixing the meals (purim going into night and
finishing as a Sabbath meal) really doesnt accomplish anything. In fact
it violates the prohibition of "bundling" commandments. The Sabbath and
Purim meal should be two separate performances both of which we should

Joseph, in citing the many Sefardic authorities, also cited a
counter-argument(Which I am expanding). If you eat your festive purim
meal in the morning then you will not be able to give money to the poor.
I would go a step further: If the poor dont get money Friday morning
then they will not have a festive Sabbath meal. Hence the sefardic
authorities BECAUSE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE POOR preferred to mix the
Purim and Sabbath meal rather than risk some poor people not getting
food and having a consequent bad Sabbath.

This is the type of balance that communal leaders do all the time. I
think given the strong considerations (food for the poor) it is a proper
response. But now that we have insights into the reasons for the two
positions there is no reason why we cant accomodate both of them.

There are several ways to do this: If a particular person is not a
charity distributor (like most of us) there is no reason they cant have
their festive purim meal before noon and their sabbath meal by night. If
all they do is give money they can give that money prior to
noon. Another alternative is what I personally do: I spend most of Purim
reading the megillah...so at one point in the morning I will wash and
make a blessing over bread and then eat in the car and before and after
the various readings (Usually I exchange foods with people). I would of
course only advocate this for a person whose time is used up leining the
whole day.  There is no issue that this is not a meal since the foods
exchanged with the people I read are varied and of sufficient
quantity(As far as I know there is no requirement on Purim to eat the
meal at a festively set table which of course I am missing) Again I am
only advocating this behavior to people in special circumstances (eg Not
a charity distributor or an on the go reader with no time---when Purim
doesnt fall on Friday usually I have time to a meal at the end of the

My point here is that we cant just blindly accept a majority opinion.
Furthermore we cannot engage in politics (I have not even mentioned
whether I am Ashkenaz vs Sefardic). The real issue is to get to know the
reasons for the laws and to find means of meeting all obligations.

I cant but help but notice that we had a similar discussion on smoking a
few issues back. We phrased the issue as "can a gadol be wrong". I think
the present approach---what are the reason? can we provide alternatives
that meet all needs?---is slightly toned down (less confrontational) but
of the same flavor. Rabbinic law must always be applied with its reasons
and goals in mind

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 21:38:00 +0000
Subject: Staying in Manhattan

I understand that there a some Jewish people living in Manhattan. Now
this may seem like a silly request to some of you New Yorkers but where
would be a good place to stay for someone coming to Manhattan as a
tourist to be covenient for touristy type things but also to be sure of
getting a minyan?




End of Volume 47 Issue 8