Volume 47 Number 89
                    Produced: Thu May 12  5:29:05 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Educational Testing AP committees on Shabbath
         [Russell J Hendel]
The "Great Divide"
         [Stuart Pilichowski]
Great Divide in RZ
         [Eli Turkel]
Is there a "great divide" in religious Zionism?
         [David Ziants]
Israel Independence Day at the J Site + 105 Hotsites
         [Jacob Richman]
Mixed Pews
         [David Riceman]
Shir Hashirim time of reading
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Strange Wedding Minhag


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 21:37:13 -0400
Subject: RE: Educational Testing AP committees on Shabbath

Janet Rosenbaum asked a while back about getting on the educational
testing committees that mark the AP exams. (They require grading for 7
consecutive days and hence the shabbath).

I also was rejected for being a grader.

Technically I believe that the AP folks are correct. American law
requires sabbath accomodations but only when there is not "excess"
burden on the employer.

In this case there is only an honorarium (not much money) involved.
Grading so many exams requires continual committee meetings for one
week.To take a break would require putting everyone up one more day...a
big expense

However you can still contribute if you want to. I know people who
compose questions for the educational testing center. They accept
questions from everyone (and dont care if you delayed till Sunday to
write them down (grin)). They also pay nicely per question.

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


From: Stuart Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Sun, 08 May 2005 18:29:55 +0000
Subject: The "Great Divide"

Ben Katz writes:

"One last point: non-observant branches of Judaism point to the
divisions within Orthodoxy and argue that those divisions are as great
as those between Orthodoxy and Conservative and Reform.  Let's not prove
them right!  I may not agree with a Hardeli, but I will eat in his/her
home, daven in his/her shul, etc., and hope that he/she will do the same
with me.  The same cannot be said for the nonobservant."

I consider myself modern orthodox. I wear a kippah serugah. I don't
expect Haredim, yeshivish, litvish, black hat, etc (you get the picture)
to eat in my home and trust my kitchen. That's what I've experienced.

There are many shades of non-observancy. I'd rather eat in the home of
the non-observant who claims they keep a strictly kosher home/kitchen
than risk embarrassing them by refraining from eating off their plates -
no matter how diplomatic I might be in explaining my hesitation.

I won't daven in a shul that doesn't offer the tefillah for the Medinah
or for the IDF.

I was recently at the airport for a flight to Israel and a fellow tried
organizing a minyan. I noticed after about a half an hour he was only
going after people with kippot. I said to him that most of the people
here even if they're not wearing kippot are Jewish and would probably
love to be asked to participate in a minyan. He looked at me like I was
from another planet.  "Only frum Jews can be counted towards a minyan,"
he said.

Sorry, that's not my brand of Yiddishkeit or menschlichkeit.

Am I wrong? Am I a cause of the "great divide?"

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion, Israel


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 12:14:36 +0200
Subject: Great Divide in RZ

> Ben Katz wrote movingly about divisions: "I agree with Mr. Kadish's
> analysis of the 2 camps, but disagree that they need to split. There are
> enough divisions already in Judaism..."

> What can I say? That's exactly how I felt *before* aliyah... :-)
> Seth Kadish

I think this great divide has been greatly exaggerated. In today's JP
they have an article on Hallel on Yom Haazmaut. With one exception all
the rabbis of RZ advocate continuing saying Hallel with/without a
beracha. In spite of the stories all the families I know get along even
when they disagree over disengagement.

As to politics many RZ have voted for other parties for years. The split
in Mafdal might kill the party in the next election though my guess is
that not too many will leave Mafdal because of the split that have not
already left it.

Sorry to say but disagreements have become a way of life. Merkaz HaRav
Yeshiva was split into two with Yeshivat Har HaMor.  On the Charedi side
the political party hs formally split into two though it is hard to
believe that they wont kiss and makeup before the next elections. The
stories coming out of Ponovezh Yeshiva are pretty bad with even some
violence and calling police.

Just to make sure that we continue the RZ - Charedi fights the RZ paper
had a frontal attack on R. Elyashiv for his attitude towards Gaza and
then a defense by some leaders in Gaza.

As seth says once one makes Aliyah one lives with these
disagreements.Achdut is good for a sermon but not much more.

Eli Turkel


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 08 May 2005 01:06:36 +0300
Subject: Is there a "great divide" in religious Zionism?

It has been a little while since I last made a posting on this forum. I
feel I want to present my opinion on this controversial subject.

With relationship to the disangement plan, the question was posed
whether there is (or will be) a "great divide" in religious Zionism. The
question came as some religious thinkers are faultering in their opinion
whether our period is really the "reishit tzemichat ge'ulateinu" (=
"start of the flowering of our redemption"), or in the language of the
gemara "atchalta de'ge'ula" (= beginning of redemption).

In my opinion, I think the answer is "no" that there is no great divide.

There have always been Rabbanim of these generations who have been
active in the religious zionist camp, but in practice their hashkafa (=
outlook) has been that of those sections of Agudat Israel who see the
State of Israel as a good thing, but refuse to see it as a lead up to
Mashiach Ben-David (the Messianic era). I was told that the Rosh Yeshiva
z"l of Keren B'Yavneh, the first Yeshivat Hesder (Yeshiva that combines
army with Torah Learning) was an Agudist.

There is the existing division (which a poster pointed out a few weeks
ago) within the religious Zionist camp of the Chardal (chareidi dati
le'umi) who have less to do with the "world" and the Modern Orthodox
type of dati le'umi who are more rationalistic. Within the rationalistic
camp, there are those who are more on the right politically, and those
who are more on the left politically. As the poster pointed out (I don't
have that posting in front of me and so I apologise that I can't
remember who posted this), most of the Rabbanic leaders are associated
as Chardal. I also see this, from where I am. From my understanding of
contemporary Jewish history, the chardal/non-chardal division is a
division that has been around a long time - probably started to emerge
after the six day war with the founding of Gush Emunim and whilst the
Merkaz HaRav (Kook) Yeshiva deployed it's students for the settlement
activity (whose results now form a promonent part of the Zionistic
enterprise) , it also saw a need to form a strong spiritual leadership
where Torah learning is at it's centre.

I am sure that at the time that Yamit was destroyed, there were those
(both leaders, Rabbanim, and the average person) who changed their
Zionist outlook, and it is quite natural that there might be those who
do so (or have already done so) if G-d forbid, the government's decree
of today is actualy put into practice. I do not feel though that those
leaders who change their outloook wil form a new camp, or will be
perceived to belong to a new camp by those who see them from
afar. Rather, I feel that they will be pigeon holed into an existing
"coup", depending where their opinions rest. I feel the majority of
zionist religious leaders can make the distinction between the "State of
Israel" as an entity above a specific government, and the government
itself, which many disagree with on its policies. I do not think that
they will change their Torah outlook.

As someone who has the minimal (political or religious leadership)
involvement, I look forward to seeing if my assesment will turn out to
be correct or not.

In the Machon-Meir parsha sheet of parshat Kedoshim (after this week it
might be neccessary to look at the archive):
http://www.machonmeir.org.il/english/new/html/dvar_torah.asp there is a
poem by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner - Chief Rabbi of Beit El: 
	    "I recite the prayer for the State"

Yom Ha'atzma'ut same'ach
David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 06:49:09 +0200
Subject: Israel Independence Day at the J Site + 105 Hotsites

Hi Everyone!

Israel Independence Day is celebrated on the 5th day of the Hebrew month
of Iyar. This year (5765 / 2005) the 57th birthday of the establishment
of the state of Israel falls on Shabbat.  The celebrations take place 2
days before, on Thursday, May 12.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment 
has several entertaining features to celebrate Israel's 57th birthday:

Jewish Trivia Quiz: Israel

What is the national emblem of Israel ?
"Pehsek Zeman" and "Egozi" are what type of Israeli foods ? 
Who was the first president of Israel ? 
What was the 1917 British Balfour Declaration ? 
How long is Israel's coastline ? 
What is Israel's Internet country code ? 
What was "Operation Babylon" ? 
Who were the first two countries to recognize Israel ? 
What are Amos and Offeq ? 
How many lanuages are engraved on Israeli coins used today ? 

The above questions are examples from over 200 multiple-choice
questions about Israel that may be randomly selected by the online 
quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.
Both kids and adults will find it enjoyable.

The Israel Geography Game 
This Flash game will help you learn about the history and geography 
of 101 locations in Israel. There is a learning mode and game mode. 
Find out if you know more about Israel then Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and

Israel Clipart
Whether you need a picture for your child's class project, 
a graphic for your synagogue, Hillel or JCC Independence Day
announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the pictures
for you. You can copy, save and print the graphics in
three different sizes.

Israel Word Search Game
Enter the Multilingual Word Search game and choose the
language you would like to play in: English, Hebrew or
Russian. There is an easy mode for the kids and a harder
mode for us big kids. Each game is randomly generated.
Israel topics include:
Jerusalem, Biblical Cities, Kibbutzim, Presidents and Prime 
Ministers, Writers, Singers and Israeli Foods.
You can even print out a blank game (and the solution page) for 
offline playing. 

My Jewish Coloring Book - Israel Pictures
Young kids love to draw and this online coloring book
is made just for them. Three different size "brushes"
and 24 colors to choose from. You can print the completed
color pictures or print black and white outlines to color offline. 

My Hebrew Song Book - Over 200 Hebrew songs (with vowels)
for viewing and printing. All songs are in graphic format so you
do not need Hebrew installed to view or print them. Your camp fires 
or sing-a-longs will never be the same.

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not 
enough, I posted on my website 105 links about Israel, 
ranging from history and tourism to photographs and stamps.
All 105 links have been reviewed / checked this week.

The web address is:

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, 
so they can benefit from these holiday resources.

Happy Israel Independence Day!


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 10:00:29 -0400
Subject: Mixed Pews

  I've been reading Rabbi Helfgot's collection of Rabbi Soloveitchik's
letters, and I'm puzzled by his sequence of letters on mixed pews.  On
p.  130 he cites Zechariah 12:12 as a source of the Biblical obligation
of separation.  That verse also requires separation by family.  Most of
us don't know out halachic families, but kohanim and leviim do, and I've
never seen a shul where they are required to sit separately.  Also that
verse is in the context of a funeral, not prayer, and I've been to many
funerals with mixed seating conducted by Orthodox Rabbis.

  On p. 134, and again on p. 140 he describes mixed seating as a
practice of primitive Christianity.  I'm not sure whether this is a
halachic argument or a persuasive argument.  I also don't know its
source.  I do know that in Byzantium women sat in separate balconies,
and JF Cooper (who prided himself on accurate description of the
frontier) describes churches in upstate New York as having separate
seating.  Is there an authorotative source on the history of seating in

David Riceman 


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 04 May 05 14:44:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Shir Hashirim time of reading

Is there any occasiona when Shir Hashirim - or one of the other Megillos
read on Chol Hamoed, or Shabbos if there is no Chol Hamoed is read at
any other time than Shacharis before readin the Torah? How exact is the


From: <shuanoach@...>
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 23:24:30 -0400
Subject: Strange Wedding Minhag

In Solomon Maimon's autobiography he mentions a custom that the chosson
or kallah would step on the other's foot under the chuppah - whomever
stepped on the other first would "secure lordship" over the other. I
recently noticed that I. Marcus (The Jewish Life Cycle) mentions this
custom also from the memoirs of Ezekiel Kotick. Kotick also notes that
the one of the newlywedded couple who first stepped into their home
would dominate the other.

Someone told me that there is a practice in Hasidic circles to this day
that the chosson steps on the kallah's foot under the chuppah based on
the verse "ve-hu yimshol bakh".

Does anyone know of any sefarim which discuss this practice - either as
described by Maimon and Kotick, where there is a race of sorts, or as
practiced in Hasidic circles? (I could not find a reference to it in
SPerling's Taamei ha-minhagim, maybe i missed it.) In particular, as
Maimon lived in the late 18th c., and mentions that he saw it in a book,
are there any earlier works which mention this practice?



End of Volume 47 Issue 89