Volume 49 Number 23
                    Produced: Tue Jul 26 20:57:51 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrative Idea
         [Yisrael Medad]
Aramaic, Systematically
Cellphone safety
         [Mike Gerver]
         [Carl A. Singer]
Cellphones while driving
         [Gershon Dubin]
Congratulations to the new olim from France
         [Jacob Richman]
Family splitting for summer
         [Eliezer Wenger]
Hilchot Tnua (the halacha of traffic)
         [David Curwin]
Jews in the military
         [Carl A. Singer]
Kaddish Minhag Chabad
         [Eliezer Wenger]
The state of Jewish Religous Education
         [Carl A. Singer]
Teaching Aramaic
         [W. Baker]


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 20:37:53 +0200
Subject: Administrative Idea

Is it feasible - technologically and financially - to set up a section
of the MailJewish site where the various list members could put up some
bio info and if they want a picture so that we can feel a bit more of a

I find it frustrating to "argue" and "dialogue" with faceless people who
I try to imagine what they look at and what they have done.

Also, if I knew someone was older, maybe I'd be more circumspect in
language, etc.

What does the moderator think?

Yisrael Medad

[I have now gotten back access to the mail-jewish web page after loosing
my ftp password etc, so I think this would be a feasible thing to
do. The main issue I would see is how would people submit material for
it? If people submit in html format, and the main activity is just
uploading and updating an index file, that is not much of an issue. If
we need to take text, MS Word, pictures etc and creating an HTML object
from that, I would need someone to volunteer to do that work. It should
not be any issue then giving that person access to that folder to manage
it. So I am open to the idea. Mod]


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 06:36:31 -0500
Subject: RE: Aramaic, Systematically

Tzvi Stein asked of me: >>Don't take this the wrong way, but have you
learned in yeshiva?<<

 	Yes, Telshe and Skokie. And my question still stands. The method
Zvi described is, IMHO, a poor second to formally teaching Aramaic as a

Chi Halevi


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:21:23 EDT
Subject: Cellphone safety

Meir (<meirman@...>) asks, in v49n18, how the studies cited by Carl
Singer, showing that using hands-free cellphones while driving is just
as dangerous as using hand-held cellphones, can be reconciled with his
own observations that holding cell phone in your hands can make steering
more difficult. I can think of two possibilities:

1) The distraction of being engaged in a conversation on the cell phone
is far more dangerous than the difficulties of steering while holding a
phone in your hands, so the latter effect, although real, is lost in the

2) A driver using a hand-held cell phone, which is illegal in most if
not all places, knows that it is a dangerous thing to do, so is more
careful in his driving than usual, to compensate, and to avoid getting
into situations where the cell phone will cause him problems (or where
he will be stopped by a cop who will see him using the hand-held cell
phone). A driver using a hands-free set, thinking it is not dangerous,
and not worried about a cop seeing him using it, does not drive more
carefully than if he weren't using a cell phone. The extra care taken by
the driver in the first case more or less cancels out the additional
danger from the hand-held cell phone.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 07:26:33 -0400
Subject: Cellphones

> I'm sorry, these "studies" sound to me like they were bought and paid
> for by anti-cellphone advocates.
> [snip]
> Put another way, if phone usage has no affect on accidents, then you
> should expect to find the percentage of accidents involving phones to be
> equal to the overall percentage of phone usage.  If 100% of the
> population should start using phones while driving, then you will
> obviously find phone-usage in 100% of accidents.  But this statistic
> will mean nothing, except to a political hack looking to scare the
> population.

This isn't debate 101.  Are we advocating bad science -- if we dislike
what a study says then do we poo-poo it as corrupt then conjecture a
false hypothesis.  Apply the above logic to cigarette smoking and lung
cancer and you'll see the hole.

Carl Singer


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 19:41:13 GMT
Subject: Cellphones while driving

>From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
>> enough people to raise the accident rate.  Plus, when talking 
>> to someone in the car, the moment the driver is distracted by 
>> trouble, the other party usually notices either his change in 
>> behaviour or directly notices the same danger the driver has, 
>> and he shuts up, leaving the driver free to drive.

> That makes sense with adult passengers. How about passengers below the
> age of, say, 7?

Are you seeking scientific evidence that driving with kids in the car is
more dangerous than without them????

Have you ever driven with (cranky, fighting, etc.) kids in a car?



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 00:51:11 +0200
Subject: Congratulations to the new olim from France

Hi Everyone!

Congratulations to the new olim who made aliyah today from France.

I posted articles and pictures on my site at:

If you do not see July 25, 2005 on the top of the web page, hold the
control key and press the F5 key to refresh your browser.

If you attended the aliyah celebrations in France or at Ben-Gurion
Airport or you were on the flight and took pictures, please send them to
me and I will post them on the website.

May the aliyah from France (and the rest of the world) grow and bring
more Jews back to their homeland, Eretz Yisrael.

Have a good day,


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:46:48 -0400
Subject: Family splitting for summer

One of the posters wanted to draw a similarity between families which
split for the summer, i.e. wife and children go away to the "country"
and the like and the husband stays in the city and comes for shabbosim,
etc, to the custom of Chassidim going away for Yom Tov to their Rebbes
and leaving the wives and children at home.

In my opinion this comparison is not the same for a number of reasons:

1) When one travels to a Rebbe for Yom Tov, the purpose was to acquire
Yiras Shomayim and receve an injection to further his service to Hashem,
whereas when the husband stays in the city while the family is away does
not add to the Yiras Shomaym.

2) Secondly, the Gemorra in Rosh Hashona 16b states explicitly that one
should be Mekabel Pnei Rabbo (lit. receive the face of his Rebbi) every
Yom Tov, which is the basis of this custom of going to the Rebbe for Yom

3) Thirdly, was this not done during the Sholosh Regolim when we were
blessed with the Beis HaMikdash and the adult males were required to go
to Yerusholayim and it was only on Succos after the Shmittah year (once
in every 21 Yomim Tovim) that the women and children also had to be
there for Hakhel.

4) I would also presume that when there were the official Yarchei
Kallahs only the men travelled to their Yeshivos.

Eliezer Wenger


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 22:39:31 +0300
Subject: Hilchot Tnua (the halacha of traffic)

The discussion of cell phone use while driving leads me to something
I've often thought about: If Chazal, in the prime of their halachic
creativity (i.e. the time of the Talmud) had to deal with issues related
to driving and traffic - how would they have handled it? My guess is
that it would have gone well beyond "dina d'malchuta dina", as we see
with many of the laws of Nezikin (damages). With Nezikin we have our own
laws, d'oraita and d'rabbanan, as well as takanon, chumrot, etc.

I imagine that the laws of traffic would be similar. The question of
cell phone use, cutting people off, tailgating, etc, would have a very
different meaning than contemporary secular law. What is viewed today as
"nice" behavior could be very well rooted in actual d'oraita sources,
and I would hope the beauty of the Torah would help create a society
where traffic accidents would be much less common than they are today
(particularly in Israel.)

While in general it is a shame to see how little of Mishpat Ivri is
implemented in Israel today, it is even more frustrating that today's
rabbis haven't used their halachic power to take a fresh new look at the
way we drive, and how the Torah would expect us to improve.

-David Curwin


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 07:41:35 -0400
Subject: Jews in the military

>> In addition to kosher MREs (meals ready to eat) every effort has been
>> made to provide. Jewish forces in Iraq Pesach rations as well.

>I read this as "it is possible that kosher food will not be available"
>...  what does a Jewish service-person do in these cases?  The friends
>I've had who've been involved with the US armed forces have all had to
>take on more liberal kashrut standards in their work ... on the other
>hand, maybe pikuach nefesh (they are protecting our lives in the US,
>for which many leniencies are not only permitted but even required)
>allows this.

And what do you do [short term] when you're at a conference, a business
meal or on an airplane and your kosher meal request falls through.  Or
[long term] living in a college dorm with non-Jewish roommates and no
kosher facilities on campus.  Or when you're traveling (or on a
consulting assignment) and living in a non-Jewish environment?

You find alternatives.  These may include a jar of peanut butter
(thankfully, the containers are now plastic -- unfortunately, the
contents is beginning to resemble the same.) a few kosher nutrition
bars, or perhaps going hungry for a bit.

I've heard stories of Jewish soldiers in WW-II who essentially became
vegetarians while overseas.  And there is the story of the Jewish
soldier in the civil war who had two mess kits -- one milchig and one

Carl Singer


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 13:13:01 -0400
Subject: Kaddish Minhag Chabad

In the last few issues the subject of the number of Kaddeishim said
according to Mingah Chabad has been discussed, i.e. 16, 17, 18. Let me
try to clarify the issue. The present day custom is that when a mourner
serves as a Chazan for all three Tefillos he is able to say 17
Kaddeishim as follows:

1) Kaddish Derabbonon after Rabbi Yishmoel
2) Chatzi (Half) Kaddish after Yistabach
3) Chatzi Kaddish after Tachnun or Chazoras HaShatz on days when Tachnun is
not said
4) Kaddish Tiskabeil after Ashrei Uvo letzion
5) Kaddish Yasom after the Yom
6) Kaddish Derabonon after Ein Kelokeinu
7) Kaddish Yasom after Aleinu
8) Kaddish Yasom after the daily Tehillim
9) Kaddsh Derabonon after the Mishnayos
10) Chatzi Kaddish after Ashrei of Mincha
11) Kaddish Tiskabeil after Tachnun or Chazoras HaShatz of Mincha when
Tachnun is not said.
12) Kaddish Yasom after Aleinu of Mincha
13) Kaddish DeRabonon after the Mishhayos of Mincha
14) Chatzi Kaddish before Borchu of Maariv
15) Kaddish Tiskabeil after Shmono Esrei of Maariv
16) Kaddish Yason after Aleinu of Maariv
17) Kaddish Derabonon after Mishnayos of Maariv.

On Mondays and Thursdays an 18th Kaddish is available when saying the
Chatzi Kaddish after Reading of the Torah.

Since a mourner does not serve as a chazan on Shabbos, Yom Tov or Rosh
Chodesh, the number of Kaddeishim that the mourner says is drastically
reduced on those days.

Regarding the observation made by one of the posters regarding the
custom of the mourner reading the Torah: Generally speaking any mourner
tha has the capability, knowledge and skill of reading theTorah does do
it. Obviouslly there are a great number of individuals that are better
off when they don't read the Torah. Although they do not read the Torah,
in Chabad Shuls the mourner still says the Kaddish after the Torah
reading instead of the Baal Koreh .

Eliezer Wenger


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 07:55:12 -0400
Subject: The state of Jewish Religous Education

> Yet, against all logic, the study of the Hebrew language as a
> systematic discipline is notable for its absence. In some religious
> institutions, it is even considered a hindrance.

Things may have gotten better in the half-century since I was a child,
but most of my rebbeim / teachers were SME's - subject matter experts -
with little or no exposure to the art of teaching.

Today there are many Jewish schools that have Lemudi Kodesh teachers who
really know their stuff but have no formal training, licensing or
degrees (discounting watered down degrees from certain dubious
institutions) in how to teach it.  This model seems to work in colleges
and universities -- but is it really effective for your children?

Carl Singer


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 12:42:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Teaching Aramaic

>> My question stands: if Jewish education wishes to further the knowledge
>> of G'mara and other important Judaic works, why aren't we teaching
>> Aramaic as a language?
> I think the main answer is that there are very few teachers qualified to
> do this.  I know that several years ago Telshe high school (Cleveland)
> had a class in proper Aramaic. When spoke to the teacher he said that
> the rebbeim in Telshe were not very supportive. They saw no reason to
> "waste" time learning proper grammatical Aramaic.
> Eli Turkel

For a couple of summers, Drisha had a class in Aramaic taught by Frank,
the author of the Talmud dictionary and the Aramaic grammar text put out
by Ariel.  I believe that many in the Scholars" Cricle took this class.

Wendy Baker


End of Volume 49 Issue 23