Volume 49 Number 34
                    Produced: Wed Aug  3  6:08:33 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

34 educational websites about Tisha B'Av
         [Jacob Richman]
         [Jack Gross]
Gay and Frum
         [Frank Silbermann]
         [Lipman Phillip Minden]
Kaddish Minhag Chabad
Kaddish Pronounciation (an issue of time)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
         [Jack Gross]
Previous Texts
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Sex vs. Gender - terminology
         [Aliza Berger]
Tehinnat Ha-Nashim Le-Vinyan Ha-Mikdash
         [Yael Levine]
Threatening to do what one may not do.
         [David Charlap]
Tumtum, Aylonit, etc
         [Martin Stern]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 19:08:39 +0200
Subject: 34 educational websites about Tisha B'Av


Tisha B'Av is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar because of the
incredible series of tragedies which occurred on that date throughout
Jewish History.

Tisha B'Av means "the ninth (day) of the Hebrew month of Av."  Tisha
B'Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second
Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av (the first by
the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.; the second by the Romans in 70 C.E.).
Although this day is primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of
the Temple, it is appropriate to consider on this day the many other
tragedies of the Jewish people, many of which occurred on this day, most
notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

This year, the fast begins Saturday night, August 13, 2005 and continues
till after sundown on Sunday, August 14, 2005.

I posted on my website links to 34 educational sites that describe
practices, prohibitions, insights and explanations about this sad day in
Jewish history.  All 34 links have been reviewed / checked this week.


May we see the rebuilding of the Temple in our days and that Tisha B'Av
becomes a day of celebration.  



From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 12:18:44 -0400
Subject: Aramaic

A good place to start is Targum Onkeles.

If your Hebrew is adequate, the Orech Yamim chumash works well.  It
presents the Targum text interlinearly, aligned (as much as possible)
word to word with the Hebrew, and provides explanatory footnotes.

Aside 1: It's quite obvious from Rashi that he presumes you've done your
Targum homework.

Aside 2: Rashi's frequent corrections in the form "hametargem 'xxx'
toeh" seem to indicate that Targum was still *recited* in his time.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 09:15:19 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:  Gay and Frum

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> V49 N31:
> The case of such identical twins, if true (color me a skeptic),
> would seem to say that sexual preference is a much more subtle
> expression of genetic bias than any purely physical trait.

There seems to be evidence that in many cases the drive is inborn -- not
necessarily through chromosomes but perhaps as a result of the hormonal
environment in the womb (which could affect identical twins differently,
just as sometimes one twin is better nourished than the other).

> But does this imply that sexual preference is voluntary, or can be
> reversed?  As Eliyahu Shiffman expresses it so well elsewhere in this
> issue of MJ: "...do you (i.e. heterosexuals) think that if halacha
> required it, and you underwent sufficient psychotherapy, you could
> bring yourself to sexually desire individuals of your own sex?"

I think there is a huge spectrum as to the flexibility of a person's
sexual orientation.  Certainly, in prisons there is a very high rate of
homosexual behavior among people who, before prison, thought of
themselves as heterosexuals (and became so again upon their release from

I assume that denying their inborn homosexual tendencies for at least a
few people would be extremely difficult and emotionally painful.  (That
is why I try to have kavana when I bless my children before the Sabbath
meal, lest I accidently invoke upon a daughter that she should become
like Ephrom and Menashe, or upon a son that he should become like Sarah,
Rivkah, Rachel and Leah).

But this is not a new problem.  People must have been born with
homosexual inclinations in the days of the Gra (the Vilna Gaon).  What
were _their_ lives like, and how did _they_ cope?  What about among Jews
a hundred years ago?

Many people seem to be treating homosexuality as some new kind of
emergency, but the problem is hardly new.  Why is it _now_ such an
issue, where it wasn't earlier?

On a related subject, Art Sapper <asapper@...> wrote in V49 N31:
> We should in this forum avoid ever using the term "homophobe."  The
> word is used today by proponents of homosexual conduct to tar their
> opponents as irrational.  The word is used to trade falsely on the
> definition of the term "phobia" in clinical psychology, which is "an
> irrational fear or an obsessive dread."  ("Phobos" originally meant
> "panic" in Greek.)

Indeed, I recall recently having read of a court case where a man who
murdered a homosexual claimed temporary insanity because the man's
homosexuality triggered in him an irrational fear and panic.  The judge
disallowed the claim saying that no such gay panic exists.  Hence, no

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


From: Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 14:29:05 +0200
Subject: Homophobe

Art Sapper wrote:
> We should in this forum avoid ever using the term "homophobe."  The word  
> is used today by proponents of homosexual conduct to tar their opponents  
> as irrational.  The word is used to trade falsely on the definition of  
> the term "phobia" in clinical psychology, which is "an irrational fear  
> or an obsessive dread."  ("Phobos" originally meant "panic" in Greek.)

I quote what I wrote some time ago in a different list:

The "phobia" part of words in English doesn't necessarily imply a fear,
but often an aversion or hate. Of course, especially in lay psychology,
the explanation proffered is that this aversion comes from either fear
of the object of aversion (e. g. with xenophobia) or from fear of being
one oneself (e. g. with homophobia), but this is secondary and of
course, I didn't imply this. Researchers in anti-Semitism differentiate
between anti-Semitism (modern, racial) and Judaeophobia (clerical
etc.). There's not necessarily an aspect of fear involved in the latter.

In fact, I think, most homophobes (working term) will prefer being
called 'homophobes' to being labelled 'gay-haters' or 'homo-haters', at
least in public.

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 11:40:58
Subject: Kaddish Minhag Chabad

> Too many Chabad advocates, who happen to be davening in a non-Chabad
> minyan, will mumble a mishna under their breath and then say a kaddish
> d'rabbanan.

Rabbi Teitz sounds like (and I apologize if this is an act of
projection) he is speaking out of frustration.  If so, I share that same

In our Shule we will oftentimes have a Chabad visitor who either did not
know that a more familiar and "custom-friendly" Chabad Minyan existed
down the street or intentionally attends our Minyan for whatever the

As Rabbi Teitz describes, he will at the conclusion of the davening,
when everyone is preparing to leave, mumble something and commence to
recite a rabbanan Kaddish.

I often wonder if this behavior is motivated by ignorance and/or
insensitivity or a certain hubris that wants everyone to do it the
"right way" (see, e.g., the introduction to Chabad's siddur Thillat

When I will politely go over to the individual and advise him that our
Minhag is not to add Kaddeshim in such a way, he'll look at me
incredulously and oftentimes with disdain.  When I point out to him that
there exists another position that states "Ayn Liharbot bikadayshim"
(that one shouldn't say "many" kaddishes), he'll walk away without
anything resembling an apology.

While I'm at it, let me air another frustration of mine of behavior
manifest by our Chabad visitors When we come to alaynu at the end of the
davening, the Chabad visitors spit on the floor, which in our Shule
happens to be carpeted.

Again the above lacks a respect for practices and customs that differ
from theirs (as well as incredulity and offense by the regular members
of the Shule who were never exposed to this).  Is it done with disregard
for others sensitivities?  I'd like to think not, but frankly I'm not
quite sure my giving the benefit of the doubt is justified.

Can't the movement and its teachers sensitize its adherents that there
are other Jews out there who don't say 16 Kaddeshim a day and don't spit
in the Alaynu?


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 17:24:13 EDT
Subject: Kaddish Pronounciation (an issue of time)

David Curwin (MJv49n30) states:
> This is also likely, because the GRA was actually against the changes
> that Stanow and Heidenheim introduced.

The GRA lived between 1720 and 1793, and Stanow siddur "Vaye'etar
Itzhak" appeared for the first time in Berlin in 1784 and so the GRA
could have come against his siddur; but R. Wolf Heidenheim's (1757-1832)
first edition of his first siddur "Safa Berura," appeared only in 1806,
and so GRA couldn't have come against the changes of Heidenheim as GRA
died ~13 years before Heidenheim's siddur was first printed.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 12:26:47 -0400
Subject: Polygamy

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
> I believe that in 1948, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate outlawed
> polygamy for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim (and others), and since there
> was no dissent in the Jewish community, it became binding worldwide as
> part of accepted halachic process.

R. Ovadiah Yosef, in his teshuvot, dissents - both to the substance of
the enactment, and to the assertion by the Rabbanut of power to enact.


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 22:04:34 +0200
Subject: Previous Texts

Having purchased the new Siddur Maharal, I found that the editor makes
comparisons with other siddurim of that time period and notes that a
siddur published in Prague in Reish-Ayin-Vav which should be 1516 (I
hope), for example, instead of v'lamalshinim (slanderers) in the Shmoneh
Esreh prayer, has a different text, in this case, v'lam'shumadim

My question is, can one today adopt earlier texts as they become
available through research or must one keep with the text one has

Yisrael Medad


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 14:51:50 +0200
Subject: Sex vs. Gender - terminology

I am behind in my reading, but in the course of the gays discussion,
someone mentioned that "gender" is a grammatical term.

Today, "gender" is used in psychology as well, e.g., "gender identity."
In psychology (and perhaps all of social science; I'm not sure), "sex"
is reserved for the biological (e.g., the male and female sexes).

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:06:46 +0200
Subject: Tehinnat Ha-Nashim Le-Vinyan Ha-Mikdash

Excerpts from my work "Tehinnat Ha-Nashim Le-Vinyan Ha-Mikdash" (Hebrew)
with an introduction may be found at the following link.

For excerpts in English translation with an introduction and commentary
see the recently published article: Yael Levine, "Tehinnat Hanashim
Levinyan Hamikdash, The Supplication of the Mothers for the Rebuilding
of the Temple: Excerpts and Commentary," Nashim 9 (2005), pp. 126-134



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 11:08:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Threatening to do what one may not do.

Meir wrote:
> In practice, I think a lot of bad behaviour is prevented when the 
> potential bad doer is threatened, with no need to implement the
> threats. And even if the the person does the bad thing, the other
> person need not carry out the threat.  He can call the police or sue
> instead.  But the threat of the police or a lawsuit may not be
> realistic for small bad things, and may not scare someone even for
> big bad things.  More direct threats, like a beating or secrets
> revealed can sometimes I think be more effective.

Even if halachicly permitted, this would not be a good plan.

Sooner or later, someone is going to call your bluff.  They are going to
ignore your threat and do the bad thing anyway.  Then what will you do?
If you carry out your threat, then you have violated halacha and maybe
committed secular crimes as well.  If you back down, then your
credibility and reputation are lost, which may impact far more than your
ability to make threats in the future.

-- David


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 13:00:34 +0100
Subject: Re: Tumtum, Aylonit, etc

on 28/7/05 4:53 am, I wrote:

> Halacha discusses much rarer conditions such as tumtum, a person whose
> sex cannot be determined, and androgynos, someone with both male and
> female genitalia, quite apart from the aylonit who would appear to be
> female but who never reaches puberty (X-Y dysgenesis?), most of which, I
> would imagine, will never be encountered by those reading this posting
> other than paediatricians and other medical personnel, but only
> discusses homosexual behaviour.

Apart from androgynos which is the medical condition known as
hermaphroditism, I wonder if any experts on mail-jewish can explain what
these categories are in terms of current medical knowledge as I am not
quite sure as to precisely what they are.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 49 Issue 34