Volume 49 Number 50
                    Produced: Thu Aug 11  5:14:46 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Correction - Personal Status
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Disengagement ethics
         [Eliyahu Shiffman]
Gender and Sex
         [Art Sapper]
Personal attacks and homosexuality as a threat to family
Personal Status
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Personal Status / Polygamy (3)
         [Martin Stern, Nathan Lamm, Chaim Shapiro]
Pictures of the Prayer Rally at the Kotel
         [Jacob Richman]
Polygamy and the rabbis of the Talmud
         [Martin Stern]


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 04:15:52 -0700
Subject: Correction - Personal Status

>of "personal status" rules?  I have the creepy feeling that the only
>wiggle room is for Polygamy.

I seem to have been censored.  I accept Avi's ommission of my earlier
sentence, but I would never have used the word 'polygamy' in this
context.  Rather 'polygyny'.


[I acknowledge my error here, and have now learned the difference
between these two words. For those that might not be understanding the
correction, here is the definition for the two words from the Compact
Oxford English dictionary:

  noun. the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband
  at the same time.
  ORIGIN from Greek polugamos 'often marrying'.

  noun. polygamy in which a man has more than one wife.
  ORIGIN from Greek gune 'woman'.



From: Eliyahu Shiffman <sunhouse@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 23:23:32 +0200
Subject: Disengagement ethics

<ERSherer@...> wrote, in response to my post:

>    (1)This was Labor in power at the time, and ready to give away any
> reminder that Israel. Do these people know what halachah means?

Please note that my original question was "why was there little or no
halachic objection publicly expressed when PM Ehud Barak took Israel out
of southern Lebanon in 2000?"  I specified "publicly," so which party
was in power at the time and their attitude to halacha is irrelevant.
*Religious* people were not raising halachic objections at the time to
us leaving Lebanon, as they are now about the exit from Gaza.  Because
of this discrepancy, I wonder whether the halachic objections are not
the real issue for religious opponents of the disengagement plan.

Re ERSherer's second comment, "Do these people know what halachah
means?", this contemptuous attitude is indicative of the "disengagement"
of much of the Israeli religious world from the rest of the population.
There are some in Labor who "know what halachah means," and there are
some who don't, and the same thing can be said for the Likud.  May I
remind ERSherer that, following Rabin's assassination, Shimon Peres
appointed Rav Amital, head of the Har Etzion yeshiva at Alon Shvut, as a
minister in his government even though his party (Meimad) held no
Knesset seats.

Eliyahu Shiffman
Beit Shemesh, Israel


From: <asapper@...> (Art Sapper)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:22:07 -0400
Subject: Re:  Gender and Sex

The story of how the word "gender" came to be used as a substitute for
"sex" is told by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  It is set
in the days when she was a practicing lawyer and litigating the first
sex discrimination cases.  The following is from a series of excerpts
from a speech she made that is preserved on the Columbia University

On the term "gender discrimination":

        "Let me tell you about how we came from sex to gender. I owe it
all to the suggestion of my secretary. She said, 'I'm typing this brief
and all I see is the word sex, sex, sex on every page. Don't you know
that those nine men on the court will not think of what you want them to
when they see that word?' And she suggested that I use the word gender."

Art Sapper


From: Mordechai <mordechai@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 18:37:50 -0400
Subject: Personal attacks and homosexuality as a threat to family

>From: R E Sternglantz <resternglantz@...> writes
>If you're going to make statements based on historical practices, sexual
>or otherwise, learn a little more history than what is found on the side
>of a cereal box or in one semester of Classics (or perhaps just a 'Great
>Books' survey that covered Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance all in
>one semester, and which may have been taught by someone without any real

I'm dissapointed in this type of personal attack.  It has not place on
this list and the moderator should not allow it.  If you disagree with
my quotes from gay activists regarding homosexualities ideological
connection to pedophilia please state your facts.  You state none and
instead make a personal attack on me.

Can someone on this list name a classicist who denies the connection in
classical Greek culture between homosexuality and pedophilia.  When we
discuss this type of issue we need to remember that Judaism classically
is the ideological opposition to Greek philosophy.  It should not come
as a suprise to any of us that ancient Greeks embrace immorality.

People don't like the fact I brough facts from NAMBLA, here are two
other sources.  If people want I will be happy to post more facts on
this issue.  I am arguing all men who have homosexual relations also
molest children.  The answer is no.  But there is a strong connection,
both in regards to the ideology of tearing down the family as the basis
of society and in practice.

"Overwhelming evidence supports the belief that homosexuality is a
sexual deviancy often accompanied by disorders that have dire
consequences for our culture," wrote Steve Baldwin in, "Child
Molestation and the Homosexual Movement," soon to be published by the
Regent University Law Review.

Baldwin is the executive director of the Council for National Policy in
Washington, D.C.

In other words, although heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio
of at least 20 to 1, homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the
total number of child sex offenses.

Similarly, the /Archives of Sexual Behavior /also noted that homosexual
pedophiles are significantly overrepresented in child sex offence cases:

The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2 to 4 percent of
men attracted to adults prefer men (ACSF Investigators, 1992; Billy et
al.,1993; Fay et al.,1989; Johnson et al.,1992); in contrast, around 25
to 40 percent of men attracted to children prefer boys (Blanchard et
al.,1999; Gebhard et al.,1965; Mohr et al.,1964). /Thus, the rate of
homosexual attraction is 6 to 20 times higher among pedophiles."*[18]*

The stark imbalance between homosexual and heterosexual child
molestationswas confirmed in the /Archives of Sexual Behavior /study
itself, which divided 260 pedophile participants into three groups: "152
heterosexual pedophiles (men with offenses or self-reported attractions
involving girls only), 43 bisexual pedophiles (boys and girls), and 65
homosexual pedophiles (boys only)."[19]
<http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3#edn19> In other words, 25 percent
of the offenders were homosexual pedophiles--or 41 percent if those who
molest girls as well as boys are included.

Other studies report an unusually high percentage of child molestations 
by homosexual pedophiles:

 A study on pedophilia in the /Psychiatric Journal of the University 
of Ottawa/ reported: "According to the literature, findings of a 
two-to-one ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles have been 
documented."[20] <http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3#edn20>

 The /Journal of Sex Research /reports a study that included "199 
offenders against female children and 96 offenders against male 
children. . . . This would indicate a proportional prevalence of 32 
percent of homosexual offenders against children."[21] 

 A study of male child sex offenders in /Child Abuse and Neglect 
/found that fourteen percent targeted only males, and a further 28 
percent chose males as well as females as victims, thus indicating that 
42 percent of male pedophiles engaged in homosexual molestation.[22] 


[Note: The above web site is that of the Family Research Council, which
defines itself as:

The Family Research Council (FRC) champions marriage and family as the
foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of
society. FRC shapes public debate and formulates public policy that
values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the
family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the
family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a
just, free, and stable society.



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:43:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Personal Status

Leah Gordon asks:

> Suppose a woman with two husbands immigrated to Israel from a country
> where that is permitted?  Suppose (more realistically) that a gay
> married couple immigrated to Israel from Massachusetts, USA?  What
> then of "personal status" rules?  I have the creepy feeling that the
> only wiggle room is for Polygamy.

An interesting analogy, with the opposite answer, is the treatment of a
couple immigrating to the U.S., or moving from one state to another.
The test in New York is whether the marriage is 'morally offensive'
and so a 'violation of natural law'.  New York courts have rejected
claims that a foreign polygamous marriage is valid, see, e.g., People
v. Ezeonu, 588 N.Y.S.2d 116 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1992) ; In re Sood, 142
N.Y.S.2d 591 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1955).  By contrast, a report by a committee
of the New York City Bar Association (a respected professional
organization) asserts that a homosexual marriage performed in a state
that recognizes it should thereby be recognized in New York.
http://www.abcny.org/pdf/report/samesex_marrige.pdf.  (New York's
attorney general is on record as disagreeing.) The report, incidentally,
cites a well-known New York case in the esoteric field of conflicts of
laws, In re May's Estate, 305 N.Y. 486 (1953), upholding a marriage
between a Jewish uncle and his niece validly entered into in Rhode
Island, which could not (at least then) have been legally done in New
York.  Obviously, what is 'morally offensive' can change under secular
law but not halacha..


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:58:35 +0100
Subject: Re: Personal Status / Polygamy

on 10/8/05 10:16 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:
>> polygamy have always been presented to me as exceptional.  When
>> families with 2 wives immigrated to Israel, they were recognized as
>> legal based on the "personal status" rules.
> Suppose a woman with two husbands immigrated to Israel from a country
> where that is permitted?  Suppose (more realistically) that a gay
> married couple immigrated to Israel from Massachusetts, USA?  What then
> of "personal status" rules?  I have the creepy feeling that the only
> wiggle room is for Polygamy.

Basically halachah permits, but does not encourage, polygamy, or to be
more accurate polygyny; it is only a consequence of the cherem of
Rabbeinu Gershom which was not universally accepted by all
communities. When the state of Israel banned it, it specifically allowed
those polygynous families whose marriages were legally recognised at the
time they took place. It did not, at the time, allow this loophole for
polyandrous or, to coin a neologism, homogonous households so, in a
certain sense, Leah is right.  However Israel also recognises marriages
contracted legally overseas between Jews and non-Jews so there are
perhaps slightly more cases of 'wiggle room' than she suggests.

Martin Stern

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 07:07:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Personal Status / Polygamy

Leah Gordon writes:

> Suppose (more realistically) that a gay married couple immigrated to
> Israel from Massachusetts, USA?  What then of "personal status" rules?
> I have the creepy feeling that the only wiggle room is for Polygamy.

Why is it a "creepy" feeling? Polygamy is permitted under
halacha. Polyandry or homosexual unions are not.

From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 09:53:41 EDT
Subject: Personal Status / Polygamy

Leah asks about personal status laws in regards to a women with two
husbands emigrating from a country where that behavior is legal.  Is
there such a country?

Chaim Shapiro


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 07:41:39 +0200
Subject: Pictures of the Prayer Rally at the Kotel

Hi Everyone!

I posted on my website pictures of the prayer rally which took 
place at the Kotel on Wednesday evening, August 10, 2005.


Press the F11 key for full screen viewing.

Please forward this email to relatives and friends who 
may be interested.

Thank you,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 11:05:31 +0100
Subject: Re: Polygamy and the rabbis of the Talmud

on 10/8/05 10:16 am, Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...> wrote:
>> The tana or amora who married many women in a famine year, so that as
>> wives of a kohen, they could eat from truma.
> Another thought: Probably in many cases these women also had children
> and I think they would have been covered too, as members of his
> household.

Their children would not be entitled to eat terumah since they were not
kohanim even if he were supporting them together with their mother. Only
a kohen's own children, and his wives and slaves, are so entitled.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 49 Issue 50