Volume 52 Number 79
                    Produced: Tue Sep 26  5:24:28 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

DRISHA offering some great lectures with Biti Roi, Zvi Grumet
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
         [Ira Bauman]
Monsey Meat Debacle (3)
         [Richard Schultz, S Wise, Alex Heppenheimer]
Monsey Meat Debacle plays out on Erev Rosh Hashana
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Monsey meat debacle: a Q & A
         [Art Werschulz]
Nusach Ari and the nusach of the Ari
         [Andy Goldfinger]
A thought for Rosh Hashana
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Waltzing Matilda
         [Andy Goldfinger]


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 16:59:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: DRISHA offering some great lectures with Biti Roi, Zvi Grumet

This stuff is GOOD.  And Zvi Grumet is not often in the US so grab this 

Teshuva Drasha with Biti Roi and Classes with Zvi Grumet on September 26
The Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series - Part II

Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li - Forgiveness, Atonement and Humility
Biti Roi - Tuesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m. Coed, FREE

High Holy Day Classes with Zvi Grumet
What Does God Want From Us?
Tuesday, September 26, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Coed, $25

Of Humans and Angels
Tuesday, September 26, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Coed, $25

Register today 212.595.0307 or <inquiry@...>


Bat Mitzvah and Beyond - for the Bat Mitzvah and her mother or learning

Our Mothers, Ourselves
Shuli Sandler,
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - 5 weeks beginning October 29.
$250 for each pair of learning partners.

Engaged Couples Learning begins October 30

Sameach TeSamach Re'im Ahuvim: Let the Loving Couple Rejoice - Combines 
the traditional study of laws of niddah with a positive approach to 
marital relations. Includes one session led by psychologist Dr. Esther 
Altmann with role-playing and concrete ideas for communication with your 
Shuli and Ben Sandler

Monday, 7:00-9:00 p.m. 7- week course begins October 30. $360 per couple.

On the eve of Rosh HaShana, all of us at Drisha wish you a ketivah 
vehatimah tovah, a happy and healthy New Year.

Judith Tenzer, Drisha Institute
email: <jtenzer@...>
web: http://www.drisha.org
Drisha Institute | 37 West 65th Street | New York | NY | 10023


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 09:48:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Joseph

      I enjoyed the musical(Joseph), but it very much violates the
      spirit of the Biblical story.  The Biblical story is about how God
      intervenes in human affairs.  God is absent in the musical

Actually, G-d is pretty much missing in the Chumash text of the story of
Yoseph as well.  It is only with the commentary of the Rabbis and the
fact that we learned it first in Yeshiva or Hebrew school that we wee it
as a religious story.  The same applies to megillas Esther, which reads
well as a secular spy story, never mentions G-d's name and requires the
interpretation of the Sages and their adding it to our tanach to make it
a religious tract.

Ira Bauman


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 08:35:20 +0300
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

In mail-jewish 52:78, "SBA" <sba@...> writes:

:> There was a report that one rabbi had said that the incident was a
:> punishment for people's having said bad things about other
:> "Ultra-Orthodox sects."  

: Can you please reveal where was there such a report?  

It was reported in Haaretz (which is why I was careful to qualify my
comments).  The article can be found at 

In the article, Rabbi Shrage Schoenfeld is quoted as saying 

	When there is no unconditional love between Jews there is also
	no love for animals. The lesson that should be learned from the
	events in Monsey is that ultra-Orthodox Jews should stop
	gossiping and slandering other ultra-Orthodox Jews who are not
	from their sect.

: As to the tone of your post maybe I should comment:
: "It's okay to say bad things about charedim, but it is not okay to say
: bad things about everyone else???

I do not understand how this comment follows from anything that was in
my original post.  In this particular case, the people being discussed
are charedim.  Thus, if anything good or bad is to be said, it will
necessarily be said about charedim.  That I choose to say something that
you interpret as "bad" about some specific charedim does not mean that I
believe that all charedim are "bad" nor that in similar circumstances I
would not say equally "bad" things about non-charedim.

Richard Schultz

From: <smwise3@...> (S Wise)
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 10:42:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

I appreciate the response to my comments on the Monsey meat debacle, but
I would find it hard to explain to children or people becoming frum how
it's possible for a deception to go on reportedly for so long and for
the perpetrator apparently left unscathed as he harmed others (even if
they are innoncent of eating treif, as one suggests). Let's face it, we are
trained to have guilt feelings, that things occur to us because we've
not been worthy to be protected from it. So, when someone does something
wrong and we see outwardly that nothing happens, I wonder what to make
of the concept of punishment. In an anotehr example, I don't recall
where I read it, but someone pointed to all the misfortunes that have
befallen the mainplayers in last year's withdrawal from Gaza. Could that
reall be retribution? Coincidence?

Kseivah v'chasimah tovah to one and all

S. Wise 

From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 09:53:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

In MJ 52:78, Perry Dane wrote in response to Freda Birnbaum:

>>I saw a particularly poignant bit about this somewhere, where a
>>Holocaust survivor who almost starved in the camps because he wouldn't
>>touch non-kosher meat (not that much would have been available!),
>>crying, why me, why does it come to pass that I am eating this
>>butcher's meat?

>  Yes, this is poignant, but partly because this man seems to be
>succumbing to what some people call "halakhic realism," the view that
>halakhic categories such as "kosher" and "non-kosher" imply a "real"
>spiritual difference between kosher and non-kosher food, so that eating
>non-kosher food is somehow spiritually corrupting in and of itself.  The
>better view, as hazal emphasized on the whole, is that the halakhah is
>about obeying a set of rules, not about the "reality" of food or other
>things.  As long as this man was following the rules, and eating meat
>that, according to the rules, he had every right to believe was kosher,
>he was keeping kosher.  Period.  Yes, he might need to re-kasher his
>pots and pans now.  Those are the rules too.  But his conscience, and
>his sense of spiritually integrity, should be absolutely clear.

Where exactly do Chazal say such a thing? There is of course a rule that
"oness Rachamana patreih" (actions under duress - which this
unquestionably was - are exempt from punishment); but we find in a
number of places (Gittin 7a, Chullin 5b-7a) that the Gemara expresses
horror at the idea that a tzaddik would unwittingly eat non-kosher food,
and Tosafos (Gittin ibid., s.v. Hashta; Chullin ibid., s.v. Tzaddikim;
et al) state that "it's a disgrace (g'nai) for a tzaddik to eat
something forbidden."  Note that some of those cases are similar to this
one, in that the person would have had no reason to suspect any problem.

In a different context, too, the Rema (Yoreh De'ah 185:4) cites the Beis
Yosef and Semag to the effect that "one should be filled with fear and
trembling for the sin that befell him" even though that's a clear case
of "oness" as well.

And there most certainly are Torah authorities who subscribe to
"halachic realism." Among them: R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi, who explains
in his Tanya (part I, chs. 7-8) that non-kosher food is called "assur"
(lit.  "tied up") because the spiritual energy in it is not able to be
elevated (as is done when kosher food or other permissible resources are
used in serving G-d), and indeed the forbidden substance drags the
person down instead.

So what does all this mean for the unfortunate man mentioned in the
original post? Also, what lessons should the rest of us, who are
bothered by this (as well we should be), take from it? These are
questions for people who are thoroughly steeped in Torah hashkafah -
one's own rav, mashpia, yoetzet, or other spiritual guide.

May Hashem always help us to be among the mezakei harabbim (those who
help others gain merits)!

Wishing everyone a kesivah vachasimah tovah and a good year,


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 09:22:28 EDT
Subject: Monsey Meat Debacle plays out on Erev Rosh Hashana

Let's see, according to some people, as the result of one minuvel who
ripped off a community so he could make money on Mafia meat, (and from
what we journalists were later told, he isn't the only one buying loose
chicken that fell off a truck, and he wouldn't be the first to do so)
G-d sent him to punish an entire community who deserved it because
otherwise G-d would not have sent the sinner to victimize the community.

Finally a rabbi said that the sin the community deserved to be punished
for was that someone was talking loshen hora about ultra frum haredim so
they deserved it. AND THE MINUVEL IS NOW G-d's partner, essentially
hired to "punish" the Jews.  Sound familiar? Almost like G-d punished
the Jews with the Holocaust--where Hitler is G-d's buddy who carries out
the punishment.

I do not know who this rabbi is, but how in the world did he get the
Ruach Hakodesh to climb into G-d's brain and know what He was thinking?
Who is this tzaddik to have such zchus? Especially when he is spewing
loshon hora about the REST of Am Yisroel?

A crook posing as a frum Jew ripped off the community by selling them
treyf chicken. The people who used that chicken had no idea it was
treyf.  Whatever happened to catergories of aveyrah? sheh be shegogah ve
sheh lo beshegogah?

For the last month and the next 10 days people are busy taking
responsiblity for their own averyos. Breyra Chofshi is all about that.
Hashem set down the rules, we make the choices. the punishment is
natural--the consequences of our own actions. When bad happens in the
world it is because it is a natural concommitant of the laws that even
Hashem follows. He follows the law of the world He created.

shana tova ulealtah le chaim tovim u le shalom ve labryiut.



From: chi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 06:24:01 -0500
Subject: Monsey meat debacle: a Q & A

Shalom to Klal Yisrael:

I don't pretend to know why, beyond "mere" human greed, trayf meat was
sold as kosher meat, thereby causing great anguish to many people. But I
do have a question about those who were victimized.

When they threw out the non-kosher meat and even the utensils which
could not be kashered, did anyone contact a non-Jewish person or charity
group and offer to donate what they could not use?

Granted, the average kosher-keeping person was somewhat in a state of
shock. However, communal leaders (rabbis and others) are supposed to
think for the group. Did any, I hope, tell other people that that which
they threw out could feed a hungry non-Jew?

Obviously and rightly, this betrayal of trust deeply affected many
people, and they, as do we, look for answers. Perhaps one answer is that
for just a short while, some very ordinary and nice people literally
didn't know where their next meal was coming from. Did they then think
of other people who, on a regular basis, don't know where to get food?
Will they be more moved to acts of human kindness now, to non-Jews as
well as our fellow Jews?

I wasn't there, so I have no first-hand knowledge about this.  Perhaps
some or many people did indeed not just throw out food and utensils
which another human being could have used.

This close to Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, I pray it was so.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:56:48 -0400
Subject: Niggunim

Michael Kopinsky <mkopinsky@...> wrote:

>> ...a midrash that every tune that the world would ever hear was sung in
>> the Bet Hamikdash.
> I thought you were going to say that every tune the world would ever hear
> has been set to shir hama'alos...

Not quite.  There are certain time signatures that just won't work; I
think you need to use something like 4/4, 2/4, or cut time; I can't
offhand recall hearing any 3/4 or 6/8 tunes for same (but I'm kinda busy
with pre-holiday preps, so I may be too distracted to recall any).  It's
a pretty safe bet that you're unlikely to hear Shir HaMaalot set to the
tune of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" or "Blue Rondo a la Turk".

You can also often interchange tunes between Shir HaMaalot, L'cha Dodi,
Anim Zemirot, and Adon Olam, if you're so inclined.


Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:16:53 -0400
Subject: Nusach Ari and the nusach of the Ari

The Bostoner Rebbe has said that just about all chassidim agree that the
Ari's nusach is the correct one to use.  There are many questions,
however, as to the details of this nusach.  He said that the current
"Nusach Ari" is the Alter Rebbe's attempt to recover the Ari's nusach,
but that many chassidim disagree with it and believe that other nusachs
(nuschaot) are more correct.  The Bostoner said that recovering the true
nusach used by the Ari is an ongoing task.

-- Andy Goldfinger           


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:23:18 -0400
Subject: A thought for Rosh Hashana

Just a thought ...

What is the easiest positive mitzvah?  I would argue that it is "shmias
kol shofar' (listening to the shofar).  Blowing the shofar is hard, but
this is not the mitzvah.  The mitzvah is just to listen to it.

So -- when does HaShem give us the easiest mitzvah?  On Rosh HaShana.
What is happening then?  We are in court, and our case is coming up
before the Judge.  We are scared and desperately searching for more
zechuyos (merits) so the verdict will be positive.  At that point,
HaShem gives us the easiest mitzvah to do so we can earn valuable credit
in court.

Clearly, HaShem is on our side.

May everyone have a chasiva v'chasima tovah.

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:12:30 -0400
Subject: Waltzing Matilda

My daughter married an Australian.  At her wedding, I sang Waltzing
Matilda in Yiddish while wearing a gorilla suit.

(I guess you had to be there ...)

-- Andy Goldfinger


End of Volume 52 Issue 79