Volume 53 Number 02
                    Produced: Wed Nov  1 19:08:37 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Attending non-Orthodox Shiva Minyan
Drishah classes on Family Purity Laws
         [Russell J Hendel]
Fish in Noah's Ark
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Naming child after deceased sibling
         [Brian Wiener]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 07:43:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Agunos

> From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
> I received an email requesting one to pray for the following agunos:
> Givon ben Itta Raiza (he should do teshuva and give a get)
> Mazaltov bas Farcha
> Yiscah bat Shoshanah (22 year old mom threatened with no Get till she's 65)
> I have a few questions on this:
> 2. I remember reading that in times gone by that if needed the Beth Din
> would beat the errant husband until he would give his wife a get. Does
> this happen these days? and if not, why?

We are subject to secular law.  Bais Din does not have the authority to
issue a punishment.  That is why people must sign a (secular) contract
to follow the decision of bais din that is enforceable in (secular)
court.  An attempt to beat someone would be subject to arrest as

> 3. How can one pray for someone to give a get or to do teshuva? Would
> that not impact his bechira (free-will)?

This is like the case of Rav Meier and his wife Brurya.  She told him to
pray that the reshaim would do teshuva.  This means that they should do
teshuva of their own free will.  This means that the yetzer hara should
be stopped from pushing him in the wrong direction so that he can make
the correct decision.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore."
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water.


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 23:01:43
Subject: Attending non-Orthodox Shiva Minyan

Friends of ours are Conservative and active in their community.  A close
relative passed away and I received a call asking me to come to
shacharit every morning to help make a minyan.  I didn't think about it
too hard and decided any qualms I might have about Conservative davening
should take second place to the mitzvah of comforting mourners.

Anyway, things didn't work out too well.  Although the shaliach tzibbur
was as good as any you will hear in an Orthodox shul, the "minyan"
consisted of about 5 men and 7 women, and several of those woman were in
full regalia - tallis and tefillin.  The man of the house said I could
stand in the hallway if I felt more comfortable and assured me there
would be 10 men.  The room was quite large, so instead I put on tefillin
and sat myself in a corner.  I started out responding to the brachot and
not to the kedusha etc, and then decided not to respond to anything, and
just davened as if b'yichud.

The dilemma is obvious.  I know they appreciated my being there, and
also had some concept of my discomfort.  I decided I would stick it out
for the rest of the week, and make my excuses for Thursday.  My wife
wants me to keep going and believes it would damage our friendship and
also be generally unkind if I didn't.  Others I have asked think there
is no doubt that I should AVOiD going back and one even opined that it
was borderline chillul hashem to daven there.

I would appreciate your comments and advice.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 20:14:14 -0500
Subject: RE: Drishah classes on Family Purity Laws

Freeda (v52#93) in advertising the derisha program on Family Purity Laws
writes "The laws of the menstruant are full of language and imagery
which can be painful and offensive to the contemporary woman. How can we
deconstruct these laws and impose our own meaning upon them to enhance
our spiritual lives and our relationships to self, God and community"

I personally find offensive the implication that only "contemporary
women" find certain things offensive. I think the English translations
of family purity laws would be equally offensive to former
generations. I also think the "meaning of these laws" was something
known to former generations (Not just to comtemporary women).

I personally would not mind a thread in which we discuss exactly what is
offensive and in which wediscuss if the remedys to this offense are
modern are Talmudic.

I think a clarification of the issues would be of interest to mljewish

In passing I note that this class is "for women only." My personal
opinion is that if you want **couples** to observe family purity laws
then you need the cooperation of both genders both of whom have to see
these laws as meaningful.

Furthermore I dont want to hear a speech from anybody about
modesty. When over 50% of women do not observe these laws the only
breach of modesty is to be silent on the issue.

Finally in passing...if we do have a thread I think it might be better
(in some respects) then the class...we frequently on mljewish have
original ideas and good scholarship.

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


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 10:33:31 -0500
Subject: Fish in Noah's Ark

As I have always understood the story from simple "p'shat", the deluge
was a punishment and the direct result of immoral sexual behavior.

If this is the case, fish would be exempt, since fish (in general) don't
have sex in a way that could be improper- they discharge the eggs and
sperm into the water, and the "parents" never even meet. This makes all
the sexual violations irrelevant to that species. (Most of them, anyway)

It also gives me a chance to point out that this is perhaps the only
biblical source that shows a direct corrolation between sin, punishment,
and the proper repentance and way of avoiding future sin.

The Torah itself says "Ki hishchis", that the reason for the fllod was
immorality, it also gives the punishment as the flood, and most
important, after the flood the ONLY change in human behavior duly noted
therein is the new permission for mankind to eat meat.  Ergo,
carnivorous behavior for man creates a barrier to interspecies

Thus, while individual vegetarianism is not "wrong", it would be wrong
to promote it as an ideal, something everyone should follow.

Yossi Ginzberg
(Not a PETA member)


From: Brian Wiener <brian@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 00:15:25 +1100
Subject: Naming child after deceased sibling

Can any of our esteemed colleagues help me to verify something that I
have just come across in doing some genealogical research.

Has anybody heard of an - apparently German - minhag, whereby if a
family had a child who died very young, and the family subsequently had
one-or more - children, the later one(s) would be named after the
deceased child?  This seems very strange to a GAlitzianer background, so
any light that can be shed on it would be appreciated.

Brian Wiener


From: Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 22:30:21 +0200
Subject: Revisionsim

> For those of us who are unititiated in the tactical art of labeling, what
> is a Revisionist Zionist?  
> Carl A. Singer

In these matters, one only need go to Google and type in the words
Zionsim Revisionism.  But some don't do that so:-

Revisionist Zionism is a nationalist right wing tendency within the
Zionist movement. The ideology was developed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky who
advocated a "revision" of the "practical Zionism" of David Ben Gurion
and Chaim Weizmann, which was focused on independent settlement of Eretz
Yisrael. Revisionist Zionism was instead centered on a vision of
"political Zionism", which Jabotinsky regarded as following the legacy
of Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism.

In its early years, and under Jabotinsky's leadership, Revisionist
Zionism was focused on gaining British aid for settlement. Later,
Revisionist groups independent of Jabotinsky's leadership, conducted
campaigns of violence against the British authorities in the Palestine
to drive them out and establish a Jewish state.


After World War I, Jabotinsky was elected to the first legislative
assembly in the Yishuv, and in 1921 he was elected to the Executive
Council of the Zionist Organization (later known as the World Zionist
Organization). He quit the latter group in 1923, however, due to
differences of opinion with its chairman, Chaim Weizmann, and
established the Revisionist Party. In 1925, Jabotinsky formed the
Revisionist Zionist Alliance, in the World Zionist Congress to advocate
his views, which included increased cooperation with Britain on
transforming the entire Mandate for Palestine on both sides of the
Jordan River into a sovereign Jewish state, loyal to the British
Empire. To this end, Jabotinsky advocated for mass Jewish immigration
from Europe and the creation of a second Jewish Legion to guard a
nascent Jewish state at inception. A staunch anglophile, Jabotinsky
wished to convince Britain that a Jewish state would be in the best
interest of the British Empire, perhaps even an autonomous extension of
it in the Middle East.

When, in 1935, the Zionist Organization failed to accept Jabotinsky's
program, he and his followers seceded to form the New Zionist
Organization. The NZO rejoined the ZO in 1946. The Zionist Organization
was roughly comprised of General Zionists, who were in the majority,
followers of Jabotinisky, who came in a close second, and Labour
Zionists, led by David Ben Gurion, who comprised a minority yet had much
influence where it mattered, in the Yishuv.

Despite its strong representation in the Zionist Organization,
Revisionist Zionism had a small presence in the Yishuv, in contrast to
Labour Zionism, which was dominant among kibbutzim and workers, and
hence the settlement enterprise. General Zionism was dominant among the
middle class, which later aligned itself with the Revisionists. In the
Jewish Diaspora, Revisionism was most established in Poland, where its
base of operations was organized in various political parties and
Zionist Youth groups, such as Betar. By the late 1930s, Revisionist
Zionism was divided into three distinct ideological streams: the
"Centrists", the Irgun, and the "Messianists".

Jabotinsky later argued for a need to establish a base in the Yishuv,
and developed a vision to guide the Revisionist movement and the new
Jewish society on the economic and social policy centered around the
ideal of the Jewish middle class in Europe. Jabotinsky believed that
basing the movement on a philosophy contrasting with the socialist
oriented Labour Zionists would attract the support of the General

In line with this thinking, the Revisionists transplanted into the
Yishuv their own youth movement, Betar. They also set up a paramilitary
group, Irgun, a labour union, the National Labour Federation, and their
own health services. The latter were intended to counteract the
increasing hegemony of Labour Zionism over community services via the
Histadrut and address the refusal of the Histadrut to make its services
available to Revisionist Party members.

Revisionist Zionism: Ideology

Ideologically, Revisionism advocated the creation of a Jewish state on
both sides of the Jordan River, that is, a state which would include the
present-day West Bank and all or part of the modern state of Jordan,
which was split off of Mandatory Palestine in 1922 in response to Arab
resentment of the Balfour Declaration. All three streams, Centrists who
advocated a British-style liberal democracy, and the streams who would
become Irgun and Lehi, supported Jewish settlement on both sides of the
river (and so did some parts of Labour Zionism, such as Ben Gurion's
Mapai party), but in many cases, differed on how this would be achieved.
Jabotinsky wanted to gain the help of Britain, while Lehi and the Irgun
wanted to conquer both sides independently of the British. The Irgun
stream of Revisionism opposed power-sharing with Arabs. Jabotinsky's
statements were ambiguous on the topic of "transfer" (expulsion of the
Arabs). In some writings he supported the notion, but only as an act of
self-defense, in others he argued that Arabs should be included in the
liberal democratic society that he was advocating, and in others still,
he completely disregarded the potency of Arab resistance to Jewish
settlement, and stated that settlement should continue, and the Arabs be
ignored. Most Zionist groups favored, tacitly, at least a partial
transfer of the Arab population out of Mandatory Palestine in order to
ensure a Jewish majority.


End of Volume 53 Issue 2