Volume 53 Number 12
                    Produced: Tue Nov 21  6:14:03 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carnivorous Jews (3)
         [Immanuel Burton, David Curwin, Eli Turkel]
Hashkoma Minyan
         [Carl Singer]
Holding Babies during Mouring (2)
         [Leah Perl, Leah S. Gordon]
Holding Babies during Mourning--another look at the sources
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Inspecting tefillin at airport security
         [Moshe Bach]
Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah
         [Alan Krinsky]
A not-so wayward kohen (4)
         [Allen Gerstl, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, David Ziants, Leah S.


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 11:54:22 -0000
Subject: RE: Carnivorous Jews

I have often been struck by the assertion that a vegetarian diet is the
ideal on account of Man having been created in this state - permission
to eat meat was not granted till after the Flood.  If the state in which
Man was first created is the ideal, then does that mean that not having
the Torah is the ideal?  After all, the Torah wasn't given to Adam.  In
fact, he didn't even have the seven Noahide laws...

I also find the idea that eating meat is immoral difficult to reconcile
with Judaism.  If Hashem has allowed us to eat meat then it cannot
possibly be immoral to do so.  Eating meat and farming practices are
separate issues.

Finally, the Torah actually requires us to eat meat at least once a
year, namely the Korban Pesach.  This is one of only two positive
commandments whose failure to observe is punishable by spiritual
excision, the other being Brit Milah.

The above is just food for thought, as it were.

Immanuel Burton.

From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 20:43:49 +0200
Subject: RE: Carnivorous Jews

Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...> wrote:

>I stand by my statement: the Torah and corpus of halacha not only
>permit meat they encourage it, and while anyone who wishes may be a
>vegetarian, it is incorrect to call this a "Jewish ideal"- it is not.

I think it is just as presumptuous to deny something is a Jewish ideal
as it is to claim that Judaism says only one thing about a subject.

Twice in the past I've written about how the Sefer HaIkkarim shows how
eating meat is permissible, but not ideal - b'dieved.


His view is based on the gemara in Hullin 84a. And the Rambam quotes
this as a halacha for talmidei chachamim (Hilchot Deot 5:10, some
versions 5:21).

So please, some perspective. 

David Curwin
Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective

From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 15:17:09 +0300
Subject: Carnivorous Jews

>As factory farming was unknown prior to the mid-20th century, it is
>impossible to know how many Gedolim would have chosen to be
>vegetarians.  I would like to think that Rav Kook would have had
>company.  A morsel of meat is what differentiated Shabbos from the rest
>of the week for our ancestors.  We've lost that differentiation

There is no evidence that R. Kook was a vegetarian. I have no idea why
this gets repeated after many have denied it.

Eli Turkel


From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:22:31 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Hashkoma Minyan

Remember that due to artificial clock settings there are issues with the
earliest permissable time for doning tallis, etc.

Similarly our work Mincha minyan is set to 1:40 PM -- as that time is
halachically feasible all year long -- thus not necessitating changing
minyan times (which inevitably results in people missing the minyan or
arriving late / early, etc.)

Carl Singer


From: Leah Perl <leahperl@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 11:10:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Holding Babies during Mouring

> Is the infant to miss cuddling and other maternal attention for a week
> because of a stringency? What effect would that have on the infant. Do
> we allow it simply because there is no evidence that the harm is not
> permanant (And suppose it is permanant sometimes?)

It's actually been shown through numerous scientific studies that touch
is vital to proper brain development, and infants who do not get this
show developmental lags.  It does not say who must do the touching, but
its natural for this to be the mother.  Furthermore, if the baby is
nursing, there is no way to avoid cuddling, and we certainly wouldn't
tell the mother to wean the child.  Clearly a person (r"l) in this
situation must as for halachik guidance, but it seems to me that caring
for a living child's needs may take precedence over some aspects of
mourning.  (If the meeting of these needs cannot be done by another).

Leah-Perl Shollar 

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 05:25:36 -0800
Subject: Re: Holding Babies during Mouring

Surely the minhag about not holding babies or frolicking with them
during mourning wouldn't apply to a parent caring for his/her own young
infant...?  I have never heard of such a thing.  All Jewish parenting
sources seem to assume that a baby will be nursed, held, cared-for, etc.

I figured that the original question was about holding a friend's child,
or a niece or something, and whether the comfort that provides should be
available to the mourner.  It never crossed my mind until I read
Russell's comments that anyone would presume to tell a nursing mother
not to care for her own child (!!).

You could do serious damage to a baby by not cuddling it for a week.
Physical damage if you don't nurse/feed it, and emotional damage if you
don't hold it.  That doesn't mean you have to play a spirited game of
peek-a-boo, of course.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 11:02:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Holding Babies during Mourning--another look at the sources

I know "me-too" posts are not encouraged, but Russell Hendel's piece was
the most sensible stuff I've ever heard on the subject.  Thanks to
Russell for posting it.

Freda Birnbaum


From: Moshe Bach <moshe.bach@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 13:20:44 +0200
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

Hi.  I recently flew on several domestic flights in the US.  I was
invariably stopped at security, because my tefllin were suspicious to
the security personnel.  They went through my hand luggage, opened my
tefllin case, looked at the tefillin, then let me go.  I don't
particularly like strangers handling my tefillin.  Does anyone have
advice on how to avoid these checks?  (Obviously I don't want to check
tefillin in checked baggage, which could get lost.)

maury (moshe) bach
<mbach@...>, moshe.bach@intel.com


From: Alan Krinsky <adkrinsky@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:09:34 GMT
Subject: Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah

What are the halakhot/customary practices for the repetition of the
Musaf Amidah on Simchat Torah? I was witness to a situation where others
dressed up the Shaliach Tzibur while he was reciting the repetition. One
time this included a Palestinian kefiyah, twice I saw the Shaliach
Tzibur wrapped in toilet paper. I was quite offended, and only learned
later that dressing up the Shaliach Tzibur is not a new or isolated
custom. My question is this? Am I wrong to find this offensive? After
all, we are standing before G-d in prayer. And is there not a difference
joy and humor, between serving G-d with joy on such a day and creating a
farcical scene for the humor? Have there been responsa or are there
halakhot dealing with this? Are there limits? Is toilet paper too much?
Or, am I being too serious about this? I was unable to search the
archives of the mailing list, so I could not figure out if this topic
has been dealt with previously. If so, please point me in that

Alan Krinsky


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 07:54:29 -0500
Subject: A not-so wayward kohen

>At our Shabbos hashkama minyan we have a cohen who davens shacharis
>with us but leaves during leyning (I PRESUME TO SPELL HIS WIFE BY
>BABYSITTING and then (again I presume) davens elsewhere.  When we give
>him an aliyah, he stays through levi and packs up and leaves at the end
>of shlishi.  (1) Should we give him an aliyah ...  [emphasis added]

On the contrary! We should "be me-lameid zechus" notwitstanding possible
lack of decorum in his actions. This man deserves a "yashar koach" for
his consideration of his wife's need to have time to herself daven.

Perhaps this poster should either refrain from criticizing him or far
better he and others should find a solution to this man's need to leave
minyan early by arranging for some local teenagers to provide some free
babysitting services on Shabbas morning.

BTW what a zechus it is to have such a fine person in your minyan, if
even for only part of davenning.


P.S. Another solution would be for this man to go to a hashkamah minyan
if there is one nearby; however perhaps he is too tired.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 10:27:14 -0500
Subject: Re: A not-so wayward kohen

Why not.  You left out a very common situation.  Many times a person
will daven Shacharis with a hashkama minyon, go home and return for
musaf with his children in order to allow them to be in shul (during
davening) but not have them be there too long.  Sometimes there will be
a childrens' group in the shul as well (starting later).  Sometimes a
person wants to be makpid about saying krias shma and shemona esra (of
shacharis) "on time" an will attend a hashkama minyon up to laining and
then return for laining and musaf of the "regular" minyon.

Since he is there for the first aliya, there should be no reason not to
give him the kavod just like any other kohen.  If the timing was a
problem, he would have mentioned it to the gabbai in order not to get an

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

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 11:05:46 +0200
Subject: Re: A not-so wayward kohen

I very much commend this person who goes to shul early, no doubt to
enable his wife to go to shul as well. I am sure he hears the rest of
layning and davens musaph later, in another minyan. My wife and I wish
we sometimes had this opportunity in our part of Ma'aleh Adumim. The
only shabbat early minyan in my neighbourhood is in a sephardi shul
which take so long over everything that it doesn't gain much. It is too
far to walk to the other neighbourhood where they do have an ashkenazi
k'vatikin minyan, although I went there on the first day of Rosh

If this is the only Cohen, then the community at least have the
opportunity to be blessed at shacharit, albeit only by one Cohen (in
chutz la'aretz, most congregations only have birkat hacohanim on chag at
musaph - in this situation I am sure the correct thing would be for this
Cohen to bless at shacharit instead; if he was the second Cohen there
might also be good reason for the Cohanim to bless at shacharit as it is
much better to have more than one Cohen blessing - I am far from being a
rav but that was my little insight).

I support the poster's no. 3 option, and am happy to draw attention to
the possibility of more important priorities within halacha.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 05:20:38 -0800
Subject: Re: A not-so wayward kohen

>At our Shabbos hashkama minyan we have a cohen who davens shacharis
>with us but leaves during leyning (I presume to spell his wife by
>babysitting) and then (again I presume) davens elsewhere.  When we give

Without commenting on the "who should get an aliyah" issue which is
always thorny, let me say this: a father who cares for his children is
not "babysitting".  He is parenting.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


End of Volume 53 Issue 12