Volume 53 Number 29
                    Produced: Thu Dec 21  5:33:43 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Neturei Karta at Iran Conference
         [Martin Stern]
Picture of the Chafetz Chaim
         [Mr L Reich]
A silent Minority (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, David Charlap]
Sinat Chinam on the List
         [Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire]
Trees in SEA
         [Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 12:39:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Environmentalism

From: o7532 <o7532@...>
> In light of E.O. Wilson's, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on
> Earth, are there any tshuvot on global warming.  Is this the ultimate in
> ba'al taschit making environmentalism not simply take it or leave it.
> Or, is there some messianic take that has that these sort of things,
> like the earth moving towards ceasing to be inhabitable or towards
> species extinctions, beyond our purview.

In light of the google search results on "global warming fraud" as shown
in http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=global+warming+fraud as well as
the idiocy shown by such proponents of global warming such as Al "I
invented the Internet" Gore, I do not think that such teshuvot are to be

Only if legitimate scientists proved that

a) global warming was occuring and it is not part of the natural cycle
(which it may be as the sun may be in a warming cycle)

b) it is caused by human actions

c) it can be stopped by human actions that are possible today without
destroying the world economy

d) it is deleterious to human health and life (ask a farmer in Iceland
if he would object to conditions returning to the one's under which the
Vikings colonized the island)

then and only then would one be able to hope for a psak from a posek
hador such as Rav Elyashuv or Rav Chaim Kanievsky (or even Rav Dovid
Feinstein in the U.S.)

Note that the only prowarming links on the first page are ads. Though
this does not prove the point that it is a fraud, it does seem to show
that it is not time for a psak on the matter.

[Google results removed, feel free to run the search yourselves. Mod.]

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


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 13:59:18 +0000
Subject: Re: Neturei Karta at Iran Conference

On Sat, 16 Dec 2006 19:00:51 EST, <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
wrote about the issue of the Neturei Karta at the Iran Conference.

A few days ago a poster was put up in the chareidi shuls in Manchester
signed by Rabbi Schneebalg, rav of the Machzikei Ha'dass Communities

We hereby wish to inform the entire Community with regard to those
individuals who have associated themselves with our enemies and thereby
endanger Jewish lives that in our view they should be excluded from our
Kehillos and be denied entry to all our constituent Shuls and

It is well known in Manchester to whom he is referring.

Martin Stern


From: Mr L Reich <lreich@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 11:45:31 -0000
Subject: Picture of the Chafetz Chaim

From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise)
> The late Gaon - Reb Koppel Kahana (my rebbe's rebbe) was a talmid in the
> kollel kodshim in Radin and said that the picture did not resemble the
> Chofetz Chayyim as did the late Dayan Fisher of London (who died aged 92
> several years ago) also a talmid of the Chofetz Chayyim.
> The elder Rabbi Cofnas aged 93 (till 120) is alive in Liverpool and might
> also be consulted.

Rabbi Cofnas is alive and well in Manchester, to where he has retired.

I sit next to him every day at the Daf Hayomi Shiur, which he avidly

He told me that the well known picture is very similar to his true
looks.  He added that the C.C's grandson, Rabbi Hillel Zaks looks
remarkably like his ancestor.

Elozor Reich


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 19:27:56 -0800
Subject: Re: Shalsheleth

i thought Shalsheleth was used to indicate great hesitation (or
unwillingness to really get on with it) on the part of the person. ie:
Moshe Rabeinu was very hesitant in giving up the Kehuna roles.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:05:36 -0500
Subject: Re: A silent Minority

> From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
> Finally, the question -- how should a "silent majority" (within a
> minority) respond to events of this nature?

Yes.  Absence of response is tantamount to acceptance ... as we saw with
Esav, who, in his exchange with Yaakov over "lentil soup", could have
nullified his agreement post facto due to coercion.  According to some
commentators, Esav legitimately lost his birthright because he did not
make this argument.

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:43:58 -0500
Subject: Re: A silent Minority

Carl Singer wrote:
> Many of you will recall the term "Silent Majority" ...

Of course, it isn't always obvious if the silent majority actually
apposes the actions of all of the different "loud minority" voices.
Sometimes these minorities are entirely on their own.  Sometimes the
majority agrees with them.

> Finally, the question -- how should a "silent majority" (within a 
> minority) respond to events of this nature?

That much seems obvious - stop being silent.

If you see/read/hear something in the news that you object to (or even
agree with), write letters to the media outlets you got the news from.
This doesn't require a coordinated effort (and such coordination would
be counter-productive, creating yet another non-representative "loud

If enough people take the time to reply to the media (the way everybody
replies to blog postings), some will be noticed by editors and
producers, and will have their opinions featured alongside the loud
minority opinions.

Similarly, if some group is gaining disproportional publicity through
aggressive outreach programs (e.g. the preponderance of Chabad-style
menorahs in public places), and you object, then you should work with
other similarly-minded Jews to run some of your own outreach programs.
If you start setting up round-branch menorahs in public places in your
neighborhood, I don't think Chabad is going to oppose you.

-- David


From: Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire <irwin@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:29:14 -0500
Subject: Sinat Chinam on the List

With regard to the recent discussions that are political in nature, and
accusations back and forth, I recall the important phrase we are about
to read from Torah.  In Parshat Vayigash, you will all recall the story
where Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers (who had years earlier
thrown him in the pit) and then, he sends them back to tell Yaakov,
their mutual father.  He says, Do not quarrel on the way.

There are many interpretations of this pasuk, but, it is clear that,
despite the fact that he had been wronged, Yosef forgave his brothers,
and attempted to instill some unity amongst them at the time.

So too should we not fight amongst ourselves.  Sure we have differences
of opinions, difference in levels of observance, differences in levels
of education, and differences in what is important to us.  But, at the
end of the day, we are all Yehudim, and all of us are answerable to

Barchenu Avinu Kulanu K'echad.

Irwin Weiss


From: <leah@...> (Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 05:12:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Trees in SEA

In an aside on M.J someone mentioned the Christmas Tree situation at the
Seattle-Tacoma, WA airport.  I was surprised that this didn't get more
bandwith on M.J.  (By the way, as an aside to Jeanette, I didn't know
about some of those issues that she mentioned so in fact even though we
usually discuss halakhic 'finer points' on M.J I would not have minded
some more discussion of those issues too.)

Anyway, I could not be more irritated with how the SEA-trees situation
played out.  As far as I can see, nothing is good about any step of what

1. Trees are placed in airport.  This is bad because it is yet another
public display of one particular religion (or set of religions) in a
space shared by all of us.  More of this mandatory "Christmas Spirit"
which is already appallingly forced onto us in US society.

2. Rabbi requests Chanukiah placement.  This is bad because it is not
appropriate to put religious symbols up in a public place in the US.  We
have separation of Church/State.  One could argue that the airport is a
private concession and not "State" - but airports are certainly public
to the extent that people need to use them for transport, plus the
government does have jurisdiction over many facets of air travel.  One
could argue that Christmas Trees aren't religious symbols, but no one
could argue that a Chanukiah is not.  (Perhaps a dreidel or latke would
be the equivalent to the Tree.)

3. Airport refuses to discuss/negotiate the issue.  This is bad because
it is glaringly insensitive to a religious minority, misguided though I
may think that Rabbi was.

4. Airport summarily removes Trees.  This is bad because it shows lack
of management skill, and because it inflames the average
Christian-on-the-street who still dreams of foisting that Christmas
spirit on everyone, like it or not.

5. Airport employees "protest" by putting their own decorations up.
This is bad because once again, nonChristians are marginalized, while
majority Tree-poster employees are oddly martyred for their bravery in
continuing to foist the Christmas spirit.

6. Rabbi/lawyer threatens lawsuit.  This is bad because it's hard to
imagine a bigger chillul-hashem than the "Oh, the Jews are getting their
lawyers and stealing Christmas by force" situation.

7. Media and person-on-the-street participate in "who stole Christmas"
frenzy.  I heard a comment on the news, "It's so sad, because Christmas
is for the children."  (I suppose, with the following exceptions: Jewish
children, Hindu children, Moslem children, Buddhist children, Atheist
children, Jehovah's Witness children....)  This is bad for obvious
reasons - more chillul-hashem.

8. SEA replaces Trees.  This is bad because the Trees were never
appropriate, plus SEA just demonstrated that they cave to peer pressure,
plus there is still no effort in 2006 (allegedly there will be in 2007)
to actually think about the germane issues.

By the way, I have no objection to people and businesses doing whatever
decorations they like on their private property.  I think that public
places, probably including airports, need to be a lot more careful about
propagating majority religious images.  The "everyone needs the
Christmas spirit or it dilutes it for the majority" attitude is
nefarious because it sets up minorities as the "bad guy" just for not
being all cheery about the Christmas stuff.

And, there is a signficant movement right now to move *away* from the
"Happy Holidays" because some Christians apparently think that it was an
annoying concession to (who else?) the Jews, and that it's time to go
back to "Merry Christmas" universally.  I was irritated enough at the
"Happy Holidays" when everyone knows it's just really Christmas, but at
least that formulation was an allowance that there might be some
non-majority people out there.  The backlash that I hear now on the
radio etc., "Why can't my kids make paper stockings in public school?
This anti-Christmas has gone too far...." is a scary harbinger of
majority intolerance IMO.

--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


From: <smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 09:05:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Zmanim

I davened Sunday at Cong. Shomer Shabbos, one of Boro Park's minyan
machines and wasn't surprised to see that the last Maariv is at 2:15
a.m., but I was somewhat taken aback about two other zemanim posted. One
was for a regular mincha/kabalas Shabbos ONE HOUR after candlelighting,
and the other was a Shabbos schedule, which had Mincha Shabbos as late as
5:30 this week, but also Maariv not only at the early zman,but also at 7.
7:30 and one at 9:45 p.m.  Are there opinions indicating that one should
extend Shabbos 4 hours? I've been trying to figure a scenario that at
this time of year there would be enough people needing a minyan Motzei
Shabbos at that hour. Maybe late sheva brochos?

The bottom line: There is almost no excuse not to daven with a minyan,
during the week or on SHabbos.



End of Volume 53 Issue 29