Volume 53 Number 41
                    Produced: Wed Dec 27  6:45:45 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Appropriate retaliation to violations
         [Annice Grinberg]
Fine or Execution -Distinction vs Generalization
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Impostors in hasidic garb
Sea-Tac question of chillul Hashem
         [Leah Perl]


From: Annice Grinberg <annice@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:31:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Appropriate retaliation to violations

Russell Jay Hendel  wrote:
> Perhaps a similar approach to lack of modesty would be for Charedi people
> to carry around packages of long black scarfs. They could then place the
> scarfs over the exposed parts of any woman provoking them OR they could
> use the scarfs to veil the faces of people sitting in the wrong sections
> of busses.

Daniel Wells wrote:
> The case of [Rosa] Parks as a black, being forced to sit at the back of
> the bus was racially motivated unlike todays modern religious women who
> are requested to sit at the back out of concerns for modesty

It is rare that I write to mail.jewish, but these two responses left me
irate.  Perhaps these gentlemen would like to suggest that women be
"requested" to wear chadors or burkas so as not to offend the men's
religious sensibilities.  Or maybe they'd like to set up modesty police,
as in Saudi Arabia.  I have an alternate suggestion: let the men be
"requested" to walk around with blinders -- after all, they may be
exposed to "immodestly dressed" women in places other than Egged busses.

Why should women, religious or not, be inconvenienced because of men's
perceived weaknesses?  Luckily, I'm not dependent on Egged busses for
transportation, but I pity the women who are.



From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 01:17:58 GMT
Subject: Fine or Execution -Distinction vs Generalization

Fine or Execution Dt25-11:12--Distinction vs Generalization--A dual

In discussing the bus story (v53n23), where the woman kicked the
attacking person in his privates, the narrator expressed the belief that
this carries a death penalty. Another discussant (v53n26) suggested that
"grabbing" ones privates not "kicking" ones privates carries a monetary
penalty not a death penalty.[Note to be "fully accurate" the discussant
simply said "the law talks about grabbing"-- but in context this
discussant APPEARS to be making a distinction between grabbing and
kicking, a distinction which as we shall show below in the name of the
Rambam and Rav Hirsch, has no validity]

Neither of these statements is fully accurate. The inaccuracies point at
a deeper problem with the way both knowledgeable and lay people approach
Jewish law. I have discussed this in the past several times on Mail
Jewish (in other contexts).

The basic point I try and make is that "excellence in knowledge of
Jewish law" is not achieved thru focused specificity on words used in
the formulation of the law. Such "Talmudic distinctions" are only one
skill and one part of the arsenel of the Posayk (decider of Jewish
law). An equally important skill is the capacity to generalize and see
laws as archetypical of broader issues.  Let us illustrate this basic
point with the above example.

The Bible in Dt25-11:12 speaks about two men fighting, with one of their
wives "GRABBING the privates of her husbands opponent." The Bible
explains "Cut off her hand ... do not have mercy." Notice how the Bible
**does** use the word GRABBING. It therefore appears Yeshivish and
Rabbinic to say "Grabbing but not kicking." However such an approach--an
emphasis on specific words--while appearing to have Talmudic distinctive
flavor, totally avoids the issues behind the law.

It was Rav Hirsch who in a brilliant exegetical moment combined the two
conflicting talmudic interpretations on this verse and showed both of
them to be the intrinsic simple meaning. Let us examine.

The Talmud does in one context state that "Cutting her hand" simply
means "fining her." (See e.g. Rambam Torts, Chapter 1) But an equally
valid Talmudic statement states that "Cutting her hand" is to be
interpreted literally. "If you see a woman about to do this she is to be
stopped at all costs---try cutting of her hand and if you cant be
precise, kill her." (See Rambam Murder, Chapter 1).

So what is the simple meaning of the verse? Do we fine her or kill her?
More importantly why.

Rav Hirsch suggests that "cut her hand" is an IDIOM which however does
NOT LOSE ITS LITERAL MEANING. Rav Hirsch translates as follows "If you
see a women grabbing the private parts then CUT HER HAND...IF BEFORE THE
ACT then stop her at all costs but cutting her hand or killing her and
IF AFTER THE ACT then METAPHORICALLY cut her hand by fining her." Hence
Rav Hirsch sees both interpretations as intrinsic to the simple meaning
of the text.

Note that we still havent explained the law. So far we have been
explaining the meaning of words. To understand the law we can cite the
Rambam who in turn cites the Talmud. In the laws of torts Rambam
explains that "grabbing ones privates" is simply a typical example of
the tort of embarassment. The women has not damaged the man or caused
him to stay home from work or even gotten him sick. She has embarassed
him and therefore must pay a fine.

It would emerge that if we consider kicking in the privates embarassing
then the law of monetary fine holds EQUALLY for kicking and grabbing.

The Rambam in the laws of Murder explains that "grabbing ones privates
during a fight" can legitimately be perceived as a life-threatening
gesture. The Rambam further explains "AFTER the act is done (an act of
murder) the person must receive a trial and convicted to receive a death
penalty; but BEFORE the act is done (or as the act is about to be done)
we have not only the right but the obligation to prevent the lethal act
from being done even if we have to kill the grabber, though it is
preferrable legally to stop the grabber in other ways IF this is
possible. The novelty here is that the STOPPING of the grabber thru
execution need not require a judicial process and conviction.

It would emerge that if we consider kicking in the privates life
threatening then we can kill the person about to do it. Again this law
would EQUALLY hold for kicking and grabbing.

Based on the above the proper response to the original posting that
"kicking in the privates" carries a death penalty is that "only if it
appears that the act would kill the person." From the discussion given
it would appear that this kick was retaliatory for an attack on
her. Only a monetary fine would be paid for embarassment AND the
attacker would also have to pay the kicker for embarassing her for his
activities." (In the end the two fines might cancel each other out).

Finally I should explain the "why" of generalization. What gives us the
"authority" to take a verse speaking about "grabbing" and GENERALIZE it
as talking about "kicking." The answer is given by the Rabbi Ishmael
Style rule of "Generalization." Several dozen typical examples are
presented on the Rashi website at
http://www.rashiyomi.com/h30n22.htm#list401a They include generalizing
Ex21-28a, requiring payment for damages by an ox to payment for damages
by any animal or the generalization of punishment for a rape in the
field (Dt22-23a) to punishment for any rape, and many more. In a similar
manner the proper persepective is to see "grabbing the privates" EITHER
as a typical act of pure embarassment (without damage)OR as a life
threatening gesture. Now we fully understand the generalizations that
the Rambam made in the name of the Talmud.

To echo our basic theme note how in the last example, the punishment for
rape in the field, we do not employ popular techniques of Talmudic
emphasis "In the FIELD there is punishment but not in TOWN." Rather
instead of Talmudic emphasis there is Talmudic generalization--"all

I believe the viewpoints expressed in this posting would do alot to
clarify many misconceptions about Jewish law.

Russell Jay Hendel;Ph.d.,A.S.A.; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 01:02:06 +1100
Subject: Impostors in hasidic garb

From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
>  Have they been rejected by the haredi world, including the antizioni
> portion? yes.

>  The NK are a group that is not subject to the usual communal
> controls, and acts as a loose cannon - and therefore a tightly knit
> and controlled community rejects them.  WRT to the Holocaust denial
> conference- NK, in their zealous espousal of anything anti Israel, may
> have also stepped over a red line too, as much of the haredi community
> is, unfortunately, intimately aware of the reality of the Holocaust.

> However, in sofar as the underlying ideology - that is a different
> issue.  I think that is the underlying problem.  After all, much of
> the more mainstream communities (edah charedit, satmar) are extremely
> virulent in their anti israel ideology and propaganda The satmar rebbe
> is reported to have complained (in his day) over young hotheads who
> did anti israel actions on their own -rather than only those he
> authorized.  The dismissal of the NK is similar - it isn't because
> their ultimate aim, the destruction of israel, is rejected - nor
> necessarily the tactics of appealing to nonJews to accomplish their
> aim .

Let's face it, for those who think like Dr Shinnar - NOTHING will
satisfy them regarding the charedi hashkafa until they totally change
over to his way of thinking.

It ain't gonna happen. Never.

Yes, in the hashkafa of the Satmar rebbe (and hundreds of other gedolei
yisroel of most stripes) zionism was and is treif. Now that the state
has been established, some do accept its legitimacy - bedieved.

The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of charedi Jews
worldwide - who follow this view. But despite their large numbers, only
6 went to Teheran. And if you look at the photographs of the various
publicity stunts in the past years by these crazies (eg Washington
protest, Arafat's funeral etc etc) you will always see the same 20-30
meshugoim.  Which to any reasonable person shows that the VAST majority
of charedi non- and anti-zionists ARE responsible people who follow the
dictates of their rabbanim on how far to go.

>>the NK are a natural outgrowth of the virulent antizionism of the more
>>mainstream ones - they can't duck responsibility for their children>>

In that case, can the RZ camp, with which Dr Shinar associates, duck
responsibility for THEIR children?  That movement has produced more than
one murderer - including the person who assassinated an Israeli PM in
cold blood, another who slaughtered dozens of Arabs and some who have
killed lesser numbers innocent non-combatant Palestinians. (One who
killed some 4 Arab workers, suicided just days ago.)

Meanwhile the children of the 'virulent anti-zionists', haven't, Boruch
Hashem, reached anywhere the murderous level of these fervently
pro-zionist 'religious' activists.

Can you just imagine the outcry and attacks against charedim, if they,
chas vesholom, had produced so many (or even a single) murderer??  And
lav davka one who kills the Prime Minister!?  People in glass houses....

> I have not seen any mainstream organization condemning the CRC or
> calling for a boycott of their kashrut (something I advocate should be
> done

You are nothing if not consistent...
Sticking with your 'shittah' to hit religious Jews in the hip pocket
whenever possible. Last week it was meshulochim who come to your door
and this week it is Jewish manufacturers and storekeepers and their

But as the Torah says: "Vehi lo sitzloch.." It's not gonna work.

The charedi kashrut orgs are growing by leaps and bounds and even many,
many 'frummer' RZ Jews insist on davka such a supervision. The Edah
Charedis - flagship of worldwide Charedim - finds the demand for its
hashgacha growing constantly. Same with charedi kashrus orgs in the USA
and the rest of the world. Some consumers may disagree with their
politics - but they insist on getting what they consider the 'best'
standards of kashrut.

And let me relate something that I read in the Algemeiner Journal many
years ago about a meeting of the RCA, when certain members expressed
their anger at Satmar who had held a protest outside the Israeli
consulate (IIRC it was to protest the uprooting of ancient Jewish

A resolution was put forward to ban all products that have CRC and
Satmar associated kashrus).

The chaplain of one of the major NY hospitals got up to speak. He told
the assembled rabbis that in his hospital, Satmar men and women come
daily with food and nourishment for the patients. For all Jewish
patients - not just their own. He told them that if not for Satmar (I
think it goes under their Bikur Cholim org), many patients would have
inferior or sometimes no kosher food.  "You want me to ban this?", he

The resolutions was immediately taken off the table..

see what others write about it:



From: Leah Perl <leahperl@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 12:37:37 -0500
Subject: Sea-Tac question of chillul Hashem

<<The lawyer/airport were having <<discussions about the lawsuit
possibility earlier, but the whole story <<broke (and the lawsuit threat
became public) precipitated by the Tree <<removal.  Since my point was
about the chillul hashem of it all, I put <<the lawsuit "item" there in
my list.

Why is it a chillul Hashem to say that you will take legal action if
your civil rights as a citizen are denied?  I don't see this as anything
but acceptable.  I don't think we believe that Jews should just "lie
down and take it".  You might disagree with the rabbi's interpretation
of separation of church and state, but I hope that you agree that if,
according to his definition, his legal rights were violated, that he can
and should sue to protect those.  We are not here by toleration.



End of Volume 53 Issue 41