Volume 54 Number 03
                    Produced: Fri Feb  9  5:47:06 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Back of the Bus
         [Perets Mett]
Back to the back of the bus
         [Janice Gelb]
Drug abuse in the frum community
         [Russell J Hendel]
School Admissions (2)
         [Tzvi Stein, David Greenberg]
Speaking in Shul
         [Russell J Hendel]
Traif Cheese Pierogen
         [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 14:28:42 +0000
Subject: Re: Back of the Bus

Mordechai Horowitz wrote:

> What are these men doing on the bus?  I thought they were supposed to
> be in yeshiva all day. They should only need a bus to go to and from
> yeshiva.  So the yeshivot can just create their own bus system to go
> straight to the yeshiva for shacharit and come home after evening
> seder.

Mordechai - if your whole purpose in posting is just to make attacks on
chareidim, just come clean and say so. Chareidi Jews are every bit as
entitled to go about their daily lives as you are. They have no need for
lectures about whether to spend their whole day in yeshiva.  Many of us
work for a living. The yeshivos ****do** have their own bus system to
transport their students to and from yeshiva. the public bus system is
used (a) by many chareidim who are not yeshiva students and (b) yeshiva
students are allowed to travel after seder for all sorts of legitimate

> Actually given the composition of the Israeli Supreme Court it is very
> likely they will ban the "Mehadrin" busses as a violation of Israel's
> basic laws.

Yes the supposedly democratic State of Israel is actually in the grip a
Supreme Court whose own values override everything else. So it wouldn't
be too much of a surprise if they issue another anti- religious ruling.



From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 13:03:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Back to the back of the bus

SBA <sba@...> wrote:
> From the outpouring of her outrage, it would seem that she ought to be
> concentrating on that, rather than joining anti-religion activists in
> petioning the court to ban Mehadrin buses (which she has no hope in
> achieving anyway)?

I wouldn't be so sure this is not achievable, given the worldwide
attention and outrage this situation has caused.

The theory of these buses seems shaky: the justification for women
sitting in the back and men in the front seems to be that the men will
be less likely to see the women if they are in the back. But once they
get off the bus, the men are going to see non-tznius women anyway - for
example, the Old City is a major visiting place for tourists. Why should
non-charedim be inconvenienced and hassled davka on a bus when the
charedim are going to be seeing non-tznius women when they go out of
their enclaves anyway?  The real issue specific to buses would seem more
to be on physical contact rather than sight, and that can be taken care
of in other ways (standing in the back in groups, immediately getting up
to stand if a woman sits down next to you, etc.)

As we keep repeating, the main issue here is not the buses themselves
but the attitude that the rest of the world should be inconvenienced and
threatened to accommodate a minority.



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 21:07:06 -0500
Subject: Drug abuse in the frum community

Several postings have been written about drugs in the frum community but
no one has mentioned the simple steps needed to stop them -- I refer to
prayer and charitable deeds.

It is published literature that the endorphins released after prayer are
similar in quantity to a dose of tranquilizers. We all know why people
take drugs...they want temporary reliefs. We say it is wrong because it
is temporary. Someone like Dr Twersky will say it is animalistic and
mechanical and not spiritual.

But does anyone give people an alternative? If we dont teach our
children those gifts that God gave us to save us from frightening
situations how are they suppose to avoid drugs? How many people are
trained to sit down and cry in prayer when someone is bothering them.

I have been shocked when I relate the above approach that people cite
the Aruch Hashulchan that one should not make ones own prayers (that is
insert personal requests during prayer). This is cruel and not
completely accurate. The essense of prayer is to use the 18 blessings as
a springboard for ones personal needs.(See Rambam Prayer Chapter 1) If
you cant you may end up on drugs or alcohol or anything else that people
who dont know how to pray use. (To be fair to the Aruch Hashulchan there
are guidelines for inserting ones own prayers but that simply is a word
of caution not a prohibition).

I personally heard the following story from Yehuda Glantz, noted Israeli
Rock singer. A serious bomb exploded in Jerusalem a few 100 meters away
from his studio. This of course can be very frightening. Yehuda said
that as a result of this trauma he composed his hit turn "RaQ LiTzOQ EL
HASHEM" (Only to cry out to God). People who sing like this do not need
drugs and will never experiment with them.

Finally I must close with two recent clashes I had with Rabbis over
this.  I heard an orthodox Rabbi speaking about prayer in Silver
Spring. He cited a well known book about how to get into the proper mood
for prayer.  I asked him what he thought of e.g. praying to God give a
good sermon (Again my theme....inject the personal into prayer). I asked
how we could integrate our own needs into prayer. He stared at me
blankly and answered my question by saying "I dont think you understand

A second incident happened with a Reform Female Rabbi. She was lecturing
about Heschel's idea that the height of prayer is when you divest
yourself of I-ness and become a conduit for Gods will. I asked her what
a person who is having job problems or marital problems is suppose to
do. I asked if the proper procedure is to negate their I-ness or if
rather the proper procedure is to cry forth and demand their economic
and marital needs. I asked what would happen to people's jobs and
marriages if they negated their I-ness (Her response was that she
believed in possession and marital fidelity).

In both cases these people ignored my point:There are people under
stress...if you let them cry out in prayer they will not need drugs,
therapy or anything else. If you clamp them down you are inviting the
type of psychological disasters that plague our community. Let me put it
this way....without prayer we are no different than the non Jews we live

I would also warmly recommend chesed community projects as a way of
avoiding states where one has a need for drugs. I have seen more of
these in previous years and I hope the trend continues.

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


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 09:04:16 -0500
Subject: School Admissions

Getting children to inform on their parents.... sounds like the tactics
of the Russian Czar or the East German "Stasi"!

Not to mention the factural flaws in this technique... such as the fact
that children often mix their fantasy and imagination with reality when
they draw pictures and the fact that this does not distinguish between
fathers who daven in shul and those that never put on tefillin!

From: David Greenberg <dgreenberg@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 09:13:47 -0500
Subject: School Admissions

I was always fond of this one, which was reportedly going around
Brooklyn preschools/kindergartens before we moved out:

"What's your favorite TV show?"

Any answer disqualifies the student.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 21:30:03 -0500
Subject: Speaking in Shul

I believe the postings on speaking in shule have been inadequate. They
neglect to  mention that sometimes you can speak in shule. They ignore
the reality that shules are SUPPOSE to provide social outlets. I in fact
would encourage people to speak in shule at certain times. I give details
and sources below.

1st I cite the inaugural address of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Baer
Soloveitchick at the ground breaking of the Synagogue of the Talner
Rebbe, Rabbi Isidore Twersky may he rest in peace, Nathan Lithauer
Professor of Judaic studies at Harvard.

The Rav cited contradictory degrees of respect for the synagogue vs the
Temple. The Rav explained: The Temple is Gods house in which we are a
guest; The synagogue is our house in which God is a distinguished guest.
Using this distinction the Rav explained many obscure laws. The Rav
pointed out that especially during the middle ages the synagogue was a
person's 2nd home. The Rav also pointed out that if we cover the ark we
can even eat in the synagogue.

I would argue that since the synagogue is our home with God a
distinguished guest we have a right to talk in it provided we are

The way I understand it it is prohibited to talk FROM the prayers Baruch
Sheamar till after the completion of the recitation of the 18 blessings
(and similarly during the Musaf prayer) ANY OTHER TIME IT IS PERMITTED
(except during the reading of the Torah and Haftorah).

Using this let me show some times where  I would encourage talking.

After Musaf on Saturday we traditionally sing AYN CAYLOKAYNU, ALAYNU,
ANIM ZEMIROTH, and ADON OLAM. My own opinion is that these songs were
introduced because people were packing up after davening and they provide
background music which give a proper mood of praise to God while people
are leaving. I dont advocate not saying them. (In passing the Rav
explicitly said that he did not say these songs (except for alaynu) But I
think it an appropriate time to do socialization...including asking
people how they are doing, inviting them over, getting tips and contacts

Some people object to this as follows: There are vague prohibitions of
"idle chatter" in the synagogue because it is a house of worship. I am
not certain what idle chatter is. For example every Rabbi once in his
life gives a sermon about the fact that the mirrors of women were used to
make temple vessels because the marital peace that women make with these
mirrors is a holy act. So why can't women discuss their fashions, dresses
and other similar matters and exchange ideas on them during Ayn
Caylokaynu. It would appear to me that if women have "in mind" that they
are talking about fashions to improve their marriages it is OK (True some
people may consider this outrageous but then why do we insist that the
mirrors of women were used to make the Temple vessels)

Similarly inbetween aliyoth there is no prohibition of talking. I think
it a good time to shmooze about the Parshah and its relevance. Perhaps
discuss the latest current events, politics and see if the Parshah can

There are various opinions that the prayers like VIHI NOAM were made to
delay people in synagogue so that latecomes would not have to walk home
late at night and endanger themselves. I beliieve these prayers should be
said. But if you want to encourage people to stay in the synagogue why
not encourage them to talk after finishing these prayers.

Yes I know that sometimes the noice gets unbearable. That however is not
a religious problem but an administrative problem. If during AYN
KAYLOKAYNU people are talking too loudly the president (not the Rabbi)
Should get up and ask people to quiet it a little  (It should be an
administrative request rather than a religious request)

My point is that synagogues provide BOTH a religious outlet and social
outlet. I believe this is justified  in the Jewish Law Books. I therefore
believe that we should also encourage it in our personal lifes. To avoid
acknowledgeing our social needs is improper and leads to people not
coming to synagogue.

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


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 14:37:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Traif Cheese Pierogen

Thank you to those who responded to my posting, on and off-line.  I have
some follow-up information, observations, and questions.

1.  The halachic question (as opposed to my question, which was one of
approach) was posed to an LOR before my posting, and - fully cognizant
that this was an individual, not a community, kashrus issue - he
paskened "traif - kasher the pan and throw out the dish".  It is not
clear to me why; I did not ask him (it was not my question).

2.  As to Harry Weiss's posting, I think we are talking about the same
hechsher, and my information from several sources is that it's still a
problem despite the new management.

3.  Out of curiosity, I posed the halachic question to my LOR, a gaon to
whom I usually avoid posing this type of question, and his response was
"since it's not cholov yisroel, if you don't use cholov stam you need to
kasher the pan".  He added that if you would use cholov stam, you
wouldn't have to kasher anything; he saw no difference between cholov
stam "kosher" cheese and "traif" cheese.  Interestingly, the latter
seems to have been Rav Soloveitchik's position (see Avi's 2003 posting)
in allowing all cheese; but I don't think that's what my LOR meant, and
I think it rather shows the limits of approaching an LOR.

4.  But it did set me thinking about cholov yisroel.  While that subject
has been discussed extensively on this list, my questions have not been:
Rav Moshe Feinstein's responsum states that one may use cholov stam in
the U.S. because one can rely on the USDA that there is no nonkosher
milk in it.  Setting aside the USDA, AFIK there is no commercial source
in the U.S. for milk from nonkosher animals, if there were it would be
far more expensive than cow's milk, and so there is no financial
incentive for a farmer to adulterate cow's milk with other milk.  If so,
is there any basis for the cholov yisroel stringency today - other than
that "it's a minhag"?  If there is no basis other than a minhag, would
it not follow that in no sense is cholov stam "traif", so that it would
not render a utensil in which it was cooked "traif" even to cholov
yisroel followers?  If the basis is that there is some theoretical
chshash (doubt) of nonkosher milk (and either that milk would not be
nullified or we do not want to rely on nullification), how does the
simple presence of a Jew at the milking - which I believe is the
standard for cholov yisroel - totally eliminate this doubt, unless the
Jew is so closely watching that he can guarantee that nobody slips in a
drop of anything, which I don't think is the case?  And finally, isn't
there a notion that nonkosher milk simply cannot be made into cheese (or
that it is economically impractical to do so), so that whatever the
doubt about milk, there can be no doubt about cheese?  Again, if so,
what is the basis for insisting on cholov yisroel cheese even for those
who insist on cholov yisroel milk?


End of Volume 54 Issue 3