Volume 56 Number 28
                    Produced: Sun Aug 31 21:22:35 EDT 2008

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Blogging and e-lists - creating a virtual community
         [Avi Feldblum]
Pictures of the International Jewish Bloggers Convention in Jerusalem
         [Jacob Richman]
A plurality of local customs
         [Carl Singer]
Prayer for the Country in UK
         [Dr. Howard Berlin]
Ultra-Orthodox hashkafa
         [Eric Grosser]
Wearing Tzitzis at Night
         [Aviva Skurowitz]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 21:20:56 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

Tonights issue has a few posting sent in during the period I was out of
touch that I thought remained relevant still, a few that came in today
and a posting from myself on at least a contributing element to my return
today. I'm still cleaning up my inbox, and as I do, I'll see how much of
the historical postings make sense to send out to the group.



From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 21:17:03 -0400
Subject: Blogging and e-lists - creating a virtual community

One of the immediate causes of my return was a question raised on Gil
Student's blog Hirhurim, where the question of blogging, e-lists and
virtual communities was raised. The disappearance of mail-jewish as one
of the e-lists was raised, leading to emails to my wife and I to see what
was the story. So I am back, but some of the underlying question still
remains. Has the world of the blog-sphere rendered the email discussion
list archaic? When I started mail-jewish all those long years ago, there
was just net.religion.jewish and then mail-jewish on the Internet, with
various jewish groups on PC networks. Today, there are more Jewish blogs
out there than one can imagine or count. Is there still a place for

Fundamentally, you the readership, determines that. When I look at it,
the thing that strikes me is that over the years I feal that we have
built a true virtual community in the mail-jewish experience. I have
skimmed some of the blogs, and I freely admit to be being a novice in
that world, but I do not see the community aspect there. However, I have
not really joined the new world of virtual social networking (I just
joined Facebook and updated myself on Pulse/Plaxo as well as being on
LinkedIn) so there very well may be a community out there that I do not

When I look at many of the postings on the blog by the blog author, there
are many that are very high quality, in general I would say better
written that what people post to the email list. The only way you will
get eyeballs to come to your blog, and to keep coming back, is if the
material you put out there is of high quality. However, many of the
comments appear to me to be of fairly mediocre quality, with some blogs
having a high percentage of anonymous or unknown id's responding, so
there is little continuity in terms of community, at least to an outsider
like myself. I would be interested to hear how it is to those who are
more involved in it. In mail-jewish, the aspect of editing removes /
inhibits the repetitive and obnoxious groups of comments, and while we do
have anonymous postings, they are a very small fraction of the total.

I'll leave this as an open-ended invitation to hear from the readership
on what people think about email lists, blogs, does virtual community
mean anything or any related topic.

Avi Feldblum


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 04:04:26 +0300
Subject: Pictures of the International Jewish Bloggers Convention in Jerusalem

Hi Everyone!

Today, August 20, 2008, I attended the first International Jewish
Bloggers Convention in Jerusalem. It was great meeting, face-to-face,
the people behind the Jewish Blogsphere.  A big thank you to everyone
that worked on making this event a success.

I posted 143 pictures of the convention on my website at:

I also copied all 143 pictures to Facebook for name tagging.  There are
three sets of pictures and the address of the first set is:

If you have a Facebook acccount and you are in the pictures or see
someone you know, please feel free to name tag the pictures.

Enjoy the pictures and have a good night,


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 20:04:31 -0400
Subject: A plurality of local customs

I was reading an interview of Rabbi Marc Angel in a recent edition of the
Jewish Press.

He tells a story that while he was a student at Yeshiva University he
learned that it was improper to say "Baruch who o' baruch Sh'mo" during
kiddish as this constitutes a hefzek (interruption.)  His story
continues that upon returning home he convinced his Father to
discontinue the family custom of so saying.  Much later he learned from
reliable sources that this IS the custom of Turkish Jews (he is of
Turkish ancestry) -- ironically his Father had passed away and it was
too late for him to apologize.

I'm looking forward to going to Rabbi Angel's website and learning more

I wanted to hear opinions / discussion not re: any specific minhag or
custom that differs - but regarding how we as a diverse observant
community might best go forward with the understanding that there is
(often?) more than one "correct" minhag.

Carl A. Singer


From: Dr. Howard Berlin <w3hb@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 13:21:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Prayer for the Country in UK

I had just returned from a trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen.  What I had
found unusual was that in the customary prayer for the country after the
torah service on shabbat in Denmark, the prayer specifically mentions
the names of the Queen (Margrethe II), her husband (Prince Henrik), and
the their son, the Crown Prince (Frederik).

I have been to services in Italy, Germany, Hungary, and a few other
countries and have never seen this prayer mention the head of state by
name elsewhere.

As many times as I have been in the UK, I have, sad to say, never been
to shabbat services in London. Does anyone know if the prayer for the
country mentions the Queen (Elizabeth II) by name?

Dr. Howard Berlin
You can tune a banjo, but you can't tuna fish.


From: Eric Grosser <ericgrosser@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 21:39:04 -0500
Subject: Ultra-Orthodox hashkafa

I'd like to put a big hashkafic question on table by giving a specific
example.  My question is, to what degree is Haredi haskafa, if I may use
this term, based on misinformation, be it
historical/linguistic/scientific, as opposed to an underlying world
view?  As an example, in one of the Hatam Sofer's tshuvot, he condems
the practice of signing one's name in Latin letters, even on ordinary
documents.  This is part of a larger struggle on the part of many
Hungarian rabbis in the 1800's to prevent the displacement of Yiddish to
German.  "In my opinion the ancients were also well versed in the
vernacular but intentionally corrupted the language German into Yiddish,
because of the eighteen measures."  (11th day of the Omer 1839) (EH
2,12) The 18 measures is taken from the Yerushalmi masechet Shabbat and
includes "on their language" which was interpreted as a probition
against speaking the language of idolators.

QUESTION: Linguistically, I am convinced that it can be proven as a fact
that Yiddish dervies from a particular variety of 13th century German
and at no point did Jews decide to INTENTIONALLY corrupt German.  Given
that the Hatam Sofer were to have been convinced of this by a historical
linguist, to what decree would he be forced to "change" his hashkafa and
be open to Jews speaking the languages of the idolators?  The biggest
irony is that Yiddish derives from 13th century German, meaning, Yiddish
originally WAS a language of idolators which is how we have Yiddish
today.  If the Hatam Sofer were to have realized this linguistic fact,
would this have affected his hashkafa, and if so, how?  I'd like to open
the discussion on this topic by finding other examples and developing a
kind of model for analyizing this aspect of Ultra-Orthodox hashkafa.


From: Aviva Skurowitz <immaof4@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 16:02:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Wearing Tzitzis at Night

If a man put on his tzizis in the morning, says the bracha then takes
his tzizis off when it gets dark (to shower or for whatever reason) and
then he gets dressed to go out (at night) should he put the tzizis back
on in order to go out. What is the halacha l'ma'aseh for this? If he
does put them back on is he "oveir" on anything?


End of Volume 56 Issue 28