Volume 58 Number 46 
      Produced: Mon, 02 Aug 2010 15:57:40 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

"Egalitarian orthodoxy" (5)
    [Aryeh Frimer  Stuart Wise  Mordechai Horowitz  Sam Gamoran  David Tzohar]
Any objection to kosher bacon and scampi? 
    [Art Werschulz]
Certification of Scotch Whisky 
    [Immanuel Burton]
Chumra and issur 
    [David Tzohar]
Grammar Query - Feminine version Priestly Blessing 
    [Michael Rogovin]
Magical influences on halacha 
    [David Guttmann]
New-Age Kabbalah 
    [Martin Stern]
Rabbinical headcovering 
    [Carl Singer]
Torah as Entertainment 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh 
    [Batya Medad]


From: Aryeh Frimer <frimera@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: "Egalitarian orthodoxy"

Mark Symons asks about inclusive/egalitarian/partnership Minyanim.   The 
halakhic aspects are discussed in the paper below:  "Partnership Minyanim," 
Aryeh A. Frimer and Dov I. Frimer, "Text and Texture" of the Rabbinical 
Council of America (May 23, 2010); available online at 

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Ethel and David Resnick Professor
   of Active Oxygen Chemistry
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>

From: Stuart Wise <Smwise3@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: "Egalitarian orthodoxy"

Re: Inclusive Orthodox synagogues 
So how do they differ from non-Orthodox?
Stuart Wise

From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 09:01 PM
Subject: "Egalitarian orthodoxy"

Mark asks

> Now, I understand that some official Orthodox Rabbinical organisations do
> not recognise such congregations as "Orthodox", and as far as I know, no
> recognised Posek has come out publicly and said that this sort of
> congregation is Halachicly acceptable; indeed, some Poskim (including Rav
> Henkin if I'm not mistaken) clearly state that this sort of congregation is
> Halachicly unacceptable.

> Therefore, a question arises as to whether a man who acts as a Baal Koreh
> or Baal Tefilla at a congregation like that, should not be allowed to also
> act as a Baal Koreh or Baal Tefila in a "mainstream" Orthodox or "Modern
> Orthodox" Shule (even if he himself observes Mitzvot such as Shabbat,
> Kashrut and Taharat Hamishpacha).

> Has anyone had (or knows of anyone who has had) such an experience ie if
> they act as a Baal Koreh or Baal Tefilla at a congregation like that, of
> being allowed or of not being allowed to also act as a Baal Koreh or Baal
> Tefila in a "mainstream" Orthodox or "Modern Orthodox" Shule?

On a bit of a related note I've seen similar situations where the 
response depends on the financial situation of the person wanting to 
lead services.

In my shul the Rabbi bars a member from leading services because on the 
high holidays he leads services at a conservative shul but allows a 
wealthy retired conservative Rabbi to lead services and has even honored 
the wealthy conservative Rabbi (educated in an Orthodox yeshiva) at the 
shul dinner with accolades to his lifetime of leadership in the Jewish 

From: Sam Gamoran <SGamoran@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 2,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: "Egalitarian orthodoxy"

Mark Symons <msymons@...> wrote: 
> A relatively new phenomenon is the so-called "Inclusive Orthodox" or
> "Egalitarian Orthodox" congregation, where women participate to a much
> greater extent than in traditional "Orthodox" congregations.
> ...
> Therefore, a question arises as to whether a man who acts as a Baal Koreh
> or Baal Tefilla at a congregation like that, should not be allowed to also
> act as a Baal Koreh or Baal Tefila in a "mainstream" Orthodox or "Modern
> Orthodox" Shule (even if he himself observes Mitzvot such as Shabbat,
> Kashrut and Taharat Hamishpacha).

I would like to some inverse questions.  Is it necessary to even ask where
else someone who davens (prays) or leyns (read the Torah) in a "mainstream"
Shul is also doing it?  Is one even permitted to "follow around" after
someone else to see where they are spending their time so as to be able to
disqualify them?

Sam Gamoran

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 2,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: "Egalitarian orthodoxy"

The term egalitarian orthodox is an oxymoron. The Torah is not egalitarian.
There are differences in obligation and participation in mitzvot and rituals
and in whom can marry  between cohanim, leviim, men, women, Hebrew slaves,
Gentile slaves, children under 13-12, the deaf, blind and mentally impaired
and Mamzerim. Anyone who does not accept this cannot call himself Orthodox
(there are new terms today,Post Orthodox, Orthoprax etc.)

Whether someone who participates in such a non-Orthodox congregation should
be allowed to lead orthodox services or given an aliya is a completely
different question. I am not a posek lerabbim (a recognized halachic
decisor) but IMHO even someone who regularly participates in a Reform
service,if he is halachically Jewish and if he does not desecrate shabbat
publicly, there is no problem with honoring him to get an aliya etc.

David Tzohar


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Any objection to kosher bacon and scampi?

Martin Stern wrote:

>> Although many will now be able to try forbidden delicacies such as
>> cheeseburgers, the Beth Din's stamp will not be placed on fake pork and
>> shellfish products - for fear of upsetting members of the community.
>> Despite being completely kosher the MK stamp will not appear on vegetarian
>> bacon rashers or scampi and ham-style produce.
> What do others think about the Manchester Beth Din's stance, or do they think it
> merely a business decision by the manufacturer?

Fake meat and shellfish substitutes are available in the United States, with
reliable supervision.  For instance, the Kof-K supervises a line of fake

Hmmm ... I wonder to what extent this thread could intersect the thread about
American hechshers appearing on British products?  

Art Werschulz


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Certification of Scotch Whisky

In Mail.Jewish 58#38, it was written:

> The point being made is that the OU has a larger group of consumers
> who will accept it without having to be "educated" about it than the
> LBD does. For example, only the fact that I have read this thread
> enables me to know that LBD stands for "London Beit Din" and that it
> is an "acceptable" hashgacha (certification).

I think this illustrates a point that I have been trying to make.  Consider the
following series of questions:

(1) Before Glenmorangie obtained an OU hechsher, would you have bought it
without a hechsher?

(2) If Glenmorangie obtained an LBD hechsher, would you have bought it if you
would have previously bought it without a hechsher?

(3) Now that Glenmorangie has an OU hechsher, would you buy it if it stopped
having an OU hechsher and did not carry any other hechsher?

What has changed in the kosher market that makes the people at Glenmorangie
think they can improve their sales if they have a hechsher?  Are there market
forces that are demanding whisky with a hechsher?

I still don't understand why a kashrus licensing agency should be licensing a
product that is produced in an area that is under the jurisdiction of another
agency, especially if the two agencies in question are in different countries. 
At this point I think that the best answer I can expect is "taiku" [an resolved

With regards to the London Beis Din's approach to the kashrus of whisky, I
believe (from memory) that the kashrus guide they issue listing which items of
food are kosher says that one should avoid a whisky if the label mentions
explicitly that the whisky was matured in sherry casks.  Can anyone on this list
who has access to the LBD's kosher food guide confirm whether I am remembering
this accurately?

Immanuel Burton.


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 2,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Chumra and issur

The question of chumra vs. issur is a little more complicated than the view
of the OU publication quoted by Martin Stern would lead us to believe. If
someone takes a chumra upon himself by vow, or by observing this chumra
three times this is an issur for him just as it is assur to eat pork. He can
be released from his vow only by appealing to a bet din. The same is true of
a chumra adopted by a large part of Am Yisrael or legislated by takkanah or
gezeira (proclamation or edict). Some examples: Kitniyot on Pesach for
Ashkenazim, mixing fish and milk for Sephardim, prohibition of bigamy for
Ashkenazim. These chumrot became issurim with the authority of Torah as it
is written 'You shall not deviate from what they will tell you to the right
or the left - Rashi- even if they tell you that the left is right and the right
is left (Devarim 17:11).

David Tzohar


From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 2,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Grammar Query - Feminine version Priestly Blessing

I could not find this in the archives, though I am sure it was there (and I
may have even asked before though I could not find that in the archives
either).  I have daughters and while I have always used the pesukim as they
appear in the Torah when blessing them on Friday nights, but it always
seemed strange to use the zachar form to girls. Some years ago, my Rabbi
suggested that it would indeed be appropriate to change the form to nikeva,
but did not give me a text to use. My grammar is not strong enough to be
confident that I would convert "yivarechecha" etc correctly and I know there
are serious ivrit grammarians here on mj.

Michael Rogovin


From: David Guttmann <david.guttman@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Magical influences on halacha

R. David Tzohar writes:

> Yet a large part of Jewish law and lore is based on the concepts of tumah
> and taharah including a whole book in the Mishneh Torah of the RAMBAM, 
> Sefer Hataharah (thank Gd for the RAMBAM!) 

This comment is wrong, extremely misleading and cannot remain unanswered.
Rambam holds that the laws of Taharah (cleanliness) are only for entry into
the Beit Hamikdash (temple) and things related to it such as Kodesh, Terumah
(giving to Kohanim who serve there) in opposition the other Rishonim who
held that there are advantages to being always Tahor (see Ra'avad and
others). This is consistent with his thesis in Moreh Hanevuchim that the
reason for these laws is to make entry into the Beit Hamikdash less mundane.
People should prepare themselves before entering because the purpose of the
whole ritual in the Beit Hamikdash  is to contemplate God and His actions.
One should therefore not just walk in off the street. It also instills awe
and respect for the same reason. 

He explains that the concept of Ochlei Chulin Al Taharat Hakodesh (eating non -
kodesh things while clean as if for eating Kodesh) is an offshoot and pertains
to people who want to maintain their contemplation at all times even when away
from the Mikdash - IOW the perfected individuals. 

The word Ruach Hakodesh should be translated "the spirit that comes from the
holy" and not Holy Spirit as the christians do which would be in Hebrew Ruach
Hakadosh. The Beit Hamikdash is the source of real knowledge because the person
who has taken full advantage of the contemplation therein looks at the world
from a different perspective and his thoughts and plans take on a different

> From the time we get up in the morning and ritually wash our hands to rid
> them of ruach ra'ah (evil spirit) to the form of prayer we say before going
> to bed at night to guard against evil spirits of the night Jewish practice
> in halacha and minhag has much to do with the spiritual world which is hidden
> but really surrounds us.

Again a statement is made as if this is fact. It is not. Rambam holds that
washing hands, other than for terumah (which BTW he sets up as a separate
Perek at the end of Mikva'ot consistent with my earlier comment above) has
nothig to do with Tahara. It is a special Rabbinic law only for Prayer,
Reading of Shema and before eating bread. These hakachot are located in
sefer Ahavah, the 6th chapter in Hilchot Berachot, Hilchot Kry'at Shema and
hilchot tefillah. He does not give the reason but it clearly is not anything
mystical. That is why he has no Halacha of washing in the morning for "ruach
ra" (evil spirit). In fact he says that before one washes hands, from the
moment one opens one's eyes we are to make blessings Pokeach ivrim, Matir
assurim when we sit up and so on, with washing hands at the end before going
to pray. That is also why he does not require washing hands after urinating
or even when moving the bowels unless the hands are sullied. 

The mystical approach is well entrenched in Judaism and I believe it to be
very unfortunate. It is a move in the wrong direction which I pray will
change soon.  It has been brought into Judaism because of exile and is
foreign to it. The Rishonim and even Amoraim and Tanaim lived amongst
peoples who could not explain the daily occurrences in nature and accepted
spiritual explanation, leading them to believe Torah was meant to protect us
from it. Rambam and his school both those preceding him (Rif, Ri Migash and
in general the Andalusians) were wired in to authentic Mesorah and were
careful not to let mystical things enter into their praxis. 

The more northern Europeans, especially those Rishonim in Germany and France,
did not have that Mesorah and therefore let mystical thinking influence them. I
strongly believed, nay I am convinced, that all these greats, had they lived
in our time where science has advanced so much and the "spiritual" world is
known to be bunk they would have joined Rambam and his school without hesitation.

David Guttmann


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: New-Age Kabbalah

On Sun, Jul 18,2010, Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:

> The Jerusalem Post has a freebie Hebrew newspaper called "Yisrael Post."
> This paper regularly runs an ad showing a picture of a gentleman who does not
> seem to be wearing any headgear, with his hair parted in the middle and
> writing with a quill, with the following text:
>> That we should not know of troubles.
>> Practical Solutions with the Kabbalist Yitzchak Mizrachi.
>> Register now and receive directly from the Kabbalist Yitzchak Mizrachi
>> practical solutions for success in income, love, removing the Evil Eye,
>> and many other solutions to daily problems.
>> Send the word "ayin" by SMS to XXXX.
> The cost of this service is NIS 15 monthly.

We have two local advertising freebies in Manchester both of which have been
carrying offers for several weeks from a certain 'gentleman' from
Yerushalayim, who claims to have the backing of many reputable rabbis,
asking "Is ayin horah casting a pallor on your life?" and offering his
services as a "noted ayin hora remover".

At least, from his picture, he would appear to be a typical chareidi, unlike
the one Shmuel cites, but what worries me most is that he finds it worth his
while to come here for about a fortnight several times a year to "help"
local sufferers.

Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Rabbinical headcovering

Regarding the picture of Reb Moshe Feinstein, ztl, (apparently with Menachem
Begin, ztl) -- the headcovering is a traditional headcovering worn by many
of a certain era. I do not know that it in any way was exclusive to Rabbis.  In
a publication from the Telshe Yeshiva I saw Rabbi Chaim Stein, shlita, wearing such.

I (clearly NOT a Rabbi) wear one on Shabbos -- and a friend of mine upon
first seeing me wearing same told me that he wore similar when he first
started yeshiva (some 45 - 50 years ago)



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 1,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Torah as Entertainment

Akiva Miller in responding to Susan Kane wrote:
> As I see it, the goal of Torah is not to be entertaining.
Actually, the verse "v'chai bahem" (Vayikra 18:5; Yechezkel 20:11 among 
others) - that the laws and statutes are intended that we should be able 
to live in them, and which can be understood further as through them andby them - 
could be applied to a way of an understanding of being entertained by living a
Jewish life.  
The concept of "simcha", joy, unless of course one is a die-hard Litvak, would
make the Torah an entertaining way of life.  Be happy and have fun would seem to
be the Torah concept that one should enjoy doing the mitzvot, be entertained by
them and entertain others through them. 


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 2,2010 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

Rosh Chodesh Elul
Wed. 11-8, 9:30am
Everyone's Invited


End of Volume 58 Issue 46