Volume 6 Number 44

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Attending a Conference in Germany
         [Howie Pielet]
Cross Cultural Influences
         [Len Moskowitz]
HI (she) or HU (he)
         [Laurent Cohen]
Icons & Shuls
         [Michael Scholar]
Intellectual Proofs for the Validity of Torah
         [Rechell Schwartz]
Keeping all the Mitzvot
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Mazal Tov!
         [Avi Y. Feldblum]
Shuls in Amsterdam
         [Michael Scholar]
         [Nelson Pole]


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 93 10:17:21 CST
Subject: Attending a Conference in Germany

What halachic, emotional, and practical issues relate to attending a
conference in Germany (Dusseldorf, in June)?  e.g. is it appropriate to
go at all?  Is it appropriate/inappropriate/dangerous to wear a kippa in

Howie Pielet   Internet: <pielet@...>  (East Chicago, Indiana, USA)


From: Len Moskowitz <moskowit@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 10:29:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Cross Cultural Influences

This is a bit of a belated response regarding the issue of cross
cultural influence.  Related to what might be called mystical practices
recall that when Avaraham Avinu gave all of his children (other than
Yitzkhak) "gifts" and sent them off to the East, the commentators say
that these "gifts" were knowledge of the occult arts.  Who's to say that
the Zoroastrian practices regarding nail clippings didn't originate with
our ancestors?

Len Moskowitz


From: Laurent Cohen <cohen@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 11:40:37 +0100
Subject: HI (she) or HU (he)

In the Torah, the word HI (she) is often (always?) written
HU (he) with a chirik under the He. For example in this week's parasha
verse 22,26 of exodus contains this word twice. Does anybody
know a reason it is like that?

Laurent Cohen


From: <SCHOLARM@...> (Michael Scholar)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 01:49:31 -0500
Subject: Icons & Shuls

Our congregation [traditional with orthodox biases] is building a new
shul.  Needless to say, we are all delight, but needless to say, as
well, new controviersies arise about old matters. The orem hakodesh in
our shul is a rather unique one in Canada, and has been the center of
some controversy.  It is a handsome deisgn, now some 40 years old, with
a representation painted on it of Moses receiving the decalogue from the
hand of God. Some object to the painting of the hand of God, others
objected to the painting of eyes on Moses.

I understand the generality of the ambivalence, and its historical
significance, and am aware of the interpretation of the 2nd commandment
which has lead to these objections, but I know that several ancient
shuls in the Middle East and Africa have murals and mosaics portraying
jews at worship and biblical scenes.  Can anyone give me a source for
some halachic scholarship on both sides of the question?

Thank you

Michael Scholar
University of Regina


From: <rrs@...> (Rechell Schwartz)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 09:06:37 EST
Subject: Re: Intellectual Proofs for the Validity of Torah

Rabbi Dovid Gotlieb from Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem has given many lectures
on the validity of Torah. These lectures have been recorded on tape,
and were at one time available from the Ohr Somayach/Neve Yerushalayim
Tape libraries. One lecture in particular, is called the "Historical
Verification of Torah." If anyone has trouble getting hold of Rabbi
Gottlieb's tapes, I have them and would be happy to lend them out.
I can be reached at (908) 957-6689.

                       Rechell Schwartz


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 11:46:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Keeping all the Mitzvot

Concerning keeping all the mitzvot i.e. a mitzvah for each part of the
body.  Well it is impossible for any one jew to keep all 613 mitzvot and
the actual mitzvot asseh (positive commandments) that one could keep
nowadays is a small fraction of the original 248. For example all the
mitzvot pertaining to korbanot are out and so are yovel and taharot etc.
etc. I assume that the mitzvah of shiluach haken falls into the same
category of fencing in a roof or of pidyon peter chamor i.e. one does
not have to build a house or buy a pregnant donkey but if one does come
to a situation where the mitzvah applies then one has to do what the
torah says for that situation. 

 Mechael Kanovsky


From: Avi Y. Feldblum <ayf@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 93 10:27:24 EST
Subject: Mazal Tov!

I would like to wish a Mazal Tov to one of our long time members.

Mazal Tov to Fran Storfer on her engagement to Harry Glazer!

Fran has been with us while she has traveled from Boulder, Co. where we
first met her, to her stay in California, and most recently to Highland
Park, NJ, where we got to meet in person. I have had both Fran and
Harry over for Shabbat meals, as well as been invited to Fran's and
Harry's. I wish you both the best and may you build together a true
Jewish home. Mazal Tov!

Fran's email is flaky at present, so she has asked me to collect any
Mazal Tov wishes other mailing list members would like to send, and I
will forward them to her by paper mail.

Avi Feldblum
<ayf@...>   or  avi_feldblum@att.com


From: <SCHOLARM@...> (Michael Scholar)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 01:49:24 -0500
Subject: Shuls in Amsterdam

I have a friend who is going to Amsterdam in about 2 weeks. He needs to
say kaddish for a yahrzeit while he is there. Can anyone supply a list
of shuls for him? I think he would prefer shuls to temples as he is
fluent in Hebrew and respects ritual. Other than that, I don't think he
would mind whether it were Conservative or Orthodox.

Thank you,

Michael Scholar
University of Regina


From: <R0731@...> (Nelson Pole)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 09:32:37 -0500
Subject: Theft

My wife claimed that in the Talmud, one is authorized to steal if ALL
other means of suviving were unavailable.  She had learned this in a
high school program over 30 years ago.  More recently, a member of the
list called this into question in private email.  I finally had a chance
to ask a (conservative) rabbi about this and he too doubted the claim.
However, he added that in Senhedrin there is a discussion of one who
becomes rich from legal investment of stolen gains.
My first question which he could not answer is where in Senhedrin to
find the discussion.  Anyone know?
My second question followed his comment that there the origional owner
has no right to demand back the stolen goods or to lay a claim to their
consequence because too much time had passed.  The thief could do Tshuva
but that was the thief's choice rather than an obligation.  I wanted to
know whether the same argument could be raised against affirmative
action or against compensating AmerIndians for confiscated land (and by
implication Arabs who formerly lived in what is now Israel).  We could
voluntarily do it but those who had suffered the original loss had no
right to DEMAND it.   He had never heard of a discussion of the Talmudic
point on these issues.  Has anyone on the list?
--Nelson Pole
SNAIL MAIL: Philosophy/Cleveland State University/Cleveland OH 44115 USA
    E-MAIL: <r0731@...>


End of Volume 6 Issue 44