Volume 6 Number 72

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Converts honoring their parents
         [Mike Gerver]
Correction on Jewish Bodies
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Grand Rapids, Michigan
         [Danny Geretz]
Hebrew Words to MBD's Kumpt AHaim (YiDn)
         [Hillel A. Meyers]
Minyan in Florence
         [Manny Lehman]
Old Gezerot on Modern Innovations
         [Manny Lehman]
Rav Ovadia Yosef's Siddur.
         [Jerry B Altzman]
The 10th plague
         [Andy Cohen]
Who Establishes Standards?
         [Manny Lehman]


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 93 03:12 EST
Subject: Converts honoring their parents

There has been discussion recently, esp. in v6n59, of the extent to
which converts are obligated to honor their parents. A couple of stories
that may have some relevance:

1) I have heard about the son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother,
who did not convert to Judaism, but who showed up at a minyan and wanted
to say kaddish when his father passed away. A shayla was asked, and he
was allowed to say kaddish, although there had to be ten men present in
addition to him. I would think on the basis of this that if the son had
converted, he would certainly be allowed to say kaddish for his father,
although maybe not required to say kaddish, since he would not be
technically considered to be related to his father.

2) Many years ago I was at the wedding of the daughter of a born-Jewish
father (a kohen, in fact) and a mother who was a Reform convert. The
mother had later undergone a halachic conversion, after the daughter was
born (and, tragically, had to divorce the father at that time), and the
daughter also converted halachically. When they were reading the ketubah,
I noticed that the bride was refered to as so-and-so bat so-and-so ha-kohen,
with her father's name. I asked the rabbi about this, since I would have
expected "bat Avraham avinu." I was told that, while it is customary for
converts to use "ben/bat Avraham avinu," they can in fact use any name they
want for their patronymic. The bride was on good terms with her father,
and I suppose did not want to embarrass him by using "bat Avraham avinu"
on her ketuba.

3) I have heard that a certain convert, a well respected member of the
community where she lives, goes with her children to visit her parents
every Xmas. She does not publicize this fact, and if it is true I am
not sure whether she has asked a shayla about doing this, although I rather
think she has. Certainly there is no doubt in my mind that she is a sincere
and shomer mitzvot Jew. But she is a very warm and kind-hearted person, and
I can well imagine that she could not bear to cause her parents the
anguish they would feel if she refused to visit them at that time of year.

All of these examples suggest that, even if converts are not technically
considered to be related to their parents, they are certainly encouraged
to honor and respect them, and that some exceptions can even be made in
the usual way of doing things, in order to accomodate this honor.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 00:46:41 -0500
Subject: Correction on Jewish Bodies

The source is the Chasam Sofer, Avoda Zara 31b (also Nishmas Avraham
Yoreh De'ah p. 255).


From: imsasby!<dgeretz@...> (Danny Geretz)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 16:14:22 -0500
Subject: Grand Rapids, Michigan

I will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on business, in the latter part
of April and/or early May.  I most likely will be there over a Shabbat.
I would appreciate any information that any reader might have on the
Jewish community there, whom to contact, etc.

Send mail to: imsasby!<dgeretz@...>

Thank you, 

Daniel Geretz


From: <hillelm@...> (Hillel A. Meyers)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 11:26:51 -0500
Subject: Hebrew Words to MBD's Kumpt AHaim (YiDn)

  Mordechai Ben David sings this popular song, Kumpt Ahaim.  Most
probably know it as YiDn.  (I think the dance is what made it most
popular.) I once heard that some one in Israel, wrote an Ivrit
version of the song.  Does anyone know more information on this 

   Any help would be appreciated.    Todah,



From: Manny Lehman <mml@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 06:40:53 -0500
Subject: Minyan in Florence

Re David's query, The Jewish Chronicle Travel Guide (qv) quotes a synagogue
at Via Luigi Carlo Farini 4, Tel 245 252 where there is also a Mikvah, tel.
245 252 or 055 247 6110 . Rabbi Umberto Sciunnach Via L C Farini 2a, Tel
244 711. where there is also a Kosher restaurant on the first floor which
may or may not be supervised but certainly claims to be Kosher, tel 241

Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman
Department of Computing Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
London SW7 2BZ, UK. Phone: +44 (0)71 589 5111, ext. 5009
email: <mml@...>


From: Manny Lehman <mml@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 05:42:20 -0500
Subject: Old Gezerot on Modern Innovations

A very brief, off the cuff response to Zev Kesselman. Am at work and don't
have a Tiferes Yisrael here but thank Zev for drawing my attention to it.
Will look it up to night b'n. In any event I was totally unaware of the
distinction made nor do I know of its source. I am confident that one of
our mj co-subscribers will enlighten us.

Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman
Department of Computing, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
London SW7 2BZ, UK., Phone: +44 (0)71 589 5111, ext. 5009
email: <mml@...>


From: <jbaltz@...> (Jerry B Altzman)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 11:26:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Rav Ovadia Yosef's Siddur.

Mea maxima culpa. It's not the Rav Ovadia Yosef's siddur, but another one (R'
Ovadiah's name appears in the letters of approbation, which is probably how I
associated his name with the siddur). I still don't have it in front of me,
but I checked it out. (and darn it I still can't remember the title)

jerry b. altzman   Entropy just isn't what it used to be      +1 212 650 5617
<jbaltz@...>    jbaltz@columbia.edu        (HEPNET) NEVIS::jbaltz


From: <andy@...> (Andy Cohen)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 93 18:55:18 -0500
Subject: The 10th plague

In preparation for Pesach, I've been reading a picture-book version of
the story to my 3.5-year-old son. He finds the story absorbing, but I'm
somewhat squeamish about describing the 10th plague to him. The kids'
books we have are all very straightforward about it: the firstborn sons
were killed. I, however, am wondering exactly how to present this to
my son. We spend a lot of time talking about how it's generally wrong
to hurt people, especially small, defenseless people, and I don't know
how to reconcile that with the positive feelings he's developing about
G-d. On the other hand, I was given a watered-down version of many
Jewish stories when I was a kid, and I felt somewhat cheated when I learned
the real, more interesting version many years later.

The other night, I said that G-d "hurt" the children, and Asher looked
at me, and asked "G-d hurt the children?"

How do you folks handle this issue? Are there any helpful midrashim on the
subject, which could help me to present the whole thing in a more
compassionate light? Any suggestions, recommendations, or personal
experiences will be appreciated.

Thank you,

	Andy Cohen


From: Manny Lehman <mml@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 06:29:42 -0500
Subject: Who Establishes Standards?

With reference to Eli Turkel's query as to who establishes standards in
regards to Lo Tilbash for example, this certainly was no question as far as
the Rav, Rav Horovitz zz'l that I quoted was concerned. He took it as a
matter of straight forward logic that did not require Talmudic support that
standards could only be established by people "who cared", who were Shomrei
Mitzvot (observant of mitzvot) even if, like all of us, they transgressed
from time to time or even regularly with respect to some specific mitzvah,
Mumer  LeTayavon (transgressor for appetite, ie one who, for example eats
some non-kasher food because he cannot overcome his desires for the taste
of it). I certainly accept this as reasonable, one of the axioms
(extra-logical) of Judaism.

Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman
Department of Computing, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
London SW7 2BZ, UK., Phone: +44 (0)71 589 5111, ext. 5009
email: <mml@...>


End of Volume 6 Issue 72