Volume 66 Number 09 
      Produced: Sun, 30 Oct 22 12:30:43 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Fishy Tale? 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Federal judge places temporary stay on N Y gun ban 
    [Frank Silbermann]
Kavod habriot - human dignity 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Kosher and Vegan 
    [Michael Rogovin]
Labeling Orthodox Jews  
    [Joseph Kaplan]
What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be? (2)
    [Carl Singer  Alan Rubin]


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Thu, Oct 27,2022 at 06:17 PM
Subject: A Fishy Tale?

In Parshas Noach we read about how Hashem brought the Mabul (Great Flood /
Deluge) and destroyed all living creatures, save for those inside Teivas Noach
(Noach's Ark). Additionally, we find that the fish in the oceans were spared as
well. It would be fascinating to find out on which side of the Ark a "fish with
legs" would have been. Would it have been considered a fish, and therefore
spared, or an animal and two might have been sheltered inside while the rest of
the species were wiped out?

Far from being a theoretical question, this issue was actually brought up almost
400 years ago, when a certain Rabbi Aharon Rofei (perhaps Rabbi Dr.?) placed
such a fish, known as a Stincus Marinus in front of the then Av Beis Din of
Vienna, the famed Rabbi Gershon Shaul Yom Tov Lipman Heller, author of such
essential works as the Tosafos Yom Tov, Toras HaAsham and Maadanei Yom Tov, and
asked for his opinion as to the kashrus status of such a "fish", unknowingly
sparking a halachic controversy.

For much more, as well as a discussion of What is a (Kosher) Fish?, see:


Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 26,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Federal judge places temporary stay on N Y gun ban

Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 66#07):

> In the discussion about guns in shul, Stuart Pilichowski asked (MJ 66#06):
>> Are you asking if it's a question of sakanat nefoshot (putting yourself in
>> danger) by going to a synagogue that doesn't allow guns?
> I would add that the question of sakanat nefoshot (putting yourself in danger)
> cuts both ways. There's the danger of a terrorist breaking into a shul ...
> And there's the danger of a terrorist breaking into a shul in which unskilled
> armed congregants might add to the number of, God forbid, lives lost.

Israel faced dilemmas like that in the 1947-48 war.  Desperately short of 
soldiers to face the invading Arab armies, (just as shuls facing terrorists have
been desperately short of anyone who could shoot the terrorist), they had to
decide whether to bring into the Haganah/IDF refugees newly arrived from the
Displaced Persons camps (in Germany) -- who the Haganah/IDF did not have time to
properly train.

Here, too, the dilemma was between having enough people to shoot the enemy
versus the risk that untrained soldiers might add to the slaughter by accidently
shooting Israelis.  (Few wars are completely free of tragic "friendly fire"

The decision was to induct them right away, as even untrained soldiers are much
more likely to kill the people they're trying to shoot than to accidentally kill
comrades or civilians (though I don't doubt that the latter happened at times).

Fortunately, as long as bringing a gun to shul is not a knee-jerk reaction to a
previous day's atrocity but a long-term plan, here in the U.S. we usually have
the opportunity to train as thoroughly as we please before any terrorist
incident occurs.

Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 30,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Kavod habriot - human dignity

Do we ever allow the Torah reader / baal koreh to get away with a mistake or the
chazan / leader of the services to say the wrong thing (ten bracha or morid
hatal) without correction because of kavod habriyot / man's dignity ... why
embarrass them?


From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 28,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Kosher and Vegan

This is an unabashedly self-promoting post, so take it as you wish.

The growth of vegan foods -- in restaurants and manufacturing, has been huge,
and has often outpaced the growth in non-vegan equivalents (in fact, dairy sales
are down in the US while sales of plant-based milk substitutes are rising).
Israel is one of the innovators in this space, both in plant-based alternatives
and also in cell-cultured meats and creating meat and dairy proteins by
reprogramming yeasts to manufacture them. 

There are many issues raised for the halachic community. These include: Should
cell cultured meats be considered basari (fleishig) or pareve? Should we label
yeast-produced dairy proteins (which can trigger allergies) as dairy or pareve?
Can one eat in a vegan restaurant without a hechsher and if so under what
circumstances and with what restrictions? Are there ma'arit ayin [concerns about
misleading others] issues with "cheeseburgers," "pork" or "shrimp" even if they
are technically kosher and what are the marketing issues? Should the halacha
about kashering equipment between runs change to reflect modern science when
there are no detectable traces at a molecular level of actual dairy on the
equipment (ie, should the vegan product produced on such equipment be labeled D,
DE, or pareve)?

Any of these are a worthy mail jewish topic of discussion and I am happy to
discuss any of these here, but I also want to invite mj readers, many of whom I
have corresponded with over several decades, to follow my blog mipikale (find it
on facebook or mipikale.com). I admit I am behind in publishing new posts, but I
hope to catch up with some reviews of new vegan products and some more in depth
topical articles very soon. 

Most recently, I published a 2-part interview with the rabbi behind the IKC, a
somewhat controversial hechsher found on many products and restaurants. I
welcome feedback on the site or FB or here as well.

Michael Rogovin
<michael@...>  |  201.820.5504  |  www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrogovin
Click to book a slot on my calendar


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 26,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Labeling Orthodox Jews 

Prof. Levine (MJ 66#08) thinks labeling Orthodox Jews is meaningless and asks
what others think. I think otherwise.  

He's right that sometimes the labeling can become a bit silly, with salami type
slices of 12 different types of MO Jews. But let's be real. I'm an Orthodox Jew
who is Torah observant and graduate school educated, worked as a professional
for many years, goes to movies and reads best sellers, believes that women
should have more rights within the halachic system in a manner that comports. I
and many others believe, with halacha, and sent my children to co-ed yeshivot
through high school and midrashot in Israel where women learned high level
gemorah. (Just a quickie biography. There's plenty more.)

Am I the same type of Orthodox Jew as one who is Torah observant Jew and, as a
matter of principle, had a very mediocre secular education, spends all day
learning Torah and supports his family through government assistance and a
working wife, has never seen a movie or read a secular book, wants no changes at
all in the role of women in Judaism, whose children go to single sex schools,
and whose daughters and wife never opened a gemorah?

I think both were Torah-True Jews, but to simply say that and nothing more about
either of us (whether quietly or by bellowing) is incredibly non-informative. If
you say, though, that I'm a MO Jew and he is a Hareidi then it gives at least a
bit of a shorthand insight into where we may stand on various issues. 

Calling both of us Torah-True is like saying that Aaron Judge and LeBron James
are both athletes, or that James Reston and Ernest Hemingway were both great
writers. That's true of course, but without noting baseball/basketball and
newspaper reporter and columnist/novelist, you haven't touched even the
slightest on the differences between these people.  

Let me be clear: I don't mean to imply that all MO Jews believe and act like me
and all Hareidi men act like the stereotype I described above. There are many
many types of both MO and Hareidi Jewish men. Many. Which is why we sometimes
even distinguish within these basic categoties as well. How much we need is
surely a debatable point, but certainly some categorization is helpful to make
discussions meaningful. 



From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 28,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be?

An interesting question.  I've participated in Mail Jewish for over 30 years
ever since I first moved to Edison-Highland Park, NJ. and met the then moderator.

Like all things Mail-Jewish has evolved but it's still firmly on its rails.   I
pretty much agree with what Irwin Weiss wrote (MJ 66#08).

In my view, Mail-Jewish should be what it always has been: a place to ask
questions, to get responses, to provide assistance (such as "where can I get
a Kosher meal in such and such location") or to comment on the confluence or
clash between modern day issues and Halacha (such as the question of carrying
guns on Shabbat at one's shul, or the Halachic issues, if any, with regard to
Covid vaccinations).

Basically, I like Mail-Jewish just the way it is, and, once again, thank Martin
and Ari for their efforts.

I would add a few thoughts:

1 - If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Mail-Jewish is a very good vehicle: A
place for discussions -- not dissertations.

2 - Format -- perhaps a bit of polishing re: back referencing.  If B replied to
a previous posting by A, it should be clear, but perhaps not necessary to repeat
all of A. Similarly if both B & C reply to posting by A ....

3 - Length -- I don't like the imposition of a maximum length, but some posters
should consider using a "newspaper style" or presentation: Headline / main
summary / detail / (if necessary) excruciating detail.

4 - I would be remiss if I didn't say KUDOS to our moderators.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.Colonel, U.S. Army Retired

From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 30,2022 at 08:17 AM
Subject: What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be?

Regarding Prof Levine's question about the nature of Mail Jewish (MJ 66#07).

I would like to echo Irwin Weiss's thanks to the moderators for the job that
they do.  I have been a relatively inactive subscriber to Mail-Jewish since I
first went on the Internet in around 1995. It has gone through periods of
dormancy and greater activity during this time.

I am also a subscriber to the mailing list Areivim. Prof Levine is now making 
identical posts on Mail-Jewish and Areivim [and also Avodah, though we sometimes
edit the ones we publish so they may read slightly differently from them - MOD]
and so I am now reading about his particular stringencies in Kashrus, his
extolling of Torah with Derech Eretz and generally negative opinions on the
State of Israel in stereo. Personally I feel that I am receiving enough
'education' from Prof. Levine and would be grateful if he could confine these
posts to Areivim.

Alan Rubin


End of Volume 66 Issue 9