Volume 7 Number 2

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Howie Pielet]
Holocaust Commemorations
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
Holocaust Studies
         [Joseph Greenberg]
L'Mazal Tov
         [Henry Abramson]
Machlokot (Disagreements) in Judaism
Research Interests
         [Joseph P. Wetstein]
Special Needs Children
         [Chava Lehman]
Women's Dress
         [Alyssa Berger]


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 01:56:55 CST
Subject: Hagadas

Just after Pesach is a good time to start thinking about replacing the
diverse collection of Hagadas that we have been using for decades.  We
now have about 10 different editions, and it has become a bit of a
problem.  I have tried out a few new ones, but they seem to have gone
long on art and short on clarity.  Can anyone recommend a good Hagada
(Hebrew and English) that combines clarity with art and is not too

Gary Davis

We saw the Art Scroll Youth Haggadah this year.  It looks like _exactly_ what
you are asking for.

Nevertheless, I love our collection of old and new hagadas.  Some of us use
new ones each year, others stick to old favorites.  I think it's useful to
have a variety of pictorial hagadas to share with children and a variety of
commentaries to share with adults.  Most of these are too expensive
to purchase in quantity.  My comments on some of them:

The Children's Haggadah, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, has a moving baby
Moses, drowning Egyptians, moving dials for the plagues, etc., large, clear
text, and a marvelously readable and singable translation.

All the Art Scroll hagadas, the Me'am Lo'ez hagada, and The Chassidic Haggadah
by Rabbi Touger, Moznaim, have clear texts, excellent instructions, and
excellent commentaries (no pictures, though).  One quibble -- How can a
'Chassidic' hagada _not_ have the Hinneni Muchans (preparatory statements
before each obligatoray blessing)?

A Feast of History, Chaim Raphael, Simon and Schuster, has beautiful
photographs of seder objects.

My mother's favorite -- Passover Hagadah, Gutstein, Ktav, 1949 (large, clear
text and a few nice woodcuts).

The fancy hagadas that I grew up with -- The Haggadah of Passover, Regelson
and Forst, Shulsinger Brothers (clear text, great Zionist illustrations, 80
pages of historical notes and translated source references -- Imagine my
pleasure when I went to college with one of their children, met them, and
toured their factory!), and the Hagadah for Passover by Saul Raskin
(dramatic and sort of scary woodcuts).

Haggadah Shel Pesach with Russian translation by the Jewish
Community Council of Montreal.  I brought several copies along on a whim,
but was not surprised that our hosts in South Bend, Indiana had invited a
number of Russian immigrants who seemed to really appreciate having a Russian

A very nice hagada that should be inexpensive is Haggadah, A Complete Passover
Guide by Rabbi Zev Schostak, The Judaica Press, New York, 1981, with clear text
and translation, instructions, and an interesting commentary (but no pictures).
We have a small one (130 x 179 mm), but I think there is also a standard size.

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


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 12:03:51 +0200
Subject: Holocaust Commemorations

First I would like to say "kol ha'kavod" to Ezra Bob Tanenbaum's
excellent submission on this issue. I truly feel that he expressed at
least my opinion, better than I could have ever hoped to.

On that note, I would like to share a conversation I had with my uncle's
father in law, an old time Rabbi-Mohel, who now resides in Jerusalem
with my uncle and aunt. I believe that this conversation should provide
some food for thought.

As most of you know, on most shabbatot during the year save the shabbat
before "rosh chodesh" (new month), the prayer "Av Ha'Rachamim" is said.
That prayer was written to commemorate a certain period where thousands
of Jews were killed (I don't remember which period [the Crusades -
Mod.]). The interesting thing is that we say this prayer, which is to
SOME extent a lamentation, even though customarily we do not lament on

I asked:"why wasn't a prayer made after the magnitude of the holocaust
became generaly known, even NOT on Shabbat, besides the Bovov'r Rebbi's
lamentation for tish'a b'av (the ninth of Av), there are no Rabbinicly
endorsed prayers, at least not as popular as "Av Ha'Rachamim" became"?

He answered, that in the late 40's and early 50's, this issue was
discussed by several Rabbinic councils, but it was decided not to add
"new and unfamiliar things" to the prayerbook! (he then quoted,
ironicly, if I may add: "chadash assur min ha'Torah").

What do you think about that?

                               Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <Joseph_Greenberg@...> (Joseph Greenberg)
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 93 10:40:33 -0400
Subject: Holocaust Studies

Regarding Ben Svetitsky's repsonse to the issue of the importance of the
Holocaust, the study you cite is disturbing, because of the obvious
polarization it represents. Clearly neither position (assuming they are
as extreme as you seem to portray them) is beneficial, and while Jewish
history obviously didn't start in 1895 or 1933, it also didn't stop
after the Amoraim. There needs to be (what else?) a recognition that
both perspectives offer merit, but neither should be to the exclusion of
the other.


From: Henry Abramson <abramson@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 20:48:42 -0400
Subject: L'Mazal Tov

With gratitude to HaKadosh Barukh Hu, Ulana and I are overjoyed to
announce the birth of our second child, a daughter we have named Danit
Malka.  She was born at 6:28 pm, Shabat Tazria, April 24, in Mount Sinai
Hospital, Toronto.  Danit weighted 8 lb 6 oz at birth, both mother and
daughter are recovering well, and Raphaela Meirit is looking forward to
playing with her baby sister.  Thanks to Dr. Elliot Lyons and the Mount
Sinai staff, and special thanks to Rebbetsin Ruthie Rothman, our labour
coach.  May Danit Malka grow to Torah, huppa, and maasim tovim.

Henry and Ulana Abramson               <abramson@...>


From: <mipitkowsky@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 08:52:17 -0400
Subject: Machlokot (Disagreements) in Judaism

I just picked up a new book by Rabbi Zvi Lampel, _The Dynamics of
Dispute_, published by Judaica Press, which seems to deal with how the
Rabbis dealt with the large amount of disagreement in Rabbinic
Literature.  From a quick look at the book it seems as if Rabbi Lampel
has brought an impressive amount of sources together which might be of
help to anyone who might want to see how this issue has been dealt with.
In addition, if anyone would like to read a fascinating article on how
Jewish mystics related to some of these issues, see the essay "The
Meaning of the Torah in Jewish Mysticism" in Gershom Scholem's _On
Kabbalah and Its Symbolism_, pub. by Schocken Books.


From: <jpw@...> (Joseph P. Wetstein)
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 93 20:50:43 -0400
Subject: Research Interests

I am currently engaged in research involving the analysis of ancient
hebraic texts.

The results of the research I am conducting will be beneficial to
scholars of biblical texts, and those interested in the analysis of 
the writing, dating, and authoring of ancient text samples.

I would like to know of any [Jewish] organizations that are currently
supporting research in these areas, as well as those who may be
interested in possibly funding this type of work.

Yossi Wetstein
Drexel University


From: Chava Lehman <mml@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 09:47:26 -0400
Subject: Special Needs Children

I am posting this on behalh of my wife, Chava Lehman - which makes the
third Lehman contributor to mj since Benny L. who has been writing from
Yerushalayim, is our son.

I am [(founder and, (mml)]  principal of a school and two "Senior Centres"
in London, by name of Kisharon, for children and young adults with special
needs (moderate and severely mentally handicapped). We are a strictly
orthodox organisation and Halachah, Jewish values,  practice and education
play a central and vital, fully integrated, role in our daily
organisational life and activities.

I would be very interested to exchange ideas with other professionals in
the field, particularly, but not only, with anyone with experience with
students  from Chasidish and other strictly orthodox homes.

We have mostly boys but there are some girls as well and this does cause
problems. Most of our students will not be able to marry and yet have
normal feelings. Advice would be welcome.

Chava Lehman

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: <A_BERGER@...> (Alyssa Berger)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1993 12:42:13 EDT
Subject: Re: Women's Dress

     About a month ago, if I remember correctly, someone wrote asking
about whether rules of tsniut in dress for women are determined by what
women in general society wear or by what Orthodox women wear.
     According to my local Orthodox rabbi, the rules are influenced by
what women in general society wear -- e.g. in Iran, Orthodox women would
have to wear what the Arab women wear.  One must maintain modesty with
respect to what the custom is in general society, meaning that one
shouldn't wear clothes that might attract attention on the street, such
as a tank top, tight pants or shorts, even though some women in general
society do wear such clothes.  I assume, thought, that he would not
permit (e.g.) beachwear at the beach just because everyone else is
wearing it, since staring at women on the beach is a popular activity.
An interesting question (maybe someone has info on this) is about
wearing activity- appropriate clothes that do not attract this type of
attention but rather are professional, e.g. for ballet or gymnastics.
     However, many rabbis would with this lenient viewpoint, based
on more "time-and-place-indifferent" interpretations of:
1) "Tefach be-isha erva bemakom she-darka lechasoto", translation:
A handbreadth [uncovered] on a woman is nakedness, in a place [on
her body] that she is accustomed to cover - Shulchan Aruch Orach
Chaim Siman ayin-heh, seif aleph, based on the gemara (Brachot 24a)
2) "Shok be-isha erva", translation: A woman's limb [uncovered] is
nakedness (same gemara).  
R. Elyakim Getsel Ellinson in the book "Hatsnea Lechet" (also
available in English) collected some sources on this question.
     I am not sure if the original question also addressed head
covering, but anyway, this is the local Orthodox rabbi's opinion
     The situation is different with respect to head covering. 
Irrespective of the fact that women in general society have stopped
wearing hats as a sign of being respectable (in the Ancient Near
East, prostitutes were recognized by their uncovered heads - I saw
this a long time ago in a collection of Ancient Near Eastern laws
and unfortunately could never find it again - does anyone know to
what I am referring?), except the Queen of England and Hillary
Rodham Clinton on Inaguration Day, still, the halacha says that
women must cover their heads.  The amount of hair that must be
covered may be determined by what the other Orthodox, head-covering
women in one's community do (but must be more than zero).  
     I think the reason for the difference between the clothes and
the head covering in whether to take into account general society
is that clothes are worn by everyone whether they follow halacha or
not (what about a nudist colony....), but once you decide to wear
a head covering, there are no general-societal standards to go by,
since women in general society do not cover their head today. 

Alyssa Berger


End of Volume 7 Issue 2