Volume 7 Number 4

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Holocaust Rememberances
         [Joseph Greenberg]
Medical Ethics Info Requested
         [Randi Zlotnik Shaul]
Orthodox Boycott of the 1993 Salute to Israel Parade (2)
         [Sam Saal, Samuel Gamoran]
Oxford-Judaism Essays.
         [Shmuley Boteach]


From: <Joseph_Greenberg@...> (Joseph Greenberg)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 14:15:15 -0400
Subject: Holocaust Rememberances

Regarding Ezra Tanenbaum's lamentation (I guess that's an appropriate
word considering the topic) over the lack of Rabbinic guidance or
institutionalization of a day, with Orthodox guidelines, of rememberance
for Holocaust victims, I wish to point out one difference of opinion,
although I agree with all the other issues. The Ezra voiced displeasure
with "candle-light vigils, poetry readings, and recollections of
survivors", and noted that he finds these to not be within the spirit of
commonly accepted Orthodox practice for such commemorations (my
summary). On the contrary, Tisha B'Av, which is arguably the most like a
solemn day of commemoration we have, is exactly like that - we sit on
the floor, and read (by candle-light, I would add) the book of Eichah,
which is both poetic and allegorical description of the horrific events
of the Churban (destruction of the Temple), as well as descriptions
provided by survivors of that time that were enslaved and kept as
prisoners. So I don't have a problem with those observances, although I
admit that they don't offer much in the way of traditional teffilah


From: <AJHYMAN@...> (Randi Zlotnik Shaul)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 01:19:48 -0400
Subject: Medical Ethics Info Requested

Medical Ethics Info Required, Serious Responses needed by April 28,
1993, latest

Subject: Halachik views on medical resource allocation For: Randi
Zlotnik Shaul, BA LLB Biomedical Ethics Program, Faculty of Law,
University of Toronto

"I am looking for primary and secondary source material on setting
priorities in resource allocations in health care Judaism, from a
Halachik perspective.  for example: How do you decide how government
should spend its health care dollars? or How is the decision made
regarding who or which illness gets priority in access to services?"

I am aware of Fred Rosner's Modern Medicine and Jewish Ethics (New York
1991), especially chapter 26, "The Allocation of Scarce Medical
Resources."  This material deals with issues on the basis of individual
need (micro) rather than on a societal scope (macro). Further references
and directives would be appreciated, with complete citations.

There is an urgent need for this material, so a hasty reply would also
be appreciated.

Thank you,

replies can be directed through
<AJHYMAN@...>  or  AJHYMAN@oise.utoronto.CA


From: <ayf@...> (Sam Saal)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 00:41:14 EDT
Subject: Orthodox Boycott of the 1993 Salute to Israel Parade

Let me preface this by saying that I have absolutely nothing against
homosexuals, and would have no problem with homosexuality were it not
for the fact that the Torah calls it a "Toevah."  That is, it is only
because my own moral code is defined by the Torah that I cannot accept
homosexual acts as within the realm of normative Judaism.

Having said that, I would like to address the issue of the upcoming
Salute to Israel parade.

Recently, a letter sent to Orthodox schools and educators called on them
to boycott the parade because a gay congregation demanded its "right" to

The gay congregation seems to have made up its mind to march even if the
Orthodox boycott. Thus, it appears that recognition of this lifestyle is
of greater importance than support for Israel. After all, more Orthodox
will boycott than gays will march.

I believe that a boycott is counterproductive.

- It does not actively demonstrate how wrong, according to Halacha, these
  people's actions are.
- It diminishes the numeric support for Israel.
- It allows non-boycotting groups to claim that the Orthodox are not

I have a suggestion for a more effective protest that, at the same time,
alleviates the problems I've mentioned.

Have everyone march. Continue to pressure the parade committee to deny
the gay congregation permission to march as gays (there is, of course,
no problem with gays marching as members of other organizations and
solely representing these other organizations). If they insist on
marching, have all organizations prepare large and small banners with
the quote from the Torah that explains the problem: Leviticus (VaYikra)
18:22.  These banners, along with the attribution, should be in Hebrew
so that the media, when confronted with dozens and hopefully hundreds of
identical signs, will be forced to do a bit of research to report their
contents. If they don't do the research, these banners will look like
massive and consistent Hebrew/Jewish support.

Other issues:

Let all Orthodox organizations keep the same theme as if the gay
congregation had not marched.  This minimizes disruption:

- If the gay congregation backs out or is denied permission to participate, 
  preparations will not have been wasted.
- In my experience marching in the parade, preparations involved a certain
  level of education for the student marchers. This is too important an
  opportunity to let pass. Keep the signs simple and inexpensive.  This will
  make the display all the more effective and heartfelt.

Keep decorum. Don't shout at the gays or their supporters. This prevents
personalizing the issue without detracting from our protest at the

Even if this idea does not change the Orthodox organizations' decision
to boycott the march, I hope viewers will take it on themselves to
display these signs along the parade route with decorum in silent

So the questions are:

- Is this a viable response?  Does it do a better job of registering
  protest than a boycott?

- If so, how do we propogate it in time? How do we get the Orthodox leadership
  to know about it and to spread the idea to schools and educators? If we 
  cannot change the decision to boycott, how do we get parade viewers to adopt 
  the suggestion?

I encourage everyone to think about this and, if you feel it has merit,
to begin spreading the word. Although I no longer have regular access to
email, I should be able to get your responses second hand. Please send
them to Avi Feldblum and note whether they are private or posted. I hope
this discussion will not only stay public but that people will act on
it. I do not think that a boycott is the most effective protest.

Sam Saal

From: <shg@...> (Samuel Gamoran)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 10:12:26 -0400
Subject: Orthodox Boycott of the 1993 Salute to Israel Parade

The New York Salute to Israel Parade is scheduled to take place two
weeks hence on Lag B'Omer (Sunday May 9).

Last week I heard a news item on WCBS radio to the effect that a
compromise had been reached between the AZYF (American Zionist Youth
Foundation), sponsor of the parade and Congregation Simchat Torah, a
homosexual synagogue.  Congregation Simchat Torah had wanted to march in
the parade under their own banner.  The 'compromise' that had been
reached was that the Congregation would march not under their own banner
but together with another organization (Reform Zionist Youth or
something like that?) under a banner reading something to the effect of
"The Reform Zionist Youth joins Congregation Simchat Torah in Saluting

This past Shabbat, Rabbi Kaminetzky of Cong. Ohav Emeth (Highland Park,
N.J.)  read exerpts from a letter signed by various Orthodox
organizations (e.g.  the OU, NCSY, Emunah, Amit, Association of Day
Schools, etc.).  In effect the letter said that they would be boycotting
the parade unless 'the necessary changes would be made'.  The Rabbi
added that 'it was unfortunate that certain groups are using the parade
to turn attention to their own private issues.'  (At no time did he or
the letter mention a specific group or the issue of homosexuality).

My questions to this esteemed forum:

1) Does anyone have more official and/or up-to-date information on what is
going on?

2) Is this the correct response to this situation?

IMHO, it would be far better to ignore a group that Orthodoxy finds
offensive rather than to empower them with a boycott.

On a personal level I am deeply disappointed.
I will not attend the parade if 'official' Orthodoxy has declared a boycott
but I was certainly looking forward to it.  This being (I hope) our only year
in the New York area, I was (and still hope to be able to) going to take my
children to tshow them the enormity of the turnout and for them to get an
appreciation of the size of Jewry (not necessarily Orthodox) in the NY area.

Sam Gamoran


From: Shmuley Boteach <shmuley@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 06:18:22 -0400
Subject: Oxford-Judaism Essays.

The weekly essays on comtemporary Jewish essays from Oxford University
that have been made available over the Net can now be accessed via a
direct list by the name of Oxford-Judaism.

The next essay, entitled 'THE LOSS OF PASSION IN RELATIONSHIPS' will  
go out tomorrow.

The address to subscribe to is <Oxford-Judaism@...>  Any
messages sent to that address will go out to everyone who has subscribed
to the list.  All messages will also be archived online so anyone who
wants to see previous messages can see them.  The directory holding the
archive is called israel/lists/Oxford-Judaism.

There are also back issues, essays send out over the past year to
Oxford's Jewish students that are archived at israel.nysernet.org in:
israel/tanach/commentary/oxford accessible via FTP or Gopher.

To subscribe please send a message to <listserv@...> with
only one line in it saying

SUBSCRIBE Oxford-Judaism <your name>

The message should say nothing else.  You will receive a reply back  
within a day saying you have been subscribed.  

Alternatively you can send us your name and E Mail address to us at
Oxford and we will enter you into our database.

We very much welcome comments and alternative essays.

Liz Morton
Secretary, Oxford University L'Chaim Society


End of Volume 7 Issue 4