Volume 7 Number 59

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Aliza Berger]
Heicha Kedushah
         [Elly Lasson]
Holocaust Museum Food Service
         [Pinchus Laufer]
Teddy Bears
         [Hillel Markowitz]


From: <A_BERGER@...> (Aliza Berger)
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 14:21:37 -0400
Subject: Coeducation

In response to Susan Slusky's question about coeducation at Maimonides
and Yeshiva University (and related thoughts):

Coeducation does exist at YU at the *graduate school* level - law,
medicine, psychology, social work, and at the graduate schools of Jewish
education (Azrieli) and Jewish studies (Revel).  Perhaps the assumption
behind this is that while high school and college students are not
mature enough to handle coeducation, people are in graduate school for
serious motivations, and so will act maturely.  From personal
experience, I can attest that this is in fact the case at Revel.

In one of the volume 4 postings on this subject, the point was made that
single-sex education is preferable, but it must be ensured that an equal
education is afforded to both genders.  Since this is often difficult to
achieve in practice, I would make a corollary: if one gender is afforded
a better education than another, then coeducation is preferable, until
this dichotomy can be repaired.
     There are no halakhic problems with coeducation at any age of
students, and the sociological problem of distraction is removed when
one is speaking of post-college age students, or seriously motivated
college students.  Therefore I believe that levels of Talmudic education
which are presently available (under Orthodox auspices) to men only
should be opened to a few select women too.  This would begin to
alleviate the "glass ceiling effect" that now exists for Orthodox women
who are already Talmud students and, often, teachers (at Drisha, for
example; Drisha is an institution in New York that offers fellowships
for women to study Talmud, halakha and Tanakh, plus adult education
classes for women only).
     The level, variety and intensity of learning that goes on in the
advanced Talmud and halakha shiurim [lectures] and in the beit midrash
[study hall] at a place like Yeshiva University, and the atmosphere of
having more advanced students and many teachers with whom to "talk in
learning" is available neither at Drisha, Revel nor through private
tutoring (which is expensive and difficult to arrange in any case).  (I
don't know anything about the setup at Bar-Ilan; perhaps someone can
inform me.)

Perhaps some would argue that intense Torah study necessitates a higher
degree of concentration than other study, and that therefore the
"distraction" effect would apply even to mature adults.  In anticipation
of this argument, I answer: 1) If you believe that women are entitled to
this education, the advantages outweigh this disadvantage.  2) It will
surely be distracting at first, but as in other parts of society that
used to be all-male (e.g. medical school), if everyone acts seriously
and maturely, this will wear off.  3) This is not a halakhic argument.

Recall that Rav Soloveitchik zt"l inagurated Talmud study for women at
Stern College (Yeshiva University).  This is a first step, but it is
followed eventually by the glass ceiling.  There was an incident
recounted in Rabbi Blau's hesped (summarized on m-j by Eitan Fiorino),
in which the Rav said that women must prepare both for a career and for
home responsibilities.  Why should the Orthodox community lose out on
potentially fine scholars and teachers by forcing women out of advancing
in a career in Talmud education and/or scholarship?

Aliza Berger


From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elly Lasson)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 21:05:31 -0400
Subject: Heicha Kedushah

As with many people who have learned in Yeshivot in their lives, there
is a custom during Mincha to do a "heicha kedusha".  For those who are
not familiar with this, it consists of the congregation waiting to say
the silent amidah until after a shortened "chazarat hashatz" (which is
recited by the sha"tz after the initial post-ashrei Kaddish).  The
sha"tz completes the balance of his amidah silently, while the
congregation starts from the beginning.  Consequently, there is no full
"chazarat hashatz".

Now, from what I have heard, the rationale for doing this is to provide
more time for Torah study by the shortened version.  (Would this mean
that the full version would in essence be "bitul Torah?")  Aside from
the de facto answer of "the velt is nohaig that way", is there any
legitimate discussion of the issues here?  Why is this done for Mincha,
but not Shacharit?  In previous discussions on MJ, some people brought
up the issue of Rav Goren changing the nusach in Nachem.  Why would this
seemingingly more drastic change in the "nusach hatefilah" be any less
of an issue?

Since people are bringing up the practices of the Rav, ZT"L, could
anyone shed any light on what he thought of the "heicha kedusha"

Elly Lasson (<FC9Q@...>)


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 15:45:38 -0400
Subject: Holocaust Museum Food Service

There have been a couple of postings regarding the food service at the
Holocaust Museum in Washington.  Therefore, I would like to add some
info to the discussion.

BRIEFLY: Without getting into a discussion of the merits of the positive
and negative aspects: THIS IS A FEDERAL MUSEUM.  The museum was required
to open the food service and concessions to competitive bidding.  The
most attractive bidder (financially) was a food service which holds the
concession (for that very reason) at many other of the federal museums.

The museum administrators were able to achieve a "compromise" in that
all food is vegetarian (although not kosher supervised).

At the moment there is no kosher eatery in Washington DC.  However, I
have heard that a neighbor of mine has received a license to set up a
kosher hot dog stand in DC.  When this is acive and his location is
established I will post details if I still have access to the network.

ONE FINAL NOTE: If you think visitors have it bad, consider the Jewish
employees.  As a federal Museum it will be open all days except Dec 25
and Jan 1.  Employees will be required to use annual leave for days such
as Yom Kippur etc. and of course, the food situation is a daily problem
for them.


From: <H_Markowitz@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 11:08 EDT
Subject: Re:  Teddy Bears

[Thanks to Hillel and also to Freda Birnbaum who pulled together the
earlier discussion on dolls/pictures of non-kosher animals. Mod/]

        Teddy Bears (v2n19)
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 91 14:17:21 +0200
From: <cohen@...> (Laurent Cohen)
Subject: Teddy Bears and Book Recommendations

Has anybody heard of a custom not to possess or to give to children
teddy bears and fluffy animals that are not kosher.  The reason I heard
is that it would give children later an appetite to eat forbidden
animals.  My first reaction was I donot think that bugs bunny or Mickey
mouse ever gave me a desire for rabbit or mouse, I would say on the


Date: Thu,  12 Sep 91 10:41:25 +0200
From: Morris Podolak <D77%<TAUNOS@...> 
Subject: Re: Teddy Bears (v2n19)

Laurent Cohen asked about whether one is allowed to give toys in the
shape of non-kosher animals to children.  Quite by accident I came
accross a reference to something similar the other day.  Rabbi Isaiah
Horoiwitz, a prominent kabbalist around the 16th century, in his book
Shnei Luchot Habrit (SHELAH for short) cites a custom not to frighten
children by telling them that a cat or dog or other unclean animal will
get them.  This is because there are mazikin (destructive influences)
with the names of unclean animals who may be called up by these names.
These may cause harm to the child.  The point is that you should be very
carful about how you speak and what words you use.  The Shulchan Aruch
Harav which is the basic halachic work of Chabad chassidim brings the
warning of the SHELAH in his discussion of "shmirat ha guf ve ha
nefesh". [Taking care of the body and soul - Mod.]  Both the SHELAH and
the Shulchan Aruch Harav are cited by the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Sec.
33, paragraph 14).  This is not exactly what Laurent asked about, but I
wonder if it doesn't derive from this source.

Morris Podolak


Date: Fri,  01 Nov 91 17:55:33 +0200
From: Morris Podolak <D77%<TAUNOS@...>
Subject: Re: Teddy Bears (v2n19)

I recently came accross something that addresses a question that
appeared here a while ago.  The question was with regard to keeping
images of non-kosher animals.  It was a question addressed to Rav Chaim
David Halevi, the Sefaradi Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo.  It appears in
volume 8 of his "Aseh Lecha Rav".  The Rabbi of Lubavitch requested all
his followers not to keep pictures of non-kosher animals.  Is there a
halachic source for this ruling?  Rav Halevi says that if one is a
chassid of the Rebbe, one may not question his ruling, however, for
anyone else, there is no halachic reason for being careful about this.
He cites a number of places where non-kosher animals or images of them
were kept and displayed.  One particularly good example is the flags of
the tribes in the desert.  The tribe of Binyamin had a wolf on its flag,
the tribe of Yehudah had a lion on its, and so on.  I might add an
example of my own.  The throne of King Solomon also hasd images (3-D
images at that!) of a lion and an eagle among others.  Indeed, lions are
commonly embroidered on the curtains covering the ark of the Torah, and
appear on the title pages of many old books.  Still, say Rabbi Halevi, a
chassid of the Rebbe has no right to question his rebbe's directives.


End of Volume 7 Issue 59