Volume 8 Number 73
                       Produced: Sun Aug  8  8:42:35 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar Kamtza
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Giving 'Gifts' on Shabbat
         [Steven Edell]
Kosher Places in Dallas
         [Sam Goldish]
Looking for Kalechofsky
         [Avi Hyman]
OR, Abortion Protesters and Jews
         [Michael Portnoy]
Spiritual Growth
         [Len Moskowitz]
Suggestions for Jewish Fiction??
         [David Kramer]


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 93 15:57:29 -0400
Subject: Bar Kamtza

I learned the gemara of Bar Kamtza (Gittin 55b), which relates the
story of the detruction of the second Beit Hamikdash [Temple - Ed.],
this past Tisha B'av, and I was struck by one particular aspect. Bar
Kamtza made a blemish on the korban [sacrifice - Ed.] sent by the
Roman emperor so that it would not be offered, and the emperor would
therefore believe that the Jews were revolting. When the korban
arrived, rabanan [our Rabbis - Ed.] were prepared to offer it in spite
of the blemish, because they knew the consequences of not offering it.
R. Zechariah b. Avkilas protested -- "people will say that blemished
animals are offered on the mizbeach [altar - Ed.]." Rabanan then
suggested that Bar Kamtza be killed so that he could not inform the
emperor that the karban was not offered, and again R. Zechariah
objected -- "people will say one who makes a blemish on consecrated
animals will be put to death." Rabanan then rejected the korban,
allowed Bar Kamtza to return to Rome to inform that the emperor's
korban was rejected, and consequently the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed
and the Jewish people exiled.

Certainly, either of the actions suggested by chachamim [the Sages -
Ed.] would have been permissable, considering the certain loss of life
that was involved. But R. Zechariah b. Avkilas was concerned that what
was being decided as a horaat shaah, a decision of the hour [i.e.
temporary instruction - Ed.], would be confused with the normative
halachah. And R. Zecharia's view prevailed, in spite of the incredibly
tragic consequences. Perhaps I am reading this incorrectly, but the
message here seems to be that one who makes halachic decision, even a
decision whose essential validity is not disputed, must be concerned
with how such a decision will be understood, and if there is a chance
that people will misunderstand a horaat shaah or a shaat hadchak
[exigency, emergency - Ed.] as being the l'chatchila halachah [the
choicest decision to be followed from the first - Ed.], then one must
proceed with great caution. Some of the halachic responses to Reform,
for instance, seem to have been made with this very much in mind --
the halachic decisors were willing to allow schism in klal Yisrael
[the Jewish community as a whole - Ed.] rather than establishing even
the appearance of compromise.

Eitan Fiorino


From: Steven Edell <edell@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 93 19:43:12 -0400
Subject: Giving 'Gifts' on Shabbat

I make a text copy of Ml-Jewish to give to my Rav every week when I
see him in Shul on Friday nites. He has said, BTW, he finds it
"fascinating reading", and wanted to continue to receive these sheets.
This week he was sick & I gave it to his son clearly after Shabbat had
started. His son said that he will 'borrow' the sheets until after
Shabbat at which time he can acquire them.

I explained that the Rabbi asked me to do these sheets for him, so the
sheets are his. No good. What if I said I don't own them? He said, it
would mean they're hefker [don't belong to anyone] and then he won't
be able to request to borrow them from me. Finally, I told him that
there's definately a 'hazakah', meaning, that since I've given these
sheets more than three times before, that it should be accepted that
the sheets are given to him. His son wasn't sure if that was OK, and
started explaining that I had to give it to someone else in order to
give it to him.....

Basically, is the law (custom?) of not giving a gift on Shabbat
applicable here? Thanks.

Steven Edell, Computer Manager Internet:<edell@...>
United Israel Appeal, Inc
(United Israel Office) Voice: 972-2-255513
Jerusalem, Israel Fax : 972-2-247261


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 01:18:29 -0400
Subject: Kosher Places in Dallas

This is in response to Mony Weschler's posting in V-8-#70, inquiring 
about kosher eating places in Dallas.   The long-time kosher meat and 
deli/restaurant, Reichman's--along with several smaller kosher eating
facilities--have all closed.  However, there's a new, large kosher 
dining facility and carry-out food market, called "The Kosher Link" 
that recently opened, and which has the broad support of the Dallas 
Orthodox community and their Va'ad Hakashrut.  Sorry I don't have an address, 
but they would be listed in the Dallas phone directory.

Sam Goldish
Tulsa, Oklahoma


From: Avi Hyman <AJHYMAN@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 93 16:41:08 -0400
Subject: Looking for Kalechofsky

My friend is looking for Roberta Kalechofsky's new book Judaism &
Animal Rights (1992). She is the author of "Autobiography of a
Revolutionary: Essays on Animal Rights".

We are in Toronto;
write her care of <AJHYMAN@...>


From: <map@...> (Michael Portnoy)
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 93 08:53:51 -0400
Subject: OR, Abortion Protesters and Jews

I am surprised by the comments from various people on Operation Rescue
and the assorted sister groups. I believe most people are missing the
point of these groups. The real push of these groups is to save
"souls" not lives, to convert people to believe in "G-d" Except it has
to be there "G-d" and there way. Next time you see an "anti-abortion"
protest check out the signs, they are 20-30% anti-abortion, and the
rest are "Jesus saves", "Jesus will show you the way", etc. etc..

Talk to this same people and there primary concern is to get you to go
to one of there meetings. When they find out you are Jewish they will
introduce you to one of there Jews. A phenomenon of most missionary
churches, they will have someone who usually is halachically Jewish,
or might have even been raised Jewish (sometimes even a Yeshiva
Bocher) who they will introduce you to. Their job is to convert you.

The point being these groups are missionary in nature, and purpose.
Their anti-semitism usually stems from that, and that makes it some of
the worst. But for "practicing" Jews ( for lack of a better term ) or
even Torah-Jews to get involved is in opposition to things we all can
agree on.

Michael Portnoy
B r o a d B a n d    T e c h n o l o g i e s


From: Len Moskowitz <moskowit@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 93 16:41:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Spiritual Growth

Scott Spiegler writes:

> As I am aware, there is a general principle that each succeeding
> generation is at a lower spiritual level from the previous one. As I
> understand it, the principle is derived from the notion that as we get
> further and further away from the Creation (and Har Sinai??), the
> further we are from the truths of the Universe and the emes of G-d's
> plan.

There's a paradox: though we are further and further from the time of
Mattan Torah [Giving of the Torah - Ed.] at Sinai, we are closer to
Yemot HaMashiakh (Messianic times). Paradoxically, it is our actions
that will determine when the Moshiakh comes and it is we who will
welcome him, not our ancestors.

So in one sense we are lower and in another we are higher.

> At a Shabbos meal this Shabbos, one of the guests read a snippet from
> a publication put out by the Breslovers. The article made the
> statement that since we are all given Divine souls, the spiritual
> heights we can achieve *are* as great as those of the Avos and the
> Imos [the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs - Ed.]. That point of view
> seems to be saying something very different than what I originally
> understood do be the Torah point of view.

Rav Khayyim Volozhin says much the same thing in his Nefesh HaKhayyim.
We all have the capability to rise to heights of the Avot, though not
as high as Moshe Rabbainu who rose yet higher.

Len Moskowitz


From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 93 05:10:04 -0400
Subject: Suggestions for Jewish Fiction??

 Somone afew issues back asked about good Jewish fiction.

 I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for - but I
 highly reccommend the stories by Marcus Lehman (translated from German).
 They are historical fiction stories I believe geared towards ealry teenagers
 but I read them when I was an adult and enjoyed them very much. They are 
 engrossing, exciting, heartwarming stories that are very entertaining and
 give you a very good and warm feeling about 'Yiddishkeit'.

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]


End of Volume 8 Issue 73