Volume 9 Number 14
                       Produced: Wed Sep  8 18:00:09 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Jewish Fiction (2)
         [Anthony Fiorino, Esther R Posen ]
Kashrus Symbol
         [Sam Zisblatt]
Kosher information in Atlanta Georgia
         [Esther R Posen ]
         [Frank Silbermann]
Measurements (Shiurum)
         [Dov Bloom]
On-Line Hebrew/English Dictionary for UNIX
         [Tom Rosenfeld]
Ona'as Devarim
         [Dr. Moshe Koppel]
Public and Private Prayer
         [Freda Birnbaum]
Yeshayahu Leibovits
         [Michael Kramer]


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 13:41:33 -0400
Subject: Jewish Fiction

> I dropped into our local bookstore to see what they had of Rebecca
> Goldstein -- and came up with "The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind"
> about which a blurb says "electrifyingly erotic."  Vey iz mir!  What is
> going on at mail.jewish these days? :-)

I guess this comment was somewhat in jest, but I will respond anyway. 
"Erotic" does not mean "explicit" and, having read the novel in question,
I can state that it is not particularly explicit at all (in fact, I
remember that the explicit detail was noticable for its *absence*, though
it has been a few years since I read it).  If we start getting upset about
erotic writing, we will have to drop Shir haShirim from the canon, and
block out perek after perek of neviim (in which several prophets develop
in depth the image of sinning Israel as a harlot who has betrayed her
husband).  Also, the original inquiry was about Jewish fiction, not
specified as to type.  I have understood this to mean fiction in which
there is a strong *Jewish* voice, not necessarily a religious Jewish
voice.  Had there been an inquiry for specifically religious Jewish
fiction, then Rebecca Goldstein's novels and short stories wouldn't be a
good suggestion.

Regarding Bernard Malamud's _The Fixer_, it is true that much of the book
is relentlessly depressing, but since when is "it makes me happy" a
necessary quality of good fiction? [One might even have a better
go of it arguing the opposite! :-)]  Furthermore, Yaacov's discovery of
an intellectual freedom in spite of his physical captivity is really a
story of triumph, not defeat, which I found uplifting.

Eitan Fiorino

From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen )
Date: 7 Sep 93 14:00:25 GMT
Subject: Re: Jewish Fiction

I have some ideas on why there is so little "jewish" fiction (whatever
that means).  One is that most religous jewish parents do not encourage
their children to be fiction writers "my son/daughter the doctor, lawyer
or scholar" is much more common.  The non-religous jew, however has even
been accused of "owning" Hollywood.  So although jews are on the
forefront of the creative scence (music, art, literature, movies,
comedy) in the US, religous jews are not.  How many friends do you have
who majored in journalism or "creative writing".

This might also explain the poor quality of jewish books for children -
improving but on the average below what's available out there, and
jewish music for children and adults - again, improving but with a long
way to go.  Interestingly, the baal teshuva movement has resulted in a
greater variety of jewish music and literature because of the influx of
newly religous jews into these fields who may have focused on these
creative pursuits during their childhood and college education.

Another reason that may explain the lack of material is the
"acceptabililty" question.  For a book to be interesting (I think) it
needs to deal with a controversy, a love story, a coming of age etc.  I
understand the objection to a "jewish" book erotic and advertised as
such but think how many readers will buy and read the book for its
"eroticism" alone.  A good book that you would want to sink your teeth
into needs to wash some dirty laundry in public.  A religous jewish
public is a dangerous place to wash dirty laundry in.  I've always said
I could write a good novel if I wanted to but that if I did none of my
family or friends would ever talk to me again.



From: <zisblatt@...> (Sam Zisblatt)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 21:00:06 -0400
Subject: Kashrus Symbol

Is anyone familiar with a kashrus symbol which has a Ko inside of a
square??  I have been seeing this hashgacha in the Boston area.  Thanks,

Sam Zisblatt <zisblatt@...>


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen )
Date: 7 Sep 93 14:00:25 GMT
Subject: Re: Kosher information in Atlanta Georgia

I have lost my copy of traveling Jewish in America (in a hotel in
Jacksonville Florida).  I have been to Atlanta and there is a kosher
pizza place in a Loehman's plaza - if I remember correctly it was called
Wall Street Pizza - and a deli (which I did not get to).  The book has
these places listed as well as the orthodox shuls and shabbos


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 17:01:40 -0400
Subject: Re:  Measurements

> Elhanan Adler (vol 9 # 13):
> The Hazon Ish's "Kunteres ha-shiurim" states that "default" shiurim
> are whatever the size of eggs, olives, fingers, etc. are in each
> generation (that's why they were expressed in terms of items which were
> readily available to all).  *However*, halakhic authorities have the
> authority to standardize these measurements - and having done so,
> whatever they have chosen as being a standard olive, egg or finger width
> is binding.

Sounds reasonable so far.

> Therefore he held by the Noda bi-Yehuda's calculations *le-humrah*
> but never le-kulah.

Why not?

> Whenever the "real-world" shiur leads to the more stringent ruling
> one should follow it.

Why?  Why not just accept one basis or the other?

Why is the Hazon Ish's rejection of the lenient standardized measurements
any less a rejection of the Noda bi-Yehuda's authority to standardize
than rejection of his stringent measurements?

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA

From: <bloomdov@...> (Dov Bloom)
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 93 08:49:16 +0200
Subject: Measurements (Shiurum)

The recent postings on shiurim have not included a mention of perhaps
the earlies (and most radical in light of later rishonim and acharonim)

There is a tshuva of a gaon found in Otzar HaGeonim where the questioner
asks how big exactly is a "zayit"' which is a standard measurement in
the Gemara. The Gaon (I don't recall where this is found exactly)
responds: I will not answer your question because when the chachomim
said a zayit - they mean just that! There is no reason to replace the
given shiur by one of our own invention [ in grams of cc's or ounces
D.B. ].

We have reached an anomylous situation in our day where the difference
between shiurim lehumra and lekula can reach a factor of 10! (Ask your
friendly neighborhood posek about how much you can eat at one time on
Yom Kippur if someone must for pikuach nefesh reasons, then ask how much
Matza one must eat for Motzi-Matza at the seder!)

Dov Bloom


From: <tom@...> (Tom Rosenfeld)
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 93 14:15:06 IST
Subject: re: On-Line Hebrew/English Dictionary for UNIX

In response to Elchonon query: No I havn't seen any on line. But,
I did recently buy the Rishumon electronic pocket dictionary
(415 NIS at Michlol & am very happy with it.



From: <koppel@...> (Dr. Moshe Koppel)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 03:27:31 -0400
Subject: Ona'as Devarim

Regarding the discussion concerning the attribution of (others')
suffering to (their) sins, R. Peretz and others seem to have forgotten
the gemorroh in Baba Metzia 58b (cited by Rambam in Hilchos Mechira
"Just as there is financial misconduct so too there is verbal
misconduct..How so? To a ba'al teshuva one should not say,'Recall your
earlier deeds'...To one who has undergone sickness and suffering or
has buried his children one should not say what Job's companions said
to him,'Isn't your fear [of God] your hope..recall that the pure are
not destroyed'"
The quoted pasuk is Job 4:6-7. The meaning is precisely not to rub it
in by suggesting that suffering only befalls those who are impure.
(Here is where a flame belongs. I leave it to the reader's
-Moshe Koppel


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 19:41 EDT
Subject: Public and Private Prayer

There has been some interesting discussion about prayer on mail-jewish
recently, ranging from the notion that prayer is a mechanical act to the
statement that "the point of public prayer is to pray with a tzibbur
[congregation]. The prayers of an individual may not be worthy of notice
due to that person's faults, but if there are ten men davening together
the new entity a tzibbur has its prayers heard (that is, the prayers of
all of those who are in the tzibbur). The tzibbur includes women, but it
must have a minimum of ten men. Thus, in a situation where a woman goes
to pray at a shul where there is a minyan of men her prayer is more
likely to be heard. [...] But there IS a "religious difference". The
tefilla in the tzibbur is better accepted, as explained above."

Does the above claim mean that public and liturgical prayer exhaust the
possibilities of prayer?

In my experience and that of those few friends who are willing/able to
share their thoughts on this subject, I have often found that those
mumbled "free-lance" ones on the bus in the morning are the ones that
get ANSWERED.  Big-time.  Not the only ones, of course!  And of course
just because the answer was NO didn't mean it wasn't heard, or answered.

(Does anyone remember the Peanuts cartoon with Patty thinking "Please
don't let the teacher call on me today", and Franklin saying prayer has
been outlawed in school, and Patty saying, "This kind will always be
with us."?)

It's true that for many women more of their experience of public prayer
is on Shabbos than on weekdays, and we don't make petitions on Shabbos,
so there's not much of an experimental design going on here, and of
course experimental design is not the point.  Still, I wonder if anyone
has any comments (private or public) that they'd care to share on their
experiences of public "versus" (I hesitate to use that word, but can't
think of another) private prayer, and/or liturgically-prescribed versus
"freelance" prayer.

Freda Birnbaum, whose sometimes .sig "Call on God, but row away from the
rocks" is NOT meant to be flippant...



From: <mpkramer@...> (Michael Kramer)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 17:01:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Yeshayahu Leibovits

In mlj 9:4, Eitan Fiorino referred to Yeshayahu Leibovits as "R.
Leibovits."  Does he have smicha?  Whence?  I have always heard him
referred to as "Professor Leibivits."

Michael Kramer
UC Davis


End of Volume 9 Issue 14