Volume 9 Number 16
                       Produced: Fri Sep 10 10:46:02 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Apt/Roomate in Boston area
         [Robert  Light ]
Dinosaurs and Kashrut (4)
         [Tom Rosenfeld, Frank Silbermann, Bob Werman, Josh Klein]
         [Freda Birnbaum]
kosher info in Atla. GA
         [Nadine Bonner]
Kosher Music?
         [Isaac Balbin]
More on Kashrut
         [Merril Weiner]


From: <robertlight@...> (Robert  Light )
Date: 7 Sep 93 20:20:05 GMT
Subject: Apt/Roomate in Boston area

I have a friend who is looking for an apartment and/or
roomate in the Boston area.  Specific (Jewish related) needs are:

	1) Male
	2) Kosher kitchen
	3) preferably shomer Shabbos
	4) preferably no lease
	5) close to an Orthodox shul

Please respond via email to:   <robertlight@...>


    - Bob Light


From: <tom@...> (Tom Rosenfeld)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 09:23:19 IST
Subject: re: Dinosaurs and Kashrut

Joseph Galron posted an article from the Jerusalem Post about someone
threatening to remove its kashrut certificate from some dairy products
with dinosaur pictures on them.

While I don't deny that there sort of threats happen, (both in Israel &
America), I would like to point out that I recall reading in the Post a
few days later a retraction.  I don't remember the details, but it was
something to the affect that the person making the threat did not have
any authority to. And in fact the kashrut organization had no plans to
remove their certification. They also had a spoksman from the dairy
company confirm this who also said that never the less it had generated
a lot of free publicity!


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 12:45:08 -0400
Subject: Re:  Dinosaurs and Kashrut

In Vol. 9 #8 Yossi Galron asked for opinions on this article 
from the International edition of the Jerusalem Post (Aug. 21,  1993):

>	(Hemdat's) call (for a boycott of food companies that
>	"surrender to the whims" of various kashrut supervisory bodies)
>	followed a threat by the Agudat Yisrael kashrut department to
>	withdraw its kashrut certificate from Tara dairy products if they
>	do not remove dinosaur pictures and stickers from their products.
>	Rabbi Ehud Bendel, a Conservative rabbi who is the director
>	of Hemdat, said:  "If the haredim want to ignore scientific 
>	proof of the existence of dinosaurs, that is their right.
>	But it is the obligation of the secular public and the enlightened 
>	religious public to strongly reject any attempt at extortion or
>	coercion."

The first issue is alleged religious coercion.  I see none here.
Nobody is forcing Tara dairy products to seek a special Aguda hechser,
and nobody should force Aguda to use or approve products containing
pictures of dinosaurs.

A second issue is religous coercion in principle.  Judaism is not only
a religion and a people, but also a civilization, with Halacha as its
legal code.  Legal codes are coercive by definition.  Nobody complains
about the coerciveness of Israeli secular law.  Of course, secular law
in a democratic state is determined by the people, whereas religious law
is imposed from Above, so it is understandable that a nonbeliever might
object to "coercion without representation."  But this should not be
an issue for someone who has already accepted Halacha's authority.
Since Conservative Rabbis _claim_ to accept Halacha, I find Rabbi
Brendel's objections to coercion puzzling.

I do, however, agree with Rabbi Brendel that scientific theory has
adequately established the past existence of dinosaurs, and disagree
with Rabbi Gafner's position that they are a "symbol of heresy."
Thus, I consider Aguda's actions to be counterproductive.  People
who are apprehensive of giving power to religious authorities will
not be reassured when these same authorities use what power they
already have to fight on the wrong side of an issue.

As an aside, I am disturbed by Aguda's decision to counter challenges
to their viewpoint via censorship instead of intellectual confrontation.
Quite a few governments in this century have tried to control its
population via censorship and mind control, and always with poor
results in the long run.  Our right wing's heavy use of this tactic
puts them in rather unattractive company.

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

From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 05:43:44 -0400
Subject: RE: Dinosaurs and Kashrut

Joseph Galron writes:

>	Rabbi Ehud Bendel, a Conservative rabbi who is the director>
>	of Hemdat, said: "If the haredim want to ignore scientific
>	proof of the existence of dinosaurs, that is their right. But
>	it is the obligation of the secular public and the enlightened
>	religious public to strongly reject any attempt at extortion or
>	coercion."

>I did not post this article to make waves or flames, but I would like
>to know what the Jewish religious community in the U.S. thinks about
>this, and I hope that this public will understand why the relations
>between the Haredim and secular Jews in Israel are so polarized.

As a Professor in a Biology Institute (at the Hebrew University) I teach
evolution; as a religious Jew I daven and associate with Haredim.

I object to the picture of a reptile, definitely not kosher, on Tara's
products.  Until now, Tara had the Haredi market as the the milk product
with the best hashagaHa.  I would think they might want to be sensitive
to Haredi (are their's less relevant?)  sensitivities.

And to the question of the relations between Haredim and secular Jews in
Israel, may I suggest that the mass ignorance of both sides about what
the others stand for, fired by a small group of doctrinaire haters of
religion, has much more to do with polarization than any of these
specific, usually misunderstood actions.

__Bob Werman    <rwerman@...>    rwerman@vms.huji.ac.il

From: Josh Klein <VTFRST@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 14:49 N
Subject: Dinosaurs and Kashrut

Late summer in Israel (August-September; most of Elul) is frequently
called the 'cucumber season'. It's the same as the 'dog days' in America
or the 'silly season' in England. Among other things, this is when all
sorts of wierd news stories that ordinarily wouldn't see the light of
day get printed. Thus, a minor functionary involved in kashrut
supervision (to quote somebody in the kashrut department of the CHief
Rabbinate, who in turn was quoted in the Jerusalem Post) got attention
because he says that dinosaurs are incompatible with Judaism. The whole
matter was brushed over, the 'cucumber season' quota of some newspaper
was fulfilled, and Tara milk products, with dinosaur, are still kosher.
Actually, the problem is not one of kashrut, but one of belief.  Some
say dinosaur bones are 5754 years old as of next Wednesday night, while
others say that they are much older. The fact that dinosaurs existed is
incontrovertible, as is the fact that a picture of a dog, cat, clown,
child, or dinosaur (all non-kosher items) on a food package does not
make the contents non-kosher.

K'tiva v'hatima tova to all.
Josh Klein  VTFRST@Volcani


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 21:57 EDT
Subject: Hechsherim

In Leon Dworsky's excellent piece on hechsherim in V9N11,
he quotes my previous statement and then comments:

>To this, Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...> responded:
>> /\/\/\/\/\/\/\  deletion  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\
>> If the reasons were given for WHY "people" don't use a product, we might
>> discover that it is a matter of legitimate differing interpretations; or
>> we might discover that it is indeed a matter of questionable kashrus, in
>> which case the duty-to-warn kicks in.
>                      -------------------------
>ALL of the previous comments I and others have made, boil down to this:
>If ANYONE states "People don't hold", with no explanation, it is among the
>WORST kinds of Lashon Harah, for it also transgresses in that it deprives
>one of his livelihood with out ANY proof of the legitimate "duty-to-warn"
>that Freda points out.  Do you really think the Chafetz Chiam would approve
>of every LOR making such statements, often disagreeing with each other?
>                      -------------------------

Let me make it clear that I absolutely agree with Leon's statement
about lashon hara; that's why I would insist on the reasons and not just
the generalization that "people don't hold" etc.

Freda Birnbaum
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: <n.bonner@...> (Nadine Bonner)
Date: Thu,  9 Sep 93 02:34:00 BST
Subject: re:kosher info in Atla. GA

Wall Street Pizza is kosher and located in Loehman's Plaza on Clairmont Ave.
Arthur's Kosher Meats on LaVista Rd. has a deli section, as does Steve's
Kosher Meat across the street (Steve recently became shomer shabbat, which
upgraded the caliber of his store).  I haven't been to Atlanta in the past
year, but my mother told me there is a new, more upscale kosher restaurant
with, I believe, a French sounding name.  For information or hospitality,
call Cong. Beth Jacob, 633-0551.  Ilan Feldman is now the rabbi.
 Nadine Bonner


From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 93 19:30:54 -0400
Subject: Kosher Music?

I have just read a little article in the Jerusalem Report which states
that there is a committee of Jerusalem Rabbis who have issued a ruling
which prohibits 
		(a) the singing of songs at weddings which use verses from
		the Torah;
		(b) modern music at weddings

As an example of (a) the report mentions the MBD song 'Moshiach Moshiach'.
I suspect that this example may have been one of (b).

It is curious that they should have chosen this particular song and only
now. It is my belief that if this song would have been released
`wordless' that they would not have objected to its tune/style. I
contend that the motive for such a prohibition is not `Chaddash Assur
Min HaTorah'---anything new is forbidden from the Torah, but rather, it
is yet another example of Chabad-bashing. I have music from Belz,
Viznitz and Ger and these days they all use Mona Rosenblum as the
arranger. (I happen to think that Mona is the best Jewish arranger
around at the moment but that is a side issue.)  What is noticeable
about his arrangements is that they are all thoroughly and unashamedly
modern. It is true that the Gerrer songs are wordless, however.

Has anyone seen the halachic reasoning garnered to support the alleged
ruling of the committee of Jerusalem Rabbis?

Could someone please name these Rabbis?


From: <weiner@...> (Merril Weiner)
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 23:12:43 -0400
Subject: More on Kashrut

I would like to relate a recent occurrence and an ethical question it

My new roommate hails from Canada where there are fewer hashgachas.
When he moved in I asked him if he used triangle-K (R. Ralbag).  He
didn't know.  He later bought something with another heksher, one that I
don't use.  So he called a rabbi at a Jewish school to find out about
the hekshers.  The friend gave him the number of another rabbi.  This
rabbi said not to any products with either heksher.  My roommate later
discovered that the rabbi was the mashgiach for at least two local

Is it unethical to both supervise and comment on other supervisors since
such comments can affect your livelihood?

We're just a bit curious...

   Merril Weiner                <weiner@...>
   1381 Commonwealth Ave. #6    <weiner@...>
   Brighton, MA  02135          Boston University School of Law


End of Volume 9 Issue 16