|Volume 2 Number 35||Mon Sep 14 10:49:14 1992|
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1992 16:05:12 +1000 From: Quentin Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Australian Jewish Network A working party headed by Prof. R. Kummerfield (Computer Science, Sydney University) and myself has been established to create an Australian Jewish network connected to Internet. Australia has a population of about 17 million and is about the size of the USA - minus Alaska. Spread over this continent are approximately 95,000 Jews, 99% of whom live in the capital cites. The distribution of the population is approximately (very): Sydney, (37,000); Melbourne (40,000); Canberra (700); Brisbane (2500); Adelaide (5,000); and Perth (9,000). To FLY from Sydney to Perth takes 6 hours. Phone calls between capital cities are quite expensive. There is one major Jewish newspaper which has a slightly different version in Melbourne and Sydney. The community however is quite cohesive with about 50% of Jewish children going to Jewish schools. A large number of children including those that don't go to a Jewish school go to a Zionist Youth Movement. Jews outside of Melbourne and Sydney have a hard time finding Jewish partners and find it difficult to keep in touch withe the rest of the community. Kesher-net has had a chequered existence in Australia and does not and cannot serve the communities needs. We believe that bearing in mind the geographic spread and the local Jewish politics, a PROFESSIONAL Jewish computer network could be of major benefit to the community. A large proportion of the community, probably above 50%, have personal computers. We propose to set up a system that is connected to our end of Internet, AARNET. This will give the entire (subscribed) Jewish community the ability to send inter-state and overseas email. It will have various local discussion groups and mail lists. We will also encourage individuals to subscribe to various overseas lists and groups. It will bring the entire community closer together. Individuals and organisations will have to pay a subscription fee, this we believe is the only way we can make the idea become a reality. We know we have a lot of work to do. A hard part of the project will be selling the idea to the community, but we believe this can be done. Comments and ideas would be appreciated. Please direct communications to: Quentin Jones Medical Psychology Unit Sydney University/Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney AUSTRALIA Jonesq@extro.ucc.su.oz.au +612 516-7610 +612 516-1273 FAX
Date: 14 Sep 92 02:40:04 EDT From: Leon Rogson <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Credal Requirements for Jewish Identity In response to Thomas Drucker's article in v2n29, Rabbi Leon Rogson writes: I believe there is a basic set of tenets concerning God that is long standing, and fairly universaly accepted among Jews who believe in God. Most of these tenets can be found in the Torah, and where expounded by the Prophets. Our God is the Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1), He is a God who demands morality of his chosen people (What does the Lord require of thee..., Micah and Deuteronomy), He is the God who chose the Jewish people, and who took us out of the land of Egypt to be our God (everywhere from Exodus through the last prophet). Adjectives such as omniscience, omnipotence, etc. describe attributes of our God which were developed by philosophers out of a study of those qualities best fit a definition of God. These attributes have nothing to do with our very personal God but are the results of applying reason in an attempt to better understand the unexplainable. While we may discuss wether God is dead, and define the attributes of God in such a way as to make such a statement meaningful, we can only do so at the expense of severing that definition from the one that I gave before. A God who creates the Universe and lives both before and after the universe (Adon Olam), cannot die for a season as a result of philosophical speculation. Leon
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1992 09:51:50 -0500 From: Lenore Levine <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: James Baker People who are concerned about the long-term future of Israel, might want to read the article on James Baker in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. His obsession with peace in the Middle East may have had major effects on the history of this region. (And may have more if Bush is reelected...)
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 92 09:32:45 PDT From: email@example.com (Alexander Herrera) Subject: Jewish Missionary I had only one day for sight-seeing in Tokyo, so I first ran to the synagogue. After that I went to Ginza which is the Rodeo Drive of Japan (only bigger). Just down the block from all this chaos is the Emperor's Palace. It was quite impressive from the outside (they don't let you onto the inner grounds.) As I walked across the bridge I was impressed with the 50 foot walls of rock jutting out of the moat. Apparently, two other guys were also impressed and were taking pictures of each other next to the wall. As I walked up to them I smiled and said, "It's a great picture. I want to get this one too." One man said, "Let me take a picture of you in front of the wall." I thanked him and stood on the grass. He snapped the picture. Afterwards we began to talk. He and his friend were Christian missionaries. I smiled and said, "Is that so! Well...I'm a JEWISH missionary!" They were a little taken aback. We began to discuss the problem of relations between Christians and Jews. They told me that there seems to be a wall between Jews and Christians (a wall which I assume they would like to break so as to evangelize), and that wall was formed largely by Jews. I agreed that the wall was built by the Jews and given that not too long ago so many of us were murdered, it is understandable. However, I told them I worked hard to make Jews aware that Christians are well intentioned and frankly if Jews knew more about Judaism, they wouldn't be so skitish. (Just a small aside: Why would I say such a thing? Do I want Jewish ranks decimated by conversions to Christianity? No, I want Christians to know more about Judaism and know we aren't some exclusive club. If more Jews were comfortable with their Judaism, this would be an easier task.) I then went into a little evangelizing myself. (Most Christians call it witnessing.) I told these guys why I thought Judaism was great and the perfect religion for a logical, thinking person. These guys began to look like they had eaten some bad pork. :-) I was not mocking them, but I was amused to discover how unprepared they were for such an eventuality. Perhaps I was just lucky. I expected missionaries to be more prepared for this sort of thing. We parted company and I continued sight-seeing. I've been home a couple of weeks now and my daughter mentioned that one girl at her school wants to become a Jew. She is going to take her to a few events to introduce her to the community and see what happens. Frankly, I think she is a better "Jewish missionary" than I am. It seems like she just stands there and people come to her. Jews need to let the religious community know that we seek converts. We need to do that not just to increase our ranks, but to let Christians know we are open, and to let non-affiliated Jews (and some affiliated Jews) know that Judaism has something good to offer the whole world and not just the Jewish world. Something more needs to be done than for Reform to openly *declare* it. Individuals need to *do* it. Alex Herrera uunet!mdcsc!ah
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 92 07:58:15 EDT From: Stephen Dubin <DUBINSE@duvm.ocs.drexel.edu> Subject: Re: Kosher Cheeseburgers Not all soyburgers are milchige. The products of Midland Harvest (ADM Co) are marked pareve (with the circled U symbol as well). I heard a story of a rabbi who instructed his students not to eat bananas because, from a distance, a bunch of bananas might look like a human hand (no, you Freudians!). Since the eating of human flesh is absolutely forbidden, the APPEARANCE of doing so by scholars might lead others to assume it is acceptable. Would this apply to soy/cheesburgers? If permitted by list rules - the phone number for the ADM products is 1-800-FOR FLAVOR. They are dehydrated and quite good. Keep some for camping, feeding vegetarians and - in case the Mashiach doesn't trust your kashering. Stephen Dubin firstname.lastname@example.org CIS: 76074,55
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 92 08:45:23 PDT From: Max Stern 310-524-6152 <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Kosher Cheeseburgers Re: the discussion about Kosher cheeseburgers, ersatz bacon, and the like, and visceral reactions thereto: I love those Kosher (O-U hekhsher) Baco-Bits on salad. But I gag just to *see* those tanks of live lobsters in the supermarket! I guess that shows that I am an engineer and a literalist. (:-) Max.Stern@TorreyPinesCA.ncr.com
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1992 17:41:44 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Herman Rubin) Subject: Re: Rov (majority) and Kavua (fixed) Shabetai Dubin <DUBINSE@duvm.ocs.drexel.edu> writes: > [...] Now I am happy to see that the Talmud may hold a hint as to whether a > Jew should be a frequentist or a Bayesian. [...] In today's statistics, an > occurance which would occur less than 1/20 (P<.05) by chance alone is termed > "significant" and one which might be expected by chance less than 1/100 is > termed "highly significant." I wonder whether my learned fellow subscribers > could point me to other traditional texts (Jewish religious, of course) as > guidance to how a Jew might properly understand probability and statistical > inference. There are sections in the Talmud relevant to such behavior, and if one tries to analyze them, they look like a mixture. There is a book on this, which I read in our library, and has disappeared, called something like "Mathematics and Probability in the Talmud". I know that I have the title wrong. Even frequentist statisticians will use Bayesian procedures if the prior probabilities are known. But the sages could not have used either of these approaches; the Bayesian could be used if the priors were equal, but the entire basis was not available to them. They attempted to come up with workable procedures, and that was all that they could even attempt.
Date: 13 Sep 1992 21:03 EDT From: email@example.com (Art Kamlet) Subject: Re: Rov (majority) and Kavua (fixed) Shabetai Dubin <DUBINSE@duvm.ocs.drexel.edu> writes: > Even though there are only two possible outcomes (kosher butcher shop or > non-kosher shop) there are certainly ten different butcher shops which our > customer could have forgotten, nine of which are kosher. Furthermore, the > fact that the person was interested in whether s/he had forgotten a kosher > or non-kosher shop would impel belief that the forgotten shop was more > likely to have been kosher. I notice that the permitted ratio has been > raised from 1/3 to 1/10. I think you are thinking as a scientist or a mathemetician and not as a rabbi. The Talmud provides a different axiom system than used by mathemeticians. Logic, as taught in math or science classes, is not necessarily the logic followed in Jewish law. After all, wqhat logic explains the ceremony of the red cow, or the suspected adulteress, or explains why we cannot boil a kid in its mother's milk or cannot eat pork? This is not logic, this is the way it is. The same Torah that contains these rules also tells us to follow the teachings of our rabbis; Rashi explains this to say if we are told our left is our right and our right is our left, then we should follow that. You have to admit this is a different set of logic than taught in math. In the current discussion, a found piece of meat is kosher or is not kosher based NOT on the fact of "is it pork" or "is it beef from a kosher butcher" but rather based on a rule. A rule set by the rabbis. Another rule says if someone forgets if the meat was purchased at a kosher or non-kosher butcher, even if the ratio of kosher to non-kosher stores is 9:1, the rule is: "the liklihood is equal." Your right hand is your left. Further, as I understand the rule, if you find a piece of meat, and it is kosher under the majority rule, so you bring it home and eat it, then later Mr. Smith knocks on your door and says, Exceuse me, but there's a rumor that you found a piece of meat at such-and-such a time and such and such a place. Well I happened to buy some meat at Joe's pork shop and I think you might have found the meat I lost. What now? Did you do something wrong? Nope. The "Fact" that the meat was pork - after the fact was established that it was kosher meat-- does not enter into practical effect. Do you have to worry about whether your dishes and silverware were contaminated by having pork on it? Nope. The "Facts" brought to you by Mr. Smith do not change the "Fact" that the meat was kosher when you ate it. As a scientist or engineer I don't ordinarily deal with "Facts" that are simply defined as such, but as I am used to dealing with Rules and Axioms I understand there can be multiple axioms systems. Art Kamlet AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus firstname.lastname@example.org
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