|Volume 6 Number 55||Wed Oct 9 23:55:11 US/Pacific 1996|
From: Patti Moskovitz <Putins@aol.com> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 11:34:07 -0400 Subject: Different Types of Minyanim I am a Jewish educator and writer in California, working on a research project which may become a book, concerning the topic of the MINYAN. I would like to acquire information from you on different "minyanim". The information may include: descriptions of such groups with which you are familiar, how they are organized, information about the people who make up these "minyanim", unusual anecdotes, unusual "minyanim", biographical information concerning the members of these "minyanim", where they are located, and perhaps who I might contact to find out more. Please respond directly to me, using e-mail, so that we may start a dialogue. Any information I acquire will be properly attributed, with permission. Patti Moskovitz
From: Arnie Bernstein <AChiWriter@aol.com> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 22:44:51 -0400 Subject: Dreams of the Shoah Recently I had a vivid and frightening dream that I was in Auschwitz. I have a dream along these lines about once a year, and it's always an intense experience that causes me to wake up screaming, crying or both. I have no immediate family that was murdered during the Shoah, and I was born some 15 years after the end of W.W. I.I. I discussed the dream with my rabbi and she seemed to agree with my theory--the dream and that fact that it happens once a year conceivably is due (in part) to some collective unconscious of the Jewish mind. Has anyone else had similar experiences or care to contribute thoughts on this? Shalom-- Arnie Bernstein AChiWriter@aol.com
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marian Neudel) Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 00:06:31 -0500 (CDT) Subject: External courses in Hebrew A friend of mine who has just converted is looking for a way to learn prayerbook and biblical Hebrew. He is linguistically adept (already fluent in Spanish and German), but Chicago just doesn't seem to have a lot of facilities for this--the local Jewish college (Spertus) would you believe has *no* Hebrew courses any more!! He's wondering about distance learning courses--are there any? Who does them? Help, please! Thanks. Marian Neudel
From: Tanya Scott <SCOTTT@ofc004b.sce.com> Date: Mon, 07 Oct 96 13:26:00 PDT Subject: Going Beyond Color My thoughts on this discussion were provoked by the experience of others. In fact, it's all the run-off stuff related to this issue raised by Daniel in another post, that I find most intriguing and that I think we should focus on: "Do we stereotype those with more money in our congregations? Those from immigrant backgrounds? Those that look different? Those that are converts? Those from either more or less observant movements? Could we stop focusing on the color part of this, for a while anyway, and think about some of this other stuff? I don't think it is putting Jews on a pedestal to ask these questions. It's just an attempt to take time out from the day to day stuff and make sure that we remain true to what lies at the source of our religion because there's so much there that's beautiful and well worth preserving as a way of life.
From: Alphons Fraenkel <email@example.com> Date: Tue, 08 Oct 1996 17:47:45 -0700 Subject: Israel: Death at the End of the Tunnel [This, obviously, presents the other side of the opinion. I'm letting it through partially for balance, but more for the first paragraph. What is the most appropriate holiday relevant to what is happening in Israel? What teaches us the most appropriate lession? This is the focus I would like responses to have. Hint. Hint. -- Yr. Mod.] The feast that is relevant to the happenings at the Temple Mount is Hannukkah, not Succoth. In Hannukkah we celebrate the Maccabees re-establishing Jewish possession of their Temple and rededicating it to God. This rededication has been celebrated for over 2000 years and I have never heard anyone complaining that Roman sensitivities were offended when their idols were destroyed. There is no comparison between what happended then and what happended now and I am not advocating that the moslem shrines should be destroyed and the Temple rebuilt. But why cannot the Temple Mount be under Jewish control? One of the mistakes, IMHO, made by Meir and Dayan was that they led the moslems retain control of the Temple Mount and the Tombs at Hebron after the Six Day war. We Jews are not even in control of some of our most holy places. Where were those that are so sensitive to moslem feelings when the Jordanian legion destroyed every synagogue in the Old City and used the grave stones to build urinals? Did any of the critics of the tunnel opening utter a word of protest when Palestinians stormed the Tombs of Rachel and Joseph recently. There was scarce mention in the press, no TV coverage and no protests. It should be obvious to everyone now that the moslems have no intention of sharing anything with Jews, they never, did always converting churches or synagogues into mosques. Even before the tunnel opened a Muslim sheikh in Hebron claimed that Jews had no right to the Tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron saying that two religions cannot worship in the same place and claiming that the Jews have no religious relations to Abraham. There never seem to be any demands that Jews should be able to visit Jewish shrines in Arab held territory without having to go there with armed guards. There are those that claim that opening the tunnel offended moslem sensitivities and therefore should not have been opened. But these same individuals see no problem of offending haredi sensitivities by driving cars on sabbath along a street in their neighborhood. In this case they have no problem asking the government to exert it legal power to keep the street open even if stones are thrown. As for the rational that the rioting was caused by the opening of the tunnel, this is also ridiculous. Was World War I caused by the assassination of Crown Prince Rudolph? These happenings just offered an excuse. In the case of the tunnel, Arafat had incited the Palestinians for weeks on end towards violence. What should be obvious is that the Arabs are trying to keep their claim to Jerusalem alive. Jerusalem has always been the centerpoint of Jewish religion and aspirations while it has never figured in Moslem life. It is never even mentioned in the Koran. There always was a Jewish presence there and since 1800 there was a majority Jewish population in Jerusalem. In an article in the New York Post, Uri Dan noted "The battle of Jerusalem is under way and it should remind many of another terrible time in Jewish history, when Jews quarreled among themselves inside the walls of Jerusalem while the Romans besieged the capital." Undivided Jerusalem has been declared the capital of Israel by all prior governments, Likud and Labor. If that is the case the government has the right to open or close any tunnel or street it chooses and counter any unrest with appropriate means. If the Maccabees had had the sensibilities expressed by some of us, there might not have been a Jewish people today.
From: Ruth Levenstein <RuthEllenL@aol.com> Date: Sun, 6 Oct 1996 23:33:34 -0400 Subject: It's not easy being Jewish I too have heard Rabbi's and well meaning Jew's suggest that they have great respect for Jews-by-Choice because they have taken on the very difficult task of being Jewish. I have heard them question why the person would even want to be Jewish. These comments are meant as a compliment to the convert and have always bothered me for the reason that Julius Lester gives that "The words point up that they have negative feelings about being Jewish." I do not want to ignore the presence of anti-semitism and/or anti-Jewish attitudes in American society, but I would like to think (and in fact I do) that by adopting Judaism for myself I will gain far more than I will lose. I wonder if this is an attempt to be modest or is it how they really feel about being Jewish?
From: Alana Suskin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 13:48:21 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Jews of Color My understanding has always been (and I feel this way myself, when dealing with non-Jews) that the best thing to do with a person, when attempting to recognize differences without offending them, is to ask them precisely what they would like. So, I hope that I am not being out of line when I ask you, Tanya, if you came to my shul and were sitting next to me davening, how could I introduce myself to you? (After we were done, of course) What could I say to share my history with you and find out about yours? I would never want to offend anyone of any color, and I WOULD personally assume that the time to learn about the intimate details of someone's life and their family history would be after one already knew them, that this would be information that would evolve out of a relationship. However, that doesn't keep people from being naturally curious about pepole who look different, act different, what have you: I imagine that (although the background isn't quite the same) that people with obvious physical disabilites might have some of the same sort of problem -they stand out in a crowd, but don't necessaarily want to be picked out of a crowd. Similar also is for example the fact that a lot of my family are not the same color as I am. Most of those who aren't aren't Jewish, but if I am a some important event (for example my wedding) I certainly want them there-and the reaction to much of my family "looking different" than I do cerrtainly provokes aot of questions -and I personally don't mind answering them, as long as they're phrased respectfully. So, I guess the question here is, what would you consider respectful-specifically Alana Suskin email@example.com
From: Anonymous (An Anonymous Poster) Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1996 19:36:16 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Jews of Color I agree with the idea that a Jew is a Jew, and skin color is irrelevant, but I believe that is not the case with many Jews. About 15 years ago, someone in our community adopted an African-American child. I still remember the whispering, negative comments of some people in our community. Many were older, but not all of them. I was shocked and disgusted. My daughter is in Mexico and had dinner the other evening with a Jewish fellow from the Southern part of the U.S. He mentioned that he felt safer in Mexico City than in some cities in the U.S. because there were fewer "shvartzers." He had to explain the term to her since she had never heard it. She was shocked by his bigotry. Another couple adopted a Korean child about 12 years ago--again comments in our community. My middle child is quite dark-skinned. (I think it makes him even more handsome.) People are used to him here where he has grown up, but in other Jewish communities, people have stared at him. It didn't feel to him that people were just "curious." I do feel that there is bigotry among our people and it is something that we have to recognize, come to grips with and work on--not gloss over.
From: Arnie Bernstein <AChiWriter@aol.com> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 22:44:51 -0400 Subject: Jews of Color I'm probably a little late in the discussion regarding Black Jews (i've only read the last couple of postings), but I'd like to offer a good resource to anyone interested in the subject. Aaron Freeman, a NPR Radio personality in Chicago (host of the wonderful show "Metropolis" on WBEZ 91.5 fm, every satuday from noon to 4:00 p.m.) is a converted Jew who has several resources regarding Black Jews on his homepage. Contact http://www.afreeman.com Arnie Bernstein AChiWriter@aol.com
From: Tina Anderson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 14:50:49 -0400 (EDT) Subject: SCJ-Moderated proponent(s) needed Greetings all, Eric Simon urged me to write to the list about my recent efforts to put together an RFD for a (robo-)moderated SCJ (to exist in addition to the current SCJ). I'm well aware that this list has become home to many SCJ refugees, which is why I hesitated posting this to the list originally. Since July, I've been gathering information from SCJ readers and Ilana Stern of group-mentors, who volunteered to assist in the process. Recently I determined that for personal reasons, I would be unable to continue as (unofficial, at that point) proponent, and Harvey Cohen was kind enough to re-submit his original RFD (from last year) to SCJ for reconsideration. He has indicated that he would be willing to approach Shamash about being a site, but time is an issue for him as much as anyone else (November is what he's shooting for). I'm not sure that Harvey has committed to being the sole proponent again, so I'm asking if anyone on MLJ is willing to help with the cause, please email me or Harvey (Harvey.S.Cohen@att.com). Cheers, Tina
From: Richard Schachet <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 05:38:15 -0800 Subject: Wearing of Tallesim or Kippot Shalom Chevra- Have a question and would like some of your opinions regarding it. Our congregation never had a clear cut policy on the wearing of tallesim or kippot. Most every man wore a kippah with an few rare occasional men not wearing one. The opposite was true for women. A few women wore the kippah-- most did not. It was not important. We consider ourselves a completely egalitarian congregation with women having all the same rights and privileges as men... there is no ritual difference. Tallesim was required of men at the bima for Torah reading and encouraged for women. The question is now arising, should we require all men to wear a kippah? My question is "If we adopt this rule, should we not then require all women to wear a Kippah? Small question but an interesting one for discussion. Have any of you had a similar issue raised? Rabbi Richard Schachet Valley Outreach Synagogue Las Vegas, NV
From: Rabbi Arthur Waskow <Awaskow@aol.com> Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 07:34:04 -0700 Subject: New Publication: Tales of Tikkun Dear Chevra, I have just received the first hot-off-the-press copies of the book of new midrashic tales that Phyllis Ocean Berman and I wrote -- Tales of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories to Heal the Wounded World -- that has just been published by Jason Aronson. One of the stories is called "The Return of Captain Noah." It is a tale of what happens when Noah and his wife Na'amah, who have been asleep in a cave near Ararat since the Flood, hear the Voice telling them to get up and prepare for another world-wide flood -- this time a Flood of Fire and Smoke arising from human pollution of the earth. They have seven days to prevent disaster; they go out to learn from the creatures what to do. This story might be very useful with grown-ups and adults, in connecting Noah with our own lives and as an action stimulus. It could be especially useful right now in Operation Noah, the efforts of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life to support the Protection of Species Act and other ways of preventing extinctions. The other stories include one about Shifrah and Pu'ah, the midwives who refused to obey Pharaoh's murderous orders; the real inside story of Hagar and Sarah; the story of the Seven (not just Four -- there were three women who got left out of the Talmud -- ) who danced their way into Paradise; how the Mashiach builds the Third Temple; etc. You can reach Jason Aronson at 201/ 767-4093. Regards, Arthur.
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