Prison Officials Believe a Minyan is Required for Study

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Yisroel Markov

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Mar 1, 2016, 10:51:19 AM3/1/16
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Prof. Eugene Volokh reports:
----------------------------

This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear Ben-Levi v. Brown,
but Justice Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that North Carolina
prisons had discriminated against the Jewish plaintiff prison inmate,
in violation of the Free Exercise Clause.

Ben-Levi is serving a life sentence for a 1980 rape; at some point, he
changed his name to Israel Ben-Levi, and either converted to Judaism
or rediscovered Judaism; he now wants to engage in group Torah study
with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
rabbi or a minyan — 10 adult Jews. The minyan requirement stems from
the prison system’s understanding of Jewish law.

This, Justice Alito argues, is impermissible religious discrimination
against Jews, which violates the Free Exercise Clause: [...]

Full article at
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/02/29/justice-alito-on-discrimination-against-jewish-prison-inmates/
--
Yisroel "Godwrestler Warriorson" Markov - Boston, MA Member
www.reason.com -- for a sober analysis of the world DNRC
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Judge, and be prepared to be judged" -- Ayn Rand

mm

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Mar 1, 2016, 2:00:11 PM3/1/16
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 15:58:26 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
<ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:

>Prof. Eugene Volokh reports:
>----------------------------
>
>This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear Ben-Levi v. Brown,
>but Justice Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that North Carolina
>prisons had discriminated against the Jewish plaintiff prison inmate,
>in violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
>
>Ben-Levi is serving a life sentence for a 1980 rape; at some point, he
>changed his name to Israel Ben-Levi, and either converted to Judaism
>or rediscovered Judaism; he now wants to engage in group Torah study
>with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
>religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
>rabbi or a minyan — 10 adult Jews. The minyan requirement stems from
>the prison system’s understanding of Jewish law.
>
>This, Justice Alito argues, is impermissible religious discrimination
>against Jews, which violates the Free Exercise Clause: [...]

Alito's right.

And it takes a lot of nerve for the warden to think he understands
Judaism better than the Jew do.

The easiest remedy, now that courts are foreclosed until they come up
with another argument, is to find some Jews or maybe even books which
could convince the warden he knows bupkes about Jewish study. OTOH,
surely that route was taken already.

I'd like to see where the warden got his ideas and why he discounts
what he must have been told already. Either the warden is dumb or
this sounds like antisemitism to me.

I wonder where the three Jews were on this. Elena Kagan grew up in
an O shul, and surely the other two know that the warden is confused.

Part of the problem, it has more than once occurred to me, is that the
court insist on hearings, debate, discussion, drafts, redrafts, taking
dozens of hours. Seems to me something like this could be settled in
20 minutes. Each of them reads the key sentence, that Jews, he says,
need a rabbi to study. Alito has his doubts, the three Jews should
know without hearing arguments or testimony** that he's wrong, so
that's four out of 8 votes already. A three-sentence decision
should be enough: No rabbi is necessary. He gets his study group.
And if necessary, Don't take this as a precedent.

But instead they would have wanted a 40 page decision citing all the
sources. I clearly would not make it as an appeals court judge.

**Appeals courts don't hear testimony anyhow.

Rereading, I see that the OP does show this, but still its nonsense
seems even more complicated when I red the decision than I at first
thought : "Respondent [warden] denied Ben-Levi’s request in a July
10, 2012 letter. See Doc. No. 24 –1. The letter asserted that a
Jew-ish study group requires a quorum of 10 adult Jews (also referred
to as a minyan). Ibid. Ben - Levi’s proposed group, however, had only
three members. Doc. No. 33, at 1–2. Respondent further explained
that the minyan requirement “may be waived in a prison setting only
when the service is led by a Rabbi.” "

So it's two levels of nonsense.

I guess the best thing is not to rape anyone, but this level of
nonsense makes me wonder if he even did that.

And for the non-Jews reading, it's best for a Jewish man to pray with
a minyan, but it's not required. Prayer without a minyan means that
Kaddish, Borchu (two lines, the first two lines, not the whole section
that follows), and the repetition of the Amidah should be omitted.

But if they're not, the sky won't fall in.

And a rabbi is not needed for prayer or study. Rabbis don't have the
special status that Xian priests and ministers seem to have**. Their
role is to know Jewish law and answer questions about it. During
prayer they're no more important than any other male 13 years old or
more.

And of course study is not prayer, so none of this applies at all.

**Remember when I said that Xians think Judaism is just like Xianity
except for Jesus. This is another example of that.

mm

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Mar 1, 2016, 2:31:31 PM3/1/16
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 19:07:19 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com>
wrote:

>
>And for the non-Jews reading, it's best for a Jewish man to pray with

Jewish women, over 12, are expected to pray, I think it is twice a
day, and they too don't need to pray with a minyan, although iiuc, if
not with a minyan, they wouldn't say any of the prayers for which men
requre a minyan.

>a minyan, but it's not required. Prayer without a minyan means that
>Kaddish, Borchu (two lines, the first two lines, not the whole section
>that follows), and the repetition of the Amidah should be omitted.

I found a longer list. Except for the first three and the fifth and
seventh and maybe the second half of the last one, they wouldn't be
included in a daily prayer service anyhow. And of course, the topic
was a study group, not a prayer group.


Kaddish
Barchu
The Repetition of the Amidah
The Priestly Blessing
The [blessings that go with the] reading of the Torah and the
Haftorah.
The Seven Blessings recited at a wedding and at the post-wedding
feasts.
The introductory prayer to the Grace after Meals which includes
G-d's name ("Zimun BeShem").
The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy as recited in Tachanun, Selichot
or when taking out the Torah on Holidays.
Any Aramaic prayer. This includes certain parts of the Selichot
prayers and certain parts of the Shabbat Musaf prayers. If the
community has finished reciting the Aramaic section of the Shabbat
Musaf prayers but is still praying, one may still recite the Aramaic
section.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1176648/jewish/Praying-with-a-Minyan.htm

SolomonW

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Mar 1, 2016, 5:22:56 PM3/1/16
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 15:58:26 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov wrote:

> he now wants to engage in group Torah study
> with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
> religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
> rabbi or a minyan — 10 adult Jews.

There is no requirement of a rabbi or a 10 adult Jews for studing. There
will be issues if this study group wants to pray.




Yisroel Markov

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Mar 1, 2016, 5:59:10 PM3/1/16
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 19:07:19 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com> said:

>On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 15:58:26 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
><ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:
>
>>Prof. Eugene Volokh reports:
>>----------------------------
>>
>>This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear Ben-Levi v. Brown,
>>but Justice Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that North Carolina
>>prisons had discriminated against the Jewish plaintiff prison inmate,
>>in violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
>>
>>Ben-Levi is serving a life sentence for a 1980 rape; at some point, he
>>changed his name to Israel Ben-Levi, and either converted to Judaism
>>or rediscovered Judaism; he now wants to engage in group Torah study
>>with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
>>religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
>>rabbi or a minyan — 10 adult Jews. The minyan requirement stems from
>>the prison system’s understanding of Jewish law.
>>
>>This, Justice Alito argues, is impermissible religious discrimination
>>against Jews, which violates the Free Exercise Clause: [...]
>
>Alito's right.
>
>And it takes a lot of nerve for the warden to think he understands
>Judaism better than the Jew do.

Alito's point is that such thoughts are irrelevant. The warden's point
is that they have a Religious Practices Manual, which stated: "A
quorum (minyan) of ten (10) adult Jews is usually required to hold a
formal worship service, but this requirement may be waived in a prison
setting when led by a Rabbi."

[snip]

>And of course study is not prayer, so none of this applies at all.

Precisely. That appears to have been the warden's mistake: conflating
study and worship.

But there's another way of looking at it. She corresponded with Rabbi
Gary Friedman of the Jewish Prisoner Services Int'l, and he told her
that a minyan is not required for Tora/Talmud study conducted by a
qualified teacher. The warden may have seized on the latter, believing
it to be a requirement, rather than the minyan one. As stated in
Pirkei Avot 2:3: "Be careful with the government."

The good news is that the prison policy has been amended and an
outside "faith volunteer" is no longer required.

>**Remember when I said that Xians think Judaism is just like Xianity
>except for Jesus. This is another example of that.
>
>>Full article at
>>https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/02/29/justice-alito-on-discrimination-against-jewish-prison-inmates/

mm

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Mar 1, 2016, 8:16:36 PM3/1/16
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 23:06:18 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
<ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 19:07:19 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com> said:
>
>>On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 15:58:26 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
>><ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:
>>
>>>Prof. Eugene Volokh reports:
>>>----------------------------
>>>
>>>This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear Ben-Levi v. Brown,
>>>but Justice Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that North Carolina
>>>prisons had discriminated against the Jewish plaintiff prison inmate,
>>>in violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
>>>
>>>Ben-Levi is serving a life sentence for a 1980 rape; at some point, he
>>>changed his name to Israel Ben-Levi, and either converted to Judaism
>>>or rediscovered Judaism; he now wants to engage in group Torah study
>>>with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
>>>religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
>>>rabbi or a minyan — 10 adult Jews. The minyan requirement stems from
>>>the prison system’s understanding of Jewish law.
>>>
>>>This, Justice Alito argues, is impermissible religious discrimination
>>>against Jews, which violates the Free Exercise Clause: [...]
>>
>>Alito's right.
>>
>>And it takes a lot of nerve for the warden to think he understands
>>Judaism better than the Jew[s] do.
>
>Alito's point is that such thoughts are irrelevant.

I know. He's right.

The warden's point
>is that they have a Religious Practices Manual, which stated: "A
>quorum (minyan) of ten (10) adult Jews is usually required to hold a
>formal worship service, but this requirement may be waived in a prison
>setting when led by a Rabbi."
>
>[snip]
>
>>And of course study is not prayer, so none of this applies at all.
>
>Precisely. That appears to have been the warden's mistake: conflating
>study and worship.
>
>But there's another way of looking at it. She corresponded with Rabbi
>Gary Friedman of the Jewish Prisoner Services Int'l, and he told her
>that a minyan is not required for Tora/Talmud study conducted by a
>qualified teacher. The warden may have seized on the latter, believing
>it to be a requirement, rather than the minyan one. As stated in
>Pirkei Avot 2:3: "Be careful with the government."

>The good news is that the prison policy has been amended and an
>outside "faith volunteer" is no longer required.

Good.

Beach Runner

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Mar 2, 2016, 12:18:08 AM3/2/16
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On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 5:16:36 PM UTC-8, mm wrote:
> On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 23:06:18 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
> <ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:
>
> >On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 19:07:19 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com> said:
> >
> >>On Tue, 1 Mar 2016 15:58:26 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
> >><ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>>Prof. Eugene Volokh reports:
> >>>----------------------------
> >>>
> >>>This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear Ben-Levi v. Brown,
> >>>but Justice Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that North Carolina
> >>>prisons had discriminated against the Jewish plaintiff prison inmate,
> >>>in violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
> >>>
> >>>Ben-Levi is serving a life sentence for a 1980 rape; at some point, he
> >>>changed his name to Israel Ben-Levi, and either converted to Judaism
> >>>or rediscovered Judaism; he now wants to engage in group Torah study
> >>>with two other inmates. North Carolina prisons generally allow group
> >>>religious study; but for Jews they require either the presence of a
> >>>rabbi or a minyan -- 10 adult Jews. The minyan requirement stems from
It is plain anti semitism is sheep's clothing.

The prison's understanding of traditional Jewish law is wrong,
but there is another issue, Judaism is not limited to one
point of view.

What if Reformed Jews have different requirements? Does the prison
system get to decide who is a Jew and how a Jew must believe or practice?

mm

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Mar 2, 2016, 12:19:59 AM3/2/16
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On Wed, 2 Mar 2016 01:23:44 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com>
I think she might have asked him the wrong question. But more likely
than that was that (maybe she asked a broad question and) he gave a
long answer as rabbis and lawyers are inclined to do, including things
about minyanim and the advantage of having a teacher and she managed
to sieze on that part and decided it was mandatory.

Btw, she was also sued by a follower of Asatru, which the court
describs as a polytheistic religion originating in northern Europe
several centures ago. It's recognized by N. Carolina as a real
religion.
http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca4/10-7576/10-7576-2012-11-08.html

And by someone else who wanted a kosher diet. I didnt' see where it
said Eldridge Edger Hodges was a Jew, but it got into the faith helper
issue.

" On March 19, 2015, the court held a pre-trial conference with the
parties, at which the defendants informed the court that the Religious
Services Policy and Manual for the North Carolina Department of Public
Safety ("NCDPS") were currently being revised to address Hodges's
remaining claims. Both parties agreed that this proposed change would
render the case moot. On the same date, and in accordance with the
discussion at the pre-trial conference, the defendants filed an
affidavit by George Solomon, the Director of Prisons for NCDPS, who
affirmed that the Religious Services Policy and the Religious
Practices Resource Guide and Reference Manual were "currently being
revised to allow for inmate faith helpers" for all approved
non-Christian faith practices and estimated that the it "should take
no longer than 90 days to revise, adopt, and implement the policy.""

For whatever reason, the plaintiffs motions were denied.
https://casetext.com/case/hodges-v-brown-3


>>The good news is that the prison policy has been amended and an
>>outside "faith volunteer" is no longer required.
>
>Good.

Are you getting this from somewhere else, or from footnote 1 on page 9
of the pdf file? I hope it's somewhere else, because later in the
footnote it points out that the prison can go back to its old practice
as soon as the case is dismissed for mootness.

Yisroel Markov

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Mar 2, 2016, 9:02:20 PM3/2/16
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[snip]

>It is plain anti semitism is sheep's clothing.

I see no evidence for such a conclusion. The chaplain was trying to
serve and keep order as instructed by the Religious Practice Manual
(RPM). Before the Religious Practice Committee wrote the RPM's section
relating to Judaism, it "consulted with rabbis, experts, and
practitioners of Judaism." The chaplain consulted R' Friedman and he
told her that "In any case, someone who is not qualified would not be
permitted to lead Torah study in the community because it is so
complex." She had what to rely on, but J. Alito wrote that she had no
business making such a judgment in the first place.

>The prison's understanding of traditional Jewish law is wrong,

And irrelevant.

>but there is another issue, Judaism is not limited to one
>point of view.
>
>What if Reformed Jews have different requirements? Does the prison
>system get to decide who is a Jew and how a Jew must believe or practice?

J. Alito's point was that it doesn't. He cited Holt v. Hobbs, in which
the Court rejected the argument that because not all Muslims believe
that growing a beard is a requirement, the particular inmate who did
so believe was not unduly burdened by the beard ban. IOW, he reminded
us of the long-standing jurisprudence that it's not the business of
the state to determine what any religion's requirements may be. That's
settled law.

I suspect that had the RPM not been changed to drop the minyan/rabbi
requirement, the Court would've taken the case.

mm

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Mar 3, 2016, 9:11:57 AM3/3/16
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On Thu, 3 Mar 2016 02:09:29 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
I don't agree that it is plain, but there is evidence**. There may
be more than 2 examples, but Example 1, one of the arguments given for
prohibiting these classes is that they are an opportunity for gang
activity, but that would be true when other religious groups get
together and those groups are permitted in that very prison. And
respondent provided no evidence that Jews were more likely to be
involved in gang activity than other religious groups. [and given
their small number, and other things, I"m pretty sure they're less
likely.]

I looked at the 11 page pdf file with the response of the SC, but I
did not find the memos involved, even though they were referred to.
Specifically I didn't find the questions the warden wrote to the rabbi
or his reply. Only one sentence of his in quotes, roughly that there
should be a rabbi present during a Torah study class. Example 2)
Now how did the warden (or chaplain) get from the rabbi's full answer
to making the rabbi a requirement? The odds on his saying it was
required are nearly zero, and it seems more likely her predilection to
dump on Jews was the basis of a misinterpretation of his letter.

**Unless you're doing what it seemed you did the last time. I never
got back to you to contradict you on that (and I apologize for that),
but the last time, a week or two ago, you excluded making logical
conclusions from evidence. That's not necessarily so, but it's a
point of view***. But IF you exclude making logical conclusions from
evidence, to fairly dismiss Beach Runner's statement, it is necessary
to say, "I see no evidence or logic or logical conclusions for such a
conclusion"

***It's the standard, legal point of view in a courtroom, but we are
not in a courtroom, and at least one definition of evidence is broader
than that, broad enough to include logic. And even in a courtroom,
the trier of fact, the jury or judge, is allowed to, is encouraged to,
use logic on the facts presented.

*IF* you don't consider logical conclusions as part of evidence, you
haven't said a word about them. This is the same problem we had in
that earlier thread.

Not that anyone here is doing this knowingly but knowingly using a
word or sentence in a way that makes sense but is not the meaning that
other parties to a discussion attribute to the word or sentence is
sophistry, and while I would willingly use sophistry to save an
innocent person's life, or to save the life of a guilty person I cared
about (or to save him from time in jail, etc. probably), it should not
be present in a discussion here. No one's life, freedom, or property
is at stake in these discussions. So though we can start off using
the same words in different ways, we should try to resolve our usages
to match each other.

You can read some of Socrates's arguments and see that the *only*
reason he "wins" (that is, seems to win) is that he uses a word one
way at one time and a different way at a different time. That is not
a search for the truth.

But intentionally and not, it's very common.

>serve and keep order as instructed by the Religious Practice Manual
>(RPM). Before the Religious Practice Committee wrote the RPM's section
>relating to Judaism, it "consulted with rabbis, experts, and
>practitioners of Judaism." The chaplain consulted R' Friedman and he
>told her that "In any case, someone who is not qualified would not be
>permitted to lead Torah study in the community because it is so

I read your link and the court decision and did not see this. Where
is it?

>complex." She had what to rely on, but J. Alito wrote that she had no
>business making such a judgment in the first place.
>
>>The prison's understanding of traditional Jewish law is wrong,
>
>And irrelevant.

Irrelevant to the court decision, but very relevant to the mental
workings of the warden (In Beach's words, the prison). For you, the
heart and the entirety of the topic might be the court decision, but
for Beach and me, the action of the warden is also important. Had
she not made the improper decision in the first place, there would
have been no court case.
>
>>but there is another issue, Judaism is not limited to one
>>point of view.
>>
>>What if Reformed Jews have different requirements? Does the prison
>>system get to decide who is a Jew and how a Jew must believe or practice?
>
>J. Alito's point was that it doesn't. He cited Holt v. Hobbs, in which
>the Court rejected the argument that because not all Muslims believe
>that growing a beard is a requirement, the particular inmate who did
>so believe was not unduly burdened by the beard ban. IOW, he reminded
>us of the long-standing jurisprudence that it's not the business of
>the state to determine what any religion's requirements may be. That's
>settled law.

No disagreement here.

>I suspect that had the RPM not been changed to drop the minyan/rabbi
>requirement, the Court would've taken the case.

Maybe so, but footnote 1 on page 9 pointed out in the absence of a
decision by the court, the prison can change its policy back again
whenever it wants. It pointed out that in many, most or all cases,
courts don't drop a case just because the problem is currently moot.


***

As I said in my first reply, "Either the warden is dumb or this sounds
like antisemitism to me." Maybe if I had the letters to and from the
rabbi, I would weaken this.

Beach Runner

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Mar 3, 2016, 7:46:30 PM3/3/16
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It's not up to a Prison manual to say who is qualified for a Jew to decide
who is qualified to teach them Torah.

Judaism has many branches and streams, and there are plenty of Orthodox that
would not allow a female ordained Rabbi to teach Torah.

I would be interested in learning points of view from anyone that has spent years of study, regardless of their official positions, or even if I agreed
or disagreed completely with them.

malcolm...@btinternet.com

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Mar 4, 2016, 7:30:41 PM3/4/16
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On Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:46:30 AM UTC, Beach Runner wrote:
>
> It's not up to a Prison manual to say who is qualified for a
> Jew to decide who is qualified to teach them Torah.
>
> Judaism has many branches and streams, and there are plenty of
> Orthodox that would not allow a female ordained Rabbi to teach Torah.
>
> I would be interested in learning points of view from anyone that
> has spent years of study, regardless of their official positions, or
> even if I agreed or disagreed completely with them.
>
It has to be that way. Otherwise anyone can claim to be a Jew,
and use the text on Rahav to make out that their branch of
Judaism mandates Torah study in the cell with a prostitute.

So the prison authorities are then obliged to arrange for this to
meet the prisoner's religious needs.

Beach Runner

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Mar 5, 2016, 11:42:47 PM3/5/16
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I completely disagree with everything you say. There are various branches
of Judaism and there are huge disagreements over who is a Jew. In Reform
Judaism there are a large group of Rabbis that believe in the concept of
"Jew by choice". Now, lot's of Orthodox will object strongly to it, but
prison officials have no right to decide who is a Jew.

mm

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Mar 6, 2016, 2:21:33 AM3/6/16
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On Sun, 6 Mar 2016 04:49:59 +0000 (UTC), Beach Runner
<lowh...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Friday, March 4, 2016 at 4:30:41 PM UTC-8, malcolm...@btinternet.com wrote:
>> On Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:46:30 AM UTC, Beach Runner wrote:
>> >
>> > It's not up to a Prison manual to say who is qualified for a
>> > Jew to decide who is qualified to teach them Torah.
>> >
>> > Judaism has many branches and streams, and there are plenty of
>> > Orthodox that would not allow a female ordained Rabbi to teach Torah.
>> >
>> > I would be interested in learning points of view from anyone that
>> > has spent years of study, regardless of their official positions, or
>> > even if I agreed or disagreed completely with them.
>> >
>> It has to be that way. Otherwise anyone can claim to be a Jew,
>> and use the text on Rahav to make out that their branch of
>> Judaism mandates Torah study in the cell with a prostitute.
>>
>> So the prison authorities are then obliged to arrange for this to
>> meet the prisoner's religious needs.
>
>I completely disagree with everything you say. There are various branches

Malcomn thinks he is an authority on many subjects he knows little
about. Especially, as you can see, he thinks he understands American
law, and he doesn't. I used to argue with him, to make sure others
didn't believe him, but there's no one here anymore who will believe
him, so I don't bother.

>of Judaism and there are huge disagreements over who is a Jew. In Reform
>Judaism there are a large group of Rabbis that believe in the concept of
>"Jew by choice". Now, lot's of Orthodox will object strongly to it, but

Orthodox Jews in no way object to people choosing to be a Jew. We
have had people do that throughout our history, including at least one
in the midst of the Holocaust.

"Jew by choice" is just what some consider a euphemism for "convert",
which word they have the strange notion is not a nice word. I don't
know where they got that idea, and they don't consider the possibility
that born-Jews wouldn't like the implication that the bulk of Jews are
Jews because we have no choice.

The problem with Reform "converts" is that they don't meet any of the
standards of halachic conversion, including accepting the mitzvas as
binding on themselves. Most of them don't even know what they are
not doing. Being dunked in a swimming pool, which some R use, or
even a mikvah, even with circumcision for a man, isn't enough to make
one a Jew.

Getting citizenship in the Jewish people is parallel to getting US
citizenship. If someone's born an American, he can be the most
unAmerican person you could find, doesn't believe in the principles of
the Constitution or the Declaration of Independance, commits crimes of
all sorts, sells information to the enemy in time of war, etc. etc.
but he's still a citizen. On the other hand if someone want to
convert to being an American, he has to have little or no criminal
record, he has to learn the Constitution and be able to answer
questions about it, he has to take an oath or affirmation that he will
be loyal to the USA (and maybe a couple other things?).

This all started when Jews who didn't keep commandments married
non-Jews and wanted them to be considered Jews, but didn't want them
to be any more observant than the born Jew was. Fortunately, the US
government does expect converts to Americanism to have at least a
minimum level of observance of American laws and ideals.

But this is separate and apart from the term Jew by choice, which
those same people would use for valid converts too.

Shelly

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Mar 6, 2016, 8:20:00 AM3/6/16
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Basically, I agree with you. It shouldn't be restricted to any one branch.

It reminds me of an episode of "Orange is the New Black". Several
inmates, mostly black, decided that they were to become Jewish. They did
this in order to get better meals because they didn't like the slop
served to them. The warden responded to this by bringing in a rabbi to
say whether or not they were for real. As it turned out one of them
really did wind up wanting to convert.

What I am saying is that all that need be done is for the warden to
bring in a rabbi from one of the recognized branches (which the prisoner
could specify) to establish the sincerity of the claim. They could even
stipulate that such a branch to be recognized by them needed, say, 500
members nationwide. That would rule out the crackpot stuff that Malcolm
specified.

--
Shelly

mm

unread,
Mar 6, 2016, 10:10:46 AM3/6/16
to
On Sun, 6 Mar 2016 07:28:46 +0000 (UTC), mm <mm2...@bigfoot.com>
wrote:

>
> "Jew by choice" is just what some consider a euphemism for "convert",
>which word they have the strange notion is not a nice word. I don't
>know where they got that idea, and they don't consider the possibility
>that born-Jews wouldn't like the implication that the bulk of Jews are
>Jews because we have no choice.

And of course, the same is true for converts. Converts too may well
not like the implication that born-Jews had and have no choice. Or
the inference that some who hear the phrase may draw.

malcolm...@btinternet.com

unread,
Mar 6, 2016, 10:48:05 PM3/6/16
to
No, but that's a different matter to simply declaring oneself to be a Jew.

If the claim to be Jewish is made sincerely (e.g. an Englishman believing in
the Angl-_Israelite theory) then it maybe puts a secular prison authority
in a difficult situation. But if it's transparently made to antagonise and annoy
the prison authorities, then it can be rejected.

Yisroel Markov

unread,
Mar 7, 2016, 12:03:11 PM3/7/16
to
Do you support Jewish self-determination, then? IOW, any inmate can
declare him/herself Jewish, demand accomodation in any way they think
is appropriate, and have the prison officials take them seriously? Or
do you support Shelly's approach of having the inmate "certified" by a
representative of a "recognized branch" of Judaism, with all the
headaches *that* entails? Or some third way?

Harry Weiss

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 12:51:34 AM3/8/16
to
Any one can claim to be a Jew in the prison system Some may perfer the
TV dinners over the regular garbage.

Someone with a swastika tattoo can claim to be a Jew and meet with the
Jewish chaplain., (OF course the chaplain can request additional secuity,

--
Harry J. Weiss
hjw...@panix.com

Harry Weiss

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 12:58:44 AM3/8/16
to
In the prison people can self declare, A friend of my is chaplain at the 2
state prisons in Folsom. Anyone can come to him for counseling etc.. If
they were able to get a minyan together only he would determine who would
count for a minyan,.

> Yisroel "Godwrestler Warriorson" Markov - Boston, MA Member
> www.reason.com -- for a sober analysis of the world DNRC
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Judge, and be prepared to be judged" -- Ayn Rand

Evertjan.

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 9:09:21 AM3/8/16
to
Harry Weiss <hjw...@panix.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
soc.culture.jewish.moderated:

> In the prison people can self declare,

Up to a point, [s]he cannot, if not true, declare "I am a Jew according to
the orthodox/conservative movements and a paying member of this/that", I
suppose, if that is not the case

> A friend of my is chaplain at the 2
> state prisons in Folsom. Anyone can come to him for counseling etc.. If
> they were able to get a minyan together only he would determine who would
> count for a minyan,.

Who do you mean by "he"? Whould this "he" also have a say in the required
minimum number of his minyan?

Methinks the whole religion angle is overdone. Would that come from an
religious believe in a constitution? Perhaps that is the curse of living in
a republic, I have no experience with that. ;-)

If the inmates want to have a regular meeting discussing "basketball under
low gravity conditions" that should be made possible imho, unless it poses
important security risks or/and is downright impractical. Wanting to have
such weekly meetings "on a sunny mountain meadow" [or "in a space-ship"]
would count as impractical.

btw: being in jail 46 years after a single criminal act is so extraordinary
as seen from this side of the pond. The inmate must have a hell of a
constitution himself and his personal religious delusions should be
forgiven.

--
Evertjan.
The Netherlands.
(Please change the x'es to dots in my emailaddress)

mm

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 12:15:23 PM3/8/16
to
Of course they can claim to be members of any of the other religions
too, but we have the best food.

cindys

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 2:50:20 PM3/8/16
to
On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 9:09:21 AM UTC-5, Evertjan. wrote:
> Harry Weiss <hjw...@panix.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
snip
>
> > A friend of my is chaplain at the 2
> > state prisons in Folsom. Anyone can come to him for counseling etc.. If
> > they were able to get a minyan together only he would determine who would
> > count for a minyan,.
>
> Who do you mean by "he"?

He means his friend the chaplain (referenced in the preceding sentence).

>Whould this "he" also have a say in the required
> minimum number of his minyan?

He would have more than "a say." He would have the FINAL say. In a free society, nobody can be forced to participate in a prayer service against his will. If Harry's friend doesn't believe that a kosher minyan is present, he doesn't have any obligation to participate in that "minyan." In fact, he would be halachically prohibited from participating in that "minyan." And not because he's the chaplain but because he's an Orthodox Jew.
HTH.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Evertjan.

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 5:31:11 PM3/8/16
to
cindys <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
soc.culture.jewish.moderated:

> On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 9:09:21 AM UTC-5, Evertjan. wrote:
>> Harry Weiss <hjw...@panix.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
> snip
>>
>> > A friend of my is chaplain at the 2
>> > state prisons in Folsom. Anyone can come to him for counseling etc..
>> > If
>> > they were able to get a minyan together only he would determine who
>> > would count for a minyan,.
>>
>> Who do you mean by "he"?
>
> He means his friend the chaplain (referenced in the preceding sentence).

Could be what was ment, I was not sure. [my confusion, read on]

>> Would this "he" also have a say in the required
>> minimum number of his minyan?
>
> He would have more than "a say." He would have the FINAL say.

What kind of chaplain would have a final say in the haloge of minyan?
[my confusion, read on]

> In a free
> society, nobody can be forced to participate in a prayer service against
> his will. If Harry's friend doesn't believe that a kosher minyan is
> present, he doesn't have any obligation to participate in that "minyan."
> In fact, he would be halachically prohibited from participating in that
> "minyan." And not because he's the chaplain but because he's an Orthodox

So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
my confusion.

=============

In my view, a minyan is only a minyan if it is complying with haloge, so a
halachic prohibition of partaking in a non-minyan seems impossible. Certain
acts being exclusively allowed in a minyan is quite another matter.

The strange thing is, that all these rules make assumptions about personal
religious obligations, so I would say that is not the duty of secular law or
secular institutions.

Especially Jews should not assume [IMHO!!!!!] such things about other Jews.

So if some Jew declares he is an "orthodox Jew", he only constrains his
halachic duties for himself or herself, again IMHO!!!

Shelly

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 6:52:53 PM3/8/16
to
On 3/8/2016 5:38 PM, Evertjan. wrote:
> So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
> pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
> my confusion.

Yes, it is. It has also become somewhat synonymous with clergyman which
includes all religions (at least on this side of the pond).

--
Shelly

Beach Runner

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 8:27:26 PM3/8/16
to
Shelly,

I really enjoyed the episodes on Orange is the New Black.

As for the concept of Jews by Choice, it is somewhat different
than a conversion, and of course does not follow any orthodox law.
It is simply a person making a personal conviction that they have
decided to be a Jew. Of course they would not be recognized
as a valid conversion according to Orthodox law, but there
are many people that are members of reformed congregations or
affiliated with Jewish life that have not gone through a conversion
process or ceremony.

Of course, this means little accept for instances such as when a
warden decides who should be a Jew, and of course it effects
being accepted by law in Israel.

I do know Jews by choice, and in fact, they are enthusiastic,
involved but I know you wouldn't accept them as Jewish.

The real issue is that Judaism does not seek converts, with one
exception historically.

When the Macabees were fighting for Israel, they were demanding
inhabitants of Israel convert or leave. I was on a dig in Israel
of a non Jewish home from the period. Prior to leaving they destroyed
everything they weren't taking as their home was 4 stories in the desert.
The top floor for living, the 2nd downstairs a pidgin coop, (the chicken
of the desert), another level below the ground for cool living, and finally
a bottom floor with an anchient yet still working olive press.

The third level was filled with debris as the family threw all their posession
into the level as a garbage dump, which of course was a great historical find.

It was fascinating to find there was ONE period where Jews sought converts.

Harry Weiss

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 8:49:05 PM3/8/16
to
Evertjan. <exxjxw.h...@inter.nl.net> wrote:
> Harry Weiss <hjw...@panix.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
> soc.culture.jewish.moderated:

> > In the prison people can self declare,

> Up to a point, [s]he cannot, if not true, declare "I am a Jew according to
> the orthodox/conservative movements and a paying member of this/that", I
> suppose, if that is not the case

To the prison they just claim to be Jewish and want Kosher food and a
Jeweish chaplain,


> > A friend of my is chaplain at the 2
> > state prisons in Folsom. Anyone can come to him for counseling etc.. If
> > they were able to get a minyan together only he would determine who would
> > count for a minyan,.

> Who do you mean by "he"? Whould this "he" also have a say in the required
> minimum number of his minyan?

The Jewish chaplain,

> Methinks the whole religion angle is overdone. Would that come from an
> religious believe in a constitution? Perhaps that is the curse of living in
> a republic, I have no experience with that. ;-)

> If the inmates want to have a regular meeting discussing "basketball under
> low gravity conditions" that should be made possible imho, unless it poses
> important security risks or/and is downright impractical. Wanting to have
> such weekly meetings "on a sunny mountain meadow" [or "in a space-ship"]
> would count as impractical.

> btw: being in jail 46 years after a single criminal act is so extraordinary
> as seen from this side of the pond. The inmate must have a hell of a
> constitution himself and his personal religious delusions should be
> forgiven.

> --
> Evertjan.
> The Netherlands.
> (Please change the x'es to dots in my emailaddress)

Harry Weiss

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 8:55:56 PM3/8/16
to
You are correct, I don't really think they have minyanim, though I know
my friend is making arrangement to have a Megillah to read.

There are other restrition on the movement of the prisoners since these
are max security with the most violent offenders,

> ---Cindy S.

mm

unread,
Mar 8, 2016, 11:15:55 PM3/8/16
to
I generally agree with the things you say, Mr. Runner. Can I call
you Beach? But I feel obliged to take issue with a couple things
here.

>I really enjoyed the episodes on Orange is the New Black.
>
>As for the concept of Jews by Choice, it is somewhat different
>than a conversion, and of course does not follow any orthodox law.

Not necessarily. While it very often doesn't refer to an Orthodox
conversion, it may. In a previous post, iirc I pointed out that
those [liberal Jews] who used "Jew by choice" for invalid converts
would use the same term for valid, Orthodox converts. So there's one
kind of example.

Now of course I don't rely on them to decide who is a Jew and who
isn't, but that works in both directions and it also means I shouldn't
rely on their terminology to conclude an O Jew who had an O conversion
isn't a Jew, just because a liberal Jew calls him a Jew by choice.

But this time, I decided to see if any O Jews used the term. I don't
want to rely on my memory for that, and indeed, I found several who
do.

All of the cites below were found using http://4torah.com which uses
what Google calls its Custom Search, and which only looks at domains
that those who manage 4torah.com have vetted and found to be reliably
Orthodox. But there are many good O websites that 4torah does not
search**.

http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/385671/jewish/Jews-By-Choice.htm
" A Jew by choice is a Jew indeed."
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/480551/jewish/Is-It-Racist-to-Want-a-Jewish-Spouse.htm
"The man you marry can be a European Jew or an Oriental Jew, a black
Jew or a white Jew. He can be a Jew by birth or a Jew by choice."
http://www.torahcafe.com/rabbi-manis-friedman/a-jew-by-choice-a-relationship-video_a2662fd15.html
This is a video of a talk by Rabbi Manis Friedman and the title is "A
Jew by Choice: A Relationship"
http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/714645/rabbi-dr-nathan-lopes-cardozo/jews-by-choice-a-look-in-the-beit-hamidrash-of-avraham-avinu-and-the-future-of-judaism/
"Jews by Choice - A Look in the Beit HaMidrash of Avraham Avinu and
the Future of Judaism" Speaker: Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo 51
minutes.
https://ots.org.il/the-jewish-attitude-toward-the-convert/ Rabbi
Shlomo Riskin "the Book of Ruth... shows that Jews by choice are
worthy of much praise......Moreover, is it not remarkable that we read
of the odyssey of a Jew by choice specifically as part of our
celebration of the giving of the Torah at Sinai?.....Boaz, perhaps a
bit embarrassed by his burgeoning amorous interest, responds by
comparing Ruth to the first Hebrew, the primary Jew-by-choice,
Abraham".

This isn't many, but I only went through 25 of the links, and my point
is not that "Jew by choice" is used a lot, but that it's used by some
O without fear that someone else will say the term is invalid.


** (This means they may have missed thousands of small Orthodox
websites. For example, I don't think a shul website has ever come up
in any of my searches, even though were I to have used regular
Google, most shuls have websites, most announce lectures and classes,
and many of them have serious essays online that might use the words
Jew by Choice.)

>It is simply a person making a personal conviction that they have
>decided to be a Jew.

No, not always. I would guess 1/3 of the time or less. Maybe there
are exceptions but my understanding is that all C "conversions"
require mikvah, and for a man, bris, and for all, an acceptance of the
commandments as the C people see them. (There is probably a big range,
but the details don't matter. They have to do these 2 or 3 things so
it's not merealy a person making a personal conviction.

As to R or R or R "conversions", 1) there have been quite a few public
disputes where Reform rabbis wanted to use the kosher mikva for a
conversion and have been turned down, but that shows they want to do
mikvah. When it happens, they usually look further or find a
non-kosher place to simulate tevilah. In the decades of the 50's
(maybe much earlier) until 70's, 80's maybe even until now, some
Reform "conversions" have used swimming pools. 2) In most cases
from the beginning of R until now, bris has been required for a male.
3) And I'll bet you a dime to a dollar that they do something sort of
like or in place of accepting the commandments. I would think they
get the bris part right, but I'm no authority. But even if they skip
one part and get the other two parts wrong, there is still a 2 or 3
part ceremony and it's still not merely a person making a personal
decision.

It's no more valid, but they are all entitled to the facts.

My guess is less than a third of the time, probably for the spouse of
a Jew, do the R or R or R (but not the C) just accept someone with no
ceremony at all. And I suppose there might be some lazy people who
move some place new and say they've had a conversion when they
haven't. Perhaps they don't want to take the classes that are
required?

Oh, did I mention that C and probably R require attendance at group
classes in cities big enough to have groups, and I think they all
require individual study or discussion with the rabbi.

(I can't even guess about humanists, but they are a very small
number.)

>Of course they would not be recognized
>as a valid conversion according to Orthodox law, but there
>are many people that are members of reformed congregations or
>affiliated with Jewish life that have not gone through a conversion
>process or ceremony.

Not all of the non-Jews in liberal congregations claim to be Jews or
think of themselves as Jews. Sometimes they're there because of a
spouse and sometimes they just like it there.

>Of course, this means little accept for instances such as when a
>warden decides who should be a Jew, and of course it effects
>being accepted by law in Israel.
>
>I do know Jews by choice, and in fact, they are enthusiastic,
>involved but I know you wouldn't accept them as Jewish.

Aren't you still talking to Shelly?

>The real issue is that Judaism does not seek converts, with one
>exception historically.
>
>When the Macabees were fighting for Israel, they were demanding
>inhabitants of Israel convert or leave. I was on a dig in Israel
>of a non Jewish home from the period. Prior to leaving they destroyed
>everything they weren't taking as their home was 4 stories in the desert.
>The top floor for living, the 2nd downstairs a pidgin coop, (the chicken
>of the desert), another level below the ground for cool living, and finally
>a bottom floor with an anchient yet still working olive press.
>
>The third level was filled with debris as the family threw all their posession
>into the level as a garbage dump, which of course was a great historical find.
>
>It was fascinating to find there was ONE period where Jews sought converts.

Very interesting. Where was the dig, do you remember? I'm planning
my next trip. Do you think I could get a 4 hour gig on a dig?

Shelly

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 7:41:51 AM3/9/16
to
First of all, let me correct you. It is "Reform congregations", not
"reformed congregations". There is no "ed" and it is capitalized.

>
> Of course, this means little accept for instances such as when a
> warden decides who should be a Jew, and of course it effects
> being accepted by law in Israel.

Israel accepts non-Orthodox conversions when done outside of Israel.
>
> I do know Jews by choice, and in fact, they are enthusiastic,
> involved but I know you wouldn't accept them as Jewish.

Second, no, I would not accept them as Jews unless they went through a
conversion. That conversion, according to me, could be in any of the
branches of Judaism and does not have to be Orthodox.

>
> The real issue is that Judaism does not seek converts, with one
> exception historically.

The reason for that is that if they did, then they would have been
subject to "Hitlarian" tactics.

>
> When the Macabees were fighting for Israel, they were demanding
> inhabitants of Israel convert or leave. I was on a dig in Israel
> of a non Jewish home from the period. Prior to leaving they destroyed
> everything they weren't taking as their home was 4 stories in the desert.
> The top floor for living, the 2nd downstairs a pidgin coop, (the chicken
> of the desert), another level below the ground for cool living, and finally
> a bottom floor with an anchient yet still working olive press.

There was at least one other time. Remember that the first Christians
were Jews and followers of Jesus were Jews. They wanted the surrounding
idolators to become followers of Jesus, but first they had to become
Jews. Of course, later that requirement was abolished.

>
> The third level was filled with debris as the family threw all their posession
> into the level as a garbage dump, which of course was a great historical find.
>
> It was fascinating to find there was ONE period where Jews sought converts.

See above.

--
Shelly

henry.dot.goodman.at.virgin.net

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 9:18:21 AM3/9/16
to
In the UK too. There were certainly Jewish chaplains attached to British armed forces in WW2.
Henry Goodman


malcolm...@btinternet.com

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Mar 9, 2016, 9:20:25 AM3/9/16
to
On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:31:11 PM UTC, Evertjan. wrote:
> cindys <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
>
> So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
> pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
> my confusion.
>
It's basically a Christian term.
The "church" is the main building in the parish, a chapel is a subsidiary building
where services are also held - often if the parish was large a "chapel of ease"
was built to reduce the amount of time the congregation had to travel, or a
rich man might have his own private chapel attached to his house.
So if the chapel has a priest dedicated to it, that priest is not the parish priest,
but the "chaplain". He's got fewer rights and responsibilities than the parish priest
because he doesn't have a patch of territory which is his.

Often a chaplain would be attached to a hospital or a prison or a military unit,
and receive a stipend from the institution. The word then got extended to
Christian denominations that don't have a concept of parishes, and to non-
Christian clergy employed in a similar capacity.

mm

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 9:30:13 AM3/9/16
to
For sure, but the only places chaplain applies to rabbis are those
where more than one religion is present and treated equally, by a
hospital, armed forces, a police department, prison, etc.

Not suprisingly, Wikip says the same thing "Traditionally, a chaplain
is a minister, such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or lay
representative of a religious tradition, attached to a secular
institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, police
department, fire department, university, or private chapel. "

No Jew in the his own shul would be called a chaplain.

Yisroel Markov

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 11:13:59 AM3/9/16
to
On Wed, 9 Mar 2016 01:34:42 +0000 (UTC), Beach Runner
<lowh...@gmail.com> said:

[snip]

>It was fascinating to find there was ONE period where Jews sought converts.

There was at least one more. There were Judaizing Romans. Then there
was this:

"Agobard, archbishop of Lyons from 816 to 840, wrote several pamphlets
which leave one in no doubt concerning his anxieties about Jewish
proselytizing among Christians... He was worried about Jewish
proselytizing in southern Gaul, especially in the regions of Narbonne
and his own Lyons... As he pointed out in a letter to Archbishop
Nebridius of Narbonne, peasants were being seduced into Judaism as
well as townspeople... Agobard's successor at Lyons, Amolus, shared
these apprehensions. In his Liber contra Judeos dedicated to King
Charles the Bald he let slip the revealing fact that Christians in
Lyons were attending synagogues instead of churches because the Jewish
rabbis 'preach better than our priests.'"

(From The Barbarian Conversion by Richard Fletcher)

Also, one can track the laws enacted to prohibit conversion to Judaism
on the assumption that they were passed to deal with a noticeable
"problem." (I haven't.)

malcolm...@btinternet.com

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 3:42:23 PM3/9/16
to
On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 4:13:59 PM UTC, Yisroel Markov wrote:
> In his Liber contra Judeos dedicated to King
> Charles the Bald he let slip the revealing fact that Christians in
> Lyons were attending synagogues instead of churches because the Jewish
> rabbis 'preach better than our priests.'"
>
We have a preaching competition in Britain, open to clergy with
a congregation or a pulpit. Ever since it was decided that rabbis
were eligible they have regularly won prizes.

Beach Runner

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 8:49:20 PM3/9/16
to
To respond to several notes, unfortunately I can not recall the dig
I was on. It was part of a 14 day "Bar Mitzvah Tour" which included
a collection bar and bat Mitzvahs being held in the oldest temple that
still exists, at Massadah. Of course, there were only walls left.

A lot of the people on the tour were not there for the Bar Mitzvah of
relatives, they just sent on the tour, which was wonderful. Highly
recommended and very educational. Masada is something every Jew should
see, truly living history. You can still see the ramp built by the Roman
over several years to capture the fort. There are the remains of many
buildings. The Roman's were so insane they
spent years trying to capture a small group of Jewish zealots.

The IDF used to have a graduation ceremony at Masada, such as my cousin
attended, climbing it by foot rather than cable cars, but they stopped
as they don't want the end of suicide by Jews honored in this way.

I was wrong about conversions had to be Orthodox, even outside of Israel.
Is this a law that has changed in he last few decades and I out of date
or just plain wrong?

I was also surprised about other cases of Jews proselytizing. Somehow
I think early Christians don't really count but recognize the argument,
the other story I was unaware of.

That dig was from 1997, a great time in Israel, we thought peace and a two
state solution was just around the corner. You could safely walk in Arab villages and all they wanted to do is sell you tee shirts of with Arabs, Jews,
Christians and others dancing together. The Palestinians sure never miss
an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

I'm sure new tours have new digs or you can find ongoing ones. There's no
shortage of them.

Harry Weiss

unread,
Mar 9, 2016, 8:56:26 PM3/9/16
to
malcolm...@btinternet.com wrote:
> On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:31:11 PM UTC, Evertjan. wrote:
> > cindys <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
> >
> > So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
> > pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
> > my confusion.
> >
> It's basically a Christian term.
> The "church" is the main building in the parish, a chapel is a subsidiary building
> where services are also held - often if the parish was large a "chapel of ease"
> was built to reduce the amount of time the congregation had to travel, or a
> rich man might have his own private chapel attached to his house.
> So if the chapel has a priest dedicated to it, that priest is not the parish priest,
> but the "chaplain". He's got fewer rights and responsibilities than the parish priest
> because he doesn't have a patch of territory which is his.

Many synagogoues has a small room attached. In O it is usally called a
Bet Midrsh and used for weekay minyanim.

In C they often cdall it a chapel and used for weekday, youth services
etc,

There is no separate Rabbi.



> Often a chaplain would be attached to a hospital or a prison or a military unit,> and receive a stipend from the institution. The word then got extended to
> Christian denominations that don't have a concept of parishes, and to non-
> Christian clergy employed in a similar capacity.

mm

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Mar 10, 2016, 2:27:47 AM3/10/16
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2016 01:56:37 +0000 (UTC), Beach Runner
<lowh...@gmail.com> wrote:
......
>
>To respond to several notes, unfortunately I can not recall the dig
>I was on. It was part of a 14 day "Bar Mitzvah Tour" which included
>a collection bar and bat Mitzvahs being held in the oldest temple that

I think it's called a beis knesset or synagogue, not a temple.

>still exists, at Massadah. Of course, there were only walls left.

Well, if it's not raining, that's all you need. ;-)

Israel has some of the most beautiful shuls. One near the center of
Netanya, with glass walls 10 or 15 feet high on the left and right
sides, in about 6 4-foot-wide sections that swing open in good weather
(which is almost all the time) so practically both whole walls are
open and the (sea?) breeze comes through.

I forget the town a little southwest of Tel Aviv, where the friend of
a Baltimore friend lived. She had given me a package to bring her,
and like everyone she said I could mail it once I got to Israel, but
it's much more fun to deliver these things in person. You get
invited to lunch, or maybe dinner, or maybe to spend the night. (I
know I had dinner there but I can no longer remember where I stayed
that night.) ...... Anyhow, there is a long straight
road leading from the highway to the town, at least an 8th or 4th of a
mile, and it was November and dark when I got there, and all the way
down the road you can see the front of the shul, and in the middle of
that a glass door and glass surrounding the door, maybe 20 feet high
with the aron (ark) lit up, right in line with the door. It's a
small settlement, upper middle income, many Americans I think, and
this wouldn't host the only minyan but it might be the only shul.

>A lot of the people on the tour were not there for the Bar Mitzvah of
>relatives, they just sent on the tour, which was wonderful. Highly
>recommended and very educational. Masada is something every Jew should
>see, truly living history. You can still see the ramp built by the Roman
>over several years to capture the fort. There are the remains of many
>buildings. The Roman's were so insane they
>spent years trying to capture a small group of Jewish zealots.

I've been there. It was well worth seeing. I was on an Eged tour (Ein
Gedi, Matzada, and the Dead Sea) so we didn't have a large amount of
time, but it was enough for the standard tour.

It's interesting that though it was built up by Herod and the Romans,
it was used by Jewish rebels. It reminds me of the road that Syrians
built down from the Golan to near Tel Katzir, a 30-iirc-foot wide
well-paved road, wide enough for one tank to pass another, so that
invading Israel would be quick and easy for them. It was the same
road the Israeli forces used in 1967 to quickly ascend the Golan and
capture it.

Even though Metsada was rediscovered before the invention of the
airplane, I vaguely remember some story that involves airplanes. Does
anyone know what I'm thinking of?

>The IDF used to have a graduation ceremony at Masada, such as my cousin
>attended, climbing it by foot rather than cable cars, but they stopped
>as they don't want the end of suicide by Jews honored in this way.

I didn't know they had stopped that. Stopping makes a lot of sense.
>I was wrong about conversions had to be Orthodox, even outside of Israel.
>Is this a law that has changed in he last few decades and I out of date
>or just plain wrong?
>
>I was also surprised about other cases of Jews proselytizing. Somehow
>I think early Christians don't really count but recognize the argument,

I agree with you on both clauses.

>the other story I was unaware of.
>
>That dig was from 1997, a great time in Israel, we thought peace and a two
>state solution was just around the corner. You could safely walk in Arab villages and all they wanted to do is sell you tee shirts of with Arabs, Jews,
>Christians and others dancing together. The Palestinians sure never miss
>an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
>
>I'm sure new tours have new digs or you can find ongoing ones. There's no
>shortage of them.

True. They were hiring people for a dig in Ir David, only 2000 feet
from where I was living for 7 weeks, but I was busy every day and
never looked into the requirements. I'm guessing I'd have to commit
myself to more than 4 hours. ::-) . It seems like it might take 8
hours just to train someone not to damage anything when digging. I
think that dig has been finished for now and the area open to the
public, but there is probably another one 300 feet away.

Yisroel Markov

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Mar 10, 2016, 11:55:51 AM3/10/16
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2016 02:03:44 +0000 (UTC), Harry Weiss
<hjw...@panix.com> said:

>malcolm...@btinternet.com wrote:
>> On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:31:11 PM UTC, Evertjan. wrote:
>> > cindys <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
>> >
>> > So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
>> > pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
>> > my confusion.
>> >
>> It's basically a Christian term.
>> The "church" is the main building in the parish, a chapel is a subsidiary building
>> where services are also held - often if the parish was large a "chapel of ease"
>> was built to reduce the amount of time the congregation had to travel, or a
>> rich man might have his own private chapel attached to his house.
>> So if the chapel has a priest dedicated to it, that priest is not the parish priest,
>> but the "chaplain". He's got fewer rights and responsibilities than the parish priest
>> because he doesn't have a patch of territory which is his.
>
>Many synagogoues has a small room attached. In O it is usally called a
>Bet Midrsh

Because it usually *is* a library and used for studying when not
praying. Usually, the only books in the main shul are siddurs and
humashim.

[snip]
--

mm

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Mar 10, 2016, 1:42:56 PM3/10/16
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2016 17:03:09 +0000 (UTC), Yisroel Markov
<ey.m...@MUNGiname.com> wrote:

>On Thu, 10 Mar 2016 02:03:44 +0000 (UTC), Harry Weiss
><hjw...@panix.com> said:
>
>>malcolm...@btinternet.com wrote:
>>> On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:31:11 PM UTC, Evertjan. wrote:
>>> > cindys <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote on 08 Mar 2016 in
>>> >
>>> > So you mean a "Jewish chaplain"? Never heared that said this side of the big
>>> > pond, is it US-military parlance? For me "chaplain" is christian. That was
>>> > my confusion.
>>> >
>>> It's basically a Christian term.
>>> The "church" is the main building in the parish, a chapel is a subsidiary building
>>> where services are also held - often if the parish was large a "chapel of ease"
>>> was built to reduce the amount of time the congregation had to travel, or a
>>> rich man might have his own private chapel attached to his house.
>>> So if the chapel has a priest dedicated to it, that priest is not the parish priest,
>>> but the "chaplain". He's got fewer rights and responsibilities than the parish priest
>>> because he doesn't have a patch of territory which is his.
>>
>>Many synagogoues has a small room attached. In O it is usally called a
>>Bet Midrsh
>
>Because it usually *is* a library and used for studying when not
>praying. Usually, the only books in the main shul are siddurs and
>humashim.
>
So what do they call a main shul, with only siddurim and chmashim in
Israel. I guess I wasn't paying attention Bet midrash wouldn't be
right; afaicr I've never heard bet t'filah in Israel, and wouldn't bet
knesset just seem like any auditorium or place where people get
together? Or is there another word for those places?
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