Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations

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scooby

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Dec 17, 2004, 12:50:29 AM12/17/04
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I'm Jewish, and looking into the different Jewish denominations
(Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform).

I've always been skeptical (but particularly more so since the
controversy surrounding the kosher slaughter house Agriprocessors in
Iowa) of the claim that kosher slaughter, "shechita", is the most
humane slaughter available.

Which Jewish denomination (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist,
Reform), would be most open to taking a critical look at "shechita"
(ie most open perhaps to pre-stunning of the animal), and which
denomination would be most compatible with vegetariansm?

(I know it's not likely to be orthodox. From my readings - could the
answer be Reconstructionist?).

cindys

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Dec 17, 2004, 1:23:07 AM12/17/04
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"scooby" <brianm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:12b07c63.0412...@posting.google.com...

> I'm Jewish, and looking into the different Jewish denominations
> (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform).
>
> I've always been skeptical (but particularly more so since the
> controversy surrounding the kosher slaughter house Agriprocessors in
> Iowa) of the claim that kosher slaughter, "shechita", is the most
> humane slaughter available.

No one is disputing that shechita is the most humane slaughter. The issue at
Agriprocessors was not about shechita itself but rather about the rotating
Weinberg pen and that the specific cow in the PETA film was not shechted
properly. Nobody (including PETA) was making the case that treif slaughter
is generally more humane than shechita.

>
> Which Jewish denomination (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist,
> Reform), would be most open to taking a critical look at "shechita"
> (ie most open perhaps to pre-stunning of the animal),

Whichever denomination most espouses the consumption of treif (non-kosher
meat). The meat of pre-stunned animals is total treif. So, if you can find
the denomination that preaches that eating treif meat is preferable to
eating kosher meat, you will have your answer. Again, the issue is not about
shechita. The issue is about the Weinberg rotating pen and that the specific
cow in the PETA film was not shechted properly. No legitimate Jewish group
is going to take a *critical* look at shechita, as shechita is the only
means of slaughter permitted by Jewish law (not to mention the most humane
method available). Jewish law permits only shechted meat.

>and which
> denomination would be most compatible with vegetarianism?

Any of them. Jewish law does not prohibit a person from being a vegetarian,
provided the person is not choosing vegetarianism for *ethical* reasons.
Since the torah clearly permits the consumption of meat, and the torah is
our absolute standard for morality, a person who avoids meat for *ethical*
reasons is essentially making a statement that the torah is immoral.

>
> (I know it's not likely to be orthodox. From my readings - could the
> answer be Reconstructionist?).

So IOW, vegetarianism is your religion? (I.e., your basis for choosing a
*denomination* will be based on the extent to which said denomination is
compatible with vegetarianism? Isn't that a little backwards?)
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Eliyahu Rooff

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Dec 17, 2004, 1:32:29 AM12/17/04
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"scooby" <brianm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:12b07c63.0412...@posting.google.com...
> which
> denomination would be most compatible with vegetariansm?
>
As long as you don't insist that everyone else around you be veggie, any
of them will accept it.

Eliyahu


Shlomo Chaim

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Dec 17, 2004, 9:11:44 AM12/17/04
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"scooby" <brianm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:12b07c63.0412...@posting.google.com...
> I'm Jewish, and looking into the different Jewish denominations
> (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform).

There's a good book called Think Jewish by Zalman I. Posner. You can buy it
from amazon.com.

Chabad is far from the only shul out there, but as long as you're looking
around, you might as well stop past a chabad shul just to say hi. Check out
chabad.org. You can type in your zip code and get a list of the local chabad
shuls.

In addition to this group, which is a great place to ask questions you can
also ask questions at askmoses.com. They provide an online chat kind of
thing.

You know what they say, though: two Jews, three opinions. Ultimately the
choice is yours. I think its great that you are becoming more interested and
maybe just a little more observant. I hope that these resources are of help
to you.

Shlomo

Don Levey

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Dec 17, 2004, 10:07:22 AM12/17/04
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"cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> writes:

> "scooby" <brianm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:12b07c63.0412...@posting.google.com...
> > I'm Jewish, and looking into the different Jewish denominations
> > (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform).
> >
> > I've always been skeptical (but particularly more so since the
> > controversy surrounding the kosher slaughter house Agriprocessors in
> > Iowa) of the claim that kosher slaughter, "shechita", is the most
> > humane slaughter available.
>
> No one is disputing that shechita is the most humane slaughter. The issue at
> Agriprocessors was not about shechita itself but rather about the rotating
> Weinberg pen and that the specific cow in the PETA film was not shechted
> properly. Nobody (including PETA) was making the case that treif slaughter
> is generally more humane than shechita.
>

Actually, I think *he* is suggesting that it might not be humane.
At least, that's how I'm reading his post.

> >
> > Which Jewish denomination (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist,
> > Reform), would be most open to taking a critical look at "shechita"
> > (ie most open perhaps to pre-stunning of the animal),
>
> Whichever denomination most espouses the consumption of treif (non-kosher
> meat). The meat of pre-stunned animals is total treif. So, if you can find
> the denomination that preaches that eating treif meat is preferable to
> eating kosher meat, you will have your answer. Again, the issue is not about
> shechita. The issue is about the Weinberg rotating pen and that the specific
> cow in the PETA film was not shechted properly. No legitimate Jewish group
> is going to take a *critical* look at shechita, as shechita is the only
> means of slaughter permitted by Jewish law (not to mention the most humane
> method available). Jewish law permits only shechted meat.
>

While I know that some groups do not (collectively) feel that kashrut
is important, I don't know of any group which says that eating treif
is explicitly preferable to kosher meat. I could be wrong, but I think
that if you go looking on that basis you'll be looking for a long time.

> >and which
> > denomination would be most compatible with vegetarianism?
>
> Any of them. Jewish law does not prohibit a person from being a vegetarian,
> provided the person is not choosing vegetarianism for *ethical* reasons.
> Since the torah clearly permits the consumption of meat, and the torah is
> our absolute standard for morality, a person who avoids meat for *ethical*
> reasons is essentially making a statement that the torah is immoral.
>

Compatible? As Cindy says, any group is compatible, depending upon
your reasons. For health/allergy reasons? No problem. Due to cost?
Should be no problem, though you may have people from the community
coming by with cooked meals once and a while, for special occasions,
as well as getting invitations to dinner so that you might be able
to celebrate "properly". But to elaborate on what Cindy said, if you
choose to be vegetarian based upon ethical or moral grounds, then what
you're doing is choosing a moral compass from a source other than
the Torah. There, you'll wind up in some trouble from the more
observant groups. You'd be ignoring Jewish law and custom in favour
of a set of rules and customs alien to Jewish practice. While in
theory additional practices may not necessarily be incompatible with
Jewish law (depending upon what they are, of course), when you
reject the *Jewish* practices to follow them, you'll find yourself
beyond the pale of Orthodox Judaism (and, I suspect, much of
Conservatism also).

> >
> > (I know it's not likely to be orthodox. From my readings - could the
> > answer be Reconstructionist?).
>
> So IOW, vegetarianism is your religion? (I.e., your basis for choosing a
> *denomination* will be based on the extent to which said denomination is
> compatible with vegetarianism? Isn't that a little backwards?)
>

My personal suggestion would be to study, and choose the level of
observance that "speaks" to you. You might then find that your personal
practices change as you learn more (or, maybe, the reasons for those
practices).
--
Don Levey If knowledge is power,
Framingham, MA and power corrupts, then...
NOTE: email server uses spam filters.

cindys

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Dec 17, 2004, 10:34:57 AM12/17/04
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"Don Levey" <Don_...@the-leveys.us> wrote in message
news:m3k6rhn...@dauphin.the-leveys.us...

> "cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> writes:
>
> > "scooby" <brianm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:12b07c63.0412...@posting.google.com...
> > > I'm Jewish, and looking into the different Jewish denominations
> > > (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform).
> > >
> > > I've always been skeptical (but particularly more so since the
> > > controversy surrounding the kosher slaughter house Agriprocessors in
> > > Iowa) of the claim that kosher slaughter, "shechita", is the most
> > > humane slaughter available.
> >
> > No one is disputing that shechita is the most humane slaughter. The
issue at
> > Agriprocessors was not about shechita itself but rather about the
rotating
> > Weinberg pen and that the specific cow in the PETA film was not shechted
> > properly. Nobody (including PETA) was making the case that treif
slaughter
> > is generally more humane than shechita.
> >
> Actually, I think *he* is suggesting that it might not be humane.
> At least, that's how I'm reading his post.
----------
Oh, I agree that he is suggesting that shechita itself is inhumane. That's
because he (along with many other people) misunderstood why everyone was so
upset about Postville. The issue was NOT shechita. Everyone (including PETA,
I believe) would agree that shechita is the most humane method for
slaughter. The problem in Postville involved the Weinberg holding pen and
the fact that there was a muddled shechita portrayed on the film where the
cut was incomplete and the cow's trachea was removed before it was
unconscious. However, none of this is connected to the relative
"humanenesss" of shechita versus treif slaughter (which is considerably less
"humane").
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

robDotCalm

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Dec 17, 2004, 12:37:57 PM12/17/04
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«Jewish law does not prohibit a person from being a vegetarian,

provided the person is not choosing vegetarianism for *ethical* reasons.
Since the torah clearly permits the consumption of meat, and the torah is
our absolute standard for morality, a person who avoids meat for *ethical*
reasons is essentially making a statement that the torah is immoral.
»

So, I'm being un-Jewish and saying the Torah is immoral, if I object to
slavery on ethical grounds. Really.

cheers, rob.calm

Shlomo Argamon

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Dec 17, 2004, 1:24:56 PM12/17/04
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robDotCalm wrote:
> «Jewish law does not prohibit a person from being a vegetarian,
> provided the person is not choosing vegetarianism for *ethical*
reasons.
> Since the torah clearly permits the consumption of meat, and the
torah is
> our absolute standard for morality, a person who avoids meat for
*ethical*
> reasons is essentially making a statement that the torah is immoral.

Not necessarily, as there are places where the Torah makes
"concessions" to human nature, basically legislating the minimum
ethical standard (standard example: tefat to'ar). There is plenty of
room for "lifnim mishurat hadin" (going beyond the strict requirements
of the law) when a case can be made that the Halakhic ethic points in a
particular direction.

> So, I'm being un-Jewish and saying the Torah is immoral, if I object
to
> slavery on ethical grounds. Really.

First, define "slavery".

:-)BB!!
-Shlomo-

robDotCalm

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Dec 17, 2004, 2:22:56 PM12/17/04
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Shlomo:

slavery: One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.
(I'm not sure why you wanted the definition. )

I appreciate your answer. Am I correct in paraphrasing that one can accept
vegetarianism on ethical grounds under the principle of "lifnim mishurat
hadin" and thus be consistent with the Torah?

cheers, rob.calm

---------------------------------------------------------
"Shlomo Argamon" <arg...@argamon.com> wrote in message
news:1103307429.5...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

oddjob

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Dec 17, 2004, 5:48:43 PM12/17/04
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"robDotCalm" <kel...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:cpvbmg$hjo$1...@falcon.steinthal.us...

>
> Shlomo:
>
> slavery: One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.
> (I'm not sure why you wanted the definition. )
>
> I appreciate your answer. Am I correct in paraphrasing that one can
accept
> vegetarianism on ethical grounds under the principle of "lifnim mishurat
> hadin" and thus be consistent with the Torah?
>
> cheers, rob.calm
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> "Shlomo Argamon" <arg...@argamon.com> wrote in message
> news:1103307429.5...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> robDotCalm wrote:
> > «Jewish law does not prohibit a person from being a vegetarian,
> > provided the person is not choosing vegetarianism for *ethical*
> reasons.
> > Since the torah clearly permits the consumption of meat, and the
> torah is
> > our absolute standard for morality, a person who avoids meat for
> *ethical*
> > reasons is essentially making a statement that the torah is immoral.

I know that Amos and Isaiah spoke out against the sacrificial system,
when sacrifices were offered by people whose conduct was immoral. I tend to
think that animal sacrifices were part of an ancient religious mode that is
obsolete today. However, it may be true that if people personally brought
animal sacrifices to a Temple, and only ate meat on those occasions, there
would be a lot less animal slaughter and hence cruelty than there is today.
I think I read some reform commentary that said in the future only one
animal might be sacrificed a year at a final Temple. Another commentator
said that the permission of Noah to eat meat was something new. I interpret
it as the flood waters had just receded, and perhaps the earth was too soggy
to grow crops, but Noah had a big ark stocked with animals. Perhaps it was
just a concession, and eating meat is something to be gotten rid of some
day. In C7 "Clues from a Shifting Paradigm," in Glen Quasar's Into the
Bermuda Triangle, he makes, on first impression, a fascinating case for a
truly world-wide flood about 7000 years ago. There are arguments against
being purely vegetarian. Some people say that the human body is evolved so
that one needs some meat, at least from time to time, whether it is immoral
or not. Another is that if domestic animals were not slaughtered, they would
grow old and get sick and still have to be taken care of. The answer to me
would be to breed down the numbers, or possibly to breed them back totheir
genetic ancestors, and let them go wild. Another interesting argument is
that
going vegetarian would increase the amount of land needed to be planted,
which would be destructive to the habitats of all sorts of wild
creatures.But so is the expansion of human settlements. On the other hand,
there is the possibility of growing high-protein algae in tanks, or even of
living on the power of sunlight, as at least one person is supposed to do -
it seems like more trouble than it is worth, though - he has to stand
barefoot and faces the sun a couple of times a day. Maybe they coudl find a
way to broadcast the sun on TV - that would be more comforable, and we'd
never have to go outside. I don't think Elijah needed to eat very much, but
the ravens did bring him bread and meat - hope it wasn't raven sandwiches.
So, if there's a new showoff Temple going to be built - but who has
Temples nowadays? - I would prefer it be without any sacrifices - but it
should probably have something to distinguish it from a synagogue. Maybe a
moat filled with alligators to deter the overly-pious.

Beach Runner

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Dec 18, 2004, 4:48:46 PM12/18/04
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The Torah has many places that treat animals with kindness. Especially
when you consider the periods it was written. Is Kosher the most human
killing? It was for many years. Now there's debate, and techniques
have changed. Peta recently exposed some of the worst example.
They didn't choose to show the most humane example. (I have my own
problems with Peta). Not every animal is killed in the most human way
possible. There are those who feel that being vegetarian is in perfect
harmony with Jewish through. One site is http://www.jewishveg.com/

There is a wonderful Jewish vegetarian group, veggi...@yahoo.com

There's certainly a place for Jewish vegetarian thought.

cindys

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Dec 18, 2004, 7:23:44 PM12/18/04
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"Beach Runner" <b...@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:j%0xd.159555$Oc.1...@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...

> The Torah has many places that treat animals with kindness. Especially
> when you consider the periods it was written. Is Kosher the most human
> killing? It was for many years. Now there's debate, and techniques
> have changed.

No, the technique of shechita has not changed. The issue was not about
shechita itself but rather about the rotating Weinberg pen and a botched job
portrayed on the film. And the issue was only about shechita at Postville,
not about shechita at the other 29 kosher slaughterhouses.


>Peta recently exposed some of the worst example.
> They didn't choose to show the most humane example. (I have my own
> problems with Peta). Not every animal is killed in the most human way
> possible. There are those who feel that being vegetarian is in perfect
> harmony with Jewish through. One site is http://www.jewishveg.com/

This site comes within a hair's breadth of asserting that the torah
"mandates" vegetarianism, and the author, who lacks for Jewish educational
background, is rendering his own interpretations of torah to make the case
for his personal agenda. He attempts to prove his case by citing famous
rabbis who paskened that there was no halachic prohibition against being a
vegetarian, but this is a far cry from the author's view that the torah
practically mandates it.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Nick

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Dec 19, 2004, 6:11:32 AM12/19/04
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"robDotCalm" <kel...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:cpv5hl$7bt$1...@falcon.steinthal.us...

I am sorry Rob but it is clear from other threads that we are not allowed to
have a personal conscience other than that dictated by Halachah.

Anyone who has such differing beliefs must be wrong and the person holding
such beliefs is considered to be wrong-headed.

What about Voltaire's dictum that I disagree with your beliefs but I would
die for your right to say them (rough quotation).

Nick


Robert

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Dec 19, 2004, 2:19:06 PM12/19/04
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"Nick" <tulse0...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote :

> I am sorry Rob but it is clear from other threads that we are not allowed
> to
> have a personal conscience other than that dictated by Halachah.
>
> Anyone who has such differing beliefs must be wrong and the person holding
> such beliefs is considered to be wrong-headed.


The (very) bad news is that you are correct: Many Orthodox Jews (especially
on this forum) do have this belief. This is the way that Judaism is taught
in many Orthodox settings, especially from Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") rabbis.

However, the good news is that this is not the traditional Jewish position.
Contrary to what they claim, many of the Orthodox Jewish participants on
this forum are quite ignorant of the fact that there were two very different
points of view within traditional Judaism, causing a debate which still
exists to this day. Even within Orthodox Judaism many Orthodox rabbis have a
view which differs from what you have read here, despite the fact that none
of our Orthodox participants will admit it,

In simple form, the debate in traditional Jewish theology and law has always
been this: Is something "good" just because God asks us to do it? Or does
God ask us to do what is "good"? If the former is true, then we are
obligated to blindly follow any law that we believe is from God, even if the
result is immoral. We just say "Well, it seems immoral, but it must really
be moral since it is from God." However, the other traditional position is
that God Himself is constrained, as it were, by morality: God may not give
us an immoral order, and if we think that a rule leads to an immoral result,
then we must reinterpret the rule.

Contrary to what you have heard here, the former is not Orthodox, and the
latter is not Reform. In truth, both poisitions are part of a well-meaning
debate that has always existed within rabbinic Judaism. Perhaps this
excerpt from an essay by an esteemed Orthodox rabbi and philosopher will
help:

"Morality, Halakha and the Jewish Tradition"

Rabbi Shubert Spero

Ktav, Yeshiva University Press, 1983, Library of Jewish Law and Ethics

Lecturer in Jewish Philosophy at cleveland College of Jewish Studies

Rabbi of Young Israel of Cleveland, Ohio

=== bein quote ===

In order to properly examine the relationship between Halakhah and morality
in Judaism, it is necessary that we back up a bit. For the Jew, the
effective source of the basic rules he is to follow in his behaviour is the
word of God as found in the Torah. These include moral imperatives, ritual
commands, and civil laws. The exegetical process called midrash was utilized
by the rabbis to "unpack" all of the implications of the written text, to
introduce oral traditions, to resolve disagreemts, and to arrive at
definitive rulings. The corpus of final and accepted rulings in all
questions of Jewish law came to be known as Halakhah. The word comes from
the root meaning "to walk" or "to go" and denotes a "way" or "norm" and
"procedure." (1)

As we indicated earlier, those moral rules in the Pentateuch which are
particular and specific were explicated, elaborated, and developed by the
halakhic process in the same manner as were the ritual laws.(2) Indeed, not
only was the logic the same, but often the very same concept would have
application in both a problem of morality and a matter regarding Temple
procedure. (3) All of this, of course, is as expected. Moral rules are
mitzvot, and therefore are authoritative in terms of their source and
obligatory from the point of view of the agent. Moral rules in both their
positive and negative forms are meant to be observed in real life and ought
to be presented in the form of clear guidelines for behavior. This is what
Halakhah is designed to do. Hence, it is to be expected that the Jewish
moral code will be treated by ad wil find its final form, in Halakhah....

Is there a morality independent of Halakhah?

Further consideration of our material, however, leads to the conclusion that
while much of the moral content of Judaism is incorporated in the Halakhah
and there finds its fullest realization, certain special areas of
experience, for reasons we shall attempt to discover, seem to lie outside
the sphere of the Halakhah. The clearest evidence of this is to be found in
the concept of lifnim mi-shurat ha-din, usually rendered "beyond the line of
the law" or "beyond the measure of the law" or "beyond the strict law."
Thus, we find the teachings of Rabbi Yochanan: "Jerusalem was destroyed
because they based their judgment solely upon Torah law and did not act
lifnim mi-shurat ha-din." (6) On other occasions, the Talmud, in conscious
contrast to the din (law), speaks of a higher standard of behavior which it
calls "the standard of saintliness" or the rabbis may sometimes note, "the
spirit of the sages is pleased with him." (7)

....It has become rather popular over the last few decades to describe the
essence of traditional Judaism as halakhic Judaism, with emphasis upon the
unique role and overriding primacy of the Halakhah. It is to Halakhah, say
these publicists, that we are to look if we wish to find the philosophy of
Judaism, the aesthetics ofJudaism, and certainly the morality of Judaism.
(9) This is an exaggeration and, in a sense, a distortion. Yet there are
those who become so convinced of the all-pervasive role of Halakhah in
Judaism that they would strive very hard to make sure that everything a Jew
is supposed to do and believe, be it law, morality, custom, philosophy, or
even dimly perceived ideals, somehow belongs under the heading of Halakhah.
And I suppose you an stretch the term Halakhah until it covers anything you
want it to cover. (10) But to do this is to reduce the issue of the
relationship between Halakhah and morality to a semantic question. And this
is to obfuscate, when we should be trying to elucidate.

=== end quote ===

Shalom,

Robert

cindys

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Dec 19, 2004, 3:29:53 PM12/19/04
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"Robert" <mrkai...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ggixd.1123362$Gx4.8...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...

>
> "Nick" <tulse0...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote :
> > I am sorry Rob but it is clear from other threads that we are not
allowed
> > to
> > have a personal conscience other than that dictated by Halachah.
> >
> > Anyone who has such differing beliefs must be wrong and the person
holding
> > such beliefs is considered to be wrong-headed.
>
>
> The (very) bad news is that you are correct: Many Orthodox Jews
(especially
> on this forum) do have this belief. This is the way that Judaism is taught
> in many Orthodox settings, especially from Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox")
rabbis.

What I find so interesting about this statement is that Christian
missionaries make the same claim: That average Jews are totally gullible and
ignorant and that *the rabbis* are privy to all sorts of secret information,
which they are deliberately withholding from the other Jews.

>
> However, the good news is that this is not the traditional Jewish
position.
> Contrary to what they claim, many of the Orthodox Jewish participants on
> this forum are quite ignorant of the fact that there were two very
different
> points of view within traditional Judaism, causing a debate which still
> exists to this day.

Not only have a number of the O posters on this forum learned in yeshiva and
not only does at least one of them (and maybe more) have semicha (Orthodox
rabbinical ordination), they learn from primary source material. I find it
fascinating that a poster who has never learned in yeshiva and whose primary
sources for Judaic information are English translations of tertiary source
material and the Jewish Encyclopedia continues to pretend to be more
knowledgable about Judaism than the O Jews.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Shlomo Chaim

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Dec 19, 2004, 8:58:24 PM12/19/04
to

I guess there are three topics here.

1) Being a Jew and becoming more spiritual.

2) How #1 ties in with not eating animals.

3) "Modern" animal treatment and slaughter.

Lets not mix 'em up.

Shlomo

robDotCalm

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Dec 20, 2004, 2:16:49 PM12/20/04
to
« I find it
fascinating that a poster who has never learned in yeshiva and whose primary
sources for Judaic information are English translations of tertiary source
material and the Jewish Encyclopedia continues to pretend to be more
knowledgable about Judaism than the O Jews.
»

Robert had some interesting material to which he referred. The above quote
seems not informative. Comments on the material he quoted might have been
helpful.

Cheers, rob.calm

GARYW BW

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Dec 20, 2004, 3:26:48 PM12/20/04
to
> if you
>choose to be vegetarian based upon ethical or moral grounds, then what
>you're doing is choosing a moral compass from a source other than
>the Torah. There, you'll wind up in some trouble from the more
>observant groups. You'd be ignoring Jewish law and custom in favour
>of a set of rules and customs alien to Jewish practice. While in
>theory additional practices may not necessarily be incompatible with
>Jewish law (depending upon what they are, of course), when you
>reject the *Jewish* practices to follow them, you'll find yourself
>beyond the pale of Orthodox Judaism (and, I suspect, much of
>Conservatism also).

Interesting. If I may follow-up on this:
What if I simply held the belief that it is "wrong to kill animals for food." A
lot of people I know feel this way.

cindys

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Dec 20, 2004, 3:39:43 PM12/20/04
to

"GARYW BW" <gar...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041220151828...@mb-m25.aol.com...
----------
From a torah perspective, it is problematic, because you are saying it is
"wrong" to do something which the torah permits. For Jews, God/the torah is
the ultimate determiner of right or wrong, so by making such a statement,
you would be saying your own sensibilities supercede those which came from
God. It's a form of replacement theology.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Eliyahu Rooff

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Dec 20, 2004, 4:00:05 PM12/20/04
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"GARYW BW" <gar...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041220151828...@mb-m25.aol.com...

While you could always wait for them to die of old age before eating
them, that wouldn't be kosher either. :-) Seriously, the biggest
problem with that approach is that it still places you at odds with
the Torah, which specifically tells us that it's okay to eat animals
possessing particular characteristics (split hooves and cud), and
tells us how to kill them prior to eating. In fact, about the only
things lacking in Torah are recipes...

Eliyahu


GARYW BW

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:04:34 PM12/20/04
to
>. :-) Seriously, the biggest
>problem with that approach is that it still places you at odds with
>the Torah, which specifically tells us that it's okay to eat animals
>possessing particular characteristics (split hooves and cud

Well, I see what you're saying. Not being a vegetarian, that doesn't bother me
too much. But then again, let's say that as a member of a particular
profession, I have a whole body of beliefs pertaining to that--areas in which
it is common to say, "it is right to do X" and it is "wrong to do Y."
For example... let's say I am a veterinarian, and I say, I feel it is essential
that all "cats not used for breeding should be neutered to prevent
overpopulation, and it is wrong to allow cats to breed without restraint."
Would that be contrary to Jewish belief? Or perhaps I am a lawyer and I say "it
is wrong for a money judgment to be rewarded without X and Y taking place?"
This is interesting--things I have never thought of, frankly.Thanks.

Lord Baeron

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:23:30 PM12/20/04
to
On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 20:39:43 +0000 (UTC), "cindys"
<cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote:

>From a torah perspective, it is problematic, because you are saying it is
>"wrong" to do something which the torah permits. For Jews, God/the torah is
>the ultimate determiner of right or wrong, so by making such a statement,
>you would be saying your own sensibilities supercede those which came from
>God. It's a form of replacement theology.

To be fair:

1. It is only for *some* Jews that the Torah is the ultimate
determiner of what is right and wrong.

2. Even for those Jews, there is always an element of human
interpretation involved, as to precisely what God meant, and how we
are to apply it.

3. To argue that what was once permitted may nowadays be immoral is
not to claim that one's own sensibilities supersede God's word.
Rather, it is a claim that reasoning, which is God-given, may cause us
to interpret some things as being once permissible but not so in the
present, in a way that conforms to what we believe to be God's eternal
law.


--
Lord Baeron

Lord Baeron

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:23:30 PM12/20/04
to
On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 21:00:05 +0000 (UTC), "Eliyahu Rooff"
<lro...@hotmail.com> wrote:


>
>While you could always wait for them to die of old age before eating
>them, that wouldn't be kosher either. :-) Seriously, the biggest
>problem with that approach is that it still places you at odds with
>the Torah, which specifically tells us that it's okay to eat animals
>possessing particular characteristics (split hooves and cud), and
>tells us how to kill them prior to eating. In fact, about the only
>things lacking in Torah are recipes...
>
>Eliyahu
>


Of course, many Jews would argue that what the Torah specifically says
is that these things were OK at the time.
--
Lord Baeron

cindys

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:37:16 PM12/20/04
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"GARYW BW" <gar...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041220151828...@mb-m25.aol.com...
----------
Hey, Gary! I'm really curious to know why you didn't share with us that you
and Dave Umansky are the same person?
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

GARYW BW

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Dec 20, 2004, 6:16:38 PM12/20/04
to
>Hey, Gary! I'm really curious to know why you didn't share with us that you
>and Dave Umansky are the same person?
>Best regards,

If this is a joke...you'll have to tell me the punch line.

Henry Goodman

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Dec 20, 2004, 6:29:33 PM12/20/04
to

"Lord Baeron" <LordB...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:a6ees01iigtcaivbv...@4ax.com...

> On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 20:39:43 +0000 (UTC), "cindys"
> <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote:
>
> >From a torah perspective, it is problematic, because you are saying
it is
> >"wrong" to do something which the torah permits. For Jews, God/the
torah is
> >the ultimate determiner of right or wrong, so by making such a
statement,
> >you would be saying your own sensibilities supercede those which
came from
> >God. It's a form of replacement theology.
>
> 3. To argue that what was once permitted may nowadays be immoral is
> not to claim that one's own sensibilities supersede God's word.
> Rather, it is a claim that reasoning, which is God-given, may cause
us
> to interpret some things as being once permissible but not so in the
> present, in a way that conforms to what we believe to be God's
eternal
> law.
>
>
> --
> Lord Baeron

Nice to find somebody who can spell "supersede" :-)

--
Henry Goodman
henry dot goodman at virgin dot net


cindys

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Dec 20, 2004, 6:46:38 PM12/20/04
to

"GARYW BW" <gar...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041220180031...@mb-m27.aol.com...
-------
It's not a joke. A poster on another group, someone who never posted to that
particular group before yesterday, told me that I seemed like a "pretty
bright person" and gave me weblink to a certain yahoo group and suggested
that I might like to read that particular yahoo group for a while. When I
clicked over there, I found that "Daveumansky" was a sometime poster to that
group and guess what his email address was? gar...@yahoo.com How do you
explain that?
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Message has been deleted

GARYW BW

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Dec 20, 2004, 10:44:54 PM12/20/04
to
[ Moderator's Comment: Dicussions by posters (including those who are auto
approved) of the identity of other posters in not appropriate. hw ]

>> If this is a joke...you'll have to tell me the punch line.
>-------
>It's not a joke. A poster on another group, someone who never posted to that
>particular group before yesterday, told me that I seemed like a "pretty
>bright person" and gave me weblink to a certain yahoo group and suggested
>that I might like to read that particular yahoo group for a while. When I
>clicked over there, I found that "Daveumansky" was a sometime poster to that
>group and guess what his email address was? gar...@yahoo.com How do you
>explain that?
Well, I can't explain it and I have no idea how that can be, since I don't have
a yahoo address and have never heard of a "daveumansky" or even heard of the
existence of same until you mentioned it. So I think someone is pulling your
leg. I don't see the humor, frankly.


GARYW BW

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Dec 20, 2004, 10:45:30 PM12/20/04
to
>Same sort of coincidence that made both of them show up here at the
>same time?

I don't like this any more than you do. Less.

GARYW BW

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 12:16:07 AM12/21/04
to
>
>[ Moderator's Comment: Dicussions by posters (including those who are auto
> approved) of the identity of other posters in not appropriate. hw ]

So then if the person who broached the issue would get back to me privately I
would appreciate it. thanx

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Dec 21, 2004, 1:48:40 AM12/21/04
to
"cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> writes:
> I find it fascinating that a poster who has never learned in yeshiva
> and whose primary sources for Judaic information are English
> translations of tertiary source material and the Jewish Encyclopedia
> continues to pretend to be more knowledgable about Judaism than the
> O Jews.

Cindy, your question is the answer!

I am reminded of a story about the Chazon Ish. When he had just
finished learning the aleph-beis he came home proudly and told his
father that he is a "baki" (expert) in the entire Talmud. When his
father expressed surprise, he said; "You can ask me _any_ letter you
want in the Talmud and I will know it's name".

When you are not aware of the depth and breadth of a subject, you can
easily convince yourself that your cursory knowlege is all there is!

Moshe Schorr
It is a tremendous Mitzvah to always be happy! - Reb Nachman of Breslov

Lord Baeron

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Dec 21, 2004, 3:18:44 AM12/21/04
to

I did Latin A level (-:
--
Lord Baeron

Yacovachi

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Dec 21, 2004, 3:18:45 AM12/21/04
to
>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>Date: 12/20/2004 5:23 PM Eastern Standard Time

[Re: eating meat]

>Of course, many Jews would argue that what the Torah specifically says
>is that these things were OK at the time.
>--
>Lord Baeron

Where in the Tora would you base this restriction to "the time" upon?

Jacko

Craig Winchell/GAN EDEN Wines

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Dec 21, 2004, 3:37:24 AM12/21/04
to

"Henry Goodman" <henry....@virgin.net> wrote in message
news:cq7n8e$6s3$1...@falcon.steinthal.us...

BS"D

Dictionary says that both sede and cede are correct variants. I grew up
with supercede, many now spell it supersede.

Craig Winchell
GAN EDEN Wines

Henry Goodman

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Dec 21, 2004, 5:05:25 AM12/21/04
to
"Craig Winchell/GAN EDEN Wines" <gan...@earthlink.net> wrote in
message news:ghRxd.5962$RH4....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

Another Anglo-American difference.
Oxford dictionary says "in early use often -cede."
Not correct though this side of the pond, although a common error.

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Dec 21, 2004, 6:01:03 AM12/21/04
to

I think the problem may be in the use of the word "wrong".

If you mean it as a _personal_ opinion it's one thing. If you mean
it as a "universal" truth. it's something else.

> This is interesting--things I have never thought of, frankly.Thanks.

Me neither.

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

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Dec 21, 2004, 6:05:15 AM12/21/04
to
yaco...@aol.com (Yacovachi) writes:
>Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>
> [Re: eating meat]
>
>>Of course, many Jews would argue that what the Torah specifically
>>says is that these things were OK at the time.
>
> Where in the Tora would you base this restriction to "the time" upon?

On the contrary, it's not a "restriction", it's _permission_ to eat
meat. So Lord Baeron is saying that one _might_ argue the permission
was only for then. To be fair, there _was_ a time in human history
when eating meat was prohibited i.e. before the Flood.

Lord Baeron

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 8:39:25 AM12/21/04
to

It's not a restriction, as such. It's an interpretation, as is all
reading of the Torah, and all implementation of what it says.

In brief, to say that something is OK is not necessarily an
endorsement of it for all time.
--
Lord Baeron

Don Levey

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Dec 21, 2004, 12:06:36 PM12/21/04
to
"cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> writes:

> "Beach Runner" <b...@nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:j%0xd.159555$Oc.1...@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> > The Torah has many places that treat animals with kindness. Especially
> > when you consider the periods it was written. Is Kosher the most human
> > killing? It was for many years. Now there's debate, and techniques
> > have changed.
>
> No, the technique of shechita has not changed. The issue was not about
> shechita itself but rather about the rotating Weinberg pen and a botched job
> portrayed on the film. And the issue was only about shechita at Postville,
> not about shechita at the other 29 kosher slaughterhouses.
>
I think the original poster was suggesting that *other* methods
of slaughter have changed. That is, we can be very sure that
long ago shechita was by far the most humane method of slaughter.
Now that other methods have changed, the difference might not be
as great.

>
> >Peta recently exposed some of the worst example.
> > They didn't choose to show the most humane example. (I have my own
> > problems with Peta). Not every animal is killed in the most human way
> > possible. There are those who feel that being vegetarian is in perfect
> > harmony with Jewish through. One site is http://www.jewishveg.com/
>
> This site comes within a hair's breadth of asserting that the torah
> "mandates" vegetarianism, and the author, who lacks for Jewish educational
> background, is rendering his own interpretations of torah to make the case
> for his personal agenda. He attempts to prove his case by citing famous
> rabbis who paskened that there was no halachic prohibition against being a
> vegetarian, but this is a far cry from the author's view that the torah
> practically mandates it.
>
Exactly - there is a significant difference between saying that a law
permits an activity, and saying that this law mandates it. As I believe
has been discussed here previously, while Jewish law does permit a person
to avoid (or limit to rare occasions) meat consumption, there is nothing
which mandates, or even suggests, it. Furthermore, an attempt to justify
vegetarianism on ethical/moral grounds would be outside the traditional
practices of Judaism. Did I get that right?
--
Don Levey If knowledge is power,
Framingham, MA and power corrupts, then...
NOTE: email server uses spam filters.

cindys

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Dec 21, 2004, 1:05:59 PM12/21/04
to

<mos...@mm.huji.ac.il> wrote in message
news:2004Dec2...@mm.huji.ac.il...
-----------
As a BT, I know this is true. I have posted before about how when I was just
becoming religious, I thought I had a kosher house. I remember my surprise
at finding out that I accepted hechsherim that other people didn't, and that
the oven needed to be kashered between cooking meat and dairy etc. Despite
my current O worldview, all the time I was C, I never saw much difference
between C and O (except for the public role of women in the synagogue). I
remember explaining to an O Jewish woman that that there was very little
distinction between C and O, and when she insisted that there were great
differences, I told her (in a nice way), that she simply didn't know what
she was talking about, and the problem was that she had preconceived notions
about C. My big motivation for coming to O (other than wanting to pass on my
grandmother's Judaism to my children), was that I specifically wanted
in-depth, academically-challenging learning opportunities for myself. And
despite the fact that in C, I could have learned whatever I wanted, no
questions asked, C just wasn't offering what I wanted to learn. So, now you
can see why I feel so frustrated when someone suspects me of having a
feminist agenda. If I wanted to be a feminist, I would have stayed with C.
At any rate, your point is very well taken. If nothing else, I have become
acutely aware of what I don't know, and this continues to be my greatest
frustration. I stand in awe of so many of the posters to this newsgroup.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Yacovachi

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Dec 21, 2004, 2:27:12 PM12/21/04
to
>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>Date: 12/21/2004 8:39 AM Eastern Standard Time

>>Where in the Tora would you base this restriction to "the time" upon?
>>
>>Jacko
>
>It's not a restriction, as such. It's an interpretation, as is all
>reading of the Torah, and all implementation of what it says.

Well, that sounds like double talk. I see it as a complete restriction. You
restrict the permissibility of eating meat to a particular time yet the Tora
itself claims to be eternal.

An "interpretation" should bear some semblance to the reasonable meaning of the
text.

If the Tora -- and it does -- speaks to eating meat profusely, and even
requires it some thrice per year if not more to Israelites and more to priests,
how do you "interpret" that away without some source?

"All reading of the Tora" is not subversive. Most reading tries to elucidate
what the text actually says.

Jacko

GARYW BW

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Dec 21, 2004, 2:54:38 PM12/21/04
to
I'm reposting, in case somebody wants to tackle my questions....

Don Levey

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Dec 21, 2004, 2:54:32 PM12/21/04
to
"cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> writes:


> My big motivation for coming to O (other than wanting to pass on my
> grandmother's Judaism to my children), was that I specifically wanted
> in-depth, academically-challenging learning opportunities for myself. And
> despite the fact that in C, I could have learned whatever I wanted, no
> questions asked, C just wasn't offering what I wanted to learn.


So out of curiosity, was maintaining full O practice required in order
to learn from O sources?

Yisroel Markov

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Dec 21, 2004, 4:10:35 PM12/21/04
to
On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 22:04:34 +0000 (UTC), gar...@aol.com (GARYW BW)
said:

>>. :-) Seriously, the biggest
>>problem with that approach is that it still places you at odds with
>>the Torah, which specifically tells us that it's okay to eat animals
>>possessing particular characteristics (split hooves and cud
>
>Well, I see what you're saying. Not being a vegetarian, that doesn't bother me
>too much. But then again, let's say that as a member of a particular
>profession, I have a whole body of beliefs pertaining to that--areas in which
>it is common to say, "it is right to do X" and it is "wrong to do Y."
>For example... let's say I am a veterinarian, and I say, I feel it is essential
>that all "cats not used for breeding should be neutered to prevent
>overpopulation, and it is wrong to allow cats to breed without restraint."
>Would that be contrary to Jewish belief?

AFAIK, no. Spaying animals is permitted (castrating is not). I suspect
that if cats were a serious problem, castration might be permitted,
too.

>Or perhaps I am a lawyer and I say "it
>is wrong for a money judgment to be rewarded without X and Y taking place?"

AFAIK the law is that people are allowed to create whatever procedures
they want with their money, as long as no one is actually wronged in
the process, or an explicit money-related prohibition is violated.

>This is interesting--things I have never thought of, frankly.Thanks.

The key is what the basis for "wrong" judgment is.

I think you need to find an example of a "wrong" judgment regarding
something explicitly mandated in the Tora. (And even then there's a
possibility for ambiguity.)

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

Yisroel Markov

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 4:10:35 PM12/21/04
to

Not necessarily "immoral," just no longer acceptable. This is the
argument often used to explain the ban on polygamy. I also hear it to
explain bans on other formerly permitted things; e.g., someone argued
that even though there was a female choir in Shlomo's Temple, nowadays
this is totally unacceptable due to decline in public morals.

Lord Baeron

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Dec 21, 2004, 4:52:31 PM12/21/04
to
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 19:27:12 +0000 (UTC), yaco...@aol.com
(Yacovachi) wrote:

>>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>>Date: 12/21/2004 8:39 AM Eastern Standard Time
>
>>>Where in the Tora would you base this restriction to "the time" upon?
>>>
>>>Jacko
>>
>>It's not a restriction, as such. It's an interpretation, as is all
>>reading of the Torah, and all implementation of what it says.
>
>Well, that sounds like double talk. I see it as a complete restriction. You
>restrict the permissibility of eating meat to a particular time yet the Tora
>itself claims to be eternal.

It's not any kind of restriction - more a claim that we should be
careful over what we claim to be binding, eternal commands or
permissions. And yet there are plenty of instances of behaviour that
was acceptable then but not now. We've seen this in other recent
threads - slavery, polygamy, etc.


>An "interpretation" should bear some semblance to the reasonable meaning of the
>text.

Or argue that circumstances are now different from what they then
were?

>If the Tora -- and it does -- speaks to eating meat profusely, and even
>requires it some thrice per year if not more to Israelites and more to priests,
>how do you "interpret" that away without some source?

Why would a source help? People reach these interpretations by using
reason and argument. Most of us (I don't mean here in SCJM) don't base
our lives on the literal meaning of texts (if indeed such a thing were
possible).

>"All reading of the Tora" is not subversive.

Subversive? I don't know where that came from!

>Most reading tries to elucidate
>what the text actually says.


No - what the text actually means, and specifically what it means to
us here and now.

Every time we read anything we interpret it to a greater or lesser
degree. Words are metaphors. Every time we read a text we are at risk
of misunderstanding its meaning. We are fallible - and to think that
we have certain knowledge of the meaning and scope of 100% of
scripture's commands is misleading. We can't always be sure whether a
piece of text is aimed at everyone, for all time, or not.

If you are an Orthodox Jew, your understanding will be heavily
influenced (or completely determined, even) by the interpretation of
scholars of old. Hey! - what do you think the discussion is about in
all those old books?

My own position is this (in respect of scriptures generally, not of
vegetarianism - I like meat): God has given us powers of reason, an
intellect with which to look deeper into the meaning of the creation
and of the words of the Torah, and many other clues about the way we
should treat both other people and the rest of creation; we would be
failing in our moral duty if qwe didn't use these gifts wisely. Our
knowledge of the universe develops - we cannot morally ignore it.
--
Lord Baeron

Lord Baeron

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Dec 21, 2004, 5:17:14 PM12/21/04
to
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 21:10:35 +0000 (UTC), ey.m...@iname.com (Yisroel
Markov) wrote:

>Not necessarily "immoral," just no longer acceptable.

Yes - that's better.

> This is the
>argument often used to explain the ban on polygamy. I also hear it to
>explain bans on other formerly permitted things; e.g., someone argued
>that even though there was a female choir in Shlomo's Temple, nowadays
>this is totally unacceptable due to decline in public morals.

That's the kind of thing I mean - yes.
--
Lord Baeron

GARYW BW

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 5:17:15 PM12/21/04
to

>> Well, I see what you're saying. Not being a vegetarian, that doesn't
>> bother me too much. But then again, let's say that as a member of a
>> particular profession, I have a whole body of beliefs pertaining to
>> that--areas in which it is common to say, "it is right to do X" and
>> it is "wrong to do Y." For example... let's say I am a veterinarian,
>> and I say, I feel it is essential that all "cats not used for breeding
>> should be neutered to prevent overpopulation, and it is wrong to allow
>> cats to breed without restraint." Would that be contrary to Jewish
>> belief? Or perhaps I am a lawyer and I say "it is wrong for a money
>> judgment to be rewarded without X and Y taking place?"
>
>I think the problem may be in the use of the word "wrong".
>
>If you mean it as a _personal_ opinion it's one thing. If you mean
>it as a "universal" truth. it's something else.

Well, a professional code of ethics is definitely not a universal truth, but it
is not a personal opinion either.

The reason I wonder about this is that I once had a conversation with a
prominent rabbi in which I talked about the people having the "right to know."
He wasn't terribly sympathetic with that. We covered some of what has been
discussed here, but the details I forget--it was ten years ago. I forget how we
resolved it, or if it was resolved.

Z

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 8:26:36 PM12/21/04
to
In article <20041220151828...@mb-m25.aol.com>, GARYW BW
<gar...@aol.com> writes
>> if you
>>choose to be vegetarian based upon ethical or moral grounds, then what
>>you're doing is choosing a moral compass from a source other than
>>the Torah. There, you'll wind up in some trouble from the more
>>observant groups. You'd be ignoring Jewish law and custom in favour
>>of a set of rules and customs alien to Jewish practice.

And maybe forcing other Jews to not be able to follow their customs -
Jewish customs - to accommodate the vegetarians for example a communal
Shabbos meal that would be a meat meal for normal people.

>>While in
>>theory additional practices may not necessarily be incompatible with
>>Jewish law (depending upon what they are, of course), when you
>>reject the *Jewish* practices to follow them, you'll find yourself
>>beyond the pale of Orthodox Judaism (and, I suspect, much of
>>Conservatism also).
>
>Interesting. If I may follow-up on this:
>What if I simply held the belief that it is "wrong to kill animals for food." A
>lot of people I know feel this way.

It's not a Jewish practice, there is no Torah prohibition on killing
animals for food. I've nothing against vegetarianism but it's not to be
passed off as a 'Jewish value'. I was a vegetarian and even a vegan for
a while.

Same with socialism, it shouldn't be passed off as Judasim as I have
heard recently.

--
Z
Remove all Zeds in e-mail address to reply.

Yacovachi

unread,
Dec 21, 2004, 11:47:35 PM12/21/04
to
>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>Date: 12/21/2004 4:52 PM Eastern Standard Time

>It's not any kind of restriction - more a claim that we should be
>careful over what we claim to be binding, eternal commands or
>permissions.

It is a restirction of the permission to a specific time, otherwise how could
anyone make a Tora based vegetarianism argument?

>And yet there are plenty of instances of behaviour that
>was acceptable then but not now. We've seen this in other recent
>threads - slavery, polygamy, etc.
>

Both are still permitted under Jewish Law.

Some communities may not do them, but no prohibition. You cannot merge custom,
local precedent and national law all together.

>>An "interpretation" should bear some semblance to the reasonable meaning of
>the
>>text.
>
>Or argue that circumstances are now different from what they then
>were?

No, that is an argument to change the law.

>Why would a source help?

Beacuse you asserted that some people would argue the Tora was allowing meat
only for a certain time. So make the argument.

What are we talking about if not what the Tora meant in decsribing all those
sacrifices and priestly gifts.


>People reach these interpretations by using
>reason and argument.

So make the argument. Feel free to use reason. But it must be a reasonable
reading of the text.

>Most of us (I don't mean here in SCJM) don't base
>our lives on the literal meaning of texts (if indeed such a thing were
>possible).

Who said anything about literal. Now make the argument already.

>>"All reading of the Tora" is not subversive.
>
>Subversive? I don't know where that came from!

Jacques Derrida, alav ashalom.

>>Most reading tries to elucidate
>>what the text actually says.
>
>
>No - what the text actually means, and specifically what it means to
>us here and now.
>

Okay, make the argument how it means here and now that the allowance of meat
was for a defined time period.

>We can't always be sure whether a
>piece of text is aimed at everyone, for all time, or not.
>

That's it? That since we never know for sure perhaps the Tora really meant to
restrict the permissibility of meat eating?

Sounds like a weak argument.

>God has given us powers of reason, an
>intellect with which to look deeper into the meaning of the creation
>and of the words of the Torah, and many other clues about the way we
>should treat both other people and the rest of creation; we would be
>failing in our moral duty if qwe didn't use these gifts wisely.

Well said. So do you have such a fine analysis to demonstrate this elusive
argument?

>Our
>knowledge of the universe develops - we cannot morally ignore it.

What that has to do with the meaning of the Tora escapes me. But it is a lofty
ideal.

Jacko

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

unread,
Dec 22, 2004, 2:58:05 AM12/22/04
to
ey.m...@iname.com (Yisroel Markov) writes:
> Not necessarily "immoral," just no longer acceptable. This is the
> argument often used to explain the ban on polygamy. I also hear it to
> explain bans on other formerly permitted things; e.g., someone argued
> that even though there was a female choir in Shlomo's Temple, nowadays
> this is totally unacceptable due to decline in public morals.

Umm I never heard of such a choir. Do you have a source?

mos...@mm.huji.ac.il

unread,
Dec 22, 2004, 4:21:14 AM12/22/04
to
gar...@aol.com (GARYW BW) writes:
>
>>> Well, I see what you're saying. Not being a vegetarian, that doesn't
>>> bother me too much. But then again, let's say that as a member of a
>>> particular profession, I have a whole body of beliefs pertaining to
>>> that--areas in which it is common to say, "it is right to do X" and
>>> it is "wrong to do Y." For example... let's say I am a veterinarian,
>>> and I say, I feel it is essential that all "cats not used for breeding
>>> should be neutered to prevent overpopulation, and it is wrong to allow
>>> cats to breed without restraint." Would that be contrary to Jewish
>>> belief? Or perhaps I am a lawyer and I say "it is wrong for a money
>>> judgment to be rewarded without X and Y taking place?"
>>
>>I think the problem may be in the use of the word "wrong".
>>
>>If you mean it as a _personal_ opinion it's one thing. If you mean
>>it as a "universal" truth. it's something else.
>
> Well, a professional code of ethics is definitely not a universal
> truth, but it is not a personal opinion either.
>
> The reason I wonder about this is that I once had a conversation
> with a prominent rabbi in which I talked about the people having
> the "right to know." He wasn't terribly sympathetic with that.

I can easily understand that. <drily>

> We covered some of what has been discussed here, but the details I
> forget--it was ten years ago. I forget how we resolved it, or if it
> was resolved.

Now you're defing it as a possible "right". Before you talked about
"right" vs. "wrong" (if I understood you correctly). Not the same
thing.

Lord Baeron

unread,
Dec 22, 2004, 8:49:22 AM12/22/04
to
On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 04:47:35 +0000 (UTC), yaco...@aol.com
(Yacovachi) wrote:

>>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>>Date: 12/21/2004 4:52 PM Eastern Standard Time
>
>>It's not any kind of restriction - more a claim that we should be
>>careful over what we claim to be binding, eternal commands or
>>permissions.
>
>It is a restirction of the permission to a specific time, otherwise how could
>anyone make a Tora based vegetarianism argument?


>>And yet there are plenty of instances of behaviour that
>>was acceptable then but not now. We've seen this in other recent
>>threads - slavery, polygamy, etc.
>>
>
>Both are still permitted under Jewish Law.

So slavery is morally acceptable?


>
>Some communities may not do them, but no prohibition. You cannot merge custom,
>local precedent and national law all together.
>
>>>An "interpretation" should bear some semblance to the reasonable meaning of
>>the
>>>text.
>>
>>Or argue that circumstances are now different from what they then
>>were?
>
>No, that is an argument to change the law.

Not if the law was made for particular circumstances. It's just an
argument that it *isn't* an eternal law.


>
>>Why would a source help?
>
>Beacuse you asserted that some people would argue the Tora was allowing meat
>only for a certain time. So make the argument.


Well, I'm not a vegetarian, Jacko, so I'll leave it to anyone who
feels that it's unacceptable to eat meat.


>
>What are we talking about if not what the Tora meant in decsribing all those
>sacrifices and priestly gifts.
>
>
>>People reach these interpretations by using
>>reason and argument.


>So make the argument. Feel free to use reason. But it must be a reasonable
>reading of the text.

My point is that the text doesn't bind - so said veggies would not
offer a text-based argument. More likely one based on what we now
(allegedly) know about animals (that they suffer as we do).

>>Most of us (I don't mean here in SCJM) don't base
>>our lives on the literal meaning of texts (if indeed such a thing were
>>possible).
>
>Who said anything about literal. Now make the argument already.

I guess it would start along the lines, " 'Eat meat' isn't the same as
'you may always eat meat, even though circumstances change, and
alternatives are available which prevent needless suffering' " - but
it's not *my* argument. My point is that it's a position we can
consider - we shouldn't rule anything in/out on the basis of text
alone, when we have other resources such as intellect, reason and
better knowledge of facts.


>
>>>"All reading of the Tora" is not subversive.
>>
>>Subversive? I don't know where that came from!
>
>Jacques Derrida, alav ashalom.

Derridaft, as my philosophy lecturer use to refer to him!


>
>
>>>Most reading tries to elucidate
>>>what the text actually says.
>>
>>
>>No - what the text actually means, and specifically what it means to
>>us here and now.
>>
>
>Okay, make the argument how it means here and now that the allowance of meat
>was for a defined time period.
>

No - it's not my position. All I'm saying is that it's not a position
we should dismiss out of hand, based on our interpretation of the
text. The argument isn't, anyway, that this is what the text means,
it's that the text itself was applicable in those circumstances, but
needn't be now. You certainly won't extract this argument from those
very texts.


>
>>We can't always be sure whether a
>>piece of text is aimed at everyone, for all time, or not.
>>
>
>That's it? That since we never know for sure perhaps the Tora really meant to
>restrict the permissibility of meat eating?
>
>Sounds like a weak argument.
>
>>God has given us powers of reason, an
>>intellect with which to look deeper into the meaning of the creation
>>and of the words of the Torah, and many other clues about the way we
>>should treat both other people and the rest of creation; we would be
>>failing in our moral duty if qwe didn't use these gifts wisely.
>
>Well said. So do you have such a fine analysis to demonstrate this elusive
>argument?

If you're looking for a Torah-based argument against meat-eating, I
doubt whether even the most fanatical vegetarian will be able to
supply it. But there are many modern philosophical defences of
vegetarianism that, though they don't refer specifically to Judaism,
still apply to all thinking believers in a good God.

For example, Stephen Clark's 'The Moral Status of Animals'.

>>Our
>>knowledge of the universe develops - we cannot morally ignore it.
>
>What that has to do with the meaning of the Tora escapes me. But it is a lofty
>ideal.

It is relevant to our interpretation, if you believe that we need to
reassess our interpretation as our knowledge of creation progresses.
--
Lord Baeron

GARYW BW

unread,
Dec 22, 2004, 2:24:53 PM12/22/04
to

Yes, not as I just phrased it. But our discussion (me and the rabbi's) was
along the lines of right vs. wrong as it applies to journalistic ethics and
beliefs.

Yacovachi

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 7:06:29 AM12/23/04
to
>Subject: Re: Vegetarianism and the various Jewish denominations
>From: Lord Baeron LordB...@aol.com
>Date: 12/22/2004 8:49 AM Eastern Standard Time

>We've seen this in other recent
>>>threads - slavery, polygamy, etc.
>>>
>>
>>Both are still permitted under Jewish Law.
>
>So slavery is morally acceptable?

I do not know. Depends on the slavery and the morality. Anyway irrelevant.
The Tora is a system. Whether some people at some time say X is moral or
immoral has nothing to do with what is or is not permitted.

>>>Or argue that circumstances are now different from what they then
>>>were?
>>
>>No, that is an argument to change the law.
>
>Not if the law was made for particular circumstances. It's just an
>argument that it *isn't* an eternal law.

But here we are again! Then you have to persuasively show that the "law was
made for particular circumstances."

I have yet to see that argument.

>Well, I'm not a vegetarian, Jacko, so I'll leave it to anyone who
>feels that it's unacceptable to eat meat.

So when you said they may argue the Tora restricted meat eating to a particular
time that was just out of the air speculation?

>More likely one based on what we now
>(allegedly) know about animals (that they suffer as we do).
>

Has nothing to do with the Tora.

>My point is that it's a position we can
>consider - we shouldn't rule anything in/out on the basis of text
>alone, when we have other resources such as intellect, reason and
>better knowledge of facts.

Real double talk.

"A position we can consider" needs to be made first. I asked for the position,
you have no reasonable argument whatsoever.

>>Jacques Derrida, alav ashalom.
>
>Derridaft, as my philosophy lecturer use to refer to him!

"Whoever taints with his own defect he taints." What *my* lecturers called
"projection of the shadow."

>The argument isn't, anyway, that this is what the text means,
>it's that the text itself was applicable in those circumstances, but
>needn't be now.

This argument has to be made based on some reasonable evidence, not simply
assumed because moderns like this sort of super liberalism.

>But there are many modern philosophical defences of
>vegetarianism that, though they don't refer specifically to Judaism,
>still apply to all thinking believers in a good God.

The "good God" has nothing to do with Tora. I frankly am unintersted in
learning Tora form PETA.

Jack

GARYW BW

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 7:13:10 AM12/23/04
to
[ Moderator's Comment: Can we please stop this speculation HPG ]
Come to think of it, to follow up on my last post, I have a sneaking suspicion
as to what might be happening, as I have a "stalker" and have been a subject of
a letter-writing campaign by this person for the past three years. This has
nothing to do with Judaism or anything else having to do with this newsgroup.
But unless that person is posing as me and saying it is me, none of this makes
any sense. Rest assured that I am NOT an "Umansky" or any thing else apart from
my distinguished self.

Lord Baeron

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 9:56:30 AM12/23/04
to
On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 12:06:29 +0000 (UTC), yaco...@aol.com
(Yacovachi) wrote:


<snip>


>The "good God" has nothing to do with Tora. I frankly am unintersted in
>learning Tora form PETA.


Your constant references to what the Torah says show that you are
missing my point.
You won't find anything there that tells you how to interpret its
meaning - that's a question of applying our intelligence and our
current knowledge, in the light of present circumstances.

As to slavery, it is either immoral or it isn't. Your view seems to
entail that it is morally acceptable, then, now, and for all time.
I beg to differ - but I have no intention of trying to base my opinion
on the ancient texts.
--
Lord Baeron

cindys

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 10:06:52 AM12/23/04
to

"Lord Baeron" <LordB...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:i1els09h3tmqap4qt...@4ax.com...

> On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 12:06:29 +0000 (UTC), yaco...@aol.com
> (Yacovachi) wrote:
>
>
> <snip>
> >The "good God" has nothing to do with Tora. I frankly am unintersted in
> >learning Tora form PETA.
>
>
> Your constant references to what the Torah says show that you are
> missing my point.
> You won't find anything there that tells you how to interpret its
> meaning -

Actually, there are 13 *hermeneutic principles* of Torah interpretation.

>that's a question of applying our intelligence and our
> current knowledge, in the light of present circumstances.

And here we come to the chasm that is unbridgable between O and R. For O,
the oral tradition is valid and binding, and torah is not open to individual
interpretations and personal opinions. You would disagree with that. I don't
see how there can be a meeting of the minds on this point.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Lord Baeron

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 10:33:51 AM12/23/04
to
On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 15:06:52 +0000 (UTC), "cindys"
<cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote:

>Actually, there are 13 *hermeneutic principles* of Torah interpretation.

I'm sure there are many ways of interpreting it, but you find them
outside it, if you see what I mean. The Book didn't come with any
explanation - the explanation came later. You rely on traditional
interpretation, I rely on modern interpretation. We are both doing the
same thing.


>
>>that's a question of applying our intelligence and our
>> current knowledge, in the light of present circumstances.
>
>And here we come to the chasm that is unbridgable between O and R. For O,
>the oral tradition is valid and binding, and torah is not open to individual
>interpretations and personal opinions. You would disagree with that. I don't
>see how there can be a meeting of the minds on this point.
>Best regards,
>---Cindy S.


That's right - there can't be any agreement here, and to argue would
be pointless, other than to point out that the oral tradition is
irself something that has changed over time, and is ultimately
someone's personal interpretation.

But we both knew that already (-:


(I managed to avoid a similar discussion with the Jehovah's Witnesses
this morning. They woke me up, but my unwashed, unshaven,
dressing-gown clad scowling appearance was enough to see them off!)
--
Lord Baeron

Robert

unread,
Dec 23, 2004, 11:48:42 AM12/23/04
to
"cindys" <cst...@rochester.rr.com> wrote :

>>Many Orthodox Jews (especially
>> on this forum) do have this belief. This is the way that Judaism is
>> taught
>> in many Orthodox settings, especially from Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox")
> rabbis.


> What I find so interesting about this statement is that Christian
> missionaries make the same claim: That average Jews are totally gullible
> and
> ignorant and that *the rabbis* are privy to all sorts of secret
> information,
> which they are deliberately withholding from the other Jews.


Huh? What are you rambling about? Your claims have *nothing* at all do with
what I or Rabbi Shubert Spero were writing about.

Please stop insinuating that your fellow religions Jews - including