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LOOKJED  May 2002

LOOKJED May 2002


Lookjed Digest IV:31


Shalom Berger <[log in to unmask]>


lookjed list <[log in to unmask]>


Wed, 15 May 2002 23:08:53 +0300





TEXT/PLAIN (308 lines)

Topics in this issue:

I. Queries:
     1. Bechina Yerushalmit (Grumet)
     2. Macs and Hebrew (Yeres)
II. Conscientious objectors in Tzahal (Sokolow, Grumet, Neuman, Rosenzweig)
III. Teaching Ashkenazic Davening (Kohl)
IV. New Community High Schools (Krauss)
V. Major themes in Bereshit (Kosowsky)


In this digest there is a link to Dr. Moshe Sokolow's "Texts and Topics"
on the subject of soldiers refusing orders.

We have also uploaded a curriculum entitled:
The Flatbush Model: A Zionist Curriculum For Students After the Creation
of a Jewish State" by Rabbi Yotav Eliach, which can be found at

Our thanks to the schools and educators who continue to share their
materials on-line.

Hag Sameach,


I. Queries

Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 03:37:47 -0400
From: Zvi Grumet <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Bechina Yerushalmit

Shalom to all,

The Bechina Yerushalmit is a course of study designed by the Jewish Agency
and Hebrew University, covering areas of Mishna, Tanakh, Medieval Hebrew
poetry, Modern Hebrew literature, Medieval Jewish thought. The course
requires a prior working knowledge of Ivrit and involves a substantive
amount of individual reading of primary texts in Ivrit. Upon successful
completion of the course and passing the exam, Hebrew University awards a
certificate, which many universities recognize and give credits (usually
4-6 credits, but sometimes as many as 8 or 10, depending on the college).
The course has been running for more than fifty years, and there are
hundreds of students from around the world who participate in the course

The directors of the Bechina Yerushalmit are interested in developing
interactive on-line classes to help students prepare for the exam, and are
exploring a number of models of implementation. One model would provide
supplementary classes to schools currently teaching the course. A second
would offer distinct units of instruction from which students/schools
could select, depending on their individual needs. A third would provide a
complete course, particularly directed toward schools who do not have the
resources or the demand to create their own course or to individual
students who have no access to such a course in their local communities.
There is some overlap between the models, but they are distinct enough to
warrant separate design. (Participation in the course requires no special
hardware - a computer with a headset and a standard Internet connection.)

Bechina Yerushalmit is interested in hearing from you to maximize the
effectiveness of the offering. If you are a school currently teaching the
syllabus, what needs can the on-line course fill? If you do not currently
offer the exam, would you be interested in exploring ways to offer it to
students via the on-line course? Do you know individual students who would
be interested in pursuing this? Your feedback will help determine the
shape of this new project. I'd appreciate hearing your feedback - please
send it to me offline at [log in to unmask]

Zvi Grumet
20 Hamaapilim
Jerusalem, Israel
phone/fax 02.561.7053
cell 055.441.743


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 18:29:40 -0400
From: Rabbi Moshe & Esty Yeres <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Macs and Hebrew

As a fan of PC's, I usually do not work with Macs. However,  I am working
on a web project with my Grade 10 Talmud 10 class. Our school has Macs in
the computer room, and the students are having real problems working in
Ivrit. We have 2 major problems:
    1) Problem 1: typing Hebrew that can be read on Word 2K Pc's enabled
for Hebrew. We have a Hebrew program, but it is not compatible with Word
in Ivrit; the Word version loaded for Macs does not run Hebrew.
    2) Problem 2: reading Hebrew on the web with the Macs. It looks like
Internet Explorer for Macs does not support Hebrew.

Any suggestions/solutions? What are we missing?

Rabbi Moshe J. Yeres Ph.D.
Dept Head Talmud/Rabbinics
Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto


II. Conscientious objectors in Tzahal

Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 11:25:53 -0400
From: Moshe Sokolow <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: conscientious objection

I have a "Texts and Topics" entitled: When Must Soldiers Disobey Direct
Orders? It deals with the validity of "I was just obeying orders," and has
obvious relevance to the question raised.

If it is not out of place, I would also like to suggest to whomever
requested the information that there is a flip side to the refusal to
serve in Yesha, and that is the expressed view of many religious soldiers
(and their rashei yeshiva!) that they will refuse to evacuate settlements
if so ordered.

Hag Same'ah,

Dr. Moshe Sokolow
Director, Intensive Training Program (ITP) for Day School Leadership
Azrieli Graduate School

[Dr. Sokolow has kindly supplied his "texts and topics" for uploading in
the Educators Exchange. You can find "When Must Soldiers Disobey Direct
Orders? A Biblical, Talmudic, Midrashic Analysis of An All Too
Contemporary Question" at or by searching in
the Virtual Resource Library.


Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 16:59:12 -0400
From: Zvi Grumet <[log in to unmask]>

Hillel Lichtman asks about sources regarding conscientious objectors.
There are a number of relevant chapters (12, 14) in Menachem Kellner's
"Contemporary Jewish Ethics".

Kol Tuv

Rabbi Zvi Grumet
Helpdesk Coordinator
Lookstein Center for Jewish Education
[log in to unmask]


Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 09:37:12 +0200
From: Kalman Neuman <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]

RE: IDF refuseniks

The request for information on conscientious objectors in Tzahal is not
exact. The present "seruvniks" are not pacifists (which is the case with
COs) , but rather people who think that the IDF is engaged in immoral
practices in enforcing Israeli rule in Yesha. Therefore, their opinions
should be discussed in the context of refusing to obey orders which
contradict the Torah. This topic (including discussion of orders which
contain indiscriminate collective punishment) was discussed by Rav Ya'akov
Ariel in an article in Tchumim , written after the withdrawal from Sinai.
By the way, he said that it was halachically improper for soldiers ordered
to take part in the withdrawal to refuse orders. I also think that Noam
Zohar has written something similar in materials printed by the Hartman
Institute. I also remember an article by Moshe Greenberg in Judaism
magazine some years ago.

For the record, I personally do not accept the claims of the present
seruvniks, because I think that the IDF actions are being carried out in
self-defense after Israel's fair offer to end the occupation was turned

Kalman Neuman


Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 15:03:03 +0300
From: Joshua Rosenzweig <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]

If I am not mistaken there is a related article on the topic of Sarvanim
in one of the volumes of Techumin.


[Techumim has a number of articles on this topic, including the one
mentioned by Ya'akov Ariel (IV:173) and one by Yehuda Zoldan (XIII:228).
To see the full index of articles in Techumim, see



III. Teaching Ashkenazic Davening

Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 00:07:47 EDT
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tefila - Ashkenazic

Rabbi Aryeh Blaut is concerned about "teaching" tefila to Ashkenazic
students.  My assumption: he means liturgically, and does not plan to
include textual study of the tefilot.

For the past two years I have been doing this with the girls' division at
the high school where I am currently assistant principal.  I was
disappointed in the 'system' which existed, where girls "davened" to
themselves, often rushing to maximize extra time for breakfast before
class began.  Many did not seem to pray at all.

Currently we use the old traditional melodies for specific tefilot (Aryeh,
if you call me, I'll hum a few bars), led by a chazanit.  The Tefilot I
chose are sung aloud, and only the Chazanit chants the opening and closing
words of the Tefilot said quietly. Our list of Tefilot we sing:  Ma Tovu,
Adon Olam, Baruch She'amar, Ashrei, Yishtabach, Shema (until emet),
Aleinu.  The perakim of Shema are done with the Torah incantation.

The tenor of Tefila has improved immeasurably.  The sense of a Tzibbur has
returned.  Girls who previously did not daven, are now singing the parts
we do as a group, and saying the Amidah.

At the beginning of each year, for my Dvar Torah slot, at the end of
Tefila, I would choose a different Tefila and give a "How to" about that
Tefila. (e.g., "Pota'ach et Yadecha" in Ashrei; when do we stand/sitdown).
As the year progressed, I used the two minute slot for Divrei Hitora'rut,
usually using something from Rabbi A. Twerski's "Living Each Day" series.
I would return to Dvar Halacha about Tefila only if needed.

Recently, illness kept me away one morning, and the teacher who
substituted for me was surprised and pleased to see the improvement in the
girls' Tefila.

Kol tuv,
Chaye Kohl


IV. New Community High Schools

Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 09:58:11 -0400
From: Esther Krauss <[log in to unmask]>
To: Shalom Berger <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: community schools

I applaud Josh Levinson for an articulate and inspiring description of the
mission of community schools. While as Jewish educators we share common
goals, it is incumbent upon us to consider our various constituencies and
strategize how to reach them ba'asher heim sham. That is true not only
between schools but even within each school. A monolithic approach to
Jewish education is like teaching to the middle of the class academically.
Not only do we lose the extremities but we don't service the middle
adequately either. Differentiated instruction applies not only to
academics but to all facets of education.

Esther Krauss
Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School


V. Major themes in Bereshit

Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 10:44:43 +0000
From: [log in to unmask]

On the topic of Major Themes in Bereishit, I would suggest the route of
Biblical biographies. By choosing one or more figures (as time allows),
one can study a number of events, mepharshim, etc. across Sefer Bereishit
from the vantage point of the individual. Figures like Avraham, Yaakov and
Yosef have the further advantage of being found in a number of parshiot as
well. One addition, going this route makes the biblical personality more
personal and real to the student, and not just an untouchable figure of
our past or a piece of a curriculum.

Ira Kosowsky
Beth Tfiloh Dahan High School

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