BPR Mailing List Digest
May 9, 2000

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Educause items
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 08:30:51 -0400

With the electronic economy in Europe lagging behind the United
States, the European Commission has embarked on a flurry of
e-commerce legislation intended to clear the way for rapid growth
in the technology sector. Internet service providers are
clamoring for a uniform European framework with minimal
regulation; if regulations are too stringent or complex, they
have threatened to relocate. Despite this industry pressure,
European nations are far from a consensus on the issue of
regulation. Some countries, including Britain, Ireland, and
France, favor light regulations styled after the United States,
where countries are allowed to self-regulate within a shared
framework. On the other hand, countries such as Germany,
Austria, and the Netherlands favor applying essentially the same
regulations that apply to brick-and-mortar commerce to
cyberspace. (Global Technology Business, April 2000)

Offended by the amount of Internet pornography found on library
computers, seven Minneapolis librarians have filed a lawsuit
against the Minneapolis Central Library for having a "hostile,
offensive, palpably unlawful working environment." Library staff
and patrons alike have complained to the library board for months
about being exposed to graphic pornographic images that some
patrons download from the Web. One of the librarians in the
complaint said that the environment had remained unchanged for
more than three years. Minneapolis Sen. Dave Knutson
(R-Burnsville) announced he would introduce a bill requiring the
use of pornography filters on computers in all the state's public
schools and libraries. A conference committee in the Minnesota
Legislature is already examining a bill that would require
blocking software on public computers used by minors.
(Star Tribune Online, 4 May 2000)

May 8, 2000

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Israel: Population numbers 6.3 million
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 08:37:00 -0400

 Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Population numbers 6.3 million

                  By Moti Bassok
                  Ha'aretz Correspondent

Israel's population on its 52nd independence day is 6.3 million, compared to
6.076 million last year. Some 4.9 million citizens are Jews, and 1.1 million
are Arabs.

When the state was founded, the total population numbered 806,000.

Some 63 percent of the Jewish population was born in Israel, 95 percent after
the state was founded. Of those born in Israel, 43 percent are second-
generation Israelis.

According to data published yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics,
about 3 million people are immigrants, 1 million of whom came in the 1990s
from the former Soviet Union. Immigration rose in 1999, with more than 6,000
immigrants arriving every month, compared to less than 5,000 a month in

In 1999, 87 percent of the immigrants came from the former Soviet Union.

Of the 1.1 million Arabs living in Israel, 81 percent are Muslims, 10 percent
Christians and 9 percent Druze.

Some 70,000 Israelis will be celebrating their 52nd birthday this year,
together with the state. Most of them, about 70 percent, came to Israel after
1948, mainly from European countries (64 percent).

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Study links Jewish, Palestinian genes
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 08:40:24 -0400

Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Study links Jewish, Palestinian genes

                  By Tamara Traubman and Ruth Sinai
                  Ha'aretz Corresponents

Jews and Palestinians share marked similarities in their genetic makeup,
indicating they may well have had common ancestors, according to a study
to be published today.

The study, to appear in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences," also shows that Ashkenazi Jews and Syrians display genetic
similarities, seen as evidence that European Jewry originated in the
Mediterranean region.

Researchers, among them geneticists from Tel Aviv University, compared the
Y chromosomes of a number of Jewish and non-Jewish groups.

The team also found that the Y chromosomes of Ethiopian Jews differed
greatly both from those of other Jewish groups and of non-Jews in Ethiopia,
evidence, researchers said, that from the moment the Ethiopians embraced
Judaism, they took pains to refrain from intermarriage.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Legionnaires' Outbreak: Epidemic now world's second biggest
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 08:54:50 -0400


Epidemic now world's second biggest

Monday 8 May 2000

Melbourne's legionnaires' disease outbreak is probably the
second biggest of its type in the world, an Australian
legal expert on the illness said yesterday.

The number of victims of the outbreak - sourced to air-
conditioning towers at the Melbourne Aquarium between April
11 and 25 -continued to grow yesterday. Three more cases
brought the total to 72, including two deaths.

Melbourne lawyer Peter Redlich said the local outbreak was
likely to be second in size to a 1976 outbreak in
Philadelphia, when 162 people were infected and 77 died.
That case was the first outbreak of the disease, which got
its name because it struck down members of the American

Victorian Health Minister John Thwaites said yesterday
Victorian businesses would almost certainly face tougher
regulations aimed at curbing the incidence of legionnaires'

As foreshadowed last week, Mr Thwaites said
recommendations by an expert working party on legionella,
due this week, were likely to result in businesses facing
"a tougher, upgraded system of regulations" to ensure water-
based air-conditioner cooling towers were safe.

The three new cases confirmed yesterday were a 32-year-old
Rosanna man, a 73-year-old Preston man and a 49-year-old
West Preston woman. The two men were discharged from
hospital yesterday. The woman is in a satisfactory
condition in St Vincent's Hospital.

A Department of Human Services spokesperson said a further
30 cases were suspected, including 19 from Victoria and
four from overseas.

A third WA Liberal is believed to have contracted the
disease after attending a Liberal Party function at the
aquarium last month.

WA Liberal Party president Peter Wells would not name the
victim but said the person had had the disease diagnosed
last week and was recovering at home.

Neil Patrucco, president of the party's Stirling division
in WA, was one of the first confirmed cases. Anne Fergusson-
Stewart, fiancee of WA Senator Ross Lightfoot, is awaiting
results from blood tests.

Mr Redlich, who in 1980 brought Australia's first
compensation case involving legionnaire's disease, said the
present laws governing the maintenance and installation of
water-based cooling towers were "totally inadequate and

He called for a full public inquiry into the outbreak,
hinting that Melbourne Underwater World Pty Ltd, which
occupies the Melbourne Aquarium premises, may not be solely
responsible for the outbreak.

Mr Redlich said it was "clearly foreseeable" that such a
water-based cooling tower posed a potential health hazard,
indicating that planning authorities, the aquarium's
builder, air-conditioning contractors and water treatment
consultants might also be held at fault.

On Thursday law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman began
Supreme Court proceedings against Melbourne Underwater
World on behalf of 35 victims, including relatives of the
two women who died.

Mr Eugene Arocca, a partner in the firm, said compensatory
damages were being sought on behalf of affected people.

Mr Redlich said the action by Maurice Blackburn Cashman
was premature, warning it could affect a possible inquiry
into the outbreak.

The Melbourne outbreak is the largest of its type in
Australian history, but it is not the worst.

In an outbreak in 1987 in Wollongong, New South Wales,
fewer cases were recorded but 10 people died.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 09:06:57 -0400

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Tue, 09 May 2000 15:35:21 +0300
From: Arutz-7 Editor <>
Send reply to:

by Rabbi Shlomo Goren
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio <>
        A speech delivered before the Prime Minister and other governmental
figures circa 1974, explaining why Remembrance Day was institutued on the
day before Independence Day

In This Article:
  1. In Thy Blood, Live!
  2. How it Happened: My Role
  3. The Three Dimensions
  4. The Heroism of the Bereaved
  5. Back-to-Back

If we wanted to define in a few words how Judaism and our Prophets saw the
destiny of the People of Israel, we would simply quote from the words of
Ezekiel (16,6) - words we recite at the Passover Seder, when we reach the
pinnacle of our feeling of national freedom: "I saw you sprawling in your
blood, and I said to you, 'In thy blood, live!'"

In thy blood, live! Our life sprouts from our sacrifices, from the blood,
from the willingness to give of ourselves. The Jewish people has always
been known as Sanctifiers of G-d's Name. This commandment of "I will be
sanctified by the People of Israel before the eyes of many nations," was
always our supreme commandment, the pinnacle of our upliftment.

But for many generations, hundreds of years, we fulfilled this commandment
with nothing sprouting forth from our blood, nothing to show for our
sacrifices. We never merited to see the 'In thy blood, live!' part. We
saw the blood, but not the life that was to have emanated from it. Today,
however, we see both together - the "sprawling in the blood" and the
"life." For this reason, Remembrance Day for the Fallen Soldiers was
placed adjacent to Independence Day.

The merit of doing this fell in my lot. I would like to recount our
considerations when we first determined the date, in the first year of our
independence, and when we decided when and how to honor and commemorate our
holy 'sacrifices.' We first thought of setting Remembrance Day on Lag
BaOmer, the day that historically symbolizes the Bar Kokhba war, and that
which is still celebrated by Jewish children as the day of Jewish strength.
 In this way, we thought that we could combine the heroism of our early
ancestors with that of our own children in this generation. But doubts
crept in: Would we not cause harm to the general significance, shrouded in
mystery as it is, of this historic day?

One of the Fast Days, or during the Three Weeks in which we remember the
destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temples, was then proposed. But we
could not accept the fact that the Day of Remembrance would be solely a day
of mourning. It was felt that this day must be more than that: We must
remember, we must grieve, but not only that - it must be a day of mourning,
of majesty, and of vision.

We realized, therefore, that we could not "assign" this day to any existing
holiday. But the first Independence Day was rapidly approaching, and so we
did what we did - without announcing it formally and without setting any
specific format for the day. I went to Voice of Israel studios on the day
before Independence Day and read aloud the Chief of Staff's Daily Military
Order, which he wrote according to my request. And so I became the
narrator and the one who set Remembrance Day on what became its date.

When we speak of Remembrance Day, we must speak of three time frames - just
as in the Pesach Haggadah and the Seder. On Passover, we first tell the
story of the past, we "recount to [the] children" the might of G-d and of
Israel. We then turn to the present, as we turn the story of the past into
a lesson of values for the present. We are obligated to translate the
legacy left us by our forefathers into an integral part of our lives today.
 Finally, the "song" for the future: the fourth cup of Seder-night wine is
the subject of the "blessing of song," the song that is a great vision for
the future.

These three components must comprise our commemoration of Yom HaZikaron
(Remembrance Day) as well. We must first tell of the heroism and strength
of our sons and fathers. It is a moral imperative not to forget their acts
of valor and self-sacrifice, in order that we not be ungrateful and that we
recognize the tremendous contribution they made on our behalf. We, the
entire nation, owes them this not as mourners, but out of thanks and

I recall an incident after the fall of Gush Etzion (in 1948) when a soldier
named Charlap was wounded, was taken to the French Hospital near the Old
City, died there of his wounds, and was buried by the Jordan Legion in the
hospital's yard. I later received special permission to cross the lines to
recover the body. The Jordanians helped me search for the exact burial
site, and then helped me dig, but when we found the body, I did not let
anyone touch it, but rather dealt with it myself. There was a Jordanian
Major there, who said, "I see that you are a Colonel [higher than a Major].
 Have you no other job but to deal with bones?!" I responded, "This is the
big difference. Our national life is built upon these bones, they are that
which gave us life. They are our future - the vision of the dry bones."
The appreciation that we have for those who fell is that which gives us
life. The Medrash teaches, "When a person walks along the way, and sees a
cemetery, this is a sign that a city is near." For us, a cemetery is not a
place of ruin and end, but rather a site of life, and is in fact called in
Talmudic literature, "House of Life."

On Yom HaZikaron, then, we must remember first of all the holiness of the
fallen - those who gave all they possibly could for the benefit of the
nation. It is not they who benefit by our remembrance and prayers, but we
ourselves who can be uplifted by remembering them and by standing in
communion with them.

Not only those who fell behaved heroically. Their family members, too, are
more than partners in the bravery - they are those who perpetuate it. I
will recount only a few of the incidents to which I was a personal witness.
 I saw a mother who lost her only son standing at his gravesite, crying out
over and over in Yiddish, "Master of the Universe, I hold nothing against
You. You are just, and Your judgments are just!" One father lost two sons
in one day, and he brought them for burial on Chol HaMoed Sukkot. He had
been a rabbi in Morocco, and stood at the double grave wearing white, and
said, "We are forbidden to eulogize today, we are forbidden to cry, but we
are not forbidden to justify G-d's judgment - and so I do that now. I
don't understand the judgment, but it appears that I am wrong and G-d is
right." These are stories of utmost bravery and strength, which we must
gather together and write down - for them to serve as examples for the most
basic values that we wish to teach our youth.

The Jewish nation never immortalized its battlefront heroes. We had many
wars, and many victories, but where are the holidays to celebrate Joshua'
victories? Or those of King David? Even Chanuka is remembered more as a
day of Divine miracles than of physical strength. But spiritual values -
these we must write down and remember, and in this way, perpetuate our

Time is ephemeral, but it can be translated into eternal values. If the
nation is educated in the light of these values, there will no longer be a
need for a Remembrance Day.

The juxtaposition of Remembrance Day and Independence Day is alluded to in
the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (31, 12): "I will turn their mourning
into joy, and I will give them comfort, and gladden them from their
sorrow." The "sounds of joy" are not absolute; in the Scriptures, joy
always follows sadness and mourning. Independence Day, too, must be
connected with sadness, with mourning, with sacrifices, and with the
blood-drenched history of the Jewish people.

All this expresses our vision of the third Redemption of the Jewish nation.
 We must imbue in our people the values that our Prophets attached to the
national existence of the vision. We must not suffice only with its
physical materialization. This our task. I hope that we have not erred in
setting Remembrance Day adjacent to Independence Day. This is our symbol -
from sadness to joy, and with this we will go further.

* * * * * * *

Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who died in 1994, was Chief Rabbi of the
Israel Defense Forces. He took part in the liberation of the Temple Mount,
the Machpelah Cave, and other holy sites in 1967.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Pearls of Wisdom from the Rabbis
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 09:15:03 -0400

Jewish Weddings

Pearls of Wisdom from the Rabbis:

Eish (aleph, yud, shin) is the Hebrew word for man.

Eisha (aleph, shin, hay) is the Hebrew word for woman.

Yud and Hay is the Hebrew name for God.

Removing the letters yud and hay (G-d) from the words eish and eisha,
leaves the letters aleph and shin. In Hebrew, aleph and shin spell esh, which
is the word for fire.

In other words, if God is not made a part of the union between a man and a
woman, then the couple will be left with fire. Only if God is a part of the
marriage will the couple will be complete and at peace.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Arutz-7 News items (5/9/00)
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 13:40:42 -0400

The Rabbis of United Torah Judaism have not yet decided how to instruct
their Knesset Members to vote regarding Prime Minister Barak's intended
transfer of Abu Dis to the Palestinian Liberation Organization. MK Rabbi
Moshe Gafni, who leans towards abstaining, denied that a decision to
abstain has been made - although it may be made by today. Two of the
party's other MKs are against the transfer, while one - Yaakov Litzman -
apparently feels otherwise (see below).

UTJ MK Rabbi Avraham Ravitz said today that although he is personally
against the transfer of Abu Dis, and can see no merit in Barak's idea of a
"gesture" towards the Palestinians in this regard, "we are awaiting a final
decision on this matter by our rabbis." Asked by Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson
to explain the "hesitations" of the rabbis on the matter, Rabbi Ravitz said,
"The rabbis have been presented with a picture which shows that Abu Dis is,
for all intents and purposes, not in our hands... Only in extreme cases do
our security forces enter Abu Dis at present."

Zalmanson: "If it is handed over, then even in extreme cases - such as to
prevent an attack on the nearby Temple Mount - we would not be able to do
even that." Ravitz: "Everyone knows that there is no such possibility of a
real war being started by the PA. Whatever 'army' they have could be eaten
up for breakfast by the IDF... At worst, there would be attempted terrorist
attacks... In any event, the rabbis also have various considerations, such as
'pikuach nefesh' [the value of preserving lives]... In the end, though, whatever
decision they come to, I will not have to explain it - we will abide by whatever
they say."

Asked about reports that his party colleague MK Yaakov Litzman had
promised Barak that his party would abstain, in exchange for a commitment
to accept the Tal recommendations regarding the military induction of
yeshiva students, Rabbi Ravitz reacted sharply: "I don't know what any given
MK said privately to anyone, but if this happened, it is totally unacceptable.
What, he can promise to sway the opinions of the Torah giants?! They are
supposed to influence and instruct him, not the other way around!"

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, considered to be the most senior of the UTJ
sages, told confidantes over the past few days that the two topics - Abu Dis
and the yeshiva students - should not be connected. He said that he cannot
sleep at night, for worry over the fate of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, who appeared in several of Barak's campaign
commercials last year - but stopped short of endorsing Barak - said again
today that he fears that the Prime Minister is about to divide Jerusalem. He
admitted last night that he was mistaken in stating during the campaign that
Barak would not divide the capital.

Zo Artzeinu has called upon the public to attend a march from Abu Dis to the
Temple Mount area tomorrow at 4 PM. "The Palestinians want Abu Dis so
that they can turn it into their capital and be connected with the Temple
Mount," says Zo Artzeinu leader Moshe Feiglin. "Do we not have a drop of
independence left? The government is abandoning, while we will hold on. On
our short march tomorrow, we will show the miniscule distance from Abu Dis
to the Mount."

"Creative and interesting" is how Prime Minister Ehud Barak described a
report in France's 'Le Monde' newspaper today. The paper writes that Barak
and Arafat have discussed a rough draft of a permanent-status agreement,
according to which 80-90% of Judea and Samaria will be forfeited to the PA,
with some roads that run through PA territory to be leased to Israel. Barak
said that the talks with the Palestinians have not reached such an advanced

Arutz-7's Ariel Kahane adds that the plan calls for all of Jerusalem to
formally remain under Israel's sovereignty, though not in practice: The
Palestinian capital will be in Abu Dis and will be connected by a corridor
to the Temple Mount. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert said that there is no
such animal as areas that are "under Israeli sovereignty but Palestinian
control." Le Monde adds that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will
not return to their pre-1948 homes, but will be compensated by Israel,
"financially or morally." Both Israel and the Palestinians have denied the

Arutz Sheva News Service
Tuesday, May 9, 2000 / Iyar 4, 5760 - 19th day of the Omer

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