Re: Query: Rambam's Iggeret ha-shmad (also known as Ma'amar Kiddush ha-shem)

In regard to the question of Robert Tabak concerning Iggeret ha-Shemad:

Apart from the sources that were already been mentioned by Liran Yadgar – see:

1. Jacob I. Dienstag, 'Letter on Apostasy' or "Treatise on Martyrdom: A Bibliography of Editions, Translations, and Studies." Kiryat Sefer 56: 2 (1981), pp. 356-368.

Re: Rabbinic responses to religious accommodation in 19th- and early 20th-Century US

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote in a responsum (Even Ha'ezer, vol. II par. 14) that there is no problem having an early Yom Tov minyan knowing that the people will go to work afterwards. He doesn't even go into so much detail, basically saying that if you don't have a minyan these people aren't then going to stay home and not go to work. His opinion can be found in the second paragraph from the top in the left-hand column ( Michael Pitkowsky

Rabbinic responses to religious accommodation in 19th- and early 20th-Century US

Anecdotally, at least, hashkamah minyanim on Saturdays have their origins in accommodations to workers who needed an early, fast service before work. The Orthodox Union's Jewish Endeavor Society reportedly organized late afternoon minhah services for similar reasons.

A friend is interested in examining the extent to which this is true, and especially rabbinic responses to these practices. Any bibliographical suggestions appreciated!

Query: Rambam's Iggeret ha-shmad (also known as Ma'amar Kiddush ha-shem)

Briefly, what are current scholarly opinions on Maimonides'  Iggeret ha-shmad ["Letter on Forced Conversion"] (also known as Ma'amar Kiddush ha-shem ["Article on Sanctifying the (Divine) Name]")?   This letter,  dated to 1162-63 CE, was written to a Jewish respondent who was forced to nominally profess Islam (apparently during the Almohad persecutions).  It discusses whether such a person can remain part of the Jewish community and perform mitzvot [commandments.]  I studied this text years ago as part of a course on Kiddush ha-shem taught by David Hartman at Hebrew University.

Henry Morgenthau and Mark L. Bristol information needed

Dear Colleagues:

I am looking for information regarding the personal lives of Morgenthau and Bristol.  Especially, their childhood information would be useful.  Any lead to their communication with each other, if available, would be very valuable.  If you can help, please contact me at


Thanks in advance


Hakan Ozoglu


The wakfiyyah of Sultan Abu Said Qunsuh (reigned 1498/1500) was registered on 3rd raba al awwal 908AH.

I have authenticated family and other records that document the history of the supervision of this wakfiyyah from inception to the present day.

I have from the National Archives in Cairo a copy of the original wakffiyyah but it is illegible.  I have a very poor translation into English of it.

I would like a good copy of the original wakfiyyah and certain very specific documents of around 1700.

Information needed on V.N.Kokovtsov (1853-1943)

One of my students  plans to write her college honors thesis next year on the unpublished childhood memoir of Vladimir Nikolaevich Kokovtsov, who was a career civil servant in the imperial government and occupied posts of some importance under Nicholas II.  She will be translating and annotating sections of this manuscript (she's a native speaker).  Does anyone know anything about this individual?  Many thanks.

Denise Youngblood, Professor of History, University of Vermont

Re: Pointe Churches

Peter, It may represent an affiliation with the "mother" Church. Here in Milwaukee we have the "Brook Churches": Elmbrook, Eastbrook, Northbrook, Southbrook, Westbrook. They are all related in some way to Elmbrook Church. God's blessings, Fr. Bob Anello, MSA


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