Volume 10 Number 73
                       Produced: Mon Dec 20 22:08:33 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Censoring what our children watch, read, hear, etc. (2)
         [Daniel Kelber, Najman Kahana]
         [Allen Elias]
Censorship or Monitoring
         [Rena Whiteson]
Mormons and Genealogy
         [Janice Gelb]
School Curricula
         [Pinchas Edelson]


From: <xw0sdak@...> (Daniel Kelber)
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 93 13:47:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Censoring what our children watch, read, hear, etc.

Uri Meth, in V10#69, talks of how we need to shield our children from
the confussion of other religions so as to ensure they have a solid
Jewish base (paraphrased). I think that this is a good way to confuse
our children even more. The fact of the matter is that we do live in a
Christian society, and unless we are going to hide that society from
them for their entire life, postponing such exposure will merely put
them on an unfirm footing which will make them less able to cope when
they must go out into the world and deal with it. Such censorship in the
hareidi community is fine, because they do intend to shield their
children through adulthood.
    The basis which is necessary for our children is that of an
observant home and a proper Jewish education. When children grow up in
an environment where they are made to feel that Judaism is a wonderful
gift to us, then this feeling will be reflected in their own values. It
is when children grow up thinking that Judaism is only for them, because
theier parents send them to learn about it, but do not themselves take
much of an interest in it, that children become confused as to what
Christianity is about. What I am saying (maybe not so well) is that
children will not take much notice of other religions if they are happy
with what they have at home. It exactly the situation that when there is
an intermarriage, the children cannot be happy with what they have at
home, because their is no way that their parents could be happy with the
state of their religious commitments.
    The only danger of confussion for children as to other religions
(IMO) is when there is confussion in their own homes. If parents teach
their children the right lessons, there is no danger from exposure to
the outside world.  Shielding our children from the outside world only
serves to set them up for a great shock when they finally see that

Danny Kelber

From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 93 11:46 JST
Subject: Censoring what our children watch, read, hear, etc.

>From: <VISWANATH@...> (Meylekh Viswanath)
>Subject: Censoring what our kids watch, read, hear, etc
>I remember other postings where attempts were made to keep children from
>knowledge about christianity.  I was surprised then, and I am surprised
>now, that this should be considered desirable among m.j. readers.  The
>existence of christianity and christians in the world in which we live
>is undeniable; it permeates literature, music, and other disciplines,
>such as e.g. history.  How could it be desirable to keep children
>Or perhaps I have misunderstood/failed to understand other reasons for
>such behavior.
>Meylekh (<viswanath@...>)
	Yes, you have misunderstood, not our (Israeli) reasons,
but our environment.

	Israel, unlike the U.S., is not a christian world in which we are
an island.  Israel is a Jewish world, in which christianity is a VERY small
	We do not "hide" christianity from our kids, they just do not
encounter it.  My 9-year-old doesn't even know what Christmas is, much less
in which JEWISH (!!) month it falls.  (She does know when Ramadan is, does
your kid ?).
	Since I live in Gush Etzion, which is near Bet-Lechem, our kids
are familiar with the Moslem holy days.  I imagine that kids in the Natzrat
area are familiar with christian ones.
	In the "normal" day-to-day life, you recognize a christian by the
little cross he/she wears on their neck, as inconspicuously as Jews wear
their stars.
	By the way; our child-viewing suprvision is not anti-christian, it
is intended to limit the input on violence and behaviour which we don't
approve off. The incident with the Pinochio tape was just an interloper.

Najman Kahana


From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 15 Dec 93 15:17:53 EST
Subject: Censorship

Freda Birnbaum comments on censoring Rav Soloveitchik's dedication to his
wife in the book Ish Ha-emunah:

>If that is true... allow me a question.  Which is worse, the sloppy
>scholarship/intellectual dishonesty/unfairness to the reader, or the
>disrespect and chutzpah to the Rav?  Did they really think it was
>appropriate for them to be passing judgment on the Rav like that??

>How can anybody expect to engage in serious intellectual or halachic
>discourse and meddle with sources like that?  (Cf. also the "My Uncle
>the Netziv" discussion and related matters.)

>Questions are rhetorical, I suppose.  Can anyone offer a justification
>for this behavior?

I am not so sure the dedication was censored because it was to a women.
I own several books put out by Haredi organizations with dedications
to women. They usually start with words referring to the Eshes Chayil...
(Woman of Valor). My wife has dedications to her in the first 4 volumes
of Bayit Hayehudi.

Maybe someone can post the exact text of the dedication before we pass
judgement on its deletion in the Hebrew version of the book.


From: <rena@...> (Rena Whiteson)
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 93 13:31:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Censorship or Monitoring

There has been a great deal of discussion of the pros and cons of
'censoring' what our children see, hear and read.  I think that
censorsip is the wrong word for what we are discussing.  Censorship has
a very strong negative connotation, rightly, IMHO.

But every responsible parent monitors and controls what his/her children
experience.  We do not take our 4 year old to see violent movies ( to
give an extreme example, I am not recommending such movies for older
children either ).

So the question is not really should we control what are children are
explosed to, but rather what should we allow and what not.

Rena Whiteson


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 17:29:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Mormons and Genealogy

Sam Gamoran writes in vol 10, #65:
> Janice Gelb writes in vol 10 #62
> > The Mormons genealogical software may be even more problematic than
> > indicated here: the reason they keep such detailed records is not just
> > as a religious obligation for them and their family, but because the
> > Mormons believe that a convert can also convert their ancestors ex post
> > facto, and so try to keep detailed records on all people, not just
> > Mormon families.
> So what?  Dead or alive - what meaning do we ascribe to someone
> 'converting someone else' ?  If a Jew, rachmana litzlan, converts himself
> to Mormonism that is something to deal with - but if someone else tells
> me that *I'm* a Mormon - or whatever - it doesn't change who or what I am.
> Kal v'chomer (surely) a dead ancestor remains what he/she always was from
> their deeds during their lifetime.

The purpose of my post was not to comment on the efficacy of the Mormons' 
ex post facto conversion of ancestors, but in reaction to a comment by 
someone else that he was uncomfortable about ordering genealogical 
software from the Mormons due to their religious obligation to enter 
their family records into the database. I thought it might be even 
more of a problem for someone with this type of hesitation if he knew  
that the purpose of the database goes beyond mere keeping of Mormon 
family records.

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: Pinchas Edelson <Edelson@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1993 22:19:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: School Curricula

The matter of school curricula came up here briefly on mj in v6.

	I find that I agree with Arthur Roth about the superiority of the 
NY schools, but I would like to add an important dimension to the matter 
which he has left out. 

	The situation in NY demonstrates the marketplace theory very 
well. Inferior institutions cannot survive due to the (healthy) 
competition and must conform to the sink or swim rule. There are however 
other cities and towns where this in not necessarily the case. Due to 
limited competition an inferior institution can stay alive a very long 
time. Some of these schools seem to be stressing neither Hebrew nor 
Secular studies, but only that their institution should continue to 

	I would like to bring some past postings as examples:
	Volume 6 Number 28

From: <joel@...> (Joel Seiferas)
Subject: Day School Curricula

     Last April I posted the following query on the news group

     ``Does anyone have any hints where I might be able to find
written summaries or outlines of curricula (that are actually in use)
for K-8 Jewish day schools?  We have had such a day school in
Rochester for about 45 years; but neither our curriculum nor others we
know about seems to have a written form.  Of course there are standard
state materials for secular studies; but, for Jewish studies and
integrated studies (if there is such a thing), the tradition seems to
be entirely oral.  (I am a lay member of the school's Education

     There was very little promising response, but now I am on a
subcommittee actually charged with collecting and making use of
whatever we can.  Can anyone on this mailing list help?
	I do not have information about this school beyond what is posted 
here, but it appears to follow with what I have seen first hand in 
several similar schools of about the same age.

	Please note that this institution has been operating for over 45 
years. I find it hard to believe that none of its teachers over this 
entire period of time were dedicated hard working and intelligent 
individuals, and that they were incapable of assembling a curriculum for 
their portion of studies. What is closer to the truth is that the 
administration had no interest in School Curricula whatsoever. 
Furthermore, you would probably find the same person(s) making up the 
school administration for quite a number of years. They would be the 
first ones to blockade any type of change or innovation. These people 
would rather believe that the calendar year if 1947 and not 1993, 
insisting on the use of a ditto stencil machine (because its cheaper) 
instead of wasting time and money on a PC and a laser printer which 
nobody needs anyway . 

	Please note that the poster says he is looking for the 
information and not that he is doing so for the administration. They 
would feel that such in inquiry is simply an attack on their personal 
(in)competency and are ready to retaliate with old ready made answers to 
new naive school board members.

	Fortunately, this is not the case with all schools:

	Volume 6 Number 31 

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 93 14:11 EST
From: <sieg@...> (Barry Segel)
Subject: Day School Curriculum (Hebrew)

I was meeting with the principal of our local day school (The Rabbi
Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison, NJ) and he showed me the school's
curriculum for Judaic studies.  It was a lare, thick, binder covering
grades K-8.  He told me that it was developed over time and part of it
was straight from the TORAH UMESORAH recommendation.

	Which scenario fits your home town?

Pinchas Edelson


End of Volume 10 Issue 73