Volume 13 Number 67
                       Produced: Mon Jun 20  7:25:46 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Christian Observance in US law
         [Mayer Freed]
Explaining Shabbat to potential employers (5)
         [Neil Parks, Nadine Bonner, Michael Rosen, Stephen Phillips,
Rabbi DuBrow]
Greetings from an mj world travelor
         [Jonathan Goldstein]
Hebrew as first language
         [saul djanogly]
Leaving Work Early
         [Danny Skaist]
Mahloket about facts, Science and Halakha
         [Yitz Kurtz]
Yoseph and Bitahon
         ["Ezra Dabbah"]


From: Mayer Freed <MGFL1F@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 14:07:00 CST-6CDT
Subject: Christian Observance in US law

The US Supreme Court rejected a claim that Sunday closing laws are an
"Establishment of Religion" in the case of McGowan v. Maryland, in 1961.
The argument accepted there was that such laws, although religious in
origin, have a contemporary "secular purpose", i.e., to provide a
uniform day of rest for the populace.  Another case, Braunfeld v. Brown,
decided the same day, rejected a Jewish merchant's claim that the law
burdened his "free exercise of religion" by forcing him to close all
weekend (he observed Shabbat).  Interestingly, the 'Free exercise" claim
was decided under a constitutional standard that was later rejected, but
to my knowledge, the constitutionality of Blue laws was not successfully
challenged under the new, more demanding standard.

On a related topic, AJCongress has just successfully challenged an
Illinois law that mandates statewide school closings on Good Friday.
Whether that decision will be upheld on appeal is, I would say, an even
money bet.

Mayer Freed
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Northwestern University School of Law Chicago, IL 60611
<mfreed@...>  TEL: 312-503-8434     FAX: 312-503-2035


From: Neil Parks <aa640@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 18:16:46 -0400
Subject: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

Yisrael Sundick says:
 >>I was wondering if anyone had advice regarding explaining the
 >>requirements of Shabbat, such as leaving early every week ect, to
 >>potential employers.  Specifically, when and what you told a potential
 >>employer ( I am assuming a non-jewish or non-observant/knowledgable
 >>employer) about the requirments of the jewish holidays. In today's tight
 >>job market I really don't want to make myself unemployable but I also
 >>wish to avoid a an unpleasant surprise for the employer when the
 >>holidays aproach.  Thanks in advance.

I'm not sure it is necessary to inform a potential employer until after
you are offered a position.

After you get the job, then you can explain that in the wintertime when
days are short, you will need to be home by sundown on Friday
afternoons.  And before holidays come up, you can explain that are 13
days out of the year when you will need to take time off.
Unfortunately, those days come in clusters--4 in 2 consecutive weeks the
spring, 2 in the summer, and 7 in 4 consecutive weeks in the fall--so it
can seem like there are a lot more than there really are.

A lot depends on the company's vacation/personal days policy.  Where I
work, we get x number of vacation days and x number of personal days per
year, and I use several of them for the Yom-Toyvim. If I need more days
off than I've accumulated, then I have to take unpaid days off.

Fortunately, on my job, neither of these things--the short Friday and
the Yom-Toyvim--were an issue until after I had already been on the job
for several months and proven my work ability.  A few weeks before the
end of daylight savings time, I told the boss why I would need to leave
early on short Fridays, and I offered to come in early on those Friday
mornings so I could still put in the usual number of hours.  He
graciously agreed to let me do that.

NEIL PARKS   <aa640@...>

From: <n.bonner@...> (Nadine Bonner)
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 23:30:33 -0400
Subject: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

  When I was job hunting a few years ago, a frum woman at an employment
agency told me not to say anything about Shabbat or the holidays until I
was formally offered the job.  Federal regulations prohibit religious
discrimination.  So if you are offered a job and the job is withdrawn
after your religious restrictions are stated, you can sue the company.
However if you tell the employer about your restrictions at an early
interview and they decide not to hire you, they can manufacture any
number of reasons for not hiring you that have nothing to do with
religious limitations.
  So really it comes down to not WHAT should you tell a potential
employer, but WHEN should you tell them.
  A friend of mine managed to get a job as a buyer for a major
department store about two weeks before Rosh Hashana.  There was nothing
they could do about it once they offered her the job.
  Nadine Bonner

From: <MRosenPSI@...> (Michael Rosen)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 94 10:56:02 EDT
Subject: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

I think that this is an issue that is more an ethical consideration than
an halachic one (although I realize that to many readers that is a
loaded statement). I have always told potential employers that I do not
work on Jewish holidays and Shabbat once the interview process moved to
substantive issues. To wait until you have the offer in hand or worse,
until you arrive on the job, is at best misleading the empolyer. At
worst you are reinforcing negative images about Jews (deceitful etc.).
At that point you have created a hilul hashem (IMHO).

Prgamatically do you really want to work at a place that does not
understand your religious requitements?

P.s. I am not Orthodox and I have never had a problem with Yom Tov or
Friday.  My empolyers have always known that I do not come in during my
holidays, just as I do not expect them to come in for theirs.

From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 00:28:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

I suppose it depends to an extent on what field you are in. I am a
lawyer; there are many frum Jewish lawyers in England. So when I was
interviewed for my present job, I told the partner (not Jewish) that
I would require to take off all the Jewish holidays and go early on
Fridays in winter. I pointed out the fact of there being many frum
Jewish lawyers who manage to fit their work in despite the Jewish
holidays and early Shabbosos. He asked my what I would do if a woman
came in to the office just before Shabbos needing an urgent
injunction to restrain her husband from beating her up. I replied
that in this case my religion had to come first. His response was
"Well you are honest; do you want the job?"

If, on the other hand, you work in a field where not many frum Jews
work then you may have a problem persuading a potential employer that
you will be able to cope with all the time off. I know that many Jews
do not tell their future employer about the time off required until
(a) they have the job and (b) the problem actually arises. I'm not
sure whether or not this would be considered "G'neivus Da'as"

Stephen Phillips

From: <SMDUBRO@...> (Rabbi DuBrow)
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 23:30:27 -0400
Subject: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

In response to Yisrael Sundick's query as to what to tell potential
employers regarding Shabbos observance:

Tell them up-front and with pride the facts: you are a Torah-observant
Jew and are required to leave early and/or absent yourself from work
from time to time due to the observance of Shabbos and Yom Tovim,

I will explain the merits of this approach with a similar concern.  I do
a great deal of work as a consultant in rural areas of the south and
mid- West (U.S.).  I meet a great many "rednecks" who for less than a
perutah would gladly do me harm, HvH.  Many of my friends are amazed,
that despite the above, I continue to wear a yalmalke and tzitzis
(outside my pants).

My reasoning is simple: I am terrified!  What other reason is there.
Either one is afraid of the goyim, or l'havdil ein ketz, the Creator.
I, for one, have no doubt who is the greater to be feared.  So, I wear
the yalmalke.

While today's job market may be tight, this is not an impediment to our
Creator, BBHN.  Everything which occurs, including finding or not
finding a job is in His hands, completely.  So, there is no harm in
telling a potential employer your are Torah observant.

B'derech teva: most non-Jews repsect religious Jews.  And I have never
lost a perutah because of Shabbos observance.


From: Jonathan Goldstein <coman@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 1994 17:37:33 +0300 (EET DST)
Subject: Re: Greetings from an mj world travelor

  Greetings from my new home, aka Jerusalem.

  I arrived here a few weeks ago from Sydney via Bangkok, Nepal, Bangkok,

  When my new job becomes less hectic, I will attempt to give a brief overview
  of life in Nepal for a nice Jewish boy. If anyone is planning to go there in
  the near future, then the best advice I can give is to take lots of food, or
  be prepared to hire a porter to carry decent raw products from Kathmandu
  into the more remote regions. The other alternative is to do like I did:
  subsist on onion and potato soup, boiled eggs, and Toblerone.

  If Murray Gingold is watching, would he please contact me? Thanks.

Jonathan Goldstein       <coman@...>       +972 2 528 058


From: <saul@...> (saul djanogly)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 15:33:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Hebrew as first language

See Rashi Bereishit  11.1. and Targum Yonatan.

saul djanogly


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 09:29:05 -0400
Subject: Leaving Work Early

>Yisrael Sundick
>job market I really don't want to make myself unemployable but I also
>wish to avoid a an unpleasant surprise for the employer when the
>holidays aproach.  Thanks in advance.

Your solution is in your signature.

>*     Yisrael Sundick       *        Libi beMizrach VeAni                   *
>*   <sas34@...>    *             beColumbia                        *
Come join your heart in the east.  That is one problem we don't have.



From: Yitz Kurtz <hmrcelec@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 14:10:33 -0400
Subject: Mahloket about facts, Science and Halakha

Eli Turkel correctly points out that there are many arguments about
facts in the Talmud. Despite this, many Halakhists prefer to interpret
mahlokot (disagreements) in the Talmud as Halakhic and not factual 
disputes wherever possible. They wouldn't necessarily deny the existence 
of factual mahlokot, but they would try to minimize them.

I believe an important source for this trend to avoid factual mahloket
is found in Rashi Ketubot 57a. R. Papa states that he would have preferred 
a particular interpretation of a mahloket if that interpretation had not
been contradicted by R. Avahu's first hand observation. Rashi explains 
that since the mahloket as observed by R. Avahu is a factual one "one 
of the disputants is telling a falsehood but when two amoraim argue about 
a law or issur veheter (the forbidden and permissible)...there is no 
falsehood, each one uses his own logic...and one can apply the principle 
'eilu veeilu divrei elokim chaim' (both are the words of a living G-d).

On the matter of modern science that contradicts the Talmud, I haven't
followed this thread from the beginning but has anyone mentioned the 
Rivash, Chapter 447? To put it mildly, he rejects any science that 
contradicts Chazal who, he claims, knew their science by mesorah 
handed down from Moshe Rabbenu. By the way, the Rivash himself did not
put it mildly (ayen sham).

Yitz Kurtz


From: "Ezra Dabbah" <ny001134@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 94 21:00:24 -0500
Subject: Yoseph and Bitahon

David Charlap says in v13#58 that Joseph should have known better. His 
action therfore shows that he didn't trust the divine intuition.
I have a problem with that. With Abraham at bereet ben habetareem 
Abraham asks in Beresheet 15:8 "How will I know that I will inherit?" 
This is *after* Hashem promised him that his children will inherit.
With Yaakob in Beresheet 28:20 he states by the story of the angels and
the ladder "If you will be with me..." Does Yaakob lack bitahon?
With Gideon in Shofteem 6:37-39 he asks "Please don't be angry with me but
can I test You a *second* time".
These examples illustrate that asking or reassuring ones belief in H"B
does not warrant penalty. My guess is that Yoseph stayed in jail for
some other reason.

Ezra Dabbah   


End of Volume 13 Issue 67