Volume 14 Number 29
                       Produced: Mon Jul 18 20:14:46 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Pinchus Laufer]
Cheating on exams
         [Warren Burstein]
Cheating on Exams (V14n26)
         [Mark Steiner]
Cheating on Exams.
         [Kevin Schreiber]
Chillul Hashem/non-Jews
         [Binyomin Segal]
irc correction
         ["Irwin H. Haut"]
Judge everyone for the positive
         [Frank Silbermann]
Long Black Jackets
         [Sean Engelson]
New Moon and Friendship
         [David Curwin]
Torah, Honesty and Cheating
         [Ezra Rosenfeld]


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 10:50:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Cheating

Without regard to the fundamental aspects of cheating, if the instructor
assigns grades on a basis of relative merit (and in my experience this
is the rule) at the very least one may be depriving others of a deserved

This assumes, of course, that one cheats effectively!



From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 08:20:17 GMT
Subject: Re: Cheating on exams

Dr. Sam Juni writes:

>Shoshana Benjamin (7/8/94) inquires re the Hallacha of cheating on
>exams, in connection with the discussion re G'neivas Da'as.  My
>understanding is that such "cheating" would not be barred under that
>particular categoriztion, since one is not taking anything from the
>professor; "giving" grades is merely a figure of speech.

In many years of university studies I came across precisely one class
in which the professor decided to give A's to precisely one-sixth of
the class.  Cheating one's way to an A could have deprived someone
else of one.

Other classes had "curves" in which an amount was added to all marks
to make the average mark in the class a passing grade.  Cheating would
reduce everyone else's mark.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?

From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 17:02:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Cheating on Exams (V14n26)

     The Talmud (Hullin 94) gives a number of examples of geneivath
     Inviting somebody to a simcha when you know he will not come (and
you would not otherwise have invited him);
     Opening an exensive wine barrel for a guest, misleading him into
thinking that the rest of the wine will be thrown out (when you have
already made arrangements to sell whatever is left over);
     Selling a gentile nonkosher meat when he legitimately expects the
meat to be kosher;
     Selling shoes made from carrion, when the seller legitimately
expects them to be made from slaughtered animals.

     In all such cases, we have the sin of misrepresentation for an
ulterior motive: usually that of creating good will in the person the
sinner deceives.  (Deception in a sale amounts to geneivath da`ath when
no monetary fraud ('ona'ah) takes place, i.e. when the price charged is
what the item is actually worth.)

     I believe the objective reader will have no trouble in judging that
cheating on an exam (i.e. misrepresenting one's ignorance as knowledge
for the ulterior motive of gaining certification of such knowledge--a
grade--from an instructor) is geneivath da`ath, which (according to the
Tosefta) is the worst form of geneivah (theft).  I should mention
further that the Talmud explicitly forbids deceiving a gentile.

     I believe that writers for mail-jewish should think twice before
writing that our Torah condones deceptive practices or (as in the case
of some of the Goldstein articles) murder, even as an hypothesis.  There
is a huge danger of hillul hashem lurking here, particularly when (as I
believe has happened here) the halakha has been totally misrepresented.
Readers should be warned that mail- jewish is a completely open channel
of information, and I believe that many non-Jews read it.  (I have had
responses from non-Jews to some of my postings.)  Anti-semitic
stereotypes of Jews as dishonest (or murderers) abound--why should we
spread them ourselves?

Mark Steiner

From: Kevin Schreiber <kschreib@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 11:56:15 -0400
Subject: Cheating on Exams.

Regarding cheating on exams, I think there is definitely a prohibition
against it.  Could it be G'Neivat Da'at, very possibly.  A lot of it
might depend on the how the concept of G'Neivat Da'at is defined.  Going
under the assumption that the definition is something along the lines of
"making someone else think one thing when you know that is not correct
(inviting someone to a wedding know that they will say 'no' but it will
make them think you would invite them in any case)" or "taking someone
elses Ideas's and passing them off as your own," cheating would be
G'Neivat Da'at in either case.  In definition one you are allowing
people (not only the prof.) to think that you actually know the
information, which is not true since you took the answers from someone
else.  In definition two it's pretty striatforwardly wrong. If its not
G'Neivat Da'at, it might just be stealing.  I'm not sure what Issur
Ramaut (trickery) falls under (i think that it's disscussed in Sefer
SHmirat Halashon by the Chafetz Chaim) but thats also a possibility.

				Kevin Schreiber


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 03:28:49 -0400
Subject: Chillul Hashem/non-Jews

>From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>

>I can fathom an  exception  to this formula.
>        In societies (definitely not contemporary, but perhaps these
>        existed in the past) where Jews were seen by all as Hashem's
>        official standard- bearers, then immoral behavior might be taken
>        as a message that "God's people are in fact unethical, with the
>        (ludicrous!) implication that such is indeed G-d's plan. This
>        would cause non-Jews to behave unethically.
>I am not at all convinced, however, how to react when society wrongfully
>decides to characterize immoral behavior of individual Jews as
>representing the Jewish way.  This society never sees the Jew as
>standard bearer for G-d way.  It will invoke the ethnic category only
>when it suits a bigoted "put-down."  Is this Chillul Hashem, or do we
>say "We don't care what the bigot will say"?

I think these words elucidate an intresting point that I've heard from many
of my rabbeim over the years (though a source might be hard to pinpoint).
Anti-semitism is _NOT_ merely bigotry. This can be seen historically in the
many differences between general bigotry, its causes and results, and

Anti-semitism is directly related to the goys (unconscious) understanding
that we are the mamleches cohanim (nation of priests) We are the religious
leaders for the world, and they respond to that in their gut. That is why
the Goldstein thing (or for that matter any Jewish scandal) is such a big
deal to the non-jews ("How could _Jews_ act that way?!") and Arab terrorism
(or gang crime or...) is _relatively_ uncommented upon ("What do you

As I understand it (possibly only some) anti-semitism is a direct result of
our failure as an example - they resent not having the leadership we should
be giving them. It seems to me that this is _exactly_ what a chillul Hashem



From: "Irwin H. Haut" <0005446733@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 94 21:38 EST
Subject: irc correction

i learn that the channel number must be written without spaces:
thusly, #brooklyn1.
irwin h. haut


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 1994 21:43:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Judge everyone for the positive

David Eckhardt:  (Vol.14 #26)

> Adam Freedman provides us with a plausible scenario in which
> the Bnei Barak residents were strongly admonishing the driver
> of the Shabbat-breaking car in order to save lives, and suggests
> that we should try to construct such scenarios to think well
> rather than ill of other Jews.
> That sounds like a very good idea to me.  But then shouldn't
> the Bnei Barak residents have assumed the car driver's child
> was dangerously ill and in need of a doctor?

I'm told that laws such as thinking well of other Jews
and avoiding LaShon HaRa (negative speech) concerning them
is mandatory only wrt other Jews who are observant.

So, if Schmeryl is more machmir (strict) than Beryl,
and considers his strictness to be not Chumrah but obligatory,
then Beryl is obligated to think and speak well of Schmeryl
but not vice-versa, thus giving Schmeryl the advantage.

Sounds to me like a good reason to follow strict interpretations!

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: Sean Engelson <engelson@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 10:50:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Long Black Jackets

  From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)

  Danny kaist remarked on the long slits in the vents of "frocks" or
  "kapotes". If you look carefully you will note that one of the corners is
  rounded to prevent the requirement of tziztis.

True (I checked this past Shabbat).  However, why should the requirement
of tsitsit be avoided?  Wouldn't it in fact be better to put tsitsit on
"normal" clothes which require them rather than relying on an extraneous
garment whose sole purpose is to fulfill the mitsvah of tsitsit?



From: <6524dcurw@...> (David Curwin)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 01:29:21 -0400
Subject: New Moon and Friendship

After making kiddush l'vana tonight, the following question interested
me again:
 What is the connection between Rosh Chodesh and friendship? In Birkat
HaChodesh, we say "chaverim kol yisrael" (all of Israel are friends),
and in kiddush l'vana, we say "shalom aleichem" (peace be upon you) to
three people. This emphasis on frienship is found almost nowhere else.

P.S. One other question. Does anyone know why it is customary that
women do NOT say kiddush l'vana?


From: Ezra Rosenfeld <zomet@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 17:18:59 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Torah, Honesty and Cheating

A number of recent postings have disturbed me and, upon reflection, I 
think that there is a common denominator which unites them.

First came the postings which suggested that there is nothing Halachically
wrong with cheating. 

Then we were treated to the news that there is nothing Halachically wrong
with lying. 

And finally,  the earth shattering  posting that there is no reason to pay 
for an object which one has (bought but) not been billed for.

I must admit that each of these three postings disturbed me. The 
cumulative effect of the three has motivated me to think that somewhere 
in the 20th century "frum" community, or at least in "mj world", 
something is seriously wrong. If the "bottom line" which is emenating 
from  mail-jewish is that honesty is external to Torah, Halacha and 
Jewish values, then some people should be reexamining themselves, their 
teachers, their Yeshivot  and "their" Torah.

I am purposely not peppering my comments with countless quotes from
various sources. The issue is not whether any specific mitzvah refers only
to Dayanim or also to every Jew. For it is much deeper than that. It goes
to the foundations of Torah and Mitzvot. I would like to make just one
simple point which I believe goes to the core of "Chovat Adam B'Olamo" ( a
man's obligation in this world). 

"Chotammo Shel HaKadosh Baruch Hu - Emet" says the Bavli in a few places 
(Free translation - The essence of God is truth). When we are commanded to
follow in God's path and "stick" to him (Devarim), we are essentially
being asked to emulate His revealed behavior patterns. Thus, before
we are called upon to wear Tzitzit and Tefillin, and even before we are
commanded to eat glatt kosher, we are commanded to be honest. I might even
say that we are commanded to accept upon ourselves every possible chumra
in the realm of honesty, because anything which isn't completely "emet"
(truth)... is actually "sheker" (false). (Paranthetically, I might point 
out that the Kotzker Rebbe was the paradigmatic example of one whose 
entire live quest was the search for total truth, his "obsession" with the 
truth would seem to be beyond the level of the average human).

It would seem to me that we invest too much energy in looking for ways to 
"improve" God's Torah and not enough time and effort in walking in 
His path.


End of Volume 14 Issue 29