Volume 14 Number 34
                       Produced: Tue Jul 19 23:03:54 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cheating on Exams
         [Michael Broyde]
Cheating on exams
         [Barry Parnas]
davening with a choir
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Honesty and the Big Mitzvot
         [Steven Friedell]
Kosher Plastics
         [Leon Dworsky]
Lying, cheating and stealing
         [David Levy]
Megillot and Femininity
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
New Moon and Friendship
         [Ron Katz]
Rav Moshe on cheating and lying
         ["Yitzchok Adlerstein"]
Reb Shimon Shkop
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
         [Ari Shapiro]
Vidoi (Confession)
         [Gary Fischer]


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 1994 19:25:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Cheating on Exams

There are two clear teshuvot discussing cheating on exams that clearly
state that such conduct is prohibited.  The first one, Mishnah Halacha
(Responsa of Rabbi Klien) 7:275 rules that cheating is a clear violation
of genavat dat, both against the professor and against future
employers, who take grades to be a measurement of competance.  [I would
be remiss if I did not note for the record that Rabbi Klien clearly
states that this responsa of his is not an endorsement of secular
studies -- he adds, that one may not cheat at secular studies even if
they are assur to engage in.]  In addtion, Rav Moshe has an even clearer
teshuva on this topic concerning cheating on the regents exams in Iggrot
Moshe CM2:30.  It is a mischaraterization of halacha to assert that
cheating is not prohibited.

From: <BLPARN@...> (Barry Parnas)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 12:42:32 CST
Subject: Re: Cheating on exams

First, I strongly agree with and commend Ezra Rosenfeld for putting
truth in its proper place as an attribute of Hashem and an entry to
Torah and Mitzvot.  Secondly, cheating on exams is lying to one's
professor, classmates, and anyone else involved.  It has nothing to do
with ignorance, intelligence, or grades.  There is an aggreement or
expectation among the class that there will be no cheating.  If someone
intends to cheat then he should include it as part of the expectations
by announcing his intentions.  By not announcing his intention he openly
agrees not to cheat.  One who cheats breaks the agreement and the
accompanying trust that the expectations will be upheld.  He lied when
he outwardly accepted not to cheat.

Call it G'Neivat Da'at or failure to keep one's word (over in Mattos,
B'Midbar).  Cheating is antithetical to Hashem and has no source in His
Torah.  Did Yaakov cheat Lavan or Esav?  Is that what we think?  I
suspect that the stinking value of "success at any cost" of modern
society is being inculcated into the Jew's world under a lot of frum
guises.  We are already cheating ourselves of our heritage of Emet.

Barry Parnas


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 12:44:09 EDT
Subject: davening with a choir

A while back I posted a few requests regarding shul choirs.  Since
then I have been involved in organizing one in the Boston area.  If
there are any people in the Boston area interested in participating in
this in some way, please send me e-mail to <jeremy@...> or
<jeremy@...> Also, for the benefit of those who wish to attend
an orthodox davening with a choir, we will be leading some of the
davening at Kadimah-Toras Moshe on the Shabat of August 13.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 9:56:41 EDT
Subject: Honesty and the Big Mitzvot

Talk of the big three mitzvot and honesty made me think of Rava's
listing of the "big six" in Shabbat 31a: when led in for judgment one is
to be asked first, "Did you deal faithfully?"--the other five have to do
with study, procreation, hope for salvation, engage in the dialectics of
wisdom, and deducing one thing from another.  And even one who keeps all
six has not done enough, the preservative is the fear of Heaven.  Two
obvious points. The "big three" commonly mentioned are not on the list.
And the first one is dealing honestly with others.


From: Leon Dworsky <ljd@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 00:49:18 -0400
Subject: Kosher Plastics

Danny Geretz's comment of Fri. Jul 15, about:

> The plastic wrap is made from some polymer that is derived from or
> very similar to *cheese*. In fact, the claim is that you don't even
> have to unwrap your stored food - you just pop the whole thing in
> the microwave and let the wrap just "melt in" to your food (yuck!).

reminded me of an item I saw recently about resin based packaging
materials. It seems that Rabbi Jonah Gewirtz of Silver Spring, MD, whose
specialty is packaging materials, became aware that these products were
made using tallow-derived additives during manufacture.  These
non-kosher additives migrate to the surface of plastic packaging
materials and come in direct contact with packaged foods.

R' Gewirtz worked with a major manufacturer of the resins, Solvay
Polymers, and they found new additives that are kosher and parave. As a
result, all of their production is now certified by R' Gewirtz and R'
Moshe Heinemann of the Star-K. Packaging products made from these resins
will bear a ``Certified Plastic'' mark. The Solvay company is willing to
share their knowledge freely with other manufacturers.

When asked about the issue of existing inventories of resin and finished
products, R' Heineman said ``There is a heter (leniency) in kosher laws
allowing pre-existing inventory to be used until the alternative can be
fully developed within a reasonable period of time.  In the future,
however, when faced with the alternative, one must opt for the certified

All of this raises in my mind several questions:

1) The ``alternative'' has been developed, but how is the public to
   know when a ``reasonable period of time'' has passed?
2) How is the public to know what requires certification - the bottles
   that Spring Water comes in?  The grocery store bags for wrapping
   vegtables in?
3) All of the soft plastic products in our kitchen (Saran Wrap, Glad
   Bags, etc.) have certification.  However, none of the hard storage
   containers (such as freezer - both microwaveable and non-
   microwaveable - packaging) have certification.  Should they?

Ignorant minds want to know.

Leon Dworsky


From: David Levy <dlevy@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 00:02:08 -0400
Subject: Re:  Lying, cheating and stealing

Ezra Rosenfeld says:

> "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.

I would go a great deal further. Those who attempt to justify dishonesty
with "torah quotes" are r'shayim b'derech hatorah (sinners who pervert
torah).  I am stunned to hear support for any form of dishonesty in an
orthodox forum.  It is a chillul hashem and totally at variance with
everthing I have ever learned.  The cases quoted of lying for the sake
of peace, etc, represent a fundamental misunderstanding of the
difference between dishonesy on the one hand, and tact and sensitivity
on the other. We are forbidden to hurt others behind an excuse that "its
the truth".


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 09:36:25 -0400
Subject: Megillot and Femininity

David Curwin observes a fascinating and peculiar feature of the
megillot.  The key to their unity, however, is not femininity, but
"marginality," the feminine (regrettably) often denoting the marginal.
The self-indulgence and near- heterodox ruminations of Qohelet
(including his nasty aside about women in 7:28) are ethically and
religiously problematic in relation to the apparent norms established
elsewhere in the Bible--as are the behaviors of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth
3:9), the lovers in Shir ha-Shirim, the personified Jerusalem in Eikha,
and Mordechai and Esther.  These problems are, of course, all resolved
by traditional interpretations of the difficult texts, but such
interpretations more than occasionally appear to be in tension with
their plain meaning.  It is also worth noting that God is a significant
(explicit) presence in only one of the megillot, Eikha, and in that book
God's behavior towards Israel is a source of trauma and theological

With good wishes,  Alan Cooper


From: katz%<milcse@...> (Ron Katz)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 00:49:21 -0400
Subject: Re:  New Moon and Friendship

What I heard is that since in Kiddush Levanah there are a number of
passages/verses dealing with G-d taking revenge on our enemies, we say
Shalom Aleichem to each other to emphasize they the verses we read are
not talking about each other, but rather our enemies.



From: "Yitzchok Adlerstein" <ny000594@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 94 23:58:45 -0800
Subject: Rav Moshe on cheating and lying

For a forceful halachic analysis of the prohibitions involved in both 
cheating on exams (even WORSE than genevas da'as, he says!) and lying 
(even where there is absolutely NO gain from the untruth), see Igros 
Moshe, Choshen Mishpat, v.2 #30)

Yitzchok Adlerstein
Yeshiva of LA


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 11:40:38 -0400
Subject: Reb Shimon Shkop

I completely endorse Dr. Sam Juni's distinction between Brisk and Reb
Shimon in MJ 14:31. As a fan of Reb Shimon Shkop and the original
Telzer derech he represented (and helped start) (now Telzers are no
different than Briskers and Reb Shimonites are a small minority in the
Yeshiva world), I certainly agree that the Brisker derech is
outstanding in Kodashim and Moed where categorization of what are
essentially gezeiros hakasuv (scriptural writ) is primary. In Nezikin,
and even the logic of issur v'heter (Yoreh De'ah), the "higayon"
(logic and philosophical analysis of underlying rationales) is far
more relevant. And that's what Reb Shimon does.


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 19:36:18 -0400
Subject: Tzitzis

David Charlap writes:
<The mitzva is in having tzitzit on the garment, not in putting on a
<garment that has tzitzit.  In other words, your mitzva is not in
<wearing the garment, but having the tzitzit on that garment when it is
<One could argue that you should only make the bracha when putting the
<tzitzit on the garment, and not every time you wear it.  (What was done
<in the Gemara's time, when normal clothes were four-cornered, and had
<tzitzit.  Did they make a bracha when putting their clothes on every

This is not really true.  There is a dispute whether tzitzis is a chovas
mana (obligation on the garment) or a chovas gavra(obligation on the
person) we pasken that it is a chovas gavra.  In the Shulchan Aruch
Siman 19 it says tzizis is a chovas gavra ... and therefore there is NO
Bracha made when you make the tzitzis because the mitvah is
b'lvishaso(in the wearing of the tzitzis).  The shulchan aruch says
explicitly that the mitzvah is the wearing of the tzitzis therefore
every time you put the tzitzis on you are fulfilling the mitzvah and in
the time of the gemara they would have made a bracha every day.

Ari Shapiro  


From: Gary Fischer <gfis@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 08:47:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vidoi (Confession)

Now that Tisha B'Av is behind us,  I'm ready to ask a question about the
Days of Awe which will be upon us not too long from now.

On Yom Kippur (and during Selichot (prayers for forgiveness) which we say
at other times), for the viduy (confession prayers) I have seen two 
different formulations right before Ashamnu.  Some people say:
Anachnu chatanu (we have sinned) and others say: Anachnu v'avoteynu 
chatanu (we and our forebearers (parents? fathers?) have sinned).  Is there
a particular rationale or outlook behind the difference.  It seems to me
that, while both statements may be true, it isn't really my place to be
confessing the sins of my parents.  I imagine that there is some 
philosophical reason why some people include their forebearers and others
do not.


End of Volume 14 Issue 34