Volume 14 Number 37
                       Produced: Wed Jul 20 23:56:21 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

ArtScroll's "omission"
         [Marc Aronson]
Cost of a Jewish Lifestyle
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Response to Proliferation and Cost of Yeshivot
         [Yitzy Schneider]
Standing during prayer
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Yeshiva Tuition
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Yeshiva Tuition and Tax Deductions
         [Meyer Rafael]
Yeshivos producing Gedolim or Baale Batim
         [Gad Frenkel]


From: <MARCARONSON@...> (Marc Aronson)
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 1994 18:57:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: ArtScroll's "omission"

In vol13n68, in a discussion of ArtScroll marred by sarcasm, Mechy Frankel
takes aim at ArtScroll's omission of the "missing 165 years" in the
chronology of the Sages. He argues that ArtScroll should "at least note the
difference and explain their preference." Surprising. The very ArtScroll
history book he seems to be criticizing has an appendix that discusses
that very point.
Although ArtScroll has been for me a primary vehicle of Torah and hashkafah,
I do not pretend that I am not annoyed at times by ArtScroll's failure to
present opposing points of view. I often wish that their treatment of
history or biography could be as rigorous and unimpeachable as their
monumental work on the Talmud. But, to be fair (or to play saint's
advocate), why should a believing Jew take pains to cite sources that
contradict the Torah (I am using "Torah" in the broader sense, which 
includes the oral tradition)?
No state of the Union requires that its textbooks mention that there is
such a thing as a belief in Creationsism, and most scientists and educators
fulminate against such a suggestion on Church-State grounds. Why, then, must
Orthodox publishers be more required than the rest of us to publish views
that are antithetical to their fundamental beliefs? Should ArtScroll be
faulted for not stating that most people deny the existence of God as Jews
have always understood it?
Deborah Lipstadt refuses to debate deniers of the Holocaust on the grounds
that it would be immoral for her to suggest that their balderdash is 
worthy of discussion. If I can agree with Lipstadt, I can at least 
sympathize with ArtScroll.
Marc Aronson


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 12:19:45 EDT
Subject: Cost of a Jewish Lifestyle

> From: <adlerj@...> (Jeffrey Adler)
> With this in mind I want to bring up three items for discussion:
> (1) We should spend more money in the Jewish Community on Jewish
> Education and Less money on Hospitals, nursing homes, and Holocaust
> Memorials.  I think that with all of the money raised by Jewish
> Charities ( it is noted that Jews donate money disproportionately) we
> can raise enough money to enable any Jewish child to attend a Jewish day
> school.

I am all for the more money for jewish education.  I am also for
supporting hospitals and nursing homes.  In this day of holocaust denial
and the demise of eye witnesses, IMHO official holocaust memorials serve
a very important Jewish educational purpose, and are worthy of support.
It is up to each individual to prioritize his/her own giving.  It is a
great thing for the really motivated individual to collect for a
particular cause and to arouse the enthusiasm of the people around him
for that cause.

> (2) In smaller communities, families having more children place a burden
> on others.  My wife and I would love to have 6 or more children.
> However we know we cannot afford to.  There are families who have many
> children and it is the "responsibility of the community" to provide
> scholarship for them to attend schools.  Is it an injustice to have more
> children than one can afford?  Many schools in smaller communities
> suffer because they do not have enough children who pay full fares.

IMHO, there are many sacrifices in having more children, of which the
financial sacrifice is only one.  There are also many benefits to the
individual and to the community.  I see your point in the cost to the
community of having children, and only wish to point out that in general
the marginal cost of having another child in school is a lot less than
the tuition, since the building needs to be there anyway, a teacher
would need to be hired for the other children, etc.  It's not that there
aren't enough children who pay full fare, it's that there is not enough
money going into the school.  Having fewer children and somewhat less
money does not necessarily help the viability of the school.  In the
long run, having more graduates who can contribute back to the school
can help it, if it can "live" so long.

> (3) More should be done on a national level by the Rabbis and community
> leaders to reduce the cost of Kosher Products (i.e. milk and cheese)
> which cost much much more than their non-kosher counterparts.  In
> addition, there should be limits on the costs of things like lulav and
> esrog.  We need to encourage younger people to stay and/or become more
> observant.  Being young and observant should not mean that you need to
> rely on others to get by.

There is a longstanding tradition by rabbinic authorities against price
gouging, even with regard to food used for Shabat and Yom Tov.  However,
it seems to me, there is little regard now for the price of extra
supervision and stringencies.  As far as I can recall, kashrut
supervision, unlike e.g. Torah study or act of kindess, is noe one of
the areas in which there is "no limit."  Of course, kosher milk is
available for the same price as standard milk, but that was a different
discussion.  :-)

I think that ritual objects such as lulavim/etrogim should be available
inexpensively for those who wish, and more expensive ones should be
available for those who wish, as well.  It may be worthwhile to dwell on
the mitzvah of e.g. lulav and what goes into doing it, rather than on
the expense of it.  In other words, there is a great deal that one can
do to enhance the fulfilment of this mitzvah (and other mitzvot) without
spending extra money.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <ny000544@...> (Yitzy Schneider)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 11:37:52 -0400
Subject: Response to Proliferation and Cost of Yeshivot

In response to Herschel Ainspan:
	I am not a posek by far, but I would like to comment on what you
wrote July 18 regarding Proliferation and Cost of Yeshivot.
	Every year on Rosh Hashonah, Hashem sets up the amount that we
will need for that year. (Notice I emphasize need.) It is not up to us
to decide how many children we should have because we feel we can not
afford them. In this day and age where children are born and live, we
forget what a blessing, a berachah, and a Nais each child is. How can we
then just take a berachah and throw it out?
	Unfortunately, with all modern technology, there are still many
people who have been trying for years to have children, and regardless
of cost of Yeshivot... would do anything to have a child! We must not
forget that each and every child is a Berachah!
	Getting back to the Yeshivah aspect, at the very worst scenario,
isn't it the father's obligation to teach his son Torah, if no Yeshivot
were available? Financially, I agree that tuition is a fortune, and a
very large monetary burden on many families (myself included), but I
have yet to see a child who does not attend Yeshivah because his parents
can not pay tuition.  The Yeshivot are unreasonable, but somehow
everyone manages to attend one.
	An added note: There are a few Yeshivot which I would like to
bring to your attention regarding this matter for I feel in this respect
they deserve a note of praise.
	One is Lubavitch Yeshivot. People I know who have children
attending a Lubavitch Yeshivah say that the Yeshivah is very reasonable
when it comes to tuition. They accept students regardless of the
financial situation, and therefore many students are attending tuition
free. (As a result the Yeshivah is strapped financially and in major
	The Mirrer Yeshivah Gedolah in Israel accepts all students
unconditionally regarding tuition and they pay whatever they want!!!
	My brothers attend Yeshivah Torah Vodaath, and interestingly
enough the Yeshivah's policy regarding parents who do not pay tuition
(over a long period of time, without any cooperation or agreement with
the school) is that the boys attend Yeshivah in the morning for learning
Torah, but in the afternoon during Secular studies that is when they are
required to go home.  This as opposed to many other Yeshivot where the
children of parents who do not pay tuition stay out of school
indefinately until the parents pay money.
	I think it is time the Yeshivot reevaluate the matter. Tuition
should be payed for secular studies, and Torah studies should be
provided no matter what. After all, Hashem gave it to us as a present at
Har Sinai, why are we then charging money to pass it over?

Yitzy S.R.


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 1994 20:38:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Standing during prayer

Why do some people stand during (what seems to be) the entire prayer
service, except Tahanun which has a special requirement to sit if possible?
It seems to me that unless one sits when permitted, then the parts when one
has to stand (e.g. Shmoneh Esrei) don't "stand" out.  What would be
the motivation for standing so much, and how do these people distinguish
the places where one has to stand?

aliza berger


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 94 09:45:07 -0700
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Tuition

I have a novel solution to the entire Yeshiva tuition problem.
Fortunately for the parents, but unfortunately for the Yeshivas, for
obvious reasons, I suspect that my approach is wrong. :-( :-( :-( But I
am not certain why it is wrong.

The Talmud says (in Meseches Beitza) that a person's income for the
entire year is already predetermined on Rosh Hashana. One of the
exceptions to this rule is the expense of teaching your children Torah -
if you spend more, G-d will give you more.

So my question is, why can't every Yeshiva insist on every parent paying
full tuition with the argument that it doesn't cost the parent anything
anyway - whatever you spend, G-d will give you.  The Yeshiva needs the
money, and it doesn't cost you anything.  G-d is footing the bill
anyway, and He has unlimited resources.

Now what is the fallacy with my argument?

I have asked this question to others, and the best answer I have
received so far is that your Yeshiva tuition covers alot more then just
teaching Torah. You have to pay for the secular studies, electricity,
water, the mortgage, insurance, etc. etc. etc.  These expenses were
never guaranteed by G-d.

The reason I am not totally satisfied with this answer is that I suspect
the bulk of your tuition dollar does in fact go to pay the Rabbeim
(Rabbis). Thus, if you were to accept this answer, the Yeshiva could
still establish a minimum tuition equal to whatever percentage of your
tuition dollar that does go to pay the Rabbeim.

(If there are any Yeshiva administrators out there, please don't get any
bright ideas from my post!)

Furthermore, one might also argue that the average person is not paying
upwards of $5000 a year for secular education. For a secular education,
you could have sent your kid to public school. Thus, the entire tuition
I am paying is solely for the Yeshivas to teach my children Torah. Thus,
I still claim that G-d should give me full credit for my tuition

If anyone has a better answer, I would love to hear it. I do have one
fairly radical answer myself, which really requires someone greater then
me to say it. Perhaps, if there is sufficient interest, and we don't get
a better answer, I will post my *theory*.

Hayim Hendeles


From: Meyer Rafael <mrafael@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 1994 18:29:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Tuition and Tax Deductions

> From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
> As one whose finances are in a hopeless spiral due to Yeshiva tuitions,
     one of THE MANY!
> Let there be a new tuition policy formulated, where tuition is
> officially set at a low figure (say $1800 yearly), with the stipulation
> requiring parents to raise charitable contributions to the Yeshiva for
> the amount which would bring the total to the actual costs (say, another
> $6000). 

I made a very similar proposal to my children's school. In my
formulation the 'charitable contributions to the Yeshiva' would be
called a SCHOLARSHIP FUND that has been established for needy students.
Under Australian taxation tuition is not an allowable expense but
donations to a recognised charitable fund does qualify as a deductable

The ratio of direct school-fee to scholarship fund would be established
as high as permitted by the taxing authorities. Informed opinion in
Australia has suggested that a 75-25 tuition-scholarship split would be
acceptable. Your mileage will depend on yeshivah administrations &
parents seeking appropriate local advice about a reasonable and
sustainable ratio.

I believe that terming the deductable component a 'scholarship' is
attractive and would be easy to sell to all parties, including general
donors, ie not just parents with children in that school. I believe this
approach would not only funnel more funds into Yeshivahs by virtue of
being tax-efficient but also encourage an enhanced spirit of cooperation
among the parents and hopefully amongst the talmidim also.

Meyer Rafael
Melbourne, Australia   Meyer Rafael                  
   Melbourne, Australia          voice +613-525-9204
   <mrafael@...>       fax +613-525-9109


From: Gad Frenkel <0003921724@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 1994 19:02:13 -0400
Subject: Yeshivos producing Gedolim or Baale Batim

A comment on the thread of Yeshivos producing Gedolim or Baale Batim.
My Rebbe told me of a meeting between Rav Gifter of Telz, who was of the
Gedolim producing camp, and R' Shraga Feivel Mendelovitz of Torah
V'daas, who worked so tirelessly in creating Yeshivos for the masses.
Rav Gifter told Rav Mendelovits that Telz would produce Gedolim, while
Rav Mendelovitz would only produce Ketanim.  Rav Mendelovitz responed
that from your Gedolim and my Ketanim we can both make Asher Yotzar.
(Gedolim also being a eupahmism for bowel movements and Ketanim for

Gad Frenkel


End of Volume 14 Issue 37