Volume 14 Number 65
                       Produced: Wed Aug  3  1:19:44 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baruch Hashem l'Olam
         [Art Werschulz]
Cheating and Cable T.V.
         [David Charlap]
Kosher microwave ovens?
         [Jonathan Katz]
Lying, cheating, etc.
         [David Levy]
p'sukim fragments
         [Danny Skaist]
Rabonim in Poland
         [Percy Mett]
Stealing Cable TV Services
         [Michael Broyde]
Yeshiva Tuitions
         [Esther R Posen]
Yeshivah tuition
         [Meyer Rafael]


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 09:55:19 -0400
Subject: Baruch Hashem l'Olam


I seem to recall that these verses date from the days when the
synagogues were outside the towns.  These extra pesukim were inserted
to give time for latecomers to catch up, so that everybody could go
home together, which provided an extra measure of safety.  This was
considered unnecessary on Shabbat or Yom Tov.  I don't know if this is
because the lengthening of Maariv for Shabbat and Yom Tov (more
singing) allowed stragglers to catch up, or whether because it was
felt that the holiness of the day gave extra protection.

Also the 18 "Hashem"s make up for the lack of a reader's repetition of
the Amidah.  This is analogous to the "magein avot" bracha recited
after the Maariv amidah on Friday night, which paraphrases the seven
brachot of the amidah, serving as something of a reader's repetition.

I seem to recall that the source for this was the Hertz Siddur, but I
may well be mistaken.

   Art Werschulz (8-{)}  "You can't make an ondelette without breaking waves."
   InterNet:  <agw@...>
   ATTnet:    Columbia University (212) 939-7061
              Fordham University  (212) 636-6325


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 12:42:12 -0400
Subject: Cheating and Cable T.V.

Jeff Korbman <KORBMANJ@...>
>The discussions regarding the boundaries of cheating/G'navos Daas / and
>stealing, remind me of a question that someone once asked that I wasn't
>sure how to answer: Is "stealing" cable t.v. considered "stealing" from
>a halachic viewpoint?

I can think of a few things:

1) Chillul Hashem isn't an issue.  This is something you're doing in
   the privacy of your own home.  Outsiders won't even know unless you
   tell them.  Now, if you go around telling people, then that's a
   Chillul hashem.

2) You're not physicially stealing anything.  The signal is being
   broadcast whether or not you hook the TV up to the jack.  Any
   expense being encountered by the cable company is being encountered
   even if you don't hook up a set to the jack.

3) #2 would not apply if the line was dead and you went to the box on
   the street and re-attached it.  In this case, your action may end
   up costing the company real money (they might have to boost their
   signal, and it may cause problems with other lines that would have
   to be repaired.)

4) WRT adding additional extensions when you're only paying for one, I
   would think that this isn't allowed.  Once you subscribe to
   service, you sign a contract that states what you may and may not
   attach to the line.  This contract is binding via dina d'malchuta
   dina, (and if it's signed by kosher witnesses, it's even halachicly

5) WRT #4, many cable companies let you attach extra sets.  They've
   decided that enforcing those contracts is nearly impossible.  They
   usually just charge for the number of wires entering the house and
   the number of decoder boxes you have to rent, and for the labor of
   running wires through your walls.

I don't know what the psak halacha would be here (can you use such
cable without notifying the company?), but I would think that the
issue would be similar to that of returning lost merchandise.

if you move into a house, and the previous owners left stuff behind,
can you keep it for yourself?  Can you throw it out?  Must you hold it
in case the original owners return?  For how long?  Must you try to
contact the original owners?  etc.

A case more similar to this one: You move into a house, and the
previous owners left stuff behind that they were renting (maybe some
furnature - it's clear that it was rented).  The owners of the stuff
(for whatever reason) never come to claim their merchandise.  What is
YOUR halachic obligation here?  To contact the previous owners?  To
contact the owners of the stuff?  Can you just do nothing and use the
stuff until the owners come looking for it?  Does it matter if the
stuff was rented from Jews or non-Jews?  What if you don't know?  Etc.


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 94 12:20:37 EDT
Subject: Kosher microwave ovens?

 I was wondering if anyone has information regarding the (genrally
accepted?)  halacha that microwave ovens have to be kept kosher (similar
to keeping range- top stoves and baking ovens kosher). Specifically,
what are the reasons for this halahca?
 As far as stoves go, the halacha (to me) can be rationalized: we are
worried that some non-kosher food is still on the stove, and we don't
want this getting into our food. However for conventioanl ovens, and
even more so for microwave ovens, I do not understand the halacha. Are
we worried about non-kosher particles in the air?? (consider the way a
microwave oven heats food- the oven never touches the food itself). If
this is the case, then a whole host of other problems arise.
 Or, was the reason some sort of siyag so that we remember to be
scrupulous with stoves?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive - Room 251B
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: David Levy <dlevy@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 22:24:44 -0400
Subject: Lying, cheating, etc.

In the discussion concerning lying, cheating, etc. some doubts have been
expressed concerning the extent of the prohibitions.

For background to the extent to which dishonesty is condemned by the
sources, I recommend an excellent little book: "The Dimension of Jewish
Ethics", by Rabbi Dr J Newman, published in 1987 by the Council of Young
Israel Rabbis.

It is clear that it is forbidden to lie, cheat, deceive, defraud or to
mislead.  A person may not make a promise he does not intend to keep, or
lead another to a misunderstanding. This extends very far indeed.
Examples include
  do not sell an item with a hidden defect
  do not invite a person when you know they cannot accept
  do not say you are giving a good recommendation if you are not
  do not cause a person unnecessary trouble (reagrded as a form of stealing)

The last of these impinges on the recent discussions relating to chumras
(stringencies). Rav Yisrael Salant says "One is not allowed to cause
extra trouble by taking a strict view. That too is regarded as stealing;
stealing the strength of a person". That is to say, one can keep chumras
if one wishes, but not if the effect is to cause trouble to another.

There is a Gemora (sorry, I don't have the source to hand - can anyone
give the correct citation?), which says "Let your Yes be righteous and
your No be righteous.... the seal of Hashem is truth."  The same gemora
compares those who lie to the people of the generation of the flood, to
be judged as harshly.

Dave Levy


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 05:40:27 -0400
Subject: p'sukim fragments

>Eli Turkel
>     Rav Soloveitchik said the entire verse since he felt that not
>splitting verses was more important than a side reference to death.

What do those who don't split verses say when they go hagba ? Chabad is the
only ones, to my knowledge that says a different "v'zot hatora..".



From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 09:24:02 -0400
Subject: Rabonim in Poland

MP> Regarding yeshivos which appear to cater only to producing the Kli
MP> Kodesh, the Rav, the Rosh Hayeshiva etc. I thought it would be of
MP> interest this story I heard. 
MP> A Baal Habos came to visit the yeshiva of Rav Meir Shapiro,
MP> Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin and saw 500 talmidim there learning. he
MP> asked the Rosh Hayeshiva, "Where are you going to find positions
MP> for all of these? There aren't that many positions for a Rav etc.
MP> in all of Poland? Rav Shapiro answered," Only one will become a
MP> Rav, the other 499 will learn how to appreciate a Rav." 
MP> Mordechai Perlman <abeperl@...> 

Even if the gist of this story is true (and it does have the ring of truth
about it) the details are not. There were more than 900 kehillos in pre war
Poland, including many large kehillos with many appointments for Rabonim.

Perets Mett


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 10:31:56 -0400
Subject: Stealing Cable TV Services

The question about stealing cable telivision services is a very
interesting one.  The problem is that one is not stealing a product, but
rather a service, and providing the additional service costs the
providor nothing.  At a certain level, the damage done when one legally
"steals" cable tv is zero.  This problem is explicted addresses with in
Choshen Mishpat 363:6-11.  It is fairly clear from those rules that even
if the damage to the seller is actually zero, if he is selling the
product, then one must pay as damages the fair market value of the
product.  There were a number of takanot on this issue after chatimat
hatalmud, so one has to be careful here about checking closely what the
din is.  The case changes in result according to many authorities if the
service provider is not a doing this for the sake of business, but for
some other reason, unrelated to finance.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Tue 02 Aug 1994 10:11:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Tuitions

Just a couple of additional thoughts on yeshiva tuition

Using a local municipality's cost per pupil may be misleading since I
believe it includes costs not usually included in a yeshiva budget i.e

- costs for pension, medical insurance etc. not usually included in
yeshiva salaries

- the figure represents an average and icludes special services for
learning and emotionally disabled children

- costs for special facilities like sports, labs, and libraries that far
surpass the facilities I've seen in most yeshiva day schools

Also, bake sales are not going to do much to reduce the tuition in most
schools.  Good fundraising in most yeshivot is accomplished by full time
paid "professional" fundraisers who are either on percentage or take a

I do not think that yeshivas are pocketing the money they take from
parents.  I do think they have decided to "cover the budget" with
tuition which takes alot less effort and is less "embarassing" than
fundraising.  Just get people to pay for the services they use.  I
believe the "old" Torah Umesorah model was for tuition to cover 1/3 of
the budget. (Sorry but I don't recall where the other 2/3rds was coming
from - perhaps some combination of fund raising, government aide etc.)



From: Meyer Rafael <mrafael@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 1994 09:48:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Yeshivah tuition

> From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)

>                                        In addition, many parents
> (especially those with more than one child) get tuition reductions.

On the topic of yeshiva tuition, I noted with interest that one
informed observer stated that my proposal for a scholarship fund was
'illegal'. I can't comment on the legality of my proposal under 
American taxation law. However, I would like to point out that 
jurisdiction of American taxation law is *not* international and the  
comments about legality only pertain to a single jurisdiction.

More importantly, Yeshivas do routinely give discounts to parents.
There is no impropriety in these discounts to tuition fees. They are
often, perhaps usually, granted according to the ability of the
parents to pay the tuition.  

If that ability to pay *non* tax deductable tuition is reduced by the
tax deductable donations of the parents, then the Yeshiva is
certainly entitled to grant the discount. That the donations of the
parents would have been, in my proposal, to a fund that provides
tuition support to *any* needy student is a benefit to the Yeshiva
and its parent body.

As an aside, I would like to suggest that Yeshivas should evaluate
the ability to pay notion carefully. If two sets of parents with
equal income and equal family size apply for 'fee relief' and but one
has a smaller disposable income because (for example) he is
contributing more generously to his own retirement fund, should he
receive a larger discount than his fellow parent?

Finally I think that the proposal that the community should pay for 
education has much merit at the theoretical level. I suspect it would 
be difficult to pursuade a general Orthodox community that this is 
now mandatory. In other words, it would be a workable notion with a 
long established community but would be difficult to establish in 
Orthodox communities outside of Israel. 

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


End of Volume 14 Issue 65