Volume 14 Number 78
                       Produced: Tue Aug 16 22:46:47 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Business vs. professions
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Chasidim in Israel etc.
         [Stephen Phillips]
conferences on Shabbat
         [Steven M Scharf]
Curves and Cheating
         [Mitchel Berger]
Dating Quota among Yeshivish Right
         [Sam Juni]
Grading on the curve
         [Ellen Golden]
Microwave ovens
         [Percy Mett]
Theft of Services
         [David Charlap]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 22:41:19 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

l'zecher nishmas Esther Rivkah bas Avraham

I have often been able to use this space to announce items of Mazal Tov
to members of the list (and indeed I am remiss in one such which I will
send out tomorrow), but this evening my news is more somber. Last
evening the wife of one of our members (until recently due to email
changes), who has posted here several times, died in a tragic car
fire. She leaves behind her husband Jeff Korbman, and a young child
Aviva. Both Esther (tehey nishmasa tzuruh bitzror hachaim) and Jeff have
dedicated large portions of their time and energy to communal
activities, the Shul, bikur Cholim etc. Jeff's postings here have
definitly trigered some interesting discussions (he posted the question
about "stealing" cable TV). Since I think Jeff is not currently hooked
up, if anyone from the list would like to send him a message of
consolation, send it to me (<mljewish@...>) and I will
print them out and give them to him.

In addition, the Shul here has opened a Tzedakah fund to help pay for
Avivah Jewish education. List members who would like to contribute can
make checks out to Cong. Ahavath Achim (tax deductable) and mark clearly
on the memo area or on a sheet of paper: Aviva Korbman Education
Fund. The checks can either be sent to me (and I'll walk them down the
block to the shul) or the shul.

Avi Feldblum			Cong Ahavath  Achim
55 Cedar Ave			P.O. Box 4242
Highland Park, NJ 08904		Highland Park, NJ 08904

May we all share in Simchos together for all of Klal Yisrael.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 07:49:22 -0400
Subject: `Agunoths

This goes back a few months, but I haven't had a chance to respond to
one response to my suggestion of giving a conditional "get" [writ of
divorce] at the same time as the ketubbah [marriage agreement] is given.
I no longer remember who wrote the response, but one thing he said in it
was just plain wrong: that a get can be given only at the time of a
divorce.  There are numerous discussions in the Gemorrah of conditional,
time-delayed, and retroactive gets, so what I suggested could be done.
Apparently, it isn't done because of either political reasons or
undesired side effects.  Maybe it's time to put those aside to solve the
more serious problem of `agunoth [women whose husbands have left or are
missing and can not remarry].

Lon Eisenberg


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 17:51:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Business vs. professions

Chaim Twerski suggests that business is a better career than a profession
because one makes enough money to support a family that way.   I may
have an idealistic viewpoint, not having to support a family at the moment
yet, and maybe one day I'll regret not having chosen business over a
profession.  However, I think that choice of career should be based on one's
aptitudes and interests, besides the money-making potential.  If one
doesn't have the aptitude or interest in business, not only will the person
be likely to fail, but they might be very unhappy too. Another consideration
could be that one is more likely to contribute something to the world by
having a job they are good at and that they like. One could also rate 
careers on a scale of how much good they contribute to the world (as opposed
to how much money they contribute to one's family's income); this is getting
into controversial waters, but business wouldn't be on the top of that
ranking in my opinion.(Except for those who  make so much money in business
that they can be great philanthropists, but that is very rare and I don't 
thiink could be counted on by someone starting a career.)

Professions different from business, such as teaching, engineering, 
psychology, social work, science research (add your own)(some 
different professions are available at COPE besides business) probably attract
a very different combination of aptitude and interest than people who choose
business.  On a Vocational Interest Inventory test I once took, I scored
way off the scale negatively on anything related to business (e.g. travel
agent and life insurance salesperson).  
Therefore I think it is unfair to lock these people into one job type just 
because they *might* make more money (there is no guarantee of that) by going 
into business (If by business is meant something like diamond-dealing or
stock trader.  Or is something else meant by "business"?) 

aliza berger


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 13:13:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Chasidim in Israel etc.

> From: lehrer%<milcse@...> (Meir Lehrer)
> Now I've even seen people who've degenerated the responsibility of the
> charedims' actions to the point of saying we can't discuss it because
> it's lishon hara (quoting the Chofetz Chaim as their source). Well, this
> is a very sad thing to read for me, and I find it an entirely silly
> approach to this whole topic. If you're going to enter that whole arena
> then you should have also learned that the Chofetz Chaim held that
> something already know by 3 people or more as a result of the event in
> question having been published is not subject anymore to Lishon Hara, as
> it is public knowledge.

I have just returned from a 2 week vacation in the States and I have
been catching up on M.J.

I had hoped that someone would have picked up on the above comment, but
as no-one has I will.

Some years ago I gave a Shiur on Sefer Chofetz Chaim and I recall
dealing with the question of the "Heter" of speaking Loshon Horoh about
a matter that has been told to at least 3 people. I do not have the
Sefer in front of me, but from what I can remember the Chofetz Chaim was
quite reluctant to actually put pen to paper about this "Heter". Having
done so, however, he goes to great lengths to explain the several
conditions that must be satisfied before the "Heter" may be utilised.

Thus it is, IMHO, somewhat dangerous baldly to state that if 3 people
know about it then one has Carte Blanche to broadcast it to all and
sundry. That is why I have placed the word "Heter" in quotation marks,
as it is of very limited application.

Stephen Phillips


From: <StevenS667@...> (Steven M Scharf)
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 21:51:51 -0400
Subject: conferences on Shabbat

A number of subscribers have addressed the issue of whether and how one
can attend an academic conference on Shabbat.  I suppose one could find
conditions under which one could sit in the conference room and listen
to what is being said without violating an halacha per se.  Finding a
heter for actually giving a talk, especially at a medical meeting where
slides are almost always presented, is more difficult but still
possible.  My question is what happens to Shabbat? Shabbat is a gift
from HaShem to Am Yisrael.  To go out of one's way to find halachically
valid excuses to perform an activity which is clearly not part of
Shabbat is to cheapen and diminsh this day.  I have attanded many
conferences which extend over Shabbat.  I make it a rule to suspend the
conference for me until after Shabbat.  In this way one can get beyond
the letter of the law and preserve its spirit.

Steven M Scharf MD PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein
College of Medicine and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 08:15:02 -0400
Subject: Curves and Cheating

When I gave tests I had students who knew the material, and still did
poorly. I had to curve the grades not because they didn't know the
material, rather because I didn't know how to write a test.

Either way, lets get the discussion back on course. On a curved test,
cheating hurts the rest of the class, and where therefor be
nezeq/geneivah (damage or theft)?

What I want to know is which? Where is the line between nezeq and



From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 03:49:03 -0400
Subject: Dating Quota among Yeshivish Right

My daughter's teacher just announced her engagement to her "beshert"
(her intended) groom.  To her friends, she confided proudly that she
comitted herself after only four dates.  As a mental health professional
and as an adult, I ask the obvious -- What in the world is going on
here?  If a youngster makes an impetuous decision, why is she programmed
to be proud of it? And, who is doing the programming? And, WHY are they
doing this programming?  I assume there is a litany of Da'as Torah's
about this (defined as the ruminations of Roshei Yeshiva who are experts
in Talmudic Law), and I'd be most curious about the reasoning for this

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 01:10:17 EDT
Subject: Grading on the curve

I went through a high school that graded on the curve, SCRUPULOUSLY.
I was the unfortunate person who "pulled the curve out of balance" on
one test. The theory of the "curve" is that it equalizes the ability
of the students, the ability of the teacher, and the difficulty of the
test.  I have NEVER liked "the curve", but on one text I scored 98 or
99 out of 100 on a test where the next lower score was something on
the order of 78.  This meant that only one "A" was given (this was a
Departmental Test, 300-some students), and the next highest grade was
B+.  It should go without saying that I did not cheat (ha!...  people
were trying to copy from me...), but I took the test in all innocense.
It bothered me that my super good grade did this, even though honestly
earned.  How much worse if someone had skewed the grades by cheating!

This score DID send a message to the teachers (yes, whichever of you
pointed out that that sort of thing should reflect on the teachers),
and some changes were instituted as a result.

[I guess I should add that I was "universally" vilified for a few
weeks as the one who had skewed the curve on the "French test", so I
had ample time to reflect on this problem.]

V. Ellen Golden


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 07:56:04 -0400
Subject: Microwave ovens

MJ> for either milk or meat, but not both. Further, if one wanted to
MJ> change its use from one to the other one would have to leave it for
MJ> a year before kashering it. From what I can recall, the reason has
MJ> to do with the oven being completely enclosed and sealed.

Our microwave oven has a vent for steam to escape. So it is not
completely sealed. What proportion of microwave ovens are completely

Perets Mett


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 13:46:57 -0400
Subject: Theft of Services

Michael Broyde <RELMB@...> writes:
>The classical example of this found in the rishonim is when I sleep
>in your hotel room without paying rent, and you did not have any
>other tenant to rent it to.  At a certain level no damages were
>suffered.  This is rejected clearly by CM 363:5-6.

Ah, but there are damages.  The room would be cleaned by maid service,
the freeloader probably used electricity and water, etc.  The example
would be one of "no damage" if this was a really cheap hotel that didn't
have any of these services, or if he slept in the garage, or something
similar.  In which case, the question becomes "how can you calculate
damages?"  Your reference to the Shulchan Aruch says that the freeloader
must pay damages.  But what are these damages?  Is it the going price
for the room?  That seems a bit unreasonable unless he displaced a
paying customer.


End of Volume 14 Issue 78