Volume 14 Number 84
                       Produced: Thu Aug 18 12:13:51 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Americana halakhah
         [Robert Klapper]
Attending college
         [Bruce Krulwich]
College and university
         [David A Rier]
Conferences on Shabbat 14/72
         [Neil Parks]
Microwave Ovens
         [Jules Reichel]
prayers for the sick on Shabbat
         ["Maslow, David"]
Stories about Kotel and Well of Miriam
         [Joyce Starr]
Yeshivos and Careers
         [Michelle K. Gross]
Yeshivos, Careers, Colleges etc.
         [ Dr. Jeremy Schiff]


From: Robert Klapper <rklapper@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 17:39:07 -0400
Subject: Americana halakhah

1)  A friend of mine is interested in personal/anecdotal responses as 
well as responsa relating to the celebration of Thanksgiving.  

[ This was discussed here for a while a few years ago. Check out:
	Thanksgiving [v5n20, v5n23-v5n24, v5n26, v5n28, v5n36]
	Thanksgiving/Halloween [v5n19]
	Thanksgiving/ Rosh Chodesh [v5n27]
	Thanksgiving and other Celebrations [v5n20]
	Thanksgiving and Tachanun [v5n32]
	Thanksgiving and Turkeys [v5n41]
	Thanksgiving thoughts [v5n27]

2)  I've been bothered for many years by what seems to me to be an 
intolerable incidence of racism in the halakhic community.  This Shabbat, 
for example, I was waiting for minchah when I heard one man say to 
another, who had just walked in, that he "did (inaudible) like a 
nigger".  The second person said nothing in reply, and the first man 
repeated the comment with a laugh.
	I've had this situation with kids often, and been hampered by a 
lack of specific sources to cite forbidding such language.  If anyone can 
provide sources or suggest sevarot, I'd be highly appreciative.
	I'd also be interested in knowing if my impression that this is 
not an isolated phenomenon is corroborated or contradicted by 
listmembers' experiences.  (I'm aware that i'm assuming it is in fact 
forbidden, and I'm clinging to the fond if illusory hope that no one out 
there disagrees.)


From: Bruce Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 10:36:10 -0400
Subject: Attending college

I think that the issue of attending college is a complex one, which has
alot of facets to it.  I am ONLY addressing a point raised recently by
Jerry Altzman, not the general question of attending vs not attending.
Jerry wrote:

> > The Yeshiva world is opposed to college education not so much for the
> > reason that doing so is to dropout from the world of Yissachar, but out
> > of concern that the atmosphere of colleges will corrupt the Torah
> > outlook and personality of those who attend.  Were colleges to be free
> > of attitudes that are antagnistic of Torah, it would be well accepted
> > that the average Yeshiva student should attend college.  Agudah promotes

> I find this line of argument a bit specious. After 18+ years of
> "indoctrination" (I can't think of a better word here) wouldn't
> J. Random Bochur be a little "resistant" to most, if not all, of the
> "lures" in a secular education? Haven't we been training them that
> derekh torah [the path of Torah] is the way they should be going?

You're missing the whole point that the previous poster (Chaim Twerski)
was making.  The question is not one of the "lures" of secular
education, but one of the environment, attitudes, and lifestyle found on
college campuses today.  This is different from the rest of the secular

> My proof for this, sorry to say, is only anectodal: go to Columbia U. once
> and examine the kehillah [group] there

I don't know the Columbia kehila well, but at other schools I've seen
plenty of "frum" guys wearing their Kippas while dancing (in some cases
making out) with non-Jewish women at college parties.  I know life-long
academy kids who ended up intermarrying.  I know Yeshiva-bred kids who
ended up involved in non-traditional "movements" after attending
colleges with strong kehilas.

I think it's VERY wrong to underestimate the pressures that a college
atmosphere puts on kids.  It's completely seperate from the secular
world in general, and it's not an intellectual issue.

Now, this says nothing about attending college at night, or attending
commuter schools, both of which are in practice done by Yeshiva kids who
are interested in professions that require it.  And, while I'm on the
subject, the fact is that the Rabbaim of their Yeshivas (at least in
America) support them, albeit only after the decision has been made, and
keep them as part of the Yeshiva communities.  As much as they do
discourage it, in practice it does happen and they are quite supportive
of the kids involved.

Dov (Bruce) Krulwich


From: David A Rier <dar6@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 07:50:58 -0400
Subject: College and university

A recent posting is correct that there are plenty of yeshiva educated
students at Columbia who do not stray from the path.  As someone who is
in his 13th year at Columbia, I can attest to this.  However, there is
another side to this that bears on the previous discussion of the
chareidi approach to university.  When I was an undergrad, and thus more
"plugged in" to the Columbia student community, I knew way, way too many
people who came wearing kipot and keeping Shabbos, and left doing
neither.  In each case, they were the product of "modern" yeshivas
which, compared with the chariedi type, are designed to help prepare
their grads to face the real world.  Now, obviously, one might say that
these students were "high-risk" going into Columbia, and might have
strayed regardless.  In some cases this seems true, from what I know of
the people involved, but not in others.  This is not about blaming their
yeshivas either.  It is about an honest, balanced appraisal of the true
risks of attending a univeristy, even one in NY with a large frum
community.  In the name of balance, I will add that plenty, perhaps (but
only perhaps) the majority of those who enter observant, leave
observant.  Also, there is a whole segment who grow more observant in
college (as a public school product of NCSY, I was one of them).  I
don't say that people should not go to COlumbia.  What I do say is that
people should take the risks very seriously, and, for that matter, not
regard chareidim as lunatics for their aversion to university.  I knew
several "yeshivish" guys at Columbia, who tended to show up only for
classes--they would learn in yeshiva in the morning, live at home, etc.
Also, I can think of very few guys who learned in Israel for a year
before/during college, and then left non-Observant.  Obviously there's
selection bias at work here, but there are ways to minimize the risks.
In fact, in Yated Ne'man (surely no pillar of modern Orthodoxy), Rav
Shach was recently quoted as saying (to Israelies as a whole,
presumably, not to his followers) that they should send their kids to
yeshiva and then to yeshiva gedola after HS, and then, if they want to
go into university and the professions, fine, but at least they would
have a solid foundation.  As a community, perhaps we should not be so
non-chalant about shipping HS grads directly to Penn or Columbia without
all of them learning seriously for a year or a few first.  As I sit here
thinking, I could write a LONG list of people who left Columbia (surely
one of the best places for a frum college student, after YU) less or
non-observant.  Each case was a MAJOR, MAJOR tragedy for klall yisroel.
  On a partly related matter--a posting not long ago attributed the
apparent scarcity of gedolim candidates to the relative affluence of our
society.  That may explain part of it.  But a major part surely must be
that so many of our brightest minds stop learning full-time after HS, or
a year in Israel.  This is the flip side of all those Jews at Columbia,
Penn, Einstein, Bell Labs, law firms.  In eastern Europe, med school was
simply not an option for frum people, in general.  Today people have the
choice, and "my son the doctor" can displace "my son the posek" for some
people.  None of the above is meant as a flame (I'm at Columbia, not in
yeshiva, after all), but it does put some things in perspective.


From: Neil Parks <neil.parks@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 14:11:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Conferences on Shabbat 14/72

 >>: Avi Witkin <msavi@...>
 >>Last year a friend of mine who is in medicine asked a well known rabbi in
 >>New York if he can attend a course from Thursday through Sunday.
 >> ...
 >> ...   I am not sure exactly why this rabbi said it is mutar. I know
 >>other Rabbis say it is asur.

Perhaps because it has to do with medicine?  The knowledge that
your friend gained by taking the course might enable him save a

NEIL PARKS   <neil.parks@...>


From: <JPREICHEL@...> (Jules Reichel)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 15:17:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Microwave Ovens

No microwave ovens are completely sealed. The cited information is in
error.  First, dangerous to the users, and two, interferes with the
radiation.  Also, the information that the walls cannot get hot is IMHO
in error. The heating is inadvertent but it results from steam and other
liquid which is on the walls. Ordinarily, that's not a lot, so you won't
burn your hand, but it does get warm. Try it. You'll see. Try right
under a plate which contains refrigerated or frozen stuff. It's warmer
yet.  I've noticed that some plate shapes cause greater heat underneath
than others probably because it's harder to vent the steam.



From: "Maslow, David" <MASLOWD@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 12:51:00 edt
Subject: prayers for the sick on Shabbat

I would appreciate some comment on an observation made at Saturday morning
services at a number of Orthodox synagogues in the northeast US and Toronto.
There appears to be a great proliferation in the number of prayers for the
sick (misheberachs l'cholim) at the time of the Torah reading.  Is this
because (a) more people are getting sick, (b) there is a greater reliance on
prayer for cures, or (c) it has become fashionable to make such a prayer for
anyone at all infirm?

Further, what are the halachic implications of this in terms of (a) making
individual prayers of request on Shabbat in non-emergency or non-acute
situations, and (b) delaying the service (tirchei d'tziburah)?  I have seen
these last more than 15 minutes in a large congregation.

Finally, any suggestions for dealing with this, if it indeed is a problem.


From: Joyce Starr <jstarr@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 10:36:17 -0400
Subject: Stories about Kotel and Well of Miriam

Avrum Goodblatt (the Shamash Project) suggest that you may be able to
help me identify stories about the history of or personal stories
related to the Kotel.  I am writing a book for Harper Collins related to
the spirituality of the Kotel.

On a different topic (a second book for Henry Holt), I am also seeking
historical tales related to the "Well of Miriam" or other biblical items
related to women and water.

Thank you.   Joyce Starr  <jstarr@...>


From: <mgross@...> (Michelle K. Gross)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 10:37:12 PDT
Subject: Re: Yeshivos and Careers

An issue of Money magazine this past month had a feature on the finances 
of a family with eleven children. The father makes about $50K working at 
GM; they live in a modest neighborhood; the mother insists on growing much 
of their own food and she gave her tips on wise shopping; the teen-agers 
all have part-time jobs.  Some of the children go to a (Catholic) parochial 
school, depending on the family's finances.

Instead of lamenting the expense of living Jewishly, it would be more
helpful to do as the Money article has done: illustrate just how it is
possible for a family to succeed. This could provide an inspiring model!


From: <schiff@...> ( Dr. Jeremy Schiff)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 18:51:55 +0200
Subject: Yeshivos, Careers, Colleges etc.

Although I would like to restrain myself from moss gathered by the
stone that Arnie Lustiger set rolling, I cannot let some of Chaim Twerski's
comments (m.j14,76) get past me.

First a minor issue:
"Were colleges free of attitudes antagonistic of Torah, it would be well
accepted that the average Yeshiva student should attend college". 
This isn't the case; there are few haredim standing in line for Bar Ilan
or Y.U., both of which are certainly not antagonistic to any brand of
orthodox Judaism, and both of which boast quality batei midrash on their
campuses, and as an intrinsic part of the lifestyles they promote. There
should be no pretence on this issue: the haredi/agudah community is (at 
least in practice) opposed to secular education per se, and that's why
they don't seek top college educations for their children.

And now the main issue: Chaim's main argument is that if you want to
have a large family you have to go into business, or into law or medicine,
because that's the only way you can support them. I have 3 complaints -
first, this argument is based on American reality; I couldn't possibly have 
been a university lecturer in the USA because I wouldn't have taken home
nearly enough. But in Israel, I'm relatively well paid (it's still tough,
but that's another story), PLUS I teach and interactive with Jews, so
the practice of my profession is many times more meaningful to me. 
Second complaint - as anyone in business knows, the potential issurim
(prohibitions) you might fall into, are many - ribit (interest), ona'ah
(overcharging), gneivat daat (misrepresentation) etc. It's way safer to
be a computer programmer, a street sweeper etc. Finally, the idea that I
should go into business because that's the only way I'll
feed the children does not seem to me to sit well with any philosophy
of life - if you're the kind who wants solid financial security, then to
bring children into this world on the assumption that your business will
succeed is hardly consistent; but if you're the kind who lives by his faith,
(to hackney Habakuk) at least to some minor extent, surely you want to choose
your calling in life according to what you think you can do best!



End of Volume 14 Issue 84