Volume 14 Number 88
                       Produced: Sun Aug 21 22:18:14 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Colleges and universities, redux
         ["Jerry B. Altzman"]
Microwave ovens
         [Stephen Phillips]
Yeshivos and careers
         [Bruce Krulwich]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 1994 22:12:05 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I would like to take this opportunity to make a few announcements of
Simchot amoung our members (if you have a simcha that you would like to
share with the rest of us, just let me know, and I will try and get it

Mazal Tov to:

Michelle Gross on her recent marriage
Ron Greenberg on his engagement
Eric and Cheryl Mack on the birth of a baby girl - Aliza Rivka
Steve and Ann-Sheryl White (they are "hard copy" members) on the birth
    of a boy 

I'm pretty sure that there was at least one more that someone mentioned
to me and I forgot, so please send it in and I will try and mention
it. .

May we all have many Simchot together!

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: "Jerry B. Altzman" <jbaltz@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 14:55:50 -0400
Subject: Colleges and universities, redux

I seem to have stirred up a small discussion here, and unfortunately for
me, it is with people who seem to know more than I do in many
areas. Nonetheless, ignorance never stopped me from (re)opening my
mouth, so...

In m.j V14#84, Bruce Krulwich writes: (my text has the gozinta in front of

	> 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 world.

I think I may have been a bit obtuse--I did indeed mean the "lures" of the
environment at universities, &c.

With all respect, you've missed my point here as well. Why aren't our bochurim
more resistant to the attitudes, whatnot, on college campuses? Haven't they
spent time learning and being "indoctrinated" into derekh torah such that they
can resist even the extremely permissive attitudes towards (e.g.) sexuality
and (what passes as) debate on points which we (as religious Jews) take on

To wit: why can't our imaginary bochur of example explain why he can't join
his friends at school drinking on Friday night (or Saturday, for those who
feel that bar-hopping doesn't qualify as Melaveh Malkah) and yet still remain

Bruce continues:

	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.

Not being *that* far out of the pressures of college myself, I think that the
pressures of the secular world aren't that far replaced from that in the
dormitory. Different, but not really much less. 

David Rier, who attends my alma mater, writes (somewhat tangentially):

	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

I wonder, what would have happened if these folk had remained in yeshivah for
an extra 4 years first. Would they have remained "frum" or would they (just as
well) also left frumkeit? 

We can speculate until shabbat but we won't be able to establish a good causal
link between the type of yeshivah (or lack thereof) and how students come out
after college.

	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

This is really my point of contention. These "risks" of attending university:
what exactly are they? Why are they so risky, and how can we train students
to avoid them or be resistant to them? 

Please note that I am *not* debating whether or not college is permitted or
not. I am working on the (faulty?) assumption that it is, and why we aren't
training our children to be able to handle it. We teach them English and math,
why not emunah and debate? 

Wholly tangentially, a personal anecdote:

	  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.

When I was growing up, before my bar-mitzvah in the little Conservative shul
where my parents and I went, I expressed a desire to maybe someday go into the
rabbinate (I still haven't given up on that :-) The saddest comment I heard
was from one of the yentas there:

"Rabbi--what kind of job is that for a Jewish boy?"

She was serious. (People wonder about my disenchantment with Conservative
Judaism :-)

jerry b. altzman   Entropy just isn't what it used to be      +1 212 650 5617
<jbaltz@...>  jbaltz@columbia.edu  KE3ML   (HEPNET) NEVIS::jbaltz


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 08:15:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Microwave ovens

> From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
> 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
> sealed?

Well, I now have before me the Sefer I quoted. It is called "Re'ach
HaBosem - A Guide to the Laws of Kashrus" by Rabbi Moshe Morgan. It was
published in 1989 by C.I.S. Communications Inc. of Lakewood, NJ and it
has Haskomos from several Gedolim.

It takes the form of questions that are then answered in detail. Both
the questions and answers are in Hebrew and English (on opposite pages)
and there is a detailed commentary in Hebrew (called "Arugas HaBosem")
which discusses all the sources.

The Sefer is in two volumes and Question 31 of Volume 2 goes as

31. How should our gas or electric ovens be used in reference to baking
meat and dairy meals?


It is permissable to use our ovens for baking meat and dairy foods in
the following way: Firstly, before changing from meat to dairy or
vice-versa the oven should be thoroughly cleaned between uses.
Secondly, the racks should be changed (there should be separate racks
for meat and dairy). This applies both to baking and broiling.  However,
if liquids are to be placed in the oven (ie. a pot of milk, or a pot of
meat soup or meat cooked with a lot of soup) then in addition to
thoroughly cleaning the oven and changing the racks there is an opinion
that one must wait at least 24 hours before changing the oven's use
unless the pots are completely covered while in the oven.

A microwave oven can not be used for both meat and dairy foods. This
would apply even if the oven was thoroughly cleaned between uses and no
liquids were placed in the oven. The reason for this is that a microwave
oven unlike a regular oven is a completely closed box thereby enabling
the hot steam [Zi'oh] from the baking foods to prohibit the oven
surfaces. Also the place where the food rests gets very hot.

Therefore, separate microwave ovens should be used for meat and dairy
foods. If a microwave oven had not been used at all for at least a full
year, then it could be permitted after cleaning it to change its use
from meat to dairy or vice-versa.

End of quote.

It seems to me IMHO that the following points could be raised regarding
the above:-

1. As has been pointed out, microwave ovens do have openings to give

2. Does hot steam [Zi'oh] coming into contact with a cold surface
(ie. the metal walls of the microwave oven) render the surface meaty or
milky (as the case may be), and does it make a difference as to which
surface it is (ie. the top, bottom or sides)?

3. If one always covered the food when cooking it (especially if one
cooked a chicken in a roasting bag) would that make a difference?

4. The advice given in London for kashering a microwave oven for Pesach
is to boil up a glass of water in the oven for 5 minutes.  Would Rabbi
Morgan allow this, and if so why cannot this be done to kasher from meat
to dairy and vice-versa?

5. Regarding the point that "the place where the food rests gets very
hot", do not most microwave ovens have a removable dish that revolves on
a turntable and one could therefore have one each for meat and dairy
foods. The advice I received from the Rov I consulted (see my previous
posting) was that the dish did not need to be changed.  Further, are not
many of the dishes made of glass which is not susceptable to becoming
meaty or milky?

6. Are we talking about different types of microwave oven?

Stephen Phillips


From: Bruce Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 13:29:10 -0400
Subject: Yeshivos and careers

I can understand the points that Chaim Twerski makes about professions
vs business, but disagree in a few ways.

First of all, his limud from Yaacov Avinu is interesting, but perhaps it
is appropriate for us to learn from halachic sources as well.  In the
chiyuv (obligation) of a father to teach his son a profession (discussed
in Gemorah Kiddushin) there are commentaries who say that the obligation
is specifically for teaching a profession, NOT for teaching business.
I'm sure that there are commentaries who disagree, and the distinction
probably had different ramifications then than it does today, but
nonetheless it is a point to take into account.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that I think it's necessary to
look more closely at the current realities of the community.  We're not
flooded with people going into business.  We're not flooded with good
ideas for businesses that aren't being started.  We are, however,
flooded with people scratching out a difficult living (much less than
the 60-75K that Chaim discussed) doing low-end administrative work.  The
majority of people in this situation will probably never go beyond this,
due to the lack of education needed to move up within an existing
(secular) business, and due to the lack of capital, opportunities,
ideas, financial security, and perhaps chutzpa, needed to start a
business of their own.  Certainly we should try to enable people in this
situation to start businesses and the like, but the reality is that only
a limited number will do so, and only a limited number of them will
succeed.  On the other hand, if a reasonable percentage acquired at
least minimal professional education, and made 40-50K instead of 20-25K,
the community as a whole would be in much better shape.  Not as good as
if all these people were making 250K, but that's not a practical choice
at this point.

Dov (Bruce) Krulwich


End of Volume 14 Issue 88