Volume 14 Number 89
                       Produced: Sun Aug 21 22:54:30 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

College and Orthodox Judaism
         [Binyomin Segal]
Prayers for the Sick on Shabbat
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Sex Discrimination and Education/Society
         [Brocha Epstein]
Stealing where no one is hurt - a related question
         [Meylekh Viswanath ]
Too many "Mi She'berachs"?
         [Ezra Rosenfeld]
YU/Stern Divorce rate
         [Joseph Steinberg]


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 16:14:22 -0400
Subject: College and Orthodox Judaism

Rabbi Twerski writes:
>Were colleges free of attitudes antagonistic of Torah, it would be well
>accepted that the average Yeshiva student should attend college. 

Dr. Jeremy Schiff writes:
>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

(Please read the whole paragraph before getting upset!)

Dr Schiff, this is unfortunately _not_ the case. I won't speak much of Bar
Ilan, as my information about it is years old, but YU is indeed
antagonistic to "yeshivish" orthodox. First, what I don't mean. I don't
mean that there is any official sentiment of the administration, its staff,
etc. What I do mean is the cultural mileau.

As so well put by Dov Krulwich
>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

Certainly YU has a more moral environment than Standard US College, but the
environment is still predominately "college". I have a few friends at YU
who are currently home for the summer and they often discuss their
unhappiness of the environment at YU with me. It is this amoral environment
which makes YU antagonistic to frum life.

Now Im _not_ saying that YU could/should do anything different. Certainly
YU is steps ahead of other alternatives, and for those who will go to
college its good that there is this option. However dont think that YU is
all roses and the only barrier to going there is a disdain for secular

And (once Im going to get blasted, I might as well go all the way)
furthermore, under certain conditions YU is worse than a standard secular
school. At YU everyone you are exposed to is "orthodox". You can see
"orthodox" doing all sorts of things that are _not_ Orthodox. For someone
(like a BT) who is still defining their Jewish identity this can be far
more dangerous than seeing non-jews and non-orthodox doing the same things.
(I do not mean to say that these things _never_ happen elsewhere, but YU
has a college campus - things are done in the open with no fear of
discipline. Not true in "yeshiva")



From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 15:13:36 +0500
Subject: Re: Prayers for the Sick on Shabbat

  [David Maslow:]
  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. 
  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.

Many synagogues have begun the practice of making two b'rachot,
one for men, one for women, e.g. after aliyot 5 and 6.  
The rabbi or gabbai begins the Mishebeirach in a strong voice.  
Members of the congregation who will request a healing for someone
stand at this point.

When the r/gabbai reaches, "y'rapeh et hacholeh/ah" 
(may He heal the sick one:), he quietly reads the names of
those people whose names were made known to the synagogue before Shabbat.  
Simultaneously, the standing congregants each say the name of the person(s)
they have in mind.  After a few moments, the r/gabbai continues,
"bis'char zeh..."

This still strikes me as a bit weird, but does address  
David Maslow's concerns.



From: <brocha@...> (Brocha Epstein)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 15:44:24 -0400
Subject: Sex Discrimination and Education/Society

Before I begin, let me describe my background so that my post will not
be misunderstood.  I went to a very Yeshivish all female high school and
seminary -- except for some male teachers and support staff of course,
and immediately afterwards started engineering school where I have been
for the past seven years.  From my own experiences throughout, I see the
potential benefit for some in a single gender student environment in
terms of the ease in creating a serious learning environment.  I
personally did not have this experience.  In fact much the opposite.  In
engineering school all of the classes were between 75% and 100% male.
Although I was the only female (and often religious Jew, I might add) in
some classes, it did not affect me.  In fact, I once "realized" that I
was the only female in the class on the last day when someone casually
asked me if I was.  I attribute this to the fact that I did not relate
to an individual as male or female, but simply as Joe, Mark, Bill, or

As a PhD student in engineering in the US, my contact with
discrimination against people in the Orthodox community because of their
gender or marital status is minimal.  Until this month, it was limited
mostly to general observations.  A little while ago, I made a contact
regarding future employment with a "college" for men where there was
learning in the morning (as a yeshiva) and secular studies in the
afternoon.  I was in contact with two people in charge, one of whom
reacted quite positively (eg wouldn't it be nice to have someone with
your experience teach here -- your skills complement those of the other
faculty) and the other one negatively.  He said that while he would very
much like to be able to hire female faculty, it would be an
impossibility based on the reactions of "yeshiva faculty" (for lack of a
better term) some years ago to a similar situation where a female
candidate applied, but could not be hired since she was female.

My question is: what is the basis for this?  Also, what other messages
are they trying to send about interactions with people of the opposite
gender?  Why is it OK for men to teach women (even Torah) and not for
women to teach men (not Torah)?  (I am speaking in the case not related
to Torah -- i.e. secular studies -- though even with Torah there have
been exceptions -- note discussion on mail-jewish a while back about
women who taught Torah to men).  If there is a Halachik problem with
women imparting information to men in more than a one to one basis which
I assume is "alright" since it is done all the time (see below), then
what are the implications about women teaching mini-courses in industry
and/or giving presentations?  If there is a problem relating on an
individual level, then should all business environments be completely
separate?  As far as I can tell, this last point is not taken as
Halacha, as even the most right-wing institutions I know of (including
the Chassidic ones I know about have women secretaries, administrators,
etc. and male administrators, cleaning staff, etc.).  Additionally, the
secretary at the institution I am speaking of is female.  Where does one
draw the line?  I am not saying that no guidelines are acceptable ever,
though I'm not sure that Halacha mandates them.  For instance, many all
girls schools will only hire male teachers that are married.

Brocha Epstein.


From: Meylekh Viswanath  <PVISWANA@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 14:58:48 EST5EDT
Subject: Stealing where no one is hurt - a related question

Sam Gamoran writes about a 'professional schnorrer' with respect to
carpools.  This question is a very pertinent one, and really applies in
most of the cases that were brought up in the discussion(s) on m.j.  The
general question was: what is the rule in the case of stealing from an
individual if the marginal impact of that theft on the owner's current
profits is zero?  Is this a case of 'zeh neheneh ve zeh lo khaser?'
(This one gains and that one does not lose.)

I think that in business this will rarely be the case, for two reasons.
First, there are fixed costs that have been incurred and must be covered
if the individual is to stay in business (the airline example would fall
under this rubric even if there were no additional cost of fuel, etc;).

Secondly, there would usually be implications for future demand and
supply.  Thus if a flower seller routinely gave away flowers at the end
of the day when the flowers would go to waste anyway, then many people
would prefer to wait till the end of the day and get the almost faded
flowers for nothing, rather than pay the price of fresh flowers (the
fact that refrigeration is available in many cases is clearly irrelevant

Hence, I would venture to suggest that the true long-run marginal impact
on profits of any theft is non-zero, if the individual is in business
(i.e. to make a profit).  However, one case was cited on m.j. (from the
gemore or the shulkhan arukh, I don't remember which), which does seem
to fit the case of zeh neheneh ve zeh lo khaser, without violating
economic reasoning.  This was the case of the homeowner who does not
usually rent out his rooms, and somebody crept in and occupied the room
that was not being used.  This might be the only kind of theft that
would have true zero damages.

Even though in Sam's case, nobody is in the car pool business for a
profit, nevertheless, everybody does desire to minimize the total costs
of getting from work to home and back, and hence this is similar to a
case of operating for profit.

P.V. Viswanath, Rutgers University
Graduate School of Management, 92 New St, Newark NJ 07102
Tel: (201) 648-5899  Fax: (201) 648-1459  email: <pviswana@...>


From: Ezra Rosenfeld <zomet@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 09:44:59 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Too many "Mi She'berachs"?

The problem which David Maslow describes seems to be universal.

I recently spent Shabbat in The Jewish Center on 86th Street in
Manhattan and saw the following custom.

After the various tefillot for the welfare of the government (U.S.A.,
Israel etc.) which are recited by the Rav (with the congregation
standing), he then asks the congregarion to stand in order to say the
"Mi She'berach" for sick people. At that point, the entire congregation
recites the entire "Mi She'berach" together out loud, says the names of
their sick relatives and friends to themselves, and continues aloud
until the end.  The result is that all present say a personal and
therefore more meaningful tefilla and the basic decorum of the shul and
kvod bet ha'knesset is maintained (it also saves time!).

By the way, does anyone know the origin of the (very recent?) custom of
saying separate "Mi She'berachs" for men and women? I do not recall ever
seeing such a thing until the past decade or so. 

And while I am on the topic, the custom in my community (Alon Shevut,
about 23 years old) is that after we say our own personal "yizkor", the
congregation reunites (many have gone out for the personal part of
"yizkor") for the saying (by the "chazzan") of a few communal "yizkors".
These include one for the holocaust victims who died "al kiddush HaShem",
one for the Israeli soldiers who died "al kiddush HaShem" in protection of
Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael, one for the defenders of Gush Etzion
whose valiance and bravery saved Yerushalayim from being captured and
overrun in 1948, and one which remembers (by name, there are about 15)
former residents of Alon Shevut who have passed away.  Interestingly
enough, we separate men from women in that prayer as well ! 

I would suggest to beware the pitfalls of adopting our custom of the
"yizkor" for "members of the shul". I know of two congregations in
Manhattan which do this and since they have been around for nearly a
century, the list goes on forever.

Ezra Rosenfeld


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 10:22:24 -0400
Subject: YU/Stern Divorce rate

Seth Ness wrote that concerning the YU/Stern Divorce rate:

:i'm not sure where this stat comes from, but 5 or 6 years ago someone came
:up with a 50% figure. It turns out that this was completely fabricated and
:to the best of my knowledge, no data exist on which to base the above

The (famous at the time) '50% article' in the Observer (Stern College
Newspaper) said the rate was over 50% -- as it turned out the number *WAS*
fabricated by the article's author -- who never really did any real study.
There were numerous letters to the editor of the Observer in response to 
that article -- all of which claimed that the rate was significantly lower...
The article appeared during the 1991-1992 school year...

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End of Volume 14 Issue 89