Volume 16 Number 2
                       Produced: Mon Oct 24  0:39:49 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Censorship of Reading
         [Eli Turkel]
Doctors and shabbat
         [Seth Ness]
Goodbye, Zeno
         [Sam Juni]
Kohanim and marriage
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Sex Education
         [Shalom Krischer]
Teaching during davening
         [Eric Jaron Stieglitz]
The good of the many....
         [Joshua W. Burton]
The Truth About the `Monsey Bus'
         [Binyamin Jolkovsky]
Torah and Psychology
         [Shaul Wallach]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 14:25:53 +0200
Subject: Censorship of Reading

    Shaul Wallach gives us a list of proper actions from Bnei Brak.  In
particular he mentions not to read material that is not approved.  I
attend a shiur from a rav from Bnei Brak. He too has told us not to read
secular newspapers (which probably includes mafdal and shas newspapers),
not to listen to speeches of secular political leaders (the incident
quoted was students of Ponovich who went to hear Begin speak) and most
important not to think for ourselves but to let the rabbis think for us.

   Is Shaul suggesting that we have rabbis from Bnei Brak decide what
should be alowed in mail.jewish ? They certainly would not allow any
discussions of the age of the universe (in Bnei Brak the children are
not allowed to go to the planetarium - though they purposely refrain
from discussing the age of the universe). We certainly could not read
magazines like Scientific American which discusses ancient civilzations
etc. In fact many of us could not read our technical journals not to
speak of the NY Times.  The fact that gedolim in previous generations
read these papers is ignored and in fact I know of several charedi
rabbis in America who continue to read the local newspaper so that they can
talk to their congregants.

   I much prefer the approach of Rav Soloveitchik who stressed to us the
importance of thinking for ourselves. Rambam mentions that one is not
allowed to read books pertaining to Avodah Zara (idol worship). There is
a lengthy debate in the Torah Umada journal between Rav Parness and
Prof. David Berger on the scope of this prohibition (of course both this
journal and the works of Rav Soloveitchik are not on the approved
reading list in Bnei Brak).

   I completely agree with Zvi Weiss that the main purpose of getting
"permission" before reading books to give rabbis the means to combat
competition. Instead of arguing with other opinions it is much easier to
say that one simply can't read what the other side has said. Rav Shach,
in his published letters, writes that one should not read the halachic
works of harav Soloveitchik. Similarly other responsa have "paskend"
that one is not allowed to read the works of Rav Soloveitchik and Rav
Kook.  They acknowledge that these rabbis are learned but claim that
especially because they knew how to learn they are more dangerous. So
instead of disagreeing they just outlaw the books, much easier that way!
Reminds me of the papal lists in the middle ages and outlawing Galileo.
I suggest we close down mail.jewish and simply submit our question to
the Bet Din of Rav Wosner who will give the "authoriative" answer to all
questions. Any disagreements will then be outlawed.



From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 00:12:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Doctors and shabbat

david phillips asks why having a non-jewish physicians aide follow you
around on shabbat is not an option for most doctors (as opposed to rav
tendler's son)?

its for two reasons.
1. it violates hospital policy, and may even be illegal
2. the average residents salary is $35,000. I don't really know how much
it would cost to hire a physicians aide for friday nights and shabbattot
and chagim for a year, but its probably close to $10,000. It may really be
financially impossible for most residents to afford this In addition to
repaying over $100,000 worth of medical school debt.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 94 11:59:28 EST
Subject: Goodbye, Zeno

The discussion of Zeno's paradox has left the Talmudic domain, and now is
focusing on intuitive vs. mathematical issues.  I will be delighted to
pursue these issues in E-Mail with others, but I will not use MJ as a medium.


From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 12:32:04 +0500
Subject: Re: Kohanim and marriage

> From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
> After perusing the shulkan aruch, I found the bulk of opinion expressed by
> the mechabeir and commentaries there was that only women who slept
> with someone they are forbidden to marry (possibly only with a threat
> of karet or worse) are forbidden to a kohein.  Even if they didn't
> keep track, as long as most of the men were not forbidden to her to
> marry, she is still eligible for a kohein.  

I recently asked my rav a similar question regarding a possible shidduch
(for someone else--I'm a Levi :-) ).  He paskened without qualification that
a woman who has had intercourse with a Gentile may not marry a kohen.
My understanding of the halacha is that marriage does not exist
between a Gentile and a Jew, as opposed to a forbidden but realizable marriage.


From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 94 10:10:09 EDT
Subject: Sex Education

>>From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
>In Vol. 15 #79, Adina Sherer says:
>>If anything, I would guess that children in the ...
>I disagree with this conclusion: just because a lot of babies are ...

Just to add my two cents (actually two anecdotes) to this thread -
1) When I was taking Chatan Shiurim, my Rebbe insisted on giving me
a "sex-ed" class (it was a 1-1 Shiur).  He told me that he had taught
too many students who just had no clue, so now he made a practice of
spending some time going over the "basics" just in case, even if the
student knew his basic biology.

2) When I was taking Organic Chemistry, a woman who shared the lab
bench with me, was also a volunteer at the college's "Peer Center".
One day she told me about the Yeshivish (dating, soon to be engaged)
couple that walked in the night before, in tears.  Apparently she
was pregnant, and neither of them knew how it was possible!

Conclusion:  I (personally) am both amused and appalled at the serious
lack of education that can lead to these situations.  (For all those
who are about to flame me, let me point out that I do not say that this
is the norm, I do not have enough statistics; I only state that these
two incidents happened.)


From: Eric Jaron Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 01:43:54 -0400
Subject: Teaching during davening

  I realize that one is not supposed to speak during any part of davening,
however what is one to do if he needs to teach the person sitting next to
  Basically, what I'm asking is whether or not it is OK to interrupt your
own davening to show the person next to you what's going on. On occassion,
I have sat next to people who have obviously been to very few services
before. It would seem as though anybody in this situation is in a catch-22

	1) If you interrupt yourself to answer their questions, or to point
	   out the current place in the siddur, you have interrupted a
	   bracha for conversation.

	2) If you don't help the other person, he may feel completely
	   alienated from the service, and may not return again. (Imagine
	   how strange an Orthodox service may seem if you have never been
	   to one before, and don't know your way around the siddur.)

  My instinct is that teaching someone else how to daven is more important
than your own prayers, even if it means interrupting yourself during
a part of the service. What are the different opinions on the subject?

Eric Jaron Stieglitz    <ephraim@...>
Home: (212) 853-6771            Assistant Systems Manager at the
Work: (212) 854-6020            Center for Telecommunications Research
Fax : (212) 854-2497 (preferred)     (212) 316-9068 (secondary fax)


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 12:46:33 -0400
Subject: The good of the many....

Seth Magot remarks that

> It is interesting that the majority tend to get the punishment for
> the bad minority, but the majority never get the reward for the good
> minority... :-)

It's seldom worthwhile to quibble with smiley-protected comments, but
don't we _constantly_ reap the reward that the good minority brings us?
On a merely secular plane, I don't know how to make a paper clip from
scratch, much less a computer or a Tylenol or a sturdy roof...yet I can
obtain all these things with hardly a passing thought for the clever
people who made them possible and the hardworking people who made them
cheap.  On a more spiritual level, who among us can say what benefits
we have received unknowing from someone who remembers the second highest
form of tzedaka?  And on a cosmic plane, don't we all get the reward of
existence every day for the sake of 36 total strangers?

Some minorities are so small as to be invisible.  You can only see them
indirectly, by the way they light the world.

We're sorry:  the number you      +-------------------------------------------+
have just dialed...is imaginary.  |   Joshua W. Burton        (401)435-6370   |
Please rotate your phone by pi/2, |            <burton@...>           |
and try again.  We're sorry: ...  +-------------------------------------------+


From: Binyamin Jolkovsky <foyer@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 02:56:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Truth About the `Monsey Bus'

I have been monitoring the debate over the so-called Monsey Bus
Controversey.  And for good reason. I am the reporter who first broke
the story for the national Jewish weekly, "Forward."

	Unfortunately, I have found there has been a lot of
misinformation.  I would, for the purpose of debate, like to clarify
some issues.

	The Monsey Trails Company has no seating policy. Men and women
who sit separately do so willingly, following their ideas of
modesty. Several non-observant and gentile passengers ride the bus and,
while most do sit separately, some do not. According to the interviews I
conducted, they had never been harrassed.

	A "mechitzah" (curtain) is on the bus. The company, while
allowing it, has no specific policy reagarding its usage. It is the
passengers that operate it; the company is passive. That should cover
the "funding" issue.

	As for the "Jewish Rosa Parks," she has a reputation on the bus
as a provocateur. According to the non-Chassidim, she has mocked
constantly the majority of her fellow passengers. And, on several
occassions, has attempted to block the Chassidim's enterance by standing
in the middle of the aisle, knowing that according to Jewish law --
Halacha -- the sexes do not have contact with one another without being
married to each other.

	As for the very title "Jewish Rosa Parks," a spokeswoman for
Mrs.  Parks, Eilen Steele, told me that "it is a stretch to equate the
two cases." She said that Mrs. Parks is a "highly spiritual woman who
would never have prevented a prayer group from forming." She also noted
that Mrs.  Parks is a deaconess in her church, and, as such, sits
seperate from the men.

	I hope we can now continue to debate the issue with the facts.

All the best,
Binyamin L. Jolkovsky 


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 12:07:05 IST
Subject: Torah and Psychology

     Zvi Weiss and others have criticized my views on the proper
relation between Torah and psychology. Unfortunately, I suspect that
here too my language was not sufficiently precise to avoid what seems to
me an unnecessary misunderstanding.

     When I spoke of "genuine Torah scholars", what I had in mind
definitely included frum professional people. The only limiting
condition I meant to imply was that their commitment to Torah values
be strong enough to prevent any trangression of prohibitions or damage
through improper treatment. And conversely, I did not mean to imply
that rabbanim are by definition competent to treat psychological
problems. They can likewise cause damage if they are ignorant of
psychology. Thus, I mentioned Mrs. Adahan who, as best as I remember,
is in fact a clinical psychologist. I can also mention Dr. Daniel
Stolper (also in Jerusalem) and Dr. Aharon Rabinowitz (Givatayim,
teaches at Bar-Ilan) as people with solid yeshiva-kollel backgrounds
who are at the same time competent clinical psychologists. In Monsey,
the names of Rabbi Ezriel Tauber and Rabbi Zvi Treves come to mind as
eminent rabbis who are also competent marriage counsellors.

     It is also quite possible that when the Rambam (De`ot 2:1) ruled
that the "mentally ill" (Holei Ha-Nefashot) should go to the "wise men"
(Ha-Hakhamim) for treatment, he himself had in mind people like these.
The reason I say this is that his definition of Hokhma includes both
religious and secular knowledge. Thus, for example, when he rules
(Shabbat 2:11) that one is allowed to violate the Shabbat in order to
call for a midwife, the word he uses is not Meyalledet but Hakhama,
just as in the Mishna itself (Shabbat 129b). It follows that a medical
doctor per se is also called a "wise man".

    There is also not the slightest doubt that the Rambam would support
all the modern methods of treatment, providing that they do not
involve transgressions of Jewish law. And the Rambam would be the last
person on earth to refrain from treating the whole person, his body and
his soul, as an integral unit. There would be no question in his mind
about using either drug therapy or psychological counselling, whichever
be appropriate, according to the cause of his ailment.




End of Volume 16 Issue 2