Volume 16 Number 15
                       Produced: Fri Oct 28  7:59:23 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Gender Equity in Torah Education
         [Esther R Posen]
Hebrew Question Adverbs
         [Dr Sam Juni]
Leverite Marriage - Yibum and Rabbenu Gershom
         [Michael Broyde]
         [Harry Weiss]
         [Zvi Weiss]
Salary in Chinuch...
         [Zvi Weiss]
Shomer Shabbos musicians
         [Claire Austin]
Single Fathers
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Vaad Hayashivot and Driver's Licences
         [Steven Shore]
Wearing a watch on Shabbat
         [Mark Katz]


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 09:47:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Gender Equity in Torah Education

The gender inequity you describe is common in every school system that I
know about (of course this is a limited amount of information at best.)
I would wonder what the base salaries of "rebbeim" are versus the base
salary of "morot".  I believe the pay scale follows the laws of supply
and demand.



From: Dr Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 00:36:28 EST
Subject: Hebrew Question Adverbs

I'm doing some research into the relative complexity of question adverbs
across different languages/cultures. My thesis is akin to the
formulation based on the complexity of snow-related adverbs among the
Eskimo -- that concise descriptors correlate with clearly formulated
conceptualization, while circumlocutions indicate a lack of
willingness or ability within a culture to deal with material
directly. Thus, it is suggested that lack of a clear word to connote
aspecific question adverb connotes a lack of empirical orientation with
regard to that mode of questioning, and indicates, instead, an
acquiescent mode.  (Cf, for a long shot example, the use of "many" to
indicate any number larger than 4 in some African tribal languages,
where large numbers are not relevant in a specifc manner.)

I have examined What, When, How, How Many, Where, Why, Who, Whose, as
well as specifc combination question (e.g., either/or, "M'muh
Nafsheich").  For instance, Spanish/French are unique in having one word
for "How many."  Hebrew's compound word "Kama" seems derived from an
elementary combination translating to "Like what." "Why" is unique to
English, while almost all other languages use the compound "For What."
Insofar as I can tell, "How" is not a common word in Torah, appearing
seldom in Mishneh Torah (D'varim) as "Eich", but more commonly as "What
is this." "Where" seems quite rare too as a non- compounded concept in
Torah. When is often conjugated into the verb, which seems to reduce it
in Hebrew to the tense conjugation (e.g., Keshe...ochal -- when I will

My Hebrew knowledge, especially insofar as words evolving in texts, is
not as strong as it is for other languages. Any input here would be


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 15:45:02 EDT
Subject: Leverite Marriage - Yibum and Rabbenu Gershom

One of the poster's impleid that the decree of rabbenu gershom
prohibited leverite marriages (*yibum*).  This is simply an error of
fact.  In the standard yibum ceremony conducted by ashkenakim the beit
din explictly tells the man that the decree of rabbenu gershom does not
apply to him.  Much more can be written on the topic of prohibiting
something permitted by the torah.  As is widely known, Taz asserts in
numerious places that the sages cannot do this, and most authorties
argue.  A long time ago I wrote a short peice on this in volume 19 of
Beit Yitzchak, the torah publication of Yeshiva University.


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 94 22:49:45 -0700
Subject: Rachel

Until I read Shaul Wallach's Posting in MJ 15-99, I thought that, though
I vehemently disagree with his viewpoints regarding women and the
relationship between men and women, his viewpoints may represent those
of the extreme right wing element of the Charedi community.  After this
posting it is obvious that his opinions are far from that which would be
expressed by any legitimate Charedi.

The denigration of our matriarch Rachel is not appropriate nor is it
correct.  He implies the lack of acceptable descendants from Rachel.
The exile in Egypt was in no way due to Rachel, Yaacov or Yosef.  This
exile was already predicted to Avraham before Yaacov's father Yitzchak
was even born.

His description of Yosef's "affair" with Photiphar's wife in
contradiction to the traditional interpretation of what happened.
Benjamin was not separated from his father (other than the length of the
trip).  This was just a ploy by Yosef to see if his brothers truly did

There have been many great leaders descended from both Yosef and
Benyamin.  Yehoshuah was a descendant of Ephraim.  Shaul, Yonatan and
Mordechai were all descendants from Benyamin.

There were good and there were evil among the descendants of all of the
Tribes.  This in no way lessens the greatness of Yaacov or Rachel or



From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 10:02:20 -0400
Subject: Rights

Re Jonathan Baker's assertion of "rights" -

1. Before analyzing "rights", there are several other factors that have
   to be factored in.  These include:

 a. the authority of CHAZAL to prohibit activities permitted at the
   Torah level.  This prohibition appears to have the Torah Authority of
   "Lo Tasur ...." which requires us to listen to CHAZAL.
 b. the fact that one is not allowed to abrogate matters that have
   already been treated as "assur".  The Gemara is pretty clear that
   "Devarim Ha- mutarim V'acherim Nahagu Bahem Issur" -- permitted
   matters that people have accepted as Assur may not be unconditionally
 c. Communities have the authority and power to enact Gezerot and
   Takkanot to "restrict" people.  It is quite possible that such
   matters ALSO have the status of "Neder" -- a "Communal Vow" that
   cannot be broken.
 d. In matters of p'sak, I CANNOT simply "leave" if I do ont like the
   P'sak.  It is normally higly improper to "shop around" if I do not
   like the P'sak that I received AND it is improper for another Posek
   to reverse the P'sak unless there is a case of VERY gross error
   (e.g., missing / incorrect factual information).
2. The matter of a Woman's dancing with a Torah is a Halachic question.  It 
   may or may not be linked to women touching a Sefer Torah.  I am not at all
   sure what this has to do with a "Right" either.  The Rabbi is asked if 
   women are allowed to to do this and he [reluctantly] answered "yes".  An-
   other Rabbi could jsut as easily have looked at the matter and issued a
   p'sak of "no".  What does this have to do with "rights"?

In light of the above discussion, I fail to note an "intrinsic right" to
put on Tefillin in the case of "women".  There are Poskim who rule "no"
and I do not know of any prior Poskim who unequivically disagree with
the Rama and say that it is OK.



From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 11:53:19 -0400
Subject: Salary in Chinuch...

To add to the "anecdotal" information...
My mother taught for many many years at Bais Yaakov in Chicago...
 Originally, there was a system that had some limudei kodesh in the P.M.
-- this allowed both secular and limudei kodesh teachers to bu utilized
full-time.  Anyway, some time ago, the system was changed to have
limudei kodesh ONLY in the morning (the reasons for THAT are really too
lengthy to go into here and probably should be the topic of another
thread -- which *I* don't want to start over here).  However, the effect
of this change was that all teachers were now only teaching 1/2 day (and
-- of course -- it was necessary to hire MORE such teachers...).  At the
time, I remember discussing with my parents that the female teachers
took a MUCH bigger "hit" in their paychecks than the men did...  All
sorts of reasons were given -- none of which I found convincing at the
time... They ranged from "The men are the breadwinners" to "The Semicha
is so much more important"....  I leave it to the readership to draw
their own conclusions.



From: Claire Austin <CZCA@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 20:02:08 EDT
Subject: Re: Shomer Shabbos musicians

<SAlbert@...> (Steve Albert) writes:

>It is virtually impossible to have a professional, classical,
>musical performance career while being shomer shabbos, at least outside
>Israel.  Too many performances are on Shabbos, Yom Tov, etc.  My wife
>discussed this with a senior partner in one of the major international
>musical management agencies, who happens to be shomer shabbos.  The
>advice: "It *can't* be done."

Do you think that if Yitzhak Perlman decided to become shomer Shabbos
that this would be the end of his musical career?  I am quite certain
that his career would continue to flourish.

I would agree with Albert that shomer Shabbos musicians may find
juggling their career schedules with the Jewish calendar can be very,
very difficult.  I'm not prepared to accept that "it can't be done".  My
daughter is a violin student at the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec,
a State-run school that trains professional musicians.  She is the only
shomer Shabbos person (student or teacher) at the school.  Lessons and
theory classes are held during the week and on Saturdays.  With
understanding and flexibility on both sides it has been possible to
rearrange schedules to accomodate Shabbos and Yom Tov.  It hasn't been
easy (far from it) but it isn't impossible.  A much more serious problem
is Orchestra which is a compulsory course and for which practices are
held only on Saturdays.  If you don't take a compulsory course you're
out of the school - no exceptions.  I agree with this policy; so does my
daughter.  Our answer was to bend over backwards to try to find some way
to meet the requirements of the school and to do anything except attend
orchestra (or to play in concerts, for that matter) on Shabbos.  If a
solution could not be found my daughter would, regretfully, withdraw
from the school.  Believe me, this is a heart-wrenching situation.  It
is not at all easy, regardless of how committed you are to remaining
shomer Shabbos.  Once they realized that this was indeed serious
business the school found a solution - she is exempted from this
compulsory course BECAUSE she is shomer Shabbos.  Again, it's not easy;
it's hard - very, very hard.  It requires a strong committement both to
being shomer Shabbos and to being a musician.  But it isn't impossible
either.  I don't believe either that it is any easier for a teenager,
the only shomer Shabbos Jew enrolled in a Conservatory with strict
requirements of its own, than it is for a mature adult musician.

Claire Austin


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 1:04:48 EDT
Subject: Single Fathers

> >From: Mordechai Torczyner <torczynr@...>
> Janice Gelb writes, re the "Binah Yeseirah" discussion:
> >2. What does this say for men who, due to divorce or death of a spouse,
> >are the sole parent of their children? That due to a lack of binah they
> >cannot possibly be as good a parent as a female? ...
> >to say that if a mother is missing a father is automatically incapable or
> >severely handicapped in raising his children by virtue of being male I
> >think is an insult.
>     Why should this be insulting? People are born with different abilities,
>and yes, some of those abilities are sex-dependent. Does anyone honestly
>believe that the two genders are equivalent in all matters? Is it insulting 
>to declare that males will never be able to nurse an infant as well as a 
>female can?

We are not talking about nursing.  We are in general talking about
weaned children (and bottle fed children).  We are not talking about
physical capabilities, but rather emotional and communication
capabilities.  And I do find it insulting to hear that I, as a father
per se, cannot be a good parent.

>    This reminds me of the battle over female firemen, and the argument that
>holding women to the physical standards of men is discriminatory. To quote
>the oft-heard but still valid response, If I Chas V'Shalom am ever trapped
>in a burning building with a 200-pound beam lying across my chest, I want
>the male who was required to bench-press 200 pounds to come in and save me.
>What good will the 98 pound woman do for me?

If she can lift the 200 pound beam, will you be satisfied?  In other
words, if the person has the nominally the equivalent physical
qualifications, will you agree that a woman can a firefighter (or a
mathematician :-) )?

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: Steven Shore <shore@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 08:01:44+010
Subject: Vaad Hayashivot and Driver's Licences

I have heard recently that under as a result of a psak from R. Schach
the Vaad Hayashivot in Israel is requiring students to sign a form that
allows the Vaad to check with the Drivers Licencing office if the
student currently has a driver's licence. If the the student has a
driver's licence then he will not be granted a deferral from being
drafted into the army. (The Vaad Hayashivot is the body responsible for
approving student's requests for draft deferrals.) Is this correct???
Does it apply to married men as well as singles?

If this is true how does R. Schach justify withholding the deferral
based on this requirement (no drivers licence). Currently you do not
have to even be Shomer Shabbos to get the deferral, you just have to be
learning at a recognized yeshiva. Wouldn't it be better to leave the
issue of driver's licences up to the individual Roshei Yeshivot to deal
with on a case by case basis with their students?

Maybe one of the members of this list residing in Bnei Brak could shed
some more light on this matter.

Please do not turn this into a discussion of the whole issue of the

Shimon Shore			<shore@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Mark Katz <mark@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 94 10:44:28 GMT
Subject: Wearing a watch on Shabbat

Many years ago, a (non-Jewish) colleague at work went through very harsh
treatment for severe depression. Towards the end of his one month stay
in hospital he was allowed out to 'roam the countryside'

He was sent out mid-morning after a full meal and told to come back late
afternoon. For these trips he was allowed to carry nothing on him - no
money, food, papers, or even a watch.

He said that it gave him an air of tremendous tranquillity without any
of the pressures of every day life.

Anecdotal, but perhaps another insight into the true benefits of a
properly observed Shabbat....

Yitz Katz


End of Volume 16 Issue 15