Volume 19 Number 86
                       Produced: Thu Jun  1 23:22:31 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Co-education (2)
         [Ncoom Gilbar, Jay Bailey]
Co-educational schools
         [Joe Goldstein]
Mixed Dancing
         [Mr D S Deutsch]
Moshava kollel
         [George S. Schneiderman]
Psak Halakhah
         [Eli Turkel]


From: <lol9517@...> (Ncoom Gilbar)
Date: Thu,  1 Jun 95 12:27:14 PDT
Subject: Co-education

I don't tink the question of co-education can be looked at globally.
One of the main issues is age of the students.  I live in a Yishuv in
Eretz Yisrael.  The education here is separate from 1st grade, as are
most of the Bnei Akiva activities.  I personally grew up in USA in mixed
schools (public), and have some basis for comparison.  Up until about
4th grade, I would definitely say that having mixed classes has a
calming effect on the class as a whole.  Boys and girls are different,
as anyone who has taught both classes will vouch.  As puberty is
approached, the "stimulation" or distraction of the opposite sex in a
forced environment, the classroom, is probably cause for far more lack
of attention than anything else.  The benefit from separating classes at
that age is unquestionable, though it does not circumvent the
difficulties of educating and teaching Derech Eretz, especially to boys
(I have 4).  I suspect the need for some contact with the opposite sex
will be met, under much less pressured situation, outside of the school,
or within family framework.  Too much of a single-sex environment is
indisputably harmful.  I think one of the reasons Israel's army is a
much more humane institution than any other country's that I'm familiar
with, is that the boys go home to Ima and sister every two weeks,
instead of being left constantly in the company of men to develop the
habits of animals. (Including "raids" on prostitutes etc. on "leave.")
I witnessed in college the different environments created in coed dorms
and all male dorms.  While this probably is distant from any halachic
ideal, it is revealing, and so I think worth noting.  In coed dorms, the
day to day relations between the sexes tended to be more informal,
imbued with less tension, and less overtly sexual.  This does not mean
that there was any lack of promiscuous behavior, but it does mean that
their was a development of healthier social skills.  All male dorms that
I knew tended to be places where much more vulgar grafitti and explicit
drawings graced the bathrooms, where pornography was more prominent, and
where the boys were more likely to view the girls as acceptable subjects
for "attack" or conquest.  Of course, this was a university without any
Jewish pretensions, and one solution is to send children to a more
reasonable environment, such as a Bar-Ilan.  A person who has reached
the age of 18, is capable of serving in an army and protecting his
people, and assuming that they have received an education which has
taught the values of modesty, is much more capable of living in close
contact with the opposite sex without it being a cause of distress.
During formative years, the struggly between education and hormones is a
wicked one, and separation is probably the best way to let them
concentrate on preparing themselves for the challenges, including
meeting a person with whom to share a life, which lie ahead of them.

 Ncoom Gilbar             fixing minor breakdowns in the material world 
 <lol9517@...>                                           -bilubi

From: Jay Bailey <jbailey@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 17:37:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Co-education

OK, I'll bite.

Ari Shapiro wrote:
"Letting kids know that we have different
standards by having separate schools and discouraging interaction
between the sexes would give the correct message as opposed to 
the one that they are bombarded with daily from the media."

Well let's see how that plays out:
a) boys and girls are bombarded by media examples. Unavoidable and realistic.
  1. Coed School: Young, impressionable pupil learns to associate with
members of the opposite sex in a normal arrangment much like the one
they will experience in the workplace (and university).  Learn to study,
communicate, respect.
  2. Separate School: Grows up with no notion of any relationship with
members of the opposite sex other than what he/shes on TV, develops
warped perception of relationships, wonders about the sexuality of the
"forbidden fruit" and searches for outlets not favored by halacha,
including but not limited to, simply wandering with his/her eyes.

Jay Bailey


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Tue, 23 May 95 10:55:20 
Subject: Co-educational schools

In response to all of the articles and the discussion about
Co-educational schools. (Volume 19 #40 Which I received today. I had
wanted to reply to earlier postings but I have waited to write this
until I was able to speak to the person and verify my recollection of
this story. I Guess it is MIN HASHOMAYIM, "fate" that this issue was
re-posted today!)

   In the late 50's or early 60's at one of the first Torah Umesorah
convention several educators approached Reb Aharon Kotler ZT"L with a
question concerning Co-education. (The person who related this story to
me was one of those educators and he was the principal in Pittsburgh,
Pa. at the time. I will refer to him as Reb Menachem.) Reb Aaron said
that to have mixed classes for the younger grades was fine (Reb Menachem
said, he meant until grades 5 or 6 is what he meant) (He did not tell me
about the seventh grade, and the discussion related in this posting
concerned Eighth graders) However, for the older grades he was very much
against it and said they should be separated. Under No circumstance
should they be allowed to be integrated. Reb Menachem said that they can
not afford to have separate classes for the boys and girls (They had 5
girls and 3 boys in their 8th grade at that time) Reb Aaron Z"L said,
"let the parents send the girls New York to go to school" When they said
the parents would not be willing send girls away at that age reb aaron
answered, "well then send away. Again they said that they did not feel
the parents would be willing to send away the boys at that age. Reb
Aaron answered "It is better to close the school than to allow the boys
and girls to go to class together at t age!" I think this certainly
expresses, in no uncertain terms Reb Aaron' strong feeling against Co
educational schools for older children.

 I would also like to question all those who quote the Psak of Rav
Solevaitchick ZT"L that it is fine to have a Co-educational school. I
would like to know did he ever say it was OK or does everybody base this
P'sak on the basis of the school in Boston? The fact that the school was
Co-ed is no proof. Since he and his wife were very involved in the
school he may have felt that they would be able to properly shape the
school and the children and be able to properly influence these
children. They may have felt that they could attract more children by
having a co-ed school and then teaching them to be torah true jews, who
would not send THEIR children to co-ed schools. We know there is a rule
of AIS LAASOS LAHASHEM HEFERU TORAHSECHO Loosely translated it means
there are time when one acts more leniently for certain halachik rule,
or one bends the rules, as long as the ultimate purpose is the overall
strengthening of the Torah. Therefore, even if the ROV Z"L felt it would
be normally prohibited, this was a way to ultimately strengthen the

     BOTTOM LINE: I feel that EVERY situation is unique and a QUALIFIED
GODOL, a reliable halachik authority MUST me consulted before staring a
co-ed institution. One can not rely on the PSAK given in some other
community, because one can not know all of the reasons that allowed that
institution in that city. (Would you want to take a medication because a
layman saw a doctor prescribe a certain medication to a patient who, in
the layman's view, had the same symptoms you have????)

Yosey (Joe) Goldstein                                                          


From: Mr D S Deutsch <dsd3543@...>
Date: 01 Jun 95 10:24:00 BST
Subject: Mixed Dancing

For a definitive discussion of this topic I would refer readers to the
biur halacha in Hilchos Shabbos Chapter 339 paragraph 3 beginning
'lehakel'. The Chafetz Chaim (yes, the one described by a poster as
'kind to b'nos Yisroel'- presumably others are not!) leaves us in no
doubt as to where he stands on this- v'chol hapoiresh mimmenu kepoiresh
min hachaim- which loosely translates as 'If you go out on a limb you
are likely to fall out of the tree'.



From: George S. Schneiderman <schneid@...>
Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 11:50:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Moshava kollel

> college age) and was rejected that was due to the fact that currently the 
> kollel program, in order to stay both financially viable and to provide 
> the critical number of chaverim to allow for a bet midrash atmosphere as 
> ...
> but it is a matter of finances rather than of policy.

This is, frankly, a nonsensical claim.  Where one chooses to spend ones 
money is amongst the most important parts of any policy.  It demonstrates 
where one places ones priorities.  

If anyone can't see this, let me propose an analogy:

Suppose that a state in the pre-Brown days (back when separate but equal
was still deemed acceptable by the courts) had a white-only college, and
no black college.  Further suppose that someone complained, and the
state replied: it's not a matter of policy to exclude blacks from
college, but you can't really expect us to let them into the white
school, and well, we just don't have the money for a black school.  But
don't be offended--it's not that we don't value higher education for
blacks, its's just a matter of finances.

The bottom line is this: where you put your money IS your policy.

> do), but the fact of the matter is that hockey, particularly as played in 
> Moshava, is full contact sport that would in all probabability result in 
> violations of Negiyah. As for seperate games for women, I myself have 

A minor thing, but there's really no issue of negiah for a contact sport.

--George Schneiderman


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 08:59:10 +0300
Subject: Psak Halakhah

    Zvi Weiss writes 

>> There is no reason to suspect that his (i.e. Rav Auerbach) response
>> was limited to one "circle" and I feel that this -- in effect --
>> denigrates the posek AND alienates the person posing the matter.

    I strongly disagree. One problem that exists in general is that a
posek makes a statement for an individual and it is immediately assumed
that it has wide validity.  Most poskim and LORs base their psak on the
individual circumstances of the person and the situation. I am sure that
Rav Feinstein had many more question than were published in his
books. He published only those that were of general validity.

    I have heard stories that Rav Auerbach encouraged some boys to go to
college.  This certainly does not mean that he would tell a boy learning
in Meah Shaarim to go to college. He felt that under some circumstances
it was desireable since, for example, one would have great diffculty
becoming a Young Israel type rabbi without a secular education. I have
little doubt that Rav Auerbach's psak about women's issues might
strongly depend on who is asking the question. This is a strength and
certainly not a denigration. Of course some issues are yes or no issues
but many are more complex than that.

    Some more examples: I have heard from several sources that Rav
Eliashiv is against the use of psychiatrists and psychologists. On the
other hand there have been published accounts of Rav Schach sending
people to religious psychologists.  I have no doubt that Rav Eliashiv
would have agreed to this. His objections are general and would not
apply to specific patients and specific counsellors.

    I just asked one rav in Bnei Brak whether a woman could light
candles for shabbat with the condition that she accepts shabbat
later. She could then go by taxi after ligting, to go to Kotel (Western
wall) for shabbat prayers. I was told that this could be done only under
unusual circumstances and that Rav Eliashiv paskened that going to the
kotel was not sufficient of a reason and the woman should pray at home.
Later some rav from Jerusalem told me that this psak was meant for women
living in Jerusalem and not for families visiting for a short period.

    Bottom line, without knowing the circumstances there is no reason to
assume that a psak is meant for an individual and not meant as a general
rule for the whole community of all stripes and backgrounds.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 19 Issue 86