Volume 20 Number 61
                       Produced: Sun Jul 23 12:02:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Christianity and the Mormons
         [Barry Kingsbury [ext 262]]
         [Ari Shapiro]
Comments about Mormons
         [David Charlap]
Difference between Idolatry for Jews and Non-Jews
         [Tara Cazaubon   x3365]
         [Dani Wassner]
         [Daniel Faigin]
Mormons and Christianity
         [Mary Doty]
Premarital Sexual relations
         [Alan Zaitchik AT&T Interchange Online Network 617/252-5340]
The Other Violence
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Violence in Schools
         [M. Linetsky]


From: <barryk@...> (Barry Kingsbury [ext 262])
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 14:28:01 EDT
Subject: Christianity and the Mormons

It is my understanding that many Christians do not consider Mormons to
be Christians. That is, they believe that it is a different religion
that also happens to be derived from 'their' religion. (Mormons do
believe they are practicing Christianity.)

Back in the less politically correct '70s, a few of my classmates in
graduate school were Mormons who addressed themselves as Mormons. But
this is the '90s...

Barry Kingsbury


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95 10:59:29 EDT
Subject: Co-Education

<      Every situation has its pros and cons, and that is true of
<co-education also. In my opinion, the pro of females learning and
<appreciating Talmud at a level equal to that of males outweighs the cons
<of distraction and possibilities of transgression. Another pro of
<co-education is that things come up in discussions about halacha that
<might not come up in single-sex schools. Also, I think that (some)
<students develop respect for students of the opposite sex and realize
<that they, too, are real people with valuable contributions to make
<(unfortunately, there are exceptions to every rule,and dealing with
<those exceptions is also part of my education!).
<      I think that for many students, a co-ed school is the
<right choice, and to dismiss all co-ed schools as halachically invalid
<is wrong. If a student can attend a co-ed school and manage to reap its
<benefits without its disadvantages, I don't understand how anyone can
<say that co-education is wrong. Ultimately, it's up to the individual
<students to decide how they want to lead their lives, whether they
<attend a co-ed school or a single-sex school.

This quote is symptomatic of today's attitude.  I and other posters
quoted halachik sources that co-education is not ideal, not a single
person has responded on a halachik level. No one has really addressed
the Shulchan Aruch comments at the end of Hilchos Yom Tov and in Even
Haezer. The responses have been "In my opinion etc.", sociological
arguments.  If someone said let people drive to shul on Shabbos because
in my opinion the pros of going to shul outweigh the cons of driving I
think that everyone on this list would have a problem with that and
realize that the person is wrong.  Driving to shul on Shabbos is a
hlachik issue and must be dealt with on a halachik basis. The same
applies here, co-ed schools are a halachik issue and have to be
addressed on halachik grounds, not with statements like in my opinion
the pros outweigh the cons.  In the halachik system arguments like that
have absolutely no weight whatsoever.

Ari Shapiro


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 16:31:02 EDT
Subject: Comments about Mormons

I don't think the Mormons should be considered idolators.  In Salt Lake
City, Utah (the home of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS)), there is
a Chabad presence.  And the Chabad rabbi there does not cut himself off
from the surrounding Mormon population.

I don't know what the rabbi there would say about sharing a building
with a Mormon church, however.

Second, <light@...> (Sam S. Lightstone) asks:
>Correct me if I'm wrong but I though the Mormons were just another
>Christian sect with the usual Christian theology of Trilogy.  They
>believe in the "prophet" Joeseph Smith, are generally polygomists, and
>have the nasty habit of trying to convert Jews to their faith after
>they've passed away. But apart from being a little odd, I think they are
>still predominantly Christian in theology.

Yes and no.  Yes, they are Christian.  But they are more than simply
Christians who believe in a recent prophet.  They believe that prophecy
is an ongoing thing - that it didn't stop some 2000 years ago.  They
also have their own mystical tradition which differs markedly from
Christian mysticism (don't ask me how, I don't know either one that
well.  I just know that the differences have been a reason for Mormon
persecution by other Christians over the years.)


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon   x3365)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 11:32:54 -0700
Subject: Difference between Idolatry for Jews and Non-Jews

Mr Lightstone states below that "the majority opinion ... is that shituv
is not avodah zarah for goyim."  I would like clarification on why
Christianity is avodah zarah for Jews but not for goyim.  Both Jews and
goyim share the prohibition against idol worship.  Surely worshipping a
human being as God qualifies as idol worship?  Christians believe that
Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate.  The Holy Spirit is another issue,
being considered part of the trinity but not generally prayed to (e.g.
their prayers are directed most often to Jesus, almost never to the Holy
Spirit).  (From what I have gathered, the Holy Spirit is somewhat
similar to the Jewish concept of the Shekhinah.)

At any rate, to me this is idol worship, no matter who performs it.  Can
anyone elucidate?

Tara Cazaubon


From: Dani Wassner <dwassner@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 15:23:19 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Re: Freemasonary

I would suggest contacting Rabbi Apple of the Great Synagogue in Sydney, 
Australia. I belive he knows about this issue. Telephone 61-2-267-2477 or 
fax 61-2-264-8871.

Dani Wassner


From: <faigin@...> (Daniel Faigin)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 08:49:41 -0700
Subject: Freemasonry

Jonah Sievers <JONAH@...> writes:

> I am interested in Freemasonry and would like to know the position of
> trad. judaism on Freemasonry. Are there Responsa or halakhic studies
> published ?

While I don't know of responsa or halachic studies, I would like to
point out that there is a section on the relationship between
Freemasonry and Judaism in the Soc.Culture.Jewish FAQ, available by
following the following pointers:



or to be specific:




From: Mary Doty <MLDOTY@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 15:05:03 -0500
Subject: RE:  Mormons and Christianity

On Wed, 19 Jul 1995, Joshua Burton wrote:

>I don't think that `Mormon' is insulting or derogatory to them; it's
>the name of one of their prophets, who supposedly lived in America
>around the time of the Gemara, and completed the record of a rather
>fantastic history going back to the Bayit ha-Rishon.  I believe it's
>like the Quakers: they know that the world calls them by what was
>originally a derogatory name, and they are willing to shrug it off, so
>it has lost any force it once had to demean.  The Quakers call each
>other 'Friends', and the Mormons call each other 'Saints'.  I guess the
>right analogy would have been 'black-hats' (not wrong, nor particularly
>insulting, but not preferred) rather than 'Hebrews'.

About 20 years ago, I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints.  I no longer am.

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do call
themselves "Mormons" when they are talking with non-Mormons (whom they
call "Gentiles").  When they are talking among themselves, they do call
themselves "Saints".  The term Mormon does comes from the name of a
prophet.  I don't believe that they consider Mormon to be a derogatory
name through.  Also, it does differentiate them (the ones headquartered
in Utah) from the other LDS groups; they have had a great number of
splinter groups that call themselves by variant names of LDS.

On Wed, 19 Jul 1995, Sam Lightstone wrote:
>Correct me if I'm wrong but I though the Mormons were just another
>Christian sect with the usual Christian theology of Trilogy.  They
>believe in the "prophet" Joeseph Smith, are generally polygomists, and
>have the nasty habit of trying to convert Jews to their faith after
>they've passed away. But apart from being a little odd, I think they
>are still predominantly Christian in theology.

By strict definition, to say that Mormons are Christians would be
similar to saying that Christians are Jews.  The Mormons' publicly held
beliefs can look very similar to the bulk of Christianity, but their
internal teachings are vastly different.  One of their teachings is that
as man is, God was once; as God is so man shall become.  All Mormon men
are "priests" and ALL can potentially become gods in their own right in
the next world.  You can't get much more polytheistic than that.

Jesus is looked upon more as one's older spiritual brother than as a

There are numerous examples of how they differ.

It isn't just Jews they try to convert.  They try to convert EVERYONE
and have baptism for the literally dead.  They are really big into
geneology for that reason.  All birth/death/marriage records that they
can get ahold of--those names are used in baptism for the dead.

On Wed, 19 Jul 1995, Sam Lightstone wrote:
>So much for side points. As for your main question
>regarding the Church in the same building as the Shul, I
>have not idea.  It certainly sounds like a bad situation.

I agree that it certainly sounds like a bad situation.


From: Alan Zaitchik AT&T Interchange Online Network 617/252-5340
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 12:51:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Premarital Sexual relations

David Katz notes:
>The Raavad is more leniant and says that Kdeisha means a woman who makes
>herself available to all (I assume not the case to which Joshua Pollak
>was refering).
>Therefore, the 'act itself' is the subject of a major Machloket
>Rishonim.  Since we don't send single girls to the Mikva, this is one
>argument that doesn't need to be Paskinned!

Remember back in the 60's when Rabbi Yitzchak Greenberg was castigated
(and that's putting it mildly!) for suggesting that single women who
were going to have sex anyway should go to the mikvah? I still don't see
what was so wrong about that suggestion, although I can understand why
he would be attacked for making it publicly.



From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 1995 16:08:04 -0400
Subject: The Other Violence

           I have seen some interesting discussion on the destructive
nature sometimes exhibited by boys in day schools and yeshivot, but I
would like to discuss a different type of violence.
           Having graduated very Orthodox day schools and yeshivot (I
attended ca. 1953-1968, day school, h.s. and college), I can attest to
the fact that most violence there was directed not against inanimate
objects but rather against other boys.
            God help the smaller boys in these schools, because too
often the teachers and roshei yeshivot did not.  Instead they turned
blind eyes to bullying and outright criminal acts commited by some
boys/bachureem, especially if it was a post-high school youth/man doing
it to a high school age lad.  (By 'criminal acts' I specifically
mean battery and theft of some kinds of property, especially food.
Theft of money was never tolerated, on the other hand.)
            Then there's the lovely matter of the teachers, some
musmacheem and others not, who would physically strike elementary grade
school boys, whether with hands or using a yardstick.  I personally
witnessed a rabbi striking a boy so hard, he broke the yardstick on the
boy's upper body.
     <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: 81920562%<TAONODE@...> (M. Linetsky)
Date: Thu 06 Jul 1995 09:03 ET
Subject: Violence in Schools

In vol 20 Zvi and Freda kindly expressed their disdain with violent acts
and atrocities that I described. Zvi believes that it is a cop-out to
attribute violent acts to "confinement" and states that many Halakhot
are transgressed.  I do not recall saying that there is nothing wrong
with trashing a school, but that it is not a matter of discipline,
rather one of approach. His statement therefore misses the mark| Zvi
also thinks that because he never commited violent acts, that it does
not exist anywhere else and the school I attended is a deviant. Sorry to
say, he has not been to too many schools| I do not know how old he is,
but school systems have changed. He also wonders about my, and my school
mates familial background, implying that it is ill. A very founded
conclusion that can be drawn from an e-mail message| The students in
schools that have violence like this I can gaurantee you are no less
refined than in those where everyone sits in their corners or paint
their nails. And Freda, it is Rabbis that come out of these types of
schools that are most sensible and able at their jobs.


End of Volume 20 Issue 61