Volume 23 Number 25
                       Produced: Tue Feb 27 22:18:35 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Freedom of Expression vs Torah Values of Speech
         [Shlomo Grafstein]
Kollel (2)
         [Yosef Gavreil Bechhofer, Sam Saal]
Kollel and Employment
         [Eric Jaron Stieglitz]
Kollel and Tzahal
         [Micha Berger]
Noahide laws (2)
         [Menachem A. Bahir, Warren Burstein]
Post-Kollel Support
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]
Showing Up in Kollel
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 22:14:01 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hi All,

Well, I made it back Saturday night from the Highland Park Bikur Cholim
Melava Malka (where I saw a number of the list members) and promised
that I would get some mail-jewish out by the morning. I got my part done
all right, but the system then was not working, and I could not get it
to work properly. I think it is working now, but as some (all?) of you
might have noticed, some issues from v22 suddenly decided to show up.

Assuming all remains stable, I expect to get mail-jewish back on it's
regular course, now. For those of you who have been sending in updates
on the Kosher Restaurant Database, I'm getting closer to catching up
with that as well, hopefully by Sunday, we will be caught up there as



From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 13:46:15 -0400
Subject: Freedom of Expression vs Torah Values of Speech

I am sure that some of my thoughts were covered.  However, the beauty of
Torah study with total dedication --- the Kollel has been denigrated on
the e-mail.  If not every Kollel man lives up to the high level, there
is no permissibility to publicly write in the negative mode.  If an
institution allows students to put in effort to strengthen Torah Judaism
and do activism, this is the decision of the Rosh HaYeshiva.  If someone
has a question as to its legitmacy, let that questioner ask the
individual Rosh Yeshiva, and NOT write negative about the Kollel.  I am
publicly verbalizing this critique because publically either Lashan Hara
or Motzei Shem Ra was flashed across my screen.

I happened to have attended Kollel in Mesiftha Tifereth Yirushalyim and
encouragement for the future parnasha career was stressed by the Rosh
Kollel as well as the Mashgiach.  Many Kollellim work with a sense of
faith and do not want to dillute the intensity of total dedication.
After all, with tears in his eyes, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin
(the NETZIV) was willing and did in fact choose to close the great
Yeshiva of Volhozhin at the turn of the 19th century rather than
implement non-Torah studies which would have watered-down the yesiva

Wishing you the best 
Sincerely Yours,
Shlomo Grafstein
Halifax, Canada


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavreil Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 14:09:28 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Kollel

As a Card Carrying Kollelnik for over ten years now, I would like to
address the issue from my personal perspective. I limit my remarks to
the American Kollel scene.

It is true that many people in Kollel have reached the point where they
should seek other employment. Look at it, however, from the other
perspective. Several years ago, some brilliant individual hit upon the
idea of a "Community Kollel". A community which otherwise would have had
to employ several mechanchim, rabbanim and assorted other klei kodesh
can insure itself of a supply of young married people (usually pretty
idealistic) to work part time at these positions, for less pay
(sometimes dramatically less) than those communities might otherwise
have had to spend. In the meantime, the individual becomes part of the
community, generally a smaller one, and finds it wrenching to
dislocate. That individual and his family are then "stuck" - what do
they do next?

This is also true to a lesser extent in larger communities and even
within certain of the great Eastern seaboard yeshivos. Talented
individuals who in other times might have received appointments in
Avodas HaKodesh to serve at respectable salaries are expected to do the
same work for much less money as Kollelniks. I am not talking about
those who should be working, but rather the very talented and
accomplished scholars who happen to have the misfortune not to be well

In our city of Chicago, there aren't quite enough Kollelniks to create
that problem, but this is a national concern. How is Klal Yisroel -
across the entire spectrum of Orthodoxy - ensuring the continuity and
viability of the next generation of leadership?

Yosef Gavreil Bechhofer

From: Sam Saal <saal@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996 16:15:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Kollel

In Volume 23 Number 17 From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...> wrote:

>2. In Basic research, is there not a standard by which researchers must
>be "productive" and one cannot simply "stay in" just because one likes
>the dsicipline.  Should a similar rule be applied to Kollelim to ensure
>that only the "cream of the crop" is in Kollel?

And in the same issue, Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>

>Uri's parallelism here is not entirely correct. Cancer researchers (or
>their bosses) publish. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of
>Kollel-leit devote any of their time to publishing and allowing the
>community at large to gain from their advances in Torah knowledge --
>their _chidushim_ (trans: nouvellae sp?). By their lack of publishing,
>they do not make much of a contribution to the community's keeping
>"their hearts healthy and free of Spiritual disease."

I have a problem with the comparisons between academia and the Yeshiva
world largely because the underlying philosophy of study is so different.
I first understood this difference when it was taught to me a few
years ago by Prof. Joe Levinson of Jerusalem.

First let me define a term for the following explanation.

In the academic world, a predecessor is someone published in a reputable
journal. This person's research may be assumed to be beyond reproach.

In the yeshiva world, a predecessor is assumed to be one of our Gedolim,
let's even limit it to the greats: Rashi, Tosofot, other known
commentators, etc.

When an Academic does not understand a predecessor's work, s/he asks
"what did my predecessor do wrong to come to this conclusion?" When a
Yeshiva student doesn't understand a predecessor's work, s/he asks "what
do _I_ not understand?" This fundamental difference, I believe leads to
very different approaches to research. The academician will be more
likely to attempt to knock a predecessor and possibly, therefore, more
likely to publish. The yeshiva scholar will take his question and study

I realize this is a gross simplification, but I wonder if it doesn't
make issues of attempting to instill academic success' guidelines (like
publish or perish) in a kolel, less thatn useful.

Sam Saal       <saal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Peah haAtone


From: Eric Jaron Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996 13:00:23 -0500
Subject: Kollel and Employment

  >  As a businessman who is contstantly looking for part-time (evening)
  > people to work with, it frustrates me to no end when I offer a
  > opportunity to a kollelnik (who's kids are undernourished, who's on
  > government support, who's wife is out working) who tells me "I can't do
  > that - it would conflict with my night seder."

  While reading this, I couldn't help but think of the "Eight degrees of
Tzdakah (charity)."

  The first (greatest) degree involves offering somebody a job or
something else to make him self-sufficient and no longer dependent on
charity. My impression was that just giving money was considered a lower
form of Tzdakah.

Eric Jaron Stieglitz    <ephraim@...>
Home: (212) 853-4837/6795       Assistant Systems Manager at the
Work: (212) 854-6020            Center for Telecommunications Research
Fax : (212) 854-2497    http://www.ctr.columbia.edu/people/Eric.html


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 08:14:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kollel and Tzahal

In the days of Chizkiyahu, guards bearing swords were placed at the
doors of the Yeshivos, to make sure that those who are supposed to sit
and learn do so. The need for Torah study during wartime was not only
acknowledged, but inforced.

So, I propose the 20th century equivalent. Tzahal should have the right
to randomly check Yeshiva attendence, and if someone isn't learning, he
is AWOL -- and punished just as a soldier who went AWOL would be.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3255 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  5-Oct-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <tjvmab@...> (Menachem A. Bahir)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 08:10:49 -0700
Subject: Re: Noahide laws

In mail Jewish Vol.23 #24 Yosey Goldstein wrote:
>There is a Book written in English By Reb Aharon Lichtenstein, of Monsey
>New York (A cousin to the "Famous" Reb Aharon Lichtenstein from E"Y)
>That deals with the 7 Noahide laws. I know that many gentiles have read
>the book specifically for the purpose of keeping those commandments. My
>Rov Shlita is close to Reb Aharon, having been his father's Rov for
>years and assisted him with many questions Reb aharon had when writing
>it, Has himself told me about getting calls from Gentiles about the

How can i get a copy of this book?

I currently have a book colled The path of the Righteous Gentile By
Chaim Clorfene and Yakov Rogalsky,Feldheim Publishers.Due to my group "THE
JEWISH VEGAN LIFESTYLE" I get a lot of questions from non Jews
who want to live a good live but do not know where to go to get the
information that HASHEM wants them to be aware of.I'm always looking for
information of this type and information in general on Judaism and

Founder, The Jewish Vegan Lifestyle;e-mail: <tjvmab@...>
        mail address:5515 N. 7 Street,ste.5-442
                     Phoenix,Arizona 85014

From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 17:07:10 GMT
Subject: Re: Noahide laws

Yosey writes:
>There is a Book written in English By Reb Aharon Lichtenstein, of Monsey
>New York (A cousin to the "Famous" Reb Aharon Lichtenstein from E"Y)
>That deals with the 7 Noahide laws.

I want to thank Yosey and mail-jewish for clearing up the identity of
the author of this book, something I've wondered about intermittently
(but of course never at the few occasions where I was in the presence of
the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion ...)

A noteworthy point in the book is that it teaches that a Noahide is not
automatically sentenced to death for any infraction of the Seven Laws
(including petty theft), rather the Noahide court *may* impose the death
penalty.  I have not come across this in any other halachic source.
R. Lichtenstein does cite an earlier work, but as I don't have a copy of
the book I can't provide the reference.

The only copy of the book that I know of is in another country, and the
owner doesn't have email, so perhaps someone on this list who has the
book could look it up.  I'd also like to know if there has been any
discussion of this point, perhaps in reviews of the book.

 |warren@           bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ itex.jct.ac.IL    buried?


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 07:29:09 +0200
Subject: Post-Kollel Support

In response to an earlier post of mine, Tova Taragin writes:

>I firmly agree with Carl about "going out into the world", for the
>majority who are not going to be gedolei hador, but unfortunatley, after
>4-5 years in kollel and 2-3 children it's very difficult to start
>thinking about getting the degrees needed to be "charedi baale batim
>(who may be businessmen, doctors, lawyers, accountants, computer
>professionals etc.)." -- while they are in yeshiva/kollel they are
>discouraged from going to college, unless they go to certain yeshivos
>which tolerate it (like Ner Israel) and then they are in their late 20's
>- early 30's and unless they have a father/father-in-law's business to
>go into, they are stuck with no adequate parnasa for their family, and
>for sure not they are not going to be "Yeshiva working alumni who are a
>source for financial support," for the community etc...

I think there are two implicit assumptions here that may not be quite as
absolute as they're depicted.  One is that few Yeshivas tolerate college.  I
think that there are several Yeshivas that tolerate college or at least turn
a blind eye to it, especially if college is undertaken during bein hazmanim
(semester breaks from Yeshiva).  More importantly, however, there is an
assumption here that college is a prerequisite for one to support oneself
adequately.  While this is certainly true for doctors and lawyers, it is by
no means true for all professions and is less true in other countries than
it is in the United States.  I know many people who manage to support
themselves quite sufficiently without a college degree and I know others who
have "less practical" degrees whose standards of living are not a whole lot
better than those of a poor Kollel couple.  Obviously, each situation will
be different.  But there is no way that a liberal arts degree is a
prerequisite for adequate support IMHO.

-- Carl Sherer  
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 07:29:11 +0200
Subject: Showing Up in Kollel

Yitz Weiss writes:

> On a job, people are paid only if they show up, and even then - only if
>they're productive. Who determines who's productive in kollel & who
>marks them absent when they don't show?

I actually know of at least one Kollel where a major part of the monthly
stipend is dependent on showing up to every seder (session) on time and
spending the entire session in the Beis HaMedrash (study hall).  I suspect
there are others that have the same rules.  I agree that the community has
no duty to support Kollel men who miss major parts of seder running errands
and the like on a regular basis.  I think the problem is determining any
sort of objective standards as to who should and who should not be supported
in Kollel.  I think that those of us who feel that it is important that the
community have members learning on a full time basis  have no choice but to
trust the Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel to make that determination, and
to assume that those who do not take their responsibilities as Kollel men
seriously enough will have HKB"H (the Almighty) to answer to.

-- Carl Sherer

Carl and Adina Sherer


End of Volume 23 Issue 25