Volume 24 Number 14
                       Produced: Sun May 26 23:43:59 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Does the Torah Really Believe in Psychology--Version 2
         [Russell Hendel]
Dogs and Cages on Shabbos
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Inviting Guests who drive on Shabbat
         [Allie Berman]
Is Cheating On Tests OK If Other People do It
         [Russell Hendel]
Legitimate Practices and Conservative Positions
         [Edwin R Frankel]
purpose of Mail-Jewish?
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Sabbath Guest
Tikun and Layning - Miscellany
         [Martin N. Penn]
When Asked About a Person of Marriagable Age
         [Chaim Shapiro]


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 18:58:42 -0400
Subject: Does the Torah Really Believe in Psychology--Version 2

I would like to add fuel to the recent discussions about slit
skirts. Several readers still think that we have gone way to far.

This is not true. Part of our belief in the coming of Mashiach is
restoration of the Sanhedrin and it explicitly states, Rambam, Laws of
Temple Entry, 6:11 and chapter 8, that a major preoccupation of the
sanhedrin is checking priests for deficiency in physical appearance or
lineage.  This includes 7 disqualifications for "improper eyebrow
appearance" as well as 16 testicle qualifications. Surely discussion of
slit skirts is not inferior. I would like to suggest that halachah sees
as its goal the "Torahization" of human impulses by raising them to a
halachically discussable level.

Towards this end let me quote a question by Kestenbaum who inquires
about a girl who thinks her 3 inch slits attract all eyes in a 3 mile
radius.  Apparently this girl has problems whether she wears slits or
not. I think we all agree with Kestenbaum (about the girls problems). So
let me therefore refocus the discussions on slit skirts to discussions
onhow to deal with Kestenbaums (hypothetical) girl. What does halachah
suggest we do withsuch a person.

There appear to be 5 answers. I invite discussion on them
 Answer 1) Ignore the girl...no dicussion canhelp her
 Answer 2) Women's point of view: It is her dress; let her do what she wants
 Answer 3) Men's point of view: Don't wear dresses because it arouses
wrong feelings in men.
 Answer 4) Psychologists point of view: Don't impose values but do
discuss. Allow subject to become aware of differing viewpoints on dress
and form her own viewpoint on how to deal with different situations. The
psychologists role is to help guide her into this self discovery.
 Answer 5) TOrah point of view(?): Impose values AND recognize
needs. Inform her that sometimes Torah encourages her to
attract(e.g. wearing jewelry) and sometimes she must abstain from
arousing men. Lead her thru sources so that she will know the proper way
in each case as well as where there is no 1 answer

Which way is right? I invite answers from parents, psychologists,and

Russell Jay Hendel, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 12:31:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Dogs and Cages on Shabbos

	I have two dogs.  Shabbos is their favorite day of the week;
lots of food lying around with household members otherwise occupied.
Both dogs are accustomed to spending time in their cages if they arent
behaving, or have to be left alone for long peroids of time.  Can we put
them there on shabbos as well?  Or is that considered trapping them,
even though they are already in the house?  Please note that both dogs
will go to their cage on demand, although it is quite obvious they don't
like being there.
 Chaim Shapiro


From: <berman@...> (Allie Berman)
Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 09:02:09 -0400
Subject: Inviting Guests who drive on Shabbat

I have been following the discussion on whether one should invite a
guest to spend Shabbos is they know the guest will drive.  I would like
to take it one step further.  If a woman drives to your house for
Shabbos dinner and it is then time to light the candles should I ask her
if she wants to light candles? I know she will drive home and elsewhere
on Shabbat.


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 19:11:50 -0400
Subject: Is Cheating On Tests OK If Other People do It

There have been some [discussion on] MJ on cheating (e.g. V24 #11 Fine].
I would like to raise for *serious* discussion a possible heter. Suppose
it is the practice for people to cheat on one word answers or if say
they forgot 1-2 pieces of information.  Can it be argued that this
creates a societal norm that legitimizes that practice?

Let me be emphathic that I oppose cheating. However I would like a
halachic answer to a halachic problem. It is well known in the laws of
Sales (in all cultures) that *practice creates norms which in turn
create permissability*.

Examples can be found in Rambam Laws of Sale, Chapt 18,19..I list some:
 (a) Selling of a complicated appliance (cars, computers, vcrs) requires
you to include all accessories "normally" done and you need not include
 (b) Selling of filtered items (oils, wines, etc) requires you to have
"normal" purity but does not require total purity.

Before "walking away" from the issue let me quote other sources:
 (c) Measurement standards explicitly exclude any misrepresentation
(even to the extent of measuring liquids by pouring from a height since
the resulting bubbles confuse perception of the true volume) since the
Torah prohibits any misrepresentation in measurement (Theft, 8, Rambam).

So what about cheating on tests. Can a student legitimately argue that
they are being hurt if they aren't allowed to cheat on 1-2 word answers
or take 1-2 items from a neighbor since "everyone else does it", it is
hard to stop that small a cheat, *and* they aren't really
misrepresenting their broad knowledge structures.

I think the question legitimate (even if allowed; teachers could
reemphasize long essay questions). I think it deserves a halachic
response in light of the 3 example classes I quote above.

Russell Hendel, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 07:25:19 -0700
Subject: Legitimate Practices and Conservative Positions

>Now I'm not saying that Conservative Jews are Tzedukim, but there are
>parallels.  In the final analysis both movements led Jews to practices
>that were (are) incompatible with traditional halachic Judaism.

>It seems to me, not even knowing any concrete examples, that it's a good
>idea for Orthodoxy to alter it's practice occasionally, especially where
>Conservatism has a legitimate practice, so people shouldn't be led to
>believe that even the non-legitimate practices are OK.

An other writer cited Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik who warned against this
type of attitude.  If the actual practices are legitimate, why
concentrate on issues because of their being most popular, rather than
their substance.

If halachic Judaism is considered too strongly attuned to finding new
chumrot, then its role as promulgator of authentic halachic standards
will be diminished. I'm not sure that Orthodoxy is the only legitimate
intrepreter of halacha, but I am convinced that dismissal of acceptable,
normative standards on the grounds that they are adhered to by others is

Remember our talmudic teachings. Any one can be a machmir. It took
education and familiarity to live up to the dictum of koach d'hetera
adifa [the power of leniency is preferred - Mod].

Ed Frankel


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 16:36:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: purpose of Mail-Jewish?

In v24n12, Yosey Goldstein expresses some concern about the conduct of
some of the conversations on mail-jewish recently, in particular the
discussion of cheating in yeshivos and dealing with the aguna issue, as
well as the question of what m-j is all about.

It has been my impression that the list is not simply a
question-and-answer format, but a forum where serious concerns may be
aired and discussed (without flaming, etc.).  The discussion of cheating
in yeshivos seems to me to be an excellent example of something that
needs discussion. I've spoken privately with people with kids in
yeshivos who are very concerned about things of that sort.  It seems to
mee that m-j is a pretty good place to be discussing these things and
looking for solutions.

If occasionally people get a bit heated because of a passionate concern
for justice (e.g. the aguna situation), I don't think that's a cause for
alarm or rebuke, but an occasion to stop and listen and find out what
disorder in the community is making them so angry, and think about what
we can do to help remedy it.

> Because if there is even one instance of abuse of ANY kind it is much
> too much,

Goes double for the aguna and kiddushei ketana problems... that's why
people are discussing them.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 22 May 96 21:24:38 PDT
Subject: Sabbath Guest

 Recently a question was asked regarding inviting a former Frum person
over for a Sabbath meal if you can not guarantee that person would not
be 'Michalel Shabbas'.
 I am fully qualified to answer this particular question, as I am one
who went to Yeshiva High School and post High School and became "frey"
in the fullest extent ( pepperoni pizza at work on Yom Kippur, among
other things) A few friends knew about this and they would do the
invites, etc. All invitations were only extended on condition that I
would not be 'Michalel Shabbas' in order to attend. IMHO, this is the
ONLY way to extend the invitation to a person who has went off the path.

 The people who answered that the person would be 'Michalel Shabbas'
anyway and/or that the only way to bring the person back was through
engaging the person in the 'Seudah's are forgetting a very important
point. This is not a situation of attempting to make a person with no
background religous.

 I knew all the rules so would know that the invitee was doing something
that the Rabbi's have always frowned upon and dismissed - 'Mitzva ha bo
min Aveira'. To the extent that the ultimate mechinism for repentance
was disallowed on the Shabbas, shofer blowing. Any invitation where the
person would know that I would be 'Michalel Shabbas' for , I would have
considered hipocritical (sp Avi?). In addition, since I knew all rules,
every instance that I committed an Aveira would count as a seperate
one. So parking the car to attend and starting it again to leave the
host would have meant 2 sins that were caused by the host. The reasoning
that I would've been driving anyway has no bearing. First, I may not
have driven for other purposes and Second these particular instances
were due to the invitation.  (a better case may be made that each
acceleration would be considered seperate, therefore any additional
traveling done to get to/from the host would cause multiple sins)

Speaking from first hand knowledge, a Shabbas invitation will accomplish
nothing without the attending rules. We didn't stop being religous
because of the food being served and the way to get us back is not
through our stomach. Religous people interested in bringing people to
the fold also have to realize that the tricks of the trade used to
'MiKarev' do not work when applied to trying to make a true 'Baalei


From: Martin N. Penn <74542.346@...>
Date: 26 May 96 22:27:00 EDT
Subject: Tikun and Layning - Miscellany

I've read what others have written about a "good" Tikun, and agree with
most of what was stated.

I'm sure that someone can find fault with each Tikun on the market.
It's a matter of getting used to something.  I've been layning for
nearly 25 years, and I started out with the Tikun L'Kor'im from K'Tav
Publishing.  I got it as a Bar-mitzvah present and used it for nearly 20
years before buying the Tikun Kor'im from Koren Publishing.  It was very
difficult to switch over, but I found the print clearer and the trope
much more accurate.  The downside is that if you are first learning how
to layne the "Torah" side of the page is not in Torah script.  It is
plain Hebrew but without the vowels or the trope.  I would NOT recommend
this for a boy studying for his Bar Mitzvah.  I would recommend it for
the gabbai in the shul however,since it marks all the places in each
sidra where additional aliyot can be inserted.

Israel Picholtz in MJ Vol 24, #12, writes
> a) The same "good old blue tikkun" with the extra vav in va-yakhel also
> says in Noah: vatanah TATEVA bahodesh hashevi'i

I looked this up in my "good old blue tikun", and if the refernce is to
verse 4 in chapter 8, my tikun has it correct as: vatanach Hateva...
 On the other hand, my good old blue tikun has a mistake in Korah.  The
last word in verse 19, chapter 18 is vowelized (if there is such a word)
as: etaHA, with a kamatz under the Tof and a kamatz under the Kuf-sofit.
It should be etah.

While we all harp on how the Baal Keriah does -- indeed, some people
wait to "pounce" on each mistake -- why don't we go back to basics.
Think about pronouncing words -- and sets of words -- correctly during
davening.  Two quick examples from Shemoneh Esreh:
 1) In R'zeh.  How many people pause after V'Eshay Yisrael instead of
 2) In Birchat Kohanim.  How many people pause after BaTorah instead of
 Very different, and improper, meanings.  Yet, we never correct these or
other similar mistakes made by the Baal Tefilah.

In one of the postings on this subject someone mentioned a book written
in English that he found to be very good.  I can't seem to find that
post now.  Could whoever it was re-post, or send me an e-mail message
with the name?

Martin Penn


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 13:12:02 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: When Asked About a Person of Marriagable Age

	As I have expected for some time now, people have started asking
me questions about my friends for shidduch purposes.  What is the proper
way to handle such questions halachicly?  Should I be completly honest,
describing as much as I know about the individual, including both good
traits and bad traits?  Perhaps I should only describe a person's good
qualities while minimizing his faults, assuming that all information
will eventually be discovered during the dating process.  Another option
is to describe a person's good qualities and only mention the negatives
if asked about them specifically (for example not mention my friends
temper problem unless specifically asked about his tempermant).
	How far into a person's past should I go?  If, for example, I am
asked about somone I knew in high school, should I give my overall
impressions of him then, even though it is six or seven years later?
(I, for one, am horrified at such a prospect, knowing full well that I
was a free spirit during my high school years, and how that is not the
least bit representative of who I am today)
	I take my role very seriously, for as much as I would like to
see all my friends find their partners as soon as possible, I would not
want to be a contributing factor to a marriage that does not work, an
occurence that unfortunatly is becoming all to common in the Orthodox
 Chaim Shapiro


End of Volume 24 Issue 14