Volume 24 Number 17
                       Produced: Mon May 27 19:58:03 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bus Transfers
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Census Round Numbers
         [Elozor Preil]
         [Harry Weiss]
Impecability of Torah Texts
         [Russell Hendel]
Reading Posts Carefully and Keeping Discussion Pure
         [R. Maryles]
Yeshivos and Kollelim
         [Harry Maryles]


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 23:45:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Bus Transfers

	the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provides transfers for use
on its system for an extra $.30 charge.  On the reverse of each
transfer, the rules for its use are enumerated.  One of those rules is
"The transfer must be surrendered on the third ride."  Technically, the
system works as follows, first ride transfer is paid for.  Second ride
the transfer is punched to denote that it has been used once.  Third
ride it is surrendered to the operator.
	Very often, bus operators are too lazy to bother punching the
transfer when it is handed to them on the second ride.  My question,
then is, may you use the transfer the bus operator neglected to punch on
two further rides, or must you surrender it on the third ride even
though the transfer was not punched?
	For the record, the CTA, is indeed makpid on transfer abuse, so 
much so that they are currently implementing a new transfer system that 
does not involve the operator's direct involvement.
 Chaim Shapiro

[I guess that I do not understand what the "hava amina" (initial
reasoning) to permit it's use for two more rides, if this is clearly
transfer abuse. It is a form of theft and why should it be allowed? A
confused moderator]


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 02:26:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Census Round Numbers

I recall seeing an explanation for the round numbers (50 or 100) for the
census as being due to the fact that B'nai Yisrael were actually being
counted to prepare for the imminent (pre-Meraglim spies) invasion of
Eretz Yisrael.  As such, they were organized in military groupings -
which in Tanach come in groups of 50 (see the beginning of Kings 2 where
the King of Israel sends several groups of 50 to apprehend Eliyahu).
Tus, the census is not an exact numerical count, but a description of
the army brigades - "kol yotzei tzava, l'tzivotam".

Kol tuv,
Elozor Preil


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Sun, 26 May 96 21:52:07 -0800
Subject: Cheating

In V24 No. 8 Chaim Shapiro discusses the issue of cheating at Yeshivas.
Unfortunately for me that brings back some bad memories.  Many years ago
(hopefully things have changed by now.) when I was in my first two years
of high school, I went to a very well known Yeshivah in Brooklyn.  The
Yeshivah did provide a good quality secular education for those of us
who were interested, but the importance of the secular studies was
always minimized and looked on by the administration as a necessary
evil.  At the end of the year New York State required students to take
Regents exams.  We had to take the exams at a local public school since
the Yeshiva did not have the proper credentials.  The proctors for the
exam were students from the Bet Hamidrash.  It was a known fact that if
someone needed an answer to a question, the proctors would provide it.
The impression given was that cheating was acceptable in secular

It should be noted that unlike Chaim's example the cheating had little
effect on those of us who did not.  Cheating was usually not done to
raise a B to an A, but to raise an F to a D or C.  The official school
policy was to discourage attendance in college.  Many of those boys who
cheated were the star students in Torah subjects and had no interest in
secular education.



From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 12:49:57 -0400
Subject: Impecability of Torah Texts

I am responding to [Oren Vol 23 # 92] who asserts that Torah texts as we
have them were occasionally changed (the so called Tikunay sofrim).

First of all it is my understanding that it is doctrinal to believe that
"the torah that we now have was transmitted to Moses on Sinai" (language
of the Rambam in the 13 articles of faith).  In other words the
impecability of the Mesorah is doctrinal (I would appreciate it explicit
halachic sources from people if they think this is not true).

Second, with regard to the tikunay sofrim--there is a commentary that
deals with matters of mesorah--the minchas shai--who incidentally, for
those who have not yet had the treat of reading him, often brings
midrashic pearsl to defend various texts.  He of course deals with the
so called 18 tikunay sofrim and assures us that the text was never
changed (he does not repeat this on all 18 occurrences but frequently
cross references the tikun sofrim in Teray Asar).

At the very least there is an opinion that tikunay sofrim does not imply
change of text.

To the best of my knowledge there are no variants in text except the
following: (1) about 1-2 dozen one letter variations in all of Tenach
(pesuah dacah with an aleph or hay, or e.g. bishnaim or lishnaim in
Megillath esther). (2) controversy on full and deficient spellings (3)
controversy on cantillations and hypenations.

Again, I am well aware of the literature so what I would like are
*halachick& sources (from respected rishonim or the shulchan aruch or
known poskim among the acharonim) who seriously disagree with what I
have just said.

Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d. ASA, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: <Harrymaryl@...> (R. Maryles)
Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 03:27:47 -0400
Subject: Reading Posts Carefully and Keeping Discussion Pure

Earlier, there was a posting which involved a discussion of kollelim.
There has been quite a bit of response to said posting, and it seems to
me that there has been huge misunderstandings among the posters and
readers.  In addition, the responses that I have read seem to be full of
richilus (peddling gossip), and sinas chinam (hatred for no reason).
Certainly, as a Jewish Forum, we CANNOT have this.  It is a huge Aveira.

The purpose, I feel, of any hashkafic discussion is to find the emes,
the ultimate truth.  We, as Jews, do not believe in discussion for the
purposes of blatent arguing, pointing fingers at, or feeling good about
ourselves.  We must always be extremely careful, especially in a forum
such as this, that our intentions are L'shma (for the sake of G-D) and
not, chas v'shalom, to enhance our own gaiva (haughtiness) or lead to

In yesterday's posting there was quoted a gemmorah which asks "what is
an apikoreis" inferring that the person who had originally written
regarding kollellim was in fact an apikoreis.  He seems to feel that the
initiator of the discussion was questioning the rabbonim in order to
denegrate them.

I invite you all to re-read the original posting; this time taking into
account where the writer is coming from.  The writer is a person who has
extreme emunas chachamim and whose love for Torah and Torah values
permiates his home and every action of his life.  Presently, the
writer's son is learning in kollel, with his full support. The writer of
that article also received smicha from Rav Aharon Soloveichik, whom he
greatly admires and asks all halachic shailos to.

When an article is posted, it is important to take into account, that
one may not always have all the information. Writers must be extremely
careful to be detailed and explicit in their opinions in order to
clearly express their ideas.  Readers must take into account that they
do not have all the information necessary to make judgements.

Again, I urge everyone who uses this forum to remember that the purpose
of discussion, and forums like this is to find emes.  In doing so, this
forum will not only find the emes but will also be a productive tool to
bring us all a little closer together.

R. Maryles


From: <Harrymaryl@...> (Harry Maryles)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 20:36:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Yeshivos and Kollelim

In a response to my post on Shiduchim and kollelim Ira Benjamin states
that I said that Roshei Yeshiva are "incorrectly guiding their students
into a more productive life".  That is a misquote.  What I said is that
Roshei Yeshiva are incorrectly NOT guiding their students into a more
productive life.
 Taken out of context this seems a bit outrageous and most disrespectful.
 Let me assure everyone that this is not the case.  My Rebbe, HaGaon Rav
Aaron Soloveitchik Shlita is a man that I venerate, and can certainly be
called a Gadol. I, also, have profound respect for all Roshei yeshiva as
the leaders of Klal Israel.  I believe that they are responsible for
providing us with the next generation of Roshei Yeshiva and Gedolim.
They are providing 1) the guidance spiritually, and 2) the venue to all
those individuals who are capable of becoming our future leaders.  I
would, also, like to make it known that my oldest son is currently about
to begin his fifth year learning full time in Yeshivas Mir Yerushalyim,
( 3rd year in the kollel ).  He has my full support and the full support
of his Shver ( father in law ).  He also has my full support to learn
full time for the rest of his life, if he so chooses.  This should give
you some idea of my perspective.  I am not one of these kollel bashers.
The problem is not in the existance of Kollelim but in their abuse in
our society.  The necessity of kollelim is indisputable.
  There are so many different ways that Klal Israel benifits from
Yeshivos and Kollelim that they are too numerous to mention and beyond
the scope of this post.  ( Just to mention a couple of benifits: They
help provide educators to the community, and in the case of community
kollelim, they provide Shiurim for Bal Habatim and a place for them to
learn. and they inspire other kollelim and shiurim by other institutions
which inspire others etc....But as I said... this is beyond the scope of
this post.)  I never intended Chas VeSholem to be disrespectful to any
Rosh Hayeshiva.  What I said was meant as plea not just from me but from
many other like minded Bal Habatim with a similar background to mine. (
I learned post high school in Yeshiva until age 26. )  Moreover, it
isn't just Bal HaBatim who have this opinion.  I have spoken to many
Roshei Yeshiva and Rosh Kollelim about this problem and, so far, they
privately agree with me.  They, however, do not want to go on record.
The only Rosh HaYeshiva who has gone on record that I know of, is my
Rebbe, Rav Aaron.  He has stated publicly as well as in print that not
everyone is meant to learn full time, that learning full time is meant
for the yechidei segula. " Vehogeisa Bo Yomim Va Lailos" is an
imperative for them, in that fashion.  For the rest of us we can fulfil
our obligation of "Vehogiso" by being Koveiah Itim ( settinig aside time
) both in the daytime and at night for learning Torah.  Bidieved, one
can even fulfil his obligation to learn Torah by reciting Krias Shema.
If this is heresy then I am in good company.  I, therefore, reiterate my
contention that learning full time by everyone should not be promoted as
the ultimate goal for everyone but only for those who will benifit Klal
Israel in one of the aforementioned ways.  What I meant is that there
are some yungeleit who don't have what it takes to make it in learning
and, nevertheless, continue to try instead of perhaps going into a field
where they can contribute to a much higher degree to serve Hashem and
Klal Israel ( i.e. be more productive!  )  This is where I feel the
change is needed.  The attitude needs to be developed that it is OK to
get a job.  It's not the end of the world if you want to support your
family.  In fact it is a very positive thing.
  As I have said many times all Bnei Torah should spend time learning
full time after high school for perhaps at least 5 years.  But in most
cases there should be preperation for some of that time, in conjuction
with learning, for one's parnaso. (although I believe all Bochurim need
to learn post high school for at least a year or two without any of the
distractions of college etc.)  I believe that the Roshei Yeshiva who in
many cases are surrogate fathers to these Bochurim should be more
proactive in guiding those bochurim who do not "have what it takes in
learning" into other areas. Any Rosh Hayeshiva worth his salt knows
which of his students are destined for greatness ( and should be
encouraged to stay in learning ) and which of his students are not
destined for greatness in learning. ( and guided into a parnasso ) The
benefit of such an approach is immeasurable.  In addition to
contributing in a better way ( each individual custom tailoring his
contribution to Klal Israel ), the money needed to support the vast
amounts of people presently in kollel will be freed up and better
distributed to those yungeleit who DO have what it takes.  They are the
ones who learn with great material sacrifice to themselves and their
families.  Why shouldn't they be able to continue learning full time
Lishma and not have to struggle for their material well being and those
of their families?  Wouldn't even their learning improve if they didn't
have to worry about how they were going to get their next rent check?
     I would just like to end this post by stating that I received a
very supporting response from someone off line who went through the
kollel system and agreed with me 100%.  He stated that the peer pressure
to stay in kollel is enormous, and that while one is in Kollel the
impression is made on the Yungeleit that Leaving learning is a terrible
thing.  He was able to leave and found out that it wasn't that terrible,
and in fact he is pretty well accepted by all of his kollel friends.
They even still accept his masser money.
 Harry Maryles


End of Volume 24 Issue 17