Volume 41 Number 22
                 Produced: Wed Nov 19  6:27:20 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hozer V'niar
         [Rose Landowne]
Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance (3)
         [Rise Goldstein, Elazar M Teitz, <Smwise3@...>]
Women seeing Men in Pants (2)
         [Kenneth G Miller, Leah S. Gordon]


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 13:22:49 EST
Subject: Gyms

>But surely on fitness machines chances are you'd be surrounded by all
>women and you'd wear whatever you want?  When I go to the woman's gym
>across the street I change into very non tsnius workout gear because its
>all women there.
>      -Shoshana Ziskind

And what about the issue of homosexuality?  How do we know that dressing
so will not attract/stimulate/arouse those with latent homosexual
tendencies (which might otherwise just as well staying
undiscovered/untriggered/unstimulated) much less present a
conveninet/meeting place for the less latent.  At the mikva there are
individual changing rooms and minimal exposure during these 'less
tzniut' moments. Perhaps we should take the lead from there and not
dismiss tzniut during workouts when physical 'juices' are flowing and
interpersonal borders may be down in the camaraderie of it all.
Granted, separate swimming beaches present the same challenge....
Granted all the above apply equally if not more so for male gyms,
beaches & bathhouses.  and granted nothing will stop the incorrigible
:-).  But at the present time Torah, the Torah community & modern
psychology have a lot to iron out/learn from each other as far as how
much is nature, how much is nurture and how to deal in a menschlach way
with the people effected and their families.  Perhaps we should err on
the side of (reasonable) caution and greater tzniut, not less, given the
general society's pull in the opposite direction.



From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 07:28:42 EST
Subject: Re: Hozer V'niar

No. It only works as long as the permissible meat is the majority, after
that the forbidden quality of the originally traif meat reawakens and
causes the whole mixture to be forbidden. (hozer v'niar). (We learn it
from Trumah flour...)

Rose Landowne

<< My understanding is that if you have three similar pieces of meat, two
of which were kosher and one was non-kosher then Mi'd'oraysoh the
principle of Rov applies and they are all OK to eat (although some say
you shouldn't eat them all together).  The interesting point is that the
piece which was treif is now "nahafoch la'asos heter" (it is now a
kosher piece of meat - the rationale possibly being that as it was
Halochoh which made it treif - because it wasn't shechted properly or it
was otherwise a Neveiloh - is the same Halochoh which says that the
principal of Rov over-rules that).  Anyway, if these three pieces of
meat (two of which were always kosher and one of which "became" kosher)
were now mixed (inadvertently) with two similar pieces of treif meat
then the two new pieces of meat *also* become kosher, because of Rov
(remember that the first piece of treif meat is now kosher, and is
included in three kosher pieces, as a majority over the two new treif
pieces).  And so on ad infinitum, I suppose...... >>


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 04:25:30 -0800
Subject: RE: Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance

Russel Hendel wrote:

> Rise Goldstein in v41n19 reacted to my passing comment
> >the prospective date should definitely be told about the former abuse
> >and then she (the woman, not the informers) should decide whether she
> >doesnt want to take such risks or maybe she thinks all the guy needs is
> >someone respectful and he will stop.

No matter how "respectful" a woman is to her abuser, it is *almost*
impossible that this will appease him and he will stop abusing.  For a
woman to believe this is suicidally naive; for others to encourage her
to believe it is homicidally naive at the very best.

> Rise reacts by pointing out (from her clinical experience) that abusers
> do not change.

Dr. Hendel has seriously misquoted me here on at least 2 points.  First
of all, I was speaking not from "[my] clinical experience" but rather
based on a substantial body of published scientific research.  Anyone
who wants citations to this research literature is welcome to e-mail me
privately.  I also did not say quite so bluntly that abusers do not
change.  It is *possible* for them to change, though even empirically
"validated" treatment programs for batterers have to acknowledge very
low rates of "success."  However, what I said, and I stand by it, is
that the recidivism rate is so high that the level of risk for serious
injury and even death to a woman involved with a man who has ever been
abusive is so high that in my humble professional opinion it should be
unacceptable to give such a man the opportunity to abuse someone else on
the assumption that he can change, has changed, etc.

>> The women should be told that he was abusive and that he cant change;
>> she will definitely be abused if she goes out with him

I also didn't say this.  Unfortunately, it is *usually* the case, and I
believe "usually" was the word I used in my post, that it's not a matter
of "if," but of "when," the man will repeat his history in such cases.
There are exceptions, but recidivism is a known, extremely serious, and
high-probability danger.


> It is one thing to state that a person was abusive. It is quite another

In general, there *is* nothing a woman can do about being abused, other
than to leave the relationship, despite what many women are told about
their responsibilities for shelom bayit, to be endlessly submissive and
obsequious, to produce more babies, etc., in such circumstances.
Unfortunately, though, as great as the risk is to her, not just of being
seriously injured but of being *killed*, if she stays in an abusive
relationship, the risk to her is greater still for a considerable period
of time *after* she leaves.

>[...]  (A) Abe is very abusive--[...]he uses the foul language he hears
>in the office all the time [...] (B) Abe beats his wife all the time
>though she has never been to the doctor. [...]  his wife refuses to
>dress up for him saying that is not her job. He will probably treat you
>the same way.

> In Case (A) the prospective date may feel that Abe will change if his
> job changes. Maybe she knows someone who can help him get a job. Or
> maybe she feels Abe was never told that people understand that his
> condition is due to how he was treated. In Case (B) a prospective date
> may feel that Abe simply needs someone who will cater to his
> needs...she may feel that the abuse will go away.

First of all, apologies to our esteemed moderator for quoting so much of
Dr. Hendel's post, but I felt I had to do it to illustrate what I am
responding to here and why.  Second, both of these cases strike me as
minimizing the culpability of the abuser in his abusive behavior, and
case (b) IMHO seems at least in part to blame the victim.  Despite
rhetoric to the contrary from certain people in our ranks, and from the
"general society" surrounding us, in no case is the victim to blame for
being abused.  The full and sole responsibility for perpetrating the
abuse is, with a vanishingly tiny number of exceptions (see my next
sentence) on the abuser, particularly in the circumstances described
above.  Obviously, the onus of responsibility would be different in the
extremely rare event that, say, the abuser were being violent because of
a brain tumor, bona fide psychosis, or similar factors.  The prospective
dates in both cases, if they react as Dr. Hendel predicts, could very
well be putting themselvesin grave danger, both by excusing the abuse,
and by their naivete as to its causes and remediation.  This is
particularly true in case (B), since *no* amount of catering to an
abusive husband will make the abuse go away, though the process behind
such catering may very well destroy the abused wife's self-esteem so
completely that she will continue to take the abuse, thinking,
erroneously, that she "deserved" it.


> More could be said....bottom line...do tell prospective dates about
> RECENT abusive pasts...however you MUST include details and
> degrees...you must leave a way out for repentance. It is our faith and
> tradition.

"Leaving a way out for repentance" is one thing.  However, knowingly
putting women at risk for being abused,and maybe even killed, is quite
another, especially since the overwhelming majority of men who have
abused one woman go on to abuse others, no matter how the women contort
their own lives to try to appease those men.  I repeat to Dr. Hendel,
and to others on the list, the question that Mr. Wise posed previously:
would you want your daughters going out with, or getting married to, men
with *any* such histories?

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA

From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 23:31:36 -0500
Subject: Re:  Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance

To Rise Goldstein's comment that from her clinical experience "abusers
do not change. The women should be told that he was abusive and that he
can't change; she will definitely be abused if she goes out with him,"
Russell Hendel responded that he disagrees philosophically, because
repentance is a basic tenet of Judaism; halachically, because of the
commandments against slander; and professionally, because he is a member
of Amit, and knows of their commonplace experience of rude and abusive
teenagers being cured.  (I believe this is a fair one-sentence summary
of a lengthy posting.)

I'm afraid these comments are far off base, and the error could be a
matter of life and death.

To talk about Amit's abusive children in the same breath as spousal
abuse is to indicate a total misunderstanding of what the latter is.
We're not talking about a teen-ager who may use foul language or get
into fights with fellow students.  Spousal abuse is that of an adult who
systematically and usually very dangerously inflicts severe physical
harm on his spouse.  It is generally a deep-seated personality disorder,
not a yetzer hara tempting a person to do a prohibited act for the
pleasure derived from it.  To speak of doing t'shuva for spousal abuse
is about as meaningful as to speak of doing t'shuvah for mental
imbalance, since abuse is the manifestation of just such an imbalance.
It is not penitence, but cure, which is needed, and that cure seldom (if
ever) comes about without extensive professional help, and may not be
achieved even with such help.

As far as the halachah is concerned, the relevant one here is not
slander, but "Lo ta'amod al dam re'echa," do not stand idly by while
someone's life is endangered.  True, _if_ the abuser has changed, then
he is improperly being denied the possibility of finding a mate; but
weighed against the far more likely probability of his not having
changed, and as a result being a source of potentially grave danger to
any prospective spouse, there is no question how one who knows the true
dimensions of the abuse is bound by halachah to act.

From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 07:16:55 EST
Subject: Re: Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance

Russell Handel wrote:
<< Woe there. I have to disagree philosophically, halachikally and 
professionally. >>

I read your post with interest ( I think you meant "Whoa!" not "Woe").
All you say may be valid, but would you want your daughter to date let
alone marry someone with such a past--revealed or not? It's easy to
decide for others, but what about for yourself. Quite honestly, I
wouldn't.  There are enough surprises in relationships/marriages that
you don't have to start with a handicap.

Unfortunately, things are never as clear-cut as you say.  A person who
is heavily medicated may be fine, but what if he decides he doesn't want
his meds anymore, and without them he becomes abusive? I have heard of
this very situation. And a 10-year laps without abuse means nothing if
that person was not in situation to abuse--e.g., not married.

Again, what if it was your daughter involved?



From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 08:12:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Women seeing Men in Pants

Leah S. Gordon opined <<< I think that it is definitely a suggestive
sight to see men in pants... >>>

and Bernard Raab asked <<< The operating assumption throughout halachic
literature, including the gemara, is that women are not susceptible to
sexual arousal by mere sight or sound (e.g.; no prohibition of "kol
ish").  How valid is this? >>>

At first glance, these two views seem to conflict. But this can be
easily resolved by adding one small word to what Bernard Raab wrote:
"women are not AS susceptible" as men are.

This can be understood on a few levels. One is that women do get
aroused, but not as strongly as men do, and their level of arousal is
not considered by Judaism to be problematic.

Another way to understand it is: For those who feel that even women do
get strongly aroused, especially in the culture which we find ourselves
today, and to a point which Judaism does or should find problematic ---
well, it's that much worse for the men!

Akiva Miller

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 18:40:55 -0800
Subject: Women seeing Men in Pants

Bernard Raab writes:
>Thank you for this input. The operating assumption throughout halachic
>literature, including the gemara, is that women are not susceptible to
>sexual arousal by mere sight or sound (e.g.; no prohibition of "kol
>ish").  How valid is this?

Well, I can speak only for myself and my group of female friends whom I
interviewed these past few days.  :) Our consensus is that if women
weren't aroused by sight or sound, there would be a lot less sexual
activity in the world.  As for 'kol ish,' one of my friends mentioned
Barry White singing in that context.

It seems odd to me that anyone would assume otherwise, and extremely
startling that (though I know you are correct) this would be a common,
default halakhic premise.

Since I can't believe that there would be such widespread lack of
awareness, is it possible that instead, there is no halakhic 'problem'
with women getting aroused?

--Leah S. R. Gordon


End of Volume 41 Issue 22