Volume 41 Number 59
                 Produced: Fri Dec 26  5:52:18 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Davening if someone objects
         [Carl Singer]
Halakhic Requirements to Forgive
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Kollel, Overgeneralizations
         [Ruth E. Sternglantz]
Parents not Working and Schools (4)
         [<Smwise3@...>, Jeanette Friedman, Martin Stern, Carl Singer]
Prayer when time is short


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 08:09:50 -0500
Subject: Davening if someone objects

Mordechai Horowitz inquires:
<< I seem to remember learning a halacha once, where someone is not
allowed to daven for the community if an individual objects to them
davening.  Is my memory playng tricks on me or is their a source?  >>

I was visiting (I won't say which city) once and someone objected to the
would-be shaliach zibur (a mourner -- it was a weekday) because he
either had a speech impediment or bedee eved did not pronounce words
clearly -- it was a very uncomfortable situation, even as a non-involved

Carl Singer


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 21:04:05 +0200
Subject: Halakhic Requirements to Forgive

Regarding the postings about the halakhic recommendation that a victim
not be obstinate if he is asked for forgiveness my the one who injured
him, there are times when he has a right to refuse to forgive.

The talmud  Yoma 87b brings the following story:

Once Rav was expounding portions of the Bible before Rabbis, and there
entered Rav Chiyya, whereupon Rav started again from the beginning; as
Bar Kappara entered, he started again from the beginning; as R. Shimon,
the son of Rabbi entered he started again from the beginning. But when
R.  Chanina b. Chama entered, he said: So often shall I go back? And he
did not go over it again.  R Chanina took that amiss. Rav went to him on
thirteen eves of the Day of Atonement, but he would not be pacified. But
how could he do so, did not R. Yosei b. Chanina say: One who asks pardon
of his neighbor need not do so more than three times? It is different
with Rav.  (He goes beyond the Law.) But how could R. Chanina act so
[unforgivingly]?  Had not Raba said that if one passes over his rights,
all his transgressions are passed over [forgiven]? Rather: R. Chanina
had seen in a dream that Rav was being hanged on a palm tree, and since
the tradition is that one who in a dream is hanged on a palm tree will
become head [of an Academy] he concluded that authority will be given to
him and so he would not be pacified to the end that he (Rab) departed to
teach Torah in Bavel.

Rashi elaborates:

He saw a dream about Rav that he was hung on a palm tree. This is a sign
of leadership and greatness. And R. Chanina was a head of the academy,
as Rabbi stated ( Ketubot 103b) at his death Chanina b. Papa will sit as
head of the academy. When he ( R. Chanina) saw this dream about Rav, he
was worried about dying, since one kingdom does not encroach upon
another . So he said: I will repulse him here and he will flee to Bavel,
and there he will be head of the academy and I will not have to die
because of him.

  From that incident the rishonim derive that one may be obstinate in
not forgiving if it is to the benefit of the perpretrator of sin of bein
adam lahavero

A wife would then have a right to refuse to forgive an abuser husband
even after he begs for forgiveness for in virtually all case, as
attested to by the experts, it's in the best interest of both husband
and wife.


From: Ruth E. Sternglantz <resternglantz@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 07:33:14 -0500
Subject: RE: Kollel, Overgeneralizations

Eugene Bazarov in Vol 41 Num 54 wrote (but others on the list have
echoed similar sentiments):

"Now-a-days, everyone spends many years in Kollel even if they have no
talent or intention to stay in the Rabbinate or to go into
teaching. This is a 'revolution.'"

A few issues ago, an anonymous poster -- on another subject -- commented
on the injuries wrought by dangerous and overbroad generalizations.  For
a long time, as I've read Mail Jewish, I've been disturbed by the
hostility displayed by some posters about the Kollel system in America.
I've remained silent though, because although I have close family
members and friends who are participants in Kollel (either as man
learning or wife supporting or, indeed, adult child of kollel family), I
am not.  But this latest wave -- in conjunction with the recent
anonymous post -- gives me a good opening, and I'm taking it.

First -- yes, there may be some in Kollel who ought to be doing other
things.  This is not a profound observation.  There are people who are
doctors and lawyers and accountants and salesmen who ought to be doing
other things, too, yet I fail to see the ire directed at misplaced
Kollel men directed towards them.  "But," you will cry, "those
professions have internal checks and balances.  A rotten apple will be
thrown out.  But the rotten apples in Kollel just stay there forever,
leaching off the public purse and holding themselves out as
holier-than-thou."  Baloney.  There are plenty of incompetents in every
field.  Once you're in, unless you do something entirely outrageous --
and sometimes even if you do -- you're safe.  That's why the odd lawyer
who gets disbarred or the physician who actually loses a medical license
is front page news.

Second -- I think it's important to distinguish between Israel and
elsewhere when discussing the Kollel phenomenon.  The two are
historically and sociologically distinct.

Third -- Obviously my powers of observation are limited.  But I have a
frame of reference that includes three generations of Kollel in America.
Based on my observations, most people remain in kollel for a maximum of
five years -- and then they leave, to some secular profession.  Indeed,
for the "many" five years is an outer limit; the ones in that group who
were just doing it for show or who lack real talent tend to be out far
sooner than that, after a couple of years, with no stigma in the leaving
or peer pressure to remain.  A minority remain longer, again most
dispersing to some profession -- often chinuch -- before year 10.  A
very, very tiny minority remain in Kollel beyond that.  And those who do
are engaged in a plethora of community activities and are the genuine
cream.  Statements using words like "everyone" and "many years" are
factually wrong and inflammatory.

Finally -- There's a fair amount of animus from some posters on this
list towards the Yeshiva world -- in many cases because of bad
experiences with members of this group.  But discussions of some rude
yeshivish boys that later degenerate into discussions of why yeshivish
boys are rude are inappropriate.  Yes -- some yeshivish boys are rude.
Newsflash: some frum boys who are not yeshivish are rude, too.  We live
in an incredibly rude age.  When discussing problems in our communities
-- and yes, one of the values of this list is as a forum for airing our
dirty laundry in private -- can we resist the urge to cabin the problem
to a particular group within the community?  Observance -- and strong
commitment to observance -- come in many different packages, and all of
us would be well-served by recognizing this.  We are all very
comfortable in our superiority to all those who look different to us.
We need -- all of us, irrespective of our specific group identification
within the Torah observant world -- to become less comfortable with this
superiority.  This does not mean that we have to change what we do.  It
does mean that we have to change what we assume about what OTHERS do.

Sorry for the length of this post.  It's been brewing for a while.

Ruth Sternglantz


From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 05:27:24 EST
Subject: Re: Parents not Working and Schools

> From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>  From my experience the "hashkofa" of the schools who "don't admit
> children of fathers who work" is really more of a "continuum" than a
> black and white categorization.  It goes something like this.  Most
> desirable is a father who learns full time in kollel and does not work
> at all.  (It does not seem to matter where he gets his income
> from... even if it's from a relative who works.)  Next in line, but
> quite close behind, is someone who works, but in a "kodesh" field, such
> as a teacher or administrator in a frum school, a rabbi, a sofer, etc.
> After all, the people making these categorizations and decisions are
> mostly members of this group.  Next after that, is someone who is an
> entrepreneur of some sort of a business that caters to the Jewish
> community, such as a kosher caterer or Jewish bookstore owner.  Next
> after that is an entrepreneur (i.e. business owner) in a field that is
> not oriented toward the Jewish community, but is somwhat "kovadick",
> such as the owner of an insurance company.  And last on the list is the
> guy who works as an employee for a company. >>

In other words, all frum Jews are not created equal.

I can relate an experience of someone who lives in Lakewood and faced
this situation.  He himself had learned in yeshiva but bought a house in
Lakewood.  Despite having brothers with kids inthe the yeshiva,
apparently that wasn't enough.  Trying to find ways to avoid taking in
the child of a working, though yeshivish man, the school required the
little boy to go through psychological testing even though he is
perfectly normal.  The school hemmed and hawed and finally a senior
member of the family who is an educator approached the administration
and wanted to know what was going on.  The response was clearly that the
yeshiva wanted to keep its student body as pure as possible with the
children of Lakewood kollel men.  Another cousin who is learning in
Lakewood, even he couldn't get his son into the yeshiva because he had
chosen a school for an older child, a daughter, that was not a sister
school of the yeshiva!

What I heard from someone who lives there, is that the yeshiva fears
that some of these children of non-Yeshiva members may have different
standards, such as a television or certain reading material permitted,
and they are afraid of tainting the purity of the yeshiva world.

The elitist attitude sickens me.  The bottom line is that eventually
these kollel kids will grow up and all the efforts to protect them from
the world may be for naught.  The school and parents think they are
protecting their kids, but instead they aren't preparing them to deal
with diversity and in the long wrong that can lead to bigotry against
other Jews, and won't necessarily keep them in the "yeshiva" world.


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 08:44:33 EST
Subject: Re: Parents not Working and Schools

What does all this have to say about A: Derech Eretz Kadma La Torah B:
The Chofetz Chaim who owned an inn C: about personal values of
self-respect and supporting one's family?

How are the female children of these men supposed to find decent lives,
especially if no one can afford to send them to school--and if they can
go to school, they are looked down on by the all-day all-night kollel
crowd? How does this make any sense for a good future for Yiddishkiet?
Doesn't this attitude promote sinat chinom?

jeanette friedman

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 11:12:53 +0000
Subject: Re: Parents not Working and Schools

on 23/12/03 10:15 am, Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...> wrote re: parents
not working:

When I read the first posting about "schools in Lakewood that don't
admit children of fathers who work", I was horrified at what appeared to
be such a denigration of work as though it were a four letter word of
Anglo-Saxon origin (which it actually is) not used in polite
conversation. Having read Tzvi Stein's explanation, I see that it is
entirely reasonable for a school set up essentially for the purpose of
educating children of kollel members and klei kodesh to give them
preference when applications exceed places.  This shows how the way one
frames ones description of the facts can put an entirely erroneous gloss
on reality, but expertise in so doing is the essence of propaganda.

Martin Stern 

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 07:57:56 -0500
Subject: Parents not Working and Schools

I've noticed that in pluralistic communities: (My definition) -- where
some fathers learn and are considered to be talmid chuchums and other
fathers may not have as strong a learning background (including ba'l
tzuvahs) -- that the children of the latter are at a distinct
disadvantage when the school relies on the fathers to learn with their

In some cases fathers learning with children obscures the fact that the
school, itself, is not providing adequate education to all.

On the other hand, if ALL children come from home where there is a
talmid chuchim father at home able and willing to be an integral part of
their learning, then the school can lever this asset.

Lehavdil, on more than one occasion we (my wife and I) have had one of
our children come to us baffled by their secular homework and have had
to supplement poorly taught (or poorly learned) classroom lessons.  BTW,
this phenomena has extended all the way to graduate school.

Carl Singer


From: <MRosenPSI@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:44:12 EST
Subject: Re: Prayer when time is short

      I heard that the suggestion was rejected by the Orthodox rabbis
      consulted on the project despite the precedent of the early
      Siddurim (cited by R. Yonatan) which differentiated between the
      Tefillas ha-Yachid of Shacharis, which did not contain the Kedusha
      d'Yotzra and associated paragraphs, and the Tefillos of the
      Tzibbur, which contained the Kedusha d'Yotzra and associated
      paragraphs.  The reason I heard for the rejection was that the
      scholars who suggested the shortening of the davening in reliance
      on the precedents were from the Reform camp.

This does make sense. The earliest Reform siddurim (Hamburg, Geiger) did
away with the Kedushah d'Yeshiva since it made mention of angels. As
part of the push towards rationality these "superstitious" elements were
left out.


End of Volume 41 Issue 59