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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Introduction to the FAQ and s.c.j Newsgroups (1/12)
Section - Question 1.10: What topics are not appropriate for S.C.J?

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Top Document: soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Introduction to the FAQ and s.c.j Newsgroups (1/12)
Previous Document: Question 1.9: What topics are appropriate for S.C.J?
Next Document: Question 1.11: When should I post to talk.politics.mideast? Soc.culture.Arabic?
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
   Middle East politics, especially international issues concerning
   Israel, belong in [5]talk.politics.mideast (T.P.M), not S.C.J. You
   certainly should not crosspost between S.C.J and T.P.M. Discussions of
   internal Israeli politics belong in [6]soc.culture.israel (S.C.I).
   Again, they should not be crossposted to S.C.J. Pick whichever one is
   Discussions of Israeli Culture are inappropriate for S.C.J; rather,
   they belong in S.C.I. Crossposting between S.C.I and S.C.J is
   appropriate only for articles dealing with Jewish, as opposed to
   secular Israeli, issues. If the group [7] exists, it is also
   appropriate for discussions of Israeli culture, but note that its
   distribution is limited to Israel and sites receiving the il
   Material that is available from a listserv is inappropriate to post to
   S.C.J (that is, the entire newsgroup shouldn't receive the list).
   However, a single weekly message listing the lists available is
   reasonable. One sample from a new list is allowed.
   Readers of S.C.J are committed to their religion; it is inappropriate
   to "witness" or preach. Discussions of so-called "Messianic
   Judaism[sic]," and the Christian missionary organization calling
   itself "Jews for Jesus," and similar topics belong in [8]alt.messianic
   or the appropriate talk.religion.* group; don't crosspost them to
   Revisionist teachings (i.e., those teachings that attempt to deny that
   the holocaust ever happened) are inappropriate for S.C.J. They belong
   in [9]alt.revisionism. For more information on how to cope with those
   holding revisionist beliefs, the interested reader is referred to
   [Lip93] (Lipstadt, Deborah. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault
   on Truth and Memory.) in the [10]Antisemitism portion of the reading
   Lastly, try to avoid personal attacks. Don't write "Lashon Hara",
   derogatory information about people or groups. (If slanderous and
   false, it's called "Motzei Shem Ra") It is also forbidden to embarrass
   others in public. (Rare exceptions exist, so read a book such as R'
   Pliskin's Guard your Tongue for details.)
   As Josh Backon reminded us:
     The Bible states (Leviticus 19:17): "You shall surely rebuke your
     neighbor and not bear sin because of him". The Talmud comments that
     you may reprove your neighbor as long as you do not insult him but
     if you embarrass him by making him blush or turn pale from shame or
     fury then you have incurred guilt because of him (Sifra, Kedoshim
     4:8; Talmud Arachin 16b). The Talmud (Shevuot 36a) mentions a
     general prohibition against insulting a fellow man. Pirke Avot
     (3:11) states that he who causes embarrassment to a fellow man has
     no share in the world-to-come. The Talmud (Bava Metzia 58b)
     compared the slanderer to a shedder of blood, and the Rambam
     (Hilchot Chovel Umazzik 3:7) characterized all slanderers as wicked
     and stupid. The later scholars instituted disciplinary floggings
     for cases of slander (Choshen Mishpat 420:41).
   Eliot Shimoff expressed it this way:
     Lots of people read what we post; there are many lurkers who read
     and don't post. Keep them in mind when you write. If you are
     offended by some aspect of the Reform movement, it does little good
     to post a vituperative attack on that G-dless crew of evil people;
     your audience is far more likely to be offended than to either
     learn or think. Similarly, it does little good to write a missive
     pointing out how backward, narrow-minded and medieval those
     Orthodox Jews are; you are offending, but not teaching or
     informing. If your goal is to increase the influence of Reform
     Judaism, discuss its strong points rather than attacking Orthodoxy;
     the greatest enemies of Reform are those who advocate it by
     denigrating (usually inaccurately) Orthodoxy.
     Similarly, if your goal is to spread the Orthodox understanding of
     Torah, don't try to do so by attacking non-Orthodox movements;
     instead, try to explain the Orthodox position, and to show its
     In addition to the lurkers, there is also the Lurker; we should all
     try to ensure that whatever we write should not only be accurate,
     but should also be kiddush haShem, a sanctification of G-d's name.
     We should always write in a form that will get readers to say, at
     least, "I disagree with this person, but he/she is a fundamentally
     decent human being who is trying, to the best of his/her ability,
     to be a good person (although there are some non-Jewish posters), a
     good Jew."

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