The mail-jewish mailing list


Ground rules

Please consider these ground rules before submitting to the list:



  1. Submissions to the mailing list may not advocate actions which are clearly in violation of Halakha.
  2. Discussions about whether it is appropriate in these modern times to follow Halakha is not a valid topic for discussion on this list.
  3. It is the responsibility of the moderators to determine what the bounds of acceptable discussion are. The moderators may discuss borderline issues with some selected members of the list to help in making that decision.

Halakhic Authority

The mailing list is not a halakhic authority, and no discussions held on the mailing list should be relied upon in a situation where a p'sak halakha [specific halakhic decision] is called for. In such a situation, whether explicitly stated in the submission or not, the rule is: CYLCHA - Consult Your Local Competent Halakhic Authority.


All transliterations of Hebrew words, except those that are "very common", should be translated. The members of the mailing list span a wide range of knowledge and background, and we would like things to be understood by all. Words such as Torah, Shabbat, Mitzvah fall in the catagory of "very common". If you are unsure, it is better to err on the side of including the translation. If the translations are missing, the moderator will either supply the translation, clearly marking that the translation was added by the moderator, or will send the submission back to the submitter for translation.


If you want to enter the content of a Webpage into the discussion by listing a URL, please also list at least a summary of that page's content and/or ideas.



Items published on the list are not necessarily reflections of the moderators' opinions or approval. We only moderate submissions to make sure that they meet the list guidelines, as we understand them. Our general tendency is to let borderline cases be published and sorted out by the list membership. We only reject submissions where we feel that there is a significant conflict with the ground rules.

Editing Pencil

The moderators reserve the right to make edits to your submissions. In general, we try to make the fewest edits needed to bring a submission into compliance, usually limited to fixing typographical errors, grammar, and/or adding translations. For more substantive modifications, submissions are usually either returned to the author or updated by the moderator and returned to the author for approval.

Be nice smile

  • We are moderating this list in our own free time as volunteers, taking away time from normal duties: work, family, sleep ...
  • We do this because the mail-jewish readership is important to us, and we personally get value from our involvement.
  • We all make mistakes. It is the price of living. Please treat us as you would like us to treat you.

If you disagree with our position, please send a courteous and clear e-mail to the moderators. Rancorous ad hominem remarks will only reduce the willingness of everyone, readers and moderators, to be involved in this holy venture.

Sign up

Occasionally, we have an opening for a new moderator. If you are interested in moderation, please send an application to Ideal qualifications include:
  • "Thick skin"
  • Record of fair and balanced articles on the mailing list



All members of the mailing list are strongly urged to keep the conversation focused on the topic of discussion, not on the people saying things. Flaming of any sort will generally result in automatic rejection of your submission. On the flip side, you will very likely get offended at some point. One of the beauties of mail-jewish is that its readership is remarkably broad, and yet we strive to discuss our differences, within the list guidelines, in a civil manner.

Signatures Windows Write

We generally enforce a four-line limit to signatures. If your signature is longer, we will edit it down to 4 lines. We will also edit out lines that do not carry information, e.g. adding a favorite quote to one's signature is popular, but will usually be removed before a submission goes out.


Mail-jewish has quite a number of rabbis, professors, lawyers, doctors, grandparents, engineers, etc. The informal custom has developed of avoiding titles in submissions, and this has two positive consequences:
  1. The quality of your post is judged by its contents and not by your titles, friends (or enemies). In other words, if you make an intelligent, well-presented argument, it is likely to be heard and respected (and inversely).
  2. Posts are not and should not be judged as authoritative. For example, if a rabbi submits a posts, it is not necessarily the case that the rabbi is presenting a p'sak halacha or the definitive Jewish position on a matter.


When quoting previous submissions, please trim the quoted material to the very minimum needed to make your contribution understandable; the archives are available for all on the web and can be referenced as needed. The standard convention in the email world, supported by many mail user agents is that the quoted material is prepended with an identifiable character, usually a "> ", i.e. here is how a quoted line might look:
> this is a quoted line
and here is my reply

Doing this, or something similar helps everyone read things more clearly.


In general, we do not allow advertisements on the list. We will allow promotional submissions if they are:
  • Clearly and personally directed at the list
  • Relevant to recent discussions
  • Not designed to make money for anyone
r6 - 2011-01-03 - 15:53:54 - AriTrachtenberg

The mail-jewish mailing list web page
Syndicate this site RSSATOM