Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q1.20 TOC Sect. 2 >

Question 1.21:
What are the Do's and Don'ts?


Here's a summary.

The following is some good advice on writing articles that move discussion forward in a positive manner. These suggestions apply not only to soc.culture.jewish, but to any newsgroup in which you might participate:

  1. State your position (act); don't respond to a previous posting (react).
  2. State what you think in a positive manner, not why some other poster is wrong. Contrast: Dubaldie was wrong when he said that ... to I believe that ...
  3. Trim included material as much as possible.
  4. If you can respond to a question in email, please do so. If you're looking for information, offer to collect responses via Email and post a summary.
  5. Congratulations! and other one line posts in response to announcements should always be done in email.
  6. Signatures should be 4 lines or less. Some posting software will enforce this.
  7. You don't need to respond to every article; choose your responses carefully.
  8. Treat your fellow posters with the same respect with which you would like them to treat you.
  9. Let subjects die gracefully. When you post, consider whether you are really *adding* something to the discussion.
  10. Avoid unsubstantiated statements that you cannot back up with citations. In a similar fashion, avoid the use of stereotypes. For example, not all Jews with beards are Orthodox, and not all secular Jews are Reform.
  11. Review your postings before pressing the send sequence. It is worth the time to spell check your post, and re-read it to make sure you're not saying something stupid. Reading an article isn't mandatory; if your article is attractive, it is more likely to be read.
  12. When a poster is making a fool of themselves, don't jump in. Let their words demonstrate the quality of their thoughts.
  13. Remember to leave room for all voices. It's good to be active on the group, but don't let your activity crowd out others. A good practice is to read all postings for a given day before writing any responses.
  14. Even though you may disagree with a poster or a poster's practice, show respect for that person. This is really a corallary of "act, don't react". Instead of "reacting" to what the poster said by negating their statements, "act" by stating positively what you believe.
  15. Remember to edit the subject line to keep it relevant to the posting.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>