What are the Do's and Don'ts?
Here's a summary.
- Learn about Usenet before you post.
- Follow S.C.J and read news.announce.newusers.
- Use the appropriate newsgroups: Israeli politics belongs on "soc.culture.israel" or "talk.politics.mideast"; Holocaust denyers
belong on "alt.revisionism"; Messianics
belong on "alt.messianic"; Middle east
politics belongs on "talk.politics.mideast"; discussions about
Turkey and Armenia belong on "soc.culture.turkish".
- Know your audience and make your posts understandable.
- Trim quoted material whenever possible, and try to ensure there is
content in your posting (except, perhaps, during the month of Adar)
- Direct specific halachic questions to rabbis, but you can discuss
the general concept on S.C.J.
- Do post divrey Torah [short sermons on Jewish topics].
- Don't challenge the validity of Judaism or assert the superiority of
other religions and prophets thereof.
- Don't write "lashon hara" [true slander] or "motzei sheim ra" [false
- Don't start posting until you've finished reading this FAQ.
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:
- State your position (act); don't respond to a previous posting
- 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
- Trim included material as much as possible.
- 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
- Congratulations! and other one line posts in response to
announcements should always be done in email.
- Signatures should be 4 lines or less. Some posting software will
- You don't need to respond to every article; choose your responses
- Treat your fellow posters with the same respect with which you would
like them to treat you.
- Let subjects die gracefully. When you post, consider whether you are
really *adding* something to the discussion.
- 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.
- 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.
- When a poster is making a fool of themselves, don't jump in. Let
their words demonstrate the quality of their thoughts.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remember to edit the subject line to keep it relevant to the
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
Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions.
If it doesn't, please drop Email to email@example.com. 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
© (c) 1993-2002
Daniel P. Faigin <firstname.lastname@example.org>