Administrivia: Volume III

Project Genesis (genesis@torah.org)
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 17:51:44 -0400

Welcome to Volume Three of Torah-Forum!

We have seen a great deal of growth, once again, as we moved through the
past 100 issues - Torah-Forum-digest now has 2616 subscribers, more than
double those who read issue #1 of Volume Two. Yet while the volume has
grown, the discussions have remained both civil and enlightening - my
compliments to all participants!

But the terrific growth of this forum - which mirrors that of Project
Genesis overall - has required some changes.

First of all, as you've noticed, my other duties have frequently prevented
me from producing Torah-Forum as regularly as I would have preferred. In
addition, the number of responses has, in the last several months,
consistently exceeded the number of digests - meaning the backlog never
really shrinks, even if I produce a digest every day, or even more often.
And finally, some of those responses have been so nearly identical that
writers have suggested ignoring parallel posts. Quite simply, you are so
_interested_ in these discussions, and in adding your two cents, that we
are drowning in intelligent contributions!

In order to solve these problems, we will try the following:

Number one, starting quite shortly, I'm going to play "erase the backlog" -
and produce as many digests as necessary to empty the queue. This means
that you may receive quite a few within several days, but don't worry, this
should calm down within a week. Writers could help by "restraining"
themselves for a few days, before sending in their next posts.

Second, the task of moderation will be passed to Rabbi Ari Lobel. I believe
he will be better able to maintain the pace of this active list, while
maintaining the overall tone of the discussions and enhancing the learning
experience.

Third - to ease the editor's burden - I'm going to encourage him to send
posts back to the writers, rather than editing himself, should they exceed
(in his judgment) the bounds of tone and content set for this list. To be
accepted, posts must be considerate of other writers and readers in every
way. This means that although ideas may be challenged, individuals should
never be attacked - as a general practice, I recommend the old
parliamentary style of referring to other distinguished speakers only in
the third person. And just as crucial, basic consideration requires that
_every_ Hebrew term, save the most common, must be translated. Shabbos and
Torah can stand, but Gemara [Talmud] and Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish
Law] should be presented with explanation.

Fourth - for everyone's benefit - I hope writers will permit Rabbi Lobel to
return posts if he feels that material just posted has already presented
the answers contained (or even requested) within a particular submission.

Thank you everyone, for your patience and continued interest! I do believe
that the above will result in a still more enjoyable and active
Torah-Forum-digest. And following previous convention, I will remind
everyone of our basic information file in the following message.

Your [soon-to-be-past] Moderator
Yaakov Menken
menken@torah.org