Volume 10 Number 5
                       Produced: Wed Nov 17 19:01:40 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Holocaust and Israel
         [Bill Easley]
Kavod HaTorah
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Lubavitcher Rebbe in Russia (4)
         [Yankee Raichik, Jeff Woolf, Marc Shapiro, Marc Shapiro]
Poskim against Aliyah
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Poskim and Zionism
         [Allen Elias]
Satmar Rebbe
         [Esther R Posen]


From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 93 18:59:54 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

This issue deals with a topic that clearly is touching on some raw
nerves for some people. As Esther and Yosef remind everyone, please let
us act and write responsibly and with respect for each other and surely
for the Rabbis of previous generations. In some of the areas of what
history one wishes to believe, I doubt that we will change many minds on
the list that are made up. If all you wish to reply is that book X or
article Y is not accurate, I would suggest not sending it in. If you
have references to other works that you think people on the list should
know about, then that is fine.

Let's keep calm and continue to discuss things in a friendly and relaxed

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <bill.easley@...> (Bill Easley)
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 93 17:24:00 
Subject: Holocaust and Israel

AF>From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>

AF>He did actually think of coming to Eretz Israel. He went to the Jewish
AF>Agency (Sochnut) and asked for a certificate. The British had given all
AF>the immigration certificates to the Jewish Agency. The Jewish Agency
AF>representative told my grandfather that in order to get a certificate he
AF>would have to shave of his beard and cut off his son's peyes.  His
AF>wife's kerchief would also have to go.
AF>The Rabbis he consulted told him that most of those who made aliya under
AF>Jewish Agency auspices (the only way) later abandoned religion. Mr.
AF>Turkel as quoted above agrees with this assesment. Why should the Rabbis
AF>encourage people to do something which will cause them to abandon
AF>religion?  During the Crusades and Inquisition millions chose to die
AF>rather than give up their religion. Maybe the situation would have been
AF>different if the Jewish Agency had not adopted an anti-religious policy.

This matches up with the shocking stories told in the recent book, "The 
Seventh Million."  This book skewers the Jewish Agency's actions before,
during, and immediately following the Holocaust.  Priority was given to 
those refugees who would most likely support the secular Jews 


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 19:24:54 -0500
Subject: Kavod HaTorah

In MJ 9:97, Marc Shapiro scrupulously calls Reb Yoshe Ber Soloveichik
zt"l the "Rav", yet calls Rabbi E. E. Dessler, Rabbi M. Zemba, and R.
E. Wasserman kulam zt"l, "Dessler, Zemba, and Wasserman." In a
Halachic list such as ours, I believe such expression is an
intolerable breach of derekh eretz and kavod haTorah. That one does
not accept the derech of a certain gadol is no permission to detract
from the respect due to Talmidei Chachamim who were extraordinary
Ye'rei Hashem to boot!


From: <raichik@...> (Yankee Raichik)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 09:37:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Lubavitcher Rebbe in Russia

In v9#94 Marc Shapiro attempts to draw an analogy between the reactions
of German Jews to the nazis Y'mach Shmom and the Previous Lubavitcher
Rebbe's actions in Russia during the 1920's. I do not know your sources
for saying that the Rebbe believed the goverment was not anti-religious.
You are correct in stating that he urged his followers to stay in
Russia. The reason is precisely because the goverment was anti-religion
and he said that they do everything to keep the flame of Yiddishkeit
alive even under the most strenuous circumstances. For this work he was
arrested numerous times which culminated in 1927 when he was sentenced
for execution for his organizing Yeshivas, Shuls, Mikvahs, etc. In his
letters which were recently published it is clear that he knew whom he
was dealing with and despite all their attempts to stop him, he
presevered with his work. The fruits of this can be seen today in the
public revival of Torah-true Judaism in Russia which has sprung forth
from the underground Cheders and Yeshivas that his Chasidim kept open
even during Stalin's rule of terror. This subject requires much more
detail than I can go into here, and I am willing do discuss it with you
privately. My e-mail address is: attmail!cimcrd01!raichik.

From: Jeff Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 93 03:59:59 -0500
Subject: Lubavitcher Rebbe in Russia

On the 'Stay put' Policy of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, my friend
Prof David Fishman (JTS/YIVO) has documentary proof (and tons of it)
that not only did Rabbi Schneerson urge his followers to stay in Russia,
he actively prevented people with tickets and visas from getting on the
boat in Odessa. (BTW, he himself was escorted to Hamburg and the US by
an SS officer).
                                                      Jeff Woolf

From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 11:10:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Lubavitcher Rebbe in Russia

For those who are interested re. Lubavitch and leaving Europe see
Fishman's article in Wertheimer ed. Uses of Tradition. It is worth
noting that there were a number of Lubavitch hasidim and rabbis who
opposed the rebbe's view (pretty difficult to imagine today when the
rebbe's word is divine truth). E. g. R. Zevin was a Habadnick but he was
also a Zionist, and there were other similar men. For those who don't
know, Lubavitch was one of the most anti-Zionist of all the Hasidic
groups. Ideologically the movement is still completely anti-Zionist and
the Rebbe believes it was forbidden to establish the State. Practically
they have learned to co-exist. Among gedolim who left Russia include the
Chafetz Chaim and the Chrenobyl Hasidim. They realized that there comes
a time when you must look out for your own families. The Shluchim of
Habad were very brave but were fighting a hopeless battle and their
reached a point when even when they wanted to leave they were not able.
Because of this all their children wee lost to yiddishkeit. Half of my
family remained in Rusia and all of them intermarried and were lost.
This was so despite the fact that they were raised by pious Habad
parents and Novozypkov, where R. Zevin was rabbi.

From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 11:10:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Lubavitcher Rebbe in Russia

Pinchas says that the Lubavitcher rebbe had no doubts about the evil
nature of the Soviet government. Unfortunately he doesn't have all the
facts. The rebbe repeatedly told his followers that the real danger is
not the government but the Jewish communists. I urge you to read
Fishman's article.
						Marc Shapiro (I am no
Habad basher. My great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were very
active in the movement and rescued R. Zevin, who lived in their house for


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 19:24:48 -0500
Subject: Re: Poskim against Aliyah

Yosef Bechhofer requested citations of psakim against aliyah in the
1920's.  This is beside the point.  Show me psakim that encouraged
aliyah!  The absence of the latter, and its consequences, makes my case
that religious leaders of the time were historically and tragically
wrong in how they guided their people.

He also claims that it was merely inertia and inaction, not a
conspiracy.  I don't know what he means by conspiracy, but the attitude
of Agudas Israel towards the Zionist enterprise before WW II is well

Benjamin Svetitsky       <bqs@...>


From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 14 Nov 93 12:48:29 EST
Subject: Poskim and Zionism

>From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>

>        Someone mentioned the rabbis telling their Hasidim to remain in
>hungary. In particular the Belzer had his brother tell everyone that the
>Nazis would never reach Hungary and there was nothing to fear. In the
>end he escaped to Palestine, leaving his followers behind. (Not all
>rebbes acted like Zemba and Wasserman. The Satmar rebbe escaped with the
>help of a leading Zionist. Unfortunately he never showed any hakarat

I would appreciate sources for these serious allegations about Tzadikim
who are in their graves. According to books about the Belzer and Satmar
Rebbes z"l the above statements are not accurate. One book, Hakefil
MiBelz (The Double from Belz), says the Belzer Rebbe miraculously
escaped from a concentration camp. Most of his followers were already
dead or were being worked to death in labor camps so there was no
purpose in the Belzer Rebbe marching into a gas chamber.

A book in Yiddish about the Marmarosh community (title & author escape
me) among other books about the Satmar Rebbe z"l says Rabbi Joel
Teitelbaum spent the war in Bergen Belsen until it was liberated by the
Allies.  The leading Zionist who was supposed to ransom him out of the
camp was Dr. Kastner who gave Eichman a list of the names and addresses
of all the Jews in Budapest in return for the Nazis providing safe
passage for his family and the families of other Zionists. Dr. Kastner
went to trial in Israel after which he was assasinated. The trial was
recorded in the book Perfidy by Ben Hecht.

A representative of the Joint, Joel Brand, appeared several times on
documentary films and said Eichman offered him to free all the Jews in
Hungary in return for a ransom but the Zionists told him not to pay.

To demand of the Satmar Rebbe z"l to show hakarat hatov toward the
Zionists is a bit audacious to say the least. Most of his followers were
included in the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews whom the
Zionists thought were not worth the ransom money.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: 12 Nov 93 18:34:52 GMT
Subject: Re: Satmar Rebbe

Marc Shapiro writes that the Satmar Rebbe escaped with the help of a
leading Zionist but never showed any hakarat hatov...

Really now?  Aren't we getting a little ridiculous here.  The Satmar
Rebbe was certainly rabidly anti-Zionist.  That was his position
vis-a-vis the Zionist movement.  Is that any proof that he was not
personally grateful to the man that saved his life.

Also, I recall the uproar on this list when Rabbi Solevetchik was not
given proper kovod by the "right wing orthodox jews" upon his petirah.
Can we show a little reverence on this list towards gedolai yisroel
whatever their affiliation.

Esther Posen


End of Volume 10 Issue 5