Volume 10 Number 16
                       Produced: Mon Nov 22 23:18:05 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Holocaust and Israel (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Najman Kahana]
Martyrdom in halacha
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Poskim, Aliya, etc.
         [Morris Podolak]
Synthetic Tzitzis
         [Ophir S Chernin]
Talmud study vs. g'milut chasidim
         [Alan Mizrahi]
         [Daniel Skaist]
Tzitzis on Acrylic
         [Robert J. Tanenbaum]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 08:55:29 +0200
Subject: Holocaust and Israel

      I understand that there will be lectures in Bar-Ilan during December
on religious Zionism and the Shoah. If any of our Bar Ilan colleagues
will be attending it would be appreciated if they summarized the talks
for mail.jewish.

Eli Turkel

From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 93 10:58 JST
Subject: Holocaust and Israel

>From: <bill.easley@...> (Bill Easley)
>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

For documented details on the Jewish Agency's attitude and behavior
during this period, I recommend reading the transcript of the Kastner
trial, which has been published both in Hebrew and in English.  I am
sorry, but I do not remember the publisher or date.

For those less familiar with the case, Dr. Kastner was the Jewish
Agency's representative in Hungary.  After the war, he became part of
the Mapai (now the Maarach, Labor) government.

A small, local news-sheet (edited by Greenwald) accused him of being a
Nazi collaborator.  He sued for defamation of character.  The attorney
representing the news-sheet was Shmuel Tamir.

In the trial, Tamir proved most of the allegations, and exposed some
rather shocking facts which implicated many other "high" people.  The
facts uncovered by the Kastner trial were used as the base of the
Eichmann trial.  After the trial, Dr. Kastner was murdered by an unknown



From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 11:41:53 -0500
Subject: Martyrdom in halacha

R. Dr. Hayim Soloveitchik, in his AJS Review Article (vol 12, #2 I
believe, 1987), discusses the tendency towards martyrdom in the face of
apostacy in the Ashkenazic communities of the Middle Ages.  Apparently,
such action was not mandated by halacha and perhaps even forbidden in some
cases, yet the communities often (regularly) would be slaughtered rather
than convert.  He discusses the attempt by the poskim (the baalei
hatosafot) to understand this response and to justify this action
halachically, resulting in, if I am not mistaken, the institution of a
bracha "al kiddush hashem." (Could someone please verify the existence of
this bracha?)

Eitan Fiorino


From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 03:42:48 -0500
Subject: Poskim, Aliya, etc.

In view of all the postings about poskim and aliya, I thought the following
might be of interest.  It is a letter that was written in 1864 by Rav
Shimshon Raphael Hirsch to Rav Tzevi Hirsch Kalisher.  Rav Hirsch was not
only famous for his Torah commentary, but he was an important posek and 
ideological figure in Germany at the time.  Rav Kalisher was one of the 
early halachic figures to press for a return to Zion.  I will not quote
the letter in full.  It can be found in "Shemesh Merpah", a collection of 
Rav Hirsch's writings.  I will present my translation of two sections that
struck me as particularly relevant to our discussion.
1. "We must be zealous with all our strength to correct our ways in the 
way of the Torah before our G-d ... and [our forefathers] never undertook
to open the way to redemption by strengthening and improving the holy
land, but rather by strengthening and improving our hearts and our deeds 
towards that end"

Rav Hirsch goes on to say that he does not see any need to go to Israel,
and that we should continue in the ways of our fathers and wait for the
redemption.  I won't argue whether he was right or wrong.  As several
people have pointed out, such labels may not apply in this case
(although I have some serious doubts about that).  It is the second
section that is important.

2. "And I have not spoken of this at all in public, in the eyes of everyone.
And I have not said 'accept my opinion', and it was never my intention to 
malign his honor [Rav Kalisher] or any of those who accept his advice ...
But a person acts only according to what he sees."

Two important points.  First, Rav Hirsch admits that it is a difficult 
issue, and although he sees things as he sees them, and must act according 
to his own understanding, he is willing to admit that he may be wrong.  
Second, although he disagrees, it is with respect, and without animosity.
I just thought it was interesting.


From: Ophir S Chernin <osc4@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1993 15:02:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Synthetic Tzitzis

To those who mistakenly believe that four cornered garments made of
synthetic materials are not required to have tzitzis:
	1)In the strict sense, only wool a woolen garment is required to
have tzitzis (wool tzitzis with techeles).  This is the reason that many
people are careful to wear only wool tzitzis, which is the proper thing
to do.
	2)All WOVEN materials are obligated in tzitzis, synthetics as
well as cotton.  Therefore, a poncho made of woven nylon (most nylon
fabric) which includes most high quality ponchos must have one corner
rounded.  Just folding a corner is worthless because the garment has not
been changed.  Also, we are noheg not to put tzitzis on such a garment
because it becomes dirty and we are also accustomed only to use wool
tzitzis.  Therefore one should round a corner of the garment (don't
worry, most high quality ponchos are made of woven rip-stop nylon fabric
and rounding the corner will not destroy the poncho).  Cheap ponchos are
often made of a SHEET of nylon and are not woven and therefore not
obligated in tzitzis.

This whole discussion applies ONLY TO MEN.

Ophir Chernin


From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 93 22:48:09 EST
Subject: Talmud study vs. g'milut chasidim

In (10:12) Frank Silberman states:

> it is best if [a Yeshiva bochur who is being supported by the
> community] learn what he wishes as fast as possible, then goes to earn
> a living, leaving his place at the Yeshiva for someone else.  Then
> when he takes time off for g'milut chasidim and bikur cholim, it will
> be purely his own contribution, and not subsidized by the communtiy
> without it's intention.

Talmud study and g'milut chasidim are both very important.  I do not
wish to make a judgement as to which is more important, because I don't
think anyone knows.  At any rate, both should be done all the time.
Just as one continues to study after Yeshiva, one should do g'milut
chasidim while in Yeshiva.  This is particularly true for a bochur who
is being supported by the communtiy.  The community is giving a lot for
him to be in Yeshiva.  He should show his thanks to the community by
doing g'milut chasidim while being supported.  After all, one learns by
doing g'milut chasidim, too.

-Alan Mizrahi


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Daniel Skaist)
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 93 04:23:07 -0500
Subject: Tzitzis

>Josh Wise
>	All four cornered garments require tzitzis, unless it is
>something you sleep in (i.e bedspread, sheets). If you do not wish to

Most of the answers to this question about Tzitzis assumed the same thing,
that is "sleeping things" are excluded because they are worn only at night.

My question is, who gets up before dawn *every* day.  Bedspreads, sheets,
blankets etc. ARE used during the daytime, in the early AM, most of the
year. This is not an exceptional use of nightime clothes in the daytime but
rather the standard use of these "garments" is for both nightime AND early



From: <btanenb@...> (Robert J. Tanenbaum)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 09:57:48 EST
Subject: Tzitzis on Acrylic

Here's another good reason to consult your Local Orthodox Rabbi.  An
unqualified statement was made that "garments made of acrylic do not
need tzitzis."

This is indeed the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein Z'Tz'L, who had a
leaning toward "original intent" and stated that a "garment" for the
purpose of Tzitzis means the kind of garment available in the times of
the Torah.  This is likely the majority opinion.

There is a sizeable minority of esteemed poskim, including Rav Moshe Bik
Sh'LiTah, who state that a "garment is a garment is a garment", and that
the material makes no difference.  4-cornered garments made out of nylon
are available and worn by many especially in the hot summer -- sold
precisely for the purpose of Tzitzis.

Since Tzitzis is a mitzva from the Torah (for males for daytime wear)
and for Torah mitzvos we follow, "when in doubt be stricter", without a
definitive ruling from one's personal Rav, one would be required because
of doubt to put Tzitzis on a four-cornered acrylic garment (if one is a

Another good lesson on why even the honorable mail-jewish is no
substitute for a solid relationship with a knowledgeable Rabbi, and much
personal study as well.

Happy Chanukah to all.
Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (212)450-5735
email: <btanenb@...>


End of Volume 10 Issue 16