Volume 10 Number 27
                       Produced: Sat Nov 27 21:29:02 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Chanuka Party
         [Avi Feldblum]
Dealing with non-Jews on their Sabbath
         [Najman Kahana]
Gemilus Chessed & Sheva Mitzvos
         [Sam Goldish]
Making non-Jews Happy
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Making non-Jews happy
         [Uri Meth]
Religious Zionism vs. Love of Zion
         [Jamie Leiba]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 93 21:28:39 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Chanuka Party

Chanuka rapidly approaches, and with it the annual mail-jewish Chanuka
party. All mail-jewish members, spouses, friends etc are welcome!

Date: Dec 11, Saturday night
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: My house, 55 Cedar Ave
                 Highland Park, NJ

While RSVP is not needed, I would appreciate it to get an idea of how
much stuff to have on hand. If you are planning to bring stuff, that is
fine, just let me know in advance.

I have uploaded directions to my house in Highland Park, N.J. to the
archive area. To get it by email, send the message:

get mail-jewish directions

by anon ftp it is in the main archive area.

You can reach me by email, of course, or if you wish to call me, my
phone number is: 908-247-7525

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Najman Kahana <NAJMAN%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 13:50 JST
Subject: Dealing with non-Jews on their Sabbath

>[Regarding ordering software from Mormons:]
>> it would be better not to order it on Sunday, in order to avoid making
>> them happy on their Sabbath. Of course, readers should consult their
>> own LOR.
>What possible halachic problem is there with doing something for one's
>own benefit which as a byproduct might make non-Jews happy?  Are we not
>command to treat non-Jews well, "since we were strangers in the Land of

	The Talmud, Tractate "Avoda Zara", states that you should not do
business with a non-jew on his "holy day" (Yom ido) since he may donate
part of his profit to his Avoda Zara.  (I don't know if it's brought to

>... Even if that isn't the case, why should we accord any halachic
> recognition to another religion's holiday?)

Got me !!!, but the Talmud seems to have spent folio upon folio doing
so ... :)

Najman Kahana


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 01:21:08 -0500
Subject: Gemilus Chessed & Sheva Mitzvos

Just a brief follow-up to Seth Gerstman's posting in M-J V10-21, in
which he refers to specific acts of Gemilus Chessed performed by
talmidim of Ner Israel yeshiva for the community of Baltimore.

For many years, until perhaps five or six years ago, Ner Israel used to
send pairs of its best and brightest talmidim across the country to
raise funds for Chinuch Atzmai (Torah Schools in Israel).  These
boch'rim (mostly in their late teens) would fly, for example, into
Tulsa, Oklahoma, rent a car, and--armed with a city map--visit perhaps
two dozen Jewish families or individuals within a period of one or two
days.  For most of these people, it was their first encounter with
yeshiva boch'rim.

These "adele yungeleit" (refined young men) performed more than just
Gemilus Chessed--they represented Torah in a community far removed from
the mainstreams of Yiddishkeit, and with a maturity and a zest for
learning that belied their tender years.  Plus. they reflected great
credit upon their yeshiva.  Whenever I encounter the names of those
boch'rim, who today occupy leadership positions in Chinuch (Torah
education), or as K'lei Kodesh, it brings a smile of pleasure.  (Shlomo
Porter, are you listening?)

About three years ago, Ner Israel opened a "mini-kollel" in Atlanta,
Georgia, where the kollel members teach in the local day schools,
provide Shiurim for the adults, and perform many other deeds of Gemilus
Chessed for the community.

Seth also mentioned that in his Shiur he is studying that portion of
Mesechta Sanhedrin dealing with the Sheva Mitzvos B'nai Noach.  Here in
Tulsa, our Lubavitcher Shaliach, Rabbi Yehuda Ber Weg, shlit'a, conducts
classes for groups of goyim from Oklahoma and Arkansas, who are
intensely committed to the study of Sheva Mitzvos--in depth.  Evidently,
the Rebbe, shlit'a (may he have a refuah shelemah b'karov) has
encouraged his Shluchim to assist these people in furthering their
knowledge and fulfillment of the Sheva Mitzvos--but not to the extent of
studying Talmud with them (except for a few isolated citations).  The
B'nai Noach movement seems to have attracted a surprisingly large
following in the midwest and southwest.

Kol Tuv!

Sam Goldish
Tulsa, Oklahoma


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 12:00:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Making non-Jews Happy

R. Book asks, regarding the suggestion that one not order a product from
Mormons on Sunday:

> What possible halachic problem is there with doing something for one's
> own benefit which as a byproduct might make non-Jews happy?  Are we not
> command to treat non-Jews well, "since we were strangers in the Land of
> Egypt?

Well, the halachic problems might start with a mishna in Azoda Zara, which
prohibits doing business with gentiles for 3 days before their holidays. 
Tosafot essentially dismantle this mishna, and we do not poskin this way
today, but the point is well taken.  There is certainly the idea that one
should not do things which would cause gentiles to give praise to their
avoda zara (another example -- one is not required to return a lost item
to a gentile if that will cause the person to give thanks to his avoda
zara).  Whether the Mormon religion is avoda zara is another question

Secondly, this pasuk from chumash is not a good proof-text: chazal
apply this command to the post-Biblical meaning of ger [stranger], which
is convert.  Thus, this mitzvah d'oraita of "treating well" applies to
converts, not non-Jews.

Eitan Fiorino

From: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 10:51:18 EST
Subject: RE: Making non-Jews happy

In v10n23 Robert Cook asks the following general question:

> What possible halachic problem is there with doing something for one's
> own benefit which as a byproduct might make non-Jews happy?  Are we not
> command to treat non-Jews well, "since we were strangers in the Land of
> Egypt?

The Mishnayos in Mesechet Avodah Zarah (tractate dealing with idol
worship) states that one should refrain from doing business with
non-jews on Yom Aidam (the day of their holiday).  The reason given is
that the non-jew will give thanks to his god for the money coming to
him on that day.  Through the Jew's action of doing business with the
non-jew on this day, he, the Jew, has caused the non-jew to give thanks
to his god.  The Mishnah also brings other oppinions (sorry I don't have
the text with me) that one should refrain from doing business with
non-jews even a couple days before their holidays.

This is the basis for the halachah.  I don't know how this applies to
our day in our society when we deal with Christians because the Mishnah
is referring to doing business with a pagan and not one who believes in
G-d.  (I based this last statment on the majority oppinion that
Christianity is imperfect monotheism and therefore is not considered
idol worship.  For those who consider it idol worship, this statement
should be disregarded.)  The best course of action is to ask you LOR how
this halachah applies today.

Uri Meth                (215) 674-0200 (voice)
SEMCOR, Inc.            (215) 443-0474 (fax)
65 West Street Road     <umeth@...>
Suite C-100
Warminster, PA 18974


From: Jamie Leiba <leiba@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1993 10:50:00 +0000 
Subject: Religious Zionism vs. Love of Zion 

Last week I submitted a post on the controversy between "Religious
Zionism" and "Love of Zion", the basis of a lecture to be held at Agudas
Yisroel's 71st annual convention.  I thank those who have provided
encouraging feedback, both verbal and written.  Two viewpoints are
emerging representing I believe, Mizrachi and Agudas Yisroel
repectively, which on THIS issue anyways, seem to be divided on purely
political, rather than halachic grounds.  I will try and reflect the
arguments of both viewpoints in this posting.  However, I am still not
too clear on the differences in the two philosophies, so please forgive
me if I unintentionally misrepresent. I also know that there is more to
each philosop[hy than is represented in this posting, and I look to this
mailing list to fill in the blanks.

Zion is rooted in Torah. The word 'Zion'-ism means the belief in Zion.
Zionism is our claim, based on Torah, to Eretz Yisroel. In my view,
Zionism without Torah is illogical.  The belief in Zion is a religious
tradition handed down from Har Sinai, just as was Shabbos, Kashrus,
Taharas Hamishpocho, and all of 613 mitzvos, etc.  The term Zion-ism has
only recently become associated with a secular political movement
substantially devoid of Torah.

Secular Zionists make the claim to Eretz Yisroel, yet reject the Torah.
This is illogical since Torah is the basis for the claim. The claim is
validated only through Torah.

Religious Jews love Klal Yisroel, love Eretz Yisroel and recognize its
kedushah, encourage aliyah, love and believe in Zion.  Given all of the
above, how can a frum Jew NOT consider himself a Religious Zionist ?
Religious Zionism seems to be as much a part of our makeup as the rest
of Torah.  Yet clearly, if you call one Jew a Religious Zionist he will
be offended where another equally frum Jew will feel complimented.

Could it be that we all basically feel the same way yet we are bickering
over different interpretations of the term Religious Zionism ?

It seems like Agudas Yisroel through their actions, basically agrees
with Mizrachi on the issue of Israel: support for the state of Israel
(politically); support of the Government (membership in the knesset);
support for the defense of the state (participating in the army);
support for the concept of Aliyah (see R. Moshe Feinstein's comment
below).  In spite of this, Agudas Yisroel refuses to call themselves
Religious Zionists. Is it simply because that is what Mizrachi calls
itself, and Agudas wants to be different, or is there more to it ?

Maybe it's because Agudas Yisroel does not like the idea of any label
being placed on one's Jewishness (such as Religious Zionist), being
afraid that this can become a qualifier for Judaism, or worse, even to
some become the focus of their Judaism to the exclusion of the rest of
Torah.  Maybe its because of the way Secular Zionists historically
(1940's/50's) treated frum jews when it came to Aliyah and absorption.

Interestingly, A musmach friend of mine pointed out that there is an
opinion in the gemara at the end of in Kesubos, where R' Yehuda says
that Jews have no right to return to Israel before being invited by
Moshiach himself.  My friend says that this opinion is carried by
Tosafos and is given so much weight by R. Moshe Feinstein that he
considered living in Israel today "permissable and Laudworthy" but not


End of Volume 10 Issue 27