Volume 10 Number 41
                       Produced: Sun Dec  5 10:22:58 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Asher Wade
         [Gedaliah Friedenberg]
Free Will
         [Hayim Hendeles]
G-ds will
         [Danny Skaist]
God and the Holocaust
         [Jonathan Baker]
Hanukah Party (2)
         [Lon Eisenberg, Avi Feldblum]
Mazal Tov
         [Yosef Branse]
Removing Haskamot
         [Marc Shapiro]
The Almighty and the Holocaust
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Understanding the Holocaust (Anthony Fiorino)
         [Daniel Kelber]


From: <friedenb@...> (Gedaliah Friedenberg)
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 05:49:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Asher Wade

In v10n36 Neil Parks writes:

> Jewish Learning Connection presents two lectures by:
> Asher Wade, former Methodist pastor in Hamburg, Germany, then yeshiva
> student in Jerusalem, and currently popular lecturer in Israel.

Rabbi Wade is an excellent speaker.  He was a regular Rabbi at Ohr
Somayach in Jerusalem, when I was a talmid there.  I was in one of his
classes and was never disappointed by a single shuir.

If he comes to a city near you, I would consider him a "must see".

He will be in Detroit soon as well.  Call Rabbi Jacobovitz at (313)
967-0888 to find out more information about the Detroit lectures.

Gedaliah Friedenberg


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 11:17:40 -0800
Subject: Re: Free Will

	To me, this reflects a frightening passivity in the face of
	events. Is EVERYTHING that happens God's will?  If so, then we
	end up with the impossible statement that "the Nazis were doing
	God's will".  I thought "doing God's will" referred to stuff
	like putting on tefillin and giving tzedaka and refraining from
	theft and murder and such.  Whatever happened to FREE WILL?

	Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>
	"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"

Ms. Birnbaum has asked an excellent question, which fortunately has been
asked long ago by no less an authority then the Ramban.

The Ramban asked that already by the time of Abraham, G-d had already
decreed that his children would be enslaved in a foreign land, and after
much suffering and anguish, would eventually leave with great wealth.
G-d had also promised that that nation that had enslaved the Jews would
be dealt with quite harshly.

Thus, asks the Ramban, the Jews enslavement in Egypt was already
predestined long ago. So why was Pharoh/Egypt punished - why could they
not defend themeselves that they were merely fulfilling G-d's will.

This question can obviously be asked in many shapes and forms. In
Parshas Behaloscha and Ki Tavo the Torah describes for us some of the
great tragedies that would befall the Jews, with untold suffering, and
many deaths. (Unfortunately, the Holocaust was only one of many
tragedies that have occured to the Jewish people.) Once again, we can
ask the Ramban's question, as Ms. Birnbaum has anticiapted, and ask why
are the Romans/Babylonians/Nazis liable for any of their actions - have
they not just fulfilled G-d's will?

The Ramban gives several answers to this question. One of them is that
although G-d had already forordained a period of great tragedy for the
Jews, G-d did not decree that it would be the Egyptians who persecuted
the Jews. Pharoh/Egypt decided on their own that they wished to
kill/toture/persecute the Jews. And for that, they are punished.

Perhaps, someone else may wish to post the Ramban in more depth, along
with his other answers.

Hayim Hendeles


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 08:29:22 -0500
Subject: G-ds will

>Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>
>To me, this reflects a frightening passivity in the face of events. Is
>EVERYTHING that happens God's will?  If so, then we end up with the
>impossible statement that "the Nazis were doing God's will".  I thought

Yes they were.  It does not however excuse the willingly guilty of their
crime. The gemorra records that when the emperor Nero discovered that
G-d willed the distruction of the temple at the hands of Rome, he
decided not to take a part in it.  Jerusalem, and the temple were still
destroyed according to G-ds will and Titus was punished for his part in
it.  But Nero's grandson was Rabbi Meir.



From: <baker@...> (Jonathan Baker)
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 93 04:18:40 -0500
Subject: God and the Holocaust

Eitan Fiorino writes a moving letter about Holocaust theodicy
(understanding the relationship between God and the Holocaust in view of
the general problem of evil).

It is a difficult problem, dealing with God and the Holocaust.  I have
not yet read Berkovits on it, although my wife has.  There are a number
of other approaches to the Holocaust that I am aware of, although I do
not know who advances them.  One woman made a bit of a ruckus on an
online service we belong to when she started a topic to discuss an
Artscroll book which she had recently read which basically assigned the
blame for the destruction on the non-religious Jews; had they been
religious, the 6 million would still be alive.  After much complaint
that this was not an acceptable solution to anyone else on the board,
the topic was closed.

Another approach is that of Rabbi Irving Greenberg.  I am not clear on
the details, but he contends that by allowing the Holocaust to happen,
God broke his side of the covenant.  It is hard to understand how
Judaism should continue in the face of such a contention; if the
covenant is broken, then there is no reason for us to continue to be
Jews and observe the mitzvot.  Then again, I haven't actually seen a
writeup of this position.  Can someone point me towards something

The approach which I prefer is not one which I've seen articulated
anywhere; if someone has seen it please tell me.  In my humble opinion,
the nature of God's promise to Israel in terms of survival is that there
will always be a "saving remnant", that Israel will never completely die
out, so there will always be some Jews alive to greet the Messiah.  See
Isaiah 6:13, particularly according to Rashi's view, which says that
"and 'asiriyah will still be in it" 'asiriyah refers to the saving
remnant of Jewry which will be further refined until they are all
righteous.  So too here, God let human beings have their free will, even
Hitler (y"s), but He fulfilled His covenant by stepping in and not
letting Hitler's rule go much beyond Europe.


From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 93 00:57:29 -0500
Subject: Hanukah Party

Who said there's no Hanukah party this year for mail-jewish in Israel?
There is, and it's in the most obvious place -- Modi`im, the same place
the Hashmona'im celebrated.

Time: Mozei Shabbath Hanukah, 8PM
Place: Ramat Modi`im -- jointly hosted by the Eisenberg & Gamoran families
       in their joined houses

Ramat Modi`im is conveniently located from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Petah
Tiqwah, Rehovoth, and many other places.  Please RSVP by Wednesday afternoon:

Lon Eisenberg  eisenbrg%<milcse@...>  08-2612721(home)  03-5658422(work)
Sam Gamoran     gamoran%<milcse@...>  08-2612817(home)  03-5658421(work)

Directions to Ramat Modi`im (also called Hashmona'im) will be either given by
phone or email, depending on the variety of locations from which the attendees
are coming.

From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 93 10:08:47 -0500
Subject: Hanukah Party

Good to hear we are keeping up the tradition of the Israel chapter of
the mail-jewish Hanukah Party. My best wishes in advance to all of you.

If those planning to come to the mail-jewish party at my house would
also RSVP by Thursday afternoon, I would appreciate it as well. If you
are planning to bring something, please let me know as well. Thanks and
looking forward to meeting you!

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <JODY@...> (Yosef Branse)
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 93 02:16:23 -0500
Subject: Mazal Tov

I'd like to take advantage of this forum to extend a public Mazal Tov to
MJ contributor Elhanan Adler and his wife Haya on the marriage of their son
Reuven to Varda Leibowitz, in Jerusalem, 19 Kislev 5754.

Yosef Branse


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 08:29:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Removing Haskamot

In answer to Eli Turkel re. R. Hutner and R. Kook, there is a difference
regarding who is removing the haskamah. If R. Hutner's views have
changed he has every right to remove the approbation even though this
might strike us as being in poor taste. However, what is unforgivable is
when haskamot and teshuvot are removed from books after the author's
death. There is a man in Williamsburg named Braver and he reprints a
number of seforim (sold at Bigeleisen) and he removes haskamot from
Zionist authors. When I confrtonted him with this and said he is
committing a great sin he told me that the author's of the works, having
now reached gan eden, realize that they were wrong in including Kook's
haskamah and they are pleased with his censorship!
						Marc Shapiro


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 05:50:00 -0500
Subject: The Almighty and the Holocaust

I wonder how Eitan understands the phrase "Yotser ohr u-vorei hosekh,
oseh shalom uvorei ha-kol" (G-d creates light and darkness, peace and
all)said every morning in davening. Actually, as noted in Brakhot 11b
the verse in the Isaiah 45 says "u-vorei Ra" (...and evil) but was
changed to be more tacful/poetic (Lishna me-Alyah). Clearly tradition
does not shy away from the idea that G-d is indeed responsible for evil.
I agree with Eitan's profound conclusion that the message of Job (as
restated by Elie Wiesel) is that man's condition is such that he has no
real answer to the problem of Tsaddik ve-ra lo (the righteous/ innocent
who suffer). And that he must learn to live with no answer rather than
sin by giving totally unacceptable ones. As my father (may he zocheh to
a refu'ah sheleimah) has said: One true sign of maturity, is learning to
live with questions.


From: Daniel Kelber <xw0sdak@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 05:50:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Understanding the Holocaust (Anthony Fiorino)

I would just like to say that I found Mr. Fiorino's thoughts on G-d's
role in the Holocaust quite satisfying. Being the grandson of survivers
it has been a question I have pursued my whole life. In the end I think
that Mr. Fiorino is correct in that there is no answer, but we must
continue to ask.

Daniel Kelber


End of Volume 10 Issue 41