Volume 10 Number 64
                       Produced: Tue Dec 14 18:18:24 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Divine Will
         [Rachel Sara Kaplan]
Jonathan Pollard (2)
         [David Charlap, Steve Wildstrom]
Small Cattle
         [David Charlap]
         [Mindy Schimmel]


From: Rachel Sara Kaplan <rachelk@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 93 17:51:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Divine Will

> From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)

>      Hayim Hendeles writes:
> > Every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we solemnly declare that on this day
> > it is decreed who shall live and who shall die. Understand it or not, I
> > refuse to believe that any of those who perished during the Holocaust
> > were decreed for Life on Rosh Hashana.
>   I find this hard to accept. Chatam Sofer already points out that one
> cannot step in front of a bullet and say that one will survive since
> one's survival was determined on Rosh Hashana. God does not (usually)
> perform miracles to those that put themselves in danger because they
> should have lived through the year. That is why it is generally accepted
> that we go to doctors. I just read a statement from one of the spokesmen
> for Belz who discusses why they choose to go to the best doctor and not
> the most religious doctor.

Well, yes, one cannot step in front of a bullet and say that one will
survive since one's survival was deternined on Rosh Hashanah.  However
that does not mean that G-d did not determine if the person will or
will not live.  If G-d is capable of determining if you will live 
or not, then G-d is capable of knowing if you will step in front of the
bullet at that time, and writing you in the book or not in accordance to
the way the year will carry out.  Or perhaps differently said, when one
is not written in the book it is determined that at a certain time that
person will step in front of the bullet at that time.  



From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 93 16:37:13 -0500
Subject: RE: Jonathan Pollard

Sam Saal <SSAAL@...> writes:
>>All these other people accused of spying (who got off with light
>>sentences) were not citizens of the USA.  When a foreign citizen spies,
>>it is espionage.  When an American deliberately violates his security
>>clearance and gives secrets away, it is treason and not espionage.
>>Jonathan Pollard was not some foreign agent infiltrating an American
>>military organization.  He was an officer who swore oaths and signed
>>documents stating that he would safeguard the state secrets that he had
>>access to.  He violated those oaths and contracts.
>The example of the Egyptians may not have been so good.  The Marines in
>the Moscow embassy got off with lighter sentences and I daresay the US's
>relationship with the USSR was worse (more war-time-like) than with

The miliatary are not subject to the same laws the rest of us are.
These marine officers would never go through the same kinds of trials
that a civilian would.  I also don't know the details of the Moscow
embassy incident.  I don't know how much real damage was done, or if
they were operating under someone's orders.

And considering that it was a military court, there might well be
some favoritism going on.  I think you make a stronger case that
the marines didn't get a strong enough sentance than you make claiming
that Pollard's was too hard.

MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad) writes:
>In response to the three postings of V10 No48: Please take notice that
>TIME and the NYTimes have come out with insinuations about the damage
>Jay caused.  They didn't put him on trial at the time (it was a
>plea-bargaining) and he had no chance to defend himself in open court.

Jay?  Who's Jay?  And if his life sentance was a plea bargain, it
was probably the worst one ever bargained.

<neil.parks@...> (Neil Parks) writes:
>What he does not deserve is the severity of the punishment.  Spies whose
>crimes were much more dangerous to the security of the US received
>shorter sentences.  Pollard never betrayed American secrets to America's

I have yet to see one comparable case that got a lighter sentance.
Show me a case of American civilians betraying secrets where the
sentance was lighter.  Be sure it is a case where the person involved
signed documents and took oaths to protect the secrecy of the
documents involved.

There is a lot more at stake than simply the transfer of a classified
document.  There is also the case of deliberately, and voluntarily
violating asecurity clearance.  There's also an example to be made.
What do you think would happen if people around the nation discover
that they can give over documents that they are sworn to protect
any time they think there is a "higher need" to, and then get off
serving a few years in prison.

MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad) writes:
>Treason is a very definite crime and is described in the
>Constitution as aiding enemy in time of war.

OK, so maybe treason was an overly strong word here.

>Pollard aided Israel in its war against terrorism when the US
>Intelligence Services were not fulfilling the terms of the
>Executive Agreement signed with Israel in 1982.

What does this agreement have to do with anything?  Since when is
it up to individuals to decide when a treaty is not being upheld,
and when is it every individual's duty to take actions into his
own hands when he decides this?  If this was the real reason, then
he should have gone through channels to get approval, and have
the information officially sent.

As I've stated before, the information's contents is irrelevant.
The point is that he did exactly what he swore he would never do
when he got his clearance.

From: Steve Wildstrom <wild@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 93 04:13:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Jonathan Pollard

> From: Sam Saal <SSAAL@...>

> >Jonathan Pollard was not some foreign agent infiltrating an American
> >military organization.  He was an officer who swore oaths and signed
> >documents stating that he would safeguard the state secrets that he had
> >access to.  He violated those oaths and contracts.
> The example of the Egyptians may not have been so good.  The Marines in
> the Moscow embassy got off with lighter sentences and I daresay the US's
> relationship with the USSR was worse (more war-time-like) than with
> Israel.

None of the Marine guards at the Moscow embassy was ever convicted of any
offense, in part because the investigation was botched by the the Naval
Investigation Service. So there's no comparison here.

> By the way, Pollard was not an officer.  He was a civilian.  This does
> not give him a right to pass documents, but it does not relegate him to
> punishment harsher than that given to soldiers above.

Intelligence services use the term "officer" to descibe an employee,
whereas an "agent" is generally a freelancer, often a foreign national. In
that sense, Pollard was definitely an officer. 

Finally, Wolf Blitzer's book on the Pollard affair makes it clear that the
crucial element in his snetencing was the long presentencing memo
submitted by then Defense Secretary Caspar Weiberger. In a highly unusual
procedure, this memo was secret and has never been declassified. It seems
that whatever Weinberger said convinced the judge that the damaged Pollard
has caused to U.S. national security was sufficiently severe to justify a
draconian sentence. Without access to this memo, it is extremely difficult
for any of us to pass judgment on the sentence.

It should be noted that what intelligence agencies fear most is not
disclosure of actual intelligence but of "methods and sources." All
intelligence that is passed along to foreign agencies, be it MI6 or
Germany's BND or the Mossad, is first "scrubbed" to remove any traces
of how it was obtained. It's very likely that the real damage done by
Pollard was the compromising of sources. 


From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 93 13:49:05 -0500
Subject: Small Cattle

Jack A. Abramoff <71544.2433@...> writes:
>What would be of interest to me would be to hear the list members'
>responses as to the connection between the four things which the Gemorah
>(Sukah 29a) brings as causes of a lunar eclipse.  To remind, the
>include: 1) forgery, 2) bearing false witness, 3) breeding of small
>cattle and 4) the cutting down of fruit trees.  Any thoughts?

It seems obvious to me what the connection is.  All four of these
dissolve the cohesiveness of the nation, and create hatred and suspicion
among everyone.

Forgery dissolves the trust that is required for any nation's economy to
survive.  If forgers exist, then one can not trust the validity of
signatures or documents.  A nation can not exist without contracts, and
without valid signatures, no contract can be reliable.

Bearing false witness is the same thing.  No person can get a fair trial
if the witnesses are liars.  If such practices are rampant, no trials
can be held because no evidence brought would be trustworthy.  A working
court system is also a necessary part of society, and is required for
the nation to exist.

It should be noted that forgery is, in fact, a subset of bearing false
witness.  Lying about signatures is the same thing as lying in court.

Breeding of "small cattle" also fits.  Cattle that run wild and damage
neighbors' property will break down the trust that the Jewish nation
requires to properly function.  If such cattle are kept, then fences
must be erected, and citizens will create larger and larger barriers
between themselves.

As an example, note from American history the conflicts among the
ranchers in the "old west".  The herders that wanted an open range, that
is allowing their herds to roam free, were always at violent conflicts
with those that wanted to keep their property private.

Additionally, if your herds are allowed to graze on other people's
property, then the boundaries between property get very ill defined.
Land, and ownership of it, is another cornerstone of the Jewish nation.
Ownership and inheritance become too complicated to manage if property
lines get blurred and lost.

Finally, cutting down fruit trees.  Fruit trees are extremely
long-lived.  Their nature is that the planter rarely derives benefit
from them, but their fruit usually becomes edible only after the
original planter has died and the tree is inherited by his sons.
Cutting down a fruit tree is robbing all future generations from the
benefits of that tree's produce.


From: <MINDY@...> (Mindy Schimmel)
Date: Tue,  14 Dec 93 15:05 +0200
Subject: Tahanun

I realize this subject was finished a while ago, but I'm just reading my
back issues of mail.jewish and saw the discussion of saying tahanum
between the end of Sukkot and Rosh Hodesh Marheshvan.  I want to offer a
different answer to the question, based on the fact that Shemini
`Atzeret, often considered the eighth day of Sukkot is actually separate
holiday (hag in Hebrew), with its own qorban hagiga (holiday sacrifice);
note that in prayers we refer to it as "yom ha-shemini hag
ha-`atzeret"--or, according to other traditions, something like, "yom
shemini `atzeret ha-hag ha-zeh."  Therefore, perhaps the reason for not
saying tahanun during the week after Shemini `Atzeret may be the same as
for not saying it during the week after Shavu`ot, namely, that it was
possible to bring the Qorban Hagiga (Holiday Sacrifice) for Shemini
`Atzeret during the whole week after the holiday.

On the other hand, remembering someone's request that we bring sources,
I also looked up the issue in my Mishna Berura (siman 131, se`if 7).  R.
Yosef Karo (the main text) states: "There is a widespread custom
("minhag pashut") not to fall on their faces (i.e., say tahanun) during
the whole of the month of Nisan, and not the ninth of Av, and not
between Yom Kippur and Sukkot."  RaMA adds: "And not from the beginning
of Rosh Hodesh Sivan until after Shavu`ot."  The Mishna Berura (the
Hafetz Hayim, I believe), the Be'er Hetev (Yehuda Ashkenazi), and the
Sha`aray Teshuva (Hayim Mordekhai Magliyot)--various commentaries on the
text--all mention that many have the custom not to say tahanun during
the six (or seven) days after Shavu`ot because of the Qorban Hagiga.
The Sha`aray Teshuva alone adds that some people don't say tahanun till
Rosh Hodesh Heshvan (sic; I prefer to use Marheshvan) because the month
has many holidays ("meruba be-mo`adot") or because since the month comes
in with oppression ("`inuy"), it should go out with happiness ("simha"),
adding that in "these countries" such is not the custom, but whoever has
the custom not to say tahanun the whole month, we shouldn't stop him.
No mention at all of Qorban Hagiga.  So maybe I'm totally wrong.

If anyone has any information on my suggestion, I'd appreciate hearing
it.  You can write directly to me.

Mindy (Malka) Schimmel


End of Volume 10 Issue 64