Volume 12 Number 54
                       Produced: Tue Apr 12 23:12:20 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hebron Massacre (5)
         [Gedalyah Berger, Harry Weiss, Ari Kurtz, Janice Gelb, Michael


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 11:23:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Hebron Massacre

B Lehman reacted to Marc Shapiro's posting about the Chevron massacre in #43:

> Marc answered his own questions on Baruch Z'"L (YES...Z"L), with his
> question "how we got to this stage...."
>  I do not expect any body who lives out of Israel, to understand what
> went on here. But I do expect them to be far more hesitant in passing
> judgment. To even imply that we should add yemach shemo to his name is
> an audacity. Where have we arrived if our "brothers" are more extreme
> than our enemies? When they call fellow Jews names reserved for Jew
> haters such as Hitler etc.
> As to why he did it or better still what drove him to do it? (with out
> condoning it). One has to live here, especially in the post '67

While I can identify, although not wholeheartedly agree, with your 
discomfort with the term "yemach shemo," I find it very difficult to 
see your "without condoning it" as anything more than artificial and 
empty words given your emphatic use of Z"L after this man's name.  
Zichrono Livrachah??!!  Please think about what these words mean before 
you use them about someone who will forever be remembered for one of the 
most evil, as well as self-destructive, acts ever performed in the 
name of Israel.

>  Baruch was or was not insane. It makes no difference, what he did was
> motivated out of total love for his fellow Jews.

There has been much discussion, both in general and in this last m-j 
posting, about the motivation for Goldstein's crime.  He had seen his 
friends die in his arms, he did it because of his ahavat Yisra'el, etc. 
etc.  Fine, granted.  But: People are supposed to do what God wants them 
to do, not what their instincts tell them to do.  Why does it "make no 
difference" whether he was insane or not?  If he was not insane (which seems 
pretty clearly to have been the case), then, *regardless of 
his motivation*, he is accountable for tens of murders, not to mention 
a host of other aveirot (e.g., chillul Hashem) and other tragic 
consequences (e.g., the significan worsening of the prospects of the 
yishuvim in Yesha).  Of course there were reasons for his action, but 
a reason is not an excuse.
	One more thing: many Arabs who have committed terrorist acts have
been motivated by love of their fellow Arabs, deaths of friends and
relatives, and religious goals.  Should we be hesitant to pass judgment 
on them too?  When an Arab blew up a bus two days ago in Afula, killing 
seven and injuring scores, was your reaction that his judgment should be 
left to Hashem and we should react only neutrally?  If we soon find out 
that he was a faithful husband and father who devoted most of his life to 
helping others in his community, would you hesitate to use the words 
"yemach shemo" after his name?  Think about it.

>   As for the person who is no longer orthodox as a result of "talk in
> the shool and a paper article" I assume she found the excuse she was
> looking for not to be orthodox. Most of the orthodox world condoned what
> happened.

I will asssume that "condone" here is a malapropism and should be "condemn."

[I saw that and meant to send it back for clarification, and then
forgot. Sorry. Mod.]

Ve'af al pi shemismahme'ah achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo.
Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS

From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 94 12:10:48 
Subject: Hebron Massacre

In MJ 12 # 39 Marc Shapiro strongly attacked the Jewish Press and
Orthodox Judaism in general about the Hebron massacre.   I feel
that was incorrect and inappropriate.  

I am not one to defend the editorial policies or the writing quality of
the Jewish Press.  However, the Jewish Press strongly condemned the
Hebron massacre as did all of the editorial columnist in the paper.  The
only praise of Goldstein was an advertisement by Kach and a letter to
the Editor.  The editor reiterated his condemnation of the massacre.  I
feel the paper should have rejected the Kach ad praising Goldstein, but
that definitely was not the paper's outlook.

What caused Goldstein to act will never be known since he is not alive.
Even those individuals who gave excuses for his "flipping out" still
condemned his action.

Orthodox Jewish groups all condemned the massacre.  The only group to
praise it has always been considered to be on the lunatic fringe.  Mr.
Shapiro's friend who left Orthodoxy because of this obviously was never
really Orthodox, but simply using this as an excuse to attack Orthodox

In past years there have been a number of Jewish serial killers in the
New York Area.  None of these individuals were observant Jews.  Can we
derive from this that all non observant Jews support serial killing or
that it is supported by all New Yorkers.  Obviously that is ridiculous
the same way as it is ridiculous to blame Orthodox Judaism and all
Orthodox Jews for the actions of one deranged individual.


From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 01:49:54 +0300
Subject: Hebron Massacre

In regards to the letter from Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>

I won't go into an allaborate reply since that would demand time I
don't have . Especially since my opinions are rather close to Marc's
Even though being much closer to the incident (geographicaly speaking)
I can definately understand how Dr. Goldstien was driven to do such an
act but one thing I can't let go by is ..

> (he is also indirectly responsible for the attack in Brooklyn).

This is disgusting since this kind of reasoning has been used by non-jews
throughout the generations to justify their pagroms and slaughters . This
kind of propaganda was also used by the Nazi's . Unfortunately non-jews
have killed jews without reason throughout history and our liable to
continue this pattern . The only one responable for the attack in Brooklyn
are the ones who blame the whole jewish people for the act .  Thus enabling
the terrorist bonus points on any jew  . Somehow to blame a month of
terror on the Dr. is nuts since even if he didn't commit the act they
most likely would have been commited just as they were commited before Dr.
Goldstien came along . Except the government in Israel promotes this
way of thinkink so they can divide the country and carry out thier unholy
plans . So lets not sink to the level of politicians .
                                 Ari Kurtz
"The fool on the hill see's the world going round .. "

From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 17:49:52 -0400
Subject: Hebron Massacre

In Volume 12 Number 43, B Lehman says:  
>  I do not expect any body who lives out of Israel, to understand what
> went on here. [...]
>  Baruch was or was not insane. It makes no difference, what he did was
> motivated out of total love for his fellow Jews.
>     As for the person who is no longer orthodox as a result of "talk in
> the shool and a paper article" I assume she found the excuse she was
> looking for not to be orthodox. Most of the orthodox world condoned what
> happened.
>  If Baruch was this woman's son or yours for that matter would we stop

And Yechiel Wachtel said about Baruch Goldstein:

> I remember him as a quiet
> helpful guy with a heart of gold.  We had no contact with them for the
> past 9 years or so, but we have friends in Kiryat Arba.  What could have
> made Dr. Goldstien do what he did, I can only speculate, and before
> anyone decides on leaving orthodoxy let me repeat what Benny Lehman
> wrote in to mj a while back. Al tadin es chavercha ad shtagya lemkomo.
> (do not judge your friend until you are in his shoes) .  [...]
> 	I again repeat, I do not even wish to comment on the action that
> was committed itself, the wrongdoing is obvious, what may not be so obvious
> is what led to the action and what the government did or did not do to
> stop it from occurring.  

I think the reason for the anguish being suffered by some of us has
been missed, judging by these posts. Understanding the pressures that
Baruch Goldstein may have felt, the type of person he was, and so on
is not really the issue. To have rachmones on the memory of someone
who just couldn't take it anymore and snapped is one thing. There could
possibly be differences among us as to how understandable we feel the
action was for this particular person, given the stresses he was under.
To claim he was a monster is certainly extreme, and to state
categorically that we would never do such a thing is indeed a difficult
thing to prove until one has been in that situation and under those

But you can't just extract the pressures behind the killing and choose
not to deal with the action itself. And, even more importantly, with
the reaction to that action. I and many people of similar mind feel
deep anguish when we read that fellow Jews are saying it was a mitzvah
l'shem shamayim to murder innocent people and that they are hailing the
murderer as a hero and martyr. This to me and many like me is abhorrent
and not understandable no matter how familiar one is with the situation
in the settlements. That is what is causing a lot of the anguish here,
and what so upset the reader of the Jewish Press issue.

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 

From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 11:10:31 -0400
Subject: Hebron Massacre

In MJ 12:39 Marc Shapiro seems to be suffering from the effects of
advanced media distortion syndrome (AMDS).  Almost instantly after the
massacre, the world media grouped Goldstein together with, take your
pick, all Jews, all orthodox Jews, all Jews who support israel, all
settlers, all Israelis who are opposed to the peace process, etc.,
etc., etc.  Marc says it's time for "us" to ask, "how we got to this
stage", as if to imply that because of the act of one madman and a few
who would parlay this act into something it wasn't, all (take you pick
from the above list) have sunken to some new low.  NOT. The overall
Jewish response (orthodox included) was firm public condemnation, with
some even going way overboard spewing classic Jewish guilt.  In a
recent NY Times, a front page picture showed about a dozen supporters
of Baruch Goldstein around his grave while the article on page 10
referred to them as hundreds of his supporters.  Let's LOOK at the real
pictures and not be influenced by the false words.

Marc impugns the religiousity of those who support what Goldstein did
in saying, "It is especially troubling because, as I said above, they
believe that they are religious, wear tsitsit, daven three times a day
etc." I wonder exactly when it was (maybe I missed it on jews-news)
that God appointed Marc his earthly surrogate to judge exactly which
acts or words wipe out the performance of which mizvot.

Marc states that, "Assuming he [Goldstein] was not crazy, he is an evil
man and we should place yemach shemo after his name." Before he
perpetrated this hienous act, Baruch Goldstein was a devout jew with a
family, living an extremely difficult life defending ideals that many
of us only pay lip service to, and he was a doctor who saved lives.
Marc has co-opted the divine scales of justice in assigning a "yemach
shemo" to Goldstein's name (a term we have generally reserved for the
Hitlers of the world).  Yaakov was not exactly pleased when Shimon and
Levi massacred the men of Shechem, but we don't assign yemach shemo to
their names.

Marc further asserts that Goldstein's act was indirectly responsible
for the Brooklyn bridge shooting.  Yes, and also, retroactively, for
Pan Am 103, the turkish synagogue, Munich, Hitler, the crusades, etc.,
etc., etc.  

Then there is the woman who left orthodoxy because she didn't like some
articles in the Jewish Press.  If this woman is a friend of Marcs, I
strongly suggest that he prevent her from reading newspapers such as
the New York Post, Boston Globe, etc.,  because when she loses faith in
the human race there will be only one way for her to leave.

In closing Marc says: 

"For the sake of the Lord, we dare not be silent, for we shall be 
 called to account for the murderers in our midst and our own hands will 
 soaked in innocent blood."

As has been pointed out numerous times, MJ is not the center of
orthodox Jewish life.  Lack of conversation on this topic in MJ in no
way implies that "we" have been silent.  Nothing could be furthur from
the truth.  "We" talk about it in our shuls, our places of work, the
media, the Shabbos table, etc., etc., etc.  (Obviously, and I
cathartically need to say this, in BOLD contrast to the utter silence
of Israel's peace partners in the wake of yesterday's Afula massacre).
Finally, Marc's AMDS is evidenced  when he refers to Goldstein as "the



End of Volume 12 Issue 54