Volume 12 Number 84
                       Produced: Mon Apr 25 20:22:54 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
A Story of Two Settlers
         [Zishe Waxman]
Baruch Goldstein in Halacha
         [Louis Rayman]
Hebron (3)
         [Ezra Dabbah, Marc Warren, Danny Skaist]
Killing Goldstein
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Rodef run wild?
         [Freda Birnbaum]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 20:05:04 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

I am trying to get through some of the backlogged items in the queue,
tonight. That means that there will be more than the usual number of
issues sent out. In this issue, I am putting all the queued items
relating to Hebron, Goldstein, etc. PLEASE, if you respond on this
topic, make sure you have read ALL the previous articles, so we do not
continue re-hashing the same stuff over and over again. There is
probably some stuff in here that veers close (or too close) to
political, but for the future, please re-read your posting on this topic
twice before sending them in to me. If I do not think that it is
furthering discussion, I will probably send it abck to you.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <waxman@...> (Zishe Waxman)
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 20:09:25 -0400
Subject: Re: A Story of Two Settlers

I recently read on MJ a reference to a young woman at Harvard who was
abandoning her frumkeit because of the tragic incident in Chevron.
Another, more recent post, quoted a parent at the Yeshiva of Flatbush
who, when given a letter signed by the Yeshiva faculty condemning the
action by Goldstein, said something to the effect of "now we can keep
our child in the Yeshiva."

In formulating a response to the Harvard student and in assessing the
sentiment of the Yeshiva parent, it might be very useful if we were to
first clarify for ourselves, the *exact* differences between the recent
event and an earlier one in which another Orthodox Jew, upset by
troubles that the Palestinians were causing the Jews for 40 years,
vented his rage in a Palestinian house of worship.

He killed thousands of them, including presumably, many innocents.  The
occasion was a Palestinian celebration of the fact that their god "had
delivered into their hands their enemy and the destroyer of their land."
In that case, the Jew took the law into his own hands (indeed, he may
have been the law) and literally brought the house down on the
Palestinian worshipers, sacrificing himself in the process.

In fact, this particular Orthodox Jew had a history of violent response
to Palestinian provocations. Once, in anger against the Palestinians for
having forced his wife to reveal the answer to a riddle that he posed to
them, he killed 30 of them. Then, upon finding that his father-in-law
had given away his bride to his companion, he set fire to the
Palestinian grain destroying their crops. When the Palestinians burned
up his wife and father-in-law in retaliation, he slaughtered a great
many of them.

The Palestinians encamped against the settlers and demanded that they
turn this Jew over to them. The settlers, fearful of reprisals, told him
"Do you not know that the Palestinians rule over us? Now what is this
that you have done to us?" And he said to them "As they have done to me,
so have I done to them." They tied him up and handed him over to them.
Being quite strong, he broke free and killed 1000 of them with the
jawbone of an ass.

This is all very violent stuff. However, aside from the settler's
reaction, we didn't find the local Rabbinate lining up to condemn this
Jew. In fact, in the written record recalls a prophecy that Samson will
"begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines" The details of
the story are found in the Book of Judges, chapters 13-16, the
commentators there, and the g'marot and medrashim that they cite.

Please, this post is in no way to be construed as an endorsement of the
act it is a request for clarification.

What *do* we tell this Harvard student? Any ideas?

Zishe Waxman


From: ccorp!mbr21!<lrayman@...> (Louis Rayman)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 13:24:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Baruch Goldstein in Halacha

saul djanogly writes:

> 1.In those circumstances where it is forbidden for a Jew to murder a
> gentile, does a Jew pursuing a gentile become a RODEF,mandating another
> Jew to intervene and even kill him(where no other option i.e.
> wounding/disabling exists)?
> Answer.No,he does not have the status of a RODEF.See Minchat Chinuch
> Mitzva 600.Alef in the new Machon Yerushalaim edition.
>   (skipping...)
> Therefore,it would seem that it would have been halachically forbidden
> for a Jewish soldier to have shot B.G.in order to prevent the massacre.

A better question would be: Does a GOVERNMENT have the right to expand
the definition of rodef, so that all persuers, Jews and Non-Jews, are
treated equally, no matter who they are persuing?  If so, an agent of
that government (i.e. a police officer or a soldier) would be within
the realm of halacha when he follows such an expanded definition.

Again, this is all theoretical.

Louis Rayman - Hired Gun


From: Ezra Dabbah <ny001134@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 94 16:18:57 -0500
Subject: Hebron

In M-J V12 #56 Rabbi Irwin H. Haut says a rabbi in Flatbush declared
from a pulpit that the peace process should be stopped. He then goes 
on to *conclude* what, more killings, more murders....
Does anyone believe that the Flatbush rabbi wants more terror?
In Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Dea there is a halacha that states one cannot
pay blackmail lest the person would do it again. 
Arabs have never been sincere people.
Cases in point:
1)After the Gulf War Sen. Frank Lautenberg of N.J. was denied a visa
to enter Saudi Arabia because he had an Israeli stamp on his passport.
That's hutzpah!!!
2)An American film company released a made for TV movie on Anwar Sadat
truly an Arab hero of peace. This film was banned in Egypt because the
actor playing the title role was black, Louis Gosset Jr.
3)After the Gulf War the Kuwaitis expelled all the Palestinians. Is
that in the spirit of human rights?
This is from the moderate Arab states. Would you make a deal with a 
terrorist. I think the Flatbush rabbi was right from a common sense
as well as a halachic basis.

Shabat Shalom
Ezra Dabbah

From: <warren@...> (Marc Warren)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 16:13:25 -0400
Subject: Hebron

One of the explanations given for why Dr. Goldstein did what he did, is
that previous to the incident, he overheard a number of the Arabs
discussing plans for a major terrorist attack.  So in an effort to
prevent this attack, he went to the area of the Mosque, where he
believed there were a large number of Hamas supporters and started
firing.  (I heard from one news correspondent that seven of the Arabs
killed, had murdered a Yeshiva student during the 80's)?  How is this
any different, than when the IAF bombs Lebanon.  In both cases, the goal
is to prevent terrorism, and in both cases, there is a high degree
likelihood that innocent people might be hurt?

Also, as to the argument which says that since Hamas would more than
likely retaliate, Goldstein would be considered a "rodef", and therefore
a Jew would be obligated to kill him.  Would this mean, that during
WWII, if a Jew set out to kill Hitler, than this Jew would be considered
a "rodef", since the Nazi's would have killed numerous Jews in
retaliation?  Rabin recently ordered the arrest of hundreds of Hamas
members.  It is quite possible that Hamas will retaliate.  Is Rabin now
considered a "rodef".  Should we kill him for arresting Hamas members?

Marc Warren

From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 05:41:17 -0400
Subject: Hebron

Why is there a need to make Dr. Goldstein responsible for spilling Jewish
blood.  Isn't his crime bad enough by just killing people.

>Gedalyah Berger
>But, they clearly were reacting to the killings in Chevron; Goldstein's
>murders clearly were a *reason* (but not an excuse) for theirs.  People

The fact that hamas was prepared with hudreds of kilo of explosives and
the knowledge and training to produce car bombs, makes it quite clear
that the only contributition to Afula/Hadera that can be attributed to
B. Goldstein was the timing.

>Marc Shapiro
>Rabbi Avraham Shapiro published an article in
>Hazofeh a few weeks ago in which he said explicitly that the actions of
>Goldstein (and anyone who tries to imitate him) are sakanat nefashot
>because they will cause other Jews to be killed in revenge attacks
>        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>Gedalyah Berger
>Goldstein could have foreseen, indeed probably predicted fairly
>certainly, that something along the lines of Afula and Hadera would
>happen; he is at fault even though the Arab terrorists had bechirah

And following this line of reasoning, If in fact doing something that
will result in terrorist attacks against Jews is really that wrong ...
Prime Minister Rabin, among others, has stated, quite clearly that acts
of terror against Jews will increase due to "extremist" attempts to
undermine the peace process.  Why don't we say that those engaged in the
peace process are responsible for the deaths of Jews and that the
Government has the halacha of "Rodef".

As to Da'as Tora, This discussion has made me think. Rav Yisroel Ze'ev
Gustman zt"l ,of Yeshiva Netzach Yisroel, (the youngest dayan in the
history of Vilna) was on a work detail of Jews in Vilna, supervised by
one Nazi officer.  He took the officers gun away from him and shot him.
Did the officer, guarding a work detail, have a din of rodef ? What
concerns were given to repurcussions ?

Other shaylos from that same period clearly indicate that there is no
halachic considerations given to illegal repurcussions from a sworn
enemy of the Jews.


I received this moments after my previous post re. Goldsteins responsibility
for terror attacks.

Yesha News Service - Apr. 20, 1994
        Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin responded that terrorism is a
natural outcome of the agreement with the PLO.  (Jerusalem Post,
Apr. 19)



From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 15:05:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Killing Goldstein

Saul Djanogly concluded from the fact that a Jew killing non-Jews is not
considered a rodeif and that Baruch Goldstein is not halachically
responsible for reprisal attacks

> Therefore, it would seem that it would have been halachically forbidden
> for a jewish soldier to have shot B.G. in order to prevent the massacre.

I have a problem with this analysis.  Saul's research into the relevant
sources can hardly be considered exhaustive, and IMO one should make the
MOST exhaustive analysis of this scenario before arriving at a conclusion
with such far-reaching consequences.  Moreover, he neglects three aspects
of the issue that could alter the conclusion -- the first is the element
of chillul Hashem which might matir the use of even deadly force in
preventing a desecration of G-d's name such as the one perpetrated by
Goldstein, the second is the fact that Goldstein could certainly be seen
as a rodeif with regard to soldiers attempting to stop him from committing
his crime, and the third is the idea of mipnei eiva, which as a pikuach
nefesh issue is able to matir chillul shabbos.  I don't know how these
three issues might alter Saul's analysis, but they certainly merit
consideration before one goes ahead and derives sweeping conclusions based
on a limited analysis. 

Eitan Fiorino


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 00:36:31 -0400
Subject: Rodef run wild?

In V12N68, Saul Djanogly writes:

>I recently raised 2 questions re.Baruch Goldstein in Halacha and have now
>found the answers.
>1.In those circumstances where it is forbidden for a Jew to murder a
>gentile, does a Jew pursuing a gentile become a RODEF,mandating another
>Jew to intervene and even kill him(where no other option i.e.
>wounding/disabling exists)?
>Answer.No,he does not have the status of a RODEF.See Minchat Chinuch
>Mitzva 600.Alef in the new Machon Yerushalaim edition.
>Therefore,it would seem that it would have been halachically forbidden
>for a Jewish soldier to have shot B.G.in order to prevent the massacre.
>Please keep any answers halachic.I am not trying to incite Zahal to
>mutiny!  Please G-d,this should only be a hypothetical question.

Does 1. mean that we can't stop a Jew from killing non-Jews?  This sounds
pretty unlikely.  If I were a non-Jew, I'd be pretty upset about that,
but not a whole lot more than I am as a Jew.  (And my views on the "peace"
process and related matters are not particularly dovish.)

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


End of Volume 12 Issue 84