Volume 13 Number 16
                       Produced: Fri May 20  0:12:13 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyah and Honoring Ones parents
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Chumra and Kula Continued
         [Esther R Posen]
Current events in Yeshayah
         [Mitch Berger]
Gun Control and Halacha
         [Frank Silbermann]


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Wed, 18 May 1994 04:10:44 -0400
Subject: Aliyah and Honoring Ones parents

    Isaac Balbin has correctly noted that there is no unanimity
regarding the question of whether the Mitzvah of living in Israel sets
aside the obligation of Honoring one's parents. Cited below are the
leading references on the subject for those who are interested:
    Rav Shaul Yisraeli (Amud ha-Yemini siman 22) suggests that if ones
parents need attention then one is freed from the mitzvah of Aliyah
because of ha-Osek be-mitzvah Patur min ha-mitzvah (one involved in one
mitzvah is freed from filling other mitzvot  - this principle has
rules; it's not a carte blanche). This is a fascinating responsa since
he discusses a variety of other issues for not making Aliyah (A
substantial lowering of your present standard of living - make aliyah
when you're a poor graduate student or struggling Professional?;
Psychological issues, such as causing grief to your parents etc.)
   Rav Waldenberg (Tsits Eliezer XIV no. 72) cites a Tashbetz suggesting
that Kibbud Av ve-eim (Honoring your parents) sets aside the mitzvah of
settling in Israel.  His conclusion is not as one sided as Isaac
suggests - though he clearly does LEAN toward exempting one from
making aliyah if it contravenes the parents wishes or needs.
   Rabbi Nissim (Resp. Yayin ha-Tov II no. 7) cites the view of the
Mabit who explicitly states that one is not bound to listen to ones
parents not to make aliyah, just as one is not obligated to listen to
ones parents if they tell you not to fulfill any other positive
commandment.  He therefore rules that aliyah is a higher priority.
   Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef (Yechaveh Da'at III, no. 69 and IV no. 49) sides
with the Mabit and says that Rav Waldenberg misunderstood the Tashbetz.
Concludes that Aliyah sets aside Kibud av ve-eim.
   My brother Dov brought to my attention an Explicit Pe'at ha-Shulkhan
(hilkhot Erets yisrael, siman 2, seif katan 21) which also states that
Aliyah supersedes Kibud av ve-eim.

   Isaac is correct that the Kibbud av ve-eim issue is debatable, though
I still believe the consensus is with those who maintain that aliyah
takes priority. But in any case, that was not the thrust of my argument,
which was: Halakha requires one to struggle honestly with the option of
Aliyah. Do so, do so halakhically and do so now.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: 19 May 94 14:18:18 GMT
Subject: Re: Chumra and Kula Continued

First of all, just for the record, I did not state proudly or otherwise
that I keep chumrot in order to bring myself closer to Hashem.  I only
stated that I accept the premise that many people who keep chumrot do so
out of yirat shomayim (fear of g-d) and ahavat hashem (love of g-d).  I
continue to be amazed that this is a controversial premise.

I believe we are suffering from the common confusion of Jews with
Judiasm.  Lets strike all the embezzling, loshon horah speaking, drug
using, wife beating jews of any affiliation from our conversation.  Lets
asume that all things being equal most "outwardly" orthodox jews are
orthodox inside as well...  We could argue indefinitely about whether a
larger percentage of jews of this stripe or that stripe fall into any of
these catagories but I doubt we could prove anything conclusively and,
anyhow, what would be the point?

And thank you Michael for your statement "but it is certainly not easier
to observe those chumras" I cannot understand why this is controversial

Onto minimum standards... I believe they exist.  Isn't anybody who keeps
Shabbos, Kosher and Taharat Hamishpacha considered "frum"?

I'd like to get to where I think the divisive issue exists and I quote
Dr.  Parness "since I adhere to these more stringent principles than
you, I am better than you, or you are a goy.  Having lived for a good
number of years in Boro Park, Brooklyn, I promise you this is true."

I have lived in Williamsburg, Boro Park and Highland Park.  So I have
experienced the attitudes of people right and left of me on the
"frumometer".  Trust me Dr. Parness, its all the same.  The attitude of
some jews on the left of other jews is "Since you constantly find more
ways to make life difficult for yourself and you stick out like a sore
thumb you are a shotah and I am embarrased to be identified with you"

Here are some of the issues that need to be dealt with and why some of
the attitudes come out the way they do.  My son was not yet four years
old when he asked "How come Hashem told some people they have to drink
cholov yisroel and not all people?"  An emphatic "this is just what we
do in this house" did not satisfy him. His "but why" was persistent.

I explained to him that hashem told all people that they don't have to
eat cholov yisroel, but that we think he will like it better if we do.
MAKING LIFE DIFFICULT FOR OURSELVES!)  The message I want them to get is
that it is perfectly okay for frum Jews to eat cholov stam but it is
better for them not to.  Admitedly, after hearing this about cholov
yisroel, and a few other chumrot they may conclude if we are doing all
these "better" things maybe we are "better" jews.

I explain, and hopefully over time they will understand, that all things
being equal I believe this is true (i.e two identical people with
identical backgrounds personalities etc.) but all things are never
equal.  (I.e. it is easier for us to eat cholov yisroel because we are
used to it etc. etc.)

Even more difficult issues arise like when my daughter stated as if she
had figured it out "Oh! some people cover their hair and some people
don't.  You can decide what you want to do."  I felt I had to tell her
(AS WE BELIEVE) that in this particular case we believe that it is wrong
for a woman not to cover her hair.  I was careful to tell her that some
women find it too hard and that women who don't cover their hair are
also frum and hashem loves them as well, but she gets the message that I
believe they are erring in their practice.  (And, Dr. Parness, when the
opportunity arises, as it unfortunately does, I also let my children
know that jews who steal and embezzle are erring in their practice.)

I am sure that many MJ subscribers will take umbrage at the answers I
give my children.  I, however, do not think they are the divisive
answers.  The divisive answers are "they are goyim", "we are frumer than
them" etc.

But here is my question.  What do some of you out there in MJ land tell
your children when they ask you "How come the Xs eat cholov yisroel,
don't have a television etc."

Esther Posen


From: <mberger@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Wed, 18 May 94 08:08:47 EDT
Subject: Current events in Yeshayah

I usually don't engage in this kind of exogesis, but when I saw these
words, I saw current events so unambiguously written, I had to share it.
The original context is a warning about sin, and its relationship to an
impending war with Ashur [Assyria]. Rash"i assumes a subtext about the
days of the Moshiach.

I found Targum Yonasan's reference to peace treaties with terrorists to
be somewhat erie, particularly since Rash"i was reading the Targum when
he assumes the words refer to the pre-messianic era.


Yeshayah 28 : 14 - 16:

Lakhein shim`u divar HaShem anshei latzon,
Therefor, listen to the words of HaShem, foolish men
Rada"q, Ibn Ezra - foolish men: those who say the words of Gd are foolish,
				and think nothing of them

moshlei ha`am hazeh asher biYerusholom.
those who rule this nation that is in Jerusalem.

Ki amartem karasne vris es maves vi`im shi'ol `asinu chozeh,
For you has said we declared a treaty with death, and come to an understanding
with the nethermost
Targum Yonasan: shi'oil - machbila, terrorists. (!)

shot shoteif ki ya`avor lo yivo'einu
the destruction which flows through the land will pass us, it won't come to us

ki samnu khazav machseinu uvasheqer nistarnu.
for we have placed covered ourselves with sin, and hide under lies.
Rash"i - for we have placed our trust in idol worshippers to hide us

Lahkien koh amar HaShem Elokim hinini yisad betziyon aven,
Therefor, so says Hashem your Gd: behold I have established a stone in Zion
Rash"i - the melech hamoshiach
Rada"q - Chizqiyahu

even bochan pinas yiqras musad musad hama'amin lo yachish.
a sturdy, precious, corner stone, an established foundation

hama'amin lo yachish.
he who believes, shall not try to make it come early.
Rash"i - One shouldn't say, "If it is truth, it will happen rapidly."

Micha Berger          Ron Arad, Zechariah Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehudah Katz:
<mberger@...>  May the Omnipresent have mercy on them and take them from
(212) 464-6565      constriction to openness, from dark to light, from slavery
(201) 916-0287      to salvation.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Thu, 19 May 1994 13:44:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Gun Control and Halacha

Most American Jews seem to be in favor of any and all gun-control proposals,
but Torah seems to support the opposite position.  Below are three paragraphs
from "What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control?" by Larry Pratt (not Jewish).

   From Moses through the Judges and beyond, the Israelite army was a militia
   which came to battle with each man bearing his own weapons.  When threatened
   by the Midianites, for example, "Moses spoke to the people, saying, `Arm
   some of yourselves for the war, and let them go against the Midianites
   to take vengeance for the L-rd on Midian'" (Numbers 31:3). During David's
   time in the wilderness avoiding capture by Saul, "David said to his men,
   `Every man gird on his sword.'  So every man girded on his sword, and David
   also girded on his sword" (1 Samuel 25:13).  ... consider Nehemiah and those
   who rebuilt the gates and walls of Jerusalem:  "Those who built on the wall,
   and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that with one hand they
   worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.  Every one of the
   builders had his sword girded at his side as he built" (Nehemiah 4:17-18).

   Exodus 22:2-3 tells us "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is
   struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.
   If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed."
   One conclusion which can be drawn from this is that a threat to our life
   is to be met with lethal force.

   When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States,
   consciously or unconsciously they adopted the Biblical right of every
   man to keep and bear arms, because every able bodied man capable of
   bearing arms might be called to defend his country, his life, liberty
   and freedom.  Disarmament was associated with oppresssive government.
   So great was the bondage exerted by the Philistines that "Now there was
   no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel for the
   Philistines said, `Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears.'
   (1 Samuel 13:19-20 22-23).  The government has no cause to want a monopoly
   of force; the government that desires such a monopoly is a threat to
   the lives, liberty and property of its citizens.  The sword-control
   of the Philistines is today's gun control.

Jay Simpkin, founder of _Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership_
(JPFO), says:

   Gun control has a fatal flaw:  to promote personal security it must be
   ruthlessly enforced.  Governments with such powers can easily commit
   genocide.  This flaw -- that for gun control to work the government must
   be given the power to commit genocide -- is the reason for the high price
   ultimately paid for temporary gains in security arising from gun control.

   Perpetrator    Date      Target    Murder Estimate   Date of Gun 
   Government                            (millions)     Control Law
   Ottoman     1915-1917  Armenians         1-1.5       1866     
   Turkey                                               1911     

   Soviet      1929-1953  Anti-Communists    20         1929       
   Union*                 Anti-Stalinists

   Nazi        1933-1945  Jews, Gypsies      13         1928      
   Germany** &            Anti-Nazis                    1938     

   China*      1948-1952  Anti-Communists    20         1935    

   Guatemala*  1960-1981  Mayan Indians       0.1       1871   

   Uganda*     1971-1979  Christians          0.3       1955 
                          Political                     1970

   Cambodia    1975-1979  Educated People     1.0       1956   

   Total                                     55.9 million

   In every case, gun-control laws were in force before the genocide began.
   In five genocides, the lethal law -- the gun control law -- was in force
   before the "genocide regime" took power.  An armed citizenry is close
   to being genocide-proof, and there is hard evidence at hand.  Afghanistan
   had no gun control before the Soviet invasion.  Armed Afghan civilians
   put the Afghan and Soviet armies on the defensive.  These civilians' grit
   moved other countries, including America, to supply heavier arms
   (anti-aircraft missiles).  In 1989, the war-weary Soviets withdrew their
   115,000 troops.  The Afghans offer a shining example of how armed civilians
   without heavy weapons can wreck armies.  To prevent further genocides,
   we must eliminate gun control.

Any comments?  /Frank Silbermann <fs@...>


End of Volume 13 Issue 16