Volume 13 Number 20
                       Produced: Sat May 21 23:42:21 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Barukh Goldstein
         [Eli Turkel]
Boruch Goldstein
         [Michael Broyde]
Da'as Torah and Soft Sciences
         [Sam Juni]
Goldstein, Philistines, and Palestinians
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Hebron Massacre
         [Ari Kurtz]
Obeying orders in the Israeli Army
         [Stanley Rotman]
Yeshuv Eretz Yisroel
         [Ari Kurtz]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 94 11:57:03 +0300
Subject: Barukh Goldstein

     Much of the discussion on Barukh Goldstein has centered on the
question whether one can do an action which will cause a reaction that
will harm other Jews. I just went to a shiur of Rav Zilberstein on
Halacha and medicine and he mentioned in passing a similar question:

1. If A surgeon is in the middle of an operation and the hospital is
   being shelled can the doctor take safety knowing that it will result
   in the inevitable death of the patient.

2. During World War II could one flee from the Nazis if one knew that
   the result would be that some other Jew would then be tortured and
   killed in response to the escape.

   Rav Zilberstein said that it is an argument betwwen the Magen Avraham
   and the Imre Bina. However, I was not able to get exact quotes or
   sources.  Though similar there are several differences from the case
   of Barukh Goldstein. Most important is that Barukh was not facing
   death for himself.  However, one could also argue that the response
   was also less certain than in the above cases.

   Rav Hutner condemned the zionist movement on the grounds that it
   caused the Mufti of Jerusalem to cooperate with Hitler and so caused
   the death of Jews. I personally accept this more as a polemic than as
   a halacha.  I find it hard to believe that someone can prevent me
   from doing what I consider proper by threating to kill other Jews.


Going to the shiur I decided to print out mail.jewish at the last minute
to read on the bus. There I read about the story with Beilinson and was
able to pass the message to one of the department heads of Beilinson
hospital who was also at the shiur. So some useful things really come
out of mail.jewish


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 13:49:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Boruch Goldstein

I am a little puzzled by much of the discussion of Boruch Goldstein.  To
the best of my knowledge, whether he is or is not a rodef, is not
relavent to the important issue of whether his actions constituted
murder in the eyes of halacha.  The answer to that question is yes.  I
have seen no halachic analysis of his actions that would permit them.
The essential rationale to prohibit his action is as follows: It is
prohibited to kill people, unless the person you are trying to kill is
actually trying to kill you or someone else.  One may not kill innocent
people to save other innocent people, and specific knowledge is needed
to kill a person.  Most poskim require a specific level of certainty
above 90% to kill based on a pursuer rationale.  Goldstein lacked that
certainty concerning the random worshipers he killed in the mosque.
Thus his actions were prohibited by halacha.  Whether he himself is a
technical rodef is not now the relavent question.  The analogy to Samson
is of no halachic significance


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Mon, 2 May 1994 16:30:38 -0400
Subject: Da'as Torah and Soft Sciences

A valid point is raised by Mitch Berger (4/22/94) where he asks "Would
you want advice in electrical engineering from a Rav?", as contrasted to
the practice of asking interpersonal and social advice from the Rav.

The soft sciences share a malady with some of the medical sciences,
particulary psychiatry and psychology. Unlike some disciplines which are
removed from the vernacular of lay people (lay people are not well
versed in ergs, EDR, evoked potential, friction index, etc.), the soft
sciences and psychiatry often use terms which are known to the public
(albeit usually in distorted fashion). It is thus that any Tom or Harry
on the street can take upon himself to assert "I don't believe in
Psychiatry" because he feels familiar enough with some of the basic
terms for delusional expertise; in fact, the layman could not
distinguish anxiety from fear if his life depended on it.

It is no insult to assert that the most noble Rav is a layman in
Physics, Plumbing, Medicine, Geology, Psychiatry, Politics, etc. The
caution of Rabbi Soloveitchik, for example, to seek the advice of
military experts with regard to military matters is almost tautological.
And it is true, that most Rabbanim will demur when presented by
technical She'eilos, referring the question to the expert in the field.

When it comes to Politics or the Social Sciences, there seems to be a
feeling of propriety by the public, until they mess up so bad that the
expert has to be called in. Adults feel free to prescribe educational
programs to anyone who listens, for example, until they find their own
child acting out uncontrollably, in which case the eductaional
evaluator is summoned despite their grandoise expertise. Adults with
"ironclad" theories about social programs for the disadvantaged based on
hot air will find themselves rushing to call the Police when forced to
deal with a break-in, regardless of their theories.

While the typical Rav will sidestep the medical pulpit, psychology and
psychiatry seem fair game for them, despite their lay status. Let me
stress that I am not arguing against the critical evaluation of
psychological findings, especially as these may be reflected in
difference of opinion which merits adjudication. I am speaking of bona
fide psychological problems which the Rav finds tempting to meddle with,
just because he feels familiar with the elements involved. (E.g., an
anxiety attack seems intuitively more understood by the untrained than a
toxic reaction is, though in fact they truly understand neither.)

An illuminating anectode: I received a phone call from a Rebbe in a
Yeshiva, calling on behalf of THE Rosh Yeshiva. An adolescent had
apparently declared himself to be a "Chassidishe Rebbe" and was busy in
the Dining Hall handing out Shiriam (his leftover foods, as
amulet/segulos) to the other students. After several brief questions, it
seemed clear to me that the student was in a paranoid episode, and I
cautioned the Rebbe to get the student medicated under proper care. I
was dumbfounded to learn later that the Rosh Yeshiva had decided,
instead, that all the student needs is to sleep for awhile in order to
"snap out of it."

Just as the domain as philosophy was continually eroded by the emergence
of the sciences (e.g., physics and midicine were traditionally part of
Philosophy until these fields crystalized with their own methodologies),
so does the domain of "common sense" continue to shrink as disciplines
are carved out with specific empirical structures. I wonder whether the
willingness of the Rav to get involved with matters which have
established chartings of causality and etiology -- as an expert -- may
not represent an underevaluation of the intricacy of the disciplines he
naively assumes to understand.

The Soft Sciences would probably do themselves much good, and gain
credibility among the lay population, by inventing new terminology to
substitute for those terms which have alternate meanings in popular


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Fri, 6 May 94 14:25:19 -0700
Subject: Goldstein, Philistines, and Palestinians

> The one problem I have with this analogy is that it is wrong to equate
> or imply the equation of Palestinians with the Philistines.  The vast
> majority of Palestinians ...  cannot trace their ancestry to the
> Philistines ...
> Sam Saal 

I don't believe this is the issue at all. If there was a Divine
commandment to kill the Philistines, then that would explain Samson's
killing of them, and Mr. Saal might be correct in his assertion that
Samson's justification no longer applies to the Palistineans, who are
not Philistines.

But this wasn't the case. There was no divine command to kill
Philistines. I believe that Samson's justification was that the
Philistines were at a state of war with the Jews, and war operates under
a totally different set of rules.

Thus, if I am correct, the only question is "Are the Palistineans
considered to be in a state of war with the Jews?" (Or were they at the
time of the massacre?). If yes, then the original analogy is valid. If
not, then the incident with Samson has no bearing on the current

Hayim Hendeles


From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 11:14:02 +0300
Subject: Re: Hebron Massacre

In v12n68 Marc Shapiro comments :

>  Disgusting or not, it turns out that this very point was made by a
> number of roshe yeshivah who said that there is no technical question
> of rodef (vis-a-vis the Gentiles) involved with Goldstein. Rather, it
> is obvious that he is a rodef (vis-a-vis Jews) since his actions will
> cause Jews to be killed in revenge and therefore anyone who had been
> at Hebron during his attack was obligated to kill him.

 When I first read this I was quite shocked and wrote a note to Marc
asking what Roshe Yeshivot said such a thing . The answer I recieved
made me hit the roof since he mentioned Roshe Yeshivot of the Hesder
Yeshivot . After I settled down I called HaRav Rabanovich of Birkat
Moshe and he assured me that he never said or implied such a psuk.

                            Ari Kurtz 


From: <SROTMAN@...> (Stanley Rotman)
Subject: Obeying orders in the Israeli Army

There has been a furor here in Israel over the possibility that soldiers
(including religious soldiers) will be ordered to dismantle settlements.
Certain Rabbis have ruled that such orders must be disobeyed.

The hypothesis underlying this ruling is that the government/soldiers
must be ruled by halacha.  The government should not order anything
forbidden and the soldiers should not follow.

I've recently found a reference in a book entitled "And live by them - a
test of ethics" which indirectly argues that this may not be the case.
The book quotes the Ran on the mitzvah of appointing a king; the
quotation is:

"and since the power of the king is great, he is NOT LIMITED BY THE
RULES OF THE TORAH as a judge is...and if he should abolish a law of the
torah for a temporary time, his intention shall not be to violate the
entire torah and to revolt against god, but his intention shall be to
keep the torah ... and anthing which he adds or subtracts should be so
that overall the rules of the torah will be preserved."

The book therefore argues that a government (king) is bound by the
overall good of the Jewish nation, and preserves extralegal powers for
the betterment of the people.

The conclusion would seem to be that if the evacuation of settlements
were necessary for the wellbeing of the Jewish people (this assumption
can be debated, although its place is probably not on this net), the
government would have such a power, even if it is technically forbidden.


From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 11:25:32 +0300
Subject: Yeshuv Eretz Yisroel

 Shalom Aliechem 
   Since I started on the topic of yeshuv eretz Yisroel . I'll add 
a point which is not directly connected but i've come across of late .
One point peope who say that one should seat and wait make is from 
the midrah that Rashi brings why Bnei Yisroel didn't travel when leaving
Egypt the way of the Plisteim . One reason brought (for some reason I'm
wondering if my source is correct ) is that they wouldn't see the bodies
of Bnei Ephriam who left Egypt to early and were defeated by the nations
living in Eretz Canan  at that time . So the point they make here is 
that one has to wait for deliverence . Except in Sanhedrein (perek chelek)
It mentions these Bnei Ephraim that these were the bones that Yechezkal
revived and they afterwords settled in Israel and bore children . From
here we can see that the act of Bnei Ephriam is looked in a positve note
and that they eventually recieved they due reward by bein able to live
in Israel the rest of Bnei Yisroel who left Egypt never attained except 
for Yeshua and Kalev . Also the whole comparrison is unlogical since in 
Egypt Bnei Yisroel new they had to stay there four hundred years but in
todays galut there is no given time and therefore obligated to return any
time where that is possible . The reason why by Egypt Bnei Yisroel had
to wait four hundred years was because the land at that time was in the
possesion of the seven nations and was theirs until their sins exceeded
the limit . Today Eretz Yisroel is souly ours so again we can just come
and take our place in Eretz Yisroel . 
                                     Ari Kurtz


End of Volume 13 Issue 20