Volume 19 Number 57
                       Produced: Fri May 12 18:20:16 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dina D'Malchusah Dina
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Internet & the Frum community - and other media
         [Norman Tuttle]
The Slippery Slope
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Yishuvo Shel Olom
         [Joseph Steinberg]


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 20:24:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Dina D'Malchusah Dina

     There is a concept taught to us in the Gemora by Shmuel of Dina
D'Malchusa Dina.  This ostensibly means that we must follow the laws of
the country in which we live as long as those laws do not contravene the
laws of the Torah.  Does this apply in Eretz Yisroel as well.  I
remember hearing that there is the view of the Ran that this is not
applicable.  The reason he gives is because in all other countries if
you disobey the laws they can deport you while in regard to E. Yisroel
since everybody has a share in the Land biblically, deportation is not
an option.
     I am aware that the Shulchan Aruch rules that it is applicable and
that this view of the Ran is not applied.  As well, the Poskim do not
follow the view of the Ran but instead follow the view of the majority
of the Rishonim that Dina D'Malchusa Dina applies in E. Yisroel like any
other country.
     I understand this if we are talking about a ruling authority which
is gentile.  However, where the ruling authority is Jewish maybe the Din
will be different.  Let us say in regard to paying taxes.  It is well
known that Reb Elchonon Wasserman zt"l hy"d ruled that one may not
donate money to an organization which supports activities which are not
in accordance with Torah practice, even if this organization supports
Torah institutions as well.  Therefore, is it permissible to pay taxes
to an Israeli Government which uses a percentage (true, some of the
expenditures are for permissible things such as building roads,
supporting hospitals, security concerns, electrical and plumbing
facilities, etc.)  of the funds for non-Torah activities or anti-Torah
activities. (Such as archaeological digs in cemeteries, roads through
cemeteries, building projects on Shabbos, providing for the induction of
women in the army (which was ruled by the Chazon Ish and other poskim to
be Taharog V'al Ta'avor), etc.).  Perhaps then Dina D'Malchusa Dina does
not apply as it contravenes Torah Law.

Interested in informative responses,
Mordechai Perlman
Toronto, Canada


From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
Date: Mon, 8 May 95 18:03:53 -0400
Subject: Internet & the Frum community - and other media

Symptoms:  a Frum yid now 26 has been looking for his Zivug for approximately
3 years, and he figures that the Internet should be a valid place to search.
With a subscription to SHIDUCH on the JERUSALEM1 server, & an entry on JSML
(Jewish Singles Mailing List), he finds that there are only meager pickings
among the female Orthodox populace, & many sport a surname of "modern" in
front of the general religious specification.  Needless to say, the "Yid" is
myself, and I have been somewhat involved in the Shidduch scene as the founder
and organizer of the Mazel Tov program, which brings Orthodox singles'
Shabbatons to Monsey which individuals from all camps of Orthodoxy attend.
My connection with right-wing west Spring Valley and the Baalei Teshuva
community of Monsey is very strong since these are the communities in which I
live, pray, & eat my Sabbath & Yom Tov meals.  You will ask why a person in
this community who outwardly shows the dress of this community (black-hat
Litvish) & carries on many of the same practices is not taken care of by the
community for his other needs-i.e. Shiduch in a direct sense, & the answer you
will get would probably be a combination of the fact that female Baalot
Teshuva are generally older, FFB ("born-Frum") girls are not generally
interested in Baalei Teshuva, my college education sets me apart from several
of my colleagues, many girls are looking for husbands who are learning full-
time, and now add my controversial (but actually nearly unamimously supported
by the community) Mazel Tov program.

The main point of this article is not actually to mull over my personal
situation but to suggest that some segments of the Frum community have closed
themselves to some positive avenues for advancement, or possibly even aim to
close themselves to the world at large.  The timing of this article relates to
a telephone conversation I had last Saturday night with a young lady who
shares my thoughts on this topic.  (I have not yet met her in person, but I am
already delighted to know somebody who thinks like myself, thanks to Rabbi
Shachtel of Neve Yerushalayim College, who has been a great help in trying to
find a Shidduch for me.)  Her background is as a Bais Yaakov alumnus, and
presently teaching computers in the schools, contends that the answer to my
above question regarding why there are very few Frum girls on the net is that
it's taking a long time to catch on in the Frum community.  Unfortunately,
such articles as the one in the Jewish Observer on the Internet (incidentally,
I haven't read this one, but this is her contention) merely exacerbate this
problem, since most people in the right-wing, when seeing a "reliable" right-
wing source confirm that there are potential problems with something, tend to
shun it completely.  My personal feeling is that the problem lies beyond this:
when the problem lies with the CONTENT, these circles tend to blame the MEDIUM
instead.  This would also explain the ban on television, VCRs, the new ban on
the WLIR radio statio ("all Jewish, all the time") in Monsey, and now Yeshivas
are going to be slow in upgrading computers & providing Internet access with
the excuse that doing so would open a Pandora's box for forbidden activities!
When will the Frum community realize they have gone too far in prohibiting the
permitted?  I only hope this analysis helps.

This is still only part of the problem.  It is part of a larger problem of
indoctrination.  If the Yeshivas continue to convince young men that the only
proper career is to learn Torah full-time, & have no solution for preparing
them to take on another career which can provide Parnasa, and the Beis Yaakovs
only want to create teachers who learn in seminary & only want to marry men
who learn full-time, the Frum community is not going to have much monetary
flow into it, & therefore is going to rely on those who buck the flow & take
on careers despite their message (+ possibly some Baalei Teshuva who already
have careers) and the more "modern" community.  Since the newest trend is for
Frum Jews is to vote Republican (I don't include myself in this trend), & the
Republicans tend to cut services, less money from the general populace will
flow down to the Kollel family, causing others among the Jewish faith to be
left to take up the slack.  I wonder whether the general population will
consider "Kollel study" a gainful employment when "work-fare" is in place.
In the Shidduchin scene, a Baalat Teshuva led me to understand that there is
pressure in some girl's Yeshivas against single Shabbatons ("the Rebitzen
said that only modern guys go to those things"), she also told me that WLIR
was controversial (about a year before the ban), she can't have a "monitor" in
the house, & that she threw out a science fiction book because she re-read it
too many times!  In this environment, I'm not surprised that we are always
lagging in girls' numbers at the singles events, & hardly ever get Bais Yaakov
girls.  The fact is that the signs about the Shabbaton cannot stay up even in
Yeshiva Kol Yaakov, which was a major sponsor for Mazel Tov programs, the Rosh
Yeshiva still supporting them.  This indoctrination is harmful, blunts reality
and denies the truth.  On the contrary, true Divine doctrine is upright,
gladdening the heart; clear, enlightening the eyes; pure, enduring forever;
true, and altogether righteous (cf. Ps. 19).

Nosson Tuttle (<ntuttle@...>, ntuttl01@west.poly.edu)


From: <hayim@...> (Hayim Hendeles)
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 09:52:09 -0700
Subject: The Slippery Slope

In recent posts, we have read about a recent trend to change tradition
in favor (sic) of providing support to those women who are ostensibly
seeking to pursue a closer relationship with G-d.

However, one must realize that tampering with tradition is like pulling
a thread off an old sweater. Some threads may even need to be pulled.
But you pull the *wrong* thread, and the entire sweater begins to

Innocent as they may sound initially, over the years and decades, one
wrong "innovation" may lead to another until it completely degenerates.
Alas, we have learned this lesson the hard way, as history will

Thus, we must always be on the lookout for early signs of such
degeneration. Indeed, I fear, that even within this forum, we may have
already begun to witness early signs of this degeneration. I say this
for several reasons:

1) In a zealous effort to "prove" the legitimacy of some of the Jewish
feminist activites, one reader posted a list of "scholarly sources" --
which, as was later admitted by the poster, was "shoddy scholarship".

Undoubtedly, the zeal to promote this poster's feminist viewpoint,
clouded their better judgement, and the result was "shoddy halacha".
There is no reason to think this zealousness to be an isolated instance.

2) But even ignoring this instance of "shoddy scholarship", this post
underscores a worse problem: In their naivete, these feminists believe
that a handful of various sources is sufficient justification for their
tampering with tradition.

This is not unlike a patient taking different medicines. While, each
medicine may normally be beneficial; it may be fatal for some patients,
or when taken together with other medications.

Certainly, there may be certain halachik decisions [favorable to
feminists] by the Chofetz Chayim or Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach. And these are
wonderful - provided you are willing to live your life as did Rebbetzin
Chofetz Chayim or Rebbetzin Auerbach, and provided you are willing to
live in their world.  For in such a world, there may have been no danger
of the "unraveling" of Judaism ch"v.

But for better or worse, today's women live in a different world.  And
in this world, taking a psak halacha here from one Rabbi, and another
from another Rabbi, both of which lived in a different world, and
moreover, to change tradition based on picking and choosing those facets
one wishes to follow - is a surefire path to oblivion.

Only a qualified Rabbi, one familiar with the Torah in its entirety, can
justify these so-called innovations in their totality. But, we have
already seen evidence in these pages, that these feminists have already
publically rejected the opinion of any such Rabbi possessing an
enycyclopaedic knowledge of the Torah.

3) In a post, which IMHO, was the most alarming, we read about a group
who have chosen to break away from their established synagogue and
Rabbi, and form their own "minyan" to promote their feminist ideals.

This group has publically declared that they do not *want* a learned
rabbinical Torah scholar to lead the congregation. Instead, the Rabbi's
job is shared equally among the men and women of this "minyan".
(Although the post did imply they have a "Rabbi on call" to render
"halachik decisions", the post did not specify whose job it was to carry
out the most difficult role of a Rabbi - that of rebuking the

One need not be a genius to recognize the inherent danger behind a group
of people who feel themselves so knowledgeable and capable, and so
pious, that they have no need of a Rabbi. In yesteryear, knowledgeable
communities went to great lengths to search out a Rabbi, who was a great
Torah scholar, and who possessed great erudition --- but this community
has already declared themselves sufficently knowledgeable and pious that
they have no need of a learned spiritual mentor.

How long will it be until they decide amongst themselves that not only
are they "qualified" amongst themselves to teach each other words of
Torah, but they are also qualified to paskin for one another?  Next
generation, or perhaps even this generation down the road?

In conclusion, I hope I am wrong. But unless the greatest Torah scholars
of our generation approve of these changes, let us follow the venerable
Torah Sages of our generation, instead of the actions of a younger
generation attempting to change the tradition that allowed us to survive
a 2000 year exile.

In the words of our Talmud: "If the youth tell you to build, and the
elderly tell you to destroy, it is preferable to destroy. Because the
building of the youth will ultimately cause destruction; whereas the
destruction of the elderly will ultimately prove to be a building."

Hayim Hendeles


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Wed, 10 May 1995 23:58:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Yishuvo Shel Olom

:YISHUVO SHEL OLOM| (loosely translated as useful communal activities)
Yishuvo shel Olam does not mean COMMUNAL activities -- but rahter, 
PRODUCTIVE activities.

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://haven.ios.com/~likud/steinber/
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


End of Volume 19 Issue 57