Volume 19 Number 88
                       Produced: Wed Jun  7 10:03:35 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Charity Supporting Ethiopian Jewry
         [Andrea Penkower Rosen]
Comments on Yom Ha'Atzmaut
         [Zvi Weiss]
Saying Hallel with a Bracha
         [Dov Ettner]
State of Israel
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Yom Ha'atzmaut and Rav Kahaneman
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Yom HaAtzmaut
         [Chaim Wasserman]


From: Andrea Penkower Rosen <apr@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 23:34:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Charity Supporting Ethiopian Jewry

This may be too late for the poster who originally requested a vehicle for 
supporting Ethiopian Jewry but perhaps it will be of interest to others.

I just recently returned from the national convention of AMIT women, an 
American organization which maintains a network of more than 20 secondary 
schools in Israel in which our students learn secular subjects so that 
they can pass their bagrut (matriculation) exams and Torah studies. Many 
of our students come from underprivileged and/or dysfunctional families.

We also have unique foster family homes for those children (elementary 
school through high school age) who cannot be maintained by their own 
families. Twelve foster children live in a family setting with surrogate 
parents who often have their own small children as well.

In many of our schools we have to supply lunch and breakfast because the 
children have been coming hungry.  Just a few months ago, we discovered a 
large group of Ethiopian children in this predicament and we initiated a 
breakfast and lunch program for them. Anyone desiring to support 
Ethiopian children can send funds to :  AMIT Women
                                        817 Broadway
                                        New York, N.Y. l0003
and specify that the money is to be specially earmarked.  

Andrea Penkower Rosen


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 11:55:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Comments on Yom Ha'Atzmaut

I feel that Mr. Hornstein's response to me requires some comments:
1. I stated that we recognize the gratitude toward Hashem for giving us 
this great opportunity.  Mr. Hornstein appears to feel that this is 
terribly objectionable because I do not recognize the achievements of all 
the Jews who worked to establish the Medina.  Let me point out that when 
we celebrate ANY major event in Judaism, the focus ALWAYS appears to be 
*on Hashem* and NOT on our own achievements.  Look at Al Hanissim (Purim)
"And You put his evil intent back on his head and they hanged him..." NO 
mention of the battle of the Jews at all... (Chanuka) "and You gave the 
strong over to the weak and the many to the few....".  The battle is 
described solely as a miracle of Hashem...  In fact the notion of 
"recognizing" the "gamut of Jews" [Should we make a Mi Sheberach for 
Herzl?] as the poster writes seems to come dangerously close to the 
Torah's prohibition NOT to state "it is my power and the strength of my 
hand that has achieved all of this...".

2. With all due respect, Rabbi Yitzchak Greenberg does not appear to be a 
significant Halachic source.  I do not know of any piskei Halacha that he 
innovated that have been accepted and he is considered (to put it mildly) 
as a VERY controversial figure within the Orthodox Community.  Citing him 
as a source for the halachic observances on Yom Ha'Atzmaut does not 
appear to strengthen this case.

3. Exactly how does the poster know that we can simply add psalms or
even Hallel for miracles that occur?  First of all, who decides what
constitutes a significant miracle and, secondly, what is the authority
for "adding psalms"?  I am aware now (and thankful) of the instances
cited by people where *communities* instituted the recitation of Psalms
based upon miraculous events.  However, it does not appear that this was
done without Rabbinic guidance.  And, most of these cases did NOT
involve the recitation of Hallel on a permanent basis -- certainly not
with a B'racha.  Also, these cases do NOT seem to have involved the
addition of psalms to Pesukei D'Zimra.  Again, the poster takes no
notice of the distinction between the celebration at the time of an
event and celebration of subsequent anniversaries.

4. I do not understand the poster's comments re Hoshana Rabba.  That day
is regarded as a Yom HaDin -- in some sense and, therefore, in addition
to the the expanded Pesukei D'Zimra, there is the entire set of
"Requests" that we state to Hashem in the Hoshanoth as well as the
recitation of the 13 Middoth.  At best, the original Yom Ha'Atzmaut was
a "din" when we faced war at the declaration.  Does the poster think
that the CURRENT Yom Ha'Atzmaut has that status?  The Tefillot certainly
do not appear to reflect that theme...

5. It is very nice to speak of the "Rabbanim of Israel" BUT (a) who 
"charged them with the welfare of the Jewish people" as the poster 
asserts?  Certainly, there are significant portions of the Jewish 
Community that did NOT accept these Rabbanim as having that "charge".  I 
say this without demeaning their scholarship or Torah learning in any 
way.  These Rabbanim ARE (and were) great Talmidei Chachamim.  Certainly, 
their pronouncements must be accorded great respect -- but they are NOT 
the modern day equivalent of the "great Sanhedrin" and it is NOT clear 
that they have this special authority. (b) There are and were other great 
Rabbanim of Eretz Yisrael such as the Chazon Ish who did NOT agree with 
this sort of "celebration".  While I am not claiming that we all follow 
the interpretations of the Chazon Ish, it does seem somewhat strange to 
accord special "respect" to SOME Rabbanim in Eretz Yisrael and not others.

6. True that Aveilut is suspended for the Yomim Tovim.  Does that mean 
that the poster thinks that Yom Ha'Atzmaut has the same status as one of 
the 3 Major Holidays?  More to the point, is Aveilut (12 month) *fully* 
suspended on the Major Holidays (that is, after all, probably the sort of 
Aveilut that we are talking about)?  Is Aveilut suspended on Purim?  
I believe that Aveilut is NOT fully suspended on Purim.  Does the Poster 
think that Yom Ha'Atzmaut has greater Halachic significance than Purim 
(which is "midivrei Kabbala")"

7. I saw no serious response to the question of how the date of Yom
Ha'atzmaut could be changed *halachically* just to avoid Chillul
Shabbat.  Note that if this day is treated *instead* as a private day of
thanksgiving with NO special *halachic* modifications, it is easier to
justify the flexibility in the scheduling of the day.

I did NOT discuss the "Haftora" because that probably is NOT a 
significant halachic issue.  I do not know why it was brought up here.  I 
really limited myself to *3* issues: the addition to the Pesukei D'Zimra 
(which Rav Schechter has cited in the name of the Rav ZT"L as being 
incorrect); the recitaiton of Hallel whether with or without a B'racha 
(because of hefsek in Davening after Amida); and the suspension of the 
customs of Sefira.  BTW, when I was at YU, one year the Rav ZT"L was at 
the "Morg Minyan" on Yom Ha'Atzmaut and he ASKED whether Hallel was said 
(without a B'racha) and when told that was what the boys did, he directed 
that 1/2 Kaddish be recited after Amida *before* the recitation of 
Hallel.  I did not inquire further at the time but I beleive that it was 
because of the "hefsek" issue.  Also, from the way he asked, it was clear 
that he was NOT directing the boys that recitation of hallel was "the 
thing" to do.

In general, the tone of this response bothers me.  Rather than focusing 
upon the P'sak as other posters have done (I am especially grateful for 
those who provided the quotes from R. Issac Herzog ZT"L), the poster 
relies upon an essentially emotional arguement rahter than a rigorous 
analysis of sources.  In addition, he has appeared to have IGNORED my 
comments where I expressed serious reservations about the fact that the 
Halachic establishemnt has NOT seen fit to commemorate Yom Ha'Atzmaut in 
a meaningful way (from a religious perspective).  Sometimes, it seems 
that the current Poskim are more interested in explaining why one CANNOT 
commemorate Yom Ha'Atzmaut in a particular fashion rather than guiding us 
as to how to properly celebrate this day.  It is because of the ABSENCE 
of this halachic guidance that we get the emotional outburst of the sort 
that this poster has addressed.  To admit that my "arguement" re Aveilut 
may be cogent and then to summarily dismiss it is exactly the sort of 
emotional mish-mash that is counter to the rigorous process.  If there is 
a basis to refute the arguement, *that* is what should be done.

In short, as a believing Jew, I think that we must recognize that the 
events leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel (imperfect 
as it is) are due to the wondrous ways of Hashem.  Our thanks must 
therefore be to Hashem.  As we seek to express our thanks to Hashem, we 
encounter Halachic difficulties and quesitons.  These must and can and 
will be resolved (for those who follow the P'sak of the Rabbanut and/or 
of Rav Goren ZT"L, they already HAVE been resolved).  When that is 
achieved, we will truly celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut with love and gratitude 
toward Hashem.



From: <dovle@...> (Dov Ettner)
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 95 09:46:38 +0300
Subject: Saying Hallel with a Bracha

  When the Sefardim recite the entire Hallel as we will do on Shavout,
they make the bracha "ligmor et hahallel". On Rosh Hodesh and Hol Hamoed
Pesach the bracha made is "likroh et hahallel" on half Hallel.

  Best Wishes to everyone for a Chag Sameach
  Dov Ettner


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 16:04:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: State of Israel

Melech Press wrote:

:The events over the succeeding years have at least underlined the failure
:of this state to even approximate that which the Jewish people has longed
:for for two millennia and have inevitably led to more negative attitudes. 

I must disagree in the strongest terms.

1. About 20,000 Jews from Ethiopia would probably be dead now if it 
weren't for the State of Israel literally being Mkabetz Galuyot with 
reagrds to them.

2. About 500,000 people (including at least 400,000 Jews) have made aliya 
from the former Soviet Union within the past few years (3 times faster 
during the Shamir years than the Rabin years, but that is a separate 
issue.). Where do you think these people would have gone.

3. The primary purpose of the State 'Medinat Yisrael T'he P'tucha
L'Kelitat Ha'aliya' -- the ingathering of the exiles. This has been
accomplished to miraculous extremes.

4. Already, according to some counts, Israel has more religious Jews than
the *rest of the world combined* The gains tothe Jewish religion ALL OVER
THE WORLD as a result of the State are immeasurable. How many students
have stuied in Israel 'En Torah K'torat Eretz Yisrael!'

5. When before in history was a Jew assured the possibility of living in 
Eretz Yisrael if he so chose? Living in Eretz Yisrael is a positive 
commandmant (even according to the Rambam -- go check Hilchot Ishut and 
you will see this quite clearly). A Jewish government has guaranteed this 

6. A Jewish government has said that it will rescue Jews anywhere. 
Fortunately & unfortunately, it has had chances to prove this, and it has. 
This is a miracel and what the State was meant to be.

There are many problems with the current government in Israel. But the 
problems that exist are not even comparable to the tremndous successes of 
the first sovereign Jewish State in the Land of Israel in 1900 years...

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


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 00:17:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Yom Ha'atzmaut and Rav Kahaneman


If I remember correctly the story was regarding Yom Yerushalayim and not 
Yom Ha'atzmaut.  As well, even ifhe didn't say tachanun, maybe this only 
applied to Eretz Yisroel where the actual miracle took place and not in 
Chutz La'aretz.



From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 00:52:01 -0400
Subject: Yom HaAtzmaut

Perhaps Melech Press might be bolstered in his optimism concerning the
state of Israel with a rereading of Rav Soloveichik's Kol Dodi Dofek.

Among the miracles which the Rav does not include in his 1956 essay, is
that Torah institutions and Torah publications have flourished at an
unprecedented rate. This because of the state's subsidies. Nowhere in
America could we have had the enclaves of Torah learning as we do in
Yerushalayim, Bnai Brak, Ponovitch, Kerem B'Yavneh, Shaalivim etc,
etc. No, not even in Melech's Boro Park or my Gan Eden in Passaic.

Now who built the roads, the plumbing, the utilities and who are the
defenders of the safety and well being of those areas with the hundreds
of thousands who flourish in a Torah ambiance?

Rav Henkin, zatzal, understood well the stand-offish neutrality of hefty
segments of the Torah world when he said that Hallel on Yom haAtzmaut
depends on the perspective a person takes with regard to the nature of
the state. In other words, there are two ways of looking at the matter -
legitimately, halachically. And, how one looks at the state depends on
one's perspectives in life.

As for me, I stand on an often repeated dictum of chazal: Ayn Torah
k'torat Eretz Yisrael. Rav Zeira also held from that dictum and that is
why he fasted 40 days to divest himself of the ways of learning in the
great centers of Bavel. For Bavel was galut - not Gan Eden.

Chaim Wasserman, Rabbi
Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton 


End of Volume 19 Issue 88