Volume 20 Number 03
                       Produced: Thu Jun 15  1:55:50 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bnei Noach and stealing less than a pruta
         [Chana Luntz]
         [Joe Goldstein]
dvar torah on Avraham and the ten generations
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
Jewish Courts and Gentile Courts (v19n97)
         [Paul Stark]
Rodef and gentiles (was:  Status of Fetus and Rodef)
         [Frank Silbermann]
Rodef and Goyim
         [Moishe Kimelman]


From: Chana Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 11:53:48 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Bnei Noach and stealing less than a pruta

Somebody on this list (and I have managed to delete the post) asked
about benei noach being chayav for stealing less than a pruta. The
halacha states that a ben noach is chayav for stealing less than a
pruta, whereas a Jew is not (see the Rambam 9:9).

However the gemorra finds this surprising (see Sanhedrin 59a) seeing as
we have a general principle that there is nothing permitted to a Jew
that is forbidden to a non Jew (ie the standards on ourselves are always
stricter).  The gemorra's answer there, is that it is not that stealing
less than a pruta is permitted for a Jew, just that there is a general
(Torah) presumption that another Jew is going to be mochel (ie forgive)
a theft of less than a pruta, and hence it is not something for the
Jewish courts (I believe the achronim have quite an extensive discussion
on why stealing less than a pruta (for Jews) is in many ways worse,
since restoration is usually impossible etc).

ie what this seems to imply is that you can not make an assumption that
a non Jew or a non Jewish legal system will insist that for less than a
pruta a person is mochel, and hence such a legal system may be makpid
(particular) and enforce this, whereas a Jewish system cannot.

What about a legal system such as the British (American/Australian)
which has as a basic legal principle "The law does not pay attention to
trifles". In fact, a "trifle" may well be more than a pruta, even
several prutas.

This is a similar question to the one I raised on another thread, namely
the extent to which these prescriptions are limiting or enabling. I
would suggest that they would have to be enabling. Clearly one of the
sheva mitzvos is not to steal, and this is one of the things that the
bnei noach court must enforce. But, if you say that a bnei noach legal
system cannot rule, as the British legal system does, to ignore trifles,
then you would find yourself in the situation of having to say a) that
the bnei noach are not permitted to be mochel (instead of what we seem
to be saying which is that one cannot assume that they will be mochel in
the absence of any decision to the contrary) and b) that a perfectly
just fair ben noach court would have completely failed its duty because
it did not have the time or resources to prosecute everybody who, for
example, borrowed a pen from somebody else and "stole" some of the ink
to write a word or two.

What is seems to me is being said is that if the ben noach court decided
there was too much ink snatching around and it was going to prosecute
for this, then it could, while a Jewish court could not. ie that what is
provided are basic guidelines within which a ben noach court must
operate but which give much greater flexibility to the court than the
Jewish system which is strictly bound by the complexities of Torah law.



From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 95 13:19:18 
Subject: Co-education

In response to all of the articles and the discussion about
Co-educational schools. (Volume 19 #40 Which I received today. I had
wanted to reply to earlier postings but I have waited to write this
until I was able to speak to the person and verify my recollection of
this story. I Guess it is MIN HASHOMAYIM, "fate" that this issue was
re-posted today!)

   In the late 50's or early 60's at one of the first Torah Umesorah
convention several educators approached Reb Aharon Kotler ZT"L with a
question concerning Co-education. (The person who related this story to
me was one of those educators and he was the principal in Pittsburgh,
Pa. at the time. I will refer to him as Reb Menachem.) Reb Aaron said
that to have mixed classes for the younger grades was fine (Reb Menachem
said, he meant until grades 5 or 6 is what he meant) (He did not tell me
about the seventh grade, and the discussion related in this posting
concerned Eighth graders) However, for the older grades he was very much
against it and said they should be separated. Under No circumstance
should they be allowed to be integrated. Reb Menachem said that they can
not afford to have separate classes for the boys and girls (They had 5
girls and 3 boys in their 8th grade at that time) Reb Aaron Z"L said,
"let the parents send the girls New York to go to school" When they said
the parents would not be willing send girls away at that age reb aaron
answered, "well then send away. Again they said that they did not feel
the parents would be willing to send away the boys at that age. Reb
Aaron answered "It is better to close the school than to allow the boys
and girls to go to class together at t age!" I think this certainly
expresses, in no uncertain terms Reb Aaron' strong feeling against Co
educational schools for older children.

 I would also like to question all those who quote the Psak of Rav
Solevaitchick ZT"L that it is fine to have a Co-educational school. I
would like to know did he ever say it was OK or does everybody base this
P'sak on the basis of the school in Boston? The fact that the school was
Co-ed is no proof. Since he and his wife were very involved in the
school he may have felt that they would be able to properly shape the
school and the children and be able to properly influence these
children. They may have felt that they could attract more children by
having a co-ed school and then teaching them to be torah true jews, who
would not send THEIR children to co-ed schools. We know there is a rule
of AIS LAASOS LAHASHEM HEFERU TORAHSECHO Loosely translated it means
there are time when one acts more leniently for certain halachik rule,
or one bends the rules, as long as the ultimate purpose is the overall
strengthening of the Torah. Therefore, even if the ROV Z"L felt it would
be normally prohibited, this was a way to ultimately strengthen the

     BOTTOM LINE: I feel that EVERY situation is unique and a QUALIFIED
GODOL, a reliable halachik authority MUST me consulted before staring a
co-ed institution. One can not rely on the PSAK given in some other
community, because one can not know all of the reasons that allowed that
institution in that city. (Would you want to take a medication because a
layman saw a doctor prescribe a certain medication to a patient who, in
the layman's view, had the same symptoms you have????)

Good Yom Tov                                                                   
Yosey (Joe) Goldstein                                                          


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 95 23:39:38 EDT
Subject: dvar torah on Avraham and the ten generations

This is a synopsis of a dvar torah delivered by Robert Klapper at seuda
shlishit at the Maimonides school in Brookline, Ma. on May 27, 1995 and
is posted with his permission.

Avot 5:2 reports that each of the ten generations after Adam angered
Hashem immensely, but with great patience Hashem waited until Noach to
bring the Flood.  The following ten generations were equally evil, and
when Hashem's patience again expired "Avraham received the reward of all
of them:".
 Avraham proved his merit by withstanding ten trials
 I'll focus on three questions, two fundamental and one ancillary, arising
from these mishnayot.
1)  Why didn't Noach, like Avraham, receive the reward of his predecessors?
2)  What reward did those predecessors deserve, if their evil was so great?
 Why weren't they rewarded  themeslves for their own good deeds?
3)  How did the trials demonstrate the characteristics for which Avraham
earned their reward?
 Rabbeinu Yonah offers a fascinating but enigmatic solution to the second
question, saying that Avraham received the reward of his predecessors "had
they done teshuvah".  This clearly explains why they did not receive the
reward themselves, and why the reward was considerable.  But why should
Avraham be rewarded for the hypothetical deeds of others?
 The answer lies in the general capacity of teshuvah to retroactively
transform transgressions into mitzvot.  A thumbnail explanation is that all
past actions contribute essentially to the formation of the present
individual - if the present personality is worthwhile,  its past is
legitimated.  In some sense Avraham must have been the teshuvah for the ten
generations before him, which means that in some sense his greatness stemmed
from a transformation, rather than a rejection, of their negative drives.
 Noach, by contrast, had no relationship with his society.  Noach separated
kodesh and chol, while Avraham transformed chol into kodesh.
 The sins of Noach's time were robbery/disorder and unbridled sexuality -
nowhere in Noach's life do we find these drives used positively.  Indeed, his
major failure is at least somewaht sexual.  The sins of Avraham's time are
traditionally viewed as encapsulated in his famous self-justification in
Phillistia "there is no fear of Elokim in this place".  This is confirmed by
the climactic note of the Akeidah, "now I know that you fear Elokim".  But
how exactly did the Akeidah manifest Avraham's redemption of his culture?  ] 
 A possible answer emerges from recognition that the absence of fear of
Elokim did not lead to spiritual vacuum, but rather to fanatic idolatry.  In
Avraham's culture willingness to sacrifice children for religious purposes
was standard.  The Akeidah was his redemption of that blind adoration by
making Hashem its object.
 But do we really wish Avraham's worship of Hashem to be substantively
identical to the idolatry of his contemporaries?
 On the textual level, this approach does not account for the continuation of
Avraham's accusation - "there is no fear of Elokim in this place, and they
will kill me in the matter of my wife".  The sin seems to be not the generic
absence of fear of Elokim, but rather the particular kind of spirituality
that led to murder for the sake of one's own purity, a willingness to kill to
avoid committing adultery.
 But if that was the sin,  the akeidah seems less a transformation than a
reenactment.  Was not Yitzchak (almost) sacrificed so that Avraham could
fulfill his (perceived) religious duty?
 The Kotzker Rebbe suggests that this is a terrible misreading of the
akeidah.  He begins by conceding that Avraham's willingness to sacrifice
Yitzchak was contextually ordinary, that it was normal in his culture.
 Indeed he notes a midrash, cited by Rashi, which portrays Avraham as eager
to sacrifice Yitzchak.  That midrash explains the apparent redundancy in the
restraining angel's cry "Do not send your hand toward the child, and do him
no harm" by positing that Avraham wished to wound Yitzchak when the option of
a complete sacrifice was removed.  What then was the test?
 The Kotzker explains that generating religious passion is easier than
controlling it.  We are never more dangerous than when we feel ourselves
righteous, when all our lusts and bloodlusts are unleashed for what we
perceive as Divine purposes.  The test was not Avraham's willingness to raise
the knife, but his capacity to lower it.  And the midrash notes that even
Avraham could do so only hesitantly.
 In this view, Avraham redeemed his peers' religious passion by adapting it
to a religion which never lost sight of the value of other people, which
could generate the same intensity in its followers without blinding them to
all other values..
 Tranforming chol into kodesh is harder than separating the two, and
frequently more dangerous.  A culturally divorced Avraham might never have
risked Yitzchak's life.  But Noach's path is at best that of personal
salvation; Avraham's is the path of redemption.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: <y.pstark@...> (Paul Stark)
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 07:29:37 -0700
Subject: Jewish Courts and Gentile Courts (v19n97)

You have a very thought provoking question.  My gut instinct is to say
your right, we should not allow a Jew to first utilize the secular
courts and then take advantage of the Jewish courts just because he does
not like the previous decision.  Paranthetically, we should dishonor the
Jew who uses the Jewish court and subsequently will go to the secular
court if he does not like the decision of the Jewish court.  But from a
pure halacha standpoit I'd have to do some research.

Paul Stark


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Subject: Rodef and gentiles (was:  Status of Fetus and Rodef)

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 17:18:59 -0500 (CDT)
Volume 19 Number 97 Joe Goldstein:
> We DO find a concept of stopping an avairah from occurring by killing
> the person who is GOING to commit the crime.  However, that is a law
> pertaining to Yidden.  Rather than allowing a person to commit a crime
> "NITTAN LEHATZILO BENAFSHO" He is given to be saved with his life.
> (This does not apply to every sin! but it would apply to murder,
> rape and other sins see Sanhedrein 73A and rambam HICHOS ROTZAYACH
> CH 1 HAL 10 )
> There is no rule that allows one gentile to kill another gentile
> as a pre-emptive measure!  If a gentile would do this it would be murder!
> (Note: the reason a Jew would be REQUIRED to kill another Jew to prevent
> him from transgressing a Torah law is because of LO SAAMOD AL DAM RAYACHO
> which applies to one Jew has for another.  This, of course, does not
> apply to any one else)
> Therefore, the HETER, or allowance, to kill a rodef is not one that
> applies to Goyim.  The Rambam you quoted may refer ONLY to a GOY killing
> in self-defense.  Not allowing one goy to kill to save another's life.
> This would be consistent with the RAMBAM and his understanding of
> the gemmorah upon which this halocho is based.

This would suggest the following correlary:

	1) the Torah condemns gentiles who arrange for police and armed
	   private guards to protect them from violent attackers,

	2) the Torah suggests that every gentile ought instead to arm
	   himself for his own individual protection.

Is this indeed the Halacha?

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 15:22:01 +1000
Subject: Rodef and Goyim

In # 97 Yosey Goldstein wrote:

>Therefore, the HETER, or allowance, to kill a rodef is not
>one that applies to Goyim. 

I have sent this off before, but I don't believe that it was ever
posted.  I apologize if it has already appeared.

Minchas Chinuch mitzvah 296 states clearly that the laws of stopping a
rodef apply to goyim as well.  He discusses at length his source for
this statement.



End of Volume 20 Issue 3