Volume 20 Number 63
                       Produced: Mon Jul 24 23:29:57 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Following Orders (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Josh Backon]
         [Josh Cappell]
Obeying Orders
         [Turkel Eli]
Pikuach Nefesh Standard
         [Carl Sherer]
R Amital's critique
         [Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund]
Rabbis' Ruling on Evacuating Bases
         [Arnold Roth]
Religious Zionist Rabbis' Psak
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Staement of Rav Amital
         [Zvi Weiss]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 18:21:32 GMT
Subject: Re: Following Orders

Does the IDF patrol the roads on Shabbat?  Who is on the road to
protect other than Shabbat violators?  Is it the practice of religious
soldiers to refuse to perform road patrols on Shabbat?

/ nysernet.org    

From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Sat,  22 Jul 95 22:25 +0200
Subject: Re: Following Orders

Carl Sherer recently raised the issue of whether a (religious) soldier
in the Israeli Army can be forced to violate Halacha in order to follow
an order. The rules on this are quite strict. Religious soldiers are
encouraged to obtain a copy of HILCHOT TZAVA put out by the MERCAZ
L'HILCHOT TZAVA of the Poale Agudat Yisrael Kibbutz Sha'alavim which
lists all the army rules and regulations regarding DAT in the army (as
well as a full compendium of the halachot in army life (kashrut,
shabbat, tfilla, eruvin, chagim, etc.).

PKUDOT MATKAL (=army regulation) 34.0101 (kashrut). What other army in
the world has 6 pages of extensive regulations on kashrut ranging from
kashering meat to proper use of utensils to 34.0103 paragraph 12 on not
cooking meat with fish ? There are also page after page of regulations
regarding Shabbat (33.0231, 34.0208 (3 paragraphs forbidding smoking in
the dining room on shabbat), as well as regulations regarding chagim
(34.0201), the yamim noraim (34.0402), chanuka (34.0203), purim
(34.0204), fast days (34.0206), tfillot and batei knesset (34.0301,
34.0302), shaving (34.0207 and 34.0118). THere are also General Staff
Orders (Hora'ot Hapikud Ha'Elyon) regarding religious soldiers who are
in military prisons (5.0501) regarding shaving, food, tfilla, etc.

All in all, only when there is a military necessity (patrols, guarding,
combat) is Halacha allowed to be violated. There are rules governing how
to start and stop a jeep on shabbat, putting on lights, etc. So if you
are thoroughly familiar with army regulations, you CAN stand up for your
(religious) rights in the army.

Josh Backon (who as duty officer once court martialled someone for
	talking during kiddush :-)


From: <josh@...> (Josh Cappell)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 95 12:51:56 EDT
Subject: IDF

Dear m-j readers,
	It is hard to understand the logic of defending IDF
insubordination on the grounds of "pikuach nefesh".  Does anyone
seriously believe that Israel will be BETTER defended if there is a
complete breakdown of authority in the IDF?
	The only way to defend a state and its inhabitants is to have an
army that obeys its officers, and officers who obey civilian government
and the rule of law.
					Josh Cappell


From: Turkel Eli <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 10:00:50 -0400
Subject: Obeying Orders

   First to clear up an understanding. Zvi Weiss accuses me of insulting
the rabbis who issued the psak and calling them fanatics. I have no idea
where that came from. I have reread my post again and I say no such
thing.  The only comment I make is that their psak is controversial and
many others disagree with it.

   In practical terms I just spoke with my son who is learning in a
hesder yeshiva. The roshei yeshiva had a long talk with the students on
this issue which is of great practical importance to them. The psak of
the roshei yeshiva was:

1. If the army orders them to do an activity that is clearly against
   halakhah then they are to refuse the order and suffer the

2. In terms of abandoning bases this is subject to disagreements based
   on rishonim and achranim and therefore the boys in the yeshiva are to
   comply with all army regulations.  i.e. in cases of disagreements
   army discipline is important. Destroying this discipline can lead to
   more dangers.

Let me point out that my son's yeshiva is in the Shomron and the roshei
yeshiva have had known disagreements with Rav Lichtenstein's more
"peace" views.

Eli Turkel


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 95 21:52:45 IDT
Subject: Pikuach Nefesh Standard

After reviewing some of the responses to my cryptic comment about the
chilul Shabbos which took place in the army a few weeks ago I'd like to
propose a standard for defining when Pikauch Nefesh would permit chilul
Shabbos on an ongoing basis and when it would not.  Although I have no
real *halachic* basis for this proposal (I was hoping some of you could
fill that in), it strikes me as a common sense definition.  From what I
understand from talking to people here it is also the standard that the
IDF officially uses in deciding what Shomer Shabbos units are and are
not asked to do on Shabbos.

The standard I propose is what I refer to (having practiced law in the
States for several years) as the clear and present danger standard.
This means that if not being mechalel Shabbos poses a clear and present
danger of Pikuach Nefesh, then Shabbos may be violated.  Thus, for
example, it would be permitted to protect a settlement or army camp by
carrying ammunition or walkie-talkies on Shabbos, because if the enemy
were to get wind of the fact that we were *not* so protecting them,
there would be a clear and present danger of an enemy attack.  On the
other hand, routine maintenance to equipment which could be postponed to
Sunday would be postponed.  Political leaders' homes should be guarded
from those who would endanger their lives, but chilul Shabbos would not
be justified when a political leader chooses to leave his home and to go
someplace else in violation of the Shabbos in a non-Pikuach Nefesh type

I believe that this standard fits with Rav Moshe zt"l's psak regarding
Efrat which I mentioned in an earlier post.  It also comports with the
psak which was reported to have been given by Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fisher
shlita to Aryeh Deri, in which he permitted him to travel to a cabinet
meeting on Shabbos during the Gulf War when a retaliatory action against
Iraq was under consideration.  It would not permit calling on soldiers
to be mechalel Shabbos because the Foreign Minister does not want to
postpone a meeting with Arafat.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: sg04%<kesser@...> (Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 95 10:44:50 EDT
Subject: Re: R Amital's critique

What kind of person would look for excuses to permit someone to entice a
nazer to drink wine? Fine, halachically, the enticer might be potur,
d'oreisa, or d'rabbanen, but sof-sof, who wants to aid another Jew to do
an avairah?

Shulchan Orech states that a border town, when under attack, threat of
attack, or even stam minor harrasment (not even physical harrasment) -
and the enemy says that it will stop this harrasment, and all the enemy
asks for is a verbal peace agreement, not even any physical concessions
- even in such a case it is ossur to make an agreement with that enemy.

Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund		 	            <sgutfreund@...> 
GTE Laboratories,Waltham MA      http://info.gte.com/ftp/circus/home/home.html


From: <roth@...> (Arnold Roth)
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 22:43:16 +0300
Subject: Rabbis' Ruling on Evacuating Bases

Regarding responses to the ruling- Rav Lichtenstein certainly did not
sign the ruling. I believe he said on TV that he doesn't believe rabbis
should make authoritative statements on security issues. However, in the
past (at a gathering of Yeshiva High School teachers, 11th and 12th
gardes from Chorev, R. Lichtenstein and Rav Simcha Kook in Shaalbim last
year) I have heard R.L.  say that to one who holds by the of the
abovementioned Ramban, it is only logical that it should be forbidden to
evacuate.  At the same gathering, Rav Avidan, Rosh Yeshiva of Shaalbim,
said that, because the mitzva applies to the klal (the nation as a
whole), the individual who follows an order is not violating the

>Rabbi Amital said that in principle he agrees that religious and moral
>imperatives can override military orders, but in this case there is no
>conflict between the halacha and the military order.  "What we have
>here is a no more than a political statement, because a religious
>soldier's obeying or disobeying an order to evacuate a base will not
>prevent that base from eventually being evacuated." (from the
>meimadnews mailing list)

Rav Shlomo Aviner, head of Ateret Cohanim, said he doesn't think the
responsibility should not be placed on the individual soldier but rather
on leaders and officers. Therefore, he opposed the ruling.

Rav Yoel Bin Nun, head of Ulpenat Ofra, said, at his son's induction as
an officer, that he doesn't agree with the psak.  Rav Mordechai Elon,
head of Yeshivat Chorev, refused to comment directly on the psak, only
emphasizing that they have the right to make such a psak. In the past he
has said one should not refuse such an order.

Pinchas Roth
 Office: +972-2-864323       Mail: PO Box 23637, Jerusalem, 91236 ISRAEL
 Fax: +972-2-259050          Email: <roth@...>


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 14:26:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Religious Zionist Rabbis' Psak

There is an observation and a critique I would like to raise concerning
the recent psak of the Religious Zionist Rabbis that orthodox soldiers
refuse to obey orders to withdraw from army bases in Yehuda and Shomron.

The observation is really based on my experience with the larger
militantly anti-government faction of the Religious Zionist camp. They
seem to bear out with an uncanny (and unconscious) exactness, the
rationale which caused the factions that ultimately formed the Agudah to
separate themselves from the main body of Zionism at the beginning of
this century. "Zionism has nothing to do with religion," the secular
Zionists declared at the (I believe) Second Congress, and, as Isaac
Breuer z"l (first a leading ideologue of the Agudah, later a leading
ideologue of the Poalei Agudah movement) writes extensively, from his
perspective, Torah true Judaism can have no official affiliation with a
movement that espouses this philosophy.  The Mizrachi leaders decide,
nevertheless, to try and work from within, and put up with many affronts
to Torah Judaism all these years in the hope of changing things from
"within". It seems that they have finally reached the straw that broke
their backs, and have decreed their "separation" from the main body of
Zionism. (Which, it seems to me, is not what has changed - the main
(Labor Zionists) always were for returning territory - Ben Gurion wanted
everything except for Yerushalayim returned right after the Six Day War
- it seems that the Mizrachi/Mafdal has become more radicalized.)

Which leads me to my critique. Many of the Rabbis that signed or support
this psak are people I admire and hold in esteem. Where, however, were
they all these years on issues no less important to Torah Judaism?
Autopsies, Chillul Shabbos, Kashrus, Reform/Conservative in Israel,
etc.?  Is this indeed the only issue in Torah near and dear enough to
them to coalesce as a rabbinic group and take dramatic public steps in
opposition to the government?

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 14:54:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Staement of Rav Amital

Thank you for the statement form Meimad in the name of Rav Amital.  
*That* is what I have been referring to when I said that we should see 
reasoned halachic response.
However, I have a question:
While it is true that one consults "experts" in determining a pikuach 
nefesh situaiton, there is quite a bit of discussion as to what we do 
when there is disagreement among the experts.  In this case, there appear 
to be enough Military experts (speaking from the Military -- not 
Political) who state that the danger is real and immediate in terms of 
Thus, in order for the p'sak from Rav Amital to be fully cogent, it seems 
that he has to deal with *how* and *who* do we consult in order to obtain 
the "expert" consultation needed in determining Pikuach Nefesh.



End of Volume 20 Issue 63