Volume 20 Number 79
                       Produced: Tue Aug  1 22:36:18 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Experts on the Present Peace Process, etc. (Vol. 20 #76)
         [Rafael Salasnik]
Following Orders
         [Carl. Sherer]
mailjewish and meimadnews
Making Peace
         [Jonathan Katz]
Minister Peres and Chilul Shabbat
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
Religious Zionism Article in Jerusalem Report
         [Sam Gamoran]


From: <Rafi@...> (Rafael Salasnik)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 08:55:32 GMT
Subject: Experts on the Present Peace Process, etc. (Vol. 20 #76)

I found Shmuel Himelstein's arguments to be most interesting,
considering how he develops his theory.

To use Chaim Herzog as an authority on the matters of paskening to be
unusual.  It should be noted that there have been many changes since he
sat as a boy in his father's house in that period. Especially in that he
now has a political axe to grind. or a number of years he has been a
senior Labour party figure & it is in those terms, rather than in a
spirit of Torah, that he writes.  perhaps Herzog's quote about
'partisanship' can be more directed to himself than to the Rabbis.

Secondly, whilst Shmuel notes that the situation in the 1930's is
different from today, he implies its just in terms of we didn't have the
territories then.  Let us not forget we had nothing then !  Rejecting
partition would have meant we would have continued to have nothing. In
the 1930's it was clear to many Gedolei Ha'Dor (as well as others) what
was happening / about to happen in Europe; the existence of a small
state which could have taken in Eurpoe's Jews was preferable to that
nothing. The situation today is so very very different and therefore it
is not possible to use a Psak from those days without incorporating the
changed circumstance, and the using of the names of G'dolei HaTorah who
are no longer alive to imply they would say the same thing today is

Thirdly, to say that the Rabbonim are only thinking of themselves is not
true, From the statements made, they view surrendering territories as
amongst other things, endangering the whole Land and all its
inhabitants. Because some of them live in the areas are they not to be
permitted to say 'we consider this a danger to you in Yerushalayim, Tel
Aviv, Haifa etc.' ?  If anybody has a reason for partisanship it is the
Government that at best only has a small majority for its decisions, and
will within 18 months face the verdict of the electorate.

In addition, there is an implication (it comes out in the precise of the
Herzog article) that if Rabbonim are personally involved they should not
Paskan or that the views of those not personally involved should carry
greater weight.  That is not acceptable. There is often a tinge of
relevancy in Piskei Din.

Finally, according to Shmuel, since the Rabbonim do not have all the
information that the government has, how can they Paskan.  Do Rabbonim
always have full information in such cases, did the Gedolei Ha'Dor of
the 1930's, to whose opinions Shmuel & Herzog apply much weight ?  Does
this mean Rabbonim can never paskan on national events ?  And from a
Torah perspective does the government, especially this one in which not
one Torah-observent Jew sits (as I write this I am aware that in many
previous governments there have been in addition to ministers from
religious parties there were usually some 'traditional' cabinet
ministers representing other parties - but no longer) whilst there are
several anti-Torah Jews. Does such a government have all the "relevant
inside" information ?

Perhaps both sides should share their information & knowledge ?

Rafi Salasnik


From: <adina@...> (Carl. Sherer)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 21:57:31 IDT
Subject: Following Orders

>      Of course, whether or not the analogy is correct is a political
> issue that is inappropriate for this forum. I am simply asking a
> "l'ta'ameich" (according to your own opinion) question.  However, at the
> bottom line, I do not see how it is possible to seperate this p'sak from
> the political and nationalistic opinions and philosophy's of those who
> issued it, (not that they ever claimed otherwise). DISCLAIMER: Heaven
> forbid that this post should be construed as any disrepect, or anything
> but honor and reverence, for the gedolai torah who released this
> statement. I do not want to go into the issue of da'as torah which has
> been discussed extensively on this list, but suffice it to say that I
> acknowlege and appreciate the fact that every opinion of these great
> Rabanonim comes from their deep insight and commitment to Torah and
> C'lal Yisrael.

Does this mean that if a Gadol or your own personal posek instructs you
to vote for party X in an election that you are free to disregard this
psak? (As anyone who has ever been through an Israeli election knows
that the gdolim here ALWAYS give instructions how to vote).  If so, then
if I understand correctly you're saying that daas Torah does not apply
to political questions.  If so, why?

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


From: Meimad <meimad@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 14:36:45 GMT
Subject: mailjewish and meimadnews

We recently acquired a copy of Rabbi Yitschak Levi's (rabbi of Karnei
Shomron) explanation of his ruling, and sent it to Rabbi Soloveichik,
asking if he did indeed support it.  Rabbi Soloveichik was kind enough
to respond immediately to our question via fax, and we are most grateful
to him for taking the time and trouble to do so.

The following is a translation of Rabbi Levi's explanation, and of Rabbi
Soloveichik's response to us.

                  Local Rabbinate - Karnei Shomron
                         Rabbi Yitschak Levi
                           District Rabbi

7 Tammuz 5755

To the residents of Karnei Shomron, greetings!

Below please find a number of clarifications concerning what happened
last shabbat.

a. In no manner did the demonstration violate shabbat, neither a
violation of Torah law nor of rabbinic law.  As such, an eruv was
constructed which included both sides of the road.  [The demonstration
included blocking a road in Samaria.] All present could see the wire of
the eruv.  (I here relied on the ruling of the Hazon Ish in
Hilch. Eruvin 71,12.)

b. As such, it is clear that none of the demonstrators actually violated
shabbat, and we all were careful to remain inside the eruv.  In
addition, we reminded others not to step outside the area surrounded by
the eruv.

c. I agreed to allow demonstrators (who had been detained by the police
and then released) to ride home on shabbat, since it is my feeling that
the demonstration served a most important purpose.  As such, going out
to demonstrate can be considered "dvar mitsva" [a mandated act].  It
therefore falls into the same category as those mitsvot where we rule
that since one is allowed to set out to perform the mitsva, he is
allowed to return home after having completed it.  My thinking was that
if I would not allow the demonstrators to ride home on shabbat, they
would hesitate before going out to participate in such demonstrations in
the future.  Unfortunately, we are in the midst of a great struggle.
(Here, I based my decision on the gemara Eruvin 44b, Yuma 77b, Betsa
11b, and on Shulchan Aruch Orach Haim 301,5.)  It is understood that if
the driver of the vehicle in which the demonstrators rode was a non-Jew
(which he was), there is yet another reason to be lenient. . . .

Rabbi Yitschak Levi

What follows is the translation of Rabbi Soloveichik's Hebrew response to 
Meimad and the copy of the ruling which he attached.

                      Yeshivas Brisk
                       Chicago, IL

Rabbi Zvi Wolff

Dear Rabbi Wolff,

Thank you for your letter.  Attached please find the ruling which I sent to 
the people of Karnei Shomron who wrote to me.

Aaron HaLevi Soloveichik

                            Yeshivas Brisk
                             Chicago, IL

The question is if one may violate shabbos to stop P.L.O. forces who
come on shabbos to uproot settlers from their settlements.

The answer is: it is a great mitsva to do all that is necessary on
shabbos to prevent the danger foreseen when settlers are uprooted from
their settlements.

With all good wishes, and hopes for peace,

Aaron HaLevi Soloveichik
1 Tammuz 5755

That ends the section from our recent meimadnews posting.

Again, thank you for helping circulate our material.
Zvi Wolff, Meimad
tel 972-2-612240  fax 972-2-612340 
home phone 972-2-630484


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 95 00:40:24 +0300
Subject: Making Peace

David Super wrote:
>and in the same issue  Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...> writes:

>>....  I am asking again for sources which state under what circumstances it
>>is "forbidden" to make a verbal peace agreement. If in fact no source 
>>exists, please let us know.  

>It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding here.  I believe that
>Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund is referring to Shulchan Oruch O. CH. 329:6

Yes - this was the section that Mr. Gutfreund sent to me when I asked
him the question over private email.

>...If the town is close to the border, then even if their
>intention is only to cause financial damage, one is obligated to fight
>them even on Shabbos...IMHO...it does mean however, that we are forbidden to 
>yield to them, giving them control of the city.

Although I see your point, I don't see how the Shulchan Oruch "proves"
your point. The Shulchan Oruch is talking about defending the town on
Shabbos - it says nothing about what to do in a case where giving up the
land will save lives. At best, the point you make is debatable, and is
certainly not pashut (clear) from the text of the Shulchan Oruch


From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 09:09:50 GMT
Subject: Minister Peres and Chilul Shabbat

There has been quite a good deal of discussion in this forum about 
Foreign Minister Peres having returned from a trip [to Yasser Arafat?] 
on Shabbat and of religious soldiers having  had to be there to guard 
him. Assuming that the facts are true, I am bewildered by the responses 
of some posters. We all agree that Aryeh Deri was permitted to travel 
on Shabbat during the Gulf War crisis. He was given a P'sak to that 
effect. Does ANYONE on this forum know what was discussed by Peres and 
Arafat, assuming there was such a meeting? If the discussion dealt with 
trying to stem terrorism, could that not be an issue of Pikuach Nefesh 
of sufficient gravity to justify Chilul Shabbat? After all, if the 
sides try to take steps to curb terrorism can that not potentially (and 
possibly quite concretely) lead to saved lives?

Given that we don't know the agenda discussed - and I assume that if 
Peres met with Arafat it was not merely a social visit - I feel it is 
presumptuous of anyone to voice an opinion about Peres's conduct on 
Shabbat in this particular instance. None of us was privy to what went 

On the other hand, I can  fully understand the purely THEORETICAL 
discussion in this forum of when one is permitted to be Mechalel 
Shabbat to protect a person who himself is Mechalel Shabbat at the time 
- but that's a different ball game entirely.

Which leads me to a separate question: Do the rules of always having to 
give a person the benefit of the doubt (Dan lekaf zechut) apply to one 
who is not religious as well? I simply don't know and would like to 
hear about this. If the rules do indeed apply, there is absolutely NO 
Halachic justification for the assumption that what Peres was involved 
in was forbidden.

         Shmuel Himelstein
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 07:53:23 +0000
Subject: Re: Religious Zionism Article in Jerusalem Report

> >From: <alustig@...> (Arnold Lustiger)
> The reason that I bring up this article is to solicit opinions. I am
> sure that the bulk of mail.jewish readers in Israel who identify with
> religious Zionism have read the article, and are at least as well
> informed as the author.  Is the thesis correct? Is this sea change
> actually taking place?  Will the "tefila lishlom hamedina" go the way of
> the prayer on behalf of the Czar?

Last Shabbat (Parshat Matot) we had a fight in Shul over the Tefila
l'shlom Hamedina [Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel].

The established custom has been that the Ba'al Musaph says the prayer
along with the Mi'sheberach for soldiers after Yekum Purkan.  That day,
the Ba'al Musaf skipped the prayer - was reminded by some members of the
congregation - and waved it away with depracating gestures.  In the end,
one of the members stepped to the bima and said the prayer just before
the Ark was closed in a tense angry voice.

The Rav of the community who was there says that there is an opinion
that the prayer be skipped or altered (instead of praying for Hashem to
help guide the leaders, we should pray for help DESPITE the leaders...).
Therefore, to him, it was more important that we find a way not to fight
amongst ourselves rather than whether or not the prayer is said.  He
recommended appointing someone permanent e.g. a Gabbai who would say the
prayer every week instead of leaving it to the whim of a particular
Ba'al Musaph.

Personally, I think it is important that the prayer be said now more
than ever.  Reading the text, it asks that Hashem shed his light on the
leaders.  I truly think that they need it more than ever!  To my mind,
those who refuse to say the prayer have decided that Rabin et al are
"rishaim" (wicked, traitors) rather than "misguided".

So, yes, there is an undercurrent dafka against the Tefila l'shlom

Motorola Israel Ltd. Cellular Software Engineering (MILCSE)


End of Volume 20 Issue 79