Volume 20 Number 84
                       Produced: Mon Aug  7  7:34:43 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Clear and Present Danger
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
         [Finley Shapiro]
Herzog and zionist Rabanim
         [Kenneth Posy]
Judging one Favorably
         [Zvi Weiss]
Minister Peres and Hilul Shabbath
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
Minister Peres and hilul Shabbath
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Peace Agreement & Related Issues
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Peace and Psak
         [Joe Goldstein]
Source for Melacha on Shabbos for Pikuach Nefesh
         [Kenneth Posy]


From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 05:11:14 GMT
Subject: A Clear and Present Danger

Carl Sherer argues that the definition of when Chilul Shabbat (violation
of Shabbat) should be permitted might be when there is "a clear and
present danger."

I would like to mention a story of one of our latter-day Gedolim (the
name escapes me) who was known for his leniency in permitting people to
"suspend Shabbat" when there was any chance of Pikuach Nefesh (danger to
human life) being present. When asked why he was so _meikil_ (lenient)
with questions dealing with Chilul Shabbat, he replied, "I'm not. I'm
just _machmir_ (stringent) in matters dealing with Pikuach Nefesh."

It would seem to me that his rulings would certainly go beyond a "clear
and present danger" in terms of when Chilul Shabbat might be permitted.

If anyone needs the name of the Gadol, I can probably find it with some
somewhat strenuous searching.

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


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 31 Jul 1995 20:27:29 U
Subject: Guards

Although I usually try to stay out of arguments on internal Israeli
matters, I feel that there are a few comments I need to make on the
issues related to "abandoning" army bases.

1.  I agree with Richard Friedman about the problem if an observant
    guard is to decide which activities to guard a political leader
    during on Shabbat, and which to refuse to guard him during.
    Do we really want a young guard to decide, on the spur of
    the moment between guarding and not guarding a political leader
    for these possible Shabbat activities:

    a)  walking to synagogue
    b)  driving to synagogue
    c)  walking to the office
    d)  driving to the office for an urgent task
    e)  driving to the office for some other task
    f)  driving to the office a task which, for security reasons,
        he will not describe to the guard
    g)  walking on the tayelet
    h)  going to the beach

2.  Carl Sherer brought up the question of what is the status quo.
    I think the status quo is that soldiers obey orders,
    except when a soldier must disobey certain illegal orders.

3.  Arnold Lustiger quotes Adir Zik from "Arutz 7, the
    unofficial radio station of RZ [religous Zionism]":

       Today my partners are the ultra orthodox.

    Does he mean the Haredim who do not believe in the State
    of Israel?  I assume that the people who feel this way
    would not oppose closing all Israeli army bases.  Some
    of them have openly supported a Palestinian state.

Finley Shapiro


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 16:00:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Herzog and zionist Rabanim

Mr. Himelstein quotes former Israeli president Herzog: Having been
involved with many Gedolim in his life, with his father as the Chief
Rabbi... "I cannot avoid the feeling I've had in the past that such
decisions reflect a selective, partisan perspective that does not take
fully into account the needs of the entire public and the good of the
     I mean no disrespect for Mr. Herzog, but "being involved with many
g'dolim", even if one of them is your father, is not the same as being a
gadol. Although Mr. Herzog I am sure grew up orthodox, and probably has
an advanced religious education, my impression was that he himself is
not one of the leading halachic authorities, or even a strict observer
of halacha, and thus does not understand the unique position of a
halachic perspective on every issue. The decision has does not take "the
needs of the entire public and good of the state" into account; it was
not meant to. I agree with Herzog, that the p'sak was based on the
rabonim's selective partisan perspective, but that in know way detracts
from its complete legitimacy, because there is no requirement for a psak
to take anyone's "needs" into account (that doesn't mean its assur, just
not needed.)  The rabanim decided that a situation had certain halachic
implications and those who found themselves in it should act
     As I said in my first post on this topic: I do believe that the
gedolei torah (BTW, neither Rav Drukman shlita nor R. Avraham Shapira
shlita are from yesha, unless you count Jerusalem) approached this from
a selective partisan perspective, one called "TORAH"! IMHO, (and I don't
think they would disagree) It is true that their perspective on the
Torah's attitude to certain contemporary events is colored by their
nationalistic political beliefs, and that one does have to be a gadol
b'torah to disagree with those beliefs.  However, I would not have the
audacity to accuse some of the leading rabanim of our time of being
intellectually dishonest, and molding the halacha to meet their needs. I
am sure that not even the most anti zionist chareidi would accuse the
rosh yeshiva of one of the largest yeshivas in the world of doing
something like that. Rav Shapira shlita is a universally acclaimed gadol
b'torah, and his perspective is based on his understanding of ratzon
hashem (G-d's will): I would not make any assertions where as to where
Mr.  Herzog's got his opinions, but I doubt they came from a careful
study of halacha.

Betzalel Posy


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 09:04:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Judging one Favorably

Mr. Himelstein raises the question of Judging Peres "favorably"..  I
would like to note that it appears to be the halacha that when one is
*known* to be a "rasha", one is NOT supposed to judge them "favorably".
This goes so far as even judging "positive" actions of this person in a
negative light.

I will not -- on my own -- rule that Mr. Peres is a "rasha" -- however,
his overt lack of observance strongly appears to give one the basis for
so ruling.

If so, then we are NOT supposed to assume that his trip was for some
great "national" purpose, but was "useless" (e.g., a political show).

People who are interested in such matters should consult the works of
the Chafetz Chaim (esp. Chapter 4), the Shaarei Teshuva (section 3), and
Rav Simcha Zissel (Chachmah U'Mussar Section 1) for further details.

It is clear form all of these sources that one is NOT *supposed* to give
known "sinners" the "benefit of the doubt".

I am aware that this will -- no doubt -- upset those who always speak of
the need for Ahavas Yisrael, etc. etc. In response, I can only state:
(a) the Halacha is not based upon what a person would *like* it to be,
(b) it is time to re-study the real concepts of Ahavas Yisrael, (c) one
should ask a Shaila before deciding that a person is truly a Rasha and
deserves this sort of "condemnation".



From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 10:13:17 GMT
Subject: Re: Minister Peres and Hilul Shabbath

Thanks for your comments. I don't know if you know it, but ministers of
the government generally do not fly into and out of the country on
Shabbat (not that it hasn't happened). This has been generally accepted
in the country. One minister, in fact, recently mentioned that he does
not use his government car when travelling on Shabbat but only his own
personal car (like a set of dishes for Chinese food?)

In the circumstances, when Peres travels on Shabbat it might indeed
indicate that there is a vital reason for it, and that there is
therefore a certain logic in being Dan lekaf zechut.

Be well,

From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 12:49:39 +0000
Subject: Minister Peres and hilul Shabbath

Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...> wrote:

>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?

But Aryeh Deri at least associates himself with Torah observant Judaism
(I don't want to get into a political discussion about the charges
brought against him), so even if we didn't know about the pesaq he
received, just seeing him desecrate Shabbath, one would assume it was
"beheter" [for a permitted purpose].  When we see Shimon Peres desecrate
Shabbath, we just assume it is the norm, since he never has any concern
for Shabbath.

>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.

I believe that we "dan lekaf zekhuth" to a righteous person (zaddiq) or
average person (bein 'oni).  To a rasha` [one who is known to not
observe], we are not expected to give him the benefit of the doubt,
since there is very little doubt.

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 04:09:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Peace Agreement & Related Issues

      Does anybody know the view of the leaders of the Aguda on the issue 
of the Peace agreement, and removal of settlers from occupied territory?  
I understand these things are often printed up in Yated Ne'eman but I 
don't get that paper (I can't afford it).  Does anybody have that kind of 
information, such as where Rav Eliyashiv stands or where Rav Sceinberg 
stands?  Or for that matter what does Rav Shach have to say on the 
topic.  The only thing I know is that Rav Shach once said that if we can 
be guaranteed that there would be total peace, that the Arabs would lay 
down their arms and be entirely peaceful neighbors with us, then, and 
only then, could land be given.  As such, the answer is only theoretical.



From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 95 15:22:13 
Subject: Peace and Psak

Mr Turkel writes: " What is an endangerment of the survival of the State
is better decided by the army than these rabbis. Basically they decide
facts to conform to their psak."

I am shocked at Mr. Turkell's serious allegation that a valid ROV
changes the facts to conform m to their PSAK! I have more experience
with laymen changing Rabbis when they do not like the psak they were
given. To even entertain such thoughts of mispropriety amongst these
great Rabbis is indicative of a terrible lack of respect towards our
Rabbinic leadership, and suggests to others ch"v that all Rabbis are "on
the take" , or that they are pushing their personal views as TORAH when
it is not, and all their halachik rulings are unjustified particularly
when they do not agree with your opinions.

Torah and halacha is not a menu, where you choose what you like, Choose
which mitzvos you like. It is a complete 100% diet, vary from it and be
sick. KOVOD HATORAH (respect for Torah and the ones who devote their
lives too it) is a mitzvah that is VERY important! More so than learning
(See the beggining of the Gemmorah Megillah) The same goes for Rabbonim.
One must choose a Rov and follow his PSAKIM. AND NEVER speak poorly
about another Rov! (Imagine if a "black hatter" would speak poorly of
Rav Y.B. Solevetchick ZT"L. The justified uproar that would be heard!)

(Note: It is true the Rabbonim may disagree, but it is not done by
denigrating the other rov! It is only a question of what HASHEM wants!
Therefore the gedolim who argued on about many different things may hav
e been, and usually were close friends and always had respect one for
another, Yes even Reb Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld who disagreed with Rav
Kookk were friendly and gave each other great respect!)

Again Mr Turkel writes: "If one does believe that such a peace process
is possible that is a political decision and not a halakhic decision."

   There is no such thing as a purely political question with no
halachik implications when it come to Eretz Yisroel! If the government
would care to ask they would be told the Torah View.

" As stated above this psak means that if the officer in charge gives an
order to retreat then every soldier must decide whether such an order is
justified or against halakhah!!!!"

 WHY NOT??? I was listening to "TALK RADIO" today and heard that the
U.S. Army regulations say a soldier MUST obey every order given him AS
"our" country that is the law! Therefore, if an officer would give an
order against the halacha the soldier SHOULD question it. Besides What
was the Nazi defense after the war? "I was just following orders!!" Yes
Jews follow orders FROM HASHEM, as explained to us by Chazal and our

     I think, with the three weeks upon us we should worry more about
what our gedolim say, be more careful about the respect we owe our
gedolim and more meticulous in our learning AND PRAY for our brothers
who are in a great TZORAH in Israel for the first time in generations
from our own brothers who are running that government, and are ready to
cast Jews out of their towns and homes, the same way they were expelled
by gentile nations in Europe and during the CHURBAN! A very sad
commentary on the government of the state of Israel.



From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 23:56:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Source for Melacha on Shabbos for Pikuach Nefesh

On the issue of chillel shabbos for an non-shabbos observer:
     I don't know if this point has been brought up, but the gemara in
Yoma (85a-b) discusses the origin of the requirement to violate shabbos
to save a life. One of the options is "violate this one shabbos, so he
can keep many". While this opinion may apply to someone who does not
keep shabbos (he might do tshuva), it also may not. However, the
conclusion of the Gemara is that the permission comes from the phrase
"v'chai bahem" (You should live by them [the mitzvos] and not die by
them), and I see no reason to apply this more to a Jew who keeps mitzvos
than one who doesn't. It does not apply to a non jew, who has no
obligation for mitzvos.
	I am not sure why this would change based on how the person got
into the situation where his life is in danger.  I would be interested
to see a source for such a position.

Betzalel Posy


End of Volume 20 Issue 84