Volume 20 Number 99
                       Produced: Thu Aug 10 21:49:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Comments on Rabbonim
         [Zvi Weiss]
Following Orders
         [Carl Sherer]
Marraige and Yishuv Eretz Yisrael
         [Kenneth Posy]
Psak of Rabbanei Yesha
         [Meyer Rafael]
Rabbanei Yesh"a
         [Yechezkel Schatz]
Religious Zionists
         [Zvi Weiss]


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 10:35:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Comments on Rabbonim

Mr. Belenkiy makes some not-so-nice remarks re Rabbonim that are much 
more learned than either of us under the alleged "cover" of a halachic 

1. There is a VERY serious issue of being "M'galeh Panim Batorah" --
i.e., attempting to apply Torah in a grossly insulting manner (I have no
better English translation).  Attempting to take statements from the
Gemara in a not-so-tranparent attempt to cast doubt upon the halachic
legitimacy of these Rabbonim appears to come dangerously close to this

2. The statement about spending time studying matters in the Gemara
applies to what the Gemara was discussing.  There is no blanket
statement -- for example -- that a Rav must be a doctor before he can
rule on Medical matters (He must get adequate information and ensure
that he understands the situation.)  There is no requirement that a Rav
be an electrician before he rules on matters of electricity.  And, there
is no requirement that a Posek need have served in the IDF before ruling
upon a halachic issue.

3. Asking if the teachers of these Rabbonim are still alive utterly
loses sight of the fact that NOWADAYS, Semicha conveys "Heter Hora'a" --
the permission to rule upon matters including -- in the vast majority of
cases -- such rulings even when the teachers are still alive.  The case
cited in the Gemara referred to a specific situation which is NOT
directly parallel here.

Again, attempting to raise these issues in this fashion appears to
involve some possibly serious prohibitions and I would strongly urge Mr.
Belenkiy to check with HIS local Posek as to the propriety of thses sort
of postings.



From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 95 23:51:21 IDT
Subject: Following Orders

I didn't understand certain of the points that were posted in the name
of Rav Amital shlita and I hope that someone out there (maybe the person
who forwarded the post) can clarify them for me.

 First, the post said "To dismantle military bases is a political decision
 made by the government, and that decision is to be carried out by the army.
 Removing military equipment from a particular area is not the determining
 factor in whether the area is to be considered 'abandoned'."  

If all that was being done was that the equipment was being shifted from
place to place as a means of military strategy or to better and more
efficiently govern the area, I could accept that.  However, I think it
is clear to all that the military material is being removed for the
purpose of turning over the land. I think this clearly brings into
question whether abandonning the bases and chas v'shaolom giving up
settlements constitutes giving up land in Eretz Yisrael in a manner
which is halachically forbidden.  That is, the "dismantling of military
bases" cannot be looked at in isolation of what the ultimate intent is
here.  It is indeed a political decision of the government - to abandon
areas of Israel to people who (so far at least) are sworn to destroy the
State.  But to view this simply as a political decision which the army
must carry out without relating to the Halachic issue of whether or not
one is permitted to abandon land in Eretz Yisrael for the sake of peace
(assuming for the moment that what is being discussed is actually peace)
is, IMHO and with all due respect, evading the halachic issue which is
involved here.  Thus I believe that a discussion of the halachic issue
of when and under what circumstances it is permitted to relinquish
control over portions of Eretz Yisrael is clearly called for here, and I
have yet to see such a discussion.

 Finally, the post states that "Just as the authority to lead the people
 to war in the face of what it considers a threat to the national security
 is vested in the government of Israel, so too the authority to evaluate 
 other situations as threats to national security is in the hands of the
 government and the heads of the military".  

Who vested that the power in the government and how was it vested?
On what halachic basis is the government supposed to exercise that power? 
What does the halacha require the government to consider? Does the power to
make such evaluations also apply to a government that doess not recgonize
the primacy of Torah? Does it apply to a government that delegates to 
itself the "right" to abrogate the Halacha whenever it chooses? I submit 
that even if every Posek in the country were to come out against the notion 
that the governemnt is permitted to trade "land for peace" the government
would not listen.  Under those circumstances, does the governement have the
right according to Halacha to "evaluate the situation" and decide that the
best course of action for the Jewish people is the course of action which
it chooses?  And how does the halacha treat the fact that as many military
experts say that relinquishing territory is a *bad* move as opposed to a 
*good* move? Doesn't this create a safek pikauch nefesh in *both* directions?
And what does the Halacha say about the government's dependence on Arab 
parties and Arab votes for its coalition majority? Does that somehow
impair the government's halachic ability to make critical decisions on 
behalf of the Jewish people when at least some members of the coalition
(and without whom the coalition could not remain in power) do not have
the best interests of the Jewish people in mind? 

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


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 10:30:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Marraige and Yishuv Eretz Yisrael

Rabbi Steinberg writes:
> The RAMBAM clearly held that settling the land of Israel is a mitzvah -- 
> as in Hilchot Ishut he says that a man can divorce his wife with no 
> Ketubah if he wants to make aliya and she refuses to go, and that a woman 
> can force her husband to divorce her WITH a ketubah (i.e., with 200/100 
> Zuz) if she wants to make aliya and he refuses...

     I fail to see, IMHO, why that makes it a mitzvah (at least on a
Torah level). The gemarah also says that she is not required to leave a
house or neighborhood if he wants to, (although she cannot require him
to move) and that does not involve a mitzvah. Rather, it could mean that
a certain style of life (every one agrees that Israel has a higher
standard of spiritual living) is what they are used to, or what they
require, and they each must accomadate on this issue. A man can divorce
his wife without a kesuba for failing to fulfill her domestic
responsibilities (a "moredes") and can be required to divorce her with a
kesuba for failing to fulfill his domestic responsibilities.
 The gemara also says that a man can divorce his wife without a kesubah
if she fails to cover her hair. Is that also a mitzvah?  (The gemarah
seems to say that it is rabbinic--i.e. Da'as Yehudis; rather than Da'as
moshe; see Pereck 7 of Kesubos).
Betzalel Posy


From: Meyer Rafael <mrafael@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 1995 20:10:36 
Subject: Re: Psak of Rabbanei Yesha

> This is indeed a complex issue. There have been cases in the past of
> calls by Israeli leaders to disobey orders. Yair Tsaban and Yossi Sarid
> called on Israeli soldiers to disobey orders in Yesha. If I recall
> correctly Prof. Lebovitz z"l also made similiar statements.  The idea
> that there are some orders which shouldn't be followed is taught by the
> IDF. During my basic training the concept of Pkuda Bilti Chukit B'Allil
> was discussed at length. This same "hornets' nest" was opened by one of
> our officers. We were specifically told that just as it is our duty to
> perform Pkudot it is our duty to NOT perform Pkudot Bilti Chukiot
> B'allil. This opened up the question of what constitutes a Pkuda Bilti
> Chukit B'allil. The tachlis of all this was that there are times when a
> soldier would have to use HIS OWN judgement as to what is moral and what
> isn't.

I have been surprised that this central issue has taken so long to
surface on Mail-Jewish.

It is my understanding (based on anecdotal evidence from Israeli family
members) that the obligation of a soldier to follow his conscience is
indeed a specific requirement of IDF regulations. I would be pleased if
someone could confirm or deny this. I had heard stemmed from the IDF
investigations following the Sabra and Shalita massacres during which
the rationale of "following orders" was explicitly discredited as a
defence. Granted that this is true; and in a post-Nuremberg world it
*should* be true; would seem reasonable to allow a soldier to exercise
his conscience and decline to perform actions that strengthen the
enemies of his or her people.

On the contrary, when the president (in a Westminster style democracy)
sees the public accord so utterly lacking in the policies pursued by a
prime minister and his government, it would seem to be the duty of the
president of the state to dismiss the government and call for new
elections. If the steam of public opinion polls and revelation of the
pre-election collusion between the Labor party and the PLO are not
sufficiently compelling then the words of President himself (calling for
a halt and a re-think of the Olso process after the Dan bus bombing)
should sway the balance.

This may seem strange to those who are used to American style
democracy. In Australia dismissal of government by the governor or
genvenor-general (who are comparable to an Israeli president) has
occurred. I believe that the American parallel would be impeachment.

Therefore, I suggest, rather than find fault with the Rabbanei Yesha who
have paskened 'davar HaSh-m', instead look at the unheeded words for
restraint and re-thinking on government policy called for by Ezer
Weizman, President of the State of Israel.  Then ask whether a
president, as the ultimate authority in this type of constitution, can
continue to accept the credentials of a government that brazenly flouts
its own election promises and embarks on a voluntary policy that negates
the major principles that have united all main-stream political parties
in Israel?

Yes, a hornet nest has been stirred; but by whom? 

Yisroel-Meyer Rafael   Meyer Rafael
VOICE +613-525-9204	FAX   +613-525-9109
East St Kilda, VIC, Australia                                     


From: Yechezkel Schatz <lpschatz@...>
Date: 10 Aug 1995 12:13:06 +0200
Subject: Rabbanei Yesh"a

Much has been said about the rabbis' authority to give a p'sak on
military topics.  In many postings people have assumed that they do not
know enough to give a p'sak.  While I do not agree with that, I would
like to remind that the p'sak given by rabbanei Yesh"a is based on other
considerations too.  These include such Jewish values as settling the
land of Israel and not handing land over to non-Jews, the prohibition
against collaberating with murderers, caring for a fellow Jew etc.


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 10:48:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Religious Zionists

While I have no doubt that Mr. Lustiger has heard of Oz V'Shalom, I
would question a member of the organization who has a clear agenda in
attempting to make his organization appear as influential as possible.

Given that Rabbonim in the Chareidi world appear to STRONGLY condemn the
current actions of the government; given that well-known "Zionistic"
Rabbonim such as R. Aharon Soloveitchik Shlita condemn this activity;
given that these latest Rabbonim -- including some who have been strong
supporters of the Medina for many years condemn this course of action --
WHO ARE THE RABBONIM who support it?  What halachick stature do these
Rabbomin command?  I do not mean to get in to a "Posek contest" but when
SO MANY Rabbonim -- both in terms of quantity and in terms of the
"quality" of their P'sak are all against this government, what sort of
halachick stature can Oz V'shalom really command?

Further, it is simply incorrect to state that people are disappointed
with Arafat because he cannot "control terrorism".  The fact is that
Arafat has not made good on ANY conditions of the Oslo accord.  The
Palestinian covenant is still in effect.  The teaching materials used
for the schools in the area under the control of the PA still teach the
need to wipe out the Jewish State.  The PA doe NOT extradite murder
suspects despite the fact that there is an explicit condition to do so.
The PA operates in Jerusalem illegally.  I would like our "card carrying
member of Oz V'shalom" to name ONE SERIOUS CONDITION that Arafat has
adhered to.  To malign and slander the Gush Emunim people who LIVE in
YESHA raising the matter of the old Machteret (despite the fact that
there was considerable evidence that the government was NOT doing what
it had to do to protect the "settlers") is nothing more than a diversion
from the real issue -- that many many RELIGIOUS people see their
Rabbonim condemning this course of action.  They, further, see that
Arafat has not kept his word on virtually ANY issue of the accord.  They
further see that the response of the government to this "non-keeping" by
Arafat is to *accelerate* the process...  They see a government where
Rabin appears to be unable to keep HIS word (e.g., re the Golan).

In this situation, I would like to know what serious halachick/moral
grounding does Oz V'shalom provide?



End of Volume 20 Issue 99