Volume 21 Number 15
                       Produced: Sat Aug 19 23:34:05 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chilul Shabbat for Mechalelei Shabbat
         [Carl Sherer]
The State of Israel and the Government of Israel
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 95 22:52:49 IDT
Subject: Chilul Shabbat for Mechalelei Shabbat

On August 6, Shmuel Himelstein wrote (edited to conserve bandwidth - CS):

> An article in Tehumin (Vol. 3, pp. 24-29) by Rav Avraham Sherman in
> essence discusses this very question. The question posed in his article
> is as follows: one of the duties imposed on soldiers is guard duty at
> Hamat Gader, an alligator farm which is visited by many Israelis as a
> tourist attraction. May a religious soldier perform guard duty there on
> Shabbat, even though this will entail Chilul Shabbat on his part, and
> where the visitors who are being guarded are mainly Mechalelei Shabbat?
> (Parenthetically, my older son was assigned just this guard duty on
> Shabbat as part of his reserve duty.)
>         Rav Sherman notes that while the Halachah stipulates that one is
> not Mechalel Shabbat for a Mumar (a "heretic"), this does not apply to
> people who were not brought up religiously (literally, a "Tinok
> She'nishba" - "an infant who was captured" by non-Jews and brought up by
> them, not even knowing that he was Jewish - the term is Talmudic
> shorthand for one who grows up never having received any Jewish
> education). On this, Rav Sherman quotes the Chazon Ish (Hil. Shechita
> 2:28): "We are commanded to keep him alive and even to be Mechalel
> Shabbat in order to save him." As the Chazon Ish explains it (2:16), the
> rule of not helping such a person does not apply except when Hashem's
> Hashgachah is overtly apparent (i.e., when it is clear to all that
> Hashem rules the world). In other words, the rule would only apply when
> the person acting this way was flagrantly violating what is clearly
> Hashem's command, and when all around him observe it.)
>         Rav Sherman also quotes an earlier discussion of this. Beit
> Meir, in a letter to Rav Akiva Eiger, states that in the case of a Tinok
> She'nishba one should not be permitted to be Mechalel Shabbat. He argues
> as follows: the reason given to permit Chilul Shabbat to save a person
> is, "Be Mechalel one Shabbat, so that (the person saved) may keep many
> (subsequent) Shabbatot." If, however, the person is a Tinok She'nishba,
> the overwhelming odds are that he will not keep Shabbat in the future,
> so there is no justification to be Mechalel Shabbat to save him.
>         Rav Akiva Eiger rejects this argument and states that if there
> was no responsibility to keep a Mechalel Shabbat alive, one should draw
> the conclusion that such a person may be killed. "Therefore," he
> concludes, "one must say that the Torah takes pity (i.e., is concerned)
> about the lives of one of the seed of Israel. Here too, Chilul Shabbat
> was permitted in order keep alive a soul of Israel" (i.e., a Jew).
> Thus, according to Rav Akiva Eiger, Chilul Shabbat is indeed mandated to
> save any Jew's life - whether he keeps the Torah or not.
>         Rav Sherman also notes that Rav Elyashiv, Shlita, was asked the
> same exact question about guarding people who are taking pleasure trips
> on Shabbat, where this involves Chilul Shabbat. In his ruling he
> sidesteps the issue of the status of adults who are Mechalel Shabbat but
> states that one may guard such people even if this involves Chilul
> Shabbat, because - at the very least - the children among them cannot
> possibly be classified as Mumarim (heretics), and they certainly have to
> be protected against any possible terrorist incursions, etc.
>         One should also note that the editor of Tehumin adds an
> interesting note: that those non-religious Jews who take such trips,
> which might result in religious soldiers being forced to guard them,
> should ask themselves whether by their actions they are not responsible
> for anti-religious coercion.

1. I don't know where and how you determined that the article is discussing
Chamat Gader (for those of you who are not in Israel, Chamat Gader is 
located at the Southeastern tip of the Kinneret and the only border it 
comes close to is Jordan's with whom we are at peace).  If in fact the
ruling deals with Chamat Gader one would need to explain why in the
introduction Rav Sherman refers to the need to guard "a place for enjoyment
and hiking which is found in an area which is close to terrorist areas..."
when bli ayin hara there has not been an attack in that area in quite
some time.  Of course the article was written in 1982, so maybe the
situation was different then.

2. The Chazon Ish which is cited in the article assumes the existence 
of pikuach nefesh.  The Chazon Ish which discusses when pikuach nefesh
exists (or at least one of them) is cited in an article in the same
volume of Tchumin by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Neria (Vol. 3 at Page 22),
where he quotes from the letters of the Chazon Ish "In general one needs
to be very careful in dispensing permission for [violations of halacha for]
pikuach nefesh when the pikuach nefesh is not present before us but is 
only in the future.  And if we come to overbroaden the measure, all of 
the stores outside [Israel] will open on Shabbos with the claim that the
lack of money will lead them to pikuach nefesh...," and from the Chazon
Ish in Oholos "and the difference between whether an ill person is before
us or not is if it is common that when one is warned of such a progressive
illness... it is like an enemy which is at the gates of the border town
[citations omitted] but in times of peace this is not considered pikuach
nefesh even though it is possible that at some time they will need this,
just as it is prohibited to make weapons on the Shabbos during times of peace,
for were it not so, one would avoid all of the mitzvos."

3. Rav Akiva Eiger as cited above is again assuming that the pikuach 
nefesh exists.  But Rav Neria cites the Answers of Rav Akiva Eiger
Chapter 60 as stating, "even if there is much pain and suffering before
us and there is a one in one thousand chance that it will become dangerous,
we don't consider this to be danger or even safek (doubtful) danger."

4. I suspect that the way in which the question was phrased to Rav Elyashiv
also posited that the area involved was a border area in which a significant
and specific danger of terrorist attacks exists/ed.  For Rav Neria cites
three specific tshuvos of Rav Elyashiv shlita, which were, according to Rav
Neria, reviewed by Rav Elyashiv before they appeared in the article, in 
which Rav Elyashiv paskened (ruled) that:

	a. It is prohibited to unload a truck full of mines in an army
	   camp on Shabbos, because although the truck could explode that
	   does not commonly happen.

	b. It is forbidden to carry ones ammunition clip outside of an
	   M-16 rifle while patrolling in a non-dangerous area which is
	   outside the eruv (although he would apparently permit carrying
	   the ammunition clip of an Uzi in such a manner because accidental
	   misfirings were more common with an Uzi). (BTW - Rav Neria
	   mentions that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l permitted carrying
	   ammunition for an M-16 in such a manner).

	c. It is forbidden to test fire new ammunition in the Golan before
	   taking the ammunition out on patrol on Shabbos, because it was
	   unlikely that they would encounter enemy troops and it was unlikely
	   that the ammunition would misfire even if they did.

In each case Rav Elyashiv's ruling seems to be based upon the immediacy of the
danger involved and not on a blanket presumption that all activities on Shabbos
which may lead to a danger are to be guarded against.

The editor's note cited above also reminds readers that the ruling relates
"to a soldier who happened upon the situation described "bedieved"
(after the fact), but "lechatchila" (in principle) it is definitely NOT
desirable [emphasis mine] that a soldier assist hikers in violating the
Shabbos because they put themselves in danger...." [the balance of the 
note was as stated in Shmuel's post].

I should add that Rav Neria gives several other sources for the notion
that whether we are mechalel Shabbos for one in danger is dependent 
upon the immediacy of the danger, but in order to conserve bandwidth
I will not cite them all here.  The article appears in Tchumin Volume 3,
Pages 11-23.

Lastly, I wonder if there are *any* situations in which you would hold
that it is not permitted to guard those who are engaged in Chilul Shabbos.
The beach? A movie theater in Tel Aviv? Traffic tickets on the highway?
Air traffic control for commercial flights? If you allow all of these,
do you allow fruhm Jews to engage in these activities? Presumably yes
if you would allow non-fruhm Jews to do so.  "Im cain ein ladavar sof"
(if that is the case, the matter has no end).
I don't mean this as a personal attack in any way, shape or form, and
I apologize if you or anyone else on the list got the idea that it was.
I simply ask that if you do not accept the principle that whether or
not pikuach nefesh exists in a given situation is a function of the
immediacy of the danger, you tell me how you would determine when and where
it exists.  Otherwise, the possibilities - especially based on how
we protect actvities during the week in Israel - are limitless.

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


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 1995 17:23:31 GMT
Subject: The State of Israel and the Government of Israel

A few weeks ago, Carl Sherer asked for details on the above. Over
Shabbat I had the opportunity to check through my library. I wish to
state at the outset that I am reporting on the Religious Zionist
viewpoint, not about the viewpoint of those who are non- or
anti-Zionist. I am also constrained by space not to quote everything or
everyone I would like to.

First - how the State is viewed: In the first Israeli elections, in
1949, all the religious parties ran on a single slate. They thus issued
a joint appeal, signed by numerous rabbis, for voters to vote for this
slate. The appeal began as follows:

"We thank Hashem that we have been privileged (Zachinu) due to the
abundance of His mercies and lovingkindness to see the first buds of the
Beginning of the Redemption (Atchalta diGe'ulah), with the establishment
of the State of Israel." Readers may know that the phrase Atchalta
di'Geulah is paraphrased in the Prayer for the State of Israel, with the
words, Reishit Tzemichat Ge'ulateinu (the beginning of the blossoming of
our redemption), which is ONE of the reasons why some non-Zionists
refuse to say the prayer for the State.

This appeal was signed by some rabbis who readers familiar with the
Torah world may find most surprising, including Rav Yechezkel Sarna, Rav
Zalman Sorotzkin, and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

The full text of the appeal and the list of the signatories is to be
found in Rav Menachem Kasher's "HaTekufah HaGedolah," pp. 374-378.

As to the status of the government of the State of Israel, an excellent
source is "HaTorah VeHamedinah" ("The Torah and the State"), a series of
books put out by HaPoel HaMizrachi in the first years of the State (the
first volume came out in 1949). This series was reprinted in 1958 and
also again within the past few years. Volume 1 is of particular
interest. There, on p. 77, we find the following statement by Rav Shaul

"It follows from the above that all governmental appointments made in
Israel through elections, in which the majority of the people decide,
are valid and authoritative (Tokef veSamkhut). It is logical, in my
humble opinion, that just as one man can be appointed as head or judge,
it is similarly possible to appoint a council which together will have
this authority. Accordingly, it appears that a government appointed by
means of correct elections has authority in everything related to
leading the people, as the authority that the king in Israel had."

Vol. 5-7 (1953-54), p. 295, has the following from Rav Eliezer Yehudah

"In truth, the power of the heads and leaders of the State is much
greater, that upon election they receive the power and validity of regal
rule (Shilton Malchuti), as I have explained [numerous times
elsewhere]. And as they have this power to rule, when they pass a law
which is decided by the majority of members of the Knesset, this law
obligates the entire nation and it cannot be annulled until it is
annulled by another legal majority. The members of the leadership
therefore are definitely entrusted to run the State with its internal
and external affairs as they see correct and good for the State, as long
as their actions are not in opposition to any of the laws of the Torah."

In the same volume, p. 330, Rav Shmuel Hakohen Weingarten writes,

"After we have shown that the ministers of the Israeli government have
the right to rule, they have the status of Nesi'ei Ha'eidah (loosely
translated: "the leaders of the community") whose oath (I assume the
oath of allegiance - SH) obligates all of Israel, whether they want this
or not. It follows that one can view the obligation to obey the laws of
the government in the State of Israel in terms of this oath of the
ministers of the government as applying to every single person in the
State of Israel."

Finally, Volume 15 of Techumin (p. 128), an article by Rav Yehudah
Shaviv quotes Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook to the effect that the leaders
of the nation serve in place of the king, and Rav Yitzchak Izaak Herzog,
the second Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi stated categorically, "It is logical
that the government of Israel has the power of the king."

It is nevertheless clear from all the articles quoted (although I did
not quote this aspect) that these rules only apply where the government
does not pass a law which is against the Torah law. What the present-day
situation is vis-a-vis these provisos (i.e., whether the present
government is acting contrary to the Halachah or not) I will not
discuss. I think that that has already been discussed at very great
length in this forum and would be superfluous.

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


End of Volume 21 Issue 15