Volume 21 Number 20
                       Produced: Sun Aug 20 23:41:31 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Halachic Analyses of Land for Peace
         [Arnold Roth (Jerusalem)]
Halakhic Sources for Peace Process
         [Dennis Wolff]
Mitzva to Live in Eretz Yisrael (fwd)
         [Carl Sherer]
Pinchas and Eliyahu
         [Joe Goldstein]


From: Arnold Roth (Jerusalem) <roth@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 10:30:23 +0300
Subject: Halachic Analyses of Land for Peace

>A friend of mine has asked me what technical justification is given for
>supporting the concept of turning over parts of eretz yisroel in return
>for the promise of peace.  What published or unpublished analyses can I
>refer him to?

Meimad has published a booklet called "Vechai Bahem" (recently published in
English as "That you shall live by them") by Amnon Bazak. Their email
address is <meimad@...>
Oz Veshalom published a booklet called "Af Shaal- Mitzva min Hatorah?" (Not
one inch-a mitzva from the Torah?) with articles on the subject by Rav Shaul
Yisraeli zt"l, Mordechai Breuer and someone else. Their P.O. Box no. was
posted here recently.
Rav Lichtenstein gave a speech two summers ago called "Bein Vitur Lifeshara"
(Between concession and compromise) which has been published a few times by

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


From: Dennis Wolff <wolffjrslm@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 09:47:56 GMT
Subject: Halakhic Sources for Peace Process

> A friend of mine has asked me what technical justification is given for
> supporting the concept of turning over parts of eretz yisroel in return
> for the promise of peace.  What published or unpublished analyses can I
> refer him to?

Rabbi Amnon Bazak has compiled a 50 page booklet on the topic, called
"VaChai Bahem".  It can be purchased in the original Hebrew or in
English translation from Meimad, e-mail: <meimad@...>

Zvi Wolff
tel (home): 972-2-630484  
fax (work): 972-2-612340
e-mail: <wolffjrslm@...>


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 95 23:24:31 IDT
Subject: Mitzva to Live in Eretz Yisrael (fwd)

Another poster wrote:

> Actually, the fact that the Rambam doesn't count this in his "Sefer
> HaMizwoth" is not so surprising, at least no more surprising than the
> fact that he doesn't count the mizwah of "zithzith" [fringes].  The
> Rambam apparently does not count those mizwoth that you don't have to
> do unless you are put in the situation requiring them, e.g., you don't
> need to observe the mizwah of zithzith unless you wear a 4-cornered
> garment.  I would therefore infer that the Rambam would hold that you
> don't have to observe the mizwah of settling in the Land of Israel
> unless you are there.  That doesn't mean he doesn't believe it is
> something you should do: Just like he would advocate wearing a
> 4-cornered garment in order to perform the mizwah of zithzith, he
> would probably advocate moving to Israel in order to perform the
> mizwah of settling there.

This actually raises another important issue - is there a mitzva to move
to Eretz Yisrael today? Because the comparison seems apt - in fact both
the mitzva of tzitzis and the mitzva of living in Israel are, it would
appear a "mitzva kiyumis" (a mitzva you have to do if you are in the
position to do so) and yet I am sure that all of us wear tzitzis every
day.  So why then do so many fruhm Jews feel that they have no
obligation to even make an effort to move to Eretz Yisrael.

The Gemara in Ksuvos 110b-111a relates the story of Rav Zeira who was
avoiding Rav Yehuda, his Rebbe, because Rav Zeira wanted to go to Eretz
Yisrael.  Rav Yehuda held that anyone who leaves Bavel for Eretz Yisrael
violates a positive commandment, and he based this on a verse in
Yirmiyahu 27 (they shall be brought to Bavel and shall stay there until
the redemption).  Rav Zeira held that the verse referred to the Temple
vessels.  Rav Yehuda brought a verse from Shir Hashirim and Rav Zeira
countered that this verse only prohibits going "kachoma" (Rashi -
together by means of brute strength).  Rabbi Yehuda brings yet another
verse of oaths and Rabbi Zeira counters that there were three oaths made
at the time of the destruction of the Temple: that Bnei Yisrael will not
come to Israel "kachoma" (as explained above), that the Jews won't rebel
against the non-Jews and that the non-Jews will not make the Jews suffer

*None* of these three oaths are, to the best of my knowledge, quoted by
the Rambam or the Shulchan Aruch.  The Rambam does bring Rav Yehuda's
quote of anyone going from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael violating a positive
commandment (Hil. Melachim 5:12) but he changes it slightly.  Instead of
referring to going to Eretz Yisrael the Rambam says going from Bavel to
"other lands".  The Lechem Mishna explains that this was because Bavel
was a place of Torah.  It also seems that Tosfos does not hold this way
because in Tosfos on Daf 110b (which I will deal with shortly) he
explains why one does *not* have to go to Eretz Yisrael today, and he
doesn't mention the three oaths which appear on the next page in the
Gemara.  If Tosfos held that the oaths were still valid, why didn't he
mention them? I have heard various explanations as to why the oaths no
longer apply today - the two most popular ones seem to be that they
refer to the period before the second Temple was built and that the
non-Jews violated their oaths so we are no longer bound by ours.  There
are also those who hold that because the Balfour Declaration constituted
a permit from a nation that was sovereign over Eretz Yisrael to Jews to
come live in Eretz Yisrael, everything that came thereafter is Pikuach
Nefesh and in fact the oaths have not been violated (if anyone out there
is from Satmar or Neturei Karta I would be interested in hearing why the
oaths *are* still valid today).

Tosfos in the same Gemara at 110b gives two other reasons for not going
to Eretz Yisrael.  He says in the portion starting "Hoo Omer"
(commenting on the Gemara which says that if a husband wants to make
aliya and the wife does not then she is forced to make aliya or he may
divorce her without paying her Ksuva) that this does not apply today
because there is "sakanat drachim" (danger on the way) and then he
brings Rav Chaim Cohen who says that there is no mitzva to live in Eretz
Yisrael today because we cannot properly perform the mitzvos which must
be performed there.

I will take the second argument first.  The Gilyon Maharsha at the end
of the Gemara brings a Tshuvos Maharit who states that this "Rav Chaim
Cohen" was a later insertion of a "Talmid Toeh" (a mistaken student).
But even assuming that this is not a mistake, can it be said that we
can't fulfill the mitzvos properly? Granted we don't know who is a Cohen
or a Levi today with 100% certainty but IMHO that should not stop us
from living in Eretz Yisrael - we still can separate the Trumos and
Maasros and leave them to rot.  (This leaving aside for a minute that
there have been no Maasros given to the Leviim since the time of Ezra
because he penalized them for not coming up to build the Second Temple).
Shmita can *certainly* still be kept today - people do it every seven
years.  So what mitzvos are there that are applicable when there is no
Temple that *cannot* be performed today?  It seems to me that each of
the problems has an acceptable Halachic solution.

As to the "sakanat drachim", this refers to danger on the way to Eretz
Yisrael - not to danger *in* Eretz Yisrael (leaving aside for a minute
that the streets of Jerusalem are much safer than the streets of New
York City).  Sakanat drachim referred to boats sinking, caravans being
attacked, etc.  And yet even in Tosfos' time Jews kept coming here - the
Rambam, the Ramban and many others.  It is well known that the Chafetz
Chaim planned to come to Eretz Yisrael and never made it.  How can
anyone seriously argue that there is sakanat drachim involved in coming
to Eretz Yisrael and then get on a plane and come here for two or three
weeks as a tourist and then go back to America? IMHO the metzius (state
of facts) has changed since that Tosfos was written.  And in today's
metzius, I don't find the argument of sakanat drachim very convincing.

There are three justifications for leaving Eretz Yisrael - to get
married, to make a living and to learn Torah.  For those of us who are
married there are two.  Does anyone believe that the Yeshivos in America
and the West are *better* than the Yeshivos in Israel.  And as to making
a living, we don't *have* to live with an American standard of living.
It is possible to make enough of a living to do just fine here.  I know
that many of the people who read this list are computer professionals -
did you know that there is a *shortage* of programmers here? That the
next few years are probably the best opportunity you will ever have for
making aliya?

I realize that not everyone can just pick up and leave - there are
family, community and often business responsibilities.  A Rav can't
leave his congregation, for example, if it means that 90% of the people
will chas v'shalom stop being shomer Torah (keeping the Torah) if he
leaves.  But how can a fruhm Jew today not even think of making aliya?
Do any of you ever think of going without your tzitzis?

One final thought - the Gemara in Sota 14a asks why Moshe Rabbeinu
wanted to go into Eretz Yisrael - did he need to eat its fruit or to be
filled up with its goodness? He wanted to fulfill the mitzvos that are
only fulfilled in Eretz Yisrael.  Hashem therefore gave him reward as if
he had fulfilled them.  We are not Moshe Rabbeinu.  The only way our
children will learn what Shmitta is or what Kedushas Shviis is (until
they get to Parshas Behar in Chumash) is by living in Eretz Yisrael.  As
I write this it is Erev Shabbos Chazon, the 8th day of Av.  For the
first time in two thousand years Jews are free to come to Eretz Yisrael.
And for the first time since the time of the Second Temple, Jews who
have the opportunity to come to Eretz Yisrael are staying elsewhere.  We
need all of you NOW.  This morning I saw a very disturbing post on
another Board from a young man in Israel who said he is "proud to be an
Israeli but ashamed to be a Jew".  We need Jews like the people on this
list who are proud of their Yiddishkeit to get up and come to Eretz
Yisrael as soon as possible.  Otherwise, chas v'shalom we could have
another "bechiya l'doros" (crying for generations).

Waiting anxiously for geula shleima (complete redemption).

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


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 95 08:03:19 
Subject: Pinchas and Eliyahu

    Mr Turkel asks some very good questions about Pinchas and Eliyahu
being the same person. he questions whether a cohen godol can "retire"
or resign his position. Similarly he asks according to the gemmorah that
lavan was billaam, a) why did he live over 400 years, b) why did he want
to kill his descendants and c) This argues on the gemmorah that Billaam
died at 33. Therefore Mr. Turkel suggested his own approach, that the
gemmorah does not mean they were the same person. Rather they had
similar personality traits.

    IMHO, and this is the approach that I have taken throughout many M-J
postings, Chazal meant what they said! UNLESS the traditional
commentaries, meforshim, say differently!

    I will attempt to address these questions in a manner that conforms
with traditional thought and in keeping with the words of Chazal.

 1) As it pertains to Pinchas being the Kohain Godol, I am also
perplexed by the question, and I had asked the question myself. The
answer I got when I was learning in Eretz Yisroel was; Every Dor,
generation, has his own leaders. We find leaders that lived hundreds of
years, but they were only the leaders for some of that time. The reason
is because the leader has to be the proper one for his generation.
Therefore this ROV said A kohain Godol MAY be the same. i.e. the Kohian
Godol HAS to be the proper one for his generation. and Pinchas was no
longer the proper Kohain Godol. (I know no source for this I am sorry)
NOTE: The reason he was no longer the proper Kohain Godol could be
because after the incident of YIFTACH Pinchos was punished. (Yiftach
made a promise that his daughter would be an OLAH and he (Yiftach) did
not go to Pinchos to absolve him of his promise (MATTIR NEDER) Because
he was the SHOFET, Judge. Pinchos on the other hand did not go to
Yiftach, because Pinchos was the kohain Godol.) Therefore it says that
Hashems spirit left him! (Whatever that means since ELIYAHU was a NOVI,
Prophet) (My ROV feels it means he was not able to question the Uurim
Vetumim) See this Midrash Rabbah at the end of BECHUKOSAY. For those who
say Elitahu Hanovi after Shabbos, the hymn that describes all of the
achievments of Eliyahu, one of the first achievments IS, one who took
the revenge for Hashem. The Vilna Gaon says this refers to the killing
of Zimri Ben Solu by Pinchas, Since Pinchas IS Eliyahu. Again the
question is an excellent one! However because of it one can not
disregard the literal meaninging of what CHAZAL said.

   As far as Billam and Lavan being the same person. First of all Rashi
in Sanhedrin ASKS the question that the gemmorah says Billam only lived
33 years, and he says the 2 midrashim argue. As far as Billam wanting to
destroy Klall Yisroel who came from his daughters. I do not know what
the problem is? The posukim in Braishis say he came to destroy Yaakov
and his Children, if not for the fact that Hashem came and stopped him!
(In the words of the Haggada LAVAN BEEKAISH LAAKOR ES HAKOL, Laval
attempted to to destroy everything!)

   Therefore, let us look at the words of Chazal, and if we have a
question attempt to find the correct meaning in what CHAZAL say without
saying CHAZAL did not mean what they said.



End of Volume 21 Issue 20