Volume 21 Number 29
                       Produced: Thu Aug 24 23:10:30 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ability to Agitate
         [Eli Turkel]
Dina De Malhuta
         [Simon Streltsov]
More on the State of Israel and the Government of Israel
         [Carl Sherer]
Strident and Emotional Response to Rackman Article
         [Kenneth Posy]
The Ability To Agitate Vol. 21 #24 Digest
         [Moshe Freedenberg]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 14:35:34 -0400
Subject: Ability to Agitate

   Joshua J. Brickel feels that Jews should agitate for their beliefs in
the land of Israel no matter where they live just as they agitated to
save Jews in WWII.

    I don't feel the two situations are comparable. Jews in WWII or in
the Soviet Union were an oppressed minority. Israel is a sovreign nation
where Jews are in fact (so far) a majority. I think it is accepted
world-over that one country does not interfere the affairs of another.
Italians living in the US do not detrmine whether divorce should be
legal in Italy etc. Similarly, the Israeli foreign policy will
ultimately be decided by those living in Israel not Jews living in the
diaspora.  I don't remember the list of 9 rabbis that issued the psak
about abandoning the bases but I am pretty sure that they all live in
Israel. They did not ask other rabbis e.g. Rav Aaron Soloveitchik to
join in even though he later backed their psak. I think these rabbis
very consciously decided that only Israeli rabbis should make such a
psak. If one studies Jewish history one finds that the rabbis who lived
in Israel, throughout the ages, jeaulosly guarded their power from any
outside influence.
     There is certainly nothing wrong with non-israelis offering an
opinion. That is a far cry from saying I believe so and so and therefore
you go out and fight the war based on my beliefs.
    As to women etc. it is again accepted that all citizens decide a
matter not only those immediately affected. Thus, women, men not subject
to the army etc. certainly have a full vote on all such issues. When the
US congress decides to cut a budget they do not ask for the vote of the
agency being cut. Similarly such decisions are made by the knesset as
the representatives of the Israeli population, the decision is not made
just by the population of Yesha even though they are the most affected.
As I previously said and stand by ultimately it is the entire population
of Israel that will gain or lose by any foreign policy decisions. Jews
outside Israel will be affected to a lesser degree but not enough to be
able to make such decisions.

     Again, many Israelis view American jewish views as outside
interference.  If you want to change things move to Israel!!
     I remember from eons ago that Ben Gurion spoke in YU and said that
if religious American jewry moved to Israel then he would wear a kippah.
The last election was decided by a small minority of the electorate. If
100,000 religious Jews move from the diaspora to Israel that is more
than enough to change the next government.

Eli Turkel


From: <simon1@...> (Simon Streltsov)
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 13:48:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Dina De Malhuta

a minor correction, irrelevant to the discussion:

>From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
> The main halachic basis of the Israeli
>law is on "dina de-malchusa" which applies to the czarist government and
>to the Israeli knesset.

_AFAIU_, attitude of the government toward Jews defines whether "dina
de-malchusa" is applied and to what extent.

Thus, in Russia, there was no reason, for example, to be fair in paying
taxes that were for Jews double of those that other people were paying.

[ does it mean, btw, that there are different reasons for saying
blessing for the government in Russia and USA (for those who do)?].

Does this logic extends to the case when (hypothetically) Israeli
government treats their citizen who live in certain areas differently, I
don't know.

Simcha Streltsov                             to subscribe send
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home page: http://conx.bu.edu/~simon1


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 95 1:08:26 IDT
Subject: More on the State of Israel and the Government of Israel

Shmuel Himelstein wrote me the following (off the list) which, with his
permission, I'd like to bounce to the list in an attempt to clarify my
last post on this subject.  Shmuel writes:

> As far as your latest question, regarding those who do not accept the 
> "Melech" argument, you ask about soldiers serving in the army in 
> non-pikuach nefesh cases. I'm not quite sure what you mean - and maybe 
> others won't either. Are you asking what these rabbis' views are about 
> following orders in the army IN GENERAL, or just about following orders 
> which are in conflict with Halachah? 

I did in fact mean to ask about following orders in general.  I assume
that where an order is a *clear* violation of halacha we can all agree
with the Rambam in Hilchos Mlochim that you don't follow a King's order
to violate a Halacha - and that whatever other source there may be for
following orders it will be no stronger than the King's authority.

If it's the first, I suppose we're 
> back to the question of whether the rule of  Dina Demalchuta applies to 
> the State of Israel. Of course if you say it doesn't, that has 
> far-reaching ramifications, e.g., having to pay income tax or not. 

Well - yes if that's the other possible basis for having to follow
orders (and I'll admit it's the only other one I've thought of except
for Pikuach Nefesh in combat situations).  If this has been debated in
the past, before I got on this list, I'll take a reference from the
Moderator as to where it's been discussed and sit down at my terminal.
But if it hasn't been discussed I think maybe it ought to be.  I would
suggest as a starting point for such a discussion Rabbi Simcha Krauss'
article on litigating in secular courts in Vol. II No. 1 of the Journal
of Halacha and Contemporary Society (Spring 1982) which includes a
discussion of the use of the Israeli court system.  But since I haven't
read that article in many years I think I'll save that argument for
another day....

BTW - if anyone has a basis for following orders other than the laws of
a King, dina demalchusa and pikuach nefesh I'd be interested in hearing
about it.

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

[Here is what I see on Dina Demalkhuta Dina:
	Dina [v11n93]
	Dina D'Malchusa Dina  [v4n38, v13n49]
	Dina D'Malchuta Dina [v4n30-v4n31, v5n24, v12n51]
	Dina Demalchuta [v14n30]
	Dina Demalchuta Dina (DDD) - The law of the land is law [v12n67]
	Dina Dimalchusa, Facing East, Software Info [v13n1]
	Dina Dmalchusa Dina [v4n35]
	Sha'atnez and Dinah D'Malchusah Dinah [v5n19]


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 1995 17:13:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Strident and Emotional Response to Rackman Article

[I've read this carefully, and while it may be an emotional response, I
don't think it is strident. I will delude myself into thinking that you
started the posting planning to write a strident response, but then took
a coffee break and wrote what appears here. I do want to say that what I
have read this evening indicates that people are seriously trying to
tone down some of the postings, leading in my opinion to an excellent
set of material for mail-jewish. Mod.]

>    My great love of the halacha notwithstanding, my
>    concern with Israel's peace process was not based on
>    the halacha. . . .
>         . . . [M]any of my colleagues have erred when they
>    opposed the peace process because of the halacha's
>    mandate. . . . [D]ecisions as to what the government
>    should do in war and peace are to be made by the
>    experts--political and military.

     I do not want to engage in ad hominem attacks on Rabbi Rackman,
though I disagree with every published piece I have ever seen by him. I
will be Dan l'chav zchus and assume I am misinterpreting the above
statement. But my understanding of what he is saying is that he is
advocating an "aveira l'shma". In other words, even though halachicly
this course might be wrong, the situation mandates we follow it anyway.
     IMHO, this is close to denying Torah M'sinai. The halacha provides
for an answer and a course of action for every situation. There can be
disagreement on how to define a situation, and disagreement on what the
helachic prescription is for a particular scenerio. That is what is
going on between Rav Amital, shlita, and the Rabbanei Yesha. But to say
that Halacha has nothing to say, or worse, that halachic mandates are
inadequate, is foriegn to a torah philosophy.
     My Rosh Yeshiva, R. Aharon Lichtenstein, spoke this year on Parshas
Toldos about Yakov stealing eisav's bracha, which is an intuitively
troubling story. Some opinion, he said, have tried to interpret this
action as "aveira l'shma". He refused to identify those opinions on the
grounds that it would be lashon hara. "THERE IS NO PLACE FOR SUCH A
CONCEPT IN JEWISH THEOLOGY!" he roared. (I remember that line
particularly well because he woke up most of the room that had become
distracted during the 45-minute complex midrashic analysis that had led
up to this point.)
     Halacha is an all-inclusive doctrine. It is flexible, but it is
impossible to do something correctly outside its boundries. You may
re-interpret the boundries, and even if you must stretch them, but to
say "I know that halacha is X, but I must do Y" is WRONG. Period.
	I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this post.
That was not my intent. Again, I am not attacking any person, just my
understanding of his opinion. I look forward to being corrected.
Betzalel Posy


From: Moshe Freedenberg <mark@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 22:04:49 +0300 (WET)
Subject: The Ability To Agitate Vol. 21 #24 Digest

I absolutely agree with the statement that non-Israelis have no right to
expect their opinion to be counted if they are not willing to move here
and vote and put themselves on the line for their country.  As concerns
people who try to bring up a non-issue by asking:

> Should the Jews in the U.S. during WWII have agitated to have Jews freed
> from Europe?  Should they have done their utmost to insure their fellow
> Jews survival?  According to the above post the answer would seem to be
> no.  After all who are we as American Jews, not living in Europe to tell
> another country how to run its affairs.  Ah, you could say that Jews
> lives were in danger should action not be taken?  But I say that the
> people who protest today in America do it precisely becasue they do feel
> Jewish lives are in danger.

First of all, Europe is not the land given to us by Hashem and there is
NO mitzvah to settle there.  Secondly, during WWII the Jews of Europe
were asking for help to come out of their country; one which they were
trapped in and waiting for almost certain death.  Jews are not trapped
in Israel, chas v'shalom, and they are not begging America or other
countries for asylum from murderers.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO COMPARISON
between the two situations.  Secondly, Europe did not want or need Jews
to emigrate there, and Israel both wants and needs Jewish emigration.
The people who are sitting in their comfortable seats in Chutz L'Aretz
are missing out on doing a mitzvah by not making aliyah and since the
government is elected in Israel, if you don't like what is happening
here, it is your responsibility as a Jew to move here and vote!  Making
yourselves heard by complaining by computer does nothing more than let
you see your name in print.  If you truly care what happens to this Holy
land that Hashem gave to us as our heritage, then stop complaining about
what you don't like and get over here and vote.  Or are you too
comfortable making an American salary and sitting in the central air
conditioning?  It is easier than ever before to make aliyah and we have
every kind of food and household product that you need, not to mention
the financial assistance that the government provides to help smooth
your integration into the culture and country.

> G-d I believe wants people to make the best decision they can, not be 
led around like dumb animals.

Actually, what it says in Torah that Hashem wants of us (Dvarim, Parshas
Nitzavim, verses 19-20 "...and you shall choose life so that you will
live, you and your offspring--to love Hashem your G-d, to listen to His
voice, and to cleave to Him, for he is your life and the length of your
days to dwell upon the land that Hashem swore to your forefathers to
Avraham, to Yitzhak, and to Yaakov to give them."  Seems pretty clear to


End of Volume 21 Issue 29