Volume 21 Number 43
                       Produced: Wed Sep  6  8:36:34 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ability to Agitate
         [Joel Goldberg]
American Jews & Israel
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Jewish Majority
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Monkees as Shabbat Goys?
         [David Brotsky]
Move to Israel
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Pinchos and Eliyahu
         [Joe Goldstein]
Rav Amital's Psak and Lifnei Iver
         [Carl Sherer]
Wedding Minhagim, Mechitza & Timing
         [Norman Tuttle]


From: <goldberg@...> (Joel Goldberg)
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 10:18:50 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Ability to Agitate

On the ongoing discussion about the appropriateness of Jews outside Israel
voicing opinions on what Israeli policy should be, I would just note that
when one asks a Halachic question of a congregational Rabbi, one very often
gets an different answer than when one asks the same question of a Yeshiva
Joel Goldberg.


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 12:20:41 -0400
Subject: Re: American Jews & Israel

Having only loosely followed much of the discussion on the rights of
non-Israeli resident Jews to involve themselves with internal Israeli
politics, I do not know if the following points were made.

1.  The Land of Israel is biblically all of ours.  This is a major
differentiating point between a Jew's relationship to Israel, and its
government ( which should look after the land ), and the descendants of
any other country who no longer live there.

Since the land is mine, I should have a right to comment on matters that
affect that land.  I should also have a right to involve myself in a
manner that is permitted to Israeli citizens.  If the government is
planning on territorial concessions, they might be giving away a parcel
of land that belongs to me ( my biblical inheritance ), and why
shouldn't I be allowed to protest.  Not presently living there does not
in any way diminish my rights to my land.

2.  The Israeli government itself recognizes that Jews have a special
relationship with the Land & State of Israel.  All Jews are entitled to
automatic citizenship.  I would imagine that there are some who would
prefer to declare all Jews as automatic citizens, regardless of where
they live, but can not do so because of legal ramifications in other
countries.  We are all part of Israel, and that gives us a right to
discuss, and to act within what is legal for resident Israeli citizens.
Of course, when it comes to actually voting, the laws stipulate that one
must have certain papers in order to exercise that right.  Likewise,
possibly, for financial donation to political parties.

Eliyahu Teitz


From: Arnie Kuzmack <kuzmack@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 1995 01:10:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Jewish Majority

There has been discussion on MJ and elsewhere of the notion that, in 
order for a return of territories to be halachically supportable, it must 
be approved by a Jewish majority.  That is, it is not enough to be 
approved by the Knesset if the majority depends on the votes of the Arab 

My question is: what is the halachic source of this idea?  As far as I 
know, there were no democratically elected governments of Jewish states 
before 1948 so there could not have been much direct discussion of this 
in Talmudic or medieval sources.  It would have to be a pretty recent 

Arnie Kuzmack


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 1995 00:08:39 -0400
Subject: Monkees as Shabbat Goys?

A friend recently faxed me a copy of an item from the Wall Street
Journal, entitled "Monkey Business". The item goes on to relate that
"Israel's former chief Rabbi" (Rav Goren?) ruled that a trained monkey
who is "borrowed" may do melachot (work) for a Jew, such as turning on
lights, etc. If he owned the animal, however, this would be forbidden,
which is a well known halacha. My question: is this true? If nothing
else, who will know that this is a borrowed monkey? What about maaris
ayin [the appearance of impropriety is forbidden, even if the action
itself is proper], at the least?

David Brotsky
Elizabeth, NJ
Wishing Everyone An Early & Happy Shaana Tovah Umetucka


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 23:07:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Move to Israel

I have been hesitant about entering the Israel Peace Process thread.
But I must respond to one recent post that urged us all to move to

While I agree that 100,000 Jews coming to Yesha would dramatically
change the situation there, we must realize that there is much that can
be done only from outside Israel.  I do not want to get into political
discussions, but in the USA, senators are very concerned for what the
American Jewish community thinks.  I was on a UJA mission to Washington
at the height of the 'loan guarantees' debate and we were met by almost
a quarter of the Senate.  We were only 30-40 Jews from NJ, but they came
out to see us. Included among them were the majority leader ( at the
time ) and other influential members.  Some of them came from states
with little Jewish population.

Why were they so concerned?  Why did we wield such power?  Because
American Jews donate to political campaigns.  Our money speaks.  And
that money speaks much louder to these Senators coming from American
citizens, living in America.

There is a need for a community here to keep financial incentives flowing
to keep senators interested in our agenda.  If all those opposed to the
peace process left, the only message that would be heard was one of
support for the process.  No, some of us must stay.

 From a more religous perspective... one of the commentaries on the
story of the Tower of Bavel explains that the people of the world did
not sin, nor were they punished.  Their motive was to centralize all the
people of the world into one region.  God, in His mercy, spread them out
around the globe so that they would not all perish in a physical

How much more so we have to be careful to not all congregate into one
region of the world, lest a madman from Iraq send us 'air-mail' again,
but this time with more lethal payloads.



From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 95 08:58:31 
Subject: Pinchos and Eliyahu

I wanted to add another source to the Pinchos is Eliyahu discussion. In
Chapter 40 in Pirkey De'rebe Eliezer The Medrash talks about the
"debate" between Hashem and Moshe Rabbenu whether Moshe should be the
one to deliver the Jews from Egypt. Moshe said to Hashem, "send with the
one that you send" (Rashi in Chumash explains at this refers to Aaron
who was the leader in Egypt) The Medrash says Moshe asked Hashem to send
the one who he will eventually send and Hashem said I am sending you to
Pharoh! To Bnay Yisroel I will send another, as the posuk says "Behold I
send to you Eliyahu Hanovi". On the surface this Medrash make no sense.
The RADAL (Reb Dovid Lurie) Explains that this P"D"E holds that Pinchos
IS Eliyahu and Moshe asked since Eliyahu is the one that will be sent to
Bnay Yisroel when they will get the ultimate redemption, send Pinchos
NOW, since he alive, and let him be the redeemer.

(I know some fellow "M-Jers" will say this this is no proof that Pinchos
and Eliyahu were Physically the same person. And I do not think that I
can prove that they were unequivocally from this medrash. However, I did
want to share this Medrash with everyone)

Joe Goldstein (EXT 444)                                                        


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 95 7:36:35 IDT
Subject: Rav Amital's Psak and Lifnei Iver

Kenneth Posy and I have been going back and forth for some time now
(most recently in Vol. 21 # 24) on the basis for a psak which was posted
to this list in the name of Rav Amital shlita whose basic premise is
that even if we assume that it is forbidden to turn land in Eretz
Yisrael over to non-Jews, an individual soldier would not violate an
issur (prohibition) of lifnei iver (placing a stumbling block before a
"blind" person) by assisting in evacuating army bases, townships in
Yehuda and Shomron, etc.

I have discovered that our own Rabbi Michael Broyde (together with Rabbi
David Hertzberg) wrote an article on this same topic in the Journal of
Halacha and Contemporary Society, Number XIX (Spring 1990).  Without
getting into a lengthy discussion of the issues raised in the article,
if I understand it correctly (and hopefully Rabbi Broyde will correct me
if I do not), there are three views in the Rishonim based on the Gemara
in Avoda Zara 6b.  The Rambam maintains that there is always a Torah
prohibition to assist another in violating a Halacha, even when there
are others who would otherwise assist him in doing so.  The RaN holds
that even though according to Torah law, lifnei iver is only violated
when the aider's assistance is necessary for the forbidden act, rabbinic
law prohibits this conduct even when the aider's assistance is not
needed.  Tosfos would hold that the Torah prohibition of lifnei iver is
*only* where the sinner could not accomplish the sin without the
assistance of the aider.  According to Tosfos, when others can and will
aid the sinner, neither Rabbinic nor Torah law is violated.

It would appear that Mr. Posy (and I assume Rav Amital shlita) are
in accordance with the view of Tosfos, while my own humble opinion
is reconcilable with both the Rambam and the RaN.

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


From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 95 19:17:20 -0400
Subject: Wedding Minhagim, Mechitza & Timing

By "mixed" or "separated" here I am referring to the presence or absence
of a Mechitza, or separating border between males & females, at a

A previous poster made an analysis of mixed weddings vs. separated
weddings as far as the ability of people to stay for the Sheva Brachot
at the end of the weddings.  He claimed that people in separated
weddings were fumbling to find their mates at the end rather than
assembling for Sheva Brachot, whereas mixed-wedding attendees would tend
more to stay for the Sheva Brachot.  I believe he stated this difference
within his limited circle of experience.  While I cannot make a similar
comparison, not yet having been invited to any "mixed" Orthodox wedding,
I would suggest that the poster take a more scientific view in making
these analyses, taking account of other factors in making this type of

It may be more instructive to compare the type of attendees to these
weddings.  If the poster has been to both types, it is likely that the
same type of people have been invited to both weddings, and possibly
these are people who would be invited to both mixed and separated
weddings.  If the attendees are "modern", "Baal Teshuva", or
non-Orthodox, _some_ of them may feel less comfortable with the
arrangement at the separate weddings, and therefore may feel compelled
to leave the single-sex arrangement and join with their spouses rather
than partake in the Sheva Brachot.  It would be understandable that they
would mingle then rather than at the meal since most people like to eat
sitting down, and the non-religious tend to dissociate from
"ceremonies".  If they feel comfortable with their arrangement, whether
in separate or mixed seating arrangements, both observant & less
observant Jews would tend to stay for the Sheva Brachot if capable of
doing so timewise.  I believe that the poster would find that weddings
were most of the participants were strictly "Frum" would have nearly
unanimous attendance for the Sheva Brachot, if all other factors were

But all other factors are not equal.  One important indicator of Sheva
Brachot attendance is the scheduling factor of the wedding.  While this
is not 100% true, many right-wing Orthodox or Chassidic weddings are
held at night.  Many of the weddings to which I personally have gone
take place on a Wednesday night, in accordance with Talmudic tradition.
Many of them also end around midnight.  As people who attend these
weddings often work, or live in a different place from the wedding, and
some are dependent on car or bus rides back to where they live, it is
often impossible to stay to attend the Sheva Brachot.  On the other
hand, many "modern" weddings or weddings involving Baalei Tshuva are
held on a Sunday or legal holiday, and in the afternoon, so that it is
convenient for people to have work the next day.  In those cases, it
would tend to be easier to stay for the Sheva Brachot.  It would seem
that the modern/Baal Teshuva weddings tend to be more mixed.  This would
certainly explain the correlation which the poster has observed.

[The above paragraph ignores the fact that certain winter weddings are
contrived to begin & end earlier in order that the Chupa takes place
before sunset, which is preferable according to Halacha.  However, there
is also a long-standing tradition of holding a wedding at night.  For
these and other wedding-scheduling issues, please see Aryeh Kaplan
ZT"L's Wedding Guide.]

There is an additional reason for having a Mechitza during the eating at
a "modern" or "Baal Teshuva" wedding.  Where you have many people who
have never been to an Orthodox wedding, it is often easy for people to
have wrong notions about actions which might be appropriate at one.  If
non-religious people are mixing & there is no Mechitza, it will
unfortunately be easier for them to lapse into a mixed-dancing mode,
which is extremely inappropriate for a wedding, characterized as a abode
of holiness.  I think it would be better to slightly inconvenience them
and place the wedding into proper perspective by putting the Mechitza in
place and discouraging mixing, even if this will mean that they would
boycott the Sheva Brachot.

P.S.  I don't want to make mail-jewish a "Let's Get Personal & Talk All
About Ourselves" forum, so I will not here discuss my own wedding plans.
If anyone wants to discuss them with me, & how they may relate to the
above discussion, they are welcome to do so through private e-mail.

Nosson Tuttle (<ntuttle@...>)


End of Volume 21 Issue 43