Volume 21 Number 47
                       Produced: Sun Sep 10 23:56:56 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

American Jews & Israel
         [Ari Shapiro]
American Jews and Israel (2)
         [Aaron H. Greenberg, Jay Bailey]
Israel's Official Stand on American Jews
         [M E Lando]
         [Eli Turkel]
Move to Israel
         [Carl Sherer]
The land is Biblically mine
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 95 20:09:39 EDT
Subject: Re: American Jews & Israel

<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.

Actually it seems that the Jews living outside of Israel are not
considered full members of Klal Yisrael.  The gemara in Horayos(3a)
discusses a par helem dava shel tzibur (a sacrifice brought when all of
the Jewish people sin) and the Gemara concludes that in determining if a
majority of the Jewish people sinned we only count the Jews living in
Israel. The Rambam in explaining the din that semicha (Rabbinic
ordination) can only be given in Israel bases it upon this idea, that
only Jews living in Israel are full members of the Jewish people and
therefore as giving Semicha is an act taken by all of the Jewish
community it can only be done by the community, namely in Israel. The
Minchas Chinuch (Mitzva 284) explains three other laws based on
this. One of them is why there is no public fast day in Bavel
(Babylonia) because there is no public, everyone is looked upon as
individuals.  Based on this R' Shachter writes (RJJ Journal #16) that
the only people who should have a say are those who are full members of
Klal Yisrael (the Jewish people) namely those people who live
there. (Note: this definition would exclude those who live in Israel but
are not believers).

Ari Shapiro


From: Aaron H. Greenberg <greenbah@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 13:05:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: American Jews and Israel

It seems to me that the right of American Jews to state a position on
Israeli politics is a recurring theme in MJ.

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but sometimes the obvious is overseen..
We American Jews have a right to our humble opinion, as arragantly as we
state them, on any matter, as does every American.  What is
unreasonable, is for an Israeli to expect Americanss to refrain from
utilizing their rights garunteed in the first ammendmant to the American
Constitution. This applies both to expressing our right individually, or
communaly outside the Israeli Consulate.

Now, here's what I think is a practical responsible use of our right and
when exercising our right is futile.

I think is is arrogant of American Jews to think that our opinions
matter to the Rabin and Peres.  They, like American polititians are
interested in pleasing their constituents (i.e. voting citizens) because
they are whom put them in office and will keep them in office.
Therefore, I feel that protesting in front of Israeli consulates is a
waste of time.

However, as was already mentioned, America does give Israel billions in
foreign aid. So.. the opinions of the American President, and American
polititions matter to Rabin, not American Jews!  THESE ARE TWO DIFFERNT
THINGS.  Currently, Clinton fully backs Rabin in carrying out the peace
plan, if one disagrees with this policy (as I do) then it is to the
President and other American politicions that you should voice your
opinion, for making your opinion count.  It is every Americans
responsibilty to take an active interest in what their government does
both domestically and in foreign policy.

Not only that, if it is an issue that you feel is a concern to all
Americans, but Americans are not well aware of the issue, such as
endangering the lives of American Soldiers as part of peace treaty, then
it is even your civil obligation to inform all Americans of the issue so
that they can voice their opinion too, whether Israeli's appreciate it
or not!

Aaron Greenberg

From: <jaydena@...> (Jay Bailey)
Date: Wed,  6 Sep 95 22:09:22 PDT
Subject: American Jews and Israel

I had some problems with Rabbi Teitz's comments (Aug. 31) about the
rights of non-Israeli Jews to involve themselves in internal politics.
Now I want to make one thing clear: Though I now live in Israel, I had
the exact same views when I didn't, and as a result did _not_ attempt to
presumptuously assert opinions about Israel's choices, etc.

That said...

E.T.: "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."

Somehow, the tone of the biblical exposition on the Land and our
connection to it assumes WE LIVE THERE. Virtually every mitzva in
Devarim begins with "When you come to the Land I have given you as an
inheritance..."  To say that in a technical, legal sense it belongs to
all Jews, is fine, and is the basis for the Law of Return, to which
Rabbi Teitz refers later. All Jews are entitled to come claim their
right to live here, but put very simply, the Sochnut does not then offer
you a plot of land! You have to buy it! The people who live here pay
mortgages, rent, taxes, etc. Their sons must spend 3 difficult years in
the army (NOT in college, readying themselves to earn a living). So
while biblically, you are entitled to JOIN the Jewish people in the land
God has given us for that purpose, American Jewry has no right to try to
make the rules before making the investment.

"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."

SO COME CLAIM IT! It's hard to believe that you'd expect the people here
to be responsible for the upkeep and protection of "your" land, while
you (and of course, this is not a personal you, rather a collective)
decide whether or not to ever actually take it!?!

"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."

Well, yeah. It sort of figures that when laws are made, they should
pertain to the society and said society has a role in making them. Where
would you draw the line? You'd vote, I guess, on whether Ma'alei Adumim
should get an extra garbage truck because the land is possibly yours?
You see my point. There has to be a limit to who has a say in the way a
country is run. The way we delineate is to say that you must live on
land in order to dictate what happens to it.

Jay Bailey
Rechov Rimon 40/1  Efrat, Israel
PO Box 1076
Phone: 02/9931903	E-mail: <jaydena@...>


From: M E Lando <landom1@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 16:15:12 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Israel's Official Stand on American Jews

There has been a continuing thread on the right of American (and other
bnei golah) jews to comment on Israeli policy.  I wish to add to this,
especially to Eliyahu Teitz perceptive comments on the attitude of the
Israeli government.

My two oldest children were born in Yerusholayim in 1962 and 1963, while
I was learning in the Kaminetzer Yeshiva.  When I went to the Misrad
HaP'nim (Interior Ministry) to fill out their birth certificate forms, I
found 2 categories:
	ha'da'at (religion) to which I replied y'hudi
        ha'l'um (nationality) to which I replied Amerikai.

I was told that I was wrong the nationality was also y'hudi.  I asked:
what if I had been a Southern Baptist temporarily resident in Israel?
In that case I was told it would be ha'd'at-notzri, ha'l'um- Amerikai.

In other words, the Israelis don't regard us as full-fledged Americans,
but rather as Israelis.

As an interesting aside, The birth certificates they received from the
American Consulate said they were born in Jerusalem, Palestine (Israel
held).  When my yerushalmi son (who left there before he was 3 months
old), applied for a passport, he put down as his birthplace Jerusalem,
Palestine.  We got an annoyed call from the Passport Office asking him
to choose either Israel or Jordan.

Mordechai E. Lando ha'm'chu'na Yukum


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 09:29:54 -0400
Subject: Lobbying

   David Steinberg in discussing the role of galut Jews in Israeli
politics says
>> Must one always support the Goverment of Israel and lobby in support of 
>> that Government? 

    I don't see any mitzva to lobby in general and certainly not for a
government that one doesn't like. I know of people who are campaigning
that people should not buy Israeli bonds. Again one is not required to
buy Israeli bonds. One can definitely support morally and monetarily any
organization in Israel.

>> Should one lobby against US aid to facilitate withdrawal?

     Chas Ve-shalom (G-d forbid). One of my nightmares is to hear a
congressional meeting with Jews fighting Jews in front of Congress over
Israel. What a field day for anti-semites.
 The Hasmoneans invited the Romans in to settle their disputes and it
led to the destruction of the second Temple. Anti-maimunists invited the
government to destroy Rambam's books leading to the destruction of
literally tons of seforim. Rabbenu Yonah wrote his "shaare teshuva"
regreting his role in this. Mitnagdim and Hasidim seek the imprisonment
of their enemies and cause havoc for Russian Jewry. Jews are their own
worst enemy going to the gentiles to "save" their compatriots no matter
what the expense.
 People motivated by "lo sa'amod al dam ra'echa" have hurt more than
helped.  Everyone is out to save his brand of Judaism. We are all ready
to bring the house down on our selves.



From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 95 3:03:49 IDT
Subject: Move to Israel

Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz writes:

> 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.

I've deleted much of the post for brevity's sake, but I must humbly
disagree with the sentiment expressed above.  To illustrate why I'd like
to tell a story from my Yeshiva days.

Seventeen years ago on Erev Shavuos, my Rebbe, Rav Aaron Bina shlita,
gathered all of the Chutz Laaretz boys together and told us one simple
sentence.  He said "None of you should be the Tzadik who says brachos
for everybody".  What does this have to do with Rabbi Teitz's post?

Obviously *someone* has to say Brachos for the tzibur on Shavuos morning
which means that *someone* has to sleep.  But what my Rebbe was telling
us was - it *doesn't* have to be you.

Yes, *someone* has to stay in America so that American aid will keep
flowing to Israel (or so the argument I've heard so many times in the
last 30+ years goes).  Assuming that argument's validity - does it 
have to be *you*? Each of us who is still in galus must make his own
cheshbon hanefesh (personal accounting) as to whether his stay in 
galus is *necessary* for the greater good of Klal Yisroel.  I suspect
that is each of us who is still in galus were to make that cheshbon
hanefesh, the lines outside the Jewish Agency offices would stretch
for blocks.  

Even if every person on this list came on aliya tomorrow, there would
still be millions of Jews in America to lobby the American government.
Yes, someone has to stay in America.  Does that someone have to be you?

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


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 17:13:47 GMT
Subject: The land is Biblically mine

Eliyahu Teitz claims that as Eretz Israel is Biblically that of all the
Jewish people, he - as any other Jew - should have the right to comment
on the giving away of any part of Eretz Israel.

While not discussing the Halachic aspects of this assertion, I would
like to point out that it is generally accepted that rights and
obligations go together. I would feel much happier about the Jews in
Chutz La'aretz assuming their rights if they would be equally willing to
assume the obligations entailed in living in Eretz Israel - paying the
Israeli rate of income tax, serving in the army, living in an area which
is not exactly the safest in the world, etc. It seems to me - living in
Eretz Israel - that the assertion of rights without the equal assumption
of obligations rings somewhat hollow.

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
NEW ADDRESS: <himelstein@...>


End of Volume 21 Issue 47