Volume 21 Number 50
                       Produced: Thu Sep 14  5:48:53 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyah (or: who are we, Jews of Diaspora?)
         [Ari Belenkiy]
Israel's Official Stand on American Jews
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Klal Yisroel
         [Harry Weiss]
Move to Israel
         [Ari Shapiro]
Ownership of Land
         [Eli Turkel]
This land is my land
         [Eliyahu Teitz]


From: Ari Belenkiy <belenkiy@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 22:45:58 -0700
Subject: Aliyah (or: who are we, Jews of Diaspora?)

I was ready to proudly announce aliyah when an interesting problem
caused me to postpone my announcement.
 I was three weeks away from aliyah when I realized that I do not have a
valid travelling document: my Soviet passport expired 3 months ago.
There are two options: to bow before Russians who want only one
thing:money.  Another is to apply for American document like Refugee
travelling document or Re-entry permit. The second option is less
expensive but more time expensive.  To speed this American procedure (I
am entitled to have such a document the question is only about time) I
may claim that business or illness of a close relative requires me to
make such a trip immediately.

Israeli Consulate refused from several options I presented: to consider
Soviet passport as valid, to issue for me any temporary Israeli document
to put their visa on, - and insist on getting a valid travelling
document whatever it is.  Reasoning that I will acquire it (as an
Israeli PASSPORT) when I will enter Eretz Israel does not work.
Explanation that I intentionally do not want to become an American
citizen and apply for American the best travelling document - passport -
causes a certain embarrassment but still does not work.

I heard an interesting idea: to go over the heads of Consulate and
Aliyah Center directly to El-Al and ask them to bring me to Israel where
I will apply for status of Oleh Hadash. An idea is to pay to Israel
(even for ticket - right now I am getting it free, as a grant) rather
than to Russia or America.

All in all: my flight is scheduled on Sept 20 and at stake there are
High Holidays in Israel.

Ari Belenkiy


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 95 15:19:55 +0200
Subject: Israel's Official Stand on American Jews

There have been some  articles on this subject, and I  have no wish to
join the discussion, especially as I am not sure if it is one suitable
for this discussion group.

I am only writing about a side issue  brought up on September 6 by M E
Lando who wrote:

>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.

I do not wish to comment on that.

>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.

It seems to me  that here is a basic misunderstanding  on the terms as
as used  on Israeli  forms.  Dat  (not da'at)  is indeed  religion but
le'om is nation and *not* citizenship.  Citizenship is called ezrahut.

So to come back to Lando's  Israeli born children, as the question was
just  on religion  and nation,  the correct  answer would  be on  both
account yehudi.  As to the ezrahut this is more complex for a child of
an American  Jew who  has decided  not to avail  himself of  the right
under the Law  of Return and ask for Israeli  citizenship (nor for his
sons).  Thus the child is not an Israeli.  Coming back to his Southern
Baptist friend, for him both  nationality and citizenship would indeed
be ameriqa'i, or rather artzot habrit (US).

What may confuse those familiar with  British and American law is that
in Israel we  go in this case by the  continental law, and citizenship
goes by  that of the parents  and not by  the place of birth.   So the
Baptist's child, even if he wanted  would not be considered of Israeli
citizenship, as the Law of Return does not apply to him.

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

Wrong conclusion.  Israel regards you as an  USA Jew, not at all as an
Israeli (see what you have written above).  If that Baptist would have
been a  German-American, and wanted  to consider himself  as belonging
rather to the  German "nation" and not the USA  one, his le'om *might*
have been German  while his ezrahut (AFAIK not asked  for in the birth
certificate) would have been Amerikai or USA.

Some  thirty years  ago I  had the  experience of  an English  gentile
visitor on a Sabbatical to our Institute.   A son was born and when he
was asked to fill out the  form (already on his wife leaving hospital)
and asked about religion, he tried  to explain to that poor clerk that
while he (the father) was Christian, the babe was not, as one is not a
C. till one is baptized.  The clerk  did not understand it, and in the
end simply wrote down under religion: Protestant.  BTW in spite of the
wish  of  the  parents  that  the child  should  have  *also*  Israeli
citizenship this was refused for the reasons I gave above.

>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.

This being an internal American issue and I rather pass on that.   :-)

 Shana Tova,

 Michael Shimshoni


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 95 22:11:01 -0800
Subject: Klal Yisroel

I don't wish to get involved with the political discussion about what
right Americans have to get involved in the politics of Israel.  (I am
likely to get too hot :-) I would like to address the issue raised by
Ari Shapiro regarding Jews in the Diaspora being part of Klal Yisorel.
He brings a proof from Horiyot (3a) and the bull brought when the Bet
Din causes the majority of the Jews to sin.  I think the reason that
Jews in the Diaspora are not included in the count are because of
communications.  They were less likely to be affected by the erroneous
ruling of the Court.  Proof of this can be found by flipping the page.
Horiyot 3b(in the Mishnah) says that if the Court ruled erroneously and
corrected its error, but someone erred based on that, if they went
overseas they are exempt from a personal offering.  Ben Azai explains
that this is since the person who went overseas could not have heard
that the Court overruled its previous error.  Every Jew is part of Klal
Yisorel.  Just as our Shul couldn't use two Jews from somewhere else to
help us make a Minyan this morning, the effect of the erroneous ruling
does not calculate those on whom the ruling had no effect.



From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 95 20:09:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Move to Israel

<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.

The land of Israel is where every Jew is supposed to live, period. See my 
previous post about how only Jews living in Israel are full members of Klal
Yisrael. Statements like the above are ridiculous, if we all would move to
Israel we wouldn't need the US. We read in the Kinos on Tisha Bav a kinah
abut the calamity that befell the Jewish communities of the Rhineland. The
Artscroll Kinnos says the following in the name of the SMA(an early 

"the Jewish community of Worms suffered far more persecutions, pogroms and
evil decrees than any other congregations.  The kehillah was founded by 
Jewish exiles who made their way to Germany following the Destruction of 
the First Temple.  After seventy years of exile many Jews returned from 
Babylon to Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem, but none of them returned from 
Worms.  The community in Jerusalem wrote to the kehillah in Worms and urged
them to join their new settlement in Jerusalem... Instead they responded, 
'You stay where you are in the great Jerusalem, and we will continue to 
stay where we are in our little Jerusalem!'  This arrogant response was due
to the prosperity and prestige the Jews of Worms enjoyed in the eyes of the
local gentiles and their princes." Unfortunately the Jewish community in 
Ameroca is repeating this fatal mistake. I hope the Jewish Community 
realizes it before it suffers the same fate.

Ari Shapiro


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 10:32:41 -0400
Subject: Ownership of Land

     Rabbi Teitz says
>> Since the land is mine, I should have a right to comment on matters that
>> affect that land.

    Ownership involves both priveleges and responsibilities. Is Rabbi
Teitz willing to pay taxes on that Biblical inheritance land? (taxes not
donations) If all Jews around the world would pay taxes on their
"Israeli" land it would make life a lot easier for Israelis.

>> 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.

    Rabbi Teitz turns staying in America into a mitzvah. I was brought
up that exile was a punishment for sins not a reward. I get the
impression that he is saying that galut Jews have a right to state their
opinion to protect "their" land. But if the advice is wrong and things
get rough then they have an obligation to run away to save Jewry. To me
this sounds like the all the evils of absentee ownership, the ultimate
kibitzer.  On the contrary I think Rabbi Teitz's arguments demonstrate
why non-israelis should not get involved. Their perspective is to see
the loss of land etc. but they ignore all the risks because it really
doesn't affect them.

    In simplistic non-halakhic terms Israelis are tired of another war
every decade or so. Reading in the newspapers of what Sadaam Hussein had
Israelis are afraid of future missiles with chemical, biological or even
nuclear warheads. Most of the Israelis that favor the peace negotiations
do so in the hope that the risks involved are less than the risks of a
future war. Those opposed to the negotiations feel that the Oslo
agreements increase and not decrease the risk. Either way the decisions
made today can impact on the lives of many Israelis.  One cannot give
advice without knowing what is like to wage a war.  In terms of women I
think that the mothers and wives of the soldiers have the roughest job
of all. Staying in a sealed room hearing missiles overhead is no fun.

    On a more halakhic front Rabbi Teitz says
>> they might be giving away a parcel of land that belongs to me 
>> ( my biblical inheritance )

   Since the laws of Shemitta and Yovel have lapsed I don't see that any
Jew automatically has a particular parcel of land in Israel. Any land
sold over the centuries no longer returns to the original owner. Land
seized in wars is subject to ye-ush (halakhic abandonment) and again
cannot be claimed. There is a concept that every Jew has four amot in
Israel.  This is a fictitious four amot for halakhic purposes. It does
not refer to a specific piece of land.
    When the Messiah comes I assume there will be some redivision of the
land (hopefully accounting for those already owning land). Is there any
source that this division will be based on the original division in the
days of Moshe and Joshua? According to many opinions the ten tribes will
not return in the days of the Messiah. Hence the land in Shomron
certainly has no "Biblical" owners today.

   In all this discussion I have purposely avoided defining an
"Israeli".  It certainly is not defined by citizenship. Someone living
in Israel but not a citizen is entitled to participate in all debates
(even votes in local elections but not national elections). Someone born
in Israel but living in LA has Israeli citizenship but as far as I am
concerned no further rights. Based on previous posts I am willing to
concede more to people with children in Israel, homes in Israel, people
who have come to Israel's help in past emergencies. I am not willing to
concede anything to people whose only connection is their ancestral home
in Israel and their determination to save Jewry by staying in America.

Eli Turkel


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 15:00:00 -0400
Subject: Re: This land is my land

I think Jay Bailey totally misunderstood my posting on the issue of
whether I have a right to discuss or protest what happens in Israel.

The intent of my post was to lay claim to a right to voice my opinion,
not to vote.  In fact, I specifically said that the right to actually
decide, which is what voting is, belongs only to those living in Israel.

However, to claim that I can not voice my opinion because I do not live
there is wrong.  Being linked to the land allows me a certain right to
let those people who are there know how I feel about how they manage my
investment.  But the ultimate decision is in the hands of the investment
managers.  I am just telling them that I feel they are doing a lousy

About taking the rights without the obligations...I do abide by every
obligation that the State of Israel imposes on Jews outside of Israel.
In fact, being a toshav chutz ( non-resident citizen ) I take on all
obligations of an Israeli citizen living outside of Israel.  The
consulate has yet to notify me of an obligation to pay taxes, or sent me
a notice of where to live.  But that does not limit my right to speak
out on what I feel are the errors of the government.



End of Volume 21 Issue 50