Volume 21 Number 88
                       Produced: Wed Nov  8 23:58:35 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Frank Silbermann]
Rabin's Assassination and funeral
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Right Wing Movements
         [Josh Rapps]
The Murder
         [Zvi Weiss]
Yigal Amir and Chillul Hashem
         [Joe Goldstein]
Yigal Amir's Halachic Point
         [Joseph Steinberg]


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 14:32:11 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Assassination

Chaim Wasserman (mlj 21,#81) wrote the following (to me) non-sequiter
on the murder of prime minister Rabin:

>	[3] We finally learned how to protect ourselves from a world who has
>	been killing and plundering Jews for millenia.  What will it take to
>	protect the Jew from his own self now that he/she is expert in firing
>	deadly weapons?

What does expertese in firing deadly weapons have to do with anything?

It is not so difficult to kill with _any_ weapon at a distance of an
arm's length if you surprise your victim and you don't care about
getting caught.

(I doubt it took any more expertise with weapons than had the Jewish
youth who assassinated a Nazi diplomat in 1938 Paris, thus triggering
the Kristalnacht.)

The assassin was _able_ to kill because he _chose_ to kill.  If few Jews
commit murder, it's not due to any inability, but simply because we
_choose_ not to kill.  The only questions are whether this murder
indicates that our moral fabric is fraying, and if so, what we do about

Why did some Jews celebrate the assassination?  I think this is due to a
convergence of several trends of the last few decades (not all bad)
among some religious Jews:

1) Many religious leaders have convinced their followers that it is
   meritorious to follow religious leaders' advice without question --
   that this was an essential of frumkeit.  This works fine when those
   leaders tell us to put on Tephillin, but not so well when they tell
   us that an opposition leader is a murderous traitor who deserves to

2) To correct the error of judging Torah by transitory secular values,
   many of us have overcompensated by developing _contempt_ for
   transitory secular values.  Sometimes, a reluctance to accept a
   conflict between Torah and secular philosophy can deepen our
   understanding of Torah, but too many now respond to such conflicts
   with a knee-jerk dismissal of secular concerns.  Thus, we raise
   children who lack any feelings of discomfort when discussing, say,
   the extermination of the seven nations of Canaan.  If such a child is
   convinced that it's a mitzvah to kill the prime minister, he will
   have no inhibitions against doing it.

3) We seem too fond of hyperbole and harsh polemic.  In America, many
   prominent citizens are reluctant to enter politics and thus expose
   themselves to the vicious, mud-slinging atmosphere of contending with
   political opponents.  Yet, candidates who have been active in
   _Jewish_ organizational politics find this atmosphere refreshingly
   gentle.  (In fact, the outrageous abuse President Bush received in
   the pages of the Jewish Press convinced me to vote for him in 1992.)

I raise issues 1) and 2) without recommending a solution.  No doubt
people with far more wisdom and understanding than me are already aware
of these problems.

As for the harsh polemic, we must recognize that with power must come
restraint.  We might do well to study the British habit of

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 23:52:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re:  Rabin's Assassination and funeral

	We are all shocked that a Torah learning Jew could go ahead and 
kill another Jew on the basis of "halacha".  It is an act that ought to 
bother us greatly and cause us to do much soul-searching of how to 
prevent such a thing from occurring again, at least on the part of B'nei 
	There has been a great outpouring of sympathy on behalf of the 
family of Mr. Rabin, the nation of Israel, on the part of people the 
world over, and especially from Jews.  Some have held themselves back 
from sympathy because they didn't feel that Mr. Rabin, on account of his 
policies in government (aside from the peace plan), such as the condoning 
of anti-religious sentiment within his party, etc, deserved the great 
honour heaped upon him.
	However, today, we in Canada were made to hear a startling piece 
of history which leaves us wondering.  The CBC (the government radio 
station) had a call-in on their show "As it Happens" regarding the 
shooting of Mr. Rabin.  A Jewish caller called in and stated that he felt 
that Mr. Rabin deserved what he got and received as good as he gave.  He 
said that his father was one of the survivors of the tragic incident of 
the sinking of the Altalena, the ship that the Hagana sank in 1948, a 
ship sailed to Israel by the Irgun.  The Hagana wanted to control the 
arms from that boat completely and when the Irgun refused and insisted on 
the arrangement made with the Hagana prior.  The Hagana responded with 
firepower.  They sank the ship and even fired on those Jews from the ship 
who were in the water already having jumped ship.  19 Jews were killed by 
the Hagana that day.  Who took an active part in that incident and 
actually commanded the Hagana group?  None other that Yitzchak Rabin.  
Although the caller would not condone the action of the rotzeach in the 
shooting of Mr. Rabin, he would have no sympathy for the nirtzach 
	Seems like a case of Hille Hazaken's saying (Pirkei Avos 2:7) 
"Since you drowned others, so you yourself were drowned ..." as well as a 
display of Is Din V'is Dayan, there is judgement in this world and their 
is a Judge.
	What to make of this startling revelation?  There's no 
discounting the story, it's well known history for those in Israel in 
'48.  It happened in June 1948.  A principal in a high school here in 
Toronto recalled the facts to his students because he was in Israel in 
1948 and remembered as well.  Should we sympathize with the nirtzach 
regardless.  Should we forgive and forget?  May we?  and Why?



From: <jr@...> (Josh Rapps)
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 13:47 EST
Subject: Right Wing Movements

I was watching coverage of the funeral for Yitzchak Rabin and was upset
by the remarks I heard from what appeared to be US Olim that were part
of Kfar Tapuach, which apparrently is a Kach stronghold. Hearing the
equivalent of "Yiyasher Kochacha" by people with all the religious
trappings (huge Kippah, long beards, Tzitzis flowing, children with
similar dress running around, adults toting rifles) who apparrently
emigrated to Israel from the North America was very painful.  I then
began to think of this as a social phenomenon that perhaps needs to be
further investigated.  It strikes me that a disproportionate number of
the people who are saluting this senseless murder are North American
Olim.  Granted, perhaps it is impossible to generalize based on TV
interviews which tend to seek out the most outrageous radicals. But I
still have a "gut feel" that there is a disproportionate number of
members of the radical fringe that are, perhaps, North American Olim.

Someone noted the questionable chinuch that the murderer must have
received that would lead him to murder and create such a Chilul
Hashem. Apparently he and friends skip the parts about Aveyrot that
include a component of Chilul Hashem, let alone murder, and how
difficult and long the process of Teshuva for these acts is.  Are
American Yeshivot guilty of this questionable chinuch as well? Why are
so many of the Olim we send arriving with attitudes that replace
Shefichat Damim as one of the "Big 3" with returning land for peace?
What role has the American jewish education system played in producing
such radicals who replace Ahavat Yisrael with labeling the Prime
minister a traitor and equating Rabin with Hitler yimach shemo vzichro?

Perhaps we need to re-examine our curricula in schools, youth groups,
summer camps, baal teshuva centers and start teaching Ahavat Yisrael and
the Halachic process so that the next generation does not decide that
their interpretation of some other mitzvah should carry the death
penalty? What happens when someone decides to murder everyone who, in
their opinion, is Mechallel Shabbat?  We need to teach our youth why
Moshe called us a Goy Gadol.  That we are the people of prayer not
guns. I hope that our educational leaders look long and hard at what
could have led to such and act and the support it has received. Roshei
Yeshiva need to tell their talmidim that this is not the Derech Hashem.

In the US we also live in a society that has raised the rhetoric of hate
a few notches. I heard Robert Novak condemn the Israeli right wing for
its inciteful rhetoric (which is justified, though not by such a biased
"commentator").  Yet if one listens to demagogues like Bob Grant, who is
a strong friend of Israel, when he talks of Bill Clinton in terms that
are just as inciteful apparently Israel does not have a monopoly on such
hateful speech. I hope that people all over take this lesson to heart to
avert another tragedy.

Had Rabin been murdered by a terrorist we would have put the letters
HY'D after his name, that Hashem should avenge his death. Can we say
such a thing now that his murderer is a "ben torah"? Has he been cheated
of that as well?

josh rapps


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 09:31:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Murder

IMHO, there are some add'l issues that have to be raised...

1. When a government systmatically suppresses *peaceful* dissent (as was
reported in the case of "Women in Green", for example), why should we be
surprised when a "nut case" decides to take the Law into his own

2. When a Member of the Israeli gov't not long ago told a woman who
dissented from the gov't policy that she should go back to where she
came from (and, I beleive that this was a survivor of the Sho'ah!!), why
should we be suprised that a mentally unbalanced person will feel that
he has "no choice" but to act unilaterally?

3. When the Head of the gov't makes statements that "demonize" and
trivialize the concerns and lives of people living in YESHA (e.g., the
deliberate "downplay" of the commission report AFTER the Baruch
Goldstein horror -- a report that severely castigated the gov't), why
should we be surprised that people -- in their frustration -- and
HELPLESSNESS "go off the deep end" and commit unspeakable acts?

4. When the Secular parties *themselves* have a legacy of this sort of
action (e.g., the murder of Dr. DeHanne (Spelling??) back in the Mandate
days -- a legacy that was NEVER fully faced up to by these parties --
why shold we be surprised when a person feels that he is dealing with a

5. When the response of a gov't minister is to FURTHER restrain dissent
-- in this case by seeking to further crack down on "extremist" poarties
-- why is there the surprise that the only ones left in such
organizations are **real** extremists -- as calmer heads have been
driven out?

6. When a spokespeson of the Israeli gov't condemns the RIGHTIST "hot
talk" but does not mention the "hot talk" of the Government, what hope
have we of the real healing that is needed?

I condemn the murder that took place... If the murderer claims that he
acted upon orders from G-d, my response is that the Gemara tells who has
"Ruach Hakodesh" these days -- and the fellow is clearly not a child..

BUT if we do not honestly look at the vitriolic speech from ALL SIDES
that preceeded what happened... if we do not address the fact that the
government is NOT apparently trying to build a concensus -- just the
opposite it is trying to ram things through in a manner that can only
polarize the country... if we do not address the fact that the current
Israeli parlimentary system is being used in a manner that is likely to
drive dissenters AWAY into the "woodwork" -- then I am most afraid that
this will NOT be the only time that this happens... I wuld like to
remind people of the horror before the destruciton of the 2nd Temple --
when Sin'at Chinam was rampant and the Netziv noted that there was
murder "Leshem Shamayim" -- because people were all too ready to judge
the other party a rodef or a "moser"... and we know what the results
were THEN...  As frum people, I think that we have to (a) internalize
the issues that I mentioned above and then (b) work to bring these
matters to the attenion of the secular world... As I heard on the News
today, before there can be peace with the PLO (or any other Arab
groups), there must be peace among ourselves....



From: Joe Goldstein <JOE-G@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 17:24:18 -0500
Subject: Yigal Amir and Chillul Hashem

   It is with a very sad heart that I write this. In Judaism there is no
difference between a "simple" Jew and a prime minister. For a Jew to
kill another Jew is a terrible tragedy. For a Murderer to say he did it
"Lishmah" for him to say he has done it because he was keeping a Mitzvah
is totally insane. The Chillul Hashem generated by this is terrible.
For a poster to write that he saw a TV interview and "he looked
perfectly normal!" and then go on to question Yeshivahs, and the method
of education was part of the Chillul Hashem.

   I would just like to say that this person is SICK! No matter what he
looks like. The Gemmorah says a person sins only when a RUACH SHTUS, a
moment of insanity, enters him. However, the Torah negates the
"insanity" plea. Anyone that does an Avairah is at least momentarily
insane! He has no excuse for doing this terrible crime. No matter
whether Mr Rabin was right or wrong!

   However, to attack the Yeshiva world and the education process, is
part of the chillul hashem. It is sad that he has attended yeshivah and
considers himself a Yeshivah man. However, not everyone who has gone
thru a yeshiva comes out a tzaddik! In fact not everybody that comes out
of a yeshivah is a mensch. But this is not a new problem. Unfortunately
there were Apikorsim that came out of Slabodka. Should we have closed up
Slabodka? Where would Klall Yisroel be without Reb Aaron Kotler, Reb
Yaakov Kaminetsky and Reb Yaakov Ruderman Zichronom Livrocho. We can go
back to Antignus Ish Socho, in Pirkey avos Chapter 1 Mishna 3? He says
"do not be like a servant that serves Hashem for rewards. Rather, serve
Hashem for no rewards" He had two Talmidim who heard that and left
Yiddishkeit and became the KARAIM. Should we have "closed up" His
Yeshiva? Antignus was a link in the chain of Mesorah! How about Elisha?
He had a student by the name of GAYCHAZI Ever hear of him? Not one of
the best students one would want to have! But that does not in any way
detract from yeshivahs and the education process! To attack yeshivos
because one disagrees with the views of a student is just an extension
of the hatred that is going on in Israel and the world.

   We should all remember not everybody will agree with everybody else.
However, in real Yiddishkeit we can handle difference in opinion. We
thrive on it! But in the true Torah values a difference of opinions does
not EVER degenerate into name calling and personal attacks!

   May we all be zocheh to true peace among ourselves, and I mean the
different factions of "frum" people, and Among all of Klall Yisroel.

Yosey Goldstein


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 13:38:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Yigal Amir's Halachic Point

The point that Mr. Amir was trying to make was that Rabin (according to
his logic and that of some Rabbis who I assume never meant it to be
understood the way Amir understood it) was a Rodef. It is an undeniable
fact that more Jews were getting killed as a result of Rabin's deals with
the PLO -- Amir and company believed that it was permissible to murder
Rabin so as to stop other Jews from dying. Of course, this is absured --
and, if anything, Peres will speed up the 'Peace Process'... 
     _                      _
    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://pages.nyu.edu/~jzs7697
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


End of Volume 21 Issue 88