Volume 21 Number 98
                       Produced: Mon Nov 13 21:09:01 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Rabin Assassination
         [Steve White]
Rabin murder found in Torah
         [Mordechai Perlman]


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 16:48:04 -0500
Subject: Rabin Assassination

I would like to thank everyone who has written so thoughtfully since the
time of this great tragedy and chilul HaShem.  I too, have felt a need
to express myself.  But given the articulate comments that have been
made already, I will limit myself to a few responses.

From: Matthew Levitt 
> Personally, I think we need to strive to create a value of
>theocentrism among all Jews and Israelis (go back a read Migdal Bavel
>and the immediately juxtaposed Bechira of Avraham Avinu), but not a
>theocratic State.  We have a problem in that democracy and tolerance are
>all nice a wonderful until they ram right into the traditional belief
>that all Jews really should be Yirei Hashem.  We don't believe that
>doing anything you want is OK.  But the answer to this contradiction in
>terms is social and communal, not political and national (as I see it).
>Jews, "even" Frum Jews, certainly have a rightfull place in politics.
>Frumkeit does not necesarily breed extremism if we stick to halacha in
>the most honest way (no scandals of bribes, no...killing) and we deal
>just as honestly in our politics by totally refraining from self-serving
>rhetoric (no comparing fellow Jews to Hitler -yemach smo, no interfering
>in the smooth operation of national security....)

I think this very neatly summarizes our need to encourage our fellow
Jews in Torah and at the same our obligation not to resort to non-Torah
values and methodologies to do so.

My working theory about all this -- which isn't complete, and in full
may not be appropriate for this list -- in part says that on the one
hand, the right, including the dati right, at best showed disrespect
toward the left, and at worst slandered and said motzi shem ra and
loshon hara against the left.  The left, in turn, acted in kind, by not
showing the right respect, and not allowing the right ample opportunity
to demonstrate and protest peacefully.
 Which fed the right, which fed the left ...  Which came first, the
chicken or the egg, I don't know, but Torah Jews should not be drawn
into disrespect, slander and loshon hara -- ever.

From: Shmuel Himelstein 

>Now I have a number of questions:
>a) ASSUMING (and this is a major assumption) that one who gives back the
>land is worthy of death, where is there any place in Halachah that tells
>us that this punishment can be administered by any two-bit punk who can
>afford the price of a gun? Whatever happened to the rule that only the
>Sanhedrin can administer any such punishment?
[b) deleted]
>c) More important - throughout my life I have learned that there are
>only three areas which take precedence over human life: being pressed to
>engage in murder, idolatry, or various sexual crimes. Never have I ever
>seen any ruling in any of our Sages that Eretz Israel is another
>(fourth?) such category. Indeed, there are two modern-day rabbis who
>have propounded this thesis, namely Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook and Rav Shlomo
>Goren. Am I missing something when I say that normative Judaism
>throughout the millennia has not propounded (and all the more so not
>accepted) such a view?
>d) If, as I believe I am right, this is a new doctrine, isn't there
>something basically, fundamentally wrong with our education, if a new,
>radical view such as this can be (i) propounded, and (ii) accepted as
>Divine Writ, with enough binding force to permit one to go and kill
>another person in cold blood?

I agree with everything that Shmuel says above.  I think that I can
answer his question (c) above, however, and unfortunately, in the
process I will show that the level of "nuttiness" required to get where
we've gotten wasn't really all that great.  To try to be very succinct

One big problem that we have is that the halacha l'ma'ase (practical
halacha) on "defense of the Land" is much less well established than
just about any other area of halacha l'ma'ase.  I'll take a correction
if that's not right, but the fact is that between the time of the
Destruction of the Second Bet HaMikdash and present (or at least since
Bar Kokhva), there really haven't been too many practical she'elot
(questions) on this subject, because it has not been in our power to do
anything about it.  In other areas of halacha, we have a long line of
discussion, usually going back to the Mishna and Gemara, and winding
through Rishonim and Aharonim to present Poskim.  Here, not so much.

What's more: here we do have some compelling examples that state that
CONDITIONS EXIST under which either zealotry (cf. Parshat Pinhas) or
defense of the Land (cf. Joshua, David, or the Maccabees) may not only
be permissible, and not only even be required, but also that they
suspend the "normal workings" of halacha for a time.  (Note that I do
not state that they suspend _halacha_ -- only that halachic rules that
we usually take for granted don't always apply under these conditions.)

Now sometimes, the sources discuss this.  In particular, with respect to
zealotry, discussions throughout the ages narrow the legal
permissibility of this so that in practical terms, it's nearly
impossible to create conditions permitting an action undertaken outside
of the "usual" rules of halacha due to zealotry.

But I don't think anyone discusses defense of the Land much -- neither
as _being_ a "fourth category" nor as _not being_ a fourth category.  So
we have this halachic vacuum out here -- something we're really not used
to, and don't cope with very well -- and we're not sure what to do with

Well, nature abhors a vacuum, and so the extremists fill the vacuum by
saying all sorts of things about "defense of the Land" -- and citing the
few Biblical and/or Maccabean precedents for extraordinary activities.
And up to a point, many of us who may have opposed the peace process, or
even were ambivalent about it -- may have secretly felt in our hearts,
"suppose that's right," and given the extremists some latitude.

At that, though, we felt there were a couple of safe things on our side.
 First, most of the protest activity so far had been in the form of
relatively benign civil disobedience.  Now halachically, civil
disobedience (which violates "dina d'malchuta dina") was not usually
encouraged much historically, for fear of provoking the authorities into
a pogrom or something like that.  So there are really only two ways to
justify civil disobedience under "dina d'malchuta dina": (1) declaring
the government invalid; or (2) assuming that today in Western
democracies civil disobedience is _customary_, and therefore doesn't
_really_ violate "dina d'malchuta dina." The extremists often cite (1),
but most of us assumed that was rhetorical, and that what they really
meant was (2).  That's one big mistake we made.

Second, normally halacha is a very conservative force.  It doesn't let
us do _just anything_.  So if there is new ground to cover halachically,
whether in "defense of the Land" or in use of electricity on Shabbat, we
often have some precedent to hold us back from really radical change.
But not here, for there isn't much ground to go on in defense of the
Land.  So as the civil disobedience became more escalated, the usual
conservative restraining force of Halacha wasn't there in this case.

There were warnings.  When we didn't put supporters of Baruch Goldstein
in herem (or financial isolation, or whatever passes for herem these
days), we lost an opportunity to restrain radicals halachically.  And
when some prominent rabbis started calling on soldiers to disobey orders
in the name of halacha -- well, that's certainly outside the realm of
mere "civil disobedience," and took the debate to a whole different
place, where the government and halacha ostensibly clash.  And finally,
there was a warning in that much of this whole debate on "defense of the
Land" has been couched not in terms of "defense of the Land," where the
halachic precedent is weak, but in "pikuach nefesh," where it is strong,
and lets you "get away with" just about anything.  Normally, in cases of
pikuach nefesh we act to save a life first, then ask questions later.
Here, one side invoked a "pikuach nefesh" argument, and it froze the
rest of us.  But here, not only was the "pikuach nefesh" only safeq
(questionable), but the opposite argument had an equal "safeq pikuach
nefesh" weight to it -- only we weren't firm enough in making it.  There
was no restraint to the radicals.

And the result of that was rabbis talking about the fact that it
wouldn't be so bad if Rabin died, if that's what it would take to stop
the peace process.  Now I don't know exactly what they said.  But even
if "dan l'kaf z'chut" they only meant that in their hearts they wouldn't
mind if an _Arab_ ever killed Rabin, once they expressed such a
sentiment aloud, was it really such a stretch of craziness that one of
their talmidim (or now, it seems possible, a group) would fulfill their
rebbe's wishes and pull the trigger?  And now not only do we have a
death, but also a world-wide web of Chillul HaShem which could take
years to reverse, G-d forbid.

As I wrote in my website condolence to the Rabin family, I only pray
that the KB''H does justice on the murderers -- and then shows mercy to
the rest of us for failing to muzzle our own extremists.  For if we get
His pure justice, we're in deep trouble.

Steven White


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 03:00:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Rabin murder found in Torah

[Note: I have previously recieved a much shorter version of this from
several people, and had declined to publish it. Mordechai, besides
presenting a fuller and more interesting version, in my opinion at
least, has put enough of the important words around it that I feel
comfortable posting this version. Mod.]

	I must make a preface to what I'm going to write so that people
shouldn't get the wrong idea.
	According to Jewish Tradition everything which happens or exists
is found in the Torah.  In recent years this has become more easily
shown through the use of equidistant letter codes in the Torah.
Although this system was known before, with the advent of the computer,
these codes have been more easily and quickly discovered.  Now, these
codes cannot prove anything regarding the justice of the events, just
that they have been figured into the Torah by G-d in case of eventuality
of them occurring.  If it occurred differently, it would be found
differently.  It should only add to the marvel that is the Torah, it
should not be used to show the justice of an opinion.
	A well-meaning fellow applied this system on his computer to the
murder of Rabin and came up with something startling.  Usually, these
coded sequences are equidistant by a factor of certainly more than one.
However, shockingly, this hint was almost read straight.
	In the parsha that was read the Shabbos before the murder on
that Motzo'ai Shabbos, there is an account of the Covenant between the
parts.  The parsha says that Avrohom Avinu was told that his children
would inherit the land of Israel.  He asked, "How do I know that I will
inherit it?"  G-d proceeds to make a covenant with him.  Several animals
are split into two and in the midst of a deep sleep, Avrohom is told by
G-d that his descendants will be in exile but will return to the land of
Israel afterwards.  Afterwards, it becomes night and a flame of fire and
smoke goes through the space between the split animals and a covenant
has been made between G-d and Avrohom that his children will be given
the land from N'har Mizrayim till the Euphrates.
	The parsha already seems to be talking about something similar
to what is happening in Israel, a covenant which involves the giving of
	However, we must take a closer look at the verses.  Reading the
posuk (Its B'reishis 15:17) we read, "Va'y'hi Hashemesh Bo'oh Va'aloto
Hoyo V'hineh Sanur Oshon V'lapid Eish Asher Ovar Bein Hagzorim
Ho'eileh".  This translates to "And the sun had set and the day became
dark and behold a smoking furnace and a flame of fire had passed between
these pieces."
	Now we will read again but by breaking up the words differently.
First "Va'y'hi Hashemesh Bo'oh Va'aloto Hoyo" , "And the sun had set and
it became dark".
	Next, the last two letters of Hoyo read with the first two
letters of V'hineh, spell out G-d's name.
	Next, we read starting from "Sanur".  T'nu Ra'ash, which means
loosely, "Make a rally" (a rally being something which is a tumult).
	Next, the next 4 letters can be re-arranged (it need only be
done two the last 2 letters) to read Nofel.
	We read, "Nofel Yad Eish Eish Rah B'Rabin (skip a heh) Gozar
(skip a Yud mem) Hokeyl" Translates to: "A bad hand of fire, shooting
twice (two times eish) against Rabin, G-d has decreed".
	Next, Yigal Amir's name can be found within the last two words
as every letter in his name is found in those words.
	Before I continue, I must remind all that it doesn't mean that
Mr. Amir was told by G-d, nor that he had to commit murder.  It only
hints to a possibility which did occur. And since it did occur, G-d
meant for Mr. Rabin to die, but left it up to the free choice that
everyone has whether he would be murdered or not.
	I can't re-inforce this point too strongly because a kid who
heard this came to the wrong conclusion.  It took me a good part of an
hour to explain to him the error of his thinking and I'm still not sure
I got through to him.
	Now, this happened on the 41-st day after Rosh Hashana.  At
least it happened in many parts of the world on that day and at least on
the Motzo'ei Shabbos of that day in Israel which still has some
attachment to Shabbos.  If we count 41 words from the first Eish, we
arrive at the word Shana, the end of the words, "Arba Mei'os Shana".
Looking at the words "Mei'os Shana", we see a startling thing.  It's
composed of the letters: Mem, Aleph, Vov, Tov, Shin, Nun, Heh.  These
letters can be re-arranged to form: Mem Aleph, Heh, Tov Shin Nun Vov.
This would indicate 5756 years plus 41 days, which is when it happened.
	The posuk previous to the main one says, "Avon Ho'emori", which
can be arranged to spell, "Avon Ho'amir", the sin of Amir.  And in the
posuk before that it says, "And you shall pass on (literally, you shall
go to your fathers) in peace, you will be buried ..."  It can also be
read "And you shall pass on, because of peace you will be buried."

	Anyway food for thought.  And please, anybody that wants to pass
it on, please I beg of you, pass it on in its entirety, I don't want
anybody to get the wrong idea.

			Mordechai Perlman


End of Volume 21 Issue 98