Volume 22 Number 02
                       Produced: Tue Nov 14 23:28:54 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Chaim Schild]
Rabin & Gedaliah
         [Bill Page]
Rabin ?Z"l? and our responsibility
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Yom Hashishi on Yitzchak Rabin
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: <SCHILDH@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 08:58:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rabin

Quoting Mr. Steinberg:

>I continue to be repulsed by reports of Jews celebrating the murder of
>Yitzhak Rabin -- and by some of the postings to 'Tachlis.' These
>postings are not only disgusting, but also off topic...
>As I mentioned in my previous post, the martyrdom of a man for a cause
>he believes in has nothing to do with politics......

[CAPs removed by moderator] and also off the topic of this list are your
comments. I believe mail-jewish is not supposed to be a
political-centered list but one based on halachic/ torah based
discussion. There are plenty of lists to subscribe where israeli
politics are the ikar. The day after the murder, I requested that Avi
does not let this topic dominate the list politically and I will repeat
that request publicly.

Mr. Steinberg's post and others like it do not belong on this list. If
people want to discuss whether halacha permits Rabin's murder, fine.
If they want to know the perush of lyrics, ok.  If they want to know
how severe an aveira, Rabin committed by giving away land that HaShem
gave us and that the AVRAHAM AVINU bought a grave in to bury his wife,
please go ahead.


[I respectfully disagree with Chaim and feel that these discussions for
the most part are not Israeli politics, and have a place on this
list. Mod.]


From: Bill Page <Page@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 10:55:28 -0600
Subject: Rabin & Gedaliah

Some have drawn an analogy between the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin,
z"l, and the Arlozoroff murder.  But it also resembles the assassination
of Gedaliah by Yishmael ben Netanya around 586 BCE.  Gedaliah had been
appointed governor of Judea by Babylonian authorities after the
Babylonian conquest.  Radical Jews led by Yishmael, who viewed Gedaliah
as a collaborator and a traitor, lured him to a meeting and killed him.
Despite warnings, Gedaliah attended the meeting, believing that no Jew
would kill another Jew.  Some, like Jeremiah, had hoped that the Temple
might be rebuilt under Gedaliah's rule.  After the assassination, the
Babylonians imposed direct rule, and all hope for an immediate
rebuilding the Temple was lost.  For over 2500 years, we have fasted on
3 Tishrei because of Yishmael's heinous deed. Yet the murder of Yitzhak
Rabin, z"l, by Yigal Amir (may his name be blotted out) is worse--the
assassination of a democratically elected leader of a Jewish state.
Like Gedaliah, Rabin was seeking a peaceful and practical accommodation
with an enemy.  But if any Jew in Israel objected to the terms of
Rabin's peace, he could express himself at the polls.

Next Tzom Gedaliah, my  thoughts will be on Yitzhak Rabin, z"l.



From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 01:26:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rabin ?Z"l? and our responsibility

> On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Joseph Steinberg wrote:

> > There are no politics at issue here. Mr. Rabin Z'L was martyred for what
> > he believed in. Whether or not his beliefs were correct is
> > irrelevant. An elected Jewish head-of-state was murdered by his brother,
> > because he (the victim) acted upon his fervent beliefs -- beliefs that
> > he could help his people, that he could better the world.

	Rabin Z"l?  Why Z"l?  When someone passes on, if he is a tzaddik, 
we say Zichrono livracha.  This means IMHO that we should recall him when 
blessing someone.  That is, we should bless others, "You should be like 
such and such was".  However, despite Mr. Rabin's incredible exploits on 
a national scale, I would find myself hard-pressed to bless someone that 
they should be like Mr. Rabin, at least as far as Yiddishkeit goes.  
While I don't expect one to say "Shem R'sha'im Yirkov" chas v'shalom, I 
would expect that one would use the moderate "Alav Hashalom".

> > That we as a nation could sink so low is truly a tragedy of tremendous
> > proportions.
> > How could we have degenerated to such a point where one of us could
> > commit such a heinous crime -- and with no remorse?
> > How could we sink so low that a Ben Brit could believe that it was the
> > right thing to do to kill Israel's Prime Minister?

	I'm sorry but who gave you the right to consider this the 
collective sin of the entire people.  I think that the people of Israel, 
in particular the religious people, have suffered a great deal, not only 
from the Arabs like everyone else, but from their own fellow Jews.  There 
has been systematic efforts to tear out Yiddishkeit by its very roots in 
Israel and sometimes there is a straw that breaks the camels back.  
Fortunately, we have Torah and Torah teaches us the great value of life.  
That it didn't happen until now is proof of the religious people's 
tenacity to hold on as much as possible.  If one lunatic cracks, it is 
not indicative of the entire nation.  Especially since the majority of 
the nation has jumped to condemn the action.
	We find that the Gemora says that one of the things that caused
the destruction of the 1st Bais Hamikdash was Sh'fichus Damim [murder -
Mod.].  The gemora asks for proof of this from the p'sukim that there
was such widespread murder.  The gemora replies that Menashe filled
Yerusholayim from end to end with blood.  But the gemora doesn't stop
there.  The gemora says that this posuk means that Menashe killed the
prophet Yeshaya.
	That is, one man was killed by the king and that is enough to be
considered as if the whole Jewish people were engaged in murder.  Why?
The general answer is because the nation did not protest.  They were
incumbent to protest and they didn't.
	I believe that what we have heard the past week and a half is
indicative of the fact that we have protested.  Those who have praised
the murder are in the minority.  They will have to have their own
	As I said before, this guy was a lunatic.  Why?  Because he 
obviously didn't study Torah properly.  I doubt, and more than that I'm 
sure that nobody in our yeshivos would do something like that.  See the 
gemora in Makkos where a court which hands down the death penalty once in 
SEVENTY years is considered a KILLING Bais Din.  Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi 
Tarfon said that would they have been on a Bais Din, they would never 
bring a sentence of capital punishment upon someone as they would always 
try to find some loophole why not to do so.  Every yeshiva bochur knows 
the famous story of the Brisker Rav and Rav Herzog.  The Brisker Rav was 
not generally happy with Rav Herzog but when Rav Herzog was very ill and 
the Brisker Rav found out that they're thinking of a successor for him, 
he sent an urgent message to those in charge warning them that they 
should desist at once because if word should reach Rav Herzog that such 
is being discussed it cannot fail to bring about a worsening of his 
condition and that would be outright R'TZICHA, outright MURDER.
	There is so much material about the value of a human life in the 
Torah and Gemora, one would have to have spent very little time actually 
learning to have arrived at this conclusion.
	And also, whether the group was involved or not, it;'s
irrelevant, Mr. Amir filled his head with Kahana ideology which
according to almost all of our poskim is the opposite of Torah behaviour
and Torah outlook.  He was going through the motions in the Bais
hamedrash [study hall - Mod.] and filling his head and spirit with
things which are hepech hatorah.  I can't see the collective
responsibility here as if we all did it.

> > As I mentioned in my previous post, the martyrdom of a man for a cause
> > he believes in has nothing to do with politics. Whether or not G-d
> > decided that Rabin should go to his grave with blood because he murdered
> > Jews off the shore of Jaffa 50 years ago is G-d's business.

 	Yes, it's G-d's business how to pay him back, but it's our
business also to pay attention to how we feel about such a person.  It's
not only that incident, it's the entire person.  His anti-Torah attitude
(the government he led and the cabinet members he chose, formed the most
anti-Torah government that we've seen in decades) give us the impression
that despite the incredible feats of courage he displayed and the
strategies that he developed, when we as Torah Jews come to evaluate the
feeling we have about a person, it is in the way that he is portrayed
regarding Torah observance and strengthening Torah.  Should we think of
him as our hero, our leader who we look up to, and cry when he passes
on.  Or should we feel sorry that he did what he did and was what he was
and try to bring more Jews from that stage.  And we also have a duty to
look for evidence of Hashem's Hashgacha [providence - Mod.] in
everything that happens in the world.  This incident brought to mind
another and leads many to feel that justice was finally served.  On the
other hand, others who have passed on without suffering the same
consequences, our usual response is that G-d has all of eternity to take
care of the matter.  Perhaps, Mr. Rabin was lucky that it was payed up
in this world and not in the next.

> > That the
> > Jewish Prime Minister, elected by Jews, representing Jews, fighting for
> > what he considered the best opportunities to be for the Jewish people,
> > was MURDERED by another Jew -- that is every Jew's business.

	Yes, and our foremost business is to protest and unequivocally
shout that we are not behind the murderer.  We condemn his action in
every sense of the world.  He is a kal sheb'kalim [low of the low,
simple of the simple (idiomatic expression) - Mod.], to take something
so serious onto his own puny shoulders, to make up a nevua [prophecy -
Mod.] by saying that G-d told him to, to cause a chilul hashem in the
eyes of the nations and our secular brethren, to kill someone who he had
no halachic right to kill, to treat something so serious so lightly.  It
wasn't an emergency.  He could have called up all the big poskim in
Eretz Yisroel and gotten all those negative replies.  But no, he thought
he was so great, he studied Torah and Halacha all his life, he can
decide himself.  Maybe a shailah [question - Mod.] in Hilchos N'tilas
Yodayim [Laws of washing the hands - Mod.] is for him and even that I
doubt.  But no his haughtiness led him wrong, he shouldn't have been
such a big ba'al ga'ava [haughty - Mod.], if he would have had middos,
they would have stopped him.  And he belongs to a group which also
thinks that they can make serious decisions against the halachic
majority.  He was a man for himself belonging to a group for itself
making judgments for everyone else.  It's better he should not have
learned.  For every extra halacha he learned, the chillul Hashem is
greater.  I can't scream any louder.  But this is our collective
responsibility IMHO.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 20:23:50 GMT
Subject: Yom Hashishi on Yitzchak Rabin

This last Friday's *Yom Hashishi* (an independent religious weekly)
carries an article by Rav Shear Yashuv Cohen (chief rabbi of Haifa) on
Yitzchak Rabin. The two knew each other from the Israeli War of
Independence on.  In his article, Rav Cohen mentions:

a) Rabin loved Tanach and devoted time to learning it, as well as 
learning a certain amount of Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash.

b) At a dinner for Ariel in New York, Rabin spoke and said that "I hear 
the footsteps of the Messiah." He then listed three of what he referred 
to as miracles: the fact that Iraq had attacked Kuwait, leading to the 
dismantling on the tremendous military machine which had posed such a 
threat to Israel; the collapse of the Soviet regime, which helped bring 
about the possibility of real peace in the region; the fall of the Iron 
Curtain in Eastern Europe and the permission granted to the mass 
immigration of Jews to Israel.

The *Algemeiner Zhornal* of the time reported on the "fourth miracle" - 
that a secular Zionist leader would express himself in such religious 

Rav Yisrael Eichler, in another article in Yom Hashishi, notes that
whenever the spoke, Rabin defined himself as a Jew and wanted with all
his heart to do his duty as a Jew. He agreed that the Jewish education
in Israel had failed totally. It was he who resisted the pressures of
various forces to force all Yeshiva students into the army. He wanted to
know more about Yiddishkeit, and complained that he had not been
taught. (Another article, by Yossi Ben Aharon, mentions that one Rosh
Hashanah, when he was the ambassador in the US, Rabin went to a
Conservative synagogue. When he returned, he said that if he ever became
religious, he would want to be Orthodox).

Rav Menachem Porush, in that same issue, mentions that Rabin was not 
happy that his government had to rest on Meretz for its majority, and 
wanted to have religious parties join it as well, and he was upset that 
he had been painted into a corner by Meretz so that Agudah had been 
unable to join the government.

Rav Porush mentions that when the question of importing non-kosher meat 
came up, he, Rav Porush, shuttled back and forth between Rav Shlomo 
Zalman Auerbach and Yitschak Rabin, to formulate the proper text. 
Rabin, he said, showed a very great deal of respect for Rabbi Shlomo 
Zalman's views. Similarly, when the question of El Al flying on Shabbat 
came up, Rabin crushed the proposal.

I would also like to add comments from two other articles in *Yom 

a) Yehudah Wachsman, father of the late Nachshon Wachsman, hy"d, noted 
how, just before Rosh Hashanah this year (the same day the Oslo 2 
accords were signed), even though it was an extremely hectic day, Rabin 
called him personally to wish the family Leshanah Tovah.

b) Shmuel Hollander, who is religious and a former Shaliach Aliyah in 
New York, and who now is the Government Secretary (the one with the 
kippah sitting next to the prime minister in all the photographs of the 
Israeli cabinet), writes how Rabin surrounded himself with many 
religious staff members, including Hollander himself and Elyakim 
Rubinstein (whom Hollander succeeded - Rubinstein is now a judge), the 
deputy director-general of the Prime Minister's office, and the Prime 
Minister's Advisor on Terror. Hollander adds that in all his time with 
the prime minister, including travelling abroad with him, he never had 
any problems with Shabbat or Kashrut. Similarly, when a loophole in the 
law made it possible to import non-kosher meat (and the cheaper 
non-kosher imported meat might lead families who kept kosher to stop 
doing so), Rabin worked unceasingly to change the law. Hollander adds 
that while some might see this simply as a political ploy to gain 
votes, he, Hollander, knew for a fact that Rabin did this "out of a 
strong internal belief that this was the right thing to do if one 
wished to preserve the Jewish character of the State."

On a personal level, Hollander relates that once, very late at night, 
he brought Rabin a note that needed to be signed. After Rabin signed it 
and apologized profusely for keeping him up so late, he asked Hollander 
if he was going home. Hollander replied that he had to go to the office 
to finish the processing of the note. Rabin asked him how he was to go, 
and Hollander replied that a government driver was waiting to take him. 
Rabin then went down to the government car, shook the hand of the 
astonished driver, and thanked him warmly.

All of the above bears out Rav Amital's comments that our love for
non-religious Jews is not necessarily one of "Ahavat Hinnam" -
undeserved love - but among them, too, there are those worthy of our
love because of how they serve the Jewish people.

           Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem 97280, Israel
    Phone: 972-2-864712: Fax: 972-2-862041
   EMail address: <himelstein@...>


End of Volume 22 Issue 2