Volume 22 Number 07
                       Produced: Sun Nov 19 11:18:48 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Arutz-7 Op-Ed: Loving Someone with Opposing Views
         [Shmuel Jablon]
It Is My Brothers Whom I Seek
         [Shmuel Jablon]
Rav Ovadya Yosef's statement
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 11:06:49 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

There appear to have been some problems at the Shamash server site last
week. This caused #4 not be sent out, #6 to be truncated, and #3 to be
sent out twice. Hopefully, things are back working again, so we will
have a smooth week. I just resent out #4 and #6. I have also heard from
a few people that when they ftp into the mail-jewish area, the files
appear to be of zero length, or they cannot do a dir. I am currently
looking into that.

I just returned from spending Shabbat in Detroit with a mail-jewish
family, and meeting a number of other subscribers. I had a very nice
time, and appreciate getting a chance to meet some of you face to face,
rather than just as an email address.

I am including in this issue three items that have been forwarded to me,
one is Rav Ovadia Yosef's statement, the other two come from Ateret
Kohanim, and date from before the assassination, one an op-ed shortly
before, the other from Rav Kook. I think these items are of sufficient
interest to repost to the list, and my apologies to those of you who
have already seen them. I have a few more items that are longer, and I
need to think about whether I will repost them, or just put them into
the archive areas, and give pointers to them on the list. Stay tuned.

Avi Feldblum


From: <ShmuelAJ@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 1995 00:00:44 -0500
Subject: Arutz-7 Op-Ed: Loving Someone with Opposing Views

Note: This segment was broadcasted on Arutz-7 approx. one week 
prior to Rabin's assassination.

Loving Someone with Opposing Views
by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner

A friend of mine asked me, "How can I not hate those people?  After all,
they have terrible opinions and ideas which are simply dangerous for the
nation, the Land, and the State of Israel! Must I retain cordial
relations with them, and nod to everything they say?"

The answer, of course, is no, he need not agree with all that they say,
and no, he must not hate them. The question is based on a blurring of
two different concepts. Disagreements are legitimate, and sometimes even
necessary. One is obligated to wage a forceful intellectual
confrontation against ideas that may destroy the Jewish people. But this
is a far cry from an obligation to hate the person expressing those
ideas. Divided opinions - yes; divided hearts - no. We must understand
that even when an idea is hateful, the man expressing it is not.

"But," comes the response, "it is too difficult to make this
distinction. After all, it is only natural to identify the person with
what he says." The answer to this is that it may be hard, but we have no
choice but to make this distinction. We cannot make one big salad out of
everything. We must understand that if, for example, one takes a certain
political stand, it doesn't constitute his entire identity. We must
remind ourselves that the man is not a "political animal" whose entire
being is merely a support system for his party's opinions; he also
breathes, and goes to work, and has a family, and does kind acts for
others. Why must we box his entire personality into one narrow
compartment? It is incumbent upon us to separate in our minds between
the man, and the opinions that he holds. For if we don't, but instead
form stereotypes, and create mental caricatures blowing this one aspect
of his personality way out of proportion, this distorted portrait
replaces our knowledge of him as a human being created in the image of
G-d, and we begin to view him as a foreign object, a "political animal."
>From here easily arises the (mistaken) dispensation to hate, and to
attack, and, who knows, even to murder.

True, it is often natural for the relationship between people with
opposing ideas to deteriorate. At least one side will almost inevitably
begin to feel less respect for the other. The solution for this is
simply "communication". They must talk with each other, listen to each
other, and exchange ideas. Should we then start to organize symposiums,
or public meetings? No, no - nobody ever really understands each other
in those types of settings. I am referring to small groups, such as
one-on-one, or maybe a few more. The English sociologist Parkinson once
said that the exchange of ideas is effective between three and five
people; if there are any more than that, he is no longer talking, but
making a speech. Speeches don't help bring about true understanding
among people; talking does.

Everyone knows people who are of a different opinion than they are:
friends, colleagues, family members.  In every family there are Jews of
Ashkenazic descent and Sephardic descent, religious and non-religious,
conservatives and liberals, haredim and zionists. Open a friendly
dialogue with them, and you will reap a double profit. First of all, it
will destroy his caricatured perception of you, and second of all, it
will destroy your caricatured perception of him. I'm not saying that you
will convince him of your position, but rather that each of you will
begin to see the other as a human being, and therefore deserving of your
respect and love.

*               *               *               *              *

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner is the Dean of the Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva, 
the Rabbi of Bet-El Aleph, and a prominent figure in the 
National Religious movement.
Op-Eds may be reproduced in any form with credit to Arutz Sheva.


From: <ShmuelAJ@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 1995 00:00:49 -0500
Subject: It Is My Brothers Whom I Seek

Ateret Cohanim
The Jerusalem Reclamation Project

Note: This is the declaration made by Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook, zt'l, in the
fall of 5708 (1947), when the struggle against British Mandatory
oppression brought with it internal divisions between the various
underground defense organizations (Hagana, Etzel, Lechi) to the point of
physical violence.

It is my brothers and sisters, throughout our nation, in all the parties
and all the military organizations, famous or unknown, public or secret,
those affiliated and those unaffiliated - it is all of them whom I seek
to place my urgent request before them: Have mercy upon your own souls
and upon those of all of our nation. Let us not for one minute forget
what a weighty responsibility we have at this time, after the immense
destruction of the holocaust and at the beginning of the tremendous
upbuilding of our homeland. G-D forbid that we cause a desecration of
His Name at this time.

Let no one decide - no individual, group, or party - all of whom want
only the best for our people, and the building of our homeland - that he
is the sole guardian of all truth and justice.  At this awesome time,
let no one desire or delude himself into thinking that he can force his
own will upon another through the use of violence. Let no one forget
that opinions cannot be implanted in this manner, even in the intensity
of this sacred ideological struggle, for in this way they can not
prevail - they will simply melt away like ice. The freedom of opinion
and thought, of ambitions and plans, discussion and implementation - Let
us not poison all of this by overstepping the boundaries of violence and
implanting hate and scorn in people's hearts.

We must remember that 'one who raises his hand against his fellow man is
called a wicked man' (Sanhedrin 58). Bad feelings multiply
unrestrainedly when reflected by one's fellow man - one's brother. We
must limit dissension within our nation to oral and written debate and
honest undistorted implementation. We must not poison the debate with
violence or abusive language. We must bear in mind the good intentions
and ideological commitment of each one of us. Then we shall find the
right and proper way to relate to each other and to take concrete steps
towards realization of our ideals.  'Truth and justice and peace -
Decree in your courts - and let no man think in his heart to harm his
fellow man' (Zecharia 8).

The more we restrain ourselves from verbal and physical abuse, the more
we emphasize the things which unite us, (which are far greater and more
weighty than what divides us), and the more this attitude dictates our
public actions, the greater the possibility of mutual understanding and
a common language among us, the greater will be the success of our
leaders, our achievements, and the name we make for ourselves in the

Translated by Bracha Slae.  Quotation is allowed without permission but 
requires citation of the author and distributor. 
(c) 1995 Ateret Cohanim. All Rights Reserved.

Note: In the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
the above text was distributed throughout Israel, at the Knesset, Kikar
Malchei Yisrael and at the Mount Herzl Cemetery, by Ateret Cohanim

               Ateret Cohanim                
      The Jerusalem Reclamation Project      


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 21:56:01 GMT
Subject: Rav Ovadya Yosef's statement

Statement by Rav Ovadya Yosef, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel,
upon the Murder of Yitzchak Rabin, as published by the Israeli Ministry
of Religions

Translated by Shmuel Himelstein (who takes full blame for any errors he
may have made in translation)

All know that the ways of our holy Torah are ways of pleasantness and 
all its paths are peace, and the Rabbi of Israel, Hillel the Elder, 
would say, "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing 
peace, loving all people and drawing them closer to the Torah." Now the 
man who took upon himself to do so despicable and abominable an act 
such as this, namely the sin of shedding blood - which is one of the 
three most severe sins, regarding which our Sages said one should 
rather be killed than violate them, and they said (In Sifrei, Parashat 
Masa'ei) that this sin defiles the Land of Israel and makes the Divine 
Presence depart from it, as it states, "The land will not be atoned 
because of the blood which was spilled in it" - he has removed himself 
from Klal Yisrael (i.e., the Jewish people), and has added iniquity to 
his sin by attributing his act to Halachah (Jewish law), as in the 
well-known statement, "If you wish to be strangled, hang yourself on a 
tall tree" (i.e., a person who justifies his actions by attributing 
them falsely to Jewish law). There is no doubt that the man is included 
in the category of one who proclaims an incorrect Torah view, of whom 
our Sages said, that even if he has Torah and good deeds [to his 
credit], he has no place in the World to Come. And this is all the more 
so for a man who spilled innocent blood deliberately, according to his 
own evaluation and who perverted the Halachah, whose sin is too great 
to be borne, and is worthy of denigration ("ginui") by all.
Now, our Halachah very much detests one who sheds the innocent blood of 
Israel, which is the equivalent of destroying the entire world 
(Maimonides, Laws of the Murderer 1:16). So too did our Sages say that 
whoever is guilty of shedding blood is a totally wicked person, and all 
the commandments and good deeds which he performed throughout his life 
cannot balance out this sin, and will not save him from [the Day of] 
Judgment (Maimonides 4:9).
Furthermore, this murderer desecrated God's name in public, causing all 
the just and upright Jews to become a mockery and abomination among the 
[other] nations, [as if to say], "See how the Jews go and kill a Jewish 
prime minister," and a thing such as this was never heard in all the 
years of our exile, such a heinous deed. Now, at the time of the Second 
Temple, when the number of murderers increased because of the baseless 
hatred between them, it brought about an end to Jewish rule and the 
destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Jews among the [other] 
nations. Yet the Evil Desire of baseless hatred still dances among us, 
and causes jealousy and hatred between brothers.
I warn the Jewish people over and over not to continue with the 
demonstrations and not to continue with violence, and to follow the 
ways of the Torah and the commandments, by which a person must live.
Indeed, there were many among us, to our distress, who incited against 
the policy of the prime minister, using violent language, their tongues 
like a slaughterer's knife. Those who had been incited then rose up and 
shed blood, and the inciters cannot wash their hands and say, "Our 
hands did not spill this blood." They must confess their sins and 
repent fully, and must [henceforth] go in the ways of the Torah, whose 
ways are pleasant and whose path is peace.
The Jewish people must unite as a single person, all together as 
comrades, and I pray for the elevation of the soul of the deceased, 
Yitzchak Rabin - his repose in Eden - who was a good man, not only in 
relations between man and his fellow-man, but he also acted to the best 
of his ability for the Jewish religion, so that Jewish law would not 
depart from the Jewish people. May his soul rest in everlasting peace.


End of Volume 22 Issue 7