Volume 22 Number 15
                       Produced: Wed Nov 22 23:36:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Altalena & Rabin
         [Israel Medad - Knesset]
Defense of Rabin's record
         [Mordechai Perlman]
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Jerusalem Burial Customs
         [Carl Sherer]
Religion in Israel
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
The Altalena -- F&F
         [Mordechai Perlman]


From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 09:54:21 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Altalena & Rabin

To expand on Shalom Carmy's note on Rabin & the Altalena Affair
(Vol. 22, No. 3):

I think that the problem was less the fact that Ben-Gurion ordered Rabin
to fire a cannon on the ship but that Palmahniks on the beach were
shooting at unarmed Irgun people swimming in the water away from the
burning boat.

Whether B.G. was wrong or not in considering the Altalena an act of
sedition and a putsch (and I think he was wrong and that he might have
wished to kill Begin in the process) is one argument.  What should not
be even an argument was whether it was morally correct to shoot at the
people coming ashore.  On Israel TV a half a year ago, a documentary was
shown in which two former Palmahniks, one of whom I know personally,
admitted that everyone around them and they too were shooting at the
Irgun people in the water.  If there is a crime, that is it.

Yisrael Medad


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 03:46:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re:  Defense of Rabin's record

On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Sh'muel Himelstein wrote:

> b) Let us grant that the soldiers and police were brutal at
> demonstrations. (Personally, I believe that police throughout the world
> act the same way at many demonstrations - but of course this doesn't
> justify it). Anyone who studies the history of the State will find a few
> interesting sidelights in this regard: (i) there were a number of
> demonstrations by the Left against the Likud government. Many of these
> were suppressed using tear gas (by Jews and against Jews). See Yediot
> Aharonot of November 30, 1981, which condemned this violently. While the
> first use was in Yesha, it soon carried over to demonstrations in Tel
> Aviv. (ii) On December 31, 1989, a demonstration by Leftists and Arabs
> outside the Old City walls was suppressed using water cannons and tear
> gas. Then, when the demonstrators began to flee, they were fired upon
> with rubber bullets. Brutality is thus not a copyrighted trademark of
> left-wing governments. These are but two examples of many. And, of
> course, no demonstration by right-wingers was ever attacked by a
> hand-grenade thrown into its midst - as was a demonstration by Peace Now
> 15 years ago, in which one marcher - Emil Grunzweig - was killed.  And
> that was obviously not the result of anything a left-wing government had
> done or said - the Likud was in power.

	I don't think anybody would disagree with you.  Just one should 
be aware that if here is a dearth of Orthodox Jews at a demonstration, 
they're absent for a reason, no matter who is in power.  In fact the 
Brisker Rav said that one is forbiddento go to demostrations because of 
the danger to life.  He said, "Hatziyonim Chashudim al Sh'fichus Damim", 
The Zionists are suspected of willingness to commit murder.

> a) Even if one disagreed with all of Rabin's policies, the role he
> played in the Six Day War alone is sufficient to atone for all the sins
> he had. To quote the Rav: "How many merits he had!"

	I can't believe such a statement.  Since when do good deeds 
cancel out bad ones?  In that case, let's put Mr. Amir in the army and 
when he's carried out heroic acts, he should be declared atoned.  That's 
ridiculous.  I don't believe that Rabbi Amital would agree with your 
statement.  Perhaps, he had merits and Rabbi Amital felt he deserved 
Kovod Hames for those merits.  But don't try to make him into a tzaddikel.

> d) And again:
>         "We must fight against hatred, Rav Amital continued.  After the
> murder, we hear many people quoting Rav Kook zt"l, who said that just as
> the Second Temple was destroyed because of sin'at chinam (baseless
> hatred), so will the Third Temple be built because of ahavat chinam
> (baseless or undiscriminating love).  But why call it ahavat chinam?
> Are there not many others, yes even among the non-religious, who deserve
> our love? There are many dedicated members of our society: members of
> the security services who vigilantly protect us, boys who give three
> years to the army, doctors who work for meager wages rather than seek
> their fortunes overseas, and many others.  If someone does not share our
> religious commitment, it does not mean he has no values, and it does not
> mean that he has no just claim to our love."

	I don't understand.  There are halachos regarding this love.  The 
person must be in the category of Amisecha and Rey'acho (your friend in 
mitzvos).  If a person is not only irreligious but that by choice and 
seeks to uproot Yiddishkeit from its roots, such a person may not IMHO be 
a receiver of our love.  We can't murder him but we certainly cannot love 
	For those who are going to quote the Rambam in Hilchos Mamrim 
(perek 3, halacha 2,3) to refute my last sentence are advised to see the 
Chazon Ish regarding those halachos found in Hilchos Sh'chita. 



From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 06:33:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Honorifics

	It is interesting to notice that when referring to Biblical
figures of righteousness, the term used is Olov Hashalom as in Moshe
rabbeinu o"h, avrohom avinu o"h.  Despite the fact that "Zecher Tzadik
L'vrocho" is mentioned in a posuk in Nach, it is not used in reference
to a biblical figure.
	Also, when referring to the Ari, the term is Za"l as in Ari

     Zai Gezunt un Shtark
			Mordechai Perlman


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 95 0:26:38 IST
Subject: Jerusalem Burial Customs

Malcolm Isaacs asks:

> 1) The coffin was left outside for around 30 hours.  I was told that
> this was so that people could pay their 'last respects', and that this
> is the custom in Israel when a public figure of Rabin's standing passes
> away.  Surely the last respect one can show to a Jew is to bury them as
> soon as possible?

Under normal circumstances that would certainly be the case and in
Jerusalem (as well as in Petach Tikva) funerals are held at night in
order to avoid the problem of leaving a body overnight.  However, if
relatives have to come from overseas, it is often the case that the
funeral will nevertheless be postponed in order for them to be there.
As far as I know, when someone of Rabin's stature dies it is often the
case that the funeral will be held up in the same way it would be held
up for the relatives of a common person.  I was a Yeshiva bochur here
when Golda Meir died and my recollection is that her funeral was held up
for even longer.  When Menachem Begin died, he insisted in his will that
his funeral be held immediately and therefore no heads of state came.  I
should add that I can recall my Rebbe telling us that the time between
the Ptira (death) and the Kvura (burial) is the most difficult time for
the Neshama (soul) because it is in a state of limbo and that this is
one reason why generally people are buried as soon as possible.

> 2) I'm sure I heard Rabins son say kaddish before the burial. I always
> understood that Kaddish is only said after the burial (when the
> relatives become 'aveilim' (mourners), rather than 'onanim' (people in
> the period between hearing of the death and being able to bury the
> body)? (Not including the special case where there are no availim in
> shul on Shabbat, other than the onanim, in which case they can say
> kaddish).

Actually at many funerals I have been at the procession was stopped
seven times on the way to the cemetary and the Mishna from Pirkei Avot
(3:1) was recited followed by Kaddish.  This includes the funerals of
Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt"l and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l, as well
as those of other, lesser known people.  I recall this minhag having a
source in the Gemara but I can't recall where (Moed Katan?).

In Vol.22 #4, Mordechai Perlman asked about the minhag (custom) in
Jerusalem that children of the deceased do not go the cemetary.  There
are, I believe, nine Chevra Kadishas (burial societies) in Jerusalem and
I have been led to believe that not all of them follow this minhag.  I
have seen several instances where the family has told the Chevra Kadisha
that this is not their minhag and the Chevra Kadisha has allowed the
children (and women - many Chevrot have the minhag that women do not go
to the cemetary) to go to the cemetary and to make a shura (line made up
of all non-mourners at the funeral which the mourners then walk through)
after the Kvura.  In this regard, I should add that in Bnei Brak the
custom is that the men fill in the kever (grave) and when they are
finished the women are allowed to enter the cemetary.  In Jerusalem they
and the deceased's children often don't go to the cemetary at all.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Jeffrey Woolf <jwoolf@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 21:59:17 +0300 (IST)
Subject: Religion in Israel

I think that Shmuel Himmelstein underestimates the accuracy of Mordechai 
Perlman's argument. While all of Himmelstein's comments are accurate, he 
neglects to mention that Post-Zionist, Anti-Judaism has taken charge in 
this country in the government (Meretz), Universities, the Media and the 
Ministry of Education (witness the appointment of Moshe Zimmerman to the 
curricular committee of the ministry). I agree Mafdal should hav joined 
the government. But the fact remains that the revived Canaanites, the 
Post Zionists and the New Historians (aided by religious primitivity in 
both the Haredi and Dat Leumi world) threaten to destroy the morale and 
identity of the Israeli Jewish population.

						Jeffrey Woolf


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 1995 01:42:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: The Altalena -- F&F

On Thu, 9 Nov Steven White writes:
> In #88 Mordechai Perlman writes:
> >...  Should we sympathize with the nirtzach 
> >regardless.  Should we forgive and forget?  May we?  and Why?
> I think yes -- at least forgive.  Avot also says "Dan l'kaf z'chut" --
> judge people meritoriously.  Rabin unquestionably did many good things
> for klal yisrael, too, and perhaps he had done teshuva over the
> _Altalena_.  (By the way, there's a somewhat fictionalized, but very
> approachable, account in Herman Wouk's _The Hope_.)  Forget is a
> different story, but the man is dead now.  "Not forgetting" means not
> letting mistakes happen again, not villifying a man who can no longer
> defend himself on earth -- and by the way, such villification invites
> loshon hara.

	1) I'm sorry but to forgive means to behave as if it never
happened and that is synonymous with forgetting.  If one forgives, he
must forget.  Otherwise he has not truly forgiven.
	2) We only have an obligation to judge a person meritoriously by
a beinoni (that is, someone who is not known as a tzaddik) if there is
reasonable reasoning to do so.  If someone fires a cannon towards a boat
because he's under orders (which is no excuse you know, it's one of the
three aveiros to be killed for) and then shoots at the survivors, trying
to pick them off in the water, IMHO I cannot see a reasonable excuse
	3) I see, so if Mr. Amir will do good things for K'lal Yisroel
in the future, we should forgive him too.  I disagree.  Nothing Mr. Amir
can do will get him forgiveness from us from what he did.  Only
Mr. Rabin can forgive him now.  That means he'll have to do t'shuva (and
I don't think that's so easy) and go to his grave with 10 people and ask
genuinely for forgiveness.  Something I don't remember hearing Mr. Rabin
doing for his victims.
	4) I never read The Hope and maybe I should but I suggest that
one read Perfidy by Ben Hecht.  You won't find it too many places,
certain well-meaning groups of our people have seen to that.  I tried to
get it in the library and was told that a certain organiztion had called
top ask them to remove it from the shelves as it was hate literature.
It is not hate literature, it's well documented and is mostly about a
trial in Israel in which Mapai lost a great deal of credibility.  And
it's not fictionalized.
	5) I'm not sure, let's repeat that, I'm not totally sure that
the laws of loshon hora apply here.  I think that because of Mr. Rabin's
anti-Torah positionn, the rules of the Chofetz Chaim (Hilchos Loshon
Hora k'lal 8, se'if 5-7) apply and that he is not even free from the
ruling in se'if 9.  Also what the Rambam says in Hilchos Mamrim (Perek
3, Halacha 2,3) seems to apply to Mr. Rabin.  Although the ruling given
there as what to do about such people may not apply in this case
(besides the fact that that wasn't Mr. Amir's motivation) because of
other circumstances.
	6) What should we do to prevent a repeat performance by another
self-appointed halacha decisor such as Mr. Amir?  I think that we have
to realize where he learned to shoot so well.  In the Israeli Army of
course.  Well, then I think that Israel ought to draft a new law.  It
should state that no yeshiva boys are ever allowed into the army again
because some "hot-blooded fanatics" might use that expertise to shoot
another Jew.  This way the Yeshivos will have to cope with the violent
ones.  You know the yeshiva's therapy of course.  You put them into the
Bais hamedrash and they shout at and scream and almost come to blows
over the Gemora they're discussing.  But to the army they should be
denied admittance.



End of Volume 22 Issue 15