Volume 22 Number 17
                       Produced: Fri Nov 24  0:05:25 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ahavat Chinam
         [Jerrold Landau]
Forgive and Forget?
         [David Neustadter]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Kavod Hatorah
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
On Lashon Hara
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]
The Book "Perfidy"
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 95 09:33:54 EST
Subject: Ahavat Chinam

 Mordechai Pearlman states that "if someone is not only irreligious but
that by choice, and seeks to uproot Yiddishkeit from its roots, then
IMHO such a person is not deserving of our love."  Mordechai states that
in reference to a quote from Rav Amital's discourse indicating that
non-religious Israelis, who may be dedicated to protecting our people in
so many ways, are not devoid of values, and are deserving of our love.
 How many people nowadays are considered "irreligious by choice".  Jews
who are born into non-religious families, and into a largely
non-religious society, can hardly be considered irreligious by choice.
In fact, very many opinions nowadays consider most irreligious Jews to
be in the halachik category of "tinok shenishba" (a baby who is born
captive among the nations, and cannot be considered liable for his lack
of religious practice).  Such Jews are indeed worthy of our love, and we
must try to reach out to them rather than castigate them.  In a
completely religious society, when an individual rebels and rejects the
observance of Torah, perhaps we have a right to deny such a person our
love.  But we do not live in any such society today.  Even in Israel,
where there are BH a large number of religious Jews, unfortunately the
main society and environment is secular, and any individual Jew, not
born into a religious family, cannot be blamed for following the masses.
 Mordechai should also take note of the famous statement made by Bruria
in correcting her husband Rabbi Meir.  We should hate the sin, and not
the sinner.  In more modern parlance, as stated by Rabbi Riskin several
years back -- if one wants to win over the non-religious Jews, we should
invite them into our homes to share a kiddush, and a piece of gefilte
fish, rather than demonstrating against them.
 Ahavat Chinam really means loving a fellow Jew, even if his actions are
repugnant to you.

Jerrold Landau

P.S. In reference to another thread that had been going on recently,
about Bnot Zelofchad.  Zelofechad and his daughters were of the tribe of
Menashe, and not Dan.


From: David Neustadter <david@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 11:03:53 +0200
Subject: Forgive and Forget?

Mordechai Perlman states:
> 	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.

I strongly disagree.  To "behave as if it never happened" is not at all
synonymous with forgetting.  We can behave as if it neven happened, and
still take advantage of the fact that we have been awakened to the
realization that it can happen.

For example: Two children are playing wildly on the stairs, and one
pushes the other off the side of the staircase.  I claim that we can
truly forgive the pusher, and still put up a railing on the staircase.
This is called forgiving and remembering.

Acting as if an incident never happened doesn't mean we can't learn from
the fact that it did!



From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 14:55:30 -0500
Subject: Forgiving/forgetting

Shalom, All:
           There has been some interesting discussion as to whether one who
forgives must also forget the transgression which pained him or her.
 Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...> states, for instance,
<< 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.>>
            Two thoughts immediately strike me; one on a human level,
the other my groping to understand the Divine level.
             For humans, it may be wisest to _not_ totally forget a
transgression, albeit to _act_ always as if we have forgotten it.  With
some -- repeat, with _some_ -- people, if we truly forget they committed
a harmful or insulting act, it's an invitation for them to do it again
and again.  And they will, because that's the kind of person they are.
              The Torah does not command us to be perpetual patsies,
eternal victims.  Therefore, a balance is walked between forgiveness,
which also means politely pretending the act never occurred, and having
a tiny portion of our mind ready to react more strongly if the person
repeats their offense.
             Perhaps a proof to my reasoning may be adduced from the
principle of propensity -- hazaka, in Hebrew -- which states that if a
person does the same thing a total of three times, they are said to have
a hazaka -- a propensity -- of doing that thing.  (As I recall,
according to Rabbi Yehuda, even doing something twice establishes a
hazaka; but his is the minority opinion, and three is the "magic"
             Consider: if we truly forget they did the act in the first
place, how can we establish they have a hazaka, and thus protect
             Lastly (as well as firstly and centrally), we must consider
God's example.  I was taught that God forgives our sins, but if we
commit them again He tosses in some punishment that should have been
ours for the first transgression.  Thus, as long as we are good, God
"forgets" our wrongful acts, even though God truly does/can not forget.
But when we repeat our folly, God "remembers" our original iniquity.
            So, too, should we humans emulate God.  When someone sins
against us and we forgive them, that doesn't mean a total forgetting of
the initial action.
   <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 06:37:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hashgacha

	Torah hashkafa tells us that when someone passes on, it was so
decreed on high, that his life should be x number of years and the time
was up.  How about when someone is murdered?  Do we say that the above
applies, or do we say that the murderer actually killed the person
before his time was up?  According to the first possibility, the
murderer has not caused the victim's death any earlier, just that he
violated G-d's order not to kill.  In the second possibility, he even
took time away from the victim's life.  Any ideas?

     Zai Gezunt un Shtark
			Mordechai Perlman


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 08:42:40 GMT
Subject: Kavod Hatorah

In V21N15, Mordechai Perlman quoted a previous posting of mine, taken 
from Rav Amital's speech before Prime Minster Rabin za"l's funeral:

"> 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!"

And then Mordechai goes on:

"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 

He seems to misunderstand entirely that the entire paragraph is lifted 
directly from Rav Amital's address (as released by his Yeshiva on the 
Intenet), although only the very last few words are a direct quote. 
*None* of the paragraph was an interpretation by me.

In the circumstances, given the fact that Rav Amital is the Rosh Yeshiva
of one of the great Yeshivot in Israel today, I believe that Mordechai
has been guilty of a lack of Kavod HaTorah ("that's ridiculous") in the
extreme. I am willing to assume that this was inadvertent, due to a
misunderstanding as to who had said what, but Kavod HaTorah must be
defended - including, may I add, by the moderator, who I believed
slipped in allowing this comment to be printed. Incidentally, Kavod
Habriyot - respect for one's fellow-man - should have been operative
here, *even* if I personally had made that statement, and Mordechai's
response was belittling in the extreme.

The second quote from me, and Mordechai's retort in his same missive, 

>         "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."

On which Mordechai comments: 

"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 him.  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."
<End quote>

Here I cannot give Mordechai the benefit of the doubt. He is clearly 
aware that these words are Rav Amital's, and yet he takes issue so 
glibly. Surely, when a great Torah authority such as Rav Amital makes a 
statement, the response should not be a voicing of blatant disagreement 
- even with the disclaimer of "IMHO". If Mordechai finds Rav Amital's 
reasoning incomprehensible, he has the option of approaching the Rav 
personally and discussing it. A public criticism of a great Rav's 
halachic statements is totally unacceptable in a Torah-oriented forum.

           Shmuel Himelstein


From: <Ezr0th@...> (Elanit Z. Rothschild)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 15:33:11 -0500
Subject: On Lashon Hara

Mordechai Perlman wrote:
>  '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."

 The Chofetz Chaim writes in Hilchos Lashon Hara k'lal 6 se'if 9 "dafilu
l'vazot ul'charef et hametim, gam ken assur...v'chol ze afilu im hamet
am haaretz..."  ("and to embarrass and to mock the dead, this is also
wrong...  and all this is also with the death of am haaretz..."  What is
the exact definition of an "am haaretz"?  I had a chance this summer to
learn Hilchot Lashon Hara with a chavruta, but we could not define the
 I know that according to halacha, you can embarrass or mock someone who
has a hint of apikorsus in him, but is it necessary once he is dead?
Who says anyhow that Rabin, Z"L, was an apikores?  From what I have
learned, in today's world it is almost impossible to define someone as
an apikores.  He might have had anti-religious thoughts, but IMHO I
don't see what mocking or saying bad things about him would do. Usually,
when someone has anti-religious feelings it stems from an experience
that made him think that way.  With someone like that, we would want to
teach him that as a whole, the religious and orthodox community consist
of good, honest, Torah obsevant people.  We would want to bring him
closer to reliosity.  Why would we want to mock such a person?

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 12:34:31 GMT
Subject: The Book "Perfidy"

In a recent posting, Mordechai Perlman recommends that people read Ben 
Hecht's *Perfidy.* May I respectfully suggest that anyone reading it 
and wanting to find a more balanced - and I believe accurate - picture 
of the 1935-1948 era also read at least some of works which have shown 
the blatant biases, distortions and inaccuracies of Ben Hecht's work. 
As one example of such a work, I would recommend Chaim Lieberman's *The 
Man and his *Perfidy'* (Bloch Publishing Co., 1964). For those 
unfamiliar with *Perfidy," the book is Mr. Hecht's espousal of the 
thesis that the Zionist leaders (except for the Revisionists, whom Mr. 
Hecht supported)  were quite content to let the Jews of Europe die, as 
long as this helped them to get a State. The book has been used by a 
number of Haredim ("ultra-Orthodox") to support their anti-Zionist 

To quote - in total - what the Encycopedia Judaica (9:239) has to say 
about this, following the Altalena affair,

<begin quote>
Hecht, who was one of the leaders of its dispatch, withdrew from 
further Zionist activity. He nevertheless maintained his sentimental 
activity to the Revisionist cause, and *manifested his partisanship* 
(my emphasis - SH) in _Perfidy_ (1961), a vitriolic attack on David Ben 
Gurion and the Israeli "establishment" and an examination of the 
Kasztner affair.
<end quote>

           Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 22 Issue 17