Volume 22 Number 23
                       Produced: Wed Nov 29  6:18:19 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Agudat Yisrael Response
         [Gershon Dubin]
Ahavas Chinam
         [Joe Goldstein]
Ahavas Chinom
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Free Will vs Reward and Punishment
         [Rabbi Asher Brander]
Good Deeds and Bad Deeds
         [Edwin Frankel]
Rav Amital
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 95 17:15:00 -0500
Subject: Agudat Yisrael Response

> Agudat Yisrael. (It is ideed gratifying to note, as these words are
F> being penned [November 24, 1995], that the Mo'ezet Gedolei ha-Torah of
F> Agudat Yisrael --in an ad on the Op-Ed page of today's -New York
F> Times-, labelled the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin as "an act of
F> murder, a grievous sin that calls for unequivocal condemnation.") 

	The fact is that the Agudath Israel organization attempted to
get press releases out to the media, including the Times, which were
ignored in favor of a frenzy of Orthodox bashing.  The ad would have
been a letter to the editor or an Op-Ed piece but the Times would not
publish it.  I recall public statements on the radio by the Agudah the
Saturday night when American Orthodox Jewry heard of the assassination
condemning it in the same terms as in the ad.  Don't blame the Aguda or
its rabbis for the silence: blame the media.

<gershon.dubin@...>        |
http://www.medtechnet.com/~dubinG   |


From: Joe Goldstein <JOE-G@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 12:24:22 -0500
Subject: Ahavas Chinam

     There has been much discussion regarding Ahavas Chinom, and
obligation to love a fellow Jew. Does his level of observance have any
bearing on the love one must feel towards this Jew or not. How does
apply to Mr. Rabin O"H etc.

  I would like add my "2 cents worth"

  We know the Gemmorah in Bava Metzia that discusses the Mitzvah,
commandment, of "Perkiah" and "Teinah , assisting with the Loading and
unloading an animal. The posuk says: "when you will see the animal of
your ENEMY falling under its load, will you not help him? Assist him"
The Gemmorah asks who is this enemy? It is forbidden to hate anyone. Is
it a ROSHO, one who transgresses the Torah's commandments? Then why does
the posuk say YOUR enemy he is the enemy of every Jew? It can not be a
Jew who is observant because there is no way one is allowed to hate
such a person. Therefore it must be someone who you KNOW has
transgressed but there is no second witness with whom you can go to
court and have the person accused and punished as a transgressor" (The
basic gist from memory) Now I think it is Tosefos that quotes a Medrash
that says when the person who needs the help sees this person who
"hated" him come and help him he will be filled with gratitude and come
to love him. This will be felt by the person doing the helping and it
turn he will love him and they will both become friends. (And I assume
the transgressor will feel bad over his misdeed because of this and will
no longer be in the category of one that should be hated.)

   What I see from this Gemmprah and Tosefos is: When the gemmorah says
one is obligated hate a person it does not mean hate the person himself,
rather hate what he did, (I am sorry I know that this sounds like modern
psychology). However the person himself as a Jew does not always deserve
that hate. Therefore even when obligated to hate the Torah has a built
in mechanism to repair the damage done by this hate. (Maybe Hashem does
not cause this situation to occur until after the transgressor did
Teshuva. Or maybe this is the cause for him to repent. I do not know)
However, The Torah wants Jews to love one another.

   I would just like to relate 2 stories pertaining to this topic. My
Rov related that when the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Reb Y.Y. Schneerson came to
the U.S. He had a very small sukka. The chassidim tried to enter the and
the table was pushing against the Rebbe. The Shammas announced, "Don't
cramp the rebbe!" (In Yiddish, "mach the Rebbe nit ENG") The rebbe told
him Yidden do not pain me! (Again because it is infinitely better in
Yiddish; "Yidden machin mir nisht eng!") He continued and said, "Even
those yidden who, (while he was a prisoner in the communist jails and
many of the tormentors were Jews who left Judaism for Communism), pointed
guns at me in jail did not make me uncomfortable!" My Rov pointed out
that this was the high level of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Ahavas Yisroel.

    Last night I was reading Henoch Teller's Book about Reb Shlomo
Zalman and he has a story there that fits this discussion. The head of
Shaarei Tzedek hospital passed away and the board of the hospital was
considering a non-observant person for the post. Reb Shlomo Zalman was
against this and wrote several letters to the board to try and convince
them that the person they were considering was not the right person for
the position because of his level of observance. He also wrote a letter
to the candidate trying to convince him not to accept the position. A
while later that same Doctor came to speak to Reb Shlomo Zalman. Reb
Shlomo Zalman was, of course, very pleasant with him.. Discussed
whatever that person needed and walked him to the street as was his
custom for important guests. When his children questioned him about this
he replied: "just because I did not feel he was suited for the position
in Shaarei Tzedek and I campaigned against his being offered that
position does not mean that I have any dislike or resentment towards
him. As a Jew I have the obligation to love him as I love any Jew.



From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 05:17:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Ahavas Chinom

On Fri, 24 Nov Avi Teitz wrote:

" .... It amazes me that we can call for love between Jews and then 
quickly throw up qualifications and religious scorekeeping to 
disqualify those different from ourselves.  This is certainly not the path 
of Aharon Hacohen or Reb Levi Mi Barditchev (to quote 2 far flung 
examples).  We should worry about the Ben Adam L'chavero 
(relationships between fellow persons), and for anyone besides 
ourselves, let Hashem worry about the mitzvot of Ben Adam L'Makom 
(relationships between man and G-d).  After all, ben Adam L'Makom is 
just that - between man and G-d.  When we decide who is a Tzaddik 
(righteous person) and who is a Rasha (evil one) we run into trouble 
(witness Yigal Amir).  In fact, we have learned that there are those that 
earn Olam Habah (the world to come) in one minute and there are 
those who must struggle all their lives to earn this reward.  We do not 
know who is worthy.  Therefore, we should treat all Jews as if they 
were worthy of Olam Habah (the world to come).  Like it says in Pirke 
Avot - alll Jews have a portion in Ola Habah.  Furthermore, the 
Ramban states in his Iggeret, we should have our eyes cast downward 
and our heart uplifted to the heavens and we should look at all people 
as our superior, and those that seem to act purposely against Torah as if 
they were acting B'shogeg - without direct evil intent.  Judgmentalism 
is outside the ken of Torah Judaism. ....."

	Let us leave Rabin out of this as our chaver Reb Sh'muel has
pointed out, Rabin showed behaviour in his lifetime that is certainly
laudable, and therefore, does not permit us to voice our total
nullification of his character.  But there are others out there, in the
public eye, who do fit the description that I used in previous postings.
It is about these and in an academic mode that I continue.  Also, let
nobody think that we are trying to open the doors to wholesale
talebearing and slander.  We are discussing from a halachic viewpoint,
our duty towards a very narrow group of Jews.
	So you feel that we should show love to all Jews, regardless of
their behaviour.  If so, I ask you how you approach the following?  When
a J for J missionary (Jewish) has chosen your neighborhood (children
included) as his target group for missionizing?  Do you invite him for
tea or bang on the table in shul to warn others about him?  Now the
latter approach certainly does not show brotherly love.  How about a
preacher for masoretic Judaism, such as Louis Jacobs?  Or David Hartman?
Do you tell your children that Mrs. Aloni is a kind soul and wishes the
best of hatzlacha for all mitzva fulfillers, or do you tell them the
exact opposite?  When you meet the local Reform "rabbi" on the street
(who is doing his best in his congregation to convince all that
Rabbinical interpretation of the Scriptures is no better than his own or
Martin Luther's) do you wish him a hearty Sholom Aleichem or a sullen
frown?  In short, do you show your displeasure in word and deed, or tell
yourself, "I'm not like Aharon HaKohen, so I can sit on the sidelines"?
Do you also consider Rav Shamshon R'foel Hirsch's declaration of
Austritt to be rash and impulsive?  After all, he said to separate from
their groups.  That certainly is not showing friendship.
	Yes, we must be vigilant.  And even if we harbour feelings of
love in our hearts (as I understand the Chazon Ish), we dare not show
acceptance of their behaviour in our actions.  This could constitute a
Chillul Hashem, as though we feel that the honour of Hashem and his
Torah is not our concern.
	And then there's the issue of protection of influence.  How do
we treat these extreme examples and some others which are similar
without diluting the feling we have to proper observance of the Torah?
Do you think that we will not be influenced by those if we do not put up
a united front that says to others and most of all to ourselves, "NO,
This is not Torah Judaism and we will not treat it as such, nor will we
tolerate it."  Otherwise, after a while one becomes complacent to their
attitude and our own feelings for Torah become diluted and dampened,
even without our realizing it.

     Zai Gezunt un Shtark
			Mordechai Perlman


From: Rabbi Asher Brander <shteingd@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 12:17:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Free Will vs Reward and Punishment

Mordechai  Perlman writes
-> 	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? 

This discussion is obviously related to understanding the notion of free
choice vs. reward and punishment. In the Rishonim, I have found a number
of sources that state clearly that one can not be murdered before one's
time is up. See for instance Ramban 15:14 "V'Gam", Sefer HAikarim 3:15
(explaining how Hashem "allowed" Hevel's death). I believe this is the
classic view of many rishonim. There is an interesting Ohr Hachaim
[Bereishis, 37:21, Vayatzileihu Miyadam] that seems to opt for the other
approach. In explaining why Reuven needed to save Yosef from his
brothers but was not fearful of throwing Yosef into pit of serpents &
scorpions, he states:

       lephi sheha'dam Ca'al bechira veratzon veyachol laharog
       mi shelo nitchayeiv mitah

      "for since a human is one endowed with choice & will and he
      can kill one who is not deserving of death"

The Netziv seems to echo this comment with a slight but signficant

I do not claim to understand the approach of the Netziv & Ohr HaChaim

Asher Brander
all e-mail messages MUST have a line (this EXACT spelling!)
Subject: for Rabbi Brander
	in it, otherwise I will NOT receive it!


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin Frankel)
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 1995 18:16:38 -0100
Subject: Good Deeds and Bad Deeds

>"> 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?

Cancel out, I'm not sure they ever do.  Even on the Yamim Noraim we ask
God to lessen the severity of the decree against us, but we don't ask
that the decree we earned by eliminated.

On the other had, though, I am also influenced by Rambam's definition of
a tsadik.  (I'm sorry not to be able to cite the source).  To Rambam a
tsadik is one who has more good deeds than bad.  A rasha is the
opposite.  I doubt that there are too many with even amounts of good and

Frankly, for what my opinion is worth, even many Jews may not intend to
follow God's ways, we are bidden to judge them leniently.  I would
assume that times haven't changed as much as some people may think.
Visible frumkeit may not be as regular a it may have been at one time,
but even among our less religious brethren, I think that we can assume
levels of ethical behavior and practices of ahavat yisrael and ahavat
chesed that may indeed give them a surplus of good deeds over bad.

If I can assume that of any Jew, why not of a prime minister who lived
his whole life on behalf of the Jewish state and the Jewish people?

Ed Frankel


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 01:09:08 GMT
Subject: Rav Amital

Members of MJ may be aware that Rav Yehudah Amital was appointed a 
Minister without Portfolio in the Peres government. For those 
unfamiliar with him, let me mention a few facts:

He survived the Holocaust, and came to Israel thereafter.
He studied in the Chevron ("Hebron") Yeshiva.
For a time he was a rebbi in Yeshivat Hadarom, at which time Rav Shach 
(now the head of Ponovezh Yeshiva) was the Rosh Yeshiva there, and they 
are still very good friends.
His wife is the grandaughter of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and her father 
was the chief rabbi of Rehovot. This means that Rav Aharon Kotler was 
an uncle of his by marriage.
Shortly after the Six Day War, he and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein founded 
Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut. They are still the heads of the 
Yeshivat Har Etzion is the largest Hesder (see below) Yeshiva in 
Israel, with about 600 students, including 100 from abroad (50 of the 
latter are from the US).
Rav Amital, believing that the National Religious Party (MaFDaL) had 
moved too far to the right, ran a separate slate for the Knesset in 
1988 under the name of Meimad. His party received 16,000 votes - I 
believe 6,000 fewer than needed to enter the Knesset. It did not run in 
the last Knesset elections, but was reconstituted a few years ago as an 
ideological movement rather than as a political party.
Rav Amital has been on excellent terms with many of the non-religious 
governmental leaders in Israel. 

The Hesder Yeshivot require one to remain in the Yeshiva for at least 5 
years after high school, during which period 15 months are spent in the 
army. Throughout these five years, the students are officially in the 
army, and be called up at any time. Thus, while the average Israeli 
cannot go to college for three years after high school, because of army 
service, Hesder students cannot do so for five years.

           Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 22 Issue 23