Volume 22 Number 28
                       Produced: Mon Dec  4  7:07:28 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ahavas Chinom
         [Andy Levy-Stevenson]
Aveiros weighting
         [Kenneth Posy]
Kavod Hatorah
         [Harry Weiss]
Loving your fellow Jew
         [Eli Turkel]
Mo'etzes G'dolei Hatorah
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Post-Religious Zionism?
         [Arnold Lustiger]


From: Andy Levy-Stevenson <andyls@...>
Date: 29 Nov 1995 12:05:53 -0600
Subject: Ahavas Chinom

Mordechai Perlman writes:

>So you feel that we should show love to all Jews, regardless of
>their behaviour.
>How about a preacher for masoretic Judaism, such as Louis Jacobs?  Or David
>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
>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."

     What on earth do you think you're doing? I cannot believe it is
acceptable that this thread has degenerated into this kind of
invective. I would remind you that this whole discussion stems from the
murder of the Prime Minister of Israel -- an event that has forced Jews
in both Israel and the Diaspora to fundamentally examine the way in
which they conduct themselves.

     In the face of a potential rift in the Jewish community surely the
last thing we need to be doing is setting up another set of straw men
that we can knock down. Yes, of course there are people who's religious
views I disagree with.

     But if the only way to show the beauty, grandeur and (in my view)
primacy of an observant life is to denigrate and insult the rest of the
Jewish world then thanks, but I want no part of it. Do you mean that you
can't even bring yourself to greet someone with whom you disagree

     As for our ability to "tolerate" it -- what exactly are you
proposing?  History is full of examples of those who refused to
"tolerate" the views of others; it's not necessary to enumerate
them. Can you seriously be suggesting that we join their ranks?

 Andy Levy-Stevenson                     Email:       <andyls@...>
 Tea for Two Communications              Voice & Fax:   612-920-6217
 2901 Salem Avenue South                                            
 St. Louis Park, MN 55416                                           


From: Kenneth Posy <kenneth.posy@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 23:42:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Aveiros weighting

> From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
> On Mon, 27 Nov Betzalel Posy wrote:
> I think 
> that rav Amital means that in such a cheshbon, Rabin's mitzvos 
> exceeded his aveiros. Obviously, this calculation is weighted. A similar 
> weighting would prevent the extension of this rational to Amir, whose 
> sin must have outweighed all the good that he did. He will be rewarded 
> for his mitzvos, but he will suffer greatly for his aveiros.
> 	I assume you are referring to the Rambam that says that a
> person's cheshbon is only known to G-d, and that he alone knows the
> weight of deeds, in that a good deed may outweigh many bad ones and vice
> versa.  In that case, you certainly cannot draw the conclusion you made
> of the status of Mr. Amir.  Perhaps, he has done mitzvos in this world
> that outweigh his heinous crime (I am not a supporter of Mr.  Amir at
> any time, this is merely academic).  Who knows?  Therefore, that is an
> accounting which we are not capable of for good or for bad.  How can
> Rabbi Amital make this judgement?

Actually, I was not refering to this Rambam at all. It is obvious, in
fact, that only G-d knows what punishment actually awaits Amir, and what
Rabin's true status was. But Rav Amital shlita, as a Rosh Yeshiva, felt
that he had a responsibility to make an estimate, based on his values
and perspective, what that would be. Rav Amital is not making a
judgement (he did not refer to Amir at all, R. Pearlman made the
comparison). It is his opinion that Rabin had many merits and deserves
recognition for them.  HaNistaros LaShem Elokeinu- only G-d knows the
truth; Haniglos lanu- but we have to make the cheshbon based on our
Betzalel Posy


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 95 22:50:48 -0700
Subject: Kavod Hatorah

There have already several responses to Shmuel Himelstein's posting
regarding Mordechai Perlman's comments about Rabbi Amital Shlita.
Himelstein objects to criticizing Rav Amital because he is a great Rabbi
and a Rosh Yeshivah.

I have a different question than was discussed in the previous posts.
Rav Amital (as well and numerous other Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshivoth in
Israel) in addition to his Rabbinic duties is a politician.  Are we
prohibited from disagreeing with a politician just because they happen
to be a Rabbi or a Rosh Yeshivah, or does their being a politician
enable us to treat them like any other politician.  If so where does the
line lie.  In Rav Amital's case there is no question since he became
part of the cabinet, but what about Rabbi's who are the driving forces
behind political movements such as Rav Yosef (re Shas) and Rav Shach (re
Degel Hatorah).  This would also apply to Rav Amital prior to accepting
his ministerial position in his capacity as head of Meimad.

My personal view is that once a Rav becomes involved with politics, we
have no requirement to treat him differently than any other politician.
We may want to give his words a little more consideration because of his
background, but in the end political views are political views.  I can
not find myself required to follow Rav Amital's political views than I
would to follow the view of (Lehavdil) Rav Kahana or the Rav (if one
existed) who gave Amir the Heter to commit murder.



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 15:33:24 +0200
Subject: Loving your fellow Jew

   Yosey Goldstein writes:

>> When the gemmorah says one is obligated hate a person it does not mean 
>> hate the person himself, rather hate what he did,

   I agree wholeheartly with Yosey and the Talmud says to hate the sins
(chataim) and not the sinner (choteim).

   My difficulty is with a demonstration of some 20,000 people against
the archaelogocal diggings in Modiim that appeared recently on Israeli
TV.  As part of the demonstration a curse was issued that the hands of
the archaelogists should be destroyed. I am not currently interested
whether the archaelogists are right or not (they promise to abide by the
rules of the chief rabbinate). Rather assuming that they are completely
wrong is this curse in public the right answer. This is not just a
theoretical question.  I have been questioned by non-religious people in
my department about this and have not found an answer. This is of
particular importance after the incidents of the last few weeks where we
still see almost nightly some other rabbi being brought in for
questioning by the police for possible incitement.



From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 00:11:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mo'etzes G'dolei Hatorah

	The following is a message from the Mo'etzes G'dolei HaTorah 
regarding the assassination of Rabin.

For the Sake of Truth: The Orthodox Jewish Position on the Assassination
of Prime Minister Rabin

A Statement by the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel of America

	In the aftermath of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzchak Rabin, a great deal of confusion has been generated about
Orthodox Jews and their beliefs.  We feel it our duty to set forth
certain basic points to dispel the confusion.

--- The assassination was an act of murder, a grievous sin that calls
for unequivocal condemnation.

--- The enormity of the sin is compounded by the assassin's shocking
claim that his act was based on Halacha (Jewish Law).  We declare,
categorically, that this claim is totally erroneous -- indeed, a total
distortion of fundamental Jewish values.

--- Physical violence is abhorrent to Torah-observant Jews, and is an
entirely inappropriate means of religious or political expression.

--- The assassination should remind all Jews -- no matter what their
views on the Middle East peace process or any of the other policies of
the current Israeli government -- that inflammatory rhetoric and hateful
invective often toxify the atmosphere.

--- We are dismayed that this crime is being used in certain circles to
generate a false impression of Orthodox Jews, thereby creating a climate
of antipathy and even outright hostility toward Orthodoxy.  Stereotyping
and casting aspersions on an entire community for the conduct of a
misguided individual or individuals is deplorable and inexcusable.

	Now, as always, the Jewish people desperately need to turn their
collective heart toward Avinu Shebashamayim, the One Above.  "G-d shall
give strength to His nation, G-d shall bless His nation with peace."

		Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel of America

     Zai Gezunt un Shtark
			Mordechai Perlman


From: <alustig@...> (Arnold Lustiger)
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 10:04:05 -0500
Subject: Post-Religious Zionism?

To put it mildly, Religious Zionism is on the defensive.

Israel had until now always had displayed an ill-defined, but yet very
real, sense of common purpose among all segments of the population. This
sense of common destiny has now evaporated. The economic boom in Israel
has resulted in a materialistic majority to whom Zionism, and certainly
religion, carries no significance. The general perception of dati
soldiers has overnight been transformed from that of an elite fighting
force to a third column.  It was heartbreaking to see tens of thousands
of youth groping for an appropriate way to mourn Yitzchak Rabin; never
was a genuine religious expression of grief even considered, since they
perceive that it was the dati community that caused the tragedy in the
first place. Amnon Rubinstein and Co are dismantling decades of work by
Mafdal in the Ministry of Education.  The anecdotes coming out of Israel
regarding anti-religious sentiment, of taxi drivers refusing to pick up
passengers with kippot serugot, of store keepers refusing to give
service to religious customers, of bus drivers refusing to drop off
students in front of Bar-Ilan University, of a platoon of soldiers being
taught a derisive song encouraging the killing of Yeshiva students, now
number in the thousands.

Recent years have seen the growth and decline of two significant
messianic movements in Orthodox Judaism. The first, Lubavitch chassidus,
has suffered a precipitous decline after the death of the Rebbe.  Even
worse, it has spawned a grotesque cult of followers who deny that the
Rebbe has even died, reminiscent of Christianity and Sabbateanism (the
details are in a recent article in Jewish Action).

The second movement is Gush Emunim: the vision of R. Zvi Yehuda Kook,
that the conquering of territories was a precursor for the Messiah, is
now being refuted by the facts on the ground: how does giving back
territory fit into such a messianic scenario?  The cognitive dissonance
among the residents of the shtachim, i.e. the inability to reconcile
this firm belief with the present reality, is devastating. Perhaps it
was the inability to live with this inconsistency that contributed to
Rabin's murder. Even the NRP has recognized, in its negotiation with
Labor, that Oslo 2 is a fait accompli, and that future efforts must
concentrate on salvaging whatever we can from Oslo 3.

I would like to submit that perhaps we are in the midst of a decline in
a third messianic movement: that of Religious Zionism itself.  Can the
present State of Israel now even be remotely called "reishit zemichat
geulateinu"?  How can we identify with the State of Israel under these
conditions? With the NRP negotiations broken down, will the presence of
Rav Amital essentially as a figurehead stem the dismantling of religion
in the life of the government and the state? How long before Israel has
a Conservative and Reform chief Rabbi in addition to Ashkenazi and
Sefardi Chief Rabbis? How long will it be before kashrus in the army is
considered a relic of a previous government, and the pleasures of "basar
lavan" become known in fast food restaurants across the country? Present
polls show a 2-1 margin of victory by Labor over Likud if elections were
to be held today, so this government is apparently not going to change
quickly: Meretz has plenty of time to act on their vision.

I suggest the above not out of any sense of Chareidi
triumphalism. Rather, as someone who identifies with Religious Zionism,
it comes out of a deep sense of my own cognitive dissonance. I therefore
look forward to a coherent refutation of the above thesis.

Arnie Lustiger


End of Volume 22 Issue 28