Volume 24 Number 56
                       Produced: Wed Jul  3 21:11:20 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bishvilei HaMinag
         [Yitzchak Kasdan]
Hashem melech...
         [Saul Mashbaum]
High Cost of Frum Living
         [Warren Burstein]
Images of People on the Net (2)
         [Avraham Husarsky, Avi Feldblum]
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
         [Ed Ehrlich]
Jews in Hevron - #54
         [Nesanel Peterman]
Pikuach Nefesh
         [Eli Clark]
War and Pikuach Nefesh
         [Zev Barr]


From: <IKasdan189@...> (Yitzchak Kasdan)
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 22:44:57 -0400
Subject: Bishvilei HaMinag

Please note that the author of "Bishvilei HaMinag" in my posting in mj # 53
is Elyakim Devorkus (not "Devorkim" as I had originally wrote).

Y. Kasdan


From: <mshalom@...> (Saul Mashbaum)
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 10:42:33 EDT
Subject: Hashem melech...

Chaim Schild, in MJ, v24n44, asks about the sentence in our siddurim:
"HaShem Melech, HaShem Malach, HaShem Yimloch L'olam Vah'ed". 

Similarly to Perry Zamek, I can't answer his specific question, but I
wish to point out a source which discusses this sentence.

The Meshech Hochma on Bamidbar 23:21 discusses the fact that the order
in the sentence is not chronological (first the present is mentioned,
then the past, and finally the future). In brief, Rav Meir Simcha points
out that in human experience, the present is perceived directly, the
past only through memory, and the future only through imagination. He
discusses this concept at length, relating it to the verses of Malchiot
on the mussaf of Rosh Hashana and many other sources. In other contexts,
the order is different for angels, and different still for the Deity.
It's a very interesting passage; I hope MJ readers will look it up.

Saul Mashbaum


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 07:16:18 GMT
Subject: Re: High Cost of Frum Living

Esther Posen writes:

>It was my understanding that people lived in frum communities because
>critical mass was required for frum schooling, shuls in walking
>distance, kosher butchter shops and the like.  Again, how we slander
>ourselves by saying that people who live outside of jewish communities
>are looked at askance.  I would question a committed frum person if they
>did not provide their children with a day school education...

I've never lived in a frum community but have always had shuls in
walking distance, and kosher butchers and day schools within driving
distance.  I have no criticism of those who live in frum communities,
but I don't see why those who don't live in such places should be
questioned.  I'm not talking about living 100 miles from the nearest
Jew, but access to the institutions mentioned above is available
outside of the areas known as "frum communities".


From: <hoozy@...> (Avraham Husarsky)
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 96 21:01:25 msd
Subject: Images of People on the Net

>write, I have made incorrect images in my mind as to what they "look
>like". One of my hopes with this list is that some people at least may
>be more open to listen and say, yes even if s/he may look different from
>me, what they are saying/thinking/feeling etc is similar and we all, as
>part of Klal Yisrael are brothers. This is not to downplay the concern


The only response to the above should be - why is the moderator of the list 
forming images as to what the posters look like and is this affecting his 
decision whether or not to post certain items?  the criteria of whether or 
not a post makes into the public forum should be based solely on content 
and not the moderators "image" of who the poster is, what the posters 
beliefs are or what is the posters personal situation.  we can only feel 
open to participate and perhaps look at another viewpoint (and perhaps even 
present a viewpoint contrary to what we might believe in) if we are indeed 
guaranteed some degree of "anonymity" and the only one who can guarantee 
that is the moderator.

Name: Avraham Husarsky         
E-mail: <hoozy@...>, ahuz@netvision.net.il

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 23:39:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Images of People on the Net

Avraham Husarsky writes:
> The only response to the above should be - why is the moderator of the list 
> forming images as to what the posters look like and is this affecting his 
> decision whether or not to post certain items?  

The reason the moderator of the list forms images as to what the posters
look like is that the moderator of the list is a human being, and this
appears to be a natural reaction, at least for this particular
person. As to whether this affects my choice of posting something or
not, I can quite honestly say that it does not. Often, after I've spent
a few hours working on list activities, if I am asked who has sent stuff
in and whom did you correspond with, I often barely know. I find that
working in "edit/moderate" mode focuses me almost purely on
content. Those who have been long time members know that I have posted
many submissions that I strongly disagree with. So what ever image I may
have does not effect getting your submission in, rather the content of
your submission will dominate that question.


From: Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 96 13:08:24 
Subject: Jerusalem, Jerusalem

When I registered the birth of my son as taking place at Hadassah
hospital in Ain Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel (which by the way is in the
pre-67 part of the city) the U.S. official deleted the word 'Israel'
from the form.

The U.S. State Department treatment of Jerusalem is even more galling
when compared with its treatment to pre-unification Berlin.  Officially
the United States never recognized either West or East German control
over Berlin because a formal peace treaty ending World War II had not
been signed. The U.S. policy was that the city of Berlin was under
control of the Four Victors of World War II (United States, England,
France, USSR).  This is the reason why West Germany's capital was Bonn.
Nethertheless, the United States Embassy to East Germany WAS located in
East Berlin although the U.S. did not recognize East Germany's control
over the city. In other words, in this regard, the United States treated
East Germany worse than Israel.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>


From: <npms@...> (Nesanel Peterman)
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 13:29:56 +0400
Subject: Jews in Hevron - #54

The Bostoner Rebbe, Shlita, spent last Shabbos (Bolok) in Hevron and Kiriat
Arba together with a large group of his Chassidim from all over Israel and
some from the USA.    During the course of his Torah at Shalosh Seudos at
the Ma'aras Hamachpelah the Rebbe said very forcefully that the yidden who
live in Hevron are "shomrei Hama'arah" and that without their presence in
Hevron the whole issue of Hevron would be off the international agenda and
that we may not have been able to be sitting in the Ma'arah at that time.
If any mj-ers are interested in a fuller report of that truly inspiring
Shabbos please email me directly.
Nesanel Peterman - <npms@...>


From: Eli Clark <ECLARK@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 14:12:40 -0400
Subject: Pikuach Nefesh

There has been an impressive degree of restraint demonstrated in
discussions of the Hevron/pikuah nefesh issue, in that participants have
focused on Halakhah rather than politics.  For this, everyone involved
deserves a compliment.

On Joseph Steinberg's comments, I must respectfully point out what I
believe to be a misleading point.  The perspective he presents, that
pikuah nefesh (saving a life) does not -- indeed cannot -- override
milhemet mitzvah (an obligatory war) is a hiddush (innovation) of R.
Yosef Babad, the Minhat Hinnukh.  Before the Minhat Hinnukh made this
argument, no one had ever discussed the issue.  Therefore, it is
disingenouous at best and misleading at worst to say that "EVERYONE"
agrees on this point.

  Indeed, it is not difficult to see why most authorities never related
the issues of war and pikuah nefesh: milhemet mitzvah is not a mitzvah
like shemirat Shabbat (Sabbath observance) or birkat ha-mazon (grace
after meals). Milhemet mitzvah generally arises in a communal context in
response to a specific historical development, such as kibbush ha-aretz
(conquest of the Land) or (lo alenu) a mortal attack on a Jewish
community.  Also, a milhemet mitzvah generally cannot arise, according
to various Rishonim (medieval authorities), without a melekh (Jewish
king), a Sanhedrin or the Urim ve-Tumim.  In any case, a milhemet
mitzvah generally serves some national goal or involves defending an
entire community.  In such a context, the need for an individual to risk
his life for the benefit of the tzibbur (community) is easily

Pikuah nefesh, in contrast, generally relates to individuals and is
applicable at all times.  Its source -- vahai bahem ve-lo she-yamut
bahem ("You shall live by the commandments, not die by them") --
establishes the basic principle that one is not commanded to give up
one's life to fulfill a mitzvah.  This is perhaps best reflected in the
halakhah that one is not commanded to give up one's life to save the
life of another individual.  Here, one individual's pikuah nefesh does
override the the obligation to save the life of another.

In short, I believe it is not enough to say, as Mr. Steinberg does, that
mitzvot involving mortal danger override pikuah nefesh.  The only such
mitzvah that the Minhat Hinnukh discusses is milhemet mitzvah (which
includes, e.g., milhemet Amalek, milhemet shivat amamaim, and according
to Rambam, wars of self-defense).  To wage a milhemet mitzvah generally
requires either divine authority or a halakhically recognized political
authority, either of which have the right to demand the risk of human
life.  The one case of milhemet mitzvah that does not require prior
authorization, where a Jewish community is threatened, is a case in
which the Jewish lives are already at risk.

If defense of the current Jewish population in Hevron is milhemet
mitzvah, one must grapple with a number of questions: Does the mitzvah
relate only to inhabitants of the community?  If so, then IDF soldiers
may not be obligated to risk their lives in defense of the hevron
community.  On the other hand, if the obligation to defend the Hevron
community extends beyond the inhabitants, then it should include every
Jew in Israel -- and possibly in Galut -- in addition to soldiers.

  Of course, this raises a different issue: If one assumes that a
milhemet mitzvah status applies, not just to Hevron, but to the entire
Jewish population in Israel, we face a question of priorities.  There is
never an unlimited supply of Jewish defenders.  The trained soldier is a
resource who must be used to best effect.  Hence, where a large tzibbur
(the entire Jewish population in Israel) is in a state of sakkanah
(danger), and its defense resources are limited, how does Halakhah
balance the security needs of the few against the security needs of the
may?  Is there a justification for resettlement (even if this involves
surrender of territory), so that defense of the entire land is not
compromised by the need to defend a single community?

I do not pretend to know the answer.  But it may depend upon whether
the community in question is itself serving as a defense buffer for the
rest of the land.  That is certainly the case with respect to the Golan
Heights settlements.  And that is certainly the point of the Gemara cited
by Mr. Steinberg dealing with a city near the border.  However, it is not
for me to determine whether the Hevron Jewish community is indeed
contributing to the overall defense of the country.  I assume that to be a
question upon which reasonable minds may differ.




From: <zevbarr@...> (Zev Barr)
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 1996 01:45:23 +1000 (EST)
Subject: War and Pikuach Nefesh

Harry Maryles writes:

"Rav Schach holds that Pikuach Nefesh dictates that the settlers leave
Hebron and Rav Aaron believes that the Mitzvah of Pikuach Nefesh is
served by staying in Hebron (with the protection of the IDF etc.) and in
the process one can fulfil the Torah mandate of Not relinquishing land
that is in Jewish hands."

I would like to alert mj-ers to 2 excellent articles in Vol XVI of
Journal of Halacha & Contemporary Society.  Space allows only 2 brief

In the first by Rabbi J.D. Bleich entitled "Of Land, Peace and Divine
Command", he writes "At the same time, a prudent assessment of inherent
risks requires that prospective concessions be examined with regard to
any risks such concessions may portend for the future. Jewish law, as
recorded in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 329:6, provides for defense of
'a city close to the border' on the Sabbath against occupation by the
enemy even when the enemy seeks only 'straw and hay' because security
considerations designed to safeguard against future danger to Jewish
lives require that border areas remain in Jewish hands. Applying the
selfsame consideration to the current dilemma, it may well be the case
that return of territory, the retention of which is essential for
purposes of security, may only enhance the danger to the inhabitants of
the State of Israel in any future conflict. Similarly, present
concessions may not appease the enemy but, on the contrary, may whet his
appetitie and enhance his strategic capabilities in demanding surrender
of additional territory."

In the second article that runs for 23 pages by Rabbi Herschel Schachter
entitled "Land for Peace: A Halachic Perspective", he concludes "To
return to the view of Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky that the 1948 War of
Independence continues to be waged today and that current incidents of
Arab unrest are merely extensions of that original conflict, it is to be
concluded in concurrence with the views of the Chatam Sofer and Minchat
Elazar cited above that it is forbidden to stop or slow this war, for in
so doing, we would be preventing the coming of the geula."

Zev Barr


End of Volume 24 Issue 56