Volume 25 Number 04
                       Produced: Tue Oct  1 23:57:02 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Zvi Weiss]
Corollary to the Golus-Israel issue
         [Sharon Hauser]
Living in Chutz La'Aretz
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Orthodox Jews in CHU"L
         [Shmuel Jablon]
Yishuv Haaretz and Kiruv
         [Binyomin Segal]


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 08:58:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Aliya

> From: <mordy_gross@...> (Mordechai Gross)
> . . . But I feel there is
> another problem, halachically, because we were, after all, put in Golus.
>  Many seforim deal with this question, namely V'Yoel Moshe, from the
> Satmar Rav ZT"L. The Rishonim on the first Daf in Gitin also deal with
> this. Most, if I'm not mistaken, say that it is better to live there
> than here, BUT one has no obligation to pack up and leave, especially if
> it will be much more difficult to live there than here.

 A. I would like to know how many here "hold by" the P'sak of the Satmar
Rebbe ZT"L as a reason not to make Aliyah.  AND, of those who do, how
many follow his OTHER Piskei Halacha.  To cite this p'sak as a reason
not to make Aliyah, sounds just a bit self-serving.

B. If the poster feels that we were "halachically" put in Golus, I would
like to know why the Gemara STILL cited the praises of living in Israel.
The issue of the "oaths" and the like appears to be a matter of
"National" import (e.g., "shelo ya'alu b'choma" -- that they should not
go up "as a wall") -- our being "put in Golus" does not appear to be a
reason why INDIVIDUALS have to stay behind.

C. The issue is NOT simply whether there is an "obligation" or not -- if
-- as the poster admits -- it is "better" to be there, why should we be
"smug" about being here?

D. Most important: Are we **SELF-SATISFIED** with our communities here?
Many years ago, there was an article in the Jewish Observer called
"Missing: a feeling of Golus" -- the point that the author made was that
we feel NO DESIRE to live in Israel.  How many of us say: I REALLY
REALLY want to live in Israel BUT I lack bitachon/I am disorganized/I
have some other [VALID] reason for being here ...  I am concerned about
the people who -- in effect -- tell me that it is BETTER for them to be
here than there.  There is a vast difference between someone who feels
forced to live here even as they yearn for Aretz and someone who
patently insists that it is BETTER for them to be here.  In Sefer
Ha'Toda'ah (I think), there is a citation that the terrible miseries
that befell the Jews of Spain (back in the 1300's and 1400's) was due to
the fact that the JEws no longer yearned for Israel.  Are we becoming
like them?



From: Sharon Hauser <shauser@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 96 07:39:10 PDT
Subject: Corollary to the Golus-Israel issue

Hi. I agree with many of the recent responses to the "Turn Golus into
Israel" theory.  Listening to the news this morning (Erev Succos, Israel
time) has just put some thoughts into my head.

If the only problem was that many people living outside of Israel, for
their various reasons, don't *move* here it would be a sad enough
situation. But picking up and moving to a new place and speaking a new
language is not an easy thing, and inertia is unfortunately a very
strong force, and this will change but probably only by a big neis
(miracle)! [Just an aside: If you live in a big country like the States
you may not even realize what a big contribution you'd make if you lived
in a small country like Israel.]

What's troubling me is when I hear on the news that the tourist industry
has had a "knockout" because of yesterday's shootings... and that
Israeli stock prices are not doing well today. It seems that precisely
the people who were coming to "worship Hashem" during the shalosh
regalim (pilgrimage festivals) have had a switch in the direction of
their emunah (faith). And that precisely those with the means to invest
in Israel and do their share from a distance are backing out in the time
of need.

Maybe the problem of Golus is that things are so comfortable and
convenient and tranquil that when there is the slightest sign of
trouble, the first reaction is "I'm outta here" instead of "What can I
do to help?" - whereas here there are so many ups and downs that people
are affected (but not traumatized) and feel that they have an active

I don't know whether this particular problem in Israel will get worse
before it gets better but I'm "taking the risk" and writing this, and
I'm not changing my plans to spend Yom Tov with my sister whose yishuv
overlooks Jericho. Even CNN reported that in most places things are
quiet, most Palestinians stayed at home, and the trouble is primarily at
the border (PA/IDF) checkpoints.

I hope people can start encouraging themselves to buy the stocks, and
book the flights (I originally wrote "encouraging each other" and
changed it to "themselves") - especially at the start of a new year and
a new cheshbon (account). Think positive,
 and Chag Succot Same'ach!

PS - I *am* going in a van that has coated windows instead of driving by
myself - no one says you have to be stupid -

Sharon Hauser  <shauser@...> or <shauser@netvision.net.il>


From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 08:15:07 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Living in Chutz La'Aretz

> From: Larry London <llondon@...>   (v24n94)
>      I imagine it is more true in New York, but what religious Jews here
> in Baltimore have done is to bring Israel to these Chesapeake shores.
> We live in intensely Jewish neighborhoods where Shabbos is seen and
> felt.  We shop in stores and eat in restaurants that are as intensely
> Jewish as on any street in Israel.  We have our own religious and Jewish
> political structure.  I'm not defending chutz l'aretz, I'm just trying
> to explain to our Israeli brothers how a religiou Jews can ride the
> subway while reading the Wall Street Journal.  We have turned Friday
> night into Shabbos, and in many neighborhoods have turned golus into
> Israel.

After 2,000 years or so of suffering which came about after our
incomplete return from exile in the days of Ezra, this message implies
that we have not yet learned our lesson. It makes me sad to think that
this is expected to be taken as a serious attempt to explain why not to
live in our own land. Larry, it is not true that you have brought
"Israel to these Chesapeake shores" -- our land is where it is, and no
amount of copying or attempts to live in a ghetto will allow you to
change this fact. The mitzvah is not to set up something similar to our
land, but to come here to live.

Do you really need a small example out of many? The "Shabbos" that you
have made in Baltimore is nothing compared to the Shabbat kept by the
Israeli government and its institutions. The entire country was CLOSED
on Yom Kippur.  Your Wall Street Journal may sympathize with Israel (or
not), but it is a non-Jewish institution, run by non-Jews. You are
living in a country with an assimilation rate of 50%, and you cannot see
the connection between the atmosphere around you and the fact that you
are ignoring an explicit mitzvah.

>      Even in Temple times, Jewish communites resided throughout the
> world. That's just the way Jews are.

See my comments above about the time of Ezra. You might want to consult 
works by the Maharal, Rav Kook, and the Gra, for more details.

>  The blessing of these times is
> that we share events with our Israeli brothers as they happpen.  Some
> Jews are over the Green Line; some Jews are over the Blue Line.  But our
> destinies are linked to the Land, as never before.  We eat Israeli
> produce.  We sing Israeli tunes.  Our children study in Israel, and many
> are serving in its Armed Forces.  The world is getting smaller, but for
> Jews in Baltimore and in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem is still our Capital.
> Eventually, many of us will be joining you.

You are welcome to visit me when you come on Aliyah, and I will be happy
to give you all the help I can to settle. Important events are happening
around us all the time, and you are invited to take part, not to stand
off on the side and try to tell us from afar that you are part of us.

    Moshe Goldberg    <mgold@...>


From: <u28324@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 23:19:45 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Orthodox Jews in CHU"L

I think that it is obvious to any Torah Jew that the ideal place for a Jew
is in Eretz Yisrael.  B"H, Hashem has returned much of Artzenu to Jewish
sovereignty; even if it is not yet in its ideal state, the State of Israel
has obviously had a positive effect on us.  Even for those who are not
"Religious Zionists" the ability to do more mitzvos in Eretz Yisrael than
in CHU"L is obvious.

Still, many are not yet able to make aliyah.  We may have good excuses, or
perhaps not.  Some may be, in some views, forbidden to go because of their
personal or communal responsibilities.  That is, of course, a question for
an individual and his/her Rav, and does reflect on where we as a NATION
belong.  Thus, IMHO it is imperitive for a Torah Jew, no matter how
comforable they are in CHU"L, to recognize that s/he is not in a place
anything like Eretz Yisrael.  West Rogers Park, Baltimore, Crown Heights,
etc. etc., etc. are not part of the Holy Land. Mitzvos are best done- and
can be done in greater number- in Eretz Yisrael.  Eretz Yisrael is Our G-d
Given Land and Our Nation- our past, present, and future.  In the "fat and
happy galus" of the U.S. we are- despite all ha-karas ha-tov (gratitude)
justly owed, strangers.  We have to recognize the nissim (miracles) Hashem
does daily in Modern Israel.  We have to recognize that even if we are not
yet there- for whatever reason- that our goal and dream must be to one day
end up in Eretz Yisrael. In short, though our lives shouldn't be paralayzed
be intense golus guilt, we must never be too comfortable outside of Israel.
Our eyes must always be on Tzion.

  An additional note: It is not surprising to me that many of us as
individuals have not yet made aliyah.  The challenges and other
responsibilities in the U.S. are obvious.  What is more surprising to me is
that there has never been a mass migration of Torah Jews- as a COMMUNITY-
to Israel.

Chag Sameach!

Shmuel Jablon


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 20:50:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Yishuv Haaretz and Kiruv

i'm glad to see that the issue of yishuv haaretz is getting more focused
attention. I said my piece in mj 24:66 but i'd like to respond to a few
comments that have been raised.

first a couple of misc points:

in defense of mr london's idea of creating israel in chutz laaretz -
though emotionally i agree with his attackers and find the idea hard to
swallow - an intellectual investigation will find support for this idea
in the gemara and poskim. the gemara discusses the special status of
bavel different from other lands - and a careful look at the gemara
(ktuvos 110b-111a) and the rambam (melachim 5:12) and esp. the kesef
mishna there seems to offer possible support for mr london's ideas.

btw this gemara is of course also the source for the oaths other people
have referenced. but to clear up one possible misconception - even the
satmar rav who was most strong in halachik application of these oaths
did NOT forbid living in Israel. even he points to the spiritual value
in being there.

now to the real meat of this post...

Patricia Dobin (and perhaps some others) have a hard time accepting
kiruv as a reason to stay here in america

 * To the gentleman worried about lost American jews, I can genuinely ask
 * him to come to Israel and continue his important work of Kiruv with lost
 * Secular Israeli Jews.He no longer has a reason not to make Aliya.

first off (if mrs dobin was adressing me - perhaps i just have a guilty
conscience) it seems that she didn't understand my post. i am not at a
loss for what to do when i get to israel. i am at a loss for a
halachik/ethical justification for abonding the mitzvah that is in my
face. there is a clear halachik idea that i mentioned in my earlier post

 * I could put it into a halachik perspective. In a case where 2 mitzvos are
 * in conflict for your time then there is a principle - ein maavirin al
 * hamitzvos (one does not pass over one mitzva to perform another ie one
 * takes the mitzva closer at hand first). Now is not the time to go into
 * halachik depth here on deciding exactly how this principle applies
 * (certainly it is not _always_ applicaple) - but I do believe that this
 * principle and its corrolary - osek bmitzva patur min hamitzva (one who is
 * performing one mitzva is exempt from others) do provide a significant
 * halachik requirement for _many_ (though not all) Orthodox Jews to remain in
 * the US.

i would love to be in israel - im not sure why im allowed to go. and
though this is a halachik arguement - it has a bitachon/ethical
component as well.  i try to do what hashem wants of me. since i don't
speak to Him directly i can only take my best guess at what that
is. halacha indicates that the mitzvos that Hashem puts in your face are
the ones He wants you to do.

does one make aliyah to Israel because that is the best way to serve
Hashem? or because it is the best way to serve themself? can Hashem not
want different people to do different things?

finally, id like to reference a sefer i was learning recently. Rabbi
Yosef Hurwitz of Navardok wrote a short work (published posthumously by
his students) called Mzakeh harabim (Feldheim trans into - To Turn the
Many To Righteousness). in it he describes the obligation to work in -
essentially - kiruv. (he is discussing the haskalah but the applications
are clear) In it he makes a few points that are worth mentioning here.

1. EVERYONE - not just rabbis and teachers - are responsible to do thier
part. and everyone has a part to play.

2. one is responsible to travel to help bring EVERY community of jews
under the banner of Torah

He bases all his points on gemaras and his conclusions seem to be pretty
straight forward - no discussion of this topic is complete without
looking carefully at his book and his sources. (i would write more about
it but yom tov is coming etc....)

g'mar tov to all


End of Volume 25 Issue 4