Volume 31 Number 39
                 Produced: Mon Feb  7  5:04:43 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Eric Simon]
Aliya to Save Your Children
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Aliyah (2)
         [Alexis Rosoff, Rose Landowne]
Halachic Aliyah reasoning
         [Tszvi Klugerman]
Rambam vs. Ramban on Eretz Yisrael
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Rambam's View on Living in Israel
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Unveiling and Shiur in Memory of Rav Yehudah Gershuni Zatsa"l
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Eric Simon <erics@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 10:19:24 -0500
Subject: Aliya

A few observations:

1.  Many posters seem to indicate that the choice is between Aliya and
American public schools.  This, of course, is a false choice -- note the
burgeoning (even bursting) rate of day school attendence.

[The origin of this thread dealt with dealing with children who needed
special education resources that were not available in the Yeshiva
system, so would be putting their children in public school. The thread
has since widened to the more general issue of Aliya, but that specific
sub-case remains an active sub-thread. Mod.]

2.  One poster asked about halachik considerations.  I don't know them,
but certainly everyone knows of g'dolim in America that stayed in
America.  Rav Weinberg tz'l, Rav Moshe tz'l, and so forth.

3.  "kol yisroel arevim zeh b'zeh", all of yisroel is responsible for
another.  Serious question: if all observant Jews moved to Israel, what
would happen to the millions of non-observant Jews?  Is "kol yisroel
arevim zeh b'zeh" just a cliche, or was Chazal stating a mandate?  There
is some serious, critical, kiruv (outreach) work that needs to be done,
and we can not abandon millions of our brothers by just getting up and
leaving.  If a Chabad shaliach can go to Alaska, or Timbuktu, or
Khazakhstan, the least I can do is live in a metropolitan area, where my
children can get a solid day school education, and I can engage in kiruv
work of my own.

(And even I can get a cup of sugar from many of my neighbors, even share
a shabbos meal with them, any time -- and I live in the "wilderness" of
Fairfax, Va.)

-- Eric


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 16:52:28 +0200
Subject: Aliya to Save Your Children

Anonymous writes:

> Nevertheless, if parents raise their children with the values they
> want those children to internalize, it usually happens; if the parents
> don't "do their stuff," it often doesn't happen.


> Moreover, my parents were not observant, and objected fiercely when, at
> the age of 9, I became so.

I think that the second sentence I cited above disproves your first
one. At the end of the day, parents cannot *make* their kids be
observant or anything else, because the kids have a mind of their
own. Look at your own experience. Your parents did not want you to be
fruhm (which you go on to tell us in graphic detail later in your post),
and yet, B"H you came out fruhm anyway.

At the end of the day, I think there are three elements, whose relative
importance may vary from child to child, that go into determining a
child's personality. They are the parents, the school and the child's
peer group. A parent can (hopefully) control their own influence on
their children. With respect to the other two, a parent has to do the
best job they can to make sure their child is in an environment that
most closely matches the educational philosophy and peer group that they
want their child to have. IMHO if someone wants their child to be fruhm,
the child is more likely to come out that way if they see to it that
they have a fruhm education and a fruhm peer group. Obviously there are
lots of shades of gray in "fruhm" and that's why there are lots of
different schools out there.

>  Nevertheless, I can honestly say that I don't remember EVER feeling peer 
> pressure to do much of anything I didn't want to.  
> Among the more polite descriptors I have heard of my character is
> "bulldozer," but I never placed much stock in being socially accepted
> for what I did or didn't do.  

Again, that's a function of your personality. It seems that you were
strong enough to resist all three influences I cited above. Most
children are not.

> However, I would also respectfully make the point that intermarriage
> happens in Israel as well--I personally know Israelis whose relatives,
> living in Israel, have, for example, married Arabs.  Granted, these are
> anecdotal data, and it would be pretty hard to do a scientific study of
> the issue given present political currents.

Yes, there is intermarriage in Israel R"L. I know someone who works at
saving Jewish women from their (generally abusive) Arab husbands. OTOH I
don't think there is much question that the intermarriage rate in Israel
is an order of magnitude lower than it is in the US and in other western
secular societies.

> >  1. Health insurance - there is now universal health insurance in Israel
> >  through Kupot Cholim (sick funds - sort of like HMO's but ours at least
> >  has been fabulous). The minimum basket has NO pre- existing condition
> >  exclusions. The added services have NO pre- existing condition {..snip..}
> Points well taken, though health insurance considerations aren't the
> only aspects of concern when it comes to medical care for individuals
> with serious health conditions.

If what you are referring to is having a specific doctor who treats you,
an extension of that logic would be that you should not accept a job
transfer within the US either. If that's not what you're referring to,
forgive me, but I do not understand the comment.

In any event, I will tell you from our own experience, we have consulted
with probably close to twenty doctors in the US with respect to Baruch
Yosef, we have a "panel" with whom we consult (five doctors in five
cities, all with the same specialty) before we make a move, and for the
most part none of them charge us. We got to these doctors through the
net, through support groups on the net, through people here who
recommended them and so on.

To this I can only add that the critical care in Israel is excellent,
and that is based not only on our own experience, but on comparing our
experience with those of people in tens of countries around the world
who have shown up on our support group lists (US, Canada, England,
Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the Emirates and Switzerland all come
to mind off the top of my head).  Maybe we have had a lot of siyata
d'shmaya (help from Heaven), but in this respect at least, the nisim
(miracles) have been nistarim (hidden).

Aharon Fischman writes:

> Carl's arguments are logical and rational.  Unfortunately, the issue of
> Aliyah is complex enough that logical and rational arguments are not
> sufficient.  Going back to Carl's original question of what is the
> mind-set of someone looking for answers in Galut rather than in Israel
> is that there is a lot of emotion involved in such a major decision, and
> one must appeal to that side of human psyche as well.

On the one hand, I can see that there is an emotional side of aliya to
which we must appeal. But on the other hand, as "halachic" people who
try to live their lives according to halacha (and I am making that
assumption about every person who reads this list), how do we look at
halacha and say "I just can't do that." Do you look at matza on Pesach
and say, "it upsets my stomach. I won't eat it," without going and
asking a shaila (question) first. If you're a man (thanks to Ellen
Krischer for the sensitivity training :-), do you look at tzitzis and
say, "they make me sweat too much, I can't wear them." If you're a man,
do you look for excuses not to eat in the Sukka? I will bet that none of
us avoids eating matza, wearing tzitzis or eating in the Sukka without a
lot of soul-searching, without asking a competent Orthodox posek
(generally before we get ourselves into the position that we absolutely
cannot do it if that's possible) and without a lot of gut-wrenching
guilt feelings even if the posek tells us it's okay. So why don't we
react that way when it comes to the mitzva of Yishuv Ha'Aretz? Why is
this mitzva less than the others?

Now don't misunderstand. I have taken a lot of abuse over the last week
or so for over-generalizing, talking high and mighty and so on about
this issue. Needless to say, that was not my intent. I will grant you
that if your kids are aged 16, 14 and 12, coming on aliya right now is
probably not a great idea for you unless the kids are real gung ho on
it. But will you support your kids if they want to come when they get
older? And if you're 23 or 24 or 25 and just starting out in a career
now, have you even thought about coming before you get totally
entrenched in the US?

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<cmsherer@...> or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


From: Alexis Rosoff <alexis@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 09:42:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Aliyah

As someone planning to make aliyah, I have followed this thread with
some interest. I can see both sides of it.

on the one hand, I know I will be making big sacrifices to go to Israel.
The career I would choose here (teaching) will not be practical there
(firstly, it doesn't pay well enough for me to support myself on my own;
secondly, I don't have the necessary level of Hebrew).  Luckily I do
have other skills and will probably get a decent job, but it won't be at
US pay levels. I won't have the family and support network I do in the
States.  There will be culture shock. I've been out of the US for fairly
substantial amounts of time and I think I can cope, but most of it was
in English-speaking countries and all in the `West', i.e. North America
and Europe. The Middle East will be very different.

ultimately, I am going to Israel because I feel that is where I belong;
because I want to shape the future of the Jewish state even in a small
way. I would love it if more American Jews, from across the spectrum,
would feel similarly.

But I cannot fault people for not taking the plunge. Aliyah is a huge
step. I'm doing it now (well, in the coming year!) because I'm young and
have that kind of freedom. Uprooting a family is something else. I know
it can be done, but it's a lot more involved. And I don't fault people
for not wanting to leave the US (as opposed to not wanting to go to
Israel).  The United States has been good to the Jews, and I am grateful
to it.  Maybe it's not perfect, but my family has done well here, and I
can't blame someone for saying that this is their country, and they will


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 11:27:06 EST
Subject: Re: Aliyah

Just to bring the Aliyah issue back to the real topic of this list -
Jewish law- How do people who have decided not to make aliyah, (as
opposed to those who are just putting it off) deal with the overwhelming
evidence throughout the Torah (aside from the issue of whether living in
Israel is a mitzva in itself) that the Torah assumes living in the land
of Israel as the basis for so many of the mitzvot, and the reality that
when living in the land of Israel, there are so many more mitzvot that
you have the opportunity to perform on a daily basis?
  Rose Landowne


From: Tszvi Klugerman <Klugerman@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 21:15:52 EST
Subject: Halachic Aliyah reasoning

David Curwin wrote quoting the Rambam's Mishne Torah and the gemara in
Ketubot << "all must ascend to Eretz Yisrael ... even from a better
household to a worse household".  The Rambam quotes this as halacha -
Hilchot Ishut 13:19.  >>

The arguments of S.Z. shragai aside - It would appear that the Rambam
violated his own psak. He and his family had attempted Aliyah after
which they moved to Fostat (Cairo) where he eventually became the head
of the Jewish community as well as phycisian to the court of Saladin. If
my historical memory serves me right, the Rambam never did go back to
try to make it in Israel even when his brother was still alive and
supporting him, much less after his brother disappeared in a shipwreck.

Agreeably The Maharam miRotenberg was a strong advocate for Aliyah. His
"Zionist" stance is well known as he spent the last years of his life a
prisoner for attempting Aliyah.

But for a child whose parents are in need of support or assistance, to
abandon them in pursuit of a mitzvah whose modern day obligation is
debated among some poskim (unless I am mistaken and I will then be on
the next pilot trip) , I find the decision to follow a safek (doubtful
or questionable) vs. a definite d'oraita (torah obligation) or Kibud
Horim (honoring one's parents) a quite disturbing demonstration of
unneccesary piety .



From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 16:48:01 +0200
Subject: Rambam vs. Ramban on Eretz Yisrael

Uri wrote, with regard to the mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael:
>Apparently (even though Ramban agrees with you), Rambam does not. 

I have a number of comments on this issue:

a)First of all, it is important to note that you are referring only to
the fact that the Rambam does not mention the mitzva in his Sefer
HaMitzvot.  However, in the Mishneh Torah, which is the Rambam's work on
halacha (unlike the Sefer HaMitzvot), he writes: "One should always live
in Eretz Yisrael" (Hilchot Melachim 5:12, see the previous halachot for
the Rambam's view on the obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael). That in
itself should be a sufficient proof of the Rambam's view.

b)It is very difficult to make a definite conclusion based on the fact
the the Rambam *didn't" mention a particular mitzva. The Megilat Esther
was the only author who determined, based on the omission, that the
Rambam did not count the mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael as one of the
613. He claimed that the Rambam did not feel it was a perpetual mitzva.

c)So in order to relate to Uri's statement, it is possible to either
show that the Rambam did believe there to be a mitzva (despite the
omission), and/or to disprove the opinion of the Megilat Esther. Both of
those are very possible to do. I recommend reading Chapter 3, Section 2
of Eim HaBanim Semeichah by Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal HY"D (a
wonderful English translation has just come out), and in MeAfar Kumi,
the halachic section, "The Mitzva of Settling Eretz Yisrael in this
time", Chapter 3 (pgs.  52-60), by Tzvi Glatt, HY"D. Both have lengthy
explanations showing how the Rambam did believe there to be a mitzva,
and refute the Megilat Esther. If anyone is interested, I can try to
make a list of all the proofs that they bring.

d)Based on their convincing proofs, perhaps the only one besides the
Megilat Esther who felt the Rambam did not believe there was a mitzva
was the Ramban! I have also read opinions that while perhaps the Rambam
did not feel there was a mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael during a time
that Jews were not allowed to move there freely, in a period like today,
where there is Jewish sovereignty over the land and open immigration, he
would oblige making aliya. (See Rav Yoel Bin-Nun, "The Obligation of
Aliyah and the Prohibition of Leaving Israel in the Contemporary Era,
According to the Opinion of Rambam", in "Israel as a Religious Reality",
put out by The Orthodox Forum). According to this, today there is no
significance to the dispute between the Rambam and Ramban.

e)Lastly, it is somewhat over simplifying to make the dispute to be
between the Rambam and the Ramban. There are dozens of other Rishonim
and Achronim who held that there is a mitzva to live in Eretz Yisrael,
including the Rosh, the Tur, the Beit Yosef, the Chaye Adam, the Chatam
Sofer, the Aruch HaShulchan, Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, and others.

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 23:39:46 +0200
Subject: Rambam's View on Living in Israel

Uri writes (quoting me):

> > Fourth, living in Israel is a mitzva. (I have done several posts proving
> > this in the past - there is one early in Volume 25).
> Apparently (even though Ramban agrees with you), Rambam does not. 
> I'd leave this issue of proof for the gedolim to deal with.

I promised yesterday that I would answer this contention.  Truthfully,
David Curwin already brought one answer for me, when he brought the
Rambam in Ishus 13:19 who brings the Gemara in Ksuvos 110b that a man
can force his wife to move to Eretz Yisrael. I would add to that the
Rambam in Ishus 13:20 (which is based upon the same Gemara) which also
gives the woman the right to force the man to make aliya, and the Rambam
in Hilchos Shabbos 6:11, who allows a Jew to ask a non-Jew to write a
contract to purchase a house in Eretz Yisrael on Shabbos.

Yes, I know, the Rambam does not bring the mitzva of living in Israel in
his Sefer HaMitzvos. There has been much pilpul (logical argument)
written about why the Rambam does not bring it. The easy way out would
be to say that it's "only" a deRabbanan (Rabbinic command) today. V'ain
kan makom lehaarich (and this is not the place to be lengthy).

-- Carl M. Sherer
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, Baruch Yosef
ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 09:35:19 +0200
Subject: Unveiling and Shiur in Memory of Rav Yehudah Gershuni Zatsa"l

On Tuesday 9 Adar I, February 15, there will be a Gilui Matseva for
HRH"G Rav Yehudah Gershuni Zatsa"l at Har HaZeitim Cemetery. The family
will be leaving from the Gershuni home (46 Tchernechovsky, Jerusalem)
for the cemetery at 2:30 PM.
	That evening there will be a memorial shiur in his memory at Heikhal
Shelomo at 5 PM.
	Yehi zikhro barukh uTNZB"H.
			Aryeh Frimer


End of Volume 31 Issue 39