Volume 31 Number 56
                 Produced: Mon Feb 14  6:34:11 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyah (4)
         [Eric Simon, Chaim Mateh, Mike Gerver, Rena Freedenberg]
Cholov Yisrael
         [Eli Clark]


From: Eric Simon <erics@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:26:28 -0500
Subject: Aliyah

>> 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?...

>"This reminds me of [a] conversation my Rebbe had with us before Shavuos
>when I was in Yeshiva.  His words were very simple "none of you should
>be the tzaddik [righteous one - I think Avi was less strict about
>translations three and a half years ago - all the square brackets are
>things I added today :-) ] who says brachos [the morning blessings] for
>everyone." Yes, someone has to say birchos hashachar [the morning
>blessings] on Shavuos morning and to do that they have to have slept
>(i.e. not learned all night).  But why does it have to be *you*?

It has to be somebody, no?  In fact, give the millions of non-observant
Jews in America, it has to be more than a few, don't you think?

>I would only add to that, IMHO, *unless* you are full time in kiruv work
>like the Chabad shaliach, the fact that a Chabad shaliach is in Alaska
>or Kazakhstan or Uruguay or anyplace else is no *halachic* justification
>for *you* to remain in galus (exile).

I still don't understand it.  Are you saying that _only_ a Chabad
shaliach has halachic justification for staying in galus?  Is _every_
observant Jew in America acting contrary to halacha?  Is every bochur in
Lakewood and Ner Israel being told by their rebbes to get up and leave
for Israel, for good?

Kiruv can't be left solely to Chabad shluchim.  Where I live (Northern
Virginia) there are about 40,000-60,000 Jews.  There are about 12
observant families (and two of _those_ are those of the Chabad
shluchim).  Are those two families going to do it _all_ around here?
Every time a family turns frum they should up and leave for Eretz
Yisroel?  If that's the case, will they _ever_ get a minyan?  Will they
_ever_ reach a critical mass?  And who, btw, will support the new Chabad
shul here?

I feel I am playing an important role.  Tomorrow night, G-d willing,
about 30 non-observant Jews will be coming over to my house for a
shabbos dinner and torah discussion (being a former leader in the Reform
movement, I have an "in" to many non-observant Jews!).  These are _not_
folks who would accept an invitation of a Chabad rabbi.  Two nights ago,
I had about 20 over to my home (all of them non-observant) to hear a
shiur by the Rosh Yeshiva of a local Yeshiva High School.  (OK, this
wasn't exactly a typical week, but it _is_ something that my wife and I
do on a very consistent basis).

I feel a calling . . . to help to teach non-observant Jews, and to show
them the wisdom of Torah and the beauty of observant life.  No, I'm not
a professional at this (although if someone would pay me to do what I do
in this area, I would be most greatful!) -- but I'm not sure how that is

"kol yisroel arevim zeh b'zeh", all of yisroel is responsible for one
another.  I take that very seriously.

According to the Zohar, parents have perfect prophecy when they name
their children.  At a Farbragen once, a rabbi asked me my name (it is
Ezra Shalom), and he said that HaShem's path for me is to help bring
peace among the various factions of Jews.  I can't say I disagree.  Not
too many folks have been able to get articles published in both "Reform
Judaism Magazine" _and_ "Yated Ne'eman".

Does it have to be _me_?  I don't know.  But I think I'm pretty good at

It seems to me that successful kiruv work ought to be a valid
consideration via-a-vis Aliya.

-- Eric

From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 22:45:30 +0200
Subject: Aliyah

In v31#44, Russell Hendel <rhendel@...> wrote

<<Briefly I would posit that sexual harassment is much more common in
Israel then it is in the US >>

"Posit" indeed!  Can you furnish some reliable statistics or proofs for
such a claim?  In my 20 years working at an Israel bank, I have _NEVER_
heard of any sexual harrassment cases filed with the police, or tried in
court, and not even spoken about in the coffee room.  Other scandels
purpetrated by bank workers (double-jobs, misuse of telephones, etc) I
heard of.  Nothing as serious as you write.  I would think such a
serious accusation be substantiated.

<<First let me mention that there was in fact an (embarassing) cover
story on Times Magazine (in 1994?) that dealt with this topic.>>

Not this is proof of anything, but I get TIME magazine weekly for the
past couple of decades and I don't recall that writeup.  Any specifics?

<<a) TEENAGE YEARS: A former prime minister of Israel openly said that
the army is "where people learn about sex.">>

_This_ is proof of something?  Any statistics comparing the promiscuity
in the Israeli army with that in the American army?

<< I know that Carl will probably tell me that religious girls are
exempt from the army, but I don't want to emigrate to a country where
all non-religious girls are subjected to a 'military' life.>>

First of all, why should that stop (or justify no) aliyah?  Secondly,
your implication here is that a girl in the army is guaranteed to lose
her virginity.  Again I must ask for something more than saying so.
Thirdly, do you seriously think that were those nonreligious girls not
to go to the army, that they would not lose their virginity outside the
army, of their own free will?  Something's missing here.

<< Furthermore, although people learn about sex in colleges the
distinction is that the colleges do not have an enforcable

Again you imply that this "enforcable environment" is really enforced
rape. Is this what you really mean?

<<b) WORK PLACE: As indicated America has very strong harassment laws;...
 By contrast there is little legal protection in Israel>>

Does lack of such laws mean automatically that the vast majority (or
even minority) of women in the work force are forcebly harrassed?

<<c) DIVORCE: The waiting, inefficiency of courts, & necessity to give
up equitable shares of estates for a divorce are all public knowledge>>

Even if we assume that what you write is correct (any substantiating
proof?), are you saying that a religious Jew (or even a nonreligious
Jew) should not move to Israel because it's more difficult to get
divorced in Israel?  IOW, ease of getting a divorce is a determining
factor for where to live?  Do most people plan to divorce their spouses?

<<d) EMIGREES: People still crack jokes about Russian emigrees asking
where to find employment who are told to go to places where prostitutes
hang out>>

Does this mean that employment is difficult to find here?  I'll pass on
this one, since I don't quite understand what you mean to say?

<<I would be happy to find out only 1 or 2 of these are still serious

Shouldn't you first establish that they are serious problems to begin
with?  And much more serious problems than in America?

<< But they are problems and Israel has to offer a comparable work
environment to those who want it. >>

Your description of the Israeli work place is astonishing to say the

<<Halachically, the right to a 'safe work place' is one of the 3
permissabilities for leaving Israel.>>

Even if we assume that your description is correct (which IMHO is
grossly incorrect), and some workplaces are _not_ safe for women, _that_
is called a "permission" to leave Israel?!  Perhaps it is a permission
to change jobs?  Someone who takes a job that is life threatening is now
justified in saying that because of pikuach nefesh he can leave Israel?
Or perhaps he should simply change jobs to a more safer one.  And even
if there aren't so many safer jobs, this means that he doesn't have a
parnosso and is permitted to leave Israel?  I sincerely fail to see the
Hallachic logic here.

<<Since I have a habit of being misunderstood >>

Well, you did it again <G>, big time.

<<let me make it explicitly clear that ALL I am saying is that in
certain areas America is superior to Israel in atmosphere>>

I await some substantiating in this regard.

<< and the deficiencies in these areas halachically justifies not
emigrating to Israel--that is ALL I am claiming.>>

I fail to see _any_ Hallachic justification.  Perhaps you could explain
it a bit better?

Kol Tuv,
Living and working in safe work places in Israel for over 20 years.

From: Mike Gerver <MJGerver@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:35:49 EST
Subject: Aliyah

Eric Simon, in v31n39, asks:

> 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.

In March 1998, I heard a guest drasha given by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at
Young Israel of Century City, in Los Angeles. It was a very inspiring
speech about how everyone should make aliyah. (Much more inspiring, by
the way, than the drasha I heard him give a few weeks earlier at his own
shul in Efrat, when this choice of topic was not available to him.) At
one point in the speech, he suddenly stopped and said "Your rabbi
[Elazar Muskin] has a heter. Anyone who is involved in Jewish education
is allowed to stay in chutz la'aretz," or words to that effect.

CYLOR, but I suppose the answer to Eric's question would depend on how
serious and extensive is the kiruv work he is engaged in, perhaps
whether he is doing it professionally, or other issues like that.

Mike Gerver

From: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 23:39:24 +0200
Subject: RE: Aliyah

This is the most ridiculous excuse I have heard yet for not fulfilling
the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael, and I have heard some whoppers.

If you choose not to do a positive mitzvah, well, Hashem has endowed us
all with free choice and we make our choices. However, please don't make
ridiculous excuses for your behavior.

I am a Chareidi woman living in Eretz Yisrael and I am NOT a Bais
Ya'akov teacher, I am a technical writer. I have worked in many
companies in the Tel Aviv/Ranana/Petach Tikva area of the country and I
can state to you that there is FAR LESS sexual harassment here in Israel
than exists in the States. Let's go over the four life stages that you

1. The military. It is true that frum girls do not go into the army and
it is also true that it would not be a good thing for non-frum girls to
be harassed any more than frum ones. However, the statement that most
young Israelis learn about sex in the army IS NOT ABOUT HARASSMENT. IT
religious girls are put into close contact with non religious boys and
what comes naturally comes naturally. The same thing would occur if the
same people were put into college in a dorming situation together. There
is no one "forcing" what goes on in this area.

2. The workplace. The truth is, there is LESS harassment here in the
workplace than in Amreika. As I mentioned, I have worked with many
different companies here in Israel. I can tell you that all the men that
I run into are very respectful of the women around them and treat me
much better than the standard goyim at work in the States. Religious men
are obviously very respectful, but so are the out-and-out chilonim. Not
to mention the fact that no one looks at us cross-eyed for all the
holidays that we take off for in the month of Tishrei WITHOUT having to
use personal vacation time.

3. Divorce. I know frum women who were in and out of the rabbinute in 20
minutes with a divorce. They got the kids, child support, and the get. I
know non-frum couples who also divorced without much fanfare here. It is
true that I have heard some stories that are really terrible, but I
don't know all the true details of the stories and it is quite possible
that you don't either.

4. My husband was NEVER told, in all the time he looked for work, to go
look where the prostitutes hung out. Neither was I. Neither was anyone
who I ever heard of. Maybe this is another urban legend passed around by
people who are trying to make themselves feel better about neglecting a
very crucial mitzvah. I do know that there have been a lot of non-Jewish
Russian prostitutes who came over here with false proof of Judaism to
work their trade, but I daresay this is not on-the-job harassment.

I will state for you unequivocally, Israel DOES have a much better
atmosphere in EVERY WAY than America. Period. As regards schools. As
regards tuitions. As regards sexual harassment. As regards kashrus. As
regards the very air on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim. I have lived in both
places and I guarantee you that your wife would be much happier here
than there, both at work and at home. Period.



From: Eli Clark <clarke@...>
Subject: Cholov Yisrael

Given that this thread continues, I think people should know that R.
Moshe Feinstein's pesak (ruling) was not an unprecedented innovation
(hiddush).  Reading through some responsa from the 1800's, I found
approving references to the practice of consuming milk that had not been
milked under Jewish supervision, where circumstances indicated that the
milk came from a kosher animal.  In other words, this leniency already
existed in Europe.  Indeed, it seems clear that this practice was
carried over to the US.  In his teshuvah (responsum), R. Moshe mentions
that many observant Jews, even learned scholars, drink unsupervised
milk.  Note that they were doing so before R. Moshe put pen to paper and
analyzed the status of "halav ha-companies."  Apparently, they were
relying on the same leniency mentioned in the teshuvot from he previous
century.  The contribution of R. Moshe, it seems, is to halakhcially
analyze the role of the USDA and commercial milk bottlers (which
obviously did not exist in Europe) and find that they too provided
sufficient evidence to satisfy the requirement of halav Yisrael.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

End of Volume 31 Issue 56