Volume 31 Number 82
                 Produced: Tue Mar 28  5:57:38 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliya (2)
         [Yosef Braun, Aharon Fischman]
Aliya and the majority
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Aliya to Save Your Children
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
         [Isaac A Zlochower]
Eruv & Making Aliya
         [Catherine S. Perel]
One may be obligated to say bad things in certain Circumstances (2)
         [Shoshana L. Boublil, Roger & Naomi Kingsley]


From: Yosef Braun <yb770@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 11:30:58 EST
Subject: Aliya

 Further to my previous posting re aliya - now that we established the
PRACTICE of the majority of gedolei yisrael and klal yisrael, I wish to
provide some references and the rationale behind their attittude of
opposing aliya.
 Many rishonim maintain there is no such mitsva, particularly nowdays,
see tosafot ketubot 110b s.v. hu; this is also the implication of rashi
berachot 57a s.v. berets and rashbam baba batra 91a s. v. ein. Clearly
the rambam doesn't consider it one of the 613, see megilat esther to
ramban hosafot asin #4. Regardless of other opinions, the halacha in
shulchan aruch seems to follow rambam, because this mitsva isn't
mentioned at all in s.a.  The halachot re exiting EY ; forcing one's
spouse to ascend to EY etc. don't indicate any mitsva, for this is
associated with kedushat and chibat ha'arets and not necessarily with
yishuv ha'arets (see maharit vol. 2 #28; 1 #47; chatam sofer y.d. #234;
tashbats vol. 3 #200).
 The rationale for not encouraging aliya or refraining from aliya
involves many complex issues. Amongst them are: the issur of aliya
bi'choma ; the prohibition to leave bavel (or any mi'kom torah - see
mi'iri ketubot 110b and others); the focus on nationality which
unfortunately often replaced kiyum hamitsvot (see letters in tikkun
olam) ; sakanat nefashot (see pitchei teshuva e. h. 75:5 for the
definition of this term with regard to yishuv EY and re financial
difficulties) ;difficulty with kiyum mitsvot hateloyot ba'arets (see
tosafot ketubot 110b, tashbats katan etc.) ; sakanat nefashot on a
spiritual level etc.
 This provides ample room for limmud zechut on klal yisrael and we need
not question the motives of our brethern.
 Sorry the vort from sefer hachayim in my previous psting was
incorrectly mentioned on his name. I must have seen this
elsewhere. Sefer hachayim emphasizes the word "dar", implying that only
one who makes chuts la'arets his PERMANENT residence , not anticipating
geulah is guilty of "eyn lo eloka". I'll try to find the source for the
controversial vort.

From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 13:48:44 -0500 
Subject: RE: Aliya

Carl Sherer wrote:

>It is my contention that for most of us, if we were really doing that
>kind of examination of our ways each day with an eye towards improving
>our performance as avdei Hashem (Hashem's servants), we would eventually
>reach the conclusion that we can attain a higher spiritual level in
>Eretz Yisrael than we can in the galus (exile), and we would take
>concrete actions towards attaining that goal.

Again, I don't disagree with the sentiment, but there are plenty of ways
that anyone, myself included, can reach a higher spiritual level.  Since
Aliya is a difficult process even for those who know what it is like,
many people find other ways to improve their Avodat Hasehm (Service to
G-d) without going on Aliya.  Therefore, even with the understanding
that Aliya is high ideal, it is difficult to accomplish without a
mindset that one is able to make it, and they turn their efforts to
other ways to be a proper "avdei Hashem".

Aharon Fischman


From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2000 17:28:14 +0200
Subject: Aliya and the majority

Yosef Braun <yb770@...> wrote:

>  There has been a lot of discuusion about the practise and attitude of
> many frum Jews to the mitsva of yishuv erets yisrael. Many of the
> posters seem to ignore the fact that rov minyan and rov binyan [how do
> you translate that?]  of shomrei mitsvos [frum] are currently not in
> erets yisrael? Wouldn't that imply something about the "significance" of
> this mitsva?

I think that looking at the sources, we can see that when it comes to
the mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael, unfortunately, often the majority
was in the wrong.  For example:

a) According to the midrash, the vast majority of Jews did not want to
leave Egypt to go to the land of Israel, and were punished with death
during the plague of darkness. It wasn't only that they wanted to remain
slaves as the Etz Yosef on Midrash Rabba writes: "Many among them indeed
wanted Moshe to liberate them from their servitude, but to set them up
as free men in Egypt. They did not want to leave the land of their

b) As we all know, 10 of the spies gave a bad report, versus the two who
gave a positive one. And the entire generation listened to that bad
report and was punished with death in the desert.

c) Only a small minority of the Jews in Babylon came up with Ezra to
Eretz Yisrael.  The midrash states that if the Jews had come up in large
numbers, the second Temple would never had been destroyed.

d) In the 18th century, Rav Yakov Emden wrote: "Hurry, scurry, do not,
God forbid, contemplate remaining permanently outside of Eretz Yisrael,
to fulfill 'They will devour you...' This was the sin of our ancient
forefathers who caused our people to weep for generations, since they
despised the desirable land...We were ignored, like the dead, since we
had become oblivious to Eretz Yisrael. Not one in a thousand arises to
take possession in the land - only one out of a whole country, and two
in an entire generation."

e) Even in you write that the Chibat Tzion movement "was in opposition
to the opinion of most gedolei yisrael of the time" it behooves you to
look at the book Eim HaBanim Smeicha, by the saintly Rav Yisachar Shlomo
Teichtal, HY'D. He at one point also opposed Zionism, but during the
Shoah came to the conclusion that those rabbis who opposed the settling
of the land were wrong, even if they were in the majority.

Two other important points: One, there are very large number of poskim
who did write that is an obligation to move to Eretz Yisrael (see my
previous posts).  The second point is that we are not living in the
1950s and 1960s. Thirty and fourty years ago, there were leading
rabbinic authorities in chutz l'aretz from all streams of Orthodoxy. But
sadly, in the past several years, Rabbis Soloveitchik, Feinstein,
Schneerson, Kaminetsky, etc. have passed away. The new rabbinic
leadership for almost everyone is now in Eretz Yisrael. This is due both
to the stature of the rabbis of the land, and maybe even more so,
because of the phenomenon of chutz l'aretz youth going to study in
yeshivot in Eretz Yisrael. They naturally accept the authority of their
roshei yeshiva, and that leads to "from Tzion will come Torah".  What
will Jewry in the diaspora be able to say in, lets say a generation,
when almost all their major poskim will say that they must make aliya to
Eretz Yisrael?

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 15:03:21 +0200
Subject: Re: Aliya to Save Your Children

> From: Joel Rich <Joelirich@...>
> <<  Rav Mordechai Shikovitzky zt"l spoke at the Bar Mitzva. It's
>  been more than eight years since that Bar Mitzva, and his words still
>  ring in my head, "bezeas apecha tochal lechem zeh lo mitzva - ze onesh."
>  (Eating bread from the sweat of your brow [i.e. having to work for a
>  living] is not a mitzva, it's a punishment (for eating from the tree of
>  knowledge in Gan Eden). Let's not spend more time and effort than we
>  have to on the punishment! >>

As can be seen from many sources in the G'mara and elsewhere, it isn't
the work that is the punishment -- it is the labor (sweat of your brow).

Even before the sin Adam was supposed to "work the garden".  Only
afterwards was he told what to eat.  After the punishment the
agricultural caring which was supposed to be just that turned into hard
labor where the land isn't always responsive to our efforts.

As it said in the Parsha "VeAsu Lee Mishkan VeShachanti BeTocham" (and
they will make me a Residence and I will dwell within them).  First the
people have to do the work (build a Mishkan) and then Hashem will dwell
in the hearts of the people.

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 01:40:48 -0500
Subject: Aliyah

I agree with Carl that the evident explanation of the halacha of Rav
Yehudah said in the name of Samuel (T.B. Ketubot 111a). comparing the
prohibition against leaving Babylonia to that of leaving Eretz Yisrael,
is that given by the Meiri and Rashi (whom I cited).  Both contend that
it is a question of not leaving the primary center of Torah studies
(unless compensated by the holiness of Israel or the lack of presumption
that Israel does not exemplify wisdom and good traits).  My problem with
the Rambam who cites the above halacha is the use of the questionable
verse in Jeremiah to buttress the halacha.  How can we apply something
written about the remaining vessels of the first temple to Jews living
in Babylonia after the destruction of the second temple about a millenia
or more after Jeremiah's prophesy?  Furthermore, those vessels were
largely returned for use in the second temple by the Persian rulers in
fulfillment of the verse.  Finally, how can Rav Yehuda speak of a
prohibition against leaving Babylonia, even for Israel, when illustrious
predecessors such as Hillel, Rabbi Nathan, Rabbi Chiyah, and Rav
Yehuda's other teacher, Rav did that very thing?  The evident answer to
the latter question is that those illustrious figures made their Aliyah
at the time when Eretz Yisrael was the center of Torah, but by Rav
Yehudah's time Babylonia had become the more important Torah center.
Then what is the import of the Rambam's use of the verse?

Let me also take the occasion to acknowledge a serious error in my
previous post.  I seem to have illustrated my own citation of an
aphorism, 'If you post often, then sooner or later, you will say
something foolish'.  I should not have used such an expression with
regard to someone's posts.  It is enough to disagree; belittling
comments are uncalled for.  I apologize.

Yitzchok Zlochower


From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 19:44:25 -0600
Subject: Eruv & Making Aliya

On 20 February, Vol. 31, #65, Mr. Sherer <cmsherer@...> wrote:

> I also submit that *at the very least* every fruhm Jew who is staying
> in America should be making a cheshbon hanefesh (soul searching) as to
> why s/he feels that s/he is incapable of fulfilling a long list of
> mitzvos at this time, despite the fact that Israel is a accessible by
> safe air travel, has parnassa (means of support) for most of its
> population, has all of the amenities of modern life, has abundant
> yeshivos and seminaries, and has many eligible potential mates.

Frankly, I find your thinking rather narrow.  It's a shame, as I find
that to be true whenever halachic issues arise.  Jews with disabilities
are completely ignored -- as if we don't exist and wish and pray that we
could observe all the mitzvoth with the ease you do.  Some of us have
the proper kavanah, but completely lack the ability to follow through.
Are you aware of Jews with disabilities?  Are you aware of fruhm Jews
with disabilities?  A friend of mine has MS.  He had an exacerbation of
his symptoms.  What was the primary concern of his rabbi?  Whether he
could lay t'fillin.  A bochur was sent over every day to help him in
that regard.  To help with meal preperation or meal invitations, or
meals brought to him, seemed to be more than the fruhm community in
which he lives too much for them to handle.  He lost 25lbs he couldn't
afford to lose.  Are you aware that to be a fruhm Jew in an electric
wheelchair, the chair must be on at all times on all Sabbaths and Yom
Tovim?  Are you aware of the danger inherent in such a design -- a
design developed for scooters, not for wheelchairs, in eretz Israel?

Further, to say Israel has all the ammenities of modern life only
displays the same lack of knowledge and understanding that exists in the
US.  If Torah is to be the tree of life, why was the rabbi more
concerned about laying t'fillin rather than seeing to it that he could
get meals?

You look at fulfilling mitzvoth as a non-disabled male.  Look at it as a
disabled male ... a disabled female looking for an accessible mikvah
 ... a disabled female who has just been told she cannot have children
 ... a disabled male told that he cannot have children.

Whenever I hear fruhm Jews discuss hallacha, they act as if we don't
exist ... as we sit amongst them.  If single, chances are we will never
marry, shiduch or no shiduch.

Before you start discussing generalities, perhaps you should meet more of

Shabbat Shalom,
    Catherine S. Perel


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 09:02:39 +0200
Subject: Re: One may be obligated to say bad things in certain Circumstances

> From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
> (2) several women have related personal experiences WITH
> ADVICE...eg one piece of advice combined from several postings is that
> young females who have characteristics that would probably invite
> (unwanted) advances in the middle easy should delay their aliyah until
> they are more established in their jobs.

So, it is better that a young woman stay in the States, with all it's
sexual harrassment, anti-semitism, christmas at work etc. rather than
making Aliyah and keeping Mitzvot in Eretz Yisrael?

I don't think _any_ poster intended his/her comments to be taken to such
a wrong conclusion.

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: Roger & Naomi Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 23:49:35 +0200
Subject: Re: One may be obligated to say bad things in certain Circumstances


Although not an expert on this subject, I have always had the clear
impression that all the examples given for "permissible denigration" (if
there is such a thing) come under the heading of "narrowcasting" -
specific information guardedly given to a specific person who needs it.
Is "broadcasting" (as to a list) of such innuendo ever justifiable?

As for the poster's claim "so too I must tell faults of the land of
Israel to people who may go up there" - the Land of Israel has no
faults.  Some of the people living here may have some - in fact probably
most of us do - so any people of good purpose who may improve the stock
are very welcome.  Those who have good personal reasons not to come know
it, and generally keep quiet about it.  Those who are otherwise unable
or afraid to try to do this mitzva can refer to Parshat Shofetim,
(Devorim, 20, 8) - that he should not melt the heart of his brethren as
his heart - and leave it at that.

Roger Kingsley


End of Volume 31 Issue 82