Volume 31 Number 87
                 Produced: Wed Mar 29  5:12:15 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliya & Hinnukh
         [Sheri & Seth Kadish]
Aliya and Ketuboth 110b (3)
         [Rose Landowne, Chaim Wasserman, Carl M. Sherer]
         [Rena Freedenberg]
Number of frum Jews (2)
         [Dani Wassner, Alan Davidson]
Rabbeinu Chaim not Tosefos
         [Chaim Mateh]


From: Sheri & Seth Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 22:27:42 +0300
Subject: Aliya & Hinnukh

Richard Fiedler mentioned the following in his post regarding aliya:

	"I think the real problem comes in lifestyle. It is very hard if
not impossible to make a living in Israel in Hinuch."

	As a former Jewish day-school teacher in the USA who has been
teaching high school in Israel for the past four years, I don't think
the situation here is as terrible as Richard makes it out to be.  There
are many thousands of religious teachers in this country who live quite
nicely, and the demand for them is always greater than the supply.  Keep
in mind that everything is relative: conditions for limmudei kodesh
teachers are often quite poor in US day-schools, while in Israel the
teachers' unions have succeeded in guaranteeing rights and conditions
that remain a dream in the US.  I won't go into details here, because
mail-jewish isn't an employment service.  But I have written about this
on the Jewish education list: <LOOKJED@...> (I suppose it's
in their archives), and for Tehilla.

	I do agree with Richard's conclusion: "Religious Jews in the USA
must accept the idea that there greatest contribution to Om Yisrael can
be found in bringing secular skills to Israel."  I would add that
religious western Jews can also bring models of tolerance and
coexistance, plus the ability to combine Torah and wordly (or academic)
knowledge, all of which are sorely lacking here.

Seth (Avi) Kadish
Karmiel, Israel


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 13:06:21 EST
Subject: Re: Aliya and Ketuboth 110b

I don't think the comparison to today works here.  In the 18th and 19th
century, it was literally very difficult to live (i.e. remain alive,
without dying from starvation or disease) in the land of Israel.  Today,
we're talking about quality of life issues, priorities, and values.

<< Furthermore, there should have been much more encouragement of aliya in
the 18th and 19th centuries if it was something more than a kiyum
mitzvah. It must be therefore only that in Eretz Yisroel more of the
original mitzvahs can still be done, and if you are not going to do
them, you lose whatever special reason you may have for being there.

From: Chaim Wasserman <Chaimwass@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 17:35:45 EST
Subject: Re: Aliya and Ketuboth 110b

Sammy Finkelman wrote about Tosafot in Ketubot 110 << He then adds
further that Rabbeinu Chaim (does anyone know who Rabbeinu Chaim is?) >>

R. Chaim ben Chananel haKohein was a 12th Century Tosafist who resided
in Paris. He was a student of Rabbeinu Tam about whom one of the
Tosafist elders of the day (R. Yityzchok haZaken) said "the honor of the
entire genration is tied to him". In 1181 when the expulsion of Jews
took place in France there arose an aliyah movement to which R. Chaim
objected and hence the statement in Ketubot 110.

Among his students was R. Shimeon of Shantz. His grandchild was R. Moshe
of Coucy, author of the SeMaG (Sefer Mitzvot Gadol).

However, there is a long standing controversy concerning the veracity of
this statement attributed to Rabbeinu Chaim. This is a long "shmoos" for
my next posting, because I have to run to a seudat mitzvah.

Sammy Finkelman writes << Now if somebody goes to Eretz Yisroel, but
then, seeks heterim for not observing laws like Shemitah, it seems to me
then they are undermining their ENTIRE Halakhic reason for going to
Eretz Yisroel!  >>

Come now. If someone observes Pesach anywhere and sell his/her chametz
only to repurchase it knowingly after Pesach, have they undermined their
ENTIRE reason for observing Pesach?!

chaim wasserman

From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 19:49:41 +0200
Subject: Aliya and Ketuboth 110b

Sammy Finkelman writes:

> Well, there is a Tosfos there that says that all of this does not apply
> in the current day, because of the danger of travel to Eretz Yisroel. Of
> course this was written in the 13th century (1200s) and he was referring
> of course to the great danger of shipwrecks (there might not have been
> such a problem in discussing moving from Bavel or places connecteed by
> land to Eretz Ysroel 1,000 years earlier.

See the Gilyon Maharsha on that Tosfos, which refers to a Tshuvos
MaHarit, which describes that "Rav Chaim Cohen" as a later addition of a
"talmid toeh" (mistaken student). The implication of the Maharit is that
these were not the words of Tosfos.

> Regardless of how things could have improved again, note anyway that the
> REASON it is considered better to be in erezt Yisroel is the possibility
> of observing mitzvohs you could not do outside.

That's one reason. The Ramban would go a lot further than that, and say
that mitzvos are done in chutz la'aretz (outside of Israel) essentially
for "practice" while in Eretz Yisrael they are done for real.

> Now if somebody goes to Eretz Yisroel, but then, seeks heterim for not
> observing laws like Shemitah, it seems to me then they are undermining
> their ENTIRE Halakhic reason for going to Eretz Yisroel!

Actually, AFAIK most fruhm people in Eretz Yisrael do not rely on the
"heter mechira" (the sale of the land to non-Jews during the Sabbatical
year so that the land may be worked and its fruits may be subject to
ordinary commerce) today. The Charedi community never accepted it as a
result of the poskim of Europe disagreeing with Rav Kook zt"l who first
formulated it. In fact, even Rav Kook himself felt that the heter was
temporary, and should be re- evaluated every seven years to determine if
it was still necessary.  As such, much of the dati leumi (national
religious) community also does not rely on the heter. When I was in a
hesder Yeshiva twenty-one years ago, the Yeshiva did not rely on the
heter either.  Seven years ago, shortly before the start of the last
Shmitta, my wife went to a shiur given by R. Reuven Aberman (whom I
would consider to be very much mainstream dati leumi), who said (if I
understood correctly) that while the country as a whole may need the
heter mechira in order to maintain its export markets, individuals do
not need it and should not rely upon it.

> (aside from the idea that it is a place of Torah.)

I think that's a fairly big "aside from" to people who aspire to be Bnei

> By the way, since I don't think the Chief Rabbinate in Israel applies
> the laws mentioned in Kisuvos, it seems to me that means they do not
> hold according to way some posters here are claiming is the Halakhah,
> and even those Rabbis that they might think do hold that way, if they
> don't apply these laws about demanding a divorce, it means they do not
> in reality hold that way at all.

If you look at the commentaries on the sections of the Shulchan Aruch
that I cited in my post that appears in the same digest as yours, you
will find that nearly all of them hold that one spouse may no longer
force the other to move to Eretz Yisrael today on the threat of divorce
and payment or non-payment of the ksuva (marital contract) as the case
may be. That does not, however, mean that it is not a mitzva to live in
Eretz Yisrael. Nearly all poskim (with the VaYoel Moshe cited by one
poster being a notable exception) hold that it is a mitzva to live in
Eretz Yisrael today.

> Furthermore, there should have been much more encouragement of aliya in
> the 18th and 19th centuries if it was something more than a kiyum
> mitzvah. 

In the 18th and 19th century, transportation was not what it is today,
and living in Eretz Yisrael was more difficult than it is today.  Today,
getting to Eretz Yisrael is easier and living here is easier than it was
even ten years ago. Yes, it's "only" a kiyum hamitzva, but so are
tzitzis and I assume you wear them every day as do I BE"H.

-- 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: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 22:44:05 +0200
Subject: RE: Aliyah

<<With all due respect, it seems that we are going round and round on this,
and not making much progress.

So I will keep my comments brief.

> I question your questioning!  As I mentioned, there are 40-60K Jews in
> my area, and only two Chabad rabbis.  They can't do it all
> themselves. >>

This is not the point. Neither can you or any other single person. There
is no reason that there cannot be a rotation of people coming from Eretz
Yisrael to do the same. Actually, where I live, there are several Rabbis
being trained to do just that -- to go from Eretz Yisrael to the States
for a number of years to do kiruv and set up frum communities where
there are none to speak of now. Maybe Fairfax could be one place they
will go. Not to mention the fact that these Rabbis are trained in kiruv
and specialize in creating communities.

>> Is every bochur in Lakewood and Ner Israel being told by their rebbes
>> to get up and leave for Israel, for good?
>That's not the question. The question is whether every bochur in
>Lakewood and Ner Yisroel SHOULD be told by his rebbe to get up and leave
>for Israel, for good.

> So are you asserting that all the rebbes in Lakewood and Ner Israel are
> being remiss in not advising their students to make Aliya?  Or that they
> are and the students aren't listening?

I don't think that it is either. The students may be being told of the
importance of aliyah, and will indeed come here in the future as soon as
they can. There are a tremendous number of Lakewood and Ner Israel
alumni walking the streets here.

>>I am not a full time kiruv person. I never have been (my NCSY days
>>notwithstanding). Do you think you would not have the same opportunities
>>for kiruv here that you have in Fairfax, Virginia?

> That's not the point at all.  Sure, I'll have the same opportunities
> almost everywhere, but, for some reason, my path has led me here to
> Fairfax.  And it is here in Fairfax where I am changing some people's
> lives that would not otherwise be changed.

Well, that is not proof that you would be the only one who could change
people's lives there, or that there are not those who could do it better
and for all you know, you are really meant to be here but Hashem is
testing you by putting you there to see if you are willing to give up
the big house and two cars.

>> "kol yisroel arevim zeh b'zeh", all of yisroel is responsible for one
>> another.  I take that very seriously.
>>We all do. But our first responsibility is to those close to us (aniyei
>>ircha kodmim - the poor of your city come first), to make sure that our
>>children are raised in an environment of Torah, in an environment of
>>kdusha (holiness).

> OK.  If my first responsibility is to those who are close to me, doesn't
> that imply that my responsibilities to the Jews in Fairfax is higher
> than my repsonsibility to the secular Jews in Israel?

NO, it implies that your responsibility to your children is much more
than your responsibility to those in Fairfax. If you are interested in
doing kiruv, then you are doing a much more important thing by doing it
here. You know that transgressions here are more serious and impact upon
us all, even those of you out in the wilderness of Fairfax.



From: Dani Wassner <dani@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 13:58:49 +0200
Subject: RE: Number of frum Jews

Shlomo Yaffe <syaffe@...> wrote:
> It seems based on demographics and populations of predominantly Frum
> neighborhoods that NY/NJ alone has 450,000 -550,00 frum Jews which
> would give us 600,000 -700,000 frum Jews in the USA alone.

Firstly, I find it hard to believe that over 10% of American Jews are
orthodox and observant. 

Even if this is the case, once you add in 300,000 frum Jews in the rest
of the world (the number is probably a LOT less than this), you still
have only around 1 million frum Jews in glaut. There are about 1.75
million in Israel.

Dani Wassner 
Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jerusalem
Investment Promotion Center 

From: Alan Davidson <perzvi@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 11:58:29 -0500
Subject: Number of frum Jews

Also -- one problem with the most recent National Jewish Population
Survey (in 1990) was the sponsors hired out a commercial survey form
which attempted to contact potential survey participants on shabbos.


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 23:22:42 +0300
Subject: Rabbeinu Chaim not Tosefos

In vol 31 #77, Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...> wrote:

<<He [Tosefos, Ksubos 110b] then adds further that Rabbeinu Chaim (does
anyone know who Rabbeinu Chaim is?) said that now there is no mitzvah to
live in Eretz Yisroel because there are so many Mitzvahs that hinge upon
the earth (of Eretz Yisroel) (that we can no longer do?) and so many
punishments (being there?) that we are not allowed to take heed of or rely
upon these dicta.>>

Gilyon Maharsho (Rav Shlomo Eiger, I think the son of Rav Akiva Eiger)
in the back of the Gemoro Ksubos, says regarding that Tosefos: " 'And
Rabi Chaim would say..'; The Tshuvos Maharit, chelek B, seif 28, in
chelek Yoreh Deah, proves that a student wrote that [i.e., the Rabi
Chaim stuff], and it is not authoritative.  And look in the Beer
Sheva.. and Tshuvos Zera Avraham... who brought many Gedolim who agreed
with the Maharit [that the Rabi Chaim in that Tosefos is not

Kol Tuv,


End of Volume 31 Issue 87