Volume 31 Number 93
                 Produced: Mon Apr  3  5:41:23 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyah (2)
         [Shoshana L. Boublil, Eli Turkel]
Aliyah and Kiruv
         [Carl M. Sherer]
R' Chaim HaKohen; Shulchan Aruch
         [David and Toby Curwin]


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 09:08:58 +0200
Subject: Re: Aliyah

As the topics are all related, I will respond to the points I'm
interested in -- in one single post:

> One point here seems to be that the reason for it being good to live in
> Eretz Yisroel is that there are Mitzvohs that can only be done in Eretz
> Yisroel. This possibly applied even after the temple was destroyed
> because there was still Bikoorim, Shemitah and much that dealt with the
> land, so that while now we are deprived of the opportunity to do
> anything dealing with Korbanos there are still some things we are
> deprived of outside Eretz Yisroel but not inside - and on those grounds
> it is better to live there.

BTW, there are plenty of Rabbanim that pasken that Korban Pesach, at the
least, should be kept today.  There was a great Rabbi from Jerusalem, in
the last generation, that held this way, and would therefore make a
point of leaving Jerusalem before the Seder every year so that he
wouldn't be obligated (at that time we still didn't have the implements,
Cohanim with the knowledge, clothes and a Mizbe'ach -- all of which are
either ready now, or the knowledge is again available -- see the Temple
Institute site for details).

> 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!

First of all, get your facts straight.  Shemitah is D'rabbanan at best
nowadays.  Second, at the time of Rav Kook ZT"L, there was an immediate
danger of starvation, b/c there was no preparation for Shmittah.
Shmittah involves the promise that in the 6th year there will be
sufficient food to last till the 8th year when the new crops come in.

Nowadays, with the new technology, it has become possible to limit the
use of the Shmittah heter to a minimum.  Also, with the experience
gained in practice, all kinds of issues have been resolved, which you
would know if you lived in Eretz Yisrael.  There are also 7-year plans
being worked on which BE"H will resolve the rest of the problems.

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

Actually -- they do.  I know of a case where the Ketuba stated that the
husband had to remain in Israel -- and the wife recieved an order for
Chiyuv Get for her husband when he abandoned her and went to the States
(it has been since B"H carried out).

It actually has become common in the last 5 years, for women whose
husbands won't give a Get in the States, to come on Aliyah and apply for
a divorce here.  They have met with much success in this.


> From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
> Yosef Braun <yb770@...> writes:
> > See also sefer vayo'el moshe for a listing
> > of the different opinions on this sensitive issue.
> VaYoel Moshe is also written by a member of the Satmar dynasty.

Some years ago, when one of my daughters was in the hospital for
something B"H minor, we met and talked to a lady from Satmar.  We asked
her if she knew that VaYoel Moshe holds that they shouldn't make Aliyah
and her reply was that she was shocked to hear this -- that of course
people should live in Israel and it couldn't possibly be that such a
thing is said of VaYoel Moshe.  They don't want to have anything to do
with the State of Israel, but that has nothing to do with the Mitzvah of
Yishuv Ha'aretz and coming as families to live in Israel.

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 11:56:44 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Aliyah

>  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); 

Almost all gedolim today maintain that the problem of aliya bi-choma no
longer applies.  See for example. the Steipler, who was very
anti-zionist and writes that once the state is established, whether
correctly or not, that the prohibition no longer applies! I suspect that
only Satmar and Neturei Karta still use this argument.

> sakanat nefashot (see pitchei teshuva e. h. 75:5 for the definition 
> of this term with regard to yishuv EY and re financial difficulties) 

The vast majority of Jews can make a reasonable living in Israel.  There
is no mitzvah to have every luxury. As I once wrote R. Blau of the
Neturei Karta lived in a hut while visiting the US so that he should at
least not enjoy being outside of Israel. The Shelah strongly condemns
those that live in fancy houses outside of Israel.  I personally feel
safer in Raanana than in New York.  It is not reasonable to quote
responsa from a hundred years ago or earlier to discuss the modern day

> difficulty with kiyum mitsvot hateloyot ba'arets (see
> tosafot ketubot 110b, tashbats katan etc.)

I have great difficulty in understanding this one.
Is one supposed to avoid doing mitzvot because they have difficulties?
Maybe one should move to the desert to avoid problems with loshan harah ?
On the contrary those in Israel have the privelege of being makayem 
mitsvot hateloyot ba'arets.
There are plenty of places that take out terumot etc. and the religious Jews
in Israel don't seem to have a major problem with it.
The Eidah haCharedit usually imports food during Shemitta. I heard that
R. S.Z. Auerbach objected that on the contrary the mitzvah is to use
this food and not to try and avoid the problem.

> sakanat nefashot on a spiritual level etc.

I find it difficult to fathom that living in modern day Jerusalem is a
greater spiritual danger than living in New York.

> 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 -- 

I know of several families with disbilities either physical or in
learning that moved to Israel because it was easier for such people to
keep mitzvot in Israel. There are a number of places in Israel that
cater to the handicapped and give kosher food etc. It is much harder to
find such places outside of Israel because of the limited resources of
the community.  As such handicapped children are frequently sent to
nonreligious or nonjewish places.
 Of course Israel is far from ideal in dealing with such problems and
needs much more improvement. Still from a religious viewpoint it is much
better than other places.

Eli Turkel


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 19:49:41 +0200
Subject: Aliyah and Kiruv

Richard Fiedler writes:

> Are we not really kidding ourselves. Those people who see the imperitive
> mitzvah of Aliya have already made it. 

I'd like to think that we can at least convince *someone* that they
should make aliya, or at least that they should not prevent their
children from doing so.

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

The irony is that it is less difficult for an English-speaker now than
it used to be, simply because of the proliferation of yeshivos and
seminaries for Americans, many of which have grown exponentially in the
last 5-10 years. Certainly if one speaks fluent Hebrew it is not
impossible to make a living here in Chinuch, and there is always the
possibility of pursuing other professions (I have a client who has been
teaching here for years, who has now become a venture capitalist!).

Eric Simon writes:

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

Well, at least we agree on something :-) (For the record, by the way, I
have written Eric off list and asked him not to take my comments too
personally. I am trying to address the arguments he is making, since
they are common excuses given for staying in chutz la'aretz, rather than
trying to attack him personally. If it sounds otherwise, it's not
intentional, and is simply indicative of my limited writing skills).

> >> 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?
> >
> >Yes, it has to be more than a few. However, I question whether anyone
> >who is not doing kiruv work full time is capable of having a sufficient
> >impact to justify their passing up the mitzva of living in Israel, and
> >the many mitzvos that go with living in Israel, to stay in America and
> >do kiruv work.
> 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.

Agreed. But you still haven't answered the core question I posed: why
does it have to be you? Is there no one else amongst all of those 40-60K
Jews who is capable of doing it? And if it *does* have to be you, then
maybe they need you full time?

But let me go a step further. When I was in my twenties - and I'm sure
this is still true today - there were many young, idealistic Rabbanim
who took jobs in places like Birmingham, Alabama, Richmond, Virginia,
Monticello, New York, Albany, New York, Santa Clara, California, and so
on - places that had small Jewish communities and a handful of Shomer
Shabbos families. Guess what happened? As each of those Rabbanim had
children reach school age, they moved out and sought positions in larger
communities. Why? Because they could not educate their children in a
community where there were so few families who were interested in Jewish
education. What will happen when your children reach school age? Are you
going to drive them to Silver Spring every morning? The odds are that
after a year or two of that, you will feel that you have to move anyway
for your children's sake.  So if you're moving, there goes your kiruv
work. Now what? Doesn't it make sense, at least at that point, to go the
whole nine yards and move to Eretz Yisrael?

> >No. I am saying that in order for one to use one's kiruv work as
> >halachic justification for staying in galus it should be a full (or at
> >least a substantial part) time occupation.
> Is this also a halachic determination?

I'm not a posek so I don't make halachic determinations. I suggested in
a previous post that you ask the shaila (question). In fact, I think I
challenged you to ask whether you should move to a larger community,
especially once you have school age children.

> 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'm not there so I cannot say. Let's just say that there are a fair
number of Lakewood and Ner Yisrael alums (amongst others) who live in my
neighborhood and daven in my shul, so someone is deciding to make aliya
from there.

> >I submit, that unless each of those bochrim is
> >going to have some massive impact on Klal Yisroel
> Massive impact is quite subjective, don't you think?  For those that
> believe that _all_ the Jewish souls are needed, each soul is of vital
> importance, no?

Sure it is. But your first responsibility is to your own children, and
only after that to everyone else. If your own children will have a
better chance of being talmidei chachamim in Eretz Yisrael, if your own
children will have a better chance of staying fruhm in Eretz Yisrael,
don't you think you owe it to them to be there?

> 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. Your first responsibility is to bring your children up in a makom
Torah rather than challenging them to be fruhm in a spiritual midbar
(desert). IMHO anyway.

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: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:31:21 +0300
Subject: R' Chaim HaKohen; Shulchan Aruch

First of all, I would like to add a few points about R' Chaim HaKohen's
view as quoted in Tosfot. In addition to what was mentioned in recent
postings about how R' Chaim HaKohen did not hold that view, R' Tzvi
Glatt mentions a few other points in MeAfar Kumi:

a) The Chida wrote that the reason for R' Chaim's prohibition was that
at his time the laws of mitzvot taluyot b'aretz (dependent on the land)
were unclear. However in following generations they were more clearly
written, and therefore the prohibition no longer is in force.

b) The Sh"la wrote that R' Chaim's opinion was a "da'at yachid"
(solitary opinion) and all the Rishonim and Achronim did not quote it,
and in fact held the opposite. Therefore we do not need to heed it.

c) The Rosh did not quote the opinion of Tosfot (as he often does) and
neither does the Maharam. In fact the Maharam writes: "I have seen
people who come to make a distinction between Temple times and today (as
to the existence of a mitzva to make aliya), and I need to clarify that
one should not make that distinction."

d) The Mordechai has a different version of R' Chaim HaKohen, which does
not mention the reason of difficulty of keeping the mitzvot. A number of
the poskim therefore hold that the correct version of R' Chaim HaKohen
is what is brought in the Mordechai.

Yosef Braun wrote:
>Regardless of other opinions, the halacha in shulchan aruch seems
>to follow rambam, because this mitsva isn't mentioned at all in s.a.

Actually it is referred to a number of times. I have in front of me
Orach Chaim 248:4, where R' Yosef Karo wrote: "A person making aliya to
Eretz Yisrael, if a caravan passes by, even on Erev Shabbat..(can make
the proper arrangements - I don't want to enter in to the whole
discussion) because it (making aliya) is a DVAR MITZVA." The Mishna
Brura does not disagree with this, and even adds to it, and says that in
comparison to the reasons given by the Rama earlier, this is "certainly

This is actually fitting for the Chafetz Chaim who said that anyone who
can make aliya is obligated to do so.

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


End of Volume 31 Issue 93