Volume 34 Number 83
                 Produced: Wed Jun 20  6:57:27 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Book on Rav Soloveitchik
         [Eli Turkel]
Hiddur Mitzvah - bayn Adam L'Chavayroh
         [Larry Lennhoff]
Minchas Elozor (was Minchas Eliezer)
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Orthodox Anti-Zionism
         [Paul Shaviv]
Protesting terrorism
         [Mike Gerver]
Repetitions during Prayer
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
A Short Post About Gedolim and anti-Zionism
         [Paul Merling]
Three Vows
         [Yitzchak Roness]
Verbal References
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 11:30:30 +0200
Subject: Book on Rav Soloveitchik

For those that asked about my new book with an index to the works of Rav
Soloveitchik and his students it is available in the US through LAMBDA
(Hemed Books) in Brooklyn (718-972-5449) and by IDEAL bookstore in NY,
near the Yeshiva University (212-662-1909).

In Israel it is available in all bookstores in Jerusalem and in the near
future in Steimasky around the country.

Eli Turkel


From: Larry Lennhoff <larry@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 14:08:07 -0400
Subject: Hiddur Mitzvah - bayn Adam L'Chavayroh


Carl Singer asked about applying hiddur mitzvah to mitzvot between
people.  One place this can occur is in doing Tsedakah 
The local Jewish food bank accepts both Kosher and non-Kosher donations.
We try to be sure that the food we donate is always kosher, is above
basic quality, and ideally is appropriate for whatever festivals may be
coming soon. 

Larry Lennhoff


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 22:11:25 +0300
Subject: Re: Minchas Elozor (was Minchas Eliezer)

Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...> wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 34 #68 Digest, 
quoting Jeanette:

> > The Minchas Elazar, the father-in-law of my mother's Zionist
> > Chassidishe rebbe brother Harav Baruch Y.Y. Rabinovich, formerly of
> > Munkacs--now deceased-- was strongly anti-Zionist and did not believe
> > in Eretz Yisroel as a place unless Moshiach brought him there.

His successor and son-in-law, the late Muncaczer Rebbe, Harav Baruch
Y.Y.  Rabinovitz zt"l, of Petah Tiqwa, expressed a somewhat different
attitude towards Zionism and the Jewish State.  (See Sefer Binat Nevonim
for a artial expansion on his views.)  One could only make an educated
guess as to whether his father-in-law had been alive in the present era,
how he would have come to terms with the Jewish State also,
pragmatically speaking.

We know, for example, that the Minchas Elozor was opposed even to Agudas
Yisroel as being too "mild," whereas the Munkacz synagogue in Petah
Tiqwa today has a chairman who is a baal teshuva and still active in the
Israel Labor Party.  So it appears that Munkacz has indeed accepted the
new realities.

                 IRA L. JACOBSON


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 10:33:43 -0400
Subject: Orthodox Anti-Zionism

Unfortunately, time (it's the end of the school year) prevents me from
jumping in to this exchange in great detail, tempting as it is! So, some
brief responses to recent submissions:

1. "Dovev Sifsei Yeshenim" is exhaustively analysed, all the documents
it contains compared and the whole story of R' Efraim Moshe Bloch and
his literary industry told in Shmuel Hacohen Weingarten:'Michtavim
mezuyafim neged Hatzionut' (= 'Forged letters against Zionism'), Mossad
Harav Kook, 1981. It is extremely doubtful - contra to the advice given
to one of your correspondents - that a single one of the documents is
authentic. The ethics of forging letters by gedolim is another subject
for discussion.  As early as 1974, when doing graduate work in Oxford on
the origins of Neturei Karta and the Old Yishuv in Yerushalayim, I was
personally told by R'Elyokim Schlesinger, then Rosh Yeshiva of the
Hungarian "Yeshivah Horomoh' in London's Stamford Hill district, a
leader of Neturei Karta in Britain, and the son-in-law of R' Moshe Blau
-- impressive credentials! - that 'Dovev Sifsei Yeshenim' is "alles
geschwindelt".  The phrase is pretty understandable in all languages!
As an interesting aside, he refused to put the two volumes in his
'seforim schrank' - his book cupboards - and kept them on top of the
bookcase!  Unfortunately, by a literary trail too detailed to go into
here, many quotes from the documents in 'DSY" have found their way into
more serious history books. The non-or anti-historical Jewish Orthodox
world of today will believe anything about anti-Zionism, and anything
about Gedolim, so it is not surprising that many people accept all
stories uncritically.

2. Regarding the 'Knessiah Gedolah' at Marienbad in the late 1930's, and
- in general - the attitude of Agudas Yisroel to Zionism at that time, I
have never come across the stories related in another submission. On the
contrary, after the rise of Hitler y"s, Aguda was very supportive of the
Zionist movement's political struggles to gain power in Eretz Yisrael.
*Please distinguish carefully between support for the principal of
independance, and approval (or otherwise) of the nature of the
government to be established.* Aguda representatives (including R' Moshe
Blau, an outstanding figure who was the right-hand of R' Yerucham Diskin
and R' Moshe Haim Sonnenfeld, and who was the Secretary of Aguda in
Palestine from 1912 - 1946) attended the British Government's St. James'
'Round Table Conference' in 1939. The event is described in detail on
pp. 131-136 in R'Mosh Blau's autobiography, 'Al homotayikh
Yerushalayim', Netzach, Bnei Brak, 1967, including the close and
amicable cooperation between the Aguda delegation and the Jewish Agency
delegation (Chaim Wetzmann, et al).  Of interest is the question of
whether Aguda supported the aliyah only of Haredim. "My answer was -
[all Jews] without distinction....... Later..R. Yaakov Rosenheim told me
that this question had been discussed by the leadership of the Aguda in
5689 = 1929, and after debate the decision was adopted to demand Jewish
Aliyah without any distinction between HAredim and Hofshi'im [=
'free-thinkers'] ...." (p.136).

 Finally, the fact is that R'Itche Meir Lewin of Aguda was a signatory
to the Declaration of Independence / Megillat Haatzmaut, and Aguda
participated in the first Government.

3. The quote from Avi Ravitsky's book, which a third correspondent
submitted, supports my argument.

Have a good summer --- Paul Shaviv, Toronto

Paul Shaviv
Headmaster, CHAT - Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto
200, Wilmington Avenue, Toronto, ON M3H 5J8, Canada
Tel: +416-636-5984 x 225 /  Fax: +416-636-7717


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 13:25:01 +0200
Subject: Protesting terrorism

Leona Kroll writes, in v34n73,

> You- every single Jew in the Diaspora- should have been wearing yellow
> since Rosh Hashanna. Jews are being murdered here every day- 
> We are being murdered because we are Jews. Period. What will
> you do for us? WE'RE YOUR FAMILY! Where are the protests for us?
> A few gatherings outside the UN headquarters is not enough- you must
> raise your voices, make it impossible for the goyim to ignore the fact
> OUT FOR TORTURE AND MURDER. If everyone of you wrote a letter to the Ny
> Times and CNN to protest their biased coverage,
> maybe, maybe you could
> save a Jewish life. Perhaps you could also help save the Jewish state.

I think we have to very careful when writing things like this.  We need
to make a careful distinction between 1) protesting the injustice of
Arab terrorists getting away with murdering Jews, and 2) saying that the
present situation is a grave danger to the survival of the Jewish state,
and a grave danger to anyone who lives in Israel or visits Israel.  The
emphasis should only be on #1.  I don't believe that #2 is true, and I
think it is harmful to Israel to make people think that it is true.

The tourist industry in Israel, an important source of income, has been
decimated by the violence of the past 9 months.  Although many visitors,
to their credit, have gone ahead with their plans to visit Israel, many
more have cancelled planned trips, including, recently, the entire NFTY
summer program.  International conferences have practically ceased to
take place in Israel, because of liability issues raised by the
U.S. State Department advisory.  A major goal of the Arab terrorists is
to discourage tourists and olim from coming to Israel, and to encourage
Israelis to leave Israel out of fear.  Do we want to help them achieve
this goal?  Shouldn't we be doing everything we can to make sure they
are not successful?

Outside of the West Bank and Gaza, the odds of being a victim of a
terrorist attack are extremely low, much lower than other risks that
people take all the time without thinking about it.  Tourists and
potential olim need to know this.  About 50 Israelis have been killed by
terrorists, outside the West Bank and Gaza, in the past 9 months.
During the same period, about 400 Israelis have died in traffic
accidents.  Although this is a lower rate per person than in the United
States, it is a far higher rate per passenger-mile than in the United
States or almost any other country.  This means that there are things
about the way Israelis drive, or the way road signs are put up, or
something else, that makes driving in Israel more dangerous than it has
to be.  Has anyone cancelled a trip to Israel because they were worried
about the traffic accident rate?  Israel also has one of the higher
rates of heart disease in the world, and has (I'm pretty sure, from
personal observation) a higher percentage of smokers than the United
States, especially among teenagers.  These problems cause far more
preventable deaths than either auto accidents or terrorists.  In the
West Bank and Gaza, depending on where you are, the chance of being
killed by a terrorist might be tens of times greater, comparable to the
chance of other preventable causes of death.  But tourists and olim who
are not prepared to take that much risk can stay away from the West Bank
and Gaza, or from certain parts of them.  For that matter, by staying
away from crowds, even the very small risk of being killed by a
terrorist in the rest of Israel can be reduced almost to zero.  It is
not rational to avoid visiting Israel because of the danger of

To be sure, it is a terrible injustice for even one innocent person to
be killed.  We need to do everything we can to prevent terrorist
attacks, and to punish those responsible. This should be the emphasis of
our protests.  But we should not lead people to think that terrorist
attacks themselves pose a serious danger to Israelis and visitors to
Israel.  The most serious danger that the attacks pose to Israeli
society is the irrational fear that they generate, within Israel and

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 14:57:38 +0300
Subject: Re: Repetitions during Prayer

Winky wrote in MJ 34 77:
      F may I ask if there is any source delineates between
      repetition of words of the Amidah and everything else?  I
      would presume
      that repetition during Hallel or the Brich Shemay or other
      elements of
      the Tefilla would logically be acceptable

In the hallel, certainly not.  If I may restate a cardinal principle,
"We don't mess around with pesuqim."

Regarding Brikh Shemei, I have the feeling that repeating Bei ana
rahetz, Bei ana rahetz brings up once more the problem of k'ilu two
reshuyot, and would be rejected as we reject modim modim.

I believe that I saw the pesaq about not repeating words by the Hatam
Sofer, but I do not have the reference now.

Someone with the Bar-Ilan CD might be able to find it, and perhaps
summarise it for us.

                IRA L. JACOBSON


From: Paul Merling <MerlingP@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 18:24:49 -0400
Subject: A Short Post About Gedolim and anti-Zionism

 I am sorry if I may have discomfited anyone with my post. I was careful
not to state that the "Gedolim" say, but merely what 'some' of the
people considered Gedolim said according to information that I had heard
while in a Yeshiva. I did not intend to be polemical but to add to the
topic of discussion which was anti Zionism.

  May I add a story which I just heard last week while telling a friend
the story that I posted. He heard that Reb Ahron Zatsal was asked by Reb
Noson Wachtfogel on Hei Iyir 1948 about his reaction to the
establishment of the State of Israel. Reb Ahron responded, that even if
the Chasam Sofeir was the Rosh Memshala/Prime Minister he would still be
opposed to this development. Again, as I stated previously, the reasons
for this opposition were not given.


From: Yitzchak Roness <ronessy@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 16:13:41 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Three Vows

regarding the "three vows" and zionism, i recently came across a letter
written by R. Marzbach of Kol-Torah to R. Herzog. R. Herzog had written
that there is no halachic weight to the 'three vows', in reply
R. Marzbach noted that the vows are mentioned as a halachic argument in
the t'shuvos of one of the rishonim (- i think the rashbash)


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 15:36:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Verbal References

>Otherwise, we descend to the level of "Rav X was told by Rav Y that Rav
>Z had said ..." And what can we deduce from that?

I'd say pretty much what the Gemarah deduces from similar citations. That 
is, rarely accepted on its face without examination from all directions.


End of Volume 34 Issue 83