Volume 47 Number 70
                    Produced: Tue Apr 19  6:35:45 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The Great Divide - further comment on
         [Andy Goldfinger]
The Great Divide is finally upon the National Religious
         [I. Balbin]
LeChaparat Pasha
         [Elazar M. Teitz]
NRP - where did it go wrong?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Tefillah b'tzibbur- any physical/medical limitations
         [Carl Singer]
Yes, there is a "great divide" in Religious Zionism
         [Seth Kadish]


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 08:49:57 -0400
Subject: RE: The Great Divide - further comment on

Miriam Weed comments that the Hareidi community has "missed a valuable
opportunity" to influence Jewish life in the Medina (State of Israel).

I recall reading an article in one of the Hareidi newspapers (either
HaModiah or Yated Neeman) about how horrible religious observance is in
the Army.  It described the organization and management of a nominally
kosher kitchen/mess hall which was overseen by a soldier who was not
personally observant.  The article pointed out that the kashrus
situation was abyssmal, and there were no observant people involved in
food service.  In fact, there weren't even any observant people in the
whole unit.  The conclusion was that a person should do all they could
to avoid entering the Army and encountering such horrible conditions.

I started thinking about this.  No observant people in the unit -- well,
then, of course the situation was terrible.  There was no choice but to
assign one of the non-observant soldiers as the kitchen manager.  What
if there had been a sizable Hareidi population in the Army.  Wouldn't
they be glad to manage the food service kashrus?  Wouldn't they interact
with the other soldiers in valuable ways?  Wouldn't the whole Army be
taking a different direction?

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 12:16:43 +1000
Subject: Re: The Great Divide is finally upon the National Religious

> From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
> Surely Hallel is recited because of the miracle of the establishment of
> an independent Jewish State rather than having anything to do with the
> current policies of the the government of the day.
> Mark Symons
> Melbourne Australia

 ... and therein lies an answer.

Some sectors always acknowledged the existence of a State, but felt that
independence was and will never be attained until a living Melech
Hamoshiach forces all to do the will of Hashem, and fights our wars
defeating the nations around us ... as per Rambam Hilchos Melochim.

The Religious Zionist Camp, whilst obviously agreeing that Melech
Hamoshiach (ben Dovid) had not arrived, effectively celebrated the
"Atchalta Digeula" the beginning of the Redemption through Yom
Ha'atzmaut. The Gemora in Sanhedrin that says words to the effect that
we have no clearer revelation of redemption, than when Eretz Yisrael
yields fruit (is green and rebuilt) is germane.  The level of
independence afforded by the existence of the State was unprecedented
albeit not absolute, and the new existential independence and
renaissance created by Gd in forming the State was at least
teleologically considered worthy of Hallel (with or without a Brocho as
the case may be).

With the planned withdrawal from Aza, this level of independence and
continued renaissance is now seen by some to be diminished. The
Government was seen as the agent of Hashem in the step from independence
leading to Geulah [redemption]. It was Gd's will that the Government be
that agent, according to Religious Zionists and it is a Holy duty for
Jews to be supporting and committed to that process.  Characterising the
situation in 2005 as "current policies of the government of the day" and
failing to link that to a progressive Messianic process is
philosophically challenging.

One can come to two conclusions:

a) that this is still part of Gd's plan, and if one believes that Gd's
plan is to start with a Secular State in the process of redemption, then
one must also accept that Gd's plans are unfathomable, and that there is
a design in this step backwards. I am reminded of "Domeh Dodi LaTzvi"
the Geulah is considered like a deer. It is sometimes revealed and
obvious, and at other times appears to be hidden and
regressing. Ironically, this concept was always espoused in the context
of Religious Zionist writings connected with the Geula.

b) that for reasons not fathomable, this Government is no longer the
preferred agent of Hashem for the unfolding of the Geula and that a new
agency needs to materialise.

Personally, I find a consist message of exasperation which causes view
b) both in that section of the Religious Zionist camp, and similarly in
that section of Meshichistin [Rebbe is Moshiach] in the Chabad Camp.

All want the Geula. We want it now. Some Religious Zionists see any step
which diminishes the hold on the physical land, as antithetical to the
progression of redemption. Similary Chabadniks see any step (death)
which diminishes the progress of a Moshiach, as antithetical to their
belief that the Rebbe was the annointed one and hadn't finished his
task. One is influenced by the extent of development of the State in a
geographical context as this relates to the Messianic process and the
other influenced by the personality who will be Hashem's agent in the
unfolding of this process.

I'm reminded of R. Y. Albo's words "Lu Yodativ Hosisiv", if I knew
Him [Gd] I would be Him.

It is somewhat predictable that some will now "turn" on the state
through revulsion with the policies of a government in their
exasperative state and feel unable or uncomfortable to say Hallel.  It
is equally understandable that others will cling to theories that seek
to sustain the Rebbe as the Melech Hamoshiach.

That being said, from the distance of Chutz La'Aretz, which is Metamtem
[clouds] my judgement, I don't subscribe to either of these camps.

If you believe that the precedent of an [albeit less than] independent
state warrants thanksgiving to Gd, then you must accept that it may be
Gd's plan to also seemingly go backwards a step (and perhaps reflect on
what can be done to go forwards).

If you treat the Rambam Hilchos Melochim Kipshutoi [in the standard
accepted reading] as the definitive order of the process of Melech
Hamoshiach, then you also have to accept that it was Gd's will that a
different Melech Hamoshiach has already been chosen, and is in this
world now.  You might not understand it, and you might be crestfallen.

Hashem has displayed these seemingly contradictory messages throughout
our history and we will grapple with them until Eliyohu HaNovi. When I
was younger I had more answers.  As I get older, I have more questions.


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 12:38:56 GMT
Subject: Re: LeChaparat Pasha

<One question I had was, shouldn't "LeChaparat Pasha" be said for twelve
months? The siddur says Tishrei to Adar Bet only, or maybe Tishrei to
Tishrei. The latter makes more sense to me, but Nisan to Adar Bet makes
even more sense.>

The siddur actually says Cheshvan to Adar II, since the b'racha is not
said on Rosh Hashana.

The leap year is actually from Nissan to Adar, since the Torah refers to
Nissan as the first month.  However, before our fixed calendar, when the
decision was made each year whether or not to add a month, the Talmud in
Sanhedrin states that the decision could not be made until after Rosh
Hashana. Hence, the addition for the leap year is not made until then.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 14:45:43 +0200
Subject: NRP - where did it go wrong?

In my (humble) opinion, the NRP "went wrong" decades ago, when it seemed
to have subsumed all the other Mitzvot to that of "Yishuv Eretz
Yisrael." Can anyone remember a single piece of legislation introduced
by the NRP in the last few decades that had anything to do with
fostering Halachic issues (besides those related to Eretz Yisrael)? I
personally cannot. It seems that ever since 1967 the NRP has become a
"one-track" party, that "track," of course, being Eretz Yisrael. Now,
when that track began to crumble, beginning with the Oslo and Wye
agreements that gave parts of Eretz Yisrael to the Arabs, the entire
edifice started to crumble. Suddenly, there were those who began to look
at the State of Israel as just another state - with all the comcommitant
lack of enthusiasm or lack of a need to pray for it.

It reminds me, in a very sad way, how so many Lubavichers placed all of
their hopes and beliefs in the Rebbi as being Mashiach, and we can see
what happened after he died.

If there is a moral to this bitter tale, it is not to pin all your hopes
on one thing, without being open enough to visualize that that "thing"
might not "work out" the way we want it to.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 08:05:09 -0400
Subject: Tefillah b'tzibbur- any physical/medical limitations

> <>Are there any physical or medical limitations that would prohibit
> someone from being a tefillah b'tzibbur for mincha/maariv services?
>For example, I understand that it is customary to offer one who has a
>yahrzeit the honor of Tefillah b'tzibbur. Suppose that person has a
>physical/medical limitation that prevents him from standing for most the
>entire service (or requires a wheelchair) and he normally davens
>sitting. Is there any prohibition such that this person cannot act as a
>tefillah b'tzibbur? If so, what is the source?

I don't know the halachic source sited, but I was at a minyan where one
of the lay leaders (someone with smicha -- but the not the shul's Rabbi
who was not present at mincha / ma'ariv) stated that plony could not
daven for the amud because he stammered badly when davening.

Then again I recall that halachically anyone can object to the ba'al
tefillah (without giving a reason) and that ba'al tefillah must step
aside -- although I've never seen this actually happen.

My related question is: Is there an halachic basis for treating the
would-be ba'al tefillah differently if he is a regular member of this
minyan (and shul) or someone who (a) belongs to another shul and usually
davens there but came here because they wouldn't let him daven for the
amud (b) stranger / visitor walking through the door or (c) someone who
doesn't normally daven with (support) the minyan.

 I'm asking because the "social" situation is so vastly different.  I
recall living in a community (I won't say which of my previous haunts)
where there was a gentleman who (like me) couldn't carry a tune with a
bucket -- but one Shabbos per year (on his Father's Yahrzeit) he davened
Shabbos Mussaf for the amud.  No one really objected because he was a
pleasant, generous and kind man, a member and someone who helped make
the daily minyan, too. -- Davening on this occasion clearly meant very
much to him and letting him do so was in a way an HaKoress HaTov from
his friends.

Carl Singer


From: Seth Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 16:28:01 +0200
Subject: Yes, there is a "great divide" in Religious Zionism

There has been some discussion recently of a new, "great divide" in
religious Zionism in the wake of the uprooting of communities in Gaza
and Samaria.

First of all, it is absolutely true that there is a major internal
conflict going on within religious Zionism today. I don't think it would
be an exaggeration to call it a civil war.

Secondly, it is true that Sharon's plans have brought these inner
tensions out in very extreme ways.

However, it not *not* true that any of this is new. Rather, the tensions
that are now coming to the fore are very deep and very old, and have
existed within religious Zionism since its very beginnings (over a
century ago). And these tensions are not, first and foremost, about the
"Land of Israel," but much more about other issues.

I remember my first Shabbat at YU, when Rav Israel Miller, a"h, spoke
about "What makes our yeshiva different." His answer was: Israel,
secular studies, and women.

In my opinion it is fair to say that while Israeli Religious Zionism is
similar to diaspora Modern Orthodoxy regarding "Israel" (e.g. Hallel on
Yom ha-Atzmaut), things are not so simple when it comes to "secular
studies" and "women." It is no surprise that these two issues are two of
the main dividing points in the current near-civil-war within religious

There is one wing that is very similar to YU-modern Orthodoxy. There is
another wing (called Haredi Leumi = Harda"l) that is like American
right-wing Orthodoxy in every way except for dress and Hallel on Yom
ha-Atzmaut. A large portion of Religious Zionist public (not necessarily
the majority) is in the first group. But the overwhelming majority of
the "Zionist" rabbinic world in Israel strongly identifies with the
second group. Zionist rabbis who sympathize with the first group are
often delegitimized, and sometimes they or their writings are even
banned. (No, it is not just Nosson Slifkin and the Haredi world.)

I've come to the personal conclusion that a total split or divorce
between the two streams would be healthier in the long term for both of
them. Right now, they already have separate yeshivot, separate schools,
separate newspapers, separate women's organizations, separate outreach
groups... There is deep tension within Bnei Akiva in Israel today
precisely because it has *not* yet split in two (I think it would be
healthier and more pleasant for all if it did).

I hope this survey can spur some discussion, so that people outside of
Israel can get a better picture of what is going on. I wrote an essay on
this topic some time ago, and anyone who would like to read it can
e-mail me.

Shabbat Shalom & Hag Sameakh,
Seth Kadish


End of Volume 47 Issue 70