Volume 53 Number 51
                    Produced: Wed Jan  3  5:44:39 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Impostors" in hasidic garb (2)
         [Perets Mett, <ERSherer@...>]
A radical but sane proposal: murder
         [Charles Chi Halevi]
Separation of Church and State
         [Joseph Kaplan]
Separation of Church and State - Trees and Menorahs (2)
         [Arnie Kuzmack, Janice Gelb]
Source of U.S. Rights
         [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 17:44:21 +0000
Subject: Re: "Impostors" in hasidic garb

Meir Shinnar wrote:

> I don't see such a discussion in the Satmar comunity.  Furthermore,
> while the NK crossed a red line with the Holocaust denial conference,
> until now, the relationship between NK actions and Satmar actions was
> extremely close - and the difference was one primarily of style -
> rather than of substance - and frequently indistinguishable to the
> outside observer (who is the important audience).  eg, NK participated
> in rallies with pro Palestinian groups for the destruction of Israel.
> Satmar would not participate in such joint rallies. However, they held
> their own rallies protesting the existence of Israel...Somehow, I
> don't see, and I don't think the wider outside world, sees, much of a
> difference between the two....  > That isn't a question of theology -
> but actions.

This is misleading to put it mildly.

Those who join pro-Palestinian Arab rallies have always been roundly  
condemned, widely in the Chareidi community, including Satmar.

Satmar does not hold rallies calling for the destruction of Israel.
They **do** have an anti-Zionist philosophy as spelt out in Vayoel
Moshe. Just because the Zionists cannot tolerate that philosophy does
make it any less valid.

What is more, I see plenty of criticism of Israel by all sorts of Jewish
leftist groups, which is expected to be tolerated in the name of
democracy, but somehow the shita of Satmar has no place in this same

Talk of double standards.

Perets Mett

From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 12:52:33 EST
Subject: Re: "Impostors" in hasidic garb

      NK - none at all!  If they hold Zionism is wrong - fine.  But to
      go on international tv during a war, to go to Iran for a holocaust
      denial conference, is sakanos nefashos for the rest of us jews and
      is assur lgamri!  tznius is subjective at best!

Under the Constitution of the United States, this would come within the
definition of TREASON as "adhering to the enemy".


From: Charles Chi Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 09:13:40 -0600
Subject: A radical but sane proposal: murder

Shalom All:

Since the G'mara (Talmud) clearly states that - ha'ba li'hargicha,
hashkem u'dihargo - if you know someone is coming to kill you, you
should arise early and kill him first - shouldn't we apply this
principle to such vermin as those Jews and Gentiles who participated in
the Iranian conference that denied the Holocaust. Because it consisted
of scum who wish to kill Jews, not just Israelis, is this not distinctly
a case where we are **commanded** to strike first, as we did in the Six
Day War?

I know that the G'mara also says that the law of your land is your law
too, but this only applies IMHO to laws which don't contradict halacha
(Jewish law). Ergo, why not take the Talmud's advice and murder the
potential murderers first? Do not do it as an act of passion.  Rather,
as author Robert A. Heinlein once wrote, if you see a poisonous snake
poised to kill you, kill it matter of factly, sans hatred, and don't
agonize or have second thoughts. Just preserve your life.

Heinlein did NOT say to kill all snakes; they are useful in Nature's
chain because they eat rats etc. He spoke of a circumstance where human
life is endangered. I propose this applies to the traitorous Jews and
Jew-hating goyim who, by their action in attending Iran's hate-fest,
clearly want to kill Jews.

To those who say this would cause a khilul Ha'Shem, a desecration of
God's name, I counter that (1) the deterrent would save more lives than
it costs, and (2) there's a heck of a lot of Gentiles who would cheer
this action.

Kol Tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 12:06:23 -0500
Subject: Separation of Church and State

David Charlap's view of the constitutional basis of the separation of
church and state is not one that comports with my understanding of
constitutional law, but others, more knowledgeable than I, have already
set forth what I understand is the law.  But what intrigued me was his
comment: "And they also protest these symbols [i.e., Christmas trees and
other Christian symbols] on private property, when it is a place
frequented by the public."  In all my years of following this topic (and
I have been following it for many years), I have never seen anyone
object to religious symbols on private property, nor do I know of a
single legal case where that was an issue.  Perhaps I have missed it, so
I would truly appreciate it if Mr. Charlap could be more specific about
what he is referring to .

Joseph Kaplan


From: Arnie Kuzmack <Arnie@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 11:42:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Separation of Church and State - Trees and Menorahs

David Charlap wrote:

> If you follow the news, the groups that claim to want government to be
> religion-free seem to have no problem allowing all kinds of
> non-Christian religious symbols.  And they also protest these symbols
> on private property, when it is a place frequented by the public.
> Our courts are creating a reverse-establishment - favoring all-but-one
> religion.  This has just as much potential to destroy our religious
> freedom as laws establishing a religion can.  Some of the first signs
> of this are the presence of pro-Christian legislation that is being
> proposed as a backlash to these court decisions.

I follow the news as well as the next person, and this is the first
indication I have seen that these groups "seem to have no problem
allowing all kinds of non-Christian religious symbols".  It is certainly
not the position of the ACLU, which David cites as a leader of these
groups.  The ACLU web site states the following:

"Religious symbols, including those that are displayed prominently, are
an important and constitutionally protected form of religious expression
in the public square in the United States. Churches, Mosques, Temples,
Gurdwaras, Kingdom Halls, Zendos, and Cathedrals have a constitutionally
protected right to construct religious buildings and to display symbols
that are visible to the public.  [Additional examples omitted for

"The ACLU opposes, however, _governmental_ promotion, endorsement, and
financing of religious symbols. The question is not the permissibility
of "religion in the public square" - which is constitutionally
_protected_ - but the government's involvement in promoting religious
symbols and beliefs, which is constitutionally _prohibited_. Erecting a
Latin cross on the lawn of a Catholic or Lutheran Church is
constitutional. But putting that same cross on the courthouse lawn on
the opposite side of the street is unconstitutional. The prohibition
comes not because the cross - or any other religious symbol - is
disfavored.  Rather, it comes from the fact that it is a deeply sacred
symbol to many citizens, but not to all. The courthouse and the
statehouse should represent justice for _all_ American citizens and
should not favor the religious beliefs and symbols of some over those of


Of course, this has mostly been applied to Christian symbols, since
these are the ones that governments have tended to put up.  The obvious
reason is that most jurisdictions have Christian majorities.  But the
ACLU would be just as opposed to a governmental display of a menorah
alone, or of a Christmas tree AND a menorah or other combinations.
Their position, which I support, is that the government should not favor
one religion over another AND should not favor religion over

I also disagree with David's assertion that support for proposed
"pro-Christian" legislation is a backlash against court decisions
resulting from ACLU lawsuits and other similar cases.  There is actually
nothing new about this sort of legislative proposal, with examples of it
going at least as far back as 1785, when the Virginia legislature was
consdering a bill (ultimately rejected) to fund "Teachers of the
Christian Religion".  If the supporters of these measures are more
vocal, it is not because of recent court decisions.  In fact, the
Supreme Court has recently been bending over backwards to find ways to
allow religious symbols -- a tendency which is likely to continue with
two new conservative justices.

It seems more plausible that the supporters of "pro-Christian"
legislation have been more vocal in recent years because of what is
perceived by them as a better chance of success, given a President who
appears sympathetic to their positions, Republican control of both
Houses of Congress, and the new Supreme Court justices.  The impact of
the November elections is rather off-topic.

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2007 04:13:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE: Separation of Church and State - Trees and Menorahs

Yitzchak Moran wrote:
> A number of years ago, for various reasons 'way too boring to go into
> here, my family moved from the SF Bay Area to Austin, TX. [snip]
> The Austin Jewish population is *much* smaller (although there is, thank
> goodness, a great kosher butcher and deli at the local H.E.B.
> supermarket), and my kids are in public school.  And while not exactly
> the American South, it's still, well, Southie, to use a Colbertism. 
> We live in a fairly well-off area, and so our neighbors are, in the
> main, highly educated professionals.  And ironically, they tend to be
> *more* tolerant and thoughtful about our being Jewish than folks in the
> Bay Area were.  
> N.B.: This is a side issue, and I haven't quite gotten my mind around it
> yet, but I find it fascinating that my much more Christian, much more
> Southern neighbors here are *more* tolerant of my Jewishness than my Bay
> Area neighbors were.  Partly this appears to be simply politeness;
> people in this part of the country really *are* more polite.  But partly
> it seems that, since the *Christians* here are, on the whole, more
> devout, they have respect for *anyone* who is more devout, be they
> Christian or not.  I am sure that this is not true across the economic
> spectrum, but it is certainly true in *my* neighborhood.  In the Bay
> Area, on the other hand, I often had the feeling that I had some kind of
> communicable social disease by trying to be observant in *any* faith,
> and was thereby looked down on.
> It is interesting to me that the ostensibly "more liberal" Bay Area
> seems to be *less* tolerant to people who want to be religious than the
> supposedly "bigoted" South, but that's been my--admittedly
> limited--experience.  The gist here seems to be, "Well, at least you
> believe in God!"  The gist in the Bay Area is, "You believe in God?
> What are you, some kind of idiot?"  I'm over-simplifying, of course, but
> that's the gist.

I feel obligated to defend the San Francisco Bay Area, where I lived for
several years. I never had any feeling that people looked down on me or
were intolerant of my being religiously observant there.  As a matter of
fact, when I worked at a well-known computer company there, my Christian
boss wrote a very nice note to me when my mother died unexpectedly. I
had explained the shiva requirements to him and his note mentioned how
lucky he thought I was to have a framework for my grief experience and
how he wished he'd had a similar religious structure to fall back on
when his own parents had died. The neighbors in my condo were also very
understanding about the noise and number of visitors for the shiva
minyanim, for example. Non-Jews in a hobby group I attended went out of
their way to try to have meetings on Sundays rather than Saturdays, for
another example.

-- Janice


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 08:30:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Source of U.S. Rights

David Charlap objects to my statement that what gives us in the
U.S. such freedoms as freedom of speech and the freedom to live is the
Constitution, instead saying that some rights are granted by God, and
that the legal system guarantees them but does not create them.  He
cites the Declaration of Independence, and notes that the Ninth
Amendment says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the
people."  The objection is not material to my original point (q.v.), but
while I am neither a legal philosopher for a Constittuional scholar I
believe he is mostly mistaken.

The Declaration of Independence is not a source of substantive U.S. law.
For practical purposes, neither is the Ninth Amendment, which is not
read literally (see United Public Workers v. Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75
(1947)) although some scholars think it should be.  As to David's
larger point, if he is correct he should be able to produce a Supreme
Court case saying "it does not matter that there is no right to privacy
[or abortion, or something else] in the Constitution or fairly implied
by it because it is an inherent right, or one granted by God." Some
rights do emanate from the common law (e.g., I do not cite the
Constitution or a statute if I sue someone for libel or for punching me
in the nose), but those rights don't include freedom of speech or, I
believe, rights against government actors, which is what we're talking
about here.


End of Volume 53 Issue 51