Volume 6 Number 99

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Conquest of Land in Israel (3)
         [Yisrael Medad, Warren Burstein, Nachum Issur Babkoff]
         [David Kessler]
Steinsaltz English translation
         [Joel Goldberg]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1993 12:18:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

First, I hope that everybody had a very good Yom Tov. Just a quick note
at this point that the biographical note on the Rav was from Eli Turkel,
not Rick as I mistakenly put in. My apologies to both Eli and Rick. 

Avi Feldblum
mail.jewish Moderator - <mljewish@...>


From: OZER_BLUM%<CARMEL.DECNET@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Sun,  18 Apr 93 11:31 +0200
Subject: Conquest of Land in Israel

	In continuation from Vol. 6, No. 90:

	I would think that the whole issue of *kinyan*, *chazaka*, et
al. is really only relevant in the private, commercial sphere.  The
argument as run along the lines of Ezra Tepper ignores several very
fundamental concerns such as Eretz-Yisrael belongs to the Jews and does
so even if war is not made on them which would permit them to "conquer".
There is an important body of opinion that would regard the making of
war, if possible, obligatory even if we are not provoked.

	Secondly, let us not forget that the specific situation
discussed, the 1947-49 war (from the morrow of Partition to the signing
of cease-fire pacts), would indicate from a *halachic* outlook that Ezra
Tepper's discussions are fairly irrelevant.  There are others, of
course, who would say that the track of the conflict from anti-Jewish
riots and mayhem in 1920, 1921, 1929 & 1936- 1939 and almost every year
inbetween, would point to a constant war situation.

	Thirdly, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook used to say that we do not have a
problem with Ahmed or Muhhamed but with the Arab *tzibur* (community).

        I sit on a hill 810 meters above sea level at Shiloh.  In all
our 1,000 acres of land there are maybe three dozen almond trees, the
rest is barren hillside.  These trees are untended but they remain as
is.  The Arabs of Turmos Aya till the valley below and grow grain crops.
Around the block I can see the Tel of Shiloh where Joshua divided up the
land of Eretz-Yisrael into tribal portions (Joshua 18).  The Tel is my
roots and my rights to Eretz-Yisrael.  Excessive argumentation on the
one hand, and a basic missing-of-the-point on the other do not help us
to comprehend that being Jewish also means being an Eretz-Yisrael

	According to the Gemara, by simply walking through the land, we
may assert possession because it is ours; we just have to do something
to display our ownership (even though it is ours even without doing
anything or us not even being on the land).


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 93 04:50:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Conquest of Land in Israel

    Therefore, by conquering the Land, the Israel Army and Government are
    merely kicking off trespassers and holding it for their rightful
    owners (which will be decided once the Kingdom, Sanhedrin, etc. are

Since we don't know who the rightful Jewish owner of any piece of
property is either, can the State of Israel also evict Jews from land
that they own?

Also, how was land ownership at the start of the Second Temple period

 |warren@      But the principal
/ nysernet.org is concerned.

From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 93 11:15:52 +0200
Subject: Conquest of Land in Israel

I have been following the sporadic, but lengthly discussions on this
issue, and would like to offer several comments.

Several weeks ago, there was an entire issue of MJ devoted to this issue
where the contributor (forgot his name) quoted from R. Ovadya Yosefs
article in T'chumin 10 (a reproduction of the original paper he
delivered at the "Torah Sh'Beal Peh" confrence, from the preceeding
month of Av), quite extensively.

Several remarks should be made, I feel, in order to put things into per-

1. The contributor claimed that according to the Ramban in his Sefer
Ha'mitzvot, a king was necessary in order that a war should be
considered "milchemet mitzva" (obligatory war). He even went so far as
to quote from the late R. Kook in "Mishpatei Kohen", where it was stated
that when there was no king, authorities returned back to the people,
and questioned whether R. Kook had a source for that.

R. Kooks source was no other than the same Ramban, in Sefer Ha'Mitzvot,
where (in my addition, which is "Sefer Ha'Mitzvot L'Rambam" "Hotza'at
Mossad Ha'Rav Kook") he says "...the king judge or anyone who has
control over the people" ("kol mi she'ha'am b'yado").

As to whether there is a requirement according to the Ramban for a
Sanhedrin and "Urim V'tumim", there is an article in one of the first
"Barka'i" journals, where it is suggested that "Urim V'tumim" are at
most a prudent measure that should be taken, or a Mitzvah. NOT
NECESSARILY A Sine Qua Non for war! Although there ARE Poskim who take
that view.

2. Rav Ovadya's sequence of logic, is not free from difficulties itself,
and although this is not the time and place for an extensive analasys,
his comparrison between an ill person on Yom Kippur and the nation
today, is particularly questionable, and I would suggest a more critical
approach to his thesis, which is largely based on that comparison.

3. R. Sha'ul Yisraeli was brought, but I feel, that in order to do HIS
arguments justice (he too, is not free from difficulties), it is
important to judge his opinions NOT based on his article in T'chumin 10,
which was no more than a response to R. Ovadya, rather on the what he
writes in his book "Eretz Chemda", particularly the first chapter,
although I agree that his attempts to square the Rambam and Migilat
Ester his way, is strained, his POSSITIVE arguments should be given more
consideration than was originaly offered.

4. Even though it's quite clear that the Ramban did feel that there was
a possitive Mitzva of settling the land, I'm not sure that it's relevant
to this discussion, because the way I read the Ramban, it is a Mitzva of
PERSONAL responsibility, and NOT of a national nature "mitzva al kol
echad v'echad"-"it is incumbent upon each individual...". The rules of
war, and expropriation of land, on the other hand, are laws of a PUBLIC
nature. Although some relationship between these two seperate catagories
no-doubt exists, extrapolations in the nature that R. Ovadya, and R.
Sha'ul Yisraeli make, to me at least, are quite questionable. That's
another reason I find R.  Ovadya's comparison between an ill person on
Yom Kippur and a nation blackmailed into concessions-questionable.

5. Another point to consider, is how to weigh the various opinions? As
everyone knows, R. Ovadya is of the school whereby we "add up" the
various opinions, and almost physicly weigh the oposing views, and the
side which has more weight, "wins". Well, I have a surprise for some of
you. According to R. Ovadya, HIS OWN OPINION IS OUTWEIGHED BY...
HIMSELF!!! In 1969, in a "Torah Sh'Beal Peh" conference, he stated
unequivecly that there was a possitive commandment to settle the land,
and that it was FORBIDDEN to consider land for peace!

6. On a personal note, I feel that the issue is not "yishuv ha'aretz"
and "pikuach nefesh", rather we should look for other instances where
Hallacha weighs various PUBLIC INTRESTS against each other, in a context
of public law. One such model I thought of was that of "pidyon
sh'vuyim"-redeeming hostages, where one of the opinions is that we don't
"overpay" kidnappers, so that "they (kidnappers) won't be tempted to do
it some more" "d'lo ligrabu bei" (if I remember correctly). In other
words, we do NOT save the individuals, who are necessarily in peril,
when that MAY endanger the population at large.  Note: there the
population at large, is a community! Here we are dealing with an entire
country, and majority of the nation (in one place).

Hope you'll forgive me for the length.
All the best, 
                          Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <kessler@...> (David Kessler)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1993 09:56:50 +0300
Subject: Hallel

Close, but no cigar.  By my figuring, (using Israel data - add 1 for 
galut) starting at 1'st day of Sukkot, there are 8 for Sukkot/Sh. At.,
2 for Rosh Chod. Cheshvan, and 1 or 2 for R. Ch. Kislev (depending
on whether Chesvan is 29 or 30 days that year) for a grand total
of 11 or 12.  Starting at the 1st day of Sephira (i.e. 2nd day of
Pesach), there are 6 for Pesach, 2 for R. Ch. Iyar, and 1 for R. Ch. Sivan,
and depending on your politics 1 for Yom Haatzmaut and 1 for Yom Yerushalayim
for a grand total of 9 - 11.  Actually, in Galut, one should add not
just 1 but 2 or 3 for the Sephira period to include Hallel at the 2nd
seder and perhaps Hallel in shul the 2nd nite of Pesach.  This could
bring one up to 11 - 14 for Sephira vs. 12/13 for Sukkot +. However, in
fact the 49 period with the most Hallels (at least potentially, if
your politics/minhagim are favorable) is the 49 days starting 1st day
Pesach, since this gives you an extra 2 or 3 Hallels making a grand total
of 11 - 14 in Aretz and 13 - 17 in Galut.  With the most unfavorable
set of politics and minhagim,  the Sukkot period still wins in Aretz.
In Galut, however, the period starting with 1st day of Pesach never does
worse than tie and some years wins, even with the most anti-Hallel practices.

I hope this has (ahem....) clarified things. 

P.S. Of course, the above counts "Half Hallels" for full credit.  Giving
them partial credit would change the picture.
P.P.S.  The reason Chanuka is not in the running is because it overlaps
R. Ch. Tevet - thus failing to maximize its Hallels.


From: <goldberg@...> (Joel Goldberg)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 93 02:27:03 -0400
Subject: Steinsaltz English translation

  <allen@...> (Michael Allen) writes:
> I have found the ArtScroll to be extremely helpful in learning and
> learning how to learn Talmud. 

   I had occasion last year to speak with Rabbi Sober of the Steinsaltz
 team.  (He is it at the head of the process, performing the initial
 translations.)  His own opinion, on Steinsaltz versus ArtScroll, was
 that Steinsaltz is better for those who know nothing, or for those who
 know a lot (because of the additional material provided) but for those
 who want help in getting through the Aramaic on their own, ArtScroll is


End of Volume 6 Issue 99