Volume 65 Number 55 
      Produced: Tue, 12 Jul 22 13:04:17 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

    [Joseph Kaplan]
Aveil as sheliach tzibur (3)
    [Carl Singer  Martin Stern  Joel Rich]
High price of housing (was Russian olim) 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Jewish World Leaders Demand Concrete Action 
    [Martin Stern]
Mitzvah of Gun Ownership 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Mitzvah to seek out a rodef? (was Mitzvah of Gun Ownership) 
    [Frank Silbermann]
Optimism and the Zionist Paradise (2)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Prof. L. Levine]
Show Proper Kovod to All 
    [Prof. L. Levine]


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Austritt

Concerning Prof. Levine's quotation from R. Schwab in a Hakirah article about
the dispute between R. Bamberger and R. Hirsch about Austritt (MJ 75 #54). 

As I read it, there is a divergence of views between R. Bamberger, a great gadol
in R. Schwab's words and someone else, perhaps R. Bambergers son, who didn't use
his name in presenting a position that would indicate that he thought that R.
Bamberger made an error. Assuming it was a son who wrote the book, I'm not quite
sure why we should accept the opinion of an anonymous son over that of his
father, a great gadol, who publicly asserted  his position. I have no skin in
this game, but I know of many sons who disagree with their fathers, and while
they may be correct sometimes there are plenty of times they're not. Of course,
that R. Schwab sided with R. Hirsch is no chiddush. 



From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Aveil as sheliach tzibur

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#54):

> 1. Would it be permissible, according to Shach, for a person to place himself
> deliberately in a position where there is no one better than he (which is de
> facto the hired shatz's position, of course)?

To me the issue is not only WHO should be the shatz, but HOW. Most organized
minyanim have a gabbai -- one should communicate with the gabbai rather
than unilaterally "place themselves deliberately ...."  -- What if, for
example, there was another aveil present?   Should they have a "sing-off"? 
Should they arm-wrestle?  Of course not!

The menchlich thing to do is, as stated, communicate with the gabbai.

Speaking of menschlichkeit -- I'm reminded of what a dear friend, recently
deceased, would say:

"The death of a parent makes one an aveil, not a chazzan."

Carl A. Singer

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Aveil as sheliach tzibur

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#54):

> The issue is whether, in the eastern-European tradition, an aveil for a
> parent, after shiv'a, who (before his aveilut) frequently acted as sheliach
> tzibur (Shatz) on Shabbat and holidays, may look for, and take a paid position
> as, the shatz for the High Holidays in some shul not his regular shul.
> ...
> Aruch Hashulchan 376 states that while some earlier authorities hold that the
> aveil should continue to daven on Sabbath and holidays, the Rama does not
> mention them, so we should follow the Rama unless he is the "shatz kavua".
> [permanent shatz? designated shatz? see infra.)
> ...
> 2. Does "kavua" mean "permanent", as in, e.g., "all year", or "designated",
> meaning that he need only be designated for a specific time?
> ...

I think it is neither exactly.

A "shatz kavua" is someone employed to lead the davening (usually on Shabbat and
Yom Tov and other 'special' occasions), i.e. a paid chazan, as opposed to
someone who steps in when asked by the gabbai on an ad hoc basis (usually on

Such a person may act as shatz even on Yamim Noraim though whether an aveil
should be specifically hired to act as shatz then is questionable. On the other
hand, if the aveil has the ability to act as shatz and there is no one better
qualified available, there is room to be lenient even then.

On a lighter note, there is a famous story, especially appropriate to this
season of the year, of the chazan in Frankfurt am Main in the time of the
Hafla'ah, Rav Pinchas Horowitz, who complained that he should be paid a much
larger salary comparable to that of the Rav. When the communal leaders brought
his request to the Rav, he quipped "Hu oseh ma'aseh Zimri verotseh lekabbeil
sechar Pinchas". (vekhol hameivin yavin) 

Martin Stern

From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Aveil as sheliach tzibur

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#54):

> 1. Would it be permissible, according to Shach, for a person to place himself
> deliberately in a position where there is no one better than he (which is de
> facto the hired shatz's position, of course)?

I think the answer to the question - as phrased by Orrin - is yes.  The more
important question IMHO is whether it is appropriate, or as they say "un vos zogt
Gott [what does HKBH say about it".

Joel Rich


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 06:17 PM
Subject: High price of housing (was Russian olim)

R. Haim Shalom Snyder wrote (MJ 65#54):

> Prof. Levine (MJ 65#53) continues to blame the non-halachically Jews for the
> high price of housing in Israel and gives a link to an article which he thinks
> explains the issue.
> I read that item and I found an important issue missing from it. A major
> contributor to the problem is the Jews who live in the Diaspora but want to 
> own a residence in Israel. Their effect is two-fold. First, they are willing to 
> pay outrageous prices for the property with the resulting effect on the cost for
> others and, secondly, because they want it to be available to them whenever 
> they want to visit Israel, they don't rent it and it sits empty for long 
> periods of time. Here, those apartments are called "ghost apartments".

He realizes, I am sure, that because the occupants of these "ghost apartments"
are there only at certain times, such as for Yomim Tovim, that if they were
there full time,  the congestion in the areas where they stay would be increased
multi-fold. Also, those who own these apartments often spend large sums of money
while in Israel, and this bolsters the economy. Isn't tourism a major portion of
the Israeli economy? Rather than consider those who own "Ghost apartments"
negatives, I think he should look upon them as positives.

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 11,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Jewish World Leaders Demand Concrete Action

I wrote (MJ 65#54):

> However I think that Ha'aretz, and the sort of people who agree with its
> Weltanschauung, exploit such behaviour by suggesting that its perpetrators are
> typical of main stream chareidim. So, I am not sure that any such condemnation
> would be given much prominence in its columns.
The Jerusalem Post published an Op-ed entitled "Liberals bestowing
collective guilt for Western Wall violence" by David Eliezrie, president of
the Rabbinical Council of Orange County, California:


> People are individuals and are to be judged on their actions, but this is
> actually what liberals are doing to haredi Jews right now.
> One has to ask a vital question: are all guilty for the actions of a few?
> Recently, a group of teens interrupted a bar mitzvah service
> at the section of the Western Wall that is designated for non-traditional
> prayers. Clearly, their actions were reprehensible. Does the rowdiness of a
> couple of teenagers at the Western Wall mean that everyone who looks the same,
> supports and agrees with their acts of violence?
> ... 
> Personally, I believe that the traditions of Judaism reaching back to King
> Solomon, of separation of men and women, and classical Jewish observance,
> should be maintained and respected on that hallowed ground. Still, what these
> teens did was wrong; violence should not be used to impose ones views.
> Now, liberal Jewish groups are using this unfortunate incident to bestow on
> all religious Jews collective guilt. They have gone as far as calling it a
> new form of antisemitism; even Deborah Lipstadt, the US Special Envoy to
> Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, has echoed those comments.
> ...
> The debates between the liberal movements and those adhering to the classical
> teachings of the Torah have been going on for over two centuries. The Reform,
> Conservative and Reconstructionist movements have made major changes to the
> fundamentals of Judaism. A great majority deny the divinity of the Torah; the
> Reform support intermarriage. They have modified the standards for identity,
> lowering the bar for conversion, creating patrilineal descent.
> In the wake of the recent US Supreme Court decision, they have ignored
> Judaism's historical nuanced position on abortion, supporting it only when a
> mother's life is endangered. Instead, they argued for abortion on demand,
> claiming it as a religious right. These positions challenge basic Jewish
> beliefs. For a Jew with fidelity to Torah, it creates a great quandary on how
> to respond. 
> Some rise in anger, and that is what happened at the Western Wall last week.
> ...
> It seems that this instance of a few kids acting improperly has become a
> public issue for a much different reason. ... Using the accusation of
> collective guilt, instead of admonishing those personally responsible,
> provides liberal leaders with a new reason to assert their position. Op-eds
> and statements from Jewish organizations make a tumult and advance a cause.
> ...
> Clearly, the liberal movements must also do some self-reflection. During last
> year's war in the Gaza Strip, about a hundred liberal rabbinical students
> issued a public letter condemning Israel. At the same time, they said nothing
> about the missiles shot by the Hamas terrorist regime.
> ...
> These students are the products of the premier institutions of higher learning
> of the liberal movements. ... This was not a bunch of rowdy teenagers; they
> are in advanced post-graduate programs. Their institutions are preparing them
> to be the next generation of leaders of American Jewry.
> To me, that is a far graver failure of education than a bunch of teens looking
> for trouble.
> ...
> So, let's tone down the rhetoric; let's take violence and collective guilt off
> the table. Let's be honest: we have differences, they are not going away, and
> some of them are theological divisions we cannot bridge. We must remember that
> we have a collective destiny as Jews, and this is what is truly important.
> ...

I tend to agree with much of this Op-ed. What do others think of it?

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 11,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Mitzvah of Gun Ownership

If I may be nitpicking or m'dakdek, I would think the mitzah is to know or be
taught how to use a gun, not necessarily to own one.

Psalms 144:1: who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

Yisrael Medad


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Mitzvah to seek out a rodef? (was Mitzvah of Gun Ownership)

Immanuel Burton wrote (MJ 65#54):

> Taking this at face value, it reminds me of the story (which may be
> a Wise Men of Chelm story) of a village that had a high cliff nearby
> that people kept falling off and hurting themselves.
> So they built a hospital at the bottom.
> Is it really a mitzvah to actively seek out a rodef?

No one even so much as suggested it was a mitzvah to actively seek out a rodef
(unless you're hired as a police officer and it is your duty to do so).

When the halacha says, "When THE RODEF COMES TO KILL YOU ..." it means that the
rodef is seeking YOU out.

PREPARING the ability to kill the rodef if and when HE SEEKS YOU out does NOT
imply seeking HIM out.

As for the Mishnah in Sanhedrin (8:7) saying that the rodef who is killed is
saved from sin at the cost of his own life -- It seems to me that would make
killing the rodef a double win.  Heaven forbid that we should be so vengeful as
to allow the deaths of innocents in the hope that a guilty soul will burn.

Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 11,2022 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Optimism and the Zionist Paradise

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 65#54):

> Prof Levine (MJ 65#48) quoted R'David Krohnglass saying that since Israel is
> holy one must be of a higher spiritual level to live there and any aveira
> committed there is more serious. This is a major chiddush, the strangest excuse
> for not making aliya that I have ever encountered. He then goes on to accuse
> those of us who live in Israel with hubris.
> No Prof Levine, we are not all tzaddikim. We are a tzibbur, tzaddikim, beinoniim
> and reshayim. I myself do not consider myself a tzaddik. I strive to reach the
> level of beinoni (of the Tanya). Only you know the real reason that you have'nt
> yet made aliya, but to say that it is because you are not at the proper
> spiritual level is patently ridiculous.

This reminds me of one of the reasons given for the Cheit Hameraglim. They
rationalized that staying in the midbar would keep the Bnei Yisrael at aa higher
spiritual level. They were "afraid" that changing from living by miracles to a
derech tevah would cause them to lose their ruchnius.

Of course, we see how that worked out.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 12,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Optimism and the Zionist Paradise

R. David Tzohar wrote (MJ 65#54):

> Prof Levine (MJ 65#48) quoted R'David Krohnglass saying that since Israel is
> holy one must be of a higher spiritual level to live there and any aveira
> committed there is more serious. This is a major chiddush, the strangest
> excuse for not making aliya that I have ever encountered. He then goes on to
> accuse those of us who live in Israel with hubris.

I must admit that I am truly surprised that what I wrote "is a major chiddush"
to him. Let me quote in part from Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer's essay Israel - A
Challenge that appeared in Mitteilungen, Vol. 24, December 1962/January 1963
and is reprinted in A Unique Perspective, Rav Breuer's Essays 1914-1973.

> A trip to Israel has become routine in our time. The amazing technological
> progress in the speed of air travel has helped in the enormous rise of
> volume of travelers bound for Israel. The Holy Land has become a focal
> attraction for the Diaspora. ... As for us Torah-true Jews, we must be
> permeated by the following thoughts:
> From the beginning the Jewish people was assured possession of Eretz Yisrael
> only as God's nation. Every page of the Torah proclaims this irrevocable
> truth. To deny it would mean a denial of God's Torah itself. 
> ...
> Similarly, the future of this land is intimately and forever tied to the
> future of this nation. Redemption of the Jewish people also means redemption
> of the Jewish land. Thus, a true ingathering of our people into its land is
> not possible without our return to God and His life-shaping proximity. For
> the Land, too, longs for the return of God's Shechinah.
> ...
> Have we who tread upon the soil of our homeland still an ear for this
> stirring plaint? Do we feel shame for our brethren who respond with derisive
> laughter to this heart-rending pain; who feel no compunction to demonstrate
> to a world, which is familiar with the Book of the Prophets, how the very
> descendants of this people ridicule their own leaders?
> Upon reaching the site of the Holy Land we tear "k'riah" as a sign of
> mourning, exactly as we do at the passing of a father or mother. For Eretz
> Yisrael does not meet us in a happy frame of mind. True, we absorb with
> pleasure all that is beautiful and admirable.
> ...
> Let us face it: The Jewish State in its present form is far from being a
> State of God. This realization is the basis for the desperate struggle of
> Torah Jewry in Israel for the salvation of Torah in Israel. Are not the
> establishment of the State and the resurrection of the land from the decay of
> millennia Divine challenges to our people? Are you ready for your ultimate
> redemption? That is why every truly Jewish man or woman must tremble for the
> future of the State, for the future of our land.
> Yet we need not tremble for the future of God's Torah. Our anxiety is
> directed to our people and its God-willed destiny. Despite the fateful
> significance of the tasks confronting Torah-true Jewry in the Holy Land, it
> would be of even greater fateful consequence were we to underestimate the
> importance of strengthening Torah-true Jewry in the Golah.
> We applaud him who chooses to make his permanent domicile in Israel, in order
> to support and strengthen the cause of Torah in the Holy Land. However, in
> view of the regrettable state of affairs, a visitor to Israel will be
> burdened by the experiences which may be expected in the Golah but which are 
>unbearable in the Holy Land.

There are other essays in this Sefer that deal with Eretz Yisrael. May I
suggest, WADR, that  R. David Tzohar buy it and read it.

Also, WADR, I suggest he reads:

Zion or Zionism: Rav Shimon Schwab


Please see the bottom of page 148 to the middle of page 149, in particular.

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 12,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Show Proper Kovod to All

Quite a few years ago a female student came into my office at Stevens to ask
some questions about her grades. After I answered them, she said, "I am from
upstate NY and work part-time in a drugstore. There is a Chassidic community
near where I work. They come into the drugstore to buy cigarettes. They never
say "please" or" thank you" or" hello" or "hi." They have no manners!"

I pointed out that I was not Chassidic and that I did not approve of such behavior.

Such behavior is, IMO, a huge Chillul HaShem.  This is certainly a most serious
aveira.  May I suggest that one read Rav Shimon Shwab's article, Chillul Hashem,


so that one realizes how very serious committing a Chillul Hashem is.

Professor Yitzchok Levine


End of Volume 65 Issue 55