Volume 9 Number 34
                       Produced: Mon Sep 27 10:06:18 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aseret Y'May T'Shuvah (10 Days of Repentance): Prayers
         [Warren Burstein]
Gedolim and the Peace Agreement
         [Frank Silbermann]
German Rav
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Halakhic night
         [Jeff Mandin]
Haredim on the Peace Agreement
         [Jeff Mandin]
Ovens on Yom-Tov
         [Ophir S Chernin]
Round fields
         [Steve Wildstrom]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 93 07:34:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Aseret Y'May T'Shuvah (10 Days of Repentance): Prayers

>1 - In the Sh'Mah Koleinu section:
>     A) Amareinu HaAzinah Hashem.  Binah Hagigeinu.

In every shul that I've ever been at for Slichot the chazzan does not
say that verse (and some others).  But the entire section is grouped
together, so why does he say some but not others?

 |warren@      But the chef
/ nysernet.org is not all that paranoid.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 15:53:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Gedolim and the Peace Agreement

With respect to the peace process in Israel, the real issue is security,
not the holiness of the land.  If the holiness of land were a compelling
reason for the almost daily reconquest of Gaza and Jericho (etc), then
why would this not also compel us to reconquer the rest of the land
promised to Abraham, all the way from the Eurphrates in Iraq to the river
in Egypt?  Very few Jews, religious or secular, advocate this.  To me,
the foreign policy of Labor seems closer to the original philosophy of
Zionism as well as the mandates of religion.  Let's review both of these.

Theodore Herzl indeed looked forward to the chance for Jews to be a nation
like all other nations.  Nevertheless, I believe his primary reason for
promoting Zionism was to save the Jewish people from the great danger
he forsaw.  The Drefus Affair in France convinced Herzl that assimilation
was not really an option (as the Orthodox had always maintained). 
As a journalist with high political connections he was surely
also aware of the Tzar's plan to purge us from the entire expanding
Russian empire -- some of us to disappear by conversion to Christianity,
some by emmigration and some by extirmination.  Massive emigration
would provoke other nations to adopt similar policies, as had happened
after the Crusades.  The primary goal of secular Zionism was therefore
to save the Jewish people from destruction.

Most religious Zionists supported Zionism as a "necessary evil."  It was
not to force the Redemption that they supported resettlement, but rather
because "the ground in Europe is burning under our feet."  Some, like
Rav. Yoseph Solivetchik, switched his allegience to Mitzrachi only after
the Holocaust.  Yet, he never advocated this as a way to bring about the
Messianic era.  In R. Blau's hesped (as reported to us by Anthony Fiorino)
and in R. Eliezer Bernstein's hesped (as reported by Eli Turkel) we are
told that "After the 6 day war, an Israeli general had spoken of the lives
risked to secure Jerusalem.  The Rav said that protecting the kotel
does not justify the loss of a single additional Jewish soldier."
How much more so does this apply to the continual reconquest of _any_
territory not essential for Israel's defense?

In his book, _Piety and Power_, David Landau describes the leader of Shas,
former Sephardic chief rabbi Rv. Avadia Yosef, as being perhaps the greatest
Talmud Hacham of our generation.  On page 89 he quotes Rv. Schlomo Goren,
former Askenazi chief rabbi of Israel, as saing about Rv. Yosef, "He knows
ten times as much as Schach."  In March, 1990, Rv. Yosef brought down
the Likud government, explaining on television that "he could no longer
face G-d and his conscience if he continued to support an `extremist,
warmongering government'" (page xx of Introduction).  His current support
of Labor is due specifically to his support for the peace process (it is
certainly not due to any great affinity for left-wing Ashkenazim in general).
On page 332 Landau states that "Shach himself, though bitterly hostile
to Labor, consistently favored `land for peace'.  Tuvia Blubstein,
a Likud government official who served during the Shamir years as the
discreet go-between between Shack and the Prime Minister, concedes that
the haredi sage's position remained closer to Labour than to the Likud."

Though Rv. Shach holds the Labor party itself in great contempt,
followers of the great Rv. Abraham Isaac Kook should not let themselves
be influenced by this.  Labor's forerunners -- the secular socialist
kibbutzniks -- were the very Zionists which Rav Kook befriended and
defended before the Torah world.

It might be argued that `land for peace' in fact endangers Jews, particularly
the lives of the Gush Emunim settlers.  I consider this a very cynical
argument -- the Gush Emunim knew that Israel would eventually consider
such a plan, and they moved outside the green line just so they could
make this very argument.  Off course, they are not the only religious
group opposed to this kind of compromise.  The Lubavitcher Rebbe has also
declared himself fiercely opposted to the return of _any_ territory.
On the other hand, Rabbi Moshe Hirsch of Netorei Karta advocates turning
over to Arafat the _entire_ state of Israel immediately.

Given that our Gedolim (all of whom are intelligent, pious and learned
in Torah) diverge into such a disparate variety of opinions, the wise
course of action would seem to be moderation, guided by worldly considerations
and a sense of what kind of example we wish to set for the other
nations of the world, many of whom are also racked with ethnic conflict
and poor majority/minority relations.

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 93 15:31:51 -0400
Subject: German Rav

The German Rav that Norman Miller asked about was Rabbi Nosson Adler
of Frankfurt, Rebbe of the Chasam Sofer. He held that one was only
allowed to transcribe the bare minimum of the Oral Law required to
remember one's knowlrdge. Mosr Poskim disagree and note that after
Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi allowed the Oral Law to be committed to writing it
is now a mitzva to do so.


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 18:40:27 -0400
Subject: Halakhic night

Hayim Hendeles writes:

>While the use of these mathematical formulae to calculate tzeit
>hakochavim is quite prevalent (for the precise angle to use, consult
>your LOR), one should never mention this topic without mentioning the
>opinion of Rabbi Henkin zt"l, quoted in his approbation to Leo Levy's
>"Jewish Chrononomy' (where he makes extensive use of these formulae):
>(translation and errors are mine):
>"... But one should not measure [these times] via angles, for these
> laws were not given to physicists and mathematicians. ..."

My LOR quoted Rav Henkin zt'l to the effect that halakhic night begins
when the last traces of redness disappear from the western sky; in New York
City this is never later than sixty minutes after the astronomical sunset.

According to my LOR, the "redness" definition of night is the primary
one;  the length of twilight given by the gemara is a practical description
of how long twilight lasted according to the "redness" definition.  I
can't say whether he said R. Henkin read the gemara that way.


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 19:00:11 -0400
Subject: Haredim on the Peace Agreement

Michael Kramer writes:

> it would be eggregiously defamatory, as well as untru, to suggest that _any_
>Israeli government--or any of its ministers, even the ever-denounceable
>Ms. Aloni--does not care, constantly and desperately, about Jewish lives. 
>Pikuach nefesh should not only be dokhe shtakhim (if we follow the halakhic
>line of thought) but it should also be dokhe (for the time being, at least)
>other issues.

I saw a couple of op-eds in the English Yated Neeman(adapted from longer
Hebrew articles and then interpreted by me, so beware) about this.  MK
R. Avraham Ravitz wrote that the Israeli left had two items on its
agenda: peace and secularization of Israeli society.  Because of its
second goal, he writes, we must be skeptical about its implementation of
the first as well.

The second article, referred to by Shaul Wallach earlier, said that
since there is a principle that benefit (zchus) is conferred by the
righteous(zakai) and harm(chov) by the guilty(chayav), it is unlikely
that the agreement effected by the left will bring peace.

Here's hoping that ha-kadosh-baruch-hu will give us a secure future this
year and beyond.


From: Ophir S Chernin <osc4@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 93 04:52:26 -0400
Subject: Ovens on Yom-Tov

Regarding electric ovens on Yom-Tov.

For Rosh HaShanah I was at the home of a prominent Rav who follows the
p'sakim of Rav Moshe, and he reminded his wife that the proper halacha
is that when the oven light is on (if more then one light exists, then
the one which indicates that the element is currently on), one may open
the oven door.  I discussed the issue further, and clarified that when
one can open the oven door, one can even raise the temperature of the
oven.  If the light is off, it still (depending on the oven temperature)
is not a psik raishe that the element will turn on (For example, if the
temperature is 500 F, then one definately cannot open the door if the
light is off, but if it is only on the warm cycle, then maybe it is
mutar to open the door).  If the light is off, it is permissible to
lower the oven temperature because this will only delay the heating of
the element.

This is not meant as a psak halacha, but only as possible clarification on
the matter.  Consult your LOR.

Gmar Chasima Tova.


From: Steve Wildstrom <wild@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 11:15:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Round fields

This question was originally posted on soc.culture.jewish but failed to
get an answer. Hayim Hendeles suggested I try it here.

My son, a recent bar mitzvah, was reading Vayikra 19 and posed a
question to which I have been unable to find an answer. We are commanded
to leave the corners of a field uncut so that the poor can gather the
gleanings. But what is a farmer expected to do with a round field? The
question is not trivial or facetious because center-pivot irrigation
systems, widely used in the drier parts of the U.S. and, I imagine, in
Israel, do create perfectly round fields. You often see such field from
airplanes flying over the midwest and west. I'm not looking for a p'sak
here, just an informed opinion.

G'mar chatim tova.

Steve Wildstrom   Business Week Washington Bureau  <wild@...> 


End of Volume 9 Issue 34