Volume 9 Number 97
                       Produced: Fri Nov 12  9:00:03 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Derech Eretz
         [Alan Mizrahi]
Hassidim stay in Europe
         [Bob Werman]
Holocaust and Israel
         [Allen Elias]
Jewish Fiction
         [Yisrael Medad]
Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac)
         [Pinchas Edelson]
         [David A Rier]
Poskim against Aliya
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Poskim and Zionism
         [Marc Shapiro]
Women and Rambam Yomi
         [Isaac Balbin]


From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 00:23:42 EST
Subject: Derech Eretz

	Michael Kramer in "Midot and Frumkeit" (9:93) refers to the fact
that many Jews are strict in their observance of mitzvot that are bein
adam l'makom (between man and God) but are lax in their observance of
mitzvot bein adam l'chaveiro (between man and his fellow man).  He
mentions perticularly the way Jews treat goyim.

	From what I have seen the biggest problem is not the way Jews
treat Goyim, but rather the way they treat less observant Jews.  I have
heard much Lashon Harah about Jews who are not very observant, and this
disturbs me very much.  Part of being Jewish is following derech eretz
(literally, the way of the land).  This includes respecting all people,
regardless of their religious practices.  I'm not saying we should go to
their shuls or do anything else we feel is against Halacha (notice this
comes from the same root as derech eretz) but to speak lashon harah
about anyone, especially fellow Jews, is unacceptable.  Perhaps we
should pay a little more attention to the petition we make at the end of
the Amidah.

Alan Mizrahi


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 05:50:09 -0500
Subject: Hassidim stay in Europe

Marc Shapiro writes:

>the Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac) urged his
>followers to remain in the Soviet Union (in the 1920's). He did not
>believe that the government was anti-religious. Whereas other roshe
>yeshiva and rebbes were urging their followers to leave, the Lubavitcher
>rebbe was telling them to stay.

Hardly a follower of Habad, I still feel that it is worth pointing out
that the Gerer is the only major European figure who said to his
followers "Get out."  Or am I wrong about that, too?

__Bob Werman    <rwerman@...>    rwerman@vms.huji.ac.il


From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 12 Nov 93 05:30:39 EST
Subject: Holocaust and Israel

>From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)

>                                           I have heard numerous
>stories of rabbis in Hungary in the early 1940s telling the people to
>stay in Hungary and that it was safe. When the nazis finally did come it
>was too late for most of the people but these rabbis escaped to Israel.
>Many of the others who did escape somehow also abandonded religion.

I don't know if the Rabbis said it was safe and that they all escaped to
Israel but let me relate what happened with my granfather who lived in
Hungarian-occupied Carpathia.

He did actually think of coming to Eretz Israel. He went to the Jewish
Agency (Sochnut) and asked for a certificate. The British had given all
the immigration certificates to the Jewish Agency. The Jewish Agency
representative told my grandfather that in order to get a certificate he
would have to shave of his beard and cut off his son's peyes.  His
wife's kerchief would also have to go.

The Rabbis he consulted told him that most of those who made aliya under
Jewish Agency auspices (the only way) later abandoned religion. Mr.
Turkel as quoted above agrees with this assesment. Why should the Rabbis
encourage people to do something which will cause them to abandon
religion?  During the Crusades and Inquisition millions chose to die
rather than give up their religion. Maybe the situation would have been
different if the Jewish Agency had not adopted an anti-religious policy.


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 93 09:28 IST
Subject: Jewish Fiction

	Two additions that I have recently read:
1) Unorthodox Practices - L. Piesman
2) Yom Kippur Murder - L. Harris
	Funnily enough, they both deal with shady real estate and
management corruption deals in Manhattan.  The second book's hero
is a lapsed nun.

Yisrael Medad


From: Pinchas Edelson <Edelson@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 05:50:05 -0500
Subject: Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac)

Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>, writes:
> 	 E. g. the Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac) urged his
> followers to remain in the Soviet Union (in the 1920's). He did not
> believe that the government was anti-religious. Whereas other roshe
> yeshiva and rebbes were urging their followers to leave, the Lubavitcher
> rebbe was telling them to stay. We are not judging him if we point out
> how misguided he was.

	My first reaction to this comment is, who made you the maiven?
Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac) had no doubts as to the
anti-religious stance of the Soviet government. On the contrary, his
father Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber of Lubavitch had to leave the town of
Lubavitch where they had been for over 100 years for Rostov. There he
was under the watching eye of the KGB who prohibited their public
gatherings.  Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber gave clear instructions not to
consider the Soviet government an opposition to them even in the
slightest bit, but to consider that they don't exist at all. This policy
was continued by his son R. Joseph Isaac who knew full well of the
physical dangers involved.
	The fact is that the Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac) 
dedicated his Chassidim to the work of maintaining Yiddishkeit for the 
many Russian Jews who were not leaving, to the point of giving up their 
lives for Hashem, which many of them did. This was a stance which was 
deemed necessary at that time for certain reasons. R. Joseph Isaac 
himself was prepared to do the same and this was proven by his unswerving 
responses to his (Jewish-communist) captors who beat him and held him at 
gun point. In the end he did not compromise on his stance and he was 
released by the KGB. After his release he continued to publicly speak out 
for the continuation of Jewish life in the Soviet Union. 
	The Lubavitcher Rebbe (R. Joseph Isaac) was involved in helping
Jews leave Europe for Eretz Yisroel and America, knowing full well the
dangers involved in staying. But he himself returned to Europe after
visiting Eretz Yisroel and America and was in the Warsaw Getto while the
Germans were bombing them. Upon arriving in the U.S. in 1940, he stated
that he did not leave Europe to save his life but to strengthen
Yiddishkeit in America, since Hashem could save his life were he to
remain in Europe too.
	By the way, the present Lubavitcher Rebbe, who should have a
speedy recovery, was in France until the summer of 1941. The Germans
came to his apartment building to make records of the names of the
Jewish residents. A (non-Jewish?) neighbor told them that he was not
home but he knew that his religion was Orthodox. That is, he was trying
to do him a favor since this could have meant Greek-0rthodox. The proud
neighbor told of his accomplishments when the Rebbe came home.
Immediately, he walked down the Gestapo office and demanded that the
records be changed to Orthodox Jew (people knew then what these records
were for). This is not to say that Jews should not have tried to escape
with false papers, but this was not for him.
	Some of these people continued their efforts in the Soviet Union
to this very day, and somehow managed to see that there was an
opportunity for Jews to have Mikva, Bris Milah, and learning of Torah
for whomever they could help. Many Lubavitchers can tell you about their
parents, grand parents and greatgrand parents who committed incredible
acts of heroism. We do not know how powerful is the merit of their
mesiras nefesh (giving up their lives), but we do know that communism
has fallen.
	In my shul is a man who arrived from the Soviet Union just over
a year ago. This Sukkos he celebrated his 100th birthday (and was the
chazan for our minyan), may he have many more. He says that he lived in
the town of Lubavitch from 1902 and studied in the Yeshiva Tomchei
Temimim of Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber whom he heard speak for a period of
about 18 years. He saw the whole thing from beginning to end and he
described it as a 70 year golus (exile). I don't think that he or any of
his fellow chaverim who gave up their lives had any doubt as to the
seriousness of the matter, let alone the Rebbe himself. Even the small
children knew how dangerous things were then.
	Furthermore, after the communists took over in the Soviet Union,
Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber of Lubavitch was quoted as saying, "How long can it
last, seventy years?" Well. 70 years later communism has fallen and
Yiddishkeit is again growing in Russia. We may not understand completely
how things work but we do know who has the answers.

Pinchas Edelson


From: David A Rier <dar6@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 93 14:23:21 EST
Subject: Midos/Frumkeit

For several excellent, on-target discussions of the gaps between midos
and frumkeit, and what to DO about them, see the current (November)
issue of Agudas Yisroel's JEWISH OBSERVER, which has this issue as its
cover topic.  David Rier   <dar6@...>


From: <Yosef_Bechhofer@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 05:50:00 -0500
Subject: Poskim against Aliya

Bejamin Svetitsky remarked that mass religious aliya was inhibited in
the decade after the Balfour Declaration by "psakim" issued against such
activity. I am curious as to "chapter and verse" citations and proofs of
such a psak, particularly (if at all extant, which, would be very
surprising to me) from the Lithuanian, German, or Polish spheres.
Methinks (although I would be indebted to anyone who might educate me
otherwise, with concrete evidence) that it was a matter of inertia and
inaction, much like the prevailing situation today, not a "conspiracy."


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 05:10:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Poskim and Zionism

As for the discussion re. if poskim can be wrong, the answer is an
obvious yes. Regarding Zionism see the Rav's derasha on Joseph and his
brothers.  His conclusion is that in national questions (which are
fundamenally diferent than individual's questions) God himself poskins.
His conclusion is that God poskined that Mizrachi was right even though
the majority of the gedolim opposed it (including his own grandfather
and uncle). Even most proponents of Daat Torah don't say that a gadol
cannot err, they merely say that his odds of erring are much less than
ours and therefore we must follow him. Dessler actually comes close to
saying that gedolim cannot err but it is difficult to see who he is
referring to. No gadol would agree with him that he cannot err, and as
the Rav pointed out, virtually all the gedolim did err when it came to
Zionism. Someone mentioned the rabbis telling their Hasidim to remain in
hungary. In particular the Belzer had his brother tell everyone that the
Nazis would never reach Hungary and there was nothing to fear. In the
end he escaped to Palestine, leaving his followers behind. (Not all
rebbes acted like Zemba and Wasserman. The Satmar rebbe escaped with the
help of a leading Zionist. Unfortunately he never showed any hakarat
						Marc Shapiro


From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 93 19:27:37 -0500
Subject: Women and Rambam Yomi

  | From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>

  |      I would appreciate hearing from some Lubavitchers on the net
  | regarding how much Torah She-be-al Peh girls/women in Habad
  | schools/educational institutions actually learn? Mishnayot? Gemarrah?
  | Shulhan Aruch (Harav)? etc.

Well, I am not a Lubavitcher, but some of my better friends are :-)
Anyway, the local Lubavitch Rov here in Melbourne, Rabbi Groner
gives a Gemorrah shiur to women---a kal vochomer for Mishnayos and
Shulchan Oruch.


End of Volume 9 Issue 97