Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 237

Thursday, December 30 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:43:06 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Subject:
Academic scholarship by Orthodox Jews -- Heschel


Joel Rich wrote: <<
I do suggest that individuals may from time to time feel that Rabbinic
leadership (past or present) is going down the wrong track (eg the famous
gemora re the date of yom kipppur) and still remain in the camp of "tora
true" .  >>

Agreed.  But the gemora there is talking about a technical disagreement.
Rabbi Yehoshua did not accuse Rabban Gamliel of "impeding rather
than inspiring greater joy and love of G-d", r"l.

REClark wrote: <<
In private communication with Yehudah, I argued that
Heschel's attitude toward Halakhah was fundamentally hasidic.  In other
words, for Heschel, Halakhah does not have intrinsic value, as much as
instrumental value in bringing a person closer to Hashem.  >>

Yes.  In "God in Search of Man" (p. 323), for example, he rails against
what he calls "pan-halachicism".

I found fascinating the contrast in the respective treatments
of  a well-known midrash by Heschel and RYBS:

Heschel:  ...  central as is law, only a small part of the Bible deals with
the Law.  The narratives of the Bible are as holy as its legal portions.
According to one rabbi, "the conversation of the servants of the patri-
archs is more beautiful than even the laws of the later generations."
("Search", p. 324)

RYBS: The halakha sees in all of the Torah basic laws and halakhic
principles.   Even the stories of the Torah came to establish halakha
for the generations.  "The conversation of the servants of the
patriarchs is more beautiful ... than even the laws of the later
generations."  ("Ish Ha-Halakha", p. 710)

Kind of amazing to see directly opposing points of view being
based on the same midrashic text.

KT,
Shlomo Godick


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 15:53:25 PST
From: "Alan Davidson" <perzvi@hotmail.com>
Subject:
academic scholarship


No one is saying shas isn't important -- but one can be a perfectly frum Jew 
without learning it -- not so for shulchan aruch, etc.  Sure shas is 
important, Zohar is important but you don't see Chassidishe yeshivos 
teaching it to any more than an elite group of students.
______________________________________________________
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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 18:55:40 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: Academic scholarship by Orthodox Jews -- Heschel


That's why I take PROOF with a BIG grain of salt.

Now truly there are times when disciplined analysis and research is essential, 
and I plead guilty for shortcutting this...

But even the most scholarly or lumdisher arguments get disputed all the time...

One Rayo to my point <smile> , I have exited shiruim by the Rav and R. 
Gorelick's shiur and talmidim are already disputing what was said and was 
implied just minutes after the shiur is over.

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________


Heschel:  ...  central as is law, only a small part of the Bible deals with 
the Law.  The narratives of the Bible are as holy as its legal portions. 
According to one rabbi, "the conversation of the servants of the patri- 
archs is more beautiful than even the laws of the later generations." 
("Search", p. 324)

RYBS: The halakha sees in all of the Torah basic laws and halakhic 
principles.   Even the stories of the Torah came to establish halakha 
for the generations.  "The conversation of the servants of the 
patriarchs is more beautiful ... than even the laws of the later 
generations."  ("Ish Ha-Halakha", p. 710)

Kind of amazing to see directly opposing points of view being 
based on the same midrashic text.

KT,
Shlomo Godick


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:04:18 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re[2]: value of shas


For the record, you have a LOT of support.

How about these points?

1) The global ikar focus ought ot be gemoro.  IOW even if a specil shiur or a 
special yeshiva evolved w/o Shas as the main focus, teh Yeshiva world at large 
ought to continue focusing upon shas

2)  Some people are not mainstream.  They may need special attention and part of
that might be to focus upon other texts.

3) Even those special cases shouldn't avoid shas completely, rather they shouldt
focus upon other texts and de-empshazise yet not abaondon shas

Anecodte:  the late cheif rabbbi of Amsterdam R. Periera visited Hartford circa 
1970.  He claime he had just completed shas Mishnayot.  I mentioned this to my 
chaveirim in yeshiva and they wer unimpressed, big deal shas mishnah!  But truly
how many of us have finished hsas mishnah?  And even dafyomi types who have 
leanred all of TB often skip the mishna for those masechos not in TB -except for
the TY Shekolim.  So completing shas mishna is not quite THAT common after all. 
IOW why did they denigrate that acheivement? lich'ora becasue they had an 
all-or-nothing focus upon shas. While Shas is primary, I don't think ti should 
be all-or-nothing.

Rich Wwolpoe




______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: value of shas 
 <snip>

 Richard: If you talk to yeshiva drop-outs the over-emphasis on shas (versus 
 learning other equally valuable seforim) is one of their main criticisms of 
 the yeshiva system -- (it also gives some validity to the early chassidishe 
 derechs which also pushed shas to the background).
 _____ >>

I do not believe that traditional Orthodox Judaism accepts any other seforim, 
besides the 24 sifrei kodesh, to be "equally valuable" to shas.


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 18:06:39 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re: Academic Scholarship among Orthodox Jews


I felt the same way in yeshiva, particularly at Ner Yisroel

I was really interested and motivated in tkaing the Tur and going thru the 
noe'si keilim on the Tur and SA and tracing thru the disputes.

The Gemoro was ok, but to tel the truth, 4th century bovel is much harder to 
understand tahn 14th-18th century  Europe.  Plus the Rambam, Tu ans SA wer 
arranged topically a lot lie the mishnah, the Gemoro is much harder to follow.

Fo course it was ok to go back to a sugyo for background purpoe but learnign the
gmeor straight was often dry.

BTW ONE rebbe at YU around the 1940's did a sugyo shiur instead of a blatt 
shiur.  I believe he was not a litvak and was considered a bit "off-beat" for 
taking things topcially instead of sequentially...

& BTW, when I was in RSY Weinberg's last shiur in Toronto, my chavrusa and I 
learned the ramba n each sugo by referring to the Ein mishpot xrefs and doing 
the Rambam to see how he learned or rephrased the text. It was a fascinating 
exercise.a

Rich Wolpoe 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Academic Scholarship among Orthodox Jews 
Author:  <avodah@aishdas.org> at tcpgate
Date:    12/30/1999 3:20 PM


Richard: If you talk to yeshiva drop-outs the over-emphasis on shas (versus 
learning other equally valuable seforim) is one of their main criticisms of 
the yeshiva system -- (it also gives some validity to the early chassidishe 
derechs which also pushed shas to the background). 
______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:10:20 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
value of shas -humor alerts


The value of shas? About $400 <ha ha>

here's one I asked my LOR:

If you learn the Rif and the En Yaakov have you covered all of Shas?

Rich Wolpoe


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 00:53:32 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Jews of yesteryear and wigs


Micha Berger wrote
>
> I would say that your #2 -- hair covering mishum tzenius -- is an example
> of a diRabbanan made to protect a value learnt from the di'Oraisa. But
that's
> the #2, the thing you said was relative.
>
> I'm not saying this is the case, I'm just exploring the consequences of
your
> statements.

See Halichot Bat Israel - Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Fuchs - in the English
version - volume  vol I Chapter 5
We have Da'as Moshe, covering all of the hair in public places,  (diorysa),
Da'as Yehudit,  (custom which became halacha- is a fence around the halacha)
applies covering the hair in less public places- (courtyards where men are
not likely to be found),  already widespread by the time of the Gemara. I
understand that Da'as Yehudit allows an exposure of up to a square tefach
(of hair beyond the scalp) in less public places.  Feel free to correct me-
I remember learning this in class but this was not clear in this text.
Hakpada in private was a chumra which pious women have taken upon
themselves. Later this became a more widespread custom and attained the
force of halacha.
How would you analyse the following?  A friend claimed that a sheitel is
better than a snood or tichel because any escaping hair would be assumed to
be part of the sheitel.  Is the tznius problem the exposure of the hair
itself or the fact that one recognises it as such?  An additional factor
here, many of today's sheitels are so well made that if you don't know the
woman is married and frum you might assume her hair is uncovered.  This
assumption is becoming easier to make.  A woman with shalom bayis problems
declared to a friend "I never use a sheitel with less than 80% real hair
because I don't want to look married".


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:27:12 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Moshe Rabbeinu and Klal Yisrael


===================================================
Mrs. Gila Atwood

Subject: Re: Moshe Rabbeinu and Klal Yisrael


> The gemora in Brachot(9:) mentions that HKB"H asked Moshe to have klal
> Yisrael ask the mitzrim for the silver and gold utensils so that his
promise
> to avraham of yetzu brchush gadol would be kept. The gemora in Sota(13.)
> lauds Moshe(kama chavivot mitzvot al Moshe rabbenu) for being mitasek in
> mitzvot(collecting the atzmot yosef) while the rest of klal Yisrael were
busy
> with biza.
>
> I suppose one could miyashev these by saying that klal yisrael could have
> done biza at another time or that the "mitzva" of biza was a communal one
> that someone else could have done but I'm wondering if anyone has heard
> anything on these - especially since it was clearly a greater kavod for
Yosef
> to have Moshe be mitasek(see gemora sota for more detail)
>
We know (from Ramchal and similar sources) that the chief reason we have to
go into galus is to redeem the sparks of divinity which are hidden there.
Yosef haTzaddik was primarily instrumental in laying the groundwork for the
extracting of those nitzotzot in Mitzrayim. (according to Chabad).  Ramchal,
on Shmot-  why was Paro concerned about us multiplying and becoming great?
He was aware of the existence of those nitzotzos and wanted to use them for
his own tumadik purposes. When he saw that we had multiplied he knew there
were enough of us to redeem those nitzotzot.  Not only that, but, as when a
person does tshuva he rises to a higher level-  "yerida letzorech aliyah"-
Paro feared the "yeatzmu"-  that the revelation of G-dliness would be
greater when those nitzotzos were released. In retrospect we know that his
fears were justified!  He knew what was going on.

OK back to the Biza.  I didn't find confirmation of this in the Ramchal on a
quick perusal, but perhaps the collecting of gold and silver vessels was
part of that extraction of nitzotzot?  Anyone know any sources to confirm
that?  If that were the case, then the people were involved in an avodah-
not for their own gain-  remember much of this was later donated to the
construction of the mishcan-  a clear elevation of the material. Moshe's
avoda as a leader was to find the aron of Yosef haTzaddik, the initiator of
the whole process.
>


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:45:59 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Moshe Rabbeinu's Free Will


> On Wed, Dec 29, 1999 at 03:52:35PM -0500, Pawshas@aol.com wrote:
> : I assume you are reading Ramban on 10:1, but look at his first reason on
> : Shemos 7:3. He writes "USheneihem Emes," too, indicating he accepts
removal
> : of Bachirah as a punishment (or a means to punishment, much as Moshe's
loss
> : of Bechirah is a means to a higher level).
>
> I sit corrected. However, I do not agree with your transmutation from
> "punishment" into "a means to punishment".
>
> -mi

Perhaps you mean rather "Moshe's loss of Bechira is a RESULT of attaining a
higher level" ?  It seems we're talking about two different processes here.
Moshe's anava & work of spiritual refinement led him to be zocheh to a
degree of yedias Hashem which enabled him to see through  a clear
aspaklaria. This new perception gave him a such a clarity concerning ratzon
Hashem that his bechira was qualitively changed and elevated immeasurably as
a result.  Paro was moving in the exact opposite direction.  He was shutting
himself away from Hashem- piling up the timtum halev till he could only
operate from a position of nefesh behemis.  He hardened his heart initially,
but eventually his heart became hardened- a positive feedback process.
>


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 02:09:03 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Orthodoxy and return of land


It's time to
> stop bashing each other and to find ways so that we
> can live together.

absolutely.

We have to stop shiving religion
> down their throats and they have to stop forcing
> chilul Shabbos and Tarfus down our throats.

Much "coercion" is psychological.  (from what I've heard fwiw this is NOT
the case in Iran)
Exposure to religion, an invitation to put on tefillin or light candles, is
(usually :-) not shiving religion down their throats.  Many secular Jews see
it that way because it is so personally threatening.  Concerning modest
dress, this is requested in Meah Shearim and at the cotel, but elsewhere-
the beach or the midrechov,  any yirei shamayim simply don't look and/or
avoid the place.  People naturally detest anything they perceive as a
"holier than thou" attitude, whether it's real or simply the result of a
conviction and enthusiasm, and it's esp aggravating if some smothered voice
inside them is telling them perhaps they should be following their example.
In the case of forcing "chilul Shabbos and Tarfus"  -  relatively rare.
Very rarely someone wants to be provocative and rides a motor bike up and
down our street, but mostly they just go for a trip.  If we see chilul
Shabbos  we may experience personal spiritual pain, but they're not doing it
davka to annoy or coerce, they do it because they refuse to see anything
wrong with it.  Naturally there are people who flout their way of life in
order  to upset the charedim, but mostly,  a lack of appreciation for
kedusha is sadly & simply that.  Of course, I'm talking EY here.


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 02:24:41 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Academic scholarship by Orthodox Jews


===================================================
Mrs. Gila Atwood
From: Clark, Eli <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>

> What enhanced Rambam's sense of emunah I do not know.  One possible
> answer can be found in his startling statement in Hil. Teshuvah
> regarding attaining ahavat Hashem.

Please enlighten a humble housewife before Shabbos who does not wish to
disturb (now) sleeping husband.


If a person has a solid foundation of Torah knowledge and emuna they may
certainly gain insights from some of contemporary literature praised in
these posts-  note the late Nechama Leibowitz aleha hashalom brings quite a
variety of contemporary
scholars after examination of the rishonim. The caution and distrust of
gedolim is probably directed
towards curious young adults who do not have a sound basis and would likely
be
influenced negatively by certain slants in some of this literature.
(Note btw the late Lubavicher Rebbe alav hashalom was about forty years old
when he attended University. Probably the Rambam and other chachamim who
engaged in extensive philosophical studies were also well grounded in Torah
for many years. )

We could say that Gershon Sholem tried to be a cartographer for a country he
did not
actually visit-  he may not have even qualified for a visa.  Who knows?
Perhaps I do him an injustice, but one should not sell intimate information
to the masses.  (time for asbestos suit?)


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:20:47 -0500
From: "S Klagsbrun" <S.Klagsbrun@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject:
Re: Avodah V4 #232


You should pardon my saying so, but fat chance.  Messieurs Schwartz and
Klagbrun, with first hand knowledge and hard facts about the situation,
refuse to do more than wave their hands and state that there are no
honest dayanim.  So the rest of us should walk into shul,  bang on the
bima, and ask if anyone has any juicy loshon hora about batei din?   I
don't follow how the process is supposed to work.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 16:31:39 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject: Re[2]: Beis Din

Excuse, me, but I did not say that there are no honest dayanim. I did not
ask you to engage in any discussion of botai din at all. Furthermore, when
you feel the need to misquote me, please use a little more imagination and
flair. It will make the 'quote' more believable. Any propagandist worthy of
the common folks' naive loyalty knows that big lies are easier to spread
than small fibs.


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:35:00 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re[2]: Moshe Rabbeinu's Free Will


waht a great Inisght!

IOW total awe of Hashem removes one from bechira out of a sense of complete 
deference or bittul to retaon HKBH

While paroh's total rejection of Hashem due to his arrogance led him to a 
hard-eharted lack fo bechiro..

Im kein it's mido keneged mido that Par'oh was confronted davka by Moshe 
Rabbeinu!

Rich Wolpoe
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
<snip>

Perhaps you mean rather "Moshe's loss of Bechira is a RESULT of attaining a 
higher level" ?  It seems we're talking about two different processes here. 
Moshe's anava & work of spiritual refinement led him to be zocheh to a 
degree of yedias Hashem which enabled him to see through  a clear 
aspaklaria. This new perception gave him a such a clarity concerning ratzon 
Hashem that his bechira was qualitively changed and elevated immeasurably as 
a result.  Paro was moving in the exact opposite direction.  He was shutting 
himself away from Hashem- piling up the timtum halev till he could only 
operate from a position of nefesh behemis.  He hardened his heart initially, 
but eventually his heart became hardened- a positive feedback process.
>


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:36:56 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Subject:
Re[2]: Academic scholarship by Orthodox Jews


I'm not sure what age the late rebbe attend the Sorbonne, but was he not at 
University of Berlin circa 1929?

Rich Wolpoe


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________

<snip>


=================================================== 
(Note btw the late Lubavicher Rebbe alav hashalom was about forty years old 
when he attended University. Probably the Rambam and other chachamim who 
engaged in extensive philosophical studies were also well grounded in Torah 
for many years. )


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Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 19:56:39 -0500
From: "S Klagsbrun" <S.Klagsbrun@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject:
Re: Avodah V4 #235


------------------------------

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 00:19:10 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
Subject: gedolim

>
> But this is not the point of the story.  When The
> Brisker Rav was Nifter, it seemed to the Torah world
> that there would never be Gedolim of that calibre
> again.  But of course we know that isn't true.
> Because along came R. Ahron Kutler, R. Moshe, and the
> Brisker Rav's famous nephew.  (Althogh I don't think
> the Brisker Rav approved of his nephew but thats's
> another Post).
>
> So, even though we don't see anyone in that league
> now, that doesn't mean we won't ever.
>
>Ever is a long time! I don't think anyone on this list is a navi.
>However, When CI and R. A. Kotler passed away R. Feinstein and
>R. Auerbach were already publishing seforim. Rav Soloveitchik was
>also recognized at least a future gadol.

Just to keep the record straight, Rav Moshe TZK"L ZY"A was already
considered a gadol when Rav Ahron TZK"L  ZY"A arrived in America, and Rav
Yosef Ber TZK"L ZY"A had already spent several months giving shiurim to Rav
Wachtfogel and several other future gedolim at the Westchester Bais Medrish
which would eventually move to a small town in New Jersey. ( I think the
name was 'Lakewood').

Despite the popular version of events currently repeated in many yeshivos,
there were gedolim and torah in America before WWII.


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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 04:50:21 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Subject:
re: Baruch Goldstein


As skeptical as I generally am of conspiracy theories, events of recent
years in Israel have convinced me to reserve judgment in many cases.
If my memory serves me correctly, I clipped the following from a Yated
Neeman email news report.   I apologize for its length, but in light of the
recent discussion on this topic, I felt obliged to share this (without
opining
one way or another as to its validity).

================================================================
<start of article>

Note: the theory presented in the following article was conceived by a
researcher
of Ha'Aretz, a highly respected, left-leaning, daily Israeli newspaper.


The Murder Rampage of Baruch Goldstein Revisited

        Although the past three decades of Israeli-Arab conflict has seen
numerous
incidents of Arabs slaughtering Jews, there were only a few, rare cases
where Jews acted similarly to Arabs, and even most of these involved
individuals who were mentally ill, bent on a personal act of revenge, or
were acting in self protection.
        That was what the country believed until the grisly Purim day in
1994 when
Dr. Baruch Goldstein entered Maaras Machpelah in Chevron and gunned down 29
innocent Arab worshippers, while wounding another 60. On that day it was
officially established that the Jews too have their blood-thirsty terrorists
who wantonly kill.
        Of course, this finding was accusingly flaunted in front of the
religious
and rightwing circles, both of which to whom Goldstein belonged. One would
need mountains of paper to record all the invective and criticism expressed
against the Chevron Jews in particular and the rightwing in general in the
wake of this vicious event. Baruch Goldstein with the time even became a
kind of metaphor, which expresses the violence and excesses to which the
rightwing was "prone" and which bubbled beneath the surface of even
seemingly mild, humanitarian persons such as Dr. Goldstein.
        The event was highly traumatic for Chevron Jews. Many could not
understand
how such a kindly, highly educated doctor as Dr. Goldstein─ whose love for
humanity had more than once brought him to treat the hostile Arabs of
Chevron with as much devotion as his Jewish brothers ─could perpetrate such
a barbaric deed. His sudden transformation into mass murderer did not fit
his personality. To bridge the reality gap, right wing writers came up with
the unlikely theory that calls for a massacre of Jews on Purim from the
mosque drove Dr. Goldstein into a sudden, maniacal fit. As psychologically
improbable as this thesis is, worse is the justification claimed by some
desperate extremists that he slaughtered Arabs to prevent the slaughter of
Jews and thus died a hero.
        To those who studied the details of the slaughter, there were
numerous
things that seemed askew:
        ─On the very day of the massacre, an Arab reporter for the news
magazine
Yerushalayim, Khalad Abu-Tuama, interviewed 25 survivors from age nine to
eighty in six different hospitals and all said there was either two or three
shooters.
        ─A dozen of these survivors testified that there was more than one
shooter
at the Shamgar Commission Of Inquiry Into The Hebron Massacre headed by Meir
Shamgar, the same former Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court who
later presided over the government inquiry [into] the Rabin
assassination. Three soldiers on duty also testified that seconds after
Goldstein entered the mosque, another Jew carrying a Galil assault weapon
followed him in. Shamgar ruled that all the Arab witnesses perjured
themselves and that the soldiers were mistaken. Only by doing so could he
reach the finding that Goldstein was a lone gunman.
        ─The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) originally announced that Goldstein
had
arrived in uniform at the mosque in his civilian Subaru. The Shamgar
Comission heard very different evidence. Dr. Goldstein's wife Miriam was
surprised to discover a note informing her that Baruch was called to reserve
duty. She phoned the IDF duty commander for Kiryat Araba, Shmuel Eidelstein
to ask if he knew where her husband was. He said he didn't. And yet,
evidence presented at the Shamgar Commission proved that Goldstein arrived
in Eidelstein's IDF jeep.
        ─Orders were issued by the IDF to soldiers at the mosque to prevent
all
women from entering. No such order had ever been previously given in the
soldiers' service.
        ─The IDF ruled that Goldstein shot 111 rounds in a minute and a
half.
Ballistics experts such as Mustafa Adawi of the Palestinian police force
denied that was possible. All victims of the massacre said the shooting went
on for five minutes at least.
        ─The IDF denied that any of the victims died outside the mosque. In
fact,
six Arabs, including the mosque imam, were shot by IDF soldiers at an exit
door. Shamgar ruled the soldiers shot into an unruly mob in self-defense.
        ─Police, normally on duty at the mosque, were called away to
investigate
the shooting of one Muhmad Ibrahim Ayat in Kiryat Arba a few minutes before
Goldstein arrived at the mosque.


        An Israeli researcher who writes for Ha'aretz, Avraham Yosef,
recently
reviewed the entire event in his article "The Murder of Baruch Goldstein"
and his conclusions cast the days' events in a completely different light.
My thanks to investigative journalist Barry Chamish for bringing his words
to my attention.
        Before we can bring Mr. Yosef's words, we must first remind our
readers of
the existence of a special Shabak division planted in Chevron called the
Jewish Department. Its duty was supposedly to surveil "radicals" but in
fact, it entrapped young people opposed to the Oslo Agreement in a series of
sting operations. Until the Rabin assassination, the most serious
incident was the entrapment and subsequent long imprisonment of the Kahalani
brothers, two innocents set up for planning a "massacre of Arabs."
        The head of the Jewish Department at the time of the Hebron massacre
was
Carmi Gillon. Though it was his duty to surveil a "radical" like Goldstein,
he was not called to testify at the commission of inquiry. This was easily
arranged because, in addition to his close ties to the commission members,
his brother Ilan Gillon was the registrar of the court, responsible for
witness registration.
        Nor was Gillon demoted for the Chevron fiasco. In fact, he was
appointed
head of the Shabak shortly after, a position he held until a second Shamgar
Commission ruled he was guilty of sloppiness in the Rabin assassination.
        Mr. Yosef begins his article with an explanation of how he gathered
evidence. Simply, he read every word of the Shamgar Commission report on the
Hebron massacre. He notes that even though Dr. Goldstein wasn't there to
defend himself, a great deal of evidence on his behalf was unintentionally
offered, which was all, very intentionally, dismissed by Shamgar.
        The following evidence, taken directly from the Shamgar Commission's
Final
Report, points to a very different massacre than the one Shamgar described
to the public in his findings. Point by point:
        ─Although the 60 people wounded were of varying ages, all 29 dead
were old.
Although complete medical reports of the wounded were written, not one full
report was prepared for the dead.
        ─While some of the wounded were shot by bullets, most were hit by
shrapnel,
the vast majority in their legs.
        ─A soldier in a booth had the duty of watching the mosque from three
TV
cameras within the prayer hall. One camera was broken that day and the
shooter(s) stood within its lens field. Yosef asks if the shooter(s) was
told where to be out of camera range beforehand.
        ─Dr. Goldstein arrived in IDF uniform. The guards asked him if he
was on
reserve duty and he calmly answered that he was. They reported no change
from his normal behavior. He left before his wife woke up and she knew
nothing of a call to serve in the reserves. Yosef asks why he would have
bothered putting on a uniform when he could have just as easily entered the
mosque in everyday clothing.
        ─The soldier guarding the prayer hall entrance within the mosque
testified
that Dr. Goldstein did not pass by him. That means he could have only
entered through one of the two locked side entrances and since he didn't
have a key, that would have required help.
        ─An Arab witness who got a close look at Dr. Goldstein described him
as
being tall and wearing black ear protectors. Goldstein was short and his ear
protectors were found in his gun belt unused and colored off white.
According to this man's testimony, writes Yosef, Dr. Goldstein wasn't the
shooter the man saw.
        ─Numerous Arabs saw Dr. Goldstein subdued by up to twenty men armed
with
the same metal nightsticks. The IDF soldier watching the events on his TV
monitor, saw three such men armed with iron batons subdue Dr. Goldstein. One
Arab witness told the police he saw a man open a storage closet and hand out
the nightsticks to the worshipers. Yosef concludes that such a collection of
weapons would not likely have been stored inside the mosque unless planted
there to be later distributed by an agent provocateur.
        ─All witnesses, Arab and Jew, heard two explosions before the
shooting. Yet
no grenade shrapnel was found in the prayer hall. Shamgar concluded that the
explosions were caused by the imam Sheikh Jamal Natsha, twice slapping his
hand in fear on his microphone, which was broadcast loudly as booms in the
speaker system after the shooting began. As Yosef notes, the explosions were
heard before  the shooting began "but we will never know the truth since the
imam was shot to death while leaving the mosque."
        Yosef paints the following scenario to explain the above mysterious
facts.
Since he was on standby duty, Dr. Goldstein would not have thought it
unusual to be called into the reserves in the middle of the night. He was
driven to the mosque and escorted to a side door. He entered with two
unknown-to-him conspirators. They threw two stun grenades into the crowd and
shot blank bullets. Then they left the prayer hall, locking the door behind
them. Goldstein was alone and armed facing the mob.
        The old people were trampled by the mob and they were the only ones
to die.
Notes Yosef, "Dr. Goldstein wasn't capable of killing people so he followed
regulations and shot at their feet to keep the crowd at bay. Many bullets
ricocheted off the floor, explaining the shrapnel wounds in the legs of most
victims."  None shot dead by Goldstein, according to this new theory.
        Avraham Yosef concludes, "Dr. Baruch Goldstein was found guilty of
mass
murder by the government media in a pre-designed campaign though he killed
no one. The fingerprints of the real plotter behind this ghastly plot are on
the hands of the then-head of the Jewish Department of the Shabak." This
conclusion is not hard to endorse. No act was too ugly or hideous by the
Shabak to be committed on behalf of peace  ....
        We would like to add that a source, well placed high in Israel's
security
and political circles, explained that the real goal of the massacre was to
[arouse] the Arabs into conducting massacres of Jews in retaliation, forcing
the IDF to remove the settlers from Hebron and other sensitive areas in the
territories "for their own protection". After that, it would be much simpler
to fulfill the full terms of the Oslo Agreement with the PLO.
        According to Mr. Yosef's research, it seems that Goldstein died as a
fall
guy. The political goals justified all. Who knows what to believe. Either
way you look at it the case is bizarre.


<end of article>


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