Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 026

Wednesday, October 6 1999

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 99 20:37:43 PDT
From: toramada@netvision.net.il
Rav Kook and messianism RE: Avodah V4 #25

I find that I must take issue with the use of the term messianism in Rabbi Clark's 
post.  As he notes: "For obvious reasons, bringing Mashi'ah is a
more inspiring mission". 

As someone who lives in Israel and is very involved in the orthodox life here in 
general, and with those who look to Rav Kook's philosophy for guidelines in our lives 
-- the issue is _not_ "bringing mashi'ach".  The  issue is being ready for when 
Mashiach comes - whenver that may be.  And while some may think this is a minor 
difference, I think it is a major one.

One of the major questions a century ago, in the argument between Mizrahi and the 
non-zionist religious (esp. in Europe) was the question whether Mikdash Mi'shamayim or 
is it built by mankind and finished by Hashem.  This meant in practical terms then:  Do 
we move to Israel and build the land or do we stay in the Diaspora and wait for a 
Shofar to resound from one end of the world to the other announcing that Mashiach is 

Mizrahi chose to act, not to "bring mashiach" but as a continuation of the philosophy 
that for a blessing to become active a vessel has to be prepared for it [a paraphrase 
of the original hebrew sentence] -- therefore we, as humans have to act and partake by 
building the land of Israel - and finally establishing a State.

Once the State was established a new phase began.  Again -- this is _not_ out of any 
kind of belief that we are "bringing Mashiach" (with all the bad conotations) but 
rather that we are preparing for it.  So RZ has taken up the continuation of settling 
Israel, planting it; renewing the Shmitta;  organizing ma'ser sheni; etc.

Rav Yisrael Ariel, after the fall of Yamit, chose to prepare the Keilim for the Beit 
HaMikdash.  Again -- not b/c he believes that _this_ will hasten, but rather following 
the guidelines set down by King David of preparing for when the Mashiach comes.

On the same basis, the past Sukkot the 24 Mishmarot Kehuna were re-established in 
Jerusalem.  Among the speakers was Rav Riskin of Efrat who himself is a Cohen and 
advocated that the cohanim set up a guard for HaBayit, similar to the queen's guard 
found in England.
Israel was divided into 24 regions, named using the names from the Mishnah, and 24 
Roshei Mishmarot, who had all passed the DNA testing, were named. Pamphlets were handed 
out calling for every Cohen and Levi in Israel LeHitpaked.

Again -- this is not messianism as in "bringing Mashiach".  This is making the 
preparations so that whenever mashiach comes, the necessary groundwork will be here and 

Shanah Tova
Name: Shoshana L. Boublil
E-mail: toramada@mail.netvision.net.il
Date: 05/10/99
Time: 08:37:43 PM , Israel

This message was sent by Chameleon 
Torah U'Madah Ltd. is developing a DB on the topic:
"Environmental issues and the Halacha (Jewish Law)"
any and all related information would be welcome.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 19:42:31 +0100
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: religious zionism

In message , Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il> writes
>>From my viewpoint American Mizrachi is basically dead. There is something left
>to Bnei Akiva but i get the impression that NCSY is where the action is today
>in MO youth. In Israel, Mafdal, Emunah, Amit (never understood the difference
>between Amit and Emunah) are political organizations though the women do
>charitable work.

I think this is true for America, but then, Bnei Akiva an Mizrachi were
never very strong organisations there - at least when compared to their
relative strength in the communities with which I am most familiar,
namely Australia, South Africa and England.

Unless something radical has happened in the last four-five years since
I left Australia, Bnei Akiva and Mizrachi was still where it was at for
MO youth (your alternatives were Lubavitch and/or a Lakewood offshoot).

In South Africa, while the Or Sameach and Lubavitch outreach movements
have had a huge impact on the community, I believe that, for what is
left of MO after all the emigration, Bnei Akiva is still where it is at.

In England, there is really nothing else besides Bnei Akiva for MO youth
(the Uniting Synagogue doesn't exactly provide anything for youth, there
is no equivalent to NCSY).

My observation (in the few years I have been here) of Bnei Akiva in the
UK though, suggests that,  in contrast to everywhere else (certainly in
contrast to Australia), the non-messianists, as Eli Clark describes
them, have tended to dominate - and products of the movement from here
are more likely to go to Israel as Me'emad supporters (rather than the
Australian model, which is to go to Israel and live in the territories).
Whether this is linked to having Chief Rabbis (especially the previous
one) who have been vocal anti messianists is hard to determine.

>Kol Tuv,
>Eli Turkel



Chana/Heather Luntz

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 17:11:11 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
The Demise of Mizrachi?

Continuing on the point of the American demise of the Mizrachi, the
Mizrachi was not always so singlemindedly focused on aliya. Important
educational institutions such as Torah Vo'Da'as (named after R' Reines'
yeshiv in Lida, Lithuania) and, to a large extent, Yeshivas Rabbeinu
Yitzchak Elchanan in its later incarnations, were products of the Mizrachi
leaders goals of Harbotzas Torah in the U.S.

After the 1920's or so, however, it seems that the Mizrachi kind of
relinquished that task, for reasons unclear to me, and began its long
organizational decline - to the point that Torah Me'Tziyon Kollels are
only marginally affiliated with the movement.

Other organizations - the Young Israel, the Orthodox Union, certain
communal service arms of YU - have picked up the MO slack.


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 16:59:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: dancing on S"T

--- Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com> wrote:
> surprises me that there is such a limited choice of
> minyanim in your area
> that you cannot escape the bachurim.   In my
> experience,  there are
> several minyanim in which the dancing is more, 
> shall we say, 
> baalebatish for every one dominated by overly
> exuberant yeshiva bochurim.
>  Why not choose one of those?

There are many shuls here in the West Rogers Park area
of Chicago but it has been my experience over the
course of years that since many Yeshiva Bachurim go to
out-of-town Yeshivos, there are, therefore spread out
through the various shuls a representative number of
bachurim for whom it is Bien Hazmanim, and whose
parents belong to virtually all of the local shuls. It
doesn't take that many to start dominating the
dancing. The result is that almost all of the shuls
get out between two and three o:clock.  There are some
exceptions.  The Vasekin minyan finished Musaf at 9:00
AM.  Another shul about 6 or 7 blocks from my house
started at 7:30 and finished at about 11:30. 

I chose Vasekin. 

Last year I went to HTC's Hakafos and they finished
about 2:30 or 3:00PM as I recall.  It was truely a
wonderful and inspiring experience and... the day was
NOT hijacked!  All who were there were really into it,
including me.  But,  this is a Yeshiva where one would
expect to see this type of exhilerating dancing. 



Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 18:23:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
The Story of Mizrachi-Chicago

My first encounter Religious Zionism was when I first
moved to Chicago as a teenager in 1962.  Coming from
Telshe to Skokie Yeshiva was a major culture shock to
me.. In Telshe they used to denigrate Mizrachi all the
time.  Skokie Yeshiva, OTOH was a Bnei Akiva type
Yeshiva.  (Prior to Telshe I lived in Toledo Ohio
where there was barely any Yiddishkeit at all, let
alone Hashkafos like RZ or Agudah.)

At any rate, Chicago was a vibrant Mizrachi town, a
bastion of Religious Zionism. Agudah was fledgling if
it existed at all and most of my peer group were
members of Bnei Akiva and went to Camp Moshava in the
summer.  Telshe felt it was tantamount to a Yeharog
Ve-Al Yavor to attend Moshava and constantly spoke out
harshly against it.  (Needless to say, I was very

But the ever present "move to the right" was on the
march. And over the years Mizrachi shrank and Agudah
grew.   Today Agudah here is pretty big and Mizrachi
is pretty small.  There is no Mizrachi building in my
neighbor hood, the largest Orthodox neighborhood by
far, here in Chicago, West Rogers Park.  (There is one
in Skokie.)

The pivotal point, IMHO, in the (almost) demise of
Mizrachi occurred in when in 1972,  Mizrachi faced a
crises.  Their response to the crises is what I
believe, devastated them.  Here is what happened:

In the mid to late 1960's,  Mizrachi had foolishly
built a brand new facility in a relatively declining
Jewish neighborhood.  Within a few short years,
finally taking note of the changing demographics, they
wanted to sell it.  There was hardly any market for
this type of facility so when  a substantial offer was
made by the National Scouts of America  (NSA), 
Mizrachi accepted it.  R. Aaron Soloveichik was at
that time the honorary Rav of Mizrachi, and "Davened"
at the Shul every Shabbos.  When he found out who the
NSA really was he was literally fit to be tied.  It
turns out that the NSA is a highly proselytizing group
of Neo-Buddhists.  R. Aaron was not about to let this
sale go through and allow a Buddhist missionary group
a foothold in a still heavily concentrated Jewish
area.  Mizrachi, for it's part claimed they didn't
know what the NSA was at the time of the sale and it
was too late as the deal had been closed.  R. Aaron,
being a lawyer, knew that there was legal ground to
nulify the sale.  If it was indeed true that the
Mizrachi leadership didn't know,  then it was a Mekach
Taus.  Thereupon ensued a major battle between R.
Aaron and the Mizrachi leadership.  R. Aaron staged
several protests.  Mizrachi was  picketed by HTC
student's along with many Telshers, who were then
located just a couple of blocks from the Mizrachi
building.  (They are still there.)   R. Aaron's
passive resistance was met by Mizrachi literally
carrying him out of the building.  In the end the sale
went through without allowing R. Aaron to even try to
nullify the sale.  Those sympathetic to Mizrachi felt
that since so much Jewish money was involved in the
sale and since it had gone so far that they should
just take the money and be done with it.  So it went. 

Mizrachi ended up buying a dilapidated old building in
West Rogers Park that was underutilized and, after
about 20 or so unfruitful years, sold it to the
Chicago  Community Kollel (Lakewood), who razed it and
built a beautiful building of their own. They and
their influence (Agudah) have grown by leaps and

I'm sure there are other contributing factors (as in
the aforementioned "move to the right"). But I believe
that Mizrachi never survived the fight with R. Aaron.



Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 21:48:33 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: kodshecha - kodsh'cha

Just one (hopefully) last postscript to the search for possessive
adjectives modifying a plural noun in the middle of a phrase. After
digging through the concordance for an example, I thank Rabbi Elazar
Teitz for pointing this one out to me this evening:

--- "Uvdivray kodsh'cha (with a sheva) kasuv laymor"

Akiva Miller (wistfully grumbling over how often I've said it without

Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 16:31:28 -0700
From: "Newman,Saul Z" <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org>
demise of mizrachi

Maybe the most important question is whether the next generation is raised
in the derech of the previous  There have been a number of articles on the
spiritual state of the students in Mafdal type schools. Akin the the US ,
where the strength ,commitment ,observance etc of Yeshivish institutions and
students is arguably stronger than MO institutions, the same seems from afar
the facts in Israel.     ONe thing lacking is the equivalent of a MOetzet
gdolim  as in the Aguda or R Ovadia spheres. there are no wall posters of
rosheiyeshiva  of MO.     Maybe that is the telling fact.....

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 08:45:59 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
bar ilan CD

> When version 6 came out, they asked $100 to upgrade from version 5
> and $200 to upgrade from version 4.  My guess is that they'll
> maintain this policy (and charge $200 to upgrade to version 7 from
> version 5).
> If they do, I'm planning to e-mail them saying that I'm not planning
> to upgrade until they change their pricing policy (to something like
> $125 for two upgrade levels).  I invite others to do the same.
> Basically, my reasoning is: considering that I paid $700 for the
> original program, I don't consider the new program to increase the
> utility (and certainly not the amount of materials) of Bar Ilan by
> nearly 30%.  They may argue back that otherwise everyone will wait a
> number of upgrade levels before upgrading.  But I would argue that
> anyone who upgrades immediately has the benefit of using an upgraded
> product for a longer period of time.  In fact, most software products
> which I'm aware of do not charge twice as much to someone upgrading
> two upgrade levels.
> Kol tuv,
> Moshe

I don't know US prices but I updated my CD in Israel and it was about $75 (one level).

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 09:12:10 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

> Exactly what I think. As such, the symposium was incomplete: The Mizrachi
> has been superceded, it seems, by something else - and the
> socio-philosopho-historical development of that something else is
> something I, as an amatuer history and sociology buff, would love to see
> explored (here on Avodah, if not on in JA).
There was an article in the Meimad newsletter a while ago claimimg that the
new challenges for RZ are people oriented rather than land oriented.
In particular since 1967 hesder yeshivot were set up mainly on the borders,
in yehuda/shomron/golan.
Today there is more interest in cities like Dimona. There are recent yeshivot
in Petach Tikvah & Ramat Gan. The idea is that it is more important to
influence the populations in the large cities then to settle new territories.
The Torah MiTzion kollel and other such organizations stress that the new
goals are to go to the diaspora and to influence the Jews there.
> Since the election of Yitzhak Rabin (or, if you will, since the
> mahteret), the messianic school has suffered a number of challenges and
> crises.  But none have deflated the movement.  History -- both ancient
> and recent -- shows that messianic movements tend to shake off
> disappointments; hence, a "re-evaluation" is not likely to come soon.
> Many of these events have spurred the few non-messianist religious
> Zionists left in Israel to find their voice.  Nevertheless, they remain
> a small minority within the religious zionist camp; for the most part
> the non-messianist school does not act but reacts, voicing measured
> support for the peace process and criticizing the messianists' excesses.
While I agree with most that Eli Clark wrote i disagree with this both
historically and in recent politics.
Historically, after a number of attempts at rebellion against Rome resulted
in tragedy, the rabbis began stressing that Judaism was not a political force
but a spiritual force. The relation of "rebbe" to the local government was
partly a result of the lessons learned from the Bar Kochba revolt. The pacifism
shown by Jews in Europe to all disasters is not inherent in Judaism but was
learned by hard experience.

Similarly, the last election in Israel showed that messianism is losing its
message. Many people in the "territories" voted for Barak. The right under Begin
was not very successful. Gush Emunim was very strongly affected by the return of
Yamit which showed that we are not on a straight path up to the final redemption.
Assuming, that a final settlement is reached with Arafat I think it will be the demise
of most right wing ideologies. This is independent of whether the final agreement
is good or bad. Even if it is horrible nevertheless it is over and finished.

In the past election Shas had almost as many seats in the Knesset as the Likud. Most
of those that vote for Shas are not haredi. Instead these votes show that
socio/economic issues are becoming more important than land issues and this trend
will continue. I suspect that most of the people moving to Yehuda/Shomron these
days are moving for a better standard of living rather than ideological reasons.

In conclusion I feel that a re-evaluation within the messianic movement is already
occuring if not by the leaders then by the vast majority of the followers.
Most of the people I know who were active in demonstrations have lost their fervor
probably in frustration. Even the political leaders in Yesha are stressing other issues.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 07:21:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Moshe Feldman <moshe_feldman@yahoo.com>
Re: bar ilan CD

--- Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il> wrote:
> I don't know US prices but I updated my CD in Israel and it was
> about $75 (one level).

I received an e-mail from Emanuel Fishman, president of Torah
Educational Software (which, AFAIK, is the only organization in the
US empowered to sell upgrades).  They're planning to ask $129 to
upgrade to v.7 from v.6, and $299 to upgrade from v.5.

This is what I wrote him (I encourage others to write him at

Dear Emanuel,

Thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail.  I understand Bar
Ilan University's desire to make money on the upgrades.  My point,
however, is that your pricing policy is counterproductive to your
goal of making the most money you can on the upgrades.

To take an extreme example: If you were to charge $10,000 for an
upgrade, very few people would get one; you would make much more
money by charging much less.

The question is: what is the optimal price for you, as a businessman,
to set for an upgrade of two levels (i.e. version 5 to version 7)? 
If I am any example of your customers, I suggest that your intended
price of $299 will net you less money than if you were to ask a lower

Let me explain my thought process.  I shelled out $700 for the
original program.  When version 6 came along, I looked at what it had
to offer over version 5 -- a better interface, safrut d'bei rashi,
and the Shach on Yoreh De'ah, and decided that it was not worth $100,
especially since I did not anticipate making much use of these
additional seforim.  Certainly, this was not close the great "deal" I
had originally gotten--$700 for some 700 volumes.  I took the same
$100 and instead bought the DBS Machshevet Yisrael CD, and spent some
more money for the Encyclopedia Talmudit CD.  

Given my thought process up to now, what is the chance I will pay
$299, even $199, for version 7 (even if it is a "major" improvement)?
 None.  My guess is that the overwhelming majority of those who
thought the version 6 upgrade was not worth $100 will similarly not
choose to spend $299 for a version 7 upgrade.  You'd be surprised at
how many would choose to upgrade for $129 or $149.  (Another matter:
why should it cost $299 to upgrade from v.5 to v.7, when to upgrade
to v.6 from v.5 costs $100, and to upgrade from v.7 from v.6 costs
$129, for a total of $229?)

Again, it is my impression that most software manufacturers have made
a similar cheshbon and not charged extra for multiple upgrade levels.
 For an example, see

I am not asking for your generosity.  I am appealing to your business

Moshe Feldman


Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 18:49:23 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Re: religious zionism

Related to this topic is the fascinating syncretism (often referred to
as "Habakuk")  being formed between the R. Kook and Chabad 
ideologies, chiefly among settlers in Yesha.   A thread on this
topic (origins, chief ideologues/spokesmen, development) would
probably be of interest.   Is anyone on the list knowledgeable enough
on the subject to elaborate?

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 13:18:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: religious zionism

On Wed, 6 Oct 1999, Shlomo Godick wrote:

> Related to this topic is the fascinating syncretism (often referred to
> as "Habakuk")  being formed between the R. Kook and Chabad ideologies,
> chiefly among settlers in Yesha.  A thread on this topic (origins, chief
> ideologues/spokesmen, development) would probably be of interest.  Is
> anyone on the list knowledgeable enough on the subject to elaborate? 

Not at all knowledgable on how the machashovo reconciles (my impression
was that the union, obvious to any observer, was purely pragmatic - Chabad
theology is still, *officially*, rabidly Anti-Zionistic). Would be
fascinated by a discussion! 


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 16:10:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Simchat Torah

In v4n23, Josh Backon writes:
:   ...  our "geriatric" VATIKIN minyan ...

I don't know if this is intentional, but a vatikin minyan would have to be
pretty geriatric. A k'vatikin minyan on the other hand...

:        What's especially upsetting (in Israel) is that Simchat Torah *is*
: also Shmini Atzeret: you have 4 hours of wild dancing and right after Kriyat
: haTorah is Yizkor.

A side effect of adopting a leining system designed for Bavel.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for  6-Oct-99: Revi'i, Bereshis
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 49a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-I 20

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >