There is a tumult in Israel right now because a number of rabbis publicized a halakhic ruling forbidding Jews to rent apartments to gentiles. This ruling was picked up by the media, leading other rabbis to publicize rulings to the contrary. What is this all about? This is part of the struggle to create a halakhic model for the modern State of Israel. How do we adapt halakhah to the reality in which we find ourselves today? Gentiles living in a Jewish society is a new development and the application of halakhah to this new situation is debated.

Renting Apartments to Gentiles

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I. Rental Controversy

There is a tumult in Israel right now because a number of rabbis publicized a halakhic ruling forbidding Jews to rent apartments to gentiles (link). This ruling was picked up by the media, leading other rabbis to publicize rulings to the contrary (link). What is this all about?

This is part of the struggle to create a halakhic model for the modern State of Israel. How do we adapt halakhah to the reality in which we find ourselves today? Gentiles living in a Jewish society is a new development and the application of halakhah to this new situation is debated.

II. Reasons to Forbid

Let’s look at the issues:

1. Lo Sechanem

The Torah only allows Jews and gentiles with a status of resident alien (ger toshav) to live in Israel (see this post: link). It forbids Jews to sell or give gentiles who are not resident aliens land, including a house. The question then arises whether renting is equivalent to selling. The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 21a) rules that it is not, and therefore, absent other concerns, a Jew may rent out an apartment to a gentile who is not a ger toshav.

2. Lo Savi

If renting is not a sale, another problem arises. Jews may not allow idols into their homes. Because gentiles regularly bring idols into their homes, even the homes they rent, they thereby prevent Jews from renting to them. Therefore, if renting is like selling, a Jew may not rent a home to a gentile who is not a ger toshav because of lo sechanem. If it is not like selling, and then rented home belongs to the Jewish owner, then a Jew may not rent a home to a gentile because the gentile will bring idols into the home.

III. Lenient Precedents

However, Medieval Jews regularly rented homes to gentiles despite the talmudic conclusion that renting is not like selling. Does this not contravene the second prohibition listed above? Medieval scholars offer a number of reasons justifying the practice. The Seder Ya’akov commentary to Avodah Zarah (21a sv. harei lanu) lists eight reasons offered by Medieval authorities to explain the practice. The Rosh (Avodah Zarah, ch. 1 no. 22) adopts two of these explanations: 1) gentiles in those days do not bring idols into their homes, 2) secular law turns renting into selling (and lo sechanem only applies in Israel).

Significantly, the Rema in Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh De’ah 151:10) follows the Rosh by explicitly permitting the common practice of renting out apartments to gentiles. He also permits it in Israel because, absent government rulings to the contrary, renting is not like selling. The Shakh (ad loc., no. 17), however, expresses shock over this leniency because gentiles regularly bring idols into their homes. He concludes that gentile practice must have changed since the Rema’s time. This suggestion is highly unlikely and it seems we have a dispute between the Rema and the Shakh. What is this dispute about?

Both the Rema and the Shakh lived in Christian countries and held that Christianity is halakhically categorized as “shituf,” something they considered permissible for gentiles but forbidden to Jews. If gentiles are allowed by the Torah’s Noahide covenant to be Christians, how can their statues and crosses be considered idols? I suggest that the Rema held that they cannot but the Shakh held that since shituf is forbidden to Jews, its paraphernalia are also forbidden to Jews as idols.

Regardless, we see a dispute between the Rema and the Shakh whether Jews may rent houses to gentiles.

IV. State of Israel

In Israel, the most pressing issue is renting to Muslims. Since they are not idolaters, there is no problem of lo savi. And since renting is not like selling, there is no problem of lo sechanem. Therefore, I am not sure how it can be halakhically problematic.

Regarding Christians, it would seem that the dispute between the Rema and the Shakh would apply. While one could argue that there is ample room for stringency, given the need to maintain peace within the country it seems that the opposite argument — towards leniency — is stronger.

All this is about renting but what about selling? As discussed in an earlier post (link), R. Shlomo Aviner quotes R. Tzvi Yehudah Kook as holding, like the Ra’avad and the Rambam (according to the Kessef Mishneh), that gentiles who observe the seven Noahide laws today attain the status of resident alien (ger toshav). The truth is that R. Kook’s father, R. Avraham Yitzchak Kook, had previously ruled this way (Mishpat Cohen, no. 61). This entirely removes all halakhic barriers to sales or rentals.

Similar rulings were issued by R. Yitzchak Herzog (Techumin, vol. 2), R. Shlomo Goren (Mishnas Ha-Medinah, p. 65), R. Nachum Rabinovich (Siach Nachum, no. 93) and others. Each authority has his own nuance — R. Goren adds in the consideration of “eivah“, R. Herzog is concerned with establishing a Jewish state, etc. But the sum result is that they permitted renting and selling homes in Israel to gentiles.

V. Deteriorating Neighborhood

From the language of the recent ruling, however, it seems that the main concern is the deterioration of neighborhoods. On the one hand, those of us aware of US history know that this is often code language for discrimination and does not really concern deterioration. However, let us judge the rabbis favorably and assume that they really share this legitimate concern.

The Gemara (Bava Basra 21a) prohibits a homeowner from conducting business that generates a lot of foot traffic because it negatively affects his neighbors. The Rema (Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat 156:1) allows a homeowner to sell his house to someone with such a business, because the new owner will then have to deal in beis din with his neighbors. He may not, however, sell his home to a gentile with such a business because the gentile will not follow a beis din‘s rulings and the neighbors’ rights will then be violated.

In an impassioned 1969 halakhic article in the journal Ha-Pardes (43:7, Iyar 5729, p. 5ff. link), R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l, argued that this law forbade Crown Heights residents from selling their homes to gentiles and leaving the neighborhood. By causing deterioration of the neighborhood, the sellers are violating their neighbors’ rights. His call for communal unity kept Lubavitchers in the neighborhood but just about all other Jews eventually moved away. And the neighborhood has, indeed, declined dramatically.

If this is the concern in Israel, then a ruling can be worded appropriately. Indeed, I can’t see why selling to a non-religious Jew — who will ignore a beis din‘s rulings — is any different than selling to a gentile. Nor can I see why selling to a respectable gentile is problematic. A prohibition, if necessary at all, can easily be worded in terms of maintaining neighborhood safety rather than race or religion. Homeowners should respect their neighbors and not rent to dangerous people, regardless of race or religion, who will make the neighborhood less safe.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

47 comments

  1. They will argue that a non-religious Jew has the same din as a goy in some cases?

  2. I’m not saying it invalidates your argument, but I’d just like to point out that not being an idolater does not automatically make one a Ben Noach. There are six other mitzvot, certain philosophical issues, and, when speaking of Eretz Yisrael, some extra requirements as well. I’d take an African witch doctor over Osama Bin Laden (to take extra examples; we can narrow it down to, say, an American Catholic priest vs. the guy behind the Ground Zero mosque) any day.

  3. Menachem Lipkin

    While focusing on the specific halachic issue of actually renting/selling haven’t you overlooked the macro-halachic concern of Eiva? It seems to me that the primary concern of a such a public proclamation is how it would reflect upon both Israel and the world wide Jewish community. In an ADD world of sound bites and internet news this is easily made to appear indistinguishable from the myriad of Fatwas that regularly flow from fanatic Muslem religious leaders.

    Further, beyond making us look like a bunch of Neanderthals, I don’t see how such an edict would be at all effective. It’s not necessary for people that are predisposed to think like these rabbis and most other people will just rent/sell in their own or community’s best interest anyway, just as is done in most places.

    For someone like me, who considers himself a religious Zionists, this episode as only served to belittle, or worse, in my eyes the rabbis who signed.

  4. Your quote of Rav Kook from Mishpat Kohen where he seemingly rules that Moslems living in Israel today might be considered gerei toshav is contradicted by the Rav in many places in Iggerot and Ma’amarei HaRav Kook. I recently heard Rav Elisha Aviner state this in a panel discussion in Yeshivat Har Etzion. At the same discussion R’Lichtenstein brought up the point of “mishum Eiva” R’ Yaakov Meidan said that this is irrelevant in the context of a sovereign Jewish State. While there seems to be a machloket on the application of “lo techonem”, I think that there is agreement more or less in the Dati-Chardali camp( except for the LW fringe-R’Cherlow and R’Gil’ad),that in order to insure the Jewish character of areas like the Galil there must be internal discipline in the area of selling/renting to Arabs. IMHO this comes under the general rubric of kibush and yishuv ha’aretz according to pshat RAMBAN.

  5. Why does R. Schneersohn merit a zt”l, but not Rabbis Herzog or Goren? Is it because they died longer ago? I never cease to be impressed by the reach of the Chabad PR machine – even Hirhurim is not immune.

  6. Menachem Lipkin

    At the same discussion R’Lichtenstein brought up the point of “mishum Eiva” R’ Yaakov Meidan said that this is irrelevant in the context of a sovereign Jewish State.

    This makes no sense. On local level the Eiva functions, in Israel, to allow one to be Mechalel Shabbos for Pikuach Nefesh. But more importantly it ignores Eiva on an international level, which is far more dangerous.

    Limiting rental/sales to non-Jews as method of maintain the Jewish character of the state is quite a specious argument. There is no major immigration of non-Jews to Israel. Therefore the major, really only, source of non-Jewish population growth is from childbirth. Unless one is going to pass a national law that all newborn non-Jews must leave the country the demographics will remain unaffected by such religious edicts, especially they won’t be headed by the vast majority of the country’s Jews, not to mention the non-Jews.

    You want to ensure a Jewish majority for the foreseeable future without draconian measure then there are two things we can do:

    1) Increase our birthrate
    2) Increase Aliyah

  7. DT: A negative attitude will never work. Aside from being unfair, it is uninspiring. If we don’t want the Golan Heights to turn into Crown Heights, you need to encourage Jewish migration rather than forbid Jewish immigration.

    HaDardai: It’s the other way. No one is claiming that R. Herzog or R. Goren are still alive.

    Menachem Lipkin: I agree that of course eivah is an important consideration in today’s world. Both the State of Israel and Jews in the diaspora need to be considered. Perhaps R. Meidan was speaking of an ideal state.

  8. Thank you.

  9. If gentiles are allowed by the Torah’s Noahide covenant to be Christians, how can their statues and crosses be considered idols?

    ועי’ אבנ”ז יו”ד (קכ”ג) שע”ז שעשאו גוי ודעתו לעבדו בשותף מ”מ עובר עליו, ואע”ג שאינן מצווין על השותף מ”מ הצלם שעשה הרי הוא אליל לבד בלא שותף.

  10. I think that R Gil and Menachem Lipkin are both correct-One can never discount Aivah as a factor in Halacha in a less than perfect world both in Israel and the Diaspora.

  11. another good example of an area where the government not a rabbi ought to decide! if the rav ztl said it about the kotel, how much more so on this issue! prof. katz ztl showed that such issues were traditionally decided by the kahal (the state in this case) with rabbis correcting clear halakhic errors. both correctly predicted the slippery slope the RZ movement was on; we now are witnessing the depth of the slide!

    The goverment of the state of israel is better equipped to judge consequences; not rabbis.

  12. MiMedinat HaYam

    renting can be considered selling, esp in modern israel because 1. the turkish practice of 99 yr leases, still practiced today, is considered equivalent to selling and 2. it is considred almost impossible to eject a tenant, even for simple non payment.

    2. as mentioned by a commenter on emes v’emunah (harry m’s blog) they discriminate among different ethnic groups of charedim, too. so why should the arabs / others be any different?

    3. a prohibition of not marrying non jews is also considered racist by the world in general. perhaps we should lift the ban on intermarriage. (a de’oraisa)

  13. R’Gil- You find the idea of denying Arabs the right to live where they want unfair? I agree. So is the law of return. So is the prohibition of intermarriages. For that matter it is also unfair that Arabs are not required to render any service to the State, military or otherwise. Life isn’t fair if you are an Arab in a Jewish State,even if its laws are not those of the Torah. Think of how unfair it would be for an Amalekite to live in a Torah state.
    As for “uninspiring” If we could inspire 100,000 Orthodox Jews to make Aliya it would go a long way toward solving this and many other problems. Then perhaps we could dispense with such “uninspiring” solutions.

  14. Menachem Lipkin

    a prohibition of not marrying non jews is also considered racist by the world in general. perhaps we should lift the ban on intermarriage. (a de’oraisa)

    This is very different. Most of the world, whether religious or not, understands and accepts the concept of marrying within a religion.

  15. Menachem, it goes further than that. Al pi Halacha intimate relations between Jews and Gentiles are also forbidden. I believe Germany להבדיל at one time had similar laws.

  16. “If we could inspire 100,000 Orthodox Jews to make Aliya ”

    You might want to ask instead why Israel is so unattractive a place for Jews that more Jews are making yeridah to America than are making aliyah from America.

  17. Menachem Lipkin

    You might want to ask instead why Israel is so unattractive a place for Jews that more Jews are making yeridah to America than are making aliyah from America.

    Your response is really unrelated to the statement you quoted, as most Jews who leave are secular, not orthodox.

    However, one the reasons that many secular Jews are unhappy here is growing religious fanaticism such as that represented by this thoughtless edict.

  18. You failed to mention that the Chazon Ish held that selling land to Moslems for the Shmitta year is a violation of Lo Sechanem. He obviously held that they do not have the status of a Ger Toshav.

  19. “How do we adapt halakhah to the reality in which we find ourselves today?”

    However it’s done, it’s certainly Not done by sitting in galut and commenting from afar.

    ” Gentiles living in a Jewish society is a new development and the application of halakhah to this new situation is debated.”

    Not if you think that halakha has any sort of basis in history.

    If you think halakha originated in the 17th century, magically, in a vacuum, then maybe one would suggest such a thing.

  20. Charlie Hall-I would ask that question if I didn’t already already know the answer. It is the same reason that the vast majority of Jews aren’t shomrei mitzvot. It is difficult, very difficult to make aliya. In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices and dealing with the fact that you are moving your family to a country that is at war. It’s a tough
    decision.Schver tzu zein a yid. Note that I have less of a ta’ana to those who define themselves as not Orthodox or as chareidi. I am melamed zchut on the former as tinokot shenishbu and melamed chova on the latter as kfuyei tovat chasdei Hashem. I assume that most MO Jews feel some level of shame when they mouth all of the passages relating to shivat tzion in tefilla if they have no intention of being part of it-but maybe I am wrong.

  21. It’s a simple Ve’ahavta le’reacha kamocha. I don’t want an arab neighbor – so I shouldn’t sell my apartment to an arab.
    That’s my understanding – nothing to do with the Rambam etc.
    But if you already mentioned it, regarding lo-techonem rambam states clearly that it is forbidden to sell or rent to a goy if it will cause a “shechuna” – you don’t mention this detail.

  22. “Menachem Lipkin on December 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    a prohibition of not marrying non jews is also considered racist by the world in general. perhaps we should lift the ban on intermarriage. (a de’oraisa)

    This is very different. Most of the world, whether religious or not, understands and accepts the concept of marrying within a religion.”
    They understand the concept but democracies permit all marriages between consenting adults-see eg the repealing of laws prohibiting interracial marriages about 50 years ago.

    “the turkish practice of 99 yr leases, still practiced today, ”
    which of course has led to potential for gigantic problems a few decades hence when those 99 year leases are up-especially inJerusalem.

  23. “Charlie Hall on December 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm
    “If we could inspire 100,000 Orthodox Jews to make Aliya ”

    You might want to ask instead why Israel is so unattractive a place for Jews that more Jews are making yeridah to America than are making aliyah from America”

    Although Israelis earn less than the average American the cost of housing where 85% or so of the Jews live in Israel is clearly more tyhan the vast majority of American locations. It is a matter of keseph and frankly not wanting to face the Zahal requirement.

    “Your response is really unrelated to the statement you quoted, as most Jews who leave are secular, not orthodox. ”
    true but many Orthodox Jews are Yordim-look at any schul and look at those who in general make the biggest stink about saying tfillah lishlom hamedinah etc are the yordim. BTW for a very interesting discussion of the how proper is the introduction of Israeli state symbols into a schul see the following
    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/12/judaism-and-state.html

    “However, one the reasons that many secular Jews are unhappy here is growing religious fanaticism such as that represented by this thoughtless edict”
    Certainly many Orthodox Jews should be unhappy too-but I doubt that is the major reason for yeridah or lack of aliyah is that.

    “Moshe Schor on December 12, 2010 at 12:33 am
    You failed to mention that the Chazon Ish held that selling land to Moslems for the Shmitta year is a violation of Lo Sechanem. He obviously held that they do not have the status of a Ger Toshav”
    Of course, it is merely a correlation not causation that practically all non Dati Leumi rabbonim are opposed to the Shemitah selling of land. On the other hand it is the DL who might have forcedthe heter because of “necessity”

    “I assume that most MO Jews feel some level of shame when they mouth all of the passages relating to shivat tzion in tefilla if they have no intention of being part of it-but maybe I am wrong”
    Sadly I don’t feel there is much shame.

  24. “It is the same reason that the vast majority of Jews aren’t shomrei mitzvot. It is difficult, very difficult to make aliya.”

    You are kidding, right? You think Jews aren’t religious because it is difficult? You don’t think there might be a list of other reasons, ideological, philosophical, cultural, etc which are also critical parts of the answer?

  25. Menachem Lipkin

    They understand the concept but democracies permit all marriages between consenting adults-see eg the repealing of laws prohibiting interracial marriages about 50 years ago.

    Regardless, this is still not perceived an issue. Whether it’s on the “books” or not.

    true but many Orthodox Jews are Yordim-look at any schul and look at those who in general make the biggest stink about saying tfillah lishlom hamedinah etc are the yordim.

    Certainly many Orthodox Jews should be unhappy too-but I doubt that is the major reason for yeridah or lack of aliyah is that.

    Many orthodox Israeli Jews ARE very unhappy about the growing fanaticism, but our ideologically stronger bond, at least for now, is enough to overcome this issue. I think this hold true also for the orthodox Olim. Again for now. If, God forbid, religious fanatics truly got hold of the government here, all bets would be off.

    Sweetly anecdotal, but statistically irrelevant. Though it’s relatively young still, NBN, is still maintain a retention rate of over 90%.

    As for making a “stink” over those issues, in any of the many shuls I’ve davened in, in the NY metro area it’s has always been the armchair Zionsists at the center of the “stink”.

  26. “NBN, is still maintain a retention rate of over 90%.”

    How many Olim does NBN claim that include those who “make aliyah from within Israel”-it is no secret that NBN advertises heavily in the Israeli Anglo Press stating we can handle your paperwork to become an oleh-that of course means that people who have already tried out Israel decide that they want to become Olim. Naturally taking credit for “Olim” who are already living in Israel can skew statistics.

  27. Menachem Lipkin

    I think you’re being unnecessarily pedantic. I’m sure we can both check the number and I’m sure we’ll find that it’s a relatively small number. Regardless, they are still “Olim” and they are still staying, so it’s really irrelevsant to the point I was making.

  28. “I’m sure we can both check the number”
    I don’t know how to-but if you can please get the figures-NBN certainly advertises that “service” a lot.
    “and I’m sure we’ll find that it’s a relatively small number. Regardless, they are still “Olim” and they are still staying, ”
    The comparison would be people who had stayed in Israel x years from Western countries and then were yored-suspect much of yerida of Western olim comes in first few years.
    NBN is very aggressive in trying to get credit for olim. I know of at least one case where NBN phoned an “internal” oleh who became an oleh after a few years without NBN help-they asked for the persons teudat zehut number-person asked why-this way we can get credit for your aliyah. Apparently NBN gets paid per oleh-the person responded you didn’t do anything for my aliyah. But clearly there apparently is a financial interest in adding “olim’ to their credit.

  29. A couple of posters have missed the point – this ‘teshuva’ is aimed at preventing the sale/rent of apartments to immigrant workers, of the sort who are flooding Israel at present, rather than at ‘Arabs’ or ‘Palestinians’, who are prevented from buying property in Israel by law.

  30. Menachem Lipkin

    mycroft, not sure where your negative attitude toward NBN is coming from. The basic stats are on their web site: 25,000 Olim since 2002, 98% retention. Given that there have been around 3K Olim on flights per year, it’s pretty clear that the “Guided Aliyah”, as they refer to the internal Aliyah, is a very small proportion, if it’s counted in their numbers at all. (I’ve emailed a friend at NBN to find out.)

    As for getting “paid” per Oleh, I guess now that they’re working with the Jewish Agency there is probably some remuneration from the government. But I know that their expenses far exceed whatever they might get. I can tell you first-hand that they do an amazing job of smoothing out the Aliyah process, which is their goal.

    We’ve gone for afield of the topic here. Probably should take this offline if you want to continue.

  31. Isn’t there also a letter from Reb Moshe Feinstein ZT”L concerning the Lower East Side?

    I think it was published the same time as the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s article.

  32. “mycroft, not sure where your negative attitude toward NBN is coming from”

    NBN is a good organization-far from perfect. I have met with reps of NBN in Jerusalem and the US, I have met with JA shaliach and gone to JA events. I have met with AACI. My personal ratings of relevant straight talk for Americans-AACI followed by NBN followed by JA. I frankly have seen misleading info given out by both the JA and NBN-I only know that because of its an area that I make my living from-what they do is tell the general rules but do not really adapt their presentations for what Americans would do-I found AACI being much more relevant. On a separate matter but related-although I certainly would take advantage of privileges for olim-I beleive it is bad social policy to take a trivial matter pay for my future cab fare from BG or airfare to BG. People coming who are not poor should not be receiving subsidies. For Americans most of the exemptions of income etc for first x years are not so relevant due to Israel-US Income Tax Treaty. Presentations given in US have not in general referred to treaty which is very relevant to American Olim-especially those who are not young.
    NBN does a good job-and certainly put on a lot of Webinars.

  33. Menachem Lipkin

    mycroft, like I said, this is beyond the topic. Please e-mail me at mslipkin at gmail

    But just to put in a last good word for NBN, there a world of difference between talking to a “rep” and experiencing their services. There are concrete reasons why Olim who have come via NBN are staying.

  34. My young FB friend, Moshe Schorr, made the good point that the original post did not take into account the Hazon Ish’s position. But we cannot assume that the Hazon Ish would take the same position towards renting to Israeli Arabs in this case, especially because of the issur of le-hisgaros ba-umos.

    As for the hefsed mammon argument — the same argument would apply in cases where secular Jews rent or sell apartments to religious Jews, especially haredim. That often results in secular flight and a drop in prices, ergo, hefsed mammon for the neighborhood.

    What we see here is a clash of values — not between Torah true Jews and modern enlightened Jews, but between religious fundamentalists who are essentially tribalistic and bigoted (it doesn’t matter whether they are Christian, Jews, or Muslims) and moderates of all religions who realize that this sort of legal discrimination leads to horrible consequences.

    Finally, I would like to suggest that the Rambam’s strict views on lo tehanem and, more significantly, lo yeshvu (strangely absent from this post) — the Rambam does not allow any gentile to stay in the Eretz Yisrael without formally becoming a ger toshav when the Jews have the upper hand — may be based on his own experience under the Almohads in Andalus and Morocco. As is well known, the Almohads deviated from moderate Islam by not allowing Jews and Christians to stay within their territories as dhimmies. They had to convert or leave, and Arab historiographers claim that Maimonides’ family outwardly practiced Islam rather than leave. Be that as it may, it is noteworthy that Maimonides adopts a similar ruling — gentiles have to convert to Noahidism before a beis din or leave Eretz Yisrael.

    By the way, for other possible Almohad influence on the Rambam, I may recommend (with caution) Sarah Stroumsa’s book on Maimonides.

  35. lawrence kaplan

    Gil: I trust you will delete the first and third paragraphs of “walt kovacs” 7:23pm post. His personal attack is disgusting.

  36. “In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices”

    In our case it would mean defaulting on my wife’s medical school debt. That is an issur d’oraita!

    But at least she could get a job at 1/4 her current salary. I would essentially be taking early retirement, as it is just about impossible for an oleh to get an academic job in Israel today.

    Just two days ago we were hosted for dinner by a (frum) American oleh who is back in America because she could not get an academic job in Israel.

    “you are moving your family to a country that is at war”

    I have the misfortune of being a statistician. The death from war and terrorism does not make up for the fact that Israel has a vastly lower violent crime rate than does the US. New York City is a relatively safe US city yet has about three times the number of homicides as does Israel despite the fact it has only about 12% more people.

    I’d be more worried about the crazy drivers and the lack of a fire department.

    But I’d be even more worried that some out of control rabbi will declare either myself or my wife to be non-Jewish. I personaly know someone for whom four living unquestionably Jewish grandparents was not enough to convince the rabbinate. Please get things under control!

    “practically all non Dati Leumi rabbonim are opposed to the Shemitah selling of land.”

    Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef is an exception.

    ” Rambam does not allow any gentile to stay in the Eretz Yisrael without formally becoming a ger toshav ”

    I vaguely recall some Druze going before a beit din a few years ago to pledge to observe the Noachide Laws.

  37. David Tzohar: In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices and dealing with the fact that you are moving your family to a country that is at war.

    More than that, it requires giving up a large part of your identity and autonomy so you fit into the pigeon holes of Israeli society.

    Jerry Haber: Finally, I would like to suggest that the Rambam’s strict views on lo tehanem and, more significantly, lo yeshvu (strangely absent from this post) — the Rambam does not allow any gentile to stay in the Eretz Yisrael without formally becoming a ger toshav when the Jews have the upper hand

    That is all debatable. See for example the Kessef Mishneh and the Yad Peshutah (or the Siach Nachum cited in this posT).

  38. very nice

    before you engage in a toradic discussion with “jerry” and remove my attack…i would suggest you peruse his blog

    http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/

  39. Menachem Lipkin

    More than that, it requires giving up a large part of your identity and autonomy so you fit into the pigeon holes of Israeli society.

    This borders on Meraglim-style Loshon Hora. It’s simply not true across the board. The only subgroup who really has this issue are US Yeshivish types. For the rest of us, there are a wide range of communities, shuls and yeshivot we can seek out to fit to our hashkafa, not the other way around.

    In fact, I send my 9 year-old daughter to a type of Yeshiva which simply did not exist in our area in the states.

    Since making Aliyah I’ve felt much freer to “find myself” hashkafically.

  40. Menachem Lipkin

    It is the same reason that the vast majority of Jews aren’t shomrei mitzvot. It is difficult, very difficult to make aliya. In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices and dealing with the fact that you are moving your family to a country that is at war.

    This is also why it seems that Baalei Teshuva are very well represented among those who make Aliyah. Integral to their growth as been the idea of sacrifice. So there’s not such a leap for them whether it’s keeping Shabbat, Kashrut, or moving to Israel. They can see much more clearly, than someone who’s mired in the FFB stasis of living your typical orthodox community, that to do a mitzvah you need make sacrifices.

    Of course what we label as “sacrifice” today can often be greatly exaggerated. But that’s a whole different topic.

  41. “More than that, it requires giving up a large part of your identity and autonomy so you fit into the pigeon holes of Israeli society.

    This borders on Meraglim-style Loshon Hora. It’s simply not true across the board. The only subgroup who really has this issue are US Yeshivish types. For the rest of us, there are a wide range of communities, shuls and yeshivot we can seek out to fit to our hashkafa, not the other way around.”

    Although I don’t live in Israel I tend to agree. BTW the AACI counsellor made a point of suggesting only certain neighborhoods because to have a succesful Aliyah one has to fit in-each schul etc tends to have a specific ideology-for example clearly the discussion that I cited in an earlier post
    “BTW for a very interesting discussion of the how proper is the introduction of Israeli state symbols into a schul see the following
    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/12/judaism-and-state.html

    could not have taken place in many schuls in Israel especially those that are ones that “are US Yeshivish types” would fit in.

  42. “In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices and dealing with the fact that you are moving your family to a country that is at war.”

    As one who lives in Chutz laaretz -as a community to be a Jew requires sacrifice.

    “Charlie Hall on December 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    “In most cases it requires making economic sacrifices”

    In our case it would mean defaulting on my wife’s medical school debt. …
    But at least she could get a job at 1/4 her current salary.”

    Yahadus requires economic sacrifice. I obviously do not know anything about your wifes personal economic condition-but I would bet that in general in the US the ratio of earnings over medical school debt is greater than the ratio of general earnings over general student debt. Of course, the medical school grads earnings and debts are in general both much larger figures.

    “least she could get a job at 1/4 her current salary.”
    Which is likely to be easily be more than the median Israeli salary.

  43. “What we see here is a clash of values — not between Torah true Jews and modern enlightened Jews, but between religious fundamentalists who are essentially tribalistic and bigoted (it doesn’t matter whether they are Christian, Jews, or Muslims) and moderates of all religions who realize that this sort of legal discrimination leads to horrible consequences.”

    Boy I wish I had the confidence in my own prejudices that Mr. Haverer does…

  44. “I vaguely recall some Druze going before a beit din a few years ago to pledge to observe the Noachide Laws.”

    The “renewed Sanhedrin” had a bunch of American Noahide types do that as well.

  45. “Menachem, it goes further than that. Al pi Halacha intimate relations between Jews and Gentiles are also forbidden. I believe Germany להבדיל at one time had similar laws.”

    al pi halacha, intimate relationships outside marriage are forbidden anyway, so this is irrelevant, as such relationships are understood by potential objectors to be halachically forbidden anyway.

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