web analytics
August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘status’

Lost Property The Status of the Shomer Aveidah

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

As you are leaving the synagogue on a Shabbat morning, you find a diamond ring on the floor. The loss is publicly announced in the synagogue three Shabbatot in a row. But no one steps forward to claim it. According to Jewish law, you, the finder, are a shomer aveidah, a guardian of lost property, and must guard the ring in your possession until the owner claims it from you.

So you take the ring home and place it in a safe. When the owner finally comes forward and claims the ring, you go to the safe to retrieve it, but alas, the ring is gone. Somebody, you don’t know who, stole the ring. Are you now liable to pay the owner the value of the stolen ring?

That all depends on the status the halacha attributes to the shomer aveidah. There are two possibilities. The shomer aveidah either has the status of a shomer chinam, an unpaid bailee, or he has the status of a shomer sachar, a paid bailee. A shomer chinam is a person who volunteers to guard a deposited item free of charge. Accordingly, the halacha does not hold the shomer chinam responsible for the theft of the article so long as he guarded it in a responsible manner. A shomer sachar is a person who receives compensation for guarding a deposited item. Accordingly, the halacha holds the shomer sachar responsible for the theft of the article.

Is a shomer aveidah considered a shomer chinam or a shomer sachar?

According to Rabbah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer chinam because he receives no compensation for fulfilling the mitzvah of guarding lost property. According to Rav Yoseph, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar.

The reasoning of Rav Yoseph is as follows: While guarding the lost property, the shomer aveidah is performing a mitzvah. Now, the rule is “ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah,” if you are busy performing a mitzvah you are exempt from performing another mitzvah. Therefore, explains Rav Yoseph, the shomer aveidah is exempt from the mitzvah of giving charity to the poor. The amount he saves in charity is deemed to be the payment he receives for guarding the lost property and the shomer aveidah is therefore a shomer sachar.

The Shulchan Aruch rules that as long as the lost property is in his possession, based on the dictum of ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar. The Rambam rules that as long as he is preoccupied with taking care of the lost property in his possession, based on the dictum of ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar.

Clearly, one’s liability for guarding the lost ring depends on the interpretation of the Talmudic dictum of osek bemitzvah.

Does the osek bemitzvah exemption apply only in circumstances where it is impossible to perform both mitzvot simultaneously, as in the case when the poor man comes by when you are preoccupied with polishing the diamond, a situation we shall refer to as the “Impossible Case”? Does it also apply where it is easy to perform both, as in the case when the poor man comes by when the ring is lying locked away in the safe, a situation we shall refer to as the “Easy Case”? Does it apply where it is difficult yet still possible to perform both, as in the case when the poor man comes by when you are holding the ring in one hand, a situation we shall refer to as the “Difficult Case”?

According to Tosafot and the Rosh, the osek bemitzvah exemption applies only in the Impossible Case. Clearly, argue Tosafot, one is not exempt from mitzvot just because one wears tzizit all day or because one is warehousing somebody’s lost property. Rashi holds that the osek bemitzvah exemption also applies in the Easy Case. Accordingly, a person traveling by day on Sukkot to perform the mitzvah of visiting his rabbi, is, says Rashi, exempt from the mitzvah of eating and sleeping in the sukkah when he sojourns at night.

According to the Ran, the osek bemitzvah exemption does not apply in the Easy Case but does apply both in the Impossible Case and the Difficult Case. The Ran cites several proofs for the application of the osek bamitzvah exemption in the Difficult Case as follows: In Talmud times, a bridegroom was exempt from reciting Kriyat Shema on account of his preoccupation with his wedding night. Similarly, cites the Ran, a person performing the mitzvah of guarding the unburied dead or digging them a grave is exempt from all mitzvot.

In all these cases it is possible, though difficult, to recite Kriyat Shema while preoccupied with the first mitzvah. Yet, says the Ran, the exemption applies. In explaining the reason for the application of the osek bemitzvah exemption in the Impossible Case and the Difficult Case as opposed to the Easy Case, the Ran points out that the Talmudic dictum is “ha’osek bemitzvah” (one who is busy with a mitzvah) and not hamekayem mitzvah (one who is merely fulfilling the mitzvah).

The halacha, as expressed by the Rema, adopts the approach of the Ran and this would seem to accord with the position taken by the Rambam in the case of the shomer aveidah.

 

Raphael Grunfeld’s new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Taharot and Zera’im,” will be published shortly.

Raphael Grunfeld

Putin to Arab League Summit: ‘Status Quo on Palestine Unacceptable’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

In a message of greeting to the heads of state of the Arab League assembling in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow considers the existing status quo on Palestine unacceptable and called for re-launching the negotiation process, TASS reported.

“We also intend to continue to provide all possible assistance in resolving the Palestinian problem acting through both the bilateral channels and within various multilateral formats,” Putin said, adding, “We believe the existing status quo is unacceptable and favor creating the conditions for the speedy re-launching of the negotiation process that will be aimed at creating an independent, viable and integral Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem peacefully coexisting with its neighbors.”

The annual Arab League summit’s agenda includes combating terrorism and the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria. Political analyst Youssef Cherif told Daily News Egypt that the Arab League is having one of its weakest meetings ever, since so many of its member nations are facing internal turmoil. The Moroccan delegation is boycotting the summit, saying the reason for its withdrawal is that “in an absence of decisions and concrete initiatives, this summit will be a mere gathering for speeches that imply fake unity among Arab countries.”

Only nine Arab heads of state are attending the summit—13 heads of states said they will not be able to come. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be at the summit and Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismai.

Nevertheless, President Putin urged the Arab League states to fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other tense areas. “Russia is ready to strengthen in every possible way its interaction with the Arab League in ensuring regional security, first and foremost, in the struggle against the threat of international terrorism,” Putin said in his address to the summit.

JNi.Media

Communist MK at Committee on the Status of Women: ‘Our Society Lives in Fear’

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

“Israeli society lives in fear, and that is awful,” MK Dov Khenin, whose Communist party is part of the Joint Arab List, told the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality on Monday, adding, “Unfortunately, there are those who build their politics on fear. There are different aspects to the Israeli women’s sense of lack of personal security – physical, sectorial, economic, and social. One of our most important challenges is dealing with this fear and creating a society in which people will feel safer.”

The committee discussed possible courses of action in light of a recent study that showed Israelis in general have a low sense of personal security. The study, conducted by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center, examined various aspects of Israelis’ sense of personal security, ranging from how safe they feel in public spaces to how they rate their employment, health and economic security. The study, commissioned by the Committee on the Status of Women, surveyed a representative sample of 1,028 Israeli adults, more than half of them women.

According to the study, 59% of women and 54% of men said they worried about damaging behavior by state agencies that would negatively affect their personal security. Among Arab women the figure rose to 74%, compared to 59% of Jewish women born in Israel, 51% of ultra-Orthodox women and 49% of female immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

“The national-security discourse allows generals to exclude us from the debate and from many budgets, and only when we realize that cultural and economic security is just as important, the budgets will change accordingly, and the generals will discover that they have a lot to learn,” Committee head MK Touma-Sliman (Joint Arab List) stated.

MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Camp-Labor) said that in Israel the family is not perceived as an “anchor of personal security,” and argued that the Knesset does not address the issue sufficiently. “The study found that there are 27 different types of families in Israel, and when we see that the family is the second most influential factor when it comes to personal security, then it is obvious that we have to deal with this issue and see how we can view the Israeli family in a different way.”

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) addressed Sunday’s assault on an Arab supermarket employee in central Tel Aviv by a group of Border Guard police who refused to identify themselves, and mentioned that the victim’s father is not sure about filing a police complaint. “The study includes data about the fear of turning to the police, which is the body that is supposed to offer solutions to the lack of personal security,” Lavie lamented. “I’m not sure what happened there, but it certainly must be examined, even without a complaint by the father.”

The study indeed showed that, overall, 20% of women and 24% of men said they wouldn’t feel safe calling the police.

MK Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu) said she is very concerned about the fact that more than 20% of Israeli women are afraid to turn to the police. “Last week, the committee chairwoman and I met in Ireland with the local police commissioner, who told us that in the past some 80% of the population did not trust the police, but they managed to turn the situation around. Having 10% of women being afraid is problematic, but let’s start by trying to reach that number and return to examine the situation on a yearly basis.”

Chairwoman Touma-Sliman said the debate was aimed at “trying to figure out how we move forward from here, after being shocked by the study’s findings, which should terrify every man and women who cares about the sense of personal security of all Israeli citizens. This is merely the beginning of the path towards introducing a different discourse to the political arena and towards a conscious change of the concept of security.”

JNi.Media

The Walter Bingham File – What is the True Status of Jerusalem? [audio]

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Walter talks about the status of Jerusalem. You will want to hear this show!

Israel News Talk Radio

The Walter Bingham File – What is the True Status of Jerusalem? [audio]

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Walter talks about the status of Jerusalem and you will want to hear this show!

The Walter Bingham File 08May2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Israel’s Leftwing Minister Tzipi Livni Needs Special Status to Visit Britain

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has been granted temporary “special mission” status by the British government to ensure she will not be faced with an arrest warrant in the UK for alleged war crimes in Gaza, according to The Guardian.

The former chief negotiator with the Palestinian Authority requires diplomatic immunity to protect her from arrest when she visits the country because she has been targeted before — as have other top Israeli officials. Several have had to actually turn around at Heathrow Airport and return to Israel, in fact.

A “special mission” is defined as a “temporary mission representing a state, which is sent by one state to another with the consent of the latter in order to carry out official engagements on behalf of the sending state,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament members in March 2013.

The term was used to grant Livni the status once before, in October 2011, after she was targeted with an arrest warrant issued in December 2009 by the Westminster Magistrates Court. London attorneys Hickman and Rose had acted on behalf of a relative of a Palestinian Authority Arab who died on the first day of Israel’s counter-terror Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in December 2008. The operation was launched to silence the years-long incessant rocket fire and terror attacks aimed at southern Israeli families. At that time UK citizens could apply directly to a judge for an arrest warrant.

The “special mission” status provides only temporary protection, however, and will not protect Livni or anyone else from future arrests or prosecution for alleged breaches of international law.

Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed the “special mission” status to media, saying, “Since the visit meets all the essential elements for a special mission, and for avoidance of any doubt on the matter, the FCO has confirmed consent to the visit as a special mission.”

The fact is, however, that Livni’s position as Israel’s Minister of Justice — a position in the cabinet and in the security cabinet — should by definition confer automatic diplomatic immunity.

Isn’t it odd that the justice minister of a sovereign democratic state, supported ostensibly by the most powerful nation in the world, now needs the British government to confer a “special mission status” to block its own legal system from sabotaging her visit?

But here’s the real irony.

Livni, for years the coddled daughter of the Israeli left, was the sole voice advocating for concessions on nearly every point. She led the opposition against the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu until he co-opted her into the coalition as chief negotiator, where she tried to give away the house.

She promoted massive concessions and advocated for peace with the Palestinian Authority, which then left her politically out on a limb, betrayed by the very people she advocated for. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who spurned the talks last month, rejected all compromises by Israel – and suggestions by the United States – preferring instead to sign a unity deal with Hamas terrorists.

It goes beyond irony, its simply cannibalistic.

Hana Levi Julian

Book Review: Simon Sebag Montefiore’s ‘Jerusalem: The Biography’

Friday, October 18th, 2013

By Henry Goldblum

At first glance, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s best seller Jerusalem: The Biography is surely impressive. Media critics as well as Henry Kissinger have showered it with praise, and the BBC devoted a timely three-part TV series to the author, providing invaluable publicity. Indeed, the book is not dull by any standards. Drama abounds – be it in chapter headings (take chapter 5, “The Whore of Babylon”) or in the description of events, such as the Moloch ceremonies in the days of King Menasseh, “the sacrifice of children at the roaster…in the Valley of Hinom…as priests beat drums to hide the shrieks of the victims from their parents” (p. 39). The Muslim invasion is depicted in graphic detail, particularly the battle of 636 CE, which took place “amidst the impenetrable gorges of the Yarmuk River” (p. 172) – although the area through which the Yarmuk flows is in fact more of an open plain.

Renouncing Uniqueness

Sebag Montefiore has clearly invested much effort in conveying his vision of Jerusalem – past, present, and future. The result reflects thoughtful study of many sources relating to different features of the city, and the author certainly recognizes its special status. However, in his apparent desire to deal evenhandedly with the various local religions, he fails to make it clear that it is only for Jews and Judaism that Jerusalem is, was, and has always been the sole spiritual center on earth. This omission is unacceptable. The author rightly refers, if only en passant, to Midrash Tanhuma and the writings of Philo of Alexandria as two examples of this basic, constant belief, unlimited by time or circumstance. The intensity of Jerusalem’s sacred status for Judaism is such that later monotheistic faiths have attempted at various times to gain a foothold in the city, despite their having other, holier places (Mecca and Medina, Rome and Bethlehem). Perhaps recognizing the significance of capturing the “chosen status” of Judaism, they have utilized diverse strategies to prop up their variant “histories,” including reinterpreting Muhammad’s miraculous night visit to the “Farthest Mosque” on the outskirts of Mecca to include a stopover in Jerusalem.

It has always been fundamental for the Jew to appreciate this imbalance, and it cannot be overlooked in any attempt to describe Jerusalem. Sebag Montefiore has downgraded this uniquely Jewish aspect of the city; as far as he is concerned, Judaism’s monopoly on Jerusalem is limited to part 1 of his book, extending until the year 70 CE. Parts 2-8 belong primarily to other faiths and peoples, and the final section of the book, dating from 1898, is titled “Zionism,” as if the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty is a separate chapter in the history of the city rather than the restorationof a violently interrupted continuum. Significantly, he neglects to emphasize thata Jewish majority has dominated the citywhenever circumstances have permitted,including from the early 19th century onwardwithout interruption; nor does he remind thereader that only when Jews have ruled thecity have all other faiths enjoyed full rights ofworship there.

Historically Dubious These omissions are partially explained by the almost complete absence of references to classic Jewish works compiled in the Land of Israel – despite their obvious relevance in terms of place, time, and subject. Thus, the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds are together accorded a mere four quotations; the output of Jewish historians from Graetz to current Israeli scholars not of the revisionist mode is similarly glaringly absent. In contrast, detailed descriptions of events and individuals taken from non-Jewish sources abound – even when their relevance is historically uncertain or unsound – notably the passages on Jesus in chapter 11. The sole reference to Jesus in Josephus (Antiquities, book 17, 63-64), whom Sebag Montefiore cites among other non- Jewish sources as confirmation of his existence as a historic character, is widely regarded as being of dubious authorship (see Emil Schürer’s History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus, vol. 1, p. 428ff.).

The reliability of the author’s statement at the opening of the Islam section is similarly questionable: Muhammad is said to have come “to venerate Jerusalem as one of the noblest of sanctuaries” (p. 169). With all due respect, the Koran never mentions Jerusalem, and by beginning his discussion of Islam with the reinterpretation of the passage regarding “the furthest place of worship,” Sebag Montefiore creates a false impression, especially since in Sura 2, the Prophet commands that prayer be directed exclusively to Mecca. The other quotes on page 168 are all from later Muslim sources. The term “Iliya,” a corruption of the pagan name Aelia Capitolina coined by Hadrian, continued to be used by the Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem for a generation or more following Muhammad’s death, with examples from as late as the end of the 10th century. This is the name of the city appearing on the milestones of Caliph al-Malik, who built the Dome of the Rock in the 690s. The name Al-Quds, “The Sanctuary,“ came into common use only in the 11th century, in the context of the struggle between Crusaders and Saracens for dominion over the Holy Land (see Moshe Gil, The Political History of Jerusalem in the Early Muslim Period, p. 10). The anecdote concerning Caliph Omar’s tour of the Temple Mount (p. 175 in Sebag Montefiore’s book) only reiterates the secondary status of Jerusalem in Islam – the caliph rebukes Kaab, a converted Jew, who suggests praying in the direction of the Temple on the mount rather than toward Mecca. As Bernard Lewis has stated in The Middle East, “Much of the traditional narrative of the early history of Islam must remain problematic, whilst the critical history is at best tentative” (p. 51). Why, then, has Sebag Montefiore adopted Islamic accounts regarding this period so readily? Is he perhaps playing to Muslim sensibilities? All this leads us to an epilogue that looks forward, as might be expected from the previous sections, to a permanent division of the city into two capitals for two states, in accordance with current liberal and revisionist dogma. The hope of witnessing such a chapter in the history of Jerusalem rankles coming from a scion of the illustrious Montefiore family, whose philanthropy was once invested in the furtherance of a quite different destiny for the city.

Admittedly, Jerusalem: The Biography provides an enjoyable ride. A more appropriate destination and a less controversial and dangerous route might be preferable, but that, presumably, would require a change of driver.

Dr. Heny Goldblum is a lawyer and a scholar of history

Visit Behind the News in Israel.

David Bedein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/behind-the-news-in-israel-david-bedein/book-review-simon-sebag-montefiores-jerusalem-the-biography/2013/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: