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"
TH E
JO U R N A L O F
H A lA C H A
S y n a g o g u e
M em bership
a n d
S c h o o l
A dm ission
R a b b i
H erschel
S c h a c h te r
T he
M idrash
o n
th e
v e r s e
" a n d
th e re
w as
fam in e
i n
th e
la n d ," 1
c o m m e n tsth a tin
S c rip tu re
te n
fa m in e s a re d e s c rib e d . N in e
o f
th e s e
fa m in e s
h a v e
a lre a d y
tra n s p ire d ;
o n e
m ore
is
p r o p h e s ie d
fo r
th e
e ra
p re c e d in g
th e
c o m in g
o f
M essiah. as described
b y
th e
p r o p h e t
A m 05:1
,"
',:1 ,n xy 1 t:llthe x
': 1
. . .D 'n ?K ny
1 '< 7 1o n ? ?
: : I l l '1 '< 7
N ota
h u n g e rfo r
f o o d ... n o r
a
thirst for w aterb u t a
stro n g
y e a rn in g
to
h e a r
th e
w ord
o f
G -d.
T he
G em ara
com m ents:
"T o
h e a r
th e
w ord
o f
C \u00b7d "
-
th is
is
h a la c h a ;
" th e
w ord
o fG -d ",
th is
i s
p r o p h e c y .)
E q u a tin g
h a la c h a
(law )
w ith
p r o p h e c yc a p tu re sth efru s tra tio n
w h ic h
w ill
c h a ra c te riz e
th e
p e rio d
b e fo re
th e
a d v e n t
o f
M essiah.
I. .1 <
,1 " :)
l'l'lV 'K 'J .
2 .
K "'
. n
O
l
~
l
'.
. l.
n \u00b7" p
M J III.
R o sh
H a k o le l,
Y e s h iv a
U n iv e r s ity
SY N A G O G U E
M E M B E R S H IP
W e
w ill
b e
f a c e d
w ith
q u e s tio n s
in
h a la c h a
w h ic h
a re
s o
v e x in g
a n d
c o m p le x
th a t th e y
a p p e a r
in s o lu b le e x c e p tb y
p r o p h e c y .S u c h
a re
th e
in tric a c ie s
o fm odern
h a la c h ic
p ro b le m s
th a tth e re
s e e m
to
b e
fe w
tra d itio n a l
s o u r c e s
t o
a id
u s
i n
c o m in g
t o
a
m e th o d ic a l,
p r o p e r
c o n c lu s io n .
T he
h a la c h ic
q u e s tio n s
r a is e d
in
to d a y 's
s o c ie ty
c o n c e r n in g
s y n a g o g u e
a n d
s c h o o l
m em bership
f a ll
in to
th is
c a te g o ry
o f
th e
d iffic u lt
a n d
p e rp le x in g .
W e
w ill
e x p lo re
th e
s o u r c e s
w h ic h
a re
a v a ila b le
i n
in v e s tig a tin g
th e s e
to p ic s .
S h u lM em bership
A s
a n
a s s o c ia tio n
fo r
th e
p u r p o s e
o f
s e r v in g
th e
re lig io u s
n e e d so f
th e
c o m m u n ity ,
th e
m em bership
o fa shuls h o u ld consist
o n ly
o f
Jew s.
I tg o e s
w ith o u t
s a y in g
th a t
non-Jew s
c a n n o t
u n d e r
a n y
circum stances
b e
a c c e p te d
a s
fu ll-fle d g e d
m em bers
of a
sh u !.
O n
th e
o th e r
h a n d ,
th e re
a re
o fte n
o c c a s io n s
w hen
a
G e n tile
m ay
w antto
becom e a m em ber sim ply
a sa sign
o frespect for the
Jew ish
c o m m u n ity
o ras an
e x p r e s s io n
o fs u p p o r t fo r th e
re lig io u s
c e n te r
o f
h is
Jew ish
frie n d s.
H e
n e ith e r
e x p e c ts
n o r
d e s ir e s
a n y
v o ic e
in
d e te rm in in g
th e
a f f a i r s
o f
th e
s h u l;
h is
is
a
n o n -v o tin g
m em bership.
C an
th e re
b e
a n y
h a la c h a
fo rb id d in g
s u c h
a
s te p ?
O n
th e
s u r f a c e
i t
w o u ld
s e e m
in n o c u o u s
t o
a llo w
a
n o n - J e w
(n o c h r i)
o r
a
J e w
w ho
c o n v e rts
o u to f
th e
f a i t h
(m um ar)
to
b e
a
n o n -v o tin g
m em ber
i n
a
sh u !.
H ow ever,
th e re
a re
lim ita tio n s
p r e s c r ib e d
b y
th e
h a la c h a .T he
p ro b le m
re d u c e s
t o
th e q u e s tio n
o f
w h e th e r
w e
m ay
accept a donation
to
the shul from
a G entileo r a
m um ar.
G e n e ra lly ,
w e
a re
g u id e d
b y
th e
p rin c ip le
o '? :J y lJ "
" 0 " ': 1 ) 1 "
p 'J
n l:J 'J lD " 'J
"W ea c c e p t c o n trib u tio n s
fro m
al1 o c h r i."
I n
th e
B eth
M ikdash, sacrifices
w ere
a c c e p te d
fro m
G e n tile s
a n d
o ffe re d
o n
th e ir
b e h a lf.
H ow ever
w ith
r e s p e c t
to
th e
b u ild i" K
o f
th e
B eth
M ik d a s h
Ih e
v e r s e
i n
E zra4
s ta le s
U ?,
o :J ?
/,b..
" U 'P '? I<
n ':J
n l<
n u ::h
[W hen
th e
" o c h r im
o ffe re d
t o
h e lp
b u ild
th e T e m p le , th e y w e re
to ld ]" I tis n o t fo r b o th y o u
a n d
u s
1 0
b u ild
th e
h o u s e
fo r
o u r
L -o rd ."
5 2
TH E
JO U R N A LO F
H A L A C H A
B ased
o n
th is
v e r s e
th e
T a lm u d
c o n c lu d e s
th a t
w e
d o
n o t
a c c e p t
a
c o n trib u tio n
to w a rd s
th e
b u ild in g
o f
th e
B e th
M ikdash
fro m
a
n
o
c
h
r
i
.
~
M any
o f
th e
h a la c h ic
re g u la tio n s
c o n c e r n in g
s y n a g o g u e s
a re
p a tte rn e d
a fte r
th e
ru le s
g o v e rn in g
th e
B e th
M ikdash.6
K af
H a C h a im
q u o te s
p o s k im
w ho
fe e l
th a t
th e
p ro h ib itio n
o f
a c c e p tin g
m oney
fro m
a
G e n tile
fo r
b u ild in g
th e
T e m p le
i s
a ls o
a p p lic a b le
t o
a
sh u !.
T h is ,
th e re fo re ,
p r e c lu d e so u r
a c c e p tin g
m oney
fro m
a
n a e n r ;fo r th e
p u r p o s eo fb u ild in ga shu!.
B u ti f th e m o n e y
isd e s ig n a te d
for use
in
a n o th e r re lig io u s p ro je c t,
s u c h
a se re c tin g a ne r u vo r am ik v a h , w e m a y a c c e p t h is d o n a tio n .
T h is
ru lin g
is
n o v e l
w hen
v ie w e d
a lo n g s id e
th e
te a c h in g
o f
R
a
m
o
~
,
w h ic h
s ta te sth a ti f a
m um ar(apostate) offers to contribute
to as h u \,we m usttu rn
h im
down.W hyd o n 't we take from
h im
i f
w e
a re
r e a d y
t o
ta k e
fro m
th e
n o e lH i?
T he
M is h n a h
B e r u r a h9
e x p la in s
that this case, in
fa c t, e x a c tly
p a ra lle ls th e
la w
o fth eB e th
M ik d a s h .
B ased
o n
th e
p r e c is e
la n g u a g e
o fS c rip tu re ,
th e
G em ara
d e riv e s
th e
h a la c h a :
,n m i1
n K
K 'Y lil7
lJ :J 7 1 :J
K 71
tl:J n .
(T h e
v e r s e
s a y s J
"F ro m
som e
am ongst
y o u "
a n d
n o t
" f r o m
a ll
o f
y o u "
to
e x c lu d e
a
J e w
w ho
d e n ie s
h is
fa ith .1 Q
H ere
we are
ta u g h tn o t
1 0
a c c e p td o n a tio n s f r o m
am um ar.B y
o u r
p rin c ip leo fa p p ly in g
th e
la w sg o v e rn in g
th e B e th
M ikdash
to
th e
sh u !.K afH a C h a im
e x p la in s , w e
accept m oney
fro m
a G entile
e x c e p t
fo r
b u ild in g
p u r p o s e s .
C onversely,
w e
tu rn
dow n
a ll
d o n a tio n s
to
a
s h u l
fro m
a n
a p o s ta te
Jew .1 l
N ow
w e
m ust
d e te rm in e
w h e th e r
u p k e e p
o f
th e
s y n a g o g u e
5. . ,
.,rfr J 'Y
6 .
S ee
le n g th y
~
s
a
y
i n
,"ow n
',w n
n"t:lil "1"
o n
l" J 1 'I J
nw "p.
7 .
'" ! l
P 'o
, . l P
n ",I"
D "nn
'p o
8 .
1"..,
' 0
'" l p
' 0
n " ,1 " .
9 .
T he
o n n J
m w t:l
a n d
o th e rs
b a s e
th is
ru lin g
o n
th e
" 'i1 1 1
'p O ll.
1 0 .
'1 '1
1 ''',n
b a s e d
o n
th e
v e r s e
-
" "
p 'p
J ',p '
' J
C J t:I
C 'I",
1 1 .
I t
s h o u ld
a ls o
fo llo w
th a t
d o n a tio n s
fro m
Jew s
w ho
a re
h e re tic s
o r
5 0
n o n \u00b7
o b s e r v a n t
th a t
th e
h a la c h a
c o n s id e u
th e m
e q u iv a le n t to
G e n tile s(D 'JY J
O l'1 ),
s h o u ld
a ls o
n o tb e a c c e p te d
for a school. See, how ever, responsa
o f
R .O v a d ia
Y oseph
in
'l l l l t l
pM Y '
J ,;'l" '"
,"p n ro
,n !l"
p 'J lil'!l0 .

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