Thursday, July 27, 2006

Goyim II

Humanity is determined by the soul, not the body, and although two people may have the same body, what makes you say they have the same soul?

The problem is, without G-d to tell you, you have no way of determining even what a soul looks like, never mind how "valuable" it is.

But you, without any rhyme or reason, take the position that that homo sapiens have a more valuable "humanity" than other beings on this earth, yet within the biological species "homo sapien", all are equal.

Maybe, maybe not. But what logic is there in saying that a certain biological species is more holy than any other? And that beings with the same body have the same soul. Which of course, is nowhere near logical, but you have nothing better to offer.

And such a position is of course, totally illogical when you consider that "humanity", without G-d, is no greater or more valuable than any other form of life on this planet.

After all, we are all mere evolutionary accidents, aren't we?

You can counter that all people's "humanity" is equal. But how do you define humanity? Why do you say that the species of humans are all equal, but the species of humans are more important than other species in the world?

It's nice that you, as a human, are protecting all others of your particular evolutionary stage, while at the same time being willing to kill, main, and annihilate monkeys, let's say, and other animals for food and clothes because - why? - they are unfortunately not yet as "evolved" as you?

Why is humanity defined by intelligence or body shape and size, which is the only difference between homo sapien and monkey and dog and cow? What is special about being "human" altogether, if we are all evolved out of the same pond slime? What right do you have to lord it over other of G-d's creatures, other than you have more strength than they do?

Without G-d, you are nothing but an accident of evolution, a bunch of chemicals thrown together and accidentally attaining brain activity.

Yet you decided, for some reason, that if beings walk on two feet and are not hairy like apes, that gives them the right to kill and eat and wear the skins of beings that are hairy and swing from trees.

And that makes sense to you?

And check this out: Who is more human: A mentally retarded baby or a chimpanzee, in a case where the chimpanzee has more so-called intelligence than the baby? Which would you kill to save which?

So what makes humans "human"? And what gives them "value" more than animals?

The answer is, their soul. And G-d, the Maker of Souls tells us that a human life is higher than an animal life. But according to atheism, there is no logical reason for that to be so. And, how do you know that all homo sapiens share the same soul? And what makes you think that their soul is more valuable then that of animals?

And what makes you think they have a soul in the first place?

So it was decided, randomly and without any logical reason, that certain biological features indicate value of the organism's soul. With this criterion they decide which beings should live, which may die, and which are more valuable than which.

That’s what makes no sense. What does make sense is that these criteria should be determined by G-d, the Creator of Souls, Who informs us through His Torah of where humanity is, what value it has, and when.

Someone who decided it is moral to determine the value of a being's soul based on its physical characteristics, tells Hashem that He has no right to determine value of souls based on His own knowledge of them? Does that make any sense? He's guilty of the biggest hypocrisy possible: Telling G-d that he has no right to do something that he himself does every day.

People themselves have created standards for whose soul is higher than whose, based on physical attributes and species classifications. That, you must admit, is plain bigotry. Yet you do not allow Hashem to enlighten us as to what the real soul-substance of a living being is?

Who else BUT G-d can determine this? Where does any person get the gall to decide, based on physical attributes that one soul is more valuable than another?

Please. Give us something better than this.


Aside from all this, is the fact that any non-Jew has the choice to become a Jew is he so chooses, and evil Jews, who do not fulfill the word of G-d have souls as low, or lower even, than an animal life form, so people are in total control of their status in this world.

I always wondered: A Kohen gets saved before a Levi; a Live before a Yisroel; and a Jew before an Akum. Nut nobody ever accuses Kohanim of being racist, since they are fully aware of the philosophical acceptability of such a concept. Yet the Halachah that a man gets saved before a woman, or a Jew before an Akum, bothers some people. This shows the influence of societal standards on this outlook, rather than objective reasoning.

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When Hashem created the world, He knew that one day some time in the future, Goy so-and-so will be in danger, and that Yid so-and-so will be able to save him, and still He said not to save him because it is Shabbos, and we can’t be mechalel Shabbos to save a non-jew.

Everyone has a “time” when his or her time in this world is up. Hashem was the one Who put that person in danger. He could have put him in danger on a weekday, or he could have arranged a way to save him without being mechalel Shabbos. Or He could have arranged for a Goy to be able to save him, instead of a Yid. If Hashem arranged a situation that someone is dying and the only way to save him is against the Halachah, that means that that person’s time in this world is up. It’s his turn to leave the world, according to Hashem’s plan.

Hashem has a plan for the world. Mostly, Hashem controls the plan Himself, making things happen the way He wants. But only “mostly”. He also gave us, human beings who posses bechirah, the privilege of being partners with Him in the running of His world. He said to us, “The world has a destiny. Every blade of grass, every human being, every snow capped mountain. And you and I, hand-in-hand, are going to make this destiny happen. I will do my part, and for you, here is the Halachah – that’s your part. This is how I want My world to run. You have the ability to help me fulfill My plan, as well as the ability to thwart My plan. As human beings created in the Image of G-d, that is your privilege. And your responsibility.”

If the Halachah says that your hamburger must be thrown out because it was cooked in a milchig broiler, then the will of Hashem is that that hamburger not be eaten by you. It is as if Hashem said to you explicitly, “That hamburger is not meant for you.”

And it’s not merely “as if”. That is precisely what the Halachah is. The Halachah is a revelation of the will of G-d as He planned for each generation. And not just for each generation. For each individual in each generation, every day and under every single circumstance of his life. All wrapped up in this marvelous document called the Shulchan Aruch. Only Hashem could do that: create one set of rules that will apply everywhere, every time, every place, each according to an individual set of circumstances He always knows what he wants done in any given situation – because He created both the Law and the situation.

Imagine if you were in Shamayim with Hashem, and you witnessed a car accident. The car and its occupants are teetering over the edge of a bridge. The family in the car is scared stiff, trying not to move even a drop, lest they disrupt the delicate balance of the vehicle and plunge downward to certain death. You instinctively reach out to save them, but Hashem stops you. “No,” He says. “Their time has come to die.” Only a fool would defy G-d’s plan and save them anyway.

And that is exactly what is happening when you want to save someone and the Halachah says “no.” Hashem is saying “No. Don’t save them. Their time is up.” And if you rebel against Hashem, if you save them anyway, you are interfering with His will, with His very plan for the world.

It could be, that maybe a thousand years ago a little Yiddele went up to Shamayim after 120 years, and on judgment day Hashem shows him all the horrors of Hitler’s holocaust. An accusatory voice bellows: “You did this! You killed six million Jews!”.

“What?! It’s not true!” the defendant says. “You’re lying. I couldn’t do that. Hitler doesn’t even exist for another thousand years. What does this have to do with me?”

Then they show him a recording of himself one Shabbos, years ago, where a Goy was in danger, maybe a close friend of his, and, against the Halachah, he was mechalel Shabbos to save him.

“Did you save this man?” he is asked.

“Yes, I am guilty of that, but what does that have to do with the holocaust?”

“That man was supposed to die there and then,” the tribunal answers. Because of you, he lived. That man was the great-grandfather of Adolph Hitler. Hitler was never supposed to have been born. Six million Jews were never supposed to die. Had you listened to Hashem, none of this would have happened.”

And this was the story of how Haman was born – because King Shaul refused to kill Agag, King of Amalek.

Imagine: Hashem tells the water, “Create a flood. In this-and-this place. These four people are to die. These six others are to be injured. That is part of the destiny of the world.”

But the wind answers: “No. I refuse. I don’t want those people dead.”

Of course, that cannot happen. Nothing can rebel against Hashem.

Or rather, almost nothing. The Shulchan Aruch is a Force of Nature. We, the Jews, were given the job to make the Shulchan Aruch work. The only difference between us and the Angel of Water, is that we do have the ability to be stupid enough to thwart Hashem’s plan.

People die every day. Entire nations go extinct. Nobody has a problem with that, because they know that’s nature, that’s the world, that’s destiny. What you need to understand is that Hashem runs the world through the Shulchan Aruch as well, and we Jews are guardians of His plan. Hashem could destroy Amalek with a flood, with an earthquake, or with a volcano. But He chose a different way. It’s up to us to carry it out.

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The only heter for being mechalel Shabbos for an Akum is in a case where not saving the akum will cause a lethal backlash of anti-Semitism thereby endangering Jewish lives. In order to save those Jewish lives, we will be mechalel shabbos for the Akum.

As far as all life being kodesh, THAT is what it says nowhere in the Torah. The Shabbos is Kodesh.

But truthfully, that is not even the point. Here's a question for you:

If you were not a human being but a bridge. And when a certain person was walking across you, you heard G-d say to you, "collapse! Now! That person's time in your world is up, and he is destined to die now on a collapsed bridge".

Would you say back to G-d "All life is Kodosh, and therefore I refuse to collapse"?

Or would you assume that G-d Who runs the world knows best, and that life-and-death matters are best left in His hands?

Well, bridges do not have the option to rebel, since they were not given Bechirah. But human beings do. If the Halachah says, "Do NOT save the Akum,” it means that Hashem Who told us to follow Halachah is saying, "I want that person to die. Do not interfere!”

But human beings were given the ability to mess up G-d's plan if they want by interfering. They have the choice to rebel.

I wouldn't do it if I were you. You don’t know why Hashem wants that Akum to die now. But we know that He does, because that’s what the Halachah says. And the Halachah is the word of Hashem.

So it doesn’t really matter how holy life is or how valuable it is. Everyone dies, all life ends. The only question is how where and when. If the Halachah says someone must die, it means they are not meant to live any longer. You don’t mess with Hashem’s plan.

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There was once a Maskil (a bozo from the so-called "Enlightenment" movement) who approached Rav Yitzchok Elchonon Spector ZT"L with the following question:

A non-Jewish sailor who just came home after a year at sea, with one small bag of gold coins to support his family, accidentally drops the coins. The wealthiest Jew in town finds them. Since they were lost by a Goy, the Jew is allowed to keep them. In fact, unless there is a Kiddush Hashem involved, he may not return the coins!

The coins then all from the wealthy Jew's pocket, and in turn are found by a homeless, destitute Jew. The poor man is obligated to return the coins to the wealthy Jewish landowner!

"How is this fair????" the maskil asked.

Rav Yitzchok Elchonon answered, "What would you say if you saw a giant hand come out of the sky, and take that bag of coins from the Goy and give them to the wealthy Jew. Would you have a problem with that?"

His point was obvious. The Halachah represents the Will of Hashem. We just make it happen.


The reason I am able to say you can keep the money is because that is the Halachah.

Just as one may not look into a Halacha trying to find a Kulah, but rather, one must analyze the halachah objectively, so too one may not look into the halachah to find a chumrah but must analyze it objectively.

Of course three dollars is a small price to pay for a Kiddush Hashem, however, that does not mean that you’re obligated Halachicly to return the money, and that too, is part of the answer.

The reliability of the kulos depends on (a) whether they exist at all and (b) their strength in cases where they do exist. In the areas of Tznius and Kashrus - and all other areas - where the Halachha is "ossur", you must say so; and when the Halachah is "mutar" you must say so too. And just because the Torah says "assur" when it comes to girls and boys being friends, does NOT mean the Torah automatically says "assur" when it comes to returning three dollars to the cashier. We have no right to demand that the Torah rule one way or the other, and we have no right to demand that the Torah be prohibitive or permissive in one area because it is so in another, unrelated one.

So the Halachah remains that Taos Akum is muttar, and boys being friends with girls is assur. If someone has a problem with that, go bother Hashem; don't kill the messenger.

It is an assimilationist attitude that says, well, if the Torah is so "religious" when it comes to boys and girls, then surely it should be equally "religious" when it comes to other people's money.

As far as our Gedolim, their standards of Halachah in instances when they went beyond the letter of the law, lifnei meshuras hadin, were equal to their standards of Halachah in all other areas of Torah as well. That level of Yiras Shamayim is part of what made them Gedolim. And if the question is, what would a great Yorei Shamayim do in such a case, the answer is clear. However, if the question is, what is the Halachah in this case? The answer is often different.

The Chofetz Chaim ran after a robber who stole his money forgiving him, because he (the Chofetz Chaim) did not want to be involved in a sin even as the victim.

But if someone would ask if they are obligated to do that, the answer is obviously no.

It is wonderful to emulate our Gedolim; nobody is questioning that. And it is definitely a wise decision to spend money that is halachicly yours and use it to make a Kiddush Hashem; nobody is questioning that. But that does not mean the money is not rightfully yours. And if someone asks, we must answer them honestly.

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The Mitzvah to wipe out Amalek does apply nowadays.
The difference between what Hitler did to us vs. what we do to Amalek is that they are opposites. Hashem’s message to Hitler, through the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach was, “The Jews’ time is not up yet. I want them to live.” Hitler ruined Hashem’s plan. Hashem’s message to us is, “Amalek’s time is up. That’s the way the way the world works. If you don’t do My work here, it won’t get done.”

Dina DMalchusa only applies, according to the majority of Poskim, to issues between you and the government, such as taxes and the like. But the government cannot tell us what to do between ourselves. The issue is not Chilul Hashem but Aivah here - if the "olam" finds out that Jews fulfill the mitzvah of Mechiyas Amalek it will be a sakanah for Jews. If there is therefore a chance of people finding out, it would be prohibited. Also, it’s a Sakana for the Yid himself if he is discovered by the authorities.
R. Eliyahu Levine, in a Sefer called "Divrei Shirah" on Purim, says that the result of Sancherev's mixing up of the nations is not that we do not know people’s lineage, but rather once the nations are "mixed up" they no longer are considered "nations" -- the identity of a "nation" is, by definition, a homogeneous group of people.

This would negate Halachos such as killing the 7 nations, since they are no longer 7 "nations". However, with regard to Amalek, the determining factor, as the Rambam indicates in Sefer HaMitzvos, is not that they are part of the "nation" of Amalek, but rather that they are of the "genealogy" of Amalek. And even though the "nation" no longer exists, but their genealogical connection to Amalek and Esav still does exist. So the Mitzvah is still in effect.

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You should give your money to where Hashem said it is a Mitzvah to give. Here's how this works:

Hashem created these situations where people need money - the third world countries, and, let's say, Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood and its Kollel of a few thousand people.

He also established ways for each of those causes to receive whatever money they were supposed to receive.

Hashem gave you some money, and left you with instructions where to give it.

Hashem said it is a mitzvah to give your money to BMG, and it is not a Mitzvah to give your money to third world countries.

This means that Hashem relied on you for the source for funds to Lakewood Yeshiva, and that Hashem has already allocated funds from other sources for the third world countries.

So if you do give to the third world countries, the money that Lakewood should have had, they will never have, since you gave it to someone else, and the third world countries will NOT BENEFIT ANYWAY since Hashem already decided to give them X amount of money from other places, and so if you give them money, Hashem will just have to prevent them from getting the funding from the other sources, since he wanted them to get only a certain amount of money and not more.

In other words, Hashem did not recruit you to take care of Bangladesh. He does that Himself. Hashem recruited you to take care of the Kollel guys in Lakewood. That’s the job He gave you.

All Hashem wants us to do is follow His instructions. Then things will work out fine, since He knows best. But if we decide that we know better where to give our money than Hashem said we should, we're just messing up the whole Grand Plan.

Note: We do give a minimum amount of money to Akum causes, for the sake of Darchei Sholom - meaning, for the sake of living in peace with the rest of the world, but this means for our sake, not the sake of the Bangladeshis, who Hashem will take care of as He planned.

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