Sunday, July 30, 2006

Goyim III

[Note: I'm sorry for interrupting the order, I missed this -taon]

The Rambam in Igeres Taimon writes that internally, the Goyim are jealous of the Jews because we got the Torah. The Kli Yakar writes the Esav is jealous of us because he believes Yaakov took the Brachos from him; and Yishmael is jealous of us because he believes Yitzchok took his.

However, this doesn’t mean that the Goyim are always going to kill us. Chazal have told us that anti-semitism depends largely on our actions, especially in Golus. Because the cause of anti-semitism is jealousy, it is important for us not to flaunt our faces in Golus. We have to keep a low profile, not get the Goyim angry at us, and not do anything that causes waves in the Goyish world.

The Gemora says that G-d made the Jews swear that they would not defy the Goyim while we are still in Golus. The more we try to show the goyim we are strong, the more they will respond by killing us. It's like encountering a grizzly bear - the more he thinks you’re a threat, or even a possible threat, he will fight. But if you stand still and not move at all, and even play dead, he will hopefully go away. (This doesn't mean that the bear will always not bother you if you play dead, but it is your best hope for survival).

So too, Jews in Golus are much weaker than our enemies. We are like one sheep surrounded by 70 wolves. The only chance of survival for the sheep is to make sure the wolves don’t notice him. As Rav Elchonon Wasserman put it:

The less the Goyim think about us and notice us, the safer we will be; the more we are high-profile and in the attention of the Goyim, the less safe we will be.

The Kil Yakar writes that we shouldn't even flaunt our wealth in public because of this - we do not want the Goyim to pay attention to us. But a million times more so, we are not allowed to stand up to the nations of the world, defying their wishes. The Gemora says if we do, the goyim will hunt us down like animals.

Rav Shach writes that when Israel defies international law by making territories or when they say to America (or the nations in general) we don’t care what you say we will do what we want, that causes anti-semitism, and danger for Jews all over the world.

When Israel is on conflict with the Arabs, it causes anti-semitism all over the world; when oil prices go up because of Israel, that causes the Goyim all over the world to talk about how it is the fault of the Jews and it puts us all in danger.

This principle is called "hisgarus b'umos" - defying the nations - and when it happens r"l Jews all over the world are in danger.

He writes, when Israel defiantly states to the world "Jerusalem is ours!" that constitutes Hisgarus B'Umos - it gets the nations angry at us (Jerusalem is ours, he says, regardless of who physically owns it. When Moshaich comes, everything will be returned to us anyway); when Israel makes settlements, against the wishes of the world, that constitutes hisgarus b'umos.

Rav Elchonon Wasserman ZTL writes in Ikvesa D'Meshichah that boycotts, protests, and such "civil disobedience" against nations of the world constitutes hisgarus b'umos and only causes the Jews to be put in more danger.

It is one of the worst and most dangerous mistakes that unlearned Jews make, when they think that in order to get the Goyim to leave us alone, we have to "show them that we are strong", or pressure them, or stand firmly against their wishes.

All this, in Golus, does not work. It is like a sheep trying to show the wolves that he is strong. It's only going to get him killed r"l.

When an armed mugger comes to mug you, unless you are 100% sure that you can disarm and overpower him, you would be stupid to do anything except give him what he wants, even if it is your last penny.

The goyim, in Golus, are stronger than us. Being mugged for 2,000 years is certainly not fun; but the only reason we have survived so miraculously is because we have listened to the words of our Torah and NOT rebelled against the Goyim.

This that Jews did not "stand up" for themselves with force of arms for 2,000 years was not out of weakness or inability to do so, but rather a conscious decision by our Gedolim in order to help us survive.

We are not the same as the Goyim. Using force in Golus works for them; not for us. If we go up against them, we will surely lose.

But the Jewish nation has survived longer than all the ancient nations who were bigger and stronger than them. By all calculations, we should have died out long ago; the thing that allowed us to survive golus was Hashem's guarantee, aided by our following His "survival instructions". Namely, DO NOT STAND UP AGAINST THE GOYIM IN GOLUS.

The Seforno says that even though Esav was running after Yaakov to kill him, Yaakov did not fight him, but rather bowed to Esav 7 times, and called him "master." This is a lesson, he writes, on how the Jews should act in Golus when confronted with anti-semitism.

Like a grizzly bear, I guess - he growls and growls - your only chance is to act innocent, vulnerable, and play dead - and that is your best chance for him to change his mond and leave you alone.

Like Esav changed his mind and didn’t try to kill Yaakov.

He continues, had the Baryonim made peace with the Romans during the second Bais Hamikdash, instead of trying to stand up to them, the Bais HaMikdash would not have been destroyed. And the same thing during the first Bais HaMikdosh.

So the first rule is, when Israel is defying the nations and instead of submitting to them, they try to show how strong they are, that will surely arouse vicious anti-semitism.

Second, you can't walk into Harlem, screaming racial slurs and when they come out to beat you up, claim they are anti-semites. Not everything that Israel is doing is legal or moral or right. They do not follow the Torah, and so they are not better than any other secular nation - France, China, or India - and when they do bad things, the goyim who anyway harbor their hostilities toward us, now have a big excuse to attack us. As Rav Elchonon said: The more we are in the spotlight of the Goyim, the more dangerous it is for us.

And that is talking even when the Jews aren't doing anything wrong. But if they are in the international spotlight - the biggest news in the world - and they do indeed do bad things - we need to tremble at the danger they have put us in.

And the second biggest mistake people make is thinking, well, if America can do so-and-so, so can Israel.

No, they can't. America is not in Golus. Jews are. The rules are different for us. That's hard to swallow, but remember that if there is any favoritism played here - it is surely for the Jews and not against them. For regardless of how much we have been persecuted, we have still been better preserved than every single ancient nation that persecuted us. They are gone, and we are here.

And that's because for 2,000 years we've not fought the Goyim.

Like the sheep who smartly won't fight the wolves. He may get bitten up, but as soon as he gets into a fight with them, he's dead.



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