Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Agudah and Satmar I

One opinion is that of the Satmar Rav ZT"L. Those who follow this opinion do not take any money from the Israeli government, do not vote in the Israeli elections, and of course do not participate in the government (which would make you an accessory after the fact, according to them).

Rav Aharon Kotler ZT"L held that even though the Medinah should not have been made, now that it is here, we cannot allow the non-religious to grasp the control and influence of so many Jews, thereby making it much worse. It is a Mitzvah, he held, to vote in the elections, to participate in the government, and use whatever influence exists out there to make sure that the Ratzon Hashem is not violated more than it already has been.

The third opinion is that of the Brisker Rav ZT"L. Those who follow the Brisker Rav do not vote in the elections, do not take money from the government, but do not consider doing so an outright aveirah. "Voting in the Israel elections is not as big an Aveirah as the Satmar Rav holds and not as big a Mitzvah as Rav Aharon holds," the Brisker Rav said.

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The Satmar Rav also held that Jews should protest the misdeeds of Israel, such as anti-Torah laws and the like, so that Israel, which claims to be there for the Jews, will be embarrassed at their actions when they are exposed to the world by Jews as hurting Judaism, and they will be pressured into changing their ways.

The Satmar Rebbe organized a rally against Israel in Washington in 1959. It was attended only by Jews, and its goal was to tell Israel not to commit sins in the name of Judaism and Jews.

However, the Satmar Rebbe never participated in events together with Arabs of other enemies of Jews.

Among the misdeeds involved with marching with Palestinians involves the prohibition to join in activities with evil doers, even if the activity is a good deed (all the more so if it is not). The Alshich says this in Mishle, and it is one of the staples of Satmar Hashkofo: "Bni, if yefatucha chataim al tovai" the posuk says - do not follow bad people if they [try to] seduce you. The Alshich says we do not need the posuk to tell us not to join in their bad deeds, but rather the posuk is saying, even if bad people are involved in a good deed - you should not join with them in their good deed.

We can negotiate, cajole, importune, and deal with evil people. But we cannot join them in their actions, even if the actions are not evil. All the more so if they are.

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The Satmar Rav writes (Vayoel Moshe p.8, Divrei Yoel bo, p.250) that even though the State of Israel must be abolished, it cannot be done by the nations, because they will not differentiate between Jews. Rather, the solution to the problem of the State is for us to pray for its undoing, and only Moshiach and Eliyahu, when they arrive IYH, will be able to safely obliterate Israel while saving the lives of the Jews.


He doesn't merely say that we should not allow the land to be given to the Arabs "through the nations" - for if that is all he would say, there would be room for mistake - but he also says, in the same breath - that there is no other solution for the undoing of the State except our prayers, or, in the case of Vayoel Moshe, the State should only be undone via G-d's power from above. He does NOT say that instead of "the nations" we should use diplomacy or peaceful dismantling of the State. He says the ONLY solution is prayer. Not negotiation, not fighting, not anything except prayer - except G-d intervening from On High.

Of course Satmar would like to see the State abolished - so would the other Gedolim - Rav Shach ZTL reportedly used to pray every day for the peaceful disappearance of the State of Israel.

But the issue being addressed here is NOT whether it would be better without the State - of course it would - but rather, can this be done? Can we peacefully undo what the Zionists did? Can we indeed just hand over Israel to the nations?

Currently, he is saying, that cannot be done. Since the Arabs unfortunately were convinced by the Zionists that all Jews want Israel, and are willing to kill or expel Arabs in order to get it, and have actually done so, the Arabs have therefore become bloodthirsty enemies of all Jews, because of their error that all Jews are Zionists.

And although it is surely a good idea to tell the Arabs that we have no interest in killing them or taking their land, or expelling them from anywhere, and that those who say such things do NOT represent Jews or Judaism or the Torah but rather Zionism and Zionists, until the time when that mission has succeeded, and the Arabs do indeed understand that Jews are not their enemies and that their hatred is misdirected, we cannot endanger Jewish lives by returning the State by political means. And since having the State is a sakanah as much as giving it back, the only solution is for Hashem to intervene and do this "with power from on High." There is no long-term, permanent political or military solution to the Zionist vs. Arab problem, where all Jews have been caught in their crossfire.

The statements of the Satmar Rav were of course based on the Metzius, which could theoretically change, meaning, one day maybe the Arabs will realize this, and then the situation will be different. In the meantime, however, they are still unconvinced of the fact that Jews are not killers and robbers. And even if some Arabs do believe it, enough of them do not that it still remains a sakanah.

There were times and places, perhaps, when such a peaceful dismantling could have taken place (see introduction to Al HaGeulah where he suggests a UN-enforced peace after returning the State), and maybe there will be in the future. But it’s not happening today.

Another proof: In Divrei Yoel Parshas Naso, he says it would be a great Mitzvah that we should be Moser Nefesh for, to convince the non-Jewish world that we Jews are not interested in the land and that the acts of the Zionists do not represent the will of Klall Yisroel. But, he adds, there frum rabbis who unfortunately will not let this happen, because of "various excuses".

Clearly, he is saying that the Arab world does NOT currently understand that Jews are not Zionists otherwise we would not need Mesiras Nefesh to get this message across, and he would not lament the fact that there are rabbis who are obstacles to the success of this mission.

It's a good idea to save Jewish lives by telling Arabs we are not the enemy, of course, but until there are enough Arabs who do not realize that so as to pose a danger to Jews, we cannot allow them power over us.

It is also a sakanah for Klall Yisroel to have a Jewish State in Eretz Yisroel. Either way we're messed up. That’s why he says the ONLY solution is for us to pray for G-d to get us out of this terrible situation.

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The Satmar Rebbe uses the Halchah, based on some the Gemora and explicit in the Gilyon Maharsha in Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah, that if an act gives chizuk to a deviant movement (Shabse Tzvi was the topic discussed there) then even if that act is a real Mitzvah, we should not do it, we actually forgo the Mitzvah, in order not to give chizuk to the deviants. Therefore, he says that since the ability to go to the Kosel and even its "being freed" is constantly used by the Zionists as a sign of their accomplishments for Judaism, we should not go there because the masses of people going there just fuels the Zionist propaganda about how so many people can pray at the Kosel because of them (which is factually correct). So even though going to the Kosel is a wonderful thing, we should rather forgo that wonderful thing because of the chizuk it gives to the Zionists.

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In Vayoel Moshe 1:87 it doesn't say that if you vote in the Israeli elections you violate the Oaths. It says you’re a partner in crime, but a shutef in an aveirah does not necessarily get the same avierah as his partner. So for instance if I give someone a radio on Shabbos and ask him to put it on, I am definitely considered a shutef in his crime, and I violate lifnei iver, and Meisis, but I am not a mechalel Shabbos. So his saying that those who participate in the elections are shutfim in the crime of the existence of the State does not yet explain what you violate for being a partner. Elsewhere he says that your violation is lifnei iver and modeh b'avodah zorah.

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There is a machlokes if it is permitted to be a member of the Knesset. The Satmar Rav holds it is assur, Rav Aharon Kotler ZTL holds it is muttar, and even a good thing.

The Satmar Rav holds that being part of a government whose existence is Avodah Zorah constitutes being accessory to the crime after the fact; Rav Aharon holds that being part of a government which is anti-Torah constitutes damage control (assuming, of course, that the person in the government behaves and operates in accordance with Torah principles).

But the disagreement applies only to the government of the State of Israel, since it had no right according to the Torah to exist in the first place. But being part of the government of secular States which are of course allowed to exist, would not pose a problem even according to the Satmar Rav. He might even agree with Rav Aharon that, in such a case, being part of the governing body would be a positive thing.

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Some zionists accuse Satmar Rov of being saved by zionists, the very group he opposed and 'escaping, leaving his chasidim to their fate'.
I'm missing something here. So if these people's houses were on fire, and the fireman was a Christian, they would rather burn to death because the person who saves them believes in Yoshka?!

Is that what they would do?

It's amazing how irrational Zionists are. I mean, seriously. How do they explain themselves? It’s amazing to see the Yezter Horah for irrational avodah zorah in action.

Or, to use the analogy of the Chazon Ish:

If an arsonist set your house on fire and then pulled you out of the fire, would you say he deserves a reward for his rescue efforts? If it weren’t for the Zionists, the Chazon Ish said, we wouldn’t need saving in the first place. So when they save people from the holocaust, what kind of heroes are they?

If the arsonist wanted to save you from the fire that he started, would you refuse his help and allow yourself to burn to death because you are morally opposed to his act of arson??

I'm not sure what exactly needs a response. The phrase "escaping, leaving his chasidim to their fate" implies that he could have saved his chasidim but didn’t. Is that what they are saying? Or is it that they believe that someone who had the opportunity to run for their lives should rather have stayed and died? Is that what they are saying? I mean, what exactly are they babbling about?

The facts are that the Satmar Rebbe ended up in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while many of his Chasidim did indeed escape. In fact, because Hitler invaded Hungary at the end of the war, there were more Hungarian Jews who survived than there were Polish or Lithuanian Jews.

I would imagine that these people are buying in to the old Zionist slander that the Gedolim of Europe told the people to stay put and not leave, and then they turned and left themselves. That old blood libel was originated by the State of Israel in order to distract attention up their own role that they played in the destruction of the six million Jews. Please see Rav Hutner's article on the subject.

The political agenda of the State of Israel - that the State is a safe haven for Jews from anti-semitism and holocausts - is furthered by them making up stories about Tzadikim, especially since doing so they deflect attention from their responsibility for the murder of six million Jews.

There is a Teshuva printed by the Satmar Rav about two orphan bochurim who, for various reasons including fear of impending doom, wanted to emigrate to America. The Satmar Rebbe writes that he tells people the truth regarding whether to run or not - that he doesn't know. He is not a Navi, he writes, and he does not know what the future holds in this case. In the particular case of these 2 boys, he writes that he did indeed help them go to America, even though America in those days America was a spiritual danger.

Even religious Zionists have bought into this blood libel started by the enemies of Hashem in the State of Israel. Rabbi Menachem Kasher, quoted without objection by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, writes that the Gedolim of Europe "cannot say 'our hands did not shed this blood' ".

The seriousness of the crime of these people making this false accusation against Hashem's Greatest Jews is too great to imagine. Said the Chazon Ish about them, "Who fulfills Mitzvos and is an Apikores? Those who blame the Gedolei Yisroel for the holocaust, and also all those who celebrate Yom Haatzmaut".

When talking about religious people, because their agenda is the same, those two groups of Apikorsim are usually made up of the same people.

(All that having been said, for the record, the Chasam Sofer writes that if a Tzadik finds himself and his flock in danger, he should escape and pray for his flock while he is out of the danger, in which case his efforts will be more effective min hashamayim than had he stayed with them.)

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This is what the Satmar Rav writes in Al HaGeulah the Zionists should do to make peace- but as he says in Divrei Yoel (vol 3 p.250):

"What has happened in our days has not happened since the word was created: Apikorsim and those who want to take away religion from people grabbed for themselves a State and sovereignty, and they destroy religion and faith by force rachmana latzlan, and Jews who want to believe in Hashem and His Torah actually support them! Woe is to us that this has happened in our days. May Hashem have mercy on us and uproot this brazen country quickly through Eliyahu and Moshiach, but not through the nations chas vsholom, for if permission will be given to the Destroyer, it will not distinguish [between the guilty and innocent].

Of course having the Medinah is bad and is a big saknah - that doesn’t mean we have to know what to do about it. As the Satmar Rav says, we need Eliyahu and Moshiach to uproot it.

You don't need to protest with Arabs to tell the world that you’re not Zionists. All that does is send a message to the world that you are on their side, which you are not. Because their side right now - albeit because of the Zionists - is to kill Jews. And that you don’t want either, but when you go around protesting with them that’s what the world perceives.

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