Sunday, August 27, 2006

Israel: protection? II

In Nefesh Harav (from Rav Soloveichik) he was asked, even if the State is a good thing, what justification is there for sacrificing all the Jewish lives that it costs to have it? He responds that this is "apparently a very strong point" but he claims to have an answer. He says that that halachicly it is permitted to allow all those Jews to be killed because the state of israel causes Jews to be proud and thereby not marry goyim. Never mind now that the logic (and the halachic basis behind it that he describes) is easily negated - tell them that our position is that Jewish lives are NOT forfeit.

It is the Zionists, then, who justify and feel it is worthwhile to have Jews killed so they can have a State. That is the heartlessness and cruelty in this picture. Do not allow yourself to put in a position where you have to defend yourself. You have nothing to defend yourself against.

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The State puts Jews in danger by increasing anti-Semitism around the world:

“We see clearly how idea has gone bankrupt. Where they thought that through this [State] Jewish respect will be increased among the nations, eliminating anti-Semitism, the opposite it true. The hate has grown even greater, and all the rallies and protests are purposeless and totally useless. For at whom are they directing their protests? At those who hate us! For the rule is “Esav soneh es Yaakov”.” (Rav Shach, Letters, I:1)

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The State of Israel has been proven to be the least safe place for Jews in all the world. Since its inception, more Jews have been killed there than everywhere else in the world put together.

In addition, Jews all over the world are less safe because of the State of Israel. The Arabs, because of their political fight with The State of Israel, have become bloodthirsty Jew killers. So Jews in France, for instance, are in danger because of the State of Israel. The State of Israel has caused so much anti-semitism all over the world.

The numbers show clearly that the further removed Jews are from the State of Israel - either geographically (I.e. not living in the State) or politically (I.e. not living in a place where the residents are politically against Israel), the safer they are.

Add to that the fact that the entire safety of the State of Israel - whatever of it exists - is completely dependent on the power and support of the United States of America. Without the support of the US, Israel would not last 3 weeks.

And never mind the fact that their economy is that of a charity case - if it weren’t for the support of outsiders institutions they would be unviable economically as well.

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The reason the Jews are killed in Israel is because they are there --- the Arabs said to the Jews we don’t want you here, we will kill you if you come here, and the Jews came, and the Arabs kill them. The reason Jews are being killed in Israel is because of the Arabs. If the Arabs are creating the danger, then the Jews in Israel are in more danger than anywhere else.

It's kind of a-b-c.

As far as less Jews being killed nowadays, that’s true mostly - wave had times of better peace but for the most part, BH we are less persecuted nowadays than most times in our past. And so are most other people who live in civilized countries. All ethnics who live in civilized countries nowadays are safer than they ever were, with some very rare exceptions. Boruch Hashem the safest place for any formerly persecuted minority is the USA, and more Jews live here than anywhere else in the world.

BH for the first time in history, through Chaside Hashem, the Christians have officially said to stop blaming Jews for the death of their god. BH we are much better off now physically than generally we have ever been.

But so is everyone else. What’s the point? The place we are the least safe today, relatively speaking, is the State of Israel, which was supposed to be a "safe haven" for Jews but instead has turned out to be just the opposite.

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Kill kill kill the arabs?

What about die die di c"v. All this costs lives, you know. How many is it worth? And what’s the heter to give them? To save one Jewish life - even if it’s a 1% chance - we would violate Shabbos, eat chazir, do whatever we need to. So how are we allowed to send Jews to be killed to keep land?

And besides, How are you going to win such a war? Kill all the Arabs? A hundred million of them? They hold it's a Mitzvah - and they are willing to perform this Mitzvah, unfortunately - to blow themselves up if by so doing they kill Jews. How are you going to stop that? And I don't only mean now, I mean in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now?

Remember - Rav Yochanan ben Zakai offered to give up Yerushalayim in order to save some Jewish lives. And that was in the time of the Bais HaMikdosh - which means they Romans would have gotten not just the Har HaBayis, but the Bayis itself! It's now we are in Golus. No "kill kill kill and not give in."

One Jewish life is worth more than the entire land, including the Bais HaMikdosh itself.

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About those who "died already", I assume that the reason they died was to protect Jewish lives, not to save land. We do not fight for land, we fight to defend lives. So if giving back land saves lives, it gives meaning to the deaths of those who fought for peace in the past. On the contrary, in the current situation where Jews are r"l being killed daily, the hard question that we must face is: What indeed was the purpose of all those Jews dying if this is the result?

I agree that currently everyone all over the world hates us. This was predicted by our Gedolim 50 and 60 years ago, and pointed out by Rav Shach ZTL more recently, as the result of creating a State of Israel and constantly violating Hisgarus B'Umos. This hatred is the supernatural result of a Golus nation trying to act like an independent nation. Its the same as when a Jew tried to be like a Goy and assimilates, anti-semitism attacks them rise in order to remind them that they are Jews - so too when Jews in Golus decide to be like Goyim and make a State, get an army, and fight for their rights as an independent people, anti-semitism comes to remind them they are in Golus, and will never live independently until Moshiach comes. A sheep among wolves that tries to act like a wolf will be reminded, painfully, that he is a sheep. And in Golus, that is exactly what Chazal tell us we are.

So yes, it is true they hate us, but much of that hate is due to our not following the instructions of Chazal regarding how to survive in Golus. If we stop defying the nations, confronting everyone talking big as if we are strong enough to take care of ourselves against any threats, it will be better for us.

Rav Elchonon's rule is: To the extent that the nations focus their attention on us, we are in danger; to the extent that the nations are not paying attention to us, we are safe.

We have to stop making waves in the world, bow our head to the nations ( = the words of Chazal), and start acting as if we are downed fighters behind enemy lines, surrounded by enemy forces, and not safe in our own territory. Because that’s exactly what we are, including in Eretz Yisroel.

We have to follow Chazal's instructions. That is, to mollify the enemy, to appease the enemy, and to save Jewish lives at whatever cost. We are a sheep among 70 wolves. If we start accepting that, we will be OK. If we lash out in pain and anger and frustration, and go "off mission" by trying to use big talk, and even force to pound and scare our enemies into submission, we will be in trouble.

We have only to turn to Hashem. When the sheep are beset by wolves, the shepherd has come and protect them. Only Torah and Tefilah are going to get us out of this. And "big talk" (as Rav Shach ZTL calls it) about how strong we are and nobody dare harm us etc, is one of the things that we have to pray for to stop. It just makes things worse.

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Esav came with 400 of his men with a hatred for Yaakov Avinu, but when Yaakov bowed to him and kissed him and called him master, Esav made peace, even though is hatred did not diminish. The rule of Jewish survival in Golus, the best tactic for a sheep to use when confronted by 70 angry wolves, is the same as the rule of survival when a little kid meets an armed mugger in the street: Give him what he wants and pray that he is satisfied with that.

That won't change the mugger's personality, and it wont make him a better person, and it will hurt your pride, and there is no guarantee that giving in to his demands will prevent you form being harmed, but -- and this is the key -- it is your best chance to survive.

Especially since the root source of the Arabs' desire to kill Jews is because the Jews (i.e. the Zionists, who have unfortunately promoted themselves as representing Jewish opinion) took their land. Anybody who tells you that Arabs or Muslims hate Jews for some religious reasons are brainwashed robots of Zionist nationalists. Even the then-president of Mizrachi Rav Soloveichik, admits this in his Five Addresses (p.79); his statement is quoted on the site quite often.

We also have the testimony of Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld, who was there at the time, never mind that he was a Tzadik and Godol Hador and as such, thoroughly reliable, as opposed to Zionist politicians with a nationalist agenda, whose nationalist revisioning of history is no more reliable, and no less expected, than the nationalist revisioning of history of the Arabs.

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The Zionists do not represent Jews or Judaism, and their inciteful actions are against the wishes of Jews and Judaism. This is analogous to the case in Shulchan Aruch of a Jew who is caught with counterfeit currency, and the authorities believe that the entire Jewish community is involved. We do not, in such a case, tell the world that we support his crimes and that "all Jews have the same fate", but rather, we tell the community that Jews do not support crime, Jews are not involved in such activity, and if some Jews is involved in it, he does not represent Jews nor Judaism at large.

So too we must tell the world that the Zionists do not represent the Jews, that there is no reason for Arabs to think that Jews as a whole took their land - we should tell the world that those Zionist rabbis who declare Arabs Amalek and fit for extinction are deviant lunatics, and that the thing we Jews want most in the world is peace and safety, and we would gladly give up all the land in the world, including the entire State, (which we didn't want in the first place) if it will only bring peace.

Delivering that message is the first step. In many wars, there is always propaganda dispensed about the enemy. In Afghanistan, the Afghanis told their people that the food packages dropped by America were poisoned. They told their people that America wants to kill all the Afghanis and not merely the Taliban. The Americans, on the other hand, dropped flyers over enemy territory telling the Afghanis that we are not interesting in killing anyone - all we want is Osama and his gang. This propaganda-anti-propaganda happens all the time in war.

And it is happening today. The Arabs think that all Jews want to kill them all, or take their land, or ship them out of their homes, and Zionists have actually said all those things, and it is our job to "drop flyers" on enemy territory informing them that no, we are not your enemy. The Zionists do not represent Jews. Do not blame all of us for their words or deeds. And people like Kahane are deviant aberrations in our community, and please do not take his words as representative of anybody except his motley crew of Zionist militants.

And if the Zionists don't kill us the way they did Dr. Dahan, we can accomplish something that way. Al pi derech hatevah, we will not prevent the churban - we are past that because of the Zionists - but at least hatzolah purtah we can accomplish.

As far as the parties are concerned, no being a non-Zionist or anti-Zionist party in the Israeli government, according to the Chazon Ish and Rav Ahron Kotler, is a good thing, because it allows us to try to temper the damage done by the Zionists through taking some governmental power away from them. It's kind of like asking if you had a chance to be a member of parliament in Nazi Germany would you do it, or would you say that being an anti-Nazi in Nazi Germany is self-contradictory. I would imagine most people would jump at the chance to be on the inside and try to help whoever they can from the clutches of the Nazis, even if it means being in their parliament.

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The idea that Israel will be saving lives in the larger picture of things is what is in question here. A war for territory or conquest causes loss of lives, even if it may cause the possession of land. Sending Jews in to such a war to die and to kill is nothing but murder, and we should oppose those who do such things.

And if the war is not valid Halachicly then it doesn’t matter if you do it "l'shem shamayim" - you have no right to put your own life or the lives of others in danger because of some idealism. And if Hashem says it is wrong, then which "shamayim" are you doing it "l'shem"??

More importantly, what we "think" is not good enough to permit the spilling of Jewish blood.

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There are others who say - even in the government - that the current activity in the territories is punitive, designed to "punish" the Palestinians in retaliation for the bombings, as opposed to merely weeding out terrorists. If this is true, then their actions, as per logic as well as Chazal's rule of Hisgarus B'Umos will most likely just enrage the Palestinians more, generate more Palestinian nationalism and prove to the Palestinians that the Israelis are tyrants, which will just generate more bombings, in both the short and long term, continuing the cycle of violence and bloodshed and deaths of Jews.

There are those who say - even in Israel - that the activities are excessive, and include things that should not be done, and are being done only to "show the Palestinians who's boss", to beat them into submission. If that’s true, then it will do more bad than good.

Political motives - and the emotional demands of an understandably, unfortunately desperate and hurting Israeli population (a voting population!) to their leadership to do something about the terror. And political ambition - the desire for votes and the loyalty of his party - plays a role.

Then there's the issue of the "Greater Israel" - "redeeming the land" - and all that Zionist stuff. Those people hold that it's worth losing lives to maintain territory. Meaning, they will make settlements even if those settlements cause the loss of lives by enraging the Palestinians more, and they will attack even if it will cost lives of soldiers as well as encourage other terrorist activity because it’s worth it if they can be bosses over all of Greater Israel.

Then there are the more critical people who say that Sharon is just trying to instigate the Palestinians in order to make an excuse for an all-out war designed to get rid of all of them.

All these things may be factors in the decision to wage war. How in the world can we know what the truth is? Certainly the world of these politicians - atheists with no love for Klal Yisroel but much love for their political careers and their values that run contrary to the values of the Torah - doesn’t prove anything. And their words are all we can go on.

And even after all that, the bigger question is: Was there a way to avoid the bloodshed, even if it means giving back something? That is the big question. And if the answer is "yes" then going to war is simple murder of Jews.

And the people who are in charge of those decisions cannot be relied upon to make them properly.

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