Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Oaths and Zionism I

In short, Chazal say that the Jews were warned by G-d - and made to swear - that they would not take Eretz Yisroel before Moshiach comes, and they would not defy the nations of the world. If they violate these Oaths, the Gemora says, the punishment is that Jews will be hunted and killed freely, like game in the field.
Slowly going to Eretz Yisrael without "strength" (yad hachazakah) is OK.

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Everyone agrees that a mass uprising into EY, i.e. one that would violate the Oaths, would be assur. The disagreement is whether to support a substantial emigration to EY even without violating the Oaths, or if doing so would do more harm than good by supporting and strengthening the Zionists, and blurring the edge in the eyes of the frum Yidden between Kedushas Eretz Yisroel and Nationalist aspirations. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it was an issue of safety for Jews -- even if a major influx of Jews into EY would not be substantial enough to violate the Oaths, it would still be substantial enough, those Gedolim held, to step on the toes of the Arabs and cause major Jewish deaths.

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To say that the State violates the Oaths but you love it anyway makes no sense. Because if it violates the Oaths then it is against the will of G-d, and will cause the deaths of Jews, "hunted down like animals in the field." What is there to love about that, chas v'sholom?

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The idea of the Oath of the Goyim being for "our sake" is not because by fulfilling the Oath you fulfilling the Torah, which is good for you. It is an entirely different idea. When I make a contract between me and you, my part is to protect me and yours is to protect you. A contract consists of two parts - one in the interest of each party. Therefore, if one breaks his part, and violates the other party's interest, it is only fair that the rest of the contract, that was designed to protect the other guy, may also be violated. When G-d forbade us to bother Moav, of course we get a mitzvah for doing it, but the Mitzvah itself is a protection for Moav. For whatever reason, G-d wanted Moav not to be bothered by the Jews. If the Jews bother Moav, they do not hurt themselves (except for the violation of the Mitzvah), they hurt Moav.

As opposed to the Oaths, where the Oath not to rebel against the nations was NOT in order to protect the nations; it was not designed because Hashem doesn't want the nations to suffer. It was in the interest of the Jews, not the Goyim. If the Jews rebel against the Goyim, the concern is not what the Goyim are going through but rather the fact that such actions are detrimental to Klall Yisroel itself by throwing off the Golus. So G-d made them swear that they would not harm themselves be rebelling against the Goyim.

Therefore, since our Oath was not designed to protect the Goyim but rather to protect us, we would be merely harming ourselves by violating it, regardless of whether the Goyim violated theirs. In the case of Moav, we are only harming moav - which the Torah prohibited - but if they break their part of the deal, we are allowed to harm them. In the case of the Oaths, we are harming ourselves. The whole idea is different, and has nothing to do with a reciprocal deal.

The truth is there was no interdependent "deal" between us and the nations - all of the Oaths were made for our sake, not the sake of the nations. There was no mutual agreement, and so no reciprocality. This is the simplest Zionist falsification to dispute, since the Poskim and Gedolim who applied the Oaths throughout history, did so despite the fact that the gentiles violated theirs. The Gemora itself applies the Oaths to the Evil Empire of Bavel, which certainly violated the Oaths.

Those "opinions" are just the Zionists trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They are proven wrong from the fact that Egypt surely violated the Oath when they tortured and killed us for centuries. Yet the Bnei Efriam were killed in the desert as a punishment for violating the Oath by leaving Egypt before Hashem said to.

The Medrash Aichah says clearly that the Romans violated their Oath, yet the generation of Bar Kochba was punished and Chazal say because they violated the Oaths.

The Maharal writes that even if the Goyim force us with torturous death to violate the Oath, we should rather submit to torturous death than violate them.

And the Gemora itself disproves the idea, since the Gemora says that the reason Chazal commanded us not to go from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel is due to the Oaths, even though Bavel violated their Oath for sure with the atrocities they committed during the Churban (The Shulchan Aruch writes that the Brachah of Vlamalshinim was enacted to praise Hashem for destroying the evil kingdom of Bavel).

The Gemora then asks on R. Zaira, who says that the Oaths only include not taking Eretz Yisroel forcefully, but the Oath not to rebel against the nations is not included. The Gemora could easily have answered that Bavel violated their Oath and therefore our Oath of rebelling against them is null. But the Gemora says no such thing.

R. Avrohom Galanti (Zechus Avos) brings a story of the people of Portugal who wanted to defend themselves against the government by making a rebellion. The government then was making forced Shmad and all sorts of persecutions. They asked the "Shem hameforash" and were told not to do it because it would violate the Oaths.

There is much more, but this is a sample (credit to the Satmar Rebbe ZTL in Vayoel Moshe I:75 for the above sources).

And besides all this, the second Oath, nshelo yaalu b'chomah has nothing to do with the Goyim, and would not be dependent on the Goyim's Oath anyway. The Maharal and R. Yonason Eyebushitz write that even if the Goyim give us permission to take Eretz Yisroel we are not allowed to do it. Better we should die than take Eretz Yisroel, the Maharal says.

What I wrote above is not rocket science. It's pretty obvious. Takes no genius or encyclopedic knowledge to understand it. Anyone who learns about the Oaths is immediately confronted with the reality that they Goyim violate theirs but we still cannot violate ours.

It's just plain dishonesty that would make people come up with this.

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First, a comparison to any other oaths is silly. In those cases, mutual oaths were made, by party "a" for the benefit of party "b" and by "b" for the benefit of "a". So if "a" violates his oath which was supposed to benefit "b", then "b" can violate theirs. It's a simple concept of making a deal - I'll help you if you help me.
But the Oath that G-d gave us not to rebel against the Goyim was NOT for the sake of the Goyim, but for our OWN sake, that we don't end Golus early. It says this in every single interpretation in the commentaries about the Oath. It was not for the sake of the Goyim but for us. So just because the Goyim violated their Oath and hurt us does not mean we can violate another one and hurt ourselves more!
But besides that there is no comparison between these Oaths and all the reciprocal Oaths found anywhere, the whole idea is disproved by even a cursory glance at our Seforim:

Shevet Efraim left Egypt in violation of the Oaths. Egypt surely violated their Oath when they tortured Jews for centuries. Yet Ephrain, Chazal say, were all hunted down and killed in the desert for violating their Oath by leaving Egypt early.
The Oaths are brought down l'halachah in Rishonim and Achronim as viable and very real. This, despite the fact that the Goyim have been violating their Oath for thousands of years.
The Rambam in Igeres Taimon warns the Jews not to violate the Oaths, or else. He writes there that the Jews are suffering an evil, persecuting government that commits atrocities and wars against the Jews, and therefore the Jews should watch out not to violate the Oath by rebelling against them. It's clear that even though the Goyim violate their Oath we cannot violate ours.

(Note: Regarding the Reb Shlomo Kluger quoted by Rabbi Aviner, it is an erroneous quote. Rasha”k admits clearly that the Bnei Efriam were punished for violating the Oaths, even though Egypt violated theirs. He only permits breaking the Oath that prevents praying a lot for the Geulah – see Vayoel Moshe Maamar I for an explanation as to the uniquness of the Oath prohibiting prayer.)

It’s a pity nobody told the Rambam about these heteirim – for he warns us in Igeres Tamon not to violate the Oaths.
And it’s a pity nobody told all those other poskim I quoted about these heteirim either – because they all say the Oaths are binding.
And it's an even bigger pity nobody told Hashem about these heteirim – for He killed the Bnei Efriam for violating the Oaths. A pity, for they should not have been killed for no reason according to the Zionists. And He also punished the generation of Bar Kochba for violating these Oaths. Pity.
Can some Zionist please tell G-d to stop punishing people for doing nothing wrong??? And please tell Chazal not to say that people were killed for violating the Oaths when in fact you're allowed to violate them!!
No, it's not rocket science at all.

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There is nothing here to discuss since the Torah prohibits us from violating the Oaths, i.e. making a State of Israel - and the Maharal (Netzach Yisroel 24) says it is Yehoreg V'Al Yaavor to do so. So even if Israel would save Jews, it is still prohibited to create.

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You know the Maharal that the Zionist run around quoting that says it's unnatural to live outside of Eretz Yisroel? The Maharal does say that, but now hear the context:

"G-d decreed Golus on the Jews, a Golus that is inappropriate according to nature, a golus which, according to the order of the world, should not exist, for you will not find a nation in exile, living in the midst of a foreign land, but rather each nation lives in its own province. And so Hashem declared a Golus on the Jews, which is not something that exists within the way of the world …"

Until here is what the Zionists quote. Now here’s the rest of the story:

… Therefore G-d had to make a decree so that the Golus should endure, for if something that it against the nature of the world does not have a decree [protecting it], nature would overpower it and it would be destroyed. And therefore there were the three Oaths, meaning, three decrees. One, that the Golus itself should not be annulled; two, that it should not be increased, and three, that it should not be reduced. And so you have the three Oaths upon which the integrity of the Golus is maintained. Shlo Yaalu kachomah – this is in order not to reduce the Golus, because Golus by definition means to be dispersed. And if they go up [to Eretz Yisroel] with a group, with strength, this is considered a reduction in the Golus. The Goyim shall not dominate them overly much is an increase in the Golus; and the decree that they should not defy the nations is to because that is considered negating of the Golus, because when the Jews defy the nations and do not accept the yolk of the nations upon them, that is not Golus! And so, these three Oaths are the support for the Golus.

And in the Arvei Nachal (Bo): And behold G-d made the Jews swear [the Oaths] Because Hashem knew that the Jews need to be in Golus for their own good, he therefore decreed that they do not “push against the time [of Golus]”

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