Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Oaths and Zionism III

Our situation is not comparable to Koresh's invitation of the Jews to return to Eretz Yisroel.
The Ramban writes that only the Jews from Bavel returned per Koresh's invitation, because they had an explicit prophecy that the golus was ended. This constituted only about 1,500 Jews. The rest of the exiled Jews did not return, the Ramban says, because doing so would violate the Oaths. Koresh, incidentally, was a Tzadik - that's a quote from Chazal - as opposed to the Zionists who were heretics. The popular religious Zionist argument that "anyone can be G-d's messenger" as Koresh was, is simple sophistry.

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As far as the Balfour declaration, it is not at all like the days of Koresh, where there was no forceful resistance (Koresh was the boss; nobody defied him, and he was on the side of the Jews returning), no resistance at all. Just some goyim (we don't even know how many) tried to convince Koresh not to let the Jews come and build the Bais HaMikdosh. But no defiance on the part of the Jews was necessary so long as Koresh was indeed on their side. As opposed to '48, where White Papers, Palmach, Stern Gangs, Irguns, and Haganahs were necessary; Chevron (and other) massacres happened, where as soon as Israel was established (within 24 hours!) all the nations in the region attacked Israel, killing as many Jews as double the total casualties of the WTC disaster. Never mind that Winston Churchill said clearly that the Balfour declaration never promised them a State but rather mass immigration, which the UK later limited because of Arab rebellion anyway.

I would suggest, if you are learning these inyonim, to get a hold of the Satmar Rebbe's VaYoel Moshe, which not only is by far the most extensive work on this topic, but contains explanation on every single issue that you have expressed interest in, including the Avnei Nezer.

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The Ramban writes (Maamar Hageulah ch. 1) that even when Koresh gave permission to the Jews to return to Eretz Yisroel, those who did not have the benefit of a prophecy saying that the Golus was over would not return for fear of violating the Oaths. Ezra's complaint against the Jews not joining him was directed against the Jews of Bavel only, as is clear from the Gemora itself. No complaints were leveled against the Jews outside of Bavel.

And even regarding the Jews of Bavel, the Pnei Yehoshua says on that Gemora that the statement of Raish Lakish against those who didn't leave Bavel is not a Halachic conclusion, for it was opposed by other Chazals, and the Jews of Bavel apparently held like those who disagree with Raish Lakish.

In fact, the Gemora on the spot quotes Rav Yochanan as disagreeing with Raish Lakish on this.

Alternatively, even Raish Lakish did not say the Jews sinned. He said that had they gone to EY many good things would have happened. That can be understood in the same way we understand the Chazals that say had Moshe Rabbeinu gone into EY the Geulah Sheleimah would have happened, or that the Yetzer Horah would have been destroyed. Chazal do not mean that Moshe sinned by not going into EY - he would gladly have gone! - but rather that Moshe's sin prevented him from being able to go into EY by Decree of G-d, thus negating all these benefits.

So too, the Jews in the days of Ezra were not necessarily taken to task for not going with him to EY, but rather for doing the sins that cause G-d to decree through the Oaths that they not go in to EY, for the Oaths are designed to maintain the Golus, which of course is a punishment and a necessity that we brought on through our sins. We cannot go into EY just as Moshe can; we wish we could, just as Moshe did; if we would, so much good would happen, just as if Moshe had. But we are not allowed to (en masse), just as Moshe wasn’t. And it is our sins that caused this, so we are blamed for the results of those sins, just as Moshe was.

The Maharal says that even if the nations force the Jews to obtain Eretz Yisroel - just the opposite of uprising and conquest - it would still constitute a violation of the Oaths.

And Israel was created through much violence and conquest, as per the War of Independence. It is not a big deal to declare a given land yours; that does not mean it is yours. It is a big deal to actually have control of the land. Upon the declaration that Israel is now Israel - mere hours later - all the Arab countries attacked. It was the result of that war that allowed Israel to be created.

There was the Stern Gang, the Irgun, the Haganah, and much much fighting that allowed a Jewish State to be born despite the wishes of the then-residents, namely, the Arabs. The fact that the UN wished there to be a state does not any more make a State than when the UN wishes Iraq not to be invaded. It is control over the country that makes a First, the Balfour declaration never promised us Israel as a Nation. Although the Zionists said it did, they were told time and time again that it is not so.

Second, the UN is not a Sanhedrin Hagadol whose opinion has Halachic validity. The question is, the residents of the land at that time - vast majority were against the Jewish State - the rebellion was against them, not the Americans or the Italians.

Moreover, the Maharal, Rav Yonason Eyebushitz and others state clearly that the Oaths forbid us to take the land even if given to us willingly by the Nations

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It doesn’t matter if there were Goyim who were happy or unhappy that we got to EY in the days of Coresh. What did matter was that the Jews did not need to use fighting war to resist that opposition. The Oaths say that we cannot go to EY "byad hachazkah" - with strength. So if we don’t need physical strength, the Avnei Nezer says that this Oath is not violated. Whenever you see the phrase "permission of the nations" on this topic, it is always used in the context of a peaceful ascent without the need for strength.

But the Zionists had to fight a war of Independence. They also physically opposed the English for many years. In fact, the Zionists will tell you that the War of Independence never really ended, and the conflict with the Arabs today is merely a continuation of the same war.

That's why Israel's "permission" and that of Coresh are not comparable. Permission in and of itself is not a factor. If that permission enables the Jews to ascend and take over to EY peacefully without the use of physical strength, we have a discussion. That happened with Coresh, not with Lord Balfour.

On one page the Zionists will write that we are still fighting a so-far-50-year war for the State of Israel, and on the next page they will write that the taking over of the State of Israel was done peacefully like in the days of Coresh. Go know.

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The Oaths were the core of the opposition to creating a Jewish State by all the Gedolim, not only Satmar. Rav SR Hirsch speaks about them extensively regarding his oppostition to Zionism in Chorev, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rashab) mentions says so, too, in his famous letter in Daas HaRabanim. Reb Elchonon Wasserman brings them in his Ikvesa D'Meshichah, and even Rav Shach and the Steipler make mention of this
as well in their letters. Rav Meir Sincha's statement also shows that his problem with Zionism was, among other things, violation of the Oaths.

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The Zohar doesn't say the oaths only last for 1,000 years. The Zohar says that the entire Golus was a Gezeirah of 1,000 years. So why are we still in Golus? Says the Zohar Medrash Hanelam p.40, that after the 1,000 years we can now release ourselves form the Golus through Teshuva.

Meaning, for the first 1,000 years even Teshuva could not release us - the Gezeirah stands. After that, it is in our hands.

The Gemora has a similar statement - Avodah Zara 9 - but there, the opinions of how long the Gezeirah lasts are less than 1,000 years.

The Chida himself recognizes this, in Shem HaGedolim 1:209, where he asks on the Zohar's 1,000 year mandatory period from various places in Chazal where it seems that even before the 1,000 year deadline we could have had the Geulah. But in any case, that's what the Zohar means.

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