Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Oaths and Zionism V

The Avnei Nezer quoted in R’ Shlomo Aviner's Kuntres Lo Yaalu Bechomah that says the Oath of shelo yaalu kachomah is not applicable is the ascent was peaceful and with permission, clearly does not apply to the other Oath of dechikas haketz. For his diyuk in Rashi, "byad hachazakah" is only referring to Oath #2 (shelo yaalu kashomah) and not #3 (dechikas hketz). So even according to the avnei nezer, it would still be assur to take EY even peacefully, due to the Oath of Dechikas Haktez.
Furthermore, the Minchas Elozor has questioned the authenticity of that Avnei Nezer altogether - ME V:12 says that it contradicts the Avnei Nezer's publicly known policies and is therefore most likely a forgery.

Even if those authorities were all authentic, and even if they did give heterim for all the Oaths, they are still a minority opinion. At the very least, Rabbi Aviner provides no due process to tell us why we would pasken like the Avnei Nezer against the Ramban (?!) and the others.
It's strange - he says we should pasken like the Ramban against the Megilas Esther because the Ramban was so much greater, yet when the Avnei Nezer (and, according to him one or two later achronim) contradict the Ramban and the Maharal and Rav Yonason Eyebushitz and the Yefas Toar - he just ignores the Ramban and the rest.
Rav Teichtel's treatment of the Megilas Esther is terribly incorrect and misleading.

He writes (p. 149, 150) that the Megilas Esther bases his opinion on Tosfos in Kesuvos 110b in the name of Rabeinun Chaim that nowadays there is no Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisroel. Then he says:

"However, ALL THOSE WHO FOLLOWED TOSFOS REJECTED THE WORDS OF RABBEINU CHAIM FROM HALACHAH, see Shelah...."

Now he is correct that the Shelah disagrees with Tosfos, which makes it a Machlokes, which we all knew before. There are those who reject the Tosfos, for sure. But his statement that all subsequent authorities rejected Tosfos from Halachah is simply a joke. The following is a partial list of places where you see he just isn't telling the truth:

(1) The Taz (EH 75) brings the Tosfos without mentioning any opposing positions, indicating that he rules like Tosfos l'halachah

(2) Kneses Hagedolah (EH 7 Hag' BY 20) brings many poskim that rule l'halachah like Tosfos

(3) Noda Beyehuda (206) writes that the reason the Baalei Tosfos lived in Chutz La'Aretz and not Eretz Yisroel was b/c they held l'halachah like Rabbeinu Chaim.

(4) Tumas Yeshorim 66 quoted in B'er Haitev EH 75 defends Tosfos' position l'halachah and says since it is a legitimate Machlokes, nobody can demand that someone go to Eretz Yisroel if he doesn't want to.

(5) Korban Nisanel (Kesuvos 110b) brings the Machlokes Tosfos and Rambam both as legitimate opinions

(6) Bais Shmuel (Even Haezer 75:20) brings both Tosfos and his opponents l'halachah.

Now these sources are not really big secrets. It's unlikely that Rabbi Teichtel did not open a Shulchan Aruch to see the Taz and Piskei Tshuva etc. This is simply more dishonesty, hiding information from the reader in order to come up with his predetermined conclusion.

Please do not accept the Sefer Aim HaBanim Semeichah as a serious Halachic work.

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There is no shita in the world that says if some nations get together and vote that Jews should get EY they can. The shita says that if they can take EY peacefully without resistance then it would not violate the Oath. But that did not happen here. There was a war - the war of '48, where 6,0000 Jews were killed. The Arabs, who were living in and around the land, did not give the Jews any permission to take it. Other countries did, and there is no such halachic status that the UN is like some kind of Sanhedrin Hagadol that can bind other nations to its decisions (any Zionist can tell you that). In any case, there is no comparison to a Coresh or any other "peaceful ascent", since - hello!! - in order to create the State of Israel they had to fight a bloody war with the Arabs!!!. So why in the world is that called a "peaceful ascent"?

If the Zionists were weaker they never would have been able to create a State - it all depended on their Yad Hachazakah.
No shitah ever found or imagined ever permitted such a thing. Not the Avnei Nezer, not R. Meir Simchah, nobody.

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In the footnotes to Kuntres Shelo Yaalu Bachomah Rabbi Aviner mentions that Rav Yonason Eyebushitz writes that even peacefully and permissibly we may not take EY because of the Oaths. The Avnei Nezer himself recognized this and said that since Rashi uses the phrase “byad hachazakah” to describe the Oath of Shelo Yaalu Bachomah, indicating that only if EY is taken by force is the Oath violated. The Avnei Nezer says that Rav Yonason’s statement therefore must be understood as drush, but we are obliged to follow Rashi’s halachic definition of the Oath.

Rabbi Aviner says that we would similarly dismiss the position of the Kaharash Yafo who says the same thing as Rav Yonason Eyebushitz as well.

What he does not mention is that there are other interpretations of the phrase “byad hachazakah” and “bchomah” that disagree with the Avnei Nezer, nor does he make us aware of the difficulties in the Avnei Nezer’s interpretation. He also does not mention the Ramban who states clearly that even with permission of the nations, real permission, like Coresh gave, the Oaths are still in effect. This would make it a machlokes Rashi and Ramban, even according to the Avnei Nezer. He also does not mention the Maharal’s statement that the Oaths are inviolable even if the nations of the world try to force us to violate them, we should rather die then take over EY he says, surely, then, simple permission of the nations would not suffice.

But even in Rashi, the words “byad hachazakah” are subject to different interpretations. In Shmos 6:1 we read that Paroh, not Hashem, see the meforshim—sends the Jews out of Egpyt “byad hachazakah.” Paroh waged no war to force the Jews out of Egypt and needed no force of arms. Yet his sovereign declaration that the Jews leave, even without preparation, and his forceful pleading is considered “Yad hachazakah”. Rashi himself on that posuk points this out. In Devarim 4:34 we read that Hashem took the Jews out of the bowels of another nation with wonders, “wars, and yad chazakah”. Says the Ibn Ezra: Yad chazakah – The Jews left Egypt with a Yad Ramah. This phrase, Yad Ramah is translated by the Targum Shmos 14:8 as “raish galui” not force, no war, no resistance is necessary to be considered Yad Chazakah.

And as far as “chomah” goes, the Maharsha in Yoma 9 explains that going to EY “kachomah” means with enough people so that you would not remain alone and unprotected against your enemies. According to the Maharsha, too, conquest is not necessary to be considered “kachomah”. So too Matnos Kehuna on the Medrash Rabbah Shir Hashirim 8:1 – Kachomah means with going to EY with a multitude such that used to frequent the “shuk” in Bavel. So an ascent of a substantial amount of Jews – not even a majority of Jews and not even a large minority, but something akin to the crowds on the streets of Bavel – is considered kachomah.

In view of all this, and especially in view of the Ramban which, according to the Avnei Nezer’s interpretation of Rashi would disagree with Rashi, there would be no reason according to all of the above Meforshim to say that the Ahavas Yonason or the Maharash Yafa are not mean L’halachah.

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