Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Oaths and Zionism VI

When it comes to the Zionists' violation of the Oaths, oaths which throughout history we have indeed been concerned about, they will try mightily to find this shitah or that shitah that would provide them a heter to create a State of Israel. "We hold that the Oaths are not binding if the ascent is with the permission of the Nations" they will say - even though the majority of opinions, including the Ramban, Rav Yonason Eyebushitz, the Maharal, and the Yefas Toar say that it doe not, and, adds the Maharal, it is better to be killed, than to violate the Oaths even with permission - they will say this because after all their twisting and turning, they believe they have found a shitah to rely on (the truth is, there is nothing to rely on - the Arabs, who were the residents of the land, did NOT give any permission to create a State - within less than 24 hours of the creation of Israel, the Arabs nations attacked, killing 1 out of every 100 Jews living in Israel at the time. This hardly constitutes a peaceful ascent, or "permission" - if China or Bangladesh gave permission doesn’t matter; the ascent was by force, against the nations that lived there at the time).

So suddenly they will find "someone to rely on".

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The issue, despite the way many Zionists present it, is not whether Moshiach is going to come naturally or unnaturally or slow or fast or whatever. Moshiach can come any way he wants, and we won’t know till he gets here (Ani rochev al hachamor only happens if the Jews are unworthy). But regardless of how Moshiach comes, until he does come, we are still bound not to break the 3 Oaths. Whatever the Oaths prohibit does not change because of how Moshiach may come. Thus, if Jewish sovereignty in EY is within the scope of the Paths prohibition, then Moshiach's coming - natural or unnatural, on a donkey or horse of airplane - is still prohibited and is not part of the plan of the Geulah.

There are plenty of ways for Moshiach to come, al hachamor or in the ananim, without us creating a State of Israel. It does not impact in the slightest on the issue at hand, which is, "what is within the scope of the Oaths prohibition?"

The Akeidas Yitzchok merely said that the "oaths" are not literally "oaths" but some sort of existential part of nature. The reason he says this is because a literal "oath" is difficult to comprehend in this context. But this does not mean that this "oath" is not binding. It is. In fact, he says the same thing about the "oath" of naaseh vnishmah, which the Gemora uses in many places as halachicly binding as if it were a real shevuah. The issue is not whether these oaths are literally oaths or warnings of parts of nature of foundations of your neshoma -- the issue is that they are telling us that if we violate them in whatever form they exist, we will die c"v and therefore we are warned not to do it.

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The Avnei Nezer says that if we violate the Oaths we will be punished as per the Gemora, and in fact, he says this is the reason why 99.99% of all Gedolei Yisroel did not live in Eretz yisroel - because if each one goes, then they'll all end up going together, which is a violation of the Oaths, so none of them go.

He just says that the punishment is "spiritual" - you lose Hashem's Hashgachah, you lose your "Neshamah", stuff like that. He also says that the Oaths are the "inner voice of the Neshama" talking, not the voice of the Halachah, which is why the codifiers of Halachah do not bring them. So while he does say they are not Halachah, he does say they are binding, and violating them brings a terrible punishment. And they can even nullify the Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisroel (as per the Gedolei Yisroel above). So this non-Halachic here does not mean non-binding or non-cognitive. He does NOT say we can ignore them. He says we may NOT ignore them.

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As for Rabbi Aviner's material, I have read it [Many of the zionist "proofs" quoted and then refuted here come from him -taon]. And Rabbi Teichtel, and Rav Kook (the new material that just came out that includes comments on Kesuvos), and Rabbi Aron Soloveichik, and Rabbi Menachem Kasher, and Rabbi Chaim Zimmerman (did I leave anyone out?).

They're all pretty much repeats of each other, with little variations and additions. Their arguments have long been shown to be useless (in fact, most of them were pre-empted long before these chiburim came out). They're really not impressive.

Here's how this works: Throughout history, Klall Yisroel has had religious, scholarly people who have taken us off the Derech with their Torahs. Korach, Yeravam, the Meraglim etc. All of these were more religious and more knowledgeable than the Zionist Poskim, and on a higher spiritual level. But history - and Chazal - teach us that that’s the way the world works. Just because a person or a group of people are "legitimate" does not mean they cannot be totally off the derech. Korach had his followers too - 250 heads of the Sanhedrin - and so sis the others. They had their 'Torahs" and their "proofs" too.

But we know that issues such as these are judged by their own merits, and not by the fact that religious or even scholarly people espouse them.

And on its own merits, Zionism doesn’t work. Neither from a Torah perspective nor from a historical perspective.

And even from a "who said what" perspective, the great bulk of Torah leadership - quantity and quality - have said that Zionism is beyond the pale. Not to be considered even a legitimate, minority opinion.

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