Friday, August 25, 2006

Zionism - Bringing Mashiach? II

The following was sent to me via email by an alert frumteener. It discusses another Zionist tract, the Hatekufah Hegedolah by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher. Rabbi Kasher is the author of, among other writings, the monumental work, “Torah Sheleimah”, which is a collection of midrashim and meforshim on Chumash. The sefer was used even by the Satmar Rebbe ZTL, who obtained it volume by volume as it was published. His comment on it was, “The bikius is nice, but the commentary is dry.” Rabbi Kasher’s Hatekufah Hagedolah is quoted as an authority by almost all religious Zionists, including Rabbi Aviner. Italicized comments and comments in square brackets are mine.

Hatekufah Hagedolah

Following the mention here (again) of the sefer Hatekufah Hagedolah by R.
Mendel Kasher, and its use by many Religious Zionists as a Mareh Mokom for "religious" pro-zionist material and more recently as proof of Charedi acceptance of the "Aschalta DeGeula" concept, my attention has been brought to the sefer
"MiKatowitz ad 5 B'Iyar" by well known Yerushalmi lawyer/to'en rabboni
R' Zvi Weinman, who (amongst other matters) deals quite severely with the Hateufah Hagedolah, revealing the deliberate misquotes and deletions of its author - resulting
in a complete misrepresentation and falsification of the facts. *
Despite the respect for his monumental Torah Sheleimo, many have been
uncomfortable with RMK's Mizrachi-style views as stated in HaH, and which have
made him into something of an ideologue in Religious zionist circles.

At the time of its publication the tone and content of his sefer upset some and
not surprisingly, the Beis Din of the Edah Charedis of that time,
led by Rav Pinchos Epstein z'l, issued a warning against the reading the HaH,
labelling it 'Dei'os Kozvos' [ = bogus teachings] and adding that 'shahneh minus d'moshcheh..." [= “Apikorsus is unique in that it drags people into believing it”]

But it is doubtful if even those who railed against him at the time,
expected RMK to resort to doctoring and censoring material in order to
'manufacture' evidence for his ideas.

It seems surprising that a person with his vast knowledge, required the use
of misleading and deceptive information to prove his case. [It is not surprising at all. Nothing in his vast storehouse of knowledge was able to support religious Zionism, and so he had to fabricate material.]


And if a layman like RZW can cut right through important historical facts
of his book, one must wonder what a Talmid Chochom could do to the
mareh-mekomos used in the rest of Ha"H? [One need not wonder. The entire sefer is no better founded than that of Rabbis Aviner or Zimmerman, which is why none of the above are even taken seriously in Torah circles]

RZW goes to the heart of the Kol Koreh (recently mentioned by RSH) and
printed in HaH, p.374, which is a call to vote for the Chazit Datit
Me'uchedet, and featuring the notion of "Aschalta DeGeulah" following the
establishment of the state of Israel.

This KK is signed by chief rabbis Herzog and Uziel plus over 150 rabbis and
Roshei Yeshivos - a number of them highly respected in the Charedi world.

The propaganda value of this KK can be seen from the fact that it is
referred to again and again as clear and open 'proof' that even the Charedi
gedolim accepted the ADG status of the new israel. (I have yet to see
proof for any sighting of a repeat of this comment by these gedolim.)

However RZW goes further in his book (from p. 131) and discusses the
background to this and the 2 other KK's of the time (one by the Admorim and
another by Roshei Yeshivos - neither which mention Atchlta D’Geulah). He also notes that the ADG-KK was only published in the Mizrachi Hatzofeh - and NOT in
the Agudist press (obviously they would have 'smelled a rat.').

Upon investigating the matter and contacting some of these signatories for
their explanation, he found that they NEVER SIGNED THIS KK!

The modus operandi of the organizers for the KK was simple. They mailed out the text of that KK, notifying the recipients that anyone who does not send in an objection, will have his name added to it.

This explains - writes RZW - the signature of Rav Menachem Kooperstock,
who had passed away TWO AND A HALF YEARS prior to the date on the KK!!!
He simply couldn't object...

RZW comprehensively debunks RMK's statements (p.231) that "k'mat kol gedolei
hatorah vechol RY's bo'oretz" accepted the concept of ADG, and (Ha"H page 387):
"...kovu v'ishru 200 rabbonim miyisroel kimat kol rabbonei ho'oretz gam
chavrei Agudas Yisroel (milvad HaNeturei Karta).. .hashkofas daas hatorah
merabonei ho'oretz bli pipukim vechashoshos...shehakomas medina
hi...kehashgocho protis min hashomayim K'ASCHALTA D'GEULA."

As already mentioned above, RZW says that these quotes from HaH are
regularly used by those who need it, to prove that the Gedolei Yisroel
accepted the ADG.

(Indeed, I noticed in my (borrowed) copy of HaH that RM Kasher
himself considered this KK so important, that he refers the reader to it -
**right at the beginning of his book** - even before his Hakodomo.)

RZW continues, that not only did he speak to the Gedolim, who denied ever
signing such a KK, but - after much effort - found the original document -
with the signatures...and of course the document with signatures NEVER has the words "Aschalta DeGeula" on it!

The actual words there are (reproduced in his book): "...hanitzonim
horishonim shel KIBBUTZ GOLIYOS..." (The HaH version: "...hanitzonim
horishonim shel ASCHALTA DEGEULA."!!!)

(Incidentally, RZW adds, that at that time no one yet had any idea that this
"kibbutz goliyos" would also cause with the mass Haavora al hadass in the
Olim camps.)

RZW notes (p.144) that his criticisms of the HaH were originally published
in the Z'eirei Agudas Yisroel monthly Digleinu (Shvat 5738) - during
the lifetime of RMK, who obviously wouldn't or couldn't respond.
(This is despite the fact that at the end of his foreword, he invited comments.)

For more please go here:
http://www.herzl.org.il/course/1/ravi.htm {the site changed since this was written, there are no longer courses, and it seems to be under construction, i couldn't get anything to work. -taon}

Later on (p.282) in his book, RZW brings further evidence, that RMK's bias
and prejudices caused him to censor/misquote and misrepresent facts in an
article in the rabanut publication Shono Beshonoh, in order to give the
impression that his pro-zionist views were not in conflict with the majority
of the Gedolei Yisroel.


He further brings (photostatic) proof from an article in the Rabbinic journal "Hapardes" on the Knessiya Gedola in Marienbad in 1937 reporting the 7-hour discussion on the question of a Jewish state, which was blatantly and unashamedly doctored by RMK, to give the impression that the only rabbonim against, were those from
Hungary and Czechoslovakia (and conveniently deleting/censoring the names of
RE Wasserman, RA Kotler and Rav Rottenberg of Antwerp.)

He also deleted the sentence that those voting against -
held this view under ALL CIRCUMSTANCES -
even if such a medina was built upon 'yesodos hadass', because, this (an
independent state) would be "Kefirah b'emunas bias hamoshiach..."
and
especially one built "...al yesodos hakefirah, venimtza shem shomayim
mischalell."

In page 286 he also shows how RMK in HaH distorted the words of the Gerer
Rebbe (Imrei Emes) zt'l at that meeting.

Another person who published (in 5729) an attack on RMK is Rav Moshe
Sternbuch shlit'a who was then a Rosh Kollel, living in Bnei Brak. His main
aim is the Kol Hator which RMK attached to HaH - claiming it is the work of
Rav Hillel Shklaver zt'l purporting to be the views of the Gr"o zt'l on
Inyonei Geula etc - which somehow fit in very nicely with the views of HaH.

RMS notes that the clear evidence that the entire sefer is not from
the Gr"o or his students is the fact that it contains many modern Hebrew
words and it is therefore unclear what is from the original and what was
added later. In his opinion KH should not have been published - being a
"Dovor She'eino Mesukan".

He also expresses his surprise at RMK who ignored the Cherem Hakadmonim
issued by the Bes Din of Vilna after the petira of the Gr"o not to publish
anything in his name without the haskomo of the Bes Din.. [Rav Moshe Sterenbuch’s involvement in this is not merely due to his outrage at the Zionist distortion. He is a direct descendent of the GRA, and has spent a lot of his life deciphering his forbearer’s shitos. He is something of an expert on the GRA]

RMS continues that RMK well knows the opinion of "rov minyan ubinyan gedolei
hador hakodem vedorenu" (including RC Brisker, REC Meisles, RE Wasserman,
RBB Leibowitz,RA Kotler and most of the gedolei Hachasidus) on these
matters. But he disregards them and only brings those who are leshitoso.

RMS then goes on to prove that even in this version of KH there are many
rayos which clearly disprove RMK ideas in HaH and goes as far as calling him
a 'megaleh ponim beTorah shelo kehalocho"!

His 'maamar' runs approximately 10 pages with point after point
disproving RMK's pshat in the KH and the Gr"o.

Hayotze Lonu Mizeh, that it's more than obvious that when it came to stand up
for his prejudices, RM Kasher was quite prepared to openly and/or surreptitiously doctor, censor and distort the facts. Thus, LAD, his book should not be used as serious proof for any debate on matters relating to
the medina and the views of the Gedolei Yisroel.
And, as mentioned
previously, all his rayos etc misforim vesofrim must be double and triple
checked - before being quoted as "Toras Emes".

It seems to me that this need for distortion and misrepresentation shows that even this renowned Torah scholar felt that without it
he could never convince the (Torah) world that an independent
medina prior to bias hamoshiach was the ideal choice of
the recognized gedolim.


I discussed this material with a MO rabbi, who, to say the least (after
seeing RZW's book), was quite disappointed - as, until now,
the HaH was for him a mekor musmach. After the initial shock however, he
went as far as to tell me that it is a 'mitzvah lefarsem' these 'ha'oros'.

==================================
• Moderator’s Note: The reader had inserted at this point the words ”bemechilas kevod toroso. I am omitting that, as the phrase is inappropriate in this context, per the halachah of “bimakom chilul hashem ain cholkin kovod lerav”

---

Rav Shlomo Zalman and well as R' Elyashiv's names were forged on a letter supporting the state of israel and proclaming it an "Atchalta d'geulah”.

Such a letter was never even taken seriously. Ask anyone who knows Rav Elyashev - BH he's still around - or, ybl"ch Rav Shlomo Zalman and they'll tell you that they both laughed when their names came out on that letter.

---

Here is an excerpt from the Sefer Maaseh Ish, a very reliable biography of the Chazon Ish, which was gone over by many students of his, as well as people like Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita (who actually commented on some portions. His comments are included in the sefer):

"His Position on the Medinah:

"This is not the aschalta d'geulah but rather the sof golus!" was what he said to the confused upon the establishment of the Medinah . . .

---

It is true that waiting for Moshiach means we must be prepared for the distinct possibility of his coming at any moment. Rav Schwab ZTL, in an article he wrote for the Jewish Observer (reprinted in the 25th Anniversary Edition), reports that he once heard from the Chofetz Chaim, who was famous for his tzepiyah l'yeshuah, that the possibilities of Moshiach coming tomorrow are equal - he may or he may not.

The waiting for Moshiach is living with the reality that he may. Yes, Lubavitch has changed that by promising that Moshiach's coming is going to be in this generation, and imminently. Of course, he also believed that the Nasi HaDor (a phrase commonly used in Chabad to describe a position occupied by the current Chabad Rebbe, whoever it may be) is the potential Moshiach of the generation. You do the math. This means that the Chabad Rebbe, whoever he may be during this generation will be the actual Melech HaMoshiach, which is one of them any real reasons that the belief in the Lubavitcher Rebbe being Moshiach clearly came from the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself.

However, since we do prepare for the definite eventuality of Moshiach's arrival, hopefully in our days, and hopefully immediately, you will find seforim like the Pele Yoatz saying that people who wait for Moshiach do not build large and fancy houses in chutz laaretz, and you will find that tzadikim like the Yismach Moshe and others used to have a packed suitcase prepared for Moshiach's arrival.

As far as Moshiach and Kibutz golius is concerned, your question is asked, and answered, by the Rambam himself. In Igeres Taimon, he demonstrates that the self-proclaimed "Moshiach" that was running around in those days was not Moshiach at all. He does this by mentioning several signs that Moshiach must display, none of which are fulfilled by the man in question.

He then says that following any such false redemptions would be a violation of the Oaths, which were designed specifically to make sure that Klall Yisroel would not try to end the Golus before the proper time.

He says that this man cannot be Moshiach because, among other things, Moshiach will be suddenly and by surprise in Eretz Yisroel. Nobody will have expected this man to be Moshiach.

"At the time he is revealed, the nations will be petrified from what they hear about him; they will assemble to try to plot a defense against him, for they will be in awe and terrified at his open and undisputable signs and wonders".

The Rambam mentions the Kibutz Golius that Moshiach will perform, and also says that the fulfillment of world peace and the "conclusion" of the "fearful acts that will take place from east to west", "they will not happen at the beginning of his revelation in the world, but rather after the war of Gog and Magog."

Moshiach will be a prophet greater than all prophets except Moshe Rabbeinu. He will be a unique Tzadik as well, with qualities that were until then present only in Moshe Rabbeinu. He will be known as such. "Therefore, if someone who is not publicly known for his wisdom gets up and declares he is Moshiach, we may not believe him."

In other words, first Moshiach will be revealed suddenly in Eretz Yisroel, with signs that he is Moshiach, then, after Moshiach's revelation according to those signs, there will be Kibutz Golius, the war of Gog and Magog (it is clear that the war of Gog and Magog will be after the revelation of Moshiach), then other Messianic prophecies will be fulfilled.

This is supported by the Gemora at the beginning of Avodah Zorah which states that even before the war of Gog and Magog, Moshiach will be revealed, known to the nations of the world, and the nations will be so scared of him that they all want to become Jewish.

So even though we will not know for sure that this person is Moshiach, we will have a measure of evidence, such that we will be entitled to assume that he is indeed the real Moshiach. And that assumption would allow us to follow him from Kibutz Golius.

The problem is, the Rambam in Mishne Torah says (11:3) that "Moshiach will not nned to do any signs or wonders and change things in the world or nature or resurrect the dead ... rather, if someone of Dovidic lineage, and performs mitzvos like his father Dovid ... and will make all of Klall Yisroel follow the Torah, and repent, he is assumed to be Moshiach. If he succeeds..."

So first, even here, the Rambam tells us that a prerequisite even for a person to be assumed to be Moshiach is that he will cause all of Klall Yisroel to do Teshuva. With a 60% intermarriage rate in America, and will all the rebellious teenagers still not frum, and with all the Loshon Horah that is spoken, and all the Aveiros that we all still do, clearly, not even an assumed Moshiach is has yet arrived.

(Note: Here, too, Lubavitch has distorted things. When the Rambam says that Moshiahc will make all of Klall Yisroel do Teshuva, he is not referring exclusively to what we call "Ballei Teshuva" - people who know nothing about Judaism becoming religious. He says all of Klall Yisroel, meaning, the religious Jews as well. More so, even, because if we are going to consider the non-religious Tonokos Shenishu, then they have little to do Teshuva for, compared to us. The Rambam means that Moshiach will make all the Yeshiva bochurim and BY girls and frum baalei batim do Teshuva. And even according to their distortion, nothing close to even all of the Tonokos Shenishbu have done Teshuva. As I mentioned, an intermarriage rate of over 60% in America means that not only have they all not done Teshuva, but their situation in a way is a lot worse than ever in Jewish history. A far cry from the Rambam's requirement.)

But besides Teshuva, the Rambam also says (11:12) that all Jews will gather around Moshiach, who will determine their lineage with Ruach HaKodesh, and (see Kesef Mishna) that he will also possess the Urim V'Tumim.

In Hilchos Teshuva the Rambam writes that Moshiach will be wiser even than Shlomo HaMelech, and all the Goyim will come and listen to him.

And more: The Rambam writes that one of the requirements of a Navi in general is that he perform supernatural acts to prove his stature.

And the Rambam in Pirush HaMishnayos in Sanhedrin (ch. 11) explains that all the world, including the Goyim, will make peace with Moshiach and serve him, "because of his great righteousness and the wonders that he will do, yet reality will not be changed from what it will currently be, except for the fact that the Jews will rule."

So clearly, there will be many wondrous acts and even miracles that the Moshiach will perform, even before the world changes, and what the Rambam says that Moshiach will not do any wonders or miracles is referring to wonders and miracles such as he lists, like the resurrection of the dead and similar things that are changes in the reality of the world, things that will indeed happen later on in the Messianic age. So all the Rambam means, as he says more clearly in Peiruch HaMishnayos, is that the Moshiach will not perform any Messianic changes in the world until later on, but even at the beginning of his revelation, he will perform several wondrous acts.

When all that happens, we can follow that man into Kibutz Golius.

And Kibutz Golius doesn't even mean that we will go from Chutz Laaretz into Erezt Yisroel. the Raavad in his commentary on Edios writes that before we go into Erezt Yisroel, Moshiach will take all of Klall Yisroel through the desert again, like he (Moshe, the redeemer) did the first time. If that doesn’t happen, then it's not the Kibutz Golius.

---

Sanhedrim 98a says as long as Jews have governments or kingdoms, Moshiach will not come.

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