Sunday, August 27, 2006

Zionism Misc. II

Rav Shach on zionism:

The existence of the State was predicted by Chazal:

“The very establishment of the State and its continued existence the way it is, surely is part of Hashem’s Hashgachah like everything else in the world, and according to all the signs it was foretold by Chazal in Mesechta Sotah regarding what will happen during Ikvesa D’Meshichah, for all of the signs have been completely fulfilled by the Medinah without anything missing, … all the signs have been fulfilled in the management of the State and its laws …
(a) And their assembly places will become houses of prostitution’
(b) ‘children have no booshah for their parents, daughters will rebel against their mothers,
(c) those who fear G-d will be disgraced,
(d) the truth will be hidden
(e) leaders will desire falsehood (Letters I:2)


Zionism and Intermarriage
“We all want peace with our neighbors, to prevent much bloodshed when there is no peace, but I am very very wary of this peace, for in our current situation we are ensured that young Jewish men and women from Egypt and the West will not travel to Jerusalem to study in universities, and therefore much intermarriage is prevented, but when there will be peace with our neighbors, for sure young men and women will come to study in Jerusalem universities, and then what will prevent intermarriage? Will Nationalism prevent it? Don’t we see “nationalism” among the 65%? Didn’t Chazal decree not to eat Pas Akum least we drink their wine, and then come to marry their daughters, so if they eat and drink together, with no shabbos, no tefillin, no kashrus, no taharas hamishpochah, why then should “their daughters” be prohibited? (Letters 1:2)

The State is Secular, regardless of the people in government
“Do not think that now things will change since the “guard has shifted” and there is a new government. Not so my brother, the State is secular, with laws that are alien to us, and it is founded on the principle of “koshi v’otzem yadi” … (Letters 1:2)

Eretz Yisroel is still Golus, and therefore we cannot defy the other nations
“Klall yisroel is still in Golus until Moshiach comes, even if we are in Eretz Yisroel. This is not Geulah nor Atchaltah D’Geulah. [And since it is still Golus therefore] we are commanded not to defy the nations of the world.” (Letters 1:3)

We must try to appease our enemies; the Chilonim cannot be trusted to make proper decisions for the country
“We are one sheep against 70 wolves, this is not a figure of speech but meant literally and it will remain so until Moshiach comes. Because if this, Jews always lived alone, as a nation, and as individuals, and all of us knew what we face, and that we always needed to act according to the advice of Yaakov Avinu with prayer [to Hashem] and giving gifts (i.e. appeasement) to the nations. As for the third option of Yaakov, “war”, which Rashi says means, “so that the remaining camp will survive”, that is, to run away (See also Ramban) – that is only when the situation arises that someone is coming to kill you, you should kill them, like Yaakov who was summoned by Esav (and prepared for the possibility of Esav trying to kill him). But not everybody can use this rule, for the Chilonim and the non-religious, since they do not care about their own life, they surely do not care about the lives of others (Pesachim 49b). For their outlook is that the Jewish Nation is like other nations, and the truth is, to their lifestyle, there is nothing separating them and the other nations. And so we cannot rely on them to consider every option, and not to do something that constitutes “defying the other nations” (Hisgarus B’Umos)” (Letters 1:4)

The settlements are total Hisgarus B’Umos
The fundamental error of the Zionists: That Israel has to appear strong
“…and therefore how can we rely on them [i.e. on Israel] to exhaust every possible [peaceful]option, and not to speak with arrogance, and not to defy the nations of the world (l’hisgaros b’umos). The entire idea of settlements proves it – for that is excessive defiance against the nations, and it stems from the fundamental error of the Zionists, that all that has happened to us is because they did not have their State and their sovereignty, and now that they have a Jewish State, we are a nation like all other nations, and if we appear strong and stick to our wishes, our enemies will back down. Although there are many who profess such ideas, it is a deviation from the approach that was handed down to us from Chazal, and the opposite of what is proper, for we must consider how not to cause any country to have to put up with something because of us, such as oil prices or even questions of investments in businesses or banks, for this adds fuel to the fire to increase hatred for Jews that wasn’t lacking regardless. And this [situation] will not be rectified until Moshiach comes, as the Rambam writes…” (Letters 1:4)

The actions of the State can cause WWIII c”v:
“ . . .I hold that this assumption, that [having] the territories touch upon Pikuach Nefesh, is not in the least bit certain, and there are many military people who hold just the opposite, and that the peace that will ensue upon returning the territories will reduce much bloodshed. And I hold that of this there is no doubt, that when we will have peace the bloodshed, and we must take into consideration not only our situation in the middle east but our situation in the whole world, for when there is no peace in the middle east this causes instability in the entire world, and there is aggressiveness between the nations for their own sides, this [world] power pulls this nation [to its side] and the other pulls a different one to its side, and the arms race goes and increases, and in the end there will be war, and then what will be our lot? What value will all our expanded land have then, when nowadays they have weapons that can destroy entire cities and countries from far away? So of what relevance is the idea that we cannot give up or we are prohibited to give up our inheritance from our fathers? As if it is in our hands to begin with! Isn’t it [true] that even now, without the support of America, we could not survive even one month or less on our own. And all those who talk lofty talk, “Us! Us! We will be victorious!” They are merely arrogant poor people, which Hashem hates.

“…I hold that all those people from different movements, who announce at every opportunity that it is forbidden to give back the territories of Eretz Yisroel, not from a holy place do these ideas come, but rather from Chochmas Chitzonius this Hashkofo comes from, [as if to say] we are a nation like all other nations, and we, too, have a right to a greater Nation and we will not give it up. But it is not so! We may not compare ourselves to any other nation, . . . and the opposite is suicide and redifah against Klall yisroel, for this is deviation from the way we behaved in the past generations.” (Letters 1:5)

“Regarding the recent tumult against any peace process, any straight thinking person understands that “It is better to have stale bread and peace [rather than a home full meat of discord” – Mishle] . and in any case, it will be a small salvation to prevent any bloodshed, even, at least, to save one life, for one life of a Jew is an entire world. But then they come with complaints and meaningless words which are baseless in Halachah [that we are not allowed to give back the territories], relying on Shulchan Aruch 329 .. that when Goyim come to rob you even of straw, you violate Shabbos [to prevent them], which has no connection to our situation . . . where they are demanding the land that we conquered from them and that if we give it up to them they will make peace, there is no question that this constitutes Hatzolah [to give it back], for if we continue in the way of war, is it better? (And if we come with the claim that Hashem gave us the land, and it is an inheritance from our fathers, if the enemy knows this, then they also surely know that it is written that Eretz Yisroel is only our on condition, i.e. that we keep the Mitzvos, and if not, the land spits us out). And in a war scenario, we keep fighting and they keep fighting and we strengthen ourselves and they strengthen themselves more and more and who will guarantee that in a war we will be the victors? Only those who rely on “my strength and the power of my arms” can make this mistake. . . . we also may not forget that any country, even the most far away, an suffer from an oil shortage, in the winter and the summer … and they will be talking about the Jews, and much hatred for Jews will be added because of this, not that it was lacking to begin with. Recently the leaving of the diplomat in the UN caused much hatred for Jews among a large number of Americans. But our Derech, the Derech HaTorah, is we are a lone nation, not to be considered among the nations, and not to stand out among the nations. We never saw among our forefathers any other approach, and I see that many Gedolim of the previous generation saw from the beginning, how much Zionism would influence the hearts of good religious Jews, who would not think that their words contain that which is against the Torah, even if they clothe their words in the trappings of Halachah. All the Gedolim, they knew of the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel and the holiness of Eretz Yisroel, but we dare not make of all of this a fundamental (“ikar”), for we have no fundamentals (‘ikarim”) other than those which were given to us through tradition. We cannot endanger Klall Yisroel because of these things. So how is it possible to say these words, that we should not give in, even to the point of war chas v’sholom, this is not the way our fathers acted, this is not the way of old, and not the way of the Torah. “ (Letters 1:6)

“There is no shadow of a doubt, that we are obligated to agree to any step for peace, no matter what, for any compromise that can bring peace closer, we are obligated to accept, for much bloodshed will be stopped upon peace, and all talk about the prohibition of Lo Sichanem and Hashem’s promise to give us the land in its entirety, today and in our situation, they have nothing to do with the issue, for it [Hashem’s promise] is not in our hands [but Hashem’s]. On us is lies the obligation to improve our ways in Torah and Mitzvos, and then for sure we will merit that Hashem will fulfill His promise….” (Letters 7)

As the Nation of Israel, we have always been a sheep among 70 wolves. The hatred against Klall Yisroel is eternal, even when it seems differently. It is only the non-religious who … disagree… During the past 2,000 years, even when we were hunted, we knew we were the Chosen Nation, and we said “ata bachartanu” .. we had our Tzadikim, Tannaim, Amorayim, etc. great Gedolim throughout the generation who accepted the judgement of Heaven, and they never did anything, never took action, due to disillusionment, to defy the nations to kill and be killed. They all had Ahavas Yisroel and Ahavas Eretz Yisroel, and this behavior (not to defy the nations when they persecute us) was well known to our forefathers as Torah and we are obligated to follow it, and not veer to the right or the left.

“I already wrote you what Chazal said … “The Jews said to G-d, ‘You gave Esav a blessing that he will live by the sword, and you endorse that, and you tell us to hide ourselves (from Esav). Where should we run?? And G-d said to them, ‘Run to the Torah’ “… this is a command for all the generations.

“How painful is it, to see that specifically from those who keep Torah and Mitzvos this darkness has come, i.e. the approach to defy all the nations of the world that we live in. Because of this approach, who knows what the future ramifications will be??

“And therefore I come with this letter, to warn you, do not be [mis]led by all the writings that are baseless. I already said that their mention of Shulchan Aruch 329 has nothing to do with our situation. Everything they say is not taken from Daas Torah; they are alien to the ancient ways of Klall Yisroel, and they are nothing but ideas taken from ‘outside’, which were unheard of to our forefathers. ..

“Therefore I write to the young people, who have never seen any different, who think this is the proper path, but really, the opposite of this is the proper path, the path of the Torah…” (Letters, 8)

“And in general, they are in the category of “Arrogant paupers”. This State, that has nothing on its own, and depends totally on charity and donations from America, not long ago they made fun of the Old Yishuv Jews, who accepted charity, where now the entire State accepts charity. Their entire existence is form charity! And whereas previously, the charity was for the sake of living, since parnasa was not easily found, and those that gave knew that they, too, gained, through supporting Torah, and supporting Klall Yisroel, for without Torah there is no Klall Yisroel c”v, instead, now, how many millions of liros go to sports stadiums … Is this the Eretz Yisroel that we hope for?? Is this what the Torah praises??

“And besides, I don’t understand, do the Religious Zionists think they are more careful to fulfill Mitzvos than the Chofetz Chaim ZTL, and those holy great ones like him?? If they distanced themselves and even opposed this movement, we can assume they weren’t sinners against a clear Mitzvah in the Torah that the Land is promised to us from the beginning of the world. In any case, the ways of Halachah and Mitzvos were known to all the Gaonim and Tzadikim precisely not less than to him and his friends [i.e. the Religious Zionists]. It is they [i.e. the Gedolim] that you are obligated to follow, and when I am asked in the Heavenly Court, why was I not a Zionist, straight forward I will put the blame on the Chofetz Chaim and all the Gedolim who were before me, and they already knew what to answer.” (Letters, #9).

We, the Nation of Israel, are guided by the Torah as a nation. For the ways of the Nations of the world are not good for us, and do not work for us…as the Torah says ”A nation that dwells alone, not counted among the nations”…and if it came about, through Hashem, via some political cause, they did what they did and they announced some agreement that there should be a Jewish State, we must repeat to ourselves principle that we should not be mistaken even for one moment, to think chas v’sholom that a “new era” has begun, and to be mislead and to mislead, that this is something of an “Aschalta D’Geulah. This unworthy thought, and similar ideas endanger the existence of Klall Yisroel, and it is heresy against the very foundation of foundations of our existence. We need to know that this entire thing is a Nisayon from Hashem to see if we will veer from the path of our fathers . . . they [i.e. the Zionists] forced young children against their will and without giving them a choice, to throw away the path of their fathers…like the children from Tehran…and so it is now, with the children that are put on leftist Kibbutzim, which is literally Shmad (“havarah al hadas”) – is this then Aschalta D’Geulah? … the redemption via Moshiach is one of the fundamentals of our religion, and it is impossible for the Geulah to come in any other form or through any other people. Their thinking, that we are one nation from the nations of the world is a mistake, and is a danger to Klall Yisroel. Not only that, but it ????? [The font didn't work, I don't know what it's supposed to say -taon ] This causes hatred of the Jews, and that all the nations will come to denigrate Klall Yisroel and to bother them, and by relying on what the Jews themselves say, that the Jews are the cause of all that is happening . . . (Letters #10)

According to the Torah, it is prohibited to do anything that defies any of the nations of the world . . . we, the Jewish nation have always been like clay in the potter’s hands in the face of death edicts and torturous death, men women and children, and this is clear to anyone who examines out past. Yet we are guaranteed that Hashem will repay all our persecutors. Of course, in every group, there are hot tempered people who find it hard to tolerate the burden that has been thrown on us, but the level headed Chareidim and the shomrei Torah and Mitzvos in every detail, behave as I described above. (Letters #11)

“Only because of our following the Torah have we survived till this day. Rav Yaakov Emdin writes more than 250 years ago, that the continued existence of Klall Yisroel is a miracle greater than the exodus form Egypt! All of this tells us that the existence of Klall Yisroel is different than that of the nations. Their way is not ours, and what works for them does not work for us. They are nurtured and exist only through the blessing of Yitzchok Avinu [to Esav] “And he shall live by his sword.” However, this is not our way...Klall Yisroel, even when they had to wage war first needed to ask the Sanhedrin as the Rambam writes.

“We should also know that when Chazal prohibited us (Kesuvos 111a) to rebel against the nations and to go to Eretz Yisroel with strength [i.e. the Oaths], this was only and completely for our own good as a nation, for they in their Ruach HaKodesh knew that the hatred of the nations for Klall Yisroel is an eternal hatred, and we must not oppose the nations, even when we are right, for this will add [more] hatred to [their] hatred... Do not think that the holocaust happened to us because we did not have a Medinah. It is not so. The Medinah is not a guarantee of our survival. Even we have five million or more [Jews] here, c”v when there will be a war between the great powers what worth will all this have against modern technology, and even if we will be strong, it will have no value against a great [world] power. In WWII, when the Germans were at El Alamein and if c”v they would have entered Eretz yisroel, even if we would have had five million men, the destruction would have been very great, and it would have been worse [here] than in another place, for there are no forests for the partisans. On one side there is the ocean, and all around we are surrounded by enemies and those who hate us. Only by the hand of Hashem did their hearts turn [from this], to fight with Russia, in order to save the Jews who were in Eretz Yisroel.

“Therefore, I think, it is worthwhile not to talk so big. I hold it is worthwhile not to stand on the issue of settlements. I want you to know that any concession that is done for the sake of peace is not a concession. When Hashem has mercy and the time of redemption will come, everything will be returned to us. And I do not hesitate to set forth that according to Halachah, there is no problem with giving up part of Eretz Yisroel for the sake of peace. And historically, we have suffered much more in the countries of Europe than in the Arabic countries.

“Certainly, it is difficult to act against your feelings, and especially when this feeling appears to be a religious one. But the obligation of a responsible person, who is decided life-and-death issues, is to rise above feelings, and to calculate his actions only according to straight thinking, for this is the thinking that is founded on Daas Torah. (Letters, #12)

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Before 5 Iyar 1948 our Rebbi [the Chazon Ish] said: 'There will not be a Medinah!' Twice Rav M.M. Shainen heard this from him. Rav Eliakim Shlesinger from England relates, that after a while they asked the Chazon Ish, "But there is a Medinah!". He answered: "There is not! It is not so!" (from Rav Levi Sheinen). . .

"A certain rabbi suggested to him that they should permit making marriages on 5 Iyar [which comes out on sefirah]. . . the rabbi admitted that in honor of Yom Haatzmaut he wanted to suspend the aveilus of sefirah. Our Rebbi [the Chazon Ish] answered him aggressively: "Perhaps we should instead make it into a fast day!" . . .

"On 5 Iyar, 1953, when he was honored to be a sandek [at a bris] he commanded the congregation to say Tachanun in his Bais Hamedrash, to specifically do the opposite of them ("kidei lehotzi melibam"), and also so that they should not say that they did not say Tachanun on 5 Iyar. Rav Chaim [Kanievsky] shlita added: He said that he had 3 Brisim in Shul that day and he commanded them to say tachanun.

(Maaseh Ish, Vol I pp.230-232)

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In Rav Herschel Schechter's shiur, 10 Reasons to Support the Hakamat Hamedinah,
http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm?shiurID=704163

You will find, at point 1:26 in the shiur, the following statement:

"We understand why many people, ah, there aren't so many, there is a small group of people that davka do not want to celebrate [the establishment of the Medinah], they feel that the Hakamat Hamedinah is a reason to cry".

Of course, we know this is not so. The greatest Torah giants in Klall Yisroel and their followers do not constitute a "small group of people". But this is how Zionists convince others to be Zionists - by telling them that "only Satmar" or "only a small group of people" were against the establishment of Medinas Yisroel.

As long as we're on the topic of celebrating the Hakamas Hamedinah, and we still have the Sefer Maaseh Ish open, let's turn to page 172 and read what it says there:

"He [The Chazon Ish] used to say: Who is an Apikores who keeps Torah and Mitzvos ("a frum Apikores")? Someone who claims that it is the fault of the Gedolim that six million Jews were killed in Europe, and also any body who celebrates Yom Haatzamut"

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Which Roshei Yeshiva celebrated yom haatzmaut? And how did they "celebrate"? And even more importantly, what made them, him or whoever decide to stop doing it? What made them decide they were wrong?

As a rule, you should not believe everything you hear. I have received tons of bizarre stories from zionists, everything from "eyewitnesses" that Rav Moshe Feinstein actually made a seuda on Yom Haatzmaut (as it turns out, he did - the seuda was his lunch, which he made every day), and reprints of an article that the Arutz-7 people printed in Jewish newspapers about a year ago, titled "The Wisdom of the Satmar Rebbe", which has a story where the Satmar Rebbe supposedly said that anti-zionism among the nations is really anti-semitism - the exact opposite of what he wrote black on white and taught for about 75 years.

Such stories abound. Doesn't make them true. You don't need a historian to tell you that Telz does NOT celebrate that tragic day, “yom haatzmaut” (as the Chazon Ish described it - "Hurdus comes into power and these people dance?!").

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Possessing an Israeli flag doesn’t make you an idol worshipper any more than possessing a Hamas flag makes you a suicide bomber. But hanging an Israeli flag in your room means you relate to the Zionism, which is idolatry, in a manner similar to that which someone who hangs a Hamas flag in his room relates to terrorism, which is murder.

Ponovezh does have an Israeli flag on yom haatzmaut. Every few years, one of the students asks their Rebbi there this question. The answer invariably is that their putting up the Israeli flag on that day is more of a letzonus to the State of Israel than anything else - they openly express their opposition to the State's existence, and once a year they have a utilitarian purpose in putting up the flag - if they do, they can get funding. Then they take it down. They take the flag and the Zionist movement so not seriously that their attitude is - OK - you want a flag? Here's your flag - now you owe me money.

If it is clear that the REASON you are putting up the flag has nothing to do with allegiance to Israel or Zionism but rather a way to channel funds from the Zionists to somewhere where they will do some good, then that is surely not supporting any Avodah Zorah. If you display the Israeli flag because you support Israel or Zionism, then that is different.

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Nobody is asking you to accept anybody or anything. If you were to hold that someone who doesn’t say Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut is an apikores, and had valid Halachic backing, then fine. The problem is not "well if I recognize your gedolim you have to recognize mine". That makes no sense. The problem is, rather, the distortion that even if you do believe in Zionism, it becomes more important that keeping Shabbos in the sense that someone who doesn’t keep Shabbos but is a big zionist, like Hertzl, for instance can be considered a hero despite his indiscretions, but anti-zionists are demonized. I am not saying all zionists do it, but it is common. Very common. If I were to say that Rav Yonason Eyebushitz, for instance, was a shabsai tzvi believer and thus a heretic, people would say I am wrong, but nobody would say I am the enemy of Judaism; but if I mention that there were those gedolim that held Rav Kook is an apikores, then I am demonized. Can you explain that perhaps?

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