לכבוד: Rav Aharon Schechter of Yeshivah Chaim Berlin Shlita
Rav Matisyahu Salomon mashgiach of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ Shlita
Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Philadelphia Shlita
Rav Yaakov Perlow, Noveminsker Rav Rosh Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah Shlita
Let me preface my remarks by saying that the inspiration of these words comes from having lived in close proximity to Hebron, Ir Avot, the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in the 1980s. One can not help but absorb the Kedusha of this very holy place.
Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah re: Jewish State, Oct. 1937
Taken from the journal HaPardes (volume 11, Issue 7, October 1937), 75 years ago, reprinted in Mishpacha Issue 179, 6 Cheshvan 5768, October 17,2007 Page 26)————————————————————————————————————-
"On Sunday, 16 Elul, the great Torah leaders discussed the question of a Jewish State, and reached the greatly anticipated decision of the congress. It was a stormy assembly, attended by the Rebbes of Gur, Ghorkov, Boyan, Sadigura, and the great Torah schoilars members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Rabbinical Council). A great battle took place, over seven hours, with struggles about every minute detail of the decision.
"Rabbi Wasserman, Rabbi Kotler, Rabbi Rottenberg of Antwerp, and rabbis from Czechoslovakia and Hungary were unanimous in rejecting any proposal for a Jewish State on either side of the Jordan River even if it were established as a religious state, because such a regime would be a form of heresy in our faith in the belief in the coming of the Mashiach and especially since this little Jewish State would be built on heresy and desecration of the Name of G-d.
"Arguing against them were the Rebbes of Boyan and Sadigura. Rabbi Tzirelson, the president of the congress, Rabbi [Aharon] Lewin of Reisha [the head of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah] and Rabbi Sorotzkin, [who said that] it is possible to agree, according to the laws of the Torah, to the establishment of a Jewish State in a portion of the Eretz Yisael without denying the belief in the coming of redeemer. There is no need to be concerned that the nonreligious would use the Jewish State to attack our religion. therefore, it is forbidden to reject entirely the matter of the Jewish State; rather we must pursue expanding its borders and ensuring that the laws of a Jewish State will be founded on religion and tradition, and we must protest that they did not consult frum Judaism and did not include its leaders in this discussion.
"Those in favor won the vote! All the decisions were accepted affirmatively."
Although the majority of the congress seemed to be in favor of the partition plan, the text of the resolution of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah contains the statements. " The foundation of the Jewish peoples right to the Holy Land is based on the Torah and the prophets…A Jewish State not based on the principles of Torah is a denial of Jewish origin, is opposed to the identity and to the true stature of our people, and undermines the basis of existence of our people…Any relinquishment of the Holy Land given to the Jewish people by G-d has no validity" (HaPardes 11:6)
Rabbi Algaze the Rav of Chaburat Yisroel in Forest Hills writes to a fellow Rav, (distributed with Rabbi Algaze's permission)
News (Israel National News)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas used a 'Nakba Day' speech on Tuesday to accuse Israel of carrying out ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.
Nakba Day, or the day of catastrophe, is what the Arabs call the English date of May 15, when the State of Israel was re-established with a declaration of independence in 1948.
"For decades, Israel has been building settlements in Jerusalem and around it," Abbas said in a televised speech, according to a report on Israel's Channel 2 News. "This is done while there is a massive destruction of houses in the city and their original inhabitants are being uprooted on a daily basis."
Abbas also claimed that Israel intentionally harms the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, saying, "The Al-Aqsa Mosque is being targeted by the occupation and together with the extremists has become the main target. They are trying to make Muslims and Christians flee the city by imposing heavy taxes, a policy which can only be called ethnic cleansing."
The PA Chairman also said that "the continued Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is the main factor which fans the tension and wars in the region and the world," and vowed to "turn every grain and stone to put a complete stop to the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem - the capital of Palestine. As long as the occupation continues there will be no peace."
He also clarified that "no peace agreement with Israel will be signed without it recognizing an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. Until then, the Israelis will not be able to live peacefully, but will continue to deal with the consequences of their existence in the heart of a hostile environment."
Abbas warned that if what he said in his speech does not occur exactly the way he noted, "this will lead to the inevitable formation of a bi-national state. Such an alternative is unacceptable to the Israelis, and we are not interested in it either."
His comments came one day after Israel signed an agreement with PA prisoners to end their hunger strike, which has been gaining international sympathy.
The Prime Minister's Office said on Monday that the deal that ended the hunger strike was a goodwill gesture to Abbas.
Part of the deal was the transfer of 100 bodies of PA Arab terrorists currently buried in Israel. The Netanyahu administration instructed security officials to prepare to transfer the bodies to the PA in another apparent gesture of conciliation to Abbas.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, at least four Israeli security personnel were hurt in Nakba Day clashes with PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
Hundreds of PA residents threw stones and firebombs outside the Ofer Prison adjacent to the Beitunya crossing. The IDF and Israel Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd dispersal means.
This ynet story
| Nakba of the Holy Temple|
Op-ed: Comparing Nakba to Temple's destruction represents a new level of Arab obscenity
This week, Israeli-Arab Knesset Member Taleb El-Sana had told a mob of "Nakba day" protesters in the town of Umm El Fahm that "As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the Nakba is equivalent to the destruction of the First and Second Temples." El-Sana, one of the primary tacticians in the pathetic game of de-legitimizing Israel, has outdone himself. This comparison represents a new level of obscenity, and the lewdest and most ribald obeisance before the golden calf of moral equivalency.
The Holy Temple of Jerusalem represents a universal vision of harmony, peace and unity which transcends Israel's personal identity. The first 40 of years of King Solomon's Temple witnessed the only period in human history during which no war took place anywhere on the globe. Israel's descent into idolatry torpedoed that idyllic period, but the mandate of each of Israel's prophets was to keep our nation and all mankind focused on the optimistic promise of the future.
In the words of Isaiah: "It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of the Lord will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. Many peoples will go and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths. For from Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of G-d from Jerusalem. He will judge among the nations and will settle the arguments of many peoples?They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare."
This is the vision of the Holy Temple; a time marked by spiritual illumination and the cessation of war, a time, unparalleled in history, when violence in any form will cease to exist. Indeed, Haggai the prophet declares the Holy Temple as the secret of the elusive peace that Israel so fervently seeks: "And in this place I will grant peace, the word of the Lord of Hosts."
In their prophecies concerning the Holy Temple, all Jews like Isaiah and Haggai were saying was give peace a chance. "For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations," declares Isaiah. This is a far cry from the Palestinian "catastrophe," which commemorates the anniversary of - which catastrophe? - the catastrophe of their having listened to the Arab leaders who, planning the genocide of the newly declared state of Israel called upon their people to abandon their homes while they make short shrift of the Jews.
That didn't happen. Instead, like the vision of the future Holy Temple, the State of Israel became a beacon of hope, equality, and advancement for all mankind?a foreshadowing, a taste of the future world.
The Holy Temple isn't about the Jewish people. It is about all mankind united, and living a life of purpose, direction, joy and prosperity. Indeed, the sages of Israel teach that "Had the nations of the world only known how much they benefited from the Holy Temple, they would not have destroyed it; they would have surrounded it with fortresses to protect it" (Bamidbar Rabba 1,3).
In contrast, the "Nakba" commemorates the loss of a homeland which the Palestinians never possessed. The Land of Israel, however, was the national homeland of the Jewish people before anyone ever dreamed of inventing the Palestinian people. The connection between Israel and her land was severed when the Holy Temple was destroyed, and a 2,000 year exile began. That's the real catastrophe.
Comparing "Nakba Day" to the destruction of the Holy Temple is the brainchild of a mindset which is beyond mere manipulation and cynicism?but like the original Arab leaders responsible for their "catastrophe," it reveals a deeper, more sinister layer of intent, born of a culture that idealizes not the peaceful vision of Israel's prophets, but total intolerance and the brutal oppression of others.
El Sana and his associates can't seem to make up their minds. On the one hand they constantly decry the "Judaization" of Jerusalem, denying that there ever was a Holy Temple or any Jewish connection to the city that was never a capital for any people on the face of the earth other than the Jews; the city mentioned in the Bible over 700 times, and not one time in the Koran. But now, as it suits them, they compare their self-inflicted loss of that which they never possessed with the destruction of that which they deny ever existed.
So according to MK El Sana, it turns out that there really was a Holy Temple? That means that there really was a Jewish Jerusalem 2,000 + years ago. That means that there really is a historical, religious, national, moral, and ethical raison d'?tre for Israel to reclaim Jerusalem and re-Judaize it. This is great news, and just in time to celebrate Jerusalem Day this Sunday, May 20th, the 45th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and its unification by the forces of the IDF.
Let us celebrate Jerusalem Day in the spirit of the prophet Ezekial, to be delivered personally to MK El Sana:
"I will seal a covenant of peace with them; it will be an eternal covenant with them, and I will place My sanctuary among them forever?I will be a G-d to them and they will be a people to Me?Then the nations will know that I am G-d who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be among them forever."
Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of The Temple Institute