Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holy Places Holy Lives by Avi Shafran and comments unabridged.

Please refer to an article by Rabbi Avi Shafran in Cross-Currents http://www.cross-currents.com/

(Cross-Currents writes about themselves: Cross-Currents is a journal of thought and reflections, from an array of Orthodox Jewish writers. We post about issues of the day and issues of our days, representing our individual perspectives.)


Chaim David wrote the following  comment in response to my first comment.  This is my response back to him and to Avi Shafran:

Robin Ticker, consider this. Moshiach did not come yet. We are still in golus.

You claim that if the current state of Israel gives control of land back to the Palestinians the Jewish people lose it. This is simply wrong. We have been and will always be the rightful owners of Eretz Yisrael, regardless of the claim any Crusader, Turk or Briton. The State could never surrender that claim to anybody.

But until Moshiach comes and HaShem returns us in glory to our land, that claim will not be exercised. So long as the Jewish people remain in golus—where we are now—we will not be able to take over the land and use it fully with all our latent rights to it. The State of Israel cannot annul our exile by paper claims that the Jews have now returned to the land.

So the legal rights of who owns the land today according to the worthless laws of the goyim—whether it be the state or the Palestinians—are meaningless in Shamayim.

Do not worry. My inheritance, your inheritance, all our land of Israel, are protected and sure. Daven to HaShem and ask for redemption. Come and live here and commit the place you live to the place you value most—your land.

My unabridged to Chaim Dovid and to Rabbi Shafran:

There is a prevalent attitude  that unless one lives in Israel, one should have no real say regarding who is chosen to represent Israel. Perhaps they are afraid that if religious Jews from the Diaspora want their voices heard and represented, then the voice of all the leftist secular Jews will also want to be heard and represented. My feeling is that the Torah is what gives us a right to the Land of Israel or rather stewardship. G-d owns the Land. By not claiming the Land as ours in order to keep the Commandments, we then don't deserve the land. In fact, the Land kicks us out. We will still eternally remain the rightful owners so long as we keep the Mitzvoth. That is the precondition. Yet, if we by choice give away our material, our candle, that can create the light, there is darkness. How can we keep the Mitzvoth Teluyot Baaretz when you give away the Land. Can one keep tefillin if they cut off their hand? At the Agudah Convention, Rabbi Malkiel Kotler and other Gedoilim BaTorah speak about Am Yisroel being One Neshama. One Guf. There is Areivus. So if the majority of Jews, chareidim and secular Jews, don't value Eretz Yisroel or the Mitzvoth of the Land, than collectively, we are all lacking. Does one have to make Aliya? That is the ideal. But as I myself painfully, G-d is in control, and actually living in the Land is a real zechus not possible unfortunately for many. However, at the very least, we need to say that Eretz Yisroel is our Land and individually do whatever we can in whatever capacity to help build, settle and do Mitzvoth teluyot Baaretz, ourselves or by helping those that have the zechus to live in the Land, for only this will bring the Moshiach. Why do some Jews think that we have to wait for Moshiach who will bring us to Eretz Yisroel. Maybe the opposite is true. Moshiach is waiting for us to show Hashem that we actually desire Eretz Yisroel. After 2000 years Hashem gives us Sovereignty and we disregard it. Hashem says if we act with happenstance then He will act to us with happenstance. How can we disregard the continuous miracles from Hashem from the beginnings of the establishment of Jewish Sovereignty till the present in Sederot? Was Kingship established in E"Y immediately after entering E"Y following the Midbar. First there was Yehoshua, then Shoftim and Shmuel. The people demanded a king too early in fact. All these Neviim Rishonim chastise Am Yisroel for not ridding their Land of the idolotry and the Goyim from the Land. These Goyim became the thorns in their sides as Hashem promised. They did to the Jews what the Jews were to do to them. In todays time they have actually stolen our identity. They claim that we are the occupiers.

In 1937 in Marienbad, the Third Kenessiah of Agudas Yisroel was held. Please read below an article from the journal HaPardes (volume 11, Issue 7, October 1937), 70 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)

My question is how come when the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah saw that there was a possiblity to return to Eretz Yisroel, and felt they were too weak to take on the Chilonim? Why didn't they use all their influence to convince the Jews to go to Eretz Yisroel in order to make it a place based on Torah and Mitzvoth. Why did they allow the Chilonim to take over? Apparently, they did not want to join with those that were anti Torah. Had they in 1937 called all Jews to go to Eretz Yisroel, then perhaps these Jews might have survived the Holocaust. So now let's undo the mistake of not consulting with our Gedolei Batorah regarding a Torah Authority in Eretz Yisroel. It is my impression that if Rav Eliashiv and the other Rabbanim of Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah would be presented with the goal of setting up a Judean Authority based on Torah, they would welcome and support the idea with open arms. Hasn't this been our prayers for the last 2,000 years? In addition it would be advantageous to also bring unity with Rabbanim in the Religious Zionist camps and with the established Sanhedrin who clearly came out against the disengagement. Why not even join with Satmar and convince them that we are facing an enemy that is out to destroy us? Why can't we insist to keep the Mitzvah of Shemittah in E"Y. Why not believe that a Torah Authority is truly a possibility. It is only not a reality because the majority of Jews do not support it as a reality. If there can be a Palestinian Authority than for sure let there be instead a Torah Authority in Yesha. It's a catch 22. We need a majority of Jews to support a Yesha Torah Authority. We are not talking about physically moving to Yesha, though that is the ideal, but simply to support the idea, the dream. Not to label these G-d fearing Jews as extremists, or Messianic extremists. Many Jews say we will not support this idea because there is not yet a majority supporting this idea. Just the fringe. It is not politically correct. We will sound too racist, just like our enemies.

Let us remind our fellow Jew that Eretz Yisroel with a Torah based constitution with a Sanhedrin is Torah.

The moral justification of such an action (ceding from the State of Israel) needs support from the Jews. If the only objection is implementation, we are too weak etc, that is a seperate issue. If there is open support and backing for the moral legitimacy of the Jews of Yesha to cede from the State of Israel, that alone is a deterrent for the Government of Israel to execute any military operation against Yesha communities. Questions about how the Jews in Yesha should respond when the gov't asks them to relinquish their weapons should be seriously addressed since it's imminently relevant. Once weapons are relinquished it will be that much more difficult to defend oneself and that is why the government is being proactive. Shailoth regarding disobeying immoral orders such as refusing to expel fellow Jew from Judea and Samaria should be addressed. Soldiers who find themselves conscientious objectors for the IDF need another venue where their desire to truly defend Eretz Yisroel is actualized. You might argue that we are too weak to start our own Torah Authority. It's not practical. First of all, I am convinced that indeed it is very possible if there is desire by the majority of Jews. But look at the alternative. We are looking another Hitler in the face. It's either we put our trust in the Ribbono Shel Olam or we face another holocaust chas vechalila. What is the point in waiting to openly declare that E"Y is our inheritance. It may be too late later. We can say we davan and let Hashem fight out battles. I believe then that Hashem will fight our battles and we will survive. However, Chas Vechalila will just a small remnant survive? We want the entire Nation to be worthy. And for that the Nation must act on faith. They must say that we believe Hashem's promises in the Torah regarding Shemittah. We will endeavor to keep the Mitzvah. For that we need the Land. Heter Mechira is not an option and neither is actually giving the Land away. We put our faith in Hashem and He will provide.

Shavua Tov.

I'd be interested in your comments.