Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rabbi Shay Tahan on Lag B'Omer. Opinion on Dancing with the Pope and Why We Should Refrain From Being Critical And My Response.


Today, Lag B'Omer, Rabbi Shay Tahan was critical of all those who were critical of those religious Jews who recently went to the Vatican and serenaded the Pope.

Rav Tahan is a well known and respected Rav and I along with many women, Ashkenaz and Sefard, enjoy and learn and benefit from his whatsapp group and his many live Shiurim and Shiurim on-line. He is accessible at all times via his whatsapp group for women to ask him almost round the clock Sheilos (questions) to which he responds in a timely fashion.  Rav Tahan often posts very helpful links to clarify the Halacha as well as links to many of his Torah lectures. 

This is especially useful before Pesach and all year long. He brings down clear Halacha after presenting different sides and a well thought out discussion of the subject at hand.  He will also speak on topics that is related to Kabbala and not only Halacha. Besides an online presence he also is on both in Hebrew and English.

This is all available and open for all. 

Rabbi Shay Tahan, discussed the Gemara which brings down the Story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and why he was pursued by the Romans. Gemara Shabbat 33 Amud 2. Please listen and or watch the lecture above. He then tied what happened with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai to the meeting with the Pope. 

Rav Tahan was upset with those who were critical and who shot the gun at the group of Orthodox Jews that visited the Pope recently. I would like to respond because I too was critical of this meeting with the Pope on a blog post and felt Rabbi Tahan was directing his remarks at me among others. 

My blog post:
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Pope FRANCIS with ABBAS, OBAMA, IN ISRAEL, Soon TRUMP, Dancing with Chasidim??? Lo Tachnifu?

Let me preface by saying that I know some of the people that met with the Pope. Tzvi Gluck, whose father organized the meeting,  does absolutely amazing work with Amudim. I know first hand how he literally saves lives with his H-ly work.  I personally have a tremendous Hakoras Hatov for the amazing work that he does. 

 I am sure that the meeting with the Pope was for a worthy purpose. The group mentioned that they were speaking with the Pope about the desecration of Jewish Cemeteries and about sexual abuse in the Jewish Community. Surely these are very important issues as many lives have been ruined and literally destroyed especially with the latter. 

Now, to defend the other position. I have followed the Pope recently, and have blogged about  his recent visit to Israel.  There is ample room to b extremely worried that the Pope will influence President Trump to impose a 2 State Solution on Israel as part of the negotiations with Abbas.  

The Pope, who is fluent with the Bible should be the first to acknowledge that Judea and Samaria is the Biblical Homeland of the Jewish People. Yet he has embraced Abbas.  The Vatican in 2015 signed a treaty recognizing the State of Palestine even before the UN, an overtly anti Israel Institution, officially recognized such a State! Pope Francis' 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican's official program referred to Abbas as the president of the "state of Palestine."

Rabbi Tahan refuted various criticisms that people had regarding the meeting with the Pope by Orthodox Jews and said that it was wrong to publicly be critical of the meeting as most people do not know the entire story and it might constitute Lashon Hara to do so. 

He did not however focus on the main objection which is the Pope's embrace of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Recognition of the State of Palestine is the annulment of Hashem's everlasting and eternal Covenant with Am Yisroel.

 诪拽讜专  讘专讗砖讬转 驻专拽 13 驻住讜拽 15  13:15 Genesis

讻讬 讗转 讻诇 讛讗专抓
讗砖专 讗转讛 专讜讗讛
诇讱, 诇讱, 诇讱 讗转谞谞讛
讜诇讝专注讱 注讚 注讜诇诐

诇讱 讗转谉 讗转 讛讗专抓 讛讝讗转
讗转 讛讗专抓, 讛讗专抓 讛讝讗转
讜讘专讱 讻诇 诪讬谞讬 转讘讜讗转讛 诇讟讜讘讛
讜转谉 讘专讻讛 注诇 驻谞讬 讛讗讚诪讛

The whole land
That you see
To you I will give
And to your descendants forever

To you I will give this land
The land, this land
And bless all kinds of produce for good
And give a blessing on this earth

Besides the nullification of Hashem's Promise to Am Yisroel, such an embrace is at the expense and detriment and threatens the lives and property of hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Judea and Samaria. 

It is this concern that prompted me and perhaps others to blog in a critical way against presenting the Pope in a positive light.   

While writing the post against the meeting with the Pope,  I was thinking about the pointless and very recent destruction of Jewish Homes in Ofra and Amona and the homelessness and displacement of over 200 kids in Amona  with absolutely no benefit to anyone.  It is the Peace Process delusion and the push for a Palestinian State that is driving the gov't of Israel and the BaGatz to make political decisions to contain any new settlement in Judea and Samaria outside the settlement blocks.  

Ofra and Amona were built with infrastructure from the gov't of Israel.  They are part of existing settlement blocks. Yet the government allowed their destruction to happen probably for political considerations because of outside intervention by those pushing for the "peace process". Therefore, one can only conclude that the statements of the Pope have been extremely detrimental to those living in Judea and Samaria. 

Anyone who took notice, felt like these horrible expulsions were an extension of the  Gush Katif Expulsion that happened on Tisha Baav.

Some of the arguments Shay Tahan refuted were:
  • Because the Pope was Ovdei Avoda Zara it is forbidden to meet with him. (not necessarily true)
  • How did they go into the Vatican (they actually didn't)
  • honored the symbol of Ovdei Avoda Zara (not necessarily a problem)
  • The even danced in Sefira (Big deal)
Rav Tahan said that we learn from Yakov Avinu that giving a Bracha to an Ovdei Avoda Zara is permitted. Yakov Avinu gave a Bracha not only to Ovdei Zara but also to the Avoda Zara itself.  Pharaoh himself was blessed by Yakov Avinu that the water of the Nilus should go up to his feet and Pharaoh made  himself into a G-d. 

Let me suggest to Rav Tahan that wecan also look at Avraham Avinu as a model. 

Avraham Avinu made an alliance with Abimelech.  This Parsha occurs right before the Parsha of the Akeida.  

Parshat Vayeira 21: 22-34. 

22Now it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phicol his general said to Abraham, saying, "God is with you in all that you do. 讻讘讜ַ讬ְ讛ִ讬 讘ָּ注ֵ转 讛ַ讛ִ讜讗 讜ַ讬ֹּ讗诪ֶ专 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 讜ּ驻ִ讬讻ֹ诇 砖ַׂ专 爪ְ讘ָ讗讜ֹ 讗ֶ诇 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 诇ֵ讗诪ֹ专 讗ֱ诇ֹ讛ִ讬诐 注ִ诪ְּ讱ָ 讘ְּ讻ֹ诇 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 讗ַ转ָּ讛 注ֹ砖ֶׂ讛:
23And now, swear to me here by God, that you will not lie to me or to my son or to my grandson; according to the kindness that I have done with you, you shall do with me, and with the land wherein you have sojourned." 讻讙讜ְ注ַ转ָּ讛 讛ִ砖ָּׁ讘ְ注ָ讛 诇ִּ讬 讘ֵ讗诇ֹ讛ִ讬诐 讛ֵ谞ָּ讛 讗ִ诐 转ִּ砖ְׁ拽ֹ专 诇ִ讬 讜ּ诇ְ谞ִ讬谞ִ讬 讜ּ诇ְ谞ֶ讻ְ讚ִּ讬 讻ַּ讞ֶ住ֶ讚 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 注ָ砖ִׂ讬转ִ讬 注ִ诪ְּ讱ָ 转ַּ注ֲ砖ֶׂ讛 注ִ诪ָּ讚ִ讬 讜ְ注ִ诐 讛ָ讗ָ专ֶ抓 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 讙ַּ专ְ转ָּ讛 讘ָּ讛ּ:
24And Abraham said, "I will swear." 讻讚讜ַ讬ֹּ讗诪ֶ专 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 讗ָ谞ֹ讻ִ讬 讗ִ砖ָּׁ讘ֵ注ַ:
25And Abraham contended with Abimelech about the well of water that the servants of Abimelech had forcibly seized. 讻讛讜ְ讛讜ֹ讻ִ讞ַ 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 讗ֶ转 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 注ַ诇 讗ֹ讚讜ֹ转 讘ְּ讗ֵ专 讛ַ诪ַּ讬ִ诐 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 讙ָּ讝ְ诇讜ּ 注ַ讘ְ讚ֵ讬 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ:
26And Abimelech said, "I do not know who did this thing, neither did you tell me, nor did I hear [of it] until today. " 讻讜讜ַ讬ֹּ讗诪ֶ专 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 诇ֹ讗 讬ָ讚ַ注ְ转ִּ讬 诪ִ讬 注ָ砖ָׂ讛 讗ֶ转 讛ַ讚ָּ讘ָ专 讛ַ讝ֶּ讛 讜ְ讙ַ诐 讗ַ转ָּ讛 诇ֹ讗 讛ִ讙ַּ讚ְ转ָּ 诇ִּ讬 讜ְ讙ַ诐 讗ָ谞ֹ讻ִ讬 诇ֹ讗 砖ָׁ诪ַ注ְ转ִּ讬 讘ִּ诇ְ转ִּ讬 讛ַ讬ּ讜ֹ诐:
27And Abraham took flocks and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech, and they both formed a covenant. 讻讝讜ַ讬ִּ拽ַּ讞 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 爪ֹ讗谉 讜ּ讘ָ拽ָ专 讜ַ讬ִּ转ֵּ谉 诇ַ讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 讜ַ讬ִּ讻ְ专ְ转讜ּ 砖ְׁ谞ֵ讬讛ֶ诐 讘ְּ专ִ讬转:
28And Abraham placed seven ewe lambs by themselves. 讻讞讜ַ讬ַּ爪ֵּ讘 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 讗ֶ转 砖ֶׁ讘ַ注 讻ִּ讘ְ砖ׂ转 讛ַ爪ֹּ讗谉 诇ְ讘ַ讚ְּ讛ֶ谉:
29And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What are these seven ewe lambs, which you have placed by themselves?" 讻讟讜ַ讬ֹּ讗诪ֶ专 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 讗ֶ诇 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 诪ָ讛 讛ֵ谞ָּ讛 砖ֶׁ讘ַ注 讻ְּ讘ָ砖ׂ转 讛ָ讗ֵ诇ֶּ讛 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 讛ִ爪ַּ讘ְ转ָּ 诇ְ讘ַ讚ָּ谞ָ讛:
30And he said, "For these seven ewe lambs you shall take from my hand, in order that it be to me for a witness that I dug this well." 讜ַ讬ֹּ讗诪ֶ专 讻ִּ讬 讗ֶ转 砖ֶׁ讘ַ注 讻ְּ讘ָ砖ׂ转 转ִּ拽ַּ讞 诪ִ讬ָּ讚ִ讬 讘ַּ注ֲ讘讜ּ专 转ִּ讛ְ讬ֶ讛 诇ִּ讬 诇ְ注ֵ讚ָ讛 讻ִּ讬 讞ָ驻ַ专ְ转ִּ讬 讗ֶ转 讛ַ讘ְּ讗ֵ专 讛ַ讝ֹּ讗转:
31Therefore, he named that place Beer sheba, for there they both swore. 诇讗注ַ诇 讻ֵּ谉 拽ָ专ָ讗 诇ַ诪ָּ拽讜ֹ诐 讛ַ讛讜ּ讗 讘ְּ讗ֵ专 砖ָׁ讘ַ注 讻ִּ讬 砖ָׁ诐 谞ִ砖ְׁ讘ְּ注讜ּ 砖ְׁ谞ֵ讬讛ֶ诐:
32And they formed a covenant in Beer-sheba, and Abimelech and Phicol his general arose, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. 诇讘讜ַ讬ִּ讻ְ专ְ转讜ּ 讘ְ专ִ讬转 讘ִּ讘ְ讗ֵ专 砖ָׁ讘ַ注 讜ַ讬ָּ拽ָ诐 讗ֲ讘ִ讬诪ֶ诇ֶ讱ְ 讜ּ驻ִ讬讻ֹ诇 砖ַׂ专 爪ְ讘ָ讗讜ֹ 讜ַ讬ָּ砖ֻׁ讘讜ּ 讗ֶ诇 讗ֶ专ֶ抓 驻ְּ诇ִ砖ְׁ转ִּ讬诐:
33And he planted an eishel in Beer-Sheba, and he called there in the name of the Lord, the God of the world. 诇讙讜ַ讬ִּ讟ַּ注 讗ֵ砖ֶׁ诇 讘ִּ讘ְ讗ֵ专 砖ָׁ讘ַ注 讜ַ讬ִּ拽ְ专ָ讗 砖ָׁ诐 讘ְּ砖ֵׁ诐 讬ְ讛ֹ讜ָ讛 讗ֵ诇 注讜ֹ诇ָ诐:
34And Abraham dwelt in the land of the Philistines for many days. 诇讚讜ַ讬ָּ讙ָ专 讗ַ讘ְ专ָ讛ָ诐 讘ְּ讗ֶ专ֶ抓 驻ְּ诇ִ砖ְׁ转ִּ讬诐 讬ָ诪ִ讬诐 专ַ讘ִּ讬诐:
Stone Commentary
22-34 The Alliance with Abimelech:
in this Biblical narrative, Abimelech came to seal a Covenant with him (Rashbam) . Abimelech stressed that he sought this treat of friendship not because of Abraham's wealth or power, but because G-d is with you in all that you do (Sforno)
25: Then Abraham Disputed: Although the peace-loving Abraham agreed to enter into the alliance, he seized the opportunity to state a grievance regarding a disputed well, for as the Midrash notes: "Reproof leads to peace" Sforno comments that Abraham rebuked Abimelech for tolerating flagrant violence in his country.
30: Because you are to take.  Abraham wanted Abimelech to accept the gift as a token of his acknowledgement of Abraham's right to the well.
34: The verse does not read 讜讬砖讘 讗讘专讛诐, and Abraham settled, which would imply permanent residence.  Rather it uses the term  讜讬讙专, alien. For as Rashi points out in his commentary to 15:13, Abraham's years in the land of Philistines after the birth of Isaac were reckoned as part of the four hundred years during which his descendants were to be aliens in a land not their own.
 In this narrative, Abraham did not merely enter into an alliance. First there was some recognition on the part of Abimelech of G-d's connection to Abraham. Then Abraham took the opportunity to get Abimelech to acknowledge Abraham's rights to the wells that he dug.  I found it interesting, it says that Abraham dwelled in Eretz Plishtim even though we know that Isaac never left Eretz Yisroel as it was counted as part of the 400 years of exile.  Nowadays, I don't think that Beer Sheva nor Hebron would be considered Eretz Plishtim, nor Palestinian Land as we received the Torah and entered Eretz Yisroel as a Nation.  Now after 2000 years, other than Neturei Karta or maybe Satmer Chasidim, we believe that this is our Land.  Why should we honor the Pope who says otherwise?
Shay Tahan concludes:

One doesn't know what is happening  behind the scene. This group is working for Am Yisroel, with their time effort and money. We don't know the whole story. It is Lashon Hara to be critical. 

We need to give them benefit of the doubt otherwise it's Lashon Hara because they are definitely Kosher Jews. We can't shoot the gun on those because we need to judge them favorably and what they may be doing might be truly Mutar. 

In the story in the Gemora, Rabbi Shimon told Elazar his son to go to Yehuda ben Geirin to get a Bracha.  He acknowledged that these were great people. Yet years later Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai saw Rabbi Yehudah ben Geirin and burnt him for being the talebearer that exiled him. Obviously, the sin was more than simply reporting on the Rabbinic discussion of Global events happening at the time, but that Rabbi Yehuda overstepped his boundary by his negative and critical analysis to the point that it came to the Romans and they pursued Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

However, please Hashem let this discussion be Eilu VeEilu...Macholokes leShem Shamayim
My question is as follows. . Is speaking about the dangers of a 2 State Solution and the role the Pope is taking and continues to take in this discussion not to be noted and rebuked especially in light of the upcoming trip to the Vatican by President Trump?  Surely it is more than merely a shmooze because establishing a Palestinian State is a nullification of the Torah and will impact on the lives of on hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Judea and Samaria and the security of the entire Land of Israel.  
Monday, April 03, 2017
Biblical Claim to the Land of Israel, When Silence is a Sin

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