No Place for a Resident Stranger
In the weekly parsha sheet of the NRP, “Shabbat, BiShabbato”, Parshat BiChukotay, Rav Rosen brought down in his column a nice list of how the struggle for Jerusalem has been abandoned. He ended this list with a little halachic note which certainly caught the eye. Rav Rosen wrote: “If we would merit it, we would fulfill the clear halachic ruling of the Rambam, ‘and there is no allowing a place (in Jerusalem) for a resident stranger'”. We, in our naivitee, were not aware that for one to fulfill a halacha of the Rambam, one needs to “merit” it. We thought you are just supposed to DO IT. And now that Rav Rosen has dared to admit this law (and for this he is worthy of more than a little praise) – that the halacha indeed states that even a resident stranger is forbidden to dwell in Jerusalem, what can one say when 170,000 vicious Jew-haters live in Jerusalem, and the “hard core”is concentrated in the area of the Temple, and no one even talks about this?
After all, no one ever says: “If only we would merit to build on Har Homa…” Everyone understands that either you build, or you lose. Well, it’s the samething here: Either you expel the inhabitants, or you lose, and there is no such thing as, “if only we would merit…”
But what really bothers us is the conclusion he draws: “Since we do not merit it – then it is forbidden to even talk about it.” What does he mean,”forbidden to talk about it”? There is no doubt that what he means is that they are afraid to talk about it! They know it is the truth, and they know that our lives depend on it – but they are afraid. And what happened to the commandment, “thou shall not be afraid before man?”
The greatest sin is the self-imposed prohibition that the leaders and rabbis brought upon themselves concerning these vital issues, all due to fear of “what will they say”. But if we do not talk about it, then we simply distance ourselves from the possibility of actually doing what needs to donewithout needless bloodshed.
IF ONLY WE WOULD MERIT IT – the rabbis would cast from themselves all the fears of man and speak about what they know to be the truth. Now, that we have not merited it, they have, with their very own hands, deligitimized entire halachot, and have created a situation that whoever does talk about it, is branded a racist.