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.
The across the board outpour of condemnations that followed Noam Freidman’s action in Hebron was certainly expected. But Saul Yahalom, an MK from the NRP knew that the same old and familiar expressions of condemnations do not impress anyone anymore, and so he decided to deal with the issue from a political and ideological point of view. And so, during a radio interview, he very enthusiastically came up with the following gem : “Only a fool or an evil person thinks that the use of violence can achieve political gains.”
Out advice to Saul Yahalom and those of his ilk (so many in the religious-Zionist camp become absolutely hysterical after such incidents, because they know that despite the claims of its “leaders”, a large number of their students believe that such deeds are justified) is not to make a joke out of himself. If he has a moral problem with it, or if he thinks that the Jewish law opposes it, let him bring down sources or logical arguments. Instead, he makes a fool of himself.
Only a fool or an evil person thinks that the use of violence can achieve political goals? Where is Mr. Yahalom living? On the moon? After all, Mr. Yahalom is part of a government which negotiates with a terror organization that ACHIEVED ALL OF IT’S POLITICAL ATTAINMENTS through the most shocking violence! The PLO is munching away on our small land, piece by piece, only by way of it’s violent activities!
Our state as well arose through the merit of the “foolish and wicked” types from the “Lechi” and the “Irgun” who thought that the use of violence canbring about political benefits. Why didn’t they listen to the wise-man Yahalom, then? And you better believe that in those days there was no shortage of “Yahaloms” festering amongst us. Thank G-d they didn’t listen, because if they would have, we would not have a State of Israel today.
In short, our advice to the panic-stricken religious-Zionist camp is not to think you can brush issues aside with cliches and mass condemnations. Because the public is a lot smarter than it’s intellectuals, and certainly a lot smarter than their leaders give them credit for – and the students inthe Yeshivas and the Ulpans are not gullible fools who swallow whatever their “leaders” feed them.
The shooting by Noam Friedman in the Hebron market evoked all the expected and familiar condemnations from the “nationalist” types. Over and over again they repeated the same worn out phrases: “a terrible action”, “anabominable act”, “insanity”, etc. But as more incidents such as these take place, the absurdity and outright hypocrisy of their statements reaches new heights. In order to give a concrete example, we bring an article in which one of the major Hebron settlement leaders felt it an obligation to condemn Noam Friedman, but in the same article he is quoted as saying, “I still hope that we will be able to stop Arafat’s troop mobilization just as in 1948 in Kibbutz Dagnia, when the Arab terrorists (“Kokogi”) were stopped at the last minute…” Immediately following this quote, which had been made two days before the action of Noam Friedman, the writer states that: “He was not referring to a violent action, and certainly not to what Noam Friedman did.”
If not, then what DID he mean? I am sure that this same spokesman, who happens to be a good Jew, does not really think that Noam Friedman did a bad thing, but rather says what he says for “tactical” reasons. The pity is that he and his friends run in circles around the truth due to fear of what the media will say about them. Because if his comparison of the army of murderers of the Kokogi and the army of murderers of Arafat who are about to replace the IDF is a correct one, than there is no other choice other than to draw the conclusion that Noam Friedman’s act should not have been condemned. For if it was justified for Jews to fight with weapons against the army of Arab murderers in 1948, why should it be forbidden and condemnable today?
Worse, though, is that all the vicious condemnations of Noam Friedman by the Hebron settlers only serve to discredit their claim about the possibility of another slaughter that might take place if the IDF withdraws from Hebron. For if it is indeed true that there is a real danger as they have warned (and rightly so), being that the PLO police are no better than Nazi soldiers, then how can they get all excited when a Jew who takes their words and their worries seriously, decides to take it upon himself to sabotage the agreement by killing a few Arabs in the market which is crawling with enemies of Israel?
If in the aftermath of the shooting they would say something to the tune of: “We have no problem with the intentions of Noam Friedman, but he doesn’t understand that from a practical point of view, it hurts the struggle” – then there may be room for discussion. But when they hysterically attack and defame him without compunction, they begin to sound dishonest. The fact is, that even from a practical point of view, the incident certainly did thwart the finalization of the agreement temporarily, at a time when there was nothing to lose anyway.
At this point I say: The time has come that the settlers stop standing on two opinions, and to cast off the complexes that forever cause them tostraddle both sides of the fence: For if the Arabs are so bad and so dangerous, then maybe the time has arrived that they stop self-righteously talking about co-existence. If they really believe that the “moderate” Arabs from the PLO want to slaughter us just as the “extremists” Arabs from the Hamas do, then stop condemning those Jews who occasionally do to Arabs what they do to us.
The sages tell us that the first and final redemption are dependent on self-sacrifice. Unfortunately, the awesome concept of self-sacrifice haspractically disappeared today. And so, those few who are willing to act withself-sacrifice must suffer great affliction with long prison terms, with out even being appreciated by that sector of society which is supposed to recognize them as heroes. Rather they are greeted with vicious condemation and damnation.
Here is a story: A Jew died. Because he was so despicable (“naval” – which isalso Hebrew for an impure animal) and hated, no one in the city was willing to bury or eulogize him. Finally, as in all stories, someone finally agreed to do so. He got up and said: It is hard to find something positive to say about him, but in any case, there is one thing I can say: His father was a bigger “naval” than he was.
This is the parable which Saul Yahalom of the NRP gave when explaining whyhe supports the present government. After all, the alternative would be evenworse.
Yahalom has finally grasped, albeit a bit late, what Rabbi Kahane said 20 years ago: “The Labor and Likud – Zu Nivayla Vi Zu Traifa” (they both stink).But for some reason, Yahalom prefers supporting a “Nivayla”, instead of opting for an authentic Jewish alternative.
Hebron is an example for all of Eretz Yisrael. What happened to 85% of the territory of Hebron 30 years after it was conquered, will happen G-d forbid to Yehuda and Shomron if we do not wake up and realize that the mitzvah of “yishuv HaAretz” includes conquering it from it’s inhabitants,and one cannot separate one from the other because it seems less nice or ethical.
An honest look at the new reality which has been created in Hebron would reveal that not much has really changed. What is that, you say? Does not the handing over of the city to the Arabs constitute a change? If we want to be truthful to ourselves, we have to admit that even before the “redeployment”, Hebron was not really in our hands, and if it was in our hands, then it was strictly on borrowed time. The moment the decision was made after the Six-Day War to leave the Arabs in Hebron or in any part of the Land of Israel for that matter – from that day onward, the countdown for the relinquishment of those territories began. He who refuses to disinherit the goyim (that is, to expel the Arabs as Rashi explains in Numbers 33, that “disinherit” is to expel) from Hebron and from the Land of Israel at large, is essentially refusing to inherit the land. There is no inheriting without disinheriting, for one is dependent on another, and this subject we have discussed over and over again. The great mistake of the right, including the settlers (especially the settlers), was that they always preferred to deal in the relatively comfortable aspect of the mitzvah “Yishuv HaAretz”(settling the land). That is, the building of settlements. But they scornfully neglected and rejected the second aspect – that “not nice” part of the mitzvah, which is the expulsion of the goyim.
Through the example of Hebron, we can see most concretely the deluded andout of touch policy of the settler movement. Here is the small Jewish “yishuv” placed amongst a sea of Jew-hating Arabs in Hebron, in which there exists the highest concentration of “Hamas” and “Jihad” activists (not that there is any difference between them and the PLO, except for the fact thePLO is cleverer), and they think that can live together in peace and harmony. Nonsense! Anyone who holds such illusions has no one to blame other than himself when the bubble bursts. What is even sadder is that it has been the settlers themselves who have most fervently pushed the bogus notion of co-existence all these years! They simply did not have the courage to objectively see the realities and bring the proper message to the people. And so, in the end, they are essentially to blame for the official handing over of Hebron to the Arabs. The Almighty gave us a 30 year period to do”Tsheuva” and to the expel the murderous Arabs from Hebron, and only when we refused to obey G-d’s commandment and normal logic, it was handed over officially to the Arabs. What did we expect? Could it have been any other way? Were the Arabs supposed to leave by themselves, or suddenly transform into Israel loving “resident strangers”?
Let us see the reality of the situation with objective eyes: Before the”redeployment”, were there not parts of Hebron where the IDF never dared to enter? We all know that it was the Arabs who truly ruled most of Hebron. And if the IDF did patrol areas, what did it accomplish? Were not these patrols merely an attempt to regain lost honor for a humiliated IDF who had to do something in order “to show who’s boss”. You say that the Jews have less security now? What about before the “redeployment?” What kind of security did Jews have then? Were Jews not stabbed and attacked in Hebron on a permanent basis? Was there not then, too, worry about a potential slaughter? So today the danger is even more real. Wow, what a difference!..
Let me make myself clear. Of course the situation is worse now. Certainly I am sad to see the Arabs officially taking over the military building in Hebron. Certainly the fact that the Arabs have unprecedented confidence and weapons to harm Jews is a horrible thing, and there is no doubt that when given the orders, they can harm a lot more soldiers who are stationed at the local Jewish ghetto. I am not coming to say that the government policies are not criminal, and I certainly justify the fury of the people towards this government. All I am saying is that all this is only a continuation of a process, and no dramatic change of what already was.
Jews! Hebron is an example for all of Eretz Yisrael. What happened to 85% of the territory of Hebron 30 years after it was conquered, will happen G-d forbid to Yehuda and Shomron if we do not wake up and realize that the mitzvah of “yishuv HaAretz” includes conquering it from it’s inhabitants,and one cannot separate one from the other because it seems less nice or ethical.
What is quite worrisome is that many of the Yesha leaders, realizing the bankruptcy of their policies, are starting to go down the already paved path of “recognizing realities”. They are hinting about “finding a common dialogue” with the PA. Will the the settlers be the latest ones to adopt the leftist policies because of “forced realities”, just as Netanyahu claims he did?
Or perhaps we will understand what we have not understood for the last 30 years. Perhaps, at least now, those faithful to Israel, Hashem and His commandments will understand that the left and right are worthless. Perhaps now they will awaken and openly adopt the Jewish solution – the entire Mitzvah of Yishuv HaAretz, including the demand to disinherit goyim?
No. Do not think that this is far-fetched. There is no doubt that the momenta large enough group dares to arise and offer the Jewish solution, G-d will be with them, the masses will follow, and the salvation to Israel will begin.
The issue of releasing the Jewish political prisoners is a reliable yardstick in measuring “Love of Jews” (Ahavat Yisrael.) What person with a Jewish heart can bear to see Jews, who acted out of nationalist motives, decay in prison while Arab murderers are set free. Only a Jew who has something dead inside of him cannot identify with the plight of the Jewish prisoners who acted out of pain, retaliation and sometimes self-defense.
Yet, we see so many right-wingers adamantly against their release. Elyakim HaEtzni, considered an extreme right-winger is against releasing the Jewish prisoners, as is the new “savior” Benny Begin. Benny Alon as well says he has a “moral problem” with helping them. We can see from this that there is sometimes no connection between nationalism or “love of land” and “love of Jews”. All the staunch Zionists (including religious ones) don’t even mention Jonathan Pollard anymore. He is simply not in their consciousness. For so many YESHA types, Eretz Yisrael is the only goal that stands before them, while Ahavat Yisrael falls by the wayside. (The attitude of so many of them is that Pollard is an “American”, and anyway, aren’t all Americans crazy?) This is their level of Ahavat Yisrael. Even their slogan “Ahavat Chinam” (unconditional love) is reserved strictly for the secularists, and is only a manipulation to placate the secularists and further the cause for strengthening the settlement enterprise. For this reason, their “Ahavat Chinam” does not extend to the “Haredim”, since the “Haredim”are not settlement supporters.
Note: The point here is not to take away from the importance of settlements,but there is a disproportionate emphasis on this one subject, while other values are ignored. When a Jew is murdered by an Arab, they scream for more settlements instead of for vengeance or the expulsion of the Arabs. Another example: Several years ago when the Russian Jews were coming out of the Soviet Union and going to America instead of Israel, many wanted the Soviets to shut their gates to these Jews, since they are not making Aliyah to Israel. But true “Ahavat Yisrael” would dictate that we should want those Soviet Jews freed in any case, even if they don’t come to Israel. Again, the ideal of Zionism does not have to overshadow the value of “Ahavat Yisrael”. That is why Rabbi Kahane fought anti-semitism in the exile, even if he knew that the ultimate answer is Aliyah to Israel.
Question: How should one relate to Yaakov Neeman’s proposal to cut thegovernment funding for yeshivas?
Answer: First, a brief introduction is necessary. As part of their neverending struggle against religious Jews and Judaism, the hellenists have placed the war against the yeshivas on the top of their agenda. This is what motivates them in their campaign to draft yeshiva boys, and it is what motivates them in their incitement against “religious corruption”. So even if there is truth in their claims, it must be remembered that it is all being used as an EXCUSE to attack Judaism. And so, when Yaakov Neeman gets up and makes his proposal, it is perceived by the Israeli public as if he, a religious Jew, is giving backing to the hellenist left and media. The newspapers arduously covered the story, giving it huge headlines, and we still do not know if Neeman was acting for the sake of G-d, or simply trying to kiss up to the left.
Getting down to the matter, part of Neeman proposals are necessary. Real order must be made concerning so many “yeshiva boys”, who are listed as learning in yeshivas, but hang out and do nothing. But this shake up should be done by the yeshivas themselves, much more than they should be done through reallocation of state funding (in which there is a much more serious perversion – for example, the billions that are allocated to our enemies!).The proposal to crack down on Collel students who don’t learn, or put in a token two hours and then go off to work somewhere off the books, is important. And the problem with yeshiva boys and their army service should be solved through the establishing of separate “haredi” units, in order to alleviate the fear which many religious Jews have (and rightly so!) concerning the influence of the IDF army camps, which are bastions of decadence and lewdness.
But none of this should be done by the Minister of Treasury, whose obvious interest is to save money, thereby making it appear to the public that the real problem is one of money – corruption. The correction must be initiated by those G-d fearing Jews who realize the desecration of G-d’s name that is caused by the situation. (The situation is not a desecration of G-d’s Name because it causes the leftists to hate yeshiva boys more, but rather, objectively speaking, it is problem which must be solved- see Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah, 3:10 Kesef Mishnah)
Only the Symbol is Sacred?
The wise men of Chelm came up with the idea of the century to solve the problem of the conversion law: Instead of writing on the person’s identification card that he is a Jew (“Yehudi”), they will simply write the letter “yud”. Ingenious!
And now for today’s riddle: What is worse – To destroy and show contempt for something that is sacred and holy, or to destroy and show contempt for just the symbol of that same thing?
In Israel, the modern-day Chelm, if one destroys something holy, he is applauded, but if G-d forbid he disgraces just the symbol of that samething, the wise men of Chelm are ready to hang him in the central square.
We are referring to the burning of the flag on Lag B’Omer, which brought all of the hypocritical termites out of the woodwork.
It is hard to comprehend how the same people who scornfully rebuff the renewed connection between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel, and are ready to throw away the heart of Israel – Hebron, Shchem, Jericho, even Jerusalem – and give it to the Arabs; but absolutely go berzerk when they see a kid burning a flag which is only intended as a symbol for the very same thing!
For sure if someone would burn the National Anthem of Israel, they would lynch him on the spot – but when a respectable member of Knesset makes amotion to remove the words, “a Jewish soul yearns” from the anthem, it becomes a legitimate subject for debate in the Knesset.
What is happening here? While we reject the views of “Neturei Karta”, we can at least appreciate the fact they are true to their ideology. But what can one say about the hypocrites who attack them, whose values undergo change every day! You can be sure that these people who yesterday cast off Torah and today cast off Eretz Yisrael – tomorrow they, themselves will not react with such zeal when the flag is burned, in the name of “sacred democracy”.
The cultural war taking in place in Israel, which is one of the subjects wehave stressed for a long time now, has reached new heights. This time we aretalking about the event in Yatir Forest which was initiated by the army-preparatory schools. The moment the rabbis of the religious preparatory schools announced that they cannot participate in the event if women singers will be performing, the media geared themselves for attack.
This time they directed their vicious arrows at the “trampling of women’s honor” by the rabbis. Does the honor of women really concern them? Is there any connection at all between the prohibition in Jewish law of hearing awoman sing and the hurting of her honor? Obviously the very opposite is true. The prohibition stems from the idea to protect the honor and dignity of women, as the sages say: “So that the daughters of Israel won’t be’hefker'” (up for grabs).
But the sad part of this story is that the hellenists succeeded in portraying themselves as the protectors of the honor of women. They who fill the streets of the cities of Israel with pictures of abominations, whose very essence is the cheapening and degradation of women – they are the one stalking about honoring women? They, who over the last few years have cheapened and degraded the integrity of the daughters of Israel to such an extent that Jewish history knows no precedent? They speak of honoring women?
We have no qualms about speaking so harshly about the differences betweenthese two cultures. For we know that what is really taking place is not an argument between “religious” and “secular”, but rather a war between a handful of hellenists obsessed with western culture versus the heritage of our fathers which the gentiles never succeeded to destroy, and which Jews won’t succeed either.
Because of this, it was sad to hear one side speak so bluntly, while the religious side spoke out of the sides of their mouths. My G-d! What are you apologizing about! Nothing will convince the public more than a sticking to one’s principles and the halacha, without trying to sound “nice”. One does not have to be “religious” to oppose the drugs, violence, and pornography which plague Israeli society today. A strong and proud stance will not alienate the masses, who still seek values for their children, and know instinctively that hellenism is not the way.
Illogical compromises do not give honor to Torah, especially when the hellenists are not interested in compromises, but rather in a total crushing of Torat Yisrael.