Benny Begin

Words cannot describe the sheer pomposity of the most recent Likud convention. It was blatant for all to see. In contrast, Benny Begin’s behavior was especially interesting. He launched an unprecedented attack against Netanyahu, and called for his immediate replacement. “Whom should he be replaced with?”, asked the television reporters. “With Dan Meridor?” “That would be fine”, answered Begin. “With Roni Milo?” “That would be fine”, answered Begin.

This is rather interesting. After all, Benny Begin puts on airs that he is a big idealist. He views the Oslo Accords as a tragedy and even left the government because of this. He relentlessly attacks Netanyahu for any subtle hints which Netanyahu makes in his speeches about mass retreat from the Golan or the territories. But this is not what is motivating Begin now to attack the PM. What is causing Begin to come out so strong against Netanyahuis the Prime Minister’s tyrannical fashion of leadership and the lack of loyalty he radiates. Begin explicitly said that this is what makes Netanyahu insufferable. And so, when it comes to replacing Netanyahu, he is able to accept someone like Dan Meridor and Roni Milo, two REAL leftists, with the latter recently identifing himself more and more with the platform ofMeretz! How can we understand all this? Because as far as Benny Begin is concerned – and this is important to know – it is meticulous democracy which takes precedence over government policy, even when that policy will lead to tragedy. For him, national tragedy takes a back seat to a lack of democracy.

This is nothing new. Begin was always this way. It is just that recent events have accentuated this point once more. This is why one should not “build” upon Benny Begin, who is a democrat before he is a nationalist.

Darka Shel Torah: Politics Or Halacha?

Question: From time to time, the people who distribute our hard copies of”Darka Shel Torah” in shuls run into problems when certain shuls give them a hard time giving the parsha sheets out. This is nothing new, and the real reasons for this are known to us all. The problem is that those who oppose the distribution of the parsha sheets usually prefer to justify themselves with all kinds of self-righteous claims. The most common one is that our sheet is “political”, so to speak. What is the answer to such an arguement?

Answer: First of all, the hypocricy of such a statement must be pointed out. If someone would rise up and oppose the distribution of ALL the different parsha sheets because of “politics” – then we can understand it. But one who makes this claim only against “Darka Shel Torah” is doing so to cover his true intentions, which is to silence the ideas that appear on the sheet. Does there exist a parsha sheet that is distributed in shuls that DOES NOT deal with day to day matters? Naturally, all the parsha sheets deal with worldy matters on the political agenda. What does one expect? That the Torah should be sterile and cut off from reality? Does one expect a Torah of nice “vorts” which have no relevance to the real world?

Torah is not politics. The wars of the Jewish People are not politics. The cultural war taking place in Israel today is not politics. The problem of the “territories” is not politics. G-d forbid! All this is Torah and Halacha and these subjects are of prime importance! We have no business with politics. Every word that appears on our parsha sheet is based on the sources and on the halacha. And we invite anyone who has a question to write us, and we will answer it privately or in this column.

Finally, what a topsy-turvy world it is! We are the LAST ones who should be accused of being “political”. After all, Rabbi Kahane, HY”D, and his students were tossed out of the political arena years ago. So obviously we have no political interests, other than circulating the ideas in the parsha sheet. So if someone is worried about politics, let him turn to those who are playing the political game.

Darka Shel Torah: The Power Of Truth

In this world, the truth is scarce. While there is an abundance of falsehood, there is only one “Torat Emet”. This is how G-d created the world. In every aspect, He chose only a handful. And so, He chose the Jews, who are the “fewest of all people” (Dvarim 7). And only to this few did he give the truth, so that they will cling to it, and distance themselves from the gentiles and their false concepts.

And now we have come to a generation in which not only is the entire world immersed in falsehood, but even the Chosen Nation itself which was given the Torah truth, does not recognize the truth! The truth is even absent amongst observant Jews, as the exile and it’s foreign concepts have penetrated the Yeshiva halls. In addition, the “fear of the goy factor”,which has become the ultimate halachic authority, has castrated the Torah almost entirely on a national level. The Torah dons sackcloth and ashes, as entire halachot and concepts of Torah have disappeared.

But most outrageous are the developments over the last few years: that one who insists on clinging to the vanishing truth and spreading the law which everyone else ignores – finds himself “banned” and sometimes jailed. The “halacha” has become a criminal offense in the hands of the hellenists. Basic Torah concepts are now “racism” or “sedition”, despite the fact (and because of the fact) that these halachot offer the only solution to the crucial problems of today. The non-believing Israeli governments who have no solutions are scared to death of this, and so they fight against the truth!

There was one man who stood alone his entire life spreading the truth amongst the masses. Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D, stood in the city squares, and screamed the truth despite all the harassment he suffered, warning the people up to the very last minute of his life, as he was shot to death while talking to Jews after a lecture.

Our destiny is to continue in his way. Without “cheshbonot”. Without”excuses”. And most importantly, without fear. In the name of democracy they can deprive the truth of it’s most basic rights – but they can never stop us from expressing it, because we are not afraid of them.

This is “Darka Shel Torah”. For years, people would tell Rabbi Kahane and afterwards continued to tell us: “Be realistic. Change a little. Hide part of the message. You won’t get anywhere this way”. But we knew that without the absolute, uncompromising truth, we will be just like all the rest – and then who needs us around in the first place! Today, as we standwitness to the cold and brutal treason of the “Great Hope”, who everyone had”built upon” over the last four years, it finally becomes clear that it is precisely the unadulterated truth without political maneuvering which represents the only light at the end of the dark tunnel we are in today. And so, perhaps out of the bitter can come the sweet. But it depends on us.

And so, we decided that this Shabbat should be “Shabbat Darka Shel Torah”, where you, too, can take part in the circulation of Torah truth. After all, we are nothing more than your messengers. We say what you think. And so we turn to all our readers and supporters this Shabbat with two requests:

  1. Take part in the circulation of this sheet in places where it doesn’t get to.
  2. Donate generously to the circulation of the Torah truth.

We are not allowed to express ourselves in the media. We also do not have the fat budgets which the government allocates to other parties to finance all the parsha sheets you see around you in your shul. But we have – You! We receive our vitality from Am Yisrael – and they get their vitality from us. Sort of like an “Issacar and Zevulun” agreement.

What is Respected and What is Observed

Before the elections, billboards all over the country carried the following ad: A youth with a yarmulke arm in arm with a youth without a yarmulke, and the following written: “Observe (keep) the democracy, respect the tradition”. This was supposed to tell us that there is no contradiction between democracy and tradition, and there can be co-existence between them. The Jew behind the ad campaign is Zalman Bernstein, who later invested 60 million dollars to send postcards with the above slogan to every household in Israel.

But through a closer look at the slogan itself, it becomes clear that even Zalman himself has doubts about the two concepts coexisting. Fact: According to him, democracy is the ultimate value, and one must “observe” or “keep” it. The religion, which is secondary, must be “respected”.

In any case, if all parties agree, we suggest as a compromise the following change: “Observe the tradition, respect the democracy”…

On Whom To Vote For: Choose Life

Question: For quite a while you have been preaching that there is no significant difference between Labor and Likud, as proven by their past records while in power, as well as their campaign promises this time around. But what you fail to tell us is – who SHOULD one vote for?

Answer: Our major goal is to bring forth the genuine Jewish truth, the Jewish idea – to the people. Not just part of the message, and not just a”realistic” part of the message, so to speak. Nor do we just convey ideas that the people will always grasp immediately upon hearing them. We are not politicians who have to try to show a pretty face before the public. And so we repeat that the elections for Prime Minister is a race between siamese twins. It is crucial to us that the people understand the painful truth that the Jewish truth was banned from participating in these elections, deeming these elections obscene from the very start. And part of the painful truthis that those who engineered the banning of Rabbi Kahane was not the left, but rather that “great hope” – the Likud!

As requested by many, we will bring the words of Rabbi Kahane, HY”D, exactly as he said them immediately after he was banned in 1988. The Rav said tha the is not a “guru”, and he doesn’t give orders to “Chaseedim” (followers)how to vote. In any case, he RECOMMENDED putting an empty white slip into the ballot box, and for those who want to vote for someone, he suggested, ANYTHING BUT LIKUD!

And let us add something else for those who want to vote for the Knesset. There is a party, a bit obscure, called “Israel’s Right”, which is a religious party with some good Jews in it. The very fact that the “Meretz”party tried to ban it for being “racist” is a reason to identify with it. Its chances for success is not what interests us.

In any case, we must not despair. The salvation will not sprout from theKnesset ANYWAY, and we must start internalizing this fact. The alternative will come outside that den of clowns, and it will overrun it. The salvation will come from those who do not peacefully accept the fact that the truth was banned, and life just goes on.

THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE. And it won’t come from the Knesset, or anywhere near it…

Judges or Shills?

Question: In light of the strong opposition to the authority of the Supreme Court in Israel, the religious parties are demanding as a solution to increase the number of religious judges in the system. Does this offer some sort of a solution to the problem?

Answer: The root of the disease is the Supreme Court of Israel. This institution is spearheading an all-out war of Hellenism vs. Judaism and Jews. The basic “torah” of this institution is to eliminate the existence of Jewishness in the Jewish state, as it step by step transforms Israel into a gentilized western democracy. Let us remember the decisions by it’s “President”, Aharon Barak which set precedents which determined that when there is a contradiction between a Jewish state and a democratic one, democracy always comes first. More than that, he ruled that the meaning of the concept “Jewish state” and “Jewish values” is ONLY VALID IF IT SITS WELL WITH WESTERN DEMOCRATIC VALUES! Anything else is banned as being “racist” or “primitive”.

Therefore, the mere increasing of the number of religious judges into the system won’t change in the slightest the root of the problem. Rather, it would only add to the Hillul Hashem, since these judges will have to remove from themselves the yoke of heaven, and receive upon themselves the yoke ofthe gentile laws. Indeed, if one looks at the past deeds of the religious judges in this country, he will reveal, unsurprisingly, that they have nevermade any decisions based on halacha! They were simply “tokens” (in Hebrew,the slang, “token” is from the same root as “judge” – editors note) for the gentile system of laws, sometimes being forced into it, and sometimes doing it out of their own free will, and in order to cover their nakedness, they quoted some Jewish source, perverting it out of its context.

A classic example of a religious judge who played the token is Menachem Alon, the famous “religious” ex-Supreme Court judge, whose primary role wasto put a “Kosher” sign on every impurity, and to bring “sources” to back it up. And in so doing, he distorted Torah and desecrated G-d’s Name case after case, as he in his own words gave advice to the Israeli judiciary – “to connect it to our historical past, and to decide what to take from the Hebrew system of laws and what not to take.”

Thrill Kill

This week I have chosen to deviate from my usual article on the parsha of the week, and to concentrate instead on another parsha that occured exactly last year and whose trial began this week. It is a parsha that reflects and is a symptom of all the national diseases that the Jewish state is inflicted with today. I am relating to the motive that stood behind the senseless murder of a Jewish cab driver by two Jewish youths in Herzelia in what has been defined as a “rich kids” crime, done mainly out of boredom or for “action”.

Let us begin with the morning headline in the Israeli newspaper “Yideot Achronot” on the 20th of Shevat, 5754, where an expert advisor in educational affairs is quoted as she attempts to explain the incident: “From the description of the events it is clear that we are dealing here with psychopaths whose sense of good and evil have been totally blurred. People who have no superego and can not distinguish…” The journalist writing the article went on to write in the course of his interview that the expert advisor in education had the following rather sudden admission: It could very well be that my diagnosis stems from wishful thinking – because if they are not, indeed, psychopaths, then we must say that something really terrible is happening here, and one must conclude that a severe disease has infested Israeli society. End of quote.

All this is worth taking a closer look at. What is really going on here? Is there a blurring of boundaries of good and evil? Is there a disease infesting Israeli society? The fact is that our advisor is correct on both counts. In other words, a dreaded disease of not being able to distinguish between good and evil has totally infested Israeli society.

Sound shocking? Perhaps an exaggeration? Let’s see. The advisor speaks of an inability to distinguish between good and evil. But can we say that our enlightened advisor herself is capable of discerning between good and evil? Let us approach this from a different direction. The advisor is under the assumption that the act of these two youths is one that must be defined as “evil”. I ask her, who says so? Who is to say that the killing of a cab driver is a bad thing? Who can objectively determine what is bad? Our expert advisor? Society? The Supreme Court? Who determines the boundaries of good and evil? The “superego”? What will convince these two boys, the fruits of Israeli society, that the fulfillment of their desires is less important than the life of the cab driver?

What gives our advisor the authority to declare what is good and what is evil? Afterall, according to authentic democracy, which the state of Israel so prides itself on, there is no such thing as good and evil.Everything is relative. What determines right and wrong is the “democratic majority” – thus the entire value system is subject to change every four years by the voters. How are the youth supposed to take such a value system seriously? A dreaded disease has indeed infested Israeli society, and our advisor is one of the architects of this culturally empty society devoid of any real values. It is she herself who is part to blame for spreading this deadly virus.

And why? Because a Jew who casts aside the Torah, which is the real value system defining good and evil, can not complain about youths, who for all intents and purposes simply expanded upon their definition of “freedom” and “democracy”. These boys committed a heinous crime and they must be punished. But the real culprits are the educators of these boys who are the molders of Israeli society. Those who threw away the Torah with its objective truth, whose system of values is eternal and therefore not subject to change. It is they who are the real criminals and the national finger of accusation must be pointed at them. We must declare a cultural war upon them. It is our obligation to send these so called leaders home. Its been long overdue, for the number of their victims grows and grows with every passing day.

A government that frees convicted Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands and makes them policemen should have no problem understanding twisted and sick kids that kill Jews for no reason.

Shavuot: Shavuot and the Cultural War

The key question regarding the Holiday of Shavuot today is: Do we simply look at this holiday as the commemoration of an event that occurred 3,000 years ago, or is it perhaps something more?

On Passover, we say “that in each and every generation, one must see himself as if he left Egypt!” That is, though the original event itself took place thousands of years ago, every Jew is obligated to feel that he himself left Egypt. If such is the case regarding Passover, all the more so regarding the Torah itself, for which the sages say that “each and every day, it shall be in your eyes as something new”. The Torah is not some antiquated burden we must carry on our backs, adjusting it “somehow” to today’s reality. No. Torah was given today and for today. Yes, it was actually given today, for this very moment!

One who sincerely wishes to receive Torah today and in its entirety, will find himself in the midst of a brutal cultural war. For in this generation more than any other, Jews are trying to prevent us from receiving Torah! What do we mean?

Lost in the muddle of all the campaign hoopla was a very significant event that dwarfs all others in importance. We are speaking of the declaration by the head of the Supreme Court of jesters, Aharon Barak, that any party which calls for changing the existing gentile laws of the state to Jewish law, is liable to be disqualified from running in the elections for the Knesset. (This declaration was made during a court decision concerning “Israel’s Right” party following a proposal by an Arab that the party be banned.)

In other words, any party whose platform includes the changing of Israel from a state of Jews to a Jewish State by making the Jewish halacha the law of the land instead of the present mixed multitude of British, Turkish, French and Swedish laws – any such party is liable to find itself tabooed! And all this despite the fact that one attempts to make such changes by attaining a majority in the Knesset! Even this is forbidden. Why? Because Jewish law “contradicts the fundamental concepts of democracy and equality” since it discriminates between men and women, Jew and non-Jew, and is therefore “racist”.

There is nothing new under the sun. This process began in 1988 when Rabbi Kahane was banned, since his platform included “racist” and “anti-democratic” halachot from the Torah. In 1992, the list was banned again for presenting the Tanach as its platform. In the appeal to the Supreme Court, endless sources from the Talmud and from the rabbis were brought down. The court determined that the sources brought down only strengthen the reason for disqualification!

When this occurred, we declared that the Torah was banned, and this matter will not end here with Rabbi Kahane and his students. And it did not. In systematic fashion, the Supreme Court has succeeded in delegitimizing any motion that would aspire to change the direction of Israel to that of a Jewish state. Due to Aharon Barak’s revolutionary legislation, the Supreme Court today can even ban religious laws (as long as a kosher majority is attained). There is no doubt that a change in the “undemocratic” marital and divorce laws is only around the corner. Afterwards, the “discriminatory” Law of Return will come under fire.

The “Racist Bill” whose entire reason for being is to negate the Torah is an established fact, and it is what sent Rabbi Ido Elba to prison for two years for a halachic essay that he wrote. Rabbis sitting in jail is a fact we have already gotten used to – Rabbi Levinger and Rabbi Ginzberg are just two of the more prominent examples.

Who Is Guilty?

The Torah world which kept silent when Rabbi Kahane was banned is the guilty party. Guilty are those who were silent when Rabbi Elba was arrested, and are quiet today when one of the great men of self-sacrifice in this generation, Rabbi Levinger, sits in jail. Let there be no mistake: This is a war waged against the Torah world, and no one else will fight our battles. He who sits by quietly can not complain when his turn comes up. And it will come up.

Aharon Barak knows exactly what his goals are. The religious parties return some fire in the battle, but they have much more important things on their minds. They are preparing themselves for a return to their rightful places near the jackpot – awaiting the funds that will flow to them if they play their cards right. Only the Torah which they supposedly represent will remain discarded and nonfunctional. For day by day the Torah is being cut up. A halacha today, another tomorrow, until eventually they will officially stamp “censured” on the entire Torah!

Shavuot is the holiday that celebrates the giving of all of the Torah, without “forfeiting” on the halachot that sent Rabbi Elba to prison, or banned Rabbi Kahane and his students, or turned Jewish law in this country into something in dispute. Receiving Torah can sometimes be a struggle. “Right”, “left” and all the rest is not where the battle lies. Even if the Likud wins the elections, they have made it quite clear that what was, will continue to be. Thus, the conclusion is that the real war standing before us is not between “right” and “left”, but rather between the Hellenists and the Jews.

“CHOOSE LIFE”

Question: For quite a while you have been preaching that there is no significant difference between Labor and Likud, as proven by their past records while in power, as well as their campaign messages this time around. But what you fail to tell us is – who SHOULD one vote for?

Answer: Our major goal is to bring forth the genuine Jewish Truth, the Jewish Idea – to the people. Not just a portion of the message, and not just a “realistic” part of the message, so to speak. Nor do we just convey ideas that the people will always grasp immediately upon hearing them. We are not politicians who have to try to show a pretty face before the public. And so we repeat that the election for Prime Minister is a race between Siamese twins. It is crucial to us that the people understand the painful truth that the Jewish truth was banned from participating in these elections, deeming these elections obscene from the very start. And part of the painful truth is that those who engineered the banning of Rabbi Kahane was not the left, but rather that “great hope” – the Likud!

As requested by many, we will bring the words of Rabbi Kahane, (May God Avenge His Blood), exactly as he said them immediately after he was banned in 1988. The Rav said that he is not a “guru”, and he doesn’t give orders to “Chassidim” (followers) how to vote. In any case, he RECOMMENDED putting an empty white slip into the ballot box, and for those who want to vote for someone, he suggested: Anything but Likud!

And let us add something else for those who want to vote for the Knesset. There is a party, a bit obscure, called “Israel’s Right”, which is a religious party with some good Jews in it. The very fact that the “Meretz” party tried to ban it for being “racist” is reason enough to identify with it. Its chances for success are not what interests us.

In any case, we must not despair. The salvation will not sprout from the Knesset ANYWAY, and we must start internalizing this fact. The alternative will come from outside that den of clowns, and it will overwhelm it. The salvation will come from those who do not nonchalantly accept the fact that the truth was banned, and life just goes on.

There is an alternative. And it won’t come from the Knesset, or anywhere near it…

Hanukah: Torah Vs. Democracy

With the struggle between the Jews and Hellenists in full-swing, no holiday could be more relevant than the holiday of Chanukah. But there is a difference this time around. During the time of the Macabees, it was the Greeks who set down evil decrees against Torah, while the Hellenists served as mere collaborators.

Today it is an entirely different story. First of all, it is Jewish Supreme Court that has arisen and begun to enact legislation against Torah in a frantic effort to forcefully transform the Jewish People to Hebrew-speaking gentiles. They attempt to accomplish this by laying down the following ground rules: The choseness of the Jewish People and all other Halacha that discriminates between Jew and gentile is “racism”, for it opposes the basic democratic principle of equality for all men, regardless of race, creed, color, or religion. (Even the abolition of the Law of Return is in their sights.) In addition, any religious legislation can be rejected because it negates the basic democratic principle of the “individual’s right to freedom”. But most importantly, the Hellenists of today are demanding that democracy take precedence over everything, including the Halacha. By use of these seemingly harmless axioms, the State of Israel is eradicating from itself all Jewish content. In these “progressive” times, there are not even”Jews”, only “Israelis”.

The implicatins are quite serious. No longer can we say: “Well, they are “tinokot shenishbu” (like children who are totally unaware or ignorant of their Jewish heritage). In the meantime, we’ll sit and learn Torah and gather in strength and numbers until the day comes when we can change the situation and make Torah the law of the land.” Those days are over, because the Hellenists are not waiting. They are very actively exerting all their influence to establish democracy as the law of the land and ultimate value of society, banning anyone who does not succumb to them 100%. Already they forcibly prohibit us from learning “forbidden” sections of Torah. Fact: a rabbi sits in jail today on the charge of racism for a Halachic essay he wrote. Rabbis are being investigated daily and soon will be jailed under suspicion that they had the “audacity” to tell their students not to follow orders which negate Torah law (and let us not even mention what will be the fate of those who actually carry out the rabbis words). Yes, we are at the climax of a cultural war. It is “us” or “them”.

This is the first time in history that the Jews themselves have laid down decrees against Halacha! And it is not relevant if it is against the entire Torah, ten Halachot, or even one Halacha!

What are the rabbis doing? The buzz word these days is “unity”. Fortunately for us, the Hellenists aren’t interested. They fully understand that before there is any reconciliation, there must be a framework of common ground from which to work. And if that basis is not the unequivocal committment to democracy – (i.e. that it supercedes the Halacha) then there will be no reconciliation. And so they continue to lead the rabbis into tiny investigation rooms, hoping to squeeze out of them some quote from the Talmud by Rav Ashi, in order to strong-arm them: Unity? Solidarity? No problem! As long as we dictate the rules. Take the pig and say it: Democracy over Halacha!

Obviously, no rabbi will accept this. We must realize that the game is over. We can no longer evade the contadiction of Jewishness and Democracy that the State of Israel was schizophrenically based upon. There is an unbridgable gap, for it is a conflict whereby the entire premise of each philosophy totally contradict one another. The rabbis have a mighty mission ahead. It is incumbent upon each and every one of them to get up and declare: In the same way that Jews rebuffed the harsh edicts of the Greeks and Romans, and Rabbi Akiva was even skinned alive for this principle, so too must we stand in defiance when Israeli democracy decides that certain parts of Torah cannot be learned.

These are days of religious persecution (“shaat shmad”), and we must cling to the path of Rabbi Akiva – to openly learn and teach all the forbidden laws and to proclaim unequicoally that we will disobey any law that forces us to transgress the Torah. Because Torah supersedes Democracy.

Korach: The Origin Of Authority In Judaism

A common denominator exists in Parshat Shlach and Parshat Korach. In both instances, Moshe Rabbeinu finds himself in the minority versus a majority of wicked men who have incited the Jewish People against him.

Such is the case in the episode of the ten spies who returned from touring the land to report of giants and a land that ate up its inhabitants and cried: “We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we”. They despised the good land, the Land of desire, the Land which G-d chose for them, the land which He had commanded them to inherit and live in. They continued to incite the people, until the people broke down saying, “Let us make a leader, and let us return to Egypt”.

The story of Korach is similar. The power-hungry Korach also incited against Moshe (interestingly enough, there are sources which say that the motives of the spies, as well, was fear of losing their high position when entering the land!) Korach succeeded in inciting 250 leaders of the nation against Moshe, claiming that the latter took for himself all the top positions. Together, they convince almost the entire nation that Moshe cheats them by playing favorites with those closest to him. Here, too, we find Datan and Aviram, leaders of the revolt, making statements against the exodus of Egypt and the Land of Israel which are even more extreme than those of the spies: “Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, (they are referring here to Egypt!) to kill us in the wilderness… In other words, they took the expression reserved for Eretz Yisrael, and applied it to Egypt, the land of impurity and bondage!

On one hand, one cannot doubt that under discussion here are two very great sins which are eternally inscribed in our Torah. On the other hand, we must ask a difficult question: notwithstanding, there was a clear majority against Moshe. Would it not be proper that the majority rule, despite the fact that it would lead to tragedy? After all, if the majority does not decide, than what does? In short, what is the origin of authority in Judaism.

Shevna Defeats Hezekiah in the “Elections”
The question of majority rule is discussed in Masechet Sanhedrin 26. When Sennacherib and the Assyrians invaded the Land of Israel and surrounded Jerusalem during the time of the First Temple, a fierce debate erupted over whether to surrender or not. King Hezekiah, under the prodding of the Prophet Isaiah, refused to surrender despite the overwhelming strength of the mightiest empire of its day, one that swept over every nation it had faced. Shevna, a scribe, and one of the powers of the government, on the other hand, urged surrender. Each group took its cause to the people and this is the background for the following words of the Talmud:

“What does the concept kesher r’shayim, a band of wicked people, mean? “Shevna gathered together and spoke to 130,000 people (who supported him) while Hezekiah gathered (only) 110,000 people. When Sennacherib laid siege to the city, Shevna wrote the following message and sent it by arrow to the enemy camp: ‘Shevna and his party have capitulated; Hezekiah and his party have not.’ “Hezekiah was fearful and thought: ‘Is it possible, heaven forbid, that G-d’s will tends toward the majority and since the majority wishes to surrender, we must too?’ Then there came to him a prophet and quoted the verse: ‘Do not recognize as a band, all that which the people call a band; neither fear ye their fear nor be afraid.’ (Isaiah 8:12) Meaning, this is a band of wicked people, and a band of wicked people is not counted.”

When is a Majority Not a Majority?
We see here a basic principle: The rule, “one must follow the majority” is correct when that majority does not deviate from the Torah and the “halacha”. If it does, then the Talmudic rule “a band of wicked people is not counted” is applied. Rashi explains: “Do not think in your mind, Hezekiah, that Shevna’s group is counted, and that it is considered a majority.” It is not considered a majority! When people band together against the Torah and claim that they hold a majority of supporters, not only is it insignificant, but it is not even considered a majority.

Who Has the Right to Vote
This is the reason why the ten spies were insignificant when pit against a tiny minority of two. This is why there was no reason to be overly impressed when an overwhelming majority stood against Moshe. This is why no one counted the number of supporters in the “Korach camp” in order to “gauge” if Moshe had the backing of the nation. The ultimate authority of the Jewish People is Torah Law. Only one who takes upon himself this law
and acts by it is worthy of being chosen as a leader of the nation. And only such person can have his voice counted when there is a need for a majority vote.

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