Arabs Threatening Arabs Who Sell Land to Jews: Nazi Law?

“Nazi Law” or War over the Land of Israel?

The Advisor to the Prime Minister, David Bar Ilan, claims that the prohibition declared by the Palestinian Authority to sell land to Jews is “Nazi law”. Many from the right were quick to agree with him.

But for the sake of truth, this is all demagoguery. For if the Palestinians, indeed, have national rights to the Land of Israel (as the Government ofIsrael says they do!), it should be expected that they would prohibit the selling of what they see as their land to Jews! Even in Jewish law, there is a similar concept where if one who gives over land to foreign hands, he is considered a traitor who is punished by death.

And let’s not even point out the words of the Rambam who prohibits the selling of the land of Israel to gentiles. (Hilchot Avoda Zara, Chapter 10) The fact is, over a year ago the rabbis of Tzfat gave this “psak halacha”,and the Hellenists accused them of “racism”. But amongst the Arabs there are no hellenists…

Even the Jewish National Fund prohibits selling land to Arabs. Are they also Nazis?

And so, three Arabs who sold land to Jews have been killed so far. The time has arrived that we stopped crying about “Nazi Law”, and realize that we are in a war over the Land of Israel. This Arab law is just part and parcel to that war. In the end, it will go only to one side. The Arabs understand this. When will we?

Tisha B’Av: The Holocaust That Is Overshadowed by the Destruction of the Temple

The revolution against the Romans and siege on Jerusalem which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple, produced one of the worst holocausts in Jewish history. According to the testimony of Yosef Ben Matitiyahu (Yosefus Plabius), about one million Jews were killed in Jerusalem, and 100,000 prisoners were taken captive to Rome.

Despite this chilling fact, it is only a footnote in the history of this era. While every child knows that on Tish A B’Av the Temple was destroyed and we were exiled from our land, many Jews are less aware of the physical holocaust which accompanied it.

And how puzzling are the words of our sages, who tell us that that G-d had mercy upon the Jewish People, pouring out his fury on wood and stones (the Temple) instead of on the Jews themselves who had sinned. If this is so, the question is two-fold : 1. One million Jews killed shows us that “G-d poured his fury on wood and stones”? 2. Why has the death of so many Jews become marginal in our Tisha B’Av mourning? Is human life less important than the wood and stones of the Temple?

To answer these questions, we must free ourselves from our western mindset. For according to the Jewish idea, physical existence is NOT the ultimate value, but rather there is a purpose to the life of a Jew, and without this purpose, the reason for his existence becomes less significant.

This is the reason that the massive slaughter of Jews that took place during the siege is dwarfed in importance when compared to the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Jewish People from their land. Because when the People of Israel are not in the land of the living, Eretz Yisrael, and when their Temple is destroyed, the Jew can no longer properly fulfill his destiny in the world. His life, so to speak, loses its meaning.

This explains the startling stories of many Jews who lost their faculties upon seeing the Temple burning in flames, and simply cast themselves into the fire, burning themselves alive! They could not grasp a reality of “Am Yisrael” without the Holy Temple.

After 2,000 years of exile, this idea seems a bit extreme. Is it really the end of the world when the Temple is burned down? Don’t we at least fulfill mitzvot in the exile? Can’t we fulfill our destiny as Jews without a Temple? The answer to this is clear: No. The entire reality of observing mitzvot in the exile is “B’diavad” – that is, it is undesired, but must be done because of lack of choice. For the Torah was given to the Holy People to be performed in the Holy Land, and in the exile we became a mere religion comprised of individuals. For this the sages tell us that the purpose of fulfilling mitzvot in the exile is only so that we won’t forget them when we return to the Land of Israel, where the fulfillment of mitzvot take on their full significance.

Now we can answer the two questions we posed: When Israel sinned,desecrating the Holy Temple and turning it into a “discotheque”, G-d wasreally supposed to destroy us all, G-d forbid. But since G-d loves us and ties His Name (His existence, so to speak) to the name of the Jewish People, He determined that we will never be totally wiped out. Therefore, he destroyed the wood and stones of the Temple instead of destroying those who desecrated it. But this does not negate the possibility that the Jewish People will be severely punished with the likes of holocausts and exiles (which is the harshest punishment of them all). Indeed, total annihilation will never be, and in the end there will be redemption, with the Jewish People returning to fulfill it’s destiny in a complete way in its land and Temple.

Now it can be understood how the massive killing of Jews in Jerusalem can be viewed as a marginal event in relation to the destruction itself. Because the moment the Jewish People are exiled from their land and there is no Temple – life itself becomes less significant. More than that, all the tragedies of the exile – the Inquisitions and Holocausts, are secondary to the exile and the destruction itself. In fact, the spiritual vacuum of the Temple is the reason for the physical tragedies that befall us, for one is dependent upon the other!

Therefore, all efforts for “Eretz Yisrael”, for the building of the Holy Temple and for the purifying of the Temple Mount which is the life-center for “Am Yisrael”, are not reserved just for “those interested in politics”. All those who fear G-d, love Israel and are pained by the exile of the Divine Presence must make these issues the center of their lives. For the fulfillment of the mitzvot are dependent on them. The return of the Jewish People to life is dependent on them!!

Vaetchanan: Eretz Yisrael: Part Of Our Identity

In Parshat Vaetchanan, we are witness to a dramatic exchange of words between G-d and Moshe. Moshe opens by requesting of G-d that He allow him to enter the Land of Israel. G-d refuses Moshe’s supplication unequivocally, stating: “It is too much for you! For you shall not cross this River Jordan.”(3:26-27) Not only was Moshe banned from entering the Land of Israel in his lifetime due to his sin at the waters of “Meriva” (where he smote the rock), but he was also prevented from being buried there after his death. The reason for this is brought down in the Midrash (Devarim Rabba, 8:2): “G-d said to Moshe, whoever acknowledges his homeland is buried in his homeland. Yosef acknowledged his homeland, as it is written (Breishit 40:15), “for indeed I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews…” You did not acknowledge your homeland…How? The daughters of Yitro said, “An Egyptian man saved us from the shepherds” (Shmot 2:19). You heard them and remained silent. Therefore you will not be buried in your homeland.”

What Does It Mean: “To Acknowledge Your Homeland”?
Two questions can be raised regarding this Midrash:

  1. How can Moshe be blamed for covering up his identity when the entire reason he fled to Midyan in the first place was because of his unending and burning love for his people?! Back in the book of Exodus, we saw that it was only a strong identification with his people which caused him to smite the Egyptian taskmaster who was striking a Jewish slave, causing his exile to Midyan. This being the case, why should Moshe, this genuine lover of Israel,be turned into one who does “not acknowledge his homeland”, just because hedid not correct the words of the daughters of Yitro? Did Moshe’s loyalty to his people need further proof after his awesome act, one which was motivated precisely by an identification with his people?
  2. Why does the Midrash specifically use the term “homeland”, when apparently what is being referred to is acknowledgment of “people” or “national identity”?!

One can see from this that the criticism against Moshe is not for a lack of identification with the people of Israel. Moshe undoubtedly proved himself in this regard. And so, it is clear that the use of the terminology “did not acknowledge his homeland” is used by the Midrash to teach us that Moshe was being punished for something else.

This matter of “not acknowledging his homeland” means that when fleeing to Midyan, Moshe felt that Egypt was his homeland. This is expressed in just a few verses following the story of the daughters of Yitro. There it is told that Moshe named his firstborn son Gershon, “because I was a stranger (ger) in a strange land”. That is, Moshe felt like a stranger, cut off from his natural habitat, Egypt. When the Midrash says Moshe did not acknowledge his homeland, it is faulting him for his feeling, even on a subconscious level, that Egypt is his homeland. After all, he was born and raised there. And so when the daughters of Yitro reported to their father, “an Egyptian man saved us”, Moshe’s lack of protest was not due to a fear of identifying himself with his nation and possibly endangering himself (especially when considering the reason he was fleeing Pharaoh). Rather, he did not protest because being identified as an “Egyptian” indicated one who resides in a certain geographical area. Moshe didn’t view this as a problem. His response should have been: “Me? A descendant of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov? An Egyptian? My place is Egypt? Heaven Forbid! Though I have never lived there, my homeland is Eretz Yisrael!” However, as we explained, this feeling did not sufficiently burn within him.

It is absolutely impossible to sever the connection between the Jewish People and the Jewish land. A Jew cannot say: I am a complete Jew, I love my people, and I cling to the Torah – but I do it in Brooklyn, London, or Miami Beach. There is no such thing. Part and parcel to the Jewish identity is his belonging to his land. A Jew who is cut off from his land is blemished, nomatter how “frum” he may be.

This is the reason the sages tell us that mitzvot which are fulfilled in the exile are not fulfilled properly, and are merely observed for practice so that we do not forget them when we come back to the land of Israel. Ibn Ezra writes in our parsha (4:10): “G-d knew they would be unable to do mitzvot properly when they are in lands under foreign control.” The Sforno adds (6:21): “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and since in our servitude we were unable to acquire the perfection directed to us from G-d, He miraculously took us out and brought us to a land where we would be able to acquire it completely.” Therefore, even though Moshe never saw his land, it was incumbent upon him to feel he was a man of Eretz Yisrael, and not of Egypt, which like all exiles, is an inevitable graveyard for the Jew. Moshe’s punishment was measure for measure. You did not acknowledge your homeland and felt that it was possible to be both a good Jew and at the same to be an “Egyptian” (a man of the land of Egypt). Therefore, you will not be buried in your land.

We, on the other hand, were born and raised in our homeland, or at least we live here now. We don’t have the problem of longing for some distant homeland which we have never seen. In any case, because of our long and bitter exile which saw us cut off from our homeland, we are currently in an abnormal situation where we feel a lack of connection and belonging to our one and only homeland, and are even willing to give it away. Eretz Yisrael is not just some “piece of real estate” – it is the land of G-d – the Land of Israel, the Holy Land.

Dvarim: This is Judaism and Stop Apologizing

By Western standards, the book of “Dvarim” would have to be defined as an ultranationalist doctrine. Its concepts are the very opposite of liberal Western concepts. Its laws are illegal by Western standards. The book is based on conquest. Stressed over and over again is the uncompromising commandment to conquer the land of “Canaan” from the gentile nations who have lived there for thousands of years, and to change the name to “Eretz Yisrael”. If this isn’t enough, we are even commanded to disinherit (to expel), and if necessary to annihilate the inhabitants of the land. This is an inseparable component of the positive commandment of “settling the land”.

The Book of “Dvarim” also centers around the chosenness of the Jewish Nation. The concept appears most prominently in parshat “Vaetchanan” (7:6-8), in parshat “Aikev” (10:15), parshat “Ree” (14:1-2) and in almost all other parshiot of the book. This “ultranationalism” continues right on through to the book of Joshua and beyond.

We want to now delve into the “morality” of all this. We do not do so in order to make the Torah more palatable for all the non-believers and Hellenists around who simply reject the book of “Dvarim” as they do the rest of the Torah, considering it primitive and racist. Rather we direct our words to G-d-fearing Jews who understand that the Jewish Nation is dependent on the Torah, want to fulfill it, and ask all the same: These are the enlightened traditional Jewish ethics and values that everyone speaks about? This is the Jewish morality we so often hear about? Conquering, expelling, chosen people?

The answer is yes. What can one do when the “traditional Jewish values” that so many Jews speak of SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST!

Don’t exist? Are there no such things as traditional Jewish ethics and values? Of course there are! But they are something entirely different. At the core of Jewish ethics and morality, setting it apart from the ethics of mortal man is the concept of the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. That is, we do not pick and choose the “merchandise”. First and foremost, we accept upon ourselves the values of Hashem without asking questions. Only then do we “check the goods”. While it is true that in the world of business one does not buy until he examines the product, the mitzvot and concepts of Hashem are not a business negotiation. They must be accepted unconditionally. Thus it is written, “It is better than all other goods” – for it is a good that one does not “check” before “buying”

The Book of “Dvarim” is the national policy guideline for the Jewish Nation. It is the morality that G-d conveys to us on subjects connected to Israeli nationalism. If someone wants to call it “ultranationalism”, so be it, for it is true Jewish ethics. It is not a system of values that is subject to change according to the whims of one generation or another as another passing fad, but rather it is an eternal morality that we, our fathers and our forefathers have clung to for thousands of years. This value system withstood all the passing tides of the past thousands of years, while modern Western culture which evolved during the last one hundred years will melt away as did its “enlightened” predecessors: Greek, Rome, Assyria, Babylon, east and west, of one generation or another…

Precisely today when the sabotaging of all Jewish concepts are intensifying; at a time when the so-called “national” camp, even after an election victory, refuses to give clear direction (we don’t recall the Left hesitating to lead us down the path of goyishkeit during their four year tenure), it is an obligation to read the parshiot in the Book of “Dvarim”, and in particular “Akev”, to strengthen our “emunah” in these authentic Jewish concepts. We must do so in order that we, the the spiritual right side of the spectrum, can speak our piece clearly, unequivocally, and without guilt: The Almighty is stronger than all the nations, and if we believe in Him and fulfill His difficult “immoral” mitzvot, so to speak, we shall overcome our enemies (both political and cultural), and re-establish the Torah Republic that we have dreamed of for 2,000 years.

Chukat: The Legitimiate Rights of the Ammonites

The modern concept of “Jewish occupied territories” rears its ugly head in Parshat Chukat and in our haftarah, Shoftim(Chapter 11). We read in our parasha how Og ,the king of Bashan, and Sichon, the king of Ammon, try to prevent the Jewish people from passing through their borders to get to the Land of Israel. Both kings decide to wage war against The Chosen Nation and both kings lost. The children of Israel conquer their enemies and inhabit their land. Interestingly enough, no one at the time suggested that the Jewish people return the land that they just conquered to the nations that tried to annihilate them. No, such a proposal was never even considered. But, what if such a proposal was raised? How would a Jewish leader have reacted?

Land For Peace
To answer these questions we move the clock ahead 300 years until we arrive at the haftarah of our parasha. In the time of the Judges, the king of Ammon brazenly demands that Israel return to him the territories that were conquered, and if Israel refuses, there will be war. The king recounts some well-known history: “Because Israel took away my land when they came out of Egypt, from Arnon as far as the Yabok, and the Jordan.” (Judges 11:13) Compared to the demands of today’s Arabs, this demand is quite “moderate”. The king of Ammon, unlike the P.L.O., does not call for the total destruction of the Jewish State. He only wants that which was taken from his people. In words that echo in the U.N. and in Washington, the king concludes his demand in the following manner: “Now, therefore, restore those lands peacefully.” Peace – that magic word. What normal Jewish leader can refuse such an offer? After all, Ammon’s claim is not an unreasonable one; the lands were taken from them. Ammon, unlike the P.L.O., once had a sovereign empire with a capital and an army on that land. And most importantly, here was a genuine opportunity for peace – no more war, no more bloodshed.

Not One Inch
The answer Yiftach returned to to the king of Ammon is far different than what Rabin and Peres told Arafat. Yiftach recounts all the past history, and then concludes: “So now the Lord of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before his people, Israel, and you should possess the land?! Will you not possess what your god, Kemosh, gives you to possess? And all whom the Lord, our G-d, shall drive from before us that we shall possess.” (Judges 11:23-24) This is the reaction of a true Jewish leader. A reaction based on emunah – faith in the word of G-d. The land is ours not because of any historical claim or because we defeated the former inhabitants in battle. Rather, the land is ours because G-d gave it to us and we have no right to give it up…

How To Subdue the Enemy
Ma’ase abot siman labanim – the deeds of our fathers are signs to the children. One needs only to study our Torah to learn how to deal with our enemies who initiate wars and then cry “Jewish land for peace”. The Arabs have attempted to destroy the Jewish State through four wars and much terrorism and when that failed the P.L.O. and the other Arabs went to the negotiating table and demanded Jewish land or else there will be no peace. Unfortunately, there are Jews who have little or no faith in the G-d of Israel who are (mis)leading the country today. These politicians are unfamiliar with the story of Yiftach and do not understand that our true right to the land of Israel is only because G-d gave it to his people as an eternal inheritance. May we, and our leaders, be worthy of having faith in the Al-mighty so that our enemies may be subdued as they were in the days of Yiftach.

Shlach: The Unrealistic Men of Truth

We tend to lump together all ten of the spies who spoke against the land as one cohesive group – an “evil congregation” which acted as one in rejecting the land of Israel. But this was not the case. There were actually several internal differences in the motives amongst the ten spies, who before their sin were considered by the sages as the most righteous of men.

The Different Factions
The most active group which set the pace and was most extreme in their stance of rejecting the land was ready to do anything to prevent entry into the land. Their agenda was to remain in the wilderness and eventually return to Egypt to the watermelons and garlic, or to the “land of milk and honey” (as Egypt was later coined by their pious disciples, Datan and Aviram in parshat Korah).

In contrast, there were more moderate factions for whom it was not so easy to suddenly reject what Jews had dreamed of for so long. But what? They too held doubts about making Aliyah. There was the fear of losing their prestigious positions, as well as the more simple fear of getting pummeled by the giants of the land. These spies were able to ease their consciences by “facing the reality”. After all, it’s impossible to defeat giants, and one is forbidden to endanger the entire Jewish People. Who knows? Maybe they came up with a “psak halacha” that “pekuach nefesh” takes precedence over the land of Israel. And the spies who were left probably “had no other choice” other than to go with the tide. They hadn’t the courage to go against the flow, and thus were dragged along, accepting the “party line”…

While there is a huge difference between those who streamrolled the process and those who were simply dragged along or were just being “realistic”, the Torah does not differentiate among the spies when meting out the punishment. All factions were put in the same boat, suffering a harsh death and non-entry into the Promised Land. The major inciters and those who may have LOVED Eretz Yisrael are ALL labeled as “and they despised the good land”. All pleas for lighter punishment due to special circumstances would have to wait for the Heavenly Court.

The True “Gedolim”

To accentuate this point, we have the two “gedolim”, Joshua and Kalev. In contrast to the pragmatists, men of small belief, and outright rejecters of G-d’s will, we see two men who proved that one needn’t buckle under to the pressure. We see two men who proved that precisely it is faith in G-d which is the REAL reality!

Behold, Joshua and Kalev found themselves in a new situation. Suddenly, they were a minority that stubbornly clung to an idea which was deemed as “unrealistic”. Surely it was difficult for them not to succumb to the pressure of following the party line. But the harder test was when they returned to the Jewish camp – to the people who had been incited and brainwashed, and had to decide whether they would hop on the bandwagon and repeat the party line, or whether they would fight. Here, too, they stood their ground, clinging to the simple truth which overnight had somehow turned into something insane and unrealistic: “The land which we passed through is an exceedingly good land!”

Being a “Hebrew” – the Most Difficult Test of All
Joshua and Kalev stood the test. True, they endangered themselves: “But all the congregation said to stone them with stones”. But this is what is required of a Jewish leader – not to make “cheshbonot” with God’s commandment and not to accept the false reality. To be willing to be hated and to suffer helpless isolation versus overflowing falsehood. For this is the root of the word “Hebrew” – “Ivry”, which means other side, where Abraham stood on one side, and the entire world stood on the other side.

When the dust finally clears, the masses who were mired in the temporary falsehood will try to understand where they went wrong. At that same moment, the men of truth who stubbornly clung to the simple truth will merit G-d’s portion and receive the yoke of leadership.

Ki Tissa: The Seven Canaanite Nations – a People Or a Concept?

At the end of Parshat Ki-Tisa, God prepares the Jewish people for their entry into the land of Israel (which awaited them shortly if not for the subsequent sin of the spies), and we see the following commandment: “Observe thou that which I am commanding thee this day, behold, I am driving out before thee the Amorite, and the Cananite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goes, lest they be for a snare in the midst of thee.”(34:11,12)

The children of Israel are about to set foot into the land of Israel, which is heavily populated by several different nations. God does not ignore the fact (like we do today) that there is a definite “Canaanite problem”, and he gives the solution straight up: The Jews must give the Canaanite nations three possible options: (see Rambam, Hilchot Milachim, Chapter 6 regarding the three letters that Joshua sent)

To accept the fact that the Jewish people are taking over their land even before the Jews enter, and then they can remain in the land as long as they agree to the conditions of obeying the seven Noachide Laws, taxes, and servitude.
If this is unacceptable to them, they have the right to leave the country immediately.
Their final option is to stay and fight to prevent the Jews from settling the land, and the halacha regarding their entire population of men, women, and children is: “And thou shalt not allow a soul to live.” After being defeated in war, they are not permitted to “regret” or change their minds and say: Wait, we made a mistake and we are willing to give up and accept the first option. For they have already surrendered their right to remain and live in Israel.
That isn’t Kahane speaking, that is the Bible.

A Fifth Column

The great commentator the Abarbenel, on the aforementioned verse, comments on this final commandment which prohibits the making of a pact with the nations of the land after they have been defeated in war, and explains the reasoning behind it: “Because after they (the Jewish People) took the land from them, there is no doubt that they will seek to do evil to the Jews. For this the verse says, ‘the land whither you goest’, meaning because you, the Jews, came to this land and took it from its inhabitants; you stole and conquered it, how can they ever make a covenant of peace and love with you?! In other words, if there is a war (with enemies from outside), they will join your enemies and fight against you.”

Here, the Abarbenel has taught us a tremendous lesson by entering the psyche of the conquered nation. The halachic prohibition of making a covenant with the inhabitants of the land who fought against you and tried to prevent you from settling the land is derived from a very logical consideration which takes into account the natural feelings of the nations from which the land was conquered. For a nation which believes with all its heart that we stole their land will never comes to terms with such a situation, and will forever wait for the day when he can take his land back. Even if today he realizes that he hasn’t the opportunity to overcome the Jews and even shows signs of accepting the way things are and even smiles at us, he will join the enemy as a fifth column. How can one ignore these very troubling, but very natural and normal feelings that fester in the hearts of the “loser” – feelings that will be carried over to the children, who become even more frustrated than the parents.

For this reason the halacha comes to tell us that we must drive out those nations who refuse to accept Jewish rule and our conditions. The moment they engage in war with us and lose, they will never stop yearning and aspiring to take back the land they see as theirs.

History Repeats Itself

The Abarbenel pulls the rug out from all of those who babble about laws only applying to the Seven Nations. According to logic and reason, there is absolutely no difference between the Seven Nations and the Ishmaelites today. They rose up against us and tried to drive us into the sea. They wage a cruel war, and unleash vicious terror in their struggle to wipe us off of the face of the earth. In so doing, they have become the “Eighth Nation”, joining the list of the original seven, for the same concepts hold concerning them. (Similar things can be seen in Trachtate Avoda Zara, 20, Tosfos, and in many other laws whose origin is from the Torah, yet are applied to all nations since the codifiers did not see a reason to differentiate between them and the Seven Nations.)

How Should a Jewish Government Behave?

Can there be the slightest doubt that the words of the Abarbenel also apply to the Ishmaelites of today in Israel, who after their defeat, “seek to do evil to the Jews”, and will always wait for that great day when they can actualize their vision of “slaughter the Jews”? Can there be any value to a treaty with them, other than enabling them to buy time and get stronger until the moment arises when they are confident enough to try and massacre all of us? a true Jewish government would carry out the last part of the letter sent by Joshua to the Canaanites giving them the option of fleeing for their lives, or suffering the consequences!

Terumah: Cleaning Up the Mount Before Building the Temple

The parasha tell us “and you shall make Me a sanctuary, and I shall dwell amongst them”. Simply put, we should be talking about the building of the Beit HaMikdash during this class. Today, religious Jews have come up with all kinds of reasons (excuses?) why we shouldn’t build the Temple: It will come from the heavens, or the Messiah will build it, we are not yet worthy, there are no Cohenim, etc….

Each camp has its own special reason. Despite this problem, I will not refute these arguments in this shiur, because as it says on the schedule, the topic of this class is: “Cleaning up the Mount before Building the Temple”. Because I believe that with all the importance there is in building the Temple and refuting the aforementioned claims, the most BASIC and real obstacle to building the Temple today is the existence of the Arab mosques and Waqk. That is what scares people away; that is what makes the concept of building the Temple sound like some far-fetched pipe-dream. Sure, the Temple seems like a distant fantasy because its been absent for 2,000 years and the offering of sacrifices is so removed from us. But what really makes it difficult to take the building of the Temple seriously is the fact that we know how problematic that place is. The place where the Temple is supposed to stand is the most problematic place in the entire world. This is the problem we run away from.

There is a concept in Judaism, “Sur Me Ra, Ase Tov” (Remove evil, do good). Last week, for Parashat Mishpatim, we discussed the strict prohibition of appearing before courts that carry out gentile law, and we discussed how the Supreme Court spearheads the Hellenist front. People say that the solution is a Sanhedrin. But that is not a real solution. The real solution is to first undercut the Israeli Supreme Court. After all, what are we going to do – serve a petition to the Supreme Court to establish a Sanhedrin? Of course the problem is a powerful and aggressive Israeli Supreme Court and judiciary system, which many people, including religious Jews find great favor with, unfortunately. And so, saying, “we must establish a Sanhedrin” is no answer. The REAL obstacle to the Sanhedrin and any Jewish content in our country is this all-powerful institution called the Supreme Court of Israel. You won’t convince anyone by saying, “establish a Sanhedrin”. It will always remain in the realm of abstract, far off – because there already exists another well-oiled judiciary mechanism, which is the utter antithesis to a Sanhedrin.

All the moreso when discussing the Temple. We say, “we must build the Temple”. But it is a fantasy when you have the very antithesis to it standing in its place. The problem is that people have difficulty dealing with the “negative” aspects. They like to do the “positive” aspects, as we have mentioned before regarding the building of settlements. People want to build settlements, but don’t want to deal with the “negative” aspect of the mitzvah of settling the land, which is the expulsion of the goyim. In similar fashion, people like to establish Temple Institutes and to show the beauty of the Temple vessels, and to give the feeling of the splendor and importance of the Temple. Of course this should be done – but if ONLY this is done, there is no way we will make it a reality. First, you must take care of the problem. That’s “Sur Me Ra, Ase Tove”. It is like doing surgery – you have to cut. There is blood and it is messy – so people choose to skirt the issue.But we must do it – we have no choice.

We must deal with the desecration that takes place up there. After the “shiur” you will see a shocking video from “Chai ViKayam” which shows the shocking reality of the Temple Mount situation. It is a must see. Every rabbi should see it. Unfortunately most rabbis will say that videos and TV’s are “impure”. The problem is that we worry about the small “impurities”, and forget about the big “impurities” (like on the Temple Mount)

It says in the Zohar, Parashat VaYetze: “Rebbe Zera went to meet with R. Elazar, and saw him crying. Rebbi Zera asked the shamash of R. Elazar, ‘why does he sit and cry’? The “shamash” said: ‘twice I tried to get near him to find out, but I couldn’t’. They saw R. Elazar leave his place of learning and crying on his way home. Rebbe Zera heard R. Elazar say: ‘The stone, the stone. The holy and loftiest stone – the nations of the world, in the future, will degrade you and put loathsome idols on top of you to defile your holy place. Oy for the world, oy for that time, oy for that generation!'”

We are talking about the “evin hashtiya”, the foundation stone in the Temple on which the arc stood. The Zohar continues: “R Elazar sat down, and Rebbe Zera asked his “shamash”: ‘Go ask him if I can see him’. The shamash entered and said, ‘Rebbe Zera is here’. R. Elazar did not react. After a little while, he said, ‘let R Zera enter, and you sit outside’. Rebbe Zera entered. He prostrated himself before him. R. Elazar kicked him and said, ‘arise from your bowing and sit regular’. He sat in his usual manner. Rebbe Zera asked him: ‘what were you crying about?’ He said, ‘On a great tragedy that will take place. I saw that the holy stone from which the world was created; the stone which Yaakov’s head rested upon, and on which the Almighty built His House upon for the Divine Presence to rest – I saw that on this stone, it is destined in the future to be degraded by the nations, and upon it will be their corpses. Who won’t cry? Oy to the world, oy to that time, oy to that generation.

” We are talking about the impurity (“tooma”) on the place of our holiest site. We know that the Temple Mount today has indeed become a cemetary for the Arab corpses. Abdullah, king of Jordan is buried there. The flag of Jordan waves on the Temple Mount. In short, they have deliberately put a lot of “tooma” there. Throughout history, the forces of “tooma” have been attracted to the Temple Mount. After the Bar Cochba rebellion, Hadrian built a temple for idols; the Christians and the Muslims afterwards. Our sages didn’t just cry about the “churban” (destruction), but they also cry about the foreign intruders and impurities which permeate the area.

In Sefer HaMitzvot, the Rambam brings down that we are forbidden to plant trees on the Temple Mount, even if it is for beautifying the area. Today we know that the area is full of trees and grass, so that the Arabs can have their picnics. When David fought the wars of Israel, he conquered areas outside of Israel (Aram Zova and Aram Naharayim), but neglected the Yevusites in Jerusalem. The Sifri says: “The area of My palace you didn’t conquer, and you go and fight Aram Zova?”. But David DID conquer Jerusalem, as we see in Shmuel Bet, so why is Hashem saying he didn’t conquer it? But the answer is that he left the Yevusites “autonomy”. Despite the fact that the Yevusites were resident strangers, it was not considered conquering them, because he left them with self-rule on the Temple Mount. It is like today, where we build and build on the outskirts, but “near My palace, you didn’t conquer”.

If we don’t talk about the need to remove the disgrace, we arrive at absurd conclusions. Here is an article by someone who suggests building the Temple in the area of the Kotel. He says this will “neutralize the hostility” between the nations. All this is a symptom of the sickness of not talking about the mosques. It’s not nice to talk about dismantling them, or blowing them up, or moving them. But their presence is what deters most people from thinking about building the Temple. Here is another idea written here: We needn’t dismantle the mosques, but rather we can have a kind of dual-condiminium concept – maybe build the Temple on the second floor of the mosque…(laughter) All this stems from the sickness that we don’t want a confrontation. So we have the hugest contradiction in the world: the holiest site contains the greatest “tooma”. So we evade the issue. If you don’t settle problems and contradictions, the results are absurd and ridiculous ideas. We see this in all areas of life here. My father wrote an entire book on the subject called, “Koo-Koo Land”, to depict the insanity. Today, the situation is much worse.

As I researched through the articles on the Temple Mount, I asked myself: what happened to all that awakening which had been taking place ten years ago in regard to ascending Har HaBayit, etc. There had been the beginning of a real awakening in the subject. Chai ViKayam had been going up, breaking through. Others were going up.. What happenend to it all. Why has it faded? People go up the Mount still, but less than before. But there is no progress. When Chai ViKayam started, they had an intention to force the issue much further, but things got stuck, everything is stuck…

Question: But we must go up still, it helps..

Kahane: I say that as a rule, ascending the Mount through degradation won’t help us. People should go up the Temple Mount, if that’s all there is, people should do it. But I think that such activities won’t light the fire, won’t elevate, or have any revolutionary impact. This goes for all the activities taking place on the national front. Everything is stuck. For twenty years we have had the “Aliyot” to the Mount, and there is no progress. Therefore, we must contemplate why.

I say that we are not in the galut, and we can’t act as if we are. To go up to the Temple Mount, to present our Tiudat Zehut, to be frisked, to be escorted by the Waqk – it’s a degradation! We already supposedly passed the stage of degradation. We are not supposed to be a generation of degradation. Though we are, it is not supposed to be. The Almighty returned us to Eretz Yisrael in order to blot out the desceration of His Name. And the Beit HaMikdash won’t be built via degradation. The State of Israel wasn’t established through degradation, but through mighty heroism and self-sacrifice of Jews who fought and fell on Kiddush Hashem. Beit Mikdash can’t be built through anything less. It won’t be built via “understandings” with the Waqf, which is the plan of many mistaken Jews. It just doesn’t go together.

Question: What’s the alternative?

Kahane: That’s a big question. The alternative is mighty deeds, Kiddush Hashem. I know the alternative. I’m not leveling complaits against anyone.

But we must know that there is a lack of self-sacrifice today, and I know that even being one of the few who ascend the Mount under the present conditions is self-sacrifice, too. But it’s not enough. The Almighty demands a great deal more of us. This is why everything that has been tried up to now has not worked – Hashem is not letting it work, because he wants greater “msirut nefesh”. I’m not better than anyone else, but this is how I understand the realities of the situation…

Mishpatim: They Shall Not Dwell in Your Land

Several months ago a group of 120 Rabbis from the “religious-Zionist” camp issued a statement regarding the prohibition of handing over parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. The five part statement began as follows: “Eretz Yisrael in its entirety belongs to the Jewish nation, and we are commanded by the Torah to inherit it and to dwell in it, and not to leave it in the hands of any other nation. It is forbidden to allow the gentiles to have a foothold in Israel, as it is written,’do not allow them a foothold’, and it is also written, ‘they shall not dwell in your land’. Therefore it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael, thereby leaving it, G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”.

Seemingly, there is nothing new here. Ever since the withdrawal process from Eretz Yisrael got underway under Menachem Begin, we have heard from many sources, including the chief rabbinate, about the Torah prohibition forbidding the handing over of parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. But in this latest statement, there is an addition which caught our eye, and that is the inclusion of the verse from our parsha, “they shall not dwell in your land”.

The Obligation To Expel the Goyim
Up until now, it was customary for such pronouncements to only mention the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”. From here the sages learn that “it is forbidden to give them (the gentiles) a foothold in the land” (Trachtate Yibamot), and this is brought down as the halacha. But they would never mention the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”, which is a clear prohibition against allowing gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael while under Jewish sovereignty. Indeed we find that when the Rambam brings the halacha forbidding gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael, he sites this verse as the source of the prohibition. Here are his words from chapter ten of Hilchot Avodah Zarah (halacha 6) “But at a time when Israel has power over them (the gentiles), it is forbidden to allow them to live amongst us. Even as temporary residents… as it is written ‘they shall not dwell in your land’ – even temporarily. And if they accept the seven mitzvot of Bnei Noach, then they have the status of a resident stranger. And we only accept resident strangers when the Jubilee is in effect”.

Why did the religious national camp refrain from quoting the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” when justifying our hold onto the land? The answer is obvious. During the holy struggle by the rabbis to prevent withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael, they uncannily omitted the requirement of driving out the gentiles. This requirement is the flip side to the mitzvah of “yishuv HaEretz”, inseparable from and essential to the mitzvah of Eretz Yisrael. There can be no inheritance of the land without a disinheritance of it’s inhabitants. In order to avoid this issue, they were reluctant to bring the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”. [At this point we should mention that the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”, also refers to the prohibition against allowing gentiles to remain in those parts of the land which we control, and not just to the buying, renting, or handing over of land, which is certainly forbidden as well. In any event, the rabbis preferred bringing the verse “do not allow them a foothold” since it usually connotes the more limited prohibition of handing over Jewish land to gentile sovereignty, and thus avoids the bigger issue of removing the
Arab trespasser].

Making the “Psak Halacha” Complete
The inclusion of the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” in this latest pronouncement is certainly a positive development. The problem is that after quoting this verse, and the verse, “do not allow them a foothold,” we are told in the very same breath that the conclusion of all this is that “it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael and leave it G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”. That is the only conclusion?? Can we not deduct something more from these two verses? If they are going to take the time to finally quote “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, should they not take the next step in pronouncing “that we must drive the gentiles out of all parts of the land which are under our control, and no longer allow them to live in our land”, (and then afterwards they can add) “and all the more so it is forbidden by the Torah to hand over parts of the land to the gentile”!?

Either Us or Them
By now it is crystal clear to everyone that the tragic withdrawal process we find ourselves mired in is derived from the fact that we failed to drive out the gentile inhabitants after conquering the land. It is only the presence of huge and hostile Arab population centers which brings us to the decision that “there is no choice” other than handing over land to them. If we would have fulfilled the verse “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, then we would have been spared the transgression of the prohibition, “do not allow them a foothold”. These commandments are intrinsically dependent on one another.

On the verse, “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, the Sforno comments: “On those parts of the land which you conquer and dwell in – they shall not dwell. This was not done in the time of Joshua. As it is written, ‘the Canaanites lived amongst them at Gezer’ (Judges chapter 2)…” In other words, our generation made the same tragic mistake as did the generation of Joshua. Yes, they captured the land. But by not driving out the inhabitants, they failed to actualize their conquest and sovereignty, which in effect, rendered their conquest insubstantial. (see Judges, chapter 2) “The deeds of the fathers are a sign for the sons”.

JEWISH LAW VS. GENTILE LAW
Rabeinu BeChayei, in his book Kad HaKemach writes: “It is forbidden to appear before a gentile court of law, but only before Jewish ones, as the Torah says ‘these are the ordinances which you shall set before them’ “, and Rashi comments: ‘before them, but not before the heathens’. And the sages teach us that it is forbidden to be judged before a gentile court, even if you know that regarding a certain law, they will decide it like the laws of Israel. And so, one can only go to a court of God-fearing Torah scholars, as it says “before them”… The major substance of the Torah are its laws, and if we do not use them, this is a Chillul Hashem, and he who does not protest against this desecrates the Name of God, and disgraces the Torah of Moshe, and gives a hand to idol-worship….

And so it is no coincidence, that the Israeli judiciary stands at the front-line of the Hellenist camp in this cultural war we find ourselves in the midst of. The recent decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court to coerce the chief rabbinate to defy the Jewish halacha regrading the laws of marriage, kashurt, and “who is a Jew” is a part of their overall goal to cut down their natural foe – the rabbincal courts. It is to show them again and again, who the “boss” is, what are the values upon which the state of Israel postulates – democratic values or Jewish ones

Chaye Sarah: The Temple Mount, The Cave of the Patriarchs, Joseph’s Tomb

“Rabbi Yehuda Bar Simon said: It is one of the three places where thenations of the world would not be able to deceive Israel by claiming: You are thieves (since it was acquired with money). And they
are: The Cave of the Patriarchs, the Temple Mount, and Joseph’s Tomb. The Cave of the Patriarchs, as it is written: ‘And Avraham weighed to Ephron the silver…’; The Temple Mount, as it is written, ‘So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold coins by weight’; Joseph’s
Tomb, as it is written, ‘and he (Yaakov) bought the parcel of ground….at the hand of the children of Hamor, the father of Shchem’ “. (Breishit Raba, 89)

“Would Not be Able”?

Three questions arise from the above midrash: And on the rest of the Land of Israel the gentiles CAN say that we are robbers? What does it mean, “they will not be able”? We see that they are quite
able in undermining our claim to those three places. Indeed, precisely those three places are where they concentrate their struggle! On the verse in Psalms (111), “The power of His works He has declared to His people in giving them the heritage of the nation”, Rashi writes: “so that the nations will not be able to say you are robbers when you conquer the seven nations”. And so, we see that Rashi says that on ALL OF ISRAEL “they cannot say” that we are thieves! The key to the answer of all the above questions is the following: The truth is that it is not really important what the gentiles say – the problem is what the Jews will say! We will now see how this is the exact message that the Torah and our sages gleaned to us through their words.

The Message is Meant for the Jews

The Torah knew that when the gentile would rise up against the Jewish”thieves” and “occupiers” and “conquerors”, there was liable to be someguilt feelings that the Jew might have about the justice of his cause.Perhaps the gentile is right that we stole his land? Perhaps he has anethical argument? And so the sages come to tell us: Look, there are three places that even according to simple logic the gentile cannot open his mouth about, for they were purchased with money. And in any case, this justified claim makes no impression on them. On the contrary, it is precisely in these three places where they center their struggle against us! What does this teach us? That it isn’t justice or ethics which motivates them, nor is it a dispute over property that can be resolved. Rather it is a national – religious struggle!

Now the sages come and explain: Just as you know that in these three places their claims are not justified, by the same token you should not get excited about the rest of their claims on other parts of the land of Israel, since “the entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He, He created it and gave it to whomever it was right in his eyes, Of His own will He gave it to them and of His own will He took it from them and gave it to us!” (The first Rashi in the Torah)

This now explains Rashi in the aforementioned Psalm, that “the nations of the world WON’T BE ABLE to say you are robbers”. Not that “they won’t be able to say” it. On the contrary, they’ll say it all the time. But the “won’t be able to” is not directed to the gentile, but rather to the ears
of the Jews! That they must know that G-d gave us the Land, with an obligation to conquer and expel. And so it is said: “The power of His works He has declared to His people in giving them the heritage of the nations” – the answer is intended for “His people”. The gentiles are not being addressed here, either because they will not listen anyway, or perhaps it simply is not important what they think.

Our Eyes Are Upon Those Three Places

Every year, Parshat Chaye Sarah is “Shabbat Hebron”. But this year, events have caused a situation where we are forced to concentrate on all three places: Hebron, Shchem, and the Temple Mount which have become symbols of the Arab-Israeli struggle in the Land of Israel. And there is a good
reason for it. Today, when everything is slipping away, we must hold tight to all the sides, for we have learned that they are all connected to one another. How is that? Behold, the struggle for the Hashmonean tunnel which the Arabs claimed hurt THE TEMPLE MOUNT (“theirs”), brought about the
battle in Judea and Samaria, concentrating mainly in JOSEPH’S TOMB. All this pressured the government to step up the HEBRON evacuation, and to give in to the Arab construction of another mosque on the TEMPLE MOUNT!

Indeed, the battle for the Land of Israel has reached its climax, and those three locations which the “gentile won’t be able” to contest are, in fact, the most hotly contested!

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