Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rav Amar threatens to quit if Rav Druckman not reinstated

Arutz Sheva reports June 10. 2008

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar stands behind Conversion Authority head Rabbi Chaim Druckman, and demands that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reinstate him.

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Rishon LeTzion, plans to meet with Olmert's top aides next week. One of the main issues, the rabbi's aides say, will be Rabbi Druckman.

Rabbi Druckman became the center of a storm last month when a three-judge panel of the High Rabbinical Court invalidated all the conversions to Judaism performed over the past several years under Rabbi Druckman's watch. Religious-Zionist rabbis immediately stated that they did not recognize the validity of the ruling, and Rabbi Amar reassured government ministers that the ruling was not binding.

However, in mid-May, Rabbi Druckman received a letter from the Prime Minister's Bureau stating that because of his age - he had recently turned 75 - his term as Head of the Conversion Authority was not being renewed. The PM's Bureau oversees the functions of what used to be the Religious Affairs Ministry.

A top aide to Rabbi Amar told Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen that the rabbi will make it clear to the Olmert team that if Rabbi Druckman is not reinstated, "he will consider resigning." No Chief Rabbi of Israel has ever resigned.

"Rabbi Amar will not allow Rabbi Druckman's status to be hurt in any way," the aide said. "Rabbi Druckman must remain the head of the Conversion Authority."

Different Approaches
At the heart of the matter is the halakhic [Jewish legal] requirement, agreed upon nearly unanimously, that prospective converts display a sincere intention to observe a religious lifestyle, or else their entry into the Jewish nation is insincere and invalid. However, there are two schools of thought as to how to implement this requirement.

One school says that if a convert appears to be sincere in his desire to be a religious Jew when he appears before the rabbinical court, the judges may suffice with this and allow the conversion. In addition, they need not check up later on his "progress."

The more hareidi school of thought is that if a convert is later seen to be living a non-religious lifestyle, this renders the conversion invalid almost automatically.

Understanding Our Special Generation
Rabbi Moshe Klein, Rabbi Druckman's deputy in the Conversion Administration, said, "Though both sides rely on the same Halakhic sources, they disagree as to how to understand our generation of the Ingathering of the Exiles and our obligation to prevent intermarriage of Jews... Rabbi Druckman attempted, within the strictures of Halakhah, to make conversion more convert-friendly - but his work was stopped in the middle."

Rabbi Druckman has a sterling reputation among his many thousands of students, and regularly remains awake until 1-2 AM in order to meet with and help the many people who need him. For decades, he maintained a harrowing schedule as the founder and head of the Yeshivat Ohr Etzion institutions (including a military yeshiva high school), father to nine children, head of the nationwide Yeshivot Bnei Akiva umbrella organization, teacher in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, Knesset Member, advisor and helper to uncounted people who turned to him at all hours of the day, and more. [...]

19 comments :

  1. To better understand Rav Amar, it helps considering the approach of his teacher, Rav Ovadia Yosef, to acceptance of the commandments for conversion. See this article:

    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/743/484.html

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  2. Are any other sources reporting this story???

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  3. Recipients and PublicityJune 11, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    This is (tragically) funny: The secular state, presently headed by Olmert as the present PM, knowingly brings hundreds of thousands of Halachic non-Jews to Israel and then throws the hot potato job of finding a solution to their non-Jewish status in the laps of rabbis like Rav Drukman, who then gets on with the job the state itself gave him, and when another echelon of the state's rabbinic courts negate that unenviable job, the state literally passes the buck and instead of admitting its own guilt in creating the problem in the first place by openly soliciting and aiding the non-Jews to come to Israel, fires the rabbi who was trying to help the state out of its self-inflicted festering wound.

    This is the height of hypocrisy and political cynicism because it should be the state officials, perhaps even the PM as the head of the state who should quit and not create scapegoats.

    Probably, if it is true that Rav Amar is making this threat to resign, it is a huge warning to Ehud Olmert that his goverenment cannot expect the cooperation of the official rabbinate and of the Religious Zionist movement to play along with the government's duplicitous DOUBLE-FACED hypocritical and utterly cynicial role in the games it is playing such as killing the messenger because they dislike the message (that Rav Drukman was trying to help them) but that they will fake that he was at fault to save face with the Haredim.

    Olmert's fate, with the other allegations against him, and his looming resignation cannot be far behind considering the present political climate in Israel with the clamor for new elections, and for the end of the Olmert regime, growing louder each day.

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  4. Check out this post

    http://atruefaith.blogspot.com/2008/06/evil-empire.html

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  5. "understand our generation of the Ingathering of the Exiles "

    Isn't it true that the ingathering can't happen until AFTER Moshiach??

    How can our generation be the "ingathering of the exiles" if Moshiach has not yet come??
    (Did I sleep through something??)

    After Moshiach comes,
    the Raavad says first we have to wander in the desert again for 40 years with Moshiach, only then will we reach or ultimate goal of going into EY.

    Raavad to Edios 2:9. Rabbi Avraham ben David of Provence, c.1125-1198, Posquieres, Provence; author of critical glosses on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah

    See also Rashi Yechezkel 20:35, which is the prophecy that the Raavad is referring to. The Ramban in Maamar HaVikuach says this will take 45 years.

    (from Frumteens.com).

    Now paranoid me, isn't it Christianity that believes that Moshiach came, died and will return?

    Isn't it Christianity that says that the Oral Law (halacha) is no longer relevant because we are living in a Messianic time?

    When did these Christian beliefs become part of Judaism???

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  6. "Isn't it true that the ingathering can't happen until AFTER Moshiach??"

    No it isn't true, not at all! Jersey Girl, the Rambam writes that no one knows how exactly these things will happen until they actually happen, and that none of their details are principles of Judaism.

    The Ingathering of the Exiles is something that has simply happened, period. Baruch Hashem, we have merited witnessing with our own eyes what the Rambam himself never saw. It is something worth saying Hallel over. The State of Israel is the center of the world's Jewish population and becomes more so with each and every day that passes.

    Torah and halakhah have also flourished like never before because of this. Nothing Christian at all about it, and highly strange that you would suggest it.

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  7. Dear Anonymous 8:11,

    "Torah and halacha have flourished like never before because of this."

    How can you say that an ingathering is happening now?

    Every Israeli Sephardic young person I know of is LEAVING Israel!! and going to Turkey, Germany, even France. They are willing to work as movers, stock grocery shelves, do anything just to get out of Israel. There are (according to the Federation of Jewish agencies) 250,000 Israeli yeridahs living in my community.

    This is hardly an "ingathering".

    Torah and halacha are flourishing? In America there is a 50% intermarriage rate and kids are going off the derech like never before. Israel is trying to grapple with the issue of a million Gentiles from South America and FSU out of fear they will intermarry with Jews.

    Maybe "Christianity" isn't the right term, maybe "Avodah Zara" would be more correct according to our Sages (I guess growing up in a Christian country I am confused, not ALL Avoda Zara is Christianity although ALL Christianity IS Avodah Zara):

    "Assimilation is not the only Jewish tragedy. Zionism has created a substitute for Judaism in the form of nationalism, and produced the religion-hating Zionist. As Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZTL writes, "The State of Israel presents the greatest peril to Jewish existence in history ... what Haman and Titus could not do, the Israelis are attempting: the first could only attempt to destroy the physical existence of Israel, but the State of Israel is attempting to counterfeit the term Jew and to erase all boundaries between Jew and non-Jew." (Sing You Righteous par. 46-48). And besides the assimilation, Zionism itself is avodah zorah, and as Rav Elchonon Wasserman said, "Zionism is idolatry and so religious Zionism is just idolatry coupled with religion". This nationalistic-Zionistic atmosphere creates a culture which needs to be fought against just as does the Goyish cultures in chutz laaretz."

    Rav Schach writes:

    "Eretz Yisroel is still Golus, and therefore we cannot defy the other nations
    “Klal yisroel is still in Golus until Moshiach comes, even if we are in Eretz Yisroel. This is not Geulah nor Atchaltah D’Geulah. [And since it is still Golus therefore] we are commanded not to defy the nations of the world.” (Letters 1:3)

    We must repeat to ourselves principle that we should not be mistaken even for one moment, to think chas v’sholom that a “new era” has begun, and to be mislead and to mislead, that this is something of an “Aschalta D’Geulah. This unworthy thought, and similar ideas endanger the existence of Klall Yisroel, and it is heresy against the very foundation of foundations of our existence. We need to know that this entire thing is a Nisayon from Hashem to see if we will veer from the path of our fathers . . . they [i.e. the Zionists] forced young children against their will and without giving them a choice, to throw away the path of their fathers…like the children from Tehran…and so it is now, with the children that are put on leftist Kibbutzim, which is literally Shmad (“havarah al hadas”) – is this then Aschalta D’Geulah? … the redemption via Moshiach is one of the fundamentals of our religion, and it is impossible for the Geulah to come in any other form or through any other people. Their thinking, that we are one nation from the nations of the world is a mistake, and is a danger to Klall Yisroel. Not only that, but it ????? . This causes hatred of the Jews, and that all the nations will come to denigrate Klall Yisroel and to bother them, and by relying on what the Jews themselves say, that the Jews are the cause of all that is happening . . . (Letters #10)

    “We should also know that when Chazal prohibited us (Kesuvos 111a) to rebel against the nations and to go to Eretz Yisroel with strength [i.e. the Oaths], this was only and completely for our own good as a nation, for they in their Ruach HaKodesh knew that the hatred of the nations for Klall Yisroel is an eternal hatred, and we must not oppose the nations,[u] even when we are right[u], for this will add [more] hatred to [their] hatred.. Do not think that the holocaust happened to us because we did not have a Medinah. It is not so. The Medinah is not a guarantee of our survival. Even we have five million or more [Jews] here, c”v when there will be a war between the great powers what worth will all this have against modern technology, and even if we will be strong, it will have no value against a great [world] power. In WWII, when the Germans were at El Alamein and if c”v they would have entered Eretz yisroel, even if we would have had five million men, the destruction would have been very great, and it would have been worse [here] than in another place, for there are no forests for the partisans. On one side there is the ocean, and all around we are surrounded by enemies and those who hate us. Only by the hand of Hashem did their hearts turn [from this], to fight with Russia, in order to save the Jews who were in Eretz Yisroel.

    “Therefore, I think, it is worthwhile not to talk so big.I hold it is worthwhile not to stand on the issue of settlements. I want you to know that any concession that is done for the sake of peace is not a concession. When Hashem has mercy and the time of redemption will come, everything will be returned to us. And I do not hesitate to set forth that according to Halachah, there is no problem with giving up part of Eretz Yisroel for the sake of peace. And historically, we have suffered much more in the countries of Europe than in the Arabic countries.
    “Certainly, it is difficult to act against your feelings, and especially when this feeling appears to be a religious one. But the obligation of a responsible person, who is decided life-and-death issues, is to rise above feelings, and to calculate his actions only according to straight thinking, for this is the thinking that is founded on Daas Torah. (Letters, #12)"

    http://www.frumteens.com/topic.php?topic_id=1651&forum_id=45&Topic_Title=Rav+Shach+ZT%26quot%3BL+on+This+Issue&forum_title=Zionists%2C+and+Arabs%2C+and+Eretz+Yisroel

    Another question to ponder:

    How do you hold regarding Lebanon (parts of it), Jordan and Syria where one is required to take off Terumah and Maaser vs. Eilat where one does not? (The position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has always been that Eilat is safek Eretz Yisrael)?

    Wouldn't it be a mitzvah to leave Eilat for Damascus, Jordan or Southern Lebanon so that one may fulfill the requirements of those who dwell in EY?

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  8. Jersey Girl -
    The points you bring up does a nice job showing how Geulah Shelaymah has not yet arrived. But even the RZ are modeh that.

    The accumulation of Jews in Eretz Yisrael in the last 100 years has been unprecedented, and there's a good possibility that the majority of world Jewry will be living in EY in the near future (yes, despite the unfortunate yeridah). It takes quite a bit of mental gymnastics to say it has nothing to do with the Ingathering of Exiles. Not to mention the fact that EY has again become the center of Torah in the world (for example, the big machloksim about the conversion process affecting Jews worldwide is ocurring primarily, you guessed it, in EY).

    As for R' Shach zt"l, the answer simply is that he's a Godol, but not the only one.

    For a quick and easy summary of an alternative view (for you, that is) about the the spiritual significance of Zionism, may I recommend the chapter on Iyar in The Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov? Another interesting book is Em Habamin Semecha by Rabbi Yisachar Teichtal (anything by Rav Kook zt"l is probably too obvious).

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  9. Dear Tzurah,

    "The accumulation of Jews in Eretz Yisrael in the last 100 years has been unprecedented, and there's a good possibility that the majority of world Jewry will be living in EY in the near future"

    Pre 1939 Poland was the center of the European Jewish world with a vibrant Jewish community of over three million, one of the largest in the world.

    By the 10th century the major Babylonian institutions, including the great talmudic yeshivahs of Sura and Pumbedita and the court of the Exilarch, had all relocated to Baghdad in order to be closer to the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, which was the most powerful political force in the world. It was through their official recognition by the Baghdadi Caliphs that the Babylonian Jews were able to impose their religious leadership and their Talmud upon most of the Jewish world.

    During the zenith of Iraqi-Jewish dominance it was inconceivable to many Jews that Baghdad had not always been a major Jewish center, and some talmudic sources were rewritten to reflect that perception.

    Are you saying that the Ingathering once occurred in Iraq and Poland because these were at different times in our history the largest Jewish population centers and the centers of world Jewish scholarship?

    On pg 23 of Rabbi Kitov's Book of Our Heritage - translated by Nathan Bulman-- I quote:

    "They call the new situation "the Beginning of Redemption" but they admit that the newly acquired sovereignty has not brought about the prophesied elements of Redemption. How can it be - they ask- if only one seventh of our nation has come to reinherit..

    How can unobservant Jews be leaders of the Nation?
    How can this be even the Beginning of Redemption?

    Confronted by these questions they come to the conclusion that the new statehood constitutes unfaithfulness and lack of trust in Divine Redemption. They feel that the fifth of Iyar should be regarded as a day of sadness".

    p. 31 In conclusion-

    "we may certainly look forward to a full fledged Festival of Redemption once the unity of Israel has been achieved and we have been cured of the maladies of exile"

    Does this, in your opinion support the assertion that we are in Geulah now and experiencing the ingathering of Exiles?


    Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal was one of the first European rabbis to break ranks with traditional Orthodox Judaism and support an active effort to settle the land of Israel.

    During the Holocaust Rabbi Teichtal radically changed his position on Israel as he struggled to make meaning out of what was happening around him. His carefully constructed arguments are outlined in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah penned during his wanderings in hiding from his Nazi oppressors and their collaborators. In that work, first published in 1943, he makes a case for Zionism and a call for the Jewish people to unite to rebuild the land of Israel bringing about the ultimate redemption. His original view had been that of the majority in the Orthodox Jewish world at the time which discouraged an active movement for a return of Jews to Israel.

    Rabbi Teichtal died in 1945 while being transported from Auschwitz to Mauthausen concentration camps.

    Pastor John Hagee also likes to quote Rabbi Teichtal's words written while cowering in a Budapest cellar in the midst of Hitler’s Holocaust:

    “Furthermore, the sole purpose of all the afflictions that smite us in our exile is to arouse us to return to our Holy Land.”

    From The Book "Eim Habanim Semeichah":
    Its Historical Background and Relevance Today
    by Rabbi Berel Wein
    http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5764/beharbechuk64/chosen.htm

    In Eim Habanim Semeichah....Teichtal fulfilled a personal pledge that he had made to write a book in honor of the Land of Israel. But this book is much more than a paean of praise for the spiritually imagined Holy Land that has always dominated Jewish religious thinking in the long exile of the Jews. This work candidly confronts the terrible issues of shaken faith and loss of tradition raised by the rise of Zionism and the terribly unimagined events of the Holocaust. Writing from within the hell of Hitler's Europe, without books or research material, Teichtal wrote a work of enormous Torah scholarship and erudition and of searing pain and challenge.......

    Before World War II, Rabbi Teichtal was an adherent of the Rabbi of Munkacs, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro. This rabbi of Munkacs was the fiercest foe of all types of Zionism.......

    Teichtal was as committed an opponent and as strong a critic of the Zionist movement before the war as was Shapiro. It was only during the German destruction of the Slovakian Jewish community, which Teichtal was forced to personally witness and endure, that he began to draw conclusions diametrically opposed to his pre-war views on Zionism, Messianic times and secular Jews. In Eim Habanim Semeichah, Teichtal confesses to his previous errors of judgment and misguided interpretations of Jewish faith.

    Its easy to see why Christian Eschatologists love to quote Rabbi Teichtal's work "Em Habanim Semeicha" and promote it as:

    "A remarkable confession from an ultra-Orthodox Rabbinic leader who admits to fatal errors in having been linked to a mistaken theology".

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  10. Now while we are on the topic:

    Brog, David. Standing With Israel:
    (David Brog is head of an Evangelical Pro Israel Group)

    Why Christians Support the Jewish State.

    "They have donated large sums of money to support Israel, including to charities that pay the costs of bringing Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia to Israel."

    (This is a core issue being explored on this blog. The question is "Why?" do Christians donate millions of dollars each year to bring tens of thousands of non Jewish olim to Israel and have them converted.)


    "Christian support for Israel is not a recent development. Its political roots reach as far back to the 1880s, when a man named William Hechler formed a committee of Christian Zionists to help move Russian Jewish refugees to Palestine after a series of pogroms. In 1884, Hechler wrote a pamphlet called “The Restoration of Jews to Palestine According to the Prophets.

    A few years later, he befriended Theodor Herzl and joined Herzl to drum up support for Zionism. Hechler even arranged a meeting between Herzl and Kaiser Wilhelm II to discuss Herzl’s proposal to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. The two men remained close friends up until Herzl’s death in 1904.(Herzl's family converted to Christianity).

    An important milestone in the history of Christian Zionism occurred in 1979, almost a century after William Hechler approached Herzl and offered to mobilize Christian support for a Jewish state: the founding of the Moral Majority. Founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Moral Majority was an organization made up of conservative Christian political action committees that succeeded in mobilizing like-minded individuals to register and vote for conservative candidates. With nearly six million members, it became a powerful voting bloc during the 1980s and was credited for giving Ronald Reagan the winning edge in the 1980 elections. One of the Moral Majority’s four founding principles was “support for Israel and Jewish people everywhere.”

    Christian Zionists, through their volunteer work, political support, and financial assistance to Israel and Jewish causes, have donated large sums of money to support Israel, including to charities that pay the costs of bringing Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia to Israel.

    Pastor John Hagee has raised more than $4.7 million for the United Jewish Communities. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help poor Jews across the world move to Israel.

    Despite their support for Israel, many Jews are uncomfortable with Christian Zionists. This discomfort is fed by Christian anti-Semitism, Christian replacement theology, evangelical proselytizing, and and disagreements over domestic and political issues.

    The dispensationalist view of the Bible is that the Old Testament is foreshadowing for what will occur in the New Testament and, at the end, Jesus returns to reign on Earth after an epic battle between good and evil. Israel plays a central role in the dispensationalist view of the end of the world. The establishment of Israel in 1948 was seen as a milestone to many dispensationalists on the path toward Jesus’ return. In their minds, now that the Jews have regained their homeland, all Jews are to return to Israel, just as had been prophesied in the Bible. As described in the Book of Revelation, there is an epic battle that will take place in Israel after it is reestablished — Armaggedon — in which it is prophesied that good will finally triumph over evil. However, in the process, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel die and the other third are converted to Christianity. Jesus then returns to Earth to rule for 1,000 years as king.

    “Evangelicals who support Israel most certainly do want to convert people. Evangelicals who don’t support Israel also want to convert people. The mission of sharing the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ is central to being an evangelical.

    Pastor John Hagee, a longtime supporter of Israel, based at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, heads Christians United for Israel (CUFI), says of Israel: “We believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 regarding the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

    Pastor Hagee claims that he and other Christian Zionists support Israel because they owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people, and not because they want Jews to convert to Christianity. The Jewish people gave the world Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, of whom there were “not a Baptist in the bunch...The Jewish people do not need Christianity to explain their existence. But Christians cannot explain our existence without Judaism. The roots of Christianity are Jewish.”

    Christian Zionists are also more conservative on Israel than many Jews. They favor Israel maintaining all of its settlements in the West Bank, and were opposed to the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Some prominent Christian Zionists have been highly critical of Israeli government policy of giving over parts of Israel to the Palestinian people. Christian Zionists, believe that Israel should never cede any section of Israel to the Palestinians because Israel was given to the Jews by God.

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  11. Jersey Girl,

    The fact that there were a lot of Jews in Poland of Bavel has inherently less spiritual significance that there being lots of Jews in EY.

    You quote R' Kitov's Book of Our Heritage, "Confronted by these questions they come to the conclusion that the new statehood constitutes unfaithfulness and lack of trust in Divine Redemption. They feel that the fifth of Iyar should be regarded as a day of sadness".

    That's an egregious example of selective quoting. If you read the chapter in full, surely you're aware that that's not his maskanah. He was bringing down one opinion, that he ultimately, and respectfully, rejects.

    We should dismiss R' Teichtal just because some Christians really like him? By that logic we should also throw out the Zohar as well. Many Christian groups (not just Madonna!) have had a fascination with it over the years. Protestants really love the Old Testament, so maybe the Tanach should go too, ch"v.

    If we reject every Jewish idea or sefer just because some non-Jews out there like it, we won't be left with much.

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  12. One of the main points in Em Habanim Semecha is that much of the European Torah community (including the one he grew up in) incorrectly denigrated the value of Jews settling and building up EY through guilt by association.

    R' Teichtal lamented how his community, in their eagerness to separate themselves from the secular Zionists, made the mistake of also separating themselves from loving the land of Israel.

    Jersey Girl, by tarring Zionists (religious or not) as Christian lackeys, you seem to be making a similar mistake.

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  13. "He was bringing down one opinion, that he ultimately, and respectfully, rejects. "

    I do not agree with you that this opinion is rejected. I am quite familiar with the books (my edition is published by Feldheim).

    Rabbi Kitov writes in conclusion to his chapter on the Fifth of Iyar:

    p 29 "in spite of all arguments and counter arguments, however, one thing is simply clear: the complete redemption is still to come. The prophet has not yet appeared, the Divine revelation has not yet been heard, that would resolve all doubts. Discussion and confusion are still virulent side-effects of the "Day of Independence" on the fifth of Iyar. "

    And then on pg 31:
    "A standard form of observance to mark the events of the fifth of Iyar has not yet been prescribed by centrally constituted Rabbinic authority. We may certainly look forward to a full fledged Festival of Redemption once the unity of Israel has been achieved and we have been cured of the maladies of exile."

    Rabbi Kitov worked for Agudath Israel in Poland until immigrating to Palestine in 1936.

    Upon his immigration to Israel, he worked in construction. As a Chareidi Jew, he was extremely dissatisfied with the terrible conditions the Chareidi workers experienced, and helped establish the Union of Agudath Israel workers (Poalei Agudat Yisrael). In addition to its concern for finding steady work for its members, this group eventually established cooperative factories of its own, in the fields of construction and industry. Rav Kitov engaged in this endeavor on a volunteer basis, alongside his own work in construction.

    In 1941 he established a school for Chareidi children, where he served as principal for about eight years. At the same time, he became very involved with public affairs, editing the Poalei Agudat Yisrael newspaper, HaKol [The Voice]. In this journal he published hundreds of articles, under various names, on a wide variety of subjects. In these writings one can discern the budding of his writing capabilities that were to follow in his many books later on.

    Rabbi Nachman Bulman is the translator of Rabbi Kitov's Book of our Heritage and was a student of Rabbi Kitov.

    Rabbi Bulman, whose parents were Gerer Chassidim, worked tirelessly on behalf of Agudah Israel throughout his life and was a keynote speaker at Agudah conventions.

    I am VERY fortunate to have known Rabbi Bulman ztl personally.

    Rabbi Bulman, who affected the lives of so many people by teaching them to love Torah and that there is a G-d who always cares for us.

    Thank you for bringing this up. My day just got so much better remembering Rabbi Bulman ztl.

    With regard to Rabbi Teichtal ztl, the reasons that the Christians like Em Habanim Semeicha is because Rabbi Teichtal, a prominent haredi Rabbi pre-WWII "converted" to Zionism while suffering horribly during the Holocaust.

    Christians consider it a great victory when a Jew is forced to accept their theology. This is what makes Pastor Hagee's comment about Hitler being the great hunter who brought all the Jews to Israel so offensive.

    The Spanish Inquisition was also "for our own good" as the mission was to save the Jewish soul for eternity by inducing him to accept Jesus as Saviour even under the duress of the most horrible torture.

    Just as Christians twist the Tanach in promoting their goals of making Jews into Christians, they are also fond of using Rabbi Teichtal's work to this end as well.

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  14. A Modest Proposal

    By Naomi Ragen

    What began as a routine divorce between a Danish-born convert
    and her Israeli husband now threatens to tear apart the country,
    opening deep wounds and revealing the ugly face of the haredi
    judges who rule Israel's Rabbinical Court system.

    This all began during an uncontested divorce in Ashdod. Rabbi
    Avraham Attia, a member of the Ashdod Rabbinical Court, asked the
    woman a question or two about her religious observance (which
    was none of his business, by the way). Apparently, he didn't like
    her answer, or maybe he didn't like the way she was dressed. In
    any case, on February 22, 2007- ignoring the reason she had come
    to court in the first place- he ruled that her conversion was
    invalid! Since she was not Jewish, she was not really married to
    her husband and therefore did not need a divorce.

    By overturning this woman's conversion, which had taken place in
    the special conversion court set up in 1995 to help convert many
    Russian soldiers and other immigrants who wanted to be Jewish,
    but found the Rabbinical Courts unwelcoming, Attia, and his
    haredi counterparts, were calling into question the validity of
    thousands of conversions that have taken place there, and
    insulting its head, Rabbi Haim Druckman, the spiritual leader of
    religious Zionism in Israel.

    On April 22, 2007, the couple appealed the lower court decision
    to the Higher Rabbinical Court, arguing that the Ashdod court had
    exceeded its authority and violated religious law, disqualifying
    Druckman's court without giving him a chance to defend himself.

    The Higher Court ignored these issues. Instead, it chose to deal
    only with the question of whether the woman was observant.
    Granting the divorce, the court also ruled that the Jewishness of
    the woman and her children was in doubt and needed to be
    re-examined, and that in the meantime the family should be added
    to the list of people who are forbidden to marry. Outrageously,
    they ruled that all Druckman's conversion decisions since 1999
    should be canceled, and that marriage registrars not register a
    convert who does not look observant from his or her external
    appearance.

    This unbelievable decision was not only a slap in the face to
    religious Zionism, but openly violated the severe Torah
    prohibition of oppressing the convert and causing them pain, i.e.
    Shemot 23:9 - "Do not oppress a convert; you know the feelings of
    a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."

    Ruth (not her real name) is on my mailing list. She is a
    convert. This decision has broken her heart. She writes: "At
    what point will my children and I no longer have to worry that
    someone will unilaterally and arbitrarily remove the cloak of
    Torah and Jewish identity out of our self-definition? How many
    years - 30, 50, 100 - never?

    Does this mean that if I ever speak a drop of lashon hara, or
    some of my hair peeks out from under my tichel, or my elbows
    become uncovered, or I wear my sandals without socks - that I
    must reckon with someone's claims that this is sufficient
    evidence to disclaim my Jewish soul? If the Rabbis today reject
    numerous sincere converts and needlessly oppress them, causing
    them untold pain, is this not a much more terrible sin than a
    convert who may not keep all her hair covered? We do not care to
    be involved in internal conflicts and back biting. We call upon
    all G-d fearing Jews to speak with one voice in our defense. We
    ask all Jews to not become embroiled and ensnared in this evil
    which will split the Jewish nation if not reined in now. We ask
    that you stand up for us and call our leaders to account."

    Susan Weiss, an attorney for the Center for Justice for Women,
    who represents the Danish convert, has taken this case to
    Israel's Supreme Court. Her petition is aimed at Avraham Attia,
    Dayanim Avraham Sherman, Hagai Eiserer and Avraham Scheinfeld of
    the Higher Rabbinical Court. According to Weiss, the case
    highlights many of the faults of the rabbinical courts. "They
    have no concept of due process or fairness, and they display no
    sensitivity to those who come before them," she told Dan Izenburg
    of the Jerusalem Post.

    I have a modest proposal. Since all the dayanim involved here
    have openly violated an oft stated Torah prohibition against
    "oppressing the convert," and have spoken slanderously against a
    fellow Rabbi (another strict prohibition), they can hardly be
    called G-dfearing or religious. In light of their behavior, I
    think we should retroactively take away their rabbinical
    ordination, and nullify all the decisions in which they've been
    involved. They should certainly be thrown out of their posts as
    judges.

    Naomi

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  15. Another quote from the Book of Our Heritage:
    "When you see people of Israel who are thankful for all the good, but who still pray for G-d’s redemption to be complete, join them! But if you see people of Israel whose hearts are divided and who are unable to recognize the goodness that has been bequeathed them, pray for them to be granted clarity of vision to see G- d’s salvation, and for yourself to be rescued from the blindness and ingratitude into which they have fallen."

    Seems like R' Kitov is pretty happy about the establishment of the State. He clearly sees it as an expression of G-d's goodness and salvation. (And he seems to be saying that we should be praying for you "to be granted clarity of vision".)

    The fact that R' Kitov says that full redemption has not arrived yet is no big chiddush. Again, no one, not even the most fervent RZ settler, holds that Moshiach has arrived. They hold that the current historical ingathering of Jews in Israel is a part of the redemptive PROCESS. You can disagree with this, but you shouldn't misunderstand the details of other views.

    Also, more composition and less cutting-and-pasting would make your posts shorter and more readable.

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  16. "R' Teichtal lamented how his community, in their eagerness to separate themselves from the secular Zionists, made the mistake of also separating themselves from loving the land of Israel."

    Loving Eretz Yisrael has nothing at all to do with the secular Zionistic state.

    Jews lived in large numbers in the Holy land LONG before Zionists arrived and provoked the native Muslim population.

    They lived at peace with their non - Jewish neighbors. It was after the immigration began, which sought political rule, that animosity started. So, Zionism has protected no one. At first it endangered the old Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land. Then it endangered the millions who lived in Israel. Finally, it has plunged into danger world Jewry, including Americans.

    In your opinion, is it better to live in the parts of Syria, Jordan or Lebanon where one separates maaser and Teruma because these are Eretz Yisrael, or is it a better to live in Eilat, or any part of the Araba valley that is not subject to the mitzvot of Eretz Yisrael but are part of the modern State of Israel?

    Are you longing for EY and Zion as EVERY Jew who has faced Mizrach in prayer for 3000 years?

    Or are you following Christian Restorationism theology which began with the Puritans in England?

    The belief that the "ingathering" of Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Messiah and not the other way around is Chrisitan. The Messiah whose "coming" is incumbent upon a Jewish ingathering in Israel is Jesus and the belief is associated with Christian Dispensationalism.

    The term "Religious (Jewish) Zionist" like "Jews for Jesus" is an oxymoron.

    Zionists believe that Rabbinical Law should be abandoned in favor of promoting greater goals.(ie the a-halachic mass conversions of 29,000 Christians brought to Israel by the "Jewish" Agency, Nefesh b'Nefesh, Shalvei Israel and other fronts for Evangelicals).

    The only religion that "Religious Zionists" can be religious in is Christianity because Zionism like all theologies within Christianity denies the sovereignty of the Oral (Rabbinic) Law.

    The Talmud explains that we have been sworn, by three strong oaths, not to ascend to the Holy Land as a group using force, not to rebel against the governments of countries in which we live, and not by our sins, to prolong the coming of Moshiach; as is written in Tractate Kesubos 111a .

    One of the oaths was that we should not rebel against G-d by rebelling against the nations. Although the description in Ketuboth does not say that the Oaths involve directly rebelling against G-d, it is clear that the very violation of these Oaths is rebellion against G-d himself.

    Throughout the seventy years of the Babylonian exile, throughout the 200 years of the Hellenic exile and throughout the nearly 2000 since the destruction of G-d's Holy House, we have steadfastly maintained our loyalty to G-d and have not transgressed His oaths.

    And we have prayed for the welfare of the cities and the countries of our host nations that did not oppress us, and in their welfare we indeed always found ours.

    Zionism is wrong from the Torah viewpoint, not because many of its adherents are lax in practice or even anti-religious, but because its fundamental principle conflicts with the Torah.

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  17. BS"D

    Jersey Girl, your posts are a great Kiddush Hashem.
    Yasher Koach, Hashem bless you.
    May we all see true Gheulah speedily in our days.

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  18. Dear Maestri della tora

    Thank you very much. I really appreciate the beracha and your post.

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  19. Jersey girl has many ignorant comments. First of all I recommend she read Yehuda Schwartz book called No Moshiach for israel. He writes that this promise jews have supposedly by Torah not to gather back to israel against will of nations of world applied to babylonian times. He also says that if nations of world wish/agree to see israel become a nation again then it is not a rebellion to world. Since UN wished Israel to become state in 1948 he says we had blessing of world. Yehuda Schwartz is Haredi but says halachically there is nothing wrong with zionism and state of Israel. In addition he says that our redemption will happen naturally and this is why we had physical natural redemption and did not merit for miraculous redemption. There are 2 types of redemptions-natural and miraculous and clearly the way Israel has been reborn in 1948 it is a natural process which the Rambam said was one way of redemption. Sick and tired of people bashing zionist. They are heroes who build Israel from waste and deserve thanks! I think there is tremendous jealousy of zionists because they had merit to build land and not the neturei karta/satmars. Doubt anyone will post what I wrote.

    ReplyDelete

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