Monday, January 26, 2009

Three Oaths - Prevent settlement of Israel?

Rabbi David Bleich (Contemporary Halakhic Problems I page 14):

The prime argument cited in objection to the War of Independence, and indeed to the very establishment of the state itself, is based upon a literal understanding of the Talmud, Ketubot 111 a. In an aggadic statement, the Talmud declares that prior to the exile and dispersal of the remnant God caused the Jews to swear two solemn oaths: (I) not to ke the Land of Israel by force, and (2) not to rebel gainst the nations of the world. Rabbi Zevin maintains that these talmudic oaths are not binding under circumstances such as the ones which surrounded the rebirth of the Jewish state.

In support of this view he marshals evidence from a variety of sources. Avnei Nezer, Yoreh De'ah, II, 454:56, notes that there is no report in any of the classic writings regarding an actual assemblage for the purpose of accepting these oaths, as is to be found, for example, in the narrative concerning the oaths by which Moses bound the community of Israel prior to the crossing of the Jordan. The oaths administered before the exile are understood by Avnei Nezer as having been sworn by yet unborn souls prior to their descent into the terrestrial world. Such oaths, he argues, have no binding force in Halacah. Similarly, the Maharal of Prague in his Commentary on the Aggada, 11 a, and in chapter 25 of his Netzah Yisrael, interprets these oaths as being in the nature of a decree or punishment rather than as injunctions incumbent upon Jews in the Diaspora. There is obviously no transgression involved in attempting to mitigate the effects of a decree.

A third authority, R. Meir Simchah of Dvinsk, author of the Or Sameach, accepts the premise that these oaths do apply in a literal sense. However, he expresses the opinion that following the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration, establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine no longer constitutes a violation of the oatb concerning rebeIIion against the nations of the world. The text of Or Sameach's statement on this important issue is reprinted by Z. A. Rabiner, Toledot R. Meir Sameach (Tel.Aviv, 5727), p. 164. Rabbi Zevin adds that this argument assumes even greater cogency subsequent to the United Nations resolution sanctoning the establishment of a Jewish state.

There is yet another line of reasoning on the basis of which Rabbi nature of these oaths at the present juncture of Jewish history. He advances a forceful argument which, particularly in the present post-Holocaust era, must find a sympathetic echo in the heart of Jews who have witnessed an unprecedented erosion of all feelings of humanity among the nations of the world which permitted the horrendous oppression and torture of the Jewish people. The Talmud, loc. cit., records that the two oaths sworn by the people of Israel were accompanied by a third oath which devolves upon the nations of the world; namely, that they shall not oppress Jews inordinately. According Zevin and others who have advanced the same argument, these three oaths taken together, form the equivalent of a contractual relationship. Jews are bound by their oaths only as long as the gentile nations abide by theirs. Persecution of the Jews by the nations of the world in violation of this third oath releases the Jewish people from all further  obligation to fulfill the terms of their agreement.


  1. A Serious Warning on Behalf of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem

    We hereby view with great seriousness the provocations of the savages against the Arabs that endangers the entire Jewish community in the Holy Land, G-d forbid.

    These wild actions are carried out by provocateurs in order to pull in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community into the frightful provocations, the result of which is catastrophic and destructive to the Ultra-Orthodox community, and places the entire Jewish community in terrible danger, G-d forbid.

    We hereby state that Ultra-Orthodox Jews have no connection or link to the provocations against the Arabs.

    Thursday, March 7, 2002

    Signed: Rabbi Israel Yaakov Fisher, Head of Rabbinical Court

    Signed: Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch

    Signed: Rabbi Moshe Halberstam

    Signed: Rabbi Meir Brandsdorfer

    Signed: Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Ullman

  2. The "Holy Land", upon which the eyes of the L-rd our G-d are from the beginning of the year until the end of the year, the land from which comes forth blessings for all the peoples, and in which the prohets of the L-rd forsaw the promises of the future and the perfection of all humanity, and from which they called for the peace of all creation, has groaned and cried for two years because of pain and insult, and it soil, which is permeated with holy memories of purity of heart and morality of character, has become a witness to raciel hatred and strife between neighbors. And the atmosphere of spiritual life is filled with suffocating clouds which poison every understanding heart, and remnant of human love.

    The prolonged controversy and dissention is repelling the Divine Presence and is removing G-d forbid, the blessing of the L-rd from the beautiful and bountiful land, which is destined and assured by providence. And in its place come aching souls, quarrels between brothers, scheming hearts, lack of faith and trust in the L-rd, and mistaken and misleading suspicions of one another.

    As one of the leaders of the "Holy Land", who has been privileged, with G-d's help, to be in this land, now nearly sixty years, and who has been an eyewitness to years of tranquility, security and complete peace between the inhabitants, I permit myself to turn to all the inhabitants of the Holy Land, regardless of race or religion, the people which the Divine Providence has given the privilege of dwelling in the land which is holier than any other land, to ask them, from the depts of my broken and said heart to have pity upon the bountiful land and upon the various ethnic groups that dwell in it, to come together to rebuild the moral ruins and to reestablish the broken fragments of humane feeling and divine ethnics, which have been ruined and shattered during the last few years.

    Uproot every grudge from your hearts. Remove the suspicions that come from false prophecies and seductions which nest there, and pave the road to peace. The heads of the Jewish People in the Holy Land will be the first to call for peace, and the hearts of the leaders and heads of the Arab People will in turn be aroused to the restoration of peace to the people.

    The blessing of the L-rd will accompany the goodwill of the inhabitants. It will enrich and crown this will with success and saturate the holy ground with the dew of life. And may we be privileged to see the new light which the L-rd will cause to shine on Zion, and nations will go by His light.

    As the entreaty of one who awaits and longs for heavenly mercy,

    Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld

    by Chief Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky


    The declaration of the Mandate government that it will shortly remove its administration from the Holy Land gives us cause to declare our position and our request for guarantee for the existence of the Orthodox Community (Edah Hacharedis) in the Holy City, a Community which existed before the rule of the Mandate Government and which is a continuation of a Jewish Community of hundreds of years, in connection with the proposed status which the United Nations Organisation plans to impose on Jerusalem.

    The Community of Orthodox Jews in the Holy City, which looks forward to the fulfillment of the prophecy that all peoples shall be rid of the spirit of animosity and that a brotherhood of nations shall arise, as the Scriptures state: The mountains of the L-rd's house shall be established. . . and all the nations shall flow unto it (Isaiah 2), demands that the city which is sacred to all the nations should remain unique and above all national interests of all peoples. The existence of the Holy City should be secured by a firm international agreement, that under any circumstances which may arise between nations, all parties shall accept the position that it (the Holy City) be considered neutral, and nothing should be done directly or indirectly to change its neutral status.

    A greater Jerusalem, given the status of an international zone by international agreement, is the surest guarantee for its neutrality. All efforts should be directed to assure that in this Holy City there should be implemented the unity of international brotherhood towards all Mankind, and to prevent the underlying causes for disharmony and animosity, and to assure the rule of pure G-dliness and religious worship to all who dwell in this city.

    Any form of division and splitting up of Jerusalem will have the effect of underscoring the differences between races and religions, which contradicts the principles of harmony tolerance and brotherhood of the inhabitants; and will eventually imperil for the future peace of the city. Jerusalem must unify all its residents. It should be recognized that a citizen of Jerusalem stands above all narrow national interests. Even in the days of David and Solomon Jerusalem was not divided according to the tribal boundaries but belong to all.

    On the basis of these principles we sent our cable with our just demand: 1) Not to include Jerusalem in any state and not to parcel it into separate parts. 2) Not to impose on the residents of Jerusalem the citizenship of any state, but solely the citizenship of any state, but solely the citizenship of the Holy City; as a resident of Jerusalem and an international citizens, and this city should be declared an open international city.

    By guaranteeing these two points there is every reason to believe that the Holy City shall be the seat of peace, security and international brotherhood.

    In the hope that this memorandum shall be promptly brought before the authoritative organs of the United Nations, and in the belief that it shall gain the attention necessary for the fulfillment of our requests which are in accord with the spirit of the United Nations Charter, we hereby affix our signatures with all the respect.
    The above memorandum was sent to the United Nations, Lake Success, N.Y.
    November 19, 1947
    by Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in Palestine, Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky.

  4. "

    We know the truth. The truth is that Zionism is a curse, and that's the way it is. Zionism is murder! And that's what it really is, because it is true! Who threw the Jews into the ocean when they wanted to travel to Eretz Yisroel in 1941? Who sank the boat (called the 'Patria') with about 1000 Jews on it? Who? The Nazis? Zionists did it! Yes, the Zionists! What is that? Is it not murder? Murderers!! Because of Zionism, one is allowed to kill Jews? Didn't these murderers say that the Jews of Europe are the "sacrifices" which we have to bring to have a Jewish "state" in Eretz Yisroel (G-d forbid)? Didn't they say this? Don't they have printed black and white statements which everybody can read? Didn't this man with the name, "Yitzchok Greenbaum" say in Warsaw that all religious Jews should be thrown into the ocean? And all this because of Zionism! And he wasn't ashamed of these words! I ask you: Is this right? Is this being nice? Is this grace? This is MURDER! Without any excuse, it is murder! G-d comes and punishes us, and He says to us that if we brought up in our midst such and Esau - one who is against Torah, against religion, against everything a Jew is - then we suggest a hint to the world, and it calls us Racists, Murderers, Terrorists! We are called murderers, who kill women and children. The Gentiles say this and it makes an impression on us, and we scream. How terrible! How can they speak this way about the Jewish people?"

    Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, Dean of Telshe Yeshiva, Cleveland Ohio

  5. Letter written by the renowned Rabbi Chayim Oizer Grodzinski, zt”l of Vilna to Chief Rabbi Dr. Guedemann of Vienna:

    English Translation:

    Your honour knows that in the matter of the Zionists and the Mizrachi, I am in correspondence with the Gaonim of this generation, and all of them, have decided that Zionism is the work of the Sitro Achro with all its seductions and incitements, for the purpose of turning Israel from the good path and, that a great danger arises from it for all the Congregation of the Exile—Heaven forbid—and that all those who venture to defend the Zionists, are no better than they.

    To our shame, some rabbis in our country have joined the Zionists and have founded an organization under the name of Mizrachi, and they have rejected all the rebukes of the Gedoilei Hatorah, and they pretend to be men with respect for the Word of the L-rd.

    They have founded committees and it is likely that they will turn to your honour. I am therefore informing your honour that all the Gedoilim in our land are perplexed at the matter. In the books of the Poskim there is no suggestion that it is our duty to found a kingdom. On the contrary, our sages, the Tenoim and the Amoiroim, have expressly forbidden this. These rabbis of the Mizrachi have no faith, and do not trust in the salvation of the L-rd and their minds have become deranged into believing that in a state founded by the hands of man there will be peace for us.”

  6. The Torah teaches us not to resist the nations even when they fight against us. We must follow in the footsteps of Yaakov Avinu in his encounter with his brother Esav. As the Ramban writes in Vayishlach, all that happened between Yaakov and Esav happens to us constantly with Esav's children. We must adopt the methods of that tzaddik, to make the three preparations that he made: prayer, a gift, and escape through war, that is, to flee to safety. As long as we walked on that well- tread path, G-d saved us from their hands. But since we have strayed from the path and new leaders have arisen who chose new methods, leaving behind our ancestors' weapons and adopting the methods of our enemies, we have fared worse and worse, and great travails have befallen us.

    (Chofetz Chaim Al Hatorah, Devarim)

  7. Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk said:

    "If you intend to give a coin to the Jewish National Fund, give it to another idolatry, but not to the Zionists, since this idolatry is worse then any other."

  8. We need a Sephardic Rabbi here too:

    Rabbi Avraham Galanti, who other rabbis described as outstanding in his level of holiness, and who was a student of the great kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordovero in the 16th century, explained aspects of the Three Oaths in his book Zechus Avos [Merit of the Patriarchs] where he recounts how some Jews in Portugal wanted to revolt against the kingdom rather than submit to forced conversion. A rabbi quoted the verses from Song of Songs to the people who wanted to revolt, and pointed to the Talmudic tractate Ketuboth p. 111 which states that G-d made the Jewish People take three Oaths – one was that they should not rebel against G-d by rebelling against the nations. Thereafter the Jews submitted to death rather than forced conversion. 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.

  9. All right make that two Sephardic sages:

    Rabbi Eliezer Papo ztl 1785-1826 an important exponent of the Sephardic Musar tradition.

    Papo demanded total allegiance to rabbinic tradition, preferring the traditionalism of Muslim lands to the modernity of Europe. Pele Yoetz

    (See Ronald Eisenberg "The Streets of Jerusalem" p 292)


    "Regarding the elections to the government in the Land of Israel, we
    have determined in accordance with Judaism to publicly declare and to
    publicize Torah opinion, that according to Law, it is FORBIDDEN FOR

    Anyone taking part in these elections violates this prohibition, and it is as if he agrees with the laws of the state WHICH ARE AGAINST the laws of the TORAH. He thereby gives power to the forces of evil and those desecrating G-d's name. We must remain apart from the sectarians and heretics and not to join with those who are rebelling against G-d.


    July 1951


  11. Has anyone seen this????

  12. I doubt that anyone seriously thinks that the 3 oaths gemara by itself was the source of the anti-zionistic stance of those who quoted it. As R'YBS pointed out, hashgacha paskined against them.
    Joel Rich

  13. Jersey Girl - You miss the point again. The issue is that there is weak support of the Satmar Rebbe's claim that the three oaths are a halachic matter. He is simply incorrect and he has even twisted certain historical facts to fit his agenda.

  14. See the major treatment of this issue by R'Shlomo Aviner

  15. Just a few examples of other rabbanim...

    After witnessing the miracles of the War of Independence, R. Tzvi Pesach Frank zt"l commented: "It has been almost two years since we were privileged to see that Hashem has remembered his Nation, saving us with the beginning of redemption, and Israel's Defense Forces have conquered the majority of Western Eretz Yisroel" (Kuntras Har Tzvi)

    Three years after the Balfour Declaration (1920), the League of Nations gathered in San Remo, Italy and ratified Great Britain's decision to create a Jewish national homeland in Eretz Yisroel. After the conference, R. Meir Simcha of Dvinsk wrote this public manifesto:
    "Now, however, Divine Providence has arranged matters such that a command was given at the assembly of the enlightened kingdoms in San REmo that E"Y would belong to the Jewish people. And since the fear of the oaths has faded away and with the permission of the kings, the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel -which is equal to all the mitzvot of the Torah-has returned to its place....And if Hashem allows this to grow and blossom like a rose, as it did in the days of is surely a matter of paramount concern. Granted, at that time the prophets encouraged them with divine prophecy. But who knows? Perhaps just as the destruction of the Second Temple took place without too, the cornerstone laying (of the 3rd temple) will take place without prophets; its restoration being similar to it removal... (Shivat Tzion, vol 2, pg 10).
    The second Rebbe of Sochatchov, R. Shmuel Bornstein (son of the Avnei Neizer), also viewed the San Remo conference as a clear sign from Heaven. "Until now, we saw no heavenly sign proving that Hashem desires us. On the contrary, we encountered obstacles every step of the way. Now however, we have seen the fulfillment of the verse 'The sound of my Beloved knocks' and Hashem has inspired the kings of the earth to designate the Holy Land for us. A number of Rishonim assert that the future redemption will begin just like the Second one did, when the Jews were remembered through Cyrus.
    Most gedolim agreed:
    Dated Friday, 20 tevet, 5709. More than two hundred of the greatest rabbis of the Land issued a proclamation indicating, " We thank Hashem for granting us the privilege -with His abundant mercy and kindness-to witness the first buds of the beginning of redemption, through the establishment of the State of Israel. Some of the more famous signatories were R. Tzvi Pesach Frank, R. Yechiel Michel Tikochinsky, R. Yechezkel Sarna, R. Zalman Sorotzkin, R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and R. Isser Yehudah Unterman.
    Just a tip of the iceberg without touching on the Netiv and Chovevi Zion and the affirmation of many European Rabbanim.

  16. (copied from the 'Hirhurim" blog

    The Religious Zionism Debate (Part 1) I. Heresy
    R. Yoel Teitelbaum, the "Satmar Rav," in his Va-Yoel Moshe, Ma'amar Gimmel Shevu'os, chs. 40-42 (in the Ashkenazi 5760 edition, pp. 51-57), discusses whether there can be Ge'ulah (ultimate redemption) without Teshuvah (communal repentance). He points out that this is debated in Sanhedrin 97b between R. Yehoshua and R. Eliezer, with the former allowing for redemption without repentance and the latter requiring repentance before the final redemption. Generally speaking, we follow R. Yehoshua over R. Eliezer. However, the Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Teshuvah 7:5) seems to follow R. Eliezer:

    The Torah has already promised that Israel will repent at the end of her exile and will then be redeemed immediately, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass when all these things have happened...and shall return to the Lord your God...and then the Lord your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, amongst whom the Lord your God has scattered you" (Deut. 30:1-3).
    The Satmar Rav explains that the Rambam is not actually taking sides in the debate between R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua. Those two sages were discussing whether repentance is required before the arrival of Eliyahu and the messiah. However, all agree that repentance is required after the messiah comes but before the final redemption. Redemption is, after all, a process that requires time. First the messiah will come, then there will be wars, and then the redemption will take place. R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua only debate whether Eliyahu and the messiah will come specifically after widespread repentance or even without such an occurrence.

    The Satmar Rav (ch. 42, p. 56) takes this a step further. Since the Rambam quoted a verse to support his view that repentance must precede redemption, anyone who disputes this point is contradicting an explicit Pentateuchal verse and is, therefore, a heretic. The clear implication is that Religious Zionists, who believe that the return to the land of Israel is part of the redemption process, are heretics since widespread repentance has (unfortunately) not yet occurred.

    II. Prior Responses
    However, the Satmar Rav certainly knew that his argument had already been answered almost 100 years earlier. R. Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer, in his Derishas Tziyon, ma'amar 1, Rishon Le-Tziyon additions, 1:10 (Etzion 2002 edition, pp. 60-61), addresses this issue and gives an answer similar to the Satmar Rav's, in fact extremely similar albeit 100 years earlier. R. Kalischer explains this according to his general view that there are a number of steps within the redemption process, i.e. a number of redemptions with only the last one being the final redemption. He has a number of proofs for this theory, (future posts)
    R. Kalischer suggests that R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua were debating whether an earlier step in the redemption requires repentance. However, both agree that the final redemption certainly requires repentance. This explanation is much smoother within the language of the debate than the Satmar Rav's because the Gemara only mentions whether redemption requires repentance; the messiah is not named at all. According to the Satmar Rav, that the entire debate revolves around the messiah, it is a little difficult that the messiah and Eliyahu are not mentioned at all.

    R. Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal, in his Em Ha-Banim Semeihah, ch. 1 (Mekhon Peri Ha'aretz 1983 edition, pp. 78-80), offers a different approach. He explains that the Rambam is following a third Tannaitic view, that of R. Yehudah in Yalkut Shimoni (2:595), that repentance must absolutely precede redemption and if Israel does not repent, it will not be redeemed. According to R. Teichtal, the events will proceed as follows: the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, Eliyahu will come and lead the people to repentance, the messiah will come and usher in the final redemption. Thus, repentance will precede redemption but not the return to the land of Israel.

    Neither of these standard Religious Zionist views, both published before the Satmar Rav's anti-Zionist book, contradict the verse quoted by the Rambam or the Rambam himself. Therefore, neither of these views can be called heretical.
    III. The Rishonim
    R. Menahem Kasher, in his Ha-Tekufah Ha-Gedolah, ch. 6 (pp. 95-115), addresses this issue at length. He quotes (p. 104 n. 28) the Satmar Rav's view with astonishment because it seems to label the views of Rishonim (medieval authorities) as heretical, as R. Kasher demonstrates at length.

    The Ramban, in his Sefer Ha-Ge'ulah (Kisvei Ha-Ramban, vol. 1 p. 277ff.), discusses this issue at length and clearly considers R. Eliezer, the sage who said that redemption does not require repentance, to have been the winner of the debate. The Ramban continues with a discussion about how the good prophecies of redemption must come true regardless of how bad the Jewish people may or may not be, as opposed to bad prophecies that can be annulled. At no time does the Ramban mention the messiah. While he may be discussing an early stage of redemption, he is clearly speaking of redemption and not the arrival of Eliyahu or the messiah.

    The Ramban's student, R. David Bonfil, in his commentary to Sanhedrin, states clearly that "there is no condition in the future redemption and it was a decree that contained a swear [which therefore must come true]." Again, he only talks of redemption and not the arrival of the messiah. And specifically without repentance. Furthermore, about this very issue he brings the verse(s) that the Rambam brings in Hilkhos Teshuvah.
    The Radak, in his commentary to Isaiah (59:16), points out that the verses in Deut. 30 imply that repentance will precede the return from exile. However, the verses in Isaiah imply that it will not. This contradiction, he states, forms the basis of the debate between R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua. "They were unsure whether the return from exile will be through repentance or not, and this is because of the contradiction between the verses." The Radak then offers a reconciliation of the verses, namely that most of the Jewish people will repent after they see the signs of redemption (which is R. Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer's approach--no coincidence there).

    Clearly, there are rishonim who hold of this view that the Satmar Rav claims contradicts an explicit verse and is blatant heresy. His condemnation falls a bit flat after reviewing this evidence.

    R. Kasher has more to say on this topic, and more proofs to his position, but they are not necessary for our purpose. It is clear that, on this point, the Religious Zionist view(s) are not heretical and have substantial basis in the sources.
    Taken from the blog "Hirhurim" where the RZ debate is covered in its entirety for those intellectually interested.

  17. The din of rodef allowed Israel to atack Hamas in Gaza and of the din of habo bamachteres allowed the IDF to legally kill those who come in tunnels to kill the Jews of Israel. It's not even a question.

    Jersey girl goes on and on. We know you are not only an anti-Zionist, and hate the State of Israel with a passion, but a rabid one at that, so what are you carrying on about and trying to prove? It is like the person who spends his life reinventing the wheel. Anyone can Google away and find tomes of words denouncing Zionism from any direction including the ones you cite.

    Torah Jews are opposed to secular Zionism. That is a fact and nothing new.

    But in Israel, Torah Jews and secular Zionists live side by side in INCREASING numbers because about half the world's known Halachic Jews now live in Israel (with other problematic population groups of non-Halachic Jews, Arabs and others) and although the secular Zionist Israelis disagree with Israeli Orthodox Jews, Charedim and Chasidim, about everything, when Hamas fires rockets at everyone in Israel and wishes to kill and maim Torah Jews and secular Israelis alike, then it becomes a different story. It is like a storm hitting Israel and everyone, secular and religious must run for cover, or even defend themselves. If swarms of hornets came to bite people in Israel, everyone would probably be praying and spraying against them! The religious will do it their way and the Zionists will do it theirs, but the aim and purpose to save their own Jewish lives will be the same.

    It may surprise you that the old saying that "there are no atheists in fox-holes" still holds true and that it is therefore not surprising that during wars, such as against Hamas in Gaza, even seemingly secular Jews will turn to prayer and to God and ask rabbis for blessings for Tzitzit, and at the same time seemingly hostile anti-Zionist Haredi Jews will pray for the welfare of the Israeli state and army (noone wants to be ruled by the ruthless Hamas mass Islamo-fascists), and all sane and emotionally mature Jews marvel at the miracles of salvation, and thank God for the hashgacha pratis that has saved them in Israel.

    You are harping back to the old divisive slogans and notions that do not fit what is going on today. Even your citation from "Serious Warning on Behalf of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem" goes back to a different specific problem in Thursday, March 7, 2002 and one can agree with that, that people should NOT antagonize the Arabs, indeed all gentiles, needlessly.

    But that does not mean to say that Jews are forbidden to defend themsleves when enemies arise to kill them.

    The din of rodef is clear in Halacha (he source for this law is the Tractate Sanhedrin in the Babylonian Talmud, page 73a), "Haba laharogcha, hashkem vehorgo" -- one is allowed to kill him/them. And there is the din of "haba bamchteres" when a robber crawled through atunnel to rob you and you encounter him and kill him, then din is that you are not guilty of murder, you have killed a murderer!

    Sorry to tell you but something like this makes more sense than you defeatist ramblings:

    "If One Comes to Kill You, Kill Him First! by Rav Shlomo Aviner: In principle, however, a person who has as his objective the killing of more and more and more Jews, we are not discussing here a person who is a criminal offender and killed one person, but a person who desires to kill more and more - this person is dangerous for the Jews, and therefore he is considered a "rodef" (literally "a pursuer" - someone who endangers life and, according to the Torah, can be killed, if necessary, in order to stop him). This "rodef," who wants to kill Jews - there is an obligation to prevent him from doing so and he is therefore liable for death.

    Rav Zvi Yehudah Kook, was asked this question (after the terrorist attack at the Hotel Savoy in Tel Aviv in 5735 [March 1975 - in which 8 hostages and 3 soldiers were killed], one of the terrorists was sentenced to death although the verdict was never carried out. Our Rabbi was asked by one of the authorized executioners what is the opinion of the Torah of this verdict), and he responded there: The Torah states, "If one comes to kill you, kill him first." A person, who pursues another to kill him, the Torah states, "Save the blood of this one with the blood of that one," (Sanhedrin 72b) "And cursed be he who keeps back his sword from blood" (Yirmiyahu 48:10). And if when an individual comes to kill another individual this is so, how much more so when a community comes to kill a community, and to terrorize the reality of our lives in the Land of our revival. "Because they did not come to the help Hashem against the mighty men...but let them that love Him be as the sun when it comes out in its might" (Shoftim 5:23, 31) (Sefer Le-Hilchot Tzibur #98)...Deterrence is the chief fundamental in guarding the security of the country, whether against criminal enemies or against national enemies. The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim (Guide for the Perplexed) explains this in his political philosophy, that what guards the security is the deterrence. It is not practical to place a guard at every square meter, because in the end we will need to fill the entire country with guards.

    The intensity of the punishment for deterrence, the Rambam explains, is determined by four factors: 1. The severity of the sin; 2. Prevalence of the sin; 3. The ease in committing the sin; 4. The strength of the inclination which brings the sin - as in every question the stronger the opposing weight the punishment needs to be that much heavier. Here all four factors are found, that is to say: 1. Certainly murder is a grave sin; 2. Prevalence, the terror is not a rare occurrence. To our distress this is a plague of the Nation, and a global calamity in general; 3. It is easy to carry out, kill and disappear, it is not possible to find him; 4. The inclinations - they are strong. Thus one needs a heavy weight against it.

    The terror has been transformed into a great global enemy. In most countries of the world, it appears to me, the special individuals who fight terror have directives to wipe out terrorists and not take prisoners. This is a moral act.

    In the matter of morality, it is not enough to give classes on morality while allowing the evil to run unrestrained and fill the world with widows and orphans. Morality is to wage war! A war against the murders. The murders wage war against the ethical world through various means, including through psychology. They present themselves as moral and the forces waging war against them as immoral. Therefore a powerful stand must be taken against this, on the contrary, it is extremely moral to wage war and wipe out the terror.

    Obviously this is all an opinion, certainly we are not presenting directives to the Army what to do, it alone knows its trade, but we are making known the Torah’s opinion in principle."

    There is lots more like this to refute you. But it's an ongoing debate.

    Such was the recent fate of the killers, rodfim and rotzchim in Gaza, they got what they deserved after being warned not to fire their rockets for years, after Israel gave them Gaza on a platter and after they did nothing for years but gain rockets and fired thousands of them at innocent Jews, religioius and secular alike.

    They say that generals are always preparing to fight the next wars based on what happened in the past wars but that the next wars often turn out to be far different with different factors and innovations at work.

    This is what is happening now, and if you read the three letters that Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn/da'as torah himself has posted on this blog from Rav Shternbuch relating to the most recent Gaza war: HaRav Sternbuch - Understanding Gaza (January 8, 2009); Rav Moshe Sternbuch - Miracles to behold (January 16, 2009); Rav Sternbuch - Our source of security (January 23, 2009), you will clearly see a different language and pattern emerging, a realization that all the Jews of Israel are in ONE tiny boat and that no group can cut off its fate from the other.

    Maybe it's different in Jersey, but in Israel everyone must cooperate or else it's sink or swim together with no exceptions.

  18. Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    From Hirhurim Blog:

    "E-Book: The Religious Zionism Debate

    In honor of Israel's sixtieth Independence Day, I collected and edited the series of blog posts "The Religious Zionism Debate" into an e-book. You can download it here (link - PDF) or read it below.

    I'm also reminding readers that R. Shlomo Aviner's booklet Do Not Ascend Like A Wall, translated by R. Mordechai Friedfertig, is available for download here (link - PDF) and below. "

  19. Jersey Girl, in order to be intellectual honest and aware, you should stop by the blog of "Hirhurim" and you can check out the entire debate from rishonim till today regarding 'Religious Zionism'.

    There is no debate that modern-day secular Zionism is an "ism" of destruction, while RZ is the postrunner of 'Chozer L'tzion' advocated by the majority of gedolim from the Yehudah Hanasi--through the Gra--till modern-day gedolim.

  20. See Karyana D'Iggarta by the Steipler (#205), that the establishment of the State was Vadai Shelo Kadin because of the 3 Oaths, but that after its establishment the 3 Oaths are irrelevant, unlike the Satmar Rebbe's approach.

    I could go into more detail about this, but virtually all the claims that the 3 Oaths were inapplicable to the establishment itself are really lame.

  21. All of this discussion is academic foolishness. The fact is that right now we could not surrender the state of Israel right now because of the issue of pikuach nefesh period.

    Also we did not conquer the land in 1948. We defended it. We did not rebel against the nations. The state of Israel as a Jewish state is fully recognized according to international law. The United Nations gave it to us in 1947. The worlds remaining super power(The United States of America) is a staunch supporter of the Jewish State. So it does not matter what all of the towel headed camel jockeys with all of the Eurotrash and liberals that prostrate before them can go to hell. As for rabbid anti-zionist Jews who facilitate as Amalek's spokespeople in the name of the Torah. You all better recheck yourselves very carefully.

  22. I regularly read Hirhurim. Rabbi Gil Student is close with my husband's nearest and dearest. Its a great great blog and there is a lot to learn there.

    Rabbi Ari Enkin is also a great great teacher/writer and it is one of the most intelligent blogs on the web. In fact I found this blog from that one.

  23. "Also we did not conquer the land in 1948. We defended it"

    The Nazis also "defended" Europe by removing all of the foreign, non Christian influences. At his trial Franz von Papen said that until 1936 the Catholic Church hoped for a Christian alignment to the beneficial aspects he said they saw in national socialism.(This statement came after Pope Pius XII ended Von Papen's appointment as Papal chamberlain and ambassador to the Holy See, but before his restoration under Pope John XXIII.)

    "towel headed camel jockeys with all of the Eurotrash and liberals that prostrate before them can go to hell. "

    A potent example of abusive, racist,denigration.

    "As for rabbid anti-zionist Jews who facilitate as Amalek's spokespeople in the name of the Torah. You all better recheck yourselves very carefully."

    Another "accept my theological dogma or burn for eternity" Christian missionary exercise in "logic". If you can't argue intelligently, (ie facts and references), first try racist, anti Semitic denigration (Arabs are Semites) and then in case that fails resort to threats of eternal damnation.

  24. Even in the later years of the Third Reich, many Protestant and Catholic clergy within Germany persisted in believing that Nazism was in its essence in accordance with Christian precepts.

    Richard Steigmann–Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) p. 5

    There has been significant literature on the potential religious aspects of Nazism.

    Wilfried Daim, in his book on the connection between Lanz von Liebenfels and Hitler, has brought a reprint of a document (Religionsbekenntnisse) after the final victory (Endsieg) ... with a simultaneous proclamation of Adolf Hitler as the new messiah."
    Wilfried Daim: Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab, Vienna 1994, p. 222; quoted after: H. T. Hakl: Nationalsozialismus und Okkultismus. (German) In: Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke: Die okkulten Wurzeln des Nationalsozialismus, 1997, Graz, Austria: Stocker (German edition of The Occult Roots of Nazism), p. 196

    Other evidence that Hitler was compared with Jesus, or revered as a savior sent by God is a prayer recited by orphans at orphanages. It runs as follows:
    [edit] Prayer to Hitler

    Führer, mein Führer, von Gott mir gegeben, beschütz und erhalte noch lange mein Leben
    Du hast Deutschland errettet aus tiefster Not, Dir verdank ich mein tägliches Brot
    Führer, mein Führer, mein Glaube, mein Licht
    Führer mein Führer, verlasse mich nicht

    This translates roughly as:

    Leader, my Leader, given to me by God, protect me and sustain my life for a long time
    you have rescued Germany out of deepest misery, to you I owe my daily bread
    Leader, my Leader, my belief, my light
    Leader my Leader, do not abandon me "

    Messianic cults always scare me, whether they are cloaked in Judaism, Islam or Christianity.

  25. In light of the Pope's recent statements and actions these should be timely reading for Jews everywhere.

    There is no doubt that Hamas, Hezbollah and other Messianic death cults cloaked in Islamic ritual are global threats, not only to Jews but also to the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world (most of acts of terrorism occur in Muslim countries).

    However, Messianic Mahdi Muslims are not the ONLY serious threats in this world, nor do I believe they are the most frightening.

    Based upon history, it is in my opinion, suicide to align the interests of the Jewish people with those of Fundamental Christians; this is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology and why so many have opposed it.

    See also:

    Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2003), The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, Cambridge University Press,

  26. R. Daniel Eidensohn,

    I am slightly perplexed, and perhaps you can elucidate, what is your position vis-a-vis the State and Zionism.

    Yasher Koach

  27. I don't know why Rav Elchanan Wasserman's statements in Kovetz Maamarim is left out here. He said that religious Zionism is avoda zara beshituf. I don't see any reason to believe that this not true any longer.

    The Mizrachi and other religious Zionists espouse joining with the secular and even those that hate Judaism. This goes against behischavricha im Achav, poratz Hashem es maasecha. Joining with them only brings destruction as we can so graphically see with the current suicidal leadership.

    This issues is separate from the issue of the 3 oaths.

  28. Jersey girl, you know that you are doing exactly what I said that you were.

    By comparing Israel's war against five invading Arab armies to the German conquest of Europe during world war two, you are being Amalek's spokeswoman and I rest my case completely. As for you're being sore at the camel jockey comment, sue me, they call us son's of monkeys.

  29. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner's words applied by IDF Chief Rabbi in latest Gaza War stir controversy

    Jerusalem - Group Calls On Army to Fire Chief Rabbi Over His Advice To Troops 'Show No Mercy' in Gaza


    Published on: January 26th, 2009 at 09:53

    AMNews Source: AFP

    The right group has written to the Defense minister about Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier General Avi Ronzki (File)Jerusalem - An Israeli human rights group on Monday called for the immediate dismissal of the chief military rabbi, claiming he gave soldiers fighting in Gaza pamphlets urging them to show no mercy.

    Yesh Din said it had written to both Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, urging them to "take this incitement seriously and fire Chief Military Rabbi" Brigadier General Avi Ronzki.

    It said a pamphlet distributed to soldiers taking part in Operation Cast Lead stressed that the troops should show no mercy to their enemies, and that the pamphlet borders "on incitement and racism against the Palestinian people."

    To read the letter sent click here [PDF]

    "When you show mercy to a cruel enemy you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers," Yesh Din quoted the pamphlet as saying.

    It said the pamphlet quotes at length statements by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a spiritual leader of the Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank who opposes any compromise with Palestinians.

    "The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country," the pamphlet quoted Aviner as saying.

    The rights group said the pamphlet contains "degrading and belittling messages that border on incitement and racism against the Palestinian people. These messages can be interpreted as a call to act outside of the confines of international laws of war."

    The Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday that far right-wing groups also gave out pamphlets bearing racist messages on military bases.

    It said one urged soldiers to "spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us..."

    "Kill the one who comes to kill you. As for the population, it is not innocent," the daily quoted the pamphlet as saying.

  30. If you decide to add the words of Rav E. Wasserman vis a vie zionism, post the statements made by Rav Dessler in favor of 'returning to a homeland'.
    Joseph, as you already know Daat Torah blog is educational, for the intellectually curious, and to expand Torah knowledge, what ever the personal opinions of Rav E. are usually kept under rap.

  31. "you are being Amalek's spokeswoman?"

    Because I faithfully follow the Psak of my Rav, a Gadol Hador and student of the Chazon Ish?

    Here are some quotes of the Chazon Ish (source):

    "Who keeps mitzvohs in our time and is still considered a non believer? Anyone who claims that it is the fault of the rabbis that 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe, and anyone who celebrates Independence Day (Reb Aharon Roter)"

    The Zionist Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Unterman, showed the Chozon Ish a proposal to allow marriages on the 5th of lyar (Zionist Independence Day) and because he was afraid to explain the true reason, he claimed that on that day the soldiers are on vacation and can get married. The Chozon Ish said to him: "If this is so, then I am inclined to allow marriages from Rosh Chodesh lyar until Lag B'Omer." The Rabbi of Tel Aviv argued that this is very lenient. The Chozon Ish then asked: "How is it that I am lenient and you are strict?" Rabbi Unterman was finally forced to admit that he wished to bypass the laws of mourning of Sefira on Independence Day. The Chozon Ish replied forcefully: "Perhaps it is more fitting to declare it a fast day!" (Reb Moshe Shonfeld)

    In 5701, the Chozon Ish commanded to announce on the 5th of lyar in his Bais Medrah that Tachanun would not be said because he was being honored with being Sandek (so no one would think he was celebrating Independence Day). However, in the last year of his life on the 5th of lyar, even though the Chozon Ish as honored with being Sandek three times, he still commanded that Tachanun be said in his Bais Medrash, explaining that he is doing this so no one will be able to testify in the future that Tachanun was not said in his Bais Medrash on the 5th of lyar and hide the reason of the Bris Milah. (Reb Chaim Shaul Karelitz)

    When war broke out between the Zionists and the Arabs, the "Haganah" began extension target practice next to the house of the Chozon Ish. One of the officers came to him and said: "The Rov should not be afraid of the shots; they are coming from our boys." To this the Chozon Ish replied immediately, "I am more afraid of your shooting on Shabbos than the explosions of the Arabs all week long." (Reb. Moshe Shonfeld)

    The Rosh Yeshiva of Chadera once spoke to the Chozon Ish about a certain problem which he thought would cause him persecution and asked, "What can we do, now they have kings and officers (the upper hand)?" The Chozon Ish answered him: "Don't even use this expression again. The only difference is that before this, the secularists fought us with pens and now they do so with rifles." (Reb Yachov Galinsky)

    The only actual difference with the formation of the Zionists State is, that before this they were hoodlums without arms, and now the hoodlums have arm. (Reb A. Y. Weintraub)

    He would say: "Moshiach will not take over from them, something will happen in the interim." (ibid)

    So, he once said: "One clear day they will open the windows and they will see 'no more State'."(ibid)

    The Chozon Ish said: "If there would be peace and security in the boundaries of the state, its leaders would now be occupied with persecuting observant Jews, and of this is said 'there is no peace - says Hashem - for the wicked.'" (Reb Shmuel Wosner)

    He didn't make a State Identification Card. And when the regime made a census, he refused to register, saying "I am from the people of Yerusholoyim" (meaning the observant people of Yerusholoyim who refused to be counted). (Reb Y. A. Weintraub)

    At the beginning of the State, the municipality of Bnei Brak wanted to hang a Zionist flag on his house and he refused and when he was told he would have to pay a fine because of his refusal, he answered, "It's worth it, it's worth it." (Ibid)

  32. One more great quote from the Chazon Ish that many have found inspirational:

    Just as simplicity and truth are separate entities, so are extremism and greatness separate entities: Extremism is the perfection of the topic. One who waves the banner of moderation and hates extremism, is in the same camp as liars or imbeciles. If there is no extremism there is no perfection and without perfection there is no beginning. For the beginning is with constant questioning and doubts, and perfection is the sharp reply which puts each statement in the right and truthful place.

    We are used to hearing certain circles declare that they are not extremists, and yet still consider themselves faithful Jews with enough faith in Torah and Torah opinion. From an arbitrary point of view, we say that just as there are among the lovers of wisdom none who love just a little wisdom and hate a lot of wisdom, so among the lovers of Torah and its commandments there is no love of mediocrity and hatred for extremism (from a letter to a Rosh Yeshiva, Yalkeit Daas Torah).

  33. Former Sefardic Chief Rabbi, R. Ovadiah Yosef shlita refers to the proclamation of the state in one of his responsa: "Many great gedolim view the establishment of the State as the beginning of redemption. This historic event can be compared to a passage in the Yerushalmi (Berachos 1:1) R. Chiya and R. Shimon ben Chalafta were walking (in the Arbel valley at dawn) when they saw glimmering of the morning star. R. Chiya the Great said to R. Shimon ben Chalaftaa, My Master, so is the redemption of first little by little, but ad it progresses it grows greater and greater. Why so? When I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light unto me, Furthermore, the talmud states in Megillah (17b), War is also the beginning of redemption. and the brilliant R. Menachem Mendel Kasher cites, in his work HaTekufah HaGedolah (pp 378-78), a proclamation entitled daat Torah, signed by practically all of the generation's gedolim, in which they refer to the establishment of the State of Israel as the beginning of the redemption (Orach Chaim, sec 41).

  34. Let us not forget that that Vilna Gaon was also for settling the Land of Israel and bringing it under Jewish rule.

    I have not seen a Rav quoted as being against that can even begin to compare with his stature.

  35. Sources that state that the three oaths are not binding.

    Kol Torah(student of the Gra) 6:2

    Da'at Chaim

    Eitz Chaim of Chaim Vital, introduction states that the three oaths were only in effect for the first 1000 years after the destruction of the Temple

  36. Even Gil Student, who as we know is a modern orthodox religious zionist, has publicly stated about the Three Oaths:

    "The Satmar Rav's treatment of this subject is lengthy, erudite and simply brilliant. One can only be amazed by the breadth and depth of his thinking."

    (Even though Student doesn't like the Rebbe's conclusion!)

  37. There is NO WAY that you can say that the Satmar Rebbe is anywhere near the equal of Chaim Vital or the GR"A, let alone the two of them combined!!! That is simply ridiculous.

    You can say that the Satmar Rebbe, leader of the world's 4th largest Hasidic sect may be equal to the Gerer and Belzer Rebbeim(leaders of the largest and second largest sects respectively), however, if he does not admit that his knowledge and understanding PALES in comparison to the knowledge and understanding of the GR"A and Haim Vital who only wrote what he recieved from the mouth of the AR"I who recieved directly from Eliyahu HaNavi, there are much bigger problems.

    My point is not to justify secular Zionism, however, anti-zionism is unjustified in light of these luminaries alone.

  38. mekubal,

    The Vilna Gaon was for individual Jews settling in Eretz Yisroel, NOT for Jewish rule of Eretz Yisroel.

    A major difference.

  39. The Redemption of Israel has nothing to do with the Modern State.

    Rabbi Haim Vital's introduction to Sefer Eytz Chaim does not annul the Three Oaths. Rabbi Vital was a student of the Arizal whose belief was that the revelation of Kabbalah to the Jewish people would bring about the Redemption.

    The introduction of Sefer Eytz Haim was Rabbi Vital's justification for revealing the secrets of the Kabbalah and thus bringing about the Redemption. Rabbi Vital states that this does not violate the Three Oaths. Rabbi Vital does not negate the Three Oaths nor claim that they have expired, only the the time had come for the Revelation of the secrets of bringing about the Redemption.

    This has nothing to do with taking the land by force, expelling its residents and establishing a secular, nationalistic government.

  40. Joseph,

    Check your sources. The GR"A's main point is that the three oaths only apply to the Beit HaMikdash. His entire plan was to establish Jewish rule over Eretz Yisrael and then HaShem would supply the rest, i.e. the Beit HaMikdash.

    Furthermore, even with the GR"A's argument aside, you still have the AR"I and R' Haim Vital to deal with. Which by extension also means that the Beit Yosef (see Orah Haim 141) Magen Avraham also agree. Both held that the dictates of Kabbalah are instrinsically important when formulating halakha.

  41. Jersey Girl,

    Actually read his introduction and then comment. He specifically says that the three oaths were in force for only 1000 years after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. Thus that they have expired.

    He goes on to say that any generation that does not rebuild Jerusalem is as if they have destroyed again.

    Furthermore in his drush on Keytz HaYamim in Eitz Haim and its further explanation in M'Voa HaShaarim, he goes on to state that Mashiach Ben David will only be revealed after Mashiach Ben Yosef has begun his war, and that Mashiach Ben Yosef will only begin his war when Israel by force throws off the bonds of the nations.

    Stick to what you know.

  42. Jersey Girl,

    As an additional point, if you have read the introduction to Eitz Haim you would know that is Ossur for women to study Kabbalah and thus to read Eitz Haim. The Hakhmei Kabbalah have always held that anything learned B'Issur (as in unmarried men, women, and non-Jews learning Kabbalah)is derech Avodah Zara, and thus not to be trusted.

    Sorry but you attempting to quote Eitz Haim, in and of itself negates anything that you may have to say on it.

  43. mekub: Check your sources again. You are mistaken. (On all the sources you claimed to paraphrase.)

  44. The three oaths are not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch or the Rambam so all these arguments are superfluous. It is interesting that regarding the Rambam those who follow the anti-Zionist rhetoric have to do acrobatics and twist facts in order to bring him into their fold. If the other side would do this they would be called out right liars. [The fact is that the Rivash is only referring to the teshuvos Harambam superseding the Yad but not a letter. Moreover the biggest proof that they twist facts is that the Iggeres Teiman was written prior to the Yad. Hence it has been superseded and following the introduction of the Yad would not be considered l’halachah.]

  45. YWN,

    Prove it. Bring quotes. That's the way we learn it in Yeshivat HaMekubalim Beit E-l.

  46. (Even though Student doesn't like the Rebbe's conclusion!)
    As many other gedolim disagree in how the Satmar Rav understood the gemorrah.

  47. אמר עוד במ' הנ"ל ובג"ד השבעתי אתכם בנות ירושלים ובו' פירוש הדברים כי הנה היתה השבועה הגדולה לאלהי"ם שלא יעוררו את הגאולה עד שאותה האהבה תהיה בחפץ ורצון טוב כמ"ש עד שתחפץ כבן העובד את אביו ועייל בכל פלטרין דיליה ובכל גניזין דיליה ולא בעבד העובד במשנה ולוקח השפחה ע"מ לקבל פרס. ובבר אמרו רז"ל כי זמן השבועה היא עד אלף שנים, כמ"ש ז"ל בבריתא דר' ישמעאל בפרקי היכלות ע"פ דניאל ז"ל ואתיהבון בידיה עד עידן ועידנין ופלג. ואיך הראהו הקב"ה ליעקב אבינו שר עולם, והוא שרו של בבל ע' עוקין וכו' ע''ש. וכן בזהר פרשת וירא ד' קי''ז ע''א וז''ל אמר ר' יוסי כל דא אריכו יומא חד גלותא דכנסת ישראל ולא יתור דכתיב נתנני שוממה כל היום דוה.

  48. Sorry I forgot to put the source that I was quoting from. The above Hebrew text entered by me is a part of R' Vital's introduction to Sefer Eitz Haim. In the first paragraph he referenced the three oaths, but did not expound upon them. This is found on page 8 second column of the classic edition. His full explanation runs on for another three full dafim for a total of 13 amudim dedicated to fully expounding upon his point.

    Special thanks to YWN for telling me to check my sources. I was going Baal Peh and forgot that R' Vital referenced the Zohar and R' Yishmael. Also that he stated it as a known fact that the three oaths had expired. Though I do fail to see how I was mistaken on what he said, rather only on the basis that I thought he and thus the AR"I were more of a Daat Yachid, rather than simply expounding on something they considered to be common knowledge.

    In my mind this, combined with their absence from any Halachic text, sets to rest the possibility of using the three oaths as any kind of backing for anti-zionism.

  49. I don't know why you guys bother. I remain convinced that the "Jersey Girl" entity is a Arab-designed computer (the programmer recently posted an anonymous pro-Jersey Girl screed on this very blog) inexorably linked to this blog and programmed to spit out hateful anti-Jewish venom whenever a pro-Israel post is published.
    I mean, look at all the stuff it puts out. No human being with actual daily responsibilities has that kind of time. Really!
    You might as well argue with your computer monitor. You'll get just as far.

  50. Ironheart,
    These sources from YWN, Mekubal, Baruch,etc. are strong, factual and accurate. Many readers are looking for answers and opinions not readily available in their yeshivos and shuls. The discussion with Jersey is a very small part of the commentators function.

  51. It must obviously really hurts the so-called "religious" zionists that all of Daas Torah is anti-zionist.

  52. Joseph,

    That statement simply is not true. The Gerer Rebbe and thus Agudat Yisrael is not Anti-Zionist. The Gerer Rebbeim have actually been pro-Zionist since the Imrei Emes in 1945. The Gedolim of the Sephardim are not Anti-Zionist. Even the Degel Torah people, under R' Eliashiv who claim to be Anti-Zionist to some measure I have to question as they are politically involved in Israel.

    At best you can say that it is a Machloket Gedolim, but you cannot say that all of Daat Torah is against is Anti-Zionist.

    Even amongst the Religious Zionists there are profound Gedolim. R' Kook Z"L who was offered to be the Ponevezher Rav before he moved to Israel. R' Mordechai Eliayhu Shlit"a and his father Z"L are both Gedolei Yisrael. Amongst the holy Mekubalim some are, some aren't and some are neither.

    Which really brings us to the problem of being "Anti" anything. The position of such opposition that will induce someone to define themselves as what they are opposed to, hence "anti-zionist" is highly problematic.

    First it leaves no room for Elu V'Elu, and as I have demonstrated above there is ample evidence in the ChaZaL to show that if the anti-zionist position holds any real halachic weight it is at best a machloket, which lends itself to Rabbanim and their communities being able to chose which side to hold. Simply to say that five generations of Gerer Rebbeim have been against Daas Torah should be enough to call your stance into question. Can we really ostracize and make such statements about such great Gedolim? What of their followers then?

    Secondly the "Anti" position, and I do mean "Anti" anything, leaves no room for a middle ground. Yes there are Zionists, and now there are Anti-Zionists. However, while zionists seem willing to accept that there are people, possibly even a majority, who like myself, are not Zionist, but neither are we opposed, the "Anti" position does not take that outlook. Again because one has placed their identity in what they disagree with by labeling themselves "Anti" they inevitably come to be able to see no middle ground. Either one is for them or they are for the enemy. This is a divisiveness that does no good. Take R' Shach Z"L for example the problems such positions garnered him from the likes of R' Kaduri Z"L R' Mordechai Sharabi Z"L(who actually asked R' Shach to depart from his Shabbat table mid-meal) and R' O. Yosef, should in and of themselves show the futility of being "Anti" something.

    Finally by being so exclusionary people in the "anti" position essentially become a one trick pony. They have nothing to offer, and thus over time become irrelevant. Take for instance the recent Rabbinut court elections where Degal HaTorah lost seats. Also the recent mayor elections in Jerusalem in which a surprisingly large number of Chareidim voted for Porush after their Rabbanim said otherwise. Of course Porush's lack of success shows the lack of hegemony within the Anti-Zionist camp. His great sin after all was communicating with the Satmar Rebbe against the instructions of the Gerrer Rebbe. I understand the Gerrer Rebbe telling his people to vote for someone else, he is after all pro-zionist, however, the Degel Torah people confuse me, as they are supposed to be in the same camp as the Satmar Rebbe. In the end though it all comes out the same, loss of influence and relevance, even amongst their own.

  53. A clear line should be drawn between those with haskafic and those with halchic issues, then we would be able to see the complete picture. People would then realize that Satmar is really alone in his fight as he was the one to make Zionism a halachic issue. The anti-Zionists like to lump them all together.

  54. ג' שבועות הללו למה אחת שלא יעלו ישראל בחומה ואחת שהשביע הקדוש ברוך הוא את ישראל שלא ימרדו באומות העולם ואחת שהשביע הקדוש ברוך הוא את אומות העולם שלא ישתעבדו בהן בישראל יותר מדאי.

    The three verses are:

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please (Song of Songs 2:7).

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please (Song of Songs 3:5).

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem: Why should ye awaken, or stir up love, until it please? (Song of Songs 8:4).

    There are several other Midrashim that pertain to the Three Oaths and they are primarily recorded in Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah which is also known as Midrash Hazita:

    R. Yossi bar Chanina said, “There are two oaths here, one for Israel and one for the nations. Israel swore not to rebel against the nations [R. Yossi bar Chanina views Israel’s two oaths in Ketuvot as just one], and the nations swore that they would not overly burden Israel, for by doing so they cause the end of days to come prematurely.
    Rabbi Chelbo says...And do not ascend like a wall from the Exile. If so, why is the King Messiah coming? To gather the exiles of Israel.
    When Reish Lakish would see Jews from the Exile gathering in the marketplace [in the Land of Israel] he would say to them, 'Scatter yourselves.' He said to them: 'When you ascended you did not do so as a wall, and here you have come to make a wall.' [7]There are several other Midrashim that pertain to the Three Oaths and they are primarily recorded in Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah which is also known as Midrash Hazita:
    R. Yossi bar Chanina said, “There are two oaths here, one for Israel and one for the nations. Israel swore not to rebel against the nations [R. Yossi bar Chanina views Israel’s two oaths in Ketuvot as just one], and the nations swore that they would not overly burden Israel, for by doing so they cause the end of days to come prematurely.

    Rabbi Chelbo says...And do not ascend like a wall from the Exile. If so, why is the King Messiah coming? To gather the exiles of Israel.

    When Reish Lakish would see Jews from the Exile gathering in the marketplace [in the Land of Israel] he would say to them, 'Scatter yourselves.' He said to them: 'When you ascended you did not do so as a wall, and here you have come to make a wall.'

    Rambam cited the Three Oaths in his famous Iggeret Teiman:

    ולפי שידע שלמה ע"ה ברוח הקדש שהאומה הזו כאשר תלכד בגלות תיזום להתעורר שלא בזמן הראוי ויאבדו בכך וישיגום הצרות הזהיר מכך והשביע עליו על דרך המשל ואמר השבעתי אתכם בנות ירושלים וכו

    Shlomo, of blessed memory, foresaw with Divine inspiration, that the prolonged duration of the exile would incite some of our people to seek to terminate it before the appointed time, and as a consequence they would perish or meet with disaster. Therefore he admonished and adjured them in metaphorical language to desist, as we read, "I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please." (Song of Songs 2:7, 8:4). Now, brethren and friends, abide by the oath, and stir not up love until it please (Ketubos 111a).

    Ramban did not explicitly discuss the Three Oaths. Rashbash who was himself a descendant of Ramban, understood this particular biblical obligation to be binding on the individual level but not on the collective:

    "In truth, this commandment is not a commandment which includes the entirety of Israel in the Exile which now exists, but it is a general principle as our Sages stated in the Talmud in Ketubos, that it stems from the Oaths which The Holy One, Blessed be He, made Israel swear not to rush the End, and not to ascend like a wall." (Responsa Rashbash, 2)

    Rabbeinu Bachya, formulated a comprehensive Torah commentary based on the four principles denoted by the word "PaRDeS." In his commentary he wrote on Genesis 32:7 :

    …and it is written “And Hezekiah prayed before God” (2 Kings 19:15). So too we are required to follow in the way of the Patriarchs and to restore ourselves so that we may be graciously accepted and with our fine language and prayer before God, may He be exalted. However, to wage war is not possible (Song of Songs 2), “you have been adjured daughters of Jerusalem, etc.” You have been adjured not to engage in war with the nations.”

    Maharal discussed the Three Oaths in Netzach Yisrael:

    כי פירוש 'בדורו של שמד' היינו במדה שהיה לדורו של שמד, שהיו דביקים בה דורו של שמד, ובאותה מדה השביע אותם שלא ישנו בענין הגלות. כי דורו של שמד, אף על גב שהגיע להם המיתה בגלות, לא היו משנים. ועוד פירוש 'בדורו של שמד', רוצה לומר אף אם יהיו רוצים להמית אותם בעינוי קשה, לא יהיו יוצאים ולא יהיו משנים בזה. וכן הפירוש אצל כל אחד ואחד, ויש להבין זה

    Another explanation of the Midrash’s statement (he is speaking of Shir Ha-Shirim Rabba 2:20 that begins “ורבנן אמרי השביען בדורו של שמד”) that God adjured the Jewish people in a generation of Shmad (religious persecution Jews, or decrees against Jews): that even if they will threaten to kill them with difficult torture, they will not leave [the Exile] nor will they change their behavior in this manner.

    The oaths are between the Jewish people and God, and the gentiles and God respectively. Theoretically, if the gentiles would violate their oath does not tacitly mean that the Jewish people are free to do so as well. Historically, atrocities prior to the Holocaust have not prompted claims of violating the oaths by the gentiles.

    Living in Eretz Yisroel, is not a general mitzvah for all Jews, only individuals (See discussion of Rashbash).

  55. Again the three oaths are not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch so it is not accepted l’halachah. The Iggeres Teiman was written before the Yad (contrary to the Satmar Rebbe) and the three oaths are not mentioned in the Yad at all, so the Rambam did not accept it as halachah.

  56. Joseph,

    As has already been demonstrated the three oaths expired. They were around for 1000 years, and then that was it. If you hang all your hopes on this, then you are in for great disappointment. The AR"I and the sources brought down in Eitz Haim are authoritative enough to rely upon.

  57. Read my previous (long) post regarding the three oaths, it answered all your questions how the 3 oaths are halachicly binding.

    Btw, the Gerrer Rebbe (like the rest of the Gedolim) IS anti-zionist. He was asked this question specifically, and responded affirmatively.

    You should also look at the Sefer Sefas Emes -- it is totally anti-zionist -- a position Ger still abides by.

  58. Joseph
    You can scan sources upon sources The Ramban believes it is a Mitzvas Ese Deorasia, And the shulchan oruch Hilchos Shabos is matir a issur derabanan for mitzvos yishuv eretz yisroel, so stop with the pipelines with sources

  59. When ever the antizionisim subject comes on the forefrunt I am revisiting the Vayoel Moshe the magnum opus of Rabbi J Titelbaum, It behooves me that he himself claims that his anti Zionist stand carries no water from a halachic viewpoint. the Shulchan Aruch that is the bottom line of every Orthodox Jew does not mention the 3 oaths nowhere, and so it is not mentioned in the sefer Hyad of the Rambam that is usualy more inclusive covering a broader range of subjects, So he tries in a extreme fashion to shove it in in Hilchos teshuva that no geula can be without Teshuva and Whoever says different is a kofer in the 13 principle.
    1) Whoever told him that this part of Hilchos Teshuva is as cardinal as the Ikrim? obviously according to the major shitos that the Ikrim have a unique halachic force (as the famous Reb Chaim Brisker)
    2) The Gra in Even Shloma and many others believe that it is possible to have a Geula before teshuva
    3) What about a Jew that does not associate the creation of State of Israel with any Geula, why would he be out of boundaries of halacha?
    From there he tries the Iggeres Tiemon, for another day

  60. While the Gerer Rebbes may be anti-Zionist they did not make it part of our religion. Actually that is what bothers the Satmarer about Ger and other Chasidim. I know for a fact that many Gerer would say that the RZ are more frum than many in Stamar. Regarding your claim to have answered that the three oaths are binding, you did no such thing. Again it is not in the Shulchan Aruch and it is not in the Yad. The first to make it an halachic issue was the Satmar Rebbe. This is what no one who was anti-Zionist before the war agreed with him about afterwards.

  61. As a Gerrer Chosid I can personally bear eidus that the Gerrer Rebbe, like his predecessors, have the greatest respect for the Satmar Rebbe ZT'L, his positions, and his Chasidim. The Rebbe (as well as the previous Rebbe) have said so loud and clear and unambiguously. The Rebbe has no major disagreements with the Satmar Rebbe's core positions regarding zionism, just how to interact with the zionists ym's now that they grabbed power and politically administrate the Holy Land.

  62. Y.N., And as a Gerrer Chosid I can say that you are incorrect. There is no love lost between the two Chassidus. Most Gerrer Chassidim are not fans of the Satmar Rebbe. There is also a tape in which the Stamar Rebbe lambasts Gerrer Chassidim.

  63. Baruch
    Your point is well taken this anti Zionism took by certain people a life of its own. They have no problem to jeopardize the lives of the majority Klal Yisroel by helping the enemies of every yid, for some convoluted ideology, there philosophy is as dangerous as Weitzmans that the land is more important then some jews. Jersey Girls and the hood of hers are ready to talk to any blood thisty islamofacist as long that it will go their way, Ribono Shel Olam how can a orthodox Jew be so confused to live on some outdated quotes of broadsheets that were hung in Meah Sheorim at the heat of the moment, or half baked quotes of the Chazon Ish,If you will check they have no source of a black and white Shulchan Oruch. As an example for this avalanche of quotes that they spew on the split of the moment from some server sponsored probably by the Iranian Government, we can look in to the Chazon Ish, every few years when there is national Elections in Israel people like Shlome Lorencz and Rav Michel Lefkowitz etc..have quotes that its a mitzva to go the booth on election day, on the other hand the satmar sect quote people like Elyokim Schelesinger etc.. that it is ossur as Avoda Zora, so at the end of the day whom do you believe ?

  64. Jersey Girl
    Where is the Rav Gifter source?

  65. Baruch,

    As a Gerrer Chosid who was with the Rebbe almost daily for years, I assure you everything I stated is based upon my first-hand experiance with the Rebbe.

  66. I assure you that you are not speaking the truth. There is no love lost between Satmar and Ger. They also did not agree on principle regarding the three oaths.

  67. Baruch: If you are ever in Eretz Yisroel, you are welcome to stay by me for a Shabbos, and I can introduce you to the Rebbe and you can ask and confirm all your questions.

  68. Your statements are clearly being said for political correctness. There are no Israeli Chassidim who care much for Satmar besides for Satmar Chasidim themselves.

  69. Baruch, Please come out of your shell. There is a whole world out there, and I'd like to introduce you to it!

  70. I believe that I would be the one making the introductions.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.