Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Leading haredi rabbi asks: 'How can Jews make decrees against Jews?'

 Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, head of the prestigious Ponovezh yeshiva, on Tuesday evening responded to the Israeli government's new "decrees" on the haredi public, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

In his weekly class, Rabbi Edelstein questioned, "How could a Jew be capable of making decrees on Jews?"

Kikar Hashabbat was informed that Rabbi Edelstein recently instructed MKs from the United Torah Judaism's Degel Hatorah faction to fight the decisions with all their might. Now, he has called on the public to increase their care in order to save the Jewish people from the "decrees."


  1. The article quotes Rav Edelstein shlita, citing the Talmud about the 3 traits of Jews, (merciful, bashful, and gemach).
    I want to ask a question on the nature of the Talmud(s). Is the Talmud simply a primordial Shulchan Aruch, ie code of law; or, as R' Bar Hayim puts it, a snapshot of the oral law at the time it was written - i.e. at that stage of development? Or possibly, (this is my respectful appraoch) a struggle between Chachamim to distill the Torah, the truth, and all knowledge, sometimes contradictory?

  2. Who's making decrees? When the Chazon Ish, zt"l, declared "Learn, don't earn!" he decreed that all secular and religious Zionist Jews who worked would be forced to support his community. When he declared that the army and national service were "yehareg v'al ya'avor!" he decreed that all secular and religious Zionist Jews would bear the burden of protecting the state from its enemies and ensuring security for it.
    So if he can make decrees that demand sacrifice and burden from other communities, so too those other communities can do it right back.

  3. the CI was either intuitively or practically a very good card player -

    the Yehareg bluff, was one of the biggest poker games ever played and won, not only in Israel's history, but in all history.

    In fact, myths are still told in frum magazines, that he told his sister to get her sharpest knife ready in case she needed sacrifice her daughters... He must have based his strategy on the Akeidah!

  4. He was clearly good at strategy. His "loaded vs unloaded camel" analogy is also totally irrelevant. His camel is loading with learning Torah? The Zionist camel is loading with building the land and encourage the growth of Jewish life including Torah in the land so it's just as loaded, maybe more. But it worked because Ben Gurion didn't want to be chutzpah'dik to him.

  5. I don't agree with his analogy. Perhaps today "hareidim " will argue it was a success. In forming the hareidi powerhouse.
    Even weaker was his comment to BG. That it's only our Torah study that ensures your victories on the battlefield.
    That is a great insult to rabbi Akiva, and chazal.

  6. did he
    declare "Learn, don't earn!"?To whom?

    Or did he give a heter for those who were afraid of violating the requirement to earn?

  7. It is wonderful you claim such a superior understanding!

  8. A) why is it you only attack my statements, when garnel-s are always more extreme?

    B) why did rabbi Akiva lose his wars? Was his learning inferior to the yeshivas in the 1950s?

    Also the gemara about shaul losing his wars, even though his generation was frum.

  9. a) so why not comment to his comments?
    b) See igros moshe regarding six day war

  10. I do temper some of his attacks against various gedolim, eg the Chatam Sofer.

    I don't see anything wrong or heretical in bringing a logical argument against once proposed by a Gadol, be it an Acharon, a rishon, etc - usually such an argument has already been proposed by another Gadol.


    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein

    Since the generation of King David was a righteous one which believed in

    God, David could request from God that they be victorious in war

    through natural means, because even if they were to fight with weapons

    and all the methods of war and overcome and defeat their enemies, all

    would recognize that it was God who was responsible for their victory.

    But in the generation of King Asa, in which the people were not of such

    great faith, Asa feared that if they would pursue the enemy and overcome

    it and were then victorious, the people would say that it was due to

    their own strength, and therefore he requested that God should cause the

    enemy’s downfall before they even reached them. And Yehoshafat, who was

    concerned about the diminishment of faith in his generation, feared

    that even if they were just to pursue the enemy, they would say that

    they were victorious on their own, and therefore he prayed that God

    should smite them and he would only recite a song. And Hezekiah feared

    even reciting a song, lest they say, God forbid, that this served as a

    magical form of helping, and therefore he said that he did not have the

    strength to recite a song.

    All the more so in our generation, in which those of small faith have

    increased, we require miracles exclusively, so that perhaps the people

    will recognize that it is God who is doing this. And so, thank God, this

    has been fulfilled, and He has produced the victory over Arabs far

    greater in number, who also had the assistance of a major empire for

    their weaponry, much greater than our state in the Land of Israel, and

    yet in just four days, they defeated all of the Arab nations and Egypt,

    in the time from Monday to Thursday, and we hope that He will send the

    King Messiah soon, and all Israel will recognize that “the Lord is a man

    of war” (Exodus 15:3).

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Darash Moshe, “Parashat Eikev” (Beth Medrash L’Torah V’Horaah, 1988). [Translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Krakowski]"


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