29 July 2009

A Plea

When the Nations of the world are making indecent demands of the sovereign Jews of Eretz Yisrael that they restrict Jewish growth and allow a hostile people to set up camp in the middle of our Land, that could turn against us as they have always said they want to do, I ask: WHY are the Jewish People fighting with one another? Why are some involved in un-kosher activities? Have you forgotten the deception of the “Meraglim”?

The “battle being waged in the name of Shabbos” compares to the battle concerning the “mum on the Korban” (defect on an animal sacrifice that instigated the “Romans”.

Doesn’t this remind you of Kamtza bar Kampza: the scenario from the concluding days of the Second Beis HaMIkdash?

At one point “The ... different fragments of the country [came] together...the Sadducees together with the Zealots. The most assimilated of Jerusalem’s Jews were prepared to work together with the Sages…” to save Jerusalem from being plundered.

But what eventually happened:

“The feuding Zealot parties destroyed these stores [of food] recklessly, in an attempt to force the people into a fatal confrontation … they wanted to fight and to see blood … all the negative influences that led to its fall, the Zealots, the Saducees, and fratricidal warfare between them and their various factions also perished … all that was left were the people and the Torah!” (Meam Loez, Eichah)

In the past issue of HaMishpaha, Yonoson Rosenblum wrote about a discussion he had with a Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim. A 70 year resident of Meah Shearim. Rabbi Pappenheim founded Bayit Lepletot, a residential educational facility for girls whose families are unable to raise them.

Rabbi Pappenheim’s offered four reasons for opposing the recent demonstrations.

Three were practical, concerning their impact on the future of Torah Judaism in Eretz Yisrael, and on the participants.

The fourth was the impact on the Redemption.

He compared the civil resistance of Rabbi Amram Blau’s time, and the “resultant full-scale rioting of hotheads that occurs in our days. Participation in violence (the tools of Eisav) leaves a spiritual mark on the protestors.”

But the greatest damage caused by violent demonstrations is not to the Torah community, but to the Torah and Hashem, kiveyachol. Rabbi Pappenheim quotes his teacher Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, the late chief rabbi of the Eidah HaChareidis, to the effect that the Redemption doesn’t require that all Jews first become fully observant; there need only be some drawing closer to Hashem. The rest, writes the Rambam, Mashiach will do.”

He went on to say, “never has the time been so ripe for such a spiritual arousal … the spiritual hunger of the Israeli youth … was already foretold by the prophet:

“Behold days are coming … when I will send hunger into the Land; not a hunger for bread or a thirst for water, but to hear the words of Hashem … [people] will travel for sea to sea, and from north to east; they will wander about to seek the word of Hashem, but they will not find it” (Amos 8:11-12)

“If we, who claim to represent Torah, make it appear ugly and violent … we guarantee that those who hunger for the words of Hashem will seek them not among us, but in foreign pastures?"

I found this to be a most important aspect to the infighting occurring in Jerusalem during these three weeks, and especially the nine days. Someone has to bring our people together, to work together for the betterment of all Jews, Jerusalem, Eretz Yisrael, and the world as a whole.

Either the Jews are not at peace with themselves and therefore the world will be in a turmoil; or the world is in a turmoil on account [a heshbon of sorts] of the Jews.


Something Rabbi Pappenheim said was revealing:

“Most residents of Meah Shearim DO NOT share his perspective BECAUSE 200 years ago, Torah Jewry began to feel under assault by the forces of Reform. The communities that preserved themselves were those that followed the Austritt principle and cut themselves off from the larger Jewish community… in time, this separation became a loss to Klal Yisrael.”

What is the Austritt Principle?

In essence, because of the ‘reform’ who were in controlling power at the time, the Torah-true Jews who followed Rabbi Hirsch, who said it was inconceivable that an Orthodox Jew could voluntarily belong to a body purporting to represent the Jewish Kehillah, if that body was directed or controlled by people not loyal to the very foundations of Jewry - the unchanging nature of the Torah and Rambam's Thirteen Principles of Faith. And so the Torah-true Jews withdrew and became very insular. ”Rabbi Hirsch's institutions in Frankfurt were called geselschaft - association - not a synagogue or community, in order not to be declared illegal. He fought a long and difficult battle on the legislative front to gain legal sanction for his Austritt Gemeinde (separate community).

Hasn't sufficient time passed that these 'divisions' could be healed by making an honest and ego-free attempt to come together, not in religion, but in humanity, in understanding, in compassion for the trials and errors of innocents, in respect and for the future of Am Yisrael?

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