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????? Posted - 17 April 2002 21:32
Moderator-
As a "Yeshivishe YU Bochur," I am puzzled and extremely distraught at the lack of Yeshivishe participation in the Solidarity Rally in Washington for Eretz Yisroel. Maybe you can help "enlighten" me and help me understand this blatant statement of "Anti-Achdus" by certain organizations. Thank you.
MODERATOR Posted - 17 April 2002 23:43
The rally was encouraged by a number of Rabbonim, and discouraged by others.

The reasons were basically, first and foremost, we can accomplish more for our people by praying and learning. It was also unclear what exactly the message was to Washington? Support Israel, for sure, but how exactly? Dont give back land? Dont make a Palestinian State? All of the above? What politically should be done in Israel is not black and white, and the opinions of our Gedolim do not coincide on this issue with the opinions of those who organized the rally. The diff between this rally and lets say the rally to bomb the tracks to the concentration camps or to let Jews leave Russia, this one had a political messaage which we may or may not want to support.

Of course unity is a wonderful thing, but why is anybody bound in the name of unity to do what the peopel who made the rally say we should do? Perhaps in the interrest of unity, they change their course of action, and be unified with those who say not to make the rally?

Peopel seem to feel that if a group of Jews do somethign, everyone else has to jump to do it too, or else they are making an "anti-achdus" statement. This is not true. People think that "If you dont do what I want, youre anti-achdus". Well, maybe you shoudl do what the other guy wants or lese youll be anti-achdus. People disagree on methods of doign things. this rally was a good example. There were good rabbonim on both sides of the issue. But neither side has any priviledged status that whatever they believe must be adhered to.

????? Posted - 18 April 2002 23:52
THank you for your response, and what you are saying is basically correct. However, most of my friends from "black hat Yeshivos" were NOT ALLOWED to go. Their Roshei Yeshivos sent out the message that "people who go are lower than you, you shouldn't go." This is obviously incorrect based on the Moderator's premise that there were Rabbonim on BOTH sides. Thanks again.
MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 0:00
Well obviously the Roshei Yeshiva of those Yeshiva held not to go.

I personally also told people not to go, as I agreed with those that discouraged it.

Plus, even if a rabbi encourages it in general, he will likeyl not want Yeshiva Bochurim there, as learnign Torah accomplishes a lot more than rallies - the encouragement was for the Baalie Batim.

Then of course, there is the issue that the rally was mixed, with much pritzus, which is the opposite of a Kiddush Hashem.

Beautman Posted - 19 April 2002 0:14
As I've been reliably informed, the main reason some of the yeshivish world did not support, or gave limited support, for the rally is that no one could know in advance who all of the speakers would be and what they would be saying. The rally was put together very quickly with participation of a lot of non-torah organizations, so there was a danger that supporting the rally would also be supported something wholly unacceptable (kol isha, Reform or Christian speakers distorting torah, etc.) I understand, however, that by and large this did not turn out to be the case.

That was for people who would not otherwise have been learning.

While some may, and do, reasonably disagree with that position, it is very unfortunate that others have stupidly concluded that the the modest participation by the yeshiva community is due to lack of concern for other jews or what happens to Israel.

bmguy Posted - 19 April 2002 0:14
There were a few possible issues with attending the rally that I heard b'sheim some of the biggest roshei hayeshiva in america. My Rosh Hayeshiva (of a black hat mainstream yeshiva) originaly told everyone to go, but changed his decision when he found out that since there were schedueled to be a representative from each "branch"(reconstructionist, reform, conservative, and orthodox) of judaism to give words of prayer and other stuff, and felt if the yeshiva went it would be as if we are giving validity to such a thing, which we abviously dont feel is the right thing. In the end he said if guys want to go, they can go but we we can not make it a yeshiva function because of the problem with giving validity to such a thing(so i went). Two yeshivas that i know of who let guys go but didnt make it an official yeshiva function were chofetz chaim and ner yisrael(rabbi neuberger was sitting in the vip seating). Another problem with goin that i heard from another rosh yeshiva was the pritzus(which i can attest was a major issue) at the rally.
grend123 Posted - 19 April 2002 20:57
It just seems to me (as it apparently did to ?????) and to other posters here that the yeshiva response (or lack thereof) to the rally typified the attitude of "since we arent zionists we couldnt care less about israel". Im not saying this is true, merely that thats is what it appears to be.. certainly noone in the yeshiva velt has gone out of the way to correct this image. What angers the rest of the frum world is that many feel the politics of zionism should e put aside when jews are being killed - certainly the neturai karta who demonstrated with palestinians at the rally are rodfim in every sense of the word, and for many people the yeshiva world's decision not to cooperate in the rally signified a tacit admission for the neturei karta position - certainly to those (and there are many) who dont recognize chassidish / litvash divisions and only know that the only religious looking jews they saw at the rally were waving palestinian flags.
--grend
MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 21:39
Grend,

What "appears" to you is due to your own vision problems regarding the way you look at other Jews not of your "camp", rather than to any reasonable impression sent out by that camp.

Your impression is baseless.

The attribution of a lack of care for the death of Jews due to lack of Zionism to the Chareidi world is not only baseless, its insane to anybody who takes a moment to think objectively.

It ignores not only logic, but the screams and shouts orally and i writing of our Gedolim and lay leaders regarding these issues, which are all on public record.

It is particularly absurd considering that one of the main Chareidi claims against the Zionists is that acquiring and maintaining a State costs lives of thousands of Jews. It was the Satmar Rav who said in AL Hageulah that "there is no permit to allow the death of even one Jew for the sake of the State"; whereas it is Rav Soloveichik who said in Five Addresses if the State is religious, all the sacrifices of life for it "are worthwhile."

As far as the Neturei Karta, not only is the Agudah against them, but Satmar is as well. The Satmar Rav wrote in a number of places that we dare nto give the State back to the Arabs, because doign so would endanger the lives of Jews - even though it was the Zionists who put those lives in danger to begin with by taking the land in defiance of the Arabs.

But even they are - mistakenly but sincerely - interested only in saving Jewish lives. Their problem is political, nto Hashkafic. They basically are Satmar but with a political twist: They hold that the Arabs are interested only in their land, and that if you give them back the State, they will be happy and leave the Jews alone.

Ridiculous? I agree. Dangerous? Yes, but its not going to happen anyway, thank G-d, that the State goes back to the Arabs. But their intentions are only to make peace between the Jews and the Arabs, even if it entails giving back Israel.

That idea, in and of itself, means, that the State is not worht giving up lives for. And if giving back the State will save lives, that is what should be done.

That is an altogether reasonable theory. the problem is, giving back the State to the Arabs will NOT save lives but rather cause untold deaths.

Their theology is not a problem; their political perception is, big time.

As far as Rodfim go, it was Rav Elchonon Wasserman ZTL who ruled that the Zionist extremists who use terror to strike back against Arab terror are Halachic Rodfim, since they merely instigate the Arabs to greater levels of hate.

Your accusation that not coming ot the rally bespeaks a tacit admission to the Neturei Karta position is baseless as well. Nobody is obligated to go to a rally if they hold it is counterproductive, or misrepresents the position of the ralliers, or is done not in accordance with Torah standards, or whatever.

As far as the "politics of Zionism", first , objections ot Zionism are not political, they are Halachic, so your statement, properly made, should read: "many feel the halachah should e put aside when jews are being killed".

But it is not relevant anyway, because, despite the blood libels of the people you are describing in your post, nobody ever said anything about politics or Zionism or not caring that people die.

grend123 Posted - 19 April 2002 22:40
Theres no politics to zionism? Please. I have a question then. Why is it official aguda policy that aguda shuls should not recite a mishebairach for chayalei tzahal? Not for Medinas Yisrael, but for the Jewish soldiers who risk and lay down their lives every day protecting Jewish lives. Is there a halachic reason we shouldnt daven for our fellow Jews? The simple answer, that aguda just doesnt like mishebairachs, isnt true - they reccomend making one for the us government. So, please explain how there are no politics involved in agudas anti-zionism.
Furthermore, you say that it's the fault of onlookers who misunderstand, not of the yeshiva world. As you know, the halacha is that a talmud chacham who wears stained clothing is chayav misa - there is a halachic obligation for "good PR". Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but we have a responsibility to at least attempt not to create the kind of mass chillul hashem of shev veal tasseh - when the world sees that only the non-religious or not so religious jews care about their brethren in israel, while the more visibly religious appear not to care.
And finally, noone seriously doubts, at this point in time, that the arabs have as their main goal killing jews. Whatever the original zionists were, there is absolutely no way a frum jew can join with palestinians and still be a frum jew. Its like saying you can violate shabbos befarhesia, but still be frum. Contradiction in terms. If, and this is not as farfetched as it sounds, neturei karta support for the palestinians convinces one politician to pressure israel to more suicidal withdrawals, and if even one jewish soldier dies because of that withdrawal, then that blood will be traceable to those very hands waving palestinian flags in washington. Thats not politics. Thats just the facts.
MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 23:11
First, there is no official Agudah policy against making a Mi Shebeirach for Tzahal - it is up to the individual Agudah Rav of the Shul.

Secondly, the reason for not making the Mi SHeberach is that we are already praying for all Jews in danger, as we say "kol bais yisroel hanesunim b'tzorah uvashivyah". There are Jews in danger in Iran, there are Jews who were in danger in Russia, there were Jews who are in danger all over the world. And were, fuor hundreds of years.

Please note that Klall Yisroel never singled out a specific group of jews for a specific Mi Shebayrach over any others - there was no need to, for as I said, all Jews in danger are already well accounted for in our Tefilos.

There are, and always were, many Jews in danger. So why single out the Israeli soldiers over any one else?

The reason is not because they are in danger, since that would apply to many others as well. The answer is, since they are soldiers of Medinat Yisrael, they merit a special Tefilah. Not because of the danger they are in.

We dont believe in that. All Jews in danger are equally entitled to prayers, and the fact that someone is "serving Medinat Yisrael" does not put him in any different catagory than any other Jew in danger. Hence, they do not get any Tefilos different than all the other Jews in the same position as them.

Secondly, although a Talmid Chacham must clean his garments, he is not responsible to clean the dirtied sunglasses of those who view his spotless garment as soiled, particularly if they refuse to take off their glasses and see the truth.

There is no "stain" here. The Chareidi policy of caring for every Jew is documented and well known. The money raised for resuce efforts, the public prayers said, the official policies in writing for all to see, the speeches constantly given, the Tehillim constantly said.

If some peopel just refuse to see that, then, no, we are not obligated to go to a rally that we dont believe in because otherwise people will unreasonably accuse us of something in their imagination.

Thats "spiritual blackmail". "Either you participate in my activites even though you believe they are wrong, or else we will go around saying you dont like Achdus, and since you have an obligation to have good PR, you have to do what we say!"

No, sorry, theres no such obligation. The obligation is only to have clean clothing. Not to wear whatever you demand we wear.

MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 23:23
Re: The Neturei Karta. Yes, a person CAN be Mechalel Shabbos B'Farhesia and still be frum. That is, where he holds, even mistakenly, that what he is doing is not Chilul Shabbos.

The Neturei Karta hold that the Arabs only want to kill Jews because the Jews took their land. If we give them the land back, under a deal that the Jews remain safe, they hold the Arabs will be pleased with the deal.

They are wrong, to be sure, but thats how they see it. As dangerous as this is, its not a frumkeit problem, its a reason problem.

Yourfarfetched exampled is farfetched, but possible. On the other hand, equally possible is if the rally in Washington convinces Bush to push for no palestinian state, or for Israel not to withdraw, which incites an the Arabs into killing more Jews in revenge -- then who is the Rodef???

!!!!! Posted - 23 April 2002 0:22
I attend a yeshivishe yeshiva, and I was ther together with several of my friends in my black hat and jacket at the rally. I felt it was a bigger statement to wear my hat and jacket then to drape myself with an Israeli flag. I went to the rally with the support of one of the biggest Roshei Yeshiva in America. And I dont know where everyone else was but I saw many people wearing their hats and jackets (maybe some took it off because of the tremendous heat). As I was told as long as you went for the right cause then you should go. (A day off from school is not the right cause).
somanyqs Posted - 30 April 2002 22:55
i'm a teenage gurl and i live in a city that has all types and even though i'm used to seeing people dressed very untziniudikly (and i'm not one that has my top button buttoned at all!) i was shocked and took double looks at SO many of the gurls (and shirtless guys) there. a rebbe at my school said he totally could see why someone wouldn't go just because of the pritzus factor and i totally agreed (even though i was pro the ralley)
HatzlachaRabah Posted - 02 May 2002 7:55
!!!!!! - As the MOD said in the topic (Main>Note from the Moderator>Rally): there can be more accomplished by staying home and saying Tehilim or Learning. Just to be there for the right cause i dont htink that thats enough at all. My whole Yeshiva went as a whole (yes - w/ the black hats) and my Mashgiach said a posuk of Tehilim one by one and we all replyed as a whole as we walked. now that ithink is worth it.

and somanyqs --
Yes, my Rosh Yeshiva and Mashgiach took the tznius factor into big consideration. after consulting with the Vaad Hachinuch in my city, they decied to go. Why? because we went in such a formantion that only the people at the very edge of the group would see the pritzus. and besides, we were so into saying the Tehilim, we did not really have time to notice what was about. i totally agree with you that just a group of ppl should stam not go because of the pritzus. (no pun intended - e.g. !!!!!!)

btw... MOD- can we pleeeeeze start a forum devoted to Israel-related topix???

<HatzlachaRabah>

hadtosaythis Posted - 08 May 2002 22:08
re: the rally in washington. Iwould like to make several points with your permission. First of all,while our Torah and Tefillah should obviously be increased, we must always have hishtadlus. This is not anything new or radical; it is a staple of Yahadus. I don't think "ain somchin al hanes" does not apply here. The Gemara in Rosh Hashana records that when the Romans had decreed that the Jews could not observe the laws of milah, shabbos, or study Torah,the Chachamim went to a certain woman whom it was said about that the officials were often "found by her and asked for advice. Clearly, they did not intend for her to give them guidance as to which kapitlach tehilim to say! She told them to go in the streets at night and to cry out. They followed her advice, and the decree was repealed.
In addition, once this rally had been billed as a "mass rally", to have anything short of a turnout woult literaly be an issue of safek nefashos.In a rally designed to show the mass support for Israel, any lesser kind of turnout would have been catastrophic.It could have resulted in a situation where the U.S. could potentially have turned down it's pressure on Arafat, which rachmana litzlan could have resulted in a loss of life which could have been prevented.It was vital that all "factions" of Judaism be represented in full.
Many expressed concern that attending the rally would in effect be an endorsement of the non-frum there. I confess myself baffled at this line of reason. The rally was a politicial one with politicial overtones and politicial goals. The frum people in attendance were no m ore endorsing the Reconstructionist "rabbi" who said a perek of Tehilim than it was an endorsement for the pro-Israel Christians or Lubavitch loonies. The "rabbi's" recitation of a Psalm in English was not meant to be a pro-Reconstructionist statement; it was intended and percieved as a pro-Israel statement. The media accounts that I saw ( and i saw a number of them only mentioned this "rabbi" as an example of the wide variety of Jews (and gentiles) at the rally. Imagine the Kiddush Hashem that would have been made if thousands of yeshiva bochurim had showed. ( I am aware of the the alleged statement of Rav Avigdor Miller that the yeshivos should not go to the rallies for Soviet Jewry b/c "all you need is for one gay club to show up" or something to that effect. I will be dan likaf zechus that , if that statement was indeed made, it was because he felt that the government was already failing and they were unnecessary. The alternative is not pleasant. Yes, I know Moderator will bash me for saying that.)
Another issue that was raised was the pritzus at the rally. Mashal limah hadavar domeh: If someone must be rushed to the hospital, does one make sure that the nurses are all dressed in accordance with the laws of tznius, or does one see what he can do to those ends after having transported that person to the hospital first(i.e. standing with a frum group if possible, standing in one place etc.)?
(Most of the above i heard from my rebbe; any mistakes are undoubtedly mineor an error in the transfer.)
Of course, instances of Jewish terror are wrong; wanton murder is certainly not advocated by YAhadus, including Rav Elchanan's reason that it will provoke. However, complying with " haba lihargicha hashkeim lihargo" is by no strech of the imagination being a rodef! As we all know, the Israeli Army lost tens of soliders hyd trying to avoid civilian casualties which the Palestinians has tried to make inevitable by booby-trapping houses, using civilians as human shields, by smuggling weapons in ambulances, and taking refuge in houses, schools, the church in Bais Lechem, and in hospitals. Jews can not abstain from a course of action if it will be wrongly accused of misdeeds; we merely avoid making any false impressions which will lead to honest mistakes based on what we have done. For example, Jews never stopped baking matzos as a result of the blood libels. Blood libels will always be around in some shape or form; it is impossible to avoid them.
With regards to the Mi'Sheberach for Tzahal, it is not historically accurate to say that a Mi'Sheberach has never been made for a specific group of people.We say a Mi'Sheberach for Cholim in my shul. The Tosfos Yom Tov composed a special Mi'Sheberach for those who refrain from talking in shul(which is a very select group of people). In addition, many kehillas have the Mi'Sheberach for the government recited, even though it is slightly pandering in tone, no doubt b/c of the censorship, but nevertheless the unabridged text is recited. Tzahal is doing a better job protecting our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael than Bush, Cheney, or Powell. Tzaal literally put their lives on the line every single day to protect us; never before in our history have we had such a situation where people literaly sacrifise themselves, day in and day out, knowing that manning the borders or checkpoints could very realistically end their life someday. Achenu is something we say on Mondays or Thursdays; perhaps something is appropiate for Shabbos as well.
To conclude, we unfortunately are in a situation where we lack the leadership we so sorely need in this troubled time. No one has the confidence to give an affirmation that might cause a machlokes. Why do i say this? A friend who goes to a mainstream black-hat yeshiva went to his rebbe and told him that he wanted to go very strongly, and his rebbe gave him permission. I say this because the Aguddah was silent because of public relations with the potential consequences as severe as they are. I say this because no one from the yexhiva world stood up and said " this is an eis tzarah l'yaakovforget the politics, and instead hid behind the excuse of the buchrim missing seder. The only time the sedorim in Volozhin ever stopped was b/c Rav Chaim Volozhiner wanted everyone to see a group who was making Aliyah off. Eretz Yisrael should be high enough on our radar screen that we can skip the petty politics. Kein nireh la'aniyas dati.
hadtosaythis Posted - 08 May 2002 22:08
Re: the rally in Washington. I would like to make several points with your permission. First of all, while our Torah and Tefillah should obviously be increased, we must always have hishtadlus. This is not anything new or radical; it is a staple of Yahadus. I f Jews had not gone through political channels, it would have been nothing short of somchin al hanes, which, as we all know is forbidden by halacha. The Gemara in Rosh Hashana records that when the Romans had decreed that the Jews could not observe the laws of milah, shabbos, or study Torah, the Chachamim went to a certain woman whom it was said about that the officials were often "found by her and asked for advice. Clearly, they did not intend for her to give them guidance as to which kapitlach tehilim to say! She told them to go in the streets at night and to cry out. They followed her advice, and the decree was repealed.
In addition, once this rally had been billed as a "mass rally", to have anything short of a turnout would literally be an issue of safek nefashos. In a rally designed to show the mass support for Israel, any lesser kind of turnout would have been catastrophic. It could have resulted in a situation where the U.S. could potentially have turned down it's pressure on Arafat, which rachmana litzlan could have resulted in a loss of life which could have been prevented. It was vital that all "factions" of Judaism be represented in full.
Many expressed concern that attending the rally would in effect be an endorsement of the non-frum there. I confess myself baffled at this line of reason. The rally was a political one with political overtones and political goals. The frum people in attendance were no m ore endorsing the Reconstructionist "rabbi" who said a perek of Tehilim than it was an endorsement for the pro-Israel Christians or Lubavitch loonies. The "rabbi's" recitation of a Psalm in English was not meant to be a pro-Reconstructionist statement; it was intended and perceived as a pro-Israel statement. The media accounts that I saw (and I saw a number of them only mentioned this "rabbi" as an example of the wide variety of Jews (and gentiles) at the rally. Imagine the Kiddush Hashem that would have been made if thousands of yeshiva bochurim had showed. (I am aware of the alleged statement of Rav Avigdor Miller that the yeshivos should not go to the rallies for Soviet Jewry b/c "all you need is for one gay club to show up" or something to that effect. I will be dan likaf zechus that, if that statement was indeed made, it was because he felt that the government was already failing and they were unnecessary. The alternative is not pleasant. Yes, I know Moderator will bash me for saying that.)
Another issue that was raised was the pritzus at the rally. Mashal limah hadavar domeh: If someone must be rushed to the hospital, does one make sure that the nurses are all dressed in accordance with the laws of tznius, or does one see what he can do to those ends after having transported that person to the hospital first (i.e. standing with a frum group if possible, standing in one place etc.)?
Of course, instances of Jewish terror are wrong; wanton murder is certainly not advocated by Yahadus, including Rav Elchanan's reason that it will provoke. However, complying with " haba lihargicha hashkeim lihargo" is by no stretch of the imagination being a rodef! As we all know, the Israeli Army lost tens of soldiers hyd trying to avoid civilian casualties which the Palestinians has tried to make inevitable by booby-trapping houses, using civilians as human shields, by smuggling weapons in ambulances, and taking refuge in houses, schools, the church in Bais Lechem, and in hospitals. Jews cannot abstain from a course of action if it will be wrongly accused of misdeeds; we merely avoid making any false impressions, which will lead to honest mistakes based on what we have done. For example, Jews never stopped baking matzos as a result of the blood libels. Blood libels will always be around in some shape or form; it is impossible to avoid them.
With regards to the Mi'Sheberach for Tzahal, it is not historically accurate to say that a Mi'Sheberach has never been made for a specific group of people. We say a Mi'Sheberach for Cholim in my shul. The Tosfos Yom Tov composed a special Mi'Sheberach for those who refrain from talking in shul (which is a very select group of people). In addition, many kehillas have the Mi'Sheberach for the government recited, even though it is slightly pandering in tone, no doubt b/c of the censorship, but nevertheless the unabridged text is recited. Tzahal is doing a better job protecting our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael than Bush, Cheney, or Powell. Tzahal literally put their lives on the line every single day to protect us; never before in our history have we had such a situation where people literally sacrifice themselves, day in and day out, knowing that manning the borders or checkpoints could very realistically end their life someday. Achenu is something we say on Mondays or Thursdays; perhaps something is appropriate for Shabbos as well.
To conclude, we unfortunately are in a situation where we lack the leadership we so sorely need in this troubled time. No one has the confidence to give an affirmation that might cause a machlokes. Why do I say this? A friend who goes to a mainstream black-hat yeshiva went to his rebbe and told him that he wanted to go very strongly, and his rebbe gave him permission. I say this because the Aguddah was silent because of public relations with the potential consequences as severe as they are. I say this because no one from the yeshiva world stood up and said, " This is an eis tzarah l'yaakov forget the politics," and instead hid behind the excuse of the bochurim missing seder. The only time the sedorim in Volozhin ever stopped was b/c Rav Chaim Volozhiner wanted everyone to see a group who was making Aliyah off. Eretz Yisrael should be high enough on our radar screen that we can skip the petty politics. Kein nireh la'aniyas dati.
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