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ZIONISM-----disengagement gush

nevrwrong6 Posted - 10 August 2005 15:20

I'm in Eretz Yisroel right now, and I was wondering what the opinion of daas Torah is regarding the disengagement from Gush Katif.

If the pullout can be made in a way where none of the places with kedusha, i.e. shuls or kevarim are desecrated, then is it a good idea? If not, should people be going to the hafganas, yeshiva bochurim like myself included? Thanx

MODERATOR Posted - 10 August 2005 15:26

I only know half the answer for sure, because although I don’t know if the disengagement is good or bad, I can at least tell you what the question here is, which, they say, is half the answer.

Whether this is good or bad depends on one thing only: will the disengagement save lives or endanger them? If it will save lives, then it is a good thing, if not, not. To save lives, we do anything (with few halachic exceptions), and so if giving back land in Israel to the Arabs will save lives, then that’s what we should do.

In fact, theoretically, if we could give back the entire State of Israel without endangering any Jewish lives (currently impossibility) that would be the right thing to do. Rav Shach ZTL used to pray every day, his students relate, for the peaceful dismantling of the State of Israel, “peaceful” meaning without endangering any Jewish lives.

So ideas of keeping this land at the cost of Jewish lives is wrong. One Jewish life is worth more than all the land in the world, and that’s irrelevant to the fact that this particular land is something that we were prohibited to have possessed in the first place.

And whether the disengagement will or will not save lives is something I am not sure of: how can I be? It is a political question, which involves knowing how the Arabs will react, how the Israelis will react, how the world will react, and that includes, among many other things, knowledge of the motives of those orchestrating the disengagement as well as those resisting it.

These are things that I cannot tell you with any degree of certainty. It is not something I can look up in the Rambam or the Shulchan Aruch, and I am neither a political expert nor a Yodeh Machshavos. And so I defer to Chazal’s instructions in Shabbos 145b: “Im borur lecha k’achoscha shehi asura tomar, v’im lav al tomar”. (And as far as the Hafgonos, that is your answer as well - if you are not sure about it, don't protest.)

To be sure, the answer to everything – even political issues - is contained somewhere in the Torah, but that doesn’t mean all of us can always find it.

What makes the issue more difficult is that just because someone is a political expert does not mean we can rely on his word here. As Rav Shach writes, we cannot rely on the officials in the State of Israel for reliable information regarding these matters, since they have their own standards of morals and agendas, which skew their opinion.

Who is to say for instance that when they send Jewish teenagers to die in a war that such action was absolutely necessary? We cannot rely on them to have exhausted all means available to avoid war, he writes. In a nutshell, people who we would not rely on to provide us with information regarding the kashrus of a chicken should not be relied on the provide us with information regarding Dinei Nefoshos. These people are definitely not mesiach kefi tumam.

One thing I will say, though. If there is any group of people who definitely gain by the disengagement, it’s the settlers themselves. It’s dangerous where they live, and they and their children – special emphasis on their children who did not choose on their own to live out there in the Wild West but were made to do so by their parents - are probably going to be much safer wherever they end up.

I had a “conversation” (more like an argument) with a major right-wing settler person a few months back who was tirading (there should be such a word) to me about how terrible the disengagement is. I asked him what he would say if, after 120 years, Hashem shows him a video of what would have been without the disengagement, and he sees his own children being slaughtered by Arab terrorists c”v. Then Hashem says to him “This is why I made the disengagement happen. So your own children should be saved,” would he complain then, or would he thank Hashem crying in gratitude and humility for making the disengagement happen?

You should have seen the stunned look on his face.

I explained to him that he should focus on the opinion of the Chovos Halevovos and Sefer HaChinuch (there is a machlokes about this), that when someone does something bad to you, even with their Bechirah, it is a Gezirah from Shamayim and it would have happened to you anyway, even had that person not chosen to do it

So if he is forcibly relocated, he should look at it like any other Gezirah – according to him a Gezeirah Raah – and his job would be to follow the Gemora that states “im yesurim baim alav yepashpesh bemaasav”, and he should figure out what Teshuva he needs to do that caused this Gezeirah, and then he can do whatever he thinks he wants to do to fix the situation. But his main job as a frum Jew is to take it like we take all other Yesurim and take stock in his actions.

That’s if his moving out is a bad thing. Otherwise, he should focus on that movie I told him about in Shamayim, and figure out what Mitzvah he did to merit this glimmer of Hashgachah Pratis where Hashem intervened and did him a tremendous Chesed.

Or both.

taon Posted - 11 August 2005 11:54

I’m not so sure it will save lives. some of the Arabs might just use the extra land to send suicide bombers deeper into the land. I’m Davening that everyone will get out of this okay.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 August 2005 12:00

We should daven all the time for the safety of our brothers in EY, but all the more so should we daven for all those settlers who LIVE in the territories - it's dangerous there. As I said, I do not know whether this move makes things more or less safe for the Jews in EY in general, but for sure it makes things safer for the settlers themselves.

And for those who did pray for the safety of the settlers, it is possible that this disengagement is Hashem’s answer to those prayers.

Shtreimel Posted - 24 August 2005 17:01

I understand we aren’t sure about whether this will or will not save lives, but someone told me that we can trust the opinions of like the former chief of staff b/c he didn’t care about politics--i.e. he said that it will not save lives r"l and b/c of this he was fired from his position and he knew he would be in trouble if he said anything but he said it b/c he wanted the truth to be known.

Can we trust someone like this (i.e. the chief of staff or other military officials where it seems clear that they have no political intentions--that they say it even if they’ll lose their position)?

hallo Posted - 24 August 2005 17:01

But how can we dare give up the Eretz Hakodesh which Hashem gave to the JEWS?? I don't get it. We're giving up our holy soil to the Arabs!!!
Who gave us permission to do that/??

HearOIsrael Posted - 24 August 2005 17:01

To make a tiger a vegetarian, do you give him more meat?
Giving up Gush Katif is definitely a compromise on Jewish security. It's rewarding terrorists and hence encouraging them, Rachmona litzlan.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 August 2005 17:14


There’s a lot more to politics and personal agendas and ideologies when politicians are concerned. No, you cant rely on him either for Dinei Nefoshos. Lots of political or ideological reasons he would do such a thing.


To save lives you’d do almost anything. And for the record, Hashem did give us the land once upon a time but then kicked us out because we did sinas chinam, as it says "mipnei chataeinu galinu m'artzeinu".


No, but you may give a hungry tiger meat so he doesn’t eat you instead.

Or you may give it to a tiger who claims you stole it from him, at the very least as a compromise in a dispute so that he doesn’t eat you.

Or you may give it as a show of good will to your boss and friends (in this case the nations of the world) who claim you are withholding from the tiger his rightful meat.

Or you may give it to him to use as a bargaining chip in a future negotiation.

Or you may give it to him if the piece of meat was too hard to maintain and puts its inhabitants in danger and has become a drain on resources, not to mention a security risk.

Or you may give it to him to show the tiger that you’re willing to make peace and you really don’t want him angry at you. it may just save your life.

Nobody is trying to make the tiger into a vegetarian. As I said, I don’t know if the political decision is good or bad, but it's disturbing that people are spreading such misused clich├ęs that completely misrepresent the issue and serve only as propaganda to confuse people.

hallo Posted - 26 August 2005 14:15

I understand what you are saying Rav Moderator, but I have a question now?
Then since we are in Golus and exiled from our land, then maybe we should just give up our land altogether.

However, what about the Kotel, all the holy kevarim? Do you mean to say that those aren't holy and we should give the kever of our Avos and Imahos to the Arabs?

I'm not fully understanding.

Also, when the Jews went to Galus Bavel, there were still Jews living in Israel - EVEN THOUGH they were in Galus. I'm sure that Eretz Yisroel is still holy even though we were exiled.

But then again, I'm not sure, am I right Rav Mod?

Please post this - I'm really confused. Thanks for clarifying so many things in my Judaism

MODERATOR Posted - 26 August 2005 14:49

1 - In golus, we are allowed to live in EY, and according to some shitos you even fulfill a mitzvah by doing so. However:

(a) Possible mitzvah notwithstanding, EY is a spiritually charged place - the Palace of the King. As such, every Mitzvah you do there is amplified, as is every aveirah. Therefore, for Tzadikim, EY is the best place to live, but for Reshayim, its the worst place to live. Aveiros are considered worse in EY than in Chutz LaAretz, and the holier the place, the bigger the Yetzer Horah is there as well.

The Rama MiPano says that the Yetzer Horah tries to get people in Jerusalem to sin more than any other place in the world, because a sin in Jerusalem is much more severe than other places. Whether you should or should not live in EY nowadays depends on what will be spiritually better for you and your family (if there is a discrepancy between what is best for you and your family, there is a machlokes about that between the Alter of Slabodka and the Chofetz Chaim).

(b) During Golus, Jews are supposed to be living all over the world, including EY and Chutz LaAretz - that is our punishment, our salvation, and our mission, during Golus.

2 - During Golus, we are not allowed to have governmental control over EY. Anyone else - the Turks, British, Chinese, Arabs, Ottomans, may, but not Jews. To do so is a terrible aveirah, and endangers Klall Yisroel in many ways.

3 - If it were possible to give back the entire State of Israel without r"l a bloody massacre, we would want to do it - absolutely. Unfortunately, that is not possible nowadays, due to the Zionists efforts during the past century, which made the Arabs into bloodthirsty enemies of the Jews.

Even if the Zionists would want to give the country away, which they should but don’t, I do not know if it is possible. In any case, that’s just a "what if" scenario. The reality is that Israel is not able to be dismantled without a great danger to masses of Jews living there, and so we have unfortunately no choice in the matter. We should however, pray, as Rav Shach ZTL did daily, that the situation changes and that we will be able to dismantle the state of Israel without any danger to Jews.

4 - The holiness of all the Mekomos HaKedoshim does not impact on any of the above. On the contrary, it is a humiliation and a degradation of those holy places that they are under the auspices of a government that the Torah says may not be there. We would rather the Goyim had governmental control of all of EY including the holy places, for that is permitted, whereas Jewish governance is prohibited. That is true regardless of what kind of Jews the current government in Israel consists of.

5 - However, then Apikorsim and Reshayim live and function in EY, that pollutes the land and actually reduces its holiness. The land screams in agony and, like a living being, wants to vomit out the evil ones the way a living body vomits out a painful cause of indigestion.

But if the Reshayim don’t leave, for whatever reason, they get "vomited out" in another way - the spirituality of the land actually flees in pain, and unholiness from chutz laaretz actually infiltrates the geographic boundaries of EY. (All halachos of EY remain intact of course - this is purely a spiritual concept, that does not affect the physical status of EY being EY, but rather it merely becomes an EY polluted with mundane unholiness).

So the holiness of EY cannot tolerate the agony of rebelling against its G-d. Out of love for our holy land we would want to see the eviction of all the people in EY who are causing it such pain and grief by doing Aveiros on its spiritually sensitive and holy land.

Its like someone doing aveiros in the Kodesh Hakadoshim! But worse - I am not aware of such a spiritual sensitivity of the Kodesh Hakodoshim that its holiness actually flees to escape the aveiros.

When EY is polluted by aveiros, the very fruits of EY which absorb a certain holiness from the land are also polluted with unholiness, and that is why we pray in Al Hamichya "vinochal mipirya vinisba mituvah" - that we should eat the fruits of EY and thereby imbibe the holiness that they absorb from the spirituality in EY, but when EY is polluted with aveiros, unholiness is absorbed into the fruits of EY and the opposite effect occurs to the fruits of EY r"l.

6 - There is a prohibition of lo sichanem, which prohibits, with certain exceptions, even individuals from selling land in EY to non-Jews. The application of this mitzvah nowadays is complex but, as Rav Shach writes, entirely irrelevant in the context of "land for peace", because if giving back land will save lives, it is obligatory, as per the halachah of pikuach nefesh.

Does that clarify things?

MODERATOR Posted - 29 August 2005 17:13

I am reprinting a post of mine on a different thread here, because it addresses an issue that several posters have tied to this topic. The questioner asked what I believe we should do to save the Jews trapped in a dangerous situation due to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
I believe that we should do as the Seforim tell us to do during Golus, as Yaakov Avinu did when he met Esav, who also only tried to kill him and gave him nothing but threats of annihilation and accusations of robbery (of the Brachos).

We should try to make peace but prepare for war. I don’t think anyone disagrees much with that, from a Torah point of view. The only question is at what point do we determine that peace failed and now its time for war. There is one important issue, though, and that is we need to know what we are defending.

Our goal is to preserve Jewish life. All the land in the world is not worth even one Jewish life, and under no circumstances should we allow any Jews to be put in danger. This is different than what many people think, namely, that it is worth sacrificing Jewish lives if in return we can have "our land". No way.

This fight over land, which has been escalating for about 100 years now, has snowballed to the point where the Arabs have come to hate Jews with a lethal passion. The Christians used to be our lethal enemies, not the Arabs. But because of Zionism, the Arabs have replaced the Christians as our number one bloodthirsty enemies. I do not trust them, but neither do I trust those who would sacrifice Jewish lives for land.

Many people would like to deny this, and rather claim that Arabs just hate Jews because they are Jews, regardless of Israel. But it is not true. Even Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik admits, in an address to the Mizrachi in the early '60's, and recorded for posterity in "Five Addresses", quote: "What has brought about the wave of hatred that has engulfed the Moslem world? We all know the major reason is the founding of the State of Israel." (p.79)

Currently, though, they do want to kill us And I do not trust people who want to kill me.

However, our derech in Golus is to try to make peace as much as possible. Even with people we do not trust. Surely Yaakov did not trust Esav - he prepared for war if peace didn't work out - but he knew that trying to make peace is the best way.

Goyim have the upper hand in Golus, and as much as we cannot trust the Arabs in their current state of mind, but neither can we change the fact that this is Golus, and even in Eretz Yisroel it is still Golus, and therefore, even in Eretz Yisroel the Goyim have the upper hand . We should try as much as possible to make peace, but prepare for war.

The problem is, the political figures making the decisions here do not value the same things that we Torah Jews do. We value Jewish lives and the Torah above all. For the Torah we would die. To save lives, sometimes, as well. But people who have their own political careers to further, and who harbor their own "patriotic" ideals and jingoistic tendencies, and are altogether not in tune with Torah values, are not people I trust either. History shows that Jews with non-Torah values have caused more harm to us than all the bloodthirsty Goyim put together.


Because many people have asked me - because this is a very "quotable" quote - here is the expanded version of the quote I cited above:

"But I want to turn your attention to a further fact, and I want you to understand me properly and not distort my words. There has always existed a hatred of the Jew amongst the peoples of the world. Whoever was in power, Esau or Yishmael, Christians or Moslems, they pursued us. Nonetheless, in the history of Jewish persecution the Moslems were always relatively better then the Christians. We do not find tragedies such as the Jewish martyrology at the time of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or the Chmelnicky massacres, in the annals of our communities in Islamic lands.

"The position has now been radically reversed. While among the Christians one hears voices of soul searching, tens of millions of Moslems, in particular Arabs, have become Amalekites and Nazis who have engraved on their banner the call: 'Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more a remembrance" (Ps. 83,5) - far be it. it is unnecessary to dilate on this; we all know the facts.

"What has brought about the wave of hatred that has engulfed the Moslem world? We all know that the major reason is the founding of the State of Israel. Let us be honest and frank. If the State of Israel is part of the divine covenant with Abraham, part of the mysterious lot of 'I am a stranger and resident among you', if the State of Israel will be a link in the golden chain of Jewish tradition, if it paves the way for the "end of days" - then all the sacrifices are worthwhile, all the alters that we have built to found the State are sacred and precious. . .

But if the State of Israel will become a secular kingdom, without Torah, without sanctity, without the Sabbath, without Jewish education, without family purity, a state in which Jewish uniqueness will be reased, then the price we are paying for her in blood and tears is too heavy."

- Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Five Addresses p.79 (In an address given to the convention of the Mizrachi Religious Zionist Movement)

MODERATOR Posted - 01 September 2005 14:52

This is more apropos in the "Arguing With Zionists" section, but in contrast to the above quote, the Brisker Rav and Satmar Rav had both said that all the Medinas in the world is not worth the price of a single Jewish life.

The argument here is that the Zionists hold that it is "worthwhile" to sacrifice Jewish lives to have a religious State, whereas the traditional Torah position is that Jewish lives are not worth such a thing. Even someone who is not learned enough to understand the Talmudic and Halachic refutations of Zionism can always understand the simple argument that: The State of Israel causes the death of Jews and whereas the Zionists hold that "if the State of Israel will be a link in the golden chain of Jewish tradition ... then all the sacrifices are worthwhile, we hold that Jewish lives are more valuable.

hallo Posted - 24 September 2005 21:24

Oh, thanks Moderator.

You really clarified many points I was confused about, and I derive from here basically that the main thing we're worried about is the JEWISH LIVES. for the sakonas nefashos for the Jews in Israel.

I don't understand though, do you REALLY think it will save more lives by giving up the gush??

What happened the last we gave up some land?

How did the Palestinians show their thanks?

By bombing us even more , right?

I just don't understand how JEWISH PEOPLE here in America could not care less about the Israelis and just say ,

"Yeah, let them comprise?

Pleeease answer, thanks Rav Mod.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 September 2005 21:39

Like I said, I don’t know.

The last time (you mean Oslo I guess) there were mistakes made on both sides, plus the situation is not the same today.

But lets look at the FIRST time we gave up property - that was Yaakov giving presents to Esav to appease him.

Or that time we refused to give up land - when the Baryonim refused to give Jerusalem to the Romans. That led to the churban.

I don’t know what Israel should do with those territories. Im not privy to all the real information that the people in charge have, and I don’t rust them anyway. So how can I say one way or the other?

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