For an enlarged, easier to read index click here . To "google search" this site, scroll to the bottom of this page. (This site is best viewed with "Firefox")

(Tips: F11 key enables full screen viewing & Ctrl-F to search the index)


ZIONISM / OATHS-----refuting r aviner

MODERATOR Posted - 19 December 2004 15:56

I finally found the material I was looking for. Rabbi Aviner’s Kuntres Shelo Yaalu Bachomah I found as part of something he wrote called “Hilchos Moshiach LHarambam”.

Rabbi Hershel Schechter’s lecture that I was looking for was not the one Grend pointed out – though that one is useful as well (thanks, Grend, for pointing it out). The one I was looking for is written up in

It seems that throughout the topics on this forum we already basically refuted all the claims these Zionists have used or quoted to attempt to defend Zionism. There is almost nothing they have come up with that has not already been dealt with here on the site. In fact, many of the ideas and thoughts that we thought were the product of teenagers and that I showed to be simple mistakes were, I find, actually taken from the works of these Zionist Roshei Yeshiva.

I highly recommend that anyone who has any shadow of a doubt that Zionism is a not only a deviant, heretical philosophy but also halachicly ridiculous should check out the way the Zionists themselves try to defend themselves and all doubt will be dispelled.

I actually could not believe some of the ideas they try to sell. What is strange is that they actually believe what they write (presumably), but we have to apply the lessons we learn from our sages, that the Yetzer Horah can make people do – and say, and believe – the silliest things, as the Gemora explains regarding the Yetzer Horah of Avodah Zorah. We totally cannot understand how anybody could believe in that nonsense. Yet as Menashe said, even Talmudic sages, had they the Yetzer Horah for Avodah Zorah, would have been running to worship sticks and stones.

And please note that Avodah Zorah is a belief – and the Yetzer Horah can make a person believe the craziest things. And so, when our seforim say that in Ikvesa Demeshichah the Yetzer Horah for Apikorsus will be frightfully strong, we can only stand in awe at the Ruach Hakodesh of Chazal, because we see with our own eyes that the Yetzer Horah for Apikorsus makes even intelligent people believe the most absurd and nonsensical things.

As a bonus, you will also find how far removed the Religious Zionist community is from the Gedolei Yisroel. After all, they find themselves declared by our Gedolim to be idol worshippers and Apikorsim – and if they are religious, then they are declared to be religious idol worshippers and religious apikorsim - and so they have no choice but to reject those who made such declarations, thereby removing themselves from the Mesorah of Klall Yisroel.

Sometimes, you’ll see, they just go into denial and they will make believe that the opposition to Zionism comes from “Satmar and the Neturei Karta”, which enables them to avoid , in their minds, the obvious problem of having the Chazon Ish for example, declare them heretics. If someone is not holding by understanding the Torahs against Zionism, he should see how the religious Zionists and the Gedolei Yisroel relate to one another, and then he should chose which side he wants to be on. Because, to be sure, choose he must.

As I said, almost all of their claims are already to be found on this site with simple corrections and explanations as to why they fail. It’s not hard. We will find things such as what Rabbi Aviner quotes at the end of his Kuntres, in the name of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. He quotes this more than once in his kuntres. It is a comment about the disagreement between the Rambam and the Ramban regarding the Mitzvah of Yishuv EY nowadays. The Rambam omitted it from his Sefer HaMitzvos. The Ramban says he should have put it in. The Megillas Esther, the commentary printed on the side of the Rambam, explains the Rambam to be saying that the Three Oaths which prohibit us form taking Eretz Yisroel for ourselves during Golus also negate the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook comments that since the Ramban was much bigger than the Megilas Esther, we certainly should follow the Ramban over the Megilas Esther, who ignored the Oaths, obviously because he held they are just non-compulsory Kabalah or Agadita.

The obvious blunder here is that there is a Machlokes here not between the Megilas Esther and the Ramban but between the Rambam and the Ramban. Even the Ramban agrees that the Rambam argues with him. The question here is not whether we should pasken like the Megilas Esther versus the Ramban but like the Rambam versus the Rambam. If he would say that the Megilas Esther’s explanation in the Rambam doesn’t work, we could discuss it; but to say that the Ramban should be followed here because he is greater than the Megilas Esther is cockeyed logic, since it is the Rambam that is the opponent of the Ramban, not the Megilas Esther; The ME merely explained the Rambam.

So let’s say there’s a machlokes between the Rambam and Raavad. And let’s say Rav Chaim Brisker answers the Raavad’s question and explains what the Rambam means. Then someone comes and says that in this Machlokes, we should pasken like the Raavad, because the Raavad was so much greater than Rav Chaim Brisker. He’d be laughed out of the Bais Hamedrash.

And how does anyone expect our reaction to be any different when someone says that in the Machlokes between the Rambam and Ramban, where the Megilas Esther explains the Rambam, that we should pasken like the Ramban because he was so much greater than the Megilas Esther.

It’s amazing that I have to even explain this,

But it doesn’t end there. He says (quote):

On top of all this, besides the fact that the Megilas Esther, with all his greatness, does not come into consideration when pitted against the Ramban . . . Besides that, isn’t it well known and obvious that the Ramban knew the holy words of Chazal in Kesuvos 111a. However, the Ramban here in sefer Hamitzvos is not acting as a Kabbalah person, but rather as a teacher of plain Halachos, and so here he did not consider the holy Agadic words of Chazal . And so too was the proper understanding of Rav Meir Simcha who mentioned many times in his letter on behalf of Keren HaYesod, he reiterated many times the “fear of [violating] the Oaths,” the clear indication being that there is no halachic problem with [violating the Oaths], but merely fear due to [violating] them, and so there is no obstacle [because of the Oaths] to the Halachah and the Mitzvah of the Torah.

We’ll start from the bottom. He “proves” that the Oaths are not Halachicly binding because Rav Meir Simcha said he was afraid of violating them. And since he only mentioned fear and not Halachic violations, we see that the Oaths do not impact on Halachah.

There is only one thing we can say to this in response:


If let’s say they build an Eruv in my community and I say “Boruch Hashem, I am no longer afraid of Chilul Shabbos”, does that mean that I don’t believe that Chilul Shabbos is Halachicly wrong?

That’s a pretty obviously trying to read something into the Ohr Someach's statement that's not there.

But regarding the Ramban, he is assuming, with no source at all, that the reason the Ramban holds that the Oaths would not negate the Mitzvah of Yoshuv Eretz Yisroel is because the Oaths are Kabbalistic concepts, and not to be brought into Halacha.

Not that the Oaths are from the Zohar or the Arizal or the Ramak – they’re straight out of Talmud Bavli, and quoted by the Halachah seforim such as the Piskei Riaz on the spot, the Rivash, the Rashbash, and others. Where he got the idea that they are merely “kabbalistic” is beyond me.

But he also forgets that just because the Ramban does not say anywhere that he does not consider the Oaths Halachicly obligatory. All we know is that according to the Ramban the Oaths do not negate the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, which is not a chidush at all, since the Oaths do not impact on the Individual’s Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel – they only intended to prohibit taking Eretz Yisroel with sovereignty, or a collective – not individual – ascent to Eretz Yisroel. It is the chidush of the Megilas Esther – his own chidush – that the Oaths would also negate an individual’s Mitzvah.

So the Ramban disagrees with the Megilas Esther’s chidush. Does that mean that the Ramban does not hold that the Oaths would prohibit collective or sovereign aliyah? No. It doesn’t mean that at all. To say so is to read into the Ramban something he never said.

In fact, the Rashbash, a Rishon (an older contemporary of the Abarbanel), son of the Tashbetz, and descendent of the Ramban, writes (Teshuvos Rashbash #2) – and implies clearly that this is the Ramban’s opinion - that the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel is only on individuals but it is not a Mitzvah Klalis on all of Klall Yisroel, because – yes, he says it clearly – the Oaths prohibit an en masse aliyah.

The Ramban himself (Maamar Hegeulah #1) states that the Oaths were what prevented the Jews outside of Bavel to return to Eretz Yisroel upon Coresh’s decree. The Jews in Bavel had a Nevuah that they should return, but the Jews outside of Bavel did not, he says, and so in the absence of a Nevuah, the Oaths prevented them from returning to Eretz Yisroel, despite the invitation by Coresh to do so.

Rabbi Aviner is a Talmid Chacham. And in areas other than Zionism, he does a whole lot better, scholarship-wise. And although it seems impossible for even a mediocre student of Talmud to make such glaring blunders as he does, we should understand that throughout history, greater people than Rabbi Aviner have made greater blunders. Hence the Korach – Yeravam – Shabse Tzvi analogies.

Compare it to an old story of man who goes to the tailor for a custom designed suit. The tailor, not the most skilled craftsman in the world, creates a monstrosity of a suit, with one arm jetting out of the chest pointing to the sky, the other arm pointing perpetually down to the ground, and the pants legs hopelessly in the wrong place.

The customer painstakingly puts on the suit, and with one arm pointing up, the other pointing down, his legs awkwardly poking out in the wrong places, his neck twisted off to the side. He walks out of the store, a grotesque sight, limping down the street in a manner that that made him look not unlike the Hunchback of Notre Dame with a broken leg.

Almost immediately, a someone comes over to the awkwardly limping man, and remarks, “Wow. Who made you that suit? He must be the best tailor in the world?”

“The best tailor in the world? Why in the world would you say that?” the man asks incredulously.

The passerby answered, “Because if he can produce a suit for a cripple like you he must be amazing!”

So too, you see Talimidei Chachamim putting out Torahs and saying things that make them look like cripples. You look at their stuff and say “no way – this makes no sense!” And it doesn’t. But it’s not because they are Amei Haaretz – it’s because they clothed themselves in the grotesque trappings of Zionism and now they have to fit themselves and their Torahs into the silliest of positions, and they come out looking like cripples.

But it’s not them that are the problem – its Zionism. Not their fault they can’t find a normal way to defend something that can’t be defended. Not everyone is capable of “being Metaher a sheretz”.

Rabbi Aviner has a list of 13 reasons that the Oaths are not a contradiction to the State of Israel. Some of his reasons are also given by Rabbi Hershel Schechter (on the website above) and others as well. Time permitting, I will try to go through all 13 bli neder. I will start with the most popular ones. It won’t take long, especially since, as I mentioned, all of the main reasons are addressed on the site already.

No comments: