Friday, May 23, 2014

Avi Shafran takes Rabbi Wein to task, because R' Wein said that the Gedolim were "wrong" in reference to the Holocaust!


Rabbi Wein had written an article two weeks ago, that said in effect, that some of the Gedolim in Europe were wrong when they advised people to stay in Europe rather then emigrate to the then Palestine or USA! Who knows how many were murdered because of this bad advice!
Rabbi Wein never said that the Gedolim wern't Tzaddikim, just that they wern't prophets!

The Agudah and the Yeshivishe World went crazy when they saw the essay of a prominent, well respected Rabbi and Historian, writing, what we are all thinking. They went into panic mode running around like poisoned mice. The former Rosh Yeshiva of Shaarei Torah, saying that the Gedolim could actually make mistakes.

They were terrified that some of their sheep would read his essay, and finally discover the truth, so they commissioned this "shmendrik" to respond.
They hired Avi Shafran, the "know it all"  currently the  Director of Public Affairs for Agudath Israel of America, to write a rebuttal!

Here read his response!

There exists a mentality, even among some who should know better, like the respected popular historian Rabbi Berel Wein, that any one of us can, and even should, second-guess the attitudes and decisions of Torah luminaries of the past.

In that thinking, for instance, the opposition of many Gedolim in the 1930s and 1940s to the establishment of a Jewish state was a regrettable mistake. After all, the cavalier thinking goes, a state was in the end established, and in many ways it flourishes; so the Gedolim who opposed it must have been wrong. And we should acknowledge their error and impress it upon our children with a nationalistic commemoration of the day on which Israel declared her independence.

None of us, however, can possibly know what the world would be like today had Israel not come into being. What would have happened to the European survivors of the Holocaust who moved to Israel?  Would they have languished in the ruins of Europe and eventually disappeared instead? Rebuilt their communities?  Emigrated to the West? Would Eretz Yisrael have remained a British mandate, become a part of Jordan, morphed into a new Arab state? Would Jews have been barred from their homeland, tolerated by those overseeing it, or perhaps welcomed by them to live there in peace? Would there have been more Jewish casualties than the tens of thousands killed in wars and terrorist attacks since Israel’s inception, or fewer? Is the physical danger today to the millions of Jews in their homeland lesser or greater?

Would the widespread anti-Semitism that masquerades as anti-Zionism have asserted itself just as strongly as now? (A recent ADL survey revealed that Jews are hated by 87% to 93% of the populaces of North Africa and Middle East, and that the most widely held stereotype about Jews is that they “are more loyal to Israel” than their own countries.) Or would Jew-hatred have been undermined or attenuated by the lack of a sufficiently “sanitized” mask?

I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, of course. Neither, though, just as obviously, does anyone else, no matter how wise he may be or conversant with the facts of history. For we are dealing here not with history but with retroactive prophecy. And that’s something no one alive possesses.

Yet some people, understandably uncomfortable with even theoretically imagining an Israel-less world, sermonize as if they do know the unknowable, as if the very fact that a state of Israel exists means that those who opposed its establishment were misguided.

Please don’t misunderstand. Every sane and sensitive Jew today supports Israel’s security needs, and appreciates the fact that we can freely live in or visit our homeland; and that the state and its armed forces seek to protect all within the country’s borders.

We are makir tov for the good that previous governments in Israel have in fact provided Klal Yisrael, the support it has given its religious communities, yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs and mosdos chessed.

And more.

None of that, though, need come along with an abandonment of respect for great leaders of Klal Yisrael who felt that a different path to Jewish recovery from the Holocaust would have been wiser. 

Many of those leaders, of course, once Israel became a reality, “recalculated,” as our GPSs do at times, and accepted the state, even counseled participation in its political process. But they were adjusting to developments, not recanting their judgments, which were based on their perception that a secular state would, at one point or another, seek to adversely affect its religious citizens. A perception, it should be noted, that has been borne out by numerous policies and actions, from yaldei Teiman and yaldei Teheran to the agenda of the Lapids, père et fils.

The Gedolim who lived during the Holocaust, too, have been subjected to retroactive prophets’ harsh judgment.  Those who counseled Jews to remain in Europe, in the hope that political and military developments would take a different turn than they tragically did are blithely second-guessed.  Here, too, none of us can know with surety the “what-ifs?” or even the “whys?”

Not to mention that Gedolim are wise men, not prophets. Their guidance in each generation, which the Torah itself admonishes us to heed, does not assure us of any particular outcome. It is based, though, on their sublime connection to Torah, and thus must be of paramount importance to us. It’s odd how few would think of disparaging an expert doctor or lawyer whose best advice, following the prescribed protocol, led to a place the patient or client didn’t envision. Even if the outcome was unhappy, one would say, the advisors did their job. When it comes Gedolim, though, some wax judgmental and condescending.
And it’s not an armchair issue. There are implications to disparaging the decisions of the true Jewish leaders of the past. It sets the stage for what, in our contemporary self-centered, blog-sodden and audaciously opinionated world, recalls the true prophet’s phrase “each man acting according to what is right in his own eyes.”
And the prophet is not lauding that state of affairs.


Anonymous said...

Why does ADl survey have anything to do with anything? The world hated jews forever, so why bring in Israel, rabbi safran sneak?
As soon as Jews wanted to enter eretz yisroel wars broke out with Moshe Rabeinu and yeshhshua. Yitzcho and Pelishtim, Nebuchadnetzer, Sancherev, Rome and the rest. You're trying to blame Israel now

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Shafran,
First of all,don't insult us by calling our thinking 'cavalier.'

Now watch this 7 minute video and you'll see who the real gedolim are. You're bashing Israel in a roundabout way, don't think people can't read between your lines. You and the rest of the anti-Zionist bunch. See this MUST SEE video of how American non-religious pilots, but with a Jewish heart put their lives in danger to help Israel These are the gedolom, rabbi. Any talk of gedolim MUST start with these Yiddishe pilots.

The following paragraph precedes the video:

The only FOUR (4) Airplanes Israel had when the War of Independence (May 1948) began were smuggled from Czech Republic ..

They were German "Messerschmitt ME-109's." They were assembled overnight in Tel Aviv and were never flight tested.

----Contrary to popular perception (by the people who do not know history), the United States assistance to Israel during the War of Independence was quite different. Americans were not allowed to join the fight and arms embargo has been established and enforced by the FBI.
At the same time Arab armies were very well supplied by the same countries who maintained arms embargo against Israel and of course had great advantage in manpower.

Watch this video...

the Derby en route

Anonymous said...

......It sets the stage for what, in our contemporary self-centered, blog-sodden and audaciously opinionated world,...

Why, only your opinion is not audacious? Rabbi Wein is audacious? Why, you you can't even shine his shoes, boy.

People are speaking out now more than ever and you don't want that. You want all of us to be hypnotized shuckling robots , mindless puppets, and your malaga besodden drunks. What do you mean audacious? Mi SumCHOO Le-ish???

You and the others, which I'm sure will soon join you, are making us nauseous. Get yourself a real job and leave us alone.

L. Hapoochis
pinchhitting for Derby. He's taking headache pills, for crying out loud.

Anonymous said...

Yaldei, Teiman, Yaldei Teheran, LAPID, pere et fils....
Hey Shafran, stop nitpicking... Overall Israel is the home of millions of Jews and the biggest Torah center in the world.
Had your frummies come en masse, these things wouldn't have happend because , as bad as I feel saying it, you'd have been the majority. You guys didn't want to come and now you're whining even as the Zionist government helps fund you yeshivos and protects your kofu tova'nickes regardless..Toutes les personnes, pere et fils.

PS--- Before you mumble about yaldei this or that, How many OTD's did you, the frummies create???? Thousands, my boy, thousands.
L. Happochis for Derb

Anonymous said...

Comment here

Anonymous said...

The Churban the Tziyoinim brought.
Intermarriage in Chul 75-85%
In the Medinas Hatziyonim .5 -1%
Instead of Yaldei Tehran look
at Yaldei Chutz Laaretz.

chusid101 said...

Shame on you Shafran and comrades, you are hiding behind your frocks. Facts don't lie! If the pre war gedolim would have send their.people to Israel then# 1none of them would have gone to the gas chambers# 2 there would be no yaldei Teiman etc.
By not recognizing your mistakes. You are liable to repeat it. That's besides the point that Judaism abhors Sheker lies.
Having said the above our respect for our Gedolim is not finished for human beings are prone to mistakes as told in the Torah.
Shafran and company have their Emunas Chachamim shaken by strong winds,they therefore go on the defensive. No need for that Shafran, look the truth in the eye.