Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rav Aviner's Response to Aron Teitelbaum

In the wake of our tremendous pain over the murder of the three innocent teens, a desire has arisen within the Nation to understand why this has happened.

The Admor of Satmar, who dwells in the Exile, claims that it is a punishment for the teens learning in the “Settlements” and blames the parents for sending them to learn there.

We fear that assigning such blame may violate the prohibition of “Ona’at Devarim” (distressing others). As the Gemara in Baba Metzia (58b) says, one may not speak to one who is suffering affliction or illness, or whose children have died, the way Iyov’s friends spoke to him: “Surely your fear was your foolishness, your hope and the sincerity of your ways” (Iyov 4:6).

And we can add that the Rishonim on this Gemara write that the problem is not only causing distress to another person but also arrogance in thinking that we can know the ways of Hashem.

This recalls the reciprocal placing of blame that occurred following the horrors of the Holocaust: Some said that it happened on account of Zionism, others said it was because there was not Zionism. Still others blamed it on the Enlightenment. Each group’s explanation came from its own biased outlook, with no regard for the idea: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways” (Yeshayahu 55:8).

As is known, the uncle of the Admor of Satmar, Ha-Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, wrote a book “Va-Yoel Moshe” which is based on the idea that the murder of the holy one during the Holocaust was because of Zionism and the Return to Tzion.

But the great Rabbis of Israel have already answered that if the main transgression was Jews making Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael in an organized fashion, then the first Jews to make Aliyah should have been murdered. Yet those who came to Eretz Yisrael and “violated” the Three Oaths (according to the Satmar Rebbe’s opinion) were saved, and those who did not make Aliyah were the ones who were murdered! (See the book “Alo Naale” – Response to Va-Yoel Moshe #43). The number of Jews murdered in Auschwitz alone was, in fact, higher than that of all of the Jews murdered in all of the wars and terror attacks since the beginning of the Return to Tzion.

Today – with the kindnesses of Hashem upon us – there are almost half a million Jews who live in Yesha. Therefore the Admor of Satmar’s claim is not valid.

Regarding the question itself, whether learning in Yesha is permissible:
this was already asked of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Rabbi of “Ramat Elchanan” (neighborhood in Bnei Brak).

A student was learning in a Yeshiva in Yesha and his parents were opposed on account of the danger. Ha-Rav Zilberstein proves that “a frequent damage” (Pesachim 8b. See Mesilat Yesharim, end of Chapter 9) is five percent. Baruch Hashem, 5% of the residents in Yesha are not murdered! And Ha-Rav Yitzchak Isaac Herzog in Shut Heichal Yitzchak proved based on Shut Rabbi Akiva Eiger (#60) that a frequent danger is not five percent, but one in a thousand (Shut Ha-Rav Herzog Vol. 1, p. 269).

Baruch Hashem, one in a thousand Jews is not murdered in Yesha. The basic halachah is therefore that there is nothing to fear. Obviously, nothing is 100% certain, but nowhere in this world is 100% safe, not Yerushalayim and not Tel Aviv, and it is all based on the definition of “a frequent damage”.

We agree with the Admor of Satmar that there are many Arab murderers in Eretz Yisrael, but we must see things in proportion. We have already been living in Yesha for 40 years and the number of murders that occur there is extremely low. The same is true in all of Eretz Yisrael. We must remember that according to a report of the WHO, World Health Organization, 8 out of 100,000 Israeli citizens are murdered each year. That’s compared with 15 out of 100,000 citizens in France, and 25 out of 100,000 Americans.

Therefore, it is more dangerous for the Admor of Satmar, may he live a long and good life, Amen!, to live in America than to live in the “Settlements”!

We must thank Hashem, and his loyal agents – Tzahal, the police, the Mossad, the Shabak and the rest of the security establishment – day and night for the peace and quiet we merit in our Land.

In the Gemara in Chullin (63b), Rabbi Abayu asks: Why is there a bird called “Ra’ah” (the one who saw)?
He answers:
Because he sits in Bavel and sees a carcass in Eretz Yisrael. The great Rabbis explain that this is a parable to someone who dwells outside of Eretz Yisrael and see the deficiencies in Eretz Yisrael and speaks Lashon Ha-Ra against it…

This obviously in no way detracts from the incredible merits of the Admor of Satmar in strengthening Torah and fear of Hashem in America, and we pray regarding them: “May our eyes behold Your return to Tzion in compassion”.

(Source: Rav Aviner)


Anonymous said...

Forget about Satmar for a minute. More mainstream people do not want to martyr themselves & their children in the territories or at least not live a very high pressure life on shpilkas.

It is silly to compare 8:100,000 to America's 25:100,000.

Just as East St Louis, Illinois, sometimes known as "America's murder capital" is more dangerous & disproportionately representative of the 25, so is the West Bank to Israel.

Dusiznies said...

To 4:27
You definitly have a point, but the issue is two fold.
1) He attacked the parents who had their children murdered in cold blood, during the Shiva no less.
2) There are Jews who believe that it is a duty to live in these areas.
a)Jews living in these areas are prepared to make sacrifices.
b) By having Jews living in these areas,it makes it easier to negotiate, because it is one more city that is now part and parcel of the negotiations. If it wasn't for these areas, the Arabs would want Tel Aviv ...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:27
You're wrong! Check the records and you'll see that the murder rate within the Green Line , meaning Israel proper, is higher than in the territories.Whether people should live in the territories or not is a personal and family decision and most Israelis opt not to live there, it's true.
2nd, it's not for ZT to lecture Jews where they should live, especially during the shiva period. He used the occasion to speak lashon hara against the Zionist state which supports more Torah Jews than anywhere in the world. There's a difference between genuine empathy and an opportunistic hatchet job disguised as empathy with crocodile tears. Can he just shut up??!!!!

Anonymous said...

B"H there ARE sane rabbis and leaders. B"H they exist and speak out. B"H we are not bereft of true Torah, humble and compassionate leadership. Just when I was getting depressed , here comes R' Aviner, and I'm now sure there are more out there who can give us chizuk instead of current bunch that gives us garbage while they themselves are esconsed in million$$$$ . Please come out, normal rabbis, and take the helm because we're disgusted by the bunch that are in power now. You don't all have to agree on every point and neither will we with all of you, but we need rabbis who truly care about Jews to SERVE them not to RULE over them.That's going to be the litmus test.
At least, I can really enjoy my Shabbos knowing that Am Yisroel is not an orphan.

Preparing my new Shabbos Derby... It's dark blue with a hint of lavender and I love it.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Aviner, with all due respect, The Satmarer did NOT say that the tragedy was punishment for etc etc. What he did say was, that the tragedy is a natural consequence of living amongst the most despicable murderers in history, and that one who freely chooses to live or learn in such a place, is guilty of suicide.

Dusiznies said...

To anon 6:34
At this point with the huge חילול השם already out, it makes no difference what the Satmar שונא ישראל said , or didn't say ....

Anonymous said...

To anon 6;34
Right, and at the beginning of WWII, when the real most despicable murderers in history invaded eastern Europe, who discouraged whom from fleeing? At least those that could?
Guilty of suicide, would you agree/

What's good for goose is good for the gander.

Anonymous said...

to anon 6:34
I've heard your line before.....

10 meraglim against a puny 2 once said the following:

Stay here in the midbar !!! There are giants there , you hear?? Giants !! You cockroaches yuz... cockroaches because that's how we felt , so we know that for a fact... Why do you shleppers need Eretz Yisroel?? Learn here in the midbar.. Toireh is important not Eretz Yisroelll You lose the hashgaccha there, you understand you dingbats??? You have mana here ,you're safe, stop longing for dangerous things.., .. Bnei Anak we saw, children of the frightful Og! You want to put your lives in danger? These giants block the sun... cruel and dangerous, y'hear or don't ya..? The Canaanim--- they're violent cruel pagan people who burn their children to the Moloch !! The merciless Amalek is waiting in the south.. !!! The most evil merciless killes, remember? You want to lose your precious children??!! Don't you have mercy on your children?? Geva-a-a-a-a-a-a-l-d !!!!!

You want to fight them? You can't beat them.... Ki Chozok mimenu... RACHMONO LITZLUN... Mimenu..!!! You know whom they meant..

You yiddlach, hockers and schvitzers, you. You think you can win??? Stay here and be safe.. HE is(CHAS VESHOLOM ) not there..!!! a Bechiya Ldoros..!!!

Half our summer is ruined because of these meraglim. 3-4 weeks out of a beautiful season, a season in which was destined for them to go into EY, starting in the spring.. Summer ruined because of scholarly, learned punks.. !!!

the Derby en route to the great revolution..

Anonymous said...

A 6:34
If he, we and other frummies, 1 million strong made aliyah and settled in the shtochim, it would change the entire demographics.
The fault lies with us not with them. Whatever you might think of them, at least they're living their lives according to what's true for them. They're happier than you and me. I met these people, they're courageous.
But no, we'll wait for Moshiach. Like what's he going to promise us and induce people to immigrate? Korbonus?? No sefer that I saw says that Moshiach will give handouts. He'll be a poor donkey rider with no money or programs.
3 days before his arrival, Eliyahu Hanavei will fly around to give the besurah. Wow.. !! I can just see the excitement.. !!
Leave fancy homes, cars, kollels and the 50 banks in Boro Park ( 3 on a block... if you don't believe it, come and see). I spoke to some kohanim and leviim recently and asked them if they're willing to throw away all material possessions here and meet Moshiach, because then they'll live on maasros, trumas, shlomim tops or bottoms and a basket of blackeye peas.... on a good day. Of course they all said no, BUT one or two smiled in an uncomfortable constipated way, a kind of grin which I don't want to describe here on the post but it's a quite popular grin and tried to bring some Toires that explains all that... Right !

Harry & Myrtle Koolitzer pinch hitting for Derby, who's now en route to get a couple of cheese danishes and coffee.

Anonymous said...

From the website Torah and Aliyah::

“And remove from your heart this false belief that a man has more blessings outside the land.” (Alshich ha Kaddosh, Ki tavo.”)

“There is no happiness, but only when Israel is settled in the Holy Land.” (Zohar Ha Kaddosh Bamidbar 118a)

“Eretz Yisrael gives wisdom to and purifies the soul.” (Bava Batra 158)

“There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Israel.”( Bereshit Rabba 16, 7)

“There is no greater abrogation of the Torah (Bittul Torah) than when the Jews were exiled from their place.” (Chagigah 5b)

“It is preferable to dwell in the deserts of Eretz Israel than in the palaces of Chutz LaAretz.” (Bereshit Rabba 39:8)
“For the main place for the observance of the Mitzvot is in the Land of the Living, Eretz Yisrael.” (Chatam Sofer Vayeshev)

The Vilna Gaon taught that the ideal fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot is only in Eretz Yisrael. The source of Torah, its dwelling place, and its full revelation is in the Holy Land.

ת"ר: לעולם ידור אדם בא"י אפי' בעיר
שרובה עובדי כוכבים, ואל ידור בחו"ל
ואפילו בעיר שרובה ישראל, שכל הדר
בארץ ישראל - דומה כמי שיש לו אלוה,
וכל הדר בחוצה לארץ - דומה כמי שאין
לו אלוה,
מסכת כתובות דף קי:

Anonymous said...

More of Rabbi Aviner and the Orach Chaim Hakadosh.

The Spies, like many other righteous men, did not behave in such an admirable fashion in their public lives. The Zohar tells us about the special evil impulse reserved for the very (personally) righteous: "The Serpent nests in the highest mountain tops - i.e. the sages and the righteous" (Tikunei Zohar, end of Tikkun 13 and commentaries). This evil impulse feeds on spiritual motivation. Defense of Torah observance and the need to combat evil practices among those who build the Land become excuses for not supporting our national redemption.

This is the evil impulse disguised as Torah observance.

"And the great leaders of Israel will have to stand trial in the Heavenly Court for this matter. G-d will hold them responsible for humiliating His House" (Or Ha-Chaim Ha-Kadosh, Vayikra 25:25).

How could such great men commit such a sin? What were the spiritual and psychological elements which led them to do it?

An important factor in any sin is personal interest. When a man imagines that he will suffer some personal setback, it is difficult for him to remain objective. As Mesilat Yesharim teaches in chapter 11: "The heart may be deceived, and if we investigate, we discover that it had some slight unworthy desire…for man is by nature weak and it is easy to deceive him into permitting things in which he has a personal interest." According to our sages, the Spies had reason to believe that once they entered the Promised Land, they would no longer be the leaders of the Nation, as they had been in Egypt and in the desert.

Anonymous said...

Zackenglanderblogspot writes,

Nachman of Breslov four different peshatim of what it means when the meraglim said in perek yud gimel pasuk lamed beis about eretz yisroel that it’s ‘eretz ocheles yoshveha’- a land that devours its inhabitants. One of the beautiful pshatim of Rebbe Nachman is that the land itself has a connection to every Yid.

If a person doesn’t feel connected to the land, he isn’t doing enough to learn and yearn for the land. He isn’t thinking about the land as a pure and an everlasting place. However, when a person learns and yearns for Eretz Yisroel, he appreciates the beauty and the sanctity of the land, the land embraces him with the biggest hug and kiss. The land itself is connected to you.

Rav Weinberger explains that these meraglim didn’t have the right intentions going in; they just saw a land filled with giants and filled with fear. They wanted to stay in the midbar. They were fine in the midbar where everything was set up for them. In the midbar, they didn’t have to work for food, they didn’t have to do laundry. However, going into Eretz Yisroel, they knew they would have to work, they knew that everything wasn’t going to be handed to them. This was one of the kavanos that the meraglim had and caused klal yisroel so much pain for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed on Arutz 7

Today, it is contingent upon us to rectify the sin of the Spies by praising the Land of Israel, and by thanking God for the wonderful present which He bequeathed to our fathers and to us. This is particularly applicable in our generation when millions of Jews, through the kindness of God, have merited immigrating to Israel, building families, and settling the Land – something which was denied to generations of righteous and holy Jews in the past.

Therefore, we are obligated to constantly praise Eretz Yisrael, to cherish her landscapes, to beautify her open stretches with trees and flowers, to rebuild her highways, and to construct attractive and comfortable homes. We must also constantly repeat the words of Yehoshua and Calev, who stood up against all the evildoers and said, “The Land is very, very good” (Bamidbar14:7), thus countering and rectifying the deep blemishes left by the sin of the Spies. Consequently, more Jews will be inspired to make aliyah, and fewer will leave her borders, thinking to find a better life elsewhere.

We will end this topic with the words of our teacher, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (Igrot Riyah, Letter 96):

“The foundation of the exile, and the baseness which continues to proliferate in this world, stem from the lack of understanding of Eretz Yisrael, its sublime value and wisdom, and from not rectifying the sin of the Spies who spoke disparagingly about the Land. We are called upon to do the opposite – to speak her praises and herald her magnificence and glory, her holiness and honor. We can only hope that after all our praises, we merit to express even one iota of the proper transcendental desire due to “the Land of delight,” to the splendor of her illuminating Torah, to the genius of her illuminating wisdom, and to the Divine Inspiration which hovers upon her.”