Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Question & Answer With Rabbi Dovid Sears - Disengagement

A Simple Jew asks:

What conclusions have you drawn from watching the events in Gush Katif and the Shomron?

Rabbi Dovid Sears answers:

I am deeply pained by the plight of our brothers and sisters in Gush Katif, who have been vilified and betrayed by the government that sent them there in the first place. Only a little while ago the so-called "settlers" were the best religious Zionism had to show for itself -- sacrificing themselves to build up the land, with conspicuous success, and striving to build bridges with their secular counterparts. What a cruel fate that today the tables have turned, and the powerful forces of "post-Zionism" have made common cause with Israel's enemies around the world to delegitimize and destroy these thousands of idealistic and hard-working families. The Arabs who voluntarily fled Israel during the War of Independence probably had it better than the Jewish residents of Gush Katif who are being dispossessed from their homes and communities to create a Judenrein Palestine. (Imagine if Israel were to force such a population transfer of Arabs from their homes and villages on the other side of the 1967 borders?)

The nation has been split down the middle over Sharon's benighted plan. However, maybe this will force the religious Zionist world to rethink its position. The only true Jewish leadership is that of the Torah and the tzaddikim who personify the values of Torah. This Tisha be-Av, the idea that a secular government could possess sanctity and be embraced by the religious as the "aschalta de-ge'ulah" [beginning of the redemption] went down like the Titanic. We can only hope that not everyone aboard will be lost.

Rabbi Sears's last posting on this blog can be read here.


At August 16, 2005 at 1:25:00 PM EDT, Blogger yaak said...

I agree with the main point - that the Religious Zionists will now have rethink their position. I would say that this means to align with the Hareidim more and more.

Bimhilat Kavod Rabbi Sears, I disagree, however, that the idea of Hit'halta DeGeulata "went down like the Titanic". The idea is one that is still very strong, and has suffered bumps in the road in our limited vision. Nevertheless, Hanistarot LaHashem Elokeinu, and we don't know why the Disengagement is happening, but we do know that the process that started in 1948 is still on course.

Of course a religious government would be best, and the events of 1948 may be those that will have facillitated such a possibility in the future.

At August 16, 2005 at 2:11:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only hope you're right.
It's hard for me to take too positive view of secular Zionism, but I respect anyone with a love of Eretz Yisreol.
I just don't know if secular Zionists still share that love; and if the Israeli government has lost that love, than what expectations remain for secular Zionism?

At August 16, 2005 at 2:21:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clarification: I did not mean that the return to Eretz Yisrael in our times was not a major milestone in the ongoing process of geulah. What I meant was that the theological sanctification of a chiloni government has proven to be a total bust. But in this, as in all things, "ha-klippah kodemes le-peri."

At August 16, 2005 at 2:30:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whether the government in the so-called "state of Israel" is religious or not, according to many Gedolei Yisroel past & present, having a state is against halacha

At August 16, 2005 at 3:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no energy for a lengthy debate with you about this, and I suspect (based on the link to your name) that you aren't interested in discussing this meaningfully either.
All I will say about this is, how many of today's Rabbonim oppose voting Israeli elections or receiving Israeli funding?
Your assertion that "many Gedolei Yisroel past & present oppose the State of Israel Halachicly" is really not that accurate. It is a legitimate position of legitimate Gedolei Yisroel, but it is hardly a majority position. I also don't think that the debate about the legitimacy of the "State of Israel" is a current one - we live after the fact, let's deal with the reality.

At August 16, 2005 at 4:27:00 PM EDT, Blogger Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Many Israelis do not think they're entitled to Israel. Gaza to them is just a financial headache, which means it makes sense to get rid of it.

At August 16, 2005 at 8:17:00 PM EDT, Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

This comment appies to an earlier post, but I did not see how to post it there.

Re "souls and soles."

As I am a big believer in stories, I often wonder when writing them, particularly in a book, what kind of credit must be given.

This story, in a slightly different version (about a barber) was emailed to me some time ago. It seems that the barber version is very popular. Here's on example of where it can be found:


At August 17, 2005 at 2:07:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in response to chabakuk elisha

traditional Briskers do not vote, neither do Satmars or Neturei Karta.

further, voting in elections DOES NOT MEAN YOU SUPPORT THE STATE!!! voting was a point of machlokes between the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l and Rav Aharon Kotler ztvk"l. The Satmar Rebbe ztl felt that one should not vote b/c then u are participating in the heretical gvnmt. Rav Aharon ztl felt that even though he was totally against the state, it is a great mitzva to vote b/c at least u will have a voice for the Torah Jews who may be subjected by the gvmnt. the Chazon Ish ztvk"l once said that if he were kidnapped by a bunch of bandits, he would not refuse to negotiate with them and if he were to negotiate with them that would not make him a bandit! so too, with the "state of Israel" some feel negotiating is necessary, especially when we see the damage that people like shinui can do. thus, parties in the government like Agudas Yisroel or Degel Torah are not zionist and they are only there bc they feel it necessary to negotiate with the gvmnt and they feel its ok to accept money for their yeshivos (Satmar & Brisk feel otherwise). so basically you have Aguda who votes and accepts money and then u have like Satmar, Brisk, Neturei Karta etc who do not

and to deal with reality, it is important to know the halachic stance of a state b/c its important to know not to support it. also, pikuach nefesh is the number one priority--not a state. Rav Shach ztvk"l, his talmidim report, would daven every day for a peaceful dismantling of the state.

what makes you say this is not a majority position? i beg to differ. i believe that its propaganda when people go around saying that it's "only Satmar and Neturei Karta" b/c to be blunt, IT'S NOT JUST THEM!

since it is a mitzva to say where you get your information from i would like to site some of my resources:
www.frumteens.com, The Chazon Ish biography by R' Shimon Finkelman shlita, Builders by R' Hanoch Teller shlita

At August 17, 2005 at 10:20:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reb Gartel,
As I said, I have to energy to get into a long debate about this. I stand by my what I said.
Let me just ask you:
1. What exactly was the point/relevance of your post?
2. What do you think should happen to Eretz Yisroel - in a Pre-Moshiach world?

At August 17, 2005 at 4:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


1) my post was in response to the "interview" as well as yaak's comment that a "religious government would be best."

2) by your 2nd question, do you mean what would happen with the state or if we didn't have a state? i mean, i was told that it says in the Gemora that we cannot have Moshiach with a Jewish sovereign state. the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l i believe addresses the issue of the state & moshiach. plus, do you believe that the state is really the beginning of Moshiach?!

At August 17, 2005 at 5:33:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you like Brisk...
Maybe I was unclear - I'll try again. I'm really looking for simple and clear answers to simple questions:

1. Do you disagree that a religious Israeli government would be best? That is to say, would it not be best if the current government of Israel was representative of and founded on Torah Judaism?

2. What do you want to happen to the current "State of Israel?"
Obviously the ideal answer is that Moshiach should come, but he hasn't yet. So, assuming he is not here at this moment, what would you like to see happen to the State of Israel?

At August 17, 2005 at 6:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


before i start, i just wanted to say thanks for calling me Reb before...only thing is im not a Reb...i dont want to be misleading anyone...

i am not an authority at all on this issue but if u are interested in my mere opinion, which i hope and daven to Hashem is based on what i've been taught that other gedolim have said

1) the only thing i can say about the government is that even if its the most religious government in the world, this still does not negate the fact that having a sovereign state is against halacha (at least according to the Gedolim i have been taught about). if i agreed with Aguda, i might say that its vital to have a Torah voice bc u need to negotiate with bandits; Rav Shach ztvk"l was totally against zionism but he felt it necessary to run a party like degel Torah in the Knesset. if on the other hand, i hold like Satmar or Brisk or NK, i would say no you cannot have religious ppl in the gvnmt and u cannot vote bc thats contributing to the sin of having a state. both ideas have great gedolim to be somech on---elu v'elu divrei e-lokim chayim. Rav Aharon ztvk"l felt it was a huge mitzva to vote, the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l felt it was a huge aveirah, & the Brisker Rov ztvk"l felt that it wasnt as big a mitzva as R' Aharon ztl believed or as big an aveirah as the Rebbe ztl felt so he just said dont vote.

2) in response to this question, i still need to research this issue much much more. i can tell you what i wrote before: R' Shach ztvk"l, his students say, would daven for the PEACEFUL dismantling of the state. perhaps if the state could be dismantled in a PEACEFUL manner, ie no lives would be in danger and lives would be saved, maybe this would be the best thing. i was taught that the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l said the only thing we can do in the current situation with the state (the current situation meaning that its impossible to get rid of it without R"L endangering people's lives) is to daven to Hashem for help. at this point it seems that only Hashem can take care of this situation. our hishtadlus is to Daven and better our adherence to the Torah.

thanks again to www.frumteens.com if u want to read more, the Moderator has an extensive discussion on this topic as well as many many others

~may the merits of our Tzadikim protect us~

Ayn Lanu Al Mi L'HiSha'ayn Ela Avinu She'BaShamayim!

At August 17, 2005 at 9:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will not be able to check the website until Friday at the earliest for your response, but I am confused as to why you can't come up with simpler & clearer answers to the two straightforward questions that I asked. You really didn't answer either of them.
Please just tell me what YOU think, not what you’ve been told to think by someone.

We all want Moshiach, and Geula is the only real solution; we should, and do, pray for this every day. However, since that has not taken place, I am forced to live as things currently are. I have no interest in a discussion about whether or not the State of Israel should have been formed – it was. Let’s fast forward to the present and discuss the world in 5765-2005.

Is it your desire that the State of Israel should collapse, giving control to Arab Terrorists?

If it is not, then what DO you desire?

My position is the position of the mainstream and majority Torah Judaism. I am not a “Zionist,” nor am I an “anti-Zionist” - rather I am concerned for the safety of Klal Yisroel and I understand that Eretz Yisroel (as is discussed at length in all ranges of sefrom from Chassidus to Nigla to Kabbala, etc., and you can find it in Rishonim, Achronim, Achronei Achronim, et al) is the holiest of lands, and it is our land. If we don’t love Eretz Yisroel, then we are lacking.

At August 18, 2005 at 2:53:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


why do you care so much what a nothing like me thinks? the reason i am not giving a straight up answer is honestly i dont know where i hold in terms of Satmar vs Aguda and i feel i need to do much more research on the matter. also, who am i to give an opinion on this? this is up to those who truly know the Torah, our Gedolei Torah. All i know is that i am against having a state & against zionism. contrary to popular belief, zionism does not save Jews but endangers them (as can be seen by zionist actions to prevent Jews from being rescued by other countries during the Churban europe--see R' Avigdor Miller's ztl works, which are actually quoted on www.frumteens.com on this topic, and u can see the book Perfidy by Ben Hecht who discusses this matter). also, i feel zionism is in a sense chukas akum bc its that desire to be like other nations, to have a "national language" (incidentally, "modern hebrew" is totally different than loshon haKodesh--the Satmar Rebbe zt'l says modern hebrew is treif), a "national flag" and now "we have a place to go etc etc". we are taught to lay low in golus. we survived 2000 years without a state. we are like sheep among 70 wolves. we cannot disguise ourselves as a wolf to be like everyone else because we are still sheep. R' Elchonon Wasserman ztvk"l said that "nationalism" (zionism) is avoda zara and "religious zionism" is religious avoda zara. why would i want to support that? but then again what does my little opinion matter? Rav Avigdor Miller ztvk"l teaches us (Awake My Glory) that indeed Bnei Yisroel is like blind sheep and the only ones who truly can see are our Gedolei Torah who are there to guide us. it is after the teachings of the Torah & Gedolei Torah that we most solely follow. R' Miller ztl laments: imagine if more pple had listened to our gedolim during the holocaust and given more money to Vaad Hatzolah rather than to organzations like the "Jewish" Agency (who felt that "one cow in Palestine was more important than all the Jews of Europe") perhaps we wouldn't have suffered such a tragedy. it is only the teachings of the Gedolim that we must follow. they have no ulterior motives. they only want us to follow the Torah. without them we are blind sheep.

and as i said before, the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l says the only thing we can do at this point is daven. what else are you going to do?! what do you want me to say? join the knesset? the only thing we can do is strengthen our adherence to the Torah. Just daven and daven for the wellfare of klal Yisroel. you dont need to support a state to do that. you dont need to be zionist to be a Torah Jew or to care about klal Yisroel.

you are misunderstanding me. never did i say should the state fall to the terrorists! CHAS V'SHOLOM! i said if there were some way for it to PEACEFULLY be dismantled--which at this point seems impossible--then it should be dismantled. but in the current state, this does not seem to be a possibility so the only thing we can do is daven.

and how do you know what mainstream and majority Torah Judaism hold? did you take a poll? i dont mean to C"V mock you, but people are always like "well most Jews dont say tachanun on yom 'haatzmaut'" well how do they know? they did a survey?! everyone has a duty to be concerned for klal Yisroel. you dont need to be zionist to fulfill this duty.

yes Eretz Yisroel is indeed precious, but there is a machlokes as to whether we even have a mitzva of yishuv haaretz nowadays. some poskim say yes others no. the Satmar Rebbe ztvkl says there is no obligation. there is certainly nothing wrong w/ living there, but its a great responsibility bc ones mitzvos & aveiros are magnified there so one needs to determine if this would be good for him or not. of course we should mourn over how we dont have the Bais HaMikdosh and yes the land was promised to us, but dont forget that Hashem kicked us out bc of our sins. the land only really belongs to us again when moshiach comes. there is still kedusha in the land & of course its a tremendous zechus to live there, but you dont need a Jewish state to have this kedusha (we had the old yishuv before this state). plus, our Gedolim teach that during the golus the Jews need to be scattered throughout the world. in fact, i believe Rav Shach ztvkl says that it was a tremendous chesed of Hashem to scatter us so it wont be so easy R"L for goyim to harm us all at once. E"Y is indeed important, but it is debatable whether there is a mitzva to live there nowadays & whether it can be considered truly "ours" since Hashem kicked us out & Moshiach has not yet come to fully return us there. i hope im making sense and that i did not butcher any Torah words.

May Hashem send Moshiach speedily in our days Amen.

At August 18, 2005 at 1:53:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At August 18, 2005 at 5:50:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Gartel,

This is one of the strangest dialogues I've had in a long time. You don’t know what your opinions are? Why would someone post on a blog, and then wonder why they are being asked a question about it? I guess you don’t know what you want to say, so all I can say is that I hope that one day you will know what you mean. Anyway, I stand by all my previous statements.

It’s funny, you state that you have no answers to two serious questions, but you know for sure that you oppose the State of Israel. Why don’t you leave that question up to others as well?

We surely disagree about certain points and we agree on others, but if you think the Stamar Rov’s shita is in any way representative of the majority of Gedolei Torah you should get out a little more. There are Gedolei Torah on both sides of the argument, and here in the Boro-Park/Flatbush area we have the largest diverse religious community in chutz learetz – the considerable majority of which is not rabid anti-Zionist.

Like I said, I’m not a “Zionist,” and I have enormous problems with secular Zionism. I don’t celebrate yom-haatzmeut in any way, and I never considered saying Hallel on that day. But I do have great sympathies for religious Zionism, and I am greatly pained by the struggles of acheinu benei Yisroel who are there in Eretz Yisrael. I do not support the Herztels, Ben-Gurions, or the Netanyahus and the Sharons - The fundamental issue that I’m concerned with is the safety of the Jewish people. I also reiterate the need for all Jews to feel an inherent love of Eretz Yisroel. For some reason the people who share your view on this subject generally are not concerned with those two points. I am puzzled by why they see them as insignificant.

My eternal prayer is that Hakadosh Baruch Hu should please protect the Jewish people from all our enemies, wherever they may be found. May we have Moshiach & Geula without further delay; this will resolve all these existing galus struggles.

At August 18, 2005 at 9:31:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know what my opinions. i mean, regarding zionism, the Gedolim drew a pretty deep line in the sand about this one so i know how i feel about that. but when it comes to Aguda vs Satmar its harder for me to see how i feel especially since i dont even live in E"Y so i dont need to worry about voting etc. why do you have a problem if i refer u to the Gedolim rather than have me "pasken" my own opinion?! whats wrong with having Emunos Chachomim?! thats my shita! my shita is Emunos Chochomim bc they know much more than i'll ever know!

like i said. i am sure about zionism bc its pretty clear how the Gedolim hold on that. voting and the joining the government is a machlokes and who am i to decide at this point who is right? thats totally not my place at this point, i feel.

would you like for me to list other Gedolim other than the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l who were as against zionism? i still want to know how you have the logistics to say what the majority of Jews hold on this subject. Boro Park/Flatbush is not the only place where Jews live & how do u know if thats proportional to the rest of the Jewish population?!

ok, u can be pained by the troubles of klal Yisroel but u do not need to be religious zionist to feel that way!!! why exactly do u have "sympathies to religious zionism"?

if you were interested in the welfare of klal yisroel, maybe its important to note that the punishment for violating the oaths (which Gedolim say the state is a violation of the oaths) is R"L that the Jews will be slaughtered like game in the field. so if u support the state, i dont really think thats for the welfare of the Jews. Jewish survival is not dependant on a state! we only need Torah to survive. at Siyum HaShas the Ponovezhir Rov ztvk"l said our survival is solely dependent on Torah.

and how do you know that the people who share my views dont care about the Yidden in E"Y?! are you refering to the Gedolim? hello the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l, the Chazon Ish ztvk"l, the Brisker Rov ztvk"l....these people are the epitome of caring for klal yisroel! the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l opposed zionism bc he felt it puts klal Yisroel R"L in danger! how dare you say that they don't care about Klal Yisroel. CHAS V'SHOLOM! i really hope i misunderstood you bc right now i am so offended!

and Amen to your Tefilah.


At August 19, 2005 at 9:55:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't be offended - I wasn't speaking about you specifically, or about any Gedolei Yisroel. I am just making a general observation after speaking with various Anti-Zionists, and reading articles in Der Yid, etc.

As I said before, I have no interest in the boring and pointless conversation that you are stuck to. The legitimacy of the State of Israel was never the topic I was discussing - that was an interesting conversation 50 years ago, not today.

But you do have a strange "shita" if you think all of klal Yisreol is supposed to listen to the Rabbonim of one side of the argument when there are plenty of Gedolei Torah to go around for either side. Is it OK with you if I were to carry in the Boro Park eiruv? I mean Rav Moshe and many other Rabbonim asser it! If someone holds by Rav Fishel Hershkovitz or the other many Rabbonim that give the hechsher on the Eruv, are they chayiv skeila or a chatas?

Anyway, I'm really done with this conversation, unless you have any interests in the questions that I asked you before.

At August 19, 2005 at 5:58:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


well just advice in life, dont make blanket general statements. especially of the leaders of that "camp" were the very essence of loving one's fellow.

ok following an eiruv is totally different than supporting zionism. our Gedolim have made it pretty clear that the state is a violation of the oaths. the Chazon Ish ztvk'l said: who is an apikores who keeps the mitzvas? one who blames the Gedolim for the Churban Europe and one who celebrates Yom "Haatzamut." maybe other Rabbis have said otherwise, but a lot of the agruments in favor of the state have already been refuted.

agreed i dont want this to be longer than it already is. but i am interested to know why u sympathize with religous zionism? if its bc u care about your brethren in E"Y, this isnt a good answer bc u can totally do that without supporting that politcal movement.

why make a big deal about religious zionism anyway? that is not the ikur of life! its only important to follow the Torah!

Git Shabbos,

At August 21, 2005 at 10:44:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A gutte voch,

I still have no interest in the debate you want to have – and you still don't seem to have any desire to answer those 2 questions.

I find that strange, but I can't hold the fact that you have no answers against you.

Also, I don't withdraw my previous comment - I stand by everything I said. All I meant is that I don't know you well enough to have been referring to you, and I was not including Tzaddikim like the Satmar Rov Z"L in the statement. But, as they say, thanks for the free advice...

I obviously have fundamental disagreements with your position. Some of your statements are flat out wrong and misinformed. This rewriting of History is common in most circles though, so I can't entirely blame you. But, are you not troubled by the fact that in Ponevitzh they have always brought the Israeli flag into the BM on Yom Haatzmaut? Do you not realize that Rav Kook was a Gaon Olam and impeccable human being, a true Tzaddik, and he obviously disagreed with your strange claim that all gedolim oppose the State of Isreal on halachic grounds? How about R' Isser Zalman Meltzer or R' Arye Levin? R' Shomo Zalman? R' Aharele Belzer?
The Brisker Rov did oppose the state, but most of the Litvishe Torah world was not so anti-Zionist until very recently - but I digress. I still don't have any interest in this part of the conversation! Some hold like this, some hold like that. All shitas have legitimacy, and I don't see it any different as any other halachic disagreement, such as an eruv in NYC.

I ONLY care about this because of the two question that I asked before. And I'll try again. I'm really looking for simple and clear answers to simple questions, and that should make my reasoning clear:

1. Do you disagree that a religious Israeli government would be best? That is to say, would it not be best if the current government of Israel was representative of and founded on Torah Judaism?

2. What do you want to happen to the current "State of Israel?"
Obviously the ideal answer is that Moshiach should come, but he hasn't yet. So, assuming he is not here at this moment, what would you like to see happen to the State of Israel?

My answers to those questions define my position.

At August 22, 2005 at 12:49:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


huh? me rewriting history? sounds more like something the zionists do!

my Rebbe said that the flag in the Ponovezh Yeshiva was so that they could please the government and therefore get funding. plus, hello, Rav Shach ztvk"l was Rosh Yeshiva recently and i reccommend u read his addresses re zionism. that might change how u see the Ponovezh Yeshiva...

i know u dont want to get into this and i dont blame u at all, but in defense of the litivshe world, i can name u several vehemently opposed to zionism litivshe rabbonim: R' Aharon Kotler ztvk"l, the Chazon Ish ztvk"l, thw Chofetz Chaim ztvk"l, R' Elchonon Wasserman ztvkl, Rav Chaim Brisker ztvkl, R' Chaim Oizer ztvk"l, R' Meir Simcha of Dvinsk ztvk"l, R' YZ Duchinsky ztvk"l and the list goes on.

what makes u say that Rav Isser Zalman ztvkl was not against zionism?! what?! The Belzer Rebbe ztvk'l is now a zionist? how could u say such hotzaas shem rah?!

i thought i was clear on my answers before but i guess i wasnt:

1) I DON'T KNOW! ok so since i cannot predict the future, i really honestly do not know if a religious government would be better. i can only think of the pros and cons. pro: at least you wont have to worry about the religious being maltreated and you wont have to worry about rampant violation of the Torah. con: why would i want Torah Jews to get involved in the sin of the state by making them join the government?!

2) this i am pretty sure i was clear on. the ideal would be for the state to be peacefully dismantled. meaning: NO LIVES WILL BE ENDANGERED R"L (we cannot give it to terrorists who will do this). obviously, the current situation will not really allow this so the only thing we can do is daven. but ideally, the state, in my mere opinion, should be peacefully dismantled in order to avert the danger of violating the oaths.

(since we are still in golus, we do not need to hold onto the land! so if the opportunity arrives to peacefully dismantle the state, why not?)

i hope that my answers are clear
kol tuv
may Moshiach come soon!

At August 22, 2005 at 11:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Before we start to go back and forth about the roster of Gedolim (indeed, a pit that I had initially wanted to avoid, and I admittedly fell in there in my last post) let me just remind you that there is a difference between the position of gedolim on this issue between before and after the war. The Belzer Rav is a perfect example of this - read Artsroll's new book about R' Ahrele, I think they quote some of his statements on the subject towards the end of the book. Believe me when I tell you, he changed his position once the Germans Y"S changed the realities of the world. This was also reason for the Satmar-Belz machlokes. However, I do not want to get into this foolish point - suffice it to say that it is really NOT a one sided issue, even if that's what people are telling you. Ask other people, preferably older ones who have been around, and are not ideologues on either side.

Now to clarify, my problem with your "shita" is that it does not address the fundamental problem klal Yisroel faces in Etetz Yisroel TODAY. What does peaceful dismantlement mean? I also believe in peaceful dismantlement - it's called Moshiach, and I pray for that quite often. But you seem to mean something else there as well - in galus - that's what I still don't get. With the realities of the world today, I want to know what your scenario is. Please describe your vision clearly (i.e Sharon handing over the State of Israel to who?).

I believe that the realties of the world today dictate that Israel must remain strong and I wish religious.

The Shalosh Shavuos debate is one that I have been trying to avoid, but I'm afraid that you really want to "go there." There are differing views on that issue, and in the words of the old Tchebiner Rav ZT"L - "Why would I debate the Satmar Rov on Shalosh Seudas Torah - That's not a Halachic Issue." It is an interesting Aggadeta Gemorrah, but it is not accepted universally as a Halachic Issur by any means. Do you really think that R' Kook was not familiar with that Gemorra?

Let's agree to disagree, but just understand that your position is hardly the only legitimate one.
Besuros Tovos.

May we have Moshich & Geula without further delay, Amen.

At August 22, 2005 at 3:17:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a peaceful dismantle is just as it sounds. like if there came some kind of agreement to hand it all over. but what i said is that this currently is not possible and really, as it seems right now there really is no solution but Tefila & Moshiach.
i am pretty sure the is what the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l says. that really right now we cannot hand over the whole state b/c it will be R"L a bloodbath. so the only thing we realistically can do is daven to Hashem for rachamim. (i believe this is one of the many ways in which he disagrees with Neturei Karta)

and for the record, Rabbenu Tam ztl says that we follow Agadata as long as it does not contradict halacha. furthermore, what makes u call the oaths aggadita? i mean, chazal are pretty straightforward when they say that if u hold by the oaths then good but if u C"V violate them then R"L we'll be hunted in the field. nu, Chazal just warned us not to violate the oaths! they said "do this and if you dont u'll be punished" sounds more like a halacha than a suggestion. i mean, why would u want to take the risk by making a state which is not at all important for our survival?!

unless i am misunderstanding somehting, the Satmar Rebbe ztvk"l says that when a tragedy occured in the past, the Gedolim would try to discern what we were doing wrong and how to do Teshuva. and then he goes on to say: "v'achshav b'doreinu zeh ayn tzrichin lichapes ulivakesh bimatmonim es haavon she'heivi aleinu es hatzara hazos, ki hu GALUI UMIFORASH bidivrei Chazal..." (see the very first page of the Hakdama of Vayoel Moshe) and then he goes on to say that the violation of the oaths is one of the clear causes of our troubles! we need to do teshuva and stop violating the oaths!

i dont know what R' Kook's arguments were. and of course im not saying that he did not know this gemora.
but i have heard arguments of other religious zionists being knocked down one by one by our Gedolim (ie the arguement that the oaths are interdependent, that they are agadita, etc etc).

ok i agree to disagree. "Taiku" if you wish!

May Hashem help us onto the clear path and may we see Moshiach speedily in our days.

At August 22, 2005 at 9:17:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gartel,
Not all Litvaks agree with you. See:

At August 22, 2005 at 11:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


nice of you to join!
um, i never said all litvkas agree. i was just listing several litivishe GEDOLIM who had anti Zionist views.

and also, personally i am not a litvak; my family's from GALICIA!!! i just felt that the litivishe world needed to be defended since Chabakuk said that litvaks were not as anti Zionist as Chasidim.

kol tuv

At August 23, 2005 at 10:37:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My good friend Gartel,

OH! I thought you were a Litvak, I guess we’re both of the Chassidishe variety.

I think we might be getting somewhere… Let me just sum up, and please correct me if I misrepresent something. I think we are basically in agreement when it comes to the here & now practical belief:

#1. Would it be better for the state to be religious? I say yes, and I think you would give me a lukewarm yes – however you feel that would be in violation of halacha – I do not.

#2. Should Israel be dismantled right now? We both agree that it should NOT be dismantled at this time, since it would endanger the lives of countless Jews.

Now, if it is in violation of Halacha to maintain the State of Isreal, please provide a siman in Shulchan Aruch, or a mare-makom in Mishna Torah. We don’t pasken from a Gemorah; and like any Gemora, there are many interpretations to this one as well. I agree that it would be wrong for us to actively fight to capture the land, as the Gemora seems to be saying and the Rambam writes in Iggeres Teiman. However, that is not the case here. Secular Zionism IS despicable and took part in numerous despicable acts, BUT the state of Israel already exists – and that debate is no longer relevant. At this time, it is my opinion – based on many Gedolei Torah – that the State must be strong, and should preferably be religious in nature.
You will find that many Gedolim took that approach, and although they opposed the State before it was established, they softened their positions once the State existed. That’s my shita.

At August 23, 2005 at 12:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

way to go CE, you tell 'em!

At August 23, 2005 at 2:20:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

with a user name like GARTEL, why would i be a litvak?! (do litvaks wear gartels? i thought only Chasidim did but perhaps im wrong...?)

ok so since im not a Rav or Talmid Chacham or anything, you cannot rely on me to give you the full eloquence of the argument of the side i represent. however, in terms of supporting the so called "state of Israel" i see at least two problems:

a) Hischabrus Im Rishayim - it is assur to join up with reshayim--if u support the state, you are joining up with many anti-religious people who run the state(this is C"V not refering to the way in which gedolim like the Chazon Ish ztl NEGOTIATED with the zionists in the same manner that a captive would negotiate with bandits)

b) C"V Chilul Hashem - if one C"V supports the state, this can C"V cause a huge Chilul Hashem. why? bc then if the world sees that all the Jews support the state and thus support the actions of the state (which a lot of the time are not Torah-dik) and they may think C"V that the state represents the Jews and Yiddishkeit! this is a terrible thing bc that is the exact opposite of what the state represents! a lot (not all) anti-semitism stems from the fact that many goyim think that Jews=zionists & they despise the actions of the zionists and thus hate Jews. but this is not true! not all Jews are zionists and it is important that we do not show the world in any way that zionism represents Yiddishkeit! some people feel it necessary to davka tell the world we do not support zionism at all! (see the website www.jewsagainstzionism.com for example)

there's probably a lot more problems in terms of supporting the state, but like i said im not the biggest maven in this subject so u should like read Vayoel Moshe & ask a Rav with this shita.

plus, why would we need to support the state if our survival is not dependent on it?

kol tuv

again thanks to the website www.frumteens.com for my information

At August 23, 2005 at 2:58:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend G,

Sorry for confusing you with our Litvishe brothers, and how do I know the significance of your selected name "Gartel?" The link to your name didn't tell me anything useful about you... Anyway, is there a problem with Litvaks? Nu, so we're both Chassidim, zol zein azoi.

I must say that I find those two reasons to be pretty far out there (and here I thought we were getting somewhere). Maybe you can check with your cheveirm at "frumteens" for something a little more substantive, because those issues don't change anything I said - in fact I would say they support my side of the argument. If the State was religious that would alleviate both your concerns - maybe you are on my side now?

Please understand that the point of my having this discussion is to try to clarify that this issue is much more complex then the one sided version that you're stating as "Halacha." Do you still argue that it is all that simple as you initially stated? Halacha is a term that should not be used loosely. If you believe your position is the right one, that's fine - but don't tell others that you have the only legitimate one. This is not a "halacha" to a large segment of klal Yisroel.

May we greet Moshiach without delay!

At August 23, 2005 at 6:39:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

theres absolutely nothing wrong with litvaks! im just not of that descent. and i thought it was funny that u guys all thought i was a litvak. what did i say that made u think that?
anyway. chab, i wouldnt say anything about links bc u dont have one! and what, having frumteens as my link says absolutely nothing about me?

please clarify why you feel my reasons are "far out". perhaps im not explaining them well....but they made sense in my head! theres probably many other reasons, but as i told you im not a maven in this so i dont know every single halacha regarding this issue.

and no i do not believe it strengthens your side. religious or not the idea that the Jews have a sovereign government is against halacha. if we go and publicize to the world that we support having a Jewish sovereign state before our time, whether the state follows halacha or not, this is still a chilul Hashem b/c having a state (at least according to "my" side) is against Halacha! thus, if we all support a state, we are misrepresenting the Torah! we are telling the goyim that zionism and having a "Jewish state" is C"V a Jewish concept!

i'll tell you what i still believe: all i know is that whether the government is religious or not, it is still against halacha to have a sovereign one. and thus, if its against halacha, why would i support it?

again, how do you know what the majority of klal Yisroel feels? everyone seems to know what the majority says but they never have proof...

At August 23, 2005 at 9:06:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zeydene Gartel,

Initially the link to your name was a different one; indeed this one is much more informative.

If you still don't understand me, then I give up, uber ich vel noch altz zoggen a kapitel Tihlim far dier.

I just want to point out (again) that this statement of yours remains entirely reckless and without any proof:
"All I know is that whether the government is religious or not, it is still against halacha to have a sovereign one."

Again, what Simen & Sif of Shulchan Aruch states this? Where is it brought in Mishna Torah? Aside from vertlach, you have no basis for your P'sak. And that is why you will be hard pressed to convince me and others of your case. There are numerous Gedolei Yisroel that do not take your view, so cut the baloney. You have your view, I have mine, others have theirs.

But specifically, did I say anything in my post above (where I tried to sum up our positions) that you take issue with?

All the best,

At August 24, 2005 at 12:05:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha i know the other link :-)
i thought it was pretty funny, no?

Krechtz. Rabenu Tam ztl says we pasken like agadata (if u feel thats what the oaths are) as long as it doesnt contradict halacha. also, the holy Megilas Esther ztl (commentary on Rambam ztl) says that the reason the Rambam ztl omits the Yishuv HaAretz in his mitzva count is b/c he holds like the oaths and feels we actually have no mitzva to live there during golus.

if you have an issue with the "side" i am espousing, i suggest u learn Vayoel Moshe. the Rebbe ztvkl goes extensively into this discussion and at the way end in the "Miftach" it goes through each and every source that he bases his position on. its amazing! u said u live in brooklyn? well the store Mekor HaSeforim on Coney Island Avenue sells it there and its really inexpensive (and the people there are nice :-) ).

and by the way, there are numerous Gedolim who do take the side i am telling you of.

regarding your last question, i need to think and review a little more before i answer. but im not sure if ill say a lukewarm yes to the first Q. i dont know.

personally, i like to leave things up to Gedolim who know way much more than i do.

the thing u tie on your waist ;-)

At August 24, 2005 at 11:00:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am familiar with the sefer, and with your position.

Maybe if you re-read my posts on this topic until now, you would perhaps understand a little better what it is that I'm saying. For some reason I don't think your getting my point.

Either way, I've said all I care to say about the topic, and I'm moving on to other things.

Zolt eihr, un gantz klal Yisroel, nor huben simchas un hatzlocha. Un zol der Oibisher shoin shkien untz der richteger goel tzedek un oroisleizun untz fun der galus, Amen.

A K'siva V'chasima Tova.

At August 24, 2005 at 12:55:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cannot believe u just called me Garty. lol :-)

anyway, thanks for the discussion. it was interesting.

Amen to your Tefillah!

Kol Tuv!

Zei Gezunt!

May we be zoche to see Moshiach soon.

At August 31, 2005 at 2:08:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chbakuk elisha – You are wasting your time debating one who is influenced by Frumteens. The fact is the only group that is realy busy with this issue is Satmar and it used to be the glue that held them together. From the looks of it, I think Zionism is a dead issue for Satmar since they are not unified anymore.


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