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Did I Say The Wrong Thing?

By Batya Medad
1/1/2008, 12:00 AM

I have a feeling they don't like me too much any more.

Yesterday morning I got an email from someone, who's really on the right side of things, but...

The person lives abroad but is a very strong supporter of Jewish life in YESHA.  The theme of the letter, sent to many people, was that the "G'dolim" there should be protesting against the Olmert government and policies.  The letter writer reminded everyone of the "G'dolims'" silence before Disengagement.  Now, I do agree that rabbis should protest what's going on here and have written many similar things

But I responded a bissel off-topic.  I said that there aren't any "G'dolim" in Chutz LaAretz (out of Israel*.)  Living in Chu"L goes against the entire spirit of Judaism. 

*Now, I put the word "Israel" in italics in the previous paragraph, because I don't want to get into semantics about what to call our Holy Land.  The State of Israel and its borders are modern and controversial for various reasons.  Some people say those of us in our historic and holy Judea and Samaria should establish our own independent rule.  Let's suffice with the term "Eretz Yisrael," the Land of Israel, which includes all Land which has been under Jewish rule thoughout the millenium.

 

I have said before that rabbis who do not live in Israel are incompetant to judge questions concerning aliyah (moving to the Land of Israel.)  Most rationalize their being abroad, which is against Halacha, and that colors their advice to their followers.

Israel is a technologically advanced country with some of the best, and certainly most reasonably priced, medical care in the world.  The more Jews here in the HolyLand, the stronger the economy will be, and the more G-d fearing, Torah-observant Jews here (and in the IDF) the more Jewish the country will be.  Staying away on your high golden horse will not make things better and in the end won't keep you any safer.

....

And then in the afternoon I went to work, and in the Teachers Room... I found myself getting very disgusted with the turn of the conversation.

We were discussing the admittedly terrible state of affairs here, Olmert and his announcements that he's giving the Arab terrorists our homes and Land, etc.  Some of us said that we must fight it in every way, and one teacher said that it's "the will of G-d."  A teacher insisted that Disengagement happened because "G-d willed it."  I and others disagreed.  The problem is that we didn't do the right things to stop it.

"Why are you shouting?" I heard the teacher ask.

"We're supposed to shout," I answered back.  Read last week's Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week:

כג  וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם, וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה, וַיִּזְעָקוּ; וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה. 23 And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
כד  וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-נַאֲקָתָם; וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת-בְּרִיתוֹ, אֶת-אַבְרָהָם אֶת-יִצְחָק וְאֶת-יַעֲקֹב. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
כה  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֵּדַע, אֱלֹהִים.  {ס} 25 And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them. {S}

"I'm not like you," I said.  "If I had sat quietly waiting, I'd be like the rest of my peers, married to a goy and living somewhere deep in America."

That's not the life I chose.

We cannot stay silent.  If we do, G-d will stay away, and the Moshiach won't redeem us.  Didn't we learn anything from the Holocaust?  The Judenrat was like today's rabbis who enforced the Nazi laws and kept the Jews silent.

Honestly, I don't care if they don't like what I say.  I can't be silent only to please others.  I only care about pleasing G-d.