Conditional Mass Vow: No Expulsion, Lots of Good Deeds

The latest initiative to stop the expulsion/withdrawal plan: A mass vow to work regularly on behalf of the People and Land of Israel over the course of the coming year if the decree is canceled.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 09:20

The idea is being promulgated by the MiMayanei HaYeshuah organization, which has initiated many outreach activities over the past several months.

Promotional literature for the "mass vow" idea, distributed in synagogues across Israel this past Sabbath, begins by citing Biblical and Halakhic [Jewish legal] sources for conditioning human actions on Divine behavior. The Patriarch Jacob, on his way to Haran to escape from his brother Esau, vowed that if G-d would preserve and sustain him, he, in turn, would build a House of G-d and would tithe his earnings. The Israelite nation as a whole later vowed to consecrate the booty of the Canaanites if G-d would deliver them to Israel's hands, and the Prophet Samuel's mother Hannah said that if G-d would provide her with a son, she would dedicate him to the service of G-d.

The promotional literature quotes the Medrash Rabbah as saying that Jacob's vow set the stage for Jews throughout the generations to make similar vows, as well as the ruling of the classic law code Shulchan Arukh, "During times of tribulation, it is permitted to vow."

In light of the above, the organizers call upon "tens of thousands" to take upon themselves the following commitment:

"If G-d comes to our aid and to the aid of all Israel, and preserves us during these times of tribulation as the sword of destruction and expulsion is lifted against us, and saves us and gives us the areas of our Land and inheritance in Gush Katif and northern Shomron, with their communities and residents - men, women and children - ... then, we, men, women and youth, commit without a vow to dedicate part of our time on behalf of the Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel according to the Torah of Israel once/twice/three times a month for the course of a year."

Among the recommended activities are those on behalf of national social justice according to the spirit and vision of the Torah and the prophets; redemption of captives such as Jonathan Pollard; educational and Torah activities; face-to-face activities with other Jews for the purpose of bringing them closer to G-d, Judaism and the Land of Israel; and kindness to the sick, elderly and others.

"And thus we will thank, praise and sanctify G-d for His salvation," the organizers conclude.

Rabbis supporting the initiative include Rabbis Yaakov Ariel, Yigal Kaminetzky, Moti Elon, Shlomo Aviner, Shmuel Tal and Yuval Cherlow.



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