Guardian of the Walls

Rabbinic opinions on the events in Israel.

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The events of the last few days, the missile-firing from Gaza and the Arab pogroms in the mixed-population cities, brought several rabbis to publicize their opinion on these occurrences.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, wrote an open-letter to the Arab leaders and warned them that their actions towards the Temple Mount and their hatred of the Jews and Judaism will backfire at them.

"The Arab world is being soundly trounced. Lebanon is bankrupt. Every day there is another explosion in Iraq. Iran is in a major crisis... Look at the Arab countries that fought Israel. The coronavirus has hit them all… Look what is happening to the Arabs of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority who go begging all over the world day after day, going from bad to worse."

And he continues "This doesn't happen by accident. You provoke God and go against him and He pays you back. He didn't invite you to His house and you force your way in and desecrate His house. Playing soccer, throwing fireworks and Molotov cocktails. Forgetting that God is the true Master of this mountain. "

Rabbi Eliyahu concludes "God wants to build His house to bring light and blessing to the world, to bring peace to the world, to bring good to the world, and you persist in fighting Him. Apparently the time has come and His patience has run out. You've been given a big hint. Watch out for His Big Fire."

Rabbi Shvat was asked on Yeshiva.co website if the way Israel is taking revenge by bombing Gaza-strip is permitted by the Halakha. He replied "National halakhic questions such as this are clearly answered through tens of similar precedents throughout the Bible, and in Maimonides. Very often in our history, enemy nations started up with Israel, and the halakhic answer in the Land of Israel is always that we must fight back, even if some of their civilians (elderly, woman, children) will unfortunately be affected, for that's precisely what they want to do to us and our civilians. That's what happens in every war, and our enemies should take that into account before they start up with us! Why are their lives more important than Jewish lives?!"

And he explains "Christianity supposedly believes in "turning the other cheek" when slapped, but Judaism believes that it's immoral to our innocent civilians, it's immoral for the world, and it's also immoral to the evil themselves, to continue to act immorally."

In all this mess, Rabbi Hagai Londin, a resident of the bombed-city Sderot, tries to make some order and helps us see the bright side "Disturbances by Israeli Arabs and the attack from Gaza are not an immediate existential threat (!) to the State of Israel." He adds that "These riots actually strengthen us for the long-term. Their main benefit is convincing all those of us who have been confused about who is the enemy and who is a friend… The Creator has done an incredible kindness for us in that this clarification is being done under relatively favorable conditions. Imagine if this lesson would have had to be learned during an Iranian attack and thousands of Hezbollah missiles; and then the fifth column would be on a rampage."

And he ends his article with an important perspective "Always remember: we can overcome and win everything! We have succeeded over thousands of years of history, we have recently beaten Covid. We cannot let momentary emotion obscure the eternal gaze: the State of Israel has been flourishing for decades in parallel with all the difficulties…

For the Lord will not forsake His people; nor will He abandon His portion

The bad will pass.

The good will prevail.

With God's help."

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