In the aftermath of the recent Town of Monroe elections, November 5th, 2013, we are hereby posting the following:
Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, Nitra Rav (1903-1957)
Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, in his famous 1948 article entitled, “Who Delivered Israel to the Plunderers” (printed in Toras Chemed, p. 337), writes as follows:
Chazal, the true lovers of Zion, said in Tractate Kesubos 111a, that the Holy One, blessed is He, made Israel swear not to go up to Eretz Yisroel as a wall, which Rashi explains as together, with a strong hand; and that they should not rebel against the nations. And the Holy One, blessed is He, said to Israel: If you keep the oath, good, but if not I will permit your flesh like the gazelles and deer of the field.
The Be’er Hagolah is a sefer written by an anonymous author in Amsterdam during the period of the Sabbatean movement (late 1600s). In Chapter 25, Section 2, after describing the wars fought by the Jewish people in times of old, he writes:
But now the mighty men of Israel have fallen and their weapons have perished. Since the enemy overcame us and the anointed kohein and the general failed and were smitten in battle, Israel has known that the Holy One, blessed is He, no longer desires their wars; Hashem has departed from them until the time of the coming of moshiach. And regarding this matter, and regarding the exile of Israel, David prayed and said, “You, O G-d, have thrown us away, and You do not go forth, O G-d, with our army” (Tehillim 60:13). And now, if Israel will arise and wage wars against the desire of the Holy One, blessed is He, they will fall by the sword, as it is written, “Do not go up, for Hashem is not in your midst, and then you will not be defeated by your enemies!” (Bamidbar 14:42). For just as the Holy One, blessed is He, used to fight their wars when the those wars were in accordance with His will, so too He will become their enemy when the war is against His will, as it is written, “And He became their enemy; he fought against them” (Yishaya 63:10).
The Be’er Hagolah continues in Section 5:
And when Israel saw this, they chose to scatter themselves in all four corners of the earth, so that the nations might see that they had no thought of waging any more wars with them, and that they would not emerge from the exile until moshiach comes. And even if during that time they have some mighty men, still they will not wage war against the nations, for this is what Shlomo, the king and prophet, made them swear by the name of Hashem when he said, “I have adjured you, daughters of Jerusalem, not to arouse or awaken the love before it is desired” (Shir Hashirim 2:7). Behold, he said to the daughters of Jerusalem: If you be in exile among the nations, do not arouse or awaken with them any war because of the love of Eretz Yisroel, until it is desired – until it is the will and desire of Hashem Yisborach to do so, and He sends you the moshiach, just as He sent Moshe to Egypt to say, “So said Hashem: I have surely remembered you” (Shemos 3:16). Then they will know that it is the will of the Holy One, blessed is He, that they should gather themselves from all the four corners of the world and become a great and powerful nation, to take their land away from the Ishmaelites. The prophet Yishaya expressed amazement at them and said, “Who are these who fly like clouds?” (60:8) “Who bore me these?” (49:21) “Can a land have birthpangs in one day…for Zion has had birthpangs and born her children” (66:8). And since it is so, all of Israel has decided not to study warfare anymore, even to assist one nation against another, unless it is the will of their kings under whom they live. And each one prays in the land where he lives that Hashem grant peace and success to the king who rules over that land.
And Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz writes similarly in his work Ahavas Yonasan, and so does our teacher, the Chasam Sofer, in Toras Moshe, Shoftim. The same position was taken earlier by the Rambam in Igeres Teiman.
“A man does not truly understand a matter of halacha unless he stumbles in it” (Gittin 43a). We must now admit that Chazal in their Divine inspiration were correct. And in their wisdom, they foresaw what would result from not following their words. For in the beginning of this generation, there arose a man from the seed of Israel who did not know of the Torah of Israel, and with convincing words he adjured Israel to do the opposite of what the oaths of Hashem Yisborach dictate. And although the gedolim and the tzaddikim of that generation opposed him, our sins caused his false ideal to become dressed in the form of a few misguided talmidei chachomim, who joined with the source of heresy in order to actualize the plans of a man estranged from Torah.
Chazal teach that when someone comes to do something against the Torah, Heaven opens up a path for him (Shabbos 104a). They opened a path for them with the Balfour Declaration, and in the course of a few years the heresy became powerful both in Eretz Yisroel and the rest of the world to a degree never seen before. Almost all of Israel, unfortunately, became deniers of the principle of moshiach.
And certainly, for this also the Holy One, blessed is He, became angry at Israel, and punished them according to His attribute, measure for measure. They sinned and said that not Torah but blood makes Israel a nation. They sinned and said that not our holy Torah, but rather seed and birthright, race and descent, language and land, flesh and blood cause a son of Israel to be a Jew. Measure for measure, a hater of Israel arose in Germany who heated up the entire world’s latent hatred against the race and the descent of Israel, against his flesh and blood…
And now, Daas Torah and good sense would dictate that we should arouse the mercy of the victorious Allies, and ask of them something that the Torah permits, something that they can fulfill, namely: that each of the fifty-one victorious nations should grant refuge, each in its own land, to some of these unfortunate and poor survivors.
Daas Torah and good sense would tell us that, unfortunately, the Jewish people have lost this war even more than the accursed Germans, for the best and greatest part of the Jewish people has fallen. And just as it would not occur to any German to start a new war now, certainly after the loss of the six million, the best of the Jewish people, it is forbidden to launch a new war, to endanger the weak, tiny and homeless remainder of the Jewish people. Rather we must beseech the nations of the world to permit the remaining Jews to settle in their lands, some here and some there.
But this is not the position these Jewish leaders took. They cried out right away: “Only to Eretz Yisroel must all these refugees go, not to any other place in the world! Israel declares war on Britain! Israel declares war on the Arabs! Israel declares war on the whole world!”
The poor Jews in the refugee camps thought, “What do these leaders care? They don’t live in camps. They live on the silver and gold of the charity funds in America, and use our plight to make their business deals. Millions more Jews can perish, G-d forbid, as long as they don’t lose their honor.”
On the advice of these people, these bitter survivors of the death camps launched a war against Britain, come what may… And on the advice of these people, these bitter souls insulted and angered the Arabs, who have been at peace with the Jews for many generations. If Britain has never lost a war for generations, and if the Arabs number in the hundreds of millions – what do they care? They are stronger than them; they are stronger than the whole world.
And if Moshe Rabbeinu commanded the Bnei Ephraim, after many generations of slavery in Egypt, when they thought that the time of redemption had arrived, to wait until he would tell them the time had come, but they did not believe him, and so they perished, as it is written in the Tanach… and if Yirmiyahu Hanavi commanded Israel to surrender to the wicked Nevuchadnetzar, but the sinners of his generation refused to listen, and thus the first exile came about… and if Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and his colleagues commanded Israel to surrender to the wicked Romans, but the zealots of his generation refused, and thus the second exile came about… and if the Holy One, blessed is He, Himself commanded Israel under oath to be subservient to the wicked Edom, and not to go up as a wall against Yishmoel, but the sinners of our generation refused to listen to the tzaddikim, and thus this latest churban came about…. What do these leaders care about a single chapter in Jewish history?
They say words that no mouth can bear to utter. Yirmiyahu Hanavi, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and his fellow Tannaim, and the tzaddikim of our generation brought the Jews to the Babylonian exile, to the Edomite exile, and to Auschwitz. But they and their predecessors in Yirmiyahu’s and Rabbi Yochanan’s generations were the true redeemers of Israel!
Even if we were to assume that some of these people do what they do for the sake of a mitzvah, for love of Eretz Yisroel… but if the choice is between Eretz and Yisroel, who doesn’t know which comes first? During exile, settling Eretz Yisroel is not a mitzvah that one must die rather than violate. And on the contrary, these people’s proposed state transgresses in many ways the three cardinal sins that one must die rather than commit.
The wicked Pharaoh launched the Egyptian slavery with the argument “lest there be a war and they be added to our enemies” (Shmos 1:10). And this same argument was that wicked man’s excuse in the last war, leading to the murder of millions of our kedoshim. And these people place the remainder of Israel in danger, by placing the possibility of Pharaoh’s argument with all its implications in the mouth of some leader, G-d forbid, if there is ever another war.
And if you ask: is there any way out now? The answer is yes! 1) We must completely relinquish any claim to a Jewish state. 2) We must accept the compromise [trusteeship] proposed by the United States. 3) We must ask Britain to take part in the government of Palestine. 4) Our representatives must meet with the Arabs face to face and reach an agreement, under the auspices of the United States. 5) We must ask the United Nations, and the U.S. and its neighbors especially, to quickly move all the Jews from the camps in Germany and from the rest of Europe to countries overseas and also to Palestine.
This is all possible on condition that we throw all those Jewish leaders who brought us to the current situation out of leadership. Let the nations know that Israel is a “debased and unwise nation” (Devarim 32:6) only when it follows the counsel of its sinners, but we are a “wise and understanding people” (ibid. 4:6) when Torah scholars and tzaddikim lead us.
And now, do not be disheartened over the Jewish masses who, until now, have believed in this false messiah, even at the cost of their lives. The Jewish people is holy, Ahavas Yisroel burns in their heart, and after thousands of years of bitter exile they allowed themselves to be taken in by inciters to sin such as never existed before in our history, who wore a mask of Ahavas Yisroel but only had one goal: to uproot the Torah from Jewish hearts.
And now, do not be disheartened over the future redemption of Israel and its kingdom. We have an old Father, our Father in Heaven, and a young child of old age, a poor man riding a donkey. The leadership will be on his shoulder, and on his throne no stranger will sit!
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