10 December 2016

Taking A Position In A Controversy

11 Kislev 5777

I am late to the party. I was not going to comment on the Rabbi Mizrachi controversy, but the all-or-nothing positions taken by others bothers me to the point that I feel compelled to stake out the middle ground. As Rabbi Mizrachi himself would no doubt agree, this trouble would not have come his way without some reason behind it. 

First, I want to express my gratitude to Rabbi Mizrachi for the Torah I have learned from him over years of listening to his shiurim. I have donated to his organization for CDs and have posted his shiurim on my blog - and will continue to do so.

Although I have heard some things which were problematic to me, for the most part, I have found Rabbi Mizrachi to be steadfast for Torah truth and courageous in taking on difficult subjects. His style of teaching is not for everyone and he is not a perfect person. (Even Moshe Rabeinu made mistakes.)

This "Holocaust" accusation should be put to rest once and for all since the Rabbi already made a public apology for it in the recent past. Anyone who brings it up now is simply pushing an agenda. Additionally, many of the complaints lodged against him are justified with statements taken out of context. Within the context of the original shiur, it is not nearly as damning or extreme as his detractors would like to portray.

However, anyone who listens to Rabbi Mizrachi regularly knows he is prone to hyperbole to make a point and perhaps he should read this as a wake-up call to be more circumspect in his presentation. No one has a license to play fast and loose with the truth, no matter the justification.

What has stood out most in my mind though is how the Rabbi relates to Israel. I'm happy that even though he makes his home in the US, when he speaks of events in Israel, he continues to identify as an Israeli. He has not removed himself from the klal here. On the other hand, it saddens me when he airs all the 'dirty Israeli laundry' to Jews in the Diaspora. It feels like lashon hara against Eretz Yisrael to me. Even though what he says is true, the spies also did not lie in what they reported about the land. But, the reaction of hearing this news is the same now as then - Jews are discouraged from coming to Israel.

If I could get a message to the Rabbi, I would ask him not to automatically dismiss this letter from these rabbis, but to consider that perhaps, it is a means to a different end than what he imagines. Perhaps, it is a message from HKB"H that his time in chu"l is up and now, his permanent place should be here in the homeland. Let the Diaspora Jews listen on Youtube now, while Israelis get to hear Rabbi Mizrachi in person all year round.


I'd like to publicly take a position on Amona, too. About this, there should be no controversy. There is a truth that exists here which defies whatever "legal" position the State chooses to take. 

It matters not what "International Law" says on the subject, or how Israel will be perceived by the "International Community". It matters not one whit what the High Court of (In)Justice rules. According to the only LAW that counts - our Holy Torah - the land belongs to us and anyone who uproots Jews by force from it is committing a crime for which he will be held accountable by the Highest Court - the Beit Din in Shamayim! Make no mistake about it!!

It is my fervent and most heart-felt prayer that HKB"H will intervene personally to prevent another such atrocity happening here. Please, may we never again witness the forcible expulsion of Jews from their homes with the wanton destruction of their property and goods, even including houses of worship! 

In contradiction to one notable "religious" MK who reportedly said: “There is no way to prevent this, and all the protests and resistance will not change the edict, ...Please do not drag us into an unnecessary crisis....", our Sages told us never to give up hope even when the knife is at our necks. 

Redemption can come in the blink of an eye.