14 September 2016

Are the Charges Justified? (Part 2)

11 Elul 5776

(Part 1)

In my view, this issue is not about a difference of opinion or even a difference of hashkafa. There is a much bigger issue here. It's about conformity to Torah law. And it's about transparency when presuming to act on behalf of an entire Jewish community. And being accountable for your mistakes.

In the interests of peace among brothers, and seeing that it serves no further purpose, I have removed the original blog post which this addresses. But on this subject, I cannot back down, despite the threats intended to intimidate me.

According to what I have learned from my rabbis, relations (friendships, marriages, etc.) between Jews and non-Jews is forbidden. And as I understand it, that would include even "the best" of them. Those who proclaim and worship another god, how much more so.

TRANSLATION: "Therefore, those people who sin with their souls and with their bodies to annul the advice of Hashem, who learn with the nations, according to my humble opinion, their sin is too great to bear and they will not see the consolation of Zion."

The Rambam in Hilchot Avodah Zarah, Chapter 7, Halachah 1:

It is a positive commandment to destroy false deities, all their accessories, and everything that is made for their purposes, as [Devarim 12:2] states: "You shall surely destroy all the places [where the gentiles... served their gods]" and, as [implied by Devarim 7:5]: "Rather, what you should do to them is tear down their altars."

In Eretz Yisrael, the mitzvah requires us to hunt after idol worship until it is eradicated from our entire land. In the diaspora, however, we are not required to hunt after it. Rather, whenever we conquer a place, we must destroy all the false deities contained within.

[The source for this distinction is Devarim 12:3, which] states: "And you shall destroy their name from this place," [implying that] you are obligated to hunt false deities in Eretz Yisrael, but you are not obligated to do so in the diaspora.

From the commentary: On we are not required to hunt after it. - since these lands are not holy, we are not obligated to eradicate idol worship from them. (Kinat Eliyahu)

In other words, we do not go out from Eretz Yisrael and travel the world begging the non-Jews to leave their idolatry and accept the Sheva Mitzvot. Neither do we go out from Eretz Yisrael and travel the world inviting the non-Jews to come to Eretz Yisrael and welcoming them to bring their idolatry in with them and practice it in our midst.

And yet, there are those who are doing precisely this - the very opposite of what has been commanded. 

People, you don't understand what you are bringing upon yourselves and upon your fellow Jews!!

We are living in perilous times. The protective walls have been dismantled and bridges have been built and all by the hands of our fellow Jews who live among us.

Anyone who is aware of the situation understands that we, the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael, are being overrun by supposedly well-meaning, supposedly "pro-Israel" non-Jews. I have yet to meet even one who was not into "Hebrew-Roots Restoration".  They are all wearing tallits, kippas, tsitsit and blowing shofars; calling themselves by Hebrew names. They are coming to scout out "their" land. And not one of them enters a Jewish community without being brought in by a Jew who lives in the area.

Not enough people appreciate the gravity of this problem. These "fellow" Jews like to talk a lot about being a "Light to the Nations". Well, I am here to be a "Light to MY Nation" and illuminate a dark corner where Jews and non-Jews are making common cause together which will only come back to bite us all in the end.

(Final Part)