Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l on Tefilla L'Shlom HaMedinah

This is a translation of a letter by Rav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l regarding whether to recite the Tefilla L’Shlom HaMedinah, during the tenure of the Rabin government:


"We do not coronate a king initially except to execute justice and to wage wars, as its says, ‘And our king will judge us and wage our wars.’" (Rambam end of Chapter IV, Hilchos Melachim). And from the positive one understands the negative.
A messenger who does not perform his mission, we tell him, "I sent you to accomplish good, not to distort" (Kiddushin 42b)
Those who make a treaty with an arch-murderer - for whom one hundred deaths will not suffice, who open before him the gates of the countries, who honor him with the honor of kings, and through that they proclaim aloud that he is correct in his escapades and the Nation of Israel are evil. Who bring him with their own hands to the Land of our forefathers’ heritage, and scheme to lock up in ghettos, surrounded by enemies, those Jewish settlements which were established with the sweat of their brow with great faithfulness.
Those who incite one segment of the nation against the other, who recruit hundreds of soldiers and policemen to beat, in fury, women and children who express their protest by camping in tents, bereft of any comfortable conditions, opposite the dwellings of their government.
Those who spread falsehoods, who lie with a brazen forehead, who toil to hide the truth, who spit before tens of thousands of Jews who come to demonstrate their opposition to the dangerous path down which they lead the nation to surrender and humiliation, because nothing "moves" them. [A Hebrew equivalent to "they don’t give a hoot"]
Are these worthy of blessing? Is it permitted to bless these people?
Is it not a Chillul Hashem, that on that same Shabbat Kodesh, which was designated by them, by taking advantage of the observance of the sanctity of the day by those who are faithful (to Hashem), so that it will be easier for them to greet with honor that murderer-victor on Jewish soil, they will stand near the Sefer Torah, and bless aloud these ministers-wayward ones, who are worthy of the opposite?
The Halachah states that if we see someone transgressing an Aveira we warn him and we tell him: ‘You should know that for this Aveira you are liable for what the Torah imposes. And if he does not desist, those who warned him must bring him to court... there is no demand when one sees the trangression of the Aveira to pray that he repents - "And Pinchas got up and judged (VaYefalel), it does not say VaYispalel but rather VaYefalel - a derivative of "B’Flilim" (with judges). If there is an inablility (that we can’t take them to court), and if there is a lack of initiative - "V’Heima Bochim" - "And they were crying". But we will certainly not say - "V’Heimah Mevarchim" - "And they are blessing..."
A bit of respect to Knesset Yisrael (note - in the traditional sense) and the Torah of Israel, and let us not be those who add Chillul Hashem to the Chillul Hashem that is being done before our eyes, and the heart bursts with no possibility of salvation, for it is about this that Chazal say: "When the shepherd is angry at the sheep, he blinds the leader"
Our prayer to the Dweller of High is that he quickly switches the fasts of the fourth and fifth month to joy and happiness.


End of letter.

This letter reminds me of the story about Winston Churchill (with the punch line also attributed to George Bernard Shaw): "Madame, we've already established what kind of person you are. Now we are just haggling over the price."

Once we accept that reciting a Tefilla L'Shlom HaMedinah for a government which is a Chilul Hashem is merely adding to the Chilul Hashem, we are merely haggling over what constitutes a government which is a Chilul Hashem.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home