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The Kosel and Eretz Yisroel


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#1 Menorah

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:27 AM

Are there any shittos that it is assur to go the Kosel? I've heard that Satmar and perhaps Brisk hold like this. Why would that be?

Also, does the Satmar Rebbe raise any halachic objections to traveling to Eretz Yisroel to visit or live?

#2 taon

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:40 PM

The issue with the kotel is that the Zionists use it to claim that they accomplished something, that it gives them creedence and how dare anyone come to their kotel and be against zionism.

#3 danceInTheRain

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 03:46 AM

as far as i know satmar will not go to the kotel because they do not want to enjoy the fruits of zionism. and since it was recaptured by the army in the six day war they will not go.
there is more to this. so if nobody can give a better answer ill try to find out more.


#4 SilverShoes

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 06:30 PM

Excuse me very much.
I don't think you understand the "zionists" or whatever you portray them as, you guys don't understand zionism and you make it sound worse then it is. If anything its not their kotel, its kol yisraels! and they way you depict them , which isn't the zionists or the ANY of the zionists i know, you make them sound like the non-relig so distant people - which isnt the zionists.
And p.s. last time i checked - the people in charge of the kotel allow more " frum" people in then secular feminist minyan types

#5 taon

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:04 PM

If anything its not their kotel, its kol yisraels!


That's the point. It's not theirs, yet to some people talk...

#6 SilverShoes

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:26 PM


That's the point. It's not theirs, yet to some people talk...


Can you explain what you said?
That doesn't really make much sense.

#7 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:46 PM

The Satmar Rebbe held you should not go to the Kosel nowadays. His position is based mainly on a Teshuva of Rav Yaakov Sasportes ZTL, Rav of Amsterdam and nemesis of the Shabse Zvi יש"ו, quoted in the Gilyon Maharsha in Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah.

The question was about Kohanim saying Birkas Kohanim every day even in Chutz Laaretz. The Sefardim do it, but Ashkenazi congregations only say Birkas Kohanim on Yomim Tovim. The reason for this is not clear. What does Eretz Yisroel have to do with Birkas Kohanim? Still, this is the Ashkenazi custom.

Shabse Zvi changed that. His followers performed Birkas Kohanim every day even in Chutz Laaretz. The question addressed by Rav Yaakov Sasportes was, after Shabse Zvi was exposed as a charlatan, should they continue saying Birkas Kohanim every day, as it seems the Halachicly correct thing to do?

His answer was, even if Shabse Zvi would be correct that you are supposed to say Birkas Kohanim, you should still not say it, because this custom is the effect of Shabs Zvi and following it would be giving chizuk to his followers. The source for such an idea, he says, is the Halacha that if an Apikores writes a Sefer Torah we burn it, with Hashem's name in it, because, says the Rambam, שלא להניח שם לאפיקורסים. Said the Ohel Yaakov, the same thing would apply to Birkas Kohanim every day, which was the icon of the Shabse Zvi people.

The Satmar Rebbe also brings sources for this idea from other Poskim, and cites Gemara sources for it as well.

Then he applies this Halachah to the Kosel. Since the Zionists captured the Kosel in the victory of the '67 war, it has become a major icon and source of Chizuk for the Zionists - they swear in IDF soldiers at the Kosel; Goren blowing the Shofar, etc. etc - and so, he says, whatever value going to the Kosel has, it is not more valuable than Birkas Kohanim (which is an actual Mitzvah) or the other good things that we forgo (see all his sources) in order to avoid strengthening the wrong ideas. Ipso facto: No going to the Kosel.

That is a very condensed version of the Satmar Rebbe's Torah on the topic. But I want to explain the Hashkafa behind this Halachah of שלא להניח שם לאפיקורסים, with a Moshol:

Reuven is married to Rachel. Reuven got into trouble with another woman, Leah. Reuven did Teshuva and promises Rachel to be loyal to her for the rest of his life. Leah of course, has other ideas. But no matter how hard Leah tries, Reuven remains faithful to his wife. Some time in the future, Reuven finds himself having Parnasa problems. Rachel's birthday is coming up, and he cannot afford to buy her a present. He receives a letter in the mail with a check for $10,000 and a note that reads:

Reuven, please take this money and buy your wife Rachel a birthday present. You can pay it back when you want. No strings attached. ~ Leah.

Would you take the money? If you were Rachel, would you want your husband to take the money? Would you take that present knowing where the money came from?

That's the Moshol. The Zionists are Leah. Hashem is Rachel. We Jews are Reuven. They tried to shmad us, to take away our religion and replace it with nationalism; to redefine the Am Yisroel - to separate us from Hashem.

We really want the Kosel. We know how holy it is. But we don't want it that way. We won't take it from them. Hashem is looking down and inagine how He feels when he sees us taking something from those who tried (and who still would love to) to tear us away from Him.

We really want the Kosel. We need it, like Reuven needs a birthday present for his wife who he loves very much. But we would gladly sacrifice having the Kosel to show Hashem how much we really want nothing to do with those who would love to get us to cheat on Him.

That's why we burn a Sefer Torah written by an Apikores. That is what it means - כדי שלא להניח שם לאפיקורסים.
.

***


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All that having been said, I would point out that the Satmar Rebbe was a Daas Yachid on this, and when people told him that this psak of his will not be accepted in the wider Klall Yisroel, he said, "It doesn't matter. At least people will understand that there is such a shitah. That is enough."

So yes, it was a Daas Yachid, but a Daas Yachid based not only on Halachic sources, but an expression of pure Ahavas Hashem and a refusal to take anything from anyone that would tear us away from Him r"l.

#8 SilverShoes

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:49 PM

Zionists are leah?
or the modern Zionists are?

#9 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:33 PM

Zionists are leah?
or the modern Zionists are?

Not sure what you mean by Modern Zionists.

I'm talking about the Herzls and Jabotinskys and Katznelsons and Gordons and Ginzbergs of the world. Those kind of people. The ones who wished להשכיחם תוריתיך ולהעבירם מחקי רצוניך, to exterminate the soul of Klall Yisroel and replace it a Zionist doppelganger.

#10 foncused

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 01:12 PM

Now, where is the 'like' button when you need one?.....

#11 shaya

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

Now, where is the 'like' button when you need one?.....

:)
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#12 Menorah

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:34 AM

Rav Shapira,

Does the Satmar Rebbe zt'l have any objections to visiting (or moving) to Eretz Yisroel? It seems to me that many Satmar chasidim in ch"l tend to not visit E"Y.

#13 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:59 PM

Rav Shapira,

Does the Satmar Rebbe zt'l have any objections to visiting (or moving) to Eretz Yisroel? It seems to me that many Satmar chasidim in ch"l tend to not visit E"Y.

Eretz Yisroel is a holy place. When a Jew goes there it is like walking into a Bais HaMedrash. Living there is living in the Hashem's Palace. Every Mitzvah we do there - and also every Aveirah we do there - is intensified. It is a place where one walks באימה וביראה ובאהבה עזה. Thus, the Rashbam writes that Eretz Yisroel is the best place in the world for Tzadikim, and the worst place in the world for Reshayim.

As far what the Satmar Rebbe said about living in Eretz Yisroel, he writes in Vayoel Moshe that during Golus, Jews are supposed to be living all over the world, including Eretz Yisroel. How can anyone think he had anything against living in Eretz Yisroel? He started Yeshivos and Kehilos in Eretz Yisroel! In fact, he was planning on living in EY himself after WWII but then he ended up deciding to remain in America.

However, living in EY is not the same as living in Chutz Laaretz. You need to be on a higher level. You need to act better there. It is definitely not for everyone.

As far as visiting, nobody, including the Satmar Rebbe, ever said (in public at least) not to visit EY. But, as I said, EY is a holy place. It's like walking into a Bais HaMedrash. Visitng there is not like vacationing in Paris or London, or Elat (which is Chutz Laaretz). You need to respect the holiness of the land.