Sunday, 18 October 2015

“My Position regarding the Transfer of Land”

I am absolutely opposed to the surrender of even the smallest portion of the liberated territories which are now under negotiation, as for example Judea, Samaria, the Golan, etc.

The reason is straight forward and it is for this reason alone, that the surrender of even the smallest land-portion is in disregard to Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 329. 6-7). 

I have emphasized again and again that this decision is in no way linked to the sanctity of the Land of Israel, or to “the days of Moshiach”, or to the Redemption or such considerations. But only to one single decisive point– the life-threatening danger thereby created. 

This is emphasized even more so by the fact that the source of this legal injunction is to be found in the Talmud (Eruvin 45,1) where the Talmud uses as its example “a border-city”– the city of Nehardoa (Iraq of today) which is certainly not part of Israel. I have emphasized again and again that this is a life-threatening situation, and the case must be judged exclusively on this basis, and not on any geographical basis (i.e. whether or not it is part of Israel).Jewish Law discusses a situation whereby Nations (not even enemies) take up positions against a Jewish border-city, ostensibly in return for no more than cattle fodder, and their stated intention is then to leave. 

But, because of the implicit danger not just to the Jewish People of this city, but for other cities also, Jewish Law determines that when information is received of no more than such preparations by a nation, the Jewish People are obligated to immediately mobilize and to take up weapons even on the Shabbos– in accord with the law that any life-threatening danger overrides the laws of Shabbos.If there exists a question whether or not this is in fact a life-threatening situation, then, just as in an instance of illness one takes the advice of a medical authority, here also, the decision must be made upon the advice of military experts. If military experts decide that there is a life-threatening danger, no other considerations take precedence, since the threat to human-life overrides all else. 

If military experts recommend that parallel to such danger there are other considerations to be taken into account, as for example political considerations (to satisfy the nations)– this is clearly contrary to Jewish Law which demands that no political considerations, only danger to life, must be the ultimate and sole deciding factor. 

Now, with regard to the liberated territories all military experts, both Jewish and non-Jewish, agree that the present situation of surrender of even a small portion thereof is liable to create severe security dangers. Not one of them suggests that surrender of even a small part can in any way increase border protection. There are some military experts who are prepared to undertake such a dangerous course in order not to upset Washington and / or to improve their “international image”. Moving in this direction is not just contrary to clear Jewish Law, but sets aside previous gains that were won at great human cost. A good and outstanding example of this is “The Yom Kippur War”. Days and hours before the attack there took place urgent meetings of the government to judge the situation with the army. Military information proved that the Egyptian attack was underway, and military experts recommended a pre-emptive attack which would save many lives and prevent the invasion. Regardless, politicians with the tacit agreement of some humbled military experts did not accept this action, arguing that such a step or even a general call-up before the Egyptians crossed the border, would be interpreted that we would be the aggressors and endanger our relationship with the USA. This decision ran contrary to Jewish law. The tragic consequences of this decision showed the truth and absolute relevance of Jewish Law (as if there is such a need at all); many lives were massacred for no reason. The situation would have reached ultimate danger had it not been for G-d’s kindness. Suffice it to mention that the Prime Minister of that time admitted that throughout her life she would remain deeply troubled because of that tragic decision.
                                                                                   Letter dated Chanukah 1981.