|The Lubavitcher Rebbe is with us....|
– The following talk by the Rebbe was spoken several days prior to the gathering of the Sixth World Rabbinical Gathering. Through the course of the gathering not one word was spoken of the safeguarding of the Jewish People in the Holy Land.
Publicize the Legal Ruling of the Grand Rabbinical Council of 1936 תרצ"ז
To this gathering the Rebbe sent a letter dated the last days of Chanukah 1980 asking for the letter to be read out aloud. The letter was not read out.
The Letter:...With regard to the timely matter, to receive maximum publicity – the decision of the Grand Rabbinical Council – Elul 1936:
“The Holy Land, the Holy One Blessed be He has set her borders in the Holy Torah, given to the Jewish Nation, the Eternal Nation; any surrender whatsoever with regard to these Holy Lands given to us by the Holy One Blessed be He with regard to her borders, are utterly void”.
Especially since that time, the situation in this regard has become more severe in the most fundamental way, and any surrender whatsoever is actual life-threatening. This is a clear Halachic ruling in the Code of Jewish law, laws of Sabbath 329, may G-d protect us, that the land not be conquered by them with ease. G-d, who protects his People Israel – may He protect each and every one, both in the Holy Land and Diaspora. And speedily, actually in our time, may He put an end to the darkness, the re-doubled darkness of the generation of the footsteps of Moshiach. That He redeem us from our bitter darkness, that he (Moshiach) battle the wars of G-d and succeed, and build the Temple in its rightful place, and bring about the ingathering of the dispersed ones of Israel and the world be filled with the knowledge of G-d.
The Talk: There gather together many tens of Jews all of whom observe Torah and Mitzvos, read the portion of the week regularly, also on those weeks when the true borders of Eretz Israel are delineated. Some read newspapers and know the present world [dangerous] situation. The purpose of this convention is in order to strengthen Torah and Judaism. If this is so, how is it possible that they sat together for three days discussing matters of high importance, accepted good decisions, yet the situation of threat to life of great numbers of Jewish people in Israel is not mentioned? Nobody raises any voice of protest! Thereafter they print an account of the proceedings and good decisions accepted by all and yet not one word is mentioned of the life threatening danger to Jewish life! You respond that you do not want to make public this situation? What does this mean “not make public?” The entire world knows of this situation! You cannot make a secret of this! The only response, which I received, is that since those involved are already over Bar Mitzva, ask them directly! I did so. They replied: “We have already taken action”. I asked: “What action was taken with regard to this situation of danger to Jewish Life?” They replied: “Now is not the time to speak at length about this. On another occasion we will take up the issue. In the mean time there are many good decisions that were accepted and activated.”
I responded: “Could you ask: there is a Jewish law that a Rabbi who remains silent or who waits until asked on a matter pertaining to Pikuach Nefesh [life threatening danger] is classed as ‘shameful’. “He himself knows of this law! Now, since he is a Jew who knows how to learn, he responded: “The Talmud states: Just as it is a Mitzva to say that which will be listened to, it is a Mitzva to refrain from that which will not be listened to.” They know that they will not be listened to, so they didn’t make a statement.
I further responded: “This is contrary to Jewish Law! There is an injunction: “Do not stand on your brother’s blood”, meaning, that according to Jewish law when Jewish life is in danger, even if there is only a very slight chance that the warning will help, one is obligated to declare a warning!”
We are not speaking theoretically. In times gone by, they argued about which way the stamp was glued to the envelope. At the time of the judgment of Beilis in Russia, even after a complete investigation they argued whether or not to punish him. They confronted the prosecution: “You received a letter in which all proofs for conviction were categorically annulled!” Having nothing to answer, he replied: “You know full well that the letter had its stamp stuck [with the head of the Czar] upside down!” This was the response of the prosecution of Beilis.
With regard to our issue– who is talking of a stamp whether the stamp head is up or down?! Here there is no room for discussion; no one needs to be asked. The Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish law] was printed in Tzfas by the leading rabbinical authority of Israel, the Bet Yosef. There we have the clear halachic injunction. The law is not written without the reason, which would leave a loophole to argue “on what is the basis for the Law?”! The reason is given: “lest the land be opened up before them [the enemy]”.
The classifiers of Jewish law state that this law applies outside of Israel. [Only in the tractate Eruvin, regarding an eruv can it be argued as to whether this applies to Jewish cities only within Israel or also in the Diaspora.] However, commentators of the Talmud and Code of Jewish Law state that this ruling [regarding life threatening danger] is pertaining both to the Diaspora, and in our times without any difference, and brought this ruling into the laws of Shabbos with the reasoning “lest the land be opened up before them [the enemy]”.
This being the case, there can be no argument whether this applies to this or that area of land, whether it was conquered land or liberated land, given that this ruling applies also with regard to the Diaspora which is not “our country” or “our land”, that which never belonged to the Jewish People. Nevertheless, the ruling is that, given that there are so and so many Jewish People there, [in the event of life threatening danger, this would apply even to one solitary Jewish life], in such a
case, even if the land ownership belongs to others of the Diaspora, nevertheless since there dwells there a Jew and “the danger of the land being opened up”, therefore this ruling stands with full force.