Mi Sheberach for Tzahal

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    I don’t know what this whole obsession is with Zionism vs. anti-Zionism. It doesn’t seem to me that there’s a nafka mina. The medinah exists and I think that’s a reality that we have to accept. Arguments about whether it’s a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisro’el or not have nothing to do with Zionism. Basically, what I’m saying is, all who outwardly bash the medinah, whether your arguments are emes or not, what’s the point? What’s the to’eles? There’s no nafka mina whether you like the medinah or not. It’s here. Deal with it. Why fight for the sake of fighting? (I know this is probably my fault for starting the thread, I should have used my seichel and realized that this would become of forum for fighting… which is not necesarily a bad thing, fighting for the emes, but too many people are affected by this issue on a very personal level and I think there is more loss than gain coming from this machlokes)


    I am saddened and sickened by some of the comments wriiten here. Lets get things into perspective we are talking about taking two minutes to daven for OUR soldiers who are moser nefesh for Am Yisrael. Why does this invoke such sina. A few points :

    5. I find it strange that the Yeshiv Bochrim in EY get an exception from the army but then refuse to say a tefilla for those who do serve in their place. For me this is a big hillul hashem

    May Hakadosh Baruch hu continue to protect our wonderful soldiers and be he open all our eyes to the concept of ahavat yisrael


    my friend, it doesn’t really matter if the arguments of the eim habanim smeicha were opposed to the arguments of other gedolim, he was a gadol in his own right, and by the way if you actually read the sefer, his arguments are based on rational thought process, halacha, and philosophy. so before you bash it, read it and you may actually learn something about Judaism


    yechezkel89, I refuted points in that sefer point-by-point, including page number citations. It is not based on halacha but rather on emotion. See my earlier detailed comment. Read Sefer Vayoel Moshe for a fuller picture.

    simcha613, abortion and toeiva is also here. That doesn’t mean we must accept that and not protest.

    Akiva, are you making a taaina against Rav Ahron Kotler, Rav Moshe, etc. etc. etc.?


    Some of the yeshivishe chevra here have been taught the Brisker shitos about the topic and they think this what all the Gedolim held. Shtusim ve’havolim! Others did not hold azoi veit.

    According to the Briskeres, Zionsm is the biggest evil, because it was founded to take Yidden off the derech. Others did not hold like that. And it is simply a not-true assumption. And don’t start getting hysterical and tell me that Reb Chaim and the Rov held like that, so must be… I do not believe they can never make a mistake.

    The Brisker alumnae, how come you live in America? The Rov held it is a treifene medina.


    Although I am at least as opposed to the anti-Jewish Israeli government as anyone here, Zionism is born out of HaSh-m’s promise to Avraham Avinu that Eretz Yisrael belongs to Am Yisrael FOREVER.

    The fact that chilonim have chapped the nationalistic chaylek of Yiddishkeit, i.e. “Zionism”, and abandoned the more important spiritual/halachic chaylek is, of course, a terrible tragedy. BUT, it does not negate the fact that we ARE a NATION, and we DO have a NATIONAL HOMELAND given to us by the same HaSh-m and the same Torah that gave us all our other mitzvos.

    Yes, because of our avairos we were put in galus.

    BUT, when Jews have the ability to return home to Eretz Yisrael (as we do now) for us to remain outside E.Y. BY CHOICE is “a slap in the face” to HKB”H.

    All the anti-Zionist arguments I’ve heard here are just excuses to stay here in galus because people are too comfortable here.

    OK, so you don’t accept the present Israeli government as legitimate. Fine! So live in E.Y. -as so many chareidim do, WITHOUT recognizing the government.

    I know… Israel is galus too – I’ve heard that a million times.

    So if Israel is just like Brooklyn and Monsey, why do you visit there? Why do you send your children to learn there?

    Does eretz brooklyn have the same kedusha of the “galus” of Eretz Yisrael?

    No one has to bother answering me, because just as I haven’t convinced you of anything, you wont convince me either.

    And that doesn’t even matter.

    What WILL matter at 120, is the booshah you will feel to offer the flimsy excuses you have in front of HKB”H when He asks why you didn’t live in the beautiful land He gave you WHEN YOU COULD HAVE.

    Hatzlacha with that.


    How do you go ranting against everyone else, when YOU don’t live in E. Yisroel.

    P.S. Parts of Southern Lebanon and Jordon are in Eretz Yisroel with the same Kedusha just as much as the parts in the state; and parts of the state are in Chutz L’Aretz (i.e. Eilat) just as much as Milwaukee.


    Why do some people hinge the ahavas yisroel and hakaras hatov of others on a single mi shebeirach, recited once a week?



    You say that in the end of Shmona Esrei we say we say “borchei avinu kulanu BYACHAD”

    I have yet to see any words such as those in my siddur….


    Ein Od-

    You present your arguments very well, and I certainly agree with them.

    What I don’t understand is why you waste your time and energy trying to presuade people on this site to see the truth? I’m sure you know you will never succeed….


    Helpful, what are trying to say by your P.S.? So what?


    myfriend- i don’t think you could compare zionism to either to’eivah or abortion. Many if not all gedolim are opposed to to’eivah and abortion however there are many gedolim who believe in zionism (as well as many gedolim who do not)


    Shabbos I davened in a Yeshivish-BaleBatish minyan and the Rav made a Mi Sheberach for the US Armed Forces.



    My Friend: Please calm down. I agree with you that Halachically it was ‘assur’ to establish the State of Israel given the issur of “shalosh shevuos”. Additionally, it was also “hashkafically assur” for frum Jews at the time to become engaged in helping with the establishment of the State, since there were then strong secular and ideological influences which were potentially harmful to Frum Torah Jews.

    However, one must agree that although the establishment of the State may have been assur, its outcome was definitely “Yad Hashem”, since the Tikkun that has resulted on account of its establishment, far outweighs the “Kilkul” that has resulted from it. Yes, we have raised the ire of the neighboring Arabs and many Jews have since been killed in Israeli wars/terrorist attacks; However on the other hand, millions of Jews out there (both in Israel and in America) have stayed/become identified with their Jewish heritage only on account of the establishment of the State of Israel. This identification was instrumental in preventing intermarriage on a huge scale. Also, it was definitely not possible for Israel to have been so victorious in its wars without Divine will and help. So therefore we have to conclude that even through an act of an aveira there has still been a guided hand of Hashem, much like the story of Yehuda and Tamar, in which Dovid Hamelech/Moshiach came out through a maaseh aveira (I’m not at all saying that the establishment of the state is beginning of the final redemption like yehuda and Tamar!).

    Lastly, when the Gedolim referred to Zionists as “reshaim”, they were referring to the Secular Zionists who established the state, since at the time they were eager to make all Frum Jews secular in order that they shouldn’t become a conflict to the interests of the state. However, 60 years later in our day and age, Israelis have already accepted the fact that there will be a permanent Chareidi presence in Israel, and they have no intention anymore to make them secular. All the government of Israel wants today, is to integrate the chareidim into the workforce without them compromising their religion. This partial integration is both beneficial to the state of Israel and also likewise for many Chareidim t who can then be kovea itim for Torah learning while making a parnassa just like many do in America. I think the Gedolim of the previous generation would hardly have meant to call today’s secular Israelis “reshaim”.

    So in conclusion, I don’t think secular Israelis/chayalim today (who haven’t actually established the state) should cha”v be termed in any way “reshaim”. And I think that they all deserve our sincere hakaras hatov for their act of protecting us in the current matzav, regardless of whether or not it would have been safer to live in Israel 100 years ago before the establishment of the state.


    I haven’t read this thread. I imagine there are some good reasons and silly reasons on both sides of the argument. But you can pray for tzahal with or without the mishebeirach. I daven for peace in E”Y by having it in mind when I say “Hamevarech es amo Yisroel BaShalom” three times a day.


    “borchei avinu kulanu BYACHAD”

    I have never seen this nusach. Nusach ashkenaz says “kulanu kiechad b’or…”, I saw a siddur eidat mizrach with the nusach “kulanu kiechad yachad b’or…”

    Pashuteh Yid

    One additional comment regarding those who say the state was a failure because it cost some Jewish lives. Why not ask the people who sacrificed their lives for the Medinah like Dov Gruner who said beferush that he would do it all over again, even knowing he would get caught and hanged.

    I can’t imagine a single fallen IDF soldier or his family saying that they regret the state and it was not worth it, and it would have been better if we had no state. Nor would any of the terror victims say that they would have preferred to live under the Arabs in EY, or the Germans or Poles in Europe, rather than having our own state.

    So those who sit on the sidelines and claim it was not worth Jewish lives, are not the ones to make that judgment. Those who actually fought to create and defend the Medinah are the ones who willingly put themselves at risk for the cause, and I am williing to bet that every single one of these giborim felt it was worth it for the good of the klal.


    We are not talking about the opinion of the people — we are talking about how the Torah views it.


    It a shame that so many of the Zionist posters here are appealing to emotional arguments (PY – what would the soldiers say; LMA – divining that the good outweighs the bad; AOM – appealing to some national homeland idea). There are valid legal arguments that can be mounted for the Zionist cause (though I don’t agree with them, and those should be the focus of out halachik analysis.

    For all those who say they are against the Zionist ideal in principle but conclude that once the State is here we might as well deal with it, please refer to R. S.R. Hirsch’s concept of “austritt.” I readily concede that this idea is open to reasonable disagreement, but according to R. Hirsch a Jew cannot support or condone the existence of un-Jewish institutions (i.e., institutions that do not purport to regulate their conduct by the law of the Torah). This is a very severe injunction because institutions have a way of legitimizing and perpetuating anti-Torah conduct in a way that individuals cannot.

    Even after the establishment of the State, supporting, legitimizing, or condoning the institution (whether the government – as distinct from the politicians themselves; or the army – as distinct from the soldiers themselves) is problematic; it legitimizes the whole institution and what it stands for, as well as perpetuating the anti-Torah values of that system.

    For me, the problem with the mishebayrach is in its precise language. Certainly Jews who are placed in dangerous situations – whether rightly or wrongly, deserve our special attention. However, we can differentiate between the soldiers themselves and the success of their mission – to perpetuate and protect the institution of the State. I would be content to pray fro their welfare, but not connect this prayer in anyway to the success of the institutional goals of the Israeli military.


    RSRH- please refer us to where Rabbiner Hirsch declared austritt on Zionists.


    RSRH: R’ Hirsch was referring to religious institutions in his times which were perpetuating anti-Torah values. However, the State of Israel presently doesn’t perpetuate any anti-Torah values; to the contrary, the State actually doesn’t interfere at all in the way of life of its citizens. The goals of the State are solely to provide security for its citizens, and to help them economically, so they may live secure and prosperous lives.

    If you mean to argue that by davening publicly for the welfare of the soldiers and the protection of the State, we are indirectly hashkafically legitimizing the Zionist concept that Jews have a right to Statehood; then I hear your argument. However, one can still argue that since much spiritual good has resulted from its establishment, therefore our indirect endorsement can be perceived as an endorsement of its outcome rather than an endorsement of its actual establishment; much like the Posuk praises Yael for her deed with Sisra which the Gemara categorizes as an “Aveira L’shma”. Also, at this point if the State were dissolved, there will definitely be a matzav of Pikuach Nefesh, so there may very well be an obligation to help with preserving the security of the State and its current institution.

    Additionally we cannot forget our personal and primary obligation of hakaros hatov to the State for providing us security for the past half century. Even Moshe rabbeinu who was commanded by Hashem to hit the sea/earth, felt that act would be considered acting against his moral obligation of hakaras hatov; how much more can we say about our moral duty of hakaras hatov to the State for providing us real security and monetary assistance for so many years. Definitely this primary obligation overrides any concerns of committing any aveira by indirectly endorsing the establishment of the State 60 years ago!


    However, the State of Israel presently doesn’t perpetuate any anti-Torah values; to the contrary

    the atheists that run the government of the state of Israel hate the Torah and those that love it. they hate that people view Israel as a religious country. they are doing everything they can to remove religion from the medina.

    their greatest longing is to be like all the other nations of the world and to be accepted as one of the boys.

    of course that has nothing to do with the koras ha tov that we owe to the medina (just like our koras ha tov for the mitzrim) and certainly to its army


    I don’t think we need to go to Mod’s argument. Lomed, your argument rests on a false premise. Austritt was not based on religious institutions espousing non-Torah values; indeed, the fact they are espousing non-Torah values makes then irreligious. It was based on Jewish institutions – institutions that have an obligation to adhere to the Torah. Yes, the State is an anti-Torah institution. It doesn’t need to interfere in the religious lives of its citizens. The Torah gives us guidelines of how to run a State, how to engage in war, deal with other nations, dissenting locals, and other political functions. A Jewish run political system that does not adhere to these guidelines is un-Jewish and subject to austritt.

    Utilitarian balancing of the costs and benefits of the State may be appealing, but I don’t think it is correct. First, who is to say objectively what are the “good” and “bad” consequences of the State. I think God may be able to make that kind of judgement; we don’t know enough to do so. All we can do is look to the law as God gave it to us.


    Mod 80: With all due respect, the Liberal representatives in the Israeli cabinet have no intention to enforce communist/atheist rule on the chareidim in Israel. They also share the democratic belief of religious freedom. They only insist that the body of government shouldn’t provide exclusive financial assistance to Avreichim, (and also that all citizens have a duty to serve some time in the army, albeit in separate units to accommodate their religious needs/sensitivities).

    According to RSRH we should not either be advocating the use of government body to provide us with financial assistance, and/or to enforce religious ideals on our irreligious brethren in Israel, especially if it is assur to acknowledge the existence of Israeli government and its legitimacy. Shouldn’t that also be considered an indirect endorsement of the State?


    RSRH- perhaps you think Rabbiner Hirsch was not aware of Zionism?

    He was. Did he declare austritt?


    RSRH: In the times of the Romans at the end of Bais sheini, the Jewish soldiers who provided security for the Land of Israel were actually not religious at all, and until R’ Yochanon Ben Zachai decided to surrender to the Romans, the “Perushim” worked together with the “Baryonim”, as described in Sefer Yosifun. Also, in the times of Hurdus and also Bar Kochba, the Jewish military and government was run by irreligious Jews, and still the Chachmei Yisroel davened for their success as discussed in the Gemara.

    Pashuteh Yid

    There is no such thing as the State’s viewpoint. Israel is a democracy, and the “State” is nothing more than the will of the majority of the people who live there. In fact, the average Jew in Europe was thrilled about the idea of having our own place, and getting away from the tyranny of the anti-semitic rulers.

    There is a mayseh with the Brisker Rav who did not want to say some tefila or misheberach for the Zionist movement in his shul in Brisk. (I don’t remember what it was.) That was a big chiddush, because every one of the other 20 or so shuls in the city said it. Zionism was a popular movement that spread throughout the klal on its own wings. Who would deny that being a homeowner is better than being a renter who can be thrown out and forced to do whatever the landlord wants, at any time. Sure, a homeowner must foot the responsibility for repairs and pay the mortgage, but everybody knows the American dream is to have one’s own house which he can run as he sees fit.

    This is such a pashuteh sevara, coupled with the religious attachment to Israel that all Jews have, even the unaffiliated, who say Lshanah Habaah Beyerushalayim twice a year since they also observe YK and the Seder for the most part. The movement took hold like wildfire, and there were hundreds of Rabbonim who backed it.

    When the Jews came out of the concentration camps, they were singing Hatikvah. There is a tape of this on Wikipedia. They were not singing the Neturei Karta song.

    It is actually stunning that there still are people who believe that we are worse off, or did something wrong in this mass kibutz galyos. It is almost impossible to fathom. In fact, any law or hashkafah that you don’t like about the medinah can easily be changed. Just be mekarev enough people and have them vote to change the law. You can make a law that men need to go to the mikvah everyday and wear a streimel at all times. The possibilities are limitless. (Shlomo Carlebach actually wanted to make a law that everybody was required to dance 3 times a day.)



    I think you (RSRH) need to delve a bit more deeply into the writings of your leader and his prominent followers. Zionismus would be an easy place to start researching Hirsch’s feelings on the subject. Also, one of the 19 letters is on the subject. Certainly at no point did he or his followers declare austritt against the Zionists; the battle against the Zionists was entirely different from the battle against Reform.

    The Zionist movement was (and is) ideologically indifferent to religion, as opposed to the Reform movement which is a religious movement. The animosity of Zionists against the Jewish religion stems from the disagreement that religion has anything to do with being a Jew. To Zionists, a Jew is only from a nationalistic or racial point of view. Consequentially, the religious Jews who oppose this belief are in turn scorned for undermining the Zionists.

    As many have called them, the German Orthodox Jews are zionists against Zionism. There were even religious kibbutzim from Germany.

    Exercise restraint in applying the austritt philosophy.

    Ben Torah


    RSRH- perhaps you think Rabbiner Hirsch was not aware of Zionism?

    He was. Did he declare austritt?


    Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote:

    “We mourn over the sin which brought about that downfall (the Temple destruction — author), we take to heart the harshness which we have encountered in our years of wandering as the chastisement of a father, imposed on us for our improvement, and we mourn the lack of observance of the Torah which that ruin has brought about. Not in order to shine as a nation among nations do we raise our prayers and hopes for a reunion in our land, but in order to find a soil for the better fulfillment of our spiritual vocation in that reunion and in that land which was promised, and given, and again promised for our observance of the Torah. But this very vocation obliges us, until G-d shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the weal of the nations which have given us shelter. It obliges us, further, to allow our longing for the far-off land to express itself only in mourning, in wishing and hoping; and only through the honest fulfillment of all Jewish duties to await the realization of this hope. But it forbids us to strive for the reunion or possession of the land by any but spiritual means. Our Sages say G-d imposed three vows when he sent Israel into the wilderness: (1) that the children of Israel shall never seek to reestablish their nation by themselves; (2) that they never be disloyal to the nations which have given them shelter; (3) that these nations shall not oppress them excessively (Kesubos 111a).”

    And, again, in his commentary on the Siddur, Rav Hirsch writes:

    “During the reign of Hadrian when the uprising led by Bar Kochba proved a disastrous error, it became essential that the Jewish people be reminded for all times of an important, essential fact, namely that (the people of) Israel must never again attempt to restore its national independence by its own power; it was to entrust its future as a nation solely to Divine Providence.”

    The contradiction between loyalty to the lands in which the Jewish people dwell in their exile and Zionism, was also explained by Rav Hirsch:

    “This close connection with states everywhere is not at all in contradiction to the spirit of Judaism, for the independent national life of Israel was never the essence or purpose of our existence as a nation but a means of fulfilling our spiritual mission.”

    “Land and soil were never Israel’s bond of union…”

    “For this (Messianic — author) future which is promised to us in the glorious predictions of the inspired prophets as a goal of the Galus (exile — author), we hope and pray, but actively to accelerate its coming is prohibited to us.”


    Ben Torah: Thank you for saving me the trouble. I think perhaps we have found something to agree on. Now you just have to follow the rest of R. Hirsch’s teachings 😉 (I say that in jest, R. Hirsch himself would be very opposed to the idea that everyone must accept one hashkafic approach. I believe that even in halacha he would be the first to say eilu v’eilu to all reasonable applications of God’s law, though they may differ widely from each other).


    Ben Turah,

    Hirsch was not in favor of establishing a Jewish State. On the contrary, he may have believed that living in exile was beneficial to the goals of fulfilling Torah as a member of “this world”. My point was that in no way is that austritt.

    Also, I doubt that one such as yourself (not well versed in the Hirschian philosophy) would be able to discern the finer points to be found in his writings. If you want to study his writings and get back to me, I’d be happy to discuss them with you.



    Squeak, please go back and read your Hirsch (not just the Nineteen Letters please; thats kid’s stuff and just lays the basic outline for the rest of his works). Nationalism is not consistent with the Torah. In Hirsch’s view, Jews are supposed to be the ultimate internationalists – we have no inherent need for our own polity. A state merely serves as a means to an end – to show other countries how to run a government and manage political affairs in accordance with God’s will. If the “Jewish” state is not doing that (and I think even the most hard-core Zionist would be hard-pressed to say it is) it serves no purpose, and in fact retards our national calling to live every aspect of our individual and social lives as an example to others of how God want human existence to look.


    BenTorah: You wrote, quoting Rav Hirsch zatz”l…

    “Our Sages say G-d imposed three vows when he sent Israel into the wilderness: (1) that the children of Israel shall never seek to reestablish their nation BY THEMSELVES; (2) that they never be disloyal to the nations which have given them shelter; (3) that these nations shall not oppress them excessively (Kesubos 111a).”

    In case the response to the Rov’s comments are not obvious, and apparently they are not…

    1) Jews did NOT re-establish a Jewish State “by themselves”. There was the British “Balfour declaration” AND more significantly a WORLD body, i.e. the United Nations (which, derech agav, never did anything else worthwhile since it came into existence) declared the right for a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael. SO, – it was NOT done BY THEMSELVES.

    2) The creation of the Jewish State was NOT done through disloyalty to foreign states where Jews live/d. And…

    3) Prior to the establishment of the state, there was the little issue of something called “THE HOLOCAUST”, which by any reasonable person’s definition clearly constitutes oppressing the Jewish People “EXCESSIVELY”.

    Thus, all three of the obstacles mentioned, that would prevent re-constituting a Jewish state, have been eliminated.

    It is clear that Israel is NOT the Torah state it should (and someday soon iy”H) WILL be, BUT -anyone who can not see the yad HaSh-m both in the birth of the state (especially just a few years after the Holocaust), and in its continued existence in the midst of a sea of blood-thirsty Pereh-adam yishmaelim, has to be blind.


    Squeak, my apologies if my last comment was a bit sharp, it was unintended. I have gone back and forth on the austritt-Zionism question for several years. There appears to be many bases upon which to distinguish a reform communal entity from a Zionist State run by Jews. However, I cant see how you get around the facts that (1) Austritt dictates severing all ties with institutions that are un-Jewish; (2) An institution is un-Jewish if it is subject to Torah law but does not recognize such law as validly binding on it; (3) The State of Israel, as it is run by and established by Jews is subject to Torah law. Based on these premises, the State is un-Jewish,and association with it as an institution is problematic (I say problematic, not prohibited; I am aware of the seriousness of the question and the danger of absolutes).

    True, the founders and perpetrators of the institutional State are likely tinokos shnibu, and if there actions are contrary to halacha, will likely not be held responsible for their wrongdoing. That has little to do with the obligations of those of us who do recognize the Torah and its requirements.

    For me it boils down to the fact that if I condone the existence of the “Jewish State” I am implicitly declaring to the world that in fact this is a Jewish State. Certainly, however, it is not. It is an un-Jewish State, and as such, it is my duty as a Jew to contend with other Jews that the State does not represent the proper fulfillment of God’s will. And it is my duty as a Jew to represent to the rest of mankind that the way the “Jewish State” conducts its affairs is not the way God wished humanity to run its governmental institutions. And it is my duty, as a member of mankind, to work in my own small way to develop governments and institutions that reflect the Divine, and not perpetuate those that reject God’s will as the guiding principle of human conduct.


    why is this an issue…its about the soldiers, not the state…stay on topic, or have it locked, this is very annoying as it is absolutely irrelevant.


    I am pleased to hear you say that the 19 letters is a very limited understanding of Hirsch- it is. It was only from reading your posts that I was led into think that perhaps that was as much as you may have read. If you have delved into the more academic writings and understood them, I hold you in high esteem.

    Please go back and read what you wrote and what I called you out on. I did not say that Zionism is an ideal of the Hirschian philosophy, I only warned you not to bandy about the term austritt.

    If you read what I replied to Ben Turah, you will find agreement in the “light unto the nations” ideal that is fulfilled through living in exile.


    bombmaniac, with respect, this is not about the soldiers; it’s about the mishebayrach. And the mishebayrach includes language that is easily construed as supporting the Army and the State, not just the individual soldiers, who are most assuredly our brothers and sisters, may God protect them from harm. The issues are therefore heavily related, and you cant really deal with one in a meaningful way without considering the other.


    Mod, I am not sure I understand why the point about the kibbutzim was edited. I can name at least 2 and give citations to verify their existence.

    I don’t know what you are talking about. All that was removed was a short reference to another poster as googling all his information.


    However, I cant see how you get around the facts that (1) Austritt dictates severing all ties with institutions that are un-Jewish; (2) An institution is un-Jewish if it is subject to Torah law but does not recognize such law as validly binding on it; (3) The State of Israel, as it is run by and established by Jews is subject to Torah law.

    No. You are applying the term with too broad a brush. Hirsch opposed making concessions to the Reform, and insisted on a complete separation from them. I do not find any instance of his (or of his prominent followers) doing the same for Zionists in the Gemeinde. Believe me, if he had intended austritt from Zionism, he would have openly declared it.

    It is not for you to declare austritt.

    Your sincerity is admirable.


    Wow, I just read all the comments. Now my turn to add to the mix:

    The discussion started about a Mishabarach for Chayalim and the discussion talked about other ‘at risk’ individuals, Zionism, Charadi-ism and other disparate, yet related topics.

    I think that some background is necessary.

    I grew up in a family which had become less observant in the generation that came from Europe and then my parents’ who were born in Chicago. So I grew up in a ‘conservative household.’ When I was 6 I told my parents that since they sent me to Jr Congregation with my older sisters, they needed to enroll me in Hebrew school since I needed to know what the prayers meant. They enrolled me the next day.

    My one ‘religious’ experience that summer was to go to the Kotel for Tisha B’Av. What an experience, pictures being taken, schmoozing, talking, laughing. Even I knew that we were supposed to be mourning the destruction of that very structure.

    I also knew that summer that I needed to make Israel my home. I came back 2 years later for 2 week vacation between semesters and planned on going on a trip with the nature society to the Sinai. I never made it. I encountered a man who asked me if I wanted to visit a Yeshiva. I said you asked me that question 2 years ago. He said, Nu?

    Thanks to Rabbi Meir Shuster, I spent a week at Aish HaTorah and have been on a journey of growth and learning ever since.

    My wife and our youngest child made Aliyah 4 years ago. It took me 30 years to come home. Between 1978 and 2006 when I came on my Aliyah flight, I had only been here for 10 days in 1986.

    I have twins who will be 24 mid Kislev who are in Beis Medresh in Queens at YCC.

    When my wife and I were looking at where we might live once we came home, I mentioned the community of Kochav Ya’akov, about 15 minutes north of Jerusalem. She asked me if that was on the ‘other side’ of the green line. I asked her if we were making Aliyah to Eretz Yisroel or Medinat Yisroel?

    We spent 10 months in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem and the best thing that has been said about Har Nof is that it is close to Israel. We have lived the last 3+ years in Shiloh in the Shomron, a short walk to the archeological excavations of the makom of the Mishkan which was there for 369 years; Israel’s first capitol.

    Would I be Shomer Mitzvoth if medinat Yisroel was not in existence in 1976 when I was 18 and came on a ‘secular’ Zionist sponsored trip? I am not good at doing what if’s. What is, is that I benefited from having a homeland for Jew’s to come visit.

    I have shomer mitzvoth children who are learning in Torah.

    I know that there are tremendous problems with the government here in Israel. I know that often the government has made the soldiers do terrible avarot. I know that there is a tremendous abortion rate among female soldiers. I also know that the soldiers put their lives on the line for me and every other Jew, resident or tourist every day.

    I also know that the Chutz L’arutz experience is no piece of cake either. There is an inter-marriage rate approaching 70%. There is the challenge of living and working among goyim. There is the pull of the avodah zarah of materialism. I keep reading about the ‘shiddach’ crisis, which could be a result of the outside influences pushing into the Jewish community and redefining the priorities of the Jewish family.

    So now how does this relate to the topic of Mishabarach for Chayalim?

    Something that I did not see in the discussion is that statistics about the make up of the IDF. Currently, the officer core of line officers has about 40% shomer mitzoth, which is a disproportionally greater % of shomer mitzvoth in the general population.

    There are also a large number of non-Jewish Russian emigrants, some are going through a conversion process, this is a whole different topic.

    I work for an educational resource working with schools and communities worldwide on instilling Jewish Identity and Pride through Israel Solidarity projects. Connections Israel works with various social service agencies in Kassam racked Sderot to provide services to the youth. We have Bar and Bat Mitzvah projects, we work with a High School youth leadership group.

    We also have a number of projects to provide support to the IDF Rabbinate in Yehudah and Shomron.

    We just gathered sponsors to provide 1700 combat size Sefer Tehillim to Chayalim.

    We gathered sponsors to provide arba minim and mezonot to be distributed on a mobile Sukkah driven to the checkpoints and outposts that did not have one.

    We are gathering sponsors of Jewish Identity Shiurim to be given to Chayalim so that they will have a greater understanding of the connection of Jews to Eretz Yisroel.

    We are gathering sponsors for Limmuday Kodesh S’forim to be placed on another 33 IDF Bases.

    We are gathering sponsors to provide individual Chanukiot for Chayalim as well as Larger table top Chanukiot of 8 bases.

    We are about to print a wallet size fold up which will have a couple perakim of Tehillim in Ivrit and English and space to write the name of a Chayal and a personal prayer for that Chayal. We are planning on distributing these to schools and congregations worldwide, along with the names of Chayalim.

    So, while it doesn’t talk directly to the discussion, it does provide a vehicle to pray on an individual basis for an individual soldier.

    If you would like to participate in any of our projects and would like the name of an IDF Soldier to be mispallel for, please send an email to me at hillel (at) ConnectionsIsrael (.) com

    Chodesh Tov.

    Hillel Levin


    [email protected]

    Ben Torah

    AinOhd –

    In your selective misinterpertations, you utterly disregarded the following quotes from Rav Hirsch zt”l:

    But this very vocation obliges us, until G-d shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the weal of the nations which have given us shelter.


    But it forbids us to strive for the reunion or possession of the land by any but spiritual means.


    “Land and soil were never Israel’s bond of union…”


    I don’t know what you are talking about. All that was removed was a short reference to another poster as googling all his information.

    My apologies. I was mistaken, as the reference I mentioned was indeed not edited.


    I think we can agree that the idea of the mishebeirach is universally palatable, and the problem is with the language. That is why I have the idea in mind in my shemona esrai, as I mentioned earlier.

    Quite possibly even the mishebeirach for the Medina would be OK (at the very least for those living in EY) if not for certain language it contains, e.g. “Reishit Tz’michat Geulateinu”, which is clearly not a belief shared by most right wing Orthodox.


    RSRH: I clearly refuted your points one by one. I will reiterate, recognizing a Jewish body of government which is unaffiliated with and does not represent any religious ideology cannot possibly be assur. All the government of Israel represents today, is a collective body which provides security and economic assistance for its religious and irreligious citizens, period. It should be no different then the army and government of Herod or Bar Kochba which the sages of Israel aligned with and prayed for their success and protection.

    You continue to quote from Gedolim of the past who were opposed to Zionism and the establishment of the State. However, this is totally irrelevant to our discussion, since in the current situation in Israel there is absolutely no option of dissolving the State, as that would be suicidal and pikuach nefashos for all its citizens. Therefore we are probably mandated al pi halacha today to help ensure the State’s survival and existence.


    You continue to quote from Gedolim of the past who were opposed to Zionism and the establishment of the State

    Does he? If so, there are plenty to quote from. But I only noticed him referring to Hirsch, who did not oppose them in the manner RSRH is representing.

    Pashuteh Yid

    HillelLeib, Yasher Koach for a beautiful letter. May you continue to do this wonderful work for the klal.


    PY, I agree with you on this one; Hillel Leib, your story is a beautiful one and I appreciate you sharing it; may you have much nachas from your children and family.

    Lomed Mikol Adam, the past is *not* irrelevant, but your assertion that “there is absolutely no option of dissolving the state” is.

    Look at what Zionists themselves did to their own subjects in Gaza and other places. Using their own forces, they were able to take Gaza (and turn it into the savage mess it is today) and make it Judenrein with no loss of Jewish life. So there could theoretically be an organized population transfer if that were called for.

    But that’s irrelevant. Even if the State of Israel were necessary, that would NOT imply any need to support it. There is such a thing as a necessary evil and there is also such a thing as shev vi-al taaseh.

    I’m not saying either or both apply or don’t apply here. But any alleged reason for its continued existence is not a reason to make special misheberachs for any State.


    hakatan, just remember that w/o the state you wouldn’t be allowed to visit any time you want or sit and learn in any of the batay midrashot Israel has to offer, so next time think before you comment!


    Hakatan: Our support through citing Mi Sheberach, in reality can hardly be considered support for the State at all, since the State of Israel will exist regardless of our symbolic and indirect endorsement of Her. Therefore your argument to consider the act of Mi Sheberach as being “Mesaya L’dvar Aveira” has hardly any substance.

    And, From a Torah perspective, we probably have a moral obligation to express our hakaras hatov to the state through citing the Mi Sheberach. Have they not provided us with real security and financial assistance for the past half century? Were we not taught in the Torah that hakaras hatov is of the most primary moral obligations of a human being (Moshe Rabbeinu with regard to the earth and sea of Mitzrayim)? Where are those genuine human feelings within you? Have they become lost within your sea of hatred for the State?

    Additionally, if it were actually assur to express publicly an indirect endorsement of the State, then it would definitely be also assur for the Chareidim to have representatives in the Israeli Cabinet, since this also constitutes an indirect endorsement of the State; especially with taking actual monetary assistance from the State’s treasury.

    The real reason for your reluctance to cite the Mi Sheberach stems from your feelings of pride, and your unwillingness to publicly express what may be perceived as a concession to the State. Well, if you felt your moral obligation of hakaras hatov, then that should override your other feelings of hesitation to cite the Mi Sheberach. And trust me; if you and others would publicly cite the Mi Sheberach, it would come a long way with sending a conciliatory message to our irreligious brethren in Israel, and you never know how many more Jews would become closer to Yiddishkeit as a result of this.


    LMA – The wording of the mi sheberach does give legitimacy to the zionist institutions. Hence it cannot be recited. Your point about the zionist entity existing regardless whether we recite it or not is meaningless. Would you therefore recite a misheberach for the Cuban Communists since you feel whether reciting it or not is without effect?

    The State has caused a lack of security by inciting the Arabs to violence against us. And the State does not provide as much financial assistance to us, as we (Torah Jewry) provide financial assistance to the State in the form of taxes, fees, and all sorts of regulatory stuff.

    And reciting the mi sheberach will do nothing towards feelings of the frei. The religious zionists already say it; the Shiuni-types hate us nonetheless. They will not be appeased “only” until the last Neteurei Karta Yid says the mi sheberach.

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