Shaas Shmad in Israel

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    mw13- Thanks for your research but it proves nothing. If you maintain that gedolim can make mistakes and that the gedolim of the previous dor erred in their views before WWII, then, of course, so can Rav Dessler zz.l , err in his views. Rav Dessler, of course, does not think so but you have no proof from his letter to change anything in the vierws of those who don’t accept infallibility of gedolim.


    mw13, Kvodo shel Rabbi Desler be’mkomo munach, the Gemora at the beginnig of Horiyos states that a Sanhedrin can make a mistake.


    mdd: Rashi in Devarim 17:11 says to do what they tell you even if they made a “mistake”.


    Choppy, you are right — once there is a psak from the Great Sanhedrin. However, some here claimed that they could not possibly make a mistake.


    mw13: Not to impinge on the Kavod of R’ Dessler or any of the Gedolim, but the response that someone could easily make against his letter is obviously found inside that letter itself.


    Tisha BiAv is approaching.

    As usual, Zionists don’t hesitate to besmirch gedolim who so rightly predicted the disaster that Zionism would become, and they twist the Holocaust to further their painfully wrong and disastrous agenda.

    To quote ROB:

    “clearly, the gedolim who directly dissuaded people in Europe to flee were wrong, and the gedolim who continue to fight the medina will end up on the wrong side of history. (they already are)…”

    Rabbi Shafier of has a shmuz about the Holocaust. The entire series of events was one fluke after another, and it likely would have never happened had not everything worked out as it did.

    To be clear, in all likelihood, until the very last moment, the HOLOCAUST was NOT predictable. Even today, it still boggles the mind how such a massive atrocity could have occurred.

    Further, if you read the history of what actually happened during WW II, you would discover many interesting things.

    Just for **starters**:

    1. Hitler YM”Sh originally wanted to only expel the Jews (some say until the Zionists angered him, AGAINST the wishes of the gedolim, which is when he switched to genocide).

    2. It was the Zionists and their reform allies who did all in their power to sabotage the holy work of Rabbi Weissmandl and others because the Zionists insisted that emigration be to Palestine only. Et al. This is recorded history.

    So when all the facts are out, it is very clear that the gedolim were quite right in advising people to stay in Europe as that was the best choice, given a normal progression of reality, at that time.

    Regarding the rest of ROB’s Zionist fallacies and wishful thinking:

    Zionists have brought and continue to ch”v bring massive destruction and disaster to our holy people, and the gedolim were and are absolutely right to have fought Zionism and to continue to do so. This is painfully obvious to any objective observer and doesn’t require the knowledge of history that the Holocaust does.

    The world, including the Jewish people, would most likely (as in overwhelmingly so) have been far, far better off had Zionism never entered the world stage.

    There’s no point in putting together the two points and reminding Zionists of those who hold that Hashem allowed the Holocaust to happen due to Zionism, etc. Nor about the various quotes from Zionists during WW II that make them sound like Nazis. Etc.

    Even without all that, Zionism has been really, really, bad news for the Jewish people.

    And if even a tzaddik can do an aveira CH”V, as ROB (mis)quoted, then al achas kama viKamma that the Zionists did and continue to do many, many aveiros.

    May Hashem redeem us all with the true geulah BB”A.


    To be fair, the State did provide a refuge for the Jewish people where they could live proudly as Jews. Maybe, some of the fierce anti-Zionists want to go and live in Russia where it is dangerous to walk the streets with a yarmulke on. The truth is that it was all the persecution in Europe which caused the creation of the Zionist movement and the support it has had among the Jewish people.


    As I said many times…..history will judge who was right….I will keep to my beliefs and HaKatan (alias Joseph?) will keep to his…


    HaKatan – I agree with you in principle.

    Simultaneously, however, I recognize that the vast majority of Zionists today – including nearly all plain Israelis, and including most of the political leadership – have no ‘evil’ intentions at all.

    While I do not daven for the state, I am proud and not ashamed to be working at a company that is a major supplier of technological equipment to the IDF and others. I do not see any contradiction there. Religiously I do not like the state; however, it exists, and its demise would be incomprehensibly worse for everyone than its continued existence at this point.

    So, I feel free not to daven for the state, not to believe in the state, and not to love the state. However, I do recognize that this state is what there is and we must support it, because there is no credible alternative. (Having the Turks take over, as in Health’s vision, is not credible, IMHO.)

    ohr chodesh

    Rav Shach davened every day for the peaceful dismantlement of the State.


    HaKatan, Tisha Be’Av is indeed approaching.

    Dozens of countries were established out of the rubble of WWII and the fallen empires. One of them has been so much more successful than the others that discussions of those countries routinely leave it out of the class. Gentile and secular-Jewish scholars try to explain how that one country is so different. They go only so far and admit that there’s something additional that they can’t explain. A few even credit HKBH.

    Now you come along and explain that it’s the other way around: Israel is the product of total evil and is a total failure. It’s so self-evident that no reference to history and fact are needed. There’s even a shmuz that says so! So let’s keep fighting Zionism as if it were still a menacing mirage.

    I hope you meant your post to demonstrate what sinat hinam is, for those who find the concept hard to grasp.


    Zdad: a few questions about your pre-holocaust emigration comments:

    1) why do you think the gedolim were mistaken?

    2) you know very well that the Germans very nearly reached Palestine. The Jews there only very narrowly missed joining their European brothers. So why mention emigration to Palestine?

    3) Where do you factor G-d into all of this?


    3) Where do you factor G-d into all of this?

    Hashem was there picking us up, and giving us what we needed (both what seemed to be good or bad). Are you arguing that Hashem made the Gedolim prohibit leaving because it was part of His plan that those who were wiped out should be killed (like what happened to Achav)?


    chocandpatience – I have to preface my comments with the following: When anyone says that the gedolim “erred”, we are not talking about halacha. The possuk “lo sossur” deals with halachic items.In that context, a Possek is always right in what he says. When people question some ideas or decisions of Gedolim, it is in “milei de-alma”- matters that are not relevant halachically.

    The words and opinions that came from gedolim before the Holocaust had nothing to do with halacha. It had to do with their impression of the world. In that, they erred in not recognizing the danger of Nazism.They are not nevi-im and no one puts blame on them- it is just that in their decision making, they were incorrect.

    As far as your second question- the fact is that the Germans did not reach Palestine in the war and the people who emigrated before the war were saved.To say- as you imply- that the Germans could have been in Palestine and endangered the jews there is pure speculation.We can only deal with facts and the fact is that The germans did not reach Palestine.

    Your last question deals with matters of deep spiritual significance- If, as we believe, HKBH directs the whole of the world, how could he have allowed gthe Holocaust? if you answer that there was a “hester ponim”, then you must also accept that the foundation of the medinah is also ‘min hashomaim”.

    We cannot fathom HKBH’s intentions and all we can do is try to act as we understand and as we see in the world around us.


    HaKatan: Disregarding your standard (and in this case irrelevant) Zionist-bashing, you missed the entire point. If the Gedolim were actually as infallible as some want to believe, then they should have known what was going to happen no matter how unpredictable it is.


    Rabbiofberlin, the argument about Palestine is as follows. Some fellows claim it was a gross blunder on the part of the Gedolim not to tell people to go to E. Yisroel. Chocandpatience answered to that that Rommel almost got there, and the Jews of E.Yisroel were saved at the last second.

    Again,the danger of Hitler did not become totaly apparent till 1938.


    Naftush, the reality is what it is, and my post was not sinah and it was certainly not biChinam.

    I will not repeat myself regarding the evils and tragedies of and by Zionism, but this is still the terrible truth regardless of the amazing progress Israel has made in its short existence, BE”H.

    Sam2, I did not say Gedolim are “infallible”, but I did say that the Zionist canard regarding them is reprehensible and false as I explained above.


    mdd- please see my comment. The facts are that Rommel did not get to Palestine- he was stopped at El Alamein. You cannot speculate on what might have happened- it did not happen! So, the fact that many Rabbonim pre-war told their followers not to go Eretz Yisroel was an error, Again-no blame attached to that but just an understanding that Gedolim can err – certainly in ‘milei de-alma”.

    Additonally,if you believe that everything is “min hashomayim” why don’t you believe that Montgomery’s victory at El Alamein was “min hashomayim”-so as to save the Yishuv?

    Lastly, even “leshitsoscho”- Munich 1938 was over a year before the conquest of Poland and the Evian conference in july 1938 made it abundantly clear that Jews were not welcome anywhere. Many rabbonim still did not advocate to leave Europe.

    ohr chodesh

    There was not a single country in the world, especially the United States or British Palestine, that would accept Jewish mass immigrants from Europe.

    That’s on top of the fact that no one could have conceivably realized in advance the extent of the danger.



    “If you maintain that gedolim can make mistakes and that the gedolim of the previous dor erred in their views before WWII, then, of course, so can Rav Dessler zz.l , err in his views.”

    First of all, R’ Dessler actually does bring a fascinating proof to his views from the story pf the Megilah, but I don’t feel that I can do it justice summing it up.

    Second, I think that most of those who would argue that the WWII Gedolim were mistaken think that those Gedolim themselves would agree that we could argue with them. However, we see from R’ Dessler that one may not decide himself that the Gedolim are wrong.


    ” Kvodo shel Rabbi Desler be’mkomo munach, the Gemora at the beginnig of Horiyos states that a Sanhedrin can make a mistake.”

    I don’t think that R’ Dessler would argue that the Gedolim or the Sanhedrin can make a mistake, only that “we puny people” cannot claim to be as smart or as knowledgeable as they are in order to be able to claim that we can tell when they are mistaken.


    I’m sorry, but I really don’t get what you’re trying to say.



    “To be fair, the State did provide a refuge for the Jewish people where they could live proudly as Jews.”

    Yeah, if they didn’t sink your ship first…

    “The truth is that it was all the persecution in Europe which caused the creation of the Zionist movement and the support it has had among the Jewish people.”

    I don’t know about that. Persecution of the Jews had existed for thousands of years, in Europe and across the globe, without giving rise to Zionist movement. I believe Zionism was mostly just a Jewish take on the rise of nationalistic movements all across Europe in the late nineteen and early twentieth century.

    The Chassidishe Gatesheader:

    You have eloquently explained the Agudah view of Zionism and the State of Israel, which I completely agree with.


    I’m not sure how Israel’s economic success proves that Zionism is morally correct.


    “When people question some ideas or decisions of Gedolim, it is in “milei de-alma”- matters that are not relevant halachically.”

    And it is precisely in that context that R’ Dessler wrote that “It is forbidden even to listen to words like these, let alone to say them… the amazing agility of their minds could be perceived even by puny intellects such as ours; the depth of their wisdom penetrated down into he very abyss; there was not the slightest chance that anyone like you or me could follow completely the crystal-like clarity of their understanding… it would be wrong to set aside his words, much less to reject them, because of what we puny people think that we see with our own eyes. Our Rabbis have told us to listen to the words of the Sages “even if they tell us that right is left,” and not to say, God forbid, that they must be wrong because little I “can see their mistake with my own eyes.” My seeing is null and void and utterly valueless compared with the clarity of their intellect and the divine aid they receive… This is the Torah view concerning faith in the Sages.”


    Again, I don’t believe that anybody is suggesting that the Gedolim are all-seeing and all-knowing; only that we cannot claim to be wiser than they were so as to decide that they were wrong.


    Ohr chodesh,some hold that anything Gedolim say is all pi ruach ha’kodesh, and it is not possible for them to be wrong. According to that opinion, it’s a big kasha.


    mw13: The point is that Gufa in the letter he thought that R’ Elchonon was still alive. That is a clear example where we can all see that a Godol erred.


    Here is a letter written verbatim by Rav Elchonon Wasserman ztl hyd in ~ 1940, describing the tradeoff between a physical danger and a spirtual danger (and about YU):

    ????? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ????? ?? ?????. ??????? ??????? ??????? ????? ??????? ?? ?????? ?”? ?????? (?????? ????? ??????????) ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ???????? ?? ??????? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ???????

    The Ksav Yad is readily available.


    Gavra: I was just trying to understand Zdad’s comments. (I’m not aware that the Gedolim prohibited leaving. They just didn’t get everyone to emigrate en-mass.)

    Are people here actually saying that had everyone emigrated, 6M Yidden would not have been killed? [Besides for the impossiblity of such mass emigration].

    If yes, then that’s what I’m asking about where they factor G-d in.

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