I followed up the previous word of Torah with the following;
Withstanding and Defying a Gezeira Rah
By Moshe Burt
I wrote previously regarding the contrast between the story behind the Unesaneh Tokef tefillah (expressing the seriousness of the day): the Gezeira Rah (evil decree) faced by R’ Amnon of Mainz and his Kehilla of forced conversion to Christianity dating back about 1,000 years, and the Gezeira Rah that we are currently living through regarding the forced expulsion of Jews from divinely ordained Jewish Land and handing that land over to avowed enemies bent on the eradication of the Jewish people. As previously stated, the Unesaneh Tokef tefillah is recited on both days of Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur.
The current Gezeira Rah goes on and on — from the total destruction by the IDF of all the homes stolen out from under the Gush Katif and Shomron refugee families, to the lies, deceptions, misinformation, disinformation and intrigue of the government of Israel perpetrated upon the refugee families, be they in the caravillas of Nitzan, the Hotels of Ashkelon, Jerusalem, in tents, etc. regarding compensation and resettlement solutions. The public and international display of total complacent complicity, abrogation of responsibility, the Chillul Hashem displayed by the Government of Israel at the Arab destruction of the Shuls of Gush Katif (which were labeled and designated by the government and the military as Jewish Holy Places) all testify as to the extent of the Gezeira Rah perpetrated by the Crime family regime in it’s efforts designed to systematically break and disperse Yiddishkeit in Israel.
R’ Amnon, with his Kehilla, facing dread coercion as well as mortal, imminent threat of death, gave the perception of consideration of possible compliance with the demand to convert to Christianity.
I contrasted the gezeira rah of 1,000 years ago in Mainz, Germany with the compliance of nearly all of the tens of thousands of chayalim and police who took part in the Israeli government-sponsored pogrom which ripped apart entire communities from their homes, friends, shuls and workplaces and ripped away from the Jews, at legalized gunpoint, parts of our divine inheritance — the Land of israel.
This ripping away of Jews from their communities, from their roots, from their land; this perception by secular Israel of “free agency” and compensation (until now withheld and not paid) as falsely and jealously equated to Major League sports figures is as big a Chillul Hashem (desecration of G’ds Name) as it is false, misleading, slanderous and plain outright thievery.
But there is one issue lurking behind the expulsion: its implications and consequences and the desecration of Hashem’s Name. This issue seems not to have been dealt with squarely, forthrightly among kippoted soldiers and their Rabbis, not by the Religious political party alignments, not by the Yeshivas and shuls, not by many kippoted adults and surely not by ALL kippoted politicians who vacillated and equivocated at crucial junctures where any one group of them acting Al Kiddush Hashem would have negated and reversed the gezeira rah.
The issue is simply this — We learn from Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah #157 that by a public gezeira rah against Hashem and Torah, Jews must be willing even to give their lives al Kiddush Shaim Shemayim (for the Holy name of Hashem in Shemayim), if necessary rather than commit the aveirah (the violation).
Seeing that there may be various degrees of public gezeira rah, i.e. that the gezeira rah of Mainz, Germany was a fact of public record and an imminent threat to Jewish living existence, whereas the expulsion of Jews from Jewish Lands and all of the descrimination and selektia inherent with it before and after the act was not an immediate life or death existential threat and there was no death penalty for chayalim and police for non-compliance with orders to expel their fellow Jews, there may have been no necessity to die rather than carry out the order.
However, the lesson we learn, that we must be prepared to die al Kiddush Hashem rather than comply with a public Chillul Hashem against the Jewish people indicates to me that in a case such as the gezeira against the Jews of expulsion from Jewish lands by a government of Israel, its application means that we must be prepared to stop our “lives as usual”, to put our lives on hold, to disobey orders and suffer the consequences– the prison penalty or penalty of loss of protexia network, to forgo that vacation in the Galil, etc. in order to come together on earth as Am Yehudi B’Yachad to reverse the gezeira rah.
If the continuing gezeira rah against the Jews, now refugees from Gush Katif and the Shomron towns, was and continues to be a massive, public display of Chillul Hashem by the government of Israel; and seeing how the religious Jewish soldiers, the kippoted politicians acceded and acquiesced to it, and many kippoted adults (kippot S’ruga, Chareidi, etc.) complacently went about their regular daily lives as if nothing was wrong, including their vacations in luxurious hotels in Galil and elsewhere and let the Chillul Hashem happen; the question must be asked, what if Chas V’Chalila the Jews were ever again to come under a Gezeira Rah of the goyim?
Will the Jews have the spiritual means and strength to withstand and defy such a Gezeira Rah? Will they even understand that a Gezeira Rah exists? Or will they allow themselves to be deceived by couched verbiage and again hide behind gazillion rationalizations? Something to think about through Succot and in the year ahead?