Friday, November 16, 2007

Is the 29th of November a Day to Celebrate?

For many people, November 29, 1947 is an important, wonderful day. It's the day the United Nations voted its permission for Jewish state. It's celebrated in the media; the roll call is played and played again.

I think it should be a day of mourning. That's not because I'm against a Jewish State. It's because the Zionist leaders went to the nations of the world for permission.

The United Nations was only a few months old at the time.

The Jewish People have a history of thousands of years.

The United States was less than two hundred years old.

We Jews had kings before there was a single nation in Europe.

Today's Judaism is the same religion worshipped thousands of years ago, long before Jesus and Mohammed.

Every year, as I listen to and read the Megilat (Scroll of) Esther four times on our double Purim, I'm thrilled anew to hear the instructions written all those thousands of years ago on how to commemorate the miracle. That is how we celebrate Purim today.

We are descended from Avraham Avinu, Our Forefather Abraham. Thousands of years ago, Samuel the Prophet, of Shiloh, annointed our first kings, Saul and David. David established Jerusalem as our Capital City. His son Solomon built the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah, The Temple Mount.

We don't need anyone's permission to live here in our Historical Homeland. We don't need anyone's approval to rebuild our nation.

In recent decades our greatest military victories, 1948 and 1967, were the ones when we acted alone, without expecting any help, without asking any other country for advice.

As Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" discovered, the power is within. We have that power. G-d gave it to us. We just have to activate it. Remember that the Hebrew word, "oze" is strength.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!



Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shavua Tov, Batya! I have an interface problem with INN blogs so I'll comment here on a comment made there. I think that Chava from Jerusalem is referring to the prohibition, in the form of an oath, of coming back to Israel "like a wall" (Ketubot 111, first leaf). Permission of the nations to return to Israel is only one of many reasons cited by rabbis for the negation of the oath. I can't find a proper source to fully answer the question. Perhaps someone can help me with a few sources?
Hadassa DeYoung

Batya said...

What internet server do you use?

Thanks for the comment. Let's see if others know more about it.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of explanations how our return to Israel isn't in violation of the oath that Uri mentioned. (One explanation, indeed, is that it doesn't apply where the nations of the world gave their permission for it - in which case maybe the UN vote is something Jewishly significant after all.)

But another explanation I've heard is that this oath is tied together with another one, that G-d made the nations of the world take an oath that they would not subjugate the Jewish People too harshly. The argument goes, then, that since they've violated this oath many times over - the Holocaust being only the most egregious example - then we're freed from our oath too, and can return to Israel "like a wall" whether they agree or not.

Anonymous said...

The soc.culture.jewish newsgroup FAQ has an entry
on this at
which points
out some answers.

there were three vows between Heaven and Earth:
1. One that Israel would not "go up like a
wall" [conquer Eretz
Yisrael by massive force]
2. One that G-d made Israel swear that they
would not rebel agains
the nations of the world [would obey the
governments in the exile]
3. And one that G-d made the non-Jews swear
not to oppress Israel
"too much" [translation of phrase yoter

The religious counter-reply to the above is that
secular Zionism is a
preliminary stage of religious Zionism, and
that the vows no longer
apply since the gentiles violated their part
(by such actions as the
Roman persecutions, the Spanish Inquisition,
and the Nazi Holocaust).
The Balfour declaration of 1917 and the United
Nations vote of 1948
are also regarded as having given permission to
the Jews to
reestablish the state by the non-Jewish rulers
of the area. Once this
permission was granted it could not be revoked. had a series on this
in September,
October and November of 2005. The series starts

and ends at

Each entry has a link to the previous entry, so
it is best to get the
last one and track back the links to the first.
Then read them in

You can also find the pdf file of the original at

Rav of Beit El and Rosh Yeshiva of
Ateret Cohanim, Yerushalayim
Translated By
Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig

Clarifications of the Issue of "Do Not Ascend
Like a Wall"
In the Talmud in Ketubot (111a), according to
Rabbi Zeira there are
Three Oaths (1) [or Six Oaths (2)]
and among them is "Do not ascend in a wall"
[another version ג€” like a
wall] (i.e. Do not return to
the Land of Israel en masse).
Based on this, the great authority, Rabbi
Yitzchak Leon,(3)
wrote: "That the commandment of possessing the
Land only applied
during the periods of Moshe, Yehoshua and David
and all of the time
that they were not exiled from their Land, but
after they were exiled
from their Land, this commandment does not apply
during the subsequent
generations until the coming of the Messiah,
since, on the contrary,
we were commanded according to what our Sages
stated at the end of
Ketubot that we should not rebel against the
Nations to go and conquer
the Land by force, and they prove it from the
verse (Shir Ha-Shirim
2:7, 3:5, 8:4), 'I made you swear, daughters of
Jerusalem, do nor stir
nor awake the love until I desire' and they
explain from it that we
should not ascend like a wall. And that which the
Ramban said that the
Sages stated that the conquering of the Land is
an obligatory war,
this is when we are not subjugated by the
On the relationship between the oath not to
ascend like a wall and our
activities toward the revival of our Land and our
Nation through the
wonders of Hashem, there are thirteen answers:

1. The wall fell by the permit of the Nations of
the World.

2. At the time of a Divine remembrance, the wall
is nullified:
A. Permit of the Nations of the World is the
B. The awakening of the Nation is the
C. The appearance of the Revealed End of Days is
the remembrance.
D. The horrors of the Exile are the remembrance.
E. The appearance of the Gra

3. Violation of the Nations of the World of their
oath, nullified all
of the Oaths.

4. Ascending in stages is not like a wall.

5. The wall only surrounds Babylonia.

6. The wall stands for only a thousand years.

7. The oath is ascending to build the Temple.

8. When there is power and courage, there is no

9. The issue of the wall remains as a dispute in
the Talmud.

10. The teacher of the Oaths, Rabbi Zeira,
retracted them.

11. The halachic authorities disagree with the
author of the Megillat
Esther not to ascend like a wall.

12. The wall is a homiletic (aggadic) and not a
legal (halachic) issue.

13. The Oaths are Divine decrees and not a

Regarding the issue of the oath "That The Holy
One, Blessed be He,
made Israel swear not to rebel against the
of the World," our Rabbi Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah
Ha-Cohen Kook, wrote:
"And in the issue of the rebellion against the
Nations of the World, when we were compelled to
remove the authority
of the British from here this was not rebellion
against them, since they were not the legal
authorities in our Land,
rather they had a temporary mandate in order to
prepare the authority of the Nation of Israel in
its Land according to
the decision of the League of Nations, as the
of Hashem in the Tanach, and when they betrayed
their mission the time
arrived to remove themselves from here" (Ha-
Tzofeh, beginning of the year 5734 [1974]).

And regarding the issue of "Do not force the End
[of Days]," our Rabbi
Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohen Kook, wrote:
"This is not the version in our Talmuds, rather
'Do not distance the
End,' Rashi explains: 'Do not distance the End
ג€” in
your sinning.' Another explanation: Do not force
ג€” the language of
force, that they should not offer too many
tions for this.'" And he does not discuss the
physical activity of the
ingathering of the exiles and the building of the
Land, "And not that they should not increase and
magnify the building
of the settlement of the Land of Israel and the
revival of the Torah in the Land of Israel"
(ibid.). And see below footnote 156.

Megillat Esther on Sefer Ha-Mitzvot of the
Rambam, criticisms on the
additions of the Ramban, mitzvah 4.

Sabba Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the
fish, "Join me ashore"

Batya said...

a, thanks for the comment and added info.

Sabba Hillel, wow, that's a lot. I hadn't realized how much the topic has been discussed.

Thank you both