Silence Might Be Misinterpreted
Boruch Boaz Yurkowitz, rav of Kiryat Chabad in Lud, in a special
interview with Beis
Jewish nation is in danger, with talks of giving away most of
Yehuda and Shomron to the Palestinians, thus abandoning 50,000
Jews to full Arab authority...
knows what the Rebbe said about this! The Rebbe spoke explicitly
about this over twenty years ago, asserting what would happen in
Eretz Yisroel if they continued on the road of concessions and
capitulation to the nations of the world. Each of us heard the
Rebbe on more than one occasion, screaming from the depths of his
pure and holy heart about the terrible situation developing in
Eretz Yisroel. Today we see that the Rebbe was speaking
prophetically about what would happen if we didn’t take a strong
stance to protect our borders.
Rebbe demanded that we vehemently protest when dangerous actions
like these are taken, and not to refrain from protesting even if
we consider it a useless activity. This is even more applicable
today when the lives of the tens of thousands of Jews who live in
Yehuda-Shomron are in danger. There are heinous plans to abandon
them, and these plans are already known to all, with no government
official denying them. At a time like this, I don’t see how
anyone can stand on the sidelines and keep quiet. The Rebbe stated
clearly that those who keep quiet at a time like this are included
in the category of “do not stand by your brother’s blood.”
people say that protesting won’t help matters, so why bother?
Rebbe dealt with this question numerous times and stated his
opinion more than once. I will preface that with what the Rebbe
said in the sicha of 20 Av 5739 (1979): “It makes no
difference whether crying out will help, since the reason for
crying out is not because it makes logical sense to do so, but
because the situation is painful! No doubt they will act zealously
in this matter.”
those who still want to know that their protesting will make a
difference, the Rebbe said that you cannot know what protesting
will accomplish, and whether it helped or not. You can never know
what they would have done had you not protested – so the claim
“what use is there in protesting” is unacceptable.
Rebbe quoted a story said in the name of the Chofetz Chaim, where
the Chofetz Chaim sent a delegation to attempt to annul a
government decree against the Jews. The delegation returned,
having accomplished nothing, and they reported the bad news to the
Chofetz Chaim. The Chofetz Chaim asked them, “Did you faint?”
lesson the Rebbe derived from this story is that until we have
fallen faint over the desire to return land, we must throw
ourselves into opposing these steps. Only afterwards can we say we
did all we could to save Eretz Yisroel from those who arise
should be done? Should we go and demonstrate?
am not here to make suggestions as to how to protest. I know that
the Rebbe ordered and asked us countless times to do all we can to
protest for the sake of shleimus ha’Aretz. As far as
exactly how to go about doing so and what to do, let everyone do
as they see fit. There are many ways to protest.
and foremost, we must not be complacent, and we must realize that
this is a terrible danger for five million Jews! This is the only
thing the Rebbe stated explicitly, regarding the danger there
would be if, ch’v, they would give back land. The Rebbe
contended that this would endanger the lives of millions of Jews
in Eretz Yisroel. Just hearing this is enough to make one tremble
and realize that you cannot remain quiet under the circumstances.
There are many ways of protesting, and I believe that everybody
knows exactly what he has to do and how.
in simple terms, what great urgency is there in protesting when it
won’t help anyway?
of all, who says what will and will not help? I’d like to quote
a letter from the Rebbe, dated 24 Shvat 5741: “In my opinion,
the main point now regarding the security situation is in
vigorously protesting against the concessions, in the face of all
the pressure affecting the security situation, which amounts to
one thing – that there is no end to concessions, may it not come
important point in my opinion, perhaps because I am overly
optimistic, is that if this protest were non-stop and extremely
forceful, as the situation warrants, it would finally succeed in
the end and in the near future.”
learn from the Rebbe that a forceful, non-stop protest will surely
point, which is no less important, is the terrible chilul
Hashem that results when Jews who oppose the Torah publicly
represent the Jewish nation. Protesting mitigates somewhat the
enormous chilul Hashem, as well as the great kitrug (Heavenly
accusation). By protesting we make it very clear that whatever
certain individuals do is completely of their own volition and
does not represent the Jewish people. May Hashem help us see the
fulfillment of the verse, “they plotted and were thwarted, spoke
and yet it was unfulfilled, for G-d is with us.”
is the role of the rabbanim when the lives of five million
not here to tell any rav what to do, as it is not my job to
do so. However, the Rebbe was quite clear when he said that rabbanim
are the true rulers, and they must stand firm and clarify “dvar
Hashem zu halacha” (the word of Hashem – this is halacha),
about the gravity of the isur (prohibition) in giving away
land. The Rebbe said that in a situation regarding returning land,
even rabbanim who don’t usually protest must protest if
their silence will be wrongly understood. The Rebbe said it is the
obligation of the rabbanim to publicize the psak din
in Shulchan Aruch about the severity of the
prohibition in these situations. We all know that the Rebbe quoted
the halacha in Shulchan Aruch numerous times,
stating that it is forbidden for a rav to wait until they
come and ask him, because “one who waits to be asked is
disgraceful and sheds blood.” The rabbanim are obligated
to publicize the halacha that it is forbidden to return
land, and they must lead the protests in order that they not
transgress a Biblical prohibition and endanger the lives of the
Jewish people who live in Eretz Yisroel.
settlers in Yehuda-Shomron and Aza are in a terrible situation.
What can you say to them?
of all, we may not differentiate between those living in
Yehuda-Shomron and elsewhere. We are all in this together. They
are part of us and we are all in danger.
any case, they have a great z’chus in that they are in
this challenging position, as they live in our border cities where
they protect the Jewish people. If we had settled all the borders
as the Rebbe told us to do, perhaps we wouldn’t be in the
situation we are in today. Therefore, we must encourage those
living in Yehuda-Shomron-Aza and stand by their side in this
is difficult for me to speak about them when they are the ones
living there b’mesirus nefesh while we live peacefully in
the center of the country. It’s a time to daven and cry
out to Hashem that He perform miracles to extricate us from this
calamity. We must unceasingly cry out and protest so that Hashem
will listen to our cries and save us.
are talking about dividing Yerushalayim. Consequently, the danger
is not only for those living in Yehuda-Shomron-Aza, but for those
living in Yerushalayim as well.
had no doubt that they would return Yerushalayim. When the Rebbe
told Minister Moshe Katzav in 5752 that autonomy would lead to
returning Chevron and Yerushalayim, I was certain that matters
wouldn’t stop where they wanted it to stop, but would continue
to what we are presently experiencing.
Rebbe says that when you take the conciliatory route, there is no
end in sight, and matters won’t stop with Yerushalayim. As the
Rebbe said many times, they will return land in the center of
Eretz Yisroel. I live in Lud and we see how the Arabs rule
neighborhoods in the city, where there are whole areas where Jews
cannot go! Unfortunately, there is a massive flight of Jews from
is a feeling of powerlessness. What can we do?
Jew must not despair. Even if a sword rests on his neck, one
mustn’t despair of [G-d’s] mercy. At the same time, we cannot
deny the fact that we are all confounded by the situation; despair
is eating away at everything good. However, it is specifically at
a time like this when we must fortify ourselves and strengthen all
the Rebbe’s inyanim. We must remember that “the
Guardian of the Jewish people neither sleeps nor slumbers,” and
in the end everything will have its effect, especially when we do
the little bit incumbent upon us.
would like to mention a sicha from Mattos-Massei 5749 about
the obligation of the askanei tzibur (activists) in Eretz
Yisroel to take strong measures and ensure that they will not
concede even an inch of Eretz Yisroel. I think that all askanei
tzibur must be aware of the responsibility they have, to exert
their influence that no additional land be returned, ch’v.
problem is not with the Arabs, but with our Jewish leaders. The
nations of the world are like an ax in the hand of the
woodchopper. When Jews make terrible errors and wantonly abandon
the nation’s security, it is our problem. Nobody should even
consider the possibility that we can have peace in a way that
contradicts the Torah. The Torah says, “if you go in My
statutes” and only then, “I will give peace in your land.”
Peace will not be achieved by Oslo nor by other political means.
The only solution for peace is when we conduct ourselves according
to the dictates of our holy Torah. Since the Torah establishes
that returning land achieves the opposite of peace and
tranquility, this then is the reality, and no politics can change
this terrible situation, we must strengthen ourselves with the
Rebbe’s words of “hinei hinei Moshiach ba.” When we
see the terrible deterioration, we realize that from this great
darkness, the light of Geula will shine forth.