Arafat’s Posthumous Victory

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18 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    How attached can you be to a physical location you may not enter(1), where a building you’ve never seen was once used by people you never knew to worship G-d in a manner you never practiced? It makes perfect sense for Charedim to etherialise the temple so much they don’t feel attached to the physical remains.

    (1) Due to Halacha. Secular Jews enter Har HaBayit to see The Dome of the Rock without problems most days.g

  2. Bob Miller says:

    The problem is the disconnect between (A) the apparent current reality (Israel’s government as a puppet of foreign powers that is unwilling to defend the nation’s holy places) and (B) the known glorious future.

    (A) may be so depressing to some very religious Jews that they wait too passively for (B) without also doing what they already can do today to improve matters.

  3. mnuez says:

    There are very few subjects that I feel SO strongly about that I just prefer not to read about them and think about them. The ongoing destruction of Har Habayis however is one of them. In fact, it often seems that it’s paramount among them.

    I’m commenting here not because I want to display any elegance of language or engage in any thought experiments about an issue, I’m commenting simply because I want your writing to echo. I need to say SOMETHING even though I feel that there’s nothing that I could say here that could do any good.

    Again, I apologize for my fumbling but I’m in mourning, I’m pained to no end and I know not what to say or why I should say it.

    I agree with you that it’s a spine-tingling tragedy that people who fast on Tisha Be’Av and who read the kinos in a wailing tone are able to know of what’s going on with Bayis Rishon without the kind of tzitter that drives them mad.

    Precisely because it DOES drive me mad I prefer to ignore it.

    Anyhow R’ Yoinasan, I thank you for feeling as I do and for expressing it and I hope that you actually have the ability to do something about, because if you do come across that ability, it’s doubtless that you’ll use it.

    Kol Tuv, and may our elter-zeidehs and elter-babbehs forgive us.

    mnuez
    http://www.mnuez.blogspot.com

  4. L.Oberstein says:

    You are completely right. In reading the history of the 6 Day War one sees that Moshe Dayan did not want to conquer the Old City. He called it “this Vatican”. I have been forced by reality to concur that giving the arabs anything may be counter-productive. It is a sign of weakness and leads to more concessions. I don’t anticipate the Peace Conference in Annapolis. How can Olmert or anyone give territory to such a weak and ineffectual “leader” like Abu Mazen?
    On a different note, if we are talking about descecrating the Kosel, then I find it very annoying that pushy professional beggars have taken over the Kosel. It is so disgusting to me that the only time I go to the Kosel now is if I can do it on Shabbos. How can you daven when they push and demand non stop. How many are legitimate and why are they the ones who own the territory, who gave them the monopoly?

  5. Chaim says:

    I agree with Yehonasan’s final point. I would just add this.

    When our Charedi young men know so precious little about Churban Europe (many of our girls are at least learning this over the last several years), an event so recent in our past and a living part of most of our frum families, how do we expect them to connect emotionally with a part of our history that is so much farther the distant past?

    All tefillos and yearly references to the historical gemaras and midrashim (Tisha B’Av) notwithstanding, any real knowledge about Ancient Jewish history is left to the few who read the works of Rav Avigdor Miller, z”l or Rav Rottenberg, z”l. Not many I know do. I can’t escape the feeling that we have communicated to our sons that Jewish history is not really very important, even Jewish history about our mekomos HaKedoshim. Without working knowledge of what was actually there, in back of the Kosel, this holiest of mekomos does indeed remain shrouded in a hazy mist of a sacred ether.

  6. Trafene Baal Habas says:

    I disagree with you totally. The reason we seem to not care is because there is no reason to care about this. If i told you that the Vatican has the menorah, and tomorrow we hear that they ground it up and threw it away, would i care? Not for the reason you are suggesting. Hashem will manage to figure out a way to get us the third Bais Hamikdash without it. We dont have to care, what should bother us however is that this is just a reminder that we are in golus. But for that we have many other daily reminders with Ajminejad etc.

  7. Zachi Zweig says:

    comment to no. 6.

    Your attitute is the strongest reminder that we are in Galut.

  8. Jewish Observer says:

    “The reason we seem to not care is because there is no reason to care about this”

    what the trafane brings up is a valid sevara that we must know when and how to apply. the chazon ish was famous for not alowing well meaning yeshiva bochurim to get involved with activities that threatened yiddishkeit. reasoning is that we have our responsibilities and g-d has his. we do not “own” the responsibility for all the big picture things. in fact, this is the same sevara that EY gedolim used in the early days of the state, when they were vigilant about protecxting yeshiva bochurim from participating in “valid” communal activities.

    This is because as bnei torah we have to keep our eye oon our responsibilities and trust g-d to worry about his. This is a key underpinning to the terutz for bochurim being patur from the army now; i.e. we can’t make g-d’s problem’s our problems. One thing we WILL be held accountable for is whether we lived up to our job description.

  9. Jewish Observer says:

    “Without working knowledge of what was actually there, in back of the Kosel, this holiest of mekomos does indeed remain shrouded in a hazy mist of a sacred ether.”

    – this perspective would also enhance our appreciation of having a Jewish state, a fact that is so easy to take for granted when our biggest problems are whether you get a better deal at Ma’adan Hamuchan or Shtielsel’s (is that place stll there?)

  10. Shlomo P says:

    I have a slightly different take, based on an idea I heard from R’ Zev Leff a number of times.
    The generation of the churban had their aveiros (sins) and were the cause of the destruction. What would happen if we had that temple? Would it survive, or would it too be destroyed? Nowadays we don’t actually have anything there to destroy, but the message must get through. So the goyim have to dig up something, and destroy that! Do you get the message? Could this be an actual churban? If not on the scale, but surely the message is there.
    This is so sad I should sit on the floor and weep and weep.
    The answer for us cannot be simply to raise a cry, involve the authorities and prevent the construction. We must deal with the message. Are we combating the root causes of the churban?

  11. barry says:

    My wife and I have participated (twice) in the sifting of “dumped” materials from Har haBayit. On our last trip, we found a number of (pieces of) pitcher/amphora handles (possibly Bayit Sheni, they said) and a coin (Byzantine).

    When I mentioned this to chareidi cousins–that I might have been holding part of a pitcher used for maaser sheni or a korban mincha
    during bayit sheni–their attitude was “so what”? Then, I said to them, if your father’s set of Rambam came from the library of the Vilna Gaon, or the Chofetz Chaim, it would be little different than today’s standard Rambam (OK, pre-Frankel)–but I doubt your father would let you use it–it would be that special. One nodded as if to say, ‘I get it’, but the other remained unmoved.

  12. ES says:

    Maybe charedim think that since the Amoraim already expressed their sentiments, we are “yotzei” (exempt) and don’t need to get emotional about it anymore.

  13. kar says:

    “I disagree with you totally. The reason we seem to not care is because there is no reason to care about this. If i told you that the Vatican has the menorah, and tomorrow we hear that they ground it up and threw it away, would i care? Not for the reason you are suggesting. Hashem will manage to figure out a way to get us the third Bais Hamikdash without it. We dont have to care, what should bother us however is that this is just a reminder that we are in golus. But for that we have many other daily reminders with Ajminejad etc.”

    Would you be upset if c”v the kosel was not there because it will be rebuilt bemehera beyemenu?

    On YeshivaWorld, there was a successful campaign to help save the building of Volozhin yeshiva. If we can raise money to help save the physical plant of Volozhin, we can surely care about what happens to the remains of the beis hamikdash itself! This is particularly so since we dont want to do anything much ourselves – we just want to not give Arabs license to destroy the remains.

  14. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Kar: This is particularly so since we dont want to do anything much ourselves – we just want to not give Arabs license to destroy the remains

    Ori: The only way to stop the Waqf is with violence. If you got together five thousand Yeshiva students with clubs and got up on temple mount, the work would stop. Maybe a hundred of them would die, and a few hundreds would be wounded.

    I’d say that risking one’s life is doing something, a lot more than paying money as in the Volozhin case.

  15. kar says:

    Ori:
    The Israeli government could stop it overnight, if they had the will. No? What am I missing?

  16. cvmay says:

    Thank you “Cheetah” Cohen for standing up for the sanctity of the makom hamikdash.
    Why was not an eyebrow raised in Torah circles? Was even a moment of tzar experienced by the frum velt, that hashems bayit is being razed, destroyed and demolished? How many come to protest when kevarim of the bayit sheni are discovered in a construction site? Would there be a loud cry if c”vs (chas v’shalom) sefarim from a yeshiva were publicly ripped to shreds? Why are we up in arms to renovate a shul in Volozin, as askanim travel to ensure sanctity & protection of graves in Europe?
    Point blank, we are concerned about some things but NOT others. Question is WHY? 1) Klal Yisroel has a limited amount of energy to fulfill its mission in this world, the majority of energies are dedicated to building from within, yeshivos, kollelim, chesed organizations, kiruv centers, job opportunities, hospital and more.
    2)Eretz Yisroel and particularly the Temple Mount just ain’t on the drawing board. Parts of Yiddishkeit have been sublimated and even erased from hashkafas hatorah, terms like ‘Geulah’ ‘Moshiach’ ‘Taharah & Kedushah’ are absent. The yearning for the bais shlishi is ethereal and found soley within the ‘Messianic Chevra’. Nathan Birnbaum wrote in the early 1900’s a phamplet called “Confessions”, describing how the litvach world diminished their physical yearning for the Moshiach. A lengthy article is needed on this subject alone, personally it is not ‘Arafat’s Victory” rather our FAILURE!!

  17. Ori Pomerantz says:

    kar, the Israeli government could stop it overnight, but not easily or bloodlessly. It would do so by sending soldiers (or cops, but it’s really the kind of duty that requires soldiers) to stop the work. I doubt the Waqf would stop just because a government in whose authority they don’t believe told them to.

    IIRC, the last time the Israeli government did anything on temple mount it was to open the a tunnel to tourists when Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister. The territories exploded in riots. Later when Ariel Sharon, then a member of Knesset, went up to temple mount it triggered the second Intifada. Do you really expect that anything done today would have a lesser effect?

    Anyway, Jonathan Rosenblum talked about the reaction of the Charedi world. For many secular Israelis Beit haMikdash is so far from their perception that it is not worth dying over. My point is that that’s what it would take – literally dying over it.

  18. Nechama says:

    I want to know who and what gives Mr Olmert quite so much power.

    Is Israel’s democracy quite as corrupt as it seems? Perhaps many of the countries’ policies are in the people’s best interests (and perhaps not) but I just think that Olmert really doesn’t have the country’s backing behind him as a person. How did he get elected?

    It seems to me that the regular people vote for a party, and the party chooses it’s leader. But how much free choice do the party members have in chosing their leader? Is it a condition for being on the list as an MK, that you vote for a certain PM?

    I’m not sure I want Israel’s political structure to come crashing down (could we build an interim government or would there be civil war) but I would like some vision of a more democratic State of Israel. In America, I don’t see that the President of America gets to make quite so many decisions on his own. To a large degree he is answerable to his constituents. Who is Olmert answerable to for all these little things he promises, like letting the Wakf build. We little guys really don’t know what is going on and what he received in exchange (promise to keep the Arabs in Jerusalem quiet? Some real estate 🙂 So I am not criticizing this particular exchange, since I do not know what happened in the background. But I do want to know why he has such absolute power.

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