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Pleading for End to Israeli Concessions, Rabbis Reference Jewish Law

The moral, ancient decree to not give an inch when under threat.

by
Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Lewin

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October 2, 2013 - 12:15 am
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New Israeli concessions and the resumption of talks with the Palestinian Authority are tragedies, replays of the Oslo process of the 1990s and the Gaza disengagement. Both of those events not only failed to bring peace, but simply made matters worse.

Many rabbis have since called on the Israeli government not to give in to concerted international pressure. The rabbis plea is not merely strategic: it is based upon Jewish law – Halacha — and centers around an explicit ruling in perhaps the most authoritative text on contemporary Jewish law. The Shulchan Aruch rules against giving away land in border communities that are under attack.

In Orach Chaim (329:6), the section dealing primarily with the laws of the Sabbath and festivals, the Shulchan Aruch tackles the question of whether Jewish communities anywhere in the world that find themselves under siege or attack on the Sabbath can violate the holy day to wage war. The ruling states:

If their [the attackers] intent was financial gain, the Sabbath laws should not be violated because of them.

[However] if their intent was against Jewish lives, or if they lay siege without any stated intention, or if there is a sense that they are coming for Jewish lives, then even before they come — and are only mobilizing themselves — it is a mitzvah [Torah commandment] to go out and attack them with weapons of war and violate the Shabbat laws.

It further states that if a community that borders the Jewish town makes even the slightest demands of the Jews on the Sabbath, then it is required to violate the Shabbat in the community’s defense:

And if it is a city located near a border — even if they [the enemy] are only demanding hay or straw — we attack them and violate the Shabbat, lest they conquer the city, and because of that conquest it becomes easier for them to conquer the rest of the land.

In other words: if you are under attack and will continue to be so, don’t make concessions, especially those that weaken further self-defense. The prior 20 years of Israeli history is a testament to how adherence to this ruling could have saved Jewish lives over and over again.

This is not a mere political issue. It regards pikuach nefesh (mortal danger), which every rabbi is obligated to get involved in and to which every politician must pay urgent attention.

In 2012, a group of rabbis met with the EU’s representative in Israel, Andrew Standley. At the end of their meeting, the rabbis presented Standley with a copy of the Shulchan Aruch‘s ruling. In response, Standley declared:

You have your Bible, but we have international law, which is our Bible.

Nevertheless, the religious law is more strategically sound; it is what countries actually do. When you know you are going to be under attack, you defend yourself.

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All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Right on, Miss Lolly! Please run for something so I can vote for you.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
my classmate's mom makes $69 hourly on the laptop. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $16262 just working on the laptop for a few hours. website link......

http://www.jobs53.com
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
While the issue is really that we in Israel are a vassal state of the US, and thus cannot always defend ourselves (precedent from the Rabbis warning against rebelling against Rome), it IS nice to see someone quote a real Jewish concept instead of distorting an obscure mystical concept called Tikun Olam to subvert the entire Bible, as the left-wing denominations do.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
my Aunty Isabelle recently got an almost new yellow Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan just by some part-time working online from home... . .......:> w­w­w.j­o­b­s­6­0.c­o­m
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
There has been no moral growth amongst the nations of the world since The Shoah. In fact, having seen the extent of anti-semitism and it's consequences, the case can be made that the nations of the world have sunk even further into backwardness. Technological advances are no substitute for spiritual growth. These same nations continue to support anti- Jewish policies.

Jews must learn this lesson and stop wasting time making moral arguments for independence. What is respected is strength and Israel's coin was never stronger than after The Six Day War. What Israel needs is another massive military victory to put the world on notice that we are not to be trifled with.

Were every Jew to stand on the shoulders of another, so that one mighty Samson held the entire nation on his shoulders and his shoulders alone, the Amalikites and their supporters would still chant, " land for peace ".

There is no justification to turning over territory to the barely-human enemies we face and every justification for reclaiming those territories that were abandoned by governments beholden to an ideology of insanity. An ideology that claimed defeat and territorial surrender was simply another step towards victory.

At its greatest boundaries, the maximalist boundaries that I and every other believing Jew supports, Israel occupies merely one-half of one percent of the Middle East.

Anyone who is unprepared to accept that is simply not worth talking to.

Chodesh Tov Rabbi. Shabbat Shalom.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
What "International Law"? Exactly WHERE is that book?

There is none. It is arbitrariness.

It is not Selden it is not Groetius. It is the whimsy of the elite's consensus at the moment, and that needle points away from Israel, especially Israel's Bible, ever and ever. Israel's is not the way of the Nations.

Their Bible, their law, is itself only their arrogance. And that is flighty, a generation comes and goes, the Nations forget the last in each each new one, why bother chasing their momentary arrogances?

Stand firm on the land the Lord has given to you Israel.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever he meant by that comment, international law, diplomacy and policy are tools to ensure the survival of Israel and the Jewish people just as the F-16I and other weapons are. I won't make the obligatory quote here about war and politics. Just remember that Israel fields German submarines, American aircraft, and must live in a hostile political environment to survive.

I do not agree with the Rabbis article. A Jewish commander cannot make tactical concessions when needed for a greater gain? Of course he must at times. We are a pragmatic people and no strangers to war. We value life above all else and sacrifice even for the life of the enemy because we know that all life comes from the will of Hashem.

I doubt that these forced peace talks will come to anything. Our enemies go far beyond any agreement with the Palestinians, even if that were possible. That is not new in Jewish history. Yet we thrive, produce, and have in a short time built a small nation, with accomplishments in vital fields necessary for human survival far beyond our numbers in science, technology, energy, medicine. Israel is well defended despite the overwhelming numbers against it.

Peace may seem to be unobtainable, yet that is the goal.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
What tactical concession of land has resulted in a greater gain? Maybe there have been some, but which?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "peace talks" will not come to anything. But releasing the murderers may.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dude, it's 2013. You guys deliberately misses the arrival of the Messiah over this stuff, the Arabs are coming yet again to eliminate you from the Planet Earth and you guys are still thrashing about what you can do on the Shabat?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jeremiah told us that if we had kept the Sabbath, God would have overlooked everything else and saved Jerusalem. And if you look at it carefully, he appears to be talking about business on the Sabbath, which is only a rabbinic prohibition.

Oh, by the way, what you describe is the best proof that the messiah (small m; he's just a person like you and me) has not come. Or is the lion lying down with the lamb?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your ignorance of svripture is profound! Heb.5.9 summarizes what all the scriptural writers, of both the OT and NT said: we must all obey Jesus Christ to be saved. You are disinforming; either out of ignorance or malice. In either case you are putting others at risk with your disinformation. Woe to him by whom temptation comes!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bibi has rolled over too much on these issues, and has suppressed debate on them.

The occupied territories are Israel's by Right of Conquest. Bibi and many Jews think that you can establish a common ground and in this case you can't. Lefties dreams die hard.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bibi is a lefty now?

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
He is extremely squishy. The Leftist nomenklatura run Israel, no matter who wins the election.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe it reads better in the original Hebrew, but unless Al Quds is about to conquer a minor Israeli city with commandos and tanks and infantry, I don't see how the passage has anything to do with offensive operations against enemies not attacking you merely for possessing weapons of war, or negotiations about land and security at home (except not to negotiate on the Sabbath).
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've never understood how Israeli's could agree to give up hundreds of terrorists for the remains of Israeli soldiers. Israeli's also know that a ceasefire with arabs means reload and rearm to the arabs - so why agree to them?

Bottom line is that the international community has never ONCE demanded that arabs be held to any of the agreements they have ever made with Israel. Until Israel DEMANDS that the pal-arabs be forced to give concessions in these "talks" I don't think they should even bother with further "talks."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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