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  • Family and Society
  • The State and Government of Israel

resistance and giving away the Land of Israel


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar 6, 5772
Being that anywhere a Jew places his foot within the Biblical boundaries of Israel, how may the government give ever one cubic meter to the Arabs for a false peace. Since G-d sanctified all of the Land, and gave it to the Jews, is it now a grave sin against G-d’s holy Name to give any of Israel, or sell any land in Israel to a non-Jew or Arab. When a Jew is living in his home, and the IDF with their Arab workers and partners comes to take your home, what is the proper response? Do you dare to opening answer these questions, or are you afraid to speak of such things? Jabotinsky spoke of sharing the Land with the Arabs, but does it not say to expel them in the Torah, lest they be a thorn in our side? The Rambam stated that sacrifices could be made on Temple Mount prior to rebuilding the Temple, yet we allow the Arabs to bury their dead this right, and should any righteous Jew fight against a government that allows this?
Shalom, You are definitely correct that it is a very serious transgression to give or sell even a centimeter of the Land of Israel to a non-Jew, even for real (!) peace, and as such, Jabotinsky was wrong on this issue. It is both the sin of Lo Tichonem (Rambam, Avodah Zara ch. 10) and also the bitul mitzvat aseh of Yishuv and Kibbush HaAretz (Shabbat 6, 11). Thank G-d we hope and pray that our politicians have learned from the Gush Katif fiasco, and that any intelligent person won’t even think of doing another uprooting. When it did occur in Gush Katif, what I, and most rabbis did there, was to passively resist, but chalila, not to raise a hand against a fellow Jewish soldier, even if he is doing a grave sin. Just as throwing rocks doesn’t bring the non-religious to stop desecrating the Shabbat, so too here, the solution is education and explanation, and bringing the nation to correct the policies of the government. In addition, to demonstrate and apply political pressure, are 100% legitimate democratic ways of influencing them as well, even if the leftist press doesn’t think so. On the other hand, the civil wars which went on between Judea and Israel were tragic, and our rabbis teach us (Yoma 9a), that the infighting between Jewish factions was what destroyed the Second Commonwealth. We’d be pretty stupid to make the same mistake a third time! Am Yisrael is eternal and invincible, and we have nothing to fear when gentiles attack us, only when Jews fight other Jews. As Rav Kook stresses, the solution is not to fight against the evil and darkness, but to add goodness and light, love and chinuch, and remember, no matter what, we’re all brothers. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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