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What About Rabbis Who Say It's Ok to Give Away Land?

Rav Zalman Baruch Melamed answers the question: How should one relate to great Torah scholars who rule that parts of the Land of Israel may be given over to autonomous gentile rule?


Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

Shvat 26 5782
Translated by Hillel Fendel

Question: How should I relate to great rabbis and Torah scholars, and even the generation's leaders, who ruled Halakhically that parts of the Land of Israel may be given over to autonomous gentile rule? For me personally, I find it hard to call them "rabbis" – but who am I in comparison to these great Torah giants?

Answer: To us, it is absolutely clear that according to Torah law, it is forbidden under all circumstances to give away parts of Eretz Yisrael to foreigners. Every such withdrawal is not only forbidden, but it also endangers life, as experience has shown us. Those rabbis who ruled that it is permitted to give away parts of the Land in exchange for so-called peace made a grave error, and we are paying a high price for their mistake.

Still and all, we are not permitted to insult or mock those Torah scholars. There are rabbis who were mistaken in this ruling, but they have great merits in teaching and disseminating Torah to many Jews.

However, we should not rely on their rulings on matters of Eretz Yisrael, and perhaps in any matter that concerns the public at large, because they are apparently not familiar with the details of this topic and are liable to err again.

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