Thursday, October 29, 2015

Do the Judges of the Supreme Court Live in Switzerland or the Hague?

By Rav Yisrael Rosen
Dean of the Zomet Institute

"And [Sarah] said to Avraham, Expel this maidservant and her son... And G-d said... Whatever Sarah tells you to do, listen to her voice" [Bereishit 21:10,12]. "This teaches us that in prophecy Avraham was minor as compared to Sarah" [Rashi, based on the sages].

Do the judges of the Supreme Court live in Switzerland or the Hague? And what about the Chief Rabbinate?

The Battle over Morale and Hasbarah

The citizens of Israel are standing up, with tremendous courage, against individual terrorism, with no clear target for fighting back. The State of Israel stands, in a very weak stance, against a communications attack in the world media based on lies. The god of our Moslem enemies is a god of murder, evil, and stage-managed falsehood which have been concocted to pull the wool over the eyes of the world. There are two main realms where this despairing battle is taking place: National morale and international "hasbarah" – advocacy. To our great sorrow as a nation, we also suffer in this struggle from serious obstacles at home, including two enterprises which reign supreme in their respective realms: The Supreme Court (together with the State Attorney) and none other than the Chief Rabbinate.

With great pain, I will expand on this general statement.

We are at war! It reeks of blood and it is filled with tears. An important element in our ability to withstand this attack is national morale, since after all the main warriors in the current struggle are regular citizens, who must stand up against a rioting group of riffraff. Many advisors, led by security experts, propose to destroy the houses of the terrorists, as a security act of war and not on a basis of military or civil punishment. It has also been proposed that we rescind the citizenship of close relatives of the terrorists, confiscate their property, and expel them to the broad "oceans" of the Islamic world. It is eminently clear even to the youngest children, but not to the judges of the Supreme Court who lounge in their comfortable chairs, that such measures are not meant as punishment but aspsychological deterrence, in order to lift up our national morale and to depress that of the enemy. But the Supreme Court does not allow it! It would destroy the very foundation of democracy! It is eminently clear to every child, but not to the judges of the Supreme Court and the State Attorney, that a battleground has different rules than normal life. It is clear to every child, but not to the judges of the Supreme Court and the State Attorney, that these suggestions are meant for a time of crisis, when it is not possible to maintain the "Swiss" laws and rules relevant under normal circumstances. It is clear to every child that every delay by the Supreme Court and the State Attorney brings us a step closer to national suicide on the altar of the religion of the Hague, as a mirror image of the Shahidim who kiss their Islamic swords.

I am well aware that the effectivity of such moves is a matter of dispute, and in the short run it will not be possible to prove that there they lead to positive results. However, in my eyes it is a national tragedy to see the Supreme Court put legal sticks into the wheels of our security, thereby helping in a roundabout way to sacrifice our young men and women to the idol of democracy.

I call out to the Supreme Court to come down from its ivory tower and from its couches, and to remove itself in practice (not necessarily in a public declaration) from any judgement against the national security forces, based on a rationale of a lack of jurisdiction during war, or using any other convoluted legal device, a procedure at which they have great expertise...

The Chief Rabbinate Indirectly Supports Enemy Lies

And this leads me to the second front of this war: International advocacy in the realm of detestable lies. Every child knows that the libel of Jewish attempts to gain control over the Temple Mount can be listed as one of the legends of Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves, along with the other stories of the Arabian Nights. What is going on is a holy war by incited Moslems who are fighting against imaginary Crusaders who want to destroy their mosque on the Temple Mount. And now, the Chief Rabbinate has joined in the fray just at this point by publishing a declaration, "a prohibition by 100 rabbis" to enter the Temple Mount, playing directly into the hands of the enemy, almost as if to say, "Our call to Jews to retreat from the occupied mountain is justified." This is clearly the point of this declaration, because otherwise why did the Chief Rabbinate find it necessary to publish a halachic ruling at this time? The proof of this is a parallel declaration by a hundred (religious?) academics, not to visit the Mount at this time and upset the Moslems. In addition, if the declaration of the Rabbinate is non-political, why doesn't it refer to the halacha prohibiting the entry of all Gentiles onto the Temple Mount?

In general, since when does the Chief Rabbinate publish halachic rulings in matters of public interest, while gathering the signatures of city and neighborhood rabbis for support? It could easily collect "a declaration of 200 rabbis" against Hesder yeshivot, against army prep schools, against the "heter mechirah," against boys and girls meeting together in youth groups, against women giving halachic advice, against minyanim with greater equality of the sexes, against and against more and more. Has the Chief Rabbinate ever used this device before, except for the matter of entering the Temple Mount, which has direct political consequences? We could understand if there was some possibility that such a declaration might have an effect in deterring people from going up to the Temple Mount, but every child knows that nobody will be influenced by the proclamation, since those who do enter the Mount do not see their rabbis among the signatories. I checked, and I found only two prominent religious Zionist rabbis who might have some influence, and three more who are members of the "Har-Hamor" yeshiva. I conclude that this proclamation was created as a political message (similar to the prohibition of making Aliya to the land from many years ago) and not as a halachic ruling for people who have asked for guidance. It was created in order to echo in the realms of the government in its hesitation and for the world media, as if to say, "We also prohibit going onto the Mount," in response to the loud cheers of the Israeli left. I cannot identify even one "consumer" who will be interested in this proclamation.

I therefore recommend to the Chief Rabbinate to make use the principle of "sitting idly by and not making any proclamations," even if this halachic ruling is real and seems to the Rabbinate to be important. Just look what happened in our media, so thirsty for Israeli blood, in reaction to the correct statement by our Prime Minister that the Mufti of Jerusalem helped to push along the "Final Solution" in the time of the Holocaust.

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