Saturday, January 07, 2006

One Can Be Silent, (at least partially)

I davened at our local Chabad beit knesset in Kochav Yakov over Shabbat. It is one of two places that I usually daven Shacharit at over Shabbat. I was surprised when one of our local Rav Kahane supporters made a conditional MiSheBerach (a blessing over someone when the Torah is on the bimah) for Sharon to get well. It went something like this, "He should have a full recovery if the Creator knows in advance that he will do a full teshuvah." I had never heard a conditional MiSheberach before.

After davening a spirited debate broke out on whether there should be any misheberach for this number one criminal and implementer of what would at any other time in history have been considered a Crime Against Humanity. Personally I am never offended at the chance for the worst criminal to do a full teshuvah, especially for someone with so much past merit as Ariel Sharon. The conditional MiSheBerach was novel and at least for me inoffensive. But intense dislike for this proven criminal runs deep, and I remember from Chazal that one should be very wary about davening for the welfare of someone that you despise, especially an unrepentant criminal. Just to note: Those who thought that any misheberach at all was wrong asked if the Gabai would have prayed for Achav ben Omri, the evil King of the Northern Kingdom to get well. Of course, Achav committed intentional murder against the Prophets of Israel during his lifetime with the active assistance of his evil wife Jezabell. Ignoring the world media's previous hatred of Sharon, the worst crime he committed as Prime Minister was to take away the livelihood of Torah Scholars and the residences, businesses, synagogues, and yeshivot of thriving Jews in thriving communities. To the extent that turning an active, well, law-abiding citizen into a pauper is considered murder, he has committed thousands of them.

Having said this, I fully respect both approaches, Sultan Knish's approach and R.Lazer Brody's approach. This is very obviously a major judgment from heaven if Sharon does not recover at a time when major judgments are becoming increasingly more frequent during this year of Yitzkhak. At such times I know that I could place myself under a strict judgment if I demand it upon another, even a notorious criminal such as the Prime Minister. Until I have clarity on this issue, silence, at least for me, is better than a request of heaven that G-d should destroy this evil man in our midst and not just a request that G-d should destroy the evil that is in him. Whatever you choose to do, put the victims of this man's lust for power at the top of your prayers. Almost five full months after this man's criminal act, the saints from Gush Katif, Northern Gaza, and the Northern Shomron have not yet been compensated!!

In addition, the good people of the Western Negev and Southern Ashkelon are now within missile firing range of the crudest Qassam rockets. Heaven knows what G-d will allow the Hamas scum to do when they get a hold of Iran's and North Korea's newest missiles. Keep the people of Sederot, Netivot, and Ashkelon in your prayers too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree and I certainly haven't called for praying for his death, I have questioned whether there aren't a lot of people we should be praying for first and whether praying for sharon is a good idea in the first place considering what that says about our priorities and affiliations

1/08/2006 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those who have, actively or passively, expelled fellow Jews from their homes and destroyed their lives... who are they praying to??? G-d that they have no respect for??? politicians and israeli beit din, that ddn't stay in the way of sharon's policies, are now issuing prayers... whom are they praying to???

just to note that all of those "peacemakers" follow the tune of a song that says... "...The purest of prayers
Will not bring us back... Don't whisper a prayer Better to cry aloud A song for peace..." for some reason no one feels like singing now that sharon is sick and those who are not praying for his health are blamed for his misfortune.

i agree with Dov, we should not judge him as it is not our job and asking for his death is not an answer. we should ALL pray for Moshiach, to end the sufferings of ALL Jews!

1/08/2006 1:45 AM  
Blogger Golusman said...

While we should not judge others until "we stand in their place", and those in Eretz Yisrael are in less of a Golus that those in Artzot HaBrit, but we are all in golus nevertheless, we can and must comment and learn from current events. Just as Yosef's brothers learned that being treated cruelly by an Egyptian leader for innocently buying food during a famine was not a random event, but rather a response to their lack of sympathy to Yosef's cries when he pleaded for his life. We must learn that by not avenging the innocent blood spilt by the terrorists during the reign of this leader, this government has violated the prime directive of the mitzva of Egel Erufa, don't stand by idlely as innocent blood is split. The Baal Haturim says you will only succeed in war if you remove the murderers. This is why this mitzva is placed between two Parshiyot about war. Yet this government unforgivably rewarded the terrorists with territory, and its leader, like Shaul who refused to destroy Amalek has lost his rule. Dov thank you for your posts and my we be zoche to bias moshiach bimhaira by not standing by idlely and at least feeling the pain of the families that have suffered from this government that failed to respond to terror with strong action, and pray that another puppet regime for America is not set up by Ms Condi; a Shah of Israel like the Shah of Iran.

1/08/2006 3:34 AM  
Blogger Smooth said...

Thanks for writing on this subject. Right now I am being criticized by some peers because I understood what Pat Robertson meant when he said "[Sharon] was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, ‘This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone." Perhaps Robertson should have said that G-d has intervened for Israel by removing the man responsible for her division and consequent destruction. Why is that so hard to believe? Well, if one does NOT believe then events like these only lead to more skepticism. So far, all that Pat Robertson has done was quote a biblical principal. G-d explicitly promised in the Torah that He would have a constant, 24/7 connection with the Land of Israel and those who dwell there. The Torah is full of examples where G-d smote people and cities and entire nations for their actions. Ok, I know I am preaching to the choir, but I certainly did not pray for Sharon's death, nor did Pat Robertson, all I did was relate that less than 6 months after the disengagement, Sharon is ill, and the 11 Jewish families who were to be expelled from Hevron on January 3rd, were not. I'd appreciate any comments as to why I am being so criticized. Thanks. More on Pat Robertson.

1/08/2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I look forward to the day when Pat Robertson gets his just desserts.

1/08/2006 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Without a clear specific message from Hashem as to why someone was made to suffer... it is, in my opinion, the heigth of conceit and arrogance (posing as a Torah insight) to pass judgement on such matters. I vividly recall seeing the coffin of a 6 month old frumma Jewish baby being inserted into a hearse for burial many years ago. Would either Pat Robertson or his admirers care to provide a cause and effect reason known only by Hashem for such a tragedy?

I am certainly no fan of Sharon's decisions regarding Gaza. And while we can make a speculative connection between the Gaza event and Bush's present political troubles on the heels of that policy being implemented...what about Condi Rice, the messenger/enforcer? Why are Bush and Rice not in the hospital too along with all those who approved of that horrific Gaza policy?

It is axiomatic to Judaism that Hashem's reasons are unknowable by man. The wicked prosper and the righteous suffer in this world. Those who claim to know and those who speak aloud about such "reasons" only reveal themselves as self infatuated fools.

Japan just got 13 feet of snow. Greece just got zapped with a big earthquake. Shall we connect these events to Pearl Harbor and Hellenization of the Jews centuries ago?

When troubles befall someone he is supposed to examine his ways and re-evaluate his avoda to Hashem. That is strictly a private matter. It is not for the self-imagined "experts" to jump into to put their personal interpretational "spins" on such events.

Let's raise the game here...please.

Rabbi Moshe Yess

1/09/2006 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rabbi who 'predicted' the tsunami is saying that Sharon is already dead and that we should pray really hard this week and try to do tshuva because stuff is gong to happen real soon.

1/09/2006 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is not only whether you pray for sharon if will repent, but also, did you pray for the jews of gaza to not be expelled, or the people of sdorot and other cities threatened by terrorism caused by the gaza expulsion-ethnic cleansing? In some shuls near me they pray for the governments of america and israel, and the armies of israel and america, but they never said any prayers to God to stop the expulsion of jews from gaza, and protect the jewish people from terrorism, if you are not going to pray for the security and well being of the average jew (or american), you have no business praying for the "leaders" who brought all this grief on us, regardless of whether they can do teshuva.

1/11/2006 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had to offer an opinion, I'd say that if this had been punishment for Gush Katif, it would have happened closer to the event, not months later. IMHO, it's more likely to prevent whatever he had planned next.


1/11/2006 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many true things have been said and commented upon, but while one need not judge a "certified rasha" favorably, one cannot think so favorably of himself that he forgets who the True Judge is. Only G-d knows the cause and effect of all Creation, from the most powerful of men to the most vulnerable of mice, and we can only learn His Torah and try our very best. If we see a fellow Jew ill, why should we not pray for all our ill brethren -to be healed both physically, and more importantly, spiritually.

1/12/2006 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R' Dov can you please comment for us on the following?

Thanks and shavua tov!

1/15/2006 11:30 AM  

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