A Shofar From a Different Day

letter-447577_1280

If you haven’t seen it yet, treat yourself to a few minutes viewing this very poignant YouTube video about the intrepid young people who risked much to sound the Shofar at the Kotel at the conclusion of Yom Kippur in the days of Mandate Palestine.

You will be impressed by both the diversity of participants who risked jail time for the illegal act, and by their enthusiasm as the survivors look back at their deeds 6 or 7 decades later. There is so much about Hashgacha and mesiras nefesh in the establishment of the State that we are unaware of.

You will also note that the primitiveness and hatred of many Arabs has not changed a bit. Even before the “occupation,” the idea of Jews sounding a shofar at the holiest Jewish place on earth was seen as “offensive” to the Arab population.

You may also like...

22 Responses

  1. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >Because it would be a mistake to dismiss all aggada as having no halachic import.

    Ironically, it is R’ Kook more than any other sage of the previous century who pushed for a blurring of the lines between aggada and halacha. Of course, he would disagree with the anti-Zionist interpertation of the nature of the oaths.

    Also, I think that since the three oaths are not codified in any major halachic code (they do apear occationally in the shu”t of the rishonim), then their weight should be seen as greatly reduced. There is a difference when there is a long tradition of halachic application of a particular aggadata and when an aggada is used in a later period for obvious meta-halachic purposes.

  2. cvmay says:

    Why the focus on the 3 oaths at all? It is completely aggagita and not halacha.

    [YA – Because it would be a mistake to dismiss all aggada as having no halachic import. It is true that in general there is no psak in aggada, and aggada is not generally binding. There are exceptions to both of these rules – a few to the first (such as defining ikarei hados), and many, many to the second. It is far better to show why a plan of action does not run afoul of a maamar Chazal than to dismiss it outright. With proper yiras haromemus for the Satmar Rov zt”l, he was vastly outnumbered by gedolim of an earlier generation who disagreed about the three oaths.]

  3. Chareidi Leumi says:

    To get R’ Aviner’s essay, see the link from the wikipedia entry on the three oaths.

  4. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >R’ Aviner’s pamphet has DOZENS of reasons thte 3 oath no longer apply.

    Actually not dozens, he has 13 primary reasons any one of which is sufficient.

  5. Chareidi Leumi says:

    To Further show how inacurate Blau’s book about R’ Sonnenfeld is:

    Here is the testimony of R’ Peirush on his fathers meeting with R’ Sonnenfeld during the Kotel afair:

    “They [the British commitee] came to R’ Zonnenfeld and told him that they came to an important and good tentative agreement whereby the Jews will have the right to pray next to the Kotel but the Arabs get ownership rights and asked for his support for this agreement that will settle once and for all the ability of Jews to pray at the Kotel. R’ Zonnenfeld said to the British ‘You think I will sign that ownership will be transfered to the Arabs?! Do we have the right to sign such a thing?!”

    Also, there is a scan of the official position paper that R’ Zonnenfeld’s beis din produced regarding the Kotel afair at the חדרי חרדים forum. A quick google search should bring up both the testimony of R’ Peirush and the Edah’s letter.

    “If one thinks that we should give up ownership of the kotel in order to appease the Arabs; it is better that they sign a cancelation of the Balfour declaration and not c”V that [the Arabs] have ownership of the Kotel. And further, if we were to be concerned about the Arab threats then there would be no end in sight for [the Arabs] will always find an excuse.”

    It is clear that the official position of the Edah was NOT that the prayers at the Kotel or the benches were the cause of Arab riots but rather that the Arabs simply did not need any excuse.

    Regarding your previous comment:

    R’ Aviner’s pamphet has DOZENS of reasons thte 3 oath no longer apply. The Balfour declaration is only one of the reasons.

    The text of the declaration is the following:

    “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    Where in the world does it make it contingent of Arab agreement???

    R’ H Zimmerman has an entire essay in his Torah L’Yisrael on the three oaths and it is in no way based on JOB. See there.

  6. Tziki kedera says:

    1) cd…my proofs all also from the gerlitz-sofer book /nd prof anita shapira of TAU,,, LOOK AT RAV YOSEF ben porat (emuna.info ) who brings everything…
    2) rav aviner slita says the balour declartion gets rid of 3 oaths…the last clause of BD says it is only valid if the arabs agree..!!!…rav berel wien says the arabs should have dancing and not the jews…
    3) the genious and tzidk RAH Zimmerman only has a small peace based on JOB 27:17

  7. Chareidi Leumi says:

    Tziki,

    The Guardian book you refer to is HIGHLY inacurate and political.

    Fact is, that Rav Zonnenfeld rejected the british “compromize” which would have entailed a public declaration of Arab rights to the Kotel in exchange for the right of Jews to prayer. This rejection was coordinated with R’ Kook and while Rav Zonnenfeld never signed the posters calling for a public fast this was mostly due to his passive approach vis a vis the british more than his disagreement that the Jews should have full access to the kotel – benches and all.

    Rav Frank was solidly in Rav Kook’s camp to the end of his life. What you write about the end of is life is the same kind of nurishkeit that anti-zionists say about any Rabbi who supported zionism. The same kind of lies are said about the Meshech Chochma and R’ Meltzer. The only great sage that I have actually been able to confirm as having “switched sides” was R’ Hutner. Rav Frank was a classic yerushalmi of the majority non-splinter group – so he lived and so he died.

    The basic question is not the three oaths and if you think that no one ever refuted the Satmar Rebbe than you need to expand your booklist. First, who says he needs refuting? I am not sure that he proves his point to begin with!

    Second, Just looking at HaTekufa HaGedolah by R’ MM Kasher or Rav Aviner’s pamphlet on the oaths or R’ Chaim Zimmerman’s essay on the topic – or for that matter Gil Student’s writing on the topic will give you dozens of refutations to such a weak theses as that of vaYoel Moshe.

  8. Tziki kedera says:

    CH…RYHZ never changed his view…letters are printed in Guardian ‘ (p 309 ,320 )(hebrew) showing no desire for jewish sovreintity,,,
    2) the error that ryhz agreed with r k is shown on p 328…ryhz refused to sign a letter that he has demand for har habayit…he explained that he asks from hashem , not from the british
    3) rav frank…at the end of his life ,when ben gurion tried to jail him 1960…for his support of yossela case he admitted ryhz was right…p 220
    4) perhaps the basic question is are the 3 oaths in effect (kassuvos 112 ) no one ever refuted the satmar rebbi…

  9. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >which presumably means that the Mechaber paskened like the Rambam that it is a mitzvah.

    This should be RambaN, not Rambam. Although it is possible that the Mechaber felt that the Rambam also paskened it is a mitzvah. The Yad brings down all the relevant halachas that flow from it being a mitzva and really the only argument that the Rambam did not consider it a mitzvah are from sefer haMitzvot and the arguments are generally not muchrach.

  10. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >if it is a mitzva is disputed by rishonim

    Perhaps (though the Ramban’s position is pretty clear whereas the Rambam’s position is in dispute). But the Shulchan Aruch brings down Ish Kofeh Ishto as halacha (and most achronim of the previous century pasken explicitly like the Ramban) which presumably means that the Mechaber paskened like the Rambam that it is a mitzvah.

    >the letters of rav zonnenfeld are available where he states the jews want know baalut on the cotel and har har har habayet

    If this is true (and I have not seen any such letters) then it is in direct contradiction to his testimony to the british commission where his public position was not to compromize one bit on the kotel or har haBayit – a position which he coordinated with R’ Kook so that at least on this issue there would be a rare display of unity.

    >for this professer dehaan was assasinated and rav zonnenfeld escaped by a miricle.

    Nurishkeit. No one tried to assasinate R’ Zonnenfeld. Dehaan was assasinated because he was negotiating with our enemies to grant them control over our land thereby undermining our core interests while at the same time stroking Arab antisemitism. He should not have been assasinated but I shed very few tears over the fact that he was. The fact that such a two faced blasphemer was so wholeheartedly embraced by R’ Sonnenfled and the rest of the splinter group shows you exacly how disconnected they were from the reality of their historical situation.

    >the hatam sofer 180 years ago not to start up with the arabs

    Puting bentches at the kotel is not “starting up.” We live in the age of the Techiya haLeumit of the Jewish people – what was right 180 ago was not right 80 years ago and is not right today. Besides, one of the Hatam sofer’s most loyal followers R’ Akiva Yosef Schlesinger zt”l was a gun-toting member of Bar Giora and took an active role in several vigilante acts against those Arabs who made Jewish life in Jerusalem very difficult in the 19th century. He, at least, did not invoke the Hatam sofer as you do – but rather invoked an healthy Jewish pride.

  11. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >the root of the reneued conflict was the balfour declaration …there was relative harmony until then

    Is that why the bar-giora organization (a Hareidi self defence organization) was founded in the 19th century? To gaurd against the “relative calm” of Arab violence?

    Was that why HaShomer was founded in 1909? Also to gaurd against such “relative calm.”??

    >What you say on R YC Zonnenfeld is completly untrue.

    I didn’t say anything since I was not there. Neither were you. R’ Zvi Pesach Frank zt”l was there and he gave us his testimony. Do you really think it is impossible that R’ Sonnenfeld was being manipulated? Do you really think that the policies of the splinter community headed by R’ Sonnenfeld had nothing to do with the violence? How do you think that Arab nationalists reacted to the policies of de-Haan. Lets face it, he policies were so embaracing to the Aguda that they pretty much wrote him out of the history books. R’ Breuer at one point even wrote a letter to the Aguda in Jerusalem saying that they should in no way commemorate his name (all but the neturei karta complied).

  12. Tziki kedera says:

    1) to live in eretz yisrael no one disputes …if it is a mitzva is disputed by rishonim
    2) the letters of rav zonnenfeld are available where he states the jews want know baalut on the cotel and har har har habayet . Rav kook was the exact opposite.
    3) for this professer dehaan was assasinated and rav zonnenfeld escaped by a miricle.
    4) the hatam sofer 180 years ago not to start up with the arabs (regarding karbon pesech )

  13. mb says:

    “Tziki kedera
    September 19, 2010 at 6:58 am

    the root of the reneued conflict was the balfour declaration …there was relative harmony until then. Look at the writings of prof anita shapira of TAU ,among others. bringing in benchs etc is not
    “legitamate” provacation but real provacation. What you say on R YC Zonnenfeld is completly untrue.”

    Yup. Uppity Jews wanting to live in Israel in peace is definitely a real provocation too. Whatever will they be demanding next?

  14. cvmay says:

    Tziki kedera
    Relative harmony is an interesting word (sort of like, it wasn’t my relative that was killed so….).
    If your knowledge of pre-state Israel is gathered from the book, “The Guardian of Jerusalem”, the story of Rav YC Sonnenfeld zt”l, you are missing most of the facts of the Kosel affair and the British commissioner. Rav Sonnenfeld and Rav Kook were in total agreement regarding the position of the Kosel in the eyes of the Jews in Israel.

    The root of the conflict which began in Biblical times and will only end with the coming of Mashiach is Yishmael and Yitzchak. Sorry, revision or rewriting of Jewish history does not work on Cross-Current site.

    Thank you, Rav Adlerstein for an inspiring video..

  15. Tziki kedera says:

    the root of the reneued conflict was the balfour declaration …there was relative harmony until then. Look at the writings of prof anita shapira of TAU ,among others. bringing in benchs etc is not
    “legitamate” provacation but real provacation. What you say on R YC Zonnenfeld is completly untrue.

  16. mb says:

    “Steve Ehrlich
    September 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    … And, with independence and a strong army, B”H, we dont have to take that abuse anymore. Too bad some leftists wouldnt mind rolling back the clock.”

    Alas not just leftists. Too many of our Orthodox brethren share their dream. Eicha?

  17. Chareidi Leumi says:

    >rav yosef chaim zonnenfeld (and others ) warned rav kook that changing the status quo (bringing benches , shofars, mehitsos etc) will cause a pogram ,which happened

    Actually, R’ Zonnenfeld took a pretty hard-line regarding the Kotel in his testimony to the british commission. The benches were the excuse that the mufti yimach shmo gave for his riots and by legitimizing it you are legitimizing arab antisemitism of the worst kind.

    Also, R’ Kook never “changed the status quo”. Jews of all types brought the benches for the simple reason that they wanted to accomodate the people who came to daven.

    The fact that you see benches and shofars as illegitimate provocation of Arab sensibilities is without basis. In fact R’ Sonnenfeld’s embrace of Yaakov de Haan and the latter’s “negotiations” with Arab nationalists regarding the undermining of Jewish claims to Eretz Yisrael did far more to encourage Arab thugs than benches and shofars ever accomplished.

    This is of course, assuming that R’ Sonnenfeld was active in any autonomous capacity during the late 20s and early 30s which according to R’ Zvi Pesach Frank in his letter to R’ Haim Hirschenson, he was during this period manipulated by zealots towards more and more extreme ends … to the point that when R’ Frank confronted R’ Sonnenfeld regarding the nature of the posters to which his name is signed the latter admited to being consistently manipulated by overzealous youth.

  18. Steve Ehrlich says:

    … And, with independence and a strong army, B”H, we dont have to take that abuse anymore. Too bad some leftists wouldnt mind rolling back the clock.

  19. Tziki kedera says:

    rav yosef chaim zonnenfeld (and others ) warned rav kook that changing the status quo (bringing benches , shofars, mehitsos etc) will cause a pogram ,which happened. He refusrd to listen,,,
    R moshe segal i was by often on shabbatot…

  20. Bob Miller says:

    The Arabs are the aliens to the Temple Mount. Building their mosque there was an act of occupation. Israel has deferred to them and their Waqf far too long.

  21. Chareidi Leumi says:

    R’ Moshe Segel was a great man. During the six day war, after the old city was liberated by our soldiers, he took a tent and literaly moved into the old city sleeping on a pile of rubble. When he was arrested by the Brits for blowing the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur, R’ Kook zt”l publicly announced that he will not break his fast until R’ Segel his released. The Brits, fearing another public relations nighmare released him within the hour.

  22. Raymond says:

    Thank you so much for posting this video. Watching this naturally brought tears to my eyes, yet gave me much needed laughter even more. What a fantastic video. What heroes these people are. I sit here in complete awe of them. As long as we have such courageous people among us Jews, all the antisemitism in the world can never truly defeat us.