Seven Ways To Deny Reality

Aish.com has one of the most foolish articles about the new war in Israel I’ve seen. Entitled “Seven Ways You Can Help Israel,” the article is long on feel-good spirituality and short – very short – on tachlis. The seven ways you can help? Here they are, in order just as Aish lists them:

1. Pray.

2. Cry.

3. Study Torah.

4. Believe.

5. Repent.

6. Do good.

Okay, so there are only six ways. The seventh, stated at the end of the article, is get on a plane and come to Israel today, presumably to do much more of numbers one through five.

When Jews face danger, prayer is natural – and correct. But it is not the be all and end all Aish makes it out to be. God wants us to do the most we can in the here and now to make things better. The midrash points out Nachshon ben Aminadav went into the sea until his nostrils were a fraction of an inch above water. It was only then the sea split. A midrash also chastises Moshe for praying when he should have been doing exactly what Nachshon did.

The lesson for us should be clear – doing what we can do to help Israel, from going there and helping out to sending money to funds that will help offset the tremendous financial losses taken by Israelis in a time of war, comes first. Extra time praying and learning should happen as well, but not as a first choice or even as a second. Practical help always comes first.

So, you might wonder why I ridicule Aish. After all, what we have is a disagreement over priorities. Both parties here endorse practical action. If you thought this, I would not argue with you. If the only sin of Aish was a shifting of priorities, the tenor my attack against them would be uncalled for. But it is not Aish.com’s only sin:

Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, one of the greatest Torah leaders in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust said this before he was murdered by the Nazis: “In times of trouble, anyone who can strengthen themselves and doesn’t transgresses the command of “standing by while your neighbor’s blood is being spilt.” Literally. Because every effort by every single Jew has the power to prevent bloodshed and save the Jewish people. And if someone has the capability and doesn’t do anything, he’s an accomplice to destruction, preventing the preservation and salvation of the Jewish people with his own hands.”

Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman (who in the above passage is speaking about spiritual action like praying and learning) forbade his students and followers from fleeing to Palestine or America. Most perished in the Holocaust. Wasserman allegedly refused visas for himself and his students from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary because Yeshiva University (the parent organization of REITS) was “worse than Hitler.”

Wasserman was an extreme anti-zionist who also hated modernity. His “advice” killed hundreds of his followers. To cite such a man in the context of what should be done today to help Israel is unconscionable. The only reason I can think of for Aish to do this is ignorance.

Wasserman is not a role model. He was an extremist whose advice led to death, not life, and whose words were filled with hate for Jews who kept Shabbat, kashrut and Jewish law but differed with him on theological grounds.

Israel needs your help. Send money. Offer support. Go if you can and think it safe (or go if you are willing to take the risk). But by all means do not spend excessive time learning or praying until you are certain every Israeli has food and a safe place to sleep. That is what Jewish law – and common sense – expects and demands.

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48 Comments

Filed under Divre Torah, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Outreach

48 responses to “Seven Ways To Deny Reality

  1. Shmuel

    It really is amazing that we have midrashim which extrol the virtue of action in a time of crisis, and we have a Mussar movement which makes the material, health and physical comfort of one’s fellow Jew of prime importance (“Yenem’s gashmius is dein ruchnius”), but the very Litvacks who claim to learn those midrashim and whose school of thought spawned Mussar keep on forgetting that action means ACTION, not just Torah study and prayer. The latter go without saying. What’s the matter with us?

  2. Chaim Scheff

    Almost 25 years ago – I got on the plane and came to Israel – and I am still here. OK – and 25 years ago, I might have agreed with your article – but today – the Aish.com approach is strictly on-par if not nominally superior in the present and vastly superior in the long term – but we are speaking about something that is very immediate in the real absolute present tense – so (1) deal with the fact that there is infinitesimally little that you can do from there or from here; (2) that sending money is nice – but send it to someone that you personally know – and ask them to share it with those that they personally know are in need of it – don’t be a %$#@ and send it to the organization of your choice, etc.; (3) AND if you’re sincerely motivated to do something – then get your fingers dirty and try to build strategic commercial partnerships with somebody in Israel – that means looking for an Israeli supplier or an Israeli manufacturer or an Israeli startup – and you will find that some of your transactions will succeed and others will fail – BUT you will genuinely be contributing in the most focused way that you personally can. In other words, investing in Israel is investing in a stay-in-touch way where you personally feel the success or the failure – and that is much harder than just writing a check to an organization or jumping on a plane and trying to find a goodwill opportunity. The reason that it is so much harder – is that you have to maintain all of your rational hard-nosed criteria for good investments and good transactions – and that will force you to feel things personally not just politically or spiritually – … now I have to get back to work – even under the stress of trying to decide if I should become a news addict or a conscientious avoider –— with best wishes from Jerusalem …

  3. ZA

    Maybe we should learn from King Hezkiyah. When he was in a trouble, deep trouble, he did, as the leader of the Jewish people at the time, RECOGNIZE Go-d as the true master and the ultimate one to win the war.
    He preyed to Go-d to intervine and to adopt the war as Go-d’s own war.
    However, doing so did not mean to get rid of the army and stop fighting. Hezkiyah continued to fight and do whatever needed in the “tachles”.
    On the other hand, the current madman who is the prime minister of Israel would do only a half of that. He fights without any real achiveable aim but he refuses to recognize Go-d as the true master and prey to him. Aish is trying to balance that.
    ZA

  4. avrohom

    sick shamrya, you are getting sicker by the day…you are consumed with your hate for yiddishkeyt as it was practiced for thousands of years…you are consumed with your hate and contemept for the beleif and ideological belief cardinals that jews belived for thousands of years…in times of distress you go on to attack a leader of world jewry who for better or worse left a trace in jewish life while you leave your trace in destroying judaism…

    but now you piece of garbage and hypochrite: you have the galls to talk about responisiblity ofr saving lvies and you are the hallmark of the person who is interested in doing something to help materially???? It is has been your dalse idols and your gods and your views that have BROUGHT DEATHS AND WOUNDS AND SUFFERING FOR THE ISRAELIS AND JEWS FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS!!! you haven’t spoken out about this…no matter how much you see in front of your weyes how your “Gedolim” (which we can make asher yotzar on with all hiddurim) have brought calamity to the lives of jews in israel…they have followed the idols of of “new world order” new middle east for they have swallowed the talk of “democracy” and “enlightement” from the “racist” opinions and we will live with our arab brothers and the hell with religiopus fanatics…it has been your views that borught to this false messianism to try this peice process that tore us a piece…that killed 1000, s of jewish lives, owunded so many others, that took away the deterrrence of the israeli army that expelled 9,000 people whoprotected israelis and their army from their homes livelihood and you talk about “helping”?/ All you can do is “grandiose” talk like all your bleeding liberal brothers…but you will not help where help is needed…your policies and your views bring disaster….don’t talk against giants whose everyfiber of their lives was to inherit judaism to the next generation which it did while your judaism is false piety and empty kindness only to the animals which you love with all your heart and you hate your brother with all your might…had i seen you stop denigrating other jews and call for a positive campaign to help in some practical way i would perhaps be uiet…but all you do is bicker at this or that organization for asking to pray and you have empty slogans and no practical way to help…you hate the message of prayer that is what you hate…you are not for doing anything in practice to help….do teshuva or go to heelll

  5. Yochanan Lavie

    Aish ia well meaning, but out to lunch. We are not living in Gan Eden, and the world proceeds (most of the time) according to the laws of nature. God helps those who help themselves; he is not Santa Claus. Prayer is important, but relying on it alone is magical thinking. We cannot fathom when God will or will not intervene.

  6. Lazer Wolf

    the problem with aish hatora!
    the real reason for these recommendation from aish, is that their clientele, is normally not israelis.
    they are diaspora jews, north or south americans.
    realising that the only action they can really take is playing armchair generals, dispensing advise on how to run the war. their advise lehaarbos bisfillo is by far a more desirable and effective operation, even by just getting out of the way ! 🙂
    i have a lot of difference with aish, but recommending prayer? how could it be harmful?

  7. avrohom

    “God helps those who help themselves; he is not Santa Claus. Prayer is important, but relying on it alone is magical thinking. We cannot fathom when God will or will not intervene….”

    so pathetic coming from the fingers who so extoll the virtues of the secular gedolim and here we do not hear them crying out to their gods that they have forsaken them…and most important these fakes phony frauds do not give a hoot about “those who help themselves” otherwise they cry bloody murder for the crimes that people and groups did on israel by tying their hands for years and years and not allowing them to do what they knew once what to do…

    all of you good for nothing repent! and start DOING something for a change!

  8. Yochanan Lavie

    Boo hoo! Avrohmie is making fun of me.

    1. You know nothing about me.
    2. You know nothing about my politics.
    3. My philosophy cannot be summed up on a bumper sticker. For example,I believe in God, but not in quietism (look it up).

    This is getting tedious. Why don’t you start your own blog, so you can hear yourself vituperate in stereo? Why don’t get a spell-checker, or at least proofread your posts (I do). Better yet:
    Why don’t you repent yourself?

  9. Anonymous

    What year did he allegedly refuse visas for himself and his students? In your previous posts you indicated that this was in the mid to late 1930s. If so, that would make Rabbi Wasserman a poor predictor of the future; but so were virtually every politician on the European Continent; so he has plenty of company.

    In fact Hitler succeeded not because he was objectively stronger than the French and British, but because the French lacked the will to take the offensive while Hitler’s only combat ready troops were grinding up Poland. The French had over 100 divsions of the best troops in Europe and plenty of aircraft and tanks facing about 15 untrained German divisions on the western front. An offensive by the the French in the west would have easily succeded.

    Thus, an assessment that Hitler was not objectively a threat to the Jews of Poland and Russia was remakably objectively sound. However, objective assessments of relative strength do not necessarily carry the day when one party lacks the will to fight.

    If, on the other hand, the quote and refusal was when the Holocaust had started, and with knowledge, then Rabbi Wasserman was, if the allegations are true, evil. I doubt that Rabbi Wasserman knew what was going on when he allegedly refused the visas but I would certainly be interested to know if you have information otherwise.

  10. Shmuel

    Rabbi Wasserman had to know. He was in the United States for a time, collecting money, when war broke out, or so I was informed. He then decided to leave the USA and return to Europe and there, alongside his students, met his end by the Nazis. Not until recently did I learn that YU had extended visas to him and the yeshiva. Seems unconscionable to decline them no matter how evil YU is. Didn’t the Satmar Rav get out throught the help of a Zionist? Make a deal with the devil if you must, but save your life. If Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai could err, and the Tanna who refused to allow the Roman sacrifice to be offered because of its defect could err (see Gittin at the Bar Kamtza story), can we not say Rabbi Wasserman erred?

  11. Avromie, you’re a trip. Do you always hide your head in the sand when it comes to the truth about our leadership?

    Telling the truth does more than hiding does, mate. I love coming to Shmarya’s blog because he’s straight up. It’s obvious he’s not “filled with hate for yiddishkeit.” I think he’s more like me. Sick of the shtus, cover ups, lies, watering-down of the truth. To which – I applaud! Keep it up Shmarya!

  12. Paul Freedman

    Lazer, certainly no need for armchair generals given the brilliant diplomatic and military performance of the professionals so far…when the Israeli armchair generals called voters sort this all out it will be interesting

  13. Anonymous

    Does anybody here have a relative who was a student of Harav Wasserman ztl??? Then who the F are you to go on about his decision?

    “Wasserman was an extreme anti-zionist who also hated modernity. His “advice” killed hundreds of his followers.”

    Unlike the pig who runs this blog, many have advised people to directions that unltimatly were wrong or ended up in tragedy. His advice didnt kill hundreds of his followers, and most of his family since you neglect to mention it, Nazism killed Harav Wasserman and his students.

    You are obviously the type who blames rape victims for choosing the wrong street to walk on.

    And by the way, you died a long time ago but its Harav Wasserman who will be remembered.

    What a mean bitter little troll you must be in real life. Woe unto the Wicked and woe unto your neighbors god help them.

  14. I’ve read everything that “Wasserman” wrote and never got the impression that he hated YU.It seems more that he was afraid that YU was detrimental to Judaism. That is an ideological difference not to be confused with hate. You, on the other hand, with your nasty, distateful comments about Reb Elchonon do seem to be filled with hate for those who disagree with your ideology. If you want to be mashpia on people with your blog I suggest you calm down about and sound less angry.

  15. Anonymous

    Did the refusal to take visas occur at the outbreak of the war or earlier, or do you not know?

    That Rabbi Wasserman “had to know,” is a not a good argument. Plenty of people simply did not know until it was too late, despite what we now believe to be a plethora of evidence.

    I do not dispute that Rabbi Wasserman may have been mistaken. You, however, have accused him of being worse. This accusation is far from proven and is highly unlikely, despite what we think people should have known.

    It remains that by going back to Europe at a time that it was clear there was physical danger, Rabbi Wasserman acted heroically. He also died a martyrs death al kidush hashem.

  16. I’m still trying to figure out where you guys are seeing “anger”, and the need to “calm down”.

    Maybe you’re just reading Avromie’s responses, which indeed are full of anger and he could use an aerial spraying of Prozac. :]

    Or perhaps when someone writes their opinion that is in contradiction to your own, you naturally take it as though they are angry. Something to think about.

  17. Schneur

    I was told that Rav Tuvia Goldstein the late rosh yeshiva of Emek halacha in Bklyn said that Reb Elchonon was a messige Yid, translated a normtive Jew.
    He certainly was a man of strong religious beliefs and principles.
    Both his sons who survived were not blind fanatics thta includes Rabbi Simcha Wasserman late of Los Angeles.
    The Satmae and other anti Zionists have spun him as a fanatic . The new post wAr yeshiva community has also adopted him as its poster boy.
    Reb Elchonon had dentures and much of what he is supposed to have said about east European Jewry , Holocaust, US Jewry is purely fictinoal as he lost his dentures and had trouble being understood ,
    One can not take everythin said in his name literally.

  18. Anonymous

    Maybe some should ask Harav Avraham Teichman of the Kehilla Kosher who was Principal of Ohr Elchonon there on Kings Road before Chabad bought it and Harav Simcha went to Israel to open a Yeshiva there, and ask him if he got the impression that he worked under the son of a fanatic??? Oh and Harav Teichman is also a Phi Beta Kappa who could walk in as substitute on any subject, Math, Chemistry, etc. So forget your usual tricks to dismiss him as an uneducated Kollel boor.

    I didnt know Harav Elchonon, but I did have the pleasure of hearing his sons shmoozes and reflections on Torah and his father. When during Yom Kippur it was announced that Israel was attacked he barely finished making the announcement when he had to go compose himself as he was crying into his kerchief the news. Yea the Zionist Heretic state was attacked and Rav Elchonons son is crying like a baby about it, this is the son a man you slander and defame as a hater of secular Jews and Zionists. Well, it sure seems like he failed his dad, instead of making a kiddush he crys and asks that Yom Kippur prayer be suspended for a while in order to say some relevant tehillim to ask Hashem to strenghten the IDFs hands in battle.

    Shame on you and shame on your Parents for failing in teaching you any kind of menschlikeit.

  19. Anonymous

    Maybe some should ask Harav Avraham Teichman of the Kehilla Kosher who was Principal of Ohr Elchonon there on Kings Road before Chabad bought it and Harav Simcha went to Israel to open a Yeshiva there, and ask him if he got the impression that he worked under the son of a fanatic??? Oh and Harav Teichman is also a Phi Beta Kappa who could walk in as substitute on any subject, Math, Chemistry, etc. So forget your usual tricks to dismiss him as an uneducated Kollel boor.

    I didnt know Harav Elchonon, but I did have the pleasure of hearing his sons shmoozes and reflections on Torah and his father. When during Yom Kippur it was announced that Israel was attacked he barely finished making the announcement when he had to go compose himself as he was crying into his kerchief the news. Yea the Zionist Heretic state was attacked and Rav Elchonons son is crying like a baby about it, this is the son a man you slander and defame as a hater of secular Jews and Zionists. Well, it sure seems like he failed his dad, instead of making a kiddush he crys and asks that Yom Kippur prayer be suspended for a while in order to say some relevant tehillim to ask Hashem to strenghten the IDFs hands in battle.

    Shame on you and shame on your Parents for failing in teaching you any kind of menschlikeit.

  20. avrohom

    Yochanan,

    you sick bum iu can assure you, you don’t beleif G-d. Otherwise you would not support the bum jew hater scotty.

  21. Binyamin Gillers

    I totally agree that Shmaryahu was very disrespectful towards my great grandfather, Hagaon Rav Elchonon Wasserman zecher tzaddik livracha. If Shmaryahu doesn’t like the charedim calling Rabbi Soloveichik as JB he’d better not refer to Reb Elchonon as “Wasserman”.
    However, I would suggest that you not attempt to understand Reb Elchonon in light of his son’s behavior.
    Although I never met my greatgrandfather, I had the zechus to spend much time with Reb Simcha, first when he visited us in Tucson and afterwards in Boston. From what both Reb Simcha told me and what many of Reb Elchonon’s talmidim told me (ie Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, Rav Elya Yurekansky, Rav Tuvia Goldstein and others), Reb Elchonon and Reb Simcha had two totally different personalities. My Grandfather, Reb Dovid tzatzal, (who likewise, I did not have the zechus to meet, for he was nifter before I was born; nevertheless, my mother, tells me much about him) was even more different than Reb Elchonon. All three brought honor to God and His people; each in his own way. Please do not claim one was like the other. At the same time, please do not insult or call them ugly names. You lower the caliber of your blog with such behavior.

  22. avrohom

    “Avromie, you’re a trip. Do you always hide your head in the sand when it comes to the truth about our leadership
    Telling the truth does more than hiding does, mate’.

    “truth about leadership”: what “truth” is there in slandering R. Wasserman Hy”d the way you shkotzim and vermins have? Do you have *proof* that he rejected the visas *after* the war broke out? Be macho and produce them; if not shut you filthy mouth you sick shegetz.

    ” I love coming to Shmarya’s blog because he’s straight up’.

    Because you and him are mates to spread hatred of yiddishkeyt and jewish leaders.

    ” I think he’s more like me”.

    This is the only truth. Both of you are two shkotzim from the erev rav.

  23. avrohom

    “Or perhaps when someone writes their opinion that is in contradiction to your own, you naturally take it as though they are angry’.

    You are right. You are not sounding angry. you are a clood blooded defamer of people without any proof. Cite a source that R. Wasserman told his students not to take the visas after the war broke out.

  24. avrohom

    And Yochanan,

    Let me see, your host writes a whole mussar about doing something for israel as opposed to just praying. What has he (and you) DONE in actuality to help ease the suffering and pain of our brethern? What repentance has he done publicly for criticizing the settlers who aided andprotected the citiziens ofIsrael? What have you done to help the loss of jobs by 9,000 people? What have you done to sream out at our enemies for attemtping to push us unto the sea, by pushing us towards the “peace process”? What have you done to stem the tide of the false messiahship that heralded the new age of “suicide bombing” by the secularists idol worshippers of the secular values???

    ZILCH! ALL you do is nitpick to find some “crime” that a group or another speaks about “praying” and not doing something, when you yourself need to clean up your act. The very least you need to ask you lovable host, the shegetz to apologize for his deriding of our brothers and sisters who gave their lives to protect the citizens of Israel.

  25. People begged R. Wasserman not to go back. He was offered his own yeshiva – separate from RIE, and Mike Tress had 100 visas available for his students.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you claim that R. Wasserman was a holy kadosh who chose to die w/ his students, then you are saying that he had sufficient information about the threat to make that choice. While death at that point wasn’t certain, the threat was obvious – hence the tearful pleading with REW not to return to Europe.

    It’s a completely subjective assessment, but my opinion is that the two Rabbis who showed the most leadership ability during the Shoah were R. Shimon Kalish, the Amshinover Rebbe, who spent the war in Japan and Shanghai and R. Michoel Weissmandel, who actually saved Jews from his hideouts.

    I wonder sometimes what the frum velt would be like today if it had been R. Weissmandel’s model at Mt. Kisco that became the standard instead of BMG.

  26. avrohom

    can you cite some source that Mike had 100 visas *available* for his students?

    It is one thing to speak about the foresight etc.; it is another to make a vile accusation that he knowingly rejected his students come to america on 39/40 when he had visas *avaliable*. This place has gone too too too far…

  27. El Chacham

    Very interesting.
    OK. I completely agree with everything Avrohom has said. (I especially appreciate his referring to Shmarya as a pig etc. Shmarya is a f%$#ing pig indeed.)
    I want to add this:
    Even such arrogant schmucks as Shmarya would have to agree that Hashem is always in control of what happens in the world. Sure, He doesn’t put missiles in the hands of terrorists; but surely He could protect His people from these missile attacks.
    That Israeli soldiers and citizens are being abducted and killed is only because the Almighty wills it so.
    Stay with me now…
    As thinking Jews we have to ask ourselves why. Why is Hashem allowing this to happen? After all, we are doing our part, aren’t we? Our soldiers are fighting hard to defeat the enemy.
    Ask yourself the question, Shmarya! You damn fool! WHY???
    How the hell is sending money to Israel – or going there – the answer to this difficulty, you idiot?
    But that is the easy way out, isn’t it?
    Maybe Hashem wants something from us. Maybe these tragedies are signs that we’re not behaving ourselves.
    Our history is filled with stories that followed this pattern: sin, tragedy, repentance, salvation.
    And the prayer always followed the Teshuva. Otherwise it is meaningless.

  28. Neo-Conservaguy

    “OK. I completely agree with everything Avrohom has said. (I especially appreciate his referring to Shmarya as a pig etc. Shmarya is a f%$#ing pig indeed.)”

    I see the yeshiva children are sneaking off and posting on the Internet again. Tsk, tsk, silly kids – don’t try to play with the adults, you’ll look like fools. Whoops, too late.

  29. Yochanan Lavie

    “Yochanan,

    you sick bum iu can assure you, you don’t beleif G-d. Otherwise you would not support the bum jew hater scotty.”

    Okay- I see the light! I repent! Here is my new credo:

    1. I will not send my car to the mechanic. Daas Torah will tell me how to fix it.

    2. If a terrorist comes at me, and I have the choice of confronting him with a gemara or an uzi, I’ll choose the former.

    3. I will refrain from using intelligible standard English.

    4. I will insult all those who disagree with me, and consign them to 2000 years in heck.

    5. Because God decides everything, the laws of nature are suspended. I can swallow poison and live, if God wills it, so why not try?

    6. I will worship a dead rabbi as the messiah and physical embodiment of God.

    7. I will blame the “Zionists” for being irrelgiious, yet rely on their handouts and their army.

    8. I will call “Scotty” a f**king pig, for having the audacity to unmask Jewish pedaphiles who are preying (not praying) upon Jewish kids. Why can’t the brats shut up and take it?

    9. I will call people of darker skin niggers and schvartzes, instead of considering them human beings made in the image of God.

    10. I will eat the carcasses of animals who had their throats ripped out. Who needs humane scheita?

    11. I will rip off The US and Israeli goverments any way I can. The ends justify the means.

    12. I will support MBP, despite the fact that it is not an absolute requirement. Herpes schmerpes!

    13. I will hunt down and kill anybody who I suspect of being a homosexual.

    Thank you so much Avromeleh, for your enlightening comments! You have totally changed my life. Now I think I’ll go and dance on the head of a pin.

  30. avrohom

    YOchanan,

    Grow up and answer to the points.

    Playing a kindergarden child will not help you anywhere. shmarya and your raison d’etre of this blog is (not to call attention to change areas where needs change; but) to deride Judaism in general; deride schitah, deride metzitzoh and jewish customs… you use the ffalsehoods you raise as a pretext for that just that.

    That is why all of you fly off the handle to bad mouth people with such malice and evil as you do…

    Now to the point: you and your friend shekotzim and erev rav, listen to the point of your message, which is that we must DO something (in addition to praying) about Israel. what have *you* and shegets scotty done?

    Nothing. you have been on the side of those that expelled jews, and gave rise to the terror. You have not only not prayed gor the well being of israelis but also on the natural plane, you have empbarked on the side of those that that helped endanger the safety of israelis. So instead of mocking those who call for prayer, you have to correct your ways on both levels: starting to pray to hashem (and that includes starting to beleive in Hashem and His Torah which is something that both of you lack; you do not beleive in the Holiness of the Torah and that is the main reason why you try to find evil in all Torah leaders, because you cannot fathom those that still vling to the trust and belief in Hashem and his torah and you deride their beleifs by finding faults that do not exust) and at the same time you must repent for being on the side of those who helped the enemy: it is like you took the uzi and started killng jews…You should have the moral consicenece to repent and send you soul to the mechanic to see if there is a possibility to fix it…

    DO SOMETHING GOOD AND POSITIVE instead of maligning jewish leaders….otherwise you will have the same fate as the erev rav…

  31. El Chacham

    Hey Yochanan, you master of intelligible english, you! It’s pedOphile, not pedAphile, you idiot!

  32. Lazer Wolf

    R’ Shmarya
    I think I speak for many in asking you to block some of the repetitively/abusive blogers.
    Apart from their tasteless fare, they are hoging the blog, and drifting in their arguments aimlessly!
    As to you, ..sher koyech!

  33. Lazer Wolf

    Avrom and Chacham-not
    Is “nibbul hape” the mitzva of the day?

  34. I agree with Lazer W. Some folks here who are simply into flaming need blocked. It’s not adding anything to the blog. It’s taking away from it.

    As for you Avromie, might I suggest anger therapy and perhaps learn to do something other than name call. It’s childish.

  35. Yochanan Lavie

    “Hey Yochanan, you master of intelligible english, you! It’s pedOphile, not pedAphile, you idiot!”

    Oops! Thanks for the correction. BTW, English is capitalized.

  36. Anonymous

    Are any of you guys married?

  37. Anonymous

    I still did not get an answer as to when this alleged refusal of visas happened. Also, if the visas existed, were they used for other persons? If so, this is a wash in total terms (but not for the individuals involved). If they were not used for other persons then why? Perhaps they did not exist at all?

  38. David L. Blatt

    as C.S. Lewis once said, “Affliction is G-d’s wake-up call to a deaf world.” In that context, the Aish Ideas represent some wonderful things we, as Jews in Chutz L’Aretz, can do for our stricken brethren in Eretz Yisrael. I have to agree Comrade Shmarya with your detractors here. You are full of hatred for our great Torah leaders and in need of teshuva. I will keep you in my prayers in the hope that you will use this time of Three Weeks to bring yourself into a more healthier relationship with Hakodosh Borchu!

  39. Yosef 'lom Eliashiv

    I do not know if rabbi Wasserman is a rotzeach (murderer) or just a tragic fool, but it can serve as cautious tale for people who ask rabbis for advice about life situations. You can end up messed up at best and dead at worst.

    An appropriate question to ask a rabbi is what to do if your ox injures your neighbor’s ox and it dies.

  40. Anonymous

    To call Rav Wasserman Zzt”l a rotzeach or fool is completely out of bounds of any civil discourse.

    If persons came to him for advice and he gave an honest opinion as to the situation, and even if eventually mistaken, that hardly makes him a “fool.” The United States completely missed the danger of an air attck from Japan, despite having been warned by Colonel Billy Mitchell of exactly that possibility. The Israelis completely missed the start of the Yom Kippur war despite having been handed the plans by an Israeli agent (they thought it was planted disinformation).

    The French general staff completely missed the power of the German onslaught, because they believed the Maginot line was impregnable. Napolean was caught off guard by the Russina winter and the Spanish armada wsa defeated by the British.

    History is replete with cases of miscalculations by otherwise sucessful and well meaning actors. People are fallible, including Gedolei Yisroel. Yet we do not call them fools or murderers.

    The total disrespect that you show can not be justified, period.

  41. Paul Freedman

    My thought is that we can only speculate on what R. Wasserman’s hashkafah would have been today.

  42. duvidMeir

    Shmarya, I can clearly see how your blog is cutting right through 2500 years of bullshit. Right to the bone. You’re no longer just touching a nerve here and there, this is full fledged neuritis B”H!

    Avrohom, Yankel, Berel, and all the other frum readers of this blog: breath deep, the pain of change will be over soon. A whole new world of self-confidence, understanding, pleasure, pain and reasoning will fill your monotonous lives. It’s too late to turn back! Your emunah is waning! You’re drawn to this blog day after day because you too see the cracks appearing in the world’s biggest scam, and your smarter than them!

    Don’t worry! You won’t miss the community! Crown Heights, Boro Park, or whatever squalid modern day ghetto you live in. You won’t miss eating third rate food, bad wine, bland cheese, soggy tuna sandwiches on trips. Being looked at pitifully by the people you pass in the street. Or losing that smug sense of “knowing the answer to everything” (because you know you don’t). Shiksas are fun, but more importantly – their people too – yes, just like you! Imagine waking up in the morning and not washing your hands, not praying to some imaginary “man” who will “get mad” if you fuck up the omer count. Not putting on tztitzis, not putting on your puffy paint yechi yarmulka. Not wasting an hours in Shul, not shlepping you tefillin around. Do you know how good it feels to make a decision for yourself? It’s what we have a brain for. It’s what makes you a m’daber!

    What’s keeping you in that cage is “what if it is true?!” – what if it’s not true, and you just wasted the only life you have.

    Shuvu Yisroel, wake up and smell the coffee! Orthodoxy is headed on a collision course with the next holocaust (what’s the rush?). Get out while you still can and join humanity.

  43. Neo-Conservaguy

    Um, I’m not “Orthodox”, and I wrap up in black leather and tsitsith and spend hours in shul. I don’t however, eat bland cheese – being mutar on cheese has changed my life for the better, without a doubt, so you’re on track with that one…

  44. Anonymous

    Yes. Join the humanity that allows a doctor to kill its patients and then makes a plethora of excuses why it is o.k. (today’s New York Times).

    Join the humanity that put six million or so Jews in the gas chambers.

    Join the humanity that calls self defense a war crime (UN Humans Rights Commissioner).

    Join the humanity of Darfar and Cambodia.

    Because that humanity is clearly a better place to be than wasting your time studying Torah.

  45. duvidMeir

    That’s called “free will”, sometimes people nmake bad decisions – at least it was their decision!

    If there was a Sanhedrin, and it played by the rules outlined in the Torah, most of humanity would look pretty gentle.

    Orthodox are powerless in most of the world, and have been for the most part – that’s why there’s little violence – not because they wouldn’t if they had power.

    Go speak to any Yeshiva kid about his feelings towards arabs, the SAME blind hatred of other human beings you’d here from a Hizaballah cheiftan will spill forth from his holy mouth.

    Sorry.

    Your emotional reply doesn’t hold any truth.

  46. Anonymous

    “Your emotional reply does not hold any truth.” Sounds profound from a person who can not use the word “their” properly.

    An appeal to the emotion is not a statement of fact and therefore can not said to be either true or false. You can believe what you want, but there is little evidence (actually none) that the rules of humanaity are superior to those of the orthodox Judaism you so despise.

    As for the person above who speculates that a Sanhedrin would make humanity gentle; you probably have not learned much Gemora (forgive me if this statement is wrong). The Mishna in MaKoth states that a court that metes out capital punishment once in seven (others say seventy) years is a bloody court. There is also a Gemora in Avodah Zarah that states that the Sanhedrin left the Lishchot Hagazis when it saw that there were too many cases deserving capital punsihment because it did not want any court to impose capital punishment; even on murderers.

    In fact, the rules for imposing capital punsihment are so strict that it is unlikely that a court following Torah law would impose the penalty with any real frequency.

    “At least it was their decision.” I wonder about a person who can justify a decision to put millions of innocent people through the most horrible tortures including concentration camps and gas chambers and so glibly hail the “moral superiority” of that decision because it is based on “free will”.
    I know a couple of persons who were in Auschwitz; perhaps you can discuss this with them.

    The decision to follow the Torah or not is also free will. I don’t see how a person following Torah is exercising less free will than a Nazi murderer; but perhaps you can ezplain it to me.

  47. avrohom

    close this blog forever it belonggs to inheritors of the protocols of zion. they are out here to destroy judaismj.

    they have accused an innocent person without showing any proof. they have been asked to produce the beeef. zilch nada.

    YOUR ARE BUNCH OF SICK DISGUSTING PIGS LOW LIFES WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO BE HAPPY IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE WHICH IS INFESTED WITH THE VENOM OF THE EREV RAV.

  48. common sense

    “Zuroff clearly presents to his reader the case of the Curacao visas and the Soviet exit permits, which enabled rabbis and yeshivah students and their families to transit Russia and reach Japan and ultimately Shanghai. Mizrahi leader Zerah Warhaftig counseled many Jews to take the Curacao option. 2,200 Jews took this chance and reached Japan. About 1,400 stayed there until they were able to continue to the free world. 1,000 remaining Jews were permitted by Japan to enter its section of Shanghai, to survive the war. Interestingly the majority of Polish refugee yeshiva heads who had escaped to Lithuania, and were the primary focus of the rescue efforts of the Vaad Ha-Hatzala throughout the war, were staunchly opposed to the use of Curaao visas and strongly advised their students against obtaining them. For example Kletzk yeshiva head Rabbi Aron Kotler, who later established the Lakewood Yeshiva in New Jersey, and Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, the Rosh yeshiva of Baronowitz, both feared that the Soviets would not honor the Curacao visas, and would deport the yeshivot to Siberia. The reason Rabbi Kotler and Rabbi Wasserman were opposed to getting visas was because (1) they feared the Soviet Communists would close the Yeshivot, (2) they had visas to America, and (3) they felt responsible for their students and it was impossible to imigrate as a whole school. Rabbi Kotler went to America while Rabbi Wasserman remained behind and was murdered by Lithuanians in Kanaus. Only Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, head of the Mir Yeshiva, took Warhaftig’s advice. Thus only the Mir Yeshiva was rescued in its entirety. Of the 20 additional yeshivot which also escaped from Eastern Poland to Lithuania (Slobodka and Telz are Lithuanian yeshivot), the overwhelming majority were murdered at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. The activities and fate of the students of the Yeshivot besides Mir, such as Radin, Slutzk, Navardok, Lomza, Slonim, Brisk (Torat Chesed), Baranowitz (Ohel Torah and Torah Chesed), Bialystok (Beit Yoseph), Grodno (Sha’ar ha-Torah), Kamenetz (Knesset Beit Israel), Kletzk (Etz Chaim), Kobrin, Mezritch, Lubavitch, Ostrava, Lutzk, Volozhin, Lublin, Warsaw-Beit Shmuel, and Pinsk (Beit Yoseph) clearly places guilt upon the Nazis and their willing executioners. Zuroff notes, “Only the Mir Yeshiva emigrated in its entirety, and among the rest of the refugee scholars the percentage of rabbis and roshei yeshiva (as opposed to students) was relatively large, which meant a higher number of wives and children” (p. 196). ”

    part of a review by: David B Levy , PhD candidate, Baltimore Hebrew University on a book by
    Efraim Zuroff callesThe Response of Orthodox Jewry in the United States to the Holocaust: The Activities of the Vaad Ha-Hatzala Rescue Committee, 1939-1945

    Failed Messiah at least you are not like Achmedinejad who denies the holocaust; rather, you seek to twist its’ horrific history to fit your agenda.

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