Sunday, September 10, 2006

Stand with strength! Interview with the Gerrer Rebbe. 9 Elul 1978

The Rebbe: I wish for a strong standing and determination with all matters pertaining to peace. [Liquor was brought in and the Gerrer Rebbe said: ‘LeChaim, May it be a good year.

The Rebbe: Visible and revealed good, Lechaim]. We mentioned determination [leading to] and peace. Since you are the elder of the Chassidic Rebbes in the Land of Israel, it would be worthy that you go public and publicise with determination the Law of Shulchan Aruch that when [an enemy army approaches] asking for no more than straw and stubble the law demands a stand with weapons of war, and ‘there befall them fear and trepidation’.

The Gerrer Rebbe: Yes, in fact we see that the Song [at the splitting of the sea] is written in the past tense, with the phrase ‘there befall them fear and trepidation’ in the present, [the Rebbe pointed out that this is written in the future tense]. Meaning, the Song relates to the past, while G-d throwing His fear has to be in our times.

The Rebbe: Since there are those who are fearful and weak hearted and we need to be assured that they will not weaken the hearts of their brothers, there is a need to publicise this law, [not specifically bound up with the holiness of the Land] applicable to any concentration of Jewish people [even outside of Israel], even on Shabbos to go out armed, even when they want no more than cattle fodder, because they are on the border. Such a public notification will have a strong effect. Now is the time! Firstly, we read this in the Torah this last Shabbos [Shoftim], that the Cohen, the leader or judge must strengthen the people. Secondly, this will bring a benefit that the weak hearted will not mix in. I once said regarding the weak hearted, surely they should do something so simple: convince them that there is nothing to be afraid of! Yet, we see that the Torah says the opposite: ‘he must go and return to his home’. There is no time to change his mind to ensure that he will not melt the hearts of his brothers as his. He can go home and do so many good things at home. Were you to go out with the strength of Kings – The Rabbis, with all the fortitude of Jewish law, this would have its effect above, and have a responsive effect below.

The Gerrer Rebbe: ‘The Kings are the Rabbis’ is stated in the plural. The intent is not [that] just one should make such a stand.

The Rebbe: I will make the effort to find several more. There are already more. What is needed is that one should go out with strength. You mentioned earlier that many matters connected with the fear of G-d have become easier. Efforts must be made. Everyone is in agreement that this is life threatening.

The Gerrer Rebbe: Perhaps you should come to Eretz Israel and work on this?

The Rebbe: [With a smile]: I will put in my efforts to effect change from here, where there are also those who are fearful and weak hearted. Now is the time to do this.

The Gerrer Rebbe: We are working on this already.

The Rebbe: But only in secret. The path to peace, ‘I will give peace in the Land’ is ‘I will lead you upright’ - ‘With an upheld head’ [publicly] [Rashi]. My father-in-law once gave an analogy of a lantern. When this stands in the middle of the street, people and Jews gather around. When the lantern is not in the middle of the street, people don’t see, and we don’t know who agrees and who disagrees. If we know the law, it must be publicised with strength of Kings – The Rabbis. [There will be much more than a few tens!]

The Gerrer Rebbe: There is the organization of the Moetzes G’dolei HaTorah [The Council of the Torah Greats]?

The Rebbe: Till they get round to publicising this, it will take a long time. They will make a meeting, bring a secretary, etc and all the other good things. It is documented that the laws of the Beis Yosef [author of the Shulchan Aruch] were decided with 200 Rabbis of great standing. So there are already 200 who believe in this!


At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush and the Republicans were not protecting us on 9-11, and we aren't a lot safer now. We may be more afraid due to george bush, but are we safer? Being fearful does not necessarily make one safer. Fear can cause people to hide and cower. What do you think? Why has bush turned our country from a country of hope and prosperity to a country of belligerence and fear.
Our country is in debt until forever, we don't have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!


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