A civil interchange with a Satmar Chosid

Like many of us, I’m agitated. I actually feel quite guilty. I installed an app on my iPhone which alerts when a missile falls in Eretz HaKodesh, and shows the area etc

Last night the 160 rockets were horrible. I am currently in bed trying to get over a persistent cold which I thought I had overcome last week, and my sleep has been rather disturbed. I toyed with the idea of at least having my phone make a noise each time a missile was fired so as to try and share some pain in a comparatively insignificant manner. I can’t do it though because I have no right to cause it to wake my wife, of course.

Having come from the doctor I bumped into a lovely ehrliche fellow who is also a Satmar Chossid. Our eyes met and we exchanged pleasantries. I then felt I had to ask him the following question:

is what’s going on in Israel considered a Milchemes mitzvah and if not what is it

He answered that he wasn’t a Dayan, and he didn’t know how to learn etc. I responded that makes two of us, but we both know what the Rambam says etc

He closed his eyes (and I do admire his honesty) and gently answered that it was

milchemes Aveyra

I understood what he meant in the sense that he felt that this was an unnecessary war which Satmar would contend is brought about because Jews should not have ‘taken by force’ the Land of Israel, until Moshiach comes. In other words it’s a result (rachmono litzlan) of Jews acting against the “3 Oaths”.

I responded that I wasn’t aware of this category in Halacha worded in such a way. I asked which Rishon had coined such a phrase.

He responded that he didn’t know but would send me a booklet which explained it. True to his word, he sent it to me immediately. I haven’t got the concentration at the minute to go through the article, but it’s from a Satmar Kollel in Williamsburg. I will eventually get round to it.

In the meanwhile, does anyone know of such halachic terminology? Rabbi Google couldn’t help me and I don’t have the Bar Ilan program to search therein.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

8 thoughts on “A civil interchange with a Satmar Chosid”

  1. The specific phrase “milchemes aveira” need not be found anywhere. It’s obvious that if some wars are reshus and some are chova and some are mitzvah then there must be some that are avera. Let’s take for example the war that the ma’apilim fought, against Hashem’s express orders; obviously it was an aveira. Or let’s say the Israeli goverment were to take it into its head to attack Cyprus, and drop bombs on Nicosia that killed thousands of people, for no particular reason; surely you would agree that this would be an avera.

    What I would like to ask a knowledgeable Satmarer is this: suppose the zionists did teshuvah, and made your rebbe prime minister; what would he do? How would he handle the fact that there are millions of Arabs whose grandparents were allied with Hitler, and who were raised with the mission of continuing his work, and are ready to do so the moment they are able. Right now all that stands between us and them is the IDF, and al pi derech hateva if the IDF were to stand down the Holocaust part 2 would begin. (Not a second Holocaust, but a continuation of the same one.) So what would he do? Either he would keep the IDF or he would not; tell me which. And if he would not, what would he do instead? Evacuate Eretz Yisroel?! Even if there were places willing to take everyone, would that be the right thing to do?! Then what? Bend our neck and let them kill 100K or 200K, hoping that they’ll spare the rest?! chas vesholom! So tell me, Reb Yid, what you think would be the right thing to do.

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    1. What you said is that the Milchomo itself is an Aveyra but that’s just Retzicha. So is he saying that this falls into the category of Retzicha? Are IDF soldiers meant to appear before a Beis Din of Satmar and get punished? In regards to your question they would probably say that if you caved into them they would abandon their ways and there would be shoolem. I don’t think your and my world is their world. They would say HaShem would influence them to change their ways. That’s what I’m guessing

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  2. Millhouse, your question to a satmarer holds no water, because according to them any memsholoh in EY until Mashiach comes is apikerses even if the prime minister and all knesset member are Shomre T”UM

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    1. Fine. Let it be so. What would you do if you suddenly became PM? How would you deal with the fact that standing down the IDF means the certain deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews?

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  3. @Millhouse & Benjyy,

    The Rebbe sent his daughter to live in Eretz Yisroel. He himself came to Eretz and settled in Jerusalem. He wasn’t very successful there and therefore he left for the Goldene Medine. Maybe that made him so anti Eretz Yosroel. Had he stayed in Jerusalem his behavior might be different. I doubt it.

    I am not a knowledgeable Satmar, but will try to give you an answer.
    The Rebbe would leave the country and leave his followers and the flock (and the IDF) to their fate. He would give no guidance, just the selfish act of saving himself.
    He would not care if the whole Jewish population would be killed; it is after all the act of G-d. If his flight from Eretz Yisroel is successful and he is saved, this would also be G-d’s wish even if his savior is a Zionist. You should not fight against G-d’s wishes. As a leader and head of a Chasiduth, it is not your duty to lead your followers and try to save someone else beside yourself.
    ה’ ילחם לכם!

    This is a conclusion from the behavior of Yoel Teitelbaum, The Satmar Rebbe, during the Shoah. Why would a Satmar Chosid not follow the steps of his “Holy Rebbe”?
    I wonder what Yoel Teitelbaum would do in Israel if his absorption in Jerusalem would have been successful and not reach bankruptcy. He probably would remain in Jerusalem and not move from Eterz Yosriel to the US. Maybe he would have more respect for Israel, a country he would be living in.

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