Monday, September 03, 2007

The Rav Ovadiah Media Fiasco

Before starting my post, I think I need to make it clear that I am in no way commenting on the statement made by Rav Ovadia Yossef Shli”ta but rather, I am commenting on the media fiasco which followed. This is not the first time there is a Fiasco surrounding one of Rav Ovadia’s statements and until now, it has always been caused by misinterpretation from the Media. I do not know what Rav Ovadia meant in his latest statement, but I do know what people interpreted it to mean. And it is this meaning which I have come to rebute.

The accepted interpretation in the Media to Rav Ovadiah’s statement was that he said the soldiers who died in the wars of Israel (some understood the war in Lebanon) died because of their sins. Yes, we could say we all die because of our sins. It is actually a big theological question as to why people who are not bound by any commandments die (babies for example). However, this statement was understood to mean that the soldiers of the IDF are known to be sinners and therefore deserved to die in the war. This is not something I can listen to without responding!

Again, once last time, I do not know what Rav Ovadiah actually said, but anyone who looks at a soldier in the IDF and sees sin instead of “sanctification of God’s name” is absolutely blind.

Rav Soloveitchik once said that during the holocaust, while he was an academic in America, he felt like the holocaust was t he biggest chillul hashem. When Jews die, when the Jewish People is suffering, the light of God in this world is dimmed. If the ambassadors of God are part of the lower class of society, Gods light cannot shine fully. Rav Soloveitchik then said, when the state of Israel rose, and the Jewish people returned to their land and established an independent state for the first time in 2000 years, that was the biggest Kiddush hashem. I think the biggest blessing, and the biggest tragedy of our generation, is that we have been born with the state of Israel already created. We take it for granted! We do not realize how huge of a miracle it is! Do you realize that for 2000 years every day we prayed to be back? EVERY DAY, 3 times a day! And now we’re back! This is the biggest Kiddush hashem!

Today, the state of Israel is the foundation for the throne of God on this earth. Granted, it is not perfect. But it is the beginning of our redemption.

Every single soldier who joins the IDF is a soldier of God. He fights in order to keep this foundation intact. He also fights, whether consciously or not, to bring forth the continuation of the process of redemption. Every one of these soldiers is of the holiest people the Jewish Nation has had since David Hamelekh. They are the ones who continue the tradition of Avraham, Yossef, David, Rabbi Akiva, Bar Kochba, etc… They are the one who are opening the door to Mashiach who will also be a king who will fight the wars of Israel. The clothes they wear is more “Beged Yehudi” then any streimel you can import from Europe! This is authentic Judaism!
While the State of Israel is still not perfect, every soldier who is ready to risk his life defending it is risking his life defending the Jewish People. This is much more valuable then sitting down in front of a book saying you are defending the Jewish people (even if you are while doing so).

At the end of the day, Rambam says that everyone is forced to go out when there is a “Milchemet Mitsvah”, a special type of war which includes a war on erets Israel like the one we are fighting today. Therefore, based on the Rambam, in a time of war, the ones who should really ask themselves about their sins are not the Holy Soldiers of the IDF but rather the people who deferred their draft for whatever reason.
May every soldier of the IDF be blessed with the personal protection of God and may their strength and courage lead us to our complete redemption, speedily in our days more...


Anonymous said...

tzaddk how are i am also one of Rav elons chasidim - even before you let me ask you why arent you serving in the army then ? and yes every soldier is mamesh apart of kodaesh kodashim he is like a choen performing his duty but holy brother no need to insult the strimel our chasidish brothers are also kodesh as you know rav elon wants achdut in between all of am yisrael no need to insult - bzt" may we be zoche to sit on har habayt with adoninu moreinu vrabinu hagoan, sinai v'oker harim harav mordechi elon shlita- nd bc of his teachin and derech may we be zoche to mashiach tzdikenu. btw one should tremble before mentioning anything about Hagoan Rav ovadia shlita- no matter what.- i hear you are doing mamesh big stuff in montreal yasher koach and chazek vematz let me know if you need anything it would be a zechut to help you bemet gaby danieli

Dan said...

ure right, we want achdut. But we also know where we stand.
I did not insult anyone. I just said that the IDF uniform is more beged yehudi then any shtreimel, and I believe it!
Every chassidish, litvish, zionist, non zionist jew is kadosh. I think that from some other posts here this is obviously what I believe and think.
Also, I clearly stated i was not addressing Rav Ovadia but rather the way the media interpreted his words!
Its great to hear from you!
As for the army, I will be going once I graduate, and I know its late, but I had to fix some stuff with the parents before leaving from here...
Hope this answers your questions!