Response to Daat Emet Issue Cheshvan 5762-Tamuz 5762
- These responsa have not been reviewed by the Sanhedrin and may or may not reflect the official position of the Sanhedrin, they are the work of the esteemed Rabbi Dov Stein, and are included here to indicate the kind of questions being handled by the Sanhedrin - Webmaster.
JEWISH ETHICS (Yellow Pamphlet Cheshvan 5762)
A significant part of the arguments concerning Jewish ethics, mentioned by Daat Emet have already been discussed previously. See especially the Sheet from Kislev 5760.
Daat Emet quoted a philosophical reference rather than a legal reference because from a legal aspect it is prohibited not only to kill but also to cause the death of a person even if he is an idol worshipper (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 158). This is in spite of the fact that from thousands of years of experience it is known that non-Jews try to cause the death of Jews at every convenient opportunity according to the appropriate time and place. The hatred of Israel in these times, while we are only defending ourselves from Arab terrorists that bring death upon us, is a sure reminder of this fact.
In our opinion, in contrast to the interpretation by Daat Emet, a conscience is present only in a person that believes in a supreme being that watches over him. The concept of a conscience pertains to what takes place within the person, that is within his soul, even when he cannot be observed by others. In the Torah the concept of conscience refers to the fear and love of God, and as a result to the intent that is hidden in the heart of man. In modern terminology it is customary to say that a person has a conscience based on self awareness. In our opinion there is no such thing. Perhaps there is education for proper behavior while filling the mind with the idea that there is a secular conscience. The simple explanation is that when a person who lacks fear of God debates within himself an ethical topic, it can be assumed that he will select the act that will bring him the maximum benefit, even if it is not ethical in his opinion. Daat Emet believes that in the mind of a secular person there is a small idol that warns him against doing wrong. This belief is equivalent to idol worship.
Judaism believes that the atheistic ethics of Socrates, Kant, Spinoza and the like, which is what directs the attitude of Daat Emet, is a hollow belief. It is in the category of empty philosophizing that does not have anything to support it. The German nation that was educated more than any other on the German philosophy of Kant, was the greatest murderer and committed the worst atrocities in the history of mankind.
In general the words of Daat Emet are correct. Daat Emet believes that there is another object to deification, namely the human being. This is the new idol worship of the latest generations. This idol worship, just as for all idol worship, results in very many human victims. If man is God, then even if there is a group of people that wants to murder, it is prohibited to harm them. It is necessary to prove for every detail that here is the person that murdered, so that we can kill the murderer, and even then it is not humane. It is preferable to place him in a hotel (which for some reason is called a jail) with a television set, medical service, and free food. The cost that is achieved by this approach to life is the danger, that is continually increasing, for annihilating all humanity on the earth by a terror strike. According to the Torah, such a group and those who give them refuge, would be all sentenced to death, and then there would be relief for those that are persecuted.
Justice means acting justly to those who deserve justice. An idol worshipper is dangerous to all of humanity. What is the purpose in supporting him? He is the one who delays us in solving the problem of murder, which is continued on earth by terrorists and the countries that support them. Our attitude is that it is better that one million wicked die rather than one righteous person. This is the reason that man was created apart from other animals so as to teach us that one righteous person is not worth less than a billion scoundrels.
Lending on Interest to an Apostate
See Sheet Kislev 5760, where the subject of interest is discussed. The conclusion of Daat Emet is not the decided law. It is not cutomary to permit lending with interest to apostates because of the doubt as to the validity of their apostasy, and mainly because we do not know if their children will be righteous. However, you can ask the simple question, “Will not the apostate take interest on the loans he makes to religious Jews”? Is Daat Emet ready in general to lend without interest, and especially to religious Jews? Daat Emet wants a double standard, in which they can lend with interest to religious Jews, but religious Jews will lend them without interest.
Whoever wants to choose a different religion, the way is open before him because he has free will. We who are religious will regret greatly every case where a Jewish soul separates itself from the life of Torah and commandments. We believe that such action is betrayal which will lead to his loss to Judaism and to damage to all Israel. He will probably emigrate with all the other betrayers, and as said in the Torah, the land will vomit him out.
LAWS CONCERNING NON-RELIGIOUS JEWS
(White Pamphlet Tamuz 5762)
First of all let us consider the term “secularist” or non-religious. This is a new term that comes to legitimize a status which is very old, namely apostasy or sometimes even conversion. Apostates that use the term secularist do not know its true meaning. This adjective is taken from the Aramaic which means stranger. The adjective apostate is flexible. There is an apostate because of compulsion, there is an apostate for only one or more commandments, there is an apostate because of anger, and there are apostates to the entire Torah. Extreme cases involve cultural estrangement to the extent where it is difficult to see any connection to his nationality. We will refer to those who are called secularists by their proper term, namely apostates. However, many of the secularists are interested in a Jewish connection, including such commandments as mezuzah, circumcision, bar-mitzah, yom kipurim, etc.
The Jewish wordly concept can be compared to that of an army. We Jews are the army of God on earth. The christians, in contrast, do not require from their believers what is required from the army of God. In order to understand the attitude to an apostate it is necessary to remember what an army is. In an army we categorize people who are not fit for the military effort. Some people are freed from army duty for health reasons, for psychological reasons, for evading responsibility, for being absent, for desertion, for not following commands, and for disloyalty. These categories are determined by careful examination. For example, a soldier that reveals to the enemy secrets of the army is considered disloyal and a traitor. However, how would you categorize a soldier who revealed secrets under hypnosis, or under torture; or he mistakenly thought that his actions will save the army. Under such circumstances the army justice system would find it difficult to give a clear verdict. Similarly, we believe that a person after being warned, who desecrates the Sabbath in front of witnesses, his verdict is death by stoning. This punishment is written in the Torah and applies to religious as well as non-religious Jews. The problem with carrying out such a verdict is that we are like an army that has been beaten badly with many victims (we remain only a small percentage of what we would have been if not for the persecutions that we have suffered), and also from the moral aspect. Within the framework of those that survived there has occurred dismantling of complete army units. There are many soldiers who ran away from the battlefield, who give various explanations for their actions. There are even those that reorganized as complete units of rebels that even joined the enemy. The army command was badly hurt, and only some of the commanders remained, while they worked under hard conditions, morally and physically to rehabilitate the army and to reunite it. What should these commanders do? If they will judge all the rebels to death, they will not be able to rebuild the army, This is the root of the problem for the leaders of Israel, when the wise leaders have to decide what attitude to take toward apostates.
The Chasidic movement in its time behaved in a style of the wise leaders , bacause it was after the Chamlinsky massacres and the spiritual depression because of Shabbetai Tzvi. This movement attempted and succeeded to rehabilitate the Jew who disengaged himself from Judaism. This teaches us to revive the spirit of the beaten soldier and to rebuild him. so he will be a vanguard in the army of God. Hopefully, we also will succeed in our generation.
It should be emphasized that in the absence of a Sanhedrin there have arisen during the past generations many opinions as to how to relate to the apostate. Daat Emet brought the references that were suitable for development of its ideas. This does not give a complete and reliable picture of the situation. Below are presented some of the different opinions. A. Transgressers of the Sabbath are nowadays considered as babies that were taken captive among the non-Jews. They are not considered as transgressers of the Sabbath in public except if they are not ashamed of it, and separate themselves from the Jewish nation. Many allow Sabbath transgressers to be counted as part of a Minyan of ten, and they can be called to the Torah reading. B. A non-religious Jew is not an acceptable witness for a marriage. C. Even though Sabbath transgressers are considered as babies that were taken captive, nevertheless they are not suitable as witnesses, and are considered as deniers of the validity of the Torah. D. The sons of Sabbath transgressers should be circumcised even on the Sabbath. E. In case of danger to life of a Sabbath transgresser, some permit saving his life on the Sabbath and some don’t. F. It is very difficult to permit Sabbath transgressers to be counted as part of a Minyan of ten, or to be called to the Torah reading. G. It is worthwhile to teach the children of Sabbath transgressers because the children may repent, and even influence their parents to repent. H. There is a legal difference between a convert and a Sabbath transgresser. I. It is permissible to accept charity from a Sabbath transgresser but not from a convert. J. It is not permissible to hate a Sabbath transgresser. K. There are those that permit drinking wine touched by a Shabbat transgresser, and there are those who prohibit drinking the wine.
Argument A non-religious Jew is like a deserter.
Answer Correct. To be more exact, a non-religious Jew is considered like a person who evades his responsibility, who does not follow orders, one who denies a command, and a traitor.
Argument The Rabbis in their legal decisions have stated many absurd things concerning the non-observers.
Answer Based on the introduction to this section, we are dealing with many paradoxes and not with absurd statements. Agood military commander is tested not only at the time of a military victory but also when he suffers defeat. Is he then willing to take upon himself every type of shame in order to rehabilitate the military unit and continue onward with the mission?
Argument The Rabbis acquired the democratic social values prohibiting murder of transgressers, contrary to the Biblical law.
Answer A. See the Introduction to this section. B. In the ancient society, when the ability to enforce the law was very limited, the situation was such that the apostate would wait until the moment when he could tear the God fearing person into pieces. The change of the social situation by creating an orderly enforcement by the leaders of the social order undoubtedly changes the legal considerations. Apostates nowadays cannot easily do what was once acceptable. Moreover, there is consistent education among apostates to avoid criminal acts. This education often has many failures because of the lack of fear of God, nevertheless there prevail many norms of reasonable personal security. There is therefore a definite legal interest to not create a disturbed social order where each person threatens his neighbor with a knife. In every place where there is a social order the hand of Israel rules.
Argument The use of the term “baby that was taken captive” expresses a conceptual difficulty in regard to the existence of numerous apostates.
Answer To some extent the statement is correct. Indeed there are Rabbinic authorities who believe that we are not dealing with a “baby taken captive” but rather with a person who is completely wicked. On the other hand it is not possible to ignore the fact that people who were educated in a certain way continue in the way that they were educated. Voiding the Jewishness of a Person
Argument A Jew cannot cancel his Jewishness.
Answer A soldier cannot resign from the army. An army cannot base its manpower on volunteers. Therefore in every army very strong steps are taken towards evaders and deserters even if they declare that they resign from the army.
Argument A convert who worships idols is removed from the Jewish people.
Answer This reference refers to people who were enemies of Israel. The term “removed” is not clear cut. Instead it could have been said that the person is to be killed, but this was not said. The intent is that the convert is removed from any advantage that he has. Under the circumstances involved it was not decided to kill the convert since according to the law no private person has the right to kill a Jew who worships idols. This action can only be taken by a court of 23 judges after the person has been warned. Thus the conclusion by Daat Emet that a person who worships idols can be killed, even without a court of 23 judges, is incorrect.
Argument It is permissible to kill a Jew who worships idols.
Answer In general this statement is as correct as it is with respect to a Sabbath transgresser. Naturally the person is killed in accordance with the decision of a court of 23 judges after the person was warned. However, Daat Emet did not understand the law properly. The statement refers to a person who worships idols as his way of life.
Argument The verdict for apostates is the same as for Sadducees and Boethusians.
Answer There is a great similarity, but there are also differences, some of them being significant. The Sadducees and Boethusians acted as a thin layer. Most of the Jewish population followed the Pharisaics. Under these circumstances their behavior is that of people who separate from the congregation. In contrast, nowadays when the majority of Jews do not follow the Torah completely. the situation arises that this majority does not look upon itself as people who separate from the congregation. Just the opposite, he believes that observant Jews are the ones who separate from the congregation. Under these circumstances the situation resembles that of a disintegrating army and its leaders work to unite it anew. The commanders have to be careful and considerate in their work lest they bring about the collapse of the army and will prevent the army from achieving its mission. There is no comparison between the case of a single deserter from the battlefield to the situation where the majority of the soldiers desert. In the first case the deserter is punished severely, while in the second case calculated wariness is what is needed.
Argument The chief Rabbinate causes problems with its Halachic decisions that are lenient with apostates.
Answer Daat Emet justly touches upon a sensitive nerve. Naturally giving Rabbinic decisions by someone who receives wages from a country of apostates and who is appointed by them is very complicated. Moreover, the Rabbis of the country are not appointed only by religious Jews, but rather by a compromise between a majority of secularists plus Arabs plus Russian non-Jews. The Rabbis are selected from the beginning according to specific considerations, such as to what extent their opinions agree with those of the rulers. Therefore why should Daat Emet complain about the hypocrisy of the Rabbis. Nevertheless the question that stands in front of the wise men of the Torah is should they cooperate with the apostate rulers so as to maintain a spark of religion within the rulers. Perhaps from this spark will slowly develop a changed rulership. Alternatively, perhaps the cooperation causes more damage. In the absence of a Sanhedrin’s decision there is no clear decision.
Argument Accoding to the Torah one should not help a person just because he is a human being.
Answer Correct. There are good people and bad people, and there are people that we do not know their nature. The inability to define the type of person can lead to disaster as is known from the history of the nations. Sometimes a bad person is worse than a beast of prey.
Definition of a Secularist
Argument Most of the fathers of Zionism who were partners in establishing the state of Israel believed that Judaism is a type of human culture like the culture of other nations.
Answer There are two doubtful if not incorrect assumptions in this Argument. Below are specified the assumptions. A. Assumption 1: The fathers of zionism were the apostates that participated in the zionist congresses. The truth is that the fathers of zionism were the same people that inspired in the hearts of the Jewish multitudes the belief in the preciousness of Israel and its Torah, and in the holiness of the land of Israel. If not for them there would not have been anything for these apostates to work and accomplish. They were those that harvested the fruit that others grew. Their ability to earn the hearts of the multitude of the house of Israel was not their apostasy but rather their connection to the land of Israel, and the beliefs of the Jewish people that this is a decisive idea to strengthen themselves. B. Assumption 2: They accomplished good things by forming the zionist movement. For some reason, since the zionist movement worked towards the establishment of the state of Israel, it is accepted that it was a positive and useful step. As is known, the state was established to save the lives of the multitudes of Israel, in particular in Europe, that wandered amidst enemies that hated them already two thousand years. The assumption that is now known to be incorrect was that the formation of a national homeland in the land of Israel would be a solution to the hatred of the Jews and would save their lives. This goal was not achieved . The majority of the Jews for which the zionist movement was established went up in smoke in the furnaces of the nazis. We the survivors forget the terrifying fear and the terrible destruction of the Jewish people in the exile, which never happened to this extent previously. There are many among us that believe that we have to thank these zionist apostates for their success in saving the refugees. This is despite the fact that there is a basis for assuming that the fathers of zionism are guilty of anaesthetizing the remnants of the people from taking action to prevent the holocaust during world war II, and even guilty of bringing it about as described below.
Those who emigrated to Israel to settle it, before the zionist congresses, were only the orthodox Jews. There was a dispute among the Rabbis with respect to emigration to Israel by means of the zionist movement whose heads were apostates. Those that opposed emigration opposed doing it within the framework of the zionist movement because the domination of the movement by the apostates would bring about a spiritual catastrophe. This fear indeed was fulfilled to a great extent. Of the Jewish public, that was dominantly connected to Judaism, those that emigrated to Israel and their children became apostates that were alienated from the Torah. Large communities were almost entirely extinguished from a spiritual viewpoint. The dilemma was whether to work together with the apostates for the holy purpose of settlement of the land. Or perhaps the danger of mass conversion was more serious than the danger of physical annihilation. Therefore we say without hesitation that the apostates that gained control of the zionist movement prevented many Jews from emigrating to Israel and being saved from the nazis. The religious leaders preferred to select the danger of destruction of the body over the destruction of the soul.
A second problem were the oaths that were taken to not form a zionist movement. There were also disputes on this topic among the leaders of the nation. There were those who said that the time of the oaths had expired, and there were those who said it had not expired. Apparently this oath was against a commandment of the Torah. It is necessary to clarify why the Jews took such an oath. It should be pointed out that the oath was not against emigrating to Israel but rather against publicly organizing to obtain the land by political maneuvers. The reason for this is simple. It was to prevent the non-Jews to rush to harm us, since they believed that there was no reason to hurry.
It is clear that transferring the multitudes of Jews to the land of Israel is not a short term operation. There was no possibility to believe that Israel could absorb the ten million Jews of Europe and the Arab countries in a short time. It is clear that such an operation would take many tens of years. It is necessary to prepare the economic infrastucture that will be a basis for the process. Under such circumstances it is necessary to assume that the wolves would not awaken against us and they would never think to unite in performing an atrocity unparalleled in the history.of the world. Moreover, those who emigrated individually to Israel would be loyal to Britain because of the oath. Whosoever believes that the British were fools does not understand what happened here in Israel. It is very possible that the British, for whom the maintaining of the mandate over Palestine was indeed a military and a political advantage, but on the other hand was an economic burden, would have evaluated their policy in a different manner. There is a solid basis for the opinion that they would have been happy, from their good will, to mobilize the Jewish capability for the purpose of preserving the land of Israel as an asset for the British crown for many years. Under such circumstances we would have been able ourselves to gain a firm basis demographically and later even to arrive at an agreement with the British crown, in the same manner that many other mandate countries achieved by peaceful means. Instead when the Briritish realized that they were dealing with stubborn leaders, who at the head were the fathers of zionism who were interested in their own standing and rulership, that want to set up here an independent country and to throw the British away, they adopted the decisions against which we did not have the strength to stand, such as closing the borders of Israel to Jewish immigration and the encouragement of Arab immigration, so as to prevent a Jewish majority that would endanger their rule.
Naturally, it is now very hard to evaluate which of the fathers of the nation were right. At this moment it is understood that justice lies with the one who controls the media and the education. However it is very possible that all our troubles until this date, including the wars with our Arab neighbors, and the dangers that lurk against us as Jews in our country, are a result of the deeds of the apostate fathers of zionism. They are perhaps guilty of lighting the flame from which they later came to save us. Now that they have saved us we are indebted to leave them as rulers.
Argument There is no separation between the legislature and the judiciary according to Jewish law.
Answer Incorrect. The legislature is God by means of the Torah. The judiciary is the Sanhedrin.
Argument An apostate is not qualified to be a judge or a witness.
Answer Correct. Similarly, every criminal cannot be a judge. However, in the Jewish judicial system, which is many times better than the non-Jewish judicial system, the criminal is also not qualified to be a witness. Thus, we see what unqualified witnesses do. The apostate judges believe that they will not be trapped by the lies of false witnesses, and therefore they give wrong decisions. A verdict based on false witnesses is not worth the paper upon which it is written.
Argument The Rabbis brazenly invalidate their supporters from being witnesses.
Answer The judges brazenly judge not in accordance with the basic laws of Israel, even though their wages are paid from taxes from Torah observant Jews who are faithful to the basic law. The mistake of Daat Emet is that they believe that the apostates are the leaders of the country. They assume that the apostates are responsible for the creation of the state of Israel, and the Torah observant Jews live here because of their generosity. They consider them to be parasites who eat free food. The religious Jews look at things from exactly the opposite viewpoint. They consider the Torah observant Jews to be the important people of Israel. In contrast, the apostates are the parasites. The agreements that the apostates try to achieve with the Arabs, by giving away part of the land of Israel, is done at the expense of the real owners and without their consent.
The knesset does not truly represent the people. The religious Jews that are in the knesset realize that the knesset is an illegal framework since it is not based on the Torah. The religious members of the knesset are there to derive the best they can from an illegal framework. Not all the religious Jews are represented in the knesset. The charedim (the ultra-religious) refuse to join with a rulership dominated by apostates. Also there are those groups, such as the followers of Rabbi Kahane, who are prohibited from participating in the Knesset.
Many of the facts that are taught are not entirely correct. Indeed many apostates were involved in the early settlements, but the basis for these settlements were formulated by the Torah observant Jews. It is very possible that the State of Israel was founded not because of the apostates and their viewpoints, but rather because of their God fearing ancestors that taught them the holiness of the people of Israel and the holiness of the land of Israel. Many that were not educated in this manner did not settle in Israel, and intermarried, such as the families of Herzl and Nordeau. These ideas seem ridiculus at first because of the brain washing that is done in the educational system. A few simple examples of the brain washing are as follows: If we ask people as to who founded “Youth Aliyah”, the Answer is Henrietta Szold (the woman apostate). The true Answer is Rachah Freir. Why is this not known?, because she was an observant Jew. Sinilarly, who envisioned the Jewish homeland? Surely everybody knows it was Theodor Herzl (the apostate). The correct Answers however are the Rabbis Tvi Kalisher and Yehudah Alcalay, who envisioned the Jewish homeland many years befor Herzl. Why is this not known? Because they were Rabbis. Therefore we have to be skeptic about the history that was modified by the apostates.
Argument There is no concern in Judaism for the well-being of apostates (no laws of charity, return of lost objects, not taking interest).
Answer There is no reason to be concerned with the well being of the apostate. Why should a person give from his wealth to others? The apostate and all the non-Jews interpreted the laws of the Torah between Jews as a type of paganism known as humanism. Then they are puzzled why the people who taught them do not accept their distorted conclusions. An apostate does not deserve financial help. Any charity for an apostate is charity for a struggle against religion. What will the apostate do with the money? He only has very few children, and many of them fight against Torah Judaism. He will use the money on cards, gambling, prostitution, desecration of the Sabbath, trips outside the country etc. Are these things that we want? There is only one consideration that can justify supporting the apostate, namely to bring his thinking closer to that of the contributor so that he will repent from his mistaken path. This is how the law has been decided.
Argument An apostate is not to be mourned.
Answer Mourning expresses the absence of a religious soldier from the army of God. Human life does not by itself have any value, not in the eyes af a person who believes in the Torah, since the value of a human is measured by his closeness to God, and not in the eyes of an apostate since he believes that he originated from the monkey. There was a monkey, and now he is gone.
Argument Religious Jews should not be involved with the burial of an apostate.
Answer The story quoted by Daat Emet explains the reason. Should religious Jews be involved in the burial of. a person who has done bad things? Such a person is worse than an animal. However, the legal decision is not as Daat Emet states. He himself later quotes the idea that an apostate is buried in a simple ceremony.
Argument An apostate is not to be buried near a Torah observant Jew.
Answer Does the person from Daat Emet agree to be buried near a thief? We consider an apostate as someone who is involved in one way or another in deceit; theft or similar actions (as well as desecration of the Sabbath which is even more serious). Let us suggest to Daat Emet to check among the soldiers what percent of the apostates are involved in theft which is called “completing the equipment”.
Argument Saying Kaddish for an apostate is hypocrisy.
Answer The disgust that would result from not saying Kaddish for an apostate is a strong consideration in the decision that Kaddish should be said.
Argument An apostate does not inherit his father.
Answer What is the reason for transferring the wealth of the deceased to a certain person? Inheritance expresses the continuity of the effort to do the best, and the son is the most likely to do just that.faithfully. However, what will the apostate do with the inheritance? The apostate has few children, and they often do not follow the right path. The apostate will spend the money on cards, gambling, prostitution, desecration of the Sabbath, etc. Are these the things we want?
Argument The Chazom Ish states that it is permissible to kill an apostate.
Answer The decision of the Chazon Ish reflects what was said in the Introduction to this section. However. he concludes that it is not permissible to kill an apostate. This final decision was not quoted by Daat Emet.
Argument The Torah permits killing a non-religious Jew.
Answer The Torah includes many opinions. The Chazon Ish did not receive a salary fron the government, and therefore was free to express his opinion publicly. He clearly said that it was not permissible to kill a secularist. This is the opinion of most Rabbinic authorities.
Argument The wise leaders of Israel have doubts about permitting medical treatment to apostates and non-Jews on the Sabbath.
Answer This statement by Daat Emet is correct. There are many considerations involved in giving medical treatment on the Sabbath.
Argument A cicumcision is not to be performed on the Sabbath for a secularist.
Answer There is justification for avoiding a circumcision for a secularist on the Sabbath since he is not interested in observing the Torah commandments.
Argument There are many problems with the validity of acts of sanctification performed by a non-religious Jew, such as slaughtering, cooking, and touching wine. Apostates are not allowed to be called to the reading of the Torah, becoming part of a minyan of ten, saying the blessings as a cohen, and leading the people in prayer.
Answer These statements are correct. The laws for an apostate are close to those for a non-Jew. Can a non-Jew help a Jew to meet his obligations for the commandments?
Argument An apostate is not permitted to perform a circumcision, and his charity is not acceptable, and his writing of holy text is not kosher, and he is not suitable to be a shochet (slaughterer of animals).
Answer These statements are correct. The laws for an apostate are close to those for a non-Jew. Can a non-Jew help a Jew to meet his obligations for the commandments?
Argument Accordingly, there is bias against the non-religious who pay their taxes but are not suitable to act by themselves.
Answer Indeed, there are many who have become alienated from the sickly connection of religion and government under the protection of the apostates. There is an ever increasing group that does not want to depend on the Rabbinate under the auspices of the apostates. Apparently the apostates have a much larger interest in this type of connection than do the observant Jews. If they wanted to, they could easily relinquish this connection by passing a law in the knesset where they have the majority.
Argument The apostates are discriminated against in religious job opportunities.
Answer There is much greater job discrimination against religious Jews. There are tens of thousands of jobs that involve operation of unnecessary systems on the Sabbath. There is also discrimination in the appointment of religious Jews to high positions in the army and in the police.
Argument Food that was cooked by a non-religious Jew is not kosher, and wine touched by him is also not kosher.
Answer Correct. This is because the law for a non-religious Jew is similar to that for a non-Jew.
Argument There are peculiar cases where the apostates work together with religious Jews.
Answer Correct, but it is possible that this indicates that those who are called non-religious are not really apostates. In their inner souls they yearn for Torah and commandments.
Argument The Rabbinic establishment lacks the ability to adapt itself to a modern country.
Answer The Rabbinic establishment is a minority under the pressure of the apostates, and therefore is very careful about taking steps to adapt itself.
THE CHOSEN PEOPLE (White Pamphlet, Elul 5762)
It should be pointed out that Daat Emet presents the beliefs of the religious Jews in a manner that suits their purpose. Their quotations do not present a balanced picture, and at best they present the understanding by Daat Emet of the Torah. It is possible that their understanding is presented in good faith, but it would not be surprising if this imperfect understanding was one of the reasons that caused Daat Emet to throw off the yoke of the commandments, and to become heretical. Examples of the perverse ideas of Daat Emet are as follows:
Perverse outlook: The purpose of the nations is to serve the Jews who are the chosen peole.
True outlook: The Jewish people are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Their purpose is to lead the world in the worship of one God.
Perverse outlook: The laws and the values of the nations of the world are an object to be ridiculed.
True outlook: Our sages stated, “believe in the wisdom of the nations”/
Perverse outlook: Anyone who opposes, in outlook or in deed, the purpose of creation according to the Torah concept should be destroyed.
True outlook: Such a person should be treated in accordance with the accepted practice towards those who oppose any law. The intensity of the response should be according to the severity of the transgression and the style of the transgressor. This includes restraint, warning, imprisonment, fine, lashes, and the death penalty.
Perverse outlook: The purpose of creation was for the learning of Torah.
True outlook: The purpose of creation is the carrying out of the commandments. If there is a delay in performing a commandment, then it postpones the learning of Torah until the commandment is performed. On the other hand, the learning of Torah is of greatest importance because it is the means to identify with the will of God.
Perverse outlook: The law of the Rambam (Mamrim, chap, 3, halacha b), that we should kill out informers and apostates is based on the fact that the learning of Torah is very important.
True outlook: The elimination of informers and apostates under permissible circumstances is a means for protecting the community from the elements that are dangerous for the maintenance of the community. This is the accepted procedure in any nation towards its destroyers. In practice this law has no connection with the fact that informers and apostates do not learn the Torah.
Perverse outlook: Violence should not be used in the case of instigators and inciters.
True outlook: Every serious culture is sensitive to certain fundamental principles. Apparently there are differences. Religious Jews are concerned with opinions. Others are concerned with the flag.
Perverse outlook: The nations should be subjugated so they will be humiliated and despised.
True outlook: We should subjugate those that are at war against us. In contrast, whoever comes on his own initiative to observe the seven commandments of Bnei Noach, we will relate to him with affection and even help him. The fact that we do not appoint a non-Jew who observes the 7 commandments for Bnei Noach to rulership positions is because of security, cultural and military reasons. Such considerations also apply to some extent to converts that have not as yet intermarried with Jews, and even to Jews that do not have the fear of God upon them. Our Torah was the first to introduce the spiritual factor into the general culture of mankind as a deciding factor for conducting wars rather than material considerations. It was also the first to teach the world to use spiritual reeducatuon as an alternative for death or physical subjugation.
Perverse outlook: Non-Jews are not considered as human beings.
True outlook: The human being is on a high spiritual level. A human being reaches this high spiritual level when he observes the biblical commandments. Otherwise he is dangerous to those around him more so than a beast of prey. The dangers that threaten mankind arise mainly from those who outwardly appear as humans but inwardly think as beasts.
Perverse outlook: There are many unnecessary intimidations. in the Torah.
True outlook: The Torah has a balanced picture of the status of mankind. It has a joyful description for those who observe its laws and a sorrowful picture for those who don`t.
Perverse outlook: The one who denies the Torah resembles a ticking time-bomb.
True outlook: Heresy and apostasy are indeed like ticking time-bombs. People in these categories are dangerous to all mankind. They smile and talk nicely but cannot be relied upon in case of emergency. Here in Israel there are those who are willing for the sake of money and honor to register as citizens of the country thousands of Arabs who threaten our existence.
Perverse outlook: The Torah was given to a small group of people relative to the size of the population of the world.
True outlook: The Torah was given and is given to those who appreciate it. At the time of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai the world population was of the order of 100 million people, of which the Israelites were about 5 million people. However, because of persecution and other factors, the percentage of Jews in the world has decreased. The nations of the world are required to observe the 7 commandments of Bnei Noach, while the Jews are to observe 613 commandments. The difference between Israel and the other nations is that the Jewish nation has a greater belief in God and His commandments.
Perverse outlook: It would have been proper that every people and nation had the opportunity to receive the Torah.
True outlook: Correct. According to a tradition this is exactly what happened. Even if this is not what happened, every person in the world can join the Jewish nation by converting to Judaism.
Perverse outlook: The belief that the Jewish nation is the chosen people is racist and disgraceful.
True outlook: Racism is not disgraceful. The entire world recognizes the advantages of racism in animals, such as for cows, sheep, horses, dogs etc. Why should there not be advantages of one race over another for people? Does Daat Emet think that a person should not check his intended marriage partner for an inheritable disease peculiar to a certain race? The Jewish cultural racism developed a superior human being. There is among the Jewish people double the percentage of talented persons than among other nations. There is even a much greater percentage of important scholars that improved the human society than would be expected by the relative sizes of the populations. Nevertheless, we are not advocating racism, since any person from any race, people, sex and color can if he so desires convert to the Jewish religion. We will treat such a convert with respect and affection.
Perverse outlook: It is unjust to have different standards for different citizens.
True outlook: The claim of injustice is an example of exaggerated hypocrisy. Do the courts in Israel and in the entire world not take into consideration the personal circumstances of the transgressor? Are the law and the authority for the policeman and the citizen equal? In addition, the difference between a Jew and a non-Jew is not always at the detriment of the non-Jew, since the non-Jew does not get the death penalty for desecration of the Sabbath. He also does not get lashes for eating the meat of a pig. There are two legal systems that apply to the different populations because of their different obligations. A. We assume that nowadays the typical non-Jew does not fulfill the 7 commandments for Bnei Noach, and he is considered a robber by holding Jewish property or by actually robbing. B. We assume that in every legal judgment between Jews and non-Jews in a non-Jewish court, the court will discriminate agaist the Jew. For example, the soldiers and citizens of Israel are under a serious threat from the international courts for acts that the soldiers of other nations would never be brought to justice.
Perverse outlook: If the State of Israel would adopt values of discrimination in the judgments between the nations, she would endanger herself with a bad attitude from the nations of the world.
True outlook: Apparently, under any circumstance, we are considered by the nations of the world as lepers and hypocrites. Therefore it is better to do what is required without worry as to what the nations would say. Nevertheless, if Israel would adopt the laws of the Torah then a number of additional consequences would occur, as described below: A. Israel would start an explanatory and educational campaign throughout the world concerning the importance of belief in God and in the Bible. This campaign would be a decisive Answer to the danger of Islam, and would make the nations of the world understand that there is no other safe approach. B. There would be Godly inspiration that would help Israel in its undertakings. C. The Sanhedrin, which would surely exist, would consider the steps to be taken as a function of time to achieve this goal.
Perverse outlook: Justice should arise from the awareness of the nations.
True outlook: Woe unto the world if justice should arise from the awareness of the nations. We saw this type of justice for thousands of years, and until this time. It is up to us to teach the nations justice based on different measurement standards.
Perverse outlook: The God of Israel did not want perfection of the nations.
True outlook: God wants perfection of the nations based on accepting the commandments.
Perverse outlook: It is prohibited for a non-Jew to learn Torah and to rest on the Sabbath.
True outlook: It is prohibited for a non-Jew to rest on the Sabbath and to learn Torah, apparently because by partially adopting these values from the Torah he is likely to deceive people into thinking that he has many good qualities that justify his partially accepting the Torah. Indeed we see what crimes have been committed by the religions that partially adopted laws from the Torah. They have indeed abandoned idol worship, but they have also spilled much innocent blood. Nowadays Islam threatens all mankind in all locations. There is hardly one country where Islam is found, that is not threatened. All this results from the partial acceptance of our Torah. Also Christianity during the 2000 years of our exile was the factor that caused one pogrom after another that decimated the Jewish people percentage wise not less than the holocaust caused by the Nazis.
Perverse outlook: Everyone can observe the Torah ; therefore there is no need to convert people to Judaism.
True outlook: Observance of the Torah is within the framework of a covenant of fighters for the true faith. Just as in the army it is necessary to have acceptance requirements and an oath of loyalty, so for this covenant. The belonging to this framework is indeed a benefit to the soul, and it gives a purpose for life.
Argument: There is a holy trinity in Judaism, namely the Torah, Israel and God.
Answer: Daat Emet used the term trinity in order to compare Judaism to Christianity. The quotation from the Zohar and the commentary of the Sulam (Zohar, Achrai Mote, 73.) does not support the interpretation of the Daat Emet. The Jewish religion is the most monotheistic of all the religions. Even though there is a strong connection between the Torah, Israel and God, it is not the same entity as in Christianity. The correct order for these three words is God, Israel, Torah. The Torah was created for Israel, and Israel was created by God.
Perverse outlook: The term Apikorus (atheist) is identical to a nonreligious Jew.
True outlook: The term Apikorus refers to a group of persons within the category of non-religious Jews.
- Response to Daat Emet publications
- Response to Daat Emet Issue 1-2
- Response to Daat Emet Issue 3-9
- Response to Daat Emet Issue Kislev 5760-Kislev 5761
- Response to Daat Emet Issue Cheshvan 5762-Tamuz 5762