Psak 5766 Shevat 5
Informal translation from Hebrew of the 5 Shevat, 5766 (3 February, 2006) statement:
Concerning the community of Amona
TRANSLATION IN PROGRESS, BELOW IS SUMMARY
To the Residents of Amona - and to fighters for the Land of Israel Be Strong and of Good Courage! To the residents of Amona, whom are fulfilling the commandment of settling the Land of Israel with self sacrifice, and to all who climb the mountain to help G-d against the mighty (see Judges 5:23) - a blessing of strength and courage!
Facing the pogrom waged upon you by the government, lead by people who raise their hand against the Torah of Moses, we are hear to strengthen your hand. About you our sages have said (in Mechilta Shemot Yitro 6) "to those that love me and observe my commandments - these are Israel as they settle the Land of Israel and give of their souls for the commandments: Why are you put to death.. why do you get burned... why do you get beaten? - Because I have fulfilled the commandments of G-d!" The police destruction forces which took control of the settlement and put their astounding beatings upon children, women, and the elderly with their iron dressed horses and clubs in their hands, and destroyed your houses to the foundation - all the thousands of soldiers and police officers - have transgressed, and you that have sacrificed are called the beloved of G-d. This government, which sucks the blood of Jews who keep the Torah of G-d in the land of their forefathers, has no right to exist.
The place where you are dwelling is holy land! According to Jewish tradition, in this place Abraham, father of the Israeli nation, was given the divine command to hold on to the Land of Israel (Genesis 13), as it is written: "Raise, please, your eyes and see from the place that you are at, northward, southward, eastward, and westward... rise up and walk throughout the land, to its length and width, for to you I have given it". One that comes to uproot you from this place comes to uproot, together with the houses, the divine command which obligating to inherit the land and to dwell in it, and other additional commandments in the Torah of Moses.
The commandment of settling the Land of Israel is an important commandment of Torah, which we were commanded to do amidst self sacrifice. Praiseworthy are you, and all those which volunteered to come to your aide, and sacrificed of themselves to prevent the destruction of the houses of the community by brute force. Our sages have already stated (Shabbat 130:1) : "Any commandment upon which Israel sacrificed... survived in their hands", in the merit of your self sacrifice, even Amona will be settled and built and will flower together with the rest of the communities of the Land of Israel in the full width of her borders.
Conspiracy of the Wicked
The question of the masses: Does the government, and its instructions today have any obligating validity? Answer: In order for a law or instruction will have obligating validity in halacha, there are three basic requirements:
- That the law is set by people that know Torah and fear Heaven.
- That the people would be appointed by Jews that fear Heaven.
- That the law will be set by the Torah of Israel.
Lacking these conditions, the government acts against the nation and its Torah, and is defined as a "Conspiracy of the Wicked", and it is not to be taken in to consideration.
The current government is made up of Jews which are assumed to be lacking in Torah knowledge and fear of Heaven. This is not an elected government, but rather a coincidental collection of power hungry, domineering people.
On the matter of appointments of people to positions in Israel, the Rambam writes in the Laws of Kings 1:7: "Anyone that has no fear of Heaven, even though he has great wisdom, it is forbidden to appoint him to a position among the positions in Israel". The writer of Sefer haChinuch adds to this (mitzva 497) that if the leader transgresses a sin, it is a commandment to hate him: "All the authorities in Israel... Anyone that lacks fear of Heaven... it doesn't need to be said that it is forbidden to appoint him to any position in Israel, but also it is proper to hate them and to distance them, and about them David said "I have hated all evil-doers". In light of the above, these people are invalid for leadership.
The decision of the High Court of Justice, given on the day of the troubles, and from which power it was decided to destroy the houses of Israel in Amona, stands, as is obvious, in contradiction to the Torah of Israel, and represents part of a long series of decisions, where the result is uprooting commandments of Torah.
A group of judges like this is called, in the language of the Rambam: "Conspiracy of Traitors".
Therefore, any law or order standing in contradiction to the Torah of Israel is cancelled and nullified, and it is proper to fight against them in any possible way.
To people in power it is said: Destruction of homes in Amona obligates those that hold positions of: Prime Minister, Chief of Staff, Judges, Police Officer, General Officer, and anyone who sent their hand and brought the destruction, each one is personally obligated to make full payment for all the financial damages caused to the residents. Thus they are obligated for all the physical and mental damage, and also the damages caused to hundreds of children, women, and elderly by sending soldiers and police, who in this case is like any destructive person or thief (Rambam, Chovel uMazik 8:1-2).
Anyone who had a hand in the destruction in order to give the land to the Arabs, he is in the aspect of a "moser" (informer).
To Help G-d Against the Mighty
In regard to public leaders: rabbis, judges, heads of yeshivas, and anyone who has the ability to protest, behold they are commanded to come out to their brethren's aide, no one is exempt. Thus declared Deborah the Prophetess in her prophesy on "Maroz" - one of the leaders of Israel in that generation: (Judges 5:23): Be cursed, Maroz, says the messenger of G-d!" That is to say that one that stands opposite and puts a hand to his mouth when Israel are in trouble, a curse is upon him, G-d forbid, because they did not come to help G-d against the mighty (Moed Katan 16a). Thus also the leaders and the residents of Israel and its settlements, standing opposite and not coming to aide, they are included in the curse (See the Bible commentators there).
To the residents of Amona and all those that came to help G-d against the mighty, it is said: You are protectors of the law of Torah in the Jewish state! You hold the ark of G-d! When you went up to the mountain, you fought the illegal government, according to Torah! You fought those that broke the law of Torah! Not just to help the nation you went out, but also to help G-d! And like in the words of our sages in Sifrei Bamidbar 84: Anyone that helps Israel, it is if he helps the One who spoke and the world came in to being, as it is said: Be cursed, Maroz, says the messenger of G-d, be cursed, accursed residents thereof, for you haven't come to help G-d, to the help of G-d against the mighty!"
A Time to Love, a Time to Hate
Question: Do the commandments of "and you shall love your fellow as yourself" and "do not hate your brother in your heart" apply to a soldier or a police officer who come to expel a person in Israel from his home, for indeed, there were rabbis in the past that expressed the opinion that it is obligatory to love and honor the soldier and police officer regardless.
Answer: These commandments, indeed, are "great rules of Torah", like the great rabbis of Israel have said at length, like Hillel, and after him Rabbi Akiva, to greaten and beautify this commandment (to love the fellow).
That being said, these commandments are not to be fulfilled except in the conditions set in halacha. It does not apply to a person in Israel who raises a hand against the Torah of Moses and one who fulfills commandments. The sages have already written this, and it is brought by the Rambam (Laws of Mourning 14:1) that the this commandment was not said except about "your brother in Torah and commandments"! In this it was set, that one that comes to uproot Torah and commandments in Israel - and in the case that is before us, also a soldier and a police officer - he is not "your brother"! The source of his (the Rambam's) words are in Avot d'Rabbi Nathan (16). There it is said: Love everyone! And hate the heretics and the apostates and the informers... If he does the deeds of your nation (like you), you are to love him, and if not - you are not to love him". See Sefer haChinuch (commandment 238) where it is written "the wicked... it is a commandment to hate them", and thus in Sefer haChinuch (commandment 264): It is permitted and also a commandment upon us to hate the wicked."
A person who raises a hand against the Torah of Moses is called in halacha: "Hated by G-d"! (Masechet Semachot 3:5), which is brought as halacha by the Rambam (Laws of Mourning 1:10). From here, a soldier and a police officer which come to force a Jew to transgress, to steal and to rob him of his house and to destroy it, to transfer the place to an enemy, behold he is a wicked person, hated by G-d, and is not in the bounds of "and you shall love your fellow as yourself".
A Person Makes Judgment for Himself
Question: If the authorities have destroyed a person's home in contradiction to halacha, is that person required to come to peace with the evilness of the decree, for indeed it is halacha that a person should not raise his hand against his fellow, or does he have the right to resist?
Answer: Praiseworthy is the soldier who protects the borders of the state and the security of Israel, his reward is surely great. However, he must know, that every order which contradicts the Torah of Israel is null and void. Also emissaries of the state, including soldiers and police officers, have no immunity per the laws of Torah. That is to say: If he is doing a commandment, he is given all the authority to fulfill his order, but if he is transgressing, he is judged as the transgressor in every way.
The right to defense of a person over his home and property is a basic right anchored in verses of Torah. More than this, the Torah allows the owner of a home to prevent the entry of someone breaking in to his home, even if it requires the use of force, as brought by the Rambam in the Laws of Theft (9:7). And he added that the right to respond with force is given to every person who comes to help the owner of the house. In effect, a person who sees his friend in trouble and did not help and did not save him has transgressed the prohibition "do not stand upon your fellow's blood" (This law is alive and well even in the laws of the Gentiles in all of the cultured world) Therefore, a soldier who breaks in to the house of a person, even if he received an order for this, is like any other burglar.
Thus, the Torah allowed a person in Israel to make judgment for himself, like, when a person comes upon the one that has stolen from him, "he can beat him until he leaves him". And thus it is an obligation for a person to prevent his friend - and also from a soldier - to violate a prohibition of the Torah, and likewise, when he sees a person beating his friend - he is permitted to beat the one beating his friend in order to help his friend. The halacha forbids a person in Israel to raise a hand on his friend, therefore, the expression: "It is forbidden to raise a hand against a police officer" is proper, as long as the police officer observes the commandments of Torah and justice. Not so when the police officer is a partner to a matter of transgression, and an act of burglary and destruction. And thus we have found in the words of our sages, that even Joab, minister of the army of Israel, expected to absorb the rain of stones from his soldiers when they saw him transgress on a prohibition.
The Fire of the Maccabees
Those who struggle for the wholeness of the Land, don't let your hearts falter! Do not fear and falter before the soldiers and police who beat with staves! Do not fear from the neighing of the police horses! Do not fear the "judges" who sit on lofty chairs whose decisions defy the Torah! Opposite the rulers who declare to uproot the Jews and their communities, and o uproot the Torah of Israel and her commandments - Arise and go out, to the help of HaShem against the mighty men! For in the end, the Torah of Israel will be victorious!
To the rulers and their agents that have declared war on the Nation of Israel, on the Torah of Israel and on the Land of Israel, it is said, "Those depend on chariots, and those on horses, but we call forth in the Name of HaShem, our G-d. They are bowed down and fallen, but we are uplifted and made to stand upright. HaShem saves, the King answers on the day we call." "Let us go up and inherit it, for we are well able to overcome it."
It is signed:
Chief Justice R' Yisrael Ariel
Justice R' Yoel Schwartz
Justice R' Dov Meir Stein
Justice R' Dov Abraham Ben-Shorr
Justice R' Hillel Weiss
Justice R' Eleazor Seigel
Justice R' Yisai Bavad