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Lorrie Fein

Thanks for a great column. We have been pleading with people to demonstrate leadership. I wrote to the RCA and OU just now and demanded to know why they are silent and if they are away for the summer. I mentioned that they have no right to ask for membership or donations if they aren't functioning. Thanks for your article.

asher zelig rozenfeld

With G-d's Blessing

TO ALL THE "JEWS OF SILENCE"

Eli Weisel called the Jews in Soviet Union the "Jews of Silence" back in the 60's, when they had no choice being forced to silence. We were among them before moving to the free world.

Today we choose to protest against Soviet Union Revisited - in the Land of Israel! Believe it or not, the Prisoners of Zion in the Soviet Union (called refusniks) became the Prisoners of Zion in the State of Israel for voicing their opposition to wicked "disengagement" plan. They are literally behind bars! These are the same Jews, who back in the Soviet Union, chose to loose their jobs and livelihood not to desecrate Shabbos.

What a contrast with our free, democratic society where Jewish leaders and rabbis pathetically silent on the issue of disengagement because they are afraid to loose their jobs and livelihood. And they choose to remain silent when it came to pikuach nefesh (mitzvah of saving Jewish life). For saving even one Jewish life a Jew is supposed to desecrate Shabbos - we are talking millions of Jews, G-d forbid! So who are really the "Jews of Silence" by choice?
The same merciful G-d, who gave us those laws, also provides materially and spiritually for us to fulfil them. Who and what are you afraid of? "Fear G-d and do His commandments. This is the whole duty of a man".

The Lubavicher Rebbe said a number of times that giving away parts of the Land of Israel brings such harm, G-d forbid, that the damage is felt immediately throughout the whole Jewish nation, also those living in Diaspora. The fight for Shleimus Haarets (wholeness of the Land of Israel) is the fight to save Jewish lives everywhere.

The ones not raising their voice claim that they do not want to undermine Israeli government. But by being silent they undermine the security of the whole Jewish nation!
All Jews must protest and do what they can to stop the disengagement and it is our duty to help our brothers and sisters in the Land of Israel!

The choice is yours - are you going to follow G-d and His servant, the Rebbe, or remain silent? This could be our last test in bringing Moshiach. We have to unite for Sleimus Haarets.

With G-d's help, we will succeed!

MOSHIACH NOW!

Group of Jews from former Soviet Union.

Cosmic X

Michael,

You ask a tough question. I do not think that there is a unified answer. Every rabbi or rabbinic group may have a different reason for not making their voices heard:

1) Some actually support Sharon

2) Some feel unqualified to make a judgement when they are not directly affected.

3) Some are against "disengagement" but do not wnat to raise their voices because of political or communal considerations.

4) Other unknown reasons.

Shalom Edelman

You critisize those that are not doing their duty as Jews... even as a person... I believe many animals such as lions even have the sechel to protect their kin.

At the same time, you should complement those that are doing right. The Lubavitcher Rebbe since the Camp David Disaser has been screeming not to think of giving away land. Rabbi Meir Kanana since the late 1960's has been warning us exactly of what we are seeing today.

Ms Kori Lessing

Dear Mr. Freund,
We Jews living in America have been told many times that we must not tell Israel what to do as long as we don't live there.

If Jews living in Eretz Israel have not decided against the disengagement (abandonment!), how can you expect Jews living in the USA to make the decision for them? If the Rabbis of Eretz Israel have not come forth with unanimous declarations, how can you expect the Rabbis of the USA to do so? If the people living every day in Eretz Israel have not come to at least a majority opinion, why would you expect people living thousands of miles away to know the answer?

My questions are:
1) How can a country's direction be so totally decided by the desires of a single person (Ariel Sharon)?

2) Why doesn't the Knesset get some spine and muscle and act against it?

3) How can a country govern itself when there is no Constitution, no agreed-upon set of foundational rules, for the courts to base their decisions on? One thing has been made very clear: There is no democratic governmant in Israel.

4) How can teenage girls be kept in jail for weeks, just for demostrating? How can homes be searched without a warrant, preoperty taken without cause, and fathers charged with >>>"right-wing ideology in opposition to the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and suspected of thinking<<< of or planning to obstruct roads, an act which could lead to endangering lives." ( http://jewishworldreview.com/0805/israel_democracy.php3 )

To me this whole "disengagement" is COMPLETELY beyond understanding - on a par with Peres on June 19th, 2005 saying the Arabs need more guns . (see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=84054 "Prime Minister Sharon should give the PA guns for thousands of soldiers as another "goodwill gesture," according to Associate PM Shimon Peres".)

It would take an idiot or a fool to give land and guns to his enemies a second time!


NONE of this makes any sense! There is NO advantage in expelling Jews! And why destroy the Jewish houses? The settlements are much nicer and better than anything the arabs do for themselves. Let the arabs show their true colors as they fight over the buildings.

The land was a desert before we started living there and it will revert to a desert soon after we leave. Does anyone think that the arabs will be able to operate the greenhouses? The only thing they have done is destroy, not build.

The Palestinians were forced out of Jordan because they tried to take over the government by force. Has anything changed about them? There will never be peace in the Mid East until their desire for death and violence becomes a desire for farming and peace. Don't hold your breath.

And don't expect Jews living in the United States to somehow bring common sense or consensus to Israeli politics. Israeli politics are beyond common sense. Sharon and his cronies are testing the very essence of Israel.

The only good that I can see come out of this is that we will once again prove that it is not by our effort or our intelligence that Israel exists. It is only by Hashem's power that Israel and Jews anywhere exist, and if He wills it, will continue to exist.

Abe

The reason the Jews dont care as to what is happening in Israel is because the Jews in Israel dont seem to care. Its as simple as that. Till such time that the bombs start falling in north Tel-Aviv where all the beautiful people live nothing I repeat nothing will change. Israel is not a democratic state nor is it efficient...It is a bardak..a transit station for displaced Jews who are simply buying their time till they get to better shores. The truth is after all the hundreds of billions given to Israel over the past 50 years..Israel still is a welfare basket case. A collection agency for hundreds of schnorrer organizations whose sole mission is to "schnorrer". Till such time that Israel becomes a nation of democratic law, where contract law is adhered to and where there is an efficient government, Israel will continue to be a rather pathetic excuse for statehood. Yes I am well aware of history and how we have suffered etc, but its time to get off the victim bandwagen and start being a nation of law, representation and order. Have a nice day!

Joe

Perhaps some American Modern Orthodox leaders, while saddened by the uprooting of people from their homes, nonetheless recognize that staying in Gaza in the long-term is an untenable situation? It is better that the disengagement take place under a right-wing government than a left-wing one. As much as the Right has completely turned on Sharon recently, he still has more credibility than any other Israeli leader to dismantle any settlements. And in the long run, he is trying to hold on to the major blocs like Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion. For some reason, people on the right seem to think that if the Sharon government were to fall that there wouldn't be a chance for a Labor government to take its place. That, IMHO, is incredibly short-sighted. When the Right rought down Shamir, they got Rabin and when they brought down Netanyahu, they received Barak and Oslo. What makes the right so certain that if they were to bring down Sharon that they wouldn't receive Beilin/Peres and the Geneva Plan, in which we would lose so much more?

So maybe American Orthodox leaders might not be as extreme as the Israeli Orthodox settler movement, in this regard? That, to me, is the real story; not their silence. It is the fact that the silence reflects a deeper division on this policy question.

Brana Lobel

Mr Freund:

I am getting very tired of you. As a former Communications Director, why don't you put a different spin on your article rather than trashing American Jewry en masse?

I am an American Jew and I have given my vocal support against the disengagement. I know I am not alone. You are a former aide to Benjamin Netanyahu and yet you let this quote from Netanyahu's new boss, Ariel Sharon, regarding one of his own people (an Israeli Jew) go past without comment:

'Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens.... I send condolences to the families of those who were murdered and my best wishes for a quick recovery to those who were wounded. The entire State of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, strongly condemns this act of terrorism."'

This judgmental political quote, way prior to an investigation, was just on Arutz Sheva. Does this leader really speak for all the Israeli people? I don't think so. Are you making a complaint to your ex-boss about his current boss? How can I know what you are doing? Yet, you have a public forum for your opinions and undoubtedly have connections and you choose to trash all American Jews because certain American Jewish leaders do not respond the way you want.

Are you disingenuous or just a fool? I think disingenuous is more like it, so if I were you I would stop slinging mud because it will ultimately wind up back in your own face (the universal law of karma described so eloquently by among others Hillel in the Pirkei Avot).

Linda Rivera

A civilized world does not reward murder. A civilized world punishes murder. Giving land and assets seized from Jews to murderers rejects civilization. It is an act that celebrates barbarism and murder. It is an act that threatens every Jew and every person who believes in ethics and morality.

Christian leaders and pastors of large churches with all their power and influence have the same responsibility before G-D to speak out and to organize massive street demonstrations. It is not being done.

Protest demonstrations in Israel are very large. They get the message out about the protests. In America, this is not the case. Many people don't know about the protests. If they did, the protests would be much larger.

I believe there will be a special judgment by G-D on these last years. What did we do or not do. G-D given land is about to be seized and given to foreigners-worshippers of a god the absolute opposite of the true G-D. The Islamist state in the Jewish Holy Land dedicated to the destruction of all Israel will bring vastly increased death and destruction to Jews.

Matt

Why are YOU silent about Jewish terrorism in the North of Israel? It's not so easy to condemn when the murderer comes from your own camp. Don't tell me - it's another shin bet exercise, right?

And for G-d's sake stop calling it an expulsion. The settlers of Gaza are being compensated handsomely for their loss, and had a year's warning. Only their disregard for the law prevented them moving out gracefully. Your abuse of language fools no one except yourself.

Barry

Mr. Freund;

You are an unmitigated hypocrite! Where is your former boss, Bibi? And Limor Livnat? And The other Likud Princes? They had ample opportunities to show courage and stand up to Sharon and no doubt torpedo and derail this expulsion. But no, the cushy Knesset portfolios and status are more important.
How many times was Bibi importuned to take a stand against Sharon and the expulsion? Too numerous to count. Threathened by Sharon with the loss of his Finance Portfolio, he clammed up and assumed the fetal position. This Bibi who gave away Hevron, you now expect to grow cajones and stand up against the expulsion forces?? Are you for real? Gimmee a break!

Focus your fire on all of these morally bankrupt politicos where it rightfully belongs. If they don't give a damn, you expect American Jewry to care?

Jake

As an American Jew, I think it can be stated with quite obvious certainty that the reason American Jewry is silent on this issue is not because it doesn't care. We are silent because we are pensive - we understand that this is not a clear-cut issue and that it bears with it an immense complexity that can't be reduced to extremist slogans and fanciful dreams of Greater Israel.
In general, the Orthodox community of the US is more moderate and logical in its assesment of political situations. We call ourselves Modern Orthodox, because we view ourselves as part of an intricate web of modern and religious sensibilities that can't always be worked out effortlessly. You Orthodox Israelis, on the other hand, refer to yourselves as Dati Tziyoni, a name that evokes modernity only in the nationalistic sense. This is why your politics are clouded by the ideology of religious nationalism, while ours are defined by a pluralisitic openness to a variety of political ideas.
I'll take Modern Orthodoxy any day.

Barry

Just read the late breaking news on Arutz-Sheva that Bibi has resigned his Finance Minister post in the Cabinet and will be holding a press conference at 6 PM Israeli time. Bibi be forceful and shout! Embrace Sharansky.

It is not to late to stop this mad expulsion plan that will lead to further tzoros.

Livnat, et al; stand up and be counted. Now is the time!

Let your voices be heard!

Brana Lobel

Just saw the news on Arutz Sheva. Yes. No more Jewish deaths traceable to the intransigence of Ariel Sharon. Let's join together as one.
The Land and the People of Israel, together and united. To do this, stop the explusion plan. Am Yisroel Chai!

Brana Lobel

I just read some of Netanyahu's comments and his stated timing for leaving was as I thought: he stayed long enough to do his job on economic reforms and then got out. Mr. Freund, you need to turn back to the Israeli government leaders and ask the hard questions. Other ministers need to resign en masse or do what needs to be done to stop this expulsion and more, plus other MKs, stop Sharon and what he represents. The Jews of Israel and of the world who want the Promised Land to hold together have to then push hard to get new good leadership in, particularly a leader who will uphold Jewish values. Israel as a state needs a constitution, checks and balances, and other features of the American government; it must not continue functioning as poorly as it has. Nevertheless, Israel should not toady to other countries, the US included. I say this as an American Jew. We are the servants only of Hashem. The case of Eden Zada is so terrible I am ashamed for Israel and I protest how it (his AWOL, his attempt to turn himself in, his own murder, the funeral arrangements, the burial)has been handled.

yprittsehmi

WHY IS JEWRY SILENT? I have pondered over this article quite a lot.As we see events unfolding.From the time when the expulsions started.Even to the time this article was written.It has been good to see the religious and the non get together.
Today is tisha b'av.There are many reasons as to why the 1st & 2nd temples were destroyed.It was heart warming to be by the western wall,to see everyone praying together ,But what about tomorrow?will today be forgotten?There is a question that has been on my mind,since reading this article.Why is Jewry silent?From the 07 Aug. 05 to 14 aug 05 how many abortions have been done?Would anybody have an exact figure,would these murder clinics give honest figures.Yes today is tisha b'av,I wonder if any of the clinic workers have fasted today ,to remember the destruction of the Temple.
Is it not ironic that today we remember the heart of creation HaShem and His Temple and then slaughter the unborn babes in the womb.I wonder what HaShem thinks of it?I asked a rabie the same question,The response I had was.Are you trying to play G-d.No i am am not but I am looking at the beauty of His creation.
I heard many years ago this generation is more cruel the Pharoah.How?He ordered all males born to be killed to destroy Moshe.(I agree that, that is cruel order)Our generation slaughters the unborn boy and girl regardless of creed and colour.100% death rate to be shipped for face creams Etc.
What needs to be done to save Israel?How can we save Israel? It does not take a wiseman to have an answer.But it does take a wiseman with the fear of HaShem to put things in motion.

yprittsehmi

Many people have said that one needs a rabi.
to be a guide,until today I have not met that person with the fear of HaShem,nor the person with integrity that I can respect or that I can trust.

Shlomo W.

You wonder why the OU has nothing to say about the disengagement?

According to David Bedein  Bureau Chief for Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.
Sharon admits that American pressure determines retreat policy
http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/6235.htm

In late June, Ayalon met with representatives of the Orthodox Union, one of the largest contingents of United States Orthodox Jews, and told them clearly that "Prime Minister Sharon is left with no choice. He is doing exactly what the U.S. expects him to do."

The OU puts Washington before Jerusalem! Mystery solved.
It's not about what G-d wants it about what Bush wants.

As as the RCA besides for the same reason, what do you expect from an orginazation who to expeled R. Tendler with no proof. These same "RABBIS" are part of the YU debate, who said you can expell Jews from Gush Katif becouse of "Dina Dimalchatu Dina" These people are no different then the Miraglim. Remember 10 out of 12 failed. Why should the percentage be any different today.

If you are looking for real Jewish leadership look to Manhigut Yehudit. at jewishisrael .org

Mordechai Jefferson Carver

Even my rabbi here in Seattle has not spoken on the Disengagement. Why not? I haven't a clue. Could it be that any American rabbis that speak out against Sharon might receive sanctions of one kind or another from him? Do the rabbis have many positive words for an Israel that is lead by secular and/or atheistic leaders? No.

You have to remember that Israel was started by highly educated, utopian-minded, atheist, secular Socialists from Russia that had no desire at all to see Israel become relgious but to be a worker's paradise inspired by Marx. This in and of itself is a miracle - that HaShem has used them, not the religious, to resurrect Israel in its current incarnation. But Socialism has been dying for some 40 to 50 years and a religious return to observance has been occuring that is slowly supplanting it. Right now the observant Jews are about 20 percent of the population.

This drives the Socialists mad because they absolutely do not want to see Israel return to HaShem. Just Israel existing is a continual sign from Heaven that HaShem is in control. In my opinion, the powers that be in Israel, have hired the Arab refugees as proxies to "encourage" religious Jews to leave Yesha. Oslo was the start and Jews have tenaciously refused to be disuaded to leave or give up. Since that didn't work the Israeli government has had to do it directly - the day after Tisha B'Av ironically, which shows HaShem still in control of the whole situation.

Most religious Jews desire not to see Israel run by secular tyrants such as Sharon but by a Torah-observant Moshiach. Jews look to their leaders for leadership through hard times but as in the times of the Judges leadership was lacking. To stand out against the tide of opinion of the current secular leadership in Israel invites imprisonment and/or death depending on how far you want to go. Bibi is just going against the tide for purely political reasons. He sold out Israel when he was in power.

Even though the majority of Israelis desire not to retreat by giving up Gaza and the rest of Yesha there is no man that has risen above his own personal fears to lead Israel to using common sense in protecting itself. We all are sitting around waiting for Mashiach because we know that if we take on the character of a man and challenge the dictitorial and tyrranical current government that this invites peril to our own lives. You can't even place a bumper sticker on your car citing the problem of Arabs and terrorism in Israel lest you be jailed.

The every day Jew cannot look to Jewish leadership, whether religious or secular, for resolution to this problem Israel faces for there are no leaders anymore. The only option that Israel has as it continues to paint itself into a corner is to cry for help to HaShem. HaShem has always had ahavat olam for his beloved Israel and when Israel opens her heart to Him then, and only then, will a Mashiach, a man will testicular fortitude of heavenly proportions, will lead Israel against the evil both foreign and domestic.

In a sense the giving up of Gaza and Yesha are signs of how desperate the secular powers that be are to stop the trend of Israel going completely religious. If they can't stop it they will attempt to completely destroy Israel. Gaza is only the beginning of their plans to wipe Israel off the map. Don't kid yourself into thinking that this retreat is stopping there.

Gaza is just the beginning of the end of secular Israel as we know it today.

orange yonason

Silence?
What silence?
I'm not silent.
I've been screeming about this for the last 4 years. But no one listens to me. And why should they?
I'm nobody.
But when I tell them who TO listen to, they still don't.
The Rebbe told us what to do, and what not to do. He has been proven 100% correct on everything. But many are too arrogant to accept that.
They are afraid.
They refuse to admit he's right about that, because it would mean he is right about everything else, namely what we have to do for Moshiach to be revealed, and that is just too much for them.
They prefer to suffer rather than to admit they are wrong, rather than accept the authority of the Moshe of our generation. Like Korach, they are too arrogant to accept the authority of Hashem's annointed.
So they make excuses and argue over symptoms rather than causes in order to hide their real motives. But they can't escape, and until they stop running from the truth, the suffering will continue.
Want the truth?
www.truepeace.org, and
www.chabad.org
Till then, look in a mirror next time you point fingers. At least then you will be telling the truth about someting.

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