Friday, November 30, 2007

R' Tzvi Yehudah vs. R' Amital's reaction to the UN partition plan (60th anniversary on 29 Nov)

29 November marks the 60th anniversary of the UN partition plan which would have created a State of Israel recognized under international law alongside an Arab state (the Arabs rejected the plan, went to war with us, and the rest is the historical mess we are still grappling with). What is a religious Zionist to make of this event? Two different reactions:

Arutz-7 has an article entitles “haRav she-bacha b’29 November” which describes R’ Tzvi Yehudah crying over the partition plan while the country celebrated. Who could celebrate when so much was being given away?
בליל יום העצמאות הרצי"ה אמר: הרשו לי לומר דברים אישיים, לפני 19 שנה כל העם נהר לרחוב לחגוג את רגשי שמחתו, אך לא יכולתי להצטרף לשמחה, את ארצי חלקו, וישבתי ובכיתי, איפה חברון שלנו, איפה שכם שלנו ואיפה יריחו שלנו?".

R’ Amital of Gush takes a very different approach in one of his essays:
…In light of the Ramban's teaching in his comments on Rambam's Sefer Ha-mitzvot, they explained that the "beginning of the redemption" refers not to the Jewish nation dwelling in the Land of Israel, but rather to the absolute sovereignty of the Jewish nation over all parts of Eretz Yisrael… I do not believe in this approach. I can testify concerning myself that I recited the blessing of "She-hechiyanu" and I danced on the 29th of November 1947, at Be'erot Yitzchak, even though the U.N. had partitioned the land, and likewise in 1948. Our feeling was one of elation; it was as though there was an intoxicating drug in the air – Israeli independence. We weren't rejoicing because of what the Ramban taught, but rather because of the fulfillment of Herzl's vision. At that time, Rav Zvi Yehuda recounted: "I could not go out and participate in the festivities… for indeed, God's word – 'They have divided My land' (Yoel 4:2) – was being fulfilled… In that condition – my whole body shaken, wounded all over, cut up into pieces – I could not rejoice" (excerpt from "Eretz Ha-Zvi"). We – the simple Jews among whom I regard myself – didn't know about the Ramban. We knew that there was Israeli independence, Jewish sovereignty in our land – and we rejoiced over that.

All I can say is baruch Hashem we have such machlokesin to think about. As uncomfortable as it is not having a clear answer in hashkafa, with giants of klal yisrael in disagreement, I think leis man d'palig that we are far better off than we were 65 years ago.

1 comment:

  1. I think leis man d'palig that we are far better off than we were 65 years ago.
    Absolutely... except for all the various factions who disagree!