Author Topic: Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Toledano on Jewish persecuation and fighting back. (1930's)  (Read 3286 times)

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Offline Tag-MehirTzedek

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Rav Yosef Mesas and Friends


This is from Yam hagadol by Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Toledano, written in the 1930's (pp 180-186) - extremely important

23. Many of the great rabbis in this and previous generations erred and mislead our nation, their followers, to think that as long as we are in this bitter exile (written in 1931) we cannot raise our head but we are rather commanded by God to bend our back in front of all tyrants and rulers and let them whip our backs and pull our beards, as if our blood is worthless and as if there was a divine decree to let Yaakov be raided and Israel be ransacked. They thought that the decree of exile and subjugation to foreign rule includes slavery and degradation. And that part of sanctifying God’s name, for which you should die rather than transgress, is to give up on Jewish lives and hand ourselves in as slaves and war captives even when we have the option of confronting our enemies and fighting back. I therefore say without fear that with all due respect these rabbis caused the loss of lives of individuals and communities who many time could have saved themselves from calamity had their rabbis instruct them that they must defend themselves against their enemies as the halakha says” if someone is about to kill you you should attack first”, but rather than doing so they accepted the verdict and handed themselves over like sheep lead to the slaughterhouse. All this was caused by the lowly philosophy and the exilic mentality of seeing themselves as mute stones, as lowly vermin and as nothing of value. They did not understand that all the things written in the Torah and the prophets and the Talmud are just temporary curses and punishments and not an obligation and a decree. They are admonitions that God and His prophets used to deter the Jews from abandoning the Torah. It was never meant for us to be willingly persecuted and stepped on by other nations or governments… in the time of the rabbis of the Talmud, the Geonim of Babylonia, and the leaders of Spain during the expulsion, it was always the concern of the rabbis and leaders to maintain their dignity and when possible to fight back. Only in France, Germany and Russia did the Jews considered themselves so lowly and never tried to oppose their enemies or defend themselves, and unfortunately it happened in the Holy Land recently when in the pogroms of 1929 there were many victims among the Yeshiva students and the simple people who got used to be beaten up and bullied. It is a mitzvah and an obligation on all rabbis to institute such studies (self-defense) at all Talmud Torah’s and Yeshiva’s so the kids and the students will be ready for battle and any unforeseeable danger. I praise the young cadets (Zionists) who woke up and awakened others to revive the destitute hearts, to have a heroic spirit and to restore our ancient crown.
.   ד  עֹזְבֵי תוֹרָה, יְהַלְלוּ רָשָׁע;    וְשֹׁמְרֵי תוֹרָה, יִתְגָּרוּ בָם
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.

ה  אַנְשֵׁי-רָע, לֹא-יָבִינוּ מִשְׁפָּט;    וּמְבַקְשֵׁי יְהוָה, יָבִינוּ כֹל.   
5 Evil men understand not justice; but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

Offline muman613

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There were many uprisings against the oppression of the nazis... I watched a couple documentaries which discussed this. I also have never seen any rabbis who said to accept the abuse. I am not sure exactly to what this rabbi is referring to.

http://www.aish.com/ho/o/48965521.html

http://www.aish.com/ho/i/Polands-Extermination-Camps.html

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14