Why G-d Let Bin-Laden Succeed!

A Jewish Perspective on the Destruction of the World Trade Center in New York

World Trade Center

Q: Why do you find it necessary to look for a spiritual cause for the destruction of the World Trade Center? Why can’t you simply say that Bin Laden was an evil man and of his own free will, he chose to murder a large group of people and unfortunately, he succeeded.

In other words, take G-d out of the picture and put the blame squarely on the shoulders of where it belongs. On Bin-Laden and his band of Islamic extremists.

A: There are precedents in the Bible, that show that although the external cause for a nation’s military defeat might be because of the desire of an enemy to inflict damage, however, the real reason that the enemy succeeds, is due to some spiritual offense that the victim had committed.

For example, the prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) said in relation to Bavel (Babylon) in chapter 50:

For, Behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Bavel an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall array themselves against her; for there she shall be taken: their arrows shall be like those of a death dealing warrior; none shall return in vain. And the land of the Kasdim (Chaldeans) shall be a spoil: all that plunder her shall be satisfied, says Hashem (G-d). Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O robbers of my heritage, because you are grown fat like the heifer at grass, and you neigh like stallions…

Array yourselves against Bavel round about: all you that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she has sinned against Hashem (G-d). Shout against her round about: she has submitted herself: her buttresses are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of Hashem. Take vengeance upon her; as she has done, do to her!

A prominent Christian theologian, Jerry Falwell, based on the various biblical precedents that make a connection between failure in war and sin, attempted (on the secular date, September 14, 2001) to offer reasons for the successful terror attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Clarification: I mentioned Falwell, only because, he received much attention on this issue.)

However, although most (but not all) of the activities that Falwell listed as spiritual causes for the tragedy are indeed negative, nevertheless those activities should not be viewed as the real spiritual reason to explain the disaster.

Rather, the suicide Arab terror attacks against America, should be viewed as a punishment by G-d against America, for having placed Israel in a situation where Israeli Jews are subjected to repeated suicide bomb attacks by Arabs.

An Israeli bus that was destroyed in an Arab terror attack!

exploded bus

Furthermore, if you are looking for a more physical down to earth connection between suicide bombings in Israel and the suicide kamikaze attack against the World Trade Center, I’ll point out that Bin-Laden’s group al- Qaida, saw the political benefits that the Palestinian-Arabs were gaining from terror and viewed this as proof that they too could benefit if they used similar tactics. If however, America had made it clear (by actions and not by words) that crime does not pay, in its dealings with the Palestinian Arabs, this would have reduced the motivation of Bin-Laden to employ Palestinian-terror tactics against the United States.

Q: What actions indicate that the American government gives the impression to the world that Arab-Palestinian terror crimes, pay?

A: Both before and after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, instead of relating to Yasir Arafat as a leader of terror, America has repeatedly sent peace envoys offering greater and greater concessions to Palestinian Arabs in exchange for a cease-fire.

In an article that appeared in the March 12, 2002 (Hebrew date 28 Adar, 5762) edition of the Jerusalem Post, Shawn Pine, a major in the active US Army Reserves specializing in counterintelligence, summed up this idea in the following way:

The decision by the Bush administration to send special envoy Anthony Zinni back to the Middle East should be troubling to trouble anyone who believes that the threat of Islamic terrorism to civilized societies needs to be eliminated. Not only does this decision undermine the president’s moral position, it amounts to political capitulation.

The moral imperative being propagated by the administration is that the US must step in to stop the escalating killing on both sides (implying that there is a moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli military response to that terrorism). However, Israel has been subjected to increasing terrorism since the publication of the Mitchell and Tenet plans.

It is only recently, with the escalating rise in Palestinian casualties, that the US has decided to reengage its good offices. If it is indeed the rising civilian casualties that has prompted this renewed concern, then it is ironic considering the United States has killed some 4,000 Afghan civilians in its unfettered war against al- Qaida.

The US government is deluding itself if it believes that there is a moral or fundamental difference between the US war against al-Qaida and the Israeli war against Palestinian terrorism. The long-term strategic goals of both groups are the ultimate destruction of Israel and the West. In this respect both Israel and the US are engaged in an existential struggle.

The Zinni mission is an attempt by the US administration to mute criticism and objections to its developing policy towards Iraq. However, the Bush administration is naive if it thinks modifying its position vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will engender enough goodwill among the Europeans and Arab states to allow the US to pursue its war against terrorism unfettered by criticism.

Finally I will close this point with a quote from Bernard J Shapiro in his December 2001 editorial, for the US-based Freeman Center For Strategic Studies:

The visit of US State Department envoy General Anthony Zinni and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William Burns has always been irrelevant. Their goal ostensibly was to convince Israel and the Palestinians to implement a cease-fire. Of course they planned to focus on convincing both sides. Their arrival also brought 26 Israelis murdered and 200 wounded in suicide bombings to impress the Americans.

“My purpose, and the purpose of my government, is to reach a cease-fire,” Sharon said. “This is a matter of supreme importance, and we will make every effort possible to attain this goal. This [visit] is a true test for Arafat and the Palestinian leadership to determine if their intentions are in fact to move the diplomatic process forward.” Absolute nonsense! Arafat has sold his rug of a cease-fire a hundred times before since Oslo in 1993. He is a liar and a terrorist and certainly not a “peace partner.”

Sharon is expected to give Zinni evidence linking the Palestinian Authority to the majority of the terror attacks. FOOLISHNESS. The Americans know the truth but have always chosen to over look Arafat’s violations of Oslo and his direct links to terrorism.

The results of a suicide bomb attack near Tzfat/Safed.

bus-bomb attack results

Q: How can you be so sure that the successful attack on the World Trade Center was a punishment for America’s role in the “Land For Peace”, treaties and not a punishment for something else? Who appointed you to be the prophet that reveals G-d’s will?

A: Rashi, whose commentary, unlike other commentaries is obligatory for Jews who fear heaven (see Mishna Brura on 285:2) states the following:

‘You have seen what I have done to Egypt’ – For many transgressions were they liable to receive a punishment from me, before they harmed you, yet I punished them only on your account.

Similarly, if one looks at the Biblical book of Amos, chapter 1, (together with the traditional commentaries) one will see, that although the idolatrous neighbors of the nation of Israel, namely, Dammeseq, Azza, Tzor(Tyre), Edom, and Ammon, were guilty of many sins, nevertheless, the harm that they did to Israel is what sealed their fate.

Q: Why does G-d prefer to punish the nations on account of what they did to Israel, rather than on account of other sins?

A: I will provide one of a number of answers to your question.

The psalmist in psalm 58 exclaims:

“Let the righteous rejoice upon seeing vengeance, his feet shall wash in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, surely there is fruit for the righteous, surely there is a L-rd that judges the earth”. (Psalms 58:12,13)

We see from the above quote that vengeance enables a man to see that the G-d of Israel supervises the universe. It enables a person to more clearly come to a general ideology of righteousness.

In contrast, non-vengeance punishments in general, are less effective in causing an overall change in a person’s ideological outlook and relationship towards G-d.

For example, in the book of Exodus, Yitro(Jethro) states:

Now I know that Hashem(G-d) is greater than all deities; the very thing they plotted, came on them (Exodus 18:11).

The intent of Yitro (according to Rashi) was that the Egyptians had plotted to throw the male children of Israel into the Nile (Exodus 1:22) and plotted to rob and kill (Exodus 15:9) Israel at the Red Sea. Instead, the Egyptians were drowned and lost their worldly possessions at the Red Sea. Rashi adds in his commentary to Exodus chapter 18 verse 1 that the report of Israel’s war (a form of vengeance) against Amalek also was responsible for bringing Yitro to come to Moshe(Moses).

Another example, of the ability of revenge to effect a substantial change in religious outlook is found in the Biblical book of Esther, describing the miracle of the holiday of Purim:

“… that an edict be placed in each province, openly displayed to all the nations and that the Jews should be prepared for this day to take revenge against their enemies”. (Esther 8:13)…”And many of the nations of the land started to act as Jews for the fear of the Jews fell upon them”. (Esther 8:17)

Finally in the future, the prophet Yishayahu(Isaiah) informs us that revenge will bring all flesh to know that Hashem(G-d) is the one who saves and redeems the Jewish people. As it says in Yishayahu(Isaiah 49:26):

And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I, Hashem am your savior and redeemer, the mighty one of Yaacov(Jacob).

Q: Do you have any other evidence that the World Trade Center attack was a punishment for America having placed Israel into a situation of vulnerability to suicide terror bombings, and other forms of mass murder?

A: The Talmud in tractate Brachot page 5, states that if a man suffers sufferings, he should first check his actions to see if he sinned a particular sin.

If he does not find a sin, he should attribute the suffering to the neglect of Torah (study).

If he checks and determines that this is not the cause, he should then interpret the sufferings to be sufferings of love.

Rabbi Chaim of Volozhyn asked: given that the neglect of Torah (study) is also a sin, why did the Talmud state that only if a person does not find a sin, should he attribute his sufferings to the neglect of Torah?

He answered that the Talmud meant that if a person suffers, his first obligation is to examine his sufferings to see if there is any bad deed, which measure for measure fits or corresponds to the suffering. Only if this fails should he then look to the more general cause of suffering, neglect of Torah.

He further states that repentance and good deeds only act as a shield against punishment, when they are in the same category as the sin that measure for measure brought past punishment.

If the good deeds are in other unconnected categories, they are to be compared to a shield that is placed in the wrong direction as a defense against arrows. (from Nefesh Hachaim, Likutei Maamarim pages 379 and 380, Yissachar Dov Rubin’s edition, Bnei Brak, 5749)

An example of how sufferings can lead a person to find his exact sin is found in tractate Brachot page 5.

The Talmud relates that Rabbi Hoona had 400 containers of wine that were spoiled and turned into vinegar.

He asked his fellow rabbis if they had an explanation for why this happened.

They answered, that he should examine all his dealings and actions.

He said to them, “do you really suspect me of any wrong activities”?

They answered back, “do you suspect that the Holy One Blessed Be He judges unjustly”?

Rabbi Hoona then stated, “if any one has heard anything concerning me, let him state it”.

They said to him, “we heard that you have withheld giving branches of your grape vines to your sharecropper”.

He replied, I did so, because he steals a greater amount of money than the worth of the branches from me.

They replied that one who steals from a thief, he too tastes the taste of theft.

Rabbi Hoona accepted upon himself to amend his ways and to give the branches.

The Talmud then relates that there are those that say that the vinegar turned back into wine. And there are those that say that the market price of vinegar rose and Rabbi Hoona was able to sell his vinegar at the price given usually for wine.

Still another example, where the type of suffering suffered, revealed the sin that brought the suffering is recounted in tractate Avoda Zara page 16b.

The Talmud as explained by Rashi, in the above mentioned source relates that once the proponents of heresy (connected to the government), seized Rabbi Eliezer and tried to force him to serve idols. When he came before the local governmental official in that region, the official said in derision of Judaism, what benefit does an old man like you have in dealing with these idle matters?

Rabbi Eliezer answered, the judge is trusted by me. His intent being that the Judge of the universe, G-d, is trusted.

The official however, understood Rabbi Eliezer’s words to be a compliment and said, “that because you believed in me, I am setting you free”.

Afterwards, Rabbi Eliezer was distressed because although he had accepted that his sufferings had come from G-d, he could not figure out what sin had brought the suffering.

Rabbi Eliezer’s student, Rabbi Akiva said, “Rabbi, permit me to say one of the things that you have taught me”.

After receiving permission, he mentioned to Rabbi Eliezer, “perhaps a matter of heresy came before you and you took pleasure from it and account of this matter you were seized”.

After thinking about Rabbi Akiva’s statement, Rabbi Eliezer recalled an incident where indeed, he was guilty of such an offense, and based on his understanding of Mishlei(Proverbs) 5:8, he concluded that indeed this was the cause of his suffering.

A final proof that the type of punishment received can communicate G-d’s precise will even though we lack prophets, can be found in the English edition of Rabbi Yissachar S. Teichtal’s book, Eim Habanim Smeicha(alternately spelled Semeicha).[The book in particular deals with Rabbi Teichtal’s explanation for the Holocaust and you can find out details on how to purchase the book within the article : Rabbi Yissachar S. Teichtal (H”YD) A Victim of the Holocaust, Explains Why Hashem Let It Happen.]

Here is a quote on this matter:

This is why we have suffered so many hardships of late. We have disregarded the land of Israel, over which G-d our L-rd constantly watches (Deuteronomy 11:12), forever and ever. We have also disgraced and scorned its builders. If we do not change our way of thinking (G-d forbid), our troubles will increase. All of the troubles and evil afflictions that have befallen us are in place of the prophets’ utterances. They speak to us, rebuke us, awaken us from our idle sleep, and cause us to aspire to return to our Holy Land.
We also find this in Midrash Tanchuma regarding Elimelech and his sons:

They dwelt there [Moav/Moab] about ten years (Ruth 1:4). All of these years, the Holy One Blessed be He gave them warnings, perhaps they will repent and return to the land of Israel. Whey they did not repent, He began to smite their cattle and camels. When they [still] did not realize that they must repent, they died immediately. (Tanchuma, Behar 3)

Behold G-d’s warnings were not delivered by prophets (for we do not find that prophets went to them in Moav). Rather, the afflictions and mishaps that befell them took the place of the prophets to arouse them to repent. Now in what way were they to repent? Only by returning to the land of Israel. But since they did not repent and they did not even realize that they needed to repent, they were punished with the loss of property and eventually, death (may the Merciful One protect us).{end of quote}

Q: I don’t understand were the gentiles of America punished because of their support of the dangerous plan of trading Israeli land for a peace treaty or were they punished because they did not move to the land of Israel?

A: Gentiles are not commanded to live in the land of Israel. For more details, see the article Most of the Prohibitions of the Bible Do Not Apply to Gentiles.

Q: Thou shalt not pressure Israel to make concessions for a peace treaty is one of the commandments of which gentiles were commanded???

A: Gentiles are commanded not to murder directly of indirectly. Jewish Law assumes that when Jewish money or property is handed over to violent Gentile gangsters, the gangster will not be satisfied with his initial gains (when he has a real opportunity to gain more). Rather, he will use more and more violence to extract additional money to the point of murder.

It unfortunately is not pragmatic for me to reveal all the halachic sources to prove this point, since Israel’s judicial system does not completely honor the right of free speech on halachic issues. (In the recent past, even rabbis such as Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef have been threatened {although not prosecuted } by Israel’s Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein.) Instead, you will just have to rely on your common sense that there is a direct connection between the tremendous rise in Palestinian-Arab violence and the Oslo Accords.

I wish to make it clear that G-d is angry with the Gentiles (as well as the secular government of Israel) for their part in the various “land for peace”, treaties, not only because the treaties help our enemies to murder. The treaties for example, rob parts of Biblical Israel from righteous Jews. And G-d forbids robbery, even in cases where a democratic majority supports the theft.

To quote from the words of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook on the subject (found in Mitokh Torat Hagoelet volume 4):

The definition of the Ramban is very clear. We are commanded by the Torah to have in our hands all of this land to its borders and boundaries that are detailed in the Torah and the land must not be in the hands of another nation.

The Mishna says (Shviit 9:2;Baba Batra 3:2;Ketuvot 13:10) that there are three regions in the land of Israel: “Judea, and the east bank of the Jordan, and the Galilee”…

It is explicit in the Torah that the eastern bank of the Jordan belongs to us…

The eastern bank of the Jordan is the land of Israel…

“All the land that you see, to you I will give it and to your offspring for eternity”. (Genesis 13:15) For eternity means for eternity! … {end of quote}

The “land for peace”, treaties also grant Gentiles the privilege to desecrate the Temple Mount for eternity.

In contrast to the attitude of the secular government of Israel, the Jews of the Second Temple period were adamant in their demands to remove Gentiles from the holiest sections of the Temple Mount. They posted signs warning Gentiles that they would be strongly punished if they were caught entering forbidden areas of the Mount. Indeed, archaeologists have found a stone from the Second Temple period that contained such a warning in Greek.

Sefer Hachinuch (commandment 362) makes it quite clear that the commandment to remove Gentiles from the holiest sections of the Temple Mount still exists even in our days.

And even those that might argue with Sefer Hachinuch’s conclusion cannot argue with the fact that the prophets, Yishayahu and Yehezkel (Isaiah and Ezekiel) clearly proclaim in their prophecies that an additional Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. These prophecies are hindered by the “land for peace”, treaties.

Clinton Hussein & Rabin Trading the land of Israel

The first public meeting between King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin took place in Washington, on

July 25, 1994 (in the Hebrew month of Av, Jewish Year 5754).

Out of this meeting emerged The Washington Declaration, signed by Prime Minister Rabin and King Hussein, with President Clinton serving as a sponsor and a witness.

Among the points upon which they agreed:

  • Both states agreed to seek a just, lasting and comprehensive peace based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338, which demand a partition of the Biblical borders of the land of Israel.

  • Israel will respect the special role of the Hashemite Kingdom over Muslim holy shrines (the area of the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem.

Dickstein family

The picture above is a picture of Rabbi Dickshtein, his wife Hannah and son Shuva’el.

They were recently added to the large list of people that were killed, due to the Oslo Accords!

Rabbi Dickshtein taught me Torah at Yeshivat Beit Habechira, which is affiliated with the Temple Institute. He leaves behind nine orphans.

Pour out your wrath upon the Gentiles that do not know you and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name. For they have devoured Yaacov(Jacob) and his shrine they have made desolate.

The above quotation is from the book of Tehillim(Psalms) chapter 79. Metsudat Dovid explains that in the context of the chapter, the word shrine is a reference to the Temple. (See also Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s, The Living Torah on Exodus 15:13 for further support for my translation of Tehillim/Psalms.)

Q: If I could prove that some of the victims of Bin-Laden’s attacks had the proper political views (from G-d’s perspective), would this disprove your entire thesis?

A: No, because the Bible contends that when the community deserves to be punished by a war, it is possible that righteous individuals die in the fighting. As it says, in Yehezkel(Ezekiel) chapter 21 verse 8:

And you shall say to the land of Israel, Thus says Hashem: Behold I am against you and will draw my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked.

Q: Why blame America for the terror attacks? If Israeli political leaders, such as, Yitzchak Rabin, had not openly embraced Yasir Arafat in the Oslo accords, most of the terror that we have seen in the last decade could have been prevented? Do you expect America to be more moral in its relationship to terrorist, Yasir Arafat, than the Israelis themselves?

A: Just because, Yitzchak Rabin, and his cohorts are guilty for causing the needless deaths of hundreds of Israelis (when they sought to compromise on Israel’s security in order to gain favor with the Israeli-Arab voting bloc and the extreme left), that does not absolve America for America’s part in the blame.

Just as G-d will punish a person who commits suicide, in the world to come, he will also punish that man’s friend who aided the suicide.

Furthermore, President George Bush [father of George W. Bush] and President Bill Clinton openly meddled in Israeli politics on behalf of Israel’s leftist appeasement parties and America’s interference, probably made the difference between Yitzchak Rabin’s initial razor thin election victory.

Furthermore, America is guilty, because it has prevented Israel from implementing tougher anti-terror policies needed for security.

A recent example of this point, being America’s reaction to Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield.

Mitchell Bard brings other examples of this point:

Many people believe the United States can always be relied upon to support Israel with its veto in the UN Security Council. The historical record, however, shows that the U.S. has often opposed Israel in the Council.


Temple Mount


In 1990, for example, Washington voted for a Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s handling of the Temple Mount riot earlier that month. While singling out “the acts of violence committed by Israeli security forces,” the resolution omitted mention of the Arab violence that preceded it.

In January 1992, the U.S. supported a one-sided resolution condemning Israel for expelling 12 Palestinians, members of terrorist groups that were responsible for perpetrating violence against Arab and Jew alike. The resolution, which described Jerusalem as “occupied” territory, made no mention of the events that triggered the expulsions – the murders of four Jewish civilians by Palestinian radicals since October.In December 1990, the U.S. went along with condemning Israel for expelling four leaders of Hamas, an Islamic terrorist group. The deportations came in response to numerous crimes committed by Hamas against Arabs and Jews, the most recent of which had been the murders of three Israeli civilians in a Jaffa factory several days earlier. The resolution did not say a word about Hamas and its crimes. It described Jerusalem as “occupied” territory, declared that Palestinians needed to be “protected” from Israel and called on contracting parties of the Geneva Convention to ensure Israel’s compliance. It was the first time the Security Council invoked the Convention against a member country.

From 1967-1991, 82 resolutions and drafts dealing with Israel were voted on in the Council. Sixty-nine were critical of Israel. The U.S. supported these resolutions 28 times. By abstaining on 26 more votes, the U.S. effectively joined in the Councils condemnations. Hence, the U.S. opposed Israel on 78 percent of the critical votes.

In a separate article by Bard, the author described in a general way how America’s policies were responsible for the significant weakening of the State of Israel. For the details of this article, press here.

Q: The prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) was in favor of making peace with the evil Bavel (Babylon) empire. If it was moral for him to call for peace, why is it not moral for America to call for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs?

A: The prophet did not ask that Israel trade land for peace. He asked the nation of Israel to surrender.

The prophet was told by G-d that Israel would surely lose the war against Bavel(Babylon) as a punishment for sin and called for surrender as a messenger of G-d.

If you are seeking a precedent that more closely fits in with the situation that Israel faces in our times we should look to the precedent of Yiftakh(Jephta).

A: The Bible clearly records in the Book of Judges chapters 10 and 11 that Yiftakh’s (Jephta’s) response to the ancient equivalent of Palestinian-Arab terrorism was not to give in to the demands of land for peace. Rather, he used a severe form of collective punishment and solved Israel’s security problems instantly.

The Gaon of Vilna

For more on the Gaon’s views, press here.
Q: Maybe we should compare our era to the era of Yirimiyahu(Jeremiah) and not to the era of Yiftakh(Jephta)?

A: The biblical prophet , Yishayahu(Isaiah) teaches [chapter 54 verse 2] “Expand the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: do not hold back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”. The students of the Gaon of Vilna, (as explained in the book, Kol Hator, chapter 5 ) believed there are 17 facets of expansion needed to fully fulfill this verse. All the activities that are contained within the commandment of expansion , it is obligatory to do them and strengthen them without stopping and without delay as the words of the prophecy there [in Isaiah] state, “Expand the place of your tent”, etc. “do not hold back” , meaning, don’t stop, and “strengthen your stakes”. In the same chapter [of Isaiah] of which we were commanded to “Expand the place of your tent”, we have a trustworthy promise “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises with you to judgment, you shall make into the guilty party, this is the heritage of the servants of Hashem [G-d] and their righteousness is from me, says Hashem”.

The students of the Gaon of Vilna put their “lives on the line” countless number of times when they immigrated to Israel based on their understanding of biblical prophecy that expansion would bring success. The fact that they did succeed in turning Jerusalem into a Jewish city [as far as population figures are concerned] gives us confidence to follow their analysis of reality when taking future decisions. As Samuel Katz in Battleground [a book that carries the endorsement of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick and Jack Kemp] states (p.100,101) : “It is clear that by now the state of the country was exacting a higher toll in lives than could be replaced by immigrants. But the immigrants who came shut their eyes to the physical ruin and squalor, accepted with love every hardship and tribulation and danger. Thus, in 1810, the disciples of the Vilna Gaon who had just emigrated wrote : “Truly, how marvelous it is to live in the good country. Truly, how wonderful it is to love our country….Even in her desolation she is unequaled, in her silence there is none like her. Good are her ashes and her stones”.

“These immigrants of 1810 were yet to suffer unimagined trials. Earthquake, pestilence, and murderous onslaught by marauding brigands were part of the record of their lives. But they were one of the last links in the long chain bridging the gap between the exile of their people and its independence. They or their children lived to see the beginnings of the modern restoration of the country. Some of them lived to meet one of the pioneers of restoration, Sir Moses Montefiore, the Jewish philanthropist from Britain who, through the greater part of the nineteenth century, conceived and pursued a variety of practical plans to resettle the Jews in their homeland. With him began the gray dawn of reconstruction. Some of the children of those immigrants lived to share in the enterprise and purpose and daring that in 1869 moved a group of seven Jews in Jerusalem to emerge from the Old City and set up the first housing project outside its walls. Each of them built a house among the rocks and the jackals in the wilderness that ultimately came to be called Nahlat Shiva [Estate of the Seven]. Today it is the heart of downtown Jerusalem, bounded by the Jaffa Road, between Zion Square and the Bank of Israel”.

For Jewish halachic sources ( legal sources in Jewish Law) against trading land for empty promises of killers and thieves see Chazoan Ish on Shviit (siman 24), Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s article in Techumin volume 15, and Rabbi Elitzur Segel’s article in Tzipia, volume 3. For still further sources, you should try to obtain the pamphlet Kol Artzeinu – Admat Kodesh that provides the reasons why, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rabbi Avraham E. Shapira, Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Rabbi Y.M. Charlap, Rabbi Ovadia Hodeya, Rabbi Meir Berlin, etc. came out against trading land for a peace treaty.

Q: Do you also mean to include the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, when you blame America for sponsoring land for peace deals?

A: Yes, since Jewish Law promises that the results of trading land for a peace treaty will be terrible.

But even, a skeptic, should be able to realize that the Camp David Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt, hurt Israel much more than it helped.

As pointed out in a recent editorial of the Hatzofeh newspaper, Mubarak the head of Egypt, has done nothing to stop the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip via tunnels dug under the border and he is investing huge sums in developing strategic weapons.”

On April 25, 2002 (13 Iyar 5762) Arutz Sheva Israel National reported that in response to a question posed by a reporter from the Persian Gulf, Egyptian Prime Minister ‘Atef ‘Abeid said that Egypt cannot intervene militarily on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, because there is a lack of funds to support such a war with Israel. The Egyptian leader said that he would have expected the Arab world to allocate the 100 billion dollars necessary to carry out such a campaign to Egypt, saying “Take the money and start fighting.”

This is not the type of answer you would expect from a country that is dedicated to peace. Instead, this is the type of an answer you would expect from a cautious killer, who will stick his knife in his victim’s back if he thinks the crime will bring benefit. Yet will delay his crime, if he believes that better opportunities for murder will arise in the future.

Q: For the sake of the argument, let’s say you are right. Let’s say that G-d is against trading the land of Israel for peace. But does G-d really expect the leaders of America to be expert Bible scholars that are capable of understanding G-d’s viewpoint on the issue?

A: On this question of life and death, G-d does have such expectations of the Gentiles.

Or to quote from the Biblical book of Mishlei(Proverbs) chapter 24:

If you forbear to rescue those who are drawn to death, and those who are ready to be slain; if you say, Behold, we knew it not, does not he who ponders the heart consider it? and he who keeps your soul, does he not know it? and shall he not render to every man according to his works?

In any case, the fact that America’s leaders refused to take the same risks for peace when subjected to terrorism that they asked of Israel, proves that America’s behavior can not be excused as an honest mistake in interpreting G-d’s will.

Q: Now that America has already damaged Israel, what do you suggest that America can do to atone?

A: The Talmud (in tractate Baba Batra pages 3 and 4), tells us that a dictator, Hurdus(Herod) murdered most of the sages and blinded a Torah scholar named Baba Ben Buta. Afterwards, King/Dictator Hurdus regretted his actions and asked Baba Ben Buta, what could he do to atone for his sins.

The scholar answered, “Hurdus extinguished the light of the world, for Torah is called light; as it is said in Mishlei(Proverbs) ‘for a mitzvah is a candle and Torah is light’; Hurdus should therefore go and engage in the light of the world, namely, by rebuilding the Temple.” (Baba Ben Buta used a verse in Yishayahu(Isaiah) chapter 2 verse 2 to prove this comparison).

A second opinion states that Baba Ben Buta compared Torah scholars to a person’s eyes based on Numbers 15:24.

He told Hurdus that since Hurdus had blinded the eye of the world he should go and engage in building the Temple, which based on Yehezkel(Ezekiel) chapter 24 verse 21 is also called the eye of the world .

Hurdus replied that this was too dangerous to do since it would anger the Roman empire.

Baba Ben Buta then suggested a clever trick to allow the Temple to be rebuilt without unduly angering Rome and Hurdus accepted this advice and rebuilt the Temple.

If America really wanted to atone for its part in causing the murder of Jews, by means of the Oslo accords, etc., I suggest that America enables Israel to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Rebuilding the Temple would solve several spiritual and political problems simultaneously, given the reaction of the Moslem world to the elimination of the Mosques on the Temple Mount.

Q: I thought that it was the Messiah’s task to rebuild the Temple?

A: Rabbi Avraham Y. Kook, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel stated:

In any case, in my humble opinion if it will be the will of Hashem, that we build the Temple even before the arrival of Messiah and the revelation of prophecy and the display of supernatural miracles, what impedes this matter, would not be so hard to overcome. (see the full source in Mishpat Cohain, Teshuva 94b for more details.)

Historical proof also exists that it is possible to rebuild the Temple before the Messiah rules over Israel as our king. In the Midrash of Bereshit Rabba 64 we learn that in the days of Rabbi Yehoshua son of Chananya, Rome agreed to allow the Jews to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed during a war fought by Israel against the empire (several decades after the era of Hurdus).

The Jews did not sit idle and say this is not our job, this is the Messiah’s job. Rather they started the building process. They only stopped their building efforts when the Roman Emperor later rescinded his permission.

And even then it entered the minds of the people that they should rebel against the emperor. However, they didn’t go ahead with the rebellion, because Rabbi Yehoshua convinced the masses, that they had no real chance to win in a war against Rome.

Minchat Chinuch on Sefer Hachinuch mitzvah 95, point #9 sums up the story in the following way:

And even today it is possible that if the kingdoms give permission to build the Temple, it is a mitzvah to build. As explained in the midrash [Bereshit Rabba 64:10] that in the days of Rabbi Yehoshua son of Chananya, permission was granted to build and they started to build. And look in the book Capot T’marim [Succah 34b] that our Rabbi, Yechiel, one of the masters of the Tosafot wanted to go and offer sacrifices in Jerusalem. If this is so, so too is the ruling, regarding the building of the Temple. {end of quote}

Minchat Chinuch further states on Sefer Hachinuch mitzvah 152, point #9 that the Talmud Bavli agrees with the Talmud Yerushalmi that the building of the Temple precedes the coming of the son of Dovid(David).

And these are the words of Rabbi Acha in Talmud Yerushalmi, tractate Maaser Shaini chapter 5 halacha 2

“This is to say that the Temple in the future will rebuilt before the kingdom of the house of Dovid(David)”.

Rabbi Yisrael of Shklov, a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, known also as Baal Pe’at Hashulchan is another prominent rabbi that concluded that the Temple would be rebuilt before the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. In his letter to the ten tribes, he wrote that indeed the Temple would be rebuilt before the kingdom of the house of Dovid(David) in accordance with the passage from Talmud Yerushalmi that I quoted previously. (See Ge’ula B’Derekh HaTeva of Professor Arie Morgenstern and A. Yaari’s, Igrote Eretz Yisrael, 355).

In Kol Hator (a book mentioned previously in this article) we find an additional source that shows that the Temple could be rebuilt with the aid of a leader of the gentiles before the advent of the kingdom of Messiah.

The book of Yishayahu(Isaiah) chapters 44 and 45 tells us that the Temple would be rebuilt with the aid of a gentile leader called Koresh(Cyrus).

Even though the Biblical book of Ezra already records that we indeed did receive aid to build the Temple from a king named Koresh, Kol Hator contended that perhaps the Koresh prophecy would be fulfilled an additional time by a modern day leader of the Gentiles.

In my humble opinion, this is not such a difficult idea to accept, in light of the fact, that the Talmud (as explained by Rashi) in tractate Rosh Hashana 3b, informs us that the name Koresh is just a nickname and not necessarily, the real name of the Gentile leader mentioned in the book of Yishayahu(Isaiah). Similarly, the simple understanding of Yishayahu 45:4 is that the name Koresh is a nickname.

And now here is a quote from the Vilna Gaon’s disciple in Kol Hator, which both explains the connection between the building of the Temple with the sin of the spies and which concludes with the revelation that the Koresh prophecy applies to the future:

The sin of the spies in the desert in the days of Moshe(Moses) is one of the major general sins that rests upon the nation of Israel for all generations until this day. According to the midrash of our sages the cry for generations was decreed because of the sin of the spies. A cry over the destruction of the Temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the desolation of the land. In great measure Israel suffered and suffers in all generations, sufferings and travails of the bitter exile because of the sin of the spies. A major portion of this punishment for the sin was cast in the midst of the days of the act of the sin, namely in the generation of the desert, as explained in the Torah. However, the remainder of the punishment was divided into parts and cast upon all the generations, may the Merciful One protect us.

A great rectification for the sin of the spies can come by the redemption of Jerusalem and its building and by the activities for the ingathering of the exiles. In accordance with the well known principle, of “this in contrast to this did the L-rd make”.

Now measure for measure is applicable both for liabilities and merits. Fix what you damaged; namely, fix every thing in accordance to its place, its time and according to the activity and the publicity of that activity. Now behold, the sin of the spies that brought the cry for generations in accordance to what our sages expounded on the verse “And they cried on that night” took place on the night of the ninth of (the Hebrew month) Av, the same date (years later) on which the Temple was destroyed.

It turns out that the rectification of the sin of the spies has to be by means of building the Temple and before the building of the Temple, there has to be the building of Jerusalem as explained by our Rabbi in accordance with the verse “Jerusalem shall be built and the Temple Sanctuary shall be founded”, (Yishayahu/Isaiah 44:28) which was said concerning the beginning of the final redemption, similar to the days of Koresh.

Q: Aren’t you expecting too much of Americans, when you ask them to sacrifice their economic relationships with the Muslim world for the benefit of building the Temple?

A: Kol Hator chapter 2 section 130 based on the prophecy in Yishayahu(Isaiah) chapter 45 verse 13 concerning Koresh(Cyrus) deduced that we are commanded to try to arouse Koresh to build the Temple. And by what means do we arouse him? The prophecy says with Tzedek, which usually is translated as justice.

Based on this understanding of the Hebrew word Tzedek I have tried to show how justice demands that America supports the rebuilding of the Temple at the expense of the so-called Peace Process.


Q: In my opinion, America has not suffered enough to convince any political leader to support the type of actions that you are advocating. And I include even those leaders who are friendly to Israel.

A: Hashem, who has the power to bring a comet crashing in to Jupiter (or in Hebrew, Tzedek) as took place on the ninth of Av 5754 (1994), certainly has the power to bring more suffering on America, to make my ideas more pragmatic.


comet striking JupiterFrom July 16 through July 22, 1994, fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Tzedek/Jupiter. In the time zone of Jerusalem, the first fragment hit the planet around 10:00 P.M. on the evening of the ninth of Av, Jewish Year 5754


Q: Are you using the comet’s collision with Tzedek as a prediction of the future?

A: I used it only as an example of Hashem’s power.

university bombed
Pictured above is the dining hall of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem after an explosion on July 31, 2002 (22 of the Hebrew month, Av, 5762). The explosion tore through the dining hall at the Frank Sinatra building on the university’s Mount Scopus campus, killing at least nine people and wounding approximately eighty.

At least 5 of the victims were American citizens.

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Written by the author of : Sacrifices As Part of a Course of Redemption Even Though They Don’t Do Teshuva [ Repent ]

© 2002 [ 5762 in the Jewish Calendar] All Rights Reserved.