Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A flaw in I Will Await Him's factual reasoning

Sar Shalom

The Lehrhaus has a recent review by Shmuel Silberman of Yirmiyahu Cohen's I Will Await Him (Achekke Lo in Hebrew, from the 12th Ani maamin summarizing Maimonides' 13 principles) arguing why the State of Israel violates halacha. While Silberman makes clear that he does not agree Cohen and explicitly discusses the difference between opposing the birth of a state that doesn't exist yet and calling for the elimination of an existing state, he misses a factual gap in Cohen's case.

Cohen's case against Israel stems from a three-fold oath discussed in Ketubot 111a.
These Oaths adjure the Jewish people not to prematurely end the Exile by (1) rebelling against the nations and (2) ascending to Eretz Yisrael “like a wall.” The third Oath adjures the nations not to oppress Israel “too much.”
Cohen argues that the creation of the State of Israel was a rebellion against the nations because:
The British fled, the UN lacked jurisdiction and their Partition Plan was a recommendation that was never implemented, and the Arabs objected.
Missing from Cohen's case is any mention of the San Remo Declaration and the Treaty of Lausanne. Unlike the subsequent Partition Plan by the UN, the Treaty of Lausanne did have the force of law as a decision by the League of Nations within its authority. Further, that authority was carried forward into the era of the UN by Article 80 of the UN's charter. While the Treaty of Lausanne did not call for creating Jewish sovereignty immediately, it did allocate land for eventual Jewish sovereignty and assigned Britain trusteeship to create the conditions that would facilitate that eventuality. As such, Israel's declaration of independence was merely acting on the rights that the nations had given the Jews 23 years prior and thus was not a rebellion against those nations.


  1. Three Oaths – Wikipedia:



    “The Three Oaths are an Agadic Midrash,
    (story) and therefore they are not Halakhically obligatory [they are not legally binding].”


    Maimonides in his Epistle to Yemen specifically
    states that the Three Oaths are “metaphorical”.


    “…it appears that Nachmanides [Ramban] implicitly
    REJECTS the Three Oaths as Halachically binding,”


    “The 16th Century Kabbalist, Rabbi Chaim Vital
    expressed the view that the Three Oaths
    were only binding for the first thousand [1,000]
    years of Exile.”


    The Three Oaths [Gimel Shevuot] are misused
    by Satmar, because we did not come and conquer Israel
    by force (לא עלינו כחומה), rather, it was given to us by
    the nations. Now that we are in Israel,
    we have an obligation to defend ourselves.

    Besides for that, I believe the Ari z”l stated
    that the Gimel Shevuot [Three Oaths]
    did not apply after 1,000 years of exile.

    Meaning we could have come up by
    force to conquer Israel after that.
    But we did not even do that.


    Rambam Rejected Childless Messiah:


  2. Daniel Byman said:

    Islamic law is the law of the land
    in Saudi Arabia, and religious officials
    have tremendous sway over daily life.

    Textbooks in Saudi schools denigrate
    nonbelievers and the West and extol martyrdom.

    For example, Time magazine reported
    that “an 8th grade book states that Allah
    cursed Jews and Christians and turned
    some of them into apes and pigs.

    Ninth-graders learn that Judgment Day
    will not come “until the Muslims
    fight the Jews and kill them.”

    A chapter for a 10th-grade class warns
    Muslims against befriending non-Muslims
    saying, “It is compulsory for Muslims
    to be loyal to each other and consider
    the infidels their enemy.”

    SOURCE: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State,
    and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone
    Needs to Know
    (chapter 6, page 122)
    by Daniel Byman, Oxford University Press,
    year 2015, ISBN: 019021726X (paperback)
    ISBN: 9780190217266 (paperback)
    ISBN: 0190217251 ISBN: 9780190217259


    ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said:

    “The US cannot look the other way while
    Saudi Arabia features anti-Semitic hate
    speech year after year in the educational
    material it gives to its children.”

    SOURCE: Despite Pledges of Change,
    Saudi Textbooks Still Rife With Anti-Semitism,
    New ADL Report Finds



    “Because their legitimacy is linked to
    their image as champions of Islam,
    Saudi leaders step gingerly in the
    world of Islamist politics and have been
    hesitant to oppose jihadist causes.”

    SOURCE: Al Qaeda, the Islamic
    State, and the Global Jihadist Movement:
    What Everyone Needs to Know

    (chapter 6, page 123) by Daniel Byman,
    Oxford University Press, year 2015,
    ISBN: 019021726X (paperback) ISBN: 9780190217266
    (paperback) ISBN: 0190217251 ISBN: 9780190217259


    “Nor has Saudi Arabia tackled the knotty
    issue of fire-breathing preachers and
    institutions that spread intolerance or
    aggressively tried to hinder jihadists
    who do not directly threaten the Kingdom.”

    SOURCE: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State,
    and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone
    Needs to Know
    (chapter 6, page 124)
    by Daniel Byman, Oxford University Press, year 2015,
    ISBN: 019021726X (paperback) ISBN: 9780190217266
    (paperback) ISBN: 0190217251 ISBN: 9780190217259


    “Slavery was a flourishing institution in Arabia
    in the 1920s, and for several decades thereafter.

    It was not formally abolished in the Kingdom until 1962.

    The pilgrimage was the main source. Nigerians
    and Sudanese would sell their children in Mecca
    to help pay for their journey home, and the
    slave trade was one traditional source
    of the shareefs’ wealth.”

    “In Nejd every emir and sheikh had at least one
    black family living in his household, and their
    children were assigned as playmates to the children
    in the household of their age and sex, growing
    up with them and often becoming their
    close companions in adult life.”

    “When Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz visited
    New York [City] in [year] 1944 [CE], the
    management of the Waldorf Astoria [hotel] were
    shocked that he brought his slave Merzouk with him.”

    SOURCE: The Kingdom: Arabia and
    the House of Sa'ud
    (chapter 22, page 177)
    by Robert Lacey, published in year 1981
    by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York,
    ISBN-10: 0006365094 ISBN-13: 978-0006365099

  3. NYT's report the FBI initiated an investigation into whether Donald Trump, President of the United States, is working on behalf of the Russian government. Dems are saying no way they would do such a thing on flimsy evidence therefore they have a LOT. Yeah, so that's why they have let him stay President for 2 years. My my my them guys is so smart.

    1. Hey, it beats working for a living.

    2. Why isn't this as yet obvious:


  4. Yeah, I should have posted this in a different thread. Sorry Sar didn't mean to derail your post. And I'm not a Russian Agent....honest.

  5. What comments are those that are "only about how wonderful Dear Leader is and criticism of him is the product of communists and antisemites."

    That statement is a product of TDS. What's worse is the unprovoked disparagement, so typical from many that claim to travel the high road. Pathetic!

  6. Curious, do you believe Obama abused power with the IRS, or that he spied on the media? Do you really believe. Do you believe Obama was honest about Obamacare? Iran? What about his association with Farrakhan, Wright, Ayers? Frankly, rather than dumping on those who have grown skeptical of what the progressives say and do, partcularly in conjunction from the media outlets, Hollywood and academia that parrot the same tune, you might want to examine if you've been misled, sold a bill of goods. It has given us the likes of Tlaib, AOC, and a host of honest folks like Liz Warren that would never stoop to deception.

    If in the end, it is a witchhunt, what will you say about the fake news you perpetuated on the rest of the people?
    Can you show where he has denied anyone their civil rights?

    Compared to the ones trying to destroy him, and the energy they put forth, Trump is a boy scout. He's so mentally unstable and incompetent that he beat all these smarter competents. They may prevail in the destruction, and the march to a progressive vision can resume unabated. Under it all, what's good for the progressive is good for everyone and one MUST conform to such orthodoxy. Yet Trump beat the brainiacs that now pontificate about morality.

    A problem for progressives, from reading and listening to their ideas, is their actual ignorance about Trump, even though he is the most open of presidents. Intellectual laziness fuels this ignorance. They get their information from the echo chamber where 90% of attention is to anti-Trump narrative, filled with fake news and contempt for Trump. Mika and Joy come to mind. What did Trump ever do except challenge the hypocrisy?

    Perhaps it's just easier, not only to oppose Trump, but to impugn those that actually know what he stands for and how he has actually made things better for many in this country and the world, by addressing things that have been under the rug for far too long.

  7. Here is an interesting article proving the debate is actually quite ancient https://rabbidunner.com/exodus-but-by-whose-mighty-hand/

  8. Joseph, you write:

    the comments here seem to only about how wonderful Dear Leader is and criticism of him is the product of communists and antisemites.

    This is probably the most unusual presidency of my lifetime. The hatred is out of control. I would argue that this has less to do with Trump than it has to do with us, as a country.

    In a weird kind of way, it has been made difficult to assess Trump as a politician and as a president given the incessant non-stop hatred that began during the run-up to the election.

    For me, at least, the constant shit-slinging has immunized the guy from serious criticism.

    That is to say, it is difficult to see through the swirling fog of hatred that surrounds this man and that seems to have much less to do with him than it has to do with American political culture.

  9. Sar raises an important question: The relationship between Judaism and Zionism. Trying to stay on topic, I suggested that Zionism also represents some concepts in modern Judaism that are under attack by those opposed to it. I would be happy to respond to this comment in an appropriate post.