Cheshbon HaNefesh Of The Chayalei Beis Dovid
Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Volpe, who received countless directives and guidance from the Rebbe regarding shleimus ha’Aretz, makes a cheshbon ha’nefesh on this issue and calls upon us to make corrections
where necessary.

In a number of sichos, the Rebbe said that the battle for shleimus ha’Aretz is part of the milchamos Hashem (wars of G-d) waged by Moshiach. Indeed, we all saw how the Rebbe threw himself into this battle with all his strength in farbrengens, letters, and personal conversations.

Since the revelation of Moshiach vadai (the definite Moshiach) begins with "v’yinatzeiach" (and he is victorious), and only after that "and he builds the Mikdash in its place and gathers the outcasts of Israel," we are obviously at the critical stage the Jewish people has waited for during its 2,000 years of exile. On one side stands the Rebbe MH"M at the head of his army, the "soldiers of the house of Dovid," and on the other side stand all those who lead the Jewish people in the opposite direction, and who impede Moshiach’s victory in battle, which is also a war to eradicate the Arab seed of Amalek in our generation.

In the sicha of Parshas Chayei Sara 5752, the Rebbe declared that the Rambam’s statement, "A king will arise from the house of Dovid...and he will wage the wars of Hashem," were fulfilled. Not only that, but "in a number of areas, he has already been victorious."

At the time, many people wondered which wars the Rebbe had already won. We can easily see at least one example, in that in the Heavenly war which the Rebbe waged for decades against the mighty empire which prevented Jews from observing Judaism, the Rebbe won in an entirely supernatural manner. Whatever the Rebbe promised over the course of those decades came to fruition in a most incredible manner. (The Rebbe referred to this war too as one of Hashem’s wars waged by Moshiach - see the sicha of Vav Tishrei 5727). The Rebbe fought this war through his loyal soldiers in "that country," who lived with mesirus nefesh and didn’t submit to the prevailing philosophy.

But what about Moshiach’s main battle for shleimus ha’Aretz? Here we have a terrible retreat. Just at the time that we have the unprecedented ability to instill the Rebbe’s message within all segments of the population, just at the time that we see that if we, Chabad Chassidim, would proclaim the Rebbe’s view about not giving an inch of land to the Arabs, and the prohibition to enter into negotiations with them (which would have an enormous effect on all those who dwell in Tzion, who await the truth after all else has failed) - now of all times, we changed direction and forgot our role as commanders and soldiers in the "wars of the house of Dovid."

Not only did we not take advantage of recent events to prove to everybody that the Rebbe MH"M was right in all his warnings, but for some reason, in recent years, we have taken on the strange idea that what is "good for the Jews" is not to be found in the Rebbe’s sichos but in the opinions of those on the Right, on Arutz Sheva, etc.

Yet another aspect to our strategy is not to fight an elected Israeli government, even if the Rebbe stands and screams that the government endangers the lives of millions of Jews. Worse yet, we suddenly see a need to be partners in Zionist activities and to take part in electing the prime minister. This is without taking into consideration whether his views are in accordance with the Rebbe’s views, or the opposite.

The Rebbe MH"M made it very clear that he will fight whoever thinks about talking to the Arabs about giving up land, since the very speaking about it endangers life. The Rebbe actually miraculously brought down the prime minister from the Right who continued talking about autonomy, saying that it would be better if gentiles ruled over the Holy Land than a Jew who believes in the sanctity of the land and signs an agreement to give it away.

Now we have a prime minister who was elected in order to protect the citizens of the holy land, who announces that if it’s quiet and the terrorist acts cease, he and his government will give the Arabs more land, in what is euphemistically called territorial continuity. This means that if there are still corners of Yehuda, Shomron and the Jordan Valley from which terrorists cannot shoot at Jews, now they will surround all the settlements and all the roads. They will also be able to flee with impunity through the attached areas which will be free from I.D.F. blockades from Jenin to Sh’chem, from Sh’chem to Yericho, from Yericho to Chevron, and perhaps even from Chevron to Gaza. All this would take place as part of an interim agreement, not a permanent peace agreement.

Now if we ask ourselves what we can do to prevent the prime minister from carrying this out, the answer is simple. As he said, "There will be no negotiations under fire." In other words, the only way to prevent him from giving away more land to terrorists is if the shooting continues, r’l, for then there will be no negotiations! Indeed, this is why the shooting continues and has even intensified.

Some say that at least when it comes to fighting against terror, the prime minister from the Right will be better than his predecessors. Yet even when it comes to his war against attackers there are restrictions we are told we must understand. For example, when traveling to Washington, the blockade cannot continue because that wouldn’t be humanitarian, to punish tens of thousands of citizens, when all they do is demonstrate against Israel and declare "death to the Jews" (after all, there’s freedom of speech and demonstrating is a privilege in a democracy), educate their children from infancy to murder Jews (after all, it is their religion they are teaching), and they only throw stones at cars (they don’t all use live ammunition), and all they want to do is come and work to earn their bread (and only "by the way" do they spy, plant bombs, and steal cars).

And you’ve got to consider the Arab summit meeting, and not anger them at that time. And then there was Earth Day. That was the best reason not to rile them up and to coolly accept attacks on Jews as a Heavenly decree.

Senior officers know how to talk to us after every attack. They say, "it is impossible to hermetically seal the borders," and that it’s "only because of pressure from the police in the City Center that the terrorists are forced to attack the suburban areas." As though it really makes a difference where precisely they put the bombs, whether on Rechov Yaffo or in Mei’a She’arim.

They still restrict the soldiers and have them use rubber bullets, among other restrictions. Just like the earlier governments. If not for the open miracles which the Jewish people see day in and day out, the terrorists would manage, r’l, to carry out all their plots (and not just some of them, due to our many sins). For the borders are open, and terrorists can do what they please.

Even now, with a prime minister who promised the world, and with a domestic defense minister who’s as Right as they come, a Jew still cannot safely travel the roads or freely visit Kever Rochel and the Me’aras HaMachpela. Babies are still killed, r’l, in the Avrohom Avinu section of Chevron as well as yeshiva boys on their way to learn, and the security officers stationed in the settlements have become Arafat’s terrorists’ targets. Every day bombs are (miraculously) discovered, and Netzarim and its environs are still being shelled. The situation is only getting worse.

Israeli planes attack Force 17 targets in Ramalla and Gaza, but everybody knows that in the past, too, Barak didn’t manage to accomplish anything by attacking Arafat’s headquarters, and the violence continued. Why? Because the action was taken against empty buildings and not against terrorists!

Yes, the army spokesman took pride in the fact that the government didn’t inform Arafat ahead of time, yet no terrorists were there because the bombing took place late at night, and primarily because they certainly sent them prior warning albeit via unofficial channels. Anybody who says otherwise is merely pulling the wool over the eyes of the public.

What were the results? The terrorists got additional confirmation for what they already knew, that Jews are "merciful people, the children of merciful people," including mercy for the cruel. And that the murder of babies and young people will not bring on retribution. What do the terrorists care if their headquarters gets bombed? It will only motivate the Arab countries to increase their donations to the P.L.O.

[Editor’s note: although this article was written before the Israeli takeover in Gaza, even that action supports the author’s point, as we saw Israel pull out within 24 hours (after announcing they would be there for days, weeks, and months) when America voiced its displeasure.]

How dense the Israeli government is! Everybody knows that even during a seger (border closing), thousands of Palestinians use side roads and roundabout routes to get into the country. Even when there is no seger, and they can use the main highways, thousands of Palestinians prefer to circumvent the army roadblocks, either because they don’t have work permits, or they don’t have time to wait in line, or because they intend to plant bombs!

Some people testified throughout the media that they pointed out to the army the traffic of Arabs traversing the fields a few dozen meters away from the blockade, and the soldiers laughed in their faces. At the attack on the roadside rest area at the Kalkilia junction, a distinguished Jew testified that he had pointed out the suicide bomber to the soldiers and the police, because the man looked very suspicious, and had said, "I am sure he’s a terrorist," but nothing was done to stop him.

How ridiculous it sounded to hear the domestic defense minister, Mr. Uzi Landau, calling upon citizens to be alert and to report any suspicious person, car, or object. The police and the army allow thousands of suspected terrorists to pass the blockades every day, and nobody checks them or their belongings.

Here’s my idea that can solve or drastically limit the terrorists’ infiltration. The government should make it clear that anybody caught trying to enter the country through roundabout means will be shot, no questions asked. Of course this would be a legitimate course to take even if there weren’t daily attacks, for what country allows aliens to enter illegally, and especially when citizens are killed daily as a result of allowing this irresponsible behavior.

I am absolutely certain that if terrorists knew they could get a bullet in their heads by an Israeli sniper the moment they tried entering illegally, they would stay home and look for less dangerous work, or commit suicide in Gaza and not in the heart of Tel Aviv.

This is only a suggestion for dealing with terrorism within the Green Line. As far as attacks on the roads of Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza, what we can do is immediately establish a new settlement on the spot following any attack and then Arafat would know that it isn’t worthwhile.

Of course this is in addition to taking action against the headquarters of all the terrorist organizations, action that is taken during the daytime when all the terrorists are present, and with the intent to kill.

Why isn’t there a chance that the government will implement these suggestions? Not because the government isn’t as smart as the one suggesting them, because nothing could be simpler, but because it doesn’t want to cut off the chance for peace.

Mr. Shimon Peres, foreign minister in Sharon’s government, announced right after the attack against P.L.O. headquarters that "Arafat is still our peace partner, but he’s a partner who makes mistakes, and we have to show him the error of his ways." So how could the government lose a partner like that?

Sometimes you stand and think: How could "a wise and understanding nation" descend to such a level? Like the official announcement that said the time wasn’t right for a military reaction "because of the Arab conference." Even if this is the reason, and even if the reason was justified, there is nothing more stupid than officially announcing that we are afraid of an Arab conference. Aside from the shame involved, it just isn’t smart because every time Arafat attacks and is afraid of a reaction, he’ll convene a few foreign ministers and frighten Sharon and Peres.

Likewise the foolish announcement that we have to wait with a reaction until after Earth Day (and "only because of public outrage after the incident at the Kalkilia junction, there was no choice"). This is saying that not only are we afraid of Arabs from outside, but the government trembles because of the Arab citizens within the State of Israel.

We see the results of these policies even in the court which is examining the role of the police in the Intifada the Arabs made back in Tishrei. The very establishment of such a committee is an embarrassment to the government, a tremendous victory for the Arabs, and a betrayal of the police and their commanders who stood with mesirus nefesh against the rampaging Arabs.

More importantly, this bodes ill for the future, because every soldier and policeman will be afraid of protecting Jews from Arabs, for perhaps they will have to stand trial and will be penalized in court! Who knows whether policemen won’t pay with their jobs, or by sitting in jail for years for daring to defend the State of Israel from the bloodthirsty Arab mob.

All this is being done in the government headed by the "exalted general" Mr. Ariel Sharon, along with all the members of Likud, and even Rechavam Zevi and Benny Alon, and of course the religious parties (whose voice is never heard on these topics, as though the Torah has nothing to say about it).

It’s all coming from one point, the ultimate goal of renewing the peace talks with Arafat. Any action taken to defend Israeli citizens is seen with this goal in mind, and with the question of whether this will stop the peace talks. This approach is against the Shulchan Aruch, for the Shulchan Aruch establishes that "you go out against them with weapons [even on Shabbos]." This does not take any political considerations into account, not Earth Day nor Heaven Day either. Just simply, "If somebody arises to kill you, get up and kill him."

It’s not only "if somebody arises to kill you," but even if he comes for hay and straw, if his entering the place is likely to weaken your security in the future, you should immediately make a seger and stand around the roadblocks with weapons. Of course, areas that are destined for trouble should be conquered, like Abu Sanina in Chevron, from which a Palestinian sniper shot a baby in the head (may Hashem avenge her blood). If the "Investigative Committee for the Incidents in October" might weaken the position of the police in the future, it should be immediately abolished, and all the Arabs responsible for it punished. This is the G-dly command in the Shulchan Aruch which we heard from the Nasi HaDor.

Who was supposed to fight against all this in the Rebbe’s name? Does the Rebbe have soldiers other than ourselves, the Tmimim and Anash? Does he have other representatives to serve as his mouthpiece other than the shluchim led by the rabbanim? How is it then that not one of the Chabad rabbanim, askanim, Chassidim, or Tmimim got up and put on sackcloth and ashes and cried murder, and told his honor Prime Minister Sharon: "You are personally responsible for the terrible security situation and the blood that has been spilled. For in addition to the destruction you brought in the past, now too, with your declarations here and in Washington about your desire to continue to give land to Arabs, and by refraining from an official announcement abolishing the Oslo Accords once and for all, you encourage the attacks and open the entire country to them."

I came across issue #207 of Beis Moshiach from VaYishlach 5759, p. 82, which has a list of "resolutions of the emergency protest meeting of Chabad Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel, headed by rabbanei Chabad in Eretz Yisroel shlita." Among the resolutions it says, "We hereby declare that in retrospect, the campaign "tov la’Yehudim" [Ed., on Netanyahu’s behalf] was utterly mistaken, since it was based on errors and being misled. It has become clear to all that veering from the Rebbeholy directives that it is forbidden for the Chabad movement to get involved in politics is what blinded us to the errors and deception which resulted. In light of this, the Chabad movement, with all its organizations and institutions, must return to its loyalty to the Rebbe and his holy directives, and utterly disconnect from anything to do with politics."

[Editor’s note: Rabbi L.Y. Ginsberg publicized in the pages of Beis Moshiach replies he received answers via the Igros Kodesh, which clearly encouraged him and others to campaign for Netanyahu despite their misgivings.]

The resolutions went on to denigrate the approach of "lesser evil" and the meeting announced in the name of the rabbanim that "these views are invalid and must be altogether eschewed." This is because "the danger in returning land and the halacha in Shulchan Aruch are not measured in parts, and there’s no room for half, third, or quarter compromises." Rabbi Moshe Landau said in the name of Rabbi Eliyahu that "promoting the approach of the lesser evil is literally heresy."

So we had new elections recently and already prior to the elections, the prime minister announced that he wouldn’t allow new settlements (which is to say 1) the one in charge in Yehuda, Shomron, and Aza is Arafat; and 2) all options about returning land are open, so we don’t want to impede future withdrawals by creating new settlements). The prime minister said back then that he would honor the Oslo Accords (since "they were legally signed by an elected government") and that he would establish a unity government with the perpetrators of those accords. He also sent out trial balloons via various journalists regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, and "high-placed sources" gave the media maps of his withdrawal within the framework of "intermediate accords in the long range." The only chiddush in his campaign was that "he would force Arafat to come to the negotiating table." What he and Peres and Arafat will do at that table I leave to your imagination.

Only two years have passed since the rabbanim completely negated the heretical view of choosing the lesser evil, and once again thousands of fired-up Chassidim went and voted for someone who declared that he would raise his hand against Hashem (as the Rebbe put it on Yud-Tes Kislev 5742), fight against the Rebbe MH"M, and do things which will cause (according to Shulchan Aruch) the bloodshed of Jews, r’l.

Chassidim haven’t forgotten that Sharon is the one who uprooted the settlements in Sinai. He was directly responsible for the disaster of the Peace in Galilee war by leaving all the terrorists alive and not responding to the Rebbe’s pleas. He was involved in returning Chevron and for the terrible Wye Accords, and this is despite his written commitment to the rabbanei Chabad that he wouldn’t give anything back. Yet people say, "You’re right, he’s bad, but the other guy is worse."

The concept of gilui panim ba’Torah she’lo ka’halacha (using Torah sources to oppose halacha) was fully realized by publicizing the Rebbe’s letters from the past about the necessity to participate in elections. This was taken to such an extreme by the well-greased Chabad "Right" propaganda machine, that young Tmimim went out election morning with simcha shel mitzva after immersing in the mikva "to fulfill the Rebbe’s will" by placing a yellow paper with the name of a man about whom the Rebbe said explicitly in the sicha of 3 Tammuz 5742 that it is forbidden to vote for him or his disciples, since he can only speak on behalf of the Arabs and not the Jews.

Yes, the Rebbe always said to participate in elections and not to stand aloof, but what is the connection between the directive to choose the "most religious party" and the election of a prime minister who opposes Hashem and His Torah?

We heard (Chol HaMoed Pesach 5750) from the Rebbe that anyone who supports a party that talks to Arabs about returning land becomes an accomplice to bloodshed. Who allowed us to become accomplices to bloodshed, r’l?

In the newspapers it said that in discussions about coalition agreements between Likud and Labor, members of Likud put the platform Labor had promoted in earlier elections on the table, and asked them to base their coalition on that platform. So who won the elections, the "Right" or the "Left?" And who did the elected ones become partners with, "shleimus ha’Aretz" or with Shimon Peres, who through his emissaries negotiates with Arafat with the prime minister’s knowledge!

Some people will say that even the most religious party isn’t perfect, yet the Rebbe said to vote for it. And that’s right. But by voting for it, did we become accomplices to bloodshed? The main reason for voting for Agudas Yisroel or Poalei Agudas Yisroel was to support Torah and Yiddishkeit, and we had an obligation to do so even if their approach was not 100% in accordance with the Rebbe’s views. What comparison is there between that and voting for a man who bears the responsibility for all actions taken by the government which are against the Torah, one who bears the personal responsibility for bloodshed as a result of his policies and the policies of his coalition members.

More serious people will point out that all the gedolei ha’Torah said to vote for him, so if it was wrong, they couldn’t have said that. Yet this is not valid because all the gedolei ha’Torah allowed a religious person to be "religion minister" when the Rebbe MH"M forbade this (and called it a derivation of avoda zara).

All the gedolei ha’Torah allowed a religious person to enter the coalition even though the Rebbe negated this. Unfortunately, all the gedolei ha’Torah haven’t yet come to see the prohibition in returning land as a problem with murder, yet the Rebbe’s view is known. 19 years ago the Rebbe said it was forbidden to vote for those two who were responsible for not completing Peace in the Galilee, and one of those two people is the current prime minister.

Of course some will complain about bringing up old arguments that are no longer relevant now that it’s after the elections, but the debate here is not about elections but about the approach of ignoring the Rebbe’s directives and mixing in false views from the Right about the lesser evil from the beis midrash of the "wise men" of the "ischalta d’Geula," and sowing confusion in the minds of Anash and Tmimim.

Primarily, it’s because this very approach continues to operate right now, and because of it, Chabad refrains from attacking the Prime Minister and his declarations about returning land to the Arabs, and about his preventing the army from finally taking care of the terrorists, who suck our blood.

Other symptoms of this approach that have caused us to lose our self-respect and not protect the Rebbe’s honor: On Yud-Shvat 5752, President Moshe Katzav heard the Rebbe talk for 18 minutes against giving away an inch of land even under autonomy. Katzav publicly mocked this and continues to do so even now. At every opportunity he makes announcements about "our responsibility towards peace," and about the necessity of making painful compromises, etc. (including such painful things as three crippled children, orphans without father or mother or both, the loss of a ten-month-old baby, etc. and pain in Netanya, Chadera, and nearly in Mei’a She’arim and Beis Yisroel).

Nevertheless, we are honored to bring groups of bar mitzva children to him to have their photographs taken with him, and then put those photos in our publications. By doing so, we are telling the children on their special day to go in the ways of this person who laughs at the directives he personally received from the Rebbe, and who is ready to abandon Jewish lives on the altar of peace agreements.

Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, for whom the Rebbe had given the directives to Katzav, publicly stated after that sicha that the Rebbe did not understand what autonomy is and that it wasn’t at all dangerous, etc. He kept on in this vein until the Rebbe fulfilled his promise and fought to bring down his government.

It was Shamir who caused Oslo to happen, and the Rebbe knew it back then (Chaf-Zayin Adar I 5752 proves it). Exactly nine years after that Yud Shvat, Shamir was invited to be interviewed and discuss his views of the political scene and about Chabad and the Rebbe, and what he said about the Rebbe graces the Seifer HaYovel, r’l. (Imagine if someone caused pain to the Gerrer Rebbe for example, would HaModia dare to interview him and honor him?)

About the prime minister who was "good for the Jews," about whom Rabbi Ashkenazi said at the protest rally on Yud Shvat 5759: "Netanyahu came to us like Yaakov and revealed himself as Eisav. It turns out that Netanyahu intended to begin with to lie to the rabbanei Chabad when he signed the letter of commitment...and I warn every single Chassid not to do anything that can be interpreted as identifying with Netanyahu." Two years after this warning, he appeared as the guest of honor at Chabad events around the world, was interviewed in a weekly Chabad publication, and stars in an official Chabad video. He is received royally wherever he goes and nobody mentions to him anything about his lying to the Chabad rabbanim, and about the churban he brought upon us.

Our sons and daughters who see the publicity for these events, read the interview and watch the video, absorb the fact that someone who fought against Hashem and is directly responsible for all the attacks and deaths in Chevron and the other areas of withdrawal and the one who the Chabad rabbanim forbade us from identifying with in any way, is the very one who honors Chabad with his presence, and is the guest speaker in Lubavitch on Yud Shvat!

The negative lesson to be learned from this regarding hiskashrus is enormous. The positive lesson from this about whom we should esteem and admire is awesome. The doors were opened, "the lesser evil" won big time, and soldiers of the house of Dovid search in broken cisterns that contain no water but only snakes and scorpions.

We must thank Hashem that through open miracles Netanyahu was prevented from being a contender, for if he had run in the elections, r’l, the same story would have repeated itself. Who am I and what am I to say the following words, but who knows whether the Messianic fervor with which so many put their souls into electing Netanyahu a few months after Gimmel Tammuz 5754, and 5,000 Chassidim singing "U’l’Binyamin Amar" on Gimmel Tammuz 5755, didn’t prevent the hisgalus of Moshiach. Moshiach won’t come until they ask for his reign, and when there’s a substitute that people are so excited about even though he announces ahead of time that he will continue the Oslo Accords - in other words, he will fight the Rebbe, Hashem, and His Torah - isn’t this "they despised the malchus of Beis Dovid," r’l?

It’s not pleasant to say all this but the point is to correct it. We have to remove ourselves entirely from identifying with those who fight the Rebbe MH"M. The Rebbe’s pure, clear, and extreme view must be heard throughout the media, via posters, flyers, radio stations, and in all the pamphlets distributed in shuls. It must be said not as a political view but as the directive of Melech HaMoshiach himself.

Let’s not leave the work to a few Chassidim who prove by their very deeds that the "official" Chabad is not behind them. Each one of us is the Rebbe’s soldier, every director of a Chabad House is a commander, national Chabad organizations are higher officers, and the rabbanim at our head are the Kohen mashuach ha’milchama, with the Rebbe above them all.

If we didn’t have the ability to fight this war, the Rebbe wouldn’t have started it to begin with. It’s much easier to win over public opinion in Eretz Yisroel than in the mighty Soviet Union. We have many more soldiers here - in the thousands and tens of thousands, may they increase - than the handful of Chassidim through whom the Rebbe waged and won the war in the former Soviet Union. So we certainly can fight and win here.

Our role is to make sure in the hundredth year that the Rebbe is the ruler of Eretz Yisroel. We should not allow any new mivtzaim, as holy as they might be, to confuse and distract us from the real war.

Let us stand at all the junctions, enlist all of Anash, the men, women, and children. Let’s tell people what the Rebbe said. This is not a national war and not a war of the Right. It’s not for any candidate. It’s a proclamation which should resound throughout the world: We have a king. He has spoken, and so shall it be; he has commanded, and so shall it stand. No talks with Arabs. All agreements are off. This is a war to eradicate the seed of Amalek and to save Am Yisroel!

Then, like in the story in the Midrash about the Tanna who wanted to bring a huge stone to Yerushalayim, if we just start the work with our little finger, angels will come help us, and the Rebbe will be revealed, the king of the House of Dovid himself, and he will wage the wars of Hashem and be victorious, and the kingdom will be Hashem’s.


Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Volpe






Everybody knows that in the past, too, Barak didn’t manage to accomplish anything by attacking Arafat’s headquarters, and the violence continued. Why? Because the action was taken against empty buildings and not against terrorists!





Why isn’t there a chance that the government will implement these suggestions? Not because the government isn’t as smart as the one suggesting them, because nothing could be simpler, but because it doesn’t want to cut off the chance for peace.




Unfortunately, all the gedolei ha’Torah haven’t yet come to see the prohibition in returning land as a problem with murder, yet the Rebbe’s view is known.




The Rebbe’s pure, clear, and extreme view must be publicized - not as a political view, but as the directive of Melech HaMoshiach himself.


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