Monday, October 01, 2007

Rabbi Avraham Shapira and Torah Correctness

Rabbi Avraham Shapira, ZT"L, passed away this past Thursday, the first day of Succos. Though he is recognized as having been one of the g'dolei hador (Torah leaders of the generation), for many reasons. However, it was his drive to support the truth and The Torah, which was one of the great attributes that led to his distinction as a great Torah leader.

To say that Rabbi Shapira was most known for any given matter, such as his halachic ruling that it was forbidden to expel Jews from their homes in Gaza, is incorrect, and to say such demonstrates that one is not aware of Rabbi Shapira's decades of leadership.

However, what Rabbi Shapira's ruling against the "Disengagement" demonstrates is that he did not allow "political correctness" to trump truth and halachic correctness. The ruling further demonstrates that Rabbi Shapira recognized that, in addition to Torah and Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael is of central importance of Judaism and it should never be treated lightly or negatively.

Rabbi Shapira, in his 90's at that time, fought the war of Torah and of HaShem, as is demonstrated from his halachic ruling, which clarifies the truth and the Torah stance on Jews giving away parts of Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Shapira noted the Torah prohibition which forbids Jews from giving away any part of Eretz Yisrael, and of the severity of the sin of leaders who make halachic proclamations which address difficult halachic questions, when they possess insufficient Torah knowledge, thereby misleading the masses, chas v'shalom, and potentially causing much damage, to the extent that they can be described as "the destroyers of the world".

Though Rabbi Shapira was sharply criticized (even by some after his death) for his halachic ruling, he did not allow those people who would show contempt of true Torah leadership, dissuade him from issuing a ruling reflecting the truth, which he did so well.

It is insufficient to praise Rabbi Shapira for fighting the battle to uphold the truth. Rather, especially in our times, when Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael are under attack, and is in danger of being given to true enemies of The B'nei Yisrael, those who wish to have an Israel free of Jews, chas v'shalom, we must take Rabbi Shapira's ruling to heart. We must also ensure that the attribute to attain truth supersede that which may seem "easy" - "political correctness" - to trump The Torah - the essence of life. We must strengthen our emunah (belief in HaShem) and do what we can reasonably do to support truth in the face of the enemy who hides falsehood behind the thinly veiled concept of "political correctness".

One of the ways to know how to defend the truth, one has to be aware of the threat posed against Torah and truth, against Am Yisrael, and against Eretz Yisrael.


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