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Divrei Yoel Kedoshim

1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Kedoshim, p. 108) discusses the relative advantages of performing mitzvos in public versus performing mitzvos in a hidden manner. The Rebbe explains that to perform mitzvos in public causes a sanctification of Hashem's great and holy name, and causes Hashem's honor to be elevated, so to speak. However, the Rebbe cautions us. He explains that there is a very great danger that when serving Hashem publicly, we may, chas v' shalom, fall into the trap of performing mitzvos, not for the honor of Hashem, but to show off for our own honor. This is a terrible contortion of what is supposed to be a kiddush Hashem, and as the Rebbe cautions us, we need much divine help not to succumb to this pitfall. It is imperative that we work with all our might to purify our intentions and thoughts so that they are only for the sake of Hashem.

We must bear this in mind when we publicly protest the destructive activities of the heretics. We must remember that a protest of this nature can head one of two ways: it can be either a great kiddush Hashem, or, chas v'shalom, the opposite. We must make sure that we are protesting l'shem shomayim. When the Zionists commit evil atrocities, it can often be very difficult not to let our personal anger take over. However, we must try to purify our minds and hearts so that we cry out only for Hashem's honor. We must look to the true tzaddikim of our time and of yesteryear to learn how to demonstrate in a Torahdik way. If we go out to the streets in protest with this approach, we will merit bringing about a great revelation of the Shechinah "El kol adas Bnei Yisroel."

2. The Torah tells us that we must be holy, "Kedoshim Tihiyu". This is a command to all the Jewish People. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, sheds some light on this concept. The Rebbe reconciles two statements of Chazal and in so doing brings out a powerful message. The Rebbe quotes the Gemara (Shabbos 86a, Chullin 7b): "The Jewish People are holy." Chazal explain that the Jewish People have a certain inherent holiness, and "anyone who is born from the seed of Yisroel is called 'holy'." In the Gemara in Chullin (7b), we learn that the great sage, R' Pinchos ben Yair, took a vow not to benefit from hospitality. R' Pinchos ben Yair explained that it was not, chas v' shalom, because he had anything against his fellow Jews, but to the contrary, "Jews are holy, some want to invite guests but they do not have the means, and others have the means but do not really want to invite the guests." Tosefos explains that even the one who has the means but does not really want to invite the guests and is only offering the invitation, because he is embarrassed not to, is also called holy because of his embarrassment. The Rebbe connects this to a Gemara (Yevamos 79a) that teaches that Dovid Hamelech did not let the Givonim enter the congregation of the Jewish People since they did not express the three traits that define the Jewish People: being merciful, bashful, and bestowers of kindness. Chazal famously tell us that anyone who exhibits these characteristics is fit to become part of the Jewish People. The Givonim were not up to par in this regard, and hence, Dovid barred them from entering the Jewish nation.

The Rebbe explains that regarding the person who desires to invite guests but simply does not have the resources, we can tell that his neshama is from the Jewish People since he displays the attribute of kindness. Additionally, regarding the fellow who has the resources but does not want to invite guests, yet does so anyway out of embarrassment, we can see that his soul, too, is from the Jewish People since he displays the characteristic of shame. From the manifestation of these signs, we see that the souls of these people are from the Jewish People and not from the non-Jews. (Divrei Yoel Parashas Kedoshim, p. 113)

3. In this week's Parashas we learn about the prohibition against false or inaccurate weights and measures. The Gemara (Yevamos 21a) teaches, "greater is the punishment for measures than the punishment for immoral relationships." In a drasha on Parashas Ki Seitzei in 5727 (1967), the Rebbe quipped that this Gemara could be explained as teaching that the punishment for those who reduce the measurements of women's clothing is greater than the punishment for the arayos themselves since one leads to another.

Although not readily apparent, this sharp remark of the Rebbe seems to be related to a famous statement of his. The Rebbe brings in Divrei Yoel (Beha'aloscha p. 311), quoting R' Elchonon Waaerman, ZT"L, quoting the great and holy Chafetz Chaim, ZT"L, that the Zionists are the true Amaleik of our generation. How do these two very powerful statements connect?

Reb Elchonon writes that he made the above statement, labeling the Zionists as Amaleik, only regarding the leaders of the Zionist movement. The followers, who simply do not know any better, do not fall under the label "Amaleik." A similar point about tznius can be learned from the Rebbe's comment regarding the measures. A common thread is seemingly being drawn here. The worst evil comes from bad leaders. Bad leaders influence the followers, who in turn will now, after being completely brainwashed, support the bad leaders even when these leaders are driving them to destruction. This applies whether we are discussing immorality and immodesty or heresy --- and all the more so when these two destructive forces are combined as personified by the State of Israel. The Zionist State was founded and continues to be run upon "principles" of heresy, denial of Hashem and immorality.

The Zionist leaders preyed on the masses to build a state that stands for complete denial of Hashem and His Holy Torah. The State of Israel is the source of all the impurity in the world (The Rebbe in Vayoel Moshe). The Zionist leaders were successful beyond imagination, destroying and completely uprooting Torah and mitzvos from huge segments of Klal Yisroel, R"L, until so many Jews have no inkling where they should be or what they should be doing.

The so-called "religious Zionists" are no better, rallying around political candidates who support public Shabbos desecration and "civil marriage" and whose only sign of religiosity is to wear a tiny yarmulke on top of a head without the slightest trace of peyos. They argue that it is okay to vote for such a candidate since "he is tough on security." This is nonsense! The Torah teaches us that we will only find security if we learn Torah and perform the mitzvos. Not only that, but the people who rave about the need for tough security and the destruction of terrorism are the very people who create the security problem and endanger thousands of innocent Jews by their nationalistic actions and words of provocation.

Additionally, we must understand that token mitzvos simply are not sufficient. We must perform all the mitzvos in which we are obligated and diligently learn Torah. We must imbue within ourselves and internalize Torah-true emunah. It is only in this merit that we will be spared the terrible danger our enemies pose to us.

Among the Zionists who claim to still hold on to the Torah, certain mitzvos are practiced: the mitzvos that from the outside make them look frum and ehrlich. However, we must not be swayed by the outer trappings of these rebels against Hashem. Let us look at the leaders they have accepted upon themselves --- evil, demonic people. This gives us a clear look at what is really behind the thin mask of ehrlichkeit.

It is worthwhile to note that one of the greatest tell-tale signs that Zionism (especially "religious-Zionism") is not a movement that is true to the Torah is its disregard for the authority of our Torah sages. Our true leaders, the great leaders who guide us in the true path, are our only hope for the continuity of Torah. The Zionists, however, do not understand this and feel free to disrespect the generation's Torah leaders at will, often in public. In so doing, they expose themselves for what they truly are: blasphemers and heretics. They have no share in the Jewish People and have exchanged authentic Judaism for a phony, satanical "replacement." We must fearlessly condemn these low-lives in the strongest of terms. We want to distance ourselves from these terrible sinners. Our only desire is to come close to our merciful Father in Heaven and we will only be able to accomplish this by attaching ourselves to those who are the genuine leaders in holiness.

Rabbi Shmuel Weinberg, the Slonimer Rebbe, said on his deathbed: "Jews, you must know that before the coming of the messiah, a group of people acting improperly will travel to Eretz Yisroel, and they will enjoy great victories there, and they will build a temple, and a fire will come down from heaven in this temple as it did in the First Temple. And you must know that this fire will not be from the Holy Side, but from the Other Side." The previous Skulener Rebbe told Rabbi Yaakov Teitelbaum of Queens that he heard about the Slonimer Rebbe's words from trustworthy witnesses, and was willing to swear on it.

Similarly, Rabbi Yaakov Teitelbaum related that his grandfather heard Rabbi Israel of Ryzhin say over 150 years ago: "Before the coming of the messiah, a fire will come down from heaven like the fire that came down for Elijah the prophet on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:38). Jews, you must know that it will not come down for the true prophets, but rather for the false prophets. And Jews will have to climb up sheer walls to remain with their faith." (Kol Yaakov, p. 192)

This will be our test - even in the face of such a challenge to our faith, to continue to cling with all our might to Hashem, His Holy Torah, and genuine, pure emunah. Let us rally around the tzaddikim, and they will guide us through these stormy seas.

4. During this period of Sefirah, we seek to repair the breaches made in our relationship with others. We seek to rectify our shortcomings in preparation for the yom tov of Shavuos. During these seven weeks, we seek unity and friendship with all who want to come close to the Torah. Chazal tell us that the second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of the sin of sinas chinam, baseless hatred; so these days, during which we strive to improve ourselves in this very concept, are in truth a preparation for Moshiach. There is another very important aspect of Judaism that is inextricably linked to Moshiach: tznius. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Moadim I 325) explains that immodesty also prolongs the galus. Tznius is often an area under direct attack by the Zionists. They, in truth, want to delay Moshiach despite their claim of wanting to bring Moshiach. During this time period, we must look at the true way to bring Moshaich. The Rebbe would constantly say that through modesty, we will merit Moshiach. Let us follow this path.
When we prepare ourselves for the true and final redemption, we must bear in mind the teachings of our sages. One might think that to prepare for Moshiach is such a good thing that there is no need to look to our leaders for guidance. This assumption is, however, a terrible mistake. Sometimes, we might become overly zealous in preparing for Moshiach and enter the realm of "forcing the end," a grave transgression. We must look to the sages of our time and of all previous times to learn the proper way to prepare for Moshiach's arrival.

5. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Kedoshim, p. 118) discusses the great severity of the sin of arrogance. He quotes the Gemara (Sotah 4b) where R' Shimon ben Yochai teaches that any person who is arrogant is considered as though he worshiped idols, denied Hashem, and engaged in all the immoral relationships. The Rebbe also brings from the Arizal that the upper worlds are damaged greatly by one who is arrogant.

This should give us pause to think. Today we see the Zionists, the epitome of arrogance, flaunting so-called "Jewish culture" and the "Jewish state" in the face of the rest of the world. This, no doubt, resembles the sin of idolatry even more than regular arrogance and certainly causes even greater damage in the upper worlds. The arrogance of the Zionists is disgusting especially when we consider that this monumentally foolish attitude has done nothing but bring pain and death upon thousands of Jews, R"L. This haughty, pushy modus operandi simply fuels the fire of anti-Semitism the world over and endangers Jews worldwide.

It is ironic, indeed, that the Zionists created a so-called "Israeli Memorial Day" to commemorate the fallen IDF soldiers. These Zionists who instituted this day sent and continue unnecessarily to send to their deaths these very soldiers whom they claim to mourn. Most if not all of these soldiers have died because of the establishment of the Zionist state. We should contemplate the repugnance of such a regime that murders their brothers and then feigns grief. Compounding the absurdity of these fabricated holidays is the fact that the very next day is celebrated as "Israeli Independence Day," celebrating the birth of the state that destroyed all the lives that were supposedly mourned the previous day. Any sensible person is completely repulsed by this hypocrisy.

The Holy Beirach Moshe ZT"L, makes an insightful comment on our prayer (said during the Beracha of Ahavas Olam) to be led back to our land "upright". He explains that because we are currently in exile, the land is not "ours" in the true sense, and so there is definitely no place at all for any sense of arrogance or pride regarding the land. Eretz Yisroel will only be ours completely once Moshiach comes and Hashem returns us to Eretz Yisroel. Then we can ascend upright in pride. May that day arrive soon. Amein!

5th of Iyar, The Zionist "Independence day"


On the day that the State of Israel was established, the Holy Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, was very distraught. He was pacing back and forth in his room, unable to be calmed. When the Rebbetzin entered the room, she beheld the sight before her. She said, "You look terrible! You like...like... I don't even want to say what." The Rebbe turned to her and said, "I look crazy? Anyone who does not look crazy now is a heretic." The Rebbe later explained his statement, quoting the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97a) which teaches that in the time before Moshiach anyone who turns away from evil will be considered insane. (The Rebbe by R' Dovid Meisels p. 260 quoting Tiferes Yoel v.2 p. 48)

As mentioned above, the Rebbe brings in Divrei Yoel that the Zionists are the true Amaleik of our time. We must think about this statement. The Rebbe explains that the souls of the Zionist leaders were exchanged for the souls from Amaleik and the Eirev Rav. How can any thinking, ehrlich Jew acknowledge, in any way, a day that celebrates the establishment of a heretical state by Amalakim?

The Zionists call their independence day "Yom Hatzmaut." The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, would tremble and say: "I am afraid that in the end it will, in fact, be "Yom Ha'aztamos" (a day of bones).

In his introduction to Vayoel Moshe, the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, explains that even if this sefer would save one Jew from the falsehood of Zionism, it would be worth all the effort expended to write it, since Zionism outweighs all other aveiros. The Rebbe also explained that a time may come when the Zionist fervor would subside and people would honestly search out the truth. Therefore, the Torah-true views must be written down in order to have them available for such a time.