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Divrei Yoel Vayigash


1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vayigash, p. 417), states that when Yehudah spoke to Yosef in their final showdown before Yosef revealed his true identity, he attempted to determine whether Yosef knew Lashon Hakodesh. The Eygptians, explains the Rebbe, were not capable of speaking Lashon Hakodesh, since Lashon Hakodesh comes from a source of kedushah and is inherently holy. The Mitzrim, who were completely absorbed in impurity, were not able to speak this sacred language. This is the meaning of the passuk, "Let me speak into the ear of my master." This also explains Yehudah's comparison of the viceroy to Paro, "Ki kamocha k'Paro." Yehudah wanted to see if, like Paro, Yosef was ignorant of Lashon Hakodesh.
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It is important that we understand that there is great difference and distinction between the holy and pure Lashon Hakodesh and, l'havdil, the defiled language of the Zionists. It is simply a mistake to compare the two in any way at all. Lashon Hakodesh is the language of the Torah. All of the nevi'im were spoken to in this loshon. Hashem's holy Names are written in Lashon Hakodesh. Hashem created the world from the alef beis. The derashos of the Torah are based in Lashon Hakodesh. In stark contrast to this, the Zionist language of Ivrit was created by a heretic for the express purpose of giving the Jewish People a "national language," just like every other country and nationality. Surely we must distance ourselves from such a language that is rooted in heresy and denial of Hashem and His holy Torah.

2. The Satmar Rebbe, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vayigash, pp. 485-486), cites the passuk in this week's parasha: "Vayeishev Yisroel b'eretz Mitzrayim, b'eretz Goshen vayeiachazu bah." The Rebbe finds difficulty with this passuk, since the implication of the wording of this verse is that the settling of Yaakov and his family in Goshen was a permanent settling, which, of course, it was not and was never intended to be. The Rebbe answers that since Yaakov and his children established shuls and batei midrash, their settling was a permanent and enduring settlement. This is based upon the teaching of Chazal in Meseches Megillah (29a) that when Moshiach comes, all of the batei kenesios and batei midrashos will be transplanted to Eretz Yisroel. Every place of divine service is permanent and will endure, eventually being moved to Eretz Yisroel. This, explains the Rebbe, was also accomplished by Yosef Hatzaddik in Egypt, and additionally, is our goal during this exile. The Rebbe explains that we were dispersed throughout the world in exile in order that we should establish institutions of holy chinuch, pure and untainted by any foreign elements.

3. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Divrei Yoel Parashas Vayigash, p. 480) questions how Yaakov Avinu and his family were permitted to leave Eretz Yisroel and settle in a country like Mitzrayim. After all, it is forbidden to settle in a country run by idol worshipers and heretics. The Rebbe explains that in truth, Yaakov Avinu did not violate this halacha. At that time, Eretz Yisrel was in the hands of the Canaanim, while Egypt was led by Yosef Hatzaddik, who ran a monarchy of kedushah. Therefore, Yaakov and his family actually moved from living under the domination of idol worshipers to living in a country run by a monarchy of kedushah.
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This section of Divrei Yoel teaches us a lesson that has been forgotten by many. Simply moving to Eretz Yisroel does not mean that one has freed himself from the domination of the idol worshipers. Today, we unfortunately face a situation where our Holy Land is under the control of the heretics: the Zionist government and army, which is the army of the Samch Mem. Settling in Eretz Yisroel today, therefore, may not accomplish anything benefical for a person's spiritual level. It all depends on why a person goes to Eretz Yisroel. If a person settles in the Land for the sole purpose of devoting his life to Hashem, and he specifically stays far, far away from the Zionists and their money, he will, in fact, rise to great spiritual levels and be able to serve Hashem on a higher plane then he could have in Chutz La'aretz.
If, however, a person goes to "Israel" because of the Zionists or because he wants to "feel a stronger Jewish identity," he will not come to higher levels in avodas Hashem. In fact, he will fall through his attachment to the idol worshipers and apikorsim who run Israel.
The above concept must be a serious consideration for anyone planning a move to Eretz Yisroel. He must ask himself: "What is the real reason that I am going?" If a person conducts a thorough soul-searching and concludes that he is not traveling to Eretz Yisroel because of the Zionists and will have nothing to do with them or their defiled money, and he is not relying on their army for protection (i.e. he would have gone even if the country had been under non-Jewish rule), then, in most cases, it is probably safe for him to go. However, if one is going to Israel because the Zionist government will subsidize his trip, because he is convinced that this is the "Jewish thing to do," or because he discovered some organization that encourages and facilitates mass immigration to the Zionist State, then he is in for a lot of trouble, for he is traveling from a country run by leaders, who, although they may do wrong, and some may even fall into the category of idol worshipers, are non-Jews who do not know better, to a place controlled by Jewish heretics and idol worshipers, who know of religious Judaism and intentionally reject it. The halacha is that an idol owned by a non-Jew can be nullified, and become permitted for benefit. The idol of a Jew, however, can never be nullified and always remains forbidden for benefit. Additionally, it is forbidden to benefit from the actions of heretics. Halacha rules that a sefer Torah written by a heretic must be burned, together with the divine names written therein. Since the heretic wrote this Torah scroll with intent for idol worship, it has no sanctity, and must be destroyed. The Rebbe cites this halacha in his sefer Al Hageulah V'al Hatemurah, and explains that based upon this principle, Moshiach will have to destroy everything the Zionists built, since it was all built by heretics, whose sole intention was to wipe away Yiddishkeit from Klal Yisroel. Therefore, how can anyone, even in today's time, benefit from actions and handiwork of the heretics? Unfortunately, no thought is given to this issue by the many misguided people who go to Israel through Zionist organizations.
Another issue along these same lines is that of organizations that promote and fund student trips to Israel. Even in religious Jewish communities, these trips are often thought of as an essential part of childen's religious education. The unfortunate reality is that most or all of these students are negatively affected by their trip, coming to the terrible sins of praising the heretics, admiring the so-called "accomplishments" of the Zionists, and an over-all lessening of their Torah-true values. In the worst cases, these children and young people because infatuated with the Zionist culture and army, later joining the IDF and fighting in forbidden wars against the Arabs. This is truly a great tragedy and we must keep ourselves on guard against such destructive influences.

4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Kuntres Chiddushei Torah Bereishis Parashas Vayigash, p. 261) explains a fascinating point regarding Bnei Yisroel's descent to Egypt, the descent that precipitated the galus Mitzrayim. The Rambam teaches that the horrifying curses of the Tochacha can only take effect when all or the majority of the Jewish People are in Eretz Yisroel. If this were to be the case, even the Yidden in Chutz La'aretz could be affected by the klalos, chalilah. However, when all or most of the Jewish People are living in Chutz La'aretz, Hashem's promise not to abandon us in the lands of our enemies is applicable, and we will be shielded from the curses of the Tochacha. Therefore, when Yaakov and his family left Eretz Yisroel and went to Egypt, they effected a situation whereby the entire Jewish Nation was outside the Land of Israel, thereby shielding Bnei Yisroel from the terrible klalos of the Tochacha.
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Let us remember this lesson when the heretics and those poisoned by them attempt to convince us that it would be a good thing if most or all of Klal Yisroel wetn to Israel to live under the Zionist State. It is the Yidden living in Chutz La'aretz who are protecting the Jews in Eretz Yisroel from harm. Although many people, including some very frum, and even chassidishe Jews have been led astray to think that the establishment and continued existence of the Zionist State is the beginning of Moshiach, we know better. Chazal teach in numerous places that Moshiach will bring true peace to the world and will return the hearts of the wayward Jews to their Father in Heaven in genuine teshuvah. None of this has been accomplished by the Zionist State. In fact, a mere casual glance at history will show us the very opposite. The existence of the "State of Israel" has caused nothing but problems for the world. A large part of the pain, suffering, warfare, bloodshed and anti-Semitism in the world today can be directly attributed to the existence of the "State of Israel." The Zionists and their followers are responsible for the death of many innocent men, women, and children. (This can be seen clearly from the fact that Adolf Hitler, YMS"H, wrote that the main thing that turned him against the Jews was reading the writings of the Zionist leaders. During the Holocaust, the Zionists refused to rescue thousands of Jews, even though they were fully capable of doing so. In addition to all this, the Zionist government is directly responsible for the death of every Israeli soldier they send out to fight in another purposeless, useless, mindless war against the Arabs. This is not to mention all the many terrorist attacks that have been perpetrated by Arabs due to Zionist incitement.) Above all, the Zionists have wreaked incomparable spiritual damage, turning hundreds of thousands of Jews away from the Torah, destroying their neshamos on a monumental scale.

Given the above, it should be clear to any thinking person that the Zionist State cannot be the beginning of any redemption or salvation for Klal Yisroel. How can a state whose very essence is kefirah (since the mere existence of independent Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisroel before the coming of Moshiach violates the Shalosh Shevuos), be the beginning of the true Geulah? Let us distance ourselves from all notions of heresy and cling to the Torah-true values passed down to us by our parents, teachers, and holy Rabbis.