RCA Statement Regarding the Sale or Rental of Property to non-Jews in Israel
Dec 14, 2010 -- The Rabbinical Council of America [RCA] places great value on the judicious balancing of halachic and ethical principles of policy and action. The brilliance of the halachic tradition lies in its ability to affirm the Torah and rabbinic teachings of past generations, in a way which elevates and ennobles contemporary life, while bringing honor and respect to the Torah. This requires a special sensitivity to societal realities, widely-held ethical principles, and historical injustices. This is true no matter the particular circumstances that might militate in favor of policies or actions intended to protect a narrow community concern or interest.
For this reason, the Rabbinical Council of America finds the recent statement by certain rabbinic leaders in Tsfat, Israel, regarding rental and sale of residences to non-Jews, to be objectionable. The halachic issues at hand are indeed complex, and we are surely sympathetic to the impulse to protect a Jewish community in the face of intermarriage, communal conflict, or unsafe neighborhoods. We are also mindful of the need to respect the halachic and policy rulings of rabbis in other countries and specific locales, given their general familiarity with the facts on the ground.
In spite of all of these considerations, we find it necessary to express our views from afar insofar as the statement in question affects not just Jewish communities in Israel, but communities in North America as well. In addition many rabbis across Israel whom we hold in high regard have spoken out in opposition to the statement. (Read the full statement...)
1. Granted this is a statement designed for the lay person,...and most definitely for the goyim they are undoubtedly trying to placate. However, sources should be provided, at least in another article or location.
Any “rabbi” who does not provide sources to support his position does not have to be listened to.
I have heard this position expressed in the name of rabbis across the spectrum, from Rabbi Meir Fund, prominent poseq halakhah of Flatbush, to Rabbi Meir Kahane ztz”l.
Sources must be provided in order that they may scrutinized. (I am still waiting for someone to send me Rabbi Sherlo's sources for his position which is similar to the above.)
Rabbi Shmu'el Eliyahu's ruling, supported by 300 addition rabbanim, is supported al pi halakhah.
Mamlakhti (undying state loyalist) rabbis like Sherlo often have to play with the halakhah is in order to it with Israeli law with halakhah. They simply refuse to accept that such stiroth (contradictions) even exist.
Rabbis outside of Israel, no matter how learned and wise, are often hindered by their galuth mentality (See point 3).
Rabbi Eliyahu, on the other hand, is not afraid to state his beliefs, even when they run contrary to Israeli law, in spite of the fact that he receives a salary from the Israeli government!
You do the math.
2. And if you do not but either of the above reasons, you will have to take a serious look at this one, which uses the very Western logic, applied everyday by most Jews living in galuth (diaspora, both mental AND spiritual).
When the RCA and Rabbi Mordechai Tendler had a dispute, it was adjudicated in what is considered to be the highest rabbinical authority in the U. S. Rabbi Tendler chose to appeal the decision. But, where could he go to do so? He came to the High Rabbinical Court in Israel.
But, what was the reaction of RCA rabbis? They said that they would not accept the authority of Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem.
So, what are they doing mixing-in (don't you love that wonderful New York expression?) to matters internal to Israel?
(They answer this question above in bold, and I address it below in point 3.)
Granted they have the right to “express their opinions” on anything they want. But, it strikes me as a bit of a double standard.
3. The halachic issues at hand are indeed complex
Complex? Let us assume for the sake of argument that is true.
...the statement in question affects not just Jewish communities in Israel, but communities in North America as well.
The concern for the safety of Jews living outside of Israel is also complex. In other words, it is not so simply that we have to consider your safety when making ANY decisions about the survival of the Am Yisra'el (The Jewish People).
You have your chance now to join us in the one place where Jews have always been meant to be. Let's face it. The only things holding you back are your financial concerns and your general fears of the unknown. This is not the time to get defensive. Read this with an open mind. Your attitudes toward not making aliyah are the products of 2,000 years of fundamental changes in our mentality.
From just trying to survive the Crusades to pogroms, from countless legal battles to be accepted among the goyim, and from seeing assimilation into Western society as the ultimate goal of the Jew, to downright self-hatred, our overall mentality has been so drastically transformed, it is almost completely unrecognizable from the Jewish scholar warrior of old.
But there is hope; there are still sparks. From the Jewish athlete, breaking the Woody Allen, stereotype of the nebekh, to the brilliant student in a yeshiva in New York (or Baltimore or Chicago or Los Angeles), from the teacher who instills the joy of reading into her learning disabled pupil who used to hate it, to the social worker who helps a community deal with the aftermath of an earthquake, or a flood,...or a terrorist attack by jet planes, we need all of you.
But, we cannot wait around for you.
The existence of the State of Israel ALREADY puts Jews living around the world at risk, not to mention that,...
מלחמת מצווה דוחה פיקוח נפש.
An obligatory takes precedence over the saving of Jewish life.
And those are the facts on the ground.
I'll let you mull that around for a while.
Of course, the RCA conveniently never brings up the only real solution to combat all of the physical, and most of the spiritual, threats Jews face, and have been facing, on the ground for centuries. Most of them would eventually be out of a cushy job, if they did.
Make aliyah. Don't just throw your money at us, especially now, when much of your money funneled through various “Jewish” organizations, like the [non] Jewish National Fund and the [non] Jewish Agency, eventually makes its way to Arabs or to other non-Jews.
Come here to live.
(Tip credit: Tomer Devorah)