ערב שבת קודש פר׳ שמיני/פרה תשע״ו
Tablet: Let Meir Ettinger Attend His Son’s BrisEsser Agaroth (2¢):
Meir Kahane’s grandson has been held under administrative arrest for more than seven months
Liel Leibovitz, March 30, 2016
The 25-year-old, who is the grandson of the slain rabbi Meir Kahane, was arrested by Israeli authorities more than seven months ago. He is allegedly suspected of playing a part in underground efforts to overthrow the government and establish halakhic rule in its stead. Despite the weight of the accusation, however, the state has, to date, produced no evidence to support its case, said Yuval Zemer, Ettinger’s attorney. Instead, it placed Ettinger under administrative arrest. A legacy of the British Mandate’s martial laws, this judicial tool, signed by Israel into law in 1979, allows the government to detain individuals for a period of six months, with three-month extensions thereafter for as long as is necessary, without presenting a suspect or his legal representatives with any concrete evidence of wrongdoing. Ettinger, then, remains under arrest, permitted only minimal contact with his lawyer and his family, and now, unless the government has a change of heart, denied partaking in his son’s bris as well. (cont.)
Furthermore, how can any Jew who identifies as "Torah-observant," himself not also agree with the eventual implementation of Torah Law across Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel)? Does he not also pray three times per day for the Ge'ulah (Redemption), and coming of the Mashi'ah?
Doesn't "Religious Zionism assert that we are supposed to be a part of this process? And although prayer and Torah study are crucial, doesn't Religious Zionism encourage us to do more than this, as participants in the process? Are we to encourage aliyah (immigration of Jews to Israel), observance of Shabboth, kashruth, tefillin, and family purity, and that is it, even though this is only a portion of the Torah?
Aren't all Religious Zionists at supposed to be talking about the eventually spread of Torah throughout the Land, and its eventual place as the ultimate authority on all matters? Or have I gotten Religious Zionism all wrong, and most of those identifying as Religious Zionists are not really Religious Zionists at all, and are actually Mamlakhtim, those who believe that there is no conflict between State law and Torah Law?
In any event, on one side of this conflict, we have a Torah-observant Jew accused of encouraging the overthrow of the State's government, and on the other side, the anti-Torah State. Given the evidence, or in this case, the lack of evidence, who are we supposed to believe?
I believe that the answer can be found in the Torah itself, where the answer to every other question can also be found.
As politically-incorrect as it may be, the Ramba"m, and others teach that the word אדם/adam indicates "Jew" in this mishnah. R' Ovadiah meBartenura goes a step further, and says this refers to a "kosher Jew," those who believe in the Torah, and observe it.יהושוע בן פרחיה וניתאי הארבלי קיבלו מהם. יהושוע בן פרחיה אומר, עשה לך רב, וקנה לך חבר; והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות.(משנה אבות א,ו)
Yehoshu'a ben Perahiyah and Nittai the Arbelli received it [the Torah] from them. Yehoshu'a ben Perahiyah says make for yourself a rav, acquire for yourself a friend; and judge each Jew favorably. (Mishah Avoth 1:6)
The Ramba"m also states a time when we should do the opposite, and this is when dealing with a known rasha (evil person). In this situation, we should assume that he have evil intentions, even if his actions appear to be beneficial on the surface.
Granted, we do not determine halakhah (Torah Law), based on a single source alone. Nevertheless, I ask you, to whom are we to give kaf zekhuth (benefit of the doubt)? To the Torah observant Jew? Or to the State, which happens to have some symbolic, Jewish sprinkles on top, while implementing its anti-Torah agenda at every step of the way?
The main objective of the State's imprisonment of Meir Ettinger, under an old law from the British Mandate used to imprison Jewish freedom fighters, is to break him, and to demonstrate to the masses that the State's laws are greater than Torah Law.
Of course, the State will never succeed in this endeavor.