Rabbi Auerbach and the True Judge of Israel

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Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach leader of the Jerusalem Faction died last night…at the age of 86. Tens of thousands rallied at Rabbi Auerbach’s funeralI can only hope in the last moments of his life, he was blessed with enough clarity of mind to do tshuva [repentance]. His followers, numbering in the tens of thousands. Perhaps, they even numbered in the hundreds of thousands. They will likely remember him as a man of great learning, a family man mourned by the generations that have followed him.

But millions will remember him for the violence he incited, the sinat chinam he brought to a boil. Today, his followers felt that it was a mitzvah to put aside their learning and give chesed emet, true kindness to the dead by attending and honoring this man.
 
But every other day, they do not fulfill the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael. The mitzvah of living here includes not using our buses, electricity and water, but defending the land. Rabbi Auerbach and his followers do not practice Ahavat Yisrael, loving your fellow Jews. Rather they made a point of spitting at women, hitting and shoving soldiers. They cursed their fellow Jews, insult converts, and scare children. I watched as one disrupted a Jewish ceremony welcoming the birth of a new child, whose grandfather had just been murdered because he was a Jew.

When we hear that someone has died – we say Baruch Dayan Emet – Blessed is the True Judge. I believe we say this when a righteous person dies…it is a comfort to know that this person will be rewarded and well received in the heavens and in the world to come…

 I believe we say this when an evil person dies … that justice that eluded them in life will be given in death. God will be waiting there…a sudden and eternal awakening that the person did not live according to the will of God.
 
It is not for me to judge what Hashem will say to Rabbi Auerbach but I believe that as Rabbi Auerbach left this world surrounded by his tens of thousands of followers, he is now meeting not only Hashem but tens of thousands of HIS followers…they will be men and women who proudly wore the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces. They gave their lives for this land and died in honor. They did not die as an old person of a heart attack in the warmth of their homes…but it was their sacrifices that afforded Rabbi Auerbach the luxury of dying as an old man.
 
Their sacrifices have been ridiculed and belittled by Rabbi Auerbach and his followers…but there is no question that in defending this land, they acted according to the laws that Hashem gave to Moshe, His faithful servant.
 
I am going to try to put my anger aside. It is an anger born of watching our soldiers being attacked by the people they promised to defend. Anger at watching them allow themselves to be hounded, insulted, even beaten. This, despite having been trained to defend themselves. They hesitated. They refused to fight their own people. These children of 18, 19, and 20 were smarter than a man in his 80s. They recognized their fellow Jew despite the emotional and sometimes physical pain being cause to them. Soldiers of Israel
 
I have little doubt that the many mitzvot that Rabbi Auerbach did in his life will go a long way in helping to balance the terrible sins he committed. Sins against his people, his children…our children. Sinat chinam – encouraging hatred rather than love; insults rather than understanding. He built walls rather than bridges in the ridiculous assumption that it would protect his followers.
 
I am grateful that the Heavenly Courts are ruled according to the will of God. And I know there is justice in the World Beyond This One.
 
At this moment, Rabbi Auerbach is being judged by the True Judge of the people of Israel. Perhaps even now Rabbi Auerbach is realizing what most of us have always known. All that the army accomplishes is ordained by God. That’s right, all the brilliant and successful military action, each flight that defeated our enemies. God was their Co-Pilot; the brilliant Strategist. Always the Protector of Israel.
There is no commandment that says you must learn all day and leave your wife to work herself into old age. Nor is there a law that says it is better to learn than defend.
 
There are thousands of honorable soldiers, including my beautiful and precious sons, my wonderful son-in-law, my amazing adopted sons. They quietly, peacefully, respectfully prove that Rabbi Auerbach was wrong. Worse, that he led his followers on the wrong path.
Sinat chinam will never be rewarded in the heavens.
Baruch Dayan Emet – Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach

Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach was buried today in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach

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5 Comments

    1. Well, Isaac, thank you for your polite comment. Can you tell me where exactly where I claimed to know what Sinat Chinam was better than Rabbi Auerbach? I have scanned the article (again) and nowhere do I claim such “superiority”.

      It really isn’t hard to know what Sinat Chinam is – our people have lived with the knowledge of what it is and the terrible cost it can claim…for more than 2,000 years. As for your never having heard of me before…I guess that’s okay because unless you are Yitzchak Avinu, I’ve probably never heard of you either. I could guess that your children have never served in the army, so you wouldn’t have read my blog, A Soldier’s Mother (http://www.israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.com) and I guess you’ve never read my articles before…and honestly, I’m okay with that.

      I’m more sorry that having read this article, the only thing you are wondering about is what I know about Sinat Chinam and why you never heard of me before. I would be much happier if you were wondering how we could erase this Sinat Chinam from the minds and hearts of Rabbi Auerbach’s followers.

      1. Isaac

        My pleasure.

        I used simple math.

        Rav Auerbach was a Gadol Batorah. He would not incite sinas chinam. By you claiming that he did, I assume that you claim to know what sinas chinam is better than he knew.

        I don’t follow your logic of why I have not heard of you before. I’ve heard of Rav Auerbach because he was such a great man, and as far as I know, he has not heard of me as I’m not such a great man that my name would be known. I meant no offense to you that I have never heard of you, I was just wondering why you are not as famous if you are at least as great (or even greater).

        As for your last paragraph, I would assume that one must understand what sinas chinam is, before trying to do something about it.

  1. Ima haBas sheli

    Thank you for writing this. When I heard the news, I said the bracha begrudgingly. I realize this is my shortcoming. Several months ago, my daughter in seminary tried to get to the Kotel to daven on her grandfather’s first yahrzeit. The Peleg demonstrators were out in full force, and she was forced to leave the bus in an unfamiliar neighborhood. She finally found a bus to take her back to sem, but not before witnessing Jews being arrested and beaten by other Jews! She was sobbing as I was speaking to her, and I felt so helpless from half a world away. I was so angry at the demonstrators for creating this situation. I was not mochel them then, and I am not mochel them now. But would you believe, my daughter went to the levaya this morning. I can only hope to be on her level. We can indeed learn from our children…

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