Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 21 December 2009

Are You In Golus Or Aren't You?

One of the core beliefs of Satmar philosophy that leads them to oppose Israel's existence is the idea that while we are in golus, ie until Moshiach Tzidkeinu arrives, we are to remain completely subservient to the gentile nations.  This is based on the "Three Oaths" in Kesubos 111a where our ancestors, on their way out of Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple (may it be speedily rebuilt) swore that they would not be rebellious against the nations.
That the Satmars and their ilk take this oath seriously is important to remember historically.  What many don't like to remember, for instance, is how many rabbonim invoked this line of reasoning to dissuade Jews from fighting back against the Nazis, y"sh, during the Holocaust.  Lay down like sheep and accept the will of God, they announced.  We must never rebel even when they try to kill us.  In some extreme circles, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is still seen as a sin and not a heroic moment of Jewish bravery because it violated the core belief of subservience.
Yet it seems there is something worse than Nazis coming to slaughter you.  What would that horrifying thing being?  "Scantily clad" bikers travelling through the Satmar-controlled parts of Williamsburg. 
Now for my part, I've never understood the need for bikers to dress like superheroes.  I can understand competitive bikers because of the wind dynamics, etc. but these days it seems even casual Sunday riders feel a need to paint on the neon-colour Lycra before heading out on the road.  Probably a cultural thing I just don't get.
But that's not the point.  The point is that Satmar opposition to bike lines going through Williamburg is curious considering the core belief I mentioned above.  In short, if Nazis coming to kill you isn't a reason to stand up and fight, why are bikers passing through the neighbourhood with no interest in interacting with the locals?
Are they in golus or aren't they?


David said...

They're just feeling their oats, that's all. In Europe, they had no power and were oppressed, and so they decided that it must be Hashem's will. Here and in Israel, they discovered that they had political power, and (like everyone else) they enjoy wielding it, particularly if it inconveniences others. I don't know what the Torah says about this (whatever the rabbis want it to say, I suppose), but I think one might find a better explanation in Nietzsche for this behavior.

Garnel Ironheart said...

I see it as rank hypocrisy. I appreciate what your point is but since they still rail against Zionism, they could at least be consistent on this issue. They come across more as bullies than anything else.

David said...

Railing against Zionism costs them nothing, and gets them a bit of notoriety (my personal favorites are the ones who live in Israel and still condemn Zionism). Accuse them of anything you like, and you'll get no argument from me, provided you don't accuse their leadership of sincerity.

Off the Derech said...

Right. Because Garnel knows nothing about bullying. And insincerity. And rank hypocrisy.