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Rabbi Ginsburgh's Letter to the Families of Israeli Hostages in Gaza and an Open Letter on the War in Israel

BSD 8 Kislev 5784 (November 21, 2023)

 

To the dear families of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, Shalom uvrachah,

We are all with you as one person. We pray with all our hearts for the safety of our beloved sons and daughters, who are being held captive in the hands of a cruel enemy. We anticipate God’s salvation with their return to their families, in sound and complete health.

In answer to your question regarding the planned hostage release deal, let it be known that we strengthen you in your principled statement that it is forbidden for the government to surrender to terror and extortion. Stopping the war in the middle, while surrendering to the dictate of the enemy, is a grave danger to our soldiers and to all the citizens of Israel. It makes it possible for the enemy to re-arm and raise its head and is liable to bring about much bloodshed and even pre-empt victory.

The Torah provides us with the responsible approach: “There is no mitzvah greater than freeing hostages,” yet, it is forbidden to agree to extortion, which leads to severe problems in the future. Ceasing the fighting now is an exorbitant price that is prohibited to pay. We have all seen the terrible consequences of irresponsible deals made in the past, in which murderers were set free only to have them attack us again.

The right course to take for the hostages is to continue the war with full force and without halt, to actively seek to destroy the terror organizations, and to intensify the pressure on the enemy as much as possible. We must seek to reach a position of power, from which we will be able to dictate the conditions that will, with God’s help, bring about the release of all the hostages.

May God answer our prayers and hear our supplications, and may we merit to see the fulfillment of the verse, “And the ransomed of God shall return, and come singing into Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall attain delight and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11), speedily in our days, amen.

HaRav Dov Lior                                 HaRav Yitzchak Ginsburgh         Harav Shmuel Eliyahu

HaRav David Druckman                HaRav Eliyahu Zini

 

***

 

28 Cheshvan 5784/Nov. 12, 2023

An Open Letter from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh and Rabbi Dov Lior:  Victory for Israel

“Be of good courage, and let us prove strong for our people, and for the cities of our God. Israel’s soldiers are engaged in a war required by the Torah for the Nation of Israel and the Land of Israel. May it be God’s will that the verse “For it is God, your God, Who walks with you to make war for you against your enemies, to save you.”

The Gaza area is part of the Land of Israel. It belongs to the Nation of Israel. It is God’s gift to our Forefathers, as is written in the Torah: “To your descendants have I given this Land, from the River of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates.” The more that we recognize this truth and repeat it clearly, so it will be acceptable to the nations of the world. “The strength of His deeds he told to His Nation to give them the inheritance of the nations.”

The purpose of the war must be complete victory, which will afford true security for Israel, with God’s help. This is our obligation toward the living and in memory of the holy fatalities in this war so that their sacrifice will not be in vain. “Behold a nation like a lion cub will arise and like a lion, it will be elevated.” The bold spirit and self-sacrifice of the soldiers and their commanders will bring us victory, with God’s help. But it is the obligation of the leaders to continue the war until we achieve complete victory – both military and diplomatic.

Complete victory includes the elimination of the enemies (the terrorists and rioters) and the establishment of full Israeli governance in Gaza. Without Israeli governance, the murderous snakes’ den will rise again. The thought of giving control of Gaza to hostile elements, such as the terrorist Palestinian Authority, is a severe abdication of Israel’s security. We must learn from the mistakes of the past and free ourselves of our erroneous perceptions, which have brought catastrophe upon us.

We must declare full Israeli sovereignty over Gaza. Military rule alone is not enough. We must renew the ancient Jewish community in Gaza, which existed until the Arab pogroms of 1929. We must rebuild the communities of Gush Katif. Their former residents have never given up hope of returning home. With God’s help, we will merit His promise “And I will plant them on their land and they will never be uprooted from their land, which I have given to them.”

Regarding the United States, we must conduct ourselves with national pride. We must thank them for their support while vigorously rejecting any interference in the war and its goals – and certainly any hypocritical condemnation from them. The more that the Nation of Israel will stand strong and proud, the more that we will win honor and admiration from the nations of the world, with God’s help.

May the verse, “God, the God of Hosts, return us to You, illuminate Your countenance and we will be saved” be fulfilled speedily in our day.

 

HaRav Yitzchak Ginsburgh                                                HaRav Dov Lior

 

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