They had absolutely no obligation to go there even if it was to save the lives of others… which it wasn't. They placed themselves at risk… and paid dearly for it. It cannot be ignored that had they heeded Halacha and not gone into a Makom Sakana, a dangerous place they would still be alive today. This Halacha seems to have been lost on the Religious Zionist rabbis who praised these two hikers for having the 'courage' to hike in dangerous territory. Instead of conveying a message of how dangerous it was to go hiking there they are adding to their image as martyrs.
He also writes in the comments section;
I also don't think my understanding of the Arab/Muslim mindset is all that different from that of the most militant religious Zionist. I know what Muslim/Arabs are thinking. It is pretty much the same as what Ahmadinijad thinks. Which is why taking a hike in an unsecured and open area like these two soldiers did was wrong.
Going for a hike in Eretz Yisrael, with 2 soldiers in elite units (Shaldag [IAF] and Shayetet 13 [Navy]) in an area they knew inside out, is far from irresponsible.
Instead of placing the blame on the terrorists (Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad), those who send and incite them (Palestinian Authority), those that release terrorists and give them weapons and ammunition (Olmert & co.), and those who offer political support to their cause (Bush and Rice) -- of all the people possible, R' Maryles has chosen...to blame the Jewish victims.
Outside of Hashem's Divine Providence, Israel exists today because of the combined efforts of Settlement and the Army. Since the establishment of Modern Israel over 100 years ago, it was Jews moving to all parts of Eretz Yisrael and LIVING there, that enabled the founding and continued existence of the State. From Eilat to Ramat HaGolan, from Hevron to Gav HaHar, it is the Jewish presence that keeps the army vigilant. Were it not for the Jewish community in Hevron -- Mearat HaMachpela would look very similar to Kever Yosef (and entrance would be just as difficult).
R' Maryles used to "cheer" on the settlers;
The truth is that I admire the courage of your convictions... and those of others like you. I used to be the first one to cheer West Bank settlers on. But as time has gone on, there have been too many deaths of innocent people who have made these kinds of courageous choices. One must begin to ask their whether their courage is misplaced and causing too many innocent people to die…
R' Maryles bemaons hearing
Sherri Mandells agonizing over the loss of a 13 year old son. Can anyone who hasn't experienced what she has possibly begin to understand her sacrifice? Was her sacrifice ultimately so necessary?!"
Kobi Mandel was a 13 year old who went to explore the caves in the backyard of his settlement, Tekoa. A group of Palestinian teenagers stoned to death Kobi and his friend. Kobi's crime? A Jewish teenager exploring a cave. Why is R' Maryles blaming Kobi...or his parents?
R' Maryles is apparently tired. We are not. We will continue building the land, touring the land, and securing the land for ourselves and for all of Am Yisrael, including R' Maryles.
The big danger is getting tired. Ehud Olmert stated "We are tired of winning [against the Arabs]" -- and has started a downward spiral of capitulation which will lead nowhere, but G-d forbid, the destruction of the Jewish rebirth in Eretz Yisrael.
In the Torah, parashat Ki-Tezeh, Moshe admonishes the Children of Israel -- the reason they were attacked by Amalek is because, "זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק בדרך בצאתכם ממצרים, אשר קרך בדרך, ויזנב בך כל הנחשלים אחריך, ואתה עייף ויגע, ולא ירא אלוקים". The Children of Israel were tired and weary.
Capitulation, throwing Jews out of their homes, giving away land to the enemy (let alone guns and ammunition) is the last thing we need.
Please see this wonderful video of R' Aharon Soloveitchik zt'l -- what he thought of the settlers in Hevron.
hat-tip, Aron Feldman @ Harry Maryles Blog via Tzvi Harris
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael
Jameel - you've written a wonderful post and the video is awe inspiring!
R' Harry Maryles' blog is called " Emes Ve-Emunah". I read his post and found neither Emes nor Emunah.
He doesn't understand the situation at all: not from a halachic standpoint, and not from the reality here in Eretz Yisrael. Too bad that he posted what he posted in that it only emboldens the murderers.
Why is R' Maryles blaming Kobi...or his parents?
I don't blame the victims. I blame the murderers who did this. But I question the wisdom of hiking in unsecured areas where snipers can make easy targets out of you. These soldiers did not die in battle. They died while on leave and trying to relax and enjoy their leave. Encouraging this type of activity -in my view - is irresponsible.
I know that I will not convince you and I respect your views. But I remain in disagreement.
And... no, I am not insulted by your heartfelt post.
Excellent post keep up the good work. Your post can bring some degree of comfort to those who are mourning now instead of posts who have the gall and nerve to blame the soldiers for their own death. When they went hiking they were not looking to be heros and if they thought there was real chance of danger they would of not ventured out. It is like you said one has to be able to go in their back yard and do as they please. Thank you for posting the speech of RAS he says it like it is. I would like to get a copy of that speech to give it to the parents of the soldiers who are sitting shiva now. I daven with an Uncle of one of the boys and eh would very much want to hear it as well. My e-mail address is email@example.com
All - While I was very disheartened by R' Maryles' posting -- please do not attack him or his blog.
It's the contents of his post that angered me -- not him personally.
More to follow on the necessity of continuing to hike the land.
regardless of what anyone thinks pro or con settling etc.
these soldiers died al kidush hashem. defined as being killed because they are jews. period.
Merely playing Devil's Advocate here...in fact, I'm not even sure I believe the following (guess that ruins my credibility, huh?):
Firstly, I know nothing about the area in which they were hiking (how dangerous it was, etc.), nor the specialized training these 2 individuals (A"H) received. Yes, there's no doubt that but for these Arabs actions, these two individuals would still be alive. But why can't there be more than one party at fault here?
Yes, on a grander scheme, we must fault the current Israeli government who supplies the Arabs with weapons; the PA; Bush and Rice; etc. But, that doesn't change the fact that in this specific instance, perhaps these soldiers had the last clear chance to avoid what happened to them. If they knew the area inside and out, did they know that it was a very dangerous area? Again, I don't know - I'm just asking questions.
We would probably all agree that walking into Gaza City would be akin to committing suicide; surely we wouldn't condone that. But where do we draw the line between irresponsible, and hiking in a land that is rightfully ours? Chas v'Shalom that they DESERVED or ASKED to be killed. But, we must draw a line and say that certain actions, even when done out of love for our land of Israel, are irresponsible.
Well, we all know it's too dangerous to be in Israel, so let's all pack up and head back to Poland, or Chicago, or ....
[Do I need to put a "/sarc" tag?]
I don't know why you bother with Maryles. Before the expulsion from the Gaza strip he said that he would celebrate it with a seudah. He posts made-up stories about those he doesn't like, and there's no reasoning with him.
Suffice to say that the 2 units david and achikam hy'd were in, are in the top 3 commando units in israel together with sayeret matkal..
Thats like a navy SEAL and delta force commando go on a hike armed..
I my opinon, jews in america unarmed is putting yourself in a sakana...
Day after day, I trek up to Rebbetzin Menucha Rachel's kever... I pass by the kevarim of the sdei chemed, chesed l'avraham, the charif, the reishit chochma, the melechet shlomo.. etc..
Kevarim that get desecrated day in and day out..
Its nor a safe walk.. but I care that these graves are desecrated.. yzadikim yirshu aretz..
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