Gedolei Roshei Yeshivos: ‘We Need Mesirus Nefesh for Torah,’ ‘Don’t Listen to ‘Empty Words’

By Matis Glenn

Left, Hagaon Harav Dov Landau (photo by Naftoli Goldgrab), right, Harav Moshe Hillel Hirsch(Hamodia)

Two of the most prominent Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael, shlita, Roshei Yeshiva of Slabodka Hagaon Harav Moshe Hillel Hirsch and Hagaon Harav Dov Landau, spoke about last week’s Supreme Court ruling in impassioned speeches, expressing the great pain they felt for the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael.

Harav Hirsch said in a Motzaei Shabbos address: “Everyone knows what happened at the end of last week, when they completely nullified our rights to learn Torah in Eretz Yisrael. It is impossible for us to say that we weren’t missing a certain level of mesirus nefesh for Torah…nevertheless, now we need it.

The Rosh Yeshiva explained that there were two types of people who supported the conscription. “There are some who don’t necessarily hate us, or Judaism. Just since they don’t understand that it is the Torah that [protects] them, and this that Israel is still surviving despite being surrounded by enemies is only because there is Torah in Eretz Yisrael. If not for Torah, there would be no Israel. [When] they are giving up on Torah, they are cutting down the supporting branch that the state stands on. They don’t understand this, Rachmana litzlan. Therefore, they say ‘If so, why should we not deal with everyone equally, as one group of people.’”

“There is another type of people who are…reshaim. They don’t care about equality. They hate Judaism, they hate Torah, and they hate Bnei Torah.

Speaking about how to respond to the law, Harav Hirsch said that the Torah world needs mesirus nefesh.

“They want to destroy us, and we need to oppose them, and there will be mesirus nefesh, I hope that we don’t reach this point, but it is very possible that we will…need mesirus nefesh to stand up to them. This is not the time to discuss this in detail.

“One thing is clear. The first thing that we need is mesirus nefesh for Torah, that Torah [learning] should become a korban. How does Torah become a korban? Complete sedarim without any bittul Torah…Why should [we] care if it’s the end of the z’man? Learn Torah with mesirus nefesh! This is definitely [our] obligation now, that our Torah should be like a korban, a pleasing aroma for Hashem. And this definitely can [solve] the entire problem.

“If we do so, we will be zocheh to siyata diShmaya. If we bring the korban to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, maybe He will have mercy on us, and we will not have to bring other korbanos…Hashem should give us the strength to do what He wants from us.

On Thursday, Harav Landau spoke at a large kinnus in Bnei Brak for yeshiva bachurim.

“The holy yeshivos and kollelim, where we learn Torah without weakening and without stop,  are the merits for our survival here in Eretz Yisrael. This is what protects all the Yidden from all of their enemies. As much as there will be increased learners in the yeshivos and kollelim, the protection on all of the land’s citizens will increase proportionately. And chas veshalom, the reverse [is true,] if Torah learners will decrease in number, there will likely come, Rachmana litzlan, a kitrug (Heavenly prosecution) on Klal Yisrael.

“All of us know, that as we are surrounded by enemies, our survival as the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, is solely because of miracles from Heaven, and it is the Torah that protects and saves us…that the land shouldn’t G-d forbid spew out its inhabitants (Vayikra 18:25)..and ignore all of the various empty words of the ‘others,’ for their right hand is a right hand of falsehood (Tehillim 144:8).

“Hakadosh Baruch Hu should give you all the siyata diShmaya to become Gedolei Torah, and you should live your lives according to the Torah.

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