ישיבת כרם ביבנה

One Nation in the Land - Jewish Unity

הרב מרדכי גרינברג
נשיא הישיבה

A. One Soul in Separate Bodies


The unity of Am Yisrael is one of the most intricate and complex subjects. On the one hand, the trait of unity is well-established in the teachings of Chazal, such as in the statements:


  • G-d said to Israel: You made Me one unit in the world, and I will make you one unit in the world, as it says, "Who is like your nation Israel, one nation in the land."[1]

  • When Israel forms one group, even if there is idolatry amongst them, the Attribute of justice does not harm them.[2]

  • Israel will not be redeemed until they will be one union.[3]


On the other hand, the trait of baseless hatred is deep-rooted in Israel, and there are more differences of opinion amongst them than within other nations. Ever since Yosef's dreams, disputes and differences of opinion have never ceased from Israel.
In order to understand the source of Jewish unity, we must first address the root of nationalism in Israel, as opposed to that of other nations. Rav Kook zt"l writes:
The notion of "community" regarding the nations of the world is like partners, and, regarding partners, certainly the share of each individual in the joint partnership is most important for each individual. However, regarding Israel, tzibbur (community) and partnership are, in truth, two concepts, as indicated by the sugya and the Mishna in Temura (13a), "The tzibbur and partners do not make temura." [This is] because the tzibbur of Israel has communal sanctity and existence, which is not evaluated at all according to the share of each individual, and which stands above the rules of division. [4]
Partners are a gathering of individuals who band together for a business, social or ideological goal, and the group is no greater than the sum of all the individuals. This is not true regarding the community of Israel, which is much greater than the gathering of the individuals. The assemblage of Israel is not just nine Jews and one more. The tzibbur has a new being and inherent existence, the likes of which does not exist at all in the lexicon of other nations, whose life is one of division, as it says, "All the doers of evil will separate."[5]
R. Shneur Zalman of Ladi (the first Lubavitcher Rebbe) provides a concise definition of the concept of Jewish nationalism – one soul in separate bodies:
They all fit together, and they all have one Father. Therefore, all of Israel are called "brothers," literally, on account of the root of their souls in the One G-d – just that their bodies are separate.[6]
Radbaz, earlier, writes something similar on the Rambam's statement (Hil. Mamrim 2:4) that it is permitted to violate a mitzvah as a temporary measure (hora'at sha'a), in order to bring the masses to repentance, "just as the doctor amputates a foot or hand so that the person as a whole can live." The Radbaz writes:
This analogy is not correct unless we view all of Israel as if they are one body. Even though the bodies are separate, since their souls are hewn from one place, they are like one body – since the soul is primary.[7]
Rav Hutner zt"l, one of the great Jewish thinkers of our time, formulates this idea as follows:
The whole of Knesset Yisrael does not mean the sum of all the parts of the individual people of Bnei Yisrael. Rather, the idea is the opposite; the whole of Knesset Yisrael is a single unit, of which the individual people are parts. [8]
Chazal derive this idea from a careful reading of the Scriptural text. They say in the Midrash:
Regarding Esav, six people are mentioned, and it says about him many "souls," as it says, "Esav took ... all the souls (nafshot) of his household." (Bereishit 36:6) However, regarding Yaakov, there were seventy people, and it says one soul, "All the person who emerged from Yaakov's loins were seventy soul (nefesh)." (Shemot 1:5) Rather, Esav, who serves many gods – it says about him many souls; Yaakov, who serves one G-d – it says about him one soul. [9]
This distinction between Israel and the other nations is further alluded to in the precise language of Chazal. On the verse, "Israel encamped (vayichan) there opposite the mountain," Rashi cites Chazal's comment: "As one person, with one heart." This statement is said in praise of Israel's unity. Yet, we find a similar comment, although in the opposite word order, regarding the Egyptians, who chased Israel, "With one heart, as one person." Rav Hutner zt"l explains that the order is reversed because Israel's inherent unity leads to their common interest, whereas the Egyptian's common interest leads to their unity:
Since [Israel] are one person, and the individuals in them are like the right hand and the left hand of one body – therefore, they are of one heart and all want this encampment of Mt. Sinai. Vayichan sham – as one person with one heart. Egypt is different ... Because they all want this ... chasing after Israel – therefore, they all joined to a common goal, and they are with one heart, as one person.[10]
The Meshech Chochma, as well, uses the concept of Jewish unity to explain the discrepancy in language between Parshat Yitro and Parshat Mishpatim. In Parshat Yitro it says: "The entire people responded together and said, 'Everything that Hashem has spoken we will do!'"[11] On the other hand, in Parshat Mishpatim it says, "Everything that Hashem has spoken we will do and we will listen."[12] To explain this, the Meshech Chochma points out there that no Jewish person can observe the entire Torah, since there are mitzvot for priests, for Levites, for the king, for the Sanhedrin, etc. Only through all of Klal Yisrael together is it possible to do the entire Torah:
The entire Jewish nation is one person. One is like the heart, and one like the head ... and in their entirety it is a whole person. Therefore, mitzvot that one cannot observe – he must learn, for one who deals with the laws of the burnt offering is as if he offered a burnt offering. Therefore, later on they answered, "Everything that Hashem has spoken we will do and we will listen." Some of them, we will do – what is relevant to us; some, we will listen – we will learn and understand their deeper meaning, their laws and rules. However, here they answered, "The entire people responded together and said, 'Everything that Hashem has spoken we will do!'" As a whole, the nation as one, all together they will do all that Hashem has spoken, and each one will do what is relevant to him. [13]
The unique nature of Jewish unity is because Jewish nationalism and unity do not flow from human agreement to a social contract. Rather, they are the direct result of a Divine creation – "This nation (am zu) I have formed for Me, will tell My praise." (Yeshaya 43:21) The numerical value of "zu" (13) is that of echad and of ahava.The author of the Beit David summarizes this idea as follows:
Just as the Creator, blessed be He, is the simple and absolute One ... in the same way, correspondingly, the holy Jewish people – since their souls emanate from the source of unity, as the Sages refer to it, "A part of G-d above" – therefore they also must unite together, to be close and bound to one another, more than the unity of one body composed of many limbs. This is because the root of their soul is the unity where there is no separation and division at all.[14]
The root of Jewish unity is thus in their innate quality of oneness, in the Divine creation of the single soul, which becomes individualized in different bodies, as one soul that gives life to a body of many organs.
With this understanding, it is now appropriate to clarify the relationship of the innate quality of oneness to its many manifestations.




B. Multi-faceted Unity[15]


Jewish unity does not demand uniform ideology. Judaism does not advocate a nation that deals with only one endeavor and one thought. The opposite is true. There is a need for the development and fulfillment of every talent and ability, of every idea and ideal. "Talmidei chachamim increase peace in the world,"[16] since the nature of talmidei chachamim is not to take for granted a colleague's opinion, and they add differences of opinions and disputes. Yet, they are the ones who increase peace, in that they clarify every opinion properly, precisely through the opposing forces. Rav Kook zt"l writes:[17]
Some mistaken people think that world peace will be built only though uniform ideas and traits. Therefore, when they see talmidei chachamim analyzing wisdom and the knowledge of Torah, and through the analysis the possibilities and opinions increase – [those people] think that thereby they cause dispute and the opposite of peace. In truth, this is not so, because true peace cannot come to the world other than through the quality of increasing peace. Increasing peace is when all of the sides and all of the opinions will be seen, and it will become clear how there is room for them all, each one according to its worth, place, and issue ... Therefore, talmidei chachamim increase peace, because they broaden and explain new words of wisdom, in various forms, which have in them multiplicity and distinctions, and through this they increase peace ... "And many are the peace of your children" ... The blessing of peace is the peace of uniting all the opposites ... Therefore, peace is the name of G-d, who is Master of all forces, Omnipotent, and combines all together.
Israel is compared in Tanach to the stars.[18] We find two verses regarding the quality of stars; one in Yeshaya: "He brings forth their legions by number; He calls to each of them by name (b'shem)"[19] – in singular. The second is in Tehillim: "He counts the numbers of the stars, to all of them he assigns names (sheimot)"[20] – in plural.Rav Kook zt"l explains in his sermons that there are things whose very essence is in their final form. The components that comprise them do not have great inherent value. Only when the parts form one organism – the whole, this is their name and essence. On the other hand, there are things whose individual parts have independent significance, and their individual value prevents them from uniting with other units to consolidate the whole. He writes:
The stars are great and massive creations. Each one of them has an official and specific purpose for which it was created. Nonetheless, the entire multitude of stars, which are many beyond number, have one general purpose as well, great and very lofty, known to their Creator, blessed be He.[21]
Therefore, Yeshaya, who spoke about the collective purpose of the stars, said, "He calls to each of them by name (sing.)." However, the collective purpose does not obliterate the worth of each and every star, and therefore it says in Sefer Tehillim, "To all of them He assigns names (pl.)." Am Yisrael are comparable to the stars of the sky in this way. There is a collective goal for the nation as a whole, and, at the same time, there is importance and special value to each group and to each individual. They do not lose their uniqueness in their submission to the community at large, and the personal name is not erased from each and every individual.
Chazal expressed this idea with a fascinating parable:
"A grapevine you took from Egypt." R. Shimon b. Lakish said: This nation is compared to a grapevine. Its vines are the landowners; its clusters [of grapes] are the talmidei chachamim; its leaves are the common people; the thin rods are the empty ones of Israel. This is what they sent from there (i.e., from Eretz Yisrael to Babylon), "The clusters should pray on behalf of the leaves, because without the leaves the clusters would not endure." [The leaves of the vine bear the wind and protect the clusters so that heat, the sun, and winds will not beat them. So, too, the common people plow and plant and reap what the talmidei chachamim eat. Rashi] [22]
Even though the clusters of grapes are the purpose of the vine and the leaves take a lesser role, the clusters cannot have a feeling of superiority to the point of negating the leaves. Just the opposite, the clusters must pray for the welfare of the leaves, because without them, the clusters also cannot exist.
So, too, the Jewish people have many talents, roles and endeavors, but they are all bound into one organism. The head, the talmidei chachamim, must not belittle the value of the lesser organs, because without them – the talmidei chachamim also cannot fulfill their role.
When Yaakov blessed the twelve tribes and designated a blessing to each tribe based on its special quality, he did not see each tribe as an independent being. Nor did he see the nation as a gathering of disparate tribes with special talents, but rather as a living body that is formed of various limbs, which are nourished one from another and form one organism. Chazal derive this from the language of the verse, "All of these are the tribes of Israel – twelve, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them, each one according to his blessing he blessed them."[23] Rashi addresses the special phraseology, as it should have said, "each one according to his blessing He blessed him," and cites the Midrash:
What does it mean, "according to his blessing he blessed them?" Rather, since he blessed them: Yehuda as a lion, Dan as a snake, Naftali as a deer, and Binyamin as a wolf, he afterwards joined them all together and made them [all] lions and made them [all] snakes ... to fulfill what it says, "You are entirely fair my beloved, and there is no blemish in you.[24]
We find the same with respect to the shares of each tribe in the Land of Israel:
Since he divided the land to them, and gave to Yehuda a land that produces barley, and to Binyamin a land that produces wheat, even so he included them all one in another, that they should eat one of another. [25]
This verse that Chazal chose to emphasize the unity of Israel, "You are entirely fair, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you,"[26] has deep meaning. After all, we certainly find blemishes in Israel. Besides, there are verses that more clearly express the unity of Israel! Rather, Chazal did not ignore the faults of Israel, but nonetheless taught us with this verse the perspective from which the nation is viewed as entirely beautiful – from the overall perspective. When looking at the individuals alone, the negative aspects are seen; from the overall perspective of the nation as a whole, the negative elements are minimized.
This idea of the overall perspective is a wide-ranging one. On the verse at the conclusion of the Creation, "G-d saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good,"[27] Chazal make a puzzling comment: "Very good – this is the evil inclination; this is the angel of death; this is Gehenom." [28] The explanation is that on each day G-d only saw what He made on that day, and saw that it was good in itself. However, on the sixth day He saw all that He made. When viewing the whole, everything takes on a new meaning, and even what appears bad in itself, is good in the overall framework.
Thus, when Chazal use this verse, "You are entirely fair, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you," their intention was not just to speak in praise of unity, but rather to express that all the details contribute their share in building the whole. Every individual then has value, when he does not exist for himself, but knows his place and special talent in the overall framework of the nation.
Chazal teach: "Any fast that does not include of the sinners of Israel is not a fast, as the chelbna has a bad odor, and the Torah enumerated it with the spices of the incense." [29] The superficial understanding is that, de facto, when the sinner joins the whole, he is subsumed in it, and because of this he should not be pushed away. However, Chazal's language indicates a different intention; the lack of the sinner invalidates the fast! The Meshech Chochma infers from this: "Something that is lowly in its essence, even so, when it mixes in the general union, it becomes pleasant, and helps produce a fragrant smell from the other spices."[30]
This also explains Chazal's statement:
Since Yirmiya said, "People call them 'rejected silver'," [31] and Yechezkel called them impurities, as it says, "the House of Israel has become dross to me"[32] – Zechariah came and said, "a Menorah [made entirely] of gold." [33] It is all of gold. Why? "You are entirely fair, my beloved, and there is no blemish in you."[34]
Clearly, Chazal's intention is not merely to associate the word, "entirely" – you are entirely fair, and the Menorah is made entirely of gold. What is the meaning behind this?
On the pasuk, "When you kindle the lamps, toward the face of the Menorah shall the seven lamps cast light,"[35]the commentators note that it should have said, "the six lamps." The Sforno writes:
When you turn the flame of each one of the six candles to the middle branch, then: "the seven lamps will cast light," all seven will cast light and induce Divine light to Israel. This indicates that the lights of the right and the lights of the left should be directed and turned to the light of the middle branch, which is the main part of the Menorah. So, too, it is proper that the intention of those on the right, who deal with eternal matters, and those on the left – who deal with worldly matters [and] who help those on the right, as [Chazal] say, "Were it not for the leaves, the clusters would not endure" – should be to achieve G-d's desire, in a manner that His intention will be achieved through them all, and they will exalt His Name together.[36]
The Menorah symbolizes the overall perspective of Israel, with all its tribes. When those on the right and those on the left, those involved in eternal matters and those involved in worldly matters, unite with a sense of togetherness towards the middle lamp – then the Menorah is gold. When viewed from the partial and individual perspective, though, Yechezkel and Yirmiya saw impurities. This is what Chazal meant by associating, "You are entirely fair, My beloved," with, "a Menorah [made entirely] of gold."
This unity of Israel is expressed in two offerings, in the ketoret (incense) and in the mincha (meal-offering). The inclusion of the chelbena in the ketoret was already explained.
Regarding the mincha, we find that it cannot be brought in partnership, as it says, "When a soul offers a meal-offering," and Chazal learn: "a soul" – and not partners.[37] Even so, we find a communal mincha offering, that of the korban omer. The reason is that the congregation of Israel is not partners, but rather one soul, as Chazal comment, "with seventy soul."[38] The Meshech Chochma explains:
The idea is that the entirety of Israel is like one person, and each one of Israel is a limb of the whole person. When is this, though? When they cling to the center of true life, the Eternal, blessed be He, then they are like rays emanating from the central point, and thus each ray is connected to the other on account of their [common] source.[39]
However, when Israel lose their quality of unity, they are evaluated as partners, and not as a tzibbur, and therefore it is not possible to bring the ketoret or the mincha. Thus, Yeshaya says: "Bring Me your worthless meal-offerings no longer; it is incense of abomination to Me ... I cannot abide deceit with solemn assembly."[40] The Meshech Chochma explains that when there is deceit there is not unity, so they are not one soul. Thus, the meal-offering is worthless, and the foul odor of the chelbena stands out and appears separately.



C. Groups within Klal Yisrael


There are a number of ways to classify Knesset Yisrael. We usually divide it into twelve tribes. The Netziv, in his commentary to the Torah, points to a more general division, to four groups: Torah people, community leaders, common people and women. He reiterates this division and explains it in detail in his commentary on the verses in Parshat Eikev: "Now, O Israel, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, your G-d, to go in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve Hashem, your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul. To observe the commandments of Hashem and His decree, which I command you today, for your benefit."[41]
Chazal already point out the apparent irony in the phrase, "Only to fear Hashem," etc. The Netziv explains that G-d's expectation of each of these groups is not the same as from the others, but rather G-d expects from each Jewish person according to his stature. Therefore, it says, "You are standing today, all of you before Hashem, your G-d: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers – all the men of Israel; your small children, your women, etc."[42] What is the verse lacking after saying, "You are standing, all of you," that it needs to specify who is included? The Netziv explains that there is a separate covenant with each group, "and what G-d asks of this [group] He does not ask of that, and it is almost prohibited to the other group."
Talmidei chachamim are expected to develop intimate closeness with G-d, whereas, in contrast, community leaders are not asked to dedicate themselves to experiencing Divine love. Just the opposite; it would be a misuse of their position if they would abandon their role in serving the community, and deal with personal spiritual loftiness. Instead, they need to perfect themselves with the trait of awe,
... as one who is the leader and deals with communal issues is liable to be led to his own benefit and honor in his actions, and to look after the good of one who flatters him. Conversely, one who slights his honor – he will ignore seeing his troubles, or may even harm him. Therefore, it says about him, "What does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you other than to fear, etc."[43]
With this the Netziv explains Chazal's statement: "Hosting guests is greater than greeting the Divine Presence."[44] This does not mean that it is a greater virtue, but rather that this mitzvah is more incumbent upon a person, and it overrides greeting the Divine Presence. One who is fit for extending hospitality should be actively involved in it, and not in seeking spiritual love and closeness. Similarly, there is a special role for common people and for women.
The Netziv notes that all these demands are not said with a conjunctive vav, but rather: "to fear Hashem, to walk in His ways and to love Him, to observe the mitzvot of Hashem for your benefit." This indicates that not all of the qualities are demanded of one person, but each demand fits a special role. Thus, "You are all standing," as one whole, but comprised of individual groups, each with distinct abilities and roles. All of these groups together form the great whole, without leading to the blurring of each individual or group. This is the unity that brings to peace, which talmidei chachamim increase.
R. Yochanan said: There are three [symbols] of peace: a river, a bird, and a pot. A river, as it says, "I will extend peace to her like a river;" a bird, as it says, "Like flying birds, so will Hashem, Master of legions protect [Yerushalayim];" a pot, as it says, "Hashem, arrange peace for us."[45]
These three symbols represent three kinds of unity. The river symbolizes unity that blurs the individuals. Drops of water become insignificant and form a great river. In contrast, a group of birds united in flight form a unity of partnership. There are hordes of birds united in their action, not one out of line, and each one equal to the other. The third peace is the pot, in which we put different and contrasting things – tastes and spices that sometimes even contradict one another – and yet, together, they are pleasing, and this is the greatest peace.
Chazal comment on the pasuk, "Gather to Me seventy men from the elders of Israel":
This is what it says: "Who built his strata in the Heavens and founded His group upon the earth." (Amos 9:6) What is this comparable to? To a palace that is built on boats. As long as the boats are connected, the palace that is on them stands. So, too, "Who built his strata in the Heavens," as it were, His throne is established above when Israel are one unit. [46]
Rav Kook addresses the connection between the parable and verse in the Torah with which it is associated. The parable speaks of the unity of Klal Yisrael, whereas the verse is about the gathering of elders. Furthermore, Chazal's intention in using the parable of a palace built on boats needs to be understood precisely, since the parable is something far from reality.
He explains that the seventy elders of the Sanhedrin mentioned in the verse correspond to the seventy nations. This number encompasses the entirety of people with their differing opinions and types. So, too, the seventy members of Sanhedrin encompass all possible views. The initial number of Bnei Yisrael when descending to Egypt was also set up to correspond to the seventy nations, as Chazal comment on the pasuk, "He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of Bnei Yisrael." (Devarim 32:8) Yet, while their number corresponds to the seventy nations, where the difference of opinion and souls is very noticeable – Israel still gather to one view and one goal.
This is the secret of the unity of Israel. Each Jewish person has a separate, individual goal; yet, together with this, they all unite for one common goal. This is the metaphor of the boats. The Midrash does not speak of trees that are joined together to build a boat, because this would be a joining of equals to increase the size, but rather of boats, each of which has its own route in the sea. Rav Kook writes:
The purpose of the palace is to tie all of the boats together, and jointly they will carry the palace to the destined place ... Therefore, the pasuk says, "Who builds in the heavens His heights," since the complete perfection of G-d's Dominion that will be done by Israel has many levels. How will they rise to the peak of heights until the end of time? Through the entire klal, who unite all of their individual goals toward a single goal, through their submission to G‑d's will.[47]
With this we return to our opening question: How is it possible that in Israel, whose foundation is in unity, there are so many disputes and differences of opinion? The answer to this question is that Israel corresponds to the seventy nations of the world, and includes everything that is in them: "Knesset Yisrael is the essence of the entire existence ... There is no movement in the world, in all the nations, that does not have its parallel in Israel."[48] Therefore, different movements, which seem contradictory, struggle within it.
This division of Israel occurs when each goal and each movement says, "I will rule," and each movement rejects the other, and each ideal opposes the other. However, the goal of unity is hidden at the root of Israel, as their source is in the One G-d. Therefore, we are promised that, in the end, unity will prevail and peace will come.
More than any nation and tongue we cannot bear the contradiction and the lack of emotional unity. Peace and unity in their ideal form is an eternal treasure in us.[49]
When Yaakov left for Charan, on his way to build his household, he laid the cornerstone for the House of Israel. The Gemara states:
"He took of the stones (pl.) of the place," yet it says, "He took the stone (sing.)." R. Yitzchak said: This teaches that all those stones gathered to one place, and each one said, "Let the righteous one rest his head on me." It was taught, "They were are formed into one." [50]
The head of the righteous person represents his primary activity and essence, and the stones, which represent the tribes of Israel, struggle amongst themselves. Each tribe of Israel thinks that it is predominant in the House of Israel. The question is whether they will perpetuate their struggle to limit the others, or they will succeed in uniting together toward a single purpose, with the understanding that the wholeness of the house requires the existence of all the stones, each one with his special contribution. This is what Yaakov tested out:
R. Yehuda said: [Yaakov] took twelve stones. He said: G‑d decreed that He will establish twelve tribes. Avraham did not establish them; Yitzchak did not establish them; I – if they unite together, I know that I will establish twelve tribes. When they united together, he knew that he would establish twelve tribes.[51]
This is the meaning of the Zohar[52] that the twelve stones that Yaakov took allude to the twelve stones of the ephod, as they correspond to the twelve tribes.
This effort of uniting the forces is most difficult. One needs to have a broad soul in order to encompass views that seem to be oppositional and unite them. The philosopher Franz Rosensweig writes about his mentor: "What I learned from Nobel is that the soul of a great Jew can contain many things. Danger lurks only for little souls." Indeed, Rav Kook zt"l testifies about himself:
Whoever said about me that my soul is torn, says well. Certainly it is torn. It is impossible for us to describe logically a person whose soul is not torn. Only the inanimate is complete, but man is of opposing aspirations, and an inner battle is always within him. All of man's work is to unify the contradictions in his soul through a general idea, which, in its greatness and elevation includes all and brings to complete harmony. Of course, this is only an ideal that we aspire for, but to achieve this is not possible for every human. However, through our attempt we will be able to come closer and closer to it. [53]




D. Peace in Our Generation


These ideas have practical ramifications in our attitude to our era. In the last hundred years, particularly, there is room to divide the Jewish people into three major groups. Each movement has its own value, and the ideal is for them all to work jointly, as Rav Kook writes:
Three forces are struggling now in our camp; the battle between them is more evident in Eretz Yisrael ... We will be unfortunate if these three forces, which need to be united, each one to help the other and improve it – we leave scattered, rebelling one against the other, and each split into a separate camp, which stands as an enemy to the other camp: the sacred, the national, and the humanitarian.
The three most formal parties of the nation's life are: First, the orthodox, as commonly called, which bears the holy banner ... The second is the new nationalistic, which fights for anything that nationalistic tendencies aspire for ... The third is the liberal, which had carried the banner of enlightenment in the recent past, and which still holds sway in wide circles. It does not limit itself to the national unit and demands universal humanistic issues of enlightenment, such as culture, ethics, and more. It is understood that in healthy circumstances there is a need for these three forces together ... because the sacred, the nation, and the human join together with lofty and pragmatic love. The individuals, and also the parties, each of whom finds his talents more appropriate for one of these three aspects, will come together in proper friendship, to view receptively the positive role of the other.[54]
In a more general way, the nation is divided in its revival into what is called the old yishuv and the new yishuv. The old yishuv represents the sacred element of the nation, whereas the new yishuv [represents] the renewed national aspect.[55]
This needs to be the goal of unity and peace, combining the old with the new:
The root – this is the old yishuv with all of its holy treasures, Torah and awe, faith, etc. ... which provide hidden strength to all that is done and develops in the new yishuv in all its activities. The branches – they are all the new attempts to establish towns, to widen urban and agricultural settlements with all of their institutions, which are, in truth, branches of this hidden root, and this root and its branches will unite ... and Israel will be one nation in the land. [56]
It is a bad sign for a party if it thinks that the source of life, all the wisdom and all the integrity, is only with it, and all else – everything is worthless and nothing.[57]
Similarly, the Netziv writes in his introduction to Sefer Bereishit that it is called Sefer Hayashar (The Book of the Upright), because the patriarchs were upright also in their way of life. In contrast, the people of the Second Temple era were a twisted and stubborn generation, and refused to accept anyone differing from them:
They were righteous and diligent in Torah study, but they were not so upright in their way of life. Therefore, because of the baseless hatred that they had in their hearts for one another, they suspected one whom they saw acting not as their understanding of yirat Hashem – that he is a Sadducee or heretic, and thereby came to murder and to all evils in the world, until the Temple was destroyed. The Divine justice was acknowledged about this, because G-d is upright and does not tolerate this kind of righteous people, only those who are upright also in their ways of life and not corrupt, even though it be for the sake of Heaven, because this causes the destruction of Creation and the ruin of the settlement.[58]
However, only through mutual respect of the differing traditions and practices of various communities of Israel will we achieve national unity, as Rav Kook writes:
How will the national unity return to us? There are two answers to this. One, the differing rulings and practices do not harm brotherhood, so long as each one respects his friend's tradition. Moreover, the different variations have a spiritual richness, which gathers in a harmonious manner in the whole of the nation.[59]



May they all become one union
to do Your will with a full heart.
[60]





[1] ברכות ו' ע"א: א"ל הקב"ה לישראל, אתם עשיתוני חטיבה אחת בעולם, ואני אעשה אתכם חטיבה אחת בעולם, שנא' "ומי כעמך ישראל גוי אחד בארץ".


[2] תנחומא שופטים י"ח: ובזמן שישראל עושין חבורה אחת, אפילו ע"ז ביניהן אין מדת הדין נוגעת בהם.



[3] שם, נצבים א': וכן אתה מוצא שאין ישראל נגאלין עד שיהיו אגודה אחת.



[4] משפט כהן סי' קכ"ד: ערך הצבור כלפי אומה"ע הוא בבחינת שותפים, ואצל השותפים בודאי העיקר הוא חלקו של כל יחיד שבשותפות הכללית לגבי אותו יחיד, אבל באמת לגבי ישראל, צבור ושותפין הם שני מושגים, כדמשמע מסוגיה וממשנה דתמורה י"ג, "אין הצבור והשותפין עושין תמורה", מפני שיש בצבור של ישראל קדושה ומציאות כללית, שאינה נערכת כלל כלפי החלק של כל פרט, והיא עומדת למעלה מגדרי חלוקה.



[5] תהלים פרק צב, י: כי הנה איביך ה' כי הנה איביך יאבדו יתפרדו כל פעלי און.



[6] תניא פל"ב: כולן מתאימות ואב אחד לכולנה, ולכן נקראו כל ישראל אחים ממש, מצד שרש נפשם בה' אחד, רק שהגופים מחולקים.



[7] רדב"ז להל' ממרים ב, ד: אין המשל הזה צודק, אא"כ אנו רואים את כל ישראל כאילו הם גוף אחד, אעפ"י שהגופים מחולקים, כיון שנשמותיהם ממקום אחד חוצבו, הרי הם כגוף אחד, שהנשמה עיקר.



[8] פחד יצחק, פסח ל"ג: כלליות כנס"י אין מובנה קבוץ כל הפרטים של האישים היחידים מבני ישראל, אלא שהענין הוא להיפך, דכלליות כנס"י היא יחידה אחת אשר האישים היחידים הם חלקים ממנה.



[9] ויקרא רבה פ"ד: בעשיו כתיב שש נפשות, וכתיב ביה נפשות הרבה שנא' ויקח עשיו וכו' נפשות ביתו. וביעקב בשבעים נפש וכתיב בו נפש אחת, ויהי כל נפש יוצאי ירך יעקב שבעים נפש, אלא עשיו שהוא עובד לאלוהות הרבה כתיב ביה נפשות הרבה, אבל יעקב שהוא עובד לא-ל אחד כתיב בו נפש אחת.



[10] פחד יצחק, פסח מ"א: משום שהם כאיש אחד, והיחידים שבהם הם כמו יד ימין ויד שמאל של גוף אחד, ולכן הם בלב אחד ורוצים כולם בחניה זו של הר סיני. ויחן ישראל - כאיש אחד בלב אחד, שאני מצרים שהם עומדים תמיד בסוד הפירוד "יתפרדו כל פועלי און", "לתאוה יבקש נפרד", ולכן כשהם נוסעים בלשון יחיד, הכוונה היא כי משום שהם כולם רוצים בנסיעה זו של רדיפה אחרי ישראל, לכן השתתפו כולם לדבר אחד, והרי הם בלב אחד כאיש אחד.



[11] שמות יח, ט: ויענו כל העם יחדיו ויאמרו כל אשר דבר ה' נעשה.



[12] שמות כד, ז: כל אשר דבר ה' נעשה ונשמע.



[13] משך חכמה, פרשת יתרו: שכל האומה הישראלית היא אדם אחד, יש אשר הוא כלב ויש כראש וכו', ובכללותם הוא אדם שלם. ולכן על מצוות שאין לקיימם צריך ללמוד, דכל העוסק בתורת חטאת כאילו הקריב חטאת, ולכן להלן ענו, "כל אשר דבר ה' נעשה ונשמע" - יש מהם שנעשה מה ששייך אצלנו, ויש שנשמע - שנלמד ונבין פנימיותם והלכותם וחוקיהם. אבל כאן ענו "כל העם יחדיו כל אשר דבר ה' נעשה", שבכללותם העם כאחד כולם יחדיו יעשו כל אשר דבר ה', וכל אחד יעשה השייך לו.



[14] בית דוד לבעל הנחלת דוד, דרוש ו': כי כן כאשר הבורא ית' הוא האחד הפשוט וההחלטי ... ככה לעומת זה, העם הקדוש הישראלי, בהיות נשמתן אצולה ממקור האחדות, כאשר כינוה החכמים בתואר חלק אלוה ממעל, ולזאת גם המה מחויבים להתאחד יחד, להיות צמודים וקשורים זה בזה, יותר מהתאחדות הגוף האחד המחובר מאיברים רבים, יען כי שורש נשמתם היא האחדות אשר אין שם מהפירוד וההתחלקות כלל.



[15] אוה"ק חלק א' עמ' ת"ג.



[16] ברכות ס"ד ע"א: תלמידי חכמים מרבים שלום בעולם.



[17]עולת ראיה א' עמ' ש"ל: יש טועים שחושבים, שהשלום העולמי לא יבנה כי אם ע"י צביון אחד בדעות ותכונות, ואם כן כשרואים ת"ח חוקרים בחכמה ודעת תורה, וע"י המחקר מתרבים הצדדים והשיטות, חושבים שבזה הם גורמים למחלוקת והיפך השלום. ובאמת אינו כן כי השלום האמיתי א"א שיבוא לעולם כי אם דוקא ע"י הערך של ריבוי השלום. הריבוי של השלום הוא שיתראו כל הצדדים וכל השיטות, ויתבררו איך כולם יש להם מקום, כל אחד לפי ערכו, מקומו וענינו ... ע"כ ת"ח מרבים שלום, כי במה שהם מרחיבים ומבארים דברי חכמה חדשים, בפנים מפנים שונים, שיש בהם ריבוי וחילוק ענינים, בזה הם מרבים שלום ... "ורב שלום בניך" ... וברכת השלום היא השלום של התאחדות כל ההפכים וכו' ע"כ השלום שמו של הקב"ה, שהוא בעל הכוחות כולם, הכל יכול וכוללם יחד.



[18] בראשית רבה מ"ג, דברים רבה א' ועוד.



[19] ישעיה מ, כו: המוציא במספר צבאם לכלם בשם יקרא.



[20] תהלים קמז, ד: מונה מספר לכוכבים לכלם שמות יקרא.



[21] מאורות הראיה שבועות א': אמנם במעשה השי"ת הכוכבים הם נבראים גדולים ועצומים, יש לכל אחד מהם תכלית רשומה ומיוחדת ידועה על מה נברא, ועם כל זה, יש לכל המון הכוכבים, שהם רבים עד אין חקר ותכלית, תכלית כללית אחת ג"כ, גדולה ונשגבה מאוד ידועה ליוצרם ית'.



[22] חולין צ"ב ע"א : "גפן ממצרים תסיע". אמר ר' שמעון בן לקיש, אומה זו כגפן נמשלה, זמורות שבה אלו בעלי בתים, אשכולות שבה אלו תלמידי חכמים עלין שבה אלו עמי ארצות קנוקנות שבה אלו ריקנין שבישראל, והיינו דשלחו מתם ליבעי רחמים איתכליא על עליא דאלמלי עליא לא מתקיימין איתכליא. (עלין שבגפן סובלין הרוח ומגינין על האשכולות שלא יכם שרב ושמש ורוחות, כך עמי הארץ חורשין וזורעין וקוצרין מה שת"ח אוכלים - רש"י).



[23] בראשית מ"ט כ"ח: כל אלה שבטי ישראל שנים עשר, וזאת אשר דבר להם אביהם ויברך אותם, איש כברכתו ברך אותם.



[24] בראשית רבה צ"ט: "ויברך אותם", מאי ת"ל "אשר כברכתו ברך אותם"? אלא לפי שברכן יהודה באריה, דן בנחש, נפתלי באילה ובנימין בזאב, חזר וכללן כולן יחד ועשאן אריות ועשאן נחשים וכו', לקיים מה שנאמר "כולך יפה רעיתי ומום אין בך".



[25] תנחומא ויחי ט"ז: לפי שחילק להם את הארץ, ונתן ליהודה ארץ שהיא עושה שעורים, ולבנימין ארץ שהיא עושה חיטים, אעפי"כ כללן אלו באלו, שיהיו אוכלים אלו משל אלו.



[26] שיר השירים ד, ז: כולך יפה רעיתי ומום אין בך.



[27] בראשית א, לא: וירא א -להים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד.



[28] עיין בראשית רבה שם: "טוב מאד" - זה יצה"ר, זה מלאך המות, זה גיהנם.



[29] כריתות י' ע"ב: כל תענית שאין בה מפושעי ישראל אינה תענית, שהרי חלבנה ריחה רע ומנאה הכתוב עם סממני הקטורת.



[30] משך חכמה הפטרת דברים: הרי דדבר הפחות בעצמיותו, בכ"ז כשהוא מתערב באגודה הכללית, הוא מתבשם, ומועיל להוציא ריח ניחוח מן הסממנים האחרים.



[31] ירמיהו ו, ל: כסף נמאס קרא להם.



[32] יחזקאל כב, יח: היו לי בית ישראל לסיג.



[33] זכריה ד, ב: והנה מנורת זהב כולה.



[34] פסיקתא עה"פ "ויהי המקריב": לפי שירמיהו אמר "כסף נמאס קרא להם", ויחזקאל קרא אותם סיגים שנאמר "היו לי בית ישראל לסיג", בא זכריה ואמר "והנה מנורת זהב כולה", כולה של זהב היא, למה - "כולך יפה רעיתי ומום אין בך".



[35] במדבר ח, ב: בהעלותך את הנרות, אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות.



[36] במדבר ח, ב: כשתפנה שלהבת כל אחד מהששה נרות אל הקנה האמצעי, אז יאירו שבעת הנרות. כל השבעה יאירו וישפיעו אור עליון לישראל, שיורו היות אור הימנים ואור השמאלים מכוון ופונה אל אור הקנה האמצעי שהוא עיקר המנורה, ושכן ראוי שכוונת המימינים - העוסקים בחיי עולם, והמשמאילים - העוסקים בחיי שעה, העוזרים למימינים, כאומרם "אלמלי עליא לא מתקיימי איתכליא", תהיה להפיק רצון האל ית', באופן שיושג מכוונו בין כולם, וירוממו את שמו יחדיו.



[37] עיין מנחות ק"ד ע"ב.



[38] עיין לעיל הערה 9.



[39] משך חכמה ואתחנן: והענין דכללות ישראל המה כאדם אחד, וכל אחד מישראל אבר מן האדם הכללי, אבל אימתי, כשיש להם דביקות במרכז מקור החיים האמיתי חי העולמים ברוך הוא, אז המה כקווים היוצאים מן הנקודה המרכזית, ונמצא כי כל קו מחובר לחברו בסיבת מקורם.



[40] ישעיהו א, יג: לא תוסיפו הביא מנחת שוא קטרת תועבה היא לי חדש ושבת קרא מקרא לא אוכל און ועצרה.



[41] דברים י, יב-יג: ועתה ישראל מה ה' א-להיך שואל מעמך, כי אם ליראה את ה' א‑להיך, ללכת בכל דרכיו ולאהבה אותו וכו' לשמור מצות ה' ואת חוקותיו אשר אנכי מצוך היום לטוב לך.



[42] דברים כט, ט-י: אתם נצבים היום כלכם, ראשיכם שבטיכם זקניכם ושוטריכם כל איש ישראל טפכם נשיכם וגו'.



[43] נצי"ב שם: באשר מי שהוא ראש ועוסק בצרכי רבים, עלול לבוא להנאת עצמו וכבודו במעשיהם, ולראות לטוב למי שהוא חונף לו, ולהיפך, למי שיגע בקצה כבודו יעלים עיניו מלראות בצר לו, או אף תמצא ידו להרע לו, ע"כ עליו כתוב, מה ה' א­‑להיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וכו'.



[44] שבת קכ"ז ע"א: גדולה הכנסת אורחין מהקבלת פני שכינה.



[45] ברכות נו ע"ב: אמר ר' יוחנן, ג' שלומות הן, נהר צפור וקדירה. נהר דכתיב "הנני נוטה אליה כנהר שלום", צפור דכתיב "כצפרים עפות כן יגן ה' צב‑אות", קדרה דכתיב "ה' תשפות שלום לנו".



[46] במדבר רבה פר' טו: "אספה לי שבעים איש מזקני ישראל", ודרשו ע"ז חז"ל: זש"ה "בונה בשמים מעלותיו ואגודתו על ארץ יסדה", מלה"ד לפלטין שהיתה בנויה ע"ג ספינות, כל זמן שהספינות מחוברות, פלטין שע"ג עומדת. כך הבונה בשמים מעלותיו, כביכול כסאו מבוסס למעלה בזמן שישראל אגודה אחת.



[47] דרשה לחג השבועות, מאורות הראיה: ותכלית הפלטין לקשר כל הספינות יחד, ויחד ישאו את הפלטין למקום הנועד וכו' ועוד יעבירו את הפלטין למקום יותר נשגב, וזה יעשה ע"י הקבוץ של התכליות הפרטיות לתכלית הכללית. ע"כ אמר הכתוב "בונה בשמים מעלותיו" שלאותה השלימות של תיקון מלכות שמים שיעשה ע"י ישראל, ישנן מעלות רבות, ואיך יעלו עד מרום המעלות עד עת קץ, הוא ע"י הכלל כולו, שמאחדים כל פרטי תכליותיהם לתכלית אחת, ע"י הכנעתם לרצון ה', אעפ"י שבטבעם יוכלו להיות נוטים כל אחד לתכליתו, אבל ע"י הכרת המעלה של קיום הפלטין מתאגדים לתכלית אחת.



[48] אורות עמ' קל"ח: כנס"י היא תמצית ההויה כולה וכו', אין לך תנועה בעולם בכל העמים כולם, שלא תמצא דוגמתה בישראל ... [ולכן] אין להגדיר את מהותה של כנס"י בגבולים מיוחדים ובתוארים מוגבלים, כוללת היא הכל.



[49] שם: יותר מכל עם ולשון אין אנחנו יכולים לסבול את הסתירה ואת אי האחדות הנפשית. סגולת עולמים היא בנו השלום והאיחוד בצורתם האידיאלית.



[50] חולין צ"א ע"ב: "ויקח מאבני המקום", וכתיב "ויקח את האבן". א"ר יצחק מלמד שנתקבצו כל אותן אבנים למקום אחד, וכל אחת ואחת אומרת עלי יניח צדיק זה ראשו, תנא וכולן נבלעו באחד.



[51] דברים רבה ס"ח: ר' יהודה אומר, י"ב אבנים נטל, אמר, כך גזר הקב"ה שמעמיד י"ב שבטים. אברהם לא העמידן, יצחק לא העמידן, ואני - אם מתאחדות זו לזו, יודע אני שאני מעמיד י"ב שבטים. כיון שנתאחדו זו לזו, ידע שמעמיד י"ב שבטים".



[52] חלק א' קמ"ז ורל"א.



[53] המחשבה הישראלית י"ג: מי שאמר עלי כי נשמתי קרועה, יפה אמר. בודאי היא קרועה. אי אפשר לנו לתאר בשכלנו איש שאין נשמתו קרועה. רק הדומם הוא שלם, אבל האדם הוא בעל שאיפות הפכיות, ומלחמה פנימית תמיד בקרבו, וכל עבודת האדם הוא לאחד את הניגודים שבנפשו ע"י רעיון כללי, שבגדלותו ורוממותו הכל נכלל ובא לידי הרמוניה גמורה. כמובן, אין זה אלא אידיאל שאנו שואפים אליו, אבל להגיע לידי זה א"א לכל ילוד אשה. אלא שבהשתדלותנו אנו יכולים להתקרב אליו יותר ויותר.



[54] אורות ע' - ע"א: שלושה כוחות מתאבקים כעת במחנינו, המלחמה ביניהם נכרת ביותר בא"י וכו', אומללים נהיה אם את שלושת הכוחות הללו, שהם מוכרחים להאחד אצלנו, לסייע כל אחד את חבירו ולשכללו וכו' נניח בפיזורם, במרידתם זה על זה, ובהחלקם כל אחד למחנה מיוחד, העומדת כצר למחנה השניה. הקדש, האומה, האנושיות וכו'.
שלשת הסיעות היותר רשמיות בחיי האומה אצלנו: האחת אורטודוקסית, כמו שרגילים לקרותה, הנושאת את דגל הקודש וכו'. השניה היא הלאומית החדשה, הלוחמת בעד כל דבר שהנטיה הלאומית שואפת אליו וכו'. השלישית היא הליברלית, שהיתה נושאת את דגל ההשכלה בעבר לא רחוק, ועדין ידה תקיפה בחוגים רחבים. היא אינה מתכנסת בחטיבה הלאומית, ודורשת את התוכן האנושי הכללי של ההשכלה, התרבות המוסר ועוד. הדבר מובן שבמצב בריא יש צורך בשלשת הכוחות הללו גם יחד וכו' כי הקודש, האומה והאדם יתדבקו יחד באהבה אצילית ומעשית, ויחד יתועדו היחידים וגם הסיעות, שכל אחד מוצא את כשרונותיו יותר מסוגלים לחלק אחד משלשת החלקים הללו, בידידות הראויה, להכיר בעין יפה כל אחד את התפקיד החיובי של חבירו.



[55] אורות ע"ד: באופן כללי יותר נחלקה האומה בתחייתה, למה שכונה הישוב הישן והישוב החדש. הישוב הישן מיצג את תוכן הקודש שבאומה, ואילו הישוב החדש את הצד הלאומי המתחדש, בשל חילופי המגמות, גאה המתח בין המחנות עד כדי נסיונות לקרע.



[56] חזון הגאולה קע"ט: השרש - זה הישוב הישן בכל אוצרות הקודש אשר לו, התורה והיראה, האמונה וכו' אשר הם נותנים כח כמוס לכל הנעשה והמתפתח בישוב החדש לכל מפעליו. והענפים - הם כל הנסיונות החדשים לכונן מושבות, להרחיב ישובים עירוניים וחקלאיים בכל מערכותיהם, שהם באמת ענפי השרש הכמוס הזה, והשרש הזה וענפיו יתאחדו ... והיה ישראל ל"גוי אחד בארץ".



[57] אגרות הראיה א' עמ' י"ז: סימן רע הוא למפלגה אם היא חושבת שרק עמה מקור חיים, של כל החכמה וכל היושר, וכל זולתה - הכל הבל ורעות רוח.



[58] העמק דבר, הקדמה לספר בראשית: ופרשנו, שהיו צדיקים וחסידים ועמלי תורה, אך לא היו ישרים בהליכות עולמים, ע"כ מפני שנאת חנם שבלבם זה את זה, חשדו את מי שראו שנוהג שלא כדעתם ביראת ה' שהוא צדוקי ואפיקורס, ובאו עי"ז לידי שפיכות דמים ולכל הרעות שבעולם, עד שחרב הבית, וע"ז היה צידוק הדין שהקב"ה ישר הוא ואינו סובל צדיקים כאלה, אלא באופן שהולכים בדרך הישר גם בהליכות עולם ולא בעקמימות, אע"ג שהוא לשם שמים, דזה גורם חורבן הבריאה והריסות ישוב הארץ.



[59] אגרות הראיה ח"ב עמ' כ"ד: אל תיפול ברוחך חביבי אם עפ"י המסורת יהיו קבוצינו, שבאו מגלילות שונים, ושחיי הדת נתפתחו אצלם בצורות שונות, צריכים להחזיק כל אחד במנהגיו ומסורותיו, ממה שלבך יהמה איכה תשוב אלינו האחדות הלאומית. כי שתי תשובות בדבר. האחת, אין חילוקי ההוראות והמנהגים השונים פוגמים את האחוה, בזמן שכל אחד מכבד את המסורת של חבירו, ועוד יש בחילופי הגוונים משום עושר רוח המתקבץ בצורה הרמונית בכללות האומה.



[60] תפילת הימים הנוראים: ויעשו כולם אגודה אחת לעשות רצונך בלבב שלם.


 

 

קוד השיעור: 3995

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