Fast Day of Gedalia – Mourning Leaving Israel (part 2 of 4)

Eim Habonim – Chilul Hashem

The sefer Eim Habonim points out that it’s a disgrace to G-d חילול ה when Jews are found living out of the Holy Land of Israel! This is not such fanatic outlook, since this is clearly stated in the Torah.

          יחזקל לו: כ כג

וַיָּב֗וֹא אֶל הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁר בָּ֣אוּ שָׁ֔ם וַֽיְחַלְּל֖וּ אֶת שֵׁ֣ם קָדְשִׁ֑י בֶּֽאֱמֹ֚ר לָהֶם֙ עַם ה אֵ֔לֶּה וּמֵֽאַרְצ֖וֹ יָצָֽאוּ: וָֽאֶחְמֹ֖ל עַל שֵׁ֣ם קָדְשִׁ֑י אֲשֶׁ֚ר חִלְּל֙וּהוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בַּגּוֹיִ֖ם אֲשֶׁר בָּ֥אוּ שָֽׁמָּה: לָכֵ֞ן אֱמֹ֣ר לְבֵֽית יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּ֚ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹ-נָ֣י ה לֹ֧א לְמַֽעַנְכֶ֛ם אֲנִ֥י עֹשֶׂ֖ה בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּ֚י אִם לְשֵֽׁם קָדְשִׁי֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר חִלַּלְתֶּ֔ם בַּגּוֹיִ֖ם אֲשֶׁר בָּ֥אתֶם שָֽׁם: וְקִדַּשְׁתִּ֞י אֶת שְׁמִ֣י הַגָּד֗וֹל הַֽמְחֻלָּל֙ בַּגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר חִלַּלְתֶּ֖ם בְּתוֹכָ֑ם וְיָֽדְע֨וּ הַגּוֹיִ֜ם כִּֽי אֲנִ֣י ה נְאֻם֙ אֲדֹ- נָ֣י ה בְּהִקָּֽדְשִׁ֥י בָכֶ֖ם לְעֵֽינֵיהֶֽם:

And they entered the nations where they came, and they profaned My Holy Name, inasmuch as it was said of them, ‘These are the people of Hashem, and they have come out of His land.’ But I had pity on My Holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they had come. Therefore, say to the house of Israel; So says the Hashem: Not for your sake do I do this, O house of Israel, but for My Holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations to which they have come. And I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am Hashem-is the declaration of Hashem – when I will be sanctified through you before their eyes (Yechezkel 36: 20-23).

Yechezkel then explains how we will then sanctify G-d’s name and rectify our desecration of    G-d’s name. This will be atoned for, only when He brings us back to live in Eretz Yisrael.

          יחזקל לו: כד, כח

וְלָֽקַחְתִּ֚י אֶתְכֶם֙ מִן הַגּוֹיִ֔ם וְקִבַּצְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִכָּל הָֽאֲרָצ֑וֹת וְהֵֽבֵאתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֶל אַדְמַתְכֶֽם… וִֽישַׁבְתֶּ֣ם בָּאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נתַ֖תִּי לַֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם וִֽהְיִ֚יתֶם לִי֙ לְעָ֔ם וְאָ֣נֹכִ֔י אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם לֵֽאלֹהִֽים:

For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your land…Then will you dwell in the land that I gave your fathers, and you will be a people to Me, and I will be to you as a G-d (Yechezkel 36: 24, 28).

G-d gave them another chance, even after the murder of Gedalia. He told the Jewish people to stay in Israel and not to Chutz LaAretz, because this will be the beginning of The Exile גלות!

ירמיהו מב: י, יב

אִם שׁ֚וֹב תֵּֽשְׁבוּ֙ בָּאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את וּבָנִ֚יתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ וְלֹ֣א אֶהֱרֹ֔ס וְנָֽטַעְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם וְלֹ֣א אֶתּ֑וֹשׁ כִּ֚י נִחַ֙מְתִּי֙ אֶל הָ֣רָעָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי:… וְאֶתֵּ֥ן לָכֶ֛ם רַֽחֲמִ֖ים וְרִחַ֣ם אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְהֵשִׁ֥יב אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֶל־אַדְמַתְכֶֽם:

If you dwell in this land, I will build you up and I will not pluck you up, for I have repented of the evil that I have done to you… And I will give you mercy, and he shall have mercy on you, and he shall return you to your land. (Yirmiyahu 42:10, 12).

 

But instead they chose to go to Chutz LaAretz (Egypt).

ירמיהו מב: כא

וָֽאַגִּ֥ד לָכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם וְלֹ֣א שְׁמַעְתֶּ֗ם בְּקוֹל֙ ה’ אֱלֹֽקיכֶ֔ם וּלְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֲלֵיכֶֽם:

And I told you today, but you did not hearken to the voice of the Hashem your G-d or to all that He sent me [Yirmiyahu] to you (Yirmiyahu 42:21).

G-d’s message to us “to stay in Eretz Yisrael, I will build you up “, is very relevant today, as it was at the time of Gedalia.

Fake Chassidim

The Ramchal in Mesilas Yesharim (Chapter 20:10) משקל החסידות, points out that Gedalia thought that he was a Chassid by not accepting Loshon Hara speech. In reality, based on the Gemarah in Nidda, he performed a grave sin and allowed himself and his neighbors to be murdered and this caused the Jewish nation to enter in the exile גלות.

A Chassid lacking firm guidelines is misled, because he believes that what he is doing is the will of G-d. He is clearly not doing the will of G-d. It is foolish not to heed Loshon Hara if this information saves lives. One must rather pay attention to this type of Loshon Hara and then protect one’s self and warn others of imminent danger.

The Rambam writes that it is not and act of Chassidus to rely on leniencies to leave Israel. This is learnined from the fact that G-d killed Machlon and Kilyon, the Torah leaders of Israel for leaving because of a famine (Sefer Rus). One should still stay in Eretz Yisrael and not leave.

רמב”ם, משנה תורה, מלכים ומלחמות, פרק ה הלכה ט

אָסוּר לָצֵאת מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לְעוֹלָם. אֶלָּא לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה אוֹ לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה אוֹ לְהַצִּיל מִן הָעַכּוּ”ם. וְיַחְזֹר לָאָרֶץ. וְכֵן יוֹצֵא הוּא לִסְחוֹרָה. אֲבָל לִשְׁכֹּן בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ אָסוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן חָזַק שָׁם הָרָעָב עַד שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה שְׁוֵה דִּינָר חִטִּין בִּשְׁנֵי דִּינָרִין. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיוּ הַמָּעוֹת מְצוּיוֹת וְהַפֵּרוֹת בְּיֹקֶר. אֲבָל אִם הַפֵּרוֹת בְּזוֹל וְלֹא יִמְצָא מָעוֹת וְלֹא בְּמָה יִשְׂתַּכֵּר וְאָבְדָה פְּרוּטָה מִן הַכִּיס. יֵצֵא לְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּמְצָא בּוֹ רֶוַח. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָצֵאת אֵינָהּ מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת שֶׁהֲרֵי מַחְלוֹן וְכִלְיוֹן שְׁנֵי גְּדוֹלֵי הַדּוֹר הָיוּ וּמִפְּנֵי צָרָה גְּדוֹלָה יָצְאוּ וְנִתְחַיְּבוּ כְּלָיָה לַמָּקוֹם.

It is forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for the Diaspora at all times except:to study Torah;to marry; or to save one’s property from the gentiles. After accomplishing these objectives, one must return to Eretz Yisrael. Similarly, one may leave Eretz Yisrael to conduct commercial enterprises. However, it is forbidden to leave with the intent of settling permanently in the Diaspora unless the famine in Eretz Yisrael is so severe that a dinar’s worth of wheat is sold at two dinarim. When do these conditions apply? When one possesses financial resources and food is expensive. However, if food is inexpensive, but a person cannot find financial resources or employment and has no money available, he may leave and go to any place where he can find relief. Though it is permitted to leave Eretz Yisrael under these circumstances, it is not pious [Chassidus] behavior. Behold, Machlon and Kilyon were two of the great men of the generation and they left Eretz Yisrael only out of great distress. Nevertheless, they were found worthy of death by God (Rambam Mishneh Torah, Kings and Wars, 5:9).

 

 

 

Selichos of Tzom Gedalia

The Selichos prayers that are said on this day of Tzom Gedalia, are about returning to G-d .תשובה In essence, these prayers are about seeking G-d and returning to Eretz Yisrael, because this is where we find Him. The Selichos state that we ” left the land , return ….מו-נט) ”  סליחות).

(סליחה מו) – אז טרם… הוד, מקדש.

          Before then…The glory, The Beis Hamikdash.

(סליחה מז) – דרשו ה בהמצאו: שובו אלי ואשובה אליכם… את ה בהמצאו לדרשו… ישבון ובאו ציון ברנה.

Seek Hashem when He can be found: return to me and I will return to you. Hashem when He is found, to seek Him…Return and may they come to Zion with glad song.

(סליחה מח) – דרשו ה…שובה ישראל…גם פליטתי אשר עזבו ושארי, דעכו כהיום בשלשה בתשרי…זקני שארית אשר פלטו…ביום צום גדיהו בן אחיקם…ונאמר קץ.

Seek Hashem…Return Israel…even my refugees whom they left in the Land and my remnant, had their life extinguished on this day on the third of Tishrei…the elders of our remnant who escaped were stricken on the day of the Fast of Gedaliah son of Achikam…may you atone for our sins and declare the approach to the end of our Galus.

(סליחה מט) – דרשו ה בהמצאו …שובו בנים שובבים…שובה ישראל…אמנת מאז… אלו ימים עשרה יחיד בם לשוב ולמצא כפרה…ושב

Seek Hashem when He can be found…return children who are wayward…return Yisrael…You guaranteed to us from of old…these 10 Days of Repentance when even an individual can return and find atonement…and return

(סליחה נ) – אורך ואמתך שלח… גלותנו השב לישובים

Send us Your light and Your truth…Our Galus, return to our settlements [Israel]…

(סליחה נא) – תשוב תרחמנו…שובה ה את שביתינו…תשוב תרחמנו שוב שביתנו…

May Your return Your mercy to us…return Hashem our captivity…Return to be merciful to us, return our captivity…

(סליחה נב) – שובה ה… שובו שובו..אם אבס רבע הקן…

Return Hashem…Return! Return!…Even if the quarter dinar bird offering has ceased…

(סליחה נג) – הורית דרך תשובה …הר ציון זה שכנת בו…אהבת ציון…תרחם ציון…

Your have taught the way of returning…The Mountain of Zion where You rested Your Shechina…the love of Zion…show mercy to Zion…

(סליחה נד) – יקרו רעיך רב מחולל… נקם ישיב לצריו אדום וישמאל… נקם נקמת בני ישראל… ושוב ברחמים על שארית ישראל …

How precious are your friends [Ten Martyrs] Master and Creator…vengeance may He bring to His enemies Edom and Yishmael…avenge with vengeance the children of Yisrael…and return with mercy to the remnant of Yisrael…

(סליחה נה) – זכור ברית אברהם… ושוב ברחמים על שארית ישראל , זקף בית מקדשך…

Remember the covenant of Avraham…and return with mercy to the remnant of Yisrael…erect Your Holy Beis Hamikdash…

(סליחה נו) – שמע ישראל … מלכותו… שמע ישראל…

Listen Yisrael…His Kingdom…Listen Yisrael…

(סליחה נז) – יעזוב רשע נתיבו… ושוב …

Let the wicked one forsake his path…let him return…

(סליחה נח) – תורה הקדושה…שבוים ימלט מאשמני עלט…

Torah that is Holy…the captives may he set free from the grave-like galus’s thick darkness…

(סלחיה נט) – גרוני נחר זועק חמס… שוב עדיך אדון…

My throat is parched from crying injustice! Hamas…return to You Hashem…

 

The Three day Rosha Hashana Holiday

In Eretz Yisrael and Chutz LaAretz, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated for two days (other holidays are only celebrated for one day in Israel). The Rama states that the day after Rosh Hashanah is a public fast day.

שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים, תרא:ב

אף בארץ ישראל עושים ראש השנה שני ימים. הגה: ומתענים למחרת ראש השנה (טור) והוא תענית ציבור:

Even in Eretz Yisrael Rosh Hashanah is celebrated for two days. Rama: we fast the following day after Rosha Hashanah, it is a public fast day (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 601:1).

What is the connection of Rosh Hashanah with an event that commemorates the beginning of the official exile גלות galus, of the Jews from Eretz Yisrael?

Why this event is specifically celebrated during the Ten Days of Teshuva עשרת ימי תשובה?

When Moshiach comes all of our days of sadness will turn to joy, fast days will be feast days יום טוב. Thus, Tzom Gedalia will also turn into a feast day at the time of the final redemption גאולה ; which is also when the Third Beis Hamidash will be completed.

Thus, after the coming of the Moshaich, every year will have a three day Rosh Hashanah holiday, to be celebrated as one long day! יום טוב אחד ערוך . The first two days will be “days of awe”  תן פחדך על כל מעשיך, and the third day of Rosh Hashanah will be a “happy day” of happiness to Your Land and celebration to Your city שמחה לארצך וששון לעירך   (Rav Aba shlomo Goldberg).

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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