The Mossier: The Enemy Within


Shomrim Six Mesira And Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin Lynch.

Mesira Vs. Antisemitism, whats worse?

Chumash with Rashi for Shemot:
Chapter 2:
11. Now it came to pass in those days that Moses grew up and went out to his brothers and looked at their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man of his brothers.

12. He turned this way and that way, and he saw that there was no man; so he struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

The very next day…
13. He went out on the second day, and behold, two Hebrew men were quarreling, and he said to the wicked one, “Why are you going to strike your friend?”

14. And he retorted, “Who made you a man, a prince, and a judge over us? Do you plan to slay me as you have slain the Egyptian?” Moses became frightened and said, “Indeed, the matter has become known!”

Who made you a man: You are still a youth. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10].

Do you plan to slay me: lit., Do you say to slay me. From here we learn that he slew him with the ineffable Name. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]

Moses became frightened: [To be explained] according to its simple meaning [that Moses was afraid Pharaoh would kill him]. Midrashically, it is interpreted to mean that he was worried because he saw in Israel wicked men [i.e.,] informers. He said, Since this is so, perhaps they [the Israelites] do not deserve to be redeemed [from slavery]. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]

Indeed, the matter has become known: [To be interpreted] according to its apparent meaning [that it was known that he had slain the Egyptian]. Its midrashic interpretation, however, is: the matter I was wondering about, [i.e.,] why the Israelites are considered more sinful than all the seventy nations [of the world], to be subjugated with back-breaking labor, has become known to me. Indeed, I see that they deserve it. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:30]

15. Pharaoh heard of this incident, and he sought to slay Moses; so Moses fled from before Pharaoh. He stayed in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.

Pharaoh heard: They informed on him. וישמע פרעה: הם הלשינו עליו

and he sought to slay Moses: He delivered him to the executioner to execute him, but the sword had no power over him. That is [the meaning of] what Moses said, “and He saved me from Pharaoh’s חֶרֶב ” (Exod. 18:4). [From Mechilta, Yithro 1, Exod. Rabbah 1:321]


The Enemy Within

By Yosef Y. Jacobson

The War Is Over?

A man in Germany felt that he needed to confess, so he went to his priest, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

During WWII I hid a Jew in my attic.”
“Well,” answered the priest, “that’s not a sin.”‘
“But I made him agree to pay me $50 for every week he stayed.”
“I admit that wasn’t good, but you did it for a good cause.”
“Oh, thank you, Father; that eases my mind. I have one more question…”
“What is that, my son?”
“Do I have to tell him the war is over?”

Two Incidents of Violence

In this week’s portion (Shemos) the Hebrew Bible introduces to Moses, through two incidents (Exodus Chapter 2):
“It happened in those days that Moses grew up and he went out to his brethren and observed their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man of his brethren. He turned this way and that way and he saw that there was no man, so he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”

The Bible continues:
“He went out the next day, and behold! Two Hebrew men were fighting. He said to the wicked one, ‘Why would you strike your fellow’? He replied: ‘Who appointed you as a prince and leader over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian As a result, he escapes from Egypt. Only later would he return to the country and liberate his people from slavery.

It is no coincidence that these are the only two vignettes the Bible shares with us concerning Moses’ youth in Egypt, and that the Bible emphasizes that these two episodes occurred during two consecutive days. It seems that these two vignettes somehow encapsulate Moses’ life-mission and destiny; they seem to capture his particular story. How so?

Two Conditions of Exile

Exile for the Jewish people consists of two dynamics – oppression from without and erosion from within. The former might be more painful, but the latter is more lethal. Hence, the first and emblematic Jewish leader, Moses, as he is growing into his position, is immediately confronted with these two problems that would define the Jewish condition in exile.

On the first and most basic level, Jewish exile – from Egypt till today – has been defined by the “Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man.” Persecution, abuse, oppression, expulsion, random torture and murders, even genocide, have been the fate of the Jewish people from Pharaoh to Hitler. In almost every generation the Jew needed to reckon with the tragedy of baseless Jewish hatred that never ceased to claim innocent lives. The Jew turns this way and that way and sees “that there is no man” who cares enough. The world—The UN—will remain silent.

Yet with all of its crude and incomprehensible brutality, Moses finds a solution to this crisis. “He struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Moses taught us, that there are times when we have no choice but to take up arms and strike the enemy, in order to protect innocent lives. The use of moral violence must always be the last resort; but when all other attempts fail, righteous might is the only response to immoral violence.

The Second Day

On the second day, after Moses rescued his fellow Jew from the external enemy, he is confronted with a new challenge: A Jew fighting a Jew. One would think that the solution to this problem would be easier than the former one. After all, this is only a quarrel between Jews themselves. Yet, astoundingly, in this incident Moses fails. His attempt to create reconciliation gets thrown back at him. In a typical Jewish response, Moses is told: “Who appointed you as a prince and leader over us?” Who do you think you are to tell me how to behave?

Anti-Semitism is dangerous, very dangerous, and we need much determination and courage to combat it wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. Yet since the enemy is clearly defined, we have no problem identifying the target and eliminating it, either through peaceful methods or through justified conflict. However, discord within the Jewish people – the strife and mistrust between communities as well as the animosity within communities and families – is a silent disease that eats up at our core, and does not allow us to experience liberation. At first it does not seem so destructive; its negative potency shows up only in time, especially in moment of crisis when we need each other most but the trust has been eroded.

The Jewish people has often been threatened by hostile civilizations, from ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century and fundamentalist Islam in our own times. But the most fateful injuries have been those the Jewish people has inflicted on itself: the division of the kingdom in the days of the First Temple, which brought about the eventual defeat of both halves and the loss of ten of the twelve tribes; the internecine rivalry in the last days of the Second Temple, which brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the longest exile in Jewish—indeed, in human—history.

There have been only three periods of Jewish political sovereignty in four thousand years. Two ended in and because of internal dissension. The third age of sovereignty began in 1948, and already Israeli society is dangerously fragmented. The democratic process alone does not guarantee the existence of the body politic; it needs also some shared culture and identity—a shared sense of purpose and destiny. Israel at war is defined by its enemies. Israel in pursuit of peace is less easily defined and may erode from within.
When Moses, more than three millennia ago, observed the Jew fighting the Jew, he grew frightened. Moses knew that as long as unity prevailed among his people, no force from without could crush them. But the moment they became fragmented within, their future is dim.

Today, in 2010, we are still in exile, and we suffer from both problems. There are the people who wish to strike us down, and there is conflict within our own ranks. And, just as it was with Moses, it seems at times that the former challenge is easier to address than the latter. It is easier to gain a consensus concerning Ahmadinejad and Hamas than it is to create peace in a family and community. Will we at least this time around have the courage to dull our egos, open our hearts and embrace each of our brothers and sisters with unconditional love?

Related: A Matter Of Keeping Jews Out Of Prison

7 Responses to “The Mossier: The Enemy Within”

  1. Ten Says:

    In the Hagada of Pesach we say ” that in every generation they stand upon to annihilate us” and “Hashem saves us from their hands”.

    While originally this text was written in regard to the wicked kingdoms or governments, such as the romans or Greeks which terrorized the Jews etc. or in our times the evil Nazis in Germany etc.. unfortunately I think that we can now say this passage about Yidden as well.

    For over TEN years now there have been people who have been trying to run shomrim down and annihilate them. specifically, their wrath was directed at the Hershkop family. These monsters will not rest until they see shomrim fall and the Hershkops rot! (they make no secret of this fact) they say they want “peace” and “they have nothing to do with mesirah “etc. well all I can say is that actions speak louder than words.

    If you want peace than why are you continuing your messirah barrage?! if u want peace why did you set up the whole 749 court case? I know the shmira sympathizers will deny it, but theres no denying it now, we all know the truth. If shmirah has nothing to do with the messirah, why were they at 749 that night with pens and note pads in hand looking for bochurim to question and “gather information”?! why did they drive some of these “bochurim” to the hospital that night?! how did levi Huebner get involved that night?! even if the “bochurim contacted him, it would have to be the next day. but Heubner managed to be at the hospital that night?! why? because hes part of the shmira messira and he and his friends got together to make a blood libel, he was brought in by the shmira for this blood libel! ( btw, heubner is also on the official shmira stationary). How come yossi stern was so interested in this case, word is that the first showing of the vidoe was in Sterns house and that he even made phone calls to people to have them put pressure on shomrim members to take plea deals?!! if shmira has nothing to do with this, why would they care as how this case unfolds?! why was it important to stern that shomrim take plea deals?!
    the answer is : he knew this whole thing is BS, and he knew it was gonna fall apart, like it eventually did. so he figured if we get them to take a plea deal, that in effect is an admission of guilt, then i can parade around CH saying how ” guilty” shomrim is! I have a lot more to write but i will hold it off now.

    I will end off with this: just like in Egypt the more the Jews were oppressed the more they multiplied, so too in our case, the more shmira messira there is the more shomrim grows in quality and quantity! like I heard from a shomrim coordinator: ” we were here yesterday, we are here today, and iyh we will be here tomorrow”! amen ! shomrim is here to stay,the hershkop family is here to stay, and like it says regarding the Jews in Egypt ” the more they were oppressed, the more the Jews increased and multiplied.
    A little light pushes away a lot of darkness!!

  2. Moshe Says:

    Powerful stuff. Never realized how directly the Torah spoke about Mesira.

    The mossrim today with their handlers (the Korachs so to speak) should get the same exact punishment our first recorded Mossrim (Datan and Aberon) got. May the ground open up and shallow them alive.

    We will see, it will be the result of the mossiers actions that will be their downfall.

  3. jake Says:

    this Chumesh has been here for thousands of years yet i have never really noticed this before. brought chills down my spine. to think that mesira was the reason the biggest leader of israel, Moshe got frighten really gives us something to think about.

    There also the fact that he thought that because of Mesira the Jews may deserve what was happening to them.

  4. …שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבַד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ…וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם Says:

  5. Someone Says:

    It’s really sad that the community at large ignored the Shomrim Six trial.
    Six Jews were facing jail time only blocks away from here and the community (at large) was ZZZZZZZZZ.

    Make no mistake, I went to court many times and Baroch Hashem the court room was full. Full of family and friends-thats really what a person needs- but nonetheless, who the Mesira is on does not matter, although they are all good standing Jews and citizens, the fact that Mesira is happening and Jews are facing prison time should have been enough to have the community shaking.

    If you ask me, S.M. Rubashkin was a sacrifice for the communities silence. Even When it came to S.M.R. the Crown Heights community was ZZZZZ. Very sad and heart braking. The question is WHY?


    […] one thing, WIS already posted (twice) a beautiful piece on the subject of antisemitism Vs. hate from within by Yosef Y. Jacobson […]

  7. jake Says:

    Powerful article.

    It is very unfortunate, if you look at our history, all out troubles started from within.

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