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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

70 Years Since the Partition Plan Vote - An Analysis

This 16th-17th of Kislev (November 29th) marks the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan vote in Lake Success, New York.   It was quite a momentous occasion in its time and for good reason. It was the first time in almost 2000 years other nations had given permission to Jews to be in control of their own land.  Having permission of the nations for Jews to come to the Land of Israel blunted the power of "The 3 Oaths" which may have halachicly prevented a state from being established.

On the other hand, the occasion seemed to be overblown by some.  One commenter noted that it occurred on a Saturday night and he knew it was not Friday night since Mashiah doesn't come on Shabbat.  While the significance of the event seemingly could not be overstated, it actually was.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook ZT"L famously talked about what occurred that Motza'ei Shabbat 70 years ago in an address to Yeshivat Mercaz Harav on Yom Ha'atzma'ut 3 weeks before the Six Day War.  A description of the event appears here where it says:
לאחר חצות הלילה, כאשר נודע שרוב האומות הצביעו בעד הקמתה, יצאו רבבות בריקודים ברחובות בכל רחבי הארץ . אך הוא והרב י"מ חרל"פ נכנסו לחדרו של הרב קוק זצ"ל ב'בית הרב', ובכו על חלוקת הארץ כדברי יואל הנביא (ד,ב): "ואת ארצי חילקו". יחד עם זאת, אמרו לתלמידיהם: מאת ה' היתה כל זאת היא נפלאת בעינינו"!
My translation:
After midnight [that night in 1947], when it was known that the majority of nations voted for the establishment [of a Jewish state], myriads of people went out dancing in the streets in all the streets of the land.  However, he and Rav Y.M. Charlap entered Rav Kook ZT"L's room in "Beit Harav" and cried over the division of the land, like the words of the prophet Yoel (4:2): "and divided My land".  And yet, they said to their students, "This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."
(In the video, Rav Kook cried out, "Where's our Hevron?" "Where's our Shechem?" "Where's our Yeriho?" "Where's our Trans-Jordan?"  His cries would be partially accepted by Heaven 3 weeks later when many of these areas would be recaptured in the Six Day War - Hashem's partial repudiation of the Partition Plan.)

It seems that we can divide the reaction to the UN vote into four distinct groups. There were some who saw this event as the glass totally empty (like the Satmar Rebbe ZT"L, for example).  Others, like Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook ZT"L, saw the glass half full and the glass half empty at the same time.  He knew it was forbidden to relinquish parts of Eretz Yisrael so he was saddened by it, but once it was a done deal, he accepted it since not accepting it would be relinquishing parts of Eretz Yisrael.  Still others just saw the glass half full and said, "Let's take what we can get."  The fourth group were those who had total euphoria as if this were the Geula.

Being that history has proven Rav Kook correct - that it was significant, but tragic at the same time - the event can be seen as both a Hurban and a Ketz. 

So just as the first Hurban was followed by a 70-year period of exile, the period after the UN Partition Plan was followed by a 70-year period of exile which was unlike the 1900 years that preceded it.  Just as that period briefly included a non-monarchical Jewish government (Gedaliah ben Ahikam) as its leadership, but was really a puppet state, the State of Israel was the same for all 70 years.  (Of course, that's where the comparison to the righteous Gedaliah ends.)  And just as at the end of that 70-year exile, the Persians threatened to wipe us off the map, the Persians are doing the same today.

But it can also be considered a Ketz - although of course not THE Ketz.  We know that the Geula comes Kim'a Kim'a (little by little).  Each step adds more light.  5705 was the end of complete darkness.  5706 was Alot Hashahar, coming right after the darkest part of our history.  The UN vote near the beginning of 5708 is כמו שחר - just 2 years after Alot Hashahar.  5727 was יפה כלבנה - when the light got bigger as did Jewish control over our land.  5750 was ברה כחמה - when the Russians immigrated to Israel, leaving only a few isolated corners of the world where emigration was barred. 

We hope that 5778 will be the sunrise of אימה כנדגלות.  Note that there are 72 minutes between Alot Hashahar and sunrise corresponding to the 72 aforementioned years.

May this hope come to fruition.


At Wed Nov 22, 12:06:00 AM 2017, Blogger Nachman said...


At Wed Nov 22, 12:48:00 AM 2017, Blogger CDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

"We hope that 5778 will be the sunrise of אימה כנדגלות. Note that there are 72 minutes between Alot Hashahar and sunrise corresponding to the 72 aforementioned years.

"May this hope come to fruition."

Amen, R' Yaak!

At Wed Nov 22, 02:06:00 AM 2017, Blogger Cosmic X said...


At Wed Nov 22, 02:59:00 AM 2017, Blogger Devash said...

Amen! I would put myself in Rav Kook's camp.

At Wed Nov 22, 10:41:00 AM 2017, Anonymous Baruch said...

Portents in the sky of Mashiach's arrival.


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