May 6, 2009

Will Rome conquer Israel again?

The Rabbinic Council of the Chief Rabbinate has decided to convene to discuss the current overtures being considered by the Israeli government towards the Vatican. The ownership of a number of sites important to Christians is being considered for transfer to the Vatican.

The Rabbinic Council put out a "psak" saying that it is forbidden to give any part of the Holy Land to the Vatican. They called upon the Prime Minister to cease any further discussion and consideration of the matter.

Rav Simcha Kook (Chief Rabbi of Rehovot and member of the Council) said that among the list are 19 locations throughout Judea and Samaria, along with 28 sites in Jerusalem. Transferring ownership to the Vatican will place Jewish control of Jerusalem in jeopardy. The claim that these sites were controlled after being conquered by the Crusaders 800 years ago is ridiculous, as we owned these sites 2000 years ago. Just because we recaptured them in 1967 does not mean we have to give up our authority.

(sources: ynet and INN)

It is amazing that this is even being considered, let alone seriously. Le's see the Vatican give back all the spoils they took from the Jews when they conquered Israel and the Temple, if they really think that this is how it works. The Holy Land was conquered by Rome many years ago. There is no need to let it happen again.


  1. I don't understand what you are talking about. The Roman Empire that destroyed Jerusalem wasn't Christian. Rome became Christian 243 after the חורבן, and there is no evidence that the כלים were around even then. Since then the Vatican has been ransacked countless times.
    Often goverments give property that belong to Jewish communities back to them. Lhavdil. There are Halchick issues regarding לא תחנם and עבודה זרה here, and that is what the רבנות is dealing with. But the idea of giving over properties (not sovreignty) back to a religious group isn't patently insane at all.

  2. I quite like that idea. Let Netanyahu lodge a formal request with the Pope to return all the spoils from the Beis Hamikdash!

    Internet activists, how about it? Let's start spreading this idea in all the talkbacks on the various news web sites, etc.

    If the idea gets socialized enough, at least we could embarrass that rasha Peres into shutting up.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Mul - same country, same people, to me. They are the continuation of those Romans and they do hold our possessions in the Vatican. The few times they have let people in to see specific items is enough proof for me.
    Maybe they do not hold everything we have always thought they hold, but they clearly hold plenty of our stuff that they took from us throughout history.

  5. Whether or not the Vatican has the keilim to the Beit HaMikdash, it is incontrovertible that they have the largest Judaica library in the world including numerous treasures that have not been available even for Jews to study at the Vatican library. Many of them are ancient kitvei yad. And these are the things the Vatican admits having.
    Why in the world would we consider givin them sovereignty in any part of the Land Of Israel, including on Mount Zion!!!, without the return of millions of piecesof Judaica that they admit to holding. As a separate matter, and aside from the terrible precedent it would set, we could set off an inter-Xtian feud: who says Christain holy sites should belong to the Vatican as opposed to the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, or the countless Proestant churches?
    And that's all aside from the serious halachic issues involved!

  6. Tamar-The כתבי יד point is valid. I agree. Handing property over isn't sovriegnty, and הר ציון is הר הבית the area that's called that today didn't get its name from our מסורה.
    Rafi, I don't follow you. What evidence is their that anyone saw the כלים in the Vatican?

  7. I dont know about keilim (other than indiana jones), but manuscripts as Tamar said. I remember reading a few years ago that they let someone in to review a specific manuscript. I remember reading from others that once in a blue moon the vatican approves such requests for specific manuscripts. When I was in yeshiva I heard about someone who got permission to see the manuscript of Rav Avraham min Hahar (IIRC) and he came out and transcribed it from memory because they would nto let him in with a pen or camera or anything, but he had a photographic memory and he is the source for our having the sfer today (maybe the story was made up).

    That is well known. The keilim are well known too, but maybe there is no proof for that.

  8. i am skeptical about claims that they have כלים, but they certainly have property that was looted from jews in later generations. (in particular i'm thinking about rare books and manuscripts)

  9. ok, i see now others have mentioned the manuscripts


    "numerous treasures that have not been available even for Jews to study at the Vatican library. Many of them are ancient kitvei yad. And these are the things the Vatican admits having."

    i don't like the vatican one bit in general, and i'd like to see our mss./books restored to us in specific, but which mss./books do they have that they withhold from legitimate researchers? (and specifically jewish researchers?)

  10. I heard a story from 1 of my rebaim
    that the vatican once put a menorah on display in some minor showing in the middle of nowhere.(Maine?Canada?)
    There was an outcry if it was "The"
    menorah or just a fancy copy.
    They supposedly took it back and said Lehodo"m.(in english we don't know what you're talking about.)
    I never verified this story and don't know my rebbe's source.

    Anyone else heard this?

    Solly G.

  11. Solly- interesting story. I never heard it before. I have a hard time believing they would take out THE actual menorah from 2000 years ago (assuming they still have it). It was probably just a copy or a different candelabrum..

  12. B"H

    I have a great deal of respect for Rav Simha Kook.

    I would like to point out the statement by the Sanhedrin as well, which can be viewed here:

    Here's a small snippet:

    Anyone who negotiates and signs any agreement to change the status of the State of Israel in its holy sites in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel is raising his hand against the Torah, against his own faith, his people, his land, against his own homeland and against the home of his fathers.

    There is a strict prohibition against approving any agreement that transfers state ownership to foreigners, and this has been set forth in the criminal code of the State of Israel. Continuing to seek favor in the eyes of the Church by making illegal agreements might end, God forbid, in devastating religious wars all over the world.

  13. Agreed. When Constantine in the fourth century converted to Christianity, in the West - identified by Jews with Edom = Rome, the Catholic Church became the Imperial heir after the Western half of the Roman Empire disappeared in the fifth century. In short, it not Jews who owe the Catholic Church reparations, it is the other way around.

  14. Funny the Peres thinks that Yehudah and Shomron is not ours, and thus should revert to Arab control, but he feels that we own it enough to give some of it to the Vatican.

  15. Oy do we need Mashiach to come quick!!!!!


  16. Largely due to the anti-State sentiments you write about in your JPost article, the land WILL be handed over to the Vatican, and 300,000 Jews (mostly non-Charedi) will be torn from their homes.

    I wonder how the exalted Rabbis and Sages of the Charedim can live with themselves. But I know that denial is a powerful mechanism.

    Surrounding oneself with only those who uncritically and fanatically accept what one says isn't limited to the Shimon Peres multicultural moral relativist cult.

  17. Yoni R., Peres is one of the greatest liars and manipulators alive.

    I'm not sure he actually believes his lies either.

    He's such a ba'al gaivah, doing all of this business "for our own good."

    His protege, Yossi Beilin, is a quick learner, though. Don't forget to watch out for him, too.

    Nasty pieces of work....


    According to the story linked, there is absolutely no truth to the rumors going around.

  19. I hope he is right and it is all just a rumor.

  20. I like David, but even he knows how sneaky Peres is. Do not trust Peres.

    Plus, the last paragraph is still disturbing, and we haven't heard the last of this.

  21. David Bedein is a reliable source.

    I'm especially skeptical when the government issues strong statements about what it won't do. Especially since Oslo, those who set and enforce policy seem to be willing to do just about anything when it comes to interfering with the activities of Torah observant Jews in Judea and Samaria.

    It might make more sense that they've held on to the Mount Zion card, while giving up the four aces of Shechem, Jerusalem, Hevron, & Be'er Sheva.

    Partitioning and preparation for a future Muslim pseudo-state continues at a steady pace. If you live or travel in Yesha, you know what I'm talking about.

  22. Is there any correspondence between the list of Vatican property and the Levitical cities? I recall reading something long ago about how early churches were built on the most important sites in those cities.


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