[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Shoftim 5773 – Translated by R. Blumberg]
Don’t take accursed money. Don’t take money from Christian organizations, missions, or those either directly or indirectly connected to missions. I am certainly not saying that if you take the money you, G-d forbid, will become a Christian. Others will, however. After all, giving money is their entrance ticket into the Jewish People to convert them. Already in his time, Maran Ha-Rav Kook wrote (Igrot Ha-Re’eiyah, Volume 2) that it is wrong to accept medicines from Christians, even where life is in danger, because as a result the gates will be opened to their converting other Jews.
We know them well. If you don’t believe me, look up the links on the Internet and see for yourself. We have known them already for two thousand years. At first they wished to convert us, and once they did not succeed, they tried to annihilate us, yet that didn’t succeed either. So then they tried to expel and trample us, and G-d saved us from them. Then they decided to persecute and humiliate us. When none of these things succeeded, they decided to conquer us through the pocketbook, and then the “Money Crusade” began.
This is their new approach. Check on the Internet. At the start of the Return to Zion, the Muslims and Christians got together. The Muslims said, “Kill them!” The Christians said, “Strangle them with a hug,” and such, indeed, is their approach. We’ve had a protracted war against paganism, starting from Avraham until today. Rambam in his Guide to the Perplexed explained that the entire Torah has a single message: we face a war against idolatry, in which we shall be increasingly victorious and idolatry shall increasingly disappear. True, numerous idolaters remain in the Far East, but at present, they do not constitute a serious threat. It is not so with Christianity, however, which has two billion proponents.
It is true that officially, Christianity does not consider itself idolatry, and if you ask a Christian if it is he will deny it vigorously. Yet if you ask him, “Do you pray to Jesus, the Christian?” he will answer “Of course”.
You might then ask, “If so, you are worshipping flesh and blood. Isn’t that idolatry?”
“No,” he will explain. “That man is not a man. He is God. God from God. Light from
You could then respond, “In that case, it is certainly idolatry.”
As far as turning a man into a god, what can that be if not idolatry?! We are not dealing here with the question of whether or not according to Jewish law “Dualism”, the worship of G-d and of something else with it, is included in the prohibition against idolatry as it applies to non-Jews. According to Rambam it is, but according to one opinion brought in Rabbenu Tam it is not. For ourselves, however, it is certainly idolatry. Just peruse the halachic codes dealing with our lives, Shulchan Aruch or Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. These contain the detailed laws of idolatry.
If so, when it comes to Christians, just who are we dealing with? And what about the cross? What role does that have?
We wage a war against idolatry, while the Christian religion wages war against the Torah in every possible way, openly and surreptitiously. Each year in Israel, the Mission pours hundreds of millions of dollars into purchasing our faith and breaching the pathways to our hearts, whether directly or through Jewish organizations.
In Israel there are thousands of missionaries earning a salary, and tens of thousands more working as volunteers, everywhere possible, very deftly disguised. One serves as a Chabad rabbi, another gives Bible lessons to women, a third is a lieutenant colonel with a knit-Kippah who was a resident of Gush Katif, and as a result was ousted from the army, turned to the High Court of Justice and was rejected. Still another is a religious Zionist couple who are really missionaries. “Small-fry” missionaries include a yeshiva high school graduate and a girl who graduated from a religious “Ulpana” all-girls’ school. And there are more. And they do all of this just to break the ice. Otherwise, how can we explain that when they provide a welfare department with money for the poor, the gift is conditional on their receiving the names and addresses of the recipients?
Therefore, the greatest Sages have forbidden taking money, the illustrious Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira and Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu forbade it, the rabbinical court of the “Eida Ha-Chareidit” in Meah Shearim forbade it, the rabbinical court of Chabad forbade it, and many more.
It’s absolutely forbidden! All the same there are some who do take the money, because money attracts, because money blinds the eyes of the wise, and distorts the words of the righteous. Unless you immediately answer “no”, you will be swept up and fall into the trap.
The following is a true story. Thirty years ago, a pleasant man from America approached me with an irresistible offer: he told me that because of the proximity of Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim-Ateret Yerushalayim to the Temple Mount, he could raise one dollar a year from fifty million people – and he would donate it all to the Yeshivah. He asked me if I would agreed. Do you know what I answered him?
One word: “No!”
That American, and many more like him, truly love the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, the State of Israel. And they truly help us a great deal on the political level. But they also love our souls, and they wish to transfer our souls to their side. Therefore, with those Christians we can say yes to politics, yes to business dealings but no to friendship and no to their “charitable donations”.
Because they are the enemies of our souls. Sworn enemies