Freeing the captives is the most important thing

These are comments from October 17th, 2023.

Before our troops went into Gaza, and there was apparently an offer from Hamas to free at least some of the captives.

There are a ton of ‘hints’ here about real Jewish history. 

After the Rav’s comments, I will try BH to unpick some of them.


In 5611 (1851), the Shvi Shel Pesach (R Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhin) said that in another 70 years from then, there would be a declaration about the founding of the State, like there was the proclamation of Koresh [for the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the Second Temple].

There was an old man who at that time was 20 years old, so after 70 years he was 90 years old [at the time of the Balfour Declaration]. He said:

I was alive at the time he said this, it was the Shvi Shel Pesach in 5611. And then, he announced that in another 70 years, there would be a declaration, like Koresh’s declaration.


And then this was accepted by Baron Rothschild, Hertz Rothschild.

He recieved the [Balfour] Declaration on paper, written out and stamped with the signature of the English government.

The English government obligated themselves to set the [Jewish] people up with independence – to give Ashdod to the Jews, and to give Ashkelon to the Jews.

Haifa was totally an Arab city. Whoever used to live in Haifa, so there is Wadi Nisnas, Wadi Selim. From the [Haifa] City Hall down, everything belonged to the Arabs.

From the City Hall on, the lower city already begins – and everything was the Arabs’. Half of Haifa belonged to the Arabs. (The Jews stam came and stole half the city….)


The Palmach stood on the quay in order to stop the Arabs from leaving.

I have a picture that the Palmach made a chain, in order to try and stop them [the Arabs] from leaving the city. This was before Pesach TAF SHIN HET p 17. And the Arabs broke through the chain, [and said]:

Let’s get on the boats, we won’t stay here with murderers!

They weren’t prepared to stay with such a murderous nation, so they got on the boats going to Beirut.

This is what Hajj El Amein promised them – he was the Mufti – so he promised them that now, they are going to erase Haifa, to blow it up.


Like they are now doing in Gaza, taking down another house and another house, because it’s impossible to enter Gaza.

It’s not something ‘suitable’ [for the Jews to do] at all. This is 1,000 [soldiers] killed with the first blow. Everything there is narrow alleys, each path is a metre [wide]. It’s 30km from Ashdod, 20km from Ashkelon.

Already, 400,000 people waited a fortnight, and each time they push it off, because they first need to take down all the buildings, so it will be possible to enter.

Everyone is hiding themselves in the tunnels. The whole of Gaza. There is a whole city underground. So, until they take down all the buildings [it’s impossible to enter].


So he promised – Hajj Al Amein promised – that he was going to take down all the buildings in Haifa.

And they promised him 100 planes from Saudi Arabia, and he was waiting. Until today, he’s still waiting for this… Maybe, they’ll receive this today. I don’t know exactly when they’ll get this, they’ve already been waiting for those planes 75 years, since 1948.

He said we are going to take all of Haifa down, to erase it! Everyone should leave immediately!

All the people were obedient, everyone was disciplined. They left Haifa and they got on the boats and the ships.

They brought boats, and the Palmach and the Haganah stood on the quay in Haifa and didn’t let them get on. [But they] managed to break through the checkpoints.


[This occurred on] Wednesday in the morning. Then it was Pesach on Shabbat.

So on Wednesday morning, I was a child of ten, and I got up in the morning on Shabbat – and there wasn’t a single Arab left in the whole city.

We lived opposite Arabs, my house was opposite the Arabs, they fired on our house. We lived more inside, so the bullets didn’t really harm us, except for just one bullet. But those who lived at the front, they house was riddled with bullets – because it was really on the frontlines, our house….

We weren’t going to give it up under any circumstances.


Biden had a plan to give [the Arabs] Wadi Selim and Wadi Nisnas, to ‘give back’ all the Arab neighborhoods.

But Abu Mazen didn’t come to the meeting, poor guy. He got a terrible fright at the last minute. And also, the King of Jordan, and not the King of Egypt – they didn’t come to the meeting.

He (Biden] wanted to meet everyone, but no-one showed up. So they left Biden empty-handed.

Instead of getting Ashdod and Ashkelon and Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem – Jerusalem is also a half-Arab city. The whole of the Old City used to be the Muslim Quarter.

We were the first ones who conquered the Old City. And Ateret Cohanim – Ateret Cohanim also ‘conquered’. They started to buy houses, everything, to buy the houses of the Jews, and everything was bought with cash.


All the writings say to live in Jerusalem.

Because the moment that it’s possible to live in Jerusalem, then a person is obligated to live in Jerusalem. It’s only permitted to live in Ashdod ‘in the meantime’, as though it’s just a sort of ‘waiting station’.

Whoever was born in Ashdod, whoever has parents in Ashdod – this is something else.

But whoever wasn’t born in Ashdod, and who doesn’t have parents in Ashdod, they have no reason to live in Ashdod.

All the writings say to live in Jerusalem.

Here in Jerusalem, nothing can happen. Here, they won’t fire rockets, here there are no sirens, here there are no [….]


Now they fired a rocket, and it almost damaged Al Aqsa, the rocket.

Like how they damaged the hospital [in Gaza], but only 20 were killed. They said that we killed 500, it got up to 500, and there were demonstrations in Berlin, and demonstrations in all of the world.

And they attacked the Israeli Consulate in Jordan, and almost blew it up. And now in Turkey, they almost broke into the Consulate – and it’s all because they said that the Jews had killed 500 babies.

This is 500 children! All this was just revenge for the poor children who were murdered now on Shabbat Simchat Torah!


For 20 hours, there was no army.

There was nothing.

They [the terrorists] walked around, they went and came back, they dragged away people, some of them were killed, some of them were taken. Now, they got to 250 captives. It’s got to, it will get to, 300.

They themselves haven’t counted how many. Some of them [were captured by] the Jihad, some of them were taken by citizens [of Gaza], some of them were taken by Hamas. They themselves still haven’t counted up all the hostages.


Now, we need to free them.

You live in Ashdod, that’s really very close. It’s not a problem to get into Gaza. So now we’ll maybe sort out a few buses, go into Gaza and get the captives freed. This is before anything else, it comes before doing battle, it comes before you start a war.

The first thing is to get them freed.

This is everything.


Ad kan, from the Rav.

The first place I checked into a little more is ‘R Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhiner‘, who apparently such tremendous ruach hakodesh about the founding of the State of Israel.

HERE is his Wikipedia page, here are a few snippets that caught my eye:

The Ruzhiner Rebbe was a charismatic leader known for his aristocratic demeanor.

He set a regal tone for his court, living in a palatial home with splendid furnishings; riding in a silver-handled carriage drawn by four white horses; being accompanied by an entourage of attendants; and wearing a golden yarmulke and stylish clothing with solid-gold buttons.

His children, too, dressed like nobility and were attended by servants in livery.


Another snippet:

The Rebbe’s extravagant lifestyle and prestige aroused the envy of Tsar Nicholas I and the ire of the Jewish maskilim (members of the Jewish Enlightenment movement); the latter continually plotted to bring about the Rebbe’s downfall.

In 1838, at the height of a two-year investigation of the murder of two Jewish informers, the Rebbe was arrested by the governor-general of Berdichev on the accusation of complicity in the murders.

He was brought before the Tsar, whose own agents told him that the Rebbe was trying to establish his own kingdom and was fomenting opposition to the government. The Tsar had the Rebbe jailed in Donevitz for seven months, and then placed in solitary confinement in prison in Kiev for fifteen months, pending a decision on exiling him to the Caucasus or Siberia.

No formal charges were ever filed against him, and no trial was ever held.

On 19 February 1840 (Shushan Purim 5600), the Rebbe was suddenly released. But he was still subject to the allegation of opposing the government and was placed under police surveillance at his home, which made it increasingly difficult for his Hasidim to visit him.


Long story short, the Ruzhiner Rebbe was forced to move from Russian territory to Sadigur in Austria, where he built an even more luxurious palace for himself.


Interestingly…. the life story of the Ruzhiner Rebbe overlaps a great deal with what we are told about the Savraner Rebbe, who was persecuting Rabbi Natan of Breslov, Rabbenu’s main student, to the point of wanting him dead.

The ‘Savraner Rebbe’ at the time of R Natan was also apparently called ‘Yisrael’…. and he also fell afoul of the Czar Nikolai and was implicated in the murder of Jewish informers.

The following is from page 452 of ‘Through Fire and Water’, the biography of R Natan Sternhartz:

“The Savraner, as one of the leading rabbinical figures in the generation, felt it his obligation to solicit the intervention of the authorities so as to have this [Breslov] sect eradicated…

However, before the Savraner’s letter reached the governor, he had already seen the complaint submitted by the family of the informer [who the Savraner had just arranged to have killed].

When the Savraner’s chassidim brought their letter to the governor, he was incensed.

“This individual wants to make his own rules in this country? On his own initiative, he has a man killed?…There are laws in this country!”


Fire and Water says ‘the Savraner’ died in 1838.

I’m not sure he actually did.

That’s the exact same year ‘the Ruzhiner’ was:

“[J]ailed in Donevitz for seven months, and then placed in solitary confinement in prison in Kiev for fifteen months, pending a decision on exiling him to the Caucasus or Siberia.”

Before he actually escaped to Austria, where he ‘adopted’ the identity of a dead Austrian citizen of Sadigur, so he was allowed to become an Austrian citizen and avoid being extradited back to Russia.

Lots to unpick there… (as usual).

But one thing I can tell you, is that the opponents of real Breslov and the real Breslov tzaddikim have never been on the ‘right side’ of history.


OK, now a quick look at what was going on in Haifa in 1948.

At this stage, I’m not sure – at all  – what the Rav is hinting to.

But HERE is an ‘official account’ of what is meant to have happened between the Arabs of Haifa, and the Palmach and Haganah.


Throughout the Haganah made effective use of Arabic language broadcasts and loudspeaker vans.

Haganah Radio announced that ‘the day of judgement had arrived’ and called on inhabitants to ‘kick out the foreign criminals’ and to ‘move away from every house and street, from every neighbourhood occupied by foreign criminals’. The Haganah broadcasts called on the populace to ‘evacuate the women, the children and the old immediately, and send them to a safe haven’…

Jewish tactics in the battle were designed to stun and quickly overpower opposition; demoralisation was a primary aim. It was deemed just as important to the outcome as the physical destruction of the Arab units. The mortar barrages and the psychological warfare broadcasts and announcements, and the tactics employed by the infantry companies, advancing from house to house, were all geared to this goal.

The orders of Carmeli’s 22nd Battalion were ‘to kill every [adult male] Arab encountered’ and to set alight with fire-bombs ‘all objectives that can be set alight. I am sending you posters in Arabic; disperse on route’.

John Kimche also describes the “psychological blitz on Arab quarters” until “the Arab nerve broke and the flight from the town assumed panic proportions”.

Honestly…. it really doesn’t sound so different from what is going on right now.



There’s a bunch more interesting stuff about the Ruzhiner on the Chabad website (of course).

Like for example, the same story of him authorising the death of Jewish informers in the local bath house, as happened with the ‘Savraner’.

And also, that he apparently believed he was the ‘Moshiach’ of his generation.


Once, the Ruzhiner sent a messenger to all the Chassidic rebbes of his time, wherein he asked them to agree for him to be Moshiach.

Many agreed, but one (Reb Uri of Strelisk) said, “He has all the right qualities, but we don’t want a young man to be Moshiach.”24

This story illustrates that the Ruzhiner was potentially King Moshiach, which would explain his majestic lifestyle.

His son, Rebbe Dovid Moshe of Chortkov said,

“All great tzaddikim (including the Apter Rav and Reb Mordechai of Chernobyl) said that our father has the neshamah of Moshiach.”25

Once, the wealthy Reb Yaakov Yosef Halprin, whose son had married the daughter of the Ruzhiner, wrote a letter to the Ruzhiner on a torn piece of scrap paper.

The Ruzhiner grabbed the peyos of his son-in-law, Reb Dovid Halprin, and said, “How could your father write me a letter on a quarter of a page? Doesn’t he know who I am? I have the neshamah of King Hezekiah!


Nice middot…. not.


1 reply
  1. adelle
    adelle says:

    I recently finished reading “through fire and water” again and before you said it, reading through the official account of the ruzhnir I also thought “this sounds a lot like the savranar!” baruch shekivanti.

    side point, the images of these palatial buildings, with claims they were constructed in the 1800s as “residences” and “shuls” at time when much of the jewish world was so impoverished… does not add up. I just don’t have the bandwidth to go down that pathway anymore.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.