Rav Elyashiv: Shomrei Torah Umitzvos Should Not Enter The Knesset

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rav-elyashiv2From a purely religious perspective, a shomrei Torah umitzvos should not cross the threshold of the Knesset building in Givat Ram, Yerushalayim, not even for tzorchei tzibbur, and not even to serve as a Knesset member representing the chareidi world and fighting against those who antagonize the chareidi world.

That statement was made Tuesday night by Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv during his daily shiur at his bais medrash. Rav Elyashiv stated that the Knesset is a bais minus, a place of heresy, and thus all the halachos regarding places of apikorsus applies there as well.

Tuesday night, Rav Elyashiv’s shiur dealt with the issur of entering botei minus, places of heresy, and the general issue of avodah zarah. During the course of Rav Elyashiv’s analysis of the sugyah, he discussed the ramifications of the issur. Quoting the words of the Gemara, Rav Elyashiv said that in certain situations it is permitted to enter places of apikorsus in order to debate with nonbelievers and apikorsim.

One participant in the shiur asked whether this would apply to chareidi Knesset representation.

“Is this a limud ledoros? After all, even the chareidi MKs enter the Knesset, which is a bais minus. They are going to debate them and respond to them as they battle against the Torah,” asked the questioner.

“In the Knesset, there are heretics who work to battle against the Torah. The Knesset members thus enter there to fight back to defeat their arguments and laws [against the Torah way of life]” asked the questioner.

“Do they accomplish anything by doing so?” asked Rav Elyashiv.

“They try to be helpful and accomplish,” said the questioner.

“Then let them stay home and try to help from there,” said Rav Elyashiv.

This comment from the posek hador would seem to fly in the face of the precedent to allow chareidim to serve as members of Knesset to accomplish what they can on behalf of Torah Jewry.

Now, for some fifty years, according to the comments of Rav Elyashiv, it would appear that the achievements in the Knesset by chareidi MKs do not justify the serious halachic problem involved with entering a bais minus.

According to sources, chareidi MKS were surprised by the p’sak and sought to confirm it.

It is not yet clear if Rav Elyashiv’s statement was meant as halacha pesukah for Degel Hatorah representatives to follow or if it was merely part of his analysis and discussion of the sugyah at the shiur.

The next time the chareidi Knesset members visit Rav Elyashiv at his home on Rechov Chanan, it is expected that they will ask him for clarification and whether what he said is a p’sak halacha.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Check the recent Daf Yomi. Is this a Halachah or a Halachah L’Ma’aseh? There’s a huge difference.

    Seems to me to be the former: it was a reply Maran made in response to a questioner in the midst of a shiur.

  2. Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita is not saying anything new. His answer to his talmid’s question is the same as what the Brisker Rov ZTV’L and the Satmar Rebbe ZTV’L have said many decades ago.

  3. A Halacha is Halacha. I Just hope that as soon as we settle this problem, we start dealing with the hundreds of the BRIGHTEST children in our midst, losing their faith, due to the fact, that their Rebbeh was not able to handle, nor deal with, their philosophical questions regarding Emunah.

  4. Leiby, you may have a point, but what does that have to do with this discussion? Apples and oranges!!
    Just because Rav Elyashev was commenting on one thing does not mean he was ignoring kids at risk, That’s a separate issue.
    Why don’t you go donate some money to the Eizer Labochurim (I hope I got the name right) whose video was featured yesterday?
    Put your money where your mouth is!
    Hatzlocha fighting the battle.

  5. I see no one is stating the obvious. The ruling ( which many previous Gadolim have held) is that Zionism is akin to avoda zarah and thus participating in the knesset affairs is forbidden.

  6. When Satmer rov zatzal said & wrote that some 50 years ago, by some yiddun (frum) he was looked at like he would be some fanatic & most where afraid to speak up (besides his close allies including skulener rebbi zatzal etc.

  7. No one hear seems to understand what Maran was saying. In no way did he forbid a religous MK from entering the Kenessess Haminim, as Reb Amram used to call it. There is no question that according to most gedolim of the aguda vintage, like Reb Reuven in Bayos Hazman, considered it like a Shtadlan B’Chotzor Hamelech, and mutar to enter to debate and try to save a little something for Jews. Maran was only musing just as reb reuven did, “who knows, maybe the Eidah and the Satmar shita is correct, was anything ever accomplished there that couldn’t have been done by protest from the outside?”

  8. Honestly Frum – The Brisker Yeshiva, Tush, Toldos Avrohom, Satmar, etc. refuse to accept money they are entitled to under Israeli law precisely for that reason.

  9. While I believe that Rabbi Elyashiv was speaking in a purely theoretical basis, not on a practical level, it is still a sad day for Klal Yisroel. I am not sure what is gained by this. My niece e-mailed me a horrible story of her shopping in Meah Shearim.

    Does this write off 75% of all the Jews and 50% of all the Orthodox Jews?

    I could go on and on; however, I would only be stating the obvious.

    Does this mean that our model is the Arabs? We will not be happy until our society looks like Saudi Arabia, morphing into a Taliban society.

  10. #20 — This is a great day in Klal Yisroel when we break off our ties to the tziyonim. Your crass comparison to the Taliban notwithstanding. I don’t believe you are Orthodox.

  11. 22 and 23:

    We know who the father is and you just told us who the son is – “the creator”. Who is the holy ghost? Freudian slip, perhaps?

  12. #26 — You are on the wrong site. This is a Jewish website.

    Arnold (#22) — Yasher Koach for standing up for Kovod Shem Shmayim and the Torah HaKedosha.

    Chaim (#14) — Exactly correct.

    Zionism is not Judaism (#12) — Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated. 🙂

  13. The establishment of Jewish sovereignty
    in the land of Israel is fulfillment of
    biblical prophecy:

    Even if you are dispersed in the uttermost part of the world, from there the Lord thy God shall bring you into the land
    your fathers possessed and you shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:4-5)

    Yes, there are rascals in the government—like everywhere else; nonetheless,
    its very existence fortifies our hope in the future and provides an answer to our traditional Yom Tov prayers:

    “Unite our scattered people from
    among the nations, gather our dispersed people
    from the four corners of the earth. Bring us
    to Zion thy city with jubilant song, to Jerusalem thy sanctuary with everlasting joy.”
    (Yom Tov Musaf Machzor)

    It is a miracle. Jewry returns in
    droves to the holy land. Praise God!

  14. To realize how very terrible this secular Zionest State of Israel is, I will relate the following:

    A little over a year ago was the 60th anniversary of the state’s founding (in 1948). For the occasion, the President of the United States, Former President George Walker Bush, made a visit to Israel.

    I saw on the local C-Span station some of the video of some of the speeches that were given at the Knesset. In his speech, President Bush many, many times mentioned G-D. By totally sharp contrast, Former Prime minister Ehud Olmert DID NOT SAY THE WORD G-D EVEN ONCE!!!! I think President Shimon Peres did say the word maybe one or two times.


  15. (continuation of above comment)

    Of course, this is nothing new. It is well known that in Israel, there was published a new edition of the Tanach – the Bible IN WHICH ALL THE SHEIMOS HASHEM – ALL THE NAMES OF G-D WERE REMOVED!!!!

    As far as I know, I never heard of any CHRISTIAN Bible that does not have the word G-d; I have not heard of any MOSLEM Koran that does not have the word G-D. Yet, here in the so-called “Jewish” State of Israel, there is a so-called “Jewish” — obviously it is totally UN-Jewish — Bible with no mention of G-D!!

  16. Re #28

    “The Zionist State was born in sin and
    lives in sin.”

    My answer to you is: Go jump in the lake, you anti-Semite!

  17. Joe Hill,

    Why not look in the Zohar on this week’s parsha, Vayechi, where it says clearly that kibutz galyos will occur before moshiach, and that furthermore, many of those returning will not be frum.

  18. Interesting that the Knesset once declared a special day in honor of the Tzaddik and Gaon Reb Aryeh Levine ZTL and gave him a special plaque of Hakaras Hatov for all he had done for the soldiers and fighters who established the Medina, and to publicly acknowledge his overwhelming Ahavas Yisroel and Chesed towards all Jews. There is a picture of Reb Aryeh with Menachem Begin and the other Lochamei Milchemet Hashichrur on that day.

    Reb Aryeh is the father-in-law of Reb Elyashiv.

  19. Re #31

    “It is well known that in Israel there is
    a new published edition of Tanach in which
    all the names of God are removed…”

    Somebody did mention to me that either
    Rahm Emmanuel or his brother Dr. Ezekiel
    Emmanuel was responsible for that travesty.

    On a scholarly note, we should recall
    that God is not mentioned in the Book Of
    Esther. It is nonetheless Jewish with
    God’s imprimatur. So is the renaissance of
    Israel as a sovereign nation under God.

    To quote the Bible on the prophecy
    of the return of the Jewish People to
    the land of Israel:

    “I will return my captive people
    Israel who shall build the desolate
    cities and inhabit them…

    “I will plant them on their land
    and they will no longer be pulled out of
    their land which I have given them.
    Thus saith, the Lord thy God.”
    (Amos 9:14-15)

    This magnificent prophecy is
    unfolding before our very eyes.

    The holy land, Israel, which
    literally ceased to be fertile for
    Gentiles who had been living there for
    2,000 years, once again blossoms
    and produces delightful fruit. Desert
    has been transformed into a fertile
    land once again pursuant to the arrival
    of world Jewry. It is a miracle.
    “May Ays HASHEM Hoy-Sah Zohs—This
    has been wrought by the Lord!

  20. I always thought that Zionism means that all Jews belong in Israel. Who can disagree. I always thought that this was the message of Theodore Herzl and others. When Theodore Herzl saw the infamous Dreyfus trial, he realized that the Jews had to leave Europe and Israel was the only place. Herzl was returning to the Jewish people and had he lived longer, perhaps he would have become Frum. I think that he truly wanted to save the Jewish people. I realize that it is naive to think that had the leadership in Europe approached him early on, things would have been been different. However, I am a naive American who believes in the goodness of people. I believe that had various Yidden held his hand, thanked him for trying to save Jews, cried with him over the major problems Jews were having in Europe, learned Chumush with him, things would have been different.

  21. The below was taken from a Dvar Torah from one of my relatives. His Vort dealt with the issue of Tshuvah. Everyone can make up their own mind, however, I believe it is a powerful piece.

    “A young Austrian, thoroughly assimilated Jewish writer had invited the Chief Rabbi of Vienna over to his house one December evening to discuss a wild and crazy idea. On entering the home, the writer asked the Rabbi if he would like to join them for the lighting. As it was Chanukah, the Rabbi was delighted to attend, but on entering the family room was shocked to see the writer and his family about to light the X-mas tree. It was X-mas Eve! The Rabbi took the writer aside and had a long discussion about his Judaism, and convinced the writer to perhaps light a Menorah instead.

    This young Austrian writer was none other than the great Theodor Herzl. This little known vignette with the Rabbi was to have a tremendous impact on his life. The wild and crazy idea, of course, was Zionism, the return of Jews after nineteen hundred years to sovereignty in their homeland. A movement to go home. This was spurred on by the horrific Dreyfus trial to which he was a reporter. So alienated from his religion he previously thought the answer to anti-Semitism was conversion to Christianity, but that was jettisoned by the events at the trial. But after the meeting with the Rabbi there was a new ingredient to the mix. Religious observance. He was repenting, returning. So much so, that in 1897 he publicly declared that there could be no return to Zion without a return to Judaism. How much he moved in the direction of observance is not our business, but move he did. And he did not physically return home to Israel, but through his genius, courage and leadership, millions did and will in the future.”

  22. Kee Mih-Tsee-Yohn Tay-Tsay Soh-Ruh Udvar
    HASHEM Mee-Yeh-Roo-Shah-Layim!

    “For from Zion the Torah shall go forth
    and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
    (Isaiah 2:3)

    I do declare: God is a Zionist too.
    Praise the Lord!

  23. From Rav Chaim Soloveichik

    Dear Rabbi Moshe Carpas:

    I have also read your words in connection with the sect of the Zionists who are now powerfully banded together. I do not blush to admit that I do not know how to find paths to oppose them.

    Seeing that these men are known as evil in their localities, and have already proclaimed their purpose, which is to uproot the fundamentals of our faith, and to take over all Jewish communities to aid them in their plan.

    It is hardly credible that after the revelations of their arrogant hearts there should still be found right-minded men willing to ally themselves with them. It is greatly astonishing throughout the whole Jewish People that they should be given a place and a voice in public affairs, since it is known they are causing others to sin.

    Let the people guard their souls lest they join them in the destruction of our religion and become an obstacle to the House of Israel.

  24. “The Zionists do not make Jews heretics in order to have a state, they want a state in order to make Jews into heretics!”
    “The Jewish people have suffered many (spiritual) plagues — the Sadducees, Karaites, Hellenisers, Shabbatai Zvi, Enlightenment, Reform and many others. But the strongest of them all is Zionism.”
    “If you intend to give a coin to the Jewish National Fund, give it to another idolatry, but not to the Zionists, since this idolatry is worse then any other.”
    “[Zionists] want a state in order to make Jews into heretics. ”

    Reb Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik (the Brisker Rav):

    “The Zionists have attacked the center point of Judaism.”
    “How can these small rabbis and heads of yeshivas take upon themselves the determination of things dealing with life and death? It is obvious that the partition will bring with it the anger and hostility of the Arabs and other nations of the world. This whole thing touches on the shedding of blood. HOW DO THEY HAVE THE ARROGANCE TO MAKE JUDGMENTS DEALING WITH LIFE AND DEATH?”
    When asked: aren’t we to pray for them, in order they should repent from their evil ways? He replied: three times a day in the prayer against the atheists we pray that they should be destroyed.

  25. * [The Torah] forbids us to strive for the reunion or possession of the land by any but spiritual means
    Rabbi S. R. Hirsch

    * Not via our desire did we leave the land of Israel, and not via our power will we come back to the land of Israel.
    Rabbi S.D. Schneerson

    * [Zionists] want a state in order to make Jews into heretics.
    Rabbi C. Soloveichik

    * The Zionists have attacked the center point of Judaism.
    Rabbi V. Soloveichik

    Once before the Neila prayer on Yom Kippur Rabbi Avraham Yoshe Freund of Mansod said:

    “It is not because they are Zionists that they are evildoers. It is because they are evildoers that they are Zionists.”

    Rabbi Aharon Roth once said:

    “It is a miracle that these evildoers don’t command everyone to put on tefillin. It is possible that were they to do it, G-d forbid, it may be forbidden to put them on.”

    The Chazon Ish once said:

    “If it is hard to understand the whole matter of the Golden Calf, by seeing the matter of the State, one can understand it. The matter of the State is similar to the Golden Calf”

    Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman once said:

    “It is certain as the sun shines that the Land will vomit the Zionists out, because the Land is the Palace of the King….I don’t say this either to curse or to bless, but because these are things which are written in the Torah and which will take place.”

    Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik once said:

    “The Zionists aren’t taking Jews away from Judaism in order to have a State, THEY NEED A STATE IN ORDER TO TAKE JEWS AWAY FROM JUDAISM”

    Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam once said:

    “When a Jew recites ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord your G-d, the Lord is One’ he should have in mind rejecting all idolatry in the world, including Zionism, which is also idolatry.”

    Rabbi Yissachar Dov of Belz once said:

    ” There could be, before the arrival of Mashiach, that the Satan should succeed, and the evildoers should get a State in the Land of Israel. Their state would be a big danger for every Jew in material and spiritual matters.”

    The Chafetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Hakohen once said:

    “In my opinion it is clear that the Zionists are from the offspring of AMALEK.”

    Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik (Reb Velvel) once said:

    “How can the little rabbis and heads of yeshivas take upon themselves the determination of things dealing with life and death? It is obvious that the partition will bring with it the anger and hostility of the Arabs and other nations of the world. This whole thing touches on the shedding of blood. HOW DO THEY HAVE THE ARROGANCE TO MAKE JUDGEMENTS DEALING WITH LIFE AND DEATH?

    He also said:

    “The Agudah is nothing, just money.”

    Rabbi Moshe Leib Diskin once said:

    “The rabbis of the generation should gather together and issue a writ of excommunication against the Zionists and eject them from the Jewish People, and make decrees against their bread and wine, and to forbid marrying with them, JUST LIKE OUR SAGES DID WITH THE SAMARITANS.”

    Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Eherenreich once said:

    “The Zionists brought us to the Holocaust. It is well known that it was possible to redeem Jews from the Nazis with money, and save many hundreds of thousands of Jews in Hungary from the fire. THE ZIONIST LEADERS WHO NOW SIT IN GOVERNMENT PREVENTED IT!”

    Rabbi Shaul Brach of Kashoa once said:

    “Before thinking up the idea of Zionism, Herzl wanted all Jews to convert to Christianity. When he was laughed at, he developed the second idea which was able to have more effect, since thousands of Jews began to believe they could be Jews without the Torah of Judaism.”

    “I am also surprised at the leaders of the Agudah who want thousands of Jews to move to Eretz Israel. How can they ignore the welfare of their children, since there is no other place on earth where there is so much heresy and sectarianism as in the Holy Land in our day.”

  26. Reb Elchonon Wasserman, zt’l:

    “We must emphasize and declare the position of our holy Torah in order to banish any confusion of ideas. Inasmuch as there are Jews who are Torah-observant who say that a Jewish State would be the “beginning of the Redemption,” we must inform them of the position of our Torah that this is nothing less than the beginning of a new Exile! What do I mean? After all, Jews have been living in Exile for some two thousand years, so how can this be a “beginning” of a new Exile? My intention is to expose the so-called Jewish Communists. An Exile such as this has never existed until today. None of us can even describe such an exile, an Exile under Jews! Only Jews from Russia have a slight sense of this situation, even though the regime there is not a “Jewish” one. One of the great rabbis of this generation recently told me that the term “beginning of the Redemption” in reference to the Zionist movement makes his hair stand on end!

    “However, it could be said that it does bring the Redemption closer. The great Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (who lived in the 18th century) stated (see Kol Yerushalayim, 22 Elul 1937) that effect of Jewish suffering is that it brings the Redemption closer, and because the misfortune of a “Jewish State” would bring greater suffering upon us, it could be said that this brings the Redemption closer, as was the case in Egypt, that the oppression of bondage hastened the Redemption.”


    Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt’l:

    754. The Zionst leaders together with the Reform “rabbis” aided substantially in the destruction of the European Jews.

    In July 1938 President Roosevelt convened the Evian Conference to consider the problem of Jewish refugees. At that time a German offer was made to release Jews at $250 per person. The Jewish Agency, headed by Golda Meir, decided to ignore the offer.

    At this conference, the delegation from the Jewish Agency made no effort to influence the United States or any of the 32 other participating nations to open their gates to admit German Jews.

    755. When a shipload of Jewish refugees on the Danube river were refused permission to disembark anywhere, Henry Montor the leader of the United Jewish Appeal explained that they could not be allowed to sail the Holy Land because “Palestine cannot be flooded with old people or with undesirables”. (Feb. 1, 1940).

    768. Rabbi Weismandl sent urgent and impassioned appeals for small funds to stave off the deportation of thousands. The assimilationists and Zionists of Switzerland and other neutral countries and of the rich countries and of the rich communities overseas refused his request. The Reform “rabbis” and the disloyal, to whom the public Jewish funds were entrusted, scorned the messages which Rabbi Weissmandl smuggled out at the risk of his life, and they allowed the masses of Slovakian and Hungarian Jews to be transported to the German killing-centers.

    769. It was because European Jews put their trust in atheistic Zionist leaders that these leaders everywhere became the lackeys of the Nazis in all the Ghettos. They were the machinery, which served efficiently in the task of keeping the Jews docile and of persuading and coercing them to be sent off to their deaths. No Torah leader ever cooperated with the Nazis in the destruction machinery.


    Rabbi Yitchok Hutner Z”L:

    Sadly, even in our own circles, the mold for shaping public opinion lies in the hands of the State of Israel. An appropriate example of this dangerous process of selectively “rewriting” history may be found in the extraordinary purging from the public record of all evidence of the culpability of the forerunners of the State in the tragedy of European Jewry, and the sub-situation in is place of factors inconsequential to the calamity which ultimately occurred.

    To cover its own contribution to the final catastrophic events, those of the State in a position to influence public opinion circulated the notorious canard that Gedolet Yisroel were responsible for the destruction of many communities because they did not urge immigration. This charge is, of course, a gross distortion of the truth, and need not be granted more dignity than it deserves by issuing a formal refutation. However, at the same time as the State made certain to include this charge as historical fact in every account of the war years, it successfully sought to omit any mention of its own contribution to the impending tragedy. While the State omitted in its own version of history is the second of the above-mentioned new directions in recent Jewish history. It is that phenomenon which we must now examine.

  27. All those anti-Zionist statements are

    The greatest rabbis and scholars
    support the re-emergence of Jewish
    independence in the land of Israel promised
    by God to His people, the Jews. (Enlightened
    gentiles also support Israel—you fools.)

    The anti-Zionists are ignorant.
    The Neturay Karta stupidity
    and the nonsense quoted above reflect
    extremist elements which are antithetical
    to Torah.

    Of course the stupid politicians
    in the government do not represent
    Judaism and likewise fail to appreciate
    the kindness HASHEM has bestowed on His
    people by allowing them to return in
    such significant numbers to the Holy

    Israel needs our prayers.

  28. Shmuel:

    A big Yasher Koach for quoting Gedolei Yisroel zt”l’s position on zionism. The holy words of the Chafetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, Rav Elchonon Wasserman, Rav Chaim Soloveichik, Rav Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik, Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rav S.D. Schneerson, Rav Avraham Yoshe Freund, Rav Aharon Roth, Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, Rav Yissachar Dov of Belz, Rav Moshe Leib Diskin, Rav Shlomo Zalman Eherenreich, Rav Shaul Brach of Kashoa, Rav Avigdor Miller, and Rav Yitchok Hutner zt”l remind us of the Torah outlook on this problem.

  29. Are the above people saying that had the year been 1938 and they knew what was to happen to the Jews of Europe, the leaders mentioned above would have said stay in Europe and not go to Israel?

    It happens to be that Ze’ev Jabotinsky knew. In the years of 1935 or 1936, Ze’ev Jabotinsky had a plan to rescue millions of Jews from Europe and had spoken to the Polish and Hungarian governments about rescuing the Jews of Europe.

    The hypocrisy also is that there is a canard said about the Jews of Europe that they were starting to assimilate and this is why the Holocaust happened. Let me understand this.

    The Jews could not go to Israel because of the lack of Holiness in Israel to keep Jews Frum, yet by staying in Europe they caused their own destruction.

    We Jews can never win.

    The real answer is that the Holocaust was a Geziroh Min Hashamyin that can never be understood.

    I just read a first person account of being on the train, going to Aushwitz, seeing Mengele, YMS. I closed my eyes and was on the train with him, seeing what he saw. Go tell him that the State of Israel was not a gift from Hashem. He is still living.

    Jews have to work together.

  30. Michael,

    We are talking about the anti-Jewish philosophy known as zionism.

    In any event, the evil zionists prevented Torah Jews from emigrating to Palestine.

    It is true that the Holocaust was a Geziroh Min Hashamyim that can not be understood today; the same principle holds true regarding the establishment of the heretical state in Palestine. Both events can be described as being the will of Hashem.

  31. Re #50

    “We are talking about anti-Jewish philosophy…”

    You can say that again. You might as well post on the Al Jazeira website you
    shlemeel. What you write is kefira and rishus. You mimick dumb satmar and neturei karta narishkeit.

  32. It is a distortion of Jewish history
    to omit Gedolim who supported and continue to
    support Israel as an independent Jewish country. Below is a list of some of the
    Gedolei Yisrael:

    Rabbi Yehuda Ben Shlomo Alkalai z’tsal
    Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer z’tsal
    HaRav HaGaon Shmuel Mohliver z’tsal
    HaRav HaGaon Yaakov Reines z’tsal
    HaRav HaGaon Avraham Yitzchak Kook zal
    HaRav HaGaon Yehuda Leib Maimon zal
    HaRav HaGaon Yosef B. Soloveitchik zal
    HaRav Yisaschar Shlomo Teichtal zaycher
    tsaddik vehkodosh lebracha
    Gerrer Rebbe

    It is noteworthy that HaRav Yaakov
    Kamenetsky zal acknowledged the nissim
    surrounding the rebirth of a yiddishe
    medina. (Read Book HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky His Life And Teachings pg. 45):

    ” Were it not for the creation of the
    State in 1948, a million Jews would have
    assimilated as a result of despair that followed the destruction of World War 11…
    Similarly, the miracles of the 1967 war also had their place…I refute the idea that miracles can emanate from a satanical source.
    Miracles of such magnitude can only be performed by a force for good…”

    HaRav Soloveitchik & his brother
    HaRav Aharon Soloveitchik z’tsal of Brisk in
    Chicago were outspoken in their proclamation
    of the Divine miracle surrounding the rebirth
    of a yiddishe medina. It is not perfect. (But nothing is in this world.) We should thank HaShem for this unique opportunity.

  33. Rabbosai, please disregard the previous two comments (written by the same author) as they are rife with inaccuracies! For example…

    A letter written is reprinted in Meir Ainei Chachamim Vol. 3 that the Oztorvtzer Rebbe wrote to the Gerrer Rebbe, passing on a quesiton he was asked regarding whether it is acceptable for Jews to buy land in eretz yisroel through certain organizations, the problem being – quote – “since the members of these organizations consist mostly of Zionists, perhaps we should worry that it may chas v’sholom lead far in the future to a danger to the religion of the Torah by joining with them (i.e. the Zionists).” He says that he personally doesnt seem to see a danger, since there really is no real hischabrus with the Zionists in such transactions, but he is not a baki in these things, and so he is soliciting the position of the Gerrer Rebbe. Then he writes that he heard from a certain person that the Gerrer Rebeb said such activity was acceptable.

    The Gerrer Rebbe of course, said not to believe what that person said in his name and that any connection with organizations whose membership has non-religious Jews is a sakanah, and even if you dont feel it now, you will feel it in the future.

    The Gerrer Rebbe’s letter to the Ostovtzer, btw, was publicized way before the Ostrovtzer’s letter to him. It was printed during the Gerrer Rebbe’s lifetime (in ‘947) in Osef Michtavim (#30), and is quoted by the Satmar Rebbe in Vayoel Moshe to demonstrate what the Gerrer Rebbe’s authentic position was regarding hischabrus with the Zionists.

    (For the record, that Sefer, Meir Ainei Chachamim, which is on sugyos all over shas as well as Agadita, is the most unbelievable brilliant display of Geonus that you can imagine. Words cannot describe how impossibly charifusdik those pilpulim of the Ostrovtzer are. If you want to experience Olam Hazeh – never mind Olam Habah for now, but Olam Hazeh! – and you want to know what a “geshmake” dvar Torah is – then open up this sefer to a sugya you are learning, and enjoy!)

  34. …..After the heretics and inciters associated with the Zionist movement managed to take control of many affairs of Klal Yisroel in the world, differences in approach among the gedolim developed in how to fight against those who wanted to undermine the traditional values of Klal Yisroel, and how to survive in the face of the serious threat they presented of destroying all traces of kedushoh in the world. In our opinion this is a machlokes lesheim Shomayim — a difference of opinion both sides of which have full intention to fulfill the will of Heaven — whose destiny is to persist.

    The approach of the Satmar community under the leadership of its rabbonim has been different — in practice and tactical theory — from the approach taken by our rabbonim zichronom livrochoh and shlita.

    Yet it was always clear that this difference in approach does not express any difference in analysis of the reality and in evaluation of the substance of the situation. We are united in our determined and uncompromising struggle against the nationalist circles, the secular Zionists and other compromising circles that are drawn after them. We both see the situation in the same way, but we differ in what to do about it.

    This has been reflected in the way gedolei Yisroel spoke about each other. For example, when HaRav Schneur Kotler zt”l was niftar, the Satmar Rov HaRav Moshe zt”l said that HaRav Schneur was the same as his father, and he specifically mentioned the Chazal that his uncle the Vayo’el Moshe had applied to HaRav Aharon in his hesped of R’ Aharon: “The Torah tells us that the praise of Aharon was that he did not stray [from the Divine commandment].”

    And we also recall what Maran HaRav Shach said at the passing of the Vayo’el Moshe, when he mentioned that the strong position taken by the Admor zt”l was essential for the entire generation. He said that when there is a strong opponent, it influences even those who do not stand with him, and without that strong stand it becomes that much harder to swim against the mighty opposing flow.

    The Torah-true camp can encompass diversity within the acknowledged boundaries. There is a real and actualized possibility of following different streams, under the guidance of gedolei Yisroel. Opposition may be strong and clear, but so may the recognition that both are “the living words of G-d.”

  35. Consider what the Brisker Rav once said.

    It was in ’48 when the state of Israel was established. The Brisker Rav got so ill from the fact that they created Israel that he had to stay in bed.

    The Chazon Ish heard about this and he sent a message to the Brisker Rav:

    “Dont worry Brisker Rav, gezeirah avidah libatlei” (Hashem can nullify the and decree – Hashem will make sure Israel is dismantled).

    The Brisker Rav sent back to the Chazon Ish: “When is it true that gezeirha avidah debatlei – that bad decrees are annulled- that is only when the people realize it is a bad descree. But I am afraid,” he said, “that this bad decree, the people think is a good decree, and so I am afraid that it will be here for a very long time.”

    In other words, the solution to the State of Israel tragedy is to realize that the State of Israel is a tragedy, and then hashem will help us out of it.

    Hashem doenst take away problems unless you want Him to. And you cant want Him to unless you realize it’s a problem.

    So understanding why Zionism is bad is itself the solution to Zionism.

  36. The following is a letter from the Sfas Emes, the Gerrer Rebbe (1847-1905). The letter is printed in the book Chiddushei Harim and Gur Aryeh, Bilgoraya 5673, letter number 8 at the end of the book.

    Thursday of Parshas Kedoshim 5661 (1901), Gur.

    Life and peace to the honor of my friend, the great and famous and holy rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel shlita.

    I received your letter, accompanied by the pilpul on halacha. I was happy to see you walking with broad knowledge through the Talmud and poskim. Now I will do your bidding to tell you my humble opinion on this subject (moving to Eretz Yisroel) as far as halacha, and practically speaking.

    Briefly, certainly one who has a little fear of Heaven, accepts upon himself to keep the mitzvos of terumos and maaseros, and knows that his wife will not be against it, should not be afraid to go to Eretz Yisroel, and it will be considered a mitzvah. Even though this aliyah would not be for the sake of the mitzvah, we say that “by doing mitzvos for the wrong reasons one will eventually come to do them for the right reasons.” But one who is not certain of himself that he will fulfill the many mitzvos of the land  gifts to the poor and tithes come out to about a fifth of the produce or more, and keeping the Shmittah is even harder, a great test, especially if all their livelihood will be from the produce of the land  then he should not bring himself to such a test.

    And especially regarding what you proposed to permit people who act improperly in our countries to go to Eretz Yisroel, on the assumption that once they live there they will humble themselves, G-d forbid that a descendent of my father should say such a thing! These people only go to benefit from the land, for their livelihood is difficult here. Surely you have heard about the groups of irreligious and wicked people who have spread in Eretz Yisroel and Jerusalem. Woe to the ears that hear this! Therefore in this case there is definitely a possibility of a prohibition.

    All this pertains to the halacha. Now, turning to the practical sphere, you wish to make efforts in this area, to convince Jews to move to Eretz Yisroel. But you should not rely on stories; rather you should first send a few men with good sense and they should stay there for at least a few months, to see if it is really possible to live off the produce of the land. Hearing is not the same as seeing. And it is well known that there are many poor people in Eretz Yisroel  why do they not live off the produce of the land? And at least you must first ask people you know who have lived there several years and see what they have to say about this. You say that there has been a change there, that the land is sprouting with blessing, more than previously, but I have not heard this. You can get the true story from the Jews of Eretz Yisroel.

    Regarding what you wrote further that through your efforts a majority of the Jewish people will come there, your words are all astounding. In this matter we say, “Let not he who puts on his sword boast like him who takes it off” (Melachim I 20:11). We cannot use this as one of our reasons to permit immigration to Eretz Yisroel.

    May the Holy One, blessed is He, restore our captivity soon, and bring us up to Zion with song, and make us joyous as much as the days of our affliction.

    His friend who seeks his peace, Aryeh Leib of Gur.

    His successor, the Imrei Emes, was also very strong in his opposition to Zionism. However, he did encourage his chassidim to move to Eretz Yisroel, and made trips there to strengthen the community. As a member of Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, he was criticized by Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the Munkaczer Rebbe, for the Agudah activists excesses in stressing emigration to the Holy Land. In response, the Imrei Emes said that he was only the honorary president but had no actual power over the activists:

    “In truth, I already dislike bearing the title of honorary president of the Agudah. I would willingly give up the honor and I wish I had never taken it on. For what do I need such a big responsibility? Who am I that people should blame these things on me? I would like you to suggest a different way for religious Jews to unite, so that there might be no complaints against us.” (Tikun Olam, p. 19)

    In the years immediately prior to the establishment of the Zionist state, Agudah policy was dominated by Isaac Meir Levine, son-in-law of the Imrei Emes. However, he was mostly unable to consult with the Imrei Emes (who was then in his last year of life) or other gedolim, and the decision reached by him and other Agudah activists to enter the provisional government was not based on any ruling from the gedolim. See Mikatowitz Ad Hei B’Iyar, Chapter 6.

    The Gerrer Rebbes’ policy from then on has been to vote, but that does not mean that they would disagree with the halachic sources forbidding the establishment of a state.

    The Belzer Rav, Rabbi Ahron Rokeach, followed in the footsteps of his father, Rabbi Yissachar Dov, as a strong anti-Zionist and anti-Agudist. This stance was maintained from the time he became rebbe in the mid-1920’s until his escape to Palestine in the midst of the War. When the Eidah became an official kehillah in the 1920s, the Zionists, who called their kehillah Kneses Yisroel, arranged with the British that every Jew would automatically be included in their kehillah, unless he went once a year and registered himself as a yotzei. So that is what the Jews of the Old Yishuv did. Several rabbis in Europe wrote letters exhorting everyone to go and register himself as yotzei, including the Belzer Rov, Reb Ahron. But when Reb Ahron later came to Jerusalem, he did not register himself as a yotzei. They asked him, didnt you yourself write that one must? He said that he didnt remember this ruling. They showed him the letter he had written. He wrote another letter saying I dont remember, which was circulated by the Zionists, while the anti-Zionists circulated the old letter. Some attribute his change of attitude to gratitude to the Zionist Rabbi Isaac Herzog, who had been instrumental in his rescue from Europe. Others say that it had to do with the Belzer community in Eretz Yisroel, which was largely founded by chassidim with Zionist leanings who had left Belz in Europe in reaction to the strong anti-Zionist stance of their previous rebbe, Rabbi Yissachar Dov.

    At the first elections to the Knesset, Rabbi Ahron’s name appears on the declaration in favor of voting, but some claim that the signature was not genuine. Reb Ahron lived until 1957. In 1966, Reb Ahrons nephew, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, then only eighteen years old, became the new Belzer Rebbe. He and his followers continued to cooperate with the Israeli government and to utilize government funds to support their yeshivos. However, this does not mean that they would disagree with the halachic sources forbidding the establishment of a state.

    The Alexander Rebbes and their chassidim did not take part in the Agudah politics in Poland. Rabbi Shmuel Tzvi, the Alexander Rebbe who passed away in 1925, had this to say about Agudah:

    “Regarding the Agudah, what can I say and what can I speak? My heart is pained for the slain of the house of Israel! My soul cries in secret over the great destruction and terrible desolation, burning and flickering like fire! The misfortunes grow worse from day to day, and who knows will grow out of this? May Hashem have mercy on the remainder of us. I am almost weakened from suffering so much over this.” (Tikun Olam, p. 56).

    Rabbi Shmuel Tzvi’s son Rabbi Yitzchok Menachem continued in his ways. He was killed in Treblinka in 1943. About the continuation of the Alexander dynasty in Bnei Brak I have no information right now.

  37. The Jewish National Anthem:

    G-d is our King,
    We are his servants
    The holy Torah is our Law
    We are loyal to it.
    We do not recognize the Heretic Zionist Regime
    Its laws do not apply to us
    We walk in the ways of the Torah
    In fire and water
    We walk in the ways of the Torah
    To Sanctify the Name of Heaven

  38. Rav Shach, ZT’L said that l’shita he agreed with the Satmar Rav a hundred percent, just that he felt that l’maaseh it was impossible to follow it in the present time. The Brisker Rav and his children went further and opposed any form of participation in the Medina, including taking any kind of money for Torah education.
    Concerning Rav Hutner ZT’L in an article in the Jewish Observer of Oct 77 (written by Rabbi Yaakov Feitman based on talks by Rav Hutner) he placed a lot of blame for the Holocaust very directly on the Zionist movement. R’ Elchonon Wasserman ZT’L writes in print (Kovetz Maamarim) that the leadership of the Zionist movement were Amalekim no less than the Yevsektsia in Stalinist Russia and that the Land will inevitably vomit them out. His son R’ Simcha, zatzal, refused to join calls to participate in elections in spite of great pressure that was put on him to do so (and himself always made a point of being abroad during elections).

  39. ?’ ?????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ???? ????.

    The three verses are:

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please (Song of Songs 2:7).

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please (Song of Songs 3:5).

    I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem: Why should ye awaken, or stir up love, until it please? (Song of Songs 8:4).

    There are several other Midrashim that pertain to the Three Oaths and they are primarily recorded in Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah which is also known as Midrash Hazita:

    R. Yossi bar Chanina said, “There are two oaths here, one for Israel and one for the nations. Israel swore not to rebel against the nations [R. Yossi bar Chanina views Israel’s two oaths in Ketuvot as just one], and the nations swore that they would not overly burden Israel, for by doing so they cause the end of days to come prematurely.
    Rabbi Chelbo says…And do not ascend like a wall from the Exile. If so, why is the King Messiah coming? To gather the exiles of Israel.

    When Reish Lakish would see Jews from the Exile gathering in the marketplace [in the Land of Israel] he would say to them, ‘Scatter yourselves.’ He said to them: ‘When you ascended you did not do so as a wall, and here you have come to make a wall.’ [7]There are several other Midrashim that pertain to the Three Oaths and they are primarily recorded in Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah which is also known as Midrash Hazita:
    R. Yossi bar Chanina said, “There are two oaths here, one for Israel and one for the nations. Israel swore not to rebel against the nations [R. Yossi bar Chanina views Israel’s two oaths in Ketuvot as just one], and the nations swore that they would not overly burden Israel, for by doing so they cause the end of days to come prematurely.

    Rabbi Chelbo says…And do not ascend like a wall from the Exile. If so, why is the King Messiah coming? To gather the exiles of Israel.

    When Reish Lakish would see Jews from the Exile gathering in the marketplace [in the Land of Israel] he would say to them, ‘Scatter yourselves.’ He said to them: ‘When you ascended you did not do so as a wall, and here you have come to make a wall.’

    Rambam cited the Three Oaths in his famous Iggeres Teiman:

    ???? ???? ???? ?”? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ??????? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ??????? ???

    Shlomo Hamelech, of blessed memory, foresaw with Divine inspiration, that the prolonged duration of the exile would incite some of our people to seek to terminate it before the appointed time, and as a consequence they would perish or meet with disaster. Therefore he admonished and adjured them in metaphorical language to desist, as we read, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the hinds of the field, that ye awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please.” (Song of Songs 2:7, 8:4). Now, brethren and friends, abide by the oath, and stir not up love until it please (Kesubos 111a).

    Ramban did not explicitly discuss the Three Oaths. Rashbash who was himself a descendant of Ramban, understood this particular biblical obligation to be binding on the individual level but not on the collective:

    “In truth, this commandment is not a commandment which includes the entirety of Israel in the Exile which now exists, but it is a general principle as our Sages stated in the Talmud in Ketubos, that it stems from the Oaths which The Holy One, Blessed be He, made Israel swear not to rush the End, and not to ascend like a wall.” (Responsa Rashbash, 2)

    Rabbeinu Bachya, formulated a comprehensive Torah commentary based on the four principles denoted by the word “PaRDeS.” In his commentary he wrote on Genesis 32:7 :

    …and it is written “And Hezekiah prayed before God” (2 Kings 19:15). So too we are required to follow in the way of the Patriarchs and to restore ourselves so that we may be graciously accepted and with our fine language and prayer before God, may He be exalted. However, to wage war is not possible (Song of Songs 2), “you have been adjured daughters of Jerusalem, etc.” You have been adjured not to engage in war with the nations.”

    Maharal discussed the Three Oaths in Netzach Yisrael:

    ?? ????? ‘????? ?? ???’ ????? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???, ???? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ???, ?????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ?????. ?? ???? ?? ???, ?? ?? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?????, ?? ??? ?????. ???? ????? ‘????? ?? ???’, ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ???, ?? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ???. ??? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ????, ??? ????? ??

    Another explanation of the Midrash’s statement (he is speaking of Shir Ha-Shirim Rabba 2:20 that begins “????? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ???”) that God adjured the Jewish people in a generation of Shmad (religious persecution Jews, or decrees against Jews): that even if they will threaten to kill them with difficult torture, they will not leave [the Exile] nor will they change their behavior in this manner.

    The oaths are between the Jewish people and God, and the gentiles and God respectively. Theoretically, if the gentiles would violate their oath does not tacitly mean that the Jewish people are free to do so as well. Historically, atrocities prior to the Holocaust have not prompted claims of violating the oaths by the gentiles.

  40. Zionist Rudolf Kastner received a report (the Vrba-Wetzler Report”) from 2 Nazi death camp escapees detailing what the Nazis were doing to the Yidden (i.e. murdering them in cold blood.) Kastner hid the Vrba-Wetzler report from Hungarian Jewry, who he helped lead to believe that the death trains were merely taking them to resettle. He knew (unlike the rest of Hungarian Jewry) that they were death trains. Kastner kept this report hidden in order not to derail his sweetheart deal for his family and friends train from Adolf Eichmann. (Which about 90+% constituted of his family and zionist cronies.) Adolf Eichmann himself said that the assistance provided to him by the Zionist Rudolf Kastner was immeasurable in keeping Hungarian Jewry quiet before deporting them to Auswitz. Kastners treason against his fellow Jew was so obvious, his fellow zionist court in the State of Israel CONVICTED him of collaboration with Eichmann. Afterwards a holocaust survivor killed Kastner because of his selling Hungarian Jewish lives to Adolf Eichmann. Kastner (to quote a Zionist/Israeli court) “sold his soul to the devil” by selling the lives of half a million Hungarian Jews to Adolf Eichmann in exchange for his crony train. Then another zionist court, trying to contain the damage that came out in the first zionist court trial, post-humously vacated PART of the original judgement against Kastner. The Vrba-Wetzler Report was produced by Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, two Slovakian Jews who had escaped from Auschwitz, and issued in the form of a report details of what the Nazis ym’s were doing to the Jews. It was typed up by Dr. Oscar Krasniansky, who personally delivered a copy of it to Kastner, who refused to make it public.

    At the conclusion of the war, SS Officer Kurt Becher (one of Kastner’s Nazi friends he paid off) was put on trial at Nuremberg as a war criminal. Kastner testified in this Nazis defense, stating that “[Becher is] cut from a different wood than the professional mass murderers of the political SS”. This defense of an SS officer further angered the Hungarian Jewish community, even more so than the original collaboration had with Eichmann. In all, Kastner testified on behalf of Becher and other SS/Nazi officials involved in his ransom efforts five separate times between 1946 and 1948. And after the war, Kastner testified in Nuremberg in SUPPORT of several Nazis, in their war crimes trial. He got some Nazi’s ACQUITTED.

    This is a quote from the ruling by Israeli Judge Halevi against Kastner:
    “It is clear that the positive recommendation by Kastner, not only in his own name but also in the name of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish World Congress was of decisive importance for [Nazi Col. Kurt] Becher. Kastner did not exaggerate when he said that Becher was released by the Allies because of his personal intervention. The lies in the affidavit of Kastner and the contradictions and various pretexts, which were proven to be lies, were sufficient to annul the value of his statements and to prove that there was no good faith in his testimony in favor of this German war criminal. Kastner’s affidavit in favor of Becher was a willfully false affidavit given in favor of a war criminal to save him from trial and punishment in Nuremberg.”

    (The Judge also found Kastner guilty of “selling his soul to the devil”, the devil being Eichmann and the deal Kastner struck with Eichmann allowing Eichmann to easily deport Hungarian Jewry to Auschwitz without resistance.)

    This is a quote from Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz and reported what was happening there to Kastner:
    “I am a Jew. In spite of that, indeed because of that, I accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war. This small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler’s gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them was Dr. Kasztner, leader of the council which spoke for all Jews in Hungary. While I was prisoner number 44070 at Auschwitz – the number is still on my arm – I compiled careful statistics of the exterminations . . . I took these terrible statistics with me when I escaped in 1944 and I was able to give Hungarian Zionist leaders three weeks notice that Eichmann planned to send a million of their Jews to his gas chambers . . . Kasztner went to Eichmann and told him, ‘I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall keep quiet.’ Eichmann not only agreed, but dressed Kasztner up in S.S. uniform and took him to Belsen to trace some of his friends. Nor did the sordid bargaining end there. Kasztner paid Eichmann several thousand dollars. With this little fortune, Eichmann was able to buy his way to freedom when Germany collapsed, to set himself up in the Argentine . . .”

    And the devil himself:
    Only Heinrich Himmler could turn off the liquidation machine. It was in 1944, the year of the assassination attempt on Hitler, when Reichsführer Himmler took over as commander of the Reserve Army, that he authorized me to propose an exchange: one million Jews for 10,000 winterized trucks with trailers. The World Jewish Organization could decide for itself what Jews it wanted to choose. We asked only that they get us 10,000 trucks. Thanks to Himmler’s directive, I could assure them, on my word of honor, that these trucks would be used only on the Eastern front. As I said at the time, “When the 10,000 winterized trucks with trailers are here, then the liquidation machine in Auschwitz will be stopped.

    In obedience to Himmler’s directive I now concentrated on negotiations with the Jewish political officials in Budapest. One man stood out among them, Dr. Rudolf Kastner, authorized representative of the Zionist movement. This Dr. Kastner was a young man about my age, an ice-cold lawyer and a fanatical Zionist. He agreed to help keep the Jews from resisting deportation and even keep order in the collection camps if I would close my eyes and let a few hundred or a few thousand young Jews emigrate illegally to Palestine. It was a good bargain. For keeping order in the camps, the price of 15,000 to 20,000 Jews – in the end there may have been more – was not too high for me.

    Except perhaps for the first few sessions, Kastner never came to me fearful of the Gestapo strong man. We negotiated entirely as equals. People forget that. We were political opponents trying to arrive at a settlement, and we trusted each other perfectly. When he was with me, Kastner smoked cigarettes as though he were in a coffeehouse. While we talked he would smoke one aromatic cigarette after another, taking them from a silver case and lighting them with a little silver lighter. With his great polish and reserve he would have made an ideal Gestapo officer himself.

    Dr. Kastner’s main concern was to make it possible for a select group of Hungarian Jews to emigrate to Israel. But the Arrow Cross, the Hungarian fascist party, had grown strong and stubborn. Its inspectors permitted no exceptions to the mass deportations. So the Jewish officials turned to the German occupation authorities. They realized that we were specialists who had learned about Jewish affairs through years of practice.

    As a matter of fact, there was a very strong similarity between our attitudes in the SS and the viewpoint of these immensely idealistic Zionist leaders who were fighting what might be their last battle. As I told Kastner: “We, too, are idealists and we, too, had to sacrifice our own blood before we came to power.”

    I believe that Kastner would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred- thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. But he was incredibly persistent in trying to save biologically valuable Jewish blood, that is, human material that was capable of reproduction and hard work. “You can have the others,” he would say, “but let me have this group here.” And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful, I would let his groups escape. After all, I was not concerned with small groups of a thousand or so Jews.

    At the same time Kastner was bargaining with another SS of official a Colonel Kurt Becker. Becher was bartering Jews for foreign exchange and goods on direct orders from Himmler. A crafty operator, Becher had come to Hungary originally to salvage a stud farm which the SS wanted. He soon wormed his way into dealings with the Jews. In a way, Reichsführer Himmler was Becher’s captive. Becher showed me once a gold necklace he was taking to our chief. There were other agencies, German and Hungarian, which tapped Kastner for foreign exchange in return for Jews, but I held aloof from money affairs and left the material transactions to Becher.

    Men under Becher’s command guarded a special group of 700 Jews whom Kastner had requested from a list. They were mostly young people, although the group also included Kastner’s entire family. I did not care if Kastner took his relatives along. he could take them wherever he wanted to.

    —A. Eichmann, “Eichmann Tells His Own Damning Story”, Life Magazine, Volume 49, Number 22, (28 November 1960), pp. 19-25, 101-112; and “Eichmann’s Own Story: Part II”, Life Magazine, (5 December 1960), pp. 146-161; at 146

    And of course the Zionists sabatoged the trucks for Hungarian Jewish lives deal by tipping off the British authorities to arrest the Jewish emissary sent from Europe to the middle east to facilitate the deal.

    etc. etc. etc.

    See “Min Hamaytzar” by Hagoen Hatzaddik Rav Michoel Ber Weismandel ZT’L for further details about the zionist collaboration with the Nazis.

  41. Nothing the following post is to argue with anything that was said above. I feel that the founding of the State of Israel was a gift from Hashem to the Yidden. The Gedolim were and are great leaders. They are our souce of inspiraton. Leaders have often disagreed in the past. We have to deal with what we have today and if the Jews do not work together, we will be lost. The Arabs are united in their desire to destroy Israel and wipe the Jewish religion off the face of the earth.

    There are many Gedolim who were supportive of Israel or once established felt that the Jews have to come together in support of the State, For every comment above, there are others who disagreed. Everyone agrees that many of the Zionists were Reshuim. I do not khow why this is and was such a Chiddush.

    1) Kaztner – There is a documentary that just came out called Killing Kaztner. The producer on a radio talk show was asked about Perfidy. She said the Ben Hecht had an agenda when he wrote the book. She also said that a number of things that Ben Hecht wrote would not stand up in light of what we know today. I have heard that Ben Hecht himself was a Mushches.

    2) The Satmer Rebbe was saved by the Kaztner train.

    3) The Hungarian Rebbes were vehemently opposed to Israel, while the Polish Rebbes were generally pro – Israel. We know that the Gerrer Rebbe in 1935 or 1936 wanted to stay in Israel and said,let my Chassidim come to me in Israel.

    3) No one says that the Zionists were Tazadikkim. I would rather be in Israel working and fighting the Zionists than being killed by the Polish, Russian, Hungarian anti-semites, and German devils.

    4) What about the Frum Zionists?

    5) Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank’s children hid munitions in the floorboards of their father’s house.

    6) A friend of mine told me that the historian Dr. Hillel Ziedman told him the following story. Dr. Ziedman was walking with Reb Aaron Kotler TZL in the early 1950’s on a Friday night. Reb Aaron Kotler TZL asked Dr. Ziedman how a certain vote in the UN went and Dr. Zeidman replied it did not go well for Israel. Reb Aaron Kotler TZL made a derogatory comment about the UN. Dr. Ziedman asked, B’Mechilah of the Rosh Yeshiva, I thought the Rosh Yehsiva was opposed to the State of Israel. Reb Aaron Kotler TZL said, what do you think, that I am a Meshguner, that we should give the land to Abdullah.

    7) There are many answers to the 3 oaths and the issues of why it is that non Frum Jews are taking the lead of settling Israel and what should our response be. Also addressed is where is our Mesorah for going back to Israel. Why didn’t our Rebbes talk about settling Israel and why don’t we have a sign like that had in Egypt.

    8 ) I go back to what I wrote before and will add to it. In the late 19th century the Czar made it almost impossible to live in Russia. Herzl saw after the Dreyfus trial that there was no future for the Jews of Europe. Gedolim also wrote about the antisemitism of the Europeans and that it would not come to a good conclusion. Zabotinsky traveled up and down Europe telling people what lies in store for the Jews of Europe.

    I will ask the question, why didn’t Yidden ask themselves why is it that a totally assimilated Jew wrote in 1897 that the Jews had no future in Europe and said that the return to Zion, must be accompanied by a return to Religion.

    Hitler wrote Mein Kempf in the 20’s, came to power in the 30s. Why didn’t the words of Herzl and Jabotinsky reverberate in the back of their minds.

    I am not saying that they should have accepted the Rishous (evil) of some of the Zionists. Maybe they should have recognized that Israel was a safe haven and each one send some of their Yeshivos to Israel, just like Yaakov Avinu sent Yehuda to Egypt.

    9) I was told another story that when after the Holocaust a survivor came to the Belzer Rebbe and asked him, why didn’t you tell me to run. The Belzer Rebbe replied in effect that she is right. The person telling me the story, said the Belzer Rebbe was not just pushing her off, there was humility in his answer, and that had he known he definatly would have said run, run, run.

    Years ago I read a book about a family that had a child taken by the Church in Europe. The book is about how the family fought the Church and what happened. Most of the family made it to Israel before the war. The author wrote at the end of the book,that every year we get together as a family. We have family members that represent every group in Klal Yisroel, inlcuding Zionists. We have love for each other and have mutual respect.

    This is the ideal.

  42. Michael —

    1) The movie “Killing Kaztner” was a zionist rehab attempt on Rudolf Kastner who is singlehandedly (as demonstrated in comment 61) responsible for the mass murder of Hungarian Jewry together with Kastners cohort Adolf Eichmann.

    2) By that logic, the Rebbe was saven by Adolf Eichmann, who arranged and approved for the train.

    3) The Polish AND Hungarian Rebbe’s were vehemently anti-Zionists. Including the Gerrer Rebbe, as several comments above (i.e. comments 53 & 56) demonstrate.

    4) Assuming that is even accurate, why is Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank responsible for what his child did?

    5) In the summer of ’37 at the third Kenesia gedolah of the rabbinical leaders of Agudath Israel held in Marienbad, which included hundreds of rabbis, heads of yeshiva religious academies and grand rabbis of Chassidic communities from a number of countries. Rav Aharon Kotler attended this convention.

    From the journal Hapardes (Year 11, Issue 7) describing the convention:

    “Rabbi Wasserman, Rabbi Kotler, Rabbi Rottenberg from Antwerp, and rabbis from Czechoslovakia and Hungary were unanimous in rejecting any proposal for a “Jewish State” on either side of the Jordan River, even if it were established as a religious state because such a regime would be a form of **heresy in our faith in the belief in the coming of the Messiah**, and especially since this little “Jewish” state would be built on heresy and desecration of the Name of G-d.

    7) The best discussion of the 3 oaths can be found in the Vayoel Moshe.

    8) Herzl was a rasha.

    9) What’s your source for this maasela? I would not put too much veracity into it.

  43. I read the HaPardes and he presented it as a debate which was unresolved.

    Vayoel Moshe is not the sole authority on this. There are those who disagree.

    Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank gave his permission to the hiding of munitions in his house.

    The likelihood that the Allies would have let a deal to be consumated to help the Nazi war machine is remote. The likelihood that the Nazi’s would have allowed a large number of Jews to live is also naive.

    How did the Satmer Rebbe not know what wa sinsotre fo the Jews of Hungary. Perhaps he should have seen the Goyim as Jabotinsky did. Perhaps he should have attended a Jabotinsky speech and felt the passion of Jabotinsky.

    Maasala’s are important. Gedolim do not live on anger and dysfuntionality. They understand humility. They feel other Jew’s pains. They don’t flippantly dismiss people to fit their agenda.

    The killer of Kaztner was not a holocaust survivor. He was an extremist who was looking to make a name of himself. He was a dangerous person and we have to learn a lesson not to support extremists whether liberal or conservative, Orthodox or non-orthodox, Zionist or non-Zionist.

    I have always thought, what would have happened if the Polish Rebbe model was adopted. We have to be wary of the Zionists because their intentions towards Yiddishkeit are evil, however, we have to love Israel, and encourage people to go. Perhaps that should have been the Passak Halacha in 1937.

    As with everything in life there are heros and cowards, good people and evil people. Most people are in between. The war years produced tremendous pressure on people and it is impossible to second guess. Who to save was always going to be heart wrenching Few would be saved and many would be lost. Some people are extremely angry at a previous generation Gadol, who according to them felt the Gadol choose certain people over others. I do not believe the story, however, it does point to the allocation of resources and who to save will always be an issue, and that perceptions of unfairness will always be there.

    Again and again, I insist. The Arab world is united in their desire to wipe Israel and the Jews off the face of the earth. The hatred caused by people not having the humility to recognize maybe we are all to blame, and their desire to hate Jews so easily, is a Maasah Satan and the Sitra Acher.

  44. The debate was not whether to make a State but whether to recognize it ex post facto. The leaders of the group – such as Rav Ahron – stated that it would be kefirah and they cannot do it; Rav Zalman Sorotzkins statement was that it can be done in some way (he didn’t explain what or how) and that – whether or not there would be issuring chamurim involved – recognizing it would not be kefirah in bias hamoshaich. At the end even though the organization unfortunately is run by quantitative majority as opposed to following people like Rav Ahron, Rav Chaim Ozer, the Brisker Rav and the Chazon Ish who should have been followed, still, they did agree to add to their quantitative majority conclusion, a protest stating that the Torah community was not asked whether to create this state to begin with. The intent of that was to say that had they been asked they would have said no, and this entire discussion is only after the fact. For details, please see Zvi Weinman’s documentation in “Mikatovitz ad 5 Iyar.”

    At the Knessiah Gedola of Agudath Israel in Marienbad the text of the resolution of the Rabbinical Council (Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah) that was unanimously adopted, read as follows : “A Jewish state not based on the principles of Torah is a denial of Jewish origin, is opposed to the identity and to the true stature of our People, and undermines the basis of existence of our People”. Resolution No. 1 of the Political Commission (also unanimously adopted) reads: “The Knessiah Gedola cannot lend its consent to the JEWISH STATE as proposed by the Peel Commission”. The resolution did not refuse its consent to the Peel Proposals but only to the JEWISH STATE contained in these proposals. (Quotations made from the official text (Yiddish) as published by Zeirei Agudath Israel of Riga, Latvia, 1938)

    The rule is, if the Gedolei Hador – and by that I mean in this context those people who the entire Klal Yisroel go to for guidance because of their great Torah stature – say something is Kefirah, then even though Rabbi Zirelson for example, was a big talmid chacham as were the others, still, we should follow the Gedolei Hador. The word “godol” is relative, and it would be a misnomer if using it would give even talmidei chachamim equal status as people such as Rav Chaim Ozer and the Chazon Ish.

    The Brisker Rav was asked why there are in fact Talmidei Chachamim who have such obvisouly wrong views, and basically he said that Zionism is like a fly in the ointment – even a very small amount in a person’s heart can mess up his decisions to a tremendous extent. In other words, this is not a machlokes where there are two legitimate sides to the coin. Rather, there is only one legitimate side he said, and the other side is simply due to the leverage of the Yetzer Horah on a person’s mind.

  45. Teimini — At the meeting of the Moetses Gedolei Hatorah at the 1937 Knesiyah Gedola in
    Marienbad – here is a piece from the book “Mikatovitz ad Hei Iyar” by To’en rabani/lawyer Zvi Weinman of Jerusalem quoting the Hapardes rabbinic journal – reporting the 7-hour discussion on the question of a Jewish state. The rabbonim against, including Rav Elchonon Wasserman, Rav Ahron Kotler, Rav Rottenberg of Antwerp as well as the rabbonim from Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

    It adds that they held this position under all circumstances even if such a medina was built upon ‘yesodos hadass’ [foundations of faith/religion], because, (an independent state) would be “Kefirah b’emunas bias hamoshiach” [denial in the faith of the coming of the Moshiach] and especially one built “al yesodos hakefirah, venimtza shem shomayim mischalell.” [on the foundations of heresy, and it result in the desecration of God’s Name].

  46. Re # 54

    Regarding my comment on traditional rabbinical support in favor of a Jewish country, Yechezkal Shraga writes:…
    “rife with inaccuracies”

    Can you name one inaccuracy? (It is
    historical fact that the illustrious rabbis
    I named favored religious Zionism. By the
    way, Rav Eiyashev’s “Rebbe” was the late and
    great HaRav HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Herzog z’tsal, the first Chief Rabbi of the State Of

    (By the way I am not the only
    blogger here who expresses a pro-Israel
    viewpoint. See Michael #63 among others.)

    (Yechezkel Shraga, Temimi, Yosef
    are names used by the same anti-Zionist

    All educated and religious Jews know
    that the greatest rabbis supported and continue to support Israel, which like all
    other countries, has an inalienable right to
    exist. God promised Israel to the Jews. (Many
    Gentiles recognize the Jewish claim to the land
    of Israel based on Hebrew Scripture. Isn’t it
    therefore foolish to dispute such an obvious Divine entitlement?)
    (You should not
    accept Satmar bias. Use the brain God gave you. Baruch HaShem, there are frum people who
    reject the silly and unholy anti-Israel propaganda.)

    Question to anti-Israel bloggers:

    Do you want the Jews to give the country to Hamas? To PLO?
    Do you know what is going on in the

    BT Kesubos on 3 Oaths does not
    have halachic relevance. There is no such
    halacha or provision in Shulchan Aruch.
    There is no such Din in Rambam’s Mishnah
    Torah. Gedolei Yisrael do not accept Satmar
    misinterpretation re alleged oaths.

    Rav Moshe Feinstein z’tsal did
    not agree with Satmar. (Although not
    associated with Mizrachi, unlike Rav
    Soloveitchik z’tsal, Rav Moshe never
    declared that we have to be “mevatel” the

    It is important to allow religious
    Zionist viewpoints. It is a gross distortion to pretend it does not exist.

  47. Support for the reestablishment of
    a Jewish State is mandated by HASHEM.

    This is Daas Torah. It is anti-Torah
    to believe that only “Moshiakh” can
    accomplish this goal.

    It is wrong to rule out “hishtadlus”
    in this case.

    See BT Sanhedrin 20b which rules
    that Jews should set up a government
    even before reconstruction of the
    Temple. This ruling reaffirms numerous
    exhortations in Chumash to inherit and
    possess the land. (See Ramban who
    states this obligation—to take
    possession of the land—is in effect
    forever.) It is clear from the Gemara
    and other relevant sources that taking
    possesion of the land constitutes action
    Jews must undertake in fulfillment of a
    Mitzvah. It was not done in the past
    because it was physically impossible.
    That’s a lame excuse nowadays.)

  48. r. Arnold Berger asked “Can you name one inaccuracy?”

    I can name many, but since you asked for one I’ll start with that.

    You made a purported list above of “Gedolim who supported and continue to support Israel as an independent Jewish country.” Your list was, for a lack of a better term, a bold faced lie.

    First of all some of those Rabbi’s supported settling in Eretz Yisroel. They did NOT however support Zionism or establishing a Jewish government in Palestine. From your list I previously demonstrated the heilige Gerror Rebbe ZT’L was an anti-Zionist. Other Rabbis on your false list who did NOT support the establishment of a Jewish government are Rav Kalischer, Rav Alkalai, Rav Teichtal, etc.!

    What I also found mildly amusing was how you deemed everyone you could think of who supported Zionism as “Gedolei Yisroel” and entitled them “HaRav HaGaon”. The funniest inclusion you made was “HaRav HaGaon Yehuda Leib Maimon”. Yehuda Leib Maimon was an Israeli politician who was never even a practicing rabbi!! (Although he was ordained.)

    HaRav Hagoen!?! It is obvious you have no concept of what a Godol is and are grasping at straws to find names and then calling every “rabbi” you find as “gedolei yisroel”. In your book the only necessity to be a godol is to be a zionist, and to not be a zionist (as the vast majority of Rabbonim especially pre-statehood were) you call them names.

    To repeat what was eloquently said, the rule is, if the Gedolei Hador – and by that I mean in this context those people who the entire Klal Yisroel go to for guidance because of their great Torah stature – say something is Kefirah, then even though someone else who was a big talmid chacham disagreed, still, we should follow the Gedolei Hador.

    The word “godol” is relative, and it would be a misnomer if using it would give even talmidei chachamim equal status as people such as Rav Chaim Ozer and the Chazon Ish.

    Frankly, Bnei Torah will take the Daas Torah (strongly opposing the Zionists and their kefira) of the true Gedolei Yisroel of Klal Yisroel including the Brisker Rov, the Chazon Ish, the Satmar Rebbe, Rav Elchonon Wasserman, the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Avigdor Miller, Rav Yitchok Hutner, etc.

    We Bnei Torah will follow those true Gedolei Yisroel over the names that you so easily, and often inaccurately, throw out. Even when you add a bunch of appellations and salutation in front of their names, and provide them with honorifics that they themselves were never known for.

  49. I finally had a chance to look at the HaPardes about the Kenessiah Gedolah. The debate went back and forth. There were those who supported the State and others who did not support the state. It was an open question and it seems that the ultimate decision was to support in principal a State in Israel.

    The Sochochver Rebbe said there should not be “Sinas Chinom.”

    Reb Yitzchok Herzog spoke and gave Divrei Bracha. A letter was read from Reb Meir Berlin, wishing success to the Kenssiah Gedolah on behalf of Mizrachi and that Mizrachi wanted to explore a union (or perhaps to work together) with Agudah.

    If anyone wants a full copy, please leave your e-mail on this website and I will send.

  50. In 1937, the 3rd World Congress (Knessiah Gedolah) of Agudath Israel was held at Marienbad, Czechoslavakia. A comparatively short while earlier, the British Royal Commission for Palestine, headed by Lord Peel, had publicly made known its recommendations to the British Government for the solution of the problem of Jews and Arabs in Palestine by means of Partition. These recommendations, for the first time in mandatory history, mentioned the words “Jewish State” not merely as a bombastic phrase, but as a practical proposal.

    The problem under discussion at the Knessiah Gedola of Agudath Israel in Marienbad did not center around the boundary lines as proposed by Lord Peel but around the very question of the existence of a Zionist “Jewish State” in the Holy Land, regardless of boundaries. It is an interesting fact that the decision of the Knessia Gedola was a clear-cut “no”, and in this negative decision there was no conflict whatsoever between those who were in favor of the immigration of “chalutzim” to Palestine or those who were against it. Even the delegates from the very few “kibbutzim” then owned by Agudath Israel in Palestine equally supported the negative attitude. Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky ZT’L of Wilna, who was also not considered an “extremist”, stated in his letter to the Knessiah Gedola (which he could not personally attend on account of his health), that “even if that state becomes a reality, it would at more be a state ruled by Jews, but never a Jewish State”.

    The text of the resolution of the Rabbinical Council (Moetzeth Gedolei Hatora) that was unanimously adopted, read as follows : “A Jewish state not based on the principles of Torah is a denial of Jewish origin, is opposed to the identity and to the true stature of our People, and undermines the basis of existence of our People”. Resolution No. 1 of the Political Commission (also unanimously adopted) reads: “The Knessiah Gedola cannot lend its consent to the JEWISH STATE as proposed by the Peel Commission”. The resolution did not refuse its consent to the Peel Proposals but only to the JEWISH STATE contained in these proposals. (Quotations made from the official text (Yiddish) as published by Zeirei Agudath Israel of Riga, Latvia, 1938.)

  51. Teimini/#71: Thanks for that article from Uriel Zimmer. It fills in a lot of blanks.

    Michael/#70: Can you send a copy of that to anoone10 at gmail com ?


  52. #69 Yechezkel Shraga

    Your comments reflect historical ignorance.

    You unjustifiably villify a great rabbi
    and scholar.

    “Yehuda Leib Maimon was an Israeli
    politician who was never even a practicing

    That is not true.

    1) Rabbi Yehuda Leib (Fishman) Maimon
    was an ordained rabbi.

    2) Rabbi Maimon was a practicing rabbi.

    In 1905 he became the official rabbi in
    Ungani, a town on the Bessarabian
    frontier. In fact, he was offered several
    rabbinical positions during his career.
    He was in demand because of leadership
    and scholarship. He wrote many erudite
    Torah articles.

    It is sinful to denigrate the
    memory of a great rabbi who served his
    people with total dedication.

  53. Yes on the e-mail.

    Everyone agrees that we should have a state based on Jewish values. Everyone agrees with Reb Chaim Ozer TZL. Please remember that life is dynamic. Rarely do we get what we want. We live in an imperfect world. We have to fight for what we believe in, however, we also have to be realistic of the outcome. Talk of hatred never leads to anything good. I hope that the talk against the Medina did not leave people to conclude that going to Israel was not critical in the 1930s’. It is easier to critcize than to lead. Words have an impact and when they are not couched with the words of the Sochochever to avoid Sinas Chinan, and when people do not see the love of Israel as the Gerrer Rebbe who in 1935 wanted to stay in Israel, then the wrong conclusion will be reached. When words are published that in its interpretation says it is better to live in Poland or Hungary than in Israel, then woe to Klal Yisroel.

    In reading through the Hapardes, you see that the entire convention was concerned about the travails of European Jewry, almost to a level of dispair. I believe that had Jabotinsky been allowed to speak, things would have been different.

  54. Michael/74 – No receipt yet. Just to verify the send to is anoone10 — with the third and fourth characters being the letter “o” and final two characters being the number “10” (ten).

  55. The Chazon Ish on The State of Israel

    Here is an excerpt from the Sefer Maaseh Ish, a very reliable biography of the Chazon Ish, which was gone over by many students of his, as well as people like Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita (who actually commented on some portions. His comments are included in the sefer):
    “His Position on the Medinah:

    “This is not the aschalta d’geulah but rather the sof golus!” was what he said to the confused upon the establishment of the Medinah . . .

    Here’s more:

    “A certain rabbi suggested to him that they should permit making marriages on 5 Iyar [which comes out on sefirah]. . . the rabbi admitted that in honor of Yom Haatzmaut he wanted to suspend the aveilus of sefirah. Our Rebbi [teh Chazon Ish] answered him aggresively: “Perhaps we should instead make it into a fast day!” . . .

    “On 5 Iyar, 1953, when he was honored to be a sandek [at a bris]. he commanded the congregation to say Tachanun in his Bais Hamedrash, to specifically do the opposite of them (“kidei lehotzi melibam”), and also so that they should not say that they did not say Tachanun on 5 Iyar. Rav Chaim [Kanievsky] shlita added: He said that he had 3 Brisim in Shul that day and he commanded them to say tachanun .

    (Maaseh Ish, Vol I pp.230-232)

  56. Whether this is “sof golus” or “aschalta deh
    geulah” has nothing to with the paramount significance of the renewal of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz HaKodesh.

    You should be aware that the parameters defining “sof golus” and “aschalta deh geulah”
    are open to debate. It follows, however, that
    when “a” ends, “b” begins. Thus, however you
    look at it, the current period is distinct
    from all previous periods.

  57. Of course Jewish sovereignty is of paramount significance. The Satmar Rebbe ZTV”L ZY”A on more than one occasion said it has delayed the arrival of Moshiach.

    And also note the other positions of the Chazon Ish ZTV”L ZY”A that I quoted above (i.e. Re: 5 Iyur and the bris; tachanun; marriages; fasting.) The Chazon Ish (found in Maaseh Ish Vol. 1 on the section about the holocaust) said, “There are indeed religious apikorsim nowadays — these apikorsum are those who say that the Gedolim were responsible for the Jews dying in Europe (i.e. WWII), and those who celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.”

  58. Eretz Yisroel is not the State of Israel. The State of Israel is a political government and national entity. Eretz Yisroel is a section of land. “Supporting Eretz Yisroel” is not the same as supporting the State of Israel. Eretz Yisroel was there before the State of Israel and will be there after the State of Israel is gone. (For the record, the Chazon Ish, quoted in Maaseh Ish, predicted that the State of Israel would last somewhere around 50 years!). I don’t even know what the phrase “support Eretz Yisroel” means – how do you “support” land? Does it need your “support”? Governments need people’s support, but thats not Eretz Yisroel youre talking about.

    Eretz Yisroel exists outside the State of Israel – southern Lebanon is Eretz Yisroel too, as holy as any of the streets in the State of Israel. Don’t forget to “support” southern Lebanon when you’re “supporting” Eretz Yisroel!

    And not all of the State of Israel is Eretz Yisroel – Elat is chutz la’aretz. It is not more holy than New York City. A lot less holy, probably, considering the amount of Torah in New York City and that in Elat.

    So if you have two Jews, one vacationing in Elat and the other in Lebanon, the one in Lebanon (parts of it anyway) has to take off Terumah and Maaser, while he basks in the holiness of Eretz Yisroel, while the Jews vacationing in Elat is in the State of Israel, but is basking in nothing at all.

    It is important to understand this.

    Living in Eretz Yisroel has nothing to do with Zionism. Having a Government, a State of Israel does. And while living in Eretz Yisroel is a wonderful thing (for some people; for others it is a bad thing – depends on how you behave. After all, you are in the King’s Back Yard), it is equally wonderful whether the land is governed by the Turks or the Arabs or the English or the Lebanese or the Chinese.

    In fact, all of the above nations are allowed to govern Eretz Yiroel in Golus. The only ones that aren’t allowed to are Jews. In fact, the Torah says that if Jews govern Eretz Yisroel, or even TRY to govern it, as a punishment, Hashem will allow Jews to “be hunted down like animals in the field.”

    That happens to be the worst punishment described anywhere in the Torah. Killed and hunted like animals. Those are the words. “ani matir es basarchem k;tzvios uk’ailos hasadeh” – “I will permit your flesh [to the goyim] like game in the fields”.

    Jews hunted and killed like animals – the punishment described in the Torah for a movement to create a Jewish State of Israel during golus. And certainly for actually creating one.

    Thats the problem with Zionism. (One of the many problems, actually). It has nothing to do with the holiness of Eretz Yisroel of living in it. On the contrary, it pollutes Eretz Yisroel and strips it of holiness.

  59. The following is based on the new sefer put out by R’ Shimon Finkelman shlita entitled Five Great Leaders (page 82):

    Ten years following the Balfour Declaration, when asked to clarify his opinion, R’ Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld ZTVK”L explained:

    Back in Pressburg (under the Chasam Sofer ZTVK”L and then under the Ksav Sofer ZTVK”L), every year a “Purim Rav” was selected. It is forbidden to pasken halacha even after a little drink. On Purim, everyone drinks so who will pasken an urgent sheilah? This is where the Purim Rav steps in. The Purim Rav, someone who was familiar with every-day halachos and who would remain sober on Purim, was “on call” in the event that an urgent question came up. R’ Yosef Chaim ZTL then said that this is how he views his purpose in the current times. After the Balfour Declaration came out and the Zionists began gaining control over Jewish matters in E”Y, many Jews, rabbanim included, became inebriated by the sheker-dik joy that arose. The yearning for Geulah was warped into viewing Zionism as the beginnning of Geulah. But HKB”H, explained R’ Yosef Chaim, has granted him the wisdom to remain sober and to not get swept up in the toxic winds of Zionism. He stated that in our history, there has never subsisted such a horrible threat to the existence of Klal Yisroel as Zionism, a movement that wishes to destroy our mesorah from Sinai. R’ Yosef Chaim continued: someone once asked him why he felt no happiness over the Balfour Declaration. He replied: “The drunk also wonders why everyone else isn’t joining him in his revelry. I am not drunk, and therefore I cannot rejoice” (page 83).

  60. “HaRav MiBrisk”, vol. 3 page 322:

    “Chazal teach,” said the Brisker Rav, that after Matan Torah, the act of the Yetzer Horah was successful, to make the Jews sin with the Egel.

    “Success such as this,” he continued and said, “like this, that they were able to create the Medinah, such success he [the Satan] did not have throught all the generations sicne the Egel.

    “The Brisker Rav held the poition that this Gezeirah of the establishment of the Medinah, is not merely another suffering among the sufferings that befall Klal Yisroel during Golus. But rather, it is a specific suffering that was that was awakened from Heaven specifically in our time, specifically on the people in this generation, because of their sins.”

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