Esteemed rabbis, tzaddikim, gaonim, roshei yeshivos, esteemed community members, kollel members, bochurim, and yeshiva students – all of us gathered here today: We find in this week’s Torah reading that Moshe Rabbeinu told the spies, “Be strong and take from the fruit of the land” (Bamidbar 13:20). The Tiferes Shlomo explains “fruit of the land” as an allusion to the words of tzaddikim who are buried in the earth. Moshe Rabbeinu exhorted the Jewish people to remain strong in the darkest moments of exile, and derive encouragement from the holy influence of the tzaddikim of past generations.
Also, Chazal say regarding the tzaddikim in the afterlife that when we quote them, their lips move in the grave (Yevamos 97a). It gives renewed life for the tzaddik when he has a share in the life of currently living people, as the Yismach Moshe says in Parshas Toldos. And when we quote Divrei Torah from tzaddikim who are in the afterlife, it gives chizuk to us as well. That’s why we came here today: to take encouragement from words of the Torah of the tzaddikim of the past who were like angels, especially my uncle, of blessed memory, who illuminated the eyes of the Jewish people in the last generation. We should be zocheh to hear his lessons, in writing and from word of mouth, in matters relating to our faith and the conduct of Hashem Yisborach in the world in the area of golus and geulah, which will come through moshiach, soon in our days.
My uncle, of blessed memory, dedicated himself to teaching the Jewish people to fight against Zionism. This was his life’s mission. Today, there are thousands of Jews who listen to his words, and heed his call to learn and teach, keep them and put them into practice, and give them over to future generations. We have come together to review what we learned from him. It is definitely a source of pride to him in the upper world when he sees that his words are bearing fruit forever.
It’s well known that 40 years ago, 20 Sivan 5738 (1978), a massive gathering was held to found Keren Hatzolah. My uncle, of blessed memory, came with his last strength and gave a speech, in which he said with emotion, “The Holy Avos are here with us today.” We today can say the same: My uncle, of blessed memory, is here with us today. We are carrying out his mission, teaching his Torah to young and old. Therefore, if anyone has a problem in life, a difficult situation – this is the time to ask for Heavenly mercy. At such a time, a person’s prayers can be answered.
We have to start by telling the young generation the details about the history of false redemption of the Zionists. How did it all start? Zionism began to take root at the end of the First World War, in 5678 (1918), a hundred years ago, when the greatest empires of the world fell apart. There was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, who each ruled over many smaller nations. They lost the war. In Russia there was a revolution. The smaller nations cast off the yoke of the empires and achieved their freedom and independence, and thus many new countries came into being. For example, Poland, Lithuanian and Hungary became independent. A large portion of Romania became independent, and Czechoslovakia was created. New countries, large and small, were created. And a wave of nationalist fervor swept the world. Every people became their own country, and could stand up tall with pride. Each had its own land, its own language, its own flag, its own cabinet ministers and parliament. So there was a great desire among all the nations of the world, each to be a free independent people with its own land. Such a powerful desire this was, that the gentiles literally gave their lives for it.
A person’s yetzer hara fights him every day (Succah 52b), and so the yetzer hara became very strong and put into the heads of the Jews too, who had lived among those nations, the idea that they also wanted their own country, their own sovereign state. This powerful desire, powered by the yetzer hara, spread very swiftly across all the European countries. The Mizrachi party helped the spread by raising the banner of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel and the holiness of Eretz Yisroel. They traveled from town to town, from community to community, wreaking destruction wherever they went. Holy congregations, Chassidishe kehillos, G-d- fearing Jews, were destroyed by them. Their Judaism was ruined by mixing with these secularists, in the worst way. They threw away the yoke of Torah. Such were the results of the Zionist ideal to get their own land, their own language and their own flag. And the poverty at that time also contributed to it: parents had no power over their children, and it was easy for the Zionists to win over the children with the promise, “We’re going to get our own state, and then everything will be wonderful.” It was a spiritual destruction for tens of thousands of Jews – and this was all before the bitter war, the Second World War followed by the establishment of the state. Yes, Zionism has in its past the spiritual destruction of thousands of Jews even before they became a state.
Needless to say, in the bitter World War II, Zionism had a share in causing the physical destruction of the Jewish people, with their plan of “only through blood will the land become ours.”
After the war, when the Jewish world was in turmoil and confusion, and all the survivors were broken-hearted, the state was established, to the sorrow of all G-d-fearing Jews. A great wave of immigration came from Arab countries, but this was not aliyah but rather yeridah, because the Zionists forced them to abandon Judaism – hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. These Jews were simple believing, observant Jews – our Sephardic Jewish brethren. It pains the heart of all Jews to remember how they secularized them, especially the youth among them. It was a horrible tragedy.
From then until now, the Zionists have continued in their evil ways, with the sole goal of uprooting Torah and Judaism, may Hashem have mercy. Using many various methods, they have passed evil laws over the 70-year time the state has existed, from the drafting of girls to the desecration of cemeteries, forced autopsies, drafting yeshiva students, and interfering in our school curriculum. For 70 years: one long chain of uprooting Torah among the Jewish people.
We must understand: all these decrees are only the result of the Av Hatumah, the source of defilement. The Av Hatumah is the very establishment of the state, which is a rebellion against Hashem and the Holy Torah, and against the belief in the coming of moshiach. It is a false geulah accomplished through human effort, which is forbidden with a strong warning and a severe oath: not to rebel against the nations, not to throw off the yoke of exile, and not to force the end, the geulah. This is what the Gemara says at the end of Kesubos. Establishing a state: that was the goal of the Zionist movement that existed before the war, and that bitter dream has unfortunately already come true.
Jews have to know that there is a decree of exile. The decree of exile is due to the sins of the Jewish people. The Holy Torah says this many times. If, chalilah, we don’t keep the Torah, there will come an exile. In the passage “Vehaya Im Shamoa” the Torah says, “You shall perish quickly from the good land” (Devarim 11:17). Rashi explains “I will exile you from the land.” In Parshas Acharei, the Torah says, “So that the land not vomit you out when you defile it” (Vayikra 18:28). Rashi explains: “Eretz Yisroel cannot tolerate sinners.” If you sin, you will automatically go into exile. Yirmiyah Hanavi says in his words of rebuke, “For what reason was the land destroyed?” And he answered, “And Hashem said because they left My Torah” (Yirmiyah 9:11-12). It says clearly in the words of the Navi why the exile happened. Whoever learns the words of the Nevi’im, whether it’s Yirmiyah, Yishaya or Hoshea, will see that they are full of rebuke to the Jewish people, and warnings about exile. The Gemara in Masechta Shabbos (119b) and Masechta Yuma (9b) lists clearly many sins that caused the exile and destruction of the Temple. And that’s what we say in our prayers every Yom Tov: “Because of our sins we were exiled from our land.” Not because we didn’t have a strong enough army, or good enough generals, or good enough fighters. On the contrary, the exile, the destruction was a miracle, as the posuk says, “The kings of the earth, and all people in the world, did not believe that an enemy and a foe could come into the gates of Jerusalem” (Eichah 4:12). They didn’t believe it – that’s how strong and fortified they were. Why didn’t they believe it? Because naturally speaking, they couldn’t conquer Jerusalem. Rather, it was a bitter decree from Heaven, a punishment for their sins.
Zionism says the exact opposite. Zionism says that the exile came because the enemy conquered Jerusalem with their human power, because they had a stronger army. That alone is kefirah! Denial of what is says in the Torah, denial of what the Neviim say, denial of the words of Chazal. That’s one point that we have to know and review. The golus came not because the Jews didn’t have a strong enough army, but rather due to our sins.
And the second point we have to know is that the redemption will be brought about only by Hashem Himself, as the Torah says in Parshas Nitzavim, “And you will repent to Hashem your G-d and listen to His voice” (Devarim 30:2), and only then, “Hashem your G-d will bring back your exiles, and have mercy upon you, and once again gather you from all the nations where Hashem your G-d scattered you” (Devarim 30:3). He will bring back all the Jews from the four corners of the earth. The Jews will remain scattered up to that point, and He will bring them back to Eretz Yisroel. And that’s how the Rambam rules: “The Jewish people will only be redeemed when they repent” (Hilchos Teshuva 7:5). And the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 44:18) says on the verse, “Yadoa teida – you shall surely know that your descendents will be strangers” (Bereishis 15:13) that when Hashem revealed to Avraham Avinu that there would be an exile, He said: “Know that I will scatter them, know that I will gather them. Know that I will pawn them, know that I will redeem them. Know that I will put them into exile, know that I will save them from exile.” And that’s what we say in our prayers, “Efes biltecha Goaleinu,” – there is no one else besides You – only the holy Creator will redeem us.
And that is one of the Thirteen Priniciples of Faith: to believe in the coming of moshiach. The Sefer Mitzvos Katan, the Smak, written by Rabbi Yitzchok of Corbeil, one of the Baalei Tosafos, comments on the mitzvah, “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Everybody knows that this is the mitzvah to believe in one G-d. But the Smak quotes the Gemara in Shabbos 31a, that when a person dies and comes up to the Upper World, they will ask him, “Did you hope for redemption?” Asks the Smak: Where in the Torah does it say that one has to hope for the redemption? He answers that this is contained in the verse, “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Just as I want you to believe that that I, Hashem, took you out of Egypt, so too I want you to believe that I am the one who will gather you and save you.” That’s what the Smak, a Rishon, one of the Baalei Tosafos says. Emunah in the future redemption by Hashem is included in the emunah of “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Everyone can see that this answers the question (asked by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, quoted by the Ibn Ezra on Shemos 20:2) why it says “who brought you out of the land of Egypt” and not “who created you.” Because in this is a command to believe that the future redemption will come about through Hashem Yisborach. Just as we have to believe that Hashem took us out of Egypt without any help from human beings, so too we must believe that the future redemption will happen in the same way.
According to this, we can understand what the Ohev Yisroel says in Vayigash. When Yaakov Avinu was going down to Egypt, Hashem said to him, “Do not fear going down to Egypt” (Bereishis 46:3). The Ohev Yisroel says that Hashem told Yaakov Avinu to say, “Behold, I am prepared to accept the yoke of exile and the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven.” Amazing! Just as a Jew says before eating matzo or blowing shofar, “Behold, I am prepared to do this mitzvah,” so too before going into exile Yaakov Avinu had to say, “Behold, I am prepared to accept the yoke of exile and the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven.” Seemingly, what do the two things have to do with one another, the yoke of exile and the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven? But according to the Smak, we understand. Accepting the yoke of exile comes from the verse “I am Hashem your G-d” which is accepting the yoke of Heaven. And whoever throws off from himself the yoke of exile throws off the yoke of Heaven. And he is a kofer in the commandment “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” So it comes out clearly that Zionism is kefirah in the First Commandment, “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”
The Chasam Sofer in his Drashos on Pesach brings down the posuk in Tehillim, “Bnei Ephraim, armed and shooting their bows, turned back on the day of battle” (Tehillim 78:9). Chazal say on this posuk that they pre-empted the end, and 30 years before Yetzias Mitzraim they went out. And the posuk continues regarding them, “They did not keep the covenant of G-d, and in His Torah they refused to go.” They went out of Egypt early. The Chasam Sofer says that their leaving Egypt before the proper time led to their denying Hashem completely. And from Ephraim came out Yeravam ben Nevat, who sinned and made the public sin. It’s amazing – their forcing the end led to the big rasha Yeravam ben Nevat, who sinned and made the public sin with real avodah zarah. And that is why Hashem told Yaakov Avinu to say, “Behold, I am prepared to accept the yoke of exile and the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven.” Because if you throw off from yourself the yoke of exile, you throw off from yourself the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s what happened to the Bnei Ephraim, and Yeravam ben Nevat was descended from them.
Zionism forced the end of exile, and that caused them to deny the entire Torah. The sin of forcing the end leads to the sin of denying the entire Torah. And they have brought us a modern-day Yeravam ben Nevat, who sinned and made the public sin. They are to this day sinning and leading the public to sin. They have victimized so many. They have already caused so many to sin. Countless Jews have already become complete kofrim, minim and apikorsim. Millions of Jewish children are educated without a Shma Yisroel. Zionism is the Avi Avos Hatumah, the ultimate source of defilement, leading to kefirah in Hashem and His holy Torah, and regarding that the posuk says, “And in His Torah they refused to walk,” as the Chasam Sofer says.
In the holy Torah, Parshas Re’eh, we find a mitzvah that when we go into Eretz Yisroel, we have to destroy all avodah zarah. The Zionists, in their declaration of independence, wrote that they would protect and support all religions in the world, all avodah zarahs in the world. And in fact there is a ministry of all religions, which gives money and support to the Torah institutions, and lehavdil also for houses of idol worship, literally, in the Holy Land. Every year, the government approves a budget – how much money the whole state is going to spend – and all the details of where each bit of money goes are written down in a book. And there is an entry that such and such an amount of money goes for the houses of idol worship in the Holy Land. The religious Knesset members approve the budget every year. They approve of giving financial support and protection to all the houses of avodah zarah in Eretz Yisroel – the opposite of the mitzvah of destroying avodah zarah. In Vayoel Moshe there is a long section about the details of the mitzvah of destroying avodah zarah. For many years I was bothered by a difficult question: how could it be that Jews who keep Torah and mitzvos, Jews who put on tefillin every morning, should approve of money to support houses of avodah zarah in the Holy Land? But according to the Chasam Sofer, my question is unfortunately answered. Because they joined the Zionists, they absorbed their worldview and became patriots of the state, of the same bones and flesh. So as a consequence, “in His Torah they refused to walk” – even to the point of supporting houses of avodah zarah in the Holy Land. That’s all besides the fact that the government gives money and helps spread licentiousness and filth, immorality and killing, all over Eretz Yisroel, from Dan to Be’er Sheva. It comes out the religious Knesset members and whoever elects them have a share in the three most severe sins: idolatry, immorality and murder, may Hashem spare us.
Zionism is kefirah in the pesukim of the Torah, the Neviim, the words of Chazal, as we spoke, where it’s very clear that there will be an exile and that the redemption will happen only through Hashem and not through actions of human beings. And what is our job? To repent to Hashem and “listen to His voice” – the mitzvos of the Torah and the mitzvos d’rabanan. Then Hashem will have mercy on the Jewish people and redeem us from exile. Redemption is an action that only Hashem can do, on His own. Whoever does human action toward the redemption is kofer in the belief that Hashem runs the world Himself. In other areas – earning a living, medicine, other things – Hashem gave permission for humans to make efforts, and regarding those it says, “And I will bless you in whatever you do.” That’s how Hashem wanted the world to work. But in the area of redemption, He gave no such permission. On the contrary, He forbade it. And so whoever does take action is a kofer in the belief that Hashem runs the world the way He wants. My uncle, of blessed memory, writes in Vayoel Moshe that the very idea of “atzmaus” – independence – shows that they have the attitude that their own power accomplished everything and they are throwing off the yoke of Heaven.
On the subject of human action to bring about the future redemption, I mentioned earlier the Gemara in Kesubos 111a. Hashem made the Jewish people swear, when they went into exile, not to rebel against the nations or force the end. The details are many and can be found in Vayoel Moshe. In short, this much we must say: there is an oath upon the Jewish people, for all of exile, while we are among the nations, that we must not rebel against the nations or force the end, to take human action to bring about the redemption and throw off the yoke of exile. And whoever transgresses the oath, the Gemara says that Hashem will declare their flesh ownerless – a very bitter expression. The Vayoel Moshe explains the severity of the punishments for transgressing the oaths.
I saw an amazing piece in Divrei Shaul, a commentary on the Torah by the Shoel Umeishiv (Rabbi Yosef Shaul Natanson), on Parshas Shemos. He was the world’s foremost gaon and posek. It says, “The children of Israel were fruitful and increased” (Shemos 1:7). He asks: It was such a terrible exile. They were slaughtering 150 Jewish children per day. Couldn’t the Jews do anything about it? They couldn’t rebel? Make a war? They were killing them anyway. They couldn’t resist? And he answers: The Jews were forsworn by Yosef Hatzaddik that they should do nothing. “G-d will remember you” (Bereishis 50:24) and He will take you out of exile. On your own you shall do nothing. They kept Yosef’s deathbed command, and they only prayed to Hashem for redemption. And that’s why it says, “And G-d saw the children of Israel and G-d knew.” In that zechus, they were redeemed from Egypt.
We understand this very well with something the Chasam Sofer in his Drashos on Pesach. We answer the wicked son saying, “Because of this, Hashem did for me when I came out of Egypt.” What is “because of this”? The Chasam Sofer says: In the merit that I waited for G-d’s redemption, and I did not hurry the end. Jews could have done something to rebel in Egypt. But in the merit that they hoped for the redemption and took no actions, as the Bnei Ephraim did, they were redeemed. And if the wicked son had been there, he would not have been redeemed, because he would have been one of the Bnei Ephraim. That’s what the Chasam Sofer sasys: the wicked son would have gone out before the end; He would not have waited. We see clearly that in the merit of not forcing the end and not rebelling, they went out of Egypt.
Now we can understand what the Smak says on a new level. “I am Hashem your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” You shall hope for the redemption, because I will take you out of exile just as I took you out of Egypt. Just as in Egypt they were zocheh to redemption because they did not rebel against the nations, because they hoped for Hashem’s redemption, so too in the future, we will all be zocheh to go out of golus in the zechus of “natruna” – waiting, as the Magen Avraham says in his commentary Zayis Raanan on the Yalkut (Yalkut Shimoni on Parshas Bo, section 191). And just as in Egypt the Bnei Ephraim went out early, and from them came Yeravam ben Nevat, so too today whoever goes out of exile early will grow up to be a Yeravam ben Nevat, causing the public to sin with kefirah in Hashem.
The nations of the world have a strong desire for nationalism. Each people wants to be a free independent people in its own land. They want their own government, their own land, their own language, an army, ministers, officers, judges, members of parliament… everything a country has. But the Jewish people was told: “This day you became a people” (Devarim 27:10) – on the day of Matan Torah. As Rav Saadiah Gaon says, “Our people is only a people by virtue of its Torah.” The holy Torah is what unifies all Jews in the world. There are Jewish citizens of America, England, France, Germany, Turkey, Argentina, Australia.
Everywhere there are Jews. There are Jews living as citizens in their country for hundreds of years, generations upon generations. Yet they are one people with all the Jews in the world. How can that be? The holy Torah proclaims that the Jew on one side of the world and the Jew on the other side of the world are one people. The holy Torah was given to the Jewish people in the desert, not in Eretz Yisroel, and not in any settled place, to show that the holy Torah doesn’t depend on Eretz Yisroel or any place. In every country there are citizens belonging to different religions. Here in America, there are members of many religions, but all of them are citizens of the same country, America. The same in England. But the Jewish people is different. The Jewish people is defined by keeping the Torah. If a Jew, chalilah, converts to different religion, or he marries a non-Jewish woman, G-d spare us, the children are goyim, even if the father is a member of the Jewish people.
Zionism says the opposite. Zionism makes Jews a nation like all other nations. Citizens of the State of Israel, whether they be half Jewish, one fourth Jewish, complete goyim, or even Jews who converted to another religion, are Jewish as long as they are citizens of the State of Israel. That is what the Maharshab of Lubavitch, of blessed memory, predicted long ago: Zionism is going to change the definition of the Jewish people, making them into a new creature, a nationalist Jew, without any connection to the Torah. That is a kefirah in the very essence of the Jewish people. As we mentioned, the Torah says, “Today you have become a people.” The Jewish people are a people by virtue of the Torah. Only by virtue of the Torah am I a Jew, not by virtue of a land or a language.
We have to mention that Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel is holding back the coming of moshiach, as the Gemara in Sanhedrin 98a says, “The Son of Dovid will not come until the low kingdom ceases from the Jewish people.” And Rashi explains, “Until they have no government at all, even a weak and poor one.” Every day that that state exists, it is delaying the coming of moshiach.
There is also the subject of their provocations against the nations, which brings danger upon Jews all over the world. They don’t care about that.
Therefore, whoever has a connection with them, or joins their coalition, takes part in running the government with them, gives them encouragement or even one who rejoices over their success, automatically has, at least in thought, a connection with those who delay the coming of moshiach. And whoever has a connection with them is also one of those who delay the coming of moshiach. There will come a time when Hashem will have mercy on the Jewish people and take the Jewish people out of exile. We will be zocheh to greet moshiach tzidkeinu. And every Jew will be able to meet the melech hamoshiach personally. And the melech hamoshiach will ask such a Jew, “You were holding me back! You prevented me from coming all this time! You who had a connection with those who prevent moshiach’s coming, you who joined up with them, are also like one of them.” Woe to whoever suffers that embarrassment! Woe to whoever suffers that humiliation! They will be ashamed to look moshiach in the face. My uncle, of blessed memory, said that this is why we say, “Let us rejoice and be happy in your redemption.” We shouldn’t have to be ashamed of melech hamoshiach. With the help of Hashem, all of us sitting here in this place, and all who are close to our camp, will be able to say to melech moshiach, “We didn’t have any part in delaying your coming. We had nothing to do with them.”
My uncle, of blessed memory, said, “The posuk says, through an immoral nation I will anger them” (Devarim 32:21). The Gemara says that the immoral nation means the heretics (Yevamos 63b). And why does it say, I will anger them? Because we have to be angry about their evil deeds. We have to feel in our hearts anger and pain and sadness. And he says, if we don’t feel that, if it doesn’t hurt, that’s not a good sign. It means that the person doesn’t feel the pain of the Shechinah. And all the more so that one shouldn’t rejoice over what they do, or have pleasure, even in his heart. He continues that in the Mishnah in Avos 6:2 it says, “Every day a Heavenly voice comes out of Mount Chorev and says: Woe to people because of the insult to the Torah!” He explains that this is not a criticism of the Jewish people, but rather a praise. Hashem proudly says about us, “They are pained at the insult to the Torah!” That’s what it means “with an immoral people I will make them angry.”
We have to cry out from the walls of our heart! What I’m going to say now is going to hurt. How could this have happened? I was paying attention to the world news over the last two months. How could this have happened? Talmidim and Chassidim of my uncle, of blessed memory, people who imbibed his lessons – how could they not understand this? When they meet, one tells the news to the other, with a mouth full of praise for the heroism and success of the Zionists. No one notices. How could we have sunk so low? Satmarer Chassidim! A terrible, awful descent! The heart cries out: Where are you? In which world are you living? My uncle, of blessed memory, in Divrei Yoel, in a Drasha for Shabbos Shuva, says that to rejoice in their successes, or to have pleasure from them, is a “plague not written in the Torah.” That’s what he calls it. So I thought to myself, there is a Midrash that the “plague not written in the Torah” is the death of tzaddikim. If we have sunk to such a level that we rejoice in the acts of the wicked, we have pleasure from the heretics, that’s the “plague not written in the Torah” – that is the death of the tzaddik! We have to cry out, “The Rebbe passed away!” The Rebbe passed away just now. Because as long as we were following in his ways, and we remembered the Torah he taught us, his lips were moving in the grave; he was living with us. He was among the living, as we mentioned earlier from the Yismach Moshe. But from what I’ve heard, people now talk over the news with amazement at their successes: how smart they are, how correct they are in politics, and the military, the prime minister. We have to cry out “ How low we have sunk!” Talmidim of our Rebbe! Where are you? Where is your common sense? Where is your understanding?
How low we have sunk!” Talmidim of our Rebbe! Where are you? Where is your common sense? Where is your understanding?
We have to understand this on our own. We have to know: we have no share in Zionism. We have no share in their wars. We have no share in the State of Israel. The State of Israel is the ultimate source of defilement. It defiles all who touch it, carry it, or speak about it. Yerusholayim is the holy city, certainly. It’s always been holy. The Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 56:10) says, why is called Yerusholayim? Shem, son of Noach, called it Shaleim. Avrohom Avinu called it Yirah. Hashem said, “If I pick one of the two names, the one who picked the other name will be offended. So I will call it both names together.” He put together Yirah and Shaleim: Torah and fear of Hashem. That’s what we have to know: Yerusholayim has nothing to do with the State of Israel. On the contrary, it is against the entire essence of the State of Israel. And the State of Israel is against every aspect of Yirah and Torah. Certainly Eretz Yisroel is the Holy Land. But we need the sense to separate between Eretz Yisroel and the State of Israel. And many who did not have that sense got swept into Zionism. The very establishment of the State of Israel, and the conquest of Jerusalem – is against the Torah.
And we proclaim here, at this gathering of thousands of Jews: we have no share in the rejoicing over this. We have no pleasure from this. We don’t accept any support for our schools from them: neither boys’ schools nor girls’ schools. We don’t participate in the elections to the defiled government, even to make good laws, even to elect religious representatives. We don’t recognize their laws. We call upon all those who fear Hashem to separate completely from them, to fulfill the verse, “I hate those who hate you, Hashem” (Tehillim 139:21). It’s not enough to say the words; we must actually practice it – we must feel in our hearts a hatred for Zionism, and all who join them. And G-d forbid to speak highly of them and their success, just as we are forbidden to praise avodah zarah. The posuk says, “You shall obliterate their name” (Devarim 12:3). We have to call them a derisive name, so that contempt for avodah zarah sinks into our hearts. We have to do this, and thus reject avodah zarah. Because even a slight thought about heresy has a negative impact on us. We have to train ourselves that to hold the whole state, with all its ministers and officers, from smallest to greatest, in contempt. To feel hatred and scorn; to reject it in our speech, in our hearts and in our thoughts.
We promise, in the name of this entire community: we will continue to fight the war of Hashem against Zionism in all its forms. And we will fight against all the decrees that they may make against our fellow Jews who live in the Holy Land, whether it be the drafting of girls, the drafting of yeshiva boys, autopsies, cemetery desecration, Shabbos desecration, the LIBA curriculum, or whatever it is. We will not forget that in three months comes the end of the current arrangement under which yeshiva students are granted a deferral from the army. And automatically, a new law will take effect under which all the yeshiva students, and kollel members, have to go to the defiled army. There hovers a harsh decree over all the yeshiva students in the Holy Land. Simply put, this means to close all the yeshivos and kollelim and take their students, against their will, into the defiled army. It’s a frightful decree against the residents of Eretz Yisroel, a decree of shmad, a decree to uproot the Torah, both study and observance. We declare: there can’t be any compromise on this! We declare to the religious members of Knesset: we do not agree to any compromise in the drafting of the yeshiva boys. With Hashem’s help, we won’t be silent. We will do everything in our power to save the yeshiva bochurim and kollel members from shmad. If necessary, we will gather together all the groups, all the communities, to fight the war of Hashem in all corners of the earth, to nullify this bitter decree. And with the help of Hashem Yisborach we will be successful.
I want to conclude the same way I began. “Be strong and take from the fruit of the land.” We have to take from the fruit of the land, from the Torah of my uncle, of blessed memory, in his holy books. I want to ask all the principals of the yeshivas to start a new course in yeshiva: to explain to the bochurim, young and old, the worldview of my uncle, of blessed memory, as he explained it in the holy books Vayoel Moshe and Al hageulah V’al Hatemurah. They must be taught the prohibition of the very establishment of the state, and the prohibition against participating in the state, voting, or taking money for our schools. They must learn the reasons and the explanations for why we aren’t allowed to go to the places they conquered – without pretending to be smarter than the Rebbe and permit what he warned against.
We have to feel separateness from and hatred toward Zionism – the very concept of Zionism. We should not just fight battles against some individual, but against Zionism as a whole. When we hear about the success of the Zionists, our reaction should be to “take from the fruit of the land” – to learn Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah and derive encouragement. Students of my uncle, of blessed memory, who were privileged to hear from his holy mouth words that came from a pure heart, with a flame of fire and copious tears! There is an obligation upon you to transmit what you heard to your children and grandchildren, just a tiny bit of what you heard, so that they should have some concept of the words of the Rebbe who was like an angel of Hashem. They should hear about the way he spoke, the boiling words, the fire that burned in his heart for this battle. We must not make this subject mere child’s play or politics.
I want to ask the group called “Ahavas Kedumim” to give over to the children how the tefillos of my uncle, of blessed memory, looked: his prayers for the geulah, his crying when he said the words, “Mipnei chataeinu” every Musaf, every Yom Tov. Whoever remembers, it still rings in their ears. “Avinu Malkeinu! Our father our King, reveal the glory of your kingdom upon us!” With what cries he said those words! Not only Yom Tov, but every Shabbos at the words “Mimkomcha malkeinu sofia… When will You reign in Zion?” He poured out his soul every Shabbos. His fiery drashos before shofar blowing, Kol Nidrei, Hoshana Rabba… His outcry from the depths of the heart: Ribbono Shel Olam! How much longer will we still be in exile!” It still rings in the ears of whoever remembers it. His Divrei Torah and his longing for the geulah.
Today is 20 Sivan 5778. Forty years ago on 20 Sivan 5738, thousands of Jews came out at the behest of my uncle, of blessed memory, to save the independent schools in Eretz Yisroel. At that time the Keren Hatzola was established to support the institutions that don’t benefit from the heretical state. I want to say here, before the tzibbur: I feel it is important to establish a special fund for our kehillah members to donate to, called “Shekel Hakodesh.” It should be a fund to support the institutions in Eretz Yisroel that do not benefit from the table of Izevel. We have no intention of interfering with Keren Hatzolah, G-d forbid. On the contrary, we want to support Keren Hatzolah. The money will be distributed by the trustees of Keren Hatzolah in Eretz Yisroel. May the name of Heaven be sanctified by us.
There is one more point that needs to be discussed. I know that this question is bothering everyone. My uncle, of blessed memory, expressed himself in writing and orally, in his seforim Vayoel Moshe and Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah, on these important subjects, and everyone has the obligation to learn it, as mentioned earlier. I want to tell the tzibbur here: my uncle, of blessed memory, was unique in his generation in the wisdom of G-d, to understand and teach all generations the contradiction that Zionism and all related subjects poses to emunah in Hashem Yisborach. I know, and everyone knows, that there were many who didn’t understand him, who didn’t understand the depth of his thinking. We have to know one thing: we can’t be impressed by any tzaddik or any gadol. We must to have the pride to reply to everyone: Yes, the Rebbe of blessed memory was unique in his generation, saved from the claws of the wicked with the Tzelem Elokim on his face, with his beard, the crown of his G-d on his head, anointed with holy oil. That is an indication from Heaven that there was Siyata Dishmaya in all his words. No one else was zocheh to that, for whatever reason. And Hashem was with him: the halacha follows his view in all subjects, no matter whom he was against. No other tzaddik or gadol in the world as zocheh to that. He came into the concentration camp in peace and left in peace with the Tzelem Elokim on his head. So we don’t have to be impressed if someone else said differently. Especially when we know that tzaddikim from previous generations all fought against the defilement of Zionism with every fiber of their being – and the Torah cannot not be changed. My uncle, of blessed memory, once said that they are all on his side in this view. All gaonim and tzaddikim from the previous generations stand with us. We are not a minority view; we are only continuing in their path. And whoever disagrees with them is as if he disagreed with Hashem.
This is what we have to know: “Be strong and take from the fruit of the land.” We must be strong and adopt the holy view of all the previous tzaddikim and gaonim who are buried in the earth, and that will give us chizuk. Hashem Yisborach should help that we should be zocheh to believe with perfect faith in the 13 principles of emunah, and especially in the coming of moshiach: that Hashem Himself will have mercy on us, and send us his moshiach, not any false geulah by the hands of human beings. Hashem will certainly fulfill his promise to the Jewish people: “And I will restore the exiles of My people” (Yirmiyah 30:3). May Hashem help that we should be privileged to see Him redeem us once again before the eyes of all the living, and may He have mercy on us in His great mercy and kindness, with a true redemption, with the uplifting of the pride of the Torah and the Jewish people, soon in our days, amein.