Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein, Krasner Rav (d. 1979)

We must make known and reveal that the establishment of the State of Israel and its government is against the Torah and fundamentally wrong. It is a source of poison, leading the Jewish people astray from belief in G-d… All their celebrations on Independence Day, including the Hallel prayer instituted by their rabbis and any other holiday celebrations – are all idolatry and heresy, and G-d forbid to celebrate their holiday. (Letter to the Central Rabbinical Congress)

When the state was established, two people came to the rabbi’s room to give him what they thought was good news. The rabbi said to them, “On this day we should tear our garments and establish a fast day for all time.”

The rabbi also said, “I don’t know if there was ever a day as terrible for the Jewish people as this day.”

It is obvious to us that all great rabbis of the past unanimously warned to keep far from the Zionists’ opinions and ways, and they proved that according to Jewish law it is forbidden to join them for any purpose. They also placed a severe ban on the group known as the religious Zionists, who joined the Zionists. They looked ahead with their pure eyes and deep understanding and saw that if, G-d forbid, the Zionists would succeed in founding a state, they would induce masses of Jews to deny G-d and His Torah and to desecrate all that is holy. They would also cause the gentile nations to hate the remainder of the Jewish people both in the Holy Land and elsewhere. With a powerful voice, in writing and orally, they warned everyone to keep far from them in all ways, and to reject them as defiled.

Now it is not the time to be silent, sit with folded hands and see, G-d forbid, the destruction of our people. If we are silent, we will be found guilty of sin, as our Sages say that one person can be blamed for another’s sin. Whoever has the ability to protest against a sin and does not do so is blamed for that sin. Therefore in my opinion the rabbis must take action to save our generation from the poisonous trap of heresy. (Letter, 5717)

Perhaps it would be proper to make their independence day a fast day, in order to show our opposition to the heretics. (Letter to the Central Rabbinical Congress)

We must establish a fixed practice in all Jewish schools for boys and girls that the teachers should spend a little time twice a week teaching children of all ages about the evil of the Zionist doctrine, and condemning their anti-religious acts. They must inculcate into the children the concept of staying apart from the Zionism, their ideas and organizations, their books and newspapers, under any name. (ibid.)

The more one speaks to his children and wife about the evil of these heretics, the better. (Kavanas Halev, Shmini)

It is an obligation for every G-d-fearing Jew to fight against the Zionists in any way possible, to publicize their abominations and to inculcate into our children’s hearts to hate them and stay away from them. They must tell the Zionist idol, “Go away, defiled one!” (Responsa Kavanas Halev, Introduction section 5)

Rabbi Yitzchok Lebovitz said, “Particularly following the unprecedented destruction of our people under the wretched Nazi regime, when the indescribable abuse of our people had exceeded any thinkable limit, when Hell was literally experienced here on planet Earth; and following that, also the period of the notorious Soviet Communist persecution of Jews, who refused to surrender their Holy Faith, yearnings for independence were at their peak and suppression of acting upon these feelings was extremely difficult. So much that we are amazed at the character of those individuals who at that time withstood the challenge and controlled their emotions, favoring rather to accept the will of G-d. I find it appropriate to mention the courage of my uncle, the Krasner Rav, Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein, who underwent the seven chambers of hell at Auschwitz, and not withstanding this fact, when the Zionist activists lurked in the DP camps morbidly abusing the situation for their personal agenda, recruiting pioneers to aid them in their struggle for independence from G-d, he did not lose his mind and was not able to be coerced. But rather, upon his arrival at the Landsberg DP camp immediately following liberation from Auschwitz, he stood up and vehemently protested against the Zionist delusion. Upon contemplation of this one should be awed at the greatness of this strength which was a result of his total submission to our Holy Torah.”

The Krasner Rav testified that his father-in-law, the Shimloyer Rav, cried out before he was killed by the Nazis, “Only the wickedness of the Zionists has caused this! It happened to us because we did not protest against them enough.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Lebovitz said that the Krasner Rav was one of those who pressed the Satmar Rebbe to write a book explaining why it is forbidden to vote in the elections of the “evil state.” He also helped edit the Satmar Rebbe’s second book, Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah, before it was published. And he was among the few who stood behind the Satmar Rebbe when he prohibited visiting the Western Wall after 1967.


Rabbinic Quotations

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