Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneersohn, Lubavitcher Rebbe (1860-1920)

Even if these men were loyal to Hashem and His Torah, and even if there were a chance that they would achieve their goal, we must not listen to them in this matter, to make our redemption with our own power. Is it not forbidden even to force the end with excessive prayer (Rashi Kesubos 111a, and see Midrash Shir Hashirim 2:7)? All the more so that with power and worldly methods, that is, to leave exile by force, we are not permitted. Not in this way will our salvation and the redemption of our souls come. And this is against our true hope, for our whole longing and hope is that that Hashem will bring us the moshiach soon and our redemption will come through Hashem Himself. This is what the Midrash says on the verse, “For with You is the source of life” – that even the redemption that came through Moshe Rabbeinu was not a complete one, and they were enslaved against afterward. Certainly this was true of the redemption that came through Chananya, Mishael and Azarya, although they acted in accordance with Yirmiyahu and the other prophets living at the time. And in this exile, we must hope only for the redemption and salvation of Hashem Himself, not through a human being, so that our redemption should be complete. (Ohr Layesharim, p. 57)

Those who assist these Zionists will pay on the Day of Judgment, for they are abetting those who cause the masses to sin. Therefore, whoever is for G-d and His Torah will not join the evildoers and will not cling to them. On the contrary, he will oppose them as much as possible. And until it is G-d’s will to redeem us, we must accept the yoke of exile to atone for our sins. (Ohr Layesharim, p. 59)

Their plan to gather the Jewish people together with their own power will never be; and all their strength, their many strategies and efforts will not work or have any success against the will of G-d. (Igros Kodesh, letter 130)

Whoever twists the meaning of the Torah and finds proofs to Zionism from the Torah, and especially from the Hidden Torah, is like one who places an idol in the Temple. G-d will not forgive him. May G-d in His great mercy remove this accursed doctrine from among the Jewish people, and inspire their hearts to repent to Him in truth. (ibid.)

And if the movement takes on this form, to go out of the exile by force and to redeem themselves with their own strength – this is something no believer in Torah and its commandments can ever do on his own, for this runs against the Jewish people’s strong faith and hope for their redemption with the coming of the messiah, when they will be redeemed physically and spiritually and will be elevated to the highest degree. Only with this deeply engrained hope can they find rest, and only with this have they lived during their bitter exile, encouraging themselves through Torah and observance. They will not be satisfied with the promises of Herzl and Nordau, who promise them their own state and a good physical life – even if we would fool ourselves into thinking that they could accomplish this. (Kuntres Umayan Mibeis Hashem, p. 50)

Click on the following links to read some of Rabbi Shalom Ber’s letters in Lashon Hakodesh.

Igros Maharshab 1
Igros Maharshab 2


Rabbinic Quotations


Ohr Layesharim