Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, the Shimloyer Rav (1863-1944)

G-d forbid to accept the position of the Zionist heretics, who want to take the Holy Land by force and rebel against the government, for it will be bitter for them in the end. They hate the Torah and it is like a thorn in their eye. G-d forbid to support them with money, for they are not Jews. Without Torah, one is neither a Jew nor a gentile, and they have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people. Who appointed them for this mission? We have no portion with them. (Lechem Shlomo, Drasha 120, Shavuos 5699)

G-d forbid to support the Zionists, for they have brought all this upon us. They want to achieve a government there. G-d forbid! For it is better for us to be in exile under the nations of the world than to be in spiritual exile under them. And I adjure you: G-d forbid to donate even one penny to those heretics and wicked Jews, by whose hands many innocent souls have been killed. (Lechem Shlomo, Drasha 144)

We do not agree to join the wicked people who are called Zionists, for there is no heavier or worse exile that what they wish to achieve when they rule over us, may G-d protect us from them and their masses. (Avnei Hamakom, Even Hoezer p. 55)

But these organization do not build, they destroy; they lay to the ground the Holy Land and the Holy City of Jerusalem. All the tragedies from which we suffer today are due to them and their actions. G-d forbid to support them with money, and whoever gives to them is strengthening the hands of heretics and bringing misfortunes upon the Jewish people; their sin is too great to bear. This is as clear as the sun to anyone whose eyes are not pasted over. (Tiul Bapardes v. 1 Lamed, 15)

Not only did the Zionists cause us to suffer great tragedies in all the countries of Europe; their wickedness goes even further. For if the filthy Zionists had not roared with a great voice, “The Land is ours” and requested that they be given the Land in order to make a Jewish state, the Arabs would not have done any harm to us. On the contrary, the Holy Land would now be a haven for Jewish refugees from Europe. The Arab people were always kind to the Jews living in Palestine; Jews could walk alone in the streets at night without fear. For many years they did not do any harm to Jews. It would not have occurred to them not to accept them or to do them any harm. But since the Arabs saw the Zionists saying, “The Land is mine” and wishing to be masters there, they were aroused to persecute us. If so, all the evil and misfortunes are the fault of the Zionists. (ibid.)

The Torah tells us that before the splitting of the Sea, Moshe said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see Hashem’s saving that He will perform for you today… Hashem will fight for you, and you will be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14) Why did Moshe have to say “stand by”? Wasn’t it enough to say “do not fear, see Hashem’s saving”? The answer is that among the Jewish people there were many mighty men, and furthermore, anyone who sees that he is about to meet his death will put up a great fight, summoning superhuman energy. When the Jews saw the sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other, they thought they were doomed. Let us go and fight the Egyptians, they thought, kill as many as we can of them, and perhaps we will overcome them – for in any case we are about to die. Moshe Rabbeinu knew what they were thinking, so he said, “Stand by, stay in your places and do nothing, for Hashem Yisborach does not need you to help Him save you. On the contrary, that would make it worse. “Hashem will fight for you” only if “you will be silent.”

In general, Hashem comes to our aid only when we recognize that we cannot fight for ourselves. This is what Dovid Hamelech said in Tehillim (94:17), “If Hashem had not been my help, my soul would easily have dwelt in death. If I said, ‘My foot has slipped,’ Your kindness, Hashem, supports me.” The meaning of these verses is: If I had not recognized that Hashem helps me, my soul would easily have dwelt in death. But since I say, “My foot has slipped, I am nothing, I cannot save myself with my own power” – Your kindness, Hashem, supports me.

This is why when the rebellious Jews tried to invade Eretz Yisroel against the will of Hashem after the sin of the spies, the Amalekites and the Canaanites came down and smote them and smashed them until Charmah (Bamidbar 14:45). And this is why when some of the tribe of Ephraim left Egypt thirty years before the end of the exile, the Philistines killed them (Sanhedrin 92b). Their sin was that they relied on their own power, without Hashem’s help.

This is what we must know, that we cannot save ourselves with our own power, without the help of Hashem and without the holy Torah. The Zionists, however, want to conquer and control Eretz Yisroel by force, with their own power, without the help of Hashem and without the Torah. It will be bitter for them in the end, for they will never succeed or accomplish anything. They will meet the fate of the rebellious invaders of the Land and the tribe of Ephraim.

Know also, my fellows, that this group existed once before in our history, at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. Then they were called not “Tziyonim” but “Biryonim”. We could have continued to live peacefully under Roman rule, but the Biryonim, the militants, wanted to fight Rome and become independent. They disregarded all the words of the great sages of their time, and fought till the bitter end – and because of them we are in exile today. (Drashos Lechem Shlomo 76)

Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein, rabbi of Krasna, would always relate that his father-in-law, the Shimloyer Rav, when he was about to be killed by the Nazis, cried out, “Only the wickedness of the Zionists has caused this! It happened to us because we did not protest against them enough.”


Rabbinic Quotations