Zionism – Is today's Zionism the same movement that caused so many religious to leave their roots and become irreligious? - Halacha Headlines
12/15/23 - SHIUR 447

Zionism – Is today’s Zionism the same movement that caused so many religious to leave their roots and become irreligious?

Before WWII a lot of Gedolim were opposed to Zionism, what were their reasons?
After the war did a lot of the attitudes switch?
Why did they switch?
Is Zionism a danger to religion nowadays?


Isaac Saban

Regarding your question about why the state was started by people so out of the line. Y once heard that the same way by the second Bet Hamikdash Koresh, who was no more that a persian king with all his atributes, decided the first day of hus reign that hes building the Bet H. Also here, the last people youll think would like to be in Eretz Israel planned the construction.
And the svarah behind is, Hashem runs everything, the good and the “bad”. And if the Bet Hamikdosh or the state would be built be the frum comunnity so peolpe would say that the good is H and the bad is the Sitra achra. By doing it the way it was done, Hasehm showed the He controls also the “bad” and ultimetly everything is good. Thas His Yichud.
Shkoyach for the show

Re: the ideology of Zionism

Let’s leave aside for now your comment about the Zionists being the biggest supporters of Torah in the world (they are also the biggest supporters of teaching Jewish children apikorsus in their public schools), you are completely misunderstanding the point he is making. He laid out, in short, the ideology of Zionism. The Zionists, in an attempt to indoctrinate the Jewish people with their ideology, used to play foul. They used to pull Jews away from Torah and Yeshivos, and now they don’t. The reason why they don’t do that anymore is, as your guest, Dr. Einat Wilf said, they were successful. You are conflating two things, 1) their ideology, and 2) the methods they used to implement their ideology. Just because they don’t do #2 does not mean that #1 has changed. It just means that they don’t need to pull people away from Yeshivos anymore to convince people of their ideology, because people bring their ideology into Yeshivos nowadays. She said it herself, as a rough quote, “They have convinced us that Jews can be Jews and secular”.

The opposition to Zionism is not, contrary to popular belief, because they pulled people out of Yeshivos; it is their ideology. Their ideology is that the Jewish people are a political people, a nation like the Germans and French, as opposed to a religion. Rav Saadiah Gaon says the only thing that makes Klall Yisrael into a nation is the Torah. Zionists believe that the State of Israel and the Hebrew language make the Jews into a nation. Simple as that. Is that something you disagree about? That has not changed at all; they still believe that and they still want Jews to believe that. They don’t have to pull someone’s Shtreimel off to get people to believe it like they used to.

Re: Israel is the country of the Jewish people

Again, you were not responding to what he said. He said that the State of Israel is not a country that represents all the Jewish people in the world. It is not true that just like France is to the French and Japan is to the Japanese, Israel is to the Jews (not Israelis) as the State of Israel claims. You misquote him and claim that he said there is no value to having the State of Israel, and proceed to bring quotes about the chashivus of Eretz Yisrael. First of all, do you not see the difference between the State of Israel, a country/government, vs. Eretz Yisrael, a holy land? No one is denying that Eretz Yisrael is holy. Secondly, he didn’t say there is no value in the State of Israel (although I think he would say that since it was assur to establish the medinah, it is debatable whether one can consider it valuable; but that is neither here nor there). He said that Israel, as a country, is not attached to the Jewish people around the world who are not citizens of that country. Again, not Eretz Yisrael, the State of Israel. The way Zionists claim Israel is the country of the Jews is because they believe the Jewish people are a nationality. Do you believe that the Jewish people are a nationality?

Re: Zionism is idolatry..

He said Zionism, i.e. Jewish nationalism is idol worship. So did Reb Elchonon and Reb Reuven Grozovsky, just to name a few. So, if you think that the Jewish people are a nation (which is an assault of the Torah’s definition of a Jew, which is someone who is chayav in 613 mitzvos), and that as a Jew you have a country and your Jewish obligations include supporting that country politically, that is avodah zara. The quotes you responded with are useless, because even if they are in support of a State al pi halacha, it wouldn’t be the State of all the Jews because Jews aren’t a nationality. That state would not be run with nationalism as its driving ideology.

Re: Jews and Muslims lived in peace.

He was not saying things were perfect under Muslims; he was saying that things have gotten much worse since Zionism (he was probably referring to Eretz Yisrael before the Zionists got there where there was peace between Jews and Muslims). You counted a list of things that Muslims have done to Jews, yet, in your list, many have come as a direct result of Zionism. Did you notice that 74 out of 105 things on your list have come after the year 1800? For 1200 years, you have 31 incidents and for the last 200 years you have 74 incidents? Does that not strike you as odd? I am not saying all of them are because of Zionism, but a great amount of them are.

Here is a quote from Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik (Five Addresses page 79):

“There has always existed a hatred of the Jew amongst the peoples of the world. Whoever was in power, Esau or Yishmael, Christians or Moslems, they pursued us. Nonetheless, in the history of Jewish persecution the Moslems were always relatively better than the Christians. We do not find tragedies such as the Jewish martyrology at the time of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or the Chmelnicky massacres, in the annals of our communities in Islamic lands. The position has now been radically reversed. While among the Christians one hears voices of soul searching, tens of millions of Moslems, in particular Arabs, have become Amalekites and Nazis who have engraved on their banner the call: ‘Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more a remembrance”. It is unnecessary to dilate on this; we all know the facts. What has brought about the wave of hatred that has engulfed the Moslem world? We all know it is the founding of the State of Israel.”

He is mostly right except for two things. First, apparently, we don’t all know this anymore. Second, it was not the founding of the State of Israel; it was Zionism. So, even things before 1948 will be chalked up to Zionism, not simple Muslim hatred. For example, I suggest you read up on the 1929 Chevron massacre and you will see that that came as a direct response to Zionist activity at the Kosel. You also mention in there the Mufti collaboration with Hitler. Did you ever read Rav Hunter’s speech about why the Mufti collaborated with Hitler?

Re: Anti-Zionism = antisemitism.

Again, a misunderstanding of what he was saying. All he said was that being anti-Zionist does not by definition make you antisemitic. The fact that Jews are suffering because of Israel does not show to the contrary. Yes, anti-Zionists will now also be anti-Semitic (and vice versa) because Israel claims to be the state of all Jews. If you want to stop all this particular antisemitism, stop conflating Israel and the Jews together. Why should people by virtue of their religion be attacked because of a country in the middle east? Anti-Zionists and antisemites will overlap, but that does not mean being against an ideology, i.e. Zionism, makes you antisemitic.

Re: Fighting for Hashem/ Jewish wars.

His idea about warfare is referring to the tzibur, Klall Yisrael as a klall. All you showed is that as an individual, you have the right to protect yourself and a mitzvah to save others. Nobody disagrees with that. And by the way, you misquoted the Ramban. He says exactly the opposite of what you took from him. He says that Yaakov Avinu prepared for a war by getting ready to run away from war. Meaning, he prepared himself in case of a war, but not to fight. That is what the chachamim learned from Yaakov Avinu. See Rav Shach about this as well, letter #12 and 15, where he says the same thing. Also, see the Chofetz Chaim al HaTorah parshas Devarim. This is simple Torah ideology that Zionism has assaulted and got even frum Jews to be mixed up about.

Re: the Mishebeirach

If all the Yidden in E”Y are in danger, like you say, why not make the mishebeirach for everyone in E”Y, not just the army? What about the hostages? By the way, I live in E”Y, and bechasdei Hashem, I am not in any immediate danger. But another question, when there were millions of Jews in Communist Russia, would you make a mishebeirach for the Jews in the Russian army? How about the Yidden in the American army, where there are also millions of Jews?

Regarding the 3 Shevuos.

This is a longer discussion, but a few quick points. The Or Sameach is not applicable. How can you take what he said in 1918 and apply it to what happened in 1948, under completely different circumstances. The Zionists needed a war to start their medinah, how on earth is that considered peaceful ascent, or with permission from the nations? The UN permission does not count as permission as long as some of the nations, in this case the Arabs, are not giving permission.

Regarding your claim of Aggadeta: First of all, you quoted from aggedita before about Yishuv E”Y, didn’t you? Secondly, You said nobody brings the shevuos lehalacha? He is a partial list where the poskim bring the shevuos lehalacha: Piskei Riaz (on the Gemara in Kesuvos), Teshuvos Rashbash #2, Teshuvos Rivash # 110, Ramban Maa’mar Hageulah #1 (towards the end), Rambam in Iggeres HaTeimon, Megilas Esther on the Rambam/Ramban, shich’chas asin #5. There are many others as well, but one in particular bears mention. Rav Ovadiah Yosef, who was (most likely) pro the State of Israel, in Techumim volume 10, talks about giving back land for peace and mentions the Oaths as well, obviously, le’halacha. There are different answers as to why the Rif, Rosh and Rambam don’t bring them in Shulchan Aruch. Hilchos lashon Hara is not brought in Shulchan Aruch, does that mean it is not lehalacha?

As well, please name one Rishon or Achron who says that the shevuos are not halacha, or, that if the goyim break their shevuah we can break ours. I know of only one, and even what he says won’t apply to 1948.

I also don’t see why you can’t have Rabbi Shapiro on the show. You should simply conduct the interview the exact same way you conducted it with Einat Wilf; you did not push back on her once. I have no problems with that, and I am assuming that as a ben Torah, you are closer to Rabbi Shapiro’s ideas than Einat Wilf, an atheist, and the reason you didn’t push back on her was out of respect, which I understand. Then you can do the same for Rabbi Shapiro.
Kol Tuv

Also one of the 3 Founding principles of Agudas yisroel was to build E”Y al pi torah, that we should have a hand in the building and not to leave it to the chilonim.
חסד ה

אגודת ישראל

Did you hear?

“Rabbi” Yaakov Shapiro is a shadchan. You can go to him on 3 conditions: you’re not allowed to interrupt the girl you go out with, you are not allowed to ask her any questions, and you’re not allowed to disagree with her if she says she wants to get married.

He’s also a Doctor. He says anyone can come to him but he has 3 conditions: you can’t be sick, you’re not allowed to tell him your symptoms, and you have to take the medication he prescribes.

Also he has a restaurant, 3 conditions: when the waiter tells you the menu you can’t interrupt him, also the waiter decides what you order and then the waiter is the only one allowed to eat the food.

Dovid Dick

Thank you for the interesting and thought provoking topic that you both covered these past weeks.

I am surprised that nobody mentioned that the Sholaish Shevuos is referred to in Midrash Shir Hashirim as well. It is in Parsha 2:18. There the Midrash actually counts in history when these were not adhered to. One of them is the Bnei Efraim in Mitzrayim. As such, it is clear that these are not real Shevuos that Shlomo Hamelech put on Klal Yisroel. This was well before Shlomo Hamelech.
Also, this will discount those who say that if the nations of the world do not hold to their Shevua, we are neither bound to our Shevuos. Clearly, Mitzrayim overdid their part of the deal as the Gemoroh says that we should have been there 400 years and not 210 and Klal Yisroel was still expected to keep to their Shevuos.

Another point. Although the Rambam does not codify this into halacha, the Rambam does not codify many of our dear held hashkofos either. Where is bitachon and hashgacha protis mentioned in the Rambam? He barely mentions the 13 Ikarim in the Yad that he heavily discusses in Sanhedrin. Does that mean that they are not true or accepted as Torah Hashkafah and Rotzon Hashem?! Of course not. In reality, the Sholaish Shevuos may not be actual Shevuos, but they are Rotzon Hashem that was revealed to us through the Chachamim. The Rotzon Hashem is that we should firmly believe that the Geulah will come and not get antsy and want to do it ourselves. This is referenced to in the above Midrash by the Bnei Efraim in Mitzrayim. Also, the Ramban does mention the Sholaish Shevuos in Sefer Hageulah (end of Shar 1) in reference to why the rest of Klal Yisroel did not go up with Zirubuvel.

Another point. The issue that the Charaidim have with the State of Israel is not solely because of the Sholaish Shevuos. It is because the State of Israel is a secular state. Its laws are not Torah and Rotzon Hashem. This is a tremendous Chilul Hashem- ask any non Jew/ Chilony Israeli what is a Jew and they will say someone who is part of the Jewish family history. There has been a disconnect from being a Culture Jew to being a Torah Jew. The impression that the State of Israel gives to the world is that being a Jew does not have to be part and parcel of doing Torah and Mitzvos. This is exactly what we did wrong in Eretz Yisroel before each churban. We lived on the land as Culture Jews but did not live by Rotzon Hashem. Hashem decided that the lesson we must learn is to be spread throughout the world and still remain a nation that is not dependent on any connection besides the Torah itself. With that background, the State of Israel, in its secular form, has shown that we have learned nothing from our 2000 year Galus. Torah should be the primary thrust of our lives- not nationhood and having our own land.

Thus, any representation of the state always leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Although we love each and every Jew, and daven for their safety, the apprehension that we have of fully supporting the Israeli army is that each soldier represents the ideals of the state. Although they also protect the people of the state, they are first and foremost protectors of the state itself. Every soldier realizes that his ultimate goal is to follow the orders of the state and not solely to protect its citizens. Thus, most chareidim do not say a Mi Shebarach for the IDF. We will say one for any induvidual in peril, but not one that references any state run body because of their inherent representation of the secular state.

Load More...

Shiur 365 Riddle


א לענין קושית מהרש״א ומושב זקנים ראוי להעיר, לשונו של רש״י שלא יאמרו בשר נחירה אני אוכל, והיינו שלא הועיל מה שפרע להן בית השחיטה רק להראות שהוא אינו אוכל בשר נחירה, ולכאורה היה הקדמה שאחרי שיגלה עצמו יראו שהיה מקיים מצוות התורה
בפלתי מביא ראיה מכאן שלפי הרמב״ם אמורה בעובדי עבודה זרה ממש והרי יוסף אמר את האלהים אני ירא
והרבה נקטו שלפני מצות התורה לא שייך עיקר החסרון אינו בר זביחה, אולם כ״ז להרא״ש ולא להרמב״ם
ב עיין מהרש״א שבת קלט לא חששו לאיסור סתם יינם מפני אימת מלכות
בעיקר מה שפשוט לו שהשבטים היו מקיימים מצוות דרבנן לכאורה מקורו ממה שהיה חושש יהודה אצל תמר שמא נכרית והיה אסור רק מטעם גזירה, אולם במושב זקנים נקט כאן בפשיטות שלא היו מקיימים מצוות של גזירה
ומ״מ לא היה חשש יין עכו״ם ממש שאולי עשה היין לפניהם

Submitted by Dani Locker

I have only recently discovered your podcast, and I have found it immensely rewarding. I enjoy the balance of genuine Torah haskafa, lomdus and broader sources of chochma.
Regarding your question about Yoseph preparing meat for his brothers.

Question does not even begin. The distinction between a Jew, and a gentile regarding.Shechita can only be relevant post Sinai. Although the avos kept the Torah, they were not yet fully distinct from the other nations. According to your question, perhaps they should not even be able to eat from their own shechita! So, the only relevant question was whether this host was idolatrous or not.

In the same vein, if he made the assumption that he was not an idolater, perhaps because of his statement, את האלוקים אני ירא, then his wine, with also at worst be considered Stam and not Nesech.

Load More...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, Yehuda Geberer, Dr. Einat Wilf, Professor Derek Penslar, Rabbi Shnayor Burton
Zionism – Is today’s Zionism the same movement that caused so many religious to leave their roots and become irreligious?
Downloads :
Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, Yehuda Geberer, Dr. Einat Wilf, Professor Derek Penslar, Rabbi Shnayor Burton
Zionism – Is today’s Zionism the same movement that caused so many religious to leave their roots and become irreligious?
Downloads :