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ZIONISM / ANTI-----as simple as bosor vcholov

AmIsraelChai Posted - 25 December 2006 18:33

Kevod Harav.
Is it not true that many great rabbis of our time including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the recent Lubavitcher Rabbi that past away were all very pro Israel?

MODERATOR Posted - 25 December 2006 19:03

Well, you’re definitely not a Lubavitcher or else you'd know that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was quite anti-Zionist. He once actually said that he would feel obligated to take up the fight against the Zionists except for the fact that the Satmar Rebbe has done so already.

However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe did not publicize his anti-Zionism, and that is the single biggest complaint that the Satmar Rebbe had against him (or maybe there were others just as big - it’s hard to know exactly) - that he sold out his grandparents' Hashkofos because they weren’t popular. So while he still "officially" was anti-Zionist (which is why you will never ever see an Israeli flag or a Yom Haatzmaut celebration in Lubavitch), he kind of hid this fact and didn’t really mention the topic in public.

As far as Rav Ovadiah, you should not follow that position regardless, since Rav Ovadiah and those like him are a small, miniscule minority among the big talmidei chachamim, and although Rav Ovadiah is a world-class baki in Torah literature, he is not nearly a Godol Hador in the league of the Brisker Rav, Chazon Ish, Rav Ahron Kotler, Satmar Rebbe, Rav Chaim Ozer, Chofetz Chaim, and others of that sort who were much greater than he and declared Zionism not only to be wrong, but they said to disregard the opinions of those rabbis who are for it.

So if there were Rabbanim who were Gedolei Hador, like those above, who were Zionist, we could have a discussion. But there weren’t. There is no comparison.

But the truth is, your question is stronger than you realize. Because Zionism is Halachicly such a farce, that it's a wonder that any Talmid Chacham, even if they are not the greatest Gedolim of the generation, could fall for it. And this question was once asked to the Brisker Rav ZTL.

"How is it that some intelligent and upstanding people should be involved in such a stupidity that causes such destruction of Judaism as Zionism?"

He answered:

"In Koheles it says, 'Dead flies putrefy perfumed oil, and small amount of stupidity overshadows wisdom and honor'. Meaning, just as the perfumer's oil which is mixed in with spices that gives it an aroma which is very beautiful, nevertheless if you throw into it some dead flies, the perfume will become putrid because of them. So too is wisdom and honor - if you throw into it just a little stupidity, the stupidity will putrefy all the wisdom and overpower it.

"So, too," said the Brisker Rav, "it is with those people in whom even just bit of Zionism has entered, the small amount of stupidity with outweigh and overpower their wisdom, and cause them to do things that are just the opposite of wise." ("Harav MiBrisk", Vol 3, p.326)

I would like to add a source to that form the Gemora: shaani minus, d'mashcha!

All that having been said, you should know that both the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rav Ovadiah are much more controversial than you seem to realize.

As for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, you can see the Lubavitch forum to see why the Gedolei Yisroel such as Rav Shach ZTL did not consider him a "great rabbi".

And Rav Ovadiah, although everyone agrees has a great encyclopedic knowledge of Torah, is not considered at all an authority such that we should abandon what our Gedolim said because of his position. He just isn’t in that league.

MODERATOR Posted - 25 December 2006 19:56

More on the above:

The issue of Zionism really is clear-cut simple. The case against is so black and white, and the case for, so impotent to the point of being impossible to take seriously, that there really does need an explanation as to how any intelligent person can believe in it. One such answer is that of the Brisker Rav, above, that sheer and utter stupidity does have the ability to putrefy one's intelligence.

Here's another answer, courtesy of the Chazon Ish:

In the days of the Chazon Ish's father, there was a certain rabbi who became a Zionist, and was planning on going to the Zionist Congress. When the Chazon Ish's father, who was the Rav of the town, heard about this, he told this rabbi not to go, and he even made him swear an oath that he would not go to the Zionist Congress. Eventually the Zionist rabbi realized his mistake and he gave up Zionism and became a Yorei Shamayim.

They asked the Chazon Ish why such a person would honor his oath not to participate in Zionist undertakings - since, according to him, he believes that participating in the Zionist congress is a Mitzvah for the sake of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, and so taking an oath that prevents him form participating would constitute an oath to prevent himself from doing a Mitzvah, which is invalid?

The Chazon Ish answered, the Mishna says (Yoma 1:5) that they made the Koehn Gadol swear that he would not follow the Tzedukim. The Pri Chadash asks why would such an oath mean anything - if the man is a Tzeduki, he holds their ways are a Mitzvah, and the oath would be invalid since it would prevent him from doing a Mitzvah.

The answer, said the Chazon Ish, is that the sinner, i.e. the tzeduki, is not a man with an opinion that tzadukiism is correct. Rather, he is simply following his Yetzer Horah to do bad, but deep down, he knows he's wrong. therefore, making an oath will stop him.

So too with the Zionists, said the Chazon Ish - even though the Yetzer Horah seduces them by telling him it is connected to the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, and other nice words, but in the depths of their hearts, they know the truth, that Zionism is Kefirah and meenus and it is a deviation from the Torah's way, and they know that such an oath (against Zionism) is not against the Torah, but rather a real legitimate oath. (Orchos Rabeinu vol.4 p.189)

So, in other words, Zionism is not really an intellectual position, but rather an intellectual rationalization for being a Zionist.

It's the Yetzer Horah fooling a person, and deep down he knows its nonsense, but the taavah and yetzer have the ability to cloud a person’s judgment - at least on the surface.

Of course, the taavah for Zionism is nationalism - everybody wants to be "a people" with their own country and their own identity, and also, as the Zionists themselves said, Zionism allows the "normalization" of the Jewish nation - we're no different than the Spanish, Italians and Greeks - now we're "normal" because we aren’t wandering like gypsies all over the world in ghettos and things like that. (afra l'pumaihu!)

It is this taavah that causes a person to rationalize. But deep down he knows that Zionism makes no sense.

It's like the posuk says - shochad yaavir ainei pikchim - bribery blinds the eyes of the wise. And, adds the Mesilas Yeshorim, the greatest bribery is the pull of the Yetzer Horah.

So it's not question anymore how wise men can be Zionists. Even though objectively, it makes no sense, but Zionism is not an objective position - it's the result of giving in to the temptation of the Yetzer, of taking bribery, which, as the posuk says, blinds the eyes of even the wise.

MODERATOR Posted - 25 December 2006 20:04

If you look at the source of the Brisker Rav's statement that I just posted, you’ll see on the same page a cute story about the Brisker Rav's father, Rav Chaim, regarding how simple it is that Zionism is wrong.

Rav Chaim ZTL was accustomed not to pasken shailos. He left that to the Dayan of Brisk. Of course, Rav Chaim was more than qualified, but he had his reasons.

One day, some ignorant fellow came up to Rav Chaim, who was vehemently anti-Zionist, and complained.

"Why is it," he said, "that you who refuse even to pasken simple shailos of basar bechalav, feel comfortable paskening such complex shailos like this one (i.e. about Zionism), which is so complex, so many people are so confused about it?!"

"On the contrary" said Rav Chaim, "if you see that even I, who would not pasken a shailah about basar bechalav, and paskening against Zionism, you see that it is even a simpler shailah than one about basar b'cholov!"

Tortured_Soul Posted - 26 December 2006 18:32

R' Mod,

Just above you wrote

"As far as Rav Ovadiah, yes, he is a Zionist rabbi, ..."

yet, elsewhere, much earlier, a moderator had written that while R' Ovadiah was at one point Zionist, he later retracted this and even wrote a teshuva in which he cited the 3 Shavuos and referred the reader to VaYoel Moshe for more on the topic.

MODERATOR Posted - 26 December 2006 18:35

I didn’t say that he wasn’t Zionist, I said that he stated that the Oaths are Halachicly binding.

In context, some Zionist rabbi had written, I think it was regarding land for peace, that the Oaths had "expired" according to Rav Chaim Vital.

The Satmar Rebbe exposes that Zionist myth as a hoax in Vayoel Moshe, showing that it is based on a distortion and misunderstanding (a little of both) of Rav Chaim Vital.

Rav Ovadiah points that out to the aforementioned Zionist rabbi.

This was in an article in a Zionist journal called Techumin, which I quoted elsewhere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you go to even the most chareidi sfarde kehilloh, You will see that Rav Ovadiah, at least for sfardim is definitely on the level of gadol hador.