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#1 ilavHashem

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:15 PM

i recently saw on this site that someone wrote it was assur to be a zionist...i never heard this before, but i have heard of people who are opposed to it. i know that here in Brooklyn, the bais yaakov schools won't ever talk about zionism or really mention Isreal as a country, but the "modern" schools will. I also heard about chassidim who are opposed to Isreal being governed by Jews, and Jews living there. (they protest by the Isreali Day Parade). All this is really confusing to me. I was wondering if you could explain the whole topic. thanx!

--sara :lol:

#2 taon

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:48 PM

The problem with Zionism is, among other issues, that it is rushing the geulah, which is forbidden. Listen to this shuir Geulah

and read this for a partial discussion

#3 SilverShoes

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:08 PM

But isn't it like doing our hastadlus?

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:47 PM

But isn't it like doing our hastadlus?

No. I will explain this at length when I have a chance. But for now, to answer your question about Hishtadlus, the Jewish nation in Golus is comparable, על דרך משל, to a sick person on a respirator. We all pray that he should get off quickly. Now imagine if someone would come and say: "Praying is great but we need to do Hishtadlus."

Then he pulls out the plug on the respirator and pulls the patient off the machine.

"You idiot!" the people who were praying shout. "What did you do?!"

"Well what do you mean? You were praying all this time to get this man off the respirator. I just did it for you!"

That is what rushing the Geulah is like. We once lived in Eretz Yisroel, and we were kicked out by Hahsem - מפני חטאינו גלינו מארצינו. There was a reason Hashem threw us out. He could have punished us in Eretz Yisroel. But because of our sins, we were no longer able to sanctify the world from Eretz Yisroel. We were too spiritually weak. So we were told by Hashem to go into Golus and go from land to land, wherever He sends us, and sanctify the world that way.

In addition, Eretz Yisroel is a holy land. It does not take well to sinners. It get nauseous from them and eventually vomits them out. And the punishment for sinning in Eretz Yisroel is much more severe than the punishment for sinning in Chutz Laaretz. Sinning in The King's Palace (Eretz Yisroel), right in front of Him, Kavyochol, is much worse than sinning in Golus. So Hashem said, for our own good, until we learn how to behave, until we are zocheh once more, we are kicked out of Eretz Yisroel.

So we are on the respirator. Our Hishtadlus must go in the direction of becoming healthy so that we can walk tall once again in our land. That will happen when Moshiach comes. But until that time, we need the respirator - the Golus - and we dare not pull the plug.

We pray for the Geulah all the time, but what we are praying for is for us to no longer need the Golus, and to be able to be worthy of the Geulah.

Zionism pulls the patient off the respirator because it thinks that the respirator is the problem. It is not. It is the sickness that is the problem, and until we are cured, the respirator is vital to our well-being. The Gemora says therefore, that the punishment for "pushing to end" the Golus - for pulling Klall Yisroel off the respirator, is, rachmana litzlan, death and destruction of Jews, who will be hunted down and killed like animals. That is a quote - not a figure of speech:

תלמוד בבלי מסכת כתובות דף קיא/א

ואם לאו אני מתיר את בשרכם כצבאות וכאילות השדה

So we should do all the Hishtadlus in the world to end the Golus - but that means we should try to get the patient better, not pull him off his life-support system before the right time.


See also here.

#5 danceInTheRain

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:47 AM

i beleive the issue with zionisim is the intent in which it was started-
zionism beleived in forgetting the old ways - that is for the galus, is what they said. and on the other hand they wanted to make a new kind of jew, the jew that is strong and will fight at all costs - even if the results are anyways sure death and will not be led once again to the furnaces...
zionism wanted to have a new jew that does not have to keep torak umitzvos.
furthermore many people do not know this since this is a chapther of history that some people would rather forget, but many many horrible things have been done in the name of zionism.
i can go into much more depth if anyone is interested.

if anyone wants a real explanation with sources and quotes there is an amazing video on the shofar website. it is called- herztel and zionism and they have it in english and hebrew- highly recommended

in general the fact that this is not disscussed in schools usually is just because the teachers dont know enough about the topic so its just easier to ignore the whole issue. people really beleive that this is another type of thing you must not disscuss.

BUT, this does not contridict our LOVE and attatchment to e"y. it is our beloved promised land that has special kedusha and special mitzvot, why just for walking new daled amos you get a mitzva!!!


#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:07 AM

BUT, this does not contridict our LOVE and attatchment to e"y. it is our beloved promised land that has special kedusha and special mitzvot, why just for walking new daled amos you get a mitzva!!!

Not "but."

Because.

It is because of our love for Eretz Yisroel that we do not want to see it defiled or hurt or used as an icon for an anti-Torah ideology. It is because of our love for Eretz Yisroel (as well as other reasons) that we oppose Zionism.

#7 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:11 AM

i recently saw on this site that someone wrote it was assur to be a zionist...i never heard this before, but i have heard of people who are opposed to it. i know that here in Brooklyn, the bais yaakov schools won't ever talk about zionism or really mention Isreal as a country, but the "modern" schools will. I also heard about chassidim who are opposed to Isreal being governed by Jews, and Jews living there. (they protest by the Isreali Day Parade). All this is really confusing to me. I was wondering if you could explain the whole topic. thanx!

--sara :lol:

In order to explain this properly I could use your help. In order to properly understand why we reject Zionism, it would help if you (or anyone else) would explain what it is about Zionism that makes it something you want to embrace. Does it have anything to do with our religion? If you believe it is just it is just part of Judaism, why give it a separate name ("Zionism")? And its founders certainly did not believe in Judaism, so - what does this movement, that was founded by people who did not believe in Judaism have to do with Judaism? Why do you make Israeli independence day into a Jewish holiday? Why make it into a holiday altogether? Please explain to me what this Zionism thing is all about.

Did anyone explain to you what Zionism is about? It's OK if they didn't and you just follow everyone else - no problem. But do you ever think about it? Clarifying your thoughts about Zionism will help you me explain to you why you should reject it.

#8 ilavHashem

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:50 PM

ok...what is zionism really about? im all ears!
to me its just love of Isreal, because i do feel a connection to Isreal! is it wrong for people to make aliya? it deosn't make sence to me to be anti a place that is special for us...
maybe we are not ready to restore the beis hamikdash, but i don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a place of such kedusha to be inhabited, loved and celebrated by jews all over!
i don't know about the founders or why they founded it...but by promoting love of a place that is righfully ours, how are we rushing the geulah?
idk, i guess the whole topic kind of confuses me...

#9 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:23 PM

ok...what is zionism really about? im all ears!
to me its just love of Isreal, because i do feel a connection to Isreal! is it wrong for people to make aliya? it deosn't make sence to me to be anti a place that is special for us...
maybe we are not ready to restore the beis hamikdash, but i don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a place of such kedusha to be inhabited, loved and celebrated by jews all over!
i don't know about the founders or why they founded it...but by promoting love of a place that is righfully ours, how are we rushing the geulah?
idk, i guess the whole topic kind of confuses me...


The last line is the money quote:

idk, i guess the whole topic kind of confuses me



Don't worry, you're not alone. But first, you wrote about loving Eretz Yisroel, and wanting a place of Kedusha to be inhabited. You realize, of course, that none of that has to do with having a Medinah. You can love Eretz Yisroel, and even live there, without a Medinah, like many righteous people did for 2,000 years.

So to you, Zionism really has nothing to do with the State of Israel? Then why did ZIonism not exist before the movement to create a a State of Israel?

There was a movement (that for the record, most Gedolim opposed, but that's not for now) to create colonies in Eretz Yisroel, called Chovevei Tzion, but that had nothing to do with making a State. As you said, they wanted to have people living in Palestine, which is Eretz Yisroel, no more or less than after it became Israel.

In fact, Israel is not exactly the same territory as Eretz Yisroel. Did you know that the southernmost part of Lebanon is also Eretz Yisroel? Do you love that land also? If it is Eretz Yisroel that you love, could you imagine hanging a poster of Naqoura, a Lebanese city inhabited by Arabs, but totally Eretz Yisroel, in your bedroom the way you might hang posters of Jerusalem, Ashdod, and Tel Aviv? Or would you be repulsed by someone who would have such a picture because it is really Israel, not Eretz Yisroel that is the object of your affection?

And, by the same token, Elat, although in the borders of Israel, is (most probably) not Eretz Yisroel at all, but Chutz Laaretz. Southern Lebanon has the holiness of Eretz Yisroel, but Elat is no different than Egypt.

So is Eretz Yisroel really, honestly, what you feel good about, or is it the State of Israel that was created in '48?

Also, this whole idea about "loving" Eretz Yisroel. Do you have a source that says it is a Mitzvah to love Eretz Yisroel? We know it is a Mitzvah to love Hashem, and to love your fellow Jews, but where does it say you have to love Eretz Yisroel? if you will tell me we don't need a Mitzvah to love Ey - it is a holy place - I can understand that, but do you equally love Shabbos? Yom Tov? The inside of a Bais HaMedrash? A Sefer Torah? All of those are holy times / places / things. Do you hear people talk a bout "instilling a love for Gedolei Yisroel," who are holy people? Clearly, in Zionist circles, the Eretz Yisroel - or Israel - is treated not merely as a holy thing - we have many holy things but they are not treated with the same passion and attention as Eretz Yisroel, Why is that?

And I have one more question. You realize that whatever benefit you believe Israel provides in terms of holiness etc. comes at a great price. Jewish people need to fight in an army there against Arabs who want the land for themselves. So far, between the wars and the terrorist casualties, upwards of 20,000 Jews have been killed. And of course, there is no end in sight to the continuous danger - and casualties - that maintaining Israel will cost, rachmana latzlan.

How many Jewish lives do you think this "populating Eretz Yisroel" is worth? Isn't one Jewish life worth saving even if you have to be Mechalel Shabbos 1000 times to do so? If so, is "populating Eretz Yisroel" worth it if we have to pay for it in Jewish lives?

#10 SilverShoes

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:07 PM

I think in the process of all this zionist bashing you should maybe consider something else:

the Palestine problem.
If the darn Zionists didn't act, then the idea of

You can love Eretz Yisroel, and even live there, without a Medinah, like many righteous people did for 2,000 years.

could not and would not be possible. In order to live there regardless of your feelings of a state- there needed to be people putting in place the concept of a state or else we would not even stand a chance to Palestinians around us.


So to you, Zionism really has nothing to do with the State of Israel? Then why did ZIonism not exist before the movement to create a a State of Israel?

Untruth.
The term Zionism appears to be a modern word, while though out our whole galus we have been zionist- have had the desire to return to tzion.
It is an old old word given a new life.


I am still very interested in your explanation of the term.

#11 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:15 PM

I think in the process of all this zionist bashing you should maybe consider something else:

the Palestine problem.
If the darn Zionists didn't act, then the idea of


You can love Eretz Yisroel, and even live there, without a Medinah, like many righteous people did for 2,000 years.

could not and would not be possible. In order to live there regardless of your feelings of a state- there needed to be people putting in place the concept of a state or else we would not even stand a chance to Palestinians around us.

But the fact is there were Jews living in EY all throughout Golus, weren't there? How did they "stand a chance" without an army, without a State, against the Palestinians (and I am using that term figuratively of course) around them?

In fact, can you tell me when the Palestinians started terrorizing and killing Jews? When did it become untenable for the Jews to live in peace with the Arabs living in Eretz Yisroel?



So to you, Zionism really has nothing to do with the State of Israel? Then why did ZIonism not exist before the movement to create a a State of Israel?

Untruth.
The term Zionism appears to be a modern word, while though out our whole galus we have been zionist- have had the desire to return to tzion.
It is an old old word given a new life.


Well of course its a new word since it was never used, ever, until the Zionists came and coined it.

But never mind that - so you are saying Zionist means any Jew who is waiting to go back to Eretz Yisroel? Those who are waiting for Moshiach? So the Satmar Rav was a Zionist? So every Jew was and is a Zionist? Even those who vehemently opposed Zionism? If that is true, then what is there in Zionism that was opposed?

But let me ask you: What exactly is the "new life" that the word was given? What was different about being a "Zionist" after the new life was given to the word versus before? And why the need for a new life?

And one more question: If that's all Zionism means, why the need for a word altogether? If I daven every day, am I a "prayerist"? If I wait for Moshiach, would I call myself a "Moshiachist"? Would I coin a phrase "Tzadakaism"? Clearly, Zionism does NOT merely mean a Mitzvah like all others, because if so there would be no need to single it out and make a new word for it, and certainly not an "ism," which implies a movement.


I am still very interested in your explanation of the term.

I have no more explanation than the dictionary. Or the explanation of those who created the term to begin with. Zionism was a movement to create a Jewish State in Palestine. It's not very complicated.

#12 7-yipol-tzadik-vekam!

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:09 PM

Rabbi Shapiro,

I what you are saying that a lot of us who went to religious zionist schools never really understood what zionism is all about, especially compared to a love of EY, for a long time I assumed it was synonymous. Honestly, a lot of what you are saying makes a certain amount of sense.
I guess my main question is ok, so the state should not have been created, but now what? Most of the people who created the state aren't in this world anymore and we are all dealing with the fact that there is one. Is the Rabbi saying to reject the State? not to move there? to move their and to beneft from the state without giving back in return? to not benefit from the state which is basically impossible because whatever else they did, the chalutzim were the ones who built a lot of it not mention the wars fought?

And i hate all the sinah that comes to play here. The two camps hate each other with such passion. Is there any way for achdus between the "religious zionists" and everyone who is against zionism. I mean- as I once read somewhere- at the end of the day, we are disagreeing about one mitzvah- which may not even be a mitzvah. Why does Rav Kook need to be almost totally rejected, why cant we say- he was a great Rabbi, we just don't follow his ideas about zionism. I know so many frum Jews who would call themselves zionists and are not only amazing people, but i really think they are amazing frum Jews too, people really striving to do what Hashem wants from them, they just believe for whatever reason that this is what He wants.

Thank you for trying to clarify this topic.

#13 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:32 AM

Rabbi Shapiro,

I what you are saying that a lot of us who went to religious zionist schools never really understood what zionism is all about, especially compared to a love of EY, for a long time I assumed it was synonymous. Honestly, a lot of what you are saying makes a certain amount of sense.
I guess my main question is ok, so the state should not have been created, but now what? Most of the people who created the state aren't in this world anymore and we are all dealing with the fact that there is one. Is the Rabbi saying to reject the State? not to move there? to move their and to beneft from the state without giving back in return? to not benefit from the state which is basically impossible because whatever else they did, the chalutzim were the ones who built a lot of it not mention the wars fought?

And i hate all the sinah that comes to play here. The two camps hate each other with such passion. Is there any way for achdus between the "religious zionists" and everyone who is against zionism. I mean- as I once read somewhere- at the end of the day, we are disagreeing about one mitzvah- which may not even be a mitzvah. Why does Rav Kook need to be almost totally rejected, why cant we say- he was a great Rabbi, we just don't follow his ideas about zionism. I know so many frum Jews who would call themselves zionists and are not only amazing people, but i really think they are amazing frum Jews too, people really striving to do what Hashem wants from them, they just believe for whatever reason that this is what He wants.

Thank you for trying to clarify this topic.

I haven't clarified anything yet. Nor have I even begun explaining why to reject ZIonism. All I have been doing so far is asking some questions to people who consider themselves Zionists for them to clarify what it is. I have been down this road before. Unfortunately, many people are taught things in religious Zionist institutions about Zionism that - forget right now if it's good or bad; correct or incorrect; against the Torah or in line with it - simply does not explain their attitudes and behaviors towards Israel. Once they - not me but they - clarify what it is that they believe in, then we can explore whether it should be rejected or accepted. But until people know exactly what they are discussing, it is not possible to have a productive discussion.

So my first question to you is, you wrote what I said "makes a certain amount of sense." Sounds to me like a definite qualifier there ("a certain amount of sense"). What exactly is the reason for the stinginess in your concession? Is there something that you don't understand? And therefore you think does not make sense? Especially since I have not "said" much and have merely asked some questions.

And your assessment of what my point is in asking these questions is only partially correct. You said: "what you are saying that a lot of us who went to religious zionist schools never really understood what zionism is all about, especially compared to a love of EY, for a long time I assumed it was synonymous.". But that is not my point at all. I am not asking anyone what Zionism is about - I am asking them what their own behavior is about. Forget Herzl; forget R. Kook; forgetthem for now. I am asking just a very elementary question: Why do you celebrate the day Israel became a state? Why do you treat the holy object called Eretz Yisroel differently than other holy objects? What is the source of this alleged "love" of Eretz Yisroel that results in so much talk and energy expended on it, and that it takes up such a large place in your Hashkafa - compared to other Mitzvos, where there is not nearly such an expression or even talk of "love." What would justify sacrificing tens of thousands of Jewish lives? We would not do such a thing for Shabbos or Kashrus.

Does it say in Halachah that you have to love Eretz Yisroel? Is it brought down in Shulchan Aruch? if not (it's not) is it then only a Chumrah? Something not required? Is it usual for a Modern Orthodox Jew to base so much of their life on something that is not even a Halachah? But merely a Chumrah? Or is it something else?

Zionist institutions often say say they teach "Ahavas Yisroel and Ahavas Eretz Yisroel." Ahavas Yisroel is an obligation - as is Ahavas Hashem, and Ahavas HaGer. Is Ahavas Eretz Yisroel an obligation? If a Jew does not love Eretz Yisroel is he violating Halachah? Often, when I hear a Modern Orthodox person berating "chumras" I ask him if Ahavas Eretz Yisroel is a Halachah.

If it is not, then what is it? And why is it so so important?

And - perhaps most importantly - is it really Eretz Yisroel that all this love and loyalty is directed at, or is it the State of Israel? And if so, why?

There is a very Modern Orthodox high school near where I live (and I mean "very modern" more than "very Orthodox"). They are very liberal in terms of which seminaries they will allow to recruit in their school. And with good reason - they believe, rightfully so, that a post-HS year in EY would be a great thing for the frumkeit of their students, and so the more options for them, the better.

But the issue of. "Do you celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut?" is a deal-breaker. If the answer is no, they are banned from recruiting in the school. Now if a seminary allows the students to have boyfriends, or other indiscretions, they have no problem allowing them to recruit in their school and I understand that, in view of the type of students they have. If they teach various hashkafos that the HS itself does not believe in, they also would not ban them from recruiting. But one thing they will not give on, is Yom HaAtzmaut.

Clearly, to the Modern Orthodox Jew, the affinity for the State of Israel is not just because Eretz Yisroel is holy. The question is why, and how does the State of Israel play a part in this - for Eretz Yisroel is holy, regardless of whether it is the State of Israel or the Mamluks or the Arabs or the Ottomans or the British.

As far as your questions about what to do, you need to slow down. I have not even begun to explain what Zionism is. I will, and after that, I will explain why it needs to be rejected. After that, I will explain what to do about it, and the "achdus" issue as well..

Part of the confusion surrounding this issue is due to the fact that people, especially in the ZIonist institutions, and to a lesser degree outside of those institutions as well, have a very distorted picture of the reasons people oppose ZIonism. You say for example that "maybe the Medinah should not have been created," but if you would know WHY it should not have been created, you would know the answer to your next question: "What should be do about it now"

In order to understand this issue, there is a lot to learn. But in order to learn, first a person has to concede he does not know. Hence my questions.

As for your claims of Sinah, well, you are assuming a lot there, and I will address that issue also, but only after the information you need in order to be able to figure out the answer is covered. But after I explain the other issues, you will be able to figure out the answer to this on your own.

But as long as you brought up the "Sinah" topic, first, I have another question: If you grew up in a Religious Zionist environment, perhaps you can explain to me what is the reason for the visceral reaction to those who oppose Zionism --- more than those who oppose anything else you'd consider holy? If I for example said that I do not believe in Bris Milah, you'd consider me a fool, and maybe a Kofer, depending on the details of my position, but would you actually have that sinah (your word) that you would have for me if I oppose Zionism? If I said I hold Rav Yonason Eyebushitz was a Shabse Zvi worshiper, would you have the same reaction as if I would say Rav Kook is was idol worshiper? If I said I don't believe in Kabbalah, for example, why would I be not subject to the Sinah that I would if I said I reject ZIonism?

Before I explain why Zionism should be rejected, I need those to whom I am explaining it ti understand what ZIonism is. And I don't (only) mean the Zionism of Herzl. I mean the Zionism of those who are asking me the question.

#14 ilavHashem

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:09 PM

this is honestly one of the first times a WHY answer hasn't been enuf 4me, i'm usually very trusting of any Torah source...and its usually all stuff iv'e heard of b4, or about the idea if it...
i guess its that this topic has never been addressed to me in a negative way...well really at all!
sooooo new question:
WHAT IS ZIONISM?

#15 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:42 PM

I'm not sure what it is you are trying to find. The dictionary definition is pretty well known. I stated it above. What more are you looking for?

#16 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:05 PM

sooooo new question:
WHAT IS ZIONISM?

May I ask a question about your question?

You ask: What is Zionism?

I ask you: What's the difference?

Why do you believe you need to know?

You see, the fact that you think this question is worth asking means you are already assuming that this Zionism thing is somehow important to define.

Why?

#17 shaya

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:00 PM

a lot of info can be found on this http://www.jewsagain...m.com/index.cfm
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#18 Moderator #3

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:13 PM

Another excellent site, especially regarding information about the Zionist rabbis and what the Gedolei Hador thought of them:

http://yoel-ab.com/

#19 ilavHashem

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

thnx 4 all ur help

#20 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

You're welcome. Just started.

But you see, you started the thread asking why the Bais Yaakovs do not talk about Zionism or mention Israel. We see now that the real question is why should they?