Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Religious Zionism Debate XII

R. Yehudah Levi, Facing Contemporary Challenges, pp. 17-18 (the book has approbations from R. Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg and R. Ovadiah Yosef). Note the lack of objections due to the Three Oaths:

We lack prophets who can interpret the ways of Providence for us. Nevertheless, whoever opens his eyes will see that the establishment of a Jewish state in the Holy Land is an event of historic proportions. Anyone denying this is only deceiving himself. Even regarding the British Mandate, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the great leader of the old Yishuv in Jerusalem, admonished:
Where are the Torah-true Jews of the Diaspora? Do they not see here the finger of God.... Let us imagine a small cloud being seen after two thousand years without rain. Will not everyone say with great excitement: "Perhaps... perhaps after all?" Is the Mandate not at least such a cloud?
He also regarded the building of the Land through settlements throughout the whole country as athchalta di-geulah (the beginning of the Redemption), despite the sorry state of Torah education and observance in those settlements.[10]

After the state's founding, the "finger of God" became even more evident. Rabbi Dessler, author of Mikhtav MeEliyahu and distinguished mashgiach (mentor) of Ponevezh Yeshiva, said:
A great kindness [from on High]... our nation's settling in its own state in the Holy Land. --From this we must draw conclusions and establish emunah [faith] in our hearts. Woe to him who comes to the Day of Judgment still too blind to see this concrete fact.[11]
Rabbi. Y.Tz. Dushinsky, the successor of Rabbi Y.Ch. Sonnenfeld, wrote in the same spirit:
The only hope to save the situation is, if our brethren who are aware of the sanctity of the Land and want it to be built on the basis of Torah and our heritage... all of them unite to build the ruins and plant the desolate areas, to repair her moral ruins. That they participate in the settling of the Land with dedication and loyal love.... To put up new Torah-true settlements and to see to it that God's Torah be complete--covering all aspects of life and building of the Land of Israel.[12]
Even more explicit are the words of Rabbi Tzevi Pessach Frank, author of Har Tzevi:
It is now almost two years that we were privileged to see how God remembered His people to succor them with the beginning of Redemption.... As it was during the first redemption in the days of Joshua, thus we have seen the beginning of his final redemption.[13]
Rabbi E.M. Bloch, Rosh Yeshiva of Telz, wrote similarly:
Despite all the flaws and defects in the leadership of the State of Israel, its very existence, which came about through obvious miracles, has importance which we have to relate to with recognition and satisfaction. And this recognition we must express publicly.[14]
On another occasion he said, "The healthy elements among the Jewish people bear great responsibility regarding... the survival of the Jewish state."[15]

[10] HaIsh 'al HaChomah, Pt. 2, p.313.
[11] Quoted from R. E.E. Dessler, Mikhtav MeEliyahu, Pt. 3, p.352.
[12] R. Y.Tz. Dushinsky, letter to Tageblatt (15 Shevat 5694). Facsimile published in HaModia' (30 Tishrey 5754 / 15 Oct. '93).
[13] R. Tz.P. Frank, Kerem Tzion 11:17 #1.
[14] . E.M. Bloch, letter of 5714, brought in Mitzvoth HaShalom, p. 605.
[15] Alumni Union of Yeshiva Telz of Cleveland, Bulletin, Teveth 5747.

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