Israel versus Judaism



Torah True Jewry

Our sages teach us: 'Who is wise? He who foresees the results". The overwhelming majority of Torah authorities soon realized the grave danger, both spiritually and physically, latent in Zionism. Their attitude towards Zionism could only be a negative one, and, therefore, the same negative attitude was shared by all groups over which the influence of Torah leaders predominated.

Zionism, of course, could not and would not limit itself to the realm of ideology. Body and soul are always closely tied to each other. Zionist propaganda, therefore, caused not only ideological and theoretical estrangement from the Torah-view, but was also largely accompanied by complete abandonment of practical Torah observance. Nonetheless, it is absolutely wrong to maintain, as many do, that the opposition to Zionism on the orthodox side resulted only from the fact that most of the Zionist leaders were irreligious, an opinion inherently implying a criticism of Torah-true leaders for not having endeavoured to attain a leading position in Zionism, in which case, it is argued, they would have guided Zionism along the path of Torah and, accordingly, the State of Israel would have been built up in the spirit of Torah, etc. This reasoning emanates from an incorrect view of things. Torah authorities did not reject Zionism because its leaders were mostly irreligious. The picture is entirely reversed : this fact was not the reason for disapproval of Zionism by the Torah authorities, but the other way round: this fact was a result of diametrical opposition of the nature of Zionism to the Torah view. In other words, it was not merely "coincidental" that the leaders and spokesmen of Zionism were mostly irreligious : their lack of religious feeling is rooted in the very nature and essence of Zionism. On the soil of Torah, with a Torah-true Jewish people observing and faithful to Torah in mind and deed, Zionism could never have arisen, for, as we have tried to explain above, it is DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED TO THE VERY FOUNDATIONS OF JEWISH BELIEF. Thus, the argument "had the Torah authorities joined Zionism" is paradoxal. Had the Torah authorities been obeyed, there could never have been a Zionism in the first place.

Therefore, if there is any question at all, it is not “Why did the orthodox not join Zionism" but the reverse: “How could there have been orthodox Jews who did join Zionism?" To analyse this last question, we shall later devote a complete chapter.

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