Lupolianski: "We Are the Real Zionists"

Nov. 27, 2007

At the Saturday night session of the 85th convention of Agudath Israel of America, the mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, addressed the crowd. The Mayor spoke eloquently and forcefully about both the wonder that is Jerusalem and the dark cloud on the horizon. And the danger, he said, is not only from the people Condaleeza Rice and your State Department call our peace-loving cousins& but from within our own ranks.

By that, he explained, he meant those who arrogate to themselves the name Zionist while considering Jews who pray three times daily that G-d return His presence to Jerusalem to be anti-Zionists.

Jerusalem, Mr. Lupolianski continued, is the city that unites Jews. But what do we hear now? Government ministers are speaking openly about slicing up Jerusalem like a salami and serving slices to the Palestinians.

And this, he asked incredulously, will bring us peace?

The Mayor then recounted what happened when we gave away Gaza, pointing out how the result has been innocent men, women and children liv[ing] in terror, waiting day and night for the siren that will give them fifteen seconds fifteen seconds! to run to shelter.

Is that, he asked, what we want for Jerusalem?

Mayor Lupolianski then called on his listeners You have enormous influence and you must use it to do all they can to make clear their opposition to the pipe dream that relinquishing parts of Jerusalem will bring greater peace to Eretz Yisroel, or the world. Mr. Lupolianski then quoted the Targum on the verse (Isaiah 62) For the sake of Zion, I will not be still, which describes G-ds declaration as Until I bring the redemption to Zion, the entire world will not be still. We must, he exhorted the crowd, pray that, in the merit of our protecting Jerusalem, G-d will bring us the full redemption, soon in our days."

However, Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, in his address which followed Lupolianski's, disputed the Zionist contention that Jerusalem belongs under Jewish rule. "We are not gathered together to raise the slogan that Jerusalem belongs to us, but we must all accept a new slogan, that we belong to Jerusalem. As we say in our prayers, because of our sins we were exiled from our land, we were distanced from our soil, and we are not able to go up, appear and bow before G-d in the Temple, in that great house upon which G-d's name was called. We do not adequately feel the pain we must at the state of Jerusalem today. Perhaps by the current political developments, G-d wants to awaken in us a feeling of just what Jerusalem is, why we are strangers in its streets," said Rabbi Salomon.

Our comment:

Lupolianski is worried about danger. But he should take a broader view of history and realize that this entire dangerous situation was actually created by the state in which he lives and which he helps run. If all Jews were living in exile as they should be, they would not be hearing sirens and running to bomb shelters every day.

Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon is to be commended for standing up in the Agudah to affirm the exilic status of the Jewish people and repudiating the Zionist slogan that "Jerusalem is ours". His refusal to succumb to the immense pressure of the Zionist-dominated Agudah sets an example for all Agudah-affiliated rabbis.