Hi Rabbi, one more e-mail. I wouldn't even know how to respond to the attached article, Do Not Ascend Like a Wall, by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner. He gives 13 reasons why the Three Oaths don't apply to the State of Israel. Seems compelling, but you're the authority. Thoughts?
1. The wall fell by the permit of the Nations of the World
Thus wrote the Avnei Nezer: “That which I wrote in section 56 that there will be no oath if
permission is granted for all to ascend to Israel, since Rashi explained ‘together by force,’ and if it
is with permission it is not force.”
This is probably the most common Zionist argument. They base it on Rashi’s comment on the words of the Gemara, “The Holy One, blessed is He, made Israel swear not to go up as a wall.” Rashi says, “Together, with a strong hand.” They assume that this means with military force. Thus, they argue, it is allowed to establish a state with permission from the nations.
There is one commentator who understood Rashi that way: the Avnei Nezer. But it's important to realize that the Avnei Nezer was writing before 1910 (the year he passed away). He is concerned with the Three Oaths as they relate to immigration under the Turks. He does not discuss the question of founding a state.
Even if mass immigration with the permission of the nations is allowed, founding a sovereign state is a different story - it involves the oath against forcing the end of exile.
Also, Chazal say clearly that we will not achieve political independence until moshiach comes: "The only difference between the present era and the days of moshiach is our subjugation to the nations" (Shabbos 63a). The Avnei Nezer never permitted any kind of political sovereignty.
The Avnei Nezer wonders why all the great tzaddikim of past centuries didn't go to live in Eretz Yisroel, if doing so is indeed one of the 613 mitzvos. His answer is that the mitzvah cannot be understood as an absolute obligation on every Jew to go to Eretz Yisroel, for if they would all go, they would transgress the oath.
Then he says that if a Jew receives permission from the government to immigrate, he is obligated to do so, since if such permission were given for all Jews they would indeed be allowed to go, and it would not be a violation of the oath, which, as Rashi says, only prohibits going up "with a strong hand." Or, he adds, if permission were given for all Jews to come, it would be considered a "pekidah" - an act of Divine remembrance. (Responsa Avnei Nezer Yoreh Deah 454:52-56)
So, says the Avnei Nezer, the great tzaddikim of the past didn't have permission from the government, and that is why they didn't go. It's not that it was so hard to get permission back then. But today, when one decides to move to a certain country, one first approaches the local consul of that country to request official permission. That's not the way it was in the Middle Ages and before. One had to actually travel to Eretz Yisroel (or at least reach the borders of the empire controlling it) to ask permission to settle there. Therefore, one was never in the situation of being in his home country and possessing permission to settle in Eretz Yisroel.
Later (in Siman 456) the Avnei Nezer clarifies why he proposed the second explanation: that permission for all Jews to come would be considered a "pekidah": because according to his first explanation of Rashi there is a problem. The Gemara in Yuma (9b) says, “If you had made yourselves like a wall and all come up in the time of Ezra…” In that context, “like a wall” clearly means with permission, as the immigration in Ezra’s time was sanctioned by Darius, king of Persia.
Thus the Avnei Nezer backtracks and says that mass immigration, even with permission, is called going up as a wall and is thus prohibited under the oath.
At the same time, he says that when the government gives permission for all Jews to come, it's a pekidah, a sign of Divine remembrance. So when is legal mass immigration ever prohibited? Clearly there must be some types of permission that do not qualify as pekidah. For example, we just said a moment ago that in the olden days, those few Jews who traveled to Eretz Yisroel did so without having advance permission to settle there. If a large enough number of Jews did this together, it would be a violation of the oath, even if the government let them stay upon arrival. That's why the Avnei Nezer said that it can't be an obligation upon every Jew to do this.
In the case of Zionism, the permission given by the British just meant that those Jews who came legally under the British Mandate were not violating the oath. But in the end the British did not hand Palestine over to the Jews. They just pulled out of the country in 1948, leaving it to whoever would prevail in the war. That is not a pekidah. Fighting that war and taking over the country definitely fit the description of Rashi - "together, with a strong hand."
At this point Zionists invariably argue that the U.N. voted for a Jewish state.
But the nations in the U.N. who voted in favor of a Jewish state did not include the nation ruling over the land, the British. The British abstained in the vote and did nothing to help carry out the U.N. resolution. In the end, the Zionists did have to fight for their land, first against the local Arabs (Palestinians) and then against the surrounding nations. That is definitely "with a strong hand" and a rebellion against the nations. The fact that they had a recommendation to do so from other nations around the world who were not involved in the conflict means nothing halachically speaking. And the 1948 war was not a fight to defend a piece of land; it was a fight to get a piece of land.
Imagine that all the countries in the UN except America voted to give the Jews the state of New York for a country of their own. And the Jews held a meeting and declared independence in the state of New York. And then the U.S. army came to fight them. Would it then be self-defense to fight back against the U.S. army?
Furthermore, not everyone agrees that going up "as a wall" means by military means. The Avnei Nezer is the only one who says that. Others (Yefeh Kol, Ahavas Yonasan) understand it as any mass immigration.
Also, do not forget about the other oath, which prohibits forcing the end. Founding a state before the coming of moshiach certainly falls under that category. Even the Avnei Nezer only says that the oath against "going up as a wall" becomes permitted when the nations give it to us, which would mean that mass immigration is permitted according to him, but not founding a state.
Furthermore, the borders of the Jewish state proposed by the UN are a far cry from the borders actually conquered by the Zionists. The U.N.'s Jewish state was made up of a thin strip along the coast, the Negev desert, and a strip in the northeast. These three pieces are barely connected. And all of Jerusalem and its environs were to be deep within the Arab state.
At this point a Zionist would argue: the land was ownerless. The UN resolution gave it to the Zionists, who declared their independent state. Then, the following day, several Arab armies attacked the newborn state. So the war was not a war to take over Eretz Yisroel - they had already done that. It was a war to defend the Jews of Eretz Yisroel.
But this is specious reasoning. Think about it: If I walk into your house and declare it mine, and, when you resist me, I fight back, is that self-defense? Who is the aggressor? I am, of course. Declaring someone else's land mine is an act of aggression. True, here there was no sovereign power from which the Israelis took the land. The previous government was the British, and they left voluntarily. But my point is that self-defense is not defined by who attacks physically first.
There are actually three possibilities. 1) If someone attacks my house, which has always been mine, then he is the aggressor and I am just defending myself. 2) If I walk into someone's house and declare it mine, then I am the aggressor. 3) If there is an ownerless house and two people want it, the fact that one of them happens to be the first one to declare it his does not make his opponent the aggressor. They are both equally aggressors. This last case is the analogy that best describes 1948.
The UN resolution didn't make the Zionists into the defenders, because as I said, the UN was only making a recommendation. It wasn't their country.
Zionists sometimes argue that the Arab countries all agreed to the rules of the UN, and therefore although they voted against a Jewish state, it is as if they agreed to it. But even if that were true, it would be irrelevant because the bottom line is that there was a war and Jews would not have gotten control of the country without a war. Taking the land through war is prohibited by halacha.
To put it another way: If you think agreeing to abide by the rules of the UN amounts to agreement to give the Jews the land, so be it, but even if a ruling power really did agree to give the Jews its land and then later retracted its offer, and the Jews had to fight for it, that is “with a strong hand”.
And similarly Rabbi Meir Simchah of Dvinsk wrote: “Nevertheless at this time Divine Providence
causes, that in a gathering of the enlightened Kingdoms in San Remo, a command was
given that the Land of Israel would be for the Nation of Israel, and since the fear of the Oaths departed,
then the mitzvah of settling the Land arose to its place with the permit of the rulers.”
This letter by the Ohr Somayach was clearly written after the British had committed themselves to the terms of the Mandate. They were the ruling power, so their permission (for settlement, not a state) was enough to permit the oath against going up as wall, which, according to the Ohr Somayach, forbids only forceful immigration. But today’s State of Israel does not rest on British permission, since the British eventually issued the White Paper of 1939 and changed course. It rests on the U.N.’s recommendation. The nations in the U.N. who voted for partition were not the owners of Palestine, nor did the British commit themselves to enforce the U.N.’s decision in any way. They simply said that they were leaving on May 15, 1948, and whoever won the war would get the land.
And this is also implied in the Meharsha: “‘Do not ascend like a wall’ — and Nechemiah who
said: ‘And we will build the walls of the city...”? It was with the permission of the King.”
Rabbi Aviner seems to think that the Maharsha is saying that whatever the oath prohibits, one may do with permission from the king. The flaw in this reasoning is that rebellion against, or independence from the king is the very thing that the oath prohibits. So building a defensive wall, or any other action, undertaken with permission from the king is by definition permitted because it doesn't go against the oath. It would be like building a fence around a Jewish neighborhood in New York with permission from the American government. But declaring an independent state with permission from some of the kings around the world is definitely a violation of the oath.
It would help to quote the entire Maharsha and not just a few words of it:
Certainly every Jew is permitted to go up to Eretz Yisroel, but they must not go up with a strong hand and to build for themselves the walls of Jerusalem. When Nechemiah said, “Let us build the walls of the city and no longer be a shame” (Nechemiah 2:17), it was with the king's permission, as it is written (2:8). But Toviah, who asked Nechemiah regarding the building of the wall, “Are you rebelling against the king?” did not realize that it was being done with the king's permission.
So we see that it is not the building of the wall that violates the oath; it is the rebellion against the ruling power symbolized by building the wall.
In our times, city walls are quaint historic structures and they mean little in terms of defense. The Zionists did much more to declare their independence and fight for it. They certainly transgressed this oath according to the Maharsha.
The Maharsha is actually a proof against Zionism, because he says that the only time it is permitted to build a wall or other means of self-defense is if Jews live under a ruling power or empire, such as the Persian empire in Nechemiah's time, and the king gives permission. Then their self-defense does not show independence; it is nothing more than a police force against local bands of marauders.
And see Midrash Shir Ha-Shirim: “The Holy One, Blessed be He, made Israel swear four
oaths...’Do not stir nor awake the love until I desire’ the Kingdom delivered the sword from their
hands.” On this Ha-Rav Kasher wrote that the Nations of the World will give permission to the
Nation of Israel to protect itself and supply it with weapons.
And see Kaftor VaFerach who explains that not ascending like a wall is in order to conquer,
which implies that with permission is permissible.
And many earlier authorities have already written that the permission of Redemption will be by
permit of the Nations of the World as in the time of Koresh, they are: Rabbi Moshe ben Machir,
Ramban, Radak, Rabbi Yosef Ibn Kaspi, Rabbenu Bachya, Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel, Maharibach,
Rabbenu Saadia Gaon, Rabbi Yehudah Chai Alkalai at length, Ha-Rav Tzvi Hirsch
Kalischer at length, the Gra and the Malbim.
The Ramban means the commentary on Shir Hashirim attributed to the Ramban (actually it was written by Rabbeinu Ezra, disciple of Rabbeinu Yitzchak, son of the Raavad). On Shir Shirim 8:13 he writes that the ingathering of the exiles will take place in two stages. The first stage will be the Ten Tribes. They will appoint a leader, Moshiach ben Yosef, he will conquer lands and kings, come to Jerusalem and build it. But he will die in battle. Then all the scattered Jews from the tribe of Yehuda will appoint one leader over them - Moshiach ben Dovid, who was with them in exile – and with the permission of the kings of the nations and with their help, they will go to Eretz Yisroel, as it is written, “And they will bring all of your brethren from all the nations as a gift to Hashem.” That kingdom will exist forever. And that is the meaning of the verse, “The word of Hashem G-d, Who gathers the dispersed of Israel: I will once again gather unto it, to its gathered ones” (Yishaya 56:8). “Who gathers the dispersed of Israel” – this refers to the Ten Tribes. “I will once again gather unto it” – this refers to Yehuda. The Torah also refers to these two gatherings when it says, “And Hashem your G-d will return your captives and have mercy on you; and He will go back and gather you from all the nations to which Hashem your G-d scattered you” (Devarim 30:3).
Apparently, Rabbi Aviner and other Zionists before him just saw the words "with the permission of the kings of the nations and with their help" and ignored everything else. But what Rabbeinu Ezra actually says is that the second stage of the ingathering will take place with the permission of the kings, and even that will happen under the leadership of Moshiach ben Dovid. (Vayoel Moshe 1:68)
Furthermore, the verse he cites as a source for the gentiles bringing the Jews up – Yishaya 66:20 – was understood by the Metzudos David as referring to the second stage of the ingathering, not the first.
The Metzudas David says there: “They will bring all your brethren – this means the Jews who are far away, who did not ascend with their brethren. The gentiles among whom those Jews live, when they hear about the great wonder that Hashem will do to the camp of Gog and Magog, will bring the Jews on horses and chariots as a gift to Hashem on His holy mountain.” In other words, this is talking about a period in which most of the Jewish people has already been gathered to Eretz Yisroel by Hashem. The nations will gather under Gog and Magog against the Jewish people in Jerusalem, as mentioned in Yishaya 66:18. Hashem will defeat them in a wondrous manner, as described in Zechariah 14:12. After word of this defeat spreads throughout the world (Yishaya 66:19), the gentiles will bring those few Jews remaining in exile to Eretz Yisroel as a gift to Hashem.
The same is stated by Rashi on Yishaya 27:12: "And it will come to pass on that day that Hashem will beat out [the Jews] from the Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt, and you will be picked up one by one, Children of Israel." Rashi says that the prophet is comparing the ingathering of the exiles to beating an olive tree and subsequently picking up the fallen olives. The owner does the beating and then he and others pick them up off the ground. Here too, Hashem will begin the ingathering process, as it says in the following verse: “And it will come to pass on that day that a great shofar will be blown and there will come those lost in the land of Assyria, and those cast away in the land of Egypt, and they will bow to Hashem in the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.” Later, anyone who finds one of you in exile will bring him up to Jerusalem as a gift.
The Radak on Tehillim refers to the same verse in Yishaya 66:18. On the verse, "Do not trust in noblemen, in a human who has no salvation" (Tehillim 146:3) the Radak says that even when humans do things, the salvation does not really come from them, but from Hashem. Thus Cyrus gave the command for the Jews to return to build the Second Temple, but it was really Hashem who inspired him to do so. And similarly, in the future redemption, Yishaya says that the gentiles will bring the Jews up from exile, but actually Hashem will inspire them to do so. Again, this means after moshiach has come and a portion of the Jews have come to Eretz Yisroel already. (Vayoel Moshe 1:68)
Tam Hakesef is a short sefer of drashos by Yosef Ibn Kaspi, a philosopher from the 13th century. It was published in 1913 in London "from the only extant manuscript", according to the title page. The publisher states openly that he published it to highlight the Zionistic words that appear on page 44: "Is there no longer any material in the hands of the Creator to create a man like Moses or less than him, who would come before kings and they would give it (Eretz Yisroel) to him? ... Or a king will arise and conquer Eretz Yisroel from the king of Egypt who is called the Sultan, and then make known throughout his kingdom that we should return to our land..." Even if the sefer is real, the author's status as a heretic (according to the Abarbanel and the Tashbatz, because in his commentary on Moreh Nevuchim he affirmed the eternity of the world, denying that the world was created by Hashem from nothingness) should disqualify it as a source.
The Rabbeinu Bachya is on Vayikra 11:4-7:
"Why is this nation (edom) called "Chazir"? For, it will eventually "lhachzir" the crown to its former glory. This means as follow. The two Temples were built by Jews... The third Temple, however will be built by Edom.. since they destroyed..
The version of the Tanchuma quoted by Rabbeinu Bachya according to which Edom builds the Beis Hamikdash is probably not the right girsa. He brings two other girsaos. The normative opinion in Talmud Bavli is that Hashem will bring down the Beis Hamikdash from heaven (Bava Kamma 60b, Rashi and Tosafos on Succah 41a). The Rambam says moshiach will build it. No one says that Edom will build it. If the girsa is correct, perhaps it means that in the time of moshiach, Edom will become subservient to moshiach’s kingdom and will bring him materials for the Temple.
Regarding the Gra, Rabbi Aviner reveals in the footnote that this is not a quote from the Gra himself but someone much later claimed that the Gra held this way.
The Chafetz Chaim wrote: “It is possible that the
future Redemption will be through natural means by way of The Holy One, Blessed be He, placing
within the heart of the Kings of the Nations to act beneficently with Israel and such was the
matter as was said about Koresh.
And many great authorities of Israel saw an awakening from the Heavens in the Balfour Declaration
and they supported this endeavor, they are Rabbi Meir Simchah of Dvinsk, the Admor of
Sochatshov, Ha-Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the Chafetz Chaim and our master, Ha-Rav
Avraham Yitzchak Ha-Cohen Kook.
Reb Meir Simcha has been discussed above.
Reb Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld did indeed see the Balfour Declaration as a good sign, like a little cloud on the horizon after years of drought (Guardian of Jerusalem, p. 409). But he did not say that the oaths were no longer in force, or that anything more than immigration is permitted under the oaths. He just speculates that perhaps the Mandate will lead to the redemption.
He also stated that is dangerous to free ourselves from exile before the time:
Once there was a prince who excelled in all areas and was perfect in every way. He was also the only child of his father, the king, and his father loved him dearly. One day the prince became seriously ill. His father sent for the best doctors and brought them to his hospital bedside, where he stood together with him. Could one imagine that such a wise boy would ask his father and his doctors to free him from the hospital and send him home? And even if he did make such a foolish request, they would not grant it, despite their mercy and love for him. Leaving while not completely recovered would put his life in danger.
We, the Jewish people, are in such a situation. Hashem sent us into exile because of our sins. The exile is the Jewish people’s hospital. It is unthinkable that we should take ourselves power in our land before our healing process is complete. Hashem protects us and shields us while doling out to us the medicine of suffering in exact amounts. We are certain that when the time comes and our healing from our sins is complete, Hashem will not delay even one second, and He Himself will redeem us. Not so if we would hurry to leave the hospital – then a mortal danger, a perpetual danger would hover over us, G-d forbid. And even when we pray for our redemption, we only ask that our healing process be completely quickly – not that we should return to the King’s palace while still sick, G-d forbid (Mara D’ara Yisroel v. 1 p. 145).
He also said:
In the Torah, Hashem promised to give us Eretz Canaan. He promised that He Himself will give it to us, not that we would have to take it on our own by force. And the prophet (Yishaya 1:27) says, "Zion will be redeemed through justice, and those who return to it through righteousness." The first half of this verse has the same numerical value as "Talmud Yerushalmi" and the second half has the same numerical value as "Talmud Bavli". This teaches that only by fulfilling the two Talmuds can Zion be redeemed from the hands of the gentiles - not through might and power. (Mara D'ara Yisroel v. 1 p. 145)
It is said that the Chofetz Chaim reacted positively to the Balfour Declaration. The relevant quotes are as follows:
In the winter of 5678 (1917-1918) when they told the Chofetz Chaim about the simcha that had spread in Jewish homes because of the Balfour Declaration, the Chofetz Chaim burst out crying and said, "What is the point of this simcha? Hakadosh Baruch Hu promised us, 'And you shall spread out west and east and north and south' – here is a sure promisory note, which Hakadosh Baruch Hu will pay up when the time comes. Now some people come and admit to a small part of Hakadosh Baruch Hu's promisory note, and everyone is happy about this declaration, and they see it as a sort of redemption. They are satisfied with a little... they don't wait for more... Oy, what has become of us…" and he continued crying. (Chofetz Chaim Al Hatorah, Parshas Bo, p. 99)
The Chofetz Chaim's son, Reb Leib, used to relate: "When the British government issued the well-known Balfour Declaration regarding Eretz Yisroel, the Chofetz Chaim saw it as an arousal from above regarding the redemption. At that time he quoted the comment of the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh on the verse, 'a tribe will arise from Israel' (Bamidbar 24:17). But he said, I am afraid that the irreligious will ruin it, G-d forbid. He would said that many times there have already been times of favor, but those generations ruined it." (p. 101)
In the first quote, he laments that some Jews saw the Balfour Declaration as the beginning of redemption, and he stresses that the redemption will be much bigger. In the second quote, he calls the declaration an "arousal" but fears that the irreligious will ruin it.
In any case, he did not say that if the British were to say at some point, "Now we're going to help you set up a Jewish state" that it would be allowed to found a state. He certainly did not say that if the British were to leave and say, "You Jews and Arabs fight it out yourselves" (which is what actually ended up happening) that it would be permitted.
Even Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Kook, who is idolized today as one of the pioneers of religious Zionism, wrote clearly against founding a state through warfare. In his commentary on the Siddur, Olas Re'iyah, on the blessing after fruit from the Seven Species, Rav Kook quotes the Gemara in Berachos 41b, which says that if one has dates and pomegranates, he should make the blessing on the dates because although they are mentioned last in the verse (Devarim 8:8), they are closer to the word haaretz, "the land." He explains that, metaphorically, the first half of the verse refers to religious Jews who want Eretz Yisroel for its mitzvos and spiritual qualities. The second half refers to Jews who want Eretz Yisroel for its physical qualities and as a haven for Jews. A secular Zionist may be on a lower spiritual level than a religious Jew in exile who is not interested in settling the land, but since he is closer to Eretz Yisroel, his actions do more to advance Judaism's spiritual goals. However, we must "achieve this through love and peace, not to ascend as a wall and not to rebel against the nations of the world, but rather to increase our strength and inner boldness, even our physical strength, for this will lead us to our spiritual goal. Not by might and not by power, but by My spirit, said Hashem."
According to this, Rav Kook held that there shouldn't be an army because Jewish settlement should take place peacefully. It was only his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who twisted his father's views to support militaristic, settler Zionism. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Kook would never have supported that approach. As much as he tried to reconcile Zionism and Judaism (to the point of writing some things that were condemned by all the gedolim of his time), he was honest enough not to ignore the Three Oaths or explain them away.
He simply didn't realize that the Zionism he supported was leading to military conflict. Most people at that time (he passed away in 1935) thought that the British would give the Jews Palestine as their homeland and there would be no wars. It was only with the Arab riots in the years 1936-1939 that this picture began to change. As a result of the riots, Britain revoked the Balfour Declaration and eventually left the Zionists to fend for themselves.
2. At the time of a Divine remembrance, the wall is nullified
If there is an indication that Hashem remembered His Nation, the wall is nullified since the verse
says “until I desire” — “do not stir nor awake the love until I desire” — and if there is an indication
[that the time is] “until I desire” there is no wall.
Thus wrote the Avnei Nezer, and according to his opinion it is possible that permit of the Nations
of the World is in and of itself a remembrance and nullified the wall.
In the Talmud in Sanhedrin: Rabbi Abba said: “You have no Revealed End [clearer] than this, as
it says (Yechezkel 36:8): ‘But you Mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and
yield your fruit to My people of Israel; for they will soon be coming.’“ If so, the ingathering of the
exiles and the Land giving of its fruit in abundance by way of its agricultural settlement, this is
an exceptional sign of Redemption.
Actually, this Gemara about producing fruit means either in a miraculous way – new fruits growing every day, as we see in Shabbos 30b that they will do this in the time of Moshiach – or else it at least means like the way it was in the times of Tanach – see Rashi on Bamidbar 13:23 where he talks about the great size of the fruits brought back by the spies. But if they grow naturally like in the rest of the world – the more work you put into it, the more it grows – that is not a proof of anything.
Indeed the land produced regular fruit throughout the centuries of exile. We see that the Kesef Mishneh (Hilchos Terumos 1:11) tells the story of a practical dispute among the rabbis of his time over the issue of taking maaser from produce grown on gentile-owned land in Eretz Yisroel.
3. Violation of the Nations of the World of their Oath, Nullified All of the Oaths
In the Talmud in Ketubot, among the Oaths, “The Holy One, Blessed be He, made the idol worshippers
swear not to subjugate Israel excessively.” And it is written in the Shulchan Aruch: “Two
who swore to do something, and one of them violates the oath, the other one is exempt and does
not require a release [from the oath],”125 and since the non-Jews violated their oath, we are exempt
from our oath.
The first thing to note about this argument is that it is dependent on the other common Zionist argument that the oath only prohibits forceful conquest of the land. Then we could see the oaths as a kind of peace treaty between the Jews and the other nations. As long as the nations don't afflict us, we won't fight with them.
But if we hold like the Ramban, Yefei Kol, Ohr Hachaim, Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz and so on, who say that the oath applies to mass immigration even with the approval of the nations living there, then we are saying that the oath was not imposed on the Jews for the nations' benefit. It is a mitzvah between us and Hashem, and has no connection to the nations' oath.
Furthermore, there is another oath that prohibits forcing the end, which includes false messiahs and, according to Rashi, even excessive prayer. This is certainly not a sin against the gentiles but against Hashem Himself. Therefore everyone would agree that we must keep it whether or not the nations keep theirs.
Also, although the great destruction wrought by Germany is one of the worst our people have ever suffered, there is no reason to say that previous massacres such as the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the destruction of Beitar, the Crusades and the massacres of 1648 (Tach Vetat) did not constitute a violation of the gentiles’ oath. Why then did the Zionist idea sprout only in this most recent century? In previous generations not only was such an idea never entertained, but it was expressly forbidden by the greatest Torah sages of the time. The Amoraim lived after the Roman massacres and yet they recorded the Three Oaths in the Gemara as practical law. The Rambam knew of the early Crusades and also terrible persecutions in his own lands by the Muslims, and yet he warns the Yemenite Jews not to violate the oaths. The same is true of other Rishonim such as the Rashbash (siman 2) and the Rivash (siman 101), and more recent poskim such as the Avnei Nezer and Rabbi Shmuel Salant, who deal with the oaths as practical halacha.
Thus wrote the students of the Rashba that if the non-Jews subjugate Israel excessively, this
causes that Hashem awakens His love for Israel much earlier on account of His love for us.
Here it is clear that G-d will be the one to bring the redemption before its time, not us. Rabbi Aviner seems to be aware of this, as he writes, "this
causes that Hashem awakens His love..." It is strange that he brings this as a source for the interdependence of the oaths argument.
Similarly wrote Rabbi Shlomo Kluger.
And Ha-Rav Hillel Kolomeir: “Two who swore...and if the king and the government violated
the oath and pursues Israel and subjugates them, then Israel is also permitted to violate their