Why don't you stress wanting moshiach to rule over Eretz Yisroel, instead of stressing your opposition to Zionism?

Dec. 2, 2007

Dear Rabbi,

Did you ever consider changing the tone of your movement's ideology to
something like, "We love the Torah concept of Jewish sovereignty over all of
eretz yisroel, but only under a malchus beis David"? Stressing a tone of
a loving desire for Jewish sovereignty under the proper conditions would
probably win over a lot more people and quiet down your opponents, as
opposed to the current tone of what comes accross as a total categorical
rejection of Jewish sovereignty under any and all circumstances, as well as
a very pro-Arab sounding stance.

Dear Meir,

To speak about moshiach is good if you're talking to a Jewish audience, but our site and our radio ads are aimed mainly at non-Jews whose anger against Jews has been aroused by Zionism. The concept of moshiach might be confusing to them, and they might mistakenly think we're just in favor of a particular political leadership of Israel. We want to keep supporting Israel until we are in control of it. In truth, however, we are waiting passively for moshiach - passively is the key word - and we have no reason to believe he will come now rather than in 100 years from now. In those 100 years, Jews could be in great danger if the state of Israel is allowed to continue. Therefore, our agenda right now is to get rid of the state and get Jews back to living safely in exile as they should be.

Dear Rabbi,

Safely in exile? Do you recall the chazal that compares the dove sent
out by Noach to the Jewish people in galus. They say that the dove found no
rest, or else if it had found rest it never would have returned.
Similarly, the Jewish people in exile find no rest, lest if they did they
would never return to their home. Have you read the introduction to Rabbi
Yaakov Emden's siddur? Take a look if you haven't. And in the words of
the Meshech Chochma, "Those who have renounced Yerushalayim for Berlin will
some day suffer the destructive fires of Berlin."

When I said safely in exile I meant relatively speaking. Today, with half the world's Jews concentrated in one small country surrounded by enemies, Jews are in greater danger than they ever were during exile.

You're right that during exile we weren't supposed to find rest and we were supposed to constantly long to return to Yerushalayim. At various times of history, there were Jewish communities that felt too much complacency in exile, and that is why we find gedolei hadoros such as Rabbi Yaakov Emden and Rabbi Meir Simcha rebuking them. But today we have the opposite problem: excessive messianism (i.e. Zionism), and the longing for Yerushalayim translated too much into practical action. Every generation needs mussar according to its problems. If the generation of Rabbi Yaakov Emden needed mussar for being too complacent in exile, today's generation needs the opposite form of mussar.

Dear Rabbi,

Since you mentioned that your efforts are mainly geared toward the
non-Jews, I am mentioning that I once heard over a musar haskel said in the
name of Rav Pam (I think) concerning Yosef sending the Egyptians out of the
room just prior to his revealing his true identity to his brothers. He said
that the idea is that when it comes to internal affairs of the Jewish
people, we should do our best to keep the gentiles out of the picture.
Keep in mind that Yosef's revelation of who he really was was a bit of a
chastisement against his fellow Jews for their erroneous beliefs. The
reason he sent the Egyptians out of the room was so as no to embarrass his
fellow Jews in front of gentiles, even where there was a need to
chastise...

We would also like to keep this internal. The problem is that Zionist groups such as the OU, Young Israel and most recently Agudah are publicizing their view to the non-Jewish world, and we feel it's a chillul hashem, since they are Orthodox and claim to represent the Torah.

Furthermore, the entire history of Zionism has involved interaction with the non-Jewish world illegal immigration under the Turks and British, appropriation of Arab-owned land, expelling of Arabs, the Arab-Israeli wars, the Lebanon war, the expansion of the settlements, and the current refusal to admit back refugees and give the Palestinians a viable state. We live in a world that is 25% (and growing) Muslim and even most non-Muslim countries are opposed to Zionist expansionism. So it's not as if we are the ones who are bringing non-Jews into an internal Jewish dispute. It's the Zionists who have offended the non-Jewish world and therefore we must take away somewhat from the chillul hashem by showing the world that there are still many Jews who are against Zionism.