What did Rabbi Avigdor Miller say about Zionism?

10/25/06

I knew Rabbi Avigdor Miller personally and even twice had a Pesach seder hosted by him and his Rebbitzen. He was known to be an anti-zionist - can you quote me any of his statements on the subject of zionism?

Yosef N.

Dear Yosef,

Here are some selections from Rabbi Miller's tapes:

Tape # 35, Question 6:

Can a Jew expell a gentile who possesses land in Eretz Yisroel? Certainly not, because the land is not ours right now. When the time comes, then well have the right to do whatever Hakadosh Boruch Hu will tell us, al pi haneviim.

Tape # 61, Question 7:

This gentleman asks: What should we say about the Neturei Karta in Eretz Yisroel? Of the shitah, of the derech, of the Neturei Karta in Eretz Yisroel? Now, thats a question for which I am not suited. The truth is, the Neturei Karta have among them chashuve talmidei chachomim. But its true that among those who are not Neturei Karta there are also very chashuve talmidei chachomim. So Im going to stick my little head between them, between Reb Amrom Blau, zol zein gezunt a talmid chacham - and between, lets say, Reb Chatzkel Abramsky, whos not in Neturei Karta. Or, Harav Shach, the rosh yeshiva in the Poneveczer Yeshiva, whos not in Neturei Karta. In general, theres no question that almost everything fundamental is germane to all of them. They have the same ideas. They differ on minor points. The truth is, the points are very minor! Like someone said, All yeshiva people, all over the world, are really Neturei Karta. Thats what somebody said. It means, that they all agree with them. The question is, should you do exactly this, lets say when it comes to voting, so some gedolim say we should vote in Eretz Yisroel, to give more power to the Orthodox, the Agudas Yisroel party, and the others say by voting you signify consent to the atheistic regime. So this is a delicate question, and its up to greater people to decide it. But in general we have to know that, more or less, everyone is in agreement. Among the good elements, everyone is in agreement.

Tape # 107, Question 4:

Even the Litvishe rabbonim today recognize the Satmar Rebbe as the tzaddik hador. So why arent they too shouting out against certain things as the Satmar Rav did? And the answer is, to shout out requires not only conviction but it requires courage too. And therefore, there are a lot of people who believe in certain principles, but they dont want to put themselves out, they dont have the mesirus nefesh to fight for them. Sometimes its quite uncomfortable. And therefore, its understandable that even people who agree with the Satmarer Rov are not in the mood to expose themselves to public opprobrium.

See also his statement that Arabs are not out to destroy the Jewish people, just State of Israel, on tape 38 question 1.

See also the comparison between Zionism and the war of Beitar on tape 37 question 6.

In Sing You Righteous Rabbi Miller wrote:

The State of Israel solves nothing. All "problems" remain the same, and new ones are created.

For example:

1) The Arabian lands have been rendered uninhabitable for Jews;

2) constant wars with neighbors must be waged, incurring huge military expenditures and loss of many lives, in addition to constant peril;

3) it has exacerbated Jew-hatred in the nations, due to Arab influence and also to embroilment with the foreign policy of the nations;

4) and the proponents of the State of Israel – attempt to kindle a fire under the Jews in all lands in order to make their position untenable so that they emigrate to augment the population of the new State. (For example, Ben Gurion's statement in the N.Y. Times 4/22/1963. "Jews are in truth a separate element in the midst of the peoples among whom they live an element that cannot be completely absorbed by any nation. for this reason no nation can calmly tolerate it in its midst").(Sing You Righteous, #48)

When Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai met with the Roman general Vespasian (Gittin 56b), Rabbi Yochanan said that he and the other good Jews wanted to surrender and accept Roman rule, but the “ biryonim” (zealots) did not allow it. Vespasian said: “If a poisonous serpent coils itself around a keg of honey, do we not break the keg in the process of killing the serpent?” He meant that despite Rabbi Yochanan’s desire for peace, he could not call off the war because he had to defeat the zealots, and it would be impossible to do so without destroying Jerusalem and the Temple. Rabbi Yochanan was silent. He saw in Vespasian’s words a deeper and prophetic meaning of which the general himself was not aware. The Jewish people had been plagued for 150 years by the heretical Sadducees and the tyrannical Herodian monarchy. They had trampled on the people and on the Torah. Jerusalem and the Temple had become their political center and source of wealth; they were coiled around it like a serpent. One cannot shake off the serpent without destroying the keg, and so the destruction of Jerusalem was Hashem’s way of getting rid of them. Indeed, after the destruction, when there was no longer any political power or money to be had, these two groups were never heard from again. They assimilated, intermarried and went lost among the gentiles.

This is very important because there are analogies to this today. Today a snake has coiled itself around Eretz Yisroel…worse than the snake that existed then. The atheists who are in authority, who rule Medinas Yisroel, are the most dangerous serpent that ever came out from our midst.

"The tribe of the wicked cannot rest together with the lot of the tzaddikim, so that the tzaddikim not stretch out their hand to do wickedness.” (Tehillim 125:3) This is the principle we are explaining now: to protect the virtue of the righteous, it is imperative that the wicked be weeded out. And throughout our exile, Hashem is constantly weeding out the wicked among us. “Behold it is I who gives the order, and I will shake throughout all the nations the house of Israel, as something is shaken in the sieve.” (Amos 9:9) Shaking means expulsions, exiles, troubles. If you have flour mixed with pebbles, by holding it still you won’t separate it. You must shake that sieve up and down. Now the flour would prefer you should let it alone. But we want pure flour, so we shake it up and down, back and forth, and that causes the flour to go out and the dirt is kept back. As Hashem leads us through the nations He is sifting out the wicked. He took us into Spain and then there was an expulsion. The wicked remained, converted, and the good ones continued. He took us to Germany and there was Reform, assimilation, and the wicked intermarried and we got rid of them. He took us to Russia, there was Communism, many Jews embraced Communism and intermarried, and they got lost. All this was for the benefit of ridding us of the undesirable elements. And to quote from Yechezkel (20:35-38), “I shall bring you into the wilderness of nations…and I shall cause you to pass under my staff…and I shall pick out from you those who rebel and those who are disloyal to Me.” (Tape # 52)