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What happens when the majority of the Jewish people lives in Eretz Yisroel?

10/25/06

Dear Rabbi,

If and when the majority of Klal Yisroel return/live in Eretz Yisroel, as is demographically
predicted to occur very soon, various halachic realities can be implicated. It would be acceptable to build the Bais Mamikdash and I think the Sanhendrin
can be re-established as well as a number of other institutions that would
legally return Am Yisroel to its days before Golus.

Do you think it would be permissible to rebuild the Bais Hamikdash? Would this have any implication on the Geulah?

Additionally, a number of rabbis have foretold the imminent arrival of
Moshiach, such as Rav Kaduri, the Satmar Rav, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Do you
think the State of Israel and it’s formation have functioned as pieces in the upcoming Geulah?

Shimon Yosef

Dear Shimon Yosef,
I'm not aware of any mass aliyah movement that would put rov yisroel in Eretz Yisroel soon. Maybe Jews are emptying out of small communities like Australia, but here in New York City, Lakewood, Monsey and so on the communities are established, large and growing.

In general, non-religious Israelis are tending either to move to other countries or else become so estranged from Judaism that they would intermarry if Israeli law would recognize such marriages. If religious Jews would leave the state of Israel alone, it would basically disappear by itself. They would change the laws and accept immigrants without regard to their race or religion; they would recognize intermarriages; and eventually they would make peace with the Arabs and create an integrated, binational state. For when a Jew leaves Torah behind, what is there to separate him from the goyim? It's only a matter of culture, and a melting pot after two or three generations takes care of that.

So if there will be a Jewish state on the map in another 50 years, it will be solely the fault of religious Jews. We know about the prohibition on establishing and maintaining a state. It is time for Orthodox Jews to wake up and realize that the State it not "somebody else's aveirah" that we can just reap the benefits of (and even that is the wrong hashkafah - if a Jew turned on your light on Shabbos would you thank him and proceed to use the light?). It's our own aveirah, and it's time to leave it behind. Leave the state alone - don't go there, don't live there, don't participate it running it - and let it self-destruct. Of course, try to be mekareiv the Jews there, but make it clear that Judaism is inconsistent with Zionism, and if they want to come back to Judaism they have to leave the state behind.

Better yet would be to dismantle the whole state right now and give it to the Arabs, and if that creates a danger, leave! But realistically, we have little reason to think that the irreligious who are in charge will do that. More realistic is the plan I outlined above - that the state will decompose on its own from a "Jewish state" into a multinational melting pot.

So, I'm talking about ways to get rid of the state, and you're asking me if I think it's permissible to build the Beis Hamidkash? That would be an even bigger violation of the Oaths than the state is already, because that would mean angering the entire Muslim world beyond belief by expelling them from one of their religion's holiest sites. The whole world would be angry too, because whoever heard of such a brazen act, to destroy one of the oldest houses of worship in the world? This would truly be "rebelling against the nations" in the greatest sense, and would bring unthinkable destruction upon the Jewish people, by simple logic, as well as in the realm of Divine punishment.

You ask what the function of the state is as far as the Geulah. See Sanhedrin 98a which states that Moshiach will not come until the Jewish people have not even the lowest level of sovereignty. This means that the state is preventing the Geulah from coming. The Satmar Rav said that after the Holocaust, the Jewish people would surely have deserved the Geulah, if the Zionists had not prevented it by establishing a state. The Chazon Ish said that Moshiach will not take over from the Zionist state - there will certainly be a period in between. The Brisker Rav also said, "Moshiach will not come on the shoulders of the state.” They were probably referring to the above Gemora.

Rav Kaduri and others have predicted Moshiach soon, but you must realize that the Gemora itself gives dates when Moshiach should come. Rashi and Rav Saadiah Gaon and the Zohar and many other Rishonim gave dates. All these dates have passed. We must understand that these were opportune times for the geulah, but we missed the chance. We must see the current predictions in the same light - they are opportune times. If the state persists and the Jewish people does not do teshuva, we may very well live out our lives still in Golus.

Dear Rabbi,

In 1970, there were about 10 million Jews living outside Israel. Only 7.75 million remain. The slight increase in the number of Jews in the world from 12.65 million in 1970 to nearly 13 million now is only due to the growth of Jews living in the Jewish state, Della Pergola said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=96801

According to the facts the only hope for the Jewish people as a nation is in Israel.
Your understanding of world Jewish demographics appears very naive. You should know that there are holy Jews with erlicher neshomas without payos and shtreimlach or without a yarmulke at all. Every Jew is plays an integral part in the continuation of Jewish destiny.

In conclusion, we cannot and will not agree on anything.

Good Shabbos

Shimon Yosef

Dear Shimon Yosef,

Originally you wrote, "If and when the majority of Klal Yisroel return/live in Eretz Yisroel, as is demographically predicted to occur very soon…” I understood you to mean some sort of mass immigration movement. However, now you have shown me the Arutz-7 article that was your source, and I understand better what you meant. The article says that the total Jewish population of the world has remained about the same, but while the Jewish population of the state of Israel has increased from about 2.5 million to 5 million, the Jewish population of the rest of the world has decreased from 10 million to 7.75 million. And, says the article, it's not because those 2.25 million have immigrated to the State of Israel; it's because of the shrinking of the diaspora due to assimilation and intermarriage, and on the other hand the natural population growth of Israeli Jews.

Now, who is assimilating and intermarrying? Non-religious Jews. I f so, you're saying a totally different vort. You're saying that the non-religious Jewish population of the rest of the world is shrinking, and the non-religious Jewish population of the state of Israel is growing. The balance of the non-religious world is shifting towards the state of Israel. But the balance of the religious world is not shifting, because the religious Jewish populations inside and outside of the state are about the same (actually, according to a website called simpletoremember.com, the Orthodox population of the state is higher, with at most 1 million as opposed to 800 thousand in the rest of the world), and they are both increasing rapidly, unhindered by assimilation and intermarriage.

I am not a posek and I cannot tell you what the halachos relating to what a majority Jewish population in Eretz Yisroel depends on. You clearly hold that they depend on the number of Jews, even the most secular. If you carry that argument to the extreme, you should count even the assimilated and intermarried Jews in America, even those who claim not to be Jewish. After all, a Jewish woman's children are always Jewish, no matter whom she married, and so intermarriage does not detract from the Jewish population at all.

I will tell you that the Torah-observant Jews are the real Jewish people, and it is their opinions and actions that matter to Hashem when He judges the Jewish people as a whole. Kol Yisroel areivim zeh bazeh, but we are not responsible for the actions of those who have left Torah completely behind. See Parsha Pearls, Korach, where this concept is explained.

When we write against Zionism, we are trying to reach the religious Jews of the world. To the secular Jews who do not believe in any of the Torah, any discussion of whether a state is permitted by the Torah is meaningless. Our aim is to bring all of the religious Jewish world into the non-Zionist camp. At that point, if the secular Jews of the world become concentrated in the State of Israel as the article says and they continue to run the state, it won't matter to us, since they are not truly part of the Jewish people and their actions do not represent the Jewish people in the eyes of Hashem or in the eyes of the world. In the eyes of Hashem and the world, there will no longer be any Jewish state at that point. They can keep their name and their language, but it will mean as little as the Spanish names of all the cities in California.