Our mission is to inform the world that the State of Israel does NOT represent Jews or Judaism.

Speech by Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro at the Brussels Demonstration, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Citizens of the European Union, members of the press, friends, and fellow protestors.


We are here this afternoon because the homeland of the Jewish nation is being attacked. It is being attacked by vile enemies who would see it destroyed. And we are here to beseech the nations of the European Union to help us survive this aggression and to lend us a hand in our battle – a battle upon which our very existence depends. But before we ask for assistance I imagine we ought to introduce ourselves. We are members of the Jewish Nation - the ancient people who received the Torah from G-d on Mt. Sinai, and through it, introduced to the world religious and moral values of universal significance.

The People of the Torah

Our homeland is the eternal Book of Books. Our homeland is the holy Torah. Within its borders we flourish; outside of its jurisdiction it, we die. In every successive generation, Jews strove to maintain the integrity of our homeland, which has accompanied us into every land that we have lived during our exile. So long as we remained within the confines of our Torah, we were protected from our enemies. The world wonders how the Jewish people survived for 2,000 years in exile, with no political infrastructure, no army, no common language land or culture. But we don’t wonder. We know why we have survived. We have survived because we did not rely on an army, a land, or a culture for our survival. Armies can be defeated; lands can be conquered, and cultures come and go. But the holy Torah is eternal and is protection is eternal and its people are eternal - so long as they remain its people. The people of the Torah.

Self-loathing Jews

We were always a proud people, proud to be the custodians of the holy Torah, proud to live our lives morally with dignity and in conformity with the will of G-d. We were proud to be the Jewish Nation. When we prospered, we were proud, and especially when we were persecuted, we were proud. When we were persecuted, tortured, and oppressed, we were very proud – that we were not our persecutors. We were proud that we were not our oppressors. When we were oppressed, it was then that we thanked G-d more than ever that we are the Jewish Nation. That we are a nation of prophets and not persecutors. But there were those who were jealous of the anti-Semites, of their ruthlessness, of their physical strength, of their tanks, and of their planes. They were ashamed that we were not as strong as our persecutors. They were ashamed that the Jew was a prophet and not a persecutor. In their ignorance, they looked at the Jew in the same way as did the anti-Semite: As ugly, despicable, weak, and shameful. They looked at the Jew the way one imagines a gorilla might look at a human being: Weak, pale, worthless, They were a Jewish version of the anti-Semite. They hated Jewishness, but they were Jews themselves. Self-loathing Jews against Judaism. They hated Judaism but they could not live among the anti- Semites because the anti-Semites persecuted them too, despite their common attitude towards Jews and Jewishness. Their solution to this dilemma was Zionism. Its goal: To destroy all that which makes Jews in their eyes so weak, so ugly, so despised – so…Jewish. They diagnosed what they called the “Jewish problem,” and Judaism was found to be guilty.

Changing the People

But let us give the Zionists the opportunity to explain Zionism themselves. As one of their founding fathers, Vladimir Jabotinsky ש ר " י explained: Our starting point is to take the typical yid today and to imagine his diametrical opposite… because the Yid is ugly, sickly, and lacks decorum, we shall endow the ideal image of the Hebrew with masculine beauty. The Yid is ..easily frightened and therefore the Hebrew ought to be proud and independent. The Yid is despised by all and therefore the Hebrew ought to charm all. The Yid has accepted submission and therefore the Hebrew ought to learn how to command. The Yid wants to conceal his identity and therefore, the Hebrew should look the world in the eye and declare: “I am a Hebrew”! They blamed religion for the Jewishness of the Jew. They considered Jewishness a problem that needed to be eradicated, and they did their best to eradicate it. To replace religion with nationalism; to replace the Talmud with tanks; to change the people of the book into the people of the bomb. So they obtained a land, and declared it the Nation-State of the Jewish people; they created a language and declared it the national language of the Jewish people; they created an army and declared it to be the army that defends the Jewish people – from its enemies, from another holocaust. But the Jewish people have no Nation-State; we have no common language. And we have no national army. They usurped the name “Israel,” which is a synonym for “Jew;” they usurped the adjective “Jewish” and applied it to their a-religious national entity. What they created may characterize statehood, but it does not characterize Jewishness or Judaism in any form or manner. Why did they make a language? Wouldn’t it have been easier had they just let people speak none of the already established languages in Israel? Making a new language – Ivrit – just made it harder on everyone. Having a language doesn’t help national security, or anything else for that matter. Yet the Zionists put so much effort and energy into making a new language. The reason was because they wanted to create a new people, a new nation, and one of the characteristics of nationhood is a common language. As Rav Chaim said – the whole purpose of Zionism is not to have a State – it is to make a shmad.

Why Do We Refuse To Go to the Israeli Army?

And this is what e say when the Nations ask us why we refuse to go to the Israeli army: For 100 years and more this assault on our identity has raged, and the Zionists have attacked with every means at their disposal. Their strongest weapon has been indoctrination – a rewriting of Jewish history, conditioning Jewish youth with their ideals – all the antithesis of the teachings of the Jewish religion. And their strongest tool of indoctrination is their army. The Israeli army is not merely a military organization. It is an indoctrination camp, where they teach specifically anti-Jewish ideals. They still teach to this day, that the great fraud, who was put to death by our sages, Bar Koziva, and whose militarism resulted in the greatest bloodbath in the past 2,000 years save for the holocaust, is a national hero and role-model. They still teach that the murderers of Masada – they butchered 700 innocent men women and children in Ein Gedi – are role models; they still teach that the State of Israel and its army are what keeps the Jewish people safe; they still teach the falsehood that Jews went like sheep to the slaughter in the holocaust; they still teach that nationalism is Jewishness; they teach our children that Israel is the Jewish Nation-State and its existence is the salvation of the Jewish people, and that their Jewishness demands that they sacrifice their lives if need be to maintain the Jewish Nation-State. Not to mention that fact the atmosphere in the army – even in the so-called “religious” units, is incongruous with our religious teachings.

The Israeli Army is Different

This is what forfeits Israel’s right to demand that we serve. If Israel’s army would be a military organization like the American army or the French army, they would have a right to demand if need be that their citizens serve. But the Israeli army is not just a military – it is an indoctrination camp for the ה ש ק פ ו ת of the Zionist religion, which includes the Zionist definition of Jewishness. Jewish identity is a religious concept. No government has a right to insist that their citizens go through religious indoctrination. Imagine if the Belgium army would teach what a Christian identity is – and teach that what the parochial students have learned all their lives from their priests is not true, but the government really knows what Christian-ness is; that serving in the Belgium army is a Christian duty – who would ever tolerate such a thing? Well when Israel teaches Zionism – which is an alternate understanding of a religious concept – Jewishness – it is the same thing. If Israel wants to say that you are a better Israeli if you serve in the Israeli army, that’s OK – but if they say you are a better Jew for serving, that is religious doctrine and if Israel wants to teach the Zionist religion to their soldiers that’s their business but they have no right to force people to go through that. So Israel should know that we Jews will not go like sheep to the slaughter to their indoctrination camps. If Israel expects religious people to be willing to serve in their army, they should limit their army to being a military organization – like the American army; the British army and the Canadian Army. But the IDF is more than an army – it is purposely designed to indoctrinate and condition its recruits into a philosophical worldview that was purposely designed to dismantle the traditional Jewish religious worldview. And they want to force people to go through that. They have no right to so such a thing.

Why We Cannot Compromise

There are two types of ג ז י ר ו ת against כ ל ל י ש ר א ל . One is where the Jews are in danger, such as with the Persians on Purim; the other is when the Jews are safe, but the Torah is in danger, such as with the Greeks on Chanukah. In response to the first type of ג ז י ר ה we pray; in response to the
second, we act. On Purim, when the Jews were in danger we prayed; on Chanukah when the Torah was in danger, we pulled out the swords.

Who Protects the Torah?

The reason for this is, Hashem protects the Jews. But the Jews - not Hashem - protect the Torah. Hashem gave us the Torah as a פ ק ד ו ן to safeguard and to uphold and to protect. And when I say "gave" I mean not only did He reveal its laws to us but He transferred to Torah to our possession. This means that Hashem gave up the Torah when He gave it to כ ל ל כ ב י כ ו ל י ש ר א ל . He no longer possesses it; we do. He doesn't pasken shailos anymore after מ ת ן ת ו ר ה . The Torah is now ours. Hashem asks us to please protect and maintain the great gift He gave us. Therefore, while Hashem protects Klal Yisroel, Klal Yisroel is entrusted with protecting the Torah. It is up to us, not Hashem, to make sure the Torah does not get damaged. When the Jews are attacked, Hashem reacts; when the Torah is attacked, the Jews respond. Hashem goes to war to fight for the Jews: ד נ ת א ת ד י נ ם ר ב ת א ת ר י ב ם נ ק מ ת א ת נ ק מ ת ם . The Jews go to war for the Torah: ל ה ש כ י ח ם ת ו ר ת י ך ו ל ה ע ב י ר ם מ ח ק י ר צ ו נ י ך .We fight for Hashem's battles and Hashem fights ours. That's the rule. Therefore, when there is a ג ז י ר ה of ש מ ד , when Jews are safe but the Torah is attacked, we act. We don't merely pray. It's not enough in such a case to turn to Hashem to protect His Torah; Hashem gave the Torah as a פ ק ד ו ן to us. He relinquished His possession of it. We can't just go back to Hashem and ask Him to protect the Torah. He gave it is US. We accepted the responsibility to safeguard it. We need to show Him that we are willing to be מ ו ס ר נ פ ש to protect His ת ו ר ה ה ק ד ו ש ה that he relies on us to protect. When there is physical danger to the Jews, such as a ג ז י ר ה of ל ה ש מ י ד ל ה ר ו ג ו ל א ב ד , we turn to Hashem and ask Him to protect us כ י ל א י ט ו ש ה ע מ ו . But when there is danger to the Torah, Hashem expects us to protect it; not Him . ת ו ר ת י א ל ת ע ז ו ב ו – When someone fights against the Jews, Hashem protects us; when someone fights against Hashem, we fight them! That is the issue here ה ל ו א מ שׂ נ א י ך י ד ו ד א שׂ נ א וּ בִ תְ ק וֹ מְ מֶ י ךָ אֶ תְ ק וֹ טָ ט . This is a ג ז י ר ה of ש מ ד . It is our job to rise up and fight against those who attack the Torah. Hashem expects that of us. Throughout history, you will find that pattern, not only regarding Chanukah and Purim, but all the way down to modern times. When they wanted to draft girls into the army, we protested- as hard and as strong as we could. Whenever you see Gedolim calling a protest it is only when there is an attack against the Torah. Never when there is an attack against Jews. When we celebrate the finishing of the Torah by forming a ring around it – Hakafos. I want to offer an explanation of why we do that, using the principle that I just mentioned. All week, we celebrate the fact that Hashem protected us with ע נ נ י ה כ ב ו ד – clouds of glory. Hashem protected us from all harm, because Hashem protects His people.

How Do We Protect the Torah?

How can we repay Him? He expects us to protect his Torah like he protects us. But we cannot snap our fingers and create an Amud Shel Aish; we cannot say some magic words and conjure an ע מ ו ד ש ל מ י ם . But we do have one thing we can give to Hashem: We have our lives. We can be מ ו ס ר נ פ ש . So we surround the Torah like Hashem surrounded us with the Clouds of glory –vbecause to protect the Torah, WE are the ע נ נ י ה כ ב ו ד . We protect the Torah with our lives. Just like if someone wanted to harm klal Yisroel, he had to get through the Ananim that surrounded klal Yisroel, so too if someone wants to harm the Torah – if an Apikores comes to destroy the Torah; if a Kofer comes to make Gezeiros – if someone wants to harm the Torah, they have to go through us. So we say to the Zionists: You will not harm the Torah except over our dead bodies! We have drawn a red line that you dare not cross – but this red line is not written in ink on some poster – it is etched in our blood. The blood of Yaakov DeHaan. The blood of the six million. And that line will get redder and thicker, but it is a line we will not let you cross. Stay away from the Yeshivos! ! א ל ת ג ע ו ב מ ש י ח י To the ב ח ו ר י ם we say: Be strong! ! ח ז ק . Every Jews that goes to jail because he refuses to give up the Torah makes a ק י ד ו ש ה ש ם ! Come join us hand in hand forming an unbreachable wall between the Zionists and the ס פ ר ת ו ר ה and join us in telling them they shall not harm Hashem’s Torah! To Hashem, we turn and say: We promise You that you placed your Torah in good hands. We promise You we will not allow it to be harmed. We say to Hashem; Your enemies are our enemies – ב מ ת ק ו מ מ ך א ת ק ו ט ט – we will fight those who rise up against You Hashem. We will fight them with our dying breath. But Your Torah will remain safe. And to the State of Israel we say: Build more jails! Because we are ready for you. We will defy you the way we defied all Hashem’s enemies.