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Why are you against voting? We must use our vote to support Torah and kiruv.

Dec. 3, 2012


My name is Lior, I am 18 years old and I will, B'Ezrat HaShem soon make aliyah to the holy land. For the last few months, I have been studying and exploring more of Judaism. I have lately begun reading the Torah and other Jewish books to strengthen my knowledge. I have also seen some lectures of Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak Shlita, who has helped me tremendously in strengthening my Emunah.

First of all, I want to make clear that I am absolutely no supporter of zionism. I have researched it, read about it, and have come to the conclusion also that the whole movement and its founders are seculars with an dangerous un-Jewish agenda, with the aim of hijacking authentic Judaism and forming it into some kind of new ''religion'' called ''zionism'', just like christianity try'd 2000 years ago. And so I believe that Herzl and his gang never had the right to create the ''Jewish state'', which only the Melech Moshiach has the right to do.

However, I am troubled that instead of focusing on kiruv, working together and spreading knowledge of Judaism and Torah to all Jews, the only thing you do is repeat the same message we hear all day on TV, news and internet. We have now the opportunity to return lots of Jews back to Judaism, battle the secular zionist ideology together and spread Torah throughout Israel. We have the opportunity now to bring the geulah closer. It is a known fact that more and more Jews are repenting worldwide. So one of the things that astonishes me is that you discourage people in Israel to vote. How on earth can you make these calls, when it is just hurting true Torah Jews, who are in the yeshiva's and are learning Torah all day. We have religious Torah party's who are being led by the Gedole HaDor ( Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Shlita of the Shas party, Rabbi Aharon Shteinman Shlita of Degel HaTorah) who are supporting kiruv, and Torah studies for Torah Jews in Israel/Worldwide. By supporting them, you support Torah. But by not voting at all, you indirectly give greater support to the secular anti-Torah party's, which makes the risk of assimilation greater for Jews and the way of life of for example: Yeshiva students harder.

Secondly, you keep repeating that the ''Jewish State'' has no right to exist (yet), which I agree with. And as you know, this ''Jewish State'' was created by secular zionists for secular zionists. But in what way is it different from a ''palestinian'' state which has neither the right to exist? What is the difference if the name would be ''Israel'' or ''Palestine''? Herzl never claimed to be the Moshiach, we know he isn't, and we know the gathering of the exiles still hasn't occurred, we also even know that this ''Jewish State'' isn't the final and true legitimate Jewish state. So what does it matter if it was Herzl and his devilish ideology or the Arabs with their devilish ideology who would have created a state? The only difference is that Torah and Judaism is able to blossom better under the rule of secular zionists, which would probably be much more difficult and dangerous under Arab/Muslim rule.

Like you said, Jews are not prohibited from living in the holy land. It's a land, governed now indeed by Jews. The only ones who seem to battle the secular zionistsic ideology most effectivly are mosty the Gedole Torah of Israel and their associates, they are the ones spending time, money and energy to support the Yeshiva students and religious fundings for Jews in the holy land, do you think that would remain the same with an palestinian takeover of the land? If next year the Chinese would claim to be Jewish, then invade Israel, and rename it Judea, and claim that it is a Jewish state, would you also be bothered? We know the zionists have a filthy agenda, just like the palestinians. We need to effectivly govern the land as to benefit the spreading of Torah knowledge and Kiruv. As long as we are not forcibly rushing towards geulah, we should not worry. The most important objective for us Jews is to unite, spread Torah & Kiruv and battle the SECULAR ideology, and not each other. The matter concerning the state of Israel isn't the top priority right now, that could be discussed when secularism will be removed from the holy land.

I hope to get an answer soon, as this is really confusing me from one point. I really love HaShem and the Torah. I just want to do what G_d thinks is the good thing to do. So if I am wrong with something, please correct me, as I am also very interested in your points of view about this. I am an open minded thinker, so I am excited to what you have to say.

Peace and blessings be upon you,

Kind regards,


Dear Lior,

Thanks for your well thought-out letter. We agree with your concern for kiruv - we ourselves are an internal Jewish organization, what you might call kiruv, except that we don’t usually deal with people who aren’t religious at all and try to make them religious. We deal with Jews who are religious but believe in Zionism, and we try to show them that having a state is against the Torah.

We also do some outreach to the non-Jewish world. For example, we advertise on the radio in protest when the Israeli PM does something like mix into the elections, which might offend Americans and make people suspect Jews of trying to steer America to further the Zionist agenda. We make it clear in our ads that not all Jews support Zionism. Our purpose is to save Jews from attacks like Mumbai and Toulouse – where terrorists attacked any Jews at random because they think all Jews support the Zionists. Our point is that anti-Zionist Jews like you and me shouldn’t have to let the Zionists ruin our good name and place us in danger. We have every right to come out in public and let everyone know that we are not them.

You say it astonishes you that we call on Jews not to vote. What you don’t realize is that having our own political parties in Knesset actually decreases our independence and ability to think clearly about Zionism. How can Litzman and Gafni and the others, as well as the Gedolim who called on people to vote for them, denounce the state openly and call for an immediate end to the state, when they themselves participate in it and take an oath of loyalty to it? They have to suffice with fighting for more money for yeshivos and to keep bochurim out of the army, but they can’t talk against the state itself as they should. They have sold out their ideology, or at least the ability to speak out their ideology, for money.

There are Arab parties in the Knesset and they remain seated while Hatikvah is played. The Orthodox MKs don’t even do that.

Furthermore, you may not know that the state could very easily disappear on its own if the Orthodox didn’t participate in it. With the failing of the two-state solution, the Israelis will soon be forced to admit the West Bank Arabs as citizens of their state – how else can they justify to the world keeping 2 million people in their borders who don’t have citizenship? That will bring the non-Jewish population of the state up to 40%. The fastest growing segments of the population are the Charedim and the Arabs. If not for the Charedim, the Arabs will soon become the majority, and then it will no longer be a Jewish state. So the Charedi vote is slowing down that process and keeping the state Jewish.

I don’t agree with your arguments about a Jewish state. Any state with a majority Jewish population is by definition a Jewish state. All the more so if it has laws discriminating in favor of Jews, like the Law of Return. So the Zionist state is illegal under Jewish law. But an Arab state in Palestine would be perfectly legal. There is nothing devilish about it. On the contrary, the goyim are obligated under the 7 mitzvos bnei noach to set up a government with courts and police to enforce basic laws.

You say we have to get rid of secularism first and then, once we are in power and it’s a religious state, then we can worry about the problem of a state. Do you expect that then the religious prime minister will suddenly announce that the state is closing down? I don’t think so. We don’t want to be in power because the more power we have in the state, the more responsible we are for the sin of having a Jewish state. Besides, according to your logic that a secular state isn’t really Jewish, what would you say when it becomes religious? Then it would certainly be Jewish and violate the Torah.

Life under the Palestinians or other Arabs or other nations may not be so good for the yeshivos, but exile – which means not being in power – is what Hashem wants for us at this stage of history. To violate Hashem’s will in order to study Torah more would be a mitzvah haba’ah baaveirah, and Hashem does not want such a mitzvah.

Please write again if you are still confused about these issues.


Thanks for the response, it cleared things more up. But we must never forget that all Jews are brothers, and even though many are lost, we must not give up the hope to save the Jews from gehinnom and bring Torah closer to the people. I don't know if you have noticed, but there are so many lost Jews in the holy land, so many are unfamiliar with Judaism. How can we let this happen, and let the secular government further advance in their schemes to distance Jews from Torah and Judaism and let them further force the goyishe minhag to Jews who do not know better? Is it not better to form a strong united political block in the holy land pure for making the public more aware of the dangers of zionism, and how of a danger the existence of the Jewish state is for the fate of the Jewish people? So many Jews in the holy land are hungering for knowledge, so many are baale teshuva (and rising), so many have begun to open their eyes about the dangers of zionism. This could go so much easier and faster if the religious party's in the Jewish state would be backed by all Torah Jews. If all of Satmar, NK, Toldos Aharon etc. would be more active in politics in Israel, the religious Jews in Israel would get more power and authority. Which means it would not only secure the bachure yeshivot from studying, it also means that the Kiruv will be strengthened and the lives of countless of Jews will be saved. The anti-zionist message will remain the same, it doesn't necessarily mean it supports the existence of the Jewish state. Ultimately, when the religious Jews in Israel will obviously become the dominant force in the Jewish state, by means of birthrate and Kiruv, they will be able to form a strong block in Israel with the Arabs, and then in the end, a peaceful change of authority over the nation can be handed over to the Arabs, which means it would happen by safe means and make the Arabs ( and HaShem ) appreciate the Jews once again for solving the zionist problem.

And honestly, I think The Holy One would rather see his children being busier with saving his other children from the destruction of zionism and secularism, then worrying about what The Ishmaelites and Edomites think is authentic Judaism. Because if you haven't noticed, it is hate for the Jews that is the driving factor behind this conflict, not land, as a ''palestinian state'' has never existed in history. I believe HaShem is the most Merciful One, and the most Loving and Forgiving One. He desires that his people return to him, and I don't think He would mind giving atleast this possibility a chance, rather then preaching we must remain in galut over and over again, your tactic is obviously not catching. I do know that the way of Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak Shlita does, as he has returned hundreds of thousands of Jews to Judaism, and with clear anti-zionist views. His success with the Herzl and Zionism tapes is amazing. So many people never knew the things that he learns, how much more would if he had better resources? More manpower? Better tools? Bigger budget? If all this would be better possible by strengthening the religious establishment, is it then not worth in the eyes of HaShem? That more of his lost children return, and begin to open their eyes? How, how can you think that if you do not speak the holy language, you will be able to return lost Jews to Torah? It is far more self-destructive, then effective in my humble opinion. How in the world would I, and many other Jews, have ever gotten this knowledge was it not for HaShem, that showed me the light by introducing me to Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak? And why would many Torah Giants support voting for religious party's if it would be a grave sin? The Steipler Gaon says in Karyana D'Igarta #205 that it is not a violation to vote in the elections ( as long as you vote for anti-zionist party's ) The late Lubavitcher Rebbe zt'l supported voting for religious party's, and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt'l even ran his own party, the same with HaMaran HaGaon Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Shlita. Why would so many Gedolim claim that it is allowed if it would be a grave sin? The reason that many of the parties are not headlining their anti-zionist views, is that many Jews who never knew this get emotional and upset. This is something that needs to be done in a slow, well-thought plan. Not rush to denounce, rather educate and save.

There are many points to be raised, but one thing is for sure: If the true Torah Jews will not get together and stay divided, the secular-zionists will smile and continue their schemes. And many Jews will remain lost and unfamilair with their heritage, wat is exactly what they want.

I hope to hear soon from you, as I finaly have found someone to discuss this issue wich bothers me alot.

Peace and blessings,


You propose the idea of voting and participating in the state in order to eventually transfer it peacefully to the Arabs. I have often raised a similar question myself, that maybe we could bring about the transfer of the state to the Arabs by voting directly for the Arab parties in the Knesset (as opposed to your idea of voting for an Orthodox party and then having them do the transfer). The idea of voting for the Arabs in order to bring the state down would make sense to my little mind, but the Satmar Rebbe, in his Vayoel Moshe, did not make such a suggestion, so perhaps he held that there was something wrong with it. Perhaps he held that even voting for an Arab party in a majority Jewish state is considered participating in a Jewish state. I don't know. In any case, your idea troubles me because in the meantime, we would be keeping the state alive for longer, and who says we can get all religious voters to support transferring it to Arabs? From my experience, it seems like most of them are against that.

The rest of your letter, about bringing Jews in Eretz Yisroel closer to Judaism, is something I totally support. Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak does great work. One has to reach out to Hashem's children, whatever language they speak. They say that when the Brisker Rav had to speak to someone who did not know Yiddish, he spoke in Hebrew, but was careful not to use any of the words invented by the Zionists.

A large part of our organization's work is reaching out to Jews. I consider our activities directed toward non-Jews only a minor part of the work. The main thing is the books we publish, and the information we make available. We have books in Hebrew and a webpage in Hebrew. You can see it at www.truetorahjews.org/natruna or you can click on the Natruna logo in the upper right corner of our home page.

However, I don't see how participation in Israeli government will further the goal of kiruv. We can get money from them for schools used in the kiruv movement, like Lev L'achim and Chinuch Atzmai, but then they demand that those schools teach Zionism, so that there is a trade-off. You bring children to Torah, but only to the Zionist version of Torah. It is worth subsisting on our own money, if only to bring Jews to pure Torah.

The rabbis you mention who supported participation always said that they were doing so on the authority of the original rabbis who permitted it in 1949, and the reason it was done then was to protect Orthodox Jewish rights, such as keeping girls out of the army, keeping yeshiva bochurim out, getting our rightful piece of the pie to fund our schools. Those were their reasons. And yes, the Steipler does say that voting is permitted and does not violate the Three Oaths. That is because when one votes in an Israeli election, he is not deciding whether the state should exist or not exist. He is just deciding whether one candidate or the other should win the election. But today, I would argue, this has begun to change. The population statistics are such that voting is really making a decision as to whether there will be a Jewish state or not. This will especially be the case soon when the Palestinians will realize that the two state solution is dead and they will demand instead full voting rights in the State of Israel.

Furthermore, the idea of taking money from them for yeshivos has also led us down the wrong path. Now they are demanding that we serve in the army, for how can we take from the state and not give to it? The argument to exempt us from the army only makes sense if we are not taking anything from the state, whether for religious bochurim or for kiruv.

Therefore, the gedolim who permit voting should really get together soon and decide whether in the current conditions, the heter still applies. Conditions are really very different from 1949, and a lot of analysis is needed.