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Rabbinic Quotations

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, Rashi (1040-1104)

Jun 08 2012

Rashi in his commentary on Hoshanos (printed in Siddur Otzar Hatefilos, as well as in Siddur Beis Yaakov) explains the words “G-d of salvations, in the four oaths” as a reference to the oaths of Shir Hashirim.

Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, author of the Kuzari (1075-1141)

Jun 10 2012

Rabbi Yehuda Halevi describes a dialogue between the king of the Khazars and a rabbi. The rabbi states that the Jewish people is closer to G-d today, in their humble state of exile, than if they were a mighty nation.

Maimonides, the Rambam (1135-1204)

Jun 12 2012

We find in Sefer Daniel (11:14): "And the wicked among your people will rise up to actualize a vision, but they will stumble."

Rabbi Avraham, son of the Rambam (1186-1237)

Jun 14 2012

Rabbi Avraham, son of the Rambam, writes in the Sefer Hamaspik Leovdei Hashem (Maamar Habitachon) about the trust a Jew must have in Hashem.

Rabbi Elazar Rokeach of Worms, the Rokeach (1176-1238)

Jun 16 2012

The Rokeach in his commentary on Shir Hashirim speaks about the oaths and offers two new explanations of the word “bitzvaos.” 1) It means that Hashem made the Jewish people swear by Tzevaos, one of His holy names.

Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman, the Ramban (1194-1270)

Jun 17 2012

The Ramban holds that permission granted by a gentile government for Jews to return to Eretz Yisroel does not nullify the oaths. In his Sefer Hageulah, end of Shaar 1 (p.

Rabbi Yehoshua ibn Shuaib, student of the Rashba (1280-1340)

Jun 18 2012

"I have adjured you..." (Shir Hashirim 2:7) The prophet says that G-d made them swear in Egypt not to force the end.

Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher, major commentator on the Torah (c. 1340)

Jun 19 2012

Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher writes at the beginning of Vayishlach: We must follow in the footsteps of the Avos and prepare ourselves to approach the gentiles with gifts, with soft speech and with prayer before Hashem.

Rabbi Yishaya ben Eliyahu di Trani (c. 1300)

Jun 20 2012

Rabbi Yishaya ben Eliyahu di Trani codifies the halachos of living in Eretz Yisroel as follows: "A man should rather live in Eretz Yisroel, even in a city of mostly gentiles, than outside the Land, even in a city of mostly Jews, for whoever lives in Ere

Rabbi Yehuda ben Maharam Chalava (1300's)

Jun 22 2012

Rabbi Yehuda ben Maharam Chalava comments on Yaakov Avinu’s three preparations for meeting Esav: “What happened to Yaakov with Esav will happen to us in all generations, and we must prepare ourselves with prayer and gifts, but not with war.

Rabbi Ishtori Haparchi, author of Kaftor Vaferach (1280-1366)

Jun 24 2012

The book Kaftor Vaferach, written in 1322, details the geography of Eretz Yisroel and discusses the great mitzvah to live there: "It was taught in the name of Rabbi Meir: Whoever establishes his residence in Eretz Yisroel, speaks the Holy Tongue, eats o

Rabbi Yitzchak ben Sheishes, the Rivash (1326-1408)

Jun 26 2012

In the course of a discussion about undertaking a journey to Eretz Yisroel that will involve violating Shabbos, the Rivash writes: "We have established that for a mitzvah one is permitted to depart even on a Friday, and there is no doubt that traveling

Rabbi Shlomo ben Shimon Duran, the Rashbash (1400-1467)

Jun 28 2012

"There is no doubt that living in Eretz Yisroel is a great mitzvah at all times, both during and after the time of the Temple, and my ancestor the Ramban (he was a sixth generation descendent of the Ramban) counted it as one of the mitzvos, as it says,

Rabbi Yitzchak Arama, author of Akeidas Yitzchak (1420-1494)

Jun 29 2012

"Let my master pass before his servant, and I will continue slowly, according to the work that is before me and according to the children, until I come to my master, to Seir" (Bereishis 33:14).

Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, Major Scriptural Commentator (1437-1508)

Jun 30 2012

“Avraham foresaw the length of this exile and the great misfortunes it brought, and he feared that his descendants would rise up to leave the exile before the time set by Hashem, just as the children of Ephraim left the Egyptian exile before the time, w

Rabbi Shmuel Aripol, talmid of the Mabit (c. 1585)

Jul 01 2012

Rabbi Shmuel Aripol wrote in his commentary Sar Shalom to Shir Hashirim 2:7:

Rabbi Yitzchak Leon ben Eliezer ibn Tzur, author of Megillas Esther (1592)

Jul 02 2012

The Megillas Esther attempts to explain why the Rambam does not count living in Eretz Yisroel as one of the 613 mitzvos.

Rabbi Shmuel ben Yitzchak Yaffe Ashkenazi of Constantinople, author of Yefei Kol (1525-1595)

Jul 04 2012

The Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 2:7) tells us the reason for the oath against going up as a wall: “If so, why does the king moshiach have to come to gather the exiles of Israel?”

Rabbi Chaim ben Betzalel, brother of the Maharal (c. 1600)

Jul 06 2012

Rabbi Chaim ben Betzalel writes (Sefer Hachaim, Chelek 5, Perek 6) that the current, fourth exile is similarly to “kadachas” (an illness characterized by high fever), which the body has to fight off completely in order to be immune from a future attack.

Rabbi Yehuda Loew of Prague, the Maharal (1520-1609)

Jul 08 2012

The Midrash Rabbah on Shir Hashirim 2:7 begins: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem.” With what did He make them swear? Rabbi Eliezer says: He made them swear by heaven and earth.

Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz, author of Kli Yakar (1550-1619)

Jul 09 2012

The Kli Yakar, in his work Ir Giborim, speaks about the lesson from the meeting of Yaakov and Esav that we must prepare ourselves with prayer, gifts and war.

Rabbi Yishaya Horowitz, the Shelah Hakadosh (1565-1630)

Jul 10 2012

The Shelah Hakadosh says: Just as Yaakov used prayer, gifts and war, so do we approach Esav's descendants in our times. Our power is only through our mouth, to pray to Hashem in difficult times.

Rabbi Shmuel Eidels, the Maharsha (1555-1631)

Jul 12 2012

Certainly every Jew is permitted to go up to Eretz Yisroel, but they must not go up with a strong hand and to build for themselves the walls of Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avraham Azulai (1570-1643)

Jul 14 2012

The mekubal Rabbi Avraham Azulai, writes in his work Chesed L'avraham, Mayan 3 Nahar 22: "You must know that we have a tradition that on the day when moshiach will arrive in Eretz Yisroel with the ingathered Jews, he will find there seven thousand Jews.

Rabbi Mordechai Ha-Kohein, (c. 1605)

Jul 16 2012

The Shach on the Torah, in the name of the Shaarei Orah, explains that Yitzchok loved Esav because he saw that Yaakov’s children would one day sin and deserve to be punished in Gehinom.

The Be'er Hagolah (late 1600s)

Jul 17 2012

The Be’er Hagolah is a sefer written by an anonymous author in Amsterdam during the period of the Sabbatean movement (late 1600s).

Rabbi Yaakov Sasportas, Rabbi of Amsterdam (1610-1698)

Jul 18 2012

Rabbi Yaakov Sasportas published a book called Tzitz Novel Tzvi about the Sabbatean movement and his reaction against it. The book has been republished many times in an abridged form, called Kitzur Tzitz Novel Tzvi.

Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh (1696-1743)

Jul 20 2012

The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh finds a reference to the oaths in the first Tochacha: “And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw out a sword after you; and your land will be desolate, and your cities waste” (Vayikra 26:32-33).

Rabbi Dovid Moshe Avraham Ashkenazi (early 1700s)

Jul 21 2012

Rabbi Dovid Moshe Avraham Ashkenazi, who lived in the time of the Baal Shem Tov, wrote a commentary on the Mechilta called Mirkeves Hamishneh.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal (1707-1746)

Jul 22 2012

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto composed a prayer asking Hashem to look at the merit of the Jews who bear their exile and keep the oaths (The Book of 515 Prayers, number 168).

Rabbi Avraham Lichtenstein, author of Kanfei Nesharim (1700s)

Jul 24 2012

Rabbi Avraham Lichtenstein was an eighteenth-century rabbi of Prassnysz, in the region of Plotzk, Poland, and author of Kanfei Nesharim. In his commentary Migdenos Avraham on Shir Hashirim 8:4, he says regarding the oaths:

Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk, author of Pnei Yehoshua (1680-1756)

Jul 25 2012

The Pnei Yehoshua, on Kesubos 111a, asks how the oath on the nations of the world fits in with the verse "do not arouse or awaken the love before it is desired" which refers to the redemption of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz (1690-1764)

Jul 26 2012

Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz asks why the oath in Shir Hashirim uses a feminine verb "techpatz" - she desires: "I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, not to arouse or awaken the love before she desires." He explains, based on Rashi's comment on Yishaya 40:9,

Yalkut Meam Loez

Jul 28 2012

The Yalkut Meam Loez mentions the oaths in his commentary to Devarim 4:26, in the course of a lengthy section on the destruction of the Temple and Tisha B'av: “The Holy One, blessed is He, made Israel swear that one part of them should not arise and go

Rabbi Yaakov Emden (1697-1776)

Jul 30 2012

In Perek Shirah we learn: "The animals of the field say, 'Blessed is He Who is good and does good.' The gazelle says, 'And I will sing of Your strength, and praise in the morning Your kindness.'" Rabbi Yaakov Emden in his commentary on the Siddur explai

Rabbi Yechezkel Landau of Prague, the Noda Biyehuda (1713-1793)

Jul 31 2012

The Noda Biyehuda spoke strongly against any Jew who entertained thoughts of revolting against Queen Maria Teresa.

Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, the Chida (1724-1806)

Aug 02 2012

The Chida suggests that the three oaths correspond to the three segments of the Jewish people in exile: our familiar Jewish exile in the four corners of the earth, the ten lost tribes, and the descendents of Moshe.

Rabbi Avrohom Loewenstamm of Emden (1820)

Aug 04 2012

The oaths and the concept surrounding them are explained beautifully in a book called Tzeror Hachaim, written by Rabbi Avrohom Loewenstamm of Emden in 1820.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch of Ziditchoiv (1763-1831)

Aug 06 2012

Reb Tzvi Hirsch gives an astounding explanation of a strange story told by the Gemara (Succah 53a).

Rabbi Yisroel of Shklov, author of Pe'as Hashulchan (1770-1839)

Aug 08 2012

The Pe'as Hashulchan, Laws of Eretz Yisroel, Chapter 1, Section 3, quotes the words of the Rashbash, who says that settling in Eretz Yisroel is not a mitzvah on all Jews nowadays, only on individuals.

Rabbi Moshe Sofer, the Chasam Sofer (1762-1839)

Aug 10 2012

The Chasam Sofer gives an explanation for the punishment for violating the Three Oaths, based on the Midrash at the beginning of the Vayikra, which comments that Moshe, in his wisdom, knew not to come into the Mishkan before Hashem called him.

Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, author of Bnei Yisaschar (1783-1841)

Aug 12 2012

Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov once posed the question: Why is our custom regarding the location of a wedding the opposite of the custom at the time of the Gemara?

Rabbi Yisroel of Ryzhin (1797-1850)

Aug 14 2012

Rabbi Yaakov Teitelbaum related that his grandfather heard Rabbi Yisroel of Ryzhin say over 150 years ago: "Jews, you must know that before the coming of moshiach, a fire will come down from heaven like the fire that came down for Eliyahu Hanavi on Moun

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Lehren, Jewish community leader in Amsterdam (1844)

Aug 16 2012

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Lehren was the leader of Kehillas Yereim in Amsterdam and president of the Kollel of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, the institution that distributed funds to European Jews who lived in Jerusalem and studied Torah.

Rabbi Mordechai Yosef of Izhbitzeh (d. 1854)

Aug 18 2012

Rabbi Mordechai Yosef of Izhbitzeh says that even in the technical laws of preparing food on Shabbos, Chazal hinted at the oaths.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chajes, known as the Maharatz Chajes, Talmudic Commentator (1805-1855)

Aug 20 2012

The Maharatz Chajes writes that ever since Yirmiyahu the prophet commanded, "Seek the welfare of the nation to which I have exiled you" (29:7), and the oaths in Kesubos 111a went into effect, forbidding the Jewish people from going up as a wall or rebel

Rabbi Zev Wolf Einhorn of Horodna, commentator on the Midrash (d. 1862)

Aug 22 2012

The Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 2:7) tells us the reason for the oath against going up as a wall to take over Eretz Yisroel: “If so, why does the king moshiach have to come to gather the exiles of Israel?”

Rabbi Chaim David Chazan (c. 1862)

Aug 24 2012

Rabbi Chaim David Chazan was the Rishon Letzion (Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem under the Ottoman empire). He writes in his letter of approbation to the sefer Derishas Tzion, by Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer::

Rabbi Chaim Palaggi, Chacham Bashi of Smyrna (1788-1869)

Aug 26 2012

"And He let them fall into the hands of the nations, and their enemies ruled over them. And their enemies oppressed them, and they humbled themselves under their hand. Many times He saved them." (Tehillim 106:41-43)

Rabbi Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the Ksav Sofer (1815-1871)

Aug 28 2012

The Ksav Sofer (Drush Leshabbos Hagadol 5606/1846) responds to the accusation that when Jews pray for the redemption and the coming of moshiach, they are rebelling against the government.

Rabbi Isaac of Komarna (1806-1874)

Aug 30 2012

Rabbi Isaac of Komarna has a different explanation of why the Rambam doesn't count settling Eretz Yisroel as a mitzvah.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer, founder of Chovevei Tzion (1795-1874)

Aug 31 2012

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer was one of the founders of the Chovevei Tzion movement, and in his 1862 book Derishas Tzion he claimed that Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisroel could be the beginning of the redemption.

Rabbi Yosef Shaul Natanson, author of Shoel Umeishiv (1808-1875)

Sep 01 2012

When Pharaoh feared that the Jews would join his enemies (Shemos 1:10), why was his strategy to make them slaves? Wouldn't that make them even more likely to hate the Egyptians and fight against them?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rabbi of Frankfurt (1808-1889)

Sep 03 2012

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch devotes a long section of his book Horeb (pp. 460-461) to the obligation of Jews to seek the welfare of their government (Yirmiyahu 29:7).

Rabbi Marcus Lehmann (1831-1890)

Sep 04 2012

Let us consider the history of other nations! First they are small and unimportant; they grow stronger and more powerful by perpetual warfare against their neighbours and other enemies; thus they become great, mighty and rich.

Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein of Kolomaya (1814-1891)

Sep 05 2012

Why did Pharaoh fear that the Jews would rebel and join his enemies? Certainly the good Jews, who constituted the majority, entertained no such thoughts.

Rabbi Yehoshua Trunk of Kutna (1821-1893)

Sep 07 2012

Even the Ramban, who lists conquering Eretz Yisroel as one of the 613 commandments, would not obligate conquest nowadays.

Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, known as the Netziv, Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin (1816-1893)

Sep 08 2012

The Netziv supported the Chovevei Tzion movement, but at the same time he cautioned that settling the land should never be associated with messianism, the Temple or the redemption in any way.

Rabbi Yerucham Yehuda Leib Perlman, known as the Gadol of Minsk (d. 1896)

Sep 09 2012

The Gadol of Minsk writes in a halachic response regarding the settlement of Eretz Yisroel: "This mitzvah is different from all others.

Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1817-1898)

Sep 10 2012

When Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, in his last years, heard about the new Zionist movement, he realized the danger it posed to the Jewish people.

Rabbi Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin (1823-1900)

Sep 11 2012

After the sin of the spies, Moshe Rabbeinu warned those who regretted their original lack of faith that they should not attempt to go into Eretz Yisrael by force: vehi lo sitzlach, it will not be successful.

Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini, author of the Sdei Chemed (1833-1904)

Sep 12 2012

Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini, author of the Sdei Chemed, was also contacted by the compilers of Ohr Layesharim, and he responded with a letter against Zionism. But his letter reached Kovna too late to be included in the book.

Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein, Author of Aruch Hashulchan (1829-1908)

Sep 13 2012

We are also obligated to make sure that there not be found among the Jews, Heaven forbid, any thought, even in the heart, of rebellion against our master the Czar and his ministers.

Rabbi Shmuel Salant, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1816-1909)

Sep 15 2012

Rabbi Shmuel Salant quotes the law that a wife may force her husband to move to Eretz Yisroel (Kesubos 110b), and then asks why – even according to the Ramban, he says, there is no obligation on every Jew to move to Eretz Yisroel, since this is one of t

Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, author of Ben Ish Chai (1832-1909)

Sep 16 2012

On Shabbos Chol Hamoed Pesach we read the Haftarah about the dry bones resurrected by Yechezkel the prophet (Yechezkel Chapter 37). This story took place in Tishrei, so why do we read it in Nissan?

Rabbi Avraham Borenstein, Sochatchover Rebbe, author of Avnei Nezer (1838-1910)

Sep 17 2012

The Avnei Nezer (Yoreh Deah 454) asks: when and where did the Jewish people accept the Oaths that prohibit them from leaving exile and taking over Eretz Yisroel?

Rabbi Naftali Hermann Adler, Chief Rabbi of the U.K. (1839-1911)

Sep 19 2012

These words come from a speech given by Rabbi Adler in English on November 12, 1898, in reaction to the then-new Zionist movement. It can be found today in the book Ohr Layesharim:

Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisel, Rabbi of Lodz (1821-1912)

Sep 20 2012

The Zionists do not seek out Zion. They say, our hands will triumph, our lips are under our power. They do not wait for the redemption of Hashem. They have donned the cloak of Zion to fool the weak-hearted and entrap them in their net.

Rabbi Simcha Yissocher Ber Halberstam, the Chiashenover Rebbe (d. 1914)

Sep 21 2012

In its early years, the Zionists plastered signs on the doors of synagogues all over Europe saying, "Dear brothers and sisters! The long, two-thousand-year exile calls to us and says: If I am not for myself, who will be for me (Pirkei Avos 1:14)?

Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Reines, founder of Mizrachi (1839-1915)

Sep 23 2012

Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Reines (1839-1915) was a leader of Chovevei Tzion and the founder of the Mizrachi movement. In 1902 he published a book called Ohr Chadash Al Tzion calling for settlement in Eretz Yisroel, but cautioning (p.

Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, Rabbi of Brisk (1853-1918)

Sep 24 2012

When Rabbi Chaim of Brisk spoke about Zionism, he gave the following parable: Once there was a town in which there was a well that had been closed and sealed for as long as anyone could remember.

Rabbi Yehuda Greenwald, Rav of Satmar, Hungary (1845-1920)

Sep 25 2012

It should not occur to you that you, by human hands, can build the ruins of Jerusalem, and arouse the end of exile with great love of the Jewish people, to improve their state through this action, as the Zionists hold.

Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneersohn, Lubavitcher Rebbe (1860-1920)

Sep 27 2012

Even if these men were loyal to Hashem and His Torah, and even if there were a chance that they would achieve their goal, we must not listen to them in this matter, to make our redemption with our own power.

Rabbi Yisroel Perlow, Stoliner Rebbe (1868-1921)

Sep 28 2012

A copy of the testament of Rabbi Yisroel of Stolin, passed away on second day of Rosh Hashanah, 5682 (1921), buried in Frankfurt, Germany.

Rabbi Mordechai Leib Winkler, rav of Madd (1845–1932)

Sep 28 2012

Rabbi Mordechai Leib Winkler, rav of Madd, wrote the following to Rabbi Yonasan Steiff, rav of Budapest, who asked his opinion about an organization to settle Eretz Yisroel, probably a project of Agudah (printed in Levushei Mordechai, v.

Rabbi Moshe Hager, the Kossover Rebbe (1860-1925)

Sep 29 2012

The Kossover Rebbe quoted the oath against forcing the end (yidchaku) and applied it to Zionism. Rashi says it means that we must not pray too much; how much more is it forbidden to try to end exile through political means.

Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, Belzer Rebbe (1854-1925)

Sep 30 2012

Zionism itself is founded on denial of G-d’s providence, reward and punishment and the coming of the redeemer. Nationalism is built only on the ruins of the holy Torah, belief in G-d, His prophets, and the Talmudic Sages.

Rabbi Shmuel Borenstein, the Shem Mishmuel (1856-1926)

Oct 02 2012

The book of Shemos begins, “And these are the names of the children of Yisroel who came to Egypt, with Yaakov, each man with his household came.” The patriarch Yaakov had two names: Yaakov and Yisroel.

Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, author of Ohr Somayach (1843-1926)

Oct 03 2012

Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk brings up the oaths in his comment on Yosef's last words to his brothers: "G-d will surely visit you and take you up from this land, to the land that He promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov." Yosef was warning them not to

Rabbi Solomon Breuer, rav of Frankfurt (1850-1926)

Oct 04 2012

But more than the most radical reform, Jewish truth is threatened by the movement propagated under the name of Zionism, which, if given ever greater influence would, God forbid, only serve to prolong our Galuth.

Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch, Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe (d. 1930)

Oct 06 2012

Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch (1860-1930), rav and rosh yeshiva of Telz, bases his discussion of Zionism on the statement of Chazal (Sanhedrin 97a), "The son of Dovid will not come until the Jewish people give up on the redemption...

Rabbi Shlomo Eliezer Alfandri, leader of the Sephardic community in Jerusalem (1820-1930)

Oct 07 2012

I hereby make known that it is forbidden for any Jew whose forefathers stood at Mount Sinai and has a portion in the G-d of Israel and His Torah, to remain a member in the Nationalist Council, which has lifted up its hand against the Torah of Moses and

Rabbi Chaim Shaul Douek, Leader of the Sephardic Kabbalists of Jerusalem

Oct 08 2012

This is how the Zionists succeed in capturing the religious: by means of the Mizrachi, who disguise themselves as rescuers [of the Torah], when in truth it is they who are the destroyers and damagers of the path of Torah. May G-d spare us from them.

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, chief rabbi of Jerusalem (1848-1932)

Oct 09 2012

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld used an analogy: Once there was a prince who excelled in all areas and was perfect in every way. He was also the only child of his father, the king, and his father loved him dearly. One day the prince became seriously ill.

Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, author of Chofetz Chaim (1838-1933)

Oct 11 2012

The Chofetz Chaim opposed Zionism because it violates the principles of Yaakov Avinu and our code of conduct in exile.

Rabbi Yosef Rosen, the Rogatchover Gaon (1858-1936)

Oct 12 2012

The Rogachover Gaon (1858-1936), in a letter of reply to Rabbi Yitzchok Sternhell of Tzanz, editor of the monthly Torah journal "Hakochav," wrote:

Rabbi Yisroel Hager, Vizhnitzer Rebbe (1860-1936)

Oct 14 2012

Satan is constantly changing his disguise and sending his agents to entrap the Jewish masses in his net, so that they throw the yoke of the Torah off their necks. The names of these agents change every few generations.

Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, Munkaczer Rebbe, author of Minchas Elazar (1871-1937)

Oct 15 2012

After the sin of the spies, the Torah tells us that some Jews tried to invade Eretz Yisroel against the command of Hashem: "And they awoke early in the morning, and they ascended to the mountaintop, saying, "Here we are, and we will go up to the place o

Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Kamenitz (1870-1939)

Oct 17 2012

If you throw a coin into the Zionist “Jewish National Fund” collection box, you become a threat to the Jewish people. You bring misfortune upon the Jewish people.

Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, Chief Rabbi of Vilna (1863-1940)

Oct 18 2012

Reb Chaim Ozer opposed the creation of a Jewish state due to the danger it would bring. The following is a letter to the Agudas Horabbonim of the United States and Canada, dated the fifth day of Selichos 5697 (1937).

Rabbi Chuna Halberstam, Kalashitzer Rebbe (d. 1940)

Oct 19 2012

The plain truth is that there is no difference between the three groups: the Zionists, the Mizrachists and the Agudists, also known as Shlumei Emunei Yisroel. The ways of all of these are abominable to religious Jews. (Tikun Olam, ch. 56)

Rabbi Shaul Brach, Rabbi of Kasho, Hungary (1865-1940)

Oct 20 2012

We have long ago been foresworn by the holy prophets not to force the end and not to enter the Land of Israel by force of arms. But these wayward sons say that with their strong arms and money they will save Israel.

Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, Rosh Yeshiva of Baranovitch (1875-1940)

Oct 21 2012

In the 1930's Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, one of the greatest European Jewish Torah scholars and head of the Yeshiva of Baranowitz, Poland, published a series of essays entitled "Ikvesa D'meshicha" on the problems facing Jewry at that time.

Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, Grand Rabbi of Bobov (1874-1941)

Oct 23 2012

“Also the bird found a house, and the wild bird a nest for itself” (Tehillim 84:4). The bird is a metaphor for the Jewish people, as Rashi explains there.

Rabbi Mordechai Rottenberg, rabbi of Antwerp (1872-1944)

Oct 24 2012

The question of the oaths was first presented to rabbis as a practical issue in 1937, when Britain's Peel Commission proposed partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Rabbi Yitzchok Weiss, the Spinker Rebbe (1875-1944)

Oct 26 2012

Rabbi Yitzchok Weiss found an allusion to Zionism in the story of the Akeidah. The Torah says, "On the third day, Avraham lifted up his eyes and saw the Place from afar” (Bereishis 22:4).

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, the Shimloyer Rav (1863-1944)

Oct 27 2012

G-d forbid to accept the position of the Zionist heretics, who want to take the Holy Land by force and rebel against the government, for it will be bitter for them in the end. They hate the Torah and it is like a thorn in their eye.

Rabbi Ahron Roth, Shomer Emunim Rebbe (1894-1946)

Oct 28 2012

A festive meal was held to celebrate the completion of a Torah scroll in memory of the Jews killed in the Holocaust. All the Chassidic rebbes and heads of yeshivas attended, including the Rebbe.

Rabbi Yisroel Zev Mintzberg (c. 1948)

Oct 30 2012

On November 8, 1921 Rabbi Mintzberg wrote: "Thank G-d we survived the uprising that took place in the Holy City (in April 1920). May Hashem have mercy on us in the future.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1867-1948)

Oct 31 2012

The following are excerpts of the 18 page document of written testimony submitted in person to the United Nations Special Committee in Palestine Wednesday, July 16, 1947 by the Chief Rabbis of the Ashkenasic Jewish Community, Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky and

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (1880-1950)

Nov 01 2012

The straight-thinking Jew looks on in astonishment, thinking: what do these rebels against G-d and His Torah have to do with the Land of Israel? (Mishmeres Chomoseinu 20 Shvat 5716)

Rabbi Zelig Reuven Bengis, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (d. 1953)

Nov 02 2012

We have already spoken about these nationalists. They are a recently-founded group with the purpose of fooling the people and leading the masses astray, thinking that they can settle the Holy Land by natural means and attain sovereignty over it.

Rabbi Avraham Yishaya Karelitz, author of Chazon Ish (1878-1953)

Nov 03 2012

The Chazon Ish said: Who keeps mitzvohs in our time and is still considered a non believer?

Rabbi Yonasan Steiff (1877-1958)

Nov 05 2012

Rabbi Yonasan Steiff was dayan of Budapest and, in America, rav and rosh yeshiva of the Viener Kehillah.

Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav (1887-1959)

Nov 07 2012

Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik related that the Brisker Rav once asked: Why is the wording of the last oath different from the first two?

Rabbi Aharon Kotler, Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood, NJ (1891-1962)

Nov 08 2012

In the summer of 1937, the third convention of the rabbinical leaders of Agudath Israel was held in Marienbad. It was attended by hundreds of rabbis, heads of yeshivas and grand rabbis of Chassidic communities from a number of countries.

Rabbi Shimon Yisroel Posen, the Shoproner Rav

Nov 09 2012

Even if the leaders of this state were to be believers in the Torah and the words of Chazal on some level, and even if they did not persecute religious Jewry, the entire concept behind this state would be complete heresy, for it is impossible to imagine

Rabbi Eliezer Silver, President of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada (1882-1968)

Nov 10 2012

However the call for a Jewish state is something not all Jews agree to at this time, especially if it comes about through protests and threats, for regarding this the Holy One blessed is He already made us swear not to go up as a wall - with strength, a

Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, the Ponevezher Rav (1886-1969)

Nov 11 2012

The Ponevezher Rav built many yeshivos using money from the Zionist government.

Rabbi Amram Blau, Founder of Neturei Karta, Jerusalem (1894-1974)

Nov 12 2012

In the name of humanity, justice and righteousness, we appeal to you not to forsake us and not to make us subservient to an authority whose principles and practices violate all that we have been taught to hold sacred and to cherish, and whose avowed int

Rabbi Moshe Yitzchok Itzikel Gewirtzman, Pshevorsker Rebbe (1881-1976)

Nov 13 2012

When he sent a letter to the Holy Land, he would write the address himself, and he would write it using the gentile alphabet, not the Hebrew alphabet.

Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein, Krasner Rav (d. 1979)

Nov 15 2012

We must make known and reveal that the establishment of the State of Israel and its government is against the Torah and fundamentally wrong.

Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, Grand Rabbi of Satmar (1887-1979)

Nov 16 2012

I remember fifty or sixty years ago, many gedolei yisroel said that after all the Zionists did to undermine Jewish-gentile relations, it would be a miracle if destruction did not come upon the Jews of Europe.

Rabbi Shneur Kotler, Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash Govoha of Lakewood (1918-1982)

Nov 18 2012

Rabbi Shneur Kotler said, “People call the Satmar Rav’s ideas a shitah, but it is not. He proves in Vayoel Moshe that this is what Shas and poskim, Rishonim and Acharonim all held. What he holds is what all gedolei Yisroel once held.

Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali (1890-1984)

Nov 20 2012

Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzera, the Baba Sali, held the Satmar Rebbe and his sefer Vayoel Moshe in very high esteem.

Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaas (1890-1986)

Nov 20 2012

“For He will see that the enemy's hand is strong, and no one is saved or supported.” (Devarim 32:36) The Gemara in Sanhedrin 97a derives from here that moshiach will not come until the Jewish people gives up on the redemption and thinks that there is no

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalayim (1895-1986)

Nov 21 2012

Regarding your question if there is a mitzvah nowadays to live in Eretz Yisroel, as the Ramban says, or if there is no mitzvah nowadays, as Rabbeinu Chaim says, quoted in Tosafos on Kesubos 110b: Most poskim hold it is a mitzvah.

Rabbi Shimon Schwab, Rabbi of Khal Adas Jeshurun (1908-1993)

Nov 22 2012

The following article, entitled "Zion or Zionism?" appeared in Mitteilungen, the bulletin of K'hal Adath Jeshurun, NYC, Adar 1-2 5736.

The United Nations has resolved by majority vote to equate Zionism with racism.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Kahn, Toldos Ahron Rebbe (d. 1996)

Nov 23 2012

Rabbi Kahn wrote in 5754 (1994): “We always saw the constant state of war and terrorism in Eretz Yisroel as the fulfillment of the punishment of the Oaths.

Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Freund, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1904-1996)

Nov 24 2012

Whoever votes in the election has a portion in the defiled regime. By going out to vote, they give strength to the defiled regime, a regime of heretics whose entire goal is to leave behind the holy Torah, may G-d spare us.

Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, Principal of Bais Yaakov (1911-1996)

Nov 26 2012

This is a free translation of a Yiddish transcript of a taped interview made some 30 years ago with the late Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, who was a principal of the Beis Yaakov Girls School in Brooklyn, and who was a student in the Hebron yeshiva (religious sch

Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe Yeshiva, Cleveland, Ohio (1915-2001)

Nov 27 2012

Things have been happening lately concerning Jews. We have to know about this and we have to know how to look at these events. We have to look at them with a Jewish look - with a Jewish eye, and not the way the non-Jews look at such things.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller, Rav of Bais Yisroel Torah Center (1908-2001)

Nov 28 2012

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;

Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem

Nov 29 2012

A Serious Warning on Behalf of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem


Rabbi Refoel Blum, the Kasho Rav (1910-2005)

Nov 30 2012

It has been some time since the greatest rabbis, leaders of the fight against Zionism, have passed away. They have left our generation, unfortunately, without a window to let in the light of truth.

Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, author of Berach Moshe (1914-2006)

Dec 01 2012

We have all assembled today so that the speakers can explain to the audience the position ("shitah") of our holy rabbis against Zionism.

Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, Rosh Yeshiva of Brisk (b. 1921)

Jan 03 2016

The Zionists claimed that they would save the Jews from government persecution [in Russia], and already then Rabbi Chaim Brisker, of blessed memory, said that their entire purpose in founding a state was in order to have a way to uproot the Torah from t

Rabbi Dan Segal, the Mashgiach (b. 1939)

Jan 05 2016

The secular leaders of the State of Israel are placing us in danger. Here there is a greater danger than any other place, because things are more serious here due to the holiness of Eretz Yisroel.