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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 10 Apr 2020 05:41 PM and ends Sat 11 Apr 2020 06:40 PM

Letters to President Zalman Shazar Z”L and others

ו' אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ג

Many people ask, “What choice do we have?”. The real question is, “What choice did we have....” Regarding this latter question, we now present several letters written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe years ago. The political errors mentioned by the Rebbe in these letters have led to the current situation where we feel we have no just claim to the Land of Israel.

Letter To (Then) President Of The State Of Israel,

Mr. Zalman Shazar, Of Blessed Memory

Free Translation—Unedited


Day After the Holidays of Redemption
12-13 Tammuz, 5729 (1969)
Brooklyn, N.Y. Shneur Zalman Shazar
[President of Israel]

Greetings and Blessings!

I was quite surprised (and also very pained) when I read your letter. Besides the main content, which consists of charges against me: “Why does he (referring to me) insist on bickering about whether it is called the “Land of Israel” or the “State of Israel”[101] or the “Holy Land,” and the Covenant between G-d and Avraham, etc. and dragging G-d into the issue...?”

Clearly, all those who expended efforts, and who stood and stand at the head of, and represent the State, all stress and proclaim that it is a state which was founded in 1948 in the lands which the British abandoned, or from which the Haganah expelled the Arabs (or that they encountered no opposition upon taking over). Twenty-two nations of the world (including the communists in the Security Council — who were among the leaders), decided among themselves to approve the establishment of the state in territory which falls partly in the Land of Israel, and partly outside of The Land of Israel.

My answer to all this is simple: It is all inconsequential. None of this is new; except that in 1948 an important part of the Land of Israel was liberated (by the way, they conquered a certain part from outside of the Land of Israel, which was annexed onto the main part — the Land of Israel).

They reject my words by saying that I am simply fabricating an issue. My proof is that every year they declare the anniversary (not of the liberation, or of the foundation of the government, but rather) of “The State of Israel.” This is definately not just a matter of semantics, but is indicative of the essential approach: An entity which was established in 1948 by the grace of the nations of the world, has absolutely no effect, and is irrelevant, in countering the claim of the Arabs, the Vatican, the UN etc., or the Canaanites (exposed or hidden) among the Jews: “You are thieves, for you conquered the lands etc..”

I shall not delude myself into believing that with just claims, Israel can overcome the UN, Vatican, etc. Nor shall I delude myself that the most important element is morale among the youth (including in the Israeli Defence Forces), the students in America (and certainly in other lands, etc.) — all the while subscribing to the approach which refers to “The State of Israel which was founded with the approval of the UN in 1948.”

This approach, which has become the foundation and main world view of those who decide on all aspects of public policy and relationships with the nations, has destroyed and continues to destroy, has damaged and continues to damage, the most vital interests of — even the State of Israel (as is well known with regard to the United States and the UN, and is certainly so in all the other countries). This has literally caused deaths. And what has forced me to step out of my usual bounds and speak out about these things, is that others should have warned about them. Enough said, if you understand my intention.

It pains me to note that I have written all the above, and have not even touched “the tip of the iceberg.” I do not have to go into details, but I am not saying anything regarding what happened yesterday (literally), and before Shabbos, etc. which is new to you. Why should I cause you further pain?

At the outset, I did not intend to write such a long letter, but since it is already written, I do not wish to cut it short. Please forgive me.

According to the order of your letter: You wrote, “Let me be a Chabadnik.” You were a Chabadnik before I was even born. May you stay that way for many long and good years.

Regarding the concept of a state: If we are speaking about Eilat and the surrounding areas (which are outside of the acquisition of Yehoshua and Ezra) — were these areas to be made independent of Jerusalem and the rest of the Land of Israel — then these territories should be called “the State of Israel.”

Regarding Jerusalem, etc.: The name has already been established by the Creator and Ruler of the world: Up until Yehoshua’s conquest it was called the Land of Canaan, and afterwards, the Land of Israel. This precludes any further possibility of a referendum on the subject.

It is obvious that I have no opposition to the term “state” per se, even in reference to most of this area. On the contrary, according to the Torah, the Land of Israel includes a Temple and a state (using the terminology of the Sages in their teachings), like the one which includes Yehudah and the Galilee etc. But in my letter I was referring to the dispute over the two names (and the accompanying world view): the Land of Israel vs. the State of Israel — and the fact that the latter has prevailed (I add) for the time being (for my hope and belief is that ultimately the Glory of Yisroel in every single individual Jew shall prevail — and then they will proclaim before all the nations that a fundamental mistake has been made, and that the correct idea and name is The Land of Israel).

I did not write this letter directed at you — because why should I cause you distress for no reason (for you see nothing which you can do about it...)?

I wrote about this — not to some journalist — but to the woman who organized groups for Torah study (in places where, within the framework of nature, there was no chance of success) and who ran the campaign (and I hope she continues) against the scourge of abortions etc. Those who opposed her efforts suspected that I was one of the motivations for her activities. So it dawned upon them that by explaining to her that I oppose the State of Israel (and the proof is that I always say “the Land of Israel”), they could convince her that she shouldn’t make efforts in spreading Torah, etc. I was concerned that this might weaken her resolve, so I wrote to her concerning these matters.

You wrote: “I swore loyalty to the State of Israel,” — of course, I am aware of this. I am surprised that you did not notice that a long time before you took that oath, I requested that you not refuse this appointment.[102] This was more that just a request — for certainly you know that I was aware even then of the swearing-in ceremony. But I was certain that when you took the oath and swore “loyalty to the State of Israel,” you clearly had in mind the Land of Israel, and more than this — you intended the Holy Land. And even more — I was sure that you meant “the Land where G-d’s eyes are affixed from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.”

The talk of a Chabadnik must be open-hearted; so you are allowed — and obligated — to say what is in your heart. Moreover — I value this as one of the essential ingredients of the friendship between us. Yet it pains me that in your heart you suspected me of something of which I am not guilty. On the contrary, I emphatically say that the Nation which dwells in Zion, dwells in The Land of Israel, being a special land which has no comparison. It has absolutely nothing to do with the State which lies between Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. And I demand (not “a bit excitedly” as you write in your letter — but in a greatly agitated way) that the Ambassador to Washington and to the UN make this known — pounding their fists on the tables! The gentiles in Washington also believe in this, but the Israeli Diplomats maintain that they were instructed not to speak in this fashion, and certainly not to bang their fists on tables, since they represent a country which received permission from the other countries to exist and be considered a state. Therefore they feel that they must behave with proper protocol. And recently, when Israel’s Ambassador’s patience expired in the UN, and he publicly expressed a fraction of his “adoration” for them, the strongest words of rebuke were directed at him from Jerusalem for the next twenty-four hours — “Could it be that you actually spoke this way ...” and they forced him to retract his comments in public. Logically, these and similar episodes (of weakness) bring forth agression and terror — until there are deaths, may G-d avenge their blood....

[The remainder of the letter was not made available to us.]

To read more of these letters click When silence is a sin


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