Right of Return

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10 Responses

  1. Miriam says:

    Did anyone catch Jay Leno’s bit on Helen Thomas – “she says they should go back to where they came from….the problem is, that’s where they came from – the Middle East, it’s in the Bible, great book and a great movie….”

  2. Esther says:

    “Actually, the State of Israel solves nothing. All problems remain the same, and new ones are created.” Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt”l.

  3. Nachum says:

    Esther: That sounds a lot like what we’ve heard from the Dor HaMidbar in the last few parshiot.

  4. Thomas Lowinger says:

    Actually Esther, those people that had to run from Europe before the war and nobody would take them in could go there. Russian Jewry after the creation of Israel that no one would take in could also go there. The Jews who had to run from Hungary after the 56 revolution could go there. People from Hungary now, who would definitely have assimilated (I know some of them) could go there now. The Yemenite Jews who had to run in the early 50’s could go there. Israel solved a problem for them. You Esther or your descendants may yet have to run, Israel will be available for you (you might, however, prefer Poland or Germany I presume).

  5. dr. bill says:

    Esther – for a list of 6 benefits of a state of israel – read kol dodi dofek. seeing the state of israel as solving nothing but only creating problems, as you assert in rabbi miller’s name, is either (and hopefully) out of context or not that dissimilar from ms. thomas’s “wise” remarks.

  6. Shmuel says:


    Before writing a comment like yours, please consider what the Gemara considers to be the sin of the meraglim — using their speech negatively. Esther was not speaking about Eretz Yisrael but about the state of Israel. You can disagree with her (and with Rabbi Miller and with many other Gedolim over the decades)on the value of Israel. But please don’t usher in the Three Weeks by berating other Jews for their points of view.

    To Thomas and Dr. Bill: Surely the problem of Jew-hating in the world has not been solved by Israel. A strong case can be made that Israel has facilitated Jew-hatred. You can be a strong Zionist and still recognize that.

  7. dr. bill says:

    Shmuel, Please read my comments again. I never claimed the state of Israel did not create new problems or a way for anti-semites to hide behind i only hate israel not jews. Rather, I objected to the a claim it did solves nothing. IMHO, that is being a Kofui Tov.

  8. Nachum says:


    “You can disagree with her (and with Rabbi Miller and with many other Gedolim over the decades)on the value of Israel.”

    Obviously, your phrasing of it that way implies that, of course, I am not free to do so.

    Fortunately, I am. Hashem gave me free will (and, as it happens, halakhic sanction) to see and state the truth.

    “But please don’t usher in the Three Weeks by berating other Jews for their points of view.”

    I always have to chuckle at a line like that. The Three Weeks are two weeks away. When is it *right* to “berate”?

    Come to think, when is it wrong? You just told me I’m free to disagree. Can you draw a distinction between “disagreeing” and “berating”?

    I didn’t mention the Meraglim. I mentioned the Dor HaMidbar. And they repeatedly don’t say lashon hara about Eretz Yisrael; they complain about the difficulties involved in reaching and conquering it, which is exactly what Esther and R’ Miller were saying. The State of Israel is Hashem’s tool in getting us back to Eretz Yisrael; to make a bifurcation such as yours is a denial of history.

    But if you are uncomfortable with citations in Jewish sources, I will instead cite Oscar Wilde: “A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Someone who does not see the value of the State of Israel is deliberately closing their eyes to a beautiful truth.

  9. Shmuel says:

    Dr. Bill:

    I read your comments carefully the first time. Granted, Israel has provided a refuge for Jews (like other countries, like the US, have done too). For that, even those who, on principle, do not consider a modern Jewish state a good thing should have hakoras hatov. But what Esther wrote – and in the name of a great rav – was that it “didn’t solve anything.” That is a different and entirely defensible position. You can disagree with it, of course. But you should not compare it with Helen Thomas’s beliefs.


    Of course you can disagree with gedolim. Your free will, as you write, allows you to do anything you like. But since this is a frum site (I think), what gedolim say should have some authority. A clear exposition of the approach of most gedolim to Zionism, if you’re interested, can be found in Rabbi Aharon Feldman’s recent book “The Eye of the Storm.” You won’t agree with it, but might benefit from better understanding a different approach than your own.

    There is a clear difference between disagreeing and berating. And bringing up the Dor Hamidbor, especially when that generation’s sin was complaining about the mon and leaving Egypt, when all that Esther wrote was that a Jewish state has not solved things for Jews, borders on berating. You could have just disagreed agreeably.

    My own reference to the meraglim was not a misinterpretation of your reference. It was meant as a very timely reference to the Three Weeks (even if you think I’m too early). The meraglim’s report (characterized by the Talmud as loshon hora) caused the crying that we associate with Tisha B’Av.

    You are perfectly entitled to believe that Israel is Hashem’s tool for returning His people to their land. And Satmarers can believe that it is an impediment to the true ge’ula. Others can believe in any of a number of “middle ways.” None of the approaches is a denial of history. All are interpretations of history. And no one of us can know who is right until the end of history. So in the interim, can we all just agree to disagree, politely and with ahavas yisroel? Whatever role Israel may play in the coming geula, positive or negative or in-between or both, one thing should be clear: respect for one another, despite our philosophical differences, can only bring the geula closer.

  10. Bob Miller says:

    The degree of our ingathering into Israel is an important metric of geula.

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