You Can Make a Difference!

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24 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    Did the Religious Zionists in the last Knesset ever disavow, much less apologize for, their destructive alliance with Lapid and his party? That should precede any plea to vote for their slate in the WZO election.

  2. Simon says:

    “HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Rosh HaYeshiva of Slobodka in Bnei Brak and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Eretz Yisrael, told me that we must do everything we can to stop the American Reform movement from obtaining and maintaining a foothold”

    So did the RY of Slabodka say to vote?

  3. Yitzchok Adlerstein says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Rabbi Lerner. I just registered and voted, and urge all my friends to do the same

  4. joel rich says:

    I suppose the real question is whether those “Different Rabbinic leaders ” view halacha as consequentialist or deontological (result or value driven). I’d love to hear their answers and their thinking.
    Joel Rich

  5. Noam Stadlan says:

    I voted for religious zionists. I thought I was voting for religious zionists. According to this article, the group I voted for supports people who don’t accept the state and don’t contribute materially to the state. It is a group that hates the idea of supporting reform and conservative Jews. Furthermore, the author seems to think that the only ‘authentic’ Jews are anti-Zionist Chareidim. Maybe I need to reconsider.

  6. lacosta says:

    i think that haredim should follow daas tora. i don’t doubt that r steinman , aurbach ,belzer rebbe etc and certainly rabbis elyashiv , shach , and chazon ish tz’l etc would NEVER sign such a declaration .

    we know that the haredi establishment in Israel over the last generation took over institutions that they disagreed with to their core –such as the Chief Rabbinate, dayanus etc —- for profit [ie secure jobs] , and influence [which they would have had less of in their own guise ] . here , they are being asked to lie in order to support a slate of people who we can safely say would not be welcome on any of their daises or institutions , in order that their goals of kiruv and hashpa’ah should be furthered.

    nothing good can come from sheker . it has no leg to stand on . not only should they not vote, the RZ/MO world that they quite vehemently reject should make ardent pleas for them NOT to commit such acts of sheker. I think the RBSO is strong enough to get the result in the Medina that He wants. the haredi establishment didn’t want such an entity and G-d let it happen. He can deal with egalitarian efforts to penetrate israeli society , and if that’s what He wants, subterfuge will not prevent it…

  7. lacosta says:

    reb miller shlita

    who ever suggested that the RZ’s disavow Lapid? who even intimated they disagree with his conception of the role of religion and citizenship? who thinks they disagree that the draft is for all citizens?

  8. Cvmay says:

    Passivity in the frum world must end. By sitting & doing nothing $$$ will be deposited in the hands of the Refotm & Conservative for their anti-Torah agenda..

  9. Aryeh Lev says:

    I’m confused as to why Rabbi Lerner asks us to vote for the Religious Zionist slate by citing the ambiguous endorsements of various named and unnamed Haredi notables.

    The Religious Zionist list includes many leading Modern Orthodox rabbanim including Rav Gadalia Dov Schwartz, Rav Hershel Schachter, and Rav Tzvi Hersh Weinreb. These rabbis endorse the WZO’s Jerusalem Program, and have unambigously called on the Orthodox public to vote for the Religious Zionist list. Why not cite them?

  10. Sima IrHakodesh says:

    Lacost & Aryeh Lev

    Chacham YOSEF zt”l was the first to support the WZO elections & even set up a Sefardic/SHAS party to join.

    Americans who “Pledge Alliegance to the Flag….” at their workplace, employment or at festive occasions declare a questionable statement also, so what!!!!

    If we let HKBH run the world & put $$$ in the right hands & fight the battles against Reform & Conservative fifth columns — then no need to vote in the holy land (tell that to Reb Chaim) – no need to fund raise for yeshivos ( tell Reb Finkel -no more trips to the U.S.) – & no more huge Yerushalayim rallies.

  11. Moshe Shoshan says:

    I think it is exceedingly hypocritical for the non- and anti-Zionist community to vote in the election of the World Zionist Organization.

  12. David says:

    1. Between Bob Miller and Noam Stadlan, Rabbi Lerner has a difficult – if not impossible – job.

    2. Aryeh Lev: Are you being cute? He’s appealing here to a chareidi audience. I’m sure he issued a different letter while appealing to other audiences. That’s a pretty basic rule of advertising, no?

  13. dr. bill says:

    It was written above: “Passivity in the frum world must end. By sitting & doing nothing $$$ will be deposited in the hands of the Refotm & Conservative for their anti-Torah agenda..”

    Were we trained to write: “Passivity in the frum world must end. By sitting & doing nothing $$$ will be deposited in the hands of the Refotm & Conservative for their agenda..” I wonder how much would we gain and lose?

    Hag kosher ve’sameah

  14. Dr. E says:

    lacosta and Aryeh Lev:

    It would be a neat experiment to see if Yated, Mishpacha, or Hamodiah would accept a paid advertisement for Vote Torah, with either the signature of the Slabodka RH, Rabbi Lerner, or those of the above-mentioned Rabbanim.

  15. DF says:

    This article saddens me a little. This article is written by the head of Young Israel, concerning religious Zionism, and yet it is chock full of the Agudah’s world’s tropes and clichés. He tells us, repeatedly, that the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah have told us its ok to vote in the election. Leave aside the point that “the Gedoilim say” itself is an Agudah construct. Beyond that, does he not realize that, despite its grandiose title (that, oddly, doesn’t seem to bother them) that is just the rabbinic board of the Agudah? Does he imply the religious Zionist world has no rabbis of its own? Speaking as a YI shul member (as well as a sfardishe one) I’m not pleased to see the head of my organization speaking this way. It lowers the “shtoltz” of YI, and is perhaps indicative of larger issues.

    As for the Agudah voting in this election – well, what can one say? If you know the history, the Agudah has never shown any clear ideological conviction in its relationship vis a vis Israel. It’s like something happened with the founding of the state that they were not equipped to handle, and they’ve been confused about it ever since. By default more than anything else, it fell to taking what it calls the “pragmatic” approach, which is another word for “rudder-less.” They’ve never been in favor of it, but unlike Satmar, they were not adverse enough to not take money from it. They’re both for it and against it. It’s politicians remain that way today, nor really caring about the state one way or the other, just concerned with the money. This latest step, asking people to vote in the World Zionist Congress, to obtain more money, is just the latest.

    Is this the smart approach? Apparently its leaders believe so. But I’m not so sure. Conviction and Ideology means something. It means a lot, actually. People notice it, and they notice the lack of it. Ambivalence might help you survive, but so what? Neutrality has helped Switzerland survive too, but you know Orson Welle’s famous line: “In the past 500 years, all they’ve produced is the cuckoo clock.” Not a single great man has come out of it. Ambivalence doesn’t produce greatness. And for a Jew claiming to live by the Torah, no one can be ambivalent about Israel.

  16. Aryeh Lev says:


    Chacham Yosef zt”l was far from the first Orthodox rabbi to endorse voting in the WZO elections, although he did eventually come around. The first Zionist Congress was in 1897. It had religious representatives, as had every subsequent congress.

    My question wasn’t that religious Jews shouldn’t vote for WZC–I strongly believe we should. My point was simply that the Modern Orthodox and Dati Leumi communities have our own rabbanim to tell us to vote, and we shouldn’t have to rely on the ambiguous endorsements of non-Zionist rabbis.

    As a side point, the Zionist Spring list also has Orthodox rabbis and communal leaders running on the list. The list contains Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, and promotes tolerance and cooperation between different Jewish communities. It is another list worthy of consideration for American Religious Zionists.

  17. cvmay says:

    What’s the connection?

    RZ are as heterogenous as the Charedi world, especially seen in the last election. RZ & CHAREDI voters are found in every single KNESSET party … & even as non-voters. So U are punishing whom for what?? Makes NO sense!

  18. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    This is so so wrong, so shockingly wrong, there are no words. It’s too late now, the damage is done: a whole bunch of Orthodox Jews have signed up and joined the Zionist Organization. The correct response would have been for all Orthodox Jews to unite and loudly, vociferously, REFUSE to join an evil organization that is bent on eradicating Torah from the Jewish body politic. It should have been widely announced and universally known that this organization does not and will not represent us!! That would have been a huge kiddush Hashem. Instead we have a huge chillul Hashem, with Orthodox Jews once again seen as abandoning their principles and dialing for dollars. Shomu Shamayim al zos.

  19. tzippi says:

    lacosta, I would be interested in what American rabbanim of stature say too. As this is starting to dovetail with another thread, may I suggest that people take Rabbi Lerner seriously, and then go their LORs for clarity.

  20. Heshy Bulman says:

    I see – so Conservative and Reform are on the decline – their collective influence in Israeli politics will inevitably wane as time passes. So what is the best course of action for Chareidim in America to take? Let us throw them all a lifeline! Yes, let us join forces with them at this very moment and vote for the continued distortions of Yiddishkeit, for the continued attacks on Torah, INHERENT in participating in the WZO election,for exactly whom would we be relying on to protect Torah? On the professional capitulationists rampant in the religious Zionist world. The whole thing reminds me of Obama’s throwing a lifeline to the Iranian regime, just when they’re on the ropes. Is anyone out there familiar with the Netziv and others who left the Chibas Tzion movement when it was becoming obvious to them that the secularists were gaining the upper hand? This was BEFORE the movement was actually completely overrun by them. No, no , no – this way has never worked for us in the past. If we, indeed, have growing strength, we must follow an independent course.

  21. cvmay says:

    The RZ world has not- never did- never will eradicate Torah learning – Torah observances or Torah principles from the Jewish people.

    As a Talmida of Rav Bulman zt”l, I share his admiration to the Mosdos of Mercarz Harav, it’s rabbonim, Talmidim& talmidos who have/are spreading Torah throughout Eretz Yisrael. Many are aligned with HASHKAFA of Religious Zionism in a torahdige manner. Since the very beginning of Knessiah Conferences in Europe, there has always been a sector of Rabbanim who were the “OHAVEI Eretz Yisroel” group. In fact, the Chofetz Chaim & RAV Kook participated together at one.
    Funds, power base decisions & a loud voice advocating for Torah ideals is essential in this WZO GROUP. Go out & vote!!

  22. tzippi says:

    I must apologize for my earlier post. I didn’t take adequate note of the April 1 post from Aryeh Lev: I in no way meant to say that the rabbanim mentioned aren’t of stature. All that said, in light of Mrs. Katz’s post, I don’t think I’ll feel comfortable voting without formally asking my LOR.

  23. Mark Richards says:

    CVMAY – The Chofetz Chaim was never at a conference together with Rav Kook, it is just not true.
    Second, when the Aguda debated the partition plan, the Chofetz Chaim had passed away, but his prime talmid Reb Elchonon Vasserman was vehemently against the discussion. He believed and constantly repeated that the only focus of the Aguda should be Jewish education, chadorim and Yeshivos. Everything else is secondary and should be relegated as such.

  24. CVMay says:


    My error, if I may quote from “An Angel Among Men” (recommended as a history primer to the years of 1900-1940s in Europe & Eretz Yisroel).
    “In 5683 (1923) Agudat Yisrael held its first K’nessiyah Gedolah in Vienna. The greatest Torah scholars and Chassidic masters of the time came from all over Eastern Europe to discuss important issues facing the Jewish World. Among the gedolim in attendance was the Chofetz Chaim. A delegation from the Eretz Yisrael branch of Agudat Yisrael came as well.
    At the opening session of the conference, one of the rabbis made an insulting comment about Rav Kook. Utterly shocked, the Chofetz Chaim, who was sitting at the dais, stood up and said, “They denigrated the Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael! We should rend our garments”. He then left the room in protest.
    The Chofetz Chaim decided not to participate in the rest of the conference. He simply stayed in his hotel room and waited to return home with the other rabbis from Poland. Anyone who wanted to speak to him or receive his blessing had to visit him in his room.
    On day, the members of Jerusalem’s delegation came to receive a blessing from the venerable sage. The Chofetz Chaim, however, refused to extend them his hand, saying, “I do not give Shalom to those who stir controversy against the Rabbi of Jerusalem”. Then, he added, “You should know that he is holy and pure, and whoever harms him will not be absolved” Page 244

    The Agudah debated the partition plan and voted against it.

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