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.
Day After the Holidays of Redemption
12-13 Tammuz, 5729 (1969)
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” 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. 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.]
...There are those who discuss and formulate plans for abandoning the territories — or parts of the territories.
This endangers not only the security at the borders, but the security of the entire Holy Land according to all natural principles, as all who are familiar with these issues understand. (I am at a total loss to understand the wisdom in silencing the military and security authorities who wish to express their opinions regarding this.) This is especially true considering that there is absolutely no benefit or advantage to be gained from giving away land, since their word is worthless, as we have seen in the past with all the assurances of peace, etc. As Rashi
comments, “It is a Halachah
that Esav hates Yaakov,” and the Sages have spoken extensively on all of the ways in which kindness of the nations is really veiled sin. It is clear that Israel has nothing to gain from giving away land, as we have seen in the past — and even the recent past, in the episode twelve years ago in the Suez Canal. Especially during the past year, every time talk of surrendering territory is made known, there is a new wave of terrorism, increasing death and destruction, as we can clearly see.
Incidentally, I received word that there has been an answer to my claim regarding the danger which will follow any compromise on land. My words were communicated by a reliable messenger, and according to the information I have received, my words have been discussed among government officials in Israel. Their answer was that they will disregard my charges, for the sole reason that they come from one who has never even once visited Israel. Obviously — since my claim relates to the danger facing millions of Jews living in Israel — their judging me is irrelevant. Instead, they should “accept the truth from whoever says it.”
Blessings and Greetings!
I received your letter some time ago, but due to circumstances beyond my control, my answer was delayed until now.
... I wonder a bit about your surprise that in certain circles, myself among them, the title “State of Israel” was never accepted. The reason is quite easy to understand: The land of Canaan was given as an inheritance to the Nation of Israel beginning with the covenant between G-d and Abraham. The name “Land of Israel” was then established, in place of the name “Land of Canaan.” So has it been fixed for thousands of years. This is firmly grounded in the Torah, and is rooted in the vocabulary of the entire nation, from young to old. Such matters are not subject to the vote of the majority, the outcome of which is liable to change from time to time (this change being, naturally, capricious). After all the various incidents and changes which have occurred recently — for better, or, painfully, for the opposite — it is also impossible to be confident about the present change. Actually, such conjecture whether or not to accept the new title is quite unnecessary since in my opinion, as I mentioned, the matter is not given to determination by referendum. Just as the name of the “Nation of Israel” is not subject to vote in order to determine whether the Jewish People shall be referred to as they are in the Torah — The “Nation of Israel,” or the “Nation of Canaan,” etc. — so it is regarding the “Land of Israel.”
Assume one were to raise an additional point: suppose a new title for the land were necessary. Such an addition weakens the claim and ownership of the Nation of Israel over the Land of Israel, including even the confined area which was liberated in 1948, because:
i. a new name gives the entire entity the appearance of being something novel, which was only born in 1948. Thus, inevitably, Jewish claim and ownership over the land also began only then. There is at least a shade of connotation of novelty — the diametric opposite of the Torah’s stance as represented by Rashi in the opening of his explanation of the Torah.
Here I stress that the custom of our nation from time immemorial has been that a five-year-old begins studying the Five Books of Moses. This means that Rashi’s
words are directed to the Children of Israel beginning at age five:
“If the nations of the world should say to the Jews ‘You are thieves, for you have conquered the land of the seven nations,’ the Children of Israel should answer them: ‘The whole world belongs to the Holy One; at will He gave it to them, and at will He took it from them and gave it to us.’”
You are most certainly aware that many, many nations have made this claim, even in our times. I have not found a single answer to this claim besides the most ancient traditional one found in the words of our sages.
ii. Some say that this term, “State of Israel” is another manifestation of the general approach and plan to become “like the nations of the world.” This theory has already claimed many lives, both physical and spiritual — and to our anguish continues to wreak destruction among the sons and daughters of Israel.
I am especially surprised that you should be the one to raise such an argument. Until now, I had been positive that you were counted among those who say that the Land of Israel belongs to the Nation of Israel, and that its borders are specifically delineated in the Torah. In Parshas Masei
it is written: “All these shall be your boundaries on all sides.”
Yet “because of our sins we were exiled from our land and driven far from our soil” — but even during the exile it is still our
land and our
soil. This title, “State of Israel,” allows room to label parts of the Land of Israel as no more than “territories” which were “conquered” by the Israeli Defense Forces in the Six Day War. Furthermore, the entire concept of conquest implies seizing the land by force from its owners through one’s own superior military prowess.
I do not wish to speak at length about this painful subject, mainly because the general cause for it is the approach of wanting to be like all the nations. Certainly my comments are not necessary, for you surely read about it in the newspapers and books which are available in the Land of Canaan (— according to the writers of those articles and books; it is just that some of them say this openly, and others only hint that this is their intention).
... May it be G-d’s Will that you send along positive news concerning all the above, as we discussed during your visit here.
“With Respect and Blessing,
/signed: Menachem Schneerson/
September 5, 1968
Brooklyn, New York
To: General Ariel Sharon
Greetings and Blessings.
I gratefully acknowledge receipt of your letter from the 24th of Av. It arrived a bit late, and I apologize for the delay in answering.
Regarding the substance of your letter, as we discussed at length when you were here — I am in full agreement with you concerning the liberated territories. Unfortunately, however, I do not agree with you that a shift in public reaction (at this time) in our Holy Land would influence those in power to change their position. According to my information — from sources which have been reliable until now — there is no evident change of intentions in these circles. I could only wish that there were a shift in public opinion which would cause at least a change in the government’s unofficial stance. Yet what is actually happening, is the preservation of the Arab character of the Old City of Jerusalem (with the explanation that we must maintain the status quo, just as part of the city looked when we conquered it last year — since it would defy “justice and honesty” etc. to take advantage of the conquest to force something upon the residents who were there until then!) The consequenses of this position in day-to-day life are obvious — especially considering that they believe that they have fulfilled their obligation to the Jewish community by partially populating the environs of Jerusalem with Jews.
Of course, I am writing you all this unofficially and privately, because it is not my place to speak about faults of Jews, and especially those who have it within their capability to achieve wondrous things in the said areas, and for various reasons are not doing so.
It is also understood that I am not writing this in order to accuse anyone, for what would such an accusation help? I only mean to express my anguish, at least in writing, to you and to those who you estimate might benefit from knowing the content of these few lines.
If the above is true regarding Jerusalem, then the situation is even worse concerning Hebron, where mainly Arabs dwell.... The Arab community there is grounded, developed, and according to the rumors, it is also organized, all of which only confirms the attitude mentioned above. Despite this, I investigated the possibility of opening a Yeshivah. I received a clear answer — saying that “it would be better for me” to explore possibilities of a Yeshivah in Jerusalem than one in Hebron. Within the inner circles of settlers (contrary to the view of those in charge) there are many Chabadniks (some who are open about it, and others who are unknown). I am sure you are also aware of the situation of the settlers there — who are not far from being prisoners. The reason given is also similar to the one stated, being based upon “justice and honesty,” and the common denominator of all these phenomena is: What will the “greater world” say, etc., as we discussed when you were here.
And for example, if there should be some quarrel between an Israeli youth and an Arab youth in Hebron; since the Arab youths would outnumber the Jews there, it is possible that the Jewish youth would be beaten up, etc. On whose side, in your opinion, would the Israeli military police stand in that situation — especially if the Mayor (who, it would appear, had a part in the riots and pogroms of 1929 against Jews in Hebron) were to come and make a commotion about the “provocation” by the Jews.
This is also the reason I asked you when you were here about the circumstances, and the reason for the manner in which Jerusalem was captured last year, where many, of the best Israeli soldiers fell in battle, completely disproportionate to the number of deaths on all the other fronts.
Incidentally (and maybe not incidentally) you still owe me an answer on this (and when you were here, we agreed that you would investigate and give me an answer). The information I have received on this — as I said, from a source who has been reliable until now — and as I said in our conversation, there was an uncontested order from above regarding this. I wish I would be proven wrong. However, in our conversation, there was much room left for doubt.
I would like to add, that my asking about this did not (G-d forbid) stem from pointless curiosity about a painful subject. Rather, it was to demonstrate the thought process of those who issued that order, because many of them are still in charge. Unfortunately, and perhaps to our embarassment, they have not changed their outlook, since even then it was forseeable that this would cause more fatalities. From this we can understand the present situation in Jerusalem and Hebron.
Without a doubt, I have not, G-d forbid, given up hope that the situation will change. But until then, there would be no benefit or practical advantage to issuing a call for people to settle Hebron. For there would be bitter clashes between the people in charge (whom we have been discussing) and even such people who would not answer the call (to move to Hebron), but would be moved to think in that direction — and all the more so those who might answer the call and go to live in Hebron. The confilct would be to the extent that the government would issue laws against those who would go to settle. This would reveal to the world — not just the Jewish world, but even to the gentiles — that those who make the decisions are bent on making it difficult for the settlers, and even worse than “difficult” — they would humiliate them and strengthen the morale of the enemies of Israel.
I do not despair concerning all this. But it is not a shift in Jewish public opinon which will affect change, but rather the mistakes of the Arabs and their supporters. So it was in the past, when such mistakes last year forced the “pursuers of peace” to finally agree to provide security, naturally leading to a pre-emptive war. I hope that in the future it will be easier, and will not G-d forbid injuriously affect lives or even property of our brothers, no matter where they live.
It is amazing to what extent the label which was given to the Children of Israel in our Torah, “a stiff-necked nation,” has not only endured until this day — but has been used by some for the opposite of the Torah and vital interests of the Jewish people. An example from the most recent weeks: the Algerian hijacking of the El-Al plane, when everyone clearly saw the reaction of even those who are supposed to be among the “friends of Israel.” Yet despite all this, they congratulate the nations for finding a solution which was supposed to be an “ethical victory.” Even if you could find reason to say that they were forced to agree to the extortion (to save lives), yet what obligates them to crown the architect of this deal as a Man of Ethics and totally righteous, and an example for the Masses? It would seem that there is no way to fathom a stiff-necked nation. This stubbornness expressed itself so strongly in the form of believing in the kindness of the nations (despite the message from our Prophets and Seers that the kindness of the nations is veiled sin), that even the invasion of Czechoslovakia did not weaken this spurious belief. Even though it would seem that the episode in Czechoslovakia has nothing to do with the subject of this letter — the inner significance is relevant, because it demonstrates the sentiment of some of those who decide the policy-making-process in the Holy Land, a process which expresses itself in deeds, grievous and painful acts which also cause much worry for the future (the near future at least — until they do away with their attitude about these matters).
We should end off on a positive note: I thank you for the warm greetings which you brought me from your visit to Kfar Chabad. According to the reports and information I have received from there, you spoke from your heart and with warmth, and strengthened and encouraged them. Everyone is in need of this, including them. Especially now, during these eventful times in the “Land upon which G-d’s gaze is affixed from the beginning of the year until the end of the year,” as it states in our Torah. When, on the other hand, the enemies who surround the land, see the government in our Land exhibit more and more weakness — a government who believes that they must deal with the Arabs with silk gloves and great care — and should there be a quarrel between an Arab and an Israeli, the first thing to do is to check what the reaction will be in the capital of one country or another, and only then decide what to do. So the Arabs constantly allow themselves the luxury of creating more and more disruptions, and all the more so, disturbances, and eventually terror.
And as we approach the New Year, as the well-known saying goes, may it be G-d’s Will that this year end, together with all the undesirable things which occurred in it (they should totally and absolutely disappear) and next year, and in the final days of this year, may the blessings begin, including the crucial change in the government’s posture, without having to wait for unwished-for incidents which would force the change. After all, we have seen miracles from the All-powerful G-d in the recent past, and He is able to affect miracles in any fashion — or as the traditional saying goes, with “good that is manifest and revealed.”
With respect and Blessings
for an Inscription for a Good and Sweet Year,
to You and all your Family,
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/
P.S. As I mentioned above, due to the painful points raised in this letter, it is written to you privately. You have permission to show or describe it to whomever you feel it would benefit. I will close with the hope that in accordance with the openness of this letter, you will respond in a likewise fashion to all the points raised in it. This is in addition to an answer to my question and others, which I hope you will be able to investigate and answer upon your return to Israel.
December 12, 1968
Rabbi Moshe Levinger
Greetings and Blessings!
In answer to your letter of 7 Kislev, in which you make mention of your earlier letter: the reason that I did not answer you is because of the instruction of our sages: “One should not respond to malediction “ You wrote regarding the fate of the Holy City, Hebron, and how, to our great anguish and also embarassment, there is doubt over what will be with it. Of course, I do not mean the city’s true fate, because it is the city of our forefathers and the site of the Cave of Machpeilah, one of the four Holy Cities in the Holy Land. This is especially highlighted by the Rebbeim of Lubavitch throughout the generations. Among them, one finds a letter printed in the Epistles of the Mitteler Rebbe — the successor of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch — from the time he established the community in Hebron in 1822 (the letter was printed lately in the book Meah Shearim, p. 15). He ends off the letter saying, “He himself bought the small synagogue in that Holy City under his own name, in order that he should have property there as an inheritance.” The Lubavitcher Rebbeim after him acted in a similar manner.
As I said, I was not referring to the City’s true fate, but to the secret bargaining which is taking place in the inner diplomatic circles — which is quite publicized amongst the gentiles — regarding which part of the liberated territories to surrender, and which parts not to surrender. Though they have been carrying out this perilous bargaining for over a year, and even at the outset there were many who were of the opinion to return it, lately this belief has become more rampant. I do not wish to expand upon this terrifying prospect. It was not my wish to put this in writing at all, especially since it is forbidden to imply that the power of G-d is limited. Just as until now it has not materialized — due to the open miracle of the non-Jews refusing to enter into discussion about surrendering territory. This occurred even though the only condition requested of them was to orally agree to make peace (and everyone knows that such oral concessions will have absolutely no bearing on their future behavior). This refusal is nothing but a clear miracle from Heaven, which totally transcends the usual workings of nature.
However, our sages have said that one is not to rely on a miracle (although I wish the miracle would continue ...). I am therefore not able to fulfill your request which you wrote to me. It is not the non-Jews I fear, for they have no free will, but rather the Jews, who do have free will, who are misled. It makes no difference if the delusion is unintentional, or forced upon them, for this does not change the practical outcome. There are even those Jews who have wrapped the deluded notion in the garment of a mitzvah (you understand my meaning).
As I mentioned, there is room to expand on this subject in many ways, but I do not in any way wish to weaken you (and those with you in the territories), in your views and endeavors. Everything I have written here is only for the purpose of “being blameless before G-d and people of Israel” — in answer to the content of your letter.
Out of Respect and with Blessing ...
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/
November 20, 1970
Concerning your letter dealing with my words regarding Jerusalem, which were challenged, saying that there is no basis for what I said ... I only wish it were true. But to my sorrow, the present situation clearly refutes the contention that there is no basis for my words. What aggravates this impression is that they (the Israeli Government) are numbing public opinion — with the usual slogans. I warned about this also, and they know that the only thing which is holding them (the Israeli leaders) back now is lack of convincing propaganda, which will satisfy the Jewish masses. Now with regard to the politicians, they have already toyed with many different phraseologies, among them one which I mentioned (they want to turn The City of the Great King into “The City of Three Kings”).
There is presently “no King over the Jewish people, and each man does according to what is right in his eyes,” since we are, after all, living in a democratic society. [They will then decide the issue of Jerusalem] as “three partners,” in order of quantity, of course, which is the deciding factor in a democracy; first come the Christians, then the Muslims, and only then ... (Yesterday, the most important newspaper here, the New York Times, printed the latest approach, which was taken from the words of the Foreign Minister in the name of the Government: “It is the desire of the Israeli Government to retain “political control” over Jerusalem, and not to compromise on places upon which Israel’s security depend, like the Golan Heights and certain other points on the West Bank of the Jordan.” This is sufficient evidence for whoever understands.)
May it be G-d’s Will that in approaching the month of redemption, the month of Kislev, we should be saved — even before the coming of Moshiach — from the modern-day Hellenists. Through the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus, which is the central theme of the holiday of redemption Yud-Tes Kislev, each individual will light flames using pure oil, which has not been tampered with by the hand of a stranger, or even lit by one, illuminating both the house and the outside world simultaneously, in an increasing and illuminating manner.
Respectfully, with blessings for true health
and good news in all mentioned here
and with blessings of Mazal Tov
on the birth of your grandchild,
may he live and be well,
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/
22 Cheshvan, 5738 (1977)
... Perhaps you are already aware of what I spoke about on Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha regarding the absolute need to populate the entire territories, all at once. At the very least, Israel should settle those areas upon which there is dispute. In my opinion it is clear that the only way that the enemies of Israel will finally give up their evil designs will be when they see that Israel means this seriously. As I have stated many times, even those who are afraid of the nations’ objections, have seen in the past — and continue to see — the complaints remain just as strong no matter if Israel settles one place, or the entire border.
To my great consternation, it would seem that Israel is not even considering this minimal plan which I have mentioned. They have decided to behave in the same fashion as they always have in the past, whenever there has been a victory — and each victory has transcended the bounds of nature. This is true regarding the period after the Yom Kippur War, the Six Day War, the Sinai Campaign, etc. Each time, they decided to do “half a job” — or more properly, they consented to accept only half of what was being given to them as a gift from Above — namely, victory — and they did not act decisively, with the greatest forcefulness — to finish the issue once and for all. Clearly, this itself only invites pressure. As if this was not enough, they sent a delegation of representatives to inform the nations that they would not take full advantage of the victory, but rather, would give up an important part of that which they had already attained. Everyone sees the outcome: not only did they not achieve peace, but they brought about the opposite — terrorism, harassment, and eventually war, may G-d save us. As I mentioned, they have repeated this strategy more than three times.
I am not aware whether your orientation is what they call “hawkish” or “dovish.” But regarding this, after everyone has seen the results of such behavior after all the past wars; today’s pressure and threats seem to be the outcome. In my opinion, there is no difference between a hawk or a dove. The issue is only whether a decision will be made to continue in the same way they have until now, for whatever various strange reasons. Then they will continue to delude themselves and their followers with empty hopes — that even though nothing has changed, but still, maybe this time the outcome will be the opposite. The only alternative is to at least try a different method — the one which most appeals to sound judgment, and the one which all past experience proves is worthwhile trying.
If this is also your opinion, then surely you — who live in the Holy Land and are aware of the situation up close — will make the loudest commotion, since many, many circles follow you and will perhaps listen to you. Even though it would have been preferable to build these settlements immediately, along with the first one which was established, nevertheless, it is better to do it now, late, than to continue taking two steps back, and then one step forward. I deliberately changed the order, because unfortunately the politicians are even afraid of the method of taking one step forward, and then two steps back.
May it be G-d’s Will that there should finally be the fulfillment of the verse “and the earth will be filled with knowledge of G-d, as the water covers the ocean bed,” and the immediate result will be the evaporation of all the fear of “what will the nations say,” or concern whether they will favor this or that policy — until the Jewish fear of “the sound of a driven leaf,” (lest the leaf was moved by wind from the nostrils of a non-Jew) is dispelled. G-d will help His nation to walk upright, with the proper forcefulness.
- (Back to text) The Rebbe later explains to Shazar the significance of the naming of the country “The Land of Israel” rather than the “State of Israel.” The latter acknowledges that it was created by the UN, while the former affirms Divine entitlement.
- (Back to text) I.e. to the office of President of the State of Israel.
- (Back to text) Immediately after the recapture of Jerusalem, the Labor Government engaged in talks to surrender the territories just captured. This included Moshe Dayan’s astonishing decision to give control of the Temple Mount to the Arab Wakf. It is this lack of self-respect that the Rebbe continually alludes to as being the source of further Arab claims and pressure. (Recall Arafat’s well-known analogy of the Israeli attitude to the ownership of the Land, where he likens the supposed mother of a child who came to King Solomon with another woman, arguing over the child. She agreed with King Solomon’s suggestion to share the child, over whom they were arguing, by cutting the child in half. When she agreed, King Solomon knew she was not the real mother. Arafat concluded by saying that obviously the land belongs to us, because unlike the Jews, we are not willing to split it with others. Here Arafat is again clearly signalling his true intentions, that his present aims are the aims of the still-not-repealed Palestinian Government!)
- (Back to text) Ezekiel, 20:32.
- (Back to text) Bamidbar 34:12.
- (Back to text) A further tragic case of politicians making decisions in security matters. The Rebbe has stated clearly on numerous occasions that only non-politically motivated military officials are permitted to determine military moves.
- (Back to text) In 1968, Soviet tanks rolled into Prague. This invasion was in response to reforms introduced by the Czech government, and was followed by the installation of a hard-line Communist government.
- (Back to text) Tractate Yoma, 77a; i.e., so as not to add life force to the curses.
- (Back to text) The four Holy Cities are: Yerushalayim, Hebron, Tzfas, and Teveria.
- (Back to text) Cf. Bamidbar 11:23.
- (Back to text) Tractate Pesachim 64a.
- (Back to text) Quoting Tehillim 48:3, which refers to G-d as the “Great King,” and Jerusalem as His City. The above letter was in response to the contention that Israeli politicians had no intention whatsoever to negotiating the surrender of parts or all of Jerusalem.
- (Back to text) Shoftim 21:25.
- (Back to text) 19 Kislev was the day that the first Lubavitcher Rebbe was released by the Czar, after being accused of treason. His release lead to the disseminating of the Chassidic Wellsprings throughout the world, in order to herald the Messianic era. Thus Kislev is referred to by Chassidim as the “Month of Redemption.”
- (Back to text) Hellenists were Jews who, prior to the Maccabean revolt, adopted the Greek culture as their spiritual yardstick.
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:9.