Daas Yachid - The Satmar Rebbe and the Three Oaths

The Satmar Rebbe's position that mass aliyah to the Land of Israel and the establishment of the State of Israel are transgressions because they violate the infamous Three Oaths is an isolated opinion, i.e. a Da’as Yachid. It is clearly not Halacha.

None of the great Halachic authorities of the 19th and 20th centuries shared this opinion. Neither the Gra (Vilna Gaon), Chafetz Chaim, Chazon Ish, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, or Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach felt that the Three Oaths were still in effect today. None of them held in any way that mass Aliyah and establishing a national homeland in the Land of Israel was a sin.

In addition, the Rambam does not mention any issur of violating the oaths anywhere in the Yad Chazkah. It doesnt appear in any codes of law. Its not mentioned in the Rosh, Rif, the Tur Shulchan Aruch, or in the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Yosef Kairo.

Already in In 1890, as recounted by his son, the Chafetz Chaim (R. Yisrael Meir Kagan), who was the foremost halachik authority of modern times and one of the most important Orthodox figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, felt that after hundreds and thousands of Jews were making aliyah and establishing settlements throughout the land of Israel, that it was “very probably the beginning of the in-gathering of the exiles (which precedes the coming of the Mashiach) and was therefore proper to buy land and make Aliyah.”

In addition, Rabbi Zev Leff of Moshav Matisyahu discusses this very topic in response to a question he received on his online Q&A section of his website. A submitter asked the following:

"...According to the Satmar Rav Z”tzl whose sefer VaYoel Moshe I have looked at this day may be quite negative. He also writes that the sefer is meant to clarify Halacha. His case there is well backed up with sources cited from Talmud, midrash commentary etc. Is there a counter argument as halachically sound as his?"

Part of R. Leff's response is as follows:
"...the Satma Rav who has his way at looking at the entire question of the State of Israel in general, also my Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Boruch Zorotzkin zt'l, said very clearly that the Satmar Rav's opinion is a das yachid, its a minority opinion. The opinion of most gedolim is that the State of Israel is not a representation of the ideology of Zionism. It is a pareve thing and therefore one should be involved in guiding that state to be the way that it should be...."
http://www.rabbileff.net/shiurim/answers/0250-0499/0436.wma

In addition, Rabbi Yaakov Kamanetsky himself stated the following:

"It is incumbent on us to understand that the establishment of the state of Israel in our day, after the the great destruction and despair that overtook the remnant, and given the desperate and destroyed status of Russian Jewry, God caused the establishment of the state of Israel in order to strengthen the connection to Judaism and to sustain the link between the Jews in exile and the Jewish nation." Emes Le-Ya'akov Al Ha-Torah (Exodus 12:2 n. 17)

4 comments:

Moish said...

Great article! This is something you definitely dont think about. They gedollim might have shared the Satmar Rebbes position against zionism all the dangers and so on but that doesnt mean they agreed with him about the medinah being assur and against the ratzon Hashem.

Tezbez said...

Agreed. I dont think I ever heard any Godol come out and say that the Medinah was against ratzon Hashem. If Hashem was against the JEws having a state then believe me there wouldnt be a state. People are so quick to say that everything comes from shamayim but when it comes to Medinas Yisroel all of a sudden they are quiet. I am not saying I am pro the State especially taht its being run by secular Jews but one needs to wake up and admit that much of this comes from Hashem.

Eli said...

Very important article. I dont think you will read this around the yeshiva velt. I find especially interesting the quote from R. Yaakov. How come I nver heard this growing up??

anon said...

I love Rabbi Leff. His question answer section on his site is great. His lectures are amazing too.