Rabbi Akiva Yosef Schlesinger (1838-1922)

Rabbi Akiva Yosef Schlesinger was a disciple of the Kesav Sofer and served as Rabbi of Pressburg.

He writes that if those whom we call “sinners” work so hard and give so much for Zion, then how much more should we be expecgted of the tikun chatzos sayers? Perhaps the Zionists have great merit, since they are after all, like “ a tinok shenishba (an infant captured by gentiles)” [1]

One cannot deny what one’s eyes see. Praise G-d, the words of Shmuel, which the Rambamcodified into law have come to fruition only here in Eretz Yisrael. Namely, “There is no difference between this world and the days of Mashiach other than Israel’s subjugation to the kindoms.” Praise G-d the glorious government here does not opress Jews at all, nor does it prevent them from serving Hashem. Praise G-d, everyone can do as he pleases, to “gaurd the path of Hashem” in the best possible way. Without a doubt , this is the beginning of redemption, with the help of Hashem. (Kollel HaIvrim pg. 19)[2]

[1] Zion Today - A Torah Perspective by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz pg 95. Translated from the hebrew version titled Tzion Beis Chayeinu by R. Steinberg 1986

[2]Bergman, R Yaakov Moshe: A Question of Redemption; 2004, p.130 translated by R. Moshe Lichtman HaMedinah HaYehudit