Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro
Chaim Elazar Shapiro - The Rabbi of Munkatch
הגה"ק רבינו חיים אלעזר שפירא זצ"ל אב"ד מונקאטש בשעת די פראגראמאן אין חברון און ירושלים, מען זאל מפרסם פאר די גוים, אז מ'איז מוותר אויף די באלפאר:
ובהיותי במארינבאד בעת השחיטה ל"ע לאחב"י בחברון ובירושלים נתתי אז אנטרא"ג ופלא"ן להשקיט השפ"ד על אתר ליסע אז באותו יום לפראג ולוויען לראשי צירי הממשלה האנגלית לפעול מיד בממשלתם בלונדון (ע"י הראדיא) הצלה מיד על אתר ובאופן שיחזרו אלו המפלגות מזכות הבעל פעור שלהם, (אשר הוא ממילא בלי תכלית רק להעלות חימה וקנאה בין הערביים וכיוצא צרות צרורות ר"ל) ולא רצו שום א' מהם ממנהיגי המפלגות הנ"ל שהי' שם (במארנבאד) אם כי הודו שהוא רעיון נשגב, (אין ענין ועת להאריך בפוליטיק כעת) והי' דרך להציל נפשות על אתר, ונתגלה קלונם גם אז ועד עתה כי רק לגרמייהו הוא דעבדי לכבודם וממונם ונצחונם רועי אליל מסיתי כל ישראל אוי לנו שכך עלתה בימינו וכו'.
Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro (1871-1936), of blessed memory, was the rabbi of the Munkatch chassidim in the city called Munkatchev, now located in south-western Ukraine.
He was an outstanding scholar and a commentator on all areas of Torah scholarship. He was known for his vociferous opposition to the Zionist heresy in all its forms, and was a major rabbinical authority paving the way for the succeeding generations of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews. In the period after World War I he worked tirelessly to stem the winds of Zionist heresy from blowing through the loyal Orthodox communities in Eastern Europe, and never refrained from confronting other rabbis who he thought were yielding to the pressures of Zionist influence in the Orthodox communities.
The great scholar, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, of blessed memory, the head of the rabbinical court of the city of Munkatch during the riots in the city of Hebron and Jerusalem in 1929, said that the non-Jews should be made aware that loyal Jews declined the offers contained in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
“While I was in the city of Marinbad during the violence that took place in Hebron and Jerusalem, I prepared a proposal to calm the situation, including that I should travel that very day to Prague and Vienna to visit the representatives of the British government to promote an opportunity to change the situation whereby the ultra-Orthodox parties who were sympathetic to the idea of the Declaration would retract their support of it in a radio broadcast (since in any case there was no positive purpose to the Balfour Declaration, but rather it served only to incite anger and hatred on the part of the Arabs). However, not a single leader of any of those political parties in Marinbad wanted to do so. They even attempted to suggest that the Balfour Declaration was an awesome concept (I do not want to go into details about these political issues) in order to save Jewish souls facing oppression. But the truth of the matter is that this was all merely posturing, and their true interest was in following along after their Zionist heretic masters for purposes of power, money and honor. Woes to us that such things have arisen in our generation.”
(From his Jewish legal responsa entitled Minchas Elazar, Part V, Section 36)
The Hebrew book Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) is a collection of correspondence and rabbinical rulings published by two members of the Orthodox Jewish community of the city of Munkatchevo, Ukraine in 1936. The collection represents the views of many important scholars and rabbis of Eastern Europe , especially the former Austro-Hungarian Empire against the various permutations of secular and religious Zionism in the period between the two World Wars. Among the many dozens of rabbis whose views are included in the book are Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar (1890-1979) and Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro of Munkatchevo (1870-1936), both whom were known as vociferous and uncompromising opponents of the Zionist heretical movement.