Rabbi Tzadok Hakohen

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The following is a letter written by the famous Rabbi Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin, Poland, before World War II:

Concerning the Zionists can be applied the verse: He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who beholds clouds will not reap.

The Zionists sow wheat and reap thorns, and EVEN SHOULD THE WORK OF SATAN PROSPER, eventually there could be a horrible end, G-d forbid.

The Jewish People appear to be in this hour like a ship sailing in the heart of the sea without oars in a tempest. The helmsmen have been struck by blindness.

Do we not know that the whole purpose of the eventual Redemption is to improve ours ways and observe the Torah with all the protections our sages ordained for us? WHAT HOPE IS THERE FOR US IF THOSE WHO BLASPHEME THE TORAH SHOULD, HEAVEN FORBID, BECOME MEN OF POWER AND INFLUENCE?


Tzadok Hakohen

The holy Gaon, Rabbi Tsudik ))Ha-Cohen(( of Lublin, zt”l usually known as Cohen of Lublin, shows himself to have been no less powerfully moved in another letter written at that time:

to view original letter in Hebrew

English Translation:

“In Rama was there a voice heard, a voice of lamentation from the imperial city of Vienna in a matter relating to the generality of Israel, owing to the sect which has arisen recently, under the name of Zionists, who drag iniquity by cords of Vanity and lift up their souls to folly in their hope that in the course of time, the sons of Israel will be subdued under their government and subordinated to transgressors. For this my heart grieves exceedingly.

For our many sins, the saying ‘The face of the generation is as the face of a dog’ has been fulfilled among us. We see the power of their desire to force the whole world to the side of sin—Heaven forbid. Yet even if in our age the mob will not thank us, for uttering words of truth and reproof, nevertheless I will fulfill the commandment ‘Thou shalt surely reprove’ and I am uniting in protesting against the Zionists.

For surely this is not a time to hold one’s peace. Heaven forbid that one should show respect for persons in this matter. The general danger brought about by those who are destructive and who dispute the Shechinah, is too great for that.

Concerning them the verse says: “He who observes the wind will not sow and he who beholdeth the clouds will not reap.” The Zionists sow wheat and reap thorns and even thought the work of Satan should prosper, the end will be—Heaven forbid—what it will be. Klal Yisroel, the Holy and Desolate, appears in this hour like a ship sailing in the heart of the sea, without oars in a tempest. The helmsmen have been struck with blindness.

We surely know that if we were believers and trusters in the salvation of the Lord and observers of the command of our G-d, we would even today be dwelling in our Holy Land, for it is known that the land of Israel through her nature and the power of her holiness was created for Israel alone.

It is said in the Midrash that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the land of Israel only for Israel; but this is also known that the power of the holiness of the land rejects transgressors in the same way that the stomach vomits forth that which is incompatible with its nature. This is not subject to dispute. Yet now there have arisen fools and pursuers of deeds born of bitter poison. They proclaim that the life of Israel is in jeopardy and that they, the Zionists, will hasten salvation by founding a state.

They ask why are we for so long in exile. But this question has already been asked of the sages and the prophets. The Holy One, blessed by He, has explained it: “Why did the land perish? Because they abandoned My law which I put before them.” It has already been made clear that the Zionists reject all the commandments and cleave to all the abominations.

Do we not know that the whole purpose of the Redemption is to improve our ways so that Israel may observe the Torah with all the limits and fences that our teachers ordained. What hope is there for us if those who blaspheme the Torah should—Heaven forbid—be men of power and influence among us. The prophets foresaw for us that in the future Redemption we should not need an assembly of camps and the ranks of war and from this we can see that such a thing is opposed to the spirit of Judaism and the hope of Redemption.

I have heard it said in the name of the Zionists that without a state on the model of other states there would be an end to ))Judaism—Heaven(( forbid. To them we would reply that the land of Israel and Israel are above the rules of causality and that, thanks to the Lord, in our day, at any rate generally throughout Israel, Jews remain steadfast in their faith.

But the conclusion to be drawn from it is that if the Zionists gain dominion, they will seek to remove from the hearts of Israel belief in God and in the truth of the Torah. All the intention of these inciters and seducers is, to cast Israel into the infidelity which is destruction. Moreover, seeing that the Zionists and those among them who had at one time claims to sanctity, say that massacres—Heaven forbid—will follow unless their advice is taken, let us emphasize that we have the Divine promise that even though Israel is in exile, nevertheless the memory of Israel will never cease.

Jerusalem is the height of heights to which the hearts of Israel are directed. Our souls too pant and yearn to breathe her pure and holy air. In Heaven are my witnesses that I would hasten to go there like an arrow from a bow, without fear of the perils of the roads, or of the misery and poverty in the country, but I do fear lest my departure and my ascent to Jerusalem might appear as a gesture of approval of Zionist activity.

I hope unto the Lord, my soul hopes for His word that the day of Redemption will come. I hope and stand in expectation of the feet of His anointed. Should three hundred scourges of iron afflict me, I will not budge from my place, now to go up there, and to be attached to the name of the Zionists.

For me the matter is perfectly plain. The “Haskala”and the reformers who imperil the existence of our people, have been shown that through blatant unbelief they will not succeed in driving Israel from its faith and from its religion. Therefore they have thrown off their garment and put on a cloak of zeal, so that they appear to be zealous on behalf of Judaism but they are in fact digging a mine beneath our faith, and seeking to smuggle Israel from beneath the wings of the Shechinah.

From all that has been said there emerges the fact that the Zionists and their rabbis are in error when they decisively assert that were it not for the Zionists, many of our brethren would have changed their faith. They lie to themselves. Because the heretics and the transgressors within the camp of Israel do more damage to us than those who have left the community.

Can heretics be regarded as Gedoilim? May there not be many like them in Israel! As for us, we need the reocity of holiness and the spirit of self-sacrifice. The counsel to be given to the House of Israel is that they should separate from them and hold themselves apart from this advancing plague, and through the merit of this separation, may we enjoy all the salvations and the comforts and may the Holy One, blessed be He, comfort Zion and build Jerusalem.”

SOURCE: "The Transformation" The Voice of Torah, pp 193-196