By: Commentator Staff  | 

Dr. Soloveitchik Asks Palestine Aid; School of Education to Open In Fall (Vol. 13, Issue 6)

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik keynoted the Yeshiva University Students Drive for New Palestine Settlements. The assembly launching a drive to raise $15,000 was held in the Harry Fischel Synagogue on January 6th.

“The number of religious colonists will decide the future of Palestine rather than any political triumphs,” the speaker declared. “The extent of the heaven over our heads will correspond with the land under our feet.”

He commented on the sad fact that when the partition proposal was passed, “no Zionist party saw in the action the workings of the Divine Providence — with the exception of the Mizrachi, of course.”

Mass Hysteria 

“Although students of Torah should actively concern themselves with current problems, they should avoid succumbing to the mass hysteria which is so prevalent these days. Students of the Yeshiva should learn to see all issues through the eyes of Torah. They should endeavor to make their wishes coincide with those of the Holy One.”

The speaker ridiculed as false the theory that the establishment of a Jewish state is contrary to Jewish law. “The first Temple was under the control of idolators, most of the time. The Saducees were in power at the time of the Second Temple, even though the prophets and the sages fought bitterly against these foes of Judaism, still they did not desert the state. Jeremiah composed lamentations and Rabbi Jochanan Ben-Zaccai instituted a fast on the Ninth of Ab to commemorate the fall of the two Temples.”

Orthodoxy’s Role 

“Orthodoxy may not have a big share in the new state yet Torah will be fruitful in Palestine. Religious Jews will be able to live better in a Palestine ruled by Hashomer Hatzair than in an American Jewish ghetto like Willamsburg.”

“The United States contains the only surviving reservoir of Jewish manpower. Sunday schools cannot be expected to furnish pioneers. Yeshiva students must form the backbone of a religious Pioneering movement.”