Advice and Consent (Vol. 25, Issue 4)
Rarely has an issue stirred up as much debate among the students as the recent Student Zionist Organization controversy. Many impassioned speeches were delivered at the last Student Council meeting over this very problem. The trouble with impassioned speeches is that each party ends up farther apart after debate than before. And so it happened. Some felt that the idea of joining a secular Zionist group intruded into the realm of Halacha. Others felt that despite its shortcomings, an S.Z.O. chapter on campus would encourage Zionist sentiments at Yeshiva College. This controversy split the students into two camps.
Acting on behalf of Student Council, the Executive Council brought the problem to Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, professor of Talmud at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Soloveitchik advocated the reestablishment of a religious Zionist organization and advised against an S.Z.O. chapter at Yeshiva.
The issue is now dead. We have heard the advice of a Gadol Ha’Dor and we must abide by it.
One excellent result of this controversy has been the reawakening of student interest in Zionist affiliation. Frankly, in recent years this has been a sore spot at Yeshiva. Several attempts have been made at organizing a religious Zionist club. None of them have been very successful.
One cannot say that desire for Zionist affiliation is lacking. Discussions of the past three weeks have shown otherwise.
There is no sense in wasting time with further discussion. Both camps must forget their differences, join hands and form an active three-dimensional Zionist organization — an organization which will unite the entire student body in a common desire to see the land of Israel prosperous and secure under the supreme law of the Torah in Israel.