Letters Secular Power Hofesh in English

What Haredi Papers Say about Zionism and the State of Israel

On the Establishment of the State of Israel

"The aspiration all the Jews was taken over by force, fraud, and deceit by a secular minority which exploited political situations and global events to turn itself into a majority. The Land of Israel--where wholesome, God-fearing Jews were living for 2,000 years, where Jews gave their soul for settling the land, the holy land that was built by the essence of the blood of observant Jews who came to redeem its soil and to build it--was conveyed to the hands of a licentious leadership that would take any measure to strip it of its holiness."
(by Yitzhak Rot, Yated Ne'eman, August 14, 1998, Supplement, p. 15)


On Secularism, Lie of Zionism, National Anthem and a Free People

"They (the secular) have resigned themselves to the fact that they will be cut off from eternal life, and they are rolling in the gluttony of the present: 'Here is joy and mirth, killing cattle and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine, eat and drink for tomorrow we shall die.' From the very start, they have been building for themselves such a mold (Zionism) in which the lie covers the past and deception shall build the future, for example, 'the hope of 2,000 years,' as the Zionist anthem says. As if for 2,000 years the hope of the persecuted Jews had been for 'a secular, democratic, humanistic, sane, enlightened State' as proclaimed by the elitists...After that, what is left is only 'to be a free people,' and this is the truth, this is the intention of Zionism, for this is what they wanted and what they did...They talk about a State, but the truth is that they want it only for the purpose of changing the character of the people, that is 'a free people'...Zionism is an enormous, false vaccuum with which they have been leading an entire people for such a long period...."
(by Israel Spiegel, Deputy Minister of Housing, Yated Ne'eman, June 5, 1998, Supplement, p. 3.)


On a Social Contract for Israel, Negotiating with the Secular Majority, Zionism, and Crimes

"In order to bridge the unbridgeable gap between religious and secular, the idea of a social covenant was raised...Public figures from all the facets of society would meet for a 'brotherhood convention'...Haredi spiritual and public leaders were also invited to the convention. It is not clear why. If it concerns 'a discussion on the values of the common Jewish identity,' what have we to contribute? There is no common Jewish identity. There is one Jewish identity! It's forbidden to cook kosher meat in the milk of the Gentiles' laws. What fits the mold of true Judaism is Judaism. Any appendix has been rejected, be it Israeli, be it Caananite. Judaism is Judaism and it is not open for discussion.

"Those who observe the Torah and the mitzvoth will never be able to participate in creating a new common denominator. They do not have the mandate for that. What exactly do the secular want us to give up? If the Torah obligates us to live a haredi way of life, can we go toward the secular? Are we the owners of the Torah? Is the Torah in our hands, God forbid, to be molded like clay in the potter's hand?

"What we can do is to put the Torah, as one whole, in front of their eyes. If they wish, they can avail themselves. If they don't wish, we have nothing to give them in return. The flowerbeds of the Israeli people have almost become plowed over, a scorched spiritual soil. In the early days of the State, it was done with the clinking of scissors and by force. Now, after the conquest, they are ready for a covenant. We will not allow such a covenant, for what is Zionism today? There is no such animal in Israel today. To argue today about the crimes of Zionism is like a vacuous argument in a nursing home about the benefits of Napoleon."
(by Israel Freedman, Yated Ne'eman, September 11, 1998, Supplement, p. 2)


On the Punishment Due the Religious Who Serve in the Army

"It begins with the evening papers which enter the home. It also begins with watching the evening news on television, and what comes before it, and after it...It is expressed in the clothes, hair styles, and manner of speech...One pays heavily by wearing the uniform and being swallowed by the heart of Israeli society--the army. One pays by singing with the rest of the troops, in a sore throat, the song My Golani, when something inside one's soul cracks and becomes 'Golani.' One pays painfully and in cash: in injuries, emergency rooms, disability, rehabilitation, what was and what will never be. One pays a price that cannot be higher: in bereavement, annihilation, funerals, commemoration, the memory that never leaves...We have it from the great sages that whoever advances to positions of leadership will be met with the claim of payment."
(by R. Yudelevich, Yated Ne'eman, July 17, 1998, Supplement, p. 4.)

[translators note - I use the term haredi instead of ultra-Orthodox, because I believe these people, be they Shas or Degel HaTorah, Ashkenazi or Sepharadi, are not the incarnation of Polish or Iraqi Jewry they pretend to be.]


Letters Secular Power Hofesh in English