The Meaning of Tisha B’av / Submitted by TTJ on Wed, 07/26/2017 - 21:42


The foundation of the state of Israel damage the Jews world-wide. / Chief Rabbi M. A. Friedmann, Vienna

Israel makes a ploy of the holocaust and antisemitism. / Prof. Moshe Zuckermann, KURIER daily newspaper, 2010-10-21

Lamentation over Zion

(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

(The Meaning of Tisha B’av / THORA JEWS, Submitted by TTJ on Wed, 07/26/2017 – 21:42)

Our mission is to inform the world that the State of Israel does NOT represent Jews or Judaism.

This week, Jews of all stripes around the world will observe TIsha B’av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, a day of fasting and mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. But what are they mourning?

Let us stress that this mourning is not merely a custom or a matter of extra piety. The Gemara says, "Whoever mourns over Jerusalem will merit to see its happiness when rebuilt, and whoever does not mourn will not see its happiness" (Taanis 30b). Whoever understands what we are missing and patiently awaits its restoration will not be disappointed, but whoever thinks we are lacking nothing now – will get nothing.

Many today struggle to define the term Zionism. Some say it means secularism, but there are religious Zionists. Some say it means those who love Eretz Yisroel and make it their home, but there are hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews who are so opposed to Zionism that they refuse to serve in the army, yet love Eretz Yisroel, speak of it constantly in their prayers and often make it their home as well. So let’s drop this confusing term and instead talk about exile and redemption.

G-d decreed that the Jewish people should be in exile. We say in our prayers, "Because of our sins we were exiled from our land." Exile means not having Jewish sovereignty, as the Gemara says, "There is no difference between the current era and the messianic era except for our subjugation to the nations" (Shabbos 63a). A Jew living in Eretz Yisroel under Turkish or British rule was considered to be in exile, and by the same token a Jew living outside of Eretz Yisroel is not considered to be in exile if he relies on a Jewish state as a last resort in time of need.

Today there are those Jews who accept exile and those who don’t. Those who don’t might be religious, they might sit on the floor and mourn on Tisha B’av, but they don’t really understand what they are mourning about.

They think they are smarter than Hashem and don’t have to follow His plan. They think it was an accident that we went into exile, so another accident could bring us back. "Geopolitical conditions," they say, "have made it possible for Jews to resettle in their ancient homeland, Eretz Yisroel once again and fulfill the dream of centuries." They don’t realize that Hashem scattered us around the world for our own safety, as the Gemara says (Pesachim 87b). They don’t realize that the Torah speaks of the curses that will befall the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel, but not if they go into exile (Ramban on Devarim 28:42).

Some may protest, "Exile is not merely a matter of sovereignty. We are mourning the loss of our Beis Hamikdash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. We are mourning the spiritual greatness that the Jewish people once possessed, compared to today, when many Jews live under secular influence."

But those who build Eretz Yisroel on their own will not stop at sovereignty. They say that if we enact legislation to make the state more religious, then all will change. They want to build a theocracy without permission from G-d.

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, chief rabbi of Jerusalem in the 1920s and 30s, explained it well with the parable of a wise prince who became seriously ill. His father, the king, sent for the best doctors and brought them to his hospital bedside, and the king himself stood there together with him. Could one imagine that such a wise boy would ask his father and his doctors to free him from the hospital and send him home while still sick? And even if he did make such a foolish request, they would not grant it, despite their mercy and love for him. Leaving while not completely recovered would put his life in danger. Rabbi Sonnenfeld continued:

We, the Jewish people, are in exile because of our sins. The exile is the Jewish people’s hospital. It is unthinkable that we should take for ourselves power in our land before our healing process is complete. Hashem protects us and shields us while doling out to us our medicine in exact amounts. We are certain that when the time comes and our healing from our sins is complete, Hashem will not delay even one second, and He Himself will redeem us. Not so if we would hurry to leave the hospital – then a mortal danger, a perpetual danger would hover over us, G-d forbid. And even when we pray for our redemption, we ask only that our healing process be complete quickly – not that we should return to the King’s palace while still sick, G-d forbid. (Mara D’ara Yisroel v. 1 p. 145)

Yes, we are mourning for our spiritual losses, but our spiritual healing is dependent on the physical exile. To mourn over the illness while attempting to escape from the hospital early is to deny this principle.

Now let’s talk about the name Zion, which this anti-exile movement has adopted for itself. Someone once asked the Brisker Rav, "Where is it written in the Gemara or Shulchan Aruch that the idea of Zionism is wrong?" "Gemara? Shulchan Aruch?" he replied. "Bring me a siddur (prayer book) and I will show you where it is written." He showed the person the words of Shmoneh Esrei, "And may our eyes see when You return to Zion… " (Uvdos Vehanhagos Leveis Brisk v. 4, p. 195)

Every Jew in every past century, reciting the prayers three times a day, knew well that it was Hashem who would return His presence to Zion. Along came Zionism, took this holy name and turned the whole concept on its head. It will not be Hashem, it will not be moshiach, it will be we ourselves who bring the redemption. "If I will not help myself, who will help me?" was their slogan.

On Tisha B’av, Jews in the synagogue recite eight kinos (lamentations) that begin with the word Zion. The most famous of them begins, "Zion, will you not seek out the welfare of your captives?" It was written by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in the 12th century. "Ah," they say, "Rabbi Yehuda Halevi was a Zionist! See, he wrote beautiful poems of longing for Zion, and even made aliyah himself at the end of his life." But the following passage from his famous work, the Kuzari, shows us what he truly believed.

The Kuzari describes a dialogue between the king of the Khazars and a rabbi. The rabbi states that the Jewish people is closer to G-d today, in their humble state of exile, than if they were a mighty nation. The king asks: "That might have been so if your humility were voluntary; but it is involuntary, and if you only had the power you would kill." The rabbi replies:

You have touched our weak spot, O King of the Khazars. If the majority of us had accepted our humble status for the sake of G-d and His Torah, G-d would not have forced us to bear it for such a long period. But only the smallest portion of our people thinks thus… If we bore our exile and degradation for G-d's sake, as we should, we would be outstanding even by the standards of the generation of the messianic era, for which we hope, and we would accelerate the day of our long-awaited deliverance. (Kuzari Maamar 1, 113-115)

Rabbi Yehuda Halevi considered it a great merit to accept exile for G-d's sake; his longing was not to break out of exile by force, only to experience the long-awaited redemption and, in the meantime, to see the beloved Holy Land in its state of desolation. The Zionists, on the other hand, unfortunately confirm the accusation of the king of the Khazars that "if you only had the power, you would kill."

The Zion we long for is a spiritual place, a place where all the ancient commandments will be restored, the Jewish people will serve Hashem and be a light to the nations – not a place where Jews will live by the sword, every day clashing with enemies and provoking the condemnation of the world.

For centuries, the remnant of the Temple, the Western Wall, known to Jews as the Kosel, has symbolized our mourning for what we have lost. Ironically, the Zionists have used both Tisha B’av and the Kosel as nationalist symbols. In the 1920s, Jabotinsky’s militant Beitar youth group started an annual custom to march to the Kosel on Tisha B’av night. In 1929, despite warnings from the British authorities of the tension growing between Zionists and Arabs over the holy site, several hundred youths of the Beitar group marched to the Wall, holding half-mast flags. When the march reached the Wall the youths grew silent and swore: "Hear O Israel, the Wall is our Wall, the Wall is one!" (Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! Deut 6,4) Then they marched around the Old City walls. Returning to the city, they went up to the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, met with Rav Kook and told him about the march and the oath they had taken to defend the Wall till their last drop of blood. Rav Kook strongly approved of what they had done. (Malachim Kivnei Adam, p. 184)

The rest is history: in the riots that broke out in reaction to the Zionist claim to the Wall, the Arabs killed 133 Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron.

Today as well, the Kosel symbolizes Zionist sovereignty over the most holy of sites. And now, those Orthodox Jews who think that "the Wall is our Wall" are locked in struggle with Reform groups who wish to hold egalitarian prayer services at the Kosel.

But the Kosel is not ours to decide who should pray there. In the olden days the Kosel was not used for public prayer services of any kind. It was a holy place where Jews came to pray privately. It was the Zionists – who are not known for praying at all - who sought to turn it into a public synagogue during the 1920’s.

In 1928, when the Zionist Vaad Leumi (National Council) came to Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, who had lived in the Holy Land for some 60 years, to get support for their contention that the Wall had always had the status of a synagogue, Rabbi Sonnenfeld replied as follows: "October 14, 1928...As regards the question: Was it the practice to bring an ark and Torah scrolls to the Wailing Wall? - I know that never has there been such a practice; and likewise today, I am totally dissatisfied with the practice."

The last and most famous lamentation of all, Eli Tzion, also focuses on the word Zion: "Mourn, Zion, and her cities, like a woman in labor, and like a virgin dressed in sackcloth mourning the husband of her youth." Note the choice of the comparison "like a woman in labor": pain that leads to joy, to the birth of a child. The poet’s intent is clear: those who understand exile, who do not attempt to escape G-d’s decree, will be those who will one day witness the true rebirth of the Jewish people in the Holy Land, when moshiach comes.


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I have deliberately reproduced the above article in its entirety, because this topic above all – that of the strictly believing Antizionist Jews in our western non-Jewish world – is much too little known and too little publicized.

Fundamentally I welcome this Jewish critique of Zionism, and have indeed myself, here on my own website, adduced quantities of arguments showing for what reasons Zionism is also wrong from the Christian point of view, and should therefore be rejected. The deep insights of the above author testify to an intensive study of the holy scriptures of Judaism over many years – especially including the prophets (the Books of Prophesy), in which we find indications of the fate of the people of Israel, as for instance in the following parable from the prophet Isaiah.

(Isa 5:1-7)

Let me sing now for my well-beloved a song of my beloved concerning His vineyard.
My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
He dug it all around, removed its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine.
And He built a tower in the middle of it and also hewed out a wine vat in it;
Then He expected it to produce good grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.


And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge between Me and My vineyard.
What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:


I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;
I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.
I will lay it waste;
It will not be pruned or hoed,
But briars and thorns will come up.
I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.


For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel
And the men of Judah His delightful plant.
Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.

(See also discourse 1112: “Lamentation over Zion”)

This is just one of many prophesies which announced to Israel long ago that things were going to turn out badly.

(See also discourse 1015: "Shema Yisrael ‒ Hear, O ISRAEL: the judgment of God on his people.")

As the author says so pertinently in the above article, with reference to the Israel of today: "They want to build a theocracy without permission from G‒d."
And that is just the way it is:

 • They returned to the land of Israel without God’s permission.

 • They founded a worldly state without permission from God.

 • Without God’s permission they have passed new, worldly laws.

 • They rule this state on a basis of murder, homicide, crime, corruption and blasphemy.

In a nutshell – with this godless state of Israel, the Zionist Jews have again made for themselves a "golden calf" and are dancing around it.

The above article unfortunately does not refer to the Torah – the Bible of the Old Testament – one single time. But the Jewish scriptures of the Talmud (consisting of the Mischna and the Gemara) are of course based on the Torah, as the following quote from our author reveals:

Someone once asked the Brisker Rav, "Where is it written in the Gemara or Shulchan Aruch that the idea of Zionism is wrong?" "Gemara? Shulchan Aruch?" he replied. "Bring me a siddur (prayer book) and I will show you where it is written." He showed the person the words of Shmoneh Esrei, "And may our eyes see when You return to Zion… " (Uvdos Vehanhagos Leveis Brisk v. 4, p. 195)

Indeed, that is a wise answer: "When You (the Messiah) return to Zion… " Thus he told this Zionist that Zionism without the Messiah is wrong.

Following a statement by Chief Rabbi Moishe Arye Friedmann from Vienna,

(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

(Statement by Moishe Arye Friedmann, Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish congregation, Vienna 13. 7. 2002)

"With the Holocaust as a justification, the state of Israel was founded by the use of force, which contradicts the will of God (Hos 1:7). As Jews true to our faith we accept the fate of the Diaspora which God has laid upon us. But the founding of the state of Israel has not just damaged the Jews on this religious plane; the means and the methods used by Israel to secure its existence against the Palestinians damage all Jews world-wide, and encourage the rebirth of anti-Semitism. For Jews true to their faith it is clear, however, that the Diaspora is the fate laid upon us by God until the coming of the Messiah."


Austria Presse Agentur ‒ APA [Austrian Press Agency] 13. 7. 2002

The above author, Viennese Chief Rabbi Moishe Arye Friedmann, also made the following statements in his opening speech at the 2004 International Rabbinical Conference in Vienna:

"At this very time, on the occasion of the Theodor Herzl centenary, we have to address certain fundamental points which concern the essential basis of the Jewish religion. The national celebrations here in Austria and in other countries do tend to give the impression that Zionism can be equated with Judaism, or at least can be seen as a legitimate political movement of Judaism. In fact the opposite is the case!"

"As Jews true to our religion, we can never accept the doctrine of Dr. Theodor Herzl. As Jews true to our religion, we are completely opposed to Zionism and reject it. As Jews true to our religion, we see Zionism as a betrayal of God and of the Jewish religion."

“(...) For those Jews who remain true to their faith, however, it is clear that the Diaspora is the destiny that God has laid upon us until the coming of the Messiah. A Jewish state established on the basis of power and military might therefore contradicts the will of God (Hos 1:7). Consequently we pray for its downfall, without however any innocent blood being spilt. Machtpolitik is forbidden to us Jews: our path can only being one that remains consistently spiritual.”

(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

"Israel makes a ploy of the holocaust and antisemitism. / Prof. Moshe Zuckermann - KURIER daily newspaper, 2010-10-21

He was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, as the son of Polish holocaust victim, and he has criticized Israel sharply on repeated occasions. The key thesis of Moshe Zuckermann, a professor of history and philosophy who has just brought out a new and complex book (Antisemit ‒ published by Promediaverlag, 208 pp, EUR 15.90) is that many Jews and Israeli politicians “make a ploy of the holocaust and antisemitism in order to gag their critics.”

KURIER: Isn’t your thesis actually a bit extreme?

Moshe Zuckermann: Not at all. Look here, antisemitism does exist of course, and it should be opposed, wherever it shows its ugly visage. But what I mean is the accusation of antisemitism, which is used by the powerful to make political capital and with which they try to annihilate their critics. Anyone who criticizes Israel is not automatically anti-Semitic. This would be a complete loss of distinctions. It must be possible to call a spade a spade when it comes to Israel’s barbaric policy of injustice against the Palestinians.

You think this doesn’t happen enough outside the Arab world? 

Yes, above all in Germany, where it is taboo to criticize Israel, right up to the highest echelons of politics. The German left above all has developed a blind solidarity with Jewishness. But people like Michel Friedman or Henry M. Broder (both Zionistic Jews who take up the cudgels to defend Israel against its critics, FH) have absolutely no idea of Israeli realities. I am speaking in this connection of a kind of philo-Semitism, which is based on the same resentment and so is nothing other than antisemitism inverted. 

Do you not get applause for your thesis from quarters to which you would rather not be indebted?

Of course that has been the case for years, but the alternative would be to keep silent on what I think is right and important. But I won’t let myself be hijacked or gagged.  

How do you see the role of Israel in the Middle East conflict with the Palestinians? 

Even after 40 years of an occupying regime, Israel is still trying to make out that it is a victim. Finally it comes down to a quite simple question ‒ does Israel want to exist, and can it not understand that it is heading into a self made abyss. Accordingly there are just two possibilities. Israel gives back the occupied territories, with the risk of a civil war ensuing. Or it does not, and then there is the risk of a regional war which ‒ being conducted with new weapons ‒ would reduce half the Middle East to rubble and ashes. That would be the end of the state of Israel and of Zionism.

Moshe Zuckermann

(This interview conducted by Walter Friedl appeared in the Austrian daily KURIER, 21 October 2010.)


Zion, you joy and bride of God (Isa 62:5), what have you made of yourself? You have betrayed your husband (Hos 2:18-22), his Son – who was sent to bring you salvation – you had put to death (Mt 26:65-68) and so broke his covenant (Jer 31:31-33). Now God has dissolved the covenant with you and given you over to your sins. Your Temple is annihilated, the sacrificial altar is destroyed. In the place where you effected the forgiveness and the grace of your God every day (Ex 29:38-39), not one stone has remained on another (Mt 24:1-2). Since then your sons and daughters have all died in their sins (Jn 8:24) and go to damnation.
What have you made of yourself, daughter of Zion?

--- + ---

Your children have been called, but they do not answer. They do not want to acknowledge that they are abandoned (Mt 23:37) and God-less (1Jn 2:23; Jn 15:23). They do not want to convert and do penance, so that their God might have mercy on them and forgive them in his grace (Gal 5:4), when they cry out to the Son: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mt 23:38-39). Instead they have made themselves new commandments in accordance with their own wishes (Jer 8:7-8; 1Ki 9:6-8) and think that this puts them in a position to serve God (Isa 1:15). 
What have you made of yourself, daughter of Zion?

--- + ---

Who has ever heard anything like this: Israel, the people chosen by God, has rejected its God (Eze 5:5-8). They no longer listen to his words, but rely on their own strength and understanding. They did not want to wait for their God to restore them to their country from all over the world, but gathered together of their own accord. They have taken possession of the country with war and murder – the country which God wanted to entrust to them again without war, without the bow or the sword (Hos 1:7; Mic 2:12-13). So they have again made a golden calf for themselves and dance around it as in the old times on the mountain of Horeb. 
What have you made of yourself, daughter of Zion?

--- + ---

And there is worse to come. They did not receive the Son who came in the name of their God, his Father. They will then receive another, who comes in his own name (Jn 5:41-43). He will give them power and influence and lead them completely astray and away from their God. This seducer will rebuild the Temple and take his seat in it (2Thes 2:3-4). He will proclaim himself as God and they will pray to him as their Messiah (Rev 2:9; Mt 23:34; Persecution of Christians). 
This was already prophesied to them by Moses: 
Deut 31,29 “For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.” Deut 31,29

--- + ---

And so in the end you have to be dispersed again, and it will happen, as it is written:

Deut 28,62 "Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 28,63 "It shall come about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.

28,64 "Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. 28,65 "Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. 28,66 "So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. 28,67 "In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see.

28,68 "The LORD will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, ‘You will never see it again!’And there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer."  Deut 28,62-68  *)

Whatever have you made of yourself, daughter of Zion?

(See also discourse 101: "The ‘;Israel movement’in the Christian congregations" – Christian Evangelical Zionism

Summary: Political Zionism is – as well as political Islam – a movement that represents itself as a religious advocate in the world – there the Islamists, here the Zionists – and under this guise kills their political enemies - there the Syrian population, here the Palestinian population.