Religion Magazine

After 70 Years of the Zionist State, I Am Happy to Tell You That Your Concerns Have Proven False

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Yehuda Meshi Zahav is an interesting fellow. His uncle was Rav Amram Bloi, famed head of the Neturei Karta and avowed anti-Zionist. Meshi Zahav grew up in that direction as well, living in Mea Shearim, protesting against everything Israel, being arrested numerous times for activities against the state and violence during the protests he arranged or participated in. At a later stage in his life Meshi Zahav did a complete turn around and is now a supporter of Israel. His sons have served and continue to serve in the IDF and he is openly proud of them. I would be remiss in not mentioning that he founded ZAKA, that does tremendously important work, though I think it is less relevant in this regard.
Yehuda Meshi Zahav has now written this letter to his uncle Rav Amram Bloi, entitled "After 70 years of the Zionist state, I am happy to tell you that your concerns have proven false". It is a brilliant letter and I am posting the original Hebrew below, and  hopefully my brief translation won't mangle it too much.
Meshi Zahav writes:
In my youth I was a small soldier in the system, when I joined in the protests that you headed - whether it was the protests every Shabbos against chilul shabbos, or during the week against any other breech. For me you were the leader, the unrelenting fighter, one who would not compromise on any of the principles of Judaism. I remember standing with you astonished each time anew at the blows you would receive from the police, or when you were repeatedly arrested. We grew up on the stories of your heroism, such as when you smashed your head through the window of the ticket booth of the Edison Theater while the police were hitting you with their nightsticks until you lost consciousness, in order to prevent chilul shabbos. 
On your knees I was raised and educated. From your mouth we heard again and again about the great danger hidden in the Zionist state, so much so that more than once you tried to cross the border and take protection under the government of Jordan. We heard about the decrees against religion of the Zionist government, whose entire goal was to take the nation of Israel away from its belief and religion. We heard your warnings about how within a few years there would be nothing left of Am Yisrael, We learned form you the importance of Isolation in regards to everything regarding the State: not to benefit from the State's monies and not to participate in elections and one who does is like participating in idol worship. I remember you once said that the Zionists are the greatest enemy of the Jewish people, even worse than the Greeks who tried to destroy Am Yisrael. 
In your public speeches I would be shocked from the stories of different incidents in ways the Zionist leadership tried to destroy Am Yisrael. You called them the "Cantonist decrees". You said the Zionists are responsible for all the troubles of Am Yisrael, including the horrific Holocaust. 
As I grew up, in the heat and passion in the belief of your ways, I too was involved in organizing protests. I was arrested many times, my bones were shattered from the blows of the nightsticks of the "Zionist stormtroopers". But you taught us that every red bruise on the body from these blows is another level and sign of praise in the ladder of mesirus nefesh, so we did not even feel the pain. 
Todaym after 70 years of the Zionist state, mercy upon us, I am happy to inform you, my dear uncle z"l, that your concerns have proven false: We have a Jewish Zionist state that is wonderful and amazing, that serves as a wonderful example to all the nations of the world. She is flourishing in just about every realm: security, economy, education, health, absorption,  and in Judaism. About 7 million Jews - more than 50% of the Jewish people - already live in Israel and Jerusalem alone is approaching 1 million residents, something that might not even have happened in the time of the Beis Hamikdash. 
Who would have believed that 73 years after the horrific Holocaust, in which Am Yisrael was nearly wiped out, mercy upon us, and there was almost no trace left of the Torah and Hassidic worlds, that we would have our own Jewish state. The State of Israel. A state in which the Torah world would flourish in a way that it never before did in the history of Am Yisrael. From the time of King Hizkiyahu there was never so much Torah learning in the Land of Israel as there is today, and you'll be surprised to hear who is the greatest supporter in the world of the Torah: the Zionist government. Every single year the government of Israel invests billions of shekels into the Torah world. 
It is hard to believe that just 75 years ago, not hundreds of years ago, a Jew could not find a place to put his feet down. Nobody wanted us. We were the most disgraced and disparaged people, the lowest of nations, we rolled from DP camps to European forests like animals struggling daily to survive. With the end of the war, each refugee went home, to his country, but the Jews were the only ones in the world that had nowhere to go back to - not a house, nor a country. Until the State of Israel was established. Thousands of generations of Jews dreamed about a state, and behold, we are meriting to what so many others did not. The State of Israel was established against all odds.
Who will wipe the dust from your eyes, dear uncle Rav Amram, leader of the Neturei Karta, to see that in the Zionist State Of Religious destruction 73% of citizens like Chanuka candles, 78% fast no Yom Kippur, and in the last selichos at the Kotel annually more than 200,000 people participate. How much you had to fight for every street in Haredi neighborhoods to be closed on Shabbos. Today it is difficult to believe that even Mea Shearim St and Kikar Shabbos were only closed on Shabbos after innumerable rallies that you led. 
At the end of 70 years of the Zionist State, there are 7 cities at the helm of which stands a Haredi representative, and their streets are closed on Shabbos and on the yomim tovim hermetically. In the other cities, in the neighborhoods where Haredim live, the streets are closed on Shabbos and on holidays, without any need for fighting. 
The Neturei karta anthem, that we would sing loudly at rallies, said "in the rule of the deniers we do not believe, and in their laws we do not participate, in the way of the torah we will go through fire and water, to sanctify the name of the Heavens". We would get murderous blows, and get arrested, and we were sure we were sanctifying God's name in public and that our place in Gan Eden had been secured. And now, in the Zionist State, the level of mesirus nefesh has become the greatest level, symbolized the holy tanna, Rabbi Akiva. Close to 24,000 soldiers of the IDF have died, giving their lives al kiddush hashem, protecting with their souls and bodies, on the State of Israel and on the People of Israel. 
If only you would know the amazing youth we have here. How many times a year thousands of the youth that were raised and grew up in the Zionist State gather by the remains of the Beis Hamikdash , and affirm or swear their readiness to give their lives al kiddush hashem protecting the State and am yisrael. How many tears I cried standing at this holy event, when I saw my two sons being drafted, one to Golani and one to the paratroopers, and affirming so. Nobody forced it on them.  They did so of their own choice and free will.  
"The State of Sodom and Gemorrah" - so you called the Zionist State in your article in Hachimah, the Neturei Karta newspaper.So listen, my dear uncle Rav Amram z"l, to how mush evil of Sodom is on this State. The state that leads the world in the number of Chessed organizations established in it. The one that is first offering help around the world in every tragedy. The State that actively illustrates the concept of shared responsibility for each other. The Zionist State does all it can to hep every Jew no matter where he is in any time of trouble or distress, and sometimes at tremendous risk and danger during operations such as Operation Jonathan. And, not just that, but most of the large chessed organizations in the Zionist State were established by Haredi people: Yad Sarah, Ezer MeTzion, the Hatzala organizations, Zaka that I head, and more and more. And these organizations are staffed by thousands of Haredi volunteers that the Zionist State has not yet succeeded in removing them from religion, mercy upon us, and they sanctify God's name in the land and around the world.  
In the State of "by my power and my might", when there is concern of drought, the Minister of Agriculture calls for mass prayer at the Kotel to pray for rainfall. This is the State in which 100% of the agricultural crops are tithed according to halacha. The State that financially supports farmers who keep the laws of shmitta, to the tune of hundreds of millions of shekels. 
So, rest, dear uncle Rav Amram z"l, peacefully. There is no need for any more fighting. While your generation rightfully was concerned about the Zionist State, but after 70 years it has been shown that the State of Israel, with God's help, is the one saving and protecting Am Yisrael, and it is the safest and best place to live as a Jew keeping the Torah and the mitzvos.
The original:
After 70 years of the Zionist state, I am happy to tell you that your concerns have proven false
After 70 years of the Zionist state, I am happy to tell you that your concerns have proven false
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