The Neturei Karta is a group of Haredim who believe that the creation of the State of Israel is against Torah, claiming that Jews are forbidden to have their own country until Moshiach comes.

They refuse, like many Haredi Jews, to serve in the Israeli military and vote in Israeli governmental elections. Some even go as far as to praise the actions of Palestinian leaders, and advocate giving the land of Israel "back" to the Palestinians.

A lot of the people hate them.

But I suppose my question is thus: the Neturei Karta says that it is against Torah for the Jews to have their own country until the Messianic era, but where do they draw this conclusion from?

Additionally, a lot of Haredim believe it is wrong for a religious young man to serve in the Israeli army. Why would serving time in the military be against Torah for any religious Jew, other than that it detracts from the time a young man could be studying?

Note: I thought I might make it clear by saying that I am not in agreement with the Neturei Karta, although I am not Zionistic.

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    Need there be a halachic reason? Maybe they're just still fighting a bunch of 19th century dead secular jews, and are too stubborn to admit secular jews actually accomplished something with some value? When you see people supporting murderers and antisemites, looking for a valid traditional approach a la Elu veElu just might not be the best idea – Double AA Jun 29 '17 at 18:50
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    what about the gemara about the 3 Shvuot that they shouldn't take the land by force (שלא יעלו בחומה)? – Bach Jun 29 '17 at 19:22
  • @Bach see here for related sources – mbloch Jun 29 '17 at 19:42
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    @Bach The question sought halakhic reasoning not aggadic reasoning, i think – Double AA Jun 29 '17 at 20:49
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    There are still two questions here: on what basis is the state of Israel against the Torah and on what basis is serving in the army against the Torah. I recommend splitting them – robev Jun 29 '17 at 21:50

This question is far too broad to answer here but the essence of what they follow is based upon the teachings of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum.

There are two primary sources that lay out their approach. The first is קונטרס על הגאולה ועל התמורה which is, as best I can tell, not available on the internet.

The second is ויואל משה which can be found here. It is heavily sourced from all parts of the Torah and is something that should be read, if only from the perspective of being able find a way to not hate them. They too are trying to be G-d fearing Jews and to serve HaShem even if according to many, they are misguided.

The essence of the argument is that the final redemption is only supposed to be by G-d directly, unlike all the previous periods of redemption. There is no mitzvah currently to settle the land and that those Jews who have taken possession of the land have done this not to fulfill the Torah, but to deny it. The secular government of the state of Israel is viewed as a government that to a large extent is based upon apikorsus. So all the halachic ideas behind milchemet mitzvah (like a defensive war) for a halachically legitimate government do not apply, particularly with the danger to life by serving in the army. The argument of Bitul Torah only reinforces that position. They also view the effort to establish the state of Israel as an attempt to force the Keitz (the final redemption) which they say was one of the primary causes of the Holocaust.

Opposition to secular Zionism is something that many Orthodox leaders, including the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Dovber, advocated prior to the Holocaust. But this was specifically in regard to the anti-religious aspect of secular Zionism.

From the Alter Rebbe through the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel, there have been many efforts to establish and strengthen the Orthodox settlement of the land of Israel. This was also the position of many of the followers of the Vilna Gaon.

Following the Holocaust, Rabbi Shalom Dovber's son, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok and his son-in-law, the current Rebbe, took a view that the facts on the ground over-road any opposition from the previous generation. Because so much had been lost, it was essential that Jewish communities be built and strengthened wherever they might be.

There are others, like Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok HaKohen Kook, who compared the secular Zionist settlement movement to the covering of the tachashim used for the Mishkan. It was something needed in the beginning, but then needed to be folded up and put away so that the Mikdash could be built permanently.

  • Interesting perspective. What you said in the 3rd paragraph is important and reinforces the concept that people can hate another person's philosophy or behavior while still liking the person, himself. – DanF Jun 29 '17 at 21:23
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    @DanF It doesn't mean that's true in this case though. It may actually be a big Mitzva to hate people that support murderers and terrorists who target Jews, even if they dress 'frum', wear big beards and peyos, and think they are practicing Judaism. – Double AA Jun 29 '17 at 21:54
  • @DanF What you're saying is the primary focus of the 'heart of the Tanya', chapter 32 of Sefer Likkutei Amarim from the Alter Rebbe. – Yaacov Deane Jun 29 '17 at 21:57
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    "danger to life by serving in the army", it's pretty clear that the army saves more lives than it endangers. – Heshy Jun 29 '17 at 22:48
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    @JJLL That depends upon whether they are female or Arab. You might find this link informative. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_objector – Yaacov Deane Jul 5 '17 at 2:44

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