Are there any readings discussing the Haredi (Hasidic, orthodox non-Mizrachi) stance on political Zionism prior to the establishment of the State of Israel?

Did it change with the establishment of the state? If so, in what way?

Any recommended readings on the topic?


2 Answers 2


For one perspective on how an anti-Zionist changed perspectives 180 degrees and became a supporter, I would highly recommend Eim HaBanim Semeicha by R Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal

From Wikipedia

Teichtal grew up as a staunch anti-Zionist Chasid of the Munkatsher Rebbe. However, during the Holocaust, Rabbi Teichtal changed his position from the one he espoused in his youth. The physical product of that introspection is the book, Eim HaBanim Semeicha, in which he specifically retracts his previous viewpoints, and argues that the true redemption can only come if the Jewish people unite and rebuild the land of Israel. Many of his coreligionists viewed the book with skepticism, some going so far as to ban Rabbi Teichtal from their synagogues.

In the book, Rabbi Teichtal strongly criticizes the Haredim for not supporting the Zionist movement. When it was written, it was a scathing criticism of the Jewish Orthodox establishment, and Agudat Israel in particular.

The book is not quick or simple to read but it is an incredibly scholarly review of sources (most of it written from memory as the author was hiding from the Nazis with no access to his books).

See also here for a summary and here for an audio shiur.

  • Are you giving this a an example of "the Haredi... stance on political Zionism prior to the establishment of the State of Israel" or as an example of how that "change[d] with the establishment of the state"? If the former, you'd do well to mention that this stance is atypical rather than "the" stance; if the latter, note that the change you mentioned took place before Israel became a country.
    – msh210
    Nov 20, 2018 at 5:21
  • 1
    Actually both as the book both criticizes the traditional haredi anti Zionist perspective and develops a new haredi pro Zionist perspective which has become more common now in so-called hardal (haredi dati leumi) circles. Agree R Teichtal change of mind came before the establishment of Israel though but still hope the answer will be of help to the OP
    – mbloch
    Nov 20, 2018 at 5:25
  • This doesn't represent everyone. Nov 20, 2018 at 16:22
  • I am puzzled by the downvotes. Do downvoters disagree the book is a relevant source?, don't like the book?, don't like me? :->
    – mbloch
    Nov 20, 2018 at 16:57
  • 1
    @chachamNisan clear, it is one man's perspective, but a very relevant one for those trying to understand pre-war haredi perspectives on Zionism
    – mbloch
    Nov 20, 2018 at 16:58

please see Shu"t Avnei Nezer Yoreh Deah 454


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