by Akiva at Mystical Paths
Anonymous commentor, in response to my post of Holocaust articles on Israeli Holocaust Remembrance day, commented, "So Akiva, you're a Zionist, not a choside, eh? At least be upfront about it."
Almost every settlement in the West Bank has a Chabad house. Are they not chassidim because they are in the West Bank? The settlement Tel Tziyon is mostly chassidim, but they're in the West Bank. So is Immanuel.
Charedim, the ultra-orthodox of which chassidim make up a major percentage, almost all receive kitzvat yeladim (national child support payments from the Israeli government). Hmm, that's money from the Israeli government. Does that make them not choside? Bet they go to the national health clinics also, probably have babies in the national health system hospitals (exception in Netanya, where the chassidim built their own hospital).
But yes, I am a Tzionist! I yearn for the Land of Israel. Every time I eat, I pray for the rebuilding of Jerusalem! (Bet you do too.) I am thrilled to walk the holy ground given to us by G-d, promised to Avraham Avinu, to Yitzchok, to Yaakov, shown to Moshe Rabaynu, entered by Yehoshua bin Nun. I believe when the Torah says Yishuva Haaretz, settle the land, that's as much of a mitzvah as tefillin or mezuzot or kashrus. While in the US, I cried when I heard of a bomb blast in Israel, of our brethren being killed in the holy land simply for being Jews. I raged at the foolish politicians who believe nothing and trade away the Land given by G-d and showered with obvious miracles for false promises and they're own false glorification.
I am a tzionist from the Torah. I refuse to separate from the Land because a foolish government and a wacked ideology of Zionism without Hashem came into being. (Just as I advise the chilonim I know, the ultra-secular Israelis, because they disagree with the charedim is no reason to cede their portion of the Torah away.)
If being a tzionist is one to believes the words of the Torah and Hashem's promises to the bnei Yisroel regarding it, with not merely include but literally focus upon Eretz Yisroel, the LAND of Israel, then indeed I am.
Personally, I don't find this being at odds with being a chossid. My chassidus is not in the White Russian style long coat I wear, it is in the understanding of Hashem that I've learned, the avodas Hashem I perform, and the directives of the Rebbe I follow.
There are some rebbe's, notably the Satmar Rebbe, who opposed the creation of the State of Israel, perhaps with ruach hakodesh of much of what has come. Yet others, while not supporting it, were not beyond trying to take the secular vessel and trying to use it and fashion it for holiness.
During the Napoleonic wars, there were some rebbe's who supported Napoleon and France, and some who supported Russia.
All remained chassidim.
However, I ask you, how can one separate from the Land of Israel, from the mitzvos of Eretz Yisroel, from the daily yearning for Eretz HaKodesh, how can one merely mouth the words during every shemona esrai (standing prayer 3 times a day), of benching (blessings after a meal), of the shema (3 times if you're a chossid, morning, evening, and bed time), ignoring their intimate connection to Israel, ignore the request for dew per the weather of physical Israel, of rain per the need of physical Israel, of blossoming trees when they blossom in Israel, of literally facing towards Israel, how can one ignore that, how can one just mouth that, and remain a religious Jew?
I am not, however, a secular zionist out to create a new Jew, a national religious imbuing the State with kedushah, a charedi who would maximize use of the State while minimizing contribution, or a chiloni who would utilize the State to crush away the vestiges of old-style Jewishness. I am a Lubavitcher, I seek to extract every spark, to utilize every neutral tool for kedushah, and those with true potential for kedushah, to wake up that potential.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא