Note: By the time this issue of the paper is published,
the elections will already be history. Nevertheless, we are
publishing these letters from the gedolim discussing
the elections because of the enduring value that they have.
Even in brief, to-the-point remarks, the great rabbonim
manage to convey broad lessons about the proper attitude to
voting, and other important ideas. Though we hope for
Moshiach's rule when these issues will all be historical, we
must prepare for the possibility that we will be faced with
similar choices in the future. The living guidance of
gedolei Yisroel is crucial, but it is worthwhile to
study these documents to understand the reasoning behind
them. All these letters are translations and, as usual in
translating the gedolim we have favored closeness to
the original over idiomatic English.
The Horo'oh of Maran, the gaon HaRav Yosef Sholom
I have been told to announce in the name of Maran, Rabbenu
At"R HaGRY"S Eliashiv shlita, that his opinion
is like that of the great geonim, the members of the
Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah shlita, that at such a time,
when the issue is the danger of electing one who seeks to
destroy every affinity to Yiddishkeit in Artzeinu
Hakedoshoh, every one must go and vote for the second
Yosef Y. Efrati.
HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman
I was told to announce in the name of Rabbenu the great
gaon, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Steinman that: It is obvious
and there is no doubt that we must make every effort to work
and to spur others not to vote for the one who threatens to
act against religion. This should be achieved by voting for
the second candidate.
HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira:
The following has been conveyed from the household of the
great gaon HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira:
In response to the questions about the elections to the
Prime Minister [HaRav Shapira] said:
We must vote for the candidate who opposes the one who has
openly declared war against Hashem and His Torah, since
Rabbon shel Yisroel, Maran the gaon HaRav Eliezer
Menachem Shach already decided this point in 5756. Even
though this question wasn't a simple one, nonetheless it was
already decided by Rabbon shel Yisroel shlita.
It is clear that choliloh, there is no identification
here with the views of a secular party or support of the
opinions of the Right or anything like that, because our
sole purpose is to bring down the candidate who has engraved
on his standard a war against the Torah world.
We must take to heart and repeat to ourselves these simple
and clear principles: The yeshua will not come about
as a result of the deeds of one government or another, and
our hopes are not for the policies of a government of the
Right. The yeshua for Am Yisroel will issue only from
the yeshivos, the kollelim and the chadorim,
and from every Jewish home which educates its family to
Torah in purity. Nevertheless, we are obligated to do all we
can to prevent those who hate the Torah from realizing their
evil schemes. The voting does not express any affiliation
with the Right and rather it comes only to bring down the
Leftist candidate who fights against the Torah, and the only
way the way achieve this is by voting for the opposing
candidate. All this has been decided for us by Rabbon
shel Yisroel shlita, whose students we all are.
HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz
The following has been conveyed from the Home of the great
Gaon HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz:
One cannot be blamed for doing what is necessary to do
(Hahechrech lo yeguneh). One must go and vote, as was
publicized, because thereby we will be able to salvage what
is possible to save, from those who seek to uproot
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky
I was told to announce in the name of Rabbenu the great gaon
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlita:
Regarding the elections on the forthcoming Tuesday, at such
a time each and everyone of us must go and vote for the
candidate who doesn't issue declarations about uprooting
religion and sacred values and kodshei Yisroel, as
Maran shlita ruled.
(signed) Eliyohu Man
HaRav Shmuel Auerbach
From the household of the great gaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach,
At such a time, because of the wrath of the oppressors who
seek to uproot all. Everyone is obligated to prevent this by
voting for the second candidate.
Letter of HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman
On election day, the following letter, written by HaRav Meir
Tzvi Bergman, son-in-law of Maran HaRav Shach shlita,
to his students at Yeshivas Rashbi, was published on the
front page of the Hebrew paper:
Sunday, parshas Beshalach, 11 Shevat, 5761, Paris
To my dear friends, the students of the Rashbi Yeshiva in
Regarding your the question about the upcoming elections, I
would like to inform you that at the first direct elections
for prime minister, my mentor and father-in-law, Maran Rosh
Hayeshiva shlita decided that we should choose the
candidate of the Right at that time. I was in his presence
then, and saw how difficult it was for him to make that
decision, and how much he hesitated and considered the issue
of recognizing the authorities (lehisvada loroshus)
by standing on one of the sides, which is also as distant
from our way, the way of Torah, as East is from West.
However with his lucid insight he saw how difficult the rule
of the is be for Yahadus, Hashem yerachem and decided
in his opinion -- daas Torah -- to choose the
opposing candidate. Kal vochomer now, at a time where
everyone sees the nature of their war and their desires,
Rachmono litzlan, there is no doubt that Maran's
great opinion is the halochoh and it is forbidden to
stand aside, and one must vote for those who did not
inscribe on their standard a war against the Torah
May it be Hashem's will that we merit to sanctify Shem
Shomayim in all our deeds, and that we merit to see a
new light shining on Tzion.
Your friend, Meir Tzvi Bergman
The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah and Agudas
Yisroel issued a statement of opinion on Sunday, 11 Shevat,
to the effect that the chareidi community should vote for
the candidate who hopefully will not lend a hand to the
destruction of religion in Eretz Hakodesh.
The statement of opinion was issued in the wake of
declarations by the Labor candidate of his avowed intention
to undermine all that is sacred and cherished to am
Yisroel and to launch a "secular revolution" whose aim
is to totally uproot Yiddishkeit in all realms. Gedolei
Yisroelıs statement of opinion relates both to the
current critical situation of the residents of Eretz
Hakodesh and to the heinous intentions stated by the
Leftists to undermine the foundations of religion in Eretz
The pronouncement states: "The critical situation that has
been prevailing in Eretz Hakodesh in recent years is known.
A battle cry to uproot religion is being sounded, and [the
enemies of our faith] publicly declare their intentions to
undermine the foundations of the existence of am Yisroel.
How great the pain over the terrible chillul
Hashem! We are familiar with the warnings of the Torah
hakedoshoh and the promise that, `If you walk in My
statutes, then I will give peace in the land.'
"As a result, we are obligated to communicate our opinion
that in the coming elections for Prime Minister, one must
vote for a candidate whom we hope will not lend a hand to
destroy religion in Eretz Hakodesh.
"Everyone must vote for the abovementioned candidate."