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14 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Letters from the Gedolim About the Current Election
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

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 Eliashiv shlita

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 candidate.

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.

Yitzchok Levenstein

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 religion.

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, was conveyed:

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 Bnei Brak

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 Hakedoshoh.

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 Hakodesh.

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."


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