Aliyah: An Orthodox Jewish Rabbi’s Response

Some prophecies, such as in the passage from Jeremiah you mentioned, refer specifically to the return from the 70-year Babylonian exile. But the majority of prophecies refer to the return from our current long exile. Deut. 30 follows the description in Deut. 28 or our long exile, when we were scattered among the nations from one end of the earth to the other (v. 64) and when the last generation will see the Holy Land barren and desolate (29:21-22) so it is clearly talking about the future redemption. Also it says (30:1,3) that we will be gathered from many nations, not just Babylonia. By similar methods we can determine which prophecies throughout the Bible are referring to the future redemption. Here is a partial list: Isaiah 27:12, 40:9, 41:14, 43:5-6, 52:12, 54:7, 56:8, Jeremiah 16:15, 23:3, 30:10, 31:9, 33:7, Ezekiel 11:17, 20:34, 28:25, 34:13, 37:21, 36:24. Hosea 1:7, Micah 2:12, Zachariah 4:6, 8:7, Psalms 53:7, 106:47.

Today’s aliyah is not the fulfillment of these prophecies, because the vast majority of the people came in a manner forbidden by the Torah and Talmud. The State of Israel was established by force of arms and the Talmud states that Jews are forbidden to reestablish their kingdom in the Holy Land by force of arms before the messiah comes. Ninety percent of the 5.4 million Jews who are there now came after the state was established in 1948. And of the ten percent who came before, most of them came with the intention of building a state before the messiah which they knew would have to be accomplished through war. The prophets, in the verses listed above, say that it will be G-d Who redeems the Jewish people from exile and gathers them in. This clearly cannot be referring to an aliyah and an ingathering that is done in violation of His commandments. Rather, it is referring to the coming of the messiah. It is the messiah who will gather in the Jews from exile, not Herzl, Weizman, Ben Gurion and all the rest of them.

Sincerely, Hersh Lowenthal

Comments are closed.