ASK A BRESLOVER: Breslov & Zionism

Question:
[su_pullquote]Do Breslov Chasidim belive in Zionism? Do they belive in a Jewish State as well as Eretz Yisrael being the homeland of the Am Yisrael? From what I understand there is a split in the breslov world. Can you please clarify this for me? Does Breslov make up part of the Eda Haredit?[/su_pullquote]

Answer:
In my opinion it depends on what you mean by Zionism. If you were simply referring to “Zionism” as the love of Eretz Yisrael and our belief that it was given to the Jewish people eternally and that eventually we will return to it, then there is no doubt that every Breslover is a Zionist. There was no bigger lover of the Land of Israel than Rebbe Nachman. His books are filled with praise for Eretz Yisrael and of advice in regards to gaining its kidusha/holiness. It is know that Rebbe Nachman himself overtook an extremely dangerous journey, whose original purpose was only to walk a few steps in the Land and then return to his Chassidim. Rebbe Nachman told his Chassidim that anyone who wants to be a real Jew, must visit the Land.

Now if you are referring to the modern political Zionist movement founded by Theodore Herzl amongst others, simply put, Breslov is not a political movement. Firstly, the Rebbe passed away on Sukkot 1810, the Zionist Movement was not founded until the end of the 19th century, so the Rebbe definitely did not say anything about it. The mesorah-traditions we have in Breslov rarely contains political views. We believe that the Rebbe being the Tzaddik Emes/True Tzaadik is constantly doing whatever is in his power to bring every Jew closer to God and the truth. This goal and process stands head and tails above all political beliefs and groups.

I once heard a story from the grandson of the great anti-Zionist Reb Shmuel Shapiro. His grandfather was once lovingly dancing with another Breslover who was very Zionistic. When Reb Shmuel was asked why he would dance with this fellow, he replied something to the effect that their personal hiskasherut/connection to Rebbe Nachman is much larger than any political disputes. Some Breslovers may choose to be Zionistic, well others may choose the opposite, but in the end we will be judged by how much we followed the Eitzos/Advice of the Tzaddik and by how much we strived to pursue truth. Everything else is trivial.

Hope this helps,
Yossi Katz

Author: Yossi Katz

Yossi Katz currently lives in Lakewood, NJ where he runs the BRI American Office. He studied in Beth Medrash Gevoha, as well as the former Breslov Kollel of Lakewood headed by Rabbi Shlomo Goldman.

Share This Post On

2 Comments

  1. We cant be divided, we must be 1 , Rebbe Nachman taught that. But most of all.hashem wants that, israel is the birth of our people so lets take apond ourself to full fill the mizvot to love one another

    Post a Reply
    • Eretz Israel is the place where Hebrews made one of the earliest urban settlements, not the birth of our people (before, the Beit Hamikdash was located elsewhere). What’s more, the indigenous people (amei haaretz) that dwelled in Eretz Israel have rather a negative connotation, i.e. the seven Canaanite nations – the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite etc. Thus, Jews never considered themselves indigenous to the land: The Babylonian Talmud alludes to Babylon (Irak) as our “mother’s home” (Shabbat 113b) and “eating earth of Babylon” was compared to “eating their ancestors flesh” (Pesachim 87b). The word “Irak” is etymologically derived from the Hebrew term for “Greenhouse” כגן הירק (Devarim 11:10), as in the gardens of Babylon.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *