I thought I should re-publish this email sent out by Rav Aharon Lichtenstein to alumni of Yeshivat Har Etzion. Rav Lichtenstein is well-known and respected in Israel and the Diaspora for his thoughtful positions on all matters of politics and his ardent support for religious zionism. I have had a couple of conversations with Rav Lichtenstein in which he stressed the responsibility of people living in democracies to vote in elections of all types. Recently, on hearing some people say they felt there was nobody to vote for in the upcoming election for Knesset, Rav Lichtenstein was firm that people should exercise their democratic right and not “cop out.” I think you will find this letter interesting.
January 5th, 2006
ה’ טבת תשס”ו
To all friends of the Yeshiva,
The World Zionist Organization (WZO) and its partner, the Jewish Agency, served as the acting government o the State of Israel prior to 1948. Since 1948, these organizations have worked to preserve and enrich Jewish life around the world — strengthening and supporting Jewish and Zionist education; promoting Aliyah, and rescuing Jews from distressed countries.
We are in the midst of the registration and election of the United States representatives to the 35th World Zionist Congress, which will elect the leadership of the WZO and the Jewish Agency. These men and women will establish priorities and policies that will affect you and every Jew throughout the world. Over $1 billion for Jewish education, Aliyah, and outreach are at stake. Many different points of view and interests, especially in the realm of the religious character of the State of Israel, will be represented. During this period of internal and external strife, we, who are, committed to an Israel dedicated to the values we received at Sinai, must be especially, concerned about this Congress.
We must do our utmost to insure that representatives who will stand up for Torah will be elected.
Voters around the world will decide who gets to go to the Congress and who does not. Those who register and vote will choose the American delegation, the largest group of delegates from the Diaspora. The strength of the Religious Zionist delegation will determine the level of support for Orthodox institutions and schools in Israel and the Diaspora.
I urge you to register and vote the Religious Zionist slate for the sake of Torah and for the spiritual integrity and vibrancy of Israel.
בברכת התורה והמצוה,
[Originally published on 17th January 2006 by MIchael Eisenberg]