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Beit Midrash Family and Society Additional Lessons

Religious Zionism

Religious Zionism is not dissolving. To the contrary, it is growing and branching out, like a tree that grows and spreads its branches in all directions. This is not division but growth, for all of the branches are attached to the same stem and roots.
1961
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Somebody recently asked me: "Why is it that people are saying that Religious Zionism is in the midst of a crisis? There are even those who claim that it is disbanding completely. Where I live there is a "garin Torani" (nucleus of religious families), and I can see it growing and progressing all the time. How, then, can people talk about crisis and dissolution? Is this really an accurate description of the situation?"

Answer: Religious Zionism is not dissolving. To the contrary, it is growing and branching out, like a tree that grows and spreads its branches in all directions. The branches spread out, and as they do the distance between them grows. What we are witnessing is not division and estrangement but growth and expansion, for all of the branches are attached to the same stem and roots.

The growth and success of your local garin Torani reflects the situation in many places in Israel. New yeshivas are popping up and old yeshivas are becoming more established; numerous Kollels and yeshiva high schools are being founded; settlement in Judah and Samaria is growing more quickly than in any other place in Israel, despite the government’s evil decrees.

The higher the building, the longer the shadow it casts. If a person looks at the shadow alone he sees growing darkness, but if a person looks for the cause of the shadow, he discerns that it is the building that is growing. This is the way of the world. "The more possessions a person accumulates, the more worry he accumulates."

Religious Zionism is growing, and the more it grows and flourishes, the more it encounters opposition. Growth leads to increased variety, and each of the various branches concentrates on its own unique features. Even though all of the branches receive nourishment from the same root, each seeks to develop its uniqueness. The individual branch is cautious about unity so long as it has not fully established itself, for it fears being swallowed up by the whole. However, once its own unique role has been established, it rejoins the others. After all, all of these various approaches feed from the same source.

Religious Zionism embraces the ideal of national redemption in an all-encompassing sense - one that includes the entire Torah, the entire nation, and the entire land. This goal, which unites all of these ideals, will ultimately be reached. Because of its loftiness many obstacles will have to be overcome, but ultimate victory is guaranteed, for God goes before us and leads us to our complete redemption.
Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed
Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva, was the head of the Yesha rabbis board and rabbi of Bet-El, founder and head of Arutz 7.
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