To participate in voting for a memsheles Yisrael lifnei bi’as haMoshiach, a Jewish government in Eretz Yisroel before Moshiach comes, is that against the Torah?
My friend, I am not somebody to pasken such shaylos. Some gedolim hold that even though it’s forbidden to have a Jewish Commonwealth, a Jewish government, before Moshiach comes, nevertheless once there is a kehillah, even a kehillah of reshaim, we have to try to get along with them and try to utilize them in order that we should build up Torah. That’s how some gedolim say. You can’t just say that it’s nothing and we ignore them and we’ll kiss Arafat and be his good friend. No. We want to build up Torah in Eretz Yisroel as much as we can. There are a lot of tzaddikim in Eretz Yisroel, beautiful kehillos, so you do the best you can; you try to get along with these reshaim for the sake of the frummeh. That’s what some say. I’m not saying that you have to love them or give them too much respect but when it comes to voting some say you should vote in order to get the best benefits.
Others say no; they say you don’t vote. You don’t vote at all in order to show that you don’t support the government.
I’m not mixing in such a question. I’ll leave it for the manhigei Yisroel. But it’s not a simple question. It’s a complicated question and I’m not trying to persuade anybody to do anything one way or another.
TAPE #E-147 (July 1998)