Rav Kook continues:
“Certainly, the Redemption hasn’t yet reached completion. Many Torah leaders backed away from the Zionist cause, and even fought against it, because they wanted the Redemption (Geula) to be instantly complete. They attached themselves to the idea that the Geula had to be completely kosher from its inception, as opposed to being a gradual process, unfolding through many individuals, organizations, wars, political agreements, and the hard manual labor of making the desert bloom, in order to bring the Redemption toward its final fulfillment. They couldn’t accept a Redemption which spread out in many directions, including secular movements replete with apikorsim and free thinkers who had thrown off the yoke of the Torah. Nor could they come to terms with the Geula’s unfolding in natural, down-to-earth events.
“When the Rebbe of Belz came on aliyah, he said, ‘We realize now that we erred in our estrangement from Eretz Yisrael.’ Other Gedolim also repented over their shortsightedness. If this repentance had occurred 30 years before, preceding the Holocaust, prompting the mass aliyah of devout God-fearing Jews, the spiritual situation is Israel would be very different today.
“The beginning of the Zionist awakening was filled with uncertainty, but today there aren’t any doubts. We see eye to eye the acts of Hashem revealed in the ingathering of the exiles and the incredible rebuilding of the Nation in the Land. It has become increasingly clear that those who supported the return to Zion were right and that the halacha is according to those who are sharper in the depth and illumination of the truthfulness of this great matter.”