Photo Credit: Public domain image
Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl on the veranda of the Three Kings Hotel in Basel, August 29, 1897.

The local tailor was the best in town but everyone knew he was not a particularly good person. And a wife-beater to boot!

The community Rabbi needed a new frock and inquired as to where he should go to purchase his garment. Everyone recommended the local tailor but explained that he was lacking in character.


The Rabbi visited his tailor shop in the middle of town and asked to be fitted for a new kaftan.

“They say you are the best tailor in town but lack midot!”

“Did you come to buy a new garment or give me Mussar,” the tailor asked.

They agreed on what material was to be used, about the price and delivery date, and in the end the Rabbi gave the tailor a deposit and was told to come back in a few days.

Upon his return, the tailor proudly displayed the special robe he made for the Rabbi and asked for his money.

While counting the bills he just was handed to make certain the agreed-upon amount was correct, the tailor suddenly asked the Rabbi why he was not turned away when he heard of the tailor’s bad character.

“I was saddened to learn about your personal habits, but your reputation as the best tailor in town preceded you, and I indeed have the most beautiful kaftan in town,” he said as he closed the tailor shop’s door behind him and happily went on his merry way.

It is a case of רשע גוזר וצדיק ילבש (Job 27:17).

In Reb Chaim’s “Seven Proofs”, (See “Waiting Until the End”, IV, 3 Aug. 23), the Gaon argued against the common notion of those antagonists who say Medinat Yisrael cannot come through the secular Zionists.

In defense he wrote: “A Rasha may prepare the Redemption for the future generations of Tzaddikim, who will further develop the generations, according to Torah and Halacha. It is similar to any other hechsher Mitzva, (preparation for the Mitzva) itself, a means towards the end, which is only Torah.”

While the tailor in our story who provided the Rabbi with his beautiful garment was of questionable character, once he received his just payment for a job well done, his services were no longer required.

The State of Israel is Am Yisrael’s beautiful garment and the “tailor” represents all those who helped build and develop every aspect of Israel’s physical needs over the last 75 years. In “Death of Zionism”, Reb Chaim’s last English work written in 1993, a year before he died, he wrote:

“The Zionist movement, with all its variations from Herzl to Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion and Weitzman, to the religious Zionist leaders, did their job for the medina to construct its political, technological, and social structure, not being aware that their great struggle for the achievement of Israel was only to establish a system that would lead to redemption and independence of every Jew.

“But, as I said, it was created for the people of Torah and for the people who possess kedushat Yisrael. And one cannot exclude the seculars of this generation from the set of Torah and mitzvot. The seculars of this generation are beyond any doubt halachically. tinokot shenishbau bein haakum. They have a din of shogeg not of mayzid, as I have explained clearly in my “Torah leYisroel.” That is why they cannot be excluded from the natural process of the beginning of the redemption. Of course, if they would keep Shabbat and not be mechalel Shabbat, the geula would come immediately.

“But the seculars, whose aim and goal were to build a state for redemption from the diaspora. also intended to rebuild the social, intellectual community, new and fresh, without Torah. They abandoned the idea of tradition and created a mundane culture which included eating rabbit and pig, working on Y =om Kippur, and destroying anything that related to the Divine and spirit (as [the late] Rav Shach [zt’l] lamented).

“This pragmatic approach did not create any social or individual intellectual spirit but emptied the society completely and filled it with paganism and mundane temptations, and anarchist permission to submit to whatever the eye can see, without having to give a din vecheshbon. It developed into a society of drugs, and destruction of the spirit and soul. In short, the medina did not create any center of attraction for the goyim and the nations of the world. They were not a light for the diaspora Jews.

“But a very strange situation developed in the process. As klal Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael became the center of the nations, Torat Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael became the fundamental knowledge of the world, even as the Israeli society of permissiveness tries to destroy these two realities.”

This is the real battle in Israel today. Only the blind or those die-hard democrats cannot see Israel in a decade or so, with each and every future government only becoming stronger in Torah, emuna and understanding of the story of the Tailor and the Kaftan and the future state of being in Israel. He prefers instead to continue hiding his head in the sands of Ben Gurion’s Tel Aviv as he still clings to Herzl’s socialist Alteneuland agenda for the Jewish people.

He is to be pitied and somehow brought closer to the truth that is Torah in Eretz Yisrael!
He was never taught. We, the Torah people must reach out to these Torah-empty neshamot, one by one or in groups, and thereby bring joy to their lives and happiness to our land as they build together with us the road to the Malchut Beit David, in our time.

While the שחרור הגוף took 75 years to realize, the שחרור הנפש can be accomplished swiftly instead of in decades. While the Galut Miztraim was described as coming in years (וענו אותם 400 שנה), Eretz Yisrael and the kingdoms of David and Shlomo came only after generations (ודור רביעי יבוא הנה). Unlike the physical redemption of our generation which could have come either בעתו or אחישנה but proved to be a time-linked development instead of that one “Big Bang”, the mental redemption, a generational development, may be hastened, depending on our efforts.

Every Jew who is added to the Torah roster in the Messianic Endgame, will help make it that much faster. Indeed, Reb Chaim’s final proof sets forth that in the end, all Yisrael must return before the Final Redemption. It’s up to each and every one of us to teach and make it possible for them to do Teshuva!

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Rabbi Yehuda Schwartz discusses current issues on Eretz Yisrael from a Torah perspective gained from the many years drinking from the wellspring of the Great Gaon Harav Chaim Zimmerman, זצ"ל.