Vayoel Moshe

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The book Vayoel Moshe

Vayoel Moshe (Hebrew: ויואל משה‎‎) is a Hebrew book written by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, leader of the Satmar Hasidic movement, in 1961. It made his case that Judaism is against Zionism.

The name of the book is a statement in the bible that also notates his name and his grandfather's name—Joel and Moshe respectively. However, he had other reasons for this naming as well. The source for the title is Exodus 2:21, "And Moses agreed to alien in a foreign land."

This book is considered one of utmost importance by Satmar Hasidim and many Haredim who follow the Satmar doctrine regarding Zionism. Satmar Hasidism has many institutions, buildings and neighborhoods named after it.

It is primarily a book of Halacha, Jewish law. However, it draws on Rabbinic Jewish philosophy as well.

Although it did not originate with him, before World War II most Hasidic rabbis, as well as some other prominent Orthodox rabbis opposed Zionism[citation needed]. While others had written about the issue in other publications - Torah commentaries and books of Halacha - Rabbi Teitelbaum was the first to write a book specifically about this subject.


The book consists of three parts:

1. Maamar Shalosh Shevuos (Treatise about the Three Oaths), which is also the main part of the book, is a classical Judaic sources and citations book sourced and interpreted by Teitelbaum on everything about those Three Oaths.

This teaching is originally based on the Talmud in tractate Ketubot 111a, which discusses a passage from the Song of Songs in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) in which God made the Israelites promise "to wait for Him before arousing his love" as "King Solomon in Song of Songs thrice adjured the daughters of Jerusalem not to arouse or bestir the love until it is ready." The Talmud explains that we are bound by three strong oaths mentioned in Ketubot 111a - 1. that the Jewish people are not allowed to ascend to Eretz Yisrael by force; 2. that the Jewish people are not allowed to rebel against the nations of the world; 3. that the Jewish people may not by their sins delay the coming of Moshiach, the Jewish messiah.

2. Maamar Yishuv Eretz Yisroel (Treatise about settling the Land of Israel), which establishes all halachic concerns regarding Jews emigrating to Israel, known as Aliyah.

3. Maamar Leshon HaKodesh (Treatise about the holy tongue). That it is forbidden for Jews today to speak Modern Hebrew. This was written as a personal answer to the chief rabbi of Montreal at the time, Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung, and it was later added into this book.

Other arguments[edit]

  1. Rabbi Teitelbaum refers to religious Zionism as a major desecration of God's name.
  2. Blames Zionism for worsening, and the aveirah of Zionism for being a cause of, the Holocaust.[1]
  3. Refers to Zionist leaders such as Theodor Herzl as 'heretics'.[2]
  4. Argues that any participation in the Israeli elections is one of the worst sins and halachically a Jew must rather be killed than vote.
  5. Blames some of the bloodshed in the middle east on the Zionists.[2]
  6. Rules that it is forbidden to accept any money from Israeli government programs.
  7. Asserts that the way of the Baal Shem Tov is forgotten today, and we do not understand fully what Hasidus meant.
  8. Declares not to accept stories of Hasidic Rabbis as the Halacha.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Teitelbaum, Rabbi Yoel (Vayoel Moshe, from the middle of Section 110, published in 1961). "Six million Jews were killed as a result of the Zionists".  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b Teitelbaum, Rabbi Yoel (Section 139, Vayoel Moshe, Part II, published in 1961). "the Zionists have constantly fomented hatred of Jews around the world in order to strengthen their ideology of creating and maintaining their state, which is the most dangerous place in the world for the Jewish People".  Check date values in: |date= (help)