“There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael” (BeReishit Rabbah 16:4).

Ayelet HaShachar -The Dawn of Redemption

Written by R. Ya’akov Filber shlita

[From the Back Cover]


When Rabbi Chiya the Great saw the first rays of light (ayelet ha’shachar) glimmering over the skies of the Arbel valley, he was moved to comment, “So is the redemption of Israel – at first little by little, but as it progresses it grows greater and greater.”


Who could have imagined how accurate his prediction would be? As miraculous as the modern rebirth of Israel – both the Nation and the Land – has been, it has occurred in stages, gradually, with many ups and downs. This is one of the main reasons there is such confusion about the role the State of Israel plays in the redemptive process.


For over forty years now, one of the most important books on the topic has been Rav Ya’akov Filber’s Ayelet HaShachar. It provides a clear, Torah-based outlook on the events of the past 150 years and proves that the ultimate redemption is well underway. Besides discussing the importance of Eretz Yisrael and the State of Israel, Rav Filber addresses many other supplementary issues, like the eternal nature of the Jewish people, Ahavat Yisrael (loving every Jew), setbacks in the redemptive process, and much more.


It is our honor to present this classic work to the English-speaking public, with the hope that it will help expedite the final stages of redemption and usher in the Messianic era, in the very near future. Amen.





Author’s Introduction


The various chapters of Ayelet HaShachar were consolidated into book form in several stages. It started before the Six Day War, in 5726 [1966], when I put together a pamphlet called Kochvei Ohr (“Stars of Light”), whose subtitle was, “Introductory Chapters and Sources on Topics in the Teachings of Rav Kook.” Several chapters from that pamphlet are included in Ayelet HaShachar.


In the wake of the Six Day War, I expanded the chapters of the book and added many new ones. In 5728 [1968], the book appeared under the title Ayelet HaShachar for the first time, with the subtitle, “Explanations and Sources for Studying the Philosophy of the Nation, its Torah, and its Redemption in its Homeland.”


In 5735 [1975], after the Yom Kippur War, the book was reprinted in a greatly expanded format…


From the time the book first saw light, it has been accepted in a wide range of circles. Not only have Torah scholars and yeshiva students found it desirable, but it has proven to be suitable for everyone, those who are near to Torah values as well as those who are moving closer to them. In particular, the book has had a wide circulation among the youth, including graduates of yeshiva high schools, students of post-high school yeshivas, graduates of the ulpanot [high schools for girls], students of the women’s colleges, university students, and academics.


I will take the liberty of quoting two letters from the abundant feedback that I have received regarding the book, because they demonstrate the potential contribution the book can make to the Jewish people, both in Israel and abroad. The first letter is from the distinguished author, who drew very close to Judaism in his later years and fought its battles with pride, Avraham Kariv, of blessed memory:


Baruch HaShem, 23rd of Tevet, 5736 [1975].


I have very little free time on my hands, so I am perusing your important work, Ayelet HaShachar, only a little at a time. The book compiles not only sources from the earlier sages (Rishonim), but also an abundance of statements from the later sages (Acharonim), whose words are less accessible to many people, myself included. And you supplement [the teachings of] both of these [groups of sages] with your own enlightening comments. From chapter to chapter, the issues [that you discuss], which are of paramount concern to us and are hanging in the balance of the fate of our generation, become clearer and clearer.


May the book accomplish the mission for which it is destined!


With abounding respect,


Avraham Kariv



Ayelet HaShachar is fortunate to not only be disseminated among Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, but it is also available to our brethren dispersed throughout the Diaspora, providing them with inspiration to connect with and even immigrate to Eretz Yisrael. In addition to many other Diaspora communities, the book even reached our brethren languishing in distress and captivity in Soviet Russia.1 One day, I received a letter from Moscow, written by someone who was denied the right to make aliyah, and was also a “Prisoner of Zion.” He was hoping to immigrate to Israel in good time, in order to favor her dust, build the Land, and be built up through her:


Dear Rabbi Ya’akov HaLevi Filber,


I wanted to turn to you in particular, in order to bless you for your very important and holy work.


First of all, I learn, with great interest, Orot HaTeshuvah with your elucidations. They help me greatly to understand the sources and foundations of Rav Kook’s not-so-simple ideas.


And, of course, I learn a lot about all the fundamental concepts from your book Ayelet HaShachar. If you only knew how much we lack books like these here! I am filled with hope that books of this type will find their way here. We await them immensely.


I very much look forward to meeting you.


With friendship and loyalty,


Ari Wolbowski



In order to relate to events that took place in Israel after the Yom Kippur War – like the evacuation of Yamit, the Lebanon War, and the beginning of the peace process – the need arose to update and reprint Ayelet HaShachar once again. This resulted in a fourth edition, which appeared in 5789 [1989].


The fifth [and final] edition, [upon which this translation is based], was published in 5751 [1991], in correlation with the ingathering of Jews from the former Soviet Union. This return presented us with nationwide challenges in the material realm and, even more so, in the spiritual realm. However, the religious level of these returnees need not daunt us, as our Sages z”l assert: “The House of Israel dwell on their Land and they have defiled it (Yechezkel 36:17): The Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘If only My children were with Me in Eretz Yisrael, even though they defile it’ ” (Yalkut Shimoni, Eichah 1038). And they express this idea in a sharper manner in Eichah Rabbati (3:7): “Once the Jews were no longer in the Land, [God] said, ‘If only [the people of] Israel were with Me, even though they anger Me.’ ”


Out of a deep sense of gratitude, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to pay homage to my teacher and rabbi, Rav Tzvi Yehudah HaKohen Kook zt”l, who was unique and exceptional in his wisdom, firmness, modesty, and limitless devotion to his genuine disciples, who are spread throughout the Land – from Kiryat Shemoneh and the Golan in the north to the Gaza Strip in the south. He was a true leader who demanded nothing for himself and whose eyes and heart were always focused solely on the integrity and welfare of Israel. I was privileged to have this outstanding personality draw me near and love me like a son. During his best years, I did not leave his presence. From him I received the wisdom and inspiration to write this book. And at the end of his life, he even began writing comments on the bottom of his copy of the book.


May it be God’s will that the House of Israel accept the words of this book graciously, in order to increase peace, brotherhood, and companionship in its midst, together with a love of Torah and a love of Eretz Yisrael. May the clarification of the topic of redemption inspire us to partner with God, in complete solidarity, as He returns to His earthly abode. And may the following words of Chazal be fulfilled through us: “In the future, a heavenly voice will thunder from atop the mountains and say, ‘Whoever worked together with God should come forth and receive his reward’ ” (VaYikra Rabbah 27:2).



Translator’s Preface

Over the past few decades, I have amassed quite a collection of sefarim (books) on the topic of Eretz Yisrael and the modern return to Zion. On the Hebrew shelf, there are at least twenty-five separate volumes, and I’m sure there are many others that I am simply unaware of. All of them are beautiful works of Torah, and each one explores the topic from a different angle. Only a handful, however, can be categorized as classics. Ayelet HaShachar is one of them.


Ever since I realized that my calling was translating and writing Eretz-Yisrael-related books, I knew that Ayelet HaShachar had to be made available to the English-speaking public. In fact, I spoke to Rav Filber about translating his work over fifteen years ago, but for various reasons, it didn’t work out. That is why I am so happy and proud that I was finally able to accomplish this goal and bring Rav Filber’s profound words – which are largely based on the philosophy of Rav Kook zt”l – to a broader audience. I only hope that the reader will take the lessons of this book to heart and eventually join us here in God’s special Land to help us bring the ultimate redemption that much closer.



From the Table of Contents:


Section I – The Land of Israel

א - The Holiness of the Land

ב - The Praises of Eretz Yisrael

ג - The Land and the Torah

ד - The Torah of Eretz Yisrael

ה - The Mitzvah of Settling the Land

ו - The Rambam’s View on Yishuv Eretz Yisrael

ז - Settling the Land in Our Times

ח - The King’s Palace


Section II – The Eternal Nation


א - A Nation that Dwells Alone

ב - Israel’s Mission

ג - The Torah and Israel’s Distinction

ד - Free Will and Klal Yisrael

ה - The Chosen Nation

ו - Do Not Follow Their Practices

ז - Who is a Jew?


Section III – Loving All Jews


א - A Great Principle in the Torah

ב - Love Your Fellow as Yourself

ג - He Beheld No Iniquity in Ya’akov

ד - Do Not Slander a Servant to His Master

ה - Piety and Benefitting the Generation

ו - Those Who Dissociate from the Ways of the Community

ז - Love and Rebuke

ח - Rebuilding the Nation Through Baseless Love

ט - Loving Other Jews in Our Generation

י - Jewish Unity


Section IV – The Third Return to Zion


א - Why Was the Land Destroyed?

ב - Redemption and Repentance

ג - The Clearest Sign of the End

ד - They Despised the Desirable Land

ה - Mashiach ben Yosef

ו - They Did Not Recognize Him

ז - Let the Miracle Come from Anywhere

ח - Gradual Redemption

ט - Redemption by Natural Means

י - The Holocaust and the State of Israel

יא - The Six Day War

יב - HaShem’s Counsel Will Stand Forever

יג - The Yom Kippur War

יד - Redemptive Zionism

טו - The Evacuation of Yamit

טז - Your Cities Will be Ruined

יז - Operation Peace for the Galilee

יח - Our Brothers Have Melted Our Hearts

יט - The Gentiles Dwelling in Our Midst

כ - Peace unto Israel


Section V – Dawn Has Broken


א - Dawn Has Broken

ב - The Children Will Return to Their Borders

Addendum – A Torah-Based Nationalistic Society


1 This introduction was written before 1990, when the Iron Curtain fell and large numbers of our Jewish brethren emigrated from Russia to Eretz Yisrael.




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