Prohibition to lease exile by our own

The Talmud

The Biblical book Song of Songs says: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the deer of the field, not to arouse or awaken the love before it is desired.” This oath occurs three times in the Song of Songs (2:7, 3:5 and 8:4). This metaphorical language means as follows: the speaker here is G-d, and the “daughters of Jerusalem” are the Jewish people and the nations of the world. During the Jewish exile, which began with the destruction of the Temple, G-d placed three oaths upon the world, two upon the Jewish people and one upon the nations. The Jewish people were foresworn not to immigrate “as a wall” (i.e. en masse) to the Holy Land, and not to rebel against the other nations. The nations were foresworn not to afflict the Jews too much.
(Kesubos 111a)

Rambam, Known as Maimonides,foremost codifier of Jewish law (1138-1204)
And these are things the prophets have already foretold, and they have told us about what I have told you, that when the time of the true messiah draws near, there will be many who lift themselves high and place doubts in people’s minds, but their claims will not be born out, and they will perish and many will perish with them. And when Solomon, peace be upon him, made known with his holy inspiration, that this nation when it is sunk into exile will try to arouse itself not at its proper time, and they will die because of this and travails will come upon them – he warned against this, and made an oath against this in an allegorical way, and said (Song of Songs 2:7), ‘I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem…’ And you, our brethren, our beloved – keep his oath and do not arouse the love before it is desired!”
(Letter to Yemen)

Baalei Tosafos, group of French medieval Talmudic commentators 
There is an allusion to the Three Oaths in G-d’s warning (Exodus 19:12) not to come too close to Mount Sinai during the Giving of the Torah: “And you shall make a boundary for the people all around, saying, be careful not to go up on the mountain or touch any part of it…” Metaphorically this meant: make a boundary for the Jewish people in exile around Jerusalem and around Eretz Yisroel. Be careful not to go up on the mountain – this hints to the oath that G-d made Israel swear not to force the End and not to go up to Eretz Yisroel before the time, as it is written, “I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, why do you arouse…” (Song of Songs 8:4) “Or touch any part of it” – this is a hint that they must not touch the building of the Temple before its time.

The Torah continues, “Anyone who touches the mountain shall surely die. No hand shall touch it, for he will surely be stoned and cast down; man or beast, he shall not live; at the sounding of the yovel [horn] they will ascend the mountain.” Anyone who speeds up the redemption will surely be stoned; anyone who ascends before the end of the subjugation of the nations will not live. “The yovel” – means the shofar of redemption, referred to in the verse (Isaiah 27:13), “[maybe missing introduction, what we are talking about] A great shofar will be blown and those lost in the land of Ashur and those cast away in the land of Egypt will come, and they will bow down to G-d in the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.”
(Tosafos Hashalem)

Rabbi Yaakov Emden, German scholar and writer (1697-1776)
We will not even seek to get our land, our inheritance – not by might and not by power. We have already been foresworn not to go up as a wall, not to rebel against the government… Our eyes are uplifted to The L-rd our G-d until He has mercy on us and returns our exiles, and shows us wonders as in the days of the exodus from Egypt. (Sefer Hashimush 66b)

Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, Leader of Sephardic Jewry and major Biblical commentator (1696-1743)
“And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw out a sword after you; and your land will be desolate, and your cities waste” (Leviticus 26:32-33). “I will scatter” refers to the first oath, which mandates that the Jews remain scattered and not come up as a wall, with a strong hand, to resettle Eretz Yisroel. “Among the nations” refers to the second oath, which mandates that the Jews remain submissive to the nations and not rebel against their authority.
(Ohr Hachaim Commentary to Leviticus 26:32-33)

Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik, known as the Brisker Rav (1887-1959)
Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik related that his father the Brisker Rav once asked: Why is the wording of the last oath different from the first two? In the first two (Song of Songs 2:7 and 3:5) it says “If you arouse and if you awaken,” and in the last one (8:4) it says, “Why do you arouse and why do you awaken?” He answered that the verses refer to two different situations during the Jewish people’s exile. King Solomon foresaw with his holy inspiration that there would come a time when people of Jewish descent would try to force the end of exile. They would establish a state by human power before the coming of the messiah. Therefore, in the first two oaths, he warned the Jewish people not to do this. But the third oath refers to the period after the establishment of the state, when forcing the end and provoking the nations have become facts of life. This is why the oath reads, “Why do you arouse?” After you have seen that violating the oath did not help you at all, why do you continue in your folly of provoking the nations and spilling Jewish blood like the gazelles and deer of the field?
(Uvdos Vehanhagos Leveis Brisk, v. 4 p. 187)

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rabbi of Frankfurt, Germany (1808-1888)
We mourn over the sin which brought about that downfall (the Temple destruction), we take to heart the harshness which we have encountered in our years of wandering as the chastisement of a father, imposed on us for our improvement, and we mourn the lack of observance of the Torah which that ruin has brought about. Not in order to shine as a nation among nations do we raise our prayers and hopes for a reunion in our land, but in order to find a soil for the better fulfillment of our spiritual vocation in that reunion and in that land which was promised, and given, and again promised for our observance of the Torah. But this very vocation obliges us, until G-d shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the weal of the nations which have given us shelter. It obliges us, further, to allow our longing for the far-off land to express itself only in mourning, in wishing and hoping; and only through the honest fulfillment of all Jewish duties to await the realization of this hope. But it forbids us to strive for the reunion or possession of the land by any but spiritual means. Our Sages say G-d imposed three vows when he sent Israel into the wilderness: (1) that the children of Israel shall never seek to reestablish their nation by themselves; (2) that they never be disloyal to the nations which have given them shelter; (3) that these nations shall not oppress them excessively
(Kesubos 111a). (Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances, trans. by Dr. I. Grunfeld (New York / London / Jerusalem: 1981) p . 461)

For this Messianic future which is promised to us in the glorious predictions of the inspired prophets as a goal of the exile, we hope and pray, but actively to accelerate its coming is prohibited to us.
(The Nineteen Letters pp. 107, 108)

When the uprising led by Bar Kochba proved a disastrous error, it became essential that the Jewish people be reminded for all times of an important fact; namely, that they must never again attempt to restore their national independence by their own power; they were to entrust their future as a nation solely to Divine Providence.
(Commentary on the Prayerbook, p. 703)

Rabbi Meir Simcha Hakohein, rav of Dvinsk, Latvia (1843-1926)
Joseph’s last words to his brothers were: “G-d will surely visit you and take you up from this land, to the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Joseph was warning them not to go up “as a wall” until a prophet sent by G-d comes and says, “I have surely visited you (pakod pakadti).” And this is also a lesson for all generations, that the Jewish people may not leave exile on their own. This was the error of the Children of Ephraim: they left Egypt before the proper time.
(Meshech Chochmah commentary on Genesis 50:24)

Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, Rosh Yeshiva of Baranovitch, Poland (1874-1941)
To a thinking man, it is clear that the history of the Jewish people follows a path that has no parallel in any other people. He who applies the gentile worldly approach to politics to the Jewish people is like one who measures cloth by the gallon or milk by the yard. The right approach to politics for the Jewish people is written in the Torah, which foresaw everything. Thousands of years of history attest to its correctness. What is that approach? “Three oaths G-d made the Jewish people swear…” (Kesubos 111a) and one of them is not to rebel against the nations: that Jews should not be revolutionaries. “Fear G-d, my son, and the king, and do not mix with changers” (Proverbs 24:21). G-d warned us: “If you fulfill the oaths, good, but if not, you will be ownerless like the gazelle and the deer, which everyone chases and hunts.”
(Article entitled “Ikvesa D’Meshicha”, published in 1938)

Rabbi Shaul Brach, rabbi of Kasho, Hungary (1865-1940)
We have long ago been foresworn by the holy prophets not to force the end and not to enter the Land of Israel by force of arms. But these wayward sons say that with their strong arms and money they will save Israel. They say openly, “G-d has forgotten us and we will save ourselves.”
(Givas Shaul, 386)

Rabbi Abraham De Cologna, Chief Rabbi of Paris, 1825
“The venerable Messrs. Herschell and Mendola, Chief Rabbis at London, and myself, thank him [Mordecai Noah], but positively refuse the appointments he has been pleased to confer upon us. We declare that according to our dogmas, G-d alone knows the epoch of the Israelitish restoration, that he alone will make it known to the whole universe by signs entirely unequivocal, and that every attempt on our part to reassemble with any politico-national design is forbidden, as an act of high treason against the Divine Majesty.”
(Letter to the French newspaper Journal Des Débats, Friday, November 18, 1825)

Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe (1887-1979)
It is abundantly clear that these Oaths are practical and applicable laws, about which there is no disagreement. The simplest proof to this is that Rav Yehuda, who rules that even an individual is forbidden to go up to Eretz Yisroel, derives his law from these Oaths (Kesubos 110b). Rabbi Zeira there disagrees with Rav Yehuda on this point, and the Gemara labors to explain how Rabbi Zeira would interpret the Oaths. It is evident from this Gemara that the Sages had no option of saying that anyone can disagree with the very existence of these Oaths. Everyone acknowledges them; they are elementary and fundamental laws, bolstered by a severe and bitter punishment, G-d spare us – a punishment the likes of which we do not find for any other sin in the entire Torah.
(Vayoel Moshe, Introduction)

Rabbi Hermann Adler, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire (1839-1911)
I ask myself: Was there ever a movement similar to this in the time of the prophets? When the Jewish people went into the Babylonian exile, there were among them some who found no rest under the enemy government, and their only thought all day long was to return to their land. The false prophets among them told them to rebel against the king of Babylon.

At that point, Jeremiah the Prophet wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, Kohanim and Levites who had already gone to exile. The letter said, “Thus said the L-rd of Hosts, G-d of Israel, to all the exiles that I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, give your daughters to husbands, let them have sons and daughters, increase there and do not decrease. And seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you, and pray on its behalf to G-d, for with its peace you will have peace. For so says the L-rd of Hosts, G-d of Israel: Do not let your prophets and sorcerers fool you; do not listen to their dreams, with which they answer your queries. For they prophecy to you falsely in My name; I did not send them, said G-d… And you shall call Me, and go to pray to Me, and I will hear you. And you shall seek Me and find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart… and I will restore your captivity, and gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have scattered you…” (Jeremiah 29:4-9).

The prophet’s letter is indeed long, but very fitting for this movement. And I say: In the Babylonian exile they had a well-known and short time limit of seventy years, yet Yirmiyahu found it necessary to warn them so much with the word of G-d to stay put and not take any action on their own. Now that the end is hidden and sealed, and we are forbidden under oath from taking any action, certainly we must not deviate from the words of the prophet in his letter that he sent to the exiles.
My brothers! I look at this movement with worry in my heart, since I see it as opposed to the Torah of G-d and to politics. There is a great danger involved in it. That is why I don’t see in it the great quality of love of Zion.
(Sermon given in 1899, printed in Ohr Layesharim p. 63)