Even in the days of Hitler the Jewish nation was not in such danger as it is today from Iran and Egypt, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, preeminent spiritual leader and halachic authority for the haredi Lithuanian community, said this week. "There is a state called Iran and there is an evil man there who wants to kill and obliterate everything," Elyashiv was quoted as saying by the haredi weekly Bakehila. "You know what is happening in Egypt on the border with Egypt," added Elyashiv. "There are great dangers, more than there has been ever before. Egypt has arms and is constantly stockpiling more. It is all against the Jewish settlement here." Elyashiv voiced his concerned about the existential dangers facing the Jewish people in Israel during a conversation with a student at his home in Jerusalem. Elyashiv was asked by the student why the haredi community was enlisted to take part in a prayer vigil at the Kotel that protested potential territorial concessions to the Palestinians. "Since when have we become like the Zionists and the Mizrahi [national religious] who care so much about nationalist issues?" asked the student. Elyashiv reportedly answered that the prayer vigil was not aimed solely at the proposed territorial compromises in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. Rather, he said, it was targeted at the dangers of Egypt and Iran. The article in Bakehila ended with a line from Jewish liturgy: "We have no one to rely on but our Father in heaven." It expressed the classic haredi approach that prayer and Torah learning are the best defense against physical dangers - and not more tangible steps such as the use of military might.