Thursday, January 17, 2019

Chofetz Chaim, Chazon Ish & Rav Kook

This account appeared in the Yated Ne'eman a number of years ago.

The Chofetz Chaim had a dream of making aliyah. He tried a number of times - but he wasn't successful. Toward the end of his life, there were again rumors that he was going to move to Israel. In fact someone came to the Chazon Ish and reported that he had inside information that the Chofetz Chaim would soon be landing in Yaffo. The Chazon Ish looked up from his gemora and said simply:
"It isn't true. The Chofetz Chaim will never come to Israel." He continued, "I don't say this because I am a navi with ruach hakodesh. It is simple logic. Everyone knows that there is a very close relationship between the Chofetz Chaim and Rav Kook. If the Chofetz Chaim came to Israel then they would visit each other. This would cause strong upset in certain circles. As a consequence of this backlash - the Mishna Berura would be abandoned and  thrown in the trash. It is clear that G-d does not want this happen to the Mishna Berura. Consequently it is impossible that the Chofetz Chaim will be coming to Israel."
 Regarding the Chofetz Chaim's attitude to Rav Kook. The following letter was written 3 years after the dedication of Hebrew University by the Chofetz Chaim's son-in law. It has been alleged that the Chofetz Chaim expressed contempt for Rav Kook as the result of the dedication. It is clear from this letter that the Chofetz Chaim had a very high opinion of Rav Kook even after the incident.

 Rael Levinsohn suggested the following links to translations:




The-relationship-between-Rav Kook-and-the-Chofetz-Chaim-part-2/

update-on-Rav Kook-letter/




  1. The Chazon Ish said that it is Assur to read R. Kook's Hashkafa works although it is permitted to read his non-Hashkafic works. See Yalkut Daas Torah p.46.

    1. I was told that the Chazon Ish was consulted by a seforim store regarding selling the books. He said there is no problem selling Rav Kook's halachic writings but he shouldn't sell his hashkofic works. He didn't say they were prohibited.

    2. A Rav I learn with once heard the same thing, that the Chazon Ish forbid the hashkafic works. So he responded "That's nice, but clearly Rav Kook did want me to read them and I hold by him!"

    3. In the above Sefer I cited it clearly states the Chazon Ish said R. Kook's books were assur to read.

    4. I know someone who spoke to the person to whom the CI made this statement. The reason the CI gave was not that the seforim were ossur or treif, but that they were written in a way that might confuse non-careful readers.

  2. From "Mishkenos Harayim" 3:1-108:

    "Rav kook said about the opening of the Hebrew University, that it is a fulfillment of kimitzion etc. - immediately the gedolim in Poland and Russian organized a protest against this chilul hashem - and the chofezt chaim came in and said, "kook Shmook!" and then he left."

    - Rav Berel Soloveichik (the son of the Brisker Rav and heir to the Brisker Yeshiva)

    "When the Chofetz chaim heard what Rav Kook said about Hebrew U, he trembled, and started walking back and forth and said "Kook shmook! Kook shmook!", and so he continued for a long while."

    1. chofetz chaim didn't speak that way

    2. Rav Berel Soloveotchik disagrees with you. He repeated this story many times in public to his talmidim.

    3. What the Rav said about Hebrew Univ has been misunderstood and misquoted for years.

    4. Haven't the whole "Hebrew U" speech and the lies told about it been disproved enough times already?
      It's like listening to someone talk about the "Jenin massacre", Enough already!

    5. The Rosh Yeshiva of YU, HaRav Yeruchem Gorelick ZT'L, personally was present and directly heard from the Chofetz Chaim's own mouth say Kook Shmook derogatorily. He was at the CC with his father who was a talmid of the CC. And Rav Gorelick repeated this story publicly frequently. (Including at the Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, where his son was Rosh Yeshiva.) As did The Rov ZT'L (Rav Berel Soloveitchik ZT'L) relate this story publicly.

    6. The following is an excerpt of a letter from Rav Kook to Rav Messas (Chief Rabbi in Algeria) responding to the false claim that he applied the verse: “From Zion will come forth Torah” to Hebrew University:

      "...Also, in regard to the [Hebrew] University, Heaven forbid that I should say regarding secular [studies] that “From Zion will come forth Torah.”

      To the contrary, I told them explicitly that I am afraid lest there come forth, Heaven forbid, a stumbling block from their hands if they reject the Torah and the fear [of G-d] and “please themselves in the brood of aliens” [i.e., studies antithetical to Torah such as Biblical Criticism. Editor’s note: see Radak on Isaiah 2:6]. I brought them examples of this from the past, from the incidents that took place due to people’s sins [during the Berlin Enlightenment], from which came forth groups that turned away from G-d and abandoned the source of living waters. But they must guard the holiness of Israel, teachers and students alike, and not follow foreign ideas nor turn aside from the Torah and the mitzvos. And even then, it is not from secular subjects that Torah will come forth, but rather when we support the holy yeshivas, which are dedicated solely to the holiness of the Torah.

      Together with this, [I told them that] they should elevate the power of the tzaddikim and Torah giants who fear G-d. And the Central Yeshiva in our holy and beautiful city, which we are toiling to establish and expand with G-d’s help, will stand in its great glory. Then, upon the foundation of the holy yeshivas, I said that the verse “From Zion will come forth Torah” will be fulfilled.

      These words are explicit in my speech that I spoke at that time before the people, before all of the important officials who came to the celebration, and to the entire great crowd of thousands who came from the far ends of the Holy Land and from the lands of the Diaspora. So how can malicious people come to distort the words of the living G-d in a way that is so filled with wickedness and folly?..."

    7. Dan: The facts/history contradict your claim of events. It is proven beyond a doubt from countless letters in existance that the Chofetz Chaim had the deepest respect, admiration, and love for Rav Kook. In addition, as could be seen from the letter that Rav Kook wrote at the time, the whole allegation of the "Hebrew U Speech" was fiction.

    8. This isn't my claim. It is the personal, firsthand, witnessed testimony by Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Yeruchem Gorelick zt'l, as he publicly testified and related numerous times to his talmidim and the talmidim in his sons yeshiva in South Fallsburg. He heard it directly from the Chofetz Chaim.

      And as publicly related numerous times by Hagaon HaRav Berel Soloveitchik ztvk'l publicly in his beis medrash.

    9. An interesting question for Rabbi Eidensohn:

      Do you have a halachic obligation to protest against a public insult against a Gadol and Tzadik [which you decide to publish for the public to read]?

      [Yes these are old debunked lies that were repeated. Even if they were accepted by a great person (and repeated by him)- that does not give anyone a heter to repeat it after knowing that it is false. We are not talking Hilchos Shmiras Halashon here. We are discussing Hilchos Talmid Chacham]

      Please cite sources.

    10. I think there is a greater problem then repeating these old stories. Many people in the yeshiva world know nothing about Rav Kook - except perhaps as someone not to talk about. To participlate in pepetutating kares is worse then informing people about these stories.

      I also view that responding with a protest "chutzpah" etc simple prevents any communication and education in these matters. We are dealing with tinok shenishba

      Simply look at the pragmatic approach of the religious members of the knesset or those in kiruv.

    11. The stories related by the gedolim (Brisker Rov, Rav Gorelick, etc.) about Rabbi Kook are 100% true.

    12. I'm not saying that yo should respond with a simple "protest chutzpah."

      I'm asking if you have a clear halachic obligation to protest. The way you choose to protest may be in the form of an intellectual article, or a simple notice.

      But are you comitting a sin by not protesting in any shape or form?

    13. Interesting to note that according to Rav Nebenzahl, there was one well-known posek whose teshuvos Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach refused to read or even consider.

      This was because of the disrespectful way that this posek had spoken about Rav Kook.

  3. There is a letter by Rav Elchonon Wasserman to Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, printed in Kovetz Maamarim, of which a facsimile of his Ksav Yad is readily accessible, where he refers to R. Kook as a "rasha gamur."

    1. There's also the story of how the Chofetz Chayim refused to participate in a rabbinic conference where people were criticizing Rav Kook, ztk"l

  4. When the Chofetz Chaim was considering moving to EY, Rav Chaim Ozer asked him who will take care of Klall Yisroel in Chutz Laaretz if he leaves. The Chofezt Chaim answered, "What do you mean? You have Reb Elchonon!"

    The Chazon Ish said that R. Kook's Gehennom will be that they will show him in what damage his Torahs have wreaked and tell him "Kook!" ("Look!"); and Rav Elchonoon Wasserman, Talmid Muvhak of the Chofetz Chaim who referred to R. Kook as a "rasha gamur"; and Rav Meir Arik, who referred to him as the "Shabse Tzvi of our generation" and the Ridvaz, who referred to him as "Kook Hameshugah", et al.

  5. See for example Teshuvos Shearis Yosef (Rav Yosef Yedid Halevy), at the end of vol. 4 if memory serves, the Teshuva is titled "Regarding a certain Apikores that we must protest" - referring of course to R. Kook. He explains there the Halachic status of R. Kook.

    Or look at the Teshuvos Divrei Yoel (It's in choshen Mishpat, written to Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, I dont recall the number off hand), where he also paskens that R. Kook is in the category of those talmidei chachamim who are considered "kekal shbetzibur." Please see his many sources.

    He points out there that if a person, even a Godol Hador, forgets the Brachah of Velamalshinim, we disqualify him form being a chazan, perhaps permanently, because we suspect him of perhaps being an Apikores (certianly a Bizayon!). According to Rabbeinu Yona, this is not because he skipped a Bracha, but because he skipped the curse for the Apikorsim, and someone who does not want to curse the Apikorsim is himself suspect for being one. All the more so, says the Divrei Yoel, someone who actually praises Apikorsim the way R. Kook did. That's just a small excerpt. Please see the rest.

    1. I agree that many big people rejected Rav Kook - but that is not true of the Chofetz Chaim. The Chazon Ish was also very respectful of Rav Kook

      Rav Diskin that he refused to look at Rav Kook. However when he was asked who would be Cohen Gadol when Moshiach comes - he replied - Rav Kook.

    2. I'm giving you sources for my quotes. See above.

    3. The delegitimizing of Harav Kook is almost on par as what was done to the Rambam in his generation.

    4. What was Rav Diskin planning to look at when Rav Kook became the COHEN GADOL?

    5. Dan:

      You are repeating absolute motzei shem rah.

      For those interested in facts and actual original documentation, see:

    6. I gave maare mekomos to the Sedorim they come from. Take up your issue with the tzadikim and talmidei chachomim that wrote this about Rabbi Kook.

    7. Dan. Stop repeating old lies that have publicly proven to be lies. Rabbi, Eidensohm please stop publishing his lies unless you are willing to also publish the truth (yes, I'd say you have an achrayis to be mocheh when someone is mizalzel a gadol b'torah on your site).

      The Satmar Rav was a Gadol, but sadly he received false information. Rav Kook did not apply a pasuk to Hebrew U. Nor did he compare Herzel to Moshiach Ben Yosef (another often repeated lie). Yet Dan reignites old machlokes based on absolute lies. Why? What do you gain?

  6. concerning the readiness to twist facts to besmirch Rav Kook see

    regarding Rav Kook's Hebrew University speech

  7. Here is Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank's version of the machlokes. He wrote in a letter to his mechutan, that it is a mitzva to publicize that the whole fight is about money and that Hungarians hate the Polish. Mind you, this letter was written in 1921, and published in Malki Bakodesh in 1923. He also wrote that the entire Jerusalem, except for a few in kollel Ungarim, accepted Rav Kook as Rav Haroshi. That Rav Zonnenfeld admitted that he isn't Rav of Jerusalem, and that Rav Diskin doesn't sign the proclamations, rather there is a forged stamp of his signature.
    This letter was written way before the Rabbinate came to be. Really right after Rav Kook moved to Jerusalem.
    Ultimately, I think Rav Frank's testimony out ways everyone else.
    Link to the letter here:

    1. That is all incorrect and without any factual or historical basis.

    2. Joseph, See the link I provided. It's to Malki Bakodesh by Rav Chaim Hirshenson rabbi of Hoboken NJ, Rav Frank's mechutan. Printed in 1923. Teshuva written by Rav Frank to him in 1921.
      It's at the end of a teshuva about a mechalel shabbos touching wine.
      I can't tell you if that is correct or not. But it definitely is Rav Tzi Pesach Frank's version.

  8. I'm so glad I belong to a religion that decides on the value of a sefer based on the political values of the guy the author of the sefer is friends with. Sooooo deep.

  9. R doneal. A source for this statement of rav yl diskin ztl please

  10. I heard it in yeshiva about 35 years ago. Not sure but I think my source was Rav Shlomo Friefeld.

  11. Please see the following posts:

    1. Rael you have a very lovely website. A real gem.

  12. Bloggers 'Dan' and 'Joseph' provide a valuable service to the rest of us, albeit unwittingly. I have often read about censorship of the writings of R Kook [1] and wondered: What drives knowledgeable people to distort history like that? Well, a partial answer may lie in the infantile reactions of Dan/Joseph. No one likes getting spit on- just ask the folks in RBS. If the price of not having your seforim ripped up (or burnt!) is to deny a bit of history... well who can blame the poor guy?

    In the intro to shemoneh p'rakim, the Rambam announces that he won't be naming all of his sources- partially for fear that people who don't hold of them will ignore his whole message. [2] Sad to see we haven't advanced very far in 900 years.

    As Rebbetzin Batsheva's father in law, once pointed out [3], if the Eidah Hacharedis told people to vote in an Israeli election, their alleged followers would dennounce them too.

    [1] See e.g. here:

    [2]It didn't help him- his books got burnt anyhow

    [3] Steipler- Krayna De'igrisa volume 1 pages 221-222. See the whole letter!!

    1. shaul,

      The historical facts are the entire Torah world was opposed to R. Kook's positions, if not R. Kook himself.

    2. huh!!!
      Even Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, Rav Aryeh Levine,, who were with the Rav Hakedosh at his petira???
      Always easy to state "The entire Torah World was opposed.....who is that? and you checked it out? How?

  13. Not that it makes much of a difference with this crowd, but the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rav Yosef Yitzchak) who had a friendship with the Chofetz Chaim, visited Rav Kook in Yerushalayim and had a positive impression of him. This is documented in his letters.

    Also, I remember reading in the Artscroll book about Ger that whichever one of the Ger Rebbeim who was a contemporary of Rav Kook met with him and respected him.

    I cant remember which, but one of the above rebbeim said that Rav Kook was an "ish eshkolot."

    Sure, they disagreed with him about Zionism, but that didn't stop them from giving him his due.

  14. Cheftza- What were R Kook's postions? Please source them. (And provide context, not sentence fragments)

    Cheftza bashes gavra rabbah. Not very exciting.

  15. Rav Kook was a complex, ish kodesh (as many great leaders were & are). He was a trendsetter and a kiruv leader when the entire sugya of kiruv was an unacceptable act in European & Israeli (once again European) circles.
    In very simplistic terms he view the secular, non observant Jew as a KODESH just for being part of the Am Segulah. In the world of isolationism where Torah Observant Jews avoided any mingling, integrating with the OTHER, Rav Kook was a minority opinion. Rav Aryeh Levine, (A Tzaddik in our Time) - father in law of Rav Elyashuv, Rav Pulshinski and others was a Talmid and CHAVER Neeman of Rav Kook. He was the baal tefillah for Rosh Hashanoh at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav (Rav Kook's yeshiva), and Rav Kook (or smook kook, rasha, etc....) was mesader kiddushim for Rav Shlomo Zalman Averbuch plus shadchan for Rav Elyashuv. Your are in good company if you are in awe, give respect to and admire Rav Kook and his legacy.
    BTW the Ridvaz and Rav Kook/Rav E. Spector had massive opposite daaos on the issue of Shmittah, so there might be some neigea on that plane.The Ridvaz was one of the most vociferous opponents to the hetter mechirah — which Rav Kook supported.

  16. R kook believed in evolotion which is a minority opinion , as shown in the 8 notebooks recently revieled.

    1. The main problem with the majority of writtings of HaRav Hakadosh is that they are obsure, misunderstood and "l'maalah min hateva" for most readers.

  17. The Erev Rav who attack Rav Kook are forbidden to be on the Internet. Who gave them a heter? The folks at the Asifa got it right. Their 'klal Yisroel' has no business to be on the Internet. Peddlers of sheker vechozov ...

  18. Pitput... Kol ha pasul , bmumo hu pasul

    1. I'm not in your Klal Yisroel, you make up your own mumim!

    2. Pitput... I thought your people loved jews

  19. Rav kook does not need anyones Haskamos. Either way, its an odd story as it implies that the Chazon Ish was in Eretz Yisrael at the time, however I think the Chazon Ish arrived in EY in Elul 5693 which was the same month the Choftz Chaim passed away.
    -Nick Jenkins

  20. I don't publish anonymous comments

  21. "Rav kook does not need anyones Haskamos. Either way, its an odd story as it implies that the Chazon Ish was in Eretz Yisrael at the time, however I think the Chazon Ish arrived in EY in Elul 5693 which was the same month the Choftz Chaim passed away.
    -Nick Jenkins"

    Interesting point. The question is when the CI found about it. He obviously didn't recieve a tweet 5 miutes later.

  22. It's totally amazing that the entire Yeshivishe olam has not heard of these accolades of Rav Kook.

    I can't believe that wouldn't be 1 truth teller among all of them that would reveal his stature. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    All of the approbations for Rav Kook are from Mizrachi sources who may have their own agenda. Is there some independent way of verifying their accuracy?

    There are 2 possibilities. 1 - they are not accurate. 2 - People were so afraid of his pro Zionist hashkafos that everything else was hidden.

    1. Possibility #2 it is.

      Zionism was the greatest threat to Judaism in the eyes of many G'dolim, therefore any tinge, connection or positive was to be avoided and maligned.

  23. there is a third possibility - the status of Rav Kook has deteriorated in the eyes of the gedolim. Thus Rav Kook has become someone whose name can not be mentioned in the Yeshiva world - the same issue relates to Rav Soleveitchik and Rav Herzog who are difficult to categorize as "one of us." Can you imagine an Artscroll biography on any of them?

    Rav Bulman once expressed his upset with the Feldheim version of the 19 letters. "They turned him into a Chareidi Jew - and he wasn't!" He used stronger language but I'll just censor it.

    I remember talking to a resident of Crown Heights and asking how he could live in such a hostile neighborhood. He replied, "It is easier for me to explain to my kids why we are not like our neighbors who have different beliefs and values and are very nice people - than if I lived in a middle class white neighborhood with Reform and Conservative Jews. I can deal with the physical threat but not with the spiritual."

    Or as the Vilna Gaon said, "Beware of the maskilim - because they are nice people!"

    1. The real answer is that the status of Gedolim has deteriorated. Gedolim today are unable to see nuances, and in turn have educated the yeshiva world to view things in a black and white manner. Once upon a time, Rav Isser Zalman Melzer was able to appreciate Rav Kook, Rav Aharon Kotler appreciated Rav Herzog, and Rav JB Soloveitchick, and the Roshei Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael went to Rav YY Weinberg's funeral. Even as recent as twenty years ago, Rav SZ Aurbach still referred to Rav Kook as Maran.
      And then extremism set in. Yeshivos today include hatred of others in there curriculum. Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Soloveitchick co signed a letter to Ben Gurion. There is no Haredi Rosh Yeshiva today that would sign a letter with say Rav Shapira from Meraz Harav.

      The yeshiva view is also painfully dishonest. They discount other views because they "are obviously wrong," yet it is circular reasoning, as it is only wrong becaue it is not yeshivish. No one has ever proven exactly why Rav Kook was "wrong" other than quote names.

    2. BTW Rav SZ Aurbach never ceased calling the Rav, Maran. He was meseder kedoshim at his wedding, also.

  24. I actually believe that the answer is much simpler. Rav Kook did not write any halacha sefer that would attract universal attention.

    His hashkofo works are certainly off limits to the Yeshiva public so by default he has been ignored.

    1. Uhmmm....Rav Kook certainly did write an entire set of halachic shu"t [and a peirush on the Gr"a in Shulchan Aruch]...and it received universal attention.

      The (charedi and non-chareidi) talmidei chachaimim who don't have political agendas respect his shu"t as a tremendous halachic source.

  25. Kollel nick,

    I don't imagine that the hyper Zionistic, halacha twisting Mizrachi olam can be accused of scrupulous purity and honesty in their approach.

    From your comments, I see that the Mizrachi point of view has not been left out of the hatred and slander of the other side phenomenon.

    I've recently heard torah from Rav JB Soloveitchick in my kollel so that accusation isn't accurate.

    1. Hearing Rav JB torah is hearing the pure Brisker Derech, that's all it means. No appreciation, validation or haskama.

  26. I am entirely bemused by the rabid defense attempted by Rabbi Kook's supporters, despite that it is very well known the strident unambiguous opposition by the gedolei yisroel and rabbonim zt'l of his generations's unceasing opposition to everything Rabbi Kook stood for.

    1. Once again, instead of being bemused, learn the history of the day.
      The gedolim of his generation, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, father of Rav Elyashuv,(who was chavrusa with RAYHK), Rav Frank, Chazon Ish, Belzer Rebbe, etc. were supporters and respectful of the Rav.

      Unceasing opposition originated and ended in the Hungarian Circles....(is that anything new???)

    2. cheftza: Your words are nothing but hot air and smoke and mirrors. Nothing of substance. Question: Have you ever learned any of Rav Kook's countless Torah works? How about the thousands of tshuvos (that don't discuss haskafah). If you did you would notice that the "gedolei yisroel and rabbonim zt'l" were the ones writing shaylos to him for his tshuvos.

      Your words are silly, but more important insulting to Rav Kook and the Gedolei Hador who respected him as a Gadol. The ones who were opposed to Rav Kook tood a Daas Yachid view. Rov of the Gedolei Torah not only respected him, but indeed wrote letters in his support against the Yachidim who attacked him. [And yes, Rav Baruch Ber is included amongst the majority of Gedolei Torah who declared a Yom Teefillah for the Bnei Yeshivah to be be mispallel for Rav Kook when he took ill b'sof yamuv].

  27. "I don't imagine that the hyper Zionistic, halacha twisting Mizrachi olam can be accused of scrupulous purity and honesty in their approach."

    Rav Kook wasn't mizrachi. You may as well call R Shteinman Dati- Leumi for supporting nachal charedi. (Plenty do!)

    "From your comments, I see that the Mizrachi point of view has not been left out of the hatred and slander of the other side phenomenon."

    No one's perfect, but at least we try. If you walk into Merkaz Harav- yes Rav Kook's Yeshiva- you will find more seforim written by the Satmar Rav than in Mir Yerushalayim. Try it.

    "there is a third possibility - the status of Rav Kook has deteriorated in the eyes of the gedolim. Thus Rav Kook has become someone whose name can not be mentioned in the Yeshiva world"

    It's gotten so ridiclous that the biography of R Elyashiv-"hashakdan"- mysteriously neglectsd to mention who was Mesader Kiddushin at his chasuna despite describing all the rest of the details.

    "I am entirely bemused by the rabid defense attempted by Rabbi Kook's supporters,"

    Your bemusent is amusing but helps to explain why your lies continue to get perpetuated. I wouldn't want to have to defend Maran Harav Kook Zecher Tzaddik V'kodosh le'vrocho in your presence-
    I have a hard time ducking spittle and talking at the same time.

    "it is very well known the strident unambiguous opposition by the gedolei yisroel and rabbonim zt'l of his generations's unceasing opposition to everything Rabbi Kook stood for."

    It quite well known in North Korea that Kim Jong IL was the second greatest person to ever walk the face of this earth.

  28. Tzoorba: Your claim that Rav Kok did not write any halakhah seforim that would attract universal attention is ridiculous. What Shabbat ha-Aretz for a start-- not to mention his important collections of Teshuvot: Daat Kohen. Mishpat Kohen, etc?

    Limiting myself to Shabbat ha-Aretz, R. SZ Auerbach in his classic work on Shemitah refers entensively and respectfully to Shabbat Ha-Aretz, even if, ke-darkah shel Torah, he does not agree with many of its views. As is also well known, but probably not by you, the editors of the Frankel Rambam originally included references to Shabbat ha-Aretz in the mafteah to the volume on Zeraim. Before the volume was published, the news that a sefer of Rav Kook was, has ve-shalom, being included in the mafteah got out, and the entire mafteah was reset to omit any mention of Shabbat ha-Aretz? Is this Torah learning or politics of the worst kind?

    The critics here of Rav Kook have not read his famous speech at the Hebrew University, are unaware of the extensive correspndence between Rav Kook and the other Gedolei Yisael of his time. All they know to do is how to recycle the almost entirely unreliable and often malicious oral lashon ha-ra they have heard.
    Th ctics of RaKooj here

  29. Cheftza: It may be "very well known" in your circles about the Gedolei Yisreal's "strident unambiguous opposition... to everything Rav Kook stood for" but it is a vast oversimpification and distortion. The picture is complex and there is exggeration on both sides, though more on the "right." Many Gedolei Yisral were very close to Rav Kook, worked with him, and admired him greatly, even if they differed from some of his views. (Yes, that IS possible.) I have in mind in particular Rav Hayyim Ozer, Rav Moshe Mordecai Epstein, the Kovner Rav, and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. All this is very well documented. It is true that there were those who were very opposed to Rav Kook and spoke about him in deragatory (and, in my view) unseemly terms, Rav Elhanan Wasserman and others. The view of the Hazon Ish (HI) was complex. When he first came to Eretz Yisrael in 1933, the first two letters he wrote were to Rav Kook on matters of halakhah, and he addressed him by the title Maran! A while later his admiration cooled off for a variety of reasons, though he continued to esteem him personally. The story about the HI placing Rav Kook in gehinom is a new one to me, and I have read the bios of the HI and studied his works extensively. How anyone who knows how refined the HI's speech was could believe this crude story is beyond me. Those who invent and spread such stories are not only being mevazeh Rav Kook, they are, unawares, being mevazeh the HI himself! No cheftza: Unlike you, I am not amused by the ignorance, nastiness, and sheer viciousness displayed here.

  30. I am curious as to why many people who may follow Rav Elyashiv currently, would say such loshon hara against R' Kook, who was R' Elyashiv's mentor.

    It is also ironic that some people mention the brisker Rav's son, since Brisk were totally opposed to R Elyashiv and R Herzog.

    I am also interested on why r'wasserman made such remarks about r' Kook, was it his Zionism that made him totally evil?

  31. אמנם, הרב קוק היה אדם גדול מאד, צדיק ועובד ה' גדול כפי ששמעתי מאנשים מהימנים שהכירו אותו, אבל דעותיו אינן מוסכמות (מלבד כתביו בהלכה) כמעט מכל גדולי דורו והדור שאחריו

    הרב שלמה וולבה, אגרות וכתבים ח"א עמ' קפה

    That's the best description you'll get.

    I am as Charedi as the next guy, but anyone who says that Rav Kook wasn't a big Tzaddik is wrong (when you can say that you never gazed at the tzurah of a woman, you can start thinking about having reached his level). REW's assessment is probably based on wrong info regarding Rav Kook supporting Keren Hayesod. Rav Kook's most controversial statement was in Orot about the soccer players, which really riled Rav Sonnenfeld, but even then that did not stop the great mutual personal regard they had for each other.

    Anyone who says that Rav Kook never wrote anything of import in Halachah is simply completely ignorant of his greatness in this area, especially in Mitzvos Hateluyos BaAretz.

  32. The opening story of this post, i.e. what the Chazon Ish said, is perhaps the most damning of Haredi extremism. The Chofetz Chaim might suffer from his close relationship with r' kook! hence his halachic works would be disregarded! Perhaps then, that was the reason why the CI distanced himself from R'K, so as to preserve his own reputation?

  33. Regarding the Chofetz Chaim's attitude to Rav Kook. The following letter was written 3 years after the dedication of Hebrew University by the Chofetz Chaim's son-in law. It has been alleged that the Chofetz Chaim expressed contempt for Rav Kook as the result of the dedication. It is clear from this letter that the Chofetz Chaim had a very high opinion of Rav Kook even after the incident.


    Assuming the letter is not a forgery, and that isn't a given, we can only assume the son-in-laws thoughts of what the CC thought of Rabbi Kook. Nothing more.


      See pages 21 and 25.

      Copies of the original Kisvei yad from the Chofetz Chaim to Rav Kook. Notice the words of honor and respect the Chofetz Chaim uses to refer to Rav Kook.

  34. I wonder what the charedishe velt holds of rav shechter from chaim berlin and others for not answering to a hazmana from reb moshe feinstein ztl. Till this day rav shechter is considered a lo tzeis ledin.

    1. A Yeshiva or a major Talmid Chochom has a halachic right to decline to respond to a beis din.

    2. Why? Is that a given?
      Therefore, any beis din case regarding a Yeshiva or Talmid Chochom has to be judged in a secular court?

    3. It doesn't quite work that way:
      Sh"A CM 7:6
      6 If a person is summoned to judgment before a Dayan who is less than him (7), the Dayan cannot force him to come before him. Rather, they gather local men of Torah knowledge (8) [17] who look into the matter amongst themselves.

      Sh"A CM 11:5
      Exceptionally esteemed women (Rama; or a Talmid Chacham whose one occupation is Torah), if they are summoned to Beis Din, and so, too, if a plaintiff can appoint a stand-in to appear in Beis Din in his place, see Siman 96 and Siman 124.

      The only time a Talmid Hakham is allowed to completely refuse is if he is being called to be a witness(CM 28:5), and only then in very specific cases, otherwise he has to make some arrangement to meet the summons of the B"D.

  35. Eddie... If you want to know about the r kook saga do this 1 read the 2 rav zonnenfeld biogs
    2) Read 2 r kook biogs ( hacohen raz reznick)
    3)Read the NEW satmar and chazon ish biogs
    4) don't look at a blog until you finish the above
    5) talk it over with זקנים from both sides
    6) i have done the above

    1. When reading the bio of Rav Sonnenfeld, "Ish Hachomah" be aware of the inaccuracies reported according to Rav Sonnenfeld's family.

      Anything written by H. Frenkel, who was principal of Satmar institutions under the Satmar Rebbe should be examined carefully..(He is also an Ami journalist, perfect example of "the world according to ME").

    2. Cohen K, can you give some links to the Chazon Ish Blog?


  36. Eddie... I didn't write clear... I wrote biogs short for biography's... Now reread my short comment...
    I think all these books are basicly very honest
    On the chazon ish the new book is by benyamin braun.. Exceptionly good
    I said to avoid blogs because it's short bite size parts , often written with an agenda
    This is a lot of work but there is no other way if you want to understand...

  37. Benny Brown in his new 900 page(!) book on the HI that "Cohen Katan" refered to has avery good and balanced discussion of the HI's attitude towards Rav Kook.

  38. "Assuming the letter is not a forgery, and that isn't a given,"

    Actually, it is a given. According to your criteria, every single document is assumed to be a forgery, unless proven otherwise. I wonder if your an uber-skeptic when it comes to everything else!

    That we have plenty of evidence that the CC highly respected RAYHK is clear. (No one yet mentioned that Rav Kook even wrote a haskama for a sefer by the CC!) We also have one single anecdote cited by the Brisker Rav who wasn't there and Rav Gorelick who was 13 years old at the time. Could it be that Rav Gorelick misheard? After all he was very young, and his testimony is not characteristic of what we know about the CC. Even if Rav Gorelick's anecdote is 100% true, it would still have to be reconciled with other facts. What emerges then is that, perhaps, CC one time criticized Rav Kook, but otherwise held him in high esteem.

    We can easily dispense with the Satmar Rebbe's comment. The Satmar Rebbe denigrated almost every single gadol in his על הגואלה ועל התמורה. That he would have a problem with Rav Kook is neither a chidush, nor compelling. The SR's extreme views, while in a most general and vague manner reflective of the charedi world, are the ideas of a דעת יחיד.

  39. I have another way of looking at the issue. And I am simply adopting the Haredi way of thinking, so please forgive me if it sounds arrogant.

    "Since I [or others] consider Rav Kook as being the most eminent leader of Torah in his generation, then that is the reference by which to see things. Hence, the question is, which other rabbis were Tzadikim [i.e. by accepting R' Kook's position as Gadol hador] and which were rashoim [by not accepting Daas Torah of r' kook or even attacking/insulting him]".

    Now this is the standard by which haredim judge who is the gadol hador. So Chabad see their rebbe like that; followers of R' Shach would view the world in the same way. And sephardim who follow a Sephardi Gadol will do the same.

    This was a stylised argument, and obviously I don't hold by it, but it is just as legitimate to see the world this way as it is to put say, the CI in the centre of the universe, and build everything around it.

    My view is actually that they were all great, even if they had bitter disagreements. even tho I am very far from Satmar, I would visit their mikveh when I lived in Yeruyshalyim.

  40. Dr eidenson
    The story you bring about the CI is a mistake , it was rav shlomo e alfandri ztl.
    The story of rav yehoshea lav diskin diskin is a mistake . RYLD was nifter in 1898. R kuk arived in 1904.

    1. Interesting - where is the story which mentioned Rav Alfandri? I have not commitment to the validity of the story - I am just reporting what I read in the Yated Ne'eman. similarly the story with RYLD correctly illustrated a common attitude - though as you note it was like stated by a different gadol.

  41. Dr , you forgot what you read in the yated...
    Rav yl diskin never saw r kook.
    If you live still in jerusalem ask any yeruslami over age 50.

    1. 1) No I didn't forget - but from what you are saying the story which was published got the name incorrect.

      2) I am not questioning you second point. Again I am reporting what I was told - which you are saying cannot be accurate.

      I am just asking for the source of the information regarding the first story.

  42. My source is a private conversation with rav chaim grainaman shlita.












  54. The Brisker Rov Reb Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik ZTZL

    Once said that when he hears someone talk about Ahavas Yisroel
    so he knows three things:
    1. He Hates Frum Jews!!
    2. He Hates the Torah!!!
    3. He Hates Hashem!!!

  55. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:18 PM

    Referring to the hazon ish perhaps? 😂

  56. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:19 PM

    Yated is anti Zionism, so they had no agenda to publish this story.


  58. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:40 PM

    Great picture, thanks berel! Did you go to university? Rav hutner did.

  59. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:44 PM

    Read Kol hator. Mr rivlin will help you.

  60. that is what he said about Chofetz Chaim????!!!!

  61. Kook Shmook said the Chofetz Chaim on this Man

  62. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    Many tzaddikim spoke about ahavas yisrael. Again, Cc, CI were Gedolim of the clal. Brisker Rav was limited in his influence, only the brisker derech.

  63. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 17, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    Oh no he didn't.

  64. Salam aleikum. It's true. Hundreds of seforim on the Chofetz Chaim, and chazon ish. Brisker Rav - very few. Majority of hareidim follow cc/ci, only minority are briskers. Brisk yeshiva is tiny.

  65. Reb Chaim's einekel also went to university, and opened a yeshiva university!

  66. The story is false. It wasn't the Cc who said this. The story falsely attributes it to the chofetz Chaim, and was circulated by Goebbels/Shapiro of the neturei karta. Same one who is a friend of gilad atzmon, yemach shmam.

  67. Shemos 4:

    ז וַיֹּאמֶר, הָשֵׁב יָדְךָ אֶל-חֵיקֶךָ, וַיָּשֶׁב יָדוֹ, אֶל-חֵיקוֹ; וַיּוֹצִאָהּ, מֵחֵיקוֹ, וְהִנֵּה-שָׁבָה, כִּבְשָׂרוֹ.

  68. וַיֹּאמֶר, הָשֵׁב יָדְךָ אֶל-חֵיקֶךָ, וַיָּשֶׁב יָדוֹ, אֶל-חֵיקוֹ; וַיּוֹצִאָהּ, מֵחֵיקוֹ, וְהִנֵּה-שָׁבָה, כִּבְשָׂרוֹ.

  69. whilst HaGaon HaRav Kook did speak about ahavas Yisroel, he also was critical of evildoers. I agree there are dangers of this ideology, which was also taught by the chofetz Chaim. There is danger in achdus - how can you be at one with reshaim? Just because other people are born Jewish, does not mean we have to be one with them. The torah is quite clear that we fight the reshaim, evildoers - it is a mitzvah to hate them. In the true torah times we could kill them eg if they were idolaters or even in case of rotzeach.

    Actually this is one the areas where I disagree with the lovey-dovey ideas of rav Kook, and others. however, Chofetz Chaim also says that veahavta l'reiecha is only when they act like your brother.

    On his level , Rav kook could act like this, but ordinary people cannot.


    The speech at the opening of the Hebrew university -
    Rav Kook admonishes Academics, staff, and students that they must all be observant of Torah Traditional Judaism!

    is this any different from what Chabad or Chazon Ish would ask them?

  71. also The Holocaust happened because of the evildoers non believing Zionists and because the Polish Jews Frum ones went along with them at leastypartially

    Kol yisroel Arevim Ze lozeh! Arvous concept

    So because they didnt break off completely like the derech Reb Yoshua Leib Diskin and Chasam Sofer
    They were punished - Ki taitzai Esh omastah Kotzim Vinechal Gadish --The Holy ones were punished along with them Hashem Yirachem al Amoi!

    Thats why Hungary was Last , Least , And possible to redeem save with money (weismandel /wislinsky)
    Because they had separate KKehillos and there was therfore no Arvous for the evildoers.

  72. Did you ever read the speech?
    Just sneaky tricky Kanifah to the evildoers!
    Chillal Hashem of the greatest Order
    The Chofest Chaim Was NEVER Moichel Him!

  73. Nonsense he singlehadedly destroyed the will to keep Shmita with his laughable Heterim! Rothchild refused to support any shmitah observer since kook gave Heter

  74. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:20 AM

    "because", are you an expert on cause and effect?
    Do you have nevuah?
    The first question is most likely no, since you have no inkling of science and causality, and are opposed to studying science - which is the opposite of the Gra's approach.

    I also doubt that you have nevuah, so you are simply repeating the satmar rebbe's claim. But he also did not have nevuah. I do not want to say too much since he happened to coincidentally know a lot of talmud.

    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once told me , before he became Chief rabbi of England (not a freemason), that it happened because of the evil Nazi regime.

    others have blamed other sectors, such as reform. Rav Hartom said something almost the opposite of the Satmar rebbe - he said it was because Jews became too comfortable in Galut, they felt European and not Israelites, and they opposed Zionism and returning to EY. Rav Teichtal said something similar.

  75. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:22 AM

    I did read it - and you are talking nonsense.
    The CC comments are fabricated by Shapiro who kisses Gilad Atzmon's tuchas.

  76. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:27 AM

    Rav Yitzhak Elchonon Spektor, the Gaon of Kovno and greatest posek in Europe had already given support for the Heter. Rav Spektor was greater than any of the people you mention, with respect to their greatness.

  77. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    what does that mean? he was a Gaon. Probably the greatest of his generation.

  78. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:35 AM

    Brisker Rav -19 October 1886 – 11 October 1959
    Chazon Ish was approximately the same generation as the Brisker. Chazon ish is much more influential than the Brisker Rov. He didn't destroy the Rabbinate at all. Rav Elyashiv was working there until 1972. Someone asked him how he did this considering the "issur" of the brisker Rov, and he said that it didn't apply to him.

    In Israel, everyone paid attention to the Chazon Ish, but very few paid attention to the Brisker Rov.

    There is nothing wrong in kinnas soferim, Brisker was much more important in Eidah world than Chazon Ish. But not outside of Eidah.

  79. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:39 AM

    ther eis only 1 biography of the brisker rav, in 4 volumes. There are hundreds of books about the Chofetz Chaim.

  80. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:41 AM

    You see the kefirah in your answer? "Therfore Rothschild refused to support any shmitah observer since kook gave Heter!"

    the Torah says Hashem will support us for observing Shemitta.

    You are relying on Rothschild, who you also accuse of being illuminati and freemason. You are a mixed up person, and lacking in emunah! (OK, so am I)

  81. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:50 AM

    There is a kernel of truth to what you say, but the kelipos are false.

    If you say arevim, but only for tzaddikim, then your argument is disproven. Since Hashem will not punish Tzaddikim for the sins of reshaim. furthermore, the secular in Israel were protected, Zionists. the mixed Americans, reform, zionist, and secular were protected. germany - 80% escaped, and majority were reform, whereas Hungary is the opposite - they were majority frum and killed.
    Our master the Chasam Sofer was the century before this - he was dealing with reform, not Zionism. Zionism was an opposite reaction to reform, it was proof that reform and assimilation were failures.
    I said before, read the Kol HaTor, it will open your eyes - and you have an advantage in Mr Rivlin shlita.

    You are mistaken in your knowledge of time and history. Zionism was the ship which tried to stop assimilation - and death. Yes, some were already totally secular, but that was tinok sh'nishba.

    Everyone must first save themselves.

  82. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:58 AM

    You are an anti-torah person at heart. One of your gripes against our Master is that he planned to set up a yeshiva in America! Oh yes, terrible crime - you are worse than Reform. Reform have their Theological college or whatever, but you are opposed to a Yeshiva based on Volozhin learning. Oh, what a sick man you are, too many kelipos.

  83. Volozin? what Volozin!

    chas visalem
    Volozin was closed/Shuttered by the Netziv because of secular studies!!

  84. You better do quick teshuvah am I a garuntor!!

  85. See this article about Rav Kook

  86. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 3:14 AM

    No guarantor for malshin like you or ab.

  87. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 3:17 AM

    Netziv opposed Russian enforced Russian studies. Mercaz harav teach netziv learning style, not brisker.

  88. America? not true in EY Mercaz harav

  89. ט"ז אדר

    ג"ה עש"ק י"א שבט תרפ"ז דווינסק

    קבלתי ג' מכתביך ע"ד הבור השוטה המכונה בשם אשר רש"י ז"ל סותר עצמו : עי"
    חולין דף ס"ג ע"א (אר"י קאת זו "הקוק") ודף קל"ח ע"ב ודף ק"מ ע"ב אם הוא
    מין טמא או טהור ובאמת לפי הנראה היא מגדר המין דחולין דף ס"ב ע"ב ונדה דף
    ג" ע"ב ע"ש בתוס' תרנגלא דאגמא דהזכר טמא והנקבה טהור גדר עמוני שהם נפנו
    על ס"ת יבמות דף ט"ז ע"ב ולמסקנא כולם טמאים. וצא טמא יקרא לו ואסור להתוכח
    עמו כמבואר בסנהדרין דף ל"ח ע"ב כ"ש דפקר טפי. ועי' מכילתא פ' בשלח מלחמה
    לד' בעמלק מדור דור דורו של משיח והרי הוא כופר בהשגחה עליונה . ועי' מ"ש
    רבנו בספר המורה ח"א פ"ט וכמ"ש בקדושין דף ל"ג ע"ב, כי על עון מדות בא עמלק
    ע"ש בתוספות, וכמ"ש ה"ה ז"ל בה' גנבה ספ"ז ע"ש בזה ומאן רשעי גנבי סוף
    סנהדרין כופר בהשגחה ב"ק דף ע"ט ע"ב ותוס' סוטה דף מ"א ע"ב ע"ש והדין תורא
    מחבל כרמיא ור"ש פ"ז דפאה ושאיה יוכת שער מנגח כתורא ב"ק דף כ"א. אך תל"י
    אנן קי"ל כמ"ד המקיים קוצים בכרם לא קידש כרם ד' וכו' ויבא בעל הכרם ויכלה
    את קוציו ב"מ דף כ"ג ע"ב ומעשרות פ"ג בירושלמי בעל הגינה וד' ית' ישלח לנו
    גואל צדק ואז אי"ה חפו חשוכא להני אינשי סנהדרין דף צ"ט ע"א.

    כ"ד יוסף ראזין רב דפה הנ"ל

  90. Herzl was greater than teitelbaum and weissmandl put together. He saw the danger in Europe from the ground up. One of the benefits of assimilation.
    Satmar still in denial. Weissmandl only woke up in the thick of it. Teichtal also, but he did teshuva. If teitelbaum and weissmandel listened to Herzl or Rav herzog, maybe 1 million would have been saved.

  91. The sons were not big, they were just thick, because your eidah has no more scholarship. Leaders today came from London.
    The Leshem was much greater than your people,. You have departed from the Gaon ideas.

  92. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:12 PM

    Only Samar/samael/eidah (axis of Evil) hate Rav Kook and Zion. Most hareidim respect him big time, but consider him too open minded. It doesn't matter, his friends were the greatest of all: netziv, Rav isser Zalman, Rav elyashiv and Leshem, etc. Cc also, so you made a blood libel against him.

  93. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    Samar guilty of war crimes, so they covered up. He created his phoney demonology, that is why you are such a hater. Satmar jealous of Rav Kook, who was far greater than him. Hence all teitelbaum could do was to be rodeif after Israel. Shame on you eidah fools who left the Gra and became a surrogate hassidic cult.

  94. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 1:35 PM

    Some Gedolim opposed the brisker way, said it is chemistry. It is too secular way to learn. So brisk is actually Modern orthodox, haha.

  95. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 2:02 PM

    Samael/ sanballat/satmar, = snake/Satan/yetzer hara.

  96. Rav Berel Soloveichik ZT”L, son of the Brisker Rav ZT”L, used to relate to his students the Chofetz Chaim’s response when he heard of Rav Kook’s position on the chloni soccer players. “Kook shmook!”, the Chofetz Chaim said, dismissing both the man and the position. The story about the Chofetz Chaim – the paragon of Shemiras Halashon himself – is easily confirmed. The person who it happened with was named Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Gorelick, father of Rav Yeruchem Gorelick ZTL, who was a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim and a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University. Rav Yeruchem Gorelick (who was personally present and heard it directly from the Chofetz Chaim’s own mouth) said the story over publicly numerous times (including at the Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, where his son was Rosh Yeshiva), as did Rav Berel Soloveichik ZTL, Rosh Yeshiva of Brisk. (Rav Berel also related that Rav Kook said about the opening of the Hebrew University, that it is a fulfillment of kimitzion etc. – immediately the gedolim in Poland and Russia organized a protest against this chilul Hashem – and the Chofetz Chaim came in and said Kook shmook and then he left. See “Mishkenos Harayim” 3:1-108.)

    And the Chofetz Chaim’s statement is mild compared to what other Gedolim have said about him. Particularly relevant in this context is a letter by Rav Elchonon Wasserman to Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, printed in Kovetz Maamarim, of which a facsimile of his Ksav Yad is readily accessible, where he refers to R. Kook as a “rasha gamur.” This was the eternally loyal Talmid of the Chofetz Chaim, who spent his life disseminating his Rebbi’s Torahs. (When the Chofetz Chaim was considering moving to EY, Rav Chaim Ozer asked him who will take care of Klall Yisroel in Chutz Laaretz if he leaves. The Chofetz Chaim answered, “What do you mean? You have Reb Elchonon!”)

    Regarding Rav Kook specifically, I have heard that the Chazon Ish ZT”L used to censor his Seforim by taping or marking over the anti-Torah writings in them. Of course, the Chazon Ish was more able to know what is undesirable and what is not, than the average student. If someone was the biggest Apikores and enemy of Hashem, as long as he would “work the land” of Israel, Rav Kook considered him holy. The soccer players, mechalelei shabbos b’farhesia, were to Rav Kook, “holy”. He did not mean “Tzelem Elokim” holy, but rather, because they assisted the Zionist cause they were “holy”, regardless of their status according to the Torah. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld ZTL said that he was like a person who is drunk – saying irrational, nonsensical things – and in his case, he is drunk on Ahavas Yisroel. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld’s description of him as a “Purim Rav the whole year”. Rav Kook was considered a lone, sad case of greatness gone irrational. A more hard-line position is found in the Teshuvos Divrei Yoel by the Satmar Rav ZT”L (CM 131), where he rules outright that it is forbidden according to Halachah to follow any Halachic rulings of Rav Kook, who he categorizes as an apikores, in any area of Torah. His reasoning is based mainly on the following sources: Birkei Yosef 243:3; Responsa Bais Shlomo YD II:101; Chasam Sofer CM 163; The Gemora (Shabbos 116a).

  97. ככלב שב על קיא"ו כסיל שונה באולתו. -משלי כו יא

    מלבי"ם: "ככלב שב על קיאו כסיל שונה באולתו", אחר שבאר מה שיענה להכסיל, בדברים קלים בדרך בזיון, באר מדוע לא יענהו בחכמה בדרך וכוח, שהוא מפני שהכסיל שונה באולתו, כמו הכלב ששב לבלוע את המאכל אשר "הקיא", שהוא המאכל הרע שלא יכול לסבלו והקיא אותו ובכ"ז בלעהו שנית, כן הכסיל ישוב לשנות את האולת אשר הקיא, הגם שהוא בעצמו יודע שהוא דבר נמאס, כי כבר בארנו שהכסיל יודע שאין ממש באולת וספיקות שלו, כמ"ש ואולת כסילים מרמה, ואולת כסילים אולת, בכ"ז ישנה את האולת פעם שנית, ומה יועיל הוכוח. ע"כ

  98. It's been investigated and it's false. This lie perpetrated by Shapiro, like the old blood libel or the Damascus blood libel.

  99. Samar rebbe - forbade his followers to leave Europe.

  100. "Rav Berel also related that Rav Kook said about the opening of the
    Hebrew University, that it is a fulfillment of kimitzion etc. –"
    In Rav Kook's speech he did not say that the University is a fulfillment of Ki Mitzion Teitzeh Torah... He just said that verse to remind the academics that the Torah goes forth from Tzion, and that he expects all academics, students and administrators to be Torah observant.
    The small minded perverted everything he said as a springboard on which to attack him.

    Again, what is "commonly known" in Eidah circles reminds me of how in the Islamic world it was "known" that the Jews had planned and orchestrated the 9/11 attacks in NY. There are a few variations on this , eg they blame Israel (Zionists), and ask where were the Jewish victims etc.

  101. MG: "Of course, the Chazon Ish was more able to know what is undesirable and what is not, than the average student."

    שאל נימוס הגרדי את רבי מאיר: כל עמר דנחית ליורה סליק? - אמר ליה: כל מאן דהוה נקי אגב אימיה - סליק, כל דלא הוה נקי אגב אימיה - לא סליק

    כל עמר דנחית כו' דהוי נקי אגב אמיה וכו'. עיין פרש"י ותוס' ובערוך בערך עמר פי' דעל גב אמיה נקי כלומר כל אותו צמר שהוא נקי ואינו מלוכלך בטיט קולט צבע יפה כך ר"ע מתחלה היה יפה עלה בשלום וירד בשלום ואחר שמתחלה לא היה הגון לא ירד בשלום עכ"ל ונראה לפרש מהאי לישנא דנקט נקי אגב אמיה שרמז בזה מעובדא דאיתא בירושלמי דאבויה אביו של אחר הפרישו ביום המילה לתורה וכוונתו היה שלא לשם שמים ולכך [לא] נתקיים בו דיצא לתרבות רעה וז"ש דאחר לא היה נקי אגב אמיה דהיינו קרוב ללידתו ביום המילה נתכוין אביו ללמדו שלא לשם שמים ולכך לא יצא בשלום

    ועליו הכתוב אומר משכני אחריך נרוצה כו'. אסיפא דהאי קרא קסמיך דמסיים ביה הביאני המלך חדריו דהיינו שבא בשלום בחדרי היכלות של מעלה כמפורש בדברי רב האי ובערוך ע"ש

    ובספר ישן מצאתי וז"ל רע"ק היה שלם בכל מיני שלימות וכשהגיע לגבול ששכל האנושי א"א להגיע אליו עמד ולא הרס לעלות אל ה' וע"כ נאמר עליו משכני אחריך וגו' כלומר שנמשך ולא נכנס לפנים מן הגבול עכ"ל:  -חידושי אגדות חגיגה טו

  102. "Of course, the Chazon Ish was more able to know what is undesirable and what is not, than the average student"
    The CI also opposed the Mussar movement of Rav Salanter (which was followed by the CC for example), and the Brisker derech which he viewed as too much of an innovation. Yet, I don't see many Hareidim jumping up and down to denounce the brisker method just because the CI opposed it.

  103. "Furthermore,
    among those who have moved to Eretz Yisrael in these times, most of the
    immigrants from Arab countries were living peacefully and tranquilly in
    their countries, lacking nothing, until the establishment of the
    heretical kingdom in Israel. Through the establishment of that State
    they began to suffer hatred and persecution in their countries, and the
    Zionists themselves aided this through their wiles, so as to increase
    the persecution until they would be forced to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael,
    destitute and with nothing, and they glorified their saviors, but the
    truth was the opposite – that [the Zionists] had brought about all of
    the destruction in the first place. (Va-Yo'el Moshe 123)"


    No, Mr Teitelbaum, this is sheker. The Jews of Meshed in Northern Iran were converted by the sword to Islam in 1836, and lived as Marranoes under shmad for several generations, with the shmad easing in the early 20th century, eg 1915-1920 . These shmads, blood libels and pogroms had occurred throughout the middle east for centuries, going back to the Iggeret teiman/ Iggeret shmad and way before this.

    Only a liar or a fool would claim that that Jews had lived safely in the Islamic countries.
    As for the European countries, the Holocaust was not anything new in terms of antisemitism or pogrom - this had been going on since the expulsion and murder of the Jews of England, the crusades, the Spanish inquisition, the massacres in Germany, France, , Pogroms in Russia - all of which led Mr Herzl to start some lateral thinking and seek other options. Satmar blaming Zionism for the holocaust is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  104. " I have heard that the Chazon Ish ZT”L used to censor his Seforim by taping or marking over the anti-Torah writings in them"
    You have heard this Moe, or are you quoting from someone else? And who are you quoting from?

  105. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 1:04 AM

    These quotes are mainly lies by troublemaker - see the quote from Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank that I posted a few days ago, where he dispels these myths.

    The main players here are Reb Elchonon and the satmar rebbe, and maybe Berel S, who is virtually unheard of.

    Reb Elchonon was a great Gadol in Halacha, but obviously his ability to think logically, in secular and realistic matters pertaining to the outside world were severely compromised. He refused to accept visas to America, let alone to Israel. Reb Teitelbaum was also a similar but more crafty character - but lacking the yashrus to admit he had made any error, other than not opposing zionism quite enough. Why was America so bad for saving lives, but so good to make it the centre of Hassidus after the war? If you are allowed to eat chazir to save life in a case of even safek pikuach nefesh, why was reb Elchanan opposed to accepting Dr Belkin's visas from YU? Even if he would for a few days eat stam kasher foods at YU, is that worse than eating chazir?
    Rambam writes in Iggeret teiman that if there is oppression in a coutnry, you are obliged to escape and move somewhere safer. Why were these Hareidi leaders ignoring halacha?

  106. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 2:20 AM

    R' J. B Soloveitchik of YU would give money to his uncle, Reb Velvele, and to Brisk yeshivas. If Brisk are so pure that they don't accept the tainted money from the Zionist entity, why did they accept if from YU which is both MO and Zionist at the same time?

  107. Please stop spreading lies about the Hebrew University speech. The text is readily available, and Rav Kook said no such thing. If that is what R' Berel said about that, then that tells us how reliable he is in general.

  108. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 1:41 PM

    These claims spread in eidah/satmar axis like blood libel does amongst the goyim. No coincidence that they attend holocaust denial conference in Teheran, where nk said only 1 million were killed.

  109. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 7:13 PM

    You pasted this before. Why are you repeating yourself?

  110. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 7:19 PM

    Rabbanut was under Rav herzog and Rav uziel /Nissim. Rav elyashiv obviously saw Rav herzog as greater/more relevant than the out of touch eidah.
    BTW, Rav velvel ztl was right in one aspect - there shouldn't be a single authority, but many. That was his concern about the rabbanut. In many ways the rabbanut won . for conversion, marriage it has become the central aauthority.

  111. First of all he was a relative

    Second He was a Goan , and his private funs were Kosher

    Third his einecklach are back in the Charedi yeshivas derech!
    That says a lot,

  112. How many Jews were killed in America Canada Europe in the last 70 Years? a Hand ful

    How many Deaths and Maimings In Israel in Last 70 Years according to State statistics? 70,000 !!
    Very Costly and


  114. Not true at all chas visholom

  115. For those that need reminding .


  117. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:05 PM

    Relative with PhD and says hallel on yom atzmaus.
    Gaon, so was Rav Kook. In fact, Rav Kook was more respected than Reb yosha ber ztl.
    His private funds were not from his salary as rabbi, it was from wealthy MO Zionists. G-d bless his eineckels, har etzion is a tzioni yeshiva.
    Now his father, Reb Moshe soloveichik ztl was elder brother of Reb Velvel ztl. Reb Moshe was head of yu, so what's so terrible about using his visas to save life?

  118. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:11 PM

    Does that include Soviet Russia?
    How many assimilated in USA? I heard its 5 million.
    Btw, average lifespan in Israel is higher than america, or Russia.
    So it depends how you measure life. If you consider abortions murder, I bet there are more abortions in secular American community than in Israel. How about life - birthrate is higher in Israel than American Jews. (Especially in non frum majority)

  119. Big Difference
    Kook was a Muma rLihachis a wicked person according to all he letters of the chachmei Yerushliam and the Kaf Hachaim (do you read)
    ReB Yosheh Ber Was an great Goan and happened to make some mistakes NU

    No Rabbonim came out against him personally

  120. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:15 PM

    I was in bnei brith youth, and went to an older bnei brith meeting. Nothing to do with masonry, just some shul members serving tea and kosher cakes.

  121. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:18 PM

    Nonsense. Just cause he's in the brisker family. Netziv, Rav isser Zalman, the Leshem, gurer rebbe were friends of Rav Kook.

  122. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:29 PM

    Nonsense, Rav elyashiv was part of the rabbanut, he helped build it. Are all chareidim now freemasons?

  123. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 21, 2019 at 9:52 PM

    A lot came out against Reb yosha. Sadly.
    I read a vort from the Rav. Someone asked him who was greater, his grandfather (Rav Chaim) or the Gra? He said Rav Chaim! Now, that is bias. Rav Chaim was a Gaon adir, Gadol amongst Gedolim. It's hard to say anyone after or at the same time was greater than the Gra!
    I heard from Rav berel Knopfler in golders Green, someone asked Rav Chaim volozhiner if the Gra was as great as the Rambam. The story goes that the answer Rav Chaim volozhiner gave is that the Gra was ,Chas v shalom, like a "worm" compared to the Rambam. It's shocking but this is how great the rishonim were.

  124. The true
    Kaf Hachaim I am familiar with is Rav Chaim Palagi.

  125. only before they got to know him
    the mercaz- kipa serugah crowd- work relentlessly day and nite overtime as an article of faith and belief and as collecting all the signatures ever sent to kook from any rov Remember HE was close toi Herbert Samuel the High Commissioner of Palestine the Only Charedi so connected and deviously discard all th derogatory ones

  126. Reb Moshe never joined

  127. True, he was a cousin and he spoke in YU.
    I have known many Chareidi Rabbonim, and bene to Chareidi yeshiva - they have generally all been hard on Rav Soloveichik, and honored Rav Kook. You are the opposite. But even the Brisker guy I knew (rosh of a mini yeshiva) was hard on Soloveichk and honored Rav kook.

  128. Yesodei haTorah - Chapter Five


    אבל אם יכול למלט נפשו

    ולברוח מתחת יד המלך הרשע ואינו עושה הנה הוא ככלב שב על קיאו והוא נקרא

    עובד עבודת כוכבים במזיד והוא נטרד מן העולם הבא ויורד למדרגה התחתונה של


    So those who refused calls from YU, secular Zionists, religious zionists to leave Europe, should learn halacha properly.

  129. was this in Rav Zevin's book?
    you like Rav Zevin?

  130. Yerucham was a nobody, trying to fill in his father's shoes. Non ofthe people in the letter above are worth any significant thought. Your only Gaon was Rav Velvele, and he was Rav Chaim's son.

    google the topic

  132. Many today are filled with the SRaz etc.propaganda machine on the Kook topic Sad
    But its coming out slowly but steady

  133. you mean like the propaganda that 6 million Jews were killed, but thanks to your Eidah pals (Tehran), we now discovered it was just 1 million?

  134. "Anti-masons,
    antisemites, anti-zionists, and a range of conspiracy theorists and
    self-described "masonic critics", tend to describe B'nai B'rith as a
    secret masonic lodge. Although, in fact, there is no administrative or
    philosophical link between Freemasonry and B'nai B'rith, there is an
    historical connection."

    The first line describes you quite well///

  135. The Rogatchover gaon was known as a prankster, who loved to play word games, and spared nobody from his quick wit.
    Sadly, his daughter and son-in law? came to save his writings in europe, and were killed in the shoah. Perhaps if he had more respect for Rav Kook, he might have saved his family and community too.

  136. Ha-Rav Meltzer once visited Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, and Ha-Rav
    Meltzer said about Maran Ha-Rav: “We are Gedolim until we reach his

    [Mi-Toch Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet vol. 2 p. 170, Le-Shelosha Be-Elul vol. 2 p.
    101, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiah p. 202, Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah vol. 274, Malachim
    Kivnei Adam p. 430 and the booklet “Az Nebabru Yirei Hashem” p. 22]

    Ha-Rav Shabatai Rapaport, Ha-Rav Feinstein’s grandson, related that in
    the year 5739, during Sukkot in Monsey, NY, Ha-Rav Feinstein was
    involved with writing a contrary view to a responsa of Ha-Rav Eliezer
    Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer). Ha-Rav Rapaport showed his grandfather a
    statement from Maran Ha-Rav Kook (relating to the issue) which Ha-Rav
    Rapaport found amazing. Ha-Rav Feinstein responded: “What is surprising,
    he was the Gaon of Geonim!”

    [Likutei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 59]

  137. Berel is Neturei Karta, who deny the Holocaust, are freinds with the neo nazis, terrorists, Iranian Mullahs, just like their predecessors Satmar and Munkatcher loved Hitler more than they loved Herzl.

  138. '[Likutei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 59]'= Lies and fantasy for fellow brainwashing

  139. this lie had not been fabricated then, it was fabricated by the molestor Shapiro on his frumteens website, where he would lure teenage girls and sexually molest them -

  140. that as well?

  141. howabout Satmar rebbe, being called a rodeif by the gadol hador in America?

    Berel, let's be honest with each other - I am not going to change you, and you are not going to change me.
    The readership on here is not so big, look we are the only main commenters now, poor Gerald is giving up on his Scotus because of us, Yehoshua has left the room, and IR only occasionally gives a source from his vast knowledge of Halacha.

    We have exhausted this discussion, you are just repeating your standard lines like a scratched record, and there is no benefit in continuing to debate.

    So be well, send my regards to Reb Rivlin.


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