Friday, December 6, 2013

Why is Rav Kook neglected by Chareidim?

Guest post by Chaim Bornstein

Brief background on the author:

Chaim Bornstein is in his mid-twenties. He is learning in a prestigious Kollel in the Tri-State area. He is currently pursuing a rabbinic ordination and a Master’s Degree in School Administration. 

Chaim is against being categorized. However, if you must know, he wears a black hat and went to the Internet Asifah. He did so because his Rosh Kollel told him to do so, and he believes it’s a mitzvah to listen to the words of chachomim. He did not believe there was anything for him to gain from the asifah and continues to feel uninspired by the event.  (Chaim has had Spector Pro and E-Blaster on every PC he has ever owned and had the Internet on his Blackberry blocked since he purchased it in 2010...)

Chaim was born in the U.S. to a chashuv Kollel couple hailing from one of the prestigious American Yeshivos. In 1992 his parents made Aliyah and have lived in several Chareidi communities in Israel since...

He went to a well known cheder in Jerusalem and attended Yeshiva Ketana in Eretz Yisrael as well.  Chaim returned to the U.S. in 2003 and obtained a high school diploma.  He received his Undergraduate Degree in 2011. He currently resides in the N.Y. Metro area, where he is B"H happily married with three children.

121 comments :

  1. I was recently thinking about this and a number of other "mutually exclusive" viewpoints.
    Next, I was doing some soul searching, and realised that my own viewpoints can be extreme and exclusive.

    I am now trying to work on this issue, is to give kavod even to those whom disgree with, to the extent that it is possible. The Gra teaches that one can argue/debate with one's rav, but to do it respectfully. The first part is "easier" than the second - at least for me.
    Perhaps rav Kook was trying to bring more harmony amongst Klal Yisroel - something we need to learn today.

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  2. intellectual cowardDecember 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Who is Chaim Bornstein? It would be nice if we have some identification. He writes well, and makes good points, but identity and background is also important.

    In general, as is often the case, citing anecdotal evidence from Charedim in the street is not a fair indication of the charedi position, which is fair only when citing a well-thought out and carefully-worded response of an authoritative figuere (and not mere quotes taken out of context).

    I did speak once to a great Charedi Rosh Yeshiva, who said this: "Rav Kook was an Adam Gadol and one may learn anything that he has written. And he continued: "HaDevarim Al HaGeulah - HaBilti Efshariyim, Lo Tzarich L'Kabel Otam"

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    1. LOL. You demand to know who the author Chaim Bornstein is but then go right on allegedly citing "a great Charedi Rosh Yeshiva" who you leave anonymous.

      I, too, am a great Charedi Rosh Yeshiva.

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  3. I know very little about R' Kook, as I've never systematically learned about him. But from observation, it seems to me that he was too unique to be truly accepted in the Charedi world. There have been many gedolim like that over the years, and the community dealt with them with a spectrum of perceptions. For example, to deal with R' Hirsch, the Charedi community imagines that he intended his philosophy as a hora'as sha'ah. To deal with the Rambam, Charedim imagine that he was a closet kabbalist pretending to be a rationalist. In the case of R' Kook, the solution was easier - he was a Zionist, so they could just discount him completely.

    I'm curious to hear if this makes sense to people who know more about R' Kook.

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  4. I don't get it. Rabbi Kook was a Haredi who was trying to save something of Yiddishkeit in the emerging Medina so that it would not be totally secular.
    That much of what he wrote has been distorted by his so-called talmidim, is their problem. When they take a limud zchus and turn it into a lechatchila, they are misguided.
    But the man himself was honored and respected by all of the gedolim - even those who disagreed with his approach to the emerging State.

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  5. Haven't read the essay yet (just printed it out for Shabbos), but in response to the blog post's title, I think that even without the ideological issues, Rav Kook's thought would be largely a closed book to the average frum person. Quite frankly, my observation has been that the average MO person that ascribes his hashkafa as being based on Rav Kook has very little actual knowledge of either the man himself or his thought.

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  6. Chaim Bornstein is a follower of Rav Kook, and has written about both the father (Avraham Yitzhak) and the son (Zvi Yehuda).

    Haredi world has evolved, but even when R' Kook was alive, he was too controversial, although he was close with many Gedolim, eg Isser Zalman Meltzer, Pesach Tzvi Frank, The Chofetz Chaim, The Leshem and his grandson R' Elyashiv, the Auerbach family etc. His ideas were very radical - and hence the opposite in nature of the Chaerdi world, which is becoming more conservative.

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    1. Chaim Bornstein is not the guest post author's real name

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    2. Thank you for the correction - i made an error, I was thinking of another author, and I assumed it was the same guy.

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    3. Why is the author only writing anonymously?

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  7. The essay is full of spelling mistakes, half finished ideas and inaccuracies.Its basic premise that Rav Kook is undervalued by the Charedi world is certainly true, but it needs a lot more precision and polishing to make the point sufficiently. It currently reads like an off-the-cuff polemic.
    It also ignores the extent to which Rav Kook is misunderstood by the broader DL world too.

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    1. Ben, how would you say he i misunderstood by the DL world?
      I think there is a difference between the DT/Mercaz haRav and spinoff yeshivas world on the one hand, and the MO/YU world on the other.

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    2. The DL world violates many of Rabbi Kook's positions on tznius, for example.

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    3. The DL world is made of many components just as the Yeshivish world is, In general statements there are lack of tzinius among many groups under the YESHIVISH UMBRELLA.

      The women of Mercaz Harav and their followers are paragons of Tzinius quite different from the Charedi world (meaning DL are longer skirts, kerchiefs, head coverings, not tight clothing and lack of fashion in many situations & simplicity).

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    4. Well, if that is the case, and it depends on whom and how, that is not the same as misunderstanding Rav Kook. There is an MO world, and a more Hardal /DL world. The Hardal are in soem cases more tzanua than haredim - women wear longer skirts, and wear tichels not wigs. They also do not beat up women on buses - which is not quite tzniut.

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    5. I truly apologize. I submitted to the blog poster a version of the essay which unfortunately was not yet complete. This was corrected and the corrected version is online. again, I truly apologize, and thank you for pointing this out to me...

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    6. Chaim, Glad I wasn't imagining the lack of completion, reads much better now. I applaud the effort to bring another strand of Torah thought to those unfamiliar, tizku l'mitzvos.
      Eddie, the way he is misunderstood by the broader DL world is evident in the chasm between the hashkafos hachaim found in the world of Merkaz HaRav and most of the rest of the DL world. American MO is a different story, owes nearly everything to the different approach of RYBS.
      I recall R' Isaac Bernstein z'l saying that there are those who will have to give din v'cheshbon for making R' Kook into a kibbutznik with a kipa sruga...

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    7. Ben, are you referring to R Isaac Bernstein zt'l of Finchley? My family were always close to him - and he barmitzvah'd my brother.

      BTW, I recall R Isaac Bernstein zt'l as saying that the palestinians were not the only terrorists - he said this about the kanoim who forced the Artscroll to remove the Haskomo to the book about R' Kook and R Sonnenfeld.

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    8. Eddie, the very same. I never had the zechus to met him but his parsha tapes were world class - don't recall which one that comment was on.

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    9. He was the Rav of our shul, but moved to America before my barmitzvah, then came back a few later and moved to a bigger shul in London.

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  8. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik told his students that, he was "not impressed with R. Kook's scholastics" (quoted in "The Rav Speaks" vol. 1). More recently, intense public pressure led to the censorship of "The Rav Thinking Aloud: Transscripts of Personal Conversations with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik." Here is what the first published version said, on p. 156. The starred was omitted from subsequent printings, due to tremendous public pressure. They demanded this paragraph be removed, by the way, even though it is documented with a tape-recording, and was said to a group of students in response to a direct question.

    [R. Kook] was a strange person. I met him twice. He was a strange person, but when you found yourself sitting in the presence of R. [Avraham] Yitzchak Kook, you felt, you had the intuitive feeling, that this is not just a rav, not just a rosh yeshiva. There is something else, his contemporaries did not understand.

    ***[Question by unknown speaker:] You felt the presence of greatness?

    I wouldn't say greatness. Uniqueness. Greatness, if you understand by "greatness" intellectual greatness, no, I was not impressed with his scholastics. ... I wouldn't say Gadlus. I saw him just once when I came, and he was sitting at a table...I spoke to him about Halachah ... I had a question whether I should observe [two days] ... he told me something, I didn't listen to him [chuckle]...***

    Censorship of what other people have said about him include the famous letter of the Gerrer Rebbe, that I cited above, where he writes that R. Kook "says Tameh is Tahor and Tahor is Tameh." That line was censored out of the Gerrer Rebbe's letter by Simcha Raz in his biography of R. Kook, "Malachim Kebnei Adam." The Gerrer Rebbe, who was one of his biggest defenders in the Torah world, said R. Kook distorts the Torah, making pure into impure and vice-versa, and because of that, he cannot be considered among the bearers of our Mesorah. You can find the actual letter at: http://yoel-ab.com/

    Regarding the non-religious soccer players Rabbi Kook said: "This sport that young Jews play in Eretz Yisroel in order to strengthen their bodies to be strong young men for the Nation, completes the spiritual strength of the Tzadikim above ... playing sports to strengthen the body and the spirit for the strength of the entire Nation is a holy service to Hashem, and raises the Shechinah higher and higher, like the 80 songs and praises sung by Dovid HaMelech in Tehillim (Oros M'Ofel 34).

    The Chofetz Chaim, when he saw a similar statement about the soccer players, simply dismissed him. "kook shmook" were his words. No more detailed a response was necessary. The Chazon Ish said that R. Kook's "Gehennom will be that they will show him what he has caused in this world and they will say to him, 'Kook!'. (Kook means "Look!" in Yiddish).

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    1. when RYBS tz"l met Rav Kook tz"l, the latter was dying. he was in no shape to engage in pilpul. there is no way in hell that the Rav mocked a sick, dying man like that.

      i find it strange that this supposed quote of the Rav's is only found on a few chareidi sites.

      this supposed censored quote directly contradicts other, certified statements by the Rav on Rav Kook (see http://www.traditiononline.org/news/_pdfs/Saks.pdf).

      i conclude that the whole quote is nothing but a fabrication which is used to mock two gedolai hatorah.

      regarding the Chafetz Chayim tz"l and Rav Kook:

      החפץ חיים עזב את הכינוס הראשון של אגודת ישראל ("הכנסייה הגדולה הראשונה") בתרפ"ג בווינה בטריקת דלת, לאחר שבישיבת הפתיחה השמיע הרב שור מבוקרשט דברי פגיעה ברב קוק, ואז זעק החפץ חיים: "פגעו במרא דארעא דישראל! מען דורף קורע זיין (תרגום מיידיש: יש לקרוע קריעה)!" הוא חזר בכעס לאכסנייתו וסירב לחזור להמשך הכינוס, וכן סירב ללחוץ את ידיהם של בני המשלחת הירושלמית ואמר להם: "לאלה שעושים מחלוקת נגד רבה של ירושלים איני נותן שלום!" והוסיף: "דעו לכם כי הוא קדוש וטהור, וכל הנוגע בו לא יינקה".‏[43]

      ^ 'בשדה הראי"ה', הפרק "בין שני הכהנים הגדולים" (עמ' 232-217), עמ' 228-225

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    2. Ben Waxman: That quote was published in the first edition of The Rav Thinking Aloud: Transscripts of Personal Conversations with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik. It is also available on tape.

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    3. when someone scans the book and uploads the picture, i'll ask about it. until then, it remains a rumor at best.

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    4. and where is this supposed tape?

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    5. Rav YB Solevechik could never be impressed with any G'dol B'Torah that did not embrace the Brisk style of learning.

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    6. you can all read of the meeting of Rav Kook and Rav Y. D. Soloveichik's meeting with Rav Kook here:

      http://www.traditiononline.org/news/_pdfs/Saks.pdf

      which if read half closely paints a completely different picture then some of the cuff remarks in (respectively) book which is had many comments and thoughts which are as vague as it gets.

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    7. I have no familiarity with the issue, but I would point out that Marc Shapiro apparently had the same impression from the book. Shapiro writes, "From the excerpt printed in The Rav Thinking Aloud, pp. 155-156, we see that the Rav regarded R. Kook as a saintly figure, but not as an intellectual great. Yet this impression was derived from one short conversation. All the gedolim who knew R. Kook had the exact opposite impression. They correctly saw that R. Kook was a master of the entire Torah, in all of its facets. I think you have to go back to Maharal, or perhaps even Nahmanides, to find such a wide-ranging Torah scholar as R. Kook." (http://seforim.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-writings-from-r-kook-and-assorted.html)

      So, unless the report is a pure fabrication (which is unlikely given that the source is certainly not anti-Zionist), R' Soloveitchik apparently did make such a comment. In my opinion it says more about R' Soloveitchik than about R' Kook.

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    8. "I think you have to go back to Maharal, or perhaps even Nahmanides, to find such a wide-ranging Torah scholar as R. Kook."

      LOL. Okay, let's not get carried away here.

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    9. there is of course no end to the irony of chareidim quoting rav soloveitchik to denounce rav kook. shall i quote shulamit aloni about her opinion on rav shach?

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  9. "People think R. Chaim [Brisker] became alienated because the Zionists were not observant. Of course it did not help, but that was not the reason. Of course they couldn't attract R. Chaim...I remember my father used to say לאומיות [Nationalism] is apikorsus" - Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik, "Thinking Aloud," p. 175 (i.e., in the uncensored version. it is on p. 174 in the censored version, where they removed, due to public pressure, the negative things R. Soloveichik said about R. Kook).

    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."

    The Satmar Rav ZTL rules clearly that he had the status of an Apikores.

    He bases this on a number of statements of Rav Kook that he says he saw first hand in his (Rav Kooks) writings, which include, it seems, statments about the non-frum Jews, probably the soccer players.

    True he did not they they do not have to be frum, but he did say that their playing soccer in Israel is enough to make them praiseworthy to Hashem (Hanosen l'yaef Koach etc.) and holy even though they are total atheists and the socer playing actually takes place on Shabbos.

    That's pretty bad, and nobody disagrees with that. Its much worse than a misconstuing of the "pintele yid".

    The Satmar Rav quotes Rabbeinu Yonah in Brachos who explains why, if a Chazan skips the blessing of V'lamalshinim we suspect he is a Apikores, even though if someone skips Techiyas Hameisim we do not suspect him for denying Techiyas Hameisim.

    This is because if someone refrains from cursing the Apikorsim we suspect he is one of them, even if the person may be the Gadol Hador (as was the case in the Gemora). But if a person skips Techiyas Hameisim there is no such suspision.

    Therefore, he says, if someone considers them holy and praiseworthy he surely is not cursing them when he should be ...

    Agree or disagree, thats his position, based on Halachic grounds.

    Also, a "toeh b;shikul hadaas" becomes a plain Apikores when it was possible for him to have seen his mistake and willfully - due to vested interest or otherwise - espoused anti-Torah ideas.

    Rav Kook was perceived by this group of Gedolim to have been way above the empty arguments he put forth on behalf of Zionism and his other deviant ideas. He was perceived as trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for the sake of Zionism.

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    1. Read the original speech made by Rav Kook on the opening of Hebrew U on Har Hatzofim and you will see the distortion that spread quickly as Loshen Harah about Rav Kook.

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    2. SATMAR have never advocated the inyan of Kiruv and it is not a speck in their avodas hashem. They look at Rabbonim from Aish & Ohr Sameach as nuts!!! Of course, they would deny or dismiss any understanding of 'kiruv rechokim" (besides when doing Bikur Cholim) or ahavas yisroel outside of their enclaves.

      To use the Satmar Rebbe as an example of comprehension towards the uniqueness & kedusha of Rav Kook is absurd. I will take the words from Rav Aryeh Levin, Tzadik of Yerushayalim, in his assessment of the Malach of Kedusha, known as Rav Kook.

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  10. The Imrei Emes said that he had a letter from Rav Kook retracting his staement abotu the soccer players. Not because it was misunderstood, but simply because he regretted it. And some other statments in his books as well.

    However, as an Odom Godol said to the Imrei Emes about that:

    The whole world has his books - with the statements - and only the imrei Emes has this letter. If the whole world would have the letter and only the Imrei emes the books, that would be fine. But he publicly made statements, wrote them in his books, people built their lifestyles on them - and then, in private, he tells one person that eh regrets it.

    But the public still has the old version!

    Rav Kook never publicy retracted the statements that he said publicly. It is altgetehr possible that eh regretetd everythign he said, but if nobody knows what his "new" poilcies are - and they are still following the old policies, he still has mislead the masses of people.

    Many of his follwoers even deny that Rav Kook ever wrote such a letter. In any case, a public policy cannot be retracted privately. His followers are still follwing his public policies, and even if there is a "Rav Kook" who we dont kow, who regretted a lot of what he said, the "Rav Kook" that is being followed in Mizrachi cricles is the well-known, public one.

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    1. And let's say that the talmidim of Rav Kook continue in this manner of Ahavas Chinom....in accepting and including those 'soccer players' as part of the Tzibbur (Tzaddikim, Beinonim and Reshaim) THEREFORE what???? What aveirah are they performing????

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  11. If the Truth HurtsDecember 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Dr. Lake,

    It is well known that Rav Kook never said that the opening of the Hebrew University it is a fulfillment of kimitzion etc. This was a distortion of his words; either maliciously or erroneously.

    See here: http://www.ou.org/torah/article/tzarich_iyun_rav_kooks_hebrew_university_invocation#.UqQfgOIQROc

    And here: http://www.leimanlibrary.com/texts_of_publications/63.%20Rabbi%20Abraham%20Isaac%20Ha-Kohen%20Kook%20Invocation%20at%20the%20Inauguration%20Of%20the%20Hebrew%20University.pdf

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  12. Thank you If the Truth hurts for the Hebrew University speech clarification.

    It is truly astounding how the malshinim will tell lies to attack a Rabbi. This is in fact derived from Goebbels "big lie" theory, that if you tell a big enough lie, often enough, people will believe it. Just like the anti-semites used this against the Jews, the anti-Zionists used this method against the Zionists. But today, the anti-semites use this against the Jews.

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    1. In the biography of Rav Chaim Sonnefeld (think it called, 'Man of the Wall'), the erroneous and malice statements abut Rav Kook are abundant. This is where most of the Charedi world got their POV about Rav Kook. There was a lawsuit from the family and chevarim of both Rav Kook and Rav Sonnefeld about the lies written there.

      Check online and you will see some of the rewriting of the biography....which was never included or changed in subsequent publications. (?)

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  13. Yankee yeshiva boyDecember 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Why... He believed in evolotion 2) he studied philosophy while at vilogzin 3) he refused to help get rav meir heller out jail after his follerers were malshin 4) he lied to the jerusalem rabbis about his intention to seek the jerusalem rabanut
    Avinoam roznak in his recent biography says r kook relized he was wrong when alozarav was shot... He believed the land would transform the dwellers into tzadikim but in the end he saw this was not happening...
    And much more...

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    1. just like the Rabbonim who said stay in EUROPE and you will be saved were WRONG, and just like they claimed a JEW in USA will never be a Jew, WRONG!!.
      Many Rabbonim regret their statements and many just ignore or deny they ever said them,,,thanks to the honesty of those who do regret a misdeed or erroneous action.
      As a four generation AMERICAN frum Torah Jew, I can claim NONSENSE, nonsense!!

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  14. Yankee yeshiva boyDecember 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Just has he admitted he was nieve about hebrew u , so too with shamita if he thought this was it was 1 time
    And don't forget תרפ׳ט which he had a part heavy with responcibilty which rav moshe tzuriel and elyakim haetzni agree ( from personal talks with them)

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    1. On what basis do you say that he admitted that he was naive? please provide a source. I am not sure what you mean about the Shamita, please clarify.

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  15. Yankee yeshiva boyDecember 8, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Tell me r chaim... Where do u see his great midos?

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    1. Read some of the stories in a ""Tzadik in our time" published by Feldhiem... Angel among men and elsewhere... you can buy a copy on Amazon here:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/9657108535/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

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  16. My tradition does not include Rav Kook so I consider myself fortunate that the new Rav of my shul besides being a graduate of the Technion, then learned in Mercaz Harav ,became a Ram , also with Rav Tau he studied Rav Kook's works. The previous Rav , the son of the late chief Rabbi of Petach –R Baruch Shimon Solomon was connected to Rav Kook as Rav Kook organized the certificates for his father R' Dovid Solomon, Rav Shauli, and Rav Neriyah. R Baruch Shimon was very close to R' Eliyashiv and asked him about R' Kook. He said that Rav Kook was the greatest of them all. http://www.shoresh.org.il/spages/articles/article1763.htm
    We are learning Rav Kook's Orot on the siddur . We usually cover one or 2 lines in our half an hour shiur before Motzei Shabbos , usually branching off into th eMahara, Nefesh Hachaim, Mesilat Yesharim , Tanya etc I could never understand this on my own, the depth is from another world that I have not encountered before. I agree with others that Rav Kook was ahead of his times and even today that is true. He had a sense of history , that sees the big picture of' am yisroel' , an ability to see the good in all , and at the same time the destructiveness of some, despite certain redeeming factors or hidden potential. There are people with great ne'shamos, but in a tragic way their interface with Yiddishkeit does not allow them to see the greatness of the Torah needed to attract these neshamos and they become destructive. It is our responsibility to meet this challenge. Their behavior is more about our failure than their wickedness. I heard that Rav Kook does not recommend learning his work if you can't at the same time see the hidden potential or a great neshama and yet be pained and angered at the destructiveness of their actions. From an education view point it is easier to build a wall and not allow people to see or even comtemplate that there could be anything positive with a non-frum Jew or goy. A case in point was how the chareidi press related to the death of Arik Einstein – somebody that manage to touch the hearts of so may people in Israel , both frum and non-frum , by the quality and depth of his words and his midos – an incredible Tzniut and humility and a ba'al chesed. People remarked that A.E showed that there were good people around (even if they were celebs).
    On the other hand one can relate to Rav Kook as being part of a tradition which is not yours. Lubavitch have the writings of the Lubavitzer Rabeihem which they study, Rav Kook is part of Mercaz Harav etc. They don't study the Mussar works of the Alter mi Slabodka, Sabba Mi-Kelm, Rabbeinu Yeruchum or Rav Chaim Shemulevitz.
    The contentious remarks of Rav Kook I am sure are based on ' nistar '. So not only is there distortion of what he said , but there is total lack of understanding.
    The bottom line is not to be judgmental about people and see certain behaviors which don't give the proper respect to a great Rabbi as being more about the weakness and problems of the others and not the Rabbi.

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    1. From an education view point it is easier to build a wall and not allow people to see or even comtemplate that there could be anything positive with a non-frum Jew or goy-------- FROM AN EDUCATOR'S point of view it is a disaster to build this wall since the wall can NEVER be tall or thick enough to keep out what is wanted.

      Read the seminal article by Rabbi Dr. Hershel Fried on "building walls".

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    2. They don't study the Mussar works

      Every shtender at Mercaz Harav has a Mesilus Yeasherim and Chovos Lelovos which are well used. They do learn KUZARI which is an almost unknown in the Yeshiva World which intensifies Emunah and love of Eretz Yisroel.

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  17. part I

    Dear Dr. Lake,

    I will attempt on responding to your comments for the sake of clarification of my stance, due to he fact that I was fully aware of these quotes, and decided to write my essay regardless...

    "Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik told his students that, he was "not impressed with R. Kook's scholastics" (quoted in "The Rav Speaks" vol. 1). More recently, intense public pressure led to the censorship of "The Rav Thinking Aloud: Transscripts of Personal Conversations with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik." Here is what the first published version said, on p. 156. The starred was omitted from subsequent printings, due to tremendous public pressure. They demanded this paragraph be removed, by the way, even though it is documented with a tape-recording, and was said to a group of students in response to a direct question.

    [R. Kook] was a strange person. I met him twice. He was a strange person, but when you found yourself sitting in the presence of R. [Avraham] Yitzchak Kook, you felt, you had the intuitive feeling, that this is not just a rav, not just a rosh yeshiva. There is something else, his contemporaries did not understand.

    ***[Question by unknown speaker:] You felt the presence of greatness?

    I wouldn't say greatness. Uniqueness. Greatness, if you understand by "greatness" intellectual greatness, no, I was not impressed with his scholastics. ... I wouldn't say Gadlus. I saw him just once when I came, and he was sitting at a table...I spoke to him about Halachah ... I had a question whether I should observe [two days] ... he told me something, I didn't listen to him [chuckle]...***"

    This comment from the Rav is as cryptic as most of the things I have read in ""The Rav Thinking Aloud", and unless the Rav is here with us to clarify the meaning of his statement in the mentioned above conversation (which unfortunately he is not) these statements hold no true meaning to a "Charidi" yungerlight as myself.

    "Censorship of what other people have said about him include the famous letter of the Gerrer Rebbe, that I cited above, where he writes that R. Kook "says Tameh is Tahor and Tahor is Tameh." That line was censored out of the Gerrer Rebbe's letter by Simcha Raz in his biography of R. Kook, "Malachim Kebnei Adam." The Gerrer Rebbe, who was one of his biggest defenders in the Torah world, said R. Kook distorts the Torah, making pure into impure and vice-versa, and because of that, he cannot be considered among the bearers of our Mesorah. You can find the actual letter at: http://yoel-ab.com/"

    I saw this letter on the aforementioned site, and I remain unconvinced. the case is so since i have had the pleasure of meeting people who actually knew the Gerrer Rebbie such as Menachem Porush, who told me that the Gerrer Rebbie held that Rav Kook was an "Ish Eshkolot" (and I recently confirmed this is the case with his son, Meir) Therefore, anything he wrote which is quoted on http://yoel-ab.com/ needs to be varified in orgional text.


    Regarding the non-religious soccer players Rabbi Kook said: "This sport that young Jews play in Eretz Yisroel in order to strengthen their bodies to be strong young men for the Nation, completes the spiritual strength of the Tzadikim above ... playing sports to strengthen the body and the spirit for the strength of the entire Nation is a holy service to Hashem, and raises the Shechinah higher and higher, like the 80 songs and praises sung by Dovid HaMelech in Tehillim (Oros M'Ofel 34).

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    Replies
    1. Chaim: That website has a photocopy of the Gerrer Rebbe's actual letter.

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    2. The book thinking aloud was written by his driver, R Holzer. They are conversations behind the scenes.

      The quote from RYBS "[R. Kook] was a strange person. I met him twice. He was a strange person, but when you found yourself sitting in the presence of R. [Avraham] Yitzchak Kook, you felt, you had the intuitive feeling, that this is not just a rav, not just a rosh yeshiva. There is something else, his contemporaries did not understand."

      is not saying Rav kook was not great - it is saying that beyond being a Rav and Rosh Yeshiva (in the last days of his illness), there was something else that he could feel - but he does not put his finger on it. In other words, RYBS is saying that R' Kook was no ordinary Rav, and had an additional quality. he is not clear or cannot express what that quality was. Other Gedolim who knew him better, such as Rav Elyashiv, knew that Rav Kook was the greatest of his generation.

      Delete
    3. @Yankee "He believed in evolotion "
      He argues that evolution, if true, can be comapatible with Torah, and brings the midrash that before this world, Hashem was creating and destroying worlds. So you object to him learning Medrash?

      Also, linking current post to the one on Scientific knowledge of Chazal -
      it is interesting that spontaneous generation, which is the foundation of of evolution theory (ie molecules spontaneously became self reproducing, which then produced cells, and organism etc) - is totally Kosher since Chazal held of it, but totally treif since it is part of evolution theory.
      According to this fundamentalist position, denying spontaneous generation and affirming it are both apikorsus!
      That means that only the agnostics are left! quite absurd!


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    4. @Eddie when I studied Biology in college - the chidush of Evolution was the claim that one species developed into another. Your statement that the development of life itself for lice as being an acknolwedgement of the validity of the Theory of Evolution is rather far fetched.Wasn't aware that Chazal claimed that anything other than bugs came from spontaneous generation. Thus your analysis here is really irrelevant to clarifying and resolving any of the issues.

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    5. There are 2 aspects of evolution, abiogenesis, and evolution of species. the first (spontaneous generation) is more incredible than the next. How do you explain that snakes could originally walk on legs, and then lost their legs?
      That is an example of evolution, in the Torah.
      Once you have a species, a few genetic changes can shift from one species to an other. So you are claiming that the highly unlikely (abiogenesis) is credible because Chazal said it, but the much less radical changes (evolution) are far fetched because scientists say it.
      From a scientific perspective, it is the other way around. A chimpanzee, for example has 99% of the same genes as humans do.
      http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2012/06/bonobos-join-chimps-closest-human-relatives
      They did an experiment with a lemur, who sees less colours than other monkeys, putting the colour rods in its eyes. It could then see/recognise more colours than before! That means, its brain is hardwired to process and recognise more colours than its eyes can see!
      Even the kofer scientists do not make a claim as big as Chazal - they say amino acids combine, and eventually they produce a self replicating molecule, like DNA. The probability of this occurring, at least on Earth, is so astronomically low, that Chemists reject this altogether! So what is the likelihood of an insect generating spontaneously?

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    6. Eddie it always amazes me how you do quantum jumps from one idea to another. I was responding to your ridicule of the logic of critics of the theory of Evolution.

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    7. Eddie, Rabbi Kook was the Mesader Kiddushin for a Bochur who was later to become Rav Elyashev (and was also the Shadchan). Besides which we know Rav Elyashev has drastically changed his opinion on things like the Rabbanut and the State since then. What relevance to this discussion does your comment have?

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    8. DT, it depends which sefer of Evolution you are referring to. If you are claiming that Evolution is ONLY jumps from one species to another, but nothing to do with origins of life, evolutionary biology etc, then you may have a point. But evolutionary biology of today rests on DNA, and this was allegedly formed randomly. Today's Gadol HaDor and Sar haEvolutzia is Richard Dawkins. What he says is greater apikorsus than Darwin. He bases his theories on the random generation of life, at a molecular level, and then evolving into more and more complex organisms, thus doing away with G-d int he whole process.

      I think you are doing the reverse of the advice given in the other post, about seeking the facts first, then doing halacha. Evolution is much stronger now than it was in darwin's time, and much more dangerous.
      Rav Kook did not believe in "evolution", he believed in the Torah. If you hold that insects (which have dna, and can reproduce let alone evolve) can form randomly, then you have no leg to stand on agasint the evolution of species.
      My position is the reverse. The chances of randomly producing a living molecule are infinitesimally small - an thus logically we must see the Torah as being the true explanation of matters.

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    9. MG please post a copy. and is it in Kesav Yad?

      Delete
  18. part II

    If you can read Hebrew I suggest you read here: http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/printShiur.aspx/4234 but to make a story short. The praise was not for Soccer players specifically, rather regarding exercise in general. it should also be noted that Rav Kook signed a Kol Koreh with Rav Chaim Zonnenfeld against those who play Soccer on Shabbos sometime in 5687 (1926-1927) further more in a letter to the Zionist Congress 12 years after he wrote the infamous quote in Shemonah Kevatzim).

    סידורי הספורט, אשר הנוער שלנו מחזיק בהם בחיבה מופרזת, והדברים מגיעים עד כדי חילולי קודש פומביים ע"י משחקי כדור הרגל בשבתות וימים טובים בהמון רב, בארח כזה שכל הסביבה היהדותית מרגישה בזה תהומי עלבון אין קץ" ("חזון הגאולה", עמ' רמב)

    Furthermore, in a letter to Rav Yosef Mesas, (dated 5688) Rav Kook explains his position on the matter of the "soccer players"
    "ואנכי מעת בואי לארצנו הקדושה זאת היא מגמתי כפי כחי, לקרב גם את הרחוקים ולדבר על לבם שיתקרבו לתורה ומצוות, ואפילו אלו הצעירים שרוצים להתפתח בבריות גופא, כדי שיהי כוחם חזק להגן על אומתנו הקדושה בעת זעם חס ושלום, בעת אשר צרים ואויבים קמים עלינו. דרכי להגיד להם שיכולים לכוין מעשיהם לשם שמים, להוסיף אומץ וגבורה בכנסת ישראל כדי שקדושת הש"י ואור שכינתו הקדושה תהיה מופיעה בגבורה בעולם. ואז שכרם רב וחלקם יהי' חלק צדיקים קדושי עליון, כמו שהיו אבותינו הגיבורים, חיילותיו של בית דוד, ובזה חיזקו את אור הקדושה. ודברים אלו ראוים כל חכמי ישראל צדיקי הדור להגיד לדורנו, ויקרבו (ק' מנוקדת פתח) הרבה לבבות לאבינו שבשמים. ואיזה חסרון יש בזה? וכי עד כאן לא למדנו (ברכות סג). כי 'בכל דרכיך דעהו' הוא היסוד 'שכל גופי תורה תלויים בו'? ואם אפשר להכניס רוח קדושה גם באלה שהם מתגדרים בגבורה גופנית, הלא נוציא יקר מזולל (ע"פ ירמיה טו, יט.) ובזה כחם של צדיקים מתעלה, וגבורת הקודש מתרוממת בתפארת עוזה. והלא כל הדברים נאמרים רק בתנאי ובקשר של שמירת תורתנו הקדושה ושל תגבורת קדושת האמונה, והדבקות בתורה ובמצוות באהבת הש"י ויראתו. ואיך בודים דברי דופי על דברי קודש, שהם הם עיקרי תורתנו הקדושה?


    "The Chofetz Chaim, when he saw a similar statement about the soccer players, simply dismissed him. "kook shmook" were his words. No more detailed a response was necessary. The Chazon Ish said that R. Kook's "Gehennom will be that they will show him what he has caused in this world and they will say to him, 'Kook!'. (Kook means "Look!" in Yiddish)."

    Just saying such a thing about the Chofetz Chaim should bring your whole argument into question. As the Chafetz Chaim's son in-law defended Rav Kook in a letter dated (1928) that's 12 years after the idea of praise for exercise was published. you could find the whole letter here: http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/05/chofetz-chaim-chazon-ish-rav-kook.html


    "People think R. Chaim [Brisker] became alienated because the Zionists were not observant. Of course it did not help, but that was not the reason. Of course they couldn't attract R. Chaim...I remember my father used to say לאומיות [Nationalism] is apikorsus" - Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik, "Thinking Aloud," p. 175 (i.e., in the uncensored version. it is on p. 174 in the censored version, where they removed, due to public pressure, the negative things R. Soloveichik said about R. Kook).

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  19. part III

    Again, This comment from the Rav is as cryptic as most of the things I have read in ""The Rav Thinking Aloud", and unless the Rav is here with us to clarify the meaning of his statement in the mentioned above conversation (which unfortunately he is not) these statements hold no true meaning to a "Charidi" yungerlight as myself. foe example, what is in Rav Moshe's opinion Nationalism? did Rav Moshe and his father Rav Chaim truly hold that anyone who wanted to rebuild and settle the land was an Apikores I find that hard to believe.


    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."

    I already pointed out in my essay that this was a misquote and any rational observer can see this was the case. Besides, the university was established in 1925. That gives enough time to the Choftz Chaim's son in law to find out what his father in-law holds of Rav Kook and at least not release the letter...

    The Satmar Rav ZTL rules clearly that he had the status of an Apikores.
    He bases this on a number of statements of Rav Kook that he says he saw first hand in his (Rav Kooks) writings, which include, it seems, statements about the non-frum Jews, probably the soccer players.
    True he did not they do not have to be frum, but he did say that their playing soccer in Israel is enough to make them praiseworthy to Hashem (Hanosen l'yaef Koach etc.) and holy even though they are total atheists and the soccer playing actually takes place on Shabbos.
    That's pretty bad, and nobody disagrees with that. Its much worse than a misconstuing of the "pintele yid".
    The Satmar Rav quotes Rabbeinu Yonah in Brachos who explains why, if a Chazan skips the blessing of V'lamalshinim we suspect he is a Apikores, even though if someone skips Techiyas Hameisim we do not suspect him for denying Techiyas Hameisim.
    This is because if someone refrains from cursing the Apikorsim we suspect he is one of them, even if the person may be the Gadol Hador (as was the case in the Gemora). But if a person skips Techiyas Hameisim there is no such suspision.
    Therefore, he says, if someone considers them holy and praiseworthy he surely is not cursing them when he should be ...

    Agree or disagree, thats his position, based on Halachic grounds.

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  20. part IV

    Also, a "toeh b'shikul hadaas" becomes a plain Apikores when it was possible for him to have seen his mistake and willfully - due to vested interest or otherwise - espoused anti-Torah ideas.

    Rav Kook was perceived by this group of Gedolim to have been way above the empty arguments he put forth on behalf of Zionism and his other deviant ideas. He was perceived as trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for the sake of Zionism.

    Shkoyach! the Satmar Rebbie held the entire Aggudah were apikorsim. Additionally, we know Rav Kook condemned the non-religious settlers when he felt it was necessary. Dr. Lake, did you even read my essay? Or is it the case that when you see something with a different perspective on Rav kook (then the one which you are used to) you just post random stuff in the comments, these comments were addressed for the most part in the essay... and now addressed furthermore here. hope it helps clarify matters for you.



    Dear Yeshiva Yankee, please provide your sources and as Dr. Lake did and I will respond in kind, i know that Rav Reuvan Zelig Bangis thought Rav Kook was sneaking peeks at Haskalah. so he went to check inside his shtender, tuned out he was peaking at a kelaf where it read "שיוותי ה' לנגדי תמיד"...

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  21. 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 YU and 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.

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    1. I would imagine that this story would be repeated and repeated by Briskers over and over fits their modus operands..

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  22. Chaim... Provide sources... Who are u fooling ... Everything i mentioned is well known... But since u singled out haskalah look in the simcha raz biog how rav kook learned PhilosoPhy at volozign in 1885
    Philosophy at volozin then was 1o times worse than an iphone today at toldos aaron

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  23. Chaim ... I'm waiting discussion of his great midot... I read all the biogs ( almost) and never saw this discussed

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  24. Rav kook's part in the תרפ׳ט pogroms u can find in ish neged hazerem( hacohen) mara d'ara yisreal, and the standard history books- dr anita shapira of TA u., also hevra va dat מנחם פרידמן

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  25. When the 8 kavatzim were published it was a major scandel in all the isrealy press

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  26. In the brisk tradition there is strong talk about RAYK learning Philosophy at vologin ... I forget the sources but am sure yoel ab brings them.

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    1. Yankee - what are the the תרפ׳ט pogroms? can you give more specific evidence, and what you are actually claiming?

      Rambam also studied philosophy, as did R Hirsch, and R' Soloveitchik.

      Now, Dr Lake is relying on the comments allegedly made by R' Soloveichik, when R' Shach called Soloveichik an apikorus! On the other hand, R elyashiv said that R Kook was the greatest of the Gedolim!

      The Netziv said that R Kook was his greatest student.

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    2. Rav Eliashev NEVER praised Rabbi Kook in any such language. Rabbi Kook was the Mesader Kiddushin for a Bochur who was later to become Rav Elyashev (and was also the Shadchan). Besides which we know Rav Elyashev has drastically changed his opinion on things like the Rabbanut and the State since then.

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    3. see here http://www.orhaorot.022.co.il/BRPortal/br/P102.jsp?arc=366594

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  27. Rav Kook was the son -in-law of the Rov of Jerusalem, the ADERES, who was a very extreme person who taught that it is evil to speak Hebrew, something that was rejected by Reb Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld because the Beth Din did not agree with it. Rav Kook's marriage put him in the position of being the heir to the Torah community of Israel. On the other hand, the so called Haredi element, led by Reb Shmuel Salant, who was old and sick, had no natural leader, as Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld wanted no leadership role. As Rav Kook's star rose and the other side had nobody to compete with him, the only recourse was to invent a new Rav Kook. Finally, at the last moment, with the British in control of the country and them backing Weizman and the secularists, the haredim aroused themselves and forced Rav Yosef Sonnenfeld to become the Rov. The two, Rav Sonnenfeld and Rav Kook had a deep respect for each other. A shochet once showed his knife to Rav Sonnenfeld and Rav Sonnenffeld asked him, "Did you show it to Rav Kook?"
    Reb Elchonon Wasserman respected Rav Kook and asked about him. Some perspective is important. My mechutan in Israel from a very prominent family told me the following story. His father attended Yeshiva Eits Chaim and was the only one in his large class that remained a Torah Jew. Another mechuteon told me that the prominent Zionists were our children. Another mechuton told me this story. His father sailed from America to Israel. His rebbe asked him how he came from America and he said a steel ship. The rebbe slapped him. Steel can't float in water, said the rebbe. This was the challenge that Reb Kook faced, and he used his great genius to deal with it. But there is another story I heard from a reliable source. Rav Hutner was close to Rav Kook in those days, and was once in his house talking to his son. Rav Kook heard them laughing and went to see what was so funny. Rav Hutner told him about what he had heard from a major person regarding Hebrew University. Rav Kook heard the whole story, I believe he had believed Weizman that Hebrew University would be a Torah school, or at least not an apikores school, and when he found out he was in error, he said, "Maybe Rabbi Sonnenfeld was right." It was a rough era, and Rav Kook did his thing, and saved many people, and who knows what else. But I don't know if he knew exactly what was going on. And that in itself is an indictment of someone who wants to teach people about Torah in very dangerous times. At one point the European gedolim sent the Gerrer Rebbe and someone else to Israel to talk to Rav Kook. They returned and said that people don't understand him. And what he says can sound terrible, if you don't understand what he really meant. One of those comments was that Herzl was the Moshiach, as I recall. A prominent Cabalist told my mechuton that the Chofetz Chaim will not come to Israel because if he comes, "he will go here and there, and they will throw out the Mishneh Beruras. In heaven, they don't want the Mishneh Beruros thrown out." As is well known, the Chofetz Chaim did not come to Israel.

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    1. Reb Dovid:

      You may want to see Rav Elchonon Wassermans letter to Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky printed in Kovetz Maamarim where he explains why he holds R. Kook is - quote - a "rasha gamur." A facsimile of his Ksav Yad is readily accessible. 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 Chofezt Chaim answered, "What do you mean? You have Reb Elchonon!"

      Rav Elchonon said "Zionism is avodah zorah, and religious zionism is avodah zorah mixed with religion".


      Also, the Chazon Ish said that it is Assur to read R. Kook's Hashkafa works. (See Yalkut Daas Torah p.46, which is printed sometimes after Ikvesa DMeshicha of R. Elchonon Wasserman.)

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    2. I think it is a major error to assume that Rav Elchonon held the same views as his rebbe the Chofetz Chaim. Rav Kook also viewed the Chofetz Chaim as his rebbe. As I have mentioned before the Yated printed a story stating that when; people came to the Chazon Ish claiming that the Chofetz Chaim was actually moving to Israel -- the Chazon Ish said it was impossible. He said, "I dont say this because I am a navi but by the known fact that the Chofetz Chaim has a close relationship with Rav Kook. If he came to Israel then he would be degraded in the eyes of the kanorim here and that would result in the Mishna Berura being rejected. Since it is clear that the Mishna Berura can not be rejected - is is clear that he is not coming to Israel.

      The Chofetz Chaim also had a Mizrachi leaning son - Rav Aryeh Leib who collaborated with his father in writing the Mishna Berura. The Chofetz Chaim was warned to control his son - or lose status and influence in the Chareidi world.

      Bottom line Rav Elchonon Wasserman's hashgofa was not that of the Chofetz Chain and neither did they share a common view of Rav Kook.

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    3. Preb,
      See the book on Reb Elchonon published by Artscroll pages 30 and 267. In page 30 we see that Reb Elchonon asked about Rav Kook when he became very ill. The exact words are in page 30 "during Rabbi Kook's terminal illness in 1935 Reb Elchonon showed deep concern and inquired, with trepidation, about the state of Rabbi Kook's health - in his letters addressed to his brother, Rabbi Eliyahu Zadok Wasserman in Jerusalem." If, as you write, Reb Elchonon held that Rav Kook was a rosho gomur, באיבוד רשעים רנה.

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    4. I don't know what to make of the Chofetz Chaim's comment "Kook Shmook", but Rav Elchonon Wasserman is a great in his own right. This is aside from his status as the talmid muvhak of the Chofetz Chaim. And considering Reb Elchonon's comments on Rabbi Kook calling him a rasha gamur, as stated in Kovetz Maamarim, that comment must be given great consideration.

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    5. Re. Dave and Rabbi Dovid; If you can read modern Hebrew, I believe this article by Rabbi Eitam Hienken, is worth a look...

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  28. Beitar had a demonstration at the koitel claiming it as a Jewish owned entitlement for events and prayer. The chevron massacre followed immediately. The guest speaker was...

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    1. Satmar and Munkatch protested against Zion in Hungary. The holocaust followed, and they were not spared.

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    2. The zionists collaborated with the Nazis and the zionists bear great responsibility for the annihilation of a large portion of European Jewry.

      Delete
  29. Yankee yeshiva boyDecember 9, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Tarpat-תרפ׳ט-1929
    From tishri of tarpat the relgeous beitarists decided to change the staus qoue at the cotel... They made mehitzos , benchs etc... The arabs warned they will not tolerate this. The next 10 months were very tense. As 9'th of av approached the arabs said no demonstrations will be tolerated.
    Rav yosef chaim zonnemfeld asked rav kook to stop the demonstrations for fear of bloodshed. Rav kook refused and the demonstrations proceeded. In the arab massacres that follewed 175(app) jews were slaughtered. The sources i mentioned above.

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    1. It is always amazing & ridiculous how the victims (Jews) are always blamed for the aggressors (Arabs), as IF our (Jewish) behavior is ever the cause of Arab cruelty, murder, pogroms. etc.

      Do we blame the CHevron Yeshiva in 1929 for causing the Chevron Massacre? Foolish, if ever.

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  30. R' Yehuda Halevi, the author of the Kuzari wrote that Jews should move to israel. He did so, and he met his fate when he was trampled on by an Arab on a horse.
    But more broadly, Jews have been massacred for the last 2000 years by goyim, regardless of what they do or do not do. You seem, yankee, to rewrite history, blaming Rav Kook for all antisemitism, or denying there was any such anti semitism before Zionism. have you forgotten the pogroms, inquisition, crusades etc?
    And Rav Kook supported right to access to Jewish sites, but you blame him for the acts of the arabs? The massacres took place in hevron. This is a furhter example of the goyim not keeping their side of the oaths.

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  31. Do you know what antagonism means? למה תתראו the shvotim said. Why?

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    1. do u know about the Safed pogrom of 1834?
      http://www.think-israel.org/sobel.1834pogrom.html

      This was before Zionism, Herzl, and before rav kook was born.
      Who are you going to blame this on, the Arizal?

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    2. Of course there was Arab violence against Jews just like all gentiles were violent against Jews. Even America in the 1800s. But their pre-Zionistic violence was far less than their post-Zionistic violence. And Arab violence was less than Christian violence against Jews.

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    3. what is the "zionistic" kav? Did the haredi olim such as followers of the Gra count as Zionists? Or the Hevron residents slaughtered by the mob, who were not Zionists, but occupied Hevron nonetheless?
      Did you see what I wrote about the pogroms and conversions through the ages? Jews lived in Israel continuously - and were violently assaulted by the Crusaders, Byzantiens, Arabs etc - and often converted to Druze instead of islam. Are you happy to convert to Islam rather than have an army? That is what you are advocating.

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  32. Eddie and sima... U don't Think 175 jewish lives is a very high price to pay... You never heard the isrealy phrase
    תהיה חכם, אל תהיה צדק

    ReplyDelete
  33. My point is simply he helped do the equivalent of throwing sand in the eyes of an angry dog. The goyim don't need excuses to hate us but we do ourselves no favor by antagonizing them. Beitar and other evil zionist scum let the Arabs know that they wanted to take over Eretz Yisroel, they protested against those who employed Arabs as well.

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    Replies
    1. i have no doubt that people said the same thing to mordechai when he "threw sand" in haman's eyes.

      Delete
    2. Reb Chaim of Bnei Brak also protests against stores, businesses that employ Arabs.

      Delete
  34. The story you linked to Eddie made my point. It was quite the exception and followed the European model of a pogrom.

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    Replies
    1. R Shmuel, i think you are in bed with the arabs, PLO, Hamas, Hizbolla, nad Ahmadinejad too much, when you go on Neturei Karta protests with them, and sit with David Duke at Holocaust denial conferences in tehran. They tell you that Muslims never persecuted the Jews, and you believe them, because they give you flattery.
      That is far from the truth. OK, they did not kill on the same scale as your beloved Christians in europe, whose language you have mamzerised with Otiot of Hebrew, but they have been murdering Jews since Mohammed wiped out the Jewish tribes in Medina and Arabia. In Eretz Yisroel, after the Crusaders, there were regular pogroms by Arabs, and conversions. Do you know that many Jews were converted to Islam, whilst a lot chose to become Druzim.
      But, you are actually repeating anti-semitic and also reform propaganda. The claims that it is justified to kill jews because of x,y, or z, is what the anti-smites say. And do you think the Europeans ever liked seeing frum jews? That was the argument of the Haskalah, that if you dress and act like goyim, they will stop hating you. But there is a saying somewhere int he talmud, that the goyim will hate us whatever we do.


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    2. Yasher Koach Reb Shmuel. Well said.

      Delete
  35. If ones asks the urim and Tumim 'lo kahogen ', the answer you receive will also be' lo kehogen ' - imho that explains the 'Kook smook ' comment and this goes for most of the politicians and askanim . Rav Wasserman's statement – my guess is that seeing the 'divine hand ' behind Zionism served to legitimize a movement that was anti Torah and Hashem

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  36. @ Eddie. Nobody claims life under the Arabs was peaches and cream, but it was by far more comfortable than the European experience.

    Antagonizing the goyim has never led to anything good.

    There is a very understandable reason why the zionists murdered De Han, he would have enabled a flourishing yishuv minus the nationalism. They would have been relegated back to Africa colonizing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R Shmuel l. Jackson,

      Quite apart from de haan's not so kosher activities with young boys, it is not at all clear what his yishuv would have achieved. It would essentially be a jewish minority in a large palestine. but arabs would not be happy with that, as is clear today - they would return to their murdering ways. look at what happened in Yemen. Today hardly any jews can live there safely. They are also kidnapped, daughters are taken for arab men as wives etc. Satmar, who told them to stay put in yemen, will have a very heavy price to pay in the next world.

      In any case, there is another issur d'oraita, to not make a brit or give land to the goyim of Eretz Yisroel. Lo techanem.

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    2. Thank You R Shmuel. Well stated. Dr. Prof. Yaakov Yisroel De Haan HY"D was a tzadik gomur murdered by the Zionists YM"S.

      Delete
    3. He was actually a bt, loved and nurtured by the gedolei hador, Rav Chaim Zonenfeld at the lead.

      Delete
    4. yes, quite the BT. so much the BT that:

      In one of his poems he asks himself whether his visits to the Wailing Wall were motivated by a desire for God or for the Arab boys there.

      Delete
    5. here is a brief academic review of the gay icon - De Haan

      http://www.ched.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=39747&pid=184804

      of course, I strongly condemn his murder.

      Delete
    6. Regarding the DeHaan plan, I haven't seen a detailed proposal of his plan, but it was essentially to have a Palestinian state, with free immigration for Jews, but he Jews would not have political or military power.
      The problem with this - and this is regardless of one's views on establishing a State, is that the local Arabs wanted to stop immigration of Jews, since they were being outnumbered. They also assasinated the Jordanian King. the problem with hareidi decision makers is they have all these airy fairy dreams of how they will be treated nicely if they just follow Daas Torah (obviously not this website).
      This was the failure of the Satmar Rav, R' Wasserman, R' Grozenski, and R Sonnenfeld. The European Gedolim held that they just need to resist Aliyah, Zionism, and America, and miracles will be performed - but the opposite happened.
      Even the Palestinian population were divided. Some wanted to make peace with the jews, but a majority wanted to stop immigration, and certainly any kind of state. In Islamic society they have dictatorships. One King, then he is overthrown by a Mullah, then a general etc. the King is usually good to the Jews, and then the Islamists take power, and persecute the Jews. This is something that the Ashkenazim never understood.
      In Iran, we had godo Kings and bad mullahs. When under an islamist phase, the Jews would escape if they could. The same pattern throughout the Islamic world. And remember Hevron was a Haredi Yishuv, not a Zionist one.

      Delete
  37. I would mention, since many have made a big deal of the Chazon Ish's famous statement that, while his halachic works are acceptable, one should not study Rav Kook's hashkafic works, that, while obviously critical, this statement also indicates that the Chazon Ish clearly held Rav Kook to be a completely kosher talmid chacham (and certainly not a kofer or rashes). Otherwise he would not have allowed studying any of his works, whether halachic or hashkafic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reb Lazer,

      That is a very good point and with your permission I will incorporate it into a future edition of the essay.

      Delete
  38. Check out Rav Yaakov Shapiro's comments here:

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/591-rabbi-kooks-religious-zionism/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/280-r-kook/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/316-zionism/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/438-gedolim-and-zionism/

    ReplyDelete
  39. Check out Rabbi Shapiro's take here:

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/591-rabbi-kooks-religious-zionism/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/280-r-kook/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/316-zionism/

    http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/438-gedolim-and-zionism/

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  40. The rambam actually writes one should practice sport to strengthen the body. Oh, but people also called the rambam a heretic.

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  41. No, he was a homosexual

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  42. Not really, Rav elchonon was killed because he chose to stay in Nazi Europe .such a sad end

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  43. Satmar and Munkatch , and other anti-zionist groups collaborated with the Nazis, and refused to d anything to save lives even of their own people.

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  44. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    A very good point whwhich is lost on many

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  45. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 18, 2019 at 5:05 PM

    Nonsense. He said Rav Kook was the greatest. His grandfather Leshem was chavruta wwith Rav Kook.

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  46. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 20, 2019 at 1:09 AM

    You are predicating these claims, (if they are factual statements) on the assumption that a) there is daas Torah (infallible understanding of Torah)
    b) you are the person who designates who has daas torah or who tells you who has daasT.
    c) there are no other valid opinions.




    The above are problematic or false


    a) There is no infallibility, even in the Sanhedrin - that's why there are korbanot.


    b) Even if there is something like that, why should you designate who has it? why can't Tom, Dick or harry do so?


    c) Reb Elchonon's opinion in these matters are highly faulty or wrong - he relied on his own Daas to escape the holocaust , but he failed - hence his daas was false.


    On the other hand, other gedolim, eg The Leshem relied on rav Kook and escaped Europe B'H. As did Rav Shaul Yisraeli, who did a goral haGra and it pointed him to Israel.

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  47. dont punish De Haan for His pre teshuvah Acts
    He Died a Clean Zaddik and dont poke fun at Baal Tesuvah , Most of them are sincere are good people

    Dehaan Had a Huge Levayah and was buried near Rabbonim



    You should be zoche to the same and not believe the lies spread by the Jewish agency Zionists

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  48. He still published gay literature when he was supposedly frum.

    Maybe he did tteshuva when he was shot

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  49. Jews living in EY during the middle ages was systemically attacked converted and murdered by Crusaders and Muslims. Many converted to druze religion

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  50. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 20, 2019 at 1:11 PM

    hopefully I will never be "zoche" of being attracted to the same sex , chas v'shalom, or carrying out toevas like your "zaddik" did.
    Just cause he had a huge levayah, doesn't mean he wasn't a feigele. It is only the Eidah who lionised him, everyone else knew he was a queer fellow.

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  51. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 20, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Rav Kook is neglected by hareidim because his thought is revolutionary, although his Halacha is quite standard.
    The hareidi outlook sees everything in this world as evil. That knowledge is bad, physical world is bad, innovation is bad etc. Human aspirations are evil. This was how the Chazon ish saw the world, he even opposed mussar, and the brisker derech.
    Hareidi outlook is not part of the rishonim, who had scientists, philosophers , etc.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 20, 2019 at 8:53 PM

    The gemara impresses me for many reasons, one is because they knew about the characters of the nations. It says the goyim will hate us whatever we do. Perhaps some Muslim regimes did carry some true rachmanus from Ishmael. But they are a violent people, and as they develop Modern weaponry, become violent. MANY of the individual aArabs and Iranians do wish to coexist with Jews. Again, remember what Rashi says about when we return - our primary argument should be based on Torah, that G-d created the world and apportioned EY to us.

    ReplyDelete
  53. A point worth remembering:


    Dovid Eidensohn • 6 years ago


    Preb,
    See
    the book on Reb Elchonon published by Artscroll pages 30 and 267. In
    page 30 we see that Reb Elchonon asked about Rav Kook when he became
    very ill. The exact words are in page 30 "during Rabbi Kook's terminal
    illness in 1935 Reb Elchonon showed deep concern and inquired, with
    trepidation, about the state of Rabbi Kook's health - in his letters
    addressed to his brother, Rabbi Eliyahu Zadok Wasserman in Jerusalem."
    If, as you write, Reb Elchonon held that Rav Kook was a rosho gomur,
    באיבוד רשעים רנה.

    ReplyDelete

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