Friday, June 15, 2012

Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen honors July 4th

Last year the Lakewood Scoop  reported that the shul of Rav Cohen in Lakewood displayed an American Flag on the front of the shul to honor July 4th. It reported that displays of patriotism were strongly encouraged by Rav Avidgod Miller who was Rav Cohen's grandfather in law.

It also contained the following from Halacha for Today

Question: Displaying the American flag, is that considered a gentile ideal?
Answer by HaRav Avigdor Miller Zatzal:
Let me tell you something, Fifty years ago I wouldn’t have spoken about that. I have been speaking more than fifty years in public; I didn’t speak about American flags. We don’t need it. Who needs American flags? It wasn’t necessary. Today I say, if you want to do it, I say Yasher Koach. Do you know why? Because all the Reshaim are trampling on the flag, and they’re trying to desecrate America. You know why? Not because they’re good goyim, because they are Reshaim Gemurim; the liberals are trying to ruin everything. And when that wicked Supreme Court permitted burning an American flag, and saying you cannot make a law against it, it was a desecration of America

After all, America is a good country. We came from countries where we were persecuted, and this country gave us all the rights. I say we should kiss the ground of America. I was in Europe for some time; I went to study in the Yeshiva. I came back and I saw this was a blessed country; it’s a gift from Hashem to us. Shouldn’t we appreciate it? And therefore I say a Jew should hang out the flag. Yes; today yes. I won’t say you’re a sinner if you don’t, but I think it’s a good thing to hang out the flag today. It’s not a contradiction, not a contradiction by any means.

We hang out the flag from this Shul on the Fourth of July.


  1. If one does display the American flag, one should learn hilchos degel.

    If one doesn't, it could be a chillel Hashem.

  2. Maybe Rav Miller learned this from the ponivitcher rov who did the same (& is followed today) in Israel
    (der treife'na mideena).

  3. Oh the irony! Rabbonim back in Europe like Rav Miller were the ones telling people to stay put and not risk going to the "traife America" where there were no yeshivos and rabbonim.

  4. Recipients and PublicityJune 16, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    What Rav Miller Z"L did was powerful!
    What this rabbi Cohen does is meaningless!

  5. Garnel,

    You have no evidence that Rabbi Miller did any such thing.

    In any case, those rabbonim were right. The vast majority of Jews who would have come to America would have lost their souls instead of their lives and that would have been a tragedy.

    At least they didn't conspire to prevent Jewish salvation efforts like the non religious leaders of the Zionist movement did.

    1. Rav Miller wasn't a Rov in Europe.

    2. Recipients and PublicityJune 18, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      Not just that, but Rav Miller had some radical things to say about why the Holocaust happened, such as that the Jews were dropping Yiddishkeit in droves, and they received divine punishment. Not a popular view at all. Rav Miller was one of the few rabbonim in the USA known to stick out his neck and give and unambiguous flat out reason why the Holocaust happened. He would often preface such remarks by saying, "I was there, I saw it happen" or "When I first came to Vilna there was about one bus a day filled with Yidden leaving for the beach on Shabbos, and by the time I left there were about ten buses a day filled with Yidden leaving for the beach on Shabbos". He did not mince his words.


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