May 24, 2017 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #1284411
50 years! Wow!
The post I made last year was ruined when the forum switched to the new format, so I’ll repost it.
Before that, I’ll also post a link to an article written by the Ponovezher Rav zt”l, 50 years ago:
“My dear brothers! Can we allow ourselves to be small minded at this great and awesome hour? Should we not be embarrassed to remain unobservant of this wondrous period, when we are surrounded by obvious miracles, and even a blind person can sense the palpable miracles… the miracles, wonders, salvations, comforts and battles, that occurred in the Holy Land and in the Holy City and the Temple Mount, even those who saw it with their own eyes, even those who experienced it themselves, they cannot manage to express the depths of their emotions. Perhaps one like myself who was wandering during those days among the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, is better capable of recognizing the tremendous miracles and can consider the nature of these wondrous events.”
This was written by R’ Dovid Landesman zt”l:
I was a first year beis midrash student in Mesivta Torah Vodaath when the Six Day War broke out. We had just moved from Williamsburg into the new building on East 9th. Talmidim from that era will surely recall the remarks of the mashgiach, Rav Wolfson shlit”a, at the time. He said: “the yeshiva has only three issues – illumination [the overhead recessed lighting made learning difficult and the administration had to install fluorescents much to the dismay of the architect], ventilation [the beis midrash had no windows that opened and the yeshiva could not afford to run the central air] and emigration [quite a few of the senior bachurim left the yeshiva and transferred to Lakewood].” If I remember correctly, we moved Pesach time and it was to be the last z’man that Rav Yaakov zt”l would be active in the yeshiva.
The period after Pesach was a time of intense anxiety in the Jewish world; beginning with Nasser’s demand that the UN remove its peacekeeping forces from Sinai and U Thant’s immediate acquiescence. It soon became clear that President Johnson as well as the French and English were not prepared to intervene in any meaningful way and war seemed to be inevitable and defeat a certainty. Tehillim was recited with great fervor and many bachurim added sedarim and accepted kabbalos in the hope of arousing rachamei shamayim. Rav Yaakov zt”l and Rav Schorr zt”l spoke often to try to uplift the palpable pessimism but if you looked into their eyes you saw fear.
Shortly before the war broke out, the yeshiva administration brought a television set into the building, placing it atop the staircase that led from the entrance to the beis midrash. There were numerous transistor radios on the porch that adjoined the beis midrash and they would all be turned on when WINS would rehash the headlines. When the war itself broke out, there was almost continuous coverage on the radio; the television news lagged behind because there were no live video feeds in those days. Even those strong enough to resist going out to either the porch or to the foyer to listen to the news would approach those who had done so to get their updates. I clearly remember the state of agitation that Rav Yaakov and Rav Schorr evidenced, pacing nervously inside the beis midrash and outside among those gathered around the media – what will be, what will be?
And then we heard the broadcast that will remain in my mind forever. Michael Elkins, the correspondent for the BBC and Newsweek, imbedded with the paratroopers led by Motta Gur, announced: “the IDF has captured the Temple Mount.” We heard his live broadcast of Rav Goren blowing shofar, of Motta Gur’s static filled message to his command post, “haKotel b’yadeunu, haKotel b’yadenu.” We heard singing, yes singing which turned out to be the soldiers themselves. Elkins described that most incredible and improbable scene: paratroopers, in the midst of battle, rushing toward a wall of stone, oblivious to the dangers around them, to the snipers and enemy soldiers, spontaneously breaking into song and dance. Elkins began to cry on the air, and we listening in Flatbush cried with him.
For as long as I live, I will never forget the expression on Rav Yaakov’s face or the sparkle in Rav Schorr’s eyes. It was as if the burden of history had been lifted from them. Rav Yaakov ran into the beis midrash and gave a bang on the amud. There was immediate silence and he said “shehechiyanu” – I do not remember if it was with shem and malchus. He then began to recite Hodu with tears streaming down his cheeks.
I think I understand what happened. To Rav Yaakov and Rav Schorr the great victory and the manifest nissim of the Six Day War contained an incredible Divine message. The horrible period of hester panim evidenced by the Holocaust was over – they had witnessed a tangible expression of hinei lo yanum v’lo yishan shomer Yisrael. Who knew what other great miracles might be expected in the wake of this change. They heard the footsteps of mashiach and saw his image peeking through the cracks.
On the first anniversary of the war, I was in Eretz Yisrael, studying in Yeshivat Beis HaTalmud under Rav Dov Schwartzman shlit”a. On the 28th of Iyar, the first Yom Yerushalayim, Reb Dov made a seudat hoda’ah in the yeshiva and we recited hallel without a berachah. [I seem to remember that Reb Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l made a similar seudah in the Mir. I asked a number of talmidim from that period but received conflicting replies – one told me absolutely not, one told me that he also remembers a public celebration and one recalled a private seudah in Rav Chaim’s home.] During our seudah, one of the bachurim [who today serves as the mashgiach of one of Yerushalayim’s most prominent yeshivot] questioned Rav Dov about the propriety of the seudah given that the day – Yom Yerushalayim – was an invention of the Zionists. Rav Dov became very angry at the tone of the question and proceeded to lecture the bachur as well as all of us about the necessity to express hakaras hatov – both to the Ribbono shel olam and to His shluchim, the IDF. “The Ribbono shel olam has shown us incredible chesed and you want to ignore it because he chose Jews of whom you do not approve as his vehicle! Have you any idea how this war has changed and will continue to change the face of klal Yisrael. Open your eyes and see what Hashem has done!”
Moadim l’simcha l’geulah shleimah!!!May 24, 2017 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1284549
Ahl HaGeula v’ahl HaTemura #86:
It is one of the kindnesses of G‑d that He hasn’t tested us with tests that are so severe because there have not yet been open miracles. All their publicity and stories about their miracles are only false illusions that blind the eyes. Satan has been satisfied with that which the religious Jews who are attracted to Zionism have described as miracles. This has been enough to blind the eyes of a generation as weak and lowly generation as ours. However I am still afraid of what will happen in the future. I hope that it won’t come to this and that we won’t be tested from Heaven with different and powerful tests… In general a person needs to know that he should not be excited and impressed with any miracle or sign and wonder or success of the wicked or their ilk. That is because all of them are only tests from Satan…May 24, 2017 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #1284548
Divrei Yoel, Behaloscha (page 304):
Would you even imagine that there would be empty headed fools that while they call themselves religious but the smell of heresy wafts from their mouths and they fool the whole world with their announcements about miracles [during the Six Day War] – G‑d save us. If in fact these were miracles it would have been much worse. That is because there is bitter retribution to the Jewish people when G-d does miracles from the aspect of evil as the Maharal mentioned before stated. However in truth there were no miracles here at all [concerning the Six Day War]. It was simply a natural occurrence as can readily be seen from the discussions in the newspapers that it was assumed that [Israel] would be victorious. I have already stated that I am fearful – G‑d forbid – for the time when actual miracles are done for them. If at this time when in truth there were no miracles and yet this great evil befell them, then surely if there had been miracles done for them that it would have brought about severe suffering as we mentioned above. From this we see the extreme degree of their cruelty and evil. That even though it was reasonable that [Israel] was going to win the war, nevertheless the Jewish people were in great danger. Nevertheless they placed the Jewish people in this danger for the sake of their glory and for the sake of their governing. Because it was obvious to those with understanding that [Israel] had the ability to completely prevent the war. There were a number of alternatives and circumstances regarding preventing the war, but this is not the place to go into detail. Nevertheless someone who has eyes will see that there is no doubt about this. In fact it was the filth of heresy that blinded their eyes and made them act in an irresponsible and irrational manner…May 24, 2017 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #1284570
I fully expect the talmidim of the pnovozher rav z’l, the roshei yeshiva of torah vodaas and the satmar rebbe z’l to follow the opinion expressed by their rebbe, rosh yeshiva. whatever it may be.May 24, 2017 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1284589
As My Rebbeim say, a theology that views The Holocaust as the work of the Ribono Shel Olam but the six day war as the work of the Satan makes me very uncomfortable.
what I find most perplexing is this view: “It was simply a natural occurrence” A group that usually believes strongly in hashgacha pratis regarding every blade of grass, to suddenly view the salvation of millions of yidden as “It was simply a natural occurrence” is quite telling.May 24, 2017 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #1284596
what I find most perplexing is this view: “It was simply a natural occurrence”
If you read it in context, he’s saying that the inclination to consider the formation of the State as a positive would have been that much stronger had it been an obvious nes.May 24, 2017 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #1284646
So the Satmar Rav held that the Ponovezher Rav, R’ Yaakov Kaminetzky, and R’ Schorr zt”l were all heretics?May 24, 2017 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1284655
Ive read it in context, in the original Hebrew more than once.
Yes. This isnt the first time Gedolim viewed other Gedolim as heretics.May 24, 2017 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1284657
No, you just mischaracterized the SR, Rav Yaakov, the PR and Rav Schorr.May 24, 2017 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm #1285243
How so? You quoted the Satmar Rav as saying “empty headed fools that while they call themselves religious but the smell of heresy wafts from their mouths and they fool the whole world with their announcements about miracles [during the Six Day War] – G‑d save us.” The Ponovezher Rav clearly wrote that there were open miracles. R’ Yaakov Kaminetzsky made a Shehechiyanu and recited Hallel. How exactly did I mischaracterize them?
The fact is that the SR had to remain against Israel. After all, he condemned most of his followers to their deaths when he told them not to take the escape route offered to them by the Zionists. If he admitted that he’d made a mistake, it would make him responsible for their needless deaths. By remaining against it, he could claim that their deaths were better than living in Israel.
The result is clear to see – a following which is embroiled with internal fighting, has spin-offs like Neturei Karta, etc.May 24, 2017 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #1285248
Everything you said in your most recent comment as well as in your first comment is riddled with inaccuracies and fabrications attributing things to the Gedolei Yisroel zt’l that are complete fictions.
Meanwhile Satmar is 250,000 Bnei and Bas Torah strong and growing rapidly, spread out across Eretz Yisroel, the US, Canada, Australia, England, Belgium and elsewhere, whereas the MO even in America are now down to about only a quarter of Orthodox American Jews whereas a few decades ago they were a majority of the American Orthodox.May 25, 2017 12:12 am at 12:12 am #1285263
What exactly was inaccurate and/or fabricated? You didn’t answer my question about mischaracterizing people.
The story in Torah Vadaas was not only written by R’ Landesman zt”l, it was said over by Rabbi Reisman in his shiur a few years ago – I believe Parshas Bechukosai (so you can check the leap year recordings for it).
I posted a link to the sefer where the Ponovezher Rav wrote that the 6 Day War had open miracles from Hashem. What is fabricated about that?May 25, 2017 1:05 am at 1:05 am #1285278
Joseph, for how long have you been a Zoroastrian (you obviously believe in a god of good and a god of evil),
Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz said about the liberation of Yerushalayim “I am not a prophet. I am a simple man, but it is clear to me that were we to have a prophet today, he would declare: ‘Your throne is established of old! Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples. For His mercy is great toward us; and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Hallelukah. The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is His name.’”
Rav Moshe said “… we require miracles exclusively, so that perhaps the people will recognize that it is God who is doing this. And so, thank God, this has been fulfilled, and He has produced the victory over Arabs far greater in number, who also had the assistance of a major empire for their weaponry, much greater than our state in the Land of Israel, and yet in just four days, they defeated all of the Arab nations and Egypt, in the time from Monday to Thursday, and we hope that He will send the King Messiah soon, and all Israel will recognize that ‘the Lord is a man of war'” (emphasis mine)May 25, 2017 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #1285661
Miraculous or not, I do think that the mass return of Jews to Yerushalayim is a good thing.
I think it’s a good thing that Jews can now daven freely the Kosel, Kever Rochel, and the Maoras Ha’machpela,.
I think it’s a good thing that the Jewish population in Yerushalayim is the biggest its been in thousands of years, if not all of history.
Kein yirbu.May 25, 2017 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #1285665
Yom Yerushalayim is very different than Yom HaAtzamut in that YA primarily celebrates the establishment of the political entity of the State of Israel, while Yom Yerushalayim primarily celebrates our return to our Eretz Yisroel in general and Yerushalayim in particular. I do not think that the former is cause for celebration, but I do think that the latter is.
One can be anti-Zionist and still appreciate EY.
DaMoshe, shame on you for casting such aspersions on the motivations of a Gadol bi’Yisroel. You’re better than that. You don’t have to agree to everything that the Satmar Rebbe said, but at the very least give him the benefit of the doubt that he meant what he said and said what he meant.May 25, 2017 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #1285954
Joseph, for how long have you been a Zoroastrian (you obviously believe in a god of good and a god of evil)
That’s a terrible mischaracterization of the Satmar Rebbe’s shittah (all Joseph did was quote him).
HKB”H often has His malochim do His bidding. If the malach he commands to do something is the Satan, it is ma’aseh Satan. The Satmar Rebbe’s point is that the success of the IDF creates the false impression that Hashem is somehow pleased with the redefinition of Am Yisroel as a nation based on land and language, not the Torah. This doesn’t ch”v mean that it wasn’t allowed or even commanded by HKB”H.
To take the Rebbe’s shittah and describe it as sh’tei r’shuyos ch”v is an egregious error.
DaMoshe, shame on you for casting such aspersions on the motivations of a Gadol bi’Yisroel. You’re better than that.
I second both parts of that.May 13, 2018 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #1519867
Thank You, Hashem, for the open miracles you have shown in restoring our holy city to us!
Me’es Hashem haysa zos, hee niflas b’eyneynu!
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