Shas’ Rav Cohen: The Kippot Srugot are Amalek

(Sunday, July 14th, 2013)

cohenRosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef, HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen Shlita, a member of Shas’ Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael, on motzei Shabbos Chazon 5773 announced that the kippa sruga (dati leumi) community “is Amalek”. Seated alongside Rav Cohen was Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita.

Rav Cohen stated;

“כתוב ‘כי יד על כס י-ה מלחמה לה’ בעמלק’, אמרו חכמים ש’אין הכיסא שלם כל עוד יש עמלק’

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He then went on to explain that “Kes”, the letters ‘kaf’ and ‘samach’ are kippa sruga, adding “When will the Kisei be complete, when there is no more kippa sruga and for as long as kippa sruga exists, אין כיסא שלם. (The rav hears the laughter of the tzibur and smiles).

Rav Cohen warned about the possibility of the election of a dati leumi chief rabbi, adding he told this to “Druckman and the other Amalekites…These are Jews?!”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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37 Comments

  1. Mosh85 says:

    With all due respect to R’ Cohen Shlita. I strongly disagree with his statement and the whole idea of it.
    I can’t understand how he could say such a thing about other frum Jews. I mean it’s the three weeks. Aren’t we supposed to be working on ‘sinas chinam’ .I mean the Nazis and other murderers of Klal Yisroel have been compared to Amalek.

    It is comments such as these that make me what to take of my black hat and jacket sometimes.

    I hope I’m just missing something. I mean I don’t know the context, audience…maybe he wasn’t serious…I can only hope.

  2. borninthebronx says:

    When I invite my married children for Shabbos, and it happens that two of my children get into some kind of silly tiff about something, and start shouting at each other, I feel like telling them not to bother to come. I didn’t invite them to listen to their bickering.
    When chazal say that the Mikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinom, that’s what it means. HKBH says, if you want to come to my Mikdash, to my Land, you must get along, you mustn’t bicker. Otherwise, I don’t need you here.
    That is the message of Tisha B’Av. Please, dear brothers, stop it already, and let us serve Hashem together b’simcha.

  3. Ctrl Alt Del says:

    Let me be the first to congratulate the Rav on providing future Jewry their own Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza story. Hurray!! Calling the srugah crowd Amalek? And the crowd laughing? And Rav Yosef seated nearby? Yup, its the stuff legends are made of. Oh, and tragedies too. Happy Tisha B’Av my coreligionists, we are rapidly approaching the bottom. FEH!!! SMH!

  4. daniel boone says:

    will agudah issue a statement about THIS? Calling a fellow Torah observant Jew ‘Amalek’ – during the 9 days – WOW! The nightmare of Golus and its root cause Sinas Chinam continues unabated…

  5. BarryLS1 says:

    Just to sick for words. They are not Torah Jews. Just a bunch of phonies who look the part and pretend.

  6. stopthemadness says:

    Seems like a pretty appropriate way to begin the week of Tisha B’av. Hashem must be looking at us and thinking “We still don’t get what שנאת חינם means… what a shame.”

  7. Yanky55 says:

    Rather than simply say that the man is a jerk, I will be melamed z’chus and say that he is obviously not sane.

  8. ahavas_yisroel says:

    So folks, this is why Mashiach is not here yet. If one segment of Yiddishkeit can call another segment Amalek, then we still have sinas chinam. Kippot Serugot are not reform Jews! If anyone can be called Amalek, it’s Lapid and his ilk. But to call other frum, shomer shabbos Jews Amalek!?! Help!

  9. aml says:

    This is a very productive comment and will most definitely lead to an increase in Ahavas Yisroel.

  10. akuperma says:

    Six months ago Shas was a pro-zionist party. The establishment Hareidi parties have 1/6 of the seats in the kenesset, which probably means the Hareidi have support of roughly a quarter of the Jewish population of Erertz Yisrael. If Bennett and Lapid have managed to convert them into anti-zionists, there is a good chance that they can bring down the medinah. For the first time since De Haan was murdered by the Lapids of his day, there is possibility of the hareidim influencing the politics of Eretz Yisrael.

    A more likely result will be that enough secular zionists and moderate religious zionists (moderate meaning pro-Torah, not anti-hareidi) will come up with a solution. One possibility is to allow exemption for cosncientious objectors (with a loss of rights similar to that inflicted upon those Palestinians who don’t serve int he army). Another would be to convert the IDF into a modern profesisonal army, meaning replacing conscripts with highly motivated and well trained professionals. At this point, the hareidim will be willing to cut a deal with whomever will end tghe threat of conscription, which will motivate Likud and Bayit Yehudi to make sure that deal isn’t with their enemies.

  11. twisted says:

    Another sad case from Shas of zaken shessrach.

  12. jerry says:

    When rabbis can call other Jews
    Even Jews that are shomre
    Mitzvos, Amalek is it any wonder why moshiach is not here. And to saytthis during the 9 days is shameful.

  13. akuperma says:

    Attempting to destroy the yeshivos by conscripting their talmidim qualifies as Amalek. The question is whether Bennett is evil or misguided, and whether or not he speaks for his movement – I’m sure that when Bayit Yehudi agrees to repeal the conscription decree, Shas will apologize. Remember, without Bennett, there would be no conscription crisis.

  14. talmud student says:

    the sinas chinam that destroyed the beis hamikdas was that people would badmouth others who they were jealous of, either because of their financial status or spiritual status. this episode is not sinas chinam , but rather hatred for a true reason , primarily the dati leumi’s cooperation with a entity who’s mission is to destroy torah . i don’t remember where i saw this vort, but there are those that say that amalek’s motivation in attacking us was because they hate the concept of relligion and they will do whatever they can to weaken it , and they know that limud hatorah is the foundation of yideshkeit, so that’s why they are attacking it’s infrostructure.

  15. fountainhead says:

    Don’t judge without thinking. This is a dean of a philosophical seminary and all his words are usually thought out. Without a doubt, these words were thought about before being said. Take it unbiased, not personally, and it may have more meaning than just ‘off the cuff’ talk that we often hear. See R’ Elchonon Wasswermans treatise in Kovetz HeArot #10, in the name of the Vilna Gaon. There just may be some substance to what Rabbi Cohen is saying.

  16. zionflag says:

    SHAS party is fighting for its life and falling into the abyss of no return. They are losing at every front since the reinstated PRINCE took over. These comments which are rhetoric, impulsive and over the top is further killing the party.

    CHACHOM YOSEF has been very close with the bnei Yeshiva of Mercaz HaRav and its Rosh Yeshiva and his father. Since Yishei has left the ranks of SHAS, the anti-TorahZionism has increased by 100 fold. The voters for Shas will be taking a hike and leaving the party in flocks.

  17. fountainhead says:

    It happens, that the carrier of such news is YWN. They are the ones bringing words which are meant to provoke thought, not senseless feedback, to the ears of the general, thoughtless populace. Stop feeding us words that will be misinterpreted. To all readers: Mind you, lets not allow ourselves to act like those in the days when the Prophets warnings weren’t heeded.

  18. anshuldix says:

    ken zine lechoirah there is a misunderstanding here.. all jews are awesome

  19. anshuldix says:

    yeshiva world plz remove this article and investigate

  20. Besmart says:

    Because of him many people go off the Derech.
    There should be no respect to him.

  21. WIY says:

    I think if this Rosh Yeshiva said this and Rav Ovadia agrees, then there must be something to it. I think they know at least a little more than we arm chair generals do. Its certainly a painful statement to say in the 9 days but I am certain they are more aware of the halachic and hashkafic realities of the 9 days than we are and if they felt the need to say such a thing maybe we should look into why they felt the need to speak out so strongly instead of bashing Rabbonim who are great in Torah and are wise people.

  22. Ruchi says:

    I am not sefardi, nor does anyone in family wear a knitted yarmulke. Let’s take a step back and think this through out loud. The year is 1756, Mr. Moshe Mendelsohn began teaching what eventually evolved into the Reform Movement. History has credited Mendelsohn as being a practicing Orthodox Jew. Nevertheless he began his deviance by preaching the philosophical mandate that a Jew can possess nobility of character and integrate into a modern world. Stop and think for a minute if a leading Rabbi in 1756 would make a bold statement 3 days before Tisha B’Av that Mendelsohn was equal to Amalek! I assume that the comments of the generation would starkly resemble the comments made here on Yeshiva World. Modern day Bar Kamtza, Sinas Chinam, Crazy, etc. Yet history has shown who was correct. Nowadays Bayit HaYehudi, represent those that wear knitted yarmulkas. Over the past few months they have blatantly gone against Orthodox rabbis and even their own Modern Orthodox rabbi’s time after time. Maybe it’s time to stop preaching to Rabbi Cohen and start listening? After all, we haven’t heard any Orthodox rabbis, be it Sefardi or Ashkenazi say that Rabbi Cohen is wrong. Yet, many on these forums are first to open their mouths and condemn. Food for thought.

  23. bklynmom says:

    Are all DEMOCRATS reshaim, since its representatives voted for Gay marriages in New York? When a leader of a party votes on a law, or says something are all voters responsible for his statement?

    Are all Shas & UTJ voters responsible for closing of yeshivos and moving graves from Gush Katif? Most would say NOT….so why are all Kipos Srugos now stereotyped.

  24. jewishflorida says:

    Many of the previous comments are very valid and applicable reminding us about the 9 days. I agree with many of the comments. I will add that I can take HaRav Cohen around some Jewish neighborhoods and “show him a good time”. I will show him many Jewish people who don’t wear any head covering, their wives never cover their hair, and I’ll be interested to see how he likes it. The venue will be a surprise and make him sick to his stomach. When one stereotypes against other Jew’s type of head covering, they deserve to eat their own words. Kippah Sruggah is better than wearing nothing.

  25. charliehall says:

    “Stop and think for a minute if a leading Rabbi in 1756 would make a bold statement 3 days before Tisha B’Av that Mendelsohn was equal to Amalek!”

    In fact, the gedolim of that generation did NOT treat Mendelssohn like Amalek; Rabbi Akiva Eiger and Rabbi Yaakov Emden treated him for what he was: A fully observant, fully Orthodox Jew. You cannot blame Mendelssohn for the Reform movement, which didn’t get started until 25 years after his death, nor for four of his six children leaving Judaism (all also after his death).

    Are you of stature to criticize R’Eiger and R’Emden?

  26. charliehall says:

    “A more likely result will be that enough secular zionists and moderate religious zionists (moderate meaning pro-Torah, not anti-hareidi) will come up with a solution.”

    Statements like this make such a compromise less likely. Why should HaBayit HaYehudi bother to compromise with a party whose leaders have now doubled down on the shameful accusation that its member aren’t Jews?

  27. Chuck Schwab says:

    Mr. Hall:

    R’ Eiger and R’ Emden were NOT fans of Mr. Mendelsohn.

  28. satmar841 says:

    #1
    Please be realistic, who are you to agree or disagree with any Talmid Chacham? besides that’s absolutely NOT Sinas Chinom! there’s a strong and very good reason for them to be called amalek! SO IT’S NOT CHINAM

  29. mexipal says:

    one thing is for sure. in deference to the 9 days YWN should not have posted this article.

  30. Not getting involved says:

    I always wondered why they do in fact wear Kippa sirugot. Why can’t they just wear a black yarlmuka & black hat like everybody else? Why do they have to be different? Every other Frum Torah leaders wear black Yarlmukas & hats. Litvish, Chassidish, Sefarady, etc… When did the Kippa Siruga originate & by whom?

  31. peakman says:

    No big he just said what many robonum even the ashknazi believe really

  32. jewishflorida says:

    Charliehall….. I’m surprised in you…. your intentions of giving 100% unquestioned kavod to gedolim no matter what is noble, but let’s not go off the case here. I want you and the Rav to tell many Young Israel rabbanim, my father, and many congegants in my shul how the yarmulka they are wearing is similar to your example of Mendelsohn and Amalek. We are not on the statue to criticize those rabbanim, but we do have self worth and value to question and constantly learn and grow from asking questions, which may appear criticizing to you, but we have much to learn if we be bold and ask.

  33. akuperma says:

    26 – If there is no compromise, meaning in the foreseeable future there will be both mass arrests (and if you talking about arresting thousands of people, per year, and holding them – it will certainly remind people of other situations in which large civilian populations were rounded up and held prisoners), as well as the induction of hareidim who will be unreliable and disloyal soldiers (meaning all hilonim will distrust anyone with a yarmulke, regardless of style).

    Thanks to Bennett, a group of about 20% of the Israeli Jewish population are being forced to ally with Bennett’s enemies (did you notice the Palestinian flag at the recent protest). A year ago Hareidim were indifferent to the politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and thousands enlisted voluntarily. It was seen as a respectable thing for a hareidi to do if he wanted to be a baal ha-bayis rather than a professional scholar. That’s all changed.

    Bennett told the hareidim that they had to give up being hareidim or be considered enemies of zionism – and he is shocked that most are deciding that Torah is more important than being part of a secular, anti-religious, marginally Jewish state.

  34. Josh31 says:

    “He then went on to explain that “Kes”, the letters ‘kaf’ and ‘samach’ are kippa sruga”
    I will argue that such a drasha enhances the status of the knitted kipa.
    “Kes” represents the aspects of G-d’s Throne that are manifest in this imperfect world.

  35. MrPink says:

    Mr. Cohen – Please point out the Amelakim in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oipgrgowDI Shame on you!! Thanks for further delaying the Moshiach!!

  36. knaker says:

    EVERYONE CALM DOWN! Do you think this great Rosh Yeshiva is stupid? All of a sudden he forgot about sinas chinam and tisha b’av? I think he’s a little more aware than all the ‘ywn commentators’.
    He has no problem with a good jew that is trying to do what he is supposed to do for Hashem’s sake regardless of what kippa he wears. What he does quite justly have a great issue with is the ‘kippa sruga’ movement, the kippa sruga is an example of trying to change traditional Judaism, even if its something seemingly insignificant – that’s how it starts… And now he’s referring to the big guys who are trying to show that they are the representatives of that community (even though R S Cohen knows very well that there are plenty other good ones – he means the ‘shita’) – the ones that are trying to stop bochurim and avreichim from learning Torah, the ones that want to make themselves the ‘big rabbi’ and provide heterim to go to the cinema, to make gerus against the halacha just like reform etc, going against every single Gadol hador – even against their own rabanim!
    IS THIS NOT FIRST DEGREE AMALEK?

  37. anshldixbutbetter says:

    efsher ansheldix is right. ai, freckter wht then is mashiach not here yet? bc all da yiddin need to shteig more in the everlasting words of the heiliga toyra

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