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    “My quote about Rav Henkin’s view of Rav Goren was said explicitly by Rav Henkin’s grandson. ”

    Thank you for being honest and admitting that it was from him. Yehudah hertzl twisted his grandfather’s psak about women saying kaddish, for instance. He also lied about rav henkin saying that hallel on 5 iyyar has a legitimate basis; in kisvei rav henkin, he writes that the state is a horrible violation of the 3 oaths! He also clearly misled gedolim into giving haskamos for his book, selectively showing them the teshuvos where he talks like a real rabbi and leaving out the mixed dancing, women wearing talleisim, etc..

    Do you think Rav henkin approved of his son sending his grandson to a mixed college? That part of the family went off of his derech, clearly.

    As for the story of being thrown out of his house, i heard it from rav yisroel reisman, rav belsky, and rav leibel katz. I also heard it from a talmid of rav dovid, aside from it being very publicized.


    Not mixed college, mixed high school**


    Avira, where did you learn with Rav Leibel Katz?


    Ujm, I spent the best summers of my life in camp Ohr Shraga

    Avi K

    Wasn’t Jerusalem destroyed because of sinat chinam?

    Avi K

    Avirah, Rav Pam, Rav Moshe Schain (Ruchoma Shain’s husband) and Rav Avigdor Miller all went to mixed colleges (CCNY). Rav Soloveichik and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe also did (the University of Berlin). The Ner Yisrael yeshiva has an arrangement with Johns Hopkins. Yeshivat Chaim Berlin has also always sent men to colleges.


    Avira D’ara

    the hailige satamr rov indeed quotes many sources first and primarily the Rambam.

    However, he bases himslef on sefer hamitzvos.

    The Rambam in hilchos melochim clearly writes OSSUR LOTZEIS [not codified in shulchan Oruch]

    In hilchos Shabbos he is matir amira le’acum for yishuv ha’aretz, and does not differentiate between earlier times and today. [codified in Shulchna Oruch, somewhat limited by the rema based on the Ohr Zarua]

    Moreinu R’ Yaakov Rosenheim testifeid that prior to the Satmar rov’s departure from e”y he visited both the Griz and the hailige chazon Ish to express his opinion that one may no live in a land of resha’im, and there is no mitzva to do so.

    The chazon Ish responded “דער ישיבות זענען אונזער מדבריות”

    The Griz responded “חלילה זאגען אז די רמב”ם האלט נישט פון מצוות יישוב ארץ ישראל”

    I do not pretend to consider myself the final arbitrator on the Rambam, however as a general rule halcha folows yad hachazaka, and sefer hamitzvos is a discussion of how classify the taryag mitzvos.

    Additionally as you point out, many gedolim made no effort to be mekayem mitzvas yishuv ha’aretz, R’ Moshe deals with this in a teshuva and suggests that they held it is a mitzva kiyumis rather than a mitzva chyuvis.

    All the best


    Avi, there’s a vast difference between sending a child to a mixed high school versus an adult attending a mixed college or workplace.


    > Do you actually have examples of supposed lies he spread

    how is that not an invitation for lashon hara that was gladly taken. You both will be talking past each other quoting sources that each of your sides trust. This is going nowhere. Can you guys try to find original sources. Maybe gedolim did not out everything in writing on such sensitive topics, but at least something. It is flabbergasting that we can’t figure out what the well-known people a 100 years ago thought about important topics. This is a “broken masorah” when we can’t trust the sources …


    Colleges that Avigdor Miller and Lubavicher Rebbe attended probably did not have a lot of women at the time. It is a known social observations that groups with less women are more moral (i.e. women are in demand and can insist on their rules).

    There is also a difference between attending a local college with kids attending classes and going home v. shipping kids to a campus.


    > “דער ישיבות זענען אונזער מדבריות”

    This indeed fulfils Rambam, as long as one understands this as a temporary protective solution. Unfortunately, dor hamidbar got comfortable and convinced themselves that it is a mitzva to live in midbar – something Rambam surely did not mean.


    Btw, we need to have some understanding what is a child that needs to be protective. From ketubot, a father can send a 6-y.o to earn money, a 12.5 y.o. girl can get married on their own. With this in mind, one can argue that a high-schooler, and surely a college student, are “legal adults”. Of course, we should be mindful of downsides that we know are happening.


    > Do you think Rav henkin approved of his son sending his grandson to a mixed college?

    Do you know he did not? And here we have 1 not 2-generational problems. And presumably Rav educated his son himself or at least sent him to the right yeshiva. What caused the son to change his views? Same w/ Rav Feinstein and his daughter. Is this the sign of those times? In our days, most Rabbinical families do not have a lot of children going OTD. Here you are talking about gedolim en masse not being able to educate their children. An alternative explanation would be that those children’s behavior is within the norms acceptable to their parents but you can’t fathom this.


    Ujm, I will admit that there’s a difference between an adult being in a mixed environment where socializing is avoidable; much like many workplaces. many good jews went to Brooklyn college and held their nose; they came for what they needed and left. High school is a different story; almost nobody who went is saved from sin. It’s the formative years when hormones are raging and socializing is a huge part of the school life.

    Avi, it was a typo, i fixed it.

    I don’t believe the story about the brisker rov and chazon ish. Where did you see it/hear it from? Briskers keep a very clear log of stories; if such a thing happened, i would have heard it (the other half of my rebbeim are briskers). Not only do they record stories meticulously, my rosh yeshiva says that rav berel, when saying a story, would use the same exact words with the same exact inflection every single time. If one time he used a different word, the talmidim would discuss it!

    You left out other dinim which support the mitzvah of yishuv EY, including a spouse being able to force the other to move there. Rav Moshes peshara is said in many achronim to answer these contradictions. Worth noting that some rishonim don’t hold of these dinim(or many of them), there’s tosfos, rabbeinu chananel, etc.

    The megilas esther writes that the rambam didn’t hold it’s a chiyuv. Assur latzeis is a gemara. Different din altogether; it’s not an obligation to go and live there, but if you’re there, you’re not allowed to leave, because it’s disrespecting the opportunity Hashem gave to you too be mekayam mitzvos and be in the paltrin shel melech. Or because of Rav Moshes pshat. Either way achronim assume that the rambam held it’s not a chiyuv.


    Just as an aside, neither rav pam nor rav miller went to mixed colleges; that’s just not true. Rav miller went to YU, which isn’t mixed. Rav Miller did go to public school beforehand, because there were no yeshivos.

    Chaim berlin didn’t “send” talmidim to college(with some exceptions) they mostly allowed it; same with torah vodaas. Mir clamped down hard on college when rav shmuel became rosh yeshiva.

    Nowadays yeshivos only allow touro/other “Jewish” colleges.


    Where is there hatred and if there is, why is it baseless? If i were to have ill feelings towards our misguided brethren, would they be without cause? I just gave a long list of reasons why it’s wrong and against the Torah. Hating someone for going against Hashem isn’t baseless.


    Avirah- You still have no basis whatsoever for accusing Rav Henkin of lying. You base this accusation off Rav Yehudah Henkin quoting his grandfather as saying that those who say Hallel on YH have a basis, but as i mentioned before, this does not contradict Rav YE Henkin’s view about the Shalosh Shevuos at all. It just shows that he had enough respect for the Gedolim he disagreed with in Hashkafah, so as not to be Moche against their Talmidim who follow them. You find this all the time, that while Gedolim may feel strongly a certain way, they won’t be Moche against those who are Noheig differently, because they understand that the others have who to rely on. In regards to his Teshuvah about saying Kaddish, i don’t know why you’re assuming he distorted his grandfather’s view.

    The fact that Rav Henkin went to mixed high school has nothing to do with this discussion. No, Rav Yosef Henkin was certainly not happy that his grandson went to mixed high-school. This has no bearings whatsoever on Rav Yehudah Henkin’s Gadlus or Neemunus. Rav Yehudah Henkin never supported co-education as a Rabbi, and the fact that his father sent him there has as much bearing on Rav Yehudah Henkin’s Gadlus as it does on Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel’s Gadlus (he also went to a co-ed high school). In fact after Rav Yehudah Henkin finished high school, he was Mishamesh his grandfather for five years and received Semichah from him, and was probably one of his closest Talmidim.
    Limaaseh, i agree that Rav Yehudah Henkin’s Hashkafah was in some ways different than his grandfather’s, but as i am quite bewildered at your shocking accusation that Rav Henkin “spread numerous lies about his grandfather”, when you provided practically no basis; just a few assumptions which can easily be disproven.


    “Nowadays yeshivos only allow touro/other “Jewish” colleges.”
    Not Ner Yisrael.


    Y1836, anyone who can write a “teshuva” regarding one of the foremost Gedolei HaDor, such as Yehuda Herzl did regarding one he didn’t like, questioning whether it is “muttar” to refer to said Godol HaDor with “zatzal”, demonstrates that the person is unqualified for anything serious and is — at best — no more than a little joker.


    Ujm- I don’t know where the Teshuvah is, and therefore haven’t seen it inside. I owe Rav Henkin the courtesy of learning his Teshuvah inside to see what he has to say; the context etc. before concluding that he’s “unqualified for anything serious” as you write.
    Keep in mind “Bnei Bnom” is a Shu”t Sefer, and as such Rav Henkin responded to questions posed to him. Assuming that Rav Henkin concludes that you say Zatzal, you don’t have a Taaynah on Rav Henkin, just on the one who asked it.
    Truth be told, I find it very ironic that you’re so bothered by the lack of Kovod Hatorah in this Teshuvah. You’re willing to adress Rav Henkin, who was a huge Talmid Chochom as “Hertzl Henkin” and “no more than a little joker” because you disagree with his Hashkafah, yet you don’t think Rav Henkin can discuss calling the Satmar Rebbe Zatzal.
    Or even further, some in the Chareidi world wouldn’t refer to Rav Kook as Zatzal (including probarly the Satmar Rebbe), even though he was a tremendous Talmid Chochom because they disagree with his Hashkafah. Are you as ouraged by these people? If you saw a Teshuvah by a Chareidi Gadol discussing calling Rav Kook Zatzal. Or Rav Shlomo Goren Zatzal. Or any of the Gedolim who’s Hashkafah you think is terrible. Would you be as upset, and dismiss that Gadol as unqualified for Psak. If the answer is no, then you have absolutely no Taaynah on Rav Henkin.
    You can’t have it both ways.


    I could not find anything about online colleges in Igros Moshe, but I still highly recommend those. You get same lectures as in in-person, you get no co-ed problems (other than seeing people of other gender typing), and it generally costs 2 times less, esp if counting cost of campus or commute.

    Also, having a small group of talmidim taking same classes creates sufficient group environment for study. Maybe some local educated Yidden can assist the bochrim in selecting classes, general outlook towards studying and tutoring if needed.


    Can someone clarify what was the thinking of Rav’s son who sent his son to a co-ed school, esp if, as mentioned above, against the wishes of the grandfather? Were these some ideological considerations or practical ones?



    dis no fair

    no fair at all

    me started dis thread

    and everyone ignorin’ me and me posts and me subjects


    Not all teshuvos are from submitted shailos, but let’s say a person wrote a shailah to a rov asking what the best ice cream is; does he have to answer it? What if he asked “is it allowed to kill my neighbor when I’m mad at him”? There are some questions that are illegitimate. Choosing to write answers and publish them means that you take the question seriously. Henkin “grappled’ with this question, because a tzadik, a kadosh vetahor who survived the concentration camps and learned and taught more torah than henkin with his tiny yarmulke followers can ever imagine. He also literally built up half of of klal yisroel when henkin was a child.

    Comparing the satmar rov with henkin is like comparing me in 8th grade biology to jonas salk. that itself is insulting. It sounds like much of your jewish education came from online forums; in the yeshiva world, henkin’s name is not even known. In the dati leumi world, henkin was a posek, but even they acknowledge the greatness of the satmar rov as a giant among giants, and would not compare the two.

    As for rabbi kook; some do not want to write zatzal because of the damage he caused, leading to the henkins, riskins, lamms, stavs, and melameds of the world, which undermine torah and mesorah.


    > me started dis thread

    Learn humbleness. CR is great character-builder.


    > Henkin “grappled’ with this question

    Just guessing: maybe this was a common question among his hevrah and he thought it important to give this answer in public and explain it so that they understand.

    > some do not want to write zatzal because of the damage he caused,

    R Yochanan was not sure until his death whether he made a huge aveirah by asking for too little from Vespasian. Sofek on his zatzal also? what about crowds that became or stayed observant because of Rav Kook? Don’t count?


    Avira- i was not equating the two. I just found it ironic that someone who is willing to make fun of big Talmedei Chochomim because they don’t like their Hashkafah, was making such a big deal about Rav Henkin’s Teshuvah. Also, while i wouldn’t equate Rav Henkin to the Satmar Rebbe; i also wouldn’t equate us to Rav Henkin who lived his life immersed in Torah. As such, there is somewhat of a comparison. See the Gemara in Yevamos (105B) for example, which suggests that there can be some sort of “comparison” between the difference from an ordinary person to Moshe, and from Moshe to Hashem.

    I am well aware that Rav Henkin’s name is not known in much of the Yeshivish world. This has no bearings on his Gadlus though. The Chazon Ish was not well known for much of his life; same is true about many great people. I admire many things about the Yeshivish world (being part of it myself); but i believe that the tendency to rush be Mivazeh Gedolim who’s Hashkafos are diferent than theirs, is a tremendous mistake. Most commonly, there is a tendacy among some to call Rav Solleveichik JB, which i think, even you agree is wrong. Point is, with all the Maaylah’s of the Yeshivish world, the fact that the Yeshivish world doesn’t quote him, does not rule out someone as a Talmid Chochom and Gadol.

    I know that the reluctance to call Rav Kook Zatzal is because they feel that his Hashkafah caused damage. Once, you assume, however, that leading people to what you believe is the wrong Hashkafah is reason not to call them Zatzal, then you have no Taaynah on Rav Henkin. Rav Henkin held that the state was a big Chesed of Hashem, that Hashem wants us to make Aliyah, to be Mekayyem the Mitzvah which is Shakul to all the Mitzvos. From Rav Henkin’s perspective, it was the Satmar approach which was misleading people to neglect Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, to stay in Galus, and was influencing the groups which hold hands with Arafat, and beat up police officers. You disagree with Rav Henkin’s Hashkafah but Lishitascha, that influencing people to have the “wrong” Hashkafah is enough to warrant disrespect, there is no Taaynah on Rav Henkin.

    Incidentally, many of the people who quote Rav Kook to justify things which are wrong, often also quote Rav Hirsch, the Rambam and even the Gemara itself. The whole heretical movement of the Tzedukim was started by Tzadok and Baysis, who were misled by the language which Ben Bag Bag wrote in the Mishnah. In fact, as the Raavad writes, great people were misled by the language of the Torah itself to believe heretical ideas. Ein Lidavar Sof.

    No, my Jewish education is not from online; it’s from years of Yeshiva, but as someone who’s naturally curious, I do read articles from online Torah forums, here and there.
    Incidentally, you mentioned that you have fond memories of Ohr Shraga; i went to Ohr Shragah for a few years as well, and enjoyed it tremendously. It’s a great camp.


    You’re right that i don’t agree with calling rabbo yoshe ber soloveitchik by that epithet. None of my rebbeim did, and one was very against it, quoting his rebbe, rav simcha sheps, as throwing a cup of orange juice at a talmid who said it in his shiur (rav sheps was diabetic and kept the juice there in case his sugar went low). Rav belsky respected his learning, too, but explained that the gedolim were upset at him for not giving any tochacha. I’m not sure if rabbi soloveitchik bought into nationalism either; I’ve seen different versions of it, but using kiekeergard to explain adam harishon is enough reason for me not to accept him as authoritative.

    Also, i do not engage in making fun of rabbis,even those who I don’t think deserve that title. Im officially a “rabbi” but I don’t call myself one. To me that title has a status that i do not possess.

    As for comparing, I’m quick to discount a young rabbi writing teshuvos (he was, it seems, in his 30s) having the gall to insult the satmar rov, while people on the same level as rabbi kook were hesitant to say zatzal – it’s not me who made that assertion.

    In terms of damage; if rabbi kook would see what his movement led to, the lack of tznius, the far lefy LGBT invoking him, the movies and TV chevra, the mixed army (he passed away before the state and said that he was certain that everyone would become frum very soon…his predictions about that and moshiach coming were clearly wrong), i think he would have changed his mind. I also think it’s clear that his time spent on haskalah ideology, which stressed nationalism at the time in Europe, directly led to his own jewish nationalism. Grafting on avodah zara on to Torah is a grave insult.

    The satmar rov never discouraged aliyah. Ever daven jn satmar kn yerushalayim? It’s pretty big. That’s one of the big lies that are told about the satmar rov; it ranks up there with the “don’t let the goyim see that we’re against the state and if a goy is anti israel he must be antisemitic!!”, and that he was affiliated with or led to Nk.

    None of that is true. The satmar rov said that mass allyah, at once, is assur. He also said that it’s for people who are fitting to live in a holy place. A derelict man doesn’t belong in a yeshiva,a sinner doesn’t belong in eretz yisroel; the land doesn’t tolerate sinfullness, and it’s the reason we’re in Galus to begin with. He aaid it’s a madrega. Many mitzvos are madregoa. Wearing tefilin the whole day should be a chiyuv, but we don’t do it because we’re not fit for it. Same thing with yishuv eretz yisroel; he didn’t invent the idea either.


    Hey, you guys are actually onto the right idea.

    The Brisker Rov is also believed to have felt that aliya is not necessarily for the masses

    His son the Gramad nonetheless felt that once a yungerman lives in e”y he may have dinim of Ossur Lotzeis

    HaGaon R’ Moshe shtrernbuch shlit”a met R’ Mordche Pogremansky in France on his way to e”y as a bochur, R’ Mordche told he is crazy for going to to e”y, if he would be masig what one lashon hara in e”y does he wouldn’t come.

    The Cahzon Ish discouraged my grandfather form moving to e”y in 1949, however the concerns he raised were more practical.

    As far as i understood the Satmar rov suggested that there is no mitzva of living in e”y today so theoretically there would be little reason to do aliya. The proportion of Satmarreres who settle in e”y is way way way less than Stoliner’s for instance. Additionally, unlike Gur or Belz they do not have any reason to come for yomim noraim or simchas – automatically less connection to e”y and their relatives there, less likely for the kids to settle far from parents etc …

    The Satmat kehilla in e”y include a small amount of yerushalaymers who accepted the Satmar rov during his stay in e”y, [despite his stance on yishuv ha’aretz and shkiya, two biggies by them ] a group from various eastern countries who escaped the state’s proselytisation and became very very anti and joined a satmar, even putting on the levush, and a number of US olim.

    Although the batei midrashim are thriving, it shows Satmar’s generosity, the oilam joke that they have the best bathrooms and cooffee in Ge’ula and mercaz b’nei B’rak …..

    The mosdos are smaller, one cheder in B’nei B’rak [R’ Aron] which is not limited to their kehiila only, and two sets of boys and girls mosdos in yerushalaiyim.


    > rabbi kook would see what his movement led to, the lack of tznius,

    Do we know that? what would have happened without him? Maybe, same people would end up in kibutzim and there would still be a commi-socialist state in Israel. Same, as people complain about some Chabad baalei teshuva behaving inappropriately. Maybe their alternative was to be in drug rehabs or gender studies before they bumped into a shaliach on campus. (hope, I am equal opportunity offender here).

    If you blame R Kook for admiring Jews playing soccer on shabbos, what did he do while he lived in more observant places in Europe: did he encourage observant Jews to play soccer even on chol? If not, maybe you should not complain.


    Avira > using kiekeergard to explain adam harishon is enough reason for me not to accept him as authoritative.

    yet another condition for a T.Ch – not to read books unapproved by Avira … you inspired me to read some boring theses exploring the theme, mostly uncovering the hidden in order to be eligible for thesis defense, not very convincing. I found an article Rav Soloveitchik’s New World View By: DAVID P. GOLDMAN, 2018 (that confirms the connection) interesting to understand Rav’s relationship to Western philosophy with this metaphor: It is surely valid to speak of such influences, in the same way that we might say that a man who observes a train wreck is influenced by trains.

    He also quotes an interesting idea from Plato and apparently something similar from R Soloveichik: first study math before philosophy. Meaning: if you can’t master math, don’t go further.

    Also, here is an interesting quote from the Rav that explains how he looks at influences as both possible but not overwhelming:

    …would help us to discriminate between the living and the dead in Jewish philosophy. What, for instance, is of halakhic nature in the Guide and the Kuzari, and what merely an echo of Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy? The purpose of such an analysis is not to eliminate non-Jewish elements. Far from it, for the blend of Greek and Jewish thought has oftimes been truly magnificent.15 However, by tracing the Jewish trends and comparing them to the non-Jewish, we shall enrich our outlook and knowledge. Modern Jewish philosophy must be nurtured on the historical religious consciousness that has been projected onto a fixed cognitive screen. Out of the sources of Halakhah, a new world view awaits formulation.


    Many points can bedated about הגרא”י קוק זצוק”ל

    first of all he was a greater talmid chacham than any of the posters on here

    Second the Imrei Emes famoiusly said “אהבה מקלקלת את השורה”
    In my limited understanding that means that his motives were pure and stemmed from a good place

    If he said that soccer players in e”y are better than talmidei chachomim abroad etc … it is obviously not da’as torah

    An older person told me that one thing the kana’im achieved was to change tje public view of הגרא”י, in his lifetime he was viewed far more favorably, yet today even those who do not accept or even admire the Satmar viewpoint has far less respect for him.


    Zushy, can you repeat your last paragraph in understandable language? It is very unclear.


    The imrei emes also said that rabbi kook calls “that which is tamei, tahor and that which is tahor tamei” even though truthfully it was obvious… Just sometimes you need a gadol to say something to get us out of the brain fog of the yatzer hora.

    Want to know other things he said that weren’t daas torah? He called Rembrandt, a goy who was not a 7 mitzvos person, and who drew many untznius paintings…a tzadik! Because he had one portrait of the tosfos yom tov. He writes in “oros” that the neshomos of the secular are “yoser mesukanos” (exact quote) because they yearn for the land… That great egel hazahav.


    The kanoim didn’t achieve the change in the public view of rabbi kook. Rabbi kook changed the public view of himself, just some of his deviations weren’t known until not long ago.


    This fellow told me that he was a child no one, no one debated Rav Kook’s gadlus,

    Everyone knew that before one shemiita R’ Yosef Chayim Sonnenfeld, Rav A Y Kook and Rav Moshe Kliers- then recognized as the three senior gedolim in e”y traveled extensively to be mechazek kiyum shemiita. Their journey had an effect for years.

    R’ Shlomo Zalman published me’oirei ha’eish at an extremely young age with two haskamos, R’ Chayim Ozer and Rav Kook, and refused to allow it republished without Rav Kook’s Haskama. He also had a picture on his wall of his rebbi muvhak, Rav Kook.

    The Tzitz Eliezer also published with two haskamos, The hailige Marcheshes, and HaRav Kook.

    Rav Yitzchok hutner zatzakal spent time in yerushalyim as a slobodka / chevron talmid, and viewed himself privileged to have to spend time with Rav Kook, and discussed with him sugyas in Nazir. [till today Rav hutner’s he’arois written on Nazir and Rabbeinu Hillel’s pirush on toras Kohanim are used by those learning those sugyas, and were wirtten during this tekufa.

    On one occasion some mehsuga’im went around yerushalayim writing graffiti that a certain odom godol = Kook. Greatly disappointed the askanim came to the z’kan hador, the demi-super centenarian R’ Elyashiv and vented to him about this graffiti.
    R’ Elyashiv’s response “איך האב געווווסט אז ער איז גאר גאר גרויס, אבער איך האב נישט געכאפט עד כדי כך” – Ich hob gevust az er is gor gor grois, ober ich hob nisht gevust ad k’dai Kach. And R’ Elyashiv was not known for exaggerating.

    The same person told me that as long as Rav Kook and Rav Herzog were Rav HaRoshi the Brisker Rov respected them as talmidei chachomim. [Not thier hashkaphos, not did he encourage big shailos to be brought to them, however he recognized their scholarship.] Only after Rav Herzog’s petira with the installment of —– did this change. And the Brisker Rav was not known as a proponent of Zionism.

    Today’s generation believe Rav Kook was some sort of unrespected zionistic messianistic pariah, however, in truth his gadlus was recognized during his lifetime and many mainstream gedolim considered themselves privileged to have been his talmidim.


    Zuchy, when they travelled on shmita – what was their message? Is this before various technical solutions were proposed to make it easier, and solutions were different?


    Avira> He called Rembrandt, .. a tzadik! Because he had one portrait of the tosfos yom tov

    first, this is not the reason R Kook might have used, at least in the only source I found. Could you please elaborate?

    Rembrand’s student van Hoogstraten painted Tosfos Yomtov and called him ‘Old Man in a Window.’

    Rembrandt etched his neighbor Chacham Menashe B’ Israel – and seemingly did several illustrations to Menashe’s sefer. There are also interesting hidden parallels: Menashe brings only one of several ways how “mane tekel fares” might have looked on the wall – and that is how Rembrandt painted them a couple of years ago.


    If you want to know about how rav hutner felt about rabbi kook, talk to talmidim. He publicly removed rabbi kooks picture. He changed a ton. Many gedolim did. The truth about him took years to come out.

    Rabbi kook wasn’t rav shlomo zalman’s “rebbe muvhak”, i dont know where you got that information from, but it’s not true. I’ve heard that he discouraged people from speaking about him, but did he know the extent of his statements? Who knows. He had better things to do than study controversial rabbinic figures.

    Aa for the quotes from rav elyashiv…again, no source. No reason to accept it. The chazon ish said you’re not allowed to learn his hashkofa seforim, they’re assur, they’re treif. That’s in maaseh ish, from many talmidim; rav chaim kanievsky is quoted a lot in that sefer too.

    The dati world has tried to make it as if rabbi kook was the gad hador, and admittedly the yeshiva world has erased him from history. Neither are historically accurate. Some gedolim saw through him early on, and he was put in cherem by the rabbonim of yerushalayim over his soccer comments. But many didn’t want to get involved in machlokes. Young rav shlomo zalman just wanted to learn torah, and that he did. Better than almost everyone.


    Zushy- Just to add to your list.
    Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer was very close to Rav Kook and once told Rav Chaim Ozer “We are only Gedolim untill we come to Rav Kook’s front door”. He also gave a Hesped for Rav Kook.
    Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank was very close to Rav Kook and had a “Talmid Chaver” sort of relationship with Rav Kook.
    Rav Elyashiv was approached by one of the editors of “Otzar Mifarshei Hatulmud” who refused to quote Pshatim of Rav Kook in the Sefer; and was therefore fired from his job. Rav Elyashiv responded “Rav Kook was an Ish Kadosh. I would have fired you also”.
    According to Rav Nosson Kamenetsky, Rav Yaakov said about Rav Kook that he was “A Gaon and a Tzaddik”.


    Also of note is the sefer “hador vehatekufah” written by rav elyakim shclesinger, rosh yeshiva in lucern. He writes that rabbi kook became known as a “kailiker”, a kal-person, not so frum, who was into secular philosophy and was chased out of his rabbinic post in Lita, and then found a job in england. He writes what many gedolim said about him, including rav chaim brisker.


    more stories that could have been completely made-up; not accusing you, but whomever it is you’re reading from. Zionists are known to make up stories about rabbonim; manachem kasher is one example. Rabbi yoshe ber soloveitchik met rabbi kook in eretz yisroel, and told an interviewer that he was not impressed with him in learning, and that he was an interesting, mystical personality. For the crowd who accepts rabbi yoshe ber, this is pretty significant. And it’s in written record.

    The only source you have mentioned in this last post is r. nosson kamenetzky (not exactly accepted as reliable, as it happens to be…people whose books are banned I don’t trust that much, but I digress) – when did he hear that from rav yaakov, and where did he write it? in making of a gadol? Perhaps rav yaakov said it in passing, before many things came to light.

    A similar story is the lubavitcher rebbe. At first, it was only the satmar rov and chazon ish who saw through him. Then everyone else understood; some after his petirah, some before, but at this point the yeshivos all basically agree on him. Rav Pam, for instance, originally said not to get involved in what rav shach was saying in eretz yisroel, that it isn’t meant for us, but then changed his mind later on; same with rav avigdor miller, who used to praise him, but stopped when information became more available.

    It’s not like today when we can google “controversial statements made by rabbi kook” and find it instantly.

    In contrast, if you want more sources – rav elchonon writes that rabbi kook is a rasha in kovetz maamarim. A big sefardi beis din in yerushalaim said that he was “grabbed by the sitra achra” in their printed cherem. The steipler in kiryana de’igarsa says in a letter that one can send a kid without an alternative to merkaz harav “despite the fact that it was started by rabbi kook”. So do you really think that the list of gedolim who you claim were over the moon for rabbi kook really said that?

    The first wave of awareness came with the circulation of “oros me’ofel”, where he says the line about secular, ochlei nevelos, mechalelei shabbos, kofrim baShem, that they are spiritually greater than the frum, who are complacent about the building of the land-god avodah zara.


    Y1836: Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer never said anything closer to “We are only Gedolim…” Where do these bubbe maaisas come from?


    Avira, how did so much information about him only become available recently?


    UJM, it’s because publishing a sefer used to be a huge deal. In the past 40, 50 years, everyone can publish, and seforim are much cheaper and more available. Seforim like kovetz maamarim, maaseh ish, gedolim biographies, etc…also more people spent time in yeshivos where these things were more known, like Brisk.


    It is true that Zionist-leaning sources sometimes distort things to fit their agenda, but this is also true sometimes with ant-Zionist sources. Many anti-Zionist publications, for example will claim that all Gedolim were against the state, completely ignoring Rav Dessler’s letter (Michtav Meliyahu volume 3, page 352), The Tzitz Eleizer’s Teshuvah, the Ponivitzer Rav’s positive view, as well as the many other Gedolim who viewed it positively. With Rav Kook as well, read any Neturei Karta publication; they pretend Rav Kook was a pariah rejected by all the Gedolim. To pretend that distortion only happens in one direction is just silly and untrue.

    About Rav Yoshe Ber, i heard a completely different version of what he said. I heard that he said that he wasn’t impressed by Rav Kook’s scholarship, but he was impressed by his Tzidkus. This changes the whole picture. If it’s in writing though, then i would love to see it inside. where is it written? Also, keep in mind that Rav Yoshe Ber delivered a Shiur titled “Remembering Rav Kook” in which he praises Rav Kook and discusses the great contributions he made to the Jewish world (the Shiur can be found on YUTorah). Rav Herschel Schachter a close Talmid of the Rav often quotes Rav Kook, as well.

    It is funny you are accusing Rav Nosson Kamenetsky of not being reliable being that he spent decades painstakingly doing research for “The Making of a Gadol”, making sure his information was accurate. The fact that it was banned has nothing to do with the credibility of the book; it’s because some of the Gedolim felt that some of the stories should not be published because people might interpret them in a bad light. It seems, however, that there were Kanoim who spread lies about the book to some of the Gedolim, including telling them that Rav Nosson continued to distribute the book after they told him not to (listen to “Making of a Ban” by Rav Nosson Kamenetsky (on YUTorah)). Incidentally, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, who you quoted earlier in this thread, thought highly of the book and encouraged people to read it. As did Rav Zelik Epstein ZT”L. The quote can be found in “Making of a Gadol, page 1087).

    I am in fact familiar with what Rav Elchonon writes; however he is clear from the language of the letter that he is writing this in only in response to the fact that “It is well known that he [Rav Kook] supports Keren Hayesod”. It is clear, however, that contrary to what many people thought, Rav Kook did not support Keren Hayesod. As such, Rav Elchanan would not have wrote what he wrote.
    The Sephardi Beis Din may have put Rav Kook in Cherem; as many Kanooim did, but the views of the Gedolei Hador matter much more. Rav Ovadya Yosef, the leading Sefardi Posek, quotes Rav Kook all the time in his Seforim, giving him honorable titles.
    Where does the Steipler write the comment you wrote? Anyway, it’s clear that Ruba Diruba of the Gedolei Yisroel viewed Rav Kook as a Gadol; not necessarily did they agree with his Hashkfah, but they viewed him as a great Gadol. You’re assuming that they would have been Chozer, but i don’t see any reason to say assume that.

    About the Lubavicher Rebbe, many Gedolim were Machshiv him, including Rav Avigdor Miller who equated him with the Satmar Rebbe. See this quote
    “Look, if you advance beyond that stage, then all Rebbes become “My Rebbe.” All Rebbes! The Satmerer Rebbe! Ahh! Zol ehr lang leiben! He’s a wonderful man. A big warrior; and he accomplished for us so much. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, zol ehr lang leiben! He accomplished so much and he is accomplishing. They should both be our Rebbes” (Toras Avigdor)
    What makes you say that they were Chozer?


    y1836 Thanks very much.

    I thought of them, and of R’ Aryeh Levin


    I am seriously not suitable to discuss people – on both sides of the fence – who are light years greater than me. Obviously if something was said that it clearly neged the toira then it is wrong. The point I was making was that Rav Kook was respected tremendously during his lifetime, and at least in terms of encouraging mitzvos hatluyos ba’aretz played a massive role that it felt until today.

    I genuinely don’t know about Rav Hutner. I’m from the UK and have merited to live for many years in e”y bs”d. My quotes are based on things I heard from elderly people in Yerushalayim including the Auerbach family

    Concerning Maran R’ Shlomo Zalman, a grandchild told me:

    a) he was mechabed Rav Kook with sandaka’us for his first son – during the lifetime of his father and shver, both of whom were gedolim in their own rights. [When the eitz party started, the joke was that both HaGaon R’ Shmuel and HaGaon R’ Dov Tzvi Karelenstein, [ben HaGaon R’ Yerucham Fishel] had the same sandak, but as you write, I digress.]

    b) he stayed in his shiur a second year, although his father R’ Chayim Leib was reluctant about the idea.

    c) he had a picture on his wall, I think the only not family picture.

    d) he was aware of the reluctance of those that surrounded him with Rav kook – in fact the sefer me’oirei Eish was not republished, since he insisted on Rav kook’s hascama being printed, while the family felt very strongly that it shouldn’t be printed.

    e) by R’ shlomo’s Zalman’s petira and shiva some wanted to take the picture down, but in the end they left it in place.

    Concerning מרן הגרי”ש אלישיב

    a) the comment was readily repeated during the “ליבה” story. I assume if you check any Israeli news website from that period you will find it. it was about fifteen years ago. The gadol in question was Maran R’ Aharon Leib.

    b) Although R’ Elyashiv learnt by himself he considered R’ Hirsh Pesach – his wife’s uncle – a primary force and influence on his life, and i understood [again from one the Auerbach’s] that this included RESPECT [not acceptance] for HaRav Kook.

    HaGaon Rav Elchanan was an exception in his generation – he was literally the only visiting rosh yehsiva not to speak in RIETS. His views, and those of R’ Aharon Kotler are very very well known, and were expressed clearly at the k’nessia gedola, however they are not the majority. My only point was that people have misconstrued the mainstream view and even people who do not necessarily consider themselves adherents of R’ Elchanan’s extensive views seem to think that Rav Kook is a pariah.

    Older people have mentioned about Rav Hutner with Rav Kook, and a much younger protege R’ Sholom Schwadron. Again, an older person told me that today the world thinks of Pachad Yitzchok, and the sefer machshava, they perhaps heard of the tisch and the spodik, but they have forgotten the colorful character, the “cheftza” and the charifus that made Rav Hutner stand out when the Chevron yeshiva came to Yerushalaim. [it may have changed, I am not debating that possibilty]

    Ziknei Yerushalayim also told me that the Brisker rov was reluctant to talk about Rav Kook or Rav Herzog. He discouraged people from directing big questions to them and was disappointed when someone suggested that he be machriya the question about the dateline. All in all The Brisker Rav had a pachad of establishing the Rabbanut as the senior beis din, with his wisdom and foresight he realized that it would not necessarily always be led by talmdei chachomim.

    R’ Elyakim Schlesinger is rosh yeshivas Haromo in London, not lucerne. Rav koppelman zatza”l was Rosh yeshiva in Lucern and was a talmid of R’ shimon shkop and was מעמיד תלמיידם לאלפים

    Rav Schlesinger’s yeshiva is very very small. primarily family and a few followers. He is a talmid of the Brisker Rov and the Gramad, but in beis brisk his version of events is not considered completely accurate. He is known as a tremendous tremendous kana’i, and is a nephew of the legendary R; Amram Blau – son in law of his brother R’ Moshe who was poisoned by the Zionists.

    There is a brilliant book that is written by someone more mainstream, In their shadow By Rabbi Lorinz, he received beautiful haskamos from many gedolim and really really had an insider’s view.
    He clearly lays out the anti Zionist stance, and the feeling of despair Toira Jewry felt, but steers clear of criticizing Rav Kook or Herzog.

    I have lived in ge’ula and spent hours in conversation with people who gave me the impression as being close to the main players, and this is my impression.

    Finally R’ Chayim Brim related the following.
    R’ Chayim Greinaman was a son in law in yerushalayim and for a short time lived in the kerem neighborhood, where his first child was born. He was mechabed the hailige Chazon Ish with sandaka’us, It was one the only occasions that the Chazon Ish came to yerushalyim.
    The Cישzon Ish came to visit the Brisker Rov – it seems this was of the very few occasions that they met. they discussed things for a while.

    After they left, the Chazon Ish commented the brisker rov has good eyesight, he can see ramifications thirty years ahead.
    The Brisker rov said the Chazon Ish has koichois, I wouldn’t consider uprooting the trees he sets out to uproot.

    [The Gramad – then a bochur of 30+ – was present and remained very quiet. The Chazon Ish later commented די בריסקר רב האט א זון וואס איז א מלאך, נישט קיין מענטש.]

    והמבין יבין


    UJM- It can be found in “An Angel Among Men”, a biography on Rav Kook.

    spot on

    back to the topic, they should have called the settlement קרית מלך.

    spot on

    Now on to the spin off:
    “rashis tzmichas geulosienu,” which someone here said even R’ Isser Zalman and R’ TPF used, shocks me. Because if you delve into it, what they’re saying is that the geulah will come THROUGH the state of Israel. Which means that the State will be the impetus for kibbutz goliyos, and then Moshiach will come.
    But that’s a direct contradiction to “achakeh low bchol yom sheyavoi ” because if it comes THROUGH the state, then naturally it won’t happen in one second. It will take years until a state builds up. But if we’re waiting for any day, then the kibbutz goliuyos could happen in one second, al kanfei nesharim, and will have nothing to do with the state.

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