Derech Emuna settlement

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    Y2836: That story has absolutely zero credibility. There’s no way that Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer ever referred to himself as one of the Gedolim.


    The satmar rov says that such miracles are possible – BUT he says that with israel, there were no miracles. America predicted Israel would win in both 48 and 67.


    Zushy ,my mistake; you’re correct about rav Schlesinger’s yeshiva; i got mixed up with locations. You’re also correct that he’s a kanoi, but I don’t know who in brisk says he’s inaccurate. It’s true rhat in my years among brisker rabbonim i think i only heard about him once or twice, but i did not hear anyone say he was inaccurate.

    Re, rav shlomo zalman; there are times that gedolim say or do things that are a tzarich iyun. We don’t change around the Torah because we see a tzadik do something we don’t understand. Here,rav shlomo zalman did not do anything against halacha, nor did he openly say that rabbi kook is acceptable/respectable despite saying that secular jews are holier than frum ones. What we have is him not changing his view despite being told by family and others that rabbi kook is chutz lemachaneh. So on that we have a tzarich iyun. It could be he didn’t want to listen to lashon hora. It could be that he loved torah so much that he couldn’t fathom a talmid chochom saying apikorsus. Who knows?

    Regarding rav elchonon; his not visiting YU was complicated. Rav elchonon allows college in a teshuva – and rav boruch ber forbids it! If so, it should have been the opposite, rav boruch ber would not want to visit a place that was trenched in violation of halacha, and rav elchonon should have been ok with it.

    The answer is that everyone knew what YU was. The question was, do we show American boys Torah and even teach there, and maybe make a difference? That’s what rav shimon shkop held. Do we visit to be mechazek acheinu bnei yisroel? That’s what rav boruch ber held. Do we make a machaah even though no one will listen and they will do as they please? That’s rav elchonon.

    Rav elchonon was not outside the mainstream; he was a foremost talmid of the chofetz chaim, and was just as respected as the other two gedolei olam we’re discussing. He also literally gave his life for his talmidim, to make sure that they have the right kavanos when they will he slaughtered al kidush Hashem…rav elchonon was a pure angel.

    If rav elchonon, who is the mamshich darko of the chofetz chaim, calls someone a rasha…it cannot be disregarded. One gadols rasha is not another gadols tzadik; rather it’s more logical that the ones who believe him to be a tzadik were misled. The satmar rov says this is not a stirah to gadlus batorah, to be too open and trusting.

    Regarding shlomo lorencz; he was a confidant of many gedolim, and spent time with the rov, the chazon ish, gerrer rebbe, and many others. He was, however, a baal habayis. He made some mistakes in his book series, including a discussion with the rov that could not have been. He claims that the satmar rov said that the miracles of 48 were from the soton, and that the rov said that everything is from Hashem, and that the miracles were on behalf of the frum, inspite of the secular.

    That story is impossible, because the satmar rov doesn’t say that the soton independently does anything. What he says in vayoel moshe and al hageulah is that the soton is in charge of testing klal yisroel, and has shown them signs and wonders to test them, to see if they will follow avodah zara. We find that in medrash rabba, where the soton showed klal yisroel a vision of moshe rabbeinu dying on har sinai, which led to the egel. So too, says the satmar rov, miracles don’t prove that one side of a question is right – the soton can present challenges to us, which of course are min hashomayim.

    Umikra malei hu – the pesukim spell out that a false Navi may perform miracles! It’s quite telling that the anti-kabalah modern Orthodox people run to miracles to substantiate their claims that “god is on our side”.


    Avirah- Yes, there are times when we say Tzarich Iyun, but why should we say Tzarich Iyun, when there’s a simple explanation. The most logical thing to say is that Rav Shlomo Zalman knew about Rav Kook’s controversial views, and while he may not have agreed with them, he did not feel that they Passul him from being a Gadol. He probably took into account, also, the fact that Rav Kook was very poetic, and did not mean these statements in an absolute way. It seems much more logical to assume like this, rather than leave it as a Tzarich iyun.

    You make the assumption that “one Gadol’s Tzadik can not be another Tzadik’s Rasha”, and based off this, assume that the Gedolim who were Machshiv Rav Kook were misguided. This would then mean that Rav Isser Zalman, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, Rav Aryeh Levine, Rav Boruch Ber, Rav Elyashiv, Rav Shlomo Zalman, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, The Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Ovadya and many more Gedolim were all misguided. Wouldn’t it be more logical to say that Rav Elchanan was misled (i say this with the upmost respect for a huge Gadol)? As i mentioned before the letter Rav Elchanan writes is clearly based on the premise that Rav Kook supported Keren Hayesod, something which we know now to not be true. It seems therefore that the letter you’re quoting from Rav Elchanan was based on false premises.

    Your assumption that “one Gadol’s Rasha is not anothers Tzaddik”, to begin with is questionable. Gedolim do not have monotheistic views on everything, and that is part of the beauty of Torah. Because one Gadol held one way is not a reason to say that all the other Gedolim were misguided and really would have agreed.

    You mentioned Rav Boruch Ber, so i’ll just mention that he writes a letter to Rav Kook in which he praise him very highly calling him a Tzadik and “kohen Tzedek”.


    Rabbi kooks statements aren’t “poetic” – he says things that are forbidden to say. To think that something other than Torah makes you holy, when you don’t believe in kavayachol… it’s out and out kefirah. I honestly don’t know much about the keren yesod issue. But this is one thing that simplu can’t be ignored. The chofetz chaims talmidim reporting that their rebbe literally mocked rabbi kook’s name after seeing him praise chilul shabbos is also worth mentioning. Until what point can we say “he’s being poetic”? If we look at the long term results of rabbi kook…also, it was mentioned that he helped jews keep the mitzvos hateluyos baaretz – he allowed heter mechirah!!!! The one supposedly good thing about building a state was to allow jews to accomplish yishuv haaretz which rabbi kook himself says (quoted in that piece from rav waldenburg that you showed me) is entirely centered around keeping those mitzvos….and you go and sell it to goyim to pater yourself? The rivash holds that the main, integral part of yishuv haaretz is to be mafkiah from goyim; you can fulfill it while living in America, if you purchase land there, according to the rivash.

    Of all the mitzvos to be maikil in…. it’s like if rav shach were to look for kulos for yeshiva bochurim in bittul Torah; it shows the hypocrisy of religious zionism in a deep way.


    I’ll explain it derech moshol. Do you remember the tropper fiasco? He got together scores of rabbonim to a meeting for his conversion organization. Were they all not gedolim because they couldn’t see past him and know that he was a sinner? Did they all ignore the audio taped evidence? Does it mean that what he did was ok, because the gedolim supported him? Or do we say that haskamos don’t mean anything if the issue is clearly bad.

    100 rabbonim saying a piece of pig meat is kosher doesn’t make it so; it means a mistake happened. We can’t put our heads in the sand and pretend what rabbi kook said is ok. It’s not, it’s chazer treif.

    Some knew that metzius, and others didn’t, and you can’t fault them for it – gedolim have more important things to do than study the works of controversial rabbinic figures. They learn torah day and night, and lead klal yisroel.

    Calling rabbi kook a tzadik or rasha is only relevant when someone sees the forbidden things he said and mistakenly thinks rhat it’s ok to think such things, because after all, didn’t the tzitz eliezer refer to rabbi kook as maran? In times like that, it’s important to know right from wrong, tamei from tahor, rasha from tzadik. Who knows how they view rabbi kook in shomayim? It’s not really my concern, and i wouldn’t care if he was “really” a tzadik? It wouldn’t make his ideas or statements any less treif.

    And that’s the danger of gedolim-approval of individuals vs. ideas/actions. Nobody would say that the gedolim approve of troppers actions, even though im sure there are still rabbonim who think he’s an ehrliche person – so too, the gedolim who respected rabbi kook is not a hechsher on his statements; that’s why i said it’s a tzarich iyun, much like the rabbis who defend tropper(if there are still any, I don’t know)


    Also, gedolim disagree all of the time. It’s extremely rare for one to disqualify another. It has never before happened, except for rav yaakov emden and rav yonasan eibishutz (which rav hutner said is the one and only incomprehensible part of jewish history) that one says the other is a rasha. Apikores, yes; this is what happened with misnagdim. But the only time i can think of where a gadol says another rabbi is a sinner, an evil doer, is rav elchonon. Because rabbi kook violated the torah by praising reshoim.

    It’s an aveirah; was it because he was delusionally overcome with his “ahavas chinam” (a term he made up) and literally couldn’t tell that the zionists were evil and that he was praising their desecration of shabbos?

    Perhaps, but is such a person mentally stable? Are they a gadol?
    Or is it simply because he had a value system, based on European nationalism sprinkled with kabalah, that there’s something of value besides Torah, that you can be a good jew as long as you support the “nation” and the “land”?

    If rabbi kook had not been into secular philosophy, i would be more inclined to be melamed zchus.


    Spot on

    beruhcim haba’im

    always good to have new people on here

    I do not think the gedolim you mention believed in reishis tzemichas goluseinu

    however one must bear in mind that the geula definitely did not need the state.

    that much is very very simple

    Perhaps they felt that Jewish nationalism on a small part of the land was a manifestation of the various havtachos.


    Avirah- The settlers Rav Kook was praising were building up Eretz Yisroel; and accomplishing Yishuv Eretz Yisroel. Granted, they weren’t being Michaven for the Mitzvah; but Rav Kook felt that it had great value anyway. This is not saying that things other than Torah make you holy; this is saying that doing the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, and helping Klal Yisroel, makes you holy. Keep in mind also, that there is a Mesorah in Yiddeshkeit, especially with Chassidus, in trying to find Kedushah in every Jew. The Baal Shem Tov would spend time with the town thieves, trying to find the good in them. Also, Rav Kook felt, that praising what the Zionists were doing, and speaking about their Kedushsah, would help be Mekarev them. And in fact, he was somewhat successful. Many of the secular people, seeing that he appreciated what they were doing, became more religious. There were whole Kibbutzim which became Frum because of their encounters with Rav Kook. Granted, many of the Gedolim felt that it was better to avoid contact with these people, who, and by and large were anti-Torah. This was a Machlokes Lisheim Shamayim.

    Keep in mind also, that there are statements of Chazal which can be interpeted as saying similar ideas as Rav Kook. The Gemara says “Anyone who walks 4 Amos in Eretz Yisroel is assured a portion in Olam Habah”. Is the Gemara saying that nationalism, rather than Torah makes a Jew? The Gemarah says that anyone living in Eretz Yisroel it’s Domeh that they have a G-D, while those living outside EY it’s Domeh that they don’t have a G-d.” Is this Kefirah also?

    Even if Rav Kook was misguided about these ideas, though, and as the Gerrer Rebbe said “Ahavah Mikalkeles es Hasurah”, does this mean that we shouldn’t be Machshiv Rav Kook as one of the Gedolim, that we shouldn’t quote his Pesakim etc.? According to you, the Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Isser Zalman, Rav Dessler (and many others) were misguided by the euphoria of the times to look favorably upon the state and to call it “Aschalta Digeulah” in the case of the first 2. Or take the other unnamd Gadol (i know who you’re refferring to, but will leave him unnamed), who’s views were similar to Rav Kook. Yet, you are still Machshiv these Gedolim (although considering them a lower level, as you wrote before), so why can’t you say the same thing about Rav Kook. Perhaps, he was overly accepting. As you wrote from the Satmar Rebbe, this is not a Stirah to Gadlus Hatorah. In fact, as i mentioned on a different thread, this is exactly how Rav Avigdor Miller viewed Rav Kook. He viewed him as a Chashuv person, who Davka because of his Temimus, was misled by the secular Zionists. Rav Miller is very careful not to directly criticize Rav Kook though, writing “i have to be careful with his Kavod”. This is coming from Rav Avigdor Miller, who’s Shitah on the state of Israel was similar to Satmar. Point is, even if he was misguided, it was due to his Temimus and Ahavas Yisroel, and it doesn’t Passul him as a Gadol.

    About Heter Mechirah, you are completely misunderstanding Rav Kook’s Shitah. Rav Kook did not want to Lichatchilah rely on the HM; he only held of it because it was such a Shas Hadchak and people were starving. In fact, there’s a letter, in which Rav Kook laments the fact that they have to rely on HM, and makes it clear that it’s just because a Shas Hadchak. According to Rabbi Efrati, Rav Kook would certainly not have held of it nowadays. I don’t find it so ironic, though, that he held of it, because it’s only Mafkia for one year, and also it enhances the Yishuv Haretz for the other years, so in the long run, it enhances Yishuv Eretz Yisroel. People like to make fun of the Heter Mechirah, but keep in mind that it was supported by Gedolim such as Rav Yitzchak Elchonon, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank and Rav Ovadya. Rav Shlomo Zalman wrote a Sefer on the topic, and i beleive he is not Machria either way since there were great people on both sides.

    There are 2 reasons why i do not like the Tropper Mashal. 1) While abuse is unequivocally terrible, i am not convinced that Rav Kook’s Shittos were Treif, as you write above. They were contreversial; many Gedolim disagreed with his Hashkafos, i view it more through the lenses of a Machlokes which perhaps Rav Kook was a Daas Yochid on, then something unequivocally Treif.
    2) Even if Rav Kook was misguided, he was misguided due to his Ahavas Yisroel, and even if i don’t accept these statements i can still be Machshiv him as a Gadol and quote him, and i beleive the Gedolim would have been Machsiv him the same even if they knew these statements. Abuse, on the other hand is an act of Rishus to the highest degree, and the Gedolim would certainly not have respected Tropper had they known.


    Spot on- Rav Isser Zalman and Rav TP Frank used the term “Aschalta Digeulah”, but i am not aware of \ them saying “Reishit Tzmichat Geulaseinu”.


    When discussing geula, you may be mislead by history: we know when and how we left mitzraim, how many years in bavel, why beis hamikdash was destroyed.. note that all of that is post factum, even when there was direct communication with Hashem before that. So, all heshbonos we have for geula might appear in a different light in reality. Say, in 1967, maybe tzahal would have gone to har habait, a red cow would be walking around, a stray cannon or a worm collapse the mosque, or mosque leaders come out with their own karbonot in hand. … So it doesn’t have to require a lot of time ..

    spot on

    יפה הקשתי ונדחפתי בקש.
    what’s the difference between reishis tzmichas geuloseinu and aschalta degeula?

    was that a reply to me? You’re proving my point. There are many avenues Hashem may take for the Geulah. It need not come about through the state. What makes the state aschalta degeula?


    spot on> There are many avenues Hashem may take for the Geulah. It need not come about through the state.

    I totally agree, and I am also not comfortable with people publicly davening with words asserting certain status. How do they know?! On the other hand, the hope and aspiration are entirely understandable and it is not natural to ignore such a tremendous change in Jewish life as a whole country populated by Jews in EY. Just go stand near (not under) Arc of Titus in Rome to see IVDAEA CAPTA written there and laugh at dead Romans (like R Shapiro z’L did in 1967 on the way back from 6-day war).

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