Is Aliyah a wise choice in the nuclear age?

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    “Perhaps I’m mistaken, but the rise of antisemitism caused Zionism, not the other way around. “

    You aren’t mistaken.

    Jews had been trickling into Eretz Yisrael from Europe since the 13th century, but it too the pogroms of late 19th century Russia and the Dreyfus affair in France to make it a flood.


    “Rav Henkin said”

    I’ll take the distinguished posek Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin shlita regarding his grandfather z’tz’l’s opinion over that of an anonymous internet commenter who has a history of lying about the grandson’s halachic positions.

    The chutzpah here is astonishing.


    “not all of them did hate us”

    The Arabs who first conquered Eretz Yisrael in the 7th century saved us from likely extermination at the hands of the Byzanties. Arab rule was pretty tolerant as long as it lasted, a bit more than 300 years.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I’ll take what Rav Henkin zt”l himself said.

    Patur Aval Assur

    (Same disclaimer as my previous post.)


    Let me start by noting that you did not address any of the points in my previous post. I will summarize them here so that you can easily address them:

    1) Even if R’ Kasher was a complete fraud, do you have a response to his point about the Chofetz Chaim’s writings?

    2) R’ Kasher may have been devious in his portrayal of the 1937 meeting but he did not forge/doctor any document, considering that he used an ellipsis. You, on the other hand, did, when you deleted the word “????” without any notation that you were leaving out a word.

    (This point is largely semantical and is not of utmost importance to this discussion.)

    3) There was a gathering of the great rabbis and the majority vote was in favor of the state. You claim that the lesser rabbis outvoted the greater rabbis. First of all, I am not sure how you are judging the greatness of each of the rabbis that was there. Second of all, a minority that has greater rabbis is still a minority. Beis Hillel outnumbered Beis Shammai but Beis Shammai was mechadedei t’fei. Third of all, R’ Moshe Shternbuch (Teshuvos V’hanhagos 2:140) describes the 1937 meeting as follows:

    ????? ???”? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ???”? ?????? ????”? ????? ??”? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?”? ????? ????”? ??”? ??????”? ??”? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?”? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ???”? ??????? ??”? ?? ????? ?? ?”? ?? ????? ????? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ???????

    ?????? ????? ????? ???????? ??. ?????? ??? ????”? ???? ??? ??? ?? ???? ?? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???”?

    ??????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ????”? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? (???? ???”?) ?????? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????? ?”? ????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ????”? ??”?

    4) Even if I grant Weinman’s claims (though I haven’t seen any evidence yet – a simple question that would need to be answered is why there is no record of any of the signatories who were contacted by Weinman publicly stating that they were falsely signed on), there was still some document signed by many great rabbis which referred to the State as ?????? ???????? ?? ????? ?????. Additionally, the Yeshuos Malko wrote: ?????? ??? ?????? ??????.

    5) What do R’ Henken’s halachic positions have to do with his reliability in reporting his grandfather’s position? (For the record, and I probably should have mentioned this in my original post, the ma’amar 1 ose 17-19 in Benei Banim which I quoted was not written by R’ Yehuda Herzl Henken, but by a different talmid of R’ Yosef Eliyahu Henken. See the asterisk:

    6) What are your specific problems with the teshuva about dancing? I’m not saying that I will be willing, or able, to address them but I just want to see if you actually read the teshuva you are attacking.

    7) What are your specific problems with the teshuva about saying zatzal. Again, to see if you actually read the teshuva.

    8) Do you only think it is not okay to slight the honor of the Satmar Rav, or do you also think that it is not okay to slight the honor of R’ Kook, R’ Soloveitchik, and others?

    9) Did you read the haskamos? R’ Moshe writes that although he can’t give a haskama on the actual dinim without being meayein, ?”? ????? ????”? ????? ????? ?????? ???????? ???? ??”? ??? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????

    The Tzitz Eliezer wrote:

    ?????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??????? ??????? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???????? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????

    ???? ????? ????”? ?????? ??”? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????


    ?? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ????????? ????? ????

    ????? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ???????

    You can see the rest for yourself.

    Regarding your quotes from R’ Yosef Eliyahu Henken, what he kept harping on was taking arms. This is consistent with the quote in Benei Banim which says that that is why he so opposed the founding of the State even though he b’etzem agreed with R’ Kook. See also, what R’ Yosef Eliyahu Henken wrote in b’shem R’ Chaim Ozer that the oath against rebelling against the nations also applies to rebelling against the Nation of Israel. And see also what he wrote in the piece titled ?? ????? ?? ?? ???:


    The Chofetz Chaim was vehemently anti-Zionist, as were all the great Gedolei Hador of that caliber. Rav Shach writes (Michtavim Umaamarim vol. 1: Eretz Yisroel) that when he comes before the Bais Din Shel Maalah and they ask him why he wasnt a Zionist, he will “point to the Chofetz Chaim and say “because he wasnt a Zionist”. The Chofetz Chaim’s closest Talmid, Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt’l was THE most outspoken anti-zionist of his time (“Zionism is avodah zorah, and religious zionism is avodah zorah mixed with religion” is a quote from him). And he quotes his Rebbe the Chofetz Chaim often in his anti-zionist teachiings, in “Ikvese DMeshichah”. The Satmar Rebbe quotes Rav Elchonon saying in the name of the Chofetz Chaim that the Zionists are real Amaleikim. Rav Berel Soloveichik ZT”L, son of the Brisker Rav ZT”L, used to relate to his students the Chofetz Chaim’s response when he heard of Rav Kook’s position on the chloni soccer players. “Kook shmook!”, the Chofetz Chaim said, dismissing both the man and the position. The story about the Chofetz Chaim – the paragon of Shemiras Halashon himself – is easily confirmed. The person who it happened with was named Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Gorelick, father of Rav Yeruchem Gorelick ZTL, who was a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim and a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University. Rav Yeruchem Gorelick (who was personally present and heard it directly from the Chofetz Chaim’s own mouth) said the story over publicly numerous times (including at the Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, where his son was Rosh Yeshiva), as did Rav Berel Soloveichik ZTL, Rosh Yeshiva of Brisk. (Rav Berel also related that Rav Kook said about the opening of the Hebrew University, that it is a fulfillment of kimitzion etc. – immediately the gedolim in Poland and Russia organized a protest against this chilul Hashem – and the Chofetz Chaim came in and said Kook shmook and then he left. See “Mishkenos Harayim” 3:1-108.)

    And the Chofetz Chaim’s statement is mild compared to what other Gedolim have said about him. Particularly relevant in this context is a letter by Rav Elchonon Wasserman to Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, printed in Kovetz Maamarim, of which a facsimile of his Ksav Yad is readily accessible, where he refers to R. Kook as a “rasha gamur.” This was the eternally loyal Talmid of the Chofetz Chaim, who spent his life disseminating his Rebbi’s Torahs. (When the Chofetz Chaim was considering moving to EY, Rav Chaim Ozer asked him who will take care of Klall Yisroel in Chutz Laaretz if he leaves. The Chofetz Chaim answered, “What do you mean? You have Reb Elchonon!”)

    Regarding Rav Kook specifically, I have heard that the Chazon Ish ZT”L used to censor his Seforim by taping or marking over the anti-Torah writings in them. Of course, the Chazon Ish was more able to know what is undesirable and what is not, than the average student. If someone was the biggest Apikores and enemy of Hashem, as long as he would “work the land” of Israel, Rav Kook considered him holy. The soccer players, mechalelei shabbos b’farhesia, were to Rav Kook, “holy”. He did not mean “Tzelem Elokim” holy, but rather, because they assisted the Zionist cause they were “holy”, regardless of their status according to the Torah. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld ZTL said that he was like a person who is drunk – saying irrational, nonsensical things – and in his case, he is drunk on Ahavas Yisroel. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld’s description of him as a “Purim Rav the whole year”. Rav Kook was considered a lone, sad case of greatness gone irrational. A more hard-line position is found in the Teshuvos Divrei Yoel by the Satmar Rav ZT”L (CM 131), where he rules outright that it is forbidden according to Halachah to follow any Halachic rulings of Rav Kook, who he categorizes as an apikores, in any area of Torah. His reasoning is based mainly on the following sources: Birkei Yosef 243:3; Responsa Bais Shlomo YD II:101; Chasam Sofer CM 163; The Gemora (Shabbos 116a).

    IY”H I’ll address additional points in a followup comment.


    Your points about who allegedly signed the KK with whatever alleged wording has already been addressed. Considering that R. Kasher’s claims on this have been thoroughly refuted due to his forgeries regarding the alleged signatories and wording etc., I again refer you to R. Zvi Weinman’s excellent work “Mikatowitz ad Hei B’Iyar” for all the detailed answers you seek. Thus far, outside R. Kasher’s claims, you’ve presented no evidence of specifically which rabbi allegedly signed what statement.


    There seems to be a common misconception that we are unable to comparatively assess the level of various Gedolim. If I ask you how you know your next door neighbor is not as great as Rav Moshe Feinstein, you would hopefully have an answer, even though you didn’t give either a bechinah. Do you know if the Chofetz Chaim is greater than, say, Rav Steinman, if you did not give either a bechinah? The standard you use to determine if someone is a godol or not is the same standard you use to determine who is greater. You may not always know, but sometimes, like in the example I gave you, it is obvious. It is knowable in the other cases I mentioned as well, in the same way. We can compare “levels” – in fact, we need to in order to judge who is an authority in the first place! If you can’t compare levels then how are you to know that someone is a godol? The fact that he is “accepted” as a godol only means that many people have judged his “level” to be that of a godol. But if you cannot compare levels, then these people have no right to accept him as a godol in the first place. And the same common sense that tells you so-and-so stands out among his peers making him an authority, tells you that certain so-and-so’s stand out even more. Or less. Part of knowing who to follow is to know who is greater. Godol mimenu b’chochma ubaminyan is an assessment that it legitimately made. And as Rav Shach writes – if you dont know who to follow, follow whoever is greater – and, he adds, you can of course tell who is greater. If you yourself dont know, then thats fine – not everyone can know the answer to all questions they encounter – but why in the world would you say nobody else can know? And it’s an error in logic, too, because they themselves compared “levels” of other people! i.e.: “Rav Ovadia Yosef shlita is the leading Sefardi posek of our times.” And how would they know this if you cannot compare him to other sefardi poskim? And how can one know whether “any of us are on the madreiga of assessing the ‘levels’ of other people” unless you assessed the levels of all those other people who said arent “on the “madgreigah” to do that? If i were to ask you who is greater – Rav Ovadiah or Rabi Avika — would you say you cannot compare people? Rav Ovadiah or the Rambam? Avraham Avinu? So clearly, we can compare “levels”, its just that to some, certain comparisons are “obvious” and others are not. Well, to other people, perhaps who are more knowledgable and skilled in assessing these kinds of values, other comparisons are also obvious. The source is pretty much common sense — when you ask a shailah youre relying on the Torah knowledge and ehrlichkeit of the posek, so why would you follow the smaller one over the bigger one? If I were to say that in a medical issue you should do what the bigger doctors say, or regarding your car problems you shoudl do what the greater experts say, that would be common sense, no? Here that is even more the case. In YD 100, the pischei teshuva bringsd a disagreement in the poskim. SOme hold that if you ask a Rav A shailah, follow what he says, and he is wrong. unless you are asking one of the established poskim, you are considered a meizid. Others hold that even if a woman asks her friend and follwos what she says, and the frind turns out ot be wrong, she is nto a meizid, since she honestly, if foolishhly, believed that she was doing the right thing. The idea that as long as a rabbi tells you something youre safe if you follow him is not correct. So therefore, when Rav Shach ZTL was asked by a Yeshiva bochur what he should do in a case of machlokes haposkim, he told him (Michtavim Umaamarim Vol. 3 #213) that in the absense of a family tradition of following a given shitah – quote – “you should follow the posek that is a greater godol batorah.” He adds: “And it is possible to know who is greater, for example, here in EY in many things we should follow the rulings of the Chazon Ish”. As far as how to tell who is greater, as Rav Shach says, it is possible, The problem is, when often use standards to identify Gedolim that skew our ability to know who’s greater.

    Every generation has its Gedolei Hador who Klal Yisroel relies on, because they are the greatest authorities of the generation. As we learn in Pirkei Avos – Moshe gave the Torah to Yehoshua, who gave it t othe zekeinim, who gave it to the neviim who gave it to the anshei keneses hagedolah etc etc etc throughout the entire mesechta. What does this mean? Isnt it true that the entire nation got the Torah and we teach it to all our children? Why does it say only the gedolim gave it to the next generation of gedolim? The answer is, that every generation learns Torah form the Gedolim of their generaiton, and those who learn so well that they can teach it authoritatively to the generaiton, well, they become one of the Gedolim! Our entire relligion is based on authority. So imagine Pirkei Avos extending to our generaitons. Who would be the givers and receivers of Torah. The teachers of the geenraiton? You would have the Chofetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, Rav Chaim Ozer, the Brisker Rav, Rav Ahron Kotler, to name just the most obvious. When The Chofezt Chaim wanted ot move to eretz yisroel and Rav Chaim Ozewr asked him but if you move, who will lead klal yisroel here? The Chofezt Chaim asnwered what do you mean? – Rav Elchonon Wasserman will! When they asked Rav Elchonon who will lead Klal Yisroel after Rav Chaim was niftar, he said the Briker Rav should – since he has a very strong Mesorah. More often than not, when the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah used to meet, everyone voiced their opinion, unitl Rav Ahron Kotler stated his – then they all acquiesed to whatever Rav Ahron said. Rav Yaakov Kminetzky once said about Rav Ahron, “He has gotten so great I dont think I can even disagree with him any longer.” Of course there can be – and is – disagreement among Gedoli, just as there always was. However, if you know that ther is in fact a consensus among the Gedolei HaDor – and by that I mean those great enough to be authoritative leaders of the generation, and more – if all those Gedolim have stated that the reason there is such a consensus in these issues is because it is simply an issue of basic Judaism, and any deviation is simply idolatry, and not based on Torah but personal negiyus or distorted values, NOT legitimate Torah arguments, and that nobody has any right to follow any dissenting opinions on these matters regardless of how you were brought up, and even though there are some talmidei chachamim and rabbis who may dissent, their dissenting is like what happened in the days of the egel or Korach or shabse tzvi, and they must be ignored, then if you tell me yes but Rabbi so-and-so – or many rabbi so-and-sos, dissented, I will tell you OK, so? Ignore them. And then if I show you that the opinion of the Gedolim happens to be clear from a Torah perspective, so glaringly obvious that the dissenters have nothing to say in response, and what they do muster in their defense can be easily disproven logically, sometimes even in a laughable manner, then you should all the more so throw your hands up to heaven and thank Hashm shehivdilanu min hatoim venasan lanu toras emes. And then, if I show you that some great respected scholars among the dissenters (though of course not nearly in the league of the Gedolim) have actually forged documents and purposely concealed facts in their own seforim to try to convince people of the correctness of their position, then what in the world are we talking about?


    The trick here is to make an objective decision. This includes whether you are determining on your own if someone is a godol, or even if you want to determine who is a maven on who is a godol so you will have someone from whom to take direction. A godol is someone whose Torah scholarship and righteousness are exceptional among the generation. Of course, he has to follow the derech of our previous Gedolim, the Mesorah of Klal Yisroel as well. That is pretty much unanimously the derech of the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Chaim Brisker, and their great contemporaries.

    It does not include the following criteria:

    (a) Who the Yated decides is a godol.

    (b) Who the people who make “gedolim cards” decide who is a godol.

    (c) Who has a lot of followers.

    (d) Who is a popular and talented speaker.

    (e) Who preaches policies that you agree with.

    If you want to know if someone is a godol, think:

    Is his scholarship level exceptional in the generation? Does his knowledge span all areas of Torah – shas poskim, halachah and hashkafa. And is his knowledge deep and sharp. Can he answer the difficult questions in Torah better than his contemporaries? Are his chidushim exceptionally sharp and sure? Can he decipher Torah difficulties in an exceptional manner? Then, what about his Tzidkus? Is he an exceptional Tzadik? If so, in what measurable way? If he wouldnt be a rosh yeshiva or a rav, but a yeshiva guy learning in the Lakewood Kollel, would people look at him as such a great Tzadik and Talmid Chacham as theny do now? Or is it just cuz of his position that people inflate his status? Does he violate the Torah? Does he follow a Rebbi of his? Does he have a “mesorah” going back to the previous generations whose derech he is following? Do other people of the above caliber hold he is a godol? All of us, whether we admit it or not, all decide on our own who is a godol, of what criteria we are going to use to determine that. We ALL have our criteria that we decided on our own to use (even if we decide that we cant know who is a godol, we decide who will will believe when they say it). The trick is to use proper criteria. It is also important for the person to be wise and sharp. It is definitely possible for a Godol to be uninformed, misinformed, or underinformed. The Satmar Rebbe ZT”L used to say that a Godol BaTorah can be naive as well. The most we can do is to try our best. More than that, Hashem does not require from us. The above criteria are the ones to use. The trick is not to have Hashem tell us we should have put more effort into the decision.

    Avi K

    [10] There was another massacre in Barfurush in 1867.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I’m not sure why you changed the topic into a discussion about what various rabbis thought about R’ Kook. Theoretically, someone could hold that R’ Kook was the biggest rasha who ever lived while simultaneously not holding that a State is against the Torah. Be that as it may, I will point out that you give a whole list of quotes yet you only document two of them, neither of which are on hebrewbooks, and one of which simply asserts that the Chofetz Chaim was not a Zionist.

    Even though, R’ Kook’s status is not particularly relevant to the discussion (as all it does is determine whether there is one more or one less great rabbi who held that a state is not against the Torah) I will still address your claims. I will preface my remarks by stating that I have no idea if the quotes you provide are true or not. If you provide a source which I have access to (including hebrewbooks) or post an exact quote in the original Hebrew, I will gladly admit that you have a source. Now, regarding the Chofetz Chaim, there is a sefer called ?? ??? ????? ?????? which discusses the Chofetz Chaim and R’ Kook. Unfortunately, the sefer is not on hebrewbooks, but (among other things) it has a letter written by the Chofetz Chaim’s son in law, which I took the time to type up word for word:

    ??? ???? ????

    ??”? ????? ???????

    ??? ????”? ???? ????”? ??”? ??? ???? ????? ?????

    ?? ???? ?”? ??? ?????

    ?”? ??? ???”? ???? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ???”? ??”?

    ?? ?? ???? ????? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ?’ ????? ???? ???? ??? ????”? ??”? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?????”? ???? ???? ????”? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ????”? ???? ????”? ????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ??”? ?? ??? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ???? (?? ?? ???? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ????”? ???? ????”? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??????) ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ????? (????? ???? ???) ????? ??? ???? ?????? – ??? ??? ??? ?????? – ???? ???? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ????”? ???? ????”? ????? ??????? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ????? (?????? ????”? ????? ?”? ?”? ??’ ?”? ?”?) ?????? ?”? ??? ?? ??? ????”? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?’ ??? ???????? ?????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ??????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ??????? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ??”? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?”? ????”? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???”? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ??’ ?????? ?????

    ???? ????

    ??? ??? ????? ????? ????”? ??? ???? ????”?

    Regarding the Chazon Ish, in ??? ???? on page ??, the following is told (again, it’s not on hebrewbooks but I typed out the quote):

    ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???????? ???? ??? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?????

    See also, this letter from R’ Tzvi Pesach Frank to R’ Chaim Hirschenson, starting from the bottom pargraph:

    There are plenty more stories/quotes about great rabbis who held highly of R’ Kook, but I’m not going to sit here all day typing them up, especially considering that it is tangential to the original discussion. If you want to see them, you can easily google various phrases that include R’ Kook’s name and the word “gedolim” or “Chofetz Chaim”.

    Regarding the kol korei, I am just repeating what you told me. I have never seen Zvi Weinman’s writings and they don’t seem to be available online. You said that he found the original kol korei and it said ????? ????? in place of ?????? ??????. You tell me who signed which kol

    korei – the only version I have ever seen is in Hatekufa Hagedola. If you have seen Weinman’s version then please tell us who signed and precisely what it said. If you have not actually seen Weinman’s claim then I take your point a lot less seriously. Also, as I mentioned before, I would like to know why none of the signatories publicly declared that they never signed, or that they signed something else (or if they did come out, please document it).

    Regarding Hapardes, as I’m sure you know, the discussion about the meeting of the Moetzes spans some 30 pages, starting at . You quoted one paragraph out of all that, and even the paragraph you quoted is not against a state per se, but against a state that is not run according to the Torah. There was clearly a raging machlokes about having a state, as can be seen from reading the entire discussion, and as we saw in the other Hapardes which I linked in my previous post. Considering that all I ever claimed was that there was no unanimous, monolithic position amongst the great rabbis, I think I have supported my case. Especially considering that I cited R’ Moshe Shternbuch, who is quite the anti-zionist, as saying that rov of the gedolei hador were present and they agreed about the establishment of the state.

    Regarding comparing great rabbis, I certainly agree that it can be done. If you are judging between two people and you know them both personally, you might be able judge which one is greater. If you don’t know them personally, you can read their seforim and you might be able to judge which one is greater. But I don’t think you utilized either of these two methods. I think you just assumed that the more famous/respected one was greater.

    Again, I am not arguing in favor of Zionism or anti-Zionism, but that there was a difference of opinion amongst great rabbis.


    PAA: You brought Rabbi Kook and Rabbi Soloveitchik into the conversation so I (indirectly) addressed that. (My comment addressing the latter and some other issues were deemed verboten by the powers that be with the reason given me that it was “too strong”. Consider some questions asked me addressed but not published.)

    I very much sourced my citations of the Chofetz Chaim. Particularly:

    1. Mishkenos Harayim 3:1-108

    2. Rav Berel Soloveitchik’s frequent and public comments verifiable by many of his talmidim

    3. Rav Yeruchem Gorelick’s frequent and public comments verifiable by many of his talmidim


    ???? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ?????, ?? ?????? ????? ??????? ???? ??????? ?????? ????. ??? ???? ??? ?????? ???????:?? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ??????? ????

    ;?? ?? ???? ????? ???- ???? ???;??? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??, ???? ???? ?????? ????? ?????, ?????? ???????

    ;????? ????? ???, ?? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??

    (I’ll provide a link in a subsequent comment sourcing much of the above but it’s up to the mods whether to approve it.)

    Regarding the kol korei, I’m not going to do your research to determine who signed what. I’ve demonstrated the alleged signatories that you cited what was a forgery by someone who you subsequently admitted made intentional concealment of facts to purposefully provide a false representation. As far as who issued a press release that they never signed, it isn’t the responsibility or possibility of a rov to keep abreast of every false representation made of him or issue denials every time, especially considering in this case the KK was only published in the Mizrachi Hatzofeh. I recall a few years ago that either Rav Chaim or Rav Elyashev said not to believe everything published in his name.

    None of the rabbonim who supported a State where anywhere near the stature of the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Elchonon, the Chazon Ish, Rav Chaim Ozer, the Brisker Rav or Rav Ahron Kotler. Nor were any of the zionist rabbis who signed the KK or referred to a ?????? ?????? anywhere near that stature; and stature matters. In any event, the overwhelming majority and mainstream of opinions by the gedolim was that even if everyone agrees that the Jews should take the land and the whole world gives it to them on a silver patter, it is still prohibited.

    Avi K


    1. I asked a rav who is a YU grad about Rav Gorelik and he said that Rav Gorelik would never have disparaged a talmid chacham. BTW, his “talmidim” also try to deny his relationship with YU.

    2. When Rav Kook spoke at the opening of the Novardok yeshiva in Bnei Brak the Chazon Ish stood saying that the Tora was standing.

    3. The Netziv, Rav Shlomo HaCohen of Vilna, Rav Meir Simcha, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank and Rav Herzog with only some of the gedolim who supported establishing a state. Again, I refer you to the two volume set ?????? ???.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I brought in R’ Kook and R’ Soloveitchik, not to divert the discussion from its topic, but to address a specific point that you made. You found it “funny” that someone would entertain the notion of not respecting the Satmar Rav. To which I asked you if you would find disrespecting R’ Kook or R’ Soloveitchik “funny” as well. Whatever reason you have for thinking that it’s okay to not respect them (e.g. they did terrible things, they were krum, they destroyed Torah, etc.), someone else might have a similar reason for not respecting the Satmar Rav (as I alluded to earlier). My point is not about whether it is actually correct to not respect the Satmar Rav; my point is that if you find it acceptable to not respect the other side’s gadol, you shouldn’t find it funny if they don’t respect your gadol. (Obviously, the two sides can argue that the other one wasn’t a gadol, etc. ad infinitum.)

    The problem with quoting the like of “Rabbi X said…” is that you are anonymous and for all I know might be quoting the story tenth hand. Over ten repetitions a story can change drastically, and certainly lose the nuances that were contained therein. One need only look at how the same person tells a story slightly differently each time, to realize that changes can easily creep in. Thus, I have a healthy sense of cynicism whet it comes to such stories in general, and all the more so over here where it flies directly in the face of the letter written by the Chofetz Chaim’s son in law. Additionally, you didn’t provide that much context to the story. There was surely more to the story (if it ever happened) than the Chofetz Chaim just saying “Kook Shmook”. There was probably an entire conversation which we know nothing of. It is hard to assign much value to a two-word statement the Chofetz Chaim said, without knowing these details, especially – as I have already pointed out – that it is against the Chofetz Chaim’s son in law’s letter which is documented in full. Furthermore, you quote two separate incidents in which the Chofetz Chaim said “Kook shmook”. If I had to guess, I would say that this is an example of a legend being told over several times to the point where different versions emerge. First of all, in the second story, you said that R’ Berel used to tell it over. But did R’ Berel witness it? So where did he get it from? Second of all, R’ Kook never said that Hebrew University is a fulfillment of “Ki Mitzion”. His speech is printed in several seforim and was even translated into English by Dr. Shnayer Leiman in Tradion 29:1. What R’ Kook actually said was:

    ????? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ??????? ???????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?’ ???????? ???

    As you can see, it was a prayer, not a statement of fulfillment, and it was not even said about the university. So either the story with the Chofetz Chaim never happened, or it happened and was based on distortions of R’ Kooks words, which would then call into question many of the statements against R’ Kook.

    Speaking of context, the “rasha gamur” quote from R’ Elchanan is also out of context. He didn’t simply say “R’ Kook is a rasha gamur” as one would think based on your post. What he wrote was:

    ?????? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ???

    Incidentally, this would render all those rabbis who praised R’ Kook reshaim.

    Getting back to the kol korei, I am not asking you to do my research; I am asking you to do your research. You claim that R’ Kasher’s kol korei was disproved by Zvi Weinman. Now you either read what Weinman wrote or you didn’t. If you did read it then please tell us exactly how he disproved it – for instance if he claims to have found different kol koreis, tell us what they said, who signed them, and what the evidence is that they were more authentic than R’ Kasher’s. If he called the signatories and asked them if they signed R’ Kasher’s version, we have my follow up question which I think, based on your response, you misunderstood. You say that it is not their responsibility to keep abreast of everything signed in their name, and the kol korei was only published in a Mizrachi publication. Your point seems to be that they didn’t know that they were signed on to R’ Kasher’s version. But if Zvi Weinman told them about this kol korei and asked them if they signed it, they certainly knew about it. So why, out of some 200 signatories, did we not hear anything from them about how they were misrepresented in the most heinous way as if to make it seem that the State of Israel is the ?????? ??????, when in fact such a position is assur gamur and against all the gedolim? (Again, if there was a public retraction, feel free to document it.)

    Now you said:

    None of the rabbonim who supported a State where anywhere near the stature of the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Elchonon, the Chazon Ish, Rav Chaim Ozer, the Brisker Rav or Rav Ahron Kotler. Nor were any of the zionist rabbis who signed the KK or referred to a ?????? ?????? anywhere near that stature; and stature matters.

    First of all, you are combining three different positions into one. Someone can support the State without holding that it’s ?????? ??????, and someone can hold that it’s not assur to have a state, without supporting the formation of a state. Either which way, as I already noted, the Yeshuos Malko wrote that the ???? is ?????? ??????. Now if you want to compare rabbis that is fine. But you have to have a valid methodology for doing so. That means that someone who was intimately familiar with both rabbis (or if they were prolific authors then someone who is intimately familiar with their works) judged between them. So for example, you would have to explain who was intimately familiar with both R’ Kook and R’ Elchanan and said that R’ Elchanan was greater, or who was intimately familiar with both the Chazon Ish and the Yeshuos Malko and said that the Chazon Ish was greater, or who was intimately familiar with both R’ Aharon Kotler and R’ Soloveitchik and said that R’ Aharon was greater.

    Once we’re at it I might as well add that R’ did not agree with R’ Elchanan, the Brisker Rav, and the Satmar Rav. See Mesoras Moshe page ????:

    ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ???”? ????????? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??’ ?????? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ??????? ?”? ????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ???”? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???????? ?? ??????? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ??

    ??? ?? ?????? ??? ??????? ??? ????????? ?”? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ?”? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ????”? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??

    And R’ Ovadia Yosef had his own view on the State; see for example Yabia Omer Orach Chaim 6:41.

    Regarding your quote from Simcha Raz, I’m not entirely sure what you are trying to show from it.

    In sum, I think we can see that there were differing opinions among the great rabbis. Some were radically different, while others were only different in regards to a few nuances.


    It was simply related by two different Rosh Yeshivos (RBS and RYG). You want more context? Rav Yeruchim Gorelik ZT’L used to tell how when he was a boy, he and his father were by the Chofetz Chaim when the Chofetz Chaim unwrapped the fish he was about to eat from the newspaper that the fish merchant wrapped it in. In that paper the Chofetz Chaim saw quoted Rav Kook’s famous statements about the heretical mechallel shabbos soccer players in Palestine, about how holy they are because they’re building up the land, etc. The CC make a fist and said those two words. That story was told over first hand in public countless times by Rav Yeruchem. And Rav Berel Soloveichik in Brisk used to tell it to his Talmidim as an example of what the CC held of RAIK.

    The Imrei Emes said that he had a letter from Rav Kook retracting his statement about the soccer players and some other statements in his seforim because he regretted them. However, as an odom godol said to the Imrei Emes about that: “The whole world has his seforim – with the statements – and only the Imrei Emes has this letter. If the whole world would have the letter and only the Imrei Emes the seforim, that would be fine. But he publicly made statements, wrote them in his books, people built their lifestyles on them – and then, in private, he tells one person that he regrets it. But the public still has the old version!” Rav Kook never publicly retracted the statements that he said publicly. It is altogether possible that he regretted everything he said, but if nobody knows what his new policies are and they are still following the old policies, the people are still misled.

    How does what you quote substantially change what I said Rav Elchonon referred to R. Kook?

    R. Weinman called them years later. The KK published in the mizrachi publication was not widely disseminated. (Certainly not in chareidi circles.) And when they heard about it (from R. Weinman or whoever) I presume they laughed it off. Gedolim don’t need to open a press office to dispute every time (and it happens very often) that that they are misrepresented. Otherwise they’d have their hands full with public relations work. Does Obama dispute every misrepresentation or misquote made about him in every two bit press or website? If someone asks the White House press officer about it’s veracity he’ll be told it’s untrue. Finished. If they’re not asked they’ll ignore it. The WH is not going to be issuing official denials about every lie said about the President. And perhaps they did make it known it was a lie. Do they also need to take an ad out in the Yated or have a story run every time? Why would they bother about something from years before in some known unreliable publication that is opposed to them and their communities?

    Avi K

    Joseph, we have the fact that the CC walked out when someone made disparaging remarks about Rav Kook at the first Aguda convention and the letter of his his son-in-law ( So either Rav Gorelik never said what is said in his name or he said it with a different inflection whose meaning was that the CC did not belieev the libels against Rav Kook.

    As for the soccer players, Rav Kook protested against playing on Shabbat on numerous occasions. However, he felt that sport on weekdays was a worthy activity in order to strengthen one’s body. Moreover, he felt that by by showing how sport in general can be compatible with Judaism he could bring these young men closer. Here are his exact words in a letter to Rav Yoseph Mashash in 5688 printed in ?????? ?? ????” ????’ ??”? ?????, ??’ 109 ??”?????? ????”?” (???’ ???”? ?”? ??’ 473-474, ?????’ ??? ?”? ??’ 189-190):

    “????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???, ???? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ??? ??????? ????? ??????, ?????? ??? ??????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????, ??? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ?????, ??? ??? ???? ??????? ???? ?????. ???? ????? ??? ??????? ????? ?????? ??? ????, ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ??”? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ?????. ??? ???? ?? ????? ???’ ??? ?????? ????? ?????, ??? ???? ??????? ????????, ???????? ?? ??? ???, ???? ????? ?? ??? ??????. ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ??????, ?????? (?’ ?????? ???) ???? ????? ?????? ??????. ????? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ????? (????? ??.) ?? ‘??? ????? ????’ ??? ????? ‘??? ???? ???? ?????? ??’? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ??????, ??? ????? ??? ????? (?”? ????? ??, ??). ???? ??? ?? ?????? ?????, ?????? ????? ??????? ?????? ????. ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????, ??????? ????? ??????? ????? ??”? ??????. ???? ????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????, ??? ?? ????? ?????? ???????”

    Patur Aval Assur


    It is very good that you gave us some more context. Because the context raises several strong questions on the story.

    1) Once again it is based on a distortion of R’ Kooks words. He did not say that they are holy because they are building up the land. Here is what he wrote (Shemoneh Ketzavim 1:716):

    ???????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ??????? ???????? ??????? ??????? ?? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ???? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ??????? ?”? ????? ??????? ???? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??”? ?????? ???????? ???? ????? ?????? ??”? ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ???? ???? ???????? ???????? ?????? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ??????? ????

    2) This was written at the latest, in 1914 (see the beginning of the sefer). R’ Yerucham Gorelik wasn’t born until 1911. He would have been three years old in 1914. Memories of a three-year-old are not quite reliable.

    3) It is extremely unlikely that the Chofetz Chaim read the newspaper. See what he writes in Zachor L’miriam perek 23:

    As for the second story, we still don’t know where R’ Berel got it from.

    So to summarize the claim that the Chofetz chaim said “Kook shmook”:

    The claim has been made that the Chofetz Chaim said this in objection to two separate incidents. We have seen that both of these were distortions of R’ Kooks actual words. We have no original source for the second story and the source of the first story was probably three years old at the time. (This might not be such a raya because although it was written by 1914, it might not have been published until later.) The claim is made that the Chofetz Chaim read about it a newspaper, yet the Chofetz Chaim himself writes strongly against reading newspapers. Additionally, Avi K reports that he asked a student of the source and the student denied it (though admittedly this is not the strongest question). Furthermore, the alleged stories are directly at odds with the letter from the Chofetz Chaim’s son-in-law. Once we’re quoting stories about the Chofetz Chaim and R’ Kook, I can quote the story brought in Mevaser Tov p. 862:

    ???? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? (“??????? ?????? ??????? ?? ????? ?????”) ????”? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ???? (????? ?????? ?? ????? ?????) ??? ??? ???? ????????? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ????????? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ??? ???? ????? ??? ????? ?? ?? ?????

    What is your source for the story with the Imrei Emes? It seems rather doubtful, especially in light of the article R’ Moshe Tzuriel wrote on this topic which you can find by googling ??????? ???? ??? ??? ??????.

    Regarding R’ Elchanan, there is indeed a substantial difference between “R’ Kook is a rasha gamur” and “Based on Rabbeinu Yona, if we see that someone praises reshaim, we know that he is a rasha gamur in a manner which it is forbidden to associate with him”. Additionally, as I pointed out, based on this, anyone who praised R’ Kook is a rasha gamur. At the top of the list we can put R’ Chaim Ozer.

    Regarding the kol korei, no, I do not think that they have to have a press conference every time they are misquoted. However, if they knew that there was widespread belief in the Religious Zionist camp that all these great rabbis supported something that was antithetical to Judaism, you can be sure they would correct the falsehood. President Obama would certainly issue a denial in a situation such as this. Furthermore, if Weinman’s whole claim is that they denied it in personal conversations, why should we accept it? Again, if you have seen what Weinman actually wrote then feel free to share it with us; if you haven’t then you shouldn’t be quoting it to prove something.



    “In YD 100, the pischei teshuva bringsd a disagreement in the poskim”

    it actually is 99(5)

    btw i am not shore what it had to do with anything being discussed there


    you seem like a learned man

    so off topic (or on??) did you make alyah?


    PAA: Do you take and dissect every letter I type as a gemorah? If it turns out there was a natural fish shortage circa 1914 and it couldn’t be fish does that disprove the maaisa or does it mean it might have been some other food? The story is over 100 years old so even under the best of circumstances you’d expect being off on a small detail doesn’t invalidate the essence. And this is the primary point. Two major world class talmidei chachomim told over this story. And they didn’t say it once in a shiur with a couple of students 50 years ago. They said it over and over many times over many years to many of their talmidim. You can’t make this up. It is relatively easily verifiable. Ask around. Speak to three or four of their long time talmidim. If all four look at you blankly like they have no idea what you’re talking about and never heard the story you can come back to me with a taaina. But that isn’t going to happen. (Btw, Avi K said he asked a YU grad, not a talmid of Rav Gorelick zt’l.)

    Maybe it was later than 1914 and it ran an article on R. Kook’s not so brand new writing or saying. Maybe the CC did oversee what the paper wrote. He didn’t buy the paper; it came with his fish. Maybe R. Gorelick (senior) or his wife unpacking his fish read it and told it to him.

    Regarding the non-religious soccer players:

    “This sport that young Jews play in Eretz Yisroel in order to strengthen their bodies to be strong young men for the Nation, completes the spiritual strength of the Tzadikim above … playing sports to strengthen the body and the spirit for the strength of the entire Nation is a holy service to Hashem, and raises the Shechinah higher and higher, like the 80 songs and praises sung by Dovid HaMelech in Tehillim.” (Oros M’Ofel 34).

    Can one imagine anything more contradictory to the basic values of our Torah? And I this one is quoted from him by Rav Yosef Yedid, word for word from the same Chibur:

    ??? ??????? ????? ?????? ??????? ??????

    ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ?????

    ???? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ??? ??? ???

    Until he came, we all knew Torah and Mitzvos were the only thing that gave us merits; Aveiros did the opposite. R. Kook mixed non-Torah values into Judaism that turn upside down what our religion tells us about good and bad. Don’t bother looking for sources for these and other such things. You won’t find any. Rav Yosef Yedid in that Teshuva I linked to above constantly refers to him mockingly as “This Navi” because he must have received his Hashkafos by prophecy, since there is nothing close in Torah literature that says such things. But I know where he got these Hashkafos from. It is secular Nationalist philosophy. That’s why you won’t find anything like this in Torah sources.

    “One can view nineteenth-century European nationalism as an appropriate matrix for Rav Kook’s thought, and there is no dearth of analogues to Hegel, Bergson, and others in his writing.” (Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, Leaves of Faith II, p. 202).

    What he did was, he took non-Jewish ideas about Nations, people, and politics, and attributed to them spiritual value, and considered their fulfillment the achievement of Torah objectives. By way of analogy, imagine if someone would say we will attain the lofty “chaya-yechida” level of Neshama, be “meyached yichudim” and cause the coming of Moshiach if we become communists. The Gerrer Rebbe, Imrei Emes, politely described it as being influenced by the fads of the times so much that it causes him to say good is bad and bad is good (????-???). (The letter of the Imrei Emes was edited by Simcha Raz to leave out the part where he writes how R. Kook “says tahor is tamei and tamei is tahor”.) Another example of this is the recently published “The Rav Thinking Aloud” by Rabbi David Holtzer. There, Rabbi JB Soloveichik tells – and this is on tape – about his meeting Rav Kook: Someone asked Rabbi Soloveichik: “You felt the presence of greatness?” R. Soloveichik’s answer: “I wouldn’t say greatness. Uniqueness. Greatness – if you understand by “greatness” intellectual greatness – no, I was not impressed by his scholastics.” (That entire paragraph (above is just the beginning) was met with such outrage by the religious Zionist community that in the next printing of the book, it was edited out.)

    BTW, I’d like to see the original source of the purported letter of the CC’s son-in-law and the source of the alleged walking out of the Agudah convention by the CC. Considering the number of forgeries that have been introduced by RZs on this, it surely needs documentation. The letter I find especially suspicious. Both the letterhead and the signature identify his as “the son-in-law of the CC”. Whoever puts such credentials on their letters, let alone twice, once in the beginning and once in the end? Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s son-in-laws don’t stick in “son-in-law of Rav Chaim” on top and on bottom of their letters. And the photocopy going around online of the letter is a modern typeface with no signature. Where is the oldest source of this letter’s publication. So far I don’t see anything earlier than the internet age. (Not that there weren’t forgeries pre-internet.)

    There was no widespread belief from the fake KK. It was almost unheard of prior to R. Kasher publishing it.

    Patur Aval Assur

    (Moderators: I apologize for all the lengthy posts in this thread but I think it would be impractical – if not impossible – to have this discussion via short posts.)


    I first want to reiterate that we are still straying far off topic with this whole discussion about R’ Kook. That said:

    The dissection is precisely to prove my point that a 100 year old story is not so reliable, especially when various details don’t check out. And they are not all small details. If my dates are correct then R’ Yerucham Gorelik wouldn’t be a reliable source for the story. And the Chofetz Chaim’s objection to newspaper was in regards to reading them, not in regards to buying them (though he may have also objected to that in some other source). He writes that it is a tremendous waste of time, and newspapers contain leitzanus, lashon hara, rechilus, machlokes, etc. So he probably wouldn’t want someone else to read it to him either. Obviously the story changed somewhat in the last 100 years, so we don’t really know what to take out from the story. And again, it is contradicted by the letter. (And both stories, as you told them, are responses to things that R’ Kook never said or wrote.)

    You ask about the letter. It is not “a photocopy going around online”. It is printed in several seforim. The earliest source that I have seen it in is ????? ????”? p. ???? which was published 29 years ago. So it is clearly not an invention of the internet age. I presume that he mentioned his yichus because he was claiming to represent the Chofetz Chaim’s position.

    You are correct that Avi K said “YU grad”; however, merely being a YU grad doesn’t make someone an authority on R’ Gorelik. I therefore assumed that Avi meant an actual talmid. He can correct me if I made an incorrect assumption.

    The story about the Chofetz Chaim at the Knessia is also brought in several seforim. In ???? ????”? p. 217, the source of the story is R’ Nissan Zaks.

    Can one imagine anything more contradictory to the basic values of our Torah?

    Why is this contradictory to basic Torah values? In fact R’ Kook was basing himself on the Rambam who writes:

    ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???? ?”? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ??????? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ??????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??????? ??????? ?? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??????? ?? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ??? ???????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ??????? ??????? ??????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?? ??????? ????? ????? ?? ???????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ????

    In fact, in ???? ????”? p. 244, it describes how R’ Kook met with ?????”? ???????? ?????”? ???? ????? ?’ ???? ??? ????? about this very inyan:

    ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ?????”? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ??????

    (The source of the story is R’ Shmuel Aharon Shazuri.)

    As R’ Moshe Tzuriel pointed out:

    ?? ????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ???? ????”? ????”?

    (Obviously, one can argue that R’ Kook was taking the Rambam too far, but l’maaseh, that’s not what the admorim argued in this story.)

    Regarding R’ Yosef Yedid, his objection is that no one can surpass Moshe. However, R’ Kook writes “?????? ?????”, by which he is presumably referring to ???? ?????. If that is the case then see what I wrote:

    Back to the Chofetz Chaim, we actually have a letter written by the Chofetz Chaim to R’ Kook in 1923 in which he discusses the machlokes in Eretz Yisrael. It is printed in several seforim, and apparently was first printed in ??? ???? ???”? (i.e. the very year that it was written):

    ???”? ??? ?’ ??? ???”? ??”?

    ?? ???? ????? ????? ?”? ???’ ???’ ???”? ??”? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?”?

    ???”? ???”?

    ???? ??”? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ?’ ????? ???????? ??? ??”? ?????????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???”? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ?????? ??”? ????? ??”? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ????? ????? ?? ???? ??”? ??? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ?”? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???”? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ??”? ???? ??? ?????? ??”?. ?????? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???”? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ??”? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ????? ???”? ????? ?”? ???”? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??”?. ??”? ???? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?’ ?????? ????? ???? ?”? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ???”? ????? ?????? ??”? ?? ?”? ???? ???”? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ???

    ????? ???????

    ????? ???? ????

    ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ????? ?’ ???? ???? ?”? ??”? ???? ???????????? ?????? ???? ??”? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ????? ??? ??????


    This letter should be rather instructive as to how the Chofetz Chaim viewed R’ Kook.

    Regarding the quote from The Rav Thinking Aloud, there are two points to be noted. First of all, some of the Rav’s closest talmidim spoke against the book. R’ Hershel Schachter was interviewed in Mishpacha Magazine December 16, 2009. Here is an excerpt:

    I ask Rav Schachter for his impressions of the newly released book The Rav Thinking Aloud, which consists of transcripts of

    impromptu personal conversations with Rav Soloveitchik. He tells me that he does not believe that every off-the-cuff and off the record remark is fit to print. People speak differently in the privacy of the home from the way they speak when they address Klal Yisroel, and that distinction needs to be honored.

    R’ Aaron Rakeffet, in a recorded lecture, discussed this interview and he said:

    You notice the way R’ Hershel handles himself. Alright, he doesn’t maledict the Holzer volume the way R’ Aharon [referring to R’ Aharon Lichtenstein – PAA] did.

    Apparently, both R’ Schachter and R’ Lichtenstein are not such fans of the book. Furthermore, about this very meeting with R’ Kook, there is a different perspective, also culled from direct conversation with R’ Soloveitchik, by R’ Moshe Tzvi Neriyah. Part of it was translated in Tradition 39:3. Among other things, he has a copy of what R’ Soloveitchik wrote in the visitors book (translated):

    I, too, add my prayers to those of the Jewish people, asking mercy for the well being of Rabbenu ha-Gadol,the prince of Israel and its glory,

    Maran Avraham Yitshak ha-Kohen Kook shelita. Israel lifts her eyes to heaven, that He who dwells on high should send a complete healing to the

    [July 16, 1935]

    Yosef Dov ha-Levi Soloveitchik, Boston, USA

    He further quotes R” Soloveitchik as saying:

    Ha-Rav left a great impression on me. I have seen

    gedolim. I grew up in the presence of gedolim, but his was a unique personality, a completely different type [of gadol]

    The second point is that we have to consider how much weight to give in the first place to R’ Soloveitchik’s impression. Remember, this is an impression based on one meeting with someone who was essentially on his deathbed – hardly the best way to get an accurate picture of the person.

    And finally, to address your last claim about the kol korei, granted it may have been unheard of before R’ Kasher published it but Weinman spoke to the signatories well after R’ Kasher had published it.

    Patur Aval Assur


    Is there a connection between seeming to be a learned man and making aliyah?


    PAA: Two major roshei yeshivos were confident enough in the details to have repeated in to their talmidim many times over many years. That itself gives it an incredible amount of credibility. Don’t take my word for it; speak to a handful of their talmidim as I earlier suggested. As far as Avi K, I didn’t take his comment as coming from a talmid of Rav Gorelick. Additionally he didn’t even quote the YU grad he spoke with as denying it but rather saying the obvious that Rav Gorelick wouldn’t be mevaze a talmid chochom. The YU grad obviously felt that means he couldn’t believe the comment was made; but that is merely an extension he didn’t claim to know.

    29 years ago is a short time. That sefer (as well as the next one you cite), I believe, is a zionist publication. Even R. Kasher’s forgeries are much older than that. We’ll need serious documentation this is a legitimate letter. Where was the letter until 29 years ago? (As an irrelevent aside, the internet is older than 29 years.) The proof for the Agudah convention you’re also citing is of relatively recent vintage.

    RJBS’ comment is available on tape and if I recall correctly it is at a Q&A at one of his shiurim. That isn’t off the record. And even if RJBS had been speaking off the cuff (or record), what he said is what he said.

    The fake KK could be laughed off. There’s no need to give a serious response to a purported KK that was mass mailed to rabbis and then published in their names (in a small publication) unless they wrote back beforehand objecting to it. (And when it was republished years later multiple different KKs each with different verbiage had their signatories combined into one KK.)


    The title of this thread is wrong.

    Correct question: Where is it safer for Jews to be during wartime, in Israel or in Galus?

    If we take the most recent global war as a guide, the answer is obvious.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I have no idea if two major roshei yeshivos said this story over. All I know is that you, an anonymous poster, claim that two roshei yeshivos said it over. There is not exactly a plethora of their talmidim sitting next to me for me to ask, and even if I did have access to someone, it wold be hard for me to report it here without causing my own anonymity to be placed at risk, and even more so, it wouldn’t necessarily prove anything because a talmid not hearing it (or remembering it) doesn’t mean it wasn’t said. So based on the very small amount of evidence in favor of the stories, combined with the very strong evidence against the story, I cannot accept the stories as evidence of great rabbis bashing R’ Kook.

    Regarding the letter from the Chofetz Chaim’s son-in-law, where exactly do you expect it to have appeared before it was printed in sefarim documenting the situation with R’ Kook?

    Regarding the story about the knessia, there is an early, non-Zionist source. In ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ???? published in 1937, R’ Moshe Meir Yoshor writes (p. 160):

    ??? ???? ??? ???? ???”? ???? ??? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ??????? ?? ?????? ??? ??? ? ???? ??????????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ??????????? ??? ??? ???????? ?????? ??????? ???? ??? ????? ??????

    I also posted a letter from the Chofetz Chaim himself to R’ Kook. The claim that the Chofetz Chaim would badmouth someone whom he knew back in Europe, (and knew that he was a talmid chacham) and that he would even believe the report in the first place, is an extraordinary claim and as such would require extraordinary evidence. I think in this case the extraordinary evidence is against the story.

    Regarding R’ Soloveitchik’s view of R’ Kook:

    Even if I grant that the quote from Thinking Aloud is 100% accurate and reflects R’ Soloveitchik’s official position on the matter, it is not a source which delegitimizes R’ Kook; it simply says that R’ Soloveitchik was not particularly awed by R’ Kook’s intellectual greatness. Now it happens to be that I am not ready to grant that this quote accurately reflects R’ Soloveitchik’s official position on the matter, for the reasons I mentioned in my last post (and yes, there is a big difference between an off-the-cuff discussion and a prepared talk/written essay). Furthermore, I will now add that there is a different recording of R’ Soloveitchik where you can hear him talk about R’ Kook, and you will see what he held of him (though it is not a praise of intellectual greatness). Here is a link (Moderators, there is nothing at the link other than a play button to hear the recording, if you want to allow it. If not, you can just edit out the link and I will try to transcribe the recording in a future post, though the link would be much appreciated): The discussion about R’ Kook begins at about 16:20.

    And about the kol korei, your response does not address my point. The vast majority of people only saw the kol korei as printed by R’ Kasher. Which means that you have all these religious Zionists (and probably even non-Zionists and anti-Zionists) who now think that all these great rabbis signed a kol korei which said “aschalta d’geula”. These people would have no idea that this kol korei was a forged conglomeration of other things. So if Zvi Weinman informed all these rabbis of this situation, the rabbis should have done everything in there ability to correct a widespread belief that is antithetical to Torah. Speaking of the claims in general, if Weinman actually provided documentation of the original kol korei’s, it shouldn’t be that hard for someone to put it on the internet. All someone needs to do is scan the page, or take a picture of the page, or even type up the page. Note, I am not saying that this proves that Weinman did not document it; I am merely pointing out that it is odd that I can’t find it on the internet. You would think that some anti-Zionist site would want to post actual proof.


    He said it. There’s a great deal of evidence in support of it, as previously stated, and little against. Another piece in support of the idea is the aforementioned letter of Rav Elchonon, the Chofetz Chaim’s talmid muvhik who the CC recommended as his successor.

    Sorry, but a letter purportedly 87 years old that suddenly appears 29 years ago in zionist literature doesn’t support its veracity. Where was it for the missing 60 or so years? Especially considering the forgeries that have been introduced. And the story about the Knessia you quoted differs from the previous versions proffered here.

    Regarding the fake KK, I’ll suggest again procuring a copy of Mikatowitz ad Hei B’Iyar. Your answers are there. I don’t have the timeline in front of me, but as I recall R. Kasher printed the KK years later, after many of the alleged signatories had already passed away. And it did not garner the widespread attention you seem to assume it stirred. About the internet: you are speaking of communities that have largely shunned the internet. By far the internet is loaded with those taking positions against them that generally go unresponded (not only on this issue.)


    Wow, PAA. In a one sentence quote from Rabbi Rakkefet you managed to get ‘maledict’ in there.


    About the false kol koreh: a) You’re assuming the rabbis still alive at the time didn’t make it known it was a forgery. That can be a bad assumption on your part. They very well may have made it clear once they learned of it. (Don’t count on an anonymous internet poster to have to locate the denials from all those decades ago.) This is in addition to my contention that it didn’t even register on the richter scale to even warrant notice let alone a response. b) Furthermore, you could consider Rabbi Weinman’s publishing these very facts about the forgery in Z’eirei Agudas Yisroel’s Digleinu (Shvat 5738) as well as his Ad Hei B’Iyar to be the very response you seek. He cited the denials of the alleged signatories in both those publications and that’s how they let it be known they never signed.

    Avi K


    1. I wrote that the person who told me is a rav who learned in YU. However, you are correct that he was not a personal talmid of Rav Gorelik. In any case, considering the fact that the same types who want to besmirch Rav Kook are also denying the extent of Rav Gorelik’s connection with YU I do not find them reliable.

    2. Apparently Rav Kook was still strong enough to speak with Rav Soloveichik in learning as he instructed Rav Tzvi Yehuda to attend all of Rav Soloveichik’s shiurim (the reason he was here was that he was a candidate of Rav of Tel Aviv – in the end the electors decided that he was too young and chose Rav Moshe Avigdor Amiel).

    Patur Aval Assur

    (See disclaimer at )

    (Thank you Moderators for allowing the link in my last post.)

    He said it. There’s a great deal of evidence in support of it, as previously stated, and little against.

    I think you might be overstating your case a little bit. Let’s summarize the evidence offered on both sides:

    In Support of the story:

    1) Anonymous person on the internet claims that R’ Yerucham Gorelik and R’ Berel Soloveitchik said one story and that R’ Berel Soloveitchik also said another stories. When questioned, he shifts the burden to the questioners to research the story.

    Against the story:

    1) There are two separate stories, both alleging that the Chofetz Chaim said “Kook shmook”, once in response to something R’ Kook said and once in response to something R’ Kook wrote. Yet R’ Kook never said what the story claimed he said, nor did he write what the story claimed he wrote. So either the Chofetz Chaim never said “Kook shmook” or he was completely misled and therefore his statements have no bearing on reality.

    2) The stories claim that the Chofetz Chaim, whose life’s work was to battle against lashon hara, was informed of a statement/writing of someone whom he knew prior to this to be a talmid chacham, and without trying to be dan lekaf zechus in the slightest, he accepted the report and publicly disparaged someone. This is a rather extraordinary claim to make about the Chofetz Chaim.

    3) R’ Kook’s writing that the Chofetz Chaim supposedly disparaged was written when R’ Gorelik was no older than three years old, thus he would not be a reliable source for this incident. (I did point out that I am not sure that R’ Kook’s writing was published right away, so it is possible that the Chofetz Chaim only found out about it years later, when R” Gorelik was already older.)

    4) The story claimed that the Chofetz Chaim read about it in a newspaper, yet we know that the Chofetz Chaim was stridently against reading newspapers. (This doesn’t necessarily disprove the story but it at least shows that some of the details have been corrupted.

    5) The Chofetz Chaim’s son-in-law wrote a letter which explains the Chofetz Chaim’s angst at the disparagement of R’ Kook. The response to this is that we have not yet been able to locate this letter prior to 29 years ago.

    6) The Chofetz Chaim himself wrote a letter to R’ Kook in which it is clear that he was not against R’ Kook.

    7) There are several different sources which tell the story of the Chofetz Chaim’s defense of R’ Kook at the knessia. Yes, there are minor differences between the versions, but the basic story is the same.

    8) (As per Avi K’s clarification) A rav who is a graduate of YU said that R’ Gorelik would never have disparaged a talmid chacham. (Obviously this is of very limited value as it is an anonymous person quoting an anonymous YU graduate who may have barely even known R’ Gorelik.)

    9) We still have no original source for the second story.

    If you have more evidence, please share it, and if it is overwhelming I will be happy to retract. Until then, though, the preponderance of evidence is against the story.

    Another piece in support of the idea is the aforementioned letter of Rav Elchonon, the Chofetz Chaim’s talmid muvhik who the CC recommended as his successor.

    First of all, as I pointed out earlier, the letter is not as damning as you made it seem. (This is one reason why I get suspicious when people refer to statements/writings of gedolim without providing direct quotes.) Second of all, as I pointed out, according to R’ Elchanan’s letter the Chofetz Chaim would also be a rasha gamur (chas v’shalom), as he praised R’ Kook. Third of all, the fact that R’ Elchanan had a certain position by no means means that the Chofetz Chaim held the same position. Being a talmid, and even a talmid muvhak does not mean that all your positions are in line with your rebbe. (See also, Tears Of Light: The Sixtieth Yahrtzeit Of HaRav Dovid Leibowitz Zt’l where R’ Moshe Musman writes: In later years, whenever he heard someone described as “a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim,” Reb Dovid would laugh and say that the Chofetz Chaim had no talmidim, and that if anyone was entitled to call himself his talmid, he was.

    Interestingly, in a recently published volume of Me’ir Einei Yisroel, HaRav Zachs, a grandson of the Chofetz Chaim, makes the same observation about his grandfather. Even HaRav Elchonon Wasserman zt’l Hy’d, who used to travel regularly to Radin and who took from the Chofetz Chaim as much as he could, never referred to himself as a talmid.) For example, the Rosh paskens that one can be mafsik even ????? ???? for kaddish, kedusha, and barchu. He writes (Berachos 2:5): ??? ???? ????? ??”? ?????? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?”? ????????? ?????? ???? ???? ??????. All the more so, here, where R’ Elchanan might not have known the extent of the Chofetz Chaim’s relationship with R’ Kook.

    Regarding the fake KK, I’ll suggest again procuring a copy of Mikatowitz ad Hei B’Iyar. Your answers are there.

    Thus far I have been unable to find it.

    I don’t have the timeline in front of me, but as I recall R. Kasher printed the KK years later, after many of the alleged signatories had already passed away.

    If the signatories had already died then Weinman obviously didn’t contact them. My question is only on those whom Weinman spoke to.

    And it did not garner the widespread attention you seem to assume it stirred.

    I think it did garner widespread attention. Any good Zionist propaganda will have this prominently quoted. R’ Ovadia quotes it in his teshuva (which I cited several posts ago). The signatories would not have known how widespread it was in Zionist circles. Unless Weinman specifically told them that they needn’t bother to make a statement (which would be mightily suspicious), the rabbis should have repudiated R’ Kasher’s kol korei.

    About the internet: you are speaking of communities that have largely shunned the internet.

    You and your various names on various sites are on the internet. True Torah Jews is on the internet. Frumteens is on the internet. All of the above quote Weinman; none of the above provide the actual quote. All of the above quote R’ Elachanan; none of the above provide the actual quote. all of the above quote the Brisker Rav; none of the above provide the actual quote. This, I think, is a very important point in this discussion (and really any discussion). I don’t expect anyone here to trust me. In fact you absolutely should not trust me. I am an anonymous poster, who for all you know might be a Buddhist prophet who happens to like debating Jews. since there is very little reason for the readers to trust me, I make a strong effort to either provide a link to my source, or type out the quote in full. I strongly urge everyone to look up sources that I quote. But for all the anti-Zionists quoting these sources all over the internet (which is not really all that many since they are almost all copied and pasted from each other, so I don’t even know who originally wrote it), I can’t find a single place where Weinman’s quotes or documentation is provided, nor where the R’ Elchanan quote is provided, and nor where the Brisker Rav quote is provided. I want to see these sources so that I can make an informed decision, yet no one invested the time or effort to provide them. I’m not saying this makes them wrong. But it makes it hard to have a debate.

    Furthermore, you could consider Rabbi Weinman’s publishing these very facts about the forgery in Z’eirei Agudas Yisroel’s Digleinu (Shvat 5738) as well as his Ad Hei B’Iyar to be the very response you seek. He cited the denials of the alleged signatories in both those publications and that’s how they let it be known they never signed.

    If he provided proof of their denial then as per what I wrote above, I would love to see it. If he did not provide proof then why should we accept his word over R’ Kasher’s?

    Patur Aval Assur


    It’s like, his favorite word. Although, according to the Coffee Room spellchecker it’s not a real word.

    Patur Aval Assur

    Avi K:

    The fact that R’ Kook was well enough to be impressed by R’ Soloveitchik does not necessarily mean that he was well enough to impress R’ Soloveitchik. But it’s irrelevant anyway – R’ Soloveitchik clearly held highly of R’ Kook. In the link I provided above, he says that he reveres R’ Kook.


    I believe Rav Kook was Rav Elyashivs Mesader Kiddushin. Cant get more chashuv than that 🙂


    jazar: He was also a close rebbi of Rav Hutner zt’l. However, as time went on Rav Hutner changed his position towards Rav Kook drastically, distancing himself from him in very obvious ways. He never quoted Rav Kook in any of his maamarim or seforim or shiurim in Yeshiva. In the ’60’s he took down Rav Kook’s picture that he once had in his Succah – a public statement. (Although he definitely did not publicly humiliate Rav Kook, he made sure not to give him any public honor, either, despite his being a talmid. He made sure that his students knew that he felt Rav Kook was wrong.) If you go into the Bais Medrash of Chaim Berlin, a place that prides itself on its emphasis on learning machshava, you will find many sifrei machshava, but you will never find, nor will you ever have found in Rav Hutner’s days, a single one of R. Kook’s books.

    PAA: Again, when roshei yeshivos say things over numerous times to numerous talmidim over numerous years, all publicly in their shiurim, what they said is well known in the public. If you’re looking for a YouTube video of the Brisker Rov or Rav Gorelick saying it, I don’t have the link for you. But you simply can’t deny the reality. And as I said it is easily verifiable. Your “disproofs” fall by the wayside with this.

    And telling me you don’t have the sefer I referenced and cited [pp. 134-136] as well as the Agudah publication issue date it appeared in prior to the sefer, that I sourced it in simply doesn’t cut it. It’s in your hands to procure a copy to view. I’ve given all the correct and necessary documentation you need proving the assertions. Kvetching you don’t have a copy and can’t find it online is not an answer. Continue the conversation after reading what I referred you to.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I have never met anyone who told over this story, and cannot find online, a single person who claims to have heard this story from R’ Gorelik. I don’t think that qualifies as “well known in the public”. A youtube video of R’ Gorelik saying it would be nice, but at least some proof that someone who was a talmid of his actually heard him say it would be a start. Bare in mind, though, that even if I heard the story directly from R’ Gorelik himself, my disproofs wouldn’t “fall by the wayside”. They would be just as strong as ever, though if he was alive, we could theoretically ask them to him and see if he can be meyasheiv them. And another source against the stories, which I forgot to mention in my last post, is the Artscroll edition of R’ Moshe Meir Yoshor’s biography of the Chofetz Chaim, on p. 161, which says:

    The Chafetz Chaim spent a great amount of time in Torah study with the young Rav Kook at that time. Ever since then, the pious sage greatly esteemed and honoured him. [Though it is somewhat unclear who is who in the second sentence.]

    When I tell you that I don’t have the sefer, I am not disproving your claims. I am just saying that you are asking me to look something up which is not available online, and even if I was willing to buy the book just to look up your claims, it is not sold around here nor is it sold online. So at this point it is very unlikely that I will be able to see the sefer anytime in the near future. If you think there is such a strong case to be made from it then I invite you to give us the details. I have spent a lot of time typing out full quotes when I can’t link to a source I am quoting; you can do the same. Or if you don’t want to take up any of your time, it really shouldn’t be that hard to put the relevant page online. It is somewhat suspicious when Weinman’s book is quoted over and over again by anti-Zionists, yet no one can be more helpful than “it’s your problem to get access to a book which is nigh inaccessible, and I refuse to give you any details of what it says, and you just have to trust me that he disproved R’ Kasher”. And expecting me to get my hands on an Aguda publication from 37 years ago is likewise unreasonable.


    I meant well known among talmidim of the Brisker Rov and talmidim of Rav Gorelick.

    There’s no stira about people, including the CC, having esteemed RAIK when he was in Europe and prior to his having moved to EY and taken the public zionistic positions he took that he had not adopted prior to that time, while losing that esteem once he took his (new) public positions in EY.

    As far as documenting Kasher’s forgeries, google “Kalir, False Accusations, and More” for a seforimblog article by Prof. Marc B. Shapiro of the University of Scranton where he documents various forgeries and other misdeeds by Kasher. Some based on his own research and some based on the research of others – including his citing Zvi Weinman’s sefer I mentioned, Mi-Katovitz ad Heh be-Iyar, which Prof. Shapiro notes Weinman has shown, including with visual evidence, Kasher’s forgeries on the athalta di-geula letter.

    Patur Aval Assur

    I meant well known among talmidim of the Brisker Rov and talmidim of Rav Gorelick.

    Which doesn’t really help for those of us (which probably includes everyone reading this) who are not talmidim.

    There’s no stira about people, including the CC, having esteemed RAIK when he was in Europe and prior to his having moved to EY and taken the public zionistic positions he took that he had not adopted prior to that time, while losing that esteem once he took his (new) public positions in EY.

    First of all, all the evidence I quoted was AFTER R’ Kook moved to Eretz Yisrael. Second of all, the stories of “Kook shmook” were not in response to Zionistic positions; they were responses to a specific statement and a specific writing, both of which I showed earlier to be inaccurate.

    Professor Shapiro as well, doesn’t do anything other than say that Weinman documented it. That doesn’t help anymore than what you already said here. On a side note, I think you quoting Professor Shapiro surpasses me quoting R’ Menashe Klein – ???.


    I think you’re just being obstinate and stubborn. Unintentionally, of course, and probably unwittingly due to a desire for ideological steadfastness. C’mon, even without holding the book in your hand you can accept your ideological soulmate’s (on this issue) takedown of Kasher for his forgeries. [Yeah, yeah, we know, you’re not taking sides.] If you can’t accept Prof. Shapiro, on his scholarly article describing what he found, than I’m confident you’ll — on principle — be dismissive of R. Weinman’s evidence regardless of its strength. The good professor, as you surely read, took Kastner to task for forgeries more extensive than just what we’ve been discussing. If Shapiro accepted it so can you. Now go get the blazing book. Shapiro got it and so can you. (I know it’s been available in Lakewood seforim stores not long ago.)

    Patur Aval Assur

    And speaking of R’ Hutner, you claim that taking down the picture of R’ Kook in the 60s demonstrates that R’ Hutner was “against” R’ Kook. However, R’ Kook died in 1935. Which means that R’ Hutner had R’ Kook’s picture up for some 30 years after R’ Kook died. During that period, R’ Kook obviously could not have done something to lose favor in R’ Hutner’s eyes. It is rather implausible that R’ Hutner simply woke up one day and decided that R’ Kook was all wrong. Perhaps a more likely explanation is that by the 60s, R’ Hutner had to so to speak “pick a side” and the side that he wanted to be on (i.e. the yeshivish velt) did not mesh well with R’ Kook, so he had to “publicly distance himself” from R’ Kook, though it may not have reflected what he actually held. Additionally, in ???? ??? p. 863, it says: ????? ??? ???? ????? ??”? ??? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ???? ????? ????

    Granted, it doesn’t provide an original source.

    Patur Aval Assur


    This has nothing to with whether Shapiro is my ideological soulmate or not (I’m not sure why you would think that he is). What it has to do with is not accepting claims that I have been unable to verify. Just because Shapiro accepted something does not mean that I would have accepted that thing. I don’t rely on him for his opinions – if he quotes a source for something, I determine whether I think his source adequately proves what he claims it does. If I don’t have access to his source then I can’t make a determination. In fact, it is probably even more odd that Professor Shapiro doesn’t bring the source in his post, as, if you read his posts regularly, you can easily see that they are filled with fully typed out quotes or the actual pages from the sefer/book he is quoting from.


    That’s ridiculous. You’re parroting the common anti-chareidi contention that chareidi gedolim must conform with the party-line. That idea is completely absurd and unsupported. The open and shut fact of the matter is that Rav Hutner zt’l was one of the most outspoken and vociferous anti-zionists. (Have you ever read Rav Hutner’s article in the Jewish Observer? Here’s a small excerpt: ) He set the tone on the issue. He had the photo at one time (it wasn’t in the succa as early as ’35) out of respect since it was his rebbi. But he vocally disagreed with him and, as earlier said, he never quoted Rav Kook in any of his maamarim or seforim or shiurim in Yeshiva and Rav Kook’s seforim were never found in the Bais Medrash – a BM renown for many sifrei machshava.

    Patur Aval Assur

    I’m not claiming that R’ Hutner was a Zionist. But it is possible to hold that R’ Kook was one of the Geonei V’tzadikei Olam, without agreeing with his positions on Zionism. You were responding to jazar who was attempting to prove R’ Kook’s chashivus from the fact that he was the mesader kiddushin for R’ Elyashiv. You were thus using R’ Hutner to demonstrate that even though at one point R’ Kook may have been considered chashuv, that changed. But you didn’t prove that. All you proved is that R’ Hutner took down R’ Kook’s picture (and even that you didn’t prove, though it’s okay because I have other sources for that so I don’t need to rely on you). So now the question is why did R’ Hutner take down the picture, and why did it take him 30 years to do so? Having a picture of R’ Kook is no stira to being an anti-Zionist. So a simple explanation for why he suddenly took down the picture, is as I suggested. If you have a better one, I invite you to share it with us.

    Avi K

    1. Rav Kook was the mesader kiddushin of both Rav Eliashiv and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who before he married was a regular at Rav Kook’s public seuda shelisheet and derasha). Rav Eliashiv was, in fact, married to a daughter of Rav Arye Levine, who was a talmid muvchak of Rav Kook.

    2. Rav Hutner was Rav Tzvi Yehuda’s brother-in-law. he incorporated many of Rav Kook’s teachings into his own writings.

    3. The “Kook shmook” statement, if the CC said it, obviously referred to what the newspaper attributed to Rav Kook (at the time falsifications of Rav Kook’s statements were being circulated in Poland). It is inconceivable that the CC, who not only literally wrote the book on lashon hara and hotzaat shem raand and received a haskama from the Sefat Emmet after the latter unsuccessfully tried to get him to say lh as a test, would have expressed himself thus on the basis of a newspaper report.


    Here are some things that Rabbonim said/wrote about R’ Kook zt”l:

    R’ Isser Zalman Meltzer once said to R’ Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, “We are Gedolim – until we reach the doorknob of R’ Kook!” He also once said that he wished he could daven Neilah with the same kavanah that R’ Kook davened Mincha every day.

    R’ Berel Soloveitchik once spoke against Zionism, and was asked, “What about R’ Kook?” He replied, “He is a Gadol!”

    R’ Shabsai Rappaport said that he was once by his grandfather, R’ Moshe Feinstein zt”l, when R’ Moshe was writing a teshuva which argued on the Tzitz Eliezer. R’ Rappaport showed R’ Moshe something that R’ Kook had written on the subject, and R’ Moshe said he was not surprised, because R’ Kook “was a gaon of gaonmim!”

    R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l said that when he used the term Maran, or Der Rav, it referred to R’ Kook zt”l. He asked R’ Kook to be the sandek at the bris of his son, R’ Shmuel. As R’ Hutner did, R’ Auerbach had a picture of R’ Kook hanging in his sukkah. Someone once published a book about R’ Yitzchak Elchonan Spektor which had some derogatory remarks about R’ Kook. R’ Auerbach assured buying the book until the comments were removed, and met personally with the author to encourage him to change it.

    in 1923, at a conference of Rabbonim in Vienna, one Rav made derogatory remarks about R’ Kook. The Chofetz Chaim stood up and said, “You insulted the Mora D’Asra of Eretz Yisrael!” and left the conference. He refused to return. Before he left to return home, many people came to bid him farewell, including the group with the Rav who had made the comments. The Chofetz Chaim refused to speak with him, saying, “I will not say ‘Shalom’ to those who caused dispute with the Rav of Yerushalayim! He is holy and pure, and anyone who insults his kavod will not go unpunished!”

    Joseph, it might do you some good to heed the words of the Chofetz Chaim zt”l!


    If you have nothing to die for you have nothing to live for . Israel is actually the safest place for Jews . Anti Semitism is definitely on the wise.


    DM: Virtually all of those quotes are invented. The easiest one demonstrating this is that R’ Isser Zalman never said to R’ Chaim Ozer that “We are Gedolim”. (I actually laughed at that one.)


    Joseph: Wait, you mean you don’t accept a quote from an anonymous person on the internet? Wow, yet you expect others to accept the stuff you write?

    All the things I posted have sources. If you do some research you may even find it yourself!


    I don’t accept that R’ Isser Zalman told anyone that he’s a godol. You posted no source since there is no source for that.

    Avi K

    10 Relationships between Maran Ha-Rav Kook and Various Gedolei Yisrael that the Yeshiva World Should Know

    [Collected by Mordechai Friedfertig.

    Ha-Rav Aviner Shilt”a encouraged spreading its message]

    1. The Praises of the Netziv

    [in the Volozhin Yeshiva] [student]
    [Tal Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 59-60, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 45 and Be-Derech Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet p. 189]

    2. The Chafetz Chaim: Know that he is holy and pure and anyone who impinges on his honor will not go unpunished.

    [Bisdeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 218, Sichot Ha-Re’eiyah p. 122, Tal Ha-Re’eiyah p. 90, Moadei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 231 and 550, Bein Shenei Cohanim Gedolim pp. 32-33 and mentioned in Bishelosha Be-Elul vol. 1 p. 35]

    After Maran Ha-Rav Kook had served a while in the Rabbinate in one of the holy communities in the Exile, he received an invitation from the Chafetz Chaim to help him prepare a work on the service of the Cohanim when the Temple is standing. Maran Ha-Rav replied: If his honor permits me to remove the yoke of the Rabbinate which is upon me, I can fulfill the request which is extremely dear to me. The Chafetz Chaim answered: I have not found an individual as talented as you in administering a Rabbinate in Israel!…

    [Ha-Re’eiyah Kook ztzvk”l of Ha-Rav Shmuel Baruch Shulman p. 36]

    At a huge Rabbinical Conference in Vienna in 5683, one of the Rabbis made disparaging remarks about Maran Ha-Rav, the Chafetz Chaim (who was sitting at the dais) stood up shocked and said: “You insulted the Mara De-Atra (Rabbinic authority) of Eretz Yisrael.” He left the conference and decided not to return to it. The Chafetz Chaim waited in his hotel to return to his city, and many people came to visit him or receive a blessing. When the members of delegation from Eretz Yisrael wanted to enter, he said: “I will not say ‘Shalom’ to those who caused dispute with the Rav of Yerushalayim (Maran Ha-Rav)!” And he added: “Know that he is holy and pure and anyone who impinges on his honor will not go unpunished.”

    [Bisdeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 225-228, Sichot Ha-Re’eiyah p. 26-127, Malachim Bivnei Adam p. 211 and for additional information on the subject see Sichot Ha-Re’eiyah chap. 11 and Bein Shenei Cohanim Gedolim chap. 4]

    In the year 5681, our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook (Maran Ha-Rav’s son) traveled to Poland to meet with Rabbis and Chasidic Rebbes to convince them to join the “Degel Yerushalayim” movement which Maran Ha-Rav established to infuse the Zionist movement with Torah and holiness. At that time, the Chafetz Chaim came to Warsaw, and our Rabbi, who yearned to see the splendor of the most righteous person of the generation, went to where he was staying. He found him surrounded by people. After over an hour, our Rabbi approached to take leave from him. The Chafetz Chaim asked: “Are you a local?” Our Rabbi responded: “No, from Jerusalem,” and he added: “Your honor was close with Reb Eliyahu David (the Aderet), father-in-law of my father.” When the Chafetz Chaim heard whose son was standing before him, his face lit up and he joyfully said: “Your honor is the son of the Rav of Zimel, the Rav of Boisk, the Rav of Yafo, the Rav of Jerusalem? Then why does he speak about his grandfather? Tell me about your father! How is he? We are long-time, dear friends.”

    [Bisdei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 221, Sichot Ha-Re’eiyah p. 126, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 157-158, Be-Derech Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet p. 97, Tzvi Kodesh p. 146 and Bein Shenei Cohanim Gedolim pp. 36-37]

    See Bisdei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 217-231, Sichot Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 120-133 and the book “Bein Shenei Cohanim Gedolim” which discuss the special relationship between the Chafetz Chaim and Maran Ha-Rav Kook.

    3. Ha-Rav Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld: A Blessing to be the Cohain Gadol

    On Shavuot morning after davening Vatikin, Maran Ha-Rav Kook was walking in one of the alleyways near the Kotel and met Ha-Rav Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld. Ha-Rav Sonenfeld blessed him that he should merit serving as the Cohain Gadol in the Temple.

    [Moadei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 303-304 and see another blessing of Ha-Rav Sonenfeld to Maran Ha-Rav ibid.]

    It once happened that Ha-Sonenfeld was honored to be a Mohel at a Brit Milah and Maran Ha-Rav was honored to act as the Sandak. The two Rabbis met at the door of the apartment where the Brit Milah would occur. After they exchanged friendly greetings, a problem arose: Who would enter the house first? Maran Ha-Rav respectfully suggested that Ha-Rav Sonenfeld enter first. But he responded: “His honor is a Cohain and the Chief Rabbi [of Jerusalem]
    [Melachim Kivnei Adam p. 64]

    4. Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski: A Eulogy for Maran Ha-Rav at a Wedding

    [Bisdeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 236, Chayei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 388-389, Igrot Le-Re’eiyah #316 and Melachim Kivnei Adam pp. 106-107. Maran Ha-Rav’s response is found in Shut Da’at Cohain #223]

    There was a wedding in Elul 5696 in which Rav Chaim Ozer, Ha-Rav Shimon Shkop and many other great Rabbis attended. When news arrived that Maran Ha-Rav had died, Rav Chaim Ozer instructed Ha-Rav Shmuel Markowitz, Av Beit Din of Turatz to eulogize him. And this is what was done.

    See Igrot Le-Re’eiyah where there are tens of letters by Rav Chaim Ozer to Maran Ha-Rav with great respect and honor, and where it is possible to see the close relationship which existed between them.

    5. Ha-Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer: We are Gedolim until we reach his doorknob

    Ha-Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, Rosh Yeshiva of Eitz Chaim in Jerusalem, said: “I was young when I arrived in Volozhin, and I looked with great respect at the greater students who sat on the eastern wall, and among them were prodigies who would become Gedolei Yisrael. But I remember well that looking at him [Maran Ha-Rav Kook] was completely different – even among the special he was distinguished by his uniqueness!”

    [Tal Ha-Re’eiyah p. 71, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 101 and the booklet “Az Nebabru Yirei Hashem” p. 13]

    Ha-Rav Meltzer once visited Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, and Ha-Rav Meltzer said about Maran Ha-Rav: “We are Gedolim until we reach his doorknob.”

    [Mi-Toch Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet vol. 2 p. 170, Le-Shelosha Be-Elul vol. 2 p. 101, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiah p. 202, Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah vol. 274, Malachim Kivnei Adam p. 430 and the booklet “Az Nebabru Yirei Hashem” p. 22]

    Ha-Rav Meltzer said many times: “If only I could daven during Ne’eilah on Yom Kippur, with awe of holiness and feeling, like Ha-Rav [Kook] davens during weekday Minchah.”

    [Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah #51, Le-Shelosha Be-Elul vol. 2 p. 102, Orot Ha-Tefillah of Ha-Rav Y. Epstein (student of Ha-Rav Meltzer) p. 26, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 200, Malachim Kivnei Adam p. 256 and the booklet “Az Nebabru Yirei Hashem” p. 29]

    [Moadei Ha-Re’eiyah vol. 12, Le-Shelosha Be-Elul vol 2 p. 101, Shivchei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 15, Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah vol. 275 and Malachim Kivnei Adam p. 430]

    See the booklet “Az Nebabru Yirei Hashem” from Amichai Kinerati for the close relationship between Ha-Rav Meltzer and Maran Ha-Rav.

    6. The Chazon Ish Stands During the Entire Lengthy Speech of Maran Ha-Rav Kook

    As related by the founder of the city of Bnei Brak, Rabbi Yitzchak Gershtenkorn: In the year 5694, Ha-Rav Kook was invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony for Yeshivat Beit Yosef (Novardok) in Bnei Brak, and he agreed to attend. During the celebration, in which the Chazon Ish also participated, Ha-Rav [Kook] gave a lengthy speech, with great passion regarding the Torah and Chasidut in Bnei Brak. During the entire time that Ha-Rav Kook spoke, those who attended sat comfortably in their places, while the Chazon Ish remained on his feet and listened intently to Ha-Rav Kook. Only when Ha-Rav Kook finished and sat down did the Chazon Ish sit in his seat. The matter was a wonder in the eyes of those present. Ha-Rav Tzvi Kagan, who was also there, added that when the speech of Ha-Rav Kook became lengthy, they suggested to the Chazon Ish to sit down, but he refused, saying: “The Torah is standing!”

    [Pe’er Ha-Dor vol. 2 p. 32, Malachim Kivnei Adam pp. 340-341, Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 247, Moadei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 217-218 and Likutei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 417-419]

    Immediately upon arrival in Eretz Yisrael, the Chazon Ish turned to Maran Ha-Rav with a postcard asking him to clarify the correct procedure for redeeming “Ma’aser Sheni” (The tithe which would be brought to be eaten in Jerusalem). He began: “The Glory of the Honor of our Master Shlit”a”.

    [Igrot Le-Re’eiyah #310, bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 35, Chayei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 119-120 and Moadei Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 217-218. Maran Ha-Rav’s response is printed in Shut Mishpat Cohain #53-54 and see Pe’er Ha-Dor vol. 4 pp. 222-223]

    The Chazon Ish encouraged his most gifted students to learn the halachic works of Maran Ha-Rav, and he would say: “Ha-Rav’s way of learning and clarification of the Halachah is the truth of Torah.”

    [Re’eiyah Ve-chazon p. 10 and Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah p. 145]

    See Bisadeh Ha-Re’eiyah pp. 233-248 where there are letters concerning Halachah and filled with respect and honor between Maran Ha-Rav and the Chazon Ish.

    7. Ha-Rav Yitzchak Ze’ev Soloveitchik: The Glory of the Generation

    Ha-Rav Yosha Ber (Ha-Rav Berel Soloveitchik), Ha-Griz’s son and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Brisk following his father, once spoke harshly against Zionism. He was asked: And what about Ha-Rav Kook? He answered: “He is a Gadol.” (from Ha-Rav Zalman Baruch Melamed).

    [Ha-Rav Eliezer Melamed in the article “Ha-Rav Kook and Beit Brisk” which appeared in the newspaper “Be-Sheva” 5767 and Igrot Le-Re’eiyah #373]

    8. Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein: He was the Gaon of Geonim!

    Ha-Rav Shabatai Rapaport, Ha-Rav Feinstein’s grandson, related that in the year 5739, during Sukkot in Monsey, NY, Ha-Rav Feinstein was involved with writing a contrary view to a responsa of Ha-Rav Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer). Ha-Rav Rapaport showed his grandfather a statement from Maran Ha-Rav Kook (relating to the issue) which Ha-Rav Rapaport found amazing. Ha-Rav Feinstein responded: “What is surprising, he was the Gaon of Geonim!”

    [Likutei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 59]

    Ha-Rav Nisan Alpert, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, Rabbi of Agudat Yisrael, author of “Limudei Nisan” and Ha-Rav Feinstein’s student for forty years, was one of those who eulogized his Rav in New York. He also spoke at a memorial evening for Ha-Rav Kook, on the 50th anniversary of his passing. When he was asked about the connection between his Rav and Ha-Rav Kook, he answered that Ha-Rav Feinstein was a “Chasid” of Ha-Rav Kook. Ha-Rav Feinstein said to learn his books and one will find great things. He also added, rhetorically, that he did not understand what people wanted from Ha-Rav Kook ztz”l.

    [Likutei Ha-Re’eiyah p. 60]

    9. Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: I only use the term ‘Der Rov’, Maran, for Ha-Rav Kook.

    [Ha-Torah Ha-Mesamachat p. 41 and Sefer Rabbenu p. 140 from the newspaper “Ha-Tzofeh”]

    Ha-Rav S.Z. Auerbach said: If I say to you ‘Maran’ in Yiddish , know that I am referring to Ha-Rav Kook zt”l. I only use the term ‘Der Rov’, Maran, for Ha-Rav Kook.

    [Sefer Rabbenu ibid. and the booklet “Or Shlomo” p. 24 and see note 34 where various testimonies to this fact are quoted]

    Ha-Rav Auerbach honored Maran Ha-Rav with being the Sandek at the Brit Milah of his eldest son, R’ Shmuel, who today serves as the Rosh Yeshiva of “Maalot Ha-Torah” in Jerusalem.

    [The booklet “Or Shlomo” p. 21]

    Maran Ha-Rav’s picture hung together with pictures of other Gedolei Yisrael in Ha-Rav Auerbach’s sukkah.

    [The booklet “Or Shlomo” p. 28]

    Ha-Rav Chaim Shteiner related that someone once published a book about Ha-Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector which also included disgraceful words about Ha-Rav Kook. Ha-Rav Auerbach said that it is forbidden to buy this book until it is corrected, and he also wrote a letter to the author asking him to fix it. He also met the author a few times and would always ask if the book was being fixed.

    Ha-Rav Avigdor Neventzal related that Ha-Rav Auerbach would not hear the rulings of a particular Torah scholar because he besmirched Ha-Rav Kook’s honor.

    [Ha-Torah Ha-Mesamachat p. 308 and the booklet “Or Shlomo” p. 30]

    Ha-Rav A. Yehoshua Zuckerman related that when someone mentioned in a talk about the horrible behavior of certain individuals against Maran Ha-Rav Kook, Ha-Rav Auerbach responded with great distress: I recommend that those who were brazen and dishonored Ha-Rav should go to his grave and ask forgiveness.

    [Ve-Alehu Lo Vibol vol. 1 p. 83 and the booklet “Or Shlomo” p. 30]

    And see further in the booklet “Or Shlomo” by Amichai Kinerati for the close relationship between Ha-Rav Auerbach and Maran Ha-Rav.

    10. Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlit”a: Ha-Rav Kook was greater than us!

    [Parashah Sheet “Shevet Ha-Re’eiyah #31]

    [Weekly parashah sheet “Shevet Ha-Re’eiyah #31 and #50]

    It is related that Rabbanit Elyashiv once heard words which impinged upon Maran Ha-Rav’s honor, and it caused her so much pain that she physically suffered from it for many days.

    [Tzadik Yesod Olam p. 232 and Parashah Sheet “Shevet Ha-Re’eiyah #50]

    Ha-Rav Elyashiv once wrote a halachic ruling, and after he finished someone showed him a different opinion which Maran Ha-Rav had written on the subject. Ha-Rav Elyashiv immediately ripped up his ruling and changed his opinion to that of Maran Ha-Rav.

    [Parashah Sheet “Shevet Ha-Re’eiyah #50]

    Ha-Rav Elyashiv once mentioned a particular teaching of Maran Ha-Rav. Someone who was present said that Rabbi so-and-so, one of the greatest Rabbis of the generation, sayid otherwise. Ha-Rav Elyashiv simply responded: Ha-Rav Kook was greater than us!

    [Parashah Sheet “Shevet Ha-Re’eiyah #50]


    Again, if you actually do some research, you may actually find the source!

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