Rav Cohen Shlita Clarifies his ‘Amalek’ Comment


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cohenRosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen Shlita, who on motzei Shabbos labeled the dati leumi community Amalek, clarified his words.

A statement was released by the rav on Sunday afternoon 7 Menachem Av 5773 explaining his harsh words were uttered in pain, during a shiur, “words that were intended against the leaders of the Bayit Yehudi party along with their supporters who are waging a war against the Torah and yeshivos”.

Srugim reports on the rav’s clarification, quoting him as saying;

“חלילה מלטעון כלפי עמך בית ישראל המסולאים מפז – דברים מעין אלו”

Also responding to the rav’s words was the National Hesder Organization, which stated the rav’s words were an attack against tens and tens of thousands of people, many many talmidei chachamim, lomdei Torah, and many who are MeKadesh Shem Shomayim with their lifestyle.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Will Daati Leumi heads also have the courage to apologize for attacking charedim and Yeshiva students and for working with lapid to put chareidim in prison?

  2. You know, if you backpedal hard enough, you end up in yesterday. Which is where (when) I am sure he wishes he was so he could stop himself from uttering those wordds. The fact remains (at least as reported by YWN) that his audience LAUGHED!!! and then he SMILED. That sounds like pain to me. It sounds like the pain of our Beis HaMikdosh being ripped apart and our people being torn asunder for millenia. Tzom kal everyone.

  3. Just as an aside to those commentators in the other thread about this topic, words have meaning and power. Real power. If you screw up a brochoh, or you don’t answer an amein, or you speak during davening your speech has the power to rack up sins. It also has the power to heal and console. However holy and well thought a person the Rav is, words have to be measured. There is no place for rhetoric in the Jewish notion of speech. It forms our prayers. It is not an inanimate wind that gushes forth from our mouths. It has to be carefully guarded.

  4. “the rav’s words were an attack against tens and tens of thousands of people, many many talmidei chachamim, lomdei Torah, and many who are MeKadesh Shem Shomayim with their lifestyle”

    My G-d, can you even imagine the multitude of individual lashon hara transgressions this may have been? SMH!

  5. No, that won’t do. His ‘drash’ was on the word ‘Kess’ which he darshned to mean ‘Kippa Sruga’. ‘The leaders and supporters of the Bayit Hayehudi’ would be ‘MTHH’ or something like that – clearly NOT what he he said.

    For that matter, the ‘clarfication’ of the learned rosh yeshiva does not improve matters in any significant way as the vast majority of those who wear kippot sruggot also support Habayit Hayehudi.

  6. To #3 – your comment illustrates what has torn the frum world apart. You do not offer a defnse of Rav Cohen’s words. Perhaps you have one, perhaps not. We cannot tell from your comment. Rather, you attack those who criticize (correctly, in my opinion) the Rav’s hurtful words. Assuming your criticism of Daati Leumi is warranted, how does that excuse Rav Cohen’s language? If your friend offers you tochacha do you examine the substance of the tochacha and accept it if it is correct, or do you deflect attention from what you can do better by attacking some aspect of your friend’s character?

  7. To all of you “Erev Tisha Be’Av” “Shmiras Halashon” “Sinas Chinam” experts: now that the shoe is on the other foot… Where were you when the Amailus BeTorah community is under attack??? Then “Lashon Hora – Erev Tisha Be’av – Sinas Chinam doesn’t apply??? You same people were posting the most vile attacks when they had the peaceful gathering in Foley Square a little while ago! You can’t have it both ways! You are a bunch of frauds!

  8. are his words any worse than the datim (and baale batim on YWN) that call bnei yeshiva (including many serious ones who learn lishma with hasmada) “parasites”, “lazy cowards”, and other horrible names. Why the double standard?

  9. Here is what harav Amar wrote to a D”L rabbi on the subject. An excellent way to close this subject on erev Tisha BeAv:

    כמה צריך כל אחד לכוף כאגמון ראשו לפני חברו ולמחול על עלבונו ולוותר בכל מה שאפשר שמלבד רוב התועלת שישיג בזה, הנה שכרו עמו שמועיל לדור כולו.

    והנה כבוד תורתו מצפה לבאר השמועה הקשה של אחד מגדולי ראשי הישיבות בימינו אשר משכמו ומעלה גבוה מאד בתורה וביראת שמים ובמידות וכבוד תורתו כותב שהוא וכן רבים וטובים תמהים על השוואת ראשית תבואתו לראשית גויים חס ושלום, לא יעלו הדברים על לב שום אדם.

    ידע כבוד תורתו וידע ישראל שאני הקטן מכיר את האדם הגדול הזה… לא שמעתי את הדברים כלל אך ברור לי שנפלה טעות בענין ויש פעמים שאדם רוצה לומר מילה מסויימת ואומר את ההיפך ומהכרותי את האיש הגדול אין לי ספק שזה מה שהיה ואל לנו להיתפס לפליטת פה אלא נהיה זהירין בגחלתן של תלמידי חכמים ואדרבה נפיק מזה מלא חפניים של אהבת חינם על ידי זה שדנים בזכות ולא נוציא מזה שום דבר שלילי חס ושלום.

  10. Mexipal, those who are in Kollel or Beis Medrash and do not learn to their fullest potential but waste a lot of minutes in the coffee room, instead of taking the option of learning, working in a career, or joining the army are indeed (in my opinion) parasites. The father who works an 8 hour day to still find time to learn a few nights a week is righteous.