Anything about JUDAISM
Anything about JUDAISM
profile | register | search

This is an archived site, for new discussion please see
Forums | | Post Reply Send Topic To a Friend
Author Topic
duker Posted - 27 July 2001 23:51
I am unclear what it means for one to have a mesora. Today is the hilula of the Arizal, his mesora is from Eliyahu Hanavi. The Ba'al Shem had no more mesorah for any of his ideas than Rav Kook. Likwise I can throw in many other names, (the Rambam's attempt to understand the Torah through the prism of Aristotelian philosophy, for example). Even the Satmar Ruv Zt"l himself's ideas were no less radical than Rav Kook, as he claims the State of Israel was statered by the Other Side (see al' Hageeila). So why are the Arizal, Rambam, Besht, and the Satmar Ruv, all acceptable but only Rav Kook is posul?
Eli Duker
MODERATOR Posted - 28 July 2001 0:29
Not so. The first difference between all of the above and Rav Kook is that all the others were able to successfully defend their positions from a traditional Torah point of view against their opposition. There remain no unanswerable complaints against any of the above Tzadikim you mentioned, thoguh legitimate disagreements remain. Zionism has been unable to come close to answer the attacks leveled against it from a Torah point of view. The defenses are more emotional than rational, and the simple reasons to oppose it have not been anything close to answered by Rav Kook or any other Zionist rabbi, thoguh they have tried. Because of the weakness of the ZIonist response and the lack of any ground to stand on, the Gedolim looked at this disagreement as simply a black and white rebellion against the torah rather than a legitimate dispute. People WANT Zionism, since it appeals to the emotions on many levels, as well as promises (falsely) solutions to anti-semitism and other Jewish "problems." Especially after the holocaust, it was difficult not to grasp onto any political straw that was available, even if it was dead against the Torah. And it is very tempting to try to shove a square peg into a round hole by twisting and turning Torah to fit what you want. Our Gedolim recognized Zionism as simply that, as opposed to a simple mistake in pshat, which other, more legtimate disagreements are.

Secondly, a "new" idea is not radical or untraditional if it is actually a new application of traditional methodology and ideas, which is what the Baal Shem Tov and Satmar Rov did. And the idea to look at Torah through the eyes of philosophy was not originated by the Rambam at all - Rav Saadia Gaon, the Chovos Halevovos (in his sefer Toros HaNefesh) and otehrs who predated the Baal ShemTov did this as well. Philosophy is considered by these authorities to be simply the discipline of logic, and applying that to Torah is neither new nor radical.

The Baal Shem Tov's teachings are very well grounded in the Zohar and Arizal, and even in Shas and Rishonim - he was not even the first "Baaal Shem", although he was the most well known - and his ideas are "new" only in the sense that every generation needs to be treated according to its specific needs, and the Baal Shem Tov's generation needed that approach then. This idea itself is traditional and predates the Baal Shem Tov by a lot.

The Satmar Rav said nothing radical at all. He was nto even the originator of any of those ideas, although he was most prominent about them in America. You will find identical thoughts all over the writings of the Minchas Elozor for instance, and the anti-Zionist position itself was mainstream Torah opinion among untlra-Orthodox Jews before the war, shared by Satmar, Lubavitch, Brisk, Rav S.R. Hirsch, and other leaders across the specturm.

The concept of Maaseh Satan is nothing untraditional, and a lot less spectacular than it sounds. It means, simply, that the Satan - Yetzer Horah - creates Nisyonos for people to go against the Torah, and since Zionism is against the Torah, its attraction - i.e. the fact that it was successful in creating a Jewish State - is a Nisayon. Nisyonos come form the Satan, and that is what "maaseh satan" means. It is merely a response to the Zionist claim that if G-d allowed the State to happen, this "proves" He wants it. The asnwer is, G-d allows evil to prosper as a Nisayon. This is nothing new.

The ARizal got his information - to a large extent - from Eliyahu HaNavi, but the idea od Eliyahu HaNavi being a reliable source of information is totally traditional and comes way before the Arizal. So the Arizal is merely an application of a traditional principal.

But Rav Kook's ideas have no traditional basis at all, as well as no known defense against the Torah charges leveled against it.

dev33 Posted - 02 November 2001 0:50
moderator, i must ask you 2 things.
firstly are you saying people arent allowd to support zionist movements i.e bnei akiva? for eg arent we allowd to go to their camp and support them?
secondly could you please elaborate on what exactly Rav Kook did to earn such a bad name? i know that he wasnt a ''good' rabbi to follow but i never realized he was categorized with korach etc. wasnt he fit to be a rav and if not why wasnt he stripped of that name. you quoted that he shoulve been.?
MODERATOR Posted - 05 November 2001 22:15
Rav Kook's problems were twofold:

(1) The support of Zionism, not only in the form of support, but making it into a central theme of Judaism;

(2) His creating his own system of values against the Torah. If someone was the biggest Apikores and enemy of Hashem, as long as he would "work the land" if 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. The Chofetz Chaim remarked in disgust, "Kook Shmook!" when he read of such a quote from him.

PS - Nobody can take away anyone's title, though there were those who ruled that nobody may listen to Rav Kook's psakim. Those who disagreed did so not because they supported his outrageous positions, but rather because they held that outrageous positions do not disqualify the legitimate Torah thoughts that he had.

dev33 Posted - 06 November 2001 20:56
my father told me that rav kook was an amazing rabbi the only machlokes ppl may have had with him would be that he was for the land of israel not the nation basically.
so how can you call him an apikores he was a great leader,no?also how is he compared to yeravam who was a terrible man? am i allowd to go on bnei akiva as it is a zionistic programme.
MODERATOR Posted - 06 November 2001 22:22
The objections to Rav Kook were much more than just building the lasnd, please see above.

Bnei Akiva camps espouse Zionist teachings as well as Modern Orthodox violations of Halachha. You should therefore go somewhere else if you can.

(Wo)man of faith Posted - 14 November 2001 22:59
MOD!!!!!!!! I am shocked at yr views on R' Kook.I can't back it up so well, but are u comparing him to Yeravam and saying he went off the derech?!?don't we hav to hav kavod 4 him b/c he was huge in Torah. U hav to respect even s/1 who lost his Torah knowledge, and Acehr's student learned from him evn after he went off. But still, how can u say this? is it a mitzvah to attack him? 1)He's olov Hasholom @)u might be bringing the satan against him in shamayim 3) why do this? is it helping ppl to see a true Torah Hashkofah? is it helping a/1 at all? It makes me so sad to see this, what I think is blatant un-acceptance of a huge Talmid Chochom, and b/c he isn't from the Chareidi community? isn't that unfair? I can't evn express what i'm feeling coz this has really upset me, badly.
Beautman Posted - 14 November 2001 22:59
<<<Bnei Akiva camps espouse Zionist teachings as well as Modern Orthodox violations of Halachha.>>>>

I may have missed it, but putting aside the zionist issue, what modern orthodox violations of halacha? (I'm talking about what mod ortho holds that's against halacha, not what individuals may violate because of their own yetzer hara or lack of learning.)

MODERATOR Posted - 15 November 2001 0:27

Yeravam was huge in Torah, too. Hugeness in Torah does not mean you cant go off the derech. So tell me why I should look at his distortions of Torah any differently than those of Yeravam or Korach, and why should his hugeness in Torah make him more immune to the status those distortions give the distorter than Yeravam or Korach were?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 November 2001 0:31

Mostly the mingling of males and females, the encouragement of secular education as a value in itself (not as a tool for parnasa or kiruv), and Hashkafic distortions of things like woman's roles in Judaism including but not limited to teaching of Gemora to women in open classrooms.

danny Posted - 15 November 2001 3:27
<Mostly the mingling of males and females,>
Mingling in what context? Which halacha is this a violation of?
<the encouragement of secular education as a value in itself (not as a tool for parnasa or kiruv),>
This is R' Soloveitchik's business. Not every modern O follows his teachings. Furthermore, which halacha does having a secular education violate?
<and Hashkafic distortions of things like woman's roles in Judaism including but not limited to teaching of Gemora to women in open classrooms.>
What women's roles in Judaism are you referring to? Teaching gemarrah to women is not typical MO. It only happens in Coed, left wing high schools. The type of Orthodoxy that is represented by Edah is not mainstream MO. It is very left wing, almost Conservadox and not supported by most MO Jews. You should never judge an entire group of Jews by what happens at the fringes.
You obviously have a right wing, anti-MO agenda. That is your right, but as a frum Jew you should know better than to make such blanket statements that MO Jews violate halacha. Most don't, unless, of course, you can show which halachos of the Shulchan Aruch they violate and where they are found in the Shulchan Aruch. It is no trick to find Rabbis who would find fault with anything less than Chassidic. I'll bet that there are even Rabbis who would say that spending time on the internet is assur and violates halacha.
Now, regarding Zionism, that you are also against, what about it is wrong? What is the definition of Zionism and how is it against the Torah? Can you be specific?


MODERATOR Posted - 15 November 2001 3:55
And Danny, youre going to have to define MO for me, please. Every major Orthodox institution that calls itself MO that I know of - including YU, OU, NCYI - all either encourage, permit, or do not object to the violations I mentioned above in some form or manner. Rav Soloveichik was NOT a left wing fringe MO, but quite right wing, relatively speaking. And it was he who taught the first girls gemora class in Stern College, and he clearly endorsed it and encouraged it since then. And it is done in numerous post-secondary, all-girl institutions, such as Midreshet, and others, which are not fringe at all.

The mingling of the sexes is usually in the form of either coed activities or Kiruv projects, or simply in allowing boys and girls to be friends, meaning, telling the students specifically that it is permitted. This takes place not only in the left wing MO institutions, but in the extreme right wing ones as well. I actually taught in one of the schools Pt recommeded to the girl in SOuth Africa, not coed, and they do NOT consider themselves anything less than very frum MO. The issue of boys (it was a girls school) came up often. The school's policy was explicit: socializing is OK, being friends is OK, touching is not.

Danny, you are really going to have to tell me what you mean by MO. I mean, Satmar can call themsleves MO. Rav SOloveichik is not your MO; OK, but who is? What is modern about it and who do they follow? Honestly, I have no idea what group of MO you are talking about. I cant find such a group anywhere.

Zionism was discussed at length in a few forums on these boards. See Other / Zionism and Yom Haatzmaut. Also Other / Eretz Yisroel, and The Kahanes, in this section.

Edited by - admindealing on 14 November 2001 22:57

danny Posted - 15 November 2001 4:03
<Bnei Akiva camps espouse Zionist teachings as well as Modern Orthodox violations of Halachha. You should therefore go somewhere else if you can.>
You keep making this disgusting remark that MO violate halacha without substantiating it. This remark is beneath you and is a la'az against a large group of frum Jews and is assur. It is a much greater aveirah than going to college or reading secular books. Do you remember when Moshe Rabbeinu argued that klal Yisrael will not listen to him that his hand became leprous? Why, because he spoke lashon hara against kosher Jews. We know that you have a personal gripe against MO Jews and consider them to be less Jewish and more sinful than yourself, but as a moderator, you need to at least appear more objective. At least explain how MO violate halacha. I also notice that you chose not to print my response to your anti-MO post. That is improper for a moderator who is supposed to remain objective and fair. Shame.


MODERATOR Posted - 15 November 2001 4:13
I did post your reposnse, and answered it already. We get over 100 new posts a day here, and there is a big backlog. Do the math - it's not easy. Things dont happen live time here.

You have so far told us what Modern orthodoxy is NOt - including Rav Soloveichik - but you have yet to tell us what it is. The only clue you gave is that it is the same as Torah Im Derech Eretz, which it is not. None of the well know MO organizations or institutions fit into what you would like MO to be. Please enlighten me as to what it is, because there is no way for us to know unless you tell us.

And the MO of Bnei Akiva do violate Halachah, as described in my other post. They may not be your version of MO, but you have no copyright on the name. For you to say MO does NOT violate Halachah is wrong. Your narrow group may not, but the vast majority who call themselves MO do. You have no more right to that title than they do. If this bothers you, just find some other label to call yourself, but so long as these other institutions do violate the Torah, it is anything but an aveirah to say it. (Please see the entire MO forum, where Gedolim such as Rav AHaron Kotler ZTL and others said clearly that MO does indeed violate the Torah in serious ways.)

Edited by - admindealing on 14 November 2001 23:17

gregg613 Posted - 16 November 2001 21:15
Hey Danny!A little Kavod for Rav Mod,please.if u want to discuss the issues,fine,but with such huzza??!!!And maybe if you would shorten your LONG and frequent posts the mod'll be able to get more of em up
Topic is 6 Pages Long:    1 2 3 4 5 6

Click Here To Close Thread, Administrators & Moderators Only.

Show All Forums | Post Reply